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Trump's Twitter Tirade Went Viral. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired June 29, 2017 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN: ... CNN Tonight. I'll see you tomorrow night.
DON LEMON, HOST, CNN: I have to say something before we start. Can we kill the music please? Kill the music. I have heard and said the phrase this is not normal so many times that I'm sick of hearing it and I'm sick of saying it.
What the president did today was just flat out gross and disgusting. Saying it was juvenile would be insulting to children. If your children said or tweeted what he said you would discipline them. Any employee would face some serious consequences.
And for anyone out there, any of you attempting to defend what he did you are an enabler.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE-SANDERS, DEPUTY White House PRESS SECRETARY: This kind of like we're living in the twilight zone. They do this day after day after day and then the president responds and defends himself and everybody is appalled and blown away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Always one. Yes, it is like living in the twilight zone, the president should be ashamed of himself. But he's not. He apparently thinks he is proving what a tough guy he is, but he is actually embarrassing himself, his party and America.
In fact, his actions show that he apparently doesn't care about you or America or the dignity of the office. The Office of the Presidency should be respected not only by we, the people, but by the person who is in it. You get what you give.
So republicans who are condemning him today who have condemned him before but still went on to support him, how many times will you look the other way? How can you look at yourselves in the mirror? How can you? You should know that Donald Trump does this because he can, because you allow him to, because you won't hold him accountable. Mark my words, he'll do it again. He can't help himself.
Now let's start our show. We got a lot to talk about tonight. I want to begin with CNN's senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta. Jim, thank you so much for joining us.
What a week it is. The president set the agenda today after he's send out the vulgar personal tweets saying, "I've heard poorly rated Morning Joe speaks badly of me, don't watch any more. They how come low I.Q. crazy Mika along with psycho Joe came to Mar-A-Lago three nights in a row around New Year's Eve and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a facelift, I said no."
How on earth is the White House defending this today?
JIM ACOSTA, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes. That's pretty remarkable, Don, but the White House did try to defend this today. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Deputy Press Secretary came to the podium during an on-camera briefing this was on-camera today and said this was the president's response to elites in the media and here's more of what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: I think the American people elected somebody who is tough, who is a smart and who is a fighter. And that's Donald Trump. And I don't think that it's a surprise to anybody that he fights fire with fire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Now Sarah Huckabee-Sanders made other statements during that briefing, Don. But one of the more remarkable statements was when she said that the president has not encouraged violence at any time. That is not just the case as you and I both know from covering this campaign.
The president on more than one occasion did encourage violence. He talked about, you know, how he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. I was at one rally in Nevada in 2016 where he said he wanted to punch a protester in the face. And so the White House tried to explain the president's tweets and his actions today but there were a lot of people in that briefing who just weren't buying it, Don.
LEMON: So as he come out to say anything about his shocking tweets? No apology, nothing, no response?
ACOSTA: You know, it's a pretty remarkable day for the president to be dealing with all of this. He welcomed the South Korean president, President Moon to the White House. They had dinner tonight and of course they're dealing with these weighty issues like the nuclear escalation in North Korea.
Here's a bit of that video. The president was asked about this by reporters and you can see what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, do you regret your tweets this morning at all? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, how do you get China to cooperate
with North Korea?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, no regrets over your tweets you sent out this morning?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready, two.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: So, Don, you can see it's very obvious here the president could hear those questions he elected not to answer those questions and as you and I both know the president rarely if ever apologizes for anything that he does or tweets and that's what we saw today here at the White House.
LEMON: And by the way, we have had a couple of discussions this week about the White House briefings being off camera on all days. Why would this one be on camera today?
ACOSTA: Well, one would think that they would want the cameras were off today but the cameras were on today and of all things we had the Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin come out to talk about this very important issue of North Korea and how they were sanctioning a Chinese bank to send a message to China that they would like China to do more in terms of rein in North Korea.
Of course the administration, the White House said they were trying to send a message. But a lot of people read it that way.
[22:05:00] But the president stepped on that message with these tweets. He tried to deliver an energy speech later on in the afternoon; he stepped on that message as well with these tweets. And it just goes to show you, Don, that, you know, we can do these investigations on Russia, you can do investigations on just about anything going on over here at the White House but the president is fully capable of self-destructing on his own with these tweets and we saw that happen once again today here at the White House.
This president is simply not going to give up the phone. There have been reporter -- reports over the last couple of months that while perhaps they'll have lawyers come in and review the president's tweets, perhaps the staff may try to come in and take his phone away. Don, that's just simply not going to happen.
And so what we're looking at here is the potential for another three and a half years of the president issuing these kinds of tweets, which by the way, the White House said earlier this month, are official statements from the President of the United States. They'll be archived presumably at the national Archives of the Library of Congress to be preserved for all eternity.
But, no, Don, this is not a president who is about to apologize for anything and we saw that once again today.
LEMON: How embarrassing. Thank you, Jim Acosta. I appreciate it. I want to bring in now CNN politics reporter and editor at large, Chris Cillizza, CNN political analysts Kirsten Powers and Abby Philip. Good evening to all of you. Thank you so much.
Chris, I want to start with you. Sarah Huckabee-Sanders defending the president by saying the American people elected somebody who is tough. Are these tweets tough?
CHRIS CILLIZZA, POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE, CNN: No. I mean, there's a lot of things just factually wrong with what Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. Jim highlighted I think the big one which is this idea that Donald Trump is never promoted or condoned violence which is just factually inaccurate.
But, look, tough people in my experience, don't go around talking about how tough they are and they certainly don't cyberbully someone on Twitter. I mean, that's what this is. I don't know any other way to say it.
The frustration I have here is that this is being treated like a -- on the one hand democrats say this, and the other hand republicans say that. No.
LEMON: No, this is not what it is.
CILLIZZA: This is not a political issue.
LEMON: This is awful. Right.
CILLIZZA: And we talk about political issues rightfully so many, many times but that's not what this is. You -- this is, do you want to live in a society in which this is condoned? And defended and made acceptable. This is has nothing to do -- if Barack Obama tweeted you the same thing I would tell you the same thing. If George W. Bush tweeted the same thing I would tell you the same thing.
This has to do with what kind of community we want to live in and what are we willing to say is acceptable behavior. Take off your partisan hats, everyone, not possible but you should try, and say is this behavior -- is this language -- is this a statement that we should, as a society, say, OK. Sure. And the answer to that of course is no. It has nothing to do with democrat/republican. It has to do with common decency to people.
LEMON: Well, you mention the last two presidents and what they had grace, dignity and class and so they wouldn't do anything like this. Kirsten, I'm interested in what you have to say.
KIRSTEN POWERS, POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: Yes, I mean, I do think that I come at this also from the perspective of being female journalist and so I can really relate to what it's like to be on the receiving ends. Donald Trump has attacked me on Twitter before and the kind of attack that that unleashes towards you. And it was nothing like what he said about Mika. And I do believe, I mean, I've been on Twitter for quite some time and
I've been on, you know, on TV for quite some time, I'm writing a column for quite some time and I've never seen the level of some of the misogyny coming at me personally and at other female journalists.
And so to see the president do this, I -- when I see it to that -- I see it through that context, right? Which is, wow, this is really a major problem that a lot of women face in the workplace if they're journalist, if they're on TV, if they're public figures if they're running for office.
And we have the President of the United States, you know, the highest office in the land engaging in this behavior. And we've seen him engage in this behavior before and his followers -- I don't know if they're mimicking him or if these types of people are drawn to him but it's a real problem. And these are the last people that being dragged out of the stone age, you know, into like the modern world.
So I don't get shocked about much any more about him and I have to say I was really quite shocked when I saw this.
ABBY PHILIP, POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: Yes, I mean I think what to Kirsten's point I wonder the same thing about what is the connection between President Trump's behavior in a situation like this and the kind of level of vitriol that I think increasingly impacts women especially online.
[22:09:56] And the reality is that when you hold the highest office in the land and this is the kind of behavior that you demonstrate then it really does have a trickledown effect. It condones it going down the line.
CILLIZZA: Of course it does.
PHILIP: And that is the real danger here. That's what makes this so dangerous. You know, the White House today has tried, and in some ways, I think they have been successful among Trump supporters in turning an issue that to Chris' point is about what kind of society we live in, into a partisan fight, which is it not.
PHILIP: And at the end of the day I think that that is the greatest danger. I asked a presidential historian what do you think is the impact of all of this, like, where are we, can we ever come back from this? And you know, I think a lot of people are wondering that. Nobody really, really knows what happens when we cross a particular line.
Can we come back from this place? And I think it's important for everybody to think about that. Because I think a lot of people want us to come back from this place.
LEMON: Yes. PHILIP: I don't think people want to talk to their children about why the things that the president is saying are not right. So this is where we are. And I think that's the real danger of all of this beyond the insult.
LEMON: You know, I was tempted to go on and start a hash tag. If I did what Donald Trump did I would be escorted from the building by security.
LEMON: I would my -- if I did what Donald Trump did, my mother would fly up here and beat my behind, if I did what -- my sisters would not want to speak to me anymore. Just on and on and on.
But I have to tell you I stopped following him on Twitter because of some of the disgusting involved things that he tweets. And when my producer e-mail me this morning and said, did you see what he said? I said no, I hesitantly went on and I was as shocked by that as I was by the Heidi Cruz photo when he compared Heidi Cruz to his wife during the campaign.
But I want -- I want to get to something and I think it's very important here on what I said at the top of the show. Some of what we're hearing from republican lawmakers. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LYNN JENKINS, (R) UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: To refer to a female's face as someone that's involved in politics is just not appropriate.
PAT TOOMEY, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: It's maddeningly frustrating because it's beneath the dignity of the President of the United States or at least it should be and it's a destruction. And it really ultimately starts to undermine the president's ability to get his agenda done.
SUSAN COLLINS, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: We're clearly sending a very strong message to the president that these kinds of tweets which attack individuals have got to stop.
PAUL RYAN, UNITED STATES SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Obviously I don't see that as an appropriate comment. I think, look, what we're trying to do is improve the tone and civility of the debate and this obviously doesn't help do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So the GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski tweeted this. She said, "Stop it. The presidential platform should be used for more than bringing people down." Senator Ben Sasse tweeted, "Please, just stop. This isn't normal and it's beneath the dignity of the office." And then there were other people who spoke out against it.
But what I'm interested in, Chris, is does this go beyond 140 characters or standing at a podium and saying something. Because you remember during the campaign when he went after the judge who is of Mexican heritage but is an American, I think the house speaker said this is the definition of racism.
So everyone is coming out and condemning him out of his own party.
LEMON: But they will not censure him, they won't warn him, they won't hold him accountable in any real sense. So does this go beyond 140 characters or is just that? They make a statement and keep moving?
CILLIZZA: Yes. I think they make a statement and they keep moving. The levers to censure a president in any meaningful way, Don are there aren't just that many. They're not going to -- they're not going to start impeachment proceedings over a tasteless tweet. They're just not.
Short of that, the voters elected him. I don't think that's a defense for this, frankly. That was, you know, well, they knew what they were getting. You know, that doesn't -- that doesn't fly with me, necessarily. He -- he is who he is. Making comments about Megyn Kelly, comments about Carly Fiorina any number of other comments about women and their looks, I mean, this is not, you know, the Access Hollywood tape.
This is not a one-off and Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell or Ben Sasse or anybody else, this is, it should not be surprising. This is who Donald Trump is. He is a 71-year-old man who has shown a tendency to view the world this way, make comments like this. This may be the furthest he's gone as president but it's not necessarily the furthest he's gone ever in his life.
To your point in the open, he's going to keep doing stuff like this. Might not be a week from now, it might not be a month from now but he's going to do things where all of us are going to say I didn't think I could be surprised anymore. This stuns me.
[22:14:58] CILLIZZA: The repercussions of that, you know, Don, you know, he's going to stand for re-election at a fund-raiser last night. Going to stand for re-election and we'll find out if the American people in three and a half years' time that's what they want. Short of that, I don't know that there's a lot of fall out that's going to happen from republicans in Congress.
LEMON: And speaking of what people want, Kirsten, I'll put up this poll. There's a Quinnipiac poll says that 61 percent of Americans say President Trump should stop tweeting. And among republicans 49 say he should stop tweeting compared to 43 percent who say he should continue. Americans and republican, his supporters they're sick of these antics on Twitter.
POWERS: Yes. I mean, but I don't think he's -- you know, he doesn't seem to care. This is what he wants to do. He wants to have these little outbursts. And you know, there's the problem with this of course that it is misogynist and unhinged and un-presidential.
There's also the problem that it didn't happen. OK? I mean, there are pictures of Mika Brzezinski at Mar-A-lago during this time period and she clearly is not bleeding from her face. And even if we didn't have the pictures is there anybody alive that actually believes that Mika Brzezinski would show up at Mar-A-Lago with a bleeding face? I mean, it's so obviously insane and yet, the President of the United States can say this and claim that it happened.
LEMON: Well, here's another thing. well, look, Mika Brzezinski is a beautiful woman. The pictures that I saw at Mar-A-Lago didn't look like she was bleeding in her face at all.
LEMON: If she wants to take care of herself and get some work. That's her business.
POWERS: Of course. But...
LEMON: And there are people, trust me, in Donald Trump's own family who has had work and he has not said anything about them, people who are very close to him. So he should be careful about that. I got to go. We're going to talk more about this later. But thank you all.
For more on this story on the day's politics make sure you sign up for the brand new newsletter it's The Point with Chris Cillizza. It's @cnn.com/thepoint.
When we come back, much more on the president's Twitter tirade. Melania Trump's response meanwhile, whatever happen to her campaign against bullying.
[22:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: So what's the reaction? The first lady, Melania Trump to the president's personal attack against Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski?
For that answer let's turn to CNN White House reporter Kate Bennett. Kate, good evening to you. You obtained the response from the first lady's communications director about the president's tweet today. What did it say?
KATE BENNETT, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, CNN: That's right, Don, we asked, you know, if the first lady had a response. She said in an interview after the interview that she often tells him when she is unhappy about a tweet or that she disagrees with him.
Did she tell him today, and the first lady's office her communications director, Stephanie Grisham said, "As the first lady has said before, when my -- publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked he will punch back 10 times harder."
Now this is an echo of the first lady's first real stump speech in Wisconsin last year where she said those exact same words, that was her, he's a fighter. He'll fight for you. He doesn't care if you're a man or a woman. He'll punch back equally as hard. So it was an echo of that statement.
And again, you know, is it a defense of the statement? It's arbitrary. It's hard to tell. Is it coming out and condemning it? Certainly not.
LEMON: Dis the first lady's response in there, that's all she said?
BENNETT: It was -- that's all she said and it was actually her communications director who was talking. She has been relatively quiet since then obviously. Like I said the statement draws some interpretation. It wasn't like the Access Hollywood tape where she came out and said something and did an interview and admitted that she was concerned and that bifurcate (Ph) him. There wasn't any of that.
In fact, this evening she was right beside him for dinner with the South Korean leader tonight greeting him at (Inaudible) having dinner. Lights carry on that's usual for the first lady in the White House.
LEMON: On November 3rd, Kate, just five days before the election, Melania Trump gave a speech on the campaign trail and I want you to listen to what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other. We must find better ways to honor and support the basic goodness of our children, especially in social media.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: In social media. So what happened to her cyberbullying campaign?
BENNETT: Well, in all fairness, I mean, this is, she has not announced her full formal platform yet. So there still might be some room and I hear it might still possibly be on the table.
However, yes, what did happen to it. Everyone is asking that today. That was certainly a very strong pronouncement from her, something we have not heard in her speeches that she was going to make this a focus and then it has sort of drops off. I think incidents like today are going to make it more difficult for her to pick that up as a platform if she wants to do so in the future. Obviously, more and more complicated with each of these tweets from the president.
LEMON: Thank you very much for that. Kate Bennett, our White House reporter. I appreciate it.
I want to bring in now Dr. Nan Hayworth, a former Congresswoman from New York and a former member of the Trump campaign advisory board, Elizabeth Plank, a senior correspondent for Vox Media, and CNN political commentator, Ana Navarro.
I'm so glad all of you are here this evening. I want to hear your voices. Ana, your reaction to the first lady's statement on today's tweet. Quote, "As the first lady has said publicly in the past when her husband gets attacked he will punch back 10 times harder." What do you say?
ANA NAVARRO, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: Well, first of all, let me tell you according to your hash tag, if you did what Donald Trump did Ana Navarro would fly to New York, stage a seat in your office, force you to apologize and wash your mouth out with soap, hit your hands and hip your butt.
NAVARRO: Because that is what people around people you love should do. Being a yes man, a yes woman, being a yes wife, a yes daughter does not cut it when you have somebody that got this kind of, you know, behavior. It seems almost like an addictive compulsive behavior for Donald Trump. He cannot keep himself from attacking women, objectifying women, attacking women's looks. It has this weird fixation, eerie fixation with women and blood. It is just unacceptable.
[22:25:00] NAVARRO: And so, look, I...
LEMON: Since you say that, since you say that, let me play this and then I'll get your response. Because this is not the first time. You said about the blood thing. This was when I interviewed him. This was after a debate in August of 2015. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, let's talk about Megyn Kelly, because you brought her up. She did push you, she pushed a lot of people, but what is it with you and Megyn Kelly?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I just don't respect her as a journalist. I have no respect gor her. I don't think she is very good. I think she is highly overrated. But when I came out there, you know what am I doing? I'm not getting paid for this.
I go out there and you know, they start saying lift up your arm if you're going to -- and you know, I didn't know there was going to be 24 million people. I knew it was going to be a big crowd because I get big crowds. I get ratings. They call me the ratings machine.
So, I have a -- she gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions, and you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: So there you go, Ana, women and blood, twice.
NAVARRO: Right. I mean, that we know of. And that's part of the problem. This is not an isolated incident. This is not something like, you know, he had one meltdown. This is a pattern of behavior by this man. The only problem now, the real big problem is that he's gone from being a real estate developer to being an entertainer to being a candidate and now he's President of the United States. And seems to have absolutely no grasp on the reality and what that means.
No grasp on the gravitas of the office. And as far as Melania Trump, look, she is in a difficult position and she's been put in that position by Donald Trump. She wants to be a supportive wife. But you know what, ladies, there are limits. Whether you are his spokesperson, his daughter, his wife, his friend, his adviser, there are limits.
Do him a favor, do this country a favor, so the Republican Party a favor and stop him. Do everything in your power to stop him. Do not go out there and try to justify it, rationalize it, defend it or explain it.
LEMON: I need to -- let me bring in Nan. Nan, because both Megyn Kelly and Mika Brzezinski they're journalists.
NAN HAYWORTH, BOARD MEMBER, INDEPENDENT WOMEN'S FORUM: Yes.
LEMON: But Donald Trump doesn't discriminate, it's not just journalist. Here's what he said. This is about Carly Fiorina when he was competing for her with the republican nomination in 2015. He said, "When the anchor throws" -- so this from the Rolling Stone. He said, "When the anchor throws to Carly Fiorina for her reaction to Trump's momentum, Trump's expression sours and school boy discuss as the camera bores in on Fiorina. Look at that face, he cries, would anyone vote for that? Can you anyone imagine that the face of our next president? The laughter grows and halting and faint behind him. I mean, she's a woman and I'm not supposed to say bad things? But really, folks, come on, are we that serious."
And that's what he said, this is what he said about his competitor Ted Cruz' wife. This is in March of 2015. This was one that was really disheartening to me, OK? "Lyin' Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, lyin' Ted or I will spill the beans on your wife." And then the one where I'm talking about is the one where he compared his wife to Heidi Cruz.
LEMON: In that terrible picture. Anyone can take a terrible picture at any moment. When he did that comparison. Why does the president say these things?
HAYWORTH: You know, Don, at the time, with Carly Fiorina I was Carly's national media surrogate. And what I said then was, you know what, the president, Mr. Trump is at his best when he's talking about the issues. And I continue to say that. And I think that's something that he's aware of that everybody he works with is aware of. I think that because he's -- no, look. We have these many examples of
how, look, he's -- he takes -- we know, he takes a tough and confrontational style. The mood in the country at the time that he ran was one of frustration and anger that was justified about policy.
I'm not talking about personalizing; I'm not talking about policy. I'm talking about folks who felt that government had betrayed them in a various of ways, including a lot of folks, including President Obama, quite honestly who is a superb speaker, a gifted speaker.
LEMON: I understand that the country wanted a change. But what about his personal attacks?
HAYWORTH: Right. But here's the thing, Don. In very soothing tones, in very anodyne and highly educated tones, President Obama told us a lot of things that turned out sadly not to be true. You can keep your doctor, you know, Benghazi was related to a video. Things like that. And I think that sense of cynicism, if you will, its sense was something that...
LEMON: But that's...
HAYWORTH: But that was something that then-candidate Trump picked up on.
LEMON: Nan, with all due respect, that's apples and oranges. I'm asking you...
HAYWORTH: They are related.
LEMON: Why does this president personally attack people and especially women on their looks?
[22:29:58] HAYWORTH: This is -- this is a president who, as an employer, and as an executive, has made every endeavor to hire and promote women, members of minorities, people who comes to his advantage...
LEMON: Personal attacks on Twitter. I'm not talking about who he is hiring.
HAYWORTH: No, but what I'm saying that's the man, Don, we know that.
LEMON: Nan, please, please, I want to be respectful because I want to hear you.
HAYWORTH: I know and I respect you because I want to hear you.
LEMON: But you sound like -- you sound like you are pained and -- what it sounds like to me is that you're defending what he did.
LEMON: By saying, well, you're pointing to other bad behavior or other behavior that you think is -- but I know you are but what am I?
HAYWORTH: What I'm saying -- I'm making - I'm making an observation just that the president adopts -- when he adopted that kind of combative style, tone, I'm not talking about a direction or specific way. I'm just saying...
LEMON: But he did this before the campaign. He personally attacked the former President of the United States saying that he wasn't born here.
HAYWORTH: I'm talking...
LEMON: He's attacked a lot of people.
ANA NAVARRO, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: Don, can I get in here a minute?
HAYWORTH: When he adopts that kind of tone is because...
LEMON: Hold on.
HAYWORTH: ... he gets a response from an audience and it resonates. And I think he is, probably he's very aware of how he's received. He is very capable of being gracious, kind, and generous. He has the hearts of Americans in mind when he's trying to put them back to work.
LEMON: If he said that about you, how would you feel?
NAVARRO: Don, can I get in here?
LEMON: Hold on, Ana. Hold on.
HAYWORTH: Don, I would respond the way anybody would emotionally and I get things said about me quite honestly both from the left.
LEMON: If someone said that about some young lady in your family or a member of your family or a child? HAYWORTH: And we -- and I do, and I get comments directed at me. And
you know, some of it I let go because it's part of the political process. We all have to aspire and I think Mrs. Trump is right we have to aspire to better.
LEMON: So how can -- play this -- play this...
NAVARRO: But you see, Don there in -- you know, what Nan just did, therein lies the problem. People are trying to somehow give him a pass at this. And that, in effect is enabling him. He's now been president for almost six months and he has not made the pivot. And I can't see Nan but I can hear her. Her voice sounds like she is passing a kidney stone.
She is trying to bend herself into pretzel shapes to find a way to respond without responding. We cannot do that. For the good of the country, for the good of the party, for the good of this president that you support call it out, confront it. Call it out vociferously and do not give him a pass.
LEMON: I need Liz...
NAVARRO: Because if not, Nan, you are going to be passing kidney stones on TV for the next three and a half years.
LEMON: I need to get in because we're going to ran out of time. Liz, I'm sorry. Go on.
ELIZABETH PLANK, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, VOX MEDIA: No, I mean, I want to make a point. I was at that rally in Pennsylvania where Melania Trump announced that she was going to announce this war against cyberbullying. I mean, it gets very ironic that, yes. She wants to make herself the warrior of this fight and that Ivanka Trump wants to be a warrior for feminism and that Donald Trump is basically of the poster child for online bullying of women.
I mean, if an alien came to earth and asked me what it was, I would show him Donald Trump's tweet from this morning to explain to him this is how you bully women online, this is exactly how you get away with it when people justified it in a wide variety of ways as we think today.
And Donald Trump doesn't just go after women. Donald Trump goes after powerful women. There is no greater threat actually to a weak man than a powerful woman.
LEMON: But I think you answer a very good question, if he continues to do these things, you posed this question, Liz, how can a person who doesn't respect half of the population govern them? That's a very good question.
HAYWORTH: But I think there's a difference between taking a tone that -- you wouldn't take?
HAYWORTH: I wouldn't take. I'm going to take, Liz. But taking a tone like that, that is not equal to misogyny. Everything that you can gauge a businessman by in terms of promoting women, hiring women, advancing women's careers focus...
PLANK: How can...
LEMON: But -- if someone is in business, by law, they have to do certain things. People just don't do things in business out of the goodness of their hearts.
HAYWORTH: But when you talk candidly with people who have worked with the president, and I've done that, you know, they will note uniformly that, you know, this is a guy who did not betray any bias against women.
LEMON: Nan, I hear you, but you're still not -- are you saying it's OK for him to do this?
HAYWORTH: I'm not saying it's OK for anyone.
LEMON: Are you OK with them? Would you say he should do it again?
HAYWORTH: I'm saying, listen to Mrs. Trump. I think she's right. Let's all adopt a civil tone and that includes members of the media who...
PLANK: Mrs. Trump...
HAYWORTH: ... no, but I'm going back to...
LEMON: She read her husband's Twitter feed.
HAYWORTH: Liz, that was -- I'm going to her -- I'm going to her speech because this is what we -- as a nation, we move forward. We all have to move forward. I'm very interested. I'm passionately interested in getting an agenda of legislation passed that will give the American people back the prosperity they have been missing.
[22:35:01] LEMON: But you know how that doesn't happen, how that doesn't become what we're talking about. Because the president wakes up and tweets that someone has some blood on her face because of an alleged facelift. HAYWORTH: The president is a man who is capable...
HAYWORTH: ... of recognizing those priorities and following them.
LEMON: Yes. All right. Ana, I got 10 seconds, what do you have to say. I hope that you never come for me like that unless I deserved it.
NAVARRO: I would say urge him to apologize, confront him. Get some spine, stop justifying this. Stop finding ways of excusing it. What is inexcusable must be inexcusable. I will tell every republican, tell them one thing, just for one minute imagine if it was Barack Obama who had said that or who had tweeted that what your reaction would have been today.
That should be your same reaction because you need to put country over party. You need to put humanity and decency over party. You do not owe yourself to Donald Trump. This is not a cult. It is a democracy.
LEMON: Thank you, all. When we come back, Dan Rather joins me. He worked with Mika Brzezinski for many years and knew her father. By the way, what we are not talking about in all of this, her father, a very well respected, a foreign policy visor just died a couple weeks ago. She just had his services a few weeks ago.
I saw people in Washington coming back from the service in Washington, D.C. and now she is dealing with this. Well, Dan Rather says this whole thing comes down to common decency. We'll talk about that.
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Republicans and democrats alike condemning President Trump's gross personal Twitter attack on Mika Brzezinski.
Joining me now, Dan Rather, the host of AXS TV's The Big Interview. Thank you, sir.
DAN RATHER, HOST, AXS TV: Glad to be with you, Don.
LEMON: We meet under better circumstances some times. This was personal for you because you know Mika Brzezinski you've worked with her.
RATHER: I did. I worked with her and she worked for me at CBS News. And let it be said, included and understood, Mika Brzezinski is a decent, first-rate person and a really good professional. She's a solid reporter. Her job is now more -- presenter in the morning.
RATHER: She's a very good journalist and a decent person.
LEMON: Yes. What do you make about the White House saying when he is attacked he is going to hit back. He feels that he was attacked by a TV host and this was retaliation and that he has every right to do it? But should the President of the United States be personally attacking anyone on Twitter?
RATHER: No. Short answer is no. It hurts him. It damages his presidency. It damages the presidency as a whole. And look at how it makes us look in the eyes of the world to say nothing -- what do you tell your young son or young grandson when a president deals in this cruel and reckless way?
I don't want to make light of it in any way, Don, but I will remind you of the words of a very old country song which apply to President Donald Trump in this subject, which is, "from you to the gutter isn't up."
This is unbecoming the president. And I think even the most ardent Trump supporter has too deep in themselves realize that, this is not about policy. Some of the things that President Trump is proposing policy are worth considering.
RATHER: It's not even about politics. This is about common decency.
RATHER: And what is expected of a President of the United States. In the end I think it hurts Donald Trump more than anybody else. And when people say, well, the press is all over him or the Congress doesn't do what he wants, the biggest enemy of Donald Trump the things that hurts him the most are these tweets.
LEMON: The biggest enemy of Donald Trump is Donald Trump.
RATHER: Exactly. And particularly this tweet. You know, this historical president for this that over the years we've gone through the McCarthy period, we've gone through the Watergate period and for a long time it just seems that a president or a high-ranking politician can get away with anything.
And people go through periods and say look, there's no end to this. But there is a point where sort of the fever breaks. We haven't reached that point with President Trump. Perhaps what we learned from history won't hold, perhaps he'll go through and get away with this all the way through but that's not the pattern of history.
LEMON: You mentioned the people who would defend it. What do you make of the White House, the press secretary -- I think she is the deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders defending that. Is she speaking to an audience of one? Because many people are saying how could she defend this.
RATHER: Well, that's her job. She signed on to do this. That she comes from a very distinguished American political family. You know governor...
LEMON: Correct. Mike Huckabee.
RATHER: But she signed on to do it and this is expected of her to do this. But somebody within the White House, either from President Trump's own family around the circle has to be saying to him, Mr. President, this is really damaging to you and to our mission. But obviously, up to and including now, he hasn't listened.
LEMON: When you see -- we saw a lot of republicans and as we did, there were republicans during the campaign who came out and said, I think, you know, he shouldn't be doing these things, he shouldn't be saying these things, and he shouldn't tweeting these things. We saw a lot of republicans today saying that this -- stop it. This is beneath the dignity of the office. But then they go on to support him in everything he does. They'll put...
RATHER: The word is hypocrisy. And you know, one keeps looking for somebody, some several somebodies in the Republican Party, a John McCain or Lindsey Graham, somebody in the party who is finally going to stand up and say I can't abide this. I'm a republican to the core. But this is beyond the pale.
But up to and including this moment we don't have that. So we do have this hypocrisy on the one hand when an obviously dangerous tweet comes out they all pile on and say this is terrible but they go back to supporting him.
[22:45:05] LEMON: How many times can they just go, I can't -- I'm not going to look at that and turn their heads?
RATHER: Well, that's a good question, how many times? Quite frankly, Don. it's already passed the point where I would have thought that would have happened.
LEMON: I want you to look at the Daily News cover. This is for tomorrow. Humiliation. And you the eagle is bowing its head.
RATHER: I think it's an apt word. It's humiliation for President Trump, it's humiliation for our country. You know, the most recent poll showing the standing of the United States abroad is plummeting and it's because of these humiliating -- there's no other word for it. I think it's a very appropriate word. It's humiliating. It's humiliating for all of us Americans. And I get down to it, this is not a partisan political issue.
RATHER: This is an issue of common decency.
LEMON: Can we come back from this?
LEMON: We're America. Thank you.
RATHER: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: Always a pleasure. I need to get to some breaking news right now and it's on the Russia
investigation. Wall Street Journal is reporting a republican operative tried to obtain e-mails he thought were stolen from Hillary Clinton's private servers.
So, joining me is the reporter who broke the story. His name is Shane Harris of the Wall Street Journal. Shane, thanks for joining us. What can you tell us about this story?
SHANE HARRIS, SENIOR WRITER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, this operative you mentioned his name is Peter W. Smith. And he's long-time GOP figure actually has a long history with the Clintons and opposition research on Hillary and Bill Clinton.
He embarked last Labor Day in the home stretch of the campaign on this effort to try and find e-mails that he believes Russian hackers have stolen from Hillary Clinton's server. And importantly in this effort he portrayed Mike Flynn, then a senior adviser to Donald Trump in an ally in this quest.
He said this in conversations with people and in e-mails that he wrote essentially saying that Mike Flynn was aware of what he was doing and appeared to be supportive of that. So what we're seeing here is some connection and we're still trying to understand the full depth of it between a campaign adviser to Donald Trump and this operative who believe he was in touch with Russian hackers trying to find damaging e-mails about Hillary Clinton.
LEMON: And Shane, two things here. Peter Smith has passed away, right?
LEMON: And to be clear he never directly told you Flynn was involved.
HARRIS: Right. He told me he knew Michael Flynn but then people I interviewed who Smith had talked to has said that he had been talking to Flynn about this project and there are e-mails to that effect that portray Flynn as among a small number of people who were working on this.
But we should be clear too that the degree of involvement, if there was any involvement acted by Mike Flynn, that is not clear and perhaps it will a matter for investigators. But certainly he was portrayed as an ally in this by Smith.
LEMON: Got you. What are investigators looking at now then?
HARRIS: Well, we understand that investigators are aware of what might be something at the other end of this operation. There is intelligence reporting from around the time that Smith was operating showing that Russian hackers were discussing ways to obtain e-mails from Hillary Clinton's server and provide that information via an intermediary to General Flynn then working with the campaign.
It is not clear based on that reporting we understand that this was the Smith operation or that Smith was said intermediary but these are consistent kinds of details and what we're seeing now is that it may be Smith's involvement in this may have been something that was unknown at this point to investigators.
LEMON: Have you heard did Flynn respond?
HARRIS: He did not comment from the article, no.
LEMON: All right. Thank you, Shane Harris from the Wall Street Journal. I appreciate that.
HARRIS: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: When we come back, more on the president's fight for Twitter rant, why is he playing the victim after bullying Mika Brzezinski?
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The president ignoring shouted questions from reporters tonight about his Twitter attack on Mika Brzezinski. So anybody who was expecting an apology may have a very long wait.
Here to discuss now is now W. Kamau Bell, the host of CNN's United Shades of America. Happy fourth.
W. KAMAU BELL, HOST, CNN: Good to see you. You have a nice smile, Don.
LEMON: Thank you very much.
What did you think of the president's tweet when you saw it?
BELL: I mean, as a dad I have two daughters. And so, if you think about how like, you know, if I want somebody to say that about my daughters and I wouldn't. And then I think about Ivanka. And I'm just, Ivanka, I'm talking to you right now. You're supposed to be the voice of reason. You're a woman. I know you know it's wrong. I can't count on the republicans to talk to your dad. But you, Ivanka, I'm talking to you. You know the difference. I know you know. Say something. Stop him. It's on you, Ivanka. Democracy's depending on you.
LEMON: The White House is -- well, the White House says he's a president who fights fire with fire and refuses to be bullied. Do you see it that way?
BELL: First of all that's not even a good foreign policy. Like it's not -- I mean, that fighting fires with fire is not something we -- it's not -- that's not the definition of presidential. That's a definition of playground politics. That's not -- that's not a real -- I'm a comedian. I fight fire with fire. You insult me, I insult you but that's not how it's supposed to work when you're the president. Everybody knows that.
LEMON: I sit, mean, I have...
(CROSSTALK) BELL: Except for one person.
LEMON: Yes. Well, a couple of people know they just don't want to admit. But I mean I was watching the responses just today and I was like is this really happening? Like is this actually happening? Do we actually have people on television defending this boorish behavior? It's just shocking to me.
LEMON: Yes. Don, the minute we went through the looking glass -- when we had talked about sexual assault on that Access Hollywood bus and we allegedly down to locker room talk, we stepped through the looking glass.
LEMON: Yes. OK. I want to switch gears now because I want to talk about this on your show. It's amazing. Your show this weekend United Shades of America. You head the San Francisco's Chinatown to explore the culture aspects of Chinese-Americans. Here's a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BELL: There's also this thing that's come out now, this fear of them taking over because they're so huge.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
BELL: And the global economy and when China becomes a superpower and all that kind of stuff. What do you think when you hear things like that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very alarming. I mean, I hear that all the time, especially now, right. And there are people who are really scared about it, you know. There are books over and over again with dragons, you know.
[22:55:02] BELL: With dragons. Always with dragons.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Always I'm thinking about the rising dragon. You know, it inspires a lot of fear. It's really disturbing because then that gets sort of mapped on to Chinese-Americans here and people begin to have these fears of Chinese-Americans and they see them as one in the same.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Tell us more about that experience.
BELL: I mean, you know, we, right now in this country we're sort of defining who gets to come in this country and what is an American and the Muslim ban is part of that. And we have to think we like to make Chinese people -- we talk about Chinese people like they're foreign.
When we talk about this episode Chinese people like a lot of groups we're talking about this season, we're here at the beginnings of the founding of this country.
And we talk about we go to China town to talk about that's not a foreign place. Chinatown is not a foreign place. It was literally invented in this country as a place for Chinese people to feel closer to home and also for place for tourists to leave their money.
LEMON: And you know when we talk about diversity in this country and we've talked a lot about black and white. I mean, listen, the history of this country founded on slavery and on and on. But I think many Asian people feel like hey, what about us? We have issues that we need to, that should be brought to the forward, don't you think?
BELL: Yes. And I think that's what we're trying to do. I mean this is the season finale of United Shades and the season that it's been a lot about trying to remind people about the expanded definition of what an American is that got really narrow, especially during last election. We're expanding -- remember what an American is. It doesn't -- we don't all look the same.
LEMON: Yes. Well, that's why it's called United Shades of America.
BELL: That's right. That's right.
LEMON: Thank you, sir. I appreciate it. United Shades of America with Kamau Bell, Sunday night at 10 only on CNN. Thanks again, Kamau.
When we come back, much more on our top story. The president's disturbing Twitter tirade against an MSNBC host and her appearance. The bipartisan response, complete revulsion.
[23:00:0] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)