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A Big Upset in the Democratic Primary for Governor in Florida; Donald Trump Has Reportedly Changed His Mind; What Did They Learn about Bruce Ohr?; Bruce Ohr Was Interviewed by Republican Lawmakers; President Donald Trump Expresses His Warnings of Violence. Aired 10- 11p ET

Aired August 28, 2018 - 22:00   ET


[22:00:01] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Harry, thanks for scrambling into that chair.


CUOMO: I appreciate it.

ENTEN: No problem.


CUOMO: Thank you. All right, thank you for watching, "CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts right now. History made, first African-American nominee for Governor in a major state like Florida.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Yeah. And we covered a couple of these recently, and the upsets that have been happening. It's been pretty surprising. If, you know, if it is like this come midterms, well, we can have a really interesting night on election night, and it's going to be interesting over the next couple of years as well for everyone involved, especially us and especially this country.

CUOMO: Period of change, my brother, period of change.

LEMON: I am going to get to the breaking news, Chris. Thank you, see you soon. This is CNN TONIGHT. I am Don Lemon. Huge breaking news tonight, it's out of Florida, a big upset in the Democratic primary for Governor. Joining me now to discuss all of this is Tom Foreman. Tom, listen. As we had been talking, it's a big upset.

What happened? You know as Chris was saying, he played the population centers well. Nobody thought that Gillum could do this. And now here we are.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. And what we have done here is watched both parties tonight decimate the political center. It's either left or it is right. On this side, Andrew Gillum here, this is the man who came out here backed by Bernie Sanders. He edged out Gwen Graham, you know, decisive, yes. But look how close that vote is by comparison. And I want you to look where he won. We talked about the population

centers. If you circle them here, the areas where you see that color associated with his win. There of course, Tallahassee, where he's mayor. Look at all of those. And look at where Hillary Clinton won in 2016. Those will all fall into the same slots that he won, except for this over here near Pensacola.

So the question is can he get enough support beyond that in the general election, because with that close divide we showed you just a moment ago there, I want to go back and show that real quickly. If you look at the close divide that there was between these two votes, look at it compared to the Republican vote where Desantis had a decisive win.

There is no question where the Republicans are going in Florida. On the Democratic side, there's going to have to be reconciliation, and that has been a problem all along. And one more thing to look at, to bare in mind all this, is the demographics of Florida. Because if there is anything that absolutely Gillum was going to have to do is he's going to have to make sure his appeal goes beyond just the cities.

And certainly, it has to cross all racial lines, because the population in the state, 54.1 percent white. A large Hispanic population and African-American population is actually relatively small, more in line with the national average. The Democrats, if they want to turn this into a big victory on general election night, they're going to have to find a way to knit that whole coalition together.

Because tonight, the Republicans showed, for better or worse, they are united in the pro-Trump camp. Can the Democrats unite in their camp in a winning way? That's the question. Like I said the middle was decimated tonight in Florida. That is not what the general election will be about. It will be about the left and the right, Don.

LEMON: Tom Foreman, thank you, Tom. We'll be there at the board. We'll get back to him, as the situation is needed here on CNN. But then there is a breaking news, Andrew Gillum wins the Florida Democratic primary for Governor, first African-American. There he is. It is an upset. No one thought that this would happen pretty much.

But I guess he did, because he was in the race and also those who were supporting him, as well. One of them was Senator Bernie Sanders who actually campaigned for him and endorsed him, putting out a statement. Let me read the statement before I bring in some folks to talk about it. Bernie Sanders said congratulations to Andrew Gillum on his victory tonight.

What has made Andrew's campaign so powerful is that he is not just working hard to win an election, he says. He has laid out a vision for a new course for the state of Florida and our country. No person can take on the economic and political leaks on their own. Tonight, Floridians join Andrew in standing up and demanding change in our community. That's what the political revolution is all about, and Andrew Gillum

is helping to lead it. That said, CNN Political Analyst, April Ryan is here, and CNN Politics Senior Writer and Analyst, Harry Enten. Both are here as well.

Good evening to both of you. April, I want to get to you. Harry, you know, I saw you earlier speaking about this. But April, I want to get to you.

You know, we got -- you have got Stacy Abrams, right, right across the border in Georgia.


LEMON: And now you have in Florida, you've got Andrew Gillum, as well. What does this say to you?

RYAN: The south shall rise again for some. It's very interesting. For all intense and purposes, in this Trump era, this should not be. Two African-Americans and red states, the reddest of states rising to the top and could possibly wind up getting the Governorship of these states. And not just -- you don't just have them there.

[22:05:03] You also have Ben Jealous in Maryland. You have so many minorities running for office now for, once again, a time such as this. I think back to when George W. Bush and Al Gore were fighting over who was going to be President. Florida was pivotal, much to George W. Bush. I think about Florida for Donald Trump. Now look at him. Is it going to be purple?

And I talked to Stacy Abrams a few weeks ago during the summer at the Essence Festival. And she said you know she doesn't look at Georgia as necessarily red. She looks at it as purple. So for a time such as this as this President is trying to hold on to his base, there is this quiet movement of going to the polls, of people going to the polls, saying this is what we want.

We want change, too. So let's see who wins out in this fight. But once again, I find it so interesting, you know, how we talk about the south. But some have said the south shall rise again but in a different way.

LEMON: Yeah. Harry, let's bring Harry Enten. Harry, you have a Trump supporter now Desantis versus a black progressive of the Bernie Sanders ilk, right, unapologetic. How does that play out in Florida of all places?

ENTEN: I mean look. I don't know if there is a greater contrast in the nation between candidates than in the Florida gubernatorial race. Now I mean arguably, perhaps up in Georgia maybe there is. But I think that both sides got the candidate that they wanted the other side to get. So we are going to have to wait and see. But I think in this Trump era, you are dealing with a black progressive candidate on the left and you are dealing with a Trump supporter on the right.

And it's not clear in a midterm election with the national environments on the Democratic side, whether or not the Democrat could get the extra little point or plus that Trump won by in Florida to overcome that Republican advantage. But keep this in mind. In Florida, they have not elected a Democratic Governor since 1994. So that's the uphill battle that Gillum is facing.

But also keep in mind that they really haven't nominated a true progressive on the Democratic side since long before 1994. So this is a different tact but the Florida Democratic electorate is taking. They decide to go to the left. They decide to go with an African- American candidate. And I will say if you get the turnout among African-Americans and young progressives that Gillum got tonight down in Florida. It will make for a very interesting general election campaign.

LEMON: You set me up for my next question.


LEMON: -- Really well, April, because Florida is always super competitive. I'm going to let you get in here because this is along the lines, I'm sure, of what you're talking about. There is huge electoral play in Florida, national implications here. Go on, April.

RYAN: You know I -- this is a different time, you know. We didn't expect many people, you know, the internal the polls for Donald Trump. He felt that he was going to win and he did win. A lot of the pollsters did not think that it was going to happen and it happened. This is a different day. And I am going to go back to those people in that black belt that told Roy Moore we didn't want him.

They said we don't want you. And I think that was a telltale sign. What happened in Alabama, and people are saying, you know, we don't want this, or some people are saying we want this. There is a quiet movement going on in this nation and the churches, in the HBCU community, historically black colleges, and, you know, (Inaudible) community.

And many of the black Greek organizations and the links and other organizations that are getting people to the polls to vote. And they are saying, you know, there are things on the table like -- the NAACP, they're saying, you know, vote against hate. That is their theme. So they are getting people to the polls. And I understand, you know, the black vote is not as large as the mainstream vote.

But those numbers are coming out and showing that they are a force. And once again, you have something that we have never seen before happening in Florida, and possibly it could change the dynamic of Florida politics and national politics and what is happening in Georgia. So there is a quiet movement, Don, to go up against what this President is doing.

LEMON: Yeah. You know what is interesting to me is -- and I just want to read something here, Harry, because you talked about -- he's been giving interviews obviously lately, saying that he decided to run for Governor this year after Trump's Presidential win. And said that he thought it was important that Democrats offered am unequivocal contrast to the President's political message.

And what he said he says it has become -- this is a quote, very clear that something was seriously wrong, and we couldn't take the risk in Florida of putting another Republican-like Democrat who would lose for Governor the sixth consecutive time. He said (Inaudible) Democrats narrowly lost those races, he said, because of black, brown, and poor voters who feel they don't have a reason to show up with the nominees that they have put before us.

[22:09:54] And I am reading that from the Washington Post. It's a Washington Post write up there. What is interesting to me is I think in -- obviously, in 2008 and 2012, the African-American turnout was really strong for Barack Obama, not as much for Hillary Clinton. And maybe African-Americans, people of color, feel at this point that they have a reason to go to the polls now, not just because of what Gillum is offering, but also because of what Donald Trump has done and this administration has done as well.

ENTEN: I think that's definitely true. I will point out in the Democratic primary season so far. In fact, African-American turnout has been down relative to say where other portions of the Democratic electorate have been. But the one example of this past cycle in which African-American turnout was very high, was in the Alabama special senate election.

And if Gillum can double down on that and repeat what occurred in Alabama, I think that is a very good sign for him going forward. But again, in order to get African-American turnout up, you have to offer them something unique, something different. Obviously, Barack Obama did that in 2008 and 2012. In 2016, Hillary Clinton wasn't able to duplicate that.

And you saw the results in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and down in Florida. If Gillum can get that African-American turnout up, he in fact could conceivably sort of cross that finish line that Hillary Clinton wasn't able to down in Florida. And remember, Hillary Clinton only lost that state by a little more than a percentage point.

And if you go back four years ago, that is about the same margin that Rick Scott won the Republican incumbent Governor won that gubernatorial race. So if Gillum is just able to get a little more support. That could make all the difference in the world. And as my mama once told me, winning by one vote is just as good as winning by 100,000.

LEMON: Let me ask you one more thing, because, you know, he doubled his percentage area within just a couple of weeks just before the election. I wondering how he made up that ground, especially, you know, he's Gwen Graham, who is, you know, Senator Graham's daughter, a former Congresswoman. I mean that was a tough road (Inaudible) and he did it.

ENTEN: He absolutely did it. I would point out of course, that Bob Graham hasn't been a Senator from that state for a very long period of time. In fact, although I am a relatively young guy, I am not that young before I was able to vote. So the Graham name in the state is not perhaps as good as it once was. I will say he got that late endorsement from Bernie Sanders. He was able to put a lot of money in his social media.

And I think those two things really were able to help him. He was able to pick up momentum. And one other thing I point out was the three leading candidates besides Gillum who were running for Governor on the Democratic side, they all went negative against each other, and they were afraid of going negative against Gillum, because they thought that they could not afford to lose the African-American vote in the general. So it was sort of this perfect storm that Gillum was able to ride and clearly worked for him in the end.

LEMON: Wow, making history tonight, first African-American in a major party.

RYAN: Yeah.

LEMON: Running in Florida right now. He has got November. He has to go up, you know, against a Trump supporter. But we shall see. It's going to be an interesting time. April, I want you to stick around. Harry, thank you very much, we'll get Harry back as need be here in the coming hours here on CNN. You know tonight, we are learning that President Trump gave a stark warning to evangelicals at the White House last night, a warning of violence if Republicans lose in the midterms.

CNN listened to a recording on what the President said, a recording from someone in the room, including this. It says quote, they will overturn everything that we have done and they will do it quickly and violently. There is violence. When you look at Antifa, these are violent people. So April Ryan is back with us, also White House Correspondent Abby Philip as well.

Abby, welcome to the program, good evening to you, this warning of violence if Republicans lose in the midterms which is absurd on his face, this is scare tactics 101, right? This is fear mongering.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think that's right. I think this President has been veering in this direction for some time now. We have to go back to the point of all of this, which is that Republicans started out thinking they were going into the midterms with taxes being the major issue for their base, being the thing that they deliver to their voters.

It turns out that is not working all that well. So what President Trump is leading his party towards is a message about immigration, a message about Antifa, which he mentioned in that clip, about the potential consequences for impeachment if Democrats are elected. And that's what I think he thinks is going to motivate his party. He has to scare some of his supporters to vote, which is why he held this event at the White House last night.

That event was about, you know, pressing upon evangelicals the importance of telling their flock how critical this election can be, and using all the tools in the arsenal that he possibly can get in order to do that. And so fear is a really powerful tool. And this is a President who has been unabashed in using it in politics since the very beginning.

[22:14:55] LEMON: How many years have you been covering the White House, April?

RYAN: Twenty one and counting.

LEMON: Have you ever heard a President issue a warning like this?

RYAN: You know I have heard Presidents and their supporters or their principles that are around them, talk about, you know, the consequences if they lose but never like this. And Abby is absolutely right. I am thinking about the fact that every time this President wants to rally his base, he finds a common enemy to unify his base. And particularly, it is interesting that he would say this to the evangelicals at a time when, you know, people questioned his morality.

So he's going to take it off of his morality and throw this out there, this shiny ball, so they can focus on that instead of all the other stuff that's going on. But this President likes to play on fear. He likes to talk about, you know, Hispanic gangs. He likes to talk about Muslims. He likes to talk about different things, you know, you know, NFL football players, you know, taking the knee for -- because we don't like or black people are upset about the flag, which that is not the case.

He likes to gin up things to get his numbers up and to make him look big like he's in charge. But what it does, it is causing fear and it's causing angst and division in this nation. And, you know, again, going back to what we just talked about, there could indeed be a blue wave. He is legitimately afraid of a blue wave. But to gin it up like this, about Antifa and things of that nature. That is crazy. It's just taking it to the nth degree.

LEMON: Well -- and by the way, don't adjust your sets, April, because I am having a satellite fade with your shot there, so April's face looks a little weird but that is because of satellite.

RYAN: Oh my, gosh.

LEMON: Listen. There is, you know, there is a racial component to this because he is linking Antifa to Democrats. But in that statement, you didn't hear anything because -- he is the first -- we heard of this President mentioning Antifa was for Charlottesville, right? So we haven't heard him link neo-Nazis to Republicans. So there is an appeal to racism here. Is he appealing for that?


PHILLIP: Go ahead, April.

LEMON: April, go ahead.

RYAN: No, go ahead, Abby. Well, yeah actually, he is. This President knows his base has a real issue with the issue of race. Race is that thing that makes this President tick. He started with birtherism and he has continued on and on. And his base rallies behind him. But it is dividing the nation. And he has not apologized, taken anything back. And it is not a good look for a President of the United States, and it is dividing the country, when he says he is a unifier.

LEMON: Go ahead, Abby.

PHILLIP: Yeah. I mean I think to your point about Charlottesville and the connection with Antifa is important, because that is in a lot of ways where this has come from. In some ways, it is true that we have been talking about Antifa more often because these rallies that have popped up have popped up in some ways in the wake of what happened in Charlottesville. But to associate Antifa, which is anti fascist organization, closely with mainstream Democrats is a little bit of a stretch.

And I think that in the wake of Charlottesville, the President had to find something else to talk about, because his reaction to it was panned both by Democrats and Republicans. So this has been the thing that a lot of the President's base has held on to. And that is why we are talking about Antifa, not because Antifa is something that is a widespread phenomenon.

That has a large following across the country, but because it is the counterpart to the conversation about how President Trump dealt with that particular moment in American history.

LEMON: It says it right in the name, Antifa, Anti-Fascism, which is what they're fighting. Listen. There is, you know, no organization is perfect. There is some violence. No one condones the violence. But there are different reasons for Antifa and for these neo-Nazis to be there. One, racists, fascists, the other group fighting racists, fascists, there is fascists. There is a distinction there.

Thank you both. I appreciate it. Much more to come on our breaking news, a huge upset in Florida, where CNN projects Andrew Gillum has won the Democratic primary for Governor, plus, we're going to have more on our breaking news, President Trump reportedly talking again about firing his Attorney General Jeff Sessions.


[22:20:00] LEMON: Well, President Trump has reportedly revised the idea of firing his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, talking to his aides and his lawyers. And I want to bring in now CNN Contributor, John Dean, a former Nixon White House Counsel.

Good evening, Mr. Dean. Good to have you on. Let's talk about the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. We are hearing mixed messaging from Senator Lindsey Graham and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on whether or not Sessions should stay or should he go or what have you. Let's watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President has lost confidence in Jeff Sessions. And I am telling you what everybody in the country knows. This is a dysfunctional relationship. We need a better one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have total confidence in the Attorney General. I think he ought to stay exactly where he is.


LEMON: So listen. The President is likely hearing these mixed messages. And the question is what will the President do and when might he do it?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, that is anybody's best bet. And probably, wait until after the election, just to not stir up more problems. I was aware what might happen from them. That would be the intelligent thing to do, although, that isn't necessarily his guiding light. I think that the members of the Senate on this issue have been all over the lot.

Sometimes they are with their former colleague, sometimes they are not so much with him. So he's -- Sessions is also doing his life's dream of down there, implementing all the radical policies at the Justice Department he has dreamed of implementing. He is just quietly doing it. And, you know, it's going to have a real impact.

LEMON: And also, you know, they have been saying we shouldn't do anything. There is no need to do anything. He is not going to fire Sessions. He is not going to fire Rosenstein. He is not going to fire, you know, Mueller. He's not going to do it. But who knows now? And CNN's reported the President, John, openly fumed to his advisers and lawyers from recent weeks that he should fire Sessions.

And, you know, they talked him off the ledge. If he fired Sessions because he wants to end this Russian investigation, could that be viewed as obstruction of justice?

[22:25:12] DEAN: It could be. It depends on what he says and what his real motives are. But, Don, one of the things he's got to think about is how does he replace the Attorney General. That is a position that has to be confirmed by the Senate. And that for example, during the Nixon years, when Nixon fired his Attorney General, Dick Kleindienst, he put Elliot Richardson right at the height of Watergate.

And Richardson, to get the seat, had to promise to appoint a special prosecutor. That is when things started to go amiss for him. So the Senate, while it is a minority that is pushing for more oversight of Nixon, they can still have an impact on those hearings and extract from a nominee more than you might think.

LEMON: You had more oversight of Nixon or you meant more oversight of Jeff Sessions?

DEAN: More oversight of Trump.


LEMON: OK. I just -- what would that do to us? Is that a constitutional crisis or would that throw us back to the very beginning of the investigation? Does it all start over? I don't think anyone is exactly sure of what would happen if he did indeed fire the Attorney General.

DEAN: Well, what will happen -- what would likely happen is if you got a new Attorney General in there, is that Rosenstein would no longer be in charge of the investigation, because the new Attorney General would have no conflict of interests, theoretically. And he would then take charge of the investigation. A new Attorney General could also leave it with the Deputy Attorney General, who is much more familiar with the case.

But I think ultimately, a new Attorney General would make such a decision as to what do I do with the report of the Special Counsel? Do I send it to Congress? Do I make it public? Do I agree with the prosecutions he may or may not be suggesting? So there is no question. The Attorney General, like Rosenstein right now, can have a huge influence over the investigation.

LEMON: Let me ask you the same question in a different way, because the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Jeff Sessions is getting tired of the attacks. He feels that he's obligated to remain in his post. So if he stepped down or he was fired, I guess my basic question is would that jeopardize the Russia investigation?

DEAN: It could. It not necessarily would, but it certainly could, because the new Attorney General could take the investigation under his wing and then decide how to handle it. And it wouldn't be starting from scratch. And one of the things that Rosenstein has very wisely done is he sent this investigation throughout the Department of Justice. There is some of it in his southern district.

There is some of it in the Treasury Department. You know, it is here, there, and everywhere. And so it makes it very hard for Trump to get his hands around it.

LEMON: Thank you, John Dean. I appreciate your time.

DEAN: Pleasure.

LEMON: When we come back, House Republicans grilling a career Justice Department official for eight hours today. So what did they learn about Bruce Ohr's relationship with the British spy behind that infamous dossier.


[22:30:01] LEMON: Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr, was grilled by Republican lawmakers for eight hours today. The closed door session believed to focus on Ohr's relationship with Christopher Steele, that's the British spy behind the dossier that included salacious and unverified intelligence on Trump and Russia. So let's discuss now with CNN National Security Analysts, Steve Hall and Juliette Kayyem, also CNN Global Affairs Analyst, Susan Glasser.

Good evening to all of you, never a dull moment in this news business and in America lately. So thank you all for coming on and talking about this. So Susan, take us through this. What does Bruce Ohr have to do with former FBI Attorney Lisa Page and Fusion GPS Co-Founder Glenn Simpson? And what information led him to testify today?

SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, it's interesting. First of all, he has become the increasing focus both of the sort of very active group of Trump defenders up on Capitol Hill. President Trump himself has also started getting in on the action. His wife worked for the firm Fusion GPS that commissioned the Steele dossier. He also worked at the FBI and was the liaison with Christopher Steele in relaying his information.

This was closed door testimony. We don't know what happened behind the scenes, obviously. What you have is all Republican members of Congress who were present apparently at this hours long interrogation today. There was Democratic staff there but no Democratic members of Congress. You know you basically have sort of this whole parallel inquiry that's been launched on Capitol Hill.

That is about the Republican conspiracy theory version of the case, which involves the Steele dossier as being, as I understand, sort of the deep state plot to spy on and to sabotage the Trump campaign, as opposed to the actual investigation by Bob Mueller that involves the actual Russian hacking and the actual interference in the U.S. election.

LEMON: Let's take a look at Ohr now and his career. Because Juliette, despite a decades long career of public service, including 10 plus years (Inaudible) organized crime in Russia, Ohr has become a top target of the President. Do you think the President's fixation on Ohr is warranted?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I guess -- the short answer is no, except for he's an expert. I mean what is he an expert in? He is an expert in the Russian mafia and the ties, the financial ties between the Russians and entities in the United States, in which they are either laundering money or trying to get around the sanction to be able to exchange money. This is his expertise.

And so to the extent that the Trump White House (Inaudible) across the board challenges the expertise of career civil servants, I do think that Bruce is sort of, you know an obvious target. I will say something that Susan mentioned about his wife. This is the second time of which Donald Trump has specifically targeted the husband of a wife who has had a separate career that the President views as either unbecoming or maybe to, you know, to women's empowerment.

[22:34:59] Remember McCabe's wife had ran for office. That became the spin up conspiracy theory to which why she was so tied to Democrats and therefore he was not independent. In this case, Bruce Ohr's wife had worked for Fusion GPS. It is consistent, as I said before in this show, with an idea about the wives of or how women should be appendages of these men, as if you couldn't have two separate careers.

My husband and I both had separate security clearances. You learn not to talk about them. But I don't think it is a coincidence that of Trump's tweets about Bruce Ohr...


LEMON: He would say they both work for Hillary Clinton, though.

KAYYEM: Yeah. I mean it's just -- the focus on the wife is I think consistent with a larger theory.


LEMON: So you don't think there is credence that the women worked for Hillary Clinton?

KAYYEM: No. I also think -- look -- I mean Bruce Ohr is -- no, Bruce Ohr documented his contacts with Steele. Like it wasn't like he was hiding them. They are actually -- you know, whenever you meet with someone in terms of whether it is intelligence gathering, law enforcement gathering, whatever, you have to document them. He documented them. It is why they know they met. It's not like he was hiding it. It was part of his job.

LEMON: Well, it is interesting because, you know, as I was saying, it is the same argument that Kellyanne Conway uses when people ask her questions about her husband and when he says something negative or refutes something about the administration. Listen, Steve. You know we know that Ohr and Steele first began working with each other in the mid 2000s, taking on Russian organized crime in the U.S. and the U.K. Tell us more about the type of work that Ohr did combating the Russian mafia.

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: You know the Russian mafia, the oligarchs, Russian organized crime, the Russian government, it is all pretty much the same thing. It's really not that hard to understand. It is all one big thing. And there has been a considerable amount of time and effort put in largely from the Department of Justice and I think law enforcement to try to figure out what these oligarchs are doing, specifically what they're doing that might violate U.S. law.

And of course, none of these oligarchs -- and it is very interesting by the way that some of the oligarchs that are most closely associated with Bruce Ohr or that he focused mostly on, guys like (Inaudible) are guys that playing prominent roles now or going to play prominent roles apparently in Paul Manafort's upcoming case, and have constant ties back to the Trump organization.

So there was a long, hard look by the U.S. government. There continues to be against these oligarchs. And its part of it is law enforcement. Part of it is policy, of course. Sanctions impact these oligarchs quite a bit. So there is a lot of interest in U.S. government as to who these guys are, what they are up to, and what they're doing. I would argue that there is also now an inordinate interest on the part of President Trump in Bruce Ohr, because he is an expert about, you know, precisely this group of people who has really I think been in contact with and perhaps helped this President throughout his career, as you look back, you know, at his business dealings with Russia.

So it is a really big tangled kind of knot that the Department of Justice does a really good job of trying to get to the bottom of.

LEMON: All right. Thank you all. I appreciate your time. When we come back more on our breaking news tonight, a huge upset in Florida where CNN is projecting Andrew Gillum has won Democratic primary for Governor. Plus, (Inaudible) counted in Arizona's primary are three Trump supporting Republicans are battling for Jeff Flake's Senate seat.


[22:40:00] LEMON: Here's our breaking news tonight. A huge upset in Florida, you see it there on your screen. CNN is projecting that Tallahassee Mayor, Andrew Gillum, will win the Democratic nomination for Governor of Florida.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, we have shown the rest of the country that we can be the David in a situation, where there is a Goliath. That you can be the non millionaire, you can come from a working class family, and you can make your way to the top.


LEMON: I want to bring in now CNN's Tom Foreman. So the question is how did he pull off this upset? But he still has a lot of work ahead of him.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He has got a lot of work unifying the state. Take a look at this. Remember, Florida is a state where over half the voters are white. The African-American population is just under 17 percent. And when you look at where he won tonight, this is almost a perfect map of the distribution of African-American voters in the state.

Look at this gigantic wins up here near Tallahassee where he was a mayor, 63 percent, gigantic there. Tallahassee itself, 46 percent over here to the right, 51 percent, those are big. Those are undeniably huge wins, same thing over in Jacksonville. But look at where he lost, because that is where he's going to have to do his work. Look at this up here.

If you take a gander at Lafayette County here (Inaudible) 50 percent, he is down here at 17.5 percent, if you go down here to Citrus County, down there once again, 44 percent for her. Philip Levine here is 19 percent. Andrew Gillum was in third at 17.2 percent. The simple truth, Don, is if Democrats don't want this to be a pyrrhic victory, where they say oh we nominated the first African-American for this.

The party has got to get over this deep and obvious divide here. And their overall results, and all the places that did not vote for him and did not vote for him in a big way are going to have to come all the way around, 180 degrees to get behind him if they want to have an actual victory in November instead of this, the excitement of a win now.

LEMON: All right. It is interesting to win, you're right, now. But as I said, he has got a lot of work ahead of him. And what you just said bears that out. Thank you, Tom Foreman. I appreciate that. I want to bring in now CNN Political Commentator, Mr. Van Jones, joins me now by phone. Van, I assume you heard Tom Foreman. You heard our conversation there.

And him pointing out -- good evening to you, pointing out that he has got some stuff to do ahead of him. He won in the places in Florida that were predominantly African-American.

[22:45:10] VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Listen. You can -- anybody who spent anytime at all doubting and underestimating Andrew Gillum is going to spend a whole lot of time regretting it. This guy is more than just a black candidate. This guy is representative of something that I think is happening all across the country. You see it happening in Georgia with Stacey Abrams.

You see it happening in Maryland with Ben Jealous. You see it happening in Idaho with Paula Jordan. There is a new generation and it is not about the color of their skin. They have a new attitude. The reason he came out of nowhere, I mean this guy came literally out of nowhere. He was in 300th place out of like 4. And it's because -- not because of the color of skin but because of his ideas.

He was the only candidate who was willing to talk about big solutions to the big problems. The reason you have Donald Trump in the White House right now, he was willing to talk about. Big solutions, I don't like them, but he was willing to break the mold and say stuff that nobody has said before. Andrew Gillum came on the scene and he talked about working class, ordinary issues, around education, around health care. He was willing to put out big ideas.


JONES: I think you're going to find out. It's no longer left versus right, or black and white, are you an insider or an outsider. You have big ideas or small ideas. Are you part of the establishment or are you something new? Andrew Gillum is going to pick up momentum from here.

LEMON: All right. I'm glad you -- thank you for putting that in perspective. Just because he is an African-American, doesn't mean that only African-Americans are going to vote for him. Let's hope we don't live in that America, right. But my -- here is my question, Van, because when you are on this program and on CNN, I see you talk a lot about, you know, sort of reaching out to Trump supporters, right, the folks who are in the Midwest, people who are in the rust belt, bible belt, and on and on and coal country or what have you.

He has said (Inaudible) listen, I am a progressive. It's about time that Democrats don't nominate someone who is a Republican light. Does this go against what you have been saying or what the Democratic Party needs in order to possibly have a blue wave or to at least put some victories on the board come November? JONES: I am starting to think, Don that we just don't have the right

language to describe what we are seeing across the country. I think, you know, the old school of, you know, the liberals versus the conservatives versus the moderates versus this versus that. I think people just want authentic people.


LEMON: Do people just want some sanity, too?


JONES: Yeah. I think people may want some sanity. I think people want authentic people who when they say something you just might (Inaudible) think they believe it. Andrew Gillum, when he talks about growing up with nothing. He talks about trying to make a way, when he talks about what people deserve, you can't help but think that maybe he believes this stuff.

Maybe somebody didn't write it for him. And I think on the left and on the right, it is going to be about authenticity versus the calculated -- I got my talking points from a box of cereal nonsense that's been going on. And I think if you try to write him off and say, OK, well he's a progressive. He's black. You're going to be shocked. This guy has a -- and you don't come from 500 down and close that kind of gap without real appeal.

And I don't see (Inaudible) he's black. I hope his opponents think that. But this young guy can go and talk to anybody who has ever had to work for a living and get it. This guy is unbelievable.

LEMON: Hey, Van, you know how this works. I am up against the break here. But I just want to ask you. I think it is important. Does he speak to the voters that Democrats didn't, you know, speak to in 2016 in that election?

JONES: Listen. I think he does two things that Democrats need. He needs to be able inspire and excite young people in that black and brown base that Obama got to without inciting a backlash from Trump's folks. And I think because he's an outsider, not an insider, that he's authentic and not calculating. I think he can pull on some independents in Florida. Watch Andrew Gillum. Something happened tonight. We're going to talking about a long time in Florida.

LEMON: Van Jones, thank you, sir. I appreciate you calling in.

JONES: All right.

LEMON: All right. When we come back, President Trump taking fear mongering, really to a new level, warning of violence if Republicans lose the midterm elections.


[22:50:00] LEMON: President Trump warning of violence if Republicans lose the midterm elections. His comments coming from a dinner with evangelical leaders, but CNN heard a recording where the President said quote, they will over turn everything that we have done, and they will do it quickly and violently, and violently. There is violence. When you look at Antifa, these are violent people.

Let's discuss now, CNN Contributor and Columnist for "The New York Times," Frank Bruni. I saw you shaking your head there.

FRANK BRUNI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You see me shaking my head a lot when we're quoting the President. And that just seems really irresponsible to me. I mean it seems not just like a warning but like a threat. And he's clearly trying to say to some of the most devoted members of his base. You know if you don't get out in huge numbers and vote for me, the apocalypse is at hand.

It is irresponsible, and I think it's also sign of growing desperation among Republicans about the midterms.

LEMON: What does it say though that the President is trying to equate this small fringe group, Antifa, with Democrats, because surrogates for the President, they get upset and say well, you can't -- you know, these white nationalists or white supremacists, you can't really, you know, link them to the President, even though they're wearing Trump hats.

BRUNI: Yeah. Well, he's painting with a really broad brush. But it's funny. We talk all the time about how on a personal level he projects and he criticizes people other than him, his enemies for the exact qualities he has. It sounds to me like here. He's doing a sort of party projection. He's projecting onto the Democratic Party and onto Trump opponents, the qualities of just the small fringe group, and that's exactly what he says we do to Republicans.

LEMON: You know last week, he -- the President said if he's impeached that people would be poor. Remember that? Now, he's saying that there would be violence if Democrats win come November. Do you think people can be swayed by that? What impact does it have on the voter?

[22:54:52] BRUNI: I'm not sure. Here is the thing, Don. I am not sure he's doing it always strategically. I think this is an extenuation, an extrapolation of his narcissism. He truly believes that the world and the country are best served by Donald Trump in the cockpit. And that we would be nuts and it will swerve off course and crash if anybody but him is flying the plane.

I think on some level, Donald Trump genuinely believes that, and that could be the scariest part of all.

LEMON: His approval rating is at 41 percent in the latest Gallup tracking poll. But you say that his bas is not as solid. Why is that?

BRUNI: Forty one percent approving of Trump today does not mean 41 percent are with him through hell or high water no matter what happens. It does not mean some of those people are not affected when they see Trump sitting there with his arms crossed, when someone is asking him to (Inaudible) slightly generous thing about Senator John McCain. It does not mean if Trump has a meltdown the last week before the midterm, which is entirely possible, you never know.

It does not mean they're definitely going to vote for him or they're definitely going to go to the polls. The number of people who are really with him through all thick and thin not smaller than the 41 percent.

LEMON: I am glad you said that, because this -- I think this week, especially with McCain thing did something, and I have a pretty good feeling.


LEMON: About this. This is sort of the instinct. And I hear people saying, you know, people I know who are staunched Trump supporters, oh, I don't know why I did that. And then -- I mean it is sort of a drip, drip, drip, crack, crack, crack.

BRUNI: I agree with you wholeheartedly. I think the ugliness of American life and the ugliness of this administration, it accumulates. I think it's wearing people down, and I think it is going to manifest itself from what people do and how they vote on November 6th.

LEMON: I'm going to need your help a little bit later in the next hour. So will you stick around?

BRUNI: I will.

LEMON: Thank you, Frank Bruni. I appreciate it. When we come back, much more on our breaking news, a huge upset in Florida, where CNN projects Andrew Gillum has won the Democratic primary for Governor. Plus, votes being counted right now in the Arizona primary, where three Republican Senate candidates are battling for the chance to fill Jeff Flake's Senate seat.