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Rep. Harley Rouda (D-CA) Was Interviewed About The Democrats' Push To Impeach President Trump; House To Vote Whether To Hold A.G. And Others In Contempt Of Congress; Jared Kushner Avoids Birtherism Issue; Hickenlooper Booed For Saying 'Socialism Is Not The Answer'; Democratic Presidential Candidate Steve Bullock Speaks Out; Protester Grabs Kamala Harris' Microphone On Stage During MoveOn Forum; Obama Gets Standing Ovation At NBA Finals; Anti-Brexit Group Trolls Trump Over USS McCain Incident. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired June 3, 2019 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
President Trump is in the U.K. tonight on a state visit full of pomp and royalty. But that doesn't mean his investigation troubles are behind him.
We're learning tonight that the full House of Representatives will vote on June 11th a week from tomorrow on whether to hold the Attorney General William Barr and the former white House Counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress. That's over their refusal to comply with subpoenas from the House Judiciary Committee.
Barr has refused to hand over the full unredacted Mueller report its underlying evidence and Don McGahn refused to appear before the committee under subpoena last month.
That as the House Oversight Committee is planning to vote on holding Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for refusing to supply information about how a controversial question about citizenship ended up on the census. And that's not all.
The clock is ticking to a deadline tomorrow for Hope Hicks and former McGahn aide Annie Donaldson to turn over documents to the judiciary committee. Hicks and Donaldson are also under subpoena.
So, the president who has vowed to fight all the subpoenas had some big battles on his hands.
Joining me now is Democratic Congressman Harley Rouda of California. He sits on the House Oversight Committee.
Congressman, good to have you. Thank you for coming on.
REP. HARLEY ROUDA (D), CALIFORNIA: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: So, for the full House to vote on whether to hold the attorney general in contempt, that is a very big deal. How do you expect the vote to go?
ROUDA: I think it's going to go along party lines. We might pull a few Republicans over, but basically along party lines and it will pass and it may not be just Barr. There may be others as well.
LEMON: Yes. So, your committee also says that it's moving to hold Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for defying a subpoena about adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Why do you think they're stonewalled?
ROUDA: I'm sorry. Why do I think?
LEMON: Why do you think they're stonewalling it?
ROUDA: I think this is being driven by the White House. Clearly, the marching orders all of these guys are getting is don't comply with valid subpoenas. Don't comply with valid document requests. And you know, we're used to administrations slow walking information and slow walking witnesses. But this is unprecedented.
LEMON: Yes. And speaking of complying, tomorrow is the deadline, correct me if I'm wrong, for former White House officials Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson to comply with subpoenas for documents. You said that if the Trump administration doesn't comply with subpoenas the House should start impeachment proceedings. Does this mean that you're now for an impeachment inquiry?
ROUDA: You know, that's exactly what I've said is that we need draw a line in the sand that says if these subpoenas and document requests are not honored within 30 days that we start impeachment proceedings.
So right now, I'm looking at the end of June. If that time frame is not honored by the administration, I will be on board with taking action. And I don't want to, I certainly didn't come to Washington, D.C. to do this but this is the course our president has left us with by disregarding the Constitution and his constitutional obligations.
LEMON: I want to put up a new CNN poll for our viewers and for you and ask you about it. It says 41 percent of Americans support impeachment right now. Is the lack of public support what's making many in your party including Speaker Pelosi so hesitant to move forward with impeachment?
ROUDA: Don, I think that is right but personally I disagree with it. I don't think this should be about which way the political winds are blowing or what the polling says.
To me, this is just simple right and wrong. How we teach our kids. And I look at it through that lens that we just need to do what's right here and so is the president. And if the president is not willing to do what's right, he's forcing our hand.
LEMON: Tomorrow your subcommittee will hold a hearing on confronting violent white supremacy. What are you specifically looking to accomplish with that? ROUDA: I think all of us need to shine a bright light on the growing
white supremacy movement in the United States. Even in my area of the country in Southern California, it has been identified as hot spot for these hate groups.
And for us to be successful and combating the growth of these hate groups, it requires all of us to bring attention to it and I wish we had a stronger partner in the president in doing that because this is a slippery slope and we need to stop it sooner as soon as we can.
LEMON: And while I have you here, you seem pretty optimistic about DREAMers. What do you want to say?
ROUDA: Well, I'm excited that we're bringing a bill to the floor tomorrow to address citizenship, a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers and other key groups. And I'm hopeful we will have bipartisan support. We will see. But this is one part of overall comprehensive immigration reform that we do need.
LEMON: Well, let's see. Let's see if there's progress. We certainly hope so. Thank you very much, Congressman Rouda. We appreciate your time.
ROUDA: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: Let's bring in now Frank Bruni and also Max Boot. Max is the author of "The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right."
[23:04:59] Gentlemen, good to see both of you. Frank, give me your reaction to the House announcing that they are voting to hold the attorney general in contempt. Do you think it's actually going to make a difference?
FRANK BRUNI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I don't think it's going to make a big difference but I think it's a measure of their frustration. i mean, they're incredibly they're not getting anything they want here. And they're trying to figure out a way how to address and how to express their kind of moral outrage over this.
Sadly, that vote is taking place after the deadline tomorrow for Hope Hicks and Ann Donaldson. And so, as those two are figuring out what to do, they haven't yet kind of seen the consequences, you know, of not complying. They haven't seen that actually happened or had to contemplate what that would mean for them. So, it's hard to know how that's going to play out.
LEMON: I want to talk to you, Max, about your new piece because you lay out seven reasons that President Trump should be impeached. Writing in part, "Trump has committed more criminal and unconstitutional conduct than any previous president in U.S. history. If they refuse to impeach members of Congress will violate their own oaths to support and defend the Constitution of the United States."
So why do you think so many lawmakers are still putting politics over principle? MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, I mean, they are in
politics business, Don. It should not be shocking. I mean, I wish that they weren't but they have to do that. I mean, my real problem here is not so much with Speaker Pelosi the Democrats who are trying to balance the imperatives of holding Donald Trump accountable with the reality that as long as there is rock solid Republican support for him, they are not going to be able to impeach and remove him.
In fact, impeachment could backfire if it would allow Trump to say that he was exonerated by the Senate. My real beef is with the Republicans who will not even admit that Trump has done anything wrong or at least 249 out of 250 Republicans in Congress will not admit that Donald Trump has been guilty of any conduct that could be worthy of impeachment and that is ridiculous. That is absurd.
Because, you know, in this article I lay it out. Seven articles of impeachment. There are only three against Richard Nixon. But these seven are amply justified and there's already ample evidence in the public record to support all of them beginning with obstruction of justice and ending with violations of the Emoluments Clause.
This stuff is out there. This is a president who has violated more laws and shown more contempt for the Constitution than any previous president and the Republicans pretend not to notice. That is a disgrace. that is violation of their oath to uphold the Constitution. But sadly, that's the reality that Democrats have to grapple with.
LEMON: Well, listen, it is a big reality for Democrats. And we're told, Frank, that the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a leadership meeting tonight where she said people who were pushing for impeachment are ignoring the role of the GOP controlled Senate. Does she have a point?
BRUNI: She has a great point. I think she's absolutely right. And Max referred to the problem a moment ago which is if there's no Republican buy in, if you don't think about the conclusion of this. You know, the House says impeaches and it goes to the Senate, they do not convict him. Trump will -- Trump will market that as an exoneration.
LEMON: I've been exonerated by the Senate
BRUNI: I've been exonerated multiple -- I was exonerated by Mueller. He says not true. I was exonerated by Bill Barr. I mean, by Barr. I was exonerated by the Senate. She's looking at -- she's looking down the field. She's seeing that. She's also realizing, you know, people kind of say, public opinion polls change with Nixon.
Yes, right now the public is for impeachment but that can be moved along. A lot is different now. Donald Trump is not Richard Nixon. People have gotten, they've formed their opinions about Donald Trump. he's the most exhaustively chronicled, over exposed president of our lifetimes.
And so, the idea that their opinions would change as much as Americans opinions changed about Richard Nixon many, many decades ago I think that's a flawed comparison. LEMON: Well, Richard Nixon when a president was a president. You know
what I mean by that.
BRUNI: Yes, I do.
LEMON: Not a reality show.
BRUNI: That's right.
LEMON: To bring this --
BOOT: The Republican Party -- the Republicans Party was just very different in Nixon's day because you had Republicans like Bill Cohen and Larry Hogan and Howie Baker and others --
BOOT: -- who felt some responsibility to the Constitution, not just to the party and right now there is exactly one Republican in both Houses of Congress who feels any responsibility to the Constitution. I mean, that is shocking and disgraceful but that is reality.
BRUNI: And they are mirror of Republican voters. So, in the same way none of them are being moved by the substantive arguments that Max laid out in his op-ed piece, in the same way Republican voters are acting tribally. They're just going to stick by their guy for as long as --
LEMON: The thing is yes, well, yes, but, yes. I'm telling you. I can't wait to see when the table its turn. I'm just going to sit there and go and watch it.
BRUNI: But what Nancy Pelosi is saying to us all and I want us to listen to it carefully, is that there is no repudiation of Donald Trump that would -- that would be the equivalent of the repudiation at the ballot box.
BRUNI: And she worries rightly about the way in which spending the next year with all the oxygen, all the political discussion being about impeachment and partisan warfare and none of it being about what the Democratic candidates want to talk about. She worries about the consequences of that in November 2020, and she's a 100 percent right too.
[23:09:59] LEMON: Yes. So, listen, speaking of, you know, what we said about what voters are doing with the president. let's talk about the people around him. Because, Max, I'm going to play this for you. And if we have time, all of us we'll talk about it.
This is a -- this new Axios interview with Jared Kushner where he was asked about the now famous 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does it not set off at least some alarm bell when you see an e-mail saying that the Russian government wants to help --
JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Like I said, the e- mail that I got in my iPhone at that time basically said show up at 4. I didn't scroll down. I never would have thought about that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You had Russia in the subject, right?
KUSHNER: Again, I would get about 250 e-mails a day. And so, I literally saw a show up at 4, I showed up at 400.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you call the FBI if it happen again?
KUSHNER: I don't know. It's hard to do hypotheticals. But the reality is that we were not given anything that was salacious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: He's still not sure, Max, that he would call the FBI. Like, what?
BOOT: Well, this, I mean, this is really the argument for impeachment, Don. The fact is that they are utterly unrepentant in their law breaking, their contempt for the Constitution and the norms of our democracy. And they are basically signaling we will continue to do this again unless you stop us because we really don't care about the consequences.
Now, I mean, with prince Jared right there he could have easily said, you know, we were pretty naive in 2016. We didn't know the law. You know, we were real estate developers. We were new to this and we realize hey, we screwed up. We should have told somebody. In the future we will tell somebody.
But he's not sawing that because he knows that his father-in-law would be offended by that because his father-in-law and the campaign have never said that they will not rely on foreign assistance in the future. So, this is really brazen contempt for our Constitution and our --
LEMON: And it doesn't send a good message to foreign governments looking to interfere in 2020.
BOOT: Of course.
LEMON: Yes. BOOT: Bring it on, bring it on. If it's good enough we'll listen to what you got to say, absolutely.
LEMON: So he was also asked, Frank, about the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his role in the murder of "Washington Post" journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Senate has unanimously said that Mohammed bin Salman ordered it. The CIA briefed members of the Senate who voted that way. I don't can know what the administration is waiting for in terms of accountability.
KUSHNER: Yes, I believe that there's a report that they're working on. They've been doing an investigation and when they have the facts of the investigation, then it will be up to the president to make a determination on what he wants to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The CIA has concluded that the Saudi crown prince was behind the Khashoggi's death, so why won't the president or his son-in-law who is the senior adviser, why won't they admit it?
BRUNI: Well, his son-in-law is embarrassed, mortified, because he spent months and months before that vouching for the character of the Saudi crown prince, making the special friendship, saying it was going to be key to everything in the Middle East, putting all of his chips on the Saudi crown prince and here he is defending someone who was chopped to pieces. Right?
He is mortified, he is embarrassed and like father-in-law, like son- in-law rather than say I made a mistake, he's just going to simply, you know, dance around it and avoid the question and move on.
BOOT: I mean, that's right. I mean, the whole -- I mean, that whole interview with prince Jared I think is just one unbelievable jaw dropping statement after another from refusing to say anything negative about the Saudis chopping up this American based journalist to refusing to rule out taking foreign help in the future election to just -- you know, to refusing to say there was anything racist about this crazy birtherism conspiracy theory that his father-in-law propagated.
I mean, this -- but this is one of the most powerful people in the world. One of the most powerful people in the administration. This is somebody that President Trump trust above most others. And that should tell you all you need to know about the moral and intellectual tenor of this administration and why it's so imperative that they remain in office for as little time as possible.
LEMON: Living proof of why nepotism is such a problem. BRUNI: Jared Kushner has only one compass and it's not a moral one. It's keeping his father-in-law in power and then staying in father-in- law's good graces.
LEMON: Thank you, both. I appreciate it. So, you now, Max just mentioned this. But Jared Kushner also seemed to have a really tough time saying whether President Trump's birther lie is racist. Why is it so hard, such a hard question for him to answer?
[23:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: So, the president's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner claiming the president is not racist in an interview with Jonathan Swan of Axios. And when asked about the Trump pushing the birther lie that President Barack Obama was not born in this country, Kushner tried to deflect again and again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN SWAN, POLITICAL REPORTER, AXIOS: Was birtherism racist?
KUSHNER: Look, I wasn't really involved in that.
SWAN: I know you weren't. Was it racist?
KUSHNER: Like I said, I wasn't involved in that.
SWAN: I know you weren't. Was it racist?
KUSHNER: Look, I know who the president is and I have not seen anything in him that is racist. So, again, I was not involved in that.
SWAN: Did you wish he didn't do that?
KUSHNER: Like I said I was not involved in that. That was a long time ago.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Mr. Charles Blow is here, Charles Blow of "The New York Times." So, before that I think the, Charles -- good evening, by the way.
It was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said the president was racist, he went on. He had a very clear about that, saying in 69 years he hadn't exhibit anything that was racist. That answer was not right. That was wrong. And then when asked whether birtherism was racist, he couldn't seem to answer. What do you think?
CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, two things. First of all, stop arguing with people about whether things are racist. When they ask you to do that, that means that they basically agree with the racist philosophy or committed to it and they are asking you to help -- to see if you have the fortitude to talk them out of it. That's a waste of your time. Number two, it means that the person agrees with or defends or deflects from what is happening and that is problematic in another way.
[23:19:59] Have you ever thought about like -- how did the slavery happened, right? So in the slave stage the fact that left the union about a third of those were slave in the states, the rest of them were not. Two out of three were not families were not slave owning families but they went along with it.
Not everybody during Jim Crowe you ask how did that happen. Not everybody was putting hounds on people, not everybody was fire hoses on people, not everybody was turning people away from stores and from lunch counters. But the rest of the people went along with it.
And the people who make the excuse, pretend they don't see it, pretend that it does not exist, makes excuses for it, say this is just the way that was a long time ago, which is a lie. That was a long time ago.
Jared Kushner is a prime example of how those sorts of things happened. It is the people who pretend to be an egalitarian, who also agree with the racism and therefore pretend they don't see it or they defend it or the deflect about it.
LEMON: Yes. I want to ask you this because I had Scott Jennings on who is a Trump supporter and he's also a contributor here. And this is not -- I'm not, this is not against Scott. But Scott says we shouldn't expect anyone, if it was a Democratic administration or anyone, especially if it's a father-in-law, to say something derogative -- derogatory about the president.
BLOW: You should always expect a human being to come down on the side of humanity. If you say, if you follow that logic, that says you should not have expected the wife of the slave -- the person who own the slaves to go along when he was outside beating the slaves that she was inside drinking tea. Right?
If you follow that logic, you say you should not have expected people to not be on the restaurant while they were on the next street spraying people down with water hoses and putting dogs on them because that's what their uncle, cousin, brother, whatever. No.
You should always expect a good person to do the right thing. You should always expect a good human to exhibit some level of humanity. And if you followed that logic it is saying that it is OK to give a pass, to allow someone who is close to you to be cruel to another human being so that you can salvage that relationship. That is wrong. That is morally wrong, that is -- every part of that.
LEMON: And if you're a religious person that it's especially wrong. It goes --
BLOW: I think the religious people have given up. I think they've compartmentalized religion. LEMON: Yes.
BLOW: All of the religious rights who are following along with this man who does nothing that they say that they believe in, they've just given up. They just said, you know, the devil is making up the rules. That's what they say.
LEMON: I want to get your thought, and this is the president once again calling a woman who challenges him nasty. When asked about a 2016 interview in which Meghan Markle who is now the Duchess of Sussex, she wasn't then. When she called candidate misogynistic and divisive. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meghan who is now the Duchess of Sussex
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, we've given her a different name. She can't make it because she's got maternity leave. Are you sorry not to see her because wasn't so nice about you during the campaign? I don't know if you know that.
TRUMP: I don't. I didn't know that. No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
TRUMP: I didn't know that, no. I hope she's OK. I did not know. No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She said she'd move to Canada if you got elected. It turned out she moved to Britain.
TRUMP: Well, that'd be good. A lot of people moving here. So, what can I say? No, I didn't know that she was nasty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it good having an American princess though, Mr. President?
TRUMP: I think it's nice. I think it's nice. I'm sure she'll do excellently.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: It might have blown over except it was on tape of him saying that. Is it ultimate gaslighting? What is this?
BLOW: Well, this is everybody in that room is wrong. Right. So, I have my problem with the Sun too. Right. So, a better reporter would have said this is what Meghan Markle said. How do you feel about it?
What that reported did was to characterize a statement without even telling him what the statement was. Right? She wasn't nice to you. Well, how do you -- so that's an opinion that you're giving already about what she's saying. She's -- what she said was the truth. He's divisive, he's misogynistic
and that's not what we want in this issue about (Inaudible). Find the lie. Where's the lie? Tell me where's the lie?
LEMON: There's no lie.
BLOW: Where is the lie.
BLOW: What did she lie about? Right? The second -- the second part of that is that Trump defaults where he always defaults with women who either he's attracted to or who are oppose to him which is misogyny.
[23:25:00] The ones he's attracted to, he treats them like they are property or meet or whatever, and that's how he talks about them. And according to him, that's how he treats them. He grabs them whenever he wants, when he sees a pretty woman, he kisses her he just can't help himself. And if you're famous, they let you do it. That's what he said.
He said that he likes to walk into the dressing rooms when what, it was Miss USA or Miss Universe were getting dressed and nobody else could go in but he could. And you know, isn't that a wonderful thing?
He let Howard Stern called his own daughter a piece of -- he on that same interview calls her and says she's always been voluptuous. I mean, this is the kind of guy.
BLOW: This is -- that is your guy. That is your guy.
LEMON: And if you can read more about Charles' thoughts and opinions on the duchess and as you say, versus the demagogue in the New York Times. It's a fascinating column. There it is right up there in your screen.
Charles, always a pleasure. Thank you, sir. I appreciate it.
The princes versus the demagogues as you said. Montana's governor thinks he's got what it takes to be president. And he is going to tell us why. That's next.
[23:30:01] LEMON: California's Democratic convention was the place to be this weekend for many 2020 presidential hopefuls. So -- but the audience wasn't always friendly to those with more moderate ideas. Here is what happened when the former governor, John Hickenlooper, said socialism is not the answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN HICKENLOOPER, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big progressive goals, socialism is not the answer. (BOOING)
HICKENLOOPER: I was re-elected -- I was re-elected in a purple state in 2014, one of the worst years for Democrats in a quarter century. I was -- you know, if we're not careful, we're going to end up helping to re-elect the worst president in American history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Joining me now is Montana Governor and Democratic presidential candidate Steve Bullock.
Governor, thank you for coming on. We really appreciate it.
GOV. STEVE BULLOCK (D-MT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Don, thank you for having me tonight for sure.
LEMON: The reason I played that is because you saw the California Democratic convention. People there are booing a centrist former governor for saying socialism is not the answer. California is a liberal state, but what does it say about the appetite for a moderate like yourself in 2020 in the Democratic field?
BULLOCK: Well, and I view myself really at the core of the word progressive is progress. And even in the state that my legislature is 60 percent Republican, we've got progressive things done. We've done more to get dark money out of our system than probably any state in the country: record investments in education, expanding health care, and Medicaid expansion for 10 percent of our population.
So at the end of the day, I mean, we have great energy throughout this primary. We should focus, I think, less on the labels and how we both win, how we beat Donald Trump, but how do we get this democracy and the economy working for all Americans.
LEMON: Let's dig a little bit more and talk about your path to victory. What do you see as your path to victory in this very crowded field? It is almost two dozen Democratic presidential candidates.
BULLOCK: Yeah. Look, I think that we have to definitely beat Donald Trump, but we also got to get the economy and our democracy working again. The only one in this field that actually won in the state with Trump on the ballot, I was up for re-election in 2016. He took Montana by 20 points. I won by four. Twenty-five to 30 percent of my voters voted for Donald Trump.
So in addition to bringing out Democrats, we've got to make sure to win back some of the places that we lost. I'm somebody that can do that. And also in a time of great division, I've been able to work with a Republican legislature to actually get meaningful things done: freezing college tuition, six out of the eight years, record investments in education, while not compromising the values that I hold and I think the values that most Democrats hold.
Look, if we're ever going to address sort of the inequities and the problems in Washington D.C., the climate crisis barely even discussed by Republicans anymore, given outside dollars. When you have tax cuts that Lindsey Graham says we have to do this to make donors happy, when 44 percent of Americans wouldn't even have 400 bucks in case of an emergency --
BULLOCK: When you have generations of workers that have been replaced by independent contractors while union membership has declined by 50 percent since the 1980s, we've got to address Post-Citizens United World and the corrupt and influence (ph) of outside dollars.
And that's another thing that I add because that has been basically the bite of my career goal (ph) as attorney general and as governor. It is something that we've got to do if we ever going to make Washington, D.C. work again.
LEMON: So some of the other Democratic contenders are advocating for free college tuition but not you. Do you see it as an unrealistic position?
BULLOCK: Well, I think that we got to make sure that college is affordable and accessible for everyone. That is why if you look -- Montana has the fourth lowest tuition and fees in the country and that didn't happen by accident. That happened by us investing state dollars along the way.
We know if you're in the bottom 20 percent of sort of economic wealth that only nine percent -- well, first of all, you only have 29 percent of folks in that bottom 20 percent even go to college, only nine percent graduate.
We've got to make sure that we're removing the barriers so that somebody doesn't say I'm not going to think about college because of the cost. Sure we've had college debt double in the last decade.
[23:35:00] We can do more for affordability and accessibility without necessarily paying for it all from the federal government or others.
LEMON: Governor, I appreciate your time. Come back. Good luck on the trail, OK?
BULLOCK: I sure appreciate you having me on tonight, Don.
LEMON: Absolutely. So, Senator Kamala Harris rushed by a protester in an event. How did he get so close to a presidential candidate? Do they need more and better security? We will talk about that when we come back.
LEMON: Here is a question: Do presidential candidates need better security?
[23:40:00] That is a question raised by this moment. It happened over the weekend when a protester rushed Sen. Kamala Harris and grabbed her microphone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, hey, hey --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, hi, hi. Wait a minute, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were protesting just a few minutes ago asking for your attention to a much bigger idea --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much, sir, for your big idea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, I want to bring in now Joan Walsh, Keith Boykin, and Tara Setmayer.
Good evening. I need Karine Jean-Pierre. I'm hiring her as my security --
LEMON: She was not having it. Good evening. So, Joan, give me your reaction to seeing a protester getting so close to a U.S. senator and a presidential candidate.
JOAN WALSH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It was terrifying. It was crazy. I mean, also, he was wearing a press badge under. He had a bunch of stuff. So, somehow he must have lied and said he was press, which is a terrible thing to see. But they obviously need better security. I mean, I do want Karine on my squad --
WALSH: -- clearly, but that isn't her job.
LEMON: It did take a while for the security to get there.
WALSH: It really did. I wasn't even positive who was security, you know.
LEMON: Should we be, Keith, more worried about the dangers candidates potentially face while campaigning, especially candidates of color with the craziness going on and the racism?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much, sir.
KEITH BOYKIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I admire Kamala Harris for her composure.
BOYKIN: This is a very dangerous situation for any candidate. I remember when Barack Obama was running for president in 2007. He had early secret service protection because of the possibility that something might happen to him. You go back in history. Look at what happened to Bobby Kennedy when he was still a candidate, before he actually won the nomination, and he was assassinated.
I don't want that to happen to anybody in our country. I think that we need to have good security for every candidate out there, especially for people of color because there are so many threats against people of color --
BOYKIN: -- and women of color as well.
LEMON: I think everyone on the campaign trail, but you're right. Tara, I want to bring you in here. Let's talk a little bit more about Karine Jean-Pierre. She was the moderator there. We all know her. She has been on CNN. She was the first to put herself between the protester and the senator. This is what she said about the incident.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, NBC NEWS AND MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It was a scary moment, you know. At the time, I wasn't thinking that. At the time, I was thinking, gosh, the Virginia Beach massacre just happened the day before where we lost 12 souls. I was thinking, you know, white supremacy. You know, hate crimes have increased in the last couple years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Tara, I think she really was heroic. What do you think?
TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, yeah, kudos to her. I mean, that takes a lot of courage. It is interesting to see that it was three women that were --
SETMAYER: -- that were there protecting her first before anybody else was able to get between the senator and this protester, so good for them. But the idea of having more security, I think, is something that we haven't really addressed or had to until more recently, more recent election cycles where so many candidates are involved and who qualifies and who doesn't.
Keith brought up President Obama. When he declared in 2007, he received secret service protection in April of that same year because of the threat level which was the first time ever a candidate had ever received secret service protection that early.
And it was after the Bobby Kennedy assassination of Bobby Kennedy assassination that the law was changed that make candidates eligible, vice presidential and presidential candidate eligible, and it is supposed to be not until 120 days before the election. That has changed.
So, you know, right now, there is other threshold that has to be met for secret service protection to kick in and it's too early at this point unless there is a significant threat to Kamala Harris's life or someone else's. I think that is something that is going to have to be looked at.
It has to get approved by the Homeland Security secretary, then there's the committee with the speaker of the House, the minority leader, the Senate leaders. They all get together to decide and then they approach the candidates.
So, it's not so easy to just say hey, this little incident happened, we need secret service protection. But I think that the candidates need to before they get to that level definitely need to have situational awareness because there is a lot of places out there --
LEMON: And their own security.
SETMAYER: That's right.
LEMON: They need to have some of that money that -- whatever they are collecting --
SETMAYER: Yeah, use their campaign money.
LEMON: Yeah. Keith, Sen. Harris's husband, Doug Emhoff, was -- also rushed to wrestle the protester. He shouldn't have been put in that position. They have to go up there and do that.
BOYKIN: No, you're right. I mean, he shouldn't be in that position nor should any of those other people be in that position. This is why you should have trained professional security staff to take care of these situations.
This is also the second incident which happened to her when just a weeks ago. There was an incident when someone approached her at an airport and accosted her. She had to have someone push that person away. When you a presidential candidate, you're a public figure out there, especially if you're a black woman.
[23:45:01] You are a subject -- in this climate that we live in today, you are subject to attack or accost or whatever might happen to you. So, I think it's important that we take this issue seriously.
LEMON: Joan, (INAUDIBLE) other side of the break. I want everybody to stay with me. We have lots more to talk about. President Trump's predecessor was traveling this weekend. He got a pretty enthusiastic reaction. We will talk about that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Ladies and gentlemen, let's give a big Toronto welcome to the 44th president of the United States! It's Mr. Barack Obama! Welcome. Welcome.
LEMON: President Trump was revelling in his state visit in the U.K. with protesters, you know, kept largely out of sight. [23:50:04] The former president, Barack Obama, got a standing ovation before game two of the NBA finals in Toronto last night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): It's Mr. Barack Obama!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: MVP! MVP! MVP!
LEMON: Well, but I want you to take a look at what was going on in London. There you go. It's not clear if President Trump laid eyes on this, a graphic projected on the Tower of London by a British activist group comparing British approval ratings for Obama and Trump.
Back now with Joan Walsh, Keith Boykin, and Tara Setmayer. So, here we go. So, what do you think of the former president getting a reaction like that, Joan? He has a connection to the game. He loves basketball.
WALSH: Yeah. Right, this is in Toronto, not in Oakland. I mean, I just think that for our allies, Barack Obama is still the president, and they are just waiting for us -- they want to wake up from this nightmare, they're waiting for us to wake up from this nightmare, and they don't want to acknowledge the real president. So he is the president permanently until we have another normal person. That's just going to be true.
LEMON: Wow, Tara, what do you --
SETMAYER: I mean -- I feel them. I have been a critic of Barack Obama for eight years, and I want him to be president again.
WALSH: You want him back. Oh, yeah.
SETMAYER: I'll take him back in a heartbeat because then at least we can debate politics the normal way and have some decency back in the White House despite how -- whatever disagreements I had with him on policy, nothing compares to what we are going through now.
SETMAYER: I mean, nothing -- I can remember when, you know, Republicans were upset about Barack Obama when he saluted his marine with a cup of coffee in his hand and people are like he's unpatriotic, doesn't respect the military.
LEMON: How dare he?
SETMAYER: We look at -- right. It was valid criticism in the context at the time, compare to what we're dealing with now every day, oh, my gosh, bring that guy back, please.
LEMON: Wow, Tara, I remember having Tara on during the Obama days.
SETMAYER: That's how bad it is.
LEMON: You didn't sound like that when I had you on during the Obama days.
SETMAYER: NO. So that's how you know it's that bad.
LEMON: That's how you know -- it just got real.
LEMON: Go ahead, Keith. Listen, one is a basketball game and one is a state visit, but it's clearly not the --
WALSH: He also had dinner with Justin Trudeau, remember, and they had a lovely -- they looked like they were having a lovely time.
LEMON: Yeah. So, I mean, what do you think?
BOYKIN: I wish I had something funny to say like Joan and Tara. I just think it's ridiculous that we have a president who is so despised everywhere across the planet. And we should be better than this but we're not and it's unfortunate.
LEMON: Yeah. That same group, Joan --
LEMON: -- who put up the poll numbers, also projected the USS John McCain on another London building.
LEMON: They are --
WALSH: They're good.
LEMON: They're good. They're vicious.
WALSH: They're really following our politics.
SETMAYER: You've got to love British humor. I love British humor. One of my favorite British shows is called "The Thick of It." You should Google it. It is hysterical. It by Armando Iannucci, the same writer that created "Veep."
LEMON: I love "Veep."
SETMAYER: Their humor is so biting and witty and sharp and funny.
LEMON: You got to text me because I love "Veep."
LEMON: Is this a show that "Veep" was made --
SETMAYER: Yes, right.
LEMON: OK, got it.
BOYKIN: I think they should make an episode of "The Crown" off of Donald Trump's visit to the U.K. because, I mean, they're covering the whole, the reign of the queen. At some point, they have to cover Trump.
WALSH: Also the pictures of the queen with Barack Obama and the queen with Trump today.
SETMAYER: Oh, my gosh.
WALSH: They were all over social media. Everyone is suffering.
LEMON: Yeah, I got a couple --
SETMAYER: You know, we're laughing about this but it really is shameful.
SETMAYER: We are the United States of America and this is the guy that is representing us. I mean, it really just -- I was watching this morning and my stomach was in knots. He's such an embarrassment. He doesn't understand anything about protocol or just what it is. He even just present well --
BOYKIN: What do you mean? He didn't wear golf shoes today.
SETMAYER: Yeah, I know. He showed up in shirt and golf shoes today at least to meet the queen like he did in a church yesterday in Virginia. I mean, it is just disgraceful every single time this guy tries to act presidential. I thought it was supposed to be so easy. Apparently it's not for him.
LEMON: What do you think? Do you think it bothers him that he's not as popular as the former president?
WALSH: Oh, I'm sure it kills him. I'm sure. You know it does. I mean, Barack Obama is right now the most popular president in people's entire lifetimes and you know he thinks about that.
LEMON: Someone said, my gosh, did you guys talk about Barack Obama this much?
LEMON: We did a lot in the beginning because he was the first black president. But there was no -- there were no scandals to --
BOYKIN: He knew how to stay out of the news, too. This guy, he's such an attention whore that he can't stay away from the press.
LEMON: Thank you all. I appreciate it. Tara, I think the Obamas are going to hire as a spokesperson now.
SETMAYER: I would respectfully decline.
SETMAYER: But --
LEMON: Thanks, everyone. Have a good night. Good to see all of you. Thanks for watching. Our coverage continues.