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Don Lemon Tonight

Trump's Own Depiction of America; Biden Campaign Followed Protocols; Former Aide Joins Anti-Trump Club; More to Come Against Trump; Domestic Terrorism Cause by White Supremacists. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired September 17, 2020 - 22:00   ET




CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Be sure to watch Champions for Change this Saturday at 10 p.m. Eastern here on CNN. Thanks for watching. CNN Tonight with big star, D. Lemon right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: I thought you're going to say not all heroes wear capes but they certainly do wear yellow ties.

CUOMO: Yes, that is what I was going to say. How did you know?

LEMON: Because I know you, interesting show. Your show was great. And the town hall was fantastic, too. I enjoyed your interview with Dr. Price and I enjoyed your interview with Preet Bharara, two very important conversations.

CUOMO: Yes, I mean, the A.G. seeming to throw around the crime of sedition as a political tool is very frightening.


CUOMO: Especially when it flies in the face of what this president seems to be selling the American people, which is you got to watch out for these institutions, they can come and get you.


CUOMO: The A.G. says there are definitely people in the government working to thwart this administration. Well, what does he call trying to bait sedition cases against the causes that they don't like?

LEMON: And also trying to -- the scary black people out there. When you actually look at what -- and Preet Bharara mentioned it before. The FBI director today testifying about what's the biggest threat, terror threat, and that is white supremacists.


LEMON: In this country.

LEMON: But you cannot -- I'm going to do a report on it. Trust me, you know I'm going to get there. But, yes, it's the largest group of racially motivated domestic terrorists.


LEMON: But you wouldn't know that because it's scary. There are all these protesters out there. There is all this rioting and looting.

CUOMO: Yes, that's the focus.

LEMON: Well --

CUOMO: You see the faces on those black guys? I mean, they are angry.


CUOMO: White guys --

LEMON: And you --

CUOMO: -- nobody is worried about them, Don.

LEMON: So, let's talk about that, Chris, honestly, because if you watch a certain state TV and you listen to conservative media you would think that, you know, entire cities are just, you know, embroiled in fights and fires and whatever.

We went out and had a great dinner in New York City tonight. People actually walked up to us and said thank you for -- I watch you every night. I can't believe -- they thought, they had to do a double take at us actually hanging out and not seeing on the TV screen. But New York City was not, you know, a hellscape, was it?

CUOMO: I mean, that one guy ran by with the machete who tried to guess. No, of course it isn't. You know, look, his campaign is be afraid.


CUOMO: The genius twist by Fox News is that they say that's what we want to do, is scare you, which really enhances the president's ability to do it.


CUOMO: It is a very beautiful, concerted action between the two of them. It's unfortunate that its point of purpose is to divide the American people.


CUOMO: There we were having dinner. It's great to be together in the city. We were met by a great group -- a lot of people came up to us. But --

LEMON: Infectious disease doctors.

CUOMO: Yes, who helped me how to explain better to everybody else about why we can do so much better with the types of testing we're using. And then a miracle happened. So, I'm talking to the doctors, and like all of a sudden, I feel like this -- this, like, breeze that was like almost like the Holy Spirit kind of flying through. And all of a sudden Don Lemon's hand -- I figure I don't know if it's reaching for a gun, or reaching for a hair brush, could be anything.

LEMON: Please. A powder puff.

CUOMO: Pulls out a credit card and gives it to the waiter and says, I'll pay.

LEMON: But do you -- the line after that is --

CUOMO: I don't remember anything after that.

LEMON: You don't remember? I said it's on the boss. It was the corporate card.

CUOMO: I was trying to give you max credit for the situation.

LEMON: I enjoyed it. It was great being out in the city. It was great -- we had a meeting, so we came in early and got to go to dinner. But it was great being out in the city and seeing people and seeing their reactions.

And, listen, before people try to twist what we're saying. Nobody is condoning violence here. We know that there is violence out there, but entire cities are not on fire and in tumult. There are a few blocks.

And when people do that and they, you know, burn things and break into stores and loot, wrong, wrong, wrong on every level, but we want people to know that things are -- things are going to -- are going to get better. We hope with the right leadership. And then, you know, people on November 3rd will make up their minds of what that leadership should be.


CUOMO: Absolutely. But I do want people to always keep in focus this. We have heard people say that the fight for equality and justice, simply defined as fairness under law, has been depicted this way before.


CUOMO: And it was in the '60s. And you had the same kind of white fright purveyors saying, they don't want to just be equal, they want what you have.


CUOMO: They did it then and they are doing it now and one of them is the President of the United States.

LEMON: And they said the same thing about Dr. King. There are -- if you look at news reports -- and there is this one cartoon that was -- that I keep at my desk that actually Bernice King tweeted out, where they were doing the same thing. Where Dr. King is being interviewed by someone and saying, peaceful protest and then there is, you know, things that look like riots behind him.

So, it's the same sort of messaging. Everything old is new again. And as I always say, don't --


CUOMO: But we've never seen --

LEMON: No. From the top.

CUOMO: You know, even around Nixon.

LEMON: You never.

CUOMO: The Republicans went to Nixon and said you've got to go.

LEMON: You've got to go.

CUOMO: Dr. Price is out. He got thrown out by this administration --


CUOMO: -- for good reason.


CUOMO: He would not say the second half of the truth. The first half is the science is clear.

LEMON: Not at all.

CUOMO: Wear the mask.

LEMON: Isn't that amazing?

CUOMO: He wouldn't say and the president is wrong to say it.


CUOMO: That's the state of play in that party.

LEMON: And I think -- I think you're right about that. And, listen, no matter how afraid you are of me, you always tell me when I'm wrong and I respect that about you.

CUOMO: And you do the same. That's why we love each other because we can trust each other to be real as all real friends. You want a friend? Be a friend.

LEMON: Yes. All right. So, sometimes I love you. Not all the time.

CUOMO: Thank you for paying.

LEMON: You're welcome.

This is CNN Tonight.


CUOMO: D. Lemon, I love you.

LEMON: This is CNN Tonight. I'm don Lemon.

Listen, we have some breaking news tonight. A night where if you squint at your TVs, it almost looks like we're in a normal campaign season, right? Joe Biden at this town hall in Pennsylvania. Right here on CNN. And it was -- listen, it was -- whatever you thought about Joe Biden, it was -- social distancing, people in their cars. He answered -- actually answered people's questions. And I thought it was fantastic. I really enjoyed watching it.

Again, you get to decide how you think the person at the town hall, the center of the town hall, how he did. That's your business. But I thought it was really good. It was really handled well. There weren't people crowded into a place. They were all socially distanced. It was done very well and you actually got some information out of it.

So, President Trump was at a rally in Wisconsin as well. This is a different story. We'll talk about that, too. Biden taking questions from voters. Taking on President Trump over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Watch this.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The idea that you're going to not tell people what you've been told, that this virus is incredibly contiguous, seven times more contiguous than the few -- flu, you breathe the air, you get it sucked into your lungs. What has he done?

Imagine -- and by the way, Columbia University Medical School pointed out if he had just acted one month -- one week earlier, he would have saved 37,000 lives.

All the way back in March I was calling for the need for us to have masks, have the president stand and tell us what's going on. But he knew it. He knew it and did nothing. It's close to criminal.


LEMON: Answering questions, talking directly to people. And taking their questions, again, answering them. But the president, I want you to -- you got to watch this, too, on stage giving his usual attacks against elites. Biden flipping the script on that to say that, hey, I'm the guy who came from a working-class background. Think about where the president comes from.


BIDEN: When you guys started talking on television about Biden, if he wins will be the first person without an Ivy League degree to be elected president, I'm thinking, who the hell makes you think I have to have an Ivy League degree to be president? I really mean it. I found my back up.


BIDEN: No, I'm not joking. I'm not joking, like, guys like me who were the first in my family to go to college, up here my dad busted his neck. My dad came up here, worked here, lost his job like a lot of people did here, used to be a bad joke in the '60s in Scranton. Everybody is -- no one is in Scranton, everybody is from Scranton, because so many people lost their jobs.

We are as good as anybody else. And guys like Trump, who inherited everything and squandered what they inherited, are the people that I've always had a problem with.


LEMON: Donald Trump is running behind Joe Biden right now. And maybe it's no surprise that who he really wants to run against is the specter of scary mobs. He'd like you to be more afraid of. More afraid of them than of the deadly virus he has allowed to run rampant killing people.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Left-wing mobs have torn down statues of our founders, desecrated our memorials, and carried out a campaign of violence and anarchy.


Far-left demonstrators have chanted the words America was never great. These radicals have been aided and abetted by liberal politicians, establishment media, and even large corporations. Whether it is the mob on the street or the cancel culture in the boardroom, the goal is the same, to silence dissent, to scare you out of speaking the truth, and to bully Americans into abandoning their values, their heritage and their very way of life.


LEMON: God, that was really -- he's really low energy. And everything is scary. Everything is negative. Everything is dark. It's -- the malaise is unbelievable in this country right now. People are exhausted. They're overwhelmed by all of the chaos every day.

One crisis and then another one the next day and another one the next day, to the next day to the next day to the next day. Maybe he's being affected by it because he certainly sounds low energy. But everything is so dark. The country is awful. They are out to get you.

Think about the loaded words there, mobs, violence anarchy. He's the president. If he believes that, then why do we have that on his watch? The mobs, the chaos, the anarchy, the violence. Why? Is it going -- the next president going to fix -- he has the next president is going to fix what he as the former president did?

Anybody who takes to the streets to protest the president's policies is called a radical, another word. Never mind that today the FBI director, Christopher Wray, told congress today that the majority of protesters this summer were peaceful protesters, the head of the FBI.

This president also wants to run against the media. He wants to run -- Nicole Hannah Jones' 1619 Project. The Times 1619 Project is an exploration of the impact of slavery throughout American history. The 1619 Project is meant to broaden everyone's perspective not trash the nation's history, to open your minds to have a conversation. To get you to understand -- have some knowledge. Not to trash the nation's history. That fits into Trump's us against them campaign narrative.


TRUMP: Students in our universities are inundated with critical race theory. This is a Marxist doctrine, holding that America is a wicked and racist nation, that even young children are complicit in oppression.

By viewing every issue through the lens of race, they want to impose a new segregation, and we must not allow that to happen. Critical race theory, the 1619 Project, and the crusade against American history is toxic propaganda, ideological poison that if not removed will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together. It will destroy our country.


LEMON: My gosh. So heavy. I was just writing down, like if you watch this as an exercise for you to do at home. If you watch a Trump speech if you can or watch him say anything. Just pick out some of the words and the adjectives. Or just what he talks about. Just anything, OK? Just in that thing -- towards the end I started doing it.

Toxic, he said. This was just the last part. I didn't do it in the beginning, poison, propaganda, destroy. Words have an effect on you. That is what you're being sold and what you're taking in, that negativity. That's why you're in a malaise. That's why you have anxiety as well.

That's why you don't know if your kids are going to go back to school, if you're going to be able to go back to the office. You know that feeling that you have right now, that all of us have, my gosh, what is going to happen next? Can I take more of this? Who is going to get us out of this deadly pandemic?


Everybody is out to get him. Everyone is out to get you. All of it. His campaign strategy is to divide this country and somehow, he believes that strategy will lead to his re-election.

His re-election effort took a severe hit today from a former member of his own vice president's staff, Mike Pence's staff. Her name is Olivia Troye. She says she is a lifelong Republican. She was a homeland security adviser to Pence. And she's also his lead staffer on the White House's Coronavirus Task Force. She sat in on task force meetings.

Now, in a -- in a video that was released just today, Olivia Troye slams Trump's mishandling of this coronavirus pandemic.


OLIVIA TROYE, FORMER WHITE HOUSE STAFFER: It was shocking to see the president saying that the virus was a hoax, saying that everything is OK when we know that it's not. The truth is he doesn't actually care about anyone else but himself.


LEMON: Troye says that she was sitting in at a COVID meeting one day and she said she was shocked to hear a (AUDIO GAP). Here it is.


TROYE: The president said, maybe this COVID thing is a good thing. I don't like shaking hands with people. I don't have to shake hands with these disgusting people. Those disgusting people are the same people that he claims to care about. These are the people still going to his rallies today who have complete faith in who he is.


LEMON: Olivia Troye believes President Trump has contempt for his base. For those supporters who show up at his rallies and follow his lead by not wearing masks and applauding.

Night after night, medical experts on this show say he is putting the lives of those Americans in jeopardy. He doesn't want to shake their hands. You know he's a germaphobe. He's a -- you know that. I've met him. He doesn't like to do it.

But he is fine, though, packing his supporters into indoor rallies with no social distancing and no masks to cheer and yell all the things you aren't supposed to do. But he doesn't seem to care.

She joins a long and growing list of Republicans, including those who served in the Trump administration, who are publicly endorsing Joe Biden now for president.

In the meantime, Joe Biden participating in a town hall right here on CNN. A socially distanced one. He got angry about the president's handling of the coronavirus. And there's lots to talk about. Gloria Borger, Nia-Malika Henderson, both here after the break.



LEMON: So, the vice president -- former Vice President Joe Biden taking questions from Pennsylvania voters at tonight's first CNN drive-in town hall. He covered coronavirus. He covered the economy, policing and race.

So, let's break it all down with our chief political analyst Gloria Borger, and senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson. Good evening to both of you. Good to see you. I hope you guys watched.





LEMON: Yes, I know you had to watch. So, give me your overall impressions, Gloria Borger of how vice president -- former Vice President Joe Biden did tonight.

BORGER: Well, this is his format. This is where he excels, a campaign debate with 10 other candidates on the stage, as we all know, not so much. This is where he can directly answer voters' questions one-on- one. He can empathize, as he did when talking about COVID. He can be strong when talking about the president, saying his behavior on COVID was almost criminal, and what he did tonight, I thought, was interesting and important was that he became kind of Joey from Scranton, Pennsylvania.

LEMON: Yes, he wanted you to know he's from Scranton tonight.


BORGER: Which is where he's from. And they call him -- I can tell you, his sister still calls him Joey, and he was the guy who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. His family had to move to Wilmington because his father lost his job. So, he knows what it feels like it be from Scranton and he knows what it feels like to be looked down upon by all those elites from Park Avenue. I think Trump is Fifth Avenue, but maybe I'm wrong.

LEMON: No, you're right.

BORGER: But he, you know, made that clear connection. I'm your -- I'm your guy, I'm not the Park Avenue guy.


BORGER: And I think he needs to do that in Pennsylvania.

LEMON: Well, listen, you must have been over -- or listening to my phone call today as I was speaking with someone. They asked me earlier, Gloria, how do you think the former vice president is going to do? I said one-on-one is his format. When I moderated a debate with him --


LEMON: -- in that he's not big in groups. Remember, stopping before the moderators tell him to stop or what have you.


LEMON: And it was just sort of -- and also, I think, Nia, and I don't know if you agree with this, he needed to get some reps under his belt and get out there. I think he was rusty because he hadn't been on the political stage in a long time.

HENDERSON: I think that's right and that showed up in a big way in Donald Trump's town hall that he did a few days ago. And so there you had Joe Biden doing what he does best, as Gloria talked about, showing empathy to those folks, many of whom had real losses of relatives from different diseases, whether it be COVID, cancer, and Joe Biden talking about his own experiences and what he would do also in terms of policy.

There is a wrap on Joe Biden that is coming from this White House, coming from Republicans that he isn't up to it, that he's lost a step, that he can't get all of his facts straight and here you had a Joe Biden who add one point was describing the difference between the two different vaccines. One of which works at the molecular --

BORGER: Right.


HENDERSON: -- cellular level and one of which works at the immune system level. So, in great detail, he was going into that. So, I think it's certainly really undermining this argument that we have by Trump and Republicans that he isn't up to it. He isn't up to debating.


HENDERSON: He isn't up to the job of the presidency. And so, Yes, I thought he really shined tonight. And, listen, Donald Trump probably would do well to get out there more and do this kind of format, to have people asking these wide variety of questions, be they -- be it about COVID or be they be about police reform or race or any of those topics.

LEMON: I'm glad you mentioned COVID because we're going to talk about that. Also, you know, should come on CNN and do it as well. A town hall here. Gloria, the vice president --


LEMON: -- hit the president hard on coronavirus. As Nia just mentioned. So, let's listen to a bit of that and I'll get you to respond.



BIDEN: All the way back -- and I was on one of your shows -- all the way back in March I was calling for the need for us to have masks, to have the president stand and tell us what's going on, but he knew it, he knew it and did nothing. It's close to criminal.

This is all about one thing, the stock market. He doesn't want to see anything happen. It's all about his re-election. It should be about the American people. And they're in trouble. And if we don't do it -- and by the way, his own CDC director contradicted him recently. He said if, in fact, you just wore this mask, nothing else but this mask, you would save between now and January another 100,000 lives. And so, we have to be honest with the American people. They're tough.


LEMON: Gloria, Biden holding up the mask versus President Trump who says waiters don't like them and it took him forever to even be seen putting one on or wearing one.

BORGER: Right. Yes, and then he and, you know, Trump said at one point, well, maybe, Joe Biden feels secure wearing his mask. This is a -- this is a choice between two polar opposites, and I asked -- I asked Joe Biden are you the polar opposite of Donald Trump and he crossed himself and said, I hope so.

I think what you saw tonight was that demonstrated on the question of COVID and the question of a mask. He is saying, look, we have to level with the American people. We have to follow the science. We have to tell them what works. We have to tell them what doesn't work. And this mask, according to Biden and the CDC director, Redfield, can help you. And what was Donald Trump doing? Making fun of masks.


BORGER: So, if you think masks are a hoax, OK.


BORGER: That's fine. Then you're not going to vote for Joe Biden.

LEMON: And according to Dr. Price who was on part of the administration as well, saying masks work.


LEMON: Nia, Vice President Biden also called what Attorney General Bill Barr said about slavery and coronavirus outrageous. It was.

HENDERSON: It was, indeed. Listen, slavery was a singular horrible, horrific institution, and any time you are talking about slavery, you've got to be careful about the sort of analogies you're drawing, the same thing with the holocaust, a singular awful event.

But there you have somebody like Bill Barr stirring up the crowd, talking to conservatives. And really talking to Donald Trump's base, who have used similar language when talking about the oppressiveness that they see coming from the Democrats and this idea that they should wear masks.

And you had Joe Biden really, I think, turning this on its head and saying, listen, wearing a mask is about patriotism. It is about not only -- not only protecting you, but also protecting your fellow citizens, your neighbors, old people that live in your community, people who may have pre-existing conditions in your community.

So -- but, listen, I think in Bill Barr we have a figure that is going to advance the talking points of this president. He's a very different kind of attorney general than we've seen from attorney generals in the last administrations, and so he is going to say those sorts of inflammatory things about slavery because this is what the president wants to see from this attorney general, somebody who is mixing it up with the same kind of language from Trump voters and sort of the conservative chattering classes.

LEMON: Well, thank you, Nia. Fairly new mom. And Gloria, new grandma to be coming soon.


LEMON: So, I'm so happy for both of you.

BORGER: Thank you.

LEMON: That was our talk in the break.

HENDERSON: Thanks, Don.

BORGER: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you, guys. I'll see you soon. Be well.

BORGER: Thanks, Don.


LEMON: Thank you.

A former staffer on the Coronavirus Task Force coming forward tonight to reveal what he was like in those meetings. She says he only cared about himself and he failed to protect Americans.

Anthony Scaramucci is with me, next. We'll see if that bodes with what he knows about this president.



LEMON: A stunning rebuke of President Trump's handling of the pandemic from a former aide on the Coronavirus Task Force. Her name is Olivia Troye, and she sat behind Vice President Mike Pence in the Situation Room, claiming the president could have saved more lives, but didn't because he only cares about his reelection.

Former White House communications director is Anthony Scaramucci, and he joins me now. Anthony, good evening to you.


LEMON: As I said, it was -- it was really -- it was a scathing -- that's another major scathing rebuke, I should say of the president from his own vice president's aide, Olivia Troye, a former staffer on the Coronavirus Task Force. She says that President Trump could've saved more lives, but he could've cared -- he only cared about the election. I want you to listen to this and then I will get your response.


TROYE: When we are in a task force meeting, president said, maybe this COVID thing is a good thing, I don't like shaking hands with people. I don't have to shake hands with these disgusting people. Those discussing people are the same people that he claims to care about.



LEMON: Is that what he really thinks about his supporters, Anthony?

SCARAMUCCI: So, let's go back a second, Don. He said that the troops are suckers and losers, he says that the reporters, I'm sorry, his accolades, his supporters are disgusting people. His niece has said which he said, his sister has said what she said, the personal lawyer has said what he said, that generals in the book "Rage" and also what they've said.

And so, I guess the real question that we should have for people is why is it not resonating. Now the good news is we have more people that are going to come out in the successive weeks as we've been telling people over the last couple of weeks. And so, there will be more people that the American people will hear from, again, a continued warning from the people that are very close to the president in terms of what he is really like.

Now, he has willing sycophants that are going to lie for him, of course, but these are good patriots. These are good men and women, they are going to take a lot of heat for doing what they are doing, and I want to just praise Olivia tonight, for her bravery, her courage, and her patriotism.

LEMON: So I got to ask you, you continue on with what we are saying, if you can dig, because you are in the ex-Trump club, and you are talking about these -- these people, you know, here is yet another person in the ranks who is saying, all right, look, this is not what you think it is. You say we are going to see more, you care to share, or you want to wait for them to come out on their own.

SCARAMUCCI: So, it's not -- well, as I've been saying, at least the good news is, I've been telling you guys that it's coming, Olivia is another shoe to drop. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman --


LEMON: You've been telling me this for a year here, by the way.

SCARAMUCCI: Yes, I told you that when the time is right, you and I have this private conversation, when the time is right there will be a cadre of people that will come out, they are probably trying to time the best they can as close to the election as possible to speak out, because that's when the average voter, Don, is really looking at the choices that they're making.

And they're speaking now, and I got to tell you, you know, it's a very compelling speech, she has a lot to lose making that speech, but she's an incredibly brave, very intelligent person and she's telling the truth, Don. So, you just have to make a decision.

You know, there are group of people, the president is correct, he can shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue, they are going to stay with him no matter what, but there is a much larger, smarter group of people that are going to send him home on November 3rd, and that's what we're working on right now, a coalition of willing Americans, willing Democrats, willing Republicans and the great irony, don, is the president is actually uniting the majority of Americans.

He just happens to be uniting them against him. And so, there is a lot more to come, it's just not fair for me to steal those people's thunder.

LEMON: I got you.

SCARAMUCCI: Let's watch this unfold over the next couple of weeks.

LEMON: Well let's talk about what happened tonight, because he held a rally in Wisconsin tonight. Zero social distancing, few masks and I want you to watch this moment.



TRUMP: Yes, thank you very much. So, if you are a president, right, and you are nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, you are in the United States.


TRUMP: No, but think of this. That's a big deal. I mean, Obama got it, like in his first couple of weeks, and nobody knew why he got it, including him, remember he couldn't tell you why. He had no idea, to this day, he has no idea why he got it.

But if you are a president and you get nominated, then two days later, you get nominated, did you know this is a second time for a different deal.


TRUMP: Kosovo. Serbia, they've been killing each other for hundreds of years. I stopped a lot of death, and I did it like easy, it wasn't hard for me. It's sort of a natural thing to do.


LEMON: My God, my God. How embarrassing for him, but he's obsessed.

SCARAMUCCI: Listen, you know, Michael Cohen in the book "Disloyal" just writes about the racist invective, the envy of Barack Obama in terms of his eloquence and his education and he doesn't like his skin color, which is obvious. And so, he's sitting up there, bragging about something that hasn't happened yet.

And, listen, I want to be fair. I'm not going to be the person that demonizes the president because what we are trying to do is chip away from his support, and what I find, Don, when we demonize him, flaps go down over the years, eye shades go down and people stop listening.

And so, all I'm trying to do is provide an objective criteria, certainly there are some things that he's done well but the magnitude of what he's done has been an unmitigated disaster for the United States.

He's made the country weaker, sicker, and poorer as a result of his decision-making, his rank incompetence, and his failure to manage or lead the executive branch of the United States.


And so, I want to talk about that objectively. I want to bring more people out of the fray to speak about it who are willing and honest about it. We also have anonymous coming out, who will disclose who they are shortly as well.

And so, there is a combination of factors. And ultimately, I think my old friend Steve Bannon is going to be correct. We're going to chip away three to five percent of the Republican support from Donald Trump and he is going to lose, because a very fragile coalition last time in 2016 and he's alienated a tremendous amount of people, including the people that have worked for him, Don.

LEMON: Anthony Scaramucci, thank you sir. I appreciate it.

SCARAMUCCI: Good to be here. Thank you.

LEMON: A stunning picture on how the president has handled the coronavirus from a direct witness, and now cases spiking in nearly two dozen states. Are we at the beginning of another post-holiday surge?



LEMON: A former top aide to Vice President Pence on the White House Coronavirus Task Force saying the president is failing to protect the American public and only cares about his re-election that as we see an alarming uptick in coronavirus cases all across the U.S.

Look at the -- look at your screen now, nearly half of the states showing an upward trend. That's scary.

Dr. William Haseltine -- or I should say, William Haseltine, the former professor at Harvard Medical School joins me. Good to see you, sir. Thank you, professor, for joining us.


LEMON: I want to ask you about this aide speaking out. She says the president didn't want to hear in February about how bad this would get and that the president refused to embrace masks, even as other task force members begged him to do so. As an expert, can you -- can you tell my audience what difference those things would have made?

HASELTINE: Well, looking in hindsight, I believe that we could have saved almost everybody from being killed by the virus had we acted on the information that we had in February if the federal government took systematic and vigorous action.

Instead, the administration didn't act, punted to the states, many of those states punted to their local communities. The result was chaos and we now have 200,000 Americans dead. That's history.

Let's look forward. As I look at what's happening today, I see the same thing happening. I see inaction, I see many actions that could be taken not being taken, and projections are, as you well know, that another 200,000 people may die in this country before the end of the year because we aren't taking very simple actions.


HASELTINE: A 100,000 of those, as Redfield said, could have been -- could be saved simply by universal mask-wearing.


HASELTINE: A 100,000.


HASELTINE: Another 100,000 could be saved if we take more vigorous public health measures. And I'm happy to discuss some of those, but we can reduce this to close to zero without a vaccine, without a drug if we are serious and if we have serious leadership and participation at all stages by the federal government, which we have not had.

LEMON: And more compliance, right? Then we would have more compliance if we had a president who led by example. But, listen, I want to ask you about this -- about Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff.


LEMON: Questioning CDC director Redfield over his vaccine timeline after President Trump said that Redfield was confused. Listen to this and then I'll get your response.


MARK MEADOWS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: While Dr. Redfield may have a timeline in mind, to my knowledge, he hasn't had intimate discussions with those processes. He may be referring to a timeline that he published. I'm not aware of that, but I can tell you that timeline is not consistent with what I have had personal interaction with.


LEMON: Listen, when I heard the president yesterday saying that Dr. Redfield is confused. I was like, wait a minute, Dr. Redfield -- and as he, you know, speaking as if he knew more than the head of the CDC, who is Dr. Redfield, a member of the coronavirus task force. He has a laundry list of qualifications. President Trump not so much. Is there anything confusing about what Redfield is saying?

HASELTINE: Well, Redfield is saying what he understands from the facts. We recently had an unveiling of some of those facts with the publication of the timelines for the vaccines, the very vaccines that the administration is talking about. At very earliest we'll have emergency use authorizations maybe in November, but if you really are looking at those timelines, there's not going to be available for the general public until about a year from now. That's if the vaccine is partially effective and partially safe. So, we are still in --


LEMON: Can I ask you real quickly, please -- when you answer that.


LEMON: Because you can answer this. Fifty-one percent of Americans would get -- this is a poll -- get a vaccine if it were available today. A jaw-dropping 78 percent worried approval will move too fast. Go on. That's alarming, by the way.

HASELTINE: It is alarming, and the reason is that there's been great confusion about timelines, about the protocols that are being followed. I've had an opportunity now to begin to look at the actual protocols. They worry me. It looks like they're developing a vaccine that they're going to judge by whether it prevents colds.

LEMON: Right.

HASELTINE: Not death or serious injury.


HASELTINE: That major criteria is not something that you or I would care about. Won't we don't care if we get a cold.


HASELTINE: We care if we have to go to the hospital. We care if we're going to die -- LEMON: Yes.

HASELTINE: -- or somebody we love is going to die. And they're not necessarily going to judge the success of the vaccine. Those are the types of questions.

LEMON: That's got to be the last -- yes, it's got to be the last word. Doctor, thank you so much. I appreciate it. I'll see you next time.


HASELTINE: You're welcome.

LEMON: Thank you. We'll be right back.

HASELTINE: Thank you. Thanks a lot.


LEMON: Take this. OK, so the FBI director, Christopher Wray telling lawmakers white supremacists are the largest group of racially motivated domestic terrorists. He says it accounts for the bulk of the bureau's work on domestic threats.


CHRISTOPHER WRAY, DIRECTOR, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: Within the domestic terrorism bucket, the category as a whole, racially motivated violent extremism is I think the biggest bucket within that larger group, and within the racially motivated violent extremist bucket, people ascribing to some kind of white supremacist type ideologies is certainly the biggest chunk of that.



LEMON: Did you hear? All you folks? Clean out your ears who want to criticize us for saying that, calling me a race baiter for saying that. It's the truth. It's the fact. It's not new, either.

Many time son this show we have pointed out that officials see white supremacy as a major terror threat in this country. That's the head of the FBI saying it. It's just that people don't want to hear it. Even though last year Director Wray said the threat was persistent and pervasive.


WRAY: The danger, I think, of white supremacists, violent extremism or any other kind of violent extremism is of course significant. We assessed that it's a persistent pervasive threat.


LEMON: CNN reported just last week on a Department of Homeland Security assessment that finds white supremacists will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the United States through 2021 that according to draft documents.

The president doesn't recognize the threat. He keeps warning of a liberal mob coming to destroy our cities. Meanwhile, the umbrella man, seen smashing windows of a business in Minneapolis following the killing of George Floyd, turns out he is associates with a prison gang, a gang the Anti-Defamation League identifies as white supremacist.

People believe that he helped initiate riots and destruction. So while the president deploys race baiting tactics -- you heard him today -- while he incites panic over antifa invading suburbs -- not happening -- while the president downplays the threat of white supremacy -- remember, you know, very fine people on both sides -- listen to what officials are saying.

They are saying the threat is real from white supremacists, a threat that will remain real until there is a president who takes action, and the current president has shown no interest in doing just that.

Joe Biden says President Trump's downplaying of the coronavirus is close to criminal. As a former White House aide unloads on the president's handling of the pandemic. We're covering it all just ahead.