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A Federal Judge Rules that Paul Manafort Intentionally Lied to FBI, to Special Counsel's Team, and also to a Grand Jury; William Barr Asking for Tips from DOJ Officials; Republican Congressman Under Fire for a Racist Book; Fabricated Theories Spread by a Trump Ally. Aired 11-12a ET
Aired February 13, 2019 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
We have major breaking news in Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. A federal judge ruling that Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, intentionally lied to the FBI. He lied to the special counsel's team, and also to a grand jury in the ongoing investigation.
And that breaks the plea agreement that made that Manafort made with as a star cooperator for Mueller. The big question is what this ruling could mean for Manafort's upcoming sentencing.
Also tonight, a CNN exclusive. Sources saying that William Barr who's expected to be confirmed soon as attorney general is already in discussions with the Justice Department officials on how to handle the report that Robert Mueller will submit to the Justice Department about the Russia investigation. And exactly what information Barr will share with Congress.
A lot to discuss. I want to bring in now Shimon Prokupecz, Susan Glasser, and Michael Moore.
Wow, every night it seems there's a lot to discuss so let's get right into it. Good evening to all of you.
Shimon, let's start with the news. The judge ruling tonight that Paul Manafort intentionally lied to the FBI, to the special counsel and to the grand jury even after his plea deal. But I want you to dig into it further. What did we learn from this about Mueller's case?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: I think what we learned here is that he lied -- what the judge ruled and agreed with the Mueller team is that he lied about facts there, material to the investigation, you know. And that's what the important part of this is.
He agreed to cooperate, he came before FBI agent, he came before prosecutors and the special counsel's office. And when they started asking him questions that were important to their investigation, questions that they said were at the heart of their investigation, he started lying about it.
And the judge agreed with the special counsel on this hugely significant -- because, you know, they were on a fact-finding mission. And you're right, Don. They did in some ways look at him as this big cooperator. They were trying to get him to cooperate from the beginning.
You know, we see this deal that Rick Gates got and he's out free. This was the same deal that Paul Manafort was going to get had he cooperated from the beginning. And when he finally agreed to cooperate, they thought, they trusted him. He came before them, he said certain things and obviously they didn't believe him. And now the judge agrees with Paul Manafort, and you know, he's facing a lot of prison time now.
LEMON: Shimon, as I said earlier, it's kind of a mixed bag, though, because the judge's ruling wasn't all good news for Mueller's team.
PROKUPECZ: No, on the most significant part it certainly was good news for the Mueller team. There's couple of things that she did find that she didn't agree with the Mueller team on. And that is, you know, an important part of this, she didn't agree that he lied -- one of the key things is that she didn't agree that he lied about contacts with people in the Trump administration. She did not agree with the special counsel on that.
Obviously, that was a big deal that was something that the special counsel's office had raised. That, she did not agree with the Mueller team on.
LEMON: Michael, let's bring you in now. Here's the big question is why. I mean, why would Paul Manafort risk his plea deal and lie?
MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, MIDDLE DISTRICTOF GEORGIA: I think that is ultimately the question. The plea deal is nothing but a contract between the defendant in this case, Manafort and the government. And so, he had a good chance to hold the government to the position and recommended to get a lesser sentence and then he threw that out the window.
I think there's probably some speculation on whether or not there had been some discussions about a pardon. He may have calculated, you know, I'm going to do eight or 10 years regardless under the best circumstances, and so I'm not going to last that long. Maybe if I can convince the president I'm going to bat for him that I can put myself in line for a pardon.
It really makes no sense. But I think if you look at his age, you look at what he's charged with, you look at what he's facing, at some point he probably decided that it was a diminishing return and he needed to take his chances and try to --
LEMON: So, he's taking his chances on a pardon, you think?
MOORE: I think so.
MOORE: I think otherwise you're talking about decades in prison anyway and he's going to take his chances.
LEMON: Susan Glasser, let's -- and I want you to take a look at this list of all the Trump associates who have now either admitted to or admitted or being proven to have lied about the Russia investigation. What does this pattern say to you?
[23:05:00] SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, look, first of all, Don, obviously these are not just bystanders in the world of Donald Trump. These are people who were intimately and significantly connected to him. In the case of Roger Stone, Paul Manafort for decades, who were instrumental in this shocking rise to the presidency?
So, the fact that there's already a documented and proven pattern of lying all around the president is something that if it weren't for the seriousness of the other charges we're talking about, would be breathtaking in its own right.
And I think that's something that does get lost here, but that is very, very long list of crucial senior level Trump insiders, the people who ran his campaign, ran his inauguration, ran his national security.
Again, in any other administration this would be a crippling scandal, number one. Number two, the seriousness of the allegations that are underlying this question of what Paul Manafort was lying about is something that also tends to get lost in the mix here.
And I think it's very significant that what the federal judge is saying she believes Paul Manafort lied about was his repeated contacts with a known agent of Russian intelligence, in the very middle. In August of 2016, in the very middle of the 2016 campaign, while he was running the nominee for president of the United States, Donald Trump's campaign.
LEMON: Well, that's my -- I want to -- that's question to Shimon. Shimon, let's talk about the name that keeps coming up is Konstantin Kilimnik, right? And the judge specifically mentioned Manafort's lies about his interactions with him. And by the way, Konstantin Kilimnik is a man with alleged ties to Russian intelligence. Why is this so significant?
PROKUPECZ: It is probably the most significant aspect of all of this, Don. I think Susan is right as well. I mean, this is what really the Mueller investigation has been about.
This is the man that the special counsel and the defensive team has, you know, inadvertently leaked that he provided, Paul Manafort provided internal polling data for. This is man that Paul Manafort had a secret meeting with in New York where it's believed he discussed, you know, Ukrainian political issues there at this meeting in New York.
This is man that the special counsel has been very interested in, very interested in the relationship between Paul Manafort and this Russian operative. And they said in court, in these court documents and transcripts, they said this is the heart of our investigation.
And when Paul Manafort came before them and when FBI agents and prosecutors started asking him questions about this man and his relationship and his meetings and his contacts, yet again we saw another person connected to the Trump campaign lie about it.
That's what the judge said, that he -- specifically she said that he lied about his contacts, about his communications with Kilimnik. And this is what has so troubled I think the special counsel and the FBI throughout this entire investigation.
LEMON: So, what does this do? You know, we've been saying all along collusion is not a crime, it's just a term, right? But what does this mean for the potential of that, Michael?
MOORE: You know, we would talk about this, that this is, we don't have collusion, but we do have conspiracy. You know, this is if you think about a bicycle wheel and you've got the spokes of the wheel and there's something at the center and that appears to be the Trump campaign or maybe Trump himself.
And there are the other tentacles that reach out that had spokes that are doing sort of the dirty work, and there is something that connects.
So, what we're seeing is, I think you're seeing Bob Mueller tell the story of what's connecting these people. It may be the meeting at the Atlanta club, it maybe be Kilimnik, it maybe the sharing of the polling data for some unknown reason, it may be money at the end of the day. I still think we're going to be following the money. And that's what Mueller has been doing in this case.
But there's something that's tying all these people together. And so, by bringing in the ideas of Kilimnik being involved and the data going out, and whether Trump was shouting out to the Russians after the WikiLeaks problem, you know, that is we're hearing sort of that wheel get pieced together and we're seeing Mueller connect those spokes.
LEMON: All right. So, let me ask you this, Shimon, you point out that over two years ago when you started covering this story, officials pointed to Paul Manafort as a possible nucleus of the investigation. Is that how it's looking to you right now?
PROKUPECZ: It is, Don. Look, I could tell you, you know, two years ago when we started forming our team here at CNN to cover this, we realized it was going to be a big story and it was going to dominate a lot of what we were doing.
And as we started meeting with people and U.S. officials and discussing Paul Manafort's name I could tell you kept coming up. There were intercepts, there were communications that they were picking up not necessarily between Paul Manafort and people, but his name kept surfacing.
And they were always very concerned about what was he doing in this campaign, why was he even involved in this campaign. Why was he even involve in this campaign?
[23:10:00] And they were certainly always concerned about his relationships with Russians and people connected to the Russian government. The FBI has always been concerned about this.
And, you know, when you look at the charges, the tax fraud and the other money kind of charges that Paul Manafort wound up getting convicted for, this is something that had been around for quite some time, and that if the FBI and the Department of Justice wanted to go after him for they could have done it, you know, probably some time ago.
But I do think that the special counsel was trying to use this as a leverage to get him to cooperate. Because ultimately, they wanted to get to the heart, right, they say this to the heart of this investigation. And it really is about the Russians and what were the Russians doing here.
And in some ways how they were able to infiltrate the Trump campaign and what they were doing. And they were trying to learn, and the FBI is still trying to understand this.
PROKUPECZ: And they were hoping that Paul Manafort could help them along those lines, and he didn't.
LEMON: But Susan, there's something to be said that why they didn't do it before. But I mean, was someone like Paul Manafort even on the government's radar before this? I mean, this put him on the government's radar. You can't certainly say though, well, they're just doing it because of Trump.
Yes and no. He's front and center and they've also found credible evidence obviously to charge him with these things and he's admitted to lying about some of it.
GLASSER: Well, look, Don, I do think that Shimon is right, that he was well-known to U.S. law enforcement, very likely to U.S. intelligence as well. You know, his role in working for a variety of unsavory international figures is something that was well-known.
I've asked this question myself to a number of former senior national security officials of the Bush and Obama administrations before that, in particular his role in Ukraine, which went through a revolution in 2014.
That's when his client Viktor Yanukovych was essentially fled from power and return to --went to Russia to seek haven. You know, this was something that was extremely well-known.
Paul Manafort was a very questionable figure, and I think that this issue of why he was working for Donald Trump -- remember, this is something that people forget a lot.
If your campaign chairman is working for zero dollars managing your presidential campaign, the question is who's paying him or what is his financial interest in this campaign that is non-salary, shall we say.
And so, I think there was enormous amount of suspicion already to be raised about this. And so, I think no one is surprised from the very beginning that Paul Manafort, if anything it was too obvious.
This was a man who had well-known associations with Russian oligarchs, with questionable Russian figures and in fact, really had been essentially purged from working in Washington in the more respectable quarters of lobbying here because of it.
So, you know, the fact that we're circling back to the guy who was being paid zero dollars, who raised his hand to Donald Trump and said, I'd love to work for you for free, and he's meeting secretly in New York City taking time out from those campaign duties, meeting secretly in New York in August of 2016 with a known Russian intelligence agent, that's at the heart of what we're talking about today.
And the fact that he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and then lied about that meeting, and again, you talk about the evidence that they've compiled this. One thing we've learned in the course of this court filings is that special counsel's office had information and intercepts presumably or intelligence information that contradicted their own witness, Paul Manafort. And they confronted him with this evidence of his own lying.
GLASSER: And that's what the judge has accepted tonight. I think it's a big deal.
LEMON: Thank you all. I appreciate it. We'll be right back.
[23:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: New questions tonight about whether the American people will ever really know what the special counsel finds. CNN has learned exclusively that William Barr, the man expected to be the next attorney general is already talking to the Justice Department officials about how to handle Mueller's report.
This is how Judiciary Chairman, Jerry Nadler says the acting A.G. may have misled his committee.
It's a good night to talk to someone on the house judiciary committee, and that's why we have Democratic Congressman Ted Deutch with us right now of Florida. Thank you, sir. I appreciate you joining us.
REP. TED DEUTCH (D), FLORIDA: It's my pleasure. Good to be with you.
LEMON: So, first of all, I want to get your reaction to CNN's new reporting on the attorney general nominee William Barr. Are you concerned that he's going to refuse to release the full report by Robert Mueller?
DEUTCH: Well, of course, I'm concerned by these reports, but this is not entirely shocking. This is why we had the hearing with the acting attorney general. There's a reason that he was chosen over the lying of succession to take the job as attorney general. We were never able to find out what that was because he wouldn't be straight with us.
And now we have the same concerns about the attorney general to be. The American people deserve transparency. They need to know that no one is above the law. They need to see what's in the Mueller report so that we can then take whatever action is necessary after we have an opportunity to review it.
LEMON: Representative Deutch, the acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker appeared before your committee just last week. It was interesting to watch. Now Chairman Nadler is demanding more answers and threatening to bring him in for a deposition if he doesn't get clarity. What was problematic about his testimony?
[23:19:59] DEUTCH: Well, he was all over the place in his testimony. He stalled, he tried to avoid answering questions, and when he answered questions it created as much confusion as clarity on the questions that we asked. He wasn't straight with us on why he got the job.
What we were trying to figure out is why on earth would the president pluck him above all of the people who were next in line to be attorney general? We couldn't find out who he talked to in the White House about the position first. He said he didn't talk to anyone, then he said he had spoken to some people in the White House but maybe it was about a different position.
It just left more questions that have to be answered. That's why, I think, we need to bring him back. The fact that he was attorney general for a short time isn't the issue. The question is what did he do during those three months when he was attorney general that might have impacted the Mueller investigation and the way the president has chosen to deal with it.
LEMON: I want to ask you about your committee. You're hiring two lawyers --
LEMON: -- both vocal Trump critics. Norm Eisen or Norman Eisen and Barry Berke. What are you gearing up for with these hires?
DEUTCH: Well, they may be Trump critics, but the fact is -- the relevant fact here is that they're experts in ethics and experts in criminal law. And what we're gearing up for is a House judiciary committee that's prepared to do it its job.
For two years the judiciary committee failed to conduct any oversight at all. We have a lot of questions to ask right now about what's happened in the White House, the fact that the upper levels of the president's personal life, campaign life and administration, so many of those people are either in jail, they're on their way to jail or they're facing trial.
We have to start conducting oversight into what constitutes obstruction of justice, violation of the oath of office, abuse of power. We need experts to help us with that, that's why it only makes sense that we would hire them.
LEMON: I also want to get your take on comments by the president's close friend and head of his inaugural committee Tom Barrack. He was asked about damage to Saudi Arabia's reputation after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. This is how he responded.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
TOM BARRACK, COLSE FRIEND OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: So, whatever happened in Saudi Arabia, the atrocities in America are equal or worse than the atrocities in Saudi Arabia. The atrocities in any autocratic country are dictated by the rule of law.
So, for us to dictate what we think is moral code there when we have a young man in a regime that's trying to push themselves into 2030, I think is a mistake.
(END VOICE CLIP)
LEMON: Barrack later, I should say issued an apology --
LEMON: -- for not clearly condemning the Khashoggi killing in his comments. But as a member of the foreign affairs committee, what do these comments say to you?
DEUTCH: Yes. He remembered after the fact that he should condemn the dismemberment and beheading of a journalist. That's what he remembered after the fact, Don. It's appalling to hear those sign -- that kind of statement. Moral code -- here's some news for him and the Trump administration.
Yes, there is a moral code. We care about human rights in the United States of America. And when we fail to speak out about it, and when the president violates the laws, he's now doing by not filling us in on the results of the investigation that was required by law, it starts to raise questions about what our commitment to human rights is. Not just here but all around the world.
That was an atrocious saying. But remember, this is close friend of the president who once said in an interview that when point -- when O'Reilly pointed out to him that Putin was a killer, he said we've got our own problems, America is not so great either.
It's not something that we should ever tolerate. Human rights matter in our country. And when something like this happens, something this outrageous, we have to demand accountability.
LEMON: Finally, you represent Parkland, Florida. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of that horrific massacre there. Toddy your committee passed a gun background check bill. This is photo of you just after the vote with freshman Congresswoman Lucy McBath. It's brilliant. It's an amazing photo.
By the way, Lucy. McBath lost her son to gun violence. What was that moment like for you?
DEUTCH: Well, the day started, Don, when we had a moment of silence on the House floor. I led the moment of silence for Parkland, and Congresswoman McBath was sitting in the speaker's chair, the speaker pro tem and then we ended the day when we took action.
The House of Representatives and the judiciary committee took action for the first time in nearly a decade to do anything, to take any kind of action to help stop the senseless killings in America.
Forty-thousand gun deaths a year. This Congress is finally doing something about it. It was so powerful to be there with Lucy who's in politics because of the tragedy that befell her and her family.
[23:25:04] As I'm getting ready to go back to Parkland to be with my community knowing that one year later so many things have happened as a result of the courage of the families, the leadership of these young people. We're at a different moment.
Today is the perfect example of that. I'm so proud of Congresswoman McBath. I'm so proud of the young people in my district. And I admire and am inspired every day by the courageous families who have taken this immense grief and have worked so hard to try to take action so that no one should ever have to feel what they feel and what tomorrow is going to remind them of and will be so difficult for them and for our community.
LEMON: You mention those gun violence deaths every year. If anything -- if anything rises to a national emergency it's that.
DEUTCH: This is it.
LEMON: Thank you, sir.
DEUTCH: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: We'll be right back.
LEMON: CNN reporting exclusively tonight that attorney general nominee William Barr has been consulting with Justice Department officials on how to handle the highly anticipated report from Robert Mueller, that in the wake of speculation that the investigation is entering its final phases.
[23:30:07] Let's discuss now with a picture on what we might expect from Robert Mueller. John Pistole, he worked as a deputy to Robert Mueller for six years when Mueller was FBI director. It's so good to have you on, John to and get your perspective. Thank you so much.
JOHN PISTOLE, FORMER DEPUTY TO THEN-FBI DIRECTOR ROBERT MUELLER: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: You worked with him for six years at the FBI as I said. There's so much anticipation and expectation regarding this report, but you say we may never see it.
PISTOLE: Well, that's right. I mean, special counsel Mueller's obligation is to prepare and present a report to the Department of Justice, to the deputy attorney general and the attorney general.
So there has been a public narrative that has indicated a belief this will be some type of public report and there will either be an exoneration of the president and others or something more, whatever that may be. But that's simply been the public narrative.
Obviously, Robert Mueller has never said that publicly and privately to my knowledge. So, yes, I think the more likely outcome here is that he will prepare and present the report to the attorney general and the deputy attorney general, and then it's theirs to deal with.
LEMON: To decide what comes from that. And that's not unusual, is it?
PISTOLE: No, that's right. Because, look, he's a career prosecutor and he's, I would call him a prosecutor's prosecutor because he's been at this so long. He knows the ins and outs of the Department of Justice and U.S. court system. And he knows what evidence is sufficient to prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
And so, his job is to take the investigation that the agents and others are conducting and then make a decision as to what to do with that evidence and that information. So that will all go in that report with his presumed recommendation as to whether there is any further prosecution and other individuals that have already been charged.
LEMON: Yes. So, John, in a town that, you know, leaks like a sieve, right, Mueller has been utterly silent.
LEMON: But what about the bread crumbs so many experts are saying that he left in the indictments that he brought -- he's brought so far. Is it unusual for him? Does it say anything to you about what he is thinking?
PISTOLE: Well, so, I think, you know, his discipline and the team's discipline of not leaking as you say is not only remarkable but commendable because he's truly an independent operator in terms of following the evidence wherever it takes them.
And so, the fact that there have been virtually no leaks coming out of out of the investigative team indicates that they are doing their job as their mandate, that the deputy attorney general gave him, Rod Rosenstein gave Robert Mueller nearly two years ago now, and that he's pursuing that with all vigor and professionalism.
So, I think the American people should take comfort, whatever the outcomes, that this investigation has been conducted professionally and with all proper due process and protocol.
LEMON: And I think folks are probably -- whatever you expect, people should lower their expectations, an exoneration or an indictment of the president, people should lower their expectations to that.
PISTOLE: Well, it comes at each individual's expectations. But if people are anticipating some long public press conference and detailed report that will be made public, I don't think that's going to happen.
LEMON: Yes, good advice. And I think that many people -- I've said that all along here, but you know, people have, they want what they want.
So, listen, in recent months the Trump team has taken to, you know, to publicly attacking Robert Mueller and his investigation. Take a look from this and then we'll talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: Put up or shut up, Bob. I mean, you know, what do you have? How you could end up hiring a group of people that are as prejudiced and biased as this group in their record at least is extraordinary.
This is totally illegitimate investigation. The investigation here has to be the investigators because we can't let this happen again in American history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Does this even penetrate in the Mueller world? I mean, does he even pay attention to this kind of attack?
PISTOLE: No, so he's, you know, he doesn't suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with any concern. So, you know, I was his deputy as you mention for almost six years and then worked another three years as head of counter terrorism and things after 9/11 for the FBI.
And so, I got to see him up close and personal and see him particularly behind closed doors and know how he was. And then to see him in public when he would do public appearances, either testifying or press conference or ask me to do those things as his deputy.
And so, no, he's a man of integrity, and he is truly apolitical when it comes to an investigation. So, wherever the evidence takes him, that's where he's going to pursue if that's within the scope of his mandate. And he obviously being a career prosecutor he knows what's within the scope and what's outside of that.
[23:35:07] And so, again, the American people should take I think comfort in the fact he is doing the utmost professional job that the American people would hope and expect for.
LEMON: I know you said that he's apolitical, but, you know, and I ask you the same question a different way. He has, but he does have this sort of folk hero kind of character people are casting that upon him, especially those on the left. What do you say to that?
PISTOLE: Well, no. I mean, look, he's a career prosecutor, as I said a prosecutor's prosecutor. So, Democrats, Republicans, independents, they should just take great comfort and have confidence in that whatever his team is finding and whatever decisions and judgments he makes, they're frankly, in my mind nobody better in the country to be doing this.
And so, they should take great comfort and confidence in whatever the outcomes and then move on whatever those outcomes are.
LEMON: It's been a pleasure having you. John Pistole, thank you.
PISTOLE: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: A Georgia congressman is in hot water tonight after a Confederate book was found on display in his office. And it's not just the book. The page it was open to is even more shocking. The man who discovered it joins me next.
[23:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Tonight, a federal labor union is calling for Congressman Drew Ferguson, a Republican from Georgia, to make a formal public apology. Here's the reason.
Because members of the union were in the reception area at Ferguson's office just this week when they noticed a book on display titled "General Robert Edward Lee, Soldier, Citizen, and Christian Patriot."
It was published in 1907 and it pushes racist confederate ideology. The book was open to a page containing this quote.
It says, "The black's story immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially and physically. The painful disciple thy are undergoing is necessary for their instruction as a race, and, I hope, will prepare and lead them to better things."
Well, union members were shocked and outraged the book was on display. The congressman says he didn't know it was there. His chief of staff apologized saying the book has been removed.
And joining me now to talk about it is James Miller of the American Federation of Government Employees. We also invited Congressman Ferguson as well but he declined. Thank you so much, James. I appreciate it. So, let's talk about why you were visiting the congressman's office and take us through what you saw.
JAMES MILLER, LEGISLATIVE POLITICAL COMMITTEE, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES: Absolutely. So, I've been in D.C. for the last two weeks. Last week I was here with the jobs with the justice out of Atlanta, Georgia. This week I was here with the American Federation of Government Employees.
We were making visits to members of Congress trying to get some support for our particular agency, mine being TSA as it relates to title five rights and federal raises and things of that nature.
So, we walked into Congressman Ferguson's office to have the conversation about him backing legislation for us.
LEMON: OK. So, listen, is it possible he's saying that they didn't know, his representative is saying he didn't know it was there. Is it possible he didn't know it was there? It is a historic -- it is a historic book. It's like some might say it's like having Tom Sawyer or something and you're going to see bad language in it.
MILLER: I doubt it. very seriously the book was displayed in quite a noble way. It was a glass encasement and it appeared to actually be trimmed in some type of gold or gold plating. The bookcase was turned to that particular page. So, someone in that office made sure that the book was placed where it was placed and turned to where it was turned.
LEMON: And so, the passage, I read the passage at the top where, you know, it talks about how people from Africa are, the blacks are immeasurably better off. And so, there's the quote right there. What was going through your mind when you saw that?
MILLER: To be quite honest, Don, I was absolutely enraged. My first thought was not anything related to me being a federal employee. My first thought was as an African-American man, and it was simply to just flip the whole bookcase over.
But I had to remember why I was there and who I represent, and so I swallowed all of my anger down and we just simply asked questions. We wanted to know myself and the rest of the people who were there, we wanted to know were they aware.
And when we asked the question was just ignore it, and a statement was made about George Washington's hair being on display as well. But that was no remedy for what we were asking.
LEMON: So, you, so when you were there you asked about it, right?
LEMON: And their answer was, again?
MILLER: When we asked, were they aware that that book was in the case and were they aware of what the book said, the young guy who was sitting in the reception area said, no, I'm not. But we have George Washington's hair on display.
LEMON: OK. And your response was?
MILLER: I chuckled just like I did just then, and my union president was there with me, and she said, sir, I didn't ask you anything about George Washington's hair. We want to know why this book is in this office.
LEMON: Yes. OK. So, listen, I know that you got a phone call. Let me just read this before I get your phone. It says, this is from a spokesperson to CNN. It said, "The office was decorated by staff and the book in question
was underneath a box of military challenge coins. I did not even know it was there. When my staff learned about it, they removed it and apologized to the individual who was upset about it."
[23:45:06] So he's saying, you know, he's blamed it on the staff in the declaration. And I'm just wondering if that, is that sufficient for you?
MILLER: Absolutely not. And even further than that, the fact that he says to the individual who was upset by it. As if only one person was offended by it. I was not the only African-American in my group who was there. So, I definitely was not the only person who was offended, yet I was the only person who was reached out to.
So, I feel like that was a blanket statement that was just trying to mitigate the situation without it getting any bigger.
LEMON: OK. So, let me ask you this, right, because when I do these stories, I already know what the reaction is going to be.
LEMON: This is you're being too sensitive, this is part of American history, it was there, they didn't know it was in the display case. In America there are ugly things about our history as well as glowing things about our history and we must accept all of them. What do you say to that?
MILLER: I think that is absolute rubbish, and it is quite funny that you would mention all of the things that you've said because I've actually heard all of those reactions today via social media. I've had several people, other ethnic backgrounds besides my own say those things to me.
And it's just -- I feel like the fact that you would say I'm being too sensitive is you being insensitive. It's always us being too sensitive when it's a different kind of category, whether it's race, sex, orientation. Whenever it's not you or your group that is being affected by it, the other person is always being too sensitive. So, I didn't agree with that at all.
LEMON: James Miller, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
MILLER: You're very welcome, Don.
LEMON: The wife of a top Trump White House official and former Fox News executive tweeting out conspiracy theories about the measles outbreak in Washington and vaccines. What she's saying and how dangerous and wrong her message is. That's next.
[23:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: OK. So, Darla Shine, the wife of top Trump aide and former Fox News executive, Bill Shine, is under fire and going -- after going on an anti-vaccination rant on Twitter. She is also known for racist tweets and sexist comments.
Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil and Juliette Kayyem are here to discuss. Good evening to both of you.
Doctor, so let's talk about this. Darla Shine seems to have been prompted by a CNN segment on the measles outbreak in Washington state. OK? And she tweeted this. She said, "The entire baby boom population alive today has the measles as kids bring back our childhood diseases. They keep you healthy and fight cancer."
I think you don't have to be a doctor to know that's not true. But let me let you debunk this myth.
DEVI NAMPIAPARAMPIL, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF REHAB MEDICINE, NYU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Exactly. So normally when we think about deadly viruses the things that come to mind might be things like Zika or Ebola, right? But measles is just as deadly so it's just so dangerous, we just don't think about it as much because of the vaccine.
Since we had the vaccine since 1963, we don't hear about these complications as much.
Now her tweet is dangerous because we are seeing a problem where we're losing something called herd immunity. This is the idea that, if even if you don't get the vaccine, if everybody around you gets the vaccine, you may be protected from measles. That's because each person who gets it acts as a shield to the virus and then protects others.
So, as fewer people get vaccinated, then you can get these pockets where the virus itself can take hold and then infect others. And that puts not only the person who's unvaccinated at risk but other people around them, usually the people who are more vulnerable.
LEMON: She is saying that her kids won't have the immunity that she has because they were vaccinated. Is that how that works?
NAMPIAPARAMPIL: It doesn't -- so, there are lots of different thoughts kind of jumble together. So, obviously if you fought a virus, you have some immunity to it. That's true with people who had chickenpox. For example, they don't get chickenpox again but they can get shingles and they can get other problems. Right?
With measles, you can also see a resurgence of it afterwards in the same person. And her by not being exposed to it they're actually safer. We don't necessarily need that immunity because we have the vaccine.
And also, she talked about cancer and protection from cancer. Now I think that she may have been referring to something else where there are trials going on, for example, with the polio virus. They're using it to fight some types of brain cancer. That's in the lab with genetically modified viruses. We're not infecting people with the virus to try to fight cancer.
LEMON: Never ceases to amaze me. Juliette, tweets like this coming from the wife of a top White House official. I mean, it can have some real consequences. There as people -- her tweets, her public comments carry weight.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Absolutely. And this has, you know, sort of true safety and security concerns. I mean, from the homeland security perspective, I mean, the fact that we have essentially eradicated the diseases that killed generations of children is good news, not bad.
And you know, from the heart, I'll you know, I love my three kids. I believe that anti-vaxxers love their kids. I'll tell you something from my head, I love their kids more than they love my kids or any other kids because they're free riders at this stage.
The fact that they would voluntarily make our children, in particular, susceptible to diseases that other countries look at us and are envious that we've gotten rid of these diseases is absolutely outrageous and you know, sort of a disastrous-free rider problem.
[23:54:57] I think the second thing is now we're seeing in the Journal of Public Health publish information today, we've seen this over the last couple of days is that there's a national security side to this, which is of course Russia.
Russia -- Russian bots and others are doing what they did in the election, which is they're taking vulnerabilities in American society and they're amplifying them. So, we're starting to see evidence that Russia is playing into this anti-vaccination debate and basically, you know, trying to convince people that there's a real debate. I mean, there's not a real debate. You vaccinate your kids.
And so, and they're -- you know, and that has led to deadly consequences in Europe as we've seen in the last two years and obviously leading to what's happening in the United States. So, I'm not -- you know, I'm pretty unforgiving on this from the security and also maternal perspective.
KAYYEM: This is just a real problem.
LEMON: I got to go. But doctor, just quickly weigh in. And from another high-profile person saying that, you know, don't wash your hands or I shouldn't -- haven't washed my hands in a long time and that builds up an immunity.
NAMPIAPARAMPIL: No, it's better to wash your hands to protect yourself, a lot of different diseases and infections, yes.
KAYYEM: Now -- you know, the best last words. I think the show is over now.
KAYYEM: I think that was a good ending.
LEMON: That is -- and that's the last word.
Thank you. Congratulations, though, on your daughter since we're seeing you.
NAMPIAPARAMPIL: Thank you. Her birthday is in a few minutes.
LEMON: Her birthday is in like, four minutes. Thank you all.
NAMPIAPARAMPIL: Thank you.
LEMON: Thanks for watching. Our coverage continues.