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Don Lemon Tonight
Can Donald Trump Become the GOP Nominee?; Chicago's Top Cop Fired. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired December 01, 2015 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: You think Donald Trump can't be the nominee? Think again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I backed McCain, he lost. I backed Mitt Romney, he lost. This time I said, now I'm going to do it myself, right? I'm doing it myself. No, I'm doing it myself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
The mogul who wants to be your next president speaking to a cheering crowd in New Hampshire tonight but with no sign that he is slipping from the top spot, the republican powers that be are getting nervous as Trump battles his rivals.
Plus, charges of a car robbed in Chicago. The city's top cop loses his job in the wake of the police killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDaniel -- McDonald. An Illinois attorney general calls for the Justice Department to investigate the police. What will it take to bring peace?
Spike Lee has an idea that might surprise you. He is here with me tonight. We have a whole lot to get and I want to begin with the enthusiastic crowd turning out for Donald Trump in New Hampshire.
As the New York Times GOP leaders increasingly fear that he could get the nomination and lead the republicans to a route in the general election.
CNN's Jeff Zeleny is in New Hampshire with the very latest for us. That is a big concern we from GOP leaders, Jeff. It seems like the leaders feel that they have created really an unstoppable candidate who is hurting the party and they have no idea how to stop him. What are your sources telling you?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Don, there is no question about that. They don't know how to stop him. And this is why it really concerns them. Two months from tonight, at this very hour, the first votes in the Iowa Caucuses will be coming in. And many republicans, many people in the establishment thought by this point this race would be in a different -- have a different look to it, it would be ordered differently.
But boy, Donald Trump has remained on top of this field. The rest of the candidates have not been able to consolidate any support. So now party leaders are acknowledging openly with worry and alarm that he could become the nominee and they fear what would do for the rest of the party.
Providing, you know, the Senate, they're trying to hold control of the Senate, other offices sort of and down ticket. So, they are worried about that now. But I can tell you they can't do anything about it.
And if they tried to, they know if they tried to, that might only inflate Donald Trump. Because the party establishment is not viewed in a very high regard right now. And it's one of the reasons he's doing so well, Don.
LEMON: You know, Jeff, Trump also just wrapped up a Town Hall in New Hampshire, and weren't planning on bringing up, you know, his 9/11 claims of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey since it's not accurate and it's been gone, we've gone over and over it as we, you know, we've been discussing here. But he brought it up again tonight. So, what did he say?
ZELENY: He did bring it up again tonight. And it was not at the beginning of the event, it was actually near the end. And he brought it up in a way in an unusual way actually. He said, he used it as an example of why his fans will stick with him, why they are more loyal. Let's listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know one of the things that come out in the poll, I have the most loyal people. That people say he can do anything. He can do anything. So, I don't know if that's right. But they say that I have the most loyal people.
You know, others if you sneeze they drop you. Me, I can sneeze, I can say things that I think are right. Like do you notice what's happening in New Jersey, they're now finding a lot of people who are saying, yes, that did take place in New Jersey, right? I wasn't going to apologize.
TRUMP: I wasn't going to apologize. A lot of things happened today where they were dancing and they were happy. There were a lot of happy people over in New Jersey and I saw it and a lot of people saw it. And I'm getting hundreds of phone calls and a lot of people are too. And things are all of sudden materializing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: Well, Don, one thing of course that's not materializing is any videotape of that. But I was curious actually. I talked to voters after the event and asked them if this matters to them. And to a person, it did not. They're much more interested in his economic views, they're much more
interested in his strength. They believe that this is, you know, all much ado about nothing. They don't necessarily believe him but they think too much has been made of this. So, it's simply is not going to go away.
LEMON: Certainly, very interesting. Jeff Zeleny, we appreciate your reporting. I want to bring in Hugh Hewitt now who is a panelist at the next GOP debate two weeks from tonight right here on CNN. How are you doing, sir?
HUGH HEWITT, RADIO HUGH HEWITT SHOW HOST: I'm terrific, Don. How are you?
LEMON: I'm great. You know, you interviewed Donald Trump today and I saw -- I heard part of the interview. You know, I want to know what you make about this reporting about the GOP leaders are in that standoff over what if anything can be done to stop Donald Trump, and yet no one wants to be the one to take him on. What do you think?
HEWITT: I think the New York Times is overstating that by factor of all by a hundred, Don. I talked to GOP leaders every single day. They believe this race has got a long way to go. And by the way, everybody loves the audience that Donald Trump brings.
When we get together on the 15th in Las Vegas I don't know if we're going to match the 23 million that watch the first time we did the debate with CNN with Salem Media Group.
[22:05:04] But if we get anywhere near that, it's an enormous crowd. So, the Republican Party understands that Donald Trump brings audience. That they, otherwise, don't get to talk to. And I think that's a huge upside for him.
And, when I talked to him today, I asked him about a whole bunch of other things besides the New Jersey -- the Jersey City claim. And when he talks, for example, about the home mortgage interest deduction being something that republicans should leave alone, he connects with blue collar voters that a lot of republicans don't seem to have a good carry on this.
LEMON: But let me ask you this.
HEWITT: Donald Trump is bringing a lot in.
LEMON: Let me ask you this. What about this because some of the top republicans they are worried, though, that he's going to affect -- it's not just about Donald Trump, right, being the president. He is going to affect congressional races, the state races, the local races. I mean, will he do that if he is the nominee?
HEWITT: Well, Hillary will do that to the democrats and whoever the republican is will do it to the republicans. There will be advantages and disadvantages to whoever leads the ticket. Hillary is going to drag a lot of democrats who are going to be
concerned with her trustworthiness not many people believe.
LEMON: But what about Donald -- stick to Donald Trump. Well, Donald -- well, that happens to Donald trump if he's the nominee.
HEWITT: I will -- I thought this is the -- it will happen to both nominees. It's very important that the narrative stay the same for republicans as democrats, Don. And so, there are upsides and downsides...
LEMON: Hugh, I understand that. Let me say this, Hugh. Every time I interview you, you bring up Hillary Clinton. I'm talking about DOnald Trump.
HEWITT: Of course she's going to be the nominee.
LEMON: Hang on, hang on, Hugh. There are people that I will interview tonight, democrats, I will talk to them about Hillary Clinton. So, in the short that we have laying the talk...
HEWITT: Yes. But they won't bring it the way I will, Don.
LEMON: But in the short time that I have let's...
HEWITT: They won't bring it the way I will.
LEMON: ... let's talk about Donald Trump, the person that you're here to talk about. You told my colleague, Alisyn Camerota this morning that you wouldn't be surprised if the day after Christmas he exited the race tossed support over to Ted Cruz that all of this is going to elevate his brand even higher. Do you really think that he would do something like that?
HEWITT: I asked him about it tonight on the show today. I said that, you know, you talk about being unpredictable. My term being unpredictable exit. And he said, oh, no, I'm in this to the finish. And so, I walk that back. I, you know, I asked him directly about it.
But I got to go back and push back a little bit, Don. I come on to talk about Donald Trump but you can't talk about Donald Trump unless you talk about Hillary Clinton.
LEMON: I know it, Hugh. But every time I listen to you and I watch you -- I watch you on do other interviews and it's -- I mean, you bring it right back. It's a good -- it's a good deflection. But you hardly answer the question about Donald Trump.
HEWITT: It's not a deflection. It's the race.
LEMON: But you hardly answer the question about Donald Trump and then you bring it right back to Hillary Clinton and then people, you know, sometimes the interviewer forget the question they asked you. I'm just asking you to stick to the topic at hand.
HEWITT: Well, you don't, Don.
LEMON: I know I don't. Since we have a limited time together.
HEWITT: Over at Hughhewett.com.
HEWITT: Over at HughHewitt.com.
HEWITT: There is the entire interview with Donald Trump. But here's the key thing.
HEWITT: If by the end of this night, the media doesn't cover Hillary's new released e-mails as much as they've covered Donald Trump's claim about Jersey City demonstrators they hate the media and it goes...
LEMON: Yes. We spent a ton of time talking about Hillary Clinton's e- mails and we'll discuss them tonight. We've heard tonight, though, that Trump stands by his claims about thousands of Muslims as you said in New Jersey.
HEWITT: Yes, he did.
LEMON: Celebrating the fall of the Twin Towers. Former NYC Mayor, Rudy Giuliani was asked about the claim this morning again on CNN. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: We had pockets of celebration. Some in Queens, some in Brooklyn.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN'S NEW DAY CO-ANCHOR: How many people?
GIULIANI: Ten, 12, 30, 40.
CAMEROTA: If there had been thousands of people
GIULIANI: That I think I would have not -- I would have known that for sure.
CAMEROTA: You have known that. Yes. So, Donald Trump is therefore not telling the truth?
GIULIANI: Well, I think what he is doing is exaggerating. People were celebrating, he's right about that. I didn't see...
CAMEROTA: But you're saying a handful.
GIULIANI: I didn't see any evidence of thousands of, nor have I seen it since then of thousands of people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: You just told me that people who, you know, his supporters they don't necessarily think he's telling the truth, but they think too much has been -- been made of this issue. Are they going to hold him accountable for anything that comes up, anything that he does wrong or says wrong in this election...
HEWITT: oh, hold him accountable. Don, they don't care. I mean, I've been trying to explain this. I was here and sat, listening to Alisyn interview Mayor Giuliani. And Mayor Giuliani he laughed it off because what's going on is completion of events.
So, I think, obviously, he is recollecting the West Bank or the Gaza demonstrations. He's putting together a little bit here. He had the Fred Siegel column, the Washington Post column, other scattered reports. Mayor Giuliani added some confirming data that there were demonstrations. It all...
LEMON: But if he doesn't want to apologize to people...
HEWITT: But a Trump supporter doesn't care.
LEMON: ... he believes are his opponents or to democrats. Shouldn't he apologize or at least clarify to the people who support him and say, you know what, maybe I conflated a bunch of different events and I apologize if I did that to his own good.
HEWITT: Don, why would he apologize if he remembers it? I'm trying -- what I've been saying from the beginning I don't believe that happened, you don't believe that happened. But I often am wrong about my memory. I'm sure you're often wrong about your memory.
[22:10:04] You don't go around apologizing. Instead you say, why is the main stream media obsessed of that?
LEMON: No, no, no. That's not true.
HEWITT: President Obama's claim about the ocean. LEMON: That's not true because I owe Katrina Pierson an apology
because we talked about cell phone video last time. The next time she comes in this show I'm going to apologize her because I was wrong about it, she was right. That's what people do when they're wrong. So, I think that...
HEWITT: If you -- if you come to that conclusion, you should. But thus far, Donald Trump has not come to that conclusion unless you think he is lying about his memory. And that's where, again, I recommended it this morning on New Day, Elizabeth's laugh Ted talk on memory, watch it Don.
HEWITT: It explains the whole thing.
LEMON: But even if my -- look, memory faulty memory has got a lot of people wrong and in this business...
HEWITT: Sure. But, you know, let me close with this. President Obama made a press conference today in Paris. He said that the seas are rising and continue to rise...
LEMON: I know. I got to run, Hugh. I got people in my ear telling me I have to go.
HEWITT: if not fact check that, Don.
LEMON: I will. Hugh, thank you. I love our back and forth. I love it when you come on. Thank you very much.
Up next, the man who was commissioner of the NYPD, of the New York City Police Department, on September 11th, what he says about Donald Trump's claims about Muslims -- Muslim-American cheering.
And, a shakeup in Chicago. The city's police chief superintendent was fired for his handling of a deadly police shooting of a teenager. Should the mayor step down?
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Donald Trump on the campaign trial in New Hampshire tonight, not backing down from his claim that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheered as the Twin Towers collapsed since September 11th.
I want to talk about that with Bernard Kerik, he was the New York City Police Commissioner on that day. It was a very busy day for you. You heard -- very busy time for you. You heard Mayor -- former Mayor Giuliani talk about it. Is that how you remember it, what he says?
BERNARD KERIK, FORMER NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: Yes. Well, there's a couple of things. One, we got constant Intel feeds -- intelligence feeds from both our intelligence division and people that were assigned to the Joint Terrorist Task Force giving us updates on various celebrations around New York City and the surrounding area.
Specifically, I remember Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, I remember Queens, Patterson, I think Jersey City. A number of people celebrating. This was a constant, you know, it was a constant reporting thing to us.
Between -- according to my notes, and what I sent to the mayor in an official report, between September 11th and September 26th, we actually had 71 hate crimes of that were investigated.
And a few of those to my recollection were actually assaults on people that other people thought were celebrating or claims were celebrating, or whatever the case may be.
And I think one of those has to do with the candy store thing.
LEMON: But did any of those reports turn out where there any official police reports that said, yes, that these people were celebrating? These people...
KERIK: No, it's intelligence stuff.
LEMON: No. It's intelligence stuff.
KERIK: Right. So, it's various reporting mechanisms. But, you know, like the Patterson Police Department notifies the Joint Terrorist task Force.
LEMON: Do you think there were thousands of people celebrating in New Jersey and that was -- and video of it that no one can find yet?
KERIK: Well, first of all, I never saw a video of anything. I wasn't watching TV. We were just a bit busy.
KERIK: Secondly, I never heard of thousands, no.
LEMON: Yes. This is what Mayor Rudy Giuliani said. He said, let's not -- this is at point, he made a point of saying, let's not engage in group blame, and he said it worked for the department to keep the peace during that time. Do you think that people were engaging in group blame at that point by blaming, saying that Muslims were celebrating?
KERIK: I think there was some of that going on. And like I said, there were 71 reported hate crimes.
LEMON: Do you think that's what Donald Trump...
(CROSSTALK) KERIK: In a matter of two days -- in a matter of 15 days. I don't
know if that's what he is doing. Look, there was a lot of coverage back then I didn't see. We know that there were thousands of people celebrating abroad, that was covered by CNN and others. I don't know what he saw. I'm not Donald Trump. I can't answer for him.
LEMON: Yes. And you know, Donald Trump has come on this show many times and I am always really fair to him. But when there is no -- there is no evidence that it happened, you wonder why the people who are his supporters, it doesn't matter to them if it's the truth or not.
KERIK: Well, look, you know, whether he saw thousands -- I don't know whether he saw thousands.
KERIK: There is a bunch of reporting out there whether it was the New York Post or the Time -- New York Times.
LEMON: Most of the people have said that those reports were not true then. They were reporting on what others had said and that it turned out not to be true, even the Washington Post very conservative, the New York Post which is very conservative.
Let's move on now and let's not, you know, keep digging on that one point. Let's talk about Rahm Emanuel in Chicago. Garry McCarthy is gone now. What do you think of that?
KERIK: I don't know. I think he did a tremendous job, and this is according to Rahm Emanuel. He started that press conference when he said he dismissed Garry. He started that out by saying what a great job he did over the last four years.
I think he did a good job for Chicago. I've known him. He worked for me in the New York City Police Department. I knew him when he was in Newark.
LEMON: A good guy?
KERIK: Good guy. A super, super confident guy, aggressive policing guy.
LEMON: Mistake to fire him?
KERIK: I don't -- it's really -- I can't say -- I can't say. But what I can say is -- you know, you have to look at everybody involved here. You know, according to, by all reports, this incident happened before Rahm Emanuel's election.
KERIK: You know, don't tell me he didn't know that video was out there. LEMON: That's -- this to my question. Do you think this was a cover
up because you look it, he knew it was out there, apparently there is some video that's been erased.
LEMON: Do you think it was a cover up?
KERIK: Well, Don, I don't know if it was a cover up but the mayor had to know. The mayor had to know. And what about the district attorney don't tell me she didn't know. They knew.
LEMON: Yes. But there are calls for both of them to go, by the way. Thank you. I appreciate you joining us here on CNN.
KERIK: Thank you.
LEMON: Thank you so much. When we come right back, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the hot seat as we've been talking about. The question he wouldn't answer today.
[00:05:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Here's the big news in Chicago today. Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked for the resignation of police superintendent Garry McCarthy.
Let's discuss now with Craig Futterman, he's a director of Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project, activist Ja'Mal Green, and Bernard Harcourt who wrote the New York Times op-ed title "Cover Up in Chicago." And it does appear to look that way. So, Craig, I want to start with you. What do you think is McCarthy's -- do you think McCarthy's firing is going to be the key to repairing the trust with this community?
CRAIG FUTTERMAN, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO CLINICAL PROFESSOR: No. There have been a series of police scandals in Chicago that go way back. And when they occur and then political crises that follow, you see a familiar recipe and a familiar play book. And it looks a lot like what we're seeing now.
It starts with some heads are going to roll. There will be an announcement of a Blue Ribbon Commission. And a committee will do a thorough investigation, no stone unturned. But then at the end of the day, the question is, and this has been the issue, the underlying issues, why so many, so many large segments of the black population, black community here in Chicago don't trust the police. Never get addressed.
[22:25:08] And so, you know, it can be the same things, new superintendent. We have had many...
LEMON: Do you think the mayor should go? Because a lot of reporters are asked -- a lot of reporters asked during that press conference if the mayor was going to step down too. FUTTERMAN: The mayor is not going anywhere is the reality. And I
think this is a real test for the mayor now. He has failed the test when it comes to police accountability so far. But right now, is one of these political moments when the issue is, is this the time when someone -- and he has to think about what his legacy is and what he wants his legacy to be. Does he want to be known possibly as the person who helped to change police in Chicago and bring in real police reform? It starts with honesty.
LEMON: That's a -- that's a good point. But Ja'Mal, you were shaking your head in agreement. You think the mayor should step down?
JA'MAL GREEN, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: Definitely. You got to look at it like this. This is the mayor's city. He is the CEO. If this is a corporation, he would be fired. You know, you mean to tell me that the mayor, who is the CEO, the city council, who would be the board of directors, approved a $5 million settlement during the re-election campaign and not even seen the video.
That does not say that we were wrong. That says that, you know, we have to keep in power. If we, if the stock -- if this was a corporation, stockholders would have Rahm Emanuel's head for the job that he has been doing. And as residents of the City of Chicago, we are the stockholders.
So, we definitely are calling for new leadership and accountability and that does not start or that does not begin and end with a superintendent of police or a beat cop. It starts with the mayor, who is desperate to keep in power and a city council who is doing his bidding to also stay in power. So, definitely Rahm Emanuel has to go.
LEMON: Bernard, your piece was about a cover up in Chicago. Do you think this was roundly absolutely a cover up?
BERNARD HARCOURT, COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL: Yes. I think the evidence points that way. You know, they did everything they could, everything they could at the highest levels to just quash this dash cam video just to hide it, right? For 13 months, right?
And just to keep it out of the public. Because they knew that the minute that we would see that video, heads would roll and it would be all hell would break loose, and it did, right?
In approximately, you know, two business days, you already have the chief of police who's fired. And you've got the city that doesn't have any confidence in the mayor. So, I think that they, you know, that the mayor's office did everything, litigated to keep it under wraps. Reached agreements with the family to keep it under wraps. Because, well, because there was a re-election.
LEMON: The Attorney General, Lisa Madigan is asking for the Department of Justice the Civil Rights Division to investigate the Chicago Police Department. Will that make a difference do you think? HARCOURT: I think investigations are useful and important. But in
this case, I think the problem moved from a kind of policing issue to a political issue.
HARCOURT: Right? It's not just the police department. Right? And the buck doesn't stop at the commissioner's desk.
LEMON: So, Craig, you know, he has a point about, you know, all of these -- let's ask people to investigate. You need the information, I guess to officially document it. But doesn't it always uncover what everyone there has already known, what people have been saying for years?
Because people have been saying this for years about Chicago -- about Chicago P.D. An as someone who has lived there, it's true.
FUTTERMAN: Right. And that's why -- that's why it is past time to actually address the problems. I mean, here's the one point that I disagree. No matter what, think about how the situation might have looked different if the mayor and the police department were honest and honest from the very beginning about what happened.
That wouldn't change what happened there down on the street. Nothing at all would it change what happened down the street. What happened was an execution, nothing short of it. And also what happened, as Bernard said, immediately what went into play was the code of silence, so it was just automatic.
Witnesses shoot off the scene. Video evidence -- video evidence destroyed, lies told to the media and then there is this video and the video was covered up. I get a call -- and this is how strong the code of silence is, I get a confidential call from within law enforcement, someone who has seen the video and what they tell me, they're like they're going to bury this.
It's going to be like every one of these other shootings. And to put this in context, we have a police shooting in Chicago an average of once a week. And that goes back for about 30 years. Seventy five percent of the people who were shot by police in Chicago are African- American.
So, I got a call from someone who had a lot of courage to say I'm putting my life in jeopardy, I'm putting my job in jeopardy, but something needs to happen here.
FUTTERMAN: But to imagine what would have happen if they told the truth from the beginning. Think about what happened in Cincinnati and the very different reaction, terrible shooting. Someone get shot in the head.
[22:30:01] LEMON: Yes. Craig.
FUTTERMAN: Go ahead.
LEMON: Craig, I've got to go. Craig, Bernard, and Ja'Mal.
FUTTERMAN: Of course.
LEMON: I have to go but I appreciate all of you joining us here in CNN. We'll continue the conversation.
FUTTERMAN: Thank you.
LEMON: When we come right back, what will it take to turn things around in Chicago? Spike Lee has an idea that may surprise you. He's here, next.
SPIKE LEE, "CHI-RAQ" FILMMAKER: Mr. Lemon.
LEMON: Hi. Get on up here.
LEE: Crazy day, huh?
LEMON: Chicago P.D. says 429 people have been murdered in the city this year. There have been 2,221 shootings as of now. Now Spike Lee is taking aim at gun violence with his new movie "Chi-Raq." And as usual, when it's Spike Lee, when it's a Spike Lee joint, people are talking. And Spike Lee joins me now. Thank you so much.
LEE: So, is that brother land.
LEMON: Hey. You know it's Kis...
LEE: It's kizmit. That's the word.
LEMON: You know why it's Kizmit, right?
LEMON: It's kizmit because Rahm Emanuel announces today that Garry McCarthy, the police superintendent has to go. He asks for his resignation. Let's listen and then we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[22:35:00] RAHM EMANUEL, CHICAGO CITY MAYOR: Superintendent Garry McCarthy has been an excellent leader of our police department over the past four and a half years. His community policing strategy has led to the lowest overall crime rate on record, and his efforts to remove guns from the street have yield significant progress.
I'm grateful for his service to the city. He has both modernized the police department and brought real results for the people of the City of Chicago.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Real results, peace to the streets. Do you agree with that?
LEE: Well, I mean, up to this morning, didn't the police commissioner say he wasn't resigning and then the mayor says his honor says they talked about it -- for me, from afar, it looks like head had to roll. And wasn't going to be Rahm. So, he had to go.
LEMON: Do you think he had -- but, listen, you've been in Chicago.
LEMON: I used to live there. People have said that about Garry McCarthy for a long time.
LEMON: And they're also saying he's not the only one that should go.
LEE: Well, they are calling for Rahm's neck too, his head. They held -- how long -- but how many days they hold the tape for?
LEMON: It was what, 14 months after it happened.
LEE: And then they settled, too? I mean...
LEMON: Before the tape came out, they settled.
LEE: Right. A lot of questions have to be answered. Why -- who made the decision? Why this tape was held so long? And who saw the tape? So, the day before the judge orders a tape be released, that officer gets indicted? Shenanigans to me.
LEMON: Do you think Rahm Emanuel has to go?
LEE: I think so. And, look, I'm not speaking on behalf of anybody but myself. And when I think about, you know, the hell he was giving me about the title of the movie, in retrospect there is a lot of things he could have commented about than the title of my new film "Chi-Raq" which I didn't even -- that title is not -- I didn't originate that title. That title came from local Chicago rappers.
LEMON: But do you think he knew -- well, obviously he knew what was happening behind this...
LEE: Oh, yes, because this was a -- and we met in late May in his office.
LEMON: So, what do you say to him?
LEE: You got a tough job. Chicago is no joke now. And you have to be very, very, very, you know, careful that thing doesn't blow -- the lid doesn't blow off.
LEMON: Yes. He talked about policing and police and about a five- person task force. Let's listen a bit of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMANUEL: Police officers are only as effective as if they are trusted by all Chicagoans, whoever they are and wherever they live in the city. By reinvigorating our oversight, we will continue to take the necessary steps to build trust between the police and the residents and communities they serve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, he talked about that there is a...
LEE: What I would like to say real quick?
LEMON: Go ahead, go ahead.
LEE: I want to put on the national level. What that tape, that tape hurt every police department in United States of America. Not just in Chicago. Those things are -- you know, it goes nationwide. So, that hurts every single police department in America, especially in areas where the gap is widening between the community and the police. That's bigger than Chicago.
LEMON: Yes. But what struck me. And I don't know if he talked a lot, if you listen to that press conference, he talked a lot about establishing the trust between the police and the community. Mostly about -- he talks mostly about police.
LEE: But how can you -- how can you garner trust when brother man was shot 16 times? And then you see with the audio, the last four or five shots -- I mean, he was dead already? That's -- why did they release the tape, first silent and then it comes out later with the audio. Who made that decision?
LEMON: So, this year -- this happened in October, right?
LEE: Of 2014.
LEMON: Of 2014, so, there is a year, right? Of 2000 -- it happened in October of 2014. You talk about the tape there is no audio on the dash cam, right? And then supposedly the Burger King tape.
LEE: Well, that's another thing.
LEMON: Are you sure that you think that there was no doubt in your mind that there was this cover up?
LEE: It has to be. This is like -- this is like some Watergate stuff.
LEMON: What do you say to the people of Chicago? You said this is a, you know, police department all over the country, I want to speak to the community, to Chicago, what do you say to folks there? LEE: The proof is in the pudding. I mean, it's very hard to -- for
people in the community to take the olive branch when they see Laquan shot -- they shot him like he was a dog.
[22:40:09] The State Attorney General, what her name? She got to get some heat too. She got to go.
LEMON: Anita Alvarez.
LEE: She got to go.
LEMON: She go to -- do you think she has to go?
LEE: I mean, they got -- top to bottom, they got to do something in Chicago.
LEMON: OK. I want to -- let's bring in on a national level. Right?
LEMON: Because you have -- I know you saw Donald Trump yesterday. He met with this more 100 African-Americans.
LEE: Was that today or yesterday?
LEMON: I mean, yesterday.
LEMON: He met with these pastors. Do you think they should have met with him?
LEE: Yes. But I think when they met with him they got to ask some questions. You know, what questions did they ask him that affects, you know, their parish and congregation.
LEMON: Yes. What do you think of Trump's rhetoric?
LEE: I think it's hateful. I think it's dividing the country more.
LEMON: He says he's not racist. He told me that. Do you think he's racist?
LEE: Look, he has racist tendencies.
LEMON: Spike Lee, you're not couching your words. I never.
LEE: No. I mean, if you look what he said about African-Americans, what he said about Hispanic people. This thing about we need to lock close down or lock up mosques. That's for me, that's a racist statement.
LEMON: So, this is -- I had some of the pastors on last night. And this is what they said about a possible Donald Trump endorsement. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK BURNS, THE NOW NETWORK FOUNDER & PRESIDENT: I believe that, you know, again, I've had several meetings with him as an individual. You know, I think, really, he's a strong person that really can be a unifier. He's a leader.
BURNS: But, Don, that he is a person that really helps create jobs which is one of the issue that...
LEMON: That's the issue that people really care about.
BURNS: ... the inner city -- right. The inner cities of America and mini minorities across this country, they are hungry, they need to eat. So, we need to have a person that's going to create jobs for people in America. We need to stop seeing color and look the -- look at creating jobs.
GEORGE BLOOMER, BETHEL FAMILY WORSHIP CENTER PASTOR: Well, to me, the political process at this point is a concept...
CORLETTA VAUGHN, HOLY GHOST CATHEDRAL PASTOR: Well, you can't -- you cannot say...
LEMON: Hang on, Bishop Vaughn, I'll let you have the last word.
VAUGHN: All right.
BLOOMER: To me, it's a concert. I was invited to the concert. The choir was singing and I haven't heard my song yet. I'm waiting for my hymn.
LEMON: You're waiting for your hymn.
LEMON: You're waiting for your hymn.
LEMON: Or you're waiting for the sermon, so you can decide if you're going to...
BLOOMER: I heard the sermon; I'm waiting for the song.
LEMON: All right. I got you. Bishop, go ahead. I'll give you the last word. Would you -- would you endorse Donald Trump?
VAUGHN: You know, no, not -- no, sir. SCOTT: I can't believe you.
VAUGHN: Not in this life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, what do you think? President Donald trump...
LEE: This two is keeping a rare.
LEMON: What do you think?
LEE: Who was the guy in the middle?
LEMON: All of those were reverends who were here.
LEE: I know. But the guy in the middle, there were three African- American men.
LEMON: Yes, there were reverends Scott, Reverend Bloomer...
LEE: Well, how could that guy say he is a unifier. I mean, you look at the women -- I mean, he's -- I don't think he is very nice to women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, if you look at his statements. So how -- if you look at his statements, how are those statements unify the United States of America?
LEMON: I want to get your reaction to this, the new republic, you know Michael Eric Dyson. He says Hillary Clinton will do more for blacks than President Obama. And here is that part of his piece, Lee.
He says, "If Hillary continues to learn from Black Lives Matter, and in turn teaches them a thing or two, it may not be a match made in heaven after all. That's what many said about Obama. But it may be a partnership that yields more action on race than we've had for far, far too long." Do you think he's right?
LEE: I disagree. He is, I mean, he's entitled to his opinion. I know Michael is a good friend. And it just seems like from the get-go he has had friction. Cornell West, Dyson, you know, they got that, you know, they have it in for Obama. So, I support my president. I think he's -- when history, when we look back on history we will see someone who is one of the greatest American presidents.
LEMON: So, on Black Lives Matter. Whether you want to call it criticism or whatever, it could be constructive but you have said that they need to -- you support what they do. You think what they do is important, but?
LEE: There was -- there was no but. I was speaking as myself, as a black man in the United States of America. I cannot just jump on the cops 24/7, and then be deaf and dumb when like a 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee is shot, executed in the back of his head.
There are just some things that we got to do ourselves. We got to at the same time we are talking about Black Lives Matter, we got to work on house. And right now, in a lot of our neighborhoods, it's not Chicago, Brooklyn where I'm from, The Bronx, Philadelphia, Beryl, Maryland, D.C., Dutch City, Houston, Old Town, you know, young brothers are killing themselves. That's a fact.
[22:44:57] So, it's not -- it's not one or the other. To me, it's a two-hand approach to get this. It doesn't matter what complexion or color the hand of the finger that pulls the gun, that person's dead. For me, it doesn't matter what the color of the finger on the hand.
LEMON: All right. We're going to talk about, were' going to delve deep into Chicago and "Chi-Raq."
LEE: Thank you.
LEMON: When we come right back. We'll be back.
LEMON: Spike Lee's new movie "Chi- Raq" opens Friday in select theaters. And Spike is back with me, and of curse he's not holding back. So, you said it was kizmit, right?
LEMON: This movie, it opens on Friday. The police commissioner, all that, why did you do this film because of what's happening things like this?
LEE: Well, I can't say that I have a crystal ball. But can the whole month, they're cool right now, we wanted to do a film that really talked about what it means to be alive in America today. We wanted to do -- we want to do a contemporary film. And the original -- the original source matter is a play that is written in 400 B.C. This Lysistrata. So, in that play the premises we may come together and hold sex so the wars will stop.
[22:50:04] Move to that premise and move to the South side of Chicago to day.
LEMON: Here's a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Homicides in Chicago, Illinois have surpassed the death toll of American Special Forces in Iraq.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Heads all to me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to Chi-Raq.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Land of pain, misery and strife.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody here got a man banging and slanging and fighting for the flag risking that long zip for the cadaver bag.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All to the bang-bang.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, over the past year...
LEMON: So many different things -- how did you continue to update this?
LEE: Well, when the -- when the act of terrorism happened in Charlotte, excuse me, Charleston, South Carolina, that was in the middle when we were filming in Chicago. So, my writer -- my co-writer came and I, we wrote that scene, wrote a scene about Dylan Storm and it's in the film now. So, we were trying to -- it's hard to keep up. We're trying to be as current as we could.
LEMON: It's tough. Because it happened, you know, you've got North Charleston, you got Charleston, you got Chicago.
LEE: It's trouble in.
LEMON: Did you -- when you were in Chicago did you ever feel that you weren't safe?
LEE: No. Because we had our NYPD. I'm telling you when we were filming there; we were in the safest spot on the south side because we have police around us.
LEMON: I went there a couple years ago and interviewed gangbangers and drug dealers. Of course, I didn't show their faces in the middle of the night.
LEMON: And there was a point we had to get out of there. But we had former drug members who would now become community activists who were watching us. They were -- who were watching us. It's tough. It's real. People are -- listen, it's awful what happens. But they will tell you, I'm just trying to make a living.
LEE: Well, here's the thing. And we have to give our young people, not just black -- and not just African-American, we have to give our young people a reason to keep living. I talk to these guys. They're OK if they don't live past 18.
I mean, a human life is the most precious thing you can have. And we fail our youth, I feel, if they don't feel like life isn't worth living. And if they don't feel like life is worth living, then they will shoot people left and right. And that's what is happening.
LEMON: So then what do you do? When I was talking -- when I said to you I don't hear people talking to the community, how do you change that?
LEE: Well, you need Father Flagger...
LEMON: Yes, right.
LEE: ... to answer that one. But something has to be done and many times I've been asked and I'm doing publicity for film, so, Spike, what do you want people to come out of theater think about? Usually I say, oh, they are smart. They can figure it out.
I'm not going to. But for this one, when you come out of this theater, hopefully you will, open at December 4th, we got to start things -- it's usually about guns in this country. Gun violence.
LEMON: You take on the NRA in the film.
LEE: Well, we have to. I think that we're at the tyranny on the NRA and the gun manufacturers. Because there is a profit, you know, in what they do. And that means they're putting like or they're putting profits over a human life. That's my opinion.
LEMON: And you think that can be change. Again, if people don't go see this movie now, I mean, come on, look, really.
LEE: Look, I'm not -- they're going to see it. But I don't want them to wait until Amazon prime. They'll see to movie theater.
LEMON: I know. I'd tell everybody. Go see this movie now.
LEE: Thank you.
LEMON: Go see this movie. And I have to ask you as we sit here, do you know what today is?
LEE: Yes, 60 years ago, Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a bus.
LEMON: And we're talking about people killing themselves. Our people killing each other, cops killing black people. And that's what the take away?
LEE: You know, we're in a very serious point in history of American -- in American history. And this election is really going to determine which way this country's going to go.
LEMON: How do you think Rosa Parks would feel about this situation that is happening that you're having to do a film like "Chi-Raq?"?
LEE: Not just Rosa, Dr. King, Bobby Kennedy, Malcolm X, Maggie Evans. We could keep going on and on and on. I think -- I think in some ways they'd be happy but if they look at the racial situation in this country they would be very, very sad. I mean, of course, I'm guessing but you asked me the question.
LEMON: Yes. Spike Lee, thank you. "Chi-Raq" Friday.
LEMON: December 4.
LEMON: Thank you, sir.
LEE: Thank you.
LEMON: Always a pleasure.
LEE: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
LEMON: Absolutely. We'll be right back.
[22:55:01] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: As Spike Lee and I just discussed, the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement like Rosa Park, might be surprised that how far we have and have not come in America.
Sixty years ago today, Ms. Parks was arrested for not giving up her receipt on a public bus to a white man. A simple, but extraordinarily brave act that sparked a boycott of the Montgomery, Alabama bus system. The beginning of the end of Jim Crow, changing this country forever.
But change can come a little slower in some places and some walks of life. Folks in Chicago or Baltimore or Charleston, South Carolina tonight, might think we have a ways to go as a nation.
Rosa Parks passed away 10 years ago, at the age of 92. An American hero who wanted to be treated fairly and with respect.
[23:00:06] I'm not sure of what she'd make of Donald Trump or Mayor Rahm Emanuel or 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. But I think it is safe to say if she had the chance she would not hesitate to tell us.
That's it for us tonight. "AC 360" starts right now.