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Corey Lewandowski Stonewalling Congress; Rep. Jamie Raskin (D- MD) Is Interviewed About The House Judiciary Committee Hearing With Corey Lewandowski; Lewandowski Invokes Executive Privilege Despite Never Working In The White House; Top Choice For Nominee Among Democratic Voters; President Trump In New Mexico: We Love Our Hispanics. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired September 17, 2019 - 22:00   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: So, a lot of these issues that you care about, whether it's reproductive rights, whether it's due process. The idea that it all gets the side of the Supreme Court is not always the case. And these judges are going all across the country, so be on to lookout.

Thanks for watching. "CNN TONIGHT" with D. Lemon starts right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: You've been listening in on my editorial meetings and when I say to my producers, my gosh, the judges are stacking the court. This -- and then, this is why people -- this is why people who come on, some of the Trump supporters, and they say this is why they -- I can't stand anything else he does, but it's the policies.

He's getting the judges through, and he's getting a lot of them through, and people aren't even noticing. He had a milestone, as you said, 150 appointments. That's incredible.

CUOMO: That's the point of the segment.


CUOMO: That's why we call it be on the lookout. And I'll tell you what the most interesting aspect --


LEMON: Really? Thanks for explaining that to me.

CUOMO: I know you weren't paying attention. I'll just bring you up to speed. Christian conservatives, OK? You and I have grown up with them saying, it's not just about policy and politics. It's about the personal. Character counts.

Remember Mike Pence wrote this famous letter now about Bill Clinton. It's about morality and leadership. We must treat him as a neighbor. It's not just about the law. Now he stands next to President Trump. They surrendered character for the courts. That's what they did. LEMON: Yes. Well, and for a whole lot of other things when you think

about it. When you think about the support that this president has among Evangelicals. We're going to talk about that, his support in general. We're going to talk about race, how it's become the main factor in this upcoming presidential race.

But it's surprising -- the thing that surprises me the most -- it doesn't surprise me the folks who are secular, as we call secular in their support, because the people he appoints as judges, it shows you the kind of people that they want appointed, the kind of people they want in leadership roles.

But actually, the support that he has among Christians and Evangelical Christians is always very surprising to me. And in that interview, I saw your eyes when he said, because I am a staunch Christian. I thought your eyes were going to pop out of your head because we all know that not to be true.

CUOMO: I thought he was kidding.

LEMON: I did too.

CUOMO: Like I thought he was going to start laughing, and he didn't. And you saw Spicer --


LEMON: He's audited because he's a staunch Christian.

CUOMO: -- play the same card. And he knows it, he knows it matters to people on the right. It matters to a lot of people on the left. I mean this country is highly faith-based in its orientation. But to hear them say it with a straight face, I mean it was just as impressive as that lime limbo outfit.

LEMON: What in the Ricky Ricardo libera chi (Ph) was going on with that?


LEMON: That is the -- that is the loudest outfit I've ever seen a flamingo dancer wear, most flamboyant.

CUOMO: He went for it.

LEMON: He did. You got to give him credit for that.

CUOMO: I'll give him nothing actually, but he did go for it. He should have kept his partner in front of him the entire time. He should have just had his arms out there.

LEMON: I was watching you in the makeup room, and I saw him. And I said, I got my Halloween costume. That's going to be the number one --

CUOMO: I'm not going as her, though, Don. Don't even try.

LEMON: Come on, Chris. You can do it.

CUOMO: No, I gave all leotards away.

LEMON: You've got the legs. I'm sure you can borrow one of your daughter's leotards. Make sure it's chartreuse, or would you just call it fluorescent green? I have no idea.

CUOMO: That was -- that was something. It was brain-staining. I'll give you that much.

LEMON: I'll see you, Ricky.

CUOMO: Have a great show.

LEMON: Thank you. See you soon.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

And if we've learned anything today, anything at all, it is this. You can brazen your way through anything if you are team Trump. Exhibit A, one Corey Lewandowski, sticking to the script the White House wrote for him.


COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Congressman, the White House has directed I not disclose the substance of any discussions with the president or his advisers to protect executive branch confidentiality.

The White House has directed me not to disclose the substance of any discussions.


REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY): How many times --

LEWANDOWSKI: The White House has directed I not disclose the substance of any discussions with the president.

The White House has directed that I not disclose the substance of any discussions with the president or his advisers to protect executive branch confidentiality.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, you're in the Oval Office. Mr. Lewandowski, you're claiming my time.


LEMON: I'm surprised after all those times he even had to read the card anymore. Lewandowski and team Trump brazenly, honestly playing Democrats. Democrats got played.

And while they played by the rules, meaning the Democrats, Lewandowski is running all over them, which does not bode well for their impeachment inquiry. I want you to listen to him. This is him stalling and refusing to answer the question from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.


REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Did the president tell you that the attorney general was legally not allowed to take any part in the special counsel's investigation when he asked you to deliver him a note about that very investigation? Did the president tell you that?


LEWANDOWSKI: What you've just read isn't on the screen, congresswoman.

LEE: You need to look at the screen.


LEE: Yes or no? Read the screen.

LEWANDOWSKI: You're welcome to read it, congresswoman.

LEE: You're welcome to be stalling, and I'm not going to stall. You either answer the question yes or no.


LEMON: OK. Well, there you go. Listen to him bobbing and weaving on executive privilege with congressman -- this is Jamie Raskin.


REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Are you representing the White House has told you that they are invoking executive privilege on your behalf today?

LEWANDOWSKI: I don't believe it's an executive privilege, sir, and again I think we've submitted the letter for your clarification of what the White House has said.


RASKIN: Well, let me ask you, I'm --

LEWANDOWSKI: It's not my privilege to waive.

RASKIN: Well, I don't think it's anyone's privilege to waive because I don't think it exists, Mr. Lewandowski. I think the whole thing is imaginary. It's like the tooth fairy. You didn't work --


LEWANDOWSKI: My children are watching. Thank you, congressman.

RASKIN: I'm sorry?

LEWANDOWSKI: My children are watching, so thank you for that.

RASKIN: Well, I hope the president is not on, then.


LEMON: I just kept wondering if Democrats had ever watched TV. Have they ever seen Corey Lewandowski on television, on any network? They would have known.

By the way, I'm going to talk to Congressman Raskin in just a moment about that and other things. But just listen to a frustrated -- this is the Chairman, Jerry Nadler.


NADLER: Mr. Lewandowski, your behavior in this hearing room has been completely unacceptable. It is part of a pattern by a White House desperate for the American people not to hear the truth.

I have been asked several times today whether the committee will hold you in contempt. That is certainly under consideration, but there is a far more troubling level of contempt on display here today, and that is President Trump's role in your refusal to answer questions.

The pattern of obstruction laid out in the Mueller report has not stopped. You showed the American public in real-time that the Trump administration will do anything and everything in its power to obstruct the work of the Congress.

The president's lawyers are sitting behind you right now to make sure that you do not answer us. While this committee is focused on the evidence of potential corruption, obstruction, and abuse of power, and exposing that misconduct is our top priority. Make no mistake, we will hold President Trump accountable.


LEMON: Like I said, the president's ex-campaign manager spent the day stonewalling Congress and apparently getting away with it. We've seen it over and over. You can brazen your way through anything as long as you are team Trump.

There will be no consequences as long as you demonstrate unswerving loyalty to the boss. No consequences for Corey Lewandowski stonewalling Congress. Getting praise for it. Look at your screen. From the president, "Beautiful opening statement by Corey Lewandowski. Thank you, Corey." Exclamation point.

And turning that into an opportunity during a break in the hearing to promote his potential Senate run in New Hampshire. An incredibly brazen -- bracingly standing by his own lies.


LEWANDOWSKI: I'm sorry. Nobody in front of Congress has ever lied to the public before. I'm sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, is that an admission that you did lie?

LEWANDOWSKI: Absolutely not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you lie, sir, in television interviews, denying that you had been asked to give answers to the special counsel?

LEWANDOWSKI: I don't believe so. I have no obligation to be honest with the media.


LEMON: Nothing matters anymore. It doesn't. You heard -- you heard his words, blatantly claiming that he has no obligation to be honest with the media, to tell the truth. He said it right there, I have no obligation. He has none to tell the truth.

That's a pretty amazing claim for someone who is considering a Senate run. Think about that. What he's basically saying is that he is under no obligation to tell you the truth. You know why? Here's the thing.

It is through the media that you speak to the American people. That's why we report the facts of what you say, so the American people will be informed. So, when you say it's OK to lie to the media, you're saying it's OK to lie to Americans.

And there's someone who might agree with Lewandowski that he has no obligation to be honest with the media, someone who is following his deceitful turn as press secretary, repeatedly lying to the media with a turn on "Dancing with the Stars."

Yes, that happened. That happened. Sean Spicer gets rewarded after a six-month stint that began with this big lie on the first full day of the Trump administration.



SEAN SPICER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.


LEMON: And then kept on after that day after day. This truth lies on and on. Tonight, Sean Spicer is telling "The New York Times:" I am very comfortable with who I am, what I believe, and what my priorities are in life. As long as I'm good with God and my family, I'm fine. I haven't changed a damn thing about me. What I have done besides, make an ass out of myself?

And going on to say: I was wearing a lime green shirt and playing the bongos. If you weren't laughing, then you have a problem. We were laughing. So, the question is, as Democrats played by the rules, are they getting played by team Trump? We're going to dig into that with John Dean, Angela Rye, Rick Wilson next.


LEMON: Democrats threatening to hold Corey Lewandowski in contempt for stonewalling in his testimony before the House judiciary committee, which is looking into potential obstruction of justice by the president. He was combative. He launched attacks on committee members.

So now let's discuss. John Dean is here. He -- John Dean was, by the way, White House counsel for President Nixon. Angela Rye is here as well, and Rick Wilson, the author of "Everything Trump Touches Dies."

Good evening, one and all. So, let's get the conversation started with Rick. Lewandowski frustrating Democrats, refusing to answer lots of questions. Watch this moment, please.


REP. STEVE COHEN (D-TN): Either you were willing to break the law for politics and Mr. Trump, or you're some kind of a Forrest Gump relating to corruption.

So maybe let me ask you this. Did the president pick you his enforcer? He thought you would play whatever role he wanted because it was illegal? Is that possibly why he chose you to take this message to sessions?

LEWANDOWSKI: That would be a question for the president, Congressman.


LEMON: What did you think, Rick? Did Democrats get played by Trump, team Trump?

RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: They got rolled like a cheap rug, Don. This guy was in contempt from the hot second he walked in the door. He acted in a -- he lied to their faces. He went right up at them. He did everything but take a dump on Nadler's desk today by pushing the contempt that he showed that committee at every turn.

He has no privileges. He has no immunity. He has no shield of protection against testifying. And this guy went up there today and got away with it. They didn't put pressure on him until the end when the professional counsel was on him. It was a shocking display.

LEMON: Go on. Finish. Sorry.

WILSON: Go ahead. I'm sorry. No. It just reminds me the Democrats can't organize a two-car motorcade sometimes.

LEMON: Look, I -- they didn't really know how to answer questions -- I mean ask questions. But I got to ask John, if you're going to threaten to hold someone in contempt, why not just do it? Do they have the power to hold him in contempt, and then what are the repercussions?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Amen, Don. They should be holding him in contempt. I mean this was a -- just an ideal case to go out and do it as well as the two that didn't show today. They ought to just be on the floor of -- they ought to be in the committee tomorrow having a contempt vote, take it to the floor and send it so they at least have a criminal conviction potential hanging over all their heads for this behavior. But they don't do that. That's the problem, Don.

LEMON: Well, I thought, you know, after a couple of non-answers, they would just say, OK, this is over. We're going to hold you in contempt unless you're going to answer the questions. Are you going to answer the questions or not? If not, we're going to hold you in contempt.

Nobody ever said that. I don't know what's going on. So, then, this is supposed to be their first impeachment hearing, John. What did you think when you were watching it?

DEAN: Well, I actually thought of Sean Spicer dancing because that's what this guy was doing in his own way. He was just dodging every question. He was -- had his own set of bongo drums and listening to his own beat, and he wasn't paying any attention to what the committee was interested in unless it was a Republican asking the question. Then he kind of got a little fancy in the dance.


DEAN: It was a bad day for the Democrats.

LEMON: Angela, Congressman Hank Johnson got Lewandowski to confirm conversations with Trump about a message to Sessions. But overall, did it seem like Democrats had better luck when they had an attorney ask some of those questions? I mean did Democrats show they can handle an impeachment inquiry or deal with the obstacles thrown in the path -- in their path by team Trump?

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sorry, I didn't catch your question.

LEMON: No, I'm sorry.

RYE: First of all, many of the members on the committee are attorneys. I think the challenge is when you have your mind made up on how something is supposed to go and you're not able to adjust your expectations, Corey was a great, you know -- a great witness for Donald Trump because he didn't answer any of the questions.

I think that those of us who worked with him on this network know that nothing much has changed under the sun. And so even to the point of him saying, did Donald Trump ever assure him that he would be pardoned, you know, not able to confirm or deny that or refusing to do that.

I think the reality is simple. They should be holding him in contempt of Congress. Folks at home may remember that Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress for the fast and furious scandal that began under George W. Bush.

So, when you think about what is really at stake here, right -- like he has not cooperated with the government from the beginning.

I remember arguing with Democrats on this air not long ago about whether or not there should even be an impeachment inquiry. This should have happened long ago, and now all of the time that has passed has just given them more time to prepare to dodge the answers. That's what's happening.


LEMON: So, having heard that and having saw what you saw today, Rick, how would you advise the Democrats to change course moving forward?

WILSON: Well, look, you know, part of the problem here is they're trying to key up -- cue up an impeachment proceeding, and if they can't handle a low-rent bema (ph) grifter like Corey Lewandowski, then how are they going to face up against the entire might of the administration, all of whom do have executive privilege?

So, I think they need to absolutely cause pain when people are in contempt. They need to exercise the powers they have as a co-equal branch of government. They need to hold him in contempt. They need to make it public. They need to make it hurt.

They need to start dragging these people in that don't need -- and I frankly think the chairman of this committee needs to adjust the rules so that they lead out with the professional counsel asking these people questions and skip the five-minute show that lasts all day long.

The Republicans are there doing show prep for Fox all day, and the Democrats were all trying to get their moment in the sun. If you're after Corey Lewandowski to get information about the president's consistent obstruction of justice, let the lawyers do their work.

LEMON: Right.

WILSON: And lead off with that.


RYE: There's a --

WILSON: And tighten that up. Don't let this be the five-minute show.

LEMON: What did you want to say, Angela?

RYE: Yes, just quickly. There's another challenge that we have here, and we're not talking about it as much as we should. That is that Donald Trump is aggressively confirming federal judges, which will make this battle even tougher. He's now at 150 federal judicial appointments, and our reality is that

branch -- the separate co-equal branches of the government are hanging in the balance now at the hands of the judiciary, and that is a real challenge.

LEMON: Yes. We talked about that just a little while ago here, Chris and I, just before this show, at the beginning of this show.

John, you know, you were White House counsel to Nixon. Behind Lewandowski that was the -- it was White House counsel Mike Purpura? Is that how you say his name? Purpura? What do you think about the role the White House is playing when Lewandowski was never a White House employee here?

DEAN: Well, it's very odd. They've invented their own privilege, Don, that has no basis in reality as Congressman Raskin said. They just invented this. He has no protection. He has no privilege. He had to testify today, so that's why I think it's just vital that they some action against this misbehavior.


LEMON: But it seems he doesn't care, John, about contempt because if he cared about contempt then he would answer the questions, no?

DEAN: That's right. He doesn't care about it because the Congress never does it. In a few celebrated cases they have --


WILSON: He called their bluff.

DEAN: Exactly what should happen. They should be calling their bluff. Then they'd think twice about the kind of show we saw today.

LEMON: Yes. Angela, I want you to check out this tweet. This is from Congressman Justin Amash. "At today's judiciary hearing, Corey Lewandowski confirmed this impeachable conduct from Mueller's report. Thank you, Corey."

Listen, what Amash is pointing to is how Corey Lewandowski confirmed that Trump asked him to tell Sessions to limit the investigation. But is that getting lost in the hours of all this stonewalling?

RYE: Absolutely. I think that what people are getting more distracted by is the audacity of the behavior, but we've seen this from the very beginning, long before he was sworn into office -- I'm talking about Donald Trump -- long before -- at the beginning of his campaign, we saw this kind of behavior.

So, people keep going, my gosh, I can't believe, I can't believe, I can't believe, and the reality of it is while we can't believe it, they are being the most egregious, unethical, criminal at this point administration that we've seen.

And they're getting away with all the behavior because we're just so shocked. And at some point, we have to release the shock and realize it is what it is, and it's time for them to go.

LEMON: All right. Thank you all. I appreciate it. See you next time.

Should Democrats have been prepared for Corey Lewandowski's tactics? I'm going to ask one of his questioners. Congressman Jamie Raskin is here. That's next.



LEMON: President Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski today spending most of his nearly six hours on Capitol Hill in his testimony refusing to answer questions under the guise of executive privilege.

Joining me now to discuss, one of the Democrats who questioned Lewandowski, and it's Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland.

Congressman, thank you. I appreciate you joining us.

RASKIN: Thanks for having me, Don.

LEMON: So, it was obvious from the beginning that Lewandowski came prepared to stymie Democrats on your committee at every turn. Why weren't Democrats better prepared for his combative tactics?

RASKIN: Well, I think we were ready to confront this completely concocted new executive confidentiality of advice privilege that they fabricated for this episode. It was amazing that he stuck with it in parrot-like fashion, repeating it maybe a dozen or 15 times during --


LEMON: But after the third time, don't you, you know, rejigger and change your tactics, and if he doesn't answer, don't you say, listen, if you don't answer, we're going to hold you in contempt. If he continues not to answer --


LEMON: -- can't you say this is over and expect to be held in contempt when you leave here? So, make a decision to either be in contempt or answer the questions. What's going on? Why can't you guys do that?

RASKIN: We invoked contempt a number of times and obviously that's something that's going to be very much on the table.

LEMON: But you invoked it, you don't do it. You threaten.


RASKIN: Well, no. I mean, but we've brought contempt charges against Attorney General Barr, for example. So, the problem is the way we've done it is the conventional way of appealing to the courts. We actually have inherent powers of contempt ourselves. There's an 1821 case called Anderson v. Dunn which says the Congress can enforce its own orders through contempt just the way that courts can do it. Now, there is a division of opinion about whether we should go back to that, but --

LEMON: So what you're saying is you're playing by the rules, right?


LEMON: They're not. So why are you playing by the rules?

RASKIN: Because we're defending the rule of law. And I know it's frustrating to us. It's frustrating to everybody else. You know, we do follow the rules. We do follow the rule of law, and they're the chaos party. And they make a mockery out of everything and --

LEMON: They make you look bad, or maybe Democrats are making themselves look bad. It was bad. You guys had -- this was bad. This was bad.

RASKIN: Well, I don't know if you saw all the way to the end, Don.

LEMON: I did.

RASKIN: Actually Barry Burke, our counsel.

LEMON: I know what you are going to say, you're talking about the professional who asked the questions later, right?

RASKIN: Well, our lawyer had devastating cross-examination of Lewandowski.

LEMON: Why didn't you let him ask the questions first?

RASKIN: Well, we had to torture out of the Republicans the agreement to even allow lawyers to go for 30 minutes. It is the rules of the House of Representatives that the members get five minutes of questioning, but what you said given the fact that we're in impeachment investigation and this is a matter of the highest priority, that we want to have extended questioning by our lawyer.

So that was a big fight. You saw, you know, we took probably an hour debating all of that today, and they kept trying to adjourn and play all of these procedural moves. Look, you're absolutely right. We are the party of the constitution and the rule of law now. We are trying to stand by the rules and be fair, and they are the chaos party, and they're just blowing everything up. They're acting like, you know, a bunch of drunken adolescents down in the rec room.

LEMON: Well, listen, you can -- that is not what I'm saying here. What I'm saying is, is that I think that you're too close to the forest. You don't see it. Just as an observer --


LEMON: -- you're getting played big-time. And so when you're getting played, you got to readjust, right? If you're going to be a player, you got to play, right? You did have --


LEMON: You did have one good -- you had a good exchange. This one is one that stood out to me. Watch this.


RASKIN: Are you representing the White House has told you that they are -- that they are invoking the executive privilege on your behalf today?

COREY LEWANDOSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I don't believe it's an executive privilege hearing. And again, I think we've submitted the letter for your clarification of what the White House has said.

RASKIN: Well, let me ask you --

LEWANDOSKI: It's not my privilege to waive.

RASKIN: Well, I don't think it's anyone's privilege to waive because I don't think it exists, Mr. Lewandowski. I think the whole thing is imaginary. It's like the tooth fairy. You didn't work --

LEWANDOSKI: My children are watching. Thank you, Congressman.

RASKIN: I'm sorry?

LEWANDOSKI: My children are watching, so thank you for that.

RASKIN: Well, I hope the president's not on, then.


LEMON: So what do you think?

RASKIN: Well, obviously he was doing everything in his power to cover up for the fact that they're engaged in this huge cover-up. You know, there's no executive privilege that covers someone who is not an executive branch employee. That is completely ridiculous. So they put out this line, and he thinks that he can rely on it. And he is going to get his comeuppance because I do think that we are standing on the rule of law.

I think that we're right, and we're going to see to it that we enforce these things, but understand that every day there is a new onrush of very serious allegations of criminality and corruption and cover-up going on in the administration.

Yesterday it was about Kavanaugh, and everybody was saying, well, let's go ahead and impeach Kavanaugh. And today, we got to hold him in contempt. And it's not that any of that stuff is wrong. It's just that America has never seen quite this volume of corruption. There's constant avalanche of illegality by the White House, and they don't seem to care. So, you know, we need the press on our side. Obviously all of us are

frustrated that this is still going on, but we are moving forward. I've got a resolution against every foreign government payoff this government has -- this president has received since he took office in January of 2017.

So I'm hoping that we get not just all the Democrats. I hope we get some of the Republicans saying, no, Mr. President. You can't be pocketing millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia and Egypt and Indonesia and the Philippines.

LEMON: Well, listen, before I want to get this in before I go. But listen, the press can't be on anybody's side, but the American people. You understand that.

RASKIN: And that is where we are too.

LEMON: I'm just telling you, I'm speaking for the American people here.

RASKIN: And so am I. You and me both.

LEMON: To the extent, that is the side I'm on. But, listen, what is your biggest -- what is your single takeaway, if you can give it to me quickly, from today? The single biggest takeaway?

RASKIN: The biggest takeaway is it's better to have extended questioning by our lawyers when we can do it. The White House is willing to do absolutely anything to trash the rule of law, and they have no respect. They have just spectacular disrespect and defiance for the rule of law. It's what we've known.


We need to hang tough and with all due respect, Don, I feel like the press can't afford to pretend to be objective or neutral at a time when the press is being attacked, the first amendment is being attacked, the entire constitution is being besieged by a criminal White House. So, you know, I know it's fun to make fun of the people who are trying to stand up for the rule of law, but we're doing it every single day, and we are going to win, and we are going to prevail in the end.

LEMON: I hope you don't think -- I'm not making fun of you in any way. The thrust of my questioning was how can the American people get something out of this? They got nothing today because they were stonewalled and so --

RASKIN: Actually, there was a very important concession made by Mr. Lewandowski.

LEMON: Right.

RASKIN: Which is that he feels free to lie more than 99 percent of the time.

LEMON: Right, and we played that.

RASKIN: He only feels a compunction to tell the truth when he is under oath.

LEMON: And we played that, but that was two minutes of an entire day. That was two minutes of an entire day and that was one thing that the American people got out of it.

RASKIN: He also confirmed -- but he also confirmed the basic story of the Mueller report, which is that the president ordered him to go out and to try to squelch the Mueller investigation and to do it illegally through an outside party. So all of that has been confirmed, but I'm with you. It's time to move beyond the Mueller report.

LEMON: That is a very good point. I have to run, but don't think -- I'm not making fun of you. I'm just --

RASKIN: I trust you.

LEMON: I'm just trying to make sure the American people get the most out of this. If they're going to spend their time, you're going to have these hearings, they're going to pay for it, they got to figure out how to vote for, who's right and who's wrong, who's telling the truth, then they need to be able to hear the truth, and not just, I can't answer that question because the White House has told me not to.

RASKIN: I'm so with you, and the American people are on the side of the constitution and the rule of law.

LEMON: I got to run. Thank you sir. I appreciate you coming on. I'll see you next time.

RASKIN: You bet.

LEMON: We'll be right back.



LEMON: Good news for Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. A brand-new poll, but it shows Kamala Harris losing ground. It is the first poll to be released since the Democratic candidates held their third debate last week. Let's discuss now. Keith Boykin is here, Tara Setmayer. Good evening to both of you.


LEMON: Greetings. Brand-new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll out today. V.P. Joe Biden continues to lead the field at 31 percent. Senator Elizabeth Warren isn't far behind, 25 percent. Warren is on the rise. Just look at the crowd last night here in New York City. Check it out. It was a pretty big crowd down in Washington Square Park. So, what do you think? Is this -- I mean that is a big crowd last night? Why do you think she is on the rise? What's going on? KEITH BOYKIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: She is doing almost

everything right. She is got the enthusiasm more than any other candidate as borne out by this new poll, that she has far more enthusiasm than all the other candidates. She is got the policy positions. She is giving out in detail. And she's got the progressive credentials that some of the other candidates do not have. If you compare her with Joe Biden, I mean I voted for Joe Biden twice, when he was vice president for --

LEMON: You really voted for Obama.

BOYKIN: Well, yes, but he was the running mate.

LEMON: He was on the ticket, but you --

BOYKIN: I voted for him twice when he was the running mate for Barack Obama. You know, if he wins the nomination, I will gladly support him and endorse him and vote for him, but I think he is a weak candidate, and I think if you look at where the party is and look at where Joe Biden is, I don't see that he is the future of the party.

First of all, he lost to Mike Dukakis in 1988. I was there. I worked on the Dukakis campaign. He lost to Hillary Clinton in 2008. What makes us think he's going to beat Donald Trump in 2020? Secondly, if you look at the base of the party, it's young people. Its women. It's people of color. Its progressives. Joe Biden is none of those things.


BOYKIN: Whereas Elizabeth Warren does represent that. She is --

LEMON: OK. OK. OK. I get it. I get it. That is a big crowd, but that is also a big crowd in New York City. Do you get any bluer than New York City? You know what I'm saying.

SETMAYER: Right. I mean if she gets that crowd in Wisconsin or Pennsylvania.

LEMON: Pennsylvania, right.

SETMAYER: Ohio, you know. I mean --

LEMON: Then we're on to something here.

SETMAYER: -- places that they need to win. That is right.

LEMON: OK, So let me put up this poll, Tara and I will get your say. So, the Wall Street Journal writes about their poll, they say the poll also shows Mr. Biden with strength among moderate and conservative Democrats while among black voters, he had 49 percent support while Ms. Warren was at 13 percent and Mr. Sanders was at 5 percent.

Listen, we don't have their poll margins there for black voters, but our CNN poll earlier this month showed Joe Biden gets 42 percent among black voters, 12 percent for Senator Bernie Sanders, 10 percent for Senator Warren. Biden's campaign appears to be fueled by black voters. SETMAYER: Right. I mean most Democratic strategists and Keith can

attest to this, know that the road -- the pathway to the Democratic nomination is through the black vote, and that's the solid base that Joe Biden has, and a lot of it has to do with not only his record of good will in the black community, but also being Barack Obama's vice president. We already know this.

But let me say this. I don't necessarily agree with Keith that the full base of the Democratic Party is just young progressives. Recent polling shows that 54 percent are worried about -- Democrats are worried about the Democratic nominee being too liberal, not liberal enough.

So, they're worried about that, because they know that maybe that is great in the -- you can be a rock star in the Democratic primary, but then you're going to get killed in the general election, and that is the issue with Elizabeth Warren. Even though she is very good at explaining complicated issues and making feel good about them --

LEMON: Tara, I got to go.

SETMAYER: That is not going to get her over the finish line.

BOYKIN: I just want to say I didn't say young progressives. I say young people, women, people of color and progressives.

LEMON: I got to go. But let's just put this up before we go. I promise we won't -- so in the poll that is out today, Kamala Harris, Senator Kamala Harris, is at 5 percent, down from 13 percent in July. What's going on with her?


SETMAYER: She is a flip-flopper and people recognize it.


BOYKIN: I think she has to be consistent. She was good in the first debate, and she --

LEMON: That is what she just said.

SETMAYER: Thank you.

BOYKIN: No, but her performance has to be consistent. She was good in the first debate. She was good in her announcement, but she hasn't been consistent since that time.

LEMON: All right, I got to go. Thank you both. I appreciate it. We'll be right back.


LEMON: So Donald Trump launched his campaign with attacks on Mexicans, but now with 2020 looming this president seems to be changing his tune. I want you to listen to what he said. This is at a rally last night in New Mexico about CNN commentator Steve Cortes.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He happens to be Hispanic, but I've never quite figured it out because he looks more like a wasp than I do.

So, I haven't figured that one out. But I'll tell you what. There is nobody that loves this country more or Hispanic more than Steve Cortes. Steve.



TRUMP: Thank you, Steve. Nobody loves the Hispanics more. Who do you like more the country or the Hispanics? He says the country. I don't know. I may have to go for the Hispanics to be honest with you. We have a lot of Hispanics. We love our Hispanics. Get out and vote.


LEMON: OK. Let's discuss now. With Ana Navarro -- Ana Navarro and Adolfo Franco. So, hello to both of you. Ana, Hi.


LEMON: Hi. What's your reaction to those comments by the president to Steve Cortes at that rally last night, saying we love our Hispanics?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I suspect he didn't want to offend Steve Cortes and I suspect Steve Cortes was not offended, but really what a stupid thing to say. Right? To somehow ask the question about whether you love this country more than you love Hispanics. They are one in the same.

And you know, at a moment when he is supposedly celebrating Hispanic heritage. At a moment when little Hispanic kids are getting bullied in school and told to go back to where they came from, when white supremacists are driving hours and hours and what, you know, drove hours and hours and hours to hunt down Hispanics. Echoing some of the same themes that Trump has been saying.

Really he could be more careful. That is why words matter. Because it's important to highlight right now that Hispanics are America. It is not a choice. It's not either or. It's not who you love more. Hispanics are America. Latinos are America.

FRANCO: Whatever.

LEMON: I wonder, Adolfo, you say the president was -- you said it was ingest, right? It was humor. That he's not politically correct. But then why would he say something like he looks like more than a wasp than he does? Was that supposed to be a compliment? FRANCO: Well, we didn't say something that I think would be terrible

as they all look alike. Or things of that kind which are, you know, clearly racist things. Look, I think (inaudible) respect --


LEMON: (Inaudible), that he doesn't look like all the other Hispanics?

FRANCO: Well, I have to tell you. I think people have to frankly lighten up a bit. I think everybody knows the president was joking. Steve has said as much. I think, I know the president, I think he's absolutely joking. Ana, next week you can join us at the White House. The president is having us over to celebrate Hispanic week. So, I met Steve a couple years ago. The president is --

SETMAYER: Thanks, I'll pass. I'll go when there's a president who doesn't call Hispanics criminals and rapists. Thank you for the invitation.

FRANCO: But they are criminals and rapist coming over if we don't have a border under control. That is what the president's message is. The president is a person that I think is -- connects with Hispanics, connects with all Americans frankly. And is a person that isn't going to be as Bill Maher (ph) the other said, Dom, and I completely agree with him. The country is choking on political correctness. The country is choking on it. Everyone knows it.

LEMON: Well, --

SETMAYER: Bill Maher is a comedian. Bill Maher is a comedian and I'm not going to (inaudible) the president of United States --

FRANCO: But he's talking about the country.

SETMAYER: yes, and I'm telling you, I'm not going to hold the president of the United States to the same standard that I hold a late night comic. And I'm not going to accept things being said in just. I mean, shrugging my shoulders and making this acceptable when there are kids are getting bullied. When there are people that are getting screamed at and fired because they speak Spanish. When there are people that are getting killed and hunted down like dogs, because they are Hispanics. I am not going to accept it --

LEMON: Adolfo, I want to play this.

SETMAYER: -- you want to laugh at it? If you think that's funny. That is your choice.



SETMAYER: I don't accept that.

FRANCO: I think the president -- LEMON: Adolfo, hold on, hold on. Hang on, hang on. Adolfo, please,

please. Just keep this in mind. We can't say that everything is too politically correct. We can't let that be a license for people to be bigoted. OK? There's a difference. Yes, people are very sensitive in this time. But you can't say everything people get away with everything because of that term political correctness. Now, I have to get this in, because Steve spoke with my friend to Chris Cuomo earlier this evening. Here's what he had to say about the president and how he speaks. Watch this.


STEVE CORTES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think a lot of Hispanics look at Donald Trump and may say look, I would like him if he phrased things differently. I myself would like it sometimes, believe it or not, Chris. If he phrased things differently. I'm the one who has to come on television at times and explain.


LEMON: And listen, I have a short time left, but are you ever offended by what he says and wish that he would speak more eloquently about minorities?


FRANCO: I'm never offended. I never been offended by President Trump. What I look at our -- as Steve said in that interview as well, earlier today is, I'm looking at what the results of his policies had been. And what has been for Hispanics unemployment, for Hispanics in this country.

And the things he said in this particular clip you just ran. I love Hispanics. We love our Hispanics. With people behind him saying Latinos with Trump. I mean, the fact that the matter is, the president does joke. That is the president's style. That's not racist. And I think the results of his administration over Hispanics --

SETMAYER: Well, listen. If Adolfo doesn't want to be offended. That is his prerogative. I am offended by a president who separates children from their parents. I am offended by a president who calls Central American countries shit holes. I am offended by a president who calls Hispanics invaders, I am offended by a president who calls Mexicans rapist and criminals and let me remind you and (inaudible) of the country, even though you might be Cuban.

FRANCO: You were offended he was elected.

SETMAYER: Oh, no. I'm offended that he was elected. I'm offended that a misogynist, racist who peddles hostility and division and who boasted about grabbing a woman's pussy got elected. Hell yes I'm offended about that. I think it's cheapening of the presidency. And I think it's a lone moment in history.

LEMON: OK, I got to go. Thank you both. We'll be right back.

FRANCO: You can be offended. I think you're in the minority in the American community.

SETMAYER: I will. I don't need your permission. I'm going to be offended until this gross man is out of the White House. And I'm offended by people who use to support John McCain and the Bush's --