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Don Lemon Tonight

House Votes On The Way For Bannon's Criminal Contempt; Liz Cheney Trying To Appeal To Party Members; Steve Bannon Predicted January 6th Insurrection; GOP Protects The Big Lie; Body Found By Police In Florida. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired October 20, 2021 - 22:00   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST (on camera): Harry Enten, thank you very much. I appreciate it. The Wizard of Odds. Be sure to check out Harry's podcast Margins of Error. Very popular, but how could it not be with that point them. Thank you for watching. DON LEMON TONIGHT with its big star D. Lemon right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Not just the hill to die on, it will be the hill they die on. It will be the hill the Democratic Party dies on because that's what voters want. The voters who pushed this president into office, black and brown voters, black and Latino voters, women, they want voting rights.

They want access, equal access, not special access, equal access to the voting booth. And they are not getting that now, what they are getting is the complete opposite. They're getting a party, which is the minority party in the country, actually running the show, holding back the vote on voting rights. So, I --


CUOMO: I agree.

LEMON: I think it will be the hill they die on.

CUOMO: Well, look, we don't know. But I'll tell you what. It would've been a --


LEMON: I got --

CUOMO: -- fight I would have focused on.


CUOMO: It would. And look, I hear the counter arguments. It's all ruby red states that are passing the laws, whatever. You're still closing out opportunity for yourself, you are allowing a pattern to emerge, and you had this take your currency on something. But I will ask you this, Don? LEMON: Yes, sir.

CUOMO: I agree with you about the urgency of this issue and yet we don't see it reflected in the top recent poll in that race in Virginia. They said economy, they said schools and education, and they said COVID.


CUOMO: Are we off?

LEMON: No, because that's everything that -- look, that's everything that is supposedly, right, not supposedly, that's in those bills, that's in the infrastructure bill right now, that Democrats are not doing a good job selling. Republicans are doing a good job changing the narrative about what is in that bill.

And listen, I'm not saying you got to go and spend all that money, but if you actually look at what is in the infrastructure bill, it is everything in the agenda that you're talking about what's happening in Virginia.

CUOMO: Right.

LEMON: It's all of it.

CUOMO: The battle for the democracy wasn't listed among the top majority of voters.


LEMON: But that is the -- that is the battle for our democracy.

CUOMO: I don't disagree. I'm saying it wasn't in the poll.

LEMON: Yes. Well, I mean, if you say something as broadly as the battle for our democracy when people are going to go what is that? That's nebulous. But when you say hey, what about childcare because everyone of all different ethnicities, every one of all different backgrounds and political stripes, especially working class and poor people of all different ideologies, both parties, they need child care.

That's what is affecting in many ways, the job market. People don't want to go back to work or can't because they don't have child care. Now if you get someone in a ruby red state, or a rural state to understand that. If your messaging is on, Democrats, then it's a win for you. But if you're not out there selling it, as Thomas Friedman, I'm going talk about this in my opening just a moment, as Thomas Friedman was brilliant with Anderson earlier, the exact right messaging.

And what I will say, what I have been saying is, Republicans and the former guy, mostly the Republicans who are in the office right now are going around the country, and they are winning with a lie. They're able to get people on their side with a total lie, and Democrats can't get people motivated with the truth that will help them. The truth that will set them free.

So, what is going on with you? Why are you so bad at politics? Where you so bad at politics, Democrats? When you have the winning message, when you have the Senate, and you have the Congress, and you have the White House, and you can't win with a winning message, something is wrong!

And it's not that the Republicans are doing this to that, they're better at the messaging than you are. That's what it is. It's not the Republicans fault, it's your fault, you have yourself to blame, Democrats. Get it together.

CUOMO: I don't disagree that the Democrats need to up their game. I mean, if nothing else, they're not galvanized, and then they know they're against the galvanized opponent. But I will say and we've talked about this before and we'll talk about it again. The game is set up, first of all it is a game, and the binary game is set up to advantage the right, because they were galvanized and they'll do anything to win.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: And the left is not set up that way. The right pundits will say they are, but they always playing the victims, it's just not true.


CUOMO: Democrats are inherently expansive in their thinking, and they are inclusive. Now, they got a problem, you and I disagree about this but I think this cancel culture thing where they just detect their own most of the time is a mistake for them.


But they are not set up to win a war of attrition, Don. And they are not organized within their own ranks, to get it done, because look, let me look into the future for you. They're going to get the infrastructure bill. And they will probably going to get the spending bill.

But they are trying desperately to snatch defeat out of the jaws of --


CUOMO: With this process.


CUOMO: And the Republicans would have never done it this way and it reads like weakness. So, Biden is going to get his wins but they're not going to be as impressive because of this process --


CUOMO: -- and that may bleed into the midterms. LEMON: Well, let me just say this, the whole thing. And I don't want

to linger on this. The only thing I think that was -- the only victim of cancel culture and with the Democrats was Al Franken. OK? And I think they learned their lesson from Al Franken. So, I think that they have moved beyond that.

But let me just say that it is, yes, it is set up for Republicans. But Democrats are legislating, again, I have been saying this as if it's 2020. It's not 2020. Twenty-twenty is a long time ago and it is not coming back. And so maybe Democrats are more expansive as you say. But that's read the room. That's over.

Democrats need to win now and the only reason I'm saying that is because our democracy is on the line. We're at the brink. And if Democrats don't win, the only party that's operating in reality right now, the only party that's operating in truth, the only party that wants to keep the democracy, if they don't win, what does that mean for the country?

CUOMO: But if you deal in truth in a game that people no longer observe with any value on the truth because they've been so disappointed, --


LEMON: But it's --

CUOMO: they've been lied to so much by --


LEMON: You can't look at it as a game. You have you got to be urgent. You got to be out there every single night, if rallies are the thing that needs to be done, go do it, whoever it is. Whether it's the president --


CUOMO: Can't get anybody to go.

LEMON: OK. But it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter, Chris. If you -- OK. Listen. It doesn't matter --


CUOMO: Take it easy.

LEMON: It doesn't matter how many people show up at a rally.

CUOMO: Time to get us.

LEMON: Not really.

CUOMO: You want to see pictures of nobody at a rally I wonder who is going to pipe up if that --


LEMON: No, it's not it. Will you listen to me?

CUOMO: Go ahead.

LEMON: If you have the bully pulpit --


LEMON: -- and the president of the United States says I am having -- I am going to speak to the nation tonight or I am going to go to wherever and speak to that group, you don't think every news organization around the country is going to carry that live?

CUOMO: News? Live? Probably not.

LEMON: You don't think -- you don't think we're going to cover it?

CUOMO: If you cover it.

LEMON: If you stop holding events at two o'clock in the afternoon when people are at work or in traffic, and start holding them when people are actually at home and watching and paying attention, then maybe -- you may be able to change the narrative.

CUOMO: I don't disagree --


CUOMO: I don't disagree that would be a smart come up.

LEMON: But -- so that's -- because -- but that's why we always say it is the bully pulpit, it is the biggest pulpit when you have the White House, when you are the leader of the Senate, when you are the leader of the House -- you're the speaker. When you speak, we listen.

When you -- when you say I'm going to have a press conference, I'm inviting the media to do this. I'm going to actually go into the press room with Jen Psaki. I'm going to show up there sometimes and surprise people and guess what? I'm going to pull the nation in with my narrative.

I'm going to get their attention. I'm going to make sure I have their attention. I'm going to tell them what is in the bill. I'm going to tell them what I'm selling that is going to help them and everybody in red America and everybody in blue America and all Americans.

I'm not just going to sit back and expect the news media to do it for me because it's not our job to sell the narrative. It's our job to discuss what you are doing and yes, part of what's in it but it's not our job to sell your agenda for you. They are not selling their agenda.

And the only reason that I'm so enthusiastic about this is because our democracy is on the line and I don't want America to lose its democracy. I don't want America to be a country of minority rule and I don't want America to be a place where black and brown people like me whose ancestors fought and died for the right to vote are restricted from going to the voting booth. That is the most un-American thing to do.

So, I have this platform that I have now and I'm speaking very passionate about it. Democrats, get your butts in gear and get passionate about saving this damn country. You're not doing it. You're weak. You are weak. You are weak. That's it. Good night.

CUOMO: Two things and then --


LEMON: Thank you and good night.

CUOMO: You can take -- you can take a deep breath for a second.

LEMON: Yes, yes, look, my producer says he's doing a town hall tomorrow. Yes, I get that. I know that. I had one with him. He's doing a town hall tomorrow.

CUOMO: A town hall is not what you're talking about.

LEMON: Exactly.

CUOMO: And the question is whether or not that's who Biden is and that's how he wants to be. Because I don't think that this is a novel idea. The second thing is not only is it not the media's job to sell his agenda.


LEMON: Not at all.

CUOMO: But the media plays to the game.



CUOMO: The media likes controversy, likes ups and likes downs. The media is making it like, I wonder if they'll get it done. The Democrats are going to get it done.


LEMON: Yes. What are they going to get?

CUOMO: They are going to get the infrastructure bill done. They are going to get a spending bill done in all likelihood. The only question is how much? You know, we play the ignorance --


LEMON: But guess what, most presidents don't really give a crap about how much. CUOMO: -- it creates tension.

LEMON: That's a Washington talk and that's media talk.

CUOMO: What is?

LEMON: Most Americans don't care if it's 1.5 or 2.5.


CUOMO: I agree.

LEMON: That is -- that's D.C. Yes.

CUOMO: I don't price tag politics. And in fact, I think it hurts the Democrats. Because if you tell me this is what you get for your kids, this is what you get for pharmaceuticals, this is what you get for the elderly, I'm listening. You got me. Those are my needs.

Then you tell me price tags. I get sticker shock easy. I don't like hearing about big price tags from government but I'll tell you what, you want to hear a prediction?


CUOMO: In the midterms if the Republicans regain control, I want to wager that one of the first things they do is get rid of the filibuster. They will get rid of the --


LEMON: Of course, they will.

CUOMO: -- of the filibuster.

LEMON: Of course, they will.

CUOMO: And you know why? Because everybody in their ranks wants -- will want them to.

LEMON: Well, to get rid of the filibuster and guess what? They want to win. But you have people in Washington right now who are saying you can't do that, that's not on --


CUOMO: On the left?


CUOMO: You think if Mitch McConnell were in control of the Senate --

LEMON: Of course, he would.

CUOMO: -- that he would have Republican senators saying, I don't know, I want to work with the other side. LEMON: Well, that was, they would say well, that's different now.

They would find some way to say why it's different and why we must get rid of the filibuster and then they would say well, but when Democrats were in power, they wanted to get rid of the filibuster and now we're in power, it's not OK. And then guess what.


CUOMO: They will do it.

LEMON: The filibuster, ba-bye.

CUOMO: It may -- I have different feelings about the filibuster but put them to the side. It will be a wakeup call to voters all over this country that you better get out and vote or your side will have no say.

LEMON: No, none.

CUOMO: Because if you're not in the majority, you're dead and in this oppositional system.


CUOMO: -- now you'll have no power because the only currency right now is opposition and the idea that well, then maybe they'll start to work together. Why?

LEMON: Never going to happen.

CUOMO: There is no advantage in that. There is no advantage in that.


LEMON: It is not going to happen.

CUOMO: You don't reward that.

LEMON: But look, everybody thinks that -- well not everybody. Things are the same. It's not -- this is not the same. As I always say, this is not 2020 anymore. Like, you know, I just keep saying 2020 because it was last year, it was why Joe Biden. Joe Biden was elected in 2020. People had all these ideas. OK. That's fine. That's well and good. And you should have some expectations for that. Of course, you should.

But you also have to realize again where we are. And that you have people who many people who believe around this country that Joe Biden is not the duly elected president of the United States. That there was, that there was voter -- widespread voter fraud, which there wasn't. This is the most secure election in our nation's history but they believe it. And why they are able to believe it?

Because the Republicans have clung to that narrative and they keep repeating it and repeating and repeating it and they know it is their only way of winning elections now and in the near future because they are not selling anything to the American people that the American people want to buy.

So, what do they have to do? They have to win on a lie and it has to be minority rule. They have to gerrymander districts in the way that benefits them. They have to change voting rules around the country that makes it harder for black and brown people and minorities of all different stripes to vote. So that's what they have to do. And guess what?

CUOMO: And poor.

LEMON: And poor.

CUOMO: White poor working poor.

LEMON: And guess what? If the white working poor and minorities got together, they would be unstoppable. Instead, they're allowing themselves to be co-opted by politicians whose only thing -- whose only mission is to hang on to power because I say poor whites and minorities have more in common than they have that separation.

CUOMO: Hourly wage workers saw that their economic interest are the same. There is no question that color, color carries additional burdens in society.


LEMON: And why wouldn't -- why wouldn't --

CUOMO: But that would be the biggest block in the world.

LEMON: But think about this. Listen. And I'm not advocating for anything. But why wouldn't you -- you know, Democrats say they want $15 an hour to be. OK, fine. However, you feel about that. But if you're an hourly worker, why wouldn't you want more money? If you -- regardless if you're Republican or Democrat, why wouldn't you want a living wage to be able to take care of your family?

CUOMO: They do.

LEMON: But that's not what their politicians say. They want $15, the minimum wage is going to drive us out of business and blah, blah, blah, blah. That's what Republicans are saying. And so far, that is liberal socialism. It's a living wage is not socialism. Having -- and being able to take care of your children and have child care for your children --


CUOMO: I don't care what it is.

LEMON: -- that's not socialism.

CUOMO: Go ask somebody if they're making $10 an hour if they want to make $15.

LEMON: If they want to make 15, they are going to tell you what? CUOMO: Yes.

LEMON: I want to make 15.

CUOMO: Not only do I want to, I have to.


CUOMO: I'm starving.


LEMON: Yes. That's going to be interesting to see what the president says tomorrow night and I know Anderson is the finest journalist among us and he is going to hold the president's feet to the fire with all of these issues.


So that's going to happen tomorrow night at 8 p.m. this town hall that is moderated by Anderson Cooper right here on CNN. So.

CUOMO: Cooper is the man but the job is for the president.

LEMON: The job is for the president. I want to hear --


CUOMO: Can he connect with that audience and with the camera and the audience at large that he knows what he's doing, he's got the passion and the sense of purpose that carries their interest forward.


CUOMO: We'll see.

LEMON: So here is the deal. I'm going to do something completely different because I have spent my first block of the show talking to you and I always love to talk to you. I get very passionate about this because I've been sitting back and it's frustrating for people for my own mother to call me and say what are the Democrats doing? Like what is going on?

Every time I see someone on the street, they'll say, hey, I watch you every night or whatever, but what are the Democrats doing? They don't say can you believe those crazy Republicans? They already know. They already about the rallies and QAnon and the people who -- they know all of that. They've heard enough of it. Those people have been over indexed in coverage. I don't want to hear it. I get it.

But what they want to know is Democrats, what's up? What's up? I don't get it. That's what they say every single one to a person. I don't get it. What's up with the democrats? What's up? I don't know. And I said I can't tell you. I'm not a politician but I hear you and I'll convey it on the television. And that's what I'm doing right now.

CUOMO: You've done it very well. Make your witness. I love you, D.

LEMON: I'm going to go to break and then I'm going to come back and then I'm going to give my take. So.

CUOMO: We know this much about the show, your guest is phenomenal.

LEMON: I love you, buddy. I'll see you soon.


Other side of the break, I'll be right back.



LEMON (on camera): And we are back. And I've got to talk to you about what we're seeing in the nation's capitol right now. It's not just a showdown between the January 6th committee and a guy who used to work for the former president.

This is much bigger than Steve Bannon that we're talking about. Right? Him defying the subpoena and all of that. This is about preserving our democracy. This is about an attempted coup.

A full House vote is set for tomorrow and the vast majority of Republicans are expected to vote no on holding someone in contempt for defying the committee's subpoena. Now think about that. Defying the government and they are going to vote no on someone doing that.

People who are in the Capitol whose lives were in danger that day playing see no evil right now or refusing to see the truth, but there are luckily some Republicans, very few with courage. And I'm talking about Liz Cheney. Remember, she lost her leadership position in the GOP for standing up to the former president and his big lie and now, she's standing up to her own party. She's doing it once again.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Let me address my Republican colleagues specifically. I've heard from a number of my colleagues in the last several days who say they, quote, "just don't want this target on their back." They're just trying to keep their heads down.

They don't want to anger Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader who has been especially active in attempting to block the investigation of events of January 6th despite the fact that he clearly called for such a commission the week after the attack.

I ask each one of you to step back from the brink. I urge you to do what you know is right, to think of the long ark of history. We are told that it bends towards justice. But it does so only because of the actions of men and women in positions of public trust.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON (on camera): So, she is demanding that they do the right thing and they used to know exactly what that was. But what are we getting from the Democrats? I just talked to Chris about that. I want you to sit down and pay attention because I want you to hear from someone who is going to explain to you exactly what I'm talking about.

What are you getting from the Democrats? A party that doesn't have a winning message but can't understand why they are losing.

This is Thomas Friedman. He was on with Anderson tonight. Pay close attention.


THOMAS FRIEDMAN, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Country not right. Our country is not right. But given that, what is even more depressing to me is we have one party who as we advance into the 21st century, we have so many things to think about and their candidate, their main position is a big lie that Donald Trump won the last election.

There is no diagnosis of the world, global trends, needs of education, needs of corporations, they are running on a big lie. Against them is a party running on a big idea, a big idea. But they have not sold that idea effectively.

The Democratic Party given where the Republicans are right now, Anderson, should be wiping the floor, wiping the floor with them and yet, we're watching the Virginia election coming up and wondering if Terry McAuliffe the Democratic gubernatorial candidate will sweep by.

So, I think we have to ask a couple of questions. One, how did this party get so crazy, this Republican Party but what's going on with the Democrats that they aren't just sweeping the floor when they've got a big idea against the big lie.


LEMON (on camera): No lies detected from Thomas Friedman. He is absolutely right. The Democrats have a big idea and the GOP has the big lie. So why can't Democrats make their case to the American people? And there is more.


FRIEDMAN: I think that the party has gone too far to the left for this country that is still center right and center left. Think about it. You know, last year, we all watched George Floyd killed by police in my hometown of Minneapolis. And after that, millions of Americans basically woke up and said, you know, I've been hearing this from African-Americans, now I get it. Now I get it.


And they were really open for a both end solution, both better policing and more policing in neighborhoods that are really suffering from terrible gun violence. And what did the progressives offer first, defund the police and then delegitimize the police. What a wasted moment.

The country was ready for a both and civil rights movement. And it was a squander. I'm sorry. And now we've got a similar thing with the economy. My God. People don't want Democratic socialism. They don't want you just hear that we're helping people who are hurting. Yes, we must help them.

They want to hear that you don't have a safety net. You have a launching pad, Joe Biden. You have a launching pad plan that is infrastructure, hard infrastructure and human infrastructure that's going to launch a public-private partnership, both our companies and our people to realize their full potential.

We have a launching pad here. Not some give away that got whittle down from 3.5 to 3, to 2.7 to 2.5, to wherever the heck it is right now. This is so exciting what they are trying to sell and they have so poorly sold it. And that is what really Democrats should be asking how the hell could be losing when we have a big plan and all they have is a big lie.


LEMON (on camera): The truth hurts. So, if you're sitting here watching and you're like Don Lemon, then why -- it's the truth. And you need to hear it. You need to pay attention to what's happening around the country.

And quite frankly, yes, Democrats need to do a better job of not only selling to the American people what they're trying to do but actually getting things done. It's from 3.5 to 2.5 to 1 -- most people don't care. They just want their lives improved.

And if their lives don't improve under the ruling party, why should they continue to vote for you? Think about this. Because even the people, most people know what's -- most Republicans know except for the whatever. You know, some of the fringe people.

Here is a question, how can Trump and the Republicans get their voters to believe and act on a completely false narrative? And Democrats can't even get them to act on the truth to save the republic.

Republican leadership officially telling their party to vote against holding Steve Bannon in contempt. What are they trying to hide? My next guest has a few ideas for you.



LEMON (on camera): The House is set to vote on criminal contempt referral for former Trump adviser Steve Bannon tomorrow.

So, joining me now is Washington Post Robert Costa, the co-author of the book "Peril." Robert, it's good to see you again. I just, again, I have to congratulate you on the success of that book and really what you have been doing for the country by informing us through that book and through your interview. So, thank you for that and thank you for that and thank you for appearing this evening.

ROBERT COSTA, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: That's very generous, Don. Thank you. Glad to be here.

LEMON: We've all heard what Bannon before January 6th was saying, you know, that all hell would break loose on January 6th, but based on the reporting for your book, you found Bannon's connection to January 6th that is much deeper than that he was an insider. Just how involved was he, Bob?

COSTA: He was talking to Trump in December we have a conversation in our book, December 30th, 2020 kill the Biden presidency in the crib and make January 6th a reckoning. There was a focus and intensity on January 6th even in late December in these conversations between Bannon and Trump.

And you start to see inside the White House a push to make the sixth the date to try to push the election into the House of Representatives. Bannon and Trump speak again January 5th when Bannon is at the Willard Hotel, steps from the White House huddling with Rudy Giuliani, Jason Miller and other Trump advisors.

LEMON: Let's -- Liz Cheney -- Liz Cheney is one of the only Republicans standing up now, zeroing in on the Trump-Bannon connection and this war room at the Willard Hotel that you speak of. She says the fact that Trump is seeking executive privilege is suggesting that there is something to hide there.

What do we know about Trump's direct contact with Bannon and that war room group that you talk about?

COSTA: We know he meets with Vice President Pence on the night of the fifth and then what that does not go well for Trump, he calls in to the Willard war room and talks to Giuliani and talks to Bannon and says according to the reporting in our book, that Pence was, quote, "very arrogant," and that Pence wasn't moving.

So, they come up with another plan, issue a statement saying that Pence actually agrees with Trump's position on the election and they do that to the anger and furry of Pence's advisors. They issue a statement late on the 5th but it's still does not put into motion what they want from Pence. But this is what's happening before the insurrection.


LEMON: You also report that in the wake of the insurrection that Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff invoked Bannon in trying to understand the origins of the -- of January 6th saying this. And I quote, "it was a planned revolution, Steve Bannon's vision coming to life. Bring it all down, blow it up, burn it, and emerge with power." So, Milley didn't have any doubt what the motivation was and who was responsible?

COSTA: He did not. And as a reporter you just try to look at the facts straight on. Bannon is someone who has publicly declared he wants to deconstruct the administrative state. He wants the Republican Party and the United States that are driven by the concepts of nationalism.

This is at the core of who he is. He has worked with Trump even though he left the White House in 2017 and this orbit of people on the right who talked to Trump who informed him who advised him and guide him Bannon near the top of the list or at the top of it, but he's part of this orbit that really influenced Trump at the end ahead of January 6th.

And it's so important as a reporter and likely for the committee to understand those dynamics.

LEMON: Robert Costa, we love having you. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

COSTA: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you.

He risked his life to defend the capitol and there he is, I'm talking about officer Michael Fanone. He reacts to Republicans trying to stop the January 6th committee from doing their job. He is next live.



LEMON (on camera): So far too many Republicans are trying to bury the insurrection but there is a new HBO documentary, it's called Four Hours at the Capitol. It shows just how horrific January 6th was.


MICHAEL FANONE, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICER: I've been a police officer for two decades. A mob grabbed him. He was having difficulty breathing. You don't have to take my word for it. Watch my body worn camera footage.

UNKNOWN: (Inaudible) patriots.

FANONE: Started getting tased at the base of my skull.

UNKNOWN: Very (Inaudible) situation.

FANONE: Kill him with his gun. Pure chaos. He has (Inaudible). Traumatic brain injury.

UNKNOWN: Take all their weapons.

FANONE: I still haven't made sense of it.


LEMON (on camera): So, joining me now is the hero you saw in that clip, D.C. Metropolitan police officer Michael Fanone. Hey, Mike, how are you doing?

FANONE: Good, man. How are you?

LEMON: I'm doing well. Listen, you risked your life on January 6th defending our capitol and all the lawmakers inside of the capitol. And dozens of those lawmakers are now trying to stop the select committee from doing its job.

They appear to be OK with key witnesses defying those subpoenas. How does that make you feel?

FANONE: I mean, it's -- I don't know. I guess -- in my experience since January 6th has been that everybody, everybody wants the truth and everybody wants accountability until they're the ones who are being held accountable and the truth is no longer politicly advantageous but it's disappointing to say the least.

LEMON: What do you mean by that?

FANONE: I mean, you know, I think that -- well, accountability for me for January 6th, again, I look at that day on two different levels. I look at it on a micro level and I see, you know, political rhetoric, potential overt actions by our elected leaders that resulted in the events of January 6th.

I also see the failures of law enforcement, leadership, I see gross negligence on their part when it comes to the preparedness, preparation for that day, which resulted in hundreds of officers or more than 100 officers' injuries including mine. I don't see --


LEMON: You don't think the departments were prepared. You don't think law enforcement was prepared?

FANONE: I mean, one of the most striking things about that documentary for me was watching the beginning of the breach of the capitol and seeing how few U.S. capitol police officers were positioned on the outer perimeter and how none of those officers were equipped with the proper protective gear.

To me, that signifies gross negligence on the part of their leadership. And as far as I know, the only person who has lost their job or who resigned as a result of the activities of January 6th was their former chief. I think that's unacceptable.

LEMON: So, you are -- you're very outspoken about this. Listen, I know there are many people who especially on the right, lawmakers you try to hold to account, they don't like you. Right? They -- but are you -- how are you received in your own department or among the ranks of police officers? Are you a pariah? Are you loved? What? What?

FANONE: I mean, I think it's kind of a mixed bag. I mean, listen, police departments are a microcosm of society. I mean, I said before when I've spoken to you that, you know, there is no indoctrination to becoming a police officer. And I mean, we are susceptible to the same decisiveness that the rest of America has experienced.

You know, there are police officers who, you know, whose political affiliations or political police place them in contrast to some of the things that I've said publicly. And I'm fine with that except when it prevents them from fulfilling their oath. You know, then I've got a problem.


You know, if you can't set aside your political ideology and fulfill your oath to the Constitution of the United States, I mean, there is a big problem there and I think that unfortunately, we have an issue when it comes to officers being able to set aside their political ideology or their, you know, -- their alignment with a singular person that being the former president above their oath to the Constitution and to the communities which they're sworn to protect.

LEMON: I've got to ask you about this since you mentioned that. I want to get your take on capitol police officer Michael Riley, he's charged with allegedly attempting to help a rioter. And according to the indictment, Riley told a contact online to remove Facebook selfies and videos about being in the capitol building that day. And you told me that what this officer did is worse than what the rioters who assaulted you did. Why did you say that? Why do you believe that, Mike?

FANONE: I mean, listen, if those allegations are true, then there is a part of me that believes that. A part of me believes that those actions are worse than the actions of those individuals who physically assaulted me on January 6th.

You know, when police officers abuse their authority, it degrades or it erodes the credibility that we have with the communities that were charged with protecting. And if we don't have the trust of the community, it's impossible for us to do our job effectively.

But when you abuse that trust not only with the communities that you're charged with protecting but you also abuse and violate the trust of your fellow officers, I think that that is, you know, far worse.

LEMON: Yes. Mike, thank you. We'll have you back to discuss this and we'll see what happens with the committee and if they get some accountability, and if they're able to get Steve Bannon and other witnesses to actually appear. Thank you, Michael Fanone.

FANONE: Thank you.

LEMON: All right. We'll be right back.



LEMON (on camera): Tonight, the FBI making a major announcement in the search for Brian Laundrie saying that they found what appears to be human remains near personal items belonging to Laundrie.

Let's discuss now with Chris Swecker, former FBI assistant director for the criminal investigative division. Chris, I'm so happy to have you on to discuss these new developments. Good evening.

Today's announcements only two minutes long. They said that they found remains by Brian's belongings, but didn't confirm that it was him. The Laundrie family attorney telling Chris earlier tonight that the family is pretty sure that it is Laundrie. So, what can these remains tell investigators about his final days, if it is, indeed, him?

CHRIS SWECKER, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FBI CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE DIVISION: Yes, the FBI tipped their hand a bit when they said that the notebook and the knapsack or the backpack were his. They want to complete this homicide investigation. They want to identify the body, obviously, and confirm that it is, in fact, Brian Laundrie.

But they also want to see if there is some helpful forensic evidence, there might be a hair or fiber from the shirt that Gabby Petito was found in, for example, at the crime scene. There might be mud or dirt from the crime scene in his boots. There's all -- there's all kinds of different forensic evidence that they could use to complete the picture here along with all the other evidence they have collected thus far.

So, there is a lot to do. They are also following up, I'm sure, on whether the parents aided and abetted this homicide.

LEMON: Brian, the attorney for Brian's parents, was on with Chris tonight. Listen to this.


STEVE BERTOLINO, LAUNDRIE FAMILY'S ATTORNEY: It is my understanding that they were followed closely by the two law enforcement personnel and when I say closely, certainly within eye shot, and as they went further in at some point, Chris, locates what's called a dry bag. They looked at the contents of the bag.

At that time law enforcement officers showed him a picture on the phone of a backpack that law enforcement had located also nearby and also some distance off the trail. At that point, the Laundries were notified that there were also remains near the backpack and they were asked to leave the preserve.


LEMON (on camera): So, what do you think about that?

SWECKER: Don, I think it's nothing short of bizarre. What I saw were the two parents picking up evidence, wandering through the brush, not supervised that I could see, at least not in sight of the video that I saw, and they were picking up what seemed to be evidence and putting it in a bag.

That is way out of protocol for law enforcement when they are gathering evidence. These two people, the parents are the suspect, picking up and bagging evidence at a potential relevant crime scene.

LEMON: But doesn't that taint --


SWECKER: So, I hope --

LEMON: -- the potential to taint the evidence? What? Right?


SWECKER: Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, evidence has to be gathered the correct way to preserve whatever hairs and fibers or DNA or whatever trace evidence is on that piece of evidence, it has to be collected and it has -- properly, and it has to be stored properly in the proper container.

To just pick it up and drop it in some dry bag, just unsupervised, on their own, it seems very bizarre to me.

LEMON: Yes. It is. And listen, Chris, our Chris did ask him about the, you know, maybe the parents, the possibilities of planting it. And he said, you know, in nice terms, it's hogwash. You know, he didn't believe that it was. But it's just -- I think you're right. It's bizarre to see the family out there helping with the search and evidence. I don't know. This whole case is strange.

Chris, we'll see you soon. Thank you so much.

SWECKER: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: President Biden in his hometown today trying to sell his vision to build up the country. What survived, what's getting cut and how it's going to affect you.