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Trump Now Blaming Beto O'Rourke For Gun Deal Delays; Washington Post: Trump's Communications With Foreign Leader Part Of Whistleblower Complaint; Chelsea Handler Confronts White Privilege In Documentary. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired September 18, 2019 - 21:00   ET


[21:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: --find that terribly exciting that those things are real.


COOPER: That those videos are real.

CUOMO: It's clear. Look how a fuse of your emotion is.

COOPER: I rarely get this emotion.

CUOMO: I mean, this is - this is crazy. You're blowing my mind here.

COOPER: You don't think it's--

CUOMO: Anderson--

COOPER: You don't think it's--

CUOMO: I do. I do. I'm--


CUOMO: --I'm right there with you.

COOPER: Appreciate it (ph).

CUOMO: It's just everybody shows it in different ways. I'm just - I'm just sitting here basking in your life, Brother.


CUOMO: Basking in your life. Anderson, have a good night.


CUOMO: I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME.

We have two big voices tonight, making a lot of waves, as they take on two of America's biggest, most systemic and intractable problems, racism and gun violence. Chelsea Handler is here, and so is Beto O'Rourke, in just moments.

So, what do you say? Let's get after it.




CUOMO: President Trump seems to have a new scapegoat for his own inaction on guns. Guess who?


BETO O'ROURKE (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.


O'ROURKE: We're not going to allow it to be used against a fellow Americans anymore.



CUOMO: Crowd loved it at the debate. But now, the President is seizing on that moment, from Beto O'Rourke, arguing it has thrown a torpedo into his gun reform talks.

"Dummy Beto made it much harder to make a deal. Convinced many that Dems just want to take your guns away. Will continue forward!"

O'Rourke argues the only thing stopping us from ending this epidemic is the President, and his "Cowardice." He is here exclusively to make the case.




CUOMO: Always a pleasure.

O'ROURKE: Thank you, Chris, for having me on.

CUOMO: All right, so let's state the proposition. Are you, in fact, in favor of gun confiscation?

O'ROURKE: Yes, when it comes to AR-15s and AK-47s, weapons designed for use on a military battlefield.

The high impact, high-velocity round that is fired from those weapons, when it hits your body, expends all of its kinetic energy, destroying everything that's inside. And I've met those who've survived fire from an AK-47. I've met those who've lost a family member. That belongs on the battlefield, does not belong in this country. So,

when it comes to those weapons, Chris, the answer is yes. But when it comes to firearms used for hunting or self-defense, the answer is no.

And I don't want you or anyone else to get into the fear-mongering that some have fallen prey to, saying that the government's going to come and take all of your guns. What we are talking about exclusively is weapons of war that have no place in our homes.

CUOMO: I hear you.

O'ROURKE: No place on our streets, and should remain on the battlefield.

CUOMO: I hear you. We'll talk law first and then politics. It's not about fear-mongering. You just said it, Beto. You said you're going to confiscate guns. I don't think you can do it legally.

The Heller case makes it pretty clear that there's an individual right to own. And I don't think we've ever seen the U.S. government do a taking of private property like what you're suggesting. So, I'm not fear-mongering. I'm repeating what you're saying.

O'ROURKE: So, you - you listen to a Justice like Antonin Scalia, you know, not the most liberal Justice, who'd served on the Supreme Court.

And even he found that there is no absolute guarantee under the Second Amendment and that the government does have a power to regulate those kinds of weapons that are extraordinarily unusual or deadly.

And an - and an AR-15 or an AK-47, like the one used in El Paso, and I'm grateful that you came to El Paso, and - and saw and met some of those victims for yourself. In under three minutes, 22 people were killed, dozens more grievously injured, in - in three minutes, because that's what that AK-47 was designed to do--

CUOMO: Nobody will argue--

O'ROURKE: --on a battlefield. So--

CUOMO: --with you with the unique killing capabilities of these weapons. What has been experienced in this country is horrible. You and I stood next to each other at one. I have been to dozens, so I get you on that.

But just to be clear on the law and I'll get with you on the politics, but on the law, he said, "Yes, you can have regulations." But remember what they struck down. You couldn't even tell people how to store their weapons disassembled.

And he says, "Weapons in common usage get the protection of an individual right." The AR-15, for a good, bad, or indifferent, is the most commonly owned in the country.

O'ROURKE: Yes. Chris, I'm - I'm willing to fight that one all the way to the end because it is not common. It is unusual. And - and no one in this country, including owners of AR-15s and AK-47s, think that what is happening right now is OK.

They also have kids who are in school, who are afraid that it's not a matter of if, but when someone's going to walk into their school with a weapon designed for war and take their lives. We cannot continue to live like this.

[21:05:00] And those young people, those kids, especially, aren't standing for it. You listen to March for Our Lives formed after Marjory Stoneman Douglas by students who had survived these kinds of mass shootings, they, as well, are talking about a mandatory buyback as well as licensing and registration.

And you've probably seen this. A majority of Americans, and that's not Democrats, that's Democrats, Republicans--

CUOMO: Right.

O'ROURKE: --Independents, our fellow Americans want to see this happen. And through the power of law--

CUOMO: Not confiscation.

O'ROURKE: --by their Representatives in Congress, we're going to be able to make this happen. And I will sign that into law.

CUOMO: Not confiscation. First of all, look, you have a legal problem. That's fine. You know, you want to fight it? Fight it.

You have a more Conservative court now than you did back in 2008 when Scalia led the court on Heller. But that's the law. Politics, nobody's asking for confiscation the way you are.

In fact, Beto, you've never asked for it before, like this. You were in Congress. You didn't have this position. In the Senate race, you didn't have this position. You got an F from the NRA. But you weren't calling for confiscation.

Are you doing this to make a name for yourself in a very liberal field? Are you saying, "Beto is the farthest-left on this issue?"

O'ROURKE: You know, all across Texas, in 2017 and 2018, every one of those 254 counties, no matter how big, or how small, how Red, or how Blue, I was talking about an assault weapons ban.

And a lot of people said, "Look, that's not - not only not politically convenient. It's just not politically smart to do in a gun-owning state like ours." But I also know that Texas is a responsible gun- owning state.

And after what I witnessed in El Paso, what we saw in Midland-Odessa, you add to that what happened in Sutherland Springs, those are three mass shootings with weapons of war in just one state.

I can no longer escape the conclusion that if this gun is not right to sell, it's also not right to own. And having 15 million of them out there, those are all each and every single one of them, a potential instrument of terror.

And I'll tell you what. You saw it for yourself in El Paso, folks are terrorized. They're walking around and they tell me with a target on their back. That's how they feel right now. And knowing that there are--

CUOMO: I'm with you.

O'ROURKE: --people who are better-armed against them than some folks are on a battlefield, on the front lines--

CUOMO: I'm with you.

O'ROURKE: --in these wars that we're fighting, that strikes terror into their hearts.

CUOMO: I'm with you. People--

O'ROURKE: So - so we've got to do something about that.

CUOMO: --people are scared.

O'ROURKE: And I'm proposing to do that.

CUOMO: People are scared. They want to change. Just to be clear, banning them, an assault weapons ban, which supposedly Democrats may be meeting about sometime soon, is different than confiscating weapons out there already.

It certainly sent shockwaves through. And I want to ask you this. People want more protection. But what you said plays right to the heart of fear of people who don't want to give on any of this, Beto.

They're working a deal hard. I've been talking to Democrats that are involved with it. They felt they were getting somewhere. They don't feel that you helped because you played into the fear of a slippery slope.

Universal background checks, red flag laws, fixing NICS, making it more info share, doing real things, they may not be able to get it done if people are worried about confiscation.

O'ROURKE: Listen, if they had made some progress already, I might buy that argument.

But many of those Democrats are - are complicit in what we see right now. I mean, the Republicans are the most obstinate, and the most obstructionists, and the most in the pockets of - of the NRA.

But it's been a bipartisan problem that the Centers for Disease Control couldn't even study gun violence that--

CUOMO: True.

O'ROURKE: --here we are in 2019, and we still don't have universal background checks, or red flag laws or we allowed the assault weapons ban to expire, even though it did so much good, and saved so many lives.

So, this old policy and tactic of relying on polls, and allowing the NRA to set the terms of the debate, no longer works for me, and no longer works for this country.

I say, listen to March for Our Lives, and Moms Demand Action. And just everyday Americans, including gun owners, who are approaching me, and saying, "Listen, Beto. I own an AR-15. I don't need it to hunt. I don't need it for self-defense. I would gladly give it up. I have kids and grandkids in school. I'm worried about them more than I'm worried about holding on to this weapon of war."

So, the American people are there. That - that urgency just needs to be reflected in their leadership in Congress. It will be reflected when I'm in the White House.

CUOMO: Last question. If you were to get into power, whatever the office, and someone said, "I'll give you universal background checks. I'll even give - give you the private transfers. And we'll do red flag law. And we'll fix NICS. And we'll talk about a next step about what we won't allow to be sold anymore, but no confiscation," would you take the deal?

O'ROURKE: I will always move forward. I'll always take progress where we can find it. So yes, universal background checks absolutely will save lives. Red flag laws will do the same. An end to the sale of weapons of war, let's take that while we can.

But let's also be intellectually honest with one another. And if there's harm in selling them, then there's harm in the fact that 15 million of them exist out there. And any one of them at any time could be turned against us, or - or more importantly, and this is what I truly fear, against our kids.

[21:10:00] And - and if we're going to acknowledge that, then we also have to acknowledge that we have to do something about it, not politically convenient or easy, and I understand the point that you're making, but absolutely necessary if we're going to save the lives of our fellow Americans. And that's what I'm most focused on.

CUOMO: Look, everybody knows the problem. It's all just a search for a solution. Beto O'Rourke, thank you very much for making your case on our show. I appreciate it.

O'ROURKE: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right. All right, we have some breaking news on our watch.




CUOMO: OK. That big Intel Community whistleblower complaint, we have new information for it right after this break. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)







CUOMO: All right, we got breaking news, let's go through it together.

It's coming from the Washington Post. The headline is that this whistleblower showdown between the President's Acting Intel Chief and Congress now has a new twist.

A reminder, the Acting Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, has refused to hand over the complaint, after a subpoena from the House Intel Committee Chair, Adam Schiff.

[21:15:00] Now we're learning what that complaint may be about. Again, this comes from the Washington Post. It includes communication between the President and a foreign leader.

Their sourcing is two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter that this was about a phone call that the President had with a foreign leader. I'm going through it, as I tell you about it, just to be careful about it, and the process is as we understood it.

Somebody who knew about this phone call was concerned enough about the President making, what they term, a "Promise," that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an official in the U.S. Intelligence Community to file a former whistleblower complaint with the - a formal whistleblower complaint with the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community.

So now, here's where it - it gets sticky. If the I.G., all right, here's the law since Watergate, if the Inspector General finds something to reach a certain level of what they call "Urgent concern," they are supposed to turn it over to Congressional Oversight committees.

House Intel would be the logical place for something that is Intelligence-related to go, especially in light of this tacit agreement after Watergate, whereby Congress agreed with the Intelligence Community to handle confidential national security information a certain way, hence what you got with the Gang of Eight that only certain Congressional leaders will get certain sensitivities.

So, the question is, let's assume it's true. With who? That's not in here. Let's bring in Phil Mudd. Now, in this, they try to track whom he had spoken with. This complaint was filed with Atkinson's office, that's the Inspector General, August 12th.

In the preceding weeks, they have him talking, or - they have him on a call with Vladimir Putin on July 31st. They have him talking about at least two letters from Kim Jong-un. They have him maybe meeting with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Netherlands, and the Emir of Qatar.

So, let's just deal with the general notion here. Somebody says they heard something. As an Intel official, that troubled them enough to lodge a formal complaint to the I.G. How unusual?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL, FORMER FBI SENIOR INTELLIGENCE ADVISER: Boy, I'm about ready to blow a gasket. Can you explain - that is extremely unusual. And I listened to Presidential phone calls when I was an official at the White House under George W. Bush in - in 2001.

Can you explain to me, A, why it's the U.S. Intelligence Community's responsibility to listen to the President of the United States speaking to a foreign leader?

And, B, why did the U.S. Intelligence Community, under the rules provided by the Democrats in Congress, are responsible to report to the Congress what the President of the United States says?

Last I checked, Chris, when I served, we're responsible for chasing the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians, and terrorists. We're not responsible for reporting to the Congress what the President says. He can say what he wants, Chris.

CUOMO: So, you don't like that somebody snitched on the President?

MUDD: Correct. The question, if you have a - a whistleblower issue in the Intelligence Community might be is somebody misusing funds. For example, is somebody seeing something about covert action overseas, that is CIA operations overseas, that's inappropriate?

For example, when I was in the business, we ran black sites, secret facilities. Did somebody see something that was not only unethical and immoral but illegal?

CUOMO: In-house policing.

MUDD: Correct.

CUOMO: All right, so--

MUDD: Not what does the President say.

CUOMO: All right, but now hold on a second. What if he did say something to a foreign leader, that sounded like a promise, that went over the line enough that somebody of good conscience said, "He's not supposed to say things like this?" MUDD: Well pardon me. What the heck is over the line? The President can say what he wants to Putin. He can say what he wants to Kim Jong- un.

He can say to Kim Jong-un, which I think is completely over the top, "I'm going to go meet you in the DMZ, the Demilitarized Zone," despite the fact that we don't have any real agreements, as far as I can tell, on nukes and missiles.

The President can say what he wants. It's not the responsibility of the Intel guys to go police the President, and go snitch on him to the Congress. Ridiculous!

And now I understand. I didn't two hours ago. Now I understand why - why a former decorated SEAL, Maguire, the Head of the Intel Community was reluctant. Why does he have to go report on what the President says?

CUOMO: Well if they have an agreement, a rule structure in place that if a complaint reaches an urgent concern level to the Inspector General that Congress gets to see it, the obvious mechanism here is checks and balances that--

MUDD: I don't - I don't agree with that.

CUOMO: --if it's that big of a concern that somebody's got to check power, right?

[21:20:00] MUDD: I don't agree with that. I think Inspectors General, including those I saw, at both the CIA and the FBI, are excellent. We despise them because they're so tough.

CUOMO: Sure.

MUDD: But I want to ask the Inspector General why it is, again, the responsibility of the Intelligence Community guys to say "We got a complaint about what the President says. And we, the Intel guys, have to go report to Congress about what's going on in the White House."

The Intel guys, last I checked, reported on North Korea, and Iran, not on whether the President wants to make a promise to a foreign leader.

I am ticked off. This is completely inappropriate. And the Congress should not be asking the Intel guys to go snitch on the President, no.

CUOMO: So, what is the mechanism for policing what is done in the White House?

MUDD: Quit. Quit, and you can talk to the media, if you want, you can write a book, if you want. If you don't like what the President does, whether you're the Secretary of Defense, whether you're National Security Advisor, whether you're Rex Tillerson, you go quit.

You don't go say "Well I have a secret avenue to the Congress" that, in my view, is inappropriate to go explain why the Intel guys have to collect Intelligence on the President, exactly, by the way, exactly what the President alleges happened during the campaign. "The Intel guys are collecting on me, a politician." That's not what the Intel guys do.

CUOMO: Well unless they have reasonable suspicion. You remember when President Obama?

MUDD: Suspicion of what, Chris?

CUOMO: Hold on a second.

MUDD: Of a law?

CUOMO: Remember when President Obama was talking to then Medvedev, right, the putative President of Russia, even though Putin was always still in control.

MUDD: Yes.

CUOMO: And he said, "After the election, I'll have more room to work with you on this."

And remember how the Right was, you could say, reasonably worried, "What the hell does that mean? Why is he saying something like that?" There was curiosity. "What was he planning? What was he thinking?" There was a need for checks and balances, oversight, they wanted to dig.

Was that wrong?

MUDD: There's a different - there's a difference between saying does the Congress have the right to ask the White House questions, and have a right to critique the White House on political issues and engagements with foreign leaders?

There's a difference between that and the Intelligence Community say - and the Intelligence Oversight Committee saying, "You have a responsibility to report to us, you, the Intel guys, when you think - you think the President does something inappropriate that's not illegal."

The President can make promises overseas. That's not illegal. It might be inappropriate. Good luck to Adam Schiff and over - others to go hold the White House to account, not for the Intel guys to report on the White House. Not!

CUOMO: But if they don't give readouts of the calls, how else would anyone know what's being said?

MUDD: Why would they give readouts on the calls? The President has a - has a right to talk to foreign leaders without the Congress knowing everything he says. That's different than saying "Did he do something that broke the law?"

CUOMO: That's right.

MUDD: That's different. Did he do something that violated regulations on how you conduct Intelligence activities? If the President wants to kill - tell Kim Jong-un, or President Putin, "Here, I promise you this," and it's not illegal--

CUOMO: I hear you.

MUDD: --I don't know why the Intel guys would say that.

CUOMO: I hear you. I hear you. And I appreciate the analysis.

What I'm saying is I guess the open question for both of us is, what did he say, why did it concern this person enough to lodge the complaint, and does it go to what you're saying the threshold should be is--

MUDD: Yes.

CUOMO: --it was a violation of the law.

MUDD: You hit the--

CUOMO: We'll see.

MUDD: --you hit the nail on the head. The question is whether the - the individual heard something that he was so offended by, he felt he needed to report, or did he hear something that he thought reached the threat threshold--

CUOMO: Right.

MUDD: --of illegal. I would still ask the question, why did the Intel guys have to report that?

CUOMO: Right.

MUDD: Why doesn't he report that through another channel?

CUOMO: I hear you. Phil, I appreciate the analysis--

MUDD: Boy, I'm going to take a deep breath.

CUOMO: --from someone who did the job.

MUDD: Thank you.

CUOMO: Yes, it'd be nice. I thought you were going to pass out. It would actually be--

MUDD: That's all right.

CUOMO: --interesting to watch.

All right, you all know Chelsea Handler. She does not mind testing the edge, even if it makes people uncomfortable. In fact, she's hoping to do just that with her brand-new project, and particularly hopes the President will watch.

The comedian, activist, new documentary-maker, here, next.








CUOMO: White privilege. You've become familiar with the phrase. You hear it on this show a lot. It's somewhat of a cultural flashpoint, certainly during the Trump-era. Debates about race, class, politics, culture, they're all intensifying.

So, it is in that environment that comedian, Chelsea Handler, comes to the show tonight. She decided to tackle it. New Netflix documentary, "Hello Privilege. It's Me, Chelsea," here's a taste.


CHELSEA HANDLER, "HELLO PRIVILEGE. IT'S ME, CHELSEA", COMEDIAN/AUTHOR/ACTIVIST: And I'm really eager to have a conversation about what it is I can know more about and to illuminate to people who are not of color what it means to be of color in this country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Feel free to edit this out but - because I'm like really embarrassed to be here with you because this is just another example of White privilege, using your White privilege, and what are you going to do with it, other than come into this space, and take?


CUOMO: Chelsea Handler, thank you for coming on the show. And welcome.

HANDLER: Nice to meet you.

CUOMO: Not easy as a subject, not easy position for you either, in - in that room with the college kids, the other places and spaces you found yourself in, what surprised you most?

HANDLER: The inability of - for White people to admit - to admit to White privilege because what I think I've discovered - I think I read a line somewhere that says - that said "Equality, to those who've had it, feels like a loss."

So, like, if you admit that you are a beneficiary of White privilege that means to a lot of people, I - I have to start sacrificing things, and I have to give something up.

[21:30:00] And so, that really stuck with me, when I thought about it in that way. And I thought to myself, "What would I be willing to give up? Would I give away my house? Would I give away my money? Would I give away everything in the name of equality?"

And I thought well, you know, it made me think about all the things that I've done with my career that haven't been that thoughtful that I've just kind of cashed checks, and taken opportunities, because they were available to me, and never really thinking, "How did I get where I am? What is responsible for that? Is it - does my color of skin have to play a part?" And it absolutely does.

I thought White privilege was something over there, you know, for rich families, legacy families that went to Harvard and Yale that, you know, the Rockefellers, that type of thing.

I didn't think it applied to me because my father was a used-car dealer. It does apply to me. It completely applied to me.

CUOMO: Very poignant story in the documentary about your own life and your boyfriend.

HANDLER: Tyshawn.

CUOMO: He got mixed up with drugs. You would be stopped by police. You would have the drugs. He would take the collar.

HANDLER: He got arrested three times. I was let go by the police all three times. We were together. And then, through that, he was put in the system, and then he was not able to get out of it. Yes, he made poor choices.

CUOMO: He's African-American?

HANDLER: Yes. And he made poor choices. But he, you know, he - they were looking for him to make a mistake, and they were looking to let me off the hook for making a mistake.

And, at the time, I was 16. I didn't care. I didn't think about that. I just thought, you know, whatever, this sucks. But I didn't have the consciousness to actually think about what that meant.

And his whole life was ruined and derailed. And yes, he's in the documentary. And I go and meet with him. And we talk about his life and he's obviously out of jail now, and he's doing much better.

But, you know, I think a lot of us take our lives for granted because why wouldn't we, you know? We don't have anything to compare it to when you grow up White and privileged.

It is a privilege. It's a privilege to get pulled over and not worry if it's going to be a life or death situation.

CUOMO: True. So, people can identify the problem. We were talking, as a team, about the documentary before. Good news for you, it was provocative enough that it had us going for like 30 minutes, and we're bathed in these issues all the time, so kudos to you. But if you would ask people, White people, of any type, and let's be honest, Whites aren't a monolith, right? I mean you can have someone who's living in the Ozarks right now--

HANDLER: Yes, right, right, right.

CUOMO: --who's got a completely depraved (ph) existence. Do you believe that African-Americans are systemically treated unequally?


CUOMO: You'd get 85, 90 percent would say yes.


CUOMO: When you turn it though, and say, do you realize you are to blame for problems that they have, that's when you got the homina homina hominas--


CUOMO: --from a lot of people. It is hard to ask people to accept blame.

Two reasons. One, people don't like it. Second one is, not all have the same experience. So, some of them are like "Well I had to scratch and claw to get where I am," you know, like you were saying, "I'm not a Rockefeller."

How do you deal with those?

HANDLER: Well I mean, yes, people have tough lives.

It's not that every person who's White just gets this, you know, a unicorn on their driveway, and then sails off to wherever they feel like going in their life to, a college, and have this lovely life, this cush life. No, that's not the case.

But if a Black person and a White person run out of a grocery store, and that - and a White person stole something, the probability is that they're going to go after the Black person.

There is a privilege. Yes, I understand. There are plenty of people that don't feel that privilege that are White. But that's not what this is about. This is about recognizing that so many people are being discriminated against in so many levels.

And while anyone's being discriminated against, somebody is winning off of that, somebody is a beneficiary of that. So, it's about laying the table out, and starting the conversation.

Obviously, I don't have solutions for people to how to fix racism. But I want to be talking about it.

And I think that White people can afford to be a little bit uncomfortable with their conversations, and get real about treating people equally. You know, I - we owe people that honesty, and we owe people to show up to tough conversations.

I mean, saying I don't want to get involved, or I don't want to have a difficult conversation, is kind of, you know, we don't have time for that anymore. Let's get real and let's be honest. And that's the way forward. Once you admit something's happening then at least we can start to work together to fix it.

CUOMO: Well there's a two-step here, right? And the timing, I think, is also very interesting, this coming in the meat of the Trump-era. He is delivering this message 180 degrees from where you are.

He's saying, "They want to punish you for being White that diversity to the Radical Left means we're going to redistribute money and opportunity on the basis of color and situation, and White people have to lose in that."

He's doing that at the same time that you're asking White people own that you're a part of this problem and how to deal with it.

HANDLER: Yes. But it's - he's a perfect example of White privilege. Let's keep other people down, so we keep winning, so I can keep filling my own pockets.

At a certain point, if you really want equality, you have to be OK with other people succeeding. That's what it's all about. And there the - in - and he, and the Republican Party, at this point, are all about no one's succeeding, except for them. That's all they care about is money.

[21:35:00] I mean we have children going into schools who are unsafe. There are gun - I mean the NRA is running the Republican Party. Yes, that is White - that is the worst - it's like the pinnacle of White privilege is him.

I mean I don't talk to - about him too much in the documentary because it's nauseating. And I feel nauseous just talking about him.

CUOMO: But the message and the timing is going to wind up putting you as a point of contrast to what's going on in the Administration.

HANDLER: Yes. And but I think that that's what happens in times like these. Obviously, there are huge cross currents happening.

You know, we have an Administration that's trying to roll back women's rights, and then we have a movement like the Women's March. You know, those things are happening.

We have the legalization of cannabis throughout the country, which, by the way, your brother promised to legalize cannabis this year. What's his problem? Where is it?

CUOMO: He's got a legislature.

HANDLER: OK. Well he's got to hurry up because you guys are behind the times.

CUOMO: I'll give you his number.

HANDLER: Well give it to me, seriously like--

CUOMO: Yes, you can have it.

HANDLER: --don't make empty promises. Cannabis is a game changer.

CUOMO: You remember me promising to get rid of cannabis?


CUOMO: You do?


CUOMO: Me? Or is that just a guy who just looked like--

HANDLER: No, no, no, your brother.

CUOMO: I know that's not me.

HANDLER: No, no, no, but that's your brother, and you can talk to him. My sister's here. I'll tell her something. You can tell your brother something. Just keep it in the family.

CUOMO: Tell your sister--


CUOMO: --to talk to my brother about my brother's--

HANDLER: Sissy, talk to his brother, Andrew, right?

CUOMO: The point is this. Change is hard.

HANDLER: It is hard.

CUOMO: Things are complicated. And--

HANDLER: It is hard. But it's good.

CUOMO: --and that's when - but that's when it's almost like - I'll take cannabis, all right? You talk to police chiefs around this state, that's what's motivating the change.

They're saying "We're getting suffocated by these cases. Help us with our caseload. Help us punish things and process cases where the punitive value is real, not small bags, not small users. Dealers."

That's where that's coming from. And eventually, it'll get to where it's going to be. However, with what you're tackling here is no easy answer. It's not about legalizing something that's now illegal.

It's not about streamlining a system in a way that will make it more equitable than it is right now. And, on top of it, we haven't figured out how to answer the question, you're asking, which is you need to look at your role in this situation.


CUOMO: You got a lot of pushback in the documentary, and confusion, you know, well I don't know about it. It's either ignorance or veiled ignorance or people being uncomfortable with being made to blame for something they don't see themselves as to blame for. Sticky business!

HANDLER: Yes. Very sticky business, Chris. I would agree with that.

But I think that I - I think that we owe it to the entire - like our entire country to have a little bit more compassion and a little bit more empathy for everything we've done as a country.

It doesn't matter if I was here during the time, or not, or if my ancestors were responsible. It matters that it happened. And we owe all of the - the entire African-American community, we owe our voices to.

So, anybody who's not on board with that then you really need to think about what your priorities are.

CUOMO: One of the African-American women in the documentary, I think, summed it up very well.

She said you guys need to talk to yourselves about this to become comfortable with the idea of finding a solution. It's not about her telling White people, "This is on you. You're to blame."

It's for White people and people who have advantage to figure out how to make things fair, coming from a positive place, not about blame, not about negativity. I think she had it right. And I think you're asking really provocative questions in the documentary.

HANDLER: Thank you. Thank you. I think White privilege is a White people's problem, a White person's problem, and it's up to us to find some solutions to that problem.

CUOMO: Well for no other reason, you have White people in most of the power positions. So, if there's going to be change, they're going to have to have something to do with it.


CUOMO: Thank you very much.

HANDLER: Thank you, Chris. It was a pleasure.

CUOMO: Oh, the pleasure is mine. I always like to have my brother attacked on my show and have me--

HANDLER: No problem, no problem.

CUOMO: --made a posse for it.

HANDLER: Cannabis, let's go, New York! CUOMO: Not now though!

All right, that is the documentary for you to watch, "Hello Privilege. It's Me, Chelsea." Right now, on Netflix, you can get it.

Let's take a break. When we come back, I got to call my brother.

And then, we have a Seer of new red flags for President Trump's re- election bid. The new numbers from the Wizard of Odds, next.








CUOMO: New numbers, very different picture in the Democratic race for President. But the President may want to keep a close eye on the bigger numbers that go back decades.

This is about perspective. This is about relativity. And therefore, nobody beats the Wiz. The Wizard of Odds, Harry Enten, is here.

Thank you, Brother. All right, so this is the Fox poll.


CUOMO: Very different numbers than NBC.

ENTEN: Yes, at least in the Democratic race. So Biden actually is about the same, 29. He was at 31 in the NBC News poll.

The big difference here is Warren's only at 16, and she's actually down in this poll, compared to their poll a - a month ago, and Sanders is up in second place at 18 percent. Of course, the rest of these, you know, whatever.

But it's an interesting number, which I think gives you an idea that, at this point, what we can really say about the Democratic race is Joe Biden's steady at about 30 percent, and these two are basically fighting on for second place.

CUOMO: So, it's a - it's a big three. Now, there's a very interesting, and I would suggest, confused picture here. So, first we have, all of the main people are beating him--

ENTEN: Correct.

CUOMO: --by at least six, except for Harris.

ENTEN: Correct.

CUOMO: I don't even know why she's still included actually.

ENTEN: They - they polled her.

CUOMO: Right. So, now you show us why that's relevant over time.

ENTEN: Why is that relevant over time? So, I looked at where all incumbents were polling at this point since 1979, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama, all of them were either losing by five points, or winning, essentially.

So, at this particular point, Donald Trump is polling worse than any incumbent versus his probable Democratic nominees, any incumbent since at least 1979.

CUOMO: Reminder, look at George H.W., may he rest in peace, he was up 36, he wound up losing to Clinton. Now, people will say, "Well they had Trump losing to Clinton too, and he won so."

ENTEN: Well I got news for you. Look at this - look at this poll. This was back in 2015, September, at this exact moment, Clinton was leading Trump by only two. That was the exact margin. Trump is in worst point - worst position at this point than he was, at this point, back in 2015.

CUOMO: And yet something interesting that Harry told me about in this poll is that for all the numbers of people beating Trump, 46-40 people polled said and yet I think he wins.

Wiz, thank you very much.

ENTEN: Shalom, Brother.

CUOMO: There it is.

ENTEN: Got it.

CUOMO: Thank you, Harry Enten.

All right, here's something to ponder. Why is this President really taking away some of California's freedom to protect the planet? It's a special Don't Be A Sucker, my friends, next.








CUOMO: "Setting stricter air pollution standards, by ensuring cars get more miles per gallon, is a terrible idea," says this President. So, he's taking away California's ability to do just that.

This President says his move will make cars less expensive and make you safer. He says new cars will be extremely environmentally friendly. And he says his weaker standard will create jobs, jobs, jobs.

My argument is Don't Be A Sucker!

This is a high-octane hit job. It is really about this President wanting to undo Obama reforms, and not liking California suing him over his anti-climate science and anti-immigrant disposition.

Some background. The President is using a lot of horsepower to rollback fuel economy standards for cars across the country, as part of this Obama-undoing. His Administration has rolled back 53 environmental regulations so far, another 32 are under way.

[21:50:00] He's withdrawing from the Paris Accord, loosening rules on greenhouse gases, and methane, revoking rules protecting water from pollution, considering oil and gas drilling in national parks, things that affect your air, your water, your parks, your safety.

So, he sees enemies in states, including California, that have been realizing the obvious need for efficiency, and responsible car- building. 13 states, plus D.C., have adopted California's rules. It's a lot of cars.

The irony is California started setting its own standards to combat pollution under the leadership of Governor Ronald Reagan.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: During the Administration of Ronald Reagan, you felt proud to be an American.

I evolved just like Ronald Reagan evolved.


CUOMO: Not that proud, I guess, and not that evolved. Unless you believe the more inefficient a car is, the better. So, here are the facts.

Trump says reducing standards will make cars cheaper. Not really! Maybe the initial cost would come down. But a Consumer Reports Analysis says it will end up costing you $3,300 more per vehicle because you're going to be paying more for gas.

Second, Trump says, lives will be saved because with lower car prices, more people will trade in old cars, and buy new cars. But EPA staffers say the Administration trumped-up the numbers, overestimating how many people would buy new cars, because of removing efficiency standards.

The most Trumpy claim is that making cars less efficient will be good for the environment. He offers no proof because it's absurd. Pollution from tailpipes is the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

Lastly, the President says this will create jobs. Wrong! Again, he should look to his own Administration.

An Environmental Adviser, picked by former EPA Chief, Scott Pruitt, put it in stark terms. 236,000 fewer jobs will be created by 2035 under Trump's frozen standards than if Obama-era standards stayed intact.

Why? Innovation drives production and demand. Any clear mind that embraces the facts must see that this is a power play, not a play for the people.

His rollback is so wack that even big-name carmakers are against it, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, BMW, they've all already agreed to maintain - maintain higher fuel efficiency standards.

Bottom line, he is trying to get California to fall in line with his warped notion that helping the environment is somehow un-American, that pushing for progress, that means less coal and fossil fuels that that's bad for workers in those spaces, and that means it's bad for us overall.

Somewhere, the spirit of Ned Ludd is smiling because not since the Luddites in England have we seen a rejection of technological advancement like this.

Our cars have never been faster, more powerful, or more efficient. That's because technology takes us forward. America is always striving to be first, not fighting for ways to be the worst.

So, my brothers and sisters, when you hear this pitch, don't be a sucker.

All right, when we come back, BOLO, Be On the Look-Out, this time, for some people who may try to mess with my favorite movie of all time. A taste.




WRIGHT: Oh, my sweet Westley! What have l done?


CUOMO: Oh, and as true love would, she throws herself down, and tumbles, tumbles, but ever so eloquently.

How could they do this to "The Princess Bride?" Next.









ELWES: You've made your decision, then?

WALLACE SHAWN, VIZZINI CHARACTER, THE PRINCESS BRIDE: Not remotely. Because iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows. And Australia is entirely peopled with criminals. And criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me, so l can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.

ELWES: Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

SHAWN: Wait till I get going.


CUOMO: Little did he know that Westley had been building up a resistance to iocane powder for the past five years.

Did you hear they may remake "The Princess Bride?" Inconceivable!

The CEO of Sony Pictures told Variety that some "Very famous people" want to remake the classic. It makes me wonder if he has been dipping into the iocane powder himself, knocked senseless by the fire pits. I mean has he studied his Agrippa, which I have?

Now, let's be clear. Lots of movies get remade. And let's be clear, they often suck and sully the original. Can we take that chance with something a generation loves so much, it was committed to memory?

To paraphrase Westley, as Cary Elwes did himself, there is a shortage of perfect movies in this world. It would be a pity to destroy this one. This prospect makes as much sense as getting involved in a land war in Asia.

And just in case this idea is only mostly dead, may I remind that the only overwhelming power in this world is true love, and people truly love this movie in its original form. And if it goes forward, join me in this pledge. My name is Chris

Cuomo. You remake my movie, prepare to die. Well, not die, but make me very salty (ph).

Let's bring in D. Lemon, who dares not mock my pain.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST, CNN TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON: You're going to be mad at me. Never really seen it.

CUOMO: What? Just when I thought you couldn't disappoint me anymore.

LEMON: I've seen clips of it. But I've - no, it's not my thing. I mean I prefer--

CUOMO: Not your thing?

LEMON: --blazing saddles or history of the world or that. No, it's just not - I've never been - look, I just saw RoboCop for the first time, I think, yesterday, so I, you know, you're asking the wrong person. But I've never seen--