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No Answer Yet on Ukrainian Plane Crash; President Trump Furious on House Votes Result; Cost on Protecting the First Family is Hidden from Public; U.S. Believes Iran Mistakenly Shot Down Boeing 737, Killing All 176 On Board; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Says She'll Send Impeachment Articles Soon; GOP Congressman Criticized For Falsely Claiming Democrats Are In Love With Terrorist. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired January 9, 2020 - 22:00   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: We don't know how much the president has spent or how he could be profiting considering he has made dozens of visits to his own properties. If there's nothing wrong with his spending why hide it. Familiar question, right? For the most transparent people ever.

Thank you for watching. CNN Tonight with D. Lemon starts right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: You know why. You know why.

CUOMO: You are just like --


LEMON: You know why.

CUOMO: You are just a big rain cloud on a daily basis.

LEMON: I'm not a rain cloud. I'm the truth. I'm the truth teller.

CUOMO: You are not the truth. You are not the truth.

LEMON: What are you talking about?

CUOMO: What is the truth?

LEMON: The truth is that --

CUOMO: What is the truth?

LEMON: -- they don't want you to know how much he spends. The truth is, is that the last time we did it, it's been a while since we did a fact check, but the projection was, I believe that he would spend more in his first year as president than Barack Obama would spend on his entire -- in his entire two terms as president in eight years.

Yet he used to criticize Barack Obama for taking vacations --

CUOMO: Yes. LEMON: -- and for going on vacation. And guess what? Barack Obama had a small family. He had two daughters who were young. Didn't use it -- didn't go as many places. Donald Trump has children. They have Secret Service.


LEMON: Some of them, I would imagine, maybe all of them do.


CUOMO: I would think the big ticket, and look, first of all, I think it's a big ticket. Second of all, the question is called a rhetorical device. I am throwing it out there as a question because the answer is obvious. And I am punking them because they won't put out the taxes.


CUOMO: They won't put out the call logs. They don't let us know things because they are not transparent. Because they're not a draining the swamp. They're adding more alligators to it than we've ever seen.


CUOMO: So, it's a rhetorical device.


CUOMO: But the big-ticket item is not the president. Because ultimately, you're going to spend whatever on him that you need to.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: It's the kids.


CUOMO: Because they are adults. They're running around getting fees and running their businesses and we're paying for their transportation. It's unusual.

LEMON: Well, listen, I think the president should be protected and especially --


CUOMO: Absolutely.

LEMON: -- and the kids or what have you.

CUOMO: We only have one.

LEMON: But there should be --I mean, you should be -- I guess you need to figure out if they're make -- if they are indeed making money and we are protecting them from, you know, with the Secret Service, that's a big deal.

CUOMO: The answer is in the disclosure. I'm telling you, I've been in this business my entire life.

LEMON: But --

CUOMO: When you have a good answer, you give it, Don.

LEMON: For me, it's the hypocrisy. It's the hypocrisy. You talk so much, you know what, about -- see, I'm back from vacation a couple days. I didn't know I was going to say a bad word this time.

CUOMO: Good for you.

LEMON: You talk so much you know what about Barack Obama and the former -- you talk so much and I'm going to talk about that a little bit more in just a couple minutes.

And then you use the Secret Service, you golf more than he did. You spend more money than he did. And I'm also going to talk about all these conspiracy theories that you hear from the president at these rallies and you hear from all these panelists and all these hosts on Fox News. Uranium one and all that and they turn out to be nothing. The e-mails, they turn out to be nothing.

And they go on with another conspiracy theory and their audience just lap it up, they just eat it up, eat it up, and then it turns out to be nothing and they just move on. They don't apologize, they don't say I'm sorry, screw it up, whatever. There's no repercussion, nothing.

CUOMO: This is a smile of a man who knows he was just made party to yet another Don Lemon meme with whatever that noise and gesture was that you just made.

LEMON: It is true.

CUOMO: I tell you, Don.

LEMON: I can only tell the truth. And that is my truth. And let them have it.

CUOMO: Listen, you're very truthy. What I'm saying is this. This is what a demagogue does. A demagogue, you know, the argument that you and I have is, he must be a bigot because he says bigoted things and gives comfort to bigots.

LEMON: Who, the president?


LEMON: No, I say he's a racist.

CUOMO: I say -- whatever.

LEMON: But go on.

CUOMO: You can't be a racist and not be a bigot. You could be a bigot and not be a racist.


CUOMO: Anyway, what I'm saying is this. A demagogue doesn't have to believe it. He just knows you do. He has to know what makes you scared, he has to know what motivates you.


CUOMO: And that's what you see from him and his protectors. They sell people things that they know will scare them and then they say that that's what their opponents do. It is demagoguery 101. The job is to call it out. You do a beautiful job at that.

LEMON: Yes. I think bigot --


CUOMO: If nothing else.

LEMON: You're being kind. And on beyond --


CUOMO: No, no, you do a great job --

LEMON: -- on beyond. No, I mean with the word bigot.

CUOMO: Nothing else.

LEMON: I meant with the word bigot you're being kind.

CUOMO: No. That's --

LEMON: We've moved beyond that.

CUOMO: No, no. That's logic. Not all bigots are racist because you can have all different kind of bigotry. You could be anti-Italian.

LEMON: Yes. That's true.

CUOMO: So, you're not racist but you're a bigot. But if you're a racist, you're certainly a bigot.


CUOMO: It's too much for you.

LEMON: I think we're good here.

CUOMO: I'll get out the crayons and the construction paper when we figure it out.

LEMON: See you next time.

CUOMO: I love you, buddy. LEMON: Love you as well.

This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

We have got a lot going on. And you know, we know a lot more tonight about what might have caused that Ukrainian passenger plane to crash moments after take-off from Tehran, shortly after Iran launched missile attack on bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq. All 176 people on the plane were killed.

Here's the working theory tonight, is that the plane was shot down by mistake by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.


And U.S. intel, well, they saw signs of that within hours. The data showed that Iranian radar signals locked onto the plane before it was shot down.

And here. Take a look at this. This is video. It was sent to CNN. It appears to show the moment of impact what looks like a missile striking an object in the sky around the time that the plane crashed.

Now, CNN cannot verify the authenticity of the video, but the buildings appear to be similar to ones in the suburb of Prahran.

So, the plane disappeared from radar just north of there. Only hours after Iran's air strikes on bases in Iraq. The video from Iran's Fars News Agency reports to show the moment the plane hit the ground, though it has yet to be verified.

So, here's the question. Did Iran shoot down a civilian jet by mistake? That would mean to all of this where it was said there were no casualties, no one was hurt. If that is indeed so, there were indeed casualties. And if there was not an imminent threat, as the president and the administration had both said, lot more on that tonight.

And it comes as sources tells CNN the president is furious over today's House vote to prevent him from taking military action against Iran without congressional approval. That vote is 224 to 194. With support from three Republicans, including -- this may surprise you -- Trump ally Matt Gaetz who says the president might have preferred he voted differently. I'll bet. He's probably right on that one.

That as we may be much closer tonight to the next step in impeachment, the Senate trial. Nancy Pelosi says that she'll send the impeachment articles to the Senate when she is good and ready. But suggesting that could be soon.

Sources are telling CNN that she hasn't tipped her hand, but she is telling people privately to stay close. And there is news tonight about one of the president's favorite -- I want you to listen to this. I was just talking to Chris about it. OK.

This is one of the president and his supporters and the MAGA and far- right conspiracy theorists, this is one of their favorite conspiracy theories. It involves, of course, Hillary Clinton, his attempt to smear her with false accusations that she did something wrong when the government decided not to block the sale of a company called Uranium One.

Well, now, the Justice Department is saying -- this is the Trump Justice Department -- there is no there-there. Years of this all over Fox News. The president saying it all over right-wing blogs. People believing it. Plus, some people still believe it. They are probably like, Don, you're not telling the truth.

The Trump DOJ says there is no there-there. The DOJ effectively ending the investigation. A source telling the Washington Post, we didn't expect much of it. That in spite of the president railing about it over and over and over.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In exchange for signing off on the deal, some of the former owners of Uranium One gave the Clinton Foundation millions and millions of dollars in donations.

We had Hillary Clinton give Russia 20 percent of the uranium in our country.

As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton signed off on a deal allowing Russians to take an increased stake in a company called Uranium One.

She gave Russia 20 percent of our -- the uranium, right?


LEMON: None of it true. That was a lie. Did you believe it? Then you were suckered. Doesn't matter how many times he says it. It's a lie. It's gaslighting. And his own Justice Department just proved it.

But with all of this it seems this president just can't quit Barack Obama. Obama, Obama, Obama. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia, Obama, Obama, Obama. It's not just the obsession, though. There is that. It's the hypocrisy.

The Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin doesn't want the Secret Service to disclose any information on the cost of protecting the president and the Trump family when they travel. Not until after the election, anyway.


The president, who has spent 338 days at a Trump property during his 1,084 days in office -- that is 31 percent. Let's not forget, Donald Trump tweeted in 2014, and I quote here, "we pay for Obama's travel so he can fund raise millions so democrats can run on lies." Gees. "Then we pay for his golf." Golf, huh? Lies?

This president, who hits the links every chance he gets while he is spending those 338 days at his own properties, he sure had a lot to say about President Obama's golfing.


TRUMP: Obama, it was reported today, played 250 rounds of golf.

Everything is executive order because he doesn't have enough time because he's playing so much golf.

Obama ought to get off the golf course and get down there.

I'm going to be working for you. I'm not going to have time to play golf.

He played more golf last year than Tiger Woods.

He plays more golf than people on the PGA Tour.

I love golf, I think it's one of the greats. But I don't have time. But if I were in the White House, I don't think I'd ever see Turnberry again. I don't think I'd ever see Doral again.

But I'm not going to be playing much golf. Believe me. If I win this, I'm not going to be playing much golf.


LEMON: You bought that one, too, right? Wow. OK. And then there is this from 2011, and I quote. "In order to get elected, Barack Obama will start a war with Iran."

And this. This is in 2012. I know I'm ticking a lot of people off here, but the truth hurts, especially when you put it right in front of your face like this. This is from 2012. "Don't let Obama play the Iran card in order to start a war in order to get elected. Be careful, Republicans."

Projection, projection, projection. Maybe his nickname should be Kodak. I don't know.

And then there's the following quote. The quote from -- this following quote from the following year, I should say. "I predict that President Obama will at some point attack Iran in order to save face."

Well, it wasn't Barack Obama who ordered the drone strike that killed Iran's top general, was it? It was President Trump. Like I said, it's not just the obsession. It's the hypocrisy. And if you're dealing in hypocrisy, that makes you a hypocrite.

Lot of new intel tonight on that plane crash in Iran. Did 176 people lose their lives because Iran mistakenly shot down the plane? Was there an imminent threat? Could this have been avoided? What if there wasn't an imminent threat, what does this mean for the administration as well?

Our aviation expert Richard Quest weighs in. He's next.



LEMON: Tonight U.S. officials believe that Iran mistakenly shot down that civilian Ukrainian jet liner on Tuesday, firing two surface-to- air missiles at the plain just after it took off from Tehran's airport. All 176 people on board were killed.

I want to bring in now CNN's aviation expert Richard Quest. Richard, thank you so much for joining us. I really appreciate it. CNN has obtained new video appearing to show a missile hitting the Ukrainian airliner out of the sky over Tehran. Richard, tell us what happened here?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR AT LARGE: Well, if the facts are as we think they are, this was a Russian missile, a proximity missile fired by the Iranians part of a fairly sophisticated surface-to-air missile defense system.

And the way it works is that the missile is launched and doesn't strike the target. It's painted -- obviously the radar paints, knows what it's going for. But it explodes in proximity, it's done as a proximity missile. And it does so at the front of the air craft.

We saw this vividly with MH-17, the Malaysian airliner that was blown up over eastern Ukraine. Similarly, a Russian proximity missile did the deed.

And then here it gets a bit confusing, Don, because here there is the suggestion that the plane might have continued flying for just a bit as they turned around and headed back to the airport.

But if you look at other video, you then see that the damage from that missile eventually causes the plane to explode in the air. It falls out of the air. And then it explodes upon the ground.

LEMON: OK. So, Richard, are you talking about it or -- I want to ask you about the next steps here and the wreckage. Does the wreckage contain some vital clues?

QUEST: The wreckage is the vital clue. The wreckage is what needs to be looked at by international investigators because when that missile exploded off the side of the aircraft, it was the -- there will be residue.

First of all, I mean -- let me apologize to viewers. You know, we're going to talk about some unpleasant stuff here.

First of all, the nature of those missiles is they shoot shrapnel, large amounts of shrapnel come from inside the missile that will pierce the fuselage, causing at altitude decompression, massive decompression. Also, obviously killing those on board.

But the point is when you then do an investigation -- excuse me, Don -- you do find evidence of that shrapnel inside the aircraft and, of course, those who perished. [22:20:05]

So, you'll find residue, you'll find shrapnel, you will find tearing of the metallic fuselage, all of which will be the evidence. We know this very clearly. This isn't speculative. If you get the wreckage, you can tell what happens. We know this from MH-17 of the Ukraine.

LEMON: Richard, I want you to listen to what the president said earlier today and then we'll discuss. Here it is.


TRUMP: I have my suspicions --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are those --

TRUMP: It was very -- I don't want to say that because other people have those suspicions also. It's a tragic thing when I see that. It's a tragic thing. But somebody could have made a mistake on the other side, could have made a mistake. It was flying --


TRUMP: -- it was flying. Not our system, has nothing to do with us. It was flying in a pretty rough neighborhood and somebody could have made a mistake. Some people say it was mechanical. I personally don't think that's even a question personally. So, we'll see what happens.


LEMON: So, Richard, I want to get your reaction to the president there because 176 people died in the flight and the president is talking about a rough neighborhood?

QUEST: Yes, he's talking about the area where, you know, -- I mean, obviously Tehran. What I find particularly interesting about that, Don, when he said it's not our system. That's not our system. He says that with a definite purpose. He knows it's not the U.S. system. There's no doubt about that.

He's dancing around it elsewhere. And the reason -- I don't know why. There may have been some sort of understanding that the Canadians would be given the right to make the most -- the first real proper announcement because it was more than 60 Canadians who were on board the aircraft.

And it was the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau within a matter of hours of the president speaking who did an extremely somber news conference, full of empathy for what had happened.

Prime Minister Trudeau did recount pretty much chapter and verse what the intelligence force -- sources know, followed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the U.K. who then went on to say there is a solid body of information. So, the president is being coy while other leaders are being more straightforward.

LEMON: I've got to ask you because, Richard, there -- apparently there was warning, right? They said the military was given warning. The U.S. knew that it was coming. So why was the airport even open during these tense moments? Why were commercial planes allowed to even fly, then?

QUEST: Really good question. I mean, this was a few hours after the attacks. Remember, this was -- this was a few hours after the attacks and it was Iran that had been attacking the base in Iraq. So, this was -- so the airport was on high alert.

But it begs the question from the airline point of view. Why did the Ukrainian international airlines decide it was wise -- never mind safe, Don. Why did they decide it was wise to take the risk of flying that morning? That is something the airline is going to have to answer.

LEMON: Very good point. Richard Quest, thank you very much. I appreciate that.

Congress voting to limit the president's ability to use the military against Iran, and it wasn't just Democrats supporting it. Some Republicans signed on, too, and our reporting tonight is that the president is just furious about that.



LEMON: More on the crash of that plane near Tehran. U.S. officials believe Iran shot it down by mistake moments after takeoff. So, did 176 people lose their lives because of a mistake? And what are the implications of all of this in the region?

Joining me now to discuss, Frank Bruni, Jaime Gangel, and Nicholas Kristof who is the author of, the book is called "Tight Rope," coming out this month. The book is called "Tight Rope," not coming out this month. The book is coming up, but the name of it is "Tight Rope." Good evening to one and all. Thank you so much for joining us. I've got the A-team here.

So, Frank, I'm going to start with you. The president boasted that there were no casualties from this Iranian strike, which is true so far, right, on the basis of, you know, if you look at Iran, right? But 176 people died in this plane crash. So are there now essentially victims of this conflict?

FRANK BRUNI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I mean, I don't think you can put those deaths on Trump himself, but I think you can make the observation that this is the sort of thing that can more likely happen when you've got a war-like context, right.

When tensions are ratcheted up, when this in this case Iran is waiting for something to happen, and you know, kind of at the ready, maybe too much at the ready, these are the sorts of risks that are involved when two nations are at each other's throats or, you know, inching up toward war, sure.

LEMON: So, how do I put this diplomatically? Doesn't this make it more important for the administration to come out with a reason or to show evidence of an imminent threat? Because this situation will essentially have been created and these deaths will have happened because -- am I -- do you see where I'm going with this?

NICHOLAS KRISTOF, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, absolutely. I mean, I agree with you that -- look, at the end of the day, these were casualties of this undeclared war between the U.S. and Iran. I think it's unlikely that they would have died if the U.S. and Iran had not been at each other's throats, as Frank said.


I'm not sure it's particularly productive to assigned blame between Iran and the U.S. unless, but the U.S. and Iran together created a context in which people died unnecessarily. And I think that does make it all the more important that we explore the origins of this, not only to figure out what happened here, but also -- look, there may well be more casualties in more places because of this ongoing friction between these two countries.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Because that's really what it is. Then this is -- we need to find out now, because 176 --

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: But just for context, we are now x days into this, and we have not and Congress has not gotten any better explanation of the definition of the word imminent.

LEMON: Right.

GANGEL: This is a very flexible definition that goes back to -- now they're saying there were strikes on embassies the president said tonight, threats. But when you look at Secretary Pompeo's statements and other members, what they're saying is there was a threat, but they keep going back in time. That Soleimani had been planning things over time. So, I'm not sure we're going to ever get the answer on this.

FRANK BRUNI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED COLUMNIST: You know, in any situation like this under any presidential administration, you would want more information than we're getting right now. But let's be honest. This is an administration that has very little credibility, that hasn't earned it. This is a president who through ceaseless, I mean, quasi-pathological lying, hasn't earned our trust.

And so you want information in a situation like this anyway because you need to ask questions, to be patriotic. You need to not just trust the information you're getting as we've learned time and again Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam. But particularly in the case of this president, it is fair to say, sir, you need to explain yourself to us because we haven't gotten the straight story from you on most other situations.

LEMON: Well, that's why it's frustrating to some people who are watching because they say, what are you talking about? We know he lies. We know he doesn't tell the truth all the time. But it's incumbent on a news organization to put facts first. And we have said -- and I'm sure some of you have been involved in the discussions around this table -- that if a moment like this happened, where would the credibility be? And that there might not be any credibility.

GANGEL: There are implications down the road.

LEMON: Right.

GANGEL: And how many times have we said if Barack Obama's administration had tried to do something like this --

LEMON: Right.

GANGEL: -- there would have been a complete uproar from the Republicans. So it has to do with the rule of law, the rule of trust, continuity, relying on honorable men and women who lead this country to give us appropriate information.

BRUNI: And some Republicans, let's give credit where it's due. Some Republicans are finally speaking out.

LEMON: Yes. Voting to limit the president's power.

BRUNI: What Senator Mike Lee did said is very, very important.

LEMON: Rand Paul as well.


LEMON: And I can't believe I'm saying this. What Matt Gaetz said today, voting to limit the president's, you know, president's power to declare war.

BRUNI: I'll one up you. Tucker Carlson.


LEMON: OK. Let's talk about your piece because it's titled, Trump has a bizarre idea of winning. And you write, in part, for now we seem to have averted an all-out shooting war between the United States and Iran, yet it's not over. The world is more dangerous than it was a week ago and President Trump's exuberance suggests that he may have learned precisely the wrong lesson from his clash with Iran. Explain that to us.

KRISTOF: So, I worry about a narrative that is spreading that President Trump took this decisive action and taught -- imposed deterrents on Iran. And as a result that Iran decided not to respond and actually kill Americans. This worked and I think that is exactly the wrong lesson to absorb. Look, if you look at the costs and benefits of what happened, we will probably lose our military presence in Iraq over time. That will make it probably difficult or impossible to sustain our presence in Syria. Iran will gain influence there. We have meanwhile changed the narrative in Iran and in Iraq. It was about Iranian regime failure, and now it's about American regime failure. The war against ISIS has been suspended. ISIS has been a great

beneficiary of this. And we haven't even come to the real military response. Most people think that this was the official response, and that there will be continued actions by Iran, with some plausible deniability. And this is going to be, you know, what's going to happen -- the people who are most likely to get hurt aren't American soldiers on bases. And they're not members of the Quds force. They're going to be ordinary Iranians or ordinary Syrians or ordinary Europeans or Americans --


GANGEL: Or maybe there will be military soldiers.

LEMON: If you were closer to me, I'd shake your hand, because, right -- everyone -- not everyone, but a lot of folks were saying at, it's a win for the president, he acted strongly and decisively. And I said, no, we can't -- we don't know that yet. And when he came out, we heard no evidence -- not one shred of evidence, and we still haven't, of an imminent threat. The most he talked about any sort of threat was at a rally tonight. I'm sorry to cut you off.

GANGEL: I was going to say there is an expression we all know about retaliation, which is the phrase, at a time and place of our choosing. And Iran has plenty of time. And three months from now, six months from now, you know, you made the point that it may not be soldiers, but it may be soldiers and there are a lot of soft targets around the world that they can very easily strike. This is not over.

LEMON: And stand by, everyone. But listen, I'm going to make it perfectly clear and I think you all will agree. Soleimani was a bad guy. But that doesn't mean that the action the president took was a wise action to take at this particular time, unless there is some strong evidence of an imminent act, as the president has said.

Everyone stay with me. Speaker Nancy -- the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, she'll send the articles of impeachment to the Senate soon, but what's going to happen once they are in the Senate -- Senator McConnell's hands? We'll talk about that.



LEMON: Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she'll send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, quote, soon. She's not tipping her hand, but sources telling CNN she is telling privately to stay close. Frank Bruni, Jamie Gangel, and Nicholas Kristof are all back with me.

Jamie Gangel, so she said she's going to send them over soon. You've been talking to sources. What do you know, when can we expect them?

GANGEL: I have covered Nancy Pelosi for a long time. When she says soon, she means soon. But what is the definition of soon? So, could it happen tomorrow? Could it happen Monday? Sure. There is one thing I want to point out that's just a practical thing. Tuesday night on CNN, there is a debate of Democrats, and I have a feeling that the Senate Democrats may have said to Nancy Pelosi, you know, we want our guys to be able to do that debate, so there's actually been some talk about maybe she would send over the articles tomorrow. The Senate is not even in session tomorrow. Maybe on Monday she sends over the resolution about the managers. She gets everyone through Tuesday. Maybe this all starts Wednesday. And I'm told that Senator McConnell has told his caucus not to expect to go home next weekend. So that's a little bit of (inaudible).

LEMON: Could you just wait till Wednesday and just get it -- you know?

GANGEL: Would that make you feel better?

LEMON: Because the LSU game is on Monday.

GANGEL: I got it.


I'll let her know.


LEMON: So, you know, I got a lot on my plate.

Frank, Leader McConnell, he's not giving in to Nancy Pelosi's demands. So, if she sends the articles without knowing what's happening in the trial, isn't he getting exactly what he wants?

BRUNI: For now it sure seems like that. And I think if you were making a prediction, you would say this is going to be an impeachment trial probably without witnesses. I think that's the smart money. I'm not sure exactly -- I have enormous, enormous respect for Nancy Pelosi and she's way smarter than I am.

I'm not quite sure what she accomplished here, except for one thing, and that may be enough. There has been a robust conversation about whether the Senate trial will or won't be fair. The conclusion among most people, it's not going to be fair. And that probably -- the public consciousness of that whole idea, is this a fair trial, you know, et cetera, I think that's higher than it would have been if she had sent the articles of impeachment over pronto.

GANGEL: But Frank, can I just ask you, doesn't a lot of that now have to do with the fact that John Bolton has come forward and said, you know, send me a subpoena. I'm willing to testify. Doesn't that really raise the stakes about witnesses?

BRUNI: I mean, is he going to end up testifying? If he testified, what would he say? I mean, do you think there are going to be witnesses?


BRUNI: OK, so, -- LEMON: Don't you think that's a ploy? I mean, because he could have

testified without a subpoena. He could have just said, I'm going to do it. I mean, why does he need a subpoena?

BRUNI: I think he's betting that they're not going to call him. And I think now when he says stuff in a book and people say, why didn't you say that --

GANGEL: He has cover.

BRUNI: Why didn't you say that in public and you know as a patriot. So, he can say well, I made the offer and no one took me out.

LEMON: Nick, people close to Leader McConnell is telling CNN that, you know, Nancy Pelosi holding onto these articles of impeachment have served to unify Senate Republicans. Like they weren't unified behind the president before this?

BRUNI: Oh, yes. I don't think that's true. But I do think that both sides have ended up as a result lately, creating some vulnerabilities for themselves. And I think the Senate Republicans look hypocritical and foolish when they refuse to call witnesses when it's clear there isn't going to be any real investigation of the charges.

But I think there is also the House Democrats are vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy when they emphasize how important it is to get this done quickly. And then when they sit on this. And I take the point that this has created conversation about the failures of the Senate process. But I think that a lot of people are also looking at the failures of the House Democrats as well.

LEMON: Don't we have short memories? Republicans have short memory. They're going to say Nancy Pelosi -- I mean, you know, it's all going to come out in the wash, don't you think? It's all a wash.

BRUNI: I mean, that's a great point. We're talking a lot about this. It's possible by November 2020 which is what everyone is really concerned about, this will be a distant memory.


LEMON: I think so as well. Thank you all. I appreciate it.

Republican Congressman Doug Collins making this outrageous claim about Democrats.


REP. DOUG COLLINS (R-GA): They are in love with terrorists. We see that. They mourn Soleimani more than they mourn our gold star families who are the ones who suffered under Soleimani.


LEMON: But you know it wasn't Democrats who mocked gold star family. It was the president. Khizr Khan was on the receiving end of that and he joins me next.


LEMON: You know, there seems to be no end to the ugliness expressed by some Republicans in Congress when asked about the House voting to curb President Trump's use of military action against Iran. Georgia Republican Doug Collins, remarkably said this.



COLLINS: Nancy Pelosi does it again and her Democrats fallout in line, one they are in love with terrorist. We see that. They mourn Soleimani more than they mourn our Gold Star families who are the ones who suffered under Soleimani. That's the problem.


LEMON: I want to discuss this now with Khizr Khan, he is a gold star father who you remember was criticized by President Trump. Mr. Khan, it's an honor to have you back on again. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

KHIZR KHAN, GOLD STAR FAMILY: Thank you, Don. I'm delighted to be speaking with you.

LEMON: You know just to be clear. No congressional Democrats has said they are mourning Soleimani. The Congressman, I'll say it myself, the congressman is straight up lying, what's your response?

KHAN: Well, first I must say this, we are grateful to our men and women severing in uniform and their families and our veterans and their families, we are grateful for their service. This statement from Congressman Collins and Ambassador Haley, this is from Trump's play book of hate and division.

This is so despicable and totally un-American. And we are disturbed and we are disheartened to hear this. That this is the time for the nation to come together so that we can deal with this difficult moment instead of this division and the Republicans blaming Democrats leadership and challenging their patriotism. This is typical chairman Trump's play book.

LEMON: And just for transparency, you still have any issue with your hear piece, sir?

KHAN: Yes, I am still hearing myself.


LEMON: Just so you know, Mr. Khan can hear himself a second after he says what he is saying and that very difficult to do. Even for me as someone who does this every night. So, I appreciate you bearing with us with that. So, listen, you mention the former United States United Nations, I should say Ambassador Nikki Haley, this week, where she says, I just want to play for people so they can hear what she said.


NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: The only one that are mourning the loss of Soleimani are our Democrat leadership and our Democrat presidential candidates.


LEMON: Listen, it's disheartening that a Congresswoman would say that. You would expect some level that someone in Congress might play politics but for a former United Nations ambassador who knows the gravity of the situation, who knows that our men and women in uniform, who knows considering what happened in South Carolina at that church. What real mourning is, that is even more disheartening to hear that coming from her.

KHAN: I so very much agree. I understand political aspiration. This nation is aware of that. We all aspire to do better things. Nikki Haley aspires to higher office, so does Representative Collins. But to practice this kind of hate, this is (inaudible) of law, this is typical Trump's agenda to divide and sought hatred. And they're his lap dogs. They're reiterating what he wants them to say.

This is -- this will not stand in one way throughout the country when I travel, I have been traveling and speaking. This is what I hear. We made a mistake of voting for Donald Trump. We have become aware of his self-interests. Every state and every step that he has taken for the last three years has proven, he's impeached because he preferred self- interest or the interest of the nation's -- security of the nation.

And unfortunate thing in all of this is that otherwise honorable member of Congress, honorable other public servants, they all -- when they come into his circle, they all begin to imitate him. They all begin to behave. One good thing as I have mentioned that people have become very much aware of this scam. And they are ready to throw this scam out of the White House.


And this -- I know we have to -- we believe in democracy. We will wait for November to come. We will wait for Congress to take the action and this president needs to be told, when he says article two allows me to do whatever I want to do, not at all. Not at all. Article one, read article one first before you get to article two. Article one makes sure that Congress is coequal branch of the government of the Democratic system of United States.

It is so evident now that this president has never read the constitution of the United States is not aware of the basic principles of the system of government of the United States and Americans have discovered that. Americans have become fully aware of this scam that he had practiced all of his life and they're ready to make sure that the leadership of United States is in good and capable hands.

LEMON: Well, Mr. Khan, again, thank you for coming on the program. That's going to have to be the last word. Our regards to your wife and family. Thank you so much.

KHAN: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: We'll be right back.