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Don Lemon Tonight
Barbara Bush Dies At Age Of 92; Starbucks CEO On Arrests At Philadelphia Store: They Didn't Deserve That; Hannity's Relationship With Cohen; Stormy Daniels Released Sketch Of Man Who Threatened Her; Engine On Southwest Jet Breaks Apart In Midair Killing One; Starbucks CEO Meets With Two Black Men Arrested at Philadelphia Store. Aired 11- 12a ET
Aired April 17, 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 all the breaking news. President Trump ordering flags to fly at half-staff in memory of Barbara Bush, the former first lady. The matriarch of an American political dynasty, dead at the age of 92. She is one of the most popular first ladies in recent history. The wife of one President, the mother of another. We're going to have more on her life and time in just a moment, plus my conversation with the CEO of Starbucks. Kevin Johnson says, he's heart sank when he saw that video, two black men being arrested in one of the coffee chains in Philadelphia stores and I want you to listen to what else he tells me tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN JOHNSON, CEO, STARBUCKS: You know, it's been an emotional experience, and spending these three days on the ground and sitting across from these young men and really trying to understand how this could happen in today's society in Starbucks, you know, in a Starbucks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: You don't want to miss that. That is coming up. I want to bring in now CNN Political Analyst, John Avlon, the author of "Washington's Farewell," CNN Political Commentator, Margaret Hoover, who was a White House staffer for President George W. Bush and also CNN's Presidential Historian, Douglas Brinkley.
So good to have all of you on. I have been wanting to talk to you all evening. Margaret, I want to ask you about the passing of the first lady, Barbara Bush. What do you think?
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I was deeply saddened. I mean, I as any American citizen grew up with her as the first lady when I was a young person, a young girl.
LEMON: You worked with her.
HOOVER: And I had the privilege of working the White House for her son and for working with the Bush family and for the Bush family. And she was a great matriarch as you said of a great American political dynasty. And I just want to underline, this was a family who up held public service and the legacy of serving the public in the noblest sense.
HOOVER: They truly sacrificed personally and in order to offer their best to the public. They're -- and she also represented in an era where women were wives and were homemakers, how a woman could have an identity and be strong and be a stalwart homemaker and family person and still have her own identity and sense of self and contributions. Her contributions to literacy has survive long lasting.
LEMON: They raised a billion dollars for a charity for literacy and cancer and so on. And think about 43, what he did for aides in Africa.
LEMON: You know, as you said, the family, they walked the walk. You said an American original. What do you think her legacy is going to be John?
JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I mean, in terms of American history takes a step back. It's her and Abigail Addles as the wives and mothers of Presidents. That's a about as elite club of American originals as you get. But more than that, what Margaret is saying is, you know, she and the Bush family set a tone of a reminder of what feels like a very bygone era where decency and honor and a sense of humor could exist in politics --
LEMON: Oh yes.
AVLON: -- in a way that appealed across partisan lines. That is an extraordinary legacy and I think one that we could learn a lot to try to inspire us going forward as well. So god bless her and her family.
LEMON: You are absolutely. So Doug, when you see the respect and of course, friendship of the Bush's develop with their political rivals, compare that with the partnerships we are experiencing right now. The partisanships, I should say, we're experiencing right now.
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Oh, boy, it's night and day. Barbara Bush was part of that World War II generation of love of country, but also in duty and honor, but also civility. Barbara Bush, if you did an event for her, I once did a literacy event for her on Rosa Parks and immediately got a nice note coming from her afterwards. She did that a thousand times over. I think she is our most popular first lady, you know, along with Michelle Obama in recent times.
There's no dents in her armor. Everybody liked her, and it's because of her candor, her wicked sense of humor, her ability to be matriarchal with her family. But she didn't suffer fools lightly, but her heart was gigantic. And so this is, I think people are surprise that the public mourning the people had and also the celebration of her life going on now and I hope Donald Trump and Melania do come to Texas a and m and do go to the Bush presidential library to be a symbol of some kind of continuity instead of always being acrimonious and bickering.
LEMON: Yes. Absolutely. Well said. Well put, Doug. Thank you.
I need to turn now to the news out of the White House tonight. Margaret, this question is for you. We're told the President is, this is a quote, apoplectic over the Comey investigation and the Cohen raid.
[23:05:00] The sources saying that he is fixated on it over everything else. Why do you think he is worried?
HOOVER: Well, The president is a loyal dime. Michael Cohen has been incredibly loyal to him. I mean, he is part of his inner circle, I mean knows almost everything about how the Trump organization works. I mean, he is sort of an extended member of the Trump family. So of course he feels this is a violation and an offense against him as much as against his personal lawyer. That is just where you start. That is just a starting point.
LEMON: We've got, 10 minutes.
AVLON: Panic in the White House.
LEMON: Yes. So, John, sources telling CNN that Trump is concerned, because the Feds had everything that he told Cohen and everything Cohen did for him. Do you think this investigation is potentially more problematic that the Russian investigation?
AVLON: Potentially, because, I mean, the President really thought of Michael Cohen as an extension of the family, because as you can see (inaudible) and he wasn't holding back in those communications. That means that all those communications there may be records of things where Michael Cohen is the keeper of the president's secrets, those secrets could be accessed by the Justice Department and the public in an investigation by the Southern District of New York. So it's happening outside the Mueller investigation even as it occurs under the umbrella of Trump's own Justice Department. Everything about that has got a golem and make an incredible anxious about what might come alive.
LEMON: Yes, and I also want to talk about this, the cozy relationship, because this has become part of the Cohen thing, too. The cozy relationship between Fox News and Sean Hannity as it came out that Fox News, I mean, Sean Hannity is the mystery third client of attorney Michael Cohen. It was a surprise to Fox News.
They put out a statement saying Fox News was unaware of Sean Hannity's informal relationship with Michael Cohen and was surprised by the announcement in court yesterday. We have reviewed the matter and spoken to Sean and he continues to have our full support. So, it looks like it is business as usual for Fox News. But this is something. Sean Hannity interviewed the legendary Ted Koppel last year for CBS Sunday Morning and here's what he said to Sean.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: We have to give some credit to the American people that they're somewhat intelligent and that they know the difference between an opinion show and a news show. You're cynical. Look at that.
TED KOPPEL, JOURNALIST: I am cynical, because, you know, --
HANNITY: You think we're bad for America, you think I'm bad for America?
KOPPEL: Yes. In the long haul, I think you and all news opinion --
HANNITY: That is sad.
KOPPEL: No, you know why? Because you're very good at what you do and because you have -- you have attracted a significantly more -- let me finish the sentence.
HANNITY: You're so --
KOPPEL: Let me finish the sentence.
HANNITY: I'm listening. With all due respect.
KOPPEL: You have -- you have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Yes, boom. I got it -- it was obviously Ted Koppel interviewing Sean Hannity. I'm sorry.
AVLON: It's ideology more than facts but it is also tribalism more than fact.
AVLON: It is tribalism above politics, above ideas, above principle. And we find out there's an incredibly deep relationship, beyond a personal relationship between the President and Sean Hannity that goes beyond talking points and apparently goes to sharing to consigliere.
HOOVER: As somebody who works at Fox News for four years before I came to CNN, I was a contributor to Fox news. I was on-air at Fox News, I was on Hannity Show on Fox News. I mean, Hannity never claims and he is a top radio host, who have a prime time show or late night show at Fox News.
He doesn't claim to be a newsperson or journalist. We never has, we all know he is always opinion -- hold on. So all these people say you have to have a disclaimer. OK? Like, his base and his audience is not upset that they didn't get that disclaimer. In fact, they demand that he had -- they think higher of him that he is so close with the President and that he is so close with Michael Trump, Michael Cohen, because that's -- they're all part of the same team. And to something that you are talking about ideology over news --
LEMON: Do you think the average person knows that Sean Hannity is opinion -- and he will say, I break big stories.
HOOVER: If you ask the average Fox News viewer, a 100 percent likes what he is saying, they are going there for confirmation biased and they expect that he is close with Michael Cohen or Trump.
I agree for every second and I understand what news is and what journalistic standards are. That is not what Fox News is employing to Hannity for.
LEMON: So you are saying Fox News doesn't have that? OK. Dough, what do you think?
BRINKLEY: Well, I get Margaret's point, but also I heard you last night, Don, on this topic. And I think it would have cost Sean Hannity a whole lot to have told his viewers that sometimes I do -- I consult with Michael Cohen. What would that have cost him about 15 seconds on the air on one of his broadcasts? So it did seem like he was covering that up and makes him look disingenuous and very kind of cynical and self-centered at this point.
[23:10:00] LEMON: Yes.
BRINKLEY: And he is still now kind of taking a bravado take on it all, but I think he owed the public airwaves that bit of knowledge.
LEMON: So let's just put this in perspective here. OK, let's look at --
LEMON: --let's take the last White House. President Obama had an attorney that was under federal investigation, and I don't know -- Neeka Bruzinsky (ph) or you know, Rachel Maddow, someone -- right-- was probably a client and did not reveal that they were a client, did not disclose that. How do you think Sean would respond?
AVLON: I think apoplectic is one --
HOOVER: Ad partisan is on another side responding now.
AVLON: But this is much worth, because remember, you know,
(CROSSTALK) HOLMES: Are they equally insane, both sides?
AVLON: President Obama is big scandal, because he was always wearing a tan suit in the Oval Office. I mean, you know, what we're talking about, -- this is situational ethics and --
LEMON: A Dijon Mustard.
AVLON: And Dijon Mustard, yes, therefore proving something. That this is every step of the way, if you re-create the scandals of this administration and you put Hillary Clinton's name on it or Barack Obama's name on there, it would be a fever swamp of outrage, but instead in situational ethics, it played the victim card and that just shows how shallow the principles are. It's not about principles. It's about bipartisan and polarizing for profit and that demeans and dumbs down the nation.
LEMON: And Douglas, even when the court filings were so not clear of what the exact relationship is.
BRINKLEY: Well, you know, I'm going to be interested if there are sponsors that pull from Sean Hannity's show. I think that would be the way that this gets punished. If Hannity is unable to tell viewers in America, I probably should had mention that I have a relationship with Cohen, he can't, for one second being humble enough to say that then you may get sponsorship say, we don't want to be part of the show, because Hannity is going to be now tied up with all of this probe for months to come and he doesn't have a good defensive -- he is in a defensive class. Trying to be offensive.
LEMON: To people who are, who buy ads or something, they know, right? They already know that is why they are gone. .
HOOVER: I've only -- I've just expand if you assume it is a real news show. But if you don't, if you just assume its opinion editorial, then what is the purpose of --
LEMON: OK. Margaret, I get your point. I think you're right. But don't you think he blurs the line all even -- who's who on before him -- Tucker. I used to watch Fox News figure out the schedule, because I used to watch ox news all the time. --
HOOVER: I don't know guys over there.
LEMON: I am trying the time and who was on before him, Tucker --
HOOVER: What's his name? I don't know this guys over there.
LEMON: I used to watch -- I'm trying to figure out the schedule because I used to watch Fox News all the time.
HOOVER: Tucker Carlson is on at 9:00, Laura Ingraham is on and then Hannity.
AVLON: Of course they blur --
HOOVER: Hold on, they are opinion editorial, and they pretend like it's a news show, but they are giving their opinion, OK?
AVLON: Fox and Friends is an opinion show and the President seems to trust it more than he does his own intelligence briefing. HOOVER: Right.
AVLON: I mean, we got a problem here.
HOOVER: There is clear difference between -- OK, we're not going to win the debate about whether Fox News is news. I think we all agree Fox News is not news.
AVLON: Totally then.
HOOVER: That is the point -- that is the premise that is not news. That is the point of (inaudible).
LEMON: I've got to go. But I love that saying that something is named news -- it's called --
-- it is not called Fox Opinion or Fox Entertainment, it is called Fox News. Thanks, Doug, thanks Margaret, thanks John. I appreciate it. I can't believe you two are married.
Yes, I can. You bicker like you're married. When we come back Stormy Daniels' attorney is here, and I'm going to ask him about the latest court filings tonight from attorneys for the President and Michael Cohen.
[23:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Attorneys for the President and his lawyer Michael Cohen have filed new paperwork in California tonight, responding to an objection by Stormy Daniels' attorney over their attempt to delay the lawsuit from moving forward. Trump and Cohen's attorneys are citing the federal criminal investigation of Cohen in Manhattan as the reason that the lawsuit should be delayed. Arguing that, if the lawsuit goes forth, it could potentially violate Cohen's Fifth Amendment rights. So, Michael Avenatti is here, Stormy Daniels' attorney to respond to that. What is your reaction to the filing tonight, Michael? By the way, welcome.
MICHAEL AVENATTI, STORMY DANIEL'S ATTORNEY: Thank you. Don, this is more of the same. I mean it's all about delay at this point in time. Yesterday they saw it to delay the criminal investigation, the review of the documents here in New York. Today they filed their reply briefing in support of their motion to delay our case. Clearly they don't want the facts to be known to the American people. They wanted to do everything they can to obstruct and slow down this process, and we're going to continue to fight to do just the opposite.
LEMON: So you think they're just trying to delay, delay, delay?
AVENATTI: There is no question that is what they are attempting to do. I mean they want to slowdown the criminal investigation, they want to slow down our case, the civil investigation. They want to do everything in their power to prevent us from taking a deposition of Michael Cohen and the President. You know, I think it's been pretty clear our position has been clear, we're going to try to advance this as much as we possibly can.
LEMON: You and your client Stormy Daniels released a sketch today of the man who you say threatened the adult film star. There it is right there. And her daughter in Las Vegas parking lot, this is back in 2011. You even had offering a reward of $100,000 to anyone who can identify the perpetrator. Why did you wait so long to release the sketch?
AVENATTI: Well, I can't get into to the details of why we didn't released it a week ago, when we are planning on releasing it, we had a request come in asking us to hold off on that. We honored that request. But I have an amendment tonight on your show and I'm going to make an announcement now. It's not $100,000. It's $131,000. It is $131,000 reward now for information leading to the identity of this individual, this thug that threatened my client with her young daughter in the back of her car.
LEMON: The same amount of money that the NDA is for?
AVENATTI: No, it's actually a thousand dollars more.
LEMON: It is a thousand dollars more, got it. So do you have any leads on anything on person, who the person might be?
AVENATTI: We have a lot of leads. We've narrowed the field to a handful of people that we believe that it may be. But we want to make absolutely sure as to who this is, before we make an announcement and we are hopeful that the public is going to come forward with information that will allow us to make an absolutely positive I.D. If individuals have information leading to this or that would help us, we are asking them to e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEMON: So you believe that the person -- this person that you have in the mugshot. Let us put it there. Do you believe -- in the sketch that this person worked indirectly before Michael Cohen or for the president in the past? Do you have any evidence to back that up?
AVENATTI: Well, we have a substantial believe in that. We do have some evidence. I don't want to get into the details of that, but I think it is important to say as follows. This individual could have only come from one of three places, based on the timing of this.
[23:20:06] Either my client arranged for somebody to threaten herself, which makes no sense. The magazine that she was dealing with it at the time, In Touch Magazine, sent someone to threaten her, relating to an article that they wanted to print, that makes no sense. Or it came from Michael Cohen or someone who is associated with the Trump organization. We believe it's -- it's fairly commonsense of course to where it came from.
LEMON: Yes. You guys were on "The View," earlier today. Stormy was questioned about why she didn't go to the police immediately after this alleged that had took place. This was her response. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STORMY DANIELS, ADULT FILM STAR: I would have gone to police and I would have gone, OK, a man approached me, this is what he said to me, he told me, you know, leave Mr. Trump alone and their very next question, the detective would have asked me, why would somebody tell you to leave Mr. Trump alone, and I would have had to answer that question, which is not public at the time and I would have to tell the entire police department and police reports are public record, I know that for a fact, I had sex with Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So she fears for her safety the way she describes it. Why didn't that outweigh her concerns?
AVENATTI: Well, I think it was actually cut off. I mean, she went onto say that one of the reasons why she did not state at the time was that her husband was not aware of what happened in her prior life, if you will, with Mr. Trump, and she didn't want him to learn it by way of this police report. I mean, I think it made common -- it makes perfect sense and I think she's a very credible woman. I mean every time she speaks to the American people, Don, I think that people are continued to be more and more impressed with her honesty, with her credibility and with the story she tells.
LEMON: I thought it was interesting, I thought she comported herself well on "The View" today.
AVENATTI: I thought she was excellent.
LEMON: And that she seemed more relatable. You know, because "60 Minutes'" is such a big serious vehicle and have her sitting down.
AVENATTI: It's a different environment.
LEMON: It's a different environment, so, I thought she comported herself well. And I thought, you know, especially to some of the skeptics there she completely disarmed them which is smart in her part.
AVENATTI: Yes. I think this goes hand in hand with something I had said all along, and I have the same reaction to her, frankly, Don, when I met her. You know, you -- meet her and you expect one thing and you get something entirely different. I mean this woman is incredibly intelligent, she is very, very credible, she is very likable. And when you actually meet her and you talked to her and you hear what she has to say and you hear her about her motives, you come away impressed.
LEMON: Can we talk about Michael Cohen and Sean Hannity? Because you told Jake Tapper, my colleague, that there must be a reason why Michael Cohen didn't want Sean Hannity's name out there in public. Wanted to keep it from becoming public. Why is that? What do you mean by that? AVENATTI: Well, what I mean about that is, you have to understand the
context in which this disclosure came up. The context came up in the forum of what names need to be disclosed as it relates to protecting the attorney-client privilege to the extent one exists as it relates to the documents that were seized. It's all about the documents. So what names were in the documents that our clients of Mr. Cohen, so that those documents could potentially be protected?
It wasn't in a broader scope of what client has Michael Cohen ever had in his legal career. So the only reason to raise Sean Hannity's name was to protect the disclosure of documents that were seized by the FBI. So my confidence level is it's close to 100 percent as it possibly could be that there were documents that were seized by the FBI, either electronic documents or documents among the ten bankers boxes that were taken from the residents and the office that include Sean Hannity's name.
LEMON: So, quick answer, informal conversations about real estate filings. Does that make a difference to you? Do you but that?
AVENATTI: Well, I'm not going to cast dispersions as to whether Sean Hannity is telling the truth or whether Michael Cohen's attorney is telling the truth. But I will say is this. You cannot square what Sean Hannity has said, publicly to what Michael Cohen's attorney said in court the other day. Those don't square. One of them is not being 100 percent honest and truthful.
LEMON: And documents you think will square that up.
AVENATTI: I think it might.
LEMON: So, I want to ask you, because of the M.O. of this president, from people who know him, who have reported on him, who had done business according to them, is that he -- if you he doesn't pay you, he waits you out. If he files a lawsuit against you, you file a lawsuit against him, he waits you out, therefore you have to drop it, so, you know, because he has more money that hoping the other person will run out of money which is usually the case. Is that the case, is that going to be the case here, he is going to wait you out?
AVENATTI: Well, Don, I'm 47 years of age. I try to keep myself in pretty good condition. I'm feeling all right these days. I'm ready for a long haul. My client is ready for the long-hall. I've got cases that are still going on after 13 years and he better not to try to wait us out, because we're here to stay. We're not going anywhere.
LEMON: Thank you, Michael.
AVENATTI: Thank you.
LEMON: I appreciate it. When we come back, a shocking accident onboard a Dallas bound Southwest Airlines flight today. One woman dying after she was sucked into a hole in a broken window after an engine explode. Remarkably she was the only passenger to die.
[23:25:00] And we're going to speak to the passenger who took this video and what he thought the moments -- his final moments next.
LEMON: Tonight a federal investigation is underway into a deadly incident aboard a Southwest Airlines jet. A flight from New York City to Dallas making an emergency landing in Philadelphia after an engine broke apart in midair after only 20 minutes. Shrapnel apparently blowing out one of the cabin windows. Passengers struggling to hold onto one woman who was sucked into the open window. And despite their best efforts she did not survive, though. I want you to listen to this is just some of the communications between it cockpit and air- traffic control.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Injured passengers, OK. And are you -- is your airplane physically on fire?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not fire, but part of its missing. They said there's a hole and someone went out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry, you said there was a hole and somebody went out? Southwest 1380 it doesn't matter we'll work it out there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Joining me now is Marty Martinez. He was a passenger on that flight. Thank you so much, I can't believe this. This has to be terrifying for you. How are you doing?
MARTY MARTINEZ, PASSENGER ABOARD SOUTHWEST AIRLINES FLIGHT 1380: I am doing a little bit better, you know. I'm fortunate to get a lot of loved ones that have reached out and finally have had a little bit of time to myself tonight. And I just feel very lucky to be alive.
LEMON: Take me through this. When you realized something was wrong, what happened? What did you do?
MARTINEZ: So, I take a lot of flights, and it was just a regular standard flight. I'm used to the short three-hour trip from Dallas to New York. And, you know, I didn't think anything different. And then I heard a loud boom. And about five seconds later, all of the oxygen masks deployed.
And immediately knew something was on -- something was wrong. I just didn't -- it didn't register what it could have been. And then a few seconds later, I heard another loud boom. And that's when I knew that there was really something wrong because the window had -- was blown out.
LEMON: Right. You were sitting as I understand two rows behind the window that exploded and a woman was partially sucked out of that window. What did you do? How did the other passengers react? Did you see it?
MARTINEZ: Oh, yes. I think everyone was in a state of shock. And to be clear, she was two rows ahead of me but on the left side of the plane. And I was two rows behind but on the right side of the plane. I had the window seat. And it took I think everyone off-guard. You know, it took a second for them to really register what had happened. And the minute the flight -- or the window had blown out, I knew that we were in really bad trouble.
LEMON: Yes. So, could you see -- could you see her at all?
MARTINEZ: Oh, yes, totally. She was just cat corner right to where I was sitting.
LEMON: And was she conscious? Was she saying anything?
MARTINEZ: I didn't honestly hear a peep out of her. From the minute it happened, you obviously heard shrieks and screams, but I never actually heard anything from her.
LEMON: How far out of the plane? Do you know --
MARTINEZ: Luckily she had her seat belt strapped, but you know how big those windows are.
MARTINEZ: And it was moving so fast. Everybody of course was just freaking out.
LEMON: It was so awful. I'm so sorry for her family tonight, if they are watching. It's terrible. At one point, the plane was going down, right? You guys knew the plane was going town and it wasn't looking good. People were buying more Internet time. You were buying on your laptop. You were on Facebook live, right?
MARTINEZ: Right. I immediately thought -- you know, I probably -- I didn't honestly think we were going to make it, like, who thinks that you walk away from that type of experience. And all I could think was needing to communicate with my friends and family and loved ones back home.
And so as a marketer, I'm always, you know, thinking about social and using that as a means. But really, all I was -- as a means to communicate. But all I was thinking about is how I could get messages out to the people I loved. And so rather than really put my oxygen mask on, I reached for my laptop.
MARTINEZ: And, you know, in a panic was trying to -- trying to get Internet access. And I remember looking for my wallet. I'm not sure where it was, and then finally I secured it. And there I am as the plane is going down, inserting my credit card information so that I could try to get Wi-Fi access.
LEMON: How long did this go on?
MARTINEZ: It felt like -- it felt like maybe several minutes, you know. And I kept inputting the wrong information in a panic.
LEMON: You said earlier, you told a CNN producer that the landing was so violent you thought it was a crash and you thought you weren't going to make it.
MARTINEZ: No, not at all. We were going down. If you're going through that experience, you never think you're going to walk away from it. And then you hear on the intercom a panicked, you know, brace for landing, brace for landing.
And I looked to my right out the window and I see a city that I wasn't familiar with and come to find out later it was Philadelphia. But as we're going down, I have no idea are we near a runway? I see the tops of Philadelphia, the top of the buildings. Are we going to crash into these skyscrapers? Are we going to land on a runway? I was completely unclear.
LEMON: What's the reaction once you landed with the passengers?
MARTINEZ: Everyone was crying, you know, around us. I flew with a colleague and I'll never forget like his level of focus on just communicating like via text to his pregnant wife back home. And it's like everything else was zoned out, but he was just so focused on getting, you know, his last words out to, you know, his wife.
[23:35:01] And I knew that we were just in a really bad shape.
LEMON: Yes. Marty, thank you. Of course, our thoughts and prayers again for the woman who was killed. Thank you for coming in.
MARTINEZ: Thank you.
LEMON: Appreciate it. We'll be right back.
LEMON: We learned today that the CEO of Starbucks has met with two black men who were arrested for trespassing last week at one of the company's Philadelphia stores, all because they sat down at a table without buying anything.
The manager called police when the men said that they were waiting for someone. No charges were filed but outrage has been spreading since the incident happened a few days ago. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson is apologizing. I'm going to talk to him in just a moment.
But the sad truth is, what happened in that Starbucks could happen any place in this country. Millions of people of color could tell similar stories. And as we all know, it's not just Starbucks. Racism is a problem we all need to face whether we're black or white or brown.
Joining no now is Kevin Johnson, president and CEO of Starbucks. Thank you so much for joining us, Kevin. How are you doing?
KEVIN JOHNSON, PRESIDENT AND CEO, STARBUCKS: I'm well, Don, thank you.
LEMON: I want to start with the incident itself and the arrest of the two black men at one of your locations in Philadelphia. This is the video that caught national attention. Let's play it. Watch it for a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
[23:40:05] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What have they been called for (ph), they were two black guys sitting here (ph).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So Kevin, when you first saw this video of those men arrested and handcuffed, what went through your mind?
JOHNSON: Well, Don, you watch that video, it's hard to watch. And my heart sank. And that's why I'm here in Philadelphia. You know, what happened to those two young men should not have happened. The police being called and then being arrested, they didn't deserve that.
And so I'm here in Philadelphia with many from my leadership team to make sure that we listen, learn, and that we understand how this could ever happen and then take the set of actions to ensure it doesn't happen again.
LEMON: Kevin, sadly what you saw in that video is not surprising to most African-Americans. And you said your heart sank, it's hard to watch. But were you surprised -- a lot of people were surprised by it or they don't believe it happened.
JOHNSON: Well, you know, we saw it on that video, and, you know, in the opportunities I've had these last few days with my leadership team to meet with community leaders, the mayor, police commissioner, you know, many others including the two young men who were arrested, you know, it's clear to me that there's something in our society that I think we need to take seriously.
LEMON: Yes. So, what do you think that is? You said there's something in our society we need to take seriously. What do you think that is, Kevin?
JOHNSON: Well, the action -- one of the actions that we announced today and this is just one step in a journey to focus on the things that we can do to ensure that our Starbucks partners and the experience we create for each and every person that walks into our stores is the kind of experience that we are proud of, the kind of experience where every person that walks in our door can feel safe and welcome.
And so the first step that we are taking is on May 29th in the afternoon, we are closing all 8,000 plus Starbucks company operated stores in the United States for mandatory training around unconscious bias, unconscious inclusion, and working to not only educate but sensitize every Starbucks partner to this issue.
LEMON: Listen, I think it's great that you're doing something, but do you think you could accomplish that in one afternoon? You have 175,000 partners and employees across the country that you have to deal with. I mean, realistically, in one afternoon, is that --
JOHNSON: Don, this is not -- this is not the only thing that has to happen. You know, I've been on the ground here for three days. I've had very little sleep. I've been actively engaged to listen and understand. And we are crafting a journey. This is the first step in our journey.
And I have an accountability to make sure that, you know, we do the thoughtful analysis, that we are thorough, and that we are intentional about every step we take to ensure that we can do everything we can so that this doesn't happen again to anyone who comes to a Starbucks. Now, that's why I'm here.
LEMON: Do you -- listen, I know no company is perfect. This company I worked for is not perfect. But there have been incidents at Starbucks before. Were you aware of those or was there any action taken, because there's been similar incidents before at Starbucks.
JOHNSON: Well, you know, I think as you pointed out that, you know, every company makes mistake. And great companies are companies that learn from those mistakes and take action. And that's the responsibility that I have.
LEMON: You met with the two men. Can you tell me what those conversations were like?
JOHNSON: Well, I had asked to personally meet with the two young men who were arrested and I had that opportunity yesterday. And I apologized to them personally. I listened as they shared their personal experience with me of what they went through, Don. And they didn't deserve that.
And from there, I think we had a very constructive dialogue around perhaps how we can take a very bad instance and turn it into something good.
LEMON: You know, I've interviewed thousands of people in my career. You know, I don't know if you're exhausted or how this really affected you, maybe it's a combination. But you seem to be really affected by this. What's going through your head?
JOHNSON: Well, you know -- you know, it's been an emotional experience. And spending these three days on the ground and sitting across from these young men and really trying to understand how this could happen in today's society in a Starbucks, in a Starbucks where our mission is around the human experience and creating a warm welcoming environment for everyone.
[23:45:07] And so for me it's a learning experience. It's an emotional learning experience. And I take it personally. So, yes, I'm affected by it. And I'm going to fix it. LEMON: I'll ask you again because -- listen, I'm a man of color and I've dealt with this and just about every person of color I know has dealt with this. What do you say again to people who don't believe these things happen or that it's being exaggerated? What do you say to that having experienced what you just experienced?
JOHNSON: Well, Don, I guess the only way I could describe this is you have to go through this personally where you have an opportunity to sit across the table from two young gentlemen and hear them share their experience. And in doing that, you learn to listen with your heart. I think this has to do with human connection and being open to sharing vulnerabilities and listening to others' vulnerabilities.
And it starts with a dialogue. And it starts with being open-minded and willing to have the courage to have that dialogue. And that's what I think those two young men and I had yesterday. We had a human connection, because we share one thing in common. Every one of us on this planet shares the human experience.
LEMON: Did you ever speak directly to the manager?
JOHNSON: I did, yes.
LEMON: Do they work there any longer? Have they been reassigned, fired?
JOHNSON: Well, that manager is no longer in that store. And my responsibility is to look broadly and review every aspect of this including the actions that manager took and everything related to guidelines, policies and training that went into this.
And, you know, the fact is that the police should have never been called. That was wrong. And I've got to look at every aspect to ensure that I understand it and that this journey we go on ensures that it never happens again.
LEMON: Kevin Johnson, thank you so much.
JOHNSON: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: When we come back, this is clearly not just about Starbucks. It's about American society. But Starbucks is a company with about 28,000 locations worldwide. Can they actually make a difference here?
[23:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson as we just saw moments ago getting emotional about the arrest of two black men at a store in Philadelphia, saying they didn't deserve that. Johnson vowing as he told me to make sure this never happens again.
Back again with me tonight is Kamau Bell, host of CNN's "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA." Kamau, good evening to you. You had a very similar experience when you were kicked out of a coffee shop in California. That was three years ago. So, what did you think after hearing from the CEO? W.KAMAU BELL, HOST, UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA: I mean, I think there's sort of -- I give him props for opening himself up emotionally to this and feeling it right there in the interview. But I think there's two different journeys we have to talk about. The journey of Starbucks, the company to fix themselves, and his own personal journey.
The way he speaks about it is he's really having an awakening, but we can't really wait for him to fully awaken for the company to be fixed. Do you understand what I'm saying, Don?
LEMON: You can't wait for everybody to be woke?
BELL: No, no, no. I mean, there are people out there who would run the company in a more inclusive way. I'm not calling for his dismissal or anything. I'm saying, like, he's saying -- his journey and the company's journey have to be two separate things. We can't wait for every individual white person to be woke. We just have to have a company that respects and doesn't discriminate against people.
LEMON: So, are you saying that at the top, there should be people who are already aware of this situation or a bit more diversity?
BELL: You have to put more diversity and more people in the room at the inner sanctum of the table of any corporation who actually already know this stuff. And you have a vote. And who aren't there just one day you're going to do diversity training, who have a vote and decision to become this (INAUDIBLE), like, how do you go into different neighborhoods, so you don't look like a gentrifier?
How do you handle if somebody comes in and needs to use the bathroom? When is the only time to call the cops? I think these are bigger things than just -- you know. I know he said it's just a one-day training, but the real question is, right now it's in the news. We all know. We work in the news, Don.
BELL: We have a very short-term memory in this country that we forget things very quickly. What happens in a year? What happens in five years?
LEMON: So that's what I want to ask you. You said you wanted to wait to see what Starbucks would really do before you cast judgment. So now you see that they're closing every single U.S. store on May 29th to educate employees about racial bias, do you think -- you know, I said to him, you know, in one afternoon, I applaud you for doing something but do you think that this is the real deal?
BELL: It's just got to be the first step. I mean, yes, it sounds good, it's a good headline. I'm not saying it's the right thing to start, but believe me, the journey he had in that interview with you where he started to cry, those men were in jail for almost nine hours.
And forget about that, forget about me, somebody sent a video earlier that just went out and saying that they couldn't use the bathroom at a Starbucks in Torrance, California. And all day on Twitter for the last few days, people have been coming to me with stories and things that have happened at Starbucks and other coffee shops.
Again, I think we located that the event of these two black men in Philadelphia were acting like that manager and that Starbucks made one bad decision. It's a company-wide thing. They can't act like every day Starbucks aren't making decisions that are excluding people. They're not just caught on video or they're not notable enough to tell a story about.
LEMON: So, that's a lot of money though. I mean for one day, Starbucks will be fine. We know that.
BELL: Yes. They got a lot of money. They got a lot of money.
LEMON: But should other companies take notice?
BELL: I mean, you know, do you think other companies should take notice? The United States government should take notice? Maybe we should shut the whole country down for a day and talk about racism. Not kidding. I feel like, you know, again, when we talk like racism is about capitalism or about these businesses, we're really locating it in too small a place.
[23:55:02] The same -- the racism that kicked those two black men out of Starbucks and called the cops is the same racism that got Stephon Clark killed in Sacramento. It's not racism, not dot and dashes. It's an unbreakable line.
LEMON: Yes. Some protesters are calling Starbucks anti-black. Do you think that's fair?
BELL: I think anything to get Starbucks to pay attention that is peaceful and expressing your First Amendment rights is fine. People are trying to get Starbucks to pay attention. If Starbucks isn't anti- black, it will become very clear over the next few months and years.
LEMON: Do we give them a chance to educate and become better, educate themselves?
BELL: The market will bear that out. The market always bears that out. Currently right now, my 6-year-old told me I'm not allowed to buy Starbucks. So I can't buy Starbucks.
BELL: But everybody doesn't have a 6-year-old to tell them what to do. But I'm saying the market will bear it out. We'll see.
LEMON: You know what? Listen, I feel -- you have to feel for the guy because he's having this awakening, but to African-Americans, we're like, really? You didn't know that? So that's why it's so shocking to me.
But it's not shocking to a large percentage of the population. And you're like, why are you so -- like you had this epiphany all of a sudden and this life-changing -- I feel bad for him, but you know what I'm saying. BELL: I feel bad for him but if you just swapped him out and made a
(INAUDIBLE) the new CEO of Starbucks, then Starbucks would change overnight. It's not about -- he has to own his whiteness. He said the thing a white will do. You have to understand. We are talking about white people generally in this issue.
And I think that he has to -- white people all over this country have to be more conversant, used to saying the word "white" when it refers to more than wallpaper coloring.
LEMON: Yes. Kamau, thank you.
BELL: Thank you.
LEMON: The new season of Kamau Bell's "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" premieres Sunday night, April 29th, at 10:00. That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I'll see you right back here tomorrow.
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