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Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) Is Interviewed About How Much Redactions Will there be on the Mueller Report; Rod Rosenstein Say the Mueller Report Will Clear Questions on the 2016 Election Meddling; The Atlantic: Inside Ivanka's Dreamworld; Video Shows Chicago Officers Punching and Dragging a 16-Year-Old Girl Down the Stairs; CNN Hero Vicki Sokolik. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired April 12, 2019 - 23:00   ET


[23:00:00] GREGORY ANGELO, FORMER PRESIDENT, LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS: -- were ruled unconstitutional almost as soon as they were implemented.


ANGELO: That's why we have a court case that was moving towards the Supreme Court.

ROSEN: They absolutely weren't. And by the way, those court cases were brought the, you know, same people who now have eliminated the programs.

When Barack Obama tried to help those kids, that program was effective with Arne Duncan, and what happened when the Trump administration came in, they killed it.

So just, you know, stop. You can make friends with hi if you want to, you can have -- you can do what you want to do, but don't try and pretend that there is not an agenda, long, long held agenda to hold back the rights off LGBTQ people and to use religious excuses to do so.

And Mayor Pete, in this presidential campaign to take it back to the big picture, Don, you know, is in a good position to educate people on it this because people have sat back and gotten a little -- gotten a little comfortable.


DON LEMON, CNN HOST: I just want to --

ANGELO: You know?


ROSEN: Marriage got legal and everybody thought, well, you know, the gays are fine.


ROSEN: But the truth is they're not.

LEMON: I just want to ask Gregory this.


LEMON: Because I'm trying to make sense. Again, I'm going to ask. So, you think gay that people should be allowed in the military?



ANGELO: That's right.

LEMON: And you think that transgender people should be allowed in the military?

ANGELO: If they meet the qualifications that the Pentagon sets out, yes.

LEMON: Well, everyone in the military has to meet the qualifications even if you're not bisexual.


ANGELO: That's correct. That's correct. Whether you're gay, transgender, straight, I agree with you.

LEMON: OK. Do you think that gay people should be allowed to be married?

ANGELO: Yes, I do and, we are. And that's a law now and the vice president and the president of the United States both agree.

ROSEN: You don't agree.

LEMON: So, I don't understand how are you defending the policies of someone who is against all of that, that you believe in and saying that they're not anti-LGBTQ.


ANGELO: I'll tell you why, Don. Because people can -- I'll tell you why, Don. Because people can have personal opinions that don't impact my life, the life of other LGBT individuals whether we're privileged as Hilary says or not. I don't care how Mike Pence feels about --


LEMON: That doesn't impact your life if you -- OK. I'm not going to ask you about your personal life. But if you chose to get married as a gay person and you're not allowed to, that doesn't affect your life?

ANGELO: This is a hypothetical that we shouldn't even consider now because it's the law of the land in 50 states.

LEMON: No, no, you're dodging.

ANGELO: We're not going -- we're not going back in time.

ROSEN: But Don, here's the point. It might not affect Gregory's life, right? It might just affect lesbian on minimum wage in Mississippi trying to make a living with her and her, you know, three foster kids because, and she's the one who is vulnerable to being fired from her job.

You know, people in suits and ties in Washington not so vulnerable to being fired for being gay.


ROSEN: That's the point here, is that people really are who are the most vulnerable people in this community and in this country are the people who are not being protected by the most powerful and that's the crime.

ANGELO: You know, I tell you. The crux of all of this is actually how I think people like Hilary and myself disagree on how we achieve true equality in the United States. Is the way that we achieve true equality in the United States solely and exclusively by federal law and executive order? I would actually disagree with that.

As a conservative, I think that there are different ways, different paths that we can take and I think also that if we are actually, throughout this whole process working towards equality -- and Hilary, I worked with you as part of the marriage coalition in 2013 as we move toward that Supreme Court case --


LEMON: You sounded like you're saying there's no reason for a law. We're a nation of laws. It sounds like you're saying that --

ANGELO: We are. Well, we are.

LEMON: -- that people shouldn't have protection.

ANGELO: But how do we achieve equality?

LEMON: You sounded like you're saying people of color, black people shouldn't have fought that for laws to be changed, or shouldn't have fought for the right to vote under the law.

ANGELO: I'm not -- I'm not saying.

LEMON: They are different race. What do you do, you're just nice to people, you have tea with them and say will you please accept me?


ROSEN: It depend on --

LEMON: I would like to be in the military but I'm gay and go on the honor system? I don't -- honestly, I don't understand what you're saying.

ANGELO: I'm saying we live in a country right now where most, the overwhelming super majority of Americans already think that it's wrong to discriminate against someone because they're part of the LGBT community.


LEMON: What does that have to do with the law?

ANGELO: We do that without any sort of -- we do that without any sort of federal law. That's what I'm saying. That if we continue to move the culture --


ROSEN: But there is discrimination.

ANGELO: -- in a direction --

ROSEN: There is youth suicide at a higher rate.

LEMON: They may believe that but that doesn't mean the discrimination is not there. People can believe a lot of things but that doesn't mean -- necessarily mean that it's true. That doesn't mean it's the facts.

ANGELO: And I also don't --


ROSEN: Listen, if things were so good for LGBT people in this country, we wouldn't have a higher -- you know, double the rate of suicide for LGBTQ kids than any other kids in this country. We would not be facing the issues that we're facing of discrimination.

So not for a minute are things OK. Not for a minute does this work, does laissez-faire notion work to just say you know what, survival of the fittest, gang. Buck up. You know, go get your own equality.

ANGELO: That's not what I'm not saying at all, Hilary.

ROSEN: Yes, you are. That is what you're saying.

LEMON: Then what are you saying, Gregory?

[23:04:58] ANGELO: I'm saying that we're creating a -- we've created organically a culture in the United States -- and by the way, I would actually add, just bringing it back to the focus of the segment motivated in many respects by people of faith that have created an environment in the United States where there is increasing acceptance of the LGBT community.

Do kneel (Ph) -- keeps moving toward greater acceptance. It's not less acceptance. I'm not saying that we're perfect in this country and I would actually argue that there is and potentially should be a path for LGBT equality legislation that recognizes the religious liberty, the rights that people of faith have in the United States.

But when people say that it's terrible for LGBTQ individuals in the United States, I think that at the very least they're exaggerating. We live in a wonderful country right now, one that elevates people of all different types.

And the vice president and the current administration I think are trying their best to do that and I think are succeeding in many ways.

ROSEN: I'll just close with one thing quickly, which is, and I don't want to make you feel bad, Greg. But when you go to bed tonight, I just want you to remember that yesterday your friend, the vice president refused to tell Dana Bash that you are not a sinner and he said that that was because of his religious faith. That's all.

ANGELO: And I would close with this, Hilary, that as someone who is a person of faith myself --


ROSEN: That's all.

ANGELO: -- I am a sinner.

ROSEN: His words, not mine.

ANGELO: I'm a sinner in many ways. All of us are sinners. If you are devout Christian --


ROSEN: He meant --

ANGELO: -- you understand that we are all sinners --

ROSEN: She ask specifically about being gay.

ANGELO: -- and they were and always asking God for forgiveness.

LEMON: Why are you a sinner?

ANGELO: Because I'm imperfect.

LEMON: In what ways?

ANGELO: I'm not divine. I'm not divine. I'm not perfect.

ROSEN: She said that homosexuality is sin. Come on.


ANGELO: I come up short day in and day out.

ROSEN: Come on. We're all flawed as humans.

ANGELO: That's right. ROSEN: Throwing that out on TV just doesn't mean anything.

ANGELO: No, but it does.

ROSEN: What I'm telling you is that, Dana Bash specifically asked the vice president about whether homosexuality is a sin and he specifically declined the opportunity to absolve you and your friends and me and Don by saying that he believes his religious faith give said him the right not to say that.


ROSEN: So that's all you have to say. So, let's not talk about him being discriminated against non-religion. Let's not talk about your view that he's accepting everyone. This is still a person not accepting.


LEMON: I just think --

ROSEN: This is still a person not saying that.

LEMON: Listen. I got to go. But I just said that it's interesting to me when people say we're all sinners. People -- lying is a sin but you're not discriminating -- people don't say you can't join the military because you're a liar.

ROSEN: Right.

LEMON: Gluttony is a sin. People don't say you can't be married because you're a glutton. You know, adultery is a sin. People don't say that you should be discriminated in your job because you're an adulterer.

But, somehow, if you're gay, you're not worthy of all off all of those things. That is total and complete hypocrisy and a misrepresentation of what the bible and religion is all about. I got to go. Thank you. See you soon.

ROSEN: Good night.

ANGELO: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein behind closed doors dropping some bread crumbs about what's in the Mueller report. A Justice Department official says Rosenstein told attendees at a private lunch today that the report will clear up questions about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The official tells CNN that Rosenstein made the comment to emphasize that the core of the Mueller investigation Russian meddling in the election was thoroughly investigated and charged. Rosenstein is also defending Attorney General Barr's handling of the

report, telling the Wall Street Journal, he's being as forthcoming as he can. Really? Then why did Barr sum up a nearly 400-page report and a 22-month investigation with a four-page letter using just a handful of lines from the actual report and not using the summaries that the Mueller team provided.

The attorney general says he'll release a redacted version of the special counsel's report by next week. It could come any day now. And the problem is we don't know how much of the report the American people will actually see after all those redactions.

So, joining me now is David Rohde and Elie Honig. Thank you, gentleman. Thank you for waiting.

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That was fascinating.

LEMON: We got to you guys a little bit late. It's amazing to watch. But you know, we had to do it.


LEMON: So, thank you for this. Elie, let's talk about Rosenstein. He says the Mueller report is going to clear up questions about Russian interference in the election. But there are still some major questions about all of the Trump team's contacts with Russians. Do you think the report is going to get to the bottom line on that?

HONIG: I think it will. I think look. This is Robert Mueller's core mission to investigate connections between the Russian government and Trump campaign in 2016. That's the chapter I'm going to turn right to. And the big question I have and you mention before William Barr's four-page summary. And for a sampling of what -- what a sort of sanitizing effect that four-page letter has had is what's out there now is just no collusion. Right

[23:10:03] That seems to have caught on as what the conclusion is of Robert Mueller. But now we're going to see the report. And what I want to see is what does he make of the Trump tower meeting? What does he make of the fact that Manafort shared polling data with Kilimnik?

And keep in mind, all that Robert Mueller appears to have found is there's not enough evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to charge criminal conspiracy. But there's plenty of room for there to will be evidence of coordination of things that are concerning from an intelligence and security level. So, I'm very interested to see that.

LEMON: We, it feels like we've been here before, David. Like, the reports are going to come. We're going to -- you know. And then we get the Barr letter. But it's going to come at any moment now. So here we are again. What are you looking for?

DAVID ROHDE, ONLINE NEWS DIRECTOR, THE NEW YORKER: I'm looking for in terms of the communications with Russia, the polling data, and this kind of stuff, did Donald Trump know about any of the dozens of contacts that occurred between his campaign associates and the Russians?

Did he approve of them? Did he lie about them, you know, since he became president? Because that's the sort of, you know, what came out with these stories within the week that there was derogatory information about the president's behavior that's in the report. These were complaints that some members of Mueller's team made.

That's the kind of thing that could cause real problems for Trump. And then the real issue is obstruction of justice. That is the one issue where Mueller didn't make a decision that could lead to possible impeachment if there is significant evidence of it.

LEMON: Elie, do you think in their -- and you know, I don't know if that's part of the report because there is a cross over. There may be a cross over. Now you see what's happening with the SDNY.

HONIG: Right.

LEMON: And Trump Inc., or what have you. Could there be some not so glowing things about the way the president conducts business or some cross over of conflicts of interest with his businesses and Russia or people who are in the campaign? I don't know.

HONIG: Yes. So, everything is linked up here. But obstruction is going to be a key question. Because remember, Robert Mueller came out right on the razor's edge there. He said the evidence was sort of too close to call.

And one of the things I want to see is what was that evidence? And why did Robert Mueller not make that call? It's very unusual for a prosecutor, especially of Robert Mueller's caliber not to make a call and who did he intend to make that call? Was it William Barr?

I think not. William Barr got asked about this the other day. He seemed to say Mueller did not ask me to make the call. I think what Robert Mueller was intending there was Congress. You're the only ones who can take the action here. We don't indict sitting presidents. So. I want it for you. And if that's the case that could change the whole calculus here.

LEMON: David, why do you say that the redactions in this report will cement Barr's legacy? Do you think he understands what's at stake for him, I'm sure he --


ROHDE: He said -- I was at his confirmation hearing -- he said, I'm at a point in my life when I can do the right thing. I don't care what happens that people criticize me or not. He did this once before. He supported President George H.W. Bush pardoning several members of the Reagan administration for lying to Congress.

They were, you know, accused of lying to Congress because they were disobeying their need talk to Congress to respect Congress's oversight abilities. Barr backs the sort of supreme president that can do anything he wants. So. he needs to release this report to Congress. LEMON: Let's listen to what you're talking about at the confirmation



LEMON: Then we'll continue on.


WILLIAM BARR, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: I am not going to do anything that I think is wrong and I will not be bullied into doing anything I think is wrong by anybody, whether it be editorial boards or Congress or the president. I'm going to do what I think is right.

I feel I'm at a position in life where I can do the right thing and not really care about the consequences in the sense that I don't -- I can truly be independent.


ROHDE: Will he be independent? And I hope he is. If he releases most of this report, it will help this country. If he hides most of it, we're just going to keep fighting on and on. I worry given his statements this week of being independent and be political and back his president.

LEMON: Is he being truly independent?

HONIG: I don't think so. I have very little faith in William Barr. I gave him -- I was willing to give him the sort of benefit of the doubt.

LEMON: So many people were. And I sat here going, OK.


LEMON: All right. Go on.

HONIG: Look, he had -- he has a good resume. He has this ability to sort of dress up everything he does in the clothing of the law. And he makes things sound official and he looks and appears nonthreatening.

But I think when you really bear down on his record, in his history, every single thing he's done in office has helped or protected Donald Trump. I can't name one he's done in the few months he's been in office that has been truly independent where there might be some chance that Donald Trump or someone in the White House says gee, I wish he hadn't done that. Everything he does come out -- comes out one way and it's always to protect the president.

LEMON: But you knew he already put -- he wrote about it.

HONIG: I know.

LEMON: The special counsel and that was, which was in large part they believe why he was nominated. HONIG: Well, not only -- not only did he write his opus on

obstruction which we all know about. Don't forget, he also was very skeptical of collusion. He wrote to the New York Times in 2017 about how there's a better basis to investigate Hillary Clinton. Then he wrote, quote, "so-called collusion." Like he's rolling his eyes that even the notion of collusion two years ago. So, I think he prejudge this.

[23:15:02] LEMON: OK. Before -- hasn't been Hillary Clinton been investigated?

HONIG: Yes, right. I believe so.

LEMON: Then what happened?

HONIG: He wanted them; he was talking about Uranium One. All these conspiracy theories.


LEMON: The attorney general of the United States talking about conspiracy theories which have been debunked?

HONIG: Right.


HONIG: Well, we saw it two days ago, right?

LEMON: All right. What do you think? I mean, he -- in his -- I know you want to respond here.

ROHDE: Fine.

LEMON: But he made sure to say he's friends with Mueller. Do you think he -- during the confirmation hearing -- do you think he knew what he had to say to get confirmed?

ROHDE: Yes. I mean, the people are coached about this and he got himself confirmed. My fear is his backing again of the imperial presidency. We have three, you know, branches of government, a federal judge approves the eavesdropping, the surveillance of Carter Page. That's the judicial branch doing what it should be.

It is Congress's power to decide whether the president should be impeached, and basically Barr is arguing that the president cannot obstruct justice. The president can break the law, can thwart, and investigate, can fire the FBI director who's investigating his own campaign, you know.

And according to Barr that's part of his power. So, I mean, what when -- what then makes a president accountable, you know? He needs to turn over this report and respect the Congress.

HONIG: Yes. And Barr even said in his memo not only the president can stop any investigation. He said he can stop an investigation for any reason including protecting himself.


HONIG: And talk about putting someone above the law.

LEMON: There you go.

ROHDE: And pardon people.

LEMON: Yes. There you go.

HONIG: Coming soon.

LEMON: Customs guy --


HONIG: Any day.

LEMON: -- I'll pardon you. Reportedly, allegedly.

Thank you, both. I appreciate that.

The Mueller report is coming out any day now but how much will be redacted there and how many questions will it answer? I'm going to ask a member of Congress, next.


LEMON: The Mueller report is expected in a matter of days. The Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein saying today that the report will clear up questions about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. But how much would the American people get to see? How much would be redacted and how many questions will remain?

Joining me now to discuss is Congressman Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat on the judiciary committee. Thank you, Congressman, for joining us. We appreciate it.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Thanks for having me.

LEMON: When you heard the attorney general testifying this week, giving credence to the president's paranoia, talking about alleged spying on the Trump campaign, what are your expectations that we will -- that he will release the full Mueller report to Congress?

RASKIN: Look, he's acting like a paid federal public defender for Donald Trump. He's not acting remotely like an attorney general of the United States, the kind that we've known in the past.

And if this report were indeed fully exonerating, as the president keeps proclaiming, it would be at everybody's front doorstep or it would have been three weeks ago. I think it leaves a very strong impression on the American people that this is a form of political editing that is taking place by the --


LEMON: It is interesting to have, you know, so much redaction and color coding. Who knows? he said it's grand jury. But I think the American people are smart enough to figure it out on their own without all of --


RASKIN: Yes. Well, and remember, it's always been Congress in the past which has made the 6-e grand jury deletions or excisions.


RASKIN: It's not been the attorney general who's done it.

LEMON: So, I want to ask you about there's an interview in the Wall Street Journal where the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defends his boss's handling of the Mueller report.

He says, "William Barr is being -- and this is a quote -- being as forthcoming as he can and that the public should have -- another quote -- tremendous confidence in Barr." After what Barr said in testimony, what do you think about Rosenstein's characterization?

RASKIN: Well, I think that the attorney general came very close to just discrediting himself by buying into the whole debunk deep state conspiracy theory about how the Department of Justice was out to get the president.

Look, we don't know what's in the Mueller report. But whether it shows there was lots of evidence or just the evidence we know of the Trump tower meeting with the Russian emissaries, even if it's just the stuff we already know, there's clearly was enough evidence to give alarm to people in the Department of Justice people in the FBI to do their job.

I mean, on less evidence, in fact, on no evidence at all the A.G. is now saying that there was spying against the Trump campaign. And by the way, the spying that he's talking about, if he's talking about FISA warrants, those were issued by Republican FISA court judges --


LEMON: Several different judges at different points.

RASKIN: Yes. And they were -- they were following the law to do it. So it's remarkable to me that the attorney general of the United States will, without any evidence at all, buy into this completely -- the completely deranged theory about spying on the Trump campaign.

LEMON: Yes. It's a conspiracy theory echo chamber, it seems like.

You know, we learned today about the president's plan to release migrants detained at the border into largely Democratic what they call sanctuary cities. What can he possibly be hoping to accomplish?

RASKIN: It's just a totally illogical plan that makes no sense. It would as if President Obama had said we're going to release sick people with no health insurance on the states that refuse to engage in the Medicaid expansion and to accept federal funding for it. It just doesn't make any sense. The two things don't match up.

LEMON: Before I ran out of time, I just want to get this in. Because this Congress has just passed 100-day mark. In a preview of an appearance on 60 Minutes this weekend the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi indicated change might be coming. Listen to this.


LESLEY STAHL, CORRESPONDENT, CBS 60 MINUTES: Why doesn't anything get done?

NANCY PELOSI, UNITED STATES SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We just started. We just started with three months since we're in office.

STAHL: But you're talking about 100 days. This president's been in office for two years plus.

PELOSI: And we've been here three months. Hey, may I introduce to you the idea of the power of the speaker is to set the agenda.


[23:25:02] LEMON: Can you give us a glimpse of what Democrats what the agenda is.

RASKIN: Well, we just passed the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization, we just passed the Paycheck Fairness Act for equal pay for women and men in America. We passed the first gun safety legislation in more than two decades for a universal comprehensive criminal and mental background check on all firearm purchases in the country to close the gun show loophole, close the internet loophole that's favored by 97 percent of American people.

Our counterparts didn't even have a hearing on that in the last two years. We're fighting for prescription drug reform to give the government the power to negotiate with the big pharma companies for lower prescription drug prices in Medicare. That's a power we've got in Medicaid in the V.A.

If you check out our positive program, we are fighting for the American people every single day against the most lawless and corrupt administration of our lifetime. So, we're playing defense for the Constitution and the rule of law. We're playing offense for the American people.

LEMON: Congressman Raskin, I appreciate your time.

RASKIN: Delighted to be with you, Don.

LEMON: Ivanka Trump is a senior advisor in the White House but my next guest says she's made herself a snow globe world for herself to live in. The reporter with the scoop on Ivanka's White House life joins me next. [23:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Remember when people thought Ivanka Trump would be a moderating force on this president? Well, things sure have changed. New new article in The Atlantic, "Inside Ivanka's Dreamworld," goes behind the scenes of the White House life of the advisor to president/first daughter.

I want to bring in the article's author, Elaina Plott, joins us. Also with us to discuss are Alice Stewart and Maria Cardona. Good evening. OK, good to have all of you on, fascinating.

Elaina, let's go straight to your piece. Your piece is called "Inside Ivanka's Dreamworld," and you set the scene, interviewing the president about Ivanka in the Oval Office, when she accidentally pops in, and then you write this.

You say, "You could tell by his eyes, the way they popped and gleamed and fixed on someone behind me. Only one person gets that kind of look from Donald Trump. "Oh," the president said. "Ivanka!" Ivanka Trump lifted her hands, astonished. "I forgot you guys were meeting. I was just coming by," she said. "Uh-oh."

OK, I thought it was interesting that you're doing a piece on her. She didn't want to do the interview, bur her dad did. I'll ask you about that later. But, she forgot that you were meeting with her father, Elaina, really?

ELAINA PLOTT, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: No, of course she didn't, Don.

LEMON: Yeah.

PLOTT: But it's one of those moments and I know you felt this way probably as a journalist when as soon as it happens, you say to yourself, OK, that's my lead. I mean, that --

LEMON: Yeah.

PLOTT: It's totally emblematic of everything my reporting has shown me t thus far about somebody who feels that, you know, if they project a certain way of being, they will be perceived that way and only that way.

LEMON: But you knew that she didn't forget, right? That was --

PLOTT: Oh, of course.

LEMON: OK. Let me ask you this in, because as I, you know, I've seen the comments. Do you think that -- was this a backhanded way of the president of the United States floating the idea that somehow Ivanka can run for political office even if the article turned out to be negative? It's like saying don't think about puppies, right? Because you write in there, you talk about him saying, oh, she'd be, you know, run for president and all that stuff.

Do you think that that's -- because when I read it, I was like, that's exactly what it is.

PLOTT: No, I don't think so at all. Only because it took me probably three months to get anyone to agree to talk to me, mostly because The Atlantic ran a cover story calling for the president's impeachment, and nobody in the White House would talk to me for a while. So, the fact that I even got the interview was one thing.

But I was the one who broached the topic specifically about whether he thinks Ivanka might run for office someday. If only to show that, you know, as it is with her belief in him, he believes she can do no wrong. The idea that she might be president one day or leader of the World Bank or U.N. ambassador, is totally plausible in his eyes.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Don, if I can say this, this is a phenomenal piece and a great profile. Elaina did a great job in really defining it. I think she kind of buried the lead, though, really. She is talking about the lead there. I think the lead of the piece is that Ivanka Trump can actually be a serious advisor and a dutiful daughter at the same time. I think that's what we are seeing. You can sit there and you can laugh.

LEMON: You're good, Alice.


STEWART: What I'm saying is that, look, she outlines Ivanka, who she is, very well. She is talking about her being poised and calm under pressure and a cosmopolitan peacemaker and someone who can really bring people together. And that's truly her nature. It's really easy to sit back and look at her as someone who is the daughter of the president and has no business being there.

But I have seen her in situations where she's in tense meetings and serious situations. She is trying to make her case. And I have seen her. She comes there with the facts. She is impassioned, she is emboldened, and she really makes the case. And she does so often times with zero notes.

She does this because she comes -- she understands that she has more of a bar to cross than most other people and --


STEWART: -- she does a good job. I'm just saying she didn't get there by any other means than she's the president's daughter but she is really -- my experience with her, is really working extra hard to make --

LEMON: OK. I want to read something from Elaina's piece, but Maria, I know you want to get in, so go on.


MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, no. What I was going to say is, you know, she is somebody that I think people has painted her in certain way going into this fairly or not, because people have been so desperate for a balanced voice inside the White House for all the crazy, dangerous, threatening things that this president has done, and she hasn't live up to that.

[23:35:12] Again, fairly or unfairly, this is how people have painted her. But, you know, nobody asked her to come to the White House. In fact, there has been some reporting that the president didn't even want her or Jared to come in there. And now it looks like she -- at least from the piece, which I think was brilliantly written, by the way, you know, she is -- she doesn't understand why people don't like. She doesn't understand why people are feeling this disdain towards her.

You know what? She's in over her head. She doesn't have the qualifications to be where she is. And I don't even think she has the public service gene in there that most people that go into the sacred place that is a White House should have. And I think that's a big reason why people are criticizing her.

LEMON: OK. So let's talk about that, Elaina, because I thought it was fascinating. Because you write about -- you talk about she is surprised about that people care about process (ph), how you actually get to the end, right? The means justify --

PLOTT: Right.

LEMON: Like she's -- well, how does it matter how I got my security clearance? I got it. So therefore, it is true. I found that fascinating and you're exactly right about that. So let's discuss everything that the other two guests just said. You actually take that on. You say that throughout the election, Ivanka maintained a pleasing blankness, you say. Yet people made assumptions about her.

You write, during the election, Ivanka never said outright that she supported abortion rights, for example, or was concerned about climate change, yet many people felt sure of both. Ivanka did not offer an opinion on immigration or the need for a border wall, yet the conventional wisdom was that her views must be different from her father's. She wrote thank you notes. She spoke in complete sentences. Because she embraced the manners -- and here we go again talking about this. This is what Mayor Pete Buttigieg says -- because she embraced the manners of polite society, she surely embraced its politics, too.

She rarely took a public stance, Elaina.

PLOTT: Yeah.

LEMON: And so that benefits. She can be all things to all people in the former life that she had, but when you're an adviser to the president and in politics that does not fly.

PLOTT: It doesn't fly. If anything, when researching this article, looking back at her statements or lack thereof during the campaign, made me think that, you know, the American public has to take an even more critical view of itself for so seamlessly buying into this notion that her politics were any different from her father's. We had no idea what her politics were. She never said what they were. And because she just made herself this vacuum of sorts, I think that these ladies are totally right. People wanted some -- they were desperate for this balanced voice of sort.

And because of that, they were able to project that on to her because she was this blank canvas of sort. But that's our fault. We did that. And she succeeded in a past life because it was based on a lifestyle brand where that kind of thing did work and did make money. But in politics, those kinds of assumptions have actual consequences on American people

CARDONA: But you what --

LEMON: I've got 10 seconds left, so quickly, please.

CARDONA: One of the things that I really took from this is that --

LEMON: Got to go fast.

CARDONA: -- and we've heard is that her father is actually not an asset to her. Calling her "baby" in White House meetings when she already is not taken seriously --

LEMON: Yeah.

CARDONA: -- is not something that is helping her.

LEMON: It's interesting to me that she said her brand is about cultivating authenticity --


LEMON: That's just really being --

STEWART: Let me just say, Don --

CARDONA: Do you need to cultivate authenticity? That is not quite authentic, is it?

STEWART: You can be polite in society and also be a conservative at the same time.

LEMON: OK, I got to go. But I struggle with actually doing this because -- doing the segment because I don't know if Ivanka Trump has any relevance now.

CARDONA: Yeah, I agree with you.

LEMON: And you know what I'm saying, Elaina?


LEMON: Because I don't know if she has any actual relevance now and I don't know what she's actually accomplished, anything that's worth of note. But that's a conversation for another time. Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Great reporting, Elaina. Thank you so much.

This is a shocking story caught on camera. Chicago police dragging a 16-year-old girl down the stairs and beating her. And believe it or not, it gets worse from there. The teen's father joins me, next.


LEMON: A 16-year-old girl pushed and dragged down the stairs at her school by two police officers, who then punched her and allegedly used a stun gun on her. And the shocking incident all caught on surveillance video.

According to a lawsuit filed by her family, on January 29th, Dnigma Howard was kicked out of class at Chicago's Marshall High School for using her cell phone. There was a disagreement over whether she should give up the phone. Chicago police officers assigned to the school were called.

The video shows what happened next. Dnigma is talking to a classmate in a yellow shirt who walks away. Dnigma takes a step and is then grabbed by one of the officers and violently dragged down the stairs. The two officers, one male, one female, pinned her to the ground using their bodies and feet. You can see one of the officers punching her while she is on the ground. Dnigma appears to try to defend herself. The officers allegedly end up shocking her multiple times with a stun gun.

[23:45:03] On February 1st, Dnigma was charged by the state's attorney's office with two felony counts of aggravated battery against a police officer. Five days later, the charges were dropped. The Howard family has filed a lawsuit against the city, Chicago Public Schools, and the officers involved in the altercation.

Chicago Public Schools and the school department -- and the police department, I should say, they are investigating and have not commented on the specifics of the incident.

Joining me now is Dnigma's father, Laurentio Howard, and Andrew Stroth, who is the attorney for the Howard family. I'm so glad you guys are here. Thank you very much for joining us. Laurentio, you are actually there at the school to pick up your daughter while this was happening. Tell us what was going through your mind when you saw your daughter being dragged down the stairs and beaten by police.

LAURENTIO HOWARD, FATHER OF DNIGMA HOWARD: First off all, I heard a commotion and I turned around. I looked and I've seen my daughter coming down the stairs. And immediately I turned to see what was going on, and I've seen a police officer had her leg pulling her down. And once she got down to the bottom of the stairs, I've seen the female police officer just hitting my daughter in the face.

And I'm looking like I don't know what's going on. I'm like what's going on, why are you doing this to her, what's going on. All they told me to do was to step back and get out the way.

LEMON: Wow. So, how is she doing now? Was she seriously injured? HOWARD: She was traumatized more than anything. She had a couple of cuts and bruises on her body and everything but she's more traumatized than anything. It's hard for her to sleep at night. It's just a total mess right now, but I'm helping her to get through the situation without counselling right now.

LEMON: What did she say happen? How did this situation get so out of control?

HOWARD: Well, the police officer, as you can see in the video, just grabbed her and just pushed her down the stairs. When -- the police officer in the beginning said that she pulled them down the stairs. That was their initial statements.

LEMON: Let's look at this because in the video, before the police officers take her down, it looks like Dnigma is saying something to the officer, not that anything she could say would ever justify such a violent response, but did she say something? What did she say happen? What did she say, if anything?

HOWARD: I don't know. I'm not sure what she said. She told me the police officer say you're leaving right now. And they meant, the two, you're leaving right now by any means (ph) necessary.

LEMON: Yeah. Andrew, CNN has reached out to Chicago P.D. and the public schools as well. Both say that they are investigating. They are unable to comment further because of a pending lawsuit. But Dnigma was charged -- initially charged. Without this video, she would have been in a world of legal trouble.

ANDREW STROTH, ATTORNEY FOR HOWARD FAMILY: You have a 16-year-old girl without cause or provocation that is kicked and punched and dragged down that stairwell and then tasered. And then the officers gave an official statement and that statement didn't match the video.

And thank God the state's attorney's office looked at that video, the surveillance video from the school, and they realized that the narrative given by the police completely contradicted what was on the video.

Because had Dnigma Howard been charged and convicted, she could have spent several years in custody and her life would have dramatically altered and potentially ruined. But thank God for the video and thank God the state's attorney's office dismissed those charges.

LEMON: Yeah, because they said that she initially attacked them, but then the video shows otherwise.

STROTH: Absolutely. So, once we -- and we knew from the beginning because Mr. Howard told me and did Dnigma that they did not do what the police said they did. So thank God that the charges were dismissed and then subsequently we filed a federal civil right lawsuit against the Chicago (INAUDIBLE), the city of Chicago, and the two officer who, by the way, Don, had a history of using excessive force against other individuals.

LEMON: I want you to explain this to us, because you say it should have never gotten this far because your daughter is in an independent education plan. In case classroom issues arose, the school counselor was supposed to be called, not police. Explain that for the audience, please.

HOWARD: When you have an individual plan, you are supposed to be able to talk to your case manager and he's supposed to resolve the situation, whatever problems you're having.

STROTH: Mr. Howard's daughter has some behavioral challenges. So when they have students with certain challenges, they have a plan in place so that if something happens, there's a protocol that is to be followed.

[23:49:58] I mean, this was all about Dnigma wanted to keep her cell phone and they didn't want her to have it. So instead of calling the assistant principal and the counselor, it escalated because there's Chicago police officers assigned to that high school.

And what happened was the officers were called, they came, and you see Dnigma hugged her friend, and then you that officers immediately cuffed her, tackled her, and pushed her down those stairs. I mean, I'd give Mr. Howard a lot of credit because he had to stand by while his daughter was being brutalized by the Chicago police.

LEMON: What do you want to see happen to the officers, Laurentio?

HOWARD: They should be charged with assault because as you can see in the video, they assaulted her, instead of their story saying that she assaulted them. They should lose their jobs.

LEMON: Yeah. Well, keep us updated on what happens. Thank you both for joining us. Thank you, Laurentio. Thank you, Andrew. I appreciate it.

STROTH: Thanks, Don.

HOWARD: Thank you.

STROTH: Good to see you.

LEMON: We'll be right back.


LEMON: This week's CNN hero is bringing a hidden population of teenagers out of the shadows. One point three million kids sleep on the streets or couch surf every night in the United States. These are unaccompanied youth, teenagers who made the tough decision to leave their unstable homes. They are forced to navigate a dangerous world on their own.

Vicki Sokolik is not only giving them a safe house to live in, but love, belonging, and a chance at a brighter future.


VICKI SOKOLIK, CNN HERO: There's a lot of shame that goes with being a homeless, unaccompanied youth. They hide what's actually going on with them. And so they really become this very invisible population. Most people don't even though these kids exist.


SOKOLIK: The transformation of these kids is monumental. They come in so broken. And I'm just one person telling them I'm going to help them. They become softer. It's just great that they can be happy and they're able to be kids again.



LEMON: To see one young woman's journey from living without electricity for a year to training to become a lawyer, and to nominate someone you think should be a CNN hero, go to

Thanks for watching. Our coverage continues.