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CUOMO PRIME TIME

Judge: Paul Manafort Lied To Mueller, FBI & Grand Jury; GOP Seizes On Green New Deal To Expose Democratic Rifts; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Plans To Bring Green New Deal To Senate Vote; Wisconsin GOP Yanks Colin Kaepernick From Black History Month Resolution. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired February 13, 2019 - 21:00   ET

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


[21:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, ANDERSON COOPER 360: --Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had possibly played a role in the publication of the story or that the Enquirer may have acted to curry favor with them. Bezos had not provided any evidence to support those claims.

News continues right now. Want to hand it over to Chris for CUOMO PRIME TIME. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, CUOMO PRIME TIME: All right, thank you, Anderson. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

New tonight, a Judge ruled that Paul Manafort lied about his meeting with a Russian operative repeatedly to Mueller, to the FBI, and a Grand Jury about matters that are considered close to the heart of the Russian investigation.

We now know the central question Mueller needs to answer, and we're going to take it up in Cuomo's Court.

Then, did the Democrats have a problem? Are they the party of the progressives or the centrists? We have one of each here to take on competing notions of the Green New Deal. The Republicans see it as a key to victory for them. Is it?

And the GOP, they've got their own Family Feud going on over this shutdown deal. Just 48 hours left before the government goes out of business again. Which voices will this President heed?

Great debate, what do you say? Let's get after it.

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TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

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CUOMO: All right, here's what we know for sure. Things just got monumentally worse for the President's former Campaign Chair. There's a chance Paul Manafort could spend the rest of his life in prison. Why? Well his Federal Judge just voided his plea deal with the Special Counsel tonight. That means they don't have to request leniency. Judge Amy Berman Jackson agrees with Bob Mueller on three of the five examples he cited of Manafort lying over the course of his cooperation in the Russia inquiry.

They include lies about matters close to the heart of the investigation, that's what the Mueller probe calls them, not me, his interactions with a man tied to Russian intelligence, Konstantin Kilimnik - Kilimnik. It's Kilimnik. It's a weird name but get used to it. The Judge also says he lied to the FBI and the Grand Jury.

Here's the main question. Why did he lie if he had nothing to hide, when he had already cut a plea deal, why? Let's bring Cuomo's Court into session.

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CUOMO: We got Garrett Graff and Mike Rogers. All right, so just so that we're all on the same page about what this Judge ruled, Gentlemen, thank you for doing this short notice.

Three of the five things, the two where they say, "I don't think that he did lie," the Judge says, "I don't think he did lie," is one, about his contacts with the Administration, and two, about whether or not Kilimnik was involved with trying to mess with the other witnesses.

That was one of the things. And both - both of those are really irrelevant for us. It would have been bad if he was lying about the contacts.

But Garrett, when you look at this, the Judge coming through and saying, "Mueller was right. He's lying about these things," why is it relevant to you in the overall scope of the investigation because we're not that concerned about Paul Manafort? The sentence is the sentence. It's what he means to the overall probe.

What's your take?

GARRETT GRAFF, JOURNALIST, AUTHOR, FORMER POLITICO MAGAZINE EDITOR, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. And it's not irrelevant that all of this seems to involve Konstantin Kilimnik.

CUOMO: Right.

GRAFF: This is a figure, who is incredibly important, we think, to this investigation. His ties to multiple Russian oligarchs, this is the figure that we know from Paul Manafort's inability to use technology correctly that he leaked polling data too in the midst of the campaign.

And we also know that Bob Mueller in court filings has assessed that U.S. Intelligence believes that this is someone who was tied to Russian Intelligence in the midst of 2016.

So, this is in many ways the key figure on the other side that we have seen so far, and it's remarkably consistent over more than a year now that Paul Manafort's most shady behavior is that which involves Konstantin Kilimnik.

CUOMO: Right.

And so, Mike, look, the reason it's a big deal to me is it's now a matter of fact that he lied about these things. The conjecture about, you know, who's right, who's wrong, you see it now. The Judge used the right standard. It's laid out. That's our process, so we put it in the record as fact.

Here's what I don't get. The meetings weren't illegal. They weren't even arguably a problem for him. Why lie about them?

I get lying about the payments. I get lying about the money transfers and stuff like that. He was trying to cover his tracks from, you know, attacks and a investigative perspective there. But why did he lie about these things?

MIKE ROGERS, FORMER HOUSE INTELLIGENCE CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN PARTY MEMBER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY COMMENTATOR: You know, this is the - the million-dollar question in the entire investigation. Why would he lie about it? And I would take Garrett's comments one step further.

He not only just had these relationship. He went to Spain to have a conversation, specifically, to talk about polling data. That in and of itself isn't illegal. You - if it's yours, you own it--

CUOMO: Sure.

ROGERS: --you're allowed to share it with whoever you want. There's no classification on it, for sure.

But boy, that - that's just doesn't pass the smell test for me. And - and so, the loan, the $125,000 loan, very late into this event, or payment, I should say, to the law firm, all of these things just, man, they just don't smell right.

And then you look at General Flynn, who lied about calling up the Ambassador who - which, by the way, in and of itself, not illegal.

CUOMO: Not illegal.

[21:05:00] ROGERS: Having a conversation about any policy issue he wanted as the incoming National Security guy for the incoming President of the United States, not illegal.

CUOMO: Right.

ROGERS: You know, maybe off-color a little bit, but not illegal. Then he lied about it to the FBI. Why? And then I - I agree with you. I wish I knew the answer to this. I think the Mueller report's going to find that out for us. But all of the folks who are going to jail, they have a whole host of

other charges like Manafort, bank fraud, and other things. You know, same with this lawyer, Cohen. But in the case of the lying piece to the investigators, it's all centered around Russia.

And again, you know, there's where - you just have to start asking yourself, "Why did all of them lie about their connections with the Russians? What are they hiding? Or did they somehow think that they were going to get in trouble, I'm going to lie to stay out of trouble?" That part I think the investigation is going to have to determine.

CUOMO: Yes, it has to. Look, Garrett that would make sense. We see it all the time.

GRAFF: And Chris, if I can--

CUOMO: We all - we see it all the time that you lie because you want to cover up what you were doing. But here, they keep saying, "Well we had nothing to cover up. There was nothing wrong about this. The meeting in Trump Tower was fine for us to take it."

Yes, but then why did you lie about it? Why did you concoct that statement? Why did you say the President had nothing to do with it, and then he did? It doesn't make sense. It's like they're making their own trouble. How do you see it?

GRAFF: Yes. So, I think that - let's add the third example that we have in here, which is Michael Cohen trying to work the Trump Tower Moscow deal in the midst of this, during which he's lying--

CUOMO: Nothing wrong with that either.

GRAFF: --about it. And the - the President is lying about it. And--

CUOMO: Right.

GRAFF: --and I think that, again, this is a case where you have clear evidence that they knew what they were doing was wrong because they were lying about it.

You can see an alternate scenario very clearly in the Trump Tower Moscow deal, where the President, Donald Trump is out there on the campaign trail saying, "Look, I'm the world's smartest businessman. We can fix this relationship with Vladimir Putin. I know because I'm fixing the relationship with Vladimir Putin. I'm going to build this great building in the midst of Moscow--

CUOMO: Right.

GRAFF: --I alone can figure out how to make a deal with Vladimir Putin."

And the fact that he didn't say that, and covered it up, and covered it up for two years, it gives you some sense that there is a guilty mind at work in these situations.

CUOMO: Yes, well, look, I, you know, I got to tell you. I'm - I'm listening to you. I'm processing it. It's just hard for me to put it together, Mike. I mean I thought I had seen everything, you know. I mean I've covered so much shady stuff.

I mean I was the Anchor of 20/20, like I - I saw every creative way that somebody commits a crime, for 12 years. But this just doesn't make sense.

Now, the Special Counsel offered up an explanation in their last set of pleadings. They said, "Maybe Manafort thinks he gets a pardon by lying to us about," but how does it implicate the President?

You know what I mean? How - why would he get a pardon for this? First of all, why would the President be crazy enough to pardon somebody who did these kinds of things? But even that doesn't make sense. Where's the, you know, how is he helping the--

ROGERS: Yes.

CUOMO: --President here?

ROGERS: And I have to say, looking at this, this - this one struck me as odd in the sense that if you were trying to make a deal with the prosecutors, those Russian connections, you know that's what they're interested in, would be really important to them, and any relationship that you could tie back into the campaign, and he continued to lie about it.

Now, was he lying to - to try to protect someone in the campaign or was he thinking, "Hey I'm just going to play this game."

And, by the way, as you probably saw in 20/20, and certainly Garrett sees in - in doing journalistic stories, I saw in the FBI, people will try to game this system. They think they're the smartest guy in the room even when, you know--

CUOMO: But he had cut a deal with them already.

ROGERS: --all know the facts ready (ph).

CUOMO: He already pleaded guilty.

ROGERS: But, you know what, he - he pleaded guilty on this notion that he was going to cooperate where he thought he was going to cooperate. Apparently, the Special Counsel and the Judge saw it differently.

And I've seen this before where they think, you know, yes, I - I'll plead guilty to, you know, smashing the window on the car, but not getting in it and driving away, wink-wink nudge-nudge. I'm sorry. That's just not the way that the system works.

And so, when they try to play that game, this is exactly what happens. He clearly lied to them. He misled them on their investigation. That's why, I think, they're so honked off, and why his sentence is probably going to be a little steeper than he anticipated going into next week.

CUOMO: Well, I'll tell you what. This is a very interesting piece of the puzzle because it now frames this question. Garrett, Mike, thank you very much.

At the end of the day, we have to know why did all of these people around the President and, maybe, including the President, lie about Russia-related matters if they have nothing to hide. Just boggles the mind.

Gentlemen, thank you, important night, great people to have for that.

All right, now I want to turn to a Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, OK, because well what are they going to do about this? You know, after the Mueller report, we're getting to the point now, where it's all - the report's going to come out.

[21:10:00] It's going to say what it's going to say. Either I'll be wrong, and there'll be some dispositive action taken, legal action, or it's going to become a political question. So, let's bring in Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, next.

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CUOMO: "There is no mistaking lies." That's the message a Judge is sending tonight after ruling that Paul Manafort misled the FBI, the Special Counsel, and the Grand Jury, after he made a plea deal.

What does that mean? No more plea deal and no chance at a shorter sentence for Trump's former Campaign Chairman.

Significance, let's go to Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Pramila Jayapal. It's great to have you here.

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PRAMILA JAYAPAL, (D) HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE FROM WASHINGTON'S 7TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS SENIOR WHIP, CONGRESSIONAL PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS CO-CHAIR: Great to be with you, Chris. CUOMO: So, answer this question, it's very easy. Why did Paul Manafort lie about these things after making a plea deal if he has nothing to hide?

JAYAPAL: Well that is the million-dollar question.

And all I can think is that he is covering up something, perhaps something that he was told to do at the direction of the President, and he is now protecting his ability to get a pardon from the President by not actually telling the truth.

I - I don't understand it completely. But that is all I can surmise. And it's exactly what you said earlier, Chris, that if - if he was just having meetings, if he was just talking about foreign policy, that would be one thing.

But he is telling the press - Special Prosecutor one thing. He is lying about it, even though the Special Prosecutor has told him they will know that he is lying. And so, that of course leads you to believe that there is something big that he's covering up for the President or for somebody on his - on the President's team.

CUOMO: Got to tell you, known him a long time, talked to him a lot, not a dumb guy. He got out over his money. He was out over his skis. He was upside down with his debt--

JAYAPAL: Yes.

CUOMO: --that can create pressure, make you do stupid things. But I don't get it. But now, here's even tougher question. What are you going to do about it?

[21:15:00] When the Mueller report comes out, let's say I'm right, and it is not this dispositive prosecution document, that's going to end the Presidency, and it's not something so heinous and absurd like treason that it's a no-brainer that all of you must be on the same page, what do you think you do?

Do you do anything? Do you investigate? What are you going to do?

JAYAPAL: Well we're - first of all, we're not waiting just for the Mueller report to come out. As you know, we want to protect that investigation, incredibly important. But we have oversight responsibility as the Judiciary Committee.

And so, we are getting information. We are preparing for a series of hearings, oversight hearings, investigatory hearings. And we will continue to do that work to assess for ourselves, and the Mueller report will be a very important piece of that.

I believe, Chris that the dominoes have just continued to fall. And if you look at what you've covered very well on your show, if you look at the variety of indictments, guilty pleas that Mueller has put forward and the information that is there, I think it is actually very, very significant. And--

CUOMO: Do you see an impeachable set of offenses?

JAYAPAL: I don't - I'm not sure yet because I need to get all of the information in front of us. We need to have these hearings. But I think it is extremely significant. These are not small crimes.

These are not - you know, there is very clearly being laid out in these documents a conspiracy, and I think that, you know, the work we have to do is really untangle everything, get the Mueller investigation, and then we have to lay it out for the American people.

Because, remember, for the last two years, Republicans have not allowed us to do a single hearing on any of this. So, they've completely abrogated the responsibility of the Committee.

CUOMO: Right.

JAYAPAL: And that's what we're trying to do now.

CUOMO: So, you say conspiracy for this moment with a small C, because if it were a big C conspiracy, a felony, you'd have to show an act in furtherance of that, a criminal act in - I know you know that, Congresswoman, but I'm just saying for the audience, and I haven't seen any proof of that, and there's been no charge of anything like that.

But I take your point that you've seen what--

JAYAPAL: Well, I think we just--

CUOMO: --is really collusion by definition.

JAYAPAL: Right. Well I mean we just don't know, right, because Mueller is not necessarily--

CUOMO: Hasn't shown (ph).

JAYAPAL: --going to divulge everything in those indictments--

CUOMO: Right.

JAYAPAL: --as you very well know. And so, what we have to wait and see is get all of the information, see what is really here. I mean there have been a number of things that are criminal acts.

Does it rise to the level of impeachment? We don't know yet. We don't have all of that information in front of us. We are going to get that information.

And, for the first time, the American people will get the chance to actually hear what has been going on, and really be able to have hearings, and be able to have oversight that we should have had several years ago.

CUOMO: Better go better than that Whitaker hearing. That thing was a mess. That was a hot mess.

Let me - while I have you, I want to ask you about something else, another tough spot.

JAYAPAL: Yes.

CUOMO: Who are you guys in the Democrat Party? You know, are you the progressive idea of the Green New Deal or are you the centrist idea of figure out what you can in the moment?

The Green New Deal seems to be - I know it's just a resolution. I know it's not even fair to call it a deal. But the Republicans see it as pure advantage for them. What's your take, and where do you think your party comes out on it?

JAYAPAL: Well the Republicans saw the tax plan, the tax scam as pure advantage. They saw stripping healthcare away from - from millions of Americans as pure advantage.

Who are we? We are the Democratic Party, and we are for the people. What does that mean?

That means that we have to have not only things that we can advance in this session of Congress through the House, pass it as a Democratic majority, hopefully, with some Republicans with us on some key issues.

But we also have to put forward some bold proposals that really address the emergencies in front of us.

And I would just argue as a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal that climate change is a national crisis. It is a national emergency. And we do need to have a response and a vision of the scale that would take that on. And that is what the Green New Deal is about.

And there's so many lies out there, Chris, about what - what the Green New Deal does--

CUOMO: True.

JAYAPAL: --and doesn't have. You know--

CUOMO: True. True, but you know what?

JAYAPAL: --today, I had a reporter say to me--

CUOMO: But your colleague got out over her skis on this in terms of putting out those FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions things that gave suggestions of what this might do that went farther than the resolution itself, which was already ambitious.

So, this is a little bit on you guys for the rollout of it as well.

JAYAPAL: Well, look, I didn't - I didn't actually see those FAQs so, but I've heard what was in them. And I think we're still trying. Your - I take your point. We're still trying to--

CUOMO: Right.

JAYAPAL: --establish what is actually in the deal. So today, somebody said to me, "Well, aren't you, you know, in the town of Boeing? And how do you feel about--

CUOMO: Right.

JAYAPAL: --eliminating all air travel?"

CUOMO: Yes.

JAYAPAL: And I said, "No, that's not what it does." But I got a little nervous. So, I went back and checked. And it definitely does not do that. So--

CUOMO: Well that's - that came out of the President. So, it automatically needed to be fact-checked.

But, look, there are some things in there that go to this fundamental sense of philosophy of your Party, and what you're going to present to the American people, guaranteeing everybody a job, single-payer healthcare.

[21:20:00] There will be an argument that, boy, these things sound great, but how do you pay for any of these things? You guys are being too generous, hyper-ambitious. Where do you draw the line?

JAYAPAL: Well I'm introducing the Medicare-for-All bill, and I'm really excited to have that conversation with you.

I think that actually these ideas are the ideas that fuel almost every industrialized country in the world, except the United States. And an idea like Medicare-for-All is really about the fact that people are hurting on healthcare across the country.

And so, for me, when I look at this, what I believe is that, you know, I think about Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, and most people remember the pieces that are repeated all the time. But I think about that phrase, "The tranquilizing drug of gradualism."

We are living in a time, Chris, where three people in this country own as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent, that 40 percent of Americans don't even have $400 in their bank account for an emergency.

CUOMO: It's true.

JAYAPAL: And so, we have to address these crises.

This is - this is not just a small thing. We are back to the time of inequality of the 1920s. And so, we have got to understand that the place that people are in across the country might actually be far ahead of where Congress is.

And to call these ideas simply radical or, you know, or - or Left or whatever definition you might use is really belying the fact that most Americans want this.

They want us to take on these bold approaches, not just nibbling around the edges. They want us to fix some things that we can fix right away. But they want to have a proposition agenda. Who are we as a country? What do we stand for? Do we stand for

equality and justice? And I think that's what these - these proposals are all about.

CUOMO: Well, you're certainly right about the time we're living in. This is a definitional moment for us, our culture, and certainly, our country.

And Congresswoman, I promise you, any time you want to come on to discuss what these policies are, and let us pick at what their strengths and weaknesses are, you got an opportunity right here.

JAYAPAL: Fantastic. Thank you so much, Chris, look forward to being back on.

CUOMO: All right, be well and good luck with the job.

JAYAPAL: Thanks.

CUOMO: All right, the President is already seizing on what he sees as the Democratic Party's push left. That's why I'm talking about it with a Democrat who's at the forefront of these ideas.

What will happen to the Party if they don't figure out a plan that's not just ambitious but calculated to win? That is the starting point of the great debate, next.

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[21:25:00] CUOMO: All right, look, the key to Democrats' success in this last phase of shutdown politics has been being a united front, OK? But this Green New Deal is exposing questions within the Party. They are not all on the same page about it. Republicans see it as an opportunity for them.

Mitch McConnell, in irony of ironies, he won't put anything that matters up for a vote, but this, he wants to put up. A resolution, he wants to put the resolution up for a vote of confidence in the upcoming Senate session. I mean, come on.

The President also sees opportunity in this. Listen.

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DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They introduced the so-called Green New Deal.

I really don't like their policy of taking away your car, of taking away your airplane flights, of let's hop a train to California, of--

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TRUMP: --you're not allowed to own cows anymore, you know, and there are a lot of problems there.

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CUOMO: I mean I don't think he would know the truth sometimes, if it were staring him right in the face.

Facts first. There's nothing in there about putting an end to your car or cows. It's certainly radical. The ideas that they're having, it's hyper-ambitious. They keep qualifying the language by saying, you know, as technologically feasible. It's certainly ambitious.

But there's no reason to lie about it. The truth will serve him well enough, politically. A lot of people are averse to change.

So, let's debate what this could mean and should mean, Angela Rye and Scott Jennings. So, let's deal with the reality, Angela. There is a division in the Party. You know, it's interesting.

We got Joe Manchin on the show tonight. He makes an interesting point. You know, I'm like, "Hey, you got to figure out who you are. You know, these progressive voices seem to be dominating the dialog for you guys."

And he goes, "What are you talking about? We won 40 seats, seven of them were what you would call progressive farther left people, 33 were centrist. What are you talking about, Cuomo?"

Where do you see the state of the Party, Angela, in terms of what voices are - are being heard loudest?

ANGELA RYE, ATTORNEY, IMPACT STRATEGIES PRINCIPAL & CEO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, NPR POLITICAL ANALYST, FORMER CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Well, I certainly think that when you're talking about the Senator, he's more likely to agree with Scott here on these points than he is to agree with me.

We know that this is someone who also supported - it's fair, Scott. We know he is also someone who regularly supports Donald Trump, including his last Supreme Court - Supreme Court Justice Nominee.

So, let's be very clear that Joe Manchin is no standard-bearer for the Democratic Party, especially probably not on climate change, given the area he represents, right? So, let's be clear that this is not something that he's going to find faith - be - to be favorable.

The other thing that I do want to emphasize is the difference between a resolution and--

CUOMO: Right.

RYE: --another - right. I think that's - it's really, really important for us to talk about this.

What I think Democrats were hoping to do is to lay out a plan to say, "Listen, climate change is real, no matter what the President tweets. Even if there's snow, climate change is still real. Even if EPA - the new EPA scientists say that climate change is a hoax, climate change is still real."

And I think they're trying to really be clear and be standard-bearers for that. If it was so controversial, why are there so many Democratic Presidential nominees who are getting behind the idea of this?

Is there work to be done? Absolutely. And let's be super clear, Democrats are known for having amazing messaging strategies. What Democrats are known for is - is being right on policy, and doing right by people. Policy rollouts, not so much.

CUOMO: All right. Certainly website rollouts, not so much. We all remember that stuff during the Obama Administration.

RYE: Yes.

CUOMO: Scott, why do you guys see advantage in this?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, the Republicans see advantage because, you know, to call this policy half-baked would be in, you know, I'm not even sure the Democrats turned the oven on yet.

I mean this thing got rolled out, it was botched, the policy implications for the energy sector, for the manufacturing sector, for the agriculture sector.

You talk about the thousands of jobs that would be impacted in the Midwest, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, North Dakota, where Joe Manchin is in West Virginia, in my home state of Kentucky, this would dramatically fundamentally alter the U.S. economy, and would put a lot of people out of work.

And I'm not sure the American people are going to be ready for such a fundamental change in the way our economy works for central planning of the way we build buildings in this country.

There was discussion of the - the idea that we don't need air travel anymore, and this idea that we're going to replace it with--

RYE: It's not real.

JENNINGS: --high-speed trains that they can't even to - afford to build in California. So, if you look at the political implications of this in the key critical states that are going to be important in 2020, it is easy to see why Republicans see advantage in this.

CUOMO: Angela, what's your response? RYE: Yes, I - well first, I hope that we can start dealing with facts, as we talk about the resolution, and what I hope to become a bill.

Scott, you know as well as me, there used to be a time on Capitol Hill where you could introduce legislation which, by the way, again, has not yet happened, but you could introduce legislation, and that legislation goes through the traditional Committee process.

[21:30:00] There's a Committee markup, where Members of Congress are allowed to introduce amendments.

So, even when you talk about carbon emissions here, they're saying (ph) they want to have zero emissions at a 10-year mark, there are scientists that say that that's not reasonable and not realistic, so they're saying maybe 2035, may be 2050.

There is a negotiations process that normally happens in a markup with amendments. And then, if you didn't get your - your - your - you - you weren't properly heard in the Committee process, or maybe you don't sit on a Committee of jurisdiction, there's always the floor.

And for whatever reason, Republicans, and I guess Joe Manchin too, are so afraid of this idea coming to the floor that they want to bash it before it even starts.

And I think the reality of it is, if we can all acknowledge climate change is real, and some of the things that we are doing even with jobs that currently exist are not helping us, will crop - cause harm for future generations, what is the idea?

What are the things that we can put forth to ensure that we're not just creating jobs in new sectors that we're not just preparing future American workers for what was, right, the very regulations that--

CUOMO: Right.

RYE: --Donald Trump rolled back that were Obama-era policies to reduce carbon emissions, and to reduce our reliance on coal, we have to change some of these things, if we want to live.

CUOMO: All right, so, we have to see what the policies are that match the resolutions.

RYE: Right.

CUOMO: And we'll take it from there. Let me ask you guys this while I have you both.

So, this Manafort decision matters to me, because you now have a matter of fact that you have to deal with politically, if not legally. And I think that that's the more likely course.

Scott, why do people around this President, and including the President keep lying about Russia-related contacts and matters if they have nothing to hide?

JENNINGS: Yes. Paul Manafort has made a series of bad decisions. And it started a long time ago--

CUOMO: Manafort, Gates, Flynn, Cohen, Stone, they all lie about--

JENNINGS: --and it has continued right up until--

RYE: Trump Jr.

JENNINGS: --tonight.

CUOMO: --the same thing, the president. Why?

JENNINGS: Yes. We this - this is common - this is common in investigations.

You get people that are - whatever their motivations are, they think they can outsmart these prosecutors, and tell lies, and try to cover it up, and create diversions and distractions. And it always catches up with you.

So, my advice from the beginning of this to everybody who is ever going to be ensnared was, all you have to do is tell the truth, and there's a high likelihood it will turn out better than if you don't, and we're seeing that manifest itself tonight for Paul Manafort.

He's going to go to jail it looks like, for a very, very long time. So, I - I heard the Senate Intelligence Committee say, they've not uncovered any evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia. But Lord have mercy--

CUOMO: Since when has that been the bar?

JENNINGS: --some of these people around the President has - has--

CUOMO: Since when has that been the bar?

JENNINGS: --absolute--

CUOMO: We started, Angela, with the President telling the--

JENNINGS: Yes.

CUOMO: --American people in the eye, "Nobody around me had any contact with anybody." Then he said, "I've had nothing to do with Russia. I got no business. I got nothing going on." Then they said, "None of my people did anything that's any collusion. There's no collusion."

Now, what Scott just said is accurate. That's the new line. There is no proof that the President of the United States committed a crime with Russia with regard to interference. Since when was that the bar of what we were looking for, Angela?

RYE: Since when does anything that he does ever been the bar like there - I mean I think about Victor Blackwell on the weekends where he has the gumballs in the - in the jars of how many lies Donald Trump has told? There's a shelf now like this - this guy's not honest. There's no honest brokers around him. The - I mean Roger Stone, Paul

Manafort, I mean it's just - Chris, I don't know. I - I don't know the answer to this. I - I don't know--

CUOMO: When you get Angela Rye speechless on a proposition, Jennings, now that's--

RYE: It's #Speechless.

CUOMO: --a high bar.

JENNINGS: Well, I - look, I - I --I - I disagree with the statement, though. I actually think the mandate of the Special Counsel and what the American people--

CUOMO: Yes.

JENNINGS: --expect to know is whether the Trump Campaign colluded. And beyond that, how deeply did the Russians try to interfere in our election, whether there was collusion or not.

To me, that's what the average person wants to know. That's what we're looking for Mueller and the various Committees--

CUOMO: That's true.

RYE: I want the report.

CUOMO: That's--

JENNINGS: --in Congress to find.

CUOMO: That's all true. That's all true.

JENNINGS: So, you said, when was that the bar? Well that - I think that is--

CUOMO: No. When was the bar that it's--

JENNINGS: --actually the bar for most Americans.

CUOMO: --only about the President and committing a crime with Russia. It's what you're saying now has always been the bar. Who knew--

RYE: No. He also used to say, "Since when did collusion become a crime?"

CUOMO: That's right.

RYE: Remember? I mean there's like - like--

CUOMO: Right. And collusion isn't - look, collusion is a behavior.

What Manafort did with Kilimnik is collusion. What Roger Stone was attempting to do is collusion. It's not a crime. I'm not saying it's a crime. It's never been my bar for satisfaction in this. A felony and anything less is fine is not our standard of accountability.

Who knew what?

RYE: It shouldn't be.

CUOMO: Why did they meet? What were they thinking? How did they do this so well, the Russians? Those are the questions we need the answers, crimes are not. Scott--

RYE: And why are they lying?

CUOMO: Right. That's where we started. That's where we'll finish. Angela Rye, Scott Jennings--

RYE: Yes.

CUOMO: --thanks to both of you. Well argued.

RYE: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, more to come on this idea about where the Democrats are going to be. What does the Green New Deal mean, OK? You heard Angela Rye say, "Hey, look, Joe Manchin, I don't know that he's with the Democrats on a lot of things."

[21:35:00] He is going to argue differently. He says that the Party is about centrism. That's the winning strategy. Hear Senator Joe Manchin make the case for himself, next.

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TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

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CUOMO: The sand in the hourglass is running out.

The President says he wants to avoid another shutdown. Well he's in control of that. When are they going to have a vote? Is he going to take this deal? It is a bi-partisan compromise. You know what that means? No one's completely happy.

The House won't consider the legislation until tomorrow night. Some lawmakers want more time to read it before voting on it. You know what that means. How is it going to end?

Let's bring in a Democrat who backed the President's proposal to end the shutdown last time, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: ONE ON ONE.

CUOMO: Senator, thank you for joining us.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA, APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER: Thanks for having me, Chris, appreciate it.

CUOMO: So, we're going to have a deal before we get to shutdown?

MANCHIN: I think we are.

I - I understand - I talked to some of the - some of the people on the conferees, they feel good about, they're moving, getting the language worked out, and I'm hoping that everything will happen, and we'll be voting tomorrow. By tomorrow night, we should have it done.

CUOMO: What's your word on where the President is? And do you think he should sign this deal?

MANCHIN: I do think he should sign it. And I think he will sign it. He's talking about other ways that he can move money around. I understand as a Governor and - and sometimes, we have different money that we can use, discretion. And if he can do that, so be it.

The bottom line is the deal is what it is. There's $1.7 billion towards new technology, which is much needed. And he sees (ph) it's 1.3 in this funding package for a structure, for a - a secured structure, replacing and putting new in.

[21:40:00] CUOMO: No DACA or TPS on the table, is that going to make anybody on your side of the aisle slow to vote for this?

MANCHIN: It's going to make it very difficult, I think, for some people. I do. I understand that. I have a compassion and sympathy and empathy. And I've spoken to the President before about this.

I said, "Mr. President, I know in your heart of hearts, you know these young people who have been great citizens. They're in our military. They're in our education. They're in the system. They're in our economy. They're in our - our - our lives. They deserve to have an opportunity."

And he has his hard right just keep pushing back on him. And Chris, I'm hoping sooner than later that we can have a DACA fix, we can have an immigration fix.

CUOMO: All right, now the big issue within your own Party, the Green New Deal, seems that the Republicans see opportunity in this. We're told Senator McConnell wants to bring it to a vote to get all of you Democrats on record about this.

All Democrats are not of the same mind on this. Certainly, you are not of the same mind as a lot of other Democrats. Why not? Why aren't you a fan of the Green New Deal?

MANCHIN: Chris, first of all, the Green New Deal was a dream. It's not a deal. It's a dream. And that's fine. People should have dreams, in the perfect world what they would like to see.

I got to work with the realities, and I got to work the practical, what I have in front of me. I got to make sure our country has affordable, dependable, reliable energy 24/7.

But you can't just be a denier and say, "Well, I'm not going to use coal. I'm not going to use natural gas. I'm not going to use oil."

And you have to understand also the climate, we talk about global climate, Chris, it's the globe. It's not North American climate. It's not the United States climate. It's the globe.

How do we bring on China and India and everybody else who are great users of carbon right now, and polluters of carbon, to be carbon-free also, by using technology? If--

CUOMO: Well, but you seem to be saying two things, Senator, is that, you know, you got to find ways to clean up the damage that we're doing to the environment, but you don't like the Green New Deal because you say it's a dream that you'll get away from fossil fuels.

Well don't you have to get away from them in order to--

MANCHIN: Well--

CUOMO: --have a better tomorrow?

MANCHIN: --we can. We can. But you have to use the fuel. You can't just eliminate. The rest of the world is not going to eliminate. By 2040, the IEA, which International--

CUOMO: Right.

MANCHIN: --Energy Authority basically has said China will still be relying 51 percent on coal. India will still be at 57 to 60 percent. The United States will still be using 20 to 25 percent.

If that's the reality, don't you think we ought to find ways that we can remove the CO2 in an affordable fashion, and reuse this energy?

CUOMO: You have a division in thought there now, and especially, when you look at the people who are running for President. They all seem to be stepping towards the progressive side. I don't think any of these people would call themselves a centrist.

MANCHIN: Well, maybe not. They should. I think they - that's where the Party is. That's where most people's lives are. And that's where this country is. From the political process, we've already proven that.

The only thing I would say about all my friends running, the Democratic tent is very big, as you can see. If they want to see how well they would fare, come to West Virginia. That'd be a good testing ground.

CUOMO: You know, it's interesting, those on that side of the Party, they hear you on the Green New Deal, and they say, "Joe Manchin. Joe Manchin is protecting the jobs in his own state that are jobs of a bygone era. And Joe's gotten a lot of money from fossil fuels. And he wants to protect that relationship."

Fair dig?

MANCHIN: That's - that's a horrible analogy, basically, and it's wrong from what they're saying. I support the miners and the workers. That's where my heart and soul is, my dedication. It's where I was born and raised.

The people that contribute to campaigns, I know it's hard to believe this, but some of us don't care at all. Some of us don't go out and solicit that. It just doesn't happen that way, as they think, a quid pro quo.

With that, I can tell you that what the miners have done and what coal has done for this country is something that we should be able to honor. We don't have to - if there's another dependable, reliable fuel that runs 24/7, let me know.

CUOMO: I hear you. It's tough. Change is difficult. You want to protect what you have, and prepare for what you're going to need in the future. It's not an easy balance. We'll see where your Party comes out on it.

And Joe Manchin, Senator, West Virginia, I appreciate your straight talk, as always.

MANCHIN: Chris, thank you. It's always good to be with you, thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: All right, when you have controversy, best thing to do is to get after it. That's what we do on this show. They're going to have to figure that out. We're going to stay on it.

Now, another one, I hope you know we're in the middle of Black History Month, right? President Trump issued a routine proclamation about it weeks ago. Yet, it is a point of bitter contention in one state tonight because of whom lawmakers tried to honor.

Wait until you hear what went down in Wisconsin, next.

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CUOMO: All right, listen to this, and please give me your feedback on Twitter about this. Wisconsin lawmakers wanted to mark black - Black History Month by writing a resolution.

And in it, they wanted to honor the state's most notable Black Americans, people like former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, Baseball Hall of Famer, Ressie - Reggie Jackson.

But they also had Colin Kaepernick on there. You know him. He took a knee during the National Anthem at NFL games. He also gave 25 Grand to a local educational effort there.

The Republican lawmakers see his name, refuse to let the bill pass, until his name was removed.

Let's bring in D. Lemon. So, the Black Caucus is like, "Wait a minute, these are our names." And the Republican Party does a Party-line vote. I think it was something like 61-34, and they take him off

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, CNN TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And they replace him with other African-Americans, Black former politicians that I guess they liked more.

LEMON: Well, boy, I feel a certain kind of way about this because there's so many things that you can - you put - pull people on, and yank people off for.

They want to honor Condoleezza Rice, listen, a great woman of color, great Black woman, right? She achieved things that most people don't aspire to Black, White, or any other ethnicity. But she was also part of the Weapons of Mass Destruction.

So, you can always find something in someone's past that - that can potentially disqualify them from certain things.

CUOMO: Arguably though, what they don't like about Kaepernick is--

LEMON: I get it.

CUOMO: --what defines him--

LEMON: I--

CUOMO: --to the public.

LEMON: Yes. So, I have to give a hat tip to Max Kellerman over at ESPN. I don't know if you saw that exchange. I was watching live.

CUOMO: Yes.

LEMON: And he made the point that I have been making all along. There are people who are professional athletes, but we're talking

about the NFL now, who have committed crimes, who have beaten people, women on camera, domestic violence, they are getting, and have gotten second and third chances.

CUOMO: And this guy can't.

[21:50:00] LEMON: Colin Kaepernick didn't break the law. He was doing what - what is a right to all Americans, to peacefully protest. And yet and still, he is suffering the consequences of that after he broke no laws, and he's trying to help out the very community that he is trying to bring attention to.

I don't understand it. I think they're wrong. I think they should put him back on there. Just because you don't like it, that's your problem, but everyone has something in their past that people don't like.

It doesn't make you any less of a great American. And I think Colin Kaepernick is a great American, and should be honored for his efforts, whether you agree with what he did or not.

CUOMO: One of the Black lawmakers said this is White privilege on display of these guys like that - we had to go to get the approval of the White man for which of our own race we could honor.

LEMON: Look, I don't know about - I just think it's ignorance. And I, you know, I just think it's BS.

People if - whatever you want to call, if you want to call it White privilege, that is your business. I just think it's ignorance, and I think it's cherry-picking about who you think is a good person, and - and if they're doing what you think is right.

We all know what - we all know right is right. I think everyone knows in the back of their minds, deep in their heart, what Colin Kaepernick did was courageous and heroic.

The narrative has been twisted, unfortunately, by the President of the United States. But I think people know. He - he stood up for what he believed in, and he's walking the - the walk right now.

CUOMO: All right, I'm going to check with you at the top of the hour.

LEMON: Neal Katyal is coming on. He is the former acting Solicitor General. He's going to talk everything Manafort at the top of the hour.

CUOMO: Another guest to be jealous of.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Another night with D. Lemon.

LEMON: See you.

CUOMO: I'll see you in a second.

All right, so the Manafort news tonight, that's why he has Neal Katyal on, great guest for that, there's a central question there. And we've been asking it throughout this entire inquiry, and it is time to focus.

And this Manafort decision makes the main concern that we should all share clear, the argument, next.

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[21:55:00] CUOMO: Why lie? That's the question about Paul Manafort. And it is the question that I argue is at the center of all this Russia stuff.

A Judge ruled tonight that the OSC, Office of the Special Counsel proved Manafort lied to them about his meetings with a Russian operative, and to the Grand Jury, and to the FBI, and he did so, more than once.

The Judge also ruled that the OSC did not prove that Manafort lied about his Associate's role in messing with other witnesses nor did they prove Manafort lied about his contacts with the Administration.

But it is now a fact that Manafort lied repeatedly about meeting with a Russian, who is connected to State Intelligence, during the campaign, while he was running the campaign, and giving the same Russian internal polling data.

So, why would he lie about this? There's nothing illegal about meeting with an old friend about Ukraine politics, even taking pitches about U.S. policy, vis-a-vis Ukraine and Russia, and even planning on how to capitalize on his then newfound power.

So, why did he lie? Manafort, his partner, Gates, Flynn, Cohen, Stone, arguably Trump's son, and the President himself, case after case where they lied about what they were doing when none of it was likely a crime, and all of it somehow involved Russia, why lie?

If there's nothing to hide, why did they all lie?

Now, some have suggested to me that it's all politics, and they lied to blunt the attacks of the media, and partisan prosecutors. That would only make sense if the lie helped cover up something that could get them in bigger trouble than the lie itself.

There's often a calculation at play, right, especially when you have so many covering up on the same subject. The calculation is that the lying is better than admitting to what they did.

Here, the President and all his people keep saying they have nothing to hide. In most of these cases, the lie was the worst part of it, as far as we know. The underlying acts range from unethical to just stupid. But rarely, were they lying to cover up what is obviously a crime?

The Special Counsel suggested in legal filings that maybe Manafort lied to help himself get a pardon. Is the idea of a pardon for any of these folks something the White House would really entertain? How could he justify excusing this kind of conduct?

Because they're just lying? It's not so bad? That's mob mentality. Our President is Donald, not a don. He can't pardon people for being loyal by lying, can he?

I've made no secret that unlike others I don't see how the Mueller probe winds up in the prosecution of the President or removal of him from Office. And I'll be surprised if there are any major felony indictments to come. There could be. I've been surprised before.

But even if the story stands, where we now know it to be, the lying will haunt this Administration. And the President is going to have to explain something to all of you.

Remember where he started.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you say whether you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with Russia during the course of the election?

TRUMP: Well, I told you, General Flynn obviously was dealing, so that's one person. But he was dealing, as he should have been.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: During the election?

TRUMP: No, nobody that I know of, nobody that I know of.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, you're not aware of any contacts during the course of the election?

TRUMP: Look, look, look. How many times do I have to answer this question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you just say yes or no on it?

TRUMP: Russia is ruse.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Now, he's fallen back to this.

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RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: I never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign.

CUOMO: Yes, you have.

GIULIANI: I have no idea if there - I have not.

CUOMO: You've--

GIULIANI: I said the President of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Stupid face, I'm haunted by that face.

So, here's the proposition. Was the President really that clueless about what his main people and others were doing for his benefit, for his campaign, or was he lying about what he knew, or both?

Criminality has never been my standard for judgment of the actions here. A felony is not the bar for acceptable conduct by a President, and his people. As long as it isn't a felony, you're fine. That shouldn't work for us.

If he knew and lied about it and then, in bad faith, tried to undermine an investigation into the same, putting vanity and self- protection before your interests in finding out what happened, that's wrong, arguably, abuse of power, remember that phrase.

And if he were to pardon anyone, found to be lying about these Russia contacts, that arguably could be abuse of power also. President has vast pardon power, but not unlimited and no pardon is free from political scrutiny.

The actions and words don't have to amount to a crime to be wrong. That's the point. And this President is going to have to confront that reality, if not in court, certainly, in the court of public opinion.

Thank you for watching. CNN tonight with D. Lemon, right now, let's get to him.

LEMON: Chris, you realize you're talking about Donald Trump, right?

CUOMO: Yes, thank you.

END