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CNN Projects that Bernie Sanders Wins New Hampshire Primary; Four Prosecutors Withdraw from Roger Stone Case after Justice Department Undercuts Sentence; CNN Projects Bernie Sanders Wins New Hampshire Primary. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired February 12, 2020 - 12:00   ET




CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: I'm Chris Cuomo in the CNN Election Center. The Democratic presidential race just took some dramatic new turns in New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders is on top, declaring victory. This is going to mean big things for his campaign, two states in a, row no coincidence anymore.

What does it mean for the progressive movement as a function of this party's narrative?

We will see. He is now, by most, accounts the front-runner. Then you have Pete Buttigieg, close behind. A tight battle in Iowa. But Amy Klobuchar, you will hear a lot about her. She will be the new Buttigieg, beating expectations, coming in third.

What does she mean for the race?

Now for every good story, you will have a tough turn. Disappointing night for senator Elizabeth Warren. Disappointing night for former Vice President Joe Biden. A distant fourth, not just fourth but distant. That is for Warren. Fifth for the former V.P. Joe Biden, once considered a presumptive favorite, fifth in New Hampshire.

The second contest of 2020 brings new uncertainty to the race but also a narrowing of the field. Andrew Yang, Michael Bennet, both pulled the plug on their campaigns tonight.

Why did this happen?

What do we know from the exits?

Let's go to David Chalian.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: We're looking at how Sanders put together the victory he did in New Hampshire. The candidate quality voters told us they cared about more than any other was the candidate that can bring needed change.

About 38 percent of voters wanted that. And look at this. It is a Sanders strength. He got 35 percent of them. Buttigieg got 23 percent of them.

How about the very liberal voters?

They are 21 percent of the electorate, so not a huge bucket but they are overwhelmingly Sanders voters. He won them 48 percent to 19 percent, that is a 30-point gap there. That's a huge victory among that 20 percent set.

We asked people, do you want a candidate who agrees with you or a candidate that can beat Trump?

Well, overwhelmingly they want a candidate that can beat Trump but among the 34 percent that are looking for the candidate they agree with, that candidate is Bernie Sanders, 39 percent to Buttigieg at 21. An 18 point lead, yes, a slightly smaller share of the electorate but a huge Sanders lead.

Finally, this is huge for Bernie Sanders, nearly six in 10, 60 percent support the Medicare for all plan. They're in favor of getting rid of private insurance for a government run plan and it's Bernie Sanders' plan and he has a 17 point victory among these voters, 39 percent to 22 percent.

He consolidated the liberal base, he was the candidate of change, that is how he put together the win tonight.

CUOMO: We're seeing an emerging story, one set a theme as we go to Phil Mattingly to get inside the state, Bernie Sanders is part of a movement.

You can use whatever word you want for, it but you see that at the top of the ticket and it's obviously part of the story. But once, again we are talking about the top three. And we see them here, fixed.

How do you read that?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The most interesting thing is how static those top three are. Democrats to Bernie Sanders, the second straight victory, CNN calling it for Bernie Sanders as well.

But when you take a look at the state itself, pull something up here. First, second and third. First, second and third, there's pretty much all the map that we have in this point. That's where Sanders is. Take those off and we go to Pete Buttigieg.

Where was he in first, second and third?

You can overlay the map, the same exact thing, Amy Klobuchar in third place here, 19.7 percent, where is she in first, second, third. Overlaying the almost entire map.

And why you know that they were static is not Elizabeth Warren from bordering Massachusetts, not Joe Biden, you can't even see that in the top four at 8.4 percent with the name recognition, the vice president everybody knew. It was those three that basically, throughout every township in the

state of New Hampshire, were coming in first, second and third, which is why they have the gap and you see where it actually stands right now.

I want to talk about Bernie Sanders, because you talked about how last time around Bernie Sanders had a victory in New Hampshire. And you look back in 2016. It was a crushing victory in New Hampshire.

Everywhere he went, college or rural towns or the affluent towns, Bernie Sanders was crushing Hillary Clinton throughout the course of New Hampshire.

Here's where tonight is different, keep in mind this is not an apples to apples comparison. This is a multi candidate race with different dynamics in this race and not necessarily a protest vote.


MATTINGLY: But if you look at the areas back in 2016 where Bernie Sanders actually dominated and where he stood there in the affluent areas, the rural areas down here, where did he stand there?

Now back to 2020, where we were tonight. Look at that, even in the border towns in Vermont. It includes a college town, Hanover, that is where Pete Buttigieg had some wins. Not massive numbers when you look at, it. But he made up some ground there.

When you look at where Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg really made gains, if you want to know about the population of New Hampshire, it is here. This is where you pick up numbers.

and Bernie Sanders wins the biggest towns that there are. But throughout this area right here, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg making serious gains, winning a lot of these towns.

It was not enough to overcome Bernie Sanders' strength but it underscores, even in a state that Bernie Sanders dominated back in 2016, there were other candidates that were able to make moves.

The other thing, too, everyone is going to come out of tonight talking about Amy Klobuchar, not because she won or she was within five or six points of Bernie Sanders but because of the strength she showed over the course over the last couple of weeks.

And a lot of these towns were Republican towns in 2016 when it came to the November election. Amy Klobuchar winning those towns this time around, that was key to her strength.

CUOMO: A very interesting and emerging picture.

So let's talk about why these three were so solid all night long. And what that means for the state of play in the party.

You are looking most closely at these numbers. Bernie Sanders, again, he is the person that was identified with a movement. And politics most often, when a president wins, it's because they harness something bigger than themselves, certainly true with the current president we have right now.

Second place, Buttigieg for now, third place is Klobuchar; overperformed.


CHALIAN: She overperformed because of her debate performance on Friday. If you look at the exit polls, half the electorate said that debate was really important to them and she won those voters by a pretty substantial margin so that was huge for her.

She got some momentum out of her Iowa finish as well.

And you know what I was thinking about?

Two months ago at the December debate in Los Angeles is when we saw Klobuchar really go at Buttigieg in a really directed manner, because she knew exactly who she needed to take a slice out of in order to have success. And she has not let up on that.

She did again at the Friday debate in New Hampshire.

This has been her goal and it is to her success because, should Amy Klobuchar not have had the kind of night she had?

Buttigieg may have overtaken Bernie Sanders in the results tonight. So she executed a plan. I think in the closing two months of this campaign, rather well, knowing where she need to get her vote from.

CUOMO: You kept hearing from people. Amy Klobuchar would do interviews after the debate and someone like Van Jones would say, why wasn't this Klobuchar the one on the stage?

I think she has gotten to express yourself more and position herself in a way that people are liking and we heard from so many of the voters in New Hampshire, deciding very recently.

So where does this result take you in terms of understanding where this party is headed?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: She wasn't great on the debate stage when she first started out. The first debate she did terribly and she thought she did as well. Then, you started to have more of her. And I think she got more comfortable and more aggressive.

And I think she was making the case that she could beat Donald Trump. That she is what you need. She is the kind of person that you need in terms of a moderate person who has won statewide races and she's making this real case that really is what people are voting on.

They're voting on someone who's going to beat Trump, not someone who agrees with them ideologically.

If you look at the exit polls, you see people who are overwhelmingly in favor of free college and in favor of Medicare for all and getting rid of private insurance. And yet, you don't see Bernie Sanders running away with it.

What does that say?

People who are actually thinking, they may even say I agree more with Bernie Sanders but I want someone who can beat Trump. So if I was a Sanders campaign, I would be spending more time on that, more time trying to convince people that he can beat Trump, versus just arguing on the ideological issues.

CUOMO: You started out with the negative takeaways that we have to process from the race, the headline is going to be split, right?

Bad night for Biden; he literally was not even there, he was in South Carolina, opening up his remarks by saying I hope you guys love me as much as I love you.

And Elizabeth Warren, you were telling me the other night the history of people from Massachusetts running for president and how they've done in New Hampshire was very good.


CUOMO: This we did not see, we did not see that she would be this far down the line here. She needed a strong second place finish.

What happened?

CHALIAN: We did not see it a month ago. But we have seen a flagging Elizabeth Warren campaign. I think you can pinpoint the decline of Elizabeth Warren to the fall, when we had the debate in Ohio and she was pressured that she would not say whether or not she would raise tax on health care.

She came out with a plan that, all of a sudden, stepped away from the, I'm with Bernie. And she was running unlike a politician. She had a plan for everything, was talking about that big structural change, fighting on her core message.

And then she seemed like a politician because she was trying to dance around a politically tricky issue of Medicare for all and how you pay for it. And it did not work. And she never really recovered from that.

I will note her poor performance in Iowa fed into New Hampshire as well and this is a really poor night for her; she is from neighboring Massachusetts. But the other thing that happened, Bernie Sanders has consolidated that progressive wing of the party. That hurt Elizabeth Warren.

So we have not seen a consolidation on the other side. We have not seen one person emerge and really consolidate the moderate side of this party yet. But we have seen it happen on the Left. And that is Bernie Sanders' success and it has happened at the cost to Elizabeth Warren. CUOMO: The temptation, the desire and appetite is for people to say,

now we understand. We don't. And here is why because this is February. You have 3.9 percent of available delegates being dished out this month.

What does that tell you?

A lot to come. And in March, OK, in March you will have 65 percent of the available delegates on the table. And if you look at it, gray are the states where you won't have had any action there yet. The light colored gray is where there will have been a primary already or a caucus. And all the dark blue ones are the states in play in that month.

Now this is the real deal, not just numerically but qualitatively because you will see, you are going to be playing all over the country.

Literally corner to corner. And this is where -- then you go to April, 86 percent; May takes you to 94, you're starting to talk about who is going to be with whom and what is the best ticket and what's everyone else going to do by the time we get to convention.

And this idea of a brokered convention is a remote argument but March, Kirsten, you're going to have 65 percent of the delegates, no hiding. Whatever your weakness is will be exposed. Whatever your chance is to build something bigger than yourself will be imposed or gone.

POWERS: But there are other primaries that happen in between there and I think these things don't happen in a vacuum. So they build on each other. And even if you look at Biden's numbers with African Americans post Iowa, what was it that made the numbers go down?

We don't know for sure but it did happen after Iowa. So everyone is paying attention to what is happening and success begets success. So it's very hard to bounce back. Like Biden saying, I'm going to South Carolina and everything will be different.

Is it?

We don't know.

CHALIAN: This is the biggest question mark. It's very clear that Sanders is in the driver's seat at the moment. He had a good showing in Iowa. He wins New Hampshire. It is unclear and the reason I think that Buttigieg and Klobuchar still have some asterisks next to her name is because of this issue of the non white vote that we have not gotten to yet.

And you know the way that all those -- you went through those March states, a lot of them in the South, with a heavy African American participation, that is why there is these question marks that is hanging around these fresher faces of Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg because they still have something to prove.

Sanders still has to grow, no doubt about that. And they awarded delegates proportionately so it's tough to make a big leap on someone. But I think now the test out of this is Klobuchar and Buttigieg and how they prove that they can expand their coalition.

CUOMO: Who would've ever thought those are the names you would be hearing to the exclusion of Joe Biden?

And to Kirsten's point as we go to our break, there are two more states left in February that we have to worry about.

They should mean everything to Joe Biden because this theory of the Democratic Party is a big tent. When they start in Iowa and New Hampshire, that does not reflect what they say they are demographically as a party at all. Nevada and South Carolina, now that is Biden's all-in scenario. It isn't for everybody else. March will become that.


Let's take a break.

After tonight's results, how do we see this picture?

Of what the odds are of winning the nomination?

We will break it down next.




CUOMO: Another interesting race in New Hampshire. It is going to create all kinds of new possibilities but the one thing that is for certain, Bernie Sanders strong once again, just like in Iowa. New Hampshire, he is at the top.

You will see in the delegate breakdown that he and Pete Buttigieg will probably wind up with the same number of delegates.

We aren't 100 percent sure but the story will be, who came in behind Bernie. Buttigieg, very close. Amy Klobuchar's name is now going to be in your ears a lot. That is how it works in elections. When you get results, especially in the top three, they dominate the narrative. You will hear about who had a tough night and who is gone as well.

One perspective on this is, we have the rankings for tonight.

How do they play into the bigger picture?

Literally, the odds of winning the nomination. We happen to have a resident oddsmaker.

How do you see, it Harry?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Hello, Chris, how are you? Let's take a look at the odds of the first person who has improved their odds the most after the first two contests. That is Bernie Sanders. Look at him now. He has a 5.5 in 10 chance of getting the most delegates at the end of this entire process. That's a majority shot. Compare that to where he was before Iowa.


ENTEN: He was at a three out of 10 shot.

Let's take a look at someone else, Pete Buttigieg. He is at one in 10 now. Compare that to where he was before Iowa and New Hampshire. He was at 0.5 in 10. He is up after a strong performance in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Someone else is also up. This may be a surprise to some of you. Michael Bloomberg. He is at a one in 10 shot. That is based on the fact that he has been very strong in national polls. That's up from where he was before Iowa and New Hampshire, where he was only 0.5 in 10.

One final person who's up, Amy Klobuchar. She is at a 0.5 in 10 shot, which isn't necessarily all that high. But compared to where she was before the Iowa caucuses, she was a 0.1 in 10 chance of winning the most amount of delegates after this process is done.

CUOMO: It is interesting to figure out what Bloomberg is going to mean to this party, what it says about how the system works, that he is into it to the point he is right now. And what it says about this party and about how much more they are trying to figure out about what they want and who.

Those are all the green arrows. That is good. Now you have the odds that have gone down the most.

What do you have there?

ENTEN: If someone goes up, someone else must go down. Check out the former vice president, Joe Biden. He is at a 1.5 in 10 shot of winning the most amount of delegates. Compare that to where he was before Iowa voted. He was 4.5 in 10. He was the favorite by all measures.

Another person who is down, the senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren. She is at a 0.5 in 10 shot of winning the most delegates. Compare that to where she was before Iowa when she had one in 10. She is not down nearly as much as Biden. But it's a bad look for both of them.

CUOMO: I am not going to burn you with the odds of a brokered convention. I can't do that when there's so many delegates left on the table. Let's save that for another day. The upcoming states, you have 65 percent of available delegates between now and into March.

How do you think the changing demographics that reflect more of what this party says it's about will affect the outcome of the odds? ENTEN: If you look at Iowa and New Hampshire, those are two very white states. Nevada, most certainly not a very white state. Look at the Democratic electorate back in 2016. Only 59 percent were, white, 19 percent were Latino, 13 percent or African American.

This will be the first real test. If there is one state in the entire nation that I think looks most like the Democratic Party as a whole, it is Nevada. If you do well in Nevada, your chances of winning the nomination go well up.

What about South Carolina?

That's where the former vice president was this evening. Take a look here. The majority of the electorate, African American, 61 percent back in 2016. The fact is, if the former vice president cannot win the South Carolina primary, his chances to win the nomination, adios, goodbye, see you later.

CUOMO: Harry, thank you very much. Let's go to Don Lemon to get some perspective on what this means.

Joe Biden, we know what basket he has put his eggs in. But it is a different picture than a month ago.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Absolutely. I want to propose to the experts here, who would have thought, when we were a month ago or sitting here just a week ago, looking at the stunning outcome and we did know how Iowa would turn out, that we would have Amy Klobuchar beating out a former vice president and Elizabeth Warren.

And then you have Pete Buttigieg and Sanders, all at the top. I don't think anyone could have predicted that a month ago, maybe not even a week ago.

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: It is not just who we saw them defeat tonight. They also beat Cory Booker and a lot of people thought that he would be somebody in serious contention for the nomination.

Kamala Harris as well, people thought would be in serious contention for the nomination, including myself.

What is interesting is you have these two candidates from middle America that the Democratic Party seems to have lost. I'm sure the mayor can talk about that a little bit. But they are now surging. They are moving ahead. And these are the kinds of voters that the Democratic Party certainly needs to appeal to.

And you have to wonder, are they catching the back wind of this within the party?

LEMON: Do you want to respond to that?

MITCH LANDRIEU, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I do. What is coming next is as important as what happened in these first two, not taking away from what anyone has done in the first two, because some extraordinary things have occurred. As Harry mentioned, when you move into South Carolina and Nevada, you

are moving into completely different territory. I will predict you the outcomes will be somewhat different than what they have been in these first two. Be that as it may.


LANDRIEU: When you come out of Iowa and New Hampshire pushing like Bernie and Pete did and Amy Klobuchar, it gives you a ticket to the next two.

Amy was not going there before the debate the other night. And tonight she took votes away from Pete, the vice president, Elizabeth Warren.

To me, Elizabeth Warren was even more surprising than the Biden issue tonight, because this is so close to her hometown. I am anxious to see what happens in the next couple weeks, especially on Super Tuesday.

LEMON: Having said what you said, not to downplay what Iowa and New Hampshire mean.

But considering that 2016 was such an unusual race, this has been unusual, are people putting too much stock in these two, the caucus and the primary?

ANDREW GILLUM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The truth is, they still unfortunately have the role of winnowing candidates out, we saw two candidates drop out just tonight, following the results.

I don't know if it is a fear or a concern or a prediction but I would guess that the next several races will not necessarily look the way that this one does.

That is largely to do with the diversifying of the field. I would not necessarily hold that to be true for Bernie Sanders, in part, because I think he does have a diverse base, even amongst voters of color. It happens to be younger voters of color. But it is still more diverse.


LEMON: He inspires younger voters of color.

GILLUM: Tonight, I thought he gave a good, forward-looking speech and I would be interested to see how that carries into Nevada and then what it looks like in South Carolina.

The fear factor, if you are on team Biden, is you have now placed everything, you heard it in his speech tonight. I love, you I hope you love me back. That was a foreshadowing for, I need you to perform for me.


LEMON: I interviewed the former vice president last night and I think they were a little shell-shocked, to be honest with you, about these new numbers when it comes to polling and African American support dropping. It was 49 to 27 or something, dropping by almost half.

That was shocking to them.

You wanted to weigh in on something?

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The biggest headline here is Bernie Sanders took another state. I find this incredibly confusing, when all of the Democrats say their number one priority is to beat Trump. But now you have Bernie Sanders winning, who is widely viewed by Republicans as being the most beatable.

I believe this is a guy with a long, 50-year record that is full of problems, big vast defense cuts, amnesty on demand, essentially, massive cuts to private health care. Bernie supporters believe that he has been vetted and tested.

Hillary Clinton did not lay a glove on this guy in 2016. She did nothing like the Republicans are going to do to him. I don't think anyone is prepared for that and that is the big sleeper --


LEMON: Democrats still don't believe it. A couple of them told me tonight, they did what Trump said. They voted for the weakest. That is what they are saying.


JEN PSAKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I do think there are a number of candidates who have not yet been totally tested, in part because Democrats have not taken Bernie Sanders seriously as the front-runner.

He is the front-runner after tonight and I think the gloves will probably come out for him in the weeks ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was definitely more comfortable in his speech.

PSAKI: He was more comfortable but I think other Democrats running their campaigns recognize that he is the one to beat.

He will sail to the nomination unless something changes, because Nevada and South Carolina are both states where he has a good operation. He has been on the air, he has support among the African Americans and Latinos. So I think that will shift. I also think it will also shift for other candidates.

Amy Klobuchar, no, doubt she had a great night in New Hampshire. She does not have an operation on the ground in Nevada or South Carolina. It's hard to pick up that so quickly. She also has not been totally tested or vetted publicly.

We are starting to see that change with people going after some of the cases that she argued when she was the --


PSAKI: -- exactly. But that will pick up as well. I think there is some dynamics that will shift as a result of the outcome of tonight and a change in who the front-runners --


LEMON: I want to talk about electability here. Our former colleague, who ran for mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, not Kansas City, Kansas. I will read the first two and the last one.

He said so many people are choosing a candidate based on who they think will beat Trump. This is a wrong question for the following 10 reasons.

No one knows who matches up best, number one.

Number two, voters are not good pundits. And number three, pundits are not even good pundits.

And then the last one, he said, so here is my proposal. Stop asking who can beat Trump and start asking, if I could make one of these people president tomorrow, who would I pick.

Is that fair?

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, "POLITICO": I think the argument about electability that people like Klobuchar or other moderates are running on is starting to weaken a bit. Biden was running on electability and hasn't won the first two states.

Klobuchar has said she is electable in purple and red districts and she has done well in states like Minnesota and she did well in New Hampshire.

But she doesn't do well or poll well with black or brown voters, and that is the pathway to the nomination. I mean, the polls show that she -- the Pew poll from Monday showed that she's at 0 percent with black voters nationally. That she is at zero percent with black voters nationally.


LEMON: But even with that -- Even with that, who do you want to be president? Is that a better -- even if you don't have African-American support right now?

GILLUM: It is -- it is -- it is a much better question to answer, and I have to suggest that the people who have voted so far are actually trying to communicate that to us. This is probably one of the hardest platforms for it to break through, which is television, and there's a lot that is sort of in the background. There are people who are jockeying, saying, Look, if Biden doesn't do well, we've got another Bloomberg coming along.

So there are some scenarios that are playing in the background here that are not really being spoken about upfront. Folks are telling us, they told us tonight and they told us last week that they're seeing candidates that they're uninspired by.


GILLUM: And therefore, they're getting behind them.

Bernie Sanders has one of the most resilient bases we have seen up until this point.


GILLUM: And the fact that he won, you know, the popular vote, if that counts for anything, in Iowa, and then tonight the delegate -- the delegate vote, to me suggests that we've got to pay real attention to what's happening there and stop sidelining it as if these folks don't know what it is that they're doing.

LEMON: Well, we've got time ahead, and we've got to talk about Bloomberg, because that's -- he wasn't on that stage tonight, or he wasn't on the ballot tonight, but he was. So we're going to talk about that. We have much more ahead on the New Hampshire results.

These are -- there's another big story that we have to talk about, as well, that we're following. Four federal prosecutors quitting the Roger Stone case after they were undercut by the Trump Justice Department. We're going to get new reaction to that, and we're going to hear what the president is saying, all that next.



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We have breaking news. We're going to be taking you through what's happening in New Hampshire.

You see the projection on the bottom of the screen: Bernie Sanders wins the New Hampshire primary. That is with enough of the precincts reporting. I believe it's about 99 percent now, so we will give you this projection.

A very tight race. The delegate count is going to be very close. And remember: this is about delegates and building towards the party convention. Bernie Sanders's strength here not a surprise.

Now, you will hear comparisons to four years ago and what happened in 2016. He won by more then. It is not a fair metric. You have a much richer field, not just by number but by quality and diversity of thought this time. This is a different race. He comes out on top. He is still the only candidate who can say is part of a movement. All right?

Buttigieg, strong in second place; again, may come out of this with as many delegates as Bernie Sanders.

The big surprise story of the night will be Amy Klobuchar. How can we understand it? Maybe through this one lens. A lot of the voters there said they decided very recently, like within the last 48 hours -- think about that, what that tells you about the state of play within the party -- and that Friday's debate was very important to them.

Well, who by most accounts, did a great job on Friday? Amy Klobuchar. So she is now in third place.

All right. So that's what we know about New Hampshire. We'll take you through as the rest of the numbers come in, because there are a lot of implications. But it's not the only story of the night.

We have to talk about this mass exodus by federal prosecutors, because we believe of this case against President Trump's longtime friend, Roger Stone. And I'm being safer than I need to be here. They were the prosecutors on that case.

Why? Because the Justice Department senior officials overruled the sentence that was originally recommended by these prosecutors for Stone, and it was a recommendation that was publicly criticized by Trump.

So let's bring in CNN crime and justice correspondent Shimon Prokupecz. Shimon, this is certainly raising concerns about DOJ independence from the president.

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It's exactly right, Chris. That is the key thing here, is that you have career prosecutors, line prosecutors who prosecuted this case, who got a conviction and then filed this memorandum, suggesting that the judge should sentence Roger Stone for seven to nine years.

There's some internal battle. This happens often. You know, there are internal battles within the Department of Justice that we don't often hear about. But what's so really strange in all of this and unprecedented is that they filed this motion and then, today, we get word from main Justice, their bosses, essentially, sort of the political wing of the Department of Justice, Well, hey, we're not happy about this recommendation, so we're going to undercut you, and we're going to put in our own recommendation.

And then now, you have prosecutors who have aligned themselves, and have said, You know what? Go ahead. You do that. We're going to step away from this case. One of them even outright quit from the Department of Justice today.

But you don't see this. This is so rare. And in so many cases here, you know, people are saying this is a mutiny. You've got four prosecutors now aligned against the political machine of the Department of Justice.

CUOMO: Shimon, thank you very much for the details. To be very clear, I have never heard of anything like this before. This is not normal.

Now, what do we also know? The, president has a type of control over the people in his party and the institutions the likes of which we have not seen, either. He has been unloading about the Roger Stone case on Twitter. He's been doing it tonight. He was doing it before tonight. He said can't let this happen.

Let's go to CNN White House correspondent Boris Sanchez. What are you hearing from the president?


Just a short time ago, President Trump suggested that Roger Stone should actually be pardoned on Twitter. Previously, the president had been asked about pardoning Stone, and he said that it wasn't really something that he was thinking about.

But lately, we've seen allies, even family members of Stone, showing up on cable news, trying to plead with the president that he should be pardoned.

This decision by the Department of Justice coming just a few hours after Trump tweeted critically about these sentencing guidelines, Trump even criticizing these four prosecutors who withdrew from the case.


Take a look at this tweet the president sent a short time ago. He writes, quote, "Who are the four prosecutors (Mueller people?) who cut and ran after being exposed for recommending a ridiculous 9 year prison sentence to a man that got caught up in an investigation that was illegal, the Mueller Scam, and should never even have started? 13 Angry Democrats?"

Let's go ahead and break that down, Chris, because there's a number of things that are incorrect about that tweet. First off, as you know, the Mueller investigation multiple times was verified, not only as legal, but as totally valid. Further, it was started by his own deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, who he appointed.

Further the president suggesting here that these prosecutors were exposed. There was nothing to be exposed. Let's not forget that these sentencing guidelines were filed in a public filing, so everybody knew what they were attempting to do. And that was obvious that the Department of Justice tried to undercut them after the president was critical about their work.

CUOMO: Boris, thank you very much. Appreciate it. Let's bring in former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, now CNN contributor. Good to see you.


CUOMO: First of all, I say I've never seen anything like this before. Have you ever seen anything like it?

MCCABE: Absolutely not.

CUOMO: Prosecutors resigning, because they don't like what the boys upstairs did to their decision? MCCABE: Not at all, not at all. It's not uncommon for prosecutors to

disagree about a sentencing recommendation, for prosecutors and agents to, you know, debate things vigorously. But at the end of the day, we walk forward in agreement with what gets presented to the court.

CUOMO: That's a key point. Let's reemphasize that. What is the chance, as a former boss, that the bosses didn't know what these prosecutors were directly on the case were going to recommend against Roger Stone in terms of a penalty?


CUOMO: Zero percent chance. Zero. So something had to change, other than their own reckoning of whether or not it was a fair call. Yes?

MCCABE: That's absolutely right. Some of the reporting I read today indicated that there was a vigorous debate within the D.C. U.S. attorney's office about where in the range that's called for under the sentencing guidelines the recommendation would come out.

The line prosecutors were advocating for a recommendation at the higher end of the range, which is standard in a case in which the defendant has gone to trial and lost. That typically results in a recommendation at the higher end of the range. The new U.S. attorney in D.C. took some time thinking about it but ultimately agreed with their recommendation, and that's how the first filing was submitted.

CUOMO: Because if there were a real disagreement, the bosses win, right?

MCCABE: Of course.

CUOMO: If you're calling them line prosecutors, the people working the case directly, if they say, We want seven to nine, and you say, Yes, I just think it's too much, then it's not going to be seven to nine.

MCCABE: That's true. However, you know, the bosses are -- typically, they give a lot of deference to the recommendation from the people that actually worked the case from day one --

CUOMO: Right.

MCCABE: -- until the sentencing. And there's also a desire within the department, usually, until the department we're currently experiencing, to have the political folks stay out of those sorts of determinations on any individual cases. Let's let the prosecutors who worked the case and know the evidence and know the defendant make an independent determination.

CUOMO: But it doesn't have to be. I mean, you know, we try to be careful here, because we don't know for a fact that the president called Barr and said. You better fix this, but how else would it happen? He's saying he should be pardoned. First of all, the president is the one doing the pardoning. If you want to pardon somebody, do it. This is your longest advisor. You believe that this was wrong. Why don't you pardon him? That's a decision for him to make. MCCABE: Sure.

CUOMO: But how does it happen if he doesn't call and apply pressure?

MCCABE: Well, it's -- it's preposterous to think that the president's own public statements had no impact on this -- the department's reversal of their position on the recommendation.

Look, this is something we've seen before. I've seen it myself very personally in my own situation. The president indicates on Twitter for the world to see exactly what he wants done and the department lines up behind that and executes his -- his vision. We have seen that before.

CUOMO: Andrew McCabe, thank you very much.

MCCABE: Good to be here.

CUOMO: All right. Appreciate it.

All right. So the president is stirring up more controversy, all right? Now it's about the Roger Stone case. He's saying he should be pardoned. He does the pardoning. He has to make the decision of what to do on something like this.

Roger Stone is his oldest adviser. Roger Stone's defense is that he didn't do anything wrong, and the people around him say anything he was doing, he was doing for the benefit of this president.

Now, we're going to go from that back to New Hampshire. Why? Well, how much of this vote is about Donald Trump and how you feel about him? How many Democrats, no matter whom they voted for, were guided by exactly and almost only that? The answer is deeper in the polls. We'll get there.



LEMON: And we're back. This is where we stand, with 94 percent of the vote in. Your top three candidates in New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders, 25.9 percent, the clear winner there. Pete Buttigieg, close behind, 24.4. And Amy Klobuchar, 19.7. And can you believe, Elizabeth Warren is trailing Amy Klobuchar, 9.3? And the former vice president of the United States, probably -- not probably, the highest name recognition, 8.4 percent of the vote. He has been signaling, though, that he didn't think he was going to do well there, pulled out. As soon as the polls closed, he rolled out and made his way to South Carolina.

Let's get back our experts here. Thank you so much for joining us. Well, so the president wasn't on the ballot, so they weren't necessarily voting against him now, but they were voting for these candidates. But you can bet that the president was on the folks' minds of the folks as they were casting their ballots.

So listen, let's talk about this. As they did these exit polls, this is what -- how the people who voted felt about the president. Feelings about the Trump administration. Democrats are angry, 81 percent. Fourteen percent are dissatisfied. Three percent are satisfied. Two percent are enthusiastic.

And then Democrats rather -- Democrats would rather nominate a candidate who -- 34 percent, agrees with you on issues; 62 percent, can beat Donald Trump.


Mayor, can Bernie Sanders beat Donald Trump?

MITCH LANDRIEU, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think he's the person who's most likely to beat Donald Trump. Remember, we have a general election that's coming our way. And in the general election, Republicans, independents, and Democrats can vote for whoever they want. And the good people of Iowa and the good people of New Hampshire, they're Democrats voting for a Democrat that's not necessarily going to translate in the general election.

Having said that, he would be a much better president than Donald Trump if he turns out to be our candidate.

LEMON: OK. Did we not hear that? Amanda, about Donald Trump in 2016, did we not sit at a desk like this --


LEMON: -- and people were saying the exact same thing about Donald Trump, or similar?

CARPENTER: One theory that explains the rise of both Sanders and Pete Buttigieg and how it relates to voters perceiving them as beating Trump.

Both of them are great in the media. They do interviews. They appear. They talk. They are ready to give answers. Bernie Sanders might be a bristly, but he's there before television cameras, telling you exactly what he believes and what he wants to do.

Pete Buttigieg got on the map by having an all-the-above media strategy. That's important, and I don't think that's lost on voters that they need someone who can perform well on television and defend their views and aren't afraid of doing it.

Meanwhile, you know, Joe Biden, I don't think he's ever sat for a Sunday show interview with Jake Tapper. That -- that tells voters something, that they're not willing to fully put themselves out there.

LEMON: We were talking about it before the show, actually. Chris Cuomo and I were talking about it. You didn't see Elizabeth Warren out as much, and if you listen to the interviews, especially -- I'm not sure you guys heard that Howard Stern interview with Hillary Clinton?

Where she said, The one big mistake I made, one of the big mistakes I made was not owning the media landscape like Donald Trump did. Not putting myself out there and doing all these interviews and being too cautious.

Sometimes I feel like Elizabeth Warren, as we were saying, Chris and I were talking about before, is a little too cautious. I'm going to -- you know, I'm going to go on MSNBC, where it's safe, where Buttigieg has been on everything. He's been on "The View." He's on CNN. He's on MSNBC. He even says he'll go on FOX. You know, so that does make a difference.

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. The thing for Elizabeth Warren is, is she started to come out of her shell. When she came on and she actually did a town hall with us in Jackson, Mississippi, and I don't even know what it was -- maybe April or May of last year, she was very cautious. She started, you know, to come out of her shell.

She doesn't seem to do well on, or doesn't seem attracted to these national interviews. She would rather do these rallies where she takes these -- she calls them selfies where she takes these pictures. And she feels like that's where she's connecting.

Now, clearly, that didn't work. You know, obviously, it didn't work tonight.

But I do want to say one thing about Democratic unity and poke some holes in this idea that there is a Democratic unity. Poking holes in what I've said about it, as well. That Trump is going to win. Trump -- you know, right now, Trump looks like he's going to win. Of course, we're not going to have Democratic unity right now. We have 11 candidates that were running today that were killing each other.

LEMON: And it's the primary.

PRESTON: And it's the primary. And we sat here last week, and we said, Look, you have to show that you can attack one another in order to show that you can attack Trump.

And what did we see this past week? They attacked one another, and we saw some results. And what did we see? We saw Trump get under his skin, go after Michael Bloomberg. We saw him say something about Pete Buttigieg. You know, we see that he's going after Joe Biden while he thinks that he can keep on punching, because he thinks Biden is going down.

That says something about Donald Trump being a little concerned about being elected himself. I don't think I would write off the Democratic Party right now, in the sense that we all have, that it's inevitable that Trump can win. Because I do think, and that number, 81 percent, says a lot. They are angry right now at the president.

LANDRIEU: I don't believe -- I don't believe it's inevitable at all that Donald Trump is going to win. I think Donald Trump is going to get beat. I really do. And I think we're going to find a candidate who can beat him. I think we could lose it, and I think that he's going to -- I don't think you would count him out, but I --

LEMON: It is the Democrats' to lose. Go ahead. JEN PSAKI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I agree with that completely. And I think, you know, if we look to six months from now, the Democrats will be running on an issue like health care, and Donald Trump trying to take away coverage for pre-existing conditions. Right? That will be a unified message on the Democratic side.

I do think there is an issue within the DNC and with Democrats across the country, they're concerned about. And I think that's why people don't know how to approach the Bernie Sanders lead. Is that, in 2016, the DNC and others completely butchered this and didn't make Bernie Sanders supporters or delegates feel included or part of the process.

So now, the way they can lose, or the way Democrats can lose, is if the party isn't united, if Bernie Sanders isn't the nominee and his supporters don't feel like they're included in part of the party. Now, that goes the other way, as well.

GILLUM: Absolutely.

LEMON: Do you think the party is not united? Because all of them tonight talked about Warren and Sanders and Buttigieg, all said we need to unite the party. I'm not sure that the party is fractured.

PSAKI: You hear that from the candidates, and that's important. And I hope they continue to say that. But there is something different that's going on at the grassroots level, and I don't think that's fully healed yet.


LEMON: Can we talk about that?

GILLUM: One thing I do want to say. I do believe that we are united as a party. Those numbers around beating Trump are probably the biggest uniter that we can find out there.

I would say, I think many of our Democrats right now who are out there voting are probably more in our head than we've ever been before, a lot less in our heart than we've ever been, and a lot more in our head. Largely because the stakes are so high. So we're gaming this out.

LEMON: Yes, but -- but I hear -- You hear people like -- You hear people talking about what's his name from Louisiana. Why am I drawing a blank now?

LANDRIEU: Mitch Landrieu.

LEMON: Not Mitch Landrieu. What's his name, strategist?

LANDRIEU: Carville.

LEMON: James Carville. Sorry, James Carville. It's late, or early.

PSAKI: He doesn't want to be in --


LEMON: James Carville, you know, he's been talking about it. He's from my home state, and he wears the LSU hat. I love him. I want him to come on the show. Please come on the show, James Carville.

But he says, Why are Democrats -- Democrats are becoming an ideological cult. Democrats should be talking about health care. They should be talking about an economy that's actually not really good, and how Trump -- the Trump administration is not telling the truth about the economy. That they're closing on the Obama economy. They're not creating as many jobs. That the deficit is higher. But they're letting the Republicans get away, the Trump administration get away with the language.

Quickly. I have to go to break.

BARRON-LOPEZ: Based on my conversations with voters across all the early states, and even some of the Super Tuesday states, I do not see that. I think the voters, this line that we draw with moderates versus liberals --


BARRON-LOPEZ: -- doesn't exist on the ground, which is why you see crossover voters between Klobuchar and Warren, between Buttigieg and Sanders and all of that. Because when you talk to voters, they don't see it like that.

LEMON: Get to the break. We have much more to talk about. And we're going to take a break right now.

Coming up, the all-important hunt for delegates. A prize that will decide the Democratic nomination. Where does it stand after New Hampshire? Still got a long ways to go.