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DNC Night 4: Midnight Oil Analysis; Biden Accepts Presidential Nomination; Biden Vows To End Season Of Darkness; Biden's Speech Short On Specifics; Hits and Misses of the DNC's Final Night; At least 19 States Report COVID-19 Cases at Colleges; Bannon Now the 10th Trump Associate Criminally Charged. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired August 21, 2020 - 01:00   ET


NOUBAR AFEYAN, FOUNDER & CEO, FLAGSHIP PIONEERING: The quantities needed for the challenges that we're facing. And so the best way to get there is to have multiple approaches and the vaccine get out as quickly as possible to those who need it.

The other thing I'll address is that these vaccines may well address is that these vaccines may well have different performance. There may be different levels of protection and different levels of side effects.

And we're not going to know that until later this fall, early next year. And at that time, it may be too late to secure supply because, obviously, people are trying to secure it now.

So it's a very interesting kind of multi-component optimization that people are doing. And we're doing our best to provide them the data and the information, as much as we have it.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Hey, everybody. I'm Chris Cuomo along with the handsome man, Don Lemon.

The DNC 2020 is a wrap. Joe Biden had his big moment tonight.

He vowed to end a quote, "season of darkness in America."

And he said he's not just talking about the pandemic, he took direct aim at President Trump again and again.

And then balanced that with his own vision of what would make America a brighter future.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: So he's now headed for a collision course with Trump after accepting the Democratic nomination, a nomination that eluded him, Chris, 1988 and then again 2008.

But it's his turn, it's his run, with it right now.

Watch this.



If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. I'll be an ally of the light, not the darkness.

And make no mistake, united we can and will overcome this season of darkness in America. We'll choose hope over fear, facts over fiction, fairness over privilege.

I will be an American president.

I will work hard for those who didn't support me, as hard for them as I did for those who did vote for me.

That's the job of a president, to represent all of us, not just our base or our party.

This is not a partisan moment. This must be an American moment.

LEMON: That's what we've both been saying. That's what we've been saying, really, since we have been on the air with this president. This is not about ideology.

Again, it's not our role to stump for Joe Biden, but I think that part is true.

This isn't about ideology, this is about reality. This is about the American dream. This is about truth. CUOMO: Well, ordinarily, this space would not be available to an

insurgent. Ordinarily, this is what an incumbent says. You know what I mean?

That's a presidential type address. We have to fight off the darkness, we have to fight against the darkness.

LEMON: Do you think it was more like a fireside chat than a commitment speech?

CUOMO: Well, tonally, he is avuncular, he is very familiar. That's just his style.

But I do think that he was able to occupy ground that you usually don't get without being redundant. Which is -- a president is usually doing what with us? Coaching us towards our better angels, telling us to resist darkness, understanding the power in the collective, understanding what this country is all about.

This president has ceded that ground such that there is novel opportunity for an insurgent to talk about the basic, fundamental moral principles of light versus dark.

I don't know the last time an insurgent had that ground, to be honest. Especially during a hard time.

Think about George Bush and running against him, if he hadn't been term limited out during the war --

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: -- and trying to come with a message of we need to fight against the darkness. People would have been like yes, no kidding. That's why this guy just went to war.

But right now, with the pandemic he's ignoring, with a major call for justice that he is trying to stifle, you have light and darkness available as a reason for people to believe.

LEMON: I think you're right on -- and think about it.

In the beginning of this or somewhere towards the beginning of this, they said that this president was going to be the wartime president, to portray him as a wartime president. Which I thought was a perfect strategy, except he couldn't live up to it.

He couldn't live up to it. Because again, as I said earlier in the last hour, he does not understand that the office is bigger than him. He has less respect for the office than most Americans, I would -- I believe.

So if he had -- if they cast him or portrayed him as a wartime president and he actually stepped into that role and leaned into that role this entire time and said -- even March, April, even May --


-- and said listen, you know what, we've got to correct course here, we didn't have it right in the beginning.

There was some misinformation about this, about masks, about all of this. And now, this is what we're going to do as Americans and were going to get out of this.

He still had a chance. It's too late now.

CUOMO: I don't know about that, by the way.

LEMON: I think it's too late.

CUOMO: Well, look --

LEMON: C'mon, Chris.

CUOMO: I get why you're saying that. But you got to remember, this is an ongoing crisis. We need rapid testing.

And remember, here is the shame of the whole thing. This will turn around so much faster than our typical crises. You're not going to rebuild more Oklahoma in a couple months.

But if you put the money and the mandate in place, in four to six weeks, you could have rapid testing in a way --

LEMON: Chris, the operative word --

CUOMO: that the school situation changes.

LEMON: Chris, the operative word is "rapid." It is not rapid when you're six months into a pandemic.

CUOMO: Oh, no. He'd still be late.

LEMON: It's late --

CUOMO: But I'm saying, he could still show change now.

LEMON: And if you did not have the evidence -- do you really think this president is going to show change? When has he ever changed?

CUOMO: No. You asked me if he could.

LEMON: OK. All right.

CUOMO: I said yes, he can.

LEMON: OK. All right. I take (inaudible).

CUOMO: But this is a guy who doesn't admit mistakes.


CUOMO: And this a guy who punishes people who don't praise him.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: Listen to this bite tonight that Joe Biden played on exactly the point we're discussing right now.



BIDEN: As a Democratic candidate, I will be an American president. I'll work hard for those who didn't support me, as hard for them as I did for those who did vote for me.

That's the job of a president. To represent all of us, not just our base or our party.

This is not a partisan moment. This must be an American moment.

It's a moment that calls for hope and light and love, hope for our future. Light to see our way forward. And love for one another.

America isn't just a collection of clashing interests of red states or blue states, we're so much bigger than that. We're so much better than that.


LEMON: To your earlier, that was the most important thing he said. That he wants to be the president for all people, even those who didn't support him.

CUOMO: Yes. And ordinarily, people would be like yes, that's what everybody says. Not Trump. Trump doesn't say it.

Trump has never said any of the things he just said with any kind of passion and pursuit and interest. I'm sure somebody will be able to pull something that somebody wrote for him that he fumbled through at some point.

But we know he doesn't inhabit that space, that moral space of I am about making things better, I'm about love over hate.

That's not the truth of Trump.

And that's makes this interesting. Is that are people open to a virtue play right now or are they too cynical and do they not believe?

Especially with the baggage that Biden has, just in terms of time. You know what I mean? That if you were really going to be so different, you would have done it already.

This was a problem for Bernie Sanders also. It's like well, where have you been the last 30 years? You've been in office. Now all of a sudden you're a revolutionary?

It's a little bit of a tricky play. And that's why going through -- Harry with the numbers, Biden's not as popular as you would think given his likability. Why? Time.

LEMON: Yes. So I think with -- I think you look at someone over the course of their career -- and most of the people as we have confirmed in the last segment with Harry, are older people who have lived through the times, many of them, that Joe Biden lived through. Have been alive for much of the time that he's been an office.

And he has evolved over those times. And most people know the reality of those times.

So where have you been? I think most people have been -- who are going to support him and most Americans who go to the polls to vote -- have been along with him in those years.

They knew what the '80s were like, they knew what the times were like in the '80s, they knew what the '90s were like, they knew what the 2000s were like. They knew all of those things. They lived through that.

So they know better than to judge 2020 or 1980, 1990 or 2001 through a 2020 lens. That's just --

CUOMO: But not young people.

LEMON: But not young people. But guess what, they don't vote. That's the whole point of what we just said.

But again, I do think that, again, the most important thing -- we're talking about whether people are going to -- you said it's a virtue play, right -- are going to go with Trump or Biden.

Trump has forgotten that he represents all people. He has not expanded his base. He shrunk his base.

CUOMO: No, he didn't forget, he doesn't believe in it. He just said about John Lewis, the guy never -- didn't come to my inauguration.

The man was dead --

LEMON: Small. Small.

CUOMO: He is recognized as a hero for fighting one of the signature battles of American progress.

LEMON: Small.

CUOMO: Racial equality. And he said he didn't come to my inauguration.


CUOMO: That's who this cat is.

LEMON: Yes. That's not what -- I don't believe that's what America is. I believe that's who this cat is.

And I do think that America's not in a great place right now because we are divided. We've never had a more divisive commander-in-chief than this person.


And don't give me that whole thing well, Barack Obama was divisive. He was divisive because you want him to it to be divisive in your mind. He's never said that I am for this people -- these people and I am not for these people.

He never said the things, the kinds of things that Donald Trump says.

CUOMO: He was divisive because he's black. OK. C'mon.

LEMON: Well, I'm glad you said it but that's the truth.

CUOMO: And look, if you needed any proof of that --


CUOMO: -- as a posited statement, how do you think we got Trump? You think you'd get Trump if you didn't have Obama?

LEMON: No, you don't.

CUOMO: Do you think that white people aren't all of a sudden so easily provoked to fear? And demagoguery doesn't take root on such a shallow and easy basis?

LEMON: But why? What did Obama do? Oh, yes, that's right. He took everybody's guns away.

He didn't get us out of the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression. He didn't try to work with Republicans.

I'm being facetious because he tried all those things.

In the beginning, Democrats were frustrated with him and African Americans, because they were saying those Republicans aren't going to work with you. Why do you keep trying to work with them? Those white guys in D.C. aren't going to work with you, why don't you --

CUOMO: Mitch McConnell said my term [sic] --

LEMON: One-term president.

CUOMO: -- is to make him a one-term president.

LEMON: One-term president.

CUOMO: But look, we know what the sell is, I just can't believe it's still being purchased by anybody.

No, I'm not going to wrap right now. This matters, this matters more than what we're going to do next with the panel.

LEMON: I know. I'm getting it too.

CUOMO: -- I promise you that.


CUOMO: Is that I can't believe people will buy the idea that diversity means that if you're white you're going to be disadvantaged.


CUOMO: I can't believe we're so (inaudible) --

LEMON: I told you why that is.

CUOMO: But look, I'm just surprised that when you see that you're so close to having a political majority if you were to combine people of color who want the field balanced with white people who need the field balanced.

You have white working class people who can't get loans for their businesses, who can't get mortgages, who are underwater and they stay there.

They are the same ones that were very susceptible to Trump.

LEMON: But you know how you get that? You don't get that by dividing people. You get that by getting people to understand that they have more in common than they do --

CUOMO: Yes. LEMON: -- not in uncommon. And that is the quality of a good leader,

someone who can do that.

CUOMO: Because that's harder to do, by the way.

LEMON: Because -- it is and it isn't.

CUOMO: I'll beat you seven times out of ten if my sell is --

LEMON: Let me tell you why.

CUOMO: --don't trust Don.

LEMON: I'm going to tell you -- so I'm going to tell you, this is how black people feel, right?

And you're white -- you're right. There are white people who feel I can't get loans for my businesses, my business is going under.

CUOMO: I'm working my ass off --

LEMON: I'm working my ass off --

CUOMO: -- and now my kids can't get into school because they don't check a diversity box.

LEMON: And you know what black people say? You've always had -- been able to get an education. We've never -- we have not been able to always get an education.

You've always been able to get a loan, we have not always been able to get loans. We have been redlined.

You've always been able to live where you want. You've always been able to vote. We have not had any of those things.

So when someone says we are the forgotten people, we are the unheard people, people of color go what the hell are you talking about? You are white in this society, have had every privilege.

If you went into a bank, you could be poor and white and get a loan. Go into a bank, you can be rich and black and not get a loan.

So someone needs to be able to bring those people together, blacks and whites, to get them to understand that they have a lot in common. And why --

CUOMO: You can get them both what they need.

LEMON: And white people need even though they feel that way, there are people in this country, especially people of color, who are worse off than them, for the most part, forever in America.

And they need to understand that and understand the reality of that. And then maybe we can have some common ground and that can happen where we get blacks and whites together. Until there is a reality check about it, it is never, ever going to

happen. And this isn't an oppression race, this is a reality race.

You feel that you are unheard of but yet you've always had the preeminent voice and you've always had these opportunities.

So now, I think people of color are saying listen, we are actually the actual forgotten people, we are the people who don't have a voice.

CUOMO: But you can meld --

LEMON: But --

CUOMO: You have specific needs that are unique to color.

LEMON: So what I'm saying now is because --

CUOMO: There are systemic injustices that are unique to color.

LEMON: If there's anything that --

CUOMO: But class matters too.

LEMON: Anything good that -- let me finish my point.

But if there's anything good to come out of Donald Trump is that he has gotten us to this place where possibly we could try to meet and have a meld. A mind meld.

CUOMO: If you take on the needs of color, and combine them with the natural connection to class, you get both groups where they need to be --

LEMON: Or caste.

CUOMO: -- for this country to get stronger.

LEMON: That's -- Isabelle Wilkerson's (pronunciation) new book about caste.

CUOMO: Right.

LEMON: She believes that it's more about caste or class than it is about race.

CUOMO: But you can't do just class. Because there are unique qualifications for people of color that need to be healed and need to be addressed --

LEMON: Wilkinson, not Wilkerson.

CUOMO: -- that don't affect white people.


CUOMO: But if you do them both together, now you have a political majority.


CUOMO: Now you have a political majority.


CUOMO: Now you have a political majority.


CUOMO: All right. Let's get to the break. You can take us there with your magic finger-snapping thing.

LEMON: You want a finger snap or just --

CUOMO: Yes, I love it.


LEMON: My question is, before I have snap my fingers, did Biden deliver tonight? You've been asking that as well.

And we've got a powerhouse group of folks coming up on the other side that we're going to interview.

CUOMO: It was supposed to just be a finger snap.

LEMON: Are you ready?

CUOMO: Uh-huh.



BIDEN: I met with six-year-old Gianna Floyd the day before her daddy, George Floyd, was laid to rest. She's an incredibly brave little girl.

And I'll never forget it. When I leaned down to speak to her, she looked in my eyes and she said -- and I quote: "Daddy change the world." Daddy changed the world.

Her words burrow deep into my heart.

Maybe George Floyd's murder was a breaking point. Maybe John Lewis's passing the inspiration.


But however it's come to be, however it's happened, America's ready, in John's words, to lay down, quote, "the heavy burden of hate, at last."

And to end (ph) the hard work of rooting out our systemic racism. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Let's discuss now. Angela Rye is here, Karen Finney as well.

The perfect people to talk about what we're going to talk about and to react to what Joe Biden said earlier.

Hello to both of you. Good to see you.

So Angela, I'm going to start with you because you heard what Joe Biden -- you heard him tonight invoke the movement sparked by the death of George Floyd to address systemic racism in this country. How do you think he did?

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR & CEO, IMPACT STRATEGIES: Well, I want to start with something positive and that is where he began his speeches tonight.

He started with Ella Baker, and I give him so much credit and the team credit for doing just that.

She is one of the most prolific activists, civil rights activists, of our time and -- or before our time.

But I really just think that it's so important for us to understand these words as well from Ella Baker.

She said, "In order for us as poor and oppressed people to become part of a society that is meaningful, the system under which we now exist has to be radically changed. It means facing a system that does not lend itself to your needs and devising means by which you change that system."

Why am I starting there, Don? I think it's important as he talks about Gianna Floyd, as he talks about George Floyd, as he's put out tweets about Breonna Taylor, that we don't just talk about what the country needs to do.

Just like he had a plan for that, as Elizabeth Warren would say, about social security and Medicare. He had a plan for that about ensuring equitable wages for essential workers that we don't just see them as essential but we pay them as essential.

Just as he had a plan for all of that, he has to have plans for criminal justice reform, he has to have plans for police reform. He can't be afraid of it because there might be an endorsement from a police union.

It was such a good, powerful moment. But it was lacking on the substance that these young folks who have been in the streets all summer so desperately need to see from Joe Biden. And it shouldn't just fall on Kamala.

That's the truth.

If he says he supports justice in policing -- I wanted him to say tonight one of the first things I will do in my first 30 days after being sworn in is address police reform by signing justice in policing. Right?

It doesn't have to be a heavy lift, but I just wanted a little more heft there.

LEMON: What do you think, Karen?

FINNEY: I agree. But at the same time, these speeches are meant to reach out to broad swathes of the American electorate to say -- throughout this week it has been about character, it has been about what's at stake in this election.

And I felt like his speech tonight was trying to say you can -- I am someone you can trust. And I felt like there were -- I was thrilled that he started with Ella Baker and so many touch points throughout the speech.

My God, having that beautiful child, Brayden, think about what that means to children who struggle with different abilities, let's put it that way.

So I felt like that he was trying to make a number of different touch points which is a very hard thing to do in a speech. To bring around values as well as issues, as well as make the case for why he's the person.

But I'm with Angela in that there is more work to be done as a -- frankly, as an activist on women's rights. There's more I want to hear from him when it comes to protecting Roe V. Wade.

So there are any -- all of us can listen for different things that we want to hear.

At the same time, I think what we have to fundamentally ask ourselves in this moment is who do you trust to have that conversation with, to be in those struggles with come November 3rd and then going forward?

And to my mind, that's Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. But that doesn't -- and look, I also felt -- and y'all are not going to take my joy.

LEMON: You're not going to steal my joy.

FINNEY: I thought it was beautiful and professional and I loved it -- you're not, I'm not going to have it right now.

Because I felt inspired by that speech and I didn't expect to -- to be perfectly honest.


FINNEY: So I loved it. And I understand what he was trying to do. That does not take away from the seriousness though of the point that Angela is making.

LEMON: I got you, I got you. I understand, I get what you're saying. But I think that -- these are, as you said, these are broad speeches.

I think a nod is great. People don't want to hear specific policies in a speech that is an accept --

RYE: Yes.

LEMON: Angela, I just don't think it's strategic in this moment. I don't think that there is enough clarity to give specific policies.

I don't think that anybody in this moment when they're accepting something should back themself into a corner about something they can and cannot do because they may or may be able to --

RYE: And I --

LEMON: -- live it up to it in their thing (ph).


I think a nod is great. I understand you, I feel you. I'm going to work on it.

But to give specific policy points I think would just --

RYE: He didn't -- he didn't say he would work on it, Don. That's exactly my point.

LEMON: Right.

RYE: I didn't say that he --

FINNEY: That's not true, Angela. That's not true.

RYE: Hold on one second, hold on one second. He didn't say -- I didn't ask that he says I'm going to end qualified immunity. Right? I didn't ask that he says he deals with stop-and-frisk policy.

When it came to a different path to heal and reform, the first step I'm going to be addressing the coronavirus, that is the first step I'm going to take. I'm going to deal with student debt, elder care and childcare.

When it came to George Floyd, he said she said to him, "My daddy's going to change the world." Full stop.

He said that we need to end -- we need to address racial injustice and white supremacy. That's cool. But what I'm saying is when it came to elder care and child care, it was a bit more specific.

I am talking about an olive branch to folks on the streets.


RYE: Who have only been confronted with a record of Joe Biden that is his --


RYE: -- senate record. I don't think that it's fair because it doesn't include an evolution --

LEMON: OK. I get you, I get you. I get you --

RYE: But I'm asking him to talk about what that evolution is.

LEMON: But I want to go and talk a little bit more about what Chris and I were talking about.

RYE: Yes.

LEMON: And we were talking -- and I know, Karen, you have specifics that you want to talk about.

Before we run out of time -- I said maybe if there's anything good to come out of this current administration or current president --


LEMON: -- that he has gotten us to a place where people are so frustrated that maybe there can be common ground between African Americans and poor white people or people who are facing very similar struggles.

FINNEY: Well -- and you know what, my God, it feels like the Poor People's Campaign all over again. That was exactly what Dr. King was trying to talk about.

This is when you think about the lie of what the Confederacy was about which was about pitting poor white farmers -- poor white people against black people to say at least you're better than them. While they were getting screwed over by rich white landowners.

We are here again in this moment where the point is, black and brown and white and southern and northern, if you are on the bottom, you're on the bottom. It doesn't matter what color you are, what gender you are, any of that.

What matters is if we can come together, that's how we're going to lift ourselves up.

And I feel like we're in this moment, Don, this is what -- when you and Chris were talking where Trump, again, has us fighting over the scraps.

And has told his base, pointing the finger at -- well, those women are the reason, they need to stay in their place. Or those black people, those Latinos coming over here, they're taking our jobs.

He's got us -- he's trying to convince people to go back into this fight where we're scrumming over scraps.

Instead of saying well, hold up, how come all these corporations and their CEOs seem to be doing just fine and making a pretty penny and a profit at a time when we're left here dying from COVID because you can't get (inaudible).

LEMON: Because of policies he put into place.

FINNEY: That's right.

LEMON: Because of policies he put into place.

FINNEY: That's right.

LEMON: Angela, you want to say something before I have to get to the break? Do you want to weigh in on this?

RYE: Again, I just think that he had a great speech tonight. I think that we still have to work on perfecting to the finish line. This isn't about tearing him down. This is about counting votes. Period.

And so while you guys are saying hey, young people don't vote. That's not a reality we should be accepting.

FINNEY: Who's saying that?

RYE: Because how do we mobilize --

FINNEY: Who's saying that?

RYE: No, Karen. Karen, not you.

LEMON: No. Talking about me and Chris, not you. Not you, Karen.


RYE: You and Chris. Or I'm sorry -- Don and Chris.

The point is that when you talk about young people not voting, we can't afford to bet on just older folks. We can't afford to count on that same electoral map from 2016. That is not sufficient.

The anti-Trump vote is not sufficient. You have to be pro something and be very specific.

This was not a state of the union address, I'm clear. But just around what your general commitments are to serve the whole of the big tent. Right?

And the whole of the American population who he says he's serving whether you support him and vote for him or not.

LEMON: Angela Rye, Karen Finney. Fabulous conversation, let's talk more.

RYE: Absolutely.


LEMON: But we'll do it later.



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: It's existential, baby. That's the case the Democrats made for you. This is light versus dark. This is life versus death. This is forever, not just now. This is a timeless battle of have and have not.

That is what Joe Biden is saying. How did it hit you? What does it mean? They brought out big names. They brought out the big game. They identified Trump by name as an evil that is anathema, that is inimical, that is an enemy, to this country.

So how does it line up? What are the pluses? What are the minuses. The winds and the losses? Chris Cillizza is in the quantifying business. Hits, misses final night of the DNC. Bring it to me.

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR AT LARGE: Thank you for having me as always, Chris.

Let's go through the hits quickly first. I think Biden, big time. Two reasons.

One, Trump had painted this image of Joe Biden as effectively like a guy who couldn't string two sentences together. That strategy clearly did not work. He stumbled a little bit in the beginning, but he got stronger as it went on.

CUOMO: Not a single yo --


CUOMO: he was zero on the (INAUDIBLE) factor.

CILLIZZA: And you know I was a track. No one who watched that speech could think that this is a guy who's not ready, willing and able to do the job.

The other thing he did, to your point, he reminded people common humanity, common decency, compassion -- things we all share, right rather than focusing on what we don't share. He said this isn't a partisan moment. It's a political moment. Ok.

The one that got me right in the heart, and I know you are like me, you are emotional, Brayden Harrington. A kid, who Joe Biden recognized, at a New Hampshire rally. Got up, talked, has a stuttering issue as Joe Biden did.

Maybe it's that I'm the dad of two young boys, maybe it's the fact that I haven't slept all that much this week. I don't know what it is, but man that really was affecting and I think incredibly powerful. And again, the decency of Joe Biden. The fundamental decency of the man.


CILLIZZA: Last one on the hit. I thought Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the second hour, right, it's a two-hour show. Second hour, I thought she was very strong.

She talked about Biden calling her when she got a cancer diagnosis. She got choked up talking about how much she thought was at stake in the election. It's not always easy to do that when you're a comedian, right, to be serious. But I thought she was.

Now, misses. People always -- everyone loves to be in the hits, noon likes to be in the misses. Misses -- very quickly.

Bloomberg. I don't understand why he was given a slot in this night to do -- you know, like, another white guy from a coast. I mean look, I'm a white guy from the coast. I get.

But you know, yes, I know he is worth -- he's worth about whatever he's worth billions more than me. But it just didn't -- I thought an odd choice.

John Meacham -- let me say this. I love the guy. He's a great reporter. He's a great historian, but that was a long time to give if you're not going to have Julian Castro speak. If you're doing to do 60 --


CILLIZZA: -- or 90 seconds on AOC, it's just how you split up those two hours.

And the last one I want to mention this because I like my Twitter mentions to blow up, I thought Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the first hour was not great. I want just one note on it.

Joe Biden had this great back and forth, Joe Biden and a pastor from other Mother Emanuel Church in an AME trip to South Carolina talking about grief and loss and his faith and how you can see it best in the darkest of times. It's a really -- it was one of Biden's best moments in the campaign. It's a really emotional, powerful moment.

And then she comes back and says, well, he can find a church without tear gassing (INAUDIBLE). I get it. I get that that is like a troll move on Trump, but it just for me, I think you let that moment sit a little bit more.

And like I said, I like my Twitter mentions to blow up. I usually bad moth Julia Louis-Dreyfus, even if you say she was great, a lot of the time, you know how that goes.

CUOMO: Listen, if you don't want the heat, you are in the wrong job.

CILLIZZA: That's exactly right, man. You got in the wrong business for laughs.


CUOMO: And Twitter is not in the business of patting you on the back. It is a toxic crucible of negativity.

CILLIZZA: You got in the wrong business for that.

CUOMO: Chris Cillizza, I like your hits, and I like your misses. If you don't agree with me, bring it on.

Have a good night, brother. And thank you for doing the job.

CILLIZZA: Let's get after it.

CUOMO: Let's get after it.

Back to school, back to partying -- right? Because that is what college kids do. But they are not just passing around the solo cups, right. They are going to spread coronavirus. It is only a matter of when and how many. And what we do about it. So that is the question. We knew this was going to happen. Opening anything is easy, keeping it open is hard heart. Dr. Wen, next.



DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield says that states in the south have begun to turn the tide on the pandemic. That is what he says. Indeed, we are seeing a decline in new cases all across the country. However, hard to imagine how long that could last with this reality.

Take a look at your screen right now. These are students hanging out, large gatherings, like this. This one is at Penn State. This was just last night. Now, at least 19 states are reporting cases on campus. Several of the outbreaks have been traced to off campus gatherings and Greek life.

Could these potential super spreader events wipe away all the progress that we worked so hard to get this thing under control?

Dr. Leana Wen joins me now.

Those are definitely disturbing pictures, Doctor. Thank you so much for joining us.

No doubt that we're going to see more schools that started in person switch to remote learning. But that is, you know -- that's begetting another problem, right. Kids have to scramble. They have to travel to find new housing or go back home.

How fearful is this that you think it's going to lead to more -- are you that this is going to lead to more outbreaks? I can't talk because, you know, it's so late. But are you fearful that this is going to lead to more outbreaks?

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. And we are seeing these outbreaks now. I mean this is what happens when you have a lot of people gathering, close together, in places where community transmission is already ongoing. And I think these universities really need to have a plan. They need

to have a plan for what happens when there are outbreaks. And also, what happens if they have to close down. It is irresponsible to just send the kids out and not have a plan for what happens.


LEMON: But why send them the back in the first place?

DR. WEN: Well, I don't know that they can keep them on campus either if they're going to go completely virtual. And I think here is the question at the end of the day. It's that we can't have our cake and eat it.

And so if we are going to be reopening these schools, we also have to think about well, what are we willing to give up? Are we willing to ask students to give up their social activities? Are we able to say, if you go to these off campus activities where we see these super spreader events coming then you cannot come back to school?

LEMON: Wow. Listen, I think that would be a good thing, and you would get a lot of kids and a lot of families to wake up because I don't think the kids and the parents are taking it seriously.

Let's talk about high school, right -- or at least, not high school but K to 12 schools. Set to reopen in person in the coming days. It seems that outbreaks there could be the most problematic, right? Even more problematic than colleges.

Because younger kids also are likely asymptomatic. They're going to go home to their families at the end of every single day. How do you see this playing out?

DR. WEN: Well, kids do not live in a bubble. Just like these older students don't either. And especially with children, they're going to come home, as you said, to their families, to potentially adults who have chronic medical conditions or more vulnerable. And we have to remember the teachers and staff too.

Studies show that one in four teachers and staff have chronic medical conditions or are of an age where they could become seriously ill if infected with coronavirus. And so I do believe that when you get schools that are starting, in particular, in areas with active virus surges, that we are going to see escalating spread.

And the question is, what are we going to do? Are we willing to say, let's postpone school until we can suppress the level of COVID infections and make sure schools get the resources that they need? Or are we willing to send our kids and everybody around them, into essentially an uncontrolled experiment?

LEMON: So help me with this. You say we can't have our cake and eat it too. What is the rush? What is the rush to send kids back and into a potentially dangerous situation?


DR. WEN: I mean I know that people are eager to have our kids back to school at whatever level. But maybe we should think about this the way that we think about budgets. We have a city or a state that has a financial budget. But there is also a coronavirus budget. But you can't do everything.

And so, we as a society have to decide what are those most essential activities? If it's school, for younger kids, because they really cannot do virtual instruction well, then maybe we should not have universities come back. Maybe we definitely should not have bars and restaurants and gyms and sporting venues. Maybe those can wait too.

And we as a society just have to be tough, to be clear that we can't do everything we want to do. Not yet.

LEMON: Yes. Listen, you can hire if you can afford a tutor. Your kid may have to go to school one year longer. That's a whole lot better than not having them around forever.

So I don't understand the rush, but again, I am not a parent. But I don't think if I was a parent, I would be sending my kid back to school at this point.

Thank you, Doctor. I appreciate it.

DR. WEN: Thanks so much.

LEMON: So, Steve Bannon. Steve Bannon -- free on bond tonight, accused of ripping off donors who wanted to build a border wall. Wow. That's some irony there, right?

And now he is part of a notorious and growing club in the Trump world. We're going to discuss that. That's next.



CUOMO: Steve Bannon, now the second former high-level White House official, the second former campaign boss, and the tenth Trump associate to be criminally charged. Count it however you want -- the level of criminal conduct, the level of scandal around this president is unprecedented. Only the best, my eye.

Bannon is out on bail tonight, but it's not just mere allegations.


CUOMO: They arrested him. He was charged. That means they found a probable cause level of evidence against him on these allegations, ok?

And what is the basic nature of this? That this foundation they set up to build the wall was a scheme to dupe Trump's own supporters. The charges are for the SDNY, the Southern District of New York. That is federal. That means this is Bill Barr's DOJ doing this. And thus far, it seems like he is not standing in the way of it.

Bannon took money from an online crowd funding campaign called We Build the Wall. That money was supposed to privately build part of Trump's border wall. Instead, the federal prosecutors argue Bannon spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on himself and funneled more through another defendant named Brian Kolfage. Trump did his normal "I don't know the guy".


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I feel very badly. I haven't been dealing with him for a long period of time.


CUOMO: Just weeks ago.


TRUMP: I said, let's keep Steve out there. He is doing a good job.


CUOMO: When will you get enough of this? And this comes despite his boy, Kris Kobach, who was also on the board of this thing saying this.


KRIS KOBACH, FORMER KANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE: I was speaking with the President, and we were talking about a variety of issues. And the topic came up. I mentioned that I was working with Rebuild the Wall. And he said, well you tell the people you are working with that this project has my blessing.


CUOMO: It's time to replace that music with drones -- of ominous tones. Because this turned out to be a Fugazi (ph) fund-raising scheme, according to federal prosecutors. Bill Barr's boys and girls.


This is serious. I am just laughing at how you are reading it and just to show the hypocrisy of it and the irony of the wall.

First of all, why are they raising money to build a wall? I thought Mexico is going to pay for it. Then they should not be having to raise money or allegedly steal people's money, or funnel it into the wrong places, allegedly if Mexico was in fact going to pay for the wall.

I don't really know what to say about this. Listen, you know, I know folks are innocent until proven guilty. I get it. And I believe in that.

CUOMO: And he pleaded not guilty -- Bannon.

LEMON: And he pleaded not guilty. So let's see what happens with the charges for him. And let's see what happens in this.

But I do have to say, it's not a good look for this president. I mean do we have the picture of the -- the class photo of everybody who has been charged or arrested? I mean look at that.

Look at all these guys -- all about the same age, you know, forties to seventies or whatever.

CUOMO: So you look and what is it? What is -- forget about the prosecution. Let's say none of them should be guilty of anything.

LEMON: All the best people. All the best people.

CUOMO: We're going to bring in all the best, and these are just the ones that have been charged with crimes. He had a bunch of people have to leave in disgrace, ok.

Now, what does it also lead to? This -- not just suspicion -- this conclusion that Trump and company are too comfortable around creeps. All right?

His son brought people he had no business meeting with into a meeting in Trump Tower. Oh, I didn't know. And he wound up getting vidiots defense. The feds didn't go after Donald Trump Jr. because they thought that he was too dumb to know what he was doing.

LEMON: There are times, Chris, that you don't know. But that many times? I mean there are times you don't know.

CUOMO: No. One is too many. For Manafort and Jared Kushner to walk into a meeting with these two people, under the guise of we are going to get you information from the Russians on Clinton?

LEMON: No, no, no. That's not what I'm talking about. That's crazy.

No, no, no. I agree with you on that. I am just saying, you don't know what someone's doing all the time, right. And they can be doing bad things and you can have no idea --


CUOMO: No, but if you're going to do a video for We Build the Wall saying these guys are great, I love what they are doing. And then it turns out to be a scam? You can't say I had no idea.


CUOMO: And that's what Jr. is doing again.

LEMON: Well, that's what I said. You can have one or two, but for all of the people, again, if you put all the people up on the screen and this president says, I hardly knew them, and the guy had -- you can't do that every single time. CUOMO: Well, you know, you can, because it may be indicative of your


LEMON: It is.

CUOMO: That if somebody says they're going to do something good for you, you think they're great.

LEMON: But it's also indicative of what we have -- this country -- what's acceptable now. People accept that. It used to be, if you had one or two people -- put those pictures back up please -- you had one or two people like this charged with crimes, that was enough. People would say ok. This guy has got to go.

But look at all these people. And it's acceptable. And Republicans in Congress and the Senate, not holding his feet to the fire, not calling him out, making excuses through this even in all the hearings that we had about Mueller and impeachment, making excuses for everyone there with bad behavior was always someone else, someone who is out to get him.

Now, when I mentioned the whole thing about if I had a friend and they were exhibiting cult-like behavior, I would try to help them out. Ok.

If you are a Republican and you have been defending this president and the people he has around him, and so on and so forth, then you might want to feel duped at this point especially if this big accomplishment was supposed to be to get a wall done.

And if it turns out that they are swindling people on that wall, then you probably at this moment should feel like a mark. And if you don't, you are the mark.

CUOMO: Drain the swamp. Who knew that he meant drain it so he could take out the little alligators and put in the biggest ones we have ever seen?

LEMON: But I forget, everybody's out to get him. So, you know. So there you, everyone's out to get him.

CUOMO: Yes. Starting with the two big heads of truth and justice -- to get a handle on what comes out of his head and his heart.

You know what, There is too much to discuss. I was about ready to go get some pancakes.

LEMON: Are we done?

CUOMO: But you know what? No way. We've got to do another hour. There is just too much, Don.

LEMON: No? Oh, man.

CUOMO: The pancakes can wait. Let's go --

LEMON: Snap your fingers. CUOMO: -- let's get after it.