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Anthony Scaramucci Now Turning Against His Former Boss, President Trump; Trump Hates Being Called A Racist; Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) Is Interviewed About The Upcoming Primaries; Bill Barr Promises A Thorough Investigation; Can Biden Maintain Frontrunner Status?; Donald Trump Tweeting Another Conspiracy Theory. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired August 12, 2019 - 22:00   ET


[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: One leading environmentalist says the news -- the new rules are a gift to industry and they're legal. But Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, a former oil and gas lobbyist says the new rules will actually help the rarer species. Changes are expected to take effect next month, but also be challenged in courts.

The news continues, I want to turn things over now to Don Lemon and "CNN TONIGHT."


And I just want to take some time to go big picture here for you. Because we should not lose sight of what's been going on in this country. And in the White House. We shouldn't lose sight of what's at stake.

And it was exactly two years ago in Charlottesville that Heather Heyer was murdered by a neo-Nazi in the midst of white supremacist riots in an American city.

It was just a little over a week ago that 22 people were shot to death at a Walmart in another American city, El Paso. Police say the suspect is the author of a racist anti-immigrant manifesto.

And what is the president of the United States doing about any of this? About the threat of white supremacy? About the threat from an angry person with a gun? Nothing. The president is doing nothing so far. Well, actually, it's worse than nothing.

This is a president who attacks -- whose attacks on people of color had been so unrelenting even a former member of his White House is calling for the GOP to consider replacing him at the top of the ticket. This is what Anthony Scaramucci said to Anderson Cooper just a little while ago.


ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: The president is giving people a license to hate, Anderson, and a license to be angry about things when he should be uniting people. Hey, guys, we got to wake up now because we're in a dangerous situation. The yellow light is on, it's going to go red. If he wins the next presidential election, look out.


LEMON: Scaramucci telling "NEW DAY" this.


SCARAMUCCI: I mean, at some point, I think the people in my party will have to look at all this stuff and stop being a necessities to it, I think you have to consider a change at the top of the ticket when someone is acting like this.


LEMON: Well the president predictably fighting back on Twitter claiming that Anthony Scaramucci had his nose out of joint because Trump wouldn't return his calls. Scaramucci tweeting the president is losing his fast ball and blasting what he calls bullying from the Oval Office.

The Mooch says that he knows it took him a long time to get to this point. We've known this about the president for a long, long time. But the fact is the members of his own party aren't exactly falling over themselves condemning his tweets and his vile comments. Even though we all remember that Donald Trump began the campaign with slurs against Mexicans.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists.


LEMON: Donald Trump promoted the racist birther lie that Barack Obama was not born in this country.


TRUMP: I want him to show his birth certificate.


TRUMP: There's something on that birth certificate that he doesn't like.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, why not, I guess.

TRUMP: People have birth certificates. He doesn't have a birth certificate. Now, he may have one, but there's something on that birth certificate. Maybe religion. Maybe it says he's a Muslim. I don't know. And if he wasn't born in this country, which is a real possibility,

I'm not saying it happened -- I'm saying it's a real possibility. Then he has pulled one of the great cons in the history of politics.


LEMON: He refused to condemn former KKK leader David Duke.


TRUMP: Well, just so you understand, I don't know anything about David Duke. OK? I don't know anything about what you're even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So, I don't know. I mean, I don't know did he endorse me? Or what's going on. Because, you know, I know nothing about David Duke.

I know nothing about white supremacists and so you're asking me a question that I'm supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.


LEMON: Well, he said this about black athletes who dare to protest police brutality and racial injustice.


TRUMP: Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired. He's fired.


LEMON: He called African countries, quote, "shit hole countries" and on and on. And then in just the past few weeks this president was lobbying the insult that's a hallmark of racist everywhere against four congresswomen of color. Why don't you go back to where you come from? Then standing by while the crowd at one of his rallies chanted his words. Send her back.


[22:05:07] TRUMP: Omar has a history of launching vicious anti- Semitic screeds.



LEMON: Remember those 13 seconds before he even said a word? This is a president who went on a Twitter tirade against another member of Congress. Elijah Cummings and his majority black district which includes much of Baltimore. Calling it, quote, "a disgusting rat and rodent-infested mess." Going on to tweet, quote, "no human being would want to live there."

And those are just the most recent slurs from a man who told me this.


LEMON: Are you racist?

TRUMP: I'm the least racist person that you have ever met. I am the least racist person.

LEMON: Are you bigoted in any way you think?

TRUMP: I don't think so. No. I don't think so. I am a person --


LEMON: Islamophobic?

TRUMP: No. Not at all.


LEMON: "The Washington Post" reporting that the president is infuriated over being called a racist. Maybe he's just not listening to his words. Maybe he's just forgetting his own policies.

This is a president whose new immigration policy is so restrictive against even legal immigrants that his own grandfather who immigrated from Germany unable to speak English with few skills and little money would probably not have gotten in.

We quoted the Atlantic's Adam Serwer before "the cruelty is the point. " He'll be here a little bit later on in the show. But how else could you describe an immigration policy that seems designed to target people who need government assistance like Medicaid and food stamps making it so difficult for them to get legal status that they may be afraid to take government aid for themselves and even for their American born children.

This is a president whose own racist language about an immigration or an immigrant invasion echoes in white supremacist manifestos here and around the world.


TRUMP: This is an invasion. When you see these caravans starting out with 20,000 people, that's an invasion. I was badly criticized for using the word invasion. It's an invasion. And it's also an invasion of the drugs. Coming in from Mexico. OK? It's an invasion of drugs.

Yes, sir. We have barbed wire going up because you know what? We're not letting these people invade our country.


LEMON: A president refusing to admit what his own FBI has said. White supremacy is on the rise and increasingly dangerous.


CHRISTOPHER WRAY, DIRECTOR, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: Through the third quarter of this fiscal year, had about give or take 100 arrests in the international terrorism side. But we've also had just about the same number, again, don't quote me to the exact digit, on the domestic terrorism side.

A majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we have investigated are motivated by some version of which you might call a white supremacist violence.


LEMON: And this president and his party are so far failing, utterly failing to take action to protect us from the gun violence that is taking the lives of more and more innocent people.

Mothers, fathers, parents, children, grandparents, our neighbors, our friends, cut down in an instant in stores, in bars, offices, schools, churches, nightclubs. The shameful list goes on and on. Shameful because nothing ever seems to happen to stop this no matter how many people die.

And let's not forget all of this comes on the second anniversary of the deadly white supremacist riots in Charlottesville. You remember what the president said about that?


TRUMP: You also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group, excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did.


LEMON: People in Charlottesville very fine people. Remembering Heather Heyer who was murdered two years ago -- two years. And nothing that has happened since or since then has changed a truth about this president.

You heard Anthony Scaramucci say the president needs to be replaced at the top of the Republican ticket. We all know that's not going to happen. So why is he saying that? We're going to discuss with Van Jones, Kirsten Powers, Patrick Healy, and Max Boot, next.


LEMON: President Trump at war with his former top communications aide Anthony Scaramucci. Scaramucci says the president needs to be replaced at the top of the GOP ticket with a leader who will bring people together.

Let's discuss now. Van Jones is here. Kirsten Powers, Patrick Healy, and Max Boot. Max Boot is the author of "The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right."

Good evening one and all.

Patrick, I'm going to start with you. Anthony Scaramucci continues to rebuke President Trump with Anderson just moments ago. Watch this.


SCARAMUCCI: We got to wake up now because we're in a dangerous situation, the yellow light is on. It's going to go red. If he wins the next presidential election, look out. He hasn't listened to anybody in the first four years, what do you think is going to happen in the next four years?


SCARAMUCCI: So, to me, I know they're with me. I just would like a few more phone calls. I got a tremendous number of phone calls today from people in Washington, outside of Washington. There's tons of business cards in my hand here. Let's go. Let's break the fever that's going on in the Republican Party.


LEMON: OK, so, he says that there are people calling him and saying that they are with him. Have you seen that?

PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. There's a pretty small number right now of never-Trumpers. And Anthony Scaramucci until very recently was a big supporter and even an apologist of this president.

[22:14:55] So, this is what happens. You know, when someone says something that isn't even that controversial like Scaramucci that crosses the president especially nothing bothers this president more than when a former supporter or a former aide, you know, turns tail on him.

And then the president, you know, drops a bomb. And Scaramucci like others now suddenly sounds like, you know, a liberal. Like he's had these critiques and criticisms of President Trump for years but only now is deciding to come out.

But the question is more all of the Republicans on Capitol Hill who time after time hear the things that you went through, Don, in your segment and choose to stay silent.


HEALY: Choose not to say anything. Because they know that the damage that President Trump can do to them politically it's only when frankly, the worm totally turns that you have someone like a Scaramucci is able to maybe say what he actually feels.

LEMON: Well, Max, we've been sitting here for a couple of years now and Anthony Scaramucci is saying the things out loud that some people who were even appeared on this program and other programs in green rooms would say when the cameras aren't rolling. He's saying it now when the camera is rolling, finally. MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yes. I mean, I applaud, you

know, Scaramucci for saying what he's saying but I don't think it's going to make any real difference. It's certainly not going to turn a wide number of Republicans against Trump. Because, you know, Trump has 80 to 90 percent among Republicans and the reality is most Republicans are either willing to overlook his blatant racism or even applaud it.

And this was really striking to me today, Don, where last week I wrote an article in the Washington Post calling out his racism and the cult of victimhood among his followers, and today National Review, which is a mainstream publication the quote, unquote, "bible of conservatives" runs an article accusing me of being a self-hating white who is stoking the flames of racial hatred.

So, this is the language of white supremacist which is appearing in a mainstream conservative publication.


BOOT: And so, there's a lot of sentiment that Donald Trump is tapping into. And unfortunately, he's finding a lot of support on the right even as he's venturing into horrible xenophobic and racist territory.

LEMON: Yes. What was that audible exasperating moment you just had?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: So, it's so insane to describe Max that way. You know, and National Review, yes, which was once a mainstream conservative publication to be writing something like that.

I mean, you know, "The New York Times" has an exhaustive write up today about all the connections between the types of language the dehumanizing and racist language that showed up in the manifesto of somebody who murdered countless people. That, you know, really seem to be coming from conservative media outlets.

And what was interesting about the analysis is how this is a new phenomenon. This actually is something when they went back and looked, they weren't seeing this kind of language. And now with Donald Trump you have media personalities basically repeating his, you know, his claim that we're being invaded, and so on, and all this dehumanizing language.

And now, you know, to have somebody like Max who has absolutely impeccable conservative credentials be described this way is just, it's like the world has gone crazy.

BOOT: That sums it up.

LEMON: Boy, yes it has.

Van, listen. Scaramucci says the president gives people a license to hate and that his language is racially charge and decisive. Almost no Republicans have been willing to turn on him. Will they now do you think?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well not because of Scaramucci. I think -- I think we have to take a step back. This is a much bigger problem happening in the country. We now have a metastasizing exponentially growing terrorist threat in the U.S.

These white nationalists, terrorists are growing online exponentially. The FBI has pointed this out, we're now seeing the carnage in America and yet there's no coordinated response. There's no coherent response. There's been no call to the American people saying we have to do something. Let's get all the law enforcement together. Let's get the governors in here. Let's figure out what's going on.

In fact, we just have weird tweets, you know, that echo the language from the White House of the people who are pushing for this terrorist threat. That's a major deal. That's not a partisan thing. That's not a racial thing. That's not a left versus right thing. That is a dangerous thing.

When you have an exponentially growing terrorist threat in the United States with no response, you got a major, major problem. And that goes alongside there's an external threat. The Mueller report whoever says about Trump says very clearly, we are at war with Russia. Russia has declared war on our democracy and they are pulling out all stops to hurt us.

You've got an external threat from Russia with no coordinated response, an internal threat from a growing network of racist terrorists with no coordinated response.

So, this is the American people are in real danger. And if this -- if the play book for this continues to roll out with no real response, other kinds of extremists can also begin to play the same types of games.

[22:19:58] And so, you know, as frustrating as it is for the president to be doing this stuff as helpful there might be to people like Scaramucci to say something. We need governors and other people to step up and begin to deal with these real threats that we're facing. Because it's quite clear that we're not getting the leadership that we need on these particular issues from the White House at this point.

LEMON: Yes. You heard, Patrick, you heard Kirsten mention that she talks about the New York Times the look at how the El Paso shooters manifesto echoed language coming from the conservative media and the president. You added that story, what did you and your colleagues find?

HEALY: After the manifesto came out, we wanted to go back and track where this language was coming from, particularly these ideas about a Hispanic invasion coming across the border, which we certainly heard President Trump talk about regarding the caravan a lot in 2018.

And also, this idea of a great replacement theory. The great replacement which is this white supremacist idea that migrants of color are coming into essentially commit a genocide against white culture.

So, we looked at five years' worth of show transcripts from Fox, MSNBC, and CNN. And we also looked to transcripts from Rush Limbaugh, from Drudge -- looking at the headlines from the Drudge Report.

And what we found was just over the last year alone more than 300 Fox News broadcasts used the word invasion, referring to an immigration invasion in this country, repeated uses of the great replacement theory.

And, Don, it wasn't just to sort of think about or contextualize or use nuance about what these ideas were. It was the most alarmist kind of rhetoric that suggested an America under siege in which migrants of color, outsiders were coming in to destroy what these Fox News hosts and guests saw as American culture which to them was white culture essentially.

And you saw also an uptick in the use of invasion on CNN and MSNBC but they were all contextualized in talking about the president's language because he was driving so much focus on it.

So what it really found basically the main take away was just how much this language has gone from particularly Fox News from Rush Limbaugh pushed by Breitbart, pushed by corners of the internet, words over and over and again that we hear this president often frankly weaponize against a human being who are either trying to come to this country. In some cases, illegally, but framing them as, you know, a mortal threat to the country.

LEMON: All right, everyone, stay with me. President Trump lashing out over being called a racist. And "The Washington Post" reports he views it as just another political attack. We'll discuss next.


LEMON: And we're back. Well, President Trump is infuriated and "The Washington Post" reports it's because he's been labeled a racist.

Back with me now Van Jones, Kirsten Powers, Patrick Healy, and Max Boot. So, Trump is being infuriated of being called a racist, Kirsten, and for him, I mean, it's a political issue. Why do you think he would get worked up over being branded as a racist?

POWERS: I don't know. I mean, I can't really --


LEMON: That's an honest answer. I like that.

POWERS: I can't really get in his head. You know, look, he's -- I think he doesn't like to be criticized is the honest answer. And maybe he really believes that he is not racist or that he doesn't traffic in racial demagoguery. But, you know, we give you his record.

And this is somebody, I mean, even we're talking about Anthony Scaramucci earlier. It's like I don't understand what people suddenly realize about Donald Trump. This is somebody who, you know, trafficked the birther conspiracy theory, you know, non-stop until President Obama was forced to release his birth certificate to prove that he was in fact born in this country, which was never really in contention except for Donald Trump.

And so, you know, I think that it's the writing is kind of on the wall. But I suppose in his head maybe he doesn't think he's a racist. I don't know. I leave it to the rest of the panel to figure this out for you because I'm really at a loss.

LEMON: Well, Max, let's talk about that because the Washington Post is reporting that Trump feels that the charges of racism just another attempt to discredit him. But "The Post" also correctly points out that Trump has a history filled with racist and racially charge comments and actions.

Here's the latest Quinnipiac poll found that just over half of Americans believe he is racist. Shouldn't his own racism discredit him?

BOOT: Well, it should. And it has among people who are not die-hard Republicans. But with them it doesn't make any difference. You know, I think Kirsten is certainly right that the racism accusations don't hurt him with his base. In fact, they may help him.

The problem I think from Trump standpoint is it does hurt him with potential customers for his hotel and casinos. And so that is a business problem going forward.

But I think the other issue, Don, is that Donald Trump is the least self-aware person in the universe. I mean, this is a guy who actually probably thinks he is a stable genius. OK? So, he also thinks he's not a racist. And he plays, you know, he's capable of this kind of Orwellian double thing where he engages in the most blatant racist rhetoric and then acts very indignant whenever anybody accuses him of racism.

So, he kind of gets his cake and eat it too because he gets to, you know, engage in racist rhetoric. He gets to pander to racists xenophobic sentiment and at the same time bash the media claiming it's fake news that he's racist. And so, it's like a two-for-one deal from Donald Trump's perspective.

LEMON: Kellyanne Conway, Patrick, told "The Washington Post" that the racism charges were actually help Trump politically because his supporters may think that Democratic candidates are unfairly branding them as racist too. Why is that unifying?

HEALY: That's the Republican hope. The sense of, for instance, Hillary Clinton referring to some Trump supporters as deplorable. Sort of the idea that well now they're calling us racist. They once called us deplorable, now they're calling us racist. And to some extent kind of a circle the wagon -- circle the wagon's approach.

[22:30:03] But the reality is, is that, you know, in 2018 we saw in the midterm elections red Republicans seats in key suburbs in states that Donald Trump needs to carry in 2020. Those were flipping. And they were flipping not because the economy was tanking.

These Republicans were being beaten by Democrats, in part because of the president's language, the divisive language. The racist language was pulling down a lot of those Republican candidates. So this idea that, you know, racist can be a rallying cry for President Trump with his own voters just hasn't been proven to be true in the areas the Republicans really need to win in 2020.

LEMON: Van Jones, last week, the president said that it doesn't help him to be called a white supremacist by Democrats. Watch this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think it helps. Personally, I don't like it when they do it, because I am not any of those things. I think it's a disgrace. And I think it shows how desperate the Democrats are.


LEMON: Van, you famously called the Trump 2016 victory a white lash. Do you think that same energy is going to keep Trump in the White House in 2020?

JONES: We just don't know. But part of the thing, again, just trying to look at this a little bit more systemically, is that identity politics, whether it's white (Inaudible) or whatever, a part of that piece is I am the righteous victim. I am being persecuted. But I am standing up anyway. And so this weird thing happens with people (Inaudible) white identity politics, where I might do something or say something that's racially offensive.

But I know it is offensive. I am challenging the PC stuff. Then I get attacked, and then I say I am being victimized. I'm being persecuted, but I am standing up anyway. That particular thing (Inaudible) earlier, that particular kind of play, where you get a chance to go on offense and then use the fact that people are offended to then make that a point about your own victimhood.

That's a sick kind of identity politics that we're seeing now, I think, on full display. Why does it work? I think it works because you do have millions and millions of white people, certainly older, who are -- they don't know where they fit anymore. And we have to, I think on the left, remind them that they actually should be on the side of the good people, the people who are acting the way they were raised, the way they raised their kids, the way they raised their grandkids, the values that they were raised with.

The way that they were taught to treat people, the way that they were taught to interact are the American values that are now being threatened. And they should be on the side of decency and on the side of humanity. I think sometimes we forget to call people up, to call people back to those values. We call them out for going along with some of this nonsense.

But I think people also need to be called back up, because most of the people who are getting tricked into this have more things going on for them than just that. Everybody is a complicated coalition of different tendencies and urges and fears and hopes. I think we can -- we need to call out this nonsense, but also call people back up to their better selves. Most people are much better (Inaudible) tricked into right now.

LEMON: So Kirsten, you know, the Trump supporters, you know, Kellyanne Conway said they feel like Democratic candidates are calling them racist because they call the president racist. Can someone support the president but not be racist themselves?

POWERS: Yeah, I guess. You know, I mean I think this is the conversation we have had before. And I think it's a hard conversation. I think that, you know, people have their reasons for supporting the president despite his behavior. Some of the people, frankly, I don't think know a lot of the things that he says. I don't think that it gets the same amount of coverage and the same kind of coverage on the news outlets that they are watching.

And some people do. And they say, well, you know, I care more about the economy or some other thing. And that's their choice to make, I suppose. You know, I do want to stay away from trying to denigrate, you know, all people. And, you know, I think Van is right. I think that you need to be -- you know, people are better than this, and trying to move them more in that direction.

But we can't get away from the fact that, you know, the things that the president says, they are racist. And that's not really even a matter of opinion. I mean it's a fact. The things he is trafficking are just the oldest racist tropes in existence. And so I think that, you know, we should be able to say that and just factually state it, you know, versus it is not name-calling, if that makes any sense, you know?

I think it's more just acknowledging reality that this demagoguery is dangerous. And we see the danger in the white supremacy that's growing in this country.

LEMON: Yeah. Boy, do I know. That has to be the last word. Thank you. Disturbing new information about the jail where Jeffrey Epstein was being held when he apparently killed himself. We have got that next.


LEMON: Attorney General William Barr vowing a thorough investigation into the apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein at the federal jail in New York, in New York City on Saturday. Epstein was accused of running a sex-trafficking ring involving underage girls. I want to bring in now Joey Jackson and Evan Perez, gentlemen, good evening. Thank you so much for joining.

You know, Evan, we're hearing that the jail where Epstein was being held had real some problems. What do you know? What can you tell us?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Don. You know, at this point, the attorney general is doing an investigation, but a few things have already become known. It appears that the systemic problems at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, one of the guards who was working that night, the night that Epstein apparently killed himself wasn't even a regular guard.

[22:39:52] This person was part of this program that the Bureau of Prisons uses to train people who are brought in as cooks and teachers at prisons, and who get trained to work at posts that are normally manned by correctional officers. So that is one of the officers, we know that according to the union that represents the employees at the MCC that it's not uncommon for employees to work 17 and 18 hours a day.

One of the guards was doing just that, multiple days of overtime. So it appears that at least part of the issue, according to the employees, is an overstressed and overworked employee group at this prison. But let me just make sure we point out one thing. These guards were supposed to check on Epstein every 30 minutes. They did not do that, at least for several hours before he was found dead.

LEMON: Evan.

PEREZ: And we should also note, Don, one last thing real quick, that when he was moved out of suicide watch, he was supposed to have a cellmate. That cellmate he did have was moved out a day before he was found dead. And they didn't replace him.

LEMON: OK. So you say it's overstressed or overtaxed, but he is one of the most high profile, right, prisoners there.

PEREZ: You would think...


LEMON: Why would someone like that be guarding him? Are they that really overstressed?

PEREZ: It appears that there's a bigger broader problem. I think the attorney general today called it serious irregularities, which I think go back several years. But it looks like some of the employees are saying, look, part of the issue here is the Trump administration put budget cuts, hiring freezes. And the employees were simply cutting corners because they were working so hard.

LEMON: Yeah. Joey, I want you to listen to what the Attorney General Bill Barr said this morning. Here it is.


WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I was appalled. And indeed, the whole department was -- and frankly angry to learn of the MCC's failure to adequately secure this prisoner. We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning, and demand a thorough investigation.


LEMON: Joey, isn't it ultimately his responsibility?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Should we just stop and can we just stop? Don't tell me about the irregularities. Don't tell about I am deeply disturbed. I'm concerned, oh my goodness. This one's working too much overtime. This one's not really a corrections officer. This one has such stress on the facility. They couldn't do their job. This guy tried to hang himself, if you believe that, on the 23rd of July.

Six days later, he's off of suicide watch, why, because a psychological evaluation that he was able for whatever reason to manipulate, suggested he should be off of it, really? I don't care about your overtime problem, your staffing problem, your irregularity problem. He's a high profile inmate. People want justice. Victims want to see him in a courtroom testifying.

How about you put eyes on him? How about you ensure that he's safeguarded and he's OK. He's supposed to have in SHU, special housing unit, an inmate who is housed with him, right, in the same room. That person is not there, mysteriously.

Then, of course, he dies after all of this information is dropped about information that he has, please. Can we stop talking about irregularities and correction officers not doing checks, and talk about how brass failed miserably, and how he should have been on suicide watch.

How people should have eyeballed him to ensure that he didn't hurt himself or someone else didn't hurt him. All of it is a crock. You can investigate all you want. The fact is he's not here. And it's the responsibility of the supervisors and management of that jail that he's not here, period.

LEMON: What do you think happened?

JACKSON: I think that -- look, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to reserve judgment until I see the autopsy report, why? Because the autopsy report will be telling, is there some (Inaudible) damage around his neck or his skull fractured, right? So I'll be guided by the physical evidence, but something smells rotten to me.

And the fact of the matter is, is that this is on management. It's on the attorney general. It's on the deputy attorney general. It's not on a correction officer who really wasn't a officer, and this one worked five hours overtime, one day, and five times worked over -- come on. Stop. You had a responsibility. You failed in that responsibility. Own up to it, period.

LEMON: Evan, what about the other people that prosecutors are looking at, the co-conspirators, could they be facing charges?

PEREZ: Oh, yes, absolutely, Don. The FBI was down at Epstein's private island in the Virgin Islands today. And we know that they are very much pursuing whether they can bring charges against other people. But keep in mind. I mean look, the fact that Epstein is gone is a devastating blow to this case. I'm not sure whether it means it's all over. But it certainly means that he's not there to provide any statements that they can possibly use to point to other people. JACKSON: Here's why I am not worried about that. Because I don't

think his statements would be credible anyway. I think this guy would save himself and say anything. And so the fact of the matter is it's about the victims. I'm hoping that all that stuff that they seized from him (Inaudible) to assets forfeiture goes to the victims.

They deserve to be compensated. And the others, who aided and abetted him, get them too, because they deserve to be brought to justice, even though, Don, he's dead.

[22:44:59] LEMON: Thank you both. I appreciate it. We'll be right back.


LEMON: Electability is the watch word in the crowded field of Democrats vying for the chance to run against President Trump. With the candidates swarming the Iowa state fair, former Vice President Joe Biden is the frontrunner. But can the admitted gaffe machine keep that frontrunner status about with some of his rivals surging. So let's discuss now with the former Democratic Senator from Wisconsin, Russ Feingold. Senator, it's so -- I am so happy to have you on. Thank you so much.

FORMER SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D-WI): It's a pleasure to be on. Thanks for asking me.

LEMON: The 2020 Democratic field is a battleground right now. How do you see the state of play now?

[22:49:55] FEINGOLD: Oh, it's strange. I watched those debates last week, and I had a good feeling afterward. You know, I felt like there were 20 people, who in very different ways and very different backgrounds and experiences, were putting an excellent face on the Democratic Party. People, who are serious about trying to solve problems, people who are basically civil to each other, who have an attention span unlike the president of the United States.

And I think the overall picture was these people are ready to -- you know, sort of make sure our country runs right. So I came away feeling sort of good. There's a long time to go, and who the nominee should be is another question. But I think that the stage is well set for the critical months coming. And I am feeling -- at the moment, I am feeling fairly good about it.

LEMON: All right. Well, let's talk a little bit more. I introduced you as the former Senator from Wisconsin, a key 2020 state, by the way, that President Trump beat Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin by just under 23,000 votes. Democrats desperately want to flip it back. What are you hearing from voters?

FEINGOLD: Well, I think people are getting sick and tired of having to deal with Donald Trump everyday. I think there is a Trump fatigue that is sickening to people. They don't want to spend four more years putting up with this childish behavior. And internationally, people are beginning to realize that we've been made a laughingstock by a president who does things merely for effect.

These meeting with Kim Jong-un, the insulting of all the nations of Africa, all of the things that he's done that make us look like much less than the great country we are. I think people have had enough of it. And, you know, it will be a while before we know exactly what the matchup is and all the issues, but I think in Wisconsin, they're going to say four years of this is more than enough.

LEMON: Senator, Joe Biden has had a series of gaffes or misstatements or whatever you want to call it, while campaigning in Iowa. Among them, he said he met with the Parkland victims as Vice President, even though he was already out of office. Listen to this.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I watched what happened when the kids from Parkland marched up to -- and I met with them, and then they went off up on the Hill when I was Vice President. We have this notion that somehow if you're poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids, wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids. You had people like Margaret Thatch -- excuse me, you got people like the former chairman and leader of the party in Germany. You had Angela Merkel stand up and say how terrible it was.


LEMON: Senator, will these slipups hurt Joe Biden, do you think?

FEINGOLD: You know Joe Biden is a very earnest person. And he's the first that will tell you that sometimes he doesn't say things exactly the way he wants, and neither do I. That's not going to decide this election. People know Joe's history. They know that he's a man that's had a lot of challenges in his life, both professional and personal. And he's risen to them.

I am not saying he necessarily should be the nominee. But I will tell you. These little things are not going to be what determines the real matchup. And if the matchup is Biden versus Trump, people will take a few misstatements and a few words garbled over somebody who is purposely flaming white nationalism in this country. That will be an easy choice.

LEMON: Senator Feingold, a Monmouth University poll of likely Iowa caucus voters has Biden at the top, 28 percent. But Warren is surging at 19 percent, compared to 7 percent in April. She is putting significant resources in the state. What would a loss in Iowa mean for the Biden campaign?

FEINGOLD: Well, if Elizabeth Warren wins Iowa that would be an enormous accomplishment for her. And she has been doing very well. I am a good friend of hers. And I am very impressed with her. And if she could do that and then win in New Hampshire, that would set up a very interesting situation as you get to the bigger states, where I think a lot of people think Biden would have more of an advantage.

So that could create a very interesting dynamic, and, you know, it's going to be healthy for the party to have a civil but very competitive primary. And I think that's probably what's going to happen.

LEMON: Yeah. You worked for the Campaign for Nature, just trying to protect the natural environment. I have to get your reaction to the changes announced today by the administration that would significantly weaken the Endangered Species Act. What would the impact be?

FEINGOLD: This is such an important issue. I mean the issue of the loss of biodiversity on this planet that the Campaign for Nature is working on, is one of the biggest crises we've face along with climate change. A recent report indicated that up to a million species may go extinct if we don't do something about it. So there has to be an international effort that I am working on with many other people to try to make sure that the countries of this world commit to having 30 percent of the natural lands of the world preserved by 2030.

[22:54:54] So what's the Trump administration doing today instead of working on that? They're doing the opposite. They're weakening the Endangered Species Act, which is a terrible thing to do. Forty six years ago, that became a law.

And a lot of the scientists and experts believe that one of the main reasons we still have polar bears and grizzly bears and humpback whales and Florida manatees is the Endangered Species Act.

Instead, the administration is trying to set up a situation where big business and powerful interests can overcome the clear science that says we need to preserve these species and that many of them are endangered.

LEMON: Senator Feingold, thank you for your time. I really appreciate it.

FEINGOLD: A pleasure. Thank you.

LEMON: President Trump tweeting an outrageous and completely unfounded conspiracy theory again. How low does the bar go for this administration?