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Don Lemon Tonight

The January 6 House Select Committee Holds Its Second Public Hearing; Ivanka Trump And Jared Kushner Tried Talking Trump Out Of Declaring Early Victory; Bipartisan Senators Agree On Framework For Gun Reforms; Idaho Police Officers Getting Death Threats After Men With Suspected Ties To White Nationalist Group Arrested. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired June 13, 2022 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Bogus, idiotic, crazy, bullshit, completely nuts. That's how Trump insiders describe the former president's election lies to the January 6 Committee. It was all part of today's public hearing, and CNN's Ryan Nobles has the highlights right now.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We were getting ready to win this election. frankly, we did win this election.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump's false claims that he won the 2020 election before all the votes were counted. A lie he continues to pedal, but one that some of his closest advisers told the January 6 Committee they didn't believe, like his attorney general.

WILLIAM BARR, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: He has become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff.

NOBLES (voice-over): His campaign manager.

BILL STEPIEN, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I didn't say what was happening was necessarily honest or professional.

NOBLES (voice-over): And several top campaign lawyers.

ALEX CANNON, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN LAWYER: I remember telling him that I didn't believe the Dominion allegations.

ERIC HERSCHMANN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: What they were proposing, I thought was nuts. The theory was also completely nuts.

NOBLES (voice-over): Trump's insistence that he won the election, despite a wide range of evidence to the contrary, is at the core of the committee's argument that he purposely and potentially criminally worked to prevent the certification of the election results. A conspiracy that ultimately led to his supporters storming the Capitol on January 6th.

BARR: I told him that the stuff that his people were shoveling out to the public was bullshit. I mean, that the claims of fraud were bullshit. All the early claims that I understood were completely bogus and silly.

NOBLES (voice-over): Bill Stepien, Trump's former campaign manager, was expected to appear live. But after his wife went into labor, he bowed out. The committee playing excerpts from his explosive deposition instead, with him detailing election night in the White House.

UNKNOWN: And did anybody who is a part of that conversation disagree with your message?


UNKNOWN: Who is that?

STEPIEN: The president disagreed with that.

NOBLES (voice-over): The result was a methodical rejection of Trump's claims of fraud delivered by his campaign and White House advisers. Respected professionals who said that Trump stopped talking to them and started trusting people like Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.

STEPIEN: There were two groups of family. We call them kind of my team and Rudy's team. I didn't mind being characterized as being part of team normal.

NOBLES (voice-over): Election experts and state election officials also testified that there was zero chance Trump won the election.

BEN GINSBERG, ELECTION LAWYER: There was no credible evidence of fraud produced by the Trump campaign or his supporters.

NOBLES (voice-over): The committee also drawing the a between Trump's big lie and his fundraising.

AMANDA WICK, JANUARY 6 COMMITTEE INVESTIGATOR: The claims that the election was stolen were so successful. President Trump and his allies raise $250 million.

NOBLES (voice-over): The committee donors were told the money would be used to fight voter fraud. Fraud that did not exist. The last email sent to donors a half hour before the Capitol was breached.

(On camera): And Don, we're really just at the beginning of these hearings that will take place throughout the month of June, seven in total.

The third hearing that is scheduled for Wednesday is designed to specifically focus on Trump's attempt to infiltrate the Department of Justice with the goal of installing a puppet attorney general who would do the job of investigating these thin claims of voter fraud. There's also the possibility that members of Congress that were involved in that effort may be revealed as being part of that plot. Don?


LEMON: Ryan Nobles, thank you very much.

I want to bring in now political commentator Charlie Dent and global affairs analyst Susan Glasser. I almost gave you a new name, calling you Charlie Dean.


LEMON: Good to see you both. Good evening. Susan, so much to talk about, but I want to start with committee chair, Bennie Thompson, telling reporters that the committee will not make any criminal referrals to the DOJ or Trump or anyone else.

But vice chair, Liz Cheney, contradicting that. This is what she is tweeting tonight, as a matter of fact. January 6th Select Committee has not issued a conclusion regarding potential criminal referrals. We will announce a decision on that at an appropriate time. Susan, what is up with this? What's going on here?

SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yeah, it's kind of remarkable in the middle of their big rollout of their long-awaited hearings, right? It's been a year and a half since January 6th, and here we are talking about their disagreement with each other.


It is not just Liz Cheney versus the chairman. You see several other members tonight as well. I think Adam Schiff and another congresswoman also saying, wait a minute, we haven't decided. Although to a certain extent, Don, I'm not sure how consequential this disagreement really is.

In the end, it will be up to Merrick Garland, the attorney general, and his Justice Department, whether or not they proceed with charges. Congress would have an advisory rule at best in this. Obviously, it's the evidence itself that matters in the legal determination, none of which is really in the hands of this congressional select committee anyways.

LEMON: I want to bring in Laura Coates, a former prosecutor here and get her take on this. Laura, hello to you. Is the Select Committee presenting a strong legal case, because we know the attorney general, Garland, is watching?

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST, FORMER PROSECUTOR: He is watching. And I think that they are presenting a case that dramatically outlines really where the prosecutors, if they were inclined to pursue charges, would pick up. Remember, they're outlining the notion of what he was doing, what he was engaged in, the notion of trying to, based on fraudulent information, knowing that it was fraud, trying to convince people of the big lie.

Now, there is actually a criminal hook to this if they're inclined. That's the idea of trying to defraud the people of the United States. You have to have this agreement essentially that says, here's what we're going to do. That part, I think, is still out there to be proven.

But you have to have an official proceeding. Here, it was the certification of the count and the intention to use fraud or deceptive means for some improper purpose or some corrupt purpose, and then commit an overt act in front of it.

Every single time he has tried to find instances of fraud, knowing that there were no fraudulent issues to actually discuss, he was essentially committing a kind of overt act, a tweet, a speech, a conversation, a plan that went totally counter to what everyone said.

And you know, there's really no inference that could be made that he actually believed in fact perhaps or knew that this was somehow true because he had his attorney general talk about it, Don. He had his own advisers, his campaign manager, his campaign lawyers. You had all of these happening and yet --

LEMON: Of course. I mean, how -- was it 60 times that it was --

COATES: Exactly.

LEMON: Right, right, that it was litigated, right?

COATES: Sixty-two times.

LEMON: Yeah. Yeah.

COATES: He tried -- he exhausted legal remedies. And why that's important, Don? You're right to point that out. It is because even if he didn't have the criminal intent to do something wrong, he would still have known, based on all the certifications, all the exhausted legal remedies, that he was improperly trying to retain office.

LEMON: Uh-hmm.

COATES: That is part of the calculus, as well.

LEMON: Charlie, the former A.G., Bill Barr, he may not have been sitting in the hearing room today, but he was the star witness with videos like this one. Here it is.


BARR: There was never an indication of interest in any of the actual facts. I was somewhat demoralized because I thought, boy, if he really believes this stuff, he has, you know, lost contact with -- with -- he has become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: If he really believes this stuff. He had become detached from reality. What message does that send coming from someone who carried Trump's water for so long, Charlie?

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA REPRESENTATIVE: Well, it tells me that the former president is not only detached from reality, but believes his own bull. He thinks that -- he believes he is never wrong and he is never in doubt. And he's not going to let facts or evidence get in the way of his argument.

And so, I think he has just deluded himself, what we witnessed here from Bill Barr and some of the other Republicans who supported Donald Trump. These people have called him out and said the emperor has no clothes. They often didn't say that, but they're saying it now. It is a darn good thing.

But the real sad part about this is it is -- you know, if someone tells an easily disputable lie over and over again, sadly, too many people are going to believe it. That's what's happening. And it undermining faith and confidence in our electoral system. It is hard to sustain a democracy this way.

LEMON: It is really interesting. I keep saying, what are the -- you know, the evidence, I think, is pretty compelling. What are they going to say? It's a deep state. It's never-Trumpers. It's, you know, rhinos. But there are -- these are the people the president hired.

DENT: Yeah.

LEMON: The closest people, his closest advisers, and his family members, Charlie.

DENT: Yeah. I mean, look, it's -- you just wonder, you know, at what point is there going to be a family intervention here. I mean, this dysfunction is unhealthy, it's obsessive, and it's destructive to our country and to the party, to the election system. It's just wrong on so many levels. Everybody knows it.

And I think it is -- we're well past the point of people calling it out. You know, they're just going to have to reject this man. You know, he is a diminished figure, thankfully. But he is still a dangerous one.


And until we -- until enough people who know better continue to shout from the rooftops, I'm afraid that, you know, we're going to continue to see this spiral of our democratic institutions in a very bad -- in a very bad direction.

LEMON: Susan, I have another soundbite for you. This is Bill Barr describing a moment leaving the Oval 0ffice. This is after Trump was talking about his fraud claims. Here it is.


BARR: Jared was there with Dan Scavino, who ran his -- ran the president's social media and who I thought was a reasonable guy and believed was a reasonable guy. And I said, how long is -- how long is he going to carry on with this stolen election stuff? Where is this going to go?

And by that time, Meadows had caught up with me and leaving the office and caught up with me and said that -- look, I think that he's becoming more realistic and knows that there's a limit to how far he can take this. And then Jared said, you know, yeah, we're working on this, we're working on it.


LEMON: I mean -- so, Susan, seriously, all these people around Trump knew that these were lies. They didn't say anything publicly at the time. They aren't stopping all the other Republicans who are running on his lies right now. It's just lies on top of lies and it is compounded. And to Charlie's point, like what the hell? Like -- what?

GLASSER: Well, first of all, Don, right, you got to remember, these people, not only are they lying to the American public, they're lying to each other, they're backstabbing each other, they're each playing a different underhanded game. And that comes through so clearly in that clip that you just played from former Attorney General Barr.

Mark Meadows, Trump's fourth and final chief of staff, an important figure in all this. And really, you know, he seemed to be actively misleading Bill Barr in that conversation, misleading establishment Republicans.

At the same time, the evidence that has come out from the committee has shown pretty clearly that Mark Meadows was an active participant in creating the conspiracy and helping Trump to fuel his election lies.

And, you know, to me, this is -- it was a snake pit, the Trump White House, and they were snake pit with each other as well as lying to the American public.

LEMON: It's astounding. Stick around. We got a lot more to talk about with today's hearing. We'll be right back. Don't go anywhere.




LEMON: Back now with Laura Coates, Charlie Dent, and Susan Glasser. Okay, so, Laura, what does all of this tell you about Trump's intent, his state of mind, that people within his inner circle told him the truth and he still wouldn't stop?

COATES: I think that is very clear, just like what Chairman Bennie Thompson spoke of on that very first day of the hearings, that on the morning of January 6th, he intended to still be the president of the United States. And that would be an improper thing to do, given the fact that he was already aware that there was not widespread fraud to overturn the election. They are even certified results.

He did not have a legal basis to continue to challenge, although he has already exhausted over 60 times. And he did not have the constitutional way of trying to have the vice president of the United States undermine those electors.

And so, in that moment, you are clear on the intent. The question was, how did he form that? Did he truly believe that he had the right or did he just want it to be true? That is a huge divide.

But either way, if he had criminal intent, Don, or if he remained for an improper purpose, you have the foundations about the idea of using fraud to try to deceive the public, which is unlawful and also anti- democratic.

LEMON: Yeah. Laura, let me ask you this, because you have the people on one side, oh, you want to see Trump in handcuffs and he is going to go to jail, right, and then you have the folks on the other side who say, no one cares about this, we should deal with gas prices.

Is there anything in this -- listen, we can't control and I don't think we should even be concerned with how this is going to land, what are people going to think because they are going to think what they want to think, but with your legal mind, did you see anything in here that has been presented so far that Trump has any sort of legal exposure, whether it is defrauding the people with giving money or whether it is him knowing that it was a lie and then going out there and then it ends in an insurrection?

COATES: Well, he had legal exposure and it's actually manifesting right now in Fulton County, Georgia based on his pursuit of votes that he already, according to what we've learned so far, knew not to exist. That also expands to the notion of there's a lot of time being spent about the Proud Boys. And, of course, we are not yet hearing any information about him being charged alongside of those already indicted people.

But the idea seems to be floating in the air in some respects that there were some directives that were given. They have not proven this as of yet. We are only on the second day of hearings. I'm not going to get ahead of my notion. But in terms of exposure, what is so important here is this notion that this is an ongoing threat to our democracy.

And I did question earlier today on our programming, I questioned Congressman Aguilar, who is a member of the committee, as to whether the focused, it seemed to be almost singularly on Donald Trump, was going to really deter people from understanding that there was a collective thought process about --

LEMON: Right.

COATES: -- the impact on a democracy.


But he answered the question as his committee as well, talking about this is really about democracy overall and figuring out whether really that was a dry run for future elections.

LEMON: Yeah. I want to play more now from the hearings. This is what Trump's campaign manager, Bill Stepien, said that he told Trump about his prospects after the election. Listen to this.


BILL STEPIEN, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER (voice-over): Very, very, very bleak. You know, I -- we told him, the group that went over there outlined, you know, my belief and chances for success at this point. And then we pegged it at five, maybe 10% based on recounts that were, you know, either were automatically initiated or could be -- could be initiated based on, you know, realistically legal challenges, not all the challenges that eventually were pursued. But, you know, it was, you know, my belief is that it was a very, very -- I mean, five to 10%. It is not a very good optimistic outlook.


LEMON: So, Susan Glasser, when Stepien wasn't telling Trump that he wanted to hear about the election results, he found someone else. Isn't this part of the pattern with the former president?

GLASSER: Yeah, absolutely, Don. You know, the story in many ways of the whole four years of the Trump presidency is him over and over and over again rebuffing those who brought him bad news or news that he did not want, trying to get himself -- at one point, in our book that is coming out this fall about Trump, you know, I was just looking at this again today, one of his former senior officials is talking to him about who is going to be the new White House chief of staff, he had four, and Trump says, I want a yes man, I want a yes man.

And so, in the end, the yes man that he has ended up with was Rudy Giuliani. But, you know, Bill Stepien is no hero either. That is what makes this so complicated. He has never spoken out publicly, although his account has, broadly speaking, been known before. He portrays himself on teen minimal.

But did Donald Trump just change radically on November 3rd, 2020? Come on. He was preparing and talking about a rigged election before there were any votes even cast. And, of course, Bill Stepien knew that and worked for him and had no problem doing so.

LEMON: Yeah. He's talking about -- I've been -- since the very beginning. Since he went down the escalator in 2015. He was talking about a rigged election then. but then when he won, all of a sudden, it wasn't rigged. So, there you go.

DENT: Don, can I just say something about the cynicism of all this?

LEMON: Yeah. DENT: The way people have monetized this lie and had drifted on it -- you know, Bill Stepien, I respect him as a campaign person. He's just acknowledged that the president lost and presumably the president is lying about losing. But that's not stopping him from working for a candidate who is running against Liz Cheney, against Liz, because, oh, she has pushed back on the lie and the insurrection and all that led up to the --

LEMON: But the Kennedy he is working for has run the campaign on the line, correct?

DENT: Correct. And so, he is still monetizing it, and that's what's happening. It's not just him, but there are plenty of people who are monetizing this lie even though they know it is a lie and it is all nonsense.

This is what makes me so cynical about politics today. How can you do that with a straight face? You say it's a lie in front of the whole world and go out there and monetizing it. Too bad he couldn't be there in person today, so somebody could ask him that question. Why are you working for a candidate against Liz over here who is pushing back?

LEMON: But that's why it happens, Charlie.

DENT: Yeah.

LEMON: It happens because people -- obviously, they lie. They grift on it. And then, as you said, the members of your own party, the Republican Party, won't call them out. And if you do call them out, then you are called rhino, right? They start to politicize you. You're called rhino or you're a liberal or you're a Democrat or -- whatever it is that they want to call you, which I think is a pejorative. They use it as a pejorative.

And so, that's how it becomes a lie. They try to stem the criticism by making the people who criticize it out to be against the former president or Republicans when those folks, whether Democratic or Republican or independent, whatever, are only telling the truth. Where am I -- Am I lying? Where is the lie in that? Anyone? No? I must be right, then.

DENT: You are right, Don. Look --

COATES: Well, you know --

DENT: They call people like me a bad weather (ph).

COATES: -- legislative purpose.

DENT: Yeah.

COATES: I don't wind up a bad weather (ph) story. Hold on, Charlie. I don't want to be that. But let me just say, talking about the legislative purpose of all this, here's the thing. Their purpose, in many respects, is to figure out the ways in which the existing laws are being exploited or whether there are shortcomings within them. [23:25:01]

They need to recommend to the entire Congress ways in which to codify, a way to close those things. The things you've mentioned today, Charlie, the idea of monetizing the lie, there are First Amendment protections. There are also campaign finance laws.

Is there a gap between that to be able to exploit and capitalize on these made-up sort of marketing tools of operation election defense doesn't go there? These are ways to do so. Electoral Count Act as well.

LEMON: Yeah.

COATES: There are things that this committee short of prosecution can be doing to promote and further the notion that they are trying to flag a legislated and oversized function. It is not a criminal prosecution, but that is a way to have a nation of laws.

LEMON: It's going to have -- it is going to take the people to do that. It's going to have to take the American people, the voters, to do that. Thank you all. I appreciate it. thank you, Susan, Charlie, Laura. See you soon.

DENT: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Trump family members appearing in the January 6 hearing through videotaped depositions, and they are distancing themselves from the former president's election fraud claims.


IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR: I don't know that I had a firm view as to what he should say in that circumstance. The results were still being counted.





LEMON: So, the January 6 House Select Committee hearing more today from former President Trump's inner circle about his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

I want you to take a listen. This is what his daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had to say when asked about Rudy Giuliani suggesting Trump outright lie and called the race for himself.


I. TRUMP: I don't know that I had a firm view as to what he should say in that circumstance. The results were still being counted.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Did you ever share, Mr. Kushner, your view of Mr. Giuliani? Did you ever share your perspective about him with the president?


UNKNOWN (voice-over): Tell me what you said.

KUSHNER (voice-over): Basically, not the approach I would take if I was you.


LEMON: Those comments follow testimony from Ivanka last week where she said she accepted Attorney General William Barr, saying that there was no fraud to be found in the election.

And tonight, former president issuing a 12-page response to the day's hearing. However, he didn't address allegations from the committee about personally benefiting from donations that were supposed to go toward election fraud claims.

Let's discuss. CNN contributor Michael D'Antonio, the author of "The Truth About Trump." I'm sorry. I'm trying to keep from laughing.


LEMON: It's crazy.

D'ANTONIO: Connected with Trump. Can you believe?

LEMON: It is so outrageous. I cannot believe -- I can't believe that people still believe this man. It is just -- I just think it's outrageous. There's so much evidence that points to, he knew he was lying, right? He was told he was lying. The courts proved he was lying. He is still saying -- he is still repeating the lie.

And now, you have this daughter. And you saw, she froze, right, when asked her opinion about whether she thought that Trump won or lost the election. What do you think was going on in her head?

D'ANTONIO: Well, I think -- Jared froze as well when they asked him, have you spoken -- have you spoken to the president about this? The trouble for Jared and Ivanka is that they both want to be considered part of team normal now when they weren't on team normal for four years.

So, I think it's a stretch for all of us to believe that back then in November, December, they were the voices of reason. If that was the case, why did Jared go to the Middle East for much of that time and where was Ivanka's voice during all of that time? It is really a case of them wanting to have their cake and eat it, too.

LEMON: But don't you think this is significant because all of these are family members and Trump's inner circle that we are hearing from? These aren't never-Trumpers. These aren't Democrats. These are his closest allies and advisers.

D'ANTONIO: You're absolutely right.

LEMON: They're family members.

D'ANTONIO: I'm waiting now for Melania to speak out against Ivanka because the two of them had kind of a feud when Melania came on the scene.

LEMON: Uh-hmm.

D'ANTONIO: So, there's no love lost between the two of them. And then our Eric and Don, Jr., not thinking well, I've got to shot at being the best child now because Ivanka has obviously abandoned her role, and now there is place for them to move up.

LEMON: Yeah.

D'ANTONIO: The rivalries with this crowd are endless.

LEMON: Listen, you have been talking about how Ivanka and Jared have been trying to promote themselves as post-White House figures, but you said that this comes across as really pathetic. How is that?

D'ANTONIO: Well, it's very disingenuous. I don't think anyone believes that they didn't know that Donald Trump had lost the election. I think that they understood before the election that he was going to lose. And they understand what he was doing back in May of 2000 when he was setting the table for this plan. Anyone who has been around Donald Trump any length of time knows that he always anticipates the whining that he's going to do.

LEMON: In May of 2000?

D'ANTONIO: Yes, in May of 2000, he started saying, well, it's probably going to be rigged, it's probably going to be stolen.


LEMON: You mean 2020?

D'ANTONIO: 2020.


D'ANTONIO: I'm so sorry.

LEMON: I was going to say, wait a minute.

D'ANTONIO: He might have done it then, too. I mean, certainly --

LEMON: Yeah.

D'ANTONIO: -- before the 2016 election, he made the same crazy claims. He is always looking for this trap door, this way of saying, yeah, but I didn't really lose, I was cheated. That doesn't matter whether it's a game of golf or it's our democracy. It is all the same.

LEMON: It doesn't matter if it is in the level -- game of golf or a local election or a national election.


LEMON: He is always going to look for that. This is Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, her opening statement at today's hearing. Watch.


REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): We'll also show that the Trump campaign used these false claims of election fraud to raise hundreds of millions of dollars from supporters who were told their donations were for the legal fight in the courts. But the Trump campaign didn't use the money for that. The big lie was also a big rip-off.


LEMON: So, talk to me about the big rip-off because that was interesting. We have been reporting on that, but no one had stated it as clearly as you heard today about the big rip-off. It wasn't just enough for to be an attack on our democracy, but he was intent on gifting the American people as well. Stealing money from the people who support him?

D'ANTONIO: Precisely. I mean, think about what has happened to those folks. So, they've been swindled politically. They've been --

LEMON: Intellectually.

D'ANTONIO: -- swindled intellectually, swindled emotionally, swindled out of their money. And at least one, Ashli Babbitt, was swindled out of her life.

You know, all these people who went to this crazy attack on the Capitol were sent there by Donald Trump through his lengthy propaganda campaign. They really believed in him. Many still believe in him. This is the greatest abuse, I think, that he has perpetrated, is against the people who actually believe in him.

LEMON: We will see what happens with this particular claim, but it was to -- as I said, we've been reporting on it, but to see it laid out in front the committee like that and the evidence of it, it was quite stunning, I think.

Thank you, Michael D'Antonio. "The Truth About Trump." Appreciate it.

A rare bipartisan agreement in congress. Senators reaching a framework deal on gun legislation. But it doesn't go as far as Democrats want. One senator who helped negotiate the agreement joins me. She is next.




LEMON: They've made a deal. A bipartisan group of senators announcing that they've agreed on new gun legislation framework, including grants for state red flag laws and enhanced background checks for people under 21. The attorney general, Merrick Garland, endorsing the proposal today, calling it meaningful progress.


MERRICK GARLAND, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: If you put illegal guns on our streets or into the hands of violent offenders, the Justice Department will spare no resource to hold you accountable. The Justice Department is committed to doing our part to end the plaque of gun violence. We strongly support Congress's efforts to do so as well.


LEMON: You know, this could be the most significant federal action on gun violence in nearly three decades. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Roy Blunt led the mental health initiative in the proposal, and here with me now is Senator Stabenow. Thank you for joining, senator. I really appreciate it.

This is important stuff. I just listed some things that are in this framework. But there are lots of things that are not in this framework like renewing the assault weapons ban, raising the legal age to purchase assault weapons, and more. Do you feel this framework goes far enough?

SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW (D-MI): Well, Don, first of all, it's great to be back with you, and I have to say, this is meaningful. Is it everything that I think that needs to be done? No. I would support a ban on assault weapons, comprehensive background checks, and a number of other things.

But I will say that having comprehensive background checks on those aged 21 or under is important. That essentially creates a waiting period. And requirements and this agreement also say that if you have an 18-year-old that goes out and buys an assault weapons or tool, like in Uvalde, that the police have to be notified that that happened, and that will make a difference, tightening up on gun traffickers and tightening the gun dealer licenses and the red flag laws that you are talking about.

And on the other side that you mentioned, that Senator Blunt and I have been leading and working on for years, the mental health investments are transformative. I mean, it is absolutely transformative because what we are doing is committing to comprehensive quality, community behavioral health services, mental health and addiction, and communities across America and funding like health care.

LEMON: Okay.

STABENOW: Not just grants, stop and start.

LEMON: Okay. So, listen, this is just a framework.


The legislation is not actually written yet. Do you think these are going to change as this bill is written? And are you confident that Republicans are going to continue to support it?

STABENOW: Well, I was all day today talking to folks about language. I'm very involved in writing the mental health pieces of this, talking to colleagues about the other pieces of it. And people are very focused. Members are very focused on getting this right in the language, getting it done as quickly as possible. Every day counts.

And so, I am confident that from what I have seen so far, that there are enough people in the United States Senate, not everybody, but there is enough that are serious about this, that we can get it done.

LEMON: Okay. The reason I asked you if you are sure that it is -- you know, one of the reasons, I should say, I asked you if you are sure that Republicans are going to support it, because this is personal for you. As I understand, your father needed somehow, but the support from mental health --


LEMON: -- issues is just wasn't there at the time. Right?

STABENOW: No question. And I think for so many of us, whether that is a gun violence issue -- and by the way, the majority of guns are used in suicides. And so, there are a lot of ways in which gun violence is going on in this country. And when we talk about the mental health side of things, you are talking about helping people, so they don't feel hopeless and commit suicide.

You know, my dad was bipolar and didn't get the services he needed. I was in a small rural community in Michigan, and I saw what happened when he didn't have help and then when he did have help. It was incredibly different.

And so, what we are talking about is across this country and in schools. Another important part of this is making sure that we have mental health services in our schools for children and support for teachers as well.

LEMON: I'm glad you mentioned schools because there are other parts of the country, governors are making their own, states are making their own moves, right? Governor DeWine, Mike DeWine signed a bill into law just today that reduces the hours of training schools that need to carry a gun from 700 hours to 24 hours. I mean, what effect do you think this is going to have on his state?

STABENOW: You know, Don, I thought I misread that when I first saw it. I don't know what to say. When you lower the training for people, you want more people with guns in the school, urging teachers to get guns, and then you dramatically, not just a little bit, from 700 to whatever, 24 hours, whatever it was, dramatically lower the training, how in the world does that make sense with the situation that we are in right now? I don't know. It doesn't make any sense to me.

LEMON: Well, you are right, from 700 hours to 24 hours, and we will see how it plays out. Let's hope. Let's hope for the best for this one. Thank you, senator. I appreciate you joining.

STABENOW: Well, I have to say, Don, we want to hope and we have to act. You know, thoughts and prayers, not enough. It is time to act.

LEMON: I completely agree. Thank you, senator.

STABENOW: Thank you.

LEMON: Dozens of men suspected of having ties with a white nationalist group arrested in Idaho after planting a riot at a pride event. Now, police say they are getting death threats.




LEMON: Tonight, an Idaho police chief says he and others in his department are receiving death threats. That's after they arrested 31 men believed to be linked to a white nationalist group, who law enforcement officials say had been planning to riot at a pride event.

Sara Sidner is in Idaho with the story.


SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To witnesses, they appeared as a little army, 31 men all dressed in similar outfits, all with their faces covered. Police say they were prepared to riot as the city celebrates pride month.

LEE WHITE, CHIEF, COEUR D'ALENE POLICE DEPARTMENT: The information that we had would lead any reasonable officer to assume that there might be criminal activity afoot based not only on the 911 call but the information contained within the call.

SIDNER (voice-over): Police say they were stuffed into a moving van, caught with shields, weapons, and at least one smoke bomb as they headed toward downtown Coeur D'Alene.

WHITE: I have no doubt in my mind that had that van stopped at the park or much nearer the park, that we still would have ended up in a riot situation.

SIDNER (voice-over): One by one, police unmasked the men. One of the men, police say, is their leader, Thomas Rousseau. He, along with his group, Patriot Front, came from out of town and brought with them a nasty racist past, one CNN has reported on over the years.

WHITE: These were members of the hate group Patriot Front. These are not Antifa in disguise, nor were they FBI members in disguise.

SIDNER: This group didn't just come out of nowhere. They're not new. Researchers that track hate say Patriot Front is an offshoot of a group called Vanguard America, whose alleged leader, Thomas Rousseau, attended the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.

CROWD: Jews will not replace us!

SIDNER (voice-over): The person convicted of this murderous act of hate in Charlottesville (bleep). The man behind the wheel of that car had been spotted standing side by side with the racist group holding one of their shields.


Though the leadership of Vanguard America said he was not a member and condemned his violence, that didn't stop their neo-Nazi ideologies or activities, according to several groups that track hate in America. They simply splintered and rebranded themselves after the terrible publicity and legal trouble facing many who took part in the deadly Charlottesville rally.

PETER SIMI, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY: Patriot Front sprang off of the Vanguard America as a new effort, a new brand. They're constantly trained to reinvent themselves, to distance themselves from the very violence that they're routinely promoting.

SIDNER (voice-over): Peter Simi is an associate professor of sociology at Chapman University. He spent decades studying extremist groups. Among them, the neo-Nazis and white supremacists, even living with some of them. He says Patriot Front's favorite targets are immigrants, brown and Black people.

(On camera): Why would they, as authorities have said, target the LGBTQ segment of society?

SIMI: It's a very common target for these kind of hate groups, these kind of white supremacist groups. Tend to be very homophobic, very much seeing this either in biblical terms as in terms of homosexuality being a sin against God, or for those that are not religiously oriented, they'll see it in more biological secular terms in terms of seeing it as unnatural.

SIDNER (voice-over): This town has been through an invasion of hate- filled men. Before, the county was home to the leader of the Aryan nations, who had worldwide gatherings here, until the town decided to fight back. Their fight to remove racist hate from their town resulted in some of the toughest state hate crime laws in the country.

UNKNOWN: We're not going back to the days of the Aryan nations.

SIDNER (voice-over): Sara Sidner, CNN, Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.


LEMON: Sara, thank you. And thanks for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.