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Fabricated National Emergency to Fund the Wall; Justice Must be Served Regardless of Age; Mueller's Team Admits it has Evidence Against Roger Stone; Lawsuit Predicted by Trump; Amazon Pulls Out of New York; Trump's Hotel Expansion Halted. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired February 15, 2019 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

Breaking news on the Russia investigation. The special counsel, Robert Mueller, asking a federal judge in Virginia to throw the book at Paul Manafort, arguing that the former Trump campaign chairman deserves up to 24 and a half years in prison for his conviction on eight financial crimes.

And team Mueller saying that his age - he's 69 - should not be a factor in receiving a reduced sentence because Manafort's crimes are serious and he acted as if he were above the law for years.

Also, tonight, the special counsel's office saying for the first time that it has evidence of Trump confidant, Roger Stone communicating directly with WikiLeaks. Previously, prosecutors had only outlined how Stone attempted to get in touch with WikiLeaks' Julian Assange through intermediaries.

We're also learning that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirming to CNN that she has been interviewed by Robert Mueller's team. The interview was conducted late last year. It is unclear what she was asked.

A lot to get to. I want to bring in Shimon Prokupecz, Juliette Kayyem, and Michael Moore. Good evening to all of you. Thank you for joining us.

Shimon, I'm going to start with you. The Mueller's prosecutors said that Paul Manafort should get 24 and a half years in prison. Sixty- nine, almost 70 years old. I mean, he'll be 70 in April. This is a life sentence. What are they saying about Manafort's behavior?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: It is a life sentence, Don. And when you think about today, really it was an extraordinary day in terms of the Mueller investigation and how much we learned in all these filings today between the Roger Stone filing and then the Paul Manafort filing.

And what we saw was just how prosecutors viewed his conduct, what he did here, what he did while he was part of the campaign, and then they even went further back talking about his conduct through all the years, certainly something that prosecutors were investigating knew about and really now they're saying that, yes, like you said, Don, he should spend the rest of his life in jail.

And here's how prosecutors described his criminal conduct to the judge. They said, "Given the breadth of Manafort's criminal activity, the government has not located a comparable case with a unique array of crimes and aggravating factors."

And really, I think that speaks to the fact that he was the campaign chairman for Donald Trump, having meetings with Russian operatives, secret meetings with Russian operatives, his ties to Russians throughout all the years.

I think that's what makes this so unique and really in the end, really what makes this even crazier than anything, is the fact that the prosecutors wanted him to cooperate.

And had he cooperated, giving them the cooperation, given them the information that they wanted, he would not be in this position. And I'm sure to this day, it baffles all of them as to why he chose not to cooperate from the beginning.

He said, quite honestly, Don, he was going to be given the same deal that Rick Gates was given and he wasn't going to spend any time in jail. And I'm sure all of that continues to baffle many of them.

LEMON: Yes. Maybe he's just -- you know what, I know this guy well enough, he's going to pardon me. I don't know.

PROKUPECZ: Could be.

LEMON: I'm just guessing. And then there's the judge in D.C., the case there. She is revealing that Konstantin Kilimnik is at the core of Mueller's investigation. Take tome about that, Shimon.

PROKUPECZ: Right. So, Konstantin Kilimnik it's now very apparent is what the special counsel's office has been very interested in. They have spent a lot of time talking about him. He's this alleged Russian operative. The FBI feels that he's been working for the Russian government.

He has very close ties, business connections, other connections to Paul Manafort. He met with Paul Manafort while Paul Manafort is the -- chairman of the Trump campaign at the cigar bar in New York.

[23:04:54] And what the judge said, she is buying what the prosecutors have said here. She's given them sort of the proof. Kind of, she's saying you know what, I believe what you're saying here.

And she said it was really significant, I think what she said here is that the Mueller investigation for them, Konstantin Kilimnik is the link between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. Hugely significant.

And for many people that we have talked to, certainly, Konstantin Kilimnik in their mind, was perhaps the person that prosecutors and other investigators, the FBI, may have thought was the kind of guy who was in the middle of all the collusion. And it certainly seems by the judge's words today that she's buying that.

LEMON: Interesting. Juliette, we're also seeing so much of the filing redacted but the judge says that Kilimnik was a link between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. What does this mean for President Trump?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I mean, three words. You know, Trump's campaign chairman. I mean, I don't know how much closer you have to get at this stage and Manafort is not just some errand boy. I mean, he ran the campaign.

And I think that the opinion just to pick up what's already been said, the opinion makes it clear that Kilimnik is -- and the Manafort relationship that we know of in terms of their meeting in August, is really what leads to all the redacted aspects of what was released today.

In other words, there is other investigations going on. At one stage the judge writes, you know, basically, most people know that Manafort earned about $60 million from the Ukrainians. He was essentially in absolute debt when he becomes the unpaid chairman of the Trump campaign, a relationship that is complicated of how he got there and why Trump wanted him.

He has as the judge says, a liquidity problem when the campaign is going on and after, and so is likely meeting with all sorts of people for a variety of reasons, they might be financial, but they also might be the collusion.

And so, what we're just seeing hints of this, but the Trump campaign cannot get out of the Kilimnik factor at this stage. Kilimnik becomes relevant of course for the Trump tower meeting and Manafort, just to remind everyone, a couple years ago, the dossier told us, still has yet to be proven wrong, that Manafort was the linchpin for the Russia- Trump relationship. And I think the judge just confirmed it today.

LEMON: But we still don't know why would he lie?

KAYYEM: Why would he lie? Because the truth -- I mean, look, I know there's theories about he wanted to protect his family. I don't believe any of that. I mean, he lies because he either is expecting a pardon or because the truth is not going to get him in any better position. I mean, the truth is that bad.

And we are getting hints of what the truth is. But that Manafort wants to protect his family, come on, he's in absolute debt and he's going to be in jail the rest of his life. This is a man who does not think about, you know, the community around him, right? This is someone who looks out for himself.

LEMON: Yes. Sixty million dollars allegedly from the Ukrainians.

KAYYEM: And spent it all. Spent it all.


PROKUPECZ: The ostrich jacket.


KAYYEM: That's right.

LEMON: I would not be sitting here if someone handed me $60 million.

KAYYEM: You can't see my shoes from where you are, but it's a fashion.

LEMON: So, Michael Moore, Manafort is going to get the opportunity to address the judge. Do you think there could be a moment where he may try to signal something to the president or do you think he's already signaled by.



MOORE: I mean, I think he's already sent his message and he sort of told us that he's not, that he's hanging on for a pardon. When you get to be his age, at some point, you know, whether you do 10 years, 5 years, or 20 years, it doesn't really matter. We know from seeing him in some court appearances that he's not doing well, you know, in the federal government hotel there.

He's not been receiving that well, I mean, he's lost his hair died, he's having gout, he's got to walk with a cane sometimes at various times like this. So, he's really not doing well.

But I think what he's done is he said, you know, I stood up for you here. I've tried to do -- I've tried lie here. And so, don't forget me when it comes to pardon time. That's really his only hope at this point. I think Juliette is right. It's a simple -- it's just a -- it's a pretty simple thing. He's lying because he's trying to get a pardon, I think.

LEMON: Interesting. So, let's talk about Roger Stone, Shimon, OK? The special counsel -- the prosecutors there say that they have communications of Roger Stone with WikiLeaks. I just want to read from this court filing what it says.

It says, "The government obtained and executed dozens of search warrants on various accounts used to facilitate the transfer of stolen documents for releases as well as to discuss the timing and promotion of their release." Speak to me about how significant this is, Shimon.

[23:09:54] PROKUPECZ: So, for me, what was so significant about this, the filing today that this came from linked the investigation by the special counsel's office, the indictment of the Russians who hacked the e-mails, the Podesta e-mail Hillary Clinton stuff, all of that this sort of linked the Roger Stone case to that. That was the whole point of this filing today. And for the first time we learned that actually the special counsel's office on the record was investigating Roger Stone as part of this, whether or not there was coordination, whether or not there was collusion, whether or not they said it was for the first time really publicly that they said that Roger Stone was directly communicating. They have communications between Roger Stone and WikiLeaks.

There was all this information today that had been in the initial indictment. And again, that's what I think that's what made this day so extraordinary. There were so many things that we learned about this investigation.

And the fact that they were investigating Roger Stone, they actually believed and I guess they have some information that they were concerned about that Roger Stone was somehow communicating, was somehow coordinating the release of this information.

And that's what this filing does. It doesn't necessarily mean that this part of the investigation is over. We don't have a conclusion. They don't say whether or not they believe Roger Stone coordinated with WikiLeaks or did not coordinate with WikiLeaks. They don't say either way which leads me to believe that that part of this investigation is still very much ongoing.

LEMON: Is this a game changer, Juliette?

KAYYEM: I think it's significant. You know, nothing is a game changer until you have some conclusion or some proof in court.

But I think that the fact that they were willing to release this evidence today which -- it had been reported on. But what's significant of course is that Mueller himself admits it, is that direct link.

It's not just -- remember -- I have to remind everyone, Roger Stone used to say it was a coincidence that he talked about WikiLeaks and then Donald Trump talked about WikiLeaks and then the stuff is really -- so now there's no coincidence. There is coordination.

But I also want to highlight is, what Mueller said today was significant. They have access to all of these e-mails or communications however they're communicating between WikiLeaks and people, right? And we don't know that Roger Stone is the only person who communicated with WikiLeaks.

So, what I find is interesting is that Mueller basically said I already got this stuff, you know, Roger Stone is already indicted and here's some evidence. But if anyone else was in communication with WikiLeaks you can be darn sure that Mueller knows it now because he just admitted he had the goods.

LEMON: Go ahead, Michael.

MOORE: Well, I think Juliette is exactly right. What Mueller has told us, and he's done it now with the Manafort deal about whether or not he lied, he doing this now this idea that he's got the proof on Stone. He's got the information.

I mean, when you go to court and you say look, somebody has told a lie, you've got to have information they already lied to you. So, he had that with Manafort. He's told us that now with Stone. He's sort of, laying these pieces out.

You know, we talked a little about the judge and the redacted order there. Manafort has done the same thing. And remember that the judge has bought into this Kilimnik theory because she knows more of the details than we do publicly.

Manafort has got more details than we know publicly. So, remember when you just watch the people who are behind the scenes, what they're doing is telling us that there's meat on the bones of the investigation that we may not yet know. We all speculate about it, we can talk about it. But they're telling us, look, I've looked at these things in camera. I've heard -- I've heard sealed documents. I believe it. And that's what the judge has told us. That's what Mueller has told us I think in some of his latest acts.

LEMON: I remember your last book, "Security Moms," right, Juliette? In that one you talked about the concern for kids and the concern for everyone especially -- and you also have spoken about guns in our society.


LEMON: So, I want to turn to this tragic shooting in Aurora.


LEMON: You know, we're learning that the gunman was being terminated today. You know, as we're talking about the president declaring a national emergency to fund his border wall, shouldn't he be looking at the emergency of people who are in crisis or people who are not well. For whatever reason, who have almost unlimited access to guns and nothing is being done about it?

KAYYEM: Absolutely. So, what the -- what the opponents of gun control are having this conversation will do is they take each individual case. So, we can tolerate -- I'm not talking for me, but we can tolerate five people dying today because it's just five people. Right?

So, instead of taking the cumulative number of people that are dying from handgun violence, and I'm not talking about suicide here. People we're talking from gun violence whether it's hand gun or rifles or assault weapons.

And the president is unwilling to look at that cumulatively and say that is in fact an emergency because those numbers are, you know, put our immigration concerns to rest.

[23:14:56] And so it's just was a remarkable juxtaposition and a horrible one that you have a president this morning invoking an emergency for something that is not -- that's a public policy problem but it certainly not an emergency. And I don't know if he said anything in the last couple of hours. But

the last time I was on air he hadn't -- and actually not recognizing the cumulative impact of what guns are having on our society. So, you know, they -- and so, therefore is able to ignore it.

It's just that juxtaposition today is what's so horrifying. Because you just take a step back and think what's killing Americans? It's not unlawful immigrants, right? It is guns. It's opioids. It's other things. But it's not -- it's not what he tried to convince us of this morning.

LEMON: He did tweet a condolence to law enforcement and the victims and their families.


LEMON: Thank you all. I appreciate it.


LEMON: Have a good weekend.

One leading Republican says the GOP has Stockholm syndrome in the age of Trump. Does his party agree?


LEMON: So, President Trump made it clear his emergency declaration today was all about getting money for his wall. But will this come back to bite Republicans -- you know, in the you know what? One day a Democrat occupies the White House, it's bound to happen soon, right? Maybe not 2020. But you know, that's how things go. There are only two party -- parties.

Let's discuss this. Steve Cortes is here. Rick Wilson as well. Rick is the author of "Everything Trump Touches Dies." OK. Good evening, gents.


LEMON: So, by clearing a national emergency, Rick, the president has opened up the door for a future Democratic president to take action on maybe health care --


LEMON: -- gun control, climate change. Is he going to come to -- are Republicans going to come to regret that and I'll ask you why after that?

WILSON: Of course, they are. No tool in politics goes unused for long. And the minute you open this door up, you present a tool for the Democrats in the future to take action on executive areas with the same justification to say, well, I can't get what I want out of Congress. You know, Congress won't pass my gun control bill. Therefore, I'm

going to go ahead and pass a confiscation. We're going to do an emergency declaration that gun control -- gun violence is so out of control we must do this immediately.

And Republicans will have to sit there and shut up because Donald Trump made up a crisis on the border, a crisis that doesn't exist, that no one -- that no one -- no rational person believes exists except for Donald Trump and he's a handful of his toadies.


WILSON: And he has justified this breach of the Constitution because of that.

LEMON: I said I was going to ask why, Steve, after. And here's why I say that. Because, you know, you -- I think you've said this, Steve, that this is going to go through the courts. Right? It's going to take a while to play out.

It could -- it may not reach a conclusion until this president is out of office and a Democratic president could be in office. The Democratic president will say, hey, you guys opened the door, and then Trump has left the Republican Party or conservatives in this country with a mess because Democrats will have an excuse to say, well, there you go. That's what happens. Precedence has consequences.

STEVE CORTES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well here's why -- OK, but here's what that's not accurate. And by the way, when Rick says that there's no crisis and only toadies believe that, I guess I'm a toady then because I certainly believe there's a crisis.


CORTES: But more importantly, Customs and Border Protection tells us there is a crisis there. Law enforcement tells us, and even more importantly than that, the Angel families who have lost loved ones certainly tell us --


LEMON: I'm not doubting that people have lost loved ones. But we're about the facts here. The numbers just don't bear it out that there is a crisis at the border.


WILSON: And Steve --

LEMON: But let him finish. Let him finish.

WILSON: When the nation's intelligence chiefs --

LEMON: Go ahead, Steve.

CORTES: Even listen, even if the total number of illegal crossings are dropping and they have been in recent years and they have been for really a decade, that doesn't mean that there's no crisis.

I would argue that we have been in a crisis at the border ever since 1986 when we did that awful amnesty under Ronald Reagan. And that's not just, again, my opinion, that's law enforcement. Sheriff of Napier of Prima County, Arizona says we have been in a crisis the entire three decades of these law enforcement --


LEMON: Just because someone says it's a crisis it doesn't mean -- you have to have facts to back it up.


LEMON: And the facts don't back it up.


CORTES: And here's -- OK.

LEMON: The information just does not bear it out.

CORTES: Don, 1,300 people -- 1,300 a day are crossing our border illegally. If that's not the definition of a crisis, then I don't know what is. And on top of that the composition of who's coming as you all know, has changed dramatically. It used to be primarily young men from Mexico.


LEMON: Now it's families.

CORTES: Now -- yes, it's families.

LEMON: It is families seeking asylum.

CORTES: Or at least a mixture of adults and children coming from Central America and the United States government ends up then --


CORTES: -- in custody of children by the thousands.


LEMON: OK. Let me ask you this. Let's stick to the subject. Rick, I promise you I will let you get in here.

Because you were disappointed, Steve, that the president signed the bill to avoid the shutdown. The White House released a picture of the president signing the declaration of national emergency. Here it is. Put it up. There it is. It's on the left.

But as you can see on the right, no picture exists of him signing the bill --

CORTES: Correct.

LEMON: -- no media or cameras were allowed. Was this deliberate? Do they know that this bill won't go over well with his base?

CORTES: You know, I have to think so. I don't know. I wasn't involved in no pictures there. But you know, if they were unwilling to promote it, that's a good sign, because they shouldn't be promoting it because the president should not have signed that bill.

Within that bill, there are some stealth amnesties and some of them being really very large amnesties which run completely contrary to what we ran on in 2016 and the entire thrust of getting control over illegal immigration in this country.

So, I think that the president was really ill served, first of all, by Republicans on the Hill who did not negotiate well at all and who were quite frankly hoodwinked by Speaker Pelosi --


[23:25:04] WILSON: Wait a second, Steve. Donald Trump was offered $25 billion --


CORTES: And then, but then he --

WILSON: -- for the wall in exchange for a DACA deal and he blew it. He's the worst negotiator in history. The guy blew it a year ago, he was offered $25 billion for an actual wall if he'd do DACA, but he hates brown people and Stephen Miller --


WILSON: -- hates brown people so much that they couldn't bring themselves to do it.


WILSON: And Steve, wait a second --

CORTES: Well, you know what? By the way, as a brown person -- no.

WILSON: This is a president -- this is a president driven by --

LEMON: One at a time, please.

CORTES: I'm not going to sit here and let you --

WILSON: -- driven by a degree of racial animus that is absolutely evident in all of this. These descriptions of these people, they're all MS-13 murderers coming across the border, those deadly little 6- year-old girls with a Hello Kitty back pack trying to cross the border, they're the worst possible terrorists coming to threaten our jobs.


CORTES: Really? That's all that comes --

LEMON: Yes. Hey, can I ask you something, Steve?

WILSON: You know, but --

CORTES: Hold on. Listen, but for you to say, once again, when you don't want to talk policy, this is what the left does. It's what people --


WILSON: Hey, hey, Steve, Steve, Steve?

CORTES: You immediately -- don't spare me that you're not leftist, because you're a leftist, OK? And what you is --


WILSON: Steve, what a joke you are.

CORTES: -- instead of talking about policy, instead of trying to criticize the president on policy you call him a racist. All right? It's the scarlet letter of --


WILSON: Yes, Steve. I've got plenty critiques of his policy today --

CORTES: -- politics putting an R on his chest and then he goes --

WILSON: I've got plenty of critiques of his policy today, Steve. In the Washington Post --


CORTES: For you to say --

WILSON: -- the Daily Beast, and elsewhere, because his policy absolutely --


LEMON: OK. (Inaudible) filibuster, Steve. Let him reply to you.

WILSON: And the emergency declaration is an extra constitutional overreach.


CORTES: It's hardly extra constitutional when Congress itself in 1976 explicitly gave him this power the National Emergency Act.


LEMON: OK. So, Steve, let's -- hold on.

WILSON: Article one, section nine of the Constitution --

LEMON: I've got to go. Steve, I want to ask you a question.


LEMON: Do you think that gun violence is a national emergency? Is it problematic or is it a national emergency? Steve?

CORTES: It's not a national emergency by the definition of the law of the National Emergencies Act.

LEMON: Is health care --


CORTES: It is a --

LEMON: Is health care a national emergency or is it problematic?

CORTES: You know, same answer. Certainly not compared to -- not by the definition of the national emergency.

LEMON: So --

CORTES: National Emergencies Act is the president's role as commander in chief --


LEMON: So, is a border wall which everyone will admit --

CORTES: -- to protect the president from external threats.

LEMON: Hold on, Steve. The border wall which everyone --


CORTES: From external threats. That's a key distinction.

LEMON: -- will admit is problematic, is in your estimation an emergency but not problematic like the other two things even though the numbers --


LEMON: -- could bear out --

CORTES: It's an emergency and problematic. If you look at the 31 emergencies that have been declared under this law, all of them have to do with international threats, terrorism, foreign government --


LEMON: All right. CORTES: Many of them have to deal with Iran, for example.

LEMON: OK, Steve, I've got to go.

CORTES: They don't have to do with domestic issues.

LEMON: Just because something is problematic --


CORTES: Well, that's the truth. You can't declare an emergency over a tax (Ph) policy.

LEMON: No one denies that there are issues at the border. It doesn't necessarily mean that it is an emergency just like there are issues with gun violence, there are issues with health care, there are issues with a number of things in your society.

But do we classify them as emergencies just because we're not getting our way politically, meaning, the government, no. Most people would say no.

CORTES: Thirteen hundred people crossing --


LEMON: I've got to go.

CORTES: -- illegally a day. Child -- children being trafficked --


LEMON: And a lot of them turning themselves in as soon as they get there. That is not illegal.

CORTES: And the sovereignty --

LEMON: To come here -- to come here and claim asylum is part of the -- it's part of --


WILSON: Then we put them in cages.

LEMON: -- what they're supposed to do. That's what people are supposed to do, if you claim asylum --


CORTES: And our asylum laws need to be changed --

LEMON: That doesn't mean you're illegal if you come here and claim asylum.

CORTES: -- because they're being abused and gained.

LEMON: OK. It's not illegal to claim asylum.

CORTES: And our asylum laws need to be changed.

LEMON: It's not illegal to claim asylum. Yes. Thank you.

CORTES: They need to be changed. Ninety percent of the people who apply --


LEMON: We'll be right back.

CORTES: -- are determined to be ineligible for asylum.


DON LEMON, CNN HOST: While declaring a national emergency this afternoon, the president admitted it could be tied up in courts for years and complained about some of the other legal challenges he's faced.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The order is signed. And I'll sign the final papers as soon as I get into the Oval Office and we will have a national emergency and 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 and we'll win in the Supreme Court just like the ban. They sued us in the Ninth Circuit and we lost and then we lost in the appellate division and then we went to the Supreme Court and we won.


LEMON: Joining me now is Bob Ferguson, the attorney general for Washington State who has been a frequent legal thorn in the president's side. He's talking about you right there when he's going on like this. He's talking about you. You sued over the Muslim ban. In fact you sued Trump and his administration 33 times. Is the president's national emergency declaration today going to be number 34?

BOB FERGUSON, ATTORNEY GENERAL, WASHINGTON STATE: There's a very good chance, Don. And just for the record, we have filed 33. We have yet to lose a case, the state of Washington. We're 16-0. Eight of those cases are over. And it's worth pointing out that travel ban he talks about, there were three versions of the travel ban.

We sued him on the first one. After we won in the Ninth Circuit, he did not appeal to the Supreme Court, paid our costs and fees. That was a big loss for him on the first travel ban so, we're very satisfied with our record so far. LEMON: The wall that this president wants to build is on the southern

border. Explain why Washington State would sue? How are you residents harmed by this?

FERGUSON: That's an important question. And so courts always look at standing if we bring a lawsuit challenge and the president with the harm to my state. And so what my team is doing right now is we've drafted a complaint but Don, what we're doing is looking very carefully for when it comes out of which budget allocations that the president is raiding to fund his wall.

We're looking to see if any of those allocations are specified and intended and already budgeted for Washington State projects, military construction budgets, for example. So we know that they're in the budgets, it's a question of which specific items he pulls from those budgets. If he takes items intended for Washington State, then we'll be interested.

[23:35:02] LEMON: Anderson Cooper spoke to a land owner who has signed on to the first lawsuit against the Trump administration over the wall. I want you to listen to what she had to say.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: You've lived forty something years on this property on the border and you have -- and where you are, you have never seen somebody cross your land illegally from --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via telephone): No. I see Border Patrol walking, you know, back and forth. But have I ever caught illegals on my cameras, not at all. The only emergency that is out there is a manmade emergency created by someone at the White House because he wants to build the wall.


LEMON: She's also saying that she's afraid that she's going to lose her house because of the proximity to the wall planned route . Does she have a good case?

FERGUSON: Yes. An individual who's clearly impacted by the wall would obviously have standing and can bring litigation to challenge that and, you know, if she's on the ground, she's seeing what's happening and someone like that can speak to whether or not there's an emergency far more powerfully than me or many other folks. So, no, she would have a potential litigation, absolutely.

LEMON: Yes. Well, you know, this -- Trump has a history of making public statements that undermine what he's trying to accomplish. Listen to this, just a few of them.


TRUMP: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey knowing there

was no good time to do it. And in fact when I have decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russian thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.

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


LEMON: So, I got to tell you, A.G., when I was sort of doing other things, you know, it was in the middle of the day and I was doing other things, and it stopped me in my tracks and I had to walk back to the T.V. and say did he just say that? He just said I didn't have to do it but yet it's -- how is that an emergency?

FERGUSON: All right. I think that would be exhibit A in part of our case. One reason why we have yet to loose a case against this administration, one reason we're 16-0, is because the president and his administration, he's his own worst enemy. He says things that contradict the actions they're taking and that hurts them in the court of law.

What you just pointed out there, I don't have to do this absolutely goes against him saying this is a national emergency where I need to move billions of dollars that Congress already appropriated.

LEMON: The Supreme Court said today that they'll be taking up a case brought by the ACLU and the coalition of other states about whether the Trump administration can include a citizenship question in the 2020 census. You are a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit. Talk to me about the significance.

FERGUSON: Yes, it's obviously significant anytime the Supreme Court takes a case. In the lower courts we've been successful as you and your viewers know. I guess I can't say it a surprise the Supreme Court is taking the case because the census case is on a tight timeline. In order for that census to be done, a decision needs to be resolved in the courts relatively quickly.

So for the Supreme Court to take it is not necessarily a good or a bad sign. It will be fascinating though how much discretion the Supreme Court gives to this administration in a case that we think is pretty clearly a strong one for the plaintiff states.

LEMON: Thank you very much. Bob Ferguson, have a good evening.

FERGUSON: Thank you. Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Amazon is pulling out of their deal to open a new headquarters in New York after getting major pushback from the community. Is the criticism a sign of a big populous wave to come?

[23:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: All right, so this is an important story that we'll -- I think

it will have a nationwide affect. It was Democrats who brought amazon to New York City and it seems it was Democrats who chased it away. The retail giant stunning decision to bail out of its plans for a new headquarters in Queens with 25,000 jobs has Democrats pointing fingers at as Amazon take its ball and its bat and goes home.

Here to discuss that is Nina Turner and Stephen Moore. Stephen is the author of "Trumponomics." Good evening to both of you. Boy, this has been a discussion here. Some folks are saying it's cut off your nose despite your face. Others are saying it's the right thing.

Nina, you're one of those people. You think the right thing happened here and you worry that this is going to make Democrats look like they're anti-jobs and growth?

NINA TURNER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. Democrats are not anti- jobs or growth. But Don, a $3 billion welfare -- corporate welfare package for Amazon, you know, Jeff Bezos, the richest man in history, the richest man in the world right now should be ashamed of himself to want to come into anybody's community and take those kind of tax dollars away from the every day people there.

And, you know, it would have been better had he wanted to work through some type of community benefits agreement so that the community, the locals, the people who get priced out of even being able to live in major parts of New York would have the opportunity to have some of those jobs. You mentioned the 25,000 jobs. My question is, 25,000 jobs for whom, who actually benefits?

LEMON: OK. Steve, so New York was promising up to $1.5 billion in incentives for Amazon to move in and exchanging those tax credits for the promise of 25,000 jobs, the wages averaging $150,000.

[23:45:00] According to New York City, only half of residents in the HQ area are college-educated and the median income is $62,000. How would these jobs have helped those people?

STEPHEN MOORE, DISTINGUISHED VISITING FELLOW, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Well, look, Don, I mean, this is just such a stain on the city of New York and the state of New York. It's a real disgrace. I mean, you're talking about 25,000 jobs for an area that's fairly economically depressed. Folks would have loved to have had access to those jobs.

Now, it looks like what's going to happen is that facility will move -- they're going to move some of those operations to Nashville, Tennessee, which is a state that has no income tax. New York has lost 1.3 million people in the last decade. I'm going to say that again, 1.3 million people have left New York because of policy craziness in New York.

The highest taxes -- income taxes in the country, very anti-business policies, one of the reasons Amazon said that we're going to leave New York and not build there is because the politicians there said you have to only use union labor. Government officials can't tell private businesses how to run their operations. LEMON: I want Nina to get a response.

MOORE: I got to tell you this. These states like New York, I mean, these states like Tennessee and Texas and Florida are going to be very, very happy to take these jobs from New York. The people in New York are the big losers.

LEMON: Go ahead Nina.

TURNER: Don, the government people, the politicians were taking the lease from the grass roots who are sick and tired of big corporations like Amazon that has a monopoly so, we talked about that at another show, but you're talking about the main reason why a lot --

MOORE: Well, you are saying the people there don't want the job -- are you saying --

TURNER: The main reason why a lot of people are using --

LEMON: Let her finish, Steve.

MOORE: Are you saying the people there don't want the jobs?

TURNER: -- is because they cannot afford to live there because of corporate greed not because they want -- they want to leave it's because a lot of people who are native to New York can't even afford to live there anymore. So, we're talking about jobs for whom. So wouldn't it have been better to have a community benefits agreement?

LEMON: Yes. I got to run. I have to get to the break. Let me just say, Steve, hold on. I got to go. I've got to get to -- I've got to get to the break. I will just have to say, I live in an empowerment zone -- Steve, I'm talking, still talking, still talking Steve. I'm talking here.

I live in an empowerment zone in New York City and I see both sides of it. People would like to have jobs because you can't pay taxes unless you have jobs, but I also see people who are native to the community not being able to live there anymore because of this so-called gentrification.

It's a tough balance. I think you can make it work. I'm not sure if Amazon was in the position initially to make it work. Maybe after they got there they would have, but it didn't seem in the beginning. I got to run, though. Thank you.

As I'm sure you know there have been several black face scandals in the news these past few weeks and that meant a lot of talking about how people went wrong. So, I think it's important to point out when people tried to correct that wrong.

So Gucci, the luxury fashion company says that they now want to make things right after social media users pointed out that -- this Gucci sweater, there it is. It reassembled black face. Gucci quickly apologized, discontinued selling the sweater. But it's their next steps that showed the fashion house is working to make sure sweaters like that don't end up on shelves again.

So yesterday, some of Gucci's executives came from Italy to New York City to hold a meaning with their Harlem-based collaborative, Dapper Dan, to talk about diversity, and I was there. I live in Harlem. I was there as an observer and this is something that I cover on my show. We actually cover the Gucci sweater thing as well.

And then Gucci came up with a plan. So, it's an action plan that includes long term initiatives designed to further embed cultural diversity and awareness in the company. The plan includes creating a new role within the company to make sure diversity standards are met and creating new learning programs that teach in place about unconscious cultural bias.

We have to wait to see if Gucci follows through on these initiatives. But if they do, it is a step in the right direction. We have to point out, we point out when people do bad things. We should point out when people do good things. And if they do follow through, it's an example to other companies and to people, one that everyone should follow. So let's see. Let's hold them to account and see what happens.

In news about a different company, the president's sons are scrapping a big project, wait until you hear why.


LEMON: Merriam-Webster defines scion as a descendant of a wealthy, aristocratic, or influential family. Well, the two scions of the Trump family, Eric and Donald, Jr., have abandoned plans for two new hotel chains dubbed Scion and American Idea in dozens of American cities. What happened to the golden touch? CNN's Athena Jones has more.


ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump's sons are scrapping plans for a new hotel project. Eric and Donald Trump, Jr. who took over managing the business when their father assumed office, citing what they describe as a toxic political climate for the Trump brand.

Eric Trump saying in a statement, "We live in a climate where everything will be used against us." The expansion plans originally aimed to build two new hotel chains, Scion and American Idea, in dozens of cities across the United States. One company executive telling the "Wall Street Journal" in early 2017 that Trump hotels signed 17 letters of intent with potential owners for one of the new brands, Scion.

But those plans later stalled with only a single project in the Mississippi delta town of Cleveland still in progress. Now plans for that project are shelved, with the Trump sons vowing to restart their plans when their father leaves office.

[23:55:02] Donald Trump, Jr. saying in a statement, "When politics are over, we will resume doing what we do best, which is building the best and most luxurious properties in the world. The interest in the Trump brand has never been stronger."

The president himself has been vocal about the impact his presidency has had on his bottomline, telling the "New York Times" earlier this month --

TRUMP: I lost massive amounts of money doing this job. This is not for money. This is one of the great losers of all time. You know, fortunately, I don't need money.

JONES (voice-over): The Trump organization is hamstrung by self- imposed restrictions. The firm says it banned new international deals in response to criticism that foreign countries could seek to create favor with the president by striking deals with his sons.

The company signing only a handful of new deals according to two sources familiar with the business. And hiring outside counsel to vet any new domestic agreements or projects for potential ethical problems.

JOSHUA GREEN, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, BLLOMBERG BUSINESS WEEK: Trump's presidency has been so controversial and so offensive to a lot of demographic and consumer categories that it's essentially destroyed his brand. People don't want to buy Trump products anymore. People don't want to stay in Trump hotels.

JONES (voice-over): The collapse of this deal comes as the company faces increasing scrutiny from federal investigators. The Trump hotel in Washington, D.C., a magnet for Trump supporters and for foreign officials could be considered a bright spot for Trump's bottomline, although precise financial information from the private company is not available. Still, it is mired in lawsuits over whether the president is improperly benefitting from the foreign business the hotel attracts.

And about that plan to pick up where they left off after Trump leaves office.

GREEN: Trump may well have a future in business, but it's going to be appealing to demographic cohorts that are supportive of him now.

JONES (voice-over): Athena Jones, CNN, New York.


LEMON: Thank you Athena and thanks for watching. Our coverage continues.