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Gorsuch is breaking with President Trump, calling the president's attacks on members of the judiciary demoralizing and disheartening; Silencing Elizabeth Warren right on the Senate floor backfires on Republican leaders; Democrats are rallying around Senator Elizabeth Warren; Exclusive interview with Nick Cannon; Aired 11:00- 12:00mn ET

Aired February 8, 2017 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:14] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch saying an attack on one judge is an attack on all of them.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

Gorsuch is breaking with President Trump, calling the president's attacks on members of the judiciary demoralizing and disheartening.

And she is not backing down, why silencing Elizabeth Warren right on the Senate floor backfires on Republican leaders.

A lot to get to. I want to bring in now this hour. We will begin with CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, Legal analyst Laura Coats, national security analyst Juliette Kayyem, the author of "Security Mom" and defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, the author of "Electile Dysfunction, a guide for unaroused voters."

Hello. Welcome to all of you.

Alan, I'm going to start with you. The president watching the live oral arguments along with millions of others last night. And he is probably watching on CNN but listening to them because telephoned by audio. And today lashed out at three federal court judges deciding the case accusing them of acting politically. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I listened to a bunch of stuff last night on television that was disgraceful. I don't ever want to call a court biased so I won't call it biased. And we haven't had a decision yet. But courts seem to be so political and it would be so great for your justice system if they would be able to read a statement and do what's right.


LEMON: Across the line? Is he helping his case? Hurting? Does it matter? ALAN DERSHOWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it probably doesn't matter

much. And of course, he makes a point. Courts are political. He knows that. He appointed Gorsuch instead of Merrick Garland. That was a political decision. And it was a little unfortunate that even in yesterday's argument the two judges who seemed more sympathetic to Washington State were two Democratic appointees and the one judge is seen more sympathetic to the position of the White House was Republican.

But he should have been angry more at the lawyer for the justice department who really didn't do justice to the case that the White House has. They have a stronger case than that which was made by the lawyer. The lawyer fell into a trap by opening his argument emphasizing the president's power over national security. And that opened the judges up to asking, what is your evidence? What is -- where is the record on that? You are just speculating.

Look. I don't think the judges really believe that President Trump knows about impending terrorist attacks from classified information. But they have to give him credit because he is the president of the United States and he is the one who initially makes decisions about who to exclude.

So it's a balancing act. And the president has to understand that this is the only country in the world where judges are equal to the president with judicial branch is coequal to the government. He doesn't seem to understand that.

LEMON: Tonight, above the law is reporting them more than 100 applet lawyers from across the country have sent a letter to acting solicit general Noel Francisco defending Judge James Robart of the ninth circuit who stopped the president's ban in its tracks. And in the author of the letter writes that says, lawyers across the political spectrum believe the president's personal attacks on individual judges and on the judicial branch are improper and destructive because judges face ethical constraints in their ability to respond directly. The letter calls on president to retract and end such personal attacks.

So Laura, what can the solicitor general do about this? Anything?

LAURA COATS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Not much. I mean, you know, if you want to harness Donald Trump, it not going well so far for anyone for anyone who has tried. So the real issue now is thinking about listen, the context of this case matters. Why it's before the court matters. And I honestly understand why President Trump would be a little irritated listening to oral argument. If you have never heard one before, you would think that going at the people who are arguing the case trying to find out their weakest points is where (ph) attacking them. But that's your job to find out what are your weakest argument and try to convince the other judges how to actually rule on the case. It's very hard to predict based on the questioning alone which frankly peppered both sides quite well, what the leanings really are. So you have to wait for the process to really unfold, in the meantime stay off twitter.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I also have reservations about this letter that the lawyers sent. You know, we treat judges as if they are these deities that can't be criticized and we can't --. You know, these are unaccountable, life tenured judges who have life and death power over all sorts of situations. They should be open for criticism, including from the president.

[23:05:00] LEMON: I agree.

TOOBIN: And you know, like -- so he doesn't want to respond, too bad, deal with it.

LEMON: You heard Alan last hour, he criticized a judge and he almost went to jail. So I don't know it I would --.

TOOBIN: Yes. But it was in Italy, which might not be so bad.

LEMON: Yes. And he was in college and you know.

DERSHOWITZ: But, you know, but we have all criticized judges here and we should continue criticizes judges. Remember, in the Roosevelt administration it was the good guys who were criticizing the judges. Now, you know, you have to be able --

LEMON: Alan, let me ask you. When you apply a judge who is going to be responsible if there are future terrorist attacks. Is that going too far?

DERSHOWITZ: That is going too far. I think is too far because it is not true. And it says to judges, you know, don't free people who may have some reasonable doubt about their conviction because there is procedure - a constitutional error. Whenever you free a person who might be guilty, are you responsible? No the system is responsible. And we shouldn't point the finger at judge.

LEMON: I just want to ask real quick before I go on to Juliet. Is it make a big if Jeff Sessions was confirmed tonight as attorney general? You know, president is not happy about this, trying to get the ban through. Is that going to make a difference?

TOOBIN: I don't think so. This is, you know, very smooth pass that. It is about the facts and law.

LEMON: OK. All right.

Juliette, President Trump also raised Specter of terrorist attack today. Listen to this.


TRUMP: Terrorism, a tremendous threat, far greater than people in our country understand. Believe me. I have learned a lot in the last two weeks and terrorism is a far greater threat than the people of our country understand.


LEMON: Juliette, is there any greater risk of attack because of the restraining order?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It doesn't work that way, Don. If you do this, they will do that. I mean, as we all know, what animates the terrorist, their capability, their motivation, their access to soft targets, their access to individuals or populations, there are so many variables than to just say if not, you know, it weren't for the media, you know, then we would be safer. If it weren't for judges then we would be safe.

I mean, all these drama and distraction about what I would agree with Trump is a threat. Spent my career in it, of course I agree with that. It's just - it is a way of not focusing on substantive issues related to counterterrorism policy. I sort of started to call them the real housewives of the situation room. I mean, there's so much drama coming out of there.

Meanwhile, as we move forward, right, we have an executive order that has alienated our allies, including European allies. We have, you know, humanitarian workers for the Red Cross who were killed in Afghanistan. We have Yemen now making statements about whether -- because of the failed raid last weekend, whether we can come in and do covert operations. Unclearly exactly where it stood, but clearly Yemen is not happy about being on the executive order list.

We have real issues about our counterterrorism strategy, whether Trump's philosophy is effective or not. And so, all this stuff that he is doing keeps us from I think assessing and judging what the threat is and how to fight it effective --

LEMON: Juliette, is this about fear, though? Because Sean Spicer was asked if he knew of any specific threat and he said, no. Is the president or the administration that they are trying to scare the public?

KAYYEM: I think so. I mean, look. I think anyone who knows counterterrorism, I think American public - I think we kind of infantilize the American public. They know that there is a consistent and persistent threat. And it is very unlikely that we are going to know at any moment when that threat is coming. And then what we do is we put confidence in our government to try to minimize that. We get involved by seeing something or saying something. We support our first responders should something comes attack (ph).

I mean, those are all the different pieces. So I think all this talk about I know things that you don't know, it's just a way of both scaring people to make terrorism a bigger issue than it is, but also distracting from what I think are failures of his counterterrorism policy to date, the executive order, the Yemen raid and who knows what is coming next.

LEMON: Laura, the president tweeted this today. And he said, big increase in traffic into our country from certain areas while our people are far more vulnerable as we wait for what should be easy D. Is that going to put pressure on?

COATS: I would - decision so I'm going to go there. The second point I have to make is really --.

TOOBIN: Are you old enough to be in this program?

COATS: Alan get arrested in Italy, I don't know what is happening tonight. But the reason why the president stood up today and really talk about that lawyer, that said his constitutional - congressional authority to be able to say I can decide who comes into the country and why these seeds of fear are now, you know, being planted is because he has the conception that the court is second guessing his national security risk assessment prerogatives.

That's not what is happening right now. Ninth court is saying listen, we had a status quo. The Obama administration named these seven countries before and we had vetting to use in place. So tell us why we can't go back to that time? Why that status quo no longer works. And that's what we have to (INAUDIBLE). If there is no reason why we can't go back to status quo, then guess what, the ban stays suspended until you have a full, you know, hearing on the merits. So this is really fear mongering, but it also is because you don't understand -- he doesn't understand the basis for why the ninth circuit is trying to rule.

[23:10:39] DERSHOWITZ: But the court did question his authority. There were judges on that court yesterday who would challenging the government lawyer, and the government didn't respond very well to the challenge, but they were saying where is the evidence? How do we know? These are hard questions. And I think the lawyer for the government didn't appropriately respond with institutional answers about what the proper role of courts is, what the proper role of the executive and legislature. So he does have a point.

Now, I can imagine him watching that and saying look, I have classified information, they don't. Why are they questioning me like this? I think he has a real learning curve to figure out what his relationship with the judiciary.

LEMON: OK. Well, I got to go, Alan. But you said that everyone should be able to question the judge. Shouldn't judges be able to question the president?

DERSHOWITZ: Of course. And that's why saw the process operating yesterday. It was imperfect.

LEMON: And if they take offense, should he?

DERSHOWITZ: Absolutely. No side should take offense. Each side should be willing to criticize the other.

LEMON: Thank you panel. I appreciate it.

Up next, silencing Senator Elizabeth Warren right on the Senate floor backfires on Republican leaders.


[23:15:18] LEMON: Tonight, a lot of Democrats are rallying around Senator Elizabeth Warren. Last night she was silenced on the Senate floor by Republicans while reading a letter written 30 years ago by Coretta Scott King, the widow of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. That letter criticized Senator Jeff Sessions. Afterwards she called - she was called into this program and she said this.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: There have been hard words on the United States Senate through the years. But all of a sudden, when I'm reading something a truthful statement from Coretta Scott King, the answer is can't say that. They can shut me up but can't change the truth.


LEMON: So let's discuss now. CNN political commentator Symone Sanders, former press secretary of Bernie Sanders and Republican strategist Ron Nehring who is a former national spokesman for Ted Cruz for president.

Good to have you both on. Good evening.

Elizabeth Warren weighing in just a bit ago on Jeff Session's confirmation today tweeting out the following.

She said there is no rule 19 to silence me from talking about Jeff Sessions anymore. So let me say loudly and clearly, this is just the beginning. If Jeff Sessions turns a blind eye while Donald Trump violates the constitution or breaks the law, he will hear from all of us. If Jeff Sessions makes even the tiniest attempt to bring his racism, sexism and bigotry into the justice department, he will hear from all of us. And you better believe every senator who voted to put Jeff Sessions' radical hatred into the justice department will hear from all of us too. Consider this my warning. We will not be silent. We will speak out and we will persist.

So Ron Nehring, the drama continues. Do you think that the backlash today over the Senator Warren's silencing is fair?

RON NEHRING, FORMER NATIONAL SPOKESMAN FOR TED CRUZ FOR PRESIDENT: You know, I think what you have right now is Democratic Party that's in crisis. The Democratic expected to win the last presidential election, they got blown out. And now you have a discussion going on within the Democratic Party really in terms of what direction should the party go? They should have move in the direction of Bernie Sanders and the radical left or should it try to appeal, and try win back some of those voters, perhaps some of the union voters for example who Donald Trump won.

I haven't seen anything from Elizabeth Warren or from any Democrat in the house or Senate that indicates that they are serious about winning back anyone in their coalition who they lost to Donald Trump in the last election.

LEMON: For time purposes though, do you think the backlash has been fair over her silencing? NEHRING: you know, nothing is fair in politics. You know, his is,

you know, if you're interested in fairness, you know, people need to go, you know, find another line of work. I think the reality is that we see as grandstanding. Jeff Sessions was always going to be confirmed. There was no possibility that the Democrats were going to stop whatsoever. And so we see grandstanding and posturing and really people trying out different type of techniques to try to get a foothold for the Democratic Party going forward.

LEMON: OK. But let me you look at these headlines. Just - because I know you say it's grandstanding. But look, this is in a social media on hash tags. It was like #shepersisted, right. And then #letlizspeak. Even Hillary Clinton weighed in with this tweet. How this does not give her more of a voice here.

So they made think just let her -- if tree falls in woods would nobody would have known, nobody would have cared. At least, it would have not been on cable news or would it been all over the news media, it would have been in the paper, it would have been a hashtag. Maybe just -- the strategy was wrong.

NEHRING: Well, come on. Elizabeth Warren's mini me Hillary Clinton was just on the ballot and got crushed in the presidential election. You see the same type of shrill tactics being used by Elizabeth Warren that we saw it coming from Hillary Clinton. And this doesn't work. If Democrats continue moving in this direction that produced a loss to them to Donald Trump in the last election, how are they going to build a majority? They are not on the path to do that.


NEHRING: And so, as far as I'm concern as partisan Republican, the Democrats can go on this path as long as they want because this is going to lead to continued minority status for them.

LEMON: Let her respond. Go ahead, Symone.

SANDERS: Now, well, Don. Ron, you know that Donald Trump lost the popular vote. And that doesn't mean anything against in the context of 270, but it definitely mean something in the context of what the American people believe in and what they want.

Look, what happened on the Senate floor last night was absolutely egregious. It is appalling that words of Coretta Scott King are not appropriate apparently for the Senate floor, and during black history month nonetheless. So that wasn't grandstanding last night. This was frankly just a bad call from Senate Republicans. And they helped blow it up.

So yes, #I'mwithher, picture of Coretta Scott King. Let Liz speak. But this is about that attempted silencing of Coretta Scott King ad those words.

[23:20:04] LEMON: Well, Symone, the male senators were also allowed to read a letter out loud today, the same letter without --.

SANDERS: Exactly. And they are sexism. Yes.

LEMON: Do you think it would have happened if -- to a man last night?


LEMON: Why Senator Warren?

SANDERS: Well, you know what I think, we have to ask the Republicans why -- and the Senate Republicans specifically why time and time again they traffic in sexism and in some cases bigotry who were talking about senator Sessions.

LEMON: But she said -- Elizabeth Warren told TNT today she didn't think it was sexist gesture.

SANDERS: And that is Senator Warren's opinion. I think that sometimes things sound differently coming from female voice than it does from a man's voice. And those are just the facts. But some people can't take it that Coretta Scott King or Elizabeth Warren or Symone Sanders or anybody speaks up and has an opinion.

And I definitely think what we are seeing is that this ground swell that happened yesterday is not going away. This is the energy that Democrats need. And so, I disagree with Ron when he says that the Democrats are running a failed strategy. Contrary to that point, we are not. This is reminiscent of the tea party in 2009. This is what we are seeing on the left.

LEMON: Ron, I have to ask you though, because I picked it up when you made the comparison between Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren you said shrill, sort of, politics or actions. And no one describes man as shrill. Why would you describe her - their actions as shrill? Do you think that's a sexist remark?

NEHRING: No I don't think so. But you just listen to either, you know, Elizabeth Warren or Hillary Clinton. These are people who are catering with their rhetoric and with their style to a particular branch of the Democratic Party.

SANDERS: How is that different than what the Republicans do?

NEHRING: Hold on a second. That's where the energy in the Democratic Party is today. That's why Bernie Sanders did as well as he did and it is why Hillary Clinton needed a biased Democratic National Committee to take the nomination away from Bernie Sanders. I think that's very interesting dynamic that you have taking place there.

SANDERS: No, no.

NEHRING: But do we see anything happening? So we see anything coming from Elizabeth Warren or Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi or anyone left in leadership in the Democratic Party that is going to build a Democratic majority going forward? Absolutely nothing.

Donald Trump is president today because he did very, very well among a certain bloc of voters who were traditionally voting Democrat. And those are union people. Those are people from Maine down to Kentucky and Kentucky up to Minnesota. Those are the counties where Donald Trump over performed over Mitt Romney and the Democrats do nothing to get those voters back. Zero.

SANDERS: Look, Don, I think the power is with the people here. And so, Democrats do have some work to do but the power is with the people and the people are showing up. They are showing up in airports to protest the Muslim ban. They are showing up in communities all across the country. They are showing up to Democratic Party meetings. And that is what we need and that is what is going to get us to get some gains on the local level.

NEHRING: All those people voted for Hillary Clinton.

SANDERS: Look. We don't know that. We don't know all of those folks voted for Hillary Clinton. The fact of the matter is, Republicans are scared, OK. They have Donald Trump who is unhinged off his rocker as president of the United States of America and they see these people in the streets. They see this ground swell. They see this frankly just egregious and --

NEHRING: That ground swell exist on the Election Day.

LEMON: Let me ask you Ron. Let me ask you then.


LEMON: Let me ask you that. Because I mean, people said the same thing about the tea party. That it wasn't going to make a difference. It is just people out screaming and doesn't translate in the votes and it did. Are Republicans concerned about the people in the streets or should they be concern about it?

SANDERS: In my opinion they should be concern.

NEHRING: You know, with tea party came about in 2009. And in 2008, I don't think the Republican base was very energized in the 2008 election. I was there. I was a chairman of the California Republican party at the time. Our based was not exactly fired up.

LEMON: Democrats weren't energized in this election either.

SANDERS: Don is making my point.

NEHRING: The democratic base was very fired up in the most recent election in 2016 because Donald Trump is a one man nuclear reactor charging up the Democratic base. No one is going to say the Democrat base is any more charged up now than it was on Election Day and Hillary Clinton got blown out in the Electoral College. Politics is about addition. And I don't see anything coming from the Senate Democrats --

LEMON: I'm out of time.

(CROSSTALK) SANDERS: Look around the streets. The people are here. Change is definitely coming and just put Donald Trump and the Republicans (INAUDIBLE).

LEMON: Thank you. You guys keep arguing in the break.

We will be right back.


[23:28:29] LEMON: President Trump criticizing the judges who are deciding the legal challenges to his travel ban saying quote "it's a sad day."

Here to discuss, CNN political commentators Sally Kohn, Kayleigh McEnany and Bakari Sellers as well as Bob Cusack, editor in-chief of "the Hill."

This is like a pre-election panel. Look at that.

So let's go. Here is Trump discussing the three federal judges who is going to decide the immigration ban case. Listen.


TRUMP: If you were a good student in high school or bad student in high school, you can understand this. And it is really incredible to me that we have a court case that's going on so long. As you know in Boston we won it with a highly respected judge and very strong opinion, but now we are in an area that -- let's just say - they are interpreting things differently than probably 100 percent of the people in this room.


LEMON: So the judge is strong and respectable when the judge agrees with him. So what's your reaction, Bob?

BOB CUSACK, EDITOR IN-CHIEF, THE HILL: I mean, I don't think there is any positive to this for Donald Trump because he is going after judges. He has gone after John Robarts before. And a lot of the Trump agenda is actually going to end up at Supreme Court. So I think a lot of his aides are probably thinking maybe this is not the best thing.

LEMON: Kayleigh, do you think he's trying to intimidate the judges here or maybe he is trying to minimize the expectations of the ruling?

[23:30:04] KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's latter because if you are trying to intimidate the judges he is not going to succeed. We know they have life tenure. So perhaps it is to minimize expectations. We know the ninth circuit is the most liberal and also the most overturned court in the nation.

But look. I have heard sitting senators say things about the executive, the president of the United States, just two hours ago a senator called his decision making abhorrent. You had Elizabeth Warren calling a new member of the executive now Jeff Sessions absolutely hate filled. So for one calling for a branch of government criticize the other, it seems to be accepted to say these awful things about Donald Trump. When Donald Trump lightly criticizes the judiciary, all of the sudden the world is coming to an end.

LEMON: But Gorsuch, he also criticize President Thomas as well.

MCENANY: Correct. So now you a have judge criticizing the executive.

LEMON: And that is his pick.



KOHN: Be clear about this. First of all --.

LEMON: That would be groundbreaking.

KOHN: I know. But like I'm, you know, I have 8-year-old and tell my 8-year-old that two wrongs don't make a right. I don't think I shouldn't have to tell the president that. But apparently, I do. To wrongs don't make a right. It doesn't matter what - anyone in Congress who you can cite or mention, you and I both, Kayleigh, both know. We both went to law school. You and I both know we should be offering a basic modicum of respect and indignity to the judiciary. And the simple fact is that, you know as well as I do, that if a Democratic president did this you would be howling from the rafters, it's not OK. And what he is trying to do is disrupt half of the American public's faith in the judiciary along with the media in general so that he can so discord and try find his power in the mess. And he is also planting blame. So that if there is a kind of attack that if anything like what might have possibly been prevented, supposedly, by his completely unlawful and unrelated to presenting terrorism Muslim ban, he can blame the media and the judiciary.

MCENANY: It is the judiciary, if we lost faith in the judiciary. It's not because of anything Donald Trump said. It is because of the actions of the judiciary who might as well be a political branch of the left in some cases, certainly the ninth circuit.

KOHN: Except, of course, the judge in Michigan who did the right thing. Well, it is the same thing with the media. It's like Donald Trump - it is fake when I don't like it. And it is good sources when I like it. Fake polls when I don't like it.

MCENANY: No, it is fake when the law is so evidently with Trump on this.

KOHN: No, this isn't good for our democracy.

LEMON: There are panelist that are outside of this room. And you guys better jump in.

Bakari, you said that Trump is currently abusing his authority. Explain that.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I mean, I don't think there is any question about it. And when you heard his quote today and I will jump in with Kayleigh and Sally, and you know, went to law school as well. It was absent any legal nuance whatsoever or legal justification. I'm not sure that Donald Trump knows what that is.

But I do think that Donald Trump is doing more than criticizing. I think it's unfair to characterize when a senator McConnell chastises a Barack Obama or an Elizabeth Warren chastises Donald Trump with this scenario. And that is because Donald Trump has gone at the foundations of our democracy.

Donald trump has literally put out there and tried to scapegoat these judges if, and that is a big if, if any terror attack happens in this country. That sows distrust in the judiciary. This is not a simple. And I have to piggyback on Sally's statement. This is not a simple criticism of one judge or another. And I think that Donald Trump is just setting bad precedent here. And I think that moving forward will let the courts play out. And Senator McConnell said it on Sunday. You let the courts play out. You let it shake down the way it shakes and we will see what happens.

LEMON: OK. Let's move on now. I want to talk about something else. Last week Nordstrom announced that he is dropping Ivanka Trump's clothing on Ivanka Trump's clothing on setting declining sales that came after boycotts. And in a statement today, Nordstrom repeated that this is strictly a business decision. However the president attacked Nordstrom today tweeting daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by Nordstrom. She is a great person, always pushing me to do the right thing. Terrible.

And then moments later, the official Potus account retweeted the attack. And I know that you have a lot to say about your thoughts on this, Sally. Go on.

KOHN: I mean, this also comes on the heels of really important lawsuit that was revealed today filed by Melania, saying that she, in a valid by the way, valid liable lawsuit which she has every right to file and I think is good claim. She is saying that the damages that should accrue to her from that liable affect her ability to make money and profit off her low over the - her unprecedented role and fame over the next four year term, actually uses that language.

Look. What the Trump family is trying to do with the White House is pull off the greatest heist in the history of American politics. They are literally trying to strip mine America for their own personal gain and give the remnants of whatever is left to his crony cabinet. And there is word for this. It's cleptocracy (ph). When the people in power, when the elites in power try to take government and use government for their personal gain at the cost of the people, that is a cleptocracy (ph). That is (INAUDIBLE).

[23:35:11] LEMON: Bob Cusack, what is your response?

CUSACK: Well, listen. I mean, I think Donald Trump is, he is defending his children. He loves his children. At the same time you have to wonder was there pressure on Nordstrom? I mean, he just got into office and this happened. At the same time Republicans on Capitol Hill that I talk to they don't like these type of tweets. I mean, they want to talk about tax reform. They want to talk about healthcare reform, transportation. They don't want to talk about Nordstrom. And they feel it's a serious distraction from their agenda.

Shouldn't they have thought about this -- I have to take break. But shouldn't he thought about this before he ran for president? This are the things that you sit down with your family and you say listen. This may affect your brand. This may affect our business. We are going to have to do this. We have to dig us this. Don't you think about that? I mean, I would never run for president because, you know. I love you.

SELLERS: You wouldn't win don.

LEMON: Well, you said that about Donald Trump. And so.

KOHN: Valid point.

LEMON: Anyway, we will take it. But I mean, I think -you think about those things before you run for president, you don't decide later that, you know, you want to change it or you want to fight against it. That's just my two cents.

KOHN: Want to profit off it.

LEMON: Be right back.


[23:40:12] LEMON: I'm back now with my panel.

And by the way, Bakari Sellers, lot of people telling me you're wrong. That I actually would win if I ran for president. They said that they would vote for me over you any day. So take that. Anyway, you stole my haircut by the way.

SELLERS: I make it look good, Don.

LEMON: I had it first. I wore it best.

KOHN: Sellers-Lemon, point 20. I mean --.

LEMON: Let's move on.

I want to talk about this because United Talent Agency cancelling their annual Oscar party and instead donating $250,000 to the American civil liberties union, who has worked to oppose President Trump's immigration ban as well as the international rescue committee. They also are hosting a pro-immigration rally in Los Angeles before the Oscars.

What do you think of that, Kayleigh? MCENANY: That's fine. It just shows that they completely

misunderstand President Trump who said repeatedly he is pro- immigration. He is anti-people infiltrating, terrorists infiltrating our refugee program as the intelligence community has warns us they are doing. So that is the fundamental misunderstanding of the message, but I don't blame them because if they watch leftist commentators, they would walk away fully thinking that Donald Trump is anti-immigration when he is not.

LEMON: They said they are doing that because one, just because they believe in diversity and also a number of the people who are nominated for Oscars, right, were immigrants and so they feel that artistry is on the line.

KOHN: Yes. And this wasn't just about the Muslim ban, although, that is obviously part of it. And the fact that our country already extremely thoroughly vets people coming in and people with visas were turned away, if not just that. It is the fact that Donald Trump has talked about rounding up and deporting 11 million people who are lured here by our businesses, our big businesses like the ones that his nominee for secretary of labor hired and uses to the fast food industry. But Donald Trump wants to penalize those people and that's what folks are fighting for.

LEMON: I'm glad you mentioned business because there is also some criticism and this is coming from the Sports World. It has to do with business after Under Armor, you know, the big athletic company, the CEO Kevin Plank told CNBC that President Trump was quote "an asset to the country." Golden States Warrior superstar Steph Curry who was sponsored by Under Armor for his shoe line told the Mercury News. This is he says I agree with the description if you remove the E and T. Steph Curry meaning that he is not right. You got that.

Steph Curry went on to say that he spent the whole day on the phone with company and its CEO to make sure that the brand and its leadership are in line with his core values. What impact do you think this will have, Bakari?

SELLERS: Well, I think it is going to have a positive impact. There's this movement going around on the right which is troublesome because especially when it comes to athletes. They just simply want athletes to be seen and not heard. They want actors to be seen and not heard. And I think that's tragic.

I think throughout history what we have seen, whether or not you look at Mohammed Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown and many others, they have always spoke out for what they believe to be is right.

And let me tell you something very specific about Steph Curry. Steph Curry is a great Christian man. Steph Curry is a great father. Steph Curry is a great husband and Steph Curry is a great son. His record and his character impeccable and unimpeachable. And Steph Curry has every right because he goes out and performs every single day to use his platform for however he sees fit. And we can criticize his opinion if we want but Step Curry has the right to give it. And the fact that Step Curry is not only standing up against Donald

Trump but he is actually standing up against the people who are signing his paycheck means his word goes that much further. I wish Steph Curry a great deal of success except against Lebron James.

LEMON: Listen. (INAUDIBLE) and I hate to cut you off. But I want to get Bob in here, Kayleigh. Lebron James is among other start who have spoken out against the immigration. And he is speaking out tonight. Do you think this sort of athletes and branding, does that matter to what happens in this country? Will that affect anything, Bob?

CUSACK: I mean, I think to some degree, yes. Because they have a big megaphone and they have a big following. But we are three weeks in. And there is, you know, there are some Democrats who saying let's give this new president a chance. Now the beauty of the first amendment is that you can criticize anybody you want. So I think it moves the dial somewhat.

But Don, remember before the election, all the celebrities came out against Trump and Trump won.

MCENANY: And I would urge the left, you know, to the Bakari's point if we are going to allow athletes to use their platform to promote leftist things less accord the same respect to people like Tom Brady who rumors had it supported Trump. He was lambasted for that or Bob Craft (ph) or (INAUDIBLE) his pitcher who has lambasted by their fans for just golfing at the Trump golf course. So when right, when Trump, when athletes or celebrities come out and profess right wing point, there, you know --

SELLERS: But that's fine.


[23:45: 01] SELLERS: What is good for the goose is good for the gander. And I think what happens is when we start treating people and feeding people the different spoons here. And the fact is Tom Brady, for example, decided not to show up at Barack Obama White House. That was fine. But New England Patriots players this year, James White is considered doing it, buy Martel (ph) has been and has already said that he will not, when they decided that they are not going to show up, just treat them with the same dignity and respect that you treated Tom Brady.


MCENANY: Asking you not to engage in hypocrisy.

KOHN: We elected a right-wing, you know, television star, I think you won.

LEMON: We got to go. Thank you all.

Coming up, comedian Nick Cannon this year explaining why he didn't vote for Trump or Clinton.


[23:49:34] LEMON: Comedians are some of the sharpest observers of raise in politics in America. Exhibit a, Nick Cannon. His special standup don't shoot premiers this Friday on Showtime at 9:00 p.m. eastern. Take a look at it.


NICK CANNON, COMEDIAN: When I say white people, I'm talking about the people who run everything. I'm not talking about white people. I'm talking about whites in power. You isn't got no power. You just (bleep) are going together. (Bleep) white people. Somebody get this!


[23:50:10] LEMON: Joining me now is Nick Cannon. You get a lot raunchier than that.

CANNON: I do. It goes - I mean, I appreciate you for watching it.

LEMON: I love watching stand up. And sometimes it takes a long ride to go when I'm traveling. Standing up on that. But I won't say which network or whatever.

We are going to talk about your Showtime special "Stand Up, Don't Shoot." But can we talk about some politics.

CANNON: Absolutely. I mean, that's what I'm talking about in my stand up special. It is a lot of folks are commentary and, you know, actually believe it is the comedian's duty to, you know, hold society's mirror up to show them the truth.

LEMON: So mentioned that the new president -- did you ever think he would be president?

CANNON: You know what, you know me. I was one of the guys that I was like pick you a present. You know what I mean? Like I was not rooting for to one or when I were not felt like it. I ran by some secret society anyway.

LEMON: So you didn't vote for Hillary Clinton either?

CANNON: I didn't. You know, I mean, I didn't vote for either one. I sure did exercised my right to vote, but I wasn't, you know, I was an advocate out there. It is like, man, local voting and being about community is way more important than the personality that's in the White House now. I definitely don't agree with the personality that is in the White House. I would love for my daughter to be able to see a woman in the White House.

LEMON: All right. But you said you didn't vote for her.

CANNON: I didn't. Because there is a lot of things that she stand for that I don't agree with.

LEMON: Who would you rather have right now, though? CANNON: I like - to me, it doesn't matter. It is like (INAUDIBLE),

you know. It is like there is no such thing as two parties. Just one evil party with two names. It's real.

LEMON: Do you think in this current climate, I mean, it's fertile ground for comedians, right, because comedians are getting off on it.

CANNON: We is part from SNL to my special like get to talk about it all. And I mean, that's the silver lining in the clouds is that, you know. Again, we get to say hey, we know it's a lot of indifference going on. But like, at least, let's try to make light of it and that brings it here.

LEMON: Do you think that it's - so you don't see that difference with this new administration.

CANNON: You know, (INAUDIBLE) and call it what it is. I'm talked about this on my special like Trump is a bully. That's his whole life. That's "The Apprentice" was all about. He is a bully on reality TV. He is a bully on twitter. Like he is -- I'm going to beat you up after school at 3:00 and tell everybody. Let's meet there. Like I felt like all of these things would still be going on except for he is tweeting about it. He is boasting about it. He is sticking his chest out saying I'm going to do what I want.

LEMON: But you also, I thought it was funny, because you also talked about in your special where you say, you know, you talk about white people. You like you are feeling yourself now.

CANNON: Take that.

LEMON: What do you mean by that?

CANNON: No. Because I always say like and it's so true. When Obama was the president, we were out there celebrating. Having a good time. Soul train live, you know. White people were little quiet. They are loud again. They are doing their dance. Fist pumping and stuff.

So, it is all jokes, but there is some seriousness to the idea where there is a certain, you know, like white nationalist idea that comes out there was hidden for a while. It had been revealed in such a way. But I feel like it's a great time in this country. It's very reminiscent of the civil rights movement. Because people are so passionate and so on edge on both sides that you got to deal with it. It has to come to a head. I mean, all in the protests and the movements that we see.

LEMON: Black lives matter. An issue that is close to you. Big issue for you.

CANNON: So important.

LEMON: Do you think that celebrities - and these are just everyday people who are out on the street and who got together for this issue. Do you think that - well, first, talk to me about that and then I want to ask you about celebrities. CANNON: Yes. Well, to me, I feel like we have to have movements and

not moments. And that is why I whole heartedly supported the black lives matter movement.

LEMON: There is the black lives matter sign behind you on stage.

CANNON: Yes, absolutely. Because I was there. I was at as many march as I could actually make it and that you see I have to begin it the cold open. It shows me you know, in the trenches from New York to St. Louis to D.C. I was all over the place. And ultimately it's really about reconditioning the mind sets of our community. And I say this in a special quite clearly like the media like wanted to turn it and make it seem like it was only black lives matter. But when we say black lives matter too. You know what I mean? It is like when we say save the whales, they don't mean forget it all the other fish in the ocean. It is like the whales need saving. They are in danger.

LEMON: Don't you think it takes time for a lot of - for everyone to come around like every -- even the civil rights movement was probably messy in the beginning, right?

CANNON: Absolutely.

LEMON: And people didn't --

CANNON: I mean, they considered Martin Luther King a terrorist threat.

LEMON: Yes. So not let's talk about the celebrities. Do you think that it's important for celebrities to use their platform or for you to use your platform?

CANNON: You know, I come from a school of my mentors like Dick Gregory who is in the special as well. Harry Belafonte.

LEMON: Dick Gregory does not play around. When he comes I'm like I don't know what he is going to say.

[23:55:01] CANNON: He's going to go somewhere. But even Mr. Belafonte who taught me a lot and actually said he is passing me the baton and that sense to where. When you can take the money that we earned as well as the influence that we had and shine that light on things that really matter specifically in the community. That's what we should do.

Our opinion, they buy our opinion. Twitter, we see. Everybody has an opinion. But what I don't think is important I think is actually going in on the right direction is one like the administration is meeting the celebrities.


CANNON: Especially in African-American community, right. Because it is like you got to - they meet, you know, Trump want to meet with Steve Harvey and everybody and like.

LEMON: Are you going over Trump tower after this?

CANNON: No. (INAUDIBLE). No meet with Cornell West. You know what I mean? Like we have a lot of folks (INAUDIBLE), but it shows with how they perceive is like they want to meet with celebrities oppose to people that can actually --.

LEMON: But these are issues that you should know that he talks about in this --.

CANNON: Absolutely.

LEMON: New comedy special, it is call "Standup, Don't shoot." Premieres show time this Friday at 9:00 p.m. eastern.

You're the best. Thank you. You are great guy. I really like having you on.

CANNON: Likewise. Thanks for having me.

LEMON: Thank you.

That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I will see you right back here tomorrow.