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Don Lemon Tonight
Mueller Subpoenas Trump Organization In Russia Investigation; Could Stormy Daniels Impact the Russia Investigation?; President Trump: There Will Always Be Staffing Changes; Politicians And Sex Scandals; Trump And The Truth; Trump Accuses Japan of Using Bowling Ball Test on Cars; Election 2020; Christiane Amanpour Hosts New CNN Original Series. Aired 11-12a ET
Aired March 15, 2018 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. It is 11:00 p.m. here on the East Coast, live with breaking news tonight. The Trump White House under a cloud battling down -- battling big legal problems on two fronts, Robert Mueller's investigation expanding into a whole lot more than just the Russia election interference and digging deeper into the Trump family business, that as Stormy Daniels -- that lawsuit shows no signs of going away. But could her story end up under Mueller's microscope?
There is a lot to discuss here. I want to bring in CNN contributor, Frank Bruni, a columnist for "The New York Times," legal analyst, Laura Coates; and defense attorney, Joe Tacopina.
Good evening to all of you. CNN has been reporting chaos inside the White House and tonight, "The Washington Post" says the turmoil verges on mania. Can the government keep function -- can it function under these circumstances, Frank Bruni?
FRANK BRUNI, COLUMNIST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": No, I mean, we need -- we need a whole new vocabulary.
LEMON: That was an honest response, by the way.
BRUNI: I mean, this would be the third National Security Adviser. We just lost the Secretary of State. We were talking a month ago, you and I, about how this turnover was something we have never seen before and it's accelerated since then.
Since that conversation, we have seen Hope Hicks go way, we have seen Rob Porter go away, Tillerson. McMaster is about to go away. I mean, this is really so outside the norm and outside the bounds of what a White House operates. They can -- I mean, as an American, we're laughing. But as an American, we're chilled by it. I do not feel like there is a firm hand on the ship.
LEMON: Yes. Laura, let's talk about the new subpoena issued to the Trump organization. What is the Special Counsel after here? LAURA COATES, CNN INTERNATIONAL LEGAL ANALYST: Well, according to what we know, they are after the business records and any indication that shows the finances or whatever (ph) else. Now, by all reports, they actually voluntarily gave some documents over to Mueller's team. But the subpoena should alert to you two things.
Number one, this was the far more assertive and aggressive tactic. They could have said, "Please provide," No -- you know, under the pressure of a subpoena, they are ought (ph) to do that. But they went this havoc (ph) probably because they want to ensure that whatever they're getting is comprehensive and they want to ensure that they're going to have anyone trying to destroy documents.
A subpoena has the effect of making sure that both of those things come true. But no one should be surprised -- I'd be more surprised if they were not following the money and at least endeavoring to figure out whether there is any connection between the Trump organization and any foreign ties to foreign money or anything else. We know this is happening in Mueller's investigation and this is really no surprise, but I'm sure it is very disruptive to the White House.
LEMON: All right. Joe, the Trump organization says they have been fully cooperating with the Mueller investigation. A statement released today, they said. "Since July of 2017, we have advised the public that the Trump organization is fully cooperative with all investigations including the Special Counsel and is responding to their request. This is old news. And our assistance and cooperation with the various investigations remains the same today."
So, Joe, if the Trump organization really is cooperating, why would Mueller need to issue this subpoena?
JOE TACOPINA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, because it brings to a different level of formality. The subpoena -- look, you know, I mean, it's just not common practice. I was a former prosecutor. You don't just accept the word of lawyers for the subpoenaed party that we have given you all the documents. You need to have formal -- you need to have it in writing, so there is no misunderstanding later that we did or didn't ask for certain records.
This just formalizing the process and brings it closer to that next step. But it certainly is ratcheting it up for sure. But this is simply saying, "Here is what we want." It's also a timing issue. Subpoenas do require compliance within a certain amount of time, which obviously an informal agreement doesn't necessarily do.
So this does ratchet up the level of severity. And to me, it's a telltale sign that Mueller's investigation is starting to hone in in that direction, the direction of the White House, the Trump organization, and members of it.
LEMON: Well, Frank, you know, President Trump warned that the Special Counsel looking into his finances would be a red line for him. The question is, what is he going to do about it now, because now --
TACOPINA: Not much. LEMON: -- it appears that they are looking into his finances.
BRUNI: Well, he is going to comply, obviously, because he has to, because that's the point of the subpoena as opposed to just a kind of informal request. But -- I mean, I think what this is telltale sign that in this investigation isn't nearly over. And it's amazing that before the turn of the year some of Trump's lawyers were saying, "Oh, we think this is going to wind up in a couple of weeks." It's not.
It's seems to me like it's not even going to wind up in a couple of months. And I think it's time to start talking about how close to the mid-terms Mueller's actual findings may be. Now, if Trump is correct and there is no collusion and his hands are clean then maybe a report close to the mid-terms is great for Trump because he's exonerated, you know, just before voters go to the polls. But if Mueller find something different and this, in fact, goes through July, August and report comes up in September, that's big, big trouble for him and Republicans.
[23:05:11] LEMON: Well, as we had been saying, Laura, you know, it's easy to say no collusion because collusion is not exactly a legal term. So, it's sort of slight of hand when you say that, because there could be obstruction of justice, there could be money laundering, there could be other crimes. And that is usually what someone gets in trouble for not just for collusion that --
COATES: Sure, collusion -- of course, collusion is that nebulous umbrella concept. It was part of why he started to investigate to figure out whether there was criminal activity afoot (ph). And that's going to entail following the money, figuring out if the source of the money is somehow nefarious. If it was laundered in some way, it may stretch to campaign finance issues.
Certainly, it will stretch to obstruction or any type of action by anyone to try to thwart the resources of the Justice Department in a bad way. But the timing here is equally important, because just last week, I think actually earlier in the week, we learned the House Intel Committee decided to wash its hands of thorough investigation. And you have Mueller's team saying, "Look, we don't know where this may leads. We're going to, you know, turn over every single stone."
And that is what you require from a prudent investigator. They are going to look at the finances, they are going to try to figure out at what point in time there may have been an opening for undue influence. Remember, the clock didn't start when Donald Trump went down the escalator with Melania in front of him.
It started publicly from a financial investigation and perhaps were collusion, as to what would have lied to him to feel as though he had perhaps -- a short footed position to be a candidate and possibly a puppet of a foreign nation.
They have to investigate these things. It may turn out to be nothing, but they are prudent and more so than the House Intel who threw up their hands and said, "We're satisfied that you're just going to have wink and nod and tell us there is no issue here."
LEMON: Yes. She met -- she said Campaign Finance also told the Stormy Daniels story was a possible campaign financing there -- it hasn't been proven yet, but this story is swirling around the President. Do you think the whole saga could factor into Robert Mueller's investigation?
TACOPINA: You know, obviously, they throw out a wide net in this investigation. Look at Paul Manafort, right? I mean, he was investigated initially for the representations he made on behalf of the Trump organization where Donald Trump was the candidate with Russia. He winds up getting indicted for his personal business dealings in the Ukraine.
I mean, you know, once that net is out, once the microscope is on you, everything is fair game. And it's hard to argue or you can't look at this or you can't look at that. So, yes, if there is an issue with that payment to Stormy Daniels being -- that was made on behalf of the candidate, OK, and it was not declared, that is fair game, unfortunately, if that is the case.
And you know, quite frankly, you know, Michael Cohen, again has made statements that would give rise to suspicion for any prosecutor to say, that doesn't make sense that a lawyer took out a home equity loan with his own money, paid somebody that he didn't even know on behalf of a client who, by the way, had the where with all the money to afford $130,000, and by the way, didn't tell the client about the settlement agreement.
It's an illegal agreement. It's a fraud. If that in fact is the case, it doesn't make sense. Doesn't pass the straight face test. And quite frankly, if that is what happened we have a potential campaign finance issue.
LEMON: Yes. So, for those of us who are of a certain age --
BRUNI: Right. Speak for yourself.
LEMON: -- Frank Bruni, we remember the Clinton investigation with Kenneth Starr started with Whitewater and ended with a blue dress.
LEMON: And there were many people -- many Democrats saying, "Why is Kenneth Starr going into this? This has nothing to do with the scope of the investigation." Yet, the President was impeached over it.
BRUNI: You -- I mean you never know what's linked and once people start questioning things, other things come up and those roads seem worth going down. Who knows if that going to happen here because the Stormy Daniels situation is a problem for the President even a part from any linkage.
LEMON: We'll talk more about that when we come right back. Don't go anywhere.
[23:10:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: If President Trump is hoping that the Stormy Daniels scandal will disappear, he will likely be disappointed. Today, a new Judge was assigned to hear her lawsuit against him. And the hearing date is set for July 12 in Los Angeles.
Tonight, Tom Foreman, takes looks at how political sex scandals impact the politicians involved, Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Don. Modern sex scandals have proven sometimes politicians can survive. They can keep running, they can stay in office, but they're often left with a deep even debilitating scars.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You like me?
I think so, right? I like you too.
FOREMAN: If Donald Trump supporters could they surely would drown out the talk and tear up the pictures of him and Stormy Daniels. Mindful that for any politician, let alone one with a low approval rating, the stakes of scandal are high.
In 1987, for example, Colorado Senator Gary Hart was steaming toward the Democratic Presidential Nomination.
GARY HART, FORMER COLORADO SENATOR: Thank you very much.
FOREMAN: Until news of suspected marital infidelity linked him to a woman name Dona Rice. He denied any affair, and so did she, but his poll numbers plummeted and he quickly suspended his campaign.
HART: I refuse to submit my family and my friends and innocent people and myself to further rumors and gossip. It's simply an intolerable situation.
FOREMAN: Any hopes of jumping back in were crushed when a photo of him and Rice appeared on a boat in Miami called Monkey Business. Ten years later, the party was staggered again when stories emerged in White House Intern, Monica Lewinsky, had been involved with President Bill Clinton. He swatted them down.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did not have sexual relation with that woman.
FOREMAN: But after being questioned under oath, he said.
CLINTON: Indeed, I did have a relationship with Ms. Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong.
FOREMAN: While impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice, he was not convicted and stayed in office. However, his party lost the White House for two terms after he left. And when Democratic Senator John Edwards tried to reclaim it in the 2008 race, once again, sexual scandal came calling. The National Enquirer accused the married candidate of having of an affair and a child with campaign film maker Rielle Hunter. Both denied it. Then he told ABC News Night Line, "Yes, it happened."
[23:15:00] SEN. JOHN EDWARDS, (D) NORTH CAROLINA: I made a very serious mistake.
FOREMAN: His political career never recovered. Barack Obama became the party's nominee and President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: What does all of this mean to Donald Trump? So far, nothing. He has successfully batted down, denied or ignored all the swirling claims of sexual impropriety or misconduct and his base of voters has stood by him. So far. Don?
LEMON: Thank you, Tom Foreman. I appreciate that. Back now, Frank Bruni, Laura Coates and Joe Tacopina. As we were saying before the break, talking about how the Kenneth Starr investigation and that was part of Tom's story there. Laura, we just heard, it's not necessarily the affair that brings these politicians down. It's a cover-up and lying, right?
COATES: Of course. And interestingly enough, the idea of a sex scandal or sex being a kryptonite to somebody who fancy (ph) themselves as superman is a really big cliche. And again, the idea that Donald Trump was winning because he was known as the consonant man of morality would be completely nonsensical. That was the not the case in these campaign. And so, I think you're seeing a real trend away towards that being the nail in a coffin.
But what's very interesting about this is that, what you said, the idea of a cover-up, because it's not the sexual affair that people question. I think the notion that they're saying whether it happened or whether it didn't happen, it may be a foregone conclusion.
But the idea that you are going to have a president who may lie about it, may lie about the affair or about his involvement in it, is what may create the down fall. And that would be a cliche that would show he hasn't learned from the lesson of previous politicians or powerful men who thought that they were immune to this sort of thing.
LEMON: Well, some of his supporters, Frank, say Donald Trump won the White House with these record well-known, you know, about women and with that infamous Access Hollywood tape. Why do you think the American people should care about this affair and specifically this $130,000 payment?
BRUNI: Well, you know, I don't know that they do really care about the affair for the reasons that Laura was laying out. I mean, Donald Trump, as I watching that clip -- I mean Donald Trump has not modeled himself after Bill Clinton, after John Edwards, after Gary Hart. He's never projected or tried to project a wholesome image. He came into this campaign with years of appearances on the Howard
Stern Show, where he basically bragged about sexual conquests, and you know, by implication his infidelity. So, it's really hard to figure out what Stormy Daniels means to Donald Trump and also why they are so intent on silencing her because I'm not sure she does all that much damage with his base.
You know, now, there is one other thing though. We have seen a bunch of elections including those recent special election where suburban women are turning out in great numbers and they've turned against Donald Trump. And I don't think they like the way he treats women, I don't think they like his manner, and all of that is sort of encoded in the Stormy Daniels story, and I think that maybe one reason why freaks him and associates out.
LEMON: I'm glad you said what you said because I hear people saying a lot, "Well, of course, he had an affair." This is them. I'm just saying what they say -- "Of course, he had the affair. Why should we care about it?" But they do care about the drama of it. And every single night, it's been reported on and the cover-up. And they do care -- you know -- well, this excuse was worse than the last one. Don't care so much about the affair. They care about the way it's being talked about and how it's being handled.
BRUNI: Yes, I agree with that and also I think they care about what it says about how he views women, right?
BRUNI: This is an affair he supposedly had right after Melania gave birth to their son, et cetera, et cetera.
LEMON: Yes. It's not shocking I should say to them that Donald Trump had an affair?
BRUNI: No, but it's another measure of his character.
COATES: But you know what though? If I can just say this, it's not simply about the pearl clutching that everyone assumed to be fainting, but all the horror of all this --
COATES: -- it's also the idea of why it's important. If you think about what the Mueller investigation is about as well, it's about Democratic transparency. And if he, in fact, made this agreement and if he, in fact, was able to contribute to his campaign or do an expenditure to the tune of $130,000, then he violated federal law. And that is a far greater issue than whether or not Melania is aware or believes in the affair during pillow talk.
It's much more of an issue for the American people and that contract has been about what people are concerned about. The reason people are turned off by it, is that there may be somebody who is flouting or thumbing their nose at Federal Laws, yet again according to the allegations.
LEMON: Joe, Stormy Daniels attorney was on CNN a short time ago and he says, six other women have come to him to explore possible legal action against President Trump. Two of whom have non-disclosure agreements that he has seen. He hasn't vetted their stories completely yet. But if true that is pretty remarkable, isn't it?
TACOPINA: I mean, it's remarkable when you talk about the President of the United States. But honestly, it's not remarkable when you talk about Donald Trump, the President of the United States. I mean, I don't think -- as Frank said, this is not -- no one is going, "Oh, my god. I can't believe this."
This is why I've been saying since day one, if they had just said, "Yes." OK. I mean he survived much greater -- I don't know if they're called scandals, but episodes than this. This is from 2006. I mean this is way before he was the President.
LEMON: Something tells me, Joe, the first lady plays into this. I think the -- the first lady doesn't want to be embarrassed. He doesn't want to embarrass her. They don't want to -- I think that is what plays into this.
TACOPINA: Yes. And that -- and that is fair. And you know what? I feel obviously bad for her. But again, I'm just looking at this from the presidency. He is killing himself. We're not him. Quite frankly, he hasn't done anything here. And this one, he hasn't seen him sending a tweet or anything which is unusual and by the way --
LEMON: It would be him who had the affair.
TACOPINA: -- right? Because he has his right to sue. He -- but the way this is playing out is the cover-up so to speak. They denied it, they denied it, then Michael Cohen said, "Oh, we did paid her, but it was me. The President didn't know about it," then the Press Secretary said, "He won -- the President won the arbitration -- won the arbitration," that means he is a party, she acknowledge that. I mean, this is coming a nightmare for them because they opened their own mouths.
TACOPINA: If they had said, "Yes, so what? Embraced it." You know, I mean, the NBC tape, to me was the worst thing that could ever happen to anyone running for office. And he still won.
TACOPINA: So, I just think this has been handled horribly.
LEMON: For anyone who's trying to claim, Laura, the Stormy Daniels story doesn't matter. I mean, let's remember Paula Jones had a sexual harassment lawsuit against President Clinton and that ultimately led to the Monica Lewinsky scandal and Clinton's impeachment, right? COATES: Yes. And remember, the coverage of the Stormy Daniels issue is not about the salacious details. Frankly, there has been little discussion about the allegations or actual affair or the type of affair or the sexual behavior engaged during the alleged affair. It's been far more focused on whether or not the President of the United States has an attorney who is doing his bidding as a sort of fixer, a Ray Donavan type, as he likes to refer to himself in hashtags at the end of various tweets.
It's about whether or not the President of the United States or the member of his campaign or the Trump organization has had some hand in making illegal campaign contributions. And remember why this matters. We are condemning a foreign nation, specifically Russia for trying to unduly influence the American Democratic System. And one way they did that is through deception and trying to pull the wool over many in American's eyes.
If that is the basis for the condemnation for Russia, well then it parallels on what is going on with a non-disclosure agreement that violates possibly campaign finance laws. That the wool is being pulled over the American people's eyes in time for an election and taking away the rains from Americans, who are trying to vote. That's why it matters, not whether or not there was an adulterous affair, but --
LEMON: Right, or --
COATES: -- Sorry go ahead, Don.
LEMON: I just want Frank to give the last word because I'm running out of time here. The fact that the President is not weighing on this, weighing on this speaks volumes, because he has gone after women before.
BRUNI: Totally. Yes, that -- and the attempt to keep her silent makes me wonder, does she have something to say more than we think. But I also have one last thing I'd like to say. This is so sloppy. This is a President who goes around, talking about how other people can't do direct correctly, what an ace manager he is, what a high I.Q. he has. This -- everything in this is so sloppy and stupid like so much of the way he runs things.
LEMON: Thank you all. I didn't mean to cut you off, Laura, but we are out of time.
COATES: No, it's OK.
LEMON: Thank you all so much, I appreciate it. When we come back, the most toxic work environment on the planet. That is how a White House staffer reportedly describes working for the President. We're going to dig into why the White House has its own people panicked.
[23:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The President struggles with the truth are well-known, but comments he made at a fund raising event last night, might take it to a whole new level. Admitting he made up facts in a conversation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. And apparently, inventing a story about what he calls the bowling ball test.
Let's discuss now, CNN Contributor Michael D'Antonio, the author of the "The Truth About Trump."
Good to see you, sir.
So, let me go through this with you. At a private fund raising event, this was in Missouri last night, President Trump boasted of making false claims to the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He also made comments about unfair standards the Japanese allegedly apply on U.S. cars.
And he said this, this is a quote, "It's called the bowling ball test. Do you know what it is? That's is where they take a bowling ball from 20 feet up in the air and they drop it on the hood of car and if the hood dents and the car doesn't qualify. Well, guess what the roof dented a little bit and they said no, this car doesn't qualify. It's horrible. The way we're treated. It's horrible."
It doesn't even really make any sense. But anyway, a Trump aide tells Josh Dossey with "The Washington Post," the President tells this story frequently. Where did he get that? It sounds like a commercial for, you know, some product.
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I don't know. You know, there have been advertisements for bedding. Sometimes they'll drop a bowling ball on a bed or an egg, or --
LEMON: Samsonite. Someone told me, Samsonite.
D'ANTONIO: -- who knows what goes on. The gorilla throwing the luggage around. I think, he's one of the people who when the legend is more exciting than the truth, you print the legend, or you share the story. It doesn't matter if it's true or not. Nothing ever seems to matter to him when it comes to truth. It's just like his deficit with Canada. You know, all of a sudden we got a $24 billion trade deficit with Canada when really, we are in surplus with them.
D'ANTONIO: And besides the fact that it doesn't matter. You and I each have a deficit with the grocery store. Doesn't mean we're in trouble, doesn't means we buy a lot of stuff there.
LEMON: It's like the SNL skit. Nothing really matters, but listen, the press Secretary said -- Sarah Sanders was asked about the comment earlier today, here is what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I worked in Japan for about 20 years. I covered the automotive industry. I don't recall anything like this. No one we spoke with in the industry recalls it. Did you speak with the President about this? And where did he get this from?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Look, the President has been talking about unfair trade practices for decades. It's not new for him. Part of the reason he was elected was to end unfair trade practices and push for free fair and reciprocal trade, so American good can compete in more foreign markets, obviously he is joking about this particular test, but it illustrates the creative ways some countries are able to keep America goods out of their markets.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Imagine having that job where you have to make sense out of these comments. I mean, has this reached new levels? Has his -- I don't know -- whatever with the truth is -- has it reached new levels?
D'ANTONIO: Poor Sarah Sanders. I mean, I never thought I would say that. But this poor woman has to go out there and somehow figure out the jiu-jitsu to make it not a presidential point that he is making, it's a presidential joke that he is telling, and if you don't think it's a joke, then you have no sense of humor.
But, this is the same person. And she is right, he has been talking about unfair trade for decades, but he wasn't right about it back then either. You know, there were many times when he said, oh, the gasoline is going to be $8 from 50 cents a gallon in a year or two.
The Japanese are making deals with us and then they're laughing behind our backs. Then it was the Mexicans. They were laughing behind our backs. And now it's the Chinese. Everybody is laughing behind our backs. It's amazing we can get anything done.
D'ANTONIO: It's crazy.
LEMON: Listen, the White House official told Axios that, quote, this is the most toxic working environment on the planet. I don't know. Do you think -- were things that way because you covered them and you wrote about them, in the Trump organization?
D'ANTONIO: Well, they weren't because the Trump organization was a monarchy. There was one guy who was in charge who said yes or no. It wasn't a democracy. There was no Congress. There was no judiciary. There were no laws governing it.
And this is why he is upset with Robert Mueller subpoenaing the records at the Trump organization. All of a sudden some of the regular rules that people abide by are going to be applied to his businesses. And this I'm sure irritates him to no end.
So it is a terrible place to work, I'm sure of it. People must be walking around nervous wrecks, wondering if they will have a job tomorrow or if somebody is going to betray them next week because that's the kind of thing that's going on. LEMON: Yes. We're just learning now -- we're talking about all the chaos, that McMaster is going to be replaced when they figure out who they're going to replace him with. So, we have all these people leave now. There is chaos.
He says this is totally normal, nothing to see here move along, and here we are dealing with it. Not to mention he calls it fake news when we report it and then it turns out to be true once he fires them and gets rid of them.
Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
D'ANTONIO: Over and over and over again. Thanks, Don.
LEMON: Thank you, Michael. When we come back, one of Hillary Clinton's top advisers has a new strategy for Democrats on how to beat President Trump and it's surprisingly Trump-like. I'm going to ask him about his plan and if he thinks any Dems can actually beat the president.
[23:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Hillary Clinton speaking out about the 2016, saying she won in places that are optimistic, dynamic, and moving forward. And that Donald Trump ran a campaign that was looking backwards. The White House hitting back today calling her comments, quote, a perfect example of why Hillary Clinton is not in the White House.
No doubt Trump broke the rules with his campaign. But my next guest says he knows how to beat him in 2020. Joining me now is Philippe Reines. He is a former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton.
Philippe, thank you so much. We appreciate you joining us here this evening.
You wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post. It is called "Trump is a freak of political nature. Here's how you can beat him." And then I just want to read a couple of your tips, OK? You said, go high when you can. But he goes low, take advantage of the kneeling to knock his block off.
Don't apologize. Ever. Not over money you took from Harvey Weinstein. Not even for attacking the pope. In fact, proactively attack the pope.
Swing at every pitch. Trump never says, I'm not going to dignify that with an answer. He has no dignity. He leaves no attack unanswered. I spend 15 years recommending ignoring stupidity. I was wrong.
So are you saying that the answer to beating Trump is to out-trump him if you will?
PHILIPPE REINES, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO HILLARY CLINTON: I don't know. It's certainly to at least keep even with Trump. I don't think that you can do what the typical politician does, whether they are a member of Congress or a governor. It just hasn't worked. And I -- the reason I wrote this piece was because I think people are very, very inclined to say Hillary Clinton blew it.
This guy is the worst ever. How did it happen? Next time, we won't put someone up who will lose. But if you read what people are saying now about the nominee, it's not different than what they are saying about John Kerry or about Al Gore.
And there is a real problem in that if the party doesn't realize or if the eventual nominee doesn't realize that they are not immune to Donald Trump's tricks on top of the Republican Party's tricks which have worked pretty well, they're going to learn the hard way that this was not an easy race, that it was not a layup, it was a three-pointer.
LEMON: Yes. It sounds like you're giving advice to someone who is going up against a bully, like, you know, my mom used to say, if someone hit you, you go back down the street, you hit him back. It's very similar punch them right in the nose. My question is, what about -- what about those politicians who want to return, Philippe, to civilize discourse and actually getting things done? Are they going to be labeled as weak?
REINES: Do it after they win. I mean, we have a lot of repair work to do. You are among the most outspoken of calling Donald Trump for what he does day to day. But one of the pieces of advice is if anyone says I'd rather lose than win his --- the way he does, then just get them off your campaign.
LEMON: Here is the thing then. People wonder about, are there any Democrats out there that can beat Trump or out-trump him in 2020?
REINES: I don't know. I mean, he is beatable.
[23:40:00] But look at it this way. He has been in office now 14 months. I mean, you can't even fill your hands and feet with good days. I mean, it has been calamitous. But the question you always ask is if the election were held tomorrow, would he win? And I don't know the answer to that.
I don't think a lot of people know the answer to that. Because the difference is, is that I think he is floundering. One of the reasons that he is always lashing out at Hillary Clinton and fake news, et cetera, is because he doesn't have an opponent. One thing the guy knows how to do is lacerate an opponent.
So, once you have Donald Trump running against fill-in-the-blank name, he is going to town on them.
LEMON: You worked with Hillary Clinton in 2016.
LEMON: She was at a conference in India. I'm sure you heard about this this weekend. In one of her speeches, she spoke about the 2016 election. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: I won the places that represent two-thirds of America's gross domestic product. So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, make America great again, was looking backwards.
You know, you didn't like black people getting rights. You don't like women, you know, getting jobs. You don't want it, you know, see that Indian-American succeeding more than you are. Whatever your problem is, I'm going to solve it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So her -- her remarks did seem to echo that basket of deplorables on the campaign trail in 2016. I don't know if you agree with that. Is that helpful? It's not exactly productive for the Democratic Party if she continues to attack American voters.
REINES: Honestly, no. It was not helpful. You know, the deplorable example is a good one. She was accurate, but she should have kept that in her head. I think it's pretty fair to say that.
LEMON: Why do you say that?
REINES: I think -- to go back to the point about people who aren't Donald Trump being held to a higher standard, you have to live with everything you said. I'm not sure there is anything that she said during the campaign other than deplorable that the Trump people took more pride in. I mean, you can't go online without seeing name after username of deplorable Diana, deplorable Bob. But, I'm sorry to say, they were deplorable.
LEMON: I enjoyed your column and the advice. We appreciate having you on. Thank you so much, Philippe Reines.
REINES: Thank you for having me, Don.
LEMON: Absolutely. When we come back, two of the smartest and most well traveled people on this planet. I'm going to speak to Christiane Amanpour. I never thought I'd say this. And Anthony Bourdain about world politics, love, and sex.
[23:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The "Me Too" and "Time's Up" movements are inspiring women around the world to stand up for their rights and take control of their sexuality. This Saturday, CNN's Christiane Amanpour hosts a new CNN original series, "Sex and Love Around the World," where she explores how women from different countries and cultures are breaking down old boundaries to find love, intimacy, and sexual fulfillment.
Christiane joins me now along with Anthony Bourdain who is the executive producer of "Sex and Love Around the World." I want to get to talk to you guys about sex. I can't wait. We're definitely getting to that. I have to ask you about you show. But I have to ask you about the president admitting at a fundraiser that he lied to the Canadian prime minister about trade deficits. In moments like this, can leaders trust us around the world?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Look, it is really troubling, what's going on. It's seems to be a perfect storm gathering of changing the whole cabinet, getting people around him who brook no dissent, everybody on the same page. And then this hit from the gut moments.
The president always say, well, I feel it. It's the gut thing. He is convinced that the United States has a trade deficit with every single country. The United States is the most powerful country is being dissed by every other country. That's what he believes.
So even though there is not a trade deficit with Canada and the president himself signed off on that fact, he tells fundraiser that in fact there is, and he just made it up when he told it. He said, I made it up. I didn't know, but I thought there was. And I said that to Justin Trudeau.
But the latest is, that the Canadians are denying that there was ever such a conversation, ever such a meeting or a telephone call or whatever. So this may not even have happened according to the Canadians.
LEMON: OK, but isn't --
AMANPOUR: That's the latest.
LEMON: Yes. There is a tape of him talking about it.
AMANPOUR: No, there isn't. There may be but --
LEMON: There is a tape of him talking about it at a fundraiser, but the conversation between him and the prime minister may never have happened.
AMANPOUR: The only thing we have seen is a transcript in "The Washington Post."
AMANPOUR: And now, the Canadians are basically saying, we don't recall that episode. So what does it mean when you are going to meet with Kim Jong-un?
AMANPOUR: When you have to decide about the Iran nuclear deal. You know, the facts actually matter in this mega-sensitive negotiation.
LEMON: Absolutely. I want to talk to you, Tony, about our relationship with Russia. This is what the White House press secretary said today at the briefing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A friend or a foe of the United States. SANDERS: I think that's something that Russia is going to have to make that determination. They are going to have to decide whether or not they want to be a good actor or a bad actor. I think you can see from the actions that we have taken up until this point, we're going to be tough on Russia until they decide to change their behavior.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Tony, you have been outspoken on this issue and you actually sat down once and had a meal with another famous Russian dissident who was assassinated in 2015. What do you make of the Russian's recent action? Is Putin --
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, SEX AND LOVE AROUND THE WORLD: First, I think that statement was disgusting, OK? We -- deciding whether they are good or bad actor -- you know, they attempted an assassination on British soil again with a highly unstable military grade nerve-agent.
And the victims were not just this defector and daughter but also a British police officer who is yet to be -- it is outrageous that we are at least not angry or the very least at the full spectrum of economic sanctions hitting the oligarchs and Putin colony where it hurts.
[23:50:06] For them, it's all about the money. And we know how to hurt them. And I don't understand the reluctance to do this. This is outrageous. It is not the first time. The Litvinenko case.
BOURDAIN: Again, the choice of method. The Litvinenko case was radioactive polonium. In this case, it is very rare. Russia specific nerve agent. It is not that they don't want people to know. He wants people to know. That's the whole point.
That's why he shot Nemtsov who bragged about I am too important and too well known, it will be embarrassing. This is why he was killed right in the front lawn of the Kremlin. They want people to know. They are laughing at us.
AMANPOUR: It is a message.
LEMON: (INAUDIBLE). You're outrage --
BOURDAIN: I would call that (INAUDIBLE).
LEMON: There's no other --
AMANPOUR: Not to mention the interference in the American elections.
LEMON: There is no easy transition here. Let's talk about sex, shall we?
AMANPOUR: Transition is a break from the stress of the politics. There you go.
LEMON: That's why she is Christiane Amanpour.
LEMON: Let's take a look at the clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Women are no longer willing to take the place that society has imposed on them. They don't all want to be the perfect daughter who grows up to be the perfect housewife and a massive shift is underway.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh good, we'll get some drinks now. We can loosen up a little bit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): I have come to meet a group of friends at their regular hang out where they gather to dish on their lives and their loves.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ladies, let's talk about sex. How is sex?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think men here, the people who you are dating and your husbands and your partners, do they care about your happiness, about your emotional and your physical satisfaction?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So we have seen you in war zones and refugee camps asking tough questions to world leaders, what kind of experiences did you have doing this series and why did you do it?
AMANPOUR: Well, we were in Japan for that episode and we have been in six cities around the world. Because it is the vital side of human connection and the human experience and the human condition that I have been exploring from the other side, the survival. They are trying to survive a war zone, trying to make sure your kids have something to eat, make sure they stay in school. How you behave as a refugee?
And then I start to think, how do they keep their humanity, their sexuality, their relationships with their partners and husbands? How do they actually have sex in flimsy little tents, refugee camps, you know, tiny thin metal containers? How does this all play out? So that was the initial idea.
And then, you know, I had this great chat with Tony, who's a CNN original with great series. And I thought, well, he knows how to go around the world and ask all these different questions about food but bring all this humanity into it and I want to collaborate with him.
LEMON: It is often around food that you talk about politics as we have been discussing here, you talk about sex, really talk about everything. So, it is a natural fit.
BOURDAIN: And I think in the course of my travels on a number of occasions, women would shock me, you know, ask simple questions. What makes you happy? Do you feel you have power? What do you want to do with your life?
Women would be incredibly frank with me in places where it is often unsafe or difficult to be so honest on matters like this, about their sexual lives -- and I always felt inadequate to the task in-depth and awkward at pressing the matter particularly when, you know, as a man speaking to women and often in an environment where that can be very, very tricky with repercussions for them.
So when Christiane came, we got together and started talking about this idea. It was a dream come true. I know it will be really good.
LEMON: You travel around the world. You ask a lot of questions. Have you seen attitudes changed?
AMANPOUR: I have seen attitudes changed. I haven't actually asked these specific questions. I think what Tony was saying, these are simple questions. What makes you happy? What makes you feel that you have the right to demand or expect or want to fulfill your own needs and not always be subject to what the man thinks or what the family thinks or what society thinks which has been the reality in all these places that I've covered all my career and other extreme conditions.
And I actually -- really, when I look now at the final edits and all the different episodes, I realized that this is really a group of girlfriends talking. I just joined the conversation. Even specifically asking them these questions, I was amazed and gratified and touched by how much they wanted to talk.
[23:55:04] There was no attempt to sort of sensor themselves. I was more shy than they were practically, whether it is in Beirut, Muslim country, whether it was in Tokyo or Shanghai, places where you don't normally have these kinds of conversations. It is never been done on television, this aspect of intimacy.
Normally you see just porn, just sex trafficking, prostitution. But these kinds of conversation, there is something in it for everybody. For adolescence girls, for millennials, for middle aged, even some older people.
LEMON: For guys.
AMANPOUR: Well, for guys, absolutely, but we focus on it through the perspective of women. So I hope guys get to see this and maybe if we get an opportunity we'll do some reporting on the guys perspective.
LEMON: You said that it was girlfriends and it made me think of "Sex in the City." This is sex in the world.
AMANPOUR: There you go, exactly.
LEMON: I can't wait to see it. It looks great. Thank you for producing this. Anthony Bourdain and Christiane Amanpour. "Sex and Love Around the World" premieres this Saturday night at 10:00, only on CNN. Christiane Amanpour talking about sex.
LEMON: Doesn't get me better than that. That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I'll see you right back here tomorrow.
[24:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)