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A Tribute to an Icon; Careless Dialing Leaves a Grain of Evidence; Grand Jury Orders Redacted Information from Mueller's Investigation; Giuliani Accidentally Calls NBC News Reporter; Trump Organization Explores Selling D.C. Hotel; Former President Obama Pays Tribute To Rep. Elijah Cummings. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired October 25, 2019 - 22:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

And we've got news on the impeachment inquiry to tell you about. A big victory for House Democrats as a federal judge orders the DOJ to hand over grand jury information redacted from the Mueller investigation.

But it's not the information. It's the fact that the ruling puts the judicial stamp of approval on the impeachment inquiry despite the administration's claims that it's not valid without a formal vote.

The judge ruling that the impeachment inquiry is legal. The Justice Department says it's reviewing the decision.

And the details of this story, well, it sounds like something out of a Hollywood Caper movie.

Sources telling CNN tonight that the feds blew the door off a safe as part of their investigation of those two recently indicted associates of Rudy Giuliani. No word yet on what they might have found inside that safe, but we have learned that they've subpoenaed Steven Fruman. He's the brother of one of the Giuliani associates.

And speaking of Rudy Giuliani, this is just classic. The president's personal lawyer left not one but two, apparently accidental voicemails on a reporter's phone this fall in which he was heard discussing needing hundreds of thousands of dollars and disparaging the Biden family. We call that a butt dial. Did it twice.

That's according to NBC. Giuliani telling CNN's Dana Bash that he thinks the accidental voicemails are actually helpful because they show that he doesn't do anything dishonest. He also says the whole thing has nothing to do with Ukraine but wouldn't say what it is about.

We've got a lot more to come on that story, you can bet. But this was also a day when something pretty unusual happened. How often do you hear three United States presidents speaking out all in one hour? President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton among those honoring

the late Congressman Elijah Cummings at his funeral in Baltimore. At about the same time, President Trump spoke to reporters on his way to Benedict College, a historically black school in South Carolina.

And the contrast, well, it tells you a lot about where we are right now. The contrast between grievance and service. Former President Barack Obama speaking about Elijah Cummings' life of service.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Elijah's example, a son of parents who rose from nothing to carve out just a little something.

A public servant who toiled to guarantee the least of us have the same opportunities that he had earned.

A leader who once said he'd die for his people even as he lived every minute for them.

His life validates the things we tell ourselves about what's possible in this country.


LEMON: And former President Clinton speaking about Cummings' belief in one America where those of us who have more help those who have less.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He believed if everybody accepted his broad, endearing, inclusive definition of one America, where we respect our differences and think what we have in common matters more, and we all live under the same set of rules, and we all believe that under those rules, those of us who have more than we need should do more to help those who don't have enough, that everything would work out OK.



LEMON: Well, just about the same time, the current president, President Trump, indulging in his favorite pastime, his airing of grievances over the impeachment investigation.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This was the worst hoax in the history of our country, and a lot of people say that the phony deal on impeachment, where I have a perfect conversation -- perfect -- with the president of Ukraine, and they're using that to impeach one of the most successful presidents.


LEMON: So, compare what the former President Obama says about honor to what President Trump says about unfairness, unfairness to him.


OBAMA: I was sitting here, and I was just noticing the honorable Elijah E. Cummings. And, you know, this is a title that we confer on all kinds of people who get elected to public office.


OBAMA: We're supposed to introduce them as honorable.


OBAMA: But -- but Elijah Cummings was honorable before he was elected to office.


OBAMA: There's a difference. There's a difference if you were honorable and treated others honorably. Outside the limelight.

TRUMP: Let me tell you something. The level of unfairness for a perfect conversation with the president of Ukraine -- this was a perfect conversation, and frankly, had they known what the conversation was, they wouldn't have even wasted everybody's time.


LEMON: For a brief moment, the eloquence was nice, the complete sentences. Then in a split-second, back to witch hunt.

Let's remember we all know what that conversation was. We know because the White House released a rough transcript including this president asking for a favor from the president of Ukraine and leaning on him to investigate the Bidens and 2016 election interference. But the president makes it very clear he thinks it's all about him.


TRUMP: I don't have teams. Everyone is talking about teams. I'm the team. I did nothing wrong.


LEMON: That as former presidents were talking about unity and service at Congressman Cummings' funeral. And the fact is it would have been really awkward for President Trump to be there.

The White House wouldn't comment when asked if he would attend the service. But you remember what happened over the summer when he called Cummings' hometown of Baltimore a disgusting and rat and rodent- infested mess?

The president did take time, however, during his speech in South Carolina to offer condolences to congressman -- the congressman, his family, and his friends.


TRUMP: I want to extend my warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Elijah Cummings, who are celebrating his life today in Baltimore.

Not long ago, I met with Elijah in the oval office, and I saw the passion he had with me for lowering prescription drug prices. He had a very strong passion for that.


LEMON: Nice moment indeed. But as you can probably figure out, it didn't take long for this president to get back to his favorite topic, himself and his grievances in the middle of his speech at a criminal justice event.


TRUMP: We'll never let up on our efforts to ensure that our justice system is fair for every single American. And I have my own experience. You know that. You see what's going on with the witch hunt. It's a terrible thing that's going on in our country. No crimes. It's an investigation in search of a crime. It's been going on for longer than I'm in office.


LEMON: There is the proof right there. Like I said, the airing of grievances. The president, comparing the experience of African- Americans facing unfair treatment in the criminal justice system -- really people of color facing unjust treatment in the criminal justice system to his experience of an inquiry of impeachment, bringing up impeachment in the middle of an event about a rare bipartisan accomplishment to be frank.

That as two former presidents spoke about kindness, compassion, and about Elijah Cummings' view of America as it should be.


CLINTON: He actually made, in one of the most partisan periods in our country's history, a lot of Republican friends. Why did he do that? How did he do that?


I think he did it because everybody could see he was the real deal. He was doing what he believed. His heart was in it and I think he did it --


CLINTON: -- because no matter how hard he fought and how passionately he argued, he tried to treat everybody the way he wanted to be treated, the way he thought Americans should be treated.


OBAMA: I tell my daughters -- and I have to say listening to Elijah's daughters speak, that got me choked up. I'm sure those of you who have sons feel the same way, but there's something about daughters and their father.


OBAMA: And I was thinking I'd want my daughters to know how much I love them, but I'd also want them to know that being a strong man includes being kind.


OBAMA: That there's nothing weak about kindness and compassion. There's nothing weak about looking out for others.


OBAMA: There's nothing -- there's nothing weak about being honorable. You're not a sucker to have integrity and to treat others with respect.



LEMON: We've got a lot more to come on all of that plus the latest escapades from the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani leaving not one but two apparently accidental voicemails on a reporter's phone, talking about how he needs hundreds of thousands of dollars, and disparaging the Bidens.

Lots to discuss. Max Boot, Susan Hennessey, Renato Mariotti, they're all here.



LEMON: A victory to tell you about for House Democrats as a federal judge gives a legal seal of approval to the impeachment inquiry.

Here to discuss, Max Boot, Susan Hennessey, and Renato Mariotti. Good evening, one and all. Renato, I haven't seen you in a while. Welcome back. I don't know. You don't call, you don't write. Everybody else is on all the time. Susan and Max. So welcome, everybody.

Susan, I'm going to start with you. What do you make of a federal judge ruling that House Democrats can see secret Mueller grand jury material for the impeachment inquiry? I mean this is a big win for House Democrats. Am I wrong?

SUSAN HENNESSEY, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think it is a big win. So, the Justice Department is currently reviewing the decision right now and they will in all likelihood actually appeal this decision up to the D.C. circuit.

So, we don't know that we have the final word on whether or not the House is going to get not just those redactions from the Mueller report but actually the underlying grand jury transcripts. So additional information.

But the case and the opinion from the judge is significant on its own, in part because she's very, very clear about making the point that this is a valid impeachment inquiry, that the House is fully complying with all constitutional processes, and making a note of saying in the face of the White House's articulated strategy of stonewalling, just absolutely refusing to recognize the authority, the oversight authority of a co-equal branch in the legislator -- legislature, it is incumbent upon the judicial branch to step in and make clear what are the obligations of the separations of powers here.

And so, I do think that was a very, very strong statement to be seen from a federal court tonight.

LEMON: This is on page 49, Max. You know, it basically says the decision totally validates the impeachment process. No House impeachment inquiry resolution is required. So, there you go. They're saying, you need a resolution. Undercuts the House Republicans' argument and just basically Republicans' argument, and I guess what do you call them? Trump apologists that there needs to be some sort of vote.

MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Right. I mean it's a small victory for the anti-Trump side. It's not a huge deal one way or the other, I would say, because, you know, all these process arguments that the Republicans are making have a short shelf life anyway, right? Because they're saying this is all behind closed doors. You need a vote.

Well, guess what? In a few weeks' time you're going to have public hearings and there will be a vote, so help yourself guys.

LEMON: There are also 47 Republicans who --


BOOT: Yes, right. Exactly.

LEMON: -- were inside.

BOOT: I mean, the process arguments are so lame, so disingenuous that you know they are not going to be refuted by court ruling --


LEMON: Does it work for the public, you think? BOOT: No. I think it works for Republican partisans basically to have

this sense of grievance with the real Kool-Aid drinkers to tell them that somehow Trump is being treated unfairly and you can't believe the facts. You have to focus on something else.

So, it's really a base argument. It's not going to be affected by anything a judge says. It's really impervious to reality.

LEMON: Renato, the 75-page ruling points out how Mueller made clear Congress is the body with -- Congress is the body -- with their ability to impeach to keep going where Mueller left off. In multiple instances, the judge calls out the DOJ for being wrong.

RENATO MARIOTTI, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. It's a remarkable opinion in how clear she is about -- how clear the judge is about really how unlawful the actions of the Justice Department and the Trump administration have been.

And it makes really crystal clear what I think a lot of us have known all along, which is that the position that's been staked out by the Trump administration really isn't a legal position as much, in my view, as a stall tactic.

I mean there's no legal basis for just refusing to comply with the impeachment inquiry, and as Susan pointed out a minute ago, it's starting to, you know, really, you know, come back to haunt them. You know, time is up so to speak. They're running out of time.

Now, look, as Susan said, they're going to appeal this for a while. There's going to still be a delay. But they have to know if they continue to stall, they're going to continue to have losses in the courts and they're going to make it easier for the judge to do what she did here, which is to say there's absolutely no merit to this at all.


LEMON: Listen, I've been watching not just on this network but other folks and other networks watching them quote you, Renato, talking about the transcript, the tactics from the Congress folks, the administration as well. Basically, you say there is no question that what he did was a quid pro quo.

MARIOTTI: Yes. I think at this point once you saw Taylor's testimony, I don't see there being defense. What is the defense at this point? It's -- you know, he made crystal clear -- Taylor did -- to Sondland, to -- you know, actually, he literally complained to Bolton. It ultimately went. He sent a cable to Pompeo.

All these people know that there was a quid pro quo. All these people know that it was held up. What's Trump's defense going to be? I mean, as Max said a minute ago, yes, I mean all this process stuff, that's not compelling.

You complain about the process when you don't have a real factual argument to make. And I think really what his better move would be is just to say, yes, it was a quid pro quo. And, you know, maybe whether it's appropriate or not, you know, he shouldn't be removed from office. I think that's the best place they can go, basically beg for mercy at this point.

LEMON: Do you think he would ever admit that, Max? I mean, come on.


LEMON: Because the reports are that he's fuming that they've been able to stop these witnesses from going in. I just want to read this.

This is from -- he brought back the criminal defense attorneys Jane and Marty Raskin, right? Remember that? Their return is a late acknowledgement, some White House advisers say, that the fact -- that the facts coming out are bad for the president and both his White House and personal attorneys need to try to get in front of what else may emerge.

It's interesting that his representatives recognize just how bad and people around him, but he keeps saying, no, it never happened. There was a -- today, it was a perfect call. It was beautiful.

BOOT: Right. And it's not a -- it's not a messaging problem, Don. I mean it's not a question of bringing in some new spinmeister into the White House because to the point that Renato was making, they don't have a defense because he did it. We all know he did t. He's been caught red-handed. There's no way he can wish that away.

But he's also not going to do what Renato suggested what he would do if were you actually a defendant in a criminal case which is to at this point ask for a plea deal or throw himself on the mercy of the jury or you know, plead an insanity defense or something because this is all about politics and facts do not matter to these Republicans.

All that matters is what is in their self-interest politically. And as long as you have about 85 percent of Republicans supporting Trump, which is still the case, Republicans -- very few Republicans will vote to impeach and remove, and therefore the fact that there is an ironclad case against Trump won't matter in the court that actually judges him, which is the Senate.

LEMON: Yes. Susan, if Democrats end up with all of this new secret grand jury information from the Russia investigation, should they potentially expand the impeachment inquiry beyond Ukraine, or should they stay focused on just that one issue? Would that be a mistake to expand?

HENNESSEY: Yes, so I'm a proponent for picking this sort of a middle ground. I do think it would be a strategic error to just kind of throw everything in the kitchen sink in and try and impeach President Trump for every single grievance and really using the impeachment process as sort of a way to express policy disagreements. I think that would be a really bad path to go down.

On the other hand, I'm sort of Pelosi's argument that they should just stick to the Ukraine scandal, you know, I think has some risks as well. And that's that the president has also engaged in plainly impeachable conduct, plainly abuse of office.

And so, if the House of Representatives actually doesn't impeach him for that conduct, you know, and doesn't include those articles in these proceedings, it actually risks sending a message to future presidents that this is not impeachable conduct, that this is somehow actually tolerable of a president.

And considering sort of the nature of the abuse of office and the way that the abuses of office are linked to one another, right?

Donald Trump picked up the phone to make this phone call to the Ukrainian president the day after Robert Mueller testified. Just today we see --we see President Trump going on television and talking about Rudy Giuliani being a very good person.

Rudy Giuliani, who is potentially in a position to have incriminating information about him. This is information that Mueller already found in his report related to how the president treated people like Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort.

And so, if the House really doesn't take a step back and say, where do we want to draw the lines about unacceptable presidential conduct, I think they risk allowing sort of the boundaries of the office to erode in the future.

LEMON: Well, speaking of Rudy Giuliani -- thank you all, I appreciate it. Rudy Giuliani actually accidentally called a reporter, leaving two voicemails that he didn't mean for the world to hear. But you're going to hear some of them next.



LEMON: Rudy Giuliani's latest escapade is a real doozy. The president's personal lawyer leaving two apparently accidental voicemails on a reporter's phone, talking about needing money and slamming the Bidens. That's according to NBC News.

So, let's discuss now with Matthew Rosenberg and also Harry Litman. Gents, good evening to you. That's what we call butt dialing, right? So, Harry --


LEMON: Let's talk about this. We're calling it an accidental phone call, but that's -- that's everyone in real life, we know what they call it when you accidentally call someone. You say, did you -- butt dial me? Sorry, whatever.


So, Giuliani made this to an NBC reporter. He left voicemails and he's heard talking about the Bidens and Ukraine with an unidentified person. Listen to this.


RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: They don't want to investigate because he's protected, so we got to force them to do it. And the Ukraine, they're investigating him and they blocked it twice. So what the president was (inaudible), you can't keep doing this. You have to investigate this. And they say it will affect the 2020 election. No it --


LEMON: Giuliani also makes more of the political attack that he has made against the Bidens. It's kind of -- Harry, it's all strange, isn't it? Don't you think?

HARRY LITMAN, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Yes, it's really strange. I mean its comic, but it's also grotesque. He is also got this kind of croaking tone like a two-bit hood. I mean, it's of a piece with where he is been for the last year, saying anything, doing anything, but also having -- you know, being neck deep in the Ukraine escapades as you put it, pointed though -- I mean this is just more, the second call, of trying to gather dirt on the Bidens, which is really his, you know, overwhelming goal there. And we do hear him say if they won't do it, we're going to have to force them, from a quid pro quo to an offer you can't refuse.


LITMAN: You know, it's all comic, but it's also tawdry, and you know. And of course it all rubs off on the president, who has put him in charge of our foreign policy in the Ukraine.

LEMON: Very interesting. There was a two-track according to the witness the other day, Taylor that it was a two track. He suddenly realized it was two tracks of foreign policy. One, the official. The other one was a Giuliani track which he didn't understand. So, let's listen to the part where he talks about Bahrain, Matthew, and he also talks about needing money. Here it is.


GIULIANI: Tomorrow I got to get you to get on Bahrain. You got to call -- you got to call Robert again tomorrow. Is Robert around?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rob? He is in Turkey.

GIULIANI: The problem is we need some money. We need a few hundred thousand.


LEMON: I want to get your view on what this says about Giuliani, because for one thing it shows all the things that he is involved in while he is prepping the president. MATTHEW ROSENBERG, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I mean I don't know

how many of us have phone calls where we just kind of casually say, I've got to get a few hundred thousand.

LEMON: Right.

ROSENBERG: I mean, look, what it says is what we know. Giuliani is in it for money. He is looking for money. He is definitely making money. This is not a poor man. He does need you to ought to make more money. This is what he does. He wants to make money. And you know, on top of needing a few hundred thousand, I also keyed in on the same phrase about when it came to Ukraine. We got to force him to do it. You know, we have two things here that shows like, there's the money making Giuliani and there is the Giuliani who is not out hunting for corruption -- rooting out corruption as the president asserted. He was out looking for dirt on the Bidens.

LEMON: Yes, because he says it's going to affect -- in part of the call, they say it's going to affect the 2020 election. But I don't think -- I mean, you know, it just goes on and on. Listen, we don't know exactly what they said because part of it was inaudible, but it doesn't really play well for the tone of it for Rudy Giuliani.

So, listen, Giuliani told our Dana Bash that the voicemails are helpful because it shows that they don't do anything dishonest. You know, he also has -- he also says that $200,000 that he needs is for another project in another country, and the project has nothing to do with Ukraine or Trump. I mean all he would say is that it's, you know, non-legal -- a non-legal security matter. Despite what Giuliani is saying, as I said, these aren't helpful, right, Harry?

LITMAN: They're not helpful. I mean this is a guy, you know, once America's mayor and the U.S. Attorney for the very office that may be set to indict him, and now besides being a comic figure, he has zero -- less than zero credibility. He'll say anything about anything with the law and the facts. So if this is a helpful phone call for him, wait till the bad evidence begins to roll in.

And his whole association with these two guys, by the way -- I mean, you know, we could talk about this for 20 minutes, but in particular Parnas, who is his buddy, he is a two-bit hood, a guy, you know, running around threatening people with guns and obviously who doesn't have money himself, but is funneling it from, we were led to believe, a Russian national. I mean there are serious violations afoot both in an election law way and in a straight old fraud way.

LEMON: Harry, listen, I have some new reporting from The New York Times that I want to ask you about tonight.


LEMON: And it says that a key witness in the impeachment inquiry filed a lawsuit asking a judge to rule on whether he can testify. I mean this has to do with Charles Kupperman. He served as Trump's --

LITMAN: I was thinking it's not Bolton? [22:35:00]

LEMON: No. It says -- it says Charles Kupperman, who is Trump's Deputy national security adviser. He is supposed to testify on Monday, but it's leaving in question whether his former -- like his closest aides like the former national security adviser, John Bolton, will be able to cooperate with the inquiry. That is the question.

LITMAN: Yes. So quickly, I mean it's very interesting because to date what's really broken this thing open is a number of witnesses starting with Fiona Hill, who were just willing to obey the subpoena and defy the White House. He is obviously trying to tread a middle ground, getting some kind of court approval, which he's likely to get.

The White House has never had much of a leg to stand on, but maybe the legal process will take some time, but he is the first guy to ask a court. We now have had a half a dozen people who have said, I don't need a court, and they've provided, including Taylor, the most damning evidence against the president to date.

LEMON: He is saying that the president had invoked constitutional immunity, leaving Mr. Kupperman uncertain about what to do. Constitutional immunity?

LITMAN: This is this old, totally bogus claim that is not only bogus in and of itself, but he's spread it very wide saying --

LEMON: Got it.

LITMAN: -- as to certain people, you can't even show up. This will never fly. It started with McGahn, and I guess he is just looking for a fast track to get it shut down.

LEMON: I got to run. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it. Thanks, harry for helping me out of the breaking news, I appreciate it. We'll be right back.

LITMAN: Thank you.



LEMON: The Trump organization is considering selling one of its signature properties just blocks from the White House, the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. has become a popular spot for Republicans and a destination for foreign delegations since Donald Trump's election. It's also been a focus of ongoing complaints that he is profiting off of his role as president.

Let's discuss now. Michael D'Antonio is here. David Cay Johnston as well. Good evening, gentlemen, one and all. Thank you so much, I appreciate you guys coming on.

Michael, Eric Trump gave this explanation for the possible it says, people are objecting to us making so much money on the hotel, and therefore we may be willing to sell. Since when have the Trump cared about public opinion about making so much money?

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, being willing to sell, you think about how much they may need to raise cash. So there are a few -- not a few -- many of their operations that are losing money. The two golf courses in Scotland, the golf course in Ireland, the golf course in New York City. They're taking the name off of the ice skating rinks in New York City. The name is becoming toxic.

So they may look at this situation and say, well, the value is only going to go down. So this is a good time to sell something that might be worth something. It's a great property. It's right across the street from one of the grand old hotels in America, the Willard.

LEMON: I've got to tell you, you've seen Trump properties. This is actually one of the nicer ones. I was surprised.

D'ANTONIO: It really is.

LEMON: For a Trump property, this is pretty tasteful.

D'ANTONIO: He was looking for the G7 to go to Doral. They need money.

LEMON: Yes. David, the huge question is, if this were to happen, who would buy it, right? It's who buys it.

DAVID CAY JOHNSON, AUTHOR, "IT'S EVEN WORSE THAN YOU THINK, WHAT THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS DOING TO AMERICA": Well, who buys it is going to be a very big issue. Trump has a supposedly independent ethics monitor, but you have to look at who is currying favor with the president. If the price is at all high, the numbers they're talking about, $500 million, would be quite lavish. And given that Trump's name is toxic and that he may not be around in a little over a year, any buyer is going to take that into account, but Michael is right here. Donald needs the cash. He is always desperate for cash, because he is not a billionaire, and he spends like crazy, and that is why they're talking about this. They need cash.

LEMON: So there's nothing to do with, oh, we're just -- the concerns about, you know --


LEMON: Oh, my gosh. Don't laugh me off the television.

CAY JOHNSON: Don, you can't trust what they're telling you about the hotel either. They claim that last year all the foreign visitors made them a profit of $192,000. That is roughly the revenue for one upgraded room for the year, one of the better rooms for the year. That is nonsense when we have foreign governments renting entire floors.

LEMON: Let me ask you just a quick question. Trump-branded properties, Michael, if you can go quickly, have they been performing? Because here, every time I go up and down the west side highway, I see all the Trump names have been taken off all those buildings.

D'ANTONIO: Well, the name is toxic. People who can get away from that name do get away from it. You know, I think it might work in red states, but all the money is in blue states.

LEMON: I actually knew people who come to New York, they won't even walk on the same sidewalk as the Trump International Hotel and tower. They won't even go to the restaurant which is a very famous restaurant in the building.

D'ANTONIO: No one wants to put it on their expense report.


LEMON: Wow. All right. Thanks, gentlemen. Have a good weekend. We'll be right back.



LEMON: Former President Obama paying tribute today to the late Congressman Elijah Cummings in this emotional moment. Listen.


OBAMA: I tell my daughters -- and I have to say listening to Elijah's daughters speak, that got me choked up. I'm sure those of you who have sons feel the same way, but there's something about daughters and their father.


And I was thinking I'd want my daughters to know how much I love them, but I'd also want them to know that being a strong man includes being kind.


That there's nothing weak about kindness and compassion. There's nothing weak about looking out for others.


There's nothing -- there's nothing weak about being honorable. You're not a sucker to have integrity and to treat others with respect.




LEMON: Let's discuss now. April Ryan is here, Douglas Brinkley as well. Good to see both of you. April, especially you. Listen, I know you were closed to Congressman Cummings, we talked about it, you'd often quote him, he was a good friend of yours. It's such a big loss for so many. We don't hear from the former president that often. Barack Obama. What did you make of his words today? What do they mean to you and the people there and around the country and of, the Cummings family?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALIST: Well, when Bill Clinton and Barack Obama walked into the room into the sanctuary of the church, there was uproar. When barrack Obama took the stage, and many in Baltimore consider him the forever president. People on the edge of their seats. Barack Obama and Elijah Cummings were actually friends. I remember many times, you know, when the president would have those exclusive Super Bowl parties. Elijah Cummings was like, oh my god, I can't believe I was going, I can't believe I was there.

And I've never forget the next day I was like what happened. He's text or he'd tell me. They were actually friends. President Obama respected him. People took those words to heart. You know, many of those people in the room had children. And to hear him and I saw they panned the camera to the president as the Congressman's children, the late congressman daughters were talking. And I saw a little bit of a tear in his eye. And you know, he loves his daughters (inaudible) so much. And people were embracing the words from Barack Hussein Obama.

LEMON: Right. You could feel it around the country and just at home watching it on television. Listen, I can't imagine what it was like to be in that room, but just watching it on television. You know, Doug, when you hear the President, President Barack Obama appealing to treat others with respect. It is very different than what we hear from the current president and then right after that, that beautiful, you know the beautiful eulogies. We go to this president complaining about a witch hunt. And back to the same destructive language. What did you make of the contrast?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Yes. I mean, really you can tell that we're starving for integrity, for decency, for respect. Listening to Bill Clinton give a kind of folksy eulogy and talking about being friends with Elijah Cummings since the 1996. When on a Sunday he spoke at the church before that election on how close they are.

And then President Obama just raising the bar. Remember when Michelle Obama said when they go low we go high. I mean, Barack Obama was high on the pulpit today. And it was just a beautifully done. And I think collectively done the last two days history is going to show that Elijah Cummings was a large figure. I mean, he was the first African American to lay in state at the U.S. Capitol.

RYAN: That's right.

BRINKLEY: Nancy Pelosi today talked about him being the master of Congress. That used to say LBJ was the master of the Senate. And the love all over the country, and I think part of it is, that he was such an honest man, Elijah Cummings, but also, how disrespectful Donald Trump was to the City of Baltimore and to torment him in his last month's alive.

LEMON: Not long before he died. Quick two things I want to point out. The president -- the current president did honor him today. Elijah Cummings. He said he got to see firsthand the strength and passion and wisdom. I'm talking about him as a political leader. There's the tweet right there. But I want to play this, not anymore of President Barack Obama. I want to play the sound bite from Bill Clinton when he talked about Elijah Cummings. Can we play that soundbite please?


CLINTON: He tried to treat everybody the way he wanted to be treated. The way he thought America should be treated.


You know, you can't run a free society if you have to hate everybody you disagree with.


I mean, sooner or later if you have been married 45 years and both of you're thinking you're going to have a disagreement.


LEMON: I just kept -- saying he is good. I'm sure he had some notes with him. But I didn't see him look down at one note. He just, I mean, again the eloquence today from those presidents compared to the person who can't even really complete a complete sentence. April, I'm giving you the last word.


RYAN: Yes, what I will say about the service today and all the presidents. It just showed that his kindness was not taken for weakness. This was a man who just gave to the world. And he said we can do better than that. And there's one thing that I never shared publicly about Elijah Cummings. And I want to give to him and the world today.

He stood up for me, his friend, and stood up for freedom of the press. You know, back early in this administration when a HUD -- a certain HUD official was calling me out of my name on social media, calling me Miss Piggy. And Elijah Cummings, it was Elijah Cummings, Congressman Elijah Cummings who called Secretary Ben Carson and told him stop it.

Secretary Carson called me and it stopped. All because of Elijah Cummings. He said we can do better than that and we are better than that. And that is the kind of person Elijah Cummings was. He was not into foolishness. He wanted to see this nation no matter politic come to its greater good. And he will be sorely missed.

LEMON: He will. April, Douglas, thank you.


LEMON: I really appreciate it so much. Thank you for sharing that, April. We'll be right back.