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CUOMO PRIME TIME

Trump Attacks Media Hours after Bomb Sent to CNN; Bomb Sent to CNN, Clintons, Obamas and Others in "Act of Terror." Aired 9-10p ET

Aired October 24, 2018 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right. I'm Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME. It's good to have you with us.

This has been an important day. Someone tried to terrorize us today, to target the people that the president doesn't like, and it was a moment that meant a lot on different levels and certainly gave us pause. It's a moment that should make us think about where we are, and realize the ugliness in politics, in our politics is now toxic and dangerous.

Does the president agree? That was a big question. Does he see his influence and the need to be better? That was another big question.

And tonight, we would get the answer at one of his signature rallies. Some called for him to cancel the rally, saying this isn't the right moment, it's not the right position to be in going rah-rah when the country needs calm. His supporters said, no, no, let him show he can lead. Let the rally go on and so it did.

And here's what the president did with that chance to own what he has said, and ask others to believe and to do.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Those engaged in the political arena must stop treating political opponents as being morally defective. You have to do that. The language of moral condemnation and destructive routine, these are arguments and disagreements that have to stop.

No one should carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains. Which is done often, it's done all the time. You got to stop. We should not mob people in public spaces or destroy public property.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Not a word about himself. Only others. He didn't even name a single person targeted.

Two former presidents had packages sent to them. Not a mention. The only time he used the word we is when he was talking about protesters from the left harassing lawmakers.

But then came a signature statement. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone, and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and often times false attacks and stories. You have to do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: And these were prepared remarks. They just sent a bomb to CNN, and the president doesn't say a word about that. And then tells us, we are to blame.

Did you learn nothing from today? Not a word for anybody. Not a word about himself. Even though the president as we all know, spent the last week celebrating violence toward journalists, lying, arguably, on key issues, for political advantage right before an election.

And on a day like today, he had a moment to be bigger than all of us, to be better than that, to lead, and that was the best he had in a moment like this. The roar of thousands at the rally seems to be making our president deaf to the needs of millions.

Well, friends, so much for the hope of leadership on a day like this with conscience, instead of just a complex for faint praise. What is this going to mean to the people in his party, to the country writ large? Let's find out.

We are very lucky to have a great guest for you tonight, Louisiana Republican Senator John Kennedy.

Senator, always a pleasure.

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (D), LOUISIANA: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: Thank you for being with us. It's not easy to get people in the party to come forward on a day like today.

What do you make of what the president said at the rally?

KENNEDY: Well, first, I'm just sorry this happened. I'm sorry for the Clintons, I'm sorry for the Obamas, I'm sorry for Mr. Soros and Mr. Brennan. I'm sorry for CNN. I'm sorry for America.

You know, why did it happen? We don't know yet. I think part of it is that this is just a big wide open country. We do have people that are mentally ill.

We also have people who -- they're not mentally ill, they're just angry. They're just angry. I'm reading a book now by Tana French, a novelist. She talks about bunny boilers, just cranks, angry people.

We also have a lot of people that are disillusioned with our politics. I think I know why that is. I think the genesis of the political anger in our country is that we have too many Americans who aren't participating in the great wealth of this country -- not economically, not socially, not culturally. CUOMO: Nobody should argue there's no good reason for disaffection

and anger and outrage. I've often said on this show and our reporting, the president didn't create something. He tapped into something that is very real.

But where you started tonight, the president never went. He never said he was sorry for what happened. He never named the people who were targeted. Forget about the media, but two former presidents, he doesn't mention them in prepared remarks. It's not like he forgot off the cuff.

How is that leadership in a moment like this?

KENNEDY: Well, I'm sorry, I can't speak for the president.

CUOMO: But how can he not be sorry?

KENNEDY: The president's rhetoric has been hot. There's been a lot of hot political rhetoric, frankly, on both sides.

Thankfully, nobody was hurt today. I remember when Steve Scalise was almost killed and you do too, Chris. I think all politicians bear some responsibility, but not just -- so much -- not exclusively, because of their rhetoric. Because we're not solving the problem.

And to me, the genesis of the anger in America -- there are too many Americans that -- they're angry at the same thing, they're not mad at different groups, but they're not participating in the great wealth of this country.

CUOMO: Understood. And it should be addressed.

KENNEDY: But I have people tell me all the time. They say there are too many undeserving people at the top getting bailouts, or they feel there are too many undeserving people at the bottom getting handouts. And most middle class Americans feel like --

CUOMO: Right.

KENNEDY: -- the American Dream is a game and it's firmed.

CUOMO: I understand all of that. I think it's all real, and it's palpable in our society. But I also think what we weren't hearing from the president is just as real and functional and --

KENNEDY: I'm glad he said what he did. I haven't heard his entire talk.

CUOMO: That was it. Those were the only mentions of this, then he went in to the raw meat for the base.

KENNEDY: I'll take your word for it.

CUOMO: And they started to go crazy.

He didn't mention who was targeted. He took no responsibility for anything that he's ever said or done, ever. Everyone targeted today is a target of his. That can't be a coincidence, Senator. I'm not blaming him for it, but I am saying he's got to be responsible for speaking to it.

KENNEDY: And I'm going to say it again, a lot of president's rhetoric has been hot, but there's been hot political rhetoric on both sides of the aisle. I've been in the middle of it. There was some hot rhetoric in the Kavanaugh nomination.

And civility doesn't mean you have to agree with each other.

CUOMO: True.

KENNEDY: It means you have to respect each other.

CUOMO: True.

KENNEDY: And when we have incivility in this country, especially to our political leadership, it undermines our institutions, and I -- certainly the president. The president is a disrupter. That is it, he ran on that, that's his political style, and I may not -- I may agree or disagree with it, and he has been the genesis of a lot of hot rhetoric.

But he hasn't been the only one. It's been on both sides, Chris. I've seen it. I've heard it.

CUOMO: A hundred percent. Anybody who says otherwise isn't telling the truth. But he is the president, and he does benefit also from your party. People do not call him out. It doesn't matter what he says.

He's talking about Gianforte the other day, right after Jamal Khashoggi is murdered. A murder whose cover-up he was playing along with, until just -- when it became too obvious. He then said, Gianforte is my guy, you see what he did, body slam. The same time you're trying to tell people the murder of the journalist is wrong, you're celebrating the body slamming of a journalist.

KENNEDY: I know, but --

CUOMO: You guys don't stand up and say, Mr. President, don't say that again.

KENNEDY: I have before.

CUOMO: There's a lot of quiet on that side of the aisle. A lot of quiet.

KENNEDY: It's not my style. But I've also heard other (ph) political leadership in the past few months talk about the importance of not being civil to another political party. I've seen politicians encourage folks to get in the face of senators. Try to disrupt their meals, harass them every way you can.

My point is, there's plenty of blame to go around, I'm not saying the president hasn't used political rhetoric, and I don't think he'll stop. He's an unconventional president.

CUOMO: Political rhetoric is not the standard. You're very folksy. You have a great turn of phrase. You're a plain speaker.

But the president does something else, Senator, and you know it. I mean, I'm not telling you anything you don't know. But whether it's McConnell -- I know you're not in the leadership, not yet anyway.

KENNEDY: Yes.

CUOMO: McConnell, Ryan, quiet. Ryan is not even running again. He's leaving.

KENNEDY: Yes.

CUOMO: He was at a rally today in Wisconsin, and he says we got to be better -- nothing about the president. But I worry --

KENNEDY: What I would say, to both sides, bring it down a notch. Just bring it down a notch. You don't have to -- everybody in a leadership position ought to be willing to test his assumptions against his greatest arguments.

CUOMO: Right.

KENNEDY: That means you have to listen.

CUOMO: Yes.

KENNEDY: That means -- and words do matter.

CUOMO: They do.

KENNEDY: And it has gotten out of hand in Washington. I'm not saying that the president is not the genesis of a lot of it, but I am saying, very clearly, and emphatically, I've heard it -- he's not the only one.

CUOMO: I understand that, but even though the way you phrase it, and you are one of the most candid people.

KENNEDY: Yes.

CUOMO: You're here tonight on a night when many members of your party wouldn't do it, why? They're afraid. They're afraid that if they stand up and say what they have to, which is not that -- I'm not saying he's not the genesis.

KENNEDY: Yes.

CUOMO: He is the genesis of a lot of this stuff, especially toward the media. Nobody's ever gone after the media to -- no, the Obama administration, yes, Eric Holder, they had policies, they went after journalists, they were bad things. We're never friends with any of you guys, and that's okay.

KENNEDY: That's because you do your job.

CUOMO: The job is not to be friends, it's to be fair.

KENNEDY: Yes.

CUOMO: But this is different. And I don't see it called out.

On a day like today, they sent a bomb to the building behind us. He doesn't even mention it. How is that presidential? How is it okay?

He's the one that talks about journalists, not you, John.

KENNEDY: Here's how I'm going to call folks out, both sides, bring it down a notch. Be leaders. Understand the genesis of a lot of this. I don't know, maybe the person who did this is some whack job, we don't know yet. But it also could just be somebody angry at his or her place in America.

CUOMO: True.

KENNEDY: Bring it down a notch, you can ride the anger or you can solve the problem.

CUOMO: Who sets the tone?

KENNEDY: Let's solve the problem.

CUOMO: You control John Kennedy --

KENNEDY: Yes.

CUOMO: -- and frankly, objectively I think you do a good job.

KENNEDY: Thank you.

CUOMO: I just do, I dealt with you. You don't always like what I ask you, but you come on, you defend yourself, you're strong on your convictions, you take the testing and you give it back, amen.

But there's only one president.

KENNEDY: Yes.

CUOMO: He sets the tone. And this is a day where the only people targeted were targets of his.

KENNEDY: Yes.

CUOMO: And his most common target, they sent a bomb to our building, he doesn't mention us, he doesn't mention any of the targets. You know what his supporters will say? Oh, you snowflake, oh, you're so weak and soft, poor you. What about -- and then they'll mention something that happened to somebody else.

Where does any of that get us, Senator? I just -- I don't understand. He had a beautiful choice. He could have gone out tonight to his rally. He would have gotten cheers no matter what he said. He could have said I'm sorry for the president, everything John Kennedy say.

KENNEDY: You're not a snowflake if you're sorry for this happening to CNN, and to George Soros. Mr. Soros and I don't agree on much of anything. But I'm sorry he had to go through this.

CUOMO: You don't want a bomb sent to his house?

KENNEDY: No. I mean, and the Clintons and Mr. Brennan, this is not the America we want to live in. I don't know if it's exclusively the fault of the politics, but I'll tell you the hot political rhetoric is contributing to it. We all need to bring it down a notch.

CUOMO: Why would he change if nobody even in his party gives him a hard time?

KENNEDY: I don't know if the president will change. I will tell you.

CUOMO: Why would he if nobody tells him to?

KENNEDY: When the president is right, I've agreed with him. I've been the only Republican to vote against some of his judges. I'll continue if I think he's wrong.

But I can't be responsible for the president. I can't be responsible for my colleagues on the Democratic side. I have said things I wish I could take back. I try to say what I mean, but sometimes I don't mean to say it out loud, you know?

We're all human, but we do bear a responsibility to the extent that the hot political rhetoric has contributed to this, to what happened here today, to all the innocent people in CNN just trying to do their job, trying to call it like they see it, that's not the America I want to live in. And if the politicians have contributed to that, we all ought to bring it down a notch.

I don't hate anybody in Washington. I know every one of my colleagues. I get angry sometimes, because I disagree with their positions. But I don't -- life's too short, you just can't hate.

CUOMO: I see that. I just see it -- I see that as so true, that why would you not on a night like tonight, want to come out and say with what we just -- thank God, as I told you upstairs, today was a good day.

KENNEDY: Yes.

CUOMO: Nobody got hurt. And we got a moment to see a situation for what it is.

KENNEDY: Yes, thank God.

CUOMO: Whether or not it's related -- I don't know why these people sent the packages. Let's say it has nothing to do, and it's just a coincidence that they picked the targets that are the same as the president. It's still a moment of clarity about needing to be better. But if the people in your party that the president respects or at

least fears on several, doesn't -- don't say to him, you need to be different than this -- which people have said about presidents in their party many times -- if that doesn't happen, why would he ever change?

KENNEDY: And that's fair, Chris. What I'm saying is, to both sides. Bring it down a notch.

Test your own assumptions against the arguments of your critics. You may not end up agreeing with your critics, you ought to at least listen. We can ride the anger, we can continue to be tribal or we can solve the problem.

Let me tell you what I think the genesis of all of this is -- let me say it again -- there are too many people in America who are not enjoying the great wealth of this country, not economically, not culturally, not socially. And they're on both sides. And for them, the American dream, they see it as the American game, and they think it's fixed.

And that's not the America that I want to live in. That's not the America you and I were raised in. That's not the America your father worked for. I can tell you, or that your brother works for. And that's the America I want to live in, and we have to face that fact.

And the people on the left and the right, they share that anger. They just are angry at different people. They're angry at the political and the economic establishment.

We have let them down. We can do better. But we're not going to do it by using hot political rhetoric, that encourages people to hate each other. And all I'm saying is, that it's -- there are plenty of folks on both sides that have done it, and they're all guilty. We're all responsible for it.

CUOMO: I hear you, Senator Kennedy. You did something again, it's a rare commodity. You came on, and you talked to a situation that's not easy to talk about. I appreciate that about you, more than once.

KENNEDY: Oh, thanks, man. Appreciate that.

CUOMO: All right. Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, the pleasure is mine. Thanks. And it's cold out here on top of it. So, thank you.

All right. So, we're dealing with the political culture, but we're dealing with why we're looking at everything right now, with new eyes, which is what happened today. We have a massive law enforcement effort going on right now, literally working in overdrive to make sure that there isn't more of this about to happen, identify, locate, apprehend whoever is responsible one or many, because who knows if there are more to come, who knows if we just got lucky today.

Now, I have new information and new reporting for you, that you probably have not seen yet -- in fact, I know you haven't. I'm going to take you through all of that, and break it down for you with two insiders who know these investigations inside and out, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: All right. We have new images for you. We have a look outside and more importantly inside a couple of the devices and we have new reporting.

A source close to the investigation tells me that all the confirmed suspected devices were hard plastic pipe bombs with sealed end caps. And we're going to have experts tell you what that means in a moment because a sealed cap is a step toward sophistication. Many were filled with substances and rigged with wires and a digital alarm clock. None exploded even when being handled.

Investigators are looking at whether any had a functional switch, a way to detonate them directly or remotely. As to whodunit, investigators say there was obviously concerted action here because you had similar construction. But no word yet on one or more being involved, and whether they were sourced at home or from abroad.

There were some misspellings on the package, but that's not necessarily a directional information.

Let's discuss with James Gagliano, retired FBI supervisory special agent, and CNN law enforcement analyst, Eric O'Neill, former FBI counterterrorism and counterintelligence operative.

I think I screwed up your introduction there. You got so many titles, Jimmy, you only need one title, only need one.

Now, while we're talking, please put back up the images of what we got today, the new images of the bombs on the inside. So, Jimmy, let me ask you this, if on the inside of the bomb you see things. One of the things I'm hearing from guys now, yes, they look like bombs. Yes, there is a mode of sophistication, but it doesn't mean they are functional bombs or just meant to look like functional bombs, help me understand that.

JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Big distinction. So, there's four component parts of a bomb.

Power supply, which is generally a battery. An initiator, which is usually a blasting cap. Explosives could PENTA and could be C4. We don't know for sure what that is.

And a switch. A switch that was used in Austin during that serial bombing back in March, that was a trip wire. It could also be a key fob or cellphone.

HAYES: Why is the switch seemingly the most important to you guys in terms of finding it in there?

GAGLIANO: Well, again, from -- especially from the bomb techs that I've been talking to, it needs a level of sophistication beyond the "Anarchist Cookbook", beyond somebody going to open source and saying, I'm going to slap something to get it. To your point, we're all four those component parts there, if you're missing any of those four, it's inert bomb. It's not going to explode.

CUOMO: OK. So, and, Eric, let me bring you on the conversation because something else I kept being heard said was corrected and I want to make sure I got it right. So, we heard that the authorities exploded or detonated a couple of the devices, and that was taken by a lot in the media as, oh, so the thing did explode.

I'm told no, Eric, they exploded it, and it's something very different. Explain that distinction.

ERIC O'NEILL, FORMER FBI COUNTERINTELLIGENCE OPERATIVE: Yes, that is. It's completely different than shaking it and setting it off or using a switch of that -- that could activate it to set it off. They actually blew it up themself to make sure that it's not a threat.

So, if the authorities are blowing it up, then that doesn't mean that it actually had the capability, as James said, to detonate on its own.

CUOMO: OK. So, they used a shaped charge, it doesn't that that thing was capable of exploding on its own. They exploded it, sometimes to separate components and render it safe. All plastic pipes, sealed caps, a similar wiring in the early stages of the analysis.

Even to the untrained mind, that means, OK, there's similar constructions, maybe similar points of origin. But what do you see in those details?

GAGLIANO: So, in some of the pipe bombs and IEDs that I saw over in Afghanistan, the PVC pipe, that, yes, there are going to be shards that come off that, Chris, but that's not like nails or that's not like if they used a cast iron pipe, with threaded end pieces that they screwed together, where the packaging becomes a fragmentation.

Remember, three things from the bomb that can kill you. The first thing is the overpressure, right? Soft tissue damage.

The second thing is a fragmentation. If it's a PVC pipe, they're generally packed with things like nails or nuts and bolts, things like that.

And third, the terminal effect, meaning what happens when the bomb explodes, it causes a fire, either burns a person that's handling it or caused a fire and people die of asphyxiation or burn.

CUOMO: All right. So, we have the bomb, and then we have the man or the men and women who did it. Where are we in terms of the manhunt, Eric?

O'NEILL: So, that's the first question. One, the FBI, the Secret Service, postal service and others are going to form a task force, which is all going to form, and they're going to start hunting down the individual or individuals or group that caused this that sent these bombs. Part of that is going to be looking at the forensics of the different

devices. The envelopes they were mailed in, even the stamps, whether they licked the stamps, whether there are forensics like DNA or hair sample or skin sample so they can pull off the envelopes, where the envelopes came from.

My point is, there's a huge digital and physical forensic trail that is left any time you do something like this. And the authorities, the FBI especially is very good at hunting that all down.

CUOMO: And the reason it matters is, they don't know yet whether these devices were functional or made to just look really good. And if it's the former that this could have done it, then you really need to get this guy. And that's why that assessment of how really these bombs were is so important to how they move forward and what level of urgency.

Jimmy, thank you. Eric O'Neill, I appreciate the input. We'll bring you back as we get more information. We have a problem finding out who made these bombs. That's the easy part.

This heated political environment, it's an influence no matter how it's connected until today, that's the hard part. Who's going to make the change and how?

We're going to take that up in our great debate, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: All right. First, we have news to report. There's a second package that's been identified at Maxine Waters, the U.S. congresswoman's residence. So that is -- in was one this morning, now there's a second one. The authorities are saying they're similar in appearance and they're both being investigated.

So, add one more to the tally of devices today, and one more reason that there's such an urgency to find who's behind it.

Now, why were these sent to the targets of the president? It has to have something to do -- reason would lead you to believe with what's going on in our political society right now. Look, there's always been division, right? This has never been a happy kumbaya type of dynamic we have.

But this is different. A bomb sent to CNN, the same people targeted that the president targets at all his rallies, recent history is not good. It needs to change. But who and how?

That is a matter of debate. You saw me with Senator John Kennedy, he's an honest broker, maybe as honest as they have. Very hard for him to go directly at the president and call out what should be so obvious.

So, who will make the changes? And most importantly, how are these changes going to happen?

Let's bring in Bakari Sellers and David Urban.

It's good to have you both.

Now, Bakari, was your take similar to the one I had at the top of the show, that the president had an opportunity to say, look, this is on me, this is on everybody else, I can be better, you can be better, and he did not take that opportunity?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN COMMENTATOR: Well, I disagree with you on two points, Chris. The first is that I don't have that same level of expectation of the president of the United States. He's been the same man who we thought he was from the beginning. So, to expect him to display that level of courage is fool hearted, that's first.

The second thing is, we've seen this before. There's been a generation before us, who have seen our leaders taken away from us. Whether you're talking about Emmett Till or Medgar Evers, King or Malcolm X, or you're talking about RFK or JFK. We've seen what happens when the level of rhetoric reaches a boiling point.

And, you know, my father is 74 years old now, I'm 34 years old now. My father lived through the Orangewood massacre and I lived through the Charleston massacre. And I've seen what happened and that's kind of difficult for me to say when we get the rhetoric to a point where it is.

And so, for Senator Kennedy or anyone else to say that this is a both sides issue, even before my good friend Mr. Irving gets talking, this is not a both sides issue. This is an issue of violence, this is an issue where we need a leader, and this is an issue where many of us don't have faith that a leader exists.

This is very hyper-partisan. This is one side of the Democratic Party, displaying their first amendment right and another side displaying violence. And so, somebody needs to stand up and say something. I don't have any faith there's anybody to do it.

CUOMO: Well, I hear you on some of that. One, you do have a right to protest, not in a private restaurant. And going and menacing politicians is not a good guarantee of getting what you want. I do know the idea that sometimes even a riot, according to Dr. King is the voice of those who believe they have no other vice. I get that.

But we know it's hot all over the place. But we only have one president.

SELLERS: No, no, Dr. King -- Dr. King explicitly said a riot is the voice of the unheard. So, that's first and foremost.

CUOMO: Right.

SELLERS: And second, if you're an elected official in a restaurant and someone is protesting a vote, that's vastly different than sending a bomb to their house or murdering them in a church. I mean, I want to say something before we get too far down the line.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: I want to bring in Dave, Bakari, hold on a second.

Going into a restaurant is not right, it's a private establishment, but it's all relative, and I get that.

Dave, there's only one president, and he had a unique opportunity to say something that would have been magnanimous, that would have reached out to the two former presidents who were targeted, that could have reached to anybody who was targeted and say, I can be better, I know that I'm hot, he could have owned it, he owned nothing.

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Chris, well, first of all, let me start by saying, violence like this is despicable and should be condemned across the board. Bakari and I disagree on almost everything. Yet this past Saturday, Bakari and I sat next to each other, we disagreed completely civilly, and, you know, we -- we get up and shake hands and walk away, right? Because why? Because we're rational human beings.

CUOMO: Who paid?

URBAN: Because we're rational human beings.

And what you have people who are undertaking these acts aren't rational. That's what's missing from this. Saying that somehow that somebody is responsible for somebody else's irrational insane behavior, look, I agree we should condemn all this, right?

I think when people -- listen, when Maxine Waters says we should harass people or Eric Holder says we should kick them when they're down, there wasn't an outcry, hue and outcry from the Democratic Party, and so --

CUOMO: Yes, there was.

URBAN: Listen, it's a pox on everyone's house, right?

CUOMO: Not from the party, but there was from us. We try to keep it fair. I go at Bakari about what points I don't agree with you.

(CROSSTALK)

URBAN: Chris, just -- let me -- let me say one thing here, what I think is a systemic problem here, and this is -- if you want to unwind this thing completely, this may seem a little crazy, but, you know, redirecting and the gerrymandering of these congressional seats every ten years, what happens is congressional seats get drawn safer and safer, and the rhetoric gets hotter and hotter. Over time, people can say the craziest things.

CUOMO: That's a factor.

URBAN: You know what, they're not being held accountable by the constituents.

(CROSSTALK)

SELLERS: But I agree with --

CUOMO: Let's go back to Bakari, Dave, I got you. Let's go back to Bakari, and let's hear what you agree with and what you don't.

SELLERS: No, I actually agree with David, I think the redirecting is the reason we have hyper-partisanship.

CUOMO: It's a factor.

SELLERS: I think surprisingly enough -- and surprisingly enough, people will be shocked when I say this, I think that the Congressional Black Caucus and the Republican Party have made an unholy alliance to make sure that we have these districts which are gerrymandered to all hell. That's one thing.

And two, very to take a moment and step back, and we have to thank law enforcement, the NYPD, Capitol Police, the United States Postal Service, people who get pooh-poohed on all the time for doing great work today.

I say all of that to lead into this next statement, which is maybe a little bit more divisive, is that there is no what-aboutism. You know, asking or chanting shame at Ted Cruz in a Washington, D.C., high end restaurant, regardless of whether or not it's a private restaurant and he's with Heidi Cruz, because Heidi Cruz got heckled more at the RNC than at that restaurant. It's vastly different than sending a pipe bomb to someone's office.

So -- and my only point in all of this.

CUOMO: Nobody's disputing that.

SELLERS: My only point in all of this is that it wasn't David Nunez, it was Maxine Waters. It wasn't Sheldon Adelson, it was George Soros. It wasn't Mitt Romney, it was actually Hillary Clinton. It wasn't George Bush, it's Barack Obama --

(CROSSTALK)

URBAN: Bakari, listen. There are crazy people on the right and left, buddy. You know that.

(CROSSTALK)

SELLERS: Nobody disagrees with that, but there's only one president.

CUOMO: They are the same list of targets the president goes after all the time. He sets the tone at the top. He had the opportunity today, and he did something, Dave, that I challenge you to find me any other president in a moment like this, who's ever handled it this way.

Not a word to the people who were targeted. Not a word about himself even though he's clearly at the head of the hate parade on a regular basis. You tell me how that's responsible leadership. URBAN: Listen, Chris, to say he's at the head of the hate parade -- come on, talk about hyperbole. Come on. How about the facts? You're big on the facts here.

CUOMO: He said that his guy is a guy who body slams a journalist. He talks about CNN as the enemy. He says he doesn't like us.

He talks about whether or not (INAUDIBLE) and that might be a good thing. And then a bomb gets sent to the building and he says nothing.

(CROSSTALK)

URBAN: Chris, listen, I go to that building quite frequently as you know, that bomb was addressed to -- not to CNN, it was addressed to a specific individual.

SELLERS: The one in Atlanta was addressed to CNN, though, David.

CUOMO: If I drop off a bomb at your house, and it's addressed to Santa Claus, do you feel better about it?

URBAN: No, Chris, it's terrible. I said at the beginning. The outset. It's a horrible thing.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: That's the problem with you guys, everything's qualified, everything's a little bit me but a lot of them.

URBAN: I'm not qualifying it, Chris.

CUOMO: Dave, I'm not just calling you out. I like having you on the show. You're a fair broker and you're a smart guy, and you're a good guy.

Bakari, go ahead.

URBAN: Listen, you heard --

BAKARI: The problem is this, the problem is that the bar is so low for the 45th president of the United States. And the bar is so low because we muddied the waters. Nobody has a sense of expectations for him.

There's no way that he was going to go out today and unify the country. And, you know, being the leader of the hate parade is one way to say it, David may say that's hyperbole, so be it, so be it, but I can say something that's an actual fact. The president of the United States tonight or today displayed cowardice.

The reason he displayed cowardice, there was a moment before him -- because we can talk about Democrat or Republican, I can be bitter about the election all I want, but the rightful president, because he won the Electoral College of the United States of America is Donald Trump. There's only one president of the United States, and he was a coward today. The reason he was a coward is because he didn't mention the victims today. He didn't even stand up and mention the victims.

So if you don't have the testicular fortitude to mention the victims and talk about how we rectify this problem, then there's no way I can believe you actually stand for unity. That's my only point.

CUOMO: All right, Bakari, I got you on that.

Dave, give me the last word.

URBAN: So, look, the president called for unity, he didn't call people out individually to apologize -- and say I'm sorry for each individual. But he called for unity.

Listen, by all accounts, everybody in the media, I was watching this network earlier, they were stunned at how civil he was. There was widespread praise from folks who don't praise this president regularly.

So, to say that he didn't recognize the situation I think isn't quite fair.

CUOMO: I'm saying he didn't own it personally. But, gentlemen, I believe this is a moment. And it's a moment to make sure that each of us is doing the right thing, even if the leadership doesn't come top down.

Urban, we get sideways, but I would nerve think for a moment about making it personal. You're a good man, and I like having you on the show.

URBAN: And, Chris, Bakari said, we break bread.

CUOMO: I believe you disagree with me, and I believe, Bakari, you disagree with me more than anybody, but I love having you on the show because you bring a fresh perspective. I need both of you and thank you for being with me tonight.

SELLERS: Thank you.

CUOMO: God bless.

URBAN: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: Now, look, no matter how you want to blame it, and that's going to be frustrating, because so much of it is B.S., the toxicity has to stop. Full stop. Everybody knows that. Something has to change.

What would cause that kind of solution?

All right. Let's get from that back into the investigation. We're going to put them both together. I'm going to do something that I've almost never done, which is I'm bringing my brother on to the show, because he knows things about how this evolved that others do not. And I want you to hear how he learned about this and what it means to him, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: All right. We're broadcasting from outside the studio tonight, why? Because it appeared that someone sent a bomb here today, and people were really, really scared. And it is a moment that has to give us some pause.

Now, while we were all learning about it, there was already a lot that had been learned. Authorities had found other explosive devices all around the country, sent to the Obamas, the Clintons, a congresswoman, and more. And this was after one had been sent to George Soros, the big Democratic fund-raiser and the private capital maven.

All right. How do I know this? My brother is the governor of the state, Andrew Cuomo. He was alerted about what was happening, but people haven't heard just how far in advance and how in-depth all of that was, and I want him to tell us that tonight. So, he's on the show.

Gov, can you hear me?

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: How are you, little brother?

CHRIS CUOMO: I thought I didn't have you there for a second.

It's good to have you, Gov. Thank God you were safe and everything was okay with you and the office this morning.

Tell us what you learned and when?

GOVERNOR CUOMO: You too.

Well, the first bombing was the Soros bombing, right? Receiving the bomb on Monday. And basically, everybody held their breath, to use a frightening analogy. For me, it reminded me of when the first plane hit the World Trade Center, 9/11, you said, maybe it's just an aviation accident. And then the second plane hit.

The Soros receipt of the bomb, people investigated, et cetera, but we really didn't know what it meant. Last night about 1:00 in the morning, the Secret Service notified the state police that the residence of the Clintons had intercepted a bomb. And that's when we knew it wasn't just one situation. This was probably going to be a pattern.

We worked on it last night with the state police and the Secret Service who were magnificent, and JTTF. I went past the Clinton's residence at 4:30 to speak to the Secret Service this morning. And everything was in order.

But at that point you knew -- I felt there was going to be more to come. And then as we know, you had the Obamas, you had the CNN bomb, et cetera. The first hope was, it was a one off, it was just George Soros, and that was terrible. But obviously, the pattern is even much, much worse. CHRIS CUOMO: Well, thank God nobody was hurt, and now they're trying

to assess whether these bombs were functional. And that means you have to get the guy or the people who were involved with it, because there could be more. Or if it was just meant to look like something that could have been functional, and that's bad enough, and then they go find them.

So, then you have the larger context that we're all struggling with here, which is maybe it had nothing to do with our political environment, even if it did have nothing to do with it, that would be one hell of a coincidence because everyone targeted, it's somebody that the president targets, it's still a moment for us out of fear, to look around at what's going on.

Everyone I talk to is all about both sides, both sides, both sides, when it comes to Republicans. They will not call out the president, and he had his opportunity tonight. He is who he is, let's leave him to the side.

Why do you tell my audience tonight that they should have hope that anything better can come from their political dialogue?

GOVERNOR CUOMO: Well, look, first, let's hit the first part of your question first. The first step is the investigation, the manhunt, JTTF, fingerprints, videotapes, find out who did it.

The next step is, secure the public. We brought out more National Guard, more state police, crossings, et cetera, so people feel secure.

The third step is what you're now talking about, let's look at what really happened. People call this domestic terrorism. I think we need a new word.

Terrorism we normally equate with attention between this nation and another nation. Even domestic terrorism is normally referred to as a lone wolf operating within this country, but in the interest of a foreign country.

That's not what this is, this is political terrorism. This is American terrorism. This is red versus blue terrorism. And that we have never seen before.

I think this president certainly missed an opportunity tonight, an opportunity for himself, and a responsibility for the country. He could have really stepped up and been the leader that the people want him to be. He could have been the president of the United States.

Michael Useem wrote a book, "The Leadership Moment", that says sometimes leadership comes when the moment presents itself. He had that moment today. He missed that moment.

And as a matter of fact I believe he reinforced the negative. If you listen to his words, they're sharp divides, and important election, days away, the media's to blame. It's almost as if he can't bring himself to admit his error, and he can't take his foot off the gas.

He wants to fire up his base for the election. That's what this is, let's be honest.

CHRIS CUOMO: Right.

GOVERNOR CUOMO: He needs a big turnout. He doesn't want to lose the Congress. He wants to fire up his base. And he's firing up his base.

The lesson here is, when you spread that much hate, that much venom, mob chaos, bad people, there are people who are affected by that. We're emotional beings. And in this society, you can download from the Internet how to build the bomb. And when you are spreading that hate, it's almost inevitable that someone or some group is going to feed off it.

Now, I just listened to your great debate. Step one is bring down the tone. Don't argue about it, bring down the tone. If he won't bring down the tone, then the other leaders have to bring down the tone. And I don't believe he will.

You can have a disagreement, you can have a forceful disagreement, it's not ad hominem, it's not mean, it's not do or die. It's not, you have to be punished.

CHRIS CUOMO: I hear you about that.

GOVERNOR CUOMO: Otherwise, Chris, this does not stop. This does not stop. And this is a terrorism --

CHRIS CUOMO: That's the fear.

GOVERNOR CUOMO: -- that is more frightening than any other terrorism we've seen.

CHRIS CUOMO: All right. Big Brother, thank you very much.

GOVERNOR CUOMO: It's a responsibility for all leaders, -- not just the president.

Are you cutting me off, little brother?

CHRIS CUOMO: Understood and that's as true as anything else.

I am. I am. I've got to get to break, Governor, but thank you very much. I'll make it up to you. Thank you for being on the show. I appreciate it. And thank God you and yours were okay today.

GOVERNOR CUOMO: I'm glad your safe and tell Jeff Zucker -- I'm glad you're safe. Tell Jeff Zucker he did a great job the way CNN handled this today.

CHRIS CUOMO: Will do. Take care.

Now, obviously my brother's the governor in New York. It's also fair to point out we all remember what happened with Steve Scalise and what that man's stated political motives were. And we understand that there is no party that has any type of hate cornered. There's always potential all over the place. But one thing is where is this change going to come from? The

president had an opportunity tonight. He didn't take it. But he thinks what he's doing is working for him.

What will the left do in response? Will they become what they say they disrespect, or will they come up with something better? Something has to change.

Closing argument, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: Weird but it was just last night that I was pointing out all the ugliness around us masquerading as political discourse and asking if you've had enough. Well, tonight, I hope the answer is yes.

This is scary stuff. Whether the person or people behind the packages are from here or abroad, whether they're political or just sick, whether the devices were functional or not, it is all just scary. At worst, it was someone trying to kill former presidents and lawmakers and some of us at CNN. At best, it was someone who wanted that threat to be heard loudly and clearly.

Now, we can catch who did it. We're really good at that. But can we do something about what might have inspired it?

I want to say the answer is yes. We all know this atmosphere is too mean. We're concern the by negativity. Insults are now a proxy for insights often all sides.

But I'm not one who sees equal blame spread all around. Our president cannot escape special scrutiny. He is at the head of the hate parade and way too often. Clearly reading prepared remarks at a rally, he seemed not to give a damn.

He showed tonight that he will not be the one to make the change. He never spoke about his own words or deeds, not once. And on a day that his opponents were targeted, he didn't even name them, let alone extend a branch -- two former presidents and their wives, their families, one of them his former election rival.

And then he put it on us, the media, and us alone to be better and less negative. Unbelievable. And the crowd roared.

He is one that calls opponents the enemy, calls a free press the enemy, celebrates violence toward the media, celebrates force as strength, targets the same folks who received the packages, and he knows it. And he likes it. When he's counseled that the presidency demands different behavior from within, he refuses. When he's told that he is factually wrong from without, he doubles down.

More and more he just flat-out lies, even when he's told that he's calling himself something that is ugly and divisive, he doubles down. I am a nationalist. Jingoism, really? Come on. We are better than this. And he's not the only part of the problem, maybe not even the biggest.

Look at the cottage industry on the right that has glommed onto him to forward their pernicious agenda of extreme ideas. They profit off division literally. They twist the truth. They deceive you. They are not journalists. They are jingoists and frauds.

Just hours after the discoveries today, before we knew a damn thing without a shred of proof, they started blaming Democrats.

But there's good news here as well. There is irony in tragedy, even in potential tragedy. The worst often brings out the best in people, and a lot of you today from all over the country reached out to me, and many of you told me, I love Trump, and I don't like how you test him sometimes. But you reached out the same way, saying that you wished me and my brother and all of our colleagues and family well. That meant a lot to me personally, truly. Thank you.

Today I call it a good day, and here's why. No one was hurt. And we had a moment to do something we haven't done. We got to recognize our law enforcement, see that they're at the top of their game. And we got a moment of clarity about the real problem.

And we now know our president is not the solution to it. And that's okay too because we don't have to wait for change to come from the top down. Most major movements of change in this country have been bottom-up -- suffrage, civil rights. Look it up.

Maybe we can't count on POTUS or those in power around him, but you can change what you tolerate, what you vote for, what you watch, what you read, and what you tweet. The power is truly in the people in this country. You control what rates, what resonates, and what is rewarded in politics.

Nelson Mandela wished for people that your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears. We now have a chance in the face of the worst of us to show what we can be at our best, and I hope we take that chance.

I want to bring in my man, D. Lemon, to continue the coverage. It's good to see you. Little chilly. Sorry about the cold hand.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: I'm pissed. You're more diplomatic than I am, I'm pissed. You know why I'm pissed? And I hate that word, but that's how I feel today.

I could have been mourning you. You could have been mourning me.

CUOMO: God forbid.

LEMON: God forbid, we could have lost our colleagues.

And this person who calls himself the president of the United States does not have the testicular fortitude to own his part in all of this. And I'm so sick and tired of people coming on television and equating a First Amendment right of protest to a potential act of terrorism. They are not equivalent, and we shouldn't let them get away with it because it's not the same thing. Fine, someone walks by. We're doing a live shot and they want to yell

at us, that's their business. They do it. You keep moving. No harm, no foul.

I'm in a restaurant, someone doesn't like me, Don Lemon, fake news, you can call me whatever you want. No harm, no foul.

But someone delivering a bomb to your place of business that can potentially kill you and your co-workers, that's a horse of another color. And the two should not be equated. And I'm glad that you said that about they're not journalists because what they're doing is they're doing the bidding for this president who cannot own his own terrible, awful, damaging rhetoric.