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Don Lemon Tonight

Damning Revelation About Trump's Coup Plan; General Milley Did The Right Thing; Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) Is Interviewed About General Milley, And The House Dems Leaving Texas; Britney Spears Hires A New Counsel. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired July 14, 2021 - 22:00   ET




CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST (on camera): I'm late to Don Lemon with breaking news right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Yes, we have some breaking news. I want to get to that. Listen, I find it very interesting because this is part of what we are talking about in the culture especially pop culture and it's also has to do with mental health. I kept wanting you to ask her. I almost textured you while you're on the air. What happened to all of Britney Spears money?

For someone who is popular and has sold as many albums 77 million records in the country to be worth $60 million, to the average person, that is a lot of money. To someone like Britney Spears, that's not a lot of money. What happened to it?

And at a time when she was, you know, off the rails, so to speak, there's no way she could have spent that much money. Hundreds of millions of dollars? No way! Is anybody looking into that? What happened to Britney Spears money?

CUOMO: Well, first of all, absolutely will be looked into. It will be part of the petition to dissolve the conservatorship. They all have to be an accounting. But I don't know that we know the numbers. I would just, I would be slow. I know they've thrown the $60 million number around.

LEMON: That's in court. That's the number that they've been throwing around in court.


CUOMO: But I don't know. Well, it hasn't come from the judges.


CUOMO: That's what the estate is. So, I think we are going to have a little bit of a wait and see but your question goes to the exact right concern, has somebody been ripping off Britney Spears?


CUOMO: For a lot of years? That answer is going to come, and it's going to come very soon, Don.

LEMON: Yes. Popular, she had a residency from 2013, and 2017 in Las Vegas. That show grossed $137.7 million. All the records that she sold before that, Britney Spears, even with the issues that she's had, should be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

And in that time, remember with the umbrella and others, she's hanging out in L.A. didn't see her buying mansions or cars or what have you. Maybe she was -- even to put away $100 million, she should still be worth a lot more. What happened to Britney Spears's money?

If these estimates are indeed correct, $60 million for someone who's been working from a child, a Disney star, a residency, albums, perfumes, books, on merchandise? Something is up. Am I wrong?

CUOMO: The nice thing about money is, you can almost always find it.


CUOMO: Follow it, you can track it, you can find it.


CUOMO: And look, 13 plus years, one man has been in a position to oversee all of it and hasn't a fiduciary responsibility to show what was done with the same. So, the answer is very discoverable.

LEMON: That is my question. What happened to the money? And now I get to the breaking news. I'll see you. Love you, brother.

CUOMO: D. Lemon, I love you.

LEMON: Love you more. This is DON LEMON TONIGHT.

And of course, as Chris said, we're going to start with our breaking news.

Here's the breaking news tonight. And this is stunning! It is something that every single American needs to listen to and to think about seriously. Seriously. It is the report that the chairman of the joint chiefs -- you don't might get much higher than that when it comes to the military -- General Mark Milley, OK?

He was afraid that then president and his allies might attempt a coup after the November election. And then, you know, he's sitting there going, or no, come on. You don't think an insurrection would happen on January 6, did you? But it did!

It says that -- this report in this book says that they were so afraid, he was so afraid that he and other top officials informally planned what they, what they could do just to stop this. That is according to excerpts off an upcoming book obtained by CNN's Jamie Gangel, OK? So, the book and -- and Jamie is going to be along in a minute to explain all of this to us.

The book from Pulitzer Prize winner Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker describing how General Milley and the other joint chiefs discuss a plan to resign. One by one they were going to do it, one by one, they were going to do that rather than carry out the orders that they considered to be illegal, they considered to be dangerous, they considered to be ill-advised.

Like I said, it is stunning. So, listen, you may want to dial out and not tune in to this and it's our job to cover it, we're trying to inform you in the meantime between elections.


You need to pay attention to this because this is what was happening in our government, you we see what that led to an insurrection, a big lie, and who knows what's next. So, sit and pay attention to this.

Because for the first time in modern American history the nation's top military officer was prepared for a showdown with the commander-in- chief because he feared a coup attempt. I can't believe I'm even saying that. After November elections. In the United States, a coup attempt.

The book is called, "I Alone Can Fix It." It says General Milley told his deputies this, and I quote. "They may try but they are not going to effing succeed, he told him. You can't do this without the military. You can't do this without the CIA and the FBI. Where the guys with the guns?" So, we've got a lot more on these revelations from the book. That will happen in just a minute here, as I said, Jamie is going to be a long.

But let's remember what happened on January 6th, OK? When bloodthirsty Trump supporters stormed the capitol, the seat of our government. They hunted lawmakers in the hallways, they threatened to hang the vice president, forcing him to flee you -- you see that gallows there, right? They beat police officers, the police who tried to stop them.

They tried to overturn the results of our free and fair election. And there is our capitol live for you. Can you imagine where we'd be right now if they had succeeded? What that building would look like? What would be happening in that building in the seat of our democracy?

And now the House select committee will hold its first hearing in just two weeks. So, Liz Cheney, we've talked a lot about, because Liz Cheney is one of the only Republicans, actually the only Republican named to that panel so far, telling CNN, and I quote, "I will absolutely stand for the truth, and I will reject partisanship wherever it comes. And I think that's been very clear from the beginning of this, my obligation is to the Constitution."

So she is standing up, standing against the big lie that poisoned this country, that still spreading today, the assault on a vote that's fueled by the same big lie, the same misinformation, the same peddlers of lies President Joe Biden slammed in an angry speech yesterday, the president is vowing to fight the big lie, vowing to take on misinformation. Yet, Mitch McConnell says this.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: Yesterday, the president of the United States delivered a speech that was set in an alternate universe. He called the mainstream state laws, these modest integrity measures that are wildly popular with Americans, quote, now listen to this -- "the single, the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War?" Really?

This is our new president, who promised to lower the temperature, bring America back together and we build a civil society where we can dialogue as fellow citizens. It would be laugh out loud funny if it wasn't so completely and totally irresponsible.


LEMON (on camera): Really? As Mitch McConnell just said. Yes, really. I don't think that's hyperbole. And I tell you what irresponsible, Mitch McConnell, standing in the way of an effort to protect our most sacred right as Americans, the right to vote.

Listen, no matter what your political affiliation, and your background, the right to vote should be protected for Republicans, for Democrats, for independents, for all Americans who are eligible to vote in this country. And guess what? You should be able to vote freely! All Americans, not restricted. I actually think it should be a day off, so that everybody can get a chance to vote. They can't, say, hey, I've got to go to work.

Give everybody a day off, let everybody vote. And Mitch McConnell would have you believe that he is some kind of champion for bipartisanship. And we all know that that is B.S. The guy who said that he is 100 percent focused on stopping Biden's agenda for bipartisanship. OK. The one who begged Republicans to block the bipartisan January 6th commission as the personal favor to him. OK, bipartisanship. The guy who said this.


MCCONNELL: As you look to put the majority while the majority has in mind for June, it's pretty clear the era of bipartisanship is over.


LEMON (on camera): Sorry, senator. You don't get to complain about the lack of bipartisanship when you have done everything that you could to drive a stake into its heart. The GOP is a threat to the health of our democracy and our actual health. I'll say that again. The GOP is a threat to the health of our democracy and to our actual health. OK?


So, when you're playing this back and your quoting me, I want to make sure you get it right. I said it twice for you. Politics is killing people. Well, the right ring spews anti-vaccination conspiracy theories, as the Delta variant spreads, now as more than half of the cases in the U.S., especially concentrated in areas with low vaccination rates, and you know what those areas are!

Yet the anti-vaccine circus barkers just keep spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories. Lies.


Tucker CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS: It makes you think about it that none of this is really about COVID. Maybe it's about social control.

LARA TRUMP, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: And this has never, Sean, been about following the science, it's never been about following the facts and the truth. It's been about control from day one.

CARLSON: I honestly think this is the greatest scandal of my life done by far, I thought the Iraq war was seems much bigger than that.

UNKNOWN: Clearly, they were hoping, the government was hoping that they could sort of sucker 90 percent of the population into getting vaccinated, and it isn't happening, right? There is a -- younger people.

UNKNOWN: Don't come knocking on my door with your Fauci ouchi, you leave us the hell alone!

UNKNOWN: Now they're starting to talk about going door to door to be able to take vaccines to people. And think about what those mechanisms could be used for. They could go door to door to take your guns. They could go door to door to take your bibles.


LEMON (on camera): OK, so think about. It what is the logic in that? What is the logic in trying to save people's lives that that is somehow bad? No, polio? When is the last time you heard about someone getting polio? Why? Because of vaccines. Or any other disease that used to run rampant in this country. Before there was a medical cure or vaccination, or a vaccine for it.

And then the substances that people put in their body. They drink, they smoke, they do all kinds of things, but you can't take a vaccine. It makes no sense. You still fire in an airplane, science. We still use the lights in your house, the electricity. Cars. It's science, it's all science. But somehow a vaccine is bad?

Nobody is stupid. None of what they are saying is true. Not any of it, it is a lie. Yet millions of people are staking their lives on lies. Now the White House is about to get a lot more aggressive in fighting vaccine misinformation and conspiracy theories. The press secretary, Jen Psaki, calling it literally a matter of life and death.


JEN PSAKI, White HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Certainly, the push back against disinformation and information that is, you know, literally a matter of life and death is something that is going to be a continued focus of this administration.


LEMON (on camera): The president fighting back against the misinformation and lies that are killing Americans, the misinformation and lies that are a threat to our health, to the health of our democracy, the misinformation, the lies that are fueling the assault on the vote all across this country. We're in a very dangerous place right now. Pay attention. Get involved.

I want to bring in now CNN's Jamie Gangel with more on our breaking news tonight. The excerpts that she obtained from the new book that says top generals feared that then president would attempt a coup after losing the election.

Jamie, good evening to you. It's not out of the realm of the possibility, especially as I said, when you consider what happened on January 6th. We appreciate you joining us.

So, let's talk about what these excerpts show. It shows just how frightened the people around the former president were during his final days in office. The book even revealed that General Milley, drew a comparison between Trump's election lies -- and this is him -- and Adolf Hitler's rhetoric.

Again, according to the book, he drew that. So, tell us, what's that all about?

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: So just, there are a lot of Trump looks out right now. This is "I Alone Can Fix It." And Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker are two Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporters, and what they write is that Milley, General Milley was so shaken by Trump's behavior, the big lie, after the election, that he and other top administration officials got together and informally plan and how they would stop a coup if Trump and his allies attempted it.


And this included the chief of the army, navy, air force, marines. And just to talk about the language, I just want to say, Milley is extensively quoted in this book. He clearly cooperated with it.

Milley view Trump, quote, "as the classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose," the authors write. And then he goes on to say to aides, this is a Reichstag moment, Milley told aides. The gospel of the Fuhrer".


GANGEL: It's just -- one other thing I want to add for context, Donald Trump has been hinting that he's going to run in 2024. I do not think it's an accident that General Milley went public, in effect, through this book, to make it very clear just how dangerous and how unhinged he thought President Trump, then President Trump, was.

LEMON: Yes. I want to get more on the book, Jamie.


LEMON: And again, when you hear him comparing the Fuhrer to, again, Milley comparing him to Hitler, it's, it's breathtaking. One of the excerpts reveals how deeply concerned General Milley was by what he saw on January 6th. And he raised the alarm to a group of senior leaders preparing for President Biden's inauguration. What did he say?

GANGEL: So, they are preparing, they're having an exercise before the inauguration. And remember, Washington was on lockdown. They were genuinely concerned of another violent attack by Trump supporters.

And Milley says to a group of senior advisers at this exercise, quote, "Here's the deal, guys. These guys are Nazis. They are boogaloo boys. They are Proud Boys. These are the same people we fought in World War II.

Everyone in this room, whether you're a cop, whether you're a soldier, we are going to stop these guys to make sure we have a peaceful transfer of power. We are going to put a ring of steel around this city and the Nazis aren't getting in. And by that, he was referring to Trump supporters.

LEMON: Wow. So, Jamie, the book includes an exchange between Milley and Congresswoman Liz Cheney the day after the insurrection, where she describes a confrontation with Congressman Jim Jordan during the riot. Can you tell us about that? What happened?

GANGEL: Sure, so just for concept context, Liz Cheney and General Milley are old friends, they are close, they have a phone call on January 7th. And let's remember who Jim Jordan is. He is one of Trump's staunchest allies. Liz Cheney has voted for the impeachment.

These are not to people who get along, and Milley asks her on the phone, how are you doing? And Cheney says, quote, "that effing guy Jim Jordan, that son of a bitch, while these maniacs are going through the place, I'm standing in the aisle. And he said, we need to get the ladies away from the aisle. Let me help you. I smacked his hand away and told him, get away from me, you effing did this."

Don, I don't think Liz Cheney felt she needed Jim Jordan's help at that moment. She is now trending on Twitter. Milley is now to ending on Twitter. "I Alone Can Fix It," the book is -- I think that what you have in this book, there are many stunning revelations, but in modern history, we have never heard of the top military officer fearing that he was going to have a showdown with the commander-in-chief because he might attempt a coup.

LEMON: Right on. Jamie, listen, it's fascinating. I know you have more, so will you stick around because we need you a little bit later.


LEMON: Yes. We are going to come back with Jamie. We've got more to talk about like what Nancy Pelosi said to General Milley in the days following the insurrection. We're back right after this quick break.



LEMON (on camera): So, you thought it was bad, well, maybe we just didn't know how bad it was. More on our breaking now.

The new book from Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist revealing that lengths that the joint chiefs chairman, General Mark Milley went to in order to prevent a possible coup attempt by the former president.

Jamie Gangel is back with me. her reporting has been fantastic throughout this. Also joining me now CNN military analyst the former NATO supreme allied commander, General Wesley Clark.

General Clark, it's great to have you here. Because you can tell us the thinking and whether or not, you know, these things what would have happened if these things had actually occurred.

So, thank you for joining us. This is the country's highest-ranking military officer were talking about, general, comparing then president to Hitler. Again, that's not my comparison, that's the comparison in the book. So, I'm not doing it. But he's doing that. And they tried to prevent a coup.

As a former top military man, yourself, what are you thinking when you hear that?

WESLEY CLARK, FMR. SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER, NATO: Well, I'm thinking that he's loyal to the Constitution. He's doing his duty. He's -- Milley is a very smart, well-read, well-balanced man. He has tremendous experience, a lot of moral courage and a lot of great judgment. And he's done his homework.

He's seen the president close hand, he knows. He knows how he responds, he knows what the history is, he knows where his duties are. And he was apparently fully prepared to do what he had to do to make sure that no illegal action took place that would overturn the constitutional procedures of change of office. That's what he should be doing.

LEMON: Let's talk about that this plan, because the book says that the joint chiefs discussed a plan, general, to resign after, rather than carry out orders that they considered to be illegal or dangerous.


And they were going to do it one by one, I guess, sort of, you know, if I don't stop him, then the next person will stop him, and then the next person will stop it, and I guess you prolong it. Would that have stopped this?

CLARK: Well, I think it surely would have delayed everything. It would have brought an enormous public outcry. And it might well have derailed any plans that the people around Trump might have had. And it is the appropriate thing.

So, when senior officers find that an order is illegal, they don't obey it. If it's legal and they don't agree with it, their choice is to resign. And a wave of these resignations puts a huge message to the American public and to the Congress. So, I think it would have had a huge impact.

LEMON: Imagine what we would be right now, I mean both of you. Jamie, the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was so deeply disturbed following January 6th, that she called for another impeachment of President Trump. She also spoke with Milley in the days following the insurrection. What was her biggest concern, do you think?

GANGEL: It's interesting. We knew that this phone call had happened from our reporting. What Phil and Carol have in the book are the exact details of what was said. And just to go through it quickly, so, Pelosi is on the phone with Milley, and she says, this guy is crazy. He's dangerous. He's a maniac. We have deep concerns.

Milley, ma'am, I guarantee you that we have checks and balances in the system and, he walked through the process of nuclear relief authorities. Ma'am, I guarantee you these processes are very good. There's not going to be an accidental firing of nuclear weapons.

Pelosi, how can you guarantee me? Ma'am, there is a process, we will only follow legal orders, we will only do things that are legal, ethical and moral.

And just to General Clark's point, General Milley believes in civilian authority. He did not want to be in this position. He clearly, you see in the book, is walking a very fine line between wanting to prepare, because he's so scared that there might be an attempted coup, but not wanting to overstep the balance of the job in the military.

LEMON: You know, it seems sort of out of the realm of possibilities, General Clark, when you think about it, in normal times, these aren't normal times. Because, again, when you think about what's happened on January 6 and then the gaslighting that happened, that is still going on afterwards, it is astounding -- I mean, could Trump have instigated a military conflict as a pretext for staying in office?

CLARK: I don't think he could have gotten a military conflict as a pretext. I think, you know, someone could have cooperated with him and given him a military conflict. Some foreign adversary who wanted to see him remaining in office. When he could have increased the civil discourse.

Now the military is apolitical. And the military is going to stay out of it. They're only going to follow legal orders. So, we saw on January 6 the problem when the mob came to the Capitol Hill, they're all waiting for orders, tell us what to do. And people are calling, saying, (Inaudible) vice president who gave the order, saying, get the National Guard up here and provided some security.

Now the military is not involved in the political process. It's the last thing we want in the United States of America. But the military is loyal to the Constitution, and they take an oath to uphold it and protect it from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

LEMON: Yes. Listen, I've got a long question if you can give me a short answer. Because -- because, listen, general, Milley got a lot of backlash for being with Trump during that photo op, remember at the church in Lafayette Square during protests last summer? But these accounts show how far he went to try to stop something disastrous from happening. Maybe some of these things that he was with the president, he was just, maybe he was trying to help, or maybe he was trying to make sure that something more disastrous didn't happen. Could this have played out different if someone like Milley wasn't there?

CLARK: Well, I think that, I think we were lucky we had Mark down there. Could someone else have sort of gotten along with it, not seen it, not been strong enough, maybe so, but I know all the men who have previously been in that position, and they're all like Milley. They are all strong, they are all ethical. They're all very conscious of their authorities. I think Milley just got swept up in that affair in Lafayette Square.


CLARK: And I think he really, it really brought things into focus very shortly for him after that.

LEMON: Thank you, General. Thank you, Jamie. Your reporting on this book. Listen, we didn't know how bad it was. And more will come out, I am sure. I appreciate it. I'll see you soon.



LEMON: So, the Pentagon has worried about that then president attempting a coup. Right? But the threat to democracy is still happening right now with Republican led states openly, openly restricting people's right to vote. Here she is, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. She's going to weigh in right after this.



LEMON (on camera): So, it's a jam-packed show with big breaking news and it's the biggest news, the breaking news that we have tonight is a top military official fear that the then president would attempt a coup after the election. It's putting the focus on another major battle over democracy. That's the assault on the right to about.

Texas House Democrats who fled their state in order to block restrictive voting bills meeting today with key Democratic senators to push for federal voting rights legislation.

So, let's discuss now. Democratic Congressman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas is here. And she is in Texas, holding down the fort as they say.

Congresswoman, thank you very much. I have a lot to discuss with you. So, let's get right to it.

I want to get your reaction on this new shocking revelation that General Milley worried about a Trump coup attempt it was planning how to shut it down. What do you think when you hear of how frightened Trump's own officials were about what they were seeing?

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Frankly, Don, members of Congress and myself, I serve on the homeland security committee, judiciary committee believe the very same thing. And we were looking to the military. The questions that Speaker Pelosi posed as was represented in General Milley's book was a reflection of her members who had come to her with any and all levels of fear.

I mean, we served in national security positions. We get classified briefings. We were just so unsure of the stability of Donald Trump, that we expected he might do anything. So, frankly, we were very glad that there was a fire wall there with the United states military. A military that respects and understands civilian government and the Constitution. Something that we didn't think the president understood.

LEMON: And let's talk now about voting rights. OK? Because again, you are in Texas, right, you represent Texas, House Democrats in Washington are doing all that they can to call out the threat after they left the state risking arrest. The bills in Texas make it harder to cast mail-in ballots. Ban drive-through and 24-hour voting. Empower partisan poll watchers, criminalize distribution of unsolicited mail- in ballot applications.

You know what's at stake especially for people of color. Do you think that these lawmakers are going to be able to keep these bills from passing?

LEE: Well, I have been talking to the Texas Democratic delegation every day during the day and the evening. I am so impressed by their resolve and their resolve is to stay until we can find a light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is for United States Congress to act.

And there is no divide, no room, no light between the need of the various state legislators to be reprimanded or to be rebuffed across the nation, to pass similar laws including Georgia than to have the United States Congress to act.

So, they do have resolve, Don. They are going to stay and they will block this legislation. Let me just make one point. They were there in Austin to work in a Democratic process to be able to contribute to the writing of the legislation, to amend the legislation, to make the legislation less onerous, to not criminalize every single voter, which is what this bill does. And by the way, as the president said, 150 million people voted. This is about every voter in America.

LEMON: All right. Listen, before we run out of time here, I want to ask you about the filibuster, OK? The president didn't mention it in his speech yesterday. You say the filibuster has to go. But that you are willing to do a carve out to make an exception just for voting rights legislation. Senator Joe Manchin wouldn't commit when he was asked about that

today. What happens if Democrats can't come together on this?

LEE: First of all, I want to give Senator Manchin time. I want him to be able to study what this means and to actually --


LEMON: With all due respect, though, how much time does he need? I mean, we've been talking about this for a long time. Come on, Congresswoman.

LEE: Yes.

LEMON: How much time does he need? And do you really need to think about it when people are trying to restrict the right to vote in any capacity, even if you don't want to get rid of the filibuster?

LEE: Well, no, I believe --

LEMON: Should there be a carve out for our most sacred right as Americans? He knows what Republicans are trying to do around this country and he knows how it affects people like me and you. So, why does he need more time? For what? He said, he was asked, is there anything that will change your mind on the filibuster? His answer was nothing.

LEE: Well, let me say he needs a day or two to be able to look at his actual, Don, if I might, his actual Senate rule. And let me just quickly say what it is. The majority leader can stand up and say I believe culture can be handled by majority vote. Right now, it's a 60- vote. That can now be ruled out of order by the speaker, the president pro tempore. Then the Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer can call for, or someone can call for an appeal of the chair.


That vote can be done by 51 votes. If we win, that means that the filibuster is gone. And it can be gone temporarily because it can be put back. Senator Manchin should think about that procedure and wonder whether or not because of the prices of the fundamental right to vote -- by the way, it's a constitutional right under the 15th amendment. And it goes to everyone.

And he should think about his West Virginians. They too, they too can be blocked from voting and he should think about them and think about America. I guess I'm an optimist. I think you can come up with a solution on how we can move forward. We've got to move forward without giving the opposition.

What it means is the tyranny of the minority is dominating the majority and thereby hurting the American people. That's what we should think the filibuster does. The tyranny of the minority, and that is what Senator McConnell knows that he has in his hand, and he will use it every time and he will use that against the fundamental right to vote. I asked Senator McConnell, for example, has he ever walked a mile in

the shoes of 102-year-old women who voted for the first time, who picked Cotton in 2020. Has he ever walked a mile in the shoes of people of color, Native Americans? That's the problem with the senator. He only wants to travel up his own highway. Senator Manchin should understand that, and in the instance of the fundamental right to vote, he should kneel to the idea of modifying the filibuster.

LEMON: Well, let me just say this, because what's happening, in essence, with what legislators, with representatives in Texas are doing, is in essence the filibuster. So, Republicans in Washington can't criticize the -- it would be hypocritical for them to criticize what the folks in Texas and then stand by the filibuster in Washington. Doesn't quite match.

So, if you don't believe in the filibuster, for Texans, then you shouldn't believe in the filibuster for the United States Congress.

LEE: There lies the hypocrisy. And so, why don't we throw all that away and actually say, you know, --


LEMON: Yes. Or the --

LEE: -- the (Inaudible) of the American people and our fundamental right to vote is above all of our disagreements. Let's get that done. And it is being under attack, and it is under attack because of the massive voting that took place in 2020. The largest in any other election. Don, you know that, and so I guess I'm going to keep pressing with these great Texas state Democratic --


LEMON: Well, look. I'm not saying what they're doing is right or wrong, I'm just saying that would be hypocritical if Democrats -- I mean, excuse me, if Republicans in Washington criticizes what's happening in Texas because it's in essence they filibuster as well.

Thank you very much. I appreciate it. I'll see you.

LEE: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

LEMON: Britney Spears in court today saying that she wants her own father to face charges. We are going to speak with someone who was in that courtroom after this.



LEMON (on camera): A major victory tonight for Britney Spears, a judge allowing her to hire her own lawyer in her ongoing battle to end the conservatorship that has run her life and finances for nearly 13 years. And her new lawyer immediately calling for Spears's father, Jamie, to be removed as her conservator. So, Spear telling the judge during today's hearing she wants her

father to be charged with conservatorship abuse.

So, there's a lot to discuss now. Samantha Stark is here. Samantha is the director of a documentary Framing Britney Spears. It's so good to see you again. I watched the documentary as you know and it is fascinating. You did a great job with. So, thanks for joining us.


LEMON: So, Britney has her own new counsel now, former federal prosecutor Matthew Rosengart. She took to Instagram to share her excitement writing this, coming along, folks, coming along. new with real representation today. I feel gratitude and blessings. She's doing cartwheels there. Thank you to my fans who are supporting me. You have no idea what it means to me to be supported by such awesome fans. God bless you all. She ended her post by writing, hash tag free Britney.

Now listen, you're in the courthouse today. It was emotional. Take us there. What was it like?

STARK: It was extremely emotional. So, you know, I think a lot of the fans outside, they've been coming since 2019 and nothing, usually nothing really happens in court. And when they are getting murmurings from inside that Britney is able to hire her own lawyer. No one was really expecting that to happen immediately because usually there's all these procedures you have to go through.

And when that happened, everyone started screaming, jumping up and down, crying, singing. It was really, like, shaking, some people were in shock. It was like a gigantic party New Year's Eve countdown. Just for her getting the chance to hire her own lawyer.

LEMON: Yes. So, listen, she also wants her father held accountable, saying and I quote, "I'd like to charge my father with conservatorship abuse. I want to press charges against my father today. I want investigation into my dad."

You reported extensively about the relationship between her father. Why does Britney Spears want to do this?

STARK: I mean, I think, you know, we uncovered these confidential court documents that show that in 2014, 2016, 2019, and now in 2021, she had been raising questions about her father. She had talked about how she -- they have never had a good relationship. Her father is an alcoholic. He, you know, in her mother's book, she talks about him being abusive.

And so, this idea that Britney has been controlled by him for this whole time I think is surprising to everybody. But can, I mean, can you imagine as a person, that your father controlling you when you don't understand why.


And I think it's been the party line everything is fine, she likes him, and everything is going OK. And now we know she is saying no I'm being abused. I'm being trafficked. I'm forced to perform, forced to take debilitating meds against my will.

And so, you know, she's been calling for this over and over. So, I wonder if it's going to happen now. Maybe now that she has a new lawyer.

LEMON: Well, that's my next question. What do you think about the speed at which things are moving now? And what happens next, Samantha?

STARK: Right. So, it was a huge turning point today. You know, as soon as we really think, you know, we've written about how her court appointed attorney, Sam Ingham, who she did not choose last 13 years it really doesn't seem like he was acting -- representing her in her best interest from what she said.

And now all of a sudden, she has this new lawyer, you know, she wants to end it, we assume that very soon he'll file a petition to end this. She really wants to do it without a psychiatric evaluation and she gave reasons actually, today she spoke in court and she said, you know, I was evaluated back in the circus tour in 2009. And again, and again. And every time, they told me I could get out of this.

So, she feels like they are using it as an excuse to keep her in, in a way that she doesn't think is right. And so, you know, we could see that, we could see them, you know, we could see her father stepping down. We could see a lot.

But I think the number one thing that she talked about was I want this to end and I want my father out and investigated. So, you know that the lawyer he is high powered. He is represented Sean Pens, Steven Spielberg, he has a ton of people working with him. So, we'll see what happens.

LEMON: Listen, we'll see what happens with, that but unless I'm reading something wrong, I'm not blaming anyone, but it's just, I'm wondering where is, what happened to her fortune? Unless your net worth is different than what her estate is worth. I have no idea. But Britney Spears should be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. And they are saying she's only worth about 59 or $60 million. Yes. I've got to run, though. Quick answer, if you can.

STARK: That's a huge thing. We'll see, you know, he says priority Britney wants to get out of this. That's priority, then we'll do the money. So, we'll see what happens with the money after that.

LEMON: Thank you, Samantha. I appreciate you coming on.

STARK: Thanks.

LEMON: So, he trashed his first-grade teacher, but take this, she is disputing all of it. We are talking about Tucker Carlson and his rant about his private school education and his teacher's response. That's next.


LEMON (on camera): So, take this. The Washington Post has a deep dive on Fox propaganda host Tucker Carlson, how he became the voice for white grievance in the U.S. And just how far he will go to spend his full outrage. Well, "The Post" reports on Carlson's affluent upbringing in private school education. That's when we learn about his first-grade teacher, Mrs. Raymond, who he has described as a parody of earth mother liberalism who were long Indian print skirts.

Carlson said she would sob theatrically at her desk she would exclaim that the world is so unfair. He's bashed her, saying Mrs. Raymond never did teach us. My father had to hire a tutor to get me through phonics.

Well, "The Washington Post" reached out to Mrs. Raymond. Mariana Raymond told the Post reporter that she never sobbed at her desk, that she did not wear an Indian skirt. She says she did not advocate her political views in the classroom.

And remember that tutor that Tucker's dad had to hire, Mrs. Raymond says it was her. Mrs. Raymond's reaction to the Post when she heard about all of this, my God. This is the most embellished crazy thing I've ever heard. There you go.

Next, the Pentagon's contingency plans. New reporting, breaking tonight about the top generals who fear that then president would attempt a coup. And they took it so seriously that they had plans in place to stop it.