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President Trump Retaliates Against Critics; Trump Retaliates Against Ex-CIA Chief Brennan; Omarosa Tries To Reach Out To The Black Community; Omarosa Says She Had A 'Blind Spot' For Donald Trump; Kellyanne Conway Attacks Female Trump Critics; CNN Investigation Into Trump Foundation Donations. Aired 11-12a ET

Aired August 15, 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 for you this hour.

President Trump retaliating against his critic tonight. Publicly releasing what sounds awful lot like an enemy's list. And trying to silence former CIA director, John Brennan with outrageous accusations of lying. Accusations that seem to be really all about punishing Brennan for his criticisms of Trump.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Mr. Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high ranking official that access the highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations wild outbursts on the internet and television about this administration.


LEMON: I want to bring in now, CNN National Security Analyst, Samantha Vinograd, who served on President Obama National Security Council also, CNN Contributor, Walter Shaub, who resigned from the office of government ethics last year.

Good evening. So much to talk -- to talk about, listen, President Trump spoke to "The Wall Street Journal" tonight, and they say he drew a direct connection between the Russia investigation and his security clearance decision.

Here is a quote from the president as I call it, the rigged witch hunt, it is a sham, and these people let it he added, so I think it's something that had to be done. Doesn't that contradict from what we heard from Sarah Sanders today?

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: If does. And that is what scares me the most. There was not even an effort by the president to say, I am making this decision in which it is under his executive authority to make decisions on classifications and declassification, but to say I consulted with my intelligence community, the DNI, the CIA who holds Brennan's clearance and they have serious concerns about him continuing to access this information.

Instead, the president gave an interview to the press and said, this is really about my hurt feelings, my paranoia about what John Brennan is going to say on television and in doing so, and this neuters the intelligence committee. A key function of the I.C. and the CIA is to determine who needs a clearance, whether the meet the requirements for holding one, and that we should continue to have access to eligibility to access information once they leave. He took that away from them and is now judge, jury and executioner.

LEMON: All right. So that was the president said to Wall Street Journal. This is what Sarah Sanders initially said, watch this?


SANDERS: Mr. Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations, wild outburst on the internet and television about this administration. Mr. Brennan's line and recent conduct characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation's most closely held secrets and facilities, the very aimed of our adversaries which is to sought division and chaos.


LEMON: OK. Walter, that is what she said and again, I will read what the president said, I called it a rigged witch hunt. It is a sham and these people led it, he added, so I think it's something that had to be done.

So compare what we're hearing from the President tonight to what Sarah Sanders said today.

WALTER SHAUB, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I mean they're both bad, right? There is neither option is a good one. In the one case, they're trying to silence critics, according to Sarah Sanders who admits in the explanations she read. That their criticism was the deciding factor. Well, that may not mean a lot to these guys, there are going to be OK, either way. But there is a lot of former government officials who need their clearances for their employment with government contractors or other employers and knowing that they could lose them if they criticized the president is going to chill their free speech.

Now the President's other alternative explanation that he is trying to retaliate against people for participating in the Mueller investigation, and essentially trying to discredit them. So that their testimony against him won't be believed. Well, that is just shocking. I done even have the word to describe how shocking that is. That is just an effort to interfere with holding him accountable to the law.

LEMON: Yes, Samantha, tonight the President is tweeting. Apparently he is hard at work watching the man who resides in his head, Karl Rove. Remember when he said Karl Rove, Karl was Bush's brain. This is what he said, he said, this is the President tweeting this, he said, I'd strip the whole bunch of them, they're all corrupt. They've all abused their power, they've all betrayed the American people, with apolitical agenda. They tried to steal and influence an election in the United States. Then he has Sean Hannity there. What do you think?

VINOGRAD: I mean, if that is the metric for determining who has the security clearance or the ability to serve in government, the entire White House would be empty at this point, right. The whole notion is that people that have a security clearance get it not as a reward for good behavior, but because they're there to serve their country and the President is applying a double standard to the people that say nice things about him and to whom he got positive TV reviews. And people wrecking just doesn't like. This is about hurt feelings, this is not about any other information than that.

[23:05:10] LEMON: So he is sitting there, who say the man who reside in his head, Sean Hannity? He sat right there and watching Sean Hannity, getting upset and tweeting.

VINOGRAD: Just like he got upset watching John Brennan on television, right? Is that the basis for determining security clearance access?

LEMON: Yes. Walter, let me read your tweet here, you said, not since Nixon has a President so obviously pursued an enemy's list. Trump s abusing gubernatorial authorities to punish critics who intends the audience is every form of government officials with a security clearance and his corrupt purpose is to silence this scent. Would the president actions today actually silent? Silent as critics.

SHAUB: Well, I think it may silence people who are dependent on security clearances for their post government employment. It's not going to silence me or I don't think it will silenced Brennan or many of the other people who has been speaking out. And hopefully it won't silence very many at all. You know, the irony of his accusations are he matches the exact characteristics that sampling it out that he is accusing people of.

You know, the bottom line is the heart of the ethics and government program is to not misuse your governmental authority and the president may be exempt from the specific rules, but that is only because we all thought we could trust the President of the United States to put the people first and not use governmental authority for petty vengeance on individuals that would dare to criticize him in the a free country.

LEMON: And Walter, one of the president's critics, James Comey, put out a statement on twitter and he writes in part, American voters must not shrug off or be distracted from the terrible behaviors of this President who lies to the American people every day, encourages racism is a misogynist and always puts his own interests above those of the United States of America.

I don't think the President is going to like that response. He will say it is evidence of a bias he sees against him.

SHAUB: The good news for Comey, is I don't think the President could dislike him any more than he already did. So, I don't know that this will hurt him any worst. But again, it just go back to the whole thing that he shouldn't be misusing governmental authority to do these kinds of things, and as Sam said, the security clearance process has always been something that government officials treat as near to sacred, because it is the thing that protects our national security information.

When we start playing around with it, look at the fact that Michael Flynn is not on that list of people he is going after. That is very troubling. It means that national security is not the prime motivator and security clearance decision anymore. At least when they come to ones made by the president.

LEMON: To that point, Sam, what do you make of the timing of this, because it was -- this action was only taken against Brennan? It wasn't taken against any other people named on the list so far, you know, James Clapper, James Comey, Michael Hayden, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page or Peter Strzok, Bruce Ohr.

VINOGRAD: Any time this happened it would have been a giant snub to the intelligence community. Whether it happened in July 26, whether that happened today or whether we have more of these enemies list names have their eligibility to access information revoke. But the timing seems a little bit coincidental. It seems like right in the middle of this horrible security violation by Omarosa, the criticism that she loving, again to president of United States and his team, this just happens to come out today from the podium. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, like the president and several members of his team, but it seems a little coincidental, don't you think?

LEMON: Yes. We didn't just fall off the turnip truck, although they think we did. Listen, Walter, today's action, do you think it is another indication that this is a White House in crisis?

SHAUB: Yes, absolutely. I mean, as sampling that, you have the flagrance security violation by Omarosa Manigault. You have John Kelly taking her in there to ask her -- to tell her she is being fired which was a very strange thing to do. Taking her into the skiff, presumably because he didn't want to be recorded. What should not be something to worry about from the White House?

You got the president revoking security clearance, you got a White House ethics official who we just discovered was the one forcing people to sign the President's nondisclosure agreements, I mean, the entire thing is spiraling out of control. And it gets the most scary when it involves national security.

Because anything else you can probably repair afterwards. But the harm that might come from national security breaches could have very serious consequences that will be irreparable.

LEMON: Walter, Sam, thank you. I appreciate it. When we come back, President Trump claims, Apprentice creator, Mark Burnett called to tell him there are no tapes of Trump using the n word. We're going to untangle the tale of the tapes, next.


LEMON: Former White House Aid, Omarosa Manigault Newman dropped a bomb with her explosive claimed that she heard a tape of Donald Trump using the n word while he was on the Apprentice. Well, the president claims, the show's creator Mark Burnette, called him to tell him there were no such tapes. Would he know that if he did not say it?

Back in 2016, after the infamous Access Hollywood tapes surface, a producer on the apprentice, his name is Bill Pruitt, tweeted this. He said, as a producer on season's one and two of the apprentice, I assure you when it comes to the Trump tapes there are far worse. Just the big hashtag just the beginning. But just two days ago, Pruitt told Fox in L.A., he doesn't have the tapes. And won't comments on whether he is heard them.

So I want to bring in now, Kelly McEvers, she is the host of the embedded podcast NPR and she interviewed Bill Pruitt, and also CNN Political Commentator, David Swerdlick.

Good evening to both of you. So Kelly, you interviewed Bill Pruitt for podcast on NPR back in 2017, it is called embedded.

[23:15:00] So, I want to listen to what Bill told you about the content of the tapes and then we'll talk.



BILL PRUITT, PRODUCER, APPRENTICE: Very much a racist issue?

MCEVERS: It was about race?


MCEVERS: About African-Americans, Jewish people, all of the above?

PRUITT: Yes. When you heard these things there's the audible gasp that is quickly followed by a cough and then you just sort of -- yes -- in anyway - you just sort of carry on.


LEMON: So he says he heard awful stuff, but does he know if tapes actually exist?

MCEVERS: He has a strong feeling that they do, right. He was a producer on the show for seasons one and two, and by the way, I'm not Bill Pruitt's spokesperson, but I am the person who happened to talk to him about all of this. You know, they rolled constantly. Which is to say they recorded constantly. They weren't always taping with a camera, but they were rolling audio constantly. And a lot of conversations that they were recording, I'm told by different people who work on the show, were conversations, remember the Apprentice, about who to fire, who not to fire. Who is going to make it, who was not going to make it? It's conversations about contestants on the show. Their qualities,

and the impression that I got from people who worked on season one of the show was that there was one there were actually two contestants, of course, Omarosa Manigault Newman, who you mentioned before, who just recently left the White House and recently publish a book, he was on season one and a contestant by the named of Kwame Jackson, who made it all the way to the finals, to the finale. He was facing off, you may remember again a man named Bill Ransick, this what I was told is that during, you know, that final deliberation is when Donald Trump said things about Kwame Jackson. Things that, you know, Bill Pruitt said were offensive.

LEMON: So, when you interviewed Pruitt, did you contact the White House after and if you did, what did they say?

MCEVERS: We did, this was part of the series of episodes we did for a pod cast, right. We have a new president and we are looking back in --

LEMON: Hold on one second. Hold on. It was about Kwame. Do you know -- did he tell you what was allegedly said about Kwame?

MCEVERS: Bill Pruitt like many people who worked on the show, signed a nondisclosure agreement. He was not going to go into a lot of detail about what he said, he said it was racist. So yes, once we had this episode put together. As one of many episodes of we are doing, looking back into the record of Donald Trump on how he built golf courses. People in his administrations. You know, what they he had done previous to coming into government office.

But of course we were going to talk about the tapes, right? If you're going to talk about the Apprentice, you are going to talk about the tapes.


MCEVERS: So we did like we always do, we reach out to the White House for comment and you know, listed some of the different things that was said in the podcast episode. We said look, we had a conversation with Bill Pruitt about what was said on the set. We very quickly, and unusually for this episode got a phone call back from someone named Hope.

Presumably it was Hope Hicks, his director of communications. Someone who didn't call us about previous or episodes after that. Asked do you want to talk about the tapes, asked whether we had tapes. And we said we didn't have any tapes to play, we just wanted comments about what Bill Pruitt had said. And then it was pretty quickly, she said, all right, fine, a Deputy will get in touch, and then a Deputy got in touch and said, you know, these are the same recycled allegations and lies from the past.

LEMON: Got it.

MCEVERS: So, there was some interest.


MCEVERS: In whether or not we had the tapes.

LEMON: So, David, I want to bring you into the conversation. Thanks for sitting by patiently and listening to this. Do you think Pruitt's claims are credible, David?

DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First of all. That is great reporting by Kelly. I have no reason to doubt what Pruitt said there, I also don't blame him for wanting to go further than he did in that interview. I think it would be, you know, despicable if, in fact, then Donald Trump, now President Trump said those things about any person, any African-American, including Kwame Jackson who full disclosure, I know, we have several mutual friends.

As a journalist, Don I do think there's some value to us eventually getting to the bottom of this, to find out whether or not these tapes exist, and whether or not what is alleged to be on those tapes is true, as a black man, I really don't care that much, Don, at this point. Because we already have this litany of statements from the President that shows his racial attitudes, birtherism, calling congresswoman Waters a low I.Q. person, s-hole countries, calling Mexican immigrants rapists, you go on and on.

[23:20:03] LEMON: Haiti, aids. On and on.

SWERDLICK: Jews are good with money, in guest. This is how he thinks he is demonstrated it time and time again.

LEMON: But David -- just for the purposes of this conversation, even from the White House podium, the conversation about these recordings, is it necessarily about whether the President made these comments, but if it's on tape. You understand what I'm saying, Mark Burnett called me and said that there are no such tapes. Not that it didn't --

SWERDLICK: Like he needs Mark Burnett to tell him what he said on tape.

LEMON: What does that say about the president?

SWERDLICK: Right. Clearly he is -- in his mind, this is a way of saying, look, and someone else is vouching for me, even though he is vouching for Mark Burnett, vouching for him, via a tweet, and not being -- talking directly to the American people. And you can see the limits of this, yesterday in the press briefing when the press secretary said she couldn't guarantee these tapes didn't exist.

It doesn't mean they do exist. It means that even she at this point is not willing to go that far out, walk the plank, that far out and say, no, of course not, there is no tapes. President Donald Trump would never say anything like that because if he may or may not have said these things, but he is said enough other things that it is believable at this point that this might have happened. And that is where this sort of shame and scandal in this is, that we're talking about this, about the President of the United States. LEMON: That is a sad state of affairs, everything you just laid out

there, Kelly, you know, it's not that infrequently that stuff gets leaked from TV shows, given the extreme interest of this tape, why do you think they haven't come out yet if they exist?

MCEVERS: You know, it's really interesting. I mean, Mark Burnett, executive producer of the show, right, technically he owns it, Donald Trump was an executive producer of the show, I would think that means he owns this material as well.


MCEVERS: Yes, MGM. Mark Burnett still a very powerful person in Hollywood, if you're a producer on the show and you somehow squirreled away some copy of something that you didn't necessarily own. You know, there's a disincentive right, to be putting that stuff out in the world, I mean, first of all, there's the legal documents that you signed saying you wouldn't do something like that, there's also, you want to work in this town, right? These are people you don't necessarily want to cross. You know, you've maybe gone on to work for somebody else, may be you don't want your boss to think you're going to do something like that to them.

So, there's not a ton of incentive if even someone has squirreled away some pirated copy of something, you know, I agree to some extent that maybe it does or doesn't matter whether or not anyone ever hears the tape, I think for some people it's just important to know, to have things on the record, you know, they believe a certain thing about a President, and they want to actually have documentation of it. Should we all be spending so much time talking about who has them, where are they? You know, I don't know about that.

LEMON: If they even exist, right?

MCEVERS: You know, I think the question should be put to Mark Burnett also, I mean, I think, you know, something we tried to do, and were unable to get a comment from him.

LEMON: We did too, we invited him in the show, we didn't hear back from him about either request. But I think you're right, people would like to know, for the record, but I get your point David, that everything he said so far just leads people to believe that it's possible. And maybe probable. Thank you very much.

SWERDLICK: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: I appreciate it.

MCEVERS: Thanks.

LEMON: When we come back, Omarosa has a message for the black community. She says, she came up short in representing people of color in the Trump White House. She is trying to reach out to that community now, but is it too little too late?

[23:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: Omarosa Manigault Newman trying to reach out to the African-

American community, but is it too little too late? Out in a publicity tour for her new book, she recently did her first interview with publication a gear toward people of color. And that the degree. Here to discuss now, Amy DuBois Barnett, she is the chief content officer for The Grio and also CNN Political Commentator, Keith Boykin, a Democratic strategist. So good to have both of you on.

Amy, thank you, good to see you.


LEMON: You pushed Omarosa about her efforts to reach out to the black community. Let's listen to her response, OK?


OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: In some ways I came up short. A lot of that was the animosity toward Donald Trump. I mean, people were just genuinely devastated that this racist was going to run our country. So no matter what efforts I put out. People didn't want to see that type of residual outreach.


LEMON: Did she talk to you about what kind of outreach she thought could be done that would out way the President's racism?

BARNETT: You know, she did, but nothing was convincing to us. I mean, we were interested in hearing her perspective. The Grio was the first media outlet -- African-American outlet to interview her, and we understood it was an important story, because we were curious about what she could possibly say that might dispel some of the animosity the black community has toward her. After all these years of her being complicit and Trump's clearly racist policy and action. So, there was little outreach that she could name that would dispel anything.

LEMON: Yes. So let's talk about -- Amy, the word that she used in that last clip, racist? Omarosa took a lot of heat from the community for not labeling the President as such. Labeling him a racist instead, and calling him racial. I don't know if you remember those comments.


LEMON: She has since changed her position on that, let us listen.


OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN, FORMER POLITICAL AIDE TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You know, I had a complete blind spot with the person who I thought that I known for so long. After 14 -- at that point 14 years with a person, you tend to give them the benefit of the doubt. So when he explained to me that the birther movement had been started by Hillary and Bill Clinton and that it was just a political maneuver to advance himself, it's not that I bought it, I just gave him the benefit of the doubt. I shouldn't have, but I did.


LEMON: So, did she get played by Trump, or is she trying to duck the responsibility for her own choices?

BARNETT: I mean, she was a pawn. I have to say she was a pawn, you know. She through her actions, through her silence, right, in all of Trump's incredibly racist dealings, her silence in his attacks on President Obama's citizenship and her silence while he was saying that there were, you know, many good people on both sides of the white supremacist rally, her silence through the attacks on the NFL players, you know, peaceably protesting police brutality in a black community, her silence, you know, him calling African countries S-hole countries, she has been complicit.

And so I think that, you know, as such, she has been a pawn, because he definitely understood that she gave him credibility in the black community. Theoretically, she gave him the ability to say that he did have some connection to the black community. She gave him ammunition to be able to go out and say, well, there's black people that like me, I am trying to reach out to black people.

And the fact of the matter is, she was never credible for us, really, because of her silence. And the fact that we never trusted her to be an appropriate representative.

LEMON: He's doing the same thing with Kanye West and the same thing with the black pastors over there, you know, and then using it as a photo op.

BARNETT: Exactly.

LEMON: Look, I know black people -- black people like me. Keith, how much of this do you think -- how much is a book tour, her selling a book versus her trying to sell herself to the black community, is it a book tour, is it redemption?

KEITH BOYKIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's all about the book tour, to be honest. I don't deny that she really feels that Donald Trump is a racist. But I think she must have known that before. She did that recording with Katrina Pearson in 2016 about Trump allegedly using the N-word. She still went on to work for him throughout the campaign. She still went on to work for him in the White House.

LEMON: And defend him.

BOYKIN: And defend him throughout all the attacks. She knew about his racist history. She knew that he had been sued by the Nixon administration for housing discrimination. She knew that his black employees at his casino had sued him for racial discrimination. She knew that he was involved in leading a lynch mob against the Central Park Five.

She knew that Donald Trump spent five and a half years lying about President Obama's birth certificate. And in spite of all of that, she went to work for him. And she just now when she writes a book discovers that he is racist?

LEMON: Keith, she told that she took the president's attacks on various things privately. I mean, do you -- do you buy that because he was her personal and professional patron, her meal ticket? Do you think she challenged him?

BOYKIN: She has tapes and everything else. Why doesn't she show us the tapes to her challenging Donald Trump?


LEMON: That's a good response. Amy, I just want to play one more clip from your interview here. And this is Omarosa on why she says she got involved with Trump's political career.


NEWMAN: We can't just sit back and ignore Donald Trump for the next couple of years. Somehow, someway, we have to have an emissary who is willing to go into the lion's den and fight the good fight for our people. It's a fight that is worth fighting. I am not in any way comparing myself to Martin Luther King. But had Martin Luther King not gone and sat down with LBJ, we would not have had the civil rights act.


LEMON: OK, so --

BARNETT: I mean --

LEMON: Do you think -- that's a whole lot there. I will let you talk about it. Do you think she was fighting for the black community as she said because -- I mean a lot of reporting that she didn't really work that much at all and that she actually wanted to be the only one if not the only -- one of a few if not the only person of color, black person, in the White House, and that she thwarted people from getting positions. Go on.

BARNETT: Look, Omarosa had made a name for herself as a shrewd opportunist, right? So the notion that she would suddenly, you know, be converted to a public servant whose only motivation was to bring forth the issues that are most pressing in the African-American community to the White House is absurd.

[23:34:57] So there was never a time in which she could say or anybody believed that she was actually representing us. So the fact that she would even try to claim that was species (ph) at best.

BOYKIN: And she was also very divisive with the black community. I remember last year, she went to the NABJ Convention, the National Association of Black Journalist, in New Orleans. She made a big controversy, big splash, refusing to walk off the stage when she was challenged by Ed Gordon and just all kinds of unnecessary commotion antics (ph).

That's who Omarosa is. As Amy said, she is an opportunist at her core. It still doesn't mean that Donald Trump should be calling her a dog, which is offensive in itself, but she is an opportunist.


LEMON: Amy, thank you. Good reporting. Thank you, Keith. I appreciate it. When we come back, this is how Kellyanne Conway is defending the president or trying to defend him.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: He's an excellent boss to women. It's only some of the women out there on cable news every single day who are jealous or have no access or look at things through their own Twitter feed and not through reality who would think otherwise.


LEMON: Jealous? We'll talk about that, next.


LEMON: Kellyanne Conway defending President Trump's treatment of women after he called former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman a dog. But she is also taking a swipe at women who are critical of the president.


CONWAY: People try to get away with saying that Donald Trump is terrible to women who work for him and that he's a sexist misogynist. Why would I be standing here in front of the White House working in this building if I didn't think this man was doing great for all Americans?

And by the way, if I felt he wasn't respectful toward women, he's an excellent boss to women. It's only some of the women out there on cable news every single day who are jealous or have no access or look at things through their own Twitter feed and not through reality who would think otherwise.


LEMON: I want to talk about this now with CNN Political Commentators, Alice Stewart and Amanda Carpenter, who is the author of "Gaslighting America: Why We Love It When Trump Lies To Us." Hey, hi.


AMANDA CARPENTER, AUTHOR, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hi, Don. LEMON: I just had a flashback. It was like having you all of you on a panel during the 2016 election and then Kellyanne Conway will be saying disparaging things about Trump. I just had that flashback kind of thing when you guys popped up. And now here we are 2018 and it's (INAUDIBLE).

So, Amanda, what do yo make of the statement from her? Are you jealous? Why are you so jealous?

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah, yeah, super jealous. I wish she were here. I would ask her, Kellyanne, do you think I'm jealous that I never had to defend the Access Hollywood tape? Do you think I'm jealous that I never had to work in the White House with people like Omarosa?

Do you think I'm jealous that I never went and tried to smooth over obscene comments that Trump has made about Charlottesville, about Helsinki? Do you think I'm jealous I never signed an NDA that prevents me from telling the truth to people? No, I don't feel very jealous. I feel pretty good about my decision.

People are looking at you, Kellyanne, because they don't understand how you do, what you do every day. And what you gave was yet another talking point that doesn't address the question of what you enable each and every day, that no one can make sense of, including your husband in the latest Washington Post profile piece.

LEMON: Alice, go on.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I will say this. Kellyanne is a friend of mine. I've known her for many years. I worked with her on many issues. And I asked her that question tonight. I asked her, you know, to elaborate a little bit more.

And her response to that is first of all, a lot of times Trump says things that are not very easy to listen to or disrespectful, she would choose different words and she has said that on many different occasions.

But a lot of what she views the way he treats women has been her experience. And her experience has been very positive. She was given a wonderful opportunity to run the campaign, given a position in the White House as adviser to the president, picking the portfolio that she wants to do on issues that she cares about.

She sees him through the way he treats her and other women at the White House. She views it as positive. She is very proud of the work that she does. If she didn't feel that way and she wasn't proud of it, she wouldn't be there.


LEMON: -- women who disagree with her or jealous. That doesn't explain that part of thing. If someone disagrees, I mean, you hear what he says about women. You heard the Access Hollywood tape. You heard him call Omarosa a dog. Then, why would someone be jealous -- she didn't answer that part of the question, did she? I understand what you said why she is defending him. Listen, above all, I'm sure it's power. People love power. It's human nature. Go on, Alice. Sorry.

STEWART: Well, I mean, we've been talking for the past 24 hours about one person that fits the perfect example of that, Omarosa. She was jealous because she didn't have the access that she wanted and now she's out there telling all.

And there are -- it's difficult to imagine in the climate that we're in, but there are a lot of women that are on cable news. I'm not talking about Amanda and I. There are a lot of women out there that wished they had a little more access and were able to speak with the president and have access to them more and are critical.

But most people, most people that are critical of the president are critical of him for the very reason that Amanda pointed out, because of the way he has spoken about women, the way he refers to African- Americans, the way he uses disparaging language and his tone and his tactics.

[23:45:00] I would imagine that Amanda and I agree with the policies of this president with regard to the Republican issues that he stands on --


STEWART: -- and his tactic and tenor --

LEMON: I got it.

STEWART: -- no one -- it's difficult for anyone to --

LEMON: Before I run out of time, I mean, it just sounds like -- like -- like an episode of the "Housewives," you're just jealous, because you don't -- I mean, that's what --

CARPENTER: We're going to have to have some wine for that, OK?

LEMON: Yeah. Amanda, to that point, to the point, I want you to respond. I just want to play something the president -- this is him over the last two years, since his campaign.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. You know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.

We have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no, as a principle? TRUMP: The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.


TRUMP: Yeah. There has to be some form.

Look at her, look at her words, you tell me what you think. I don't think so.

You look at that horrible woman last night, you said, I don't think so.

I don't believe that Hillary has the stamina.

Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign.

Why does she keep interrupting everybody?

She has a habit just speaking whenever she wants to speak.

Maxine Waters is a very low I.Q. individual.


LEMON: And then we all know that access, grab them by the you know what. So, it's a hallmark for him, of his career?

CARPENTER: There's a lot of people, not just Kellyanne, who make deals with the devil for opportunities. To get access, to get those coveted jobs they've waited their whole lives to get. That's what happened. She has made her deal. I have made my deal. I'll sleep good tonight. I hope she does.

LEMON: Thank you both. I appreciate it. When we come back, new allegations that the president used Trump Foundation money intended for charity for personal and political gain.


LEMON: New allegations tonight that President Trump's nonprofit charitable foundation may have violated federal law by diverting funds intended for charity to the president's 2016 campaign. CNN Senior Investigative Correspondent, Drew Griffin has that story.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: On January 28, 2016, right in the middle of the Iowa caucus campaign --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Donald Trump has chosen not to attend this evening --

GRIFFIN: Donald Trump blew off a Republican debate and held a well publicized fundraiser for veterans. He raised nearly $6 million. About half of it was paid directly to charities, $2.8 million went to the Trump Foundation. And within days, Donald Trump was at Iowa campaign rallies giving that money away.

Good deeds? Perhaps. But e-mails and records uncovered by the New York attorney general show behind the scenes then campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was making it clear the good deeds would be used for political gain.

The day after the fundraiser, Lewandowski writes to the Trump Organization's chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, "Is there any way we can make some disbursements this week while in Iowa?" Weisselberg writes back, "Put together a list of the Iowa veterans groups you have in mind along with dollar amounts."

TRUMP: One hundred thousand dollars.

GRIFFIN: According to the New York attorney general's office using the donated money to boost Trump's campaign violates IRS nonprofit rules which prohibits making expenditures to influence the outcome of an election.

And in a letter to the IRS commissioner, David Kautter, the attorney general's office has passed on its evidence for a possible IRS investigation to determine if Donald Trump's foundation and Donald Trump himself may have broken federal tax laws. Marc Owens ran the nonprofit division of the IRS for 10 years.

MARC OWENS, FORMER DIRECTOR, EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS DIVISION, IRS: The evidence that the New York attorney general has collected suggests very strongly and in fact I would say close to conclusively that the Donald Trump Foundation was used to support and facilitate Donald Trump's political campaign.

GRIFFIN: The attorney general's complaint also lists other examples of Trump Foundation self dealing including paying off a $100,000 lawsuit settlement with a notation in the president's own handwriting. But it's the veteran's charity that seems the most egregious. Daniel Borocoff is head of Charity Watch.

DANIEL BOROCOFF, PRESIDENT, CHARITY WATCH: Donald Trump basically handed over the keys to his charitable foundation, to his political campaign.

GRIFFIN: Trump Foundation attorney, Alan Futerfas, did not address a possible IRS case and instead focused on what he believes is a politically-motivated, unfounded prosecution by New York's attorney general.

In a statement, he tells CNN the president's foundation has raised and donated over $19 million to charitable causes, operated with little to no expenses, and states virtually every penny raised by the Trump Foundation went exactly where it should, to support those most in need.

As for politics, we have been unable to find a single example where an attorney general, New York or otherwise, has brought a case involving a similar set of facts. Former IRS official Owens says none of that matters to the IRS. [23:55:00] OWENS: The assets of the foundation were allowed to be used to support his political campaign and that is all that is needed.

GRIFFIN: The big question is if the IRS under this administration is considering an investigation. The IRS will not comment at all to CNN. In the meantime, Trump's attorneys are planning to fight the case of the New York attorney general, filing their response to this lawsuit later in the month.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Washington.


LEMON: Thank you, Drew. Thanks for watching. Our coverage continues.