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Former President Barack Obama Not Endorsing Joe Biden; New Trump Accuser Is 'Not The President's Type'; Migrant Children Living In Filthy And Unhealthy Conditions; Mayor Pete Buttigieg Faced A Heated Crowd In The Aftermath Of A Shooting Of An African-American Male By A Police Officer. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired June 24, 2019 - 22:00   ET


[22:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: What matters to us, well, I guess really the question is, what does not matter to us. Is it really just about this president? Is he the Teflon don? And if so, what does that say about where we are and what we're about? I think we've seen enough of this now to know the questions. The confusing part is what are our answers. Do me a favor. And let me know.

Thank you for watching. "CNN TONIGHT" with D. Lemon starts right now. Always quick with an answer.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Well, listen, I'm just -- this is -- I'm not speaking for me, I'm saying where we are because this was all these things similar to part of a dinner conversation that I had with many liberals sitting around and some conservatives as well.

Is that especially women, and as we saw during Kavanaugh. They are concerned about the men in their lives especially their son being falsely accused and going back so many years. I mean, there is that concern. I just -- I think people don't know how to feel about it. And I think they take every single situation should be taken into account, the number of people that makes a difference to some folks.

But I think with the concern is that everything is lumped in one barrel. And so, I think for the fatigue or whatever it is, or whatever it is that you called it during your closing remarks there, I think that people lump everything from Joe Biden who some women said he made me uncomfortable to this horrible accusation, which is textbook. That would be rape. Correct? You said she doesn't like to use the term around.

CUOMO: Yes, she doesn't like it --


LEMON: And I think --

CUOMO: -- by any legal definition.

LEMON: In the fog of all of that, people sort of go, OK, there needs to some distinction. And I just think that people are overwhelmed from everything that comes out of this administration, every single day. And this one thing that goes into the pot sadly again. I'm not, I'm just saying.


CUOMO: No, no, you're giving an observation on it.

LEMON: That is the read that I'm getting.

CUOMO: And I don't think you're off. Here's what I don't get. One of the things the same people who had such a rabid or let's put it nicely had such a strong devotion to sexual peccadilloes (ph) and sex outside of marriage and infidelity, character counts.

All of that was at such a premium with the same group of people. That now has an indefatigable appetite for anything that comes out about this president with clear violation of the morass that they used to hold so high.

When Clinton was in there the vice president of the United States Mike Pence wrote a long letter, Don, saying, hey, forget about the law, we got to judge him as we would our neighbor.

If we don't have the moral standards in the White House where will we have them. He must go for that and that reason alone. Now he's vice president to Donald Trump. I don't understand what happens there for people. And this is not about consensual sex. I want to be very clear. And I know I get beat up for this in the radio and here.

I don't care who the president sleeps with. This is not about consensual sex like this complicated people are complicated. I don't care. This is about crimes. And I've never seen anything like it ignored to the degree it is. And I just don't know what it means.

LEMON: Well, I think you kind of answered your question. Because we talked about that before when it's -- when it's adultery. Adultery is not -- adultery doesn't put you on me too aisle. Adultery usually doesn't -- it didn't for the former president whose, you know, accused of adultery and then were other president, right, who there were rumors of adultery if you go back in history.


LEMON: That didn't usually preclude you from losing your job, losing your livelihood and being shunned in society. These are bigger stronger issues where even women are going to stand up for the people in their lives.

Again, this is my observation. Are going to stand up for the people in their lives especially the men and the young boys and the people they hold dear. And so, they tend not -- they tend to view these particular allegations with more of a degree of caution. Then saying OK, you know, this guy had an affair. Big deal. You move on. You keep going. That is something that is between the wife and the husband they need to work it out in their relationship.

CUOMO: Sure. LEMON: If you have someone in your life that's accused of that they

realize that they can everybody involved loses something, the person who is accusing, the accuser and the family of the accuser. And how do you know what's true and what's not when you -- especially when you go back decades.

People wonder -- I'm not saying that it's not -- listen, as a victim of sexual abuse as a child. I know that people don't often tell. But I think people wonder what took you so long? Why now?

CUOMO: Absolutely.

LEMON: Why do you have -- what is the --


CUOMO: You have a book.

[22:05:00] LEMON: You have a book deal. Do you want money? Why do you -- why do you that? Why don't you, you know, just deal with it yourself if you dealt with it for that long.

CUOMO: Right.

LEMON: They think that they want something out of it --


CUOMO: Right. But what I'm getting, I totally agree. And you have to be careful about false allegations and tarring somebody and being fair about it a 100 percent.

LEMON: But I think -- hold on. I think it's also a moment of reckoning. I'm serious, though. This is me talking.

CUOMO: yes.

LEMON: I think this is a moment of reckoning for the Me Too movement. That people need to, you know, -- you should take everyone seriously.

CUOMO: A hundred percent.

LEMON: But 100 percent of the time not everybody tells the truth.

CUOMO: That's true too.

LEMON: All the time.

CUOMO: Look, and you got to vet it. And like I said we're struggling with it. What the standard is. We know what it is in court.


CUOMO: Even if somebody is highly credible. They still have rape kits and all this invasive, you know, often really harrowing experiences that some women say matches the original violation. Because they need standard of proof.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: I get it. I get it. Not comfortable and perfect. That's where we are.

LEMON: Twenty some.

CUOMO: But --

LEMON: That's a lot of women.

CUOMO: And look, I'm saying the same people who had this endless appetite for the details of the adultery. Who was it, when, why? The morality and this. And projecting this puritanical notion of what people should be like that they don't live themselves.

LEMON: Simple.

CUOMO: But now you can't say anything. That makes them want to see it be perceived.


CUOMO: This woman accuses him of rape.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: Nothing short of it.

LEMON: Serious stuff. Listen, I got to say. And I'm not being snarky. Just when you're done go to the dictionary or Google hypocrisy. Plain and simple. That's what you're talking about. That's all that's happening right now. Fitting your morals to where you want them. Not a certain set.

CUOMO: We're in a weird place.

LEMON: We are. We are.

CUOMO: They say, you know, the expression may you live during interesting times. We are. But we got to figure some stuff out.

LEMON: I'll see you.

CUOMO: All right, D. lemon.

LEMON: Thank you, sir. See you later. Hope you feel better.

CUOMO: Thanks, bud.

LEMON: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

And what has been coming out of the White House and just the past few days stunning, one massive crisis after another, all of them, all of this this president's own making. Threatening dire consequences and then doing a 180 at the last minute.

He did it with Iran slapping new sanctions on Tehran today. While insisting that he doesn't need congressional approval to strike Iran. Telling the Hill TV, the TV tonight that he disagrees with Speaker Nancy Pelosi who says hostilities against Iran must not be initiated without approval from Congress.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I actually learned a couple of things the other day when we had the meeting with Congress which were, I think helpful to me. But I do like keeping them abreast but I don't have to do it legally.


LEMON: That after bringing this country to the brink of war, backing off a strike on Iran just minutes before it was set to begin. And it's probably no coincidence the president made the last-minute decision to go against his own advisers.

Sources telling CNN that President Trump hates the impression that he's being controlled by his aides especially on foreign policy. And then there's the president's on again, off again immigration threats.

Tonight, we're learning that hundreds of migrant children who were detained for weeks in filthy conditions, no access to soap, toothpaste, clean clothes or enough food, conditions worse than being in prison. Hundreds of those children are being transferred to other facilities now.

""The New York Times"" is reporting that those facilities include a tent city in El Paso.

Think about that for a minute. These children some of them are just babies were being held in such horrible conditions that a temporary tent city is a step up.

In just a moment I'm going to talk with a lawyer and the children's right expert. Children's rights expert who visited some of those kids and was so horrified by what she saw, she went public in a way she never had before.

And all of that comes just days after the president backed down for now at least anyway on his threat to deport thousands of undocumented families in raids that were set to begin yesterday, suddenly tweeting over the weekend that he'll delay the deportation raids for two weeks.

CNN's Jake Tapper is reporting that Trump gave an after-phone call -- gave in, excuse me, after a phone call with Nancy Pelosi who says she told Trump this.


NANCY PELOSI, UNITED STATES SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: You're scaring the children of America not just in those families but their neighbors and their communities. You're scaring the children.


LEMON: Like I said, one crisis after another. This president clearly wishes he'd seen the last of Robert Mueller. But it looks like the former special counsel could be testifying before Congress sooner rather than later.

[22:09:58] The House Judiciary Committee likely to vote on a subpoena for Mueller after the Fourth of July recess we're told. The intel community -- the intel committee, excuse me, expected to decide this week whether to issue its own subpoena for Mueller.

Chaos on top of chaos on top of chaos. In any other administration, any one of these things would make headlines for days. But in this White House there's so much that you might find yourself feeling numb to all of this. Numb even to an allegation of rape?


E. JEAN CARROLL, PRESIDENT TRUMP ACCUSER: He pulled down my tights. And it was a fight. It was this -- I want women to know that I did not stand there. I did not freeze. No, I fought. And it was over quickly. It was against my will 100 percent. And I ran away. Out.


LEMON: So, what does it say that the president resorts to the strategy he's used more than a dozen times before. Deny and insult. He told the Hill tonight, quote, "I'll say it with great respect. Number one, she's not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?" E. Jean Carroll responded just a little while ago in an interview with Anderson.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: He said "I'll say it with great respect. number one, she's not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?"

CARROLL: I love that.

COOPER: You love that.

CARROLL: I'm so glad I'm not his type. He's denied all 15 women who've come forward. He denies. He turns it around; he threatens and he attacks.


LEMON: So, let's remember while he denies attacking E. Jean Carroll. Donald Trump admitted to sexual assault and he admitted it on tape.


TRUMP: I've got to use some Tic Tac just in case I start kissing her. You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. You just kiss. I don't even wait.

And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever you want.

TRUMP: Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.


LEMON: You have heard that so many times before you may not be listening. But I want you to listen. Really listen to what Donald Trump himself says.


TRUMP: I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. You just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever you want.

TRUMP: Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.


LEMON: He says he can get away with it. Can he? More on that later in the show. For now, let's move on, though. To the president again denying facts he doesn't like. I want you to listen to him tell NBC's Chuck Todd that he doesn't believe he lost the popular vote in 2016.


CHUCK TODD, HOST, MSNBC: You didn't like the fact that you lost the popular vote. That bothered you, didn't it?

TRUMP: Well, I think it was a -- I may now say something that again, it's controversial. There were a lot of votes cast that I don't believe.


LEMON: That's what it all comes down to the vote. Not the one in 2016 that the president still brags about. Though what he cares more about than anything now is 2020.


TRUMP: Probably not too prepared to lose. I don't like losing.


LEMON: In a White House reeling from one crisis after another, winning is the one thing that matters to this president. The president said that he didn't know. He doesn't know E. Jean Carroll and he says she's not his type. But what does it tell us that this president has responded to multiple sexual assaults accusations this way? The question for David Graham, Susan Glasser, and Max Boot. That's next.


LEMON: "She's not my type." That's what the President of the United States said tonight about E. Jean Carroll, the writer who says he sexually assaulted her in a New York luxury department store back in the 90s.

Here to discuss, David Graham, Susan Glasser, and Max Boot. Max is the author of "The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right."

Good evening to all of you.

Susan, you know, once again this president is attacking an accuser. What does -- it's a pattern, right? What does it say?

SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: You know, I'm still reeling from that "she's not my type." You know, there are million ways that a president of the United States could answer the question of a serious allegation of rape and sexual assault. And she's not my type is not the one that anyone would want their president to answer regardless of the facts of the situation. You know, that's very hard to determine.

I think, you know, the overwhelming nature of being confronted with what do you do about a president of the United States who is accused not of one sexual assault but literally by more than a dozen women. It's something that the country is almost placed to the side over the last several years because there's really no way to resolve it.

Again, I'm struck by the fact that remember the debates in the fall of 2016 when Donald Trump had his campaign bring Juanita Broaddrick and other women who had accused President Bill Clinton of inappropriate sexual conduct.

Juanita Broaddrick was an editor at the Washington Post when we published the first national newspaper story about her allegations about the president. And you know, again, this was taking seriously President Clinton was impeached by Congress. And you know, here we have a situation where the executive editor of ""The New York Times"" had said tonight he made a mistake. He's sorry. They covered this allegation in the book section of ""The New York Times"".

LEMON: Interesting. David, listen, a woman is making a very graphic and disturbing allegation about a sitting president. It's not a headline in every paper. Is it unfathomable to you that that's the case?

DAVID GRAHAM, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: I think it's very surprising in some ways. In other ways this is in keeping in what we've seen, you know, as Susan said there are so many of these accusations. Maybe of them are fairly credible. The president's responses to them have been fairly brief and not very serious. And some people seem to be inured to this.

But I think, you know, the accusation here from E. Jean Carroll is both on a spectrum with the things we've heard. It's sort of similar in motive but t's also far more serious. So it's strange that we're not taking it far more seriously than those other ones.

[22:20:04] LEMON: Max, you know, in this interview with the Hill, Trump also accused Joe Biden of lying about his lack of a 2020 endorsement from President Obama. Take a listen to this.


TRUMP: How he doesn't get President Obama to endorse him there has to be some reason why he's not endorsing him. He was the vice president. They seem to have gotten along. And how President Obama is not endorsing him is rather a big secret.

If you want to know. If you know the answer, please let me know because I think it's very -- and then he goes and lies and said I asked the president not to endorse me. Give me a break.

He said he asked the president because he's embarrassed by the fact that Obama is not endorsing him. So, he goes on and says I asked President Obama not to endorse me. Well, he was trying to get the endorsement. So, it could be that President Obama knows something. But there is something going on in the brain of his.


LEMON: OK, so, there's so much there to unpack, Max, because he has no proof that Joe Biden is lying or not. Him of all people calling people liars. And it always comes back to Biden's brain. Why is that?

MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, I think the two questions that we're discussing, Don, are actually kind of related. Because you ask how is it that Trump has escaped accountability despite 16 credible allegations of sexual assault. And I would broaden it out.

By the way, let's not forget he's also escaping accountability for roughly 10 highly documented instances of obstruction of justice that Robert Mueller has put together. He's also escaping accountability for violating campaign finance laws as admitted by his own attorney Michael Cohen.

So how does he escape accountability for all this? Part of the answer obviously is the fact that Republicans in Congress protect him especially in the Senate, preventing an impeachment process from moving forward to a successful conclusion.

But the other aspect of it, Don, which you see demonstrated here in his allegations against Biden is that Donald Trump is a master of distraction, innuendos, smear, he knows how to throw out all these absurd charges against his opponent and to distract attention from the very real and credible charges against him.

And so, you're seeing him basically run out the same play book right now that he ran against Hillary Clinton in 2016 when he distracted attention from the fact that he was being helped by the Russians by talking about her e-mail server or distracted attention from his own lies and lack of comprehension of the issues by talking about how Hillary Clinton was supposedly too old and too sick.

You're going to see the exact same charges against Biden. He's going to, you know, a guy, a president who's lied more than 10,000 times in office is going to accuse Biden of being a liar. You know, a president who has accepted help from the Russians is going to accuse Biden of taking help from the Ukrainians. So, this is the Donald Trump play book and he's running it again.

LEMON: You know, Susan, the president also told the Hill that he doesn't need congressional approval to strike Iran but will keep them updated. Watch this.


TRUMP: I have ideas that intelligent people that come up with some thoughts. I actually learned a couple of things the other day where we had a meeting with Congress which were, I think helpful to me. But I do like keeping them abreast but I don't have to do it legally.


LEMON: So, he said I actually learned a couple things. Is that a step in the right direction?

GLASSER: It seemed very ominous to me, like he was assembling a dossier or something on this Congress people that he was meeting with. But look, to your question about Iran, Trump, Congress. Two points that are important.

Number one, you know, it is crazy that we have had a situation where the authorization to use military force passed by Congress in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. That's in 2001. It's still being used as a blanket justification for military action all over the world in 2019. You know, that's the bottom line.

Both Congress I would say and three successful president -- presidents are to a certain extent complicit in why this is the case. But you know, it's farcical in the extreme to say that this 2001 authorization would cover any military action.

That is apparently exactly what the administration has been arguing in closed-door briefings with members of with Congress recently, giving vague illusions to the idea that Iran is in indeed with Al Qaeda or some other reason.

Now again, the lack of transparency is something to highlight for people. And then also, Trump is as you said earlier, Don, just the master of kind of disingenuous arguments and, you know, throwing up one scandal or controversy to distract from another.

It was just a few days ago that the president of the United States ordered planes in the air to the air to attack another country whether it was legally justified or not and then stopped at the last minute. What he said publicly about that doesn't hold up, the idea that he was only informed about potential casualties 10 minutes before the strike. That's what he said publicly. That's clearly not the case. [22:25:06] And again, he's succeeded to a certain extent in getting us

talking about lots of other things except for what is, by any account, a very embarrassing foreign policy incident.

LEMON: Yes. Thank you all for coming in. David, we'll have you back and give you more time on the time as well. But thank you. I really appreciate it.

The conditions at children detained at the border have been living under were so shocking. My next guest is part of the team that visited them last week felt compelled to sound the alarm. And tonight, her words are turning into real action with 249 of those children being moved.


LEMON: You have to listen to this story, so please pay attention, everyone. It's really important. The Department of Health and Human Services telling CNN that by tomorrow 249 migrant children will have been removed from an overcrowded and filthy border facility in Clint, Texas.

And my next guest is part of the team of lawyers and doctors that visited the facility last week and sounded the alarm on the disturbing conditions. They reported that children were being denied regular access to showers, clean clothes, toothbrushes, proper food, and even beds.

So, joining me now is Warren Binford. She's a law professor at Willamette University and was part of the team that witnessed the conditions firsthand. I'm so glad you're here to tell us about this experience. And thank you for joining us, professor.


LEMON: I appreciate it. So, what is your reaction to the breaking news tonight? These children that they are going to be moved out of this border facility where you saw these horrible conditions.

[22:30:04] BINFORD: You know, on the one hand, I'm really thrilled to know that these children will no longer be in this facility that was truly failing them on a fundamental level. But at the same time, we received word that at least some of the children have been transferred to El Paso border Station Number One. And that's deeply concerning to us.

It's a situation where the children maybe in a facility that's even worse than the one that they just left. When we went to do these inspections last week, we did have one of our attorneys, Clara Long, from Human Rights Watch, go and visit that facility. There were almost no children there at the time. And because we had this crisis unfolding before us at the Clint facility, she came back after interviewing the only child who was there.

During that interview, she learned that he had been hit by one of the guards at that facility. They don't really have the infrastructure there to care for the children either. So what really needs to happen is that these children need to go to their parents, to their families here in the United States immediately.

LEMON: You know, I said in the opening of the show that we're living in a time now where a tent city is a step up from the facilities at these children, the conditions that these children were living in. And I know that you have been inspecting facilities like the Clint, Texas one for three years. And the team that you're on has been doing it for 20 plus years.

And you say this is the first time that you ever went to the press about conditions. You say it was worse than actual prison conditions. Can you please explain that to me and to our viewers?

BINFORD: Yes. So let me tell you why this visit was different. The border patrol facilities are notoriously horrendous places, that, you know, they have never been suitable for children. And that's why the administration and the children's attorneys, everyone has always agrees that there should be no children in these facilities.

And so basically the child is processed at these facilities just for a few hours and then they're put into the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement where they can be for up to 20 days, as that office tries to reunite these children with their families. However, what we saw with this population is not only were children in this facility, but that children were being kept there for three weeks or longer.

So it wasn't just a few hours for the children who are in these really horrific conditions. But they were there for so long that they were becoming ill from the conditions. There was a flu outbreak. There was also a lice infestation. And the children, most importantly, appeared to be traumatized by the experiences that they were having, having to sleep on concrete floors, having to defecate and urinate and toilets in front of one another.

Having guards yelling at them because they had at one point lost a lice comb. So it was partially the number of children, 350 children were there when we arrived. And of those children, over 100 of them were young children, children who were in infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school children. And so seeing that many children kept in a border facility for that long is not something that we're used to seeing, and that was what caused us to come forward.

LEMON: Look, many of the children you interviewed are the same age as your own children.


LEMON: That's right, right? So what was that like personally for you? I imagine that was tough.

BINFORD: Yeah. You know, I've -- it's one of those things that you can't really think about when you're with the children, because you really need to be strong for them. And so oftentimes, it's after we leave these facilities that we just kind of fall apart, because we have absorbed so much pain from the children that we're with. But what we're really trying to do is convey strength to them.

Convey hope to them, to treat them with dignity and respect, and to express love towards them in the one or two hours we have with the children. But, you know, there was a point when I couldn't stop -- I couldn't help myself but to cry and turn away for a few minutes. But then I had to pull it together because I couldn't go there.

LEMON: Were you just fighting back tears or was there something in your eye?


LEMON: Yeah.

BINFORD: It's hard. It's hard. But I'll be OK. I mean what I am really worried about, Don, are these kids. I mean these kids need to be with their families. They've experience so much trauma. And we are responsible for them. We are the greatest country on Earth. We have so much wealth. We have so many blessings. And these are just little, innocent children who have come to us because of threats at home, because they have seen the other children who have been decapitated in front of them.

Because they are being threatened by gang rape, and many of them, most of them have family living here in the United States. And all they have come to us and asked for is that we get them to their parents. And this is what they have experienced. There was one little girl, she was taken from her mother and her father and her younger sister. And she didn't want to go.

[22:35:03] The border patrol officers were separating her. And she didn't want to be separated from her family, obviously. And her dad went to her and he leaned down and he said, honey, you need to go with these men. They're going to take you some place that is better for children. And this is where they took her, the Clint border patrol facility. So I feel like as a nation, we are failing these children. And I know that we can do better and that we need to start to do better.

LEMON: They have people like you who tell their story, who have the courage. And we really appreciate you coming on. Thank you, Warren Binford. Thank you. I really appreciate it. You take care.

BINFORD: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Thank you.

BINFORD: OK, you too.

LEMON: We'll be right back.


[22:39:54] LEMON: So presidential candidate, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, faced a contentious crowd at a town hall in the city of the South Bend, Indiana. And at the meeting, the mayor attempted to soothe the pain caused by the recent killing of a black man by a police officer. And emotions were high.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get the racist off the streets. It's disrespectful that I wake up everyday scared.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am raising a seven-year-old grandson. And when he sees, he is afraid. That is not what is supposed to happen in America, in Indiana, and 2019.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People who are in the audience when you have these public forums are the same black people. But they're not invited to the table. And I think that it's time for you to rethink who you think the leaders are in this black community.


LEMON: Buttigieg says he takes responsibility for what happened.


MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't want to seem defensive, but we have taken a lot of steps that clearly haven't been enough. But I cannot accept the suggestion that we did nothing. I acknowledge that it has not been enough. But if anybody is trying to figure out who to hold responsible, the administration bought the technology, hired the officer, and wrote the policy. So at the end of the day, I am responsible.


LEMON: So Pastor Michael Patton introduced the mayor at the town hall. He is the President of the South Bend Chapter of the NAACP, and he joins me now. Pastor, appreciate you joining us. Thank you so much. How are you doing?

REV. MICHAEL PATTON, SOUTH BEND CHAPTER OF THE NAACP PRESIDENT: I am doing well. Thank you, Don, for having me this evening.

LEMON: How do you think Buttigieg has handled this crisis in their community?

PATTON: I think he's handled it well thus far. We have taken some action to address some of the things that we have been confronted with. He has brought our community together, brought a number of leaders together to confer one with another in regards to the challenges that our community is facing.

LEMON: So the mayor is saying that he is ultimately responsible for what happened in the city. I mean he said it there in the soundbite you just heard. That's something that a lot of other presidential candidates who aren't mayors or governors don't have to deal with while they're campaigning. Is he doing the right thing, do you think, by taking responsibility here?

PATTON: Yeah. He's a leader. Every leader would do the same thing and taking responsibility for what they're responsible for. And so I applaud him for saying what he said thus far.

LEMON: Listen. I want to get this, because this just came in tonight, OK? Tonight, the South Bend Police Union is accusing the mayor of playing politics. That's what they say. They say Mayor Buttigieg is focused on this incident as solely for his political gain and not the help of the city he serves. They say he hasn't focused on other shootings and deaths in the city. What's your response to that?

PATTON: Well, that's their opinion. I think as we look at the overall situation, that there have been action, warranted steps that we have taken thus far. To address what we are confronting currently, our community is hurting. Our community is frustrated. Our community is experiencing pain. And certainly, as I look at what we have done thus far in bringing our community together to allow for them to express themselves.

I think we're taking the right steps towards healing. Now, we have a long ways to go. However, I'm believing that this process, as we look at the challenges before us and create initiatives and steps to move forward, will bring us to a place of healing.

LEMON: Before I let you go, I have to ask you. He's going to be the debate later this week. He's at a rise in the polls but he's lacking black support. You know the video and the pictures that you see on television, I am not sure if they're helping. I know we're having an issue with your signal, but I have to ask you. What can the mayor do to earn their support?

PATTON: I think the mayor certainly has to take steps towards bringing trust back to our city government, and as well with the police department. And there are things that must take place in order for that to happen. That's not going to happen over night. But there are things that we have to deal with. And so one of the first steps that our mayor has taken, as we have been meeting, is that he mandated that officers begin to use their video cameras any time that they confront a situation, and so that's the right thing to do. And that's a good step towards regaining trust.

[22:44:51] LEMON: All right. Pastor Michael Patton, thank you so much for your time. I enjoyed our conversation. We'd love to have you back on again. Thank you so much.

PATTON: Yeah. Thank you, Don.

LEMON: We'll be right back.


LEMON: Mayor Pete Buttigieg taking heat from residents in the city of South Bend, Indiana, after a fatal police shooting of a black man, that, as he tries to earn the support of black voters, so joining me now, Sarah Kate Ellis, Mayor Andrew Gillum, and Theodore Johnson, thank you so much. Sarah Kate is the President of GLAAD. So listen, Mayor -- good evening, everyone.

Mayor, I am going to start with you first. There was a police shooting in South Bend that left a black man dead. Buttigieg got off the campaign trail to go back home to deal with the fallout. He hosted a town hall where emotions really ran high. Is he dealing with this the right way?

[22:49:56] ANDREW GILLUM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think it was the right step for him to take to head back to his full-time job. The truth is most voters think that before you can earn a promotion, you've got to show that you can do good in the job that you have. But the truth is, is this is a bit of a no-win. I do think it was the right step to go back.

But Mayor Buttigieg is not only dealing with the tragedy that took place in his community. But as so many of us know, anytime you open up your social media feed, there's another example of the kind of inhumanity and disrespect that is far too often demonstrated toward communities of color when it comes to law enforcement. Now, I don't think that that is the whole of the scenario.

But unfortunately, it's a very, very pronounced part of what's happening in far too many parts of our country. And so in some ways, as Mayor Pete seeks the presidential nomination on the Democratic side, he's carrying not only what he's dealing with in his community, but for many of us who are seeing this projected far too often on our news feed. He's carrying that as part of the burden as well.

LEMON: Yeah. And the, you know, the collective pain body that so many of us, so many African-Americans carry around their entire lives, the vestiges of slavery, and Jim Crow, and discrimination, and on and on. Ted, you say Mayor Pete Buttigieg's support from black voters comes down do an issue of trust. Is what unfolded in South Bend this week an example of that?

THEODORE R. JOHNSON, SENIOR FELLOW, BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE: Absolutely. So when you think about what guides black voters, it's this really deep sense of pragmatism. But that pragmatism is undergirded by a fundamental question of politicians' reputation and how much that community or the voters trust them. When we saw Buttigieg in this town hall back in South Bend, there's a quote that stands out that is picked up in most of the newspapers.

And it is four words. We don't trust you. And so if you're a black American in the nation, not in South Bend, you are taking some cues from black folks that know the mayor better than you do. And the fact that those folks that know him best, those black Americans that know him best, those in South Bend, don't trust him. That's not just a function of what happened over the last week or so.

That's a function of his term as mayor. And that tells you kind of what you need to know about a potential presidential candidate if the constituents that have a shared experience most like yours don't trust him to be president or to govern his city in the way they see fit.

LEMON: Sarah Kate, I want to bring you in now, because the mayor has acknowledged that he has a weak spot with support from the black community. But then he also said this. Watch this.


BUTTIGIEG: I mean you still get fired and people do in a lot of parts of the country because of who you are. And there are a lot of serious issues, which is why I think we need an equality act. But you look at the trajectory of equality for LGBT people. And you compare it to the struggle that is going on for black America to this day. And you got to ask the question. How come one moves so quickly? And the other is plodding along generationally at such a slow pace.


LEMON: He recognizes black America's struggle. What do you make of his observation there?

SARAH KATE ELLIS, PRESIDENT AND CEO, GLAAD: I don't think you can compare the two, quite frankly. I think that the struggle for LGBTQ equality, we've been an invisible group or community. And our visibility has been so important to the community. And I think that what I like about Mayor Pete has been his visibility as an out presidential candidate, and that he has used that platform to raise awareness about LGBTQ issues.

But LGBTQ community is intersectional. We are women. We are people of color. We are immigrants. And so that's one part of our community. That is not the whole of our community. And usually, the most marginalized in our community, of course, don't have the loudest voices. And so that's really important at a time like this, especially when we're up against so much hate and discrimination.

LEMON: What do you -- you know, as a president, because he -- you know, he touches on he's gay, and then he has these issues with the black community. So then how does he handle this? And how has he handled this?

ELLIS: I think that the best way he could handle this, which is the part that I am waiting to see, is the empathy, right? As someone who has been closeted for a large part of their life and knows what it's like to be discriminated against or not have the same opportunities, I think that there's an empathy that can bring us all together.

LEMON: But do you think he understands -- because when you said that, because I deal with both. So being closeted, no one knew.

ELLIS: Right.

LEMON: But everyone sees that I am black.


LEMON: You understand?

[22:54:49] ELLIS: Yeah, no. That's why I am saying. That's why you can't compare the two, right? Because we've been fighting for our visibility, the visibility of black people in America has put a target on their backs, right? And so I think that you really can't compare the two. However, what I was saying was that we are, you know, LGBTQ people are black people.

And I think we all have a struggle, a civil rights struggle, not -- you know, this is not a race to the bottom of whose is worse or whose is better. I think that this is more about we can understand struggle, right? And understanding struggle is what can bring us all together.

LEMON: OK. Listen. I have got to go. I'm over now. But I got to ask you, Mayor, if you can just, like, yes or no. Should black voters hear him out?

GILLUM: Of course.


GILLUM: Of course, black voters should hear him out. And I believe that they will.


GILLUM: And this is a part of the process, watching him through this and as he gets back on the trail.

LEMON: Do you think his sexuality, Ted, will be an issue for voters, especially in the south?

JOHNSON: I do think it will matter a little bit, but he has problems beyond his sexuality at this point among black voters. So it's so far down in the hierarchy of needs right now that he's got bigger fish to fry at the moment.

LEMON: To be continued. Thank you, all. I appreciate it.

LEMON: We'll be right back.

JOHNSON: Thank you.