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Don Lemon Tonight
Rudy Giuliani Testified For More Than Nine Hours; Voters Focus In Issues That Affects Them; Donald Trump May Run Again In 2024; Supreme Court Justices At Odds; Chilling Experiences Shared By Survivors; Buffalo Bills Donated To Victims' Families. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired May 20, 2022 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Thank you for watching. I'll be back Monday night. DON LEMON TONIGHT starts right now. Hey, Don Lemon.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Laura, I love having you here to talk about all this legal stuff. The biggest purveyor, let's say, one of the biggest is Rudy Giuliani, of the election lie, now speaking to the committee, and for quite some time, the significance, please!
COATES: First of all, nine hours of Rudy Giuliani talking to the community. You know about a month or so or a couple of weeks we're going to hear the public hearings of the committee. And I'm actually surprised he's not a part of that. But that tells me why they actually want to give answers, and not have sort of the greatest show on earth that would happen in front of the cameras.
And so, the fact that he entered a subpoena, complied with it, and spoke for that amount of time tells me that there's probably some substantive information there. Remember, he is accused of actually being one of the people, as you mentioned, the purveyor, but a person was trying to actively ask legislators to overturn an election. To overturn the word of the people.
COATES: To have Rudy Giuliani testify for a nine-hour period, I bet they have a lot of information from him. And
LEMON: Yes. And I'm sure there is more to come with that. Laura, you have yourself a fantastic weekend.
COATES: Thank you. You too.
LEMON: Thank you. I'll see you later.
This is DON LEMON TONIGHT.
And we have been talking about it. Here's our breaking news tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern. First, on CNN, Rudy Giuliani meeting with the January 6th committee for more than nine hours today, as Laura just said. That is according to two sources. Giuliani, personal attorney to the then president and his number one promoter of the big lie of the election fraud, was subpoenaed by the committee.
He backed out of his original deposition, but sat for a virtual interview today. We're going to have a lot more on that, a lot more on that in just a moment.
But meanwhile, the big picture for most Americans it is the economy stupid. You are all feeling it. We are all feeling it. People have been saying that for years, right? This economy is stupid. But right now, I know that you are really feeling it. Prices are going up, and up, and up for everything from food that you put on your table to the gas that you put in your tank. Home prices and rent, through the roof, 401(k)s losing ground every single day.
And then, there is of course the baby formula shortage. What are we going to do about that? Some of this the White House can do something about some of it? They can't do anything about. But one thing is for sure, all of this is going to be on everybody's mind when they go to the polls in the primaries and in November.
And we've got more tonight from Buffalo, that's where a community is reeling after a racist massacre. Last night, you heard my interview with Latisha Rogers. She is the woman who works in the supermarket. She tells me that she called 911 while people were being shot all around her, only to have a dispatcher hang up on her because she was whispering while she hid from the killer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LATISHA ROGERS, ASSISTANT STORE MANAGER, TOPS SUPERMARKET: I, mean, I'm not a coldhearted person at all. And I want nobody to try to get me fired, but right is right, and wrong is wrong, and that was absolutely wrong the way she handled that situation. So, I mean, I do feel like she should be terminated. And I feel like when she hung up on me, she never called back. I felt like she left me to die. And I thought I was going to die that day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And now people Latisha and that Buffalo neighborhood are trying to figure out how to go on in the face of that brutal attack. Tonight, I'm going to talk to a player from the Buffalo Bills, who says that he felt like the shooting was in his own backyard. You'll hear what he and his team are doing to help.
So, let's get right to our breaking news tonight. Rudy Giuliani meeting with the January 6th committee for more than nine hours today.
CNN's Ryan Nobles here for us this evening with our breaking news. Ryan, good evening to you. Talk to me about your reporting. Rudy Giuliani met with the 6h committee, January 6th committee today. What do you know?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, first of, all we know that the meeting took place virtually, and it came after a lengthy deliberation and negotiations between attorneys for Rudy Giuliani, and the January 6th committee. And it came after Giuliani backed out of the prior deposition that was planned for a few weeks ago.
You remember, Don, that last time around when Giuliani was set to meet with the committee, he backed out at the last minute because he wanted to be able to videotape the deposition himself and then released that video to the public after that deposition was over. The committee didn't want to agree to that. They believed that this interview was their property, and they want to be able to handle it according to the way their investigation is going to play out.
But even though Giuliani backed away from that interview at that time, his attorney said that they were still negotiating with the committee about the parameters of this conversation. And what's important here, Don, is that even though the committee did have Giuliani under subpoena, they wanted to be able to have a conversation with him that would illicit information.
And so, they wanted to make it clear, they're not going to ask him questions that might fall under an area of executive privilege, or attorney client privilege. But there were questions that they believed under the law he'd be able to answer. They came to that place. And it ended up being a lengthy interview, more than nine hours, I'm told.
Now, we don't know just how substantive the information that Giuliani provided or how cooperative he was with the committee. But Don, just based on the fact that it was this long, shows you that the committee must have had some success in the questions that they asked Giuliani today.
LEMON: And we are sure to find out a lot of what Giuliani had to say in the coming weeks, days, months, or days. So, Rudy, -- Rudy Giuliani is a key figure in peddling the big lie. Also, a lot of credibility, Ryan, over the years. What use is he actually to the committee?
NOBLES: Well, it's a great question, Don. Because remember, the committee is of course tasked with the responsibility of figuring out why the capital insurrection took place. So, there is a lot of questions maybe around, why they're spending so much time on the false claims that were made about the election results. And that's what's really Giuliani plays a significant role in.
He was, perhaps, the biggest purveyor of the big lie. He was the architect of this effort to undermine the election results, almost from the very beginning serving as a personal attorney to the former president, Donald Trump.
And he was working on this plan right up until what's happened on January 6, including coming up and providing some of these very questionable legal theories about the roles of the former vice president Mike Pence could play. He also had a role in trying to file fake electors from different states across the country. The committee believes those two things are interchangeable, that you
do not have the insurrection on January 6th without all the peddling of the false information in the days and weeks leading up to January 6. And part of what they're trying to do is connect the dots between all these different events that led to the violence and chaos on that day.
There may not be anyone who has more information about the ways those dots could be connected than Rudy Giuliani. That's why he was such an important figure and an important player in this conversation and why the committee was insistent that he comes before that.
LEMON: And let's not forget he had a lot of help around him, the kraken lady, the Ellis attorney, Gorka, and so on and so forth.
NOBLES: John Eastman, right, exactly.
LEMON: Yes. All of those people around him just lying. Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Ryan Nobles joining us from Washington this evening starting us off.
Now I want to bring in Nixon White House counsel John Dean. John, good evening to you.
Giuliani pushed the election lie and lead the effort to try to overturn the results. Who can forget that four seasons total landscaping presser after the election, I mean, it was unbelievable? The four seasons hotel versus the -- and then they end up at the landscaping, OK, that shows you just how odd this was and the kinds of people we're operating.
You had all of the people the election lie presser with his dye streaking down his face, there he is right there. Given all of this, is he a useful witness, do you think?
JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think he's going to be a defendant at some point, Don. But he obviously is a potentially great witness. He knows pretty much the whole picture from the start to the finish, as was mentioned, he's probably the architect, at least in the face of it with some other people chipping in and giving their two senses about how they can pull this amazing fraud they were undertaking off.
LEMON: Listen, you've been here before during Watergate. So, if you're on that committee, right? And you've been on a committee like this before, what sort of questions you would be asking Giuliani?
DEAN: Well, I think that the area they got to get around first is to establish clearly that he has no privilege of any kind that he can, he's an open witness. So, I think they met that hurdle. So, the question now is where do they go, and they try to get to Donald Trump's intent, what he was doing?
Just as -- just as with me as a key witness, they want to know as much as I could tell them about Richard Nixon. Yes, they were interested in the general broad conspiracy. Who else was involved? Nixon's top aides were involved. They want to know about them, but they really want to know about the president.
That's -- that's the picture when you have a presidential undertaking of this nature that's corrupt, that's what the Congress wants to find out and know how to deal with it.
LEMON: I want to talk to you. Let's go -- I want to go back to the prior question I had about his credibility. But I want viewers to see the kind of witness we're talking about. Exactly, you know, Rudy Giuliani's character during all of this. Listen to what we heard from him on the January -- on January 6th at that rally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LAWYER: If we are wrong, we will live a fool's life. But if the right, a lot of them will go to jail!
GIULIANI: So, let's have trial by combat.
GIULIANI: I'm willing to stake -- I'm willing to stake my reputation, the president is willing to stake his reputation on the fact that we're going to find criminality there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK, so you have all these antics, right? The -- a bronze or hair dye, whatever it was, streaming down his face. You have the four seasons total landscaping rather than the hotel. You have all of the lies that he's spewed, and then, you have this. Trial by combat.
I mean, he was just one of the many people inside Trump's inner circle speaking in violent terms, John, about what was coming on January 6th. The significance of that connecting the election lie with the violence that we saw on that day.
DEAN: Well, he's calling -- he's calling for overt action on a conspiracy. There is clearly a conspiracy. That's not going to take prosecutors anytime at all for the committee anytime at all to establish. A lot of it is in writing. A lot of it is in text messages.
So, the key is, where are they going with this? How does Rudy fit in with the plan? The big plan? They know they've lost to they've got to undo and unwind. And it's an impossible task. So, it is a coup. They know what they're doing, at least they've got a plan to do it.
And I think when that surfaces before the American people it probably will not be from Rudy Giuliani directly. It will all come indirectly because he is not -- he does have a fifth amendment privilege, and he's going to lean on it heavily, I suspect. LEMON: Nine hours, as a matter of fact, more than nine hours. That's
quite a long time. Does that sound like someone who is taking the fifth? You said he has a fifth amendment privilege. Or actually answering questions?
DEAN: He could -- it could be a combination of both. He doesn't want to find himself in contempt of the committee. He is a skillful lawyer. He is a former prosecutor. He is somebody who understands Washington and the way it works. He was in the Department of Justice at one point. He was, as I say, he was attorney, and a very important district attorney. The Southern District of New York. He knows how to play the game, and try to thread the needle, whether he's done so successfully or not, I don't know.
The other possibility is he was given immunity. I don't know if that happened or not, but he could've been. But the other, I suspect we'll find out more in the coming hours and days.
LEMON: John Dean, always a pleasure. Good to see you. Thank you so much.
DEAN: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: So, like I said, it's the economy stupid. And the Americans are really worried right now, worried about the direction of the country. It might be bad for Biden's political prospects. That's for sure. But could also be bad for Trump? How so? That's next.
LEMON: The White House facing one crisis after another. Prices going up on everything from the food you put on your table to the roof over your head. While 401(k)s are headed down, not to mention the baby formula shortage.
Lots to talk about with David Axelrod and Scott Jennings.
Good evening. Wish I had better news to talk to guys about. But we are, that's our jobs. We got to do it.
Good to see both of you. David, this economic picture is pretty hard to sugarcoat. People are really worried right now. The mood in the country troubled. What kind of leadership is needed here, you think?
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the question is what can leadership do. I mean, there are limited levers to pull here relative to some of the things that are troubling. People obviously on the baby formula issue. He has -- he has exercised the Defense Production Act, and there are things that you can do at the margins. But in many ways, he is at the mercy of larger forces here.
And, you know, these -- inflation is hard to reverse. The Fed has the major cudgel here. But that involves raising interest rates, which has its own problems. There are other things you could do like relative to tariffs or student loans that would be unpopular. I mean, there really aren't a lot of tools here for him, and that's what makes this so uncomfortable.
LEMON: So, having said that, I mean, knowing that, right, the background, then what would you, you know, because you have to put on the best face. Right? You have to tell the president how he can --
AXELROD: Well, --
LEMON: -- so if you are the White House, if you are back in the White House, right, and so saw the potential midterm election --
LEMON: -- disaster on the horizon, what would your advice be?
AXELROD: My advice would be to go after price gouging, wherever I see it, whether it's among the, you know, from energy companies or any other into the -- that is taking advantage of the situation. And made clear that there are -- there are forces that are profiteering from that, and you're willing to confront.
You know, you need to connote action and take it wherever you could find it. But it's a tough situation, Don. And time is running out. You know, these things don't turn around in a hurry. And now, we're almost into June. And, before you know it, people are going to begin casting ballots. So I'm sure there is a great deal of concern in the White House right now.
LEMON: Scott, I see you shaking your head in agreement. Before you comment let me just put up some of the headlines here. CNN. The Dow was on the longest weekly losing streak since 1923. New York Times. The markets and down for seven straight weeks despite late rally. Washington Post. S&P 500 briefly tips into bear market as recession fears grow.
So, with headlines like that of course, and the reality, people are freaking out. What is the political impact of all of this do you think?
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, obviously, I mean, Biden has been suffering from low job approval since really the Afghanistan debacle from last fall. It's never really gone back up. And this is another anvil on him, all these economic hits that keep on coming.
And you know, you can talk about the macro issues in the economy, which we do often, but his real problem is the micro engagement. You know, the parent who can't get baby formula, or the parents sitting at a high school graduation this weekend who thought they have saved enough money for college. And now their 529 is crashed, and they're out driving around into these things, either going to the store or going to the graduation paying five bucks for a gallon of gas.
I mean, these micro engagements with the economy can really nod (Ph) a presidency. Because even non-political people start to get a political opinion about whose fault it is and who they're going to hold accountable.
And so, I know it's a midterm election and turnout is a little lower. But when you have, as you pointed out, Don, exactly like this in the country it can bring people out and get them casting ballots that you don't expect. And for Joe Biden in ways that they wouldn't like come November.
I mean, if you are the Republicans, obviously it's the best environment just to speak raw politics that we've had for quite a long time. And as David pointed out, it's really hard to turn a ship like this when you are so far gone down this rabbit hole.
LEMON: You know, just this weekend, David, President Biden's Operation Fly Formula will fly 1.5 million bottles of infant formula into the U.S. I mean, it's coming to Indiana from Switzerland, it sounds impressive, and it is. But did they act fast enough on this crisis?
AXELROD: Well, I don't know whether they acted fast enough on this crisis. But this is -- this is the kind of action he needs to take. He needs to show that he is taking affirmative steps to deal with this. And my suspicion is, that by the time voting happens this will not be an issue, inflation probably will.
This is one that may pass before, because you're going to see -- you're going to see manufacturing ramping up and so on. This -- this may pass before the election. But Scott is right, you know.
I mean, it's these things that touch your daily life that impact on people's orientation. And no one is really asking the Republicans what is your answer to this, and they don't really need to offer one, and they're not really offering one. They just need to sit back and take advantage of the situation, and right now, you know, there is strong, strong headwinds in the face of the president's party.
LEMON: Well, you know, Scott, listen, we've talked about this before, when Trump was in office about who was actually responsible for the economy, and the stock market. Trump always said, stock market, you know, the president doesn't really have that much to do.
But people, and maybe rightfully so, they blame the president, right? Because the buck stops with a person who is in the Oval Office. It's a global, economy global -- globally isn't doing great. So here at home, Biden's approval numbers are at 40 percent.
I mean, it sounds counterintuitive in a way because Democrats aren't in a good spot to begin with, and Republicans might think that they can beat the Democrats and the president without having to lean on Trump, and all the issues that come with a full MAGA embrace?
JENNINGS: I mean, if I were Donald Trump, I mean, look, as you know, Don, I've said on your show many times, I think he's going to run again because I think he's going -- I think the Republicans are going to do well in November. I think he's going to perceive it as a, you know, the country came to its senses. And he thinks he's going to run the easiest campaign of all-time called I told you so.
And not really have to do much else. And run a full-blown referendum on Biden. He'll interpret the midterm results as the beginning of that referendum. Now whether Biden runs again or not, I guess is question and whether people get it out of their system and the country recovers the next two years after that is another question.
But I think if I'm -- if I'm Donald Trump, this is a pretty simple equation as things crumble around Biden. And one more thing, and I'd be interested in David's opinion about --
LEMON: Hang on, hang on, hang on. Before you go there.
JENNINGS: I'm hearing from a lot of people --
LEMON: Before you go there let me ask you this.
LEMON: So, having -- that was -- you sort of got to the answer of the question. You are saying he's thinking all of these things, right? Like hey, look, this is going to be great for me. But is he in a way sort of underestimating how people actually feel about him, and Trumpism at this part? Because there are many Republicans who, they may like Trumpism but they don't necessarily like Trump? That was sort of the crust in my question there.
JENNINGS: Well, look, I mean, remember how he won in 2016. I mean, there were a lot of people who didn't really like him but ended up voting for him because the alternative they thought was pretty terrible. I mean, she was the most -- Hillary Clinton was the most unpopular Democrat candidate for president.
LEMON: No, no, but you're missing my point.
JENNINGS: And in the modern era I think one of the most --
LEMON: The question is will they choose and other Republican other than Trump because it can be so toxic?
JENNINGS: Yes, great question. If you have 12, 10, 12, 14 people running for president, Donald Trump can win --
AXELROD: Yes, that's the point. JENNINGS: -- and he's going to win the Republican primary in a fragment situation. I mean, that's what's happened in '16, and he's stronger with the party now that he was back then.
LEMON: OK. Real quickly, please.
AXELROD: And Don, the Republican Party -- the Republican Party rules are such that it's a winner take all. It's not proportional. So, all he has to do is get, you know, you know the old joke about the two guys who see the bear in the woods, and one guy stops, and drops his back, and puts gym shoes on. And the other guy says, the other guy says, what are you doing? You cannot outrun that bear. And the first says, I don't have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you.
And that's the same here. Donald Trump just has to outrun the 14 other guys.
AXELROD: And so, you know, I think his odds are in favor to be the Republican nominee in 2024.
LEMON: So, there is a consensus. You guys agree. Thank you both. Thank you, Scott. Thank you, David.
JENNINGS: Yes. Good to see you. Sure.
LEMON: We'll see you later, thanks.
Next, a rare look at tensions brewing behind closed doors at the Supreme Court in the wake of a leaked draft decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade. Does Clarence Thomas sending a message when he said this about the court before John Roberts joined?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLARENCE THOMAS, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: We may have been a dysfunctional family, but we were a family. And we loved it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Tensions rising over that bombshell Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. And as the court gets closer to its final decision, the justices themselves may be at odds. At a recent conference, Clarence Thomas, Judge -- Justice Clarence Thomas, I should say, took a rare public jab at the Chief Justice john Roberts, saying this about what the court has, was like just before he joined in 2005.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS: The court it was together 11 years was a fabulous court. It was one who looked forward to being part of. We actually trusted, we may have been dysfunctional family, but we were a family. And we loved it. I mean, you trusted each other. You laughed together. You went to lunch together every day. And I can only hope you can keep it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, let's bring in CNN chief legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin. Jeffrey, good evening. I mean, this an incredibly blunt take from Justice Thomas, and a clear wipe at the Chief Justice Roberts, basically claiming that the court was better before Roberts arrived. I mean, why on earth, why?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, because the court is in a very weird place right now. You know, this court -- you know, it's a very private place in ordinary circumstances. And there are norms of behavior that have been observed there, not really for decades, but for centuries.
I mean, the Supreme Court, as an institution, as in terms of how it operates, has not really changed much in decade after decade. And now, we have a situation where an opinion, the draft opinion has been -- has been leaked. There have been subsequent leaks about subsequent developments in this abortion case. And the court is really in some institutional disarray.
Now, that is not as important as the result that appears to be coming. I mean, what matters is that the Supreme Court is about to take a right away from American woman that they've had for almost 50 years. But just in terms of the institution, the court is really in a place it hasn't been, and they are flailing around.
And I think Justice Thomas is, you know, cleared dissed of Chief Justice Roberts in that comment, is an illustration of how discomforted they are all by the current situation.
LEMON: Right on. Listen, and what's -- with the possibility of what's going to happen with Roe v. Wade, that is the -- that is the more substantive issue here. But you have to look, there is a sitting justice, Clarence Thomas, he is taking a swipe, as you said, a clear swipe as the chief justice.
The chief justice is not taking a swipe at Clarence Thomas. Clarence Thomas is talking about the integrity of the court when you have his wife who he's gotten lots of criticism from. So, I'm wondering, to what end? Why is Clarence Thomas doing this talking about the integrity of the court, yet he is taking a swipe at a sitting, not just sitting just but the chief justice? And the chief justice is not doing the same thing. It just -- it does not make sense. It seems very hypocritical.
TOOBIN: Well, it's very weird. And it's especially weird when you consider that Clarence Thomas is running the Supreme Court right now. You know, there are five justices who are aligned with Thomas in case after case. And under the rules of the Supreme Court, when those five are a majority, Clarence Thomas as the senior associate justice gets to assign the opinion.
And the Dobbs case, which is the big abortion case, was a classic example of that if the leaks are accurate, as they appear to be. It means that Clarence Thomas assigned Justice Alito to write that opinion. That's an enormous power of the Supreme Court, so why he would be so aggrieved at a moment when his power has never been greater, makes his comments even more peculiar.
But you know, I don't pretend to understand what's going on inside Clarence Thomas's head. But I know from the outside that Clarence Thomas who was an outcast conservative when he joined the court in 1991, is now at the ideological center of the court. That's how much the court has changed.
LEMON: Listen, the leak of the draft opinion on Roe was a huge blow to the court's integrity. It was unprecedented. Could some of the justices be looking at Roberts, and thinking that he has lost control of the ship?
TOOBIN: Absolutely. I think that's what Thomas implicitly was saying, that, you know, in the old days under Chief Justice Rehnquist, you know, the ship ran smoothly. And Roberts -- Roberts has lost control. That's the message. And it used to be a happy family, and now it's a dysfunctional family.
You know, what Chief Justice Roberts could do about someone leaking, I don't know. I mean, you know, there -- it's a very small court. I mean, that's the thing. I'm not sure everyone understand, is that you're talking about an institution with nine justices, each with four law clerks.
That means there are 45 people who really have the knowledge of what's going on. There's some support staff, but the people who are intimately familiar are those 45 people.
TOOBIN: That's not a lot of people, but it is enough people so that Chief Justice Roberts doesn't know what they're doing all the time.
LEMON: Jeffrey, thank you, sir. I appreciate seeing you. I appreciate you coming on.
TOOBIN: All right, buddy.
LEMON: Thank you so much.
TOOBIN: See you.
LEMON: Grief and mourning in Buffalo. The first victims laid to rest in the wake of Saturday's racist massacre. Community running together amid immeasurable tragedy. [22:40:00]
LEMON: Tomorrow marks one week since the horrific racist mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket left 10 people dead. As the community begins to lay those victims to rest, survivors of those shooting are reflecting on that earthshattering day, and how they can go on in the face of such a loss.
CNN correspondent Brian Todd reports.
ROBIN WHITFIELD, VICTIM RUTH WHITFIELD'S OLDEST DAUGHTER: That racist young man took my mother away.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nearly a week after a racist attack on Buffalo's east side left 10 people dead, --
WHITFIELD: How dare you!
TODD: Grief and shock are now giving way to a community trying to figure out how it will move forward amid stories of heroism and survival. Eight-year-old Londin Thomas went to Tops friendly market to gather supplies for a family cookout.
LONDIN THOMAS, EIGHT-YEAR-OLD SURVIVOR OF TOPS SHOOTING: He went to the back of the store, where the milk is. And like, it was locked there, and I could not get out.
TODD: As bullets rips through the store, she hid in a cooler with her dad. I was scared for my mom, and then I don't know what happened to her because she was at the front. And I was at the back.
JULIE THOMAS, TOPS SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Twenty minutes later, they gave me my baby, and that was the most longest way I had in life.
TODD: Latisha Rogers tried to call 911 when the shooting started, but says she was hung up on by the operator.
ROGERS: I gave here the address and I said, please send help, there is the person in the store shooting. And she proceeded to say to me, what? I can't hear you? Why are you whispering? You don't have to whisper. They can't hear you.
So, I said, ma'am, he's still in the store, he is still shooting. And around this time, he is literally still in the background. And I feel like when she hung up on me and she never called back, I felt like she left me to die.
TODD: In her eventual escape, Rogers recognized two people she knew dead on the floor. One was Deacon Heyward Patterson, the first victim to be laid to rest Friday in Buffalo.
GERALD SLACK JR., FRIEND OF TOPS SHOOTING VICTIM DEACON HEYWARD PATTERSON: He would help people at Tops all the time. You know, he helped senior citizens and different people get to the grocery store, and help them pack the groceries, and drop off their groceries. You know, he just loved people. He was actually loading groceries into the back of a vehicle helping somebody else, and got shot in the back. He didn't even say a comment.
TODD: The other was Aaron Salter, a security guard and retired Buffalo police lieutenant who fired shots at the gunman and is now being hailed as a hero.
AARON SALTER III, AARON SALTER JR.'S SON: What chokes me up the most is I know that if my dad, you know, if my dad was evenly matched with him, even though he was, you know, he came with all that hate. My dad was evenly matched with him, it would've been a different outcome.
TODD: The only food option for miles around, the Tops friendly market is more than just a grocery store to this community. Jerome Bridges says he was ready to take a bullet to protect his customers.
JEROME BRIDGES, TOPS EMPLOYEE & SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I just wanted to make sure that I kept the customers and my other three coworkers very safe. So, even if I were to die, it would have been, you know, me dying protecting them.
TODD: Geneva Smith Johnson knew five victims killed in the shooting.
GENEVA SMITH JOHNSON, KNEW FIVE VICTIMS OF TOPS SHOOTING: I can see myself going back in there. I can recover but it will be a while before recovery occur. It's not going to happen overnight. It's going to take a while.
TODD: Marvin Morris grew up here. He says the community fought hard to bring a grocery store to the neighborhood, and says they'll fight for more investment in the wake of the attack.
MARVIN MORRIS, GREW UP IN BUFFALO: This area the east side of Buffalo are predominantly black community is a food desert. And so, this is the only store in the neighborhood that offers full-service groceries.
TODD: And as we head toward midnight on Friday and what will surely be a difficult one-week anniversary of this attack, take a look at this beautiful tribute to the victims. You've got just lots of flowers, candles, balloons, and signs here, and it's growing by the minute here right next to the Tops market.
And Marvin Morris, the gentleman we spoke to and others say that they are really worried about the economic fallout, Don. They believe that, you know, they fought for years to get this Tops story here, and it really brought other businesses here. Now, they're worried that even if this reopens as promised, that this really, the economic viability of this neighborhood could take a nosedive as a result of this attack, Don. LEMON: The community will be reeling from this for quite some time.
Brian Todd in Buffalo. Brian, thank you very much. I appreciate that.
So, the Buffalo bill is reaching out to the community to help donating $400,000 together with the NFL foundation. Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson used to live in the neighborhood himself. This is incredibly personal to him. We'll hear from him.
LEMON: The people of Buffalo coming together as a city to support the families of 10 people who were -- the 10 people who killed in that racist massacre over the weekend. And that includes the Buffalo Bills. Together, the Bills foundation and the NFL foundation are donating $400,000 to the community.
Team members are bringing flowers to a makeshift memorial. Many of them wearing sweatshirts with the words, "choose love." And gathering to prepare and serve meals to members of the devastated community. A beautiful outpouring of love in the aftermath of evil inspired by racism.
Joining me now is Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson who lived in the community. Shaq, I'm so happy to have you. Thank you so much for joining me and for what you are doing. Good evening to you, sir.
SHAQ LAWSON, BUFFALO BILLS DEFENSIVE END: Thanks for having me.
LEMON: This was your old neighborhood. You used to shop at that Tops market. The shooting really hit home for you, didn't it?
LAWSON: Yes, it did. Like when I first started playing with Buffalo, I ended up moving downtown. And I used to shop at the Tops supermarket all the time. You know, I would just go into there. I know people from the east side, from that side, the east side of Buffalo, Don. So, it really hit home as well.
LEMON: So, Shaq, I got to ask you. Visiting the scene on Wednesday, what were you feeling, sir?
LAWSON: It's very -- it's very emotional for us to go over there, and seeing that people have lost their lives. Just going back to see that, it gave me -- it gave me chills, like that chills all over my body. It could have been anybody. So, maybe one of us, it could've been one of my grandmas, my uncle or things like that. So, when I go and I see it, it's very emotional.
LEMON: Listen, I love one of the pictures we have up now. As someone wear, you guys are wearing shirts that say, choose law, which is true. We all need to choose love over the hate that happened there.
After visiting the memorial at the Tops market, your teammates, and the Bills staff worked with the World Central Kitchen, you know, it's Jose Andres always doing a great job. You worked with them to provide meals and grieve with the victims' families. Can you talk to me more about what is it was like to talk to them, the victims' families, and hear about, you know, the family members they lost so violently and suddenly?
LAWSON: I mean, you got no words. I was just speechless. Just seeing them, you know, anything we could possibly do to make them smile appear or bring some type of jot to them we'll try our best to do it. But I was just very speechless. I mean, I can say this was such a difficult thing to the community and for our people in times like that.
LEMON: Shaq, I know that you're personally donating $10,000 to the family foundation of Bills Hall of Fame Thurman Thomas to support the community. What do they need most right now?
LAWSON: They need community support. They need us to come together, for them, for the families, and most importantly, you, know the (Inaudible) aren't going to be there. We need to make a change for us, you know. This has been going on for years and years, and so we just need to make a change, and find a way to impact this for the next generation that's coming on and after us.
LEMON: Shaq, what do you want your friends and fans in Buffalo to know tonight?
LAWSON: We got a lot of support with Bills up here. The Buffalo hold (Inaudible) anything to do anyway. If possible, we'd like to help. And my next thing, I'm playing donating (Inaudible) to the family need that have lost the lives (Inaudible) or great kids that they're having and trying to get to college or stuff like that.
LEMON: That's good stuff there, Shaq. Shaq Lawson, thank you. And again, we appreciate you joining us. Come back any time. Best of luck to you, OK?
LAWSON: Yes, sir. Thank you so much.
LEMON: Thank you. Rudy Giuliani meeting with the January 6th committee today, and it wasn't a breezy in and out. He was there for nine hours, more than nine hours as a matter of fact. What it means for the investigation? That's next.
LEMON: This is DON LEMON TONIGHT.
Breaking news. Rudy Giuliani meeting with the January 6th committee for more than nine hours today. The former president's one-time personal attorney was a major player in the attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
Counting down to the high-profile primary in Georgia, the battle for the Republican nomination for governor, the candidate backed by Trump trailing badly tonight. And making the cut. Golfing great Tiger Woods rebounding in the second
round of the PGA championship to make the cup but by a razor-thin margin.
I want to bring in now CNN's senior political analyst Ron Brownstein, senior legal analyst Elie Honig, and Mark McKinnon, adviser to George W. Bush and John McCain and the executive producer of the Circus on Showtime.
Gentlemen, good evening to you. So glad that you could join us this evening.
Elie, I'm going to start with you. Rudy Giuliani meeting with the January 6th select committee for nine hours today. You say that this poses a major threat to everybody. How so?
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Don, Rudy Giuliani's testimony is dangerous to a lot of people. Starting with Rudy Giuliani himself. It's really hard to think of any individual who has more legal problems right now than Rudy Giuliani. He's being sued for defamation for millions of dollars by voting technology companies. He has had his law license suspended in both jurisdictions where he is licensed, and he is appealing that. He wants a hearing there. We know he is under criminal investigation by the Southern District of
New York, the very federal prosecutor's office that he once led.
And it's important to know, Don, every word that Rudy Giuliani said to the committee today can be used against him, just like the fifth amendment warning.