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Don Lemon Tonight
Russia Investigation; FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Steps Down Abruptly; What Is The State Of Race In America; Trump Lashes Out at Jay-Z. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired January 29, 2018 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: So I want you to, as we go over the next couple of hours here on CNN and throughout your day, any time, I want you to ask yourself these questions. What is Donald Trump trying to hide? Why doesn't he want the Mueller investigation to continue? Why did he decline to impose new sanctions on Russia today as he had been ordered to do by Congress? What is going on here?
This is "CNN Tonight." I'm Don Lemon. I'm live for you in Washington. Thank you so much for joining us. Can we kill the music? I want people to pay close attention to this. I don't want to hear the music. So there is lots of big, breaking news tonight on the Russia investigation.
There is a lot to get through. We're going to go through all of it. And we're going to try to make sense of all of this together in this broadcast, because honestly today, some people are wondering if we are crossing a point of no return.
And as Nancy Pelosi said, have we crossed into cover-up here? That's her words. But that's a good question. Here's what's happening. Republicans on the House Intel Committee voting along party lines to publicly release a controversial and one-sided memo, one-sided memo. It's written by Chairman Devin Nunes, a political ally of the White House and a member of the Trump transition team. This is all important stuff, so pay attention here.
You might remember that he said he would recuse himself from the Russia investigation after he came under fire last year for his secret trip to the White house to review intelligence put together by White House staff. Well, now, Chairman Nunes has written a memo alleging FBI misconduct over a warrant to eavesdrop on former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Page.
You might remember Carter Page. They said, oh, he was tangential to the campaign, he wasn't really with us that long. Who was Carter Page? Oh, he was just sort of an intern. The DOJ has warned that the release of the memo is extraordinarily reckless, but that didn't stop the GOP from voting to releasing it, which is exactly what President Trump wanted and they know it.
The Nunes memo delivered to the White House tonight. The president has five days to decide whether to let it go publicly, to put it out in the public. I don't know if you heard Chris's guest, the Republican congressman who was on earlier saying, oh, the memo is going to be released tomorrow. I don't know if that was a slip, maybe he knew something, I don't know. We'll talk about that.
And in the latest proof that if the president doesn't like your involvement in the Russia investigation, you probably don't have a whole lot of job security, there is a surprise resignation today of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
McCabe is stepping down in the wake of months of criticism from the president, lots of tweets, pressure there. The FBI director, Christopher Wray, hinting in an e-mail to staff that McCabe's resignation had something to do with an investigation of the 2016 handling of the Clinton e-mail probe.
Now, Republicans in Congress were supposed to be meeting tomorrow with the DOJ inspector general about that investigation, a meeting that was abruptly canceled tonight. No explanation. And as the Russia investigation swirls and threatens to engulf Washington and the presidency and its vortex once again, tonight the president declines to enforce sanctions against Russia. The president declines to enforce sanctions against Russia.
So we just had to ask you why. And is all this a coincidence? The effort to discredit the FBI, the sudden resignation of a deputy director after months of pressure from the president, who, don't forget, fired the former director.
So I want you to ask yourself again. Same questions as I began this program with. What is Donald Trump trying to hide? Why doesn't he want the Mueller investigation to continue? Why did he decline to impose new sanctions on Russia today as he had been ordered to do by Congress? What is going on here?
Congressman Eric Swalwell is here. He is a California Democrat and a member of the House Intelligence Committee. Thank you.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), CALIFORNIA: Thanks for having me on, Don.
LEMON: What's going on?
SWALWELL: Well, in an effort to protect the president, Republicans on the Intelligence Committee today went to great lengths to put out a discredited memo and then blocked the American people from seeing a mountain of evidence that not only rebuts their memo but also shines a lot of credible evidence on the FBI's investigation.
LEMON: Why is it discredited? Why do you say that?
SWALWELL: It's based on inaccurate facts that the Department of Justice said would be dangerously reckless to put out to the public, but also --
LEMON: Isn't it based on source documents, though?
SWALWELL: No. I've read both memos, Don. This is nothing more than a brainwashing of the public to try and get them
[22:05:00] to believe that the FBI is working in a conspiracy against the Trump White House. It's not based on any fact. And the memo we would like the public to see not only discredits that, but again is a mountain of evidence that I think would have Americans very, very concerned.
LEMON: So this is supposedly based on an underlying memo or a source document. Has Devin Nunes seen that document?
SWALWELL: No. Isn't that alarming?
LEMON: And he is --
SWALWELL: He acknowledged today that the document that he comments on in this memo that he wants the American people to believe has discredited the FBI, he hasn't even seen it. So he's submitting a book review to the American people on a book he's never read.
LEMON: They shut down an opportunity to have the Nunes memo vetted by the FBI, by the Justice Department before they released it. Why did they do that?
SWALWELL: Devin Nunes told us, again to our surprise today in the hearing, that the FBI and the Department of Justice are now under House Intelligence Committee investigation. Something that we had never heard of, but that they are now under investigation. This, again, seems to parallel what the president and conservative voices in the media are doing.
They're attempting to torch every floor of the FBI building to protect this president, and it's going to have lasting effects on the rule of law in our country.
LEMON: So there have been reports that the Nunes memo is part of -- in part focuses on the actions of the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein. Do you think that this is an attempt by Republicans to lay the groundwork to run Rod Rosenstein out of town?
SWALWELL: I can't go into the contents of the memo. It will be probably public soon because the president looks like will put that out, but this is an effort to discredit Bob Mueller's investigation.
LEMON: So the next step would be if he's laying the groundwork to hit Rod Rosenstein, someone else comes in, they fire Mueller?
SWALWELL: Well, I think if he is pushing people out, if the president is pushing people out because of the Russia investigation, that's obstruction of justice. That should come to the House Judiciary Committee immediately. And we need to find bipartisan support to hold this very, very dangerous president accountable.
LEMON: I want you to speak plainly here because Devin Nunes has been an ally of the president, worked for him before for the campaign. Plainly, what are his motivations, do you believe? SWALWELL: I can't speak to his motivations, I can just tell you his actions. It does not look like he left the transition team. Ever since James Comey told the Congress that the president's campaign was under criminal and counterintelligence investigations, he has worked hand in hand with the White House.
He has sought to undermine our investigation and has obstructed our efforts to get to the bottom of what the Russians did. He has left our country and the work that he has done with the White House more vulnerable to another attack, because we have done nothing to protect this country from another interference.
LEMON: You mentioned that there is a new investigation that was being launched by the House, House Republicans, against the FBI and the Department of Justice. Do you think this is to undermine the Department of Justice?
LEMON: Why launch an investigation into the FBI and the DOJ?
SWALWELL: Again, to put more asterisks up there on the work that they're doing to basically taint the opinion of the American people have as Bob Mueller makes more and more progress so that if he does drop more indictments, people may say, well, you know, Devin Nunes's memo says that you can't trust those guys, we're not going to believe it.
Even if you raises just a specter of doubt in some people, that really will affect the work that they must do.
LEMON: I want to ask you about the questions that I asked the audience in the beginning, and who knows how this investigation will turn out, what do you believe the president has to hide?
SWALWELL: I believe that the president does not want us to know what his contacts were with Russia, the knowledge that he had about Russia's interference, the investments he did with Russia, and the actions that he took after the investigation was launched to really get rid of James Comey and any individual investigating.
LEMON: Thank you, Congressman.
SWALWELL: Yes, of course.
LEMON: I appreciate your time. Thank you so much.
I want to bring in now CNN political analyst Carl Bernstein. Carl, thank you so much for joining us. The battle in the Congress over the memo, the abrupt ouster of Andrew McCabe at the FBI. Are institutions holding up under President Trump or are we seeing today that they are breaking down?
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, we are seeing a breakdown and I think we may look back on tonight as the Monday night slaughter of the administration of justice and our institution of justice in the United States. A real slaughter by an obstructive, irresponsible, partisan gang in the House of Representatives.
It has put the interests of their party and the president of the United States and his personal fortunes above the national interest. And I think we're going to look back on what happened today and tonight as a turning point. Clearly since he has become president, Donald Trump has done everything in his power, including working with these enablers on Capitol Hill
[22:10:00] to make sure that this investigation of him, his family, his aides, his campaign, his transition does not come to fruition and this was part and parcel of it tonight.
LEMON: So, we -- I've often heard you talk about this and we had this conversation a lot. But it seems today that we crossed a line, that we can't go back over. Are we headed for a constitutional crisis, Carl?
BERNSTEIN: If the president continues down this road and if his enablers in Congress continue down this road, a constitutional crisis in the sense that the system may fail us, that Donald Trump may get away with this, and by this, I mean shutting down the legitimate investigation of the president of the United States. Look, if the facts are exonerating him, then he should be exonerated.
But he is trying to suppress the investigation of the president of the United States. In Watergate, the process and the method and the legitimacy of investigating the president of the United States was upheld by the Supreme Court, and Republicans were the heroes in making sure that that process went forward.
If you would had Speaker Ryan and Mitch McConnell as the leaders during Watergate, I doubt seriously that that investigation would have gone forward and we would have seen, really, what we're seeing now, which is prima facie and obstruction of justice not in a legal sense but in a practical sense by members of Congress to protect the president of their own party.
It's been going on especially in that Nunes committee, and it seems it's going to continue to go on. Meanwhile, the single thing this president has been focused on from the day he took office is to make sure that the Mueller and the Russian investigation does not go forward. He is doing everything in his power to see that that becomes the case.
LEMON: Carl Bernstein, much appreciate it. Thank you, sir.
When we come back, much more on our breaking news. House Republicans voting tonight to release a partisan secret memo alleging FBI misconduct. Is it an effort to discredit the Russia investigation? We're going to ask the former director of National Intelligence and the former director of the CIA.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Here's the breaking news. The House Intelligence Committee voting tonight to release a partisan classified memo written by Chairman Devin Nunes, which apparently accuses the FBI of misconduct. At the same time, the committee is blocking release of an opposing memo written by Democrats.
I want to bring in now two of CNN's national security analysts and that's James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence, and General Michael Hayden, the former director of both the CIA and the National Security Agency.
I'm glad to have you both here. Thank you so much because I've been waiting all day to talk to both of you especially after this vote came out. These are dangerous times. What's happening here?
JAMES CLAPPER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, what's happening, for my part, is just bad all the way around. This is a, I think, a very negative development for lots of reasons. It represents, I think, an assault on our institutions. It's bad for the committee, which is basically paralyzed because of partisanship.
It's bad for the office of the presidency, not necessarily maybe the incumbent, and it's certainly bad for the FBI and the Department of Justice. And I shudder to think what the morale of those organizations is right now.
LEMON: What do you think, General?
MICHAEL HAYDEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes, I actually didn't think it was going to happen, because of the effects that James described. This is different of a kind than some of the other things we have talked about. We busted some norms, we said some things we probably shouldn't have said more broadly.
But this crosses a threshold that I don't think we've crossed before. So, I actually thought -- I actually this afternoon looked at the makeup of the committee and looked at the people there, many of whom I know, and thought because of that, because of this, they wouldn't do it. And then, of course, they did.
LEMON: Should someone in the FBI -- maybe they're afraid to, I don't know. Are you surprised that no one has said anything?
HAYDEN; There's actually been some voices in justice and in the bureau pushing back broadly on some of the accusations. Now, this is a very discreet, very specific thing, and here I am with you. I'm waiting now for a senior official to point out what is and is not appropriate. Look, Don, this is about the FISA process --
HAYDEN: -- which is a process that's almost kind of got the seal of the sacrament on it to keep political influence out of it. And now we have opened it with a very political memo.
LEMON: So --
CLAPPER: By the way, as Mike pointed out and we were discussing this earlier, this actually implicates in a negative way the FISA court, which in our experiences has been a pretty strict judge of the basis of these requests and whether to authorize them or not. LEMON: Yes. I have to ask you, so then without releasing, they voted not to release the GOP memo. Should this be -- the democratic memo, I should say. Should this be looked upon as anything other than propaganda at this point?
HAYDEN: Well, again, when I heard senior member Schiff come out and talked about what had happened -- again, I only have his version, all right? But I was quite surprised and disappointed when we weren't going to have dueling members. Frankly, I think one is bad, it politicizes it, all right? But if your argument for that is the American people need
[22:20:00] to know, why shouldn't one's interpretation -- because we're not releasing the basic data here -- why shouldn't you have the interpretation up there competing with another interpretation?
LEMON: Right. Because it's interpretation. That's what it is. These are not the source documents. I'm glad you mentioned that, because we learned that the president was mad when he learned on Air Force One about the Justice Department pushing back and releasing this memo saying it was dangerous, that it may give sources and methods, give up sources and methods.
Do you think it's become more important at this point rather than look out for the country, rather than look out for our institutions, it's more important to protect the president now?
CLAPPER: Well, I think what's more important here is the truth of what's actually happened.
LEMON: I meant to the folks in Washington who voted to -- who are doing this. It has become more important, it seems, for supporters -- for the GOP in general to support the president rather than institutions.
CLAPPER: That is certainly the appearance here with this vote. And particularly in light of the refusal to allow the democratic memo. They voted that down and not to allow that to be disseminated. So, I don't know what other conclusion you could draw other than this is about protecting the president.
HAYDEN: Don, can I just try to parse this out?
HAYDEN: We're both out of government. We don't go back for briefings. We've not seen these documents. But based upon press accounts, I mean, this is being given the importance of the Zimmermann Telegram or something, all right?
What this appears to be is a FISA renewal request against Carter Page -- again, just knowing what I read in the newspapers -- and approved by Rod Rosenstein. If he did that, I'm guessing the evidentiary trail inside of it, how do you prove probable cause to the court, is number one, the evidence they had in the first place, to get the first warrant (ph). Number two, what they may have gotten from the coverage that they had in existence, and then the accusation is that somehow they used information that was tainted from the Steele dossier to reinforce the point.
But you realize even if they had used that information, you had the other two buckets of data, and you don't put the Steele stuff in there without corroboration. And so even if what they say is true, and I don't know that, we need to scale this, to scope it. It doesn't indicate a need to purge the organs of American justice.
LEMON: Is this a dangerous game, do you think, that they're going to regret?
CLAPPER: It is dangerous, in my opinion. Whether they regret it or not, I can't say. That remains to be seen.
LEMON: All right, gentlemen. I want you to stick with me, because when we come back, the president refusing tonight to impose new Russia sanctions. I want to ask you both about that. Why is that happening?
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The president relentless in his criticism of the FBI and the Justice Department over the Russia investigation. We're going easy again tonight on Russia. Back with me, James Clapper and General Michael Hayden.
So, tonight, general, we learned the Trump administration declined to impose new Russia sanctions on companies and countries doing business with blacklisted Russian defense and intelligence into this. I have to ask you, why would he do that?
I mean, he will attack the FBI. He will attack the Department of Justice. But then he -- there are no sanctions for Russia. What is going on and why?
CLAPPER: Well, it's incomprehensible to me, particularly after this latest set of sanctions was voted with wide margin by a point of bipartisan basis to impose.
And again, this singular indifference to the threat posed by Russia starting with the interference, and that sort of thing is continuing, and they're bent on undermining our fundamental system. This is, to me, the greater threat here to this country.
LEMON: Is he afraid to stand up to them?
HAYDEN: I don't know that he's afraid to stand up to them, but I agree with Jim, we've not taken the actions we need to put the sanctions aside to defend ourselves against Russian interference.
Don, there is a parallel here between this and the first story. It has to do with the constitutional order and competing co-equal branches of government. The check on the executive should be the Congress.
HAYDEN: So Congress makes a run at it by passing these sanctions and not giving the president the normal waiver of authority. It's the article one guy kind of grabbing the stick from the article two guy, all right? But now the article two guy is pushing back and simply ignoring Congress.
In the same way, with what happened in the first story here with regard to Congress, Congress is not only limiting -- not only not limiting the president here, the Congress appears to be attacking the organs of the executive branch that are trying to limit him.
LEMON: So, you're saying the system isn't working?
LEMON: So, are we already in a constitutional crisis?
HAYDEN: I don't know if it's a constitutional crisis, but what you've got is an imbalance now in Washington. Look, the way the thing is written, the article one guy, the Congress earn the driver's seat if they want to drive, but they have to want to drive.
And what I'm telling you is, Congress has given a lot of authorities or allowed the president to take a lot of authorities that should actually be the province. It should be the Congress that check on the president with regard to the Russians, with regard to justice, with regard to protecting the Mueller investigation.
CLAPPER: What's happening now with the Congress is a culmination of a long period of dysfunction where they have -- the congressman, unable to discharge its basic functions, like passing an acting budget every year and repeatedly failed to do that on time.
LEMON: Yes. How many administrations have you worked for?
HAYDEN: Oh, my. At the national level, Clinton, Bush and a little Obama. Where I was supposed to go to Congress. Let me add a thought. When I went to Congress, all right, and that's hard for executive branch guys, the basic fissure I was trying to deal with was not the Republicans over here and the Democrats over here.
[22:30:00] It was the prerequisites of the president versus the prerequisites of the Congress, all right? That was the major fault line. And now what we are seeing is that Article I and Article II tension, go away and all we are left with is Republican and Democrat tension. That's not how it's designed.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The reason ask you because some people that are watching this and thinking that you gentlemen are bipartisan, that you have worked for both Republican and Democrat. So, the politics...
HAYDEN: I'm a Clinton appointee to NSA and a Bush appointee to CIA.
LEMON: Yes. JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: I also served in both the Bush and Obama administration and toiled in the trenches of Intelligence for every administration since and including Kennedy.
LEMON: You know Andrew McCabe?
CLAPPER: I do.
LEMON: Is he a stand-up guy?
CLAPPER: He is.
LEMON: What kind of guy is he? Tell me about him.
CLAPPER: Well, I know, Andy, through his prior incumbency when he was head of FBI's Washington field office, which is the local FBI office and which has a broad international responsibility as well. And plus in his incumbency, as deputy director.
Traditionally deputy director's the FBI toil and anonymity. And I'm sure that this is a very tough time for Andy. He's a stand-up guy, long-serving and distinguished public servant, and the kind of rose to the top in the FBI because typically, they always appoint a career type to be the deputy director. And I feel for him, I really do.
LEMON: This is what the former FBI Director James Comey tweeted tonight about special agency Andrew McCabe, stood tall over eight months when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on. He has served with distinction for two decades. I wish, Andy, well. I also wish continued strength to the rest of the FBI. America needs you. What do you say to that?
HAYDEN: Oh, absolutely. We are chiseling away at institutions that we're going to need again.
LEMON: Thank you both. Much appreciated. When we come back, President Trump's State of the Union Address coming up tomorrow night, the State of the Union when it comes to race and president Trump has been -- well, where do we begin with this?
Fortunately my next guests, four members of the Congressional Black Caucus, they have a lot to say about it. You don't want to miss this.
[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: So everyone knows what's going to happen tomorrow, the president will be speaking before some empty seats when he delivers the State of the Union tomorrow night. Some Democrats won't attend saying they cannot be part of what they fear could be another divisive speech from this president.
So I need to ask now four members of the Congressional Black Caucus what they're going to do as we discuss the State of the Union, President Trump and race. Congressman -- Congresswoman Marcia Fudge of Ohio is here,
Congresswoman Robin Kelly of Illinois and Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina and Cedric Richmond of Louisiana. I'm so glad to have all of you now. Thank you so much.
LEMON: Thank you so much for joining us. This is an important discussion. When asked about the State of the Union today, Sarah Sanders, Congressman, said the State of the Union was incredible. How do you see the State of the Union under President Trump?
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: Incredibly troubling. That's the best I can do with that word incredible. I think that we're facing some real vicarious times in the country.
And of course, having studied history and having taught history, I can only equate one period of time with what we experience now, and that was what was going on in Germany around 1934 right after the 1932 elections when Adolph Hitler was elected chancellor.
He began to do things to discredit the media, to disrupt the judicial system, and if you recall from your studies, they had swastikas hanging in churches all over Germany.
And when I see and hear, and experience what's going on in the country today, I think back to that time, and I really believe that we as Americans had better get a handle on things. If we don't, we could very well see ourselves going the way of Germany.
LEMON: You know that's a stark comparison. People are going to say, he's comparing him to Hitler and the holocaust, and all those things.
CLYBURN: Well, Don, one difference in this, if I were making that comparison, then this president would be Mussolini and Putin would be Hitler.
LEMON: Yes. Congressman Richmond, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, a number of members say they're not going to attend, including the civil rights icon John Lewis. Do you support the decision not to go?
REP. CEDRIC RICHMOND (D), LOUISIANA: Absolutely. We have several members that won't go at all because they just don't want to sit there and hear hollow words and divisive rhetoric. And if you look at the president's first year, it has not been friendly to African-Americans.
Then if you look at the other half of the caucus, they decided that when you see racism, when you see injustice, when you see inequality, you look it straight in the eye and you don't run from it.
And so you will see a number of persons there tomorrow looking the president straight in his eye because that's what we do, we confront it. So those are probably the two areas you'll see most members, members we either boycott or will sit together in solidarity and stare down what we believe is inequality and injustice and racism. LEMON: I want to get to, Congresswoman Kelly. How difficult is this
decision for you?
REP. ROBIN KELLY (D), ILLINOIS: I went back and forth but...
LEMON: But you decided what?
KELLY: I decided I would be in the room where it's happening.
LEMON: You wanted to be in the room where it's happening?
KELLY: And stare down racism and I want to be there to listen to everything that he says because I know I'm going to be asked about it later.
But, you know, my family was never one that, you know, took itself out of where it was happening or the moment, so I want to be there, so I can talk about it. And, you know, be part of the group that's not going to be clapping, not going to be smiling.
LEMON: Do you support your colleagues who are not going to go?
KELLY: Oh, definitely. Definitely.
LEMON: What about you, Congresswoman Fudge?
REP. MARCIA FUDGE (D), OHIO: I intend to be there and certainly I plan to be there because I do, in fact, respect the Office of the President. I am a patriot unlike many of my colleagues.
Because if they ever decide to put patriotism over party, they would be doing some of the same things that we're doing and seeing and saying some of the same things we are. It wasn't a tough decision for me. I don't respect the president, but I respect the office.
[22:40:00] LEMON: Do you think he respects the office?
FUDGE: I don't think he respects anything. I really don't.
LEMON: He just said to me that he is the least racist person. Do you think that this -- he said a number of times. Do you think this president has shown himself to be racist?
KELLY: Definitely. I mean, just in his campaigning of things he said about Mexicans, the things he said about the Mexican judge, what he said about Haitians and those from African countries. I mean it's -- we shouldn't be shocked because we saw some of it in his campaign, and he has continued.
FUDGE: Well, you know, when he first asked the question, what do you have to lose, and he started to talk about when you walk down the streets in our neighborhoods, you'll get killed, that they're like a third world country.
What do you think that is? I live in a black neighborhood. I'm not afraid to walk down my street. I don't live in a third world country. I'm as educated as probably anybody around him because he's not very educated.
He is -- but what we are seeing is the dumbing down of the presidency of the United States. He is the least prepared, the least educated, the least knowledgeable and the least honest. Why would you think that I would be concerned about what he thinks about me?
LEMON: When he talked about -- when you say things like that, that he is racist or he has racist tendencies, or what he said he was racist, or he always points to, well, this is what I've done for the black community, look at the unemployment, look at all these things but he never addresses the issue that you are talking to him about.
And he get's to unemployment because that's really Obama's policies that help brighten the unemployment. It is not really just this president's policies. It's gone down at least under him -- lesser under him than it did under President Obama, so that is a talking point.
Why don't you think he understands that when you have the majority of African-Americans in this country -- and he'll point to the people who support him and it's not that many black people, and he says it's growing, it's not.
That's not true, by the way. It's not growing. Why won't he listen to people who may be trying to help him? Because he is President of the United States, why don't he listen?
RICHMOND: Well, I just don't think that's in his DNA. I really don't.
LEMON: Do you think he cares about black people?
RICHMOND: I don't, if you listen to his words or if you watch his actions. Let's just take some numbers. He's appointed or nominated one black federal judge. He's nominated one black U.S. attorney and when you start talking about the criminal justice system, that's a key area for African-American men.
And they just -- and if you watch Jeff Sessions' actions, it's just inconsistent. So I'm not totally convinced of everything in his head.
Part of what's in his head is he does what Kelly and Stephen Miller tells him to do, and that's why we see the racism coming out in this immigration overhaul, where he wants to not talk about illegal immigration, which by the way, he made the DREAMers illegal.
They were legal until he decided to take action or when you start talking about diversity visas and you start talking about family reunification, you are talking about legal immigration and he -- we could just use his words. He wants more people from Norway as opposed to Africa or El Salvador.
LEMON: It speaks for itself.
LEMON: Nancy Pelosi said he wanted to make America white again. That's what she said. Do you believe that, Congressman?
CLYBURN: Well, he said that. That's what the Norway thing is all about. You cannot get away from that. And for him to refer to the countries on the continent of Africa, when you disparage our entire continent, you go after a country like Haiti, any one of us who really know the history of this country, you would know how indebted this country is to the country of Haiti.
CLYBURN: In fact, you're from Louisiana. And so I think, my lord, Haiti. If but for Haiti, I don't know if we would have gotten the Louisiana part.
CLYBURN: So this guy knows nothing as, Marcia, said. If he had some real understanding of our country's history, he would be doing whatever he could to help a country like Haiti.
Especially after the devastating storms, earthquakes, all kinds of stuff they have been suffering through, and for him to disparage them the way he has, after going through the campaign saying what a good president he would be for Haitians. You know, he just doesn't know how to tell the truth, he doesn't know how to face facts. This guy is absolutely catastrophically bad.
LEMON: I have a lot of questions to ask. One, I want to ask you if he can -- when you heard anything, don't answer now. And also, I see you, you are holding this.
We have a lot to lose. What do you have to lose? We have a lot to lose. I'll ask you about that and other things. We'll talk about Jay-Z, we'll talk about black unemployment. There's a lot to talk about. We'll be right back. Don't go anywhere.
[22:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: So what is the state of race in America one year into the Trump administration? Back with me now Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, and Congresswoman Robin Kelly and Congressmen James Clyburn and Cedric Richmond. So, I want to play this. This is -- this happened this weekend. This is Van Jones speaking to Jay-Z on his new show. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN "JAY-Z" CARTER, RECORDING ARTIST & ACTIVIST: He is somebody who's now saying look, I am growing -- I am dropping black unemployment. Black people are doing well under my administration.
Does he have a point that maybe Democrats have been giving us good lip service but no jobs, maybe he is going to say terrible thing and put money in your pocket. Does that make him a good leader?
No, because it is not about money at the end of the day. Money is not -- doesn't equate to like happiness, it doesn't. That's not missing the whole point.
You treat people like human beings. And then, you know, that's the main point. You can't treat someone like -- it goes back to the whole thing, you're going to treat me really bad and pay me well. It's not going to lead to happiness. It's going to lead to like, you know, again, the same thing. Everyone is going to be sick.
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LEMON: Yes. So Jay-Z is growing his hair out, so everybody is. I had more until my barber messed up my hair this weekend. Seriously, let's talk about this because this is from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics because if you look at the unemployment numbers, right? The African-American unemployment was 6.8 percent in December, down from 16.4 percent in 2011 -- 16.4 percent in 2011.
[22:50:04] So there's clearly a lot of work to do, Congresswoman. But does he have a point, Jay-Z?
KELLY: Oh, he definitely has a point. And also when you speak about the change in black unemployment, I represent the Chicagoland area.
And if you go to the south side of Chicago, there's still a lot of 18- year-olds through 24-year-olds, 29-year-olds, looking for jobs, looking for the skills to be able to be qualified for the jobs.
And I think that's the reason why we deal with some of the violence that we deal with, because they don't feel valued, they don't feel like they have the skills. So yes, some people have gotten jobs. But there are still a lot of people left behind.
LEMON: But we're talking about it, and also there's underemployment as well. I want to make it very clear because it's -- you know, the president tweeted saying someone should tell Jay-Z that unemployment among black African-Americans is the lowest rate ever recorded. And most people, sensible people, will look at the at that and would say...
KELLY: Not because of him.
LEMON: ... Thanks, Obama.
FUDGE: Until they look further. I mean, black people on average make 55 percent of what white people make. So they may be working indeed. Although I would say that the rate for black unemployment is almost twice that of white unemployment.
That's the other point nobody talks about. But if we're making 55 cents to 60 cents when white people are making a dollar, I don't know how great that is.
Yes, people are working. But we are underemployed. We are not getting the same kind of benefits, the same kind of jobs, the same kind of training. So, you have to look at it deeper than just look at -- just raw numbers because I think that doesn't tell the whole story. LEMON: Today, you mentioned that -- today, April Ryan pointed out to
Sarah Sanders the white unemployment rate is 3.7 percent, Asian unemployment is 2.5 percent, the Hispanic unemployment is 4.9 percent. So, if you get that perspective, there's a lot of room for improvement, especially among African-Americans.
CLYBURN: Yes, and I think that what you heard from, Marcia, and you have mentioned earlier, OK, black unemployment is low. Black underemployment is extremely high. That's why we have this big growing gap in income inequality.
If you look at employment as the sole measure, then you have to say sharecropper is employment. But it is the kind of employment that would keep you busy without paying you much. And so, that's what's going on in the country today and we know it.
We were looking at some figures earlier, Marcia and myself, along with Cedric, we were looking at Boston -- the recent report out about Boston, where a family wealth is for black families in Boston, $8 -- $8, single digit, $8, in the city of Boston, for whites, over $257,000 in Boston.
Now you tell me, is that something to boast about or is that something for us to turn our attention to and start working on? That's what I would like for this president to do. Stop tweeting. Stop boasting. Stop lying. And let's look at what's going on in America and try to do something about it.
LEMON: April and Sarah, then had this exchange, watch this.
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APRIL RYAN, CNN AS A POLITICAL ANALYST: Jay-Z, when he was talking in terms of black America, he took issue, has he seen my -- he streamed with caps, all caps, has he seen my black unemployment numbers?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Because they're better than they have been and we're certainly making progress and we want to continue to do that.
Look, we want every day to be better than the day before. And again, certainly for black Americans, for Hispanic Americans, across the board, this is a president who wants life to be better for all Americans and he's going to keep fighting and pushing for that. And I think you'll hear him talk about that again tomorrow night.
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LEMON: Does a president know how to fight and push for black Americans, Congressman Richmond?
RICHMOND: Well, I don't know if he knows how. I would just say he doesn't have the desire to do it. We took the meeting with the president.
In fact we brought him this book, 130-page policy document, where not only looking at the problems in African-American communities, but also suggesting solutions. And the president didn't read it. They didn't respond to it.
So that's why when he called and wanted to set up a second meeting, we had no interest in meeting with him because we're not here for a social gathering. We're not here to eat cheese and drink some wine.
And we're certainly not taking that photo op picture. So if we're not going to talk policy, then we'll do what we do in Congress.
But if he had any real interest in improving the status of not only black America, but rural America and all of these other places where we've proposed solutions, then he would have had his cabinet secretaries reach out, he would have done a lot more than the little lip service that he's given to the African-American community.
[22:55:02] LEMON: I want to ask you -- so I have two things that I want to make sure I get in here. This is from someone I respect. It says, can Trump and the GOP continue to govern appealing to only 30 percent of the country? And how do we inspire the 70 percent to pushback and demand change?
FUDGE: Well, certainly he can continue to do it until the 70 percent rise up. He can, in fact, continue to just go everything he does directed to the 30 percent because he knows that's his base.
And until election time, he can get away with it. But we have an election coming in November of 2018, When we can take back the House and possibly the Senate. And then he can't do that anymore.
But let me just say this to you. Anybody who really cares about people, don't cut education funding. He doesn't care about black kinds.
Anybody who really cares about us, you don't use the prevention fund for children to pay for CHIP. Anybody who cares about children doesn't take away WIC, which is used on almost every army base in this country. You can't tell me you care about us and take away everything that gives us an opportunity to take a step up. You can't do it.
LEMON: I'll ask you the same question. Can he continue to govern with 30 percent and how do you tell...
CLYBURN: He can continue to govern, but not very successfully. Now if you measure your governance by the efficiency of your operations, then that's one thing. But if you measure your governance by the effectiveness of what you do, that's something totally different.
And to be an effective president, you've got to bring along all of the people with you, providing opportunities, providing pathways for people to be successful. So sure, he can continue to govern. But it won't be a very, very effective presidency.
LEMON: I have to go, and I'm over time, but I'm going a little long. What do you say to this president if he's sitting right here next to you? What do you say to him? CLYBURN: I'll say, Mr. President, get out of the way. Let your cabinet sit down with people at the Congressional Black Caucus and let us develop some ways forward for all of the American people. If you keep all the attention on you in a very myopic way this country is headed for some catastrophic events.
LEMON: Thank you all. I really appreciate you. Please come back. I know that we're in New York and it's tough sometimes. We'll come back to D.C. just to sit down and speak with you. Thank you very much.
LEMON: When we come back, Republicans on the House Intel Committee vote to release a secret partisan memo in the face of objections from not only Democrats but the Justice Department. Republican Charlie Dent, who wants Congress to give Robert Mueller some job protection, he is going to join us next.