Return to Transcripts main page


President Trump Is Upset For Not Being Able To Buy Greenland; Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX), Presidential Candidate, Is Interviewed About His Current Run For Presidency And President Trump's Rhetoric; Jobs Numbers Decline; A Very Hectic Day For The President; Jay Inslee Dropping Out Of The Race For President; Trump Mentioned Obama 20 Times In 30 Minutes; Trump's Feud With Denmark's Mette Frederiksen. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired August 21, 2019 - 22:00   ET


[22:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: He threatened to unleash ISIS fighters onto others. He offered Russia back into the G-7 or G-8 in that case if they wanted. He repeated that voting for a Democrat would disloyal of Jewish people, and he called himself the chosen one, discussing the China trade deal.

And remember, he's the one who provoked the tariffs that are suffocating our farmers. That's just foreign policy. It's not about nitpicking. It's about assessing just one day in the life of a leader who is asking you to keep him in power.

A taste of the walk and talk of a man who gets only 40 percent approval in foreign policy in the most recent polling. How did he fare today in your eyes? Let me know.

Thank you for watching. "CNN TONIGHT" with D. Lemon right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: And it's only Wednesday and I'm exhausted. And I can't believe we have to sit here and discuss it as if it's some sort of normal thing because it is not. And I wonder how many times he was in front of the mirror going, I'm the chosen one. I'm -- when I get out there, I'm going to say wait, I'm the chosen one. No, I am the chosen one.

CUOMO: He looked up when he said it.


CUOMO: Now listen, what frustrates me is not what the president says --

LEMON: It's laughable. It's not funny. It's laughable. But go on.

CUOMO: It's the -- well, it's a laugh or cry thing, right?

LEMON: I am the chosen one.

CUOMO: People who defend him say but he's not a typical politician, Don. He's just telling you how he feels.

LEMON: Not typical of anything.

CUOMO: But I don't believe that that's a good excuse. I think that it is actually a damning statement about the man who is the President of the United States. I do believe he's telling you what he thinks. I think he believes that Jews are disloyal if they don't vote for him.

LEMON: Of course, not.

CUOMO: I believe that he thinks only they should count his money as he said in the past. He believes these things that feed division and bigotry. I think people are right. But I don't think that makes him a good apolitical type of person. I think it makes him something that you have to look at very carefully and scrutinize through the lens of, is this what you want to be your face to the world?

LEMON: Yes. Well, two things. I think number one, that is a strategy, one that is not thought out. I think he is going to the fringes of whatever group to try the appeal to them talking about what happened with Israel, what happened with moving the capital of Jerusalem, and on and on and on. So, I think that he is appealing to the fringes there and he's look, quite frankly, it's obvious, forward to 2020 and he's trying on build up that support.

CUOMO: He's not trying to get support from the Jewish people in this country. Because I'll tell you he's talking about them --


CUOMO: -- will not be helpful. And there are people to the extent that you want to categorize them as a monolithic. They have full of pride and conviction.


LEMON: One hundred and fifty percent agree with you.

CUOMO: And they know what people mean when --

LEMON: The other thing is this among, except for the people who are out there on social media, who make up a very small group of people who actually go vote. They're just the loudest voices out there. I think most people are exhausted. Even his staunchest supporters are exhausted by his behavior.

And so, you get out there. And you know, I've been calling it that myself. Stephen Colbert calls it the same thing when you have chopper talk. Right? You get out there and he goes in front of the chopper and it's loud. So, if he doesn't want to follow up on a question, he doesn't have to. He pretends that he doesn't hear it.

He also likes the sound of the chopper. It makes him feel more important and more urgent because the Marine One is running behind him and he's off to some important business or back from something important.

It's so obvious. I got him down. I know exactly what he's doing. It's just -- it's just transparent. So, I think people are exhausted by this behavior. I know that I'm exhausted and every single person I speak to. Even the people who supported him were among his staunchest supporters and by the way, people don't realize, that you and I know both know people and have friends who are Trump supporters. Right?

CUOMO: Sure. I remember my family.

LEMON: They're exhausted by this behavior like, OK. I got like, as much as we're tired of talking about it, and we have to because it's our job, we have to point out the absurdity. They are just as exhausted.

CUOMO: Yes, but I got to tell you, it matters too much.

LEMON: It does.

CUOMO: And I find -- I don't find anything exhausting. I believe you have to be indefatigable in this business. But the idea that his defenders, what's getting tired is their rationale of trying to escape from what he says and why he says it. Like Chris Ruddy tonight. Look, I'm happy to have him on the show. He's the head of Newsmax, he knows the president. He talks to him a lot in confidence.

LEMON: I had him on. I get it.

CUOMO: You know, I didn't want to hold this guy root over his head. You know, I'm here to get his insights about the president. I wasn't going to beat him over the head with this, you know, ding-a-ling that he's got working at Newsmax.

But he took it on. Because the mode for a Trump defender is, whatever you say is also true about you, or somebody else. And it is an unfair thing that isn't really true. It's fake news. So, he wound up getting himself into a bind saying that what this guy has said, this conspiracy theorist, I guess he's paying at Newsmax, doesn't say those things but he does, that's a matter of fact. That's what a Trump defender does.

LEMON: Well.

CUOMO: He didn't say it, he didn't mean it. It's true about you too or it's fake news.

[22:04:58] LEMON: Yes, The internets, video, digital, it's all out there. All you got to do is go and look for it, it's there.

CUOMO: I'm well aware.

LEMON: Yes. Thank you, sir. Fantastic show. See you soon.

CUOMO: Always a pleasure, D. Lemon.

LEMON: You as well, C. Lemon.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. And this is not politics as usual. As I've been saying this is not normal. It is not normal, people. I hope you don't think that it is normal. If you're frustrated and exhausted, most people are. How many times have I said that?

This is the President of the United States running wild, running amok. It's constant. It's everything. All of it. Together raises serious questions about his fitness for office. All of it is exhausting. The volume of what this president has said and tweeted just in the past 24 hours puts us in danger of being overwhelmed. In danger of forgetting just how wrong. How bad for the country a lot of this is.

It started this morning with a retweet as we were just talking about, of a conservative conspiracy theorist. Who said, Trump was, and I'm quoting here, "like the king of Israel and the second coming of God."

And this president who never heard praise that he didn't like, retweets that saying thank you for the very nice words. The king of Israel. The second coming of God. That's from Wayne Allyn Root who has a history of promoting dangerous conspiracy theories like falsely claiming the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas was, these are his words, "clearly a coordinated Muslim terror attack."

Falsely claiming that deadly violence in Charlottesville was likely staged by paid actors, hired by George Soros. And falsely claiming that former President Barack Obama was, quote, "sent here to destroy this country."

None of that is true. None of it. He retweeted it though none of it is true. All of it is outrageous. Yet that's who this president retweets. Because king of Israel, second coming of God. And remember, it was then press secretary Sean Spicer who told us, remember, he told us that the president's tweets are official statements.

All this president seems to care about is knocking down critics who said his statement yesterday, questioning the loyalty of Jewish voters who support Democrats was anti-Semitic. The old, ugly anti-Semitic charge of dual loyalty.

And the president speaking on the south lawn doubled down today, making it very clear for anybody who was 100 percent certain, that's exactly what he needs. He thinks American Jewish voters who support Democrats are disloyal to Israel.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: In my opinion, you vote for a Democrat. You're being very disloyal to Jewish people and you're being very disloyal to Israel. And only weak people would say anything other than that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, your critics have said that is an anti-Semite remark. How do you respond to that?

TRUMP: I haven't heard anybody say that. Just the opposite. I think that if you vote for a Democrat, you're very, very disloyal to Israel and to the Jewish people.


LEMON: The president also doubling down today on his feud with our NATO ally. Denmark. A feud that started with the country's prime minister, when the country's prime minister declined to sell Greenland to him calling the idea absurd.

The president abruptly canceling his trip to Denmark. Though "The Washington Post" is reporting that he was annoyed about making back to back trips to Europe and used the feud as convenient excuse to get out of the Denmark trip.

In any case, the president blamed Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen for calling his Greenland idea absurd.


TRUMP: I thought that the prime minister's statement that it was absurd, that it was an absurd idea, was nasty. I thought it was an inappropriate statement.


LEMON: I'm sorry. He called it absurd. I said absurd. But he called it absurd.

He is holding a grudge against one of our allies for refusing to go along with the plan he himself said was not number one on the burner. The President of the United States damaging our relationship with an ally over a petty slight. The former U.S. ambassador to Denmark telling CNN this.


RUFUS GIFFORD, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO DENMARK: This is offensive. It's a slap in the face. And it's just not how you treat an ally that has been as good to us as Denmark has been.


[22:09:56] LEMON: Well, it's a way this president treats an ally. And in case you think he's not talking -- taking it all that personally, well, he is.


TRUMP: I thought it was not a nice statement. The way she blew me off. Because she's blowing off the United States and we've done a lot for Denmark. We've done a lot. I know Denmark well.

I have many friends from Denmark. I have many people from Denmark that live in the United States. And we treat countries with respect. She shouldn't treat the United States that way by saying, what an absurd, she said, absurd. That's not the right word to use. Absurd.


LEMON: Absurd. Absurd. Mr. President, absurd. She blew me off. I have friends from Denmark. Me, me, me, me, me, me. It's all about me. She blew me off. I have friends. It's absurd. Absurd. But back to what the president called the prime minister. Nasty. Where have we heard that before?


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: What we want to do is to replenish the social security trust fund --

TRUMP: Such a nasty one.


LEMON: Nasty. It's his favorite insult. For anybody who crosses him. The former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz. Not to mention Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush.

I only have two hours tonight so I won't go on. The list goes on and on. But listen to what else the president said today about his feud with Denmark.


TRUMP: We can't treat the United States of America the way they treated us under President Obama.


LEMON: Interesting that he mentioned former President Barack Obama. Because guess who is going to Denmark? President Obama.

A source telling CNN that he will be traveling there next month. Maybe it is a coincidence that President Trump canceled his trip. Though he sure does seem to have his predecessor on his mind a lot. Even repeating his nonsensical claim, the 44th president was somehow outsmarted by Vladimir Putin.


TRUMP: Russia outsmarted President Obama. They took over during his turn. Not during mine. Crimea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're still there, why let them in now?

TRUMP: They took over Crimea. We spend a lot of time talking about Russia at those meetings. And they're not there. I think it would be a good thing if Russia were there so we can speak directly.


LEMON: Did you their reporter say, they're still there. Why let them in now? He didn't answer that. He just kept going. Because he doesn't have an answer for it. Outsmarted Obama? Huh?

I've said it before but if Putin has outsmarted anybody, it's probably not President Obama. The fact is, Russia was kicked out of the then G- 8. For annexing Crimea. Russia still holds Crimea to this day. You heard the reporter say it. But he didn't answer that question.

Russia back, even though Russia hasn't done anything to deserve it. You got to wonder, who got outsmarted. And then there is the president, what the president said today about his trade war with China. You know, the one that is hitting American farmers so hard the administration is paying them some $14.5 billion in aid?


TRUMP: I am the chosen one. Somebody had to do it. So, I'm taking on China. I'm taking on China on trade. And you know what? We're winning.


LEMON: Well, the president might be joking there about being the chosen one. How can we really tell? Given he's already established for himself anyway that I alone can fix it. Although you've got to wonder whether he forgot that.

Just last week, he backed down on new tariffs on China, pushing them will back until December. One of his economic advisers called that, quote, "a Christmas present to the nation."

And after his joke about being the chosen one, the president made another joke. He joked that an audience of some of 25, to an audience of some of 2,500 military veterans in Louisville, Kentucky, that he wanted to give himself a Medal of Honor.


TRUMP: Nothing like the Medal of Honor. I wanted one but they told me I don't qualify for it. I said can I give to it myself anyway? They said I don't think that's a good idea.


LEMON: Now, look, that clearly was a joke. That was a joke. But let's remember, the Medal of Honor is the United States highest military decoration. It's awarded to a member of the armed forces for gallantry and bravery and combat beyond the call of duty. Gallantry and bravery.

[22:15:08] Nothing for this president who never served in the military to joke about. That's just a sampling of what the President of the United States said today, everyone. You're caught up, kind of.

Joking about giving himself a Medal of Honor, feuding with NATO, a NATO ally over a perceived slight, calling Jewish American voters who support Democrats disloyal to Israel, retweeting the supporter who compared him to the king of Israel and the second coming of God.

Like I said, there is nothing wrong with you if you're feeling this. This is not normal. And it has to make you wonder about this president's fitness for office.

John Kasich is the former governor of Ohio. I'm going to ask him to weigh in on all of this, next.


LEMON: President Trump going off the rails today doubling down on his feus with Denmark over their refusal to sell him Greenland. Boasting that he is the chosen one to China, to take on China, even retweeting a conspiracy theorist who defends him for questioning the loyalty of Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats.

Time to discuss now. Look who is here. The former Ohio Governor, Mr. John Kasich. Good evening, sir. Good to see you. You --


LEMON: You saw the president's rant on the lawn today. He is boasting that he is the chosen one. He tweeted comments, comparing a retweet and comparing him to the kind of Israel and the second coming of God. And all that's, you know, on top of him cancelling a trip to Denmark over not being able to buy Greenland.

Does it seem like he's behaving more erratically than usual? What do you think of all this?

KASICH: I just think he is -- it's why I didn't support him, Don. Back, you know, again, I sound like a broken record. But maybe some times he's like a broken record. Maybe we're all broken records.

But the thing is, I didn't support him, and I didn't go to the convention. I didn't vote for him. And there were so many people upset with me. Now I'm looking at this poll. Eighty-four percent of Republicans support him. We're up to now 14 percent. So, I have 14 percent of people who now may think that I was right in what I did.

But I mean, think about this thing with Greenland. You know, at least he should have gone for Iceland. I mean, I have nothing against Greenland but, you know, Iceland, I guess a really great place to visit. My family went there. But I mean, think about this. Picking a fight with Denmark because they didn't want him to buy Greenland. I mean, that's like, that's something you'd see on Saturday Night Live --


LEMON: Well, is he fit for --

KASICH: -- this coming Saturday.

LEMON: If he isn't, what should happen?

KASICH: Well, you know, Don, what this gets down to is, I think, frankly, are the Democrats going to pick somebody who can win? Because it will probably be tough. Maybe. They've got to pick somebody that's not going to be for all this free stuff because people don't like that. That they're going to lose their health insurance and all that, Don.

So, they got to be very cognizant of that. Because this work -- these voters, many of whom voted for him over Hillary. These are gettable people for the Democrats. But they can't be out there going too hard on the left. Because I think it hurts them.

As those people might say, look, I don't like Trump. I don't like anything what he's doing. But you know, I'm not for all that free stuff. I mean, that's what I hear in a lot of places we're --


LEMON: I'm hearing the same thing. I think you're exactly right. And I think it's a dilemma for the Democrats because they want to animate the younger part of their base and maybe some of the people who are more on the progressive side. And the worries that they go with someone who is too safe, right, who maybe a moderate. That they won't do that.

But then the moderates won't come out if they pick someone who is too far left. And the people who they can definitely win over, the Trump voters, or people who voted for Obama and then voted for Trump, they're concerned. They're not going to vote for someone that they think, or has been cast as a socialist. So, I'm hearing the same thing. I think it's very smart at what you're saying.

The Labor Department announce today that --


KASICH: And there are Republicans, yes.

LEMON: Yes. There are Republicans who they can win over, yes.

KASICH: There are Republicans too who --

LEMON: Yes, I agree with you.

KASICH: Who could go for a Democrat in this case. And you know, they've just got to be very smart about the way they do it.

LEMON: Let me ask you this. Because this is a revision of something that happen. The Labor Department announcing today that half a million fewer jobs were created than originally reported in 2018 and early 2019. I mean, it's still been a pretty good economy. But that will also have people taking a closer look at, you know, at where things stand right now. Don't you think?

KASICH: Well, the economy matters a great deal. That's why there a lot of happy talk out there. The president saying we're going to have a tax cut. I guess we're not going to have a tax cut. I thought we're going to have one. But no. We're not going to have one. I mean, you know.

And then this trade thing is really hurting the country. It's hurting all the world. And you know, they know they're just trying -- they know that if the economy goes south, they have, you know, a huge problem. And I think they're very concerned about it.

Now the revisions are typical. We all go through revisions, I went through them when I was a governor, you know, they revise sometimes up, sometimes down. But what people are beginning to say, Don, is that there is weakness in this economy.

And when you take a look at the bond market and all that, these are signs that get people saying, you know, it's not great. Now, we don't know when that will change. But we've had the longest running positive effect on this economy really, I think in modern history. It doesn't go on forever. But when it ends, I don't know. But the trade policies are certainly contributing to the gloomy outlook.

LEMON: Yes. The job -- listen, the jobs number were revised down today. But the deficit projection was actually revised up. The CBO now predicting it will reach a trillion dollars, $1 trillion in 2020. Two years earlier than previously thought.

KASICH: A year?

LEMON: I know, right? Two years earlier than previously thought. Listen, I know Republicans don't care about deficits anymore. But that is not good.

KASICH: Well, Don, look, in '97, I worked with Democrats and Republicans, and we got the first balanced budget since we'd walked on the moon. We paid down the largest amount of debt in modern history of the public debt. We had great economic growth and we actually had surpluses.

Now, I said this to some people the other night at dinner. And they thought I'd been drinking. They said, wait a minute. When did that ever happen?

[22:25:00] Don, think about this. A trillion dollars a year in debt. And at some point, you got to pay it. It's a claim on our -- well, it's a claim on our grandchildren's futures. It just doesn't go away. It's very, very serious.

And at some point, we're going to have to pay the piper. There's no two ways about it.


KASICH: A trillion dollars a year. And you're right. Republicans forgot about it. The Democrats forgot about it. I always say, look, the difference between Republicans and Democrats is the Republicans don't want -- they spend like the Democrats. They just feel guilty about it.

LEMON: Well, Democrats haven't forgotten about it because they can -- you know, they're using it this time, right, to say that Republicans don't care about it. Right?

KASICH: Well, we'll see. LEMON: So, listen, your name, you understand what I'm saying. Right?

Your name keeps coming up about a possible primary challenge to President Trump.


LEMON: Word on the street is that next month. Come on, brother. What's going on?

KASICH: Word on the street, that's a pretty good word. I'm probably going to go to New Hampshire and I'm going to deliver a speech. And it's going to be a two-path speech. It's going to be that we need to be seeing this and going down into the ditch or can we be unified and be lifted?

And why I am a going to New Hampshire? Because, you know, when I go to New Hampshire, everything will go with Twitter. You know, literally and figuratively. Everybody will follow. I'll get a bigger message out about this is not the direction we should go. And we don't have to settle for this.

But in terms of whether I'm running or not, that's a whole different issue. And Don, I just read these statistics. Eighty-four percent of Republicans support Trump. Now if you don't have a path, you know, you can't climb the mountain. So, we'll see. There is a way to go. But at some point, you know, I'll have to --


KASICH: -- I'll have to make a final decision. But of course, I'm going to go to New Hampshire and I hope people will hear what I have to say.

LEMON: All right. And if there is a big announcement or something, I'm sure you'll do it right here on this show. John Kasich, always a pleasure.

KASICH: Well, yes. You want to pick up there.

LEMON: You send the plane --

KASICH: It's beautiful up there this time of year.

LEMON: Thank you very much.

KASICH: I don't have any plane. You've got enough. I'll get you a ticket.

LEMON: All right. Thank you.

KASICH: You can take bus. Right. Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Greyhound or Trailways. I'll be there. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

KASICH: You've got it, man. Thank you. LEMON: You heard the president today boasting about admiring crowds at the hospital in El Paso where victims of the mass shooting were being treated. Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke has something to say about that, next.


LEMON: What a day from this president, unloading on reporters on the south lawn, caving to the NRA on background checks, calling for indefinite detention for undocumented parents and their children, and more. Joining me now is Democrat presidential -- Congressman O'Rourke, thank you so much for joining us. I really appreciate it.

I want to start by asking you about what we heard from the president today. And I have some specific questions for you on the issues. But overall, what is your response to the last 24 hours from this president?

FMR. REP. BETO O'ROURKE (D-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Just more cruelty from someone who has visited it so much of it on the American people, so these attacks on immigrants, the warnings of invasions, the cruelty of putting kids in cages, or separating from their parents, to learn today that they are changing the Flores Agreement, which was intended to ensure that we have the welfare of those kids, first and foremost, to change that so that they will be indefinitely detained with their parents.

It is part of this larger attack on immigrants and frankly on Hispanics that helped to produce one of the worst tragedies and acts of domestic terror we've seen in El Paso, Texas. On August 3rd, 22 people shot -- buying Greenland I think to distract us from the horror show that is his presidency. From the farms lost in the Midwest, thanks to his trade policy and tariffs when it comes to China.

The U.S. steel jobs that are being lost and the fact that this economy is not working for millions of Americans, it is that cruelty, and it is the bizarre side show that is this distracting that is the real challenge right now. But I am confident that the American people understand what is going on and are going to replace Donald Trump so that we can bring this divided country back together again and meet the real challenges that we have.

LEMON: All right, let's dig deeper now to some specific issues. First, guns, after backing away from background checks in recent days, today, the president made a number of conflicting statements about whether he supports him. Let's listen and then you can respond to it.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Oh, I have an appetite for background checks. We're going to be doing background checks. We're working with Democrats. We're working with Republicans. We already have very strong background checks. We're dealing with Democrats. We're dealing with Republicans. We're dealing with the NRA. We're dealing with gun owners. We're dealing with everybody. And I think we're going to have something hopefully that's meaningful. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So he went on to say that he had spoken with the NRA's Wayne LaPierre, as you know expressed concern background checks would be a slippery slope. What do you think will ultimately happen here, Congressman?

O'ROURKE: I think the president has been bought and paid for by the NRA. If you really wanted to put an end to gun violence, he would have called the student leaders of March for our Lives, who put out a very bold, ambitious, lifesaving proposal today, in addition to background checks and closing loopholes, and red flag laws. He calls for ending the sales of weapons of war like the AK-47 that was used in El Paso, Texas.

And also buying those weapons where they exist in our communities so that they cannot be used against us. That's where the real leadership is right now. And when we get these things passed and signed into law under my administration, it will be thanks to those students, the moms who demand action, everybody but the NRA and those politicians that they have corrupted and purchased, including their silence and complicity.

So the president's not helping anyone will not be saving any lives, we cannot count on him for leadership right now. It is those in the streets, those students, and moms who are really showing that leadership that we need.

LEMON: He also spoke about El Paso, your town, close to your heart, and his visit there after that shooting that took 22 lives. Listen and then we'll discuss.


TRUMP: When I went to El Paso, and I went into those hospitals, the love for me, and me maybe as a representative of the country, but for me, and my love for them was unparalleled. These are incredible people. There were hundreds and hundreds of people all over the floor. You couldn't even walk on it.


[22:34:54] LEMON: I mean, this comes, of course, after he previously bragged about crowd size at his El Paso rally versus your El Paso rally back in February. What the president -- what he is saying about this reception there, does it match what you heard -- what you're hearing down in El Paso?

O'ROURKE: He is a sick man, focusing on the attention that others give him on whether or not he is loved versus helping a community that saw one of the worst mass shootings in American history to heal. Going into the hospitals of victims who were injured in large part because President Trump, by warning of invasions and predators and killers and laughing when somebody said shoot them when referring to immigrants, was responsible for this. That just shows how depraved this president is. And I will tell you

this, Don. We talked to the folks at both of the hospitals where patients are being treated, or still recovering from that shooting on August 3rd. Not a single patient who was in care and recovery at those hospitals wanted to see the president. They had to bring people in who had already been released and folks from outside those hospitals in the community to greet the president, to satisfy his ego.

But this community, El Paso, Texas, did not want to see him, because we understand he was in large part to blame for the shooting, the hatred, the racism, the gun violence that we see in this country.

LEMON: The president also says that he is considering an executive order to end birthright citizenship. What do you think? Would that be unconstitutional?

O'ROURKE: You know, you asked me, Don, at the beginning about what I think of these last 24 hours. It is such a blizzard of bizarre statements and behavior unbecoming of any president. Questioning the citizenship of our fellow Americans, I guess, based on their country of national origin or ethnicity or this race, the very idea that we can realize the promise of this country that we are all created equal.

And that we can all from the planet overcome to this country, and by our very presence make this a great country in the first place, is being destroyed on a daily, and I guess over this last day and hourly basis, by this president. It is a ridiculous notion to overturn the 14th Amendment. It is racist on its face. He is trying to drive us apart. Make us angry. And keep your eye off the ball, which is the fact that this economy is beginning to crater through his gross mismanagement.

The trade war with China, the lack of pay increase for our fellow Americans, taking away healthcare for those who depend on it in America, and then not willing to admit that we are heading towards a recession in American, that's why he's talking about Greenland and the 14th Amendment, and continuing to visit these cruelties on our fellow Americans. He doesn't want us to be able to come together, recognize his failures, and overcome them by defeating him in November of 2020. We can't let him do that.

O'ROURKE: Congressman, after the mass shooting in El Paso, you suspended your campaign to return there -- your hometown to meet with victims. And you came out with a new strategy. What do you want to do differently? And will the new strategy have an impact in your position in the race? Our new polls showing that you're polling at three percent. What do you think?

O'ROURKE: You know the first place that I went to after spending nearly two weeks in El Paso following that shooting was Jackson, Mississippi, to visit small communities in that state that have been subject to the largest single state employment ICE raid in the history of this country. Nearly 700 people rounded up in their workplace, most of them, chicken processing plants.

These are folks who have been here in some cases for 15, 20, or more years, raising their U.S. citizen children here in our country, working some of the toughest jobs, not committing crimes, not violent, not posing any threat. I went there, Don, because I want to go everywhere that this president is terrifying or terrorizing our fellow Americans.

Everyone that he's trying to push down, we're going to lift up. So going to Mississippi to hear their stories and share them with the country, to make the case, to rewrite this country's immigration laws in our own image. In the image of El Paso, in the image of Canton, Mississippi, an image in every community in this country of immigrants and asylum seekers, feels so right.

And is, I think, what this country needs right now, but to follow that up by going to Arkansas, as we did, then to Oklahoma, then to Kansas, then to Missouri, before coming to Iowa, we've got to show that in a national campaign, everyone in this nation counts. And the only way to demonstrate that is by to show up and to bring people in and ensure that no one is written off and nobody is taken for granted.

[22:40:02] So I feel really good about the way that we're running this campaign, and feel that that will be borne out throughout the rest of this campaign into the first caucus here in Iowa.

LEMON: Congressman O'Rourke, thank you so much for your time. I appreciate it.

O'ROURKE: Thank you, Don. Appreciate it.

LEMON: We've got some breaking news tonight on 2020 presidential race. Washington Democratic Governor, Jay Inslee, says he is dropping out. As Greenland is melting and the Amazon is burning, he built his campaign around the central issue of combating the climate crisis happening around the world. Now that Governor Inslee he has dropped out, there are 22 Democrats in the race now.

And did you notice that President Trump mentioned former President Barack Obama 20 times in 30 minutes today? What he said, why he said it, and if any of it was true. That's next.


LEMON: President Trump addressing the media today and lashing out at his predecessor over and over and over again and over again. Watch.


TRUMP: President Obama -- Russia outsmarted President Obama. President Putin totally outsmarted President Obama -- outsmarting President Obama. Obama was upset, totally outsmarted Obama. Obama was upset. Obama had separation. President Obama in 2014, so President Obama, but it was President Obama, President Obama and others, President Obama did that.


LEMON: Obama much? Joining me now to discuss some of the false -- the many false claims Trump made today, CNN's resident fact-checker, Daniel Dale. Wow, that -- wow very telling. Daniel, hello, let's dig into some of these false claims. Watch this from the start.


TRUMP: (Inaudible) the United States that way, at least under me. Now, President Obama, when they wouldn't let him land in the Philippines, when they treated him so badly in so many places, the Philippines is one that comes to mind. That's different.


LEMON: OK. So explain this to us. Did the Philippine government prevent Barack Obama from landing there?

DANIEL DALE, CNN REPORTER: No. This story is entirely fictional. Here's the entire story, Don. The leader of the Philippines who is prone to outbursts, Rodrigo Duterte, went on a profane rant about Obama. Obama then canceled a meeting with Duterte. From that, Trump somehow has made this into Duterte preventing Obama from landing a plane that was in the air. That simply never happened.

LEMON: Yeah. President Trump also made a false claim about his administration's family separation policy versus Obama. Watch.


TRUMP: I am the one that kept the families together, OK? You remember that, right? Just remember I said it. And now it gets even better. President Obama and others brought the families apart. But I am the one that kept the families together.


LEMON: This is false.

DALE: This is false. There were, of course, some separations of children and parents at the border under Obama. But they were done under exceptional circumstances. It is Trump who implemented the policy of routine separation by implementing a policy of zero tolerance for people caught crossing the border illegally. So yes, Trump did eventually end that policy, but it was his own policy, not Obama's. And he only ended it after, of course, a furious public outcry.

LEMON: Daniel Dale, thank you for your time. I appreciate it.

DALE: Thank you.

LEMON: We'll be right back.


[22:50:00] LEMON: President Trump leaning into his feud with Denmark, saying he cancelled his trip after the Danish prime minister said it was absurd for him to want to buy Greenland. He called her comments nasty and inappropriate. Let's discuss. Alice Stewart's here as well as Ana Navarro. Good evening to both of you. Ana, welcome back. Hope you had a great honeymoon. It's great to see you. So let's start.

All the Danish prime minister did was say that the president's interests in buying Greenland was absurd. Why do you think the president takes that as such a personal insult?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First of all, he loves to call women nasty, right? It's a word he used about Hillary Clinton. It's a word he used about Kamala Harris. And it's now a word he's using about the prime minister of Denmark. Look, this is a guy who needs to be in a fight with everybody. Just in the last 24 hours, it's been the press, it's been Scaramucci. It's been the squad. It's been the, you know, prime minister of Denmark.

And, you know, I was hearing you at the beginning of the show with Chris Cuomo talking about how exhausting this is and talking about how this is not normal. No, Don, finding a live frog in your lettuce is not normal. What we are seeing is insane. It is lunacy. It is complete instability. It is alarming, and it is scary. This is way beyond normal. It is nerve-racking.

And I think, you know, I have been abroad for the last 17 days. You can't go to any country where somebody doesn't realize you're an American and immediately ask have Americans lost their minds? What the hell are you guys doing? This is scary.

LEMON: Well, Alice, I have got to ask you. Listen, we don't need to play the soundbite, because he has this history of calling women. We know it's there. He has this history of calling women nasty and what have you. Why does the president use the word nasty when challenged by strong women? And yes, he does it for men as well, but it seems that he does it more with women.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He does it equally across the board. For some reason, he just loves the word nasty. And he's used it for many men as well, my former boss Ted Cruz, virtually GOP challenger in 2016, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, Mitt Romney, all down the line. Also, you remember the London Mayor Sadiq Khan. He's used it across the board.

The reality is he is one of those, if someone is a challenger or confronts him or pushes back on him, he will punch back. And look, I wish he would aim high. I wish he would talk nicer. I wish he would be best. That's unfortunately not his nature. And we can all remember back in 2016, Jeb Bush said, Donald Trump, you cannot insult your way to the White House.

Well, he did. And he will insult his way through the White House. He will insult his way out of the White House. And the reality is people that support him, myself included, I don't like his tone and tenor. I don't like the way he talks. I don't like many of the things that he says. But his policies are the reason why he does have almost 90 percent approval rating from the GOP. I wish he would knock it off. I wish he would be nicer. I wish he wouldn't be an equal opportunity

offender with no regard for gender. But that's who he is. And anyone who thinks he's going to change, I think is sadly mistaken.

LEMON: That's got to be the last word.

[22:55:01] NAVARRO: And I think that's so important. He's not going to change, so shame on us if we continue supporting this insane man who is in the White House.

LEMON: Thank you, both. I appreciate it.

NAVARRO: Well, not shame on me because I never supported him. Not for one minute. Not ever.

LEMON: We'll be right back.


LEMON: This is CNN TONIGHT. I am Don Lemon. President Trump not backing down in the face of criticism that he is pushing an anti- Semitic trope.