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Trump's Outrageous Twitter Attack; President Trump Twitter Rage Engulfs White House. Aired 11p-12 Midnight ET

Aired June 29, 2017 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:32] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: President Trump uniting Washington today but not in a good way. This is CNN tonight. I'm Don Lemon. Pretty much everybody on both sides of the aisle condemning the President's gross personal twitter attack on cable post (inaudible). Here we are with another unforced error from this President, getting on his own way at a crucial moment in his presidency.

Not the first time and it won't be the last time. So does the President even care? Let's get straight to CNN Senior Political Commentator Jennifer Granholm former Governor of Michigan and political commentator Amanda Carpenter, the former communications Director for Senator Ted Cruz. Glad to have you on. I want to hear your perspectives from both of you. Governor Granholm, you first, President Trump woke up today. Instead of talking about health care, out immigration, about infrastructure, North Korea, the travel ban, any of the major issues facing this country and then he lashed out on twitter. He said I heard poorly rated morning Joe speaks badly at me.

Don't watch anymore. And 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 instead insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from face lift. I said no. What do you think?

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Really? I honestly, I think there is something seriously wrong with him. I mean there have been lots of people who have told him to knock this off. This was supposed to be energy week. How's that going for you? Nobody's talking about energy. He is driving the conversation. Everybody's lamenting, you know Sarah Huckabee Sanders why can we talk about something else? No, it's the President's who is setting the agenda and he is lashing out in ways are so, I mean that picture you had with the eagle hanging its head is exactly how I felt. I was ashamed, embarrassed, humiliated for the country that this is our President. It is -- it's beyond words.

LEMON: This is a cover of the daily news and it says humiliation. Trump's new low, sexist states rant against TV host. There you go. Amanda, I know you're concerned about how the White House is defending the President. Take a look and then we'll talk.


the American people elected somebody who's tough, smart, and who's a fighter and that is Donald Trump and I don't think that it's a surprise to anybody that he fights fire with fire. The things that this show has called him and not just him bought numerous members of his staff, including myself and many others are very deeply personal. So to then turn and pretend like this approach is -- I guess it's like we're living in the twilight zone. They do this day after day after day and the President responds and defends himself and everybody is appalled and blown away.


LEMON: Amanda, why does that defense bother you?

AMANDA CARPENTER, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's disturbing because it essentially boils down to this. Mika had it coming. She deserves it. He has an abusive relationship with the doubt Donald Trump has abusive relationship with the press. It is dysfunctional. But one thing I'm concerned about the media side from the side of Republicans is that we know Donald Trump has hang ups about women. He has hysterical reactions online when women are critical of him. I really hope we all don't get swept up in this. I'm very hurt by the fact there's universal rejection of the language that Trump's used. Earlier in the week they say yeah, take on the war against CNN. Beat up The New York Times. They're not saying this is a great thing to say about Mika. But we can't get caught up in this hysteria. Because Trump did this terrible thing and in his mind he thinks he is winning. Everyone is talking about Mika, and if you are going to look online, people are going to be closely analyzing their picture every line and crevice to see if there's a face lift scar. Mika's had a really bad day. She is going to have to with stand this like so many other people that Donald Trump has attack, because when he does this, there's no way out of the psychological box that he puts you into. You have to stand there. You have to take it and he has the credibility to with stand it. I just home he recognized this is bad behavior and not engage in it and not do what Marco Rubio did on a campaign trail we're he tried to play it back and talk about his hands. That is not the way to react to these unfair attacks. The best thing to do is hang your head high and keep doing the job you're doing and I'll be cheering Mika along tomorrow when she does that.

[23:05:30] LEMON: Yes, take the high road - just go ahead.

GRANHOLM: Would the President take your advice too Amanda. I applaud you. On a number of issues, we don't agree a lot but on this I totally agree with you and applaud you for coming out and criticizing.

LEMON: This is not about partisanship.

GRANHOLM: It's not, this not about the partisanship. It's about the country. So that clip you played from Sarah Huckabee Sanders and they want him to be tough and smart and a fighter, he is a fragile as he can be, he is not a tough man. I told him earlier, a snowflake, who melts down, that, thought of somebody criticizing him on the air. He has driven this agenda, rather than talking about what he allegedly wanted us to talk about in energy week. He is not the fighter for the people. He is out there fighting for himself. And to me that is the biggest thing.

LEMON: What struck me as I was watching Sarah Huckabee Sanders she said no we have been attack and it has been very personal for us. It is always very personal on people in the White House, but I don't ever recall Sarah Huckabee Sanders being personally attacked about her looks from the person sitting in the highest office of the land. Do any of you?

CARPENTER: Here's one thing. I kind a have that thought and listening to her talk sort of feel victimized in the White House. How did Mika kind a get in this situation? I believe there was a time when Joe and Mika had a very favorable relationship with the President. They were on good terms. And what did Trump do? I think they had a personal relationship. They really seemed to get along. He took some kind of information he had, real or made up, but he used that and threw that in her face. Now tell me, how can Republicans go to the White House and negotiate in good faith and share details and have a relationship knowing that is how he turns against people when he feels it to be convenient? Sarah Huckabee Sanders may be defending him right now but if she ever crosses that line, he very well could be saying mean things to her.

GRANHOLM: That is so true.

LEMON: Let me, just jump I here, because there are a lot of people responding. Susan Collins spoke to Anderson and denounced it. He tweeted this isn't normal and it's beneath the dignity of your office. Lindsey Graham tweeted "Mr. President your tweet was beneath the opposite and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America" and on and on and on. My question is people often say this when Donald Trump does these things but then they go on and they support -- him in everything he does and he is going to keep doing it again. They are enablers. So what should law makers do? Should they denounce him? Is 140 characters enough?

GRANHOLM: And let's be clear. You've listed a few people who have come out. I would not say there's been universal condemnation. There are a lot of people absolutely quiet and therefore are aiding and abetting. There needs to be a much more universal and robust condemnation. I mean really this is -- I mean it's just so terrible for the nation, for our global allies and adversaries to see a man who does this and who can be goateed and baited by a tweet. What does that mean in terms of his stability? I think everybody on both sides have to make it clear a, this is not acceptable. But on the Republican side it is a little more difficult, because you have to I think -- I want to say cut the cord. Tell him, you're not acting in a way. Obviously they have policies they want to get through, Amanda. But I mean to continue to cozy up as though he is totally behaving in a normal and acceptable way I think is not right.

LEMON: The Republican distances themselves from the president on this. That is sort of what she was saying, Amanda.

CARPENTER: I mean it's kind of a conundrum. How often do they have to say I disagree with what the President tweeted? I think there's a fair amount of what is left on the Republican coming out and saying, stop this. Paul Ryan was among the first today, but how many times can we do this? We can't stop him from going on his twitter account and writing dear diary, Mika was so mean to me. Stop her. I think most Republicans are begging him to stop. I agree with you a lot of his supporters are very quiet right now. I don't see the Trump supporters rushing to the cameras and say what a beautiful idea this was. You can disagree but that doesn't mean you're -- I don't know what Cruz said.

[23:10:31] GRANHOLM: I would hope so in light of what he did to Heidi Cruz.

LEMON: Can they warn him? Can they sensor him in some way?

CARPENTER: I recommended cutting off his twitter account. Maybe they'll ban Trump from twitter. Every time he says something negative about a woman we have to see the whole list. I cringe every time I see Heidi Cruz get brought up again. None of these women deserve this but we have to go over this over and over.

GRANHOLM: But if we don't, if the Republicans don't say -- I mean I'm going to do policy but I am not going to be supportive of showing -- I'm not going to show up at all these fund raisers for you because it's wrong. Otherwise you're going to continue to see these same things brought up again and again and again.

LEMON: It's a very simple answer, because he can. I appreciate you. When we come back, President Trump's defenders say he is just fighting fire with fire but is he really blaming the victim.


[23:15:22] LEMON: The White House on the defensive again today after President Trump's twitter attack on a cable TV host. His spokeswoman saying the President fights fire with fire and won't be bullied. Let's discuss now Senior Political Commentator Charles Blow an op-ed columnist for The New York Times. And Political Analyst Abbey Phillips White House Reporter for the Washington Post is here as well, and Political Commentator Kevin Madden Republican Strategist, good evening all of you. Charles, this behavior's not new by the President' were you surprised?

CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The thing he did with Mika? Of course not, if you look at the entire history of his life, it gets worse than that. The impulse we have to constantly guard against is to not talk about it in normal terms like it is a real political discussion about whether somebody stepped over the line. He has never been a normal person. Never been someone who I felt was suited for this position. And we're all trapped in this nightmare. But it is not a normal thing. So to even discuss in normal language gives into the idea this is actually a debatable issue. It's not debatable in any way.

LEMON: Kevin is this normal? KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's very outside

the normal for what people expect from a President and I don't think he is being Judged harshly in that regard. And I don't think as a partisan analysis. I think even Donald Trump's most ardent supporters whether on Capitol Hill or the people who voted for him in November, even they are uncomfortable with this approach. They say it all the time. They love his ideas. They support him and his priorities for the country but they just wish he would tweet less and focus more on the agenda. So I don't think it's out of bounds to offer this sort of encouragement that the President do less tweeting and focus more on the agenda.

LEMON: Today the White House -- the deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said other Presidents weren't treated this poorly. Listen.


HUCKABEE SANDERS: If this had happened in the previous administration, the types of attacks launched on this program, the things they say, utterly stupid, personality disorder, mentally ill, concepts personal attacks, calling multiple members liars, liars to their faces while they're sitting on their programs, the rest of the media would have said guys, no way, hold on, but nobody does that. But the President, he is not going to step back. He is showed that and that is exactly what he did today.


LEMON: So now -- listen, President Obama was attacked throughout his presidency and candidacy by many people on Fox News and conservative media. Presidents Clinton and Bush also received a lot of criticism, especially towards the end of their terms. I mean Abbey, I mean -- and by the way --

MADIGAN: The job is to get criticized.

LEMON: Do you remember the whole birth of the thing?

ABBY PHILIP, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean even if all of that were true and accurate and maybe Trump is being treated unfairly, maybe he is unjustly maligned. The question is what should his response be? That is really what is at issue here. What is the response, an appropriate response of a commander and chief, the most prominent and powerful man on the planet and nobody. There is no one in Washington or elsewhere who says that their appropriate response is what he did today. And I've talked to Trump supporters. They've been saying this. Many Trump supporters have been saying from the very beginning. They do not think the tweeting is Presidential. They don't think the name calling is Presidential. It's sort of weird for the White House to suggest that the people who support Trump would also support this kind of behavior, which they do not. You can have a disagreement about the kinds of ways in which people disagree with the President but I think it is a universal belief that the response from the President of the United States should not be saying that a woman is bleeding from her face when -- first of all when it is not true and second of all when it has nothing to do with anything at all. I think they're going completely out in left field here in an attempt to justify something that nobody is willing to justify.

[23:20:08] LEMON: But Charles, do you see the irony in that? He questioned the President of the United States and whether he was born in the United States. Isn't that an ultimate attack?

BLOW: None of this makes sense. And listen to what Sarah Huckabee Sanders -- listen to what she is saying. First of all she is clearly never read history books, literally. You can't stand at that podium and say no other President has been attacked on a personal level. Number two, she seems to suggest that it is offensive for someone to tell you to your face that you are lying when you are in fact lied as if it is more honorable to do that behind your back. Sarah, if I ever see you I'm going to tell you to that you're lying and I'm going to do it to your face and I'm going to do that to your boss's face. If I have an issue with you, if I believe that you are lying. And I know you are regularly from that podium and your boss is lying regularly on twitter and in person, I'm going to tell you to your face that you are lying.

LEMON: She is saying, Kevin, basically this President should be immune to criticism and should get away with it. This is all about the President who feels that he is under attack. They feel they're under attack. Does it trouble you that the President views himself as a victim here?

MADDEN: I think you have to recognize that comes with the job and even the most popular President. If you're at 60 percent approval rating, 40 percent really, really don't like you and they're constantly criticizing you no matter how much success you have. One of the big problems is that it goes against the central arguments that him and his supporters have always had. Which is President Trump is strong, President Trump backs down from nobody and he is unafraid. So to assume the office of the President of the United States, commander and chief, leader of the free world and argue that you are somehow a victim or at -- somehow put in a bad position because of all of that, it's hard for people to square that. His strongest supporters are very aware of the weight of the office that he has and the power that office has. So the idea of playing victim, I think it runs counter to some of the strongest believes of his supporters.

LEMON: I will read, this is from The New York Times from none other than Mr. Charles -- and he is talking about his obsession with President Obama. Obama haunts Trump's dreams. One of Trump's primary motivators is the absolute erationer of Obama. Were it possible, not only from the political landscape but from the history books. It's like a 71-year-old male version of Jan from what I would call the Brady bunch version. Obama, Obama, Obama, Trump's wants to be Obama, but the last Trump is Trump and that is now and has always been trashy. Why do you think he is so fixated on his predecessor? He is obsessed with it.

BLOW: He is literally obsessed with him. I can only tell you by his actions. I don't know what's happening in his head. But there's a clear obsession. It is very personal. I mean every President is in a way -- unless you're part of the same Party as the -- your rebuttal to the person before you. So you're always going to have some comments about how you're different from the person who came before you. But his attacks preceded that. They were always very personal. He wasn't born here. He didn't write his own book. He could not possibly have been smart enough to write that book, that he didn't go to the schools that he said he went to. He was not controlling the black population as the first black President. It's another level of thing and it's about his personal feelings and whether or not he is being treated with the same reverence as Obama and if not he wants to erase him.

LEMON: But you have to conduct yourself in a way to be treated that way. I said at the beginning of the 10:00 hour that yes, the office of the presidency deserve respect, but the person in it should respect --

BLOW: Nothing about him approaches the grace of Barack Obama.

LEMON: He is obsessed with President Obama, very smart, Harvard, and his looks very handsome, very classy man, very dignified, very graceful. People loved and respected him around the world. Why is he so obsessed with President Obama?

[23:30:00] PHILIP: It's a good question. One thing I should bring up here is there's the origin story which is the White House correspondent's dinner that Trump attended in which he was the subject of much -- he didn't like him long before that but one of the things that Trump himself says he hates the most is being laughed at. He was laughed at in that environment and he was the subject of the person who he had sort of gone back and forth with, they'd never really come face to face until that point and after that, it sort of planted the seed for his Presidential run and his Presidential run was all about being the opposite of Obama. His presidency, to Charles's point has been about being the opposite of Obama. One of the things -- the Trump policy has not been predictable, except in that if there is something that Obama did, Trump is probably going to do the opposite of that. And that is pretty much the consistent -- the one consistent thing about the last six months.

LEMON: All right. Thank you all. He hates to be laughed at.


Thank you all, when we come back, did you know this was supposed to be energy week at the White House? I didn't think so. The only thing getting attention is the President's shocking tweets, his behavior, so just how bad is his twitter habit? Or his agenda, we will talk about that.

[23:30:23] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: The President's agenda over shadowed again today after he takes to the twitter and goes on the attack. Here to discuss, political commentator Peter Beinart, a Political Contributor Maria Cardona and Political Commentator Alice Stewart and Andre Bauer, good evening everyone. Peter, you saw the President's tweet today. Why is this on his mind rather than North Korea, Russia or his party's health care bill? PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think there's a pattern.

If you look at the way Donald Trump talks about women when he demeans their physical appearance. He doesn't do it random. He only goes after women he perceives as a political threat. This is the way he responds to female journalists who give him a hard time and Elizabeth Warren and Carly Fiorina and he talked about Hillary Clinton. When he said she walked in front of me and I wasn't impressed. He know that if he is talking about women appearance, he degrade them. She has the effect of making people think of them as objects not as confident professionals. There's research that sadly shows that it does have that effect and that is why he does it. Women who are submissive on the other hand, who he doesn't perceive as a threat, like the Irish reporter a couple of days ago, who don't give them hard time, and then he pats them on the head and says oh, you're pretty.

LEMON: Andre, how embarrassed is you at the leader of your party and our President are spending his time on twitter launching an attack, rather than focusing on his own agenda, most serious problems of the country.

ANDRE BAUER, FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA LT. GOVERNOR TRUMP SUPPORTER: Embarrassed as I would say, I don't want to see a missed opportunity, his continued to focus on things that can move not only the country forward but his agenda forward. Embarrassed I mean people knew what they got when they voted for Donald Trump. He is a real estate developer from New York City. There is no question about who he was and he was a brass knuckle fighter that didn't take any junk and told people what he thought. He was dealing with contractors his whole life, for the last 30 years.

LEMON: What does that mean? It sounds like you're making an excuse. Sounds like you are making an excuse, you're not embarrassed. And from New York City, what does that mean? They all say crude things and they all lie? What are you saying?

BAUER: He is been in the public eye for the last 30 years, nobody should be surprised. He acted like this in the primary, before he was in public office or even aspiring to be in public office. He was a guy that when somebody lashed out, he responded back because he felt he should vindicate himself.

LEMON: You think the person who is sitting in the oval office should have more dignity and honor, and respect and love of country and the office and his constituents and people who put him in there, rather than to embarrass them and do something like this and his family and daughters and wife and his sister? No?

BAUER: It's not how I personally would conduct myself in the office but I'm not the President of the United States. I'm not Donald Trump. He got elected by the people of this country to go in and change things up and he is shaking things up.

LEMON: OK. Here's Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta on CNN earlier tonight.


so he just gets mad at somebody and fires it off. There's no one in the staff that can say no to him. The White House is chaotic and it starts at the top.


LEMON: Is he right, Maria, because no one seems to be able to stop President Trump and his impulses?

MARIA CARDONA, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: Yes. He is absolutely right. You know what I would agree with Andre, people did know what they were getting, when they elected him in which is why people like me and the frankly majority of Americans who did not vote for him and the majority Americans today who do not support him are the ones that are embarrassed. They're represented by the eagle row have shown throughout your show hanging its head in shame because this is the image we're showing the rest of the world and yes, it's about demeaning the presidency in a way that we haven't seen in generations and about being embarrassed about the image we're projecting. It's about common decency. It's about humanity. It's about the values that we want to instill in our children. You met my children, Don, my son and my daughter. It is surreal to be raising children in the age of Trump, to be telling them this is the President of the United States but do not do what he does. Do not emulate him, do not admire him, and do not look up to him. We do not want to do what he does. We do not want to be how he is, because this is a man who is indecent. This is a man who does not respect women. This is a man who does not respect the presidency. This is man who does not care about public service and the office that he holds.

[23:35:27] LEMON: Alice, I remember that whole thing. You remember how I felt about the whole Heidi Cruz thing during the campaign. That was very upsetting to me. You say this claim that the President always attacks back is bogus. I said that because you now the Cruz's and you worked with the Cruz's.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely and the White House today saying that when he is attack he attacks back 10 times harder. Heidi Cruz didn't attack him. And Hillary Clinton did as a campaign person. But look, what we have here is a thin skin President who picks battles with people that he shouldn't be picking battles with and it's a problem for Republicans in congress. You have Fox News generally supportive of the President saying 71 percent of people they polled say these tweets get them off their agenda and each of these tweets is virtually an attack on Republicans trying to get things done and today seeing all these comments across the board, Republicans and Democrats but specifically Republicans trying to get health care passed, who are focusing on case law, working to fight immigration in this country, they're walking around Washington as though they have Stockholm syndrome. They're joined by the party but they're continually getting attacked by tweets and making it even more difficult to have legislative accomplishments.

LEMON: Much more to talk about. We will be right back. Don't go anywhere. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:40:34] LEMON: Back now with my panel. One thing you can say is this changed the narrative today, because we're not talking about Russia, we're not talking about health care. Peter?

BEINART: They say it as if Trump has a great agenda he can speak about with such fluency. The guy doesn't even know what's in his own health care bill. The New York Times reported that Republican Senators said that after they met with him and it's incredibly unpopular. Trump has no policy believes that he really sticks to. He is got no capacity to talk about a policy agenda. So let's try to put away the idea this is distracting him from something that he could be talking about and that would really impress people.

CARDONA: This is who he is, but ironically, it is distracting us from talking about that. Temperamentally unfit to be the President of the United States, not because he is such a (inaudible) human being, but because he is clueless on policy. Because he doesn't care to understand policy and how it will impact the millions of people that he is leading in the country and he doesn't seem to really care about anything other than how things reflect on him. The Russia investigation, he doesn't care that they meddled in our democracy. He cares whether he is under investigation. .

LEMON: Andre, do you see how it's taking away from the Republican agenda now?

BAUER: Absolutely.

LEMON: He has people who may have wanted to work with him on health care, a possibility of moving them over to his side, several of those people came out today and said just stop it. We need people to work with us, not against us and we need to have dignity.

BAUER: No, I agree with you on several fronts. Number one, you and I agree we didn't like the health care bill nor did you two months ago when they first came out, but I do think without question, it takes away from his ability to be focused on issues that he needs to get passed. And so when he does this, he is not, I think, getting that agenda out. And there are plenty of accomplishments he has had that are already passed legislatively or other things he is worked on that have actually brought light to certain subjects and as you go through these different topics, I'd like for him to at least point out where he thinks the strong suit is in the health care bill and why we desperately need to address this and come together from all parties and find a way to solve a failing health care system.

LEMON: I thought you were finished. I am sorry Andre, today was not what?

BAUER: That is all right. Go ahead.

LEMON: Can you please be the voice of reason here.

BAUER: Always. LEMON: You often are and that is why I'm asking you. What do

Republicans do here? Are your hands tied? What do you do?

STEWART: I think the encouraging thing is fortunately Republicans and Democrats for that matter in Washington can walk and chew gum at the same time. We have seen some progress in the senate version of the health care bill. We're seeing there's a possibility of more funding for opioid addiction.

LEMON: What do you do Alice, what do you do for this President? Because I'm sure you would rather be talking about those things than talking about blood on a woman again, because we've talked about that several times, a number of times on this show. What do you do? How do you get to this President? How -- you know when people used to have interventions. What do you do?

STEWART: I think we've been down this road before. And if nothing else we're learning that he is not going to change his spots and these tweets get the White House off message and there's nothing that members of congress, Republicans and certainly members of the White House can do to stop that. So the best medicine moving forward is to keep their eye on the prize, get their legislative agenda accomplish, and make progress on health care. And the travel ban today, we should be talking about that is now in place. Energy dominance which is--

LEMON: Do you think he lost some folks on health care?

STEWART: I think the good thing is that members of the congress, these Senators, they're beholden to their constituents and not Donald Trump. They want to get to yes.

[23:45:05] LEMON: What do you say to him? As a Republican, what do you say to him?

STEWART: Please stop tweeting and please stay on message and get back on offense and stop putting the administration on defense on these tweets that have nothing to do with furthering your legislative agenda. I think his policies are right for the time we're in and they can make progress. These tweets just get off message and don't do anything to make progress.

LEMON: I have to say I know that Maria Cardona before we started this I know she wanted to say I told you so last night when we are talking about --

CARDONA: I told you, I told Alice, I told Matt Lewis. You were trying to normalize this and look what happens.

STEWART: As always she was right.

LEMON: My apologies.

CARDONA: Thank you, Don. I appreciate that.

LEMON: We will be right back.

CARDONA: Thank you.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Man, I'm getting happy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love it, its simplicity, look that is the thing that makes me fall in love with it every single day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's always magic to me. Because it goes into the cave one way and you go in and pull it out. I don't believe in god, but somehow it came back like this.

[23:50:08] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Relying on time to change this and change the texture and flavors and even the smell. We have nothing to do with that other than enjoying it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's delicious.


LEMON: You are so bad for my waistline. Anthony Bourdain from CNN Parts Unknown joins now. Do people ever tell you you're bad for their waistline?


LEMON: Especially after watching cheese porn, like that. That was a clip from Portugal. Why is it so special to you?

BOURDAIN: One of the first places I went outside of United States, first place that I ever made television was in this area and my good friend and former boss from the last restaurant a worked in Jose and he took me to his family farm and introduced me to his city. Had a wonderful time, saw where meat came from for the first time.

LEMON: A story about a pig.

BOURDAIN: The episode centered around, the traditional pig feast at the farm where there's a traditional party. The priest comes up and they whack the pig. I have been a chef for 30 years and I had never seen where meat came from. It was wrenching but educating experience. I thought I would go back and revisit that place and those people and --

LEMON: You did the same thing with a pig?


LEMON: You get used to it.

BOURDAIN: You do. I wonder because my parents growing up, they saw where everything came from. It didn't turn you into a vegetarian.

BOURDAIN: No. It made me less likely to waste food. If you we the side an animal is going to die for your meal you make the most of it and treat it with respect.

LEMON: Why is food so unique there? Tell us about the pig tripe.

BOURDAIN: It is almost like any other tripe. They are incredible. They are very good. Cheese an incredible pork loin. For me the perfect desert is a lot of wine and a lot of good cheese.

LEMON: Tripe is smelly. You have to cook it a certain way for it not to be tough.

BOURDAIN: You have to cook it right and cook it away from people you love until it reaches a certain point.

LEMON: I learned things from your show about culture and politics. I'm sure people talk to you about that. They have been talking to you about that over the course of the show. Has it changed?

BOURDAIN: There's nothing more political than food for sure who is eating, who isn't eating, who has access to supply, why people eat the things they eat. You can be sure they are not known as tripe eaters in Portugal. They were particularly wealthy for all of their history. What you eat is the end of -- part of a very long story. CNN allowed me to wander away from the table and pursue, you know, whatever else we tend to notice in and around those meals where people are often very frank with us and tell us other things. We are free to not just have to keep coming back to food porn which is bad, by the way.

LEMON: It works. And one of those things is diversity. I mean diversity in other countries but also in this country as well. Why are these stories so important? You get to the bottom of issues that deal with culture.

BOURDAIN: They say this is where I come from. This is the food I grew up with. This is what my grandmother made me. We are an immigrant nation and so there are a lot of particularly large and diverse number of stories here whether in Houston or in Queens. There's a story along with these meals. If you move almost block to block there will be very different stories representative of a very proud and old cultures.

LEMON: I always ask you about your favorite moment from the season. Do you have any from this season?

BOURDAIN: Wow. So many, I think was particularly satisfying to me, really fascinating beautiful country. I do like the desert and sitting out on a dune, a full moon over an endless expanse of sand, sea, it's magical.

[23:55:07] LEMON: Always a pleasure.

BOURDAIN: Thank you.

LEMON: Good to see you.

BOURDAIN: Thank you.

LEMON: Don't miss CNN's parts unknown, Sunday night at 9:00. We'll be right back.


LEMON: After losing her eight-year-old son to leukemia this week's CNN hero transformed her heartbreak into action. She is using 21st century technology to keep kids battling life threatening illnesses, connected to their everyday lives.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is really difficult for kids who spend a lot of time in the hospital. They get disconnected from their family and friends and schools and when we bring them this technology they are able to dial in and be right in the classroom.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can see their face light right up. It brings them such joy.