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CNN TONIGHT

State Of Emergency Declared In Charlottesville For Unite The Right Anniversary And Potential Unrest; Spike Lee Connects Past To Present In New Film; Giuliani Demands Mueller Wrap Up Russia Investigation; Trump White House; Melania Trump's Parents Sworn In As U.S. Citizens; Signs Of Change In Ferguson Four Years After Death Of Michael Brown; CNN Hero Neal Bermas: 'Oodles of Noodles.' Aired 11p- 12m ET

Aired August 9, 2018 - 23:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. 11:00 p.m. here on the East Coast, live with all the new developments for you tonight.

Charlottesville, Virginia, under a state of emergency bracing for the one-year anniversary this weekend of the deadly unite the right rally. The downtown area where activist, Heather Heyer was killed by one of the riders who drove his car into the crowd will not permit any cars. Security checkpoints will control pedestrian's access. Virginia is deploying the National Guard troops. And in the years since white nationalists ascended on Charlottesville, not much has changed. In fact, things have gotten worse. What many had hoped would be a moment which awakened the nation's conscience, well, it has not. President Trump's refusal to disavow white nationalists has emboldened them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group, excuse me, excuse me, I saw the same pictures as you did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: The organizer of the deadly rally was planning another one for the anniversary, but the city rejected his permit. He is now planning a rally two blocks from the White House. It has been a year of division and attacks. One of them from the President a few days ago singling out me and LeBron James. In just a few minutes here, I'm going to talk to the mayor of Charlottesville, who hopes not to see racists like this again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CROWD: (CHANTING) Jews will not replace us. Jews will not replace us. Jews will not replace us.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Over the last year, we have seen an intense response to what

happened in Charlottesville, and other racially-charged incidents across the country. The latest from acclaimed film Director, Spike Lee. His new film, "Blackkklansmen" tells the true life story of a black cop who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan in the late 1970's with some eerie parallels to the of America today. Spike Lee joins me now. Spike?

SPIKE LEE, FILM DIRECTOR: What's up? How are you doing?

LEMON: Can we talk, man?

LEE: Come on, bring it, bring it, 100 percent.

LEMON: This movie is amazing and. I relate to it. I grew up in Louisiana in the '70s. The Klan used to pass out literature in front of high school on weekends. We didn't have a school-sanctioned prom. Because they didn't want, you know, there was a church across the street, they didn't want us mixing and all of that. One of my best friends lived a couple doors down from the grand wizard of the KKK.

LEE: Is that David Duke?

LEMON: No, it wasn't David Duke. But this was in Denim Springs in Louisiana.

LEE: OK.

LEMON: It's not much has changed.

LEE: Not that much. And I think that this guy we have in the White House, he is giving the green light for all them hate groups to come out and just come out from the darkness into the light.

LEMON: What do you mean by that?

LEE: Well, they're not being slick about it. Not being coy. Not trying to on the low it. It's blatant. You know, the tiki torches and you know, running around.

LEMON: Had you thought about doing this before this President?

LEE: No. I had nothing to do with this, how this thing happened. Jordan Peele called me out of the blue and said would you like to do it? And the pitch was six words, black man infiltrates KKK. Ku Klux Klan. Then I say, is it true? He said, yes. We automatically, everybody, thinks it's the skit, but I knew that doing this film, it takes place in the '70s, I would be able to deal -- I'd be able to make it contemporary. I just knew that.

LEMON: Yes. So, the -- Jordan Peele is the Oscar-winning Director for "Get out".

LEE: "Get out."

LEMON: He called you. And you're talking about Ron Stallworth, he is the cop who infiltrated. Here is a clip from the movie of that character. He is talking to David Duke, the person who is playing David Duke.

LEE: Topher Grace.

LEMON: Yes, Topher Grace on the phone. But it's David Duke. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[23:05:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Ron Stallworth calling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who am I speaking with? This is David Duke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. That David Duke?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God, last time I checked. What can I do you for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, since you asked, I hate blacks. I hate Jews. Mexicans and Irish. Italians and Chinese, but my mouth to god's ears, I really hate those black rats and anyone else really that doesn't have pure white Aryan blood running through their veins.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe I am talking to a true white America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God bless white America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Let's talk about it. I don't want to give away the ending to the movie and what happened. But this a true story.

LEE: Yes.

LEMON: As I'm watching it, you know, people were sitting in the theater going oh -- they were like, I can't believe this happened. Did this really happen? I'm like, yes, this did really happen.

LEE: And it's still happening today. So, I hope this film is -- I used the word, two words, wake up, in all my films and all gone back to school days, which came out '88. There's not a time for not just America, but the world to wake up to this rise of the right that is gone globally. I don't know when it will be.

And also I would like to add, that what happened the last 18 months with this guy in the White House, register to vote, this midterm election, I don't know what's going to make you want to register to vote. We got to -- this is -- this is evidence what happens when we don't show up. And that is -- I know there's others -- I know there was shenanigans going on with Russia and all that stuff. But still, we got to register to vote for this midterm election.

LEMON: When you listen to the rhetoric of the politicians and the leaders and the people in that movie, right, and I remember -- listen, I remember one of my friends, who is a white kid. I went to pick him up at his restaurant in Louisiana. We were going out. I was going to LSU. He was talking about some incident that happened in the restaurant, because his family owned it. I said, who are you talking about? He said, who's that? He said, just some nigger that works for us. Then he caught himself. He didn't realize that --

LEE: That word gets thrown around a lot.

LEMON: -- that I was there. But this was not, you know, 1987 or 86, and it just -- it jolted me. It was a moment. It was like a moment of complete awakening for me. I think this movie, I'm sure you're hoping it's going to be the same way for some people.

LEE: I hope so. I mean, as an artist, as a filmmaker, whether you're -- whatever you are, you put your stuff out there and you hope that people connect to it. You know, in my case, though, I've had several films that people didn't get when they came out, you know, they get down the line, but it's better late than never.

LEMON: This -- do you think that -- do you think we can come back from this, Spike?

LEE: Yes. We will. This guy got to go, though.

LEMON: Do you think he is a racist?

LEE: Yes.

LEMON: Why do you say that?

LEE: All Mexicans rapists? He said Mexicans are rapists. I mean, you can have an encyclopedia, if you do the research, I mean, go -- right here in New York. The whole thing with the brothers of central park. I mean, he took out a full-page ad in "The New York Times," a million-dollar reward. Remember that? So, and then his attack on athletes. He has a thing for the brothers that play sports who make a lot of money, which he does not like. And this thing he just did to try to pit Lebron against Jordan, that didn't work, because that was some divide and conquer stuff, but LeBron is too smart going for okey doke on that. You're right in the middle of that, too.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: It started out as an insult. He was trying to insult Lebron, but he started by insulting me and it was double. I have a thick skin. I really didn't care about it. Lebron didn't --

LEE: Do this.

LEMON: Right. And then, you know, I thought about the -- here's the weird thing. I thought maybe I shouldn't respond. Like, why punch down? Right. Then after I went to bed, I slept on it then I woke up and said, yes, I should respond, because this is important. It is important that people -- this is not about Republican versus Democrat.

LEE: No, no.

LEMON: This is about right versus wrong.

LEE: Wrong.

LEMON: And decency.

LEE: Love versus hate. That is what -- I mean, that is what it is.

LEMON: Do you remember this movie called "Bamboozle"?

LEE: That is one of the ones he would have seen when it came out.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: I love that movie. From that movie I get the okey doke. Right? And I always tell people now, don't fall for the okey doke. Explain what the okey doke is.

LEE: The okey doke is, it keeps your eye anywhere it should be.

[23:10:00] It's distraction. In football, it's the misdirection play. Fake, team's going this way, the other guy is going, high stepping toward the end zone. And a lot of times any time this guy in the White House gets in trouble, there's some tweet that goes out and everybody is scrambling around thinking about what he says. He got to maybe, kind of ignore those tweets. We got to be smarter.

LEMON: Yes.

LEE: Because, again, in another sports metaphor, he is running the same play all the time.

LEMON: Right.

LEE: Any sport. The other team's running the same play all the time, you should be able to stop it. This guy knew it was coming.

LEMON: So --

LEE: Even though you're trying to be slick about it.

LEMON: Did you ever think -- I'm sure you'll agree that this country hasn't dealt with race or racism in a substantive way. People don't want to. It's difficult to talk about, right? And --

LEE: But what's easy, if we don't talk about it, we're still going to be talking about, CNN's going to have town halls 50 years from now on racism.

LEMON: Yes. People -- what about people who say, well, you got to get over it? You got to get over slavery. You guys just have to move on. You're race baiting, why do you keep holding on to slavery and all that stuff?

LEE: You can't move on if you deal with the fundamental question, my opinion, what was the United States built on, what is the foundation of the United States? To me, as a fact, the United States was built upon genocide of native people and slavery. That is a fact. If we don't deal -- if we don't start from there, then why even talk it?

LEMON: What do you say to people who call you a race baiter?

LEE: That is the oldest trick in the world where someone's dealing with race, I mean, they did that with everybody down the line. Martin -- Dr. King was a communist. I mean, those -- that is the okeydoke. You can't go for it.

LEMON: Spike, I want you to stay with me, because when we come back, a city on the edge. One year after the deadly unite the right rally, the mayor of Charlottesville, joins us next.

[23:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Virginia and the City of Charlottesville declaring states of emergency ahead of the one-year anniversary this weekend of the unite the right rally. One person was killed in the violence that day and many others injured. The event and its aftermath including President Trump's refusal to condemn neo Nazis, well they play a big part in Spike Lee's latest work, "Blackkklansmen." Back now is Spike Lee and joining us now, also is Nikuyah Walker, the mayor of Charlottesville.

Mayor, welcome to the program. Thank you so much. How are you doing?

NIKUYAH WALKER, MAYOR, CHARLOTTESVILLE: Thanks for having me.

LEMON: Absolutely.

WALKER: It's a busy time here. Busy, busy time.

LEMON: What's the mood like in Charlottesville right now?

WALKER: There's a lot of tension. Lot of anxiety. You know, uncertainty. You know, I'm definitely ready to get this weekend out the way. You don't know what the alt right, what the plans are, what all the intentions are and so you just have to kind of flow with it. We have a large population of people who refuse to let that kind of, you know, hate into our community and just sit at home. So it's always, you know, the fear associated with that kind of clash which is what happened, you know, last year, on the 11th and 12th, so there's a lot of fear.

LEMON: Can you talk to me about the prevention efforts there, what's being done so that there's not a repeat?

WALKER: Well, our teams have been working together. The Charlottesville police, state level, University of Virginia. I can say, I mean, I guess I need to go back a little bit and talk about how I ended up here. I announced last March on a campaign, unmasking the illusion, and I'm going back a little bit to tell you that I'm left out of the room on a lot of stuff, because I come from an activist perspective and so it's really hard for them -- they're still trying to figure out how to blend me in. So there's a lot of information that I -- that I don't have.

LEMON: You're the mayor. How do you get left out? You mean law enforcement, they don't want you in the room?

LEE: That is Virginia.

WALKER: Our government structure is -- yes, you know, if they make anything a security issue, and if someone is perceived to be a threat to that security, which I definitely am perceived that way, then, you know, it's an issue, but --

LEE: What the hell's going on? You're --

LEMON: You're the mayor.

LEE: You're the mayor.

WALKER: Listen, I'm being honest here. Listen. That is one of the things why they don't let me in the room.

LEMON: We love that you're being honest.

(LAUGHTER)

WALKER: Because I'm going to share it. So what I do know is that our -- you know, the teams, they feel like that they are working together. That they are more prepared than they were last year. Which, you know, I was out on the streets last year with, you know, with the citizens and so they -- I need to see them in action before I -- before I believe.

LEMON: Let me ask you something, Spike, and mayor, I want you to respond to this. "The New York Times" called this movie an alarm clock ringing in the midst of a historical nightmare. Do Americans need to wake up?

LEE: I've been saying that the last two words of my school days, came out in '88, is wake up said by (inaudible) Fishburn. And the first two words of do the right thing, '89, was wake up. And I think four people say wake up in Blackkklansmen.

[23:20:00] So, I will continue to ring that bell, because it seems like we're asleep and unconscious and not living the moment, just fairytale land.

LEMON: Mayor, does America need to wake up? Are we in the midst of a historical nightmare?

WALKER: Yes. Well, I think we have to be intentional about what I want for a lot of people, America works, right, and for those individuals even here in Charlottesville, they have their privilege. White supremacy is working for them so they don't really want a challenge. I mean, over the last year, there's been a lot of calls to return to normal, and when you challenge people when you're talking about normal, they have, you know, very comfortable lives. There are people who are concerned about this weekend, whether or not they'll be able to walk their dogs and go to the grocery store and the spa as scheduled.

LEE: Oh-ohh.

WALKER: So that is what we're dealing with. I don't necessarily, you know, know whether they're asleep or not or if the system that is been created is working for them. So that is the challenge. To get more people in the room who even if they've been able to benefit from that privilege, they don't necessarily want it to continue. And they're willing to fight for equity and justice, which a lot of people want to pretend that it's unknown to them, but they -- I think they are aware.

It's hard for me to believe. I worked, you know, in the settings, and you see just the challenge becomes whether I want to let go of what I know to be true, whether I want to, you know, acknowledge that maybe I've been told some lies. Which that is the fight over the statues. It's not just the statues.

LEE: Yes. Can we talk about that?

WALKER: It's the symbolism of it.

LEE: What is the status of this Robert E. Lee --

LEMON: Memorial? The statue?

WALKER: The statue --

LEE: I'm trying to find the word.

WALKER: Yes.

LEE: What's the plan -- when is it coming down? I'm not saying to put you on the spot. I just want to know.

WALKER: No. That is it. You know, we, Virginia is a Dylan rule state which means that a lot of our laws, we have to get approved and changed through the general assembly, so that is one thing holding us back. But I think even more importantly than that, we have a judge, Judge Moore, in our circuit court who is hearing the case and has been, you know, the deciding factor, who's working more intently to uphold and keep the statue than working to bend, you know, bend that arc of justice toward removal of the statue.

LEMON: Listen, I am happy to have both of you on. You keep up the good fight, mayor. Thank you. We wish you safety and peace and successes as the mayor of Charlottesville

LEE: Payers and blessings for this weekend in Charlottesville.

LEMON: And Spike Lee, thank you.

LEE: Thank you.

LEMON: This movie, I hope everyone goes to see this movie, the movie is called "Blackkklansmen." And if you have any time, even if you don't, go see it. LEE: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you. We'll be right back.

[23:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: With the midterms rapidly approaching, President Trump's lawyer says he wants the Special Counsel's investigation to wrap up by September.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think if it isn't over by September, then we have a very, very serious violation of the Justice Department rules that you shouldn't be conducting one of these investigations in the 60-day period.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, I want to bring in now CNN Legal Analyst, Renato Mariotti and Glenn Kirschner, also a former federal prosecutor.

Gentlemen, good evening. It's so good to have you on right now. So here's what I want to know. Renato, Rudy Giuliani seems to think the DOJ guidelines are applicable in this situation. What exactly are these Justice Department guidelines?

RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, the guideline that he is -- he is talking about, he just conjured out of thin air or out of somewhere else, but the guideline that he may be thinking of is there is a guideline about, you know, not taking certain actions before an election, and you know, a guideline that was discussed at length in relation to the actions of James Comey before the last Presidential election, but there's no guideline, Justice Department guideline that says you have to shut down your investigation, if an election happens to be yet, coming soon.

Regardless of who you are investigating. You can imagine how silly that would be if a crime was discovered and the investigation was began, let's say, six months before an election, the Justice Department would have to complete the investigation in a few months or shut it down. I mean, that doesn't make any sense. So, there's no such guideline and it's really highly misleading to the public.

LEMON: What do you think, Glenn? Is this deliberately confusing rules and guidelines by Giuliani?

GLENN KIRSCHNER, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY, D.C.: Yes, I think, Don, I agree with Renato, there is no guideline, there's no policy written or otherwise. There's a custom and the custom is we as -- I'm a former federal prosecutor, but prosecutors are not supposed to do anything that could impact an election.

So, in practice, what that means is, you know, do not make any big announcements or do anything dramatic that might sway an election one way or another, but there's no 60-day guideline. And what I can tell you is Bob Mueller will be operating on his own guideline, not any sort of strongman guidelines that Rudy Giuliani, sets up just to knock down.

LEMON: So Renato, Giuliani told CNN today that this investigation could end up being a rallying cry for the President's base during the midterms. What do you make of this apparent newfound strategy?

MARIOTTI: Well, I will say they have tried to turn this investigation into a positive by casting it as the deep state out to get the President. And they've been doing that for months now. You know, Donald Trump is talking about how the FBI is this organization that is hell-bent to take him down. You know, he tweeted about that again today. And it's really amazing when you step back and think of it. Here, we have a president under criminal investigation. His former campaign chair is in the middle of a trial likely going to be convicted.

And yet this is being spun by the president and his team as, you know, an attack against him. He has a new enemy to take on now that President Obama is retired. He has got somebody to attack and that is his won Justice Department and FBI. Truly astounding and it hurts America but perhaps it will help them rally their base in the election.

LEMON: So Glenn, when it comes to the issue of Trump sitting down with Mueller, some legal minds are debating, something that you and I discussed previously, that the issue of a subpoena for an interview might no longer be much of an issue here, because the president could have shifted from subject to target in this investigation. Does this protracted negotiation and talk of a timeline change your assessment of that in any way?

KIRSCHNER: Yeah, I think, Don, the more time that passes without Bob Mueller opting to subpoena the president, the more likely it becomes that he's declining to do so because the president has ripened into a target. You know, he also hasn't subpoenaed Roger Stone or Donald Jr., or Jared Kushner. All of these men may very well have become targets of the investigation.

So, we don't know that for certain, but because we have a policy at the Department of Justice against subpoenaing a target, because a subpoena is a court order, commanding somebody to come before the grand jury and testify truthfully. Well, a target of an investigation by definition is somebody that the prosecutors, one, have substantial evidence against, and two, intend to indict.

That's why we don't give them a subpoena and command them to testify because they would be incriminating themselves. I really do think the more time passes, the more likely it is that the president and others are targets of the investigation.

LEMON: Fascinating. Renato, I want to switch gears now and talk about Paul Manafort's trial. It's a remarkable, the situation in the courtroom, the judge apologizing to jurors for his scolding of the prosecution's handling of an expert witness. I mean, it seems unusual to me, but how unusual is it to have a judge apologize to a jury? MARIOTTI: You know, it happens from time to time. I will say, look, I'm not going to defend the actions and words of this judge. He has obviously made some errors. He has done things that are improper. However, I will tell viewers at home that as somebody who has tried a lot of white-collar cases myself, there are judges who make mistakes on a pretty regular basis.

There are judges with strong opinions like this judge. And there are many judges who try to get the prosecution to move along. I had those judges myself. But what I will say is that, you know, a lot of the focus on the judge's words and actions is misplaced. You know, really there's a lot of evidence in this trial. The prosecution has a big lead. The defense is in a lot of trouble.

The judge knows this and frankly a lot of the times when he's bending over backwards to help the defense, he's trying to help the record on appeal because he knows that there's almost certainly going to be a conviction here of Paul Manafort and he knows that there's going be an appeal later on.

So, I think on balance, this judge has actually been good for the prosecution because he has kept tight control over the courtroom. The defense usually likes a judge who lets there be free rein so to make it a circus.

LEMON: Glenn, I want to ask you -- I want to give you a short clip here, but this is CNN's legal Analyst, Jeffrey Toobin with some strong words for Judge Ellis' behavior. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Judge Ellis is a bully and a disgrace. His behavior in the courtroom is appalling. There are many ways that judges can keep a disciplined courtroom that can move cases along quickly without berating and embarrassing the lawyers, especially when the judge was wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Glenn, what do you think? Do you agree with Toobin's criticism?

KIRSCHNER: I don't know that I would use words quite that harsh. I would say that Judge Ellis seems to have a pretty severe case of black robe-it is, believing he knows better than everybody in the courtroom how each job should be done when he really just needs to be a referee, keep his thumb off the scales, and try to set a civil tone.

Because for me, civility is really one of the most important qualities in a judge and we're just not seeing a lot of civility from Judge Ellis.

LEMON: Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it. When we come back, the president's in-laws becoming citizens today. Why a policy option the president has been railing about helped them get their citizenship.

[23:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Getting rid of family migration or as President Trump derisively calls it, chain migration, has been one of his top priorities since taking office.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We want to get rid of chain migration. We will get rid of chain migration and the visa lottery program. Congress must end chain migration.

A single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives.

We must replace our current system of extended family chain migration.

It calls for the construction of a wall on our southern border, ending chain migration and the horrible visa and lottery programs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: All right. Well, the attorney for First Lady Melania Trump's parents announcing today that they have been granted citizenship. And according to a source, did so through family migration.

[23:40:05] Let's discuss now with CNN Political Commentators, Joan Walsh and Alice Stewart.

OK, I mean, Alice, CNN is reporting tonight that the First Lady did, in fact, sponsor her parents' citizenship process. And when The New York Times asked if her parents got their citizenship through family- based migration, their lawyer said, this is a quote, "I suppose."

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: Do you think President Trump is aware of how hypocritical this looks?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Of course, but I don't think he cares. The rules and laws that we all have to abide by don't apply to he and his family. This is nothing new. But look, let me make this quite clear. They did come here, Melania's parents came here, she sponsored them on a green card. They did achieve their lawful permanent residence and they did wait the appropriate five years to gain their U.S. citizenship.

Based on what their attorney says, they followed the laws as they are on the books. He says they did not get any special consideration. He says no special favors were granted in order for them to get their citizenship. They did it just like everyone else who follows the laws and gains their citizenship.

And this is a lot less about what the president wanted, and more, in my view, what Melania wanted, and she could care less what this makes it look like the president and how his political repercussions of this have to do. They followed the books and did what everyone else has to do to get their citizenship.

JOAN WALSH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, that's true, Alice, but this is -- they did it legally, we don't believe strings were pulled. But this is exactly the kind of legal immigration the president wants to cut back on.

We're not talking about whether somebody cut the line, somebody came in illegally. They came in through a program and they are here legally now through a program that this president wants to terminate.

So, you know, I welcome them. The first grandparents. Welcome to this country. I hope you will show up at the next rallies we have to protest your son-in-law's horrible immigration policies, especially the ending of certain kinds of legal immigration that benefited you.

This is hypocrisy because it's not about whether they're here legally or not. It's about the fact that this is the kind of legal immigration that he wants to get rid of.

LEMON: Well, the president's family is actually filled with immigrants to the United States.

WALSH: Yes.

LEMON: Let's take a look at this. His wife, Melania, and her parents immigrated here from Slovenia. His mother from Scotland. His father from Germany. And his first wife, Ivana, came here from Czechoslovakia. Ivana from Czechoslovakia, his first wife. Say again, what did you say? His grandfather from Germany. Sorry. And his first wife, Ivana, came from Czechoslovakia.

Between Ivana and Melania, four out of the president's five children were born to immigrant mothers. So, how much of a role do you think race, Joan, this country and the country of origin, played with this president? You say -- I mean, it sounds like he's saying, hey, we want to get do away with, you know, a family reunification.

WALSH: Right.

LEMON: What he calls chain migration, if you're Mexican or if you come from south or Central America.

WALSH: I think he has told us about the S-hole countries. He has told us he would like more Norwegians coming to this country. So I think race does play a role.

I think many of the people, I don't know about most, but many of the people who take advantage of family reunification now tends to be Latino, Don, and those are the people that he and Jeff Sessions also have suggested don't belong here. They don't contribute, they don't bring skills.

And it's kind of disgusting. I also want to say, it is exactly two years to the day that CNN reported that Donald Trump said his wife would be giving a press conference about exactly how she got here because there have always been questions about her legal status and what kind of work visa she came in with.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with it but he did promise us two years ago today that she would give a press conference and explain the whole thing. That didn't happen.

LEMON: Immigration is a huge issue in America. I probably will not play to the president's base, they won't care. They'll just say, well, she looks like us. I don't know.

WALSH: Right.

STEWART: Don, here's the thing, in my view, when the president talks about ending chain migration, he is talking about what we have had over many years is a pattern and a systemic system of people coming into this country and bringing their sons and their daughters and their mothers and their fathers and their cousins and aunts and uncles and very extended families and it's gotten out of control.

He wants to rein that in to your immediate family and he also wants to move to what is a more merit-based system, which is a better way of bringing people into this country who have skills and have jobs and education and want to assimilate into this country. That is what he is trying to --

[23:44:58] LEMON: Alice, let me ask you this, wouldn't they have to go through a process in order to sponsor someone else to come over if they want to do it, if you're talking about immigration? Wouldn't they have to go through the process and somehow be registered in some way to be able to sponsor a person from another country to come over? How does that make sense?

STEWART: Well, what's happening is what we have with the chain migration is people are bringing not just their immediate family, they're bringing in many, many more people that aren't necessarily directly related to them and that's why --

LEMON: OK, I got to go.

STEWART: -- we're having such a tremendous immigration problem and that needs to be fixed.

LEMON: Thank you, both. I appreciate it.

STEWART: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: When we come back, four years since Michael Brown died in Ferguson, Missouri at the hands of a police officer. What has our country learned since then? Captain Ron Johnson, who led the police response to the protests in that city is going to join me, next.

[23:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So four years ago, the deadly police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri led to violent protests. I want to bring in now Captain Ron Johnson of Missouri Highway Patrol, who led the police response to those protest. He is the author of "13 Days in Ferguson." It is such an honor to have you here in New York with me.

RON JOHNSON, CAPTAIN, MISSOURI HIGHWAY PATROL: Thank you for having me.

LEMON: All dressed up and not in uniform and not out there. Listen, this was a very trying time for Ferguson and a really time for the country, I think you will agree, racial unrest, tensions between the communities and police, and all of that. Is Ferguson healing? If so, where are they in the healing process? Where is it, the city?

JOHNSON: I think it is inch by inch. People are having more conversations, but it is still inch by inch. There are some people still struggling in Ferguson. I look at it as a region and so it is our region. It is still taking it inch by inch just like our country is.

LEMON: Thirteen days. Did it seem longer than 13 days?

JOHNSON: It really did.

LEMON: Yeah, for all the unrest. I remember going down and being with you. I remember -- I think the first live shot that I did with you, there were gunshots.

JOHNSON: Yes.

LEMON: Did you -- were you in fear? Did you think that -- were in fear for your life at any point? Did you think you might not make it?

JOHNSON: At some point, I think I did a few days in. At one point, I talked about it in the book, I thought about writing my wife a letter that if something happened to me, but then I also thought that god had me and I was shielded by my faith.

LEMON: It was -- I could see it weighing on you when I was there. Every time I went back and, you know, and even the year after, during the verdict and all of that. It was tough because people were not really listening to each other then, and everyone was sort of blaming, you did this and you did that, but it was tough on you. Tell me about this. How did this -- what did this do to your life and you as a human being?

JOHNSON: Well, I think it made me a stronger man. I think our times make us stronger. Our challenges make us stronger. I talked to people about walking in the middle of the road and walking in the middle of the road trying to --

LEMON: Because you took off your bulletproof vest and you joined the protesters at one point, leading a peaceful march. Go on.

JOHNSON: I took off the vest because I did not want the people to think that I needed protection from them. I wanted them to know that I was them. I also wanted to walk proud in the uniform to let the law enforcement men and women that were standing out there just to be brave as those protesters were, and that I was a part of that. LEMON: I don't know if I was crazy or naive, but I just remember being there and there were concern about doing a live shot and no other thing. And I said, I'm not going to be moved, I'm not afraid of my people. But, who knows, maybe -- because you never know what can pop up.

But I want to stand there where it was all happening to show the country and the world what was going on, because it was such an important time. This was the flashpoint, right?

JOHNSON: Yes.

LEMON: So, now what?

JOHNSON: I think it still the flashpoint. I think it always goes back to that. And I think we have to have a conversation about our implicit biases, about our perceptions, especially when it comes to men of color. And also when it comes to people that we see has been different in this country, and different groups. So we have to have that. We have to have that honest conversation if we are truly willing to move forward.

LEMON: Yeah. And quickly as you can, because I have one or two more questions, your children were upset because they were on the protesters' side and you were --

JOHNSON: Yes.

LEMON: How did you deal with that?

JOHNSON: That was a challenge at home.

LEMON: Yeah.

JOHNSON: That told me that I needed to do better.

LEMON: What do you think about where we are in the country now, especially with what is happening in Washington, the president calling people of color dumb and low IQ individuals and that sort of things, people of color and athletes?

JOHNSON: I think that if our country is going to be better, it is incumbent on the leaders to lead. And we have to lead and we have to be that example. And that starts at the top and it goes all of the way down to corporate America and our educational system and law enforcement. And we have to be leaders and make sure that we take up that charge and our responsibility that we have.

LEMON: Did you ever see the Brown family?

JOHNSON: I do. I saw the father about a couple of months ago. I told him that I was writing a book and we shook hands and he said much love. I think that tells us that we are making steps. We have to keep going back and cross the bridge and try to mend the bridge and speak to each other in honest ways and respectful ways.

LEMON: How are they doing?

JOHNSON: Seemingly doing fine.

LEMON: Yeah. Did you -- do you ever see Darren Wilson, the officer?

JOHNSON: No, I do not.

LEMON: You don't, no. It was interesting, because I met with him as well and of course with the Brown family, but it is hard to believe it has been four year, and let's hope that something was learned from this, that there was something in this that will cause us to change and to the listen to each other.

JOHNSON: I think we all have to keep walking the path and walking the journey to get to a better place.

LEMON: Thank you.

JOHNSON: Thank you very much.

LEMON: I appreciate it. The book is called "13 Days in Ferguson." Make sure you pick up a copy. We will be right back.

[23:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: One of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam is this historic city of Hoi An. That's where you will find CNN Hero, Neal Bermas, who trains at-risk young adults for a career in the booming culinary and hospitality industry there. And if you are visiting, you can experience a taste of it yourself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome everyone to the "Oodles of Noodles" cooking class today.

[24:00:00] NEAL BERMAS, CNN HERO: We developed this "Oodles of Noodles." It is not quite a tour. It is not quite a cooking class. It is not quite a demonstration.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We show the guests how to make the rice noodles.