Return to Transcripts main page

CNN TONIGHT

One Down from the Democrats; Economy Favors President Trump; Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Makes an Impressive Fund Raising Figures; 2020 Census Could Include Citizenship. Aired 11-12p ET

Aired July 8, 2019 - 23:00   ET

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


[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

With 2020 looming there are some big developments tonight for the president and in the crowded Democratic field. A new poll shows that a strong economy is helping to boost President Trump's job approval now at 44 percent. That is up five points since April.

At the same time, the Washington Post/ABC survey shows that Biden is still leading not only the Democratic pack but is beating the president by a full 10 points.

And there is good news tonight from Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, her campaign reports that she raised just over $19 million in the second quarter of this year, reflecting the new momentum in her campaign after struggling early on.

But the Democratic field is also a little less crowded tonight. California Congressman Eric Swalwell dropping out of the race, his campaign failed to gain any traction.

I want to talk about this. Take a look at the big picture for the 2020 race with Terry McAuliffe. Terry is the former governor of Virginia who was also chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He is also the author of "Beyond Charlottesville: Taking a Stand Against White Nationalism." Terry, it's good to have you on. Thank you so much, sir. How are you doing?

Thank you, Don. Doing great. Did you have a good 4th?

LEMON: I had a great 4th. So, let's start off by talking, I know that I was having a 4th, actually with Chris Cuomo. He had to cut out and do this interview and then he came back. He had this big interview with the Bidens, the Vice President Joe Biden, also his wife as well.

I want to ask you, did -- did Joe Biden's campaign, did he get it back on track after his debate performance and his -- the bussing and segregation controversies?

TERRY MCAULIFFE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I thought his interview with Chris Cuomo was excellent. I think he helped himself tremendously. I think he's rebounded from the last debate he had. But I'll tell you this. The upcoming debate on CNN, which, you know, you will be one of the questioners, it's going to be very important. He's got to show strengths; he's got to show that he can take a punch back and that he can give a punch back.

Because the one thing that Joe Biden has going for him, Don, is that he, more than anybody else can beat Donald Trump in a lot of the states around the country. He wins the election. And that's the biggest thing going for him right now.

LEMON: OK. So, we heard something interesting I thought from the second lady about why Biden jumped into this race. Watch his exchange and then we'll talk.

MCAULIFFE: Sure.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Do you think that Joe Biden has had an amazing run, that was it in 2016? Did you think that was it?

JILL BIDEN, JOE BIDEN'S WIFE: I did. I think Joe thought that as well. But you know, once this president was elected people started coming up to us and saying, you know, Joe has to run. He has to run and then Charlottesville occurred and then this sort of gotten louder and Jill, you have to tell Joe, he has to run.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, she didn't think that he was going to run but then Charlottesville happened. He launched his campaign on that. He continues to stress this moral authority. My question is, how far can that message take, do you think?

MCAULIFFE: I think she was right. I spent a lot of time talking to Joe Biden, I was thinking of running myself and I spent hours talking to Joe Biden and we spent a lot of time talking about the tragedy that occurred in Charlottesville.

But I think what really for Joe Biden is to see the divisions in this country. He loves this country and the idea that we are so split apart that he believes that he is the one that can bring this country back together again. We're not seeing the full flavor of who we are as Americans.

And I just felt that he felt that he was compelled that he needed to do it. That he is the one that can bring people back together again. It is a hope as we go forward in the debate coming up. And, Don, I think it will be important for all the folks who will be watching. I don't think people will turn down to watch the debate to hear what happened 30 or 40 years ago.

They really want to hear who's going to talk about and help me with their lives today. What are you doing about healthcare costs, what are you doing about the inequities in school? And I would say this. To all the candidates who had been after Joe Biden on the issue of bussing that occurred 40 years ago. I think it's incumbent upon them to come up with a plan. What are you going to do about the inequities that we have in schools across this country today?

LEMON: Yes.

MCAULIFFE: And that's very important as we go forward.

LEMON: But shouldn't he stop talking about it as well. You said what happened 30 or 40 years ago it's an incumbent upon him not to keep bringing it up as well?

MCAULIFFE: I agree. And I think he needs to stop talking about what happened 30 or 40 years ago. I would say this to all the candidates running for president, you got to talk in the future. People want to hear what are you actually going to do for me? And that's the big challenge. And that's what you are going to see in the next debate stage.

Everybody has to come out with a big plan. Let's talk about infrastructure. I haven't heard cyber security mentioned yet. One of the biggest threats is democracy in the United States of America. These are the big challenges that, you know, the candidates have to address.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: I get your point

MCAULIFFE: People think that every single day at home.

LEMON: I get your point. Now I want to -- because I've got so much to cover with you. I want to talk about Elizabeth Warren announcing that she, her campaign they raise over $19.1 million in the second quarter. I mean, that puts her near the top of the pack. How big of a deal is it, because, you know, she's not holding private meetings with big donors, she's not accepting pact money. I mean, this is all grassroots, governor.

[23:05:07] MCAULIFFE: I think it's a huge win for her. It's a big number. As you say she wasn't doing private fundraisers. So, it's done online. When the ability she can goes back to these folks over and over again.

But I think what people are seeing in Elizabeth Warren, she has a plan as she like to say. But I'm impressed with all the plans that she has out there. It goes to my point. These other candidates if you want to get tractions, you got to start people -- telling people what you are actually going to do for them.

I think she's taking a lot of support that Senator Sanders had before. I think she's really cutting into his base. I think she's taking a lot of his supporters. But listen, that is a huge number, something she should be very proud about.

LEMON: So, what's her next move? Because you say we stop talking about things that happened, you know, years ago.

This one is a little bit more recent. You know, she had a hard time getting some tractions over the whole DNA test thing, the president coming after calling her Pocahontas or whatever. She is drawing up some buzz with, you know, with her plans or debate performance and now her fund raising, what's her next move?

MCAULIFFE: Well, so she's got to build upon that. I think she shocked a lot of people today when she came out with that $19 million number. I think she'll continue to lay out, continue to talk about her progressive agenda and where she wants to take the country.

She has clearly moved herself. She's at the top tier. What you are now seeing, Don, is with the fund-raising numbers out people are falling off. I would like to say, people, you know, it's not that their ideas aren't good anymore. They just run out of money. I think you are now going to see a lot of other candidates face reality that they just can't pay their staffs anymore or they can't get in the plane anymore.

And you are going to see the top tier really materialize as we move forward and people are going to focus on who is it that can beat Donald Trump, who is it that's got an agenda that's going to help my life at home. And that's the most important thing.

LEMON: Yes.

MCAULIFFE: So, she should be very proud of what she's doing. Biden is still the front runner. He's got to, you know, recalibrate his campaign, get out there and show that he is a front runner, show that he can beat Trump. Kamala Harris, obviously a very good debate. So, you are seeing there at tier, it's going to be exciting on that CNN debate.

LEMON: There is still the lingering question of a possible third- party candidate. I mean, you have Congressman Justin Amash who just left the GOP after standing up to Trump. He's not ruling out a third- party run. What sort of damage would that do to President Trump? What do you think would affect him at all?

MCAULIFFE: Sure. I think any third-party candidate in hurts the nominee of that respective party. Look what's happened, you look at the votes to Jill Stein, took from Hillary Clinton in 2016. You can go back to Ralph Nader in 2000 and what happened with Ralph Nader taking those votes from Gore in New Hampshire. And in Florida Al Gore would have been president.

You look at the votes that Jill Stein took from Hillary Clinton in those key states in Wisconsin and Michigan. Hillary Clinton would have won.

So, any time you have someone that comes in and takes any votes in -- this is going to be, Don, a competitive race. Trump has a hard time getting over 40, 42 percent, very hard time doing it. If we can keep all of our folks together with a consistent message laying out their plan, Donald Trump is going to have a very tough time winning reelection.

He is going to have a very difficult time winning Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in 2020. And I think we can actually pick up some more states. But we can't afford to have a third-party candidate. Let us all come together. But any time anyone gets in to take any votes and with Trump with all the people who he is alienated, there may be some that says I just can't vote for a Democrat. But if I got an alternative, I'm going to do that alternative vote.

So, I think very damaging for Trump to have anyone else in that race who would take votes away from him.

LEMON: Terry McAuliffe, always a pleasure. Thank you, sir.

MCAULIFFE: Great to see you. You bet. Thank you.

LEMON: I want to bring in Ryan Lizza and Laura Barron-Lopez to talk about this. Good evening to both of you. Laura, you first, I want to play more from, this is Chris's interview with the Biden's, OK. Jill Biden defending her husband's record on race after what happened at the debate and all the others she starts popping out. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: The one thing you cannot say about Joe is that he is a racist. I mean, he got into politics because of his commitment to Civil Rights and then to be elected by Barack Obama and then someone is saying, you know, you are a racist. As soon as I heard those words --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: They're saying you are not a racist. But --

BIDEN: I know. But as soon as I heard those words, I thought, what's coming next? I think the American people know Joe Biden; they know his values. They know what he stands for. And, they didn't buy it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, she says Americans don't buy it but the question is, was there a long-term damage to Biden and how much pressure does this put him on at the next debate?

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, POLITICO: I don't think we have the answer yet to whether or not there is long-term damage but there is certainly was a shift and we saw that because of the polls that came out after the debate, where we saw Kamala Harris surged and we can tie that directly to her performance which was a strong line and she set a very distinct contrast with Biden.

[23:10:04] And so it kept this entire -- she was also after those debates able to keep news coverage around her and she was able to dominate that, and then in the weeks since it's become a bit muddle because of her position on bussing has also been a question that's has now entered into the debate.

But as the longer that Biden has to talk about this the more that it could potentially hurt him, but so far, a lot of the reports on the ground on the trail are that voters are not necessarily impacted by it. LEMON: Yes, interesting. Ryan, Joe Biden invoke Obama there, when

Biden apologized for his segregations comment, he also invokes Obama. What do you think that, it's interesting he keeps invoking the Obamas, yet no endorsement? It is early. They, you know, at least she has said why.

RYAN LIZZA, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. Look, I think Obama's role and this is obviously very, very interesting because on the one hand, the only candidate in the race that is defending the Obama's legacy is Joe Biden and whose whole campaign in fact is about the Obama legacy is Joe Biden.

Now if you are Barack Obama you're sitting back and like biting your fingernails, maybe, taking like, boy, it's my whole legacy is on the shoulders of Biden here. And you know, so many of the other candidates are pointing out differences with the Obama -- eight years of Obama.

Remember, Elizabeth Warren and the White House buddied heads quite a bit. Bernie Sanders has a whole critic about what was wrong in the Obama years and how Obama wasn't far enough to the left, and the party in fact hasn't moved quite a bit to the left.

Most of the major candidates have moved that way. You know, I think the race is sort of, you know, revolution, Warren, Sanders versus restoration which is Joe Biden.

And so, -- but as an elder statesman in the former presidents, Obama can probably sit back and say he won't get involved until, you know, there is some clarity in the race.

LEMON: I think it's interesting, Laura, and I should have followed up with you, and I thought about it the polls are just a snapshot in a moment in time. Because -- and I did, this is my unscientific polling that I do, especially I think it's generational with folks that are my mom's age, 60s and 70s, older African-Americans. They say I'm still with Joe.

BARRON-LOPEZ: Yes.

LEMON: And I sit there, do you have that, did you guys have that experience as well, which is interesting?

BARRON-LOPEZ: Well, I think that that's right. I think that there is a big generational divide in the Democratic Party. And you see that across ethnicity, across black voters and Latinos, and like voters and the older generation is much more in line with Biden and they still support him.

And things like his past with Anita Hill. His past votes for the Iraq war, it just doesn't face them. They say that they are still with him because they are very much concerned about who could beat Trump. And the younger generation is very different.

LEMON: Yes.

BARRON-LOPEZ: Younger Democratic voters want more they're demanding more --

LEMON: OK.

BARRON-LOPEZ: -- and so we see that that's why Sanders does well with them and more.

LEMON: I got to get this in before I ran out of time. Ryan, listen. Switching gears. I spoke with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee earlier tonight, she's now been invited to reschedule her visit to El Paso, the border station after not being granted access into a CBP facilities.

This is what she said in response to the president's comments that the migrants are better off. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): These people came from unbelievable violence. The woman I spoke to, her son was murdered. The other woman left for a grocery store or to get food and she came back; her house had been broken into. And the teenagers that she was in charge of were drugged.

And they had to call emergency services to un-drug them and they fled. The disabled person has no resources and it it's frightened for his life because he's vulnerable. I don't think the president has a clue. And unfortunately, the Department of Homeland Security and the entire apparatus in Washington are in outright denial.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: What do you think, Ryan? I mean, listen, it's not going away. And both sides see this as politically expedient to have this issue front and center.

LIZZA: I mean, the big thing about the way Trump talks about this issue, is he doesn't seem to be interested in the concept of asylum. You know, I think there are a lot of people on the left and the right who would be willing to change aspects of the asylum system.

But Trump himself seems basically to think the asylum system is just a way for people to gain the system and get into the United States and shows no empathy towards legitimate asylum seekers where the Democrats are only emphasizing the legitimate asylum seekers.

LEMON: Thank you, both.

LIZZA: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: I appreciate your time.

BARRON-LOPEZ: Thank you.

LEMON: There is a phrase that Joe Biden uses a lot, and it just might tell you something about the real Biden. Remember this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[23:15:01] JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Come on man, come on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Vice President Joe Biden has been in politics for more than 40 years, first as a senator from Delaware and eventually as vice president in the Obama administration. But Biden has never given up the folksy turns of phrases that pepper his speeches in his rallies.

And thanks to a new piece in the Washington Post, well, we have -- we may have found his favorite. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN: Everybody knows who this guy is, come on man. Come on. He's threatening NATO, to pull out of NATO. I mean, come on.

CUOMO: He says he's gotten NATO to give in more money for their defense because of his tactics.

JOE BIDEN: Come on, man.

CUOMO: Why didn't you fight like this in the debate?

JOE BIDEN: In 30 seconds? Hey, come on, man. What happens who have really shown themselves to do really well. Come on, man.

How do we deal with terrorism around the world by ourselves without allies? How do we deal with stateless actors without allies? Come on, man.

[23:20:00] AOC is working with Ted Cruz.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Elizabeth Warren is hard to believe.

JOE BIDEN: She's trying to get in. Now tell me that one, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hard to believe.

JOE BIDEN: Come on, man.

Hey, they're all going to end up voting for her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This one Hillary.

JOE BIDEN: Come on, man. Do you think this guy is going to walk in and vote for Trump?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Come on, man. Let's discuss now with the Washington Post Matt Viser, and Patrick Healy of the New York Times. Good evening. So good to have both of you on. The former president used to say that all the time, come on, man.

Matt, I got to start with you because you wrote your piece for the Washington Post come on, man may as well be Joe Biden's campaign slogan. Why do you think that he loves that phrase so much?

MATT VISER, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: I think it conveys a lot about him. And first of all, there is a lot of Bidenism. Right? I mean, he says, look, not a joke. There is a lot of things that he says all the time. Here is the deal but come on, man cuts a little bit deeper.

There is a sense of indignation about it. Disbelief at the current state of things. And frankly, as you those on those clips, if he disagrees with a question, it's a way for him to undercut the premise a little bit that he can't believe he's having to answer this.

LEMON: Yes.

VISER: Which you hear a lot from him on the campaign trail. So, I think it does evoke a lot of that as well the folksiness I think that he tries to convey a connection with people.

LEMON: Let me just ask you before I get to Patrick. Your piece points out that while this phrase it may be a Biden, a trademark of Biden, I guess, but President Obama actually used it quite a bit as well. Remember he would say it, come on, man.

VISER: Yes. And it comes from sports a lot of times. ESPN has a segment from Monday night football that is entitled that and Obama may have gotten it from that. But again, it tells us something about Biden. A lot of his campaigns is about inheriting things from Obama. And this phrase may be another example of that where he's taking on something that he's sort of, caught on with his buddy Barack as he calls him.

LEMON: So, Patrick, is there any significance to these mannerisms on the trail beyond just being figures of speech, because you heard what Matt say -- said, he said that he can use it sort to undercut the premise of your question, right?

PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. That's the key. I think that's the key thing. The undercutting the deflection of a question. I heard Hillary Clinton in 2008 and again, you know, often on 2016, she would often deflect laughter when she got a question even if it was a pretty serious question. She often, you know, would go to the sort of like big laugh that kind of push things off. That's something that maybe --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: (Inaudible) Harris does that a little bit, too.

HEALY: Yes. Sometimes. But it's almost like to sort of suggest that the question is ridiculous on its face, you know, and to sort of move it off. John Kerry in 2004, you know, would often say sort of, here's the deal and kind of refrain what the conversation was about and just go to whatever they're talking about.

So it is that. But it is also, it is Biden. I mean, that's the way he sounds and he talks, and you know, at least in terms of how he tries to relate to people, he does a lot with men, it can sound to be a little strange with women when he does it on the rope line or in interviews and if you try to do it at a debate like Senator Harris, it would be, that wouldn't quite work.

LEMON: But you wrote in the Times, right? Your piece in the Times is called "The bro-iness --

(CROSSTALK)

HEALY: That was Charles Blow.

LEMON: Charles Blow.

HEALY: Charles Blow.

LEMON: The bro-iness of Joe Biden -- just pardon me for that -- he calls Biden's mannerism entitled and said that, quote, "Biden has a tone and temperament issue that it would behoove him to adjust. We don't need to replace a septuagenarian brute with septuagenarian bro."

I mean, I don't know. I mean, a kind of frustrated come on, man. Is he challenging though the country? The country feels --

HEALY: Then you can put him on the couch. I mean, I think a lot of things if you put him on a lie detector test, he probably wouldn't remember saying some of this. They're almost like ticks at this point.

But I do think there is a sense in his mind that it is relatable. That there is sort of a way to go into living rooms, you know, in Iowa, Wisconsin, or Pennsylvania and it feels like that's the way, you know, from his point of view people talk.

LEMON: Matt, is he watching this now saying come on, man, that's just how I talk.

VISER: Yes. And that's kind of the phrase I got from some of his advisers when I was asking about this. Because it is not a phrase as Pat was alluding too that they put in the teleprompter. You know, this is not part of his prepared remarks. It's a verbal tick that he has.

As you alluded to, there is a gendered aspect I think in some ways to it. He's facing six women, many of them highly qualified in this race. So, you know, I think there's on the chalk board I think among some women as you address an audience of mix genders. So it will be interesting.

LEMON: I appreciate your time. Come on, man.

VISER: Thank you.

LEMON: We'll be right back.

[23:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The Supreme Court ruled against him but President Trump continues to insists that the 2020 census include a citizenship question. And the Attorney General, William Barr says he'll have a pathway for putting the question on the census in a day or two.

That as the entire DOJ legal team that was representing the administration just last week is being replaced. A source telling CNN that they would have been in the awkward position of having to contradict themselves in court to get the president what he wants.

Our next guest is a first to have knowledge of life in the DOJ under President Trump until last November. She was an attorney adviser in the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel. Erica Newland left that office after she came to the decision that her job expectations were incompatible with her oath of office to uphold the Constitution. And there she is. She joins me now. Thank you. Good to see you.

ERICA NEWLAND, FORMER ATTORNEY ADVISER, DOJ OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL: Good to see you, Don.

LEMON: So, first, let me get your take on the president insisting that a citizenship question should be added to the census possibly by executive order?

NEWLAND: There is as fundamental point here. And it's that government attorneys don't have an obligation, it's not their job to cover up the president's lies or a cabinet secretary's lies.

[23:30:04] And that's what the attorneys would be doing if via executive order or presidential memorandum

HERE

[23:30:00] ERICA NEWLAND, FORMER ATTORNEY ADVISER, DOJ OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNCIL: -- to cover up the president's lies or a cabinet secretary's lies. That's what the attorneys would be doing. If via executive order or presidential memorandum, I think I read that somewhere, they would try to add this question back to the census. The Supreme Court has made it really clear that their pretextual reasons for doing so are not going to fly.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Your work at OLC dealt specifically with giving legal opinions and executive orders -- on executive orders, I should say. Do you think the president can use an executive order to force this issue?

NEWLAND: No, I don't. The statues are really, really clear about this. The census gives to the secretary of commerce the authority to decide what goes into the census. Secretary of commerce is really constraint in how he can do that. He has to follow what is known as the Administrative Procedure Act -- sorry, that's a mouthful -- and make sure that his decision in adding any question to the census is rational --

LEMON: Yeah. NEWLAND: -- essentially, and doing so here just isn't.

LEMON: I want to talk to you about your time at the Office of Legal Counsel. In a piece for The Washington Post, you wrote earlier this year that lawyers at the OLD give the president deference. But when it came to President Trump, that trust was misplaced. Explain that to us, please. What does that mean?

NEWLAND: This goes back to the point that I made at the beginning of our conversation, which is government attorneys are in a really special position. They don't just represent an individual client. In fact, they don't represent an individual person at all. They represent the United States. When attorneys for the federal government stand up in the court, that's what they say, I represent the United States of America, and not I represent the interests of Donald J. Trump.

The position that attorneys for the government had been put in time and again in this administration is being told that no, actually your obligation is to the president. That's inconsistent with their role and with their oath of office, which is to support and defend the constitution and to carry out the duty faithfully and that means honestly.

LEMON: The attorney general told the Times today that he believes the administration can still find a path to legally include the citizenship question on the census. Is this part of a pattern of President Trump politicizing the DOJ, you think?

NEWLAND: Oh, absolutely. It is part of the pattern of the attorney general, seeing his loyalty as to this man, Donald Trump, who happens to be president, and not to his obligations under the constitution. It is basically a directive to the attorneys of the Department of Justice to come off with a better lie. That puts them in untenable position and one that is not their job to do.

LEMON: Speaking of the lawyers who have been replaced, Barr told the Times that -- this is a quote. He "can understand if they're interested in not participating in this phase." What do you make of all this? Was those lawyers embarrassed by how this all played out, you think?

NEWLAND: I think so. That's the best sense that I can make of it. They finally said enough is enough, I am not going to further spend this web of lies, and, you know, I have my credibility, I have my professional responsibility. You know, lawyers have -- under our code of professional responsibility, we have what is known as a duty of candor to the tribunal, which means to the courts, and they may just have said, I am sorry, I can't do this. They should be applauded for doing so. That is a hard thing to do, it takes courage to do, and it was the right thing to do here.

LEMON: Erica Newland, thank you so much.

NEWLAND: Thank you.

LEMON: New disturbing reports say the FBI and ICE are using facial recognition technology to scan through millions of Americans' driver's license photos without their consent. But the big question is what are they trying to do?

[23:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The FBI as well as agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement using state driver's license databases to scan through millions of Americans' photos without their knowledge or consent. The question is why?

I want to discuss it now. Elliot Williams is here as well as Juliette Kayyem. Good evening to both of you. Why, why, why? That is a question. I mean, Elliot, you are a former assistant director of ICE. What exactly are ICE agents trying to achieve here? I mean, what do they accomplish by going through all these driver's license photos?

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, ICE: Right. You know, what they are doing is searching for people's data with a hatchet and not a scalpel. It is a broad, untested, unvetted technology that carries huge, huge, huge risk for sweeping in innocent people and violating people's privacy rights.

I even think beyond that, there is a big public safety question here which is that what you do -- specifically what they did was look at jurisdictions that gave driver's licenses to undocumented people and look for undocumented people that way as an investigative technique.

That carries public safety consequences because that makes undocumented people not want to get driver's licenses. What you end up with are unlicensed drivers on the road and people living in the shadow. So setting aside the immigration and privacy concerns, you actually make the public less safe when you start going down this road.

LEMON: Interesting. Juliette, this is the first known case of ICE using facial recognition technology to scan state driver's license photos. The vast majority of people are legal. They are law-abiding residents and citizens. Is this a massive privacy violation?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think it is.

[23:39:57] What Elliot was saying is really important. There is a difference between there being an investigation and needing to find out who that person is -- sort of a targeted search -- versus what -- this is essentially just a sweep. This is just state of mining (ph) for pictures.

Once you understand that distinction, that one is allowable under common -- sort of investigatory technique, the other is new. There seems to be no standards. State jurisdictions don't seem to be notified. DMVs don't seem to have any standards when to say yes or no. The American public whether documented citizens or undocumented has no idea this is going on.

That's the scary part of it. We can maybe agree that there are instances when you would want a law enforcement agency to actually have this tool. But without standards about the how, why, when, who reviews it, should there be a judicial review, how long can they look, how many people can they look at, none of those are being answered. So ICE is just sweeping these pictures, clearly looking for undocumented immigrants.

LEMON: But how do they know? How do you match someone through this technology, Juliette?

KAYYEM: So what we believe is happening -- once again, there is no standard. What we believe is happening is that ICE may come in to possession of a person, person X. We don't know who they are, they don't have to disclose what their immigration status, but they know that person X lives at this house and they believe -- and they have a picture of them and they believe that he's undocumented.

They then walk over to the DMV. Once again, to Elliot's point, states have an interest in giving driver's license to anyone who is on the road. It protects me. It protects you. It protects my children. You want people to have driver's license. They go across the street, they say, hey, DMV, can I scan this picture and see if it comes up with a picture? Oh, by the way, that guy is undocumented. That's what we believe that they are doing.

LEMON: Interesting. OK, so, Elliot, I got to ask you this. Because you said facial recognition technology most often misidentifies people of color especially women, is it that accurate? How accurate is this technology?

WILLIAMS: No, again, and frankly, Don is right. I think two hours ago, The New York Times dropped the piece about Detroit and a massive surveillance program they've got there that involves scanning faces. I think it is like a 30 percent error rate with darker skin, African- Americans, particularly African-American women.

It is kind of like you have to ask, you know, can -- even your laptop or even the software seems to racially profile you, can't get a break anywhere. It seems like the answer is unequivocal no. But literally, you know, this is not fringed up we are talking about here. Literally, the way the program was designed harms black people or harms darker skin individuals, not necessarily African-Americans.

That's intensely problematic because what you end up with are false positives. And so ICE ends up -- once again, I'm going to use the term, sweeping in a broader cross section of the public, then they would -- I'm hesitant to say they would be entitled to, but, you know, a lot of innocent people get targeted and end up sort of caught in a law enforcement --

LEMON: Yeah. Juliette, undocumented people who apply for driver's licenses, they don't know that they can be turning their picture over to ICE or the FBI.

KAYYEM: Right.

LEMON: I mean, could this be a precursor to conducting raid (ph), you think? KAYYEM: Yes. This is -- I was the State Homeland Security head here in Massachusetts when we dealt with this issue about whether we would allow it. We decided to, because weighing the public's safety benefit of having people with driver's license far outweighed any desires of ICE to try to deport anyone. And so -- but it was hard to get people to come forward.

LEMON: Yeah.

KAYYEM: So one of the things that we said was, this is not going to be used for federal deportation purposes. That's not what the state's interest is.

LEMON: OK.

KAYYEM: They are interested in bringing immigrants to, you know, to get them driver's licenses.

LEMON: Yeah. Thank you. It got to be the last word. Thank you both. I appreciate it. The former first lady, Michelle Obama, is speaking out in what it was like to be at President Trump's inauguration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: I had to sit in that audience, one of a handful of people of color, and then listen to that speech --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Stay with us, you want to hear more of what she had to say.

[23:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Former first lady Michelle Obama opening up this weekend at the Essence Festival in New Orleans, telling Gayle King how she felt leaving the White House on Inauguration Day in 2017.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Sort of sit at that inauguration and to look around at a crowd that was not reflective of the country. It was just such the opposite -- during Barack's inauguration, we made sure that the crowd looked like all of America.

I had to sit in that audience, one of a handful of people of color, and then listen to that speech, and all that I had sort of held on to for eight years watching my husband get raked over the coals feeling like we had to do everything perfectly --

GAYLE KING, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Yeah, yeah.

OBAMA: -- you know, no scandal, no --

KING: Yeah.

OBAMA: -- no nothing.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Yeah.

OBAMA: No nothing at all.

KING: No scandal, yes.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: It was a lot emotionally.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Here to discuss, the former Obama administration aide, Desiree Barnes.

[23:50:01] Desiree, it's always a pleasure having you on. Thank you so much.

DESIREE BARNES, FORMER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AIDE: Thank you so much for having me.

LEMON: What do you think of the first lady's candor about the inauguration?

BARNES: Well, I could relate to it. I think she was in a position where she actually had to attend it. So for a lot of us staffers, we didn't need to be there, but watching it on television, you could still feel the sentiment. But I think what she says resonates with a lot of folks. We want to see political candidates and campaigns and folks who are inclusive that's reflective of the entire United States. And we like to see that participation.

LEMON: Yeah. I was at the inauguration. I was at both Obama inauguration and the Trump inauguration. It was different. I mean, the diversity --

BARNES: Crowd sizes, everything.

LEMON: Crowd sizes and the diversity are lack thereof as well.

BARNES: Yeah.

LEMON: Let me play another. This is what the former first lady said about the 2020 Democratic field --

BARNES: Yeah.

LEMON: -- and I will get your response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Barack and I are going to support whoever wins the primary. So, we are -- our primary focus is letting the primary process play out, because it's very early.

KING: What if anything would you like to say about the Kamala-Biden dust up? He apologized today. You have been following that. Do you have any thoughts about that?

OBAMA: I do not.

KING: OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

BARNES: I love that.

LEMON: She didn't want to answer. Why do you think -- do you think it is the right play to --

BARNES: One hundred percent, because I think what America needs and especially those part of the Democratic Party is a formidable candidate. Primaries are there to serve that purpose. I think that black women -- I can't speak for all of them or just even black folk in general -- we are not a monolith (ph).

And so we are looking at every candidate, not just for identity politics. We are looking at every candidate to see if they have plans or campaigns that are run that resonate with the issues we care about.

LEMON: What do you think the Obamas are looking for? Listen, they haven't endorsed --

BARNES: Right.

LEMON: -- the former vice president. A lot of people are saying, why not, he was the vice president. What do you think they are looking for? Why do you think they are not endorsing him?

BARNES: Well, I think they believe in the democratic primary process. So, whoever wins the primary, they will get behind full force. You know, just to pivot to back to what she actually said about offering advice to anyone who wants it.

And so although I know that the vice president has a close relationship with the Obamas or the former vice president rather, I do think that all of the candidates, if they have the courage to ask, if they are seeking that sort of assistance, they should not just talk to the Obamas, they should also talk to the Clinton campaign. You learn just as much from failures as you have learned from success.

LEMON: Very interesting. The former first lady also spoke about the attacks that she faced back in the 2008 campaign. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Now, I'm Michelle Obama and beloved, but for a minute there, I was an angry black woman, who was emasculating her husband, who was somebody to be feared. Democrats and Republicans tried to take me out by the knees. And the best way to do it was to focus on the one thing they knew people were afraid of the strength of a black woman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: I remember very vividly the attacks that she faced and I'm sure you did as well. Obviously, she is still feeling a certain kind of way about that. How did it impact her as first lady, you think?

BARNES: Well, I can personally say, she really said I think in the beginning of the Essence interview that she had to earn her grace. And I think even as a young black woman staffer, for any woman of color working in the White House at that time, we really did feel that pressure collectively. She handled it extremely well.

I think that she does the best at telling her story. I think she is extremely comfortable at where she is at. I think she's saying things that resonate with a lot of people.

LEMON: Desiree, thank you.

BARNES: Thanks for having me.

LEMON: Always a pleasure. We'll be right back.

[23:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: We just celebrated the 4th of July. America's independence is as meaningful today as it was for the nation's founders. People who left their home countries to seek a better life lived on their own terms. Today, refugees escaping turmoil in their countries have come to America to do the same, but often encounter new obstacles once they get here.

This week CNN hero is helping refugees get one step closer to achieving that American dream with an innovative culinary job training program. Meet Kerry Brodie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY BRODIE, CNN HERO: What we're teaching our students isn't just knife skills and it isn't just cooking. It's the idea that you are a human and you have value. And that's something that people have tried to strip away from others for such a long time.

What's the dream team cooking up?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Samba cake.

BRODIE: Samba cake, awesome.

That experience of watching our students transform, seeing our students really come into their own inspires me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)