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CNN TONIGHT

Michael Bloomberg Looking To Run For President; President Trump Paid $2 Million Damages To A Nonprofit Group; Mick Mulvaney Subpoenaed For The Impeachment Investigation; State Department Official Describes Giuliani's 'Campaign Of Lies' In Ukraine; Sessions Announces State Run, Praises Trump; Donald Trump Jr. Clashes With The Host Of The View. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired November 7, 2019 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[22:00:00]

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: He was entering the Alabama Senate race today, saying: When President Trump took on, Washington, only one senator out of a hundred had the courage to stand with him, me. I was the first to support President Trump. I was his strongest advocate. I still am.

Bolo (ph). Trump controls the right in a way we have rarely seen.

Thanks for watching. "CNN TONIGHT," D. Lemon, right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: We got his campaign ad. We're going to play it. He's still -- what I want to say, I won't say that.

CUOMO: How do you explain it?

LEMON: He still -- I was going to say, he's still doing something. But he is still standing behind this president, the one that threw him under Air Force One a million times. It's unbelievable.

CUOMO: Why?

LEMON: Why? Because he has to. He has to because if he wants to be a player, if he wants to stay in office, if he wants to be a politician, if he wants to win, he has to stand by this president because this president has support from the majority of Republicans and also in his state, his strong support there. So, he figures he has to hug this president tight even though he's thrown him under the bus.

CUOMO: So. point of contrast, that the power of Trump on display with Jeff Sessions, taking all the ugliness he can get, still smiling and saying he's my man. Bloomberg thinking, he has to get into the race because the Democrats don't have it.

LEMON: Look at you making the transition I was just going to make. Thank you very much.

CUOMO: Amen.

LEMON: My man. LEMON: So, listen, here's what -- I don't think -- yes, it's a big

news story everyone is like Bloomberg, Bloomberg, Bloomberg. You know, he's very respected, I respect him, very nice man, accomplished a lot obviously. And, by the way, a real billionaire, not a pretend --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: I'd take being a fake one, by the way.

LEMON: But you know, we're out and about, we see the mayor around town every once in a -- remember -- once in a while. I remember I saw him this summer and I said, mayor, when are you going to jump in? And he said, Don, I don't know. I'm not speaking out of school, this is something I think, you know, he's said it on camera before.

He said, I don't think that I can win a primary. I don't know if he thinks he is progressive enough to win in a primary but he could win in the general, I think that's the general thinking. But I don't know if we should get too over our skis on this.

Just because he put his name on the ballot in Alabama, that is the minimum that he has to do, because if the other candidates are doing well at the point, at some point, he may decide, well, I don't even need to get in at this point.

So, he's doing the very minimum. He's safeguarding, saying, OK, well, if they're not doing well and it looks like, you know, when it gets close to the election and before the time limit runs out, if I have to jump in, then I'll have to jump in. So yes, everyone is all a-flutter about it, but I think, you know, cool your jets, it doesn't necessarily mean that Mike Bloomberg is actually running.

CUOMO: It could help it make sense. Although this would be an odd thing for him to do. And I must say he's got some operational integrity. He's got that advantage over Trump going into this.

LEMON: He does.

CUOMO: I didn't hear a whisper about this till it came out. But it is a very provocative thing to do if you don't really want to get in. And instead of putting his money where his mouth is and getting behind another candidate with his super PAC, he's putting his mouth where it's going to be in the firing line.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: He's putting his mouth where his money is or his money where his mouth is.

CUOMO: He's now putting his -- he's putting mouth where his money is.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Because he's going to get into this race, it seems. But I didn't cover it tonight whether or not he can win.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: I see it as a clarion call to the Democrats.

LEMON: There you go.

CUOMO: That you better start thinking about whether or not you're preparing for the right fight. My analogy was they're working on the corner working on their footwork and they're jumping in their jump rope and looking fancy and the guy standing on the other side of the ring with a shotgun pointed at them.

LEMON: Right. Well, that, I think that's what Bloomberg is saying. You guys need to focus. You need to focus. And you're getting too in the weeds about, this is going, what this is going to cost for us.

I'm going to speak to Sherrod Brown tonight. And I know that he believes the same thing that the person who is -- the person who should be the nominee is the person who can beat Trump and he thinks that Democrats are too far in the weeds especially with -- especially when it comes to health care and on and on.

Just say you're going to improve Obamacare, you're going to do what's right for health care, for what's right for the most Americans in the country, the most people in the country, and don't get too far in the weeds. I think that they're too close to the forest.

CUOMO: The show that you've got, the equal passion.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And the energy --

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: -- that will offset for his base, because I'm telling you what Jeff Sessions said today, that's unusual, Don.

LEMON: Well, we got big news. We got Jeff Sessions, we got some news on Mick Mulvaney, as you know we got a big show so I've got to run. Thank you, sir. I'll see you soon.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

The impeachment investigation barreling ahead, House Democrats doing everything they can to fast track and pointing to the very real possibility that the president could be impeached by Christmas. That was news on 2020, OK?

A new candidate is preparing to jump into the crowded field of 2020 Democrats. We just talked about it. The real billionaire, the former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg preparing for a potential run as Joe Biden tries to break away from the field.

[22:05:06]

A Trump campaign source telling CNN that Bloomberg entering the race it really could pose a threat to Trump who is not likely to be happy that there's another billionaire, a real billionaire, on the scene.

And there's big news tonight from the impeachment inquiry. A more closed-door testimony released today, this time it's from a top State Department official, his name is George Kent. He's telling Congress about what he calls Rudy Giuliani's campaign of lies against former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, trying to smear her as disloyal to President Trump.

And I quote here, it says, "Mr. Giuliani had been carrying on a campaign for several months full of lies and incorrect information about Ambassador Yovanovitch. So, this was a continuation of his campaign of lies."

And then going on to testify, that Giuliani was in cahoots with the former Ukraine prosecutor general, testifying, quote, "that it seemed to be a classic you scratch my back, I scratch yours issue." And that the president's interests were, in his own quote, "partisan

interests."

Now, impeachment is the president's biggest problem right now. But it's not his only problem. And any one of this president's legal troubles would have consumed other administrations. It would have been over, right, lights out.

Well, today he was ordered to pay $2 million in damages to nonprofit groups after he was forced to admit misusing money raised by his own foundation. Two million dollars. The president and his three eldest children using his charity as a cash machine.

Are you listening? I just want to take you back about four years, because we reported this. I'm sure many of you who are watching now, remember it and you watched. This is back four years to January to January of 2016, right before the Iowa caucus vote.

Then-candidate Trump, remember he was feuding with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and then he refused to participate in the network's debate, remember that? And then he came on this show after he was saying she had blood coming out of her eyes, all of that. Right?

So, instead of going on to the Fox News Channel for their debate, the reality TV showman set up his competing event, a televised fundraiser that he claimed would raise millions for veterans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: And you know what, I don't know, is it for me personally a good thing, a bad thing? Will I get more votes, will I get less votes? Nobody knows, who the hell knows, but it's for our vets and you're going to like it because we raised over $5 million in one day.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Over $5 million.

The sign was just given, we just cracked $6 million, right? $6 million.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And we have outside a list of the organizations and folks that are going to be getting this money. We're going to divide it up and they're going to get a lot of money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK. They're going to get a lot of money. he said $6 million. Will you listen to me closely, everyone, OK? Stop what you're doing. They did not get that money. So, he's got to pay some money now. He's got to pay $2 million.

The president forced to admit that fundraiser for veterans was in fact a Trump campaign event. Imagine if the former president had done that, or Hillary Clinton.

It was a Trump campaign event. Not a fundraiser for veterans. And the money that was raised, $2.8 million, not $6 million as he said in that sound bite, $2.8 million, right, see how he rounded that up? I don't know what kind of math that is. That $2.8 million went to his campaign, not to veterans.

That's the headline, really, that money went to his campaign and not to veterans, the people who served this country, the people who deserve our help. It went to his campaign.

And there's more. The president's attorney says that he'll take his fight to keep Trump's tax returns under wraps all the way to the Supreme Court. And then there's Rudy Giuliani.

Rudy Giuliani is facing an investigation by prosecutors in New York into his involvement with Ukraine. And Trump ally, there's more, Roger Stone. This is crazy, right? Roger Stone on trial in Washington for charges that include lying to Congress, witness tampering, obstructing justice.

All in a case that stems from the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. That's a lot of legal trouble for one administration. For the president and his associates.

[22:10:03]

Be honest. Have you ever seen anything like this? No. And a federal judge is warning that the president's battles with the judicial branch and undermining the faith in the rule of law itself, senior Judge Paul Friedman of the U.S. district court for D.C. in a blistering speech today saying this. All right?

And I quote. "We are witnessing a chief executive who criticizes virtually every judicial decision that doesn't go his way and denigrates judges who rule against him, sometimes in very personal terms. He seems to view the courts and the justice system as obstacles to be attacked and undermined, not as co-equal branch -- not as a co- equal branch to be respected even when he disagrees with its decisions."

So, in the face of all of this, it's no surprise that this president is lashing out, as he often does. That's what he does. His favorite victim, the one he just can't quit. Just can't quit Jeff Sessions. The ex-attorney general who was forced to resign by the president a year ago yesterday and now, miraculously, running for his old Senate seat in Alabama, releasing a video tonight clearly intended, you've got to watch this, for an audience of one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF SESSIONS, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: When I left President Trump's cabinet, did I write a tell-all book? No. Did I go on CNN and attack the president? Nope. Have I said a crossword about our president? Not one time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Wow. Wow. But the president is back to his bullying ways. The New York Times' Maggie Haberman reporting that he sent word to Sessions over a week ago that he could face pain if he runs.

So, let's remember, OK, the ex-A.G. has been on the president's hit list ever since he recused himself from the Russia investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Even my enemies say that Jeff Sessions should have told you that he was going to recuse himself. What kind of a man is this? The only reason I gave him the job, because I felt loyalty.

I told you before, I'm very disappointed with the attorney general. But we will see what happens. The attorney general says I'm going to recuse myself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And then making fun of him. But I never attacked the president, he's loyal. I mentioned the Times there. You know, it is of course the hometown newspaper of the president, the one that he loves to hate. Well, yes, I guess hometown, because now he's in Florida, but, you know, he was born and raised here. Trump tower.

But he's also bullying the Washington Post's reporters. Any time they report facts that he doesn't like, for example, they're reporting last night that the president asked Sessions' replacement, Bill Barr, to hold a news conference declaring he hadn't broken any laws with that infamous Ukraine phone call, reporting that CNN has confirmed.

The Post's sources say Barr declined. The president tweeting -- of course, tweeting, right? -- insulting the reporters, claiming they had no sources when they clearly did, and wrapping up by calling the Post quote, "a garbage newspaper."

The president's defenders taking a page out of Trump bullying playbook and attacking the whistleblower who first set off alarms about that infamous Ukraine call.

The whistleblower's lawyer sending a letter to the White House tonight warning the president to cease and desist attacking his client. That after, you know, you saw Senator Rand Paul standing along an approving President Trump and demanding that the media name the whistleblower.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): I say tonight to the media, do your job and print his name.

(CROWD CHEERING)

PAUL: And I say this to my fellow colleagues in Congress, to every Republican in Washington, step up and subpoena Hunter Biden and subpoena the whistleblower.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: I hadn't seen the sweater vest in a long time. But I mean, what is going on with Rand Paul? Has he always been that weird? I don't know. All right.

And then there's Don Junior, outing the whistleblower, the president's son outing the whistleblower and trying to defend his actions on the show The View today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The whole point of releasing a name is to intimidate someone, to threaten someone and to scare other people from coming out. That's something that dictators do.

DONALD TRUMP, JR., DONALD TRUMP'S SON: I'm a private citizen putting this out there. If everyone in this room --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're a campaign surrogate, though.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[22:14:59]

LEMON: He's a private citizen? OK. And that wasn't even the most explosive part of that interview. We have a lot more coming up for you. OK. Now let's go on.

How about now Republican Senator John Kennedy, bullying the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi again, right by the president's side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): I don't mean any disrespect but it must suck to be that dumb.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Project much? Here is the rule of thumb. If you start by saying you don't mean any disrespect, then you probably do. Like I said, projection.

There's also conspiracy theorist and Roger Stone ally Alex Jones, threatening to out a juror on Stone's trial. And Stone himself who prosecutors say told Steve Bannon he had a plan for Trump to win in 2016 but warned it is not pretty. It sure is not.

Lots of breaking news tonight for you on the impeachment investigation. Mick Mulvaney subpoenaed to appear at 9 a.m. tomorrow. But will he? That's a question for Michael Gerhardt, Shane Harris, next.

[22:20:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So, we have some breaking news on the impeachment investigation. Subpoena for a top White House official. A top White House official.

I want to bring in now CNN's Legal Analyst, Michael Gerhardt, and Shane Harris, intelligence and national security correspondent for the Washington Post. Gentlemen, good evening. Thank you so much.

Here's the breaking news, Shane, you first. The acting chief of staff, we're talking about, Mick Mulvaney, has been subpoenaed in the impeachment inquiry. The question is will he show up tomorrow morning. The White House says that he won't. So, what happens?

SHANE HARRIS, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, you're right, in a word, no, he won't. And that will follow in line with other White House officials and senior administration officials who have been resisting these efforts by the Congress to get them to show up.

There could -- that could be fodder for a legal showdown although notably the House committees have kind of backed off some subpoenas while they're trying to let other issues about White House officials' testimony and whether they're immune play out in the courts.

I think the Democrats on the committees feel that they have a lot of information already and it would be great to have Mick Mulvaney but also it helps their efforts to be able to call him and have him refuse. As they've been very clear, they would consider those kinds of efforts to efforts, to acknowledge their commands to appear, essentially as obstruction efforts as well, potentially.

LEMON: Michael, of course, it is Mick Mulvaney who essentially admitted that there was a quid pro quo in his damaging White House press conference. I mean, if he did show up to testify, he would surely be in the hot seat.

MICHAEL GERHARDT, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: He would be in the hot seat. He also might try to cite executive privilege or some reasons not to answer questions, perhaps a lot, and that could become a problem as well.

But there's no question based on what we already know that these been in the middle of the this, he was orchestrating much of this. He was actually putting a freeze on aid to Ukraine. And apparently at the direction of the president of the United States. So, he's perhaps in a good bit of trouble himself.

LEMON: But even though he tried to walk back his statements after that press conference, he clearly said what he said. How damaging has that been, and will that, do you think, be a part of the investigation?

GERHARDT: Yes, I think it's a good point. I think it's hard to ignore what he said. It was, oftentimes the first thing that you say is perhaps likely more honest than perhaps something you'll consider later. He essentially conceded that there was a quid pro quo. It doesn't need -- it's not needed for an impeachable offense, but we've got a central player acknowledging it. We have a lot of witnesses acknowledging it.

And so, I think the facts that are building up to prove at least one impeachable offense are really pretty strong.

LEMON: Michael, the career diplomat, George Kent, we know -- we now have a transcript of his closed-door testimony. You say it is troublesome for the president. Explain why, because he's going to testify publicly next week.

GERHARDT: Yes. He's a very respected diplomat. He's not a Democrat in hiding. He's a professional public servant, devoted public servant. And he's confirming what other people have said about pressure being put on Ukraine to give the president what he wanted, a public declaration that the Bidens were being investigated.

LEMON: But there are others who are devoted public servants who weren't Democrats in hiding but then they made him out to be, at least the president and his supporters.

GERHARDT: Well, I think the first move in the defense seems to be to attack the person.

LEMON: Right.

GERHARDT: Even make up stuff about the person. But this is a very respected person. And we're getting consistent stories from very credible people.

LEMON: Shane, more corroborating evidence, Kent relayed a conversation that he was told about between President Trump and the Ambassador to the E.U., Gordon Sondland. And he says this. He said, "POTUS wanted nothing less than President Zelensky to go to a microphone and say, investigations, Biden, and Clinton."

I mean, again, it's this detail of announcing these investigations publicly that is so important here, correct? HARRIS: That's right. And I think that Kent really gives us probably

the sharpest and clearest testimony we've had so far, being unambiguous in what he saw that if the president did not get a commitment publicly, and we know now from reporting that he wanted actually an interview on CNN from the president of Ukraine that he was going to commit to these investigations that the aid was not coming.

[22:24:55]

That was totally crystal clear to George Kent and he made that clear in his testimony as well today, quite distinct from, you know, Ambassador Sondland who tried to say, well, it was sort of ambiguous, and then he had the chance to clarify that testimony.

I think that's why Kent's testimony, or the transcript of it today, was so important, because he's saying, look, from where I was sitting, there was no question what the president wanted and there were several other officials who understood that as well.

LEMON: It wasn't part of the quid pro quo, it could be and it seems to have come out in the testimony as well, was a meeting with the president, the president of Ukraine wanted a meeting with the president of the United States.

HARRIS: That's right. And another reason why that's important to remember is it's not just about the aid. It is also for the president of Ukraine about this public demonstration of support from the president of the United States.

And George Kent made very clear as well, this is about our policy towards countering Russia, this is about supporting Ukraine and its efforts to try and become a Democratic state. And obviously, a lot gets tied up on the issues of corruption. There are legitimate issues around corruption which by the way, George Kent spoke to when he talked about how very corrupt many of these government officials are.

But what he was trying to emphasize I think in his testimony was a public demonstration by the president of the United States towards Ukraine that we stand with you was very important to Ukraine, and Donald Trump knew that.

LEMON: Shane, Michael, thank you. I appreciate it.

Michael Bloomberg is looking to get into the presidential race after denying that he was going to run, over and over. Why now?

[22:30:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The 2020 Democrats could be getting a shake-up. Michael Bloomberg expected to file paperwork to get on the Democratic primary in Alabama this week with less than 90 days before the Iowa caucuses. Could the billionaire challenger chase this race?

Let's discuss now. Chris Cillizza, Michael D'Antonio, hello, gentlemen.

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Hello.

LEMON: There's never a dull moment, is there? Preparing for the show, then all of a sudden here goes Michael Bloomberg. So Chris, it looks like Bloomberg is preparing for a potential, I say potential, 2020 run. He has flirted with a run before. What do we know, and why now?

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what do we know and why now, the basic reason is ambition. He is someone who after 12 years as mayor of New York has been open about his interest in being president of the United States. He is also something of a pragmatist politically, Don. And so he has looked at the race, he looked at it in 2016 when Hillary was the nominee, I think he said I'm good with that. He looked at it early in 2020, looked at the field, said I don't know that I can win.

Well, he's reassessed it and now looks at what I think is basically this dynamic. Joe Biden is the establishment frontrunner. Joe Biden, whether it's in polling or in fundraising, is headed in the wrong direction. And the replacement for Joe Biden race right now in most people's eyes is a 37 year-old, mayor of 100,000 person, city, South Indiana and Pete Buttigieg. There's a gap there and it concerned among establishment Democrats whether Buttigieg can fill that gap. Enter Bloomberg.

If Joe Biden was riding high, $35 million left to spend in this race, ahead in Iowa or New Hampshire, Bloomberg doesn't get in. Bloomberg sees an opening. He wants to be president. So he takes it.

LEMON: Right. So if he sees an opening, that's why I said in the beginning of the show with Chris, cool your jets, maybe he will, maybe he won't.

CILLIZZA: Yeah.

LEMON: he's going to wait to see what happens. OK. So, Warren, by the way, was quick to tweet a welcome message to Bloomberg with her calculator for a billionaires. Listen, you know, you mentioned the polls. You said he's heading in the wrong direction in the polls, he's headed in the wrong direction in fundraising, but he's beating Trump in almost every head-to-head match-up and many of the swing states. So, where's the concern?

CILLIZZA: Yes, and that's one thing that I think Bloomberg want to answer for. I saw a lot people on Twitter, noting that not just Biden, Don, but Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, all those people are ahead in a lot of swing state polling are ahead of Trump by a margin of, you know, between two and 10 points.

The Bloomberg argument will go like this, sure, they're ahead now, but the truth of the matters is, that Donald Trump talks about Joe Biden, he occasionally talks about Elizabeth Warren, he mentioned Pete Buttigieg, but the race hasn't really engage yet. That if one of these people lines up, but it's the nominee and I think that's particularly in Bloomberg's mind, if Warren or Sanders ends up as the nominee, that Trump will take them apart and what these numbers mean now are not a whole heck of a lot because people haven't engaged in an actually, OK, this person against Donald Trump as opposed to the broader Democratic field.

LEMON: Right. This is just -- I mean, you guys can correct me if I'm wrong, in case of emergency break glass moment. OK, so, Michael, this is what Bloomberg he said about Trump at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, CEO, BLOOMBERG: Trump says he wants to run the nation like he's running his business? God help us.

(APPLAUSE)

(CHEERS)

I'm a New Yorker. And I know a con when I see one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, I was in the hall that night, and that went over very well. So two days later, Trump tweeted, little Michael Bloomberg who never had the guts to run for president knows nothing about me. His last term as mayor was a disaster. So how is the president going to react to this, Michael?

D'ANTONIO: Well, I think he's going to be very upset. This is an actual billionaire running against a fraudulent one.

[22:35:02]

LEMON: Multi-billionaire.

D'ANTONIO: Well, $50 billion, he's number eight on the Forbes list and he never fought for it. We have to remember that Donald Trump would lobby for months and months to get his position improved on the Forbes list. This is I think something, you know, Chris was very right about all that he said but I think one of the things that he might have left out is that Bloomberg is horrified by Donald Trump.

And we have a country half of which or maybe 60 percent are also horrified by Donald Trump. And they're not ready necessarily to leap into Elizabeth Warren's arms. They may be indeed looking for a plausible alternative. I think, Bloomberg may also imagine that he's got this instant war chest. He hasn't been out on the hustings so I don't think he can measure the level of enthusiasm he could generate in a crowd, but he certainly I think is alarmed and can carry that alarm to a lot of the country.

LEMON: Yes. Let's talk about something else that's going on. Because, you know, you wrote the book, The Truth About Trump, right, and something that I said earlier, I think I should have been clear, I should have said the veteran's didn't get the money directly, right?

D'ANTONIO: Right.

LEMON: Because some of them did but they don't really know how much. But the question is, the President Trump claimed that he raised $6 billion for veterans, he didn't -- $6 million, excuse me, $6 million, we are talking about billionaires, $6 million to veterans. He didn't, it was less than half of that. Now he says he's admitted in court, the court papers that he gave the money to his campaign to disburse, right? That where the discrepancy comes from and they did so for political purposes.

So, here is how the Times puts it. OK and I'm going to read from the Times, it says, among Mr. Trump's admissions in court papers, the charity gave his campaign complete control over disbursing the $2.8 million that the foundation had raised at the fundraiser for veterans in Iowa in January of 2016, only days before the state's presidential nominating caucuses. The fundraiser, he acknowledged, was in fact a campaign event. Veterans groups did get some money, that's according to PolitiFact, but not as much as the president said. And this where it comes when I said directly, it came through his campaign for political purposes.

D'ANTONIO: Right.

LEMON: What's your reaction to that?

D'ANTONIO: First of all, he's abusing these veterans, and it's a shocking things that he gets away with this. I think if anyone else were to treat veterans this way and exploit them, there would be hell to pay. The second thing is that every dollar that comes near Donald Trump, he claims as his own.

So we're now seeing in the federal government, the dollars that should go to the defense department are being used for the wall. The dollars that were supposed to go to Ukraine to defend them against Russia, well, I'm going to manipulate those too because every dollar that comes near me, I control. There is something profoundly corrupt about this man and his regard for money that is really other people's money, not his.

CILLIZZA: And Don, quickly.

LEMON: Chris, quickly, please.

CILLIZZA: Yes. Just to quickly add to that, this is a slush fund. He had used the charity as a slush fund for years, my former colleague at the Washington Post, David Farenthold won a Pulitzer Prize by writing about the fact that he used this charity as a slush fund. We gave almost no money out and who he said he gave it out to. And now this just to echo Michael's point. Typing veterans in Tweet -- in Trump tweet, you know how many times he's going to come with -- no one is better for veterans. I do think for veterans and no one else. I remind people he attack John McCain, a veteran because he didn't -- he likes people who -- heroes who weren't capture. He took money that ostensibly going to veterans, and we don't know exactly where it went. Some went to veterans. But we don't know where the rest of it went. But we know that it was disbursed by his campaign. LEMON: I'm not a lawyer, but if, it was disbursed by the campaign

which is an issue, but if all the money he had collected had been disbursed, even if it went through his campaign, I don't think that they may have been in this position now.

CILLIZZA: That's exactly right. And again --

LEMON: They would still be in the position but they wouldn't have to pay this much money.

CILLIZZA: If any other candidate or campaign did something like this it would be a massive, huge story. Because it is Trump, because he has so far extended the bounds of acceptability, almost to snapping it's, you know, a story we're talking about but not a story that's going to lead the news day after day. (Inaudible) so much.

LEMON: That's got to be the last word. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[22:40:00]

LEMON: A campaign of lies. That's how Deputy assistant Secretary of State George Kent described Rudy Giuliani's role in the Ukraine scandal. Kent is one of many officials who testified under oath about the president's personal attorney's push to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and the 2016 election.

Let's discuss now. Elie Honig is here, Rick Wilson as well. Rick is the author of the upcoming book -- wow, upcoming book, Running against the devil, a plot to save America from Trump, the Democrats -- and the Democrats from themselves. Boy, you had your work cut out with you -- with that book, that was a big undertaking.

Good evening. Why don't we start with you, then? Because a campaign of lies, injurious to the rule of law. That's how George Kent described Giuliani's role in the Ukraine scandal. I mean, these transcripts show Rudy's fingerprints were all over everything. What does that say to you?

RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Look, I think what this indicates is that Donald Trump was looking for anybody who would execute a nongovernmental set of policy demands that he wanted to engage in, to get political dirt on the Bidens. He enlisted Rudy in it, Rudy took the job and unfortunately he found himself now in the position where he's going to end up which is Donald Trump is going to leave him hanging up to dry.

Because every bit of this evidence so far has said that all of the diplomatic folks, all the intelligence community folks, everyone, every professional involved in this thing was screaming their heads off, like what the hell.

LEMON: Every time I read a transcript or an opening statement or I hear a reporter on, you know, the folks down there who are covering it, I say, uh-oh, Rudy's going to get thrown under the bus, here we go.

[22:45:10]

WILSON: Everything Trump touches dies is a rule of nature. It's going to get in.

LEMON: Someone wrote a book called that.

WILSON: Yes, some guy did. But Trump will do it. He would absolutely shock him.

LEMON: Yes, wow. Elie, Giuliani tweeted this, he said, the investigation I conducted concerning 2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption was done solely as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges that kept changing as one after another were disproven. Collusion and corruption, where have we heard that before? So, isn't he admitting here that this was all about politics? Because, you know, that is not what we're hearing from the White House and from Republicans.

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. Somebody needs to do Rudy Giuliani a favor and take his phone away and chuck it in the river or something. Because, I think, he thinks he's helping himself or helping Trump here, but he's really damaging both of them. This is the whole point.

Rudy says, everything I did, I was doing in my private capacity as Donald Trump's personal attorney. That's why this is wrong fundamentally, because Rudy Giuliani was not there carrying out the best foreign policy interests of the United States with respect to Ukraine. He was there, because he was carrying out the personal and political agenda of Donald Trump and his tweets just prove that.

LEMON: Which by the way, Elie, I mean, he's been the emissary, but he is not a government official. He's not been officially appointed. He has not been elected. I mean, isn't that -- I don't know -- an abuse of power in some way?

HONIG: It's a problem. As Rick said, I mean, look, the witnesses we've heard from so far agree on some facts, disagree on others, but here is something that's universal. Rudy was running point on this. Donald Trump put him in charge. And it was a huge problem. And here is an interesting thing though.

A lot of witnesses now are coming forward saying, it was a problem, we recognized it as a problem, but nobody had the guts or the good sense to go to Donald Trump and do what sometimes you have to do to a boss if you're a good employee and say, boss, this is a problem and needs to be addressed. They were all too way afraid of him.

LEMON: Rick, I just want to get you -- quickly if you can, Jeff Sessions wants his old seat back. What do you think?

WILSON: Good luck with that. Donald Trump hates anyone who he's done with. He's done with Jeff Sessions. He will not be able to resist the devil's impulse to start talking smack about Jeff Sessions. He'll probably end up endorsing Roy Moore again in this thing, because he hates Jeff Sessions that much. It's going to get ugly. It may be good news for Doug Jones in Alabama.

LEMON: Wow. Thank you, gentlemen, I appreciate it.

The president's son going on The View today and things got heated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now that you've broken this piece of ice, because I guess this is the fight you wanted --

DONALD TRUMP JR., OLDEST SON OF DONALD TRUMP: It's not the fight I wanted. But if we are talking about character -- we are talking about --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it is. Are you questioning my character?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[22:50:00]

LEMON: So the president's son Don Jr. appeared on The View today to promote his new book, but the conversation quickly turned political and personal really and it got really heated over his outing of the whistleblower. Here is some of the back and forth.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP JR: I literally quote tweeted an article that had the guy's name in the title of the article. So that whole thing -- I wish the outrage would be equal. I mean, there was no outrage when, you know, my family got an exploding letter, you know, with white powdery substance in it. You know, they are protecting a guy, you know, in the CIA, great outrage, but when your family gets something, and that's a big part of the book which is, it's not a level playing field in terms of outrage. We do live in an outrage culture.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has to be anonymous. Your family did not. There's a difference.

TRUMP JR: But -- he was -- he literally -- millions of people and for days he's been out there in the media. So what's the difference between me tweeting about it --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's different when the president's son does it though, isn't it?

TRUMP JR: Why? I mean, I'm a private citizen putting this out there. If everyone in this room could have read this. I don't see any difference or whatsoever.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Wow. Didn't mention the pipe bombs that were sent to CNN, did

he? Interesting. Private Citizen. OK. Let's discuss. Ana Navarro is here, Tara Setmayer. So much to discuss. All of us wish we were on that panel today because, right? There was so many polls we could have gotten -- I don't know -- anyways -- Ana, hello?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Not me. Honestly, I don't know that there is anything to gain. And I think it requires a lot of composure to be able to keep it together when you have got somebody pathologically lying right next to you and being so ridiculous.

LEMON: But don't you think that it's -- I want to get on this. But, yeah. And there is a difference when he says he's a private citizen and that is -- maybe he is a private citizen, because he's not in political office. But he is the son of the president, and he's also on the campaign, and he serves at a surrogate on the campaign that he runs the president, his family's company. Not private citizen in the sense that most people are private citizens.

NAVARRO: Well, if he's a private citizen, so is Hunter Biden. In fact I would argue that none of us knew Hunter Biden's name until very recently, because he wasn't putting himself out there the way that this kid does.

LEMON: All right. Standby. We'll get more. Tara, we'll get your take and everybody else on the other side of the break. Don't go anywhere.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[22:55:00]

LEMON: So, the president's son, mixing it up today with the host of The View. Back with me, Ana Navarro, Tara Setmayer. Ana, actually is one of the host of the view, she was not there today though, but Tara I want to bring you in now because at one point while Joy Behar points out how President Trump has been lowering the discourse, Don Jr. veered from politics and went far off topic. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP JR: We have all done things that we regret. I mean, if we're talking about bringing the discourse down. Joy, you have worn black face. You said --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry. I did not. I'm sorry. And don't -- if you do it --

TRUMP JR: You said that Roman Polanski, it wasn't rape-rape when he rape a child.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, let's talk about this one. You want to bring this up?

TRUMP JR: Yes. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The question came up --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did not go black face, please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, she was not in black face.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry, listen, being black, I recognize black face. This I can say. OK? I know (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not too many back me up on that.