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CNN TONIGHT

Andrew Yang (D) Presidential Candidate Was Interviewed About His Standing in the Race; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Will Soon Send Articles of Impeachment to the Senate; U.S. Officials Believe Iran Mistakenly Shot Ukrainian Jetliner; Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) Was Interviewed About the Impeachment Process in Trump's Era; President Donald Trump's Impeachment; DOJ Inquiry Into Hillary Clinton's Business Dealings Winds Down With No Charges; Palace Intrigue. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired January 9, 2020 - 23:00   ET

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


[23:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

There is a lot going on. We're going to catch you up on all of today's big headlines.

U.S. officials now believe Iran mistakenly shot down that Ukraine jetliners with two missiles after it took off from Tehran's airport two days ago, killing all 176 people on board. Now Iran is asking the U.S. to help in the investigation.

State of the race, I'll talk to Democratic presidential candidate, Andrew Yang. He doesn't qualify for next week's debate but new poll numbers have good news for him. We're going to talk about that and lots more.

A hint tonight that the standoff over the articles of impeachment maybe coming to an end. The House Speaker Pelosi says she will send them over to the Senate when she is ready and that will likely be soon. Has her strategy worked or is it check mate? We'll take a look at what's next.

President Trump holding another political rally tonight, lots of gas lighting and false misleading statements. We'll break them down for you.

And reports tonight that Meghan Markle has returned to Canada while her husband, Prince Harry remains in London to deal with the fallout in the royal family of the couple's decision to step back from their royal duties. It turns out Harry defied his grandmother, the queen. More on the palace intrigue coming up.

But I want to begin with Iran right now. U.S. officials believe it mistakenly shot down that civilian Ukrainian jetliner.

CNN has obtained video that appear to show the strike. I want to bring in now CNN counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd, and CNN aviation analyst Mary Schiavo, a former inspector general of the Transportation Department.

Good evening to both of you. Thank you for joining us. Phil, you're first. We have this video that appears to show a missile striking an object in the sky around the time the plane crashed. The U.S. thinks that this was accidental. But it is a tragedy. Is this what happens in the fog of a military conflict?

PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Yes. I mean, you look at this and your first question is the tragedy, the people who were lost, why did the plane actually take off?

But you'll remember, the United States did this in 1988. The United States took out from the Persian Gulf, (Inaudible), an Iranian civilian airliner because it was an accidental engagement in the fog of war. You got somebody commanding a missile battery with a couple of missiles who makes mistakes about what they are seeing and all of a sudden within seconds, you got a tragedy.

Again, I think one of the questions here just hours after the strikes on U.S. bases in Syria and Iraq, why a civilian airliner is taking off. I'm not sure, Don.

LEMON: Right. I asked that to Richard Quest earlier, that is a very good question. But I got to ask you this before I move on to Mary. Is it possible that Iran thought this was a U.S. military plane?

MUDD: I think that's possible. I mean, there's two questions here. The first is the question of what exactly happened to the plane. We're already seeing that the speed with what you saw answers from the U.K., from Canada on intel tells me that intel got to be precise and very good, otherwise, you are not going to get answers that fast.

But the second question, I think we're going to have a hard time getting this one. The Iranians are going to cooperate on the plane. I want to happen with the battery. Did somebody make a mistake? Was there a poor training? Did they lock on and think it was a U.S. aircraft? I think we'll hear about the plane. I don't know if ye'll hear the Iranian military about what they did.

LEMON: You mean U.S. aircraft meaning U.S. military aircraft? Is that what you mean?

MUDD: That's correct. Yes.

LEMON: So, Mary, 176 people died including dozens of Iranians and Canadians. What will this investigation look like?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, investigations should look like any other annex 13 investigations by a lead nation conducting an ICAO style investigation, which means it should include not only the plane, the sequence of the shoot down but a lot of other questions.

As Phil mentioned, why were civilian aircraft allowed to take off. And by the way, this wasn't the only one. Did they have a window where the military said OK, let's get this civilian aircraft out of here. They can't take off until the missile strike is done. You've got one hour to get them out and this one was a straggler.

There were many things they have to look at, not just the plane, the shoot down, the military role but also air traffic control and the role of the airlines.

[23:05:01]

So, an investigation routinely looks at all such things when they're looking at a major international air crash.

LEMON: Mary, Iranian authorities have invited the NTSB to participate in this investigation. They've invited Canada, Ukraine, and Boeing as well. But Iran is questioning the allegation that they shot down at this point. What happens when you are dealing with a less than transparent government?

SCHIAVO: Well, when you are dealing with less than transparent government, one of the most clever things the government could do would be to turn around and be very transparent in the investigation.

And I read the report, it's called a preliminary report, it's really not. It's just a few pages they put out about how they are going to start conducting the investigation.

And the report they put out today about conducting the investigation actually comports with annex 13 ICAO guidelines. Now they did not mention the NTSB as being the United States NTSB, but they did give notice to all parties. They invited Ukraine in to participate. And they certainly started the investigation like a responsible aviation nation.

That's a pretty clever way to play it given they had so much criticism and people really doubt the ability or their willingness to carry out the investigation. But they started off doing it like you are supposed to do it under annex 13.

LEMON: Phil, let's talk about some of the things that we are learning here. Excuse me.

One of the U.S. saw Iranian radar signals locked on the jet liner before it was shot down. So, U.S. intel really knew very early on the cause of all this. I mean, look at these specifics coming in from the U.S., the U.K. and others. They knew, right?

MUDD: Yes, there is a couple of things to take away from that. Look, if you look at U.S. potential adversaries around the globe, the Russians, the North Koreans and the Iranians, they've all got pretty sophisticated surface-to-air missiles.

These are obviously, according to reports, two Russian origin missiles. This is what parts of the U.S. military including the Defense Intelligence Agency do for a living. This is not an art. This is a science. The fact that you had responses as I mentioned earlier from the

Americans so quickly, meant that missile analyst, there are some of them down in Huntsville, Alabama, this is all they do for a living, meant that missile analysts had that either lock on or what we call signatures from the actual launch sites when the missiles launched really early on. Before they told us, the White House must have known.

LEMON: Isn't it possible that this was a factor in any of the president's decision in the wake of these -- the Iranian strikes, Phil?

MUDD: I think it might have been a factor. I mean, if you're looking at this going into Iran again when you are facing a civilian tragedy like this. That would have been a difficult foreign policy question.

But if it wasn't a factor early on, it should have been a factor pretty quickly. Because the day they're coming out from the intelligence analysts must have been laser fast.

LEMON: Mary and Phil, thank you so much. I appreciate your time.

Up next, state of the race, the CNN debate is Tuesday, the Iowa caucuses are just weeks away. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is with me and he's next.

[23:10:00]

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LEMON: Now let's turn to the state of the race. Tuesday CNN and the Des Moines Register are hosting the last debate before the Iowa caucuses. Democratic voters considering the candidates in the midst of tensions with Iran and the looming Senate impeachment trial.

Joining me now to discuss all of this is Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang. So good to have you on. Thank you, sir. Let's start with Iran. Officials there are pushing back on U.S. evidence that it was their missile that shot down a Ukrainian plane killing a 176 passenger. How would you handle the situation right now if you were president?

ANDREW YANG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Seventy-five percent of Americans want nothing to do with war in Iran. I believe that killing General Soleimani was a mistake. And we need to do everything we can to de-escalate tensions in the region and pursue diplomatic solutions.

It's a terrible tragedy that that jet was shot down and so many lives were lost. That's just one reason why we have to come back to the table with Iran and let them know we have no interest in disproportionate provocations that elevate hostile hostilities.

LEMON: Let's talk about impeachment now. We expect the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate soon. Is it time to move this forward?

YANG: I believe it is. We need to get on with the business of solving the problems that got Donald Trump elected and present a positive vision that America is excited about.

The more we talk about Donald Trump even in the context of impeachment it's good for Donald Trump and it's going to make it harder to beat him in the fall. So, to me, we should move forward with impeachment proceedings because that was resolved in the House and should head to the Senate.

LEMON: Well, you know with -- you know what the House they want -- they want witnesses, right? Nancy Pelosi saying there should be witnesses. She wants to make sure it's fair. But do you believe the Senate needs to call witnesses in their trial?

YANG: Well, it should be a fair trial. It should be in the hands of the Senate to call witnessed that are appropriate. But to me, at this point the House has done its job and the trials should be in the hand of the Senate. I think for stalling at this point doesn't serve anyone's interest.

LEMON: Listen, what the -- well, there are a couple of things that I don't envy about you guys out on the campaign trial. The schedule you have to out with a lot. But you got to raise a lot of money, your campaign reported at fourth quarter fundraising hall of $16.5 million. You met the donor requirements but not the polling requirement for next week's debate. Will you change your strategy at all?

[23:14:56]

YANG: Well, we are optimistic that there will be new polls that show that we are growing here in New Hampshire and around the country. But at this point we are so close to voting that we can make our case directly to voters in Iowa and New Hampshire and Nevada and South Carolina.

And like you just said, we raise $16.5 million last quarter. So, we have the resources to go through the primary season into super Tuesday and into the spring. We are in it to win it. And we'll be here the whole way.

LEMON: So, you set me up for my next question, because I want to put up this new Monmouth poll, it's out in New Hampshire today. And it has you polling at 3 percent. But when you dig into those numbers really, you are the only candidate in that poll whose net favorably has gone up overall since May. Are voters just getting to know you, do you think?

YANG: You know, I just had an event tonight, latest in a series of event here in New Hampshire and the crowds are bigger than ever. The energy is electric. The vast majority of voters have not determined who they are going to support in February.

We are growing and growing. We are going to peak at the right time when voting starts. This feels that it's still very unsettled and that's right there in the numbers in the polls.

LEMON: As you know there are a number of billionaires in this race, Tom Steyer is now the sixth candidate to qualify for the debate just hours ago after two new polls show him at double digits in Nevada and South Carolina. Steyer spent over $25 million in television ads in those states. How do you keep your message amplified when you have to compete with that kind of money?

YANG: Well, to me the best possible source of contributions is the American people. We raise all these money with zero corporate PAC money, all the grassroot donations. And I think if you have a lot of money, it can give you a bump or a boost but it can't get you past a certain point.

Because advertisements get annoying and irritating rather than helpful if you see too many of them about the same person. So, I'm really excited about getting our case out to the American people through your friends, your neighbors, your family members.

That's how we are seeing this growth here in New Hampshire and around the country. People listen to other people first and foremost, not advertisements.

LEMON: Andrew Yang, always a pleasure. Good luck out there. Thank you so much.

YANG: Thank you, Don. See you back in New York soon. I appreciate you, brother.

LEMON: It is the last debate before the first vote and it's only on CNN. The top Democrats head to Iowa for a live CNN presidential debate in partnership with the Des Moines Register, Tuesday night at 9 Eastern only on CNN.

The House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she's got the idea -- she's got the idea to hold the articles of impeachment from Richard Nixon's former White House counsel on this show. And John Dean is here to talk about that, next.

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LEMON: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been holding the articles of impeachment since they were voted on before Christmas. And based on a new article in Time magazine, we now know where she got the idea to hold onto the articles.

It was right here on CNN, on this show. Quote, "On December 17, the night before the full House would debate and vote on Trump's impeachment. Pelosi met behind closed doors with top caucus Democrats on Democratic steering and policy committee. She hinted, for the first time that she was contemplating a curveball, declining to immediately transmit the impeachment articles to the Senate after the House passed them. Pelosi, according to an aide, had been mulling the tactic since she's heard former Nixon White House counsel John Dean float the idea on CNN on December 5th."

So, joining me now to discuss is John Dean, himself. John, thank you so much. You were on the show that night. So, let's play those comments from back in December.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think Nancy Pelosi has some real leverage in this. She doesn't have to send articles of impeachment to the Senate. What happens, Don, after there is a vote of the articles, they adopt a resolution where they select managers and then they decide when they are going to send the managers over to the Senate.

So, there is a flexibility in the process where she could say listen, let's just hold these articles here until the Senate gets its act together and that could last right through the campaign as far as her powers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: She's been holding on to the articles since they passed on December 18th. So how do you think that it's played out? John?

DEAN: I think it played out very well.

LEMON: Yes. Short -- short and sweet, you think it played out very well. Well, you think it played out very well.

DEAN: I do.

LEMON: But the question that I ask in the open was, was it a smart strategy or is it, you know, is it -- was a game set match that, you know, has Mitch McConnell won -- is she out of strategy here?

DEAN: You know, I think Nancy has got a wonderful political antenna. And she took this idea which I was laying out how far the powers reached. And she's got her ear to the ground in Washington and knows exactly when she should or shouldn't send those articles over after she obviously went back to her staff and found out what he's saying is correct and found out it was.

[23:25:01]

They look at the rules like I did and find out there was that kind of flexibility. What it did, Don, is it made the rest of the country focus on the fairness of the trial in the Senate.

If they had just sent them over after voting on them, they would have ended before Christmas. And also, the one point Mitch McConnell was threatening to, even take them up, once he got possession of them and just sit on them himself.

So, this brought all those issues and drew them out where people are going to look at them and a fair trial is going to be a challenge, and is doubtful. But it will also give the Democrats a good campaign issue in states where a lot of senators are up.

LEMON: If memory serves me, right, I believe I asked you that night if you had spoken with her. Do you remember that? I think I ask you that. So are you surprised -- (CROSSTALK)

DEAN: You did.

LEMON: -- that she got the idea from you?

DEAN: Well, Don, between you and me, I was floating the idea with the hope that somebody would get the idea, too.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: I know you tweeted it first. But you spoke about it on the show and that's where she saw it. But go on, sorry.

DEAN: Yes, I did. And I also told you that I had talk directly with a staff member, a high-level staff member but I heard -- I had no answer. I still had no answer but Nancy has now answered.

LEMON: Yes. Well, John Dean, we appreciate it. And it's nice to know that our relevance but we'll see how this all plays outs. John Dean is a free --

(CROSSTALK)

DEAN: We never know where our conversations -- we never know where our conversation will go or who is listening but we're pretty sure it's not Donald Trump.

LEMON: I wouldn't be so surprised.

DEAN: Yes.

LEMON: I would not be so surprised. Thank you very much. I'll see you next time.

I want to bring in now former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, a Democrat from Wisconsin who took part in the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. Thank you for joining us, Senator. I really appreciate it. You actually broke with your party and voted against dismissing Clinton's charges. Tell us what that was like for you, and do you think any Republicans will break ranks this time?

FORMER SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D-WI): Well, first of all, I want to say what an honor to follow John Dean who as an example of an enormous courage in the Nixon impeachment process.

And yes, I was a part of the Clinton impeachment process. And I'll tell you, in both cases the members of the Senate and the members of the House actually conducted themselves basically in a way that show their respect to the Constitution. And that they understood when you take an oath to do impartial justice as the senators have to do that it means something.

The problem here of course is that unlike 1998 and unlike the Nixon process, what you have our senators and leaders of the Senate who were announcing in advance that they are going to spit on the Constitution, that they were just going to do a laugh at their responsibilities to do this trial.

You had a majority leader saying he's going to work hand in glove with the president which I think directly violates the Constitution. The chairman of the judiciary committee, Lindsey Graham, saying that he had no intention of being an impartial juror.

I think Nancy Pelosi had no choice but to let this settle in. And John Dean just said it right. Let people think a little bit. That this is only the third time in American history that a president has been impeached.

And I think she did exactly the right thing by allowing this to settle a little in, and letting people see how outrageous the leadership of the Senate is being, and essentially laughing at the Constitution, laughing at the founder's idea of what an impartial trial should be.

LEMON: Senator, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, 71 percent of Americans say Trump should be -- Trump should allowed his aides, I should say, to testify in the Senate trial. Can -- can senators fulfill their duty if they don't hear all of the evidence?

FEINGOLD: Well, I think they've got to hear at least some witnesses. The Committee for Ethics, the crew organization put out a report today that confirmed that in every single impeachment trial, apparently in American history that's gone to completion, there had been witnesses.

Some of them have been about judges of course, but there is always been witnesses. Now in the Clinton case, there were video tapes taken, depositions taken.

LEMON: Yes.

FEINGOLD: But there were witnesses that each senator was allowed to watch. But what they are talking about here is possibly not doing it at all. And I think John Dean is also right that had she just immediately sent this over, they would have just basically taken it up in the Senate in five minutes and dismissed it and thrown it out.

So, when I voted in 1999, I was the only Democrat to say wait a minute, we really need to hear the witnesses not just the oral arguments. And I thought that was the right thing to do. Because I had taken this oath to do impartial justice.

And I can't imagine people like Senator McConnell and Senator Graham saying, well, that doesn't count after I take an oath so help me God to do an impartial justice.

[23:30:01]

LEMON: You mentioned judges -- senators are referred to as jurors in the trial, but you say they are closer to judges. Can you explain that?

RUSS FEINGOLD, FORMER WISCONSIN SENATOR, FOUNDER OF PROGRESSIVE UNITED: Well, they're really both. I mean, you're a juror in the sense that if you're a senator in this, you have to determine whether the facts add up to something that would be considered a high crime or misdemeanor or bribery or treason. But you also have to decide whether under the law, like a judge, whether there really is a situation here that fits what the Constitution intended, you know.

Is President Trump's conduct and basically trying to threaten Ukraine with its funding for its own political reasons -- is that a high crime or misdemeanor or not? I think it clearly is. But it is illegal question whether or not that kind of thing can be considered a high crime or misdemeanor.

So those are two responsibilities. Some of it is like being a jurors, some of it is like being a judge. In other ways, you're a political figure. You have to decide, at the end of the day, if you think there is a high crime or misdemeanor -- or misdemeanor, whether it is appropriate for the president to be removed from office.

So those are all things that the senators do in this case. But they're not acting like legislatures. It is not just political. It is a sacred constitutional responsibility that they have to discharge under the oath they take.

LEMON: That doesn't seem to be happening at least at this point. It is all fascinating, another fascinating aspect of the impeachment trial. Senators are -- they are not allowed to talk. They have to submit questions to the chief justice to be asked. What is it like? What is that like? What is the mood of the entire process, the whole proceeding?

FEINGOLD: Well, it has only happened twice in American history. So, the mood I witnessed was very serious. I mean, many of us thought the charges against President Clinton had very little to do with what the founders were thinking, when they thought about high crimes or misdemeanors. But everybody took it seriously. It was a very solemn occasion. The chief justice came in. The House manager has proceeded in. Everybody listened very quietly to the arguments.

It went on for many days by both the House's managers and the president's lawyers. It was a respectful process where the whole Senate got together in a closed caucus and agreed on the rules and agreed on how this would proceed. That's the way it should be done. That's the way it felt.

In the end, of course, President Clinton was not removed from office. But the process was a real trial. And that's what should be done here if people respect the Constitution at all.

LEMON: Senator Feingold, I appreciate your time.

FEINGOLD: Good to be on.

LEMON: Thank you so much. The president loves to call for investigations into Hillary Clinton. But tonight, one of his biggest conspiracy theories about her is being proven wrong by his own Justice Department. This is one example of all the times that he gaslights the country.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:35:00]

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LEMON: President Trump, the gaslighter in chief, but as we like to say here, facts first. He pushed the Justice Department to investigate business dealings tied to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, attempting 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, claiming corruption, corruption, corruption.

Well, not true, nothing but gaslighting. We are learning tonight the investigation is ending without finding anything. It is kind of like the illegal - the voter fraud department that was disbanded because they didn't find anything.

Let's discuss now with CNN contributor Wajahat Ali and Amanda Carpenter, the author of -- boy, you put your finger right on it. You are a smart, young lady. "Gaslighting America: Why We Love It When Trump Lies to Us." How did you know to write this book? My goodness!

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I saw him gaslight the republican primary when I was working for Ted Cruz.

(LAUGHTER)

CARPENTER: So, I had a head start on you.

LEMON: Today, we learned that the Justice Department has ended its inquiry regarding Hillary Clinton's Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation. I mean, this was a big investigation launched two years ago and President Trump has continuously pushed. Let's listen to it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She gave all that valuable Uranium away. She did other things. You know, they say I'm close to Russia. Hillary Clinton gave away 20 percent of the uranium in the United States. She is close to Russia.

One example of Clinton corruption, as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton signed off on a deal allowing Russians to take an increase take in a company called Uranium One.

Some of the former owners of the Uranium One gave the Clinton Foundation many millions of dollars in donations.

She wants to sell out American security to the Clinton Foundation for a big, fat pile of cash.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK. So, I have to say it again, Amanda. Guess what? It has been found out by his own Justice Department not to have any merit. That was gaslighting. He said it over and over. Millions of people believe it. And then, now, what? I mean, what happens now? Is this what happens when you get your talking points from the folks on Fox News, the pundits on Fox News or the opinions hosts?

CARPENTER: Yes. I mean, listen, they are still changing the "lock her up" at the rallies. I mean, that's never going away.

[23:39:59]

CARPENTER: It has reached at high standing in the (INAUDIBLE) of Trump folklore. He has won that argument even though he is not right. Listen, I am not a Hillary Clinton defender. The setup she had while being secretary of state and operating the Clinton Global Foundation, Bill running around getting donations, making money, that invited questions, right?

The gaslighting came in when Trump essentially declared her guilty, saying "lock her up" and then ordered these investigations which, you know, looked at the questions. But they never made the sales. They never found the connection between improper acts and the donations.

And so by the time you get to that point, he has already moved on. I mean, listen, he won the election in part of making this argument. And then, now, what? Two years later, Hillary Clinton gets cleared. I mean, he moves faster than everyone else on this. Why is it effective even though it is not truthful?

LEMON: Yes. The folks, his supporters probably still believe it. They may not even look at the report because they are, you know, tuned in to conservative media. Wajahat, was this inquiry launched by Jeff Sessions just to appease the president's ego, kind of like the, you know, voter fraud investigation, the department that was disbanded because they find any significant evidence of voter fraud?

WAJAHAT ALI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Of course, it was. It is to appease Donald Trump's fickle ego and his insecurity. This is Jeff Sessions who is struggling to keep his job, right, to prove his loyalty.

And as we know, the Justice Department and even the investigators realized long before they started this, they would find nothing. That's two years wasted on an investigation which they knew would only mollify and support and help Donald Trump and the right-wing base. It proved nothing when it comes to the Clinton Foundation.

LEMON: -- how much money.

ALI: Yes. Nothing when it comes to, you know, her e-mails. And what Donald Trump is -- and this is, you know, important to know. He is a perpetual B.S. artist. He is a habitual liar. In three years in office, he has lied more than 15,000 times. He lies about where his father was born. What man does that? Donald Trump. He was born in New York, not Germany.

I am afraid he's going to give Daniel Dale, our own Daniel Dale, you know, a heart attack if he wins again in 2020. But the reason, Don, I think --

LEMON: Daniel is our fact-checker, by the way.

ALI: And a fact-checker -- is he projects his insecurity, his own vices on others. He takes credit for successes that are not his such as Obama's successes, and he always wants to blame someone else. So, he's obsessed with Obama and Clinton.

The projection of his vices -- corruption, corruption, corruption. Well, two examples. Trump University. Couple of days before the inauguration, who has to pay $25 million for fraud? Trump. And recently, the Trump Foundation has to give back $2 million to eight charities for stealing money from charities. So, this is Donald Trump -- this is why he lies, in part why he lies.

LEMON: Yes. Listen, Amanda. The president held a rally in Ohio this evening. He claimed that Soleimani was planning attacks on multiple U.S. embassies. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: He was looking very seriously at our embassies and not just the embassy in Baghdad, but we stopped him and we stopped him quickly and we stopped him cold.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: It started as an imminent threat. Then, it was one embassy. Now, it is embassies, plural. Would you call this gaslighting?

CARPENTER: We don't know yet. Listen. Let me say at the outset. I think the killing of Soleimani was probably justified. It may not have been wise. We don't know that yet. But this is my biggest fear when it comes to Trump's gaslighting. That he would overstate or invent national security threats in order to launch attacks to make himself appears strong, right?

That's what he does to domestic opponents. He makes up lies about them, calls them threat, and compares them to terrorists so that he can attack them unfairly.

I have always been afraid he would take this on a national scale and use weapons in order to justify his actions and launch his attacks in order to appear strong. And so right now, we are in a place of uncertainty. This should be a place where we should trust the president's word.

We have to trust him because we don't have access to that intelligence. He is not sharing it with Congress. That is all deeply concerning. And so this is what we get when a president when a president that gaslights, that does not have credibility is in charge.

LEMON: We don't have to trust artist in most concise way. I've heard the killing of Soleiman justified -- maybe but it may not have been wise. It was justified but it may not have been wise. That's a great way of putting it, Amanda. I have to go, Wajahat. Can you do it in five seconds?

ALI: We don't have to trust him. He's a habitual liar. And as we know and as we have seen, he does not even trust his own intelligence agency which he calls part of the deep state. So now are we supposed to trust him? I don't think so.

LEMON: Thank you both. I appreciate it. What in the world is going on with the royals, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry? We'll tell you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:45:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Tonight, Meghan Markle has reportedly returned to Canada while Prince Harry remains in London dealing with the fallout of their decision to step back from their royal duties. More now from CNN's royal correspondent Max Foster. Max?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, this crisis in the royal family is unprecedented. They are scrambling to find a way forward.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FOSTER (voice-over): Theirs is a life governed by royal (INAUDIBLE). But with this week's bombshell announcement, Prince Harry and wife, Meghan, make it clear they want to set their own rules.

[23:50:00]

FOSTER (voice-over): The couple defied the queen when they issued a statement on Wednesday saying they will pull back from their duties as senior royals. CNN understands she had asked him not to speak out. The palace, at first blindsided, today swung into action. Officials acting for the queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, are holding crisis talks about what to do.

A source is telling CNN they wanted "workable solutions" within days. but the decision by Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, raises more questions than answers. The couple make no mention of giving up their royal titles. They say they will continue to do work for the monarchy and support the patronages.

But they want to become financially independent. They say they'll give up funding from the Sovereign Grant, money from the British government, and try to earn their own income as many minor members of the family do.

One potential and significant source of income is the royal brand. They have applied for a trademark for the name Sussex Royal, which, if approved, they could stamp on scores of items and services from books and clothing to educational materials and social care.

But there is a risk. They are accused of monetizing the very monarchy from which they are trying to distance themselves. Critics of the couple point out their security will still be funded by the taxpayer. They also hope to keep their official residence, Frogmore Cottage, in Windsor.

VICTORIA MURPHY, ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Will people accept the premise that they are appearing on the world stage as working royals and then also going off and acting autonomously, taking a private income with a private venture?

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FOSTER: If the family can't agree on a new role for the couple going forward, the Sussexes will have to consider resigning their royal roles altogether. Don?

LEMON: Max, thank you very much. I appreciate that. Our Max Foster. I want to bring in now Harvey Young, dean of fine arts at Boston University. He recalls Meghan Markle being among eight students in a class he taught at Northwestern University in 2003. Harvey, thank you so much. We appreciate you joining us. So, you say that you're not surprised by this decision, just the timing of it. Why is that?

HARVEY YOUNG, DEAN OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON UNIVERSITY: If you think about it, Meghan is a person who has been outspoken. She's been a passionate advocate for women's rights. For someone else to dictate what she wants to do and how she should live is just totally wrong. So I felt that at some point she would step away but just not this soon.

LEMON: It has been reported, Harvey, that the queen called for an emergency meeting with the royal family to quickly come up with a solution for the duke and duchess for their desire to step away from the royal life. But it seems like Prince Harry and Meghan have already come to their decision on their own.

YOUNG: Yes. I mean, it's hard to imagine Harry or Meghan sort of fully stepping away from the royal family, but it's not that shocking to say they want to step back. I mean, they have a young child. And as parents, you want to insulate your children from the racism, the abuse, the harassment they've been experiencing.

And if you think about Harry's own upbringing, to avoid that sort of experience for their child just makes sense. So being a parent first, I think being an advocate for women and activist for social causes as well, those justify the decision.

LEMON: Yes. You know, you're the first person to really talk about the racism. Some folks have danced around it. But it is no secret that Meghan has had to endure racist comments and treatment in the U.K. since she first began dating Prince Harry. Will she be treated better, you think, and she won't have to deal at least with this scrutiny in other countries?

YOUNG: Well, if you think about Canada, for example, you know, Canada has really sort of run at being a more inclusive diverse society. If you look at the Global Mail cover for today, it's giving the profile of the people who lost their lives in the aircraft. It is celebrating diversity and inclusion. That's really kind of part of what makes Canada so special.

And I think that Meghan having spent so much time in Toronto, it's a logical fit for her to go back there where there is more of a sense of inclusion, a celebration of diversity, a celebration of biraciality. So, it's not surprising for her to want to go back to North America, specifically Canada.

LEMON: British media has painted Meghan as the catalyst behind this decision, as if Harry was being led astray or forced by her to leave the family. What do you say to that?

YOUNG: Harry has been outspoken about his own sort of struggles, sort of being a royal, the trauma of having to walk behind the casket that carried his mother. So, you know, think about just the legacy of those memories, those traumatic experiences and wanting to do something different. And he's not a person who will ever become king, so why not step away now?

LEMON: Did you ever think when she was in your class that she'd end up where she is today?

YOUNG: No, no. When I taught her, she was interested in becoming an actor, and she was doing international relations as well. So I knew she was passionate. I knew she had a commitment to women's rights.

[23:55:00]

YOUNG: But no one imagines a person is going to marry into a royal family.

LEMON: Harvey Young, you have had the best analysis that I've seen so far on television, and we really appreciate you joining us here. Please come back to talk about this and more. Thank you so much.

YOUNG: My pleasure.

LEMON: And thank you for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.

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