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CNN TONIGHT

Disasters In One Hitting U.S.; Trump Ignored The Virus From The Start; Catastrophes Don't Mind Political Affiliation; HHS Spokesman Under Fire; Israel And UAE Sign Peace Agreement; Thirty-Five Lives Lost From Wildfires; Two Deputies Ambushed In L.A. County. Aired 10- 11p ET

Aired September 14, 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: A hundred fever for days and days and weeks. Can you imagine what you would do if that were your kid? And yet, in this country look what we're doing with our schools. We're working on in assumption, you know, they'll be fine.

And even when they are playing it too careful, because look, I have been very clear with you, I'm not happy that my kids aren't in school. And I don't see these ideas as in conflict. Two things can be true at the same time.

I want many kids in school and I get that they screwed up the plan and they don't have the rapid testing and the right mentality to make it happen. But imagine being that father dealing with what he's dealing with himself and then your kid. This is going to be the reality for many in this country. And that is going to wind up being part of science.

Let me bring in "CNN TONIGHT" with its star, of course, D. Lemon. You know, this idea that the president doesn't like science, now it's what he doesn't like is truth that is not on the side of what he is selling. Because when it comes to the vaccine, he's all about that science, isn't it, Don Lemon?

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Yes, he is.

CUOMO: It's all about that science with the vaccine, right?

LEMON: Well, that kid knows more about science than you or I or the President of the United States. that kid has gone through it and he knows. And perhaps that president, that's who the president should take counsel from. Like that father and that kid because then he may -- he may change his tune. I don't know. But it's not expedient for him for -- politically expedient. So, who knows?

CUOMO: That kid said sometimes you just have to deal with the truth. And it's going to be sick, it'll going to be hard which you're going to get through it. You know, there will be, it will be better. That's more truth about the pandemic than we've gotten from the president.

But I'm telling you, it's not just that he questions science, and he's some critical thinker.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: He doesn't like it when it doesn't match his sell. But the vaccine he likes. So, if he's not about science why does he like the vaccine?

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Because it works for him.

LEMON: Let me tell you something. I'm concerned about that because I'm concerned about you in this long haul. I tried to get with you this weekend, our schedules did not link up.

CUOMO: That was on you.

LEMON: Come on.

CUOMO: That was on you.

LEMON: OK. So --

CUOMO: I asked you twice to hang out.

LEMON: I know. So, I didn't get the --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: It's what I'm saying. Talk about truth.

LEMON: I'm concerned about that. I'm telling you about a couple of things. I'm telling you I'm concerned about you.

CUOMO: Right.

LEMON: I'm also concerned about my family down south and make sure --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Because of the next storm.

LEMON: Because of the next storm. And I'm also concerned about the families and the officers in California. Because there's no excuse for that.

CUOMO: None.

LEMON: Zero, none at all. And listen, I think we should be very clear. Because I hear people conflating it to the protest or -- we don't know that yet. We don't know that. But what we know is something horrible happened. And there should be no excuse made for it. And I hope these officers get better.

My heart and thoughts go out to their families and also to the members of the department. But there's no excuse for that kind of violence. Listen, you can't create a life -- you can't bring a life back into

the world once you have taken it away. That is not your right as a human being to be able to do that. To kill a person like that. And so, I just hope I really hope that it's not connected to that. And, you know, I wish that it did not happen.

But here's what I will say, you cannot say in one voice that the rhetoric that's happening about police and reform and all that leads to that and then say that the rhetoric that the president is saying doesn't lead to violence or actions from others as well. Both are valid. The rhetoric can lead to that. And the president's rhetoric can lead to violence and to hateful things as well. They're both equally valid. So, you can't say one is valid and the other is not. They both are.

CUOMO: And as I was saying at the top of the show, we're caught in a cycle that's exactly what people say. They only want to accept the reality that backs their beliefs in the moment. But I'll tell you what. It is a window into the reality being a police officer.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: They do their job in a way that the rest of us never have to. Which is worrying is today the day that somebody tries to kill me.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And that's part of --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Well, that's part -- that's part of being a police officer, sadly. And listen.

CUOMO: Yes.

LEMON: And again, as I say, terrible, no excuse. But that's -- this guy signup. And like the firefighters, you know, I talked about 9/11 on Friday, these guys walked towards danger.

CUOMO: Yes.

LEMON: And that's their job. But their job is not to be ambushed. Certainly.

CUOMO: That is for sure.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: But I'm happy you're putting it out there. And you know what would be great if they wind up catching that guy because the community gives some tips. That leads to him. Because that happens all the time.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Where communities step up and protect the people who are protecting them.

LEMON: Yes. OK, sir, I got to run.

CUOMO: Please.

LEMON: get ready, get into my show.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: I'll just keep asking you when you want to see me.

LEMON: Thank you.

CUOMO: Don't worry about it. I'll never stop. I'll never stop.

LEMON: Are you a stalker? That was stalkery (Ph). I'm worried. I'm a little bit concerned.

CUOMO: I couldn't believe how late you went to bed last night.

LEMON: Security. Security. Did I text you late into the night?

CUOMO: No, I was sitting outside your window.

[22:05:02]

LEMON: Creepy. I'll see you later.

CUOMO: I love you, Don Lemon.

LEMON: I love you, too.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

Here is our breaking news. More from Bob Woodward's interview with the president. And this is really, really stunning. I want you to listen to what the President of the United States who is downplayed and denied the pandemic from the beginning. Listen to what he said to Woodward. This was, keep in mind, this is a while ago, right? Back on April 13.

(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This thing is a killer. If you're the wrong person, you don't have a chance.

BOB WOODWARD, AUTHOR, RAGE: Yes, yes, exactly. This is a monster.

TRUMP: So, this rips you apart.

WOODWARD: This is a scourge.

TRUMP: It is the plague.

(END VOICE CLIP) LEMON: OK. So why did I play that for you? Why is that important? it's

important because he knew. He knew the virus is a killer. A plague. Right? Those are his words. You heard him say it. Yet he didn't tell Americans the truth when he knew our lives depend on it. He hid the facts. Lives depended on it and he hid the facts. And now he says I didn't want to panic people. Come on.

So, what should we think tonight? With this country facing three life threatening crisis -- crises. We have the pandemic, the death toll getting closer and closer to 195,000. Wildfires are raging in the west. More than 3.3 million acres burned to a crisp in California. Deadly once in a generation fires in Oregon. Skies turning orange and clouds raining ash.

And there's also hurricane Sally already a category two. Getting closer and closer to the coast. And stronger and stronger. Taking aim at the Gulf Coast. It's like nothing any of us has ever -- has ever seen before. A hurricane, wildfires, deadly pandemic. All at the same time. And also, in the middle of a very consequential and important election.

So, we have all of this. And what does this president do? How does he respond when American lives depend on him facing reality and accepting the science, the facts? The evidence. What does he do? He ignores all of it. Putting his own supporters at risk tonight. Making a mockery of his own government's guidelines. Holding his second crowded indoor campaign event in two days against his guidelines. Against the guidelines actually of Arizona and of Phoenix. Ha, ha, ha. No mask. Woo, hoo, ha, ha. Really? Hardly a mask in sight in a packed crowd.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I think next year you'll going to have a fantastic year. It's going to be great. We're cutting taxes even further.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And we're going to have big growth. A lot of good things are happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Platitudes. Fantastic. Going to be great. Good things happening. Good things are happening. They're not. Can I just see the video of that crowd again? Please? Can we just play the video of that crowd? And this is the person who is supposed to -- look at that.

Shame on the president for leading these people into this situation. But they're adults. Why are they doing this? Adults who should know better. Science and facts. Good things are happening he says. Good things are happening? Well, not with the pandemic. But you wouldn't know it from that crowd. Not with the pandemic or the wildfires or the hurricane. But the president doesn't want to talk about any of that.

He is willing to risk the safety of his own supporters as I just showed you just for the picture of a packed crowd indoors so he can pretend everything is back to normal.

Are you the mark? Are you being used? Hey, ha, ha, ha, really? Are you willing to put your life in danger? OK, that maybe OK, fine. You want to do that. But what about other people's lives? What about the vulnerable in society? In your family that you are going to come into contact with after you go to this. You may not -- you may not -- fine, don't do it.

But think about someone other than yourself. But to believe all of that that the president is talking about you have to forget and what that crowd is doing that more than 5,000 people in Arizona have died of the virus. Bob Wood ward couldn't get him to understand that real people are suffering.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOODWARD: I mean there are parts of the book you're not going to like.

TRUMP: What won't I like, Bob?

[22:10:02]

WOODWARD: Well, just, you know, there is -- it's tough times. The virus as you repeatedly told me and as you've said publicly, it's derailed things. And it's a -- it's a big reality in people's lives as you know. So, I will get it to you and --

TRUMP: You know the market is coming back very strong. You know that.

WOODWARD: Yes, of course.

TRUMP: Did you cover that in the book.

WOODWARD: Sure.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: The markets. Now be honest with me, how many of you are in the markets? Or how many of you think the supporters are in the markets making tons of money? Donald Trump's New York friends certainly are. His rich buddies. Tons of money. Doing great.

But think about it, really? Does the market reflect your home life? How you are paying your bills. How you are paying your mortgage, how you are sending your kids back to school. How you concerned about even dying in the situation? Is that, the market reflects that? The stock markets?

It's not a reflection of the actual economy. It's about rich people really are doing. He does not want to talk about how Americans are suffering. He wants you to think everything is back to normal. Well, none of this is normal. And it's going to take science, it's going to facts and evidence to get us out of all this.

I have something to say. But I want you -- just listen to Joe Biden what he had to say about that. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hurricanes don't swerve to avoid red states or blue states. Wildfires don't skip towns that voted a certain way. The impacts of climate change don't pick and choose. That's because it's not a partisan phenomenon. It's science.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: If you really think about it. Think about hurricanes come from the south, a lot of the south red states. Actually, affect a lot of red states. So, there you go. But he is -- he is right. It is science. But this president has no respect for the science. None. California, the governor there, Gavin Newsom valiantly tried to convince him during a wildfire briefing in California today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): We come from a perspective humbly where we submit the science in and observed evidence is self-evident. That climate change is real.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And listen to this exchange.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we ignore that science and sort of put our head in the sand and think it's all about vegetation management, we're not going to succeed together protecting Californians.

TRUMP: OK. It will start getting cooler. You just --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wish --

TRUMP: You just watch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wish science agreed with you.

TRUMP: Well, I don't think science knows actually.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: That was California secretary of natural resources bravely speaking up for science. By the way I'm going to talk with him tonight. But that is just the most blatant example of this president dismissing science when it doesn't go his way. He's not the on one. His administration right in line with him.

Trump appointees at Health and Human Services reportedly pushing to change weekly science reports from the CDC in the middle of a pandemic. Why is that? Federal health officials tell CNN it was all about not contradicting the president. And then there's Michael Caputo, the top spokesman for Health and

Human Services going on a rant on Facebook last night accusing government scientists of sedition. And claiming with absolutely no evidence because there isn't any evidence, that a federal health agency has what he calls a resistance unit against the president.

So many conspiracies. Have you ever heard in your life so many conspiracies? So many people believing junk. And there's more. the longtime climate crisis skeptic appointed by the Trump administration to help lead NOAA. That the agency that oversees weather forecast and climate research. And it's not the first time that the president has tried to take science into his own hands as it were.

Remember when he showed up, showed reporters a map of the potential path of hurricane Dorian that sharpie drawing over Alabama? Remember that?

[22:15:02]

This is what I want to say to you before I finish up here. Everyone wants to get back to normal. Everyone wants their kids back in school. Everyone wants to be back in business and eat in restaurants, to open up.

This is the key. This is common sense. If Americans, if we had more buy in from first the administration, then the public, people had taken it seriously, socially distance, wore a mask, stop making excuses about when people said to wear a mask or not wear mask. Do what the scientists say.

More buy in, guess what? We would be like every other developed nation in this world. Either back to normal or well on our way back to normal. If only people had just abided by the rules when the scientists and the doctors said so.

Your kids will be back in school. You wouldn't worry about them. See, Chris is talking about the kid with the long haul. Restaurants would be open. All these things you'd be able to do right now. But the more you fight it the more you resist, the longer it is going to take.

With Americans in danger from a deadly pandemic, raging wild fires, another hurricane. This president is ignoring the science. He's ignoring the facts. I hate to sound, you know, like Donnie Downer here but it's hard to be optimistic a lot. But I would just want you to listen to what Joe Biden says today in the face of all of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: Americans face this historic inflection point. A time of real peril but also a time of extraordinary possibilities. I'm confident, I know we can do this. We will do this. This is the United States of America. We've seen the light through the dark smoke. We never gave up. Always without exception every time. We succeed when we try.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Wildfires, a hurricane, the pandemic, Americans are facing crisis everywhere you look and the president is ignoring the science that could save us.

Lots to discuss. Kaitlan Collins, Ryan Lizza, next.

[22:20:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: President Trump facing crisis after crisis tonight. But ignoring the science that could help us battle them. Like holding another packed indoor rally, indoor event but not respond -- not requiring, I should say, masks or distancing.

Let's discuss now with our White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins, and Ryan Lizza, the chief Washington correspondent for Politico.

Good evening to both of you. Kaitlan, I'm going to start with you because you are at the center of the action at the White House this evening. Tonight, the president is ignoring the science again with his indoor Arizona event. And then tomorrow, the White House is expecting a large crowd at the UAE-Israel signing ceremony. Masks are not required. And this is worrying Israeli officials. Right?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is. This is basically one event for the last 24 hours. Every 24 hours for three days where they have thrown all of these precautions that we've been taking for the last several months to the wind really. Starting with that rally in Nevada on Sunday. Then of course, what we saw on Arizona today where there was no social distancing and very few masks.

And then tomorrow the president has got this big announcement here they were going to be signing those peace accords. They've got the Israeli delegations, the UAE. All these delegations coming tomorrow.

And basically, what we're hearing is that there is concern from the delegations, the foreign delegations that will be visiting because masks are not going to be required at this event tomorrow.

Now it will be outside, Don. It will be on the South Lawn of the White House. Basically, where you saw the president gave his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination. But the concern is that there are going to be so many people here. I mean, it's just hundreds of reporters just alone. Not including all the guests that the White House has included.

And so, what you see in Israel, you know, they are about to go into a three-week lockdown where you can barely leave your home. And yet they've got their entire delegation of reporters and diplomats and a state official coming here to the White House where they're not sure about testing.

So, what the White House did told us tonight is that there will be a large crowd here at the White House tomorrow. The foreign delegations are going to be tested. At least the reporters will be before they get here to the White House tomorrow. But we should viewers they don't test all of the American reporters at an event like this. They only the ones who could get near the president. But the rest of us will not be tested ahead of this event.

LEMON: So, he tests people who are going to get near the president, near him. But then he brings people together. They're not tested and they're not socially distant. So, it's really, he's concerned about himself but not anybody else in the crowd.

COLLINS: Well, that's kind of what he told the Las Vegas Review Journal when they ask, you know, that rally in Nevada which was indoors on Sunday, are you worried about getting COVID? And the president said no, because he's on the stage away from everyone else.

But of course, all of his supporters are there mingling with one another, very close together. That's how to be for the rest of us tomorrow. And we even saw it today at that coalition. The president was the only person socially distanced from everyone else.

LEMON: Yes. Ryan, I want to ask you about what's happening in California. But do you want to weigh in on this? Because it just seems ridiculous and outrageous to -- he's putting people's lives in danger.

RYAN LIZZA, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. Members of the White House press corps are concerned about this. Just as a contrast. If you went to Joe Biden's event today in Delaware, this speech he gave. As a reporter they had a very, very limited group, everyone was six feet apart. You were required to wear a mask and gloves the entire time. So that's how the other candidate and other campaign is dealing with this.

[22:20:00]

I mean, some people -- you know, some people in the press corps roll their eyes and think it's too stringent. But it's just we're living in two different worlds with the Biden campaign and the Trump campaign.

President and the White House almost as if the pandemic is not a problem. And the Biden campaign treating it as deadly serious. So, and you really see that as reporter when you read the guidance in these events where you show up.

LEMON: Yes. But most Americans are still complying with these rules and this guidance in their own lives. And then they see the president doing this. But there are people are making sacrifices and then the president just throws it in their face and say, you know, I have loved ones who really have barely left their home -- homes since March because they are in hotspot. And it's just really frustrating for me to watch it because that's why they're still in their homes. Because there are people who are not taking it seriously.

Listen, Ryan, we'll talk to you. I'll get -- I'll talk about California just a minute here. We're actually going to go to California and talk about those things.

But thank you very much. I appreciate it. LIZZA: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: The world's largest vaccine producer is warning it could take until 2024 to vaccinate everyone. More on that next.

[22:30:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So new tapes revealing President Trump claimed just last month that nothing could have been done to contain the virus. Despite admitting to Bob Woodward months before that when he was downplaying the pandemic to the American public.

The president also telling Woodward in April that the virus is a killer. But tonight, despite that killer virus he's holding yet another crowded campaign event, little social distancing, or mask wearing.

Dr. Harold Varmus is here. Dr. Varmus is a former director of the National Institutes of Health. Doctor, a pleasure. Thank you so much.

HAROLD VARMUS, FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: Thank you, Don. Thanks for having me again.

LEMON: So, let's get -- you have spent decades in medicine. You've won a Nobel Prize for your research. Is there more that this country could have done?

VARMUS: Obviously. There's -- yes, a lot could have been done early on. More effective testing especially and a better public health response that was uniform with respect to the voices that we're telling people what to do. And how to behave to diminish spread from one person to another.

LEMON: Has anything changed in terms of being able to have crowded indoor gatherings without social distancing or masks?

VARMUS: No. The situation is similar. The difference is that in parts of the country, for example, in New York City where I'm currently residing, the prevalence of the virus has diminished. And therefore, the chances of contracting the virus from any single person that you interact with has diminished. But the general precautions that we should take have not changed.

LEMON: Listen, and I live here too. Listen, there's always exceptions. But when you walk around or you travel around New York City in the surrounding area, most people are wearing a mask.

VARMUS: Correct.

LEMON: Absolutely wearing masks.

VARMUS: Yes.

LEMON: Yes. And so, to see what's happening in those crowds, that is shocking.

Listen, sources telling CNN that Trump appointed HHS officials push to change the language in weekly CDC reports on the coronavirus. How damaging is that kind of interference?

VARMUS: Well, it's terrible. I mean, the weekly morbidity and mortality report the CDC has issued for years is the life blood of public health. When I was a medical school professor teaching microbiology - I teach other things now - I relied on that as the most trusted source of information. It should not be touched by anybody who has a political agenda.

This is information that should be shared throughout the medical community. And among people who are interested in particular diseases and with public health officials.

LEMON: Yes. Doctor, there's so much to talk about. We'll have you back to continue this discussion. Thank you so much. Our time is a little bit short tonight. Thank you. I appreciate it.

VARMUS: OK. My pleasure.

LEMON: Thank you.

VARMUS: Nice to be here.

LEMON: At least 35 people dead in wildfires raging out west. This a is big story that we need to get too this for you. And there's a hurricane bearing down in the Gulf Coast. Where to watch out. Next.

[22:35:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: This is serious business, you all. An enormous portion of this country is burning right now. There is no other way to say it. Wildfires continue to rage out west where record breaking temperatures and a lack of rain have only made things worse.

At least 35 people have already been killed. With at least one major fire being reported in the 10 western most states in this country.

Our correspondent is CNN's Dan Simon. He's in Butte County, California. He joins us now with more. Dan, good evening to you. There's no other way of putting it. I mean, it is -- we have a big portion of this country on fire. Where are you -- I can -- what's the -- where are you now and what's the situation like on the ground?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hey, Don. We're just in front of this check point here in Butte County. No cars are allowed past those cones. Just because it's too dangerous. You have downed power lines and so much destruction. Over here you can see this fuel tanker behind me helping out the firefighters who have come and might need gas and they need more fuel to do their jobs.

But no doubt, Don, folks around the country have seen the images all across California and throughout Oregon. These disturbing images of destruction. But I'll tell you what. There's no place that got it worse than Berry Creek, California. A small community about 200 miles north of San Francisco. We spent some time there today. Even the towns fire station burned down.

That gives you a sense of how quickly the fire spread. The towns volunteer firefighters could not get to the station and get their equipment out of there. Even their own homes burned down. The school burned down. Of course, they were going virtual but not an easy thing for kids to deal with. Of course, most of the homes burned down as well. I happened to have run into two county board of supervisors. Take a look at what they had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TAMI RITTER, BUTTE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: We're not in control. We are not in control of fire. I think we're going to see more and more climate events just like this. This isn't going to bet better. This is going to get worse. And there is going to be effects from this fire such as run off and tap soil that goes into our waterways. And we're going to be dealing with the effects of this for a very long time.

DEBRA LUCERO, BUTTE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: I can tell you everybody is very weary. We are all weary. Our staff is weary. The community it is in a lot of mental distress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[22:40:02]

SIMON: And at least 15 people died in this north complex fire. Two people remain unaccounted for. And this is the same county, Don, that two years ago went through the campfire. The deadliest and most destructive wildfire in history. They lost 14,000 homes two years ago in the town of Paradise, 85 people dead. And they're just in the early stages of rebuilding in Paradise. So that gives you a sense in terms of the long road ahead for the people there in Berry Creek. Don?

LEMON: Dan Simon. Dan, be safe. Thank you for updating us. We'll check back with you.

Meantime, we want to talk about hurricane sally. Continuing to strengthen as it approaches the Gulf Coast. It's now a category two with the -- with sustained winds of 100 miles per hour. And out of bands are now being felt in the Panhandle of Florida.

The National Hurricane Center warning it could be a major hurricane by the time it's expected to make landfall tomorrow night.

Let's discuss now with CNN political commentator -- CNN Political Commentator, Mitch Landrieu, the former mayor of New Orleans joins us now. Here we go again, Mayor.

MITCH LANDRIEU, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hey. Yes, sir.

LEMON: Thank you. How are you doing?

LANDRIEU: I'm doing fine. Tough times. No doubt about it.

LEMON: Yes. You know this --

LANDRIEU: And I'm --

LEMON: I'm sorry, go on.

LANDRIEU: I know you want to talk about the hurricane. But you know, whether it's the hurricane or the wildfires, the pandemic, it is within this country's bandwidth to deal with these problems. You actually see recovery seamlessly happening on the hurricane as you speak where the governors of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida are coordinating. They're trying to work in concert with the federal government. They're fighting one fight.

People have to lean into this thing and understand it. Know about it and prepare. And do what you need to do in order to get out of harm's way. And there's a lesson there whether you're fighting the pandemic or the wildfire as well. And of course, our thoughts and prayers go out to our friends on the West Coast.

LEMON: Yes, absolutely. Listen, you know the area extremely well. I know it well. We used to vacation in the Panhandle, right?

LANDRIEU: Right.

LEMON: And Pensacola and Panama City. For hurricane Katrina I was in Pass Christian. And of course, you know, I know New Orleans.

LANDRIEU: Right.

LEMON: So, listen, is the Gulf Coast ready for another big storm?

LANDRIEU: Well, here's the thing. Don, last week we had Laura that hit (Inaudible) and Cameron Parish. And it brought back to mind Rita which came three weeks after Katrina happened. This particular storm reminds me of Isaac that hit us in 2012. It's a category two or one so people can be lulled into thinking it's not going to be that bad.

But the problem is this storm is moving very slowly. At eight miles an hour. And so now I'm going to recall for you Camille.

LEMON: Yes.

LANDRIEU: That morphed into a very large thing. But if folks don't listen to the local officials and get out of harm's way, there could be some significant storm surge that moves in to Pass Christian base St. Louis, Mobile and Pensacola depending on the where the storm goes. And it's moved quite a bit to the east in the last 24 or 48 hours.

I would say to everybody that's in the cone of discomfort, really be listening to your governor and to your local officials about what to do. And please heed their recommendations.

LEMON: Yes. Listen, you did a shout out to the folks out west. And we're all thinking about the people out in California when --

(CROSSTALK)

LANDRIEU: Sure.

LEMON: -- there was all these wildfires. There was this remarkable exchange today though at that briefing about the wild fires when the president literally denied the science behind this climate crisis to Wade Crowfoot, the secretary of California's Natural Resources Agency. He actually said that he doesn't think science knows. What did you think when you heard that?

LANDRIEU: Well, I mean -- I mean, what can -- what can you say besides falling down and just shaking your head. He said he knew more than the generals. He knows more than the scientists. He knows more than the doctors.

The truth is he doesn't know anything. And the reason why he doesn't know anything is because he puts his head in the sand when a danger is coming. That is the absolute worst thing that a leader can do.

Listen, the people of America are strong. Don, you and I saw this with the people of New Orleans and Louisiana where Katrina was coming. People knew what was happening you told them the truth. You know, it hit us and then all of a sudden people came in and helped. It's within the American public to face catastrophic events.

But if you put your head in the sand and you don't prepare your folks for what's coming in your way, shame on you. And he knows better. I don't -- you know, listen. I don't -- I'm kind of tired of worrying about him. We have a chance in this country to do what needs to be done in a couple of weeks and pick a new leader. That leader then needs to take us through the hard decisions that have to be made that are going to hurt. And that are going to take time.

We're not going to blink and have the pandemic go away. Climate change is clearly with us. We have to address that issue as well. And then we have to get back even over our political differences finding common ground when we're trying to respond to non-partisan threats that are coming our ways. That's what's going to save the United States of America. And we need to get -- to get about it. And just stop listening to the president. It's just going to give you a headache and nightmares.

LEMON: If I would give -- here's a socially distance fist bump. Because it's just, you know, some of the things he says are so asinine that I even I hate playing it on the news because --

(CROSSTALK)

[22:45:04]

LANDRIEU: What are you going to do?

LEMON: What are you going to do? He's the President of the United States. LANDRIEU: I thought what you're going to do --

LEMON: It's just so ridiculous. The science are really -- we're not --

LANDRIEU: Well --

LEMON: -- there's no science, there's no truth, there's no facts anymore.

(CROSSTALK)

LANDRIEU: Let me say this.

LEMON: There's alternative reality, alternative facts.

LANDRIEU: What -- but here's the fact, Don. Donald Trump has used the power of the presidency to hurt people and to let people get hurt. And now the people of America have the power to take that power back and to give it to somebody else. That's -- that's the most selling set of facts that Americans should be thinking about at this time.

And even if you happen to agree with him on some issues there's nothing worth the loss of life in terms of returning him back to office. He already told us very clearly, he knew the pandemic was a problem. He knew it was five times worse than the flu. And yet he continued to do what he did.

And if anybody else done that they would have run him out of office a long time ago. So, everybody knows what to do. This is not rocket science. We can actually get things done if we focus in on them. And if we see the threats coming our way and we trust the American people enough to do what they know is in their best interest. Then we can get there. But it's not -- it's not going to go away on its own and we're not going to wake up one day and have it disappeared like magic. That's not going to happen.

LEMON: Yes. I can tell people who to vote for. I can tell them to vote. And I can also point out the absurdity of what this administration and this president what they say and what they do.

Listen, and you were speaking of because you are advocating there for Joe Biden. So, let me just talk about Joe Biden with you. He has been hammering President Trump on his leadership during this climate crisis. Pointing out our climate crisis is non-partisan and who it impacts.

You dealt with the aftermath of the storms, right, as mayor of New Orleans and as lieutenant governor. Most leaders get that. But what's different when it comes to President Trump? Why doesn't he get this? What's going on here?

LANDRIEU: I'm not -- I'm not sure he doesn't get it. I think that all he thinks about is returning himself to power and not --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Well, you're right. Because if you listen to the conversation with Woodward, he gets it.

LANDRIEU: Right.

LEMON: He says it in private. But he doesn't say it in public. Sorry to cut you off.

LANDRIEU: Well, you know, no, that's OK. You know, I was actually not only was I startled by what he said to Bob Woodward on -- about what he heard on February 7. But he sounded very lucid. He sounded like he understood it really, really well. And then he went out and basically manipulated the information and did not tell the American people what was coming their way.

I mean, the first order of a leader is to protect lives. That's all we think about when we are preparing for a hurricane or whether it's pandemic or a wildfire. The most important thing is to protect life and then property. And then you think about everything else otherwise.

It's unconscionable for somebody that's in a leadership position for their own selfish interest to not tell the truth and have people get hurt. So, I think the American people see that. They know it. They know it's facing them. I really wasn't speaking about Joe Biden. I was speaking about Donald Trump. It just so happens that Joe Biden is running against him. I think Joe Biden has what it takes to be a good president.

But be that as it may. In my opinion, the president has disqualified himself from being our protector. And so, I would just say to the American people that instead of worrying about the power that Donald Trump has consistently abused, let's just exercise the power that we have to kind of re-stabilize our country, re-stabilize our democracy. And then we will figure out in the next couple of years what it is that we need to do.

Because the pandemic will be with us for a while. We know that climate change continues to threaten us dramatically. And as a country we have to, we have to really grapple with this issue. Because they are going to be difficult. But it's not something that we can't handle as a country. We have been in tougher times than this. As tough as this one is.

And it is a very distinct time to be clear. And we are at a moment of deciding. And you know, it's not going to happen on its own. We have to make it happen ourselves.

LEMON: Yes.

LANDRIEU: The president is not going to say --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: You're making too much sense, home boy. You are. I'm not saying that formally. He's my home boy.

LANDRIEU: Sure.

LEMON: I'm from Louisiana.

LANDRIEU: I just say -- I just say true that.

LEMON: True that. But listen. I got to say, it's interesting when you said you weren't advocating for Joe Biden. It just so happens. It seems that way because when the truth is not on the administration side, it seems like, you know, that's where you were going. But it's not where you were going. You were just pointing out, as I said --

LANDRIEU: Right.

LEMON: -- the absurdity in all of this. And I agree with you. We have to stop focusing on the B.S., the lies, and whatever. And actually, get people to figure out how to deal with this and help America. I got to run though. If you are going to say it quick, do it.

LANDRIEU: I'll just say, like not to get too parochial, but to who that nation understands this clearly.

LEMON: Yes. Who, that? You saw the Saints this weekend. All right.

LANDRIEU: I did. I did.

LEMON: Thank you, sir.

LANDRIEU: They are very good.

LEMON: Be safe down there. We appreciate your advice and your leadership.

LANDRIEU: Thank you.

LEMON: I'll talk to you soon.

LANDRIEU: Thank you.

LEMON: I talked about this at the top of the show with Chris. There is a manhunt underway tonight after a gunman ambushed two L.A. County deputies. Those two deputies are now fighting for their lives. We're going to talk about it.

[22:50:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So, take this. A new image of the moments after the ambush shootings of two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies. Both deputies survived. They are in the hospital right now. And I have to warn you that the image is graphic.

In the image you can see the female deputy who was shot in the face in the attack, that she's there aiding her fellow deputy who was also shot several times.

The 31-year-old female deputy also a mother, saved the 24-year-old male deputy's life by applying a tourniquet and calling for help, that's according to L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Now there is a massive manhunt for the person responsible. This is what happened and I have to warn you again that this video is disturbing to watch.

[22:55:00]

So, in this video you can see the suspect walk up to their official vehicle Saturday night in Compton. Fires multiple shots and then takes off.

Let's be perfectly clear here. There's no way to describe this is anything other than an ambush, an attempt at murder. It is wrong. This person should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. A department official says the two deputies are no out of surgery. Both deputies are new to the beat, they were sworn in 14 months ago. Officials in L.A. are angry, obviously.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEX VILLANUEVA, SHERIFF, LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: That was a cowardly act. The two deputies were doing their job minding their own business and watching out for the safety of the people on the train and seen somebody just walk up and just start shooting on them. It -- it's a -- it pisses me off.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Tonight -- and he should be. He should be. Tonight, the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department is increasing a $100,000 reward to $175,000 for the information leading to the arrest of the suspect. Both President Trump, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden condemning the shooting. We all should. It was and is an act of crowdedness.

We're back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)