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Judge Says No To Swapping; President Trump Feels Bad For Labor Secretary Acosta; Chris Ruddy Saying Alexander Acosta Could Be Out In Weeks; President Donald Trump's Attacks On Kim Darroch; Trump's Harsh Words For Theresa May; Ross Perot Dies At The Age Of 89. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired July 9, 2019 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: I wish them the best going forward. Thank you for watching tonight. "CNN TONIGHT" with D. Lemon starts right now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Good for you. I'm glad you said that. And for some over there all they got is I'm not going to talk about the story anymore. That was it. And you know, it's sad. Can you imagine being a family member of Mr. Rich and having to deal with all of that? Having to go through that ordeal and then no recourse. No one saying, I think they put out a statement. But no one saying I am sorry. We were absolutely wrong. We should be --
CUOMO: Well, ongoing litigation, right? Ongoing ligation winds up closing up your mouth because the people who pay your check tell you here's what you have to say now. And you can even see in their reporting of it how qualified the language was.
Here's what I don't like. There are people who should be targets and there are people who should not. You and I are in the former category. We should be targets. We put ourselves out there. It's our job. Bring it on. The family, though, of Seth Rich, they never bought into this. They asked them to stop doing it.
LEMON: That's true.
CUOMO: And because of the politics and the potential for advantage, they did what they thought worked for them. And that's wrong.
CUOMO: These people didn't deserve that. I'd love to say it will be like a learning moment, but it won't be. It will keep happening as long as there's advantage.
LEMON: Well that teachable moment as we say, have you seen the loudest voice in the room?
LEMON: Isn't it amazing? CUOMO: Yes.
LEMON: And now you get it.
LEMON: You get why that happens.
CUOMO: Yes. I got it before. But, yes.
LEMON: I mean, but I think that sometimes people have to see it even if it's in a fictional form, even if it's in a movie, even if it's on HBO or some other, some other venue you have to see it in that form so that to make it believable.
I know that sounds odd but it's true. And if you look what happened with Will and Grace and what happened with gay rights, and on and on. When people see it in that form they go, my gosh, it's true. Because the only time you'll see something about or hear something that's in a novel, right. Someone will write a book about it.
Or you'll see some media person -- media critic talk about what happens. Especially over at Trump TV. But when you see it in that form and you get the gist of it, you understand why they do what they do and where it came from.
CUOMO: It works. It's just --
LEMON: I mean, listen, I think Roger Ailes is one hell of a man. I got to tell you that.
CUOMO: You know, as the audience probably know right now, I worked at Fox. I worked for Roger Ailes. Of course, I didn't know what he was doing at the time.
CUOMO: That has made him notorious and rightly so, even posthumously. But the -- his idea was simple. The majority of the country is not who the media is speaking to. There are lots of white, Christian people out there who have a set of believes in politics that are not being reflected by the national dialogue. Let's serve them.
Then the next iteration was, this form of demagoguery that I'm going to make you angry at people I'm going to stoke your hate of them. I'm going to let you think that they're stupid and bad and elitist and all these different cultural boxes that we can check off. Even if they check the same ones themselves and why they're doing that is where I think needs examination.
And I don't blame everybody at Fox News. There are lot of good men and women working there trying to do their job the right way. It's the people at the top and the pundits they are the ones who are going to have to be answered for. LEMON: Yes. It's interesting because to me, that is the biggest form
of identity politics out there going. They always like to accuse the left of identity politics.
LEMON: That is, they are the definition of identity politics, especially in the Trump era.
CUOMO: But they have a great advantage that the left does not have.
CUOMO: The left eats its own. The left creates behaviors --
LEMON: My gosh.
CUOMO: -- that it then enforces on its own. And they can talk about these things because their base does not care about it.
LEMON: How many times have I said that to you? The folks on the right get in line. Remember, nobody liked -- nobody liked Donald Trump at all. On that stage with 19 candidates however it was. No establishment conservative or Republican like Donald Trump.
But once he became the nominee or he started to get the momentum they all fell in line. Democrats, you're right, they eat their own. You know what, I got to have a purity test with this. They didn't speak right about that. I heard you talking to Rosy.
I get what -- I picked up what you were putting down. Rosy is a very bright and very smart woman. All the polls show, right, as of now and polls are a snapshot in time. I'm talking about as of now. And this is, I mean, this is going to be the way that it turns out, that the best chance that Democrats have is Joe Biden. I'm not saying that that is true but that's what the polling is showing.
And if you want the person who is going to beat someone should have matter how old they, should have matter what gender they are? Should it matter those things? I don't know. I mean.
[22:05:00] CUOMO: Well, gender, no. Age is a function of vitality, I can see it, but it's case by case. I think the most disturbing metric for them in the most recent numbers, is that if Donald Trump, President Trump runs against somebody who can be identified as socialist. He beats them by six to nine points.
CUOMO: That's their concern. And that's why he's using that term.
CUOMO: As often as he is. LEMON: Yes. Well, I got to run because I got trouble --
CUOMO: Well, I don't want, you know, I don't want to horn in on your big action packed big, big show.
LEMON: I know. Chris Ruddy is -- Chris Ruddy is back there going listen I got some news from the president. Come on, Don Lemon. Get me on.
CUOMO: I only talk to him when he is in a tuxedo. I'll be watching.
LEMON: Se you soon.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
Brand new legal smack down for the Trump administration to tell you about tonight. A federal judge in New York blocking the DOJ from swapping out its legal team on the citizenship question and its ruling is pretty blunt.
And here's the quote. It says, "Defendants provide no reason, let alone, satisfactory reasons for the substitution of counsel."
Ouch. And here's the thing. Request for changes of lawyers in civil cases are almost always allowed. So, the judges' ruling today is a big blow to the president.
And it comes after the Supreme Court blocked the administration from adding the citizenship question. After Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the census forms were being printed without the question. And after the administration was forced to do a screeching 180 when the president tweeted this, he was absolutely moving forward with the question.
Got all that? Well now the administration is getting slapped down again. So why do they keep forcing this issue? Civil rights group saying -- say that including the question will scare off legal immigrants as well as undocumented immigrants, which of you asks Speaker Nancy Pelosi that maybe the point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY PELOSI, UNITED STATES SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This is about keeping -- you know, make America, you know, this hat. Make America white again. They want to make sure that people, certain people are counted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, that as a scandal is growing tonight over the Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta. Can he keep his job? Should he keep his job?
Critics are outraged over his role as U.S. attorney in 2008 in cutting a sweetheart deal for Jeffrey Epstein. Jeffrey Epstein is the multi- millionaire with friends in high places who is now been charged with having operated a sex trafficking ring in which he allegedly sexually abused dozens of underage girls, and the president says this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I feel very badly actually for Secretary Acosta because I have known him as being somebody that worked so hard and has done such a good job. I feel badly about that whole situation. But we're going to be looking at that and looking at it very closely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: He feels very badly for Acosta. A man who cut a sweetheart deal for an allege sex trafficker. It's just interesting to people the president feels very badly for.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I feel very badly for Paul Manafort. And you know, he worked for Ronald Reagan very successfully. He worked for John McCain. he worked for Bob Dole and many others for many years. And I feel badly for him.
I feel badly for General Flynn. I feel very badly. He's led a very strong life. And I feel very badly.
Judge Kavanaugh has gone beautifully up a ladder. He's an incredible individual. Great intellect. Great judge. Impeccable history in every way. In every way. I feel so badly for him that he's going through this, to be honest with you. I feel so badly for him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The president admitting today that he knew Epstein. But saying he hasn't talked to him in years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him. People in Palm Beach knew him he was a fixture in Palm Beach. I had a falling out with him a long time ago. I don't think I've spoken to him for 15 years. I wasn't a fan. I was not -- yes, a long time ago. I'd say maybe 15 years. I was not a fan of his. That I can tell you. I was not a fan of his.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: All right. But I just listened to what Donald Trump said back in 2002. He said this was in a New York magazine story. Jeffrey Epstein international money man of mystery, Trump has quoted to saying, "I've known Jeff for 15 years, terrific guy. He is a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do. And many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it. Jeffrey enjoys his social life." The reference to women on the younger side is pretty disturbing in
retrospect. The president refused to say today, you know, what his falling out with Epstein was all about. But he was banned from Mar-a- Lago in 2007.
[22:09:56] An attorney for the Trump Organization telling the Washington Post the ban was over the criminal charges against Epstein. Yet the president continues to stand by his labor secretary. For now, anyway.
Sources telling CNN that Acosta's future in the cabinet could come down to the news coverage of the scandal and just how loud the calls for his resignation become, which is probably why the secretary tweeted today. OK?
He said, "Now that new evidence and additional testimony is available the New York prosecution offers an important opportunity to more fully bring him to justice."
That's quite something. Coming from the man who could have brought Epstein more fully to justice more than a decade ago.
And then there is the continuing sage of the British ambassador and those leaked diplomatic cables, the president who is not known for his thick skin doubling down today, calling Ambassador Kim Darroch whacky and a very stupid guy.
All because the ambassador and cables that were supposed to be private called the president inept, insecure, and incompetent, caught in the crossfire in all of this the British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Trump tweeting, he told her how to do a Brexit deal and saying she, quote, "went her own foolish way, was unable to get it done, a disaster." And going on to get to another shot, getting another shot at the ambassador calling him a pompous fool.
But the president sure has done a 180 on the prime minister since his visit to the U.K. just last month. When as we pointed out at that time, he was gracious and praising her Brexit effort.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Perhaps you won't be given the credit that you deserve if they do something. But I think you deserve a lot of credit. I really do. I think you deserve a lot of credit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Sworn Minister Jeremy Hunt who is in the running to replace May getting into the dust up too. Tweeting, "These comments are disrespectful and wrong to our prime minister and my country."
All of this is bringing a whole new meaning to the, quote, "special relationship." Feud with the ambassador, the court battle over the census citizenship question. And another cabinet member embroiled in scandal. What does the president think of all of this? I'm going to ask one of his longtime allies, Christopher Ruddy. Hasn't been on the show in a while. I'm looking forward to talking to him. That's next.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: A major legal setback tonight for the Trump administration. A federal judge ruling the Justice Department cannot change its legal team in the census citizenship question case. Saying it hasn't provided a satisfactory reason. That as the president has some harsh words for British Prime Minister Theresa May. And his labor secretary is under fire tonight.
So, let's take a look at a big picture on all of this. Chris Ruddy is a CEO and president of Newsmax Media, who is a close confidant of President Trump. So, it's been a while since you've been on. Thank you. It's good to see you.
CHRISTOPHER RUDDY, CEO, NEWSMAX MEDIA: Well, you moved over to the west side, new digs. I mean, this is like the elevator in this building was so large. I've never seen, it was like a studio apartment. I don't get invited to the parties you throw here.
LEMON: Well --
RUDDY: So, I come over once in a while to defend my friend. But other than that.
LEMON: Well, we invite you all the time and we're --
RUDDY: I think I'm too close to Donald Trump to be in your inner circle.
LEMON: I don't -- and you would be wrong in that. So, but because we love talking to you and having you on. Let's talk about the citizenship thing, OK?
The census question, the fight. Why is the administration trying so hard to do this? Because all the courts repeatedly are saying to him you cannot do this. It's not something that you can get around they're saying.
RUDDY: Donald Trump loves this issue. I saw him this weekend we were chatting a little bit about this issue. This is just so clear, like you live in a bubble. You think you shouldn't ask in the census if you're a U.S. citizen? Meanwhile --
LEMON: You mean, just -- I'm not -- I'm just asking you the question. I'm not saying if you should ask it or not. I'm just saying the courts are saying you can't do that.
RUDDY: Well, I think it's pretty clear watching your show and other shows on CNN that people want that question to be totally deleted from the census. And it seems like a pretty basic question considering that billions of dollars are being decided on that question and that the apportionment of Congress.
So, the president is saying, hey, this is very simple. Let's just ask people are they a citizen of the United States in the census so that we make sure that the apportionment is done on how many congressmen a particular state get. It seems like pretty reasonable. It used to be asked from the census. It isn't asked on the census now. And he wants it asked.
LEMON: Chris, even though, I mean, it's -- the president tweeted that he was going to do it anyway. The Supreme Court said no. I mean it just seems like -- the Supreme Court ruled that they didn't -- the DOJ had given up. Why does he keep --
RUDDY: Well, I don't know all of the legal issues. I'm not a lawyer on it, but I do believe it's pretty sensible --
LEMON: But if the Supreme Court says no --
RUDDY: -- it's a winning, I think it's a winning issue for the president.
LEMON: That's it. For politically.
RUDDY: Well, I think it's also smart issue about how the government -- we never really had the situation where we have 10 to 15 -- we're not even sure how many illegals we have in the country. There's 10 to 15 million. I think there should be -- the point of a census is you do a count.
And so, the president says let's do a proper count. And somehow this is what is it, racist? I don't know, is there any? Why would you not want to ask people in the census? The census is a count of the citizens of a particular country.
LEMON: It's a count -- why don't they -- why don't they want to comply with what the court is telling them to do. I mean, the census is a count of the people in the country. Not necessarily citizens.
RUDDY: Well, I think the court sent it back down in the appeals court. And this is why it's still being fought. They're trying to change out the lawyers. I'm not sure it's as big as set back as you're suggesting. I think for some reason they want to change.
Again, I'm not privy to the Justice Department maneuvering on it. But I do know that I think the president thinks he's on very safe ground.
RUDDY: He and I chatted about it over the weekend, so.
LEMON: Did you talk about Epstein over the weekend?
RUDDY: We didn't. But, you know, I've been following this. And it's really interesting. I would say during a 15-year period, I saw the president every single -- almost every single weekend from November until May. And then I would see him off season. It's the season in Florida. And then I would see him in different places. Jeffrey Epstein was never seen. He was never around.
LEMON: What years? What years are you referring to?
RUDDY: Probably starting around 2004.
[22:19:59] LEMON: OK. Because I want -- so let me ask you this.
RUDDY: So, Jeffrey --
LEMON: I just want to -- this is again President Trump with "The New York Times" that "I've known Jeff for 15 years, terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It's even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do. Many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it, Jeffrey enjoys his social life."
I mean, in retrospect, the younger side considering the trouble now that Epstein --
RUDDY: So, you keep repeating that. I've seen like a gazillion times on your network and a couple of other places. There are Democrats that were very close to Jeffrey Epstein.
LEMON: That was in 2002 by the way.
RUDDY: There were Democrats who are very close to Jeffrey Epstein that had a very close relationship with him. They're not being mentioned. My --
LEMON: You're absolutely right. Let me just say this. You're absolutely right. If a Democrat was a president now and you were friends with that Democrat, I would be asking you with that question. But that doesn't make --
RUDDY: What Justice Department is re-prosecuting? What Justice Department --
LEMON: I'm not -- I don't want to get off track here.
RUDDY: No, no. This is very pertinent. What Just Department is re- prosecuting this guy?
RUDDY: Was it Obama? Obama knew basically all the facts about Epstein that we know. LEMON: This keeps happened with Epstein before --
RUDDY: The Trump Justice Department --
LEMON: -- Obama even took office. This was 2008. Obama didn't take office until 2009 when he -- so when he got --
RUDDY: But the plea agreement had already been made.
RUDDY: And he had eight years to fight this.
LEMON: So, when I have a friend of the Obama administration on. I will ask. So, I'm asking you about this.
RUDDY: OK. And so, I'm telling you as not only a friend of the president but somebody that is looking at the news and covering the news. Geoffrey Berman was the appointee of Donald Trump. The Southern District of New York is very aggressively pursuing this case.
Donald Trump apparently knew this guy like a lot of other people did socially. He said some nice things at the time. Nobody knew, there were no press reports, as far as I can see. I don't think any of these people that knew Jeffrey Epstein knew that he was engaging in the illicit activities back in 2002 when the president made that comment.
LEMON: And that's --
RUDDY: I think it's highly unfair of people like you and others to do guilt by association. Whether it's Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Alan Dershowitz just because they knew the guy.
LEMON: But Chris, I got to jump in. I'm not saying guilt by association. What do you want me to invite you on and not ask you the questions about what's in the news about someone who got a sweetheart deal from Acosta?
RUDDY: But if you keep on saying some pedophile who is -- my experience with Donald Trump is if he sees somebody as a bad apple, whether they're doing something perverted like this. He will stay as far away from those people as possible.
And what, and it's come out in press reports I'm not knowledgeable, but as soon as they heard about some of this, they said he wasn't allowed at Mar-a-Lago. I never even knew that he attended Mar-a-Lago.
LEMON: They said -- they said it was because of the federal charges against him that they revoked his membership.
RUDDY: Even before that? I had been a member of the club. I had never seen him there. Nobody had even mentioned his name.
RUDDY: Show the idea that Donald Trump is somehow associated with this guy is just, he knew the guy, he knew him socially. He said nice things about him. It's now coming --
LEMON: People are asking he's not -- I think you're thinking it's because someone people want to associate Donald Trump with that behavior.
RUDDY: Look, I'm not -- but I know exactly what you are doing.
LEMON: It's about Alex Acosta.
RUDDY: You keep putting quotes.
LEMON: It's about Alex Acosta.
RUDDY: You're not putting quotes for many Democrats and people that received money and campaign donations from him that were Democrats and all of the relationships --
LEMON: We're talking about Bill Clinton last night. Bill Clinton put out a statement. And we covered it on this network. So, I mean, come on.
RUDDY: I happen to believe like I know that the Bill Clinton thing was totally ridiculous. That he had never been even on the island. He was always with Secret Service. But I don't like the guilt by association with anyone. And we seem to --
LEMON: Well, that's fair.
LEMON: I think that's fair.
RUDDY: So, I just think with Donald Trump, though, it keeps being repeated not just on this network but there are other networks. And I think it's very -- but I think it really hurts your audience. Because I think there's a lot of independent --
LEMON: Donald Trump is the president. The labor secretary helped was the person who --
RUDDY: Well, let's applaud the fact that his administration --
LEMON: -- helped him get the sweetheart deal.
RUDDY: -- is responsible --
LEMON: Do you think people are not going to talk about this, Chris? Come on. You're smarter than that. You know people will talk.
RUDDY: I think it's perfectly fine to talk about it. But let's remember he is re-prosecute -- his administration is re-prosecuting this case. I'm not defending this guy. I think Epstein (AUDIO GAP).
LEMON: OK. That's fine. I got to -- do you think Acosta -- of course. If he's guilty of everything they're saying yes, a bad guy. Do you think Acosta should stay in his cabinet post?
RUDDY: I think the plea agreement he did is indefensible. I think that he's not going to stay for long. I don't want to make a whole judgment on every position and that he's taken. I haven't spoken to the president about it. But I do think and we're reporting on Newsmax actually tonight our White House correspondent says he will be out in the next couple weeks. I think that decision --
LEMON: Do you think he'll be gone? Do you think he'll be gone?
LEMON: You said you haven't spoken to the president about it.
RUDDY: I haven't.
LEMON: Do you think he have the confidence of the president?
[22:24:59] RUDDY: Well, I think the president looks at this and says, hey, he did a good job as secretary of labor. He passed the Senate confirmation where the senators knew and Democrats like Claire McCaskill voted for him.
And they knew about this deal. And they knew that he had adjudicated the Epstein case. So, but I think at this [point it's indefensible that he did the plea agreement. So, I don't think --
LEMON: But you think he could be gone in, you said six weeks or shorter?
RUDDY: I think it will be in a relatively quick.
LEMON: OK. You attended the state visit to the U.K. with the president last month. Is that right? And when the president he spoke graciously at the presser with Theresa May. (CROSSTALK)
RUDDY: Buckingham Palace.
LEMON: I remarked on it at the time in my show. But now he is calling her foolish. Do you think he is proving the point of those leaked cables by saying like calling her foolish?
RUDDY: I think the president has -- he actually had a very good relationship with Prime Minister May even though they had very strong disagreements. He was super well-received. not only by the queen but the British public, the British establishment, which a lot of people were shocked by it.
Kim Darroch I've known for a while. This ambassador is one of the strongest supporters of the president in the diplomatic core. He likes Donald Trump. He has said very praise worthy things.
This document you started off the segment by saying that he had said that the president was inept that the president was incompetent. Actually, what he said was there were people in the administration that were inept.
Again, I haven't spoken to the president about it, but I think, you know, there are a lot of things I heard -- I spoke to somebody that read the whole six-page memo which is sort of at the center of this.
RUDDY: He praised, Darroch praised Trump for his political acumen. He said he's going to be reelected. He's indestructible politically.
LEMON: Yes. Bu that doesn't mean because of his political acumen of running that he is indeed capable of running a country, of running a campaign. Those are two different skills.
RUDDY: So, Kim, --
LEMON: So, you can hold those two thoughts --
RUDDY: -- the ambassador, the British ambassador has been like the president's largest advocate (Ph). He got the British government to support the NATO spending. he said the president is totally right on North Korea, totally right on Syria.
He's gotten unfair -- this is again fake news. And I hope to speak to the president pretty soon about this. Because it's really unfair what's happening to the British ambassador. He has been a strong advocate for building better relations between the Trump -- and he's actually advocated for the president pretty strongly.
LEMON: Yes. So, you heard it here first. You said Alexander Acosta his time is short.
RUDDY: Yes. I think it's not going to be long. Although I think he's done a good job as secretary of labor.
LEMON: So, you can hold those two thoughts at the same time.
RUDDY: Yes. Am I invited to the next party here?
LEMON: Of course, you are.
RUDDY: The elevators in this building are it's like a studio apartment. I think you live in one of those elevators.
LEMON: you should talk to the --
RUDDY: These are bigger like than Trump tower, which are very large elevators.
LEMON: Talk to the folks who built it.
RUDDY: He's a friend of the president. I think he's a friend of the president.
LEMON: Yes. Related. Thank you. Always a pleasure. Thank you, Chris Ruddy.
RUDDY: Good to see you, Don.
LEMON: You just heard from Chris Ruddy his view. Now coming up, one of the president's Republican opponents is going to weigh in. John Kasich, next.
[22:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: So you heard the president's long time ally, Chris Ruddy, say that he thinks the Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta, could be out in weeks. He said a very short time over this whole Jeffrey Epstein scandal. I want to bring in now John Kasich. He's the former Governor of Ohio. I want him to weigh in. John, thank you, good to see you. Give me your reaction to what you just heard about the president's longtime ally, Chris Ruddy, about Acosta and his time is short, that he's toast.
JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think he is going to be out. He's not going to last a long time. I mean I thought Ruddy was very strong. I thought he was very fair when he made those comments. And, you know, the -- he called the deal indefensible. And I just don't think he'll be around. You look at all these people. There was Mattis. There was Sessions. There was Tillerson. There was Priebus. There was Comey. There was Price, the Secretary of HHS.
They're all kind of come and gone. This is a lot more of a serious matter. So I think he'll be gone. And I have been a little surprised at why some of the Republican senators are kind of saying, well, you know, it doesn't make any sense to me. LEMON: Interesting. Look, can we talk about Obamacare now, this
court case, because, you know, I want to know that as Governor of Ohio you expanded Medicaid. Republicans were hammered in the midterms on healthcare, forced to backtrack on years of promises to repeal. What prospects do you think Republicans face in 2020 if faced with potentially overturning Obamacare and the Supreme Court case?
KASICH: Well, the dog will catch the car if that happens. And it will be devastating, because it will create so much chaos in the healthcare space. People are going to say what is going on here? I mean it is one thing to talk about all these international issues and all that, Don. But we're talking about people being able to get healthcare.
They don't want anybody messing around with it. By the way, they don't want to eliminate private health insurance either. The Democrats have gone over the cliff. And they're going to lose this issue if they're not careful. It's really interesting, right? The Republicans were not clear on being able to keep preexisting conditions. They were not clear on -- you know, they're going to repeal Obamacare.
They had no replacement. And it looked like the Democrats were heading to the basket, you know, heading to the 20 election to slam dunk the ball. And now all of a sudden, they couldn't slam the ball. They somehow hit the back of the rim. And now, they're saying, well, Medicare for all. We'll get rid of private insurance. Don, here's what I'm going to tell you again about this.
This country is not hard left. And I don't believe it is hard right. I think this country is more center right and center left. And we just saw the passing of Ross Perot. He got 19 percent of the vote as an independent, right? What did that represent? Perot was saying how about a little common sense. He said -- I heard this little clip this morning that was on CNN.
He said the debt -- who's responsible for the debt, is it the Republicans, is it the Democrats? It's all of them. So, you know, I think that the Democrats have to be careful here on healthcare. I don't think anybody is following this case. But it ultimately could end up in the Supreme Court, and the pivotal figure will be John Roberts, the Chief Justice.
[22:34:52] LEMON: Yeah. Another story I want to talk to you about. This is from the Washington Post, reporting tonight that President Trump's golf resort in Doral, Florida scheduled to host a golf tournament this weekend put on by Miami area strip club. Golfers would be allowed to pay for a dancer to serve as a caddy girl. The Trump organization confirms it.
This event is happening, saying -- this is a quote. "It's for a worthwhile cause, a Miami children's charity." What's your thought?
KASICH: I don't -- I mean I'm -- I mean -- what am I supposed to say here? I mean I'm not going. Are you going? I'm not -- you can, you know, float your boat down there, right, Don? And go to the event. No, I mean that's -- I don't know a thing about it other than it sounds wrong and I wouldn't go. And I think that's crazy. That's what I think.
KASICH: I mean go to a golf course with a bunch of strippers there (Inaudible) and raise money for charity. I mean come on. We have got to be serious with the news.
LEMON: Maybe it will raise a lot of money. I don't know, not for me to say. So here's something I got for you. Last time that you were on this show, you said that you were not going to run for president. And then another guest that night, I don't know if you remember that, Sam Donaldson had a message for you. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAM DONALDSON, JOURNALIST: John Kasich, you had a good record in Congress. You had a good record as a popular governor, two terms no Ohio. You are a moderate Republican conservative. You were one of the last people to stand up against Donald J. Trump in 2016. And you tell us I can't run for president. But you -- what's wrong with you? John, don't be a wuss.
You're going to leave it to, who the former Massachusetts Governor, William Weld, to take him on? Get in there, John. Lightning could strike. You'd make a good president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, you know, I think that's mostly a compliment to you.
KASICH: I like the very end. I like the very end where he said you would be a good president. I think you'd be a pretty good president. I agree with him on that. By the way, a funny story, I was on going up Air Force One with Ronald Reagan, and Donaldson was standing on the tarmac, yelling Mr. President. I thought Reagan didn't hear him. I said hey, Mr. President, Sam Donaldson's yelling.
He said yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. He said I know. I said well, are you going to say anything? He said no. I'm going to act like I didn't hear him. And I'm acting like I didn't hear him.
LEMON: What do you say to Sam?
KASICH: Look, the situation is Sam is probably -- I like Sam. He has a ranch out in New Mexico. So he probably hikes. Let me just tell you. When you go hiking and want to get to a top of a hill, hold on. Just stay with me, Lemon. Stay with me, you have got to have a path. You have got to have a path. When you go to pull your boat into the harbor, you have to have a path.
This weekend, you didn't have a path. You crashed your friends' boat, OK? I don't want to go up in and fall down off the mountain. If I see a path that makes sense, I didn't say I wasn't running. I said I have to see a path. Right now, I'm hiking. I'm hiking. I'm hiking. I don't see the path. And you know what? You ought to sell that boat.
Because if you're going to crash into your friends' boats, you need to get out of that, that is not your line of work.
LEMON: I have no idea -- I don't want to ask you anything. I'm going to ask you go. I'll see you next time. Thank you.
KASICH: See you. Thanks.
LEMON: We'll be right back.
LEMON: President Trump ramping up attacks on Britain's Ambassador to the United States. He's also had some harsh words for Prime Minister Theresa May. I want to talk about this now. Fareed Zakaria, the Host of CNN's "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" joins me now. Good to see you. Ambassador Darroch, we're talking about the leaked cables, clearly hit a nerve with the president, because he tweeted this out today.
He said the wacky Ambassador to the U.K. foisted upon the United States is not someone we were thrilled with, a very stupid guy. I don't know the ambassador but have been told he is a pompous fool. It comes after he vowed that the administration no longer would even deal with him, then he went onto insult the British Prime Minister Theresa May on her Brexit -- failed Brexit negotiation. Why is he escalating this situation? What is going on?
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: Well, I think it's his useful reminder in a way. Everything is about Trump personally. And, you know, what seems to have annoyed Trump so much was that the British ambassador's cables, the leaked cables, were about him personally. Not just about the administration. Look, ambassadors are meant to provide frank opinion and advice.
Remember when the Wikileaks happened, you know, all these cables from American ambassadors all over the world. It was embarrassing. They said some very frank stuff. They said some very opinionated stuff. I was struck when we read through it -- just how opinionated they were. But that's good. You know, government depends on having their ambassadors tell them, look, this is what we think.
You can't -- you know we were caught overhearing what Angela Merkel was saying on his cellphone. You've got to be -- you know, you can't personalize this.
LEMON: The cables say that he is -- his behavior is erratic and that he's thin-skinned by responding this way.
ZAKARIA: I mean it does, because professionals in these situations recognize, look, these things happen. Everybody has their own opinions. And, of course, Trump has no real idea about whether he's a good ambassador or a bad one. It's also worth pointing out, Don, the larger point, the substantive point which Donald Trump claims is at the heart of the disagreement is that Donald Trump gave Theresa May advice on Brexit, which she says she didn't take.
His advice on Brexit is essentially nonsense. I mean he says that Britain should have gone and sued the European Union. Now, one doesn't know where to begin. Where would you sue the European Union, on what grounds? The only place Britain could sue the European Union would be in the European Union's Court of Justice, which Britain is saying it doesn't want to be part of.
[22:44:54] And what would be the grounds for suing them since Britain initiated the action of Brexit? It would be -- you know, it's like you don't know where to begin. So, you know, the substance here is that Donald Trump was offering nonsensical advice to the British prime minister. She seems to have wisely didn't take any of it. And now he's upset that the ambassador is in someway reflecting that reality.
LEMON: I'm glad you mentioned her because this is what her office saying tonight, because they're standing by Darroch. And they're saying we have made clear to the U.S. how unfortunate this leak is. At the same time, we have also underlined the importance of ambassadors being able to provide honest, unvarnished assessments of the politics in their country.
U.K. Foreign Minister, Jeremy Hunt, also weighed in on Donald Trump's comments. Disrespectful and wrong, he said. Your diplomats give their private opinions to -- at Secretary Pompeo and so do ours. You said the U.K.-U.S. alliance was the greatest in history, and I agree. But allies need to treat each other with respect, as Theresa May has always done with you. Is Darroch just doing his job, giving honest opinion based on his experience?
ZAKARIA: Of course, of course. And look, it doesn't mean that Theresa May agrees with it. It doesn't that, you know, the British foreign policy will reflect that. We don't know what the American ambassador to Britain has said about Theresa May. He had may well have sent private cables saying, look, she's a weak prime minister. She's ineffective. And that's fine. That's, you know, that's part of the game.
Everybody understands that. As I say, it's just that because it's about Donald Trump personally, he's gone ballistic. And he's jeopardizing the relationship with what he claims is our closest ally. We have meetings with ministers cancelled. There was a meeting between Wilbur Ross and his counterpart, the trade minister. That was cancelled, for what, because Donald Trump doesn't like a couple of words that were said about him.
I mean grow up. You're the president of the United States. But as i say, I really want to get back to -- the substance of this is that Donald Trump was offering the most insane advice to the British about what they should do about Brexit. And they are wisely not taking it. That's what seems to be the thing that's really annoying him, is that they haven't realized his brilliance strategy for everything in life, which is to sue, sue, sue just doesn't apply in Brexit.
LEMON: Listen, I've got about 15 seconds left. These cables being released, why -- any idea why that would happen? Who would do that?
ZAKARIA: Well, you know somebody who wanted to embarrass him for -- that happens in government always. You know, at least happened in government by the losing side of any policy debate. When you lose the policy debate inside, you leak it out outside.
LEMON: Thank you, Mr. Zakaria, Fareed Zakaria. And be sure to watch Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Eastern. Ross Perot passed away at the age 89 today. We're going to take a look at how he shook up the political system and changed the course of our country. That's next.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Presidential candidate and Texas business tycoon, Ross Perot, died today at the age of 89. He faded from public view in recent years, but Perot will always be known for shaking up the American political world in the 1990s, mounting influential but ultimately unsuccessful third party presidential campaign. He got 19 percent of the vote in the 92 election.
And some Republicans, including former President George W. Bush, believe Perot's strong showing costing the incumbent president, George H.W. Bush reelection, although many political observers dispute that contention. Nonetheless, Perot shook up the system, shook up the status quo, challenged our two-party system.
He was already a billionaire when he decided to run for president in 1992 as an independent candidate, relying on his Texas twang to push populist themes, especially when it came to the state of the economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROSS PEROT, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was down in Texas taking care of business attending to my family. This situation got so bad that I decided I got to get into it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Perot was also a fierce opponent of NAFTA, The North American Free Trade Agreement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PEROT: There will be a job-sucking sound going south. We have got to stop sending jobs overseas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Ross Perot's focus on the economy and his outsider status as a businessman appealed to millions of disaffected white Americans without a college degree. And his strong showing in the 92 election made him one of the most successful third-party candidates in American history. He ran again in 1996, taking home 8 percent of the vote. In many ways, Ross Perot paved the way for Donald Trump's election in 2016, a businessman with deep pockets, a political outsider who appealed to disaffected white Americans.
But Trump ran as a Republican, opting to challenge the GOP from within, and now it is firmly his party. So would we see an independent candidate in 2020? It is possible. Former Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, a billionaire has toyed with the idea of a third-party run. But he's put everything on hold for just a few months to see how the Democratic race turns out.
He said that he doesn't want to pull votes from the Democratic nominee and help reelect Trump. Another billionaire, Tom Steyer, announced today that he is jumping into the crowd of Democratic field so the rules -- that rules out a possible third-party run. But he has the money if he wants to change his mind going forward.
And then there's Michigan Congressman, Justin Amash, who was the only Republican on Capitol Hill to say publicly that President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct. Last week, he quit the GOP amid speculations that he'll seek the Libertarian Party nomination and launched a bid for the White House in 2020. He'd be a long shot candidate, but Ross Perot made independent presidential campaigns a possibility in modern American politics.
[22:55:09] Coming up, presidential candidate who is running right now, Senator Cory Booker, one-on-one, next.
LEMON: This is CNN TONIGHT. I am Don Lemon. President Trump hitting a major roadblock in his controversial battle to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census, a federal judge in New York refusing to allow the Justice Department to swap out its legal team in the case.