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Donald Trump Jr. To Answer Senate Intel Committee In June; Alabama Passed A Law Banning Abortion; Attorney General Bill Barr Understands The Trump Code; Trump Dismissing The Escalating Trade War With China; Democratic Hopefuls Now Become 22 For The Run In 2020; Migrants At The Texas Border In Grim Conditions. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired May 14, 2019 - 22:00   ET


[22:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: And he deserves the credit for being called out and so did the others for what they did and why.

Thank you for watching. "CNN TONIGHT" with D. Lemon in the new digs starts right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Blind partisanship. Blind partisanship. But can you -- can you really apply that to this administration because this is how I feel and correct me if I'm wrong, there are the Democrats, right? And whatever they're lump them in. We're talking about the Republican sound.

There are traditional Republicans and then there are the Trumpsters, and when I hear people say well, I'm a real Republican, I don't really support what this president does. I believe in traditional Republican value, and then you have the people who just go along with him and do whatever they want. And I think they're more than Republicans. They're just kind of Trumpsters.

CUOMO: Yes, I put them all in the same camp because you are what you do. We only know what you show. And if you don't call out what he says and you just say it's (Inaudible) or you only say it when you absolutely have --


LEMON: And you're a Trumpster too.

CUOMO: -- to when you find your way to get around it. It's not about being Trumpster or not, it's about whether or not you're going to live by a standard of principles that will endure even after this president is gone.

LEMON: Consistency.

CUOMO: We're not going to forget. We're not going to forget. You are what you do and say as a public figure. This president has tremendous sway over his party and the elected fear him. And many agree with what he says. That's all OK. But remember what you did and remember why you did it because we're not going to forget.

LEMON: Yes, and, you know, I always say this and you -- listen, you've been alive a whole lot longer than I have, the reverse always happens. There's going to be a Democratic administration, and if they start running all over norms and ignoring the rule of law then I think many of these folks who have been allowing it to go on now will be yelling saying, wait, you can't do that, you're abusing power.

And so, we'll live long enough to see that, but I just wonder how they're going to do it with a straight face.

CUOMO: Well, look, we've seen it already. I mean, you know, this is what happens.


LEMON: Lindsey Graham. Yes.

CUOMO: You know, this is what happens in politics, and it's why people are so disaffected and why they expect so little. That's what I tried to do with the closing is call out Mitt Romney too.

He's had his problems in the past but he stood on principle on this and he took the right stand. You're going to put someone on the bench who engaged in birtherism about the past president, really? And you think the guy is going to be different on the bench? Come on.

LEMON: We put someone in office who was the chief birther --


CUOMO: But this guy is there for the rest of his life.


CUOMO: It's a little different. And you know, politicians they come and go.


CUOMO: And sometimes they do things and they don't follow up. Judges can change things in silence. You know, it's hard to go. Of course, you have the judiciary and the appeals process. This guy is going to be sitting on an important place.


CUOMO: Eastern District of Texas for a long time.

LEMON: And we will hold truth to power, speak truth to power.

CUOMO: We got to do it when we hear about it.

LEMON: Feet to the fire and speak truth to power. Yes. Thank you, sir. Great show. Kind of lonely over here. Can you get over here soon?

CUOMO: I'm coming, brother. I'm coming.

LEMON: All right. All right. See you soon. Thank you, Chris. This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

And let's talk about the president's old son, his namesake, reverses himself, makes a deal to return and answer more questions from the Republican-led Senate Intel Committee. Don Jr. and the committee agreeing that he's going to appear in private. That's going to happen in mid-June.

These are the parameters the interview limited to two to four hours. OK. They can only ask certain things. Don Jr. cites that questions about Trump Tower Moscow and that Trump Tower meeting with Russians promising dirt on Hillary Clinton only limited to follow-ups.

Can you imagine telling investigators I'm only going to talk about this much and that's it? See where that gets you.

Listen, sources close to the committee says that the president's son will have to answer questions about discrepancies between his past testimony and what other witnesses have told the committee and Mueller's team.

So, let's remember how all of this went down. It all went down like this. The president's son threatening to refuse to cooperate, then cleaning up a mess of his own, of his own making by agreeing to testify after all.

And let's remember Don Jr. had twice agreed to testify and then he backed out. That's why the committee chairman, Richard Burr, finally issued a subpoena. So, it's going to be really interesting to hear what comes out of Don Jr.'s testimony next month.

That as the president is getting just what he wants from his handpicked attorney general. Was there ever any question? A.G. Barr investigating the investigators, saying he's reviewing the origins of the Russia investigation. The investigation of the president just last month called an attempted coup.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This was an attempted coup. This was an attempted take down of a president, and we beat them. We beat them.


[22:05:02] LEMON: Now, the president would like you to believe he had no idea Barr was going to investigate, no idea at all.


TRUMP: No, I didn't ask him to do that. I didn't know it. I didn't know it, but I think it's a great thing that he did it.

And you know what, I am so proud of our attorney general that he is looking into and I think it's great. I did not know about it. No.


LEMON: He says he didn't know about it because he didn't ask Barr to do it. OK. This tweet is from last month. It seems pretty clear, look at that. Investigate the investigators, in all caps. But he didn't know.

It seems like the attorney general certainly got the message. You remember he really struggled to come up with an answer when senator -- you've got to watch this -- when Senator Kamala Harris asked him whether the White House had suggested he open any investigations.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Attorney General Barr has the president or anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone?


HARRIS: Yes or no?

BARR: Could you repeat that question?

HARRIS: I will repeat it.

BARR: Yes.

HARRIS: Has the president or anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone? Yes or no, please, sir?

BARR: The president or anybody else --

HARRIS: Seems you'd remember something like that and be able to tell us.

BARR: Yes, but I'm trying to grapple with the word suggest. I mean, there had been discussions of matters out there that they've not asked me to open an investigation but --

HARRIS: Perhaps they suggested.

BARR: I don't know. I wouldn't say suggest.

HARRIS: Hinted?

BARR: I don't know.

HARRIS: Inferred? You don't know? OK.


LEMON: Wow. And then there's this. The attorney general buying into the president's baseless conspiracy theory that his campaign was spied on. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARR: I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're not suggesting, though, that spying occurred?

BARR: I don't -- well, I guess -- I think spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur.


LEMON: Like I said, God, you guys don't see this? Come on, you have to see this. Can you repeat the question -- I -- what was -- I'm trying to figure out what you mean by, inferred, I'm grappling.

Come on, people. Like I said the attorney general got the president's message. He got it loud and clear. The president let him know exactly what he wanted.


TRUMP: Hopefully the attorney general, he mentioned it yesterday he's doing a great job getting started on going back to the origins of exactly where this all started.


LEMON: Well, this is what -- this is the way the president operates. He may not give you an order. He doesn't have to. He makes it very clear what he wants from you.


MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER DONALD TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: He doesn't give you questions. He doesn't give you orders. He speaks in a code. And I understand the code because I've been around him for a decade.


LEMON: Not so hard to break that code. The president said his attorney general is doing a great job going back to the origins of how the Russia investigation started.

He tweeted "investigate the investigators." Yes, right out in the open. Kind of makes you wonder does he realize he's tweeting in publicly; he's saying it out loud? Do you know who seems to agree with the president? This guy.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): However, exotic the word go for a special counsel, Mueller was, I have to say that on the whole he had a very objective investigation, and he confirmed that there are no traces whatsoever of collusion between Russia and the incoming administration which we said was absolutely fake, and as we said before there was no collusion from our government officials and it could not be there.


LEMON: That was Vladimir Putin. Really saying the exact same thing that our president says, the president of the United States.

[22:10:05] You feel me? Maybe not. Let's go on.

All this is happening as the president's trade war with China, the war he calls a little squabble is getting more and more costly for more and more Americans.

A source close to the White House tells CNN that Trump and his team that they are struggling. The source saying, quote, "things could spiral out of control for a while before we have a breakthrough." Spiraling out of control sounds like a problem, doesn't it? But the president says this.


TRUMP: You know what? You want to know something? You want to know something? We always win. We always win.


LEMON: Let's deal in facts around here, so the fact is the trade war is more costly the longer it goes on. The New York Times reports the tariffs will cost American families $800 a year.

And then there is what the president said today about the New York Times report that the acting defense secretary presented a plan last week that would send-up to 120,000 American troops -- 120,000 to the Middle East if Iran strikes American forces in the region or speeds up its development of nuclear weapons. The president denying the Times report but going onto say this.


TRUMP: Now, would I do that, absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully we're not going to have to plan for that. And if we did that, we would send a hell of a lot more troops than that.


LEMON: So, we've never talked about it. We haven't planned for it, but sure I'd do it. And I'd send a hell of a lot more troops than that. Does the White House learn nothing?

An administration source tells CNN the president makes last minute decisions, demands all the time so having a potential plan is helpful.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this might not be the best time for last minute decisions or demands. More on that a little bit later on in the show. Make sure you stay tuned.

And here's something that's going to get this president where he lives, it really is. Or where he used to live at least. Bloomberg News reporting that Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, the crown jewel of his buildings, is now one of the least desirable luxury buildings in New York City. Condos there selling at more than 20 percent losses.

In New York real estate? How is that even possible? As I said the building once the crown jewel in Trump's empire.


TRUMP: I built a building Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. It's called Trump Tower. And it's been tremendously successful.

It's not by biggest deal by any stretch but Trump Tower was really to me and to this day it's been successful from the day I built it. Right next to Tiffany. It's been a great deal.

I have some of the greatest assets in the world, best locations in Manhattan. Trump Tower, 57th and Fifth. They are both (Inaudible) from Tiffany. And I built Trump Tower and to this day it's one of the great buildings of the world, and it's one of the great successes.


LEMON: Not anymore. Real estate experts blame heavy security around the building and New Yorkers being turned off by the Trump name. So, the building where Donald Trump launched his apprentice career.

You recognize that, right? It was all made up. Show business, folks. The building where he launched his presidential campaign, the building where not at all coincidently that infamous meeting took place with Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.

That building is one where New Yorkers, they don't want to live anymore? OK, got it. The man who claimed he wrote the art of the deal he didn't really, he said this on page 60. I love reading from this book. You learn so much.

Quote, "you can't con people at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press and you can throw in a little hyperbole, but if you don't deliver the goods people will eventually catch on."

Yes, indeed. They will. So Don Jr. is going to answer that subpoena from the Senate Intel Committee after all.

[22:15:00] Whatever happen to the president's defy all subpoena strategy? That's a question for Jennifer Rodgers, Patrick Healey, John Dean. Next.


LEMON: Donald Trump, Jr. reaching a deal with Senate intel. He'll appear before the committee behind closed doors next month for only a few hours. Sources saying the questions will be limited in scope but he'll be required to clear up any discrepancies in his past testimony.

I want to discuss that now with Jennifer Rodgers, Patrick Healey, and John Dean.

Good evening to all of you. Thank you so much for coming on.

So, Jennifer, Donald Trump, Jr. going to testify, he's going to have to answer questions about discrepancies between his testimony of what other witnesses have testified to. So, what will they get to the bottom of, how will they get to the bottom of anything there?

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, they obviously point out what he said before. They raise what the other witnesses have said and they just ask him about it. Is there anything you want to tell us, is there anything that you want to clarify when such and such, Michael Cohen said this? And then they ask him to clarify it.

And you know, as much as they want to keep that kind of confrontation of his prior testimony under wraps, there are Democrats on that committee and they're going to be pushing him hard on this prior inconsistency.

LEMON: So that would be perceived as a follow-up to say what do you want to -- is there anything you want to clarify.

RODGERS: Mr. Trump, let me follow up on your prior testimony.

LEMON: OK. So, it's that easy.

RODGERS: Exactly.

LEMON: OK. So, all right. So, we're talking semantics here. Two to -- yes. Two to four hours, is that enough?

[22:19:58] RODGERS: I think so. If they stretch it to the four and they're good with their questions. Congress people often aren't very good with their questioning, but hopefully they'll get some questions for them should be enough time.

LEMON: OK, we'll see. I want to bring you in, John, real quick. John, if it turns out that Don Jr. didn't tell the truth on things like the Trump Tower meeting with Russians or Trump Tower Moscow, what could happen?

I mean, Michael Cohen is going to prison because he lied to Congress.

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, what theoretically could happen is the committee could find the discrepancy under oath and they could refer to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and ask them to investigate.

Now what are the likelihood of that happening under Mr. Barr who's got a new affection for his president, I don't think much will happen with it. I think he's pretty safe at this point. He'll probably say anything he wants to. That's how the system is broken down.

LEMON: Yes. You know, Republicans try -- normally when we talk about him testifying and this was before, there was a Democratic Congress member. Republicans tried to take the pressure off of Don Jr.. In the end though, he's going to have to testify before a Republican-led committee.

Do you -- is this the first crack, you think, in the whole Trump stonewalling everything?

PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, it is. And to some extent there's been so many questions around Don Jr.'s statements. The other testimony that's been given that I think even Republicans on this committee felt like, you know, at least in terms of credibility, in terms of what they've been trying to get to the bottom in the intel committee that they had to call him in.

And in terms of at least the negotiations behind the scenes, you've got to think at least these Republicans and Richard Burr was pretty strong on this, that they needed to have some kind of answers coming from the Trump family in this case.

So, it wasn't easy. I didn't think that this would necessarily be the first crack that would come. But again, when you have the majority party in the Senate issuing a subpoena to the president's son, that's going to get a different kind of attention, a different kind of headlines. If it just, you know, if it hung out there endlessly and they just look like, OK, they're now they're stonewalling Senate Republicans.

LEMON: Yes. I played the Kamala Harris question before when she was questioning Barr. If we have the video you can put it up. You don't have to roll the whole sound. But if you can.

The most satisfying part for me was the lady behind Kamala Harris looking and then Senator Cory Booker looking at her. It's just amazing because they sort of sum up the whole, the absurdity of how he answered that question.

The president is saying he didn't ask Barr to investigate the origins of that question, but that's kind of hard to believe considering how he couldn't answer that question, Jennifer.

RODGERS: Yes. Barr was under oath.


LEMON: There it is right there. Look, and then if you watch. Watch the woman behind her and then watch Cory Booker's face, but go on. It's hard to believe.

RODGERS: So, he's under oath there. It's one thing for the president to be out there in front of the cameras saying whatever he feels like saying, but Barr is under oath. He can't lie. So that's why he's dancing around, you know, what does suggest mean. What am I going to say now?

And what we've learned from all of that was that, in fact, he had had conversations with the president about other investigations and he ended up being able to dance around the questions. You know, I wish that she would have been able to actually push him a little bit harder and get a final answer on that. LEMON: If you look at the president's Twitter feed, Patrick, I mean,

it's all right there, "investigate the investigators," and that's all in caps. And this is a new one. I mean, when Jeff Sessions said the DOJ wouldn't be improperly influenced Trump tweeted back saying, quote, "look into all the corruption on the other side." And here's what Trump said about things just last month. Watch this.


TRUMP: I hope they now go and take a look at the origins, the origins of the investigation, the beginnings of that investigation.

Hopefully the attorney general is doing a great job getting started on going back to the origins of exactly where this all started.


LEMON: So, he got the oranges -- the origins right.

HEALY: Yes, message received loud and clear, right? I mean, Trump -- you can say this about Trump, he doesn't mince words. I mean, he doesn't hide his feelings, he says what he wants.


LEMON: Oranges.

HEALY: He beat up -- this origin. I mean, you know, he best up Jeff Sessions on Twitter, you know, public remarks for, you know, for basically almost the entire term that he was in office.

Bill Barr new exactly what the president has wanted, you know, in this regard. And there's just a lot of evidence, you know, Bill Barr is willing to kind of parrot a lot of this language the president use like the spying language. I mean, willingly sort of saying that the American intelligence agencies were spying on Donald Trump.

That is music to his ears. That is what this president expects of total loyalty even from Republicans who once were guided by evidence, were guided by their own independent judgment, were guided by their constitutional duty. Now it's what the president says and you follow in lockstep.

LEMON: John, you know, today Lindsey Graham, one of the president's staunchest allies said that he was going to back off his own in Russia -- his own Russia investigation.

[22:25:05] Do you think he would do that if he didn't think Barr was looking out for Trump?

DEAN: I'm not sure how Lindsey Graham would come out on anything. He's a loose cannon now. But you know what's unprecedented, Don, is the fact this investigation is going forward in any way, shape or form.

It started with an assistant -- or a U.S. attorney from Utah who was waiting for the I.G. report, Horowitz to investigate it at the Department of Justice. Now they've added another U.S. attorney to the investigation. Horowitz still not completed his investigation.

And he's got impeccable credentials. Somebody whose word is taken very seriously.

But the fact that they're going on and pursuing this, it's obviously a ploy of some sort to get this into the campaign, to get it into 2020. He wants this as an issue. And that's why Barr was either told and took the signal and ran and they're trying to make it a campaign issue.

LEMON: Yes. I just wanted to ask. We're getting -- we're getting some new information in here, Jennifer, I want to ask you about this. And it's about this Alabama Senate bill.

Alabama, tonight Alabama, the Senate there passed a bill that essentially bans abortion and penalizes doctors harshly, up to 99 years in prison. The governor is expected to sign it setting up an epic Supreme Court battle. Is this going to lead overturning abortion rights?

RODGERS: Well, maybe. And this is one thing that's really dangerous. We also heard today or yesterday they came down with a decision a totally unrelated matter in a tax case, but it was the first time that a five to four majority overturned prior precedent just because they decided that they didn't like it, and Justice Breyer wrote a really scathing dissent about that.

Saying, we can't just overturn our decisions because now more people they'll not feel like, you know, we didn't like the way it was done. So that was kind of a warning signal, I think from Justice Breyer that when an abortion case gets up to the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade could be in trouble, and who knows it might be this Alabama case that gets us there. But I think many anti-abortion activists thinks that their time is now.

LEMON: The law only allows expect -- exception to avoid a serious -- excuse me, a serious health risk to the unborn child's mother and for atopic pregnancy and if the unborn child has a lethal anomaly.

The bill which makes no expectation for rape or incest, let Senator Smitherman to ask what happened to a 12-year-old with incest. Incest. And then Senator Chambliss replied, what I would -- what I hope is if we pass this bill all young ladies will be educated by their parents or guardians that they should go get help if a situation of rape or incest took place to audible displeasure from the panic public gallery.

RODGERS: Yes. I mean, these abortion cases are tough. You know, most of the anti-abortion activists would say things like it's not the fetus's fault that the rape happened and the girl should still be required to carry it to term and then kind of get on with their life from there. So, you know, we'll see what happens.

LEMON: Elections have -- (CROSSTALK)

HEALY: This is the language that the Republicans are poll testing. I mean, this is language we're starting to hear more and more from the president. I mean, they feel like it's not just a Supreme Court case but a degree to which he's alienated parts of his base and loss seats in 2018.

Abortion they think is one way to energize and bring some of those voters back.

LEMON: As I was saying elections have consequences, and this is one. Thank you all. We'll be right back.


LEMON: President Trump dismissing his escalating trade war with China as a little squabble and insisting that the U.S. is winning. But sources tell CNN that talks between the two sides have come to a halt. Let's bring in John Kasich. He's a former Republican Governor of Ohio, also ran for president in 2016. Good to have you on, sir. Thank you so much.

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hey, Don. I saw your new studio on television last night. And I think you ought to have a jet pack so you can fly around or do questions like when you're levitated. Listen, you would drive Cuomo crazy if you could just ask questions while you're levitating. Not a lot, just two or three feet.

LEMON: I already drive him crazy. I mean he looks at me and goes why can't I look like him. So Listen, President Trump says that he's -- that it's only a little squabble with China. Is that what this is, Governor?

KASICH: This is unbelievable. And frankly, I can't believe the Republicans just go along. When I was in Congress, Don, if I were to say, well, are we having a level playing field. They would look at me like I was crazy. Free trade no matter what, free trade, that's all that matters. And now all of a sudden, this is the most protectionist president we've seen in decades. And they don't say a peep. It's ridiculous.

So who pays? We all pay. The consumers pay, but the farmers are getting crushed. And Don, here's the problem.


KASICH: We're doing this on our own. Where's -- the rest of the world should be working with us on this, not doing this alone, that's not the way you do this.

LEMON: Hold that thought. I had a farmer on from Ohio, and he talked about the tariffs. And he says that what he wants -- he says they need open free trade. His name is Bret Davis. Listen and then we'll talk.


BRET DAVIS, FARMER IMPACTED BY PRESIDENT TRUMP'S TARIFFS: The trouble is, is we're losing farmers everyday to not just economics but, you know, it's hard on a person's mentality in farming. We've lost some farmers through suicide because of the -- you know, you can't make a living. You've seen everything that you've worked for your whole life.

And especially if you're looking down the road and cannot see a way out of this, if we had this glut of grain sitting in America right now.


LEMON: So go on, Governor. The pain is real and it's lasting, he's saying.

[22:34:56] KASICH: It's very, very tough. And, you know, farmers -- I mean they depend on worldwide markets to be successful. And when you shut them down, you really hurt them. And so Don, the issue with China is we know that China cheats. We know they steal our secrets. They do that to everyone in the western world.

So why didn't we work with the rest of the world to try to get this done, to put the pressure on? Why did we walk away from the Pacific Trade Agreement, which would have aligned us with 11 countries over there in the Pacific Rim? We didn't do any of that. This is all doing it on our own. And by the way, this whole big dramatic change in NAFTA, that's a joke.

I mean there are tiny little changes on that. So what is the answer? The answer, frankly, is to get with our allies and try to protect our intellectual property to open up markets, to do it in unison. It's called the World Trade Organization. It doesn't seem like the administration understands it's important, and we are better when we're together than when we are split apart.

LEMON: And speak of understanding.

KASICH: This is really a mistake.

LEMON: Speaking of understanding, Axios spoke to current and former administration officials about whether Trump actually believes China pays a tariff rather than U.S. importers and consumers. The consensus is yes. That's what he believes. Do you think he even knows how this works?

KASICH: Don, I don't know that. But, you know, everybody knows that when you have a trade war, the price of everything is going to go up. And it's going to hurt some areas of, you know, of our economy more than others. I mean to say this doesn't hurt us, listen to the farmer you had on last night from Ohio. It is a devastating blow to agriculture.

And what people say is, well, we'll just hang in there and they'll get it right. I am not convinced they're going to get it right. Because frankly, if we make a deal with China, this is something that hasn't come out in the news, if we make a deal with China and we exclude the other members of the World Trade Organization, they can sue to nullify the agreement.

And if we walk away from it, then we say there's nothing but chaos in the world markets. The way to fix this, get with our friends. Be tough negotiators. And by the way, we know that we've also kind of weakened the idea that investors in companies can sue when they get ripped off. It was weakened in the Canadian-Mexican Agreement, and it's really not on the front table now.

You know why? Because I don't think the president wants Americans to think about investing anywhere else other than the world -- anywhere else but in America. And that's not the way the world works. So, Don, bad intellectual property protection, bad approach, bilateral instead of getting all the world. And we're all paying for it. I mean -- and we don't know how it's going to turn out.

LEMON: And that farmer I had on last night, by the way, he voted for Trump in 2016. He says he's not sure now. He just wants to vote for the best candidate, not sure that's going to be Trump come 2020. Thank you, Governor. We're out of time. I'll see you soon. We'll be right back.

KASICH: Good to see you. Thank you, Don.

LEMON: We'll be right back.


LEMON: All right. So get this. The field of Democrats running for president got more crowded today. Montana Governor, Steve Bullock, announcing he is running. That makes 22, 22nd Democrat to seek the party's nomination in 2020. So how does a candidate stand out in such a crowded field? I am going to ask two expert strategists what they'd recommend.

Here to discuss, Joe Trippi and Rick Wilson. Rick is the author of "Everything Trump Touches Dies," two expert strategists, experts.

Good evening, gentlemen.

So Rick, Montana Governor Steve Bullock said -- do you know he's going to run for president, 22nd Democrat to do it. Shortly after announcing, he tweeted this.

I just published 14 years of my tax returns, and I have been a presidential candidate for less than a day. Why are we still waiting on Trump to do the same? Strong way to distinguish himself right out of the gate?

RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Sure. But, you know, Don, we've got a field right now which has basically two giants, a handful of people who may be contenders, and about a dozen folks who have no business being in the race. But, you know, look, God Bless Bullock. If he wants to take a swing at it, maybe he catches fire. But, you know, the ramp is very, very steep to get into this contest

at this point, especially because Joe Biden has basically sucked all the action out of the room. And, you know, Biden has got this gigantic tidal wave of name I.D., Bernie got this cult like Bernie thing that he has. And, you know, so right now everybody else is struggling to get on the radar screen.

And I think the more they add to this thing, they're going to have to rent out a bigger convention hall to have these debates.

LEMON: Yeah. Well, they're going to have a bigger convention hall just for the candidates, right, not for people who are going to show up. Listen, Elizabeth Warren, Joe, rejecting an invitation from Fox News for a televised town hall today. And here's what she tweeted. She said I've done 57 media avails, 131 interviews, taking over 1,100 questions from press just since February.

Fox News is welcome to come to my events just like any other outlet. But a Fox News town hall adds money to the hate for profit machine, to which I say hard pass. First of all, she is right in what he says about a lot of the Fox News programming. But is Warren missing out on a chance to reach some voters, you think?

JOE TRIPPI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean she could be right about the programming. But she -- you know, you can't play that to the audience. I mean the audience is somebody that she should want to talk to. So I get what she's trying to do here. Look, I think it probably is a fun raising tool. She's going to be able to hit e-mails out to her list and say, hey, I am taking on Fox.

I am not doing it. Send me money. I am sure that'll work. It's getting her some coverage, which as Rick points out, is a real problem. You know for all these candidates, they've got to look for ways to get attention. I frankly don't think any of them are going to emerge by policy or sort of these one-off press hits. It's going to come from either a debate moment or an Iowa if one of them can emerge out.

[22:45:15] LEMON: But do you think she can convince -- Elizabeth Warren can convince any of Fox News viewers, especially how the president has hit her and how they carry his water?

TRIPPI: Absolutely. Look, people don't understand that Democrats watch Fox, too. You know, it's not just -- this is big audience. And it's somebody -- I once told David Axelrod when were -- I think in the 2012 race that there's 600,000 people -- Democrats watching MSNBC and 600,000 Democrats watching Fox, which 600,000 Democrats do you think we should be worried about and trying to talk to? And so I think there are people over there.

And I think Bernie Sanders did quite well in his town hall. So I think there's a difference between criticizing the network and criticizing the viewers.

LEMON: Yeah, and Amy Klobuchar had a town hall over there. And I think she did pretty well as well. So, Rick, you know, Mayor Pete showing off his comedic chops, slow-jamming the news on the Tonight Show. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have got a question for you, Marvelous Mr. Mayor. You may run a city but what makes you think you can measure up to the presidency? Aren't you worried about performance anxiety?

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Actually, I am not. As Mayor of South Bend, I reenergized the economy and have invested in the industries of tomorrow. I'd support getting rid of the Electoral College even if it means fighting these issues out in court.


LEMON: So you remember when President Obama famously slow-jammed the news. It was a great opportunity for him to show-off his comedic side and be self-deprecating. Can that work for Buttigieg, do you think?

WILSON: Look. He is particularly a creature of certainly the pop culture bubble right now. And that's sort of what kept him in the fight. The real test for him will be sustaining that over time. And, you know, look, you want to take any of these other 21 candidates in the race, would trade out the opportunity to be on Fallon in a hot second.

So, you know, he's -- you're doing the right thing. I remember back in 1992 when a lot of traditional, you know, advisers (Inaudible) Arsenio Hall, how dare he? You know it demeans the presidency. No, it works, pop culture is culture.

LEMON: And he played the sax, so there you go. Thank you, gentlemen, I appreciate it. We'll be right back.


LEMON: So photos obtained exclusively by CNN show migrants at the border patrol in McAllen, Texas in grim conditions, children sleeping outside in dirt, covered with Mylar blankets, others show migrants crowded into tents. The photos came from a source with access to the facility who has seen the conditions first hand.

Sources tell CNN "Nobody, no matter who you are, where you're from, should spend an hour like this. This the United States of America. Not in our country."

Let's bring in Ana Navarro and Scott Jennings, so much to talk about. Good evening to you. Take a look at these photos. They're horrifying. And I have to remind everyone that this is happening right here in the United States. Give me your reaction, Ana.

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Painful, cringe-worthy. You know it feels so wrong. It feels so un-American. And look, the folks in the northern triangle, the folks who are coming here and seeking political asylum, they know this is happening. And it's still not stopping them. And, you know, I hope that we get to the point where we stop playing politics with this issue and we try to figure out a comprehensive approach of how to work with those governments.

How to make it better over there, because, you know, it's our neighbors, and what happens with your neighbors affects you. And we see that this is affecting us, but it's heartbreaking, and it's just --


NAVARRO: It's unchristian, frankly.

LEMON: The DHS responded to the photos, saying as multiple DHS officials have been warning for months, the border security and humanitarian crisis continues to worsen. Current facilities and funding are inadequate for migrant flows. So listen, no doubt that this is a crisis right now that they're saying it's a crisis.

But it's the administration. I am wondering if the administration is making the problem worse by cutting off humanitarian aid to home countries of these migrants.

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, we're overwhelmed. I mean it's obvious that we're overwhelmed by the number of people who are coming here. Yes, I mean ultimately, the solution to this is for Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration plan that allocates more money to handle the inflow that continues to try to try to fund people in these governments where these people are coming from so that they had economic opportunities at home.

And they don't have such dangerous (Inaudible) to live to begin with. I mean you look at these pictures, and it is extremely painful. But it does underscore the point. It's a crisis. We are overwhelmed. We do not have the resources, the facilities, the manpower, the whatever to handle it. And Congress really needs to get on top off this, this year.

[22:54:53] I think the president sent his advisors up to Capitol Hill today to talk about what they want to do on immigration. I hope this spurs some action, because these folks aren't going to stop coming. They live in dangerous places, and there is economic opportunity in the United States right now. So for a host of reasons, folks are going to keep coming here. These conditions aren't going to change until Congress acts.

LEMON: Well, apparently...


LEMON: Let me get this is, Ana. Senior GOP officials -- this is about Jared Kushner in a meeting to talk about immigration, met with Senate Republicans. And the Senate Republicans were underwhelmed with the immigration proposal from the White House and from Jared Kushner. Go on, please. I have just a few seconds left.

NAVARRO: I don't think that's a president at all. They've tried to make Jared Kushner Jared of all trades. And the guy knows nothing about anything, you know? He was supposed to fix (Inaudible) peace. He was supposed to immigration reform. He's supposed to do all of these things without really having any policy experience. These are complicated issues.

(Inaudible) in that room have a lot of knowledge of the policy, and they haven't been able to figure the solution and the politics or have the political courage for -- but look, Don, it's going to take more than that. And I live in a city here in Miami where -- you know, we have so many people that are political (Inaudible) political exiles from places like Cuba and Haiti, and Nicaragua, and now Venezuela.

And so on the one hand, you know, you've got Trump and his administration rightly so talking about the murderous thug that is Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela and horrible, horrible conditions, the horrible human rights abuses that are being committed against the people of Venezuela. Well, those people are here. Those people are here in Miami applying for asylum.

And what are we going to do with them is the question. And I think we have an even moral question to ask ourselves. Do we have to -- do we want to continue accepting political asylums or not? But this limbo and this torture for these folks is not the way to go.

LEMON: I got to run. More to come, we'll talk more about it. Thank you both. We'll be right back.