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Democrats Issue Subpoenas For Trump's Tax Returns; Ex-White House Counsel McGahn Rebuffed White House Request to Say Trump Didn't Obstruct Justice; Remembering Colorado School Shooting Hero Kendrick Castillo. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired May 10, 2019 - 21:00   ET


[21:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, CUOMO PRIME TIME: Anderson, thank you, and the best weekend to you and the best to your mom on Mother's Day.


CUOMO: All right, I'm Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME.

Subpoena Friday! The next phase in the fight for the tax returns has cometh. Do Democrats actually expect compliance from the President's protectors this time? What should be any different? We're going to ask a Member of the Committee that issued today's summonses.

And, breaking news, the President recently tried to get Mueller's star witness to say that Trump never obstructed justice. Did you hear how Don McGahn responded? You will, and the implications, here tonight.

Plus, after all the cries of no collusion, why would Team Trump openly solicit help from Russia's neighbor for the next election? We have the reporter who broke the astounding story. You are going to be hearing about this for a long time. It starts tonight.

And we honor a fallen hero on what would have been his last day as a senior at the STEM School in Colorado. Kendrick Castillo's parents are heartbroken. They are in pain. But they want you to hear their story tonight. And what they think matters should resonate with all of us.

What do you say? It's Friday night. But there's a lot to talk about. So, let's get after it.




CUOMO: Next Friday at 5 P.M. Eastern, what's that? Well that's when the Treasury Secretary and the IRS Commissioner have to fork over six years' worth of President Trump's tax returns that the law says "They shall furnish, if requested."

House Democrats escalated the battle and the stakes for the financials by subpoenaing the Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin and Paul (ph) Rettig. Who's that? The IRS Commissioner.

Now, what will this really mean? Is this politics or is this practicality? Longtime Ways and Means Committee Member, Lloyd Doggett is here.




CUOMO: Democrat from Texas. I told you we'd have you back.

REP. LLOYD DOGGETT (D-TX): Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, so let's do this Socratically, Congressman, on a Friday night. The subpoena, not a surprise, because they didn't want to comply, but why does this change the calculus instead of just creating more of the same?

You ask. They say no. So now, you got to go to court. How does this subpoena matter?

DOGGETT: Well the subpoena is another avenue in addition to the Statute 6103 for getting these documents. I think that when we don't have compliance next week that it will be necessary to move to hold both the Treasury Secretary and the IRS Commissioner in contempt.

I hope that can be done promptly. We need to move this along. We need to send a clear message that this is just not all talk, and smoke and mirrors, but we're serious about getting this information.

This is a President - we talk about contempt, of course, a lot. But this is a President who really holds our Constitution in contempt. And unless we push back strongly, we'll see the steady erosion of our democracy.

CUOMO: All right, listen, I hear the rhetoric, especially coming from Mr. Doggett, but your fellow Democrats have not proved as dogged as you have in your suggestion of what they should do.

There's a lot of foot-dragging over holding Mr. Barr in contempt. And I'm not saying that that's the right path. But these things come with implications, ramifications, repercussions.

If you subpoena them, if you hold them in contempt, you create more animus and, probably, less chance of any accommodation. What's your calculus?

DOGGETT: Well my calculus is that the Chief of Staff for Mr. Trump said several months ago, "Never." And I think we should--

CUOMO: Said it again recently.

DOGGETT: --take them at their word.

CUOMO: Mick Mulvaney won't come on this show.

DOGGETT: He said it again recently. And - and--

CUOMO: I invite him all the time to make his case. He won't take the opportunity.


CUOMO: But he said you'll never see them.

DOGGETT: Never see them, and Mr. Trump is making it very clear that obstruction is his middle name that he will - he will lie, he will instruct people not to come, he will do anything he can to keep the facts from coming out.

He recognizes that getting knowledge is power. And this is really a power struggle about whether the President can - can assume all the power or the checks and balances that our Founders envisioned to protect our democracy will remain in place.

CUOMO: Now, I've listened to a couple of the different Chairs say "We think we can get this done expeditiously." Where does that confidence come from?

You just settled, like what, two days ago, the fast and furious litigation over then-A.G. Holder being subpoenaed by then-House Committee Members, and it was just settled now. What would make this any different?

DOGGETT: Well, Chris, you raised the right question, which is what's the remedy if this abuse continues?

We have the possibility of a civil contempt procedure, which is what applied there for the former Attorney General. It takes a long time. I'm not overly optimistic that it will produce a prompt result.

But we do have another alternative that you and I have discussed, and that's the idea of inherent contempt, which has been recognized going back into the last century. It hasn't been used recently.

But then we haven't had a President like this recently, thankfully. And, indeed, I don't think we've ever had a President like this who was so abusive of our system and so eager to assume power.

[21:05:00] CUOMO: But there's an opportunity in the recalcitrance. This is the biggest test I've seen of checks and balances since I started this--

DOGGETT: Indeed.

CUOMO: --about 20 years ago. You guys are being tested, and the mettle of the different institutions, but also the malleability, the ability to find ways to create progress instead of just more conflict.

Are you concerned that just going heavy subpoena, subpoena, litigation, litigation that you are not seeking maybe the best avenues to compromise that may get you what you want?

DOGGETT: Well I think it's very clear that this Administration will not compromise at all about these tax returns. You know, I asked for them six times over the past two years. We had obstruction and cover- up. Mr. Neal waited until April to make this request.

CUOMO: True.

DOGGETT: He has asked not once, twice, now three times for it. We can't even find out. As he asked back in April, is the President still under audit, was he ever under audit, we can't even get a basic question like that.

I understand what you're saying that when the President erects a wall, and no one can speak, and no documents will be provided, any effort we make appears to be confrontational and an overreach. But I think we're to a point that we have no choice.

I mean he tells people to lie like his former attorney, both of his former attorneys. And now, he has a fixer effectively at the Attorney General's Office, his former Campaign Finance Director at the Secretary - as the Secretary of Treasury.

We have a - a group here that is colluding to protect the President. And he's willing to tell any lie and obstruct in any way the - the whole process. So, I think inherent contempt, which would involve sending out a summons, essentially like an arrest warrant, but not requiring the--

CUOMO: All right.

DOGGETT: --the officials to come to the floor of the - the Congress, assigning it to Committee to investigate if there's been any justification for not providing the subpoena - subpoenaed documents or testimony--

CUOMO: Right.

DOGGETT: --that's what it's going to take. We can't let them run out the clock and run out the clock on the truth.

CUOMO: True. But, and listen, I get the high-minded nature of it.

But there's a practicality as well, which you know very well. I do not mean - and with all due deference, you've been doing this a long time. You know much better than I. And I appreciate that fact.

What I'm saying is that the more you look, the more you extend, the more you try the more will be expected. The idea of "Well, they did their job, so it doesn't matter what they came up with," we both know that politically, that's a tough sell.

But, as much of a cudgel as that may be, you got somewhat of a break today with Don McGahn. The President clearly wanted the former White House Counsel to say "Listen, I don't think he wanted to obstruct justice," and he didn't say that. What do you make of the development?

DOGGETT: I'm hopeful about it. And I believe there's some other people in the Trump administration that recognize they have a broader responsibility to the American people. They seem to be a rarity.

And I think there's still others of those people that if they face the prospect of significant daily fines, or perhaps even incarceration, they're going to decide they don't want to take that risk, and they will tell the truth.

And as President Trump said himself, as included in the Mueller report, the facts in that report, in that investigation would end his Presidency. He said a little more than that. But that was the - the essence of it, and that's why he's working so hard to prevent us from getting the full truth here.

CUOMO: He also called - the President did, called the Mueller report the Bible yesterday, and I think that that's going to be a phrasing that he's going to come to regret as we learn more about the context in whether Mr. Mueller.

DOGGETT: Indeed.

CUOMO: I heard that the May 15th is no longer the date. If Mr. Mueller does not testify, do you think that there is really any path forward for oversight?

If you don't get him on the record in front of the American people saying "Here's what I meant with my explanation of obstruction," and he explains it in a way that gives an avenue to Congress, do you think there's anything more to do here?

DOGGETT: I think there's more to do with or without him. But I do view his - his testimony as really essential, especially after we had a month of propagandizing, of misleading comments, of just downright lies about the nature of this coming out of Attorney General Barr for Mr. Trump.

So, we need to hear from Mr. Mueller. He is not going to be there as a political figure. Hopefully, he'll be able to testify as an employee of the Justice Department.

But, if not, when he ends his employment, and I think that the questions to him have to be directed strictly to what the law is in his findings and not attempt to pit him on one side or the other.

[21:10:00] We don't need him to be on one side or the other. We just need him to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and that will have the effect of really showing what kind of President we have, and what he did with reference to obstruction.

CUOMO: What he thought should happen next, that's going to be key for the American people. Congressman--

DOGGETT: Yes. CUOMO: --not only is it Friday night. But I appreciate it. I know in this environment, it is tempting to seek safe harbor, and have somebody who's just going to nod their head, and say, "Yes, do more, do more, go after him, go after him."

I appreciate you taking the pointed questions and defending your propositions on this show. It matters to my audience. So, thank you. And - and the best this weekend to all the mothers in your life.

DOGGETT: Indeed. And thank you for what you're doing every night in getting more information out to the American people about what's at stake here because it is the future of our country.

CUOMO: Like we say, let's get after it. Take care, Congressman, and thank you.

DOGGETT: Thank you.

CUOMO: So, question for you tonight. Why would Team Trump openly seek help for the next election from the Ukraine?

It's actually not the Ukraine. It's Ukraine. Why? The President's lawyer is heading overseas, Rudy Giuliani. Why is he doing this? Is it OK? We're going to talk about it.

The Reporter who broke this story about Giuliani's new job, next.








[21:15:00] CUOMO: Rudy Giuliani, operating like a Campaign Surrogate now, trying to pressure - pressure a foreign power to dig up oppo research, and using it to push for an official government investigation of a political opponent.

Now, that's the part where this gets a little tricky. Mr. Giuliani is free to help the President in any way he wants for the next campaign. But what about that aspect? Will it lead to an investigation?

That sounds like what the President just yesterday was talking about, and calling a crime, going to a foreign government, trying to get help against your opponent.

We have The New York Times Reporter who broke this story, Ken Vogel. Welcome to PRIME TIME, good to see you. Oh, the irony! It like never ends. First of all, kudos to you for

digging down on this. Not easy to report on to things that happened with Ukraine. You get a lot of different stories from a lot of the same people. Good for you for making sense out of it. But the cycle of who is blaming whom for working with what inimical

foreign power to help their campaign, and here we go again. What have you found?


We found that Rudy Giuliani, in his capacity, he says, as the President's personal lawyer, defending against the Mueller probe, started digging into situation in Ukraine with the goal of finding information that he thought would prove that the origins of the Mueller report and the - the FBI investigation into Russian interference that led to the Mueller report were tainted, and were influenced by Ukrainian officials, working with the DNC and Hillary Clinton's allies to try to inject some of this stuff, both into the Western press and into the FBI bloodstream.

So, we started meeting with some of these Ukrainian officials, one of whom came to the U.S., and met with him in his office, in New York, in January, and that led, he says, to other potentially tantalizing lines of research that he thought could help Trump, not just by undermining the Mueller investigation, which, of course, now seems like a little bit of a moot point because it's over, but also by potentially yielding some damaging or embarrassing information about Joe Biden--


VOGEL: --and his son and his involvement in Ukraine, working for a company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch that had been under investigation in Ukraine.

So, Rudy has gone all in on this. He's brought in some other Trump associates to help him in Ukraine. And we reported that he's headed to Ukraine this weekend, Sunday, hoping to meet with the incoming President of Ukraine to put pressure on him to continue these investigations.

CUOMO: I hear the same. Now, the first part is going to be only so fruitful, right? The idea of dredging up the past to help deal with Mueller, I don't know how much benefit there is to the President in that.

But going after Joe Biden, let's be honest, these questions are not new. There's a lot there. There's a lot been known. But often, what is old is new again in politics. What are the potential questions going forward for you on that aspect?

VOGEL: Well what we looked into in a story last week was this intersection between Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son's work for this company, owned by this oligarch that was under investigation, and Joe Biden's work as sort of the point-person for the Obama Administration as Vice President in Ukraine, and pushing the Ukrainian government to kind of clean-up its act, to clamp down on corruption. There was a prosecutor who tactically had oversight of these investigations, including the one in to Hunter Biden's employer, who was seen by the Western - what - Ukraine's Western allies, including the United States, as corrupt, and is not aggressively pursuing these types of investigations into politically powerful and wealthy people.

And Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to get rid of this - of this prosecutor. So, you know, certainly you have an intersection there.

And what - what Giuliani says, I think this is an oversimplification, and maybe it was just flat-out wrong, is that that Joe Biden was pressuring the Ukrainian government to get rid of a prosecutor because it would - because it would help Hunter Biden's employer.

We found no evidence of that. I want to make clear. Joe Biden rather seemed to be carrying out this objective of trying to force this prosecutor's ouster to advance this cause of helping Ukraine clean up its act and clean up its corruption within its ranks.

CUOMO: Right.

VOGEL: And it actually could have ultimately redounded to the detriment of the oligarch who - on whose Board, Hunter Biden was serving.

CUOMO: Right. It gets a little complicated. It's all about which facts you decide to push hardest.

Ken Vogel, good job for you. You ain't done on this one. And I hope you come back here because there're going to be many more chapters of this story in this campaign. That's my guess.

VOGEL: I welcome the chance to do it.

CUOMO: All right, thank you very much. Have a good weekend. You--

VOGEL: Thanks.

CUOMO: --you will be back.

All right, one of my next guests thinks the request for Ukrainian dirt on Biden is more than fair play. The other thinks it is foul. Great Debate, Friday night, grab your beverage.







CUOMO: The President's personal lawyer now using the bar of felony or fine to defend his own actions, all's fair in Presidential politics, or out of bounds. Let's debate it, Jennifer Granholm, Niger Innis.




CUOMO: Got to tell you, this story caught me a little bit by surprise when it first started.

Niger, man, the President's attorney, Rudy Giuliani has argued to me a million times between on camera, on the phone, on text that you can't be digging for bad stuff all the time about your opponent.

"What Hillary Clinton did was wrong. You should leave it alone. You shouldn't be doing that kind of stuff. Don't just focus on what the Trump Tower meeting was."

And now, he's doing exactly what he called out. How am I wrong?

[21:25:00] NIGER INNIS, CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON, TEAPARTYFWD.COM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: Well you're wrong because these are two investigations that the Ukrainian government already had rolling well before Rudy Giuliani decided to go to Ukraine to encourage them to continue the investigations that they have already started.

The Ukraine Embassy verified that in 2016 in the midst of a Presidential election, a DNC contractor called that country to get information on Paul Manafort.

Now, for all the - the millions of dollars that were spent, and the - the obsession with Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, that - that we have had, the Mueller report shows that in terms of criminal collusion, it was a big fat nothing-burger.

CUOMO: That's not true.

INNIS: And here you have a situation--

CUOMO: In terms of criminality but not--

INNIS: In terms of criminal - in terms of criminal collusion--

CUOMO: Well there is no such thing as - there is no such thing--

INNIS: --there were no indictments by Mueller.

CUOMO: Hold on, hold on, hold on. There is no such thing as criminal collusion. It's an oxymoron. There is no collusion in law. Collusion is behavior. INNIS: Well - well - well--

CUOMO: Did they find crimes of conspiracy? No.

INNIS: --crimes were not committed.

CUOMO: Yes, I agree with you on that. Let's bring in Jennifer. So--

INNIS: OK. Fair enough.

CUOMO: --now Niger is upset about people going to foreign actors and trying to get advantage. Now he's upset about it. But it's OK to find out about it by doing exactly that.

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, FORMER MICHIGAN GOVERNOR: OK. First of all, you cannot get a thing of value, which opposition research is considered to be, from a foreign entity. That would be an illegal campaign contribution, so that's number one.

Number two, this whole thing, Rudy Giuliani, if he hasn't learned anything about the whole past two years about Russian collusion that you shouldn't be collaborating, conspire - you know, engaging in a conspiracy, asking for foreign help.

I mean, really, going to the Ukraine to beg the new President to pick up an investigation that they had already put away because they want to hurt Joe Biden, now what does that tell you?

It tells you they are freaked out about the prospect of Joe Biden becoming the nominee. So, either he's looking back at his old opponent for the Presidency or looking forward to his future one.

It is wrong. It is wrong to do this. And they should have known it already. And I would say, if anybody should be investigated, it should be Rudy Giuliani who's got clients in the Ukraine, who apparently, it seems, has been lobbying for them in the United States.

This is a mess. And Joe Biden is far removed from it because that investigation was ended. And Bloomberg and The New York Times and The Washington Post all today said he did nothing wrong.

CUOMO: All right, well let's - let's look at it this way, Niger. Going forward, just let's look at it straight politics for a second, OK? Why would you want to make a main entree on the menu, who did screwy things in business relationships as a main part of the campaign?

Is that really the President's best foot forward to say "Well you don't - can't vote for Joe Biden. He did screwy things to help his kid's business. We - we can't have that."

Does Mr. Trump really want to go down that road?

INNIS: I - I - I think it is a brilliant move on the part of Rudy Giuliani who's doing this on behalf of his client. He's not doing this necessarily on behalf of the U.S. government. He's doing it on behalf of his client. I think I hope-- CUOMO: I'm sure that's what the Ukrainians think.

GRANHOLM: Client's the President.

INNIS: I hope - I hope he gets some good chicken Kiev while - while he's over there.

And I think it is a very wise one. I think it is very important for the American people to know if indeed former Vice President Biden put in calls to remove a prosecutor or to get a prosecutor to ease up--

CUOMO: It's been investigated, you know.

INNIS: --a Ukrainian prosecutor.

CUOMO: It's been reported on and investigated.

GRANHOLM: It's been investigated and that's that--

INNIS: Well from what - from what I've read, those investigations are--

GRANHOLM: This is--

INNIS: --ongoing. And it's not been closed.

GRANHOLM: No, they are not. You - then go take a look at the stories that were written all today, the Bloomberg, the investigation was shut down two years ago.

CUOMO: Right.

GRANHOLM: It was closed again by the new guy. I mean it's - it's over. This is Rudy Giuliani raising a smoke screen, hoping that he's going to get a conversation going about Joe Biden, instead of looking at what the President has done.

This is classic Rudy Giuliani, of late, I will say. It's not the old Rudy Giuliani. But it's such a shame--

CUOMO: Well--

GRANHOLM: --and a stain, frankly, on him and his character.

INNIS: Well let - let me give you another reason, if I - if I could just, very briefly--

CUOMO: Hurry up. Quick point, quick point.

INNIS: --say why this is also - this is also important because you have to communicate to the American people that the entire world tries to influence the United States.

The United States has the same amount of power or more than the Roman Republic at the height of the Roman Republic's influence and then later Empire. And the whole world, allies, enemies of the United States want influence in the United States. And there're all kinds of ties that exist in Washington D.C.--

CUOMO: Right.

INNIS: --among politicians and family and friends. So, why not expand the discussion from this obsession on Russia to bring up--

CUOMO: Just--

INNIS: --some legitimate questions that may--

CUOMO: Just remember--

INNIS: --arise.

[21:30:00] CUOMO: --what you asked for, Niger. Just remember - as we get into the campaign, remember that you said this was OK. Jennifer, Niger, thank you for doing this on a Friday night.


CUOMO: And if you're watching at home, and you said, "God, it's like they just switch sides." All the sudden, one of them is saying, it's great to pursue all this stuff, and the other one's saying there's nothing there.

Didn't that just happen in reverse? Yes, it did. And we'll track it down and try to keep the facts straight, and try to keep it on course of what matters most to you in the upcoming election.

Now, I urge you, stay with me tonight and here's why. Our next guest, and I mean this, yours and mine, the parents of the student just killed in Colorado.

He gave his life to save his friends. How many of that - of us could do that? We can't forget the hero. We can't forget his parents. They want you to remember a few things about him and about life, next.








CUOMO: As we close out this week, this is a name we should remember, Kendrick Castillo. Look at that kid, 18 years old. Today would have been his last day of high school. He died a hero.

He did something, me, you, most of us wouldn't even think of doing, let alone pull off. He ran at a gunman in his classroom, no hesitation, him and some of his friends. But it cost him his life and saved so many others.

[21:35:00] He's an only child. His parents, they spent a lifetime waiting for this moment of his graduation. And now, this is what they're dealing with. We should honor them and their son now.


CUOMO: Mr. and Mrs. Castillo, thank you very much for taking this opportunity to be with us on this show. It means a lot to me. And I know it will mean a lot to the audience.


CUOMO: So, how are you doing? How are you handling this situation so far?

J. CASTILLO: You know, it's - it's an emotional roller coaster. It's a - you know, we're fine when we're busy and occupied, and there's a lot of that right now, I mean with meeting people, and everyone telling us, you know, what a hero that our son is, and we love that.

But, you know, I'm not going to lie to you. I wake up in the morning and I sob, and I cry, and I can't believe that this event has taken place. And both of us are heartbroken that, you know, there's been a - an integral (ph) piece of our lives that's been taken away from us that we'll never get back.

CUOMO: This is your only son. Today would have been his last day of school. What does that mean to you?

J. CASTILLO: That's correct. Yes. I can't even express what that means. You know, it's a - it's just a hard cut-off, you know, life stops. It stopped when we found out that his life was taken, and he was deceased. It's a - all of our - all of our everything, you know.

You wake up every day and we - we - we thought that he would have a promising future in engineering and, you know, going off to college, and we're looking to celebrate, have fun, and it's turned to tragedy.

So, yes, that's - that's what it means for us. It's like life has literally stopped. I mean we - our purpose has gone away. And I don't know. You know, our only child - I - I just don't know. I can't even express how I feel.

And, you know, I - I put on a facade to do things like this to talk to people like you, and I try to be brave, so I could tell his story. But, in the next moment, I'm a - I'm a wreck, and so is my wife. It's horrible.

CUOMO: It's - look, it's to be - it's to be expected.

J. CASTILLO: That's all we could say (ph).

CUOMO: It's to be expected.

Are you able yet at all to appreciate that while your son is gone, the test of parenting of what you put inside that kid has been borne out in a way that most of us never know about our kids or about ourselves in a moment that was about him choosing whether or not to be for himself or to be for others, he chose being there for others even though he had to know what situation he was putting himself in.

What does that mean to you as somebody who was teaching values and teaching what he was about in faith, and how to live your life?

J. CASTILLO: It's everything to me. You know, it's everything to me that - and, you know, let me just say this.

When - when you're raising a child and you're all in, and in and you're loving him, and you spend every moment with them, you're a loving mother, like my wife, cooking food, and working a hard job to give them whatever they want.

And - and, you know, it's not just the material things but the attention and creating their favorite dish when they want it, you know, it almost becomes natural that you don't even realize that you're creating such an incredible person, as my son.

And, as I've been telling people today, as I've met, you know, it's community, it's his faith in religion. He's been a catalyst in the schools that he has been in where, you know, it's allowed us to be part of other people's families, and the faculty in these schools, and I just can't say that enough.

I mean there's no doubt in my mind that he leaped into action because of all of those things. He knew that he had to protect people he loved, you know, and didn't surprise me or my wife.

CUOMO: You never think about something like this happening in a place where really you don't ever worry about him doing anything but his homework. How do you make sense that it was in a school that he faced the monster that every parent fears?

[21:40:00] J. CASTILLO: You know, I mean the environment in which it happened could have been anywhere.

I - I don't - I don't believe that it's just because it was a school, you know, it happened to be in a school, but it could have been at a, you know, we do robotics events, we go to car shows, we go to car events that are indoors, we go to the National Western Stock Show and Rodeos.

I mean the space and the environment does not create the evil that live in it. That is my belief. We have to create good people in our lives and in society.

I think that, you know, we - we can put bars on our windows, and we can put cameras and alarms on things, and we can try to shelter our children, and we can do other things. But, you know, evil is out there in the world, and it lives

everywhere, but there's more good and there's more love than there is evil, and that's really the message I feel, you know, that we'll celebrate, my son, you know, our son, Kendrick was that example.

You know, there's no doubt that there's a huge following for Kendrick because everybody that encountered him, and he touched their lives, he became a friend with, you know, and a bad thing happened to - happened to him, I really think that we need to focus on working on society one person at a time.

CUOMO: You got to make good people. You just can't protect yourself against the bad people. I hear you on that. And I think it's a profound truth.


CUOMO: And I just wanted to say while I thank you for talking, you're sitting next to your wife.


CUOMO: I'm not ignoring Maria. I know that this is too hard for her to talk about, and that you are the appointed spokesperson for the couple.


J. CASTILLO: That is correct.


J. CASTILLO: My wife is, you know, I was all-in with my son, just like my wife. But, you know, Mother's Day is coming up, and a mother has a special bond with her son. And I'm here to tell you, you know, we had friends over of my son's, earlier.

Our house is an open door. You know, we don't lock the door, keep his friends out there, and wait for them to, you know, come in. I mean they - they rush in, and she feeds them, and that's the kind of community that we have.

And her hurt is so deep because, you know, she gives everything to these kids. You know, there comes a time in your life when, you know, things that are personal for us, you know, a beautiful woman buying something for herself becomes less important, and she gives it up for her child.

And - and that's my wife, you know.

CUOMO: Well--

J. CASTILLO: And that's - that's what I love about her.

CUOMO: --you're an example of everything that parents hope to be. And I hope you remember that. While what happened to your family is so unfair, you did your job, Mom and Dad.

You put somebody in this world that put others before themself, and they didn't do it with their mouth. They did it in a time of crisis in a way that saved lives even if it cost their own. And there is no higher calling of integrity and service than that. So, thank you for your own community.

J. CASTILLO: Yes. You're right (ph).

CUOMO: And thank you for talking to me about it.

J. CASTILLO: Thank you.

M. CASTILLO: Thank you.

J. CASTILLO: And thank you for giving me the platform to celebrate my son. You know, these lights will go out. Things will go away. But I never want to forget him, so thank you.

CUOMO: He should not be forgotten. And parents like me hope that the kids that I'm raising have a little bit in them of what your son was all about. So, God bless.

J. CASTILLO: Thank you.

CUOMO: And the best for you in coping with the pain that is with you now. And I know it's not going to go any way anytime soon. So, God bless going forward.

J. CASTILLO: Thank you.

M. CASTILLO: Thank you.


CUOMO: Look, I know it breaks your heart. I know that sometimes you'll say why is he doing this to them.

They want you to hear who their kid was. They want you to remember that this isn't just about the numbers of those who die, and what's going to happen next because we know that part of it never leads anywhere.

But maybe it will if we're more open to the reality of what is lost and what it means to people who could be you, who could be me, God forbid.

Let's remember Kendrick. Let's remember Riley Howell. And let's remember, this is not something that doesn't have an answer. It's not something that we can do nothing about. And when you think, maybe there's no answer, think of them, think if you'd say that to them.

All right, coming up next, we're going to change it up a little bit, lift our spirits in some heavy times ahead, something that you will see. It'll make you feel old, but it'll make you feel smart too.








CUOMO: I don't know about you, but I'm 48 years old. I remember rotary phones like they were yesterday. I had no idea that there is a generation that doesn't know what the hell they're dealing with, with one. Check this out.


KEVIN BUMSTEAD, FATHER OF JAKE BUMSTEAD: You have four minutes to dial-in that phone number.


JAKE BUMSTEAD, SON OF KEVIN BUMSTEAD: Just fiddle with them a little bit?


And then like--

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Put the phone to your ear. What do you hear? What does it sound like?



KYLE BUMSTEAD: What's with all the holes though?


CUOMO: You know, look, my man, D. Lemon is here. At first, I thought they were faking it. But I don't think they are.



LEMON: --they weren't faking it. Oh, sorry.

CUOMO: Ooh, the bat phone.

LEMON: Hello? Tyra, no. Chris is not here. I'll have him call you later. OK. Bye-bye. Now, hold on, hold on. Remember this? Remember, used to call into the radio station like oh what - caller number seven, you're like--

[21:50:00] CUOMO: Take forever. Getting your fingers stuck in there, happen to go back.


CUOMO: They didn't even know what the dial tone was.

LEMON: Oh, man. It's - listen, I wonder how many kids, Chris, have ever heard a dial tone. I wonder how many kids have ever, seriously, have ever heard a dial tone.

CUOMO: And how about when they said how do we reset it when they screwed up? Where's the reset button?

LEMON: You remember that?

CUOMO: Yes. You don't hear it anymore.

LEMON: You don't hear it anymore. I - I can't - I thought it was a joke at first. But it's actually two teenagers who couldn't figure it out. And they're not the first ones.

There was one that was put up in 2018 that's very similar, and they pick up the - the receiver, and they're like, "OK, now let's reset it, and then, do you - do you press this things, or do you whatever."

And for us, it doesn't feel like it was that long ago, but it was actually that long ago. And then, this is what, if you wanted, you know, before the cordless, here's what you had to do. You'd be talking on the phone. You'd have one thing right in here like--

CUOMO: Oh, yes.

LEMON: --yes, what are you talking about? Yes. And you just had the long cord that followed. You pick it up and you walk.

CUOMO: Remember the long cord?

LEMON: Oh, my Gosh.

CUOMO: Remember when you got the extended cord?

LEMON: Yes. And for the one - for the one that--

CUOMO: You were like sweet corn.

LEMON: --the one that was on the wall. My grandmother had one, and used to wrap around the dining room, and go all the way in the other room, and then she'd forget she'd have to come back and hang it up.

CUOMO: And the big deal was if you could get a phone in your room.

LEMON: Oh. CUOMO: If you had a phone in your room you were a made-man.

LEMON: But guess what? When I - I when I became a teenager in high school, we - we were on the phone so much, we got our own phone number. Our parents had their phone number.

CUOMO: Ooh, that's strong.

LEMON: And the kids had - had their own phone number.

CUOMO: That's strong.

LEMON: Now, let me tell you how old I am, OK? Do you know what a party line is?

CUOMO: Sure.

LEMON: I - several people in the neighborhood or on your street all shared a phone line.


LEMON: You could pick it up and hear Ms. Jenkins talking or you'd have to say, "I got to call - I got to call my - my sister. Can you please get - get off the phone?" Several people shared a phone. That's how old I am. I remember that when I was a kid.

CUOMO: You are old.

LEMON: Yes. I am.

CUOMO: But it's good to remember. Look how far we've come.

LEMON: I look younger than you.

CUOMO: That's true. That's true. So that's what surgery will do, lot of injections, lot of stuff.

LEMON: You notice my forehead doesn't move.

CUOMO: No. Mine does. I pay a lot of money for this ferret. I'll see you at the top of this show.

LEMON: See you.

CUOMO: I'm out of time.

LEMON: Bye. See you.

CUOMO: See you back, all right.

Some reflections on the week, but here's the deal. I've never made an argument like this before. It's not heavy. It's like the opposite of that but it's something that I had lost sight of. And I hope you don't. Argument, next.








CUOMO: We focus on what's wrong. We focus on the negative, and rightly so. But we tend to allow negativity to be a proxy for insight. And that's a mistake because there is more than the dark realities that we pursue. There is light, and truth, and beauty that forms and transforms.

We had two shootings in two weeks at two schools, and they left us raw, and they should. But there was heroism. That should overwhelm the narrative.

You just heard from the Castillos, their only son is gone. His last day of high school was supposed to be today. He was their everything. That is an unmitigated horror. Where is the light?

At just 18, Kendrick answered the most important question that many take a lifetime seeking. If push comes to shove, would I really put myself out there for others, would I risk my life?

I wish that he and Riley Howell, the blonde Tarzan from a week before, didn't need to demonstrate character through their own demise. Yet, dozens of families are whole tonight because of these two.

And their parents, God willing, I hope they know they did their jobs in the most magnificent way. They raised heroes, selfless, fierce heroes, and that is good and amazing.

There are beautiful moments where no one has to die, all around us, this time of year. Millions are graduating and moving on with destinies large and small.

Couple stories in Michigan. A mother was looking forward to getting her own diploma finally at a college graduation. Her problem? Son was graduating too, same day, different school.

What do you think mom did? She skipped her own ceremony. Son's school found out, surprised her, conferred both of them degrees. Mom and son walking across that stage together, damn, that's great.

And it doesn't mean that the President lying about Puerto Rico aid doesn't matter, but there's value in both. We can't forget that.

Here's another. 13-year old basketball player in Georgia, he's great, got no cash, size 18 shoes, not easy to find. Mom can't afford sneakers. Guess who finds out and steps in? Shaq. Buys the kid 10 pairs, including dress shoes, which his mom says he hasn't had in years.

In New York, a bus driver grabs a kid's backpack just as he's about to step off the bus, car speeds, watch this. Imagine if he didn't do it.

There are good people doing great things all the time. In the morning, I used to call it the good stuff, ordinary, and not so ordinary folks, doing the extraordinary for others, just because they can.

And this weekend, we have a day dedicated to a slice of humanity that often manifests the best of us in dedication to the rest of us. Be good to your mother this Sunday.

Remember the moms who have lost their kids and cherish your own. Remember, all that we have to be thankful for, we will get after what is wrong. But don't forget to celebrate the light in this world. It's what makes life worth living.

Thank you for watching tonight. CNN with D. Lemon right now, CNN TONIGHT.

LEMON: CNN TONIGHT. Happy Mama's Day.

CUOMO: Happy Mama's Day to your mama.

LEMON: Happy Mama's Day. Yes.

CUOMO: Beautiful lady! And boy is she proud of your ugly ass!

LEMON: You know what? I'll take it. She's proud of you too. She really is. She loves you.

And tell Cristina I said Happy Mother's Day, and to your mom as well, two really great women. I'm just surprised that you're not a better person being associated and - and around them all the time.