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Don Lemon Tonight

Two Trump Ally Coordinates With January 6th Commission; President Biden Frustrated With Uncooperative Members; Biden Refuse Executive Privilege For Trump; Trump Hides More Secrets; Trump Hotel Lose $70 Million During Presidency; Dave Chappelle Getting Backlash Over Offensive Joke; Writer Not Comfortable Working At Netflix With Chappelle. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired October 08, 2021 - 22:00   ET



DON LEMON, CNN HOST: I am about to get in trouble. I'm all -- I'm all for it. Well, number one, our schedules are completely opposite. So I come, I'm not ready to go to sleep immediately so I have to hang out in the living room whatever or hang out in the room with the TV on or whatever --


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: But you do stay up too late and you watch TV in bed. Both of which --


LEMON: How do you know that? Where did you hear that?

CUOMO: Should we tell him?

LEMON: You are fool.

CUOMO: I'm correct, right?

LEMON: Yes. But because I've always been a night owl but then I wake up later, he gets up earlier. And moving around, going to the closet and going to bathroom and the dogs. And it's like why don't I just, you know, sleep in the other room?

CUOMO: These psychologists will say that separation breeds separation but I do think there can be some balance.


CUOMO: I think that the first point to make is not how we're sleeping but the fact that in terms of situationally but in terms of quality, we are all so stressed.


CUOMO: This is hard this COVID and this angst and this animus. I'm not surprised to hear that, you know, well over 60 percent of everybody feels like they're not sleeping well right now.

LEMON: Listen. I have had issues sleeping. You know, there's -- number of reasons that I won't give here but a lot of it has to do with what we do, the people who come after us and all kinds of things. So, I've had that issue. But OK, you know, fine. I'm a big boy and we have the privilege of having this platform so there are tradeoffs.

But I think the key to all of this when you tell me I sleep too much, naps. Wherever I can get a nap, I can take a nap all day and I think if more people should do --


CUOMO: Especially since you bogarted my bed in the back of the SUV.

LEMON: No, it's mine. I got my own.

CUOMO: I know you did.


CUOMO: But you know where you got the idea.

LEMON: Yes. From you.


LEMON: So, Chris and I during COVID.

CUOMO: He called it the Hurst when he first saw me and it is, lying in the back of that thing like a coffin. He said you're (Inaudible) Hurst.

LEMON: We were -- we were commuting two and a half hours every single day during the quarantine. Chris does it more than I do. And so, we both put these beds in the back of the car so that I want to -- I had to do it because that's where my fiancee wanted to be and there are tradeoffs and you have to make sacrifices. And so, he has family on the east in Long Island so that's where we lived during quarantine.

I was in the city every single day, every single night working so I was here and there. So, don't he abandon the city. I was here working. But I would just sleep there.

So yes, listen, I think wherever you can get sleep, you should get it. If you can take a nap during the day like siesta or lie people who do TM (Ph), which I have been trying to do where you take a couple minutes for yourself, every day, at least 20 minutes, I think you should do it because you don't get to get that, you know, seven to ten or whatever it is that people need every single night. It's very important that you get sleep.

CUOMO: I also wonder do you think it's healthier for a relationship -- look, if somebody has sleep apnea or something like that or you know, something that's causing a medical condition with snoring, you can't sleep next to them. LEMON: Tim sleeps. Tim snores.

CUOMO: That's different.


CUOMO: OK? But do you think it is healthy for a relationship for the people to sleep in separate rooms on a regular basis?

CUOMO: Well, I think -- I think it should be an option. I don't know if it should be on a regular basis every single night but I do think it should be options, especially when you have dogs and don't tell me you don't know because you have that little dog and it's been in the bed with you all night.

CUOMO: That rat dog is in the bed every night and one out of every three nights, she wants to go when I'm getting in the bed because Christina is already asleep, you know, when I get home. I get home after midnight.

LEMON: Same thing.

CUOMO: And that dog, this rat rescue chihuahua hot dog that, you know, came from a rough situation will go at me --


CUOMO: -- under the covers like some kind of crazed mongoose.

LEMON: Well, she knows. She knows what the problem is. Hey, look, again -- I think it's -- I know people think it's light hearted but I do think it's a good conversation to have about I think people -- I think sleep, most important thing. Sleep and water. Right? You have to have a good diet. You have to drink lots of water and you have to sleep. Everything else secondary. I do believe.

LEMON: And if you're blaming somebody when you are sleep deprived, you're not at you're best and if you blame somebody for that, --


CUOMO: -- that's going to get ugly.

LEMON: All right.

CUOMO: So, I do think that it's -- you know, what Harry fell onto with the stats it, people are figuring out that they got to do what works.


CUOMO: And sticking to that tradition may not be best thing.

LEMON: Go home so that you don't wake Christina out. See you.

CUOMO: I'm not allowed in any other bedroom in our house. By the way, there's a new problem that we're going to have a research.


LEMON: What about --

CUOMO: If you move into our house, my wife it's like I'm a guest in there. I'm not allowed to touch anything. I'm only allowed to be in certain rooms. I can't wear shoes anymore.

LEMON: Yes. Well, there you go. The couch is mine, remember. I've fallen asleep on that couch many nights.

CUOMO: Yes, I have seen you there. And let me tell you, he talks when he sleeps. And it's --



LEMON: Goodbye. Go home. Go to bed.

CUOMO: I love you, D. Lemon.

LEMON: Have a great weekend. I love you, too.

This is Don Lemon Tonight.

We've got a lot to -- trying to have a little bit of humor on a Friday night. It's been a long, long week. You know what? This is Don Lemon Tonight by the way.

You know who it's been a long week for? The president. This is a week that the president and the Democrats are probably happy to see end. The Biden agenda still hangs in the balance. The Democrats are deeply divided. The debt ceiling fixed but just for the moment temporarily, right? The Majority Leader Chuck Schumer took to the floor with an angry partisan speech last night after that vote. Take a listen to it.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans insisted they wanted a solution to the debt ceiling but said Democrats must raise it alone by going through a drawn out convoluted and risky recompilation process. That was simply unacceptable to my caucus. And yesterday, Senate Republicans finally realized that their obstruction was not going to work.


LEMON (on camera): Boy. Well, why would he do that? It's not the tone that anyone was looking for. Looking for, maybe look, you feel that there is truth to it but read the room and read the country right now. And read the polling.

So, I'm going to play it again. All right? I want you to watch Senator Joe Manchin behind Senator Schumer. See him there? With his head in his hands. Shaking it no. Well, yes, he's all of us right now, about a lot of things right now. We're going to come back to the Biden agenda in just a minute.

I want you to look at what we learned this week about the January 6th - about January 6th and that executive privilege. Trump wants everything kept locked up. Some of his team responding. Bannon not playing ball.


STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR: The quiet part out loud today, the anxiety, the hungry, the pearl clutching is the Democrat Party's fear of the return of Trump. That's where all these committees are. That's what they're trying to do.

That's what at the Justice Department is this. The Senate that. Dick Durbin has got the long face, the return of Trump. And it is going to be in 2024, it's going to be 2022 or maybe before as we start the decertification process out in Arizona.


LEMON (on camera): OK. Well, you never know where he is going to be from one day to the other on the Trump -- on Trump. So, listen, the House select committee investigating the January 6th insurrection got a major boost from the Biden administration, which is refusing to assert executive privilege on the first batch of documents from the previous administration that the committee wants to review.


JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not warranted for the first set of documents from the Trump White House that have been provided to us by the national archives.

We will evaluate questions of privilege on a case by case basis but the president has also been clear that he believes it to be of the utmost importance for both Congress and the American people to have a complete understanding of the events of that day to prevent them from happening again.


LEMON (on camera): So, the disgraced twice-impeached former or ex- occupant of the Oval Office as we would expect trying to block release of the documents and basically threatening to sue, very litigious, very litigious. That's what he's done to our society, contributed to the litigation. What is he trying to hide?

His intent on gumming up the work of the committee and hopes that the GOP retakes the House in 2022 and disbands it all together. He's told four of his loyalists not to compile with the subpoenas. The first deadline to cooperate was last night.

Now we're told that Mark Meadows and Kash Patel are engaging with the committee, not sure what that means exactly. The status of Dan Scavino unclear and Bannon telling the committee to take a hike.

And then there is a family feud with the Democrats if you can call that a family anymore. A group of people supposedly playing on the same team supposedly who can't agree on how to turn President Biden's infrastructure and economic spending plans into law. The president expressing frustration at members of his own party as his agenda hangs in the balance.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: These bills are not about left versus right or moderate versus progressive or anything that pits Americans against one another. These bills are about competitiveness versus complacency. They're about opportunity versus decay. They're about leading the world or continuing to let the world passes by, which is literally happening.


LEMON (on camera): And the president making a rare trip to Capitol Hill to rally his troops.


BIDEN: I'm telling you we're going to get this done.




BIDEN: It doesn't matter when. It doesn't matter whether it's in six minutes, six days or six weeks. We're going to get it done.


LEMON (on camera): President Biden also touching on something more tangible today that all Americans can feel with disgust in their bones.


BIDEN: Right now, things in Washington as you all know are awfully noisy. Turning on the news and every conversation is a confrontation. Every disagreement is a crisis.


LEMON (on camera): So, there is a lot to talk about tonight and as my colleague David Axelrod tweeted, the critical battle isn't between Democrats and Republicans. It's between those who believe in democracy and those who would dismantle it. Amen, David.

President Biden is refusing to assert executive privilege for the documents from the previous administration that are sought by the January 6th committee.

Lots to discuss with legendary journalist Bob Woodward. He's next.


LEMON (on camera): So, there's a major development in the investigation into the January 6th insurrection. President Biden refusing to assert executive privilege on behalf of Donald Trump, but the former president is still trying to keep documents and records away from the select committee.


Bob Woodward is here. He is an associate editor at the Washington Post and author of the new bombshell book "Peril."

Thank you so much for joining us, Bob.


LEMON: So, as I said, so the current president is rejecting Trump's request to assert executive privilege over his first tranche of documents the January 6th commission is after, paving the way for the National Archives to share them. Now he is pretty specific that he doesn't want 45 of them sent over. So, why do you think that is and what is this -- what is this all about? What do you think of that?

WOODWARD: Well, I think Trump, as we know, if there is some way to gum up the works, he will try to do it. I don't know. Will you bear with me a moment?

LEMON: Sure.

WOODWARD: Because I've been thinking about this and talking to people and living it like you and lots of people. And if you go back to the Nixon case and Watergate 1972, 1973, the investigation focused on the Watergate burglary, that one episode and then the reporting showed that no, it wasn't isolated. You have to look broader.

And so we started looking at other espionage and sabotage and realized that to understand Watergate, you had to understand this, the frenetic illegal fundraising from corporations. So I wonder if the January 6th committee and that investigation in the House took a page from that period of investigating Nixon and actually broadened their investigation, not just look at the insurrection or the effort Trump has made is really over the line to say the election was stolen, but look at the national security implications of what Trump did.

And Bob Costa and I found that those are quite substantial that Trump was doing things that enraged and worried the Chinese so they thought we were going to attack them. At another point they thought we were going to write two days after the insurrection that maybe the United States would collapse.

General Milley had to kind of put some call into people who run the war room and the Pentagon and say you're not going to take military action or use nuclear weapons unless I'm involved in that process.

These are extraordinary dangerous moments and if you look at them, I think there is more there and certainly it's much more serious than some of these things they're looking at, which are incredibly serious by themselves.

LEMON: Well, you say, you know, lots of -- I hear people all the time saying, you know, Trump is gone. Why, you know, why are you looking at that? Why are you investigating that? Why are you still talking about that?

But I think you're correct as you write in your book, "Peril," about January 6th being a dress rehearsal for -- and the danger of misinformation, disinformation. So how concerned about the future are you about our democracy?

WOODWARD: Well, of course, yes. Clearly, it's something to worry about. Anybody who has looked at this, it is deeply worried and the remedy is understanding Trump completely across the board just like Nixon. If you just took one piece of Nixon you didn't get the whole. And I think Trump is exactly the same and it's very important to take a comprehensive look.

Yes, you're right, this puts democracy on the line in a very serious way but it puts our national security on the line in an equally serious, if not more important way and you only -- look, as Trump is going to be in our lives for more months, more years, we need to know more about him.


Bob Costa and I found if you take the time, we had the months, start looking at this. I mean, the element of surprise we had when we discovered these things about a national security crisis that the Chinese thought we were going to attack them, this is the most worrisome moment for anybody in the military.

LEMON: Of course, but let me -- what happened to the guard rails then, Bob? I mean, even in the Senate we're now seeing this constant brinkmanship with things like the country's debt which could destroy the economy. How does the country get back to a place where truth and customs actually mean something?

WOODWARD: Yes, I think this is a great question. And I take a lesson from the old editor of the Washington Post Ben Bradlee said the truth emerges. Sometimes it takes weeks, months, years, even decades and the only way to get that full proof or the best obtainable version of it is we say is to do the work and look at the whole Trump enterprise.

It's extraordinary. It -- I mean, if you just look before the election, what he was doing. He was talking publicly incessantly about the Chinese virus pinning it on them saying things like, millions of foreign ballots are going to flood into the United States.

He said at his nominating convention last year, he said well, if I don't win, it means the election was stolen. He laid the groundwork for all of this.

Anyway, I -- Costa and I found if you talk to people, go back as you point out, look at the documents, insist on getting the documents and notes. You get a fuller picture. I don't think we want as a country to leave this Trump era without knowing a lot more because --

LEMON: That's true.

WOODWARD: -- there is a lot more to know.

LEMON: Yes. Bob, thank you. Bob, your book "Peril" with Robert Costa is a blockbuster, a bombshell. Lots of bombshells in that book and I would encourage everyone to pick up. Thank you, Bob. Have a good weekend.

WOODWARD: Thank you.

LEMON: I appreciate you appearing.

WOODWARD: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you.

They lost $70 million. Trump claimed that he was making money hand over fist in his D.C. hotel but his financial documents tell a whole different story. Seventy million dollars he lost. Lost. It's not the first time. That's next.



LEMON (on camera): So, duh. Right? As we know Donald Trump likes to talk about how much money he likes to make. But congressional investigators are releasing details of financial records that show the exact opposite. Surprise.

The House oversight committee says that records show that the Trump international hotel in Washington, D.C. lost tens of millions of dollars while Trump was in the White House. So why was he always talking about the hotels' success?

Joining me now investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, he is the author of the book "It's Even Worse Than You Think, and "The Making of Donald Trump," as well. David, thank you very much. You have a new book coming out. What's the name of it?


LEMON: OK. We look forward soon. We'll talk about it. We'll have you back to talk about it. Good evening.

Let's talk about this. Seventy million dollars in losses while falsely claiming a big profit and moving $24 million from other parts of the company to help the hotel. Is any of this surprising considering how the former guy and his company operate? JOHNSTON: Well, Donald has never been a businessman. He always says

he is and he claims he's making tons of money and yet, he needs to constantly find ways to get infusions. And that's 70 million, even if you take away the paper losses called depreciation, he still lost money.

It is astonishing and it's because he only filled a little more than half the rooms, which tells you that while there were a lot of people, Don, who had to pay tribute to Donald, that's what he did with the hotel. Your place to show you're paying tribute to him so you could get favors, apparently not as many people needed favors as Donald thought.

LEMON: Interesting. Trump hotel receiving about 3.7 million from foreign governments. You've known Donald Trump for a very long time. I mean, it seems like more than a conflict of interest here. Did Trump put his financial wellbeing above the interest of the country?

JOHNSTON: Of course, he did. But we should be concerned because he was losing money. He was losing money in his Scottish golf courses and he had these foreign governments coming and staying and he was receiving emoluments in violation of the Constitution even though weak will judges wouldn't act decisively on this.

We should be more concerned that he was losing money because what do we know people know when they are in financial trouble? They make bad decisions and sometimes sell out their employer, their partners, and their country.

LEMON: The Trump organization says the allegations here are intentionally misleading, irresponsible and unequivocally false that they have a fundamental understanding -- misunderstanding, excuse me, of basic accounting reports, and that this report is nothing more than continued political harassment.


I mean, they also said that profits during Trump's presidency were donated back to the U.S. Treasury and they call this a political harassment. So, what do you call it?

JOHNSTON: Yes. I read the entire report by Trump's accountants and while I'm not an accountant I taught at a graduate accounting school for eight years. And those reports are perfectly solid. There is nothing wrong with them. This is just more lies and bluster and that's what Donald has done his whole life. He's the greatest con artist in the history of the world and they're just lying about it to people who have no understanding at all of financial accounting.

LEMON: David, thank you. I'll see you soon.

JOHNSTON: Take care.

LEMON: Comedic relief or totally offensive. Dave Chapelle making jokes about LGBTQ community, trans people specifically and everyone has got a different opinion on it. We're going to talk about that. We're going to have a conversation; you don't want to miss it. It's happening next.



LEMON (on camera): So, comedian Dave Chappelle facing some backlash once again for including jokes about transgender people and the LGBTQ community in a television special. He has a new Netflix special out where he jokes trans women's looks and about genitalia. And tells a story about beating up a lesbian woman.

Now Chappelle says that he team TERF, T-E-R-F, referencing the term for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist. Here is some of it.


DAVE CHAPPELLE, COMEDIAN: J.K. Rowling, my God, J.K. Rowling wrote all the Harry Potter books by herself. She sold so many books the bible worries about her. And they cancelled her because she said in an interview, and this is not exactly what she said, but effectually she said gender was a fact. And then the trans community got mad as (muted) and started calling her a TERF.

So, I looked it up. TERF is an acronym. It stands for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist.


CHAPPELLE: I'm team TERF. I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact.


LEMON (on camera): Right. So, joining me now is activist and writer Raquel Willis. Raquel, thank you for joining us. I really appreciate it.

So, let's talk about some things here and why there's been such criticism and see what you come up with, what we come up with here because he made the jokes. The critics are saying look, you have to consider what's happening during this last historic year of anti- transgender legislation introduced at least in 33 states, less than a year after a record high number of transgender people, mostly of them transgender women of color were killed.

So, what did you think and we have to keep in mind, he is a comedian, right? But what did you -- and so what did you think when you heard this?

RAQUEL WILLIS, ACTIVIST AND WRITER: Well, when I watched the special, I felt kind of disheartened that he was continuing this attack on the trans community. Now I think we love to say comedians are just telling jokes. Like that's what they do. But I think it ignores the fact that they have platforms and those platforms the rhetoric that they espouse has real world consequences for a lot of trans gender or straight people who don't know trans people in their everyday life. Their first interaction with trans people is through the media, it's

through what they watch, through what they read. And so, the only things that they hear are these constant misconceptions about our experiences, demonizing words about who we are, saying that we're not women. If we're trans women, saying the trans men are not men, and on and on. Then they are going to actually bring that into their everyday lives.

And that's why we see high rates of violence. Thirty-eight, at least 38 transgender and non-conforming folks have been murdered this year. And we will continue to see more pieces of legislation put forth that actually impacts young trans people.

And so, I think I think that's also the other thing, too, is that people get so fixated on the adjective of trans, right? The trans part of it. But we are human and I think that Chappelle did a sloppy job of speaking to our humanity.

LEMON: Yes. There is a part in there where he talks about his friend, right? And he said, his friend said, you know, I'm not asking you to understand. I'm just asking you to listen and I'm telling you that I'm having this experience and that I'm a human being. So, did you, is there any part that is redemptive in there or is there anything you would like to, if you had a discussion with Chappelle, would you -- what would you say to him?

WILLIS: Well, I think what's unfortunate is that he has not really grappled with the fact that as a black cisgender straight man he could have easily used his platform to talk about the tensions that exist within our own community as black folks, right?

I think that there is a way that he and other black cisgender straight comedians, kind of gloss over the fact that black LGBTQ plus folks exist. And so, it's easy for him to paint the LGBTQ plus community as purely just a white community. You know, there are all these ideas that queerness and transness all these different things are white inventions. And that's just not true.

Black LGBTQ folks have always existed. And I really wish he didn't spend so much time only focusing on the fact that there are white people within our community because it lets him get off the hook. He doesn't have to hold himself accountable for the trans phobia and homophobia that exists within our own community.


LEMON: Well, like some of the terms that you're talking about like cis and all of that and people may not be familiar with and it's our job to educate people. Right? So, I just want to -- and to talk and tell people what gender identity is and transgender is.

So, let's set the record straight so people know that talks about gender. Gender identity is one's innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither and how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One's gender identity can be the same or different from their sex

assigned at birth, and then there is transgender which is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from culture expectations base on the sex that they were assigned at birth.

So, when Chappelle says gender is a fact, what do you think of that?

WILLIS: Well, I think he along with a lot of the trans exclusionary radical feminist or TERF that he brought up like to put forth this idea that trans people are saying that gender does not exist. That is completely antithetical to what many of us are actually saying.

We're actually saying than gender is more complex than most people think. Gender and sex are thing but they aren't the exact same thing. And so, the way that you are assigned at birth may be based on genitalia or whatever is not the same thing that (Technical problem) femininity and so on and so forth.

So, we're really saying that these things are more complex and it's actually not just trans people having a gender experience, everybody is having a more complicated gender experience.

LEMON: Yes. Thank you so much, Raquel. I appreciate you joining us and getting your side out there. You be well and I hope you'll come back and we'll continue these discussions. Thank you so much.

WILLIS: Of course.

LEMON: Thank you.

WILLIS: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: I want to bring in now comedian Flame Monroe. Hey, Flame, how are you doing?

FLAME MONROE, COMEDIAN: Hi, Don Lemon. How are you?

LEMON: I'm doing very well. Thank you for joining us. Listen, I watch your --


MONROE: Thank you for having me.

LEMON: I've watched your Netflix specials and a lot of you on the internet. I haven't gone to your show in person but I really do want to.

So, listen, your stand up can also be seen on Netflix. What do you think?


LEMON: Do the jokes cross a line for you? MONROE: Well, see, I have three dogs in this fight. So, let me start

there. I'm black. I am a comedian, and I am trans gendered. So, I have three dogs in this fight and I want to be fair to each and every one of those platforms.

What I heard from Dave Chappelle's latest special was the over pouring of racism that he talked about, because I understand that he's talked about the transgender community and some of the things were painful to hear but funny because as a comedian, that is our safe place. That is where we are the safest on stage where we should feel like we should be able to say anything.

Nina Simone said the best, how can you be an artist and not speak about the times? He says it in socially inappropriate ways that people say is not politically correct but it's teachable moments and there were no lies told.

Here is the hypocrisy for me, Don. And I love my community, LGBTQ plus, and a, I'm standing correctly because I am still a comedian first but I'm going to be respectful tonight to everyone involved because I have three dogs in this fight.

The love of the comedian will always be in me but I can hide that. The trans gender person that I identify as will always be in me, but I can hide that. But the black person in me I can never hide. I love -- I hate the fact that we keep skirting around so here it is the hypocrisy.

Dave Chappelle gave his friend his words, his friend who is white and transgender who wanted to be a comedian, an opportunity to open for him. Dave Chappelle is one of the greatest to do it of our time right now. That was a huge opportunity for her. The LGBTQ community never reached out to give her any opportunity like that, but then they turned and said that he was trans phobic, he was homophobic and all the backlash he received from two or three episodes ago from specials.

And she stood with her friend, the transgender woman and stood against Dave to say, no, he's not like that. The LGBTQIA plus community bashed this woman so bad that she jumped off a building and killed herself. Dave was not responsible for that. So, who is? Because here is the thing, Don --


LEMON: But Flame, we don't know. Flame, I have to say we don't know. We don't know exactly why she killed herself but anyway. Go on. I'm sorry.

MONROE: Her Constitution and my Constitution are very different. The backlash at me, I'm not going to do that. But here is the thing. Who are we blaming for that? You're not blaming Dave. Dave gave her an opportunity that the community didn't give her.

LEMON: Listen, Dave Chappelle is saying quite honestly what a lot of people think. They don't understand the trans community and how people may identify. Is that a fair statement? MONROE: That -- I think that's very fair, and I think that he has

opened up an opportunity for us to come to the table and have real conversations, Don, about this. The problem is, we keep seeing disgruntled angry people with their fists balled up when they face at with an attitude to come to the table.


If you come to the table already with an attitude, you will never hear what I'm saying and I will never hear what you are saying. If we don't take the time to have real conversation with real people in the community, they represent you can't come with an already agenda.

So, we can let down the smoke screen between us and them so there will just be us. He pretty much said that we are so much more alike than we are different. And I'm telling you, you hear what you want to hear. You had to know that Dave Chappelle was cool in who he is because Dave Chappelle walked away from $50 million a years ago.

It is in the bible and it says for what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul.

LEMON: Hey, Flame.

MONROE: Money was never the problem. He came back -- yes?

LEMON: Let me ask you this. Because I've heard your standup and you say that we fight over the wrong things. We get too hung up on titles --


LEMON: -- and as African-Americans and as members of the LGBTQ plus community that we get too hung up on things that are -- look, you call people what they want to be called. That's how I feel. But we can have these discussions --


MONROE: And --

LEMON: -- but we get too hung up on, you know, titles and letters and --


MONROE: Well, what is -- what is kind of like the Democratic Party to me. Are we trying to win the war or little battles? And here's the thing. There are two sides of history with the transgender community. There is a disgruntle angry said that is still fighting over bathroom wars and pronouns and this minute rights.

And then there is this side of history where we have a state senator, Sarah McBride. Joe Biden appointed a doctor who is transgendered woman. Sarah -- M.J. Rodriguez just made history by being nominated as the first transgender actress -- actress to be nominated for a lead role in TV.

So, there is two sides in history. We go in one way and then we are being pulled back the other way only by us. Only by us. Because if you sit down honestly and have a conservation people, Don, people are really willing to listen.

And in my experience as a trans woman for more than 30 years, most trans, meaning trans woman, are very willing to tell their story to you if you sit them in a safe capacity and make them feel comfortable and say, hey, how are you. As opposed to coming to me with an attitude or embattlement because I'm already going to be on defense because of the life that I have lived. And it is not a chosen life. It really is in you. It is not a chosen life.

LEMON: Well, Flame --

MONROE: It is in me to be -- to identify as transgender.

LEMON: I would love to continue to have this conversation and look, I think that there is -- we should be able to have these discussions without yelling at each other and offer some understanding about --


MONROE: That's true --

LEMON: -- this community.

MONROE: That's true.

LEMON: And at the very least. Look, you can love what Dave did or hate it or whatever, but I think you're right --


MONROE: I'm a comedian. I am a comedian and telling you, I got three dogs in the fight.


MONROE: I have to be fair to all three.

LEMON: But at the very least, we're talking about it and I think we should use this opportunity to continue to have these discussions in a responsible, productive way.

MONROE: Absolutely.

LEMON: Flame, I can't wait to come and see you. And if I do come, I want to sit on the front row.


MONROE: I can wait for you, Don. We will have a drink together, Don.

LEMON: So, I hope you give me some tickets. All right, Flame, you take care.

MONROE: For sure. Thank you for having me.

LEMON: Thank you very much.

MONROE: Good night.

LEMON: I really appreciate having this conversation with both these women. Thank you so much. CNN contacted Netflix for a comment on criticism on Chappelle special. We're waiting to hear back. And conversations like these can be tough for many. So, if you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention lifeline. The number is now on your screen. The numbers are on your screen right now because you can text it, as well. OK? There it is.

Now, a top writer and show runner for Netflix says she won't work for the streaming giant until they take Chappelle -- the Chappelle special down. That's next.



LEMON (on camera): So back now with more controversy on the controversy around Dave Chappelle new comedy special.

Here with me now is writer Tre Johnson. Tre, thank you so much. I appreciate it. I appreciate you joining us.

TRE JOHNSON, WRITER: Of course, thanks for having me.

LEMON: Jaclyn Moore and the writer -- the writer and showrunner on the Netflix series Dear White People says that she won't work for the streaming service as long as they put out Chappelle content. She told the Variety that Chappelle uses the same language used by people who seek to hurt us. What do you think about that?

JOHNSON: I don't disagree. I think Chappelle is trying to frame himself as someone who is just kind of like posing honest questions out there to the audience. I also think, too, though, it feels like it's very apologetic. Like I think he feels on the defensive about what's he's been backing to a corner on in terms of accounting for a lot of his early jokes.

I do think that he is missing a lot of spots here in his ability or desire to kind of raise these conversations. I think he's overlooking the fact when he speaks on transgender and sexuality issues, he's omitting the fact that black people are apparently apart of these communities, as well, and he seems to see actually be upholding a lot of the (Inaudible) commentary (Inaudible) that a lot of these groups each other and I don't think they are helping any conversations for anyone.

LEMON: In the special he says that he hates the phrase punching down but you think he's doing exactly that. Why do you say that? JOHNSON: Look, you know, I looked up Chappelle's age a little a while

ago because I kind of lost (Inaudible) like I get it. He's only a few years older than me. I get it. Like the world is changing in a lot of ways and the ways that we kind of grown up. The language around things are changing. The culture around things are changing.

But one of the things I have had the opportunity to grow and reflect and develop on, is the fact that like, as I think about my own bodily, social, political autonomy in the world, I know that it can't come at the expense of other people (Inaudible) that of right grammar saying like freedom.


I think for Chappelle what I think is interesting about the special is a lot of it is about, you know, some of his older work we're talking about deeply examining the point of this conversation, systems and majority of the population.

Here he seems trained on wanting to, feel like, kind of like, dig in on frailty or a lack of, like, kind of viability inside of other marginalized groups in the community like experiences, their advocacy and I don't think it's helping them.

And I really do think that is (Inaudible). I think he is in a way being brutality antagonistic while just playing with pain. I am just trying to defend myself. I'm trying to clarify where I'm coming from. Of course, I love these people. I love all these people, but I think the scrutiny that he love (Inaudible) the way that group -- other groups and other movement show up speaks to a lack of like grace I think of acting for them that it's really (Inaudible) in the subject.

LEMON: I appreciate you joining us, Tre. I wish that the connection was clear. But I think we understood everything you were saying. Thank you very much, sir. I appreciate it.


LEMON: That's all right. It's not your fault. It the internet's fault. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. It's broadband. Thank you.

So please release the records, President Biden says that he won't stand in the way of the committee investigating the January 6th insurrection but Trump and his minions, they're not going down without a fight. Stay with us.