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CUOMO PRIME TIME
Trump Announces Deal with Mexico as Tariff Deadline Passes; One-on-one with Congressman Debbie Dingell (D-MI); Biden's Reversal Raises Questions about His Campaign. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired June 7, 2019 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: And that convinces them that the Russians knew exactly what they were doing. John?
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks Barbara Starr. The news continues and there's a lot of it. So I'll hand it over to Chris for Cuomo Prime Time. Chris?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, CUOMO PRIME TIME: All right thanks, John. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to Prime Time. We do have breaking news on this Friday night.
The President has avoided another crisis of his own making. Tariffs on Mexico, indefinitely suspended says the President. Of course tariffs were never the solution to the instant crisis of caring for the kids and folks in our custody? So what about that?
We have fresh reaction that the deal struck just minutes ago with Mexico from a lawmaker in a state that would have felt the brunt of economic pain if they have set, and what does she have to say about what should have happened next on the border? And he can run, but Joe Biden can't hide all of his years for support for the Hyde abortion amendment. He now says he is against after fierce backlash from his party. We have brand new information behind the back track.
And preparing yourself for the hottest new internet sensations. The father and son duo that everyone has been talking about, they're here tonight. This is a story and there's one behind the video. It's going to help you smile your way into the weekend. What do you say? It's Friday night. Let's get after it.
All right, all too often we get news on a Friday night and here it is from the President. Here is his tweet. I'm pleased to inform you that the United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico. The tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday against Mexico are hereby indefinitely suspended. Mexico in turn has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of migration through Mexico and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce or eliminate illegal immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States.
Let's bring in Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. Democrat who warned her state would have been one of the hardest hit if the President made good on his threat. So a little bit of relief for you obviously but also acknowledgment that the President made something happened here with his saber rattling.
REP. DEBBIE DINGELL, (D) MICHIGAN: You know, it's-- well, first of all, we don't know what the agreement is yet and like you I'm very interested in knowing what it is. I am taking a sigh of relief because the fact of the matter is the state would have been fairly -- would have been hit very hard and the auto industry is already more fragile than anybody realizes and this was just a crazy idea that came out of nowhere and we need a new NAFTA deal. And in the midst of trying to get a NAFTA deal he throws a bomb.
So, I couldn't believe that he was ever really going to do it, but I don't know what's in this deal and then you watch the hour, the 59 minutes at the border and you see the 8.5-month pregnant woman. You see these kids and you ask where is our humanity, why aren't we caring about these people? Don't we have to do some caring here?
CUOMO: Well, answer your own question, Congresswoman. I had Democrats on about this all week long. We won't let it go ahead. Congresswoman DeLauro on last night, she says we'll give them the money. We just want to guarantee that they're going to give them in safe places.
With all due respect I do not see the urgency that an emergency requires from your side either. I think you've got to give the money to DHS and HHS. They're begging for it and of course you want some assurances but you're not doing anything and the situation keeps getting worse. How do you justify it?
DINGELL: Well, I think that you are going to see that the money is going to ultimately come this month. We're already beginning the appropriations bills now. Chris, we've already shutdown the government once this year and it wasn't us, it was the Republicans.
I am just somebody who thinks that we've got it. Those that are seeking asylum that are escaping from gangs that have had people murdered, the stories I've heard here Bethany here in Michigan of the grandmother who was raped and the money stolen and trying to protect her children.
DINGELL: Those are the people that we have to take care of. And we do need to have a strong national security. We do need to have a strong policy at the border.
CUOMO: Right. DINGELL: But I'm also going to worry about those kids. And those stories you just saw --
CUOMO: Right, but that's my point. Congresswoman, I agree with you 100 percent and I appreciate your passion and focus on this. But what I'm saying is I feel like you guys should have given the money weeks ago when DHS came to you and said we're running out. HHS is running out. We can't give them the kids anymore. We can't keep them longer than 72 hours. You won't do anything with the Flores settlement. HHS won't take them because they have no where to bring them. We need money for accommodations and staff and medical now and you've done nothing.
Now the President did tariffs to show a harsh stance, muscularity. That's his move. That doesn't help this either. So where is the emergency action on your part?
DINGELL: I think you're going to see in appropriation bills which you're going to start to see come to the floor next week. And we do need to do -- both sides have got to come together and take care of this disease. We've got to stop making this, this constant -- I knew I sound like a noise trying to bring everybody together.
[21:05:06] CUOMO: God forbid.
DINGELL: But I'm looking at those kids, God forbid --
CUOMO: God forbid something happen, even kids aren't enough, Congresswoman. Kids are sick.
DINGELL: Well they got to be.
CUOMO: Kids have died.
DINGELL: They're dying, Chris. They're dying and we do need to do something and I'm one of the people that says it, and we'll vote for it. And I think you're going to see, you'll start to see these appropriations bill the next week or two.
CUOMO: But there can't be things tacked on to them. See, because even though there are legitimate debates to have, the asylum rules you referred to earlier. You guys got to look at them, the Flores settlement. You've got to look at what you do with kids because people have found it to be a loophole. Let's be honest. People now know that if you come with a kid you're going to have different route into this country than if you don't. And now you have kids being recycled allegedly and they're being exploited. You to deal with that, but you have kids right now that are living in squalor on our watch and nothing is being done and I think it's unforgivable.
DINGELL: Well, I don't disagree with you. We do have to do something. I've talked to some of the people that are taking care of them at both the border here in Bethany, in Michigan. And it just makes my heart scream and I think something we all have to care about which is why we got to come together and do it. And if we're ever going to get the -- I won't use the word that I want to use on national television. We got to get the blank to actually get a comprehensive immigration bill through.
DINGELL: We need it. We've needed it for two decades.
CUOMO: Fine, but you guys can't even get money for kids living in squalor. You know, comprehensive bill, you know, that's pie in the sky. Let me ask you one more thing on this and then I have another topic for you.
What do you hear from Democratic leadership about why they aren't seizing obvious opportunity here? Yes, the President, he's all about harshness. We are about heart and that's why here's this money fort this kids. Why didn't they seize this opportunity sooner?
DINGELL: I think they have tried to seize it. I do know that they care and it's trying to get something through that's going to pass in the Democratic House, Republican Senate and get signed by a president. This is not, I mean, I keep saying.
CUOMO: You haven't even passed anything in the House, you got the numbers there.
DINGELL: We're going to start to see. We are going to see appropriations bills. We are trying to --
CUOMO: I know but I'm saying going to start to see means later. I'm saying why wasn't this done already? That's my point.
DINGELL: I understand your point. I'm going to do what I can to get it through. I do know that there are people that care and I know we have to do something. And I keep screaming and working with Republicans as well as Democrats for comprehensive immigration reform. We can't keep taking that can down on the road.
CUOMO: I hear you but I think you got to deal with the emergency and then take on the bigger issue, 100 percent.
DINGELLL: Which is these children which are being and they need help and it's both of our responsibilities. We got to stop doing this war of words between each other and do something.
CUOMO: Hundred percent. Now, deeper on to your own side, the Dingell way is to pick a way and go. All right, that's what you're known for. That's what the whole family is known for. That's not happening with you guys on how to hold this President to account. It seems to me, I'm not saying impeach, don't impeach, that's your call, it's not a journalist call. But the hand wringing about how is it going to be seen and what will people say and what will it mean, I don't think that's the way you're supposed to do your duty. I think you guys are supposed to make a decision about the best way to hold this President accountable or not and then do it. Fair point or no?
DINGELL: I think that is a fair point. I'm not someone wringing my hands. I'm someone who's worried about this country.
CUOMO: I know. I know but there, I'm saying the Democrats aren't doing it the Dingell way right now.
DINGELL: So what you're going to see next week is you're going to see a vote in the House on contempt on two of the President's cabinet which is going to begin to show people that we're serious. You're going to see judiciary committee hearings on Monday which are going to call on people to talk about a number of the actual situations of what's in the Mueller report et cetera. And I think that you're going to start to -- we're trying -- the leadership is trying to figure out how you going to deal with a President who says, nobody is going to come up and testify?
Well, that's just not OK. I mean, it's never -- we've not been allowed that to happen in the past.
CUOMO: True. You only got one move though. There's only one move that will allow you to overwhelm the President's tactics right now and that's to be perceived as having maximum congressional authority which is an impeachment inquiry.
DINGELL: Yeah, I know. I don't necessarily agree with you. We've won in the courts three times in the last week.
CUOMO: Yeah, but they'll all be appealed so none of it is done.
DINGELL: It ultimately we may get there but I still think that we have to continue to do these investigations and get the facts and hold people in contempt for not coming to testify. You may see that, that we may have no choice but to do that. But in the meantime, you're bringing the American public along who see that this President is refusing to testify. Send anybody to help. Be accountable.
There are three core branches of government and you are accountable to one. You've got to come to hill. You've got to talk about some of these issues. He's refusing to send with --
DINGELL: -- refusing to send members of his administration on other issues right now. He's refusing to do things that we have to address like infrastructure and health care way before next November's election. Unacceptable.
[21:10:12] CUOMO: He's working the rules to his advantage. He wants to be oppositional. You guys are going to have to decide how you counter and how much it means to you, Congresswoman.
DINGELL: Yeah, but he's not working the rules. He does not have rules on his side. And that's what we do have to do is we have to -- that's why we're in the courts. That's what you're going to see happening in the next week.
CUOMO: Fair point.
DINGELL: You are going to see people starting to hold people accountable. CUOMO: Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, you're always a straight shooter. You're always welcome on this show to talk about what matters to the American people. Lord knows we got enough to talk about.
DINGELL: There is too much to talk about but we'll keep doing it.
CUOMO: Have a good weekend. I'll see you soon.
DINGELLL: And not give up.
DINGELLL: You too.
CUOMO: Can't, the only way we do is forward in this country. All right, have some new intel for you on Joe Biden's Hyde amendment shift.
Here's the question. Did he evolved on this issue or was he pressured into a change. And we have a look at what else could come back to haunt the former VP, next.
CUOMO: And now let's take a step back to understand where we are right now. For years, the former V.P. Joe Biden grounded his position on abortion funding in moderation. He did so proudly in his book from 2007. Here's the quote.
[21:15:00] "I've stuck to my middle-of-the-road position on abortion for more than thirty years. I still vote against partial birth abortion and federal funding." But that change with one moment on a campaign trail, and here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you commit to abolishing the Hyde amendment which hurts poor women and --
JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm glad you just said you would commit to abolishing the Hyde amendment.
BIDEN: No, no, right now it has to be -- it can't stay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Now, remember the Hyde amendment blocks federal funding for abortions except for cases of rape, incest or unless the life of the mother is in jeopardy. The campaign initially said Joe Biden misunderstood that woman's question and then seemed to argue that Biden was for access and funding but also for the Hyde amendment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: What I don't get is, how can he be for the Hyde amendment if he is against restrictions to access because that's exactly what it is?
REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND, BIDEN CAMPAIGN NATIONAL CO-CHAIRMAN: I think that this is just one area where I think he would explain it best in terms of how his faith guides him on.
CUOMO: I don't get it.
RICHMOND: I think you have to look at his record in totality, Chris.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Fair to say, the testing revealed an obvious inconsistency and sure enough the position changed again. The candidate said this rather definitively.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: If I believe health care is a right as I do I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone's zip code.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: All right. So what happened? We're hearing that the shift came after some tough love from his supporters. Is this a flip flop or is it evolving? I think it depends on what drives the change.
If Biden is pro choice, the Hyde amendment is contrary. It's anti choice because it limits choice to those with means. So the shift makes sense but how it was done raises a question of how ready Mr. Biden and his campaign are for this heavy fight to come.
A suggestion 22 other Democrats are eager to advance. The problem is this was hardly an isolated incident. His campaign also acknowledged it lifted other people's language in climate change plan arguably a mistake by staffers alone.
But this kind of charge is a sore spot given that Biden's 1987 Presidential run was doomed by plagiarism allegations. And on Tuesday, Biden again looked out of step with something his team should have known would be a sore spot with his party, the role in the controversial 1994 crime bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I wrote the crime bill which you're been conditioned to say it's a bad bill but has larger good things to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Joe Biden is still at the top of the pack by a lot and he's still the only candidate in that top tier with centrist tendencies that mirror the larger part of the Democratic Party. The campaigns are about moments, mistakes, and momentum.
And this week shows that Mr. Biden still does have vulnerabilities and that he may not handle them with the ease required. This apparent willingness to quickly shift positions when he starts to take fire is only going to encourage more attacks.
Now I want to get back to tonight's breaking news, the tariff threat. No more for Mexico, the President strikes a deal. Short term win but what about long term. Could it be a lost? That's the start of the great debate, next.
[21:22:19] CUOMO: Breaking news, did brinksmanship work? A Friday night deal just announced between the U.S. and Mexico that stops, it would have been an ugly tariff war. But what does this mean? Is Mexico suddenly our friend again? Are we on the same page or did this sully the relationship?
Jennifer Granholm, Niger Innis are here for a great debate. Jennifer, I start with you. Short-term win for the President because he didn't have to put down the tariffs and he got Mexico to move into an area where it did not want to be?
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Listen, I have no idea because we have no idea what the deal is, but I do know it is a win for Michigan as in particular. You were just talking to Debbie Dingell. You know, we would have been totally disproportionately affected. But this is a crisis of its own making. And are we going to continue to govern like this. Let me threaten something horrible and when I'm able to do something that I'm going to back off and in the meantime everybody is flummox, there is no consistency. However, I will say, let's see what it says. I have no idea.
CUOMO: Well, but let's assume and my reporting gives me good security in this assumption, that they are going to do things, deploy national guard, they're going to do what they should have done from the beginning which is if somebody enters their country asking for asylum, they should make the case right there. Not just help them, chaperon them into a third country. It's not supposed to work like that absence and overt agreement of that which we do not have. And that while people are waiting for adjudication who want asylum they will wait in Mexico if they came from Mexico. Assuming that's in it, how was that not a good step for the U.S.?
GRANHOLM: No, I mean -- Chris, if that's what you're saying is in it, great. Those are some steps and you have been so on the money on the fact that this is a crisis at the border that needs some addressing. Clearly we cannot have all of these people in camps, in children, in cages, et cetera. So any step forward that ameliorates that crisis I think is important. And it's not just a wall. But again, you may have inside information. I have no idea. I haven't seen anything. I haven't seen it at all.
CUOMO: All right.
GRANHOLM: Nobody has.
CUOMO: All right.
GRANHOLM: So, you know, let's see.
CUOMO: OK, Niger --
GRANHOLM: I'll give him credit if it works.
CUOMO: Yeah. Now, look Niger, no reason for you to argue that this was a good move because, you know, that's punitively what it's going to be until we see otherwise.
NIGER INNIS, NATIONAL SPOKESMAN, CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY: Absolutely.
CUOMO: However, to an obvious point and the Governor did just make it, tariffs were never going to do anything to help with the instant crisis of giving DHS and HHS and CBP what they're begging for to treat these kids, make sure that they don't get sick, they don't die on our watch and that we don't wind up ruining a portion of a generation. Where is the urgency on that?
[21:25:00] INNIS: There should be more urgency, not only in the executive branch but within the Congress as well. I think that, you know, you've been very spot on and on point with this and by the way, belated congratulations on the anniversary for you and the extraordinary team that that's --
CUOMO: Thanks to you guys for helping us get where we are. I appreciate both of you. Continue.
INNIS: All right, our pleasure. But no, I think you had a Congresswoman on the other night, who seemed willing to negotiate with the President. To get to it and give DHS what they need to deal with this crisis on the border that the President has been talking about for sometime.
CUOMO: I've never seen anything like it to be honest, Gov, where you have people saying, yeah, yeah we know that it's there. It's bad. You know, we got to do something about it and they do nothing. And then, when you hear what's happening behind the scenes, each side is trying to attach stuff to what's supposed to be money for what they're asking for that almost assured to kill the deal.
GRANHOLM: Yeah, it's mind blowing and I would say, also the pulling away of funding for the countries in Central America that need help in keeping people there in the economic conditions that are causing many people to leave as well as help with gang violence, all of that needs to be part of a comprehensive emergency package. I think that hopefully can get bipartisan support. I was encouraged by Debbie Dingell's comments to you earlier.
CUOMO: I'm afraid. I just don't see it, Niger. I don't see that if they go one step past here's what they need to build more places and find more beds, get more medicine and more processing agents that you guys are going to have any agreement. I mean, even on that, you haven't gotten anything done.
INNIS: Well, it's interesting that the President, you know, there's a method to his apparent negotiating madness, if you will.
GRANHOLM: Madness, go ahead.
INNIS: It is works with Mexico apparently, and I think it's going to work with the northern triangle states as well. It's ironic though that he is having more lager heads if you will and more interaction with his fellow Americans, his fellow elected officials --
CUOMO: But you know why.
INNIS: And the Democratic party in the Congress.
CUOMO: But you know why, you don't use tariffs for this. You do not use this kind of brinksmanship because it sends a message. Do you see the interview the other day with the Iranian foreign minister about, hey do you want to sit down with the President and see what you can do? And he said why, the guy doesn't respect any deals, you know, he's always a hostile act. And of course that's coming from Iran but, you know --
INNIS: I beg to differ.
CUOMO: This does send a message to people that this man will threaten you to get what he wants and that's not always well received.
INNIS: This is why the Mexico thing is so important. It's not just important for our relationship with Mexico and dealing with the crisis at the border. It's important with the bigger trade struggle which of course is with China. In here, we have a situation where there's a bipartisan backing of the President of the United States and the methods and the tactics that he is using.
Now that he seems to have settled things with one of our biggest trade partners and our neighbor, hemispheric brother, Mexico, now I think he can now have the will and the focus on the real bigger problem which is of course China.
CUOMO: Well, two things, Gov, back to you on this. One, China ain't Mexico, OK? Mexico is a relatively weak country. China is a relatively strong country. That can do its own tariff game and we're starting to pay the price for that right now, which is why they had to give billions to the farmers. But the idea of, it worked here and it will work period. Your sense?
GRANHOLM: No, I mean, the subject area is different. In China, we are talking economic -- we're about a trade issue.
GRANHOLM: In Mexico we were talking about human beings crossing the border and using tariff as a means to get at that problem. So the two subjects are different and I don't think the results are going to be the same because what you are seeing with the tariff wars with China is that, there is significant hurt across farms across the country and other businesses who are doing business in China. So there-- it's apples and oranges.
CUOMO: Right, they're playing it short-term pain, long-term gain but we're going to see. We're going see, we're going to see what the pluses and minuses are ultimately. But Niger, I let you --
INNIS: It's an eight years (ph) old problem.
CUOMO: I know, but that doesn't mean that the way he's dealing with it now is going to make it better. It's the same argument on North Korea.
INNIS: If not now.
CUOMO: He's the only one to approach them.
INNIS: If not now, when Chris?
CUOMO: Listen, but it's also about how, OK. You know, you can walk around away from the Iran deal but do you think it's a coincidence that now they're spreading like a cancer and all these different places in the Middle East? You know, you can go home and be nice to Kim and say, hey look you're just as strong as I am but it's not like he's giving you anything that you wanted. So we'll see what he gets.
However, I let you brush aside my question before because you were right to say Congress has a role in here and they're sleeping on it. But this President wants to play the border as a priority. And he has had one mode, harshness. He gave people an identification issue with what was coming across with the migrants and the caravans that was false. It was never going to be about waves of marauders and drugs coming across. It was always going to be about kids and unaccompanied minors and families and he knew it because he was told it.
[21:30:03] How should he be judged for not having equal urgency for the compassionate part of the problem as he does for the harsh part of the problem.
NIGER INNIS, NATIONAL SPOKESMAN, CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY: He should be judged for being a pioneer and talking about this crisis that on coming and the fact is, is that many on the other side of the aisle and many within the mainstream media ignored the crisis and said the president is just trying to create a crisis. And that clearly has not been the case -
CUOMO: How is that not the case if what he was defining as a crisis is not the crisis?
INNIS: The crisis be it women with children or be it individuals that buy children because they want to come across, which also --
CUOMO: A small fraction -- small fraction of it.
INNIS: But it's a part.
CUOMO: Yes, but that's not the crisis.
INNIS: Bottom line is it is a crisis.
CUOMO: I know. But you defined it as a brown menace to sell a fence. And the fence was never the fix. It's a tool in a larger but it was never going to -
JENNIFER GRANHOLM (D), FORMER MICHIGAN GOVERNOR: Right.
CUOMO: -- help with this and now we're on the situation that he could have prepared for and he didn't.
I got to leave it there. Jennifer Granholm -
INNIS: It's a part of the tool box. Sorry.
CUOMO: But he got to use some other tools right now. Don't be sorry. You make good points. Governor Granholm, thank you as always. Do you want a last word? I see you.
GRANHOLM: No, no. Go ahead. Go ahead.
CUOMO: Niger, thank you very much.
All right, so I'm a dad and I think that's probably the closest thing to my true identity that I have versus everything else. I got three kids and I saw something that tapped into every good feel I've ever had in the early stage of baby gaming. You saw it too. Take a look at this.
KINGSTON, BABY IN VIRAL "BABY TALK" VIDEO: OK. I'm just saying. (INAUDIBLE)
DJ PRYOR, DAD IN VIRAL "BABY TALK" VIDEO: That's what I'm saying. (INAUDIBLE) Do you know what I'm saying? I was like what in the world? Don't do that. Here. Do you know what I'm saying? Yes.
CUOMO: Everybody has been talking about these two. Let's talk to them. The father and son duo taking the Internet by storm. Behold the couch potato besties. The story behind the story. Look at that face. Don't be quite now. Next.
[21:35:54] CUOMO: All right. Listen to this. Something has gone viral and thank God it's not something vicious and political. 47 million views on Facebook alone, a dad and his toddler engaging in some serious pseudo dialogue.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PRYOR: Did you understand it, though?
PRYOR: No. OK. All right.
PRYOR: Oh, not this one. This is grand finale of this.
PRYOR: Yes, it's the last one.
KINGSTON: OK. (INAUDIBLE)
PRYOR: That's what I said. That's what I'm saying. (INAUDIBLE) Do you know what I'm saying? I was like what in the world? Don't do that. Here. Do you know what I'm saying? Yes.
PRYOR: Really? I thought the same thing.
PRYOR: We think a lot alike, huh?
CUOMO: It's just one of those you laugh every time you see it and it warms your heart as well. We thought everybody is talking about them. Better to talk to them. Here is DJ Pryor and Little Kingston. Congratulations to you, DJ, what a beautiful moment you made for us.
PRYOR: Thank you. Thank you, man. Thank you, man. I'm excited. I'm excited. This is crazy, man. This is unreal.
CUOMO: So how old is that little man?
PRYOR: He is 19 months.
CUOMO: Oh, you know what so truth he is precocious. I mean he's coming up with you know understand how to parrot language and how to connect with you early.
CUOMO: And that's a beautiful sign for how much love he is getting.
PRYOR: Yes. I mean, the way he just -- I was laughing because of the way he was doing all the hand gestures and I was just assuming like I was going because I thought he was saying.
CUOMO: Well - you're talented.
PRYOR: Thank you so much.
CUOMO: You're a comedian.
CUOMO: I mean because I got three kids and when they were little they did that. I never came up with a moment like that. What are you saying? Learn how to speak. And you sent us some other stuff that you have been doing with him and while we show it to the people at home, tell us, when you made the videos, was there any plan about anybody else ever seeing this?
PRYOR: No, we make for like I was making them for like a home movie type deal. So when he's older you know I do it for him and my older son so when they're older they can see it and look back on it like oh, man, you know childhood memories. But when we did -- I figured maybe I'll post it and maybe I'll get a couple of likes from my family and my friends and maybe some of you know their family and friends but I had no idea it was going to do - would get it - it wasn't an intent at all, no.
CUOMO: What was the series you guys were watching?
PRYOR: We were watching "Empire." We were watching grand finale of "Empire" and I was debating how I felt about it. I was like I don't know how I feel about this, man. I was like, man, what's going to happen next and I was talking and I looked down on the couch and he was like, OK. He was doing it. I said you feel me, man. And he crawls up on the couch and that's how it began.
CUOMO: There's nothing like feeling you got a connection with your kid. But this is really special.
PRYOR: Right, exactly.
CUOMO: So when did you realize, holy cow, these numbers can't be real? Did you see it or did someone contact you?
PRYOR: I was -- my friends were contacting me and I was - I think I was in the studio with one of my friends and people kept texting me and I said what are you talking about? No, it's not. It's not even - I don't even know (INAUDIBLE). And I went and looked and I saw 500,000 in about two hours and I was like oh. And they said, OK, it's going to go viral. I said we'll see. You know but I was still impressed with that number and then an hour and a half went by and we were at a million. I said, OK, it's gone. It's leaving. It's on his way out.
CUOMO: I mean, amazing. As I reported before, 47 million. But that's just Facebook.
PRYOR: 47 million. Yes. CUOMO: It's been all over Twitter for days. In fact, I'll be honest with you. We have been talking about how to do this in the show all week.
CUOMO: You know at first I was like I saw the video. I was laughing my - you know I was laughing at it really hard with my own family at home but I was like what am I going to do with this?
[21:40:01] You know everybody seeing it. It's great. But what do we do? And it just kept growing and growing and finally, Mel, my partner on the show was like we have to get them. Let's get them on because we have to hear from these guys. So what does this mean for you? Because this is huge.
PRYOR: Yes, it's huge. I don't think it's all hit yet. I don't think it's all registered yet. It's still hitting. I started my Facebook account. I mean my Instagram account was at 1,300. It said like -- that's embarrassing to say on TV. Can you edit that? No.
CUOMO: 1,300 isn't bad by the way. My 16-year-old would kill for that.
PRYOR: Right. It was 1,300. Now it's at 80,000 and counting now.
PRYOR: Yes. Look at him. Like this is crazy right now.
CUOMO: Are you thinking about a series -- look. I respect his approach. His approach is I'm not getting paid. (CROSSTALK) I'm not giving you anything. You want to talk to my representative -
CUOMO: -- you know you got to be careful because he might push for emancipation. You know that happens. Get a little success. He starts to think Kingston, you named him right because he's the king and really you hanging on and you need to step away. And he's got to have his own life.
PRYOR: He knows he's a star. Chris, he knows he's a star, man. He walks around like he is a star. He knows something is up. He does.
CUOMO: Do you think now, hey, this is something for us to try and develop? Because you're a funny guy, you're a performer, you're a comedian. Do you think there's something there to do going forward?
PRYOR: You know I'm just going to do what we have been doing. Just keep it natural in the house. You know and if it happens, cool. But I'm not going to -- that's not the intent. You know what I mean? Just be who we are, the Pryors and we laugh and joke at my house. We keep it pretty light and sometimes cameras come on.
CUOMO: Who does the camera work?
PRYOR: My wife. My wife did the camera work and she did a very steady camera job.
CUOMO: Oh, yes.
PRYOR: It was steady.
CUOMO: It's true. That is the most pronounced talent in the whole production.
PRYOR: Yes. Yes, man, that was crazy.
CUOMO: He agrees. You start talking about mom. Now he's taking the pacifier and starting to think a little bit more. Starting to think about, should I engage?
CUOMO: You know, I want to have points with mom too. I respect it. I respect he's a savvy kid. Well, I got to tell you. Sometimes, something pops because we need it.
CUOMO: And you are a beautiful and pure talent. You're funny as heck.
PRYOR: Thank you.
CUOMO: All parents can relate that we wish we could be like you in those moments, how you made it something. And it was great to see something go viral that reminds us that good stuff happens too.
PRYOR: Right, right. Thank you so much, man. That means a lot. Thank you.
CUOMO: The thanks goes to you and your babbly little buddy over there.
What have you got for him? You found something.
PRYOR: He's eating cookies. I had to bribe him. I had to bribe him.
CUOMO: It works with me too, little brother.
CUOMO: You give me a bag of cookies, the interview goes your way.
PRYOR: Right, exactly. He's like this is my payment for coming here tonight. This is it.
CUOMO: DJ Pryor, keep me in the loop with what you have.
PRYOR: Yes, sir.
CUOMO: I'd love to share with people because it's just beautiful.
PRYOR: Thank you so much, Chris.
CUOMO: God bless the whole family.
PYROR: Thank you.
CUOMO: DJ Pryor, Little Kingston, all right, I get it. You send me your agent's number. I'll talk to you separately. You want to play that way, we'll play that way. I've had people come at me hard on this show before. You're not the first, son. You're not the first. Take care. Isn't that amazing?
All right, also breaking the Internet, the president's galactic new tweet. You know we don't talk a lot about what the president just says on this show. We look at his actions but he did seem to be oddly out of sorts about our solar system today. Since when is the moon apart of Mars? Kingston would never say that. How can he forget his own words only weeks ago? We're going to try to find out what's happening in our president's galaxy far, far away. Next.
[21:47:25] CUOMO: Sometimes, you have to look at what the president said and try to make sense of it because it matters. Here's one of them. A month ago, the president was so Gung-ho about going to the moon. Do you remember he tweeted, himself? Quote, "We are going back to the moon, then Mars."
So you can imagine why there is confusion when the president complained in a tweet today, quote, "For all of the money we're spending, NASA should not be talking about going to the moon. We did that 50 years ago. They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the moon is a part), defense and science."
What does that mean? Who better to weigh in than resident space cadet D. Lemon. Trump seems to be -- Trump seems to be backtracking, our president, on moon to Mars mission.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Yes.
CUOMO: And moon not part of Mars.
LEMON: OK. Mark this on your calendars, all right?
LEMON: I'm going to cut the guy some slack.
LEMON: I knew what he meant.
CUOMO: What did he mean?
LEMON: He didn't mean that the moon was an actual part of Mars.
CUOMO: What do you mean?
LEMON: He's saying it all falls under the same umbrella. And that yes we should be going to --this is my interpretation. We should be going to the moon but we should set our sights even higher and we should go to Mars and continue with the moon. It does sound contradictory. The head of NASA said -- NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine, I think I got it right, who said -- told an audience at the International Space Development Conference in Washington that the very first space policy directive of the president, he said, we're going to go back to the moon.
OK. So I think he just means we should be setting our sights beyond the moon.
CUOMO: I respect - I respect the charity. But the facts are not your friend on this.
CUOMO: Because what it seems like is he felt that NASA was somehow stepping on his success with what he was doing by talking about sending people to the moon. And he doesn't want them to have their own thing. He wants it to be about his thing. And that's why he went after it even if it didn't really make much sense because either way he gets the credit.
LEMON: Well I take your point. And you could very well be right on that. The problem is that the White House has said that tweets are official statements from the president.
CUOMO: Whether they say they are not, they are.
LEMON: So, I would say, sometimes a tweet is just a tweet in the old days, right? You just let it go like all right they tweeted that or whatever. It's a tweet, let it go. But when it's part of an official statement I understand. I get what you're saying. But I do -- I stand by what I say.
[21:50:00] I think I get what he meant. Not that the moon was like attached to Mars. It's not the same thing. We should just set our sights beyond the moon and so I'll leave it at that. So I'm going to cut him some slack on that.
CUOMO: I would be fine with that. He should have just than not said he wanted to go to the moon. Let me ask you. Would you go to the moon? If they took private people up, would you take the trip?
CUOMO: Do you know how long it would take?
LEMON: I don't know. It's over 92 million miles from the sun.
CUOMO: Shouldn't you want to know how long it's going to take? Does it take two days, three days to go 93 million miles?
LEMON: No, that's the sun. Sun is -
CUOMO: To go to the moon, I think it's going to take a little while.
LEMON: Yes, I would go. Not exactly --
CUOMO: So how it would take? Like three days for the astronauts.
LEMON: I thought it was three days. But now with the newer technology, who knows? I mean that was back in the day. I don't really know. I haven't studied up on it. It's around three days. You know I just interviewed a gentleman who was part of the first space mission. I should know that. But yes, I would absolutely go. I mean, who wouldn't?
CUOMO: 100 percent, no reservations?
LEMON: 100 percent - listen, I have regret for not taking the last ride on the Concord. So you know I would go to the moon. When I was working at NBC they were offering certain reporters to go on the Concord and blah, blah, blah. I didn't go and now I regret it because it's now been taken out of service.
CUOMO: Well it's different than going to the moon.
LEMON: I hear what you're saying.
CUOMO: Who was it? Mark Twain said, at the end of your life you'll regret the things you didn't do.
LEMON: You didn't do. So the things that we're going to do in a few minutes here, OK?
CUOMO: Go ahead.
LEMON: And I think you'll be interested. We have a presidential candidate that is going to talk about a -- her co-presidential candidate or one of her colleagues, or one of her people, her competitors, who has changed his stance on the Hyde Amendment, that means vice president Joe Biden. Kirsten Gillibrand is going to join us on that. We also have a representative from the vice president's campaign who will talk to us about that as well.
LEMON: And we have the first black Yale student body president.
CUOMO: Oh, great, great.
LEMON: And by the way, the interview you just did with DJ Pryor and what is it, Little Kingston.
LEMON: So I called immediately. I called Lee Daniels and I said Lee did you know that they were watching the season finale, they were watching "Empire," and he said no, but he was excited. He said it made his heart light. He said that's what they try to do with that show. And these are his words. He said even with all of this hate and all of this division it's nice to see, again his words that we're still winning, meaning the people he thinks are trying to do positive things.
CUOMO: Great. Tell him to hook the guy up.
LEMON: So, he's very happy that you interviewed him.
CUOMO: Tell him to hook him up, he's a performer. I'll check with you in a little bit.
LEMON: We'll do. See you in a bit.
CUOMO: All right, question, what's wrong with straight pride? We have gay pride, right? Shouldn't everyone have a parade? Isn't this just being fair? Seriously? Closing argument next.
[21:56:56] CUOMO: First, we should all know that this is pride month all over the world. That's a time when we recognize those who are LGBTQ and the freedom they deserve to be who they are. But even such a profound demonstration of decency and humanity can't always fix stupid.
Case in point. The so-called straight pride parade. You've probably heard about this. Organizers have asked for a permit to march in August along the same route as the Boston Pride Parade this Saturday. This straight pride parade is being widely mocked online. And I want you to see why.
Look at this propaganda where pleat with memes mimicking the true suffering that the LGBTQ community has long battled. Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, set these folks straight best.
Questions you may want to ask yourself before organizing an identity- based parade. Is it, was it ever legal for me to be jailed for my identity. Can I be denied housing, health services because of how I identify. Is it legal to kill me in other countries for how I identify?
In 2017 more than 1,300 Americans were victims of hate crimes based on their sexual orientation. Now the straight pride folks might point out that there were some heterosexual victims too and they'd be right. Take a look.
Do you see that little bitty sliver there? That's the slice, less than 3 percent. The human rights campaign notes 26 transgender people in America died by violence last year. Already this year the number stands at least eight. But go beyond the numbers.
I want to show you the literal face of the suffering from just the last few days. This couple riding on a bus in London. They're coming home from a night out. A group of young men made lewd comments, demanded they kiss in front of them and then attacked and robbed them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELANIA GEYMONAT: It's not the first time in my life I feel violated, even though this is the first time my nose is broken.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: That's Melania who is on the right.
Boston's mayor doesn't think there's anything he can do to stop the gay pride - the straight pride parade. He suggests that people come to join Saturday's festivities to show that love will always prevail.
Now, I don't know if that offer extends to the group behind this cruel and crude send-up but if straight people really want to define themselves in a positive way what we should do is make sure we stomp out those in our ranks that mock LGBTQ folks like this guy. Too many are saying that his bigoted attacks on the radio are just an exercise of free speech. He may have a right to say it but it doesn't make it right.
So instead of a march let's join ranks against that bigotry. Besides, haven't we seen enough of what happens when marches of hate are carried out in places like Charlottesville? No matter their origin they are magnets for the worst of us and not on both sides. You don't have to agree with celebrating gay pride but you should demand decency of yourself and others. And respect, over all, that this country is based on laws that should guarantee all of us the same rights.