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CUOMO PRIME TIME

New Poll Shows Kamala Harris Surging In Iowa; Nike Nixes "Betsy Ross Flag" Sneaker After Backlash; House Democrats Sue IRS, Treasury For Trump Tax Returns. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired July 2, 2019 - 21:00   ET

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


[21:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, ANDERSON COOPER 360: --get an assistant named Randy and broadcast your quest to find out what the heck is going on with green onions. Social media glory may come and go but you can always roll like marbles before the prey it passes by on The Ridiculist.

The news continues. Live long and prosper, Chris Cuomo. PRIME TIME starts now.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, CUOMO PRIME TIME: Thank you, Anderson. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

Brand-new national numbers are in. Kamala Harris is locked in a dead heat with Joe Biden. Is that real? Let's test. One of Senator Harris' main surrogates is here tonight to make the case.

But we have Congresswoman Katie Hill here not just to look into the future but to deal with the present. What is she, and her fellow Members in Congress, going to do about the ticking time bomb at the Border?

That is what facility managers are now calling the unsustainable overflow after many months of failure to act by this administration and this Congress. Take a look for yourself. These are the newest pictures. But none of what you're seeing now is new. So, who's going to step up and what will that mean?

And why did Nike just do it? Did the sportswear giant just dishonor the American flag right before America's birthday? That's a Great Debate.

So, let's get after it.

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CUOMO: All right, look, here's the reality of the moment. After the debate, only two points separate Biden from Harris in a new national poll. That is a virtual tie, of course. It's within the margin of error. A key surrogate is here tonight to help keep Harris' momentum going. But first, we got to deal with what matters most. These pictures on the Border show what should have been dealt with, a long time ago. Migrants squashed into cells, kids wearing those masks because that's the best they can do to help fight off infection. You got people sleeping on top of one another, adults holding signs for help.

Now look, I applaud Members of Congress and the Latino Caucus for organizing the trip down there this week. But all this high dudgeon and the "We had no idea it was this bad," it's not true.

So, let's bring in Congresswoman Katie Hill, Democrat from California.

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CUOMO: Vice Chair of the Oversight Committee. It's good to have you. And again, I just want to be very clear about this, Congresswoman.

REP. KATIE HILL (D-CA): Thank you.

CUOMO: It is good to go down there. It's the job to see what's happening for yourselves. My frustration is a matter of fact.

You knew what was going on down there. You had been told by the guy who ran CBP, who is now the Acting Head of DHS, and nothing was done. The alarm now, to me, seems false.

HILL: So, I think you're absolutely right. We have known what's going on. And this shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody.

What has been done, what we were working on was a comprehensive package of Supplemental appropriations that would not only provide the resources that are necessary to deal with the crisis at the Border, but also the accountability that's necessary.

And one of the reasons that I voted "No" along with many of my colleagues from the Hispanic Caucus, from the Progressive Caucus, despite the fact that we knew that we need immediate resources at the Border, was because those accountability mechanisms were not in place to the degree that we needed them to be.

So, I think that this is - this is a really important moment for us, as we move forward, to say, "Here is how bad it is."

I'm glad that the national attention is on this issue right now because, you know, frankly, the more people see, the more tragic they realize that this is, the more that it's out in the open, the more that we're going to be able to build that momentum, and actually get something done because we got the Supplemental passed.

CUOMO: Right.

HILL: But now, you know, September 30th is when that runs out. And the fight is how - is going to continue.

CUOMO: Two quick points of pushback, then I want to get into the election, and I really do appreciate you being here to talk to the audience about this, because I got to be honest, I wish it were everywhere, and everybody was paying attention to it.

This issue is not resonating, and I - I don't get it. It - it seems so anti-American what's happening at the Border. Two points of pushback. Here's the first one.

A lot of what the Democrats wanted in this bill was poison-pill measures to curtail enforcement by the administration. You knew they wouldn't go for it. You knew you weren't going to get a deal on that basis, yet you kept pushing it, and that was the point of de - delay.

That's the first point of pushback. What do you say to that?

HILL: I don't know what poison pill they could be referring to. The only poison pill, I mean the - the only pieces that we wanted in there were not poison pills.

And they were saying that ICE and that - that - that CBP have to have mechanisms in place so that we, as Members of Congress, are notified if a child dies, that seems pretty reasonable to me, that we're able to actually access those facilities, that we have - that they have standards in place for hygiene, for medical care. And I think that all of those are totally reasonable.

And the fact that Mitch McConnell would not take it up, that he was going to flat-out reject any of the amendments that - that were in our version was it - you know, it's - it shows, to me, exactly the kind of problem that we have in the Senate right now, and precisely why we need new leadership there.

CUOMO: All right, the second point of pushback. So now what? You know that the resourcing is an issue. Now, at least you passed the Supplemental, good, at least that ball is rolling.

[21:05:00] The rules matter, Congresswoman, what qualifies as asylum and what does not, how kids have to be kept and for how long. The idea of closing the camps, we don't have enough places to put these kids now, you want to close the available ones that we have? How do you deal with making it better about rules, not just resources?

HILL: Well that's exactly it, and this is the discussion that I hope that we start having the second we get back from our, you know, from our recess right now, is that we have to figure out exactly what we mean by asylum, and this isn't a conversation just for Congress. This is a conversation for us as a nation.

I believe that people who are coming here from other countries are doing so out of desperation. And the rules around asylum, the definition is something that is - that is fundamentally obscure.

We - I think we have to - have to really decide what is it - what is it that we value as Americans. Are we really the Promised Land that - that have - that we have been for so long? That's one thing.

The second is that I don't believe that these camps should be operated by CBP or by ICE.

I believe that we should have - that we should have resource centers that are taking in refugees, migrants that are operated by non- profits, that are operated by community-based organizations that know how to do this, that are set up and established to do this, that are going to treat people with dignity, and that - that frankly have the resources and the capability to do so in a way that is consistent with our values.

And frankly, this is - this isn't a law enforcement function. This is something that, you know, shelters, the Red Cross has been dealing with in situations of crisis--

CUOMO: True.

HILL: --for so long. And it's - it's something that they should be able to handle--

CUOMO: Well--

HILL: --with our help.

CUOMO: --hopefully, that's the conversation that happens. We will stay on this. And we are happy to reward any progress, even if it's part of a process. So, we'll come back to you on this.

All right, now, let me make this easy for you on Kamala Harris. So, she pops in the numbers after the debate. The logical argument would be "Yes, she took a big bite out of Biden, which was premeditated, and very effective. That's why she got the pop. But will it be sustainable?"

Your response?

HILL: Well, listen, I think that the more people hear from Senator Harris, the more that they're going to like her. And, you know, frankly, this is something that I've thought for a long time.

Most of us who know her believe that that she is - she is smart. She's effective. she's focused on real solutions. She's focused on the problems that people face every single day. That's what was reflected in the debate.

And she brings personal experience to the table that is that, you know, resonates with people. So, I - I think that in terms of sustainability, the more that we hear from her, the more that people across the country hear from her, the more they're going to like her.

CUOMO: The big challenge, arguably, other than the "Reject this current President," and personal aspects, the policy issue well could come down to healthcare. The Senator has tripped not once but twice over her own position. Either she is for Medicare-for-All and for getting rid of private insurance or she is not. Which is it? HILL: Well I don't think that it's a - it's a binary choice like that. You can be for - people who are on Medicare right now also have private insurance.

CUOMO: Some.

HILL: And Medicare-for-All means that - what?

CUOMO: Some.

HILL: Oh, sorry. So, well, no, but you can. And so, I believe that Medicare-for-All that there's still a space for that that people should be able to buy or have supplemental insurance.

CUOMO: Right.

HILL: And that's the Senator's position as well.

CUOMO: I agree with your position that that is logical and consistent.

But the Senator has said on two different occasions, "Yes, I'm for getting rid of all private insurance," and then the campaign has had to come out, not once, but twice to say, "Well that's part of a conversation. Maybe she is, maybe she isn't."

They corrected it the first time with Jake Tapper in that national event, then again at the debate. "Raise your hand if you're for getting rid of private insurance," up goes the Senator's hand. Why, if that's not her position?

HILL: Well I listened to that very carefully, and it said the - the moderator said, "If you're for getting rid of your private insurance, for Medicare-for-All, raise your hand."

And so, I do think that that was a - that was a fair, you know, mistake to make. But I think that she's been very consistent that she believes that there should be the opportunity for supplemental private insurance.

And I do think that that's a conversation we all need to be having about what exactly that role is in the future where every single person, you know, has healthcare as a right, not a privilege.

CUOMO: A 100 percent. And I have invited the Senator on to the show to make her case. The invitation continues. I can only make the offer. I cannot also accept it, although I'd have much easier time booking my show that way.

Congresswoman Katie Hill, you are always welcome to make the case. I will follow up with the office to see about if this dialog is starting and which way it's going because the issue matters so, so much, down on the Border. Thank you for having the conversation with us tonight.

HILL: Thank you so much for having me.

CUOMO: All right, so Senator Harris getting a lot of juice right now in the media, and rightly so, because the polls will dictate the passions of the media, as well as people. And she has caught up with Biden in Iowa.

Now, is this all bad news for Biden? Maybe not. You know who should be worried? Senator Bernie Sanders. Who says? The Wizard of Odds. What his supernatural powers are telling him, next.

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CUOMO: The warning is that polls are not predictive of outcome as much as they are suggestive of a moment in time, and here's where we are right now. Former VP Joe Biden is still on top, but after that debate, he got a beat-down, and Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren were the beneficiaries, OK?

What's more? Senator Bernie Sanders, the man who, you know, once held steady at second place, barely lost to Hillary Clinton, if you pay - take into effect everything that happened in that primary, he's going down.

What changed? Harry Enten, The Wizard of Odds, with the insight. So, let's look at the Iowa numbers here.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER & ANALYST: Yes.

CUOMO: All right? Now, the national poll is where Biden and Harris has slimmed up to about two.

ENTEN: Yes.

CUOMO: But what is the story?

ENTEN: I mean the story here is a few things.

Number one, obviously, Kamala Harris jumps all the way up to 16 percent in the State of Iowa, and this is not necessarily the type of state you'd think she'd do well in, because remember, she saw a big jump among African-Americans.

African-Americans only make up about 5 percent of the electorate there, but it's the same story with Biden, right? He's actually polling slightly better in Iowa than he is nationally, which to me is somewhat of a surprise, because last month we had him, our CNN poll had him at 24 percent. But if you're talking about a state where you can really see the decline in Bernie Sanders' numbers, look at this. In Iowa, a state where he got nearly 50 percent of the vote last time around, he's only at 9 percent.

[21:15:00] And Pete Buttigieg, who's obviously struggled a lot with the African-Americans, he's dropped all the way down at 6 percent, so this is a really bad poll for Sanders and Buttigieg, a pretty decent one for Warren, a really good one for Harris, and Biden is holding his own.

CUOMO: So, Sanders' people are scratching their head, and say, "Wait, I don't get it. We did fine in the debate. Biden got beat up. Why am I losing votes?"

ENTEN: I - I think the fact of the matter is - is let's take the - take a look at this nationally, and I think this is a key point. I've divided this, the overall Quinnipiac, and also among the very liberals.

And what we see here is Sanders, only at 13 percent, again in fourth place nationally, but take a look at this very liberal column. I think it gives you a pretty good idea of why he's dropping. Look at this.

Even among very liberals, this is the part of the electorate Sanders should be doing his best in, he can only manage a tie for second place, at 21 percent that is tied with Kamala Harris, Elizabeth warning - Warren leading there, and I think this is a key difference between 2016, and this cycle.

Now you have a lot of competition for Bernie Sanders in that very liberal camp and you're seeing that in this poll.

CUOMO: So, there're two narratives going on. One, Harris and Warren are eating Sanders' lunch.

ENTEN: Yes.

CUOMO: The second one is Bolden - Biden is human. And - and--

ENTEN: Biden is very human.

CUOMO: --and he's going to be tested, and he's got to be on his game, and we haven't seen that yet.

ENTEN: He's got to be very much on his game. And you know, it's not a big surprise to me that Biden is trailing here among very liberals, but a key difference before this debate, Chris, was he was holding his own among even those groups where he wasn't doing that well with.

CUOMO: Right.

ENTEN: And now, at this point, he's losing a lot of ground there, and the only reason he's up is because of moderate conservatives.

CUOMO: The idea of Biden versus the reality and performance of Biden, that's going to be your discrepancy.

ENTEN: Yes.

CUOMO: You know who's going to be important? He will. If he stays like this, you know, a year from now, which is a stupid thing to suggest, who knows what happens?

ENTEN: Who - God knows.

CUOMO: Someone's going to need them to jump on their side because that margin could be the difference in a big field. All right, keep going.

ENTEN: Yes.

CUOMO: What have we got?

ENTEN: So, I want to point this out as well. This is kind of interesting, right?

So, I looked at previous runners-up in prior years, who then went on to win the nominations in a given year, so Clinton, Dole, Bush, Reagan, Romney, and McCain, and I looked at where they were polling at this point in nomination cycle since 1972, and they were all polling at at least 17 percent in the national polls, if not significantly higher, in the case of Dole, Clinton, and Bush.

And look where Bernie Sanders is only polling right now? At 13 percent to 14 percent. So, he is below that threshold. And this, to me, is a very dangerous sign, because if you've run before, everyone knows who you are. You don't have a name recognition problem.

CUOMO: But is it the Mendoza Line, as we say in baseball, or is it that Bernie Sanders has got a huge field, and they didn't have to worry about that.

ENTEN: I mean, come on. The fact of the matter was you go back to 2008, can you name all the candidates that were running--

CUOMO: No.

ENTEN: --that year? Tommy Thompson, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Tom Tancredo, Jim Gilmore, I can just go on and on and on, or go back to--

CUOMO: And that's why you are the Wizard.

ENTEN: Oh, that's why I try my best, you know. I eat my Wheaties and I read Wikipedia, and also U.S. election list lot - a lot. Or George H.W. Bush, a huge amount of people were running that year, I'll just point out one little other thing, in terms of endorsements.

What we would normally expect as a runner-up the last time around would have a lot, but this year, only one endorsement from Members of Congress or Governors, outside of the home state of Vermont for Sanders.

CUOMO: Harry Enten, very well argued from several different perspectives. I'd appreciate it.

ENTEN: I try my best for you, Christopher, and I want you to have a happy Fourth of July 4th.

CUOMO: You too.

ENTEN: Thank you, my friend.

CUOMO: We're free baby. Enjoy it.

Old Glory, it's long been a cherished symbol of our freedom, of course, right? So, what happened with Nike? They had the back of the flag - they had the flag on the back of the sneaker, right? That wasn't the issue. It's what flag it was, and what they were told about that flag, and how they responded to it, and took it all away.

PC pressure run amuck? Right move, Great Debate, next.

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CUOMO: All right, this is very debatable. What did Nike do, and why, and was it good or bad? Here was the shoe, was made to celebrate the Fourth of July. It got the original 13 colonies there.

The Wall Street Journal reports the company pulled the shoe. Why? Colin Kaepernick and others raised concerns about the Betsy Ross flag because of its connection to the Era of Slavery.

Now, Nike is taking fire from the Right. Arizona's Governor said the company is bowing to an onslaught of political correctness, and ordered his state to yank financial incentives for Nike to build a plant there.

Let's debate, Bakari Sellers and Steve Cortes.

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TEXT: THE GREAT DEBATE.

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CUOMO: Gentlemen, if I don't see both of you again before the end, enjoy our freedom, enjoy the Fourth, thank you for the help you give me on this show. Bakari-- STEVE CORTES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER TRUMP HISPANIC ADVISORY COUNCIL HEAD: Thank you.

CUOMO: --make the case that Nike was right to pull the shoe.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN COMMENTATOR, ATTORNEY, POLITICIAN: First of all, it's - it's within Nike's prerogative to pull the shoe. These - this Republican and this full outrage is just, it's almost laughable.

I mean, look, the shoe, the flag, it represented a period of time where with all due respect, I was three-fifths of a human being. And so, that is an issue. People don't want to go back to that time, and people have an issue with it. But Nike made a business decision that they have every right to do.

And so, for the Governor of Arizona, for - for Ted Cruz, for all of these now self-righteous politicians on the Right to come out, and - and - and breakout pitchforks for Nike, look, they were the same people who were trying to burn Nikes a few weeks ago, and that stock just went straight up, and they had the biggest sales they've had in the history, when they signed Colin Kaepernick.

So, why don't you do that same thing again? I'm pretty sure it's going to help Nike's bottom line.

But even more, they are quiet as church mice when they're talking about a President who tramples on the American flag today, who coverts (ph) with dictators, who lets his children play government on the weekends, and now who has a humanitarian - humanitarian crisis on the Border.

CUOMO: All right.

SELLERS: So, I don't really want to hear what you have to say about Nike. I rather you - you - you worry about what's going on today--

CORTES: OK, Bakari--

SELLERS: --with our American values.

CUOMO: All right. Steve, counter.

CORTES: If we - if we're going to get back to Nike though, the - the point of this segment, and I think this is very important. Nobody that I know of is saying that they don't have a right to make this dreadful mistake. Of course, they do, as a private corporation.

We're just saying that it's wrong. And here's why it's wrong. Nike is really, I think, more, at least was, more than just a company. It was really an iconic American story.

And sadly, what is becoming now is a soulless globalist bureaucracy, and one that is willing to disrespect the very country, the very American exceptionalism that made its meteoric rise, its incredible story possible. And why is it doing it? It's doing it to try to placate and to supplicate itself to a bunch of woke celebrities, including a washed- up quarterback who disrespects our flag.

[21:25:00] And, by the way, to that point too, he always told us during his protest when he was taking a knee, he always told us that "Oh, it's not about the flag. I'm not disrespecting the flag. I'm protesting police brutality."

Well Betsy Ross was not involved in police brutality. So to - to - to now protest the flag of our Founding shows us that all - all the while it was about the flag. Colin Kaepernick doesn't like this country very much. And Nike, unfortunately, is showing us--

SELLERS: This is--

CORTES: --that it's willing to play ball with those kinds of people against regular patriotic Americans.

CUOMO: All right, hold--

CORTES: And on the week of Fourth of July of all these.

CUOMO: --hold one - hold one second. I got a simple question. Why didn't Nike just replace the flag on the back with the 50-star flag, Bakari? What--

SELLERS: Because it's a business decision. I mean it's a business decision that they can make. I mean, so be it.

But let - let - let's get our - I mean, Steve and I have two totally different views of what it means to be patriotic. We have two totally different views on what it means to be American.

I love this country. I love the United States of America. And the reason I love it is because of people like Colin Kaepernick, because of people like Muhammad Ali, because of people like my father, because of all of those military men and women who bled, so that we would have the right to protest, so that we would have the right to speak out.

And so, you can call Colin Kaepernick absolutely any name that you want to call him, the fact is Colin Kaepernick had the audacity, he had the courage to take a knee for what he believed in.

And yes, he believes that this - in this country, you should not have to talk to your children, if they're Black or Brown, when they go out at night and pray for them to come home, because they may have an interaction with police that goes wrong.

And so, you may have one belief that - that is built on patriarchy, or White supremacy, or whatever it may be.

CORTES: No, no, no, no, stop it, Bakari.

SELLERS: I have another belief--

CORTES: Where did - where did White supremacy or patriarchy had anything--

SELLERS: I have another belief - I have another belief - I--

CORTES: No. That is - I'm not going to let you get away with that.

SELLERS: But--

CORTES: And just throw that in--

SELLERS: Wait--

CORTES: As if casually--

SELLERS: No. It's a - it's a - but you have to understand--

CORTES: --who said anything about patriarchy or--

SELLERS: Because that - that--

CORTES: --White supremacy.

SELLERS: Because you have to understand what the Founding of our country is. Do you understand that the - that our country was founded on the backs of Black folk? Do you understand that when this flag was flying--

CORTES: Our - our country was founded - our - our--

SELLERS: --we were three-fifths of a human being?

CORTES: Our country was founded--

SELLERS: Do you understand the patriarchy and supremacy is permissive--

CORTES: Our country was founded--

SELLERS: --in our systems today?

CORTES: --imperfect though it is, and though it was, like any country in the world, our - our country was founded in Liberty.

And if you, by the way, if we want to have the standard be that any flag that existed in an Era of Slavery, then that means any flag in the world that is roughly 200 years old is unusable because slavery, until about 200 years ago, was the global norm, not just the norm of the United States.

The evil of slavery was a globally--

SELLERS: So, what does that mean, Steve?

CORTES: --accepted--

SELLERS: What does that mean? CORTES: So, what I'm saying is - what I'm saying is that history didn't start yesterday. And so, we cannot say that we are going to erase history from 200 years ago, simply because there were--

SELLERS: You know, let me - let me just say this.

CORTES: --there were imperfections in our Founding, and what I'm saying is this, that our Founding was - was the most magnificent event in political history, something that is to be celebrated and just--

SELLERS: Well it - let me just tell you. Let me tell you this.

CORTES: --and--

SELLERS: 400 - 400 years ago, 400 years ago, this year, Black people came to this country. They were - they came in chains. They were shackled. They did not come here as anything voluntary. They came here as slaves. That is a fact.

Our country was built on the backs of Black folk, and we built it for free. Colin Kaepernick has the right to take a knee, and there're military men and women around this world today that are fighting for that right, so that he can take a knee and speak his free mind.

Look, Nike did what they wanted to do. And - and I don't have a problem with that. I do have a problem with the hypocrisy.

And I do have a problem with the fact that we get tied down and bogged down in these culture wars where I find myself having to teach history lessons. This country was built on White supremacy. This country was built on patriarchy.

CORTES: It was not. It was not.

SELLERS: There are people--

CORTES: It was not.

SELLERS: There are people - there - there are people who were--

CORTES: No, it wasn't.

SELLERS: --breaking those shackles every single day--

CORTES: This country was built on Liberty.

SELLERS: --to make this a more perfect--

CORTES: This - this country was built on Liberty--

SELLERS: --to make this a more perfect Union.

CORTES: --and tolerance and free markets and love and - and - and reverence for our great flag.

SELLERS: So, slavery-- CORTES: It was not built on White supremacy.

SELLERS: --slavery was liberty and free markets?

CORTES: No. No.

SELLERS: Slavery is - slavery is free markets--

CORTES: Slavery--

SELLERS: --and liberty.

CORTES: No. Slavery is--

SELLERS: It's free markets and liberty--

CORTES: --slavery is a--

SELLERS: --is that the history lesson?

CORTES: Slavery is a part of our history, and a terrible part of our history. And - and again, we're - of course, we're not a perfect nation. There are no perfect nations. There's no perfect people.

However, you know, to say that the United States was built on White supremacy is such ludicrous rhetoric, and so historically ignorant that I'm appalled that you'd--

SELLERS: It's listen--

CORTES: --even say it. And say it two days before the birthday--

SELLERS: Well be - be appalled--

CORTES: --of our great country. And this country, by the way--

SELLERS: Be appalled - be appalled - be appalled that I am speaking--

CORTES: --is the greatest place in the world to be a ministry--

CUOMO: One at a time.

CORTES: --and I say that as a person of color. There is no greater place to be a minority in the entire world than the United States of America today.

SELLERS: Listen.

CORTES: Do we have a blemished history? Of course, we do. Do we also have an amazing history? Yes, we sure do. And we should celebrate that Betsy Ross flag.

SELLERS: I think--

CORTES: And if Nike had any honor, it would realize that the country that made its very success possible should be honored, and it should stop catering--

SELLERS: I - I believe--

CORTES: --to the woke mob.

SELLERS: --I believe that - I believe - you can call it whatever mind you want to call it.

I believe that oftentimes people in this country confuse patriotism with prejudice. And I dare not do that today. In fact, I am on this show tonight, and I have the ability to speak my mind because I believe in the United States of America.

[21:30:00] I believe in this country, not what it was, or what it is, but what it can be. And every single day, people like Colin Kaepernick and others fight to make this a more perfect Union.

And so, you can say what you want to say about the history of this country, and you can go back and relive when we were three-fifths of a human being, you can go back and relive when separate was equal.

But what we're going to do is fight to make this a more perfect Union by acknowledging our past, understanding what it is, but not dare going back.

So my hat is off to all of those people who are fighting. These politicians on the Right who want to make this some new culture war that we're fighting, I dare not go down that rabbit hole.

But I will speak the truth, and I will speak the truth on this holiday, because that's what people fight for, so that we have the right to do that.

CUOMO: Listen--

CORTES: Well Colin Kaepernick wearing--

CUOMO: --I - I'm fine with all of that. But hold on a second.

There's just too much Kaepernick in this conversation. With all due respect to him, and obviously, he has the right to say what he says. It's about whether or not it is right in the time, place, and manner he chose to do it, but that was a conversation we've already had.

It really does seem to me that this just comes down to the flag they picked, you know that they went with something they thought was nostalgic.

And we have what is an emerging cultural dynamic about what is the role of nostalgia, and if you can remember, but do you also embrace that which you remember?

That's what we were talking about the Confederate flag, right? You have people in the South who'll say "Well it's my heritage."

But then you have people say, "Yes, it was a heritage of slavery, and of oppression, and that's what the war was about, and we don't want to inculcate those values anymore." That seems to be what's happening here.

Bakari, if they had picked the 50-star flag, there would be no issue right now, right?

SELLERS: No. You throw on your jogging suit, and you throw in a nice matching jersey--

CUOMO: There it is. So--

SELLERS: --and you wear it to the cookout.

CUOMO: --I'll tell you what I loved about this.

SELLERS: I mean--

CUOMO: I'll tell you what I loved about this. This is not easy. You guys are coming with a very different set of cultural precepts from each other. Sometimes they dovetail, and I don't even - sure we see that anymore, but you did it with decency.

And this is a hard conversation. And it's the - not the last time we're going to have it, but you guys had it very well. That was a benefit to the audience. And I thank you both.

CORTES: Thank you.

CUOMO: Bakari Sellers, Steve Cortes, thank you for having the debate.

Democrats are taking new action to get their hands on President Trump's taxes. Now, we have a Member of the all-powerful Ways and Means Committee. He's going to tell us how. And I have some tough questions, next.

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CUOMO: House Democrats are once again escalating their fight for President Trump's tax returns. This time, it's a new lawsuit against the IRS, and Treasury Department.

Now, Democrats in the Ways and Means Committee want a court order that would require officials to produce six years' worth of Trump's tax returns and audit records. How strong is their case? And is this the issue they should prioritize?

Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett of Texas joins me now.

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CUOMO: Hey Lloyd, best to you and the family for the Fourth, in celebrating our country's freedom.

REP. LLOYD DOGGETT (D-TX): Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, so my first question. What took so long? What took so long? This was always where it go - was going to wind up. Why did the Democrats delay and give all this time and lose energy?

DOGGETT: I think it's inexplicable. This should have been done a long time ago.

And the delay has - has really - really means that probably we see none of this, this year, and it will take a - a series of really fortunate developments in the courts to ensure we see it before the end of Congress.

You know, being thorough and careful is important. Being dilatory is - is not good, when your opponent's tactic is delay, delay, delay.

CUOMO: Dilatory, fancy word. It means wasting time.

Here's the thing, Lloyd. This, I believe, fits into a - a matrix of confusion for the Democrats. I am not arguing that you start an impeachment inquiry. That is not my place and it's not my space.

What I'm saying is, haven't you guys seen enough proof from the administration that they will dog your oversight efforts? And haven't so many of you said enough already to justify an impeachment inquiry? So, if you feel like, chasing these things down, do it the right way, or don't do it at all.

DOGGETT: Well absolutely, we should begin an impeachment inquiry. I've been calling for one, after seeing that the weak, timid response of recent months is not working against a President who believes in total obstruction, no documents, no talking, no nothing.

And given that reality, it's time to move forward forcefully, and do it through an impeachment inquiry as soon as possible. I think that will only happen if more people across this country demand it of the Congress.

CUOMO: By the way, I think you may lose the lawsuit. Yes, the statute is written unbelievably plainly. I'm with you. I'm with you. There's a little bit of confusion about why you have the Treasury Secretary.

That's your - your best fact is that the Treasury Secretary is front- running this because it's supposed to be the IRS Commissioner. And yes, he works for the Treasury Secretary.

But the Treasury's not even mentioned in the statute, and it would allow you guys a constructive case that this is being blocked. But that aside--

DOGGETT: Well absolutely.

CUOMO: --couldn't you see a judge saying, "You don't need the tax - taxes to find out whether or not the IRS has been auditing him. They can just tell you whether they've been auditing him."

DOGGETT: No, Chris. I disagree with you on that.

CUOMO: Go ahead.

DOGGETT: I - I think we'll get the returns eventually because shall means shall.

And, you know, the first opinion that was discovered within the Internal Revenue Service, the professionals there said that the department had little alternative but to provide these records as they have done on other occasions on appropriate request under this statute that goes back to the 1920s.

So, I think we'll ultimately prevail. There is a very narrow purpose identified, so that we understand how the auditing function is working.

But I was pleased to see in the papers that were finally filed today, there is reference to the fact that we have much broader legislative purpose that is very legitimate. Under this statute, we should get the returns.

It's just that we face an administration that relies as with all of its unwilling witnesses on delay, and it's willing to take this all the way to the Supreme Court, and that will take months, maybe years--

CUOMO: True.

DOGGETT: --to get resolved.

[21:40:00] CUOMO: Now, another - let - let's segue this into a different topic. I know that people say all the time, and I - I hope by this point, you know, I respect your service to the country. I respect our Members of Congress. I do.

I do not think that these general notions that "There's perfidy. And people don't tell the truth. They don't do the job," I think there are exceptions. I don't think that's the rule.

However, I do not believe in this "Walk and chew gum at the same time" thing that you guys talk about. And I think the Border issue is a perfect example.

Not only was the political opportunity there, I don't have to tell you from your state, being from Texas, but to put your arms around it, and own it, when the President made it all about fear and offense, and you guys could have said, "No, it's about these kids and compassion," and not just because it's alliterative, but because it is literal, and you haven't done it.

Why not focus on this which now everybody's saying they just discovered, Lloyd? Everybody just discovered in your party this is a problem.

DOGGETT: Well, Chris, I have to disagree with you again there.

We can't - are capable of doing more than one thing at the same time. Many of us have been talking about and trying to draw attention to this crisis at the Border that President Trump created for months, if not years, and the need for appropriate action.

What President Trump has done is to weaponize these children by abusing them with pure and simple child abuse, the kind of thing that would deny a parent, custody of their children, for abuse and neglect.

He's used that, first, deliberately to try to deter immigrants coming here with what is a valid asylum claim for many of them. And now, he's used it as a weapon against the Congress to insist that he be given a blank check for his detention and deportation policy.

CUOMO: Ah!

DOGGETT: This government had money for - for toothbrushes. It had money for water so people don't have to drink out of a toilet.

It is outrageous at this point where we celebrate freedom on the Fourth of July that we have an administration that is so indifferent to the welfare of these individuals that we engage in this kind of conduct.

CUOMO: But, Congressman--

DOGGETT: I - I just feel--

CUOMO: --did you not enable his ability to keep these conditions the way they are by not funding it for this long, and by putting in--

DOGGETT: No.

CUOMO: --enforcement language that you knew would be poison pills to the other side, which would further delay these kids from getting the money for more resources.

DOGGETT: Well let's talk about that enforcement language. I think we needed much stronger enforcement language.

That's why I voted against the bill along with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus last week, because we know this is a President whose lawless, who's willing to divert resources for toothbrushes, and use it for detention.

We need to have those restraints, and we need to have the health and safety standards in there.

Here, coming on the Fourth of July, you know, there's so much concern about what the tank tracks will do to Pennsylvania Avenue for this great celebration of President Trump.

What we really need to be concerned with are the tracks that he's leaving across our Constitution as a lawless President to resist and pushback, not only on this outrageous conduct at our Border, but the conduct that obstructs justice in every way.

CUOMO: Well Congressman Lloyd Doggett, I promise you this. You have an invitation on this show whenever you want it to talk about the state of progress on this issue.

The rules, the requirements for the kids, where we are in making it better, and having different resources, because yes, you guys just cut them a bunch of money. But it's going to be over by the fall, and we'll be right back where we were. Even though the hiring season is over, you'll start having different problems down there because the dynamic is so involved.

So, you're always welcome here to discuss this, and I appreciate you taking the invitation tonight.

DOGGETT: Chris, thank you so much. Have a great Fourth.

CUOMO: Be well, you too.

So, did work in your office slow down as much as it did in mine today? No, I'm not talking about the Fourth and vacations. The women of Team USA turned the World Cup into tea time, but they weren't taking any breaks.

Laura Coates is here to look at the splash they made. I think they're just about our most dominant team we've ever had, next.

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CUOMO: Sad news, Auto Industry Titan, Lee Iacocca has died. On his resume, running Ford in the 70s, and most famously, rescuing Chrysler from near bankruptcy in the 80s. He helped create the Ford Mustang as an icon and the Chrysler minivan.

You may remember him from a series of commercials with his tagline "If you can find a better car, buy it."

He is survived by two children, eight grandkids, Lee Iacocca was 94, and he was a cause for Italian-Americans all over this country to celebrate, and he will be missed, the best to his family.

Now, good news. The U.S. Women's Team is heading to Sunday's World Cup Final after today's thriller, even with Star Forward, Megan Rapinoe sidelined, minor hamstring strain, that's the good news, that's from her, hope it's true.

But Christen Press pressed on in her place, knocking in the first goal. And after England tied things up one all (ph), Team USA Captain Alex Morgan, yes, Captain Morgan, you might say, put the U.S. back on top, poured her own kind of drink, a spot of tea, oh, and today is her 30th birthday, what a gift.

Let's bring in Laura Coates, the upgrade, in for D. Lemon. You know, I have to tell you. Yes, you have the Men's basketball team on the U.S. level.

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes.

CUOMO: So dominant, so dominant. But in the modern era, and the - the evolution of this sport, these women are just killing it.

COATES: I mean this is their what, their third time - their third straight time, these women are the real deal.

And you have like what? 50,000 people were watching and cheering them on, I mean it takes a lot to be able to walk up there, have the pinky up in England, after you score a goal in their own - in their own home, it's crazy.

CUOMO: I like the edge. I do. You know, Americans are edgy, it is. You know, we - we don't always play by everybody's rules of etiquette and stuff like that. And I think that's OK.

And I have to tell you, having two daughters, I love the example. I love that, you know, they don't need to look to boys playing the sports that they love. They've got women who are playing it well better than the men ever have when it comes to U.S. soccer.

COATES: I mean my daughter is much better than my son at soccer. Maybe it's because her mother was a star athlete, Cuomo. It was--

CUOMO: Of course she was, of course.

COATES: --I was a star athlete. I mean you won't have any proof that I wasn't, so you really can't fact-check that.

CUOMO: That is true.

COATES: But right now everyone know--

CUOMO: Non-existence of a fact, I can't - I can't prove it.

COATES: You can't prove. But you know what? I hear it's also your 30th birthday too. You're going to raise your pinky a little bit?

CUOMO: 30th birthday!

COATES: Is it too--

[21:50:00] CUOMO: Yes, it's my - it's my 18th 30th birthday. I'm getting old, Coates, I'm getting old. And I never raise my pinkie. When I see men do it, when they're drinking, I usually punch them.

COATES: Well that's one way to go. But you don't get a World Cup victory out of that, so.

CUOMO: True. True. But I do get to watch and be proud as an American, especially this week of all of them. I'll talk to you in a second, Counselor.

COATES: All right.

CUOMO: Always a pleasure.

All right, so the President is rolling in the tanks for the day that we give thanks for our incredible country, an Independence Day refresher for him. I don't think the issue is what he wants to show. My argument is what he is keeping hidden, next.

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[21:55:00] CUOMO: Tanks, bombers, jets, you name it, all of it paraded out for Americans, and for America, the world to see us this way as we celebrate the Fourth of July.

Now, we've never seen anything like this here. We've seen it in places like Russia or North Korea. That comparison concerns many of you. Bill Maher is one of them. Here's his take.

"Tanks in the streets now? Shall we review the Dictator Checklist? You're a narcissist who likes to put his name on buildings. You appoint family members to key government positions. Your rallies are scary. You threaten to lock up political opponents. Your friends are other dictators," and he goes on.

Is this President really desperate to be a despot? I don't know. It's just as likely he wants another way to show off, and he sees this as that. In fact, this President may have gotten the idea to do this, not from those scary places, like Russia and North Korea, but from France.

You remember this, how pleased he was at the Bastille Day Parade?

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DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was your guest at Bastille Day, and it was one of the greatest parades I've ever seen.

And to a large extent because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July 4th in Washington, down Pennsylvania Avenue.

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CUOMO: All right, so look, that could be it. He thought it looked strong, and he is all about the sell. And what sells power more than military muscle?

See now I think there is something else. Military might is certainly part of American exceptionalism. And I'm not anti-military, far from it. And we, of course, let's be honest, fought our way to freedom. But the issue is not what this President wants to show off.

It is what will not be present. We don't see displays of military here often because we are more than that. In fact, our greatest point that compels others is our compassion. Sweet strength, coming to the aid of the weak, helping those in crisis, that's how America made her mark.

Yes, we fought. But remember what we fought for. The chance to live, and believe, and look, and love, as you like, a kind of freedom the world continues to envy. America has many tanks. But the power that distinguishes her is that truth, not the tanks.

The bigger problem is that this President is shortchanging America by featuring just one aspect. He's making us look like the guy who has big arms in the gym but no legs. America must always show her strongest muscle is her heart. That is the source of our pride.

So, the ugly talk, the divisiveness, the constant attacks, and "Us versus Them," the shallow competence, international embarrassments, this POTUS may pack an arena with tens of thousands, but there are millions who don't just dislike him, they are starting to question if this is really what America has become.

What's the proof? New Gallup poll shows that Americans' pride in the U.S. is slipping. 70 percent of us were extremely proud to be an American in the years after 9/11. What is it now? 45 percent, down two points from just last year, not up, since Trump, no matter what he tells you.

He should think about why that is. And if he listens to his pals and pawns on the political fringe who say, "He's a victim, you're a vic," he's once again getting bad advice.

You want to show tanks, jets, whatever, fine. We paid for them. They protect us. Great! We love our military. We don't take care of them the way we should, but we love them. They don't define America though, and this President needs to understand that.

We're not a country that's nothing without her missiles, to be respected merely for our nukes. As we see, those proxies for power are getting all too common, right?

Better to show what makes America uncommon, our real weapon against oppressors. That is our interconnectedness and our interdependence that which truly motivated our independence.

This country is about those with no bond with one another, except a mutual determination to live a dream of being free, to live as they like. Put that on display. Show off the fruits of our struggle. We live here as a testament to the possible, E pluribus unum, out of many, one.

Any country can have tanks. Only one can boast what makes America strong. That is what I have as an argument for tonight. Thank you for listening and watching.

CNN TONIGHT with Laura Coates, in for D. Lemon, starts right now.

COATES: You know, Chris, what a case for diplomacy you just made that graphic just scared me. I mean, patriotism on the decline, can you imagine that?

CUOMO: I can because we are what we hear very often.