Return to Transcripts main page
Don Lemon Tonight
House Intelligence Report Released; Impeachment in American History and What the Founding Founders Would Think. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired December 03, 2019 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is "CNN Tonight." I'm Don Lemon. There is a lot going on tonight and we're going to catch you up on all the headlines in the hour ahead.
The House Intel Committee releasing a damming impeachment report just hours before the Judiciary Committee holds its first hearing. The report finding evidence of President Trump's misconduct and obstruction that it calls overwhelming.
And concluding that the president's men, all the president's men, either had knowledge or were active participants in the effort to shake down Ukraine.
What would the founders of the United States think about this impeachment investigation? Thomas Jefferson called impeachment a formidable weapon. Well, we'll put it into context for you tonight with the story and Douglas Brinkley.
Also tonight, the state of the 2020 race. Senator Kamala Harris ending her campaign that once seemed so promising. We'll look at state of the race heading into Iowa.
Plus, Senator Lindsey Graham once called Trump a kook who is unfit for office. Now he's one of the president's biggest defenders. Well, will that help or hurt his chances for re-election? I'm going to talk to the Democratic candidate trying to unseat Graham as senator from South Carolina.
And bucking President Trump, tomorrow the Republican governor of Georgia is expected to fill an open senate seat with someone President Trump doesn't approve of setting off tension with the White House and Trump allies.
But we're going to begin with the impeachment report and what it says about Congressman Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the Intel Committee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): It is I think deeply concerning that at a time when the president of the United States was using the power of his office to dig up dirt on a political rival, that there maybe evidence that there were members of Congress complicit in that activity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I want to bring in now Michael D'Antonio, Matt Lewis, Juliette Kayyem to help us in this conversation, what's going on now with impeachment. Good evening to on and all.
Juliette, I'm going to start with you. The intel report says that senior U.S. officials including the Vice President, the Secretary of State, the Acting Chief of Staff, the Secretary of Energy and others were either knowledgeable of or active participants in an effort to extract from a foreign nation, the personal political benefits sought by the president.
Is this report essentially saying there was a conspiracy at the highest levels of government?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Absolutely. It's a, you know, it's an all the president's men statement. And all of them in that group, none of them have spoken or been willing to testify. And I think we have to assume that they won't.
So, what was interesting about the House Intel report just from the perspective of both, not just the impeachment, but of course heading into 2020, was that it directly named all the president's men who are in a position to impact foreign influence in the 2020 election.
I'm just focused on that right now. In other words, can we stop these guys from continuing to do things like they were doing with Ukraine, but of course, we've heard about it with China. We don't know why the Lebanese money was held up for some period of time.
Schiff was essentially naming the people I think to shame them so that even if they don't face impeachment or they don't have to testify or criminal liability that at least they will not continue to do it leading into 2020.
LEMON: Okay, let's talk about all the president's men. Michael, I'm going to bring you in. so let's start with Pence. He would replace Trump if the president was impeached and removed from office. How significant is it to the committee if it includes that he was either knowledgeable of or an active participant in all of this?
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think that in this instance, we've got a vice president who is going to be weakened if he takes over the office of the president. He's also going to be a caretaker.
So, say he were somehow to ascend to the presidency, this is a man who is competent, so far has been built around avoiding being in the wrong place at the wrong time. So, he's kept himself absent at key moments.
[23:05:03] But this committee report indicates that he was knowledgeable and may have participated. So either way, he's damaged goods. He's more damaged than he would have been prior to this report coming out.
And I think that he is going to struggle even to retain his hold on the parts of the Republican Party that the president relied upon him to deliver in 2016. So, this is bad news for him. It's bad news for the country.
LEMON: So Matt, now let's move on now to Mike Pompeo. He was on the call, kept aware of all the details. This is a man who graduated top of his class at West Point. Why is he staying silent?
MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He's obviously made a decision that this is his team and it may not have gone down that way. You're totally right. This is a guy who wants to be a senator from Kansas apparently.
He has some bonafide credentials and he has decided to be a team player for Donald Trump. And I think, you know, everyone is right. You'll probably never going to hear from Mike Pompeo. I think there are other people like Don McGahn and John Bolton that Democrats actually might -- maybe get to talk to at some point. That's possible.
LEMON: Why are you hedging?
LEWIS: Well, I don't know if they're going to get to talk to him, but look, here are a couple of things we know that could be very interesting, right? One, John Bolton in November gave a speech where he said that he thought Donald Trump had some personal business interests in terms of his foreign policy having to do with Turkey.
I would love to know to get John Bolton on the record under oath talking about that. During the Roger Stone trial, it came out there was testimony that suggested that Donald Trump might have lied in his written deposition.
And if you can get him or, you know, McGahn to actually testify, who knows where that will go. And then the last thing would obviously be Rudy Giuliani.
Earlier tonight you talked about how he has this insurance policy that could be explosive if it came out. So, I don't think we're going to talk to Pompeo probably, but there are other people out there that could have amazing information if they testify.
LEMON: I'm glad you're watching that. I appreciate that. Juliette, let's talk about Mick Mulvaney now; his admission that there was a quid pro quo. I mean, he was actually quoted in the intel report. How damming is that for the president and for him?
KAYYEM: Well, I think -- we know that he tried to take the words back and so in some ways he can sort of be ignored because we don't need to call it a quid pro quo. We can simply call it were they extracting something from Ukraine to get something they want and then you call it whatever you want which -- and I think that's the key point. This is what I really liked about the House Intel report. You know, we
had all these wonderful witnesses. I just -- I love them. They were, you know, they were sort of waxing eloquent about Ukraine and the history of Ukraine and Russia.
But most of them failed to talk about the United States and what Donald Trump did to the American voter and did to our election system. I view what was going on in the White House as an assault on the American voter because in the end, you can replace Ukraine with Lebanon, with Saudi, with whatever country he wanted to punch down to.
But in the end, it really was about Biden and it was about the 2020 election. And so what I thought Schiff was able successfully to do in the House Intel report is to bring it back to the American voter and to 2020.
You can wax eloquent about Ukraine and the history about Russia, but ultimately it's about us and the United States voter. And that's what our focus should be on as we head towards whether it's impeachment or just an election.
LEMON: Michael, now to one of the three amigos, Rick Perry, he resigned. What would it take for him to turn on the president and talk?
D'ANTONIO: Well, the worst that you can imagine for Rick Perry is that there's more investigation into this deal that he arranged while he was in Ukraine for two of his oil and gas and industry buddies.
So, he goes over there for the president's inauguration and all of a sudden these two former donors to Perry campaigns get a 50-year lease on a thousand square miles of territory in Ukraine.
This is very bad thing. This is a very bad look. This looks like the Secretary of Energy trading on his office for his friends. So I think this could motivate the secretary to come back and say, well, maybe I will respond to your subpoena that I testify.
Certainly, his reputation is ruined. But we have now a host of people, figures across the administration who have proven to be corrupt, who have proven to be spineless, who have proven to be lacking in character.
You know, character is what you do when nobody is looking. And all of these people did terrible things when no one was looking. The question is will any of them want to do the right thing ever.
LEMON: So, Matt, I saved the Devin Nunes for you. So Devin Nunes, Matt, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee is mentioned dozens of times in this report. How bad do things look for Devin Nunes?
LEWIS: I don't know how bad they look for Devin Nunes in terms of him being caught up in this. But I just have to tell you, from an optics standpoint, as you said, he's the ranking member.
This is somebody supposed to be involved in oversight of the executive branch, doing -- performing his role as a member of Congress and in a leadership position.
And the fact that he is engaged, you know, in all of these conversations with people who were involved in the Ukraine scandal, I just think it's sort of undermines the whole notion that he was involved in an actually honest pursuit of the truth.
At the very least, it completely undermines the faith that you would have that he was engaging in the attempt to uncover whatever maybe true there.
LEMON: Matt, let's talk about your new piece because you write in part, "Even if you dismiss the possibility that something truly nefarious is at play between Trump and Russia, you're still left with a pretty startling and undeniable development. The GOP has become the Russia Party. That is an amazing statement coming from a conservative Republican. How did it come to this?
LEWIS: It's stunning, right. And so like put aside all the stuff about, you know, is Donald Trump, you know, a (inaudible) of Putin. Like forget all of that.
It is a fact, for whatever reason, it is a fact that the Republican Party is the party that is pushing Russian talking points and Putin propaganda, for whatever reason.
Maybe useful idiots, maybe dupes, maybe it just aligns with Donald Trump's defense or maybe there is something more nefarious. Whatever the case maybe, that is the opposite of, you know, go back to Richard Nixon, go back to Ronald Reagan and the evil empire.
It's a stunning reversal. You know, I write in this column, I think it's true. End of 20th century, there were two big, big issues being debated, right. The Democrats were right about civil rights. The republicans were right about the Cold War.
And it is stunning that just in such a short time, the Republicans will have given up the benefit that they had of being right about Russia. And I know the Cold War is over, but Putin was a KGB agent. He said it's a tragedy that the Cold War ended.
So, it's a weird, weird thing for someone who grew up in a conservative movement and a Republican Party that was always the tough party against Russia to be where it is.
LEMON: Are you surprised to see someone on conservative media -- in conservative media like Tucker Carlson saying, well, maybe we should be siding with, you know, Russia instead of Ukraine.
LEWIS: Yes. Look, I mean, I worked for Tucker Carlson for six years. I like him a lot. He was a great boss. I think it's insane that he -- we obviously disagree on the issue. Putin is a thug and a murderer and essentially a dictator. And look,
there are a lot of things that I didn't like about the Soviet Union. One of them was communism, right. But it was also the fact that they were imperialistic -- an authoritarian regime. A lot of the things are still there with Putin.
LEMON: Okay. We'll end it there. Thank you all. I appreciate it.
KAYYEM: Thank you.
LEMON: Impeachment moving into the next steps with a hearing tomorrow morning in the Judiciary Committee. President Trump, only the fourth president to face impeachment proceedings in our nation's history. Well, what would our founders think of all of this?
LEMON: With the impeachment inquiry entering a critical new phase, it's important to put it into perfective and look at why we have a process for removing a president in the first place. Our founders describe impeachment as a way to avoid a ruler with unchecked powers. So, what would they think about what's happening now? CNN's Jamie Gangel.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, Franklin Delano Roosevelt --
JOHN F. KENNEDY, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, John Fitzgerald Kennedy --
LYNDON B. JOHNSON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- do solemnly swear --
RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- and I will faithfully execute --
GERALD FORD, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- that I will faithfully execute
JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- the office of president of the United States --
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- and will to the best of my ability.
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- preserve, protect and defend --
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- preserve, protect and defend --
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- the constitution of the United States.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- so help me God.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- so help me God.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two-hundred and thirty years ago, the founders were so worried about their fragile republic they felt they needed an impeachment clause. How to get rid of a president before they even decided how to elect one. Thomas Jefferson called it a formidable weapon.
JEFFREY ENGEL, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR PRESIDENTIAL HISTORY: We have to remember that the great fear of the Constitutional Convention delegates was tyranny.
JOANNE FREEMAN, HISTORY PROFESSOR, YALE UNIVERSITY: They had just recently had a revolution. They had broken away from a monarchy. Power was a very big concern.
GANGEL (voice-over): They trusted George Washington to be the first president to put the states interest before his own, but Benjamin Franklin warned nobody knows what sort may come afterwards.
FREEMAN: How do we reign in a president?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: The founders knew that they had to do something to stop tyrants and despots.
GANGEL (voice-over): A North Carolina's Hugh Williamson said, "He will spare no pains to keep himself in for life and will then lay a train for the succession of his children."
But what would warrant impeachment? James Madison worried a president might lose his capacity, pervert his administration, or even worse, betray his trust to foreign powers.
BRINKLEY: This is a theme that George Washington hammers over and over again. No foreign influence in our early republic.
GANGEL (voice-over): And in the 18th century, impeachment was certainly more civilized than the alternative.
ENGEL: Before there was impeachment, the only course would be assassination. Better to be put on trial, Franklin argued, than to face the knife.
GANGEL (voice-over): After much debate, the Constitutional Congress settled on these charges, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
ENGEL: It's actually remarkably simple. It's a crime against the state, a crime against the people. You don't need break a law to commit a high crime.
GANGEL (voice-over): The founders expected the process would be partisan, but they probably didn't envision this.
GORDON SONDLAND, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION: President Zelensky "loves your ass." Was there a quid pro quo? The answer is yes.
GANGEL (voice-over): Or this.
TRUMP: Corrupt witch hunt.
It was a perfect call. A perfect call.
This is a hoax.
GANGEL: What do you think the founders would think about Donald Trump?
FREEMAN: Oh boy. I'm going to plead the Fifth on the one.
Let me answer it this way. Tyranny was one of the main things that the founding generation was worried about. Demagoguery was a second one.
BRINKLEY: James Madison and Donald Trump have nothing in common. But the Trump character was alive and well at the time of the American Revolution. Somebody with blarney and salesmanship, penchant for being a demagogue -- those characters have existed forever.
TRUMP: No quid pro quo.
GANGEL (voice-over): But whether you think Donald Trump is guilty or innocent of high crimes and misdemeanors, the under lying questions today are exactly what the founders were concerned about.
BRINKLEY: What if a president perhaps has lied? What if a president worked with a foreign power? What if a president started to make money off the office the presidency? That's the president that should be removed.
GANGEL (voice-over): Jamie Gangel, CNN, New York.
LEMON: Very good report by Jamie there. Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley joins me now. We saw him there in Jamie's story. Good evening.
BRINKLEY: Good evening, Don.
LEMON: So, looking at the -- this Intelligence Committee's report now that they put out. When you think about the founding fathers, what do y you think the concerns they're going to have about this president's conduct and behavior?
BRINKLEY: About everything with Donald Trump. The fact that he's trying to undermine our institutions, the fact that people that work in the federal government are constantly being browbeat, humiliated.
The fact that President Trump kind of turned the federal government into being the enemy of the American people, but more the founders in general, they knew world history and there area always going to be people that were -- we had tyrants and, you know, we had Benedict Arnold during the Revolutionary War.
I mean, they were aware of the problems and the need to make sure we had a way to get rid of a rogue president that kept it elastic so each generation can interpret high crimes and misdemeanors for themselves, but bribery is bribery and that's one of the things that's going to have to be proven on trial.
LEMON: Well, you said a rogue president, but the founders saw it as a check, right, against a presidential power, right, that the president wouldn't have too much power.
This president is blocking people from testifying, documents being released and so on, you know, won't send his lawyers over. He won't go over, he won't do it. Do you think that the founders would see this as a constitutional crisis?
BRINKLEY: Yes. When you're looking to impeach a president it's a constitutional crisis. We might want to look at this -- if you want to look at the glass half full, Don, we have been very lucky in American history.
We haven't had this kind of behavior of somebody with this kind of authoritarian bend who doesn't honor the traditions of American government.
Yes, we've (inaudible) Andrew Johnson's moments and Nixon and impeachment of Bill Clinton, but this is something different. This is really Donald Trump, you know, going to a foreign power, the big fear, and seeming to be encouraging a country to interfere with our domestic political process or sacred process.
So, there are differences in the founders. Washington is a little different than Adams, a little different from Madison. But they all would have worried about the behavior of Donald Trump and ability to take the presidency seriously as just one branch of government.
LEMON: Democrats want to move this process along quickly, but for the sake of history, right, and for fairness, do you think they are moving too fast or you think it's?
BRINKLEY: Look, we call it a political process, right. Impeachment, not a legal one so politics plays into it. And Nancy Pelosi had no choice. With the, you know, documentation that's out there of what happened with Trump and Ukraine, I think Congress had to move to at least do an inquiry into impeachment.
So, the speedy-upness can be debated, but 2020 is the other way. You know, the founders didn't just do impeachment. They also did national elections.
And if they bleed in together, it could create even a larger constitutional crisis. So, in many ways, Congress is trying to do this expeditiously. And so I think they're probably on the right path, but it's not clear it's good politics for the Democrats.
LEMON: So the founders -- we just have a short time here -- the founders, they chose the Senate, right, to conduct it because they thought it would be dignified and independent. But I mean, the Senate is so partisan right now. Do you think they still feel the same?
BRINKLEY: Yes. With the founders, they used to have a sense of honor and that they had their personal reputation. And so, you know, Alexander Hamilton has a duel with Aaron Burr, right, in New Jersey.
Today, you see Republicans not worried about honor. They are about party stamp -- Democrat, Republican -- and that war is on so you're not having this era of states people.
Howard Baker or Barry Goldwater like appeared during the Nixon years or when Bill Clinton was being impeached. People like Gerald Ford, the former president said leave him alone.
LEMON: Yes. Thank you, Douglas. Always a pleasure.
BRINKLEY: Thank you.
LEMON: Appreciate it.
Kamala Harris bows out. What her departure means for the state of the race, next.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Tonight, let's look at the state of the race, and the democratic field just got a little smaller. California Senator Kamala Harris announcing that she is suspending her campaign, saying that she doesn't have the financial resources and her poll numbers are consistently low.
President Trump retweeting Corey Lewandowski, saying, too bad, we will miss you, Kamala. Harris, well, firing back, don't worry, Mr. President, I'll see you at your trial.
Let's discuss the state of the race now with CNN political commentator Angela Rye and Michael Eric Dyson, a professor of sociology at Georgetown University. His latest book, "Jay-Z: Made in America," soon to be a bestseller, right?
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, AUTHOR, PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Thank you, my friend.
DYSON: From your mouth --
DYSON: -- and the people.
LEMON: That is what -- that is response is known as a burn, right? Good evening.
ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good evening.
LEMON: Let's start with you, Michael. Kamala Harris is dropping out. Given the polls, it's not shocking. But she needed a lot of money. Twenty thousand people at her rally when she first started. But she failed to get the support that she needed. Remember when she came out with the 20,000 people? What happened?
DYSON: Well, she got pummelled by, you know, sexism. I mean, the coverage on her is pretty tough. It's a double, maybe triple standard, as Angela Rye tweeted not long ago, and I love that. And, look, I think something else is going on, too. I think there is a delayed response to President Obama among certain constituents in this since.
Love Obama the man, idolize him, but in terms of policies, rethinking what the consequences of those were. So when you look at Kamala Harris or Cory Booker, for obvious reasons, I think there's a delayed grief among certain African American people where it didn't gain traction to that degree.
LEMON: You understand that?
DYSON: I'm just saying they are mad at Obama for what he didn't do. They love him as a human being. Kamala Harris conjures or evokes a similar kind of presentation and so does Cory Booker with policies mostly, you know, I mean, progressive, but, you know, tacking towards the center as opposed to the left-leaning policies. So I am saying that there is a kind of delayed reaction to Obama. Can't dish him individually, but collectively, I think there's something going on.
LEMON: Angela, we talked about this, black women fuelling the Democratic Party now, helping to win races all over. I was talking to my mom. She was talking about the governor's race down in Louisiana. She said, listen, don't get it twisted, Trump was on the ballot in Louisiana, and the more he came to Louisiana, the more -- especially black women down there -- got out and were doing get out the vote rallies and what have you.
But you don't see -- the support for black candidates, especially black women candidates, among the party. What's going on?
RYE: So, I think that there are a number of things going on and that probably should be a think piece. I'll defer to Dr. Dyson.
LEMON: Smart brother.
RYE: Maybe he will let me have some lines. I think that what we really have to come to terms with is the fact that we are judged extremely harshly. So while Kamala Harris is sitting in a Senate hearing room being all of us, you see black women, white women, everybody tweeting, she is all of us in this moment. She is speaking for us in this moment.
But then when it comes time for her to enter into this presidential race, the only record that people can remember to cling to is her prosecutorial record, forgetting that perhaps in a human evolution, whether on a micro or macro level, right, this woman was just all of us moments ago. But you're going back to a time where you perhaps didn't even know her name.
I think the other issue that we really have to come to terms with as the party, Don, because you brought it up, is we're going to have an implosion. Come time -- come to the end of this primary, if this party does not figure out a system that works to account for the big tent that it says it serves, because what is happening right now is a white debate stage just a week and a half from now --
RYE: -- and rich people who Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren regularly talk about, the millionaires and the billionaires, there are about to be two of them on the stage perhaps.
LEMON: Look, it's up on the screen.
RYE: It's all (ph) white. I'm not talking about the fairy tale, right? I'm talking about --
LEMON: No people of color, made the cut. They are represented in terms of candidacy (ph). They don't represent that, particularly Biden. He's averaged 49 percent among all potential black Democratic primary voters in CNN's last two national polls. So it seems like black voters are telling us who their guy is. I think they're saying so far their guy is Biden.
DYSON: Well, look, I mean, Biden, for a number of reasons. First of all, he's got bonafides back in the day in Delaware where he could tell stories to the NAACP about how he hung out with black folks and helped them and enabled them through friendships, right, and they enabled him to make progress.
Secondly, he hung out with Barack Obama for eight years. And again, to the degree that black people appreciate that presidency and what it represented in symbolically, he has embraced.
And third, when you went to Joe Biden's, say, black history party versus the White House, it was funkier. Black people were, you know, mixing it up, shocking it up, and so on and so forth. It was well met. It was a bit more lively than even the White House. He has got direct -- I'm just saying he has got -- LEMON: I want to ask you about your book. But you guys -- I have a short time left. You want to talk about your book real quick?
RYE: I defer that. I think that's important.
LEMON: OK. So, your book is "Jay-Z: Made in America." What is that about?
DYSON: That's about Jay-Z being an American figure, consequentially American figure. Three sections there -- hustling, and one historian has said that hustling is the consequential expression of America. Number two is about poetry. Jay-Z is clever but I think he's a poetic genius as well, and I tried to explore it.
And then politics, he talks about a lot of stuff. People think that he got involved with politics with Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. But he said, bin Laden had been happening in Manhattan. Crack was anthrax (ph) back then, back when police was Al Qaeda to black men.
Here is a guy talking about bling and materialism but also about police brutality. So, I tried to focus a light on that. And then, of course, I've talked about the NFL and what happened recently. All of it is right there in the book, "Jay-Z: Made in America," out now.
RYE: We have a whole party (ph) to talk about. That needs to be a town hall, Don Lemon. I'm commissioning it right now.
RYE: It needs to happen. Call it. Make it happen, Don Lemon.
LEMON: Powers that be. I do think there needs to be a bigger discussion about how African Americans are carrying the Democratic Party in this race.
DYSON: Black women in particular.
LEMON: It will depend on -- yeah, will depend on especially black women.
RYE: Candidates need to be heard. It's a whole thing.
LEMON: Yeah. I agree. I can't disagree with that.
RYE: You're out of time or we can keep going? I got things.
LEMON: I know you got stuff. We got to go.
DYSON: You go mention my book? You are so sweet.
LEMON: We'll bring you back.
RYE: I have a book.
LEMON: "Jay-Z: Made in America." We'll be back.
DYSON: Thank you. I appreciate it.
LEMON: How many often are you on the show? You guys are on the show all the time. We'll have a discussion. Lindsey Graham is defending the president through thick and thin during the impeachment process. Could that spell trouble for the senator's reelection chances? I'm going to talk with the Democratic challenger, Jaime Harrison, next.
LEMON: Senator Lindsey Graham has been one of President Trump's most outspoken allies in the Senate throughout the impeachment process. My next guest says that Graham is focusing more on Washington, not enough on the people of South Carolina.
Joining me now is Jaime Harrison. He is the former chairman of South Carolina's Democratic Party, and he is challenging Senator Graham for his seat. Thank you -- I almost call you senator. Thank you, Mr. Harrison. Good to see you.
JAIME HARRISON, FORMER CHAIRMAN, SOUTH CAROLINA DEMOCRATIC PARTY: It is good seeing you, Don. Thank you for having me on.
LEMON: Senator Graham has changed pretty dramatically when it comes to Donald Trump. Here's a look at the old Lindsey Graham.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Every time I turn around, I'm being asked about Donald Trump saying one dumb thing after another, and I'm tired of it. He is a jackass.
Donald Trump is a political car wreck. Were' all looking right now, but we'll move on.
He is basically selling fear and prejudice.
I think he's a kook. I think he's crazy. I think he's unfit for office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I think he's not such 180 (ph).
HARRISON: It's so sad, Don. Lindsey Graham was somebody that many of us, even though we disagree with him on policy, thought that he was like John McCain, someone who was a statesman, who would put the country before party.
But what we have found is this guy only cares about himself and his own political relevance, and he is not fighting for the people of South Carolina. Lindsey almost -- I think it is almost three years now that he's done a town hall in the state, but he's on Fox News every other night.
HARRISON: It shows the people here in the state what is really important to him. It is important for him to fly on Air Force One. It is important for him to go to Mar-a-Lago and hang out with the president. That's what he believes make him relevant.
For me, what makes me relevant is to work for the people of South Carolina. To wake up and go to sleep every day and every night figuring out how can I make sure that those 41 communities in our state that have led levels higher than federal standards, how we fix that, how do we fix these communities where we have four hospitals in rural communities to close --
LEMON: You talk about his appearances on Fox News. This isn't the first time you criticize him for that. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM: The whole thing is a joke. The whole thing is being driven by partisans in the House. Adam Schiff is not looking for the truth and the testimony is incoherent. Any impeachment vote based on this process to me is illegitimate, is unconstitutional, and should be dismissed in the Senate without a trial.
The only reason they're trying to impeach the president is because they don't believe they can beat him at the ballot box or they're trying to destroy him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Look, it is his right to go, to speak to his audience on state-run television. But none of that is true.
HARRISON: Well, you know, I think he really thinks that he's pulling the wool over the eyes of the people here in South Carolina. There's going to be a rude (ph) awakening for Lindsey Graham in 2020. All politics is local, is still very true, still alive and well, particularly in this state.
They want -- people here in South Carolina want someone with moral conviction, who will stand up for them when rubber meets the road, and Lindsey won't do that. We have launched a program here in South Carolina, Don, called "Harrison Helps," where I go into communities, all 46 counties here in South Carolina, figure out the things that people are having problems with in terms of how they can live the American dream, and we're helping people.
That is the movement that we have sparked. That's why we're going to win this. I am having Republicans coming to my events.
LEMON: Let me show you this real quick. He also called for an investigation of Vice President Joe Biden and his son. I had the opportunity to speak to Joe Biden about that recently. Watch.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He knows that if he comes out against Trump, he has got a real tough road for reelection. Number one, I am disappointed, and quite frankly, I'm angered by the fact. He knows me. He knows my son. He knows there's nothing to this. Lindsey is about to go down in a way that I think he's going to regret his whole life.
LEMON (on camera): What do you say to him?
BIDEN: I say, Lindsey, I just -- I'm just embarrassed by what you're doing, for you. I mean, my lord.
LEMON: Jaime, honestly, I got 10 seconds here. Do you understand why Senator Graham is doing what he's doing?
HARRISON: No. Listen, he didn't stand up for John McCain when the president put cloaks on the battleship. He's not standing up for Vice President Biden. An old adage is that Harry Truman had, if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog. Thinking of Lindsey Graham.
HARRISON: If people want a new movement, join me at jaimeharrison.com.
LEMON: Jaime, thank you so much. I appreciate your time.
HARRISON: Thank you, Don. Take care.
LEMON: You, too. We'll be right back.
LEMON: The Republican governor of Georgia is expected to buck President Trump in a major way tomorrow. Governor Brian Kemp announcing his appointment for the Senate seat being vacated by outgoing Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson. And sources tell CNN his pick may not make the president happy. Our Kristen Holmes reports.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp squaring off with President Trump. He is expected tomorrow to appoint businesswoman Kelly Loeffler to the state's open U.S. Senate seat. Sources tell CNN, define the president, who behind closed doors pushed Kemp to choose another candidate, Congressman Doug Collins.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's also a special man. His name is Congressman Doug Collins.
HOLMES (voice-over): An ardent Trump supporter and defender.
REP. DOUG COLLINS (R-GA): They are so bent on getting at this president.
HOLMES (voice-over): The ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee who is about to take center stage this week has repeatedly slammed the impeachment proceedings.
COLLINS: They're more like Plinko. Ever watch the old game Plinko? This is the why they're treating impeachment. They just drop the thing in and see which way it bounces.
HOLMES (voice-over): Proving himself a reliable ally.
COLLINS: I appreciate the support that I've received from the president and many others.
HOLMES (voice-over): Kemp's decision seen now by some conservatives as an act of betrayal, especially after Trump's endorsement last year.
TRUMP: Two days before the election, I said, Brian, congratulations. You're going to win. You're going to win. And he won by 2-1/2 points, which was amazing.
HOLMES (voice-over): Kemp now being slammed by conservatives on social media, including Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, who tweeted, you think you know better than POTUS. If you substitute your judgment for the president's, maybe you need a primary in 2022. Let's see if you can win one without Trump.
Loeffler is relatively unknown on a national stage. The CEO of a financial services firm, Loeffler has been criticized by conservatives who say she's too liberal, citing past political ties.
LEMON: Kristen Holmes reporting there. We'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: It is giving Tuesday, and we want to show you how you can help our 2019 top 10 CNN heroes continue their very important work. Here is CNN's Anderson Cooper to tell you more.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Anderson Cooper. Each of this year's top 10 CNN heroes proves that one person really can make a difference. Again, this year we're making it easy for you to support their great work. Just go to cnnheroes.com and click "donate" beneath any 2019 top 10 CNN hero to make a direct contribution to that hero's fund-raiser. You'll receive an e-mail confirming your donation, which is tax deductible in the United States.
No matter the amount, you can make a big difference in helping our heroes continue their life-changing work. CNN is proud to offer you this simple way to support each cause and celebrate all these everyday people changing the world.