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Don Lemon Tonight

Experts Don't Buy Too Much Coincidences; Kansas Voters Speaks About Abortion Rights; Alex Jones Caught In His Lies; Trump-Backed Candidate Too Excited To Win; Lawmakers Facing Death Threats. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired August 03, 2022 - 22:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Thanks for watching. I'll be back tomorrow night. DON LEMON TONIGHT starts right now. Hey, Don Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: We're getting close. It's hump day. Call it hump night. Then we got two more days into the weekend, which we may have to work on anyways, you never -- one never knows do one when you're in this business.

COATES: I don't know. I've already talked my lipstick off so that's -- that's why I'm going home. That's the end of my contract. I don't have the guaranteed millions of the NFL but when my lipstick is done, so is Laura Coates.

LEMON: There's so much to talk about when it comes to the NFL, when it comes to music? By the way, I saw your, the top of your -- that Alex Jones on the stand today, when he found out he's like, do you know how we got your text messages? And he's like, whoa.


LEMON: That was some, you know what?

COATES: That was a moment.


COATES: That, you know, if you had scripted that I would've been like, that's not going to happen. That's what, when you look at back to the lawyer who sort of like just chewing on a thumbnail, that moment.


COATES: I want to know what that conversation was like after, but not because I'm sympathetic in some way to somebody who would've tortured those families of Sandy Hook for so long. I mean, curiosity is one thing, but to catch him in the lie, the way that he did, unbelievable.

LEMON: Amazing to watch. Thank you, Laura. COATES: Yes.

LEMON: I'll see you tomorrow. Have a good one.

COATES: Goodnight.


We're going to have more on the fallout from the scandal over those other text messages that we're talking about. Missing Secret Service texts Sources telling CNN the Secret Service may temporarily disable text messaging on employees' phones in the wake of the firestorm over missing texts from around January 6th.

Now we're going to have more on that in just a moment, but let us not forget that there are more missing texts from key Trump Pentagon officials. This is a season of the missing text, right? You know, I always say it. I've been saying this for a while. Don't fall for the okie-doke, the old okie doke. That's what they want you to fall for. Right? I want to bamboozle you or the old, Eddie Murphy. Remember Eddie Murphy said, banana in the tailpipe.

Don't fall for it. When people try to tell you that the threat from January 6 is over because it is not and it is not about the past. This is about a cancer on our democracy, a cancer that has metastasized. It's a cancer of lies and you see it everywhere.

There are the election deniers on the ballot, people who could be in positions of real power the next time. Just last night, Arizona Republican shows a leading election denier as their nominee to oversee voting in a state that has been the target of election lies ever since it went for Joe Biden in 2020. It's all about the big lie.

That as the federal criminal investigation of January 6 moves deeper into the Trump White House. First on CNN, Patrick Philbin who was deputy White House counsel has been subpoenaed by the DOJ. That after we learned last night that his boss, Pat Cipollone was also subpoenaed. Watch.


CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF MARK MEADOWS: Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of, please make sure we don't go up to the capitol, Cassidy. Keep in touch with me. We're going to get charges every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.


LEMON: And we may learn a lot more soon. There are threats to election workers, the top election official warning senators that they're bracing for the worst with the midterms looming.

And then there is a New York Times reporting that two Arizona Republicans were so concerned about the fake electors plot that they fear that their actions could be seen as treason, fake electors, missing texts, election deniers on the ballot, fears of treason. It all adds up to a clear and present danger to our democracy.

The question is as always, what are we going to do about it?

Straight to CNN's Jessica Schneider now with the very latest on this scandal over those missing Secret Service texts. Good evening to you, Jessica. Thanks for joining -- joining us. Tell us more about the Secret Service, potentially disabling text messaging from their agents. What's going on here?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's been this ongoing saga, Don, that we've been covering for months here. So, tonight, we're actually learning that Secret Service it is exploring this possibility of maybe suspending the use of text temporarily all while they really fix the issues with the way that text messages from the employees are backed up.

So our team has learned this because it's all being disclosed in a new memo from the Secret Service director. And, you know, it's really the latest sign that the Secret Service knows it needs to change some of its policies amid that backlash from those revelations. The text messages from employees' phones were erased from that crucial time period around January 6.

Secret Services said it was just a routine phone replacement, but they still aren't giving all the answers that Congress wants. So the Secret Service, they previously said that they've relied on their employees to back up their own phones.


And obviously, many of the employees, maybe most of the employees didn't do that. So now we've learned that the Secret Service is actually putting together a plan to make sure that records in the future are preserved. And while they're coming up with this plan, they may stop letting their employees text in the meantime.

But Don, you know, it's just a possible plan right now, nothing definite. And that's because they need to actually look into how this would affect the agency's work. For example, employees text local police departments. So that would be a problem if they suddenly couldn't text. So this is all being looked at, it's all on the table that they might suspend this texting while they figure out the best path forward.

But it's been a bit of a mess for the Secret Service, with all of these questions surrounding how exactly they retain data. And now they're trying to come up with a way to fix it for the future.

LEMON: It's really astounding that an agency that is, has the importance of the Secret Service, considering what they do, right, what their jobs are that they don't have this official way to back up text messages that they're relying on their employees. It's -- I mean, it's stunning to me.

SCHNEIDER: Finally realizing they need a plan in place now.


SCHNEIDER: But a little late.

LEMON: And, and what about the calls on the Defense Department, Jessica, the inspector general to investigate missing texts --


LEMON: -- from top military leaders. Where does that stand?

SCHNEIDER: Yes, the newest call tonight it came from Senator Dick Durbin, of course, chair of the Senate judiciary committee. He wants the inspector general at the Pentagon looking into this. The Pentagon is responding, saying that they understand that this is the request, they want to wait until they get the official letter request from Durbin.

But, you know, Durbin wants the inspector general to look into the fact that the Defense Department wiped the phones of these top DOD officials after January 6th. And the concern here is that those phones held valuable information, valuable insight into why exactly in particular, it took hours to deploy the National Guard of the capitol and maybe how Trump was, or was not weighing in on that decision.

So, now it appears that those texts are gone and you combine that with the revelation over the past several weeks that the Secret Service texts are gone, it has members of Congress asking for answers. And now they're pressing the Pentagon inspector general to look into this just as the DHS I.G. is looking into the missing Secret Service text here, Don. So --

LEMON: Starting off our --

SCHNEIDER: -- a lot of questions.

LEMON: -- starting off our reporting, and then Jessica Schneider, Jessica. Thank you very much. I appreciate that.

I want to bring in now Nixon White House counsel, John Dean, a Watergate prosecutor, Nick Akerman.

Gentlemen, I'm so glad to, to have you on. Nick, let me just ask. You know, listening to Jessica's reporting, is it stunning to you that there isn't a better way the Secret Service has to back up the important work text messages?

I mean, they are responsible for the leader of the free world for the safety and the life, really of the leader of the free world. And they don't have an official way to back up information that they need.

NICK AKERMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: That's absolutely absurd. I mean, there is absolutely some skullduggery going on here. The -- what most people don't realize is that the Secret Service was actually the agency that started doing cybersecurity investigations and computer investigations. And they really are supposedly the experts in terms of understanding the topology of the government programs and the networks that are out there.

So to me, this all sounds like a major cover up. You just don't have the Secret Service losing text messages when there's a concern about whether or not Trump tried to get Mike Pence out of the capitol the night of January 6th, you don't have messages missing from Homeland Security.

When you know that there were calls made to Homeland Security about seizing voting machines, and God knows what they were doing with the Department of Defense. I mean, it all really stinks to high heaven.

LEMON: Yes. John, let me bring you in to get your reaction to this new reporting about these Secret Service text messages. I mean, this isn't a fix for the deleted messages on January 6th, but what do you think about this move to disabled text while they fix how they retain these messages?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think they ought to be getting answers in responding to Congress about January 5th and 6th, which is missing before they start working on their remedies or even announcing what they're doing. They had to get their act together. It sounds very premature, Don. So, I don't know that I can give any guidance on this issue.

LEMON: Yes, Nick. So, the bigger picture here, we've been talking about this missing text messages from the Secret Service Department of Homeland Security and senior Trump Defense Department officials. How does all this look to you? Do you, does it, I mean, it's a little weird. I don't want to, you know, be so sure on the air that there's something nefarious going on here, but it certainly does stink of high to high heaven.


AKERMAN: Well, it's just too coincidental. I mean, as John will remember, there was talk during Watergate after the Nixon tapes came out that some people were saying, well, Nixon should have just destroyed all those tapes. and he would've remained in office and never been impeached.

Well, the fact of the matter is somebody may have done the same thing here. Realized that the information on these text messages are so damning that they had to get rid of them for January 5th and 6th. And it was better to do that and hope that nobody discovered what they did or who did it. We just don't know, but it really requires a very thorough investigation overall into all three agencies by somebody who really understands cyber security and computers.

LEMON: So, OK. Let's just say that, that we don't know if that happened, but you're bringing up, you know, you you're bringing it up here. Let's just say that scenario happened, John Dean. I mean, that's pretty serious. Those are -- what are the consequences for something like that happening, a government agency doing something like that?

DEAN: Well, if they have deliberately destroyed this material they probably all were given notice to retain evidence. you know, I don't know if the January 6th committee did that. But it's very likely because we know some of those agencies were put on notice.

So the fact that they knew that they were to preserve this evidence and let it disappear as it has is just not going to -- going to cut it. We also know that the inspectors general have been sitting on this information for quite a while, which I just raises more suspicions.

So we have lots of reasons to be concerned and no answers. Now, if -- if this was a grand jury or if this were the Watergate era, even, you had a judge who as soon as tapes were missing and inexplicably missing parts of them, he hauled everybody into the court. And they got right to the bottom of it.

We came up with the famous explanation by Rosemary Woods that she believed she'd accidentally erased 18 and a half minutes of a tape. Well, I just came right out in the courtroom and proved actually she couldn't have done what she said she did.

So we don't have that advantage right now. But this is, this is too conspicuous, Don, that they're not going to get the answer at some point. I don't think you can get away with this today. Evidence can be tracked and traced. So I think they will get to the bottom of it.

LEMON: Let's just say, John, that this was in front of a -- you were in a, you know, just a normal court proceeding. And you know, the person who was the defendant was saying, well, you know, this happened, this happened, this happened. And all these things were erased. Don't you think the other side would be like, well, look we win because you guys got rid of the evidence. I mean, am I wrong?

DEAN: Well, that's very possible. Yes, you can default if you destroy evidence, certainly in the civil case, in a criminal case.

LEMON: Wittingly or unwittingly.

DEAN: It has, yes. Well, you know, if it's witting, it's probably another crime. If it's unwitting, you know, for example, we have Alex Jones with his -- his text suddenly showing up and opposing attorney's possession. That's a very interesting situation. He seemed baffled by it, but it proved he lied and they're not going to be able to get around that. So these things can play out in ways we never expect.

LEMON: Nick, let's move on then talk, move on and talk about the New York Times reporting. The Times tonight reporting that John Eastman sent an e-mail to Rudy Giuliani two weeks after January 6th, arguing that they should sue in Georgia to keep searching for fraud that he acknowledged they failed to find. So, he knew that there was no proof that this was a baseless claim of widespread voter fraud.

AKERMAN: Well, of course they all knew that. I mean, even Rudy Giuliani told Randy Bowers that they had a lot of great theories but no evidence. And this is the guy who was the speaker of the house in Arizona. I mean, this whole thing was a tactic to basically try and put Trump into office and to stop the peaceful transfer of power.

I mean, I don't think anybody can seriously say that any of these people could really believe that, in fact, there was any kind of fraud out there. I mean, you know, right from the get-go when Trump first even ran in the Republican primary, he had Roger Stone create the Stop the Steal program, which began back in 2016 in the Republican primaries.

I mean, the only reason we didn't hear more about it was because Trump won the primaries and eventually won the presidency. But the moment he lost, this was his technique to claim that the election was stolen from him.


LEMON: The times we're living in, gentlemen. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Voters in a red state in the middle of the country turning out and drove to support abortion rights. Are they sending a message to a post-Roe America?


KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The people of Kansas spoke yesterday and they spoke loud and clear. They said, this is not a partisan issue. The women of America should not be the subject of partisan debate or perspective.



LEMON: So last night we were here reporting on what was happening in Kansas and really all of the election news around the country. But Kansas voters sending the message loud and clear last night, overwhelmingly rejecting an amendment that would have said there was no right to an abortion in that state. And that's already sending political shockwaves ahead of the November midterms.

Let's discuss now, a whole lot to discuss as a matter of fact, CNN political commentators, Ana Navarro and Alice Stewart are both here. So glad you're here. Good evening to you.

Ms. Navarro, I'm going to start with you because this is a state that Trump carried with by 15 points in 2020.


Last night, the pro-choice side won 58 percent of the votes. That means a lot of Republicans had to go out and vote for this.




NAVARRO: Because Republicans like their rights too, because Republicans have young girls, young daughters who get pregnant too, because Republicans have mistress because there's -- because this is -- because this is not an issue that is one side or the other and because this is an issue where people have had rights for 50 years.

And taking out a right is one of the most difficult things you can do after people have gotten use to that right? Listen, and this, and I think part of what was so shocking in Kansas yesterday, this is a state that has not voted for a Democrat for president --

LEMON: For president.

NAVARRO: -- in all of our lifetime. Alice, you and me were not alive in 1964 when LBJ, you weren't alive. Right?

LEMON: I'm not.


LEMON: I was a glimmer. I was almost alive.

NAVARRO: And when LBJ got elected. And so that's the shocking part. The fact that the numbers and the fact that --


LEMON: And you know because you're a Republican. You know the Republican party, you've worked at Republican circles, you were a Republican strategist, you know how Republicans feel about abortion?

NAVARRO: There are -- there are Congress people right now, Republican U.S. Congress people who were -- pro anti-abortion who it was revealed had sent their girlfriends to have abortions. So, the hypocrisy, the hypocrisy by so many people who are making these laws. And I'm not referring to Alice, because I don't -- that's not who I'm referring to. But there are many, many, people who are incredibly double faced and hypocritical when it comes to this.

LEMON: Alice, what do you think about these results? I mean, turnout was huge for a primary in this red state, and these red state voters sent a pretty clear message here.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It was. It was a really a wakeup call for the pro-life community in terms of making sure that we don't rest on our laurels in terms of what we have accomplished in the pro-life movement.

But let's take a step back. The pro-life community has been working to overturn Roe v. Wade ever since its inception for 50 years. And that has been a huge focus. Once that was overturned, this was the first litmus test or the first opportunity for voters and the pro-choice community and the pro-life community to really galvanize people.

Needless to say, when Roe was overturned and the Dobbs case was handed down, the pro-choice community came out in droves. They were angry, they were frustrated, they were organized. And what we had in Kansas, you look at the numbers, the fundraising numbers, 99 percent of the money that was put into Kansas to turn out the vote was from out of state.

So, we had a lot of out-of-state people galvanizing to turn out the vote to really make an example in Kansas. Clearly, Republicans also voted to -- voted no on this issue to keep things as they were, but this was a good litmus test.

But what I've seen since this came down the last 24 hours, I can assure you those in the pro-life community are doubling down and refocusing efforts to put more pro-life legislators at the state level, but also to reinforce the issue in terms of making sure that pro-life candidates are front and center on the ballot. And we work to preserve --

LEMON: But Alice --

STEWART: -- the sanctity of life at the state level.

LEMON: Let me ask you this.

STEWART: And the most important thing what we've always wanted, Don, and you know this, I've said this ever since we first started talking about this. The point here is to take this decision out of the hands of nine unelected justices and put it at the state level.

I didn't like the results yesterday, but if that's what we're going to see state after state, after state, I will stand back and I will applaud the fact that --


LEMON: Well, that's -- that's my question.

STEWART: -- and important decision like this is made by the people.

LEMON: I -- OK. Let me jump in here. I'll have so much time. Then what you're saying then is that what and what I'm seeing is, is that the pro-life movement is then out of touch with the majority of Americans including Republicans.

And what you're saying is we will put people in place, which is basically minority rule, put people in place who are not in step with the Republican Party, right? With the big tent that supposedly of the Republican Party or the majority, I should say, is a better term of the Republican Party, because you want, you, and the pro-life movement want something that most people don't want. How is that OK?

STEWART: Don, that's not what I'm saying. That's exactly what I'm not saying. What I'm saying is if this is the will of the people, if what we saw in Kansas becomes a litmus and what see across the state --


LEMON: I know you said that, but then you said we were going to work even harder to put pro-life people in positions to be able to make these things happen because you're unhappy with what happened last night. [22:24:56]

STEWART: We're going to galvanize pro-life voters across the country to elect pro-life legislators. And if there aren't enough pro-life voters to galvanize and encourage that, then that's not the will the people, Don. I think most importantly, I think what makes this country great is a democracy.

Decisions like this are best handled by the people closest to the -- to the electorate in this country. And if the majority of people do not like these laws and would much rather support pro-choice, then I am for that. I happen to be pro-life. I would, appreciate and support pro-life laws and legislation, but if that's not the will of the people, then that's not what we should have.


STEWART: And that's plain and simple. And I've advocated for that ever since we've had these conversations.

NAVARRO: It's not the will of the people. Listen, time after time, poll after poll, it's not the will of the American people. It's not the will of the majority of the American people. And what the Supreme Court did was impose their religious values on the American people. And I think people are reacting to that.

And yes, a lot of the money that went into Kansas came from out of state, but the votes were very much from instate, the votes were very much from Kansas. And what I think it shows is, I think -- I think Republicans and have grossly misjudged the level of anger and outreach and the ability of people to maintain that outreach.

The question I have is, is that same level going to go through November. And look, I think part of it is it's being fueled by these horrible consequences. These stories of the 10-year-old girl that was raped and impregnated and couldn't get an abortion, the stories of women with dead babies inside who can't get a DNC, the stories of people who are afraid that they can't get IVF, the stories of doctors being prosecuted.

All of those things I think are sinking in to the American psyche that the effects and consequences of this overturning are far-reaching, the fear that gay people have when it comes to the sanctity of the legality of their marriage. Those are real fears and are driving people to the polls.

LEMON: But did you understand my point where that I was trying to make with Alice? She's saying, OK, well then the pro-life movement will just continue to work harder to put pro-life legislators, but those pro-life legislators are not in step with what most Republicans and most people in the country want. You understand my point?

NAVARRO: Yes, I do. But one of the things that was to me interesting when this -- when this decision came down is, there were actually very few Republicans and so called pro-life legislators who were celebrating the decision. Alice was celebrating the decision, but most of them were talking about state rights and talking about other things, not really celebrating the decision because --

LEMON: Because?

NAVARRO: Because they finally caught the bus because they finally caught the bus. They've been using this --


LEMON: The dogs that caught the car.

NAVARRO: -- there is a small -- there is a -- I'm from Nicaragua, it's a bus. There is a -- there is a small section of pro-life community committed who wanted to overturn it. For many, many other Republicans this has been a political pawn, a political wedge issue to use to bring out the base that they, you know, did they really want all of this to happen? I don't know.

And I think, you know, I think -- I think the American public are having a very strong reaction to the idea of no separation between church and state, which is such a bastion and a pillar of our Constitution and our democracy.


NAVARRO: Ron DeSantis signed the abortion ban in Florida inside a Pentecostal Church. What? What?

LEMON: Yes. So, thank you both. How long we've been working together for what, what is it? Ten years?

NAVARRO: Less than 1964.

LEMON: And Alice, we've been together for about seven years. I know quite well how you -- how you feel about abortion. And you said that that's the reason that people stuck with Donald Trump even through all -- all of his antics.

Thank you both very much. This conversation will continue.

Let's talk now about Alex Jones taking the stand and the defamation lawsuit against him, but his own lawyers are behind the day's big bomb show, wait till you see this.


MARK BANKSTON, PLAINTIFF LAWYER: Mr. Jones, did you know that 12 days ago, 12 days ago, your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone.




LEMON: Really stunning scenes in a Texas courtroom today. Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones finally admitting the Sandy Hook school shooting that killed 20 children and 6 adults actually happened and a huge bombshell. The lawyers for the family of Jesse Lewis, one of the children murdered in the shooting obtaining years of Jones text, of his phone records, I should say, and sharing them in court. Watch how it unfolded.


BANKSTON: Mr. Jones, did you know that 12 days ago, 12 days ago, your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone with every text message you've sent for the past two years. And when informed, did not take any steps to identify it as privileged or protected in any way.

And as of two days ago, it fell free and clear into my possession. And that is how I know you lied to me when you said you didn't have text messages about Sandy Hook. Did you know that?

ALEX JONES, RADIO HOST: I see, I told you the truth. This is your Perry Mason moment. I gave them my phone. And then --


UNKNOWN: Mr. Jones, you need to answer the question.

JONES: No, I did.

UNKNOWN: You know, this happened?

JONES: No, I don't know this happened, but I mean, I told you I gave him a phone.


LEMON: Wow. This trial is the first of three that will determine how much Jones will have to pay multiple Sandy Hook families who sued him and won over his lies.


Joining me now, CNN senior investigative correspondent, Drew Griffin, CNN legal analyst, Joey Jackson.

Good evening. I mean, Drew, jaw dropping. I couldn't believe it was true when I was actually seeing with my own eyes. That was a huge bombshell in court today. What are the Sandy Hook families lawyers want to prove with these text messages?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think first and foremost, the obvious reiterating what the jury has already seen in this trial that Alex Jones is a liar. Alex Jones lies about just about everything.

But beyond that, he also, the plaintiff's attorney, Mark Bankston, I believe wanted to show the jury why they are here at this point only determining what kind of damages or the penalty phase of this? Not whether or not Alex Jones defamed these parents, because that was already decided by a judge.

And it was decided by a judge by default because for years Alex Jones has failed to comply with discovery in this case. And part of the discovery was Alex Jones saying he had no text on his phone related to Sandy Hook. Well, boom, you lied. Here they are. Now they have him in this possession. So it shows he's a liar. It also shows to the jury, again, while they are here only deciding the penalty portion of this trial.

LEMON: Joey Jackson, let's dig in on these phone records for a moment, because I mean, this isn't the only case Jones's involved in. What does this huge mistake do for the other lawsuits?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think it does quite a bit, Don. Good evening to you and Drew. Look, the reality is, is that under cross examination what you do as an attorney is you get at the truth. And when you attack someone with specific documents and information relative to what you deny, no, I don't have any text messages that relate to anything that I opined about, spoke about, communicated about or denied as it related to Sandy Hook.

And then you find two years' worth of text messages that expose in essence that you do have multiple text messages. You have discussed this issue. You have discussed it with multiple parties on multiple occasions through multiple months and through two years.


JACKSON: It really just opens up a can of worm. So to be clear into what Drew was speaking to, this is what's called the damages section. The determination was made already as to his liability. You can't say whatever you want in this country regardless of what, you know, he believes it has to be true. What it impairs a reputation and when it's something like this, it's beyond the pale.

So I think now that people know it exists, Don, it certainly opens him up to those other families that he has to account for, as it relates to the damages to them for the many lies he told regarding Sandy Hook.

LEMON: I hope other conspiracy theorists and election deniers are taking note of this because if it ever ends up in court, something like this could happen to them as well.

So, Drew, the jury has the case now. They're going to decide damages that the damages Jones will have to pay. What does Jones, what does he say about this on the stand?

GRIFFIN: You know, it's interesting. There's a point in the -- and this judge takes questions from the jury and then reads it to Jones or reads it to other witnesses in this case but today it was Jones, and asked the question directly. So this was a question that was posed by one of the jurors, and just take a listen to what Jones's response was.


MAYA GUERRA GAMBLE, TRAVIS COUNTY JUDGE: Right now, the question is what compensation would be appropriate?

JONES: Any compensation above $2 million will sink us and we will be shut down --

GAMBLE: Not that -- no, no, no. Appropriate, not to you. Appropriate for what happened to them.

JONES: I mean, I mean, I think it's appropriate for whatever, whatever you decide you want to do.


GRIFFIN: This whole trial Jones has tried to slip in how he's going to be the victim, how this is going to ruin him, how this is going to bankrupt him, et cetera, et cetera, cetera. A dollar amount, his attorneys, Jones attorneys said that the jury should award the plaintiffs in this case, a dollar for each claim. And that would be $8.

LEMON: OK. OK. Interesting and it's kind of late for him to play the victim now. At one point, Joey, a clip was played where Jones talked about the jury on his own show. Listen to this.


JONES: Yes. A lot of people are awake to the new rule order, but they're experts in leftist jurisdictions in sending out jury summons and hitting, let's just say this, extremely blue collar folks. I mean, half that jury panel does not know who I am.


LEMON: How does the jury react to that, Joey?


JACKSON: So like anyone else, Don, right, when you have someone who obviously is misrepresenting the truth. When you have someone who has said some things that'll be on the pale about something that affected so many lives and so many people, when you have someone who's insulting the people who ultimately are making a determination, right? They're human.

And well, I think to the extent he's been discredited, to the extent he's been outrageous in his assertions, to the extent he's been found to be untruthful, I think it resonates clearly with that jury. And I would expect the damage award of just astronomical proportions.

We know, of course he's gone into bankruptcy and attempted to find loopholes to avoid it. But I think that something big is coming and something big is coming soon, Don, in terms of a monetary amount award to the family who suffer dearly as a result of his statements.

LEMON: It's certainly a big game changer if all the conspiracy theorist would have to face such consequences. Thank you both. I appreciate it. Be sure you join Drew Griffin as he talks with people who know Alex Jones. The new CNN special report megaphone for conspiracy. Alex Jones. It airs Friday 11 p.m. Make sure you tune into that. Again, our thanks to Joey and Drew.

One election denier running for governor of Arizona already casting doubt on her own race. We've got the latest results live from Arizona. That's next.



LEMON: They are still counting the votes in Arizona's Republican primary for governor but that's not stopping one candidate from questioning the results.

Kyung Lah live for us in phoenix. Kyung, hello. Back to you in Arizona again this evening for the reporting. Kyung, the Republican primary race for governor is still too close to call. Tell us more about where this race stands right now.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is razor thin. You have less than two percentage points separating Kari Lake, there is the far right fire brand and then Karrin Taylor Robson the establishment Republican. We just got a few more ballots from Maricopa County and they didn't really move the needle all that much.

It was just several thousand ballots. Basically we're seeing the same in, as you know, as we march on night by night. We are expecting, Don, at some point though, that early votes that were hand delivered on election day that still have to have those ballots signature verified. Eventually those will be counted. That's more than a 100,000 and that could really move the needle. Don?

LEMON: So let let's talk about Kari Lake. Kari Lake is Trump-backed. Despite currently being on top, she's still saying that there may be fraud. What's that about?

LAH: Pull out your pencil and let's see if you can connect the dots of this logic here. Basically what she's saying is that she still believes in the 2020 election lie. And by the way, she held a victory press conference even though she hasn't won yet. And the race hasn't been called by any organization.

And she says that there was fraud in this election as well. She didn't give any evidence. But here's what she said. Take a listen.


KARI LAKE (R), ARIZONA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: We outvoted the fraud. We didn't listen to what the fake news had to say. The MAGA movement rose up and voted like the lives depended on it.


LAH: And Lake, of course, Don, says that if she'd lost, there had to have been cheating. She'd been saying that for two weeks leading up to the election. So I don't know if you still have that pencil handy or you have basically she's erasing parts of logic where it's comfortable and where it makes sense. And it's, you know, works for her campaign. But as we stand right now, there is a very small margin of the votes that have been officially accounted for both of these candidates, again, that small margin, less than 2 percent. Don?

LEMON: She said all the right words for the election deniers and, you know, the sort of fringe MAGA people blame the media, you know, fake news, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

But this is what I don't understand when you say get out your pencil. Because when I went to bed last night, Kari Lake was behind much as Joe Biden was behind, right, in 2020? And then when the votes the day of, and they counted all those ballots when we woke up the next morning, Joe Biden was ahead. When I woke up this morning, Kari Lake was ahead. So then what is the difference between Kari Lake and Joe Biden? How is Joe Biden's fraudulent and hers not fraudulent. Does she explain that?

LAH: Again, Don, you are using logic. I mean, these -- we are talking about the same system, the same paper.

LEMON: The exact same thing happened.

LAH: I mean, the same. The exact same, the exact same. And I'm so sorry to get animated here, but I feel like I'm on repeat. People who have been watching these elections, you know, wherever we are, it -- yes. It's the same.


LAH: It's the same. It's just the victor that's different here and who it's convenient for.

LEMON: Boy, boy. And people believe it. Wow. Thank you, Kyung. Stay sane. See you soon.

LAH: You bet.

LEMON: Bracing for the worst. An expert testifying the FBI just isn't built to handle all the reports of threats and harassment against election officials. So, what will happen come the midterms?



LEMON: A stark warning heading into the midterms ahead of a national election. Officials, group telling Congress today, the FBI lacks the full picture of reported threats to election workers. Here's part of her testimony. And I quote here. "A common refrain I hear from my members is that nobody is going to take this seriously until something bad happens. And we are all braced for the worst."

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson testifying to, fighting back tears, recounting aggressive protests and threats that she faced as she oversaw the 2020 presidential election.


JOCELYN BENSON (D), MICHIGAN SECRETARY OF STATE: One night in December, 2020, I was about to put my son to bed when dozens of individuals descended upon our home. Growing in numbers over the course of an hour, they stood outside my front door, waking my neighbors, shouting obscenities and graphic threats into bullhorns.

Not long ago, my son standing in our driveway, picked up a stick, turned to me and said, don't worry, mom, if the bad guys come again, I'll get them with this. He's six years old.


LEMON: Congress also warned that some senior election officials have been struggling to get security details from state police, which unfortunately is becoming more important with all of the false election fraud conspiracies.

The FBI tells CNN it is election crime coordinators position in every field office across the country to deal with potential threats.

A deep red state saying no to abortion restrictions. What does this say about the post-Roe America?


Well, Senator Amy Klobuchar is here with me, next.


LEMON: Kansas votes overwhelmingly to protect abortion rights. The shocking result in the deep red state already changing the midterm landscape. And with just months ago before November, Congress has several key bills that could have huge impacts for the country.

So, joining me right away to discuss, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

We're so happy to have you on this evening. Thank you, Senator.


LEMON: The -- the vote in Kansas is huge and was one with both Democratic and Republican votes. What message is Kansas sending to the nation on abortion rights?

KLOBUCHAR: The people of Kansas, the sunflower state turned out like no one thought possible. I think it's nearly double or more than double what it was in the last midterm election, Don.


And it wasn't just Democrats, as you say, independents, moderate Republicans, they don't like the extremism.