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CNN TONIGHT

Impeachment Hearing Heats Up; Mick Mulvaney Refused to Testify; John Bolton's Lawyer Responds To Subpoena; President Trump Considers Putin Invite To Parade Of Russia Military Might; Steve Bannon Testifies At Roger Stone Trial; Bannon Calls Stone An Expert In Opposition Research, Dirty Tricks; Roger Stone Accused Of Lying To Congress; Roger Stone Testimony Before House Intelligence Committee; Department of Justice Releases Audio Of Stone 2017 House Deposition; President Trump To Attend Saturday's LSU/Alabama Football Game. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired November 8, 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: That's the question we keep asking when it comes to this president and Putin. Bolo.

Thank you for watching. CNN Tonight with the man, D. Lemon, now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: That is a very good question, a very good question. So I got to show you something right here. This is what I'm going to be doing this weekend. Are you going to -- are you going to be with me?

CUOMO: Who do they play? Bama?

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Big game tomorrow.

LEMON: I know. I got my purple tie. I got my purple pen.

CUOMO: What time's the game?

LEMON: Game is at 3.30.

CUOMO: Where?

LEMON: On TV. I can't -- it's on another network.

CUOMO: No. I'm saying where are you going to watch?

LEMON: I'm going to watch at a sports bar. I'm not going -- I called and I asked -- you know the president is going. I asked for a ride aboard Air Force One but I hadn't heard back yet. I wonder why?

CUOMO: I don't know. Did you call the right number?

LEMON: I called the White House and I said, hey, you know, I need a ride. Are you going to the game? But nobody said anything.

CUOMO: I think he's interesting going to sporting events the way he has and the choices that he's making. I wonder what it's about. But it is -- if nothing else, it does give the media something to talk about other than what's happening here that he doesn't want talked about.

LEMON: Yes. Listen, I think it's great if he goes. Just don't, you know -- I don't want any division caused, right?

CUOMO: That's why my pop would never go, you know.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: When he was governor, he wouldn't go because he said, this is people's time off and time away from people like me.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: I don't want to bring politics into their fun time.

LEMON: Yes, a agree with that. And I think a game like this, especially it's a read state. I know that there's a governor's race in Louisiana, part of the reason he's going, but I just don't like the division. Go, but just don't cause any division.

CUOMO: You say go, do you mean g-a-u-x.

LEMON: G-e-a-u-x. I don't have my g-e-a-u-x hat. Usually I have the hat that says G-e-a-u-x tigers. Or around the bowl, down the hole, roll tide roll.

CUOMO: Let me -- let me ask you something, captain I.Q.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: What do you think of this speculation that either Rudy Giuliani or Mick Mulvaney or Ambassador Gordon Sondland could become the fall guy for the theory, OK, fine, it was wrong. What happened was wrong, but the president didn't do it?

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: These guys did.

LEMON: I've been talking about that on the show. I think that, you know, I've been saying that, that Air Force One is going to back up over Rudy Giuliani, forward, back, forward, back, and whoever else gets in the president's way because this president he doesn't want to fall. He's going to have a fall guy. He's going to say that they were doing it, he was framed or something or they're going to come up with some other excuse.

But I think the evidence is all there. If you go through every single witness who has testified, it's evident. Bill Taylor said that he testified that Giuliani was pressing Ukraine to intervene in U.S. domestic policy. Alexander Vindman said that there was no ambiguity, that the

Ukrainians would have to start an investigation. Kurt Volker testified that he was surprised and troubled by the transcript of the call to Ukraine. I mean, and on and on and on.

CUOMO: Right. It's totally obvious what happened.

LEMON: The evidence is there.

CUOMO: An impeachment inquiry was obvious given what the founders wanted this to be about.

LEMON: Whether they're going to remove him, that's a whole different story.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: But you know what's missing.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: The thing that's still missing. And I know people will be like, come on, the implication -- I get it. But I'm saying what's missing clearly is the president told me if I don't get what I want, there is no aid.

LEMON: yes.

CUOMO: That's what's missing.

LEMON: Yes. OK. I got to run because I got a big show. But I'll see you at the wing joint tomorrow at 3 o'clock. I'll send you a text where we're going to meet.

CUOMO: Please do.

LEMON: All right.

CUOMO: I'll bring my wallet as always.

LEMON: Yes. Make sure you bring your credit card. Make sure this time it goes through. Thank you, sir.

CUOMO: See you.

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

A big show. We are now -- count them -- just five days away, five days, are you ready, from public televised hearings in the impeachment investigation into President Trump's shakedown of Ukraine's president, the unfreezing of nearly $400 million in military aid in return for an investigation into Joe Biden and the 2016 election.

And today in the run-up to those historic hearings, House investigators releasing more transcripts of testimony by key witnesses, who testified behind closed doors. Testimony from Fiona Hill, the former White House expert on Russia.

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, well, the National Security Council expert on Ukraine, who still works inside the West Wing. Can you imagine having testified and still having to work there?

That testimony was damaging, especially to the acting White House chief of staff. I'm talking about Mick Mulvaney, one of the president's top aides. And to Gordon Sondland as well, the U.S. Ambassador for the European Union.

Both testifying that Sondland told Ukrainian officials at a meeting at the White House -- this was on July 10th -- that they would have to open an investigation into Biden in order to secure a meeting between President Trump and Ukraine's president.

[22:04:54]

Fiona Hill telling investigators Ambassador Sondland, in front of the Ukrainians as I came in, was talking about how he had an agreement with chief of staff Mulvaney for a meeting with the Ukrainians if they were going to go forward with investigations.

And Vindman testifying there was, quote, "no ambiguity what Sondland was asking of the Ukrainians." On the 10th of July, it became completely apparent that what the deliverable would be in order to get a White House meeting.

That deliverable was reinforced by the president. The demand was in order to get the White House meeting, they had to deliver on investigation."

So, here are a couple of things here, OK, to look at here. First, Mick Mulvaney basically conceded in a White House briefing last month -- remember that -- that there was a quid pro quo.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I have news for everybody. Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, he was willing to say that publicly, OK? But not willing to comply with a subpoena and testify behind closed doors on Capitol Hill today, citing what he calls absolute immunity, whatever that is, right? Whatever. Absolute immunity. Must be nice. Wouldn't you like to do that?

President Trump making up this excuse earlier today, saying he'd like to send Mulvaney but --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't want to give credibility to a corrupt witch hunt. I'd love to have Mick go up frankly. I think he'd do great. I'd love to have him go up. I'd love to have almost every person go up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: He'd love to have almost every person go up and testify? If that's true, then why is he blocking current and former top aides from going to the hill? I want to have almost everyone, but then you're blocking them.

Last month he tweeted this about Sondland. "I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify. But unfortunately, he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court."

During the Mueller investigation, the president kept saying that he'd love to testify but --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I'll see what happens, but when they have no collusion and nobody's found any collusion at any level, it seems unlikely that you'd even have an interview.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, it turns out Ambassador Sondland did testify, and now the president apparently has amnesia about him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Let me just tell you I hardly know the gentleman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK. I hardly know the gentleman. But then he said he called him a good guy. He seemed to know all about Sondland last month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The text message that I saw from Ambassador Sondland, who is highly respected --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Highly respected. And for somebody he now claims to hardly know, the president also said this about Sondland today. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: But this is the man who said there was no quid pro quo, and he still says that. And he said that I said that, and he hasn't changed that testimony.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Hasn't changed that testimony? Well, in fact Sondland has revised his original testimony. News flash, Mr. President. Now saying there was a quid pro quo, likely because he was advised that he may be facing perjury. Despite the president making this unfounded claim about those who have testified. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: So, what they do is they go all over Washington. Let's find 10 people that President Trump the most, and let's put them up there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, if you're paying attention, you get there's a method to the madness here, whatever that method whatever -- however concisely he can put this together. But it's kind of reminiscent of the Mueller investigation, which Trump blamed on, remember, those 17 angry Democrats that were actually mostly Republicans that were appointed by his administration. Seventeen angry Democrats.

Those who have testified in the impeachment inquiry are experts, OK? They're officials, expert officials. They're even Trump appointees, much like in the Mueller investigation, the people who were putting that investigation together, working on that.

All people whose jobs touch the Ukraine issue, they are experts. Maybe they're given -- they've given damaging testimony under oath because that is what happened.

Anyhow, the president and his Republican allies on Capitol Hill have been calling and calling and calling, right, for open hearings. This is a sham. It's all behind closed doors. We want public hearings. OK. Public hearings start on Wednesday. But now Republicans are throwing cold water on that, and the president is saying this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: They shouldn't be having public hearings. This is a hoax. This is just like the Russian witch hunt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[22:09:59]

LEMON: Wait. They shouldn't be -- you wanted hearings. Now you have them, and now you don't want them? The president doesn't want them? If President Trump has nothing to hide, why is he so afraid of public hearings?

Remember you want it. It was behind closed doors. It should be public. Why is he so afraid? Could it be because the transcripts of the closed-door hearings that have been released to the public show clear evidence of a shakedown of the Ukrainian government? Somebody's worried about something.

And you might recall that last month Republican members of the House stormed that room. Remember the SCIF where Fiona Hill was testifying behind closed doors to House intel? They were trying to disrupt the hearing. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a sham, and it's time for it to end.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): What is happening here is not fair.

REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): What is Adam Schiff trying to hide?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a total political hit job on the President of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: What was actually said inside the room as Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz tried to insert himself into the hearing -- please listen to this because it's part of the official transcript and it makes for interesting reading. OK?

Intel chairman Adam Schiff says, "Mr. Gaetz, you're not permitted to be in the room." Gaetz says, "I'm on the judiciary committee." Schiff responds, "the judiciary committee is not part of this hearing." Gaetz. "I thought the judiciary committee had jurisdiction over impeachment." Schiff. "Mr. Gaetz, you're not permitted to be in the room. Please leave."

Then Republican Congressman Jim Jordan jumps in. "Mr. Chairman, really?" Schiff. "Yes, really." Gaetz. "You're going to include members of Congress on committees that have roles of impeachment." Schiff. "Gaetz, take your statement to the press. They do you know good here, so please absent yourself."

Gaetz. "You're going to have someone remove me from the hearing?" Schiff. "You're going to remove yourself, Mr. Gaetz." Jordan jumps in. "Mr. Gaetz is going to stay and listen to the testimony." And Schiff says, "Mr. Gaetz, you're going to leave the room."

And then a short time later after the stunt was over, the official transcript shows Schiff saying, the record should reflect that Mr. Gaetz has left the room. Kind of like Elvis has left the building.

It was a stunt, a stunt for the sake of publicity. A shiny object to throw you off of what was really happening, the substance of what's going on, to attack the process because they can't fight the substance.

But the hearing went on, and today transcripts were released to the public showing important testimony the public should see. And now televised hearings begin Wednesday. Keep your eye on the substance of what the witnesses say, what the actual transcript reads, not the process, not the shiny object, not all the craziness from people who will try to derail what's going on. Keep your eye on the substance. Focus on that.

We're going to dig into the testimony of Fiona Hill and Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman with Pamela Brown is here, Elliot Williams, Max Boot. [22:15:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Transcripts of closed-door testimony by two key witnesses in the impeachment inquiry acting -- inquiry, inquiry, I should say, tie the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, directly to the effort to shake down Ukrainians.

Let's discuss now with Pamela Brown, Elliott Williams, and Max Boot. Hello, everyone. If I can get my mouth to work this evening. It's Friday. You now, it happens. This happens to the best of this. Pamela, hello. Good to see you.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi there.

LEMON: You're looking good by the way. How much longer do you have? I know it's weird.

BROWN: I'm just about in my third trimester in a few days.

LEMON: Good for you. Good for you.

BROWN: Hanging in there.

LEMON: I'm like, my god, she's so pregnant. You look amazing.

BROWN: Elliott was relieved to finally be able to acknowledge the pregnancy tonight. OK. It's safe to say, OK, you're pregnant.

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL UNDER OBAMA: I was sitting on it for a while and afraid to go there. But I congratulate you tonight.

LEMON: We're very happy for you.

BROWN: Thank you.

LEMON: And you're going to make a good mom, a great mom again.

BROWN: Thank you.

LEMON: Let's get on to the business at hand here.

We're now learning from two senior White House officials that the Ukraine shakedown was coordinated by acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Would Mulvaney do that without President Trump's direction, Pamela?

BROWN: It's highly unlikely. Let's break down what we already know. And that the reporting we have, Don, is Mulvaney froze the Ukraine aid initially at the direction of President Trump. So, it would be highly unlikely that he would go rogue and work out this deal on, you know, putting a pause button on this meeting between the president and Zelensky until the Ukrainians announced the Biden investigations. And this is what has come out in this testimony, this big revelation

that Sondland, the E.U. ambassador, told the Ukrainians that he had worked this out with Mulvaney.

So, this implicates Mulvaney in a quid pro quo not only with the military aid and the Biden investigation, the 2016 election investigation, but also now this White House meeting and the investigations.

The White House hasn't pushed back today. We haven't really heard anything from them on Mulvaney's role, but it would be highly unlikely for a chief of staff to go rogue on something so important pertaining to a head of state visit like this.

LEMON: Yes. Elliot, I just want to play what we heard from Mulvaney when he gave that White House presser, really admitting that there was a quid pro quo. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MULVANEY: President Trump is not a big fan of foreign aid, never has been, still isn't. Doesn't like spending money overseas, especially when it's poorly spent. And that is exactly what drove this decision.

[22:19:57]

I've been in the office a couple times with him talking about this. He said, look, Mick, this is a corrupt place. Everybody knows it's a corrupt place.

Did he also mention to me in the past that the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely. No question about that. But that's it. That's why we held up the money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: He specifically mentions conversations he had with the president, and he says that's why we held up the money. I mean from what we learned today, does this mean that, you know, does we mean the president, President Trump, me and the president? What does that mean?

WILLIAMS: Yes. I think to second everything Pam had just said, all the -- a lot of chatter today has been about how today's revelations implicate Mick Mulvaney. But what this is about is the president's proximity.

Again, Pam's point is that nothing like this would have transpired by a chief of staff or even a head of the Office of Management and Budget, which is what Mulvaney also is, acting at his own behest without the president knowing. So, it stretches logic and stretches reason to think that the president of the United States would not have been aware of this conduct. And so --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Well, he says -- what he says, Elliot -- WILLIAMS: Yes?

LEMON: Elliot, he says, I've been in the room with him, and we've had many conversations, and this is how he feels about it.

WILLIAMS: Yes, I mean --

LEMON: Where's the ambiguity?

WILLIAMS: There is no ambiguity whatsoever. Again, this is now at the lap of the president of the United States. Now, what the president and his defenders will say is that you don't have the president using the words quid pro quo and recorded with three people around him taking cell phone videos.

But this is how evidence is acquired. This is how investigations are built. And it's abundantly clear that -- now, again, it's up to Congress to determine whether they want to take the step of removing the president.

But this is -- you can file an article of impeachment on this today even without further testimony. It's striking. Congress seems to have made the decision not to call Mick Mulvaney, which is interesting. It would be a legal challenge to get him because as you were talking about earlier those --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: I think by the time this goes through the court -- courts, it will be too late to get him --

WILLIAMS: Right. It's a tactical call that they've made to not -- to not -- but his testimony would be pretty damaging if they could.

LEMON: Max has been standing by patiently. Let me bring him in. Max, I want to bring from Vindman's testimony saying that there was no doubt about the president, what he was conveying on that call to Ukraine. OK?

He says, "It was a demand that the Ukrainians deliver these investigations in order to get what they have been looking for, which is the presidential meeting."

Listen, there was so much lead-up to this call, the Ukrainians knew exactly what the president was up to and what he wanted when he asked for a favor. They knew.

MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Of course. And Lieutenant Colonel Vindman is one of many devastating witnesses along with Bill Taylor, Fiona Hill, Gordon Sondland. I mean the evidence is overwhelming that President Trump attempted to extort a bribe from Ukraine in return for providing the military aid that Congress had appropriated.

That's why you see the ever-shifting explanations from the White House. I mean they're shifting alibis. They're changing alibis more often than normal people change their underwear.

I mean, every day there is a new story. And now, you know, this today the story is we're going to hang out Mulvaney and Giuliani and Sondland. It was their deal. It wasn't Trump, which is as we've been discussing is absurd because of course, Trump is tied directly into this because you have the phone call in which he is saying, I would like you to do a favor, though. By the way, talk to Mr. Giuliani.

LEMON: Right.

BOOT: So, Giuliani is talking to Trump, and there's a reason why Sondland and Giuliani have the lead on policy towards Ukraine, because there's only one person in the world who could give him that lead, and that's President Trump.

So, none of the alibis hold water. It's just an attempt to distract and give Republican partisans something to talk about. The evidence is irrefutable, Don.

LEMON: Pamela, a quick, last word, if you will. Did you want to get in when I was talking to Elliot? It looked like you wanted to respond to something he was saying.

BROWN: I have lots to say. But no. I think -- I think, you know, all the points were great. I think it's really interesting now to see the president's sort of evolution when it comes to some of these witnesses like Sondland today, you know, saying, actually I don't really know the gentleman, or I hardly know him, whereas before, before he had revised that testimony, he spoke really highly of him.

And so I think on the quid pro quo aspect, what Elliot was hitting on, Don, is that is why you're seeing more and more lawmakers now kind of accepting that, yes, there was quid pro quo, or this was inappropriate, but it's not an impeachable offense because the evidence is just so obvious and so damning. At this point it's just hard to say that there wasn't.

LEMON: Yes. Thank you all. I appreciate it. And again, Pamela, congratulations again.

BROWN: Thank you.

LEMON: We'll see you all very soon. Have a great weekend.

John Bolton's lawyer is sending a letter to Congress where he points out that Bolton was in meetings and conversations they haven't heard about. What could Bolton know that we haven't heard about yet? What does he know? I'm going to ask the former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. That's next.

[22:25:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The president's national security adviser John Bolton -- well, former national security adviser John Bolton knows more about the Trump administration's efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden that's not yet public. That's according to letter Bolton's attorney sent to lawmakers today.

So, joining me now, James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence. Director, thank you so much.

Here's part of the letter from Bolton's lawyer saying that Bolton, quote, "was personally involved in many of the events, meetings, and conversations about which have already received testimony, as well as many relevant meetings and conversations that have not yet been discussed in the testimonies thus far."

[22:30:02]

It sounds like there is more to this story yet to be revealed, no?

JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, yes, I think so. And John Bolton, of all people in the White House, other than the president himself, probably knows more about this than anyone. And also he's remarks attributed to him by other witnesses had problems with this sort of second policy towards Ukraine, you know, characterizing as a drug deal and Rudy Giuliani as a hand grenade and all that sort of things. So, if he does testify, I think it would be quite interesting and also quite damning. And of course this will be someone who got the direction from directly from the president.

LEMON: Bolton's attorney did not have to send that letter to Congress. Why do you think he did that, Director?

CLAPPER: Well, that's a great question. I found it curious and interesting that not only would he send the letter but also include a very -- that very tantalizing reference that you cited.

LEMON: Let me tell you what The New York Times is reporting, that two senior aides who approached John Eisenberg -- John Eisenberg is the top lawyer at the National Security Council -- approached him with concerns about Trump's political appointees pressuring Ukraine. The White House counsel Pat Cipollone advised Eisenberg to take those concerns directly to the president. He did not.

You're someone who has briefed Trump about Russian efforts on behalf in the 2016 elections -- in his behalf on the 2016 elections. What's it like to present uncomfortable truths to this president?

CLAPPER: Well, it's not comfortable. I will tell you that. I mean we weren't comfortable before the event. Not -- given the then-President- Elect's tweets about it, I mean it turned out he was on his best behavior, he was very solicitous, courteous, even complimentary. So the actual presentation was, you know, professional and relatively painless. But the buildup and the anticipation for it was actually worse than the event itself.

You know, it strikes me, Don, that having read a little bit of history of the attorney here, that he's a very meticulous lawyer and probably crosses every I -- dots every I and crosses every T legally, and I think perhaps he was focusing on the legal tree here of whether or not there was a crime committed and kind of lost sight of the political forest that was on fire to stretch the metaphor here a bit.

LEMON: Yes. I wanted to get your take on this today when I read about it. Vladimir Putin invited Trump to Moscow's annual victory day parade. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I was invited. I am thinking about it. It's right in the middle of our campaign season, but I am thinking -- I would certainly think about it. President Putin invited me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So we have to note -- we should note that President George W. Bush attended the parade in 2005. There's a picture right there of him along with the former first lady and Vladimir Putin. What is different between then and now, and what message is sent if President Trump decides to go?

CLAPPER: Well, you know, this is a little different situation, at least for me in that, you know, there's been this long concern by me and many others about this relationship with Putin, the deference to Putin, and the deference to Russia. And of course Putin understands all too well that the president loves a parade.

So, you know, to have them sitting up there in Red Square on the bleachers where there's a long succession of soviet and then Russian autocrats reviewing that parade, it just kinds of add fuel to the fire about, you know, what's up here between the president and Putin (inaudible), and the president of Russia.

LEMON: Yes. Director, always a pleasure. Thank you, sir.

CLAPPER: Thanks Don.

LEMON: Make sure you tune in Sunday. I'm going to be hosting a CNN special, the White House in crisis: The impeachment inquiry, Sunday night starting at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Steve Bannon taking the stand in the Roger Stone trial today and he is connecting Stone straight to WikiLeaks.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[22:35:00]

LEMON: There is another dramatic turn in the Roger Stone trial today. The former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon testifying that the Trump campaign saw Stone as a, quote, an access point to WikiLeaks. But on his way out of the courtroom, Bannon made it clear he wasn't happy about being there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEVE BANNON, CHIEF STRATEGIST TO THE WHITE HOUSE: I was compelled to

testify, like I was compelled to testify, I was under subpoena by Mueller. I was under subpoena by the House. I got a handwritten subpoena in my House testimony. I was forced to go to the grand jury, and I'm forced and compelled to come here today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, joining me now to discuss is Shimon Prokupecz and Anne Milgram. Good to have both of you on. Thank you so much. Shimon, Bannon -- Bannon is the most high-profile witness to testify at Stone's trial so far. What do we learn -- he didn't want to be there, but what did he learn from him?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: He certainly didn't want to be there. And I think it's really interesting that he's consistently made that point. He made that point on the witness stand.

[22:40:05]

It's very significant. And he was required to come in and talk about his contact and the emails and text messages and the communications. Some a dozen times he told the jury that he had between him and Roger Stone. Look, I think the bottom line is Roger Stone came to them -- came to Steve Bannon and said, I can get you information about WikiLeaks and what WikiLeaks was working on, the hacked emails that they had as it related to Hillary Clinton, and how that could possibly hurt Hillary Clinton and help the campaign and help Donald Trump win.

And honestly when you look at the emails that Steve Bannon exchanged with Roger Stone, they were very excited by this. They were happy to hear this. They wanted more information. Steve Bannon indicated to Roger Stone, let's talk. I want to know what you know. Let's talk ASAP as a matter of fact in one of these emails.

So this was important for the prosecution to get out there, to get into evidence, because Roger Stone testified before members of Congress that he had no contact about this kind of stuff with members of the campaign.

LEMON: Yes. A follow-up here, because, Shimon, prosecutors say that in the summer of 2016 after WikiLeaks started to release the hacked data, Stone emailed Bannon, writing, quote, Trump can still win, but time is running out. I know how to win, but it ain't pretty. So Bannon said today that he thought that it was just about dirty tricks. What do you think?

PROKUPECZ: So, he did say in court that, look, he looked at Roger Stone as a guy who was an expert in opposition research, who can get information on candidates that his guy was running against, Donald Trump. And so he was interested in what information he had. He called him a dirty trickster. He tried to in some ways move himself -- or remove himself from this entire thing and trying to argue that, you know what? I really didn't think what Roger Stone had was that serious. But his emails certainly indicated otherwise, and it certainly

indicated that they were very excited by the fact that Roger Stone perhaps may have access to information. At one point even indicating, you know, as I said, that they thought this information would be helpful to their campaign.

But I think in the end, what I think occurred was that Roger Stone was playing them. You know, he was playing them. He was playing Donald Trump. But they fell for it, and they wanted more information from Roger Stone.

LEMON: Well, Anne, I wonder what -- you say that Bannon has no motive to lie. Why do you think that he said this? What did you think of his testimony, though?

ANNE MILGRAM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So, you know, he comes in, and he's a witness. He's under subpoena. He has got to come forward. What I think is really important, the number one thing about his testimony is what Shimon said, which is Roger Stone walked into Congress, put his hand on a bible, said, I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, so help me god, and proceeded to say he had no communications with the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks.

And then you have Steve Bannon sitting there and saying, yes, this was my point of contact on WikiLeaks, we had 12 communications, up to 12 communications, and we have all these emails. And so for the government's case, which is trying to prove that Roger Stone lied before the United States Congress, this is critically important evidence.

The other point, which I think has also been made, but it's worth just noting again is that, one of the things that's been really clear from the 302s that were released earlier this week related to the Mueller investigation through Bannon's testimony is that the campaign was trying to get this information and to win at any cost and to get the influence of a foreign adversary in the campaign. And so Mueller was --

LEMON: So nothing's changed.

MILGRAM: Right.

LEMON: Now it's Ukraine, but then it was --

MILGRAM: The intent is important, right? And the fact is that their intent there was to win at any cost and to basically say they knew that Russia had hacked emails and they were trying to get them. And so, again, Mueller couldn't make the case. That's not on trial here. But it's just really powerful evidence to sit here and listen to all those communications from the CEO of the campaign at that point in time, and they're desperate to get those emails.

LEMON: It's all so sleazy -- I mean allegedly. Say that, but anyways, let's talk about -- Roger Stone is in major trouble, right? He's facing some major trouble? MILGRAM: Yes. I mean he's been charged with -- you know, we just

talked about lying to Congress, obstructing justice, and then tampering with a witness. And that's the individual Randy Credico, who testified this week. Really important that he's got all these charges against him. And, again, what the government is doing is really methodically, charge by charge, each element of the crime, they are putting on witnesses to provide that evidence to the jury.

LEMON: The charges include lying to Congress, and late last night -- I want to play this, because you mentioned it. The DOJ released this audio of Stone. This is in 2017, his deposition by the House Intel Committee. Listen to this.

[22:45:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): So you have no emails to anyone concerning the allegations of hacked documents or your conversations with the Guccifer 2, or any discussions you've had with third parties about Julian Assange? You have no emails, no texts, no documents whatsoever, any kind --

ROGER STONE, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LONG-TIME ASSOCIATE: That is correct.

SCARAMUCCI: -- of that nature?

STONE: That is correct, not to my knowledge.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Shimon, in fact prosecutors presented a mountain of evidence. So tell us about it.

PROKUPECZ: Yes, they have all the emails, Don. They have the text messages. They have the communications. They have the calls that between him and Donald Trump. They don't know what was said, but they certainly know that there -- during crucial times of this, when WikiLeaks was talking about putting out this information, they have phone calls between him and Donald Trump.

The other thing I think, you know -- yes, Steve Bannon is a big witness in this, but there's Rick Gates. And what Rick Gates is going to do is -- what he's going to do is establish even more that Roger Stone and the campaign were in communications about all of this information.

LEMON: I don't know how you keep up with it, Shimon. It's hard to keep up with all of the names and every -- all the different cases that we're following in the legal wrangling here, and we do it every night. I thank you both. I appreciate it.

MILGRAM: Yes.

LEMON: The president heading for his third sporting event in the past few weeks after getting booed twice. Is he in search -- a man in search of a cheer?

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[22:50:00]

LEMON: A lot of people go to sporting events. To escape stress and politics, but sport crowds have not been very kind to President Trump in recent weeks. So, why did he decide to attend the LSU Alabama football showdown tomorrow? Kaitlan Collins explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: For a president who enjoys keeping scores, Saturday's matchup between Alabama and Louisiana State University is another chance to prove he's still a fan favorite.

TRUMP: I love Alabama. I am going to go watch a very good football game on Saturday.

COLLINS: Tomorrow President Trump travels to his third major sporting event in recent week

TRUMP: I think I won by 42 points.

COLLINS: In Tuskaloosa Alabama, a state he won easily in 2016. He is hoping for a friendlier crowd than the one that greeted him in his home state last week. As Trump sat ring side in an ultimate fighting championship match, a mixed of boos and cheers echoed throughout Madison Square Garden. Though, he said it was a little bit like walking into a Trump rally. Those boos not as loud as the ones that booed insides Nationals Park in Washington during game five of the World Series, as Trump was shown on the jumbotron. Surrounded by his Republican allies in a barks suite, Trump was said not to have notice. Even when the players come to him, the visits haven't always gone smoothly.

TRUMP: I love athletics, I love sports, but they should get the politics involve.

COLLINS: Star athletes from championship teams are often missing from White House celebration and some teams had declined the invitations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue all together.

TRUMP: If they don't want to be here, I don't want them.

COLLINS: So, when Washington Nationals catcher, Kurt Suzuki brought a MAGA hat to the White House, they have what some deemed a titanic moment. Even before he was in office, Trump had a complicated relationship with sports.

TRUMP: The whole game is all screwed up. You say wow, what a tackle, bing, flag, football becomes soft.

COLLINS: Now on college football game days, the president can often be found on the golf course. This Saturday in (inaudible) stadium, he's hoping for a warmer welcome.

TRUMP: Look Alabama is always tough. And you guys there, you have really become tough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

TRUMP: It is great.

COLLINS: The University of Alabama student's government found itself at the center of the Trump feud controversy after warning students they'd lose their stadium seating privileges if there is disruptive behavior. They later walk the statement back. But tonight, another group is already planning a disruption of its own, bringing the helium filled baby Trump balloon to town.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: All right, well, Kaitlan Collins is joins me now. Hi, Kaitlan. Has the White House explain why he's going to this game?

COLLINS: No, Don, we actually asked a few times, it is little unusual for a president to go to a mid-season game like this one. And the White House never got back to us. But most people we asked close to the president why he was going to this, said it truly is because he wants to be around the crowd that's adoring. He often feeds off the energy of those live crowds like he does in his rallies. He's not typically in a place with thousands of people that are booing him, like he's been at those other sporting events. And essentially they just left it up to that.

LEMON: So, he's looking for a crowd that's going to cheer him. He wants that moment --

COLLINS: Yes.

LEMON: -- maybe counteract the other moment where the crowd did not cheer him?

COLLINS: That's potentially it. I mean, that is really what they left to that. You got to consider what -- someone close to the school told us today, which is that, it's not the football team that extended the invitation to the president. Obviously with the presidential visit comes with a lot of traffic jam, a lot of procedures they have to follow through with a game day that's already going to be pretty packed.

LEMON: Yes. I know. I went to LSU, it is going to be crazy and look, both number one and number two, huge rivals. So, this is going to be -- and two red states and there is a governor's race in Louisiana. And I am wondering if this could have anything to do with Jeff Sessions entering the Senate's race against the president's will.

COLLINS: It's definitely been something that's looming over all of this, because, of course the president is going there mid-day, after the filing deadline. And Jeff Sessions just announced he is going to be in the race while the president wasn't critical of him today. People have said privately, he has signaled, he is not going to go easy on Jeff Sessions if he gotten this race which now he says he's doing to.

[22:55:14]

LEMON: You are going to be watching, right?

COLLINS: Of course, I am going there with the president tomorrow.

LEMON: Oh, can I get a ride please?

COLLINS: Yes, come, and meet us at Air Force One.

LEMON: Thank you, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: they call entitled for nothing.

LEMON: Thanks, Kaitlan. Enjoy. I am jealous.

We are seeing more of what went down in those closed-door impeachment hearings and it turns out, two witnesses are pointing the fingers at the president's own acting chief of staff. Those details next.

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