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Maher Warns If Trump Loses In 2020, He Won't Leave; Quinnipiac Poll: Biden Leads Trump By 13 Points; Jon Stewart Shames Congress Over 9/11 Victim Funding. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired June 11, 2019 - 21:00   ET


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

FINN LANNING, TEACHER, FOSTERING HIS STUDENT DAMIEN: --because, you know, I was compelled immediately to do whatever I could for this kid, but I was also really concerned about making sure that I could follow through with that commitment.

There's been a number of people in Damien's life that have, you know, with all the best intentions, attempted to give him some help, and weren't able to follow through on that, and I didn't want to be another person that let him down.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, ANDERSON COOPER 360: I contributed to the GoFundMe page both - to help both Finn and Damien. You can do so, the address on your screen.

News continues. Want to hand it over to Chris for CUOMO PRIME TIME. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, CUOMO PRIME TIME: Very clear. When I was talking about going back, when I saw how I looked, I looked up pictures of us in 2001, me, you, and some other people who was reporting with me--


CUOMO: --this is what I found.

COOPER: Oh, that--

CUOMO: You look substantially the same.

COOPER: --that was me and well - that was - that wasn't in 2001. That was me in like 1999.

CUOMO: You look the same.

COOPER: I - I wasn't working on 9/11.

CUOMO: Yes. You weren't working in 9/11.

COOPER: I was in the city. CUOMO: Right.

COOPER: But I started - actually CNN called me the day after. I ended up going to Afghanistan. What - well there you go. But yes, I saw pictures of you and you - yes, I mean you haven't aged that much.

CUOMO: No, I have. I appreciate it. You look better than I do. It's OK. But I wanted to make the record clear.


CUOMO: Because obviously you were working but that they will keep straight.


CUOMO: And I stand by my statement. You look just as good or better today. Anderson, thank you very much.


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

Bill Maher is not just funny. He's savvy, especially when it comes to political prognostications, and he got a lot of buzz from last night's interview, and there will be even more after he breaks down the Democratic field, and what he fears is to come tonight.

Then, we've seen the possible future of the 2020 race. Biden and Trump exchanged blows today, and it was ugly. Which side is better set up for a war of who is worse? And how does a battle to the bottom make any of us better? That'll be our Great Debate.

We also have Jon Stewart. Did you see the powerful plea he made today on behalf of 9/11 first responders and survivors? He shouldn't have had to make it. That's our argument. Never forget has been forgotten.

Tonight, let's remember who and what matters, and let's do it together. Let's get after it.




CUOMO: Now, we know that Bill Maher has been funny, and full of provocative insights for a long time. That's why Real Time on HBO is one of the highest-rated shows in late-night television. And he certainly held nothing back in our exclusive one-on-one.


CUOMO: Ultimately, for Joe Biden, where do you think it leaves him? Do you think that he - this spread in the polls right now is real and he'll stay there or do you think it's just identification? BILL MAHER, REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER HOST, HBO: Well, I think he'll

get knocked down, yes, because it's early, always at this time.

He is a return to normalcy. I don't think he's a lot of people's favorite, but he's a lot of people's second or third choice, and he's good enough.

Hillary was a terrible candidate, that's absolutely true.

CUOMO: She didn't help the situation with the emails in terms of--

MAHER: She - no, she didn't--

CUOMO: --how she handled it with her answers and her actions.

MAHER: Absolutely. No - right, and she committed obstruction of justice. If - if - now Trump did, I think, in - in much worse fashion.

I go back and forth on impeachment because I feel like, yes, it's the right thing to do. But if they impeach Trump, whoever the next Democrat is, you know they will impeach him, because they don't care about the facts.

CUOMO: Do you think he's winning?

MAHER: Yes. And I'm sick of winning. He's right. I got sick of winning, his winning.

Remember, this is going to be, because it is Trump, the dirtiest campaign ever.

Donald Trump should have been someone who made the Democrats go "Wow, we got to get serious now."

Too many people is what I see in the field. That alone looks silly, when you have 23, 24 people. And some of them are I - I don't even know what their raison d'etre is for running.

I think a lot of this far-Left political correctness is a cancer on progressivism. I think when you - when you talk to - to Trump supporters, they are not blind to his myriad flaws. But one thing they always say is he's not politically correct. I don't think you can underestimate - overestimate how much people have been choking on political correctness and hate it.


CUOMO: All right now let's hold on this for a moment because political correctness, and what it means to the Left, this is going to be a fertile issue in this election, and Bill Maher has been all over it for a long time, and he's often politically incorrect on purpose.

He believes the Left has made it a cancer. The question is, isn't political correctness supposed to be a cure? Let's get after it.


CUOMO: So, where's the line of decency and hyper political correctness?

MAHER: I think decency from, you know, I'm a born a Democrat. My parents were Democrats. We all loved your father, you know. They loved Kennedy. That's--

CUOMO: You had two helpings of guilt in your life.


CUOMO: Your father was a Catholic.


CUOMO: Your mother was Jewish.

MAHER: You're right. Yes.

CUOMO: That's a lot of guilt put on you.

MAHER: So, I mean that's in my blood. I - look, I were never a big fan of - of a lot of the Republicans. But I think it's, you know, for - for liberals, I think it's just old-school liberals, you don't have to worry about it.

That's - that's why we are Democrats because we are people who have compassion within us. I'm not saying the Republicans are without compassion. But sometimes, they are.


MAHER: They are more greedy and selfish. I'm sorry.

CUOMO: You had one of the "I think sharper" Members of the new class of Congress in, Congressman Porter from California.

MAHER: OK, yes.

CUOMO: And she was--

MAHER: Right.

CUOMO: --having a take on what Joe Biden was trying to handle with the Hyde Amendment, and he got a lot of people upset with this in his own party.

MAHER: Right.

[21:05:00] CUOMO: I want to remind people. If you didn't watch the show, I know you all did, but here's what Congress Member Porter was saying about Biden's handling of the Hyde Amendment. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA): Even when he talked about it, he couldn't quite get the word out. It was like--

MAHER: Right.

PORTER: --healthcare for women that might involve, you know, some--


PORTER: --pieces of you that are sort of--

I was a professor. Better late than never for the student who gets it on the last day of class.


CUOMO: I always counted on that kind of professor. But--

MAHER: She's funny.

CUOMO: She's funny. She's smart.


CUOMO: And she is insistent.


CUOMO: You - you always got to be ready when Porter's going to come. So, is she right about Biden, and how big a blow?

MAHER: I don't know. I think he was between a rock and the hard place because, and he's going to be that way for the rest of this campaign, because right now, when he got in, sitting well with the traditional centrist Democrats who, again, make up most of the country.

CUOMO: Most like--

MAHER: I mean--

CUOMO: --80 percent of that party--

MAHER: Right.

CUOMO: --identifies center--

MAHER: I get out--

CUOMO: --left.

MAHER: --in the country. You know, I tour a lot. I see this country. I did my last stand-up special in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The chattering classes live in L.A., and D.C., and New York, and they don't know that there's a country out there, and there is. And in that country, Joe's very popular. But he also knows, to get the nomination, he has to satisfy the Left part of his base, and they are not going to - he - he made that decision.

He said, "I'm not going anywhere unless I get right on this abortion issue. These people are firmly pro-choice. They don't want someone who's waffling on that. I'm going to get there."

But is he going to lose the people and those centrist people who have been his fans? Now, probably, not too much, but we'll see. I mean that's the art of politics, is making both wings think you're for them.

CUOMO: Do you think that it evidenced that there wasn't enough thought that went in to the early stage of planning that he - they had to know, people were going to come at the inconsistency between being pro-choice and pro-Hyde Amendment. They don't go together logically.

MAHER: Right.

CUOMO: The '94 Crime bill that this is going to come up again. It came up for Hillary. It's certainly going to come for you. What do we say? Do you think it reveals that they weren't ready?

MAHER: I think what it reveals is that people in this age don't understand that humans evolve just like societies evolve. And - and, by the way, to all these people that are so harsh on the past, there are things you're doing right now that are going to look bad in the future, things we're doing right now.

I mean we used to smoke on airplanes. We thought it was a great idea to walk inside an enclosed aluminum tube, and light up a chesterfield. We don't do that anymore.

We - we, you know, all these people who are so judgmental, I just want to say to them, stop prosecuting people back then who did things who if you were around back then you would have done them too.

If you were around in the 80s, you would have worn the big shoulder pads because we all were doing that. So, yes, Joe Biden is not perfect. None of us are. All you can expect from a human being is to evolve.

He was rotten to Anita Hill. And - but, you know, what is he going to keep apologizing for it until the end of his time?

CUOMO: Does it mean that it's got to be a new generation with - who doesn't - who doesn't carry the objections of the current political class?

MAHER: I don't know. Or why not just somebody who has learned and moved on?

I mean, this is the only country I can think of in history who doesn't seem to get something very fundamental, which is that, in general, people older are wiser. That's the trade-off of life. When you're young, you're beautiful, and then you're not so beautiful, and when you're old, you're wiser. This is the trade-off. Now, of course, there are exceptions. There are dumb, old people, and smart, young people. But, in general, yes, I'm OK with someone who has learned, and grown, and seen a lot, and has experienced it, and has seen patterns.

You know, I like Mayor Pete. But I do think 37 is a little too young, little bit.

CUOMO: So, let's do this. You're not a soothsayer, obviously. You're not fixed (ph). But you have been uncannily early on some things that were going to happen in our political dynamic.

MAHER: Thank you, yes.

CUOMO: Good - good to you. As somebody who guesses wrong, on a regular basis, I respect when people guess right. Give me a feel for what you think about, not necessarily predictions, but what do you imagine happening going forward?

Well, you know--

MAHER: Well, I mean--

CUOMO: --in whatever political way it's relevant.

MAHER: --one of those things, to take up your point that I've been talking about for years now, almost three years that a lot of people are talking about now, is that if he loses, Trump, he won't go.

I've been saying that since before he got elected that if he loses the second time, if he loses the coming election, he will - and Michael Cohen said that, Nancy Pelosi echoed - said that, a lot of people now.

And I think that we have to worry about because a lot of people say, "Well, yes, it can happen here," meaning fascism, meaning something other than what we - was democracy now. I think we're already there.

[21:10:00] When the President of the United States is saying that the news is the enemy of the people, you know, I have a dictator checklist that I read on my show sometimes, things that no American President has ever done, but this President does, appointing your family to key government positions, this is Banana Republic.

CUOMO: So you think he wouldn't leave?

MAHER: That is one of them. I - oh absolutely think he will not leave.


CUOMO: Now that would be something hopefully even the great Bill Maher is wrong about the President refusing to accept the results of the election if he loses. But what do you think? Let me know.

Now, Maher wanted President Trump gone yesterday. We know that. But what does he think the Democrats should do going forward? Does he believe in the impeachment route? His easy but complicated advice to Democrats, next.








CUOMO: Now, you may not always agree with Bill Maher. But the host of the wildly successful show Real time on HBO has called a lot of things right, especially when it comes to politics.

You heard him predict - predict before that this President, he doesn't think he'll leave the White House if he's defeated. So, how would that play out? And what about impeachment? Here's Bill Maher.



MAHER: He will tell his - his rabid following that "It's rigged. They're always out to get him."

I mean for someone who's had every advantage of life, it's amazing the way he can always say, "Things are unfair to me, poor Donald Trump, a White man born to great wealth. Oh, if I can only get a seat at the table in this country."

[21:15:00] CUOMO: And, yes, he identified with a base--


CUOMO: --that has--


CUOMO: --exactly those issues--

MAHER: Amazing.

CUOMO: --of being underserved, being disenfranchised, and he connected. So, you think if he loses, he doesn't leave. Give me another one.

MAHER: Another?

CUOMO: What you think may happen going forward?

MAHER: I don't know. Based on the past, based on the fact that, again, appoints his children to the key positions, uses his office for a personal financial gain, talks about locking people up, lies so frequently the followers don't know anymore, and they don't care, in that atmosphere, I sound like The Godfather, you know, anything is possible. But anything is possible.

And if you talk about locking people up, and you talk about the, you know, he talks about the media the enemy of the people.

Enemy of the people, I mean, I don't want to go to that place where we compare them to these fascists, but that is the phrase they used in the past. That's not me, enemy of the people.

You create this atmosphere, and we've already seen it. There have been two instances now, Cesar Sayoc, the guy in Florida, and the Coast Guard guy a few months ago--

CUOMO: I'm well aware.

MAHER: --who have sent out bombs trying to decimate the top leadership of the Democratic Party, all the people Trump goes after, they sent out bombs to the Obamas, the Clintons--


MAHER: --Biden, Eric Holder.


MAHER: Yes, exactly. And, in that atmosphere, I don't know what's possible.

And, you know, Trump talks about "We have the tough people." Remember that? "We have the tough people." OK, again, dictator stuff. "I have the people with the guns," and he does.

Now, the military, they're - there's a lot of people in military who do not like Trump for obvious reasons. You know, he sides with countries that aren't us, made fun of John McCain, draft-dodger, why any of them are with him, I don't know.

But the police, oh, he's got the police. The police love him because he says you can do anything when you're in the police. You can shove their head, don't be so nice, so that's really scary.

"I have the tough people." That shouldn't be what decides things in this country. "Who has the tough people?"

CUOMO: You know what? Look, I mean you've put a lot of thought into this.


CUOMO: There are some scary expectations.

MAHER: Oh, yes. CUOMO: The hope is always that people love the law the most if they're in the law business, and that the country and its institutions are better--

MAHER: They don't even know the law.

CUOMO: --than any individual.

MAHER: That's what's scary about it. When they do polls of people, it's - it's frightening. They don't know the three branches of government. So, how do they know or how - why would they care if one of them is being abrogated?

You know, are we going to have the kind of system in this country where we have a parliament like lots of countries do, like Russia has a parliament, like we have Congress, but they're really just a--

CUOMO: Impotent.

MAHER: --a joke.


MAHER: They don't really matter. And we're moving toward that. When Congress is subpoenaing people and asking for stuff, the law says you shall give the tax returns, and they just say go, forget--

CUOMO: You think they should impeach?

MAHER: I do. At this point, I do. I think you kind of have to. And I think it--

CUOMO: You don't think it's a trap?

MAHER: --I think it looks - I - again, I don't think his base can get any - they say "Well, it'll rile up his base."

CUOMO: All right.

MAHER: His base is riled. I don't think that's going to get any worse. And I think you'll look weak. And the Democrats' biggest problem is always looking weak with - turn it around.

Wouldn't they do it? They would have done it on the first day. They would have impeached Hillary when she was in the Ball gown from the Inaugural, and she hadn't done anything.

CUOMO: Bill Maher--

MAHER: Sorry if I scared you.

CUOMO: Not at all, not at all. You just gave me a lot to think about.


CUOMO: That's what you do best. MAHER: Thank you.

CUOMO: Good luck with the residency in Vegas.

MAHER: I appreciate it. All right.

CUOMO: I know it's going to be a hit. I hope you're not as right as you've been in the past about what may come in the future. But I appreciate you here. And you're always welcome.

MAHER: Thank you very much, Chris.


CUOMO: Bill Maher has been out there in Vegas for a while. There's still a few dates to see him in September and October. You go online, you'll find it.

And I got to tell you, I hope Maher is wrong about the next election being the ugliest we have seen. But did you see President Trump and former VP Joe Biden spitting at each other today in Iowa?

Who wins in a fistfight over which one of these two is worse? Let's use that as the start of a Great Debate next.








CUOMO: All right, POTUS just wrapped his last event in Iowa. And surprisingly, he didn't mention Joe Biden once, even though he's all - also in the Hawkeye State tonight. It's an odd turn after a full day of trading insults with the former Vice President.


DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think he's the weakest mentally.

Obama took him off the trash heap.

Sleepy Joe, he's a sleepy guy.

JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The President is literally an existential threat to America. Four years of Donald Trump will be viewed as an aberration in American history.

A stunning display of childishness.


CUOMO: Is this our future? Well it's certainly our present in terms of starting tonight's Great Debate. We got two great people.




CUOMO: We got Cenk Uygur here, and Ana Navarro.

Ana, is this the winning ticket for Joe Biden, go toe-to-toe, blow- for-blow?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think so. And I think the best thing that's happened, one of the very good things that's happened to Joe Biden since launching this campaign is that Trump is obsessed with him.

Trump keeps insulting him, keeps testing nicknames, none of them quite stick. And so, Trump has effectively made this into a general election campaign already with Joe Biden.

He's pretty much ignoring the rest of the field--

CUOMO: Well--

NAVARRO: --and is laser-focused and obsessed, clinically obsessed with Joe Biden. That's a great favor he's doing to Joe Biden.

CUOMO: Well let's look at why he might be like that. Let's look at the numbers. Let's look where Joe Biden is with the other Democrats. Quinnipiac came out with a couple of polls here that we're going to use.

30 to 19, is that lower? Yes. But Biden had to come down because he's up largely because of name recognition. And the field is going to have to catch him to a certain degree. How much, we'll see.

[21:25:00] But the number, Cenk, against Trump is probably what has Trump trying to go after him. 53 percent, 40 percent, nobody beats him like that in the rest of the field.

But is this the way that he courts that Left during the primary process that they - he lets everybody know, Cenk, this is what I'm going to do, it's going to be a battle to the bottom.

CENK UYGUR, CEO & HOST, THE YOUNG TURKS: Yes. So, I agree with Ana that Trump is doing Biden a huge favor by attacking him. And that makes, even people like me who are progressive, rally to Biden's defense.

But overall, I don't think that Biden is the better candidate against Trump because he's doing the same mistake that Hillary Clinton did. He's saying Trump's a bad guy. But we all know he's a bad guy. And for the Right-wing that's not the bug. That's the feature.

No, you have to attack him on things that worked for him in 2016 being in favor of the average American worker, which he's not. He's a normal, lying, sniveling politician.

And a progressive can make that case because we're for higher wages, we're for getting healthcare for your families, we're for substantive policy positions that are going to actually help your family in Michigan, Pennsylvania etcetera.

And what does Biden largely say? He does safe attacks against Trump. He's against what Trump said in Charlottesville. Of course, we're all against that. But he doesn't attack him on policy positions, and he doesn't attack him where it hurts on how weak he is.

And - and I think we need a stronger fighter to make - bring that message home. We don't want to make the same mistake we did in 2016.

CUOMO: All right.

UYGUR: And he is very similar to Hillary Clinton.

CUOMO: So you have a little bit of a proposition set up here for the Democrats. Do you want to go with someone who's about compromise or polarize? And we put together a graphic of rankings according to lifetime or - this is bipartisanship, OK?

These are the rankings of how much these senators over the years, there're like 250 of them they ranked in terms of working with the other side to get things done.

So, the proposition becomes, Ana, do you want number 47, or do you want number 247?

NAVARRO: Right, look, the - one of the - the issues that - that Biden has is that he's run for President before, he's never been a front- runner before. This is a new position for him.

And it means that practically everybody in the primary is shooting at Biden. That is what comes with the territory of being in the position of frontrunner.

Biden is smartly trying not to engage in the primary, trying not to attack his opponents in the primary, because I think he learned the lesson from 2016, when there was a lot of bitterness still left, after Bernie Sanders dropped out, between that camp and the Clinton camp, and there was not the level of unity that was necessary in order to beat Donald Trump.

I think Joe Biden is trying to preserve that unity, and you're not going to see him engage in - in - in - in primary tussles, at least not at the beginning.

CUOMO: Well it doesn't - it doesn't serve him.

NAVARRO: Well at the same time, everybody's going to be aiming at him.

CUOMO: It doesn't serve him to - to punch down right now until the polls start to catch him.


CUOMO: But that's a fair point. But I'm making a different proposition to you, Cenk, which is you're saying a progressive, all right, Bernie Sanders is obviously a progressive.

But to sell the American people that you get things done, somebody's going to convince them that we can do better than the polarization. Bernie Sanders is at the bottom of the list of working with the other side.


CUOMO: Joe Biden is at the top in the field.

UYGUR: Yes. So, no, Chris, you're talking about a different time. So, right now, if you want to work with the Republicans, you got to work with Donald Trump. I got no interest in that. No Democrat has any interest in that.

You got to work with Mitch McConnell, the heart of darkness. He's more corrupt than Donald Trump is.

When Joe Biden talks about how Dick Cheney was a great Vice President, and left him more power, and how he liked working with Strom Thurmond, I don't want any piece of that.

I don't want - I don't want to work with Republicans. I want to defeat them. And that is the essence of the problem with the Democratic Party. They are constantly reaching out to work with the Republicans on their turf.

So, if they want to do a deal where they do, for example, Criminal Justice Reform, fine, great, I'll take it. I got no problem with that bipartisanship. But if they want to do more tax cuts for the rich, I do not want a corporate Democrat who is going to help them do that because it's bad on policy, but it's also bad on politics.

The country is incredibly progressive. 76 percent of the country says "Raise taxes on the rich. Don't lower them." So, we should pick someone that--


UYGUR: --three-quarters of the country--

NAVARRO: Listen--

UYGUR: --agrees with.

NAVARRO: I would argue to - with you that if - if - if you want a progressive agenda, really, who you should be aiming your attacks at is not Joe Biden. It's Elizabeth Warren.

The reason Joe Biden is in the front right now is because Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are dividing that progressive vote amongst themselves.

And this is very good for Biden because we all learned from 2016 that Bernie Sanders is a stubborn old goat who's going to stay there till the bitter end no matter what even when it looks like he has no chance of winning.

And so, as long as Elizabeth - Sanders and Warren are dividing that progressive vote, you know, Joe Biden has got a - a - a niche all to himself.

Listen, your problem is not Joe Biden that people who support Joe Biden their vote's not going to go to Bernie Sanders. Their vote is going to go to Pete Buttigieg, or their vote is going to go to Kamala Harris.

[21:30:00] They prop - for them, probably, Bernie Sanders--

CUOMO: All right.

NAVARRO: --is not their second option.

CUOMO: Well let's do this. We got to do this conversation in phases, and I'm loving having Cenk, I'm loving having you, so let's have this as a rolling conversation of as things move, and as we see the state of play, come back in, let's see who's more happy with where things are.

Cenk, thank you. Ana, as always, thank you. Good luck with that comfort dog.

All right, there's still the prospect of impeachment that could upend the election, all right? Where is it? Speaker Pelosi just had more to say about it, and so will another powerhouse in her party.

There may be a shift in Congresswoman Katie Porter's stance on proceedings or not. Is there a decision? Let's take it to the Professor, next.








CUOMO: All right, as Democrats continue their Hamlet routine, the Speaker of the House is talking impeachment.



My obligation is to do whatever we do in the most effective way possible.

I believe in the Committee system and it will bubble up from there.


CUOMO: Bubble up, what does that mean? That means the caucus and how many people want it. One Member of her caucus still deciding is Congresswoman Katie Porter of California. Welcome to PRIME TIME.




CUOMO: Called you Kim Porter by mistake in the tease. The - the resemblance between you and the actress is striking. But it was a mistake.

So, Professor, good to have you on this show.

PORTER: Thank you.

CUOMO: Let me bounce some stuff off you.

By the way, you were brilliant with Bill Maher. He said too. You were very funny.

[21:35:00] The idea of where your party needs to be with its nominee, I know you're going to say it's too early. But in terms of what you think the goal should be, what's the answer?

PORTER: So, look, I don't think we need an answer because this isn't my job to figure out. This isn't any commentators on the show, and - and your show, it isn't your job to figure out. This is the job of the American people.

Democracy is a process. It's messy. I disagree with Bill Maher that there are too many candidates. I don't know what the right number of candidates is, and neither does he.

So this - I grew up in Iowa. I'm a sixth-generation Iowan before I moved to - to California to the Promised Land. And, look, I think people will - this field will winnow down, people will make their choices, and having this conversation is really, really important.

And I think efforts to cut it off and say, "Oh, it's got to be this candidate or it can't be that candidate," are really, really unhelpful.

CUOMO: No. I'm not asking you to cut it off. And I think the conversation is important. But you're assuming it's a productive conversation. You know--

PORTER: Well so far I think it has been. I mean I--

CUOMO: Chasing Biden, chasing Biden, that's what we've seen a lot over the last two weeks.

PORTER: Yes. But I mean, look, Trump is going to be attacking somebody. And if he's attacking Biden, then so be it. Soon he'll tire of that, and he'll turn his - his wrath onto somebody else.

CUOMO: I'm saying the Democrats have been chasing him, Congressman.

PORTER: Sure. But that's normal. I mean this is what happens. There's always a front-runner. There was a front-runner last time. There was a front-runner before that.

I, you know, I was in Iowa in '08 when President Obama ran, and at the time, he was way at the back of the pack. We had yard signs over that winter in my house in Iowa for virtually every candidate.

Every week they'd come by, they'd give us a different yard sign. The snow would fall. We wouldn't be able to see it. They'd come by and give us a different yard sign. It's normal.

And so, I think so long as we're seeing candidates be positive toward each other, and a certain amount of criticism is healthy. The American people need to be reminded that criticism's about policy.

Saying, for instance, I think Joe Biden was wrong on the Hyde Amendment, and I'm glad he reversed his position. That's healthy political discourse. What Trump does is not. And so we actually need to see that healthy political discourse among the Democratic candidates.

CUOMO: All right, so while I agree and accept the premise that the people will decide within your party who the nominee is, you will have a vote in deciding which direction you go with how to hold this President accountable.

What do you believe - you were the professor, so let's get a little Socratic with this. What is your duty in this matter as Congress?

PORTER: So my duty arises when there is a vote. I have to take a vote that reflects the facts, as I know them, and the law, as it exists. But this point, we haven't brought this to the floor.

I will tell you that every day, and increasingly, every day in a really accelerating way, colleagues and I are having conversations about it. I talked about it again tonight with another colleague, so that dialog back and forth with colleagues, and that dialog with people back in our districts is incredibly important.

So, the first couple months I was in office, I got maybe a dozen emails or phone calls about impeachment. Now we're getting hundreds and hundreds a week. But it's just really becoming on the American people's minds.

But there's still a lot of confusion. There are still a lot of facts to set forth. And the President has created some of that misinformation.

So, by saying there was no collusion found by Mr. Mueller, he failed to mention that there was substantial evidence of obstruction of justice, not just one act, but four acts of obstruction of justice.

CUOMO: And there arguably was evidence of collusion, which is a behavior, not a crime. They didn't find sufficient proof of a criminal conspiracy. And--

PORTER: Exactly.

CUOMO: --the question becomes that what is the most efficacious process for you guys, because now I keep calling the Democrats "Hamlet," to impeach or not to impeach? Don't you have to make a decision? Here's the process, because right now--


CUOMO: --it's death by a 1,000 cuts.


CUOMO: And it's really not getting anywhere.

PORTER: No. We do need to make a decision. And we need to do it relatively soon. I think there is that sense of urgency that is building.

And I think part of what we're doing is we're trying to come together to have these conversations, to talk it over with each other because when we do take this action, when we do make this vote, and I think we probably are ahead of that direction, I think we want to have had those conversations, and had a chance to ask questions and have them answered.

I mean I heard Speaker Pelosi today say that she doesn't want to - you know, she's tired of Donald Trump, she doesn't even want to talk about him, I sympathize, but this is not a problem that we can wish away.

CUOMO: True.

PORTER: This is something we're going to have to confront, and let you know--

CUOMO: You've got a duty. PORTER: We've got a duty. We also have a duty to pass a budget.

CUOMO: Right.

PORTER: And we're tackling appropriations this week. And so, we have to keep doing our other work at the same time. But we can't kick this can forever. It is coming. This question is coming.

CUOMO: Right.

PORTER: And I'm glad to have such a smart group of colleagues to be talking about with.

CUOMO: And, look, I don't think - I don't see it as binary and existential as so many do, impeach or not, and what if you pick the wrong one, you're done. I don't believe that.

I think you guys just have to make a decision, be clear about it, be strong, sell it to the American people, and then move one way or the other.

[21:40:00] You talk about appropriations, I want to ask you, are you or anyone else that you're aware of on the Democrat side putting forth a meaningful appropriation bill, specifically to help the kids on the Border?

No strings attached, nothing else in there about bigger rule debates or anything, just giving them what they need right now, as the DHS Acting Secretary made his case yesterday?

PORTER: Well I know that there's a bill that is being considered. I don't - I don't know if it's an appropriations amendment or a standalone bill.

But I talked with a colleague about it today that would basically mandate that the DHS Secretary meet the basic human needs of all children at the Border, water, nutrition, medicine, clothing, all of those things.

CUOMO: And they need money to do that.

PORTER: And they need money to do that. So we have appropriated money for the Border. We're going to continue to appropriate money for the Border, no doubt about it.

Defending our country's borders is important, and it does require resources. But we want to make sure that we do that in a way that's consistent with American values, that's consistent with our obligation to shelter refugees, and to treat people humanely, so I'm - I'm glad that the Secretary of DHS is asking for resources to do just that.

CUOMO: And consistent with the necessary focus on the exigency. It really is a "Right now" issue.

Congresswoman Katie Porter from California, thank you for being on the show. You're always welcome here to make the case to the American people.

PORTER: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, so you know that secret deal that the President's been teasing, about the Border, and with Mexico, and that Mexico says he doesn't know what he's talking about, did you see this deal today?

He claims it was all on the paper that he whipped out at the White House, but he wouldn't tell us what was on the paper. So reporters took all these pictures of the paper and tried to piece together what is on the paper.

That's where we are right now. Let's bring in D. Lemon and see if he can help us make sense of the situation with his X-ray vision.








CUOMO: Listen, it should be enough if Mexico is going to put troops on the Border and have increased urgency. And if the tariffs help get them there, great, even if they were talking about it before.

Why torture with what it is and what it isn't? The President had to tease today, not once, but twice, actually four times.


TRUMP: That's the agreement that everybody says I don't have.

But here's the agreement. It's a very simple agreement.

So here's your thing, you know, they all say, "Oh, he doesn't." I - I just give you my word.

So right here is the agreement. It's very simple. It's right here.


CUOMO: Look, I mean, he sent me a copy. It's right here. I mean if you just look right here you'll see it. I mean there it is. What else do you need to see? The deal is done but we just can't see it yet.

So, we've taken a closer - this is where we are. We had to take these snapshots of the piece of paper that he was waving at the press, and it looks like it does in fact mention Mexico and migrants. But is it things that they were discussing, or is it new? Is he

playing us? Does it matter?

On Monday, the Mexican Foreign Minister held up his own piece of paper. He says no such secret agreement exists.

D. Lemon, what do you got?

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, CNN TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON: I'm holding in my hand - you're not old enough to remember that, are you?

CUOMO: Johnny Carson?

LEMON: Carnac The Great.

CUOMO: Carnac The Great.

LEMON: One of the funniest skits on late-night television. He's anything if he's a - if - if he's a showman. You know what I mean?

CUOMO: I just don't get the need for the exaggeration here. I know people can say "Oh, Mexico was doing all this before."

Look, the threat of the tariffs move them. You can say, he shouldn't have done it this way. Brinksmanship doesn't work. It hurts our standing, and hurts them for the - the authorization of the upcoming trade deal that they want to get - you couldn't argue all that.

But isn't it enough? When it - why does he have to do that with the paper? He knows it's going to bring criticism.

LEMON: Because he can't help himself. Listen, I mean, whatever - you can feel the way you - listen, believe what - what you want to believe.

I will believe it when I see it because all of the reporting shows that Mexico had begun to do things - because he was saying Mexico had done nothing. Mexico had begun to do things in the way of trying to keep people from coming across the Border.

CUOMO: It's true.

LEMON: They have ramped up security.

CUOMO: It's true.

LEMON: They have ramped - they had done more arrests. They even released a statement on a - the Monday before this weekend, talking about what they were doing, and what they are planning to do.

CUOMO: Right.

LEMON: And then the President comes out with this. So, when I see the actual agreement, and I look at what has been done before, then I can make an assessment. But if there - you know, if the history shows anything, the President created this crisis so that he could come in at the end, and say--

CUOMO: But--

LEMON: --"Look, I fixed it. And I've got the piece of paper in my hand," much like he - he walks into the briefing room, and says, "I've done it all. Make sure you tune in. It's going to be about, you know--

CUOMO: He has definitely oversold before.

LEMON: --a big summit."

CUOMO: But this time, the Acting Head of DHS, who's been a straight- shooter in my reporting thus far, says, "Look, the amount of troops that they're putting on the border with Guatemala is going to be more, and happens sooner--

LEMON: That's good.

CUOMO: --than we had expected."

LEMON: I hope it--

CUOMO: And that is good.

LEMON: I hope that's it.

CUOMO: I'll take progress where we find it.

LEMON: I hope that's it.

Good stuff coming up. So, you know, you remember the whole thing that happened with Hillary Clinton and the - and the President, and his folks? They do the same thing with Nancy Pelosi. They put out the fake videos that she's--

CUOMO: Sure.

LEMON: --drawn her that Hillary - something is wrong with Hillary Clinton's debt (ph).

Well they're at it again when it comes to Joe Biden. And our Senior Media Correspondent has put together the evidence that the President, the folks who in, I guess, who speak for him, and also Fox News putting forward these conspiracy theories.

And, by the way, you remember in 2016, just so you know for the facts, you know who the most traveled Secretary of State in history was or is as of this moment?


LEMON: Hillary Clinton. An exhaustive record-breaking schedule, she went to more countries than any other Secretary of State, second in miles traveled, air miles traveled, only to Condoleezza Rice. So, she had some stamina, a lot of stamina when she was a Secretary of State.

CUOMO: True.

LEMON: But they questioned her fitness, or her health, I should say, in a way.

CUOMO: Something's being doctored, expose it. Make sure people know what they're being sold.

LEMON: See you in a bit.

CUOMO: See you in a second.

All right, now, you hear what happened today with Jon Stewart, and the 9/11 first responders and survivors with Congress? Took a celebrity to get focus on this issue, and it shouldn't have.

But now that there is focus on it, we can't keep forgetting the people we promised to remember. I'm going to lay out the situation. I'm telling you, you're not aware of it. You'll be outraged too, and we have to argue for what happens next.








CUOMO: The video that is all the rage today is Jon Stewart outraged after a group of 9/11 first responders and survivors suffering from various illnesses were met by what he perceived to be a no-show Congress. Listen.


JON STEWART, COMEDIAN, 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS' ADVOCATE: Your indifference cost these men and women their most valuable commodity, time! It's the one thing they're running out of.

They did their jobs, with courage, grace, tenacity, humility. 18 years later, do yours!


[21:55:00] CUOMO: The argument, we have forgotten the people we said we would never forget. And if Stewart hadn't been the one to say this, if he hadn't been there, I doubt many of us would be aware of the event at all, and that bothers me.

Now, to be fair, this was a Subcommittee hearing, not a full Committee hearing, so only 14 of the Members were supposed to be there. The Chairman's team tells us that 12 of the - of the 14 showed. But even then, many of them were floating in and out.

The good news is the legislation that Stewart and the first responders are asking for to extend benefits until 2090, instead of just another few years, which keeps happening to them is supposed to not only make it out of the Committee easily, but to pass the House finally.

But this isn't over. Be clear. This shouldn't be about Jon Stewart. What happened in that room today, people called heroes by so many being met when in need by only a few.

It's a metaphor for how these first responders and other survivors have been treated for far too long. For all the calls to never forget, they have been forgotten.

And I know this because I was there at the beginning. I reported on it all. I know I look a lot younger. I was.


CUOMO: The planes hit the tower. I was there. The towers fell. I was there. And those I knew, some of them never came home. And in the aftermath, I reported on and tested the air quality.

And it never made sense that what I could see with my eyes, you see this? I don't show this very often. You see this? This is what was all over. This is what was on me and the people I was with. And we were inhaling it. It was everywhere there for months for the people who are working there.

Then, when we were saying what was obvious, "Well how can the air be," all the empty assurances from the Mayor and the City, "It was fine, it's fine," they were at best wrong, and at worst, hiding the truth from our heroes.

And so, these people have been fighting to have their health claims paid ever since. Did you know that? There was a fund from 2001. It was shut off in 2004.

It took seven years for the federal government to open it back up under President Obama, and start compensating for deaths and illnesses linked to toxic exposure at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

It was re-upped in 2015. But more than $5 billion of the $7.3 billion fund has already been paid out to about 22,500 people. 700 of those payouts were for deaths that occurred well after the attacks because some of these illnesses don't manifest until much later.

The problem is 21,000 claims are still outstanding. So, I argue these people have been forgotten. And you should agree, because for many of you, be honest, this is the first time you're hearing about any of this, and now the fund is running out of money.

Pending claims may only receive 50 percent of their value. The fund is scheduled to stop taking claims in December 2020. How?

How can we do this to the same people we leaned on as harbingers of hope, for virtue in society, those who fought the fires, and saved so many, and cleared the rubble, and showed that we could indeed carry on?

Now that they're weakened by their willingness, we do nothing until a big star excites us with his outrage. Shame on us all for forgetting. We've left thousands to suffer like this man.


LUIS ALVAREZ, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: You all said you would never forget. Well I'm here to make sure that you don't. You made me come down here, the day before my 69th round of chemo, and I'm going to make sure that you never forget to take care of the 9/11 responders.


CUOMO: That's Detective Luis Alvarez. He came in pain, but with purpose, to tell the lawmakers that did show up that they were being the opposite of the ideals that we thought we learned on that day.

Breaks my heart, and it should break yours that we could fail people who never failed us. This bill's going to pass, but it better fund claims until 2090.

You men and women in Congress found more than a billion dollars to build a wall. Find the money for those who were there when the buildings fell on 9/11, and were there toiling long after most moved on. Show that you can do this and that you do it together. Do it because you made a promise to never forget, and we all forgot.

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

LEMON: They should have been there to listen to the - those gentlemen's story out of respect. But the really important part is that they signed the bill, and they put everything in there.