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Don Lemon Tonight

Escalating Russia-Ukraine Tensions; GA D.A. Gets Go-Ahead For Special Grand Jury To Gather Evidence About Trump's Election Interference; Former AG Bill Barr Meets Informally With January 6th Committee; RFK, Jr. Invokes Nazi Germany In Anti-Vax Tirade; Former Minneapolis Police Officers' Trial Begins For Allegedly Violating George Floyd's Civil Rights; NFL's Overtime Rules Under Fire; W. Kamau Bell: 'We Need To Talk About Bill Cosby.' Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired January 24, 2022 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST (on camera): U.S. troops on heightened alert. Up to 8,500 troops facing possible deployment to Eastern Europe with more and more Russian troops on the Ukraine border every day.

Georgia district attorney just got the green light to seat a special grand jury to investigate Trump's efforts to overturn his 2020 lost in that state

Also tonight, a Trump cabinet member talking to the January 6th committee.

Plus, disturbing remarks. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. denouncing COVID vaccine mandates with offensive comparisons to Nazi Germany.


ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR., ANTI-VACCINE ADVOCATE: Even in Hitler's Germany, you could cross the Alps into Switzerland. You could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did.


LEMON (on camera): There is a lot wrong with that. We're going to talk about it.

And calls to change the NFL's overtime rules after a coin toss leads Kansas City's victory over Buffalo. What a great game, right? I'm going to discuss that with the legendary sportscaster Bob Costas. Really great football weekend. We'll discuss that coming up.

I have to turn to the Democratic congressman, Jason Crow, of Colorado, led a congressional delegation visit to Ukraine in December and has fully -- been fully briefed on the situation. We are so happy to have you on. Thank you, congressman. So, listen -- good evening to you, by the way. You just came back from Ukraine. A lot of Americans may be wondering exactly how this could affect them, affect us here in the U.S. How would you explain that? What is the situation?

REP. JASON CROW (D-CO): Yeah, thanks, Don. So, I sit on both the Armed Services and Intelligence Committee and the House of Representatives, and I did lead a bipartisan delegation to Ukraine. I met with senior defense officials, Ukrainian defense officials.

The situation is very dire. I don't think we can understate that. We are really on the brink of an Eastern European war here and a nascent democracy, a democracy that's been building, that's been growing, that's been moving to the west and wants to continue democratizing, is really at risk here.

So, why this is important? Number one, a threat to democracy anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere. There is no doubt about that. This is not an isolated case. Russia is probing. They're testing the U.S. and NATO alliance. They're testing democracy and other countries are looking. China is looking and watching. Oher autocratic leaders are looking right now.

If we don't handle this right, we could see a snowball effect around the world.

LEMON: Yeah. Again, I have to reiterate, 8,500 U.S. troops on heightened alert tonight. They're ready to deploy at any time as part of a NATO force to Eastern Europe.

Congressman, do you think having those troops nearby, it will do anything to deter Putin? I had Secretary William Cohen on earlier and he was saying, you know, Putin feels like, okay, now, let the games begin. He feels like he has the upper hand at this point.

CROW: Well, it may not. We don't know. The only person who knows for sure what is going to happen is Vladimir Putin. If anyone comes on any show and says they know what's going to happen with any certainty, they're not telling the truth. We don't know.

What we do know is there is a very large chance at this point, given all the indications we are seeing, that there is going to be an invasion. I think the risk is very high of that, although it is not certain.

There is not one thing that we can do that could stop that, but there are many things that we can do to change the calculus. We can pass -- in the House of Representatives and the Senate, we can pass a comprehensive sanctions package. It would be very debilitating to the economy and to Vladimir Putin supporters. We can reinforce the eastern flank of NATO like the president is looking at doing.

We can continue to send defensive munitions and supplies and equipment to Ukraine. Ukrainians are very willing to fight for themselves, they're ready to fight, but they don't have the tools yet to do that. We can also do things like bolster their cyber defenses as well. So, we are doing many of those things already. We can speed it up, we can expedite it, and of course, we can do more.

LEMON: Listen, remember, we were, you know, not so long ago covering what happened if Crimea -- in Crimea, representative. But unlike the situation with Crimea, Russia is escalating the situation right in front of everyone's faces. Why do you think Putin is so emboldened with this particular situation?

CROW: Well, you have to look back and see what motivates Vladimir Putin. This is a person who views the collapse of the Soviet Union as the greatest tragedy of the 20th century. He wants to reconstruct the Soviet era. He wants reconstruct that empire, and he wants to see the demise of U.S. democracy. That's what he lives for.

This is the man who couldn't care less about delivering quality, affordable health care for the Russian people. That is his goal and his focus.


He sees Ukraine as the front line of that. If he can take Ukraine over, if he can end the development of democracy in Ukraine, and if he can stop the advancement of NATO, it's a huge victory for him. He views that as essential to his legacy.

LEMON: President Trump's former adviser on Russia, Fiona Hill, has a new op-ed in "The New York Times" that says, in part, I'm going to quote here, "Right now, all signs indicate that Mr. Putin will lock the U.S. into an endless tactical game, take more chunks out of Ukraine and exploit all the frictions and fractures in NATO and the European Union."

It's similarly is what Secretary Cohen has said to me earlier. Has Putin had the upper hand all along?

CROW: No. I agree with Ms. Hill. She is absolutely right. That's always what Putin does. That's always what Russia does. That's their playbook. That is exactly what they're trying to do. And we have to stop it with diplomacy, with getting our alliance together, with reaffirming NATO by making sure we're doubling down on our support for Ukraine. That's what's at stake here. We just can't allow that to happen.

We have tools. We still have the greatest alliance structure in the history of mankind, truly, with NATO and our other partners. So, let's leverage that. Let's circle our wagons. Let's get our partners all on the same page. Let's start sending the tools that Ukraine needs to defend itself. Let's do everything we can to change that balance right now that Vladimir Putin is trying to skew in his favor.

LEMON: It is -- we're doubly grateful to have you on, considering what you know about Ukraine in your visit. Thank you, Representative Crow. We really appreciate you coming on.

CROW: Thank you. LEMON: Thank you. I want to turn now to CNN's senior legal analyst Laura Coates. She is the author of the new book, "Just Pursuit: A Black Prosecutor's Fight for Fairness." Laura, good evening to you. Good to see you.

So, let's talk about what's happening, you know, with January 6th, with the election, the election of 2020. The Georgia district attorney just got the green light to seat a special grand jury to investigate Trump's efforts to overturn his 2020 lost in that state. The grand jury is going to seated on May 2nd, I believe, and the D.A. says that she expects a charging decision in the first half of 2022. That is essentially a month. What does that tell you about her case?

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, that tells me it is proceeding quite rapidly, although I note that we're talking about almost more than a year at this point since, of course, November 2020 election. But remember, the special grand jury in Georgia is distinct from what we think of in grand juries where you have an impaneled grand jury that then returns an indictment.

Apparently, in Fulton County, it is really about giving the subpoena power, the gravitas to say, I'm going to aid in the investigation, I'm going to be able to compel people who have refused to otherwise cooperate and give information that way.

So, that vehicle is now opening up. Now, you have this majority of the Fulton County judges saying you've got the green light, there is some basis to believe that they will actually will be able to put the pieces together to at least be prepared for that criminal investigation in the form of an indictment down the road.

LEMON: This I found fascinating, that the former attorney general, Bill Barr, has been talking with the January 6th Select Committee. He resigned on December 23rd. That was before the insurrection. In an interview with ABC's Jason -- excuse me, Jonathan Karl. He called Trump's claims of election fraud -- quote -- "bullshit, B.S." I've already said it. So, how do you see this playing out in this investigation?

COATES: Well, it wasn't really that telling to find that the former attorney general had already cooperated, voluntarily essentially spoken with the committee. That's telling you what actually should happen. Although he did resign prior to the insurrection, it was not until after the big lie had already begun.

So, I want to make sure that that timeline is correct for people to understand, that the clocks and the gears were already in motion at that point in time, which is really what in many respects prompted and led up to in part to the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

But the idea that he was willing to provide information tells you what he said even before leaving office, that there was no widespread voter fraud, there is no there there, and any indication there was, really a pretextual reason to be able to justify the end result, which was the hope of overturning the election. In fact, it is newsworthy that somebody who was part of the government would actually say, okay, I will recognize a duly, you know, sworn in select committee to be able to answer questions to, that is really telling in and of itself.

LEMON: Yeah. Jonathan was on with Anderson earlier, and he said, you know, there were no hacked machines of Venezuelan influence. None of that, right? And he said that --

COATES: None of it.

LEMON: -- in the interview -- in the interview with Jonathan Karl, Bill Barr did.


So, also tonight, we're learning the January 6th Select Committee is going to get access to emails from former Trump lawyer, John Eastman. John Eastman is the guy who came up with the scheme for Mike Pence to overturn the election on January 6th. How important could this be for the investigation, Laura?

COATES: Let's add an adjective, the ridiculous, absurd, unlawful scheme to try to overturn the election, the will of the people, and electoral college as well. And so, the fact that he, who you know in recent weeks has actually tried to sue and block the actual subpoenas, introducing his telephone data and other respects, because he believed that this was not a legitimate exercise of legislative authority on behalf of the Select Committee and that his Fourth Amendment rights to privacy were being violated.

And, of course, this all goes back to the idea of, remember, the person who was really the last line of ideological defense here was the then Vice President Mike Pence, who decided not to go along and take the advice that was erroneous in the first instance. And now, remember, he doesn't have the same protections he had.

Even a week ago, when you've got the Supreme Court now saying, anyone who is interested in trying to raise a privilege claim, no, it is no longer valid. There is an overwhelming interest in the public's ability to get the information, have transparency.

And so, this is really not boding well for anyone who wants to put up additional road blocks. What we might learn from his data, he has told through his attorney, that the person he was acting on behalf of was then President Trump.

That's extraordinary at this point in time, one of the first indications we have where someone is saying they're acting at the direction or in the representation of Donald Trump, and that is a really big connection to make for this committee.

LEMON: And tonight's addition (ph) of elections had consequences. I want to get your take on the Supreme Court announcing today that it is going to consider race-based affirmative action in college admissions. What is at stake in this case, Laura? COATES: What is at stake is, again, the disruption of precedent that has been many years in the making. I think people just think that affirmative action is the equivalent of a quota (ph). But that is not the law of the land in the Supreme Court. It's about race conscious admissions. It is about a holistic review of somebody's admission into a university or college in this country.

And so, the same person who's been trying or same organization that has been trying to reintroduce this topic to the Supreme Court year after year finally now gets his wish.

And the only thing different between what happened in the Bakke case or (INAUDIBLE) decision or even the Texas case a few years ago was the composition of the court. That should tell people about the notion of the only thing that stand between you and understanding and being able to follow precedent is who is on the Supreme Court, then what value does precedent truly have in the long run?

Now, I'm not saying it is a foregone conclusion that it will actually be overturned, but the very notion that the Supreme Court, who takes a minutia of the cases that come before them, is repeatedly revisiting this issue of affirmative action, a well-settled principle in our society, is really telling about just how important it is to be able to be in the position of the president of the United States and be able to nominate those for the Supreme Court or maybe a Senate majority leader and block one's nomination to the court.

It is very, very consequential and it plays in day in and day out every day in this country, and yet again with precedent.

LEMON: Laura Coates, thanks as always. Appreciate it.

COATES: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: A disgraceful speech from a member of one of America's most influential political families suggesting people who refuse to be vaccinated are worse off than Anne Frank. And there are people out there who believe his outrageous B.S. lies. How can anybody think that's okay?




LEMON (on camera): He is a member of one of the most influential political families. People listen to what he has to say. And what he is saying is quite frankly very dangerous. I want you to listen to what Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. said at an anti-vaccine rally this weekend.


KENNDY, JR.: It's been the ambition of every totalitarian state from the beginning of mankind to control every aspect of behavior, of conduct, of thought, and to obliterate dissent. None of them have been able to do it. They didn't have the technological capacity. Even in Hitler's Germany, you could -- you could cross the Alps into Switzerland. You could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did.


LEMON (on camera): So, Anne Frank died in a concentration camp after hiding in an attic from Nazis for 761 days.

Joining me now, CNN political commentator Peter Beinart, and Julia Ioffe, the former -- the founder -- excuse me -- and Washington correspondent for Puck News. Hi to both of you. Good evening.

All right. Here we go. Peter, you first. RFK, Jr. comparing vaccine mandates to Nazi Germany using a tragic story of a young girl who died in the holocaust as a political tool. Why would anybody think it is okay to make this particular comparison?

PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't know. I mean, obviously, it dishonors the memory of the dead in the holocaust. But the thing that frightens me even more than that is the -- this insane perception that he has about the relationship between individuals and the government of the United States. The government of the United States for all of its very serious problems is not a totalitarian government.


And to have a major prominent figure describe it that way suggests a really kind of profound paranoia and breakdown in trust between large segments of the American population and the government.

A certain skepticism of government is absolutely essential, but this kind of insane paranoia that you think the U.S. government is literally trying to hunt everyone down and make them sick and kill them suggests something disturbing about the situation in our political debate.

LEMON: Julia, unfortunately, this has become a pattern now. We've seen Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene make comparisons like this. We have seen people -- you know, the Jewish space lasers, right? We've seen people wearing stars of David like the ones the Jews were forced to wear in Germany. At school board meetings, they're protesting the vaccines with that sort of stuff. I could go on.

But millions of people died in the holocaust. Millions of lives have been saved from vaccines. Make this make sense, please.

JULIA IOFFE, FOUNDER AND WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, PUCK NEWS: Well, I can't. And you're right in that it's become a pattern. And no matter how many times these people are corrected, that, you know, having to get a lifesaving vaccine in order to voluntarily use a gym or voluntarily go into a restaurant, is not the same as industrialize, slaughter of an entire people.

You know, I'm sure your viewers understand that, but the people who need to be convinced are probably not watching tonight, unfortunately. And in their informational universe, this has clearly become a very powerful trope where they feel themselves to be the victims.

It's also one of those things where, you know, this rally happened -- I don't know, what, half a mile from the -- maybe less from the U.S. Holocaust Museum on the National Mall in D.C. You know, I think it is yet another case of a little bit of knowledge being more dangerous than no knowledge at all.

LEMON: It's -- anyway, Peter, just a few days ago --

IOFFE: Also, may I --

LEMON: Yeah. Go ahead, Julia.

IOFFE: Sorry. The other thing that -- I mean, this one really galled me. The other ones I've kind of -- you know, as somebody, like most Jewish people, you know, who has lost dozens of family members in the holocaust, but none so far to the COVID vaccine, I'm sure that number will stay at zero, I found this one especially galling because it came out, you know, said just a few days after we found out who had given up Anne Frank's family to the Nazis --

LEMON: Right.

IOFFE: -- and why she was sent eventually -- why they were found and sent to a concentration camp where she died of a terrible disease just before being -- she could have been liberated. And the fact is that it was a Jewish family that gave her up. And it again illustrated what an awful, horrible situation the Nazis created where people had to make these kinds of choices where either they lived or somebody else died.

LEMON: Yeah.

IOFFE: And, you know, using this as a political cudgel that doesn't make sense in any way, is just, you know, insult to injury.

LEMON: I was going to add similarly, I was going to add that with the question to Peter because this is just a few days ago. You know, we had the four Jews who were held hostage in the Texas synagogue, right, Peter? The FBI is reporting nearly 55 percent of all hate crimes motivated by religious bias were against Jews in 2020.

There have been all sorts of high-profile people spreading conspiracies about insane things again like Jewish space lasers and just all kinds of crazy things. Rhetoric has consequences. Even the folks involved in the synagogue incident said that the dangerous rhetoric had consequences and that it influenced this man to do what he did.

BEINART: Yeah, I think it is a good point. I mean, that man who committed that terrible crime of holding those people hostage in Colleyville, Texas was also enthralled to a conspiracy theory. He literally thought that if he found the synagogue closest to where this convicted terrorist was being held that he could somehow trade her freedom for the freedom of the rabbi and the people. Again, it speaks to something. He was in Britain but it speaks to something, really a global phenomenon in which, you know, utterly absurd conspiracy theories, extremely dangerous and often hateful conspiracy theories, spread and they don't only live online in Facebook groups, they actually lead a certain number of people to take terrible, terrible actions.


One can imagine, it wouldn't take much to imagine someone listening to RFK, Jr. and then saying, well, gosh, if the U.S. government is a totalitarian government enacting a holocaust, surely, I need to do something to fight that and picking up a gun and killing someone, God forbid. So, this is the danger that happens when you spread these kinds of things.

LEMON: I'm so happy to have both of you on. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

BEINART: Thank you.

LEMON: So, I want to turn now to something that is disappointing to some but happier news, quite a bit different and quite a bit happier. The NFL season is back in full force. Multiple games coming down to the wire. I mean, my heart was racing this weekend. And now, there's all sorts of griping about the overtime rules, including -- you see there -- Bob Costas! He's here. He's next.




LEMON: Opening statements and witness testimony today in the federal civil rights trial of three former Minneapolis police officers who were on duty with Derek Chauvin when he murdered George Floyd in May of 2020. All three are charged with depriving Floyd of his rights for allegedly failing to give him medical aid. Two of the defendants are also charged with failing to intervene, to stop Chauvin from kneeling on Floyd's neck.

I want to bring in now CNN's Josh Campbell. Josh, good evening to you. So, tell us what we heard today in court.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, for the second time in less than a year, a jury in the United States sat inside a courtroom watching that gut-wrenching video of George Floyd being held down on the ground by a police officer for over nine minutes. Now, the officer who was kneeling on him, Derek Chauvin, obviously, as we reported on, was convicted of state murder charges.

But our viewers will also remember that after that incident, the FBI launched its own investigation. Federal prosecutors ultimately determining that in their interview, those other three officers who were standing nearby violated George Floyd's civil rights. That trial kicking off today. The prosecution laying out their case saying that these officers should have rendered medical aid to George Floyd. Two of them also have been charged with failing to intervene.

We are getting a sense finally, Don, of some of the strategies that we expect that these defendants will employ. Two of those officers were relatively new, they were rookies, saying that they were deferring to the senior officer who had been on the job for over two decades. Of course, we expect a lot more evidence, a lot more witnesses. This trial, Don, likely going on for about four weeks.

LEMON: So, let us talk about the prosecution telling jurors fundamental guidelines. You mentioned the guidelines as well. But the fundamental guideline in Minneapolis Police Department, which is, in your custody, in your care, it reminded me of something that I had heard when I did my interview with the jurors from the Dereck Chauvin trial. This is what Sherri Belton Hardeman told me about their deliberations. Watch this.


SHERRI BELTON HARDEMAN, PROSECUTOR: We did look through everything very, very carefully. What I thought about is something that was said during the trial. And that is Minneapolis Police Department has a motto. And if I'm understanding it correctly, their motto is, in our custody, in our care. George Floyd was in their custody. He was never in their care. And that for me just -- it just hit hard. I do not feel like they ever cared for him.


LEMON (on camera): So, look, Josh, I want to be clear. That was an entirely different trial, right? This is an entirely different trial and entirely different jurors. But will that fact be as critical in this trial?

CAMPBELL: Absolutely. I mean, that appears to be the case. That senior officer, Derek Chauvin, he has already pleaded guilty to federal charges. So, what we are looking at are those three other officers who did not intervene, prosecutors say. And that is the crux of this issue.

You know, since the death of George Floyd, since his murder, one key issue that we have all learned about and throughout this trial that took place is that an officer has a duty to care actually for the person that is in their custody. Now, officers can employ deadly force under certain circumstances.

But even if an officer employs deadly force, when there is no longer a threat, they then have to treat and care for the person that they are responsible for. There is no indication, at least we learned in the state trial, that George Floyd warranted deadly force, obviously. But that gets to this key issue.

I will read you part of what the prosecutor said today in these opening statements. She says that each of these three officers made a conscious choice over and over again. They chose not to intervene and stop Chauvin as he killed a man. They chose not to protect George Floyd, the man that they had handcuffed.

Now again, the charges here, failing to render medical aid to George Floyd as he lay there on the pavement. That's the key issue that you heard from the juror, Don, as we expect prosecutors to continue to talk about, that when George Floyd was not a threat to these officers, they were responsible for him. And certainly, as we saw in the state trial, this did not warrant the type of force that ultimately took his life, Don.

LEMON: Josh Campbell, appreciate it. We will be right back.





LEMON: Football fans, was this the weekend you've been waiting for? I mean, amazing. From coast to coast, Americans are fired up over upset wins or devastated by coin toss-induced losses this weekend. I don't know about that. We'll see.

Joining me now, legendary sportscaster and CNN contributor Bob Costas. Hey, Bob, I don't know if I want to say that it is, you know, coin toss inducing losses because you win or you lose. But hello to you. All of this drama --


LEMON: -- All of the excitement from the past weekend games had me screaming. I was traveling this weekend. I was in a hotel. I'm sure the people in the room next to me thought I was crazy. I was, like, oh, oh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, wow! Maybe they were watching as well. What made it such an incredible weekend for the NFL? All the upsets, right?


Don't you think?

COSTAS: Well, yeah. And the three or four home teams losing and almost a fourth. Kansas City pulled it out. You know, one thing that should be obvious about the NFL, part of its appeal is that unlike basketball, baseball, hockey where you have to get to a seventh game for there to be do or die for both teams, every playoff game in the NFL is the equivalent of a seventh game in those other sports. It is all do or die. You go home even if you lose by the narrowest of margins.

So, it was an incredible weekend. Everything decided right on the last play. So, in a sense, it was insanely good. But I'll tell you what else is insane, Don.

LEMON: Wait, hold on. Hold on. It was insane that Aaron Rodgers performed so poorly in Lambeau Field and Tom Brady lost. I mean, that was insane. But I know what you're going to talk about. You're going to talk about this overtime rule.

COSTAS: Brady had a great comeback.

LEMON: Yeah.

COSTAS: But lost. The Packers had the bye. They had home field. There is no greater home field advantage than Lambeau and they lose to the 49ers who had to beat the Rams at the end of the regular season to qualify. Then they went to Dallas and won a nailbiter. And then they go to Green Bay. So, they have earned the position they are in now, which is to go back and play the Rams in Los Angeles again for a trip to the Super Bowl.

LEMON: Okay. This overtime rule, I know you want to talk about it.


LEMON: So, go on. What do you want to say?

COSTAS: I do. You've watched me long enough, Don. I have opinions, but I'm not one of these hot take guys like on the cable debate shows in sports. What I say now is a considered opinion. The overtime rule in the NFL in the postseason, forget about the regular season, is the dumbest rule in all of American sports.

This is a league that will examine a replay from six different angles in a game in October between the Jets and the Jaguars. They'll parse (ph) things to the millimeter. They'll freeze frames and will wait for 10 minutes. They'll measure within an inch for a first down. And then, in the most important games of the year, including the Super Bowl, they'll flip a coin and have something that random, so disproportionately influence the outcome.

On its face, it is completely unfair. But it is also against the true drama. Wouldn't you have liked to have seen Mahomes and Allen duel? The clock doesn't matter in a sudden death situation. There are no ties, so they're going to play forever. So, clock management, the battle against time, is part of the essence of the strategy and the excitement and the drama and the tension --

LEMON: Okay.

COSTAS: -- of football at its best.

LEMON: Okay, Bob Costas.

COSTAS: It's completely taken away with this.

LEMON: Okay, Bob Costas. Okay, Mr. Expert. I totally disagree with you.

COSTAS: Oh! LEMON: I totally disagree with you because those are the rules and this is why I don't like to watch soccer, because I'm, like, when is this going to be over? At some point, it has to be over. We watch them battle for four quarters and overtime. I don't need to see much more. It was amazing. My heart couldn't take much more. Those are the rules. The only time -- the only time we hear about the rules that needed to be changed --

COSTAS: How did you wait through the first three hours? Ordinarily, if someone says in the abstract, you know, we hit a stop light at this intersection or there will be an accident, there have to be a few fender benders for people who aren't paying attention --

LEMON: Oh, Bob.

COSTAS: -- to say, oh yeah, I guess you're right. But in this case, this rule could -- it was predictable that these things would happen, but it keeps happening.

LEMON: The people rooting for Buffalo -- the people rooting for Buffalo want the rules to be changed. The people who --

COSTAS: I have nothing to do with it.

LEMON: Okay.

COSTAS: I have no rooting interest.

LEMON: All right.

COSTAS: It is a stupid rule to begin with. It happened to Drew Brees. It has happened twice to Aaron Rodgers. It happened to Mahomes against Brady. It happened to Matt Ryan against Brady in a Super Bowl. Here it is happening again. It happened to Aaron Rodgers twice. Consecutive post seasons never touched the ball.

LEMON: Yeah.

COSTAS: This rule is like in the seventh game of the world series. If in the top of the tenth, the visiting team scores on a home run, game over. But if they score on a single or sacrifice fly, then the home team gets to bat in the bottom of the tenth. It's insane. It cuts into the drama.

LEMON: It is a game.

COSTAS: It's on its face unfair.

LEMON: That is of offense and defense. And if you don't want them to score, then you put up a good defense. So, look --

COSTAS: You tell me, if you won the coin toss, would you ever choose to kick and just play defense?


COSTAS: You'd only lose.

LEMON: No, it's the same thing. Look, it's a game, first of all. Let's not get carried away.

COSTAS: Yeah, it's a game.

LEMON: But also -- but also, it is like family feud, like, when the people get the thing, they always say, pass or play. They always want to play. It is what it is. I've seen people, I've seen games where the people who received first have lost. They have lost --


LEMON: -- because the other team have a better defense.

COSTAS: It is a huge advantage to take the ball.

LEMON: Okay.

COSTAS: You had a hundred-coin flips under this rule, there will never be a time --

LEMON: Okay.

COSTAS: -- when the team that won the flip did anything other than receive. And I'll tell you this.

LEMON: I got to go.

COSTAS: If Steve Harvey was the commissioner, Steve Harvey would know --


LEMON: All right.


COSTAS: -- Steve Harvey would agree with me, Don.

LEMON: All right. I got to go. Thank you, Bob. I appreciate it.

COSTAS: Bye, pal.

LEMON: We agree or disagree. And I see your humble brag with all those Emmys behind you over your head. Thank you, Bob.

COSTAS: I did try to frame it this way.

LEMON: Yes, you did.

COSTAS: Face time.

LEMON: We will agree or disagree on that. Thank you, Bob. See you later. So, from role model as America's dad to time in prison over sexual assault charges, it's been a huge downfall for Bill Cosby. W. Kamau Bell is here to talk about that, next.




LEMON (on camera): This month's "Showtime" is releasing a new four- part docu-series looking at the man who was once known as America's dad before his disgrace and downfall at the height of the "Me Too" movement.


UNKNOWN: Do not edit this. A lot of people knew, because can't do what he did unless you have other people supporting what you're doing.

BILL COSBY, RETIRED STAND-UP COMEDIAN: Spanish fly. The girl would drink it and hello, America.

W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST (voice-over): Bill Cosby had been one of my heroes. I'm a Black man, stand-up comic, I was born in the '70s. But this?

UNKNOWN (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) for Bill Cosby --

UNKNOWN (voice-over): The accusations just keep coming in.

BELL (voice-over): This was complicated. How do we talk about Bill Cosby?


UNKNOWN: It's complex, Kamau. You know?


LEMON (on camera): So, so, so, interesting. W. Kamau Bell joins me now. He is the director of "We Need to Talk About Cosby." Kamau, thank you for joining. Listen, it is so funny. I was having a meeting with producers about, what would you like to talk about, what would you like talk about? And I said, look, y'all know we need to talk about Cosby. And then, all of the sudden, seriously, two days later, your trailer drops saying we need to talk about Cosby.

Very similar experiences as you. Like a lot of Americans or America, you grew up idolizing Bill Cosby. I did, as well. And then, it got a lot more complicated. Why did you want to make this doc?

BELL: I mean, I think I was having those conversations about Bill Cosby. First of all, my whole life, I don't remember a time in my life when there wasn't Bill Cosby from "Fat Albert" all the way through, you know, the stand-up album, Bill Cosby himself, "The Cosby Show." I was like in the heart of his career when I was a kid, being sort of -- you know, being raised by this man through the television.

So, you know, once we found out all that I believe of him sexually assaulting and raping women, I just -- with a lot of people trying to figure out how do we deal with those of us who feel it on the inside and really feel like he is part of our spirit, our cultural DNA, but also how do you reckon with that and what we know now?

LEMON: Well, it's interesting because, you know, you had the Spanish fly clip in there and that is not the only thing in there. I mean, in this documentary. So, a reminder to the audience, Bill Cosby was released from prison last summer when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his conviction for sexual assault. But he has been accused of sexual assault and related crimes by more than 60 women.

Did you figure out how he could have become that person and then hidden it for decades?

BELL: I mean, I think, you know, this is not a story that is just about Bill Cosby. It's about sort of how you -- how does somebody like that do what they do over those years, and a lot of it is that there are structures in place in the entertainment industry and through the media that allow that to flourish.

He is not the only one. You know, all over my Instagram and Twitter, people are saying what about all these other people, like, you know, Harvey Weinstein and all these others? It's like, yeah, he's not the only one, but it doesn't mean we can't have a conversation about him.

LEMON (on camera): We all remember his character. I mean, Dr. Huxtable. That was -- you know, Dr. Huxtable. We, Black families, right? We idolized that and we -- you know, finally we were like, oh, this is great.

Finally, someone that represents educated Black people on TV, and not just JJ from good times. Not that there is anything wrong with JJ Walker and what they did. Look, they fed their families and they took care of business the way they had to. But the Huxtables, we look up to. This is from your show. We'll talk about the Huxtables. Watch this.


BELL (voice-over): Do you remember what his job was on the show?

UNKNOWN: Bill Cosby?

BELL (voice-over): Yeah. Cliff Huxtable.

UNKNOWN: Oh, Cliff Huxtable, he was a pediatrician.

BELL (voice-over): He was an OB/GYN.

UNKNOWN: That's right! He delivered babies! Oh, my God. Oh, my God.

BELL (voice-over): Do you remember where his office was?

UNKNOWN: The house?

BELL (voice-over): Yes, in the basement of the house. His office was in the basement of the house.


UNKNOWN: Bill Cosby controlled every single aspect of that show. So, I have no doubt in my mind that he chose what Dr. Huxtable's medical specialty would be.

UNKNOWN: He could have been a dentist, for crying out loud. But you weren't. You were an OB/GYN.

UNKNOWN: His character bringing women to his home where he is going to examine them. It's -- it's -- it's outrageous.


LEMON (on camera): Explain. Talk to me about those reactions, Kamau.

BELL: I mean, I think it's -- when we started -- when I started working on this, there was stuff that sort of appeared to me. And when I started studying his career, that sort of stood out, once we think about what we know about him now. And one of those things was about the fact that -- that Cliff Huxtable is an OB/GYN with an office in his house, which just seems like a crazy job to pick if you are Bill Cosby doing what you're doing behind the scenes.


BELL: And I realized a lot of people didn't realize that. So, a lot of this doc is really -- just like "United Shades." It is based on conversation and based on reaction. So, I would actually show clips of "The Cosby Show" to get people to react to them. And that one never failed to get people to go, I didn't realize that it was right in front of our faces.

LEMON: We have to do this, I believe, because there are a lot of people out there who say, well, how do you separate the artists, right, or the characters or the art from the man? Because -- I mean, look, "The Cosby Show" was a brilliantly done show. It changed the culture and it has a place in history. How do you separate -- how do you reconcile that? Do you still watch "The Cosby Show?" Should it still be on a lot of people's paychecks? You know what I am saying?

BELL: I mean, I think that the way I approach this is that you can do whatever you want to, and we all do that every day. We all separate the art from the artist. You see it in music all the time.

The fact is that if I feel like I am going to deal with the art, I have to also deal with the man. So, I can -- I can maybe pull up a clip of "The Cosby Show" and enjoy it because there was a lot of great work that went into that. It celebrated a lot of Black excellence. But I can't let that make me forget about the man. I think you have to deal with the whole story, which is what that doc is trying to do.

LEMON: Yeah. It's fascinating. Kamau, thank you. Brilliantly done. Brilliantly done, as usual. I appreciate it. Don't miss the new docu- series by W. Kamau Bell, "We Need to Talk About Cosby." You can catch it on "Showtime" beginning January 30th.

Thanks to Kamau. And thank you for watching. Our coverage continues.