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Ten-Term Democratic Leader Defeated By Newcomer In New York; Judge Grants First Nationwide Order Requiring Family Reunification; Trump: A Harley Should Never Be Built In Another Country; How America Has Changed Under President Trump; Late-Night Hosts Versus Trump. Aired 11-12a ET

Aired June 26, 2018 - 23:00   ET



DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. 11:00 p.m. here on the East Coast. We are live with a breaking news for you. This the primary night in America. And we've got all the information for you.

CNN can now project that Congressman Joe Crowley, a 10-term member of the Democratic House leadership team, who could have been speaker, by the way, has lost to a Democratic socialist newcomer. Her name is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This is race that will have major implications for the Democrats nationally. And then we're going to take you to Utah tonight as well where CNN projects Mitt Romney has won the GOP Senate primary. Much, much more on all of that to come.

Plus this -- the Supreme Court handing President Trump a victory today on his travel ban. The ruling, well, it's proved positive that elections have consequences. Consequences that include changing the direction of the Supreme Court for years to come. I want you to just look at where we were. This is exactly three years ago today. That is a White House lit up in rainbow colors in celebration of a Supreme Court ruling that established the right of gay people to get married.

On that same day the extraordinary moment when the President of the United States sang amazing grace, leading the nation in mourning nine African-Americans murdered in the Charleston Church shooting.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Amazing grace how 2sweet the sound --


LEMON: And three years later President Trump is reshaping this country, and dismantling some of President Obama's signature accomplishments. More on that in a moment as well, but I want to get right now to tonight's primary results, that is our breaking news. I want to bring in now CNN's chief political correspondent, Dana Bash in Utah, and CNN's politics senior writer and analyst, Harry Enten. Good evening to both of you, Harry and Dana, welcome back to this program, the second hour. So, Dana, Romney won the Republican primary out of Utah. Did he run

as a friend or a foe of the President?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he ran and he won on both, both being a friend and a foe of President Trump. And look, this is really an important point here, because -- actually, just want to let you know that I'm hearing myself and you're probably hearing yourself very loudly coming back from the screen, which is a good thing, because they're playing the CNN here at Romney headquarters, but do you remember back in 2016, the then former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, made a very, very scathing speech against and about Donald Trump, calling him a fake and a phony.

Really became the poster child of the never-Trump movement. And then about eight months later he was already being considered for Secretary of State was and actively talking to Donald Trump about potentially being in that position. And so when we talked before this primary, I asked him which one of those will go to Washington.


BASH: When you go to the senate, which Mitt Romney is going to go? The one that called Donald Trump a fake and a phony or the one who talked to him about being Secretary of State?

MITT ROMNEY (R), UTAH SENATE CANDIDATE: I believe I've made it pretty clear that I'll stand with President Trump if the policies he is proposing are good for the state of Utah, for other states, for the nation. On the other hand, if you were to say something that is divisive and significant, something which were racist or anti-woman or anti-immigrant, then I feel a moral responsibility to speak out. So I'll speak my mind.


BASH: Speaking his mind is what a lot of Republican primary voters said that they want him to do. That is why they want him to go to Washington to be a counterweight for Donald Trump, but this is still a very red state. There are a significant number of Trump supporters here who went out and voted in today's primary. And they have been saying to Mitt Romney, I certainly heard it, you know what, please, tow the line. This is President that we all support. And that is why you definitely hear both sides of that from Romney saying I'm going to support him when I can and I'm going to oppose him when I see that is important to do. This is just a primary, but this is also as I mentioned a very red state. So it is hard to imagine Mitt Romney, a Republican not going onto win the general election in November.

LEMON: Dana, you are good. I don't know how people realize how tough it is to keep your concentration when you hear yourself talking.

BASH: Very loudly.

[23:05:00] LEMON: So I am going to bring Harry in. Very loudly, I know. So Harry, let us talk about New York now. New York's 14th, right? A huge political upset, we are taking about Representative, Joe Crowley, he is going to lose to this progressive activist, this up start, right? Upstart activist, Alexander Ocasio-Cortez. What does that mean? What does that tell us?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER AND ANALYST: Well, I mean, she is a 28-year-old Latina woman running first time for political office and running to Joe Crowley's left. I think it says a number of things. I think says that the progressive part of the Democratic Party is alive and well in New York City. And you combine that with Ben Chalice winning the Democratic nomination for governor in Maryland. It is a good night for progressive nationally. It also tells us that this is a year of the woman. Right, she is a woman running against an older white male and also it is about the district itself. Right? This is district that has become a lot more diverse over the last 20 years since Crowley first won his election and she was a Latino woman.

LEMON: What about other key races? What do you know?

ENTEN: Again, if you look across the Democratic side, we saw progressives doing very, very well. We saw that in the ninth district in New York, we saw that the Maryland gubernatorial race, the Democratic side, but also on the Republican side more generally speaking in New York, Michael Grim, you know, the federal tax evasion charges, he went down in defeat tonight. Dan Donovan who is endorse by President Trump even though he voted against Trump's tax plans, Donovan wins. Trump endorse him. Good night for the president on that.

LEMON: All right, Harry, thank you very much. Thank you, Dana, I appreciate it. We're going to bring in Dana back in just a little bit. So, now, I want to bring in now CNN Contributor, Frank Bruni of "New York Times" and Senior Political Analyst, April Ryan -- excuse me, sorry, Ryan Lizza, on Esquire magazine. I'm meshing my names here. It happens a lot.

RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: April and I are always confused for one another.


LEMON: Twinsies. And CNN Political Commentator, and Republican Strategist, Alice Stewart, whose name I never mess up. Alice thank you very much for joining us. All of you, thank you for joining us.

So, Frank, I am going to start with you. This is what the President tweeted tonight. Let me read it right up. It says, wow, big Trump hater Congressman, Joe Crowley, who many expected was going to take Nancy Pelosi's place just lost his primary election. In other words, he is out. That is big one that nobody saw happening. Perhaps he should have been nicer and more respectful to the President. He lost a Democratic primary to a Democratic socialist, because he wasn't nice to the President.

FRANK BRUNI, OP-ED COLUMNIST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": The President's ability to make everything about himself is just boundless. I -- there are many -- one can have many different opinions about what this election and what Crowley's defeat means, but one thing for sure that it doesn't mean is that he wasn't nice enough to Donald Trump and the voters in that district rebelled against that. I can guarantee you with that, Don Lemon.

LEMON: May be she was running against --

2BRUNI: You know, none of us paid a lot of attention to that race and that is interesting, we should go back and think about that. But she was not campaigning as someone who was going to be kinder to Trump than representative Crowley. I can guarantee you that as well.

LEMON: She was campaigning on Obamacare and immigration, the opposite of what the President is doing. Very progressive values.

BRUNI: She was campaigning on a very, very progressive ticket or agenda. And as Harry said, it's big night tonight for progressives. Because they don't have a lot of these victories in the primary so far. And what happened in this district sort of stands out as an exception to that.

LEMON: Ryan Lizza, what's your read on tonight looking forward to November?

LIZZA: This race is, I think, is absolutely fascinating. Maybe the biggest upset in primary politics since David Brat beat Eric Canter. Remember that race? Eric Canter was on his way to being perhaps Speaker of the House and was defeated by this very right wing Republican, David Brat. And this looks a lot like that. I think any Democrat running in a primary this year is going to look at this and say, wait a second, don't take that your district for granted especially if you're in a very progressive district like Crowley was.

And don't do what Crowley did, which was he didn't show up to a debate. He sent a surrogate instead. And Don, you said she ran on Obamacare. She didn't run just off Obamacare, she ran to the left of Obamacare, on Medicare for all. She ran on very strict gun control. She ran on abolishing ICE, I mean she ran on every kind of blue sky progressive issue out there, and she beat what is Crowley -- I believe he is the number, what, four or five person in the Democratic leadership. Someone who is talked about as a potential Speaker of the House. This is going to send shock waves through the Democratic Party.

LEMON: Interesting. So, Alice, give us a road map here for Republicans to fight off what Democrats they are hoping is going to be a blue wave. We've still got some time to go, but give us a road map.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the red wave is certainly not panning out quite a way that a lot of Democrats was going to be -- or the blue wave is not panning out quite as well as the Democrats thought it was going to be, because the Republicans are doing well. Here's the key. Like Frank and Ryan said, that race in New York had nothing to do with Donald Trump. It was all about the Democratic Party becoming more progressive and more women.

[23:10:7] Big picture-wise, which regard to Republicans, I think clearly Mitt Romney is a shoe end in Utah. Clearly he won in 2012. 72 percent of the vote and he is a shoe in for the general. McMaster in South Carolina is like good sign for the President. The president him, has always supported him. And we're seeing all across the country more than anything for Republicans, this is a time where Republican candidates need to show that they are beholden to their constituents, will stand up for the conservative values.

And in McMaster's case, he is hook, line and sinker for Donald Trump on policy, tone and rhetoric. Whereas you head out in Utah, you have Mitt Romney who says, look, I'm with the President on policy, domestic policy though, but the tone and rhetoric I'm not for and I will not be a rubber stamp, but I will be a check and balance. What we are going to see more and more, especially these Congressional races and some Senate races, these are more about what do the constituents want. Did they want another Donald Trump or do they want someone that will go there and hold a speech to the fire and I think we need to take these on a race by race basis and not do a big picture, because each of them are individual.

LEMON: Not read so much into it. So Dana, I know that you're there in Utah. And Alice mentioned Utah and she talked about Romney's tragedy and how he ran. So what are your thought about this big upsets tonight?

BASH: Look, this is really -- it is an eye opener for Democrats. We've been talking about that since you started your program, but I don't really think it is really sunk in for a lot of these Democrats in leadership and across the country how seismic of a moment this is for somebody as high in leadership as Joe Crowley is. As somebody who is -- was clearly reaching for the top job as potentially to be House Speaker, if Democrats took over, to be toppled like this.

It really is reminiscent of what we saw in 2010 when the Tea Party came in, and really what we saw with what really a slow awakening of these establishment Republicans. We're going to start see among establishment Democrats. There's so many factors that went into Joe Crowley's surprise defeat. In some ways it was a perfect storm of the fact his opponent is, you know, a woman and is everything that Joe Crowley is not in terms of gender and ethnicity, but also in terms of just being other and different. And that is very, very important thing for Democrats to remember.

And it's just a seismic, -- as I said, a seismic event for their Party that Republicans are just starting to deal with this as the new normal in their party. Democrats are going to start to do as well. And I've just talked to several Democrats over the past hour or so who really do say that they were floored and that Joe Crowley did something that, you know, tends to be a fatal mistake, which is he says he took it seriously, but perhaps he didn't talk up his own ability and his own record as much as he should have, because she defined herself, and that is kind of 101 in politics.

LEMON: So, listen. I want to get to another subject, but I just have to and you, Harry, when listening to Dana there, and she is talking about Democrats, and what I hear from progressives, especially younger folks, there aren't enough young people in Washington, not enough young people in politics. Our representatives are so old. They don't represent us. They don't understand the browning of the country. And if Democrats will just stick to that, maybe in the short-term they won't take that, but in the long-term everything is on their side, is that correct?

ENTEN: I certainly would agree with the idea that the Democratic leadership is old. I mean, Joe Crowley was the youngest one among them. I mean, Chuck Schumer was born 1950. Nancy Pelosi was born before that. The Democratic Party has changed since those people came into power. And so it's not just about ideology it is also about representation of who the Democratic base is. And it's becoming a much more diverse Democratic base and tonight's challenge that was successful against Joe Crowley, the number one senator.

LEMON: And I think the lesson from that is learning from what Bernie Sanders said, with young people, right? Bernie Sanders isn't young, but he had a very young coalition. Who was that trying to get in? Was that Ryan?

STEWART: It was me, Don.

LEMON: Oh, Alice, sorry.

STEWART: Yes. One thing I was going to say this is classic case of these incumbent members, elected officials, you cannot phone it in. You have to go out there and still work your constituents. You can't skip the base and treat your constituents like they have said, what are we chopped liver? You have to go out there and continue to press the flesh, push your message and connect with these people. And Cortez did that, and Crowley took it for granted.

[23:15:00] LEMON: OK, but I agree -- I understand what you are saying, but I also think in a district, especially like the district she ran in, the 14th is a very diverse district, the country is becoming more diverse and I just think that people want people who represent them, or who look like them. And you know, I guess to sort of portray their values.

I'm just looking, you know, into the future about Democrats and whether they're on the right side of history when it comes here. Because that is all I hear. They're not young enough, they are not progressive enough, they keep trying to be like Republican like, and they're just out of touch. So, let's talk about that a little bit more and then late night host, getting the President back. Wait until you see it, right after this break.


LEMON: All right, I'm back now with Frank Bruni, Ryan Lizza and Alice Stewart. And we have some breaking news. I want to talk to you guys about this is just coming in here and as CNN is reporting now that a federal judge grants a first nationwide order requiring family reunification within 30 days. Again, family reunification within 30 days, that is according to a federal judge. What do you think of that, Ryan Lizza? LIZZA: Well, the first I'm hearing of it, Don. It's very

interesting. And the question is will DHS and will ICE be able to implement that? Because so far they have struggled with the about face of the President's executive order the other day. Do we know what federal court issued the order, Don?

[23:20:08] LEMON: Yes. A federal Judge in California late Tuesday leveled the first major rebuke to the Trump administration in the midst of ongoing furor over family's separations at the border. Here is what it orders specifically. I'll get more specific.

Requires federal officials to number one, stop detaining parents apart from their minor children absent determination of parent is unfit or the parent declines reunification. Number two, reunify all parents with their minor children who are under the age of 5 within 14 days. And number three, reunify all parents with their minor children age 5 or older within 30 days. That is very specific, Ryan.

LIZZA: Very specific, and you have to wonder if this is the kind of case that maybe on its way to higher courts the same way that the Trump travel ban was, right? We saw a test of the President's authority with respect to the travel ban when it comes to immigration and these narrow 5-4 decision. And you have to wonder whether the issue of family reunification and how the Trump administration is dealing with border crossings may similarly be on its way to a higher court.

LEMON: Yes. Our correspondent, Laura Jarrett, is on the phone now and joins us with the information on this. Laura, you had been following this story. What can you tell us?

LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Hey there, Don. The federal Judge in California we were closely watching has ruled tonight that families must be reunified within 30 days. Now, he breaks it down by the age of the child. Because the plaintiffs in this case were specifically focused on young children, saying they need to be reunified. Children under who are under the age of 5, they need be reunified with their parents within 14 days. But children who are over five, they need to be reunified within 30 days and with mandates, the children receive phone calls within their parents within ten days if they haven't already spoken to their parents.

Now, Don, the Judge's opinion is scathing. He says the situation has reached crisis levels. He calls it startling reality, talks about how there was no plan in place for reunification and what has going on for the past couple of weeks is basically just chaotic at this point. So, certainly a major rebuke for the trump administration as different officials within the Justice Department and Homeland Security have talked about for days, they are coming up with a plan. Well, they are going to have to come up with a plan pretty quickly now, Don.

LEMON: Yes. Laura I want you to standby, because again, as Laura said, Frank I will come to you, the situation has reached a crisis level that was they said. Also it said, the practice of separating these families was implemented without any effective system or procedure for tracking the children after they were separated from their parents, that is number two is enable communication between the parents and their children after separation and number three, reuniting the parents and children after the parents are reunited to immigration custody, following completion of the criminal sentence.

Basically he said this is startling reality. Basically he is saying they did this just willy-nilly with no plan, and they created all of this chaos as has been said by the news media, which he calls fake and on and on. And a Judge is now saying, yes, this is a crisis of your own creation.

BRUNI: Yes, and that order is necessary and it is really, really important and here is the thing, it is not going to be met. Every bit of reporting that we've had about this, your network had some great reporting today. Very few children have been reunified with parents. HHS on a conference call with reporters couldn't answer basic questions about what is going on, the ages of kids, the numbers. This is an administration in disarray when it comes to dealing with this situation and while this order is as I said necessary and important, there's nothing to lead us to believe the administration can comply with it.

LEMON: That is my question, Alice. I mean can they comply with it because it says stop detaining parents, right, reunify all parents with their minor children -- under age 5 within 14 days and then beyond that within 30 days. I mean, do you think -- I am sure, well, hopefully they know where all the children are or do they know where the parents are?

STEWART: Well, they've been working on that, and they have been ever since the President reversed course on this. Let me just say this, it's really important to make this point. The images we have seen and heard on the border with the separation of families are heart wrenching and they are extremely troubling. And no one can see or hear that without a tear in their eye. It's difficult to watch, but that being said we have to keep in mind that the Justice Department, Jeff Sessions, made it quite clear that the immigration laws of this country state that if you enter this country unlawfully, you will be prosecuted. And that left open for interpretation by the President that these families can be separated --

[23:25:02] LEMON: Alice -- let me just say this.

STEWART: I know this is not what we want to hear.

LEMON: No, no, no. It is not what we want to hear. We've heard that from Jeff Sessions and from everyone else. We are talking about this breaking news, because you said they're working on it. Shouldn't they -- instead of they are working on it, shouldn't they have known where the parents are and kids are before they started implementing or putting this policy into practice? They should have known. Listen. We can debate whether it's cruel or inhumane or whatever? I mean, that is not the point. I am talking about, can the government comply with this Judge's -- with this judge laid out here, with his order?

STEWART: I just want to delay the groundwork for that. I hope they can Don. Listen, I know they're working to do it as quickly as they possibly can. But we have heard stories, Don. We have reported on stories here at CNN, that they're not really certain where the mother is compared to where the children are, and it's going to be extremely difficult. And I think this is important to light a fire under Congress. I think they need to do something. And let's just point out one other thing. It is also that we came out of the earlier hearing or the ruling today by the Supreme Court with regards to the travel ban. One of the things the justice pointed out is extremely important to separate the president's rhetoric and what he is saying with regards whether his authority is and I am just --

LEMON: One more question. You said Congress has to go back -- did you say Congress has to go back and match these children? Why is it?

STEWART: No, no, no, I'm saying what they need to do is take immediate action to address the family separation and reunite these families. That is something, they don't need to do a comprehensive immigration plan. This is something that immediately needs to be done.

LEMON: That is not the administration's responsibility for implementing this policy?

STEWART: It's in my view, the President should pick up the phone and call members of Congress and say let's get an immediate legislation, so we can make this -- expedite this process. I think that is priority. We don't need to do a comprehensive plan. We need to address this situation right here. And hopefully this decision that came down tonight or this order that came down tonight will light a fire under not just Congress, but the President as well. This needs to be done, but keeping in mind, that the President did have the authority to take this action, but the consequences of this have been extremely heart breaking. And hopefully this changes course.

LEMON: All right. Thank you all. I appreciate it for helping me out here with the breaking news, but again here it is, a Federal Judge grants a nationwide order requiring family reunification within 30 days, that is the longest, but really the shortest is within 14 days for children of a certain age, and that is those under 5. And the big question is, well, first of all why did they do it, and number two, can they comply with this Judge's orders? Do they even know where everyone is to put these families back together? So we will continue to follow the breaking news here.

Also when we come back, President Trump's America seems to be all about walls, walls to keep out immigrants, walls to block free trade, but what is all this doing to the country?


LEMON: President Trump is about building walls. Whether it is a wall he wants to build -- remember the wall Mexico was supposed to pay for to keep out immigrants from Mexico in Latin America? Or the barriers he's putting up to free trade. It's a tough guy persona that has real world policy implication.

Here to discuss, CNN Global Affairs Analyst, Max Boot, the author of "The Road Not Taken," and CNN Contributor, Michael D'Antonio, the author of "The Truth About Trump." Good evening, gentlemen. So, I just want to ask you about this breaking news about the federal judge in California.

This federal judge in California is now saying that they're giving the government really 14 days, we said 30 days, 14 days to start reunifying these families. Some within 14 days, some within 30 days. What's your reaction to that, Max?

MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: It's a great move obviously from a humanitarian standpoint because this is a terrible tragedy which is unfolded at these children, being snatched from their parents.

But you know, you have to wonder about what is the long-term future of these kind of judicial interventions in light of the Supreme Court ruling today in Trump versus Hawaii in which the court basically gave Trump a lot of leeway in terms of immigration law, just saying that there's a lot of executive discretion to act as he sees fit.

And they essentially bought what I think is his bogus justification for the travel ban that was concocted by his lawyers when he was clearly animated by hatred of Muslims. But then his administration lawyers came in, kind of cleaned it up.

And the Supreme Court, you know, pretended to at least or sot of they would buy that justification. So, I think what that shows us is that we can't necessarily count on judges to save us. Ultimately, it has to be a political decision.

LEMON: I don't know, considering all the chaos that has been going on, all the misinformation around it. I'm wondering if the government can even do this, if the administration can do what this judge wants.

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It seems in doubt. Although, what we did see today was one person, this federal judge, has common sense and has understanding of children and families and signal to the world that there some authorities in America who have their humanity intact and a moral center.

The Supreme Court today ruled that the president could do something awful, and that it's lawful for him to do something awful in the case of the Muslim ban. In this case with the immigrant children, the president did do something awful and somebody said, well, we're going to roll that back.

LEMON: The president is also slamming Harley-Davidson, by the way, for its decision to move some of its production overseas. He says that they are using tariffs as an excuse. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Harley-Davidson is using that as an excuse, and I don't like that because I've been very good to Harley-Davidson. And they used it as an excuse. And I think the people who ride Harleys are not happy with Harley-Davidson, and I wouldn't be either.

Mostly, companies are coming back to our country. I was the one who explained to Harley about the 100 percent tax in India, where they had a tariff of 100 percent, and I got it down to a much lower number. I think it's 50 percent, which is far too much. But they were paying 100 percent tariff.


LEMON: The president wants to be tough on trade. What's he getting on, Max?

BOOT: I don't think he understands the first thing about trade. I mean, his big misapprehension, as he has said before, he thinks that trade wars are good and easy to win, and that is at odds with all the history of trade wars. If you talk to any economists, they will tell you trade wars are terrible.

They have horrible repercussions and we're seeing those repercussions here where it's supposed to help American business. But in fact, Harley-Davidson is getting a one two wall (ph) because on the one hand, Trump is raising the cost of steel and aluminum.

[23:35:05] And on the other hand, the European Union is retaliating for those tariffs, further raising cost. And so Harley-Davidson has to move production offshore, which is going to cost American jobs and obviously that's why Trump is having a meltdown because his trade war is predictably backfiring.

LEMON: Yeah.

D'ANTONIO: And we now have agricultural products stored up that should have been shipped abroad. Soybean orders are way down. Hams are collecting in freezers all across ports in America. This is crazy.

LEMON: I don't know if during the soundbite, you whispered, you said out loud, everything is personal. He has tweeted about Harley- Davidson multiple times.

D'ANTONIO: He has treated them well. He treated them well. He touted them as an American success story, had them visit the White House, and then all of a sudden he interprets this as they're turning on them. This is man -- the president is a very poor student of economics.

BOOT: He's annoyed that they're listening to the law of supply and demand --


BOOT: -- rather than to whatever Donald Trump says.

D'ANTONIO: And they're manufacturing abroad as it is. They have a plant in Thailand, another in Brazil.

LEMON: And that's where their customer base is and --

D'ANTONIO: Precisely.

LEMON: -- that's where they are ordering from overseas. Thank you, gentlemen. Fascinating conversation. I got to cut it short because (ph) of the breaking news. We appreciate it.

When we come back, President Trump reshaping this country and dismantling some of President Obama's signature accomplishments. We're going to talk to a member of the Obama administration about just how much things have changed.


LEMON: President Trump calling the Supreme Court's ruling today on his travel ban a tremendous victory. It's proof that elections do have consequences. So just look at where we were. This is exactly three years ago tonight. America was celebrating the Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.

You see the White House there in rainbow colors. And President Obama eulogized the African-American pastor who was murdered along with eight others in the Charleston Church shooting.




OBAMA: -- how sweet the sound --


LEMON: So, let's talk about that. That was a fascinating moment, an iconic moment, I should say. I want to bring in now Ben Rhodes. He is a former deputy national security adviser under President Obama, who is the author of "The World As It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House." So good to have you on. Thank you very much.


LEMON: You know, it seems hard to believe that what I just said, three years ago, that was just three years ago today, right?


LEMON: That we were celebrating the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage at the White House. And people were all excited, right? And then you have to have this front row seat to these incredible moments in history. What do you think as you watch them now and think about the travel ban today is being implemented?

RHODES: Well, it's hard not to hear that clip of the president singing without getting emotional again. You know, it shows you that America is a story that is always influx. There's the America that was represented by that week where not just the same-sex marriage but also the health care law was upheld.

And then you have the president giving voice to how a lot of Americans were feeling in Charleston. And President Trump offers a very different face of America, one that is not inclusive, one that is exclusionary to Muslims and obviously in the way in which children have been treated on our southern border.

So, you know, I think it shows you two very different views of what America is and what America should be.

LEMON: I have said that this is a moment, if there's anything that this administration offers the American people is to figure out who we are, what kind of country we want to be. I'm not sure if you feel that way. What do you think of that thought?

RHODES: No, I do. And I think that's what politics ultimately is all about when we pull back from the day to day, Don. And, you know, I still believe that the the inclusive America that Barack Obama represented, the America that extends more rights to people over time as was the case with gay Americans be able to marry three years ago today, that's where I think we're headed.

I think Trump represents kind of a reactionary forces in our country that have always been there. But ultimately I think those forces lose out. And I think frankly even the primary results we see tonight out of New York, that's the future. It's not Donald Trump. It's what we're seeing in those races, the young people who are stepping forward. That gives me hope even on a very dark day.

LEMON: Yeah. Often the end of something or the last gasp is often the loudest sometimes.


LEMON: And I think maybe that's what we're seeing right now because people fight really hard so that things don't change. But America is evolving. The world is evolving. America is becoming browner and you can't stop it.

So why -- though you might try by limiting people who can come into the country and separating them from their children and so on. But my question is, we did a story last night off of a magazine article that said, "where is President Obama." You see him, correct?


LEMON: Why has he been so quiet in the face of what President Trump and the administration is saying and doing?

RHODES: Well, I think a couple of reasons, Don. First of all, I have talked to him about this, he wants to make sure that new voices can emerge in the Democratic Party. If he is out there commenting on every issue, he is taking up all the space. If he is the leader of a shadow government, he is not letting new leaders step forward and have their voices heard. And it's a very Barack Obama thing, to want other people to take that (ph). And we have lots of young people running for office around the country, lot of women, people of color. That's the Obama legacy. Everyone focuses just on the policies, which are very important. And a lot of those policies, by the way, gay marriage, the health care law, they are still intact.

But the real legacy I think is what people are going to see in November. He will back out there on the campaign trail in the fall, trying to support Democrats or taking back the House.

[23:45:04] LEMON: I've spoken to you about this before, but let's touch on this again. You write about being -- about President Obama saying, sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early. On his last foreign trip, he did feel sort of misunderstood or underappreciated. Did he?

RHODES: Well, you know, I think he felt -- I mean, that particular comment, he, like a lot of us, I described in the book, went through a lot of reactions after the election. A lot of different emotions. What could have been done better in the campaign? How much was it the Russians or the Jim Comey letter?

But then, you know, what he was reflecting there is what you said a couple of minutes ago, Don, which is 10 or 20 years from now, the demographics of this country are going to be in a different way, a different place.

Donald Trump, a guy like him could not get elected in this country 10 or 20 years from now. And I think what he used to also say to me is, look, there's going to be a Latino Barack Obama, an Asian Barack Obama. That is the ultimate direction that we're moving in.

But it may have been that, you know, his presidency and the moment we are in around the world with some of the reaction against aggression and globalization and trade, you know, this Trump presidency is an expression of kind of the backlash against the future that we are heading towards. And, you know, I think he was wrestling with that reality.

LEMON: Well, between him and this president, it certainly is a stark contrast of policy, number one. Of style, number two. And clasp (ph), number three. And I will let everybody else figure out what I meant behind all those three. Thank you very much, Ben. Always a pleasure.

RHODES: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Once again, the book is "The World As It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House. When we come back, President Trump taking shots at late-night hosts, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert, the other night. Well, now, they are fighting back and wait until you see who is joining in.


LEMON: President Trump has used his bully pulpit to slam the hosts of late-night T.V. Well, now they are fighting back. I want you to take a look at this. This is a clip that aired at the top of Stephen Colbert's late show on CBS and Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show" on NBC. Here it is.



JIMMY FALLON, HOST, NBC: Hey, low life.



COLBERT: What are you up to?

FALLON: Be a man.

COLBERT: I'll try. What are you up to?

FALLON: I'm busy having no talent. Did you see Trump's rally last night?


FALLON: Me either. He said some pretty bad stuff about us.

COLBERT: Really? Doesn't sound like him.

FALLON: He said we're all no talent, low life, lost souls.

COLBERT: Oh, that's not right. That's Conan.


COLBERT: Hold on, I'll get him.

CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, TBS: Oh, hey, guys. What's up?


O'BRIEN: President who?


FALLON: Donald Trump. The real estate guy who sells steaks.

O'BRIEN: He's president?


O'BRIEN: Wow. How's he doing?

COLBERT: Not so good.

O'BRIEN: Oh. Well, guys, give him time, OK? And remember, please be civil. If we're not careful, this thing could start to get ugly. Hey, how about I start shaving my chest? Do you guys want to watch?

COLBERT: No, thanks.

FALLON: Hey, we still on for lunch?

COLBERT: Yeah, where do you want to eat?

FALLON: Red Hen?




LEMON: That's funny. I want to talk about this now with CNN Political Commentators, Keith Boykin, Tara Setmayer, and also Madison Gesiotto, the Trump campaign advisory board. Thank you so much for joining us this evening, all of you. Tara, why is the president fighting with late-night hosts?

TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Because he's the leader of the free world. He has nothing else better to do apparently. Look, this is part of who he is. He enjoys this tabloid type of tit-for-tat. He's done this all the time. He likes to get down in the mud. He's a tabloid T.V. guy.

So why is anyone surprised about this? I mean, I'm not. I just think that, like I said, he's the leader of the free world. He has a lot of other more important things to do. He didn't have time to condemn Roseanne Barr and some of those other things because, according to Sarah Sanders, he's too busy, he's got more important things to do. Yes, he gets into the mud and goes after late-night T.V. hosts. It's just part of going low and punching down.

LEMON: So Madison, do you think the president will respond? Why is he going after them like this, do you think?

MADISON GESIOTTO, TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISORY BOARD: Don, he's going after them like this because he can. He can do whatever he wants. This is someone who I know very well. He doesn't sleep very much. He works very hard.

SETMAYER: Clearly.

GESIOTTO: He gets the job done. If he wants to do this, he has the right to do that. He has to go after them, that's fine, because he doesn't feel like he's been treated fairly by them, and that's his opinion and that's his choice to make.

KEITH BOYKIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He hasn't been treated fairly by comedians? Oh, what a poor soul. I'm sorry to hear that. This is a guy who says he's too busy to meet with Robert Mueller, special counsel who's investigating the Russian scandal, and yet he has time to go on Twitter to attack NFL players, NBA players, actors and comedians, attack the Philadelphia Eagles.

LEMON: Golf.

BOYKIN: Golf every weekend.


BOYKIN: This guy is a joke. And the idea that somehow we're supposed to take him seriously as president is preposterous. He spends most of his morning tweeting.

GESIOTTO: Well, he is your president, so take him seriously.

BOYKIN: How many times did he tweet today?

SETMAYER: Too many. Exactly. But here's the thing. Here's what Trump people do all the time. They say he has the right to do this. No one is arguing whether he has the right to do it. I mean, there are a lot of things you have a right to do that you shouldn't just do. He's president of the United States. He does have the bully pulpit. And this is what he's using it for? I mean, that is --


GESIOTTO: -- what he should do. Have you been president of the United States?

SETMAYER: Are you kidding me? What are we, in kindergarten? I know you are, but what am I?


SETMAYER: I expect more out of the president of the United States. If Barack Obama had done this, I guarantee you, my Republican brethren would be going on and on about how immature he is and how disrespectful he is to the office of the presidency. I mean, we went after Barack Obama for wearing a tan suit, for God's sake. So, I don't want to hear it.


SETMAYER: He is acting like a child on Twitter. Like teenager on Twitter. Not the president of the United States.

GESIOTTO: Guess what, Twitter is the future. And the president is moving forward. We will be using Twitter more than the presidents in the past have. It's the reality of life right now.

[23:55:00] SETMAYER: We're talking about the health of our democracy here.

BOYKIN: But he's using Twitter in irresponsible ways.

GESIOTTO: Oh, and it's going to be just fine.

BOYKIN: Past presidents have used social media as well. President Obama did so.

GESIOTTO: Yes. And they will use it more going forward. That's what I'm saying.

BOYKIN: OK, we get that. I understand that. But that's irrelevant because Donald Trump is using it in an irresponsible manner.


BOYKIN: He spends all morning tweeting. He doesn't do his job. He is busy focusing and attacking people. He's been a divisive figure. So you coming on and saying that Twitter is the future is a completely irrelevant comment.

SETMAYER: And no one here is going to --


GESIOTTO: -- saying that it is the future and he should be using it.

SETMAYER: He should like an adult.

LEMON: All right. I don't think she said he shouldn't be using Twitter. She is talking about the way in which he's using Twitter.

SETMAYER: That's correct.

GESIOTTO: He can use it however he wants.

LEMON: OK. So, here is where we are.


LEMON: This is --

SETMAYER: It's like shadow boxing.

LEMON: -- where we are.

SETMAYER: Because Trump supporters are talking about something completely different when -- they are on a different plane. We are talking about reality and they are talking about Twitter is the future.

BOYKIN: Could you please hold Donald Trump a --

GESIOTTO: Is what he saying not reality?

LEMON: I got to go.

GESIOTTO: What he tweets is not reality?

LEMON: Thank you, guys. I appreciate it. Why do we do this? Why? Good night.