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G7 Members And Trump At Odds On Key Global Issues; Trump Puts Blame On Obama At G7; Trump's Trade War Costing American Farmers; Trump's Trade War Hitting U.S. Bicycle Manufacturing; Virtual Three- Way Tie For Biden, Warren And Sanders In Latest Poll; The 2020 Presidential Race; President Trump Says U.S. May Host Next G7 At Trump National Doral Golf Resort in Florida; A Judge Ordered Johnson & Johnson To Pay $572 Million For Its Role In The Opioid Crisis In Oklahoma. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired August 26, 2017 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. Thank you for joining us. We're going to answer five big questions in the hour ahead. Why is President Trump at odds with the G7 allies over his trade war with China, the Iran nuclear deal, and his insistence that Russia be allowed back at the G7 table? And what are the potential national security implications?
I'm going to ask the former director of National Intelligence, Mr. James Clapper. What kind of impact is the worsening trade war with China having on Americans? We're going to hear directly from a farmer and the owner of a manufacturing company.
Is Joe Biden losing his big lead atop the Democratic presidential race, and who is surging? We have the results of a new poll for you. Why is it that hundreds of people who have quit their memberships at Trump's Doral golf resort in Florida, why can't they get their deposits back?
And the landmark judgment against pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, how much has an Oklahoma judge ordered the company to pay for its role in that state's opioid crisis? We're going to discuss all of that this hour.
We want to turn to the big picture and we're going to talk about the G7 with former director of national intelligence, Mr. James clapper. Good evening, director. Good to have you on this evening.
President Trump is at odds with the G7 over the trade war, the Iran deal, Russia. He made wildly conflicting statements during the meetings and told some outright whoppers. Is all this erratic behavior hurting America's reputation on the world stage?
JAMES CLAPPER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it obviously is, but I have to say that on a Trumpian scale, this G7 was probably better than the last one, which ended up pretty disastrously.
I think, you know, in my engagement with former colleagues, intelligence people and intelligence professionals in other countries, there is great concern about the president and his erratic behavior.
And in the case of the trade war with China, his seeming indifference to the impact that this could have, is having on the world economy and on the economies of the other participants in the G7. And so I think there's great concern about his behavior and his statements.
LEMON: Yes, you say great concern, but I mean are there national security implications too, director?
CLAPPER: Well, yes, there obviously is, and maybe more implicit perhaps, particularly as it affects economies, which is a component obviously of any nation state's security. So, yes, I think there is.
And that's one reason why these countries are so concerned about his behavior and about this trade war where seemingly they're just left to be spectators by, you know, this back-and-forth.
And in the absence of any clear strategy, you know. The classic question, how is this going to end, you know? I don't think -- I'm not sure the administration knows, and certainly the spectators, the other countries in the world, don't know either.
LEMON: Yes. Let's talk about, director, why the G7 exists. It exists for countries to come together, tackle global problems. But some of these current crises were really created by President Trump himself, like the trade war with China and the tensions with Iran.
CLAPPER: Well, yes, exactly. And I think it makes the dialogue very difficult for these other countries. I was watching with interest the extraordinary efforts that other representatives went to not to offend President Trump and to set him off or say or do something that would be even more harmful.
And I have to hand it to President Macron of France because as host, I think he handled, you know, under a very difficult circumstance, handled himself and handled President Trump pretty well.
LEMON: You know, the president once again claiming, without evidence, that Russia was booted out of the G8 because President Obama was outsmarted by Vladimir Putin on Crimea. Let's listen and then we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: President Obama was not happy that this happened because it was embarrassing to him, right? It was very embarrassing to him and he wanted Russia to be out of the -- what was called the G8.
[23:05:01] And that was his determination. He was outsmarted by Putin. He was outsmarted. President Putin outsmarted President Obama.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK, so it was a joint decision -- this is a fact -- a joint decision by the G8 that suspended Russia. Why does the president continue to attack President Obama instead of blaming Vladimir Putin for invading and annexing his neighbor?
CLAPPER: Well, I think there are two factors at play here. One is I think there's underlying jealousy of President Obama, and so every chance President Trump gets to, you know, lay the blame on somebody if he -- by whatever fantastic stretch, he'll place the blame on President Obama.
And this is just kind of an absurd statement. By the way, you know, we're 2-1/2 years into this administration and what has this administration done about getting the Russians out of Crimea, nothing. So, you know, I just --
LEMON: Good point.
CLAPPER: -- and then the other -- of course the other factor is this deference to Putin whom he just won't dime out ever on anything. And then, you know, the advocacy for Russia and Putin coming back to the G7, to me, is absurd. I mean, what has Russia done to merit coming back into this prestigious international group?
CLAPPER: Russia is a pariah state and they haven't changed.
LEMON: Well, let's talk more about that because as you just mentioned, Russia is still in Crimea on this president's watch, President Trump's watch. Russia was accused of poisoning a former Russian spy in Britain, is meddling in our election as we speak.
And according to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the FBI Director Wray, is letting Russia -- that's what they say -- is letting Russia back in the G7 a good idea?
CLAPPER: Well, I don't think it is. Again, this would be a reward for bad behavior. As I say, what on earth has Russia done to merit, you know, rejoining the G7?
LEMON: Why would he be pressing for it, then, director? It's kind of unfathomable. What is going on?
CLAPPER: Well, this is, again, mysterious and inexplicable deference to Putin. And I don't know. Maybe he wants to curry his favor to ensure he gets help again in 2020 as he did in 2016 from the Russians. I don't know what it is.
You know, there's all kinds of speculation about that, whether they have something on him or he has financial interests there we don't know about, I don't know. But just to me, this is dangerous to national security because Russia is an adversary of ours.
They are bent on undermining us and undermining our democracy and our political ecosystem. And why he's currying Russia's favor while he's kind of dumping on our traditional close allies, I don't know.
LEMON: President Trump says that he would be open to meeting with Iran's president. Listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think he's going to want to meet. I think Iran wants to get this situation straightened out. Now, is that based on fact or based on gut? That's based on gut, but we can't let them have a nuclear weapon. Can't let it happen. So, I think that there's a really good chance that we would meet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Do you think they should meet?
CLAPPER: I'm sorry?
LEMON: Do you think they should meet?
CLAPPER: Well, it probably wouldn't hurt. It would be nothing more than a photo op kind of thing, just like it has been with Kim Jong-un. Long on form and substance -- long on form and not much on substance. And I find it ironic that he says we can't let him have a nuclear weapon.
Well, he did away with the mechanism that was ensuring that they didn't get a nuclear weapon. So to me, that is nonsensical.
LEMON: Yes. Director, much appreciate it as always. Thank you so much.
CLAPPER: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: The president says his trade war with China is good for the country. Some of the American who's have been hit hard by the tariffs, well, they may disagree with him. We're going to talk to two of them next.
[23:10:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: President Trump says he is open to making a deal in his trade war with China but only if -- it's what he calls a good deal, a fair deal for the United States. But what about the Americans who are getting hit hard in his trade war? I'm going to talk to two of them now.
Bob Kuylend is here. He is a wheat and sunflower farmer. He's from North Dakota. Also with me is Arnold Kamler where he is the CEO of Kent International, a bicycle company. We're so glad to have both of you on, gentlemen.
Bob, let's start with you. Let's talk about you situation and what you think because you say you have lost over $400,000 since President Trump came into office? I mean that is stunning. Tell us what it's been like for you and for other farmers during the president's trade war.
BOB KUYLEN, FARMER: Well, every time we think the market's stabilized -- I sold a lot of grain last year at harvest for $5.70, and that was at a loss and I felt bad doing it, but I didn't have any room for it. Well, it ended up that was an awful good move, and right now our market is $3.96 here locally. So it's -- at $4.40 a bushel, I lost $70 an acre just putting my crop in this year. But now we're down to $3.96.
LEMON: Wow. You have farmed for 40 years. I mean, what about some of the younger farmers in your area? Is there a future in farming for them, you think?
KUYLEN: I don't -- I don't see them making it. They don't have the equity that older guys like I do and, you know, it's kind of like telling all of America to throw away half their 401(k) is what they're asking farmers to do right now, taking all our markets away from us.
[23:15:02] It's no different, you know. We build up our equity. We own a lot of land, but we're kind of cash poor. And they put the hit on us here and the young farmers don't have that equity to fall back on and do loss loans like a lot of people are going to have to do.
LEMON: Yes. Well, I'm using the words you said, what about you old guys, but how long can you hold out if things continue to go the way they're going?
KUYLEN: Well, you're almost kicking yourself in the rear-end for not getting out two years ago. Some guys did, and we thought they were crazy. It looks like it was a good move. You're going to get to the point where no one's going to buy any machinery or anything, so what good is it going to do to sell out?
It's -- I -- there's got to be an end. We were in D.C. last year and top trade guy said that it's going to be at least six to eight years before we get our markets back even if we do get some of these trade things done.
LEMON: China has started importing grain from elsewhere now, so even if the trade war ended tomorrow, there's no guarantee that you'd be able to restart those relationships. You said six to eight years but, you know, if this was over soon, you still think it's going to take that long?
KUYLEN: I think we'll get back a little bit of the market and I don't know how much it would be, but it's going to take a lot of years to get our markets back.
KUYLEN: And our input costs are so high. Like this year, our wheat was down 50 percent, but our fertilizer went from $400 a ton to $600 a ton this year. What a major hit on a year that we took such a hit on our prices. And natural gas was at record lows, so there's no excuses for fertilizer to go up, just that they can.
LEMON: How do you feel about the administration's $16 billion farm bailout, though?
KUYLEN: Well, this one's a lot fairer than the last one. I think the last one, top 10 percent farms took 70 percent of that payment. So, it was kind of a payback to the buddy type of thing. But this one's set up better.
But it's somewhat confusing because the county I am in, we're going to get $15 an acre back and there's other counties in our state that are going to get over $50 an acre. So, it just seems odd why the difference in the amount that you're going to get.
KUYLEN: We're all taking a hit.
LEMON: Yes. Listen, I know you're not a politician. You may not be that political, but if I can ask you a question about the political perspective here. Farmers and other rural voters are a big part of the president's base.
You didn't vote for President Trump in 2016, but from conversations you are having with other folks, do you think the president is in danger of losing any of that support in 2020?
KUYLEN: Well, if he doesn't lose 100 percent of it from the farm belt, then people are kind of crazy because this is not going well for farmers at all. I mean, some of them are trying to be faithful because they made that decision and voted for him. But I'd have to say in the back of their minds, they're just not very happy right now.
LEMON: Yes. Well, Bob, listen, I want to thank you for sharing your perspective on all of this, OK? And listen, best of luck to you. We're all thinking about you and you're welcome to come on anytime to share your story if you want to talk about anything. Thanks so much.
KUYLEN: Thank you.
LEMON: Thank you. I want to bring in now Arnold Kamler. He is a CEO of Kent International. I want to talk about the impact on the manufacturing sector. So good to have you on.
ARNOLD KAMLER, CEO, KENT INTERNATIONAL: Thank you very much.
LEMON: You heard that conversation. He's very candid there. Give us -- tell us what you have been experiencing, how much money this trade war has cost your company. What has this meant to you?
KAMLER: Well, there are a lot of elements of our business. I mean, we are an importer of principally until about five years ago. Right now about 15 percent of our business is U.S. manufacturing. It's been very difficult for us because the -- we still need to import a tremendous amount of the component parts.
LEMON: You make bicycles.
KAMLER: We make bicycles, yes. And when we import these parts or even the complete bicycles that we import, there's always a time gap whenever we have pricing contracts with our customers to when we can get price increases. So we have two things. You have the inflation because of higher
prices. Actually Senator Graham, I think, is the first one who really definitively came out and admitted that, yes, there's going to be a pain because of these price increases.
KAMLER: But we have this thing. We also have a terrible problem with cash flow because when we have to pay these import duties now on all of these component parts, we have to pay the money right away within two weeks. Normally we get 90, 100, 120 days to pay for our goods but on the import duty we have to pay it right away.
KAMLER: So, there just this -- a lot of elements of it.
LEMON: But you've also had to lay off employees recently, how many and is it because of the tariffs?
KAMLER: It is. We had to lay off about 35 people down in our factory in South Carolina.
[23:20:00] KAMLER: Yes, we went from 145 to 110. We're hoping if the markets stabilize maybe early next year to be able to go back, but we had loss business because we're the much higher price bicycles and we had bicycles that we're selling at $100 before that are $130, and bikes that were $150 that are now $180, $190, which meant less business and so --.
LEMON: Because it costs more.
KAMLER: And so -- because it costs more and so our price had to be more.
LEMON: Well, that's the part when people -- when economists say that it is a tax that the American people are paying, it's because the price. You're going to pay more for the product.
KAMLER: It's definitely a tax on the American people.
LEMON: So, one of the president's goals is to get manufacturing jobs out of China back here in the United States, a goal that you share. But you're finding the tariffs themselves it may be making it harder to do that. Explain that please to our audience.
KAMLER: Yes, OK. So I was talking about for our business right now. We as a U.S. factory with American workers, when we import, 60 or 70 percent of the parts, we're paying as much as 35 and 40 percent in import duty now on these parts.
It's not just the 25 percent plus this extra 5 percent. They're already were a 10 percent import duty. But an emerging country like Vietnam, when they go to buy these parts, which are still coming mostly from China, they don't pay any import duty.
And when they bring the complete bicycles in, my competitors, the complete bicycles in from these other countries, they're not subject to those additional costs.
LEMON: You said that China cheats, but do you have confidence that the president understands China, knows what he's doing, and can really get a good deal for America?
KAMLER: I can't really comment on what he knows or don't. I don't know that. But I know for sure China has been cheating on foreign exchange for years. They're not playing fair, and actually just within the past week, the currency in China moved 4 percent.
That's not a normal -- I mean I have friends who think that China is cheating you as much as 20 and 30 percent on foreign exchange, but that's another thing. But this trade war, though, is just not good for anybody. It's not good for the United States, you know, we heard from the farmers, but.
LEMON: Right. How long can you hold out if this continues?
KAMLER: We'll be fine. I mean it's going to be less manufacturing. It's our goal that we want to -- actually, we very proactively have gotten together with 11 other American bicycle assemblers and we're going to petition the U.S. government for complete tariff relief for us with the idea of building up -- right now there's only about a half a million bicycles assembled in the United States.
It's our goal as a coalition to bring that up to 3 million or 4 million bicycles a year and we can do that by getting tariff relief on the bicycle parts and creating probably thousands of jobs.
LEMON: Well, good luck.
KAMLER: Thank you.
LEMON: We thank you for coming out, Arnold Kamler. Thank you so much.
KAMLER: Thank you very much for having me.
LEMON: A new poll shows that Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders in a virtual tie for the Democratic nomination, but is there more to the poll than meets the eye?
[23:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Senator Elizabeth Warren drawing an estimated 15,000 people at her latest rally and a new Monmouth poll shows her in a virtual tie with the former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders to lead the Democratic ticket in 2020.
Let's discuss with Harry Enten and Dan Merica. Good evening. Can you put that back up? I just want to take a look at that poll. Let's all just tack a gander at that poll.
HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER & ANALYST: It's got to be together with that poll.
LEMON: Twenty, 20, and 19. Really, that is a virtual tie. So Harry, we got to talk about this. It's the first time we've seen that Joe Biden with a large lead over the rest of the -- without a large lead over the rest of the field.
LEMON: Do you think he's still in the lead?
ENTEN: I do think he's still in the lead and I'll tell you why. Look, we had a poll conducted by CNN last week that was released last week. It was conducted during the exact same period as this poll and found Joe Biden at 29 percent, Bernie Sanders at 15 percent, Elizabeth Warren at 14 percent.
There have been four live interview polls conducted during the month of August. All of them except for this one had Joe Biden substantially ahead by double digits with around 30 percent of the vote. Look, Monmouth is a great pollster. Maybe --
LEMON: This was the CNN poll that you were referring to. We'll put that up there (ph).
ENTEN: Right. Right. Exactly. Look, Monmouth is a great pollster. Sometimes, though, even great pollsters have outliers. This is a poll conducted among 298 registered Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. Sometimes you simply have outliers.
LEMON: But you average these polls out?
ENTEN: And what did you find?
ENTEN: What I found was that Joe Biden was up with 28 percent of the vote. Elizabeth Warren was at 19 percent of the vote and Bernie Sanders where somewhere around 15 percent of the vote, which indicates what we have seen all along. That is that Joe Biden is up by around 10 points.
He's up at around 30 percent. That is a little bit down from where he was in late June although that's not statistically significant. I think the one noteworthy thing in there is Elizabeth Warren.
I do think that you can make a real credible case that if you look back at late June compared to now she is up by five points. And if you go back even further, she is up by double digits from where she was say in April. So, she certainly has some momentum in her direction.
LEMON: Anyone you speak to will say she's running the most disciplined campaign of everyone.
ENTEN: Yes. I think she's running on plans, plans, plans and it does seem to be working for her but I still think she's behind.
LEMON: One of the biggest swings in the Monmouth poll among moderate and conservative Democrats, OK? You can see that Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren gained with those voters, while Biden lost voters. What does that say to you?
ENTEN: I mean if that's right, Joe Biden might as well pack it up and say adios amigos because he needs to win moderate conservative Democrats by double digits and he's only up by two there.
[23:29:59] I think it's an outlier but the fact is, if he's going to win the nomination, he's got to be winning them. Look, he was up by 30 points in June. That's probably the margin he needs to be winning if he wants to win the nomination.
Merely winning them by two, that's group he should be running away.
It's not a surprise given that he's only up by two among that group in this poll, that in this poll in particular, he's down by a point to the other two candidates.
LEMON: But a poll is a snapshot in time.
ENTEN: It is a snapshot in time and it is just one poll.
LEMON: All right, Dan Merica, let's bring you in.
LEMON: Crowd sizes. You know, there is a person that loves to talk about crowd sizes. Elizabeth Warren is drawing 15,000 people. I went out to see her in Seattle on Sunday, thousands more in St. Paul last week. Is she quietly gaining momentum here when you look at these crowds?
DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: I think I'm going to be as skeptical as Harry here. Yes, it matters. If 15,000 people are coming out to see you, to stand in line, to wait for you to speak, and then according to many of her aides, wait up to three hours to take photos with her after the event, that is a sign that something is happening.
And as Harry has laid out, the polls show that she's been kind of ticking upwards over the last few weeks and months. But, you know, I went back to my notes. I covered the 2016 election.
I went to a rally of Bernie Sanders in Seattle in August of 2015. He drew 12,000 people, which is his largest event to date. Obviously we know how that finished. He didn't win the nomination. He obviously did very well and came close but didn't win the nomination.
So crowd sizes matter to a certain extent. It's important to remember that 15,000 people in Seattle are not going to decide this election or unlikely to decide this election.
But what is happening in this national conversation does matter, and the fact that many people are seeing 15,000 people at an Elizabeth Warren event, are seeing news coverage of that, are seeing tweets of that, it matters to voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada because they're going to want to get behind a winner.
If they see 15,000 people at an Elizabeth Warren event, maybe they're more likely to go to the next event that she hosts in Des Moines or --
LEMON: But doesn't it speak to passion?
LEMON: Listen. If it's raining on Election Day, if there's bad weather, if something happens, you know, people are -- if you show up for a rally, you know, you're going to probably show up to vote because you have passion behind this candidate.
MERICA: Yeah, absolutely. If you can bring people out to an event, it shows that they're committed to you to a certain degree or at least interested in what you're saying. I will note, though, that Kamala Harris drew 20,000 people to her announcement rally --
LEMON: You took the words out of my mouth.
MERICA: -- in Oakland earlier this year. She's not, you know, in the top three of people polling. So, you know, crowd size matters to a certain extent, but I don't think it's, you know, going to be the decisive factor in this primary.
LEMON: All right. Good answer there. There's only two days left to qualify for the September democratic presidential debates. And so far, 10 -- this is for you, Harry -- 10 candidates have made the cut. Do you think anyone could squeak through by Wednesday or -- I don't know. Do you think this is it?
ENTEN: If I was Tom Steyer, I would look up to the heavens and hope that there is one more poll. He needs one more qualifying poll.
LEMON: To be the chosen one.
ENTEN: To be the chosen one as he looks up into the sky, the chosen one, be the 11th on the stage. Look, I speak to a lot of pollsters. I'm not aware of any qualifying poll that's going to come out over the next 48 hours, but maybe so, you know. Sometimes miracles do happen, you know. Maybe I'll run to a Popeye's and they'll actually have the chicken sandwich I still want.
LEMON: Why did you make me think about that? I was trying to avoid eating after work.
ENTEN: Sorry, Don.
LEMON: Popeye is near where I live. Dan, so if nothing changes between now and Wednesday, do you think that we will see anyone else dropping out of this race?
MERICA: It's hard to see how a candidate can keep going when they're not going to make the debate stage. Obviously the debate creates a lot of conversation, creates moments for these candidates to fund raise, and it's hard for a candidate to go to these donors and go to people and say, look, donate to my campaign, I think I can win, when you're not on the debate stage.
Seth Moulton is a really good example of this. He didn't make either debate and his people in June were saying, you know, "I don't think it matters. It's not going to decide this race." And look where he is now. He dropped out of the race earlier this month.
So it does matter. I think if you don't see people making this debate stage in September, it's going to be hard for them to press on to October.
LEMON: Gentlemen, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
ENTEN: Thank you.
LEMON: The president today is suggesting that the next G7 be held at one of his golf clubs, a club where business has been drying up and members who want to leave can't get their deposits back. That story is next.
[23:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The United States will host the next G7 summit. President Trump said today that he may hold a meeting at his own Trump National Doral golf resort near Miami. He claims he won't make any money and that it is a good location, right near Miami's international airport.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Doral happens to be within Miami. It's a city. It's a wonderful place. It's a very, very successful area of Florida. From my standpoint, I'm not going to make any money. In my opinion, I'm not going to make any money. I don't want to make money. I don't care about making money. If I wanted to make money, I wouldn't worry about 3 billion to 5 billion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: While the president's Doral club is also in the news for another reason, turns out hundreds of people who have quit their memberships there are still waiting to get their deposits back.
Joining me now to discuss is Taylor Dolven, who has been covering this story for The Miami Herald, and Peter Brooke, an attorney and active member of the club who is trying to help former Doral members get their money back. There is so much to discuss. I'm glad to have both of you on. Good evening.
Taylor, you first. Tell me what's going on at Doral. Why are more than 265 people who have resigned from the club, why are they waiting to get their deposits back and how much are we talking about here?
[23:40:05] TAYLOR DOLVEN, REPORTER, THE MIAMI HERALD: We're talking, by my estimates, about $2.8 million in deposit refunds that Trump is currently sitting on. What happens when you leave the club, when you resign your membership, your golf membership, is that you join this list, this waiting list. And in order to get off the list and get your refund back, four new golf members need to join the club. And what we've seen in more recent years based on my reporting is that fewer members are joining, and so resigned members on this list aren't getting their deposit back. Like you said, the list now stretches over 260 people long.
LEMON: So fewer people are joining. Is that since he's been elected, fewer people are joining? Again, wait, you said one to every four, so one person -- if you want to leave, four more people have to sign up, right? And the other question is --
LEMON: -- have fewer people been joining because -- or after he was elected?
DOLVEN: Yes. Since -- at least since 2017, based on records I've reviewed, we know that 24 people got refunds back between 2012 when Trump bought the property and 2017, and only one or two have received refunds within the most recent year. So membership -- there are fewer members joining the club, yes.
LEMON: All right. Peter, I see you're raring to get in here because I know that you're personally not waiting for your membership deposit to be returned. You joined before Trump bought the place. But you're advocating on behalf of other members to get their deposits back. Weigh in for us. What are you hearing from them?
PETER BROOKE, ATTORNEY, MEMBER OF TRUMP NATIONAL DORAL GOLD CLUB: Well, that's correct. I am a current member of the club at doral, and I've enjoyed my membership for many, many years, actually since 1997. However, the membership agreement that you mentioned before does have this four-to-one ratio in terms of getting your deposits back.
However, we have some special circumstances. In 2006, Trump's predecessor in title to the Doral resort sent everyone a letter, and that letter said that people are waiting too long to get their membership deposits back, and quite frankly we are going to change that ratio, we are going to do it on a one-to-one basis for a while so people -- that accelerates. In addition, we're going to maintain the list so that the waiting period is never longer than two years.
So, again, in my opinion, a legal argument could be made that that constituted an amendment of the membership agreement, and I'm trying to interview and find lawyers who are willing to explore that on a legal basis.
LEMON: How are you doing with that? Are you being successful, you think?
BROOKE: Not well.
BROOKE: I'm not doing very well. Unfortunately, you know, any lawyer that makes a decision to proceed against Trump knows they're in for a battle.
LEMON: Taylor, President Trump is hinting about the G7 being at Doral next year. You heard me. I said it in the introduction to you. He claims that he wouldn't make any money. But, I mean, you report that the club is struggling financially. How can you be sure that he wouldn't profit from this?
DOLVEN: It's hard to know what he means by that. You're right, we have reported that the property in its entirety is struggling and more specifically that the golf membership program is struggling. Last year, the Trump Organization requested from Miami-Dade County that the county lower the property's value, citing tanking profits.
So, you know, at least in the short term, the summit would be sort of a shot in the arm for the club. But more long term, it could also serve as a way to sort of elevate its status like we've seen happen at his club in Palm Beach at Mar-a-Lago.
LEMON: We'll continue to follow. We appreciate both of you joining us. Thank you, Peter. Thank you, Taylor.
BROOKE: You're welcome. Thank you.
DOLVEN: Thank you.
LEMON: We'll be right back.
[23:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The state of Oklahoma winning a landmark judgment today against Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical giant. A judge ordering the company to pay $572 million for its role in Oklahoma's opioid crisis, saying the company "engaged in false and misleading marketing of both their drugs and opioids."
Generally, J&J vowing tonight to appeal the verdict and saying its company "did not cause the opioid crisis in Oklahoma, and neither the facts nor the law support this outcome."
Let's talk about this case now and its implications with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, our chief medical correspondent here at CNN, and legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers. Thank you so much, both of you, for joining us.
Sanjay, this is huge. It appears to me to be a monumental ruling. You can tell me if I'm wrong. Talk about what kind of an impact this could have.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Everyone is talking about this certainly, you know, within the medical community. People weren't sure how this was going to go. As you know, Don, there have been these other lawsuits that have been settled. This is the first time a drug company is sort of being found culpable, at least in part for this opioid epidemic.
And, you know, if you look at the data overall -- we talk about the numbers here a little bit -- you're talking about, you know, $80 billion they say a year this opioid epidemic costs in the United States in terms of lost productivity, addiction counselling, all these various things. When you add it up, it's a significant, significant amount of money.
[23:49:59] The question for a long time is, you know, who's to blame? And there's been a lot of this, right, in terms of finger pointing. So, it's a big deal and as you've heard, I'm sure there are thousands of other lawsuits out there that are going to be filed and they have been looking to what happened here to see how they're going to progress.
LEMON: Jennifer, Johnson & Johnson is a appealing. If this is upheld, this is going to be a landmark ruling in terms of finding some fault for the opioid crisis. Can you tell us about the legal implications, please?
JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, certainly it is a landmark ruling because this is the first time that a fact-finder, in this case was a judge, said that the pharmaceutical companies are liable here.
So, there are thousands of lawsuits that are still pending. There are thousands of government that have sued. There is even a criminal case pending in New York. There are still lots of liability to come.
And you have to remember this is over half a billion dollars. Oklahoma is a fairly small state in terms of population. So when you look at all the other states that have sued, all the other localities that have sued, you are talking about billions and billions of dollars that likely are going to be found that the pharmaceutical companies would have to pay, just governments, not even individual people, but governments for the cost that they incur in these prices.
LEMON: I want to know how you think this is going to play out because as I said when I was introducing you, guys, they are vowing to appeal. Will they likely have to pay this much money out or do you think it will be reduced?
RODGERS: It is hard to say. But I will say that the judge's ruling was very specific and very thorough. You know, he found liability here based on misconduct. It is not just that bad luck, we had a drug that causes addiction, we didn't know, you didn't know, you know, who cares. They're saying that drug companies specifically fool people and lie to people about what their drugs were doing.
That's where you see the legal culpability. So, it seems pretty solid to me and the amount was conservative as well. The judge found that this was the amount that was required to abate the problem for just the first year and said that after that, there wasn't enough evidence to determine how much will be needed. So, that was a conservative finding as well.
So, I think it is going to stick or something close to it, which means there is a lot of money that they are looking at and giving in the future, too.
LEMON: Sanjay, let' talk about the issue here, how big of an issue this prescription opioids are, like the ones Johnson & Johnson made.
GUPTA: Well, look, you know, when you start to talk about the impact -- I've been covering the story for a long time. I work in the medical system. I see this first hand. I mean the number of lives that have been lost -- I can show you some other numbers overall. When you look at overdose deaths, we are talking roughly 20-year period, there has been some 702,000 overdoses.
GUPTA: Not all those are opioids. But, you know, prescription opioids, specifically 217,000, people -- I mean, it is unbelievable. This is on par with the AIDS epidemic, Don, in terms of the impact here. Just about everybody watching probably has either known somebody or been impacted by this in some way.
So, it is a really significant problem. It is an entire generation of people that have been affected by this. The pharmaceutical companies have long said, look, it is complicated. They are right in that regard. I mean, it is complicated.
The pharmaceutical companies made these medications. Eighty to 90 percent of some of their medications were consumed in the United States, were not even five percent of the world's population. So there are other sectors to blame as well, including doctors.
I mean, doctors prescribe these medications much more so in the United States than other countries around the world. So, they are right, there is plenty of blame to go around. But this idea that they understated dangers and that they provided misinformation with regard to these opioids, that's what the judge seemed to have found here.
LEMON: A follow-up to what I asked Jennifer. I asked her about how likely this to be held, you know, because it affected so many lives. How will the money from this ruling, Sanjay, help those left to suffer?
GUPTA: That's a really good question, Don. People immediately started harkening around big tobacco and what happened to big tobacco.
GUPTA: And that was some $250 billion over 25 years, a huge sum of money. When you really go back and trace, where did that money go, who did it help, you will find, depending on how you do the math, that about one percent of it maybe actually went to people who were directly affected by these people to programs that could actually stop people from using tobacco.
So there was a criticism that did not go where it needed to go. Oklahoma laid out a plan in terms of where the money is going to go. They wanted $17 billion. As you know, they are getting $572 million. It is a pretty specific plan towards treatments, towards overdose prevention and response, medical education, something known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, that's when babies are born and addicted to opioids, data surveillance, and law enforcement. They have a plan. I think that's a really important thing. When you are talking about large sums of money and abating, sort of trying to decrease the impact of opioid epidemic, you need a plan especially with these sums of money.
[23:55:07] LEMON: Sanjay and Jennifer, thank you so much. There is more to come. I am sure we will be reporting on this in the years to come as well. Thank you so much. I appreciate your time.
GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.
LEMON: And thanks for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.