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CNN TONIGHT

Two Faces of Rudy Giuliani; Time is Gold for Dr. Fauci; Trump's Audacity to Smear Opponents; Top DOJ Prosecutor Resigns; Party Like There's No Pandemic; Too Much Talk, Less Action. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired September 11, 2020 - 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: You know, there really is a tale of two Rudy's. You will never make me not remember what he did that day for this city, for me. I watched him up close Bernie Kerik. I watched him up close. Is that who he is today?

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: No.

CUOMO: My opinion, no. Time goes on. Men meet moments different ways. I don't understand why he gives this president the gift of his loyalty and the risk of his own reputation. I just don't know why.

LEMON: Well --

CUOMO: Because he's not getting power out of it. Rudy doesn't need it. He's got the money. He's got the legacy. I just don't know why he defends a man against things he would never have done himself.

LEMON: Well, I think, you know, it is 9/11. I'm going to, I'll reserve some -- I'll try to be respectful. Because we, on this day, we should all just take a break as the former vice president said and just remember what's important today.

But that -- that one image of Rudy Giuliani on 9/11 is not the full picture. Rudy Giuliani, before 9/11 he was not liked in this city. This is a tale -- usually it's a tale of two Giuliani's. It's really the tale of two Americas.

I mean, listen, I watched, quite honestly and then when you said you respect him. I cringed because I lived here too. And I remember how he treated people of color. How he didn't reach out to people to leaders of color in the city. How he -- how he conducted himself during the deaths of Amadou Diallo and others how he egged racial division on. And then 9/11, OK, fine. He was the mayor. What choice did he have?

CUOMO: He had a lot of choice.

LEMON: And who is going to say to him --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: He had a lot of choice --

LEMON: Hold on. Can I finish, please? Can I finish, please?

CUOMO: Sure, go ahead.

LEMON: Who was going to say to Rudy Giuliani you can't help this person. Of course, he should everyone. He is the mayor, has to step up. Yes, he did a good job on that day. But who is going to say you can't give money to this person or you can't give money -- of course, they're going to -- everyone is going to say yes because it's 9/11.

But we have to remember there was a Rudy Giuliani before 9/11, there was a Rudy Giuliani during 9/11 who did a good job. And then afterwards the Rudy Giuliani of 9/11 reverted back to the Giuliani before 9/11. And that's who he is today.

CUOMO: Well, I don't even think that -- I don't even think that's the case to be honest with you. You're right about Rudy before 9/11.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: He was in big trouble.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: But crisis can define people. And what I said is you were listening closely is, I'll always respect you for what you did, for me and for this city. You know, I was down there. I lost people there. I saw what raised people up, I saw what helped people survive. I saw what helped the first responders. And it is even uglier than you know, Don. The same people that we heroize got screwed in the next contract.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: The fire department. So, look, you know, history has got a lot of facets.

LEMON: Well, there you go.

CUOMO: History has got of facets. What I'm saying is, what he is doing now, and I've said this him in person. It doesn't make sense to me. It's just not arguing a case. It's arguing against a set of values. I don't think he ever inculcated even at his worse with his fights and what he was about. He was never anything like the man that he defends today.

So, you're right. But you've to look at it moment by moment. Look, between the two of us, I'm the one who's had the wars with Rudy Giuliani. And I'm willing to have them.

LEMON: I had some --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: And I'm willing to have them still.

LEMON: I've had some with him, too. And I see Rudy from time to time. And you know, we talk. But I worked at -- before there was a Fox News. There was WNYW. Right? There was all this owned and operated stations that Rupert Murdoch bought and it was his guys that he put in place. It's in, you know, in D.C. and here in L.A.

I saw the Rudy Giuliani during that time. I remember when he ran against Dinkins. I've been living in New York City since the 90s. And so, I saw the kind of person that Rudy Giuliani was, who he associated with. I covered Rudy Giuliani's first day as mayor.

So, Rudy Giuliani is no stranger to me. All I'm saying to you is through my eyes, and through a loft people, the Rudy Giuliani that you see today is the Rudy Giuliani that was pre-9/11. And that old saying when people show you who they are the first time, believe them.

So, when Rudy Giuliani showed me and a whole lot of people who he was back in the 90s, we believed him then. We gave him grace during 9/11 and then afterwards he showed to us again that he was the same person that he was pre-9/11. That's all I'm saying. I respect what he did for 9/11. He did some great things. He was America's mayor. That's how he was portrayed.

[22:05:02]

But Rudy Giuliani was not always the hero that people make him out to be.

CUOMO: There's absolutely no question.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: I just see both.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And again, you know, everything is subjective. It is impossible for me to divorce my processing of 9/11. First of all, it wasn't just one day. That's for sure.

LEMON: That's right.

CUOMO: And there's just too much loss in my life from it.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And I know what helped those families. And I know what helped those men and women. He was a big part of it. Now does he have problems?

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Yes, he's got problems. He had problems before. You're right. He was on -- he was, you know, getting his butt kicked by a lot of different people for a reason. But today is 9/11. And nobody has been more clear about my disagreements with what he defends and how he defends it with this president.

LEMON: And then at the present moment he's playing footsie with Ukraine, he is being the, you know, the president's own personal representative. He is lying to the American people. He is doing a whole lot of things that are just beyond the pale. And I cannot overlook those because he did something good in the past. I can't --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: No. You just look at both.

LEMON: Well, I do. I do look at both.

CUOMO: That's all.

LEMON: And I think that's great.

CUOMO: You look at both.

LEMON: But in this present moment that we're living in, Rudy Giuliani is doing a whole lot of things that's not good for America. And I can't overlook that and I can't look at back and romanticize about something that he did. Maybe he did a great job back then.

CUOMO: There's no maybe. He did a great job back then.

LEMON: But in this present -- OK.

CUOMO: And you shouldn't romanticize what he did by meaning that you give him a break on what he does now.

LEMON: Well, you said there are -- maybe for you. For me it's different.

CUOMO: No, I'm saying for me, 9/11 can't be just one day. And it can't be as simple as, yes, he did good on that but, you can't be that quick with the but because --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Yes, I can, because that's how I feel.

CUOMO: No, I know you can. I can't because that was weeks and weeks. You know it was just 10 days alone of us thinking people were alive in the mall.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: He had to break that news. I thought I had friends down there that would make it out. They didn't. And so, both things are true at the same time.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: The guy had a checkered past. He had problems as a prosecutor in terms of how people thought he did his job. And he's got big problems now. I never thought I'd see the day that Rudy Giuliani would get booed at a New York sporting event. But that's what happens. LEMON: And that's our conversation that we're having right now. You

never see the day that you thought he'd get booed. And he is. That's what I mean.

CUOMO: After 9/11. But that's because of what --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: People live in the present, Chris.

CUOMO: -- he is deciding.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Look, if you look at what he does now. I mean, there's three quarters of my interview on 9/11.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: I still can't let it go what he does with this president. Because I know that's anathema to the leadership that he showed on 9/11.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Who this president is in this moment right now would have never gotten us through that? Never. I don't know what would have happened. But the terrorists would have not been our whole problem because we would have each been each other's problems. He would have blamed he said during the campaign maybe he would have avoided 9/11.

The only way he avoided 9/11 was by getting out of town and hiding when it happened.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And filing his claim like everybody else was trying to cash in. That's my point with Rudy. I can't believe he's defending a guy who represents everything that was the opposite of what Rudy was on 9/11. That's my point.

LEMON: All right.

CUOMO: But your point is well taken.

LEMON: I got you. I got you. Thank you, sir. I appreciate you.

CUOMO: I love you, Don Lemon.

LEMON: I love you too, sir. Have a great weekend. I'll see you probably this weekend.

CUOMO: I'll see you tomorrow.

LEMON: This is CNN Tonight. I am Don Lemon. You know, it wasn't a great week for President Trump. Can we all just agree on that? A battle from every side by his own failures. The negligence and complete inability to do the job Americans elected him to do. He's on the ropes. So, he lies and he bobs and he weaves all in an effort to distract you from what's really going on.

His taped interviews with Bob Woodward revealing the what he knew that he knew the truth about the coronavirus, didn't tell Americans, though.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It goes through air. Bob. That's always tougher than the touch. You know, the touch you don't have to touch things. Right? But the air, you just breathe the air. That's how it's passed. And so that's a very tricky one. That's a very delicate one. It's also more deadly than your -- you know, even your strenuous flu.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: He concealed the truth of how deadly the virus would be. The virus that has now kill -- killed 193,000 Americans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Well, I think, Bob. really, to be honest.

BOB WOODWARD, AUTHOR, RAGE: Sure. I want you to be.

TRUMP: I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down.

WOODWARD: Yes, I --

TRUMP: Because I don't want to create a panic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: He has repeatedly spread misinformation the kind of misinformation that Dr. Fauci says he has to waste time correcting in the middle of the pandemic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: The one thing that bothers me is the amount of things that aren't evidence-based and we've seen examples of that in the United States.

[22:10:02]

Like claims that certain drugs have a great positive effect when there's no scientific evidence whatsoever, that they have a positive effect. And yet it gets engrained, and I and my colleagues have to spend a lot of time trying to debunk that. And when you're in the middle of a pandemic and you're trying hard to address all the appropriate issues, it is truly a waste of time to have to debunk nonsense. But you know, unfortunately, we've had to do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, yes, unfortunate. A man with the status of Dr. Fauci has to waste his time like that. Wonder who else he's talking about there? Could it be the man we heard on tape telling the truth to a reporter in secret by lying to the American people? Americans have died, lost their jobs, lost their homes or kids. Their lives, right? They can't go to school. Grandparents can't hug their own children. Think of them because this president does not. All he cares about is himself and getting reelected.

But in spite of a Republican convention designed to convince you that Donald Trump is not the man you have seen with your own eyes and heard with your ears for years. The president didn't get the convention bounce he needed. He didn't convince Americans. Instead, he is still floundering in the middle of outrage over the Atlantic's reporting that he is referred to fallen troops as losers and suckers.

Skipped a trip to World War I cemetery in France because he was afraid the rain might mess up his hair. His own generals closer and closer to a break glass in case of emergency moment.

According to Woodward's book, the former defense secretary, General James Mattis once told then national security intelligence director Dan Coats, there may come a time when we have to take collective action because Trump is, and these are his words, dangeus and unfit to be president.

So, what does this president do in the face of all that? Exactly what you would expect. It's page one of the Trump play book. He goes state TV, of course, Fox News, drops a big messy bomb to distract from everything that is going wrong for him.

Smearing Joe Biden's debate performance and mental health. Making some ugly false and unfounded accusations. But we're not going to play his game. We're not going to fall into his trap and play that sound because that is exactly what he wants. He wants to be able to say I heard it. It's out there. People are talking about it.

That's what I'm hearing. A lot of people are saying it. Many people say. Don't get it twisted. Do not fall for the okey-doke. We will not here and we won't allow you to do it as well. Let's all keep focus on what really matters here.

Instead of the president's smears and lies, more than 20,000 in July according to the Washington Post fact checkers, he is a master manipulator who is willing to do anything to say anything if it will get him reelected. He'll do anything to get what he wants out there into the press. So that he can spread all this misinformation and if you repeat it enough people start to believe it. Michael Cohen told you about it, in his book he writes about it. He

does not care what the truth is. He will make up anything if he thinks that it is a good headline. And guess what, the press chases it, the shiny object. Look over there, a shiny object. Like a cat with a laser pointer. That's what the press has done.

Remember this is the man who allegedly invented an alias John Baron to lie about his wealth to get on Forbes 400 list.

(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. What's your first name by the way?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: John?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Baron.

(END VOICE CLIP)

LEMON: He forces people to surrender the truth in the service of his lies. It's his M.O. But in case you see or hear this latest smear against Joe Biden on social media, in case you hear someone talking about it over the weekend. Just remember, this is the man who is critiquing Biden's performance, his delivery, his communication skills. This is the man. This is President Donald Trump in his own words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Michigan gave us the Motown. gave us Motown, gave us the Mustang.

When they gaze upon Yosemites -- Yosemites towering sequoias.

And what we saw at pleasure what a name right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. That's it.

TRUMP: But what we just saw we just left pleasure, the paradise. Minneanpolis (Ph).

Our army manned the airport. It run the ramparts. It took over the airports, the same spirit that drove Americas for our wonders.

But 2 Corinthians, right, 2 Corinthians, 3:17. That's the whole ball game.

Person, woman, man, camera, TV.

[22:15:04]

You know we just set another stock rocket. You saw that, right? The stock market. Blazing fast. Broad walk.

And you've really put a big investment in our country. We appreciate it very much, Tim Apple.

I hope they now go and take a look at the oranges, the oranges of the investigation, the beginnings.

Made a pivot table. Really, and I mean this was pivotal.

Ulysseus (Ph) S. Grant, Americans of all walks of lies (Ph) rose up.

The kidney has a very special place in the heart.

Heart, lung and liver trans pants (Ph).

Heroin alone, if you look at the heroin epidemic.

I am today starting the process of terminating the diversely (Ph) lottery program.

They delivered a swift and sweepian (Ph). You know that's sweeping. It was swift and it was sweeping.

You know, the little bing, bing, bing, boom, boom.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless Israel. God bless the Palestinians, and god bless the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And he has the nerve to critique Joe Biden? And do you buy into it? Watch that tape over and over. Think of that when you hear this president smear another man. And remember that the man who is criticizing Biden is the man who said everything that you saw on the tape, and more.

The man now occupying the Oval Office, while 193,000 Americans have lost their lives in the pandemic on his watch. Almost 193,000 dead Americans. No matter your politics, can we all agree? That is far too many dead Americans. Far too many, too much grief, I should say. Too many lives lost, too many left breft.

There you go. There is Manhattan, which brings me to tonight the 19th anniversary of the terror attacks on 9/11. That is the tribute you're looking at right now, the tribute in light, 19 years since we lost 2,977 people in New York City, Washington, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

On the day that overseas terror came home to the United States. This country and the world have never been the same. The years go by. Time passes. But we will never ever forget. And we will be right back.

[22:20:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: It was not a great week for President Trump as the campaign season kicks off in earnest. I want to bring in now CNN contributor Miles Taylor, a former top

official for the Trump administration in the Department of Homeland Security. Mark McKinnon is here as well, a former adviser to George W. Bush and John McCain. He is the executive producer of the show -- don't tell everybody I watch it over the week -- Showtime Circus. You can tell anybody you want, I guess.

Good evening, gentlemen. So good to have you on. Mark, let me start with you. This president is on tape admitting that he knew coronavirus was deadly early on. Admitting he downplayed it. But that's not -- that's not all of it. Right?

There was reporting that he was visibly distressed over the fallout from the Atlantic story. He learned that he called -- we learned, I should say, that he called war heroes losers, suckers. But then there's some on the, you know, apologist TV or Trump TV who says it was a great week for the president. Not a good week though, was it?

MARK MCKINNON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, it's not. Listen, I've been in at administration where Bob Woodward wrote books and I learned pretty quickly that the only smart response when Bob Woodward calls is no able English. Lo siento adios. You know, and the fact that he did hours and hours of it with no staff nearby is just not a great strategy.

And so, yes, we have, you know, the most credible journalist in our lifetime reporting, you know, not secondhand, not third hand source but direct from the president. And he's got the receipts. He's got the tapes, Don. That, you know, the thing that we expect our presidents to do because it happens to almost every president, is to lead in a crisis.

And what leading in a crisis means is you have to deliver bad news. You can't just say stuff to be popular or say stuff that people want to hear. You have to say things that people don't like and they don't want to hear. And sometimes it makes you unpopular to do that. But that's what leadership in crisis means, and that's what the Woodward book has reflected.

LEMON: Hello, Miles. Let's talk about this. Because there's been a steady stream of reports or books or direct statements from people who once work for this president now voicing alarm about him. You're one of them. Why now?

MILES TAYLOR, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean, look, I'd say this, I think a lot of people have reached their breaking point with this president. Some of us reached it sometime ago. But right now, is when the voters are conducting their review and deciding whether to rehire or retire Donald Trump. And that's the process that most people are in the middle of. So now it's the most important time for people to make those statements.

But I want to say something, Don. And that is, you know, this administration for the past few weeks has been trying to hang its hat on the fact that most of these critics are anonymous sources and you can't believe anonymous sources. Well, the dam is breaking. These people aren't anonymous anymore. They are sitting here right now on your show. Woodward is citing them by name in his book from Jim Mattis to Tony Fauci.

These people are coming out in droves and by name to talk about the President of the United States and his fitness or lack thereof for the office that he holds.

[22:25:00]

And this, you're right at the top of the show you said this has been a bad week for the president. But I think what's especially poignant today on 9/11 is that, in my view, we've had a president who had the equivalent of two 9/11's. Right? Russian attack on United State in 2016 that led into 2017 and then the coronavirus pandemic, two extraordinary crises.

And he could have been like George W. Bush and united the country in both instances. But Donald Trump made a choice. And in both instances divided the country, politicized the incidents. And as a result, has made it more difficult for America to thrive in the 21st century.

LEMON: Yes. He also had, Miles, a perfect opportunity around the protests in George Floyd to bring the country together. To actually have a substantiate conversation about race relations. Instead of doing that he decided to divide people and to use it for his political gain. And that was -- I mean, it was a moment. That was the moment when we all could have -- I don't know if you guys, either of you agree with me.

But when we all -- Mark, let me bring you in. Because we talked about this recently, remember, on my ride on the way home and I called you? That was a perfect opportunity for the president to talk about these things and to bring us together. It didn't happen, Mark.

MCKINNON: Well, it didn't. And then if you recall, and Miles, I'm sure that, you know, one of the proudest moments that I had before President Bush was when he called for people to stop attacking the Muslim community in 9/11. And that would have been a perfect opportunity for him to divide people.

LEMON: He did.

MCKINNON: And yet, it was unpopular with a lot of his base, by the way, most particularly with his base. But he did what he needed to do in a time of leadership to unite the country.

LEMON: Yes. Miles, would you want to weigh in?

TAYLOR: Well, look, -- yes, I want to add to that. I mean, look, I'm partly complicit to this, right? Because I stayed in this administration after Charlottesville. But we knew this was coming after Charlottesville.

LEMON: You did.

TAYLOR: And actually, incidentally tonight I'm in Charlottesville, Virginia. It's not lost on me. That we really knew who Donald Trump was when it came to race relations after that episode. And look, Donald Trump is not just the president for white America. He's the president for all Americans.

And in the past few months he has had black Americans saying to him, we feel targeted in our communities. And the president's response has essentially been, I don't care. I care about confederate statues and protecting them than I do the lives of black Americans in our country. That is as damming as anything this president has done.

And Don, you've made a really good point, he had the opportunity to stand up this summer. He didn't. He fanned the flames of those protests. My big concern is now the pump has primed for even worse civil unrest after the election. If the president doesn't constrain some of his lose talk about the election being rigged and things like that.

LEMON: Yes. And listen, fascinating conversation. I'm glad we got the chance to do it. Mark, we'll be watching the circus. Tell me what you -- just really quick. What do you have?

MCKINNON: Really deep dive this week on exactly what Miles just mentioned, election fraud. What is it? It is real? What is, Don, the president doing to fan the flames of voter fraud. And we talk about the postal issues about postal service, the mail-in balloting. We go to different states like Colorado and find out how they're doing it. And really take a deep dive into election security and how much of a problem it is or isn't for November.

LEMON: Showtime, Sunday night, we'll be watching. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it.

A top prosecutor looking into the Trump-Russia investigation resigning today amid reports of political pressure to put out a report by the election. To get one out before election day. I am going to speak with someone who has known her for decades. That's next.

[22:30:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: A top prosecutor suddenly quitting the investigation launched by the Attorney General Bill Barr into the origins of the Russia probe, raising major red flags about the investigation's motives and timing. Nora Dannehy resigning from the office of U.S. Attorney John Durham amid reports of political pressure to deliver a report before election day. Durham was appointed by Barr to lead the investigation.

So, let's discuss now with Harry Litman, former U.S. attorney and deputy assistant attorney general. Harry, good evening. It's good to see you. It's been a while.

HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Hi, Don. How are you.

LEMON: It's been a while. I'm doing well.

LITMAN: It has been a while.

LEMON: Thank you.

LITMAN: There's been this virus thing.

LEMON: Yes, I know. Keeping us apart. You --

LITMAN: Right.

LEMON: -- you have known Dannehy for, I understand for decades. You said she's solid, a solid gold professional. She's a long friend of Durham. What are you hearing about how this went down? What's going on here?

LITMAN: yes. So, first, all that is true. It's not like we're great friends. We start at the same time. Our paths crossed a lot. And I know her especially by reputation which is sterling, unimpeachable integrity and great judgment.

What is going on? The first thing I want to say is she didn't just leave his office, Don. She left the Department of Justice. For someone like her steeped in the culture of DOJ that is an absolute fire alarm. She didn't have to do it. She could have simply stepped aside from the probe, taking her time.

This is the strongest kind of protest that somebody can make. And it must have meant that they are being asked to do something that she feels is antithetical to what is means to be a prosecutor. That she couldn't even look herself in the mirror. And that's not withstanding as you say. She's very tight with Durham. He's the first one -- she's the first one he brought in. Her husband remains her top assistant. So, what does it mean?

LEMON: Well, this was --

LITMAN: Go ahead.

LEMON: It must be something egregious. I mean, for that, you know, like me, it sounds like me and Chris or something saying, OK, listen, I don't want to work with you anymore. I mean, it seems like they were tight aide, they were confidants and they worked together for a long time and all of a sudden, she just left.

(CROSSTALK)

LITMAN: And they still are, I think.

LEMON: OK. So, but --

LITMAN: I think they still and she doesn't want to hurt him. And it's not that Barr is making politicizing things because he's got a long string of violations here.

[22:35:06]

I think probably the probe has been pushed either to come out with a report before their work is done prematurely and for political reason or even worse, to charge someone in the shadow of an election in rank violation of DOJ policy. It has to be something like that that would cause a pro like this to say I am out of the department. That is like ringing a fire alarm on the fifth floor of the Department of Justice.

LEMON: OK. Because if she quit, you know, and we were -- you know, the show was talking to Elie Honig and he talked about, you know, this --

LITMAN: Yes.

LEMON: -- earlier. So, we've been discussing this as people are trying to figure out what's going on. If Dannehy quit over political pressure to deliver a report --

LITMAN: Yes.

LEMON: -- before election day, what does that do to the credibility of anything that comes out of this investigation? Won't people -- will people now look at it suspect like something is up with this? No?

LITMAN: Yes. Look, I think a little bit. The truth is it's always been a really contrived investigation. But it's also been the case that it's something for Trump's base. I think for most people they don't really think there's much to be said about this even if they come out and try to dirty up a few people from 2016.

But it maybe that it's the kind of thing that his -- that this base can -- can trumpet and that's really the sort of intended audience here. But I really got to repeat and second what Eli said, that for her to actually walk in this setting within the department, this won't play in the broader world. But in the department, this is among other things, a screaming indictment of the investigation itself in part of Durham.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: You think it's an October surprise that he's setting up some sort of barrier -- some sort of October surprise?

LITMAN: I do and I'll tell you why. I don't think political pressure is enough. She's a very strong person. She can stand up to it. I think it has to be something was jammed down their throats and her throat that just made her have to walk. And what would that be? That strikes me as a decision. As a come forward with the report, I don't care what you say. Come forward with the indictment, I don't care what you say.

It has to be something really strict like that to make her walk. This is of course my surmise. But that's -- that's how I read it.

LEMON: I wouldn't put anything past this administration.

LITMAN: Well, that's right.

LEMON: So, fasten your seatbelts.

LITMAN: Yes. LEMON: Thank you, Harry. I'm so glad we had this time together. I appreciate it. I'll see you soon.

LITMAN: Yes. Through the ears. Right. Good to see you.

LEMON: Thank you very much.

You got to see this. College students who knew they had coronavirus throwing a party anyway. And they got busted.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, everybody here has it. My gosh.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[22:40:00]

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LEMON: More than 42,000 COVID-19 infections have been reported among students, faculty and staff at colleges and universities nationwide. That's according to a CNN count.

But video is showing that some students might not be taking the pandemic seriously. Body cam footage obtained by CNN from the Oxford Police Department shows a group of students from Miami University in Ohio throwing a party over Labor Day weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's up guys? Who lives here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's obvious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some feel stable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yankee road caught out on fire by an Italian (Inaudible). It will be around traffic issues. They're going to need in this hotel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you probably know why I want to talk to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just too many people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, do you know what the ordnance is?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I mean, how many people live in the house?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eight. Eight people live here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So, kind of how it reads is if you have eight people in the house, that means you can have two people over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. We can get everyone out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, it's kind of handcuffed here, you know what I mean?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many people are in the house?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like ten of them just came by but they're leaving. They're going somewhere else. Maybe 20.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty people inside?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You might want to start clear them out, man. I've never seen this before. There's an input on the computer that you tested positive for COVID?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When was this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a week ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you supposed to be quarantining?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I'm at my house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have other people here and you're positive for COVID? You see the problem?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I mean, they were honestly all just walking by when we were out here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Medics 11 on --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many other people have COVID?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They all do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody has it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And everybody over here has it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think the two --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Respond with EMS, 6150, (Inaudible) road, 20-year- old female --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what we're trying to prevent. We want to keep this town open.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know what the issues is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's why I was staying home. I just walk down to --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know, but there were probably seven people, seven or eight people that left your house?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you told them to leave. So you're not quarantining if you're mixing with other people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One, one, forty, are you OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, everybody here has it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My gosh. Here's your I.D.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Wow. Probably not the only campus. Not too many tested positive but partying. We see college kids partying not socially distancing all the time. And here's the perfect example of it.

William Snavely is the vice mayor of Oxford, Ohio. My -- Mayor, thank you. I mean I was a college student once. I get it. But -- really?

VICE MAYOR WILLIAM SNAVELY, OXFORD, OHIO: Yes. I had the same reaction you did. And I think most of the people in this town did as well.

[22:44:58]

LEMON: When you see that these students admitting that he tested positive for COVID a week before, knew about the ordinance against large gatherings. Yet and still they're having a party. And there are other people who are positive. I don't -- I am told because, you know, they cover the video. There's no mask. No social distancing. What was your reaction?

SNAVELY: I think most people in our town were appalled but it. There's a mask ordinance in our town that we passed. There is also a mass gathering ordinance that we passed on August 18th. And so, you know, there's -- we've done what we can do and the police are trying their best. It's not always working.

LEMON: It's tough when you're that age. Because you think you're grown especially if you're a male. Your brain is not actually fully developed yet. I'm just -- it's -- I'm not lying. It's the truth. According -- it's -- according to the police report obtained by CNN, Oxford police cited six of the men who were at the house party and here's what police told CNN. Sorry. I'm sorry. I thought that was a sound bite. It's a quote.

Police said we would encourage Miami University students and Oxford students alike to practice all the proper preventative measures in avoiding the spread of COVID-19. We want to curve the numbers of COVID in our city and parties like this are not helping and are not acceptable.

So, the fines, I understand, start at $500. Is that enough to discourage this kind of behavior?

SNAVELY: Well, that's a really good question. The first offense is $500. The second offense is $1,000. I think the real enforcement comes that these are reported to the university. The university then says that they will have disciplinary procedures against any of those students. So far there are, let's see, 141 pending cases. But we have not had anyone actually suspended that I'm aware of.

LEMON: What about expulsion? You're putting lives in danger.

SNAVELY: Well, in egregious cases they can do that as well. That's not up to the city, obviously. That's up to the university.

LEMON: OK. But has anyone been charged, any of those students charged $500?

SNAVELY: Yes. Yes. We've had 73 citations and six mass gathering citations. So, some of the citations are for littering and device --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Are they going to pay or are they going to give for -- are they going to pay those citations, the $500? Or they're going to go to court and the judge is going to say you don't have to pay. Because and then --

(CROSSTALK)

SNAVELY: Well, Don, that remains to be seen.

LEMON: -- (Inaudible) solve anyways.

SNAVELY: That remains to be seen.

LEMON: Expulsion. They should be expelled. Thank you. I appreciate it. Best of luck to you.

SNAVELY: Thanks for having me on.

LEMON: Stay safe. Stay safe.

SNAVELY: Yes. Thanks.

LEMON: Dr. Fauci warning things might not get back to normal until the end of 2021. Will this virus be with us longer than most people think?

[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Dr. Anthony Fauci expressing optimism today that we'll see a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this year or early next year, but he says it may be too late into -- maybe late, I should say, until 2021 before life in the U.S. returns to normal.

Joining me now is Ed Yong. He's a staff writer for the Atlantic who has a new piece in the magazine about America's ongoing battle with the pandemic. Good to see you, Mr. Yong. Thank you so much for joining us.

ED YONG, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: Hi. Thanks for having me.

LEMON: So, the influential model from the IHME is predicting 415,000 by January 1st, 5,000 more than they last report. And your article explains, you know, how come we're in such a dire situation here. Explain that to us.

YONG: You know, just to clarify. That model has had problems in the past of being inaccurate. I think regardless of what the actual number is we're in a bad situation. Cases are still rising, deaths are still rising, and I think part of the problem is that we keep on thinking about the pandemic in the wrong way.

We keep on making the same errors of intuition where we expect things to go back to normal too quickly. We look for single silver bullet measures to save us rather than put in a raft to different measures. We blame individuals too much rather than trying to fix the broken systems that have put us all at risk.

And these are errors that the White House has made, that you and I have likely made, or that many of the viewers watching this are making. And unless we change our mindset, we're going to keep on making the same problems when a vaccine arrives, when we enter the fall and winter, and when we enter into the new year.

LEMON: Look, you know, you've been paying attention to the news this week. The president is on tape admitting that he downplayed the virus from the beginning. How much of that contributed to what the country is dealing with right now?

YONG: It's certainly significant. I think Trump is a crucial part of what has happened. He has -- you know, this intuition that I've talked about we all make them but we rely on our leaders to lead us out of these circular spirals.

But instead of doing that Trump has deepened the problem. He has continuously downplayed the severity of the pandemic. He has told Americans that things are going to get back to normal quickly, pushing that instinct that we all have to want to return to our normal lives. He has biomedical silver bullet from hydroxy chlorine to convalescent plasma.

[22:54:59] He has just been the exact opposite of the type of leader we require. But that being said, you know, he's not the only problem here. A lot of people have made these same mistakes in thinking, and I think that Trump has widened and exacerbated a lot of vulnerabilities that America already had from its cultural state, to its healthcare system, to its underfunded healthcare system, to its nursing homes.

We need to fix all of that. This doesn't just go away if you elect different presidents in November although that certainly is a crucial part of controlling the pandemic.

LEMON: I think it's interesting how you call it, how you say that we're trapped in a pandemic spiral, and you write this. You say, stay at home orders dominated March, masks were fiercely debated in April. Contact tracing took its turn in May. Ventilation is having its moment now, one solution at a time. That doesn't work?

YONG: It does not work. We keep on looking for this one magic thing that's going to save us, and, you know, I say we in the grandest possible terms, like we in the press keep on bouncing from one hot topic to the other. People also do the same thing, and it doesn't work.

One thing is not going to beat one of the greatest crises of our generation. We need all of these things. We need masks, testing, contact tracing. We need social support for people who can't make safe options on their own because they don't have enough money, or they don't have that social safety net.

We need to put all these things in place. That is what other countries did. We in the U.S. apparently just seem to bounce from one thing to the other like serial monogamists, and then we ask why isn't the problem fixed. And part of that question implies maybe we just haven't found the right solution. It's just that we actually have the play book. We just haven't enacted it properly.

LEMON: I think what you're saying is so important, and it should be blasted out because I think you're 100 -- 1,000 percent right. It's not just one magic thing. It's all of these things, and that's not what we're doing. And I think you called -- you take the task of members of the news media as well, and I take that, I accept that.

So, I want to have you back. I thank you. Keep at it, keep on it and we appreciate it. Have a good weekend.

YONG: Thank you so much, you too.

LEMON: The calls are coming from inside the House. Less than two months to the election, and more and more former officials from the Trump administration coming out to warn Americans about it.

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