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CUOMO PRIME TIME
Democrats Pick Up Another Seat in House; The WikiLeaks Web: Mueller Focusing on Assange Contacts. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired November 27, 2018 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: News continues, I want to hand it over my buddy, Chris Cuomo. "CUOMO PRIME TIME" starts now. Chris
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Anderson. I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME on another big election night.
No more speculating. The polls have closed in Mississippi. The vote is coming in right now. This is the final Senate race of the 2018 midterms, and it will be decided likely on our watch.
The big question, can Republicans keep a crucial seat in what is certainly a Ruby Red State? Or is there going to be another historic update tonight? And we'll going from that story and you'll see on the bottom of your screen all night what the vote is as it comes in. However, we're going deep on this other story.
New information and reporting from CNN that shows new pieces in the Robert Mueller puzzle. What we now know about one of Trump ally Roger Stone's -- I don't even know how to put it right. I'm going to lay it out for you how this Jerome Corsi fits in with Roger Stone could wind of you shedding light on WikiLeaks and what it all means to Robert Mueller. It's complicated, but we can do it. So what do you say, let's get after it.
All right, here's what we know for sure on the election front. Democrats picked up yet another seat House today. That makes 39, that's a significant swing of power. And it went along with a huge popular vote pounding for the President. He lost by millions despite having many millions fewer votes cast. So the spread was bigger even in a smaller pool, right, because midterms aren't going to have the same turnout as a general election.
We are now waiting on one more Senate race still to be decided. Polls closed an hour ago in Mississippi, 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith fighting to retain her seat after a string of racial controversies that have rocked her bid, or not. We'll see if they make a difference in Mississippi. The President added to the ugliness by saying her opponent, Mike Espy, an African-American, would not fit in Mississippi.
One thing for sure, it's going to be all about turnout for Espy. He's hoping to pull up and upset in this state. How would he do that? The African-American vote is about 40 percent. If he can get massive turnout there, and he can get some support from white voters, he's got a shot. He would be the first African-American to win a Senate seat there in over 100 years. So the results are coming in. Let's get Chief National Correspondent, John King monitoring it all from Washington. An hour in, how much has come in?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: An hour in we're just at 8 percent. Cindy Hyde-Smith who was trailing in the very early returns, Chris, the Republican incumbent is now open to lead. And that's a pretty healthy lead, not if you go back in history. You just mentioned it. Republicans normally we wouldn't here tonight. This should be a Republican blowout.
We're here right down, if you're Cindy Hyde-Smith campaign you're looking at that and you're saying great, you're also looking at this, 8 percent. Number one, so it's early. Number two, 56 percent to 44 percent but to the point you were making, we have absolutely nothing from here.
This is Hinds County. This is where Jackson is, the most Democratic area of the state. My guess, we need to run it up here just to go back three weeks ago. The reason we're here tonight, this is in Hinds Country, the ratio 72 percent three weeks ago. Remember we had four candidates in the rise three weeks ago. The top two are in the rise tonight.
So can Mike Espy do even better than that as the votes coming tonight? Nothing has come in yet. So if you look at the early map you're saying, what clues are we getting? There are some clues. If you're Mike Espy, you want this to be competitive, you're happy with this.
Warren County, the western part of the state, you have a win there. We have a 100 percent of the precincts reporting. Still some votes could trickle in. But if you're Mike Espy, you're winning this county, it's one of the places on the target list, how are he running, that's good it's not big enough to change the overall dynamic but it's a building block if you will.
Now, you're waiting to see what happens again most important from Mike Espy, not only run up the percentages as you mentioned turnout, run up the raw numbers that has to happen here. Then, the next big test you move up here into Madison County, this again I want to back three weeks, Cindy Hyde-Smith wins with 49, Mike Espy 41, logic would tell you, right?
Logic would tell you the Tea Party candidate, Chris McDaniel vote go here. But do they? Can Mike Espy do well in the Jackson suburb here? Can he do better in the Jackson suburb here as the map fills in tonight but I will say, still 8 percent we're going to be counting a lot.
CUOMO: It's a long shot, no question about it.
KING: Very long shot.
CUOMO: But as you said, ordinarily we wouldn't even be here. So we'll be following along in real-time, I can't ask for better help than you, that's for sure. John King, thank you very much. All right, we'll be watching again, take a look at the bottom of your screen as more percentage of the vote comes in we'll give you all the percentages in real-time. And if it gets close enough to make it interesting, I'll stop whatever I'm doing and go back to John and he'll take us to the map and explain what's going on and why.
Right now let's go to the implications on this. There is CNN's Dana Bash, Nia-Malika Henderson, and David Chalian. It's great to have you three, it's good to see you three together again on another big election night.
Dana, let's start with what the state of play is here. All right, to John's obvious point, usually you would be home right now. You know, and I would be texting you for help whenever I'm reporting on. But for tonight we're here. Why?
[21:05:09] DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Because this is incredibly unusual as John was pointing out. Mississippi, Ruby Red. I mean, there hasn't been a Democrat here since before you were born, Chris Cuomo, pretty much, elected to the Senate.
And we're here because, in fairness to Cindy Hyde-Smith, the Republican, there was a runoff, the Republican vote was split. The other major Republican candidate, Chris McDaniel has a pretty good big support among Tea Party candidate. He has ran before in Mississippi and -- but at the same time Republicans are looking down at Mississippi even from within Mississippi saying that this is a warning sign.
No matter what happens tonight, obviously, if the Democrat wins it's more than a warning sign, but even the fact that we're here, it is a warning sign. Having said that, Chris, Democrats I'm talking to tonight, they say they don't think they're going to get to the finish line.
They are trying to play the same playbook that they did in Alabama, but note that that the demographics there are very, very different even though it might seem from New York and Washington like there are more similarities than there are.
CUOMO: And yet, even though really Hyde-Smith should win this, Nia, it didn't stop Trump from going down there, going all in on this, and making a play that I think has to be called out. Him saying Mike Espy doesn't fit in. You tell me if we have the sound to play and I'll play the President on. Listen to what the President said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Cindy's far-left opponent -- he's far left -- oh, he's out there. How does he fit in with Mississippi? Just explain. But I could go over this. But how does he fit in?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Do you see this as just a left/right play, or was this an allusion to something else also known as color?
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: I mean, it's hard to give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt in instances like this, but it does seems like in this context he was talking about the idea that Mike Espy is a Democrat, he's describing it as a far-left Democrat. He's not really far-lift Democrat.
He's been a moderate sort of new Democrat and sort of a Clinton mold. And so I think that's probably what he was talking about more, and this would be the play they would make probably for any Democrat, this idea that they don't fit in with Mississippi values, they don't fit in with Republican and conservative values. So that's what he was saying there.
If you're the President, you want to go to Mississippi, you want to avoid a Doug Jones situation in Alabama. It's a state that voted for him, I think, by 18 points or something like that. He won that state, so that's his crowd. The thing in this race to look for, obviously, is what the African-American turnout is there. African-Americans make up about 37 percent of it.
HENDERSON: About, you know, something like that.
CUOMO: I wonder how that's being used by Espy and the organizations and people on the ground what the President said because I know and you know better, in fact, I may have read it from you and that's why I think I know, but that on the ground there the current Senator, Hyde- Smith not owning what she said about the front row to a public hanging and saying anything I said, I want to apologize. And now look, I grew up in politics.
I know that rule, David Chalian, which is never repeat your mistake. Never repeat it. Apologize if you must, but never repeat it because they'll count it as you having said it twice. And that's what she did there. And I wonder how that plays on ground. That did you really apologize or did you say what you had to because you would even own what you said?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Right. Win or lose this race, I don't think there's a political operative in this country on the Republican side or on the Democratic side who would take the way Cindy Hyde-Smith has responded to what she said and dealt with this and say this is what you should do.
You will remember that she had the press conference standing next to the governor and she just said I put out a statement I have nothing else to say. She refused to engage on it. And she relied on others like President Trump, Chris, to put the apology out there in her voice, but she didn't do that herself. She was having the President do that as a validated for her because as you noted, she just didn't want to embrace what she said obviously.
CUOMO: Hey, Dana just give me a quick take on something before I let you guys go. Another House seat goes over to the Democrats. That's 39. Now, you know, on Election Day seems like a lifetime ago. But there was, is it a wave, was a current, you know, it is a ripple? What is it, now 39 seats.
BASH: It's a wave, period. End of story. I mean, it's a wave. 40 seats, 40 seats almost, could be 40 seats. We still have another seat left to see what happens in California.
BASH: But 39, I mean it is, it is a wave. And, you know, we're going to see the results of that when it comes to the leadership tomorrow because Nancy Pelosi, who I know you talked to, is going to come up for a vote within her caucus to see if she's going to remain the leader and ultimately go on for a full House vote on January 3rd as speaker. And with that kind of number, 39, perhaps 40, she's got a lot to go on and help propel her potentially to victory.
[21:10:19] CUOMO: Interestingly the bigger the margin gets, the more it helps Nancy Pelosi because of all she did with fundraising and organizing to get them there. I may have interviewed Pelosi the day after the election, but she was nowhere as revealing as she was with you in that bad as women's series that you do. Very good reporting. Very good, no, no just a better interviewer on that day.
Dana Bash, Nia-Malika Henderson, David Chalian, thank you very much to all of you. Things get crazy, I'll bring you back.
CHALIAN: Thanks, Chris.
CUOMO: All right, make sure to stay with us. We'll have the election results throughout the hour had real-time. Again, we'll see them right on the bottom on the screen we'll put them up whenever it's relevant. I'm not going to just flood you with information when it's more of the same.
Straight ahead we have more pieces of the probe that have come out. And there's a huge what if surrounding Paul Manafort. It's complicated, it's layered, but we have it all laid out for you next.
CUOMO: All right. The "Cuomo Prime Time" team burned a lot of calories to go through what we're going to do for you right now. And that's well worthwhile. There's a lot of reporting out today involving the Mueller investigation. Some of it is from CNN's reporting, some of it is not. And there are lots of questions, lots to sort out. So I had to break out the white board.
Now, it all centers around the middle, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. First I don't know why you spend anytime distinguishing between these two. Every time WikiLeaks is relevant within the special counsel's probe in terms of Russian interference, hold the prompter, it's because Julian Assange directed, received, or led the efforts of the same organization. That's according to the investigators. All right, so Assange and WikiLeaks, you know, put them in a circle. They're the same thing. All right. Now, here is what we know, the main part of speculation here has been, well, what did WikiLeaks do? And the theory is that the GRU, OK, Russian intelligence, the 12 that were indicted by the Mueller probe, they were indicted for hacking the Democrats' e-mails and passing them to Assange. OK, so that's why WikiLeaks becomes representative of factual information here because they wound up doing the distributing.
Assange has said he didn't get it from them, the U.S. government disagrees. We now have reporting that there has been a secret criminal charge filed against Julian Assange, why and for what, we don't know yet. But this is the way it is flowed. Now, this is going to be become relevant again in a second. But there's another part of the intrigue that came out today that we have to go through.
The closest person to the President that we have heard caught up in all of this so far is Roger Stone. All right? How? Because he seemed to be prescient on issue of what was going to come out and when. Many wondered if he had contacted Assange. You've seen me test him about this on this show. And he denies it. He says he never did.
[21:15:16] Then there was a second wave of the story, which is, well, I was guessing from what was going on, and who was called person number two in the draft legal filings that CNN has obtained? It was Randy Credico, radio host, get about here in New York politics. He told me, Credico had talked to Assange and that's how I got the information, says Roger Stone in part.
However, this never made a lot of sense. Why? Credico interviewed Assange after he had supposedly had his exchange with Roger Stone. So I kind of x that out because it doesn't make sense that Credico was the source when he interviewed Assange afterwards. And he says that he had no exchange with him before. In fact, he denies all of it. All right, so that takes us to the big discussion that is coming on information that's new today.
Jerome Corsi, all right, who is he? He's a right-wing conspiracy theorist. He's someone associated with Stone. You know, I was being a little playful in the introduction, but not really.
I don't know how to describe him vis-a-vis Stone, if you're going to talk to Roger directly I'm sure he would have a lot of good things to say about Jerome Corsi right now. But Corsi's got trouble. Here's why. He told the U.S. government he never did anything with the requests for WikiLeaks information. What requests? Hold there.
Roger Stone says Jerome Corsi, says the U.S. government more importantly, Stone went to Corsi and said go find out what you can about WikiLeaks over there in the U.K. I guess he thought Corsi had some kind of access. At first, according to the U.S. government again, in these draft filings, Corsi denied it. Stone never contacted me, I never did anything with the request, I don't know what you're talking about.
All right, new documents that CNN has show that Corsi did get the message from Roger Stone, did pass it along to someone called an overseas individual. That's how this person is identified in the draft pleading. And that he led Roger Stone to believe that this person went to Julian Assange. How do they know? They say they have records.
Now, one of the reasons that Corsi has some trouble is that Corsi deleted a lot of communications that cover this period when they were talking about what might happen with WikiLeaks in October. That period was deleted. Never a good sign, OK? But the U.S. government believes that this e-mail did happen asking for the information.
He did pass it along to somebody else who did get some kind of information which led Corsi to go back to Stone and say there are two big things coming, and there's going to be a dump and it's going to hurt. And then he had all this other jazz that he was talking about, but it seems that there was an exchange of information. All right.
And here's the problem. What he has suggested to Stone, not unlike what Stone was suggesting to the rest of us is exactly what happened. So what does that mean for Roger Stone? Well, it means potentially from the U.S. government's perspective, he was lying to them, that he wasn't about Randy Credico, or maybe it also included him but not exclusively but he went to this guy and he got information.
So that is what's interesting there. It's going to be lying, that's the same problem with Corsi. Corsi was offered a plea deal and now he's walking away from it, leaking documents about the same deal. I don't know how that helps. All right, so that takes us through this circle you've been hearing about. All right? And again, it's all about how close does any of this stuff get to the President or his campaign? That's where Paul Manafort comes in. All right.
I want to put this in some context for you here. Before we get to this part of the Manafort, Manafort is already a known liar, right? I mean, that's part of what the probe showed about him, that's why he's in trouble and had to make a plea deal and a cooperation agreement that now they believe he violated by continuing to lie. Put up the list of how many people around this President have been caught lying about something to do with the intrigue surrounding all these questions and the President.
This is a President who promised to be different, who promised to be better, who promised to bring in only the best. What a pack of people who have had problems with the truth he has. And that takes us to Paul Manafort. He has one thing that we know and one huge question that we don't know. But we're going to know soon.
Here's the part that we know. The special counsel says Manafort has been lying even after he made the deal. The big question, therefore, is what? About what? One of two things. One is he's been lying about where he had his money, how he stashes money and how he got his money. We don't care about any of that for the purposes of this discussion. The other is that he's been lying about something to do with the campaign and the interference.
[21:20:10] The "Guardian" comes out with a piece and says that's exactly what it is. He met with Julian Assange several times for many years back to like 2012. Why? That's what makes this part interesting. That's why I wanted to finish where we started. Because of the work that Paul Manafort did in Ukraine that made him very wealthy and also in a lot of trouble with the U.S. government, he had access to these kinds of people either directly or indirectly. And that is an interesting triangle of intrigue. If true, all right, the "Guardian" reporting is not mine. I cannot verify it, neither can CNN.
However, it would also put all of this activity closer to the President than we've ever seen before because his meeting, most recently as far as "The Guardian" says, with Assange in any way that was relevant was in March of 2016. That was right before he became the campaign chairman. What the heck would he be doing having that meeting if it actually happened?
Now, what's all this down here? Here is the last important part for you to make in this puzzle right now. Paul Manafort has what we believe is a joint defense agreement with the President of the United States. There's nothing wrong about that. It happens all the time, usually the context is more like a mob trial where people in the interest of their own defense get to share information, including what investigators are saying to one about another so they can get their story straight. The law allows it.
Rudy Giuliani confirmed as much today to "The New York Times" saying, yes, I've been talking to Manafort's lawyers and they've been telling me what the investigators were asking for them and it's been very helpful to us. I'm sure it has.
However, why do I put in quote, because Manafort's lawyer says it was not really a joint defense agreement, we just talk closely, whatever, they're talking, he has information. Here's why it's interesting. The President has now submitted his answers to Mueller.
What if the answers to the questions that the President submitted with the Rudy Giuliani and his legal team echo a common understanding with Paul Manafort, a similar story, so to speak, that Mueller knows to be untrue? That is a very heavy question in terms of what that could mean, in terms of what Robert Mueller puts out in his final report.
There you have it, the best that we could do with it to help make sense of a lot of new information. So the provocative question, what did Trump insiders believe? Do they believe that Manafort would meet with Assange or that he did? Well, two big shots call him a rat in their new book that dropped just today. Why? Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie are here. They got a book that describes all the enemies from the President's perspective. Am in there? Next.
[21:25:11] CUOMO: All right, for all the Mueller news swirling around in the last few days, you got Paul Manafort, you got Roger Stone, and despite the constant cries of a witch-hunt from team Trump, apparently the President also thinks the whole thing works for him.
That is one of the messages in a new book that Trump says I think may make my base stronger, a claim the VP backs up. The new book is "Trump's Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency." It's written by two former Campaign Bigs who now help push the President's agenda. Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie. It's good to have you both on the show, welcome here.
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, AUTHOR, "TRUMP'S ENEMIES": Thank you.
CUOMO: You are here often, it's good to have you here.
LEWANDOWSKI: I appreciate it.
CUOMO: Let me ask you something first about the news and then I want to get into the book and what its message and meaning is for the American people. Paul Manafort, I know you don't believe him. I know that you don't believe he has the capacity to tell the truth on these types of issues.
LEWANDOWSKI: Or any other issue, but that's OK.
CUOMO: For the record, clear. Do you think there's a chance he met with Julian Assange?
DAVID BOSSIE, AUTHOR, "TRUMP'S ENEMIES": I have no idea. I think Paul Manafort's a bad guy. I think he is in prison, I think he ought to be in prison. I have no -- He's not a guy that I've ever done business with, don't know him, never met him, didn't work with him. So he could have done any number of things. We now know from his guilty pleas from being found guilty that he was capable of a lot of things. I have no idea --
CUOMO: He denies, Assange denies it -- and basically everybody who has stake in it denies it other than the sourcing that the Guardian has. Do you think if he had met with Assange back in March right before he got made campaign chairman, that you would have heard something about it or did he keep to himself in a way that you can say that he could have disclosed it?
LEWANDOWSKI: Look I wouldn't have heard about it. Paul did a lot of meeting that we found out about later that I had no knowledge of whatever. He took a lot of meetings in his apartment in Trump Tower and didn't work out as campaign of, so.
CUOMO: Did he meets or just meets?
LEWANDOWSKI: I have no idea who he is meeting with, I don't know who those conversations were with. So, Paul and I weren't friends. He wouldn't have shared with me if he had one of those meetings.
But look, in Paul's defense, if there was something he thought Julian Assange was going to give him, it would have to have been a monetary benefit to Paul because that's how he operated or he would have been something where he sent one of his emissaries or cohorts to go and have that meeting. So I don't know if Paul had the meeting or not, but if he did, it was for a future business or monetary gain for Paul.
CUOMO: How bad is it for the President of the United States if it turns out that this is true, that Manafort went and met with Julian Assange and had some kind of heads up that bad stuff is coming and hope you remember this when I drop the information because I'm looking to have a better deal with the U.S.
BOSSIE: It's a hypothetical.
CUOMO: A 100 percent.
BOSSIE: But, look, you know, Paul Manafort was hired when Corey left the campaign. Paul Manafort was fired and I came onto the campaign. We just didn't go through him, with him. We weren't participants with him.
I don't understand how his thinking went. He wasn't very good at his job and it's the reason the President ended up getting rid of him. I don't think Paul Manafort was a good guy, didn't like that the President brought him in. But at the end of the day the President recognized that and made a change.
CUOMO: What do you make of that graphic I put up, Corey? All the people who have been involved?
LEWANDOWSKI: Hold on, you call that a graphic, like the chicken scratch?
CUOMO: Oh, no, no that's --
CUOMO: Be honest. That's a lot of information. With those arrows, my arm is hurting. That was a lot of information but that's what we do on the show. But this graphic, there are a lot of people that got close to this President, and I'm not saying they're his closest adviser other than Michael Cohen who can't tell the truth. What happened to only the best?
LEWANDOWSKI: Look, there are some people who probably never met the President, whether it's Carter Page, she has never meet the President or George Papadopoulos who might have sat through one meeting over the course of a two-year period.
Those people in the cast of George Papadopoulos lied to the FBI and he's in jail today because of it. And that's what happens. But it should happen on both sides of the aisle. So if the Clinton people 9lie, or McCabe lies to the FBI he should have that same response. And we don't have it yet.
CUOMO: You don't have any (inaudible) of a group like that. We have an inspector general's report and now this gets us into the book about what's going on. This falls under Trump's Enemies as one of the deep understandings which is deep state. These guys are going to make an argument to you in this book that there were people out to get this President even before he was President.
Now, and as you both know, I'm a seller of that theory. I don't buy it because I believe that the ultimate act of interest by our Department of Justice through the FBI was Comey coming out and giving a head shot hay maker to Hillary Clinton, not once, but twice, and I don't see any proof of anybody messing with anything that makes sense in a way they also let that happen.
That's the part I don't get. If I'm out to hurt the President and I'm working for Corey, I would never let Corey go out and crush --you know, if I want to hurt the President, if I want hurt then Donald Trump, I would never let him crush Clinton the way he did twice.
[21:30:21] BOSSIE: We've seen the Strzok and Page, all the e-mails that McCabe information that has come out. We know that they were --
CUOMO: Those were lovers. They were --
BOSSIE: They were lovers, they were using their badges. Chris, this is what they were doing. They were taking information and they were leaking it to reporters. They were then taking those articles and using them to expand their investigation. They were self-sourcing. And then they were going to the FISA court with false information to get warrants on American citizens. This is not the way it's supposed to work against your political adversaries.
CUOMO: Right, those FISA things, and that's first of all, it's a good point. They were FISA things. All right, there were multiple judges involved, huge -- layers and layers.
CUOMO: No, I don't think that we know that they were being lied to.
BOSSIE: Well, let's talk about the Mueller potential report just for a minute. We'll go back to it but look, if Mueller is going to fair in a report, let's see if he talks about those issues as well. Let's see if he talks about the Hillary Clinton paying for the fake Russian dossier. Let's talk about what Strzok and Page and McCabe and Comey did.
CUOMO: Two things, Dave. Don't be such a plant. The idea of what he puts in the report. One, we already know that Hillary Clinton's campaign funded the dossier, so that's not like discovery information for Mueller. But the point is, if that's relevant --
BOSSIE: We're finding out what those folks were doing is important.
CUOMO: Yes, but why do you think we don't know what they were doing. You had inspector general report on what was going on.
BOSSIE: I don't know.
LEWANDOWSKI: What we need is, we need the declassification of those FISA applications. We need a declassification of --
CUOMO: I'm a journalist. I'm all in favor of declassification of everything all the time. And I think --
LEWANDOWSKI: I think we should have those. CUOMO: Why is it not a distraction, why is this not you trying to divert people away from what Trump did and those around him did and what was done to Hillary Clinton and trying to make Trump a victim?
LEWANDOWSKI: Look, here's what it came down to. If the same thing would have happened to Barack Obama, in this book we do a sit-down interview with the President and we ask him, do you think Barack Obama knew of cross fire hurricane, the FBI's investigation into members of your campaign, for political reasons to spy on them on domestic soil. Do you think Barack Obama knew? His answer is, yes, he did know.
CUOMO: Who? The President?
LEWANDOWSKI: The President. Number two, the question is, if someone did that to Barack Obama, what would be called? That would be called treason and those people would be in jail for 100 years.
CUOMO: No, no but first of all, hold on. The basis that if the President believes that it's something that we should now take into account means nothing to me --
LEWANDOWSKI: Chris, we have --
CUOMO: I'm sure the President does believe it. He believes a lot of conspiracy theories.
LEWANDOWSKI: But Chris --
CUOMO: No, no, no. Hold on. Hold on. No, hold on.
LEWANDOWSKI: We have sources that we absolutely know have seen documents that outline who was in the meetings with cross fire hurricane was spoken about. It was Comey and Clapper and Brennan, and one name and one name only is redacted on every single e-mail and it's not Susan Rice --
CUOMO: And what do you think it is?
LEWANDOWSKI: The only name on there is Barack Obama that's been redacted.
CUOMO: How do you know?
LEWANDOWSKI: Because the classified document, our sources tell us they have seen though.
CUOMO: Oh, your sources tell you. When I say that you guys say it's fake news. But here is my point --
LEWANDOWSKI: Most of the time it is.
CUOMO: You guys are always right, right? That's why you made the book and I didn't. This is what I'm saying. I'm not disparaging the President. I'm saying you cannot use his belief as a sourcing for its truth, OK. The President thought that Trump Tower wiretap, we know it wasn't. We know that was wild speculation, OK.
We know that a lot of effort was put into it. And remember, this is a man who is a phone call away from the truth. Why he doesn't make that phone call, I have no idea but he's constantly a phone call away from the truth to the DOJ and the FBI. And you could find out exactly what's going on with this matter. He never has. But still it has come out --
BOSSIE: You don't know that he hasn't.
LEWANDOWSKI: Chris, his team has been briefed.
CUOMO: I'll tell you why I will say that he hasn't. He would have come out if he had better information. He says stuff all the time, Dave, that's not true, why wouldn't say things that --
LEWANDOWSKI: Chris, his team has been briefed by the Department of Justice, by the member who then overseeing this investigation, by Rod Rosenstein.
LEWANDOWSKI: They've been briefed. They know what's in these documents. And the question is why have they not released it to the American people?
CUOMO: Then, why didn't all of them stand up and believe that they believe in the integrity of the institution that things were done the right way?
LEWANDOWSKI: Why did people who had badges -- why did people who had FBI badges spy on American citizens? Because they didn't like their politics that should never be allowed.
CUOMO: And you don't that's why they did it. And you can't know.
CUOMO: Have you seen the FISA documents?
BOSSIE: No, and we would like to. We agree with you that we would like transparency, that's the best thing.
CUOMO: 100 percent, I want to see it all, all the time.
BOSSIE: Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
CUOMO: 100 percent, but like me tell you something that has not been the motto for this administration. You guys who defend the President, transparency has not been the rule for this administration. And I'm not even talking about the taxes. It's too easy a hammer to hit you guys with.
That's obvious. But look, you want transparency on this in a way that you don't always want transparency because I think you believe it will help you if it comes out. But you have to remember you had several different judges advance the surveillance with big offering sheets that were signed off on by layers and layers.
[21:35:12] LEWANDOWSKI: But Chris, you have to remember the first time the Department of Justice went to the FISA court to ask for an application or spying on American citizens. You know what happened? Not only was it denied, the judge actually stepped off the bench, it's in the book, stepped off the bench and called a second judge and said have you ever heard of the government coming and asking for an application like this? He said never, and it sounds political motivated. You have to deny it.
CUOMO: But then why then --
LEWANDOWSKI: He didn't. They denied the first application. They came back after stories had been sourced, had been written in usual stories --
CUOMO: But you don't -- but here is the point and this is why I love the book and I think it's provocative and that's why I've having you on the show is, you don't know if that's true what you just said.
LEWANDOWSKI: I absolutely know it's true.
CUOMO: No. You have to see the FISA documents to know whether or not --
LEWANDOWSKI: Our sources who have seen the FISA document told us that.
CUOMO: Devin Nunes, not impressed. Again, not a guy who has made transparency you stock and trade expect when it suit them. This is a guy who went to the white House to deal with an oversight matter. And he should never done that. So his credibility is in doubt.
LEWANDOWSKI: We know unequivocally the first time the Department of Justice went to the FISA court to ask for an application to spy on members of the Trump campaign, it was denied. They came back six months later --
CUOMO: Yes, but that's not unusual. That's the process working. It doesn't show political motivation.
LEWANDOWSKI: 2 percent of them telling how often it's denied.
CUOMO: But look, they put FISA in for reason, I'm saying we're all on the same page on two points. One, let it all come out.
LEWANDOWSKI: Yes, 100 percent
CUOMO: As long as nobody -- we don't want to hurt anybody or anything like that. The second thing is it's a provocative book.
LEWANDOWSKI: And look, and when the Mueller report comes out, release the whole thing. CUOMO: Mueller, doesn't have -- that doesn't have to happen. The
mandate right now is for Rosenstein to get it.
LEWANDOWSKI: I understand, but he would with like to see the whole thing.
CUOMO: -- Matt Whitaker what he would like to do.
LEWANDOWSKI: We would like to see.
BOSSIE: Thank you, sir.
CUOMO: Thank you very much. Good luck with the book. It's called "Trump's Enemies." No chapter on me. I'm insulted and surprised. Gentlemen, next book, volume 2.
All right, we're still following the Senate runoff in Mississippi. Republicans want to hang on to this final Senate seat in play. They should but there was a runoff. That wasn't expected either. The results are coming. We'll show you them in real-time.
And the House just turned even more blue. Will Trump and the GOP admit that they got whooped? That would mean recognizing a fact. Dave Urban, shaking his head in the negative. That's the great debut next. Stop shaking your head.
[21:41:02] CUOMO: All right. The last big race of the midterms are finally about to end several weeks after the fact of Election Day. Mississippi Senate race, they're going to be coming in, in real-time. The polls closed 8:00 p.m. Eastern in Mississippi. And here's what we already know about the midterms.
It was a big win for the Democrats. However, that is not something that the GOP seems to want to admit. Sounds like the makings of a great debate. We have got former Michigan governor and CNN Senior Political Commentator Jennifer Granholm and Washington Cooperator Lobbyist, former Trump Campaign Strategist and CNN Political Commentator, David Urban.
How many titles do you have, Dave?
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: How about all-ran tough guy.
CUOMO: Yes, all right, I'll go with that. At least it's easier for me to say.
So I remember in one of the many briefings that we have here in CNN, the cram is much information into an anchor's head as they can before the election, I remember hearing that if they get 35, 37, the Democrats should be overjoyed. There are 39 they could get 40. How is that not a whooping, brother Urban?
URBAN: So Chris, look, I mean -- every -- as you know, let's look at history, right? Historically every President, every President in the midterms has lost big seats, big numbers. And look --
CUOMO: Not everyone.
URBAN: Of course, excuse, every president but two in modern history.
CUOMO: And Trump could have been like them. But go ahead.
URBAN: They were two war-type presidents basically. Post-9/11 and during the war, two times gain seats. So that's an anomaly on otherwise pretty standard scale there. Look, all the pundit tri-the chattering class in Washington and around the world that examines these things all predicted between 35 and 45 seat loss.
CUOMO: No, I never heard 45.
URBAN: That was the range that I heard Bannon about a year. And look, you end up with 39, that's squarely in the middle. We're not talking about are the pickups in the Senate, which are far more important.
CUOMO: Should have gotten five or six, we got map, and you only got to two --
URBAN: Far more important.
CUOMO: Maybe, we'll see what happens tonight.
URBAN: Far more important.
CUOMO: Why, because they're good for you?
URBAN: No, Chris, as you know, Chris the Senate confirms, they provided device consent function and they confirmed -- listen.
CUOMO: -- five or six, and they would have avoided what happened during Kavanaugh now that I don't know well.
URBAN: I don't think that's going to be an issue. And look, they confirmed district court judges.
CUOMO: Sure, sure I get what the Senate does, I'm just saying you should have had a much bigger win. You lost Senate seats in ruby red races.
CUOMO: Hold on, let me get Jennifer on this.
URBAN: OK, sure.
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Thank you.
CUOMO: I don't agree with Dave about his 45. I never heard a number like that. I never heard a 40 number, the wager that I had said here in our fund kind of wagering system is 33 as an over/under. Now, I will be fair, everybody took the over, but nobody wanted to play with me above 37. There are 39 maybe 40, why do you see it as a big win?
GRANHOLM: Because historically it is. You're talking about history, you haven't seen in the history of midterm elections a number like 9 million votes that one party got over another. It is a wave of historic proportions. It will be 46 looks like, seven governors flipped. You haven't seen that since for 24 years.
Almost 400 state legislative seats, four attorney generals, all these majorities and super majorities that Republicans had in state legislators flipped. It is a huge win. And tonight, I think Chris, just to focus on the Mississippi race for one second, I think it is going to be -- we'll see what happens. You know, Republicans are supposed to overwhelmingly win this deep red state.
CUOMO: But a win is a win.
GRANHOLM: It should be a race that she went -- of course, by 20 points. But if you just look at the makeup of it but what it speaks to is that the Democrats decided that they were going to play in every place in the country. They weren't going to leave states or districts alone.
CUOMO: Good, you got to raise all that money, Jennifer, you guys should play everywhere.
[21:45:02] GRANHOLM: Yes.
CUOMO: You know.
GRANHOLM: Well --
CUOMO: You know, I'm saying, like there's so much money raised now, you should play everywhere.
GRANHOLM: You should play everywhere and we have --
URBAN: Chris, listen --
GRANHOLM: And that's my point is that this race demonstrates --
CUOMO: Hold on, Dave.
GRANHOLM: -- that if you recruit good candidates --
GRANHOLM: -- and you play everywhere, then you can win.
CUOMO: Here's why I'm playing with you about the numbers. I don't care about 35, 40, it doesn't matter to me. It's not about the math. The majority is there. If they have a strong leader, the caucus will be in line or it won't.
We'll see how it plays out. But the old adage, you know, what you ignore, you empower. You don't respect the history and learn from it, you're going to repeat it. The message is pretty clear. The President across the country got stomped in another popular vote a bigger margin than in his own election. Yes, yes, Dave. You move the other way.
URBAN: The President wasn't on the ballot.
CUOMO: He told everybody he was on the ballot, and when you talk to voters, two out of three said he was on their mind when he or she voted.
URBAN: Listen, his name wasn't on the ballot. Listen, Chris --
CUOMO: I know his name wasn't on the it, two out of three said they voted on him.
URBAN: Listen, I sat on election night with Governor Granholm, just her left which is something hard to say and they were despotic -- the Democrats despotic on election night.
GRANHOLM: It's true.
CUOMO: Yes, I didn't get it then and I don't get it now.
URBAN: Listen, Chris, all the high-profile Democratic races that Oprah campaigned for, that Barack Obama campaigned for --
CUOMO: Two races.
URBAN: But those are all of the -- Beto O'Rourke, the Florida governor, Georgia governor.
CUOMO: Abrams or Gillum to turn states like that would have been amazing.
GRANHOLM: It would have been amazing.
URBAN: Listen. That's what dominated the political discourse of this country for a month, how these folks were going to come in --
CUOMO: Not on this show.
URBAN: -- on this network and every network.
CUOMO: Not on this show.
URBAN: Not on this show but like every network. You lost. Outperforming doesn't matter. You lost.
CUOMO: Yes, but hold on a second.
GRANHOLM: It does matter.
CUOMO: If you want to cherry pick a Senate seat that should have been never close with Cruz, OK, and you want to pick Abrams and made it closer than she ever should have.
URBAN: How much money to Beto O'Rourke spent to get close. If you were to put that money on my friend John James in Michigan, and the governor I know is John James would be a senator today.
CUOMO: But why would the Democrats have done that?
GRANHOLM: I mean --
CUOMO: James is running against them. That's not my point. We would all have a beautiful Christmas. I love that line. However, Dave what I'm saying is this --
URBAN: If you put $100 million behind anybody in the state you're going to end up --
CUOMO: If you don't accept what happens in this race, it's going to happen to you again. And that's why I don't get the --
URBAN: Chris, here's what I accept. Democrats had great candidates in certain districts, you had incredible redistricting.
CUOMO: Across the country.
URBAN: Listen, you have incredible redistricting --
CUOMO: You guys did the redistricting that's why you won all those hot seats, smart.
URBAN: No, Pennsylvania was done by the Supreme Court, Democratic control the Supreme Court.
URBAN: You had key retirements like Charlie debt, Frank LoBiondo --
CUOMO: Still your state and your seats and you lost them.
URBAN: No, New Jersey is not a Republican --
CUOMO: I'm not saying New Jersey. I'm saying across --
GRANHOLM: Why did you have so many retirements, though, David?
URBAN: Because they serve in a body that has a lower approval rating than anybody.
CUOMO: No -- GRANHOLM: And because they were serving under a President who has a
horrible, horrible record and a horrible approval rating.
URBAN: Listen, not true.
GRANHOLM: If you think this election was bad, if he had been on the ballot, it would have been even worse.
URBAN: So 2020 --
GRANHOLM: You got a problem but you have to acknowledge.
URBAN: So there's going to be 20 people running to the left in 2020. You're going to have 20 candidates running for 2020. And everybody's going to run to the left of each other because if they don't score early in the polls --
CUOMO: Well, that's what you want.
URBAN: -- they're never get the debate.
CUOMO: That's what you want. That's for sure.
URBAN: It's a fact, Chris. You know that. You're a smart guy.
CUOMO: I don't go that.
URBAN: Political primaries are dominated by the extremes in their parties.
CUOMO: I have no idea where that party will be, and I don't think they do either.
URBAN: Chris, come on.
CUOMO: At this point in the primary cycle. I mean it.
URBAN: You think they're going to nominate some conservative Democrat?
GRANHOLM: There will be spectrum.
CUOMO: I don't know why --
GRANHOLM: There will be spectrum, Dave.
CUOMO: -- nothing in history suggests that the reaction to Trump should be an equal, opposite left extreme. If anything, you see moderation after somebody who is torn on every piece of fabric he can find to divide a nation healing is the reaction.
URBAN: I will make the prediction that it's someone who is very progressive.
CUOMO: All right. I got to go. Dave, thank you so much. I appreciate -- URBAN: Thanks for having me.
CUOMO: Jennifer Granholm, always a treat. Thank you very much.
URBAN: You know. Thanks, governor.
CUOMO: All right. Governor, see what he's doing. Always cheap shots from that guy. Lucky he's good looking.
Back to the election in Mississippi -- he was talking about Granholm, not me. When the President was working to shore up his base if Mississippi last night for Senate candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith, I brought this up because I think it matters. What do you think he meant when he said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Cindy's far-left opponent, he's far left. Oh, he's out there. How does he fit in with Mississippi? Just explain. I mean, I could go over this, but how does he fit in?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Now, in fairness to me, there's more to that quote. And if you look at, you can see the President was struggling whether or not he wanted to go somewhere. And remember who's who is backing in Cindy Hyde-Smith, remember what he said in that election, what he refuse to apologize for specifically, the fool that he backed in Virginia. What he did with Roy Moore in Alabama.
[21:50:13] This is a President who hasn't shied away from supporting people who support causes that are way too akin to bigotry that we've ever seen with a Republican in the modern era, a President back them. So was it just us versus them of politics or was it something else?
Let's bring in D. Lemon about this. What did you hear in terms of the reference to Mike Espy, by the way, born in Mississippi, family successful there, served in Congress there. Certainly he fits into the state.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I didn't hear anything. Come on, Chris! Are you kidding me? We got to stop pretending like, oh, no, they didn't mean-- that's exactly what he meant. And what's worse? That he didn't know what he was saying or that he did? I think they're equally as damaging.
The fact that you can say it and you know it's a dog whistle, if it is, or it could just be a loud cry, or you're just ignorant of the facts. So you got he didn't know what a nationalist was, right, by saying he was a nationalist, didn't know the ramifications of that, didn't know the history of that. Cindy Hyde-Smith saying, I don't know, you know, I'd be on the front --
CUOMO: Front row of a public hanging.
LEMON: Yes, on a public hanging. OK. She should know better than that, but it didn't mean anything. That didn't mean anything. We don't want to monkey this race up down in Florida. Oh, OK. I didn't know what any of that means.
Again, I go back to my original question. Is it worse that you know what it means or that you're in a position where you're going to be leading people in this country, and you don't know what it means? I think they're both equally as bad.
CUOMO: And I think that you win this round because in context, it doesn't make the same sense that it would out of context. If the President had only said this, it would be one thing. But he's said too many things and backed to many candidates who believe too many ugly things to take it any other way.
LEMON: I'm a son of the south, Chris.
CUOMO: I know.
LEMON: And, you know, none of this stuff surprises me, the whole segregation school. And none of it, none of it, none of it surprises me. Your conversation before -- not you, but it just gave me a headache with Dave was talking about look how much money. If you're in a traditionally red state or traditionally --
CUOMO: You need money.
LEMON: But it doesn't matter how much money you pour into it, right? This is about ideology. It's not about money. I live in --
CUOMO: But it takes money to change people's minds because you've got to pound message. That's all I'm saying.
LEMON: Yes but still. Anyway, I'll see you at the top of the hour. We got a lot to talk about because we got Mississippi.
CUOMO: D. Lemon, I'll be with you in a second. Thank you for helping me out as always.
CUOMO: All right. What's happening at the border right now? Very bad. We don't need our President distorting what's going on. We need truth right now. That's not what he's doing. He has a penchant for not doing that. He had to be contradicted by one of his own officials on this show last night. Shouldn't have to happen. Now it's time to call out some fact versus fiction where this President's involved, but there's a bigger message. There's something we all have to look out for, next.
[21:55:54] CUOMO: Facts first. That's the order of the day here on Cuomo Prime Time. Witness the President on the fed raising interest rates. They're making a mistake because I have a gut. My gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else's brain can ever tell me. Try that in school or with anyone in any job anywhere, let alone try that as a leader of any kind.
The truth is this. The President's not an economist. He's never been prized for his investment savvy when it comes to the markets. His immense borrowing would have ruined him if not for his father's money. And by juicing an already strong economy with a tax cut that balloons the deficit, he all but forced the fed to raise rates.
Then there was this on climate change. One of the problems that a lot of people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence, but we're not necessarily such believers. You look at our air and our water, and it's right now at a record clean. Record clean.
He really means smarts, not intelligence. He means like raw brainpower because intelligence is defined as the ability to acquire and apply knowledge. Knowledge, of course, being the Greek root for the word in science, OK? So intelligent people read and learn from science. This President ignores science in favor of his own version of reality, where the air and water are at a record clean.
To the extent there is improvement, it is because of the application of science and policies and actions to improve the water and air. And Trump is looking to get rid of those same policies. But, again, this is not a fair debate because the President offers no facts, just feelings. And then we have the fact checked that may be the most urgent right now. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: First of all, the tear gas is a very minor form of the tear gas itself. It's very safe.
CUOMO: Tear gas is tear gas, right?
KEVIN MCALEENAN, COMMISSIONER, U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION: Yes. The C.S. gas we deploy is standard law enforcement issue.
CUOMO: Right, there's one kind is what I'm saying?
MCALEENAN: Yes. It's in our equipment inventory. All of our agents have to experience it like you did before they carry it, much less deploy it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: He had to be fact checked by his own commissioner, a man with integrity, and that led him to own even what the President did not want to hear, and I respect that. All of these are examples of a very dangerous combination in this President, and he inhabits this combination in a way that I've never seen in a leader of any kind, let alone a President.
And it's this. Ignorance and arrogance. He often doesn't know or doesn't want to know the facts, and then he will lie or pretend he knows better when he does not. That's ignorance and arrogance. And the last one, this last example matters the most because first of President was trying to scare the hell out of you about an invasion to get you to vote.
Now he's trying to underplay the desperation that is a mile from our southern border, and that's not me attacking him both ways. There was never going to be an invasion. But there is an amassing population south of the border that are desperate, that have been led or misled to believe that they can get into this country.
They don't know that the rules have changed. They don't know that it's harder for them, and there's going to be desperation. There's going to be anger. And we know what's going to happen because we saw it on Sunday.
So now the President wants to play it down. He says, oh, we didn't shoot tear gas at men and women. Yes, you did at women and children. Never children. Yes, you did. Oh, it was a safer tear gas. No, it wasn't and it's going to happen again if the situation doesn't change. The government did a lot of talking in the form of the President, but it did not prepare as it could.
Last Sunday I fear, from what I'm hearing from those who know the reality, was just a taste and the worst may be yet to come. What's the message? We need the truth from our leaders right now. We have to know the reality of what's happening. We'll be there.
The media is there, and we need our leaders to do it. And if the President can't, those around him must step up. I know that is always frowned upon in government. I know that those in positions of power want to keep that power.
But if we have, God forbid, situations like we saw last Sunday, and if it's worse as the numbers get worse and the concentration of all those emotions get worse, we need people that we can count on to tell the truth. And I hope that that happens for this country.
That's all for us tonight. Thanks for watching. CNN with Don Lemon "CNN TONIGHT" starts right now.