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The 23 Minute Mystery At Notre Dame; Paris Chaplain Braved Flames To Save Cathedral Treasures; Trump Chides Fox News For "Weird" Bernie Sanders Town Hall. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 16, 2019 - 21:00   ET


[21:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Dan Weiss, appreciate it, thanks so much.


COOPER: That's it for us. Want to hand it over to Chris. CUOMO PRIME TIME starts now. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, CUOMO PRIME TIME: All right, thank you, Anderson. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

We have new information and stories to tell about what happened to Our Lady of Paris. The headline is the French President thinks the Cathedral can be rebuilt in five years. Really?

Also, what a story? A hero Chaplain braved the inferno to save the religious treasures inside. Wait until you hear this incredible story.

Now, tonight, we also know more about what did and did not survive the flames, and what did survive largely in part because of that Chaplain and the chain they put together. I'll tell you the whole story.

But there're also nagging questions. Why did it take so long to report the fire? What does that tell us about what has to be done better in the future? Information on that.

And guess who we have? His Eminence Cardinal Timothy Dolan here on the great revival he sees coming during Holy Week, an important message.

And some very enlightening information as we prepare for the Mueller report. What's just been dug up from Attorney General Bill Barr's past that's raising goosebumps about the President - not the President - the present.

What do you say? Let's get after it.




CUOMO: So, here's the big fact that we're still struggling with when it comes to what happened in Paris. 23 minutes, that's how much time it took for flames to be detected at the Cathedral after the first fire alarms went off at about 6:20 P.M. local time.

Checks were initially carried out. This is what we're told. And the Cathedral was even evacuated. But they didn't find fire. Why? We have an expert here tonight to go through things.

Then the next fact we have, 6:43 P.M., second alarm rings. That's when security offers - officers finally saw the flames. But by the time the firefighters got there, remember we showed you about the geography, we'll remind you that tonight, and the timing during rush hour, the flames were already out of control.

A construction expert tells The New York Times, the Cathedral didn't have certain equipment you need to have to fight back fire, sprinklers, different architectural work, where the inferno reportedly started, especially the attic space, we'll - we'll take you through all of it tonight.

But the first guest I have, he's not here to talk about construction. He's to talk about reconstruction of the structure but also of the soul, Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan.


CUOMO: Cardinal, it's great to have you especially during Holy Week.

DOLAN: Appreciate the invitation.

CUOMO: Now, you're--

DOLAN: Good to be here.

CUOMO: --always welcome. So, we'll deal.

DOLAN: You got such an interesting show. I'm going to stick around and watch the whole thing, if you don't mind.

CUOMO: You are - you'll always like it.

DOLAN: This is promising.

CUOMO: It - it can only help. Look, we want to know what went wrong, so it can be fixed going forward, obviously.

DOLAN: Sure.

CUOMO: We do not have any reports or indication that this was foul play that this was done--

DOLAN: Thank God.

CUOMO: --through some malice. We've seen none of that. Now, we get to the question we asked last night is we know what's gone, but what remains, and what happens next?


CUOMO: What do you hope for here?

DOLAN: You know what? This is a - I am finding a kind of a rollercoaster of emotions.

Listen, like everybody else, when I first heard of this tragedy a little over 24 hours ago, sadness, oh, my Lord, confusion, just a - a somberness that I said how could this happen to one of the greatest icons in civilization?

All of a sudden, Chris, when I detect, for one, the overwhelming sense of sympathy and prayer that everybody started expressing to me, number two, the sense of - of digging in and rebuilding, and saying we're not going to let this destroy this Church, we are going to begin to build right now, when I saw, it - it reminded me of the almost hardwire in the human - in the human person of a sense of resiliency and hope and resurrection, which is really appropriate for this Holy Week, when that's what we're celebrating in the life of Jesus, when that's what our Jewish neighbors are celebrating in Passover, that sometimes the more dismal the situation, the more hopeful we become.

Sometimes when we look at - at something we love literally reduced to ashes, we automatically almost see life coming from that.

When you hear from the French President, when I hear from my friend, the Archbishop of Paris, when I hear from our own people here, there's already life coming from death and do I ever find that inspirational.

This could - figure this - figure it this way, Chris. If you wanted to name a place in the world that would kind of represent, what would we say? Well kind of an aggressive inbuilt militant secularism where religion wasn't taken seriously anymore, even religion was scarred upon, you - you might say Paris.


DOLAN: Paris would come to mind.

Here you've got right now thousands of people on their knees praying, thousands more crying over the destruction of the - of - of - of their church, and the whole country rising up to say, "They are not going to destroy something we love." You - you almost see this resurrection of a - of a spiritual vitality.

CUOMO: I remember after the terror attacks there, you had Charlie Hebdo, and then you had the attacks at the Bataclan, people gathered at Notre Dame. Now, of course, they had, at Our Lady of Paris, they had masses and stuff.

[21:05:00] But people there who weren't necessarily believers in Christianity or Catholicism, they went because of the belief in their community.

DOLAN: That's true. CUOMO: And I wonder if, in your opinion, that Our Lady of Paris had transcended, you know, even her role within the faith, and it started to symbolize things to people. 13 million a year went there, Cardinal.


CUOMO: They weren't all Catholics.


CUOMO: Twice as many that go to the Eiffel Tower.


CUOMO: Whether it was the art or the architecture or the aspirational sense that something is above you--


CUOMO: --whatever you decide--


CUOMO: --it is--


CUOMO: --how do you make sure that remains?

DOLAN: We - we see that at St. Patrick's too, all right.

CUOMO: Sure we do.

DOLAN: People feel at home there. Even to look at it smack dab in the middle of Fifth Avenue in Midtown, Manhattan, there's just sort of an - an automatic uplifting spirit. The same is true with Notre Dame.

So, people who may not be overtly Christian, identifiably Catholic, might not even identify themselves as believers, they still kind of sense within themselves a touch of the Divine, a - a magnetism to the above.

And a place like a - a place like Saint - of Our Lady in Notre Dame in Paris just symbolizes that and brings out the best. Brings out the best, not only in faith, religion, worship, love, the Church, brings out the best in art, culture, music, literature, a sense of national pride, a - a heroic memory of the past.

All these things that make civilization noble seem to be personified in a place like - like Notre Dame.

So, no man - no wonder a woman on the street that I could see that I heard last night she says, she says "France has gone to the guillotine with the - with the destruction of - of Notre Dame. We've - we've been beheaded." That's how much they think of - of Notre Dame.

CUOMO: And what is the comfort that you provide to people in that moment of pain.

DOLAN: Well, I'll tell you this.

CUOMO: She'll never be the same. You know, this was it. She lasted 800 years. And now, we may rebuild her. But, you know, what she was, she'll never be again, what do you say?

DOLAN: Well from what I'm - what I'm hearing, they're saying, they're giving me hope. Nobody's kind of coming up to me and saying, "Oh, what do we do? What do we - are - are we going to rebuild?"

They're the ones who are saying, you know, the gates of hell are not going to prevail against us. The church, meaning their church, that building, but also the Church, the wider household of the faith, is going to rebuild, is going to survive.

Lot of generosity. Can - can I tell you something? You know Ken Langone.

CUOMO: Very well.

DOLAN: Ken's a great philanthropist in the New York area. He called me today and he said "Let's team up and let's quarterback an effort in this Greater New York community to get some aid for the rebuilding of - of Notre Dame." I said, "Ken, count me in."

Ken was good to us in the - in the--

CUOMO: Sure.

DOLAN: --restoration and repair of our beloved St. Patrick's. We want to do it. We want to pitch in and help with Notre Dame. I'll - I'll let you know when we get more information out.

CUOMO: Please. Let me know and I'll - I'll put it out to people.

DOLAN: You're on. You're on, thanks.

CUOMO: You're going to have a goal? You're going to figure it out?

DOLAN: I - I'll leave that up to Ken. He's a lot better with money than I am. But he and I will get it done.

CUOMO: How are you planning? Or is it too soon in Holy Week to figure out what this means in terms of the tapestry that you'll weave for people on this Sunday?

DOLAN: One of the things I'm doing, we had - we had a - the Cathedrals filled earlier today with what we call the Mass of Chrism, which always takes place during Holy Week when we bless the three different oils that we use in the sacraments, the seven sacraments.

And I, at the beginning, I said, "Look folks, our - our prayers are - are the more fervent today as we're in solidarity with the people of France, and indeed, the people of the world who mourn this destruction." But, Chris, this in a way, as somber and as tragic as the event is, this is a preacher's dream because what Notre Dame is showing us is what we call the Paschal Mystery in reality.

That's the dying and rising of Jesus that's that transition that Passover, if you will, from Good Friday to Easter, which Jesus underwent, and which he invites us to go through with him.

And - and that's what's happening with Notre Dame. We see dying. We see death. This magnificent structure that represents everything noble and uplifting in the human project is now in ruins.

But already, you - you - you sense the spark of hope that we are going to - we are going to rebuild, we are going to renew, we're going to bring back to life. That's Easter. That's the Paschal Mystery.

That's the Passover for our Jewish neighbors. Death and slavery in Egypt, passing over to life and promise and hope in Israel, that's what France is going through. That's what we - that's what Jesus went through. That's what we go through in our own lives.

And this is kind of a - an audio visual aid of that, an icon of that. So, something tells me that I'm not the only preacher, Christian preacher, that's saying this event is going to find its way into my Holy Week comments (ph).

[21:10:00] CUOMO: Very few will communicate it the way you can, Cardinal.

DOLAN: Well you're kind to say that.

CUOMO: That's--

DOLAN: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: --just the facts here on CUOMO PRIME TIME, Cardinal.

DOLAN: Stay tuned. You're going to be covering it very accurately and reverently.

CUOMO: Well, look, I - look, I think it matters.

DOLAN: I'm interested in this next story about this--


DOLAN: --the priest, huh?

CUOMO: So, and this man was already famous, the Chaplain.

DOLAN: He was already famous is what--

CUOMO: At the Bataclan.

DOLAN: That's right. CUOMO: So, there're all these - I mean that was a scene, Father, I'm telling you, Cardinal, that I can't even communicate what it was like--


CUOMO: --inside the Bataclan. So, and he went in there, comforting the victims, letting them know it was going to be OK, comforting them (ph)--

DOLAN: He's sort of the Mychal Judge of - of France almost, yes.

CUOMO: He - exactly right, exactly right.


CUOMO: And now, he gets a human chain. He didn't do it alone. But none of us - no one ever does. And they got the relics out.

DOLAN: Yes. And the Holy Eucharist.


DOLAN: The Blessed Sacrament.

CUOMO: Yes, he did.

DOLAN: So, yes.

CUOMO: So, amazing stuff.

DOLAN: It's phenomenal.

CUOMO: And I'll tell you what I love. I love that people are coming together. I haven't seen big crowds like this in Europe for something positive in a long time.

DOLAN: For something like this.

CUOMO: We've seen them coming together.


CUOMO: But they've been opposition.

DOLAN: We saw a hint of it (ph) in New Zealand.

CUOMO: They've been attacking this--

DOLAN: Didn't you think that was phenomenal especially that--

CUOMO: I did.

DOLAN: --the Prime Minister there?

CUOMO: I did. She - she did an amazing job-- DOLAN: Wasn't she poetic? Yes.

CUOMO: --under duress.


CUOMO: She made moves that showed people she could do things about this--

DOLAN: Yes, yes.

CUOMO: --your politics aside. And the people came together to believe that they can be something more than their worst moment.


CUOMO: And I think there's something really instructive.


CUOMO: And I - I hope we see it again.

DOLAN: Let's hope that goes on now.

CUOMO: Cardinal, the best to you.

DOLAN: Happy to be here. Bless you.

CUOMO: Thank you.

DOLAN: Blessed Easter to you and the family.

CUOMO: Thank you.

DOLAN: OK? See you again.

CUOMO: To you as well, Rebirth and Renewal, Cardinal.

DOLAN: Thank - you bet that's the word.

CUOMO: All right, so many of you have asked, what you can do to help rebuild Notre Dame. When the Cardinal gives me the information, I'll pass it along.

For now, go to, all right? Our Impact Your World team has information on where you can donate, how you can be part of this reconstruction.

Now, firefighters, 400 of them, we're told, they ran into a place that people run away from. They are so brave. They weren't the only ones to risk their lives though to save history.

We're going to look at the man you've heard us talking about, remarkable heroism and organizing, a Chaplain credited with saving the Crown of Thorns, and other irreplaceable relics, inside the Cathedral.

The story is next.








[21:15:00] CUOMO: All right, the show is a mix of dark and light tonight. We'll get to the dark shadow surrounding this Mueller disclosure and what we expect on Thursday. But let's stick with the light for a second.

Today in Paris, stories of hope, heroism, emerging from the ashes of Notre Dame, charred on the inside, blackened on the outside. But tonight what matters is the fire is out and people are safe.

And even though much of the Cathedral's roof and spire fell through the flames, all of Paris tonight is united in the effort to rebuild. And that aspiration shows the power of Our Lady living on.

Now, so many today were heartened by the sight of its iconic facade, the twin bell towers still largely intact, you know, really the face of the Cathedral. It's believed the Cathedral's main bell in that South Tower survived. That's huge.

The spirit of the people also uplifted by the bravery of those who jumped in to save the priceless trove of relics and artifacts, a lot of credit due to one man, Jean-Marc Fournier, a Catholic priest, Chaplain of the Paris Fire Brigade.

He's the same man who tended to the victims of the Bataclan terror attacks in 2015. We reported on him then. French reporters credited him with leading a rescue effort inside Notre Dame while it was on fire, forming a human chain - chain, to save its holiest relics.

He had keys and codes, so he was able to retrieve the Crown of Thorns, the Cathedral's most venerated relic, especially in this week of Holy Week. Can you imagine the significance if that had been lost?

Believed to have been placed on the head of Christ during his Passion, rescued from the fire, a linen tunic believed to have been worn by the French Monarch and St. Louis, The Ninth in the early 1200s.

Those items will be taken to Paris City Hall. Scores of other artifacts saved from the fire are going to be taken to the Louvre for safekeeping. Among them, sculptures, statues, paintings, irreplaceable artifacts saved by people who cared. That great Organ, 8,000 pipes, one of the world's most famous musical instruments, it survived, dates back to the medieval times, and it's still here after all that. For anyone who can become the Head Organist, it carries prestige around the world. Now we know it's safe.

Also truly striking is what was found, this discovery. Now, this is a rooster. See the head here? This is a symbol of France. But this one is special. And I'm going to argue at the end of this show that this is a sign of what should come next.

It sat atop the 150 spire, it's made of copper. That spire went through it sat in that crucible for hours. And yet, look at it. It remains. Amazing that it is intact, resilient, defiant, it is heady stuff, and I think it tells us all about what comes next.

So, those are the facts that we learned today. It's amazing that so much was spared. But we now have some good information that we got to get into, all right? There were problems inside the Cathedral. There were problems with the response.

One big question, why did it take 23 minutes to detect flames after that first alarm sounded? I'm not saying that this is suspicious or malicious. But we need to know the answers because we have to do better.

We have an authority on fire science, next.








CUOMO: All right, 23 minutes, this is the time factor that we have to figure out the significance of, all right? That's the time between the first and second fire alarms at Notre Dame. This is just one of the areas that investigators are looking at to fill in the gaps.

Back with me tonight, Fire Science Expert, Professor Glenn Corbett with John Jay College, here in New York. We're dealing with technical difficulties here. When we get to what we need, we'll - we'll try and use this. We'll see how it works, little sensitive tonight.

All right, first thing that we're talking about here is how hot we knew about this burn. We now believe that the fire started up top, OK, and wound up, as you told us last night, burning through.

This question about the time between the alarms and not detecting fire the first time after inspection, why?

GLENN CORBETT, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF FIRE SCIENCE, JOHN JAY COLLEGE, FIRE ENGINEERING MAGAZINE'S TECHNICAL EDITOR: Well, apparently, the first alarm must have picked up something, and it cleared itself, and then served - over 20 minutes later, I guess it was a second alarm that came in is that's what initiated the response.

CUOMO: But when you hit the first one--

CORBETT: Right, right, so--

CUOMO: --you don't find the fire, why?

CORBETT: Well it's good question.

I mean, obviously, something was going on there, and with such a large building, we don't know exactly how the system's designed there, what it would have told them, basically.

But, of course, in a situation like this and everything, we - unfortunately, we have this problem a lot, in which, you know, if they can't find the - the source of the - of the smoke or the source of the problem, they sort of just go back to assuming it's nothing. And, in this case, probably something was actually going on then.

CUOMO: Why isn't it part of the protocol that no matter what, you call in the firefighters and let them figure it out?

CORBETT: It's all about time. You don't have the time to - to - to sort of wait and to decide where you - where you actually going to find the fire. So, it's important that to get the fire department on the - on the road quickly and everything.

And, of course, if there's no fire, then they simply go back.

CUOMO: Right.

CORBETT: But you can never play Catch-Up or so we say in the fire service.

CUOMO: So that's what happened here?


CUOMO: Is that you were playing Catch-Up.


CUOMO: And all the factors were against you.


CUOMO: Certainly time--


CUOMO: --location--


CUOMO: --right?

CORBETT: Size, I mean.

CUOMO: Because this is, you know, it's just hard to get to it.

CORBETT: Yes, right.

CUOMO: You'll see the - the points of ingress and egress.


CUOMO: There's only really two of them--


CUOMO: --there. And that's going to be a problem. We do know that if I can draw on this thing now, we know that we had a couple of water ships here--


CUOMO: --and we had a couple of engines here.

CORBETT: Right, right.

CUOMO: Doesn't sound like a lot to fire - fight a fire like this.

CORBETT: No, no, it's not.

I mean if - of course, you know, here in the New York City, of course, we'd have a much larger response and everything, I mean the fire department's much larger. But in any case this - this was a major challenge to the Paris Fire Department here so.

CUOMO: And they had a water source, obviously, but they were coming from far away, and the hose trucks did what they could.


CUOMO: But once it got hot, as you explained last night, they couldn't fight from the inside.


CUOMO: So, you had all this manpower--


CUOMO: --figuring out how to do it from the outside. Now, the roof burn, if you can give me anything like that, winds up being relevant.

CORBETT: Right. CUOMO: Inside this roof, OK?


CUOMO: You showed us last night wood, we now know no sprinklers.


CUOMO: You showed us woods and compartments around the stone.

CORBETT: Right, right.

CUOMO: Now we hear no firewalls.


CUOMO: Significance?

CORBETT: Major significance because this is what we would call a concealed area, basically, so the fire's burning above these vaulted ceilings here, and it makes even impossible from the inside to attack it, because it's actually in a - in a space that you can't access easily, until it burns through the roof, basically.

So this is, you know, and, of course, as you know, these are relatively small areas, very difficult to access, hard to get up there, so fighting a fire like this is almost impossible.

CUOMO: Now, no sprinklers, no firewalls.


[21:25:00] CUOMO: Do you think that this is common of - we don't have a lot of cathedrals, you know, that are--

CORBETT: Right, right.

CUOMO: --850 something--


CUOMO: --years old.


CUOMO: But is this like common that they don't have these types of things?

CORBETT: Yes, it's very common actually.

Most of these churches that are sort of go back from, let's say 1900 on back here in the United States and everything, most of them do not have sprinklers, so they're subject to a lot of the same issues here, even though this was a much larger building.

And they also don't have any kind of compartmentation up there. It's just a wide open space, basically.

CUOMO: So, it's word to the wise, it could have been retrofitted.

CORBETT: Yes, it could be. And--

CUOMO: And word to the wise--


CUOMO: --you know, we're always thinking about how we raise money for churches and synagogues, you know, I'm sure you get appeals at your places of worship.


CUOMO: This is something to put on the list with the board about whether or not, you know, you're up to spec, because you're going to have something that's completely beautiful, irreplaceable--

CORBETT: Right, right.

CUOMO: --vulnerable to something that you could stop.

CORBETT: Right. And these well, of course, predate any building codes that are out there, so there's a lot of existing stuff that really it should be a focus on it. Spend a little bit of money now instead of avoiding a disaster later.

CUOMO: Now, this is the inside. We know that a lot of this was charred up. But did you hear today that the Votive candles, I was trying to figure out where they are.


CUOMO: This is the altar, obviously.


CUOMO: This is the nave.


CUOMO: I don't know where the Votive candles would - they'd probably be in the back somewhere.

CORBETT: Right, back over here.

CUOMO: They were still lit.


CUOMO: How do you explain that?

CORBETT: I guess--

CUOMO: I mean they weren't like melted up from fire. CORBETT: Right.

CUOMO: They were still lit.


CUOMO: How did that happen? Let's look around the back here.

CORBETT: Well I guess they were shielded from the fire. And there're probably a little bit of divine intervention here too so.

CUOMO: I mean, right? I mean, look, you're a scientist.

CORBETT: Yes, right, right, right.

CUOMO: But I mean, you know, the - isn't that a--


CUOMO: --something a little bit--

CORBETT: Right, right.

CUOMO: --weirder?

CORBETT: Right, it is. And, apparently, like I said, it was - it was most like an area that was shielded from the - away from the main area of the roof that was consumed.

CUOMO: And here's the other one. Those candles, I mean, you know--


CUOMO: --just think about that as a detail--

CORBETT: Right, right.

CUOMO: --when that they found them lit.

CORBETT: Right, still burning, yes.

CUOMO: Some - something that was burning this hot.


CUOMO: Now, does that tell you something about it being more isolated up above than we thought early on?

CORBETT: Well that was where the bulk of the fire was for them - for the majority of this fire. I mean once - once the roof collapsed, of course, it brought everything down to floor level, basically so.

And that collapse actually in - in retrospect probably helped save those twin towers, the bell towers, because that removed the large amount of fire that was up there and sort of moved it away from that location because, as you saw last night, there were firefighters with hose lines up in the bell tower, trying to prevent fire from coming in.

And so, when you moved that away, that probably helped them a lot, I would imagine.

CUOMO: How big a deal is 23 minutes?

CORBETT: That's a big deal in fire world. I mean a fire typically can - can double in size every minute basically so--

CUOMO: Double in size every minute?

CORBETT: Yes. Yes. True.

You know, our - straightforward fire can easily double in size every minute. So, you know, time is always of the essence, you know. What we see on television isn't really a lot, isn't very accurate, you know, in television programs and stuff.

In the real world, fires can develop very, very quickly. And - and, again, in situation like this, you can't get access to the building, you can't get up there to put the fire out.

The - the quicker you get there, the better outcome there's going to be. You know, we don't know, of course, in retrospect, this investigation will tell us exactly what happened, how it started, what in - of any effect that the delay had. But that's all things we need to look at.

CUOMO: Two-thirds of the timber frame is gone.


CUOMO: What does that mean in terms of rebuilding?

CORBETT: Well I - you know, again, looking at this now, I mean this gives them an opportunity to rethink this building, basically, structurally, right? These are, you know, 500-year old timbers, tree trunks that were sawed off and - to construct this building.

So, this gives them an opportunity to come up with some more, maybe 21st Century technology to make this happen. Even though the inside will look just, perhaps as it did before, the actual skeleton of the building basically may look much different.

CUOMO: Rebuild but actually renovate.


CUOMO: And make it what it was but even better and up to standards of today.

CORBETT: Right, right.

CUOMO: So, God forbid, you don't go through this again.

CORBETT: Right, sprinklers, all those things. CUOMO: One question for you.

CORBETT: Yes, Sir.

CUOMO: You've been doing this a long time.


CUOMO: That spire--


CUOMO: --collapses down into the building.


CUOMO: Sits in that oven--


CUOMO: --that crucible--


CUOMO: --for hours.


CUOMO: A copper--

CORBETT: Right, rooster.

CUOMO: --rooster--


CUOMO: --survives it--


CUOMO: --intact.


CUOMO: What are the chances?

CORBETT: Right. The chances are - are remote, right? So, the fact is, is that it's incredible that that actually that artifact survived, maybe divine intervention again here, so.

CUOMO: The spire is gone.

CORBETT: Right. It's all wood.

CUOMO: What it sat on top of--


CUOMO: --copper.


CUOMO: Not the highest flashpoint of melt--

CORBETT: No, no, it's melt, right, right. Right, exactly, you know, this is - this is a remarkable situation here with the - with the survival of that rooster, so.

CUOMO: I am shocked by what remained.


CUOMO: Lit Votive candle - candles.

CORBETT: Right. And a rooster.

CUOMO: This copper rooster that had--


CUOMO: --relics inside of it for the protection of parishioners.

CORBETT: I didn't know that, OK, yes.

CUOMO: Professor, we learn more every day.

CORBETT: Chris, thank you.

CUOMO: And we learn more because of you.

CORBETT: Thank you.

CUOMO: Thank you so much.

CORBETT: Thank you.

CUOMO: Sorry for the technical difficulties.


CUOMO: I'll blame everybody else.

All right, so our other big story tonight is that Americans have waited nearly two years to find out the conclusions from Special Counsel Bob Mueller. Answers are supposed to come in less than 48 hours. But what will we get?

And there's a reason to worry tonight that we didn't really focus on before. This Attorney General, as I've argued to you on this show before, has a track record. He has shown you who he is.

[21:30:00] Tonight, we're going to expose something that was very similar to what's going to happen here on Thursday. We're going to expose what happened. We're going to litigate what it means this time.

Cuomo's Court in session, next.








CUOMO: The Mueller report is supposed to come out Thursday morning. If you think you already know what's in it based on the Attorney General's four-page memo of principle conclusions, think again. Why?

Look, the past is prologue. 30 years ago, when he was the Head of the Office of Legal Counsel under George H.W. Bush, before he was the Attorney General, Barr himself authored a controversial memo, arguing that the FBI had the right to abduct people in other countries.

Subject matter isn't what's really matter - matters here. It's about the transparency. Congress demanded to see the memo. Instead of releasing it, Barr handed over a much shorter memo to summarize the principle conclusions. Sound familiar?

It later emerged that his summary was misleading, leaving out key controversial sections. What does that mean for what's going to happen to us in a couple of days?

Let's bring in Laura Coates and Michael Isikoff for Cuomo's Court.




[21:35:00] CUOMO: It's good to see you both. Michael, did you hear us talking about you in the tease with Anderson?


CUOMO: He accused me of dating you. I said "You see the head of hair on that guy?" Looks like--

ISIKOFF: Yes, and, and--

CUOMO: --he could be my son. ISIKOFF: --and, listen, hat tip to Ryan Goodman at NYU for reminding me of this story I wrote 30 years ago because I hadn't thought about it in quite some time.

CUOMO: And now that you've had a chance to refresh your recollection--


CUOMO: --what are the lessons from then that you think we should think about today?

ISIKOFF: Well, first of all, it's a reminder of Bill Barr's legal worldview, which is, you know, he is a - extremely strong executive power guy who believes that the President has, under Article II of the Constitution, inherent authority to take whatever steps he deems necessary to defend the country.

And if that clashes with international law, so be it.

And that was the case that Barr laid out for the George H.W. Bush administration in 1989 when the President - then President wanted to invade Panama and snatch Manuel Noriega and bring him back to Miami to face drug trafficking charges.

And, you know, Barr gave the - the Bush White House exactly the opinion it was looking for. And he was, as - as Ryan Goodman has reminded us, that, you know, based on the story I did when I finally got my hands on the memo a few years later, Barr was not totally transparent about the legal basis that he - he laid out in that memo.

CUOMO: All right, Laura, the pushback is, "Listen, you work the system that you're in."

And he argued at that time that tradition and ordinary guidelines and practice of the OLC, the same way he does today about the DOJ, was to keep stuff secret, and to only release what you need to, and to protect different categories of information.

That's what he was doing then. That's what he says he's doing now. Your concerns?

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, of course, we are in similarly extraordinary times.

And certainly, there are always the exception that proves the rule. What's so analogous here that should concern the American people is because this seems to be the complete poster child for that old phrase "Trust but verify."

Certainly, there is some prerogative to be exercised by the Attorney General of the United States. However, when you have the just trust me, trust me at the summation or the distillation will contain every single nuance, will contain every single Devil's Advocate point for and against the position I'm talking about, we have a very hard time in an extraordinary time when we are questioning whether the trust should be extended to the Head of the Executive branch of government, the President of the United States and people in his campaign.

And so, this idea of just trust me, and this blanket assertion that he should in fact be trusted or have given this whole comprehensive take is what is most concerning based on what happened in the 80s.

And remember, his argument back then did not withstand the scrutiny of Congress, the arguments about the extraordinary circumstances, why the people should not see it, and why a subpoena was ultimately successful actually behooves him to learn the lessons of yesterday.

CUOMO: Well it seems like we're following the same path then. You can go and look at it on your own time if you're watching the show.

Congressman Edwards was in charge of it at that time. And Barr argued, "Listen, we don't usually release this stuff, so I'm not releasing it now. I'll give you a summary just because I'm being nice."

And he's like, "What are you talking about? I got a whole book of opinions that were released to us. I'm looking at them right now." And Barr basically just retreated to the same argument, Mike, and it was like "Well, only in extraordinary circumstances."

ISIKOFF: Right, right, right. But - but, look, a little context here.

CUOMO: Please.

ISIKOFF: 25 years later, the Obama Justice Department produced - wrote legal memos justifying not snatch - snatching people overseas, assassinating them--


ISIKOFF: --through drone strikes. And guess what? They refused to release those memos to Congress or to the public. There was a huge controversy on it about it. When I got my hands on the first on a white paper that laid out the actual legal reasoning in - in those memos, guess what?

It was very different than the public rationale that Eric Holder and other Obama administration officials had given for the legal authority to assassinate people overseas.

CUOMO: Good.

ISIKOFF: So, this is not unique--

CUOMO: True.

ISIKOFF: --to William Barr.

Transparent - lack of transparency by just - the Justice Department is something that spans many years, both parties and, you know, I - I don't think we should necessarily single out William Barr here as somebody who's very different than a lot of other Justice Department officials. [21:40:00] CUOMO: Well-argued, true, and fair point so let me bounce it on to you, Laura that that - this is what happens. People work the system to their advantage when they are in power.

And my question to you is do you believe that when this comes out, people will only see in it - assuming they can see things, if the redactions are there, Congress is going to fight. They're going to say they have a right to it.

But eventually, when people look at what is in this, do you believe they're going to see what they wanted to see all along?

COATES: Well I mean the nature of these black-ink redactions will show that it really will be an inkblot test to a number of people.

CUOMO: Literally.

COATES: They'll have a partisan lens about what they think is behind that black ink.

We'll be questioning about which category to assign it to, whether its idea of classified information or this really dangerous area of the peripheral third parties, who may be prejudiced, was actually going to be probably the most problematic in defining who is - who is actually considered to be peripheral, and why would they have been prejudiced.

People will look at it that way. And there is good reason, by the way, to have different categories of redactions. But ultimately, I think this does not fall necessarily on partisan lines because, frankly, the American people do have a vested interest in understanding what a 22- month investigation--

CUOMO: Absolutely.

COATES: --paid for by tax dollars will say.

Having said that, however, I think the biggest concern based on the prior context that Michael just provided, and you were talking about, Chris, is the idea of whether or not that inkblot test, or all those redactions will actually be misleading to the American people, and/or Congress about the true substance of what was found, and what was investigated.

And that is why it's going to be a - a very big problem, presumably.

CUOMO: Look, I think just like you saw during the Obama administration, just as you saw when this happened, Mike, to your instruction about the context of the point, Congress has a lot of leeway in terms of what it can sue and get.

How long does it take and, ultimately, what difference does it make, I think that those are much more intriguing questions at this point.

Laura Coates, thank you so much. Michael Isikoff, not a day over 25--

COATES: Thank you. CUOMO: --and yet, you provide us such rich perspective. Thank you, my brother. I appreciate it.

ISIKOFF: Right, thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: Best to both of you.

All right, today, the President said something that we have literally never heard from a President before. It actually involves him being ticked off at Fox News. I will bring in D. Lemon for his grand deliberation, next.









SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT): I think Trump is a dangerous President. But if all we do is focus on him, we lose. Our job is to develop an agenda that speaks to the needs of workers. When we do that, we're going to win and win big.


CUOMO: Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders repeatedly laid into this President last night in a Fox News Town Hall. Oddly, the President seemed offended that this was even happening like he was being cheated on.

Look at his quote.

"So weird to watch Crazy Bernie on @FoxNews. Not surprisingly, @BretBaier and the "audience" was so smiley and nice. Very strange, and now we have @donnabrazile."

Why did I emphasize "We?" Because it deserves emphasis. We have Donna Brazile. The President is referring to himself and Fox collectively in their hiring of the former DNC Chair and CNN Analyst, now as a Commentator on Fox.

Let's bring in D. Lemon. What else do you need--


CUOMO: --to know? LEMON: Duh!

It shows you how he views the relationship, the cozy relationship that he has with state-run television that we talk about all the time. It is an echo chamber.

He sees something there. And then, he all of a sudden makes it his mission to say what they say, repeat what they say, and then make it a sort of a campaign thing. So, I mean I just I'm not shocked by it. I mean, are you?

CUOMO: Yes. The idea that he actually says it, he actually says--

LEMON: Well, come on!

CUOMO: --me and Fox like we're the same thing.

LEMON: Yes. Well they tell you - no, he - he talks about how he talks to Sean Hannity all the time.

CUOMO: Yes, that's one thing.

LEMON: He called him up on the stage at a campaign rally. I mean what do you think? But--

CUOMO: For a President to see a news organization--


CUOMO: --as part of his administration with the "We."


CUOMO: Is that like the "Royal We," or is the "Affinity We?"

LEMON: Hey, I'm sorry. What's your name, Chris Cuomo? I am Don Lemon. Nice to meet you. Where have you been for the past few years? It's--

CUOMO: Living in reality, pal.

LEMON: I mean that's what I'm saying.

CUOMO: You'll never hear a President say this.

LEMON: And you'll never Presidents say that. But you know the relationship he has with Fox News. You know the relationship Fox News has--

CUOMO: But to say it?

LEMON: --with him. To say it, I mean, listen, he's emboldened by a lot of things. He's going to say it. He - maybe he let the truth slip out.

But I don't - I don't think it was - I think he's - he's aware that people know that. He looks at them as an extension of the Republican Party and also of the White House. And so, I'm not shocked that he - that he feels that way. Maybe I

should be a little bit that he said it but yes, he actually said it.

But what was interesting to me, Mr. Cuomo--


LEMON: --was that Bernie Sanders said a whole lot of things on Fox News that their viewers don't hear, and they go "Wait, what are you talking about, huh?"


LEMON: They'll probably had to go and - and Google it and they still don't believe it because he was actually speaking truth and facts to that audience who--

CUOMO: It was like the end of a Hundred Years of Solitude, the book.

LEMON: --who's - yes, an audience that's used to listening to the ideas that they are - that have been meaningful (ph) to them.

CUOMO: It's true. And, look, you know, this is what I don't like about it. You got a lot of good people who work there. You got a lot of good people who watch.

LEMON: Absolutely.

CUOMO: I started at Fox News. I don't like them all being colored with this. I don't like that the President put this on them. Then he put out another tweet just during our show.

This one is easier for us to analyze and take some heat off the people who actually care about their jobs at Fox and the people who watch because they care about what's going on in the country.

"Many Trump Fans & Signs were outside of the @FoxNews Studio last night in the thriving (Thank you President Trump) Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for the interview with Crazy Bernie Sanders. Big complaints about not being let in-stuffed with Bernie supporters."

By the way, we don't have any proof that any of that's true. But we do have proof.

LEMON: So, what if it is true?

CUOMO: What has he done for Bethlehem Steel? He said he'd bring back coal and steel. It hasn't happened in that city.


CUOMO: What's he talking about?

LEMON: OK. So, look, I don't know what - that's another thing.

[21:50:00] CUOMO: Defend him. No, I'm kidding. LEMON: I'm not defending him.

CUOMO: Go ahead, make your point.

LEMON: What is wrong with them having Bernie supporters when you have--

CUOMO: Nothing.

LEMON: --you want the people who are going to vote for that candidate--


LEMON: --in the primaries and then - and in the caucuses. That's who you want there. So, his - his tweet makes absolutely no sense as many of them don't make sense. You--

CUOMO: Makes perfect sense if you are a jilted lover, if you're somebody who expects loyalty.

LEMON: So, if you want to know about what's coming out in this Mueller report--


LEMON: --and if you really, really, really want to know, if you want to know where the President has the most exposure in the Southern District of New York--


LEMON: --you know who you get?


LEMON: The former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and guess who that is? Preet--

CUOMO: Not Preet Bharara.

LEMON: Oh, yes, Preet Bharara is on this show.

CUOMO: On your show?

LEMON: Oh this program. He was--

CUOMO: Told me he was out of town.

LEMON: Yes. We - the information that he's going to give me is amazing. Well he told you he's out of town because he knew it was you so he's here--

CUOMO: Wow. Good for you--

LEMON: --for me. CUOMO: --D. Lemon.


CUOMO: Every dog has its day.

LEMON: I can't believe you're shocked that he said "We." Come on, Chris!

CUOMO: Never heard anything like it.

LEMON: Come on, Man!

CUOMO: Come on, Man! Move him off the screen. I'll see you in a second.

LEMON: See you, bye.

CUOMO: All right, we know what is gone in Paris. And it is important to speak to what remains. But I see some things that I believe are signs of hope. And some of them are just straight-up freaky, and I'm going to lay them out for you, next.








[21:55:00] CUOMO: So, my brothers and sisters, my concern is what remains after what we all witnessed. What do we do now? The residue of Our Lady's resonance over the centuries, how do we keep it alive? And we're starting to see the answer take shape.

We do this. We come together. We do this. We sing and we hold hands. We do this. We console. We live the inspiration and aspiration she fed in people. That's what we do. We also pledge to undo the damage, and to do it again in record time, and hopefully, not just rebuild.

Certainly, they have to upgrade some of the systems in there that made this worse than it should have been, according to the preliminary investigative results. So, you don't just rebuild, you renovate.

You make her something more than she was. You make her new by these standards. Certainly, there must be, you know, real attention to detail of replacing the frescoes and the architecture and the beauty and the aesthetic of the inside that is period-correct. But remember, she was built over numerous periods. And you got to have those emergency systems in. I'm going to say that twice because it - it - it matters.

But also, think about how do you capture the spirit of what she's supposed to mean and also embrace some of the technology of today to enhance that message, enhance her history, enhance what she can give to people?

Now, before all that planning or maybe as part of it, we have to look for signs that this is about something bigger than us. For example, you remember this, right, the girders found at Ground Zero in the shape of the cross?

I was there. That was huge for people, restorative of faith no matter what they believed. And you can say, "Oh, it's just random." Yes. Or it isn't. You remember the flag that they found singed but still there? Metaphor, very powerful as message in a moment.

Those signs told us that everything that matters isn't gone. Even though there was so much loss, something worthy remained, and that's the right focus. If that's the case, and I believe it is here as well, then you're going to be aiming for something better.

And here my three reasons, three signs for me.

One, that front facade, it could have gone down. We know there was fire in at least one of those towers. But it didn't. The flames fell short. The men who were fighting, the first responders, they got in there, and they saved the face of Our Lady. She's there, incomplete, but there. Spire is gone.

Two, that copper rooster, the symbol of France survived that crucible. It was at the top of the spire. The spire falls in, we all saw that. It is now laying in an oven for hours intact.

Look at the man holding it. The rooster is intact.

I know copper has a high flashpoint in heat. My point was what metal is going to withstand that much heat in those many hours? And how is it not crushed? Heat, time, and circumstance, and yet it survived.

In fact, when we were watching the event yesterday, I took this picture of the screen. I couldn't believe there were birds that seemed to be staying with Our Lady even when she was engulfed in fire. I just thought it was a weird juxtaposition.

Now, it turns out the rooster survived. Kind of eerie, but not really, because eerie means frightening, and it's not, it's inspiring.

And if you're there home, "You know, shut up with your hocus-pocus," I argue this.

Guess what was inside that copper rooster that survived when so little else could? Relics placed there in 1935 including a piece of Jesus' Crown of Thorns. The Archbishop called the rooster a spiritual lightning rod to protect the parishioners inside.

Come on! What are the chances? Not good. And who cares? It's a sign. We should take it as a motivator that there is more to this cause than the return of steel and stone.

This isn't about faith. It's certainly not about religion. It's about looking for proof that there is something soulful here, something worthy for us to come together, and that's my third sign, the most powerful to my point, the people.

Inside, despite all the fire, the Votive candles lit by people from everywhere in this world were never touched by flame. Their prayers protected from hellfire by Our Lady, and the people have come to answer what could be her prayers as well.

They came to her in her hour in need. They mourned her in Paris, here in America, all over Europe, all over the world watching her burn, feeling that pain, watching the coverage, filling the toxic wastelands of social media with positivity, and aspirational notions of the need to come together to match the magnitude of the mess, many times over, with a message that what matters most remains.

The basic reality that we are all in it together, interconnected, interdependent, the people are the Church, not the places, and that is all that need remain, us and our will to do better.

Rebuild our Lady. But, even more importantly, renovate. Money is pouring in from around the world. You heard the Cardinal. He wants to get us to chip in here in New York. Adorn her in the trappings of this time as well as those that she survived.

And my hope is in this tragedy we see opportunity. We see signs. We look at how we came together, a sense of collective purpose, donations, do-gooders, simply people showing compassion, these are the signs I'm talking about.

Hearts and minds of a collective soul of goodwill, I haven't seen it burn this bright, and the cause of repairing and restoring beauty, crowds like this these most days are fueled by anger and opposition, but not here.

This is about what remains and the signs that show us it is worth coming together, and we are stronger together. And, hopefully, she will be back with us soon.

That's our show for tonight. I'm running late. Let me get it to D. Lemon right now.