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CNN TONIGHT

President Trump Can't Get Rid Of The Habit Of Lying; Bloated Amount Of Aid Not Seen In Puerto Rico; A.G. Barr's Letter Interpreted Differently; Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX) Was Interviewed About What Trump Said At National Republican Congressional Committee Dinner; President Trump Falsely Implies Republicans Lost Because 2018 Elections We're Rigged; First Quarter Contributions, 2020 Fundraising Totals So Far; Sportswriter Rick Reilly Writes Book Indicating The President Is A Huge Cheat. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired April 2, 2019 - 22:00   ET

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


(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

[22:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Thank you for watching. "CNN TONIGHT" with D. Lemon starts right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: It's exhausting, we have to do it, but it is exhausting to fact check this president. It's something that you, you know, I'm glad that there are news organizations that are people who are devoted, that's their job, they're devoted to doing it because it is really exhausting.

CUOMO: I think that the tedium of catching him when it's really pretty obvious, you got to be careful not to let it get tedious. Not to let it get tiresome because you have to pick the ones that matter. Seventy-eight percent, your house went down. I don't care about that, with the windmill B.S. It's -- even the windmill thing to me is more funny, if nothing else, funny in a ridiculous way about it him.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: But you have is to keep track of it because he uses it as a sells tool for people. Close the border it'll be good. It worked on this guy this congressman from Florida -- or from Texas we had on tonight. Yes, it's the way to do it, this is the way you get Congress act, you know. He did the same thing with the shutdown. Brinksmanship is always a dicey proposition, when it's based on lies and deception, it's even more of a gamble.

LEMON: It is.

CUOMO: That's what's going to happen if you close the border. That's why we have to track it.

LEMON: Yes. But you know what, it works. Because as you said --

CUOMO: With some.

LEMON: Yes. It works. Well, there are a lot of people who believe -- and there are so many -- I mean, it's exhausting to go through -- (CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Not half the country.

LEMON: Most people -- well, he still has -- he still has a lot of folks and he had enough who believed a lot of the lies before the election to make him president. That is enough. And he continues to do it because what does it do? It works. I'm a great businessman.

CUOMO: I can't confirm the conclusion. I hear your rationale. I respect it.

LEMON: What do you mean by that?

CUOMO: Because I don't see how he wins again with the numbers that he has right now. I don't see it.

LEMON: Have you seen what the Democrats are doing?

CUOMO: Well, listen, you can't beat somebody with nobody. We know that. But, you know, I'm saying that's one of the practicalities of politics but what I'm saying is we'll see where they have to be. They're nowhere in their process, and, you know, it's going to be ugly. It's going to -- that's the way those processes are, the same thing on the Republican side last time.

But he had a simple task as a president which is to build off your base. He hasn't done it. So that would be my concern for him if I were working on his team.

LEMON: He won without having that big of a base, anyway. Right? He played the electoral game, and whether -- some people are doing research on it now, calling it an electoral fluke. Call it what you want, the man is the president of the United States.

CUOMO: Yes, he is.

LEMON: They believed enough of the lies. He told a lot of them before the election. He's told- more afterwards. They -- enough, they believed enough for him to be president and it doesn't matter to them. Have you seen the stuff that Alisyn Camerota does in the morning on your old show? She did it with you on New Day.

CUOMO: Yes.

LEMON: When you get those focus groups on, many people say I don't really care. I just care about the economy. I care about --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Yes. But look, I don't care who they are, I don't know how those panels are selected. There's a reason I didn't do them. But the -- what I'm saying is this, there's no question the people buy into what the president is selling, I get that. It's just unusual, that you come into power, you cut taxes, you cut regulations, you say all these things, you get lucky a lot and still don't grow your base. It's unusual, Don. I'm telling you.

LEMON: Yes, it is. Imagine if the economy wasn't in the position that -- imagine if the former president didn't set him up for this economy. I wonder if where --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Imagine if people didn't see the economy the way they see it. Imagine if they saw it the way Donald John Trump used to see it. Don't give me the unemployment number. Give me the underemployment number, he used to say. What kinds of jobs? How many hours? What is their quality of life? Those metrics are not great right now.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: So, he's benefiting in a lot of different ways. I'm just saying I point out the lies when they are instructive of a tactic because I don't want my audience to be played for a sucker.

LEMON: I agree with you, I'm just saying it's exhausting. Every time he says something, every time he has a press conference, you have to fact check everything because --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Let's get after it, brother. Let's get after it.

LEMON: My point is you can't just let it sit there. And we're going to talk about some of that in my open. You did it in your closing. We're going to do it in my open. It's good to see you back in the studio looking fresh and handsome as ever.

CUOMO: You like my new look?

LEMON: What did you do?

CUOMO: I'm kidding. Nothing. I wear the same thing every night. All right. I'll be watching.

LEMON: Did you go get a little work for you?

CUOMO: No. I'm going to. Yes, that's where I was. That's why I was on the border. You get work cheaper down there.

LEMON: I hear it's cheaper down there. You took the words out --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: I brought you something.

LEMON: See you. Obviously, it didn't work. Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: I'll see you later.

LEMON: Yes. He didn't spend any money on that. Money not well spent. It did not work. This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

The president said something absolutely outrageous tonight. I know. I know. But this is really something. OK? Go along with me here. President Trump encouraging congressional Republicans to -- and this is a quote, "to be paranoid about elections and implying that the midterms were somehow rigged."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[22:05:04] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to watch those vote tallies, you know, I keep hearing about the election and the various counting measures that they have. There were a lot of close elections that were -- they seemed to every single one of them went Democrat.

It was close, they say the Democrat -- there's something going on. You got to -- hey, you got to be a little bit more paranoid than you are, but we have to be a little bit careful because I don't like the way the votes are being tallied. I don't like it. And you don't like it, either. You just don't want to say it because you're afraid of the press.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: What a sore loser. Yes, I said it. What a sore loser. If you don't like the way the election went, then just suggest there was something wrong with the vote. I didn't win, there's something wrong.

What a thing for the president of the United States to say. Refusing to take any blame for his own party's losses in the midterms and accusing Democrats of cheating without a shred of evidence to back up the latest conspiracy theory.

The president was not done. Not by a long shot. The man who seemingly never met a strongman he didn't like saying this about Chinese President Xi Jinping.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I was in China making a speech. President Xi, who's a strong man, I call him king, he said, but I am not king, I am president. I said, no, you're a president for life, and, therefore, you're king. He said, huh, huh. He liked that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Maybe it is a little tongue in cheek. Who knows? The president for life, a king? I think we know which of the two leaders really likes that -- the thought of that one.

And it comes on a day this president was working really hard to distract the American people from the Mueller report. The report he really, really doesn't want Congress to see.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Anything that's given to them will never be good enough. You

could give them the more documents than they've ever seen and it would never be good enough so I think it's somewhat of a waste of time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Waste of time? Waste of time? Waste of time for Congress to do its job? Waste of time for the American people to see the report that they paid for, the report that you've paid for? When so far, they've only seen the attorney general's summary of the principal conclusions of the Mueller report.

And let's remember. This is the report that confirms the intelligence community's conclusion that Russia attacked our democracy by trying to influence the 2016 election. You got to wonder what the president is so worried about. After all, he hasn't let a day go by without insisting he's been completely exonerated, even though that's not actually true.

Mueller said his investigation did not establish that anybody on the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government, but he explicitly did not exonerate President Trump of obstruction.

Still, it was less than two weeks ago that the president said that he wouldn't mind if the public saw the report, mind how things have changed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does the American public have the right to see the Mueller report?

TRUMP: I don't mind. I mean, frankly, I told the House if you want, let them see it. Let it come out. Let people see it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, do you want to release the report?

TRUMP: It's up to the attorney general, but it wouldn't bother me at all. Up to the attorney general, wouldn't bother me at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, the attorney general said today that he intends to release the Mueller report in full to Congress and to the public. Do you agree with that decision? Do you want the White House to take a look over it for privilege?

TRUMP: Well, I have great confidence in the attorney general, and if that's what he'd like to do, I have nothing to hide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they do vote out the authority for subpoenas, will the White House fight those?

TRUMP: Well, I think it's ridiculous. We went through two years of the Mueller investigation, so there's no collusion. There's no obstruction. And now we're going to start this process all over again? I think it's a disgrace. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Didn't even take him two weeks to do a complete 180. But we all know this is a trick that the president has played before. Do you remember when he said that he wanted to sit down with Mueller, answer the questions under oath? We all know how that worked out, or actually, didn't work out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version of these events?

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: One hundred percent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to talk to Mueller?

TRUMP: I'm looking forward to it, actually.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To reach a higher standard, you would do it under oath?

TRUMP: I would do it under oath.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, would you like to testify to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, sir?

TRUMP: Thank you. Sure. I would like to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You would like to?

TRUMP: I would like to.

[22:09:59] I would love to speak because we've done nothing wrong. I would love to speak. I would love to go. Nothing I want to do more. I would love to speak. I would love to. Nobody wants to speak more than me. In fact, against my lawyers because most lawyers say never speak on anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you more likely to sit for an interview now?

TRUMP: My lawyers are working on that. I've always wanted to do an interview because, look, there's been no collusion.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Is that your final position, that there's going to be no sit-down interview and nothing written or in person on obstruction?

TRUMP: I would say probably. Probably. I mean, I can change my mind, but probably.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: All right. So, look, it's all part of a pattern for this president who, according to our fact checking pals at "The Washington Post," Chris and I were just talking about it, he says it's tedious. I say it's exhausting. Whatever.

According to "The Washington Post", he's paid 9,451 false, 9451 false or misleading claims in his first 802 days in office. He's up to 22 a day over the past 200 days. So, is it any surprise that he would flip- flop today on the border after threatening on Friday to shut it down?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it your intention, sir, to close the border this week, and what would it take to not close the border?

TRUMP: Well, I haven't made that intention known, and I'm ready to close it, if I have to close it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK. Then just moments later, this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: If we don't make a deal with Congress, the border's going to be closed, 100 percent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, he hasn't made his intention known, but if Congress doesn't make a deal, the border is 100 percent going to be closed, which is pretty much making his intention known.

And then there's what the president tweeted, of course, tweeted today about Puerto Rico. OK, claiming the island with well over three million American citizens got $91 billion in aid after hurricane Maria. Well, that is not true.

Actually, as Puerto Rico's governor points out, the island got $300 million in work projects, which is far, a far cry from $91 billion. And Puerto Rico is still struggling to recover from that devastating storm a year and a half ago. A year and a half later and they're still struggling.

So, the president is not telling the truth there, either. I've said this before, you've heard me, if you lie about anything, you will lie about everything, even the little things, especially the little things. Like what the president said today about his father, Fred Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: My father is German, right? Was German, born in a very wonderful place in Germany. So, I have a great feeling for Germany.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: It's not true. The president's father was born in New York. It's not the first time this president has falsely claimed his father was born in Germany.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I have great respect for Germany. My father is from Germany. Both of my parents are from the E.U. Both my parents were born in E.U. sectors. OK? I mean, my mother was Scotland. My father was Germany.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Huh? That's about where someone's father was born? Where have I heard that before? Yes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I want him to show his birth certificate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why?

TRUMP: There's something on that birth certificate he doesn't like.

And if he wasn't born in this country, which is a real possibility, I'm not saying it happened. I'm saying it's a real possibility.

A lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate. Many people do not think it was authentic. His mother was not in the hospital. There were many other things that came out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: How many times do I have to say it, that you really can't make this up. The man who trashes President Obama with birtherism, slurs Elizabeth Warren as Pocahontas for claiming some Native American heritage, doesn't even bother telling the truth about his own lineage, doesn't do that.

I stick with it's exhausting because no one wants to keep pointing that out, the lies, but that's hour jobs. We have to.

So today, we asked the White House why the president would say something so clearly and easily proven false about where his own dad was born. No response.

When you lie about anything, you lie about everything. Like what he says about the Mueller report, completely exonerating him. The president never misses a chance to claim that the Mueller report exonerates him, so why doesn't he want the American people to see it now?

[22:14:58] That's the question for Dan Rather, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The House Judiciary Committee planning to vote tomorrow to authorize a subpoena for Robert Mueller's full report without redactions. President Trump who had said the report should be made public now calling the move by the committee, his words, "ridiculous and a disgrace."

Here to discuss is Dan Rather. Dan is the host of AXS TV's The Big Interview. John Dean is here as well, he's a former Nixon White House counsel. I'm going to get to John in just a moment. But I want to start you, Mr. Rather. Thank you for joining us. Both of you gentlemen, by the way.

So, what happened to the president saying that the report should be released, he said I have nothing to hide. If it completely exonerates him, as he has falsely claimed, what is the big deal?

DAN RATHER, HOST, AXS TV: Well, the big deal, I think, we can only speculate, because he has done, as you put it before, a complete 180. So, if the report completely exonerates him as he continues to claim then why is he resisting having even Congress, never mind the public, get the full report.

I think we need to back off of what we call on television the wide shot here. All we know about the report is I think it's 42 words that the attorney general has told us, 42 words out of somewhere between 300 and 400 pages.

[22:19:50] Now, one could speculate, and it is clear speculation that one reason President Trump has reversed himself is that members of his staff were telling him, look, this is good news, we're good thus far, but don't get too far out there because there are things in the report, there are could be things in the report that will be contrary to your best interest.

But, look, you know, we need to ask yourselves who are we as a people? What have we become and what are we becoming? Where are we headed? You have the president today, he lied, I hate to use the word, but he lied --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: It's tough when you're talking about the president of the United States.

RATHER: It is, still very tough.

LEMON: Yes.

RATHER: But he lied about Puerto Rico saying we sent $91 billion there, which is not anywhere near the amount of money we sent there. But, you know, he takes the attitude if he lies often enough, enough people will believe it to keep him in good standing for this presidential term and put him well positioned for the next presidential term.

But time and time again, you see him use this technique, which he says I have nothing to hide. Well, if he has nothing to hide, why haven't we seen his tax returns? About the Mueller report, I have nothing to hide. But if he has nothing to hide, if he completely exonerates him which is not true, we know that already from the 42 words we know about, but if it exonerates him, he should want it out there for everybody to see.

LEMON: So, let me ask you, then, a similar question, so then what is going on, you think, inside the White House? You think there's a sense of panic about the Mueller report? Do you think people are telling him maybe you're overselling this a little bit?

Because as you point out, we've only seen a few dozen words from the actual report, and, listen, maybe there's nothing in there. Maybe, you know, it's a glowing report about him, but, you know --

(CROSSTALK)

RATHER: Well, we already know that there are things in there he will not like on the question of obstruction of justice. He was not exonerated on obstruction of justice. We were told, we accept, that on a matter of conspiracy with the Russians in which he or anyone close or anyone was involved or collusion, word he prefers to use, very clear, the report exonerates him on that.

On obstruction of justice, it says directly that there's some evidence that he did and some evidence that he didn't.

LEMON: Didn't. Yes.

RATHER: Now the attorney general has taken it upon himself to make the decision, well, that being the case, "I, Attorney General Barr, a supporter of President Trump, of course, says I'll make the decision."

LEMON: And I think Congress is saying that they should be allowed to make the decision, they want to see the evidence from this report.

Let me bring in, I want to bring in John Dean now. Because John, listen, the House Intelligence chairman thinks Mueller will have to testify. Here's what he told Wolf.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: I think it is inevitable that Bob Mueller is going to have to testify, and I would presume that he may testify before multiple committees. The judiciary committee will be predominantly interested in the criminal side.

We're interested in how this investigation began, and it may even be ongoing. We don't know. And that is this began as a counterintelligence investigation over concerns that the president or people around him may be compromised, wittingly or unwittingly. We don't know if that's even going to be a part of the Mueller report.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: John Dean, I mean, you know, you're no stranger to having to testify before Congress. Is Schiff right, though? Will we see Mueller testify on Capitol Hill publicly?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I don't know if it will be public or not, but if he's in front of the intelligence committee, it's more likely to be a closed session, but if he goes in front of the judiciary committee, it's more likely to be an open session.

I think that the Congress and the House is playing it very smart right now. They're sending subpoenas for this information. They may have to subpoena witnesses as well to back it up.

I -- you know, I don't have a lot of faith that Mr. Barr is going to be opaque and transparent with this report. His criteria for redaction is -- gives him a lot of latitude, and I think that there's going -- there will be challenges all the way along and this will probably end up in court to get sorted out, and maybe not before 2020.

LEMON: John, and another question, and yet with all of this as you pointed out, the House Judiciary Chairman, Jerry Nadler told wolf that it may or may not be necessary for Mueller to testify. You surprised by that?

DEAN: Well, I am. You never know, some of these -- you know, I can't believe that there would be any reason Mueller would be reluctant to do so. I think he'd want to stand behind his report and his work and I think, particularly on the counterintelligence area, he's had a lot of license there and those reports are seldom open, Don. They're always closed.

LEMON: So, Dan, listen, we also heard from the president today, he accused some people of treason for even launching the investigation. Treason. What do you think of that?

[22:24:55] RATHER: Well, I think we need to see it in the context in which it's said. If this president says all kinds of outrageous things, and I would consider this by any objective analysis outrageous and also dangerous, to begin accusing one another fellow Americans of treason.

LEMON: Of treason.

RATHER: Particularly when it involves you, something you have or have not done personally. This is not the kind of language that we're accustomed to presidents using. President Trump uses it because he does think it reinforces him with his base that he's not afraid to call people out, so forth.

But you know, one can only hope that the public at large, and I do have great confidence in Americans in the audience, see this for what it is, that he's on the one hand playing defense because the Mueller report on the central, most important thing about conspiracy with Russia, did exonerate him. So, he's playing offense on that.

Then he's playing defense about what else may be in the report, the whole question of obstruction of justice and playing defense on a lot of other fronts, including this news of possibly closing the border which, by the way, could be really important in terms of negative effect on the economy.

But he's a master, and one has to give him credit, even if it's begrudging credit, sort of a cunning master of running a very strong offense using words, even words such as treason, when it benefits him, but then playing fierce defense on the other hand.

LEMON: Yes.

RATHER: And that's one reason he's president.

LEMON: Hey, John Dean, I have to go, but if you can quickly give me your response on this, I would really appreciate it. Because the former FBI director, James Comey, talked about A.G. Barr today on Christiane Amanpour saying that, you know, he deserves the benefit of the doubt. And then you have Nadler saying, hey, listen, he's an agent for the president. What do you say to that? Does he deserve the benefit of the doubt as Comey says?

DEAN: Well, I think they're start -- they're being smart and starting the process of sending out subpoenas. And they can, meanwhile, give him the benefit of the doubt.

LEMON: Yes.

DEAN: So, it's a good backup plan.

LEMON: All right. Gentlemen, thank you. I always appreciate having you on.

RATHER: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Thank you so much.

How a Democratic Texas congressman, a Democratic Texas congressman who ran on health care and flipped his districts in the midterms, how will he react to the president's false claims about rigged elections? I'm going to ask him. Congressman Colin Allred responds, next.

[22:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: President Trump speaking tonight at the National Republican Congressional Committee dinner talking about his party's loss in the 2018 midterms, implying that Republicans lost in the midterms because of election rigging and saying he didn't like the way the votes were being tallied and Republican need to be more paranoid.

Well, here's the truth. Democrats won their majority in Congress fair and square and they won campaigning on issues that are really important to the American people like health care. So, joining me now is one of those Democrats who won in November on that platform. That is Democratic Congressman from Texas, his name is Colin Allred.

Thank you, Congressman, for joining us this evening. I appreciate it.

REP. COLIN ALLRED (D), TEXAS: Yes, thanks so much for having me, Don.

LEMON: So what I just said about the midterms and what the president said, let's listen to that moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to watch

those vote tallies, you know, I keep hearing about the election and the various counting measures that they have. There were a lot of close elections that were -- they seemed to, every single one of them, went Democrat. If it was close, they say the Democrat -- there's something going on, fell -- hey, you got to be a little bit more paranoid than you are, OK?

Look, all these beautiful people. These beautiful Republican congressmen and women, but we have to be a little bit careful, because I don't like the way the votes are being tallied. I don't like it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So I have to ask you, because you're one of the Democrats elected in 2018 who helped flip the House to Democratic majority. He is implying that your win wasn't valid. Is that how it feels to you?

ALLRED: Well, I don't know what the president is trying to say there, but I know that it's extremely dangerous when the president of the United States is questioning our Democratic institutions. We need to be strengthening them, restoring as much confidence as possible in the entire process.

That is one of the reasons why I was a co-sponsor on HR1, which as you know, Don, is a sweeping pro-democracy, pro-voting rights, anti- corruption bill that we passed in the House. I would like to see the Senate take it up and for the president to sign that to help restore confidence in the entire system.

LEMON: What does it say, Congressman, that the president of the United States is spouting conspiracy theories about elections across the country, though?

ALLRED: Yes. Well, I'm a voting rights attorney, and I can tell you that some of these theories have been used for a long time to try and restrict access to the ballot for a lot of Americans. And so we have to be very vigilant about that and make sure that we're expanding voting rights, that we're giving as many people as possible involved in our system.

Our problem in our country is that we don't have enough people voting. And we have to do something about that through our Democratic processes and avoid questioning the results of elections.

LEMON: So, I want to talk about health care now, because the president talked about delaying his health care plan until the 2020 election. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I wanted to delay it, myself I wanted to put it after the election because we don't have the House. So even though the health care is good, really good, it's much better than when the plan comes out which we'll be showing you at the appropriate time, it's much better than Obamacare. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So tonight at the Republican dinner, the president insisted that Republicans could win on health care saying that they should not run away from it. Is he right?

ALLRED: Well, I don't know what the politics are of this. What I understand and know for sure is that this is the number-one issue that people in my district, really across the country, care about. That we need to be working together to strengthen our health care system.

That is why I was proud to lead today a resolution in the House to condemn this administration's attacks on the ACA and its attacks on people with pre-existing conditions. What they are trying to do invalidate the entire law through court.

They couldn't do it through the process of Congress when they had it for two years. They had the House, and the Senate and the presidency. Now they're trying to do it through the courts. This is something that I know concerns a lot of Americans, because they don't want to go back to the bad old days.

LEMON: I want to put up something that just really shows the stark reality of the situation that we're in. An estimated $88 billion, American borrowed that -- Americans borrowed that to cover health care costs last year. $65 million adults said that they had a health issue, but did not seek treatment due to costs.

That is according to a new survey released just today. Do you think the president appreciates the crisis that so many Americans face when it comes to health care?

[22:35:05] ALLRED: Well, clearly not. If he is saying that he has a secret plan, he is going to wait until after an election to present, if he has a plan that will help lower costs and expand coverage for Americans, it's his duty as president of the United States to try and advance it right now. To try and take care of some of the families who are dealing with issues right now.

I talk to folks every sing day in my district who have something going on in their family, health care related and the concerned about the cost of it, the concerned about the cost of prescription drugs. If we can do something about that together, we should be doing it right now, not waiting until after an election.

LEMON: Congressman, thanks for your time.

ALLRED: Thank you so much, Don.

LEMON: We're getting a look at the fundraising totals for some of the Democratic presidential candidates and the candidate in the lead just might surprise you. We'll tell you who's ahead, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So the president is out tonight trying to rally Republicans for the fight ahead in 2020. That as three of the 16 Democratic candidates who want to run against him are releasing their fundraising totals. OK? Here are those totals. Senator Bernie Sanders leads the pack with $18.2 million.

Senator Kamala Harris is in second with $12 million. And south Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg rounds out the top three with $7 million. So we got more totals and we got more people here to discuss. Maria Cardona, John Aravosis, and Matt Lewis. Good evening to one and all. So good to have you on.

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And as much as, Don.

LEMON: Listen, all of that, I think, it's all pretty good. It's nothing to sneeze at. So, let's break it down a little bit.

[22:40:00] Maria, when you combine Bernie Sanders' money with the fact that he is doing so well in the polls, is it fair to say that he is the front-runner at this point?

CARDONA: I think you would have to say that at this point, Don. Look, it's incredibly impressive the fund-raising haul that he was able to get in this time around. I think he has surprised a lot of people thinking that maybe his time had passed, but when you bring in this kind of money, especially from small dollar donors, that you can go back to again and again and again, that is very, very impressive.

And clearly from a name recognition standpoint, he was in the polls second only to Joe Biden. So he should take advantage of that now, because clearly it's still very early. It's April 2nd of 2019. There's a long way to go, but he is in a very good position as it stands right now.

LEMON: Listen. That is a lot of money. I mean, not to discount that, but he did have the advantage of having built a platform --

CARDONA: That is right.

LEMON: -- during the last election. Matt Lewis, I love the title of your piece today. You wrote, "You're way too woke for your own good, Democrats." So you think the Democrats are already doing real damage to their chances of beating Trump. Explain.

MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.

LEMON: You're not alone in that, by the way, but go on.

LEWIS: Yes, no, look. Saul Alinsky, the radical Chicago organizer, rule four in his rules for radicals, is hold the enemy to their high standards and in this case, Democrats are holding themselves and each other to high standards. It's the basically imposing progressive politically correct social justice orthodoxy on each other.

And so you have it in the case of Joe Biden, arguably the most -- the toughest competitor to go up against Donald Trump. The guy that could maybe win Pennsylvania and Michigan is facing these metoo-type scandals. Bernie Sanders' campaign is unionizing. And of course, he is had his own scandals, his campaign, not Bernie, himself.

You have Elizabeth Warren swearing off high dollar fund-raising. Even though she can't compete with Bernie or Beto in terms of the low dollar fund-raising. So basically you have ideology and political correctness driving their strategic decisions. And I think that for, not to use a politically incorrect term, but handicaps them not only in the primary, but potentially this chance to defeat Donald Trump.

LEMON: OK. So, John, let's talk about your piece. This is in the "Daily Beast." All right? I like your title as well. You called "The insanity of Democrats attacking Buttigieg for not being gay enough." And then, here's what you write, you said, "All this seems like an attempt to write Buttigieg off as just another white guy. Standing in a way of more diverse candidates.

It's the oppression Olympics at its worst, and the battle to prove that one community is more discriminated against than another, we tear each other apart rather than unite in common cause." So explain to me more, what do you see happening here?

JOHN ARAVOSIS, EDITOR, AMERICABLOG: Well, OK. You've got what Matt's talking about and what I'm talking about which I think are two sides of the same coin, OK? Democrats care about diversity. We care about sexism. We care about racism.

We care about homophobia. We care about workers' rights. Everything Matt said is something you can laude the Democrats for. Because we are actually trying to -- you know, we cared that Joe Biden had a couple of hiccups and Joe Biden will explain himself and people will decide on their own. That's not a bad thing.

I do think sometimes, and I point it out in my Daily Beast piece, that things can go a little too far. With Matt -- with Pete Buttigieg, you had some people saying, even this on tonight on Twitter, people telling me it doesn't matter that he is gay. He is a white man. And that negates him being gay.

And it negates his experience growing up gay and negates the kind of discrimination that all of us as gay people. I'm gay as well. Experience growing up and that bothers me. Because it can go too far and we can get to the point where sometimes I think on the left, sometimes we'll beat up kind of on each other and will say, you know, my oppression is more than your oppression --

LEMON: Sometimes?

ARAVOSIS: And that is --well, no, Maria doesn't do it, I don't to it.

LEMON: Come on, let's be honest. Maria, and you know, Maria, you are often == you represent the Democratic side on this show and I often pointed out during the last election and even now, and I feel that in many ways the Democrats and some, you know, one candidate in particular may have done more harm than the president to Hillary Clinton.

It was just surprising for me to see Democrats beating up on each other so much and then even, OK, even at the convention, we are at the Republican convention. Remember, no Republican liked Donald Trump. Not one of them. They all talked smack about him. At the convention, what were they doing? Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, build a wall, build a wall, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump.

CARDONA: Right.

LEMON: Democratic convention, there were people as she is giving her speech yelling, "Bernie."

CARDONA: Yes.

LEMON: My producers and I were looking around going what on earth is going on? Take it away.

CARDONA: No, absolutely, I couldn't agree with you more. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. I'm hoping that we learn from that situation, Don.

[22:45:04] What you're seeing now, I agree more with John, I think, obviously, than Matt, because right now we're in a very early stages of a very robust primary with a lot of candidates. These are the things that are going to come up, but I think that what Matt is pointing out is something that goes on more, I think in the fringes of our Party where people are more interested in the, sort of the pure progressivism than in what a candidate can do to beat Donald Trump.

When in reality, what we've seen in poll after poll of most Democrats and most progressives in all of the states is that they actually care more about a candidate being able to beat Trump than being true to every single progressive issue that they care about.

So I think that we will get to the right point, and in terms of what John said, I agree that we're having the right conversations about Joe Biden and even about Beto.

LEMON: OK.

CARDONA: Those are good conversations to have, and frankly, Republicans should try it out sometime.

LEMON: All right. Fair enough. Great segments. Thank you. Great segment. And great articles. Thank you, all, very much.

CARDONA: Thanks, Don.

ARAVOSIS: Thanks.

LEMON: So we all know the president loves to play golf, but my next guest wrote the book on President Trump's golf game and according to him, shocking, the president cheats a lot.

[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So President Trump spent 177 days at a golf club since becoming president. That is about a fifth of his entire presidency. Now, many presidents had a love of golf, but none of them owned and operated golf courses around the world. So he gets to spend a lot of time there. This president even held an event at a golf course during the 2016 campaign, and according to a new book by my next guest, he is sportswriter, Rick Reilly, the president is a huge cheat.

No. OK, stand by. I want you to listen to this. This is how Reilly puts it OK? Quote, he said, to say Donald Trump cheats is like saying Michael Phelps swims. So according to caddies and associates, the president cheats shamelessly, brazenly, even making up his scores in front of the people he is playing with. He claims to have a handicap of 2.8.

That would be better than Jack Nicholas, winner of 18 major golf titles. The president claims to have won 18 club championships. Well, Reilly did an audit of these championships and it turns out that 12 weren't actually club championships, but senior or super senior competitions meant for players 60 and older.

And as for the other six, Reilly could not find definitive proof that he won any of them. Two of the competitions took place at clubs that weren't open yet. He claimed to have won the championship at Trump Bedminster on the same day that he was playing at Trump Philadelphia, almost 80 miles away.

Now, listen, this is about more than golf. This is quite a bit about the president. He plays golf, like he, you know, like the rules don't apply to him. Does a lot of things like that? He lies about his golf game, the way he lies about things large and small. He is made 9,451 false or misleading claims since he took office. That is according to "The Washington Post." That's in a rate of about 22 false claims a day over the past 200 days.

So, as I said before. You lie about anything -- Rick Wilson, the new book is called "Commander in Cheat." Rick Reilly, "Commander in Chief," Reilly, Reilly, but that's fine. Rick Reilly Commander in cheat, how golf explains Trump." Thank you so much. I appreciate it. You say golf is like bicycle shorts. It reveals a lot about a man.

RICK REILLY, SPORTSWRITER AND AUTHOR: It does. And what this book reveals about him, you're going to want to take a shower afterwards, because the amount of cheating it's incredible that he does. And he does it in front of people. He trains his caddies to cheat for him. He kicks his ball out of the rough so many times he has a nickname Pele. Now, he won a tournament from 87 miles away. Like Trump Philadelphia, his course and they were playing a tournament at Trump Bedminster and he calls it, won the tournament, he said the guy goes 74 and he was last shot 72 today, so give to me.

LEMON: OK, so listen.

REILLY: Of course, he employs this people. So he's going to win it.

LEMON: But you smiled and said, you wanted to talk about this before we go on. He claims to have a handicap of 2.8. That is better than Jack Nicholas, winner of 18 major golf titles. He's handicapped was what -- REILLY: He's handicapped is 2.8. Jack Nicholas is 3.5. Who are you

going to take in a bet? And by the way, do you play golf?

LEMON: No, I don't.

REILLY: So, to get a handicapped, you got to turn in 20 scores. For me it takes about four months. It's taking him eight years to get those 20 scores. We know he played 66 times last year. He posted twice. So he is just cherry picking his best scores and so it looks like 2.8, but he is not a 2.8 in fact. I've said it all day today, I'll bet him a 100 grand if he bets on 2.8 and I'm at five, I will bet him a 100 grand I can beat him, but he can't use his cheating caddies, he can't go to his course and he has to have a rules guy follow him, same as we me.

LEMON: You cling that his issues about golf, you said it correlates with his policy decisions and you think it might be why he holds a grudge against Puerto Rico?

REILLY: Yes.

LEMON: Explain.

REILLY: You know, people don't realize. He went into a deal in Puerto Rico with a golf course there and he made it worse. He said he was going to get him a tour stop, he never did, play went down, and so they said, we are going fall, We are going to go bankrupt, he said no, take out a loan with your government and I promise this will work.

[22:55:03] So, they took out this $32 million loan and it didn't work after the first couple months of that loan, so the Trump boys just left and left them holding the bag. So when Puerto Rico happened, was it that different than what he did to them on the deck? No, he turns his back on people. He said he's going to pay you so much, he pays you 10 cents on the dollar to build his clubhouses, to build his course.

He breaks so many promises. You know there's a course in Ireland. You know how he got us out of the climate change agreement, right? Meanwhile he owns this course in Ireland and they're suing to put up a sea wall to protect his course from climate change. It says right on the lawsuit.

LEMON: Yes.

REILLY: So, when it helps him, he believes in climate change. When it doesn't, it's a hoax.

LEMON: OK. I'm glad you mentioned that, because he made this outrageous claim that windmills cause cancer earlier tonight. Check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: If you have a windmill anywhere near your House, congratulations your House just went down 75 percent in value. And they say the noise causes cancer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Listen, I'm compelled to say that there's no science that proves that windmills --

REILLY: You know what this is about?

LEMON: Well, it's actually related to golf, too.

REILLY: Yes, he has this course in Aberdeen, I think you guys has (inaudible), but it's Aberdeen, Scotland, and he built this ridiculously expensive course and torn down the sand dunes and he wanted to charge $300,000 for people to join it and couldn't get that, and then they started putting up these power windmills and he sued the government.

And he said they give you cancer and they kill birds and in fact, they don't do anything and he lost the lawsuit, and then he sued again and he lost and had to pay all the expenses. So he hates windmills and now he is telling the world that they give you cancer. Like what?

LEMON: So what gives? I mean, the way someone plays a sport honestly really tells you a lot about their character. I mean, we're joking here, but it does tell you a lot about them.

REILLY: You know, I always close with Arnold Palmer and he would only play - he get in the business deal if the guy played 18 holes with him first. And I asked him once why. And he said, because he can't hide who he is over four hours. If he is going to lose his temper, he's going to do it out there. If he's going to cheat me, he's going to do it out there. And if he's a good guy, then I'm looking forward to being in business with him. I think Arnold Palmer would be rolling in his grave about the big orange splotch he's putting in the game that I love, you know.

LEMON: Rick Reilly, thank you so much.

REILLY: Thank you for having me.

LEMON: The book is called "Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump" -- How Golf Explains Trump.

REILLY: Explains a lot.

LEMON: It explains a lot. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)