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Don Lemon Tonight

January 6th Thursday Hearing A Must-See TV; Donald Trump Still Trying His Best Effort; Two Former White House Officials Testifies Tomorrow; Legal Analysts Not Buying The Secret Service's Alibis; Climate Change Felt Around The Globe; More GOP Deniers Winning As Nominees; Boris Johnson Leaving With Funny Good-bye. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired July 20, 2022 - 22:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Hey, thanks for watching. I'll see you tomorrow night as part of CNN's live coverage of the January 6th committee's prime time hearing. That starts at 7 p.m. Eastern. Now DON LEMON TONIGHT starts right now with of course, Don Lemon. Hey, Don Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Hey. A preview, we have more details on what exactly we're going to see tomorrow. Adam Schiff is going to talk to us and give us more details on what's happening so we're going to get to that.

Laura, I'll see you on Thursday -- Friday. Tomorrow.

COATES: Tomorrow. Sunday.


COATES: I'll see you. I'm going to watch your show right now. I will literally see you.

LEMON: One of those days.

COATES: Good-bye.

LEMON: And it's been one of those days. Thank you, Laura. I'll see you.

COATES: Thanks.


And you know what, by this time tomorrow, by this time tomorrow we expect to know a whole lot more about what happened behind closed doors at the White House on January 6th. And we know that because we have a couple people who are speaking to us. But I digress. I'll get to that.

new tonight, the committee has outtakes of the then president's message to supporters the day after the riot at the capitol showing him having trouble getting through the message, refusing to say that the election was settled and attempting to call the rioters patriots.

Tonight, my colleague Anderson Cooper, Anderson got Congressman Jamie Raskin to tell him more about what out takes the committee has. In just moments, committee member Adam Schiff reveals that you're going to hear people urging the ex-president to say things to try to get the attackers to go home, things that he can't be prevailed upon to do or say.

Now, that as one day after the Secret Service turned over precisely one text exchange to a government watchdog who had requested a month's worth of records for 24 Secret Service personnel. The January 6th committee is expressing what they call concerns about how the Secret Service handled that cell phone data.

Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney upping the ante saying that, quote, "the procedure for preserving content prior to this purge appears to have been contrary to federal records retention requirements and may represent a possible violation of the Federal Records Act."

And going on to say that the committee is seeking additional Secret Service records as well, so stay tuned for that. And the Secret Service responding to the committee saying, it will provide the highest level of cooperation for support.

And as the investigation continues, here is what may be the scariest part of all of this. He still is doing it. Donald Trump is trying to overturn the 2020 election. A year and a half after he left Washington in disgrace, still trying to do it after supporters land right at the capitol trying to stop the peaceful transfer of power, still trying to do it.

After Joe Biden took the oath of office on the capitol steps that had been swarmed by rioters, still trying to do it a year and a half after all of that, he is still trying to overturn the election, with after course a phone call.

A phone call from a man with a history of very imperfect phone calls. From his call pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The call that got him impeached the first time, to his call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger demanding that he find 11,780 votes, the call that is under criminal investigation by the way in Georgia.

Rudy Giuliani ordered to testify in that investigation next month. And now there is Donald Trump's phone call to the top lawmaker in Wisconsin's assembly just last week trying to get him to decertify the election results from 2020. Our affiliate WISN all over it.


ROBIN VOS, WISCONSIN STATE ASSEMBLY SPEAKER: He makes his case, which I respect. He would like us to do something different in Wisconsin. I explained that it's not allowed under the Constitution.


LEMON: Not allowed under the Constitution, which apparently didn't mean a whole lot to the ex-president who attacked him on social media.

So, on the eve of tomorrow's prime time hearing, the question is what are we going to do about this? What are we going to do about this? Look, the threat to our democracy is not over. It is very real. Still happening today. So, what are we going to do about it?


Some reporting on it, my colleague on Capitol Hill Ryan Nobles. Ryan, good evening to you. Let's talk about tomorrow's prime time hearing zeroing in on Trump's inaction. Liz Cheney is describing it as Trump's supreme dereliction of duty. What do you expect to hear?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, I think the biggest thing that we're going to hear tomorrow night is firsthand witness testimony from people that we've never heard from before. We know already that Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Matthews, two White House officials who were in and around the West Wing on January 6th had also resigned their post on that same day because they were so upset about the way the former president conducted himself will testify live.

But I'm also told that we should expect to see witness testimony from some of these closed-door depositions that we have not seen yet from individuals that we have not seen yet that are going to provide a perspective that we have not seen yet.

And what the committee is really going to do is zero in on the inaction of Donald Trump during that 187 minutes from when he ended his speech at the ellipse of the capitol when he encouraged supporters to go to the capitol, and then when he finally put out that video statement finally telling them to go home.

And during that period of time, they are going to show through White House records, call logs, the diary that took place in the White House at that time that he just really wasn't doing that much other than watching television and, in some cases, cheering on his supporters that were at the capitol that day.

So, what the committee is also going to show, is that there were opportunities for him to stand in the way and quell the violence and that there was really only one person who could tell his supporters to go home on that day and that was Donald Trump and he just refused to do it.

And you used the phrase that the committee used over and over again, Don, and you're going to see them highlight that in a big way. Dereliction of duty.

And that's of the reasons that the two people leading this hearing, Congresswoman Elaine Luria of Virginia, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, they are both the two military veterans on this panel, the sense of duty and honor swearing an oath to defend your country. That's something that they understand on a very specific level and that's why they are the two that will lead the hearing tomorrow night. Don?

LEMON: Ryan Nobles on Capitol Hill, Ryan, thank you very much.

NOBLES: Thank you.

LEMON: Joining me now, committee member, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff. Congressman, thank you for joining us. I appreciate it.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Great to be with you.

LEMON: So, we know Trump wasn't doing a lot to stop the attack during those 187 minutes. Does your committee have evidence to present in terms of exactly what he did, did do and say in the White House? What can we expect to hear?

SCHIFF: You can expect to hear what we know about that lengthy period of time in which the capitol was under attack. People were urging the president to speak out to do something to stop the violence and he wouldn't. And he wouldn't.

And at the same time, the vice president was doing what he could. Others were trying it to recede but not Donald Trump who evidently believed that Mike Pence who protesters and rioters, insurrectionists were shouting should be hung had it coming. And we would present that in very graphic detail.

LEMON: Your colleague, Congressman Raskin told our Anderson Cooper just a short time ago your committee has snippets of the ex- president's videotaped remarks from the 6th and outtakes from the 7th and said that the president had a lot of difficulty completing these remarks. What more can you tell us about these and will we see them tomorrow, Congressman?

SCHIFF: You'll certainly see footage you haven't seen before and without, and you know, getting too much into the detail, it will be significant in terms of what the president was willing to say and what he wasn't willing to say.

And it's also of course, a very significant how long it took him to say anything that is anything that wasn't just adding fuel to the fire. But yes, you'll see footage you haven't seen before. You'll hear from witnesses you haven't heard from before, and most importantly, we will weave it together to give a vivid picture of what was going on with the president while that attack was occurring.

LEMON: Are there people -- is he off script? Is he scripted? Are there people coaching him or producing it? Is he refusing to say some things? Can you tell us what we'll see?

SCHIFF: You know, there are people urging him to say things to try to get the rioters the attackers to go home. There are things that can't be prevailed upon to do and say not for hours and hours and then ultimately, when he does give a statement, still, things he wouldn't say. [22:09:50]

And so, you'll have to wait until tomorrow evening to see precisely what that is, but I think it will be another very important evidentiary hearing with a lot of new information for the public that sheds additional light on this terrible dereliction of duty by the commander-in-chief while his own government was being attacked.

LEMON: But we will hear and or see what you just said, people urging him, him refusing and having difficulty.

SCHIFF: You will see what we can tell you at this point about all of those who are urging him to say something, to do something to stop the violence. You'll hear the terrible lack of a response from the president and you'll hear more about how he was ultimately prevailed upon to say something and what he was willing to say and what he wasn't.

LEMON: All right. Let's talk about other people who will be testifying. The former White House -- former White House officials Matthew Pottinger from the National Security Council, Sarah Matthews from the press office will appear at the hearing. What specifically can they speak to? What will we hear from them, Congressman?

SCHIFF: Well, you know, we're not confirming yet who the witnesses will be for the hearing. So, I will leave that to my two colleagues who would be running the hearing, but you'll hear live testimony from people that worked inside the Trump administration about how they review in the events that were going on, what they were seeing and hearing.

So again, it will add additional insights from the inside. And you know, I think what has made these hearings so powerful is these are the president's men and women. These are people that he chose, he appointed, and they will share with you there I think grim view of what he was doing and more importantly, what he was simply unwilling to do while that violence was unfolding.

LEMON: Let's talk about those missing Secret Service text messages. The committee says that it has concerns why they were deleted when four White House committees had already asked DHS for the data before that late January 21 migration, 2021 migration. Are there concerns that something nefarious happened?

SCHIFF: Well, we're deeply concerned because we don't know exactly what happened. I was one of the chairs who wrote one of those letters on January 16th, that was 10 days after the events of January 6th and asked for those records among a larger, much larger category of records of that day and that attack.

And the idea that all of these text messages save one text chain would be lost or destroyed or that the Secret Service could somehow maintain as they claimed publicly that nothing relevant to our investigation was lost. How would they know if those records were destroyed?

So, suffice it to say we do not have adequate answers yet from the agency and we are determined to get them. We also want to find out if there is any way to recover what was deleted from those devices and we will ultimately, I'm sure be reporting to the public what we learn.

LEMON: Merrick Garland says that no person is above the law. So, your committee finds that Trump broke the law, right? Will it ask the attorney general to do something about it?

SCHIFF: We will have a discussion and indeed, we have been having that already but we will reach a conclusion about whether to make a crime referral against whom for what offenses. So, we'll make that decision at the appropriate time.

I think we're all of the opinion that our investigation remains very much on going and, you know, we want to have the benefit of full information when we make those referrals if we, in fact, go forward with that. And as new information comes in, we may supplement that.

LEMON: Congressman Schiff, thank you for your time. I appreciate it.

SCHIFF: You bet. Great to be with you.

LEMON: And of course, we got more to come on those outtakes from Trump's message to supporters on January 7th. Out takes we are expecting to see in tomorrow nights' hearing. What do they tell us about what he was thinking the day after one of the worst attacks ever on our democracy?



LEMON: So new tonight, the January 6th committee has outtakes of the then-president's message to his supporters the day after the insurrection and we're expecting to see them during tomorrow night hearing.

Here to discuss from Watergate -- former Watergate prosecutor, Nick Akerman, and Norm Eisen who was House judiciary special counsel and the former president's first impeachment trial.

We're happy to have both of you. Thank you so much for joining us.

Ambassador, I'm going to start with you. What do you think of this January 6th committee having these Trump outtakes from his message to supporters a day after the insurrection? They're expected to show them tomorrow.

NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Don, this committee has been so good. Nick and I are both trial lawyers --


EISEN: -- and you've got to constantly surprise the jury, give them fresh material, keep them on the toes and them persuade them, hit them with the substance. These out takes will be the talk of the country and each of these eight hearing, they've had those surprises. It sizzled but it's also substance. So I think it's going to be another blockbuster.

LEMON: Do you think it's going to be the talk of the country tomorrow? You think it's going to be that compelling to give them?

EISEN: Don, do you, on the break we were talking about what we like to watch on TV. And you know how at the end of movies, --

LEMON: Right.

EISEN: -- they have the outtakes in comedies and people stick around and they watch.

LEMON: I do.

EISEN: After the credits. Or the Easter egg that comes at the end. This is going to be like that. People are going to be riveted by it but they'll be, this is the sizzle and there will be substance, too.

LEMON: So, what we're -- we're supposedly what we're going to see, Nick, is Trump attempting to call the rioters patriots, right? People who are familiar with the plans of the committee that he went to lengths to not accuse them of wrongdoing. This says a lot about his state of mind, doesn't it?

NICK AKERMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: It says a lot what he was trying to do. I mean, he viewed those people as patriots that were helping him to stay in office. This was a preconceived plan to get those people to Washington to get the Oath Keepers, to get the Proud Boys to go in and do the dirty work, the hard work and get supporters to be the backup and make it so that count of Electoral College came to a halt.


That's what it was about, and in his view, they were the patriots. They viewed themselves as patriots and it just shows that he is part of that conspiracy.

LEMON: So, I said to him to Adam Schiff who was on when he said that what you're going to see, you'll certainly see footage that you haven't seen before, without getting too much into the detail, it would be significant in terms of what the president was willing to say or what he was willing -- not willing to say.

It's also of course a very significant -- also a very significant how long it took him to say anything that is anything to do with just adding fuel to the fire. And he goes on, and I said, I said which I thought was important to his response, I said is he off script? Is he scripted? Are people coaching him or producing it? Is he refusing to say some things? Can you tell us?

And then he said, you know, there are people who are urging him to say things to try to get the rioters to (Inaudible), and they said, but he, they couldn't prevail upon him to do that.

So, it's going to be -- I would imagine that it may be something like, you know, Mr. President, you need to say such and such and such and perhaps he'll say, well, can we say it a different way or I don't want to say that or what have you. Will that make a difference? Is that a big deal, you --


EISEN: Definitely. Definitely.

LEMON: Why so?

EISEN: Because it's not just the words that he speaks, the words that he doesn't speak. You're getting a view into his mind through his reactions, through his facial expressions, through his gestures. The toughest thing to prove both of us faced it in impeachments is corrupt intent.

Here, these out takes and the rest of the evidence really the past three hearings have focused on Trump's state of mind. They've built up all the actions they need for federal and state crimes and now they're going to the tough question and these tapes will help.

LEMON: Go ahead.

AKERMAN: It's like being -- cross cross-examining a defendant. You're going to see him take different stands, he's going to be squirming. He's going to be insisting on saying certain things like they are patriots. He is going to have people tell him he can't say that and then he's going to say other things in between.

I mean, we can conjecture all we want about it. But I think at the end of the day, it's going to be his demeanor, the way he says it, when he moves from one to the other when people ask him to do something different. I mean, I think that is going to be extremely telling. It's going to be like putting a major criminal on the witness stand and cross-examining him with his statements.

LEMON: Is this a star witness?

EISEN: The star witness was Cassidy Hutchinson.

LEMON: OK. All right.

EISEN: She was the new John Dean.

LEMON: Let me ask you about -- Norm, because you have -- you worked regularly with the White House Secret Service when you were the White House special counsel on records -- records handling issues. Are you suspicious about these text messages that have gone missing and then they now turned over one, that's it, just one?

EISEN: Yes, suspicious would understate the case, Don. If it was only an isolated incident of the Secret Service not preserving documents that would be one thing. But there have been very serious allegations of a witness intimidation scheme as part of these proceedings.

The good cop, bad cop that we saw Trump do with Michael Cohen, for example, right? The committee played these grooming messages before the good cop, before Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony and then afterwards, Trump comes down on her like a ton of bricks and who helps him?

A whisper campaign involving former Secret Service agents who are supposed to be disagreeing with her and now we find those same Secret Service agents were supposed to preserve these texts and may not have done so, apparently didn't do so. I think it stinks.

LEMON: Here's what you point out. You point out the motto of the Secret Service, Ambassador Eisen. You say -- I'm sorry, Ambassador Eisen, not you. You say that worthy of trust and confidence and say that's now a big question mark.

AKERMAN: I think that they're going to have to put a question mark on their motto, Don.

LEMON: All these -- this is so many shifting explanations, Nick, about all of this, what the -- what happened. The committee. They need to talk to all of these agents, do you think?

AKERMAN: Yes. I mean, the big issue is really were they trying to get Vice President Pence out of the Congress? Were they trying to whisk him away so that he couldn't go back and complete the vote? I mean, that is the big issue here in terms of the January 6th committee.

I mean, that is -- if they can show that in fact, Trump had gotten the Secret Service in there to try to get and Pence out, so that they could stop that vote, which was the whole point of the violence in the first instance, that would be huge.


AKERMAN: And so that is what I think is the major motive behind destroying these text messages.

LEMON: Maybe you just said it, but I want to ask you, what is the worst thing that they could find if they find these text messages? What would be the worst thing to find? Who would be the -- who they were communicating with? Or is there a certain person that it would be?


EISEN: More proof of Trump's intent of what he said, what he did, because what this is all about --


LEMON: What I'm asking, would it be conservations between agents or would it be conversations --


EISEN: It would be a text.

LEMON: -- with someone at the White House or --


EISEN: It would a text. POTUS just tried to grab the wheel.


EISEN: He smacked me. It's that kind of thing. And when those same agents who were in the middle of this controversy may have failed to preserve their records as being alleged now, that's a very big deal.

AKERMAN: The worst thing is if there was a text that said get that guy out of there as quickly as possible and send him up to Alaska. I mean, that is the kind of dynamite evidence that would be in those texts that would absolutely nail --


LEMON: We don't know that. We don't know that. But listen, but is there, I mean, do you really think in a million -- look, I don't know. But in a million years that the Secret Service would do something that --

AKERMAN: Well, you do have an individual in there that was brought into the White House, into a political position, this Tony Ornato who is very close to Donald Trump --


LEMON: Well, that was -- that's my point. If Tony -- Tony Ornato is texting, we -- again, we don't know. That's what I was asking, what is the worst thing and the worst, you know.

EISEN: Two of us have made a very good living for decades out of the stupid texts, e-mails, D.M.s and other things, notes that people write down.


EISEN: It's incredible what people write down in the moment, Don.

LEMON: Yes. But we, we may never know though, because we can't get the texts.

AKERMAN: Well, I'm not so sure.

LEMON: We may never get the texts.

AKERMAN: I'm not so sure.

LEMON: Why not?

AKERMAN: A lot of these things wind up going to different parts of the computer. There are ways forensically that you can pull this stuff off. And I don't think, they certainly didn't have time to try and do that the last couple days. I mean, this would really mean taking the hard drives, trying to see if these phones are still in existence, whether or not they can get anything off of it, if they can get off the server.

I mean, you have to understand the topology of the whole commuter system that they're using.

LEMON: I've got a quick question for you before I let you go. You know, Merrick Garland has said, you know, no one is above the law. That is said a lot. But you know, does that appear or doesn't, is that really way, meaning the former president is not above the law?

AKERMAN: Well, I think that's true. But if you are going to prosecute the former president, you have to make sure that you are going to convict him --


LEMON: Well, he said that when he was asked about charging Donald Trump, he said no one is above the law. But it doesn't appear that that --


AKERMAN: Well, you don't know that at this point. I mean, look, I think -- Merrick Garland is in a tough spot in the sense that he's got a conflict here. He is being asked or may be asked at some point to judge whether or not to indict Donald Trump when in fact, he is beholden to Biden who is going to be -- they are going to be the chief rival.

And so, there is a direct conflict here. And so, he's either got to get a real special prosecutor to make that decision, somebody who is totally independent or he's got to decline for Georgia, which may turn out to be the stronger case.

EISEN: And D.A. Fani Willis in Atlanta is not just saying no on his above the law, she's proving it, Don, with target letters that seem to be pointing at the former president, so we're looking to Georgia. We're looking south for the follow-up after what I think is going to be a blockbuster hearing tomorrow night.

LEMON: All right. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it.

AKERMAN: Thank you.

EISEN: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: We'll see. We'll be here covering it.

So, bush fires, power outages, the number one cause of weather death. The EPA administrator is here to talk about the intense heat wave, that's next.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: Nearly 110 Americans from coast-to-coast are under heat alerts

and it's not just here in the United States. Cities around the world sweltering in record high temperatures leading to fires and life- threatening conditions.

There is so much to discuss tonight with EPA administrator, Michael Regan. Thank you, Administrator Regan. I appreciate you joining us.

MICHAEL REGAN, ADMINISTRATOR, EPA: Hey, thank you, Don, for having us.

LEMON: I want you -- I want to put this up for you and our viewers to look at. Americans all across this country are dealing with dangerous heat. I mean, this isn't red or blue state issue, this is a crisis hitting everyone if you look at these temperatures up on the screen. How massive is this problem, sir?

REGAN: It's a big problem, Don. I think the president was firm today when he said that heat and climate change is an emergency. We are seeing record temperatures and heat, drought, you know, we're seeing a lot of impact on life.

This is an emergency as the president stated, which is why he is taking action. I think he said from day one that if Congress doesn't move, that he would. And Don, he's not taking no for an answer. And today's actions are an example of that.

LEMON: So, he boosted, today he announced steps to boost alternative energy production increase, funding for communities facing extreme heat. But he didn't declare a national climate emergency. Why is that?

REGAN: You know, Don, I think that he's got a number of tools in his tool box and he did not take that off the table. But the president is demonstrating leadership and today as another series of actions he's taken. Listen, from day one, he's instructed every single cabinet agency to focus on climate change and climate mitigation and EPA is at the tip of that spear.

But the president did not take that off the table, and as he said, he will continue to think in the days and weeks ahead on how and when to deploy those tools.

LEMON: Listen, we're in July. I mean, we're not even in the dog days of August yet. Right? I mean, August it frills.

The extreme heat forcing many cattle ranchers to sell their cows because it's too difficult to care for them. There are also issues with crops. This is going to impact our food security.


REGAN: It does, Don. It impacts our food security. It impacts our national security. Listen, I've been on the ground in California with the governor after one of wild fires. I've spent time with communities in Arizona dealing with the drought and our Ag community in Arizona dealing with the drought. I've been in the basements in Michigan after one of these so-called

500-year floods that happen every so often. Climate change is real. And again, the president was firm today. Climate change is an emergency and listen, that's why I've been asking the EPA since day one.

We have proposed the most stringent regulation on the transportation sector because it is a major contributor to climate change. We have proposed a rule to regulate methane, a potent greenhouse gas coming from our oil and gas sector.

And despite my disappointment with the Supreme Court's ruling, we're going to continue to move forward and develop regulations for our power sector. It's imperative that we continue to move forward and that's the leadership that President Biden is showing.

LEMON: My colleague Rene Marsh has been reporting from Greenland. It's getting so warm there that the ice melt last weekend alone was about six billion tons. That could cover West Virginia a foot of water even if the U.S., we're doing everything right. Don't you need global cooperation to deal with this?

REGAN: We do need global cooperation, Don. And as I've traveled internationally and met with my counterparts all across the world, I think we are all committed to looking at the levels of reduction we need to save the planet. And listen, we know that much of what we're seeing or some of what we're seeing we're going to be living with for the foreseeable future.

So, while we're trying to reduce these emissions or mitigate against climate change, we also have to invest tons of resources into adapting to where we are especially those communities that have been disproportionately impacted and plagued by pollution and climate impacts for a long period of time.

LEMON: Michael Regan, thank you. I appreciate it, I appreciate you coming on.

REGAN: Thank you, Don. I appreciate you having us.

LEMON: An election denier winning his GOP primary last night and he's not the only one. What Democrats are doing to help extreme GOP candidates win their primaries, that's next.



LEMON: So, the GOP is nominating more extremist candidates and they are getting huge boosts. Just not from who you'd think. Democrats are helping fund far right candidates hoping that those candidates will win their primaries. The thinking here is that moderate voters will be turned off, right? And that would give Democrats a better opportunity to win general elections.

Take a look at this. I reported this last night, Dan Cox he is an outright election denier, he won his primary in Maryland for Republican governor last night. And there are also Trump endorses -- also Trump endorsed Darren Bailey, candidate for governor in Illinois and another GOP election denier Doug Mastriano as we reported so much on this -- running for governor in Pennsylvania.

Let's discuss now with CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein, and Republican strategist Doug Heye are both here. I'm so happy that you're here. Both of you.


LEMON: So, let's see.


LEMON: Let's see with this dream team is like, if it's in fact a dream team. Doug, let's start with you. I found it interesting you say Democrats are playing with matches. How big a risk is this actually if that, if it indeed does backfire?

HEYE: Well, it's a very big risk and let me say full disclosure, Kelly Schulz the Republican candidate who lost in Maryland is a friend. Wes Moore, the Democratic potentially nominee in Maryland is also a friend so full disclosure there.

But let's compare 2002 when Republicans took over the House to today. In 2010, when I was at the Republican National Committee, our magic number for Obama, Don, was 46. We felt if he was at or below that in the run up to election day, we'd take back the House.

Ultimately, Obama was at 44, 45 in every kind of tracking poll that we had internally and externally. Right now, in 2022 we're dealing with a very different political situation. Joe Biden is at 38 percent in the latest polling. Eighty percent of the country think we're in the wrong direction.

And so, for Democrats, to help candidates that they are saying are anti-woman, anti-gay, pro-insurrection, these is the -- there are the matches that they're playing with is the tinder that's here with Biden's low approval ratings. And if one of these Dems -- if one of these Republicans gets through in Maryland and Arizona and Pennsylvania and one of them can, it's not just playing with matches, it's political arson.

LEMON: It is a very big and dangerous risk. I do agree with you on that, Doug. I want you to respond, Ron, but let's talk about this. You know, get ready because people get really upset when you talk about the president's poll numbers, right? They get really mad.

A Quinnipiac poll puts President Biden's approval rating at just 31 percent. Does it make sense for Democrats --


BROWNSTEIN: Well, the Quinnipiac poll --

LEMON: -- to go with the strategy when so many Americans disapprove of his performance that Doug was just talking about?

BROWNSTEIN: Right. So, Doug is right. There is a risk in this environment that when the president's approval is this low and wrong track sentiment is this high, some of these candidates might get through and win. But on balance, this is not a crazy strategy for Democrats.

We saw in the 2010 election that Doug mentioned, Democrats won senate races in Nevada and Delaware as I recall. And then in 2012, Missouri, they win Senate races in Missouri and Indiana and each case largely because they had candidates, Republican candidates who are out of the mainstream.


You know, he noted the cutoff number of Obama approval of 46 percent in 2010 being kind of the, you know, the waterline for whether they thought Democrats could survive in that area.

The difference is, Don, and we talked about this before and see it in the CNN poll this week and other surveys a higher percentage of people who disapprove of Biden are going to vote Democratic for Congress and in some of these Senate races then we have seen over the last 20 years including in 2010. In 2010, about 85 percent of people who disapproved of Obama voted Republicans. Right now, Republicans are only winning 70 to 72 percent --


LEMON: So, what are you saying here. Your audio cut out a little bit. So, what are you saying here?

BROWNSTEIN: I'm saying that -- I'm saying that Democrats are winning a higher percentage of people who disapprove of Biden than has typically been the case for the last 20 years. And that's largely because of a perception that the Republican Party is too extreme and so in that sense, nominating candidates who reinforce that perception to the extent Democrats can make that happen makes sense for them even understanding the risk that some of them might win in this primary.

LEMON: OK. Listen, you're talking about 2010 and 2012, I mean, guys, look, those as we look back, right, we thought those were the good old days. You didn't have people who were, you know, trying to steal an election. You didn't have election deniers who were running. You didn't have people around the country trying to put people in place who will be election deniers, who will, you know, may or probably will put their thumbs on the scale.

Can you -- is it fair to compare what happened in 2010 and 2012 to what's happening now in 2022, especially considering what happened on January 6th? Either of you? I mean -- you know, I just don't know if --


HEYE: Look, I think Ron and I are both making political points where you're talking about substance on where these candidates are and I think that's valid. So much of the conversation, Don, that we've had over, you know, the past year and a half, and frankly the past five or six years has been the stakes are different now. Things are more serious now.

I agree with Democrats who say that. I was horrified on January 6 and didn't a week later say, well, maybe we can just move past this. There are very real questions of what's going to happen to our -- the very democracy to the threads of those things that hold our nation together.

And that's why I say Democrats are playing with matches like this. It's not just mere political jujitsu and let's try and get the people we can. There are very real consequences if one of these or more than one of these candidates win. By the way, that's also potentially Eric Greitens in Missouri as well.

LEMON: Yes, go ahead, Ron.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes, and look, there is a trifecta Arizona coming up shortly in the primary there for governor, secretary of state, and Senate. All election deniers, all extreme candidates.

Look, Democrats are not the tipping point in these nominations. I mean, these candidates could not win if there was not a substantial portion of the Republican base that was OK with these ideas. And it is a risky strategy for Democrats to get involved, but again, in an environment where the best asset I think Democrats have at a moment when Biden's approval is so low is the perception of many voters that Republicans are too extreme, especially post-Dobbs, post the Uvalde massacre, post the January 6th hearings, candidates who embody that may be, you know, kind of turbo charge that and so --


LEMON: OK, Ron, Ron, that's true but they're still winning.

BROWNSTEIN: -- it's understandable. It's understandable where they're heading in the --


LEMON: They're still winning or they are still within the margin of error, look what's happening with Herschel Walker down in Georgia. Look at what's happening in Pennsylvania. I mean, they're still within the margin of error, even though you say --


BROWNSTEIN: Don, if there was a generic non-discreet in Georgia they almost certainly would be ahead --

LEMON: All right. All right.

BROWNSTEIN: -- at this point. Pennsylvania is a different case. So, again, I agree with Doug. LEMON: Yes.

BROWNSTEIN: I agree with you. There is risk in this strategy -- but and I think you can overstate the impact of Democrats and who wins and who doesn't.


BROWNSTEIN: But it is probably the best chance Democrats have to avoid a very bad outcome in November.

LEMON: Play us off, Doug. Quick.

HEYE: Yes. I'll just say very quickly, the last political campaign I was involved in was 2014 where we had a very big upset against my candidate, which is Eric Cantor, the House majority leader.

LEMON: I remember.

HEYE: Because a candidate who is cash strapped and no means to get his message out got outside help and that's what happened in Maryland just last night.

LEMON: But someone who looked like him it was very odd. I remember that, that campaign. I mean, gosh, you guys brought me back you're talking about, you know, 2010 and 2012 where it was --

BROWNSTEIN: Legitimate race.

LEMON: My gosh. I forgot about that. We're talking about the Palin days and John McCain, and listen, it was Mitt Romney. We were with --


LEMON: -- there was sanity at least in part back then. Thank you, guys.

HEYE: Thank you.

BROWNSTEIN: Galaxy far, far away, Don.

LEMON: Thank you, guys. See you soon.

Up next, I bet you've never seen an ousted politician say this.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Hasta la vista, baby, thank you.





LEMON: Britain's outgoing Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, with a unique farewell. During his final session with the House of Commons today boasting about his accomplishment, and then quoting Arnold Schwarzenegger's famous movie line as he said goodbye to parliament.


JOHNSON: Mission largely accomplished. For now. I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the wonderful staff of the House of Commons. I want to thank all my friends and colleagues. I want to thank my friends, opposite, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank everybody here, and hasta la vista, baby! Thank you.



LEMON: Can you imagine that ever happening here with you know who. Johnson will be replaced by one of two members and the Conservative Party who will now battle it out to see who wins the most votes among the party's rank and file.


Rishi Sunak on the left, is the former finance minister who is considered the front runner. But his close ties to Johnson could hurt him. Liz Truss, the foreign secretary also wants the top job, she's often compared to the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who was known as the iron lady. The new prime minister will be announced in September.

Up next, Trump staffers testifying to the January 6th committee on primetime TV tomorrow night. We're going to tell you what we know about them after this.


LEMON: We are less than 24 hours away from the January 6th committee's eagerly anticipated primetime hearing. Focusing squarely on 187 minutes when then president did nothing as the capital riot raged.


With testimony from two witnesses we haven't heard live before.