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President Trump Rejected By Danish Prime Minister; President Trump Is Doubling Down On His Attacks Against Two Muslim House Democrats; Teenager Arrested Over Threats To Kill People; Law Enforcement Makes Arrests On Alleged Threats After Mass Shootings; Politics And Playlists. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired August 20, 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.
We begin with breaking news. President Trump announcing on Twitter late tonight that he is postponing an upcoming trip to Denmark because the Danish prime minister will not consider selling Greenland to the United States.
Denmark controls the giant territory in the North Atlantic. The president tweeting, "Denmark is a very special country with incredible people but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen's comments that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland.
I will be postponing our meetings scheduled in two weeks for another time. The prime minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future."
The prime minister says that Greenland is not for sale and she calls conversations about selling absurd.
Let's discuss now and talk about this, for a former NATO supreme ally commander General Wesley Clark who is a perfect person to have on to discuss. Thank you, sir. Give me your reaction to the president postponing this trip to Denmark.
WESLEY CLARK, FORMER SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER, NATO: Well, it's just a way to try to slap down the prime minister of Denmark, I suppose, but it doesn't say much about the subtlety or about the strategic vision. We have a lot of common interest with Denmark.
And if we really are worried about the Arctic then there's ways to work with Denmark and Greenland to strengthen NATO presence in the Arctic, of course we have to work with NATO.
We've also got problems in the Baltics and Denmark could be very helpful when we're talking about how to strengthen our responsiveness in case of some Russian threats against Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania. Denmark is a key country in this respect. So, there's a lot of things to talk about strategically. There's also economic interests that could be talked about, but to come out and simply brush away the visit like this, it's a putdown and as always, it's a show for the president.
LEMON: Yes. Having said what you said, I mean, look, no doubt Denmark is a key NATO ally. Sent troops to Afghanistan. More than 40,000 Danish soldiers --
LEMON: Forty, excuse me, 40.
LEMON: More than 40 Danish soldiers have been killed. What message does this send?
CLARK: Well, this is another message that it's basically the America- first, America-only message that President Trump wants to send. And it's not a good message for NATO. We're in a sort of tiff with Germany on possible tariffs, on the fact that Germany doesn't want to cooperate with, perhaps in the Persian Gulf on securing the oil tankers.
The American ambassador in Germany made a flip comment that if Germany didn't want to help, maybe we'd move the troops to Poland and now you come up with an insult to Denmark. It's like -- it's like going around the ring and finding something to aggravate each European leader or put them off.
And really, this is -- this is Putin's game. Putin wants to break up the cohesiveness of NATO and he wants the United States to pull itself out and disengage from Europe. That's been the long-term plan since the Soviet Union and the United States were allies and then the Cold War started at the end of World War II.
There's always been a Soviet or Russian effort to push the United States out and this is, in this case, President Trump is playing right into the hands of Vladimir Putin.
LEMON: I want you to listen to what President Trump said Sunday about Denmark.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's hurting Denmark very badly because they're losing almost $700 million a year carrying it. So, they carry it at a great loss, and strategically for the United States, it would be nice and we're a big ally of Denmark and we help Denmark and we protect Denmark and we will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: You know, the way he's talking about all of this, do you find it at all strange there are 50,000 people who live in Greenland. CLARK: Well, I think it's characteristic of the way President Trump
does diplomacy. If he's really serious about this, he'd let the professional diplomats work it out. Maybe it's true that Denmark would be willing to rent more space to the United States up there.
I don't see them selling it because it's such a -- it's such an insult to Danish sense of sovereignty and pride, but they can certainly expand our air base at Thule, they can give us more ports and so forth. We might have to pay something for it. We could help Denmark out in that respect.
[23:05:00] But that's professional diplomats talk, just like in Korea, we could have had the professional diplomats work out what it means to be -- to show a progress toward nuclear disarmament on the peninsula.
But when you elevate everything to heads of state level, it may be good politics for the president of the United States, but it's not good diplomacy. It's not likely to get the kind of results that the American people would like to see.
LEMON: Always appreciate your expertise on this. General Wesley Clark, thank you so much.
CLARK: Thank you, Don.
I want to bring in now David Rohde and also Samantha Vinograd.
Good evening to both of you.
David, you say that this is -- why do you say this is the single most embarrassing blunder President Trump made on the world same since taking office?
DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: It's completely unforced. I mean, this just comes out of nowhere, it's absurd as people have said on earlier, and this is isn't -- this is sort of just a really bad, as General Clark was saying, playing into sort of stereotypes of the United States.
This issue came up before. There were concerns about China trying to fund some airports in Greenland. And what Defense Secretary Mattis said a year ago is he had private meetings with the Danish government, the Pentagon provided some money quietly to Greenland and that ended this Chinese deal to try to get influence there.
That's how you conduct yourself on the international stage, you know, what the president did is frankly, a joke.
LEMON: You know, Samantha, "The Washington Post" reports that senior administration officials had discussed potentially offering Denmark a deal where the U.S. as he said would take over, you know, an annual $600 million subsidy to Greenland along with a one-time payment. It sounds like this idea was much further along than we actually realize.
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Maybe, Don, but seriously, has someone said to the president, priorities much, Mr. President? He wasn't going to Denmark on vacation, at least not theoretically.
Presidential trips are supposed to be about advancing American national security and interests or at least the presidential trips that I staffed. The president was essentially going to Denmark to talk about national security issues, like, I don't know, Afghanistan, ISIS, Russia, for example, and by pulling this move he's really signaling to the Danes, to the American people in the entire world that his pet projects are his priority, not American national security.
And the fact of the matter is he stacked his cabinet with sycophants that are willing to address his pet projects and his personal political priorities rather than actual national security issues.
And our NATO ally, Denmark, wasn't willing to do that and the president pulled the plug on this trip. It is a ridiculous headline. It is ridiculous that we even have to talk about it but the American people need to be aware that the president not going to meet with a NATO ally over this pet project is going to materially impact our security going forward.
LEMON: The U.S. ambassador to Denmark tweeted this earlier today before the president's announcement. It shows billboards promoting the president and the ambassador writes this, "Denmark is ready for the POTUS visit. Partner, ally, friend."
I mean, Sam, the president is also embarrassing his own diplomatic staff, no?
VINOGRAD: What else is new? I mean, he typically is so out of line with respect to normal diplomatic engagement on messaging from everything from Russia to Denmark. I mean, you look at today, we had the president of the United States said that he wanted to talk to Russia, NATO's biggest enemy at the G7. He wanted them back in those talks.
And now he's not willing to talk to an actual ally about critical security issues. We have a new set of folks over at the DNI, at DHS, Secretary of State Pompeo has been pursuing an agenda on North Korea. What talking point has his team come up with that he actually sticks with?
It is clear that so many folks within the administration are really just acting out roles at this point and the president is undercutting them at every turn.
LEMON: You know, David, this sends a message to European allies. But you say it also plays into the hands of U.S. adversaries.
ROHDE: So, I think there's a message that sort of China, and Russia, even ISIS are putting out, that Americans are sort of ignorant, aggressive, and greedy and that's exactly what this play into.
It's essentially saying, you know, we believe in democracy and people should be able to rule themselves, but we're going to go buy that country because, you know, the president would like to buy it. And so, all of that plays into those very old ugly American
stereotypes but, you know, this sounds extreme and it is. It's sad what's happened because Islamists, again, rivals of the U.S. say, look at the United States, look how it views the rest of the world. All of those stereotypes are played into this I will just buy what I want approach.
LEMON: Well, as we been discussing and you as well, we do have legitimate business to do with Greenland. How does it affect that?
ROHDE: It hurts it. I mean, if you wanted to have a stronger U.S. military presence in Greenland, treat Greenland with respect. This shows that the president doesn't understand how to work with allies, how to work with partners. You know, this achieves the opposite. It alienates Greenland.
[23:10:02] LEMON: Sam, you know, I want to play this from the Danish prime minister what she said about President Trump wanting to purchase Greenland. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
METTE FREDERIKSEN, PRIME MINISTER OF DENMARK (ON SCREEN CAPTIONS): Of course, Greenland is not for sale. I totally agree with Kim Kielsen, and by the way, Greenland does not belong to Denmark, so it's not a case for us, but naturally, Greenland is not for sale.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Sam, here you have a female prime minister standing up for her country, seems to follow a pattern of president taking issue with strong female leaders. Theresa May, Angela Merkel, Jacinda Ardern.
VINOGRAD: He takes a strong stance against female leaders both domestically and abroad. We're witnessing that here at home with respect to female congressmen -- congresswomen of color. As you mentioned, he's done it with female foreign leaders around the world.
But, Don, he takes issue with everyone that's not willing to placate him. There is a reason that he's willing to talk to Vladimir Putin. There is a reason he's willing to talk to Kim Jong-un. And he doesn't criticize them. It's because they flatter him.
It is so clear that the way to get the president to do what all these despots want is to say nice things about him and our allies and whether it be the U.K. or the Danes, aren't willing to play that game. They aren't willing just to play to his ego. That's what allies do.
You don't have to agree on everything but you are willing to be honest with each other. And the way that this looks going forward, Don, the president is going to be spending a lot more time seeing Kim Jong-un, seeing Mohammad bin Salman, seeing Vladimir Putin because he's comfortable in that setting. He has paper-thin skin. And people like Putin know that and play to their advantage.
LEMON: Thank you, both. I appreciate your time. President Trump picking one fight after another today fighting with
Denmark over Greenland, doubling down on his attacks on Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar and calling Jewish-Americans who vote for Democrats not knowledgeable or disloyal. Just another Tuesday?
[23:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: So, President Trump postponing his trip to Denmark after a wild say at the White House. Today he contradicted his own staff over a possible payroll tax cut, went after Democratic Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar once again and appeared to cave on background checks.
Joining me now to discuss, Peter Beinart, Tara Setmayer and Wajahat Ali. Just another Tuesday, you all. Just another Tuesday. Good evening.
Tara, I'm going to start with you. President Trump is picking this fight with Denmark over Greenland. But before that came, you know, he -- we just saw him caving to the NRA and then he made some controversial remarks about American Jews which we're going to get to in detail in just a moment. But, I mean, all I have to ask you, distraction much here?
TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's projection much. I always say this. You know, he projects onto others exactly what he's doing, what he doesn't want us to believe he's doing. It's unbelievable.
From the crowd sizes which you overcompensate for another areas, to, you know, other people being nut jobs and unstable. I mean, he -- it's unreal. We sit here. We watch this. And we go this guy is the president of the United States. Like sometimes I can't take reading his Twitter feed and I'll go back and read it in masse and I just go, he did what? He tweeted --
LEMON: Are you a masochist? Like, what -- why on earth would you do that to yourself?
SETMAYER: Because it has to come on years to talk about it.
LEMON: I unfollowed years ago.
SETMAYER: To come on air to talk about this craziness of fiasco every day.
WAJAHAT ALI, OP-ED WRITER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: She's a patriot. She's a patriot.
SETMAYER: I know. It just never ceases to amaze me what he's willing to do to debase the Office of the Presidency. And at some point, I think we're going to see the American people say enough is enough.
I mean, polling has already shown that he's starting to crack in some of the areas that he had strength in like the NBC poll that came out that show that he's actually losing by six points to a generic Democrat with non-college-educated white women. He won them by 23 points last time.
So, I think the American people are looking finally at this kind of daily chaos chronicles that go on and say is this really worth it?
SETMAYER: I mean, we're arguing over him throwing a temper tantrum about not going to Denmark over Greenland? This is insane. It's an onion headline. I'm not going --
LEMON: We're living in an onion world right now. So --
SETMAYER: I'm telling you.
LEMON: So, Peter, the president ramped up his attacks on -- against Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar today. Ended up in hot water because of his own comments. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they're defending these two people over the state of Israel? And I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I -- when I heard that, I was thinking, my little nap before I come to work, that was on, I was like, I woke up and I went, did he just say that? I mean, he spoke about disloyalty, but disloyalty to who?
PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think what Donald Trump is saying to Jews is I know what's best for you and here's what's best for you, we will make you provisional white people and you can be part of our team and we will demonize and abuse immigrants and Latinos and Muslims and people of color and that will be great -- you can be on top for a change.
But what he doesn't understand about us, most American Jews, the vast majority of Americans, we will never accept that because we know in our bones as a people who were strangers throughout history, says 36 times in the Torah that we remember the heart of the stranger because we were the strangers in the land. People were born in slavery.
We know when people like Donald Trump come along and demonize the weak and immigrants and people who are not -- we know that that always comes back to us.
[23:20:00] So most American Jews even if they disagree with Representative Ilhan Omar on certain things, at the end of the day we will put our trust and safety with them, people who believe in human rights and equality. People who knows what it means to be persecuted not with bigots like Donald Trump.
LEMON: I mean, my gosh, Wajahat, accusing Jewish-Americans of dual loyalty. Is that what he's doing? It's an anti-Semitic trope here. What would happen if the squad said something like that?
ALI: If the squad said something like that, the entire country would be in uproar and basically, they'd want to deport Rashida Tlaib to Michigan, that's where she's from.
Look, what's happening here is this. This dual loyalty trope has been used against marginalized communities in America. Irish-Catholics, their loyalty was always tested. Jewish-Americans to this day. Muslims for the past 18 years.
And what Donald Trump is doing is Donald Trump has always done. I keep the receipts, Don. This is nothing new. He's telling 80 percent of Jews in America that they're not loyal to who, to him, to America, to Israel? He also said this in the White House when he invited American Jews for Hanukkah, he said Israel was your country.
This is the same president, by the way, who said when the Jews will not replace us, right, that's when the KKK marched in Charlottesville, he said very fine people on both sides. This is the same one who promoted the white supremacist conspiracy theory of George Soros, a Jew funding the caravan of immigrants and rapists.
And that was, by the way, the same term invasion used by the terrorists who walked into the Tree of Life synagogue and killed 11 people.
This is the same man who over the past month has retweeted the extremist, Katie Hopkins, who had said that Jews were responsible for their own massacre in the Tree of Life synagogue because their chief rabbi was pro-migrant.
So, what I'm telling everyone today is a very radical idea that Donald Trump is a racist president. He's also an anti-Semitic president. He promotes the white supremacist talking points.
And what I want to tell all my Jewish cousins from others mothers is that Muslims are with you, and that we see through this. We're not going to let him use Jews and Israel and anti-Semitism as a wedge to divide us along the religious and racial lines. We're in this together.
We know he attacks black women, Muslims, women, Latinos, immigrants, and Jews and we know that white supremacists are the number one domestic terror threat in America coming for all of us.
We're going to unite. We're going to have our disagreements about Israel. That's fine. But we're going to unite against the common threat that is coming against all of us which is white supremacy, and Donald Trump, you will not win. LEMON: I want to bring you in, Peter. What do you think of what he
said? And also -- I was looking for a note from one of my Jewish friends who was just outraged. Here's what my Jewish friend said. What he said, just so you know, it's the most anti-Semitic thing that you could say talking about the whole disloyalty thing. What do you say to what Wajahat said?
BEINART: Right. I think what he's really saying is that Jews are not loyal to him and that's true, we're not loyal to him. Because I think American-Jews, look, there was a reason that American-Jews were very overrepresented among the white people who went south to struggle for Civil Rights.
That's because of our own history because there's a very instinctive understanding among Jews that other minorities, the fate of other persecuted minorities in America in our fate, are deeply bound up together.
If Muslims lose, if Latinos lose, if LGBT people lose, if African- Americans lose, we lose. That's why as Wajahat was saying, ultimately our best allies are people who share basic values about a broad vision of America, a vision that is broad enough for people of all different races and religions and ethnicities, not the narrow bigoted vision of Donald Trump.
LEMON: Tara, I'll give you the last word here.
SETMAYER: Yes, I just -- what does it say that he shows more contempt for these women who I disagree with vehemently on a lot of things but have a right to say what they say and believe what they believe. They're duly elected. He shows more contempt for people of color than he does for these white supremacists.
You don't ever see him go after white supremacists, white nationalists, the way that he does when he goes after minority women, the way he goes after Latinos, the way he goes after anybody -- all the others, but I just think that there's something wrong with that.
Like, people do not -- do they not recognize the common denominator here? It's indisputable at this point he's friendlier with Vladimir Putin and has nicer things to say about a murderer like Kim Jong-un than he does about members of Congress that he disagrees with.
I just -- I just find that to be unacceptable for the president of the United States. And he keeps doing it and I just hope more people recognize that, you know, the list is getting smaller. The only people left now are white men that he hasn't attacked.
ALI: Don, can I quickly say all of us right now on TV, all of us, if you just look at all of us right now, we're the biggest threat to white supremacists.
Four, you know, four people from marginalized communities who are able to be articulate, who are able to stand up for assault, who are able to defend other communities. This right here is the American dream. And to white supremacists it's the American nightmare. We're going to win.
LEMON: Thank you, all. I appreciate it.
[23:25:01] Police nationwide making multiple arrests over threats of violence in the wake of this summer's deadly mass shootings. I'm going to tell you what their investigations have turned up, next.
LEMON: In the wake of the deadly mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso, law enforcement officials nationwide making at least 25 arrests after being alerted to alleged online threats, texts or posts.
And that includes a Maryland resident charged with making threatening communications who allegedly referenced President Trump and mentioned a race war. We're going to get into that in just a moment.
But first, we're learning a 15-year-old Florida teen is under arrest for allegedly threatening to shoot up his high school. He posted comments in a video game chat room. The boy and his mom claim it's all a joke. Police aren't laughing, though.
I want to bring in CNN's Scott McLean. Scott, good evening to you. Tell us what happened here.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Don, so last Thursday, the FBI got a tip about a person on an online gaming platform who had threatened to bring a gun to school.
[23:29:57] That threat was made by someone with the online user name, falcon warrior and it read, quote, "I, Dalton Barnhart, vow to bring my father's M15 to school and kill seven people at a minimum."
So when the FBI got this, they found an IP address. They worked with a local internet company to track down a physical address. By the next afternoon, the FBI and the local Volusia County Sheriff's Office showed up to ask some questions.
It turns out this "Falcon Warrior," whose name is not actually Dalton Barnhart, is a 15-year-old high school student in Daytona Beach who told investigators, "This was all just a joke but a pretty unfunny one." Police put him in handcuffs and took him away all while his mother insisted that her son wouldn't do something like this. Here's part of the body camera footage that the local sheriff's office posted on their Facebook page. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A written threat to harm somebody is a third degree felony. Second degree is when you involve a mass shooting at a school or an --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a little boy. He didn't do anything wrong. Yes, he's a teenager, but he's still a little boy. He's not one of the crazy people out there doing stuff.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, he did what he did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, but he shouldn't be treated as though he is a terrorist or something because he made a silly statement on a stupid video game!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a world where schools and kids are going to school learning are getting shot and killed because people --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I understand that. But at the same token, I mean, you have to look at things case by case, too. I mean, he is not that person.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you own a gun?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a gun, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So he has hands and feet, he can grab your gun and go do something.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLEAN: So, Don, after the Parkland School shooting early last year, the Volusia County Sheriff's Department has really cracked down on these types of statements, these types of threats, saying that they have zero tolerance for jokes.
Since this kid is just 15 years old, it is pretty unlikely that he will be tried as an adult, and so it will likely be up to a judge's discretion to decide the punishment, anything between probation or juvenile detention.
MCLEAN: If he were to be tried as an adult, though, he could be looking at up to 15 years in jail. Should also mention quickly, Don, CNN did reach out to the boy's mother, who hung up when we called.
LEMON: Boy. I mean, these are the times that we're living in right now, Scott. Thank you for that.
Also tonight, a 35-year-old Maryland man is in federal custody accused of threatening to kill a resident of South Florida and their family. The Justice Department says Eric Lin allegedly also threatened to kill all Hispanics, expressed admiration for Hitler, and referenced President Trump and a race war. CNN's Alexandra Field joins us with more now.
Good evening. What kind of threats was this man making?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A 150-pages of violent, vitriolic hate-filled messages spewing rhetoric against Hispanics, against Jews, against Arabs, black people, Muslims, but directly targeting this one woman in South Florida, threatening to kill her, to rape her, to torture her, threatening to go after her family, threatening then to kill all Hispanics, all this done online with a couple of social media accounts. Investigators say that one of the accounts included a profile picture with a picture of the suspect using a Hitler filter. These are some of the messages we want to share with you from the court filings. He says "This is a race war and all of you will die. Good luck." And then he uses a racial slur for Hispanic people, a racial slur for black people. He adds "Arab Jew Spaniard."
Another message, "You want to see what a real Nazi can do? I guarantee I can kill you when you least expect it. I'm coming to kill you." Another one, "I will stop at nothing until you, your family, your friends, your entire worthless Latin race is racially exterminated. I thank God every day President Donald John Trump is president and that he will launch a racial war and crusade." And then finally, "I look forward to committing a genocide."
Words, sure, these are words on the internet, Don, but they got the attention of authorities. They certainly scared the woman who was the target of these attacks and it landed this man with federal charges for making threatening communications.
LEMON: What on earth is going on? Why was he targeting this person?
FIELD: You know, it's pretty stunning, when you look at the kind of hate, the kind of rage that you see in these pages, it isn't clear what motivates this kind of attitude toward another person, you can't really rationalize this, but then when we looked into it, we learned this is someone it seems who he knew from a restaurant that he visited.
The woman works in a restaurant in Florida. She went to police. She said that she recognized these messages as being similar to threats made to her by somebody who visited that restaurant. They don't have a personal relationship here. And yet when you look at the specific threats made against her, they are violent, they're depraved.
LEMON: Alexandra, thank you so much, Scott McLean as well. I mean, this is all just frightening. We will continue to report on it. Law enforcement is following up on some red flags in both of these cases. I'm going to talk with a former Homeland Security and FBI official about what officials are doing and what else needs to be done.
[23:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: A spate of arrests in recent days of people allegedly threatening mass shootings including a 15-year-old high school student in Florida, who allegedly posted a comment that he wanted to shoot up his school and kill people.
Here to discuss, former Homeland Security official, Juliette Kayyem, and Chris Swecker, who is a former FBI assistant director in the criminal investigative division. It's so good to have all of you on. These are very serious stories and allegations here.
Juliette, I'm going to start with you. Let's start with the Florida teen. Last night, you and I discussed three other potential mass shootings thwarted by tips from the public. JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes.
LEMON: Tonight, it's a Daytona law enforcement following up on a threatening message posted in an online game chat room.
[23:40:00] Did these officers do all the right things, do you think?
KAYYEM: Oh, absolutely. A 15-year-old or 16-year-old boy is a functioning human being. He gets alerts about what's going on in the world. This idea that he's some sort of naive or just goofing around, that's not acceptable anymore. And in particular, the idea that he should somehow get away with it as compared to what might happen to an African American or a Muslim boy who did the same thing is ridiculous.
I was watching that. I've got teenage boys. They do stupid things, as we know, but they don't do things that are -- they do stupid things that might hurt themselves but not necessarily violent like that. So I think that -- I'm all for being overinclusive right now, following up on these social media platforms, on other things, and let the legal system take care of it, figure out whether it's real or not.
He's not going to be convicted as an adult. He's probably just going to get a suspension, community service, and a wake-up call that white boys don't do this anymore, right? You don't joke around about shooting people because white boys are doing that, right? And I just -- so I'm very sympathetic to the police and as a mother not very sympathetic to the teen, even if he was joking.
LEMON: Chris, you know, the young man responsible for the -- for comment insisted that it was a joke. His mother is understandably upset. Owning a gun in Florida is legal. Lot of people do. But the sheriff's department says that these types of comments are felonies under the law. What charges could this boy face? What do you think of this?
CHRIS SWECKER, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE DIVISION: Yeah, well number one, they did the right thing. I mean, these are the times that we live in. We have to take every threat seriously. I mean, look at Parkland and how a lot of different red flags were not followed up on from both the feds and the state and locals.
So, every threat has to be run to the ground and, you know, I saw the video of the mother pleading for -- on behalf of the son. He looked pretty, you know, to say very candidly nerdy. He had knee socks on. I mean, he was obviously someone who was kind of a misfit.
LEMON: Let's play it, Chris, and then I'll let you finish your comments, will you? Let's play that and I'll let you finish. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He would never do anything like that, anyway.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know. We don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, but I know. But I know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most parents haven't ma'am. We're going to take him. He's going to go to our operations center and we will go from there. But this is where we're at. This is the world we live in where people think it's funny to say I'm going to go kill people at school.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's not evil, he's a child. There's a difference. He's playing a video game and he's a boy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's why he'll be charged as a juvenile.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Hmm. So, continue your comments.
LEMON: How do you determine if a threat is real, you know?
SWECKER: Yeah. I mean, our country is a big airplane now. You can't say bomb, you can't say gun, you cannot make any kind of threat whatsoever that, you know, we have seen so many of these ignored. I worked threat cases. I've worked three in the last, you know, six months or so. And it is very difficult to get law enforcement motivated or it has been in the past. It's not so much anymore because they know. They can't ignore these things.
So, you know, it's interesting that we had a situation in both cases where we had a -- someone in the public saw something, said something, and law enforcement did something. So we've got the right combination here. It's sad that we're at that place.
LEMON: Yeah. Chris, let's also talk about the case of the man accused of sending threats to Hispanics in Miami. Directly cited President Trump, clearly influenced by his rhetoric. But the president doesn't see white nationalism as a problem. People like this are making those connections and it's -- listen, we're not making that connection. Investigators are. It's dangerous, though, isn't it?
SWECKER: That for me, Don?
SWECKER: Yeah, I mean, that has a political tinge to it and I don't think law enforcement looks at it that way. I think we're a country of 350 million people and I believe that the media, social media, and the media have a role -- have some culpability here because they just slam the airwaves with this stuff day in and day out.
I think that awakens these people. You know, these are -- these are wing nuts most of the time. They're awful disturbed people. I think they were that way before.
LEMON: I have a short time left. I want to hear from Juliette. Sorry about that. Juliette, I'll give you the last word here. KAYYEM: I often agree with Chris on this. I think to view each of these to sort of separate or just wing nuts is to miss the totality of what's going on in this country at least according to the FBI and the rise of this white supremacy racism. I've been very forceful -- I think it comes from the top, from President Trump, in terms of his condoning this, not condemning it.
I think we have to stop seeing it as individualized but as a community that's getting empowered and acceptance from the political space and treat it as such or at least condemn that kind of speech as such.
[23:45:03] LEMON: OK.
LEMON: All right. Thank you, both. That's got to be the last word. Thank you. I appreciate it. I'll see you next time.
LEMON: We'll be right back.
LEMON: "You can't always get what you want" has been a longtime hallmark of Donald Trump's rallies. Even the Rolling Stones had repeatedly asked him to stop using it, obviously with no success. But do the songs a candidate chooses give us insight to more than just their taste in music?
[23:50:00] Let's discuss now with Astead Herndon, author of a great new piece in "The New York Times.' You've got to say this is interactive. It's really amazing. "What Do Rally Playlists Say About the Candidates?" That's a question. Let's start with the Democrats, Astead. Welcome. Kamala Harris walked out to Mary J. Blige at her first rally. Listen to this.
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LEMON: So, you also point out that she played Cardi B. She has the most hip-hop in her playlist. She got A Tribe Called Quest, Chance the Rapper. She stood out to you, why?
ASTEAD HERNDON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, I mean, the premise of what we are trying to do here was just see if there is anything bigger than just songs happening here. When we look at the different candidates and the diversity in the democratic field, is that reflected in the message they're trying to project through music? And does that tell us something about their audience?
When we look at Senator Harris, hers stood out for the racial makeup of the artist and for the genre. She had all but one artist on more than -- to 40 song-playlist where people of color, a heavy leaning on rap and hip-hop certainly more than the other candidates. And that certainly flows with what we've seen from her, saying that she is a fan of that music.
I also point out she made sure she had a couple California rap artists to do the home nod as well, people like E-40, people like Snoop Dogg and Tupac. She is leaning on those California roots. But more so than that, she is leaning into that full identity which she has tried to do throughout the campaign even through the debate when she saw the most success.
LEMON: Interesting. So, Senator Harris has no rock music on her rally playlist which is very interesting to me. But Beto O'Rourke ties President Trump for highest percentage of rock at his rallies. And what really stands out for him is the punk rock that he plays, like The Clash.
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FMR. REP. BETO O'ROURKE (D-TX) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.
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LEMON: I guess you're not a fan of The Clash.
LEMON: He was in a punk rock band when he was younger. His playlist tells his audience a lot about himself, don't you think?
HERNDON: Yeah. I mean, his staff made sure to note that Beto O'Rourke curated this playlist himself. It sounds like the music we know he listen to and he played himself. You have him leaning on that rock music, that punk music.
But then again, like Senator Harris, he makes sure to throw in those hometown notes. He has some Texas artists. But unlike President Trump, who also leans on rock, Beto O'Rourke's playlist is a little more diverse. He makes sure that he is including some racial diversity, even though it's a heavily male playlist, not many women artists on the Beto soundtrack.
LEMON: You noticed that some candidates' playlists are a little more generic. Bernie Sanders allies told you that he has to do more storytelling about himself to win over voters.
HERNDON: Yeah, there are candidates who are just not putting -- this is not where their emphasis is. I mean, Bernie Sanders' rallies, they had a couple of revolution songs and themes on there but it wasn't something that was really built out for them. We know that that kind of jives with what we've seen from the senator in this run from Senator Sanders. He's tried to tell more personal stories. We saw him start off in that Brooklyn rally at the beginning of his campaign. His opening song at that point was Jay-Z's "Brooklyn Go Hard."
So that's not something we think of when we think of Senator Sanders. We think of that kind of uncompromising liberal messaging. And that's the actual theme through the playlist. Songs like "Power to the People," "Revolution," "Stand Up and Fight." That is the message he says in his speeches and that's the message you will hear when you go to his rallies and hear the music.
LEMON: Pete Buttigieg's playlist actually overlaps a lot of the other candidates' list like his walkout song "High Hopes" by Panic! At the Disco, also used by Julian Castro's walkout song, right?
LEMON: Let's play some of that and we'll talk about it.
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LEMON: I am going to ask you, what do you think drew both of them to that song? It's very energetic. It has a good open.
HERNDON: Exactly. You know, it's an inspirational song. It's a modern song. It kind of projects a kind of youthful feeling. We saw that song across a bunch of playlists. I think that's actually one of the interesting things about doing this project. You see which songs kind of all the candidates agree on. Things like "Dog Days Are Over" by Florence and The Machine, "Love on Top" by Beyonce.
These are kind of inspirational, universal songs that people can agree on. That's what we see throughout Mayor Pete's playlist, those of kind catch all themes which some would say kind of mimics his rhetoric that you see on the campaign trail.
LEMON: You're the one I love.
LEMON: Anyway, I won't do that to the people.
[23:55:01] There is a lot more in there. You should go and check out the piece. It is really great. Astead, thank you so much for that. I appreciate it.
HERNDON: Thank you.
LEMON: Thanks for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.