Return to Transcripts main page

Don Lemon Tonight

Jared Kushner Met With Special Counsel About Michael Flynn; Matt Lauer Fired By NBC; A Tale Of Two Scandals; President Trump Accusers; President Trump's Accusers; Convicted War Criminal Commits Suicide; Trump Retweets Right-Wing Group; School Recorder Case. Aired 11p-12mn ET

Aired November 29, 2017 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:50] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: This is CNN tonight, I'm Don Lemon. Just getting close to 11:01 here on the east coast. We're live with breaking news on the Russian investigation. CNN learning exclusively that Jared Kushner has met with the Robert Mueller's investigators to answer questions about Michael Flynn. More on that in a moment plus shocking new details about the sexual harassment allegations against Matt Lauer, who was fired by NBC today. Just like a growing number of powerful men in media and in Hollywood, suffering swift consequences, their accusers believe the President of the United States is a very different story. Despite accusations from 13 women. And you've got to ask yourself, why is that?

Let's get right to the breaking news first. Tonight on the Russia investigation, a CNN exclusive we are learning tonight that senior White House adviser Jared Kushner has met with the special counsel's office as part of its investigation in to Russian meddling in the election. Pamela Brown here with the details for us. Pamela good evening to you. We have learned that Jared Kushner met with the special counsel Robert Mueller's team regarding the investigation into Russia meddling. How significant is this meeting?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN NEWSROOM SHOW HOST: Well it's significant in the context that this is the first meeting between Robert Mueller's team, the special counsel and the president's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. We were told that it was a meeting that took place earlier this month, it lasted around 90 minutes or less and the predominate focus was on Michael Flynn and what Jared Kushner could tell them about his relationship with Flynn, any communications they had with Flynn. Anything they could glean from him that might exculpatory information that might (inaudible) Flynn who, as we know, Don, is under investigation, and is a target in the Russia probe. So it is an indication given the fact that this interview was really focused on Michael Flynn, that Mueller's team is focused. It's very serious about Michael Flynn in that investigation. And that Jared Kushner in this case was being treated as a witness here, Don.

LEMON: Interesting. Let's talk a little bit more about that drill down on it, because they asked Kushner specifically about Michael Flynn. Did he reveal anything and what does this mean for Flynn? BROWN: Well, I can tell you that we don't know specifically what it

revealed, but they had a close relationship during the campaign, during the transition, and during the administration. The early days before Flynn was fired, because Kushner had foreign policy in his portfolio. Flynn was the former national security adviser and he was also Flynn and Kushner were at the time meeting at Trump tower with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition. So their paths crossed, their schedules intersected so it would make sense that he'd want to talk to Kushner about Flynn. And it indicates here Don that the noose is tightening around Michael Flynn that they want to talk to those who were closest to him that could shed the most light and that they're building a case around Michael Flynn.

And as we know there are indication that there may be plea deal work out right now, because his lawyer, Michael Flynn's lawyer has stopped sharing information with other defense attorneys in the case.

LEMON: What about Jared Kushner lawyer responding right?

BROWN: Yes that is right. He basically said that Kushner has voluntarily cooperated with all of the relevant inquiries and will continue do so and it's worth noting here that, as I said before, in this case he was being treated as a witness, providing information about Michael Flynn and typically a defense attorney would not allow a client to go in front of special counsel in this capacity, if the belief was that the client was, in fact, a target. Don.

LEMON: Pamela Brown, appreciate your reporting. Thank you so much. Now I want to bring in CNN global affairs analyst David Rohde, CNN legal analyst Michael Zeldin, who was Robert Mueller's former special assistant at the DOJ and CNN contributor John Dean, former Nixon White House counsel. Thank you all for coming on. David, I am going to start with you, what information could Kushner have regarding Flynn and why would Mueller's team, what do they want to find out from them?

DAVID ROHDE, GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST, CNN: Well you know, Flynn is so interesting because he had the most interactions with Russia. He was the one attending the dinner with Putin before the campaign. And it is, Pam's essentially right, this is more and more pressure on Flynn, you know, repeated contacts with the Russians during the campaign. You know, the pressure that Flynn's son might face charges and it's very methodical and clearly Flynn is the focus here.

[23:05:10] LEMON: More about Flynn than Kushner.

ROHDE: Yes. I mean, and to be fair to the White House, they're cooperating. Kushner did go and meet today, he turned over these documents. There's questions about some of his disclosure forms, but the Ty Cobb strategy the President has said let's cooperate and play this out with Mueller, he'll be fair to us, for now that view is holding. We'll see if it holds if more charges are brought.

LEMON: And as Pamela showed to your point, his lawyer said Mr. Kushner has voluntarily cooperated with all relevant inquiries and will continue do so. Michael, I want to bring you in now. The Kushner meeting happened earlier in the month as has been reported but we have learned only in the last few days that Flynn's legal team is no longer communicating with the White House. And there are lots of speculation about a plea deal. What do you think?

MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, this surely pretends that when Flynn said to the other people in the group, we have no mutuality of interest, our paths are departing from one another, that is an indication that he is trying to work out a plea deal or a plea deal and a cooperation agreement, what Mueller is going to do here with Kushner is to tie up loose ends, make sure that he has everything he needs to know about Flynn known so that no surprises come. Because the fact that they may be negotiating plea agreements and cooperation agreements, doesn't mean that they'll in the end achieve them. So Mueller doesn't want to lose the time or the evidentiary value of Kushner and therefore he is tying this all up with a ribbon and he is ready to present to Flynn and his attorney and his son's attorney what it is that they think they can prove and what it is that Flynn can offer them in exchange.

LEMON: John, Kushner has also been under scrutiny himself for meetings with Russians, failing to report contacts. Is there any indication that he is out of the woods?

JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: There's no indication he is out of the woods. This sounds like a very standard operating procedure by a prosecutor to have a very carefully tailored agreement to discuss these matters with a person who is trying to be a witness rather than a target. And that is what Mr. Kushner came in and volunteered information. It's clear that I'm sure there were parameters, for example, the President could have theoretically if they've gotten outside of the time of the campaign and into his service in the White House could had invoke the executive privilege. They didn't have that hurdle to deal with. They obviously disposed that going on. As I say, this not an unusual arrangement and as Michael said, they're testing their case and probably going to present it to Flynn and his son pretty soon to see what they're going to do.

LEMON: I just want to ask you, Michael, because, you know, from what we know now about this, this is more about Flynn than Kushner, but, you know, as John just said he is not out of the woods. We don't know. If Kushner said something that was inaccurate to the counsel or any of his communications with the counsel or investigators, what could that mean for him? Is there a possibility of perjury?

ZELDIN: Well, he is not under oath so it's not perjury, but if he makes a false statement to Mueller and his FBI investigators, it can be prosecuted as a false statement if it was done knowingly and intentionally and involved a material aspect of the inquiry. If he makes a mistake that is correctible and he corrects it later on, that is not likely to give rise to a false statement's prosecution. So false statements really is purposeful misleading, purposeful lies. And I'd be very surprised with Kushner with the capability that Abby Lowe brings to the team that Kushner's going to find himself in a 1,001 false statements trap.

LEMON: David, tell us about what we know about the relationship between Kushner and Flynn. ROHDE: They were very close during the campaign and I think that is

part of why they were speaking to Kushner today. It's been amazing sort of, you know, Kushner's position is sort of up in the air, but they sort of rose together. Flynn sort of burnt out spectacularly in the first months of the administrations and then there was these continued contacts. Kushner's own meeting with the Russian banker. So their paths have diverge and I just wonder if Kushner's trying to help him or not as he is -- again, Flynn faces the most legal jeopardy here. His son faces the most legal jeopardy.

LEMON: Do you mean if Kushner is trying to help him or not?

ROHDE: I think he is being truthful today. We had charges before about another person aligned FBI act. So the cooperation might help Flynn, you know. We don't know what he is being asked and, you know, Kushner might be defending him in these meetings, to be fair.

LEMON: So John why would Mueller's team be so interested in a plea deal with Flynn if he didn't have something big to tell him?

[23:10:02] DEAN: I don't think they will be interested in a plea deal unless he does have something big to tell him. They don't -- they probably have not put Flynn in front of a grand jury at this point. They haven't really probed him to see if what he wants to talk about or what the story his attorney mentioned to the congressional people earlier he had to tell. So I think, you know, they probably know a good bit about where he might go or they think he might go. And that is what they'll test.

LEMON: Yes. John, Michael, David, thank you very much. I appreciate it. When we come back, a tale of two scandals. Matt Lauer fired within hours after just one allegation of sexual harassment. President Trump who has been accuse by 13 women is a very different story.


[23:15:22] LEMON: Powerful man disgraced, revealed to have used his power to sexually harass multiple women. What they say he said to them and did to them is inexcusable. And now that powerful man is paying the price for all of it. No, not President Trump, Matt Lauer is the one who has been disgraced and who lost his job today. A sudden and stunning fall in a wake of multiple accusations of sexual harassment. Just like a growing number of powerful men in media and in Hollywood, more and more of them suffering swift consequences. Their accusers believe that the President of the United States is a very different story in spite of accusations from 13 women. You've got ask yourself, why is this? The President would like to you forget what his accusers have said, but their stories are important. Here they are in no specific order. Number one, Ninni Laaksowen, a former Miss Finland. In 2006 while posing for a picture with Trump and another contestant she says, quote, he grabbed my butt before an appearance on the late show with David Letterman. Number two, Jessica Leeds, she says she sat next to Trump on a flight around 1980. Here's how she described it to our Anderson Cooper.


JESSICA LEEDS, DONALD TRUMP ACCUSER: He was grabbing my breasts and trying to turn me towards him. And kissing me and then after a bit that is when his hands started going -- I was wearing a skirt, and his hands started going towards my knee and up my skirt.


LEMON: Donald Trump told a "New York Times" reporter, quote, none of this ever took place. Number three, Mindy McGillivray. She told a Palm Beach post that Trump groped her 14 years ago when she was a assisting a photographer at Mar-a-Lago.


MINDY MCGILLIVRAY, DONALD TRUMP ACCUSER: He didn't give me a second glance. He knew what he did. I know he knew what he did. I could tell by looking at his smug face he knew exactly what he did.


LEMON: The Trump campaign has threaten a lawsuit which has yet to happen. Number four, Rachel Crooks says 12 years ago she was a receptionist at the building where Trump worked. After she said hello and shook his hand, she says Trump kissed her on her cheeks and then on the mouth. She told "The New York Times," quote, I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that. Jason Miller who was then a Trump spokesman called the Times article, fiction. Number five. Natasha Stoynoff, a writer for people magazine was at Mar-a-Lago in 2005 to write about Trump and his wife's Melania's one year anniversary. She says Trump pushed her against a wall and started, quote, forcing his tongue down her throat. Trump's campaign told people the incident never happened. Number six. Temple Taggert, a former Ms. Utah claims Trump gave her a nonconsensual embrace and kissed her on the lips during a rehearsal for Miss U.S.A when she was 21 years old. Taggert says Trump did it again later during a meeting at Trump tower. She spoke to Erin Burnett.


TEMPLE TAGGERT, DONALD TRUMP ACCUSER: He is married, he is much older, and this is not at all what I came here for.


LEMON: Told NBC, quote, I don't even know who she is. Number seven, Kristin Anderson says she was at a Manhattan nightclub in the early 1990's sitting on a couch talking to friends. This is what she says happened next.


KRISTIN ANDRSON, DONALD TRUMP ACCUSER: The person on my right who unbeknown to me at that time was Donald Trump put their hand up my skirt. He did touch my vagina threw my underwear.


LEMON: Spokeswoman Hope Hicks called the story a political attack designed to take down Mr. Trump. Number eight, Summer Zervos was an apprentice contestant. She says Trump first kissed her during a meeting in New York but since she said she hoped to get a job at the Trump organization, she met with him for dinner in Los Angeles and says she was escorted into a room next to where he was getting dress. She claims he later kissed her, quote, very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast.

SUMMER ZERVOS, DONALD TRUMP ACCUSER: He treated me like I was an object to be hit upon. I was incredibly embarrassed by your sexual advances and shared this information with a select few people close to me. Do you not have the right to treat women as sexual objects, just because you are a star?


LEMON: In a statement Trump said, quote, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago. Number nine, Kathy Heller says she met Trump at Mar-a-Lago during a mother's day brunch 20 years ago. She told the guardian she had been introduced to Donald Trump by her mother-in-law. She said he, quote, took my hand and grabbed me and went for the lips. All without her consent. Jason Miller called that a false accusation.

[23:20:00] Number ten, Jill Harth, says she and her then boyfriend were involved in a business venture with Donald Trump. She says Trump made unwanted sexual advances towards her, including groping her under her skirt on two occasions in 1992 and 1993. Hope Hicks said in a statement to CNN, quote, Mr. Trump denies each and every statement made by Ms. Hart. Number 11. Jessica Drake. An adult film performer and Director says Trump invited her to his suite at a charity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe in 2006. She brought two other women with her, because she says she didn't feel comfortable going alone.


JESSICA DRAKE, DONALD TRUMP ACCUSER: He grabbed each us tightly in a hug and kissed each one of us without asking permission. He was wearing pajamas.


LEMON: She also says Trump offered her $10,000 and the use of his private plane if she would go out to dinner or attend a Party with him. The Trump campaign statement called the story totally false and ridiculous. Number 12. Karena Virginia is a yoga instructor and a life coach. She said she encountered Trump in 1998 while waiting for a car service outside the U.S. Open.


KARENA VIRGINIA, DONALD TRUMP ACCUSER: He then walked up to me and reached his right arm and grabbed my right arm. Then his hand touched the right inside of my breast. I was in shock. I flinched. Don't you know who I am? Don't you know who I am? That is what he said to me.


LEMON: And then there is a 13th accuser who wish ds to remain anonymous. She is a friend of CNN's Erin Burnett and she says Trump tried to kiss her on the lips at Trump tower in 2010. She says he invited her into his office alone, told her she was special, and gave her his cell phone number. She told Erin, quote, I ran the hell out of there. 13 women, 13 stories that should make any honorable person ashamed. When we come back, why the President seems to brush off all of these accusations against him while more and more men face swift consequences.


[23:27:02] LEMON: You heard the stories before the break of 13 women who have accused President Trump. He denies every single one of them and he is doubling down on his support for Roy Moore and accused child molester. He'll discuss that, former congresswoman Nan Heyworth of the independent women's forum board of directors and former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, a CNN senior political commentator. Good evening, thank you so much for coming on. This is a very difficult conversation and I've been having it for quite some time now for the allegations against the President, Matt Lauer, and Harvey Weinstein and on and on. Jennifer, the President says all of his accusers are lying, but is he getting a pass on his behavior?

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He is totally getting a pass. I mean let's just realize we all know that there's a spectrum of behavior that we're talking about here. I think we could all agree, I would hope Nan would agree too, child molestation and what Roy Moore is accused of, if somebody's accused of rape, if somebody's accused of some forceful crime that is sort of in a different ballpark. And then we have this other spectrum of activity that we're seeing, members of congress be accuse of. We don't know. We have 13, maybe even 15 people accusing the President of a variety of totally inappropriate things. So maybe we need to have for congress and the President, maybe we need to have a structure, a system to be able to investigate these in a way that is quick and that respects the victims. Like they have in the private sector. NBC had a system in place, within 24 hours they had interviewed, they had made a decision, and they took action. Maybe we need something --

LEMON: It's less than that.

GRANHOLM: Something transparent and quick like that.

LEMON: So listen, the consequence, Nan, have been swift for so many others in Hollywood and media and business, is the President being held to a different standard?

NAN HAYWORTH, (R) FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: No, I don't think so at all, Don. There's due process and there's an evidentiary.

GRANHOLM: What due process? HAYWORTH: Well, due process for anyone Governor Granholm, with all

due respect, who say is accused of very serious crimes potentially. I mean, to be --

GRANHOLM: What's the structure of due process for him, though?

HAYWORTH: There's a standard of evidence that applies in any of these cases no matter the stature or the position in life of the person.

GRANHOLM: But that all requires the victim to bring a lawsuit. You're talking about a court standard.

HAYWORTH: Ok. But otherwise Governor Granholm.

GRANHOLM: That didn't happen in the private sector with any of these.

HAYWORTH: Accusations can fly back and forth. There's, you know --

GRANHOLM: That is why I'm saying that we need a structure for this.

HAYWORTH: Accusation that is unsustainable.

LEMON: Let me ask you this. 13 women and there are more according to other news organizations, but the ones that we have here at CNN 13 have accuse the President of sexual misconduct. Are they all lying?

[23:30:00] HAYWORTH: It's entirely possible they're all lying. Certainly in at least one case, in at least one case the design of airline seats alone, I remember then, I don't remember the woman's name, but the design of airline seats alone in that era, in the situation she described would make it impossible for the President to have done anything like what she accused him of.

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is what's so frustrating. This is so frustrating.

HAYWORTH: I said that about -- by the way, I said that about Al Franken too.

GRANHOLM: You cannot talk to her -- ok. All I'm saying is that neither of us sitting here can make the judgment, because we haven't talked with the women, we haven't heard the evidence. But what I'm suggesting is that if we are talking about an investigation of Al Franken or of John Conyers, we should be having a structure in place to investigate these allegations as well, because there is nothing other than somebody taking a President to court and he is the President so he is got immunity and there is -- this is a very, very difficult situation. Unless there is some kind of structure to investigate. The President should not be immune from investigation either.

DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: Let me ask you this. Other politicians are under scrutiny too, Senator Al Franken, Congressman John Conyers, are they all being held accountable?

GRANHOLM: Well at least Al Franken has said that he wants -- he is called forth the investigation from the ethics committee. John Conyers, same thing. He should be, they all should be investigated. But the problem is, is that in congress the investigation process is very long and it's not transparent. This is why Congresswoman Jackie Spear has called for a different kind of process. She wants it to be more transparent. I would hope she wants it to be shorter. We don't want investigations that take four years. There is no other mechanism for victims, victims to come forward and tell their story. We have to respect the victims here and not just protect the people who are accused.

HAYWORTH: Well, we have to -- we have to protect all who are involved, Governor Granholm, and it's -- a victim is not a victim unless there actually is a valid accusation.

GRANHOLM: I agree.

HAYWORTH: And I'm sure that everybody would agree that these matters, yes, do have to be investigated, but they remain speculative unless and until there's proof.

LEMON: The only way to bring it is usually through the legal process. And in many of these case, whether it involves the President or Bill Cosby or whomever, the statute of limitations has run out. The President promised before the election that after he would sue all of these women, that has not happened.


LEMON: Wouldn't that be a way to bring due process?

HAYWORTH: I don't think the President has any desire to make these women's lives difficult. I think he has --

GRANHOLM: Uh, well, except for he is accused them all of lying.

HAYWORTH: Ok. Well, but Governor Granholm, he is a prominent -- he is a prominent target and there's no question at all that there's a lot of political risk to everyone involved in public life who might potentially be accused of a crime of any sort. These are particularly.

GRANHOLM: And to the women. And troubling women. And to the women as well.

HAYWORTH: And to women and men who might, indeed, be the victims of sexual assault or abuse. There's no question. And I think a lot of what we're talking about as the reason this is so important in our public discourse is because clearly we are entering a new era of scrutiny, of transparency, of process, of liability. I think every transaction, ever interaction that we have with each other will become much different in a lot of was in terms of just the level of vigilance that everybody's going to have going forward.

LEMON: I have ten seconds if you want the last word.

GRANHOLM: I certainly think that is not a bad thing. HAYWORTH: It's not a bad thing, it's just a fact.

GRANHOLM: I don't think it's a bad thing that people are for vigilant. But I do think that congress and the President are not above the law and there is no.

HAYWORTH: Of course not.

GRANHOLM: System in place to investigate the President right now and there should be.

HAYWORTH: Due process.

LEMON: Thank you both. We've got to show you an incredible moment in a courtroom caught on camera and I have to warn you it's very disturbing. It's a war criminal, former commander of Croatia forces during the Bosnia war, committed suicide while drinking poison right in the middle of court. It happened as the Judge announced the guilty verdict who interrupted the proceedings with a loud outburst then he drank from a vile of liquid he smuggled into the chamber.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You may be seated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honorable Judges, he is not a war criminal and I accept your verdict with utter distress disgust.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop, please. Please sit down.


[23:35:00] LEMON: Well, the liquid was poison and he was rushed to the hospital in Hague where he died shortly after.


LEMON: President Trump's retweet of anti-Muslim videos from an extremist group is provoking outrage at home and around the world. I want to talk about this with Rula Jebreal, a former policy analyst and visiting professor at the University of Miami. Ben Jacobs is a political reporter at the garden and Ed Martin CNN political commentator and the author of the conservative case for Trump. Good evening. Thank you for joining us. Ben, you first, you do a lot of reporting on these right wing groups. What you can tell us about Britain first? What do they stand for?

BEN JACOBS, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE GUARDIAN: Well, Britain first is a fringe far right wing group in England. The woman Trump retweeted called for Islam to be banned in the entire United Kingdom and what their big attention getting scheme is that they go on what they call Christian patrols in predominantly Muslim neighborhoods holding crosses, dressed in sort of military type uniforms and trying to cause trouble and then put it on the internet.

[23:40:10] LEMON: Rula, the President's retweets of right wing extremist drawing public rebuke from at least two of our European allies. First, he was wrong. What was labeled as a Muslim migrant attacking a Dutch boy was not that, it was a Dutch on Dutch violence which prompted the Dutch embassy to point that out. Says facts do matter. The perpetrator of the violent act in this video was born and raised in the Netherlands and received complete -- received and completed a sentence under Dutch law. British Prime Minister Theresa May's office responded with British people overwhelming reject the President's rhetoric of the far right which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents, decency, tolerance and respect. So Rula, do you see the message Trump is trying to convey anything but Muslims are dangerous people?

RULA JEBREAL, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI: No. This is exactly what he wants to do. The problem with that message that he is not only, as you said, alienating our allies, he is galvanizing the most bigoted, the most racist, but also the most violent groups around Europe. Two weeks ago I just want to remind our audience, two weeks ago in Poland 60,000 neo-Nazis marched in the street holding torches exactly like Charlottesville last summer and they were calling for a second holocaust basically for Jews and Muslims together. Europeans know very well that basically when you diminish the humanity of one ethnic group of one minority, basically it's a framework for crimes. That is what basically normalizing this kind of views led to the holocaust in Europe, but also as you mentioned in the previous segment, we saw what happened to these guys who basically use that rhetoric to go after hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Bosnia and basically carry out a genocide. The President seems not to understand the consequences of his words. This Neo-fascist and neo-Nazi's, they seem not only galvanized, they consider him their leader. They go on and publicly raise him and say, bring it on.

LEMON: Ed, I have to ask you because I hate to give -- I hate to give mention to the group that this President retweeted, but Britain first is not just of the name of the right wing group, it is also the exact phrase shouted by a man before he murdered a British member of parliament. This is what her husband had to say about the President's tweets.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was retweeting a felon, you know, somebody that was convicted of religiously aggravated harassment of an organization that is a hate-driven organization on the extreme fringes, far, far right of British politics. This is like the President retweeting the Ku Klux Clan. This is not a mainstream organization from the President of the United States, our greatest allies of the country to be retweeting, to be providing a microphone to those voices.


So, Ed, speaking of the KKK, white, white supremacist David Duke tweeted out his approval for the President. I know you agree with the President on a number of things and if you can just answer my question directly, because I know you are probably going to try to spin it.

ED MARTIN, AUTHOR, THE CONSERVATIVE CASE FOR TRUMP: Sure. LEMON: Would you like to see the President exercise a little better

judgment on social media?

MARTIN: I think maybe I'll make news, Don. I think that this one tweeting this one was not a very good move. So if that means better judgment, I think I can join in that chorus. But I want to say this, Don. Everybody's missing the forest for the trees. No one that looks with a serious eye at Europe doesn't recognize that there's a problem with Muslim and Islamic fanatics. And in London, by the way, Theresa May, is so hypocritical, she had a soldier beheaded by an Islamic radical.

LEMON: How is the President's tweet helping that?

MARTIN: It's starting a conversation. We don't want it here. You don't want violence by extremist of any, by the way let me join the chorus.

LEMON: We don't want violence by white supremacist.

MARTIN: Exactly. By Antifa. Black lives matter.

LEMON: Any one.

MARTIN: Any of those groups.

LEMON: But I don't understand why, just for the sake of honesty here, why would you have to compare that to Antifa and Black Lives Matter? What does that have to do with anything?

MARTIN: Nancy Pelosi does that. She condemned Antifa.

LEMON: Did she --

MARTIN: She condemned Antifa? Right?

LEMON: that could be the opposite what President did but you're bringing it up as a shiny object. One does not mean the other.

MARTIN: I'm joining the chorus that says that Muslims that kill soldiers in England are bad as well as white supremacists in America that say they want to do something or the people in Poland that say they want the --

[23:45:03] LEMON: Then why doesn't this President tweet about that?

MARTIN: Well, I don't know. You can ask him, Don. I think that would be great if he would. But what I'm happy to have, today I was with the President in Saint Charles, Missouri, and when he came out the first thing he said was we're going to say merry Christmas. I can tell you, Don, across America, a lot of people not just who voted for him are happy to have a President who stands on the side of western civilization against --

LEMON: All right. That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard because I've lived in America probably. MARTIN: I was going to say something else.

LEMON: Hold on, for as long as you have. I am sure we are close in age. And I've been saying Merry Christmas and everyone I know has been saying Merry Christmas for 51 years and there is no war on Christmas. I love Christmas. I love Jesus, and I also love presents and Santa Claus. And by the way, Santa Claus is not white. We'll be right back.


[23:50:16] LEMON: I'm back now with my panel. Rula Jebreal, Ben Jacobs and Ed Martin, for those of you who have been watching this show from the beginning, you know when I said Santa Claus is now white, that was one of the first shows we showed multi-ethnic Santa Clauses. By the way, we do know Jesus was not white either. Anyway, Ben when it came out that the videos the President tweeted were not what they purported to be, she responded with this. Watch this.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Whether it's a real video, the threat is real. That is what the President is talking about, that is what the President is focused on is dealing with those real threats. And those are real no matter how you look at it.


LEMON: She didn't dispute that the video wasn't real or not, she just said the threats were real. What was real? What? The Muslims, the Dutch, The Muslim brotherhood, what?

JACKSON: That what was unclear and what was concerning. This is not something that the president is tweeting about Islamic radical, this is not something that he is tweeting about white supremacist. He is explicitly saying Muslims, Muslim migrant attacks, a tweet that says Muslim man destroys Virgin Mary. It's shocking that the President as a candidate introduced proposed banning all Muslims and creating a database of Muslims. This is beyond the pale even by his standard.

LEMON: The President insists, Ed, that he is not racist. He is insisted many times. Watch this.



TRUMP: We have a representative in congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.

Oh, look at my African-American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest? You're not going to support me even though you know I am the best thing that could ever happened to Israel, or you are not going to support me because I don't want your money. Isn't it crazy? When Mexico sends it people, they are not sending their best, they're

bringing drugs, crime and they're rapists and some I assume are good people.


LEMON: If you feel that you are compelled all the time so people are not racist, is that a cause for concern?

MARTIN: Are you asking me, Don?


MARTIN: About me or the President?

LEMON: No, about the President, not about you. But if you want to answer that, I mean, go on about you.

MARTIN: I think, um, look, I think the President -- you're taking clips out of his long campaign. I think the proof is how he governs and who he is around and who he is appointing to positions. And when he talks about the economy and talks about things -- I was with him today. The room had lots of different ethnic backgrounds and racial backgrounds. Again we had been through this, I don't think saying Pocahontas to someone who is faking their native Americanness is a slur. I think that is mocking someone who is trying to take advantage of Native Americans. So I just think the guy is a funny, energetic, interesting guy and I don't see evidence. Don, if you had people, you would have had a hundred African-Americans who came up and said I parked his car and he called me a name or he was rude or whatever. None of that ever surfaced.

LEMON: I think that people think that racism is calling someone a name or the n-word.

MARTIN: Treating them badly.

LEMON: It's also mentally what you think about them. If someone says that you're bias or you may have some racial blind spots, you should take them up on that and examine yourself and that may make you racist or biased in some way. Go ahead Rula.

JEBREAL: But also, you know, what the White House and this administration doesn't understand is the rest of the world think that they are that he is, himself, the President is becoming a threat to the international peace and order. Look at the hundreds of thousands of Muslims who are in the army today, American Muslims who woke up this morning and saw this tweet, what are they thinking, that the president is standing for them? They think the President is against them. If you hear him talk about he is not American, President Obama, about Pocahontas. This is not funny. It's headed to divide American along sectarian ethnic lines. When I travel the world and I look and tell the people I live in the United States of America and this is the difference between the United States and the rest of the world that Trump is trying to undermine and erase.

LEMON: Got to go.

JEBREAL: That here in America, under the rule of law, wherever you come from, you are equal. This is the principle he is trying to undermine.

[23:55:01] LEMON: Rula, Ben, Ed, thank you so much. To be continued. On Monday I spoke on this program with Sara Simms, a Virginia mother charged with a felony for sending her daughter to school with a digital recorder. Sara's 9-year-old was being bullied and the school wasn't doing anything to help. So Simms tucked the recorder into her daughter's backpack to hear for herself what was happening. Well there was some good news for Sims today, Virginia prosecutors dropped all charges and dismissed the case this morning. That is it for us tonight. Thanks for watching, I'll see you back here tomorrow.