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Don Lemon Tonight
Allies Tried To Convince Trump To Quell Violence; Donald Trump Refused To Call Election Is Over; Former Mike Pence's Aides Testifies To Grand Jury; January 6 Committee Looking To Subpoena Ginni Thomas; President Biden Believe Recession Is Not Going To Happen; Violence And Crime Rises During Summer; Firefighters Battling Wildfires In Yosemite National Park. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired July 25, 2022 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNKNOWN: I go to my rage and I cried. Because it all -- it was all done to us. All of us. But it's going to stop now. You know? It is.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: You believe that?
UNKNOWN: It is. I'm breaking the cycle with my great grandchildren.
COOPER: The congress of aboriginal peoples based in Ottawa says it welcomed the pope's apology and called for concrete actions to educate them about history of the schools. That's it for us. The news continues. I want to turn over to Don and DON LEMON TONIGHT. Don?
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Good for bringing light to that, Anderson, very good report. I'll see you tomorrow evening.
This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. And we've got a lot more news on the January 6 on the investigation. And tonight, we are learning that two top aides to the former Vice President Mike Pence testified last week in the DOJ's criminal investigation of January 6, and the efforts to overturn our free and fair election.
Marc Short who was chief of staff took that then Vice President Mike Pence confirming to CNN that he testified on Friday in front of the D.C. grand jury and the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reporting that Greg Jacob, Pence's general counsel has also testified.
And what we are hearing from the January 6 committee, now, and maybe even a bigger deal, even more damning than what they showed us last week in their final hearing in September. Do you remember they showed us the then President of the United States Donald Trump? The day after supporters attacked the capitol? Hunted lawmakers in the halls? Beat police within an inch of their lives?
The day after all that, they showed us how he absolutely refused to say the election is over. Now the committee is showing us more of what Donald Trump refused to say, even after his top advisers and his own family begged him, the committee releasing a never-before-seen exhibit today. I'm going to play it for you. Here it is in its entirety.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVANKA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: I'm not sure when those conversations began, because they could have started early the next morning, but I believe they started that evening, on the evening of the 6th.
ERIC HERSCHMANN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: I thought we should give the statement on the 7th, and obviously moving forward on transition.
JARED KUSHNER, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I sat with her. I spoke to Miller about trying to put together some draft remarks for Jan. 7, that we are going to present to the president to try to say, we felt like it was important to further called for de-escalation.
CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF Mark Meadows: From what I understood at the time, and from what the reports were coming in, there is a large concern of the 25th amendment potentially being invoked. And there were concerns about what would happen in the Senate if there was the 25th that was invoked.
So, the primary reason that I had heard other than, you know, -- we did not do enough on the 6th. We need to get a stronger message out there and condemn this. Or otherwise, this will be your legacy. The secondary reason to that was, think about what might happen in the final 15 days of your presidency if we don't do this. There's already talks about invoking the 25th amendment. You need this cover.
UNKNOWN: Do you recognize what this is?
I. TRUMP: It looks like a copy of a draft of the remarks for that day.
UNKNOWN: And as you can see throughout the document, there are lines crossed out. There's some words added, do you recognize the handwriting?
I. TRUMP: It looks like my father's handwriting.
PAT CIPOLLONE, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: In my view, he needed to express very clearly that the people who made violent acts went into the capitol, did what they did, should be prosecuted and should be arrested.
UNKNOWN: It looks like here, that he crossed out, that he was directing the Department of Justice to ensure all lawbreakers are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the lot. We must send a clear message, not with mercy but justice. Legal consequences must be swift and firm. Do you know why he wanted that crossed out?
KUSHNER: I don't know.
CIPOLLONE: And that needed to be stated. They did not represent him or his political views in any form or fashion.
UNKNOWN: He also crossed out, I want to be very clear, you do not represent me. You do not represent our movement. Do you remember, do you know why he crossed that language out of the statement?
KUSHNER: I don't know.
UNKNOWN: Can you describe a little more for me about what Mr. Kushner was asking you to do?
JOHN MCENTEE, FORMER DIRECTOR, WHITE HOUSE PRESIDENTIAL PERSONNEL OFFICE: I don't remember if it was a video message or a speech he was going to give her something, but I know people were deciding like what he should say or what he should do. And then he knew, since I'm always with him that, hey, I asked your opinion, you know, try to nudge this along. This will help everything cool down.
UNKNOWN: Nudge it along in what way? What does that -- what does that mean?
ENTEE: To make sure he delivers the speech, or whatever it was. I don't know if it was a video or speech or something.
ENTEE: It was either, it was within a few days after January 6.
UNKNOWN: Was the implication that the president was in some ways reluctant to give that speech?
UNKNOWN: OK, what do you base that on?
ENTEE: The fact that somebody has to tell me to nudge it along.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: No other things he crossed out, if you look at that. See the very ones at the bottom, you will pay? Well, that was the one that said you belong in jail. Someone crossed that out as well. Think about what he refused to say, though, what he crossed out. He refused to say that he was sickened by the violence. He crossed the part about prosecuting the people who broke laws that day.
He also crossed out I want to be very clear. You do not represent me. You do not represent our movement. He crossed that out. What does that say? For people who say, this doesn't represent our party. What he didn't say, what he refused to say tells you everything you need to know.
This is what the committee is leaving on the table. You can see why they need more hearings in the fall. Committee members now saying that they may even continue their work after election day. So, stay tuned.
John dean is here. He is the former White House counsel to the Nixon White House and CNN global affairs analyst, Susan Glasser joins us as well. Good evening to both of you. Thanks for joining.
John, you first. That video, it's something else, as they say. Seeing Trump's reluctance to condemn the violence the day after the insurrection, plus the handwritten edits, and plus when everybody else was saying that he should do because it went to his reputation, his legacy. What does this show about Trump's feelings toward the insurrectionists and how damning is this new evidence in your eyes?
JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it shows the insurrectionists were doing exactly what he wanted. It played out exactly as he probably assumed it would. From early, I think this was part of the planning and part of the mechanics of how the process would work. That they would scare the vice president into the action they wanted or disrupt the action and prevent him from being able to carry it out.
There is -- obviously, he has no remorse about it. No concern that he was harming people, that this was nothing short of a riot, and he knew that was going to happen with armed people. So, this is -- this is about a clear statement, is what was in his head immediately after he knew what happened is I think could find.
LEMON: You think this is, this tells you about his mindset that day. This gives you some insight into that?
DEAN: Yes, it does.
DEAN: Yes, it does.
LEMON: Susan, it shouldn't be hard for any U.S. president to condemn an attack on our democracy. And yet, for Trump, it is. These were his supporters.
SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yes. No, that's right, Don. I mean, I was just thinking, right, how difficult is it to say, like, I condemn the riot and the people who did violence to our capitol should go to jail? I mean, you know, that really is not a controversial statement unless you are on the side of the rioters and the insurrectionists.
But you know, I think the point is, remember the testimony they played the other day at the hearing? Trump, in that same speech, as they were taping it, he also said I don't want to say the election is over. Yesterday is a hard word for me. Right? He literally, even after everything, even with the shattered glass of the U.S. Capitol, this has all been crystal clear for a long time. I mean, I think we are filling in the details, Don, but you know, are you really -- is any of this evidence surprising in some way to you?
LEMON: No. It's not surprising at all. But just to see it, I think it's important for us to see it and report on it. But to me personally, having reported on Donald Trump for seven years now, sitting at this desk, no, it's not surprising to me. It makes sense why the committee needs more hearings. I mean, they have a lot of unfinished business, Susan.
GLASSER: Yes. I'm looking forward to -- they have said that they will release the full depositions. They have conducted more than 1,000 interviews. I think it's very important for the historical record, you know, as well as to assemble a full piece, talking about the reporter possibly doing and interim report and then a final report.
But I do feel that it's very important to see all the evidence laid out. In this entirety, we've seen, you know, sort of very polished edited excerpts, if you will, in these hearings so far of the depositions that they've had, and the testimony. But I think it is important to get the full historical record.
And remember, we're already more than a year and a half away. We are now hard up against the midterm elections.
LEMON: Right. Right. new -- this came as a surprise to many, if not everyone, John. Pence's former chief of staff, Marc Short says that he testified before a federal grand jury.
Now the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, reporting that former Pence attorney Greg Jacob also testified. We're talking about two very high-profile witnesses here. Why now? What does this say about where this federal investigation is headed?
DEAN: Well, it tells me that the Department of Justice has been doing a good bit of work with this grand jury to get up the witnesses at that level. There's been a lot of ground lead before they brought them in. They didn't just pop them in the grand jury. They have been interviewed probably weeks, if not months earlier in anticipation of the grand jury appearance. That's the norm.
These are not targets. These are witnesses. And I found it interesting that Marc Short was spotted and probably revealed Greg Jacobs as a result of that, by waiting into the crowd that was at the courthouse for the Bannon trial. So, he is sophisticated. He knew exactly what he was doing. He wasn't trying to hide the fact that he had been in front of a grand jury. And he obviously, he had some chit chat with reporters. If not Greg Jacobs as well.
So, they're -- we are getting at the stage now where you have adversarial witnesses who may talk and we'll learn more about with the investigation is doing and its direction.
LEMON: Well, we have some very significant chit chat with CNN reporter today, I'm talking about Erin Burnett where he -- I'm going to talk about that later where he made some significance comments.
LEMON: Susan, we have seen so much movement with the 1/6 committee and the investigation in Georgia. Does it seem like the federal investigation is picking it up? GLASSER: You, know the punditry about grand juries is a dangerous
game, Don. I would say that it's clearly significant to be interviewing Marc Short and Greg Jacob, because they are very important witnesses who directly saw the pressure campaign that Donald Trump mounted on his own vice president, Mike Pence.
You know, by some accounts, it's interesting to see when we ultimately find out what Marc Short testified, but he has told others that, you know, Pence dozens of times made clear and his advisers that he was not going to go along with Trump's, frankly, hair brain scheme, this idea, this notion that was being pressed on Pence in the days before January 6, that he essentially would single-handedly have the power to stop the results certifying Joe Biden from being finalized.
And you know, so the question is, always been for me, if Pence, again and again and his advisers make clear to Donald Trump that he wasn't going to go along with it, why did Trump persist even into January 6th itself and his speech? He had just gotten off the phone with Mike Pence who again told him, no, I'm not going along with it.
So, it's really a remarkable set of circumstances, and obviously complicated legally, something like this is never been charged of a former president.
LEMON: And the fact that there was no hoopla around it, we didn't get all the attorney notes about we object to this, this is executive privilege and all of that. And they did it, they just went in and did their job. They spoke to the grand jury and they left. And then they gave comments afterwards.
Susan, I just want to play more. This is what we heard from President Biden slamming Trump today for failing to respond to the January 6. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: For three hours the defeated former president of the United States watched it all happen as he sat in the comfort of the private dining room next to the Oval Office. While he was doing that, brave law enforcement officers subject to the medieval hell for three hours. Face to face with craze mob that believe the lies of the defeated president. The police were heroes that day. Donald Trump lacks the courage to act.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: You could hear the scratchy voice, but obviously he's recovering from COVID. That's the first thing that I noticed, Susan. But what do you think about Biden laying into Trump like that and showing this contrast between law enforcement and the former president?
GLASSER: Well, it is interesting. It's probably a sign of the effectiveness of the January 6 committee in putting these facts, which was already known back in front of the public in a powerful way. In fact, President Biden has generally been reluctant to take a punch at Donald Trump and to bring up January 6. He has left the committee largely to do, business.
So, I think it's a sign, certainly many in Biden's own party who are hoping that he's going to come out tweeting more against Donald Trump, and it's important to note that Trump will actually be back in Washington, D.C. for the first time. Since he left it, so let's just say ungraciously, you know, for a speech tomorrow. And I do think the timing suggests that Biden wanted to, you know, make that point before Trump was back here in Washington, D.C.
LEMON: John, why are you shaking your head? What's the deal?
DEAN: I was just thinking, she's nailed it right on as Susan always does.
LEMON: Yes, he's going to be back. She said, I don't what she you, ungraciously? I think unceremoniously. The American people told him to leave.
John, the 1/6 committee is a sharpening their focus on the Secret Service, they feel like they've just been scratching the surface when it comes to uncovering what is behind the missing texts. How important is it that they get to the bottom of that?
DEAN: I think it's very important. It's important not only for this investigation, that they find out if there is data that somewhere can be retrieved, or if there is something more going on that would suggest the reason, they had maybe intentionally erased this material.
So that's the key, but I think the fact that it's turned criminal, is very telling, that the department, that this agency itself believes it's serious, and it's only life might be at stake and what's going on here.
LEMON: Thank you, John. Thank you, and Susan. I appreciate it. I'll see you guys soon.
The January 6 committee maybe setting its sights on right-wing activists Ginni Thomas. What's the wife of the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas told Mark Meadows about the 2020 election, and why the committee may subpoena her?
LEMON: So, two of the former Vice President Mike Pence's closest aides testifying before a grand jury investigating January 6. That as the House select committee is weighing whether to subpoena right-wing activist Ginni Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas.
So, joining me now to discuss is CNN political analyst John Avlon and CNN senior -- CNN's legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Elliot Williams. I just, you know, I took a pause there. Good evening to both of you. I
took a pause there when I was saying, you know, talking about her, because she is a right-wing activist. I mean, that is the truth. That is fair to call her that.
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes.
LEMON: That it's odd to say that about a sitting Supreme Court justice's wife, but that is who Ginni Thomas is.
Elliot, you first. There is reporting out tonight that in addition to Marc Short, another Pence aide, Greg Jacob testifies before a federal grand jury investigating the January 6 last week. Now, they would have key insight this into the pressure on Pence to overturn election. Correct?
WILLIAMS: They most certainly would. You know, it's really interesting, Don, just a week ago if you remember the attorney general last Wednesday was asked, you know, what's going on? Why is the Justice Department moving faster? Why are you getting lapped by the January 6th committee? And the attorney general sort of gave a platitude like, you know, nobody is above the law. We will go after anybody.
And it was sort of unsatisfying. It was a platitude, just basic truth. And the simple fact is at that moment they were probably -- there was a grand jury probably talking to Marc Short or Greg Jacob. You know, the chief of staff or counsel to the vice president of the United States. The simple fact is the Justice Department is at least open -- has an open investigation --
LEMON: Yes, now? Now? But why? I mean, why is it -- why didn't this happening before the January 6 --
WILLIAMS: These things do not --
LEMON: You would think it's in the United States Department of Justice.
WILLIAMS: This does not materialize like a clam shell in the ocean with Venus being born. It takes a long time to put together a grand jury subpoena. I'm telling you. And this is much -- this is like John Dean said a little bit earlier. This must have been in the works for weeks, if not months before that.
LEMON: So, you think it's coincidence?
WILLIAMS: So, I just --
LEMON: The time that you think it coincide -- WILLIAMS: I really do, I really do -- having worked on this for a long time. I just don't think, you know, the attorney general got angry one day and decided to bring in Marc -- Mike Pence's chief of staff.
LEMON: Or embarrass by what the committee was doing. So, listen, John, the committee already has text between Ginni Thomas and Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, urging him to fight to overturn the 2020 election. How hard should they pursue her testimony, do you think?
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think hard depending on what they believe she has this material. We have the texts. CNN was among the first to get them, showing the text between Ginni Thomas and Mark Meadows. And they are widely in appropriate in addition to being widely disconnected from reality. And that's part of the puzzle here. Right?
I mean, this is by all counts an accomplished intelligent woman. A committed conservative activist, who, in the context of the attempt to overturn the election played a frontline role, acting as a cheer leader, leveraging presumably her contacts in ways that were disconnected from reality, voicing conspiracy theories, and also e- mailing legislators who are trying to overturn the election. That's where I think the question of criminal culpability.
LEMON: Wy is this being allowed --
LEMON: Why is this being allowed to happen? This is -- shouldn't Ginni Thomas realize, and Clarence Thomas, he is a sitting Supreme Court justice, shouldn't he sit down with his wife and they have a conversation and stop it. I mean, come on.
AVLON: Guardrails. The guardrails have been eroded?
LEMON: It's absolutely -- they're ridiculous that this is actually happening in our country.
AVLON: It is.
LEMON: It is absolutely ridiculous.
AVLON: And look, I hear you on that. I think the issue is that in the past that kind of common sense, common decency was assumed. Right? Your Supreme Court justice with power comes responsibility. Everybody has got their own opinion. You're entitled to your opinion not your own facts.
But if you are the Supreme Court justices' immediate family, you've got to -- you've got to rein it a little bit out of respect for the role he's played. Those guardrails are gone and it's a function of the way that hyper partisan and polarization has made us crazy as a society unfortunately. LEMON: Is it a function that people will just, as you said, there's
no guardrails. That they just do what they want to do and there are no consequences for it?
AVLON: And it's particularly ironic for someone with a conservative position, given that they usually talk about individual responsibility, but yes, it's the absence of guardrails. This is direct evidence.
WILLIAMS: Don, I've written about the Thomas's I think twice for CNN opinion. You know, this is bad and destroying the reputation of the Supreme Court --
WILLIAMS: -- where the public already has a low opinion of the Supreme Court.
WILLIAMS: She ought to come in as a witness. But, and one of the things that she said repeatedly, is that while Clarence and I don't talk about work at home. And you know, and I know, and Avlon knows, that's nonsense. All of us who have partners know that you just, you can't leave these kinds of things at home.
And so, number one, it's bad for the court, number two, it substantively important for the committee, and most witnesses come in and figure out a way to negotiate the terms. If Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, who is the guy who is a senior staffer to the president and his attorney for the White House can figure out a way to come in and testify that Ginni Thomas, this outside third-party ought to be able to negotiate something and come in. It is nonsense, and it's hurting the reputation of an institution that's already losing a lot of its standing in the American public.
LEMON: I want to turn now -- let's turn now to what's happening in Fulton County down in Georgia where the D.A., Fanni Willis, told -- was told by a judge today that she can't make the fake elector and State Senator Burt Jones a target of her investigation, because Willis hosted a fund-raiser for Jones's opponent, which is, I want to make get this right, I want to make sure that we get it right, is in the Georgia lieutenant governor's race?
AVLON: Yes. We were talking about common sense and now guardrails.
AVLON: If you want to be the D.A. of Fulton County and you want to -- you got to put partisan politics aside. I know a lot of these are partisan races of course for D.A., but you got to hold yourself to a higher standard, because otherwise, appropriate the judge is going to say no, you can't make this person you have here election here against -- you know, subpoena them. Even if there is evidence that they were part of this fake elector's plot.
You know, sending out 16 subpoenas. It's not a killer case, but it causes you to question the judgment. You've got to hold yourself to a higher standard if you hold office. And that includes not subpoenaing people who you have campaigned actively against.
LEMON: Well, I do when I see D.A.s, Elliott, or anyone who's in that capacity out doing, you know, sort of partisan kind of things --
LEMON: -- I think for me it lowers their credibility.
LEMON: Like doing protests in that sort of thing. I think that people who are in charge of investigations should hold themselves to a different level.
WILLIAMS: Yes, however, Don, the overwhelming majority of the district attorneys across the United States, honestly, it's upwards of 90 percent, are elected in partisan elections. So, it's the norm in America that you have people who are elected officials who are also supposed to set it aside, and it's sort of just doesn't make sense. It's a weird gray area.
LEMON: But Elliot, stop saying that you shouldn't drop the hammer on people. It's hard to drop the hammer on people if you are holding a fund-raiser for the person.
WILLIAMS: I agree. I agree.
LEMON: Do you understand what I'm saying?
WILLIAMS: But taken to the extreme, does that mean that only Democrats can investigate Democrats or vice versa? I just don't know how you get this to be workable when you have elected officials as prosecutors.
Now I'll say this, Don. To some extent, the judge did her a favor by getting her off the case.
WILLIAMS: Because if he is indicted by it will be another prosecutor that does it --
WILLIAMS: -- like her deputy or another office. It takes away the stench of politics. And maybe it's not a bad thing to take her off, but I'm with you both on this. It's a judgment question. It just doesn't work.
LEMON: Yes. That's it. Should we just give you the last word, John? I mean, come on.
AVLON: That's fine. You want to take it?
WILLIAMS: No. No.
AVLON: Three words. Equal justice under law. And also, a little bit of fairness and decency.
LEMON: My gosh.
AVLON: Come on, now. Come on!
LEMON: Thank you, thank you, gentlemen.
WILLIAMS: Just hearing America the beautiful behind -- the flag waving behind me it's beautiful.
LEMON: Thank you. The White House trying to downplay fears of a recession, but several top economists are expecting one, including the former treasury secretary, Larry Summers. There he is. He's going to join me. Let's see if he can top the last segment. We'll see you after the break later, Larry.
LEMON: So, a critical week for the U.S. economy ahead. A ton of data including the latest inflation numbers as well as second quarter GDP growth is expected in the next few days. Some economists are predicting that GDP shrank again last quarter, raising fears that the U.S. is going into a recession. The White House is pushing back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: We're not going to be in a recession in my view. My hope is we go from this rapid growth to a steady growth, and so we will see some coming down, but I don't think we're going to, God willing, I don't think we're going to see a recession.
JANET YELLEN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: I'm not saying we will definitely avoid a recession, but I think there is a path that keeps the labor market strong and brings inflation down.
BRIAN DEESE, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Certainly, in terms of the technical definition, it's not a recession.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Larry Summers is here, the former treasury secretary. Hey, Larry, thanks for joining us this evening.
So, I know that you disagree with these White House officials. Do you think we are headed into a recession, correct?
LARRY SUMMERS, FORMER U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: In part, I disagree, and in part I agree. Let's be clear. Whatever Thursdays number is, even if it shows some kind of small, negative GDP growth, I think the overwhelming way to the evidence is that we are not in a recession now, the negative GDP in a sense, misleading. People spent a lot of money, so inventories gotten drawn down. That is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness, whatever the GDP numbers show.
I do think that over the medium term, the great likelihood is that we will have a recession, because when we have an economy as overheated as the economy that we have, that has been the almost universal historical experience.
So, I think the chances of achieving that soft landing with steady labor markets, it could happen, but I don't think it's the best bet. And I think increasingly, that's the judgment that is being reflected in markets. But to be clear, it's a forward-looking judgment. The White House is right in saying that whatever the GDP. whatever the Thursday GDP number, it doesn't look like we are in a recession right now.
LEMON: OK. So, do you not think that the White House is moving the goalpost of what a recession actually is? I mean, generally --
SUMMERS: No. The White House, I think that's -- look, I have over time been plenty critical --
LEMON: But let me get this out so you can answer, too. Generally, is in the thought of two quarters of negative GDP growth? Sorry to cut you off, but go on.
SUMMERS: I'm sorry, Don. Don, that is a rule of thumb that has been used to approximate the much broader concept, which is an across-the- board downdraft economic activity. But it is not, it's not the formal definition. It's not what the National Bureau of Economic Research or the economics profession used.
So, I've been plenty critical of the administration about a variety of things. But they are not moving the goalposts here. When they say that whatever happens on Thursday's number, it doesn't prove that we are in a recession. Frankly, the people who are saying that are politically oriented people who know better.
And I say that as someone who is no optimist about the U.S. economy. I do think we will get to recession, but the claim that we are in one if Thursday's number is negative, is one that's made by people who are either ignorant of economics or I think more frequently looking to make political points.
LEMON: I'm glad you said that. Thank you. Thank you for clarifying that, Larry. Let's talk about what Americans are feeling. Right? Sixty-four percent of Americans feel that the economy is in a recession. That's according to CNN -- CNN's latest poll. Listen, I understand what you're saying. You're saying hat's technically not so, but that's how people feel.
We are hearing a lot of spin and fancy definitions but when people feel this recession, why not just tell them, you know, what's really happening? I guess we are telling them what's really happening but they just don't feel it. They feel like there is a recession going on.
SUMMERS: Look, we can -- we can argue about the semantics. People feel bad because the purchasing power of what they are earning has gone down.
SUMMERS: The reason the purchasing power of what they are earning -- what they are going has gone down, is that we have had 9.1 percent inflation. And that's a lot faster than people's paychecks are rising. And the reason that has happened is not policymakers made mistakes. In 2021 they kept speeding even as the yellow light was on. And that's why we are now at more risk. It's a very difficult situation.
So, people are right to say that they are hurting. But if we want to have a durable cure to their hurting, what we have to do is address those very high rates inflation. That there are some things that the administration could do, like what they did with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, what they're hoping to do with pharmaceutical price reduction. What I've heard in terms of tariff reduction. More emphasis on the government buying things in expansively, but monetary policy and how much money we are printing is ultimately going to be a very important for that rate of inflation.
I think it's that rate of inflation that is of the center of why there is so much distress, and that's why I'm glad that chairman Powell belatedly, very belatedly, is making, bringing down inflation his central priority. I think we've got to kick this inflation or things are going to get that much more difficult.
LEMON: Larry, I want to ask you. Producers, I know I'm going long I want to ask this. I think it's an important question. Larry, it sounds odd. But there's also a generational sort of feeling or experience about this. Older Americans who have gone through this again, who have seen higher mortgage rates, who have seen higher gas prices feel a different way about what's happening in the economy.
You know, quite frankly, someone my parents age or grandparents says you guys have just gotten used to it for so long, being so good, you don't remember how things used to be. You know, I had a 10 percent, whatever, I'm just paraphrasing it, a mortgage rate.
Are we used to pay this odd mount for gas prices, you know, adjusting for inflation? And they were pretty high. Do you understand what I mean? There is a generational sort of difference about what is happening with our economy, that younger people may feel differently than older people. SUMMERS: I think that's -- I think that's right. I mean, look, Don,
when I got, I mean, I'm hardly someone who anybody should ever feel sorry for, but when I got my job at Harvard, Harvard offered me a 9 percent mortgage. I thought that was a fantastic perk --
SUMMERS: --b because the mortgage rate at that time was 13 percent in the market.
SUMMERS: So, yes, there's stuff that happened 40 years ago that most people don't remember. I think a lot of it, generationally has to do with what is happening with house prices. If you bought your house 15 years ago, it has been a fantastic source of wealth accumulation. If you don't yet have your house, you don't yet have your condo, or whatever it is, then you feel -- you are seeing them all go up in price, and that's feeling more and more out of reach.
SUMMERS: I think for the medium term, we've got to work on housing affordability. It's a crucial issue for potential homeowners in our country.
LEMON: Yes, you're right. People are either rent poor or they can't make enough money to put a down payment, because of the cost of housing that's gotten so high. Larry, thank you. I always appreciate your time and your knowledge. Thanks so much.
SUMMERS: Thank you. Bye.
LEMON: Multiple shootings across several major cities this weekend. Does excessive heat have something to do with it? We'll discuss, next.
LEMON: So high temperatures and high crime rates. Today over 40 million people are currently under heat alerts and U.S. That is following weeks -- a weeks long heat wave that has so far impacted more than 100 million Americans.
And while the temperatures are rising, so is crime. So, looking at crime rates from last week compared to the same week a year ago. In New York, violent crime is up 22 percent, and Chicago 62 percent.
But are heat and crime connected? I know it sounds odd, but let's discuss now. Joining now retired Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Hans Menos, the vice president of the triage response team at the Center for Policing Equity.
I'm so glad to have both of you. I know that crime used to go up in the summer month because people are outside. But let's see what high temperature, what that means.
Good evening, gentlemen. Hans, you first. What's the link between summer and crime surges? And does heat have to do with any of that?
HANS MENOS, VICE PRESIDENT, TRIAGE RESPONSE TEAM, CENTER FOR POLICING EQUITY: Hi, Don. And thanks for having me. I think the answer is that it's complicated. But there is certainly a relationship between heat or rising temperatures and violent crime. That's been attractive in a myriad of ways. But what's important to note is that there is a confluence of other factors.
So, violence on its face is more likely in areas that have less opportunities and more depression, more racism where people are generally oppressed. That's what we know about violence overall. And so, the same is true for one violence concentrates because of heat or as a result of heat. It's really a confluence of all of those factors, lack of opportunity, lack of investment in that community that creates or allows for violence to get-- to cause a spike in those neighborhoods.
Notably, we are not talking about violence spike in the suburbs on a touch (Ph) of degrees. So, there are -- it is important to note where heat causes the concentration of violence. And what other factors we can talk about when we are talking about the impact of heat on violence in our cities.
LEMON: So, Ron, there is this 2019 study from the University of Southern California and it found that in Los Angeles when the temperature was above 85 degrees, crime rose by 5.7 percent. Do policing methods change at all when the season or the weather changes?
RON JOHNSON, RETIRED CAPTAIN, MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL: They really change. And we know that crime does goes up or violent crime goes up. And so we are aware of that. We do try to target those times where we see those crime trends go up when we may put more manpower out there. But historically, yes, when it's hot crime goes up. Violent crime goes up.
Like the other gentleman said, we see a difference in some of our urban areas versus suburban areas. But we also see it rising in suburban areas also.
LEMON: Yes. So, Hans, can we go back to something that you said, because you say that a lot of crime increases can be attributed to opportunity. We know that there are more guns on the streets in America than anywhere else in the world. How big a factor is that?
MENOS: I mean, we know America has a gun problem, right? And our cities, that's where we really see this problem. So of course, we can't divorce this two -- all these issues, poverty, crime, gun access, et cetera. But to turn back to the solution to these problems, what we've typically done and say, well, we are going to put more police there. We're going to flood those areas with more police officers. And I think we are past that, right?
In 2022 there is a couple of things that are predictable. One of them is that violence is going to spike in the summer, right, and that we can do slightly more than offer a punitive response to that problem. We have a lot more in our tool about should be seek to use it. That can allow people to think more about what they can do.
MENOS: There are violence interruption programs, there is a lot of programs that think about this way upstream and far-left of punitive response that say, well, we're going to put police officers there.
And ideally, those police officers will either use their handguns or use their handcuffs to address this problem. We are really beyond that. And I think we need to start thinking about that in a whole different way. This is one of those problems that we have to get far more creative on that throwing policing problem.
LEMON: You said violence interruption programs, Ron. Do you find that, do you agree with what Hans said? Do you find that to be effective? What are the solutions?
JOHNSON: I agree with him. I think putting more policemen is not the issue. I think we have to have interrupters. But I also think to have more program for our youth to be involved in. During the summer months, on the winter months we have to have activities. And those activities and mentors within those activities.
So actually, they have activities and they are also learning skills to de-escalate they're being around each other in a positive way. And so, policing isn't the issue, but it is having programs interrupters and some of the things that Hans talked about were dead on.
LEMON: And part of this conversation we had before, it's also the economy. Crimes of opportunity are huge problem, right?
LEMON: People are desperate and they want money and sometimes they can't take care of their families and they steal to do it, and violence happens. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
And a state known for wildfires, this one is being called unprecedented. It's forcing thousands to evacuate there California's -- evacuate near California's Yosemite National Park.
LEMON: Tonight, a wildfire near Yosemite National Park in California scorching nearly 17,000 acres since breaking out on Friday. A fire official says the blaze is moving extremely fast, forcing at least 3,000 people from their homes.
And because it's moving so quickly authorities have little time to warn people to leave their homes. Many forced to flee with just the clothes they are wearing. Flames only about 10 percent contained and have destroyed at least seven structures so far.
The wildfire is the largest of California's actively burning fires, it is being fed by dry under brush and the state's severe drought conditions. One official saying the intensity of the blaze is director result of climate change. California's governor declaring a state of emergency from Mariposa County where the fire is located.
The chief of staff to the former Vice President Mike Pence confirming that he testified before a federal grand jury investigating January 6th. Does it reveal how seriously the Justice Department is taking this case?