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Interview with Frank Fahrenkopf; Interview with Carole Simpson; Family Release Wife's Cell Phone Video of Police Shooting; Obama Vetoes 9/11 Victims Bill; Interview with Don King. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired September 24, 2016 - 09:00   ET


[09:00:36] MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Michael Smerconish. All roads this campaign season lead through the swing state of Pennsylvania, which is where I am today.

Are they ready to rumble? The first debate is just two days away, but the format is nothing like we saw in primary season. Debate commission co-chair Frank Fahrenkopf is here to explain as is former moderator Carole Simpson.

Plus, both candidates have scuttled plans to visit Charlotte after a disturbing new cell phone video by the victim's wife raises new questions about the police killing of a black man. Famed defense attorney Mark O'Mara will analyze.

Boxing promoter Don King made headlines, there he is, trying to rally black support for Trump. He dropped the N word this week. He'll be at the debate. But first, as you can see, he will be with me.

Plus, 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia but yesterday President Obama vetoed the bill that would allow 9/11 victims to sue the kingdom. Will Congress override his veto for the first time in his administration? Former attorney general Michael Mukasey among our guests.

But first, Monday night's main event is billed as Clinton versus Trump, but it's really Clinton versus Ailes. Let me explain. Roger Ailes, the recently deposed FOX News titan was a counselor to Republican presidents long before he masterminded the conservative news giant. He first earned his political stripes advising Richard Nixon and it was to Ailes that Ronald Reagan turned in 1984. Many remember that Reagan defeated Walter Mondale in a landslide. He won 49 of 50 states, but few recall that in their first debate Reagan turned in a poor performance.


RONALD REAGAN, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: The system is still where it was with regard to the -- with regard to the progressivity, as I've said.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SMERCONISH: Reagan's sluggish behavior reignited concerns about his age. He was 73 at the time and Roger Ailes was recruited to advise the president. Ailes was 44. His advice to the septuagenarian president was simple. He said, you didn't get elected on details. You got elected on themes. In the second debate, Reagan followed Ailes' advice. He ditched facts and figures, he spoke in generalities and he delivered. One of the more memorable lines in modern debate history regarding his age.


REAGAN: I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience.


SMERCONISH: So fast forward to 2016, at the outset of the Donald Trump campaign when the idea of Trump capturing the GOP nomination seemed farcical to many, including me, an internal Trump campaign document surfaced and it reminded everyone of Ailes' advice to Reagan. It was presumably written by dirty trickster Roger Stone who neither admitted to me nor denied that it was his work but that Trump followed the strategy of speaking in themes and not specifics is unquestionable.

And today Trump is the nominee, Stone is somewhere on the periphery of Trump's campaign. Ailes was fired from FOX after the sexual harassment scandal and now is providing counsel to the Trump campaign. And the thinking of the three-decade old advice to Reagan has now carried Trump to the cusp of the first presidential debate.

Will the tactic work? Or will the longer format consisting of six 15- minute segments in general subject areas with no audience participation force Trump to be more substantive than he is capable, playing to Clinton's stronger suit?

Most experts agree, responsibility to press him will be Clinton's and not moderator Lester Holt. Does Ailes' strategy still work 30 years later? Monday night will be the test. If Trump, like Reagan, can end the debate by speaking in themes and generalities and not appear uninformed, it will be a victory for Roger Ailes.

For the latest on the debate, I'm joined by two experts, Carole Simpson, the former ABC anchor who moderated the 1992 town hall between Bill Clinton, George Herbert Walker Bush, and Ross Perot.

[09:05:02] And Frank Fahrenkopf, the Republican co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates. He co-created the commission back in 1986 during his tenure as RNC chair.

Frank, let me begin with you and let's distinguish what viewers have seen during primary season because in this case, the candidates themselves they had no veto over who the moderator would be and you've empowered Lester Holt to call all the shots.

FRANK FAHRENKOPF, CO-CHAIR, COMMISSION ON PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES: That's correct. Really what's happen since about 2000, Michael, is that the commission chooses the dates, the sites, the formats and the moderators without any interplay with the -- or hearings from either of the candidates or the political parties. And we've done that.

We've changed the format. We did it four years ago where we divided the 90 minutes then into six segments of 15 minutes with the ability of the moderator to drill down and really get to the meat of where these candidates stand on their issues and how they're going to accomplish those issues. And Lester has already announced that the subject matter that he's going to cover in a broad base way and -- but once the red light goes on, the moderators have control and will determine what questions are asked. We do not indicate to them what we want them to ask. They make that decision themselves.

SMERCONISH: And as I was referencing in my opening commentary, I think that we're all accustom to seeing in primary season, you know, you have two minutes and then a light goes on and then a bell sounds and so forth. And you've made a determination, the commission made a determination that you want them to be substantive so you're saying here is a 15-minute time block, drill down on that subject area.

FAHRENKOPF: Exactly right. It gives the moderator a chance to follow up. The old format, which was in place for many, many years, back even when the league of women voters started in 1976 and 1980, that's gone because the candidates then could just do a two-minute little diatribe they used out on the campaign trail without explaining what they mean and how they're going to accomplish it.

This new approach that we put in place four years ago gives the ability for the moderator to drill down and to get the candidates to debate, to interact. This isn't much like an interview, if a journalist is interviewing one of the candidates. This is a debate. And we expect them to facilitate an interchange between them on the issues.

SMERCONISH: How do you keep a lid on the audience?

FAHRENKOPF: Well, the audience is told when they come in if you tune in a half hour before on C-Span, you know, seeing me, Mike McCurry, my co-chairman and the moderator, Lester, and this would be true of all the debates, talking to the audience. They're very fortunate to be in this place at this time in history. But there may be 100 million people the estimates are for this debate who are watching either in their television sets or on their iPads or iPhones, streaming whatever, who are trying to make a determination of who they're going to vote for.

It is very unfair for that audience to inject themselves by clapping, or yelling, or going -- as you saw during the primary debates. So, realistically, when we've done this and says on the tickets also, by the way, you're committing not to involve yourself in what's going on on stage. And over the years, it's worked pretty well. The audience has been very respectful of what we hope is a dignified and respectable discussion of the issues by the candidates. SMERCONISH: OK. So, who is in the audience, Mark Cuban just tweeted

he announced yesterday that he's been invited by Secretary Clinton and he thinks he'll be sitting in the front row -- which raises an interesting question, who gets to be there?

FAHRENKOPF: Well, the candidates determine who sits where in their block of tickets. But we're going to frown upon that. We'll tell you this right now, whether or not a Republican or Democrat or anyone else attempts by use of the tickets in placing people in a front row or not to try to impact the debate.

It's wrong. We would frown upon Mr. Cuban being in the front row if his purpose is to somehow disrupt the debates, likewise, if Mr. Trump were to put someone in the front row to try to impact things.

So, I've been working. We've been working with the campaigns staff. I don't think that's going to be a problem. They're approaching this as a very dignified manner in the way I think it should be approached.

SMERCONISH: OK. Wait a minute, Frank. So, you're telling me that maybe, maybe Cuban won't be able to sit in the front row. I'm about to interview Don King. My hunch is that Trump may sit him next to Cuban in the front row. If that happens, are you going to tell the both of them, sorry, guys, get to the back.

FAHRENKOPF: We've been talking to the campaigns. We're going to do more talking tomorrow and will be with them on Monday. I'm hoping we'll never get to that and I hope this is just a little political to play a little game right now.

We would oppose anybody being seated in a certain place with a purpose being to impact what happens on the stage.

SMERCONISH: Final question, if I might -- it's 90 minutes. There are no breaks. I saw "Drudge" yesterday with a big headline saying there will be no coughing breaks and I thought to myself, well, there are going to be no breaks of any kind, correct?

FAHRENKOPF: Ninety minutes without a break. It's a White House feed, there are no ads there are no sponsors, as you saw during the primary debates. And it ends after 90 minutes. The audience is told they can clap twice, when the candidates are introduced at the beginning of the debate and when it is over.

Ands we hope that follows -- we follow through with that on Monday night.

SMERCONISH: Cannot wait. Frank Fahrenkopf, thank you so much and good luck Monday.

FAHRENKOPF: Thank you very much, Michael.

SMERCONISH: Now to former debate moderator Carole Simpson. Carole, listening to Frank Fahrenkopf, I am just reminded of the awesome responsibility that has been placed into Lester Holt's hands. And I'm not envious. I know in your case you had five days to prepare. CAROLE SIMPSON, FORMER ABC NEWS ANCHOR: That's right. There wasn't

the announcement some weeks before, as these moderators were given. I was called five days beforehand and it was murder trying to get prepared and understand all the issues and all the positions the candidates had. And I had three candidates to worry about.

SMERCONISH: I know that we like to think we're looking for substance. I just did an opening monologue here talking about how Donald Trump will want to speak in generalities and she is more wonkish, but isn't the reality that it's the one-liner we remember or the event? I mean, candidly, when I think of your debate, what do I think of? I think of Papa Bush looking at his watch.

SIMPSON: And people still haven't forgotten that. It's been 24 years and I'm still asked why he was looking at his watch. I wish I could have told Frank Fahrenkopf who helped select me to do -- be the moderator in '92, I wanted to tell him that I would give anything, if I had the chance, to do that debate on Monday night.

I'm concerned that Donald Trump is going to try to deflect and he's not -- and Lester won't be able to pin him down and he's such a gentlemen he wouldn't be disrespectful, but if I were there, I wouldn't let him go. I'd ask the same again and again and again until he said something that might make some sense.

SMERCONISH: But is that his job? I mean, we just debated this issue in the aftermath of Matt Lauer interviewing them back-to-back, but isn't it the job of Hillary to confront Donald and Donald to confront Hillary and Lester really just to play referee?

SIMPSON: But I'm the old school journalist, the old media journalist, and I grew up and did my reporting career trying to get the truth told, trying to bring out the truth. If Hillary isn't going to do it, then I think Lester has to do it. The point is, people are not interested in the e-mails anymore. They've heard enough about that. They've seen all the changes that Trump has made in his positions. I think they really want to get down to, where are your tax returns? Where are they? And I would keep asking and keep asking and see how we would fare.

But. Michael, I just want to tell you that I see them as two teapots. I'm expecting a real rock them, sock them debate. They have been sitting on the burners and they've said things about each other, and the bubbles are starting, the heat is turning up, scandals, gaffes, all these kinds of things, and the bubbles have been bubbling, and now they're hot, and they're at the boiling point where they are now about to do their debate. And I think if the pressure is not removed somebody is going to blow a gasket, somebody is going to go off. And I fully expect that to happen.

SMERCONISH: I'm wondering -- I'm wondering despite what happens in those 90 minutes Monday night whether minds will be changed because I get the impression that people in this country are so entrenched already, they've made up their minds not only whom they'll vote for but who will win on Monday night. SIMPSON: I don't think that's true. All the other polling data in

past elections say that people really make up their minds the last few days in front of the election. And some of them don't decide until they get into the voting booth. So I have considered all of this polling that's been going on.

[09:15:03] Every day there's another poll, that it isn't really indicative of anything that may happen. He's up a point. He's down a point. She's up five points. He's down. I don't think they matter. And the polls really matter the day before and that kind of thing when people have really focused on it.

SMERCONISH: We will let Frank know that you are ready to come in from the bench if Lester needs an assist.

Carole Simpson, great to see you and thank you very much.

SIMPSON: Thank you.

SMERCONISH: What do you think? Tweet me @smerconish. I will read some of the best and worst later in the program.

Still ahead, Trump's support in the black community has been lacking but legendary boxing promoter Don King has been trying to rally the cause. He'll be here in just a moment.

Also, Congress finally agreed to let families of 9/11 victims sue Saudi Arabia for the attacks, but President Obama vetoed the bill. What will happen next?

And after this troubling video of the shooting of a black man by Charlotte Police, video from the victim's wife's cell phone, police being pressured now to release their video of the encounter, including by the city's mayor and by Secretary Clinton.


[09:20:21] SMERCONISH: A new video is both shedding light and raising new questions about the fatal police shooting of a black man in Charlotte, North Carolina. The death of Keith Lamont Scott on Tuesday fueled so much unrest that the city had to impose a curfew. And then yesterday, Friday, the victim's family's lawyers released this dramatic cell phone video taken by his wife Rakeyia Scott showing her pleas to her husband and to the officers. Be forewarned, it is graphic.


RAKEYIA SCOTT, KEITH LAMONT SCOTT'S WIFE: Don't shoot him. Don't shoot him. He has no weapon. He has no weapon. Keith, Keith. Don't you do it. Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? He better not be (EXPLETIVE DELETED) dead. He better not be (EXPLETIVE DELETED) dead.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SMERCONISH: Trying to sort out what's on that video, including the police claim that a weapon was recovered from the scene with Scott's DNA on it, many are demanding the police release their own videos of the encounter including the city's mayor and Hillary Clinton.

To discuss the legal ramifications of this messy situation, joining me now is defense attorney Mark O'Mara.

Mark, here's my first question. If a gun has been recovered and if police video supports the cops, shouldn't that information have been released immediately so as to spare the city the spread of rumor, protest and violence of the last couple of days?

MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Agreed that it may have had that type of an impact. But the problem with it is that, Michael, you and I have talked about this, the investigation that's on going into whether or not the shooting was justified, has got to be complete in a good and defendable way. So what they're doing, generally speaking, is they keep everything in-house until they have a full view of what happened.

For example, we wouldn't be happy if they just showed us the picture of what looks to be what looks like it might be a gun. Then people would be upset. People would be upset if they saw a picture of the gunshots into Keith. So we understand that the video in today's day and age is what everybody wants to see. And quite honestly, being in day six or seven of this, it is probably time to release the video, but we do have to give them some consideration that the overall investigation has got to be done in a complete and defendable way.

SMERCONISH: I would -- I would I guess counter and say I think there's a balancing act here. If the city is burning based on false information, then you err on the side of releasing information that explains to the public, hey, it didn't go down the way you think it did.

O'MARA: Well, and we know in Tulsa they did that and it helped. They also did that in Cincinnati with the Sam DuBose shooting and it helped. I agree, six days were well along into the investigation. Because if you think about it, the video -- the failure to release the video is to make sure that the witnesses who saw this scene occur are not impacted negatively by what they see in the video. We are well past that stage. If Charlotte cannot have any piece without the video being released, it is not such a significant piece of evidence that it needs to be maintained secret.

And on the other hand, let's not forget, unfortunately as the chief said, this video is not going to be dispositive of very much anything once it is released. We're not going to have certainty from a video that's going to be all the more boring forensic evidence that's going to prove the case up whether or not the case or the shooting was justified.

SMERCONISH: And finally, on the issue of whether law enforcement acted reasonably, isn't it significant that they repeatedly said, drop the gun, drop the gun, drop the gun, because that would seem, Mark, to evidence that in their minds at the time they believed him to be armed?

O'MARA: Yes. And you know, the video -- first of all, it's so sad to watch a video of a woman watching her husband be killed, just to begin with.


O'MARA: But when we look at the forensic evidence in that video, here's what we see. She may be telling him that he has a TVi. Even if they understood that, that's questionable that now they're dealing with a subject who may be mentally unbalanced because of a brain injury. Then she says they're taking medication. Another concern for cops if they cognitively could understand that.

But, you're right, Michael, most significantly, even though she is saying he doesn't have a gun, five or six times those cops are telling him to drop the gun, which means they believed he had a gun. Whether or not there's DNA evidence on a gun that they say they found, at the moment the decision was made to use deadly force by the officers, if they had reasonable belief that they were in fear of great bodily injury because he gets out of car with what they perceive to be a gun, the shooting is justified.

SMERCONISH: Mark O'Mara, thank you as always for your analysis.

Still to come, Congress took 15 years to pass a bill letting 9/11 victims' families sue Saudi Arabia and yesterday President Obama vetoed it, but Congress might override his veto.

[09:25:09] That would be the first time in his administration. It's an emotional battle and we will hear from both sides.

Plus, Donald Trump has had a hard time winning over people of color. Legendary boxing promoter Don King is trying to help. How? I'll soon ask him.

Here is also an early tweet that came on, "Smerconish, Monday's debate to help choose the next leader of the free world is not a boxing match or a game. Media needs a better metaphor."

Well, tell that to Don King in just a minute.


[09:30:00] SMERCONISH: Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia as did their leader Osama bin Laden. And ever since, there's been a healthy debate in this country about the role of the kingdom in the worst terror attack ever against the United States. Congress passed legislation to allow 9/11 victims and their families to sue the Saudi government. But yesterday, President Obama vetoed the bill, claiming it could expose U.S. diplomats and servicemen to litigation in other countries.

Congressional leaders say they'll override Obama's veto next week. If successful, it would be the first override of his presidency. Joining me now, Michael Mukasey, a former attorney general of the

United States under President George W. Bush. He supports the president's veto. Sean Carter is a lawyer for the 9/11 families. He's the co-chair of their executive committee in the litigation against Saudi Arabia. And Terry Strada whose husband Tom died in the North Tower on 9/11 is a member of 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism.

Terry, let me begin with you. What is it that causes you to believe that Saudi Arabia is responsible for the death of your husband?

TERRY STRADA, HUSBAND DIED IN NORTH TOWER ON 9/11: Because we have mountains of evidence pointing directly to Saudi Arabia and the role they played in financing the attacks of 9/11. And we find this outrageous --

SMERCONISH: Congress voted -- I'm sorry. Finish. Please?

STRADA: Well, we were outraged that the president would veto this bill and that he would choose to protect the interests of Saudi Arabia over the interests of 9/11 families and the American people.

It's really important to note, Mike, that this bill was vetted by our United States Senate and House of Representatives. It passed out our Senate Judiciary Committee without objection twice. It also passed out of the United States Senate unanimously, not once but twice and it passed out of the House of Representatives unanimously.

Five and thirty-five members of our Congress understand what this bill does. And all it does is hold any nation accountable for funding a designated terrorist organization that carries out attacks against the United States and kills or injures American citizens on U.S. soil. That is what the bill does. And that bill will be overridden next week by Congress.

SMERCONISH: Are there any cracks in that unanimity? Do you see any signs that there won't be the two-thirds votes necessary to override the president?

STRADA: No, I do not. I spent all last weekend in Washington, D.C. with about 25 other family members and when we left at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, we felt very -- we do feel very confident that we have the votes. That is the message we are receiving from every office we went in. You have the votes. You will get this overridden

SMERCONISH: My understanding, Terry, is that even in this contentious political climate, this is an issue that units Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, both, you correct me if I'm wrong, both said they would sign this into law.

STRADA: Yes, they have both said that. Just recently, Hillary Clinton came out and said it yesterday that she would support this bill if she were president because she understands what it does. It holds accountable any nation that carries out a terrorist attack on American soil. So, you call it the 9/11 bill or Saudi bill, it's really America's

bill. This is to protect American citizens from terrorist attacks on U.S. oil. This is to hold them accountable for the role they play in financing terrorist organizations like al Qaeda and like ISIS. This bill needs to be enacted so we can protect ourselves from future terrorist attacks.

SMERCONISH: Terry Strada, Godspeed. Thank you for being here.

Let me now turn to the lawyers f I might.

Sean Carter, I want to begin with you. I want to put on the screen a small portion of the letter that was signed by Judge Mukasey and others of very impressive credentials. It said this, "There has never been any credible evidence that has pointed to the involvement of Saudi Arabia in the tragedy of 9/11."

Is that true or false? And please explain.

SEAN CARTER, LAWYER FOR 9/11 FAMILIES AND VICTIMS: Well, it's not true. I think my initial reaction is if it were, the Saudis would have nothing to worry about and wouldn't be fighting this legislation so fervently. But the fact of the matter as Terry said is there's a compelling body of evidence that elements of the Saudi government were deeply involved in providing funding and other support for al Qaeda during the decade leading up to the September 11th attacks and agents of the Saudi government both here and abroad provided direct assistance to the hijackers.

And multiple members of the 9/11 Commission have said as much. John Lehman, Tim Roemer, Bob Kerrey, all of whom served on the commission come forward and said emphatically their investigation did not exonerate the Saudi answered quite to the contrary. They had found disturbing evidence that agents of the Saudi government here in the United States h provided direct assistance to two of the hijackers. That involved the activities of a radical cleric and diplomat in the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles named Fahad al-Thumairy and an individual named Bayoumi who is deeply intertwined with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs operations here in the United States.

[09:35:06] Beyond that, the commission was also clear in stating that it had found a likelihood that charities funded and supervised by the kingdom's Ministry of Islamic Affairs were deeply involved in providing financial and other support to al Qaeda prior to 9/11. One of the examples that the commission cited was the Al Haramain Islamic Foundation which the U.S. government has elsewhere described as one of the principal entities providing funding and support to al Qaeda prior to 9/11.

Now, Michael, after the September 11th attacks, the Saudi government tried to claim that Al Haramain was a private entity, but the 9/11 Commission didn't buy it. They found there were substantial ties to the Saudi government, that at least two ministers of the Saudi government had supervisory authority over Al Haramain, that lower level officials had significant influence over its field operations, and for its own part when the family sued Al Haramain, it filed an affidavit, attesting it operated under the supervision of the Saudi Islamic minister affairs who is responsible for appointing all of its senior management personnel and board.

Now, Al Haramain itself --

SMERCONISH: Let me give the judge an opportunity to respond. You answered my question.

Judge, you take the floor and let me begin by saying to you, you know, I took note of the fact that you were one of the signatories. You are not a shrinking violet when it comes to terror. I say that with respect.

But doesn't Chuck Schumer have a point? Senator Schumer says if their hands are clean, the Saudis, they have nothing to worry about?

MICHAEL MUKASEY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH: No, he doesn't have a point, just to answer the last question. The point of this lawsuit is to get the Saudis in a position where if they draft the complaint and put in a lot of allegations, that's all it takes to file a complaint, the Saudis would then have to expose their diplomatic communications, their national security communications. No sovereign would want to do that. The United States certainly wouldn't want to do that and that was a substantial reason why the president vetoed this.

The Saudis would be under great pressure to write a check that would benefit Mr. Carter and other lawyers principally and in order to avoid that kind of exposure.

SMERCONISH: Wait a minute, Judge. Wait a minute. They would under obligation if there's showing beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal statute which this wouldn't be, but by a preponderance of the evidence in civil suits which they would be if they had culpability. And if he earns a fee, that's beside a point. It's Terry Strada who you just saw who would benefit and she ought to benefit if they were at fault here.

MUKASEY: I have no argument with Terry Strada. I have no argument with the families. Obviously, they deserve compensation, all the compensation they can get from any source they can get it for a loss that can never be compensated.

But that's not what this about. The 9/11 Commission found contrary to what Mr. Carter found, that there is no evidence that either the Saudi government or any senior Saudi official was involved in 9/11. And it's quite counterintuitive that they would be because when Osama bin Laden presented the reasons for 9/11, he said principle among them was the presence of United States troops in the Arabian peninsula who were there at the invitation of the Saudi government.

Al Qaeda has been trying to overthrow the Saudi government for years. The notion they would have financed this is ridiculous, number one. Number two, the whole operation as described in the 9/11 report cost less than $500,000. There was no need for any financing for anyplace else. SMERCONISH: I would say that there's a pretty impressive list of

individuals and I've interviewed them all. John Lehman, a member of that 9/11 Commission. Bob Kerrey, who was a medal of honor recipient and another member of the 9/11 Commission. Bob Graham, who was the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and played such a critical role in getting the release of 29 pages, these are all individuals who have seen all of the documents and they've come to a different conclusion, your honor, than you have.

Why instead of debating this on a cable television program can't we debate it in a court of law? That's the issue.

MUKASEY: That holds risks not only -- first of all, they signed off on the report, which found that there was no evidence to show Saudi government involvement. So, the notion that somehow they're having second thoughts now is interesting, but quite irrelevant. The 28 pages do not disclose anything else and they signed off on the report when they had already seen the 28 pages.

Now, what we have to lose is substantial. We are -- we have more people overseas as soldiers, diplomats, and people working in our intelligence effort than any other country. There have already been efforts to get at those people in Belgium, in Spain, in Afghanistan. You have a drone strike that goes wrong, you're going to have an attempt to get an American officials.

All of that is made much easier by interfering with the concept of sovereign immunity. If we can do it when ever we think it suits us politically, then any other country can do it as well.

[09:40:04] SMERCONISH: I wish we had more time. I think what I would say in response to that and sorry, Sean, I'm taking your time away is simply to say that JASTA is so narrowly tailored as we've read, that the United States doesn't run any risk, unless we become a state sponsor of terror that kills 3,000 people. Those are just my 2 cents, I respect -- go ahead take the final 30 seconds.

MUKASEY: It's not narrowly tailored. It allows anyone with a word processer and rich imagination to drag another country into court and get them to submit to discovery. There's no sovereign county in the world that's going to want to do that as President Obama made clear in his veto message.


SMERCONISH: Well, I have great respect for the president, but I'm disappointed how he used the veto pen yesterday.

Gents, I'm out of time. I appreciate, Michael Mukasey --

MUKASEY: I think he showed great heroism for doing it and my hat is off to him.

SMERCONISH: OK. And we respectfully disagree with one another.

Sean Carter, thank you as well. Terry Strada, thank you too. Tweet me your thoughts @Smerconish.

Up next, Donald Trump support in the black community has been in the single digits. But legendary boxing promoter Don King is of notable exception. There he is with his flag, of course. He's already set the Internet on fire this week with this clip --


DON KING, BOXING PROMOTER: If you are poor, you're a poor Negro. I would use the n-word. If you're rich, you're a rich Negro. If you're intelligent, intellectual, you're an intellectual Negro. If you're dancing and sliding and gliding (AUDIO DELETED) -- I meant Negro --



[04:45:41] SMERCONISH: He has known the world over, his name is Don. He has an outsized personality, his worst critic would have to admit he is a world class showman.

His hair is the subject of endless fascination and he has a rooting interest in who will be the next president of the United States.

Donald Trump? No. Boxing promoter, Don King, a Trump supporter who says he has known the candidate for more than 30 years and will be ring side at Hofstra on Monday. He joins me now.

Don King, if you were promoting this on Monday night, what would you call it?

KING: I would call it the battle of liberty, liberty versus tyranny. And this has never been consensus of a public opinion since the 13 colonies separated from England where it was 100 percent they said tyranny, taxation without representation, no voice in the government that made the laws that they were governed by. That brings it up to where I am supporting Trump because I support the American people. I love America. And I love the American people.

And so, therefore, I study the history of our great nation called America. And in America, you know, those two principles of separating, let me submit to a candid world. I want to submit to a candid world about a system that has taken over and everybody -- one thing everybody is agreeing to that is corrupt, rigged, sexist and racist. All right?

So, now, no one has offered a way out of that system but Donald J. Trump. On the battleship of the USS Iowa, he said we will create a whole new system. We will take this system apart. Everybody should jump on it, especially black people and the white woman because they both have been excluded and they are considered inferior and owned property.

And so, this is what I'm talking about, the American people. This is a lecture about the people and the candidates who is the strongest, the bravest, the most courageous to take them out of it? There is none other than the guy by the name of Donald J. Trump.

And then we can make this thing happen where we have a voice included, not excluded. We are the left outs, the white woman and people of color. The battle of liberty.

SMERCONISH: Monday night, you're going to be there.

KING: Yes.

SMERCONISH: We're all going to be watching on CNN. You will be there.

KING: Yes.

SMERCONISH: Mark Cuban said he is going to the front row at Hillary's invitation. Has the Donald told you where you're sitting? And are you prepared to sit next to Cuban?

KING: I would be prepared to sit next to Cuban because it's about America. And wherever I sit, anywhere, I want to be there because I think it's historic and it demonstrates again what we are talking about here in America and what we're talking about the American people. That's what I'm so much more concerned with and who will be able to be best for them.

In a climate -- in a climate of hypocrisy, we are unchallenged kings in hypocrisy, the truth is revolutionary. When you see Donald J. Trump, he is honest. He tells it like it is. He says a lot of iconoclastic things. It comes out as almost like spiritual revelation because he has all called all the agreements of racists and this and other, all of them come out from the forefront out into the forefront from hidden.

The conversation will be uninterrupted or on the sidelines in the back room. Donald Trump has brought all those voices to the floor for whatever the reason I know not, but I do know this, he is leading -- making for the people because we need a change. America needs to change, just that we did when we were the 13 colonies and separates from King George and England. And we are at that same consensus of public opinion now.

SMERCONISH: I'm going to run out of time in 45 seconds. Explain to me what you are trying to say when you dropped the n-word, because I've watched the tape and I'm not getting it. What was the message the other day?

KING: The message was there. You are black. You're never going to stop being black, so you understand -- I don't care if you're rich, poor, otherwise, you'll be black until you die, so you cannot alienate, you must -- because you cannot assimilate.

[09:50:03] That's the message.

So, a black unity come together as a group, people, a race, and coalesce with coalitions with white, and white and black together, working together works. We can be -- do things that we could never do singly. That's what the message and that's what my whole speech.

If you go back in history, the whole speech, you will get that message. I would just I've identifying what it was when I was talking to Michael Jackson in the vernacular of the street. It's a slip, but nevertheless, they called you that when you turn your back anyway. So, what do you worry, what all of this hoopla, and not to be coon and this and that another.

They don't understand. I'm fighting for them. I'm fighting for a better America, America that brings us all together, you know, one land, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. That no one side of America, selected and convenient America, but all America, the new mission --

SMERCONISH: All right.

KING: -- conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that's all men and women are created equal. Michael Smerconish --

SMERCONISH: Only in America.

KING: Only in America.

SMERCONISH: Don King, we'll see you Monday night on CNN.

KING: I love you. See you out there.

SMERCONISH: Still to come -- oh, we had to cut him just when he was complimenting the host.

Your best and worst tweets lie ahead. Like this one, hit me with it. "If president can't handle seeing either Don King or Cuban in the front row, they'll have no" -- look, it's got all the elements already and two of them together. Oh, my God, you can't make this stuff up.

I'm back in a sec.


SMERCONISH: My Twitter handle is @Smerconish. We ran long this week, so I've only got time for two or so. Let me see what came in. Hit me with it.

Here we go. "Smerconish, we see what audience you're pandering to the middle class educated. Trying to help realDonaldTrump."

It's unbelievable. Half of you say, you're catering to Trump, other half say you're catering to Clinton.

I'm catering only to you.

Show me another one. This says, "Smerconish, this is not your normal election. Fact checking is a must."

I agree, fact checking is a must, but I think that the responsibility for fact-checking is Hillary Clinton's job or Donald Trump's job, and not Lester Holt's job.

One more, real quick, put it up there.

No? There we go, "Fahrenkopf sounds like he isn't taking any crap." Yes, good guy.

I'll see you Monday night.