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A Passenger Forcibly Dragged Off a Plane; Donald Trump Famously Scolded President Obama for Playing Golf; President Trump Closing in on His First 100 days in Office; Growing Tension in President Trump's Inner Circle. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired April 10, 2017 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:20] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The passenger forcibly dragged off a plane. Could it happen to you?

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

It's not exactly flying the friendly skies.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, come on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. Got to go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My God. Look at what you did to him.


LEMON: More eye witnesses speaking out tonight about what really happened when a paying passenger was dragged off a United flight to make room for airline employees.

Plus the commander in-chief takes command. The White House says America and the world back the president's action in Syria. So why are some of his strongest supporters outraged?

Let's get right to that United airlines story, though, doing some damage control tonight. I want you to look again at what happened when a passenger was forcibly removed from one of its flights.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, hey, hey. Stop it. Come on. Come on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. Got to go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My God. Look at what you did to him.


LEMON: OK. Some more details for you. The flight was over booked. When no one volunteered to give up their seat to make room for united employees, the passenger was dragged off a plane. The next video was shot by another passenger who wishes to remain anonymous.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have to go home. I have to go home. They kill me. They kill me. Just kill me. They kill me. Go home. I have to go home.


LEMON: Joining me now is Doyle Davis who is sitting just a few seats away and witnessed that.

Doyle, thank you so much for joining us. How you doing?

DOYLE DAVIS, WITNESS (on the phone): I'm doing all right. How about yourself?

LEMON: So you were sitting just, as I said, a few feet away. This was a really - a horrific alteration to watch. Tell us what you saw.

DAVIS: Well, I mean to begin with the gentleman on the plane who was asked to de-board. He originally, before the event began he actually volunteered to be, you know, to de-board the plane with his wife in exchange for a credit for the airline, then they told him he wouldn't be able to get to Louisville until the following morning to which he responded that he had to work the next day. He is apparently a doctor in the Louisville area and he was on call the next day and told them I can't. I have to stay on this flight. I have to get to work in the morning. So he sat back down.

And not too long after that the administrator from the airlines came on board, told him he had to leave and he said he couldn't and wouldn't de-board. Then he proceeded to ask why she was picking on him specifically. He said he felt that his race was an issue. He said, you know, the color of my skin is that the reason you're trying to force me and my wife off? Why us and no one else? And the lady told him you are go having to leave or I'm going to have to get the police to pull you off.

LEMON: You were saying -- how close were you sitting, Doyle?

DAVIS: Yes. I was about maybe five rows behind him.

DAVIS: United has said -- so you could hear him. United has said he was selected randomly. Do you believe that or there may have been another issue and maybe he was right about his race?

DAVIS: You know, I don't know. For me to answer that would be pure speculation. I have no reason to believe race was an issue. However, I do believe the way the personnel from the airline chose to handle it was just very, very poor and in poor taste.

LEMON: So it wasn't necessary because you see in that video, I mean, they are dragging him out of there and I mean, it appears to me that he is a bit damaged. Was he bleeding? What kind of condition was he in? DAVIS: He was bleeding? As the police were trying to get him off the

plane and I would like the back up just a second if you don't mind. The police did try several different times to ask the man to just de- board the plane with him. It is my opinion that they tried everything in their power to resolve the issue as peacefully and with the least amount of violence necessary. The man just kind of ended up becoming -- and I don't want to use the word belligerent because that is not right here. He felt that his rights were being violated and I, you know, don't necessarily disagree. That may have been the case. But I do believe that the police did everything in their power to do the right thing here and I feel as though they did.

[23:05:53] LEMON: You think they did the right thing by removing him?

DAVIS: Well, at this point -- you got to keep in mind at this point they are doing their job. I mean, they are charged with keeping the peace and, you know, at this point were following directives and orders to get the man off the plane.

Now, as far as him getting injured, I do not agree with it. It was actually I guess poor taste is the best way to put it. He did smack his face on an arm rail or what is called an arm rest on the aisle as they were escorting him off the plane. That's where all the blood in those video and pictures, that's where all that blood came from.

LEMON: Doyle, let me ask you. There's video of him running up and down the aisle. Was that before or after they removed him? When was that?

DAVIS: That was after they removed him. And there was a great deal of confusion on board the aircraft at that point. We can't figure out how he managed to, you know, escape police custody at that point to get back on the plane.

But what was actually more disturbing than anything was the fact that he was running, you know, back down the aisle blood pouring out of his face and running down his arms and hands saying I have to go home. I have to go home. He appeared to be disoriented. Almost as if he was drugged or something along those lines. Once again I'm not saying he was drugged. I don't know that.

LEMON: I mean, you can imagine --

DAVIS: The way somebody would drugged.

LEMON: You can imagine someone having experienced that sort of trauma you would be disoriented.

DAVIS: Absolutely.

DAVIS: I don't know how would I react to that because I hear other passengers screaming saying, I can't believe, why are you guys doing that? This is horrible. I mean, yes, it doesn't appear he would be dragged off the plane. I don't think they should treat anybody on an airplane that way whether or not you want to --. DAVIS: Don, I don't believe any American citizen should be treated

this way. But I think the important piece is the narrative should not be that the police were in the wrong. The police were asked to remove a man from a united airlines flight. It was the united airlines personnel at the scene who allowed the situation to be handled so poorly. First they handled the situation poorly and essentially put the police between a rock and a hard spot and forced them to make decision s -- did they make the right one? Did they make the wrong one?

LEMON: Having said what you said about the united? How does that make you feel about flying united having said what you just said?

DAVIS: I'm actually trying to get moved. I'm supposed to take a united airlines flight to get home from this trip and I'm trying to get that flight canceled in exchange for another airline.

LEMON: Yes. Doyle Davis, thank you for your time. Appreciate it.

DAVIS: No problem. Thank you.

LEMON: Now want to bring in Bakari Sellers, Angela Rye, Ben Ferguson and Kayleigh McEnany.

Good evening to all of you.

Angela, you first. If you spent any time online today you saw that shocking video, this the guy bloody and now it's all over the news. And I just spoke to that passenger. And he said that he didn't think that the police did anything wrong. That they were between a rock and a hard place. You agree with that?

ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Of course, I don't agree with that. I also don't agree with his sentiment that, you know, no American citizen should be treated that way. I would argue that no human being should be treated that way, Don. I do think it's important for FAA standard. And it is certainly is legal for a passenger to be bumped. In fact, more than 40,000 people last year were bumped off a flight.

I think the issue is that when you have someone who booked on a flight, you allow them to board and then you physically drag them off that flight, that is something very different. That violates all types of standards for human decency. This is certainly wrong. For that man's face to be bloody.

You know, I can't even imagine how he felt. This is someone who the medical professional. And this is the second time in recent history where united airlines had an epic fail. In fact their CEO also responded in a second statement today essentially justifying the behavior. The only thing they can say right now to potentially prevent a lawsuits is I'm so sorry. This should never happen. And if you all want flight a friendly sky, united will never drag you off a plane.

[23:10:50] LEMON: I do find that a lot of people who work in the airline industry are being particularly defensive tonight and the same people don't usually feel that same way about police brutality videos here. Completely on the opposite side. But for some reason on this one, I don't - and I don't understand why. It appears to be the same thing to me.

Ben, what do you think? Who was at fault here, the man who was dragged off (INAUDIBLE), was it the officer, was it United airlines for over-booking it, who is at fault?

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This should have never escalated to the point where you had to get police involved if you are running a company in the appropriate manner.

The united airlines is company that made literally billions of dollars in net income last year. You look at the story, you have a full flight, you offered $400 the first time, no one took you off on that voucher. You then go to more money, $800. No one takes you up on that offer. You then go to whatever it takes to get the four people off the plane so that you don't have an episode like this when you are making billions of dollars and you purposely over sale product knowing there's never going to be an issue. If it takes 3,000 in vouchers or 5,000 in vouchers, everybody has a number. And I guarantee you on that plane, if you offered up 12, 15, 1800 hours to go to the next day, someone would have happily reached up, --.

LEMON: So you are saying it's the airline's fault?

FERGUSON: Yes, it is the airline's fault. Not, let me say this. That the airline should know better than to do this. If you overbook a flight, there is some responsibility that united should be under tonight to pay whatever it takes when you are maximizing your profits, over selling a flight on purpose should be responsible.

LEMON: OK, I got your point. I just need to let other folks to get it.

So Bakari, the guy was kicked off because the plane was overbooked, not because of was unruly or drunk or disruptive at someone else on. He said I was talking to him before. His kid was talking to him. The guys was fine. Dragged off because the airline was overbooked. I mean, what do you think?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first to Ben's point, the FAA guidelines, you can only pay $1350. So you can't negotiate as high as you want to if you are particular airlines. So that's null and void. But beyond - I mean, we have to have options when the police contact this individual. It should not be leave on your free will or say or break your face. I mean, there has to be something in there that we talk about de-escalation, we talked other tactics. Then having someone who is a medical professional who simply trying to get to work the next day, whose face is now broken, whose now emotionally, mentally, physically, he's going to have to face that anguish.

United had an epic fail as Angela was saying, but this isn't the first time. Two years ago their CEO had to resign at the Bridge gate. They kicked - let young lady off the plane a few months ago for wearing leggings. They had pilots who were asking for Hillary Clinton to be hang just last year. United airlines has some problem, and it rats from the top. And that statement the CEO had today was pathetic. This is as if he was having the bad week and then united says, please, hold my drink. Let me go do worse.

LEMON: Kayleigh, let's put up the statement since you mentioned it, Bakari. Flight 3411 from Chicago, this is how United explained it, from Chicago to Louisville was over booked after our team looked for volunteers. One customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily. Law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologized for the over book situation.

And then, the CEO went on to say this is an upsetting event to all of us here in united. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with the sense of urgency, to work with the authorities and conduct our owned detailed review of what happened.

He apologizes for having to re-accommodate but not for the way this passenger was treated.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, look, I agree fully. Look. There are a bunch of wrong parties here. Number one, you know, you look at this department of aviation security officer who did ask multiple times for the passenger to get up. The passenger did not comply. I think the passenger was wrong not to comply.

But that aside, I think Ben hit the nail on the head here. These airlines should not be doing this. You know, JetBlue prides itself as one of the few, if not the only airline, do not intentionally overbooked flight because they put the customer before, you know, the dollar at the end of the day.

When you overbook flights there, people trying to get to - I personally was trying to get to my grandfather's funeral when I was on an overbooked flight. You know, people trying to go to funerals, trying to go wedding, this guy was a doctor trying to get to his patients. It's uncalled to have purchase the ticket and then in boiler plate language at the bottom say we know you purchased the ticket but you might not actually getting on this plane.

[23:15:15] LEMON: Yes, listen. We would be boxing if someone trying to do that, I'm just going to tell you. It would be - I paid. My money is green like that person and the people who didn't pay anything, and the customer is supposed to be right, they are going to get a seat on the plane? No sir, Bob.


LEMON: I want to point out Chicago aviation officer we see in that video was put on leave today.

Quickly because I got to get the break, Ben, fast.

FERGUSON: I was going to say, Bakari said that they can only go up to a certain number. The airline didn't even go to the maximum number they were allowed to offer to get people off the plane. The other thing is if that is a problem and the airline knows that sum of that money to get people off planes, then you go to Congress and you raise the number. No on in Congress is going to say no. We won't let you get off without voucher. Let's be honest, it's fake money anyway.

LEMON: Perhaps it will because they will think about that now with this video. But I have just to say, listen. I know that the police are brought on to do a certain job and the airlines got them involves. But imagine if that was your mother being yanked off that plane or your brother or your sister or your niece or your nephew or your grandfather, I would be so pissed off.

RYE: You accommodate a united employee or four united employees. No.

LEMON: All right. We got a lot more to talk about. Stick around. We will be right back.


[23:20:33] LEMON: Donald Trump famously secure President Obama for playing golf. But since taking office, President Trump has spent plenty of time on the links himself.

Back with me now, my panel. You guys are going to love to talk about this. So let's talk about --.

RYE: There goes the bipartisan agreement.

LEMON: Let's talk about what looks more and more like President Trump's weekend routine here, OK. We crunched the numbers and found that the president has spent six weekends and a total of 21 days at Mar-a-Lago. The total cost for those trips around $21.6 million.

Bakari, I think it -- so I'm going to check those numbers but I think it's like 13 times that he has been to the golf course -- 17 times that he has been to the golf course.

SELLERS: Seventeen times.

LEMON: Yes. So, you know.

SELLERS: Just for pure numbers sake in the first 81 days of office, Barack Obama went to the golf course zero times. In the first 81 days of office, Donald Trump has been 17 times. But let's not even talk about just the way that that look. Let's talk about the fiscal accountability or lack thereof and the fact is that Donald Trump is on pace to spend more money in his first year traveling --

LEMON: Bakari -- hold on, Bakari. I'm going to let you finish, Bakari.

SELLERS: Did you just Kanye West me? I was making a point.

LEMON: Put the graphics back up, please.

FERGUSON: That was fun to listen to. LEMON: Because we heard so much from Donald Trump about President

Obama going to the golf course and playing and - but look that, 17 times. Obama zero times. I'm just saying people, if you don't see the hypocrisy in that, then you don't want to see it. You are blind. As a matter of fact let's listen to him and I will you finish.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Obama -- it was reported today played 250 rounds of golf -- he played more golf last year than Tiger Woods.

This guy played more golf than people in the PGA tour.

Golf, golf, golf, more, more. Learning how to chip, learning how to hit the drive. Learning how to putt. I want more.

I love golf. I think it's one of the greats but I don't have time because I'm going to be working for you. I'm not going to have time to go play golf.

I wouldn't leave the White House very much because, you know, like little things like these little trips where they get - you cost you a fortune.

If I were in the White House I don't think I would ever see (INAUDIBLE) ever again. I don't think I would ever see Durell (ph) again. I just want to stay in the White House and work my ass off, make great deals, right. Who is ever going to leave?


RYE: Me too, Don. Same face.

LEMON: Bakari, go on.

SELLERS: That's not fair. You took most of my thunder. But my point still remains that the right has lost credibility. That the FOX News, the right talk shows, all of these people, it is just filled with hypocrisy. My fiscal conservatives and everyone else who blasted Obama for going golfing, they now are all of the sudden quiet about the utter expense.

Donald Trump should just come out and say that simply we can't feed the homeless, we can't feed our veterans, we can't take care of the poor because you have to take care of my three homes and you have to shuttle me around the country to play golf.

And so, I'm sick and tired of the hypocrisy that we are facing. And I wish someone, maybe Kayleigh or Ben, could sit up here and justify this behavior. Because the fact is, he is not at home. He is not doing the work necessary. And as Sean Hannity says, it's really despicable when your president is --


LEMON: Let him get in.

FERGUSON: Bakari - all right. Let's just go back --.

LEMON: Hey, can you get Kayleigh talk please, Ben because you were hogging the entire segment.

FERGUSON: I haven't even talked about golf. Go ahead.

LEMON: You'll defer to - Kayleigh, go on. Because Kayleigh, before you go on, the president is on pace in his first year of office to pass former President Obama's spending on travel for the entire eight years. Come on now.

MCENANY: Look. You know, you are right. But one thing I want to point out is when Bakari talked about the hypocrisy with golf. There's so much hypocrisy -- as Ben pointed out. On his twitter feed, you can go check it out. He pointed out when liberal left wing commentators were, you know, now talking about how upset they are about Syria when Trump does something good on behalf of Syria. The same liberal commentators then hate that something comes in good --.

[23:25:02] LEMON: Can we stick to the golf?

MCENANY: No, but we're talking about hypocrisy. And I think I'm pointing out that you want to point to hypocrisy, it happens on both sides. So I mean, the left can't sit here and act holier than how the as if nothing's going on. No hypocrisy on the left.

LEMON: My God. All right, go ahead.

FERGUSON: Do I need to raise my hand and get in?

LEMON: Well, you can get in after this. Go ahead.

FERGUSON: Just let me know when I can put it down.

RYE: Just real quick, Ben. I will be much quicker than you have ever been.

So just really interesting point here. We are now the fiscal conservatives, Bakari. Who would have ever funk it? We are now the party of fiscal conservatism. We are talking about 28 of 100 days. Kayleigh, don't shake your head, girl. You know I'm right.

MCENANY: No, you're not.


RYE: I don't know what you thought about the golfing because you were talking about Syria. But the only point that I'm raising is a million dollars a day Melania, $3 million a trip, Donald Trump. We are talking about spending that cash.

LEMON: Ben, shouldn't you be leading by example if you are a conservative, a fiscal conservative, shouldn't your life be an example of that or do is it good for you do as I say and not as I do? FERGUSON: Three points here. One, what has the national debt done

under the spending under this president as it come?

LEMON: Can we talk about golfing and going to your vacation home.

FERGUSON: Sure, I will talk about golf. There is a difference between -- when he was in Mar-a-Lago just a couple of days ago, was he not with one of the biggest leaders of the world and were they not spending time talking about North Korea?

LEMON: He can't do that at D.C.? He can't do that at Camp David?

FERGUSON: Let me finish my point. When you go down there and you meet and you spend quality time playing golf with a world leader, there is a relationship there that is being built. You cannot criticize --.

LEMON: They should build some golf courses in Washington D.C. That's a good idea. Maybe they should build golf courses in Washington D.C. or maybe they should build a gold course at Camp David.

RYE: You can have it at Andrews.

FERGUSON: I mean, you are acting as if somehow the weather in Florida is the same in New York or Washington D.C.


LEMON: Your golf clubs don't work in the cold. And guess what, it was in the 50s this weekend. What are you talking about?

FERGUSON: MY point is when you have a world leader come in and you can take them to a club, there's nothing wrong with that.

LEMON: Ben, here is a thing. You guys, you can never criticize or at least -- we show the tape of the president being hypocritical and you go no he is not being hypocritical. Don't believe --. You can't even acknowledge it. That takes your credibility away. You have no credibility when you do that.

FERGUSON: Is there work being done while you're down there?

LEMON: All right. Bye. See you all later. Thank you. We will be right back.


[23:31:26] LEMON: President Trump closing in on his first 100 days in office. Is the commander in-chief taking command?

I want to bring in two of the sharpest political observers around. Mark McKinnon, the co-creator of Showtime's "the Circus." And CNN national political reporter Maeve Reston. You like that, Maeve.

Mark, listen. I love watching your show "the Circus." Let's talk about what's happened with Syria. The president was off to a rocky start and then he had the Syria strike. And it seems to be a pivotal moment for him, the president. Do you think he is sort of take in back some of the bad press? And is this a pivotal moment for him to move into a better --?

MARK MCKINNON, CO-CREATOR, SHOWTIME'S THE CIRCUS: Sure. Gives him a big reset. He will have a real opportunity to look - for people look at him differently. Every president gets tested by far by external events. The events that are unplanned. The crisis are imposed. Upon to see how you react to that.

This is his first opportunity to do that. He has met the initial test but that's the easy part. I mean, just hitting the air field was the easy part. Now he has got to get into a very complicated situation in the Middle East which is all even dangerous for any president. But now, as John McCain said, you know, now the hard part begins.

But I think importantly, what this has done psychologically for Donald Trump is that he was way over extended on the whole Putin thing. I mean, I think everyone around him knew. The national security apparatus knew. They all know Russia's bad actors. But he was so far extended out there with - you know, this is going to be kind of my mix into China thing. I'm going to rub up this guy and try recalibrate this relationship. That's off the table now. And I think that's good for Trump and I think he kind of realizes that this strike is giving him an opportunity to sort of saying, you know what, OK. So he is a bad guy.

LEMON: He had an epiphany, so to speak.

MCKINNON: Exactly. Which I think he is really happy about now given all the other hearings and everything else that is going on.

LEMON: So listen. Secretary of defense James Mattis is saying that the bombing destroyed 20 percent of Assad's war planes and the radar and refilling capability at the airfield. Mattis is (INAUDIBLE) in the administration. But then here's a thing. There have been so many lies from the administration. So many mistruths, so many just sort crazy things said like, you know, your microwave is spying on you sort of that sort of thing. But isn't this an example of when credibility is key and you need American support for that?

MCKINNON: Absolutely, it is important. And that's why, I mean, Mattis and the other national security people around him have been stepping forward and they are getting a lot of credibility and a lot of kudos from the foreign policy establishment around the country, around the world.

People like - it hasn't been was by design. I mean, Flynn was by design. So accidentally, we got to the structure. But people think that Mattis and these other people that are now in place are a really solid team of not just generals. These are like reformed generals. These are guys who have written books about doing things differently.

LEMON: Yes. I want to talk to you about them. I'm not going to jump ahead and textbook here. But I want to talk to you because, you know, see what's happening with the team and also get your thoughts on whether the adults are in the room now that Bannon is not on the national security team as he sit here.

Maeve, CBS News has a new poll out, 57 percent of Americans approve of the strike but they are concerned about any further action. And it has bumped his approval rating up to 43 percent. You need to focus on foreign policy has been good for the president. Do you think it will last?

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: I do think that it's been good for the president. And obviously, with a distraction from a lot of things that were going wrong for him on the domestic level.

Last weekend, it was also kind of a surprising moment for President Trump because certainly he was out on the campaign trail all out here talking about how the U.S. should not be America's policeman and so forth. So this was a real departure from what he had been talking about on the campaign trail and he clearly had a very human reaction to those photographs. And so you have a lot of people now kind of questioning what the Trump doctrine is, what his next move will be, how unpredictable he will be and how this will be received around the world. And that means we are not talking about the collapse of the health care bill or the other things that have gone awry in his first 100 days. And so, that is a welcome thing for him.

[23:35:49] LEMON: I'm willing to bet, Mark, that approval rating going up now to 43 percent, I'm willing to bet that is not necessarily from his traditional supporters. That maybe from people he has won over right, Maeve?

MCKINNON: That's pure supporters. I mean the main supporters for Trump --.

LEMON: Didn't want him to go to war.

MCKINNON: The like the non-isolationist Donald.

LEMON: That's right.

But shouldn't that be a lesson, I mean, Maeve, to him that he should stop going back to the well for his base? He has his base. And now that he is doing important things whether strategic or not and he doesn't appear for the most part to be sending out silly childish tweets and that sort of things, that this should be sort of a wake-up call to him to step up - to step into the moment and into the office. It's raising his approval rating.

RESTON: Yes. I mean, I'm not going to make any predictions about what happens with his twitter account. But I think that, you know, I think that certainly he sees that there is a chance for him here to step up and really take on the mantle of the presidency like Mark was saying. You are really seeing his national security advisors whether it was McMaster or Kelly and the others really extended here. He is listening to the generals around him. You are also seeing some of the more moderate voices in the White House now. Gary Cone, Deena Powell, really rising in terms of who he is listening to. And I think that we may see a bit of a pivot here and it's an interesting moment for the administration because, you know, they are in this 100-day moment. They are trying to make the case that they are doing important things and this is his first chance to show that he has the presidential medal on the foreign policy front.

LEMON: OK, Mark, hold your thought because I want to get this clip in. It's from "the Circus." Watch this.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: There's no doubt that Vladimir Putin is intent on restoring the Russian empire and you have a world in term oil.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know that what happened last night doesn't away all your concerns about Trump. Do you look at him a little this morning than you look at him yesterday?

MCCAIN: Yes but this is not the end. I think we are exaggerating this a little bit too much here. This is an important first step but we have got a lot more work to do.


LEMON: You think he is right, a lot more work to do. I know you never thought twice about updating your show. You probably didn't think you would be doing it for Syria. But the thing is, is that with Bannon now in there, with adults in the room, do you think that was a sort of change in the tone?

MCKINNON: Well, I think he had the right people in the room. And that was the right respond at the right time. And you had people like John McCain who knows more about these issues than anybody in the United States Congress saying, you know, right step, right first step lot more to do.

But I'm encourage by - I mean, we have a president who -- he likes to be liked, right? So he gave a speech to Congress that was a more moderate in tone. And you know, with much broader message to all of American. He got positive feedback. He got good ratings. He is getting good response on this on this proportional response. So I think what is going to happen is that the more he sees the kind of broader response against rather than just trying to govern to his base, the more he is going to start governing in that direction.

He has got to basically understand what's the coalition where I can win? And the coalition is a red blue coalition across the country and not just a narrow one.

LEMON: Thank you. You articulated that much better than I could. Who was that? I just want to be love, is that so wrong? I just want to be loved. Is that so wrong? 8:00 p.m. Producer of that "the Circus," Mark McKinnon, 8:00 p.m. Sundays on.

MCKINNON: Showtime.

LEMON: Showtime. Thank you, sir. Thank you, Maeve. I appreciate it. RESTON: Thank you.

LEMON: When we come back, why some of President Trump's biggest supporters are outraged over his missiles strike in Syria?


[23:44:03] LEMON: Reports of growing tension in President Trump's inner circle.

Let's discuss now, Kurt Bardella is a former Breitbart spokesman who is now president and CEO of Endeavor strategies and CNN political commentators Matt Lewis, Alice Stewart and Marc Lamont Hill.

So good to have of you all on.

Alice, we are going to start with you. You have been talking to Kellyane Conway. What has she told you about tension inside the White House if any?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, she says exactly what she has been saying in the media that a lot of the palace intrigue and the stories behind that is over blown. And it is not a lot of there there. And she believes, as she said many times before that the media and critics of the Trump administration would rather focus on that than some of the successes they have had of late. Not the least of which is the conformation and the swearing in of Judge Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. This is something that those who have supported Donald Trump and those who did so but grudgingly wanted nothing more than a conservative justice of the Supreme Court. This is a great day for conservatives, a great day for the Trump administration. And that's what they need to be focusing on.

[23:45:06] LEMON: And we covered that hours live, you know. I mean, Kellyanne probably was going to cover that Gorsuch live, he cover Syria live. It's all we have talked about. But you think, Matt, this is interesting. You think the reports of recent turmoil inside the White House have been good. Why is that?

MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, number one, I think they are true. Of course, they are true. But I think it's - I mean, it's good. I think that Donald Trump has actually been righting his ship. He got up to a rough start. Remember, the Muslim ban executive order that was chaotic and then there is another executive order that there's litigation surrounding it. Not a great roll out. And I think part of it is frankly nobody on his team had governmental experience. And I think that slowly but surely things have gotten better and just one prime example of that has been Michael Flynn being replaced by General H.R. McMaster. I thought it was a huge trade off. And I think now he is getting very good advice, very good counsel. I think that has a lot to do with the successful air strike on Syria that took place.

So look. I think that we tend to get, you know, all worked up over, you know, palace intrigue and what is people are fighting with each other. Some of these could end up working out pretty well. I think that the people who might ended up being pushed out are going to be the bad actors who were bad for Donald Trump and they might be replaced by more competent experienced staffers.

LEMON: There were a lot of people who said Flynn, why on earth would you nominate that guy would you want and then now it's come to fruition and those people were sort of critical of the media that was reporting it? I mean, I'm just saying.

So listen, Kurt, a Congressman Steve King from Iowa tweeted over the weekend and said Will Donald Trump, Steve Bannon is the lynch pin to your energized base. Conservatives are endangered species in your White House. You say that we have seen this before. When?

KURT BARDELLA, PRESIDENT/CEO, ENDEAVOR STRATEGIES: Well, I think that having any time their strangle hold of power and control is in jeopardy and at risk. You also see this as galvanizing between whether there is be culture Laura Ingrams or Steve Kings of the world who publically go out and makes these announcements. And that what makes those a story.

It's not that reporters are deciding to write these kind of things. It's that actions are being taken by policy makers, by public visible people who continue to put new information out there, new opinions out there. And that's what create a story. These sources at the White House who call reporters to tell them their side of the story, that's reportable. And that's what, you know, Steve Bannon was on the cover of "Time" magazine. In a large way they made themselves the target of these types of scrutiny by being so far out front.

LEMON: I bet the president did not like that.


LEMON: Because he want to be on the cover. I mean, you know. Hey, listen. He is the guy. He is the man at the top.

Mark, I got to ask you that. I mean, listen. It wasn't just the -- came tweeting, the one that I just read. Anne Coulter, Laura Ingram also not happy about it. There were some other folks as well about the Syria airstrike. And one of them said, I think this is - is this Laura Ingram? This is Ann Coulter.

Ann Coulter said, Trump campaign on not getting involved in Mid East said it always helped our enemies and creates more refugees than he saw a picture on TV. Candidate Trump understood perpetual war didn't make America great again. Hope that hasn't changed. That's Ingram. So what do you think, Marc?

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, so Donald Trump runs on a populous agenda and then he has to actually govern in his White House of people, some of whom are sort of inclined towards the populous political approach. Others are hard court die hard conservatives and so you see these clash happening constantly. Some of the people (INAUDIBLE) are the conservatives that King is kind of appealing to. So now what you are seeing is the gap between running for president

and actually being president. So you have an airstrike in Syria part of that. And I disagree that that was a successful strike. I think it's way too early to say whether those are a successful strike. It has a long time coherent Middle East policy.

What you end up with is something that makes the public distracted from the other scandal. It makes somebody destructed from all the failures of the Trump administration. But it doesn't necessarily make sense. And so, if you were somebody who voted for Trump because he didn't believe in these sort of strikes because of his particular political approach and suddenly saying wait a minute. He was launching airstrikes that aren't necessarily effective, that aren't going to make Syria any less engage. And it might actually make them look like they stood up to the big American power and actually embolden them further then suddenly you feel odd about it. So Trump is really aliening both sides. And that's what's you see the infighting. That's why you see the tension. And despite what Kellyanne Conway said, that's what is happening.

LEMON: Hang on. Even the alt-right, they are not happy about this as well.

We will be right back. We are going to continue. Don't go anywhere.


[23:54:04] LEMON: Back now with the panel.

Kurt, I know you wanted to jump in on that, but I just wanted to say that, you know, the alt-right are not happy about this. It is sort of the nationalist part of the nationalist Trump supporters. He has got it by the moment in this gut what he thinks is going to bring him success. Do you think that the alt-right understands that?

BARDELLA: I think that the alt-right was conditioned during the campaign. And this is actually really where candidate Trump really excelled with having a calendar that every few weeks there was a primary election that allow Trump to look triumphant and victorious, and created a real reset every few weeks.

And whatever the narrative was, it would go to hey Trump won this, trump won that. He was able to golf there, have these rallies, beat this chest, and his audience in the alt-right got to bask in that victory. And now as president, that is all gone now. That whole calendar is wiped out. And I think they are having a really time adjusting to governing and the sloth of governance and the resistance that comes from that and not having those built-in victory moments.

[23:55:02] LEMON: And maybe that is why he keeps going back, jumping on the plane and going back to sort of campaign-style rallies, Matt?

LEWIS: Yes. And look, I will say this. I think that Donald Trump did with Syria was the right move. But if you were an isolationist or, you know, you don't even have to be an alt-righter, but if you are a noninterventionist or if you are an isolationist, if you believe that America should not be, you know, that involved in the world, this has to be incredibly dispiriting. This is the one guy who ran saying, I am not going to help Syria. I don't care about chemical weapons. And then he is not 100 days and he does intervene. It has to be a little bit frustrating. So, you know, if you backed him.

LEMON: And so, Alice, what does he do then to sort of bridge the two? Bridge the gap?

STEWART: Well, clearly, I think the alt-right is going to have to understand they are not going to get their way 100 percent of the time, and this is clearly one of those instances. I think what they are doing is they are trying to re-enforce his commitment to what he has said all along, America first. And if you go back and look at the speech he gave a year ago on this very topic, he says that part of the America first foreign policy is that the world is more peaceful and prosperous if America is strong. And I think he is trying to show America's strength, and that is part of this America first.

LEMON: Before we run out of time, I want to get Marc in, because Marc, I can't leave you out. But I mean, is this should be a surprise, because he change his positions a lot. I mean, he was a democrat at one point and I don't mean that being facetious, but it is an honest question.

HILL: Well, no. He is like James Harden. He can take right and go left, you know. And that is what he is doing right now to the alt- right. He hasn't - I mean, he run on one thing and he is doing the exact opposite. And I think strategically, at some point, we want him to do what is principle and what is right and not make predictions. I think it is so stark, because he is the guy going on the twitter to mocks the president for years on Syrian policy. Mocks him for years on often it goes golfing, mocks him for years on how often he goes golfing. Mocks him for years then all this thing then does the exact opposite within 100 days. He could say I made a principled change or he could be like, you know, well, I am just saying anything I want any time I want.

LEMON: I got to go. How many times have you been golfing this year?


LEMON: Interesting. Thanks, you all.

STEWART: Thank you, Don.

BARDELLA: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Good night.