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Trump Opens NATO Summit With Blistering Criticism Of Germany, Labels Allies Delinquent; Paul Ryan's Comments Signal GOP Support For Jim Jordan After Jordan Is Accused Of Ignoring Abuse; Bigots On The Ballot; Papa John's Founder Resigns; Police Force Officer of Forest Preserve Resigns; CNN Original Series. Aired 11-12a ET

Aired July 11, 2018 - 23:00   ET



DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon, 11:00 p.m. here on the East Coast, live with all the new developments and there are many. President Trump effectively telling our European allies, you need us more than we need you. Publicly shaming the leaders of some of our closest allies, claiming their not paying their fair share in funding NATO. Well, that may not play well. In Brussels that is exactly the kind of thing that Trump's base wants to hear.

The latest promised fulfilled for voters who want Trump to shake thing up. Pulling out of the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal, nominating conservative Supreme Court Judges, putting protective tariffs in place against the advice of his own party, and most economist. Cracking down on immigration, even if that means separating parents from their children. All of it, exactly what Trump base wants him to do.

So, let's discuss. I want to bring in now CNN Political Analyst, Carl Bernstein, and Mark McKinnon the former adviser to George W. Bush and John McCain and executive producer of ShowTime's The Circus. Good evening gentlemen, long time no see. I haven't seen you guys in a while. It is good to see you again.

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good to be with you. Welcome back.

LEMON: Thank you very much. This is from Dan Raters, he writes, he said, Reagan, Mr. Gorbachev tear down that wall. Trump, tear down NATO and vow to Putin, GOP leaders saying they reveal Reagan while paying (inaudible) to Trump is a definition of rank hypocrisy. So, as a Republican Mark, is everything we're witnessing further proof that the Republican Party is officially the Party of Trump?

MARK MCKINNON, CO-HOST, SHOWTIME'S THE CIRCUS: No question, he is taken it over completely, a complete take over. But, he is doing exactly what he said and exactly what his supporters expected. And really, at the bottom of everything as you kind of just melt it all away. So Donald Trump is just saying, I'm doing something differently and everything he does. And I think at every meeting, he goes into, every sort of overseas trip, every policies is like, how can I do this differently, how can I not do the normal thing, how can I be anti- establishment, how can I prove to my supporters that I am doing and saying something completely different and that includes sticking my finger in NATO's eye and just about everything down the line.

I think Trump looks at, how can do this in a way that is completely different than it has ever been done before and not by normal standard.

LEMON: I'm just wondering, because Carl, there is one senior European diplomat told CNN, that in trying to make sense of Trump's attack on Germany, they're thinking that it has everything to do with the midterms. So, even if it's on foreign soil, is he looking at the midterms and his Republican base now in terms of staying in power and getting reelected?

BERNSTEIN: Yes. And the way you setup the show about his base and what Mark has just said is absolutely correct. Let us look at it in a larger sense. Donald Trump is sucking the oxygen out of the American story. He is taking the American story and saying, we are going to turn our backs not just on the last 75 years at home, abroad, really on the last 250 years.

We are becoming a different kind of person, because of his conduct of the President, different kind of country, because of his conduct of the presidency. And in the process, the American narrative about what we stand for in terms of civil rights, civil liberty, who we are as a people, immigration, no king in this country, the idea in the Democratic process in which no one is above the law, the rule of law, the promises of the rule of law, he is sucking the oxygen out of our very history.

And it might well be what 40, 50 percent of the people in this country want, and we'll find out in the midterms, but the Democrats have to fight back if they want to succeed and say, this is not the American story Mr. President. The last 250 years in particular, the last 75 years, America leading the world and democracy, that is the story.

LEMON: You may have answered that. I mean, if you can just drill down, because you say this is not just about tenor, it is about substance.

BERNSTEIN: Absolutely. He is very successful in terms of getting his way. And he is successful because of that base. But what he is doing to feed that base, and also to make sure that he is not caught in a vice by Mueller. The one thing he is terrified of. But what he is doing is writing a new American narrative, and what those elections are going to be about in the midterm is whether or not this country is going to go along with these new American narrative, but it is a total opposition to what our history has been in this country.

[23:05:11] LEMON: Mark, I can see you that you want to respond to this. Go on.

MCKINNON: Well, yes, to your larger question. The midterms are important because it's an existential threat to Donald Trump. Why, because the Democrats take the house, I guarantee you that under any circumstances they're going to start impeachment proceedings when Mueller provide his report. There broad range of you know, what that means across the political spectrum, but there will be Democrats, I assure you that will start those proceedings.

And Donald Trump knows that the end game is the Clinton end game, which is to find 17 Republican Senators that will not move over and vote for impeachment. He just has to have a -- eliminate any possibility of a 2/3 vote in the senate. So that is why he is playing in the base. He just needs to make sure those Republican Senators are completely faithful and loyal to him and don't peel off in impeachment proceeding.

LEMON: And while the President is in Europe though, Mark, he is still going after the Russian investigation. I mean, that is still at the top of his mind. Here, calling it -- this is a quote, a rigged witch hunt. Calling it tainted and corrupt. Are these continued attacks against the media intended to make his base not believe, what may come out against him?

MCKINNON: 100 percent, Don. In fact, he is tweeted 50 times in the last three months about a witch hunt. And you know what, it's been incredibly successful. He has used the bully pulpit in a way that is been more effective than just about anybody you can imagine. Maybe Ronald Reagan, but think about this, he took the number of people in this country who believe that there is a partisan witch hunt from 25 percent a year ago to 53 percent now. So that is not just his base and that is even beyond his base. And he has done that strictly out of his commitment to making people believe that the Mueller investigation is a partisan affair.

BERNSTEIN: And he also may not let this investigation proceed. He is doing everything he can to undermine it. But he also, if you talk to the people in the White House, you talk to the people whose closest to him, he wants to bury this investigation. He wants to make sure that Mr. Mueller does not have the opportunity to issue a really full report on his dealings, on Trump's financial dealings, on his dealings with Russians, on matters of his family, on money laundering.

He wants to make this go away, but if the price is impeachment, as Mark is suggesting, then he is betting that he can do better with impeachment proceedings than allowing these facts to go out there unfettered.

LEMON: I am wondering though, if the same poison though is spreading, you know, at the GOP at large. The case at point is Congressman Jim Jordan who is accused of knowing sexual allegations that we had been reporting here, he denies knowing and he is also attacking the media. Here is what he tweeted, he said, now, CNN is contacting all 100 plus of our former staff and interns asking for dirt on me getting desperate. How can you ever trust such fake news?

BERNSTEIN: I presume they're doing reporting.

LEMON: That is right out of Trump's play book.

BERNSTEIN: But once again, what we are looking at here is a different kind of presidency, in which we now have a President who wants nothing to do with the rule of law. Who does not want to see the precedent of Watergate for instance, that the President of the United States is accountable? He doesn't want that precedent to obtain and to continue.

So we are now in a cold civil war, you and I have talked about this before. We're in a cold civil war, Trump has brought it to the point of ignition. And in those midterms that Mark is talking about, are the kind of line of demarcation as to whether this American story may be halted in its tracks, because of the way Donald Trump is conducting his presidency. I'm interested in what Mark thinks about that.

LEMON: And to the point of a constitutional crises, if it gets -- some people say we're already in one. Go on Mark.

MCKINNON: Well, I will just go to your fake news question, I mean, that starts with the authoritarian government right. I mean, the person who invented fake news was Vladimir Putin very effectively --

LEMON: Before you move on Mark. If you're accused of something, Mark, and I call 100 people. And I -- do you know this about Mark? Does Mark know about this? What do you think? That is not digging for dirt that is actually called reporting. Because of 100 people says no he didn't, then that is what you report. If 100 people saying, yes, he did, then that is what you report. That is not digging for dirt. That is called -- that is journalism.

MCKINNON: Yes, that is following up, you got eight people now from the wrestling team that had come forward, so I think CNN and other news organization are just trying to independently verify whether or not there's other accusations like that out there.

[23:10:10] But Jim Jordan is trying effectively to use the Trump play book which is to say -- just to say that anything critical coming from many news sources is fake news. And by the way, Donald Trump had been very effective on that account too. 2/3 of the American public believe that most -- a component of mainstream media news is fake.

LEMON: Interesting, yes. But even though Republicans have come to the support -- Paul Ryan came to support, rallying around him. How do you think this is going to play out?

BERNSTEIN: Look, I think one of the great thing about being a reporter is we don't have crystal balls. We don't know how this is going to play out. But what we need to be doing is the reporting regardless of what the accusations are against us about fake news, et cetera, et cetera.

But one part of that reporting is, what is the Republican Party today? Where does the Republican Party stand in terms of the rule of the law? Are the Republicans in Congress willing to go along as they have been so far? In a craven way, if you talk to Republicans privately, a good number of them, they will tell you they do not like the conduct of this President of the United States. And at the same time, they like the narrative that he is providing.

LEMON: Interesting. Mark, while I have you here, I just want to ask you about Kavanaugh, because you have worked with President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The question on so many people's mind, do I think that he will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade? Any insight on that?

MCKINNON: Well, my insight is what he said at his federal court hearing, in which he said that he was a federal side of law. So, I don't think, I done expect to see any change in that. But one thing I will say about Brett Kavanaugh, having work with him in and around the Bush White House is -- I just think, that you know, on a very broad level, he is got great character, great judgment, great compassion, great intellect, I think he is going to be a really good Supreme Court justice.

LEMON: All right. Thank you gentlemen. Always a pleasure to have both of you on.

When we come back, we're going to break down some the racist where Republican are so worried about their own candidates. They rather Democrats win.


LEMON: In a very disturbing trend, white nationalist who push racist and anti-Semitic views are running as a Republican candidate in several state and federal races this year. A few days ago, the national campaign arm, other Republican Party pulled its support from a New Jersey congressional candidate who has made derogatory remarks about Muslims and African-Americans. A candidate the party had previously endorsed. Well, tonight, CNN's Tom Foreman takes a look at this candidates and the ugly rhetoric base view. Hi, Tom.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Don. The Republican Party bosses are so concerned about some of the people who have made it on to their party's ticket this fall, they're ready to let those seat goes to Democrats.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is not about racism folks.

FOREMAN: U.S. Nominee Corey Stewart railing about the confederate flag in Virginia. New Jersey Congressional contender, Seth Grossman taking on multi-culturalism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole idea (inaudible) --

FOREMAN: And in Illinois, another congressional hopeful, Arthur Jones addressing the holocaust.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I deny the holocaust as an extortion racket, clear and simple.

FOREMAN: They are all Republicans, all have made it on to the ballot this fall. And for groups like the anti-defamation league such successes rely deeply worry some movement toward extremism. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even if those candidates are not going to win, the

fact that they get any level of support, whether it is 2 percent or 20 percent in these primaries should raise concern in the community.

FOREMAN: President Trump critics says his incendiary rhetoric has made racism more mainstream. While the party which has pulled support from some of the most extreme candidates rejects that. Telling CNN, the racist beliefs of Nazis, the KKK, White Supremacist and others are repulsive, evil and have no fruitful place in United States. But that has not stop the small but troubling trend.

In North Carolina, Republican Russell Walker's bid to grab a seat in the State House, his link to rumbling attacks on Muslims, Mormons and Jews, and rants about African-Americans and so called white rights. Not all these people are pursuing such extreme agendas, but in one particularly start example, remember that white nationalist and neo- Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia? James (inaudible) was there. Now back home in Washington State, he has won a low level party office, he made it clear on the white nationalist podcast he is still pushing his views.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not going to tell you that knocking doors for Republican and Congressman is going to save the rest or save European Americans, that is not at all what I'm saying. But it is a means to an end.

FOREMAN: He also once gave an introductory speech at a rally for Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to take our country back from the globalist and the corrupt politicians and put it in the hands of someone who actually knows what they are doing. That is only one choice America.

FOREMAN: A dozen years back, even a whiff of racism could be political poison. As Republican Senate candidate, George Allen learned when he aimed a racial slur at an Indian American in Virginia. Allen, apologized and lost anyway.


FOREMAN: But it's different now. Champions of white supremacy and neo-Nazi and those who are stoking racial animus and playing upon white anxiety are showing up more often. And it's not clear that everyone thinks what they're saying is bad. Indeed, in that latest poll which shows that half of Americans believe, Donald Trump, the President is a racist among Republicans, the overwhelming majority say, no, he is not. Don.

[23:20:09] LEMON: Thank you, Tom. I appreciate that. When we come back, why these extreme candidates are running in today's GOP, and what is it about our politics that encourages them.


LEMON: Bigots on the ballot are the shameful dark side of our politics right now. And they are running as Republican. So let's discuss now. David Jolly, a former Republican Congressman from Florida, CNN Political Commentator, Alice Stewart, and Angela Rye.

Good evening, you guys saw Tom Foreman's piece, just to remind you and our viewers and I think you need reminding, but (inaudible).

[23:25:00] I want to take a look at some of the candidates again. These men have promoted some pretty terrible views and they're on the ballot as Republicans. What is it Alice about our current political climate, that is bringing these candidates out of the wood works and stamping them with the label of GOP?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Don unfortunately it starts at the top. And we have a President that says thing that are outside of the norm, that have not been said before. And a lot of people have stood behind him in that regard. And that is where we are right now. The civility in Washington has gone down tremendously. That being said, the story we just saw and what we're talking about, these are the dark side and the disturbing side.

Fortunately, it is not the majority of people in the Republican Party. And the Republican Party is the party of limited government and fiscal responsibility and ethical values and life and liberty. And these are the small majority of people, the Republican Party. And unfortunately, we are seeing more of them, but I'm grateful for the pact that it's a small majority.

LEMON: OK, listen, look, I hope it is not the majority of the Republican Party, but the fact is that most of the Republican Party supported Trump who you just said is promoting this, whose emboldening people. I don't want to disparage any party or I don't want to cast versions on any group. But, it does seem that if you're not racist, right? You're at least overlooking it and you're supporting it by, when you go to the ballot or -- ballot, you know, ballot box and voting for these people, or by not denouncing it when your President espouses some of these views. Am I wrong in that assessment?

STEWART: No. Look, Don. I lost a lot of sleep over the last several years working for candidates that are men of honor and integrity and dignity. And unfortunately they were not the party's nominee. And in the end I voted for someone that I viewed that would at least -- the number one issue for me was Supreme Court justices. I worked really, really hard for candidates for our party that would bring dignity to the office. Unfortunately that was not the case and this is where we are today.

LEMON: OK. I want to get other people. I don't mean to cut you off. David, did you want to say something?

DAVID JOLLY (R), FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: I do, I love Alice's optimism, but I disagree very strongly and almost angrily with it. Because this is where Donald Trump has given permission to elements of the party that past nominees and past leaders of the Republican Party has shut down. Ronald Reagan spoke to the better angels, Bush 43 or Bush 41 to a thousand points of like. Frankly, Bill Clinton spoke to empathy, I feel your pain. Bush 43, too compassionate conservatism, Barack Obama to hope. Donald Trump spoke to anger.

And where John McCain said to that woman in a very pivotal moment in his campaign at town hall where he said no, Barack Obama is a good guy. Actually Donald Trump took the exact opposite path and said Barack Obama is a bad guy and Democrats are bad people, Democrats support criminals. Donald Trump has given permission to what we are seeing in all of these viral videos, which are very important right now.

The Puerto Rican woman who is assaulted at a park, because she wearing a shirt. The woman who confronts a young black African-American person selling candy bars at a Walmart. Donald Trump has given permission to that element. So I do appreciate and understand the optimism that Alice is speaking to, but I disagree so strongly. It is why people like me in the Republican Party cannot accept Donald Trump's leadership.

LEMON: Go ahead Angela.

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So I think that the challenge I have here, and Congressman Jolly, I respect you greatly, Alice I respect you. I just have a problem with revision its history. I have a problem with the fact that we continue to make it seem like racism all of the sudden was discovered right with Donald Trump. That is not really the case.

I remember when Michael Steele was damn mere (inaudible) and kicked out of the RNC. I remember when the Barack, the Magic Negro act came out. I remember when birtherism was a thing. I remember when there was racism tied to the war on drugs with Ronald Reagan. I remember all of these thing and what has happened over time, not just in the Republican Party.

Because the Democrats have blood on their hands too, it's just not equal is we have allowed covert racism to surface and now it's overt, that is all that is happening because for years we pretended like covert racism wasn't really that thing. We pretended like it wasn't undercover N-word (ph). We pretended like calling people ghetto and hood rep wasn't racism.

And all of the time it was. And now that thing has become volatile and angry and violent. That is the problem.

JOLLY: Great point.

RYE: We cannot continue to say --

JOLLY: Great point.

RYE: -- that racism just surfaced. It's been here. This country was built on that. We cannot turn our minds --

JOLLY: Great point.

LEMON: Go ahead, Congressman.

RYE: We can't do that.

LEMON: Go ahead, Congressman.

JOLLY: We have moved but -- but under Trump, we have moved from silence to permission, and that is the --

RYE: That's fair, yes.

JOLLY: -- change. That is the change we can't accept.

LEMON: How do you respond to this? Because Tom (ph) reeled off this statistic or this poll in his tag to me. And I think it deserves exploring a little bit more. Recent Quinnipiac University poll has a striking result.

Forty-nine percent of people said that they believe President Donald Trump to be a racist, while 47 percent believe he's not. So 49 percent, that is half of the country. Eighty-six percent of Republicans say Trump isn't racist. Eighty-six percent of Democrats say he is.

What's -- what's going on here? I think that is striking, Alice, you don't?

STEWART: It is. And look, I think this is a very -- we heard Angela, it's an extremely emotional issue, it's a disturbing issue. And in my view, look, Donald Trump has the highest approval rating amongst Republicans than any president has had in decades.

And that is not because Republicans are looking at him for the disgusting things he says with regards to race or women or many other issues, but they stand behind him for his policies and what he's doing for jobs and what he's for the economy. They are not using race to define him. They are using that as one aspect of him. Republicans are standing behind him for his policies --

LEMON: Alice, let me ask you respectfully though --

STEWART: It's the big part of him --

LEMON: How can you look over race -- how can you overlook race? How can you overlook sexism? How can you overlook decorum? There's so many things that you have to overlook just because you want a little bit more in your tax money. OK, so then buy one less Christmas present.

Or that you won the Supreme Court, you want someone whose going to give you the Supreme Court justice that you want even though that person does not follow the rules that you have espoused your entire time about divorce, about cheating, about the way you treat people, about the way you treat children?

So, I don't understand. This is for me. Help me. Help me please understand that. How can you overlook all these things? If someone talks crap about my mother, about my sister, about my loved ones, about you Alice, who I love, how then do I support that person because I just want a little bit more money, I just want this person on the Supreme Court? I can't do it. I don't see it. I don't understand that. I just don't get it. Help me. Help me.

STEWART: You can't overlook it, Don. It's a bright light and that bright light is an oncoming train. And you cannot overlook it. But at the end of the day, like I said, he wasn't my first, second, third, fourth or fifth choice for the Republican nominee, but he ended up being the party's nominee. And I am a Republican, I'm going to support Republican candidates when that is the --

LEMON: But if the party -- if the party nominates Hitler, are you going to vote for him? That's what I don't get.

STEWART: That's a far-fetched hypothetical in my view, Don.

LEMON: But I'm saying what you're saying though but --

JOLLY: It's not.

LEMON: It sounds like what you're saying is, it doesn't matter who this person is at his core as long as he is a Republican. That's the upon I'm trying to make. Mr. Jolly, do you understand that?

JOLLY: Don, I hate these conversations because it forces Republicans to confront a reality that I believe, which is this president is racist. And whether that is a result of some type of financial elitism (ph), whether it is because of being born on third base through white privilege or whether it is a part of Steve Bannon's nationalism, this is why traditional Republicans struggle with his leadership.

We can't forgive it. We can't normalize it. We can't suggest that he can be the figure of a party that we subscribe to. It's heartbreaking. It is not an easy conversation. It sucks. Everything about it sucks. But, this is the president and he is the leader of the Republican Party and he continues to peddle what is very clearly racist tendencies.

RYE: I just want to say, Congressman, like, I wish that the new members, the folks who have followed in your footsteps can at least acknowledge that. That's all so many of us are saying. At this point, I'm emotional.

JOLLY: And let's fix it.

RYE: Because we can't -- we cannot -- we're constantly being told -- I'm told every day I'm on air that I'm racist because I call out racism.

[23:35:03] That is maddening to me. And I'm crying about it because it's crazy. And I wish --

JOLLY: And the president has normalized it.

RYE: -- that somebody who is a colleague of mine like Alice could at least acknowledge that fact. That is so frustrating. We're supposed to be talking about a 12-year-old boy who was just trying to deliver newspaper and the police are calling him in Ohio where Tamir Rice was killed in the same age. I want to be acknowledged and see that this is not OK for our children. This is not OK for the future direction of this country. So, I want to say, I commend you for saying what you said. It means the world to me.

LEMON: OK, quickly, Congressman, because Alice is going to respond.

JOLLY: And our president has given permission to that.

LEMON: Yeah. Go ahead, Alice. I think Alice should respond.

STEWART: I -- Angela, I love you. And it breaks my heart to hear you talk like that and feel that. And I hate that you feel that way. This is such an emotional issue. And I think the point that you made that is so awful to admit is that this has been going on for many, many years and it is boiling over the surface now.

The only -- in my view, the only takeaway in the light -- bright light of this is that we're able to have these conversations and talk about them. And I hate and I'm sorry that you feel like you do.

But, I think it's important to have these conversations and see what we can do to come together. And as we're learning more and more every day, the efforts to tear us apart, I think at the end of the day will bring us closer together.

LEMON: All right. We'll be right back. Don't go anywhere.

JOLLY: Fair point.


LEMON: All right, so we have really been having a very honest and very candid conversation about race here and the state of our country. What's going on, not just with our politics, but with us as people. Right? Maybe these are signs of progress.

Let's hope that they are. Because remember that story that we did last night, the police officer -- the woman who was being harassed because she was wearing a Puerto Rican shirt, a shirt with a Puerto Rico flag on it. Well, the officer, his name is Patrick Connor, resigned today from the Police Force of Forest Preserve of Cook County.

And also the breaking news tonight about the founder of Papa John's Pizza, the pizza chain. John Schnatter resigned from the company tonight after he used the "N" on a conference call. So, let's discuss this now. I'm back with David Jolly, Alice Stewart, and Angela Rye.

So, David, the company statement, I put it up here just moments ago, Papa John's International, Inc. today announced that the independent directors of the company have accepted the resignation of John Schnatter as chairman of the board.

Sounds like he was forced out. I mean, look, it happened today. At least we found out about it today and he's gone. Is that a sign of progress? I don't know. You tell me. JOLLY: Look, it's a dramatic news story, if you will. And if we talk the straight politics of where those parties are, this is one of the moments of both opportunity and challenges for the Republicans. And we have seen it as challenges in the past. But honestly it's opportunity.

How will Republicans begin to address in the next 10 to 20 years, changing demographics, challenged by economic disparity, and at times dealing with socioeconomic disparities, if you will? That is an opportunity for Republicans. Republicans often play defense on these issues.

We went to a generation of talking about the equality of opportunity, suggesting that somehow if we create equality of opportunity, everybody will succeed, everybody will grow, and everybody will make more money.

The reality is in the last 20 to 30 years, we have seen economic disparity grow. And the lot of that is along lines of racial and socioeconomic classes. This is a moment in this generation under Trump's leadership where the Republican Party chooses one path or the other. Right now they are going in the wrong direction, but they could change direction if they choose to.

LEMON: Angela, I want to continue on and get your response. But just so everyone, people out, viewers are not confused, I want to talk about what John Schnatter did. He used the N-word while he was on the phone with public relations firm (ph) to help him respond to questions about race, that's according to Forbes.

And he said, Colonel Sanders called blacks N-word, he was referring to the founder of Kentucky fried chicken, and then he complained that Sanders faced no backlash. So, go on, I know you want to respond to what the congressman said, but that is the back story to what Schnatter said.

RYE: Sure, and I think it's unfortunate because he is on a conference call learning how not to be racist and stepped right into it. Kudos to the PR firm who promptly quit. And also, I think what is interesting now is the Louisville Chapter, the NAACP, is saying that's great, that he is no longer the chairman or no longer the CEO of Papa John's.

But there is another step here. He is on the board of trustees for the University of Louisville and they're calling for the university to remove him as well. I think that is the obvious next step. There should never -- it should never be a surprise to us or a gift to us when someone gets out of the way when they're touting white supremacist believes or racism. He should be removed of every public platform where he sits.

LEMON: Alice, so listen, Angela, I have to ask you and then -- I have a short time here. Everyone has consequence, the founder of Papa John's, the police officer on and on, but the president doesn't, why is that?

RYE: White privilege, Teflon (ph), Don. I can't figured it out. We talked about this since he was a candidate. Since he was the very first day. He came down the escalator. He called Mexicans drug dealers and rapists. It has been an ongoing problem. I cannot call it, Don, whether we are talking about sexism, the alleged sexual assault.

[23:45:02] All of the racist things that he's done. I've never seen anything like it. I wish I could give you an answer.

LEMON: The officer resigned. I misspoke. Thank you all. I appreciate it. I love having this conversation. Let's continue. We'll be right back.


LEMON: This Sunday, the CNN original series, "History of Comedy" is back with a brand new season. In these all new episodes, we'll hear from some of the biggest comedians in the business about how they use the tools of their trade to make us laugh, to push boundaries and reshape the social and political landscape around us. Here is a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chemistry is the main spectrum sauce.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is one guy who is out of control and one guy trying to say calm down.

[23:50:03] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The theme of sex and comedy is like there is a huge flowchart and everything leads to sex.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sex was always taboo and those walls have been torn down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything I needed to learn about comedy, I learned watching "Warner Brothers" cartoons.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You get so many chances to be funny in animation. Boom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Comedians don't have a great mortality rate. We lose a lot of people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're losing comedian and I feel it's more personal because I know them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really one of the highest forms of comedy when you can be totally clean (ph) and just as funny (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sketches are really fun way to talk about the culture with a quick turnaround.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just show up on set and you just roll. No rehearsal. No discussion. You just roll and try not to laugh.


LEMON: That looks awesome and nobody knows comedy like my next guest. Comedian, writer, director, producer, author, you name it, there he is, Carl Reiner. Youngster. If you want to say that. Carl, thank you for joining us. Are you doing OK?

CARL REINER, COMEDIAN: A failed opera star.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Bravo.

REINER: Bravo? I'm not finished.

LEMON: Carl, that was terrible. But thank you very much. I'm impressed that you did that on television. Listen, let's talk about this new series. As part of this series, it's covering the impact of comedy, the impact that comedy has on society, on politics, relationships. A new season looking at sexual comedy. I have to ask you, why do people find sex so funny?

REINER: I don't know. It's not funny. It's very -- it's very interesting. It's exciting. It's inspiring. It ain't funny. If it's funny, you're doing it wrong.


LEMON: Well, the reason I ask because the norms around sex and comedy were different early in your career. Do you remember? Rob and Laurie Petrie. They were married. They weren't even sleeping in the same bed. You can't see them sleeping in the same bed on the "Dick Van Dyke Show."

REINER: That's right.

LEMON: Same thing with Lucy and Ricky, right? They have separate beds. So what has changed then? What has changed? Why has it gotten so graphic and do you think it's funny?

REINER: Times have changed. People's behavior changed through the years. And as people's behavior changes, it's reflected in the work they do. When the word (bleep) was first used, which is all used all the time on HBO, all of the cable stations, everything changed.

You know, I was remembering a long time ago, I was at a Joan Rivers' "Roast," and I never liked "Roast." Anyway, I went there anyway and this girl Whitney Cummings (ph), who is a beautiful girl, I don't know who she was, sitting next to me, and she got up to talk and she used every dirty word I ever, ever heard. Every dirty word.

And I remember getting up and saying every dirty word I ever said, the "C" word, the -- every word. And I said at the end, free, free at last!


REINER: That's what we felt. Free at last. We're able to say what the time allows us to say.

LEMON: I got to get your reaction about something that is happening in the news as we speak. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy recently announced that he is retiring and now the president has Judge Kavanaugh to replace him.

But last year, I was reading a letter that you published to Justice Kennedy in The New York Times, imploring him as one gentleman of a certain age or (ph) another not to retire. What is your reaction now with his departure from the bench?

REINER: Well, I feel terrible because he has chosen somebody, Kavanaugh, who has spoken in the past about so many reactions or things about having the person able to -- not making the person, you're not allowed to touch him in the courts or in the Senate or -- it's scary.

LEMON: You seem to be just outraged or I'm not sure what the word is by the behavior of this man and this administration. I don't think I'm reading that wrong. Why are you so upset by it?

REINER: Why am I upset about the man in the White House, are you asking?

LEMON: Yes, sir.

REINER: You have to look who is living in the White House. In the last few days, he said -- first of all, I tweet something every night and I have decided to tweet it until it's media rated.

[23:55:00] He sent 4,000 kids away from their parents across the country, separated families, children and then parents. And I said I will not stop tweeting this until he makes it right and he's just started to do it but he's so far away from doing anything.

LEMON: Do you think we can ever get back to what was normal in this country after this administration?

REINER: Oh, well, of course we have to. We have to. This country is much bigger than the biggest that we've had trying to take it down. We've had people like him before. We've taken them down. The constitution is pretty good.

LEMON: Carl, thank you. I appreciate your time and I respect anyone who has lived as long as you and you're welcome to come on CNN on this show any time and say it like you mean it. Thank you, sir.

REINER: You know, I'm not finished. I'll keep talking. Take your camera away because I have a lot to talk about.


REINER: I have a bunch of books here I was going to show you, but I won't show them to you now.

(LAUGHTER) LEMON: Thank you, Mr. Reiner. Listen, the all new season of "History of Comedy" premieres this Sunday night at 10:00, only on CNN. That is it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I'll see you right back here tomorrow.