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Don Lemon Tonight
Trump Stoking Fear to Voters; E-mails Emerge about Roger Stone and Steve Bannon; The Mueller Investigation Has Major Developments; President Trump Tweets Out A Racist Ad; President Trump Saying That He Wants The Military To Shoot At Any Migrant Who Throws A Rock At Them. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired November 01, 2018 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
[22:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Thank you for watching tonight. "CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts right now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: I love that you talk about your dad. You call him pop.
LEMON: We just talked about him at dinner the other night. And that story you shared about him and his favorite dessert, which is -- which was?
CUOMO: Apple pie.
LEMON: Apple pie. Apple pie. He couldn't -- Chris said he couldn't pass it up in a restaurant for dessert or if he passed a deli that had apple pie towards the end. You don't mind me saying that, do you?
CUOMO: Not at all.
LEMON: He would point and say he wanted apple pie. And you'd say pop, you just had apple pie not long ago. And he'd go, so what? Then he takes it home--
CUOMO: I never won an argument with him, even when he couldn't argue. But I'll tell you what, he introduced me to Thomas Merton many, many years ago.
CUOMO: Thomas Merton wrote this collection of essays in 1960 but he was talking about the World War II experience. And it is a searing truth. Literally. Each word literally. It literally is exactly where we are today. And it's not about Trump. Trump can make the pitch. You decide to buy.
LEMON: It's a whole different era, a whole different caliber of person who when your dad was in the political arena. Those, I mean, those guys. We talked about great speeches, right? And this isn't, I'm not talking about people's politics. Your dad's speech, Jesse Jackson's speech at the convention. People who were just amazing orators. And also, you know, actually cared about people and the process more than they cared about politics and winning.
CUOMO: Well, look, one thing that is different, I think it's fair to say, politicians have always had their blemishes. OK?
CUOMO: And the process has always been ugly. Negativity has always been a proxy for insight and has driven people to the polls. However, what has changed is you knew where men and women stood.
CUOMO: You knew what they were about. They'd win, they'd lose, they'd compromise or not. The thing with Trump is, and it really is different, and I think in an honest moment when he can tell the truth he would own this. You don't know where he is. He is not burdened by principle. You know, he is not conditioned by certain ideals. He goes where he feels he needs to go. And that's what you see. That's what we call out. That's the hypocrisy. But there is a method to the mendacity. And that's what it is.
CUOMO: He knows where people might be led. And that's what he's doing.
LEMON: He wants to win at all costs. Remember, he was a Democrat before he was Republican. He was pro-choice before he was, you know--
CUOMO: He is not burdened by principle. He's not burdened by principle.
LEMON: -- he is pro-life. He is not burdened by principle. Yes. Listen--
CUOMO: But I've got one for you. You've got to use this line tonight.
LEMON: OK. What is it?
CUOMO: I'll tell you why you can't let them throw rocks, Don.
CUOMO: You must treat rocks as rifles. David and Goliath. That's what David did.
LEMON: My gosh.
CUOMO: Took him out with a stone.
CUOMO: That's the argument from a Trump supporter who is in charge of women for Trump. You've got to be careful. If they throw rocks at you. Because of what David did to Goliath.
LEMON: It's so outrageous. I mean, I can't even -- from day to day even though we're covering it every night I cannot believe the absurdity of it all.
CUOMO: That one's got legs.
LEMON: That one's got legs. Hey, listen.
CUOMO: We'll hear that again. The only way that would get more traction is if you said it.
LEMON: I've said a lot of stuff that's gotten a lot of traction recently. And so, you know what? It's dangerous. You're dangerous. We get in trouble.
CUOMO: Who says?
LEMON: My gosh. Come on. Talk to the bosses. So, listen, you said we need -- you said we needed patience, right? But we also need--
CUOMO: That's what Thomas Merton said.
LEMON: Yes. We also need passion because we've got to get people to the polls. Everybody has to vote, no matter which side you're going to vote for.
CUOMO: Hundred percent.
LEMON: That's important. That's your right as an American. We also need compassion in these times. So, thank you, my friend.
CUOMO: Absolutely, D. Lemon.
LEMON: See you soon.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
So, President Trump desperately trying to change the conversation with just five days to go until election day. He's doing it again tonight. Yet another rally. Trying to get you talking about a non-existent crisis at our southern border. Non-existent.
But he really upped the ante earlier today at the White House. Here's what we were told. We were told the president was making a major policy announcement on immigration. He didn't. He didn't offer any details about his -- the promised executive order. Just said his administration is finalizing a plan. He didn't get into any specifics at all.
All he did was recycle the same old fear-mongering and lies. Crisis on the border. Right? Fear. Invasion. Scary. Criminals. Tough people. Drugs.
[22:05:08] It's the same old toxic brew of misinformation and flat out lies that we have heard in every one of his rallies. He even threatened that troops at the border, you heard Chris just say it, troops at the border could fire on anyone in the migrant caravan who throws a stone, throws a rock.
One of our distinguished military veterans could hardly believe his ears when he heard that. And we're going to talk to him about that tonight in just moments. All that while this disgusting race-baiting video is still pinned to the very top of Trump's Twitter feed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only thing that (muted) said is (muted) -- kill more cops.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: It's obvious. Here's the truth. The president wants you to be terrified about immigration. He wants you to be afraid of migrants hundreds of miles away from our southern border. Hundreds of miles away. They won't be here by election day or anytime soon after that. They may never even get close to this country.
That's what he wants you to talk about. He wants you to talk about now for the next five days to go until this election. Why does he want that? Think about it. Why does he want it so badly that he'd revel in these kinds of tactics? Maybe because, all right? Here's what he doesn't want you to talk about.
He doesn't want you to talk about allegations of voter suppression across this country. OK? Georgia first. In Georgia where the Republican candidate for governor, his name is Brian Kemp -- by the way, he's also the secretary of the state. So, he's in charge of the election. He faces backlash and lawsuits after the Associated Press reported that his office suspended more than 53,000 voter applications.
Guess what? Almost 70 percent of them were African-Americans. His office, Kemp's office, maintains that those people will be allowed to vote but only if they bring the proper I.D.
So now let's go to North Dakota. Its new requirement there that Native Americans, that they have to show specific forms of photo I.D. bearing their street address. OK? But here's the hitch. The problem is there are few actual street names on reservations.
See what they're doing there, they did there? Dodge City, Kansas. A judge tonight denied the ACLU's request, denied it, to open a second polling place or return to the original one after officials moved it out of town. They just moved it right out of town.
Here's what they claim. They say the old site was inaccessible because of construction. Here's a hat tip to my colleague Rachel Maddow. Rachel sent a producer there who found that the old site, not blocked by construction. Not at all. In fact, there are numerous events scheduled there.
So yes, the president doesn't want you to talk about any of that. He doesn't want you to talk about the deficit skyrocketing. An increase of $113 billion. You know why? It's mostly due to this president's tax cuts for corporations and the 1 percent.
He doesn't want you to talk about the stock market. Have you seen your 401K lately? The stock market just had its worst month since 2011. He doesn't want you to talk about his empty promises of a 10 percent tax cut that he made recently for the middle class, one he promised to pass before the election. Even though Congress is not in session, was not in session.
Remember when he busted that claim out of nowhere and everyone was like what are you talking about? Would it surprise you to hear that the president, after Trumpeting the fake tax cut, quietly conceded today that there's no chance it's going to happen this year? The president who said this yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I always want to tell the truth. When I can I tell the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: He said that yesterday. He's been telling lies about protecting pre-existing conditions. That's another thing he doesn't want you to talk about at all. And his administration admitted it last night. Because they told Jim Acosta the president's immigration rhetoric is, quote, "clearly working." We're all talking about it and not healthcare.
[22:09:57] He doesn't want you to talk about his empty promises to preserve coverage of pre-existing conditions. While his administration simultaneously works to kill the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, which protects pre-existing conditions. Right?
He doesn't want you to talk about how he palled around with the repressive Saudi regime responsible for the death, the brutal death of Jamal Khashoggi. And went along with the ridiculous cover stories.
He doesn't want you to talk about his own fear-mongering rhetoric as Pittsburgh is still burying victims of the worst anti-Semitic attack in this nation's history. And as investigators are building their case against the Trump supporter charged with mailing pipe bombs to this network and prominent Democrats across the country. This is what he said tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We did have two maniacs stop a momentum that was incredible
because for seven days nobody talked about the elections. It stopped a tremendous momentum.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, let me ask you to do just a little thought experiment with me. OK? Are you ready? If the man who sent 15 bombs in the mail was a deranged Hillary Clinton supporter, what would the president be saying? If the man who shot and killed elderly Jewish people praying in the synagogue had been an illegal immigrant or a Muslim, imagine what we would be hearing from Donald Trump and imagine what we'd be hearing from right-wing media. My gosh, the world is ending. Heads would be popping off everywhere.
He wants Americans to hear the caravan more than four -- more than the four white supremacists in Southern California indicted just today for carrying out violent attacks at political rallies. Did you hear about that one? He hasn't talked about that.
And he definitely doesn't want you to talk about the Russia investigation, especially as e-mails surfaced today between Roger Stone and Steve Bannon about WikiLeaks, the disclosures of e-mails stolen by the Russians. That's amid reports that Stone pitched himself to the Trump campaign as a WikiLeaks pipeline.
The president doesn't want you to talk about any of that. He has a record that he could run on. The economy is good despite the deficit and the stock market, as I said, despite those things. He's established a conservative judiciary for a generation. Now, that is a real accomplishment.
He has lived up to a number of his promises. And a lot of people don't like that, but it really is true. He talks about those things. But primarily he is using fear and hate to motivate his base in the days before the midterms.
So, the president has had a lot to say about immigration. A lot of it is false. A lot of it is racist. A lot of it's mean-spirited. But no matter what the president says the voters are already voting, already deciding. A lot of them supports the president. No one will forget that. And forget the lesson of the 2016 election. And a lot of them don't, though.
We won't know how many and who wins. Five nights from tonight when election officials around the country are counting the votes. Whatever side you're on, whatever side, voting is a right and it's a privilege simultaneously. It's a right and a privilege.
It is a right a lot of people didn't have, that others fought and died for. That's why we've talked so much on this show about voter suppression. And we'll continue to do so. It is because your vote really is your voice that is how this country works. I'm not the only one saying it either.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OPRAH WINFREY, TV HOST: For anybody here who has an ancestor who didn't have the right to vote and you are choosing not to vote wherever you are in this state, in this country, you are dishonoring your family.
WINFREY: So, honor your legacy. Honor your legacy. Honor your right to citizenship and this, which is the greatest country in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: An ancestor who didn't have the right to vote. Here, count the number of jellybeans in the -- how many jellybeans are in the jar? Poll taxes. I'm one of them. I'm sure a lot of you at home are. A lot of people fought and died for the right to vote. The least you can do is honor them by going out to vote.
[22:14:59] Lots to talk about in these final days before the midterms. Chris Cillizza and David Axelrod are here. We're going to dig into it next.
LEMON: The president stoking fear of immigrants at a campaign rally in Missouri in an attempt to rile up his base, attacking the migrant caravan in Mexico, saying it's full of bad people. Ignoring the fact that many of the migrants are women with children running away from violence. It's a repeat of what he said at the White House this afternoon.
So, let's bring in now Chris Cillizza and David Axelrod. Gentlemen, good evening to you. So glad you could be on.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hi, Don.
LEMON: David, we were told we were going to get new asylum policy proposals today but instead we got divisive rhetoric and a long list of false claims. The president used the trappings of his office to fear-monger and mislead and basically give talking points from a campaign -- from his campaign rallies.
AXELROD: Yes. Well, I would think sending 5,000 or more troops to the border would be another expenditure that is more about campaign than about the actual situation on the ground. I suggested earlier today that the taxpayers should send that bill to the Republican National Committee.
But, Don, we're going off this discussion every night from now until Tuesday because the president doesn't care. He's in campaign mode. He will use any and all of the devices at his disposal to try and stoke his base up with this fantasy Armageddon that he's been talking about, you know, for several weeks.
[22:20:06] And we'll see if he's successful on Tuesday. But one thing I'm pretty sure of is that he's not going to wake up tomorrow and say you know what? Maybe I overdid this. Maybe I shouldn't have used the Roosevelt room for what was a blatantly political -- no.
He doesn't -- the only thing the president thinks is inexcusable is losing an election. Anything in service of winning is within bounds for him. And we've seen that. And it's not going to change. That's who he is.
LEMON: You know, Chris, David brings up a very good point about the military and the taxpayer and taking troops away from their families during holiday season. Thanksgiving is coming up. There are a whole lot of things there.
But really, debasing the office of the presidency today. The Roosevelt room, the White House. With his closing message for the midterms. It's really where he started his presidential campaign in 2016, by stoking fears over immigration and trying to rile up his base. Will it work?
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE: I think it will rile up his base. I think they had a bump. They the Republicans. After Kavanaugh. The fight itself and then winning the fight I think, that helped. I think that was fading. I think that's why you see the immigration issue being quite clearly and purposely injected into this debate.
Donald Trump in that speech you mentioned today, Don, which was, I mean, let's be honest, that speech could have been given in front of a campaign rally in a Senate race. One of the things that he said was, well, they're rushing toward our borders.
I mean, it's 7,000 people. The fastest they can move is 20-ish miles an hour, and as of last -- 20 miles a day I should say. And as of last week, they're 1,000 miles away. So, they're not rushing toward our border.
CILLIZZA: But to answer your question, yes, I think it will work to re-rile up the Republican base because it is a fear and anger message and that is a powerful emotion. But at least as you look at the House most of the districts here that we're talking about, Don, are suburban Chicago. California's suburbs, New Jersey.
Some Philadelphia suburbs. That message will not play there. If anything, I think it will probably wind up hurting those candidates. That's why you see a Carlos Curbelo, for example, in Florida saying I don't want anything to do with this. I think this is the message he wants because he knows it speaks to his base. It can help in some Senate races. So, it might work. And they also might lose more seats in the House because of it.
LEMON: Yes. And just remember, do you guys both remember in the spring when there was a similar caravan and there was, my gosh, this caravan is coming. I think there were like 14 arrests or something, right? But there were 401 claims of asylum. When they were my gosh, there are hundreds, thousands of people coming.
(CROSSTALK) CILLIZZA: And Don, just to add--
HANNITY: (Inaudible) claims 374 of those receiving credible referrals.
LEMON: And just because -- that doesn't mean that they got in.
CILLIZZA: I was just going to add, I think one of the things that's important is this is not -- these caravans, the one earlier this year was not the first one.
CILLIZZA: This is a symbolic protest.
LEMON: I'm just using that as an example. But go on. Yes.
CILLIZZA: It's a largely symbolic protest that happens, and most of the people, if you talk to anyone who knows about this stuff, most of the people in the caravan plan to drop off. They do not plan to go all the way when they make it all the way to the U.S. border, it's a much smaller number.
You know, this is all -- this is perception and symbolism. Donald Trump doesn't know or care. But we should -- we should inform and we should care because what he's presenting is not a reality.
LEMON: OK. So, David, listen. And I know you want to talk about this. But just since you have knowledge of this. The president is wrong to say his family separation policy was the same as the former President Obama's. It wasn't. But this constant comparison to Obama even two years into his administration, what do you attribute that to?
AXELROD: Well, first of all, I think there is an element of rivalry there. But I also think that, again, everything about him and his focus right now is his base. A lot of effort was put into demonizing Obama with that base. And he thinks it's good politics to make those references. We'll see about that.
I do think that, you know, Democratic enthusiasm has been high really since November 6th of 2016. This has been a problem for Republicans. The president thinks he found -- he's found a formula for increasing Republican enthusiasm, particularly in red states where there are consequential Senate races, something that he's deeply concerned about.
[22:25:01] I agree with Chris that he may trading those red state Senate seats for House seats in suburban areas around the country. He may be cementing the result for Democrats in the House even as he saves the Senate for himself and perhaps adds a seat or two.
LEMON: So, I've got to ask you, your upcoming episode, David, of the "AXE FILES." AXELROD: Yes.
LEMON: You spoke with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
LEMON: And he has a very different view of immigration than the president. Let's take a look and then we'll talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FORMER GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: I'm all for people coming in here legally and working and filling the jobs. And if they would create immigration reform where they actually expand the amount of people that come in here legally, because we need them in farming.
SCHWARZENEGGER: We need them in construction. We need them in the restaurants. So, there is a demand over there when you go south of the border here, there's a demand to come here. And there's a demand over here for those people to come here. So, I mean, you have supply and demand. You have everything right there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So that's going to air Saturday 7 p.m. Eastern Time right here on CNN. What else are we going to hear from Arnold?
AXELROD: Well, he also, you know, he has interesting views on immigration. Also, on globalism. You know, when you hear him talk, I mean, in certain ways he was a forerunner of Trump in that he was a big sort of star. He ran as the terminator effectively and got elected governor that way just as trump ran as the character from "The Apprentice" who was going to smash, you know, Washington and set it in order.
But on substance, Arnold Schwarzenegger really represents the kind of Republican who Trump has run out of the Republican Party. He's really a moderate Republican. He kind of acknowledged that the only way he could have gotten elected back in the day was in that runoff election where he didn't have to run in a Republican primary because he would have been attacked from the right.
But right now, he is in that group. You know, he's very close to Governor Kasich of Ohio and he is in that group that Donald Trump has said basically hasta la vista, baby, to in the Republican Party.
LEMON: That was good, Dave. I've got to give that to you. By the way, it's just so funny. I saw he's on the cover of the current "Men's Health" right now. With an old picture. Anyway, go check it out. Thank you. And make sure you check out The Axe Files. Thank you very much, everyone.
AXELROD: Thanks, Don.
CILLIZZA: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: So, want to know what Roger Stone, what's in his e-mails? Robert Mueller does too. And we've got a lot at -- we've got a look at some of his e-mails with Steve Bannon. We're going to talk about that. And it's all about WikiLeaks. That's next.
[22:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: After weeks of relatively -- relative quiet from the Mueller investigation, major developments tonight. Newly unearthed emails from the 2016 -- from 2016 show how the Trump campaign, the Chairman, Steve Bannon, talked to Roger Stone about Wikileaks and its plans to release emails stolen from the Clinton campaign, just weeks before the election.
So I want to bring in now Shimon Prokupecz and also John Dean. Good evening to both of you. Shimon, can you take us through these emails, please?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yeah, certainly. And really, this is important. It kind of gives us an understanding why the Special Counsel and the Mueller team have been digging in on Roger Stone. Those emails really in the weeks before the election, some of them before Julian Assange had released any of these emails. You know, if you just take a look at this, on October 3rd of 2016, there's an email from Roger Stone to Matthew Boyle, who is an editor at Breitbart, which is connected obviously to Steve Bannon, who was working for the campaign at that time.
And in the email, he writes this is basically asking Assange what he's got. Hope it's good. And then there are emails, a follow-up from Roger Stone. Also basically saying it is -- I would tell Bannon but he doesn't call me back. And then he says, you know, my book on the Trump campaign will be out in January. And then finally on October 4th, Steve Bannon emails Roger Stone, asking him what was this morning.
And that was in reference to a press conference that Julian Assange had held, and then of course Roger Stone replying fear, serious security concern. He thinks they are going to kill him, and the London police are standing done, which we actually think he means down.
LEMON: Shimon, let me ask you. So just the first one, the first one is actually from Boyle to Stone, right?
PROKUPECZ: That's right.
LEMON: And then Stone replies to Boyle, right? And then Bannon replies to Stone after he says he can't get in touch with Bannon.
PROKUPECZ: That's right.
LEMON: OK, go on. PROKUPECZ: Yeah, no. And really what's interesting here, Don, is,
you know, we know Steve Bannon was in to see the Mueller team on Friday, and he was presumably asked about these emails and other, you know, concerns about his contact with Roger Stone. What's not clear is if Roger Stone was actually serious in all of this.
But certainly, when you look at these emails, it's clear that Roger Stone at the very least was acting like he had some, you know, knowledge ahead of time, ahead of time that Julian Assange was going to release these emails. Certainly, he's acting like he was some kind of conduit, had some back door communication here with Julian Assange.
LEMON: But does it prove, Shimon, that Roger Stone was a backchannel link between Wikileaks and the campaign?
PROKUPECZ: I mean if you just look at these emails on their face, you know, you can read a lot into it. And it does seem that way, certainly from his emails. But we don't know exactly everything that the Mueller team has and what other information they have. There are other emails from Steve Bannon where it seems he's not even taking Roger Stone seriously and that he's kind of, you know, just acting like he knows things and just trying to get inside the Trump campaign, and perhaps maybe get onto Donald Trump's good side.
It's really not clear, because we don't have a full picture. But what's clear is that day in and day out, we keep hearing that the Mueller team is zeroing in, kind of digging in on Roger Stone. And these emails kind of tell us why.
LEMON: OK. John, I want to bring you in, because this is what Stone told "The New York Times," OK? He said he did nothing more than posture, bluff, hype, based on Wikileaks' Twitter feed and miscellaneous tips. Do you buy that?
[22:34:56] JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Roger has been amending his story from day one on this. He -- in fact, late this afternoon, the Washington Post filed a really nice piece kind of cataloging his story as it's been amended. This is another amendment, because he denied talking to anybody in the campaign, and he said oops, you know. I didn't even remember I had an email exchange with Bannon and this claim. So Roger is hard to take at face value, frankly.
LEMON: So John, even if Stone -- let's just say he was exaggerating his ties to Wikileaks. If campaign officials believed that, does that show they intended to conspire and that it's illegal?
DEAN: It certainly can. Co-conspirators don't have to tell each other truthful stories or the world truthful stories. In fact, it happened in Watergate. Many people were saying different things. Different people we know today from hindsight were motivated by different reasons. So you can still come together as a conspiracy, in fact, not even knowing all the other co-conspirators.
And the beauty of the conspiracy law is that hearsay is relevant. It can come into any prosecutions. And you're responsible for the activities of other co-conspirators. So I think Roger could be getting a slot in the conspiracy.
LEMON: So then what kind of charges? What would the charges be?
DEAN: Well, the underlying -- the case that Mueller has been building, we know from his indictment of the Russians, is really a case to defraud -- a conspiracy to defraud the government, have a fair election. And that would be would -- you know, this would be part of that. You could slide right into that. And it could be based on a bunch of lies.
LEMON: Shimon, John, thank you. I appreciate your time. The President tweets out a race-baiting ad made by his campaign for the midterms. Yet, many in the President's party have been silent about it. What does that say about the GOP?
[22:40:00] LEMON: With just days to go to the midterms amid the rancor and the division and the tension of this campaign came this ad. It was for the web. It was posted on the President's Twitter feed. And its message of fear was loud and clear to anyone who saw it. But many in the President's own party stayed silent. So let's bring in now Joan Walsh and Steve Cortes. Good evening to both of you. Good to have you on.
So Steve, do you think it is fair to target Democrats with a cop killer and say Democrats let him in our country, Democrats let him stay? Would you personally make that ad and run that ad?
STEVE CORTES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it is fair, because it's the unfortunate reality, is that the Democrats don't want to use the phrase open borders but that is what their policy actually is. Whether it's sanctuary cities or whether it's tolerating a porous southern border in the United States. They're for open borders, and they're for protecting people like Bracamontes who's a cop killer.
And by the way, I should add charges all day today and since the ad was released about it's supposedly being racist...
LEMON: We'll talk about that. Let's not get ahead in the textbook. But let's -- I just wanted to be clear, because my question was about this ad. And you said cop killer. I asked you, I said -- to let a cop killer, let him in the country and Democrats let him stay. As a matter of fact, he was kicked out of the country by Bill Clinton, came back in under a Republican President, which was President Bush.
LEMON: So how is it fair to say Democrats let him into the country and wanted him to stay when it was a Democrat who kicked him out?
CORTES: Because Democrats want to let people like him stay.
JOAN WALSH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, we don't. CORTES: Sanctuary cities, so-called sanctuary cities. I hate that
term. Yes, you do. Sanctuary cities stipulate that known dangerous criminals will not be removed, and that local law enforcement cannot cooperate with ICE, with federal law enforcement to get known dangerous people out of the country. And it's not -- I hate to call them sanctuary cities because it sure isn't sanctuary for the cops.
It's not sanctuary for the victims. Most of the time, by the way, those victims are Hispanic-Americans if you actually look at a lot of these cases. But it's insanity. Its liberalism and political correctness run amok. Sometimes political correctness isn't just dumb, it can actually be deadly.
WALSH: That is really despicable, Steve. I am sorry. I think you've hit...
CORTES: It is a despicable policy. I agree.
WALSH: You've hit a new low. You know, the really interesting thing to me, Don, is that the one person who you can say might be culpable in all this is racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Because in 1998, Joe Arpaio arrested this guy, or one of his sheriffs, arrested this guy on drug charges and they released him without trial. They released him. So I think it's so unbelievably outrageous that Steve would put this on Democrats.
We do not want open borders. The number of border patrol agents doubled under Barack Obama. It would have doubled again if Republicans had passed the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill. Nobody wants open borders. That's a slur to say that we want to let cop killers in.
CORTES: That's not true.
LEMON: No prominent Democrat wants open borders, Steve.
LEMON: Here's what Senator Corker said the ad was about. He said revving up the base, using fear to stimulate people to come out at the polls. Senator Flake called this a new low in campaigning. And they're both outgoing senators, by the way. A few others have spoken out. But where is the rest of the GOP in this? First, Joan.
WALSH: Well, they're with Steve apparently. Steve is on your show defending this. So I would guess a lot of them actually defend it -- think anything is fair when you're talking about Democrats. You can go as low as you want. You can lie about Democrats. So I am afraid that that's part of the explanation. The other part is that they're afraid of Donald Trump, and this is the party of Donald Trump now.
[22:44:57] LEMON: So Steve, I just want to ask you. What if this attacker, and just be honest with me please, what if the attacker at the Pittsburgh synagogue or the man who sent a dozen bombs through the mail, the shooter at the Kroger in Kentucky was a person of color or an immigrant? Would this President be using that to stoke fear?
CORTES: No. But if one of them were an illegal immigrant who didn't belong here in the first place, an illegal alien who was a known criminal who was previously deported and allowed back in, then yeah, absolutely we would be using it. And look, I think it's important to point out...
LEMON: Do you think he would be reacting this way, though?
CORTES: This veiled...
LEMON: Do you think he would be reacting this...
CORTES: Yes. If it were an illegal alien, if it were an illegal alien, yes. Everybody keeps trying to say the President's being racist here. The actual facts of the case are that this monster didn't just kill two cops. He also shot five times a black American citizen, so actually, when you talk about protecting Americans, that's not a racial issue. We are not...
LEMON: I think this ad they're saying that the ad -- I think what people are saying, Steve, in all honesty is that the ad is racist.
WALSH: The whole ad.
LEMON: And that they're shocked that the President of the United States...
LEMON: Hold on. Let me finish. They're saying that they're shocked the President of the United States is using the bully pulpit and his Twitter feed with millions of people to amplify it.
WALSH: And I am so glad we didn't play it, but seriously...
CORTES: I am shocked that we let an illegal alien into this country who then shoots five times...
WALSH: An undocumented immigrant.
CORTES: A black American citizen. And on top of that, he's an illegal alien. And on top of that, had the actual gall to use racial slurs against that victim in court, so that's...
LEMON: So you're shocked at -- are you shocked at Republicans, because as we've reported, it was George Bush who let him back in.
LEMON: And also Joe Arpaio who let him go.
CORTES: Look, Republicans and Democrats have tolerated an open border, and in some ways really encouraged...
WALSH: But that's not what the ad said. The ad blamed Democrats.
CORTES: You're absolutely right. And Donald Trump ran largely to stop that. The signature issue of his campaign was the wall. And you're right. Illegal immigration has been tacitly approved by Democrats and Republicans for a very long time, because the chamber of commerce and establishment Republicans like cheap (Inaudible). The Democrats saw votes and they wanted amnesty. They were both wrong. It harmed America. Trump ran against those forces...
LEMON: There was a Republican on the air who spoke with David Axelrod, who also talked about labor and how we needed immigrants in this country, and we needed to figure out a way to make them legal, the folks who are coming in. Maybe they're coming in for amnesty because we actually need the labor in this country.
CORTES: We hear that a lot. But I think one of the main reasons that working-class wages stagnated in this country for so long is because we tolerated about a million illegal workers a year who absolutely flooded the market, particularly in working-class...
WALSH: There are many, many studies that have debunked, that actually, Steve.
CORTES: Now what we see is the opposite. Working-class wages are rising faster than white-collar wages...
LEMON: I've got to stop you. The studies don't show that.
WALSH: This ad is racist through and through.
LEMON: By the way, I just want to make sure...
CORTES: There are studies all over the place...
CORTES: -- on both sides of that issue, there are many, many studies. But it just makes common sense that if you flood the market with illegal workers, wages will be reduced.
LEMON: I've got to go.
CORTES: It makes common sense.
LEMON: I just -- for fairness, he was kicked out of the country by President Clinton. He came back in under George W. Bush. And then George W. Bush kicked him back out, OK? So just fair, but again, the studies don't show that. I thank you both for your time. This is a -- we're going to be talking about this for the next couple of days.
LEMON: And probably beyond that. Thank you, both. We'll be right back.
[22:50:00] LEMON: So the Commander-In-Chief actually saying today he wants U.S. troops to shoot at any migrant who throws a rock at them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They're throwing it rocks viciously and violently. You saw that three days ago. Really hurting the military. We're not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. We're going to consider, and I told them consider it a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say consider it a rifle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, first of all, they're going to get nowhere near our military, OK? Let's discuss all of this now, because General Mark Hertling is here, General, good evening to you. You know we were actually hesitant to give that comment from the President any air time but we decided we had to play it, because frankly, it dishonors the U.S. Military.
You said on Twitter that no leader in the military would ever allow a soldier to shoot someone throwing a rock. Explain that.
MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Don, it goes against the uniform code of military justice, rules that we follow, and that people are disciplined for countering them. It goes against account law of land warfare, and it goes against the Geneva Convention. There are laws of -- or fundamental principles they call them of the law of land warfare, talking about military necessity of targets and several other things.
But one of the things is proportionality. You don't strike with a rifle or you don't shoot at someone who has thrown a rock. That's just not what our military does. We train our soldiers, our marines, our sailors on that as soon as they enter basic training. They're told, you know, what makes up the American military and how special it is. We provide them with values that guide them in their military service and their career.
[22:54:50] It isn't just a bunch of mercenaries that pick up rifles and go someplace and start shooting people. So when we hear the President make statements like this, and he's made other statements, there's a trend line. You know during his campaign he said he was going to bomb Iraq and take all its oil, and he said he was going to kill terrorist families.
He talked about dipping bullets in pig's blood, which is a false story about General Pershing. And then now he says we're going to treat people that are throwing rocks as if they're picking up weapons. It just all violates what morals and character and laws of war are all about. And it's not what you're military does.
LEMON: Here is -- General, this is what the Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said about the President's comment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My reaction in listening to that coming from the Commander-In-Chief of our forces, President of the United States is one of disgust. That's a wanton incitement of unnecessary violence. It's a distraction. It's a distortion. It is a rank political purpose to use our military like this, and to say those kinds of things is really astounding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: It has been startling to hear former top military and intelligence officials react this way to the Commander-In-Chief.
HERTLING: Yeah, there have been several retired general officers and, of course, the active duty general officers can't say much because of the civilian control of the military, Don. But the retired ones are starting to speak up. And part of the reason for that, I mean, this is an incident. We can take this as one thing that's happened today.
But as I said in terms of the trend line, it talks to the strategic divisiveness between the people and the military. And our military take an oath to defend the constitution and obey the President's lawful orders. So when you throw these kinds of things out, people start questioning. Would the military do this? Could they potentially shoot unarmed civilians?
And so the same divisiveness that we've seen in so many other organizations within our government is now striking the military. And as soon as it starts undercutting the morals and the fiber of what our military is and what we do, and providing security to the country, it's just another brick in the wall, if you will, that the President is putting up there that makes people question our security, our institutions, our processes, and what we are as a nation.
And it's unfortunate, because as I said, the active duty military can't speak out. They obey orders. They're told to go places, they go there. They do the best they can under any circumstances. But in this case, some people have to start speaking out against some of these things that the President is saying because words do matter. And language must be precise when you're dealing with these kinds of situations.
LEMON: General Hertling, I appreciate your time. Thank you, Sir.
HERTLING: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: We'll be right back.