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Trump's Own DOJ Called His Push To Challenge Election "Pure Insanity"; Wray Changes Answer On Social Media Warnings Before January 6; President Biden In Geneva For Summit With Putin. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired June 15, 2021 - 21:00   ET




CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: I'm Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

One hour before Trump announced, A.G. Barr would step-down, he started putting the squeeze on Barr's replacement, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, why? He wanted him to investigate some of the craziest of the crazy conspiracy theories.

"That's speculation! Unnamed sources, I bet!" Wrong! There is no more need for media half-stepping on this story. We now have the receipts, emails that show how Trump, his White House and allies pressured the Justice Department to take up his stolen election BS.

And here they are. Look at this, December 14th, 4:57 P.M. Now, for context, December 14th was the day states certified the Electoral College votes, sealing Trump's defeat. So, what was the creator of the big lie doing, as the reality was confirmed? Lying!

A message from Trump's assistant with the subject line, "From POTUS," it included talking points about a quote, cover-up of voting crimes, how Dominion machines were compromised, and how Secretary Benson lied, all of this in Michigan, where Trump lost. Dozens of bullet points of conjecture, unverified accounts, and in some cases, absolute fiction, including points and counter points to be made.

Look, this was an obvious political argument device, and that's OK, unless what you're doing is giving it to the Attorney General, and you are the President of the United States, and there is a clear - there's a clear reference that he should take up this cause.

Now, on December 29th, Rosen has now taken over as Acting Attorney General. Trump's assistant sends another email to him, and his Acting Deputy, along with someone else, that contained a draft of a lawsuit, for the DOJ, to sign on to the effort, to overturn election results.

She wrote specifically, "The President asked me to send you the attached document for your review." Soon enough, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows picked up the pressure campaign.

New Year's Day, five days before the insurrection, Meadows sends Rosen lunatic videos about Italians using satellite technology to flip our votes. None of this was ever substantiated. In fact, it was debunked.

Rosen then forwards it on to his Acting Deputy Richard Donoghue, who writes two words, "Pure insanity." The Acting A.G. agrees.

In a response to another message, from Meadows, the same day, pushing to investigate ballots in Georgia, Rosen writes to Donoghue, "Can you believe this? I'm not going to respond." Donoghue writes back, "Hey, at least it's better than the last one, but that doesn't say much." Why is this wrong?

I'm sorry, I'm tearing. I'm not. It's just allergies.

Why is this wrong? Because the Department of Justice is supposed to be a stand-alone. This is Deep State deception, by definition.

Remember why Bill Barr had to say "The President's never called me about opening an investigation," why? Because if he said "Yes, he had," it would be demonstrably wrong, and arguably an obstruction of justice, if the investigation he wanted him to open was somehow interfering with what was being done to him.

You don't do it. You don't put political pressure on the DOJ. Now, that's what this was, matter of fact. And no, the fair counter is not, "But what about?" Own this! Are you OK with the President and his patsies pressuring the DOJ to front election fraud fictions? The answer is no. And you know it.

So, don't make it OK, because it's your side. Don't make it OK, because you believe Democrats did other things that piss you off. Don't do it because you think Trump is being victimized. Either it's OK, or it isn't. And you know it isn't.


Now, can Meadows defend these as appropriate? No. When CNN asked him about them, you know what he said? "I'll let you answer that. Obviously, I'm not going to comment on anything that may or may not have happened."

Oh, it happened! And he knows that we know it happened. And yet he still plays it as a conditional, why, because the truth is meaningless, when you're about fronting mere belief. This was a concerted effort to manipulate government institutions for Trump's personal benefit. Period!

We also know that while Trump was asking his DOJ to help him cling to power, he was also pressuring state officials, in Georgia, remember, to find him votes?


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more that we have, because we won the state.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: And just to be clear, Georgia didn't oblige. Remember, he was told by a real Republican, that there was no fraud to fix. "That's your problem, Mr. President." Remember that?

Any doubt as to whether there was any good faith basis, for any of this, was killed by former Acting A.G. Rosen, last month. And here it is.


JEFFREY ADAM ROSEN, FORMER ACTING UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: There was no evidence presented of widespread fraud of the sufficient scale to overturn the election.


CUOMO: Yes, it does look like a hostage video. But it was, what he decided to use, as a backdrop. And look, it's the words that matter.

We now have the proof of Trump and Co.'s perfidy. They abused their power for the worst reasons. Period! The question is, now what?

Better minds, one of the House Intel Committee Democrats, targeted by Trump's Justice Department, Congressman Eric Swalwell, and the Chair of the House Oversight Committee, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

Good to have you both on PRIME TIME.

REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D-NY): Great to be with you, Chris.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Thanks for having me back, Chris.

CUOMO: Congressman Maloney, I'll start with you. Thank you both for joining us tonight. We'll do two blocks, because there's a lot of things I want to ask you about.

But on this, what do you believe the operative effect, of these emails are, Representative Maloney?

MALONEY: Well, it shows clearly, in documents that the President of the United States tried to corrupt the Department of Justice, to have them claim that it was not a fair election.

It was shocking to me that they literally provided the Department of Justice with a brief, and asked them to forward it to the Supreme Court, arguing to overturn the election.

And then, the efforts in Michigan, and Georgia, and everywhere else, "Find me votes," literally trying to steal the election, it was a horrifying effort to try to steal an election.

CUOMO: So as obvious as it is, Representative Swalwell, it's almost equally as obvious that you can't do anything about it.

SWALWELL: We better, Chris, because, Donald Trump despises nothing more than losing. And he was the biggest loser in his presidency, not only because of the landslide loss, but also because he tried to test our democracy, and he failed.

But he just barely failed. And now it's on us. Because he will get better, he wants to run again. He's got a lot of wannabe cronies who think they can fill a Trumpism void, if one exists. And so, if we don't get better, they will get better.

CUOMO: But all right, let's talk about this. Representative Maloney, I'll bounce it back to you.

I would make the argument that I think even from the Biden perspective, Trump in the rearview mirror is better. Every time you bring him under any scrutiny, you give him a new opportunity to play the victim.

But even if you believe there are avenues to accountability, what would they look like, Representative Maloney?

MALONEY: Holding President Trump accountable for his actions?

CUOMO: Do you think you can?

MALONEY: Oh, I think that we are just beginning this investigation. And we have seen shocking failures at the FBI, at the DOD, and really an almost unbelievable attempt to manipulate an election to his benefit.

I think that we have to get the facts. But I think that it should be thoroughly reviewed, thoroughly researched. And personally, I think he should be convicted.

CUOMO: I hear you. And I'm not here to play the cynic, or the hollow pushback.

But Representative Swalwell, "We need to know the truth," Representative Maloney says. Of course. But we do.


We know about his role in paying off women. We have the checks. We know about him trying to fire Mueller. We have his lawyer. We know about trying to bribe Ukraine. We have the transcripts and his lawyer.

We have him playing down to pandemic for politics. We have the Woodward excerpts of him admitting that he knew that he should have not been calling it a hoax, when he was. And now, pressuring state officials, we have him on tape.

Checks, tapes, transcripts, we have all of it. It does not matter to his people. It does not matter to the members of his party.

I had Congressman Chris Stewart on last night. I couldn't get a question out of his mouth but he was - before he was saying, "But what about the Democrats? What about Antifa? What about this? What about that?"

You're not going to get them on the side of any accountability. So, what's the upside?

SWALWELL: Well, one, I would love to be the prosecutor on this case, Chris. But knowing my act and my scene, I'm a legislator.

So, we should learn from this, and pass Adam Schiff's "Protect Our Democracy Act," which puts in place a fast track on congressional subpoenas, because we're way behind on this.

We should have been able to get a lot of this information while he was president. But Donald Trump was a legal terrorist. He knew he could wait us out. He did. And so, we weren't able to hold him accountable, in real-time.

Mr. Schiff's bill creates a fast-track, so we don't have to wait as long. I also think President Biden should tell the Department of Justice, "Lift that policy that says no president can be indicted as president."

President Biden is not going to lead corruptly. He doesn't have to worry about that. But no president in the future should have that immunity to think that they can act so corruptly, and they can just run out the clock, and never be held accountable.

So, there's things we can do now to make sure that this doesn't happen again, whether it's Trump in the future, or another corrupt president, Republican or Democrat, that comes along.

CUOMO: OK. So, you change that rule, Representative Maloney. And if there were going to be accountability, do you believe that what you now know could sustain charges against Donald Trump?

MALONEY: I've got to think that anyone who reads this knows how horrible the whole situation is. I thought I would never see the peaceful transfer of power disrupted, that an election was on the verge of being stolen. He almost succeeded in a coup, taking over the country.

There is a lot of work to do. We definitely need a 9/11 type commission to look at all of this, and come forward with recommendations that are based on the facts, so that this never happens again.

It is striking beyond belief what we are unfolding in these hearings. And we are just starting. We just got these documents on Friday. We couldn't get them released before. Under Trump, we never got any document released.

Finally, under President Biden, we are getting the documents that we requested in December are finally coming through. And what we are seeing is absolutely shocking beyond belief.

CUOMO: So, I asked these two lawmakers to stay with me, through the break tonight, to now talk about January 6th, why it matters so much, and what the options are going forward, because you're not going to have this joint commission, no matter what capitulations were given, to the Party of Trump, because they don't want it in the Senate. So, what do these lawmakers think Speaker Pelosi should do, about

January 6th? What does it matter? What could be done? And we know what the stakes are. But what are the answers? Right after the break.









CUOMO: In all my years, in this business, I have never seen anything as obvious as the infamy of January 6th, be held up through a complete lens of political perspective.

I've never seen anything like it. It's like literally 9/11 being seen, as something materially different than what we all watched and lived. And yet, that's where we are. And it's happening on a lot of levels.

And we're very lucky to have two big deal Democrat lawmakers, who will be driving the train about where we go on this, because you're not getting a Joint Committee.

The FBI Director was back on the Hill today, answering questions about the infamy of January 6th. And it's really telling that in the span of about a week, his answers seemed to change.




SWALWELL: Prior to January 6th, did the FBI receive any tips from social media companies, about threats to the Capitol?

CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: I'm not aware that we had any Intelligence indicating that hundreds of individuals were going to storm the Capitol itself.


WRAY: My understanding is that they sent emails to a particular Field Office, and that some of those contained possible threat information, and some of them were referred to domestic terrorism squads.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: We are very fortunate to have the two Members with us who asked those questions, Representatives Eric Swalwell, and Carolyn Maloney, who heads up the committee - the commission that brought us the emails, about explaining what's going on with the White House.

So, thank you very much for joining me for a second segment here.

Look, you guys weren't asking tricky questions where you could argue, "You know? This was tough. You guys were so in the weeds. He didn't know where you were coming from." That's not the case.

Representative Swalwell, do you believe that the FBI Director got new information that changed his answer to Maloney, from what he had said to Swalwell, a week ago?

SWALWELL: I don't know, Chris. But his answer did change. And I want to be clear. I do not blame the FBI for what happened on January 6th. This was Donald Trump entirely, and the people that followed him.


But it's our job to make sure, in the future, that law enforcement, whether it's the FBI, or Capitol Police, or D.C. Police, are better prepared.

You know, I have an African American staffer, who said to me, the day of the 6th, he was at the Capitol with me.

He said, "You know what boss?" he said, "If this was a Black protest, this scale, and this much online chatter, about what they were going to do," he said, "We wouldn't even be allowed to get on planes. We'd be pulled off planes in all these cities across America."

And I - it just killed me that he thought that there were two systems of justice in our country that if it was a "Black Lives Matter" protest, that there would be a lot more law enforcement. I hope he's wrong about that.

But I do believe that we know Donald Trump intends to come back in August. That's what he's telling people. QAnon theories are out there right now that they're going to get more aggressive. So, we can't be as passive as we were, in allowing something like this to happen again.

CUOMO: Look, Representative Maloney, I know you as the Chair of the Oversight Committee these days, but literally, you've been explaining things to me for most of my life.


CUOMO: And one of the things that I can explain to you about this is I don't know about two systems of justice. But I do know this.

If the Republicans were the aggrieved, although I think they should be, about January 6th, people were looking for them, they wanted to hang Mike Pence, they put up a gallows, I believe that they would have had a concerted effort to never let us move past that moment.

It is all they would have talked about. They would have demonized all of you. They would have done nothing, if they had the power that you guys have, but look into every nook and cranny, and Biden wouldn't have moved an inch otherwise.

Are they better at political warfare than the Democrats?

MALONEY: Chris, we won the election. Thank God!

I don't - I think that we have more substance. And we're working for the right reasons. So, I don't think they're better. And I think that we just have to work very hard on this. This is very shocking what happened.

First of all, it has to be investigated to see how far the rot goes. I was personally surprised and shocked by the documents that we received on Friday. And the ones that we're asking for are even more important, which we intend to get. We need to thoroughly research this.

I think you're right. We're not going to get a commission because the commission would be looking at the President of the United States. And the Republicans certainly don't want to do that.

So, the best we can do is have a Select Committee, which I hope the Speaker will decide to do, but that the various committees that have jurisdictions, such as the one that I'm honored to chair, continue with their investigations.

We revealed today in the hearing a shocking example of an Intelligence failure at the FBI. We had 50 documents, warning the FBI very explicitly, from Parler, on social media, "This is war. Do not be surprised when we take the Capitol," all kinds of violent conversation.

And the Director of the FBI testified that he was not aware of this. Well, if that's true, that is a phenomenal failure of the FBI that's got to be corrected in the future.

CUOMO: Quick follow.

MALONEY: And in our hearings, this was the second one we had. No one was in charge in the first hearing. DOJ said they weren't in charge. DOD said DOJ is in charge.

No one even knows who was in charge. There was no planning. There was no coordination. It was a failure in so many ways. And we need to correct this. We need to strengthen our democracy.

CUOMO: Quick follow. What do you want that you've just asked for, in terms of documents that you believe are even more important than what you've gotten?

MALONEY: Stay tuned.

CUOMO: It's a good tease. You should be in my business. All right, so let me ask you a different question.

MALONEY: But I will say this. Chris?

CUOMO: Go ahead, please.

MALONEY: Chris? You got to look at DOD. You got to look at DOD. They were just even more shocking, than the FBI, in their testimony today.

This is the United States Military. And they did not protect the Capitol of the United States, when the Vice President's life was in danger, the Speaker's life, many, many Members of Congress, their staff, the clientele working there. They couldn't protect the Capitol of the United States.

We documented 12 times that they were called frantically "Come in! Help us! Help us! Send in the National Guard!" And they decided that they were resisting going in. Why?

We need more hearings. We need more documents. We need to get to the bottom of this. Why did the greatest military in the united - in the world fail, at protecting the Capitol? And they were there.


CUOMO: So, at the same time, Representative Swalwell that Maloney wants to move the train, in terms of who knew what, and when, and why, you have equal opposite energy in the Party of Trump, where I had Chris Stewart.

And again, he's not known as being an out-of-fringe player, OK? You know him - you know him well, I'm sure, Eric.

So, he says last night, "I think the FBI got it wrong. I don't think it was an act of terror. Certainly wasn't a coup. It's not an insurrection. It's no worse.

In fact, it's not as bad as what we saw largely, a summer or so before, where they were burning down courthouses. And they were doing this, and they were doing that, and nobody really cared. That's much worse. The American people believe that's much worse than January 6."

What do you think of that intent, let alone of the truth of the basis?

SWALWELL: Well, burning down courthouses is wrong, Chris. But I also saw last night, in that interview that Chris Stewart said he voted to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee. And you had to later correct that that he actually did not vote to do that.

And so Chris, John Dean said 50 years ago that there's a cancer on the presidency. And now we see that when Donald Trump was president, he was the cancer, and he not only destroyed rule of law, systems of justice, democracy. That cancer has persisted and has affected people, who I had served with and really like, like Chris Stewart, who are trying to rewrite history, as far as January 6th.

And look, this is now a party that is rolling with the cop killers. Paul Gosar today, called the officer that saved so many lives, "An executioner." 21 Republicans voted against giving the police officers, on January 6th, the gold medal. And Kevin McCarthy still refuses, even though he's saying he would, to meet with Officer Mike Fanone.

They are a "Dishonor the police" party, all because that's what you're supposed to do, to honor Trump, you dishonor the police.

CUOMO: I saw you - I'll let you guys go. But I saw you Congresswoman smiling at the idea that I had to catch Stewart, faking something that's so easy to know, which is which way you voted on something. And I know it's laughable because you're like, "What did he think? He was going to get away with it?"

He will, because on his side of the ball, they don't care that he gave bad information about his vote. They came after me for losing an interview, which I don't even think is possible. But that's how they play on that side. And I'm just telling you, it's often a winning strategy.

But thank you very much. I promise you, this show will follow all of your efforts, all the way through. Congressman Swalwell, thank you, Congresswoman Maloney, as always, a pleasure.

SWALWELL: My pleasure.

CUOMO: And thank you.

MALONEY: Thank you, Chris. Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, we will stay tuned!

The most critical meeting of President Biden's first trip abroad is just hours away. And this isn't hype. It matters.

Going face-to-face with Putin matters, especially now, because you know that Putin is an Intelligence man. He's an Intelligence operative. And he speaks English. He just chooses not to because it's part of the canard. Now, he got a free pass, to mess with our democracy, for years, by the "Last guy," as Biden calls him.

What is the best way to deal with Putin in this meeting? What has to happen? What can happen? Why does it matter? And what does the mindset have to be for Biden?

It was a hard question to answer, unless you know someone who knows all about Putin, how he worked last time, how he wants to work this time, and wants to help Biden be in the right place for the sit-down, so we can get our answers. Next.








CUOMO: This is a hype-free zone. Or at least I try to make it that way.

But Biden sitting as the United States President, across from someone, who has been eating this country's lunch for the last X years matters. Vladimir Putin is no joke. He played Trump. He got his way. He didn't care. He grew at home. And he made us look weak abroad.

Biden is hoping the Geneva summit will be the start of a quote, stable, predictable relationship. Now, I don't know that either of those things are even possible. But when you call someone a killer, the way Biden has referred to Putin, it's really just about how to convey strength without creating an outsized risk for this country.

So, how do you do that, especially with this brazen ransomware cyber- attack thing going on, in addition to election meddling, which remember is on the increase?

Let's get after it with someone who actually helped President Biden prepare, former NATO Deputy Secretary General, and Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, Rose Gottemoeller.


CUOMO: Rose, I want to know, if you saw me smile, when I say your name, it's because they were telling me, in the Control Room, how to say it. And my producer was saying "Gottemoeller, like "Got a Miller Lite?" So now every time I think of you, that's the way I'm going to say your name.

But now--

GOTTEMOELLER: You've got it, Chris. You've made my cousin in Ohio so happy. That's his handle.

CUOMO: So, let's talk here. And let's do it a little bit, as we'll set the stage about why it matters. And then I want to role-play a little bit about if Putin's coming a certain way, what matters for Biden in that circumstance, because that's your genius, is that you understand where his head is, and what the games are, and how they need to be countered.


But the floor is Helsinki. At Helsinki, Putin sat there pretending he doesn't speak English, listening to the President of the United States take his side, over the United States' Intelligence agencies.

And I heard about it for months afterwards, as I'm sure you did, from all kinds of sources I have in the Intelligence communities, and in Russia, saying, "Wow! Wow! Did he eat your lunch?"

How big a deal was that? And why?

GOTTEMOELLER: Well, I was hearing a lot about it from the NATO allies, who were really spun up. So yes, it was a big deal. And it was a sign of somebody who wasn't prepared for that meeting, and didn't know what he was walking into.

Chris, I am a little tired of this notion of Putin, the negotiator, who is omnipotent. He loves to play games. But all negotiators love to play games. Russians are pretty good at it. But I think that it's not necessary to consider him some kind of negotiating god that you can't handle, because I think Joe Biden can.

CUOMO: So, what does that look like, when he sits down, and Putin says to him, "Hey, I don't have anything to do with your elections. This is all hype from your media. And a ransomware, I don't know who's doing what any more than you know what people are doing in the United States, if they don't work for you," what are you going to say?

GOTTEMOELLER: Well, this is their line all the time about these hybrid methods that they're using, where they are - they are trying to get into our cyber systems, they are going around, and behind, and underneath, and never coming out, and saying what they're doing in the open. This is a consistent Russian government line that doesn't only come from Putin.

So, all Biden has to do is say, "That is not the information we have. And I am extremely well-informed. And you know about the strength and the power and the understanding of our Intelligence community," which Putin does understand, as a former KGB man.

People love to say that he is a former KGB man. But don't forget, he's been President of the Russian Federation since 2000 now, and he's gone a long way from his time as a Lieutenant Colonel in the KGB.

CUOMO: So, does Biden have to overwhelm with information? Or is it about resolve? Is he there to make the case, or just to have a stone- face, looking at Putin, and saying, "I know what you did. And you're not getting a pass. I'm coming for you," like how strong is the right posture?

GOTTEMOELLER: I think that it depends. They both said publicly that there are areas of mutual interest for the countries that they want to ensure, for example, that we don't end up in a nuclear war.

And so therefore, they're going to continue to talk about nuclear stability, and how to get a handle on nuclear weapons, how to reduce and limit nuclear weapons. These are mutual interests, not only for Russia and the United States, but for the globe as a whole.

There are other areas that they need to work on together. And I've been interested to hear Biden say, "Let's sit down and talk about Ukraine together." This is important because even during the Obama administration, it was left to the Europeans, to Macron, to Merkel, in Germany, and France, to work with the Ukrainians and Russians.

So, I think it's a really good thing that Biden said, "I want to try to tackle this issue and, get the Russians out of the Donbas, begin to resolve the problems that resulted from the invasion of Crimea in 2014." So, that's a mutual interest.

CUOMO: So first of all, what do you make of the political criticism that Putin doesn't deserve a summit? And second, to the extent that you're going to have one, why be broad about areas where we can work together? Why not start with the "You're trying to destroy our democracy?"

GOTTEMOELLER: Well, I do think that is where they are going to start. And I think there's going to be some very tough talk, for a good long time.

I noted today that they've announced they're going to have a small meeting first, with just the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Lavrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and then the two presidents. That's the time to have a very direct discussion, no holds barred about the concerns we have about Russian malfeasance.

Then they can go into a larger meeting with other experts there, where they can talk about some of these tough issues that again, if we can get some cooperation, moving on them, will end up in a more stable place ourselves, for ourselves, and also for our allies.

CUOMO: Does Putin have any reason to work with you on anything?

GOTTEMOELLER: I think so, absolutely.

First and foremost, and you noted it at the outset, in talking about Helsinki, he loves to be a leader on the world stage. He loves to stride the global stage and be the powerful figure there. So honestly, this is a great deal for him.

And one reason that he apparently hesitated to take the beating, for the longest time, was that he was afraid that he would just get lectured to, publicly, by Joe Biden, and that it would make him look bad. That's what happened when he went to G20 meeting back about 10 years ago, and he wasn't very happy about it at all.

So, I think that he is feeling also anxious, going into this meeting, and thinking, "How can I come out of it looking like I'm a leader on the global stage?"


So, it'll be up to Biden, both to convey our concern strongly, to make sure that he understands, in no uncertain terms, but also that the public understands that's important that they're not going to have a joint press conference where again, Putin can play games. Biden can come out, and say, "This is what we talked about. This is

the message that I laid down. And here are some areas we're also going to try to develop some mutual interest in, some mutual cooperation in." I think that's really a good way to go. It was a wise decision.

CUOMO: Rose Gottemoeller, do me a favor. After the summit, will you come back and help us understand why what happened, happened?

GOTTEMOELLER: I certainly will. I'll be happy to, Chris.

CUOMO: Thank you very much. Appreciate you kind of setting the table for where our President's head is, moving into this. Thank you very much.

GOTTEMOELLER: My pleasure.

CUOMO: All right, so there's new controversy over policing in America. Have you seen the video? Somebody is vaping on a boardwalk. You're not supposed to. It then turns into this. And it gets a lot rougher than what we're showing you right now.

What is right, what is wrong, and on whose part? Let's take it apart, next.









CUOMO: The videos gone viral, why? Officers kicking, tasing Black kids, allegedly violating a vaping ordinance. So, this is about the Ocean City, Maryland police.

Now, I'm supposed to warn you, this is disturbing. You know how I feel. It's reality. If you want to deal with reality, look at reality.


CUOMO: In the first, you can see an officer beating up a teenager, knees him several times in his side. According to police, officers first approached the 19-year-old in the boardwalk, who they say refused to stop vaping, or show ID, and became disorderly.


CUOMO: In another video, you can see another teen in that crowd being tased, led to four arrests.


CUOMO: Separate incident from the weekend, yet another video shows an 18-year-old being tased as well.

Both of these incidents are now being investigated.

Let's discuss with Bark, Anthony Barksdale, former Acting Chief of the Baltimore Police, spent a lifetime of service, policing the streets.

It's good to see you, Bark.


CUOMO: First quick point is, "See? There you go again! You and that bald guy from Baltimore making this seem like this is all police do, when this is like one random situation out of thousands that officers deal with. And these guys wouldn't comply. They wouldn't listen. And what is an officer supposed to do? It's not on them. It's on both. And don't make so much of it."

What do you say?

BARKSDALE: I say that's nonsense. The police officer ultimately has the greater duty, the greater responsibility to do the right thing, in these incidents. And time and time again, you have shown, you have shown that that's not the case, when it comes to minorities, in these incidents.

CUOMO: So, you're working the job. They come back and say, "You know, we had to tase this kid. He wouldn't listen to me about the vaping. And I said to give me the ID, started giving me lip, I had to tase him." What do you say?

BARKSDALE: I want to know, everything. I want to know from beginning to the point where you use force, to the end. I want to know how is the kid, are his parents contacted, what's going on?

So this is not - we can't see people being tased, and we don't do full investigations. It is a use of force. And we need to know everything. And unfortunately, we're seeing Tasers involved in these incidents. And it's starting to build up. I think of Daunte Wright, "Taser! Taser!" and the officer shoots him dead, so.

CUOMO: Well, except in that one, that's a one-off, because she says, you know, she said "Taser! Taser!" she had a gun in her hand. That's not about the decision to use the Taser. That's about not knowing the difference between a Taser and a pistol, despite being such a senior officer.

BARKSDALE: Then I'm questioning Tasers at this point.

CUOMO: Right.

BARKSDALE: If we ought to (ph) see a pattern, we have to look at what's going on with these Tasers, and our officers.

CUOMO: Now, one other point that I've heard, and I'm sure you've lived it, and heard it.

Someone on the job said to me, watching these videos, "I want to see you in the middle of this crowd." And I said "Well, hold on a second. They're cops, right" and he goes, "There are a lot of people around. This guy's fighting me. And I may not win. What do you do?"

Is that a fair point of analysis?

BARKSDALE: Are we - if we're using the incidents that we're seeing, we're seeing significant amounts of officers right there.

If I'm losing, or if you're losing, I'm right there to back you up, you're right there to back me up. It's not like it's one-on-one what we're looking at here. And the equipment that they have, on their gun belts, is there for that reason. If you need it, use it.

But we can't justify the knees that we saw with the one officer.

CUOMO: Well?

BARKSDALE: Because you can't do.

CUOMO: All right, I hear you.

Look, I want to keep talking about these things, because there are a lot of people out there Anthony, Barksdale knows this, he's done the job his whole life, who believe people are fighting back now, because they've been fed a narrative that the police are the problem, and not the solution.

And I know you don't believe that. I know you've spent a lifetime, as a police officer, training people and keeping communities safe. And that's why we have to keep talking about this, show what's wrong, when it's somebody who does something to a cop, or when it's a cop doing it to somebody else.

I appreciate you, Anthony Barksdale.

BARKSDALE: All right, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, I'm sorry about the bald joke. You got a perfect head, by the way. It's a perfect shape.

BARKSDALE: It's all right.

CUOMO: If I had the same shaped head, I'd shave mine too.

All right, I have a BOLO ahead. I got to be careful because Bark will slap me around, like there's no one.

All right, so I have a BOLO, Be On the Look-Out, why? We got something happened on the show last night that is really instructive of where we are, but also where we could get. Next.









CUOMO: I got a BOLO, Be On the Look-Out. It was proof of the problem but maybe hope for better.

First, the problem. Congressman Chris Stewart, Republican, Trumper, Utah, on last night. We were getting after it. And he was insistent that I was wrongly connecting him to efforts to embrace a QAnon kook in the party's ranks.

It went like this.


CUOMO: You put both arms around Marjorie Taylor Greene.


CUOMO: And you brought her into your Conference. That's what you did.

STEWART: Well, no we - no, I didn't. I didn't vote for her in her district. The people in her district--

CUOMO: Did you vote to have her removed from the committees?

STEWART: I actually did.


CUOMO: No, he didn't. Why did he fudge that or misspeak? I'm waiting on an answer. Probably heat of the moment, desire to win a point.

And also, he knows that the truth doesn't really matter as much, on his side that it's just about winning. And I corrected him later in the show. Now I think that's pretty interesting by itself. It's pretty rare that you catch somebody that red-handed.

But let's get to the real interesting thing, the real problem. The right fringe, after the interview, jumps, to say that he cleaned my clock, in the interview, which is not only not accurate, but not possible. It's an interview, not a fistfight.


But more importantly, it shows us the problem of the fringe, and what it's about. "Us and them! Owning the media! Creating conflict! It's a fight."

Much of it was just Twitter toxicity in the beginning, not that the mainstream media doesn't too often see that as a proxy, for insight, and start reporting on what these people are saying, on Twitter, we don't even know if they exist.

But then "The Daily Caller," tweets out the headline, taking Stewart's word for what happened, and making the point that "I got, you know, I'm getting beat up. I'm getting worked," you know?

So, I jump on them for being wrong, and challenged them, asking, "Are you going to own that in the rush to be rabid, you got it wrong? Or are you going to be like your Founder, the fire-breathing fop over on Fox, and just front a fraud?"

You know, what "The Daily Caller" did? They added a correction to their story. And I gave them respect for doing it.

But here's the interesting part about the state of play to me, how deep the discontent goes. They didn't take down the original tweet. They know it's dead-wrong. Why didn't they take it down? They corrected it. Because they want to take the shot at me. That's the currency. And that is the problem.

But here's the hope. They had to own they were wrong. And Stewart and I disagreed on right and wrong, but we did so with decency. If we can, continue to do that, dialog, even heated, can beat a demagog.

We'll be right back.


CUOMO: Thank you for the opportunity to get after it. It is now time for the big show, "DON LEMON TONIGHT" with its star D. Lemon.