Return to Transcripts main page


Showdown With North Korea; Fireworks Over Holiday Tweets; Trump May Take Questions From Reporters In Poland; North Korea, Our Missiles Now Capable Of Carrying Nuke. Aired 11p- Midnight ET

Aired July 5, 2017 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:30] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: Does Kim Jong-un has the U.S. in his sights and what will it take to stop him? This is "CNN tonight." I'm Don Lemon. North Korea develops a missile that could potentially hit Alaska, and Kim Jong-un shows no signs of backing down, so President Trump could really use some allies right now, but can he count on China? Russia? And what will it take to get them in his corner, plus what could be less controversial than tweeting out the declaration of independence on the 4th of July? We'll tell you why some people got really angry when somebody did just that. Let's get right to CNN's senior White House correspondent, Jeff Zeleny. He is traveling with the President tonight, Jeff?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Don, in just a now hour's time, President Trump will be standing alongside with the President of Poland, President Duda and they will be taking questions from American reporter, that is the plan at this hour, but the White House still say that they could pull that back and not take questions, but as the President arrived in Poland on Wednesday evening, so many questions are indeed facing him before his visit here, as well as moving onto the g20 in Germany on Thursday. Front and center is that meeting with Vladimir Putin on Friday, and the nuclear threat from North Korea. That is hanging over his trip here to Poland. That is one of the reasons the White House is still weighing whether the President should take questions or not, on early Thursday morning here nor Warsaw. The President is going to be rallying to some thousands of people, perhaps 15,000 or so at the square. It will be his biggest speech he has given yet outside of the U.S. His own brand of populism here in Poland is similar to the law and justice Party here in Poland. It's one of the reasons he wants to start his visit here before going onto that g20 meeting of world leaders in Germany where he is sure to face a much chillier reception from Angela Merkel of Germany. She has many disagreements with trade and climate change. It is that President Putin one-on-one face to face meeting with Donald Trump on Friday afternoon that will be the defying moment of this trip for the President. The White House will not say whether he will confront him about interference in the election, and that is the question hanging over all of us.

LEMON: Thank you, Jeff. I appreciate that. I want to bring in Ambassador James Woolsey, the former Director of the CIA, and sitting global affairs analyst Tony Blinken the former deputy national security adviser to President Obama, so good to have both of you gentlemen on. Ambassador Woolsey, I'll start with you first. I want to start with the situation in North Korea, because U.S. officials tell CNN this was a brand new missile, never seen before. Do the North Koreans now have the capability to strike the United States?

JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: They have had for three or four years because all they had to do would be to put a small nuclear weapon in a missile that can put it into orbit, and then as it circles the earth, it will pass over the central part of the United States a couple of times in the day. It can be detonated on orbit, and it's out of electromagnetic pulse, they can destroy our electricity grid and a missile that would be able to be targeted and hit a target on the ground and re-enter and so forth, which this one apparently is, that for this range is I guess for the North Koreans, but they have been able to knock out our electric grid for four years.

LEMON: When the President tweeted out in January that North Korea wouldn't be capable of developing a nuclear weapon that could reach the U.S. was he wrong, was he underestimating Kim Jong-un?

WOOLSEY: I don't think he was thinking electromagnetic pulse, but I would say, he was wrong, yes by 3 1/2 years. The North Koreans already had the capability of detonating on orbit and knocking out or electric grid.

LEMON: I want to hear from Tony Blinken. What do you think, Tony?

TONY BLINKEN, GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALSYT: Don, I think the question is what to do about it. We have a clear and present danger from North Korea, and the idea that you would put in the hands of a leader who acts at best, impulsively, and will strike the United States with a nuclear weapon one way or another is not a comforting thought. There is not a clear cut military solution to this problem. Most of this is underground or in mountains and they are using mobile platforms, they move this rockets out quickly and fuel the propellant in a matter of minutes, and even if you could take this out with tens of thousands of pieces of artillery, a retaliatory silo could take out the larger part of the city, including American lives. The trick is this. You have to get to a negotiation, two ways to do it. Either unrelenting pressure on North Korea or give them something they want. One way or another, the best way is to get them to the table and figure out if you can at least freeze what they are doing, and that buys you more time to come up with a longer lasting solution. In the best of worlds, that is a 20 percent to 30 percent possibility.

[23:35:33] LEMON: Is he someone like him open to giving them what they want?

BLINKEN: He is open to two things. If there is sustained comprehensive unrelenting pressure that denies him the needs to pay for his military program and buy off elites, that could get him to the table, and that includes China and here. Or give him something he wants. What they have been asking for, and China has been asking for, and then to our military exercises is a very hard thing to swallow. This equivalence between our legal, perfectly open and defensive military exercises and compared to his violations of the U.N. Security council resolutions is something hard to accept, but we have to get to a point where there is enough to get him to the table and enough to get him to freeze what he is doing. That gives him the time and space to come up with a longer lasting solution.

LEMON: Ambassador, can I read this before you respond, President Trump appears to be fed up with China's approach to North Korea. He tweeted this morning. He said trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40 percent in the first quarter. So much for China working with this, but we had to give it a try, but in April, here is what he tweeted, I have great confidence that China would probably deal with North Korea, if they are unable to do so, with its allies will. USA. Is it too soon for President Trump to abandon his strategy of wooing the Chinese?

WOOLSEY: Wooing is not usually a very good tactic in international affairs, especially dealing with a tough customer like China. I think that it is also going to be a real disaster if the White House uses twitter in the middle of a nuclear crisis, and we are headed, I'm afraid, toward the real possibility of a nuclear crisis.

LEMON: Say that one more time.

WOOLSEY: I said, we are headed, I'm afraid, toward having a real possibility of a real nuclear crisis, and tweets don't have a real place when you are trying to respond as quickly as you have to with the, when you are trying to use them to communicate the subtleties of diplomacy. We have got to take it easy and think carefully and thoroughly, and use what leverage we do have over China, and there is some, in order to bring sanction, much tougher sanctions to bear than we have to date with China, particularly on their banks and financial transfers.

LEMON: So give me -- I said why, and I understand, you know, as you said, a very real possibility of a nuclear -- I didn't want to.

WOOLSEY: Nuclear crisis.

LEMON: Nuclear crisis. I don't want to put words in your mouth. Obviously, because of what happened, but Nikki Haley, not backing down as well, very strong words today at the U.N. Security council.

WOOLSEY: She is becoming my favorite cabinet level official.

LEMON: Let's listen and then talk about it.


NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: The United States is prepared to use the full range of our capabilities to defend ourselves and our allies. One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We'll use them if we must, but we prefer not to go in that direction.


LEMON: That is military force. WOOLSEY: That is what she is alluding to. It would be very much

better if this had been dealt with when the North Koreans developed satellites and ballistic missiles, and nuclear weapons four, or five years ago, but we tried to, in the Bush two administration, we tried to buy them off with concessions and time, and they tried the same thing in the Obama administration, and in both cases the North Koreans lied and did what they wanted to do. So you can't really trust a deal with the North Koreans at all. What you have to have is a deal with China that gets China working with you and puts real pressure on North Korea, particularly financial pressure.

LEMON: Tony, what can you think of this especially, you are saying there is a possibility of a nuclear crisis here, and Nikki Haley's comments?

BLINKEN: I agree with him, and this is why it's such a clear and present danger, but figuring out the way forward really does require a deliberate and clear-eyed strategy. I agree, China remains the critical path, and there are two ways of bringing China along. One is to make it clear to China, as we did during the Obama administration, especially in the last year that if China was unwilling or unable to help, exert real leverage, we would have to do things that weren't aimed at China, but they wouldn't like. More military exercises and sanctions including on Chinese companies and individuals, doing business with North Korea. That ups the pressure on China because they are seeing things they didn't like. But at the same time, we have to have a real conversation with China about what the future would look like if there was a crisis. And China of course, is terrified of the instability that would provoke a crisis, and the fall of the regime, millions of people fleeing in to China from North Korea but particularly, losing its strategic buffer with South Korea, and in effect, with the United States. We have to have a clear-eyed conversation with the Chinese about what that future would look like to make it clear to them their interest could also be preserved. We wouldn't have American troops up at their border. There is a way to do this and bring China along. They fear this instability, and they recognize that North Korea is the source of the instability, but they are trying to have it both ways and there's a point where you have to get off the fence and take meaningful action.

[23:11:12] LEMON: Can I ask you Tony that the president created some kind of controversy during his last trip overseas. The stakes could not be higher now. What do you hope to see on this trip?

BLINKEN: Well, a couple of things. First, almost all of these summits there's a tradition you have a clear agenda and some kind of larger crisis overtakes it. So I think North Korea will dominate at least part of the agenda. He has to work through that and work through it in a deliberate way and try to get on the same page with the Chinese, but also with our South Korean allies. That is one. The conversation with Vladimir Putin could not be more important or more timely and if that conversation doesn't include a very clear message to the Russians about how unacceptable their meddling in our elections was, that will be a real problem. Finally, he has to challenge with our closest partners in Europe in the g20. We're not in the same place on climate, on trade, on immigration, and the President talks about America first, but unfortunately, it's now America alone, and we are devoid of partners. People are moving off in a very different direction. The European Union and Japan are signing a free trade agreement. American firm companies will be left behind. They are signing deals in Japan. Figuring out how to get back in sync with our closest partners is very important. I don't know if they can manage that on this trip. Look at the communicating that exists from the g20, and see if they have found to way to marry these very conflicting views of the world, and that will be a challenge.

LEMON: What are your expectations, final word?

WOOLSEY: I think that Putin will do his very best to dominate the summit negotiations with President Trump. Putin is a shrewd customer. We have not prepared well enough to be able to do to him what we should, which is find ways to weaken his control. Particularly with respect to cyber and that is a longer story, but there are opportunities for us to undermine Russia's cyber programs to do what they call disinformation. They are going after the British and the French and German elections as well as ours. They have been messing with elections for a long time. What's new is the distances are now such that you can expand them and hack into somebody from across the ocean rather than having political operatives go into his country.

LEMON: Let's hope the possibility is not imminent. You said a possibility of a nuclear crisis. Thank you, gentlemen, I appreciate it. When we come back, what exactly is North Korea able capable of and how worried should the United States be? We'll show you.


[23:17:38] LEMON: North Korea escalating tensions with the United States and the rest of the world with its latest missile test. Officials say in Pyongyang launch a new kind of missile, not seen before, more on this and starting developments on CNN Tom Foreman, Tom?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, the North Koreans are moving forward full steam with their missile program, and they are on track to have more missile tests this year than ever, and already more than a dozen and each one tells us more about how far we think they can reach with their missiles, this latest one a real milestone. Analysts believe for the first time, they can actually hit U.S. soil up here in the Alaska. So let's take a look at this missile and talk about it and a real life sized model here. It's more than 50 feet tall. Not terribly tall. About as tall as a basketball court is wide, and if you believe the North Korea estimates, it didn't go that far horizontally less than 600 miles. So why is everybody excited? Because of how high it went. Look at the altitude on this thing. Even if it's a lot less than what North Korea claims, this is way above the international space station. It went up there. It came back into the atmosphere, seemingly under control and splashed down. That says a lot about their advances in propulsion and in guidance. Where do we stand on the big picture? In terms of range, they got the green light now. They have figured out basic technology, and they can improve it they can make the range go even further in all likelihood. Accuracy gets a yellow caution light here, because it's one thing to get it to go far distance, but it's another to get it to hit what you are aiming at. They had difficult failures early in the year with their missile program, and the stopper on it all, at least for the moment, is in the nuclear part of it. Remember the reason why you build an ICBM is to carry a nuclear warhead. That is it. Simply put. They have not yet, as far as all analysts know, managed to miniaturize their nuclear warheads enough and make them reliable, light enough, small enough for nuclear missiles. The truth is the North Koreans are moving forward at a breakneck phase, and a very worrisome pace for the rest of the world, Don.

[23:20:00] LEMON: Goodness, thank you Tome Foreman. Let's bring in general Wesley Clark, a former NATO supreme allied commander and CNN military analyst Major General James Spider Marks, and Colonel Cedric Leighton a former member of the joint chief of staff. Let's look at what Tom Foreman said. What's your assessment of how dangerous this situation is?

JAMES SPIDER MARKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's terribly dangerous, and what we have seen over the course of many years, is North Korea has been able to develop this nuclear technology in parallel, and one of the largest land forces in the world, just North, 25 miles North of Seoul, the capital of South Korea, you put this all together you got a toxic mix, you have a regime that it is in place for over 70 years. Essentially doing its own thing, and inarguably, nobody has been, whether it's China, formidably, Russia, United States, Japan, those who are interested and globally interested, nobody is able to modify the behavior of the regime, and we are where we are and the window is closing in terms of what we can do, and therefore the options are getting smaller and smaller, that is the concern.

LEMON: General Clark, does this change how we should be dealing with North Korea?

WESLEY CLARK, FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: I think it's time to really recalibrate what our expectations are, and how to go forward. In 2002, it was said these three nations, Iraq, Iran and North Korea, couldn't get weapons of mass destruction. The Bush administration then went after the nation that was furthest away from getting weapons of mass destruction, and that was Iraq. It was a formulation that rests with us today, and it's one of the reasons the sense of panic or crisis is providing the American political culture right now. The Bush administration chose not to focus on it then. Now they have weapons of mass destruction, and are quickly getting the means to deliver them, but deterrence is still in place. The fundamental logic of deterrence has been that North Korea cannot attack South Korea without being utterly destroyed. That deterrent logic remains even if they have an ICBM or a number of ICBMs that can strike Japan, the United States or elsewhere around the world. They still couldn't use those without the threat of being destroyed. Yes, we don't like the North Korean regime. Yes, it seems evil, repulsive, repressive, and a lot of things are wrong with it, but we're not going to walk back to the status quo before where they don't have missiles or nuclear weapons. So we have to look at what it takes to maintain deterrence. If we want to try to get rid of their programs or stabilize those programs, then that is another matter. That means giving up major concessions to China and in reality, this is the long- term plan China's played with all along. They have always known we were going to get to this point that the United States would be faced with abandoning these exercises and ultimately pulling back from Korea, in order to avoid the risk of some inadvertent escalation with North Korea. They have brought us to this brinksmanship. They are playing on both sides. They nudge a little bit, and twiddle with the dials. They are not unhappy. The only thing that would make them unhappy is the destabilization of the north that would release a lot of refugees into China. So we have to think about this in a different way, Don. We can't just think how do we turn back the clock?

LEMON: The question is, and I want to ask you this, colonel. Two things, and then I want to play with the play what the Secretary of State said just moments ago. Are there military options that exist that wouldn't spark widespread carnage?

CLARK: Really, Don, I think the answer is no. There are no real viable large scale military options that would work in that way. However, there are some military options that could be used in a more subtle way, such as, you know, using cyber, jamming their radio signals. Potentially sabotage. Those kinds of things could be used. The problem with that is the minute that you are in a place like North Korea, which is truly denied territory, it's easy for the regime to discover us, and that would cause significant issues it for not only the U.S., but all the nations around that country.

[23:25:08] LEMON: The reason I ask is considering the proximity to South Korea and Japan. That is why I ask you. You see the proximity there. This is the Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, just moments ago, and we'll discuss. Recently, I should say.


JAMES MATTIS, DEFENSE SECRETARY GENERAL: A conflict in North Korea, John, would be probably the worst kind of fighting in most people's lifetimes. Why do I say this? The North Korean regime has hundreds of artillery cannons and rocket launchers within range. One of the most densely populated cities on earth, which is the capital of South Korea.


LEMON: I was thinking about Secretary Tillerson earlier before the g20 summit. They have artillery, aimed at its neighbors. If we use military force against them from, you know, the North Koreans, would presumably retaliate and potentially kill thousands of people. Military strikes are unthinkable, so what options does President Trump have?

CEDRIC LEIGHTON, FORMER MEMBER OF JOINT CHIEF OF STAFF: He really has few realistic options, Don, because from a military standpoint, our forces at Osan air base and other installations in Korea are frankly very vulnerable to artillery attacks from the north. What can happen in this particular case is the U.S. forces can go after some of the North Korean installations. The problem with that is though that they are in hard and target areas. The fact they are hardened, and deeply buried targets, makes it very difficult for us to eliminate all of the North Koreans' weapon systems, and the fact they are hard to eliminate, makes it very likely they would be used in a retaliatory strike against U.S. and South Korean forces.

LEMON: All right, gentlemen. Stick with me. We have much more to talk about. We will be right back. Don't go anywhere.


[23:31:04] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: Back now with my panel. We have been talking a lot about North Korea, so General Marks, let's talk about Russia now. President Trump meets with Vladimir Putin on Friday. Multiple administration officials tell CNN they don't expect the President to bring up election meddling. Is that a mistake if that doesn't happen?

JAMES SPIDER MARKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a big mistake. The larger issue, and now we talk about election meddling. Excuse me. I'm not sure we have ever defined what meddling means so if you want to have a precision of the discussion, let's really talk about offensive cyber operations against our network and specifically, into the DNC and the RNC. So let's talk about those capabilities very aggressively. That certainly needs to be discussed. I think the President has an opportunity at the g20 to do three things. That is talk to China about North Korea, and get their arms around that, talk to Russia and push back on Ukraine, and try to establish a protocol that addresses cyber and its major implications, because it's now an ungoverned common, and now we have to clearly, solidify and make sure our E.U. partners understand that we are solid, and we'll stand with them, and certainly General Clark can talk about that in greater detail. I think those three things are important, and it has to start with Russia.

LEMON: I'll go to you, General Clark. Shouldn't President Trump raised the issue bring this up, because he'll have support of other world leaders who have dealt with Russia interfering in their elections as well?

WESLEY CLARK, FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: Yes. He should raise that issue. Whether he can raise that issue or not, that is a really tough question call that only President Trump himself can make, because we don't know what really happen in this election, an investigations is under way. It could lead to criminal charges, and we don't know what cards Putin might hold, and how he will play those cards. This is the most risky part if he is -- if he gives concessions to Russia, then he makes it look like he is in Putin's pocket. If he provokes Russia by challenging him on election interference, he risks a backfire from Putin. So this is the hardest part of the summit I think for President Trump so figure out.

LEMON: Colonel, what do you think? He said if you can do it. Do you think he should rise meddling in the election?

CEDRIC LEIGHTON, FORMER MEMBER OF JOINT CHIEF OF STAFF: I think he should, absolutely, Don and the reason I say that, as General Marks mentioned this, is the ungoverned space in terms of domains of warfare. It's in our national interest that we develop with other countries norms in cyberspace. We have started that process with China. China has been easier to work with in this sense than Russia would be because they have -- are beginning to have intellectual property of their own that they want to protect in the cyber realm. For the Russians, it's a different issue, but we have to make it clear to them, it's in their interest to protect their intellectual property and infrastructure, and the types of things they are beginning to develop in Russia, and it becomes very important for us to have some kind of way of operating that allows for there to be, in essence, an understanding of when you can attack and when you cannot attack, and that is basically setting up rules of warfare for cyberspace, and I think we need to do that, and we need to do it right now.

LEMON: I mentioned Rex Tillerson earlier. Here he is, and we'll discuss.


REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: I would say at this point, it's difficult to say exactly what the Russians -- Russia's intentions are in this relationship, and that is the most important part of this meeting. Is to have a good exchange between President Trump and President Putin over what they both see is the relationship between our two countries.


[23:35:09] LEMON: General Marks, what do you think of that?

SPIDER MARKS: It has to be accomplished with a very set agenda. You can't establish a relationship unless you establish a relationship around things you want to try to accomplish. It's all about things you do and things you don't do, and what's on top of the list and what has to be subjugated to another list and day. We have an opportunity right now to have a very firm conversation with Putin and our President should take that upon himself to talk about, I think, specifically pushing back on Ukraine. What took place in Crimea is done and off the time, but pushing back on terms of what is taking place in Ukraine, we certainly need to address the cyber challenges and Putin's view moving forward in Syria.

LEMON: General Clark?

CLARK: Yeah. I think -- I think Tillerson's right. I think the secretary says we should be talking about the relationship and what mutual expectations are. I think that is a good thing, but you do have to cast in terms of specific issues. So Syria, Ukraine. I would like to see about NATO, clarified in this. Including the statement to Mr. Putin that underscores America's firm commitment to article 5. Maybe that is in the context of going beyond Ukraine, and I think into cyberspace, that is the right way to get into the U.S. election issue.

LEMON: Colonel Leighton your response, you get the final word here.

LEIGHTON: I think, Don, what the generals have mentioned is exactly right. I also believe that what Secretary Tillerson said makes a lot of sense, because this is a getting to know you session, but you can't have a session like this without having a concrete agenda. You have to know where you want to go in order to get there, and that is one of the key things that I hope the administration, the Trump administration is doing, because otherwise, we risk, really muddling our way through this, and that is not the place we want to be at this point in time.

LEMON: Gentlemen, thank you very much, I appreciate the conversation.

We have breaking news that I need to report to you right now. Congressman Steve Scalise is back in the intensive care unit. He was wounded by a sniper during practice for the congressional baseball game on June 14th. We have a statement that says, Congressman Steve Scalise has been readmitted to the intensive care unit due to new concerns for infection. His condition is listed as serious, and we'll provide another update tomorrow, July 6th. That is the latest on Congressman Steve Scalise office on his condition. We'll be back.


[23:41:50] LEMON: And we're back. What better way to mark the fourth of July than reading the declaration of independence? That is what the folks at NPR thought, so they tweeted out the entire thing, 113 tweets. That could go wrong in our current political climate, a lot. Let's discuss this, and CNN Scott Jennings, we have a former special assistant to George W. Bush here. Karine Jean-Pierre is a national spokesman for, and our political commentator, Kevin Madden. Hello, happy belated fourth to all of you. Have a good one? The weather was perfect here. I got to go to the beach, and I was, like, what is happening? Trump supporters interpreted these tweets as an attack on the current administration, the right to abolish it and institute a new government. They percent were suggesting to Americans that they abolish the administration, and others thought it obstructed the administration of justice is too close to the charges of obstruction. What do you think?

SCOTT JENNINGS, POLITICAL ANALYST: Unfortunately, a lot of people pick up their twitter feeds and don't read the articles. They don't look at the context. They are looking for validation of the viewpoints this they wake up every day mad about.

LEMON: It's unfortunate they are idiots. Is that what you are saying?

JENNINGS: There's a stupidity that meets on twitter, and it manifests itself in these kinds of episodes, which is too bad because the declaration of independence, important document. I saw it here in New York, and they had Thomas Jefferson's manuscript in the library. Let's read it and celebrating not being angry about.

LEMON: They are idiot. I hate to call them that, but come on. You have been doing this commentating for how long now?

JENNINGS: A few weeks now.

LEMON: Okay. You wait. Just you wait. You will be taken out of context. Wait a minute. That is not what I meant, and there's no way to bring it back. What do you think of this? For decades now, NPR has been broadcasting the reading of the declaration of independence every Fourth of July, and the spokesperson released a statement. What do you think?

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, FORMER OBAMA AIDE: 29 years, you know, NPR has been doing this, broadcasting the declaration of independence. The first time they did it on twitter, 113 tweets as you said, Don. I mean, look. Maybe they might be upset to learn that the declaration of independence was also written by immigrants. If they, you know, if they really understood any of this at all, but maybe they were doing us a public service. Maybe NPR was doing a public service, by saying, this is an important time, especially with what we're going through, for both sides of the aisle to really kind of step back and read through this, and read what the ideals of this country, what we were founded on, and it gave us a good time to do that with everything going on right now.

LEMON: They usually do it on the air, and they did it on twitter, and they were happy it was shared and created a conversation. Kevin, you say it shows how easy it is to lose context when you communicate in 140 characters or less, and tribalism takes over social media. Explain.

[23:45:09] KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's an extension of what Scott pointed out earlier that so many times people log onto twitter not because they want an informed debate or get perspective from the other side. Instead, what they want to do is battle. They want to have a clash of political civilizations and a clash of partisan tribes, and so much of that, that twitter conversation is lost as a result. This reminds me too, with people not getting that context of each individual tweet, it reminds me of a story of those who had tuned into the first broadcast of --

LEMON: "War of the worlds".

MADDEN: Those who tube in late, thought it was an actual news report. So much --

LEMON: There was a great documentary out on that by the way.

MADDEN: So much of what we're seeing on twitter is without context, and it is very reactive rather than being informed and trying to learn about perspective from both sides.

LEMON: This is the second time I heard about the 140 characters. Earlier it was about 140-character diplomacy, Scott. Do you think this is lesson for the President of the United States?

JENNINGS: What was said on the show is true, which is we are in a fluid possible nuclear showdown with an unstable dictator in North Korea, and tweeting about it is not going to solve this issue, and we can communicate with each other on some political issues, but when we're dealing with the brink of a political, nuclear showdown, that standard political rhetoric on twitter is not going to cut it, and people need to be looking for their information in broader formats than just a handful of tweets. The thing is too serious to limit what you have to say about it to 140 characters.

LEMON: Ok. Just wait, Scott. Wait until you have done this for, like, two months. Kevin, I think you're right when you talk about tribalism, because out and about for the fourth of July, guess what people wanted to talk about? Politics, why are you so hard on Trump? And the other people are, like, why are you guys so hard on Obama? Why are you guys so easy on Trump? I couldn't win no matter where I went. I just smiled and ate my ice cream and got fat. I'm showing the pictures of the beach, because I wept to the beach, but this is Governor Chris Christie, sitting on his state-owned residence when beaches were closed. How does this look for him? This is for you, Kevin.

MADDEN: When, you know, you work on campaigns, you have almost an obsession over the optics, and I can't think of optics that are worse for a politician. This is emblematic of his current political state. His approval rating right now at New Jersey is at 15 percent. The joke is when you are at 15 percent you are down to blood relatives and staff. That is -- his political base was there with him.

LEMON: And your wife.

MADDEN: Yeah. He is lily and figuratively on an island politically.

LEMON: Yeah. I have to point out that when he was confronted about these photos, Christie publicly said he was planning to be at this beach, and he never caught where. He is never caught where he shouldn't be. Listen to this.


CHRIS CHRISTIE, GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: Sitting there with a baseball hat and shirt talking to my wife, and talking to our guests. I don't apologize for it. I don't back away from it. And I think my poll numbers show that I don't care about political optics. If they flown that plane over that beach, and I was sitting next to a 25-year-old blonde on that beach, that is a story.


LEMON: Karine?

JEAN-PIERRE: You know, when I heard this story, I was, like, yeah, of course. This makes sense. Chris Christie would totally not surprising you know, the least. He is going to be known as the least popular governor in New Jersey. 15 percent approval rating as you were just discussing. But I have to say, Don, there is a silver lining to all of this, which is that you had journalists dog -- another example of journalists doing their job, making sure they keep this governor accountable, renting an airplane. Following him, finding him and really reporting on this, especially as they closed the beach. His last act really as governor is shutting down and closing the beach, and what's good for Christie is not good for New Jersey, and he juts continues to prove that. Now he has six months left. He is pretty much a lame duck governor, and there's that silver lining of the press and their hard work. [23:50:00] LEMON: I am not sure guys if you have seen the picture on

social media were people are putting Chris Christie in everything in their in their family photographs?


He is sitting there. You said lame duck.

JENNINGS: Lame duck, don't give a hoot, I guess. I mean, at this point, six months, we're lucky this guy doesn't show up warring a sombrero every day. She is not running for re-election. He is six months to go. And every day is Hawaiian shirt day.

LEMON: When you see Chris Christie on the beach, you see a man who has stopped caring. He knows he is done as a politician in New Jersey. You guys agree with that? It's over for him.

JEAN-PIERRE: It is over.

LEMON: Thank you. Again, happy belated fourth, everyone, great conversation, I'll see you soon. We'll be right back.


[23:55:10] LEMON: Before we leave you tonight, I want to turn to Attorney General Jeff Sessions paying tribute to a New York City police officer, a 12 year veteran of the force and another of three who was killed in the line of duty early this morning. Miosotis Familia was shot in the head shortly after midnight while she and her partner were in a marked police truck in the Bronx. He proudly wore the damage for 12 years, serving her community and keeping the people of New York City safe. James O'Neill saying, that officer Familia was quote, assassinated in an unprovoked attack on cops. A male suspect was shot and killed by a police by one block from the scene, may she rest in peace. That is all for us tonight, thanks for watching. I'll see you back here tomorrow.