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CUOMO PRIME TIME

Trump & Pelosi Trade Barbs, Questioning Each Other's Fitness For Office; Trump Gives A.G. Barr New Power To Declassify Information Related To Origins Of Russia Probe; U.S. Indicts Assange Under Espionage Act. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired May 23, 2019 - 21:00   ET

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


[21:00:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOWARD STERN, RADIO & TELEVISION PERSONALITY, PRODUCER, AUTHOR: And, you know, we could sit here in New York, and say "Hey, right on." But, you know, he's going to catch a lot of hell. And I - I admire his service to the country. I also find him, when he speaks, incredibly intelligent, and knows how to talk.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, ANDERSON COOPER 360: So, you'd like to interview him?

STERN: I'd be curious about his life.

COOPER: Right.

STERN: I really would be. And - and the adversity. But, you know, Biden would be just as sort of interesting to me in a way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well Howard Stern is fascinating. My full interview with Howard Stern airs tomorrow night 10 P.M. here on CNN, goes for the full hour.

Meantime, the news continues. Want to hand it over to Chris for CUOMO PRIME TIME. Chris?

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

The President has ordered full cooperation by the Attorney General and all his Intelligence agencies, not with answering the outstanding questions that Mr. Mueller left for Congress, but to go back to the beginning and investigate how the Russia probe started. I thought the President wanted to move on from Mueller.

We have a key Member of Congress, Adam Kinzinger, Republican, here on that.

No coincidence the latest offensive by the President comes after he lost another round sparring with the Speaker of the House. Pelosi says the President needs an "Intervention," and he responds by saying she's "Crazy" and "Losing it."

Look, we all know he can do this forever. But what about the rest of us? We're going to get the state of play from a crucial Member of the Speaker's team in just a moment.

And the President and his pals keep throwing that $35 million number for the Mueller probe, the expense, in your face, right? Wait until you see what we worked up, what this President has cost you and your kids so far? Here's a hint. It may tee you off.

Let's get after it.

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TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

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CUOMO: So, you got to get this straight. The President says "Move on from Mueller. The Russia probe is done." But really he means "Go back to the beginning." He's stonewalling any cooperation with the Mueller probe, saying it's over, and yet just authorized complete cooperation with a probe into how the Russia probe started.

I know it sounds like the onion. But it's true. It just also may bring a tear to your eye. This comes right after his latest sparring match with the Speaker, where the President said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I walked out. I was so calm.

I was extremely calm.

Crazy Nancy, I tell you what, I've been watching her, and I have - I have been watching her for a long period of time. She's not the same person. She's lost it.

Pelosi does not understand the bill. She doesn't understand it.

I don't think she's capable right now of understanding, and I think she's got a lot of problems.

They sort of feel she's disintegrating before the rush.

You know, she's a mess. Look, let's face it.

When I watched Nancy all moving, the movement, and the hands, and the craziness, and I watch it. That's, by the way, a person that's got some problems.

I'm an extremely stable genius.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: We have a key member of the Pelosi leadership team tonight, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell from Michigan. Welcome to PRIME TIME.

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TEXT: ONE ON ONE.

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CUOMO: He almost got a laugh out of me when he called himself a stable genius.

But with this move, Congresswoman, you know, it's one thing if we're going to drag our feet a little bit until you guys find a way to get Mueller in the chair because that is the moment of clarity for this country. But to go back to the beginning and investigate the probe, what do you think of this move?

REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): Well, first of all, I totally agree with you that we need Mueller to get in, hear him before the Committees, and to talk to the American people. You know he didn't need to do that today. Everybody needs to cooperate. And investigation laws are very clear on that.

I think it's a good thing Memorial Day weekend is here, and people are getting out of Washington. I think the American people are tired of this. I think he walked into the Oval Office totally prepared to walk out of that meeting yesterday, instead of agreeing to an infrastructure bill.

And the American people want to see us, you know, even if you go back to the days of, unfortunately or fortunately, my age, I was an intern working for Bob Griffin during the Richard Nixon Presidency, and I remember the Bill Clinton times too well.

They worked together to still keep the people's business going. People want us to talk - do something about the cost of prescription drugs. We got these roads and bridges that are falling apart, and we've got trade deals--

CUOMO: No, I hear you.

DINGELL: --which got him elected.

CUOMO: But this President's proposition is you guys have to make a choice, "Investigate me or let's deal with infrastructure," or whatever else you want to deal with.

But he's now saying there's a different option on his side. He's saying he'll want to do business with you, but he's also going to invest - investigate why you guys investigated him. How is that going to create any progress?

DINGELL: Well it's not going to create progress. And you know what? He's the leader of this country. And I've got to tell you. American people are getting tired of all this bickering.

I think he got elected two years ago, I told you I thought he could get elected, because people were tired of the partisan bickering. They thought he'd shake things up and be different. He needs to look at how people are looking at him right now, and he has to take responsibility.

They - these are two equal branches of government, and he cannot say he's not going to work on problems that he said he was going to address 2.5 years ago, it's going to be a problem for him.

CUOMO: Nancy Pelosi has proven every bit his equal, and then some, when it comes to the war of words. He can say what he wants to say about her. He - she obviously gets to him.

[21:05:00] But is it the right strategy for the Democrat side of the ball? When he gets upset, he can do nothing but think about himself and his feelings. Is that something you guys have to take into consideration when you think about strategy and how to move the ball forward?

DINGELL: Look, I think that Nancy Pelosi is one strong, tough leader. And, you know, she's holding a caucus together. There are, you know, everybody - we have to follow the facts. And she is being calm and methodical about allowing the Committee Chairs to do their business, to follow the facts.

There's a process. Nobody's above the law. But I'll tell you, I'm in those meetings, and she is very clear that we made promises to the American people that we would do something about healthcare and about prescription drugs, and that we do something about infrastructure. So, I think she's very focused. She knows that we've got to do that.

And she is telling the Committee Chairs, you've got - not the ones that have a responsibility for oversight but the ones that, you know - she met with the Chair of House Ways and Means, Richie Neal, and Frank Pallone, and told them, get the bills out there that the American people will see that we are moving things.

CUOMO: But--

DINGELL: And we did last week, by the way. We got seven - you wouldn't know it with all this sabre-rattling.

CUOMO: Well you're getting them through your side of the House because you have the numbers, but nothing's getting on the floor of the Senate so there is no actual laws being passed.

DINGELL: No. But I think - I will tell you. I've been in those rooms with - with Nancy, with the Speaker. She wants bills that we are going to get passed because she hears it. She's travelling this country like nobody you know.

CUOMO: I - I hear you, but nothing's been passed.

DINGELL: Well we passed seven bills last week, and I think some of them just pharmacy, the cost of prescription drugs, and I think they will pass the Senate. But I will also tell you she is very focused on getting a bill through

the House and Senate that's going to do something about reducing these costs, and she wants a bill that's going to pass the Senate because she's hearing it, Chris.

If you're out there, I'll tell you, this weekend, you know, people will talk to me about what President Trump or this with Nancy Pelosi, there's still - they're going to talk to me about what their medicines' costing.

The bulk of the American people are worried about their jobs. They're worried about whether they can afford the prescription drugs. And if you live in Michigan, I know it's the same across the country, you're tired of the potholes, and they want you to fix the blank roads.

CUOMO: I got you. But you're going to have to find a way to work with him because this war of words just gets us deeper into a hole. I'm not saying it's not fun to watch. I'm not saying it's a great flex by Nancy Pelosi.

DINGELL: I don't think it's fun to watch.

CUOMO: But, you know, well look, obviously, there's going to be some sport to it. There's going to be a ton of coverage of it. Pelosi is going to get all of this coverage about how she smacked him around, and he got all upset, and started asking women about how he was behaving.

But at the end of the day, your people in Michigan, all off of this country, they need the infrastructure help, they need the cash money help on healthcare. We got to see how it gets done.

Congresswoman, I know you're focused on the issues that matter. You always have been, and you're always welcome here to talk about them.

DINGELL: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: Be well.

DINGELL: Happy Memorial Day. Thank you.

CUOMO: You as well. Anyone in your family who gave their lives in the cause of this country, thank you for the whole family serving. Be well.

DINGELL: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, we're going to get the other side as well because let's be honest. You know, you got lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Nothing's getting done for their people back home. You know that - watching this is one thing. The reality of government is another one.

So, we have a Republican who's broken with the President before. What does he think we need? A new probe into the old probe? Should we get Mueller to testify like yesterday and get this over with, and get some clarity? And how can the sides work together? Is there a chance?

We'll get some clarity from him, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

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[21:10:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: So, Speaker Pelosi is calling for an "Intervention" by those around President Trump, in her words, for the "Good of the country." That landed. This President did not like that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Crazy Nancy.

She's lost it.

She's a mess.

It was sad when I watched Nancy all moving, the movement, and the hands, and the craziness, and I watch it. That's, by the way, a person that's got some problems.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: So, she's the one who needs the intervention. Personal attacks at an event no less that was supposed to be about helping farmers. Then came the tweets authorizing a new probe into the old probe that this President said we need to move on from.

Where is the genius in this latest move? Let's use that as a starting point for tonight's Great Debate with Jennifer Granholm and Kayleigh McEnany.

Kayleigh, good to have you back on the show. Guv, as always, thank you.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY, FORMER RNC SPOKESWOMAN: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: Help me understand, Kayleigh.

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, FORMER MICHIGAN GOVERNOR: Right.

CUOMO: Move on from Mueller, all in favor. Get Mr. Mueller in the chair, let's figure out what work was left to go forward, if any, that's clarity for the country. But now he wants to go back and investigate the beginning of the probe he wants to move on from? Where's the sense in that?

MCENANY: Well the sense in that is that that portion hasn't been investigated.

CUOMO: Sure it has.

MCENANY: The FISA warrants that the FISA applications based on a dossier funded by Democrats, that hasn't been investigated.

CUOMO: It has. It hasn't been investigated the way this has.

MCENANY: And the FBI put their signature--

CUOMO: But it has been looked at. But, go ahead.

MCENANY: By whom?

CUOMO: By the Agency.

MCENANY: By - by whom?

CUOMO: By the Agency.

MCENANY: By the Agency, right? By the Agency that signed the FISA warrant attesting to a dossier--

CUOMO: Inspector General's an independent actor.

MCENANY: --full of lies as being fully verified.

CUOMO: Go ahead. Go ahead.

MCENANY: But we need - we need a full investigation. We are three years into Trump. We found nothing. Democrats want to continue down the witch-hunt.

But we've got to look into human sources placed in the Trump campaign, unmasking in a FISA warrant based on a dossier full of lies funded by the DNC. We've got to look into it. And, by the way, the American people agree with me. 62 percent want this done--

CUOMO: Well a lot of them are getting false information.

MCENANY: --according to a poll conducted by you (ph).

CUOMO: Granholm, we just had Baker come up, one of the guys who was involved in it, saying I don't know why there's questions about how it started. If you want to know how it started, started with the facts, says Senator Manchin.

Baker, as counsel, says we started because of Papadopoulos. Where does this go if we go back to go forward?

GRANHOLM: Yes. No. I mean it's - this is another clamming. One thing Donald Trump is a genius at, it is distraction.

So, he's wants another investigation started to distract us from the investigation that Congress is doing. But his investigation, he wants full cooperation with. Congress' investigation, he doesn't want any cooperation with. So, it's just - it's another way.

I think he's been watching a bit of what the - how the news has been characterizing him today. When he did that press conference, he looked discombobulated or flummoxed.

[21:15:00] I think Nancy Pelosi really has his number, and she has gotten under his skin. She knows how to play him.

And so, he's got to move this conversation away from him not really being a stable genius, but to something else, which is investigate the investigators. That he's very good at. It's very good distraction.

CUOMO: So, how much of this is about his mood, Kayleigh? This moment today, I - I found this a little bit odd to observe. Let me just remind the audience of how the President tried to prove that he was cool in the meeting with the Democrats in Congress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: You all saw me minutes later I was at a news conference. I was extremely calm.

Kellyanne, what was my temperament yesterday in the room?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Very calm. No temper tantrum.

MERCEDES SCHLAPP, LOBBYIST, COLUMNIST: You were very calm, and you were very direct.

LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Mercy's right. Kellyanne's right. You were very calm.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Very calm. I've seen both and this was definitely not--

(CROWD LAUGHTER)

SANDERS: --angry or ranting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: There's a line I don't want to have to be standing in. Why put them in that position, Kayleigh? What are they supposed to say?

"I actually thought you lost a little bit Mr. President, and I'm going to be honest with you. I think that you overreacted. You shouldn't have listened to Pelosi that way. You should focus on being the President," who's going to say that? What does that mean that he asks people that question? MCENANY: Well he asked them that because he wants them to share the truth that is lost upon so much of the media, and certainly the Democrats. I mean--

CUOMO: Who is not going to agree with him when they work for him--

MCENANY: I'm--

CUOMO: --in that Yes Man crowd?

MCENANY: No. Because it's the truth.

I mean it was reported that he slammed his hands down on a meeting previously. That wasn't true. I'm around the President often on Air Force One going to the rallies. He's always in a cheerful demeanor. So this notion that he's menacing is just wrong and false.

And it takes the onus, by the way. The media wants to talk about his demeanor because they don't want to focus on Nancy Pelosi, and her conspiracy-laden tirades about cover-ups, and crimes, and impeachment, because they know it will backfire on the Democrats. So instead, they concoct theories about the President's mood that are

very far from any basis of truth or reality.

CUOMO: Nancy Pelosi has found a way under the President's skin. She's an old-time warrior. She knows how to do the war of words. No question about it. Is it the best move for the Democrats to keep this President spitting mad?

GRANHOLM: I do think - are you asking me?

CUOMO: Yes, Ma'am.

GRANHOLM: Can you - all right so, I - I do think that she understands where her caucus is at, and she knows she's got to keep them together. She also probably very strongly believes what she has been saying. But she's also been a genius about moving stuff out of the House. Unfortunately, it goes to Mitch McConnell's legislative graveyard. But

even today, they passed a Retirement Security bill that had 413 votes, only seven - or 417, and only three no, bipartisan strongly.

It's going to go over to Mitch McConnell. It's going to die because that's where everything - what everything does over there is to die. The Restoration, the Violence Against Women Act, Net Neutrality bill, the Election Reform bill, all these things, including prescription drugs, all she - her team has sent them over to the Senate, and it sits there and dies.

Where is Donald Trump calling for lower prescription drugs? Nothing is happening. Even today--

MCENANY: He did lower prescription drugs--

GRANHOLM: --he's got this press conference but--

MCENANY: --for the first time in 46 years. GRANHOLM: No. But--

MCENANY: First time in 46 years, costs have come down.

GRANHOLM: --the - the bill that's over there is just sitting there.

MCENANY: Last year, it's documented.

GRANHOLM: Why isn't he - why isn't he calling for the - the Senate to pass the Violence Against Women Act, Restoration? That is a bipartisan bill. He has done nothing to encourage Mitch McConnell to pass bipartisan bills.

He is so freaked out about how people are viewing him that he has a press conference today that arguably he could have gotten some mileage out of. But instead, he - he, like the King, lines up all of his jesters to be able to respond to his question. He completely knocked the story off of the front page.

Bottom line is Nancy Pelosi can walk and chew gum at the same time.

MCENANY: But--

GRANHOLM: And she is doing both. She is making sure the investigations go forward, and she's making sure legislation gets passed. Now, the Senate has to do its job.

CUOMO: What about the Senate's side of the equation, Kayleigh? How do you explain it?

MCENANY: Well when you look, by the way, Nancy Pelosi's House has passed just half the bills that the Republican House had passed up to this point. The Senate is ready to play game on reasonable pieces, play ball on reasonable pieces of legislation, just as we saw with Criminal Justice Reform.

What about infrastructure? There was supposed to be another meeting about infrastructure. Nancy Pelosi canceled that. What about a DACA fix? The President proposed twice. I will give you DACA legalization in exchange for a wall.

GRANHOLM: The President walked away from that, Kayleigh.

MCENANY: It died--

GRANHOLM: Great.

MCENANY: --it died twice.

When you look at all of these proposals, there are things that can be done. But they can't be done when you have Jerry Nadler, on a train, days after the midterm election, saying, "I not only want to impeach Trump, but I also want to impeach Kavanaugh."

And when you have 82 Trump targets, we can work together, but it means your party legislating, rather than investigating. [21:20:00] CUOMO: Yes. But you've always had, when Presidents are investigated, they still keep working. I mean Bill Clinton did some of his best work--

GRANHOLM: Right.

CUOMO: --right after, you know, when he was right on the verge of being removed from Office. It's one of the reasons he wound up with such high poll numbers.

MCENANY: Right after he was indicted.

CUOMO: Yes. I mean, look, I mean--

MCENANY: After a 11 - he was found guilty on a 11 counts.

GRANHOLM: But he worked (ph).

CUOMO: --so, he was in a lot more serious water than this President is.

You know, you'd think he'd be able to take the heat. And thus far, you know, he seems to want to obsess about something that he says shouldn't matter. This is why I want to ask this.

Do you agree with this, Kayleigh? If you can get Mueller in the chair, he can answer the fundamental question. "Did you leave work to be done by Congress on obstruction or not? Did you think there were things to pursue or not? Is it worth our time or not?"

There's a good chance he could answer those questions many different ways. That will give this country clarity. Do you think they deserve to hear from him right now?

MCENANY: Oh, I don't - I don't think it's worth our time at all. I mean, clearly, it's up to Mueller--

CUOMO: To hear from Mueller?

GRANHOLM: Why--

MCENANY: --whether he wants to testify.

GRANHOLM: --why not?

MCENANY: But on the charge of obstruct - on the charge of obstruction, I can tell you this. If Mueller and his team of registered Democrats who have a notorious history for overzealous prosecution--

CUOMO: That's not a fair characterization of the team.

MCENANY: --couldn't find obstruction--

CUOMO: But make your point.

MCENANY: --it is - of Andrew Weissmann and the registered Democrats who donated--

CUOMO: He's a rock-ribbed Conservative. He is more Republican than you've been on your best day.

MCENANY: He is surround--

CUOMO: Why would you assail his credentials?

MCENANY: He is surrounded - I highly doubt that. He's surrounded by Democrats.

CUOMO: You think you're more of a--

MCENANY: So, if these - if--

CUOMO: --Republican than Bob Mueller?

MCENANY: Oh, yes. I - I actually do.

CUOMO: Really?

MCENANY: I think I'm certainly more of a Conservative than Bob Mueller is.

CUOMO: Really?

MCENANY: But his team of angry Democrats - his team of angry Democrats--

GRANHOLM: Oh, my gosh.

MCENANY: --was going after the President on obstruction.

GRANHOLM: Enough of these talking points.

MCENANY: If they - if they found obstruction, I guarantee you they would have recommended prosecution. But they didn't.

GRANHOLM: Hey?

MCENANY: So, he gave it back to Barr who said no obstruction here. I know in the conspiracy-laden theory world of Democrats--

GRANHOLM: Chris?

CUOMO: Yes.

MCENANY: --you desperately want obstruction. But it doesn't exist.

GRANHOLM: Can I--

CUOMO: Listen. All I'll tell you is this.

GRANHOLM: Can I ask Kayleigh?

CUOMO: Just read the first page of part two of the Mueller report, and you will see why Bob Mueller and his team did not bring down any suggestion of a criminal charge against a sitting President of the United States. It's because they went into the investigation knowing they could not.

Jennifer Granholm, last point.

GRANHOLM: Yes. Just - I just have a quick question for Kayleigh.

Kayleigh, if these court - if it's upheld by these courts, which already you've seen that the President must turn over these - the subpoena material that has been subpoenaed that these entities have to turn it over, do you think the President should finally cooperate and allow his team, his administration to testify or to turn over materials that a court has ordered?

MCENANY: I think it needs to be appealed from these Obama-appointed judges, one of whom donated to two sitting Heads of Committees who have subpoenaed the President.

GRANHOLM: Oh my gosh.

MCENANY: So, we've got a whole lot of conflict of interest here.

GRANHOLM: So - so you're--

MCENANY: It needs to be appealed.

GRANHOLM: --you're challenging the courts. You're saying these judges are biased. So now it goes to the Court of Appeals.

MCENANY: Sure. We've - we've seen measure after measure of--

GRANHOLM: And the Court of Appeals - if the Court of Appeals confirms it--

MCENANY: --President Trump struck down by unilateral federal judges. Yes, I'm questioning the judges appointed by--

GRANHOLM: If the Court of Appeals affirms it--

MCENANY: --Obama who've donated to Democrats.

CUOMO: What happens the day Kayleigh that the President needs to go to the country--

GRANHOLM: If the Court of Appeals affirms it--

CUOMO: --and say, "I have to give you some very serious information about a big threat to us. And it's come through our - the institutions of our democracy, and this is where this information has come from, and I need to tell you this, and I need you to get behind me because we have to do something very serious."

And the people in your base say, "Well I can't believe any of that. I can't believe these institutions. You've been telling me all along that the judges are dirty, and the DOJ is crooked, and the FBI is the Deep State, and the Intelligence communities were out to get you, so I can't believe any of this information."

What are you going to do on that day?

MCENANY: Chris, do you not want to know why there were human sources placed in a Presidential campaign during an election?

CUOMO: Yes.

MCENANY: Is it not of any interest of you? Is--

CUOMO: Because one of his guys came back running his mouth to an Australian diplomat about him having a great in with the Russians.

MCENANY: No. No. Or - well then that would have been the basis of the FISA warrant.

CUOMO: Yes.

MCENANY: But instead, the basis of the FISA warrant--

CUOMO: It was.

MCENANY: --as said by Andy McCabe, was a dossier--

CUOMO: No, not true.

MCENANY: --funded by Democrats.

CUOMO: It was a combination.

MCENANY: Yes, Andy McCabe testified under oath.

CUOMO: And I can't wait for the FISA documents to come out. I know a lot of people in the government don't want them to come out. I can't wait. I have to leave it there though.

MCENANY: I can't wait for that day too.

CUOMO: Me either.

MCENANY: Yes.

CUOMO: But I'm actually going to read them. Kayleigh, Jennifer, thank you very much to both of you for making--

MCENANY: I'll be reading them too.

GRANHOLM: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: --your arguments. Appreciate it.

So, the President just added a lot of fuel to the fire to unseat him with this move. But who is best positioned to take advantage? We have new cedings among the Democrats. Change is afoot.

We have our political prognosticator has it all, the 2020 crystal ball. Where is it? Next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

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[21:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: New numbers show some movement in the 2020 field, Joe Biden still out in front, way out in front. But the fight for the far-Left is what's influx.

Let's bring in Harry Enten here to do so, help us decipher, always a pleasure, great to see you, brother.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER & ANALYST: On it, brother (ph).

CUOMO: All right, so, my first point. I know they're 23. Forget about that. You guys lift 10 right now. But only like four, maybe five people in the race thus far have any shot. Why even go out 10?

ENTEN: Sure. I mean, look, if you were to look at, say, the top five, those about 5 percent or greater, yes, that's only about five people. But remember, Donald Trump was only polling at about 2 percent at this point. And remember what happened with him?

So, I think a lot of people, like myself, who're looking at the numbers are saying, "You know what? Let's take a step back. Let's remember what happened last time around, and remember that someone can, in fact, climb up from the cellar."

But, again, if we are going to just look at those top five, let's take a look at a key point, the difference between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, both of whom seem to be trading places with Warren rising with support on the far-Left, while Sanders is certainly falling.

What we see here, this is kind of a very interesting thing, right? If we're trying to determine lanes, which is not always a great thing in a Democratic primary but what we see is Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, both are doing their best among liberal voters.

This is a Monmouth University poll that was out today, Bernie at 20 percent, Elizabeth Warren at 14 percent, but they're both more struggling with the moderate to conservative lane, 12 percent for Sanders, 7 percent here for - for Warren.

And that's very different than Joe Biden, right, who's doing his best among the moderate conservative lane, getting over 40 percent in this poll and pretty much all the polls.

CUOMO: And for context for people, the Democrats self-identify about 80 percent plus center-Left. He's the only one in the race right now who really checks that box.

ENTEN: Right. I mean that's a--

CUOMO: At the top.

ENTEN: Right. I mean if you were to look, and you were to break down the Democratic primary, what you'd basically see is 20 percent consider themselves very liberal, about 30 percents consider themselves somewhat liberal, but 50 percent consider themselves moderate to conservative.

[21:30:00] Right now, the very liberal bloc is really a fight between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Joe Biden, third.

CUOMO: And what about Kamala Harris? What about her - what about Booker?

ENTEN: They - they are there. I mean Kamala Harris is doing OK in that very liberal lane. But if you were to just look right now at the top - the top two, top three in that very liberal lane, it's Warren, it's Sanders, and then it's Biden.

CUOMO: Why is Sanders going down and Warren coming up?

ENTEN: I'm - this is a very interesting thing. But keep in mind, of course, that most people before this campaign didn't know who Elizabeth Warren was. As she gets better-known, what we see is her numbers are rising, while Bernie Sanders' numbers are falling.

Remember, Bernie Sanders ran for President last time. And what we also see, and this is very interesting, right? What we see here, look at this, in March, Bernie Sanders, 25 percent, April, 20 percent, May, 15 percent in the Monmouth poll.

Look at the opposite going on with Warren right here. 8 percent, 6 percent, and 10 percent in a Quinnipiac University poll that was out yesterday actually had her, I believe, at 13 percent.

CUOMO: You know, ordinarily though in politics, it's the authentic in an avenue that winds up resonating the most. That should be Bernie. But it isn't? Is there fatigue? Is it just early and people are sampling some other stuff on the menu?

ENTEN: I - I think it's a little bit of fatigue.

And keep in mind, a Quinnipiac University poll that was out yesterday showed that the people who are paying the most attention in this race, a lot of attention, that was the worst group for Bernie - Bernie Sanders, while those who were paying little to no attention that was actually his best group.

It seems to me that people like Bernie as an alternative to Hillary Clinton. But once it's about him and, say, 20 other candidates, they don't like him nearly as much.

CUOMO: Huh! And interesting to see Elizabeth Warren with AOC. That's an acolyte of Bernie.

ENTEN: And that's exactly right. This is the group that Elizabeth Warren wants to take from Bernie Sanders, wants to take this very liberal bloc, and then build from that with other people.

So, we see they had this video here. I believe they were talking about the ending the Game of Thrones, among other things. And this is a group that she wants to build upon.

But keep in mind, Chris, it's only 20 percent of the Democratic electorate. You can't just win with very liberal voters. You have to reach out to moderate conservatives. And right now, Elizabeth - neither Elizabeth Warren nor Bernie Sanders are really doing that, and that's why Joe Biden is in the lead.

CUOMO: Very interesting state of play. Harry, let's do it again, brother. Thank you very much.

ENTEN: Of course, we'll - we'll have a battle of New York City accents.

CUOMO: Well you'll win. You're the smart guy, and you're better looking, and you're young. Everybody knows that.

ENTEN: Oh, isn't that nice?

CUOMO: The truth. The truth hurts, people.

The President just told us that he will not work with Democrats until they get off his back, and then said Congress is doing nothing.

But we got a Republican in Congress. Does he agree that those people are doing nothing? Adam Kinzinger is always a busy bee. He's been serving this country since he was old enough to do so. What does he think needs to happen to get this country on the right track? We'll see next.

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CUOMO: The President is giving his Attorney General the power to declassify national security information as the A.G., Bill Barr, hunts for what he's already called "Spying" on the Trump campaign.

Republican Congressman from Illinois, Adam Kinzinger is here. Congressman, good to have you on.

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CUOMO: I want to talk about what shouldn't happen and what should happen. How do you feel about the idea of starting a new probe into the old probe when the Inspector General is already looking at that? You got a Utah United States Attorney and a Connecticut United States Attorney looking at that.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): Yes, look, I think there's a lot of questions with that whole thing in terms of what happened. I - I don't want a whole new, you know, Independent Counsel. But I do think there's questions that need answered on that.

Now, if - if you notice - the court - I just read the President's tweets, just learned about this. He said, in accordance with the law, basically, so he's not going to declassify things that shouldn't be declassified.

But I'll say this on that, just like I said at the beginning of the Mueller report. Whatever the answer is we all need to accept it and move on. If they say that there was no corruption and - in how this started, let's accept it and move on. If they say there were concerns in areas, we need to accept that.

But we need to just like go from here to here a little bit and our - in our temperature. I think--

CUOMO: Temperature.

KINZINGER: --everything it's (ph) pretty bad time.

CUOMO: I really think that Mueller is the answer. You know, it was interesting. McEnany - Kayleigh McEnany, Spokesperson for the Campaign said, "I don't think we need him."

I don't know how we cannot need him. He has to give us clarity. Why did you leave it the way you did? He's not compromised.

I mean she can say she's more Conservative than he is. But I don't know what she's talking about. I mean he is par excellence when it comes to partisan pedigree, as you well know, as a Service member yourself and a veteran.

What do you think about him testifying?

KINZINGER: I - I'm fine with it. I mean I have no problem with him testifying. I think what people - they have to have their expectations, right, which is he is under restriction with DOJ. He cannot say any bad information about the President or anybody--

CUOMO: Sure.

KINZINGER: --that's not in the report. He's - you know, the government can't come out and say we didn't indict somebody, but here's all the things we were concerned about. That's--

CUOMO: Right.

KINZINGER: --that's not how that works. So, I think people's expectations may not be what it is. I have no problem if he comes in, personally. You know, it's good answer.

But I thought, when you said, I think, Mueller's answer, I don't necessarily agree. I hope you're right. I thought the Mueller report was going to be the answer. And it's actually just inflamed everything more.

So, maybe if he testifies, and it helps, fine. But, you know, the long and the short of it is you had mentioned something about institutions and - and a faith in government in a prior segment.

Over the last number of decades, we in Congress and everywhere, media talking heads have undermined the institutions of government because it may help us get re-elected or it may make for good that you - you get retweeted a 1,000 times if you say something crazy.

That kind of stuff needs to stop because when people undermine the institutions, everybody's to blame with this, by the way. When you do that, when it's all said and done, if you don't have faith in the institutions, massive breakdowns occur.

CUOMO: Amen.

KINZINGER: And you see it all over the world.

CUOMO: Amen. And I'm worried about that too. We try to police it. We try to be good about it. Everybody's got to do their part.

In that vein of thought, let's skip over Congress because we got to see what's going to happen. Until the people at the top stop wanting to be in a spitball contest, nothing's going to get done. We all know that. Iran--

KINZINGER: Right.

CUOMO: --I want your head on this, Congressman, because you - what's your read about the nature of what they're doing and what it means in terms of proper United States response?

KINZINGER: So, I think we're - we're doing the right thing because, you know, information we've gotten, and I can't go and - obviously can't go into a lot of details.

CUOMO: Of course. KINZINGER: But is Iran was stepping up their attacks, stepping up their posture, and there was legitimate concern that there was going to be an escalation.

We had concern in this right when we started the fight against ISIS, frankly, under President Obama, we thought about the re-energized Shia militias that were being re-energized in this ISIS fight by Iran.

And we said when ISIS is defeated, they're going to have all these guns and energy, and where do they turn? Well they're going to start the old fight against the United States. And we were seeing escalation of that.

[21:40:00] I think it would be Presidential malpractice had we not increased our posture there. Either - you have two options. You either surrender, and just leave or you say, "We will defend American troops and our interests."

I think the President was right in doing that. Some of the things, you know, may - that may have been said, you know, fine, may not be perfect, of course.

But, you know, moving the carrier and, frankly, the results we've seen, I think, have been promising. We're not going to go to war. And I think, frankly, when you have a strong posture--

CUOMO: Well how do you know?

KINZINGER: --and that's good for the country (ph).

CUOMO: I mean, look, everybody should know. They - they should Google you. But you are a warrior, and you've given your - your, you know, you - you put your life on the line for this country, and you know how I respect you for doing that.

But when you say we will not go to war, how do you know when as you know often it's situational, right? You're there. They take a shot at you.

KINZINGER: Well, yes.

CUOMO: Maybe they didn't mean it the way they - it happens. But they wind up taking out some of our people. Now you have to make a new stand. You know, are you concerned?

KINZINGER: Yes. So, I guess when I say we won't go to war it's, you know, our intention is not to go provoke a conflict.

And anybody that says they want to - look, I wasn't a huge fan of President Obama. I liked him personally. I didn't like his policies. But I had no doubt that President Obama never wanted to provoke a conflict that Presidents don't do that.

But, obviously, if Iran attacks us, if they move in a position that threatens navigation through the Straits of Hormuz or something, that easily could start a conflict, not necessarily a full war, but it could start a military response to escalate to where that ends.

So, it's all - I mean, look, Iran has been attacking U.S. and its interests for decades. A quarter of American troops in Iraq were killed indirectly or directly by Iran, and you look at all the history of it, so it's nothing new that, I think, that they provoke us.

But they can't cross that red line. And so, we have to move that red line and be very definite with it.

CUOMO: You think we're going to have more boots on the ground in different places in the Middle East by this time next year?

KINZINGER: I don't think so, at least nothing appreciable not - you know, not 20,000 additional or 30,000 additional, obviously, situation will be depending.

But I think we need to put a force structure in place to protect our - our men and women, of course, which everybody would agree with. We do have outposts. We do have bases. And they need to be as safe as they can actually be in. And - and I think we can all agree on that.

And - and as we get in these, you know, these heated debates, I think it's important for us to sometimes take a step back, and realize, we are Americans. We do disagree on things.

But like you and I, Chris, I consider you a friend. I think you'd consider the same. We don't necessarily agree on everything. But we know how to take our political opinions and make that kind of business, something we're passionate about, but still like each other on the other side of that.

CUOMO: Well, look, you got a couple of things going for you. I consider you a hero who protects me and my kids and my wife--

KINZINGER: Right.

CUOMO: --and my family's life. And you're a Member of Congress, which mean you've once again taken a pledge with your life to serve others, and I appreciate that. I think maybe what you're doing now is more dangerous than even when you were over there, and sometimes, I worry for you.

KINZINGER: I agree.

CUOMO: But I know you're a person of integrity. I know you're leading with your head and your heart together. And we need that. Doesn't matter what your ideas are. That we can fight about.

I do hope though if we fight about who to put where militarily they come to you guys because it's your job, not the President's to declare war, and I hope you take that power back.

Adam Kinzinger, God bless, Memorial Day weekend. If anybody in your family was lost in service, thank you to the whole family, thank you as well. We'll have you back soon.

KINZINGER: God - God bless you. Take care.

CUOMO: All right, be well.

All right, look, the President loves to talk about government waste, especially with the Mueller probe. But you notice, he never talks about himself, and he's spending big bucks, your bucks, numbers like we have never seen before for a President.

So, if we want to make little posters, and have little presentations, let's do one that tells you a picture that you need to see. D. Lemon comes too. He loves pictures, of himself, next.

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TRUMP: When you're in the White House, who the hell wants to play golf?

I don't think I'd ever see Turnberry again. I don't think I'd ever see Doral again.

I just want to stay in the White House and work my ass off, make great deals, right?

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CUOMO: Wrong. Then-candidate Donald Trump said he wouldn't golf. He frequently attacked President Obama over the cost of his outings. Do you remember this?

Here are the latest numbers. You know how everybody's likes to have their posters these days? Well I've got mine. Take a look at this. He keeps throwing that $35 million for the Mueller report, and the probe in your face, right?

$102 million already for golf costs paid by you, that's three times more than President Obama at the same point. A $102 million on something he promised you he wouldn't even do.

Now, why can't he do infrastructure? This is why. My poster comes with sound effects. $1.5 trillion, that is the tax cut package. As a result, you now have $2 trillion more in national debt. You see that over there.

As a result, they don't have the money or tax revenue, D. Lemon. That's why he can't do infrastructure.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, CNN TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON: Wait, wait, wait, where have I seen that before? What? What?

CUOMO: I know. Mine's better though. Yours has got too many numbers.

LEMON: Wait. Wait. I got--

CUOMO: It was confusing.

LEMON: Mine comes with sound effects.

CUOMO: No. Mine comes with. You can't even do it. You can't even do this.

LEMON: Hey, listen, that's OK. Imitation is the best form of flattery.

CUOMO: I'm not imitating you. I'm improving on what you did.

LEMON: OK. That's fine.

CUOMO: A $106 billion, that is the cost of the trade war.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: It's $831 per family. Today he had the farmers there, and he said, "We're giving them this money. It's all going to be paid for by China." No, it isn't.

LEMON: He doesn't--

CUOMO: It's going to be paid for by American taxpayers.

LEMON: And he doesn't understand how tariffs work. Just quickly, before I get into explaining, you mentioned the farmers.

John Boyd, Jr. - John Boyd, Jr. is Head of the National Black Farmers Association. He has been speaking out against the tariffs and the President telling how it's going to hurt farmers, so he's going to be on our show.

But you're right. That's a lot of money. How much money he spent on golf or spins when you get the Secret Service traveling with him? When you get--

CUOMO: $102 million.

LEMON: $102 million. When you get what the tariffs are going to cost people, he doesn't understand how tariffs work, Americans end up paying taxes. Basically, it's - it's a tax. You're going to pay a higher rate for your goods and services.

CUOMO: $831 per family. LEMON: And farmers can't sell their wares. They can't sell their soybeans. They're sitting on crops that they cannot sell. How is that helpful to them?

[21:50:00] CUOMO: Well here's the best defense I can give. I'll give you short-term pain for long-term gain. But we have to see what the deal is.

And remember, something else, I don't even have on this yet. The markets have already priced in, Don that they're going to get this deal done in a way that is satisfactory to the United States.

So, if that deal falls short or if it doesn't get done any time soon because of too much posturing, what will happen to our markets?

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Because they priced in a successful deal that's advantageous to the U.S.

LEMON: Do you think that Trump supporters factor in all those numbers that you just show them and even more?

CUOMO: No. I think they believe in the fight.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And I think they give him huge leeway because they felt abandoned for too long by a party system and an institution of money and corruption, and they're hoping for better, and he is their best bet yet.

LEMON: I am told last night by Paul Manafort when we were talking about all these numbers when he was saying how much the Mueller investigation cost that actually Paul Manafort has to pay $25 million, which is basically the cost of the Mueller probe--

CUOMO: Of the Mueller probe.

LEMON: --if they ever get - if they ever get that money. Listen, I got - I have a smorgasbord. I told you about John Boyd, Jr. It's going to be very interesting.

CUOMO: Yes.

LEMON: He has been very vocal about what he thinks about these tariffs and about the President's policies.

I've got everything from - we've got Hakeem Jeffries, a Representative here. We've got Colin Quinn, who's going to talk about his new series here on CNN. Dan Abrams has a new book out where he compares Roosevelt to Trump.

And we have some West Point cadets who are going to be on, the most diverse class in history, Chris, from West Point Academy, and - and we're going to - six of them are going to join us. You got to watch - you got to watch--

CUOMO: I love it.

LEMON: --stick to that conversation.

CUOMO: Prestige and progress.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Beautiful marriage.

LEMON: See you soon.

CUOMO: See you in a little bit.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: All right, you hear what happened with Julian Assange? He's been slapped with more charges by the United States.

Now, look, this, for me, is not about Assange. I'm not a big fan, and for good reason. But, listen, you have to look at the case against this government, it is scary. And I'll tell you why, next.

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CUOMO: All right, so Julian Assange, the man synonymous with WikiLeaks is now facing 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act, as part of today's 18-count indictment.

Federal prosecutors say he broke the law when he obtained and published secret government information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, about drone strikes, about Guantanamo Bay, about government sources.

I am not an Assange fan. However, the law they're using here is usually reserved for rogue government officials, like Chelsea Manning, the soldier who gave Assange the information.

Journalists are not charged under the Act. It's never happened before. Now, I hear some of you saying, he's not a journalist. Leave it aside that he compromised national security. Leave it aside.

That's what the government is going to argue, and we'll see what they can put on the meat of the bones of that. But they need to say more than that to keep journalism free from any restriction.

My argument to you is if Assange gets hooked for what the government is describing, I may be next. The government's best arguer is that Assange went further than a traditional publisher when he encouraged Manning to continue her theft of classified documents, and agreed to help her crack a password hash to a military computer.

The second part of that has to be everything. Breaking into a computer? Crime. Helping someone break in? Crime. Encouraging someone to give you information, protecting who gives you information, that's what I do. That's what most journalists do.

Only time will tell if the courts will accept that what Assange did constituted aiding and abetting. But the outcome of this case has the potential to impact the news shows you watch, and the papers you read big-time, and they would be worse for it.

People may not pursue the truth the same way if there's a criminal charge waiting for them for their efforts.

Now, Pentagon Papers, didn't that settle this? No.

When the Washington Post and The New York Times both got a dense classified report on Vietnam from an analyst that showed U.S. involvement and the war had grown in secret, bombings, raids, and more, all of it had been hidden from the American people, it mattered.

The federal government tried to keep the papers from printing anything about it. They published anyway. The Supreme Court later ruled that the bar is really high for the government to stop them just because its classified military information is not good enough.

But that was about stopping the media before they reported, prior restraint. What about after it happens? That's the case with Assange.

Google Bartnicki v. Vopper. It said, in 2001, no prosecution after the fact as long as nothing was done to illegally obtain the information.

So, this should come down to whether government can prove that Assange broke the law by helping Manning do what he did, not just by saying, "Give me the information," not just by publishing the information.

And yes, this happening now matters. We have a President who has talked a lot about going after a free press, stopping us from protecting sources, and encouraging sources to give us information the government wants to keep secret would be terrible.

The words of Justice Black from the Pentagon Papers case should ring in these prosecutors' ears and yours as well. "The press is here to serve the governed, not the governors. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government."

And we need that right now as much as ever. Watch this case. The implications go way beyond Julian Assange.

Thank you for watching. CNN TONIGHT with D. Lemon, right now. LEMON: As the old heads used to say, and they still do, "Boy, you ain't never lied." That means you are telling the absolute truth. We need a free press more than ever. And that's why it's so important what we do.