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Don Lemon Tonight

New York Shooter Is A White Supremacist; Crime Well-Planned Killed 10 People; President Biden Meeting With The Victims' Families; Pennsylvania A Must-Watch Primary; Replacement Theory A Poison To Society; Bigots Called Out By A Driver. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired May 16, 2022 - 22:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The news continues. Let's turn things over to Don and DON LEMON TONIGHT. Don, it is a tough night in the country.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: It is a tough night in the country, but I want to commend you. You've been doing this for a while, for really putting the victims of this story up front and center where they should be and not necessarily the gunman. It's important for history to talk about who he is, but I commend you for doing that.

My heart is hurting. Everyone I spoke to today, their heart is hurting, and they feel helpless. I'm going to talk to -- I'm going to talk to the audience about that in just a little bit, Anderson. But we've seen this all too often.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, you know, anybody at home can probably remember the names of the killers in Columbine but not necessarily the people -- the names of people who lost their lives. That's -- I feel like that's the case for a lot of mass killings in this country.

We all focus on the shooter, and people learn that person's name, and they want that. They want that kind of attention. I think it's important to report on them and their motivation and everything about them. But I just don't think we should give them that kind of extended coverage.

LEMON: And to call -- listen, we have to call it what it is. Right? That's our job without fear or favor. But also, you know, I was sitting writing the opening to my show tonight, and you again inspired me. I keep complimenting you, but it's the truth.

As I saw your interview with that family, I thought about my family. You know, this woman, you know, one of the women who died was just going to get strawberries so she could make strawberry shortcake. My sister does things like that all the time. She sends me dog treats she makes herself. She'll go to the store.

And I think that could be my family member just going to the local store, doing normal, everyday things. And then you have this person who has been influenced by the worst forces and voices in our country, who have been poisoned by it. Then all of a sudden, you have ten people who are dead.

COOPER: Yes. It's extraordinary how quickly this happened and also how this person looked to other mass shooters for inspiration, looked to the Christchurch shooter in New Zealand who livestreamed the attack, and this whole next of livestreaming attacks. You know, I know law enforcement has been concerned about this for a long time, that that's going to become sort of the new signature on some of these things. But it's just sickening that it's an extra way of getting attention.

LEMON: Yes. And that's the consternation too and the challenges that we face with social media now. I think that technology has moved so quickly that people can't keep, keep control of it, right?

It just keeps going faster and faster and faster. Law enforcement and even the people who run the companies, it's tough for them to do it. But we have to figure it out, Anderson. We've got to figure it out. And we'll keep, every night, you and I will keep talking about it as long as it happens and calling it what it is, bringing attention to it. Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Thanks.

LEMON: Thank you. I appreciate your words. I'll see you tomorrow.


And look, we do this so much, right? Then everybody sort of, tiptoes around. What do you say about it? How do you do, they don't want to, like, upset people or hurt someone's feeling or calling them left or right. The right doesn't want you to call them racist.

Let's call it what it is, and let's talk about who's actually perpetrating this. Who's actually responsible for this? There's no other way to put this or to look at this shooting story except that it is awful and it hurts.

And like many people, you probably feel helpless. You told me today you feel helpless. Like there's nothing that you can do about it. And I hate to tell you that maybe you're right. Maybe you are right.

That is what I thought at first until I remembered this quote, and it's from my literary mentor, someone that I hold in high esteem and that's James Waldon. And it says, the quote says, "not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."

That is the only hope that we have because if we don't face and if we don't state urgently and plainly what's happening here, then this country is doomed. The racism, the literal physical building blocks of America will ultimately be its undoing if we don't face this.


Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced, meaning that you can do something. You can call it what it is. It's racist. It's racism. It is hate. Period.

Call out the people who are trafficking in it right now, without fear or favor. The gunman is responsible for this crime, but what is the responsibility to our society in terms of the hate flowing freely on web sites and being laundered and mainstreamed on conservative media? What is the responsibility there? What is the responsibility of the people who know better and say and do nothing?

Police say the suspect posted a 180-page racist rant online before the attack where he describes himself as a white supremacist, as a fascist, as an anti-Semite who believes in the Great Replacement theory, the false belief that white Americans are being replaced by people of other races. Even if the gunman wasn't influenced by certain people, right, even -- let's just say he wasn't influenced by certain people. Boy, they sure are humming the same tune in unison.


REP. BRIAN BABIN (R-TX): We know what the Democrats are up to here. They want open borders. This is exactly their strategy. They want to replace the American electorate.

REP. SCOTT PERRY (R-PA): For many Americans, what seems to be happening or what they believe right now is happening is what appears to them as we're replacing national-born American, Native-born Americans to permanently transform the political landscape of this very nation.

SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): This administration wants complete open borders, and you have to ask yourself why. Is it really, they want to remake the demographics of America to ensure that they stay in power forever? Is that what's happening here?

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: We've never seen demographic change like this. It's roughly the equivalent of a brand-new city of Chicago every year, a city populated entirely by poor people with limited education who can't speak English. And the question is, how is it good for America?

I mean everyone wants to make a racial issue out of it, the white replacement theory. No, no, no. This is a voting rights question. I have less political power because they're importing a brand-new electorate. Why should I sit back and take that?

I know that the left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term replacement, if you suggest that the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the third world. But they become hysterical because that's what's happening actually. Let's just say it. That's true. Every time they import a new voter, I become disenfranchised as a current voter.


LEMON: Even if the gunman wasn't influenced by certain people, boy, they sure are humming the same tune in unison, poisoning people's minds and hearts with racist theories like black people and immigrants are trying to replace white people for political gain. That's wrong.

Calling it out and calling them out is not political. It's not political. It's just the truth. What they're trying to do is stop you from criticizing them, to blunt the criticism from laying the blame at the feet of the people who are actually doing it. It's about the left. This is not about left. Don't give me that. It's not what it's about.

It's not about left versus right. This is about right versus wrong. The shooter told you in this racist rant what this was about. The gunman has already told you what this is. Replacement theory drove him to this murder. It's not the first time, and it won't be the last unless we can change this. Remember Jews will not replace us and the tiki torches?


CROWD: Jews will not replace us! Jews will not replace us!


LEMON: Remember the Tree of Life synagogue shooting? Remember the El Paso shooting? So, what can you do at home? You're not helpless. A little later in the show, I'm going to share something with you that I saw today and it gave me an idea, however small it might be, but that's where it starts, right, an individual act? It made me feel better. So, stay tuned, and I'm going to explain to you what I mean.

But first we need to get to the story, the latest on this story. But remember, while we report on this story, not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

Straight now to CNN's Brian Todd in Conklin, New York, where the alleged gunman lives. Brian, good evening to you. Thanks for joining. What are you getting, are you getting some new details about the suspected shooter?


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are indeed tonight, Don. We have new information tonight on the shooter's past, on a threat that he made in the not-too-distant past, and on what law enforcement says were his plans to inflict even more carnage in this attack.


JOHN GARCIA, SHERIFF, ERIE COUNTY: This was a straight-up hate crime, pure evil.

TODD: Tonight, police revealing details about the meticulous planning that went into the massacre of ten people at a Buffalo store and how it could have been worse.

UNKNOWN: He had plans, had he gotten out of here, to continue his rampage and continue shooting people. He'd even spoken about possibly going to another store. TODD: The 18-year-old accused of murdering several people in the

parking lot. He exchanged gunfire with a security guard and shot more people in the store before surrendering to police.

UNKNOWN: He was very heavily armed. He had tactical gear. He had a tactical helmet on. He had a camera that he was livestreaming what he was doing.

TODD: CNN obtained a 180-page statement attributed to the suspect, which was posted online just before the attack. The document's author says he was inspired after seeing a clip of another racially motivated attack in New Zealand in 2019, where a gunman livestreamed his murder of 51 people at two mosques.

The document details how the shooter has been radicalized by online message boards, describing the Great Replacement theory, which suggests the false belief that the white race is dying out.

UNKNOWN: They had the "n" word, which unfortunately was carved into one of his weapons. Clearly, he was bent on hate.

TODD: CNN has obtained a photo of two other rifles the gunman brought to the scene that have writing on them, including the phrase "white lives matter." the shooter allegedly wrote he'd chosen the Buffalo store based on the racial makeup of its zip code. And he had been serious about carrying out the attack since January

UNKNOWN: The individual was here a few months ago back in early March.

TODD: He's been buying ammo, surplus military gear, and shooting irregularly, and had mapped out the store, intending to shoot all black people. The main gun, a bushmaster XM-15 was bought from this gun store before he illegally modified it. But according to the New York Times, he had no problem purchasing the weapon even after an incident at Susquehanna Valley High School last June when he was a student, on the honor roll school documents show.

GARCIA: The gun dealer was able to sell these weapons to this individual because there was no red flags that came up.

TODD: A spokesperson for the school district tells CNN the suspect was interviewed by police after he made an ominous reference to murder/suicide in a school project, although there was no specific threat.

GARCIA: He stated a facility. I'm not sure if it was a hospital or a mental health facility or a day and a half.

TODD: The gunman's neighbors we spoke to didn't want to give their names. They are frustrated.

UNKNOWN: Something got missed. If he was flagged in high school, why didn't he get the mental health care he needed then? And the system failed him that caused this tragedy to occur.

TODD: They say the shooter was quiet and seemed like a normal teenager.

UNKNOWN: Then when I found out it from (Inaudible) county, I said, I sure as hell hope he isn't from Conklin. So -- and then it turns out he was. Then it turns out he's lives on my street. So, we were all totally shocked about this whole thing.

TODD: The suspect is currently in custody and on suicide watch.

GARCIA: He's in a segregated unit aside from the rest of the general population, and that's for his safety.


TODD: The suspect has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. We've also learned that his lawyer has withdrawn a request for a mental health forensic examination to be performed on him. And Don, we have learned tonight that there is the possibility that federal charges will be brought against the suspect in addition to the state charges.

LEMON: Brian Todd starting us off tonight, thank you, Brian. I appreciate that. I want to bring in now CNN senior justice correspondent Evan Perez and senior law enforcement analyst, Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director.

Gentlemen, good evening to you.

Evan, I'm going to start with you. As a matter of fact, Andrew, excuse me, I'm going to start with you. We are learning moments ago that the shooter extensively planned this attack for several months. He went into the tops friendly market three times during his visit in March, each time writing about activity taking place inside and noting how many black versus white people were there. He even drew a map inside the market depicting the aisles and exit points of the building. The level of planning here is quite extensive. What do you make of -- what does that tell you, Andrew?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, it's an extraordinary level of pre-planning activity, thinking through what he's going to do, talking to others in these posts on discord and in other places about exactly what his intent was. For the investigators and the prosecutors who will try to make these cases, it's a boon of evidence, right?

The hardest part of these cases is always proving the subject's mental state, whether or not they had the requisite intent. And in this case in terms of a hate crime, whether or not they actually harbored racial animus.


None of that is even remotely in question here based on the subject's own words his own writings and of course his actions. But it's a, it's not uncommon with mass shooting cases to see the shooter having gone through an extensive period of planning, of equipping themselves, and moving weapons into the right place at the right time. if you think about the Las Vegas shooter he took several days bringing

all those guns into that suite in Las Vegas before he took, you know, undertook his horrific attack. So that part of this is not surprising to me. The fact that we're able to uncover it so quickly is really remarkable.

LEMON: Evan, CNN obtained a photo of the suspect's arsenal with the phrase "white lives matter" and other writings that reflect his racist beliefs were written on the weapons. Are you learning anything more about that?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Don. So, these are images that the FBI, the investigators have now shared with law enforcement around the country. This is the kind of thing that I think is, to Andrew's point, you know, this is going to be illustrative for law enforcement as they try to figure out how to prevent the next one of these attacks.

And one thing we know is that there is going to be another one. And we know that from these images, we know that, for instance, he was obsessed with some past mass shootings. He wrote the names of past mass shooters, according to the investigators. He makes reference to white lives matter. There's also a reference to anti-Semitic and anti- black ideology, all written on these firearms that he had assembled.

So, again, this goes to his frame of mind, his state of mind, which he lays out in these -- in these writings online that he posted just before he went on this rampage, Don.

LEMON: Isn't part of the problem, Andrew, is that when you, you know, white lives matter. I'm sure there are people, I'm sure in other, in conservative media out there saying, what's wrong with white lives matter? I think these people are convinced, perhaps, that saying these things or espousing these things are not racist. Perhaps they have been brainwashed about exactly what racism is?

MCCABE: Well, you know, Don, people can tell them thing -- tell themselves things, whatever they want to hear. But we know what these phrases mean. We know what the Great Replacement theory stands for. We know what the 14 words references, so we know what the number 88, right, references heil (ph) Hitler.

You can't hold the wool over your eyes forever and just ignore the significance of what these people who have been radicalized online, who have fond a community online around these kinds of ideas and these slogans and these phrases and these justifications that a much broader audience uses every day.

And I have to say that for political leadership, people in positions of political leadership and people in influential positions in the media to actually repeat these phrases and these theories and these ideas, it gives oxygen to the extremists. It validates them in a way and encourages them that they are now -- that what they've been thinking all along is actually accepted and agreed to by many people, influential people in positions of power. And that absolutely has an encouraging effect on them to go further,

go deep into this ideology, and to commit acts of extreme violence. So, they can tell themselves that they're not responsible for what happens in places like Tops supermarket, but it's simply not true.

LEMON: Thank you, Andrew. Thank you, Evan. I appreciate it.

We have a lot more ahead tonight on the Buffalo mass shooting. New York Governor Kathy Hochul joins me next with what she knows tonight.



LEMON: President Biden and the first lady traveling to Buffalo tomorrow morning to meet with the families of victims of the racist grocery store massacre. Officials say the alleged gunman targeting people because of the color of their skin, killing 10 people.

It comes as officials learn the suspect's plot may have been months in the making.

Joining me now, the Democratic Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul. Governor, thank you for joining us. I know it's a busy time for you. I really appreciate it.

Listen, the whole country is reeling, but Buffalo in particular reeling tonight. What is the latest information you have in terms of the investigation into this racist attack?

GOV. KATHY HOCHUL (D-NY): Well, that's exactly what it was, Don. There's no doubt that there was a hate-inspired, racist attack, an act of what I call white supremacist domestic terrorism. And there's no way to sugar-coat it. This was an intentional, targeted assault based on a neighborhood because he searched and researched the blackest community within a few-hour drive of where he lived in the southern tier of New York, and he found it. It's my neighborhood. It's not far from where I live, and I live in a very diverse community.

And it was an execution, executing people because of the color of their skin. So, the investigation continues, but I believe the facts are crystal clear. This person was radicalized on social media, and I have been calling out social media platforms for the role they have played in allowing this information to fester and spread.

And we know where it's coming from, and it's starting to be mainstreamed, and that's not acceptable, and it has to shut down. This venom has to stop spreading, and the snakes who are purveying these evil thoughts and spreading the evil, they have to go back under their rocks.

I think the rocks were lifted up in 2016. You know what I'm referring to. And now it's time for us to lead and call out anyone who does not support our position to condemn this. If you don't condemn it, then, you're part of the problem. I say that to every elected official in this country. [22:24:57]

LEMON: Listen, Governor, I got to -- I have to ask you about the president. President Biden is going to visit Buffalo tomorrow. What are you going to ask him to do?

HOCHUL: Well, he called me yesterday. You know, we had a long talk. He said, Kathy, what can I do? Tell me anything I can do. I said, Pr. President, you're the most empathetic person who has ever sat in that position. We need you to come to Buffalo. We need you to give our community a collective hug and just talk to these vibrant families and the victims' families and let this feeling that we matter.

Places like Buffalo, it was a scrappy steel town. When I grew up my dad was a steel (Inaudible). We lived in trail park. Everybody is just a regular Buffalo and I love that (Inaudible) to see. It is a tough, resilient city, and it's coming back.

But it never gets much attention. We talk about weather. We talk about football. You know, it's who we are, and I said to the president, you come to a place like this, it's going to matter so much to the people.

So, I want to talk to him about having a national conversation again about gun violence, and this isn't just Buffalo. It's the subway shooting in Brooklyn where I went down there. Ten people shot, luckily survived, and I hugged the families who were wondering if their children are going to survive their surgery.

It's also happening in the Bronx and Brooklyn and our streets in Rochester, Buffalo, (Inaudible), every day of the week. So, there are different kinds of violence, but it all comes down to easy access to weapons of mass destruction, and that's what we have to have a conversation about.

LEMON: Well, let me -- let's talk about it. Let's talk about it because I know that you are -- you're going to call for a national response to fight gun violence, but let's talk about the suspect's gun arsenal.

CNN obtained a photo of the suspect's gun arsenal. These weapons weren't used by show but show -- they show writings, I should say, on them, including the phrase white lives matter. And we know he was in trouble in high school after making a reference to a murder/suicide in a project. It was bad enough to be examined in the facility for a day and a half. So, that's according to Erie County sheriff. Were some red flags missed here, Governor?

HOCHUL: I'm going to find that out, Don, because I'm real unhappy about that outcome. We have laws in place, but they need to be followed. Also, the gun that he used, yes, the basic gun, the AR-15 was legal under New York state law, and that's something I'm looking at. But the magazine that resulted in the mass casualties was acquired at a gun store in Pennsylvania, where they are legal. That magazine is not legal in the state of New York. You cannot have a semiautomatic weapon in New York that allows that level of capacity in the magazine. So, what happens is when you're on the border of Pennsylvania, the

flow of guns is so easy. People go from New York, the traffickers. They open up their trunk at a gun show. They load it up, and they bring it up to the streets of New York City, in particular, Monroe (Ph),(Inaudible) and the Bronx.

And I have assembled a nine-state -- an interdiction task force to say, why aren't we sharing information? I know nationally there's not a law that requires this, but how about nine smart states that get together, first in the nation, that now tracks and shares information?

And we've stopped a lot of the gun trafficking, but in this case the person legally bought the gun in New York but enhanced it with this magazine that he acquired in Pennsylvania.

LEMON: Well, let me ask you about that because you know that it's going to go before the Supreme Court, this right to carry or open carry or what have you in New York, in New York City. What is your concern level about that?

HOCHUL: It's off the charts. Think about the fact that someone could do what they did in Buffalo, just walk in and have the gun hidden in their pockets and then fire on people so there's not even any warning. No, no.

If this gets struck down by the Supreme Court, and we'll literally know in a matter of weeks. And with what we've seen telegraphed from this Supreme Court about people's rights, women's right to their own body and reproductive freedom, this is a scary Supreme Court. We all should have known that.

I guess some of us saw it, but those who supported Donald Trump for president, knowing that he had the ability to name Supreme Court nominees, now we're living with the consequences of that election. And that could have an effect on the state of New York's ability to protect its citizens with smart gun safety laws, and I pray they don't strike it down, but we'll go back to the drawing board. We're not going to let that deter our efforts to protect New Yorkers from random gun violence. Too many people's lives have been lost already.

LEMON: Governor Hochul, thank you so much. It's been such a difficult time in New York, and this is just awful. So, thank you for appearing. We appreciate it.

HOCHUL: Thank you very much, Don.

LEMON: It was once a conspiracy theory limited to the fringe of the far right. Now some politicians and right-wing media figures spread the racist white replacement theory.



LEMON: New details tonight in the investigation of the Buffalo mass shooting. The alleged gunman posting rantings online, fixated on what's known as replacement theory, the false idea that white people are being slowly and intentionally replaced by minorities and immigrants. The racist theory has been promoted by some on social media and by elected officials and right-wing media figures.


Here's CNN's Sunlen Serfaty.


CROWD: Jews will not replace us! Jews will now replace us!

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What was once a fringe white supremacist conspiracy theory has now become mainstream.

CROWD: Jews will not replace us!

BABIN: We know what the Democrats are up to here. They want open borders. This is exactly their strategy. They want to replace the American electorate.

SERFATY: With a growing number of Republican lawmakers now openly promoting the far-right, so-called Great Replacement theory.

PERRY: For many Americans, what seems to be happening or what they believe right now is happening is what appears to them as we're replacing national-born Americans, Native-born Americans to permanently transform the political landscape of this very nation.

SERFATY: The racist, anti-immigrant theory that says non-white immigrants are being brought to replace America's white population.

JOHNSON: This administration wants complete open borders, and you have to ask yourself why. Is it really, they want to remake the demographics of America?

J.D. VANCE (R), OHIO SENATE CANDIDATE: Democrat politicians who have decided that they can't win re-election in 2022 unless they bring in a large number of new voters to replace the voters who are already here. That's what this is about.

SERFATY: The white nationalist conspiracy theory is detailed in French writer Renaud Camus book called "The Great Replacement." And elements of replacement theory appeared to have motivated some of the most heinous recent mas murders in the U.S. and around the world.

Just this weekend, an 18-year-old man accused of shooting and killing 10 people in a predominantly black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, allegedly wrote a manifesto online claiming ethnic and cultural replacement of whites.

The gunman accused of killing more than 20 people at an El Paso Walmart in 2019, allegedly uploaded a document on the internet before the shooting, saying, quote, "this attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by the invasion."

The man who allegedly killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018 spouted nonsense on social media about Jewish people being somehow responsible for immigrant, quote, "invaders." And the shooter who killed 51 people at a mosque in Islamic center in Christchurch, New Zealand, named his own manifesto The Great Replacement." The theory has been amplified by voices on Fox News.

CARLSON: Everyone is making a racial issue out of it. The white replacement theory. No, no, no. This is a voting rights question. I have less political power because they're importing a brand-new electorate. Why should I sit back and take that?

SERFATY: And openly defended by name by sitting members of Congress.


SERFATY: And in light of this shooting, we reached out to Congressman Babin and Perry as well as Senator Ron Johnson and J.D. Vance. Those are the Republicans we mentioned who have promoted elements of replacement theory in the past.

Now we only received a response from one, the office of Senator Ron Johnson. And they say, quote, "the senator absolutely condemns the racist murders that occurred in Buffalo, and they called the notion that the senator supports replacement theory a lie. Don?

LEMON: Sunlen, thank you so much.

Joining me now, extremism expert Peter Simi. He's an associate professor at Chapman University and the author of "American Swastika."

So good to have you here to discuss this, Peter. Good evening to you.

Sunlen's reporting --


LEMON: -- shows the recent examples of replacement theory making it into the mainstream, but just how long have these racist ideas been around?

SIMI: Well, it's a very long history, Don. You know, before you saw the term replacement theory become more prominent in white supremacist circles, you would hear the term white genocide, which is essentially replacement by a different name. The idea the white race is on the verge of extinction.

They've been talking in these circles for years about 2050, the year when it's projected that whites will be basically a minority in the United States numerically speaking. But we also should keep in mind that it has a much longer history than that even in terms of the 20th century.

It goes back really -- you saw ideas expressed that are essentially very similar to replacement theory during the reconstruction era after the U.S. Civil War. We saw the 1915 film "Birth of A Nation," which was essentially an expression of replacement theory, which was an ode to the original founding of the Ku Klux Klan.

And as you'll remember, President Woodrow Wilson spoke about the "Birth of A Nation" film as like writing history with a lightning rod. It was widely heralded by folks, by white Americans across the country because of its ideas and the fears it was promoting.


So, these are deeply rooted in our society. So, I think we have to really think about it in those terms.

LEMON: Even -- there was a screening even at the White House of "Birth of A Nation," right?

SIMI: Right, right.

LEMON: The Washington Post reports that only 22 people, Peter, were watching the gunman's live broadcast of the shooting. But all it took was one person to save that video and share it. It led to millions of views. How was the video able to go viral starting from the darkest corners of the internet? I mean, what do platforms need to do to stop that from happening?

SIMI: Well, that's a tough question to answer, Don. You know, twitch did respond relatively quickly as far as, you know, shutting down the video, quicker than what happened with the New Zealand shooting, which was also livestreamed. But as you said, you know, these things can circulate even with those actions taken by some of the platforms.

So, you know, certainly there's a lot more discussion to be had about platforms and what they should be doing to be monitoring this type of hatred and promotion of violence, and so that's certainly a big discussion.

And certainly, there's potential for congressional intervention that may be necessary in terms of, you know, having some stricter regulations and monitoring and oversight of some of these platforms, which, you know, really has been kind of the wild west in many respects.

LEMON: Peter Simi, thank you very much, sir. I appreciate it.

SIMI: Thanks for having me, Don.

LEMON: We're just hours away from key primaries in five states, including Pennsylvania, and a series of late dramatic twist could reshape the race.



LEMON: Voters heading to the polls tomorrow for primary elections in several key states, including Pennsylvania. CNN's David Chalian has been going through all of the important races, and, David, what can we expect?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Don, tomorrow is a huge primary day across the country with some marquee Senate races that actually, come this fall, may determine which party controls the United States Senate.

Take a look here. Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania -- we'll be talking about that a lot -- Idaho, and Oregon, coast to coast, big primaries. In Pennsylvania, that key Republican Senate primary. David McCormick, the former hedge fund manager, also an army veteran, sought Donald Trump's endorsement in this race but didn't get it. It's Mehmet Oz, the celebrity doctor, who actually got the former president's backing in this race. Will it be enough to get him across the finish line first in the race tomorrow?

Because Kathy Barnette has sort of upended what had been a two-person race, and she's running to the right. She is running as sort of an ultra MAGA conservative, trying to out-Trump Trump in this race. The former president says he doesn't think she could win a general election, but her rise has really scrambled this race into a real three-person contest.

On the Democratic side, you've got John Fetterman, the lieutenant governor. He is a clear front-runner in this Democratic primary, and just suffered a stroke, his campaign announced. He actually will be observing the election results most likely from his hospital room as he's recovering from a stroke and expected to make a full recovery.

He's up against Conor Lamb, the congressman from out west in Pennsylvania, from the Pittsburgh area, and Malcolm Kenyatta, who is from the Philadelphia area in the state.

In the governor's race on the Republican side, you've got front-runner Doug Mastriano. He is an election 2020 denier. He does not believe Joe Biden was legitimately elected. Donald Trump has backed him in this race. Republicans in the mainstream element of the party are concerned that if he's the nominee, it may hand the race to the Democrats in the fall.

Down in North Carolina, another Trump test. Ted Budd, the Republican congressman, he's got Trump's backing. He's up against Pat McCrory the former Republican governor, who was seen as a conservative rising star, Don, but that's not sufficient anymore in this world of the Trump-era Republican Party.

Ted Budd has the former president's backing, and he is the one to watch tomorrow night. The congressional race, where Madison Cawthorn is trying to hang on to his job, he's the incumbent congressman. He's got some serious competition.

Donald Trump issued a statement urging his constituents to give him a second chance despite some of the more controversial things that he has ended up being involved with in the last couple weeks. So, we'll see if Cawthorn can hang on to his job. And out in Idaho, the incumbent Republican governor is running against

the lieutenant governor who is serving underneath him. Janice McGeachin has Trump's backing in this race, another big test of the former president's power and sway inside the Republican Party.

And on the Democratic side in Oregon, a congressional race, incumbent Kurt Schrader. Joe Biden got involved in this race. He endorsed the incumbent, the more mainstream Democrat, versus a progressive challenger. Jamie McLeod-Skinner. We'll see if Biden's help in this race gets that incumbent another shot at re-election.

So key contests all across the country, but stay focused on that Pennsylvania Republican Senate race. It's going to be critical. We're going to learn a lot about Donald Trump's power and ability to get his preferred candidate across the finish line or not. But we're also going to learn how Republican voters are looking to choose candidates and position themselves for a midterm election that should be to their advantage. Don.

LEMON: All right. David Chalian, it's going to be interesting. Thanks so much.

I mentioned it at the top of the show, someone doing the right thing and standing up to racism. A moment I'd like you to see.



LEMON: I really want you to watch this, because it's what you can do in the own -- in your own moment, your own small little world, right, our own little personal world?

At the top of the show tonight I mentioned the moment that I notice that I wanted to share with you. Well, take this, an instance of someone doing the right thing in the face of bigotry and ignorance. Again, in the moment, I don't know if it will change the people who he did it to but they faced consequences in the moment. And that's what people need to do.

Pennsylvania rideshare driver James Bode or Bode posting on Facebook an encounter he had with potential customers this weekend. The video has since then gone viral. Watch.


UNKNOWN: Hello. How are you?

UNKNOWN: You're like a white guy.

UNKNOWN: What's that?


UNKNOWN: And you, like, a white guy.

UNKNOWN: Excuse me?

UNKNOWN: And you like a normal guy? Like, you speak English? Sorry. Sorry.

UNKNOWN: No, you can get out of the car.


UNKNOWN: That's inappropriate.


UNKNOWN: That's completely inappropriate. If somebody was not white sitting in the seat, why would it be different.

UNKNOWN: Are you serious?

UNKNOWN: She said, wow, you're a white guy. That's OK, I'm not going to take the ride. You guys can get out.

UNKNOWN: Really?

UNKNOWN: Yes. Completely inappropriate.

UNKNOWN: You're (muted).

UNKNOWN: It's all on camera, man.

UNKNOWN: I'm going to punch you in your (muted) face.

UNKNOWN: My God. Wow.

UNKNOWN: Are you going to threaten me?


UNKNOWN: Because you guys are racist.

UNKNOWN: You're a (muted).

UNKNOWN: You get out of here.

UNKNOWN: No. Now I'm calling the cops on you, man.

UNKNOWN: Go ahead.

UNKNOWN: It's all on camera. It's all on camera.


LEMON: Some of that probably shouldn't be because he called the guy an "n" word except he didn't say "n" word. Hard to call it out when you can't actually say the word.

Rideshare company Lyft responding to the video says that they are incredibly grateful to James for instantly shutting down this hate and upholding our no tolerance, anti-discrimination policies. Our team has attempted to reach out to everyone seen in that clip. We have not heard back. At a time when hate in our country can seem overwhelming, it is good to remember there is always an opportunity to stand up and do the right thing. Call it what it is. We'll be right back.