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Don Lemon Tonight

Justice Department Conducts Criminal Investigation Into Rudy Giuliani; DOJ Says No To Release Of FBI Affidavit Content; Rep. Liz Cheney Faces Tough Battle In Wyoming; Dr. Mehmet Oz Criticized Over Video He Posted; Salman Rushdie Out Of The Woods. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired August 15, 2022 - 22:00   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much for watching tonight and join me tomorrow in the "CNN NEWSROOM" with Victor Blackwell from 2 to 4 p.m. Eastern. And I'll be right back here tomorrow night. And with that, DON LEMON TONIGHT starts right now. All yours, Don.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Well, look, who's here. Alisyn Camerota. This is past your bedtime. I know.

CAMEROTA: I knew you were going to say that. I knew you knew that.

LEMON: I'm going what? Who is that?

CAMEROTA: Don't adjust your dial. It is me.

LEMON: It's good to see you.

CAMEROTA: You too, Don.

LEMON: I was not here last week. I don't think you were either. What a week we chose to take a vacation, right?

CAMEROTA: I got so many texts, saying how could you take off this week? But I had to remind people it's a crazy news cycle every week.

LEMON: It's going to be a crazy news cycle for --

CAMEROTA: Yes, don't worry.

LEMON: -- quite a long time.

CAMEROTA: The craziness will continue.

LEMON: But I have to say, I've got a lot to talk about with this and you'll understand watching it from afar or whatever, not being here gives you a different perspective. I'll see you tomorrow during the day. And then again, tomorrow night, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Have a good one, Don. LEMON: So, this is DON LEMON TONIGHT. So, yes, I had a -- I got a

really interesting perspective. I was actually out of the country watching all of this and getting people's perspective on it and it gives you. Yu know, it's good to be away or it's good to watch things sometimes from afar so that you do get another perspective. Because as Americans, sometimes we are so myopic, we get so caught up in what is happening right in front of us that we don't see the forest for the trees.

OK. So go with me here. It's good to be back by the way. And I want to talk to talk to you -- talk to you about something called CDT, not CRT, CDT, something I was thinking about on vacation, critical democracy theory. See what I did there on purpose.

If we only spent as much time talking about critical democracy theory, as some people do about critical race theory, right? And then the whole trumped up thing about young people when it's not being taught, I'm talking about real. This is real.

Critical democracy theory because to keep our democracy, we have to recognize what it is. Sometimes you're too close to the craziness and the lies that you actually don't see it, right. That you're being bamboozled.

So, we have to talk about it. We have to keep good or bad, right? Our democracy is the best system in the world and we have to keep it. And the traditions and the protocols that have kept it working.

There are certain assumptions that we have made. Presidents would abide by the Constitution, right. That they wouldn't exploit the holes in the system the way that Trump does. And then have people around him make excuses for him and peddle lies. Exhibit a, Rudy Giuliani, four seasons, total landscaping, the hair dye, the lies.


RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER DONALD TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: Who was it called by? All the -- my goodness. All the networks. Wow. All the networks. You couldn't possibly believe that the company counting our vote with control over our vote is owned by two Venezuelans who were allies of Chavez, are present allies of Maduro with a company whose chairman is a coast associate and business partner of George Soros, the biggest donor to the Democrat Party, the biggest donor to Antifa and the biggest donor to Black Lives Matter. My goodness.

They look like they're passing out dope, not just ballots. It is quite clear they're stealing votes.


LEMON: Yes. It's always blame somebody else. Right? And then it's like this. Blame that person. It's never them, or it's blame the media except they don't blame the media that carries their water. A clown car full of lies. And now Rudy Giuliani is a target in Georgia's investigation of one of the greatest threats through democracy in history. And what is Giuliani's response? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIULIANI: When you start turning around lawyers into defendants, when they're defending their clients, we're starting to live in a fascist state.


LEMON: For the record, for the record, let's just be very clear about this so that people don't get it twisted, that no one is after, any going after anyone. No one is treating in the Trump administration, especially Trump any differently than they treated other presidents.

And no other president has had any as egregious behavior as that. OK. So what Rudy Giuliani says, no matter what he says, this is not a fascist state. This is the United States of America. A democracy that generations of patriots have fought and died to protect. A democracy that needs to hold.


And in order to do that, we have to have an agreement upon what reality is, what facts are and what lies are and what excuses are. He is not the only one caught up in the many, many investigations of the former president and his inner circle, a federal judge just today ruling that Lindsey Graham must testify before that same Georgia grand jury.

The senator is scheduled to appear as a witness on August 23rd, but he -- he says he's going to appeal that.

Donald Trump, this is the God's honest truth. We covered it the entire time he was in office. He has never, ever been able to tell the difference between himself and the office. And that is an important distinction and his defenders reign down excuses.


JOHN SOLOMON, JOURNALIST: This is from President Trump's office. It just came in a few minutes ago. As we can all relate to everyone -- to as -- as we can all relate to, everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time. American presidents are no different.

KASH PATEL, HANDLING ISSUES RELATED TO TRUMP'S PRESIDENTIAL RECORDS: The GSA has since come out, the Government Services Administration said they mistakenly pack some boxes and moved them to Mar-a-Lago. That's not on the president, that's on the National Archives to sort that material out.

REP. MIKE TURNER (R-OH): We have this list from the FBI, but we don't have conclusive as to whether or not this actually is classified material and whether or not it rises to the level of the highest classified material.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Well, and the documents are class -- they turned over boxes of classified material. Come on, people. They could have had the documents. All they had to do was ask. No, they were planted by the FBI agents. No, they were declassified. No, wait, executive privilege.

He took the documents. He took the documents. This is a -- this is what's so infuriating and so odd. It was odd to watch this week. Because everyone kept saying, well, it's got to be, unless it is a five-alarm fire, then don't -- they should not have done this to a president. No, what he did was wrong. He took the documents. Boom. End of story. That's it.

He took the documents. They asked for them back. You said no. They executed a search warrant. They found what they were looking for. End of story. What you did was wrong. There's no, well, I killed him, but I didn't, I stabbed him, but I didn't shoot him.

What are we doing, people? What he did was wrong. He took the documents. No other president has done that. He was 45, right? That's mean that was at least 30 before him. And they all complied. They all follow the rules.

No one had to say, but this happened. He's the only one. No one is targeting him. He's lying to you. But the bar is so low for him that people say, it's not like he shot someone on Fifth Avenue. That is not the point. The point is this. Donald Trump puts his own interests ahead of the interest of you, the American people over and over and over and over and over again.

Just looking at what the DOJ is saying tonight about the search at Mar-a-Lago, they're confirming just how serious the whole thing is. Confirming that this is an ongoing criminal investigation. So, when the Justice Department removed 11 sets of classified documents from Mar-a-Lago, some of them marked top secret SCI. One of the highest levels of classification that wasn't just about getting classified material back, important though that is.

So, think about that. This is a criminal investigation. This is a big deal. But why? But why? That is the question. Why? What reason would a former president have to take classified top secret documents. Are presidents actually above the law? We keep hearing no one is above the law, but are presidents actually above the law? Maybe they are. We're going to find out, aren't we?


Let's discuss all of this now. The former Watergate prosecutor, Nick Akerman is here, and Peter Strzok, the former FBI chief of counter espionage section join us.

Gentlemen, thank you. I appreciate it.


LEMON: Nick, You first. Prosecutors in Georgia telling Rudy Giuliani that he is a target in their 2020 presidential election investigation. Is he likely to face the criminal prosecution?

AKERMAN: Well, if you take the definition of target, as it's normally used in prosecution and criminal defense, it means that the Georgia D.A. has enough evidence to charge Rudy Giuliani with a crime. That's pretty serious. It's not the same as being a subject where you're just looked at. It's not the same as being a witness. It means they have enough evidence to charge Rudy Giuliani with a crime.

LEMON: Peter, I want to talk about to you about this Mar-a-Lago search, and it listen you nope what has been happening, especially you've been a part of, I should say, what has been going on for the last five, six years or so. The Justice Department is opposing the release of this affidavit -- affidavit which lays out probable cause. And they write this in their filing. I quote here.

"If disclose, the affidavit would serve as a roadmap to the government's ongoing investigation providing specific details about its direction and likely course in a manner that is highly likely to compromise future investigative steps."

They're making it very clear that Mar-a-Lagos search wasn't just a retrieval operation. The investigation is ongoing. What is your take from the DOJ filing?

PETER STRZOK, FORMER FBI AGENT: Well, I think it makes a lot of sense in the context not only of what they've done traditionally in terms of they don't, DOJ does not typically release affidavits for search warrants during the course of an investigation, they may be litigated after charges are brought, but at this stage they rarely are.

And there's some interesting wording in that filing about the relying on witnesses and that it might allow the identification of witnesses. It's clear to me that between that filing and between some of the reporting on the ground that the FBI has gone out and interviewed people at Mar-a-Lago who have provided detail about the way documents were stored. And more importantly, information that is at odds with the statements made by Trump's attorneys in the matter.

Now it's important to highlight, you know, you mentioned top secret. And that it's tough sometimes to reviewers, they hear it. It sounds fancy. It sounds like something out of a movie. But what that means at the end of the day, literally, if this material is disclosed, it could cause people to be arrested and shot on the streets of Moscow, on the streets of Beijing, it could compromise satellites overhead that the U.S. has spent billions of dollars on or some really advanced technology that intercept communications.

This is not some secret recipe for grandma's lasagna. This is stuff that causes real harm to the United States. It can cause the death of people. It can cause damage to the United States intelligence community for years to come. So, it's really serious. This isn't just some document retrieval operation, and it's absolutely something that DOJ appropriately is taking very, very seriously.

LEMON: Well, Peter, that was part of that -- that is part of my exasperation for when people are saying well, in order for, you know, better have something really, really bad that Trump did. And I said, well, he took the documents and they were marked, as you said. Is that, is bad enough. Is the bar so low that Donald Trump has to do something really egregious, but then the excuses become even more egregious, right? More outrageous that it doesn't really matter. That he is above the law. Do you understand what I'm saying?

STRZOK: Absolutely. And it's concerning when I hear mainstream commentators talk about, is it really in the country's interest to charge him because what people are going to riot. People will be up in arms.

You know, two things. One let's cross that bridge when we get to it. DOJ is doing an investigation with the FBI. They're not at a charging stage. It is appropriate to go out and do this investigation. Without question. Whether or not a recharge. And I think if the evidence supports it, they should.

At the end of the day, I'm willing to bet these weren't just inadvertent documents laying around the cheeseburger rappers in the -- in the residents that GSA threw in a box. I think that the FBI and DOJ will find a number of documents that either related to Trump's enemies, related to Trump's business interest, related to things that Trump had a very personal interest in reason to want to keep those.

And when you combine those things, something that's highly, highly classified along with strong reasons. None of which are appropriate that Donald Trump would want him. I think you're approaching the point where it would make sense and be necessary to charge him if the evidence supports it.

LEMON: Now, listen, I do have to say, I think it would be hard pressed to people who have these fantasies about Donald Trump in an orange jumpsuit. I don't think that. I think it would be hard to put a former president in jail or in prison because of quite frankly, what presidents represent, the information that they have. Where would you put them? How would you do it? It's so unprecedented. I don't.


Look, whether or not he goes to jail, whether they charge him that's not for me to decide. I just think it would be a really -- that's a very high bar in, in my estimation, but I digress.

Nick, sources are telling CNN that when investigators went to Mar-a- Lago in June, one of Trump's lawyers signed a letter asserting that there was no more classified information being stored there. That was obviously contradicted when agents went into, went in and pulled 11 sets of classified documents. Could we see more people implicated in this investigation?

AKERMAN: Absolutely. I mean, part of this investigation is going to be bringing lots and lots of people who were at Mar-a-Lago into the grand jury to find out what they know. I mean, the fact of the matter is, did Donald Trump know what his lawyer said, who was aware of these documents being in these locations? We know that at least one or two people at Mar-a-Lago had to have

tipped off the FBI to what was going on just for the evidence in the affidavit to be current. You can't put in a declaration with stale information from two months ago, three months ago, it had to be current.

So, there are people that are basically laying this out to the FBI already. And the big question that you asked in the beginning is the real question, why does Donald Trump have these documents? I mean, we know that Donald Trump never read his intelligence briefings. He never read these kinds of documents. The intelligence people really had to go in with almost picture books to explain to him what was going on.

We know that he's mercurial. We know that he doesn't really have the same love for the country that other presidents have. I mean, he has said that people who died in World War I in France were suckers. So, what was he trying to do with these documents? Were these going to be sold to foreign powers? Was this something that he was hiding so he could make money off of?

I mean, these are the kinds of questions that need to be investigated and I'm sure will be as this moves along.

LEMON: Yes. Again, listen, we don't know exactly what the -- what were in the documents. We don't know why he took the documents. Even again, the whole point is, well, maybe it was inadvertent. There have been many, many presidents, all the other presidents left the White House and they abided by the rules. They followed the rules, they followed the protocols. He's the only one who didn't.

When the records went to the National Archives in a secure place, they decided what records should go to the former presidents? What records shouldn't, what was too top secret or too classified to be given to the former president of the president leaving office. He did not do that or whoever whomever him or whoever packed him. Something wrong was done, and someone needs to face the consequences for it. That is a bottom line.

Thank you both. Thank you, Peter. Thank you, Nick. I appreciate.

AKERMAN: Thank you.

LEMON: So, we have a lot to cover tonight. It is a page out of the Trump playbook. When you get in, in trouble, find someone to throw under the bus, right? So, who is it going to be? Next, I'm going to talk to the man who knows what happens when you get on his bad side. That is out of the shadows and back in the spotlight, Mr. Michael Cohen.



LEMON: Excuses, deflections pouring out of the Trump world since the Mar-a-Lago search claiming that they would have happily handed over the documents if asked, basically saying that the FBI planted evidence, even claiming that the documents had already been declassified. But the shifting excuses show how worried the former president is. That's the question.

So, joining me now to discuss Donald Trump's former fixer, I know how you like that, Michael Cohen. He is now the host of the podcast Mea Culpa with Michael Cohen, and author of the upcoming book. "Revenge: How Donald Trump Weaponized the U.S. Department of Justice Against His Critics."

Michael, thank you.


LEMON: It's good to see you.

COHEN: Welcome back.

LEMON: Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Listen, I, -- that took what a week to take off, right? So, the president and his allies are really flooding the zone with different explanations for why so many top-secret documents were found at Mar-a-Lago. Is this the Trump playbook overwhelming the story with distraction and deflection.

COHEN: Well, with Donald Trump as I always call him as captain chaos, it's to throw as much at the American public that he can in order to confuse them. Because he truly believes that the American public has like a two-day, maybe if you're bright, a three-day window of remembering what was going on. So, he'll just keep flooding it.

But that's not, that's not why Donald Trump is doing it. It you're right. He's scared. He's scared of the documents that they now have, you know, possession and control over because this is documentary evidence. This is evidence that they can use against him.

LEMON: You say that the -- with the walls closed in -- closing in around him his next move is to find a scapegoat.


LEMON: Go on.

COHEN: And I believe, OK. I believe that that's --


LEMON: Because you were a scapegoat.

COHEN: Absolutely. And actually, that's something I talk about a lot in revenge. I take you, it's a dissection from the beginning, the Steele dossier, all the way to the unconstitutional remand. And there's a lot that goes on in between.

But I believe the next scapegoat is going to be Rudy collude Giuliani. I believe that, you know, everybody likes a bargain, but Donald Trump really likes a bargain. And I believe that Rudy is like a BOGO, buy one, get one half off. They're going to throw him under the bus for Mar-a-Lago. And at the same time, they're going to throw him under the bus for Georgia, for the district attorney Fani Willis's case in Georgia.

They're just going to keep pointing the finger. It's Rudy. It's Rudy. Quite frankly, I had nothing to do with it. It's Rudy.


COHEN: Just ask Rudy.

LEMON: So, it's surprising to -- it shouldn't be surprising to me, but to watch everyone make all these excuses for -- for, you know, what happened and even the former president, because some of these excuses are starting to muddy each other, right. It was like, wait a minute. Didn't you just say that it was something else. And now you're saying it's something else and someone is going on television.

One of your people saying, it's -- it's now, this. Isn't the fact of the matter is, that you did something wrong. You just don't pack 33 boxes of classified information by accident. That just doesn't happen.


COHEN: No, but not only does that not happen. He already returned more than a dozen boxes. And they signed a document stating that there are no more boxes of information at Mar-a-Lago, which of course is yet another lie.

But, you know, we're so numb to the lies that Donald has told us that no one is even thinking about, yes, yes, he just made another mistake. No, this is classified information documents and he does not have the right to take it. And at the same time, he doesn't really have the right. He doesn't have -- he didn't have the right to possess them.

And the real question that I constantly bring up is not what were the documents? It's why did he have them in the first place?


COHEN: And I believe it's a nefarious reason. I believe he was going to use it as a get out of jail free card to the government. You come after me, you put me in cuffs, you put me in a home confinement or incarceration. And one of my loyal supporters is going to release to the world where nuclear location are --


LEMON: All right. Well, that's speculation on your part.

COHEN: It sure is.

LEMON: But you --

COHEN: But I'm telling you from the playbook.

LEMON: But you did say, right, that he wasn't going to leave and he was going to come up with this excuse. You did predict a lot of this. So.

COHEN: I sure did.

LEMON: So, in saying that it's interesting because people really get upset with me when I say, of course, Donald Trump, and anyone should face consequences if they break the law, right? That no one is above the law. Merrick Garland, the attorney general said that as well. But our president is above the law. How do you -- how you can't put, I'm just -- you cannot put a former president in jail, you cannot put him in general population. You can't do it.

COHEN: Well, that's -- I agree with you. And what I believe that they will do is that they will put him in a home confinement situation --


LEMON: That would be a possibility.

COHEN: -- that is so severe that it will be, especially for him, it will be like solitary confinement.

LEMON: Well, OK. Again, you're speculating, but I'm saying it's tough to put a former president in jail considering what the president, the former president knows. He knows about, you know, the nuclear arsenal. He knows all kinds of information. Information that's in those top- secret files better in his place.


COHEN: And he would sell -- and he would sell it to anybody --


COHEN: -- in prison for bag of tuna.

LEMON: OK. Again, those are your words.

COHEN: It is my word.

LEMON: OK. So, listen, listen. On the other hand, there's this New York Times reporting tonight that former Trump organization CFO Allen Weisselberg is close to making a plea deal with Manhattan prosecutor and could serve five months in prison.

Now, listen, he's not expected to cooperate with any other investigation. Trump has been furious that you did not remain as loyal to him as he wanted you to. Right? So, is it loyalty to the end, to what end appeal for Donald Trump?

COHEN: I don't -- to Allen's demise as well. What bothers me is I got a sentence of 36 months, but then again, we're talking about the distinction between the Southern District of New York and the district attorney's office, the dis -- the judges in the district attorney's office, they are very different than the judges at the Southern district, the federal court judges. In the fact that they really do get down into the mud with these plea deals. And for Allen to only end up with five months when the amount of money that he didn't pay taxes on was greater in fact that -- than what I didn't pay. And on top of that, he refuses to cooperate. I provided over 800 hours of cooperation. In fact, I've opened up more than a dozen investigations.

LEMON: Yes. Two things. Why do people remain loyal to him to the end?

COHEN: Because they're stupid. There's no other answer to that. They're stupid. I don't know what they're thinking. I don't know why they're thinking what it is they're thinking, but they are, and they think he's going to come to the rescue at the end.

No, that's not what happens. He points the finger and he says, it's Michael, it's Allen. It's Rudy. It's always somebody. He'll throw his own kids under the bus for himself.

LEMON: Considering what you went through with the former president, do you believe presidents are above law?

COHEN: Absolutely not.

LEMON: OK. Thank you, Michael Cohen, I appreciate it.

COHEN: Good to see you, Don.

LEMON: So, she is one of Trump's fiercest critics in Congress. Now voters in Wyoming are about to decide Liz Cheney's fate in tomorrow's primary, and she has a big hole to dig out of.



LEMON: Voters are hours away from going to the polls in Wyoming's primary tomorrow. Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney is facing a fierce challenge from a candidate backed by the former president. Cheney is one of only 10 house Republicans who voted to impeach Trump. Seven of them are either retiring or lost their primary races.

Liz Cheney is one of the loudest critics to push back against Trump's false claims that the 2020 election was stolen. And she serves as vice chair of the House January 6th committee.

I want to bring you now, Tara Palmeri, senior political correspondent for Puck, CNN senior political commentator, Scott Jennings, and political commentator Charlie Dent, a former Republican Congressman.

Good to have all of you on. Thanks for joining me here in New York. Good to see you.


LEMON: Thank you. Happy summer so far, almost the end. Tara, listen, let's talk about, there's a University of Wyoming poll and it's released last night and it found that Cheney is trailing Hageman by 29 points. Is standing up to Trump about the -- about to cost of her job. Isn't that exactly why so few people are doing it standing up.

PALMERI: I think you're absolutely right. The issue is that she's standing up to Trump and her constituents in Wyoming, which I've been many times before to talk to them about this. They love Trump above all else. And they feel like her impeachment vote, the fact that she's put down the anti-Trump flag and is carrying that banner into the January 6th hearing does not reflect how they feel about the former president that they voted for him by 70 points.


So, it was overwhelming. And so, I think there was no way to reconcile the two. Obviously, you see from the polling. Polling is always iffy, but how could she really surmount Hagerman by 20 points at this point. And I think everyone knew all along that this was going to be almost a political kamikaze mission trying to take down Trump when you represent Wyoming.

LEMON: It's really interesting what's happening in Wyoming considering the Cheney name in Wyoming. I heard a report on the radio today. There was a constituent who voted for Hagerman and the reporter was interviewing him. I'm not sure if you guys heard this and he started crying. Did you guys hear that?


LEMON: When he said it was really tough for him to vote against a Cheney in this election because he -- he felt that that Liz Cheney had basically made herself not useful for the people of Wyoming.

PALMERI: It's really difficult for them. They have so much history, but then the really crazy part about this, is that there are Democrats low-key organizing for Liz Cheney and they have this ability with a loophole to switch on the day of the primary election from a Democrat to Republican and vote to keep her.

And this is a very low-key thing happening, but this is -- this is happening in Jackson hole.

LEMON: Did we fill this room with Democrats in Wyoming?

PALMERI: Well, maybe the transplants in California. I don't know.

LEMON: Is that going to make a dent, Charlie Dent? That won't make a dent in Wyoming, though?



DENT: There just aren't enough Democrats to overcome that. It's just too big enough.

LEMON: Does it bother you when you see so many races that become all about one man? And that's a former president. DENT: I was saying that when I was in office, I was saying that the

Republican Party used to have its own self-designated chiefs to the Republican purity police who always used to judge people like me. You know, if you're not -- if you're not doctrinaire enough, you're a rhino, a squish, a bed wetter.


DENT: You know, you get called all these nasty names then of course, then here comes Donald Trump, you know, who was not doctrinaire, not ideological. And the litmus tests shifted to loyalty to a very flawed man.


DENT: And, and so all these chiefs of the purity police to continue to raise money they -- they changed their litmus tests. You know, they were all for free trade. And then Donald Trump comes along well, you know what they changed? Go ask the club for growth. You know, they're -- they're all good with the protectionism, but they wanted to be loyal Trump. That's how they can, how a lot of these groups raise money. And that's where we are today.

LEMON: It's interesting that they call, you know, the people who don't support Donald Trump rhinos when he's not actually a Republican. Right?

DENT: Yes.

LEMON: Isn't he sort of a Republican name owner?

DENT: We're all rhinos now.


DENT: I mean, we're all rhinos. I mean, yes, everybody is a rhino.

JENNINGS: Speak for yourself, Charlie.

DENT: Seriously.

JENNINGS: I'm still a card-carrying member party. I don't know.

DENT: I'm a part -- I'm a member of the party, but everybody is a rhino. I mean, you know, who's --

LEMON: In their eyes, you mean?

DENT: Yes, who's pure. If you, if you not -- if you're not sucking up to Donald Trump, you know, you're -- you're not the -- you're not loyal.

PALMERI: And the goalpost keeps shifting with Donald Trump.

DENT: Yes.

PALMERI: So, you don't know where you stand, you just have its loyalty to a person over a party.


JENNINGS: If Cheney, it's not just the vote on impeachment with her. I mean, she -- she made this her one and only issue. You know, she -- she is the leader of the anti-Trump opposition within the Republican Party. It, you know, being so outspoken about it is what initially cost her leadership position in the House Republican conference.

And it's obviously, you know, if you believe the polling going to cost her seat, but it seems like she has something else in mind. She's raised a ton of money. It's all federal money could be transferred to possible presidential campaign.

LEMON: But all of this chaos that you see around the raid at Mar-a- Lago, you have the Georgia investigation going on right now. You have the DOJ investigation in January 6th. You have the civil investigation in New York. Is all of this worth it for the Republican -- two Republicans? Is it?

JENNINGS: Well, I mean, you know, my view is we need a different nominee in 2024, and I think this FBI issue --

LEMON: There you go, sounded like a rhino, but instinct, Charlie.

JENNINGS: Look, I -- look, I voted for Donald Trump twice and I think Joe Biden is about the worst president in my lifetime, but I think we did another nominee. But I will tell you out in middle America where I live, this FBI issue has caused a snap back.

I think we had started to feel a little drift. We know I talked about it on the air a few times, and this thing has caused a reflexive defensiveness of Trump. And I don't know what they're going to do. But this has at least temporarily given him a political spike within the --


LEMON: That is, I think that's as all polls go, I think it's a snapshot in time. I mean, as this gets beyond behind people, I think it they may feel a little bit differently about this. A former RNC communications director, Doug Heye was on CNN earlier today and he sent a warning about being careful around Trump. Basically, he says that the chaos around Trump always goes, gets worse and Trump doesn't give points. He only takes him away, he says.

I want you to look at this list of Republicans who voted for impeachment. Again, that is undeniable, don't you think, Tara?

PALMERI: Yes. Exactly.


PALMERI: You can't survive in the party if you turn on Donald Trump. And -- (CROSSTALK)

JENNINGS: There -- there have been some exceptions, the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp.

LEMON: Right?

JENNINGS: The secretary of state in Georgia, that -- and that entire race down there turned-on Donald Trump's anger with the secretary of state and the governor. He was very involved in it, recruited the primary opponent for the governor. So there have been some people. And what did they do? You know, Brian Kemp basically ignored Donald Trump. That that was the secret sauce in Georgia.

PALMERI: That's --


JENNINGS: He just ignored it.

LEMON: Right.

JENNINGS: Cheney is not ignoring it. She's taking it head on. And that's her, that's her mission. That's her -- but in the case of Georgia where the survival happened, he just ignored the guy.

PALMERI: And that's kind of what Lisa Murkowski has done as well.


PALMERI: That's led to her political survival or what looks like it. Plus, rank choice.

DENT: And Dan -- Dan Newhouse in Washington state and David Valadao in California, they both voted to impeach, but they also low keyed their votes. Now they didn't walk away from him, but they lowed and they have survived.

LEMON: Everybody, stick around because we're going to talk about something that Charlie knows a lot about. And that's Pennsylvania. And that's the GOP Senate candidate Dr. Oz mocked over a resurface video. He's getting grief over crudites.


MEHMET OZ (R), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: I thought there was some grocery shopping I'm at Wagners (Ph) and I, my wife wants some vegetables for crudites.




LEMON: So, pay attention to everyone. You might learn something. I know a lot of people here did. Tonight, Dr. Oz taking some heat for video making the rounds on social media. You recall the TV doctor is now the Republican can -- the Senate -- for Senate in Pennsylvania. Oz made the video back in the spring highlighting rising inflation and blaming President Biden for it. Here it is.


OZ: I thought there was some grocery shopping I'm at Wagner's and I, my wife wants some vegetables for crudite. Right? So, here's a broccoli. That's two bucks, not a ton of broccoli there. There's some asparagus that's $4. Yes. Carrots. That's $4 more dollars. That's $10 of vegetables there. And then we need some guacamole. That's $4 more and she loves salsa. Yes, salsa there, $6 must be as short of salsa.

Guys, that's $20 for crudite and this doesn't include the tequila. I mean, that's outrageous. We got Joe Biden to thank for this.


LEMON: Where do we begin? His House Democratic opponent John Fetterman mockingly tweeted in Pennsylvania. It's called a veggie tray.

Back with Tara Palmeri, Scott Jennings, and Charlie Dent. So many questions to talk about. You know, I lived in Pennsylvania, in Philly, you're from Pennsylvania, you know it, so is it crudite? Is it asparagus? Is tequila usually served with that?

DENT: Well, you know, I didn't even know what crudte was. I thought there were vegetable trays. I thought it was cruddy (Ph). I had no idea there was such a term. But I think that that was very helpful to Dr. Oz's campaign. In fact, it's Wegmans and there's Redner's are two different stores. He kind of combined --

LEMON: He said Wagners.

DENT: Wagners. Yes. It's, but, yes, but both are pretty popular chains.


DENT: But I, you know, politically, I don't think it's going to have much damage, but he's fighting this issue of not being from the state. And so if you -- if you make a mistake about local stores, that's not helpful to your campaign.

LEMON: Do you think he's really shopping? Do you think Dr. Oz shops considering -- I mean, look, it's it's OK for people to be wealthy, but I'm, you know. It's got a lot of deal.

PALMERI: Yes. He seemed to be shocked by the price of these things that I think have been the same price for many years.

LEMON: For a long time.

PALMERI: He also didn't have a shopping cart. He called it crudite. LEMON: Yes.

PALMERI: He's using French and a wag and a wag -- Wagner's Wegmans. I just don't, he didn't feel natural. That was in his habitat. I was like --


LEMON: But there's a long history as you said about, you know, bush right in the supermarket, then, you know, not doing look, what is this scanner thing? Right? You have people who don't know what scanners are. Didn't know at least.

JENNINGS: The trouble with this video is that the Republican candidate here and Republicans in general want to make this race macro, right? They want to make it about Biden and inflation and things. And the Fetterman campaign is trying to make it all localized as in you don't live here locally.

And -- and so even though this was made back in the spring, it just happens to dovetail very nicely with the Fetterman's strategy right now. I think this race is going to tighten by the way. I know there's been some polling showing it. I think -- I think we're going to have really close -- I mean, he's the expert, but I think we're going to have really close races in Pennsylvania despite this video notwithstanding. I do think Oz is going to be competitive come the fall.

LEMON: Yes, let -- let's put the polls up. Charlie, I ask you about that. This is a poll that's from the end of July. It shows that Oz is trailing or was trailing Fetterman by 11 points. Why do you think he's not getting more traction and can he do anything to change that?

DENT: Well, yes, he just went through a very contentious primary where he had probably north of $20 million dumped on his head. So, his negatives are quite high, not just among Democrats and independents, but even among some Republicans, but Republicans will probably come home.

I agree with Scott, this race will tighten because right now people are really voting for red team or blue team in many cases. It's a lot less. Candidates still matter, but I would argue they matter a lot less than they used to because of the way -- because we moved to these parliamentary voting patterns, wave style elections, where it's, you know, what team you're on.

And so, they're likely many Republicans are likely to forgive Dr. Oz for not being from the state.

PALMERI: I think --


LEMON: Team veggie platter or team cruddy. I'm sorry.

PALMERI: I was also going to say the other issue what I've heard from a lot of Republican consultants, they feel like Oz is running a bit of a lazy man's campaign after a very exhausted primary. He went to Ireland on vacation for weeks. He went to Palm Beach. He hasn't been doing enough. The grassroots retail.

LEMON: I saw him at the Hamptons a couple weeks ago.

PALMERI: Exactly.


DENT: I saw him --

PALMERI: And that's a problem when you're still trying to get to know your state because you keep slipping up and filming videos from New Jersey in your house, in New Jersey.

DENT: Well, he was at the Allentown farmer's market. He's been getting around the state. I mean, he asked.

PALMERI: That's good, but he got a scolding from the NRSC because of it. And there was issue --

LEMON: Because of what? He wasn't --


PALMERI: Because he wasn't, he wasn't doing enough retail politics on the ground. They expected him to really hustle and he was coming off from a very exhaustive primary.

JENNINGS: And my suspicion is people like they know. I mean, they know this guy. I mean, he's been on their TV for so many years. And so, if he does go out and campaign, my suspicion is people sort of, are --

DENT: They do.

JENNINGS: -- interested in walking up to him and saying, hello, because you know, he's a bona fide celebrity.

DENT: They like photos and autograph.

JENNINGS: You know, Don. You get the same treatment --

DENT: Exactly.

LEMON: Except I say veggie platter. I didn't know what crudite was until a couple years ago. Right?

JENNINGS: Couple minutes ago.

LEMON: Some fancy friends. Thank you all. I really appreciate it.

PALMERI: Thank you.

LEMON: Good to see you. Thanks. The author Salman Rushdie now off a ventilator following last week's brutal knife attack, but his son says his injuries are life changing. An update on his condition. That's next.



LEMON: Tonight, Salman Rushdie's family says the author is recovering from the knife attack that left him severely wounded on Friday. Over the weekend, he was taken off a ventilator and he is still in critical condition. His son says the attack was a life changing event, but Rushdie is feisty and defiant. And his sense of humor is still intact.

Rushdie was about to deliver a lecture in western New York when an assailant rushed the stage, officials say he suffered stab wounds to his neck and stomach, as well as puncture wounds to his right eye, which he may end up losing.

A 24 -- 24-year-old man from New Jersey is under arrest. Authorities are trying to determine a motive.

Rushdie has lived with threats against his life for decades since the release of his novel "The Satanic Verses" in the late 1980s, which some Muslims consider an insult to Islam.


A the time, the leader of Iran called for Rushdie's death. And now following Friday's attack, Iranian officials blame Rushdie himself and his supporters. The State Department calls that position outrageous.

Rudy Giuliani being told that he is a target in the Georgia election investigation, and it's just the latest and the many, many investigations in Trump world.


LEMON: Tonight, we're learning that Justice Department is fighting back against efforts to unseal the affidavit that was the basis for the search warrant executed at Mar-a-Lago. We're also learning that Rudy Giuliani has been told by prosecutors in Georgia that he is a target of a grand jury's investigation into the attempt to overturn the 2020 election results.


A lot to discuss now with CNN senior law enforcement analyst, Mr. Andrew McCabe is here, the former FBI deputy director, and CNN senior legal analyst, Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor.