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"QAnon Shaman" Sentenced To Over Three Years For Capitol Attack; Travis McMichael Cross-Examined In Ahmaud Arbery Trial; Pam Shriver On Chinese Tennis Star's Disappearance. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired November 18, 2021 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And prosecutors, say a third defendant, a Ugandan attorney, who helped in the scheme, remains at large.

The news continues. Want to hand it over to Chris for CUOMO PRIME TIME. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right, thank you, Anderson.

I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

We have four big legal cases, in different parts of the country. And the reactions to them will be the measure of where we are, as a nation.

I've got the QAnon Shaman's lawyer here. He's going to be with us in just a moment, because his client's prison sentence tells us a lot more than seems to be resonating.

However, the big ticket items, the Kyle Rittenhouse jury, they're going to go into a fourth day of deliberation, starting tomorrow morning. They're done for the night. They've already spent a combined 23 hours.

What does that mean? Well it's proof of the complexity of the case. It's proof of the difficulty of deciding the killer's fate, even after he shot and killed two people, and injured another, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during the protests, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

A juror today asked a very interesting question, got a more interesting answer, from the judge. She said, "Can I take home the jury instructions?" Remember, they're not sequestered. The judge said "Yes."

Now, there's no reason to speculate about it. But it certainly raises an eyebrow. What is she going to do with them, at home? Is she going to ask somebody else about it? She's not supposed to. We have no reason to believe that this juror tends to do anything else. But that's a curious situation, in that courtroom.

In Georgia, the prosecution went after Travis McMichael, on cross- examination, for the killing, of Ahmaud Arbery. Here's a taste. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LINDA DUNIKOSKI, PROSECUTOR: So, you're telling this jury that a man, who has spent five minutes, running away from you, you're now thinking, is somehow going to want to continue to engage with you, someone with a shotgun, and your father, a man, who has just said, "Stop, or I'll blow your (BLEEP) head off," by trying to get in their truck?


CUOMO: You're going to hear his answer. And more importantly, we're going to unpack some major inconsistency in McMichael's testimony.

Here's a little lawyering 101, all right? In an investigation, when somebody changes their story, over time, embellishing with more details, common sense may tell you that that's "Oh, recollection!" No, that's not what experience teaches you.

Adding details? Bad sign. Adding details that help their position, over time? Big red flag. Now, we're going to take that - we're going to unpack it for you ahead.

And then there's this trial that I want to talk to you about tonight that you're not hearing much about. Now, part of that is artful. There no cameras in the courtroom, in the Charlottesville "Unite the Right" trial.

And that's going to be part of the reason, because it's not as exciting to cover it for you. I can't show you it as well, because there're no cameras. And also, it's not a criminal trial. It's civil litigation.

But those discrepancies aside, or those distinctions aside, this trial is a real demonstration of the brazen nature of white supremacy. It is alive and unwell in America right now.

The jury is expected to start deliberating tomorrow. Now, it's civil, but there is a jury, and it's about holding people responsible or, in this case, liable, OK?

More than 10 - actually a dozen people, more than a dozen people, and 10 white supremacist and nationalist groups, should they be liable, for the deadly bloodshed, coming out of that disgusting hate-filled rally?

Now the reason I want to do it tonight is it turned bizarre today. The defendant is Richard Spencer, OK, one of the dozen. He defied the judge repeatedly, ignoring his order, not to mention Trump's "Good people on both sides" quote, because it was never part of the evidence.

A defense lawyer told the jury that all his clients agreed to do was get in a fistfight. I guess no one told that to the guy, who rammed his car, into Heather Heyer, and dozens more. Now, here's an interesting point. You don't have to be in a civil war to be in a real war, on civility, as well as rule of law, in this country.

Now, that brings us to January 6. I've never seen a situation more underplayed, for political effect, in all my years, doing this job. You got more than 660 defendants charged.

And one of the toughest felony sentences yet goes to the face of the absurdity of that day, the "QAnon Shaman," Jacob Chansley.





CUOMO: Yes, that's him.


CHANSLEY: Hey, man?


CUOMO: The judges, who handed down the 41-month, it's three-plus year sentence, said, "For good or bad, he made himself the very image of this whole event."

He's actually a good face for it, if you think about it, the ridiculousness, the misplaced sense of patriotism, with the red, white and blue, whatever he was going for there, the horns on his head.


Chansley was one of the first 30 rioters, inside the Capitol. But if you subtract the time served, he's out by summer 2024. Now, that summer is one, in which many now expect Donald Trump, will seek the Republican nomination, for president, once again.

And yet, the Shaman's lawyer says, the real person, behind January 6, is the former president.


AL WATKINS, ATTORNEY FOR "QANON SHAMAN" JACOB CHANSLEY: I will say that I would probably be far more effective, over a beer with President - former President Trump.

And I'd tell him, "You know what? There's going to be a few (BLEEP) things to do, including clearing this (BLEEP) mess up, and taking care of a lot of the jackasses that you (BLEEP) up because of January 6."

(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: With me now is Chansley's attorney, Al Watkins.

Counselor, welcome back to PRIME TIME.

WATKINS: How do you do? A pleasure.

CUOMO: The sentence was for the offense of disrupting an official proceeding. You agree with that?

WATKINS: Obstruction, yes, felony.

CUOMO: And in terms of the sentence, the only real issue is whether or not you believe that your client is competent, meaning that it's not mental illness that made him do this. What is your position on that?

WATKINS: No. This is not a competency issue. It's not a guilt issue. My client pled guilty.

A court conducted and ordered a forensic psych exam. The determination was that yes, indeed, my client had a very significant and long- standing mental health vulnerability, but was competent, just like the Military, in 2006, diagnosed my client, with that same significant lifelong mental health disorder. Only in 2006, their issue was, is he fit for duty?

CUOMO: Right.

WATKINS: And in 2006, they didn't tell my client about that vulnerability, that that disorder. My client had a 15-year window, where he could have gotten treatment, he could have gotten counseling, he could have gotten assistance, dealing with that disorder.

But with mental health, we treat that like we need to shroud it in secrecy.

CUOMO: Right.

WATKINS: And it's not right.

CUOMO: It's definitely a stigma. And you say that that is part of the recipe that made him vulnerable, to the entreaties, of Trump and others, about January 6. He's going to serve his--

WATKINS: No, no. I'm not - I'm not saying that. Jake made a really, really important point, in front of this court. And that was, not only was he accountable, but he wanted to be held accountable.

Jake made it clear, I made it clear to the court, that indeed, this was not about President Trump. This wasn't about whether he should be pardoned.

This was about Jake, holding himself accountable, and doing so, in a remarkably articulate and profoundly candid fashion that was recognized by the court, as a matter of public record, as being something that judge had never seen, in 35 years.

CUOMO: Well!

WATKINS: As a federal judge.

CUOMO: I mean that could go just for the guy's outfit. He hadn't seen that in 35 years either. And also, look, the reason--

WATKINS: Well that should have given us both a clue.

CUOMO: Well may--

WATKINS: The guy, half-nude.

CUOMO: Maybe, maybe not.

All I'll say is this, Counselor. This is not, where he's always been, your client. For a while, his story was, "Oh, I wasn't doing anything in there. I was trying to stop people. I was trying to help." So, it's good that he eventually wanted to kind of own the reality.

Now, my question to you is, do you believe that the accountability for these crimes and the behavior of that day needs to include the former president or not?

WATKINS: Oh, look, I said to everybody, at the press conference, the other day, my opinion isn't worth anything. That being said, if I'm asked, for my opinion, I'm not shy about sharing it.

There is no doubt about the fact that there is a duty and an obligation, of our former president, to belly up to the bar, and say, "Hey, you know, what? If I really do love them, and I really do think they're beautiful people, and I told them to do this, then you know, maybe I should clean things up a little bit."

CUOMO: Is that what you meant, with your colorful language, outside the court?

WATKINS: Oh, yes. Look, I come from a big old Italian family, who grew up with a lot of coarse language. You may understand what I'm talking about here. It's time for us to really keep it simple. When somebody has a problem, it's really, really important, to get your message out, so it's understood.

We've got a former president, who's really screwed up a lot of people. I'm not saying anything about the political end of it, not my business, not my role. I'm an advocate.


But you know what? You mess with people, you mess with their heads, and you put them in a position like that? You know what? You either buy them a beer, or own it that you screwed it up.

CUOMO: Let me ask you one other thing.

WATKINS: Yes. CUOMO: In the course, of your representation, here, and the work you've done, on the case, and what the atmosphere was like, and what the constituencies were about, are you concerned that there are a lot of other people out there that haven't come to the realization that your client has that aren't going to be incarcerated that are still out there, still listening, and may want to act in similar fashion?

WATKINS: Yes, I'm very concerned about it. And I see it. I breathe it. I live it. And it's out there. You have a really healthy percentage of our population, including many, who have been charged, for events occurring on January 6, but had been released.

In the case of Jacob, and in the case of others, there is a - there is a calming effect, albeit not one that's healthy for someone with mental health disorders.

There's a calming effect about being alone, about being contemplative, introspective, and truly with a guy who was disciplined, like Jake, able to say, "You know what? I need to extricate myself. I need to pull myself up, out of this muck and mire. And I need to own what I did."

And Jake is not an example to be made up by the government. Jake truly serves as an example for others.

CUOMO: Well, I think he's going to be both, right? Because the flamboyance, the brazenness, of how he went in there, is something that the American government, wanted to make very clear, will not stand. And now the--

WATKINS: Oh, there's no doubt about it. But that American government is the same government that did not tell Jake, in 2006, that he has a disorder.

You know what? We can - we can talk about the brazenness of Jake. I can talk about it. He's a gentle, loving, really smart man. And he's going to get--

CUOMO: Hey, he also walked with a huge spear into the U.S. Capitol, on the bad pretenses, with a group of people that were looking to stop Congress, from doing its job.

WATKINS: A finial that would fall over, if he tipped the spear down. But you're right. And my client's owned it out.

CUOMO: Al Watkins, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

WATKINS: My pleasure.

CUOMO: All right, to the Arbery killing now, the defense, for those two suspects, made a choice. They kept their clients off the witness stand. But Travis McMichael's attorney rolled the dice.

You're going to hear his version of that day. You tell me, was it worth the risk? Next.









CUOMO: All right, now, we've been pretty clear here. The trials in Wisconsin and Georgia, while linked by the question of white vigilantism, are very different, in terms of the law, and the facts.

We start seeing that really sharply illustrated today. While taking the stand, in your own defense, may have helped Kyle Rittenhouse, it's hard to say the same for Travis McMichael.

This man, Joey Jackson, knows the reward, of putting a client on the stand. Let's discuss how this shifted the state of play, in Georgia, today.

First of all, Joey, thank you, as always.


CUOMO: What was your overall take, about whether or not it was the right move?

JACKSON: Look, I think in a situation like that, I can't say that I would have done something differently.

Why? I think that the defense had a significant issue, challenging the prosecution's case. Always a game-time decision, as to whether or not you're going to put a client, on the stand.

In the event you think you're behind, you think he's got to explain, "Why I had to avail myself of the citizen's arrest statute," you do it. "Why I had to engage in self-defense?" you do it. "Why I think how I acted reasonably, was appropriate?" you do it.

And I think they were so far behind, it didn't matter

CUOMO: Right.

JACKSON: Calculated decision? I think he tripped himself up quite substantially. And I think it hurt. But you know what? I can't say that I would have done something different, under these circumstances.

CUOMO: Let me show you, with a couple of pieces of sound, which I think are going to really, really stand out to the jury.

All right, first, the question was, who's the threat? Take a look.


DUNIKOSKI: So, you're telling this jury that a man, who has spent five minutes, running away from you, you're now thinking, is somehow going to want to continue to engage with you, someone with a shotgun, and your father, a man, who has just said, "Stop, or I'll blow your (BLEEP) head off," by trying to get in their truck?

TRAVIS MCMICHAEL, DEFENDANT: That's what it shows. Yes, ma'am.


CUOMO: All right. So, what you see there is, he's way over his head, OK? He doesn't even understand what's being said to him.

And that goes with this next piece of sound, which is about - remember what I said at the top of the show? When people change their story, common sense tells you "Well, maybe they're learning and understanding." Not in this context. You start adding facts that are good for you, as you go along? It's a huge red flag.

Listen to this, on the main issue here, which is whether or not Ahmaud Arbery ever became a threat, and how he demonstrated that. Watch this.


DUNIKOSKI: Detective Nohilly specifically asked you, "Do you remember if he grabbed the shotgun at all?"

And your response was, "I want to say he did. But honestly, I cannot remember. I mean, we were, me and him, were face-to-face the entire time."

Do you remember saying that?

MCMICHAEL: Yes. And I was trying to think of that exact moment, trying to give him as, like you said, trying to give him as much detail as possible, under the stress, and all this going on.

It was obvious that he had the gun, from what I was saying, in here, reading that, he had the weapon the way that I was describing it. But why I said he did not have the gun, at that second, I don't know why.


CUOMO: Well, yes, it never plays well, when you're curious, as to why you said what you said.

He's changed the story over time. He's been inconsistent, but most importantly, and I think damning, for Travis McMichael, is you told the officer, at the time that you didn't know, whether or not he grabbed the gun.


How could he have reasonably been exercising self-defense, if he doesn't even remember, whether or not the guy did, what would have triggered, pun intended, the need to defend himself?

JACKSON: Major issue, right? It's a major issue, because it's how you felt at the time? Did you feel that you were in immediate fear of death, or serious bodily injury, at that time?

And of course, if you did, right, you would have given that indication. But you would have always said, "Why?" And why would have been because he was grabbing. So, you mean to say you didn't say it then, but you said it now?

What I thought was interesting, though, and they could get away with this, they used him Chris, as an expert witness. That is the defense did, right? They were not allowed to call an expert. So, they used him as an expert, "Use-of-force continuum, escalation."

The other thing, I think, they did, in doing that, is they sort of made him out to be a semi-police officer. And so, the question becomes, are juries loath to convict police? We know they are.

Do you make him look enough like a police officer? His dad's like a police officer, such that the jury draws that analogy. "He's a cop. Let's not convict." Now, that was, I think, a calculation, they made, in putting him on the stand.

But I think the inconsistencies really hurt him significantly, not only about what he did, but what he didn't do. Remember the cross, Chris, when she says, "Well, you could have just gone away, right?"

CUOMO: Right. That--

JACKSON: "You could have called the police," right?

CUOMO: That was key.

JACKSON: And number of things he could have--

CUOMO: So, and why - why does that matter?

Even in the Wisconsin statute, which a lot of people are misunderstanding, not Joey, that's why I got him, is, if you provoke, can you still use self-defense? The prosecutor in Wisconsin says, "No." But that's not true, under the statute.

You can, even if you provoke the situation, you can still use self- defense, if two things happen. One is that you then reasonably fear that you're in imminent threat of serious injury, or death, and, and you've exhausted all other reasonable methods, to get away from the threat. OK?

That's a big "And," for Rittenhouse. It's an even bigger "And," for these guys, even though they're going to try to plead under a statute, which I don't even think, they're going to be able to get the protection of.

But listen to how he changes, and doesn't understand, the reckoning, of what happened in that moment, and what he did, to avoid the threat. Watch this.


DUNIKOSKI: You have moved out in the road, you've aimed this shotgun, at Mr. Arbery?


DUNIKOSKI: Mr. Arbery goes to the passenger side of the truck.


DUNIKOSKI: OK? Your dad is still yelling at him, because we can hear him go, "Stop! Goddamnit stop!" Right?


DUNIKOSKI: You could have easily just stepped back, to your pickup truck, and watched him keep going, right?

MCMICHAEL: I could have, yes.


CUOMO: Boom! First of all, she's good.


CUOMO: She has this stylistic thing that you're always worried about, when you're in court, against somebody like that, which is, where she's using all these commas, and the word "And," to keep the person, on the stand, kind of following along with her, in a way. Not to say that she's being deceptive. She's being skillful.

He says he could have gone back to the truck. What does that tell the jury?

JACKSON: It tells the jury, in closing argument that he could have availed himself, of that protection, right, that he is the initial aggressor, that as a result of being the initial aggressor, and having provoked the issue, right, you lose the benefit.

Now, let's say, if you're right, where, you don't quite lose the benefit, if you still feel that you're in immediate threat, then, you could use it. But how do you feel you're in immediate threat, when you do what she indicated?

You point it, you put it down, and then, of course, you could have walked away? You didn't do that. And, as a result of that, you didn't avail yourself of other alternatives. What does that mean? According to her, it's going to mean, you're guilty. And I think that's what we're going to hear. CUOMO: Joey Jackson, thank you very much.

JACKSON: Always.

CUOMO: I think I will be seeing you, if you're available. But if not, I am thankful for having you, in my life.

JACKSON: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: As a friend off TV, and as just without equal--

JACKSON: I appreciate it.

CUOMO: --in terms of making things understandable, in a way that the audience benefits from it. So, thank you.

JACKSON: Thank you, brother.

CUOMO: Thankful for you.

JACKSON: Appreciate you.

CUOMO: All right, one place I'm not going to look for logic right now is Congressman Paul Gosar's office. Of course, he blew off his censure, and went right back to his vile happy place, OK?

Now look, two things can be true at the same time, all right? He is an agent of animus. But I don't think the Democrats are playing this the right way. They have high ground unless they push too far, on a consequence.

The one word they should stop using this instant, and why Republicans, they may be all but lost, next.









CUOMO: We have it written as "Can we change? Can we do better?" But those are rhetorical questions, right? Of course, everyone can change. And, of course, we have to do better, because we're killing ourselves right now.

But I do keep coming back to these questions, because it seems that these two parties, in this toxic mix, of this system that I believe just doesn't work anymore, this two-party system, is just intent on running things down.

And I think that's one of the things that resonated with you, last night, with Bill Maher. He's all too familiar for being a target of Right and Left. But he sees the problem. Here.


BILL MAHER, HOST, "REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER": I don't think we're on a great trajectory. I keep trying to preach on my show that the thing we have to do, long-range, is stop the hate that goes on in this country.

The two sides hate each other, to such a, degree, I don't think anybody's hearing each other. When people hate each other, it doesn't matter what the policies are.


CUOMO: That's right, because hate is ignorant, cheap and easy. And that's why it's perfect for politics, right?

The proof isn't just in how polarized we are, but how political attacks are getting more and more personal. On the law, you can't do that. They call it ad hominem. You can't talk about the other lawyer. Think about that.

That's all they do in politics now. That's where we are. That brings us to Republican Congressman Paul Gosar. Look, I don't know how anyone, who's being honest, can say that he wasn't way out of line. And, in fact, he's been way out of line too many times.

Now, he was censured, and he was removed of his committee assignments, was the first time, a sitting House member has been censured, in more than 10 years. Now look, I think there's reason for that. When you look at the history, of what censure is for, I don't even know that this falls into it, to be honest.


And I think that, by forcing a consequence, the Democrats now open themselves up to two things.

One, the Right's going to do, what it does best, which is close ranks, OK? And now, they're going to pretend that somehow they've been victimized by this, because you only had two Republicans, Kinzinger and Cheney, willing to buck their own party.

And you know what happens afterwards, right? What happens when a consequence isn't really respected? It doesn't hold.

Right after the censure, Gosar, shamelessly - and, by the way, I don't know how to say his name. And frankly, I don't care, all right? So, if I'm getting it wrong, so be it. Because you're judged by your actions, OK? I have a funny name also. People don't get it right. It's OK. You know, who I am.

Retweeted the same violent video that got him in trouble in the first place. It's an act of defiance, right? He's just telling the Democrats, "I don't care what you do," because opposition is the position.

Censure, what was that going to get you? See, it assumes, just like impeachment, it assumes, an integrity of the collective that, you guys, will agree on certain things. That's not the case.

So here, it just becomes another "And," for the Democrats, and the media, pushing them, to want more consequences, more and more, more and more. Why? Because that's drama. That's tension. We like that.

"You know, censure him?" "And?" "Well we're going to go, have a whole vote, you know?" "And?" "And we'll strip him of the committee assignments."

Now, that's a move, historically used, on convicted criminals. Now, it includes extremists, like the QAnon kook, Taylor Greene. "And? So what else, because you've already done that?" So then Pelosi says, "Maybe there should be a criminal investigation." For a cartoon?

Look, it was ugly. It was obvious. It was stupid. And it was mal- intended. But a legal investigation, for a cartoon video? Now, what does that do? That sets up the other side to attack, what seems absurd, about taking it too far, and take back leverage. McCarthy.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): They'll have committees. The committee assignment they have now, they may have other committee assignments. They may have better committee assignments.


CUOMO: Why? Because he doesn't respect, that's why. There is no respect. They don't have it anymore, because you don't have it anymore. So, you don't expect it. So, they don't need to reflect it.

This is where we are, Democrats reaching for extreme circumstance, to somehow right the balance.

Republicans, playing the aggrieved, and saying to the fringe-right, and all the people, they're trying to outrage, "You see? You see what they do? You see how they punish us, just for saying what we think?"

Take Matt Gaetz. He says he wants to offer a congressional internship to Kyle Rittenhouse.

The guy shot and killed two people, blew half the arm off a third one. Why? What exactly are you looking for, in somebody like that? Seriously, like what is that supposed to say? You feel badly for him? Is that what you're saying?

Look, it's right out of the Trump playbook. "This is who they don't like? So, I love them. This is what they don't like? So, I say it's great." Fealty to Trump, disruption for disruption's sake, it's all that matters right now. And it's working.

Ted Cruz took aim at Liz Cheney, accusing her of suffering from Trump derangement syndrome. When I first came up with that phrase, I was like, "Wait, so you're saying that Trump has a derangement syndrome?"

But what did Liz Cheney do? She shot right back, saying, quote, "A real man would be defending his wife."

Now, look, in fairness, I think that's a little cheap. And in truth, I've said the same thing. But it wasn't me at my best. I shouldn't have said it.

I shouldn't bring up what Trump said about calling Cruz's wife "Ugly." Why, because it's not respectful. And if I want things to be more decent, then I got to walk the walk. So, I shouldn't have said it. Liz Cheney shouldn't have said it.

There is some intelligence to the point though, how Ted Cruz can cotton to, can kiss up to this guy, who's insulted his whole family, tells you something about him, how important Trump is.

So now, the question becomes pretty obvious, right? You're going to be talking about it with your family next week, God willing, that you're able to be together and enjoy each other.

You're going to talk politics. It's going to come up. And everybody sees the problems, and everybody's sick of it. And that's what you're going to hear at your table. They're sick of it. It'll just be which side they're saying they're sick of.


But aren't we sick of both of them? I mean, we're not going to get a redo. You're not going to blow up the system. But we do have to find a way to get to a better place, a sense of balance, like we do in everything else in our lives.

More wisdom from Maher on this.


MAHER: I think everyone recognizes, everyone, right-thinking, in my view, that still a lot of work needs to be done. Remedial efforts need to be taken still.

But I did a thing, one night, about progressophobia, which is a term Steven Pinker called - termed - coined, which means somehow liberals got afraid to acknowledge progress.

It's two thoughts in your head at the same time. You can acknowledge that we have made great progress, on all the social issues, and yet, there is still more work to be done.

We're not saying "Mission accomplished." We're just saying, "Let's live in the year we're living in." You can't come up with good solutions, unless you're realistic about what the problem is.


CUOMO: When we come back, let's dig deeper, into whether or not there are solutions. Because we know what the problems are.

I've got two Veterans, who know the game, the way it has always been played, Paul Begala, and former Ohio Governor, John Kasich. Good men, good minds. Let's see if we can do better. Next.









CUOMO: Let's bring in two better minds, John Kasich, and Paul Begala.

Gentlemen, both of you, Happy Thanksgiving, if I don't see you both, I'm thankful for both of you guys, being in my life, best to your families.

So, right now, you got Minority Leader, in the House, Kevin McCarthy, giving a speech, just to kill time, so they can't vote on the BBB. And they jeer him, on the Democrat side. And he says "Yes, that's OK. I got all night." They say, "Yes, so do we. We've been waiting for this the whole time."

Governor Kasich, how do you improve anything, when opposition is a legitimate position, and one side just hates the other?

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR COMMENTATOR, (R) FORMER OHIO GOVERNOR: Chris, I listened carefully, your analysis.

The one thing I can tell you is, at some point, I don't know at what point, at some point, as you'd like to say, "Better minds," better minds, and people of better - a better motivation, in both the Democrat and Republican Party, are going to say, "We've had enough."

And frankly, I'm sick of both of them. I call them the way I see them. Sometimes, I criticize the Democrats. This whole thing, with this guy, who did this cartoon, Chris, I think he should be punished, for what he's done, inside the House. It's just unacceptable behavior.

But what I will tell you is at some point, there have to be people, who are willing to put, just like Kinzinger and Cheney have done, put it on the line. And if you - if you get taken out, if you lose your committee, if you lose election? So what? There's life after Congress.

Stand up and protect that institution. We stood up and protected it on January 6. We have to protect that institution. It's a part of America. And so, it's going to take courage, and it's going to take some sacrifice.

CUOMO: Look, I like what the governor is saying, Paul, but it's not right. Congress didn't protect Congress, on January 6. The cops did. The Capitol cops.

The Congress went back in there, at 4 o'clock in the morning, looking like heroes. And then, Republicans stood up, and voted to decertify an election, with no good goddamn basis, and they knew it. So that's the truth.

And Gosar isn't going to get punished, because his party likes what he does, because again, there is no incentive.

Look, the governor's right, "Better people. Better minds." It's not going to happen. They're not going to leave Congress, because they like the power. "There's life after Congress." Yes, but nobody wants to live that life.

So Paul, what is - what gives you hope?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: That's a great question, Chris. I had the distinct honor, this morning, of speaking at the National War College. I do it every year. It's a highlight of my year.

These are the best-fighting men and women, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and also civilians, the State Department, Intelligence. They're the most important people to protecting our country and defending our freedom.

And they gave me a challenge coin that I want to show you. This is the class of 2022, at the National War College. And their slogan, their motto, for their class, is "Victory through unity."

This is how important these - and I don't want to speak for these warriors. But this is how important unity is to them, and how deeply concerned they are of the viciousness and the polarization that they're seeing in their national civilian leaders.

We have to find a way to come back together. I do think Governor Kasich makes a good point. There has to be accountability.

What a different story this would have been, if Mr. Gosar had gone to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, who has been targeted with threats, and said, "I am sorry." It just takes strength. That's all it takes. It takes character. It's--

CUOMO: He's not sorry, Paul.

BEGALA: That's the problem. CUOMO: He's not sorry. He thinks that they're taking it too far that she should get a sense of humor. And he thinks that she's a danger. And he thinks the Democrats are nuts and radical. And his base and his constituents like it. So look, I get - I get you. But you just got to be realistic about where we are.

I mean, Gov., he's acting in good faith in a perverse way. He really believes this BS.

KASICH: Right. Yes but--

CUOMO: He thinks it's OK.

KASICH: But Chris, look, you know, this. The legacy of your family, particularly your father, he was an optimist. He looked for the better angels in people. He had guts and he had courage.


I am saying to you, Chris, there are, of the 435 people, in that place, there are some, on both sides, who are sickened, by what they see.

You're right, to some degree that they're in power. They want to stay in power. But that's not everybody. And that's not the way all of them think. Some of them are realizing.

And you know what? Liz Cheney, she says, "Oh, they come up to me quietly." At some point, they will not. And if a small band of those folks will get together, they can create upheaval, in that entire house. They can bring about a change in the culture.

I've been part of it. I've seen it happen. And it will happen again. I just don't know when, Chris. Because, there are people that are seeing that institution, being torn down, and they, at some point, are going to say, "I've had enough."

And they will have their time, they will have their leverage, to do something to say, the leaders of both sides, "I will not put up with this anymore. You want my vote, to pass something, the debt limit, or something else? No."

And if the Republicans win the majority, some of them will say, to McCarthy, "Don't count on me. I will not work with you, until you change the tone and the mood of this place." It will happen, Chris.

Hope springs eternal. Come on, you know that. You know that people inside have the capability, of reaching down, and saying, "I'm going to go all the way, regardless of the cost."

CUOMO: Absolutely. They just have to have the proper incentive.

People, I believe, are inherently morally neutral. You leave a state of nature, where you do everything, for yourself, and you do it, because you believe in the surrender of the self, for the dignity of the community, right? You surrender the "Me," to the "We." I don't know why anybody would do that in politics, when it's not rewarded right now. So, it's not me being a cynic or a pessimist. I'm a realist. This is the state of play.

KASICH: It is real. It is--

CUOMO: I hope it changes, Gov. I hope it--

KASICH: It is realized, Chris.

CUOMO: I just don't know why--

KASICH: No, it is realized.

CUOMO: --something is going to change, when it's being rewarded? But I hear you. I got to jump.

KASICH: Liz - Liz Cheney. OK. Liz Cheney will always be respected. No matter what happens, in a reelection, she's bigger than life right now.

CUOMO: Yes. And?

KASICH: For the good.

CUOMO: And unfortunately, the way it looks right now, she's got a good chance of being a regular, on my show, if they primary her--


CUOMO: --or she gets kicked out. Governor Kasich?

KASICH: There you go.

CUOMO: I appreciate you and respect you.

KASICH: All right.

CUOMO: Begala, thank you very much, best for Thanksgiving.

KASICH: Happy Thanksgiving.

CUOMO: Always. Be well.

BEGALA: Happy Thanksgiving. You got it, Chris.

CUOMO: I'm thankful for you both.

All right, now look, let's use our sense of common concern and collective will, all right? I just want to take a quick beat, and then we're going to stay on a story, until it ends, OK?

One of the best-known names, in tennis, in China, is missing. You may have never heard of her. She is a huge doubles player. I think she was ranked number one in doubles. She won Majors and stuff. She's a phenomenal player. I've seen her play. She's missing. Now, China's not saying that. But it should be said. And it should be said by tennis, and not subtly. Many of this nation's top tennis stars are demanding answers, from the Chinese government. But I say there should be more.

We have a special guest tonight, Pam Shriver, another just legend to the game. But she's also - she speaks truth to power. And she's making a bold demand, if Beijing doesn't start talking, next.









CUOMO: Simple question. Should be an answer. Where is Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai? If she's OK, the Chinese government should put her out. Where is she? Let us see her. What is this email? Doesn't make any sense.

She matters. She's the former number one ranked player, in women's doubles. She won the French Open. I think she won Wimbledon. She's a big deal.

Now, she accused the former Vice Premier of China, of sexual assault. Now, we don't know where she is.

Yesterday, Chinese state media released an email. It stinks, OK? It reeks. Something is wrong. It's supposedly from Peng, retracting the accusation, and saying she's safe.

Where is she? Come on? Why would anybody buy this? Let's bring in someone who doesn't, who is demanding action, former tennis pro, Pam Shriver.

It's great to see you.

PAM SHRIVER, FORMER TENNIS GREAT: Thanks, Chris. Good to be with you.

CUOMO: What should happen?

SHRIVER: What should happen? We should have absolute certainty and proof that Peng Shuai is healthy, and free, able to go out and practice tennis, tomorrow. It's unacceptable what's happening. It's obviously difficult. The WTA has 11 tour stops in China. They're a huge business partner. But I believe, Steve Simon, the CEO, when he says, "We don't get the right answers and get absolute certainty that Peng is fine, then, we can no longer be business partners."

CUOMO: Do you believe it is being put forward, forcibly enough? And do you believe that right now, it should be a tennis issue, for now, the leverage of the commerce, of the WTA, and maybe the USTA, and not necessarily a government thing?

SHRIVER: I think that's all that women's tennis has control over, right now, is to use the leverage that we have, and realize that, we can't - we have other partners that we can partner with that have the same core values, as we have, as an organization, of over - of about 50 years, that's helped build the biggest professional women's sport, on the planet.

And it's been done on the core values of equality, and treating women fairly, and listening to what they have to say, and not censoring them.

CUOMO: The key is action. When does the WTA have to pull the string, on the money that goes to and comes from China, if they don't get an answer?

SHRIVER: Well, I'm not in those business rooms. But Steve Simon, I know, he's already had key meetings, with tournament directors worldwide.

This became even during the tour championships that ended last night, in Guadalajara, who stepped in, to host the year-ending championships, for China that there have been literally nonstop meetings about this.


But as far as those specifics of the financials, when they have to pull the plug, I don't know those answers. I just believe Steve Simon, when he says that you can - they cannot be partnered with somebody that is not treating an athlete, with the kind of respect, and freedom, and dignity that she deserves.

CUOMO: Deadlines matter. Pam Shriver, your shot is breaking up. That's not China, although they have been messing with CNN's signal. Thank you very much.

I hope that we get answers, before Thanksgiving. All people want is to know she's alive and well. Pam Shriver, thank you. I will stay on this story.

We'll be right back with the handoff.


CUOMO: Thank you for watching. Appreciate it.

When I say, I'm going to stay on that story, with the Chinese tennis player, I mean it. We're going to stay on it.

There's going to be pressure because that is one of the reasons that the media, in this country, matters. We can apply pressure. We can ask the right questions. We can keep demanding answers, as long as I have a platform to do it.

Thank you for watching us. It's now time for "DON LEMON TONIGHT" with its big star, D. Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: And we have to keep demanding answers.