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CUOMO PRIME TIME

President Trump Undercuts His Emergency: "I Didn't Need To Do This"; Special Counsel Prosecutors Say They Have Roger Stone's Communications With WikiLeaks; Iinterview with Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D- NY); Runner Describes How He Survived Mountain Lion Attack; Aurora Shooting: Five Dead In Illinois Workplace Attack. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired February 15, 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: News continues tonight. 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.

Mueller drops another bomb on our watch, actually two. How long Manafort should go away and the proof they have to put Stone away.

And we have the man leading the charge against the President's emergency declaration tonight. The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is here. He's giving President Trump one week to give him answers justifying the move. Will he get them?

And did the President deliver a death blow to his own case for a Border emergency? This six words that may come back to haunt, and why won't he address a real crisis within our Borders?

We don't have the most illegal migration but we have the most shootings. There was another in Aurora, Illinois today. That's the great debate.

It's a big Friday night, and that begins here, so let's get after it.

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TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn't need to do this, but I'd rather do it much faster.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: I am now the White House Counsel. Watch my face. That's what that person's face did when he said that. Look, you have to look at the law and the politics on this move. First, the law. Just minutes after declaring a national emergency, the

President admitted to the world there isn't one at the Border. "I didn't need to do this." You're going to see those words. You're going to hear them in legal challenges, especially from the Democrats.

And we have the man who's the tip of that spear. House Judiciary Committee Chair, Jerry Nadler. Welcome back, perfect timing. I got to lucky with you tonight.

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY), HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Good to see you.

CUOMO: So, do you believe that those words will weigh heavy, and have any legal reckoning of the move?

NADLER: They certainly will because the lawsuit will say that the - that there is no real emergency. And he'll say there's a real emergency.

And here - he - the defense will be that the President decides whether there's an emergency. The court can't look behind that. And here, the President's saying there's no real emergency.

CUOMO: Right.

NADLER: That - that - that's a body blow to his case.

CUOMO: It's because the - the strongest part would be what you're saying. This has never been challenged. It's seen as open-ended. Emergency isn't even defined. And in statutory matters, it's if it's not defined, you go with the definition of the person in power to make it.

NADLER: Well, the--

CUOMO: But he just defined it--

NADLER: --the - the court - the court might say that it's - it's - it's a political question between the two branches of government.

CUOMO: Right.

NADLER: And the court won't object to it. But if the President admitted up front that it's a political stunt, they're not a real emergency, I think that's a very difficult.

CUOMO: Now, you asked for answers.

NADLER: Yes.

CUOMO: What do you want to know? And what happens if the White House says, "We're not answering your questions, sue us."

NADLER: Well we - we - well, for - we asked for a whole - for a - for a list of questions, who advised them, what the advice was, did they consider certain things, and so forth, I don't really expect to get answers.

This White House is very arrogant, and they're not going to give us answers. We will - Congress is - is adjourned for the week. We're out next week.

But as soon as we - as soon as we come back, I am sure we will pass a resolution of disapproval in the House, pursuant to the emergency statutes that mandates under the emergency statute the Senate consider the emergency disapproval within 15 days without any ability to filibuster.

I anticipate there'll be a majority vote in both Houses to disapprove the resolution.

CUOMO: The majority vote in both Houses, you think that--

NADLER: I would think--

CUOMO: --there are enough Republicans to go against this President, something they've never done before?

NADLER: I think so. I - I can't be certain to that. But I think so because you heard some of their statements. I mean they - they are terrified of this, and rightly so.

If the President can declare an emergency today on this non - on - on this, a Democratic President can decide that the, as you mentioned, the gun - the - the 40,000 people a year killed in this country is a - is a - is a crisis, and why don't we take everybody's guns away or force everybody to register their guns or - or ban all the assault rifles, or do all of that without Congressional approval?

I mean this - this opens up a tyranny or dictatorship. And now, it may be something that the Republicans don't particularly oppose.

But tomorrow, the Democratic President could be something they hate, so there - and it's a tremendous shift of power from Congress to the President, and they can't - they can't - they can't like this.

CUOMO: But the ultimate thing will be either you win in court and, by any case, you're going to have layers of delay, all right?

NADLER: Right.

CUOMO: You're going to say this wasn't an emergency, you fight it out. He appeals it, if he loses, OK. Then he has to find land. That's going to be a problem.

NADLER: But we - but we - I - I am pretty confident we will win in court because there are two layers, one, which nobody has talked about. Layer number one is, is it a - is it a valid emergency?

And the court might find that it's not for the court to answer that it's - it's up to the President.

CUOMO: Right. NADLER: But the second layer is these pots of money that he's using are military pots of money. Under the Emergency Act, they can only be used for military purposes. The military is prohibited by law from enforcing domestic law. The military cannot enforce our immigration laws. They cannot enforce our drug - our drug--

CUOMO: Possible legality (ph).

NADLER: --exactly, our drug laws. Therefore, by definition, there is no military purpose, and I don't see how we can use these funds for that.

CUOMO: Well that's why he said the military came to me and said, "The physical barriers would be much more important than what the money was already allocated for in the statute," that 248 that he's using.

NADLER: But the - but--

CUOMO: The Secretary of Defense makes the call.

[21:05:00] NADLER: That maybe. But it - important for what? Important to enforce immigration laws, to enforce anti-drug laws? Those are laws the military's prohibited by law from enforcing.

CUOMO: What a sticky situation legally but certainly politically? Let me get your head on something else though that's going to come under your jurisdiction. So--

NADLER: But before we do that, let me just say.

CUOMO: Please.

NADLER: This is perhaps one of the largest challenges to the Constitutional Order in American history. If he gets away with this, Presidents become much more powerful. This destroys the separation of power to a large extent, and riddles the Constitution. It cannot be--

CUOMO: Why is it different than any other Executive Action like DACA or anything else?

NADLER: Because it is - it is displacing the Congressional power of the purse, which is the chief power of Congress.

CUOMO: Instead of just making an order that this will be, it's paying for it as well, so you're going--

NADLER: It's paying for it--

CUOMO: --around the article.

NADLER: --it's - it's paying for it in direct contravention of the language in the Constitution that says, "No money should be drawn from the Treasury except by appropriation by Congress."

CUOMO: All right. So then, we're going to have to see how that plays out, and stay on it, see if you get any respect to your inquiries. Not a great track record there. Whitaker, that hearing was a little bit of a mess. And now, we find out that Whitaker is going to stay in the DOJ. Your reaction?

NADLER: Well we've sent a letter to Whitaker. Some of what he said was apparently not true. We have witnesses that contradict some of what he said to the Committee.

CUOMO: Not true, but he may not have understood that, or do you think he made an intentional false statement to Congress?

NADLER: He may have made an intentional false statements to Congress. We've--

CUOMO: That's a crime.

NADLER: Yes.

CUOMO: If you refer it.

NADLER: Yes, yes. Well we're - we - we've invited him to - to - to meet with us to clarify it.

CUOMO: All right, well we got to keep track of that also.

Roger Stone, now, up to this point, correct me if I'm wrong on this. It were - has been about in the Mueller pleadings, who Stone had gone to, to try to get to find out what WikiLeaks had, and to put it out.

But then, in this pleading today, where they were fighting with some inside point with Stone about whether the matters related to the overall investigation or not, they say, "And in our search warrants, which we used in both of these cases that are relevant to this discussion, we found communications between Stone and Guccifer," who winds up being--

NADLER: He's the (ph) Russians.

CUOMO: --the Russians, "and Organization 1, which we believe is WikiLeaks."

NADLER: WikiLeaks.

CUOMO: Did you know that there had been anything that the probe thinks is proof of Stone directly communicating with WikiLeaks?

NADLER: No, we didn't know this.

This is why - this may be why the President was so upset at the execution of the search warrants at the Roger Stone's house, because that's where they found all this material, although it's interesting because in the filings today, apparently, the Special Prosecutor said that they got this information both from the information they had with respect to the GRU, the - the people they indicted, the Russians, they had it from them.

But they also seem to have it from the end of documents found in - in Stone's house, which tied to - Stone directly to discussing with the Russians how best to release the material, how best, meaning, to the greatest maximum damage to Hillary's campaign, to release the materials stolen by the Russians, from the - from the Democratic National Committee.

CUOMO: So, the legal distinction would be, it's one thing if I say, well forget about me as a journalist, let's say I'm someone helping a candidate, whether I'm in the campaign or not, to say, "Hey Jerry, I heard you got this stuff. Let me have it. And let me help you put it out as part of what you're trying to do through your theft of the same."

Those are different, legally. Are they not? If I'm trying to help you--

NADLER: If you're trying to help--

CUOMO: --distribute versus just trying to get them for my own purpose.

NADLER: Well that - the latter certainly makes you a - a participant in the crime. But--

CUOMO: Right. But you'd have to prove it.

NADLER: You'd have to prove it.

What - what they're alleging here in these allegations in these is that they have the proof in the form of tapes, and other documentary evidence that Stone, on behalf of the campaign, was - was - was - was conspiring with the Russians to do this.

This is a direct connect. This is the missing link. This is - if - if true, it's the direct connection of - of the campaign, conspiring with the Russians, the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians.

CUOMO: Where do you think we wind up? Because after the probe puts out its report, hopefully we get it, that answer seems to get more and more cloudy, you know, luckily, you guys are starting to ask some questions about it.

But the report comes out at some point. You have to get it in - in primary substance.

NADLER: We hope.

CUOMO: What do you - what do you think will happen next?

NADLER: Depends what all the evidence shows. Depends what all the evidence shows. I mean we have to get this report out to the American people, so they - they know it.

Unfortunately, the regs - the regulations under which this Special Prosecutor is operating are not the same under which Ken Starr, Ken - Jaworski operated. We said you must have a report to Congress. This simply says, "Report to the Attorney General." [21:10:00] We will get that material out one way or the other. If he

refuses to - to get it out, our Committee will subpoena it. We can invite Mueller to testify. We'll - we'll get it out. I also think that when you start seeing this kind of thing put out here, this is Mueller getting out the story before that report. Congress--

CUOMO: Well he's been redacting a lot of stuff. If anything, you know--

NADLER: Yes, but he's showing a lot of material. And we'll see more of that. But we have to get all this material because we have to see, you know, the - Richard Nixon famously said, the - the American people have to know whether their President is a crook.

CUOMO: Right.

NADLER: That was true then, it's true now.

CUOMO: Do you believe at the end of the day that this will be a reflection of not just the actions of those around the President, but the President himself?

NADLER: I do believe that because it's hard to believe that the - the President sits on top of a pinnacle of, in which, all the top people are conspiring with the Russians, or - or seeking to conspire with the Russians, almost all of them are indicted or convicted for, among other things, lying about contacts with the Russians, and he knows nothing about it.

CUOMO: Not all, but many. You're right.

NADLER: And he's the only person who knows nothing about it.

CUOMO: Right. But--

NADLER: It's difficult to believe.

CUOMO: But in that context, we'll only know--

NADLER: That's different from saying it's (ph)--

CUOMO: --what you can show.

NADLER: Yes. It's - it's - saying it's difficult to believe is different from saying, "I can prove it."

CUOMO: Right. And that's going to be a meaningful distinction, as we go forward. This was a very fruitful conversation on a Friday night, so many pressing matters. Thank you for helping us understand them better.

NADLER: Thank you.

CUOMO: Be well. All right, Congressman Jerry Nadler.

The President needs this wall fast. Why? To deliver on a promise that he thinks will keep him around for a second term. But he's making the worst case possible, undercutting his own arguments at every turn.

We need to know the facts of the situation here. We have them laid out for you, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: Now, there was a lot said by the President today that was a lie. But he did do the truth a favor. He made the case against his own declaration. Here's the first strike out of his own mouth.

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TRUMP: I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn't need to do this.

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[21:15:00] CUOMO: Now, here's why. It's not even as - as simple as it sounds, but they could haunt him. The law doesn't define emergency. So, ordinarily, a court would stay away from that, and say, "Hey, that's a political issue."

But now, the President just told you that it isn't an emergency, makes it easier for a court to reckon. Now, what it does, this law, is allow the President to marshal funds instead of Congress, because there's no time for ordinary course.

Most of the legislation deals with Congress' power and the President being accountable to them, since this is really not his job. So, his declaring an emergency that Congress just dealt with is not so compelling. But this is about politics, at the end of the day, not law. Listen.

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TRUMP: I think that I just want to get it done faster, that's all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Here's his problem. It was just done. That's what that signing was about. He signed into law what Congress did on the same matter. So, it's not about need or speed. It's about preference, another point against declaring an emergency, and there's this.

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TRUMP: I have other alternatives, if I have to, and I'll use those alternatives, if I have to. We want to go through the system.

My threshold will be if I can't make a deal with people that are unreasonable.

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CUOMO: So first, you don't need to do it this way. You don't need it to-- do it right now, but it's an emergency. "Unreasonable," his word. Making physical barriers the priority when every problem you want to

combat is better addressed in other ways is unreasonable. Caravans, Asylum rules, drugs, scanning technology for the ports of entry, terror, airport visa overstays.

Irony, illegal entrance on foot is one of the aspects of the problem that is actually decreasing at the Border. So, nothing about this "Wall is all" push is reasonable.

And then, there is this constant fact-less refrain.

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TRUMP: In the meantime, I've built a lot of wall. I have a lot of money, and I've built a lot of wall.

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CUOMO: He's right. They did have a lot of money like $680 million. So, why was he so desperate for a big price tag? But he is wrong. Zero miles. Do you see the number? Do you see that there's no vagueness about this? None has been built.

They're repairing certain parts of fencing. They're upgrading certain barriers. Where they're shorter, they're making taller, where they're not wide enough, they're making them better.

But he hasn't built anything new, not yet. We've been saying that to you. But still, it's clear this President isn't listening even when the facts are right in front of him. Listen.

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TRUMP: You don't really believe that stat, do you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please.

TRUMP: I get my numbers from a lot of sources.

They say it all comes through the port of entry. It's wrong. It's wrong. It's just a lie. It's all a lie.

It's all a big lie. It's a big con game.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: No, he's right, it's just about who he's talking about, where that becomes accurate. No one has ever said, at least not on this show, that all of anything comes through the ports of entry.

We've just said a lot more of it, according to the DHS, the bulk of it comes through there, not on foot the way he suggests.

And look, it's all a Google away. The President says he doesn't like to read. But you should. All the answers are readily available. And I will give them to you with my team nightly. The con is trying to convince you that facts are lies, and that the

truth is somehow a game. But at least POTUS knows about the legal fight that he's about to face.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We will have a national emergency, and then we will then be sued, and they will sue us in the Ninth Circuit, even though it shouldn't be there. And we will possibly get a bad ruling, and then we'll get another bad ruling. And then we'll end up in the Supreme Court, and hopefully we'll get a fair shake.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: The Ninth Circuit, by the way, just ruled against the State of California that was trying to block wall being built. No one accuses POTUS of being read up on that kind of stuff.

Trump knew a move like this was legally questionable, even before he sat in the Oval Office. That's why he called Obama's Executive Action on immigration, "Unconstitutional." Remember this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Now he has to use Executive Action and this is a very, very dangerous thing that should be overwritten easily by the Supreme Court.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Not overwritten but overruled.

Trump's trumped-up emergency is now going to go to the court. The first suits have already been announced. So, if you're wondering with all of these public statements, "Are they going to hurt him?"

Well they're certainly going to be brought up. But you have to remember this. The Supreme Court just downplayed the importance of his words when it came to the travel ban, the Chief Justice said, "They have to consider not only the statements of a particular President, but also the authority of the Presidency itself."

So, we're going to have to wait to see what weight his comments carry. But they should matter to you because it is now clear, one of the best advocates for why this is not an emergency has been the President himself.

Now, we're going to take this up in our own court ahead.

[21:20:00] And tonight, Mueller says he has proof that the President's long-time pal, Roger Stone directly communicated with WikiLeaks. Is that collusion? Is it a crime? Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: So, you tell me. Can you have an optional emergency? Is it enough for the President to go around Congress' Constitutional role, because it looks like that's what he just did?

Let's take it up in Cuomo's Court with Renato Mariotti and Jim Schultz.

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TEXT: CUOMO'S COURT.

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CUOMO: Case for emergency assigned to Schultz. Case against, to Mariotti. Case for, Schultz, go.

JIM SCHULTZ, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER, CNN LEGAL COMMENTATOR: OK. So, let's talk about what the President said today. He said that he didn't have to do this but he wanted to do it faster, right?

So, the part of saying that he wanted to do it faster is the emergent portion of this, right? So, I don't think that hurts him at all when he - went - when they end up in court on this thing.

[21:25:00] In terms of the National Emergencies Act, it was something that was passed by Congress. They gave this power away, Chris, in 1976. They did away with all the emergency declarations, and then started them anew. We're up to 31 at this point in time, maybe 32, including the one today.

But - but the - the - the point here is, is that Congress gave up this power and then they passed a bunch of other statutes that enabled the President to shift funds around based upon an emergency that he's declared.

So, to the extent that this is - to the extent that this is - this - that the President has declared a national emergency today, emergency is defined by the President of the United States. They gave up their power. There is no Constitutional problem here.

CUOMO: Right.

SCHULTZ: This is statutory--

CUOMO: The problem for you is he defined it today--

SCHULTZ: --and - and it has nothing to do with the Constitution or the separation of power.

CUOMO: The problem for you is that he declared an emergency, defined it not as one, and he did it the same day that he signed a law that Congress was acting on the same thing. But I take your case.

SCHULTZ: So, let's go to - let me go back to that.

CUOMO: Mariotti, how do you counter?

SCHULTZ: OK. I'll go back (ph).

CUOMO: One at a time. Go ahead, Mariotti.

RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, first of all, he's got to make a - make a showing that the Armed Forces are necessary for the use of this money. I don't think he's going to be able to do that.

The Armed Forces are just providing logistical support, you know, move - you know, driving people around, doing things like that. Our - our security is handled by Customs and Border Patrol, and other agencies. They're not handled by the military. That's one point.

But the other point is I actually think from a Constitutional perspective, this is a problem, because essentially what this Act is doing is, it lets a - a simple majority of Congress give away their authority, but then, essentially, they need a two-thirds majority to override Trump in this - this - this situation.

Essentially, the way the Constitution was meant to be written, and the way it is the - the Appropriations Clause is written is that Congress, by a majority, has the authority to appropriate money, and it should be able to be overturned by a majority.

So, I suspect that when this get - when this gets into the weeds (ph), and the courts take a look at this, the fact that a - a supermajority is - is necessary to overturn Trump moving around money, to - to use Jim's words, I suspect that they'll all be found to be unconstitutional as applied.

CUOMO: What I don't get about this, Jim is--

SCHULTZ: So--

CUOMO: --why take it on this way when if he wanted to do it fast, this is going to assure him delay, because he's going to be hung up in the courts, and then he's going to have to allocate land, and then there's going to be a new bunch of lawsuits on that.

He already got allocated enough money that they can't spend in one year anyway, as he points out, "I've already got a lot of money to build wall. That's why I'm building so much."

Now, it's not true that he's building any. But he does have $680 million sitting there because building takes time. And even when they appropriate money, it often doesn't get spent in that year. Why do this?

SCHULTZ: Chris, I want to go back to Renato's point real quick, and then I'll answer your question.

CUOMO: All right, fine.

SCHULTZ: So, there are three different ways that they've - they've moved the money. So, one has to do with the Department of Defense.

CUOMO: Right. SCHULTZ: And let - let's talk about the - the military portion of this, to support the troops is in the statute. So, supporting the troops means we have thousands of troops along that Border.

Building a wall, the argument will be that building a wall will make it less necessary to have troops there. Troops also, you're right, granted, they're not making arrests. They're not - they're not policing drug dealers.

What - what the troops are doing are supporting the civilian operations there, and the law enforcement operations, and that's their job to do it, as admitted by Renato earlier. So, to the extent that it would lessen the necessity for the troops or make their job easier, there's a pretty good argument to be made there.

So, number two, the Treasury Department monies. That's anti-forfeiture funds that are forfeit - forfeited as part of criminal proceedings, and he can tap into that money very easily.

Then there's a third place it comes from, and that's from the drug - Drug and Anti - Anti--

CUOMO: Yes.

SCHULTZ: --and Counterintelligence funds. That's very easy to get to as well--

CUOMO: Why.

SCHULTZ: --under the law. So, the big question is going to be because you're talking about narcotics, and narcotics coming across the border, so you're talk - that's something that's--

CUOMO: But they don't come--

SCHULTZ: --clearly--

CUOMO: But they don't come in the areas where he wants to build the fence. And the argument for the fence--

SCHULTZ: Chris, Chris, Chris, to say that they don't come at all--

CUOMO: --in funding the military--

SCHULTZ: You just didn't, Chris--

CUOMO: --is to protect the military.

SCHULTZ: --so--

CUOMO: They don't need a fence to protect the military, and that's what the law says.

SCHULTZ: So, so, no, the - the - it's - the - the military has the job of protecting our Borders. That's not to say they're arresting criminals coming across, but the military is charged - can be charged with protecting our Borders to the extent that we don't need military at the Borders anymore, that will help the situation.

Now, going back to your point, Chris, saying that there are no drugs coming across some areas--

CUOMO: I didn't say no.

SCHULTZ: --where he wants to build a wall--

CUOMO: I said the bulk of the drugs are coming through the ports of entry.

SCHULTZ: OK. OK. So there are some.

CUOMO: And to say that the main corridor--

SCHULTZ: You've admitted that.

CUOMO: Oh, no, no, listen. It's about six times, the number, goes through the ports of entry that goes through on foot. Now, of course, that's only what's captured. What you guys like to argue is what about all the drugs that aren't captured?

Well, the only real data we have on that is that you only process about 2.5 percent of the vehicles that come because you don't have enough X-ray equipment. So, if you're going to lean on some understanding of what the unknown tells you, you should focus more on the ports of entry. You're trying to do the opposite.

SCHULTZ: Well, I - I - I'd say, Chris, you said it.

You admitted that some so - so I - they'll make a very strong argument that the - that the - that the money charged with, you know, charged with dealing with narcotics, having that moved over to supporting the wall is something, I think, courts will rule favorably upon that.

The big question is going to become what about the defense money? And I think he has a real strong argument there as well.

CUOMO: Mariotti?

[21:30:00] MARIOTTI: Yes, Chris, you know, instead of Mexico paying for the wall, now, the United States military is paying for it. And, you know, if you listen to what Jim said carefully, what he said was essentially that this - that this is needed so that the military doesn't have to be at the Border.

But, you know, the - the military at the Border is entirely discretionary. It's part of frankly a trumped-up, you know, effort by the President to try to make this sound like there's some sort of crisis.

The fact of the matter is that what the statute says is that the Armed Forces have to be necessary for the operation. And I don't think anyone, and particularly, the Trial Judge that's ultimately going to look at this, and make findings of fact, is going to conclude that, "You absolutely need military for this operation." The military is ancillary to the people who are actually defending our Border. Period!

CUOMO: I still--

SCHULTZ: So, I don't think - I don't think judges are going to get in - get into the decision-making process of the Execs of the Branch - Executive Branch, as to when military is necessary. I just don't think that's the job of the judges.

CUOMO: Well they would say they're political decisions. But that's where the words of the President will be an interesting play here.

We know that Chief Roberts said, "You got to look at the power of the Presidency, not just the words of a particular President," but because emergency is not defined in the statute. It's not.

So, you would rely on the decision-maker. And the President told you today, "It didn't have to be done now, and it didn't have to be done this way." That can't help your case.

SCHULTZ: But it needed to be done faster. That helps his case because that's how he's making the case that this is emergent, and that's the case that he has to make under the statute.

CUOMO: Emergent means dangerous, and has to be dealt with right away. Congress passed a law that you signed the same day that you declared the emergency. Where is the inaction--

SCHULTZ: So--

CUOMO: --that implies imminence that you must act on in an extra- Constitutional way?

SCHULTZ: So, in 2006, Congress appropriated money to build physical barriers. This year, Congress appropriates money--

CUOMO: Yes.

SCHULTZ: --to build physical barriers.

CUOMO: Yes.

SCHULTZ: They see physical - they've approved physical barriers.

CUOMO: Yes.

SCHULTZ: This is something that Congress has said yes to.

CUOMO: Yes, yes.

SCHULTZ: So they--

MARIOTTI: That - that's (ph) against an emergency.

SCHULTZ: --they have said that we need a wall. CUOMO: Yes.

MARIOTTI: That's against an emergency.

SCHULTZ: The President - the President gets to make the determination of so whether--

CUOMO: But--

SCHULTZ: --this is an emergency of not.

CUOMO: But - but you just - you laid the framework--

SCHULTZ: And who gave him that power? Congress did, Chris.

CUOMO: But you just laid the framework for why it isn't an emergency.

SCHULTZ: Congress did.

CUOMO: All right, look, this is a good first blow. Let's see what the lawsuits say, and we'll take it up at that point.

Jimmy Schultz, thank you on a Friday night. Renato Mariotti, it's always good to have you. You're not a familiar face on this show. You should be. Be well.

All right, so, did the President just create an emergency, all right? That's what we're talking about here, all right? You're going to have the law, and how the law looks at that.

But then, you're going to have a look at the politics of it, and what this means, not just to you and me, or even to Democrats. Republicans. What kind of door is the President opening up for opposition down the road?

That's a great start for a great debate, and look at these two heavyweights.

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TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

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TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

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[21:35:00] CUOMO: Now, look, you have to understand that this President is not like other Presidents. And I don't mean that as a compliment or as a criticism, but it's just a fact. And with him, it is often about the sell and not the substance,

fiction or farce, and not fact. That was apparent today when POTUS continued to spin the fight over this week's funding bill as a win.

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TRUMP: I went through Congress. I made a deal. I got almost $1.4 billion when I wasn't supposed to get one dollar. "Not one dollar. He's not going to get one dollar." Well, I got $1.4 billion.

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CUOMO: First of all, he didn't make a deal. He was kept out of the dealing process, so a deal could get made, and we should congratulate the Left and Right. I know this was an ugly process, but it was good that they came together, and did something reasonable.

And know this, he wants to brag about that number. He just declared a national emergency because he doesn't like the number because it's far less than what he wanted, and it was the least he had been offered by the Democrats. Remember that too. Two previous offers, both were for more money that he eventually got.

But here's the big deal about the declaration today. We talked about the law. But the politics, his Party was begging him, "Don't do this, please. You're going to open a door for the future that will - won't be able to close."

He didn't care because he cares about his own politics. Did he make the right move? That is the great start for a great debate. And guess who we have? Howard Dean and Niger Innis.

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TEXT: THE GREAT DEBATE.

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CUOMO: You can't ask for better on a Friday night.

Niger, this was a move to please the base. It doesn't embrace the law, doesn't embrace the Constitution. I would argue it doesn't even embrace the reality. But it should help the base.

But then, Ann Coulter says this.

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ANN HART COULTER, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, LAWYER, AUTHOR: The only national emergency is that our President is an idiot.

This is the worst open borders the country has every had under the President who ran against open borders.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: So, the point is you shouldn't have done any of this. We told you, "Get all of it or get none of it," and you did half measures, including the emergency. The base isn't happy. Do you accept that?

NIGER ROY INNIS, CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON, TEAPARTYFWD.COM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: No, I don't accept that. And Ann is a - a good buddy of mine, has been for years, and she's done a magnificent job, pushing and nudging the President, which is what her job is - is to do.

But no, the base is going to look at the fact that the President renegotiated NAFTA, which he said he was going to do, promise kept. He has a booming economy, in large part, due to reduction - dramatic reduction of regulations, and then tax cut, promise kept.

They're - they're going to look at him getting tough on China, vis-a- vis trade. They're going to be very excited about that. The one missing component was his biggest campaign rally, which was the wall. And now, with this emerge--

CUOMO: And Mexico would pay for it.

INNIS: Well - well no, that - that--

CUOMO: What? What?

INNIS: --he, of course, he--

CUOMO: What?

INNIS: --he argues that NAFTA, the renegotiation of NAFTA is going to pay is - is going to pay for it but that - that's neither here or there. The bottom line is his base--

CUOMO: And my son argues that crayons taste like their colors.

INNIS: --his base wanted the wall, and they are going to get at least the beginnings of the wall.

And, by the way, I disagree with you. The President's, primary responsibility, constitutionally, is preserve, and protect, and defend the Constitution, and the people of the United States.

CUOMO: Yes.

INNIS: This is about security. This is about our nation's sovereignty. Israel builds walls to protect its sovereignty, and they're right to do so. We should do the same. Nancy Pelosi is wrong when she says that Border security or walls are immoral.

CUOMO: Howard Dean, rebuttal.

HOWARD DEAN, (D) FORMER GOVERNOR OF VERMONT, FORMER DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN, POLITICAL CONSULTANT & COMMENTATOR: There is no rebuttal. This is fantasy, Trump Fantasyland. Nobody believes this stuff. The only people that believe this are the people who, as Trump himself

said during the campaign, he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue, and his base wouldn't leave him. That's true.

But his base is only between 35 and 40 percent. So, I don't even know why he's doing this. Nobody believes him. Nobody takes him seriously. I don't even know why he cares what Ann Coulter thinks because certainly nobody else does.

This is a ridiculous argument by a ridiculous person who is pretending he's the President of the United States.

CUOMO: So, what does this mean in terms of going forward? Should the Congress - should the Democrats fight this declaration of emergency?

DEAN: Of course, we should. Here--

CUOMO: Should they let it happen?

DEAN: --here's why they should fight it. We actually would gain more if we didn't fight it because then we would do it.

CUOMO: That's why I asked.

DEAN: Well, yes, I mean if we didn't fight it, we would then, of course, eventually get the Presidency, and we would declare emergency for climate change, and an emergency for a lot of the other things, guns, for example, as there were just five more people murdered today by a nutcase with a gun.

That, you know, so, this is a - this is a bad idea to overturn the Constitution. I don't believe that Justice Roberts, who is a very conservative guy, but does actually care what the Constitution says, unlike the other four Right-wingers, I don't believe that he's going to allow this to happen in the long run.

[21:40:00] I really don't because the - the long-term implications of it, which Trump never thinks about, the long-term implications to this are bad for the country.

Congress was set up to control the purse. There's a good reason for that. The Founding Fathers actually wrote the Constitution, in case somebody like Trump came along. And lo and behold, 250 years later, here we are.

CUOMO: You know, Republicans who go full Gumby to, you know, stay on the side of this President, Niger, did not want him to do this.

And they said, "Man, if you open this door, you know, it smacks of" - when McConnell said to Harry Reid and the Democrats, "If you do this with the Filibuster, it will come back to haunt you." "And if you do this with the declaring of an emergency that isn't one, on the base of political caprice, it's going to come back."

Should that be something that you guys are concerned about? INNIS: Well, look, what I've preferred that the Democrats within Congress came to their senses and offered again, in terms of a negotiation, what they had offered before, yes, I would have preferred that it'd be done that way. But it was not done that way because--

CUOMO: And let me ask you one question just about price tag politics.

INNIS: --we have - we have an obscenest (ph) Congress.

CUOMO: Hold on, I want to say something because my audience asked me about this a lot.

INNIS: Yes.

CUOMO: And it's - it's a good question.

INNIS: OK.

CUOMO: It's interesting. Trump wants a big price tag, $5 billion. OK. What do we know about the difference between appropriation and spending of money in Congress?

We know it by the fact that there's right now $680 million sitting in the account from money that was allocated or appropriated two years ago, OK? They're still building fencing with money from two years ago.

So, what is the question about a big price tag? Why not do it year by year, Niger, because they don't even spend the money? He just wants the price tag because it looks good, not because there's going to be more wall built.

INNIS: Well, no. And, first of all, the amount of monies that we're talking about, when you're talking about a - a budget, and I don't know the exact amount, but probably approaching a trillion-dollar budget is - is - is pennies, all right? And - and that is if he got--

CUOMO: But they don't spend it.

INNIS: --a full - and the - the full $8 billion.

Well, you know, that's going to be the President's job to execute. And - and - and you can guarantee that the American people who'll be watching (ph) to make sure that that money--

CUOMO: He hasn't built a foot of new wall in two years.

INNIS: Well that - that - that money is been allocated now for new Border fencing, and he is going to use it. And trust me, he is going to execute, and he is going to spend it. It is going to be another promise made that he made on the campaign trail, and promise kept.

And, let me say, I pray the Democrats go after him. I want to contrast a President that believes he is preserving the sovereignty of our national - of our country and the - and protecting the American people versus, you know, the Democrats and Nancy Pelosi's radical angels, I call them the Taliban wing of the Democratic Party, that not only doesn't want to put up a wall, and once they'll essentially have open borders, but they want to defang ICE.

CUOMO: They.

INNIS: They want to put ICE out of business.

CUOMO: Well but just to be - just to be clear, as a point of fact--

INNIS: I love this battle over the next couple of years.

CUOMO: --ICE and what they want to do with ICE, that's going to be fair ground. I'm going to bounce that to Howard, but know this. The idea of an open border is absurd because there're already hundreds of miles of fencing.

It's only the President who didn't know that. He was the one who's saying there's nothing there, and so we need to put something. You know there's a ton of stuff there.

INNIS: I didn't say that there was an open border. I say that there're many--

CUOMO: They just need more. I'm saying--

INNIS: But, Chris, I didn't say there's an open border. I'm saying, there are many--

CUOMO: --this open borders and if it just - it's just practically irrelevant.

INNIS: --within the Democratic Party, and unfortunately, even some Republicans that believe--

CUOMO: So--

INNIS: --in a de facto open border.

CUOMO: --so let me bounce that to you, Howard, is the final point here, which is the Democrats do have this balancing act of pushing back on the President with what he wants, and at the same time, not being painted with being soft on crime.

DEAN: Look, I - I think that debate is over. About 60 percent of the American people are with us, and about 35 percent are with Trump, and that's in spite of all this nonsense about Democrats wanting an open border. This is just bupkis.

The Republican - the Republicans are going to have a real as coming up - "Come to Jesus Meeting" here. If they - if they keep doing this stuff, we're going to beat the daylights out of them in 2020 if losing 40 seats was nothing.

The American people do not or they are sick of this. They're sick of the corruption. They're sick of the lies. What they would like is a serious policy worked on by both Democrats and Republicans.

We sent a bill over there. He signed it. Then he started weeping and gnashing his teeth because he didn't get everything he wants. He can't have everything he wants. He doesn't - he's not in touch with reality.

And - and the vast majority of the American people believe that even though he has a cadre of people who will go through walls for him, is there's not enough to win an election.

CUOMO: Walls. Go - I see what you did there.

INNIS: And that--

CUOMO: All right, let's leave it there. I'm - I'm short on time for this. But guys thank you for coming here on a Friday night. Howard Dean, Niger Innis, thanks to both of you.

INNIS: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, coming up, listen to this story. You may have heard about it but we just heard from the guy who was involved, all right?

What would you do? You're jogging down a trail, you hear something, you look to the side, it's a mountain lion. And then, you try to run away, and the worst thing happens.

This guy didn't just survive. He did something I've never heard of before, next.

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TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

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TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

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CUOMO: All right, listen to this story, OK? This guy, Travis Kauffman, 31 years old, is jogging. He's off in Colorado, Fort Collins, Colorado, and he hears something in the woods. He doesn't know what it is.

All the sudden there's a mountain lion, and he does this thing with his hands that they tell you to do it. "Uhh, get away." Be big, be menacing. The thing pounces on him, and what ensues is a death match against a mountain lion.

You never hear about this. And when you do, we know how it ends. Listen to this kid.

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TRAVIS KAUFFMAN, SURVIVED MOUNTAIN LION ATTACK: It just kind of kept running and lunged at me. It was going toward my - my face, so I threw up my - my hands to kind of block my face, at which point it grabbed on to my hand and wrists.

That's when kind of my fear response turned into more of a fight response.

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CUOMO: Fight or flight, and here's what I got to tell you that I think is so impressive, if you take the guy at his word, and why wouldn't you?

So, they go rolling down the side of a mountain. He's got his arms stuck in the cat's mouth, OK? So, he's trying to pin down its back legs, which can also do a lot of damage, can - can eviscerate certain things, you know, not like a kangaroo, but can do some damage.

He's picking up sticks and rocks, and hitting the mountain lion because he wants to hurt it, not kill it. But he realizes, he says, when he hits it in the head with a rock, and it doesn't let go, he's got to do something worse, he takes his foot and suffocates the cat.

Now, look, I'm not celebrating the killing of a mountain lion, but it was him or the mountain lion. The thing had his arm. And he thought about how to do it least aggressively before he had to make the decision to kill it.

So then, the cat suffocates, releases the arm. He now runs another three miles, all beat up like that, and gets help.

D. Lemon, would you do the same?

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, CNN TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON: Yes - you took the words out of my mouth, flight or fright - flight or fright.

CUOMO: Fight.

LEMON: Fight.

CUOMO: Fright - fright is right in your case.

LEMON: It's - it's Friday. It's long, and so fright, and saying (ph), well, no, no, no, the fright is going to make you fight. Yes, but number one, listen, I'm glad he's OK.

CUOMO: Yes.

LEMON: You're not celebrating the killing of a mountain lion. I am because that mountain lion was trying to kill him.

CUOMO: Oh, yes, look, he had to do it.

LEMON: He had to do it.

CUOMO: No question.

LEMON: And he, you know--

CUOMO: It's not like he's a hunter--

LEMON: No.

CUOMO: --or something like that. He wasn't out there hitting it with like a bazooka--

LEMON: No. No.

CUOMO: --or something like that, you know.

LEMON: He said - he said, you know, I fought back. They rolled, you know, halfway down on the--

CUOMO: Yes, down the whole slope.

LEMON: --the mountain. And then he said, you know, I - I hit his head on a rock.

CUOMO: Yes.

[21:50:00] LEMON: And when it didn't release me, I knew I had to take drastic measures, so he started strangling the thing, right?

CUOMO: Yes. He used his foot.

LEMON: Yes, foot. Chris, I don't know if you said this. I don't think you did, 19 stitches in his cheek, six along the bridge of his nose--

CUOMO: Yes.

LEMON: --another three in his wrists with--

CUOMO: I can't believe it was only three in the wrist. It must have been in front of those big teeth.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: He must have had it in those - those small teeth in the front. But I got to tell you, I've done a lot of training and stuff like that. I don't know that I'd make it out of there. You mean, you'd like to hope to think you get back to your kids, you get back to your loved ones.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: But a mountain lion pounces on you, and you go tumbling down the side of a ridge, that's bad news. He - that man gets my respect, OK?

LEMON: Let that--

CUOMO: Not some stupid macho way because he killed an animal. I'm not impressed by that.

LEMON: No, I know. I hear what you're saying.

CUOMO: I'm impressed he saved his own life.

LEMON: I hear what you're saying (ph) two things. Number one, this is why I - I do urban runs in the city--

CUOMO: Yes.

LEMON: --where there are no - one night - one night - one night, I was running in Central Park, and there was the biggest--

CUOMO: Rat?

LEMON: --no, raccoon. The thing was a size of a tank. It went running behind, and I was like, "Whoa!" And this other guy was running opposite of me. And I said, "I just saw the biggest raccoon I've ever seen in my life. I don't know if you want to go that way."

CUOMO: I got to go. I'll take it out of the closing just to tell you one story, so you can - so you can laugh at me.

LEMON: Oh well that OK. So, finally guy - the guys runs back and says, "You were right," and he just - but he lapped me, and kept passing me, but, yes, it's true.

CUOMO: I had a raccoon attack me in my garage, when we first moved in. And I said - ran out of the garage and I said, "That's it. I'm going to teach this raccoon a lesson."

I go back in there with a tennis racket, the raccoon jumps up on this couch, where he was hanging out in the garage, and looks at me, and I'm holding the racket like this, it jumps towards me, I freeze--

LEMON: Ahh!

CUOMO: --the raccoon lands, runs right across my feet, and out, I never moved. I was frozen stiff with fear. And I hated myself even more.

LEMON: Let that be a lesson to you. I always tell you, "I'm smaller than you, but I'm scrappy, and I can take you."

CUOMO: Yes, I know. I know what you say.

LEMON: Hey, listen, I know we're over time.

CUOMO: Yes.

LEMON: Mark McKinnon is going to talk. You know, the great Mark McKinnon--

CUOMO: Oh, beautiful.

LEMON: Showtime, The Circus, talking about the Right-wing media actually being the President of the United States are his closest advisers.

CUOMO: Good. LEMON: See you.

CUOMO: Another great get on a Friday night. I'll be with you in a second.

LEMON: Ha-ha.

CUOMO: Oh, it's a true story. That's why it's so pathetic for me.

All right, so horrible day for the country today, right? These - these mass shootings, they just never stop. And now, we have this crisis around the wall. And crisis isn't what it's really about. It's about something else.

National emergency, what should it have meant? What will it mean? Closing argument, next.

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TEXT: CLOSING ARGUMENT.

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[21:55:00] CUOMO: We have never seen a President declare an emergency the same day that he and Congress passed a law addressing this same issue. It makes no sense, and at the same time, it makes perfect sense.

If you look at the list of existing emergency, it goes back many years, they are mostly about blocking assets of people connected to terror. So, this one stands out. It's calculated only to help this President's political fortunes.

You have no one but this President say that a physical barrier would immediately avert any kind of crisis. What does that tell you? It's a move that may qualify as an emergency, and that it creates a danger that is imminent. This Party will be haunted by this. That could be an emergency for them.

He was begged not to do this by many of them. And yet, today, when confronted with this reality, he did what he most often does.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, what do you say to those, including some of your Republican allies, who say that you are violating the Constitution with this move and setting a bad precedent that will be abused by possibly Democratic Presidents in the future? Marco Rubio has made this point.

TRUMP: Well, not too many people. Yes. Not too many people have said that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Wrong. McConnell reportedly begged him not to do this. Rubio, as you just heard, said, "A future President may use this exact same tactic to impose a Green New Deal."

Senator Rand Paul tweeted this. "Extra constitutional Executive Actions are wrong, no matter which party does them."

The real party is that - the real problem is that our politics are tit-for-tat. One side does use whatever leverage is used against it. And Speaker Pelosi sounded like then-Senator of the Minority, Mitch McConnell when he said to the Democrats, "You change this Filibuster rule, oh, ho, ho!"

Listen to her.

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NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: You want to talk about a national emergency? Let's talk about today, the one-year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America. That's a national emergency.

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CUOMO: Hey, national emergency is anything the President says it is, if Congress can't stop him. That was yesterday. You know, she was talking about Parkland, in Florida.

We had another one today in Illinois manufacturing business, five civilians dead, five police officers injured, no rush to action by the President about that, just a tweet, sending condolences, thanking law enforcement, the folks that are constantly outgunned in these situations, taking on a problem no one seems to want to discuss, let alone confront.

But if you dare try to walk a 100 miles with your kids and sneak into this country for a better life, and that is, what the overwhelming majority of illegal entrants do, well then you're equal to an emergency like 9/11 terrorists, African strongmen, Iranian scammers, and other major crime organizations, because that's who has emergencies declared against them.

Look at the list. I got it there. I know it's small. But you can look it up yourself as well.

The ugly ironies here. An emergency declared the same day the President signs a law from Congress acting on the same situation. Him declaring it as urgent, when he knows there's a legal battle that may delay it many months or years. He did this to show a bigger price tag when he knows the amount

appropriated by Congress already will last a year or two, given the pace of construction.

And the worst irony that he says this is about stopping unnecessary crime and bloodshed, when he does nothing about 11,000 homicides by firearm in 2017 alone. Just a tweet about a mass shooting, the same day he declares Border crossers an emergency.

And yet, in all of this negativity, as it is in often bad situations, we see something of value. Left and Right came together in that place today. They did a deal. They kept government open.

And now, in the face of this emergency, they're more united against this kind of political stunt by this President than we've seen them ever be about anything in the last two years. Maybe his party will find its spine because now we know something crystal clear. This President will clearly do only what he thinks is best for him.

Thank you for watching. CNN Tonight with D. Lemon starts right now.