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Don Lemon Tonight
Judge Unseals Some Mar-a-Lago Docs, Sets Up Possible Affidavit Release With Redactions; McConnell Admits Republicans May Not Retake Senate; Judge Partially Blocks DeSantis's Anti-Woke Law; Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson Disciplined By The NFL Over More Than Two Dozen Sexual Misconduct Allegations; W. Kamau Bell Is Back With Another All-New Episode Of "United Shades Of America." Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired August 18, 2022 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You can't predict what's going to happen. But I do agree with Chris that this was not the idea that he's going to monetize it or use it to embarrass Macron. I think the only thing he might have imagined is he wanted to show his buddies, hey, look what I got.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Yeah.
D'ANTONIO: Look at -- this is the kind of stuff I saw all the time.
D'ANTONIO: Beyond that, I'm not sure he had a plan.
LEMON: If you -- if you -- if you -- that "New York Times" is right, is that he said, why did they want it back, this is mine. He doesn't understand that's for the American people. He has never been able to separate himself from the office, or he thinks that, you know, the attorney general is actually his attorney and it's not -- it's the attorney for the American people.
But Norm, listen, I want to look at these terms, right. This is what we learned today from Mar-a-Lago search. Willful retention of national defense information, concealment of removal of government records, and obstruction of a federal investigation. Does this tell you anything about where the investigation is focused right now?
NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It does. It gives us some additional information. And of course, these are the very basic additional documents that were released today. But even that gives us more information about where things are headed. That's why I think no matter how redacted the release of this affidavit is going to be so explosive.
Take the first thing on there, the Espionage Act, the 18 USC 793. We all were wondering. I wrote a long piece. What angle are they taking? Well, they've just stated their theory of the case, one that they might or might not argue to the jury. He retained government documents. Well, Don, if I go to the White House and help myself to property that's in the Oval Office, and I take it with me, I'm retaining government property, that's a crime. And these are boxes and boxes and boxes. So, I think we're already learning more.
LEMON: Okay, but he says he wants this information out there. Do you think that this is going to be helpful to him?
EISEN: I do not. I think it is going to tell the story of why the government -- they had to put the details to convince a judge that there was probable cause of crime.
LEMON: But is this why his attorneys aren't arguing in court to have the information released? They didn't say anything.
CHRIS WHIPPLE, AUTHOR: What can they argue? I mean, let's go back to the so-called standing order. Now, there might have been a super- secret hitherto unknown to everyone in the White House standing order that he automatically declassified documents by taking them to the residents.
There might also be a standing order that pigs should fly. You know, neither of them matters because that's not the way things work, as Norm well knows.
But the other preposterous thing here is just consider the notion that Donald Trump was taking classified documents up to the residents and burning the midnight oil in the map room, studying the nuances of the START treaty. Does that make any sense to anyone? He didn't even read the PDB, the president's daily brief --
WHIPPLE: -- as I said before. So, it's preposterous on so many levels. It's unbelievable.
D'ANTONIO: It appears he may have been studying the private life of Mr. Macron. We know he had documents related to him.
WHIPPLE: Maybe. Maybe.
LEMON: About what you just spoke about, Chris, this is what -- this is CNN exclusive reporting. Eighteen Trump officials, including two former chiefs of staff, going on record about Trump's claim about the standing order to declassify. John Kelly is saying -- quote -- "Nothing approaching an order that foolish was ever given." Mick Mulvaney is saying that he was not aware of the general order like that.
Could something out like that have gone around, you think, with the chief of staff?
WHIPPLE: The only guy who is not weighted is Mark Meadows. Meadows might say, this is just fine with him. I happen to know that Mark Meadows -- I know what he was doing the morning of January 20th, and I don't think he was packing boxes for Mar-a-Lago, and you can read about it in my book on the Biden White House.
But, you know, Mark Meadows is just about the only person I can think of who might have said, this is just fine.
LEMON: Uh-hmm. Yeah.
D'ANTONIO: The idea, though, that all these people are packing boxes at the last hour is just shocking. But the other thing --
LEMON: Do you think so? Listen, I got to tell you, that is slightly plausible to me, considering he thought he was going to hang on to power, and he may have thought that he wouldn't have to move out of the White House.
D'ANTONIO: On January 20th?
LEMON: I don't -- who knows?
D'ANTONIO: It reminds me of a scene from "Argo" where in the mob is at the gates of the U.S. Embassy and everybody is burning things as fast as they can, throwing them into boxes. I mean, this is keystone cop stuff but it's Trump, so I believe it.
LEMON: You know, bringing these boxes and documents to Mar-a-Lago would have required more than just Trump and Mark Meadows in a U-Haul that many people would have to or could be implicated in this, Michael.
D'ANTONIO: Well, of course. Another -- he has always surrounded himself with people who will do the bad thing that he wants them to do.
They may even do it before he asks them to do it because they understand what those standing orders are. The standing orders are to protect him and protect this conspiratorial culture.
EISEN: But that won't work when it comes to the legal argument that he seems to be testing or getting ready to make that he declassified these documents.
LEMON: So, all of this doesn't matter?
EISEN: It doesn't matter because there are very elaborate procedures. I was in charge of them in the -- when I was ethics czar. There is very -- and I worked on the executive order, restructuring the classification system that is still in place, precisely because these documents are so sensitive, so dangerous if they get out to our national interest.
There are elaborate procedures that are in place. And he is not free to ignore the laws, the regulations. Even if he wants to declassify, he still has to follow the rules.
And so, the notion that he threw a bunch of papers in a box, and he had a standing declassification order, whenever he took something to the White House residence, I think it's beyond frivolous.
LEMON: Even if people are frantically --
EISEN: You lose your law license if you make that argument in court.
LEMON: Okay. Okay. So, sanctions? No? No.
LEMON: So, okay. So, even if people were frantically throwing stuff in boxes, like, you know, I was slightly tongue-in-cheek saying I can see it because he thought he was going to hang on to power, but he actually did think. I mean, obviously, what he said, you know, at the Ellipse on January 6, he thought that he might hang on to power.
WHIPPLE: Well, some high-ranking officials have learned the hard way that you can't do this. I mean, John Deutch, Bill Clinton's first CIA director, resigned because he fallen out of favor with Clinton, but it was discovered that he had 31 files of top-secret documents on his computer, his personal computer at home. He escaped a prison sentence because Clinton pardoned him on his last day.
Sandy Berger, the national security adviser, also -- I mean, he didn't wind up behind bars but he lost his law license. And everybody remembers David Petraeus, who barely escaped a conviction.
So, I mean, these are serious crimes and it doesn't matter whether the documents are classified or not.
WHIPPLE: And that's something to remember.
LEMON: Now, you're just reminding us of how old we all are because we all remember those. I was like, oh, wait a minute, now you are taking me back.
Can we talk about Allen Weisselberg, the former CFO of the Trump Organization? He pleaded guilty today, 15-year tax scheme where he benefited and the Trump Organization benefited as well. He can testify against the Trump Org. if he goes to trial, should go to trial this fall. What can that reveal, Michael?
D'ANTONIO: I'm afraid it might not reveal very much because from what I understand, they're dealing primarily with what Weisselberg was engaged with. That was about $1.5 million estimated value of wrongdoing. Norm might know as an attorney better than me what's possible.
But I keep thinking about the General Motors case where this was a corporation that was responsible for 148 deaths over 10 years with a problem with an ignition system. Nobody went to jail for that. They were fined, but it was far less than a billion dollars. It was the cost of doing business for them.
So, I'm afraid that in this case, Weisselberg's delayed and delayed and now he's made his deal, and the fallout for the Trump Organization could be very minimal.
LEMON: How did we end up in a world where the Trump's former CFO pleading guilty to tax fraud, and that doesn't even rise near the top of the scandals or the legal battles that he's facing right now? How did that happen?
WHIPPLE: Well, one thing we've forgotten is that it has been a bad week for Trump, for all of the reasons we've been talking about, but it's about to get a lot worse because there's a sheriff who is about to come back into town. Her name is Liz Cheney. The January 6 hearings are going to rev up once again. They've already laid out a pretty clear map on serious crimes that Trump may have committed.
And I think that's going to be a defining test of the Biden presidency. You know, what Merrick Garland does or does not do when it comes to prosecuting Trump and his cronies is going to be a real test, along with Ukraine and with the pandemic. I think that's what the history books are going to be talking about.
EISEN: May I suggest that sheriff Liz Cheney is actually part of a posse? And she's got Fani Willis, the Georgia D.A who's going full steam ahead in her special grand jury in Atlanta, looking at Trump's election-related crimes. She's way out in front of Merrick Garland, although DOJ is catching up.
And this is the greatest impact probably, Michael, of the Weisselberg guilty pleas, the New York attorney general, Letitia James. We know Trump took the Fifth Amendment, hundreds of times, when he appeared before her. She has the power. Unlike the tax case, she has the power to seek the corporate death penalty because of the pattern of misdeeds, Trump's Fifth Amendment assertion, and she can use these Weisselberg guilty pleas as part of that pattern.
So, I think multiple danger fronts.
D'ANTONIO: The kids are going to wind up with nothing?
LEMON: What is a corporate death penalty?
EISEN: The attorney general has -- in New York, the attorney general has the power in an investigation of the kind, the attorney general is now doing, to seek a broader array of remedies --
D'ANTONIO: And penalties, right.
EISEN: -- and penalties than just in this tax case.
D'ANTONIO: It could wipe out the whole value of the company.
EISEN: Or lead to its liquidation, breaking up the assets. I'm not saying she's going to do it, but I am saying it's like with the remake of "Ghostbusters."
LEMON: Yeah. EISEN: Liz Cheney, Fani Willis, Letitia James, watch out Donald Trump.
LEMON: You live in a golden tower, you fly around on your own airplane, why on earth would anybody want to be president of the United States?
EISEN: Can't they also establish some supervision --
LEMON: We'll talk about that later.
LEMON: Thank you very much. Senate races -- thank you, guys. I appreciate it. Senate races that once looked like a lot (ph) for Republicans are now looking a lot closer, and Mitch McConnell is sounding less confident about the midterms. We're going to break it all down. That's next.
LEMON: We are now less than three months away from the midterms and a blunt prediction today from Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell. He expects Senate races to be extremely close with either party ending up with a slight majority, basically admitting Republicans may not take back the Senate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE: I think there is probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate. Senate races are just different. They are statewide. Candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Let's discuss now with CNN political commentator Charlie Dent, a former Republican congressman, and Paul Begala, Democratic strategist. They are both here. Good evening, gentlemen.
Charlie, wow, Mitch McConnell. He usually sounds pretty confident, but when it comes to the prospect of retaking the Senate, not so much. What's up?
CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA REPRESENTATIVE: Well, Mitch McConnell has been burned before in 2010 and 2012. I can probably count at least four races, probably five. Senate Republicans should've won but did not. Remember Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock? They lost seats that should not have been lost.
And here we are again. And it's an issue of candidate quality. Here we are again and we have candidates, Republican candidates, who are underperforming in states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Ohio.
And so, McConnell has every right to be concerned that these candidates are not doing well in polling right now. And there have been some issues. We can talk about Herschel Walker if you like and all of his problems. Dr. Oz has his residency issues that are a challenge for him. J.D. Vance, probably more than authenticity challenge that he got to deal with.
So, that's what we are dealing with. Republicans need to basically protect five seats and democrats need to protect five seats, maybe 10, maximum 12 Senate seats that are competitive in the cycle. The third in the Senate is up. And I were McConnell, I would be worried.
LEMON: Well, Paul, let us talk about what Charlie just mentioned because Mitch McConnell intentionally talks about candidate quality. Is he opening the door to blame Republican nominees with zero political experience like Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania? Charlie just mentioned Herschel Walker in Georgia.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah, I think he is. I think he's looking to blame Trump. Let's face, McConnell hates Trump. It is not even just a lack of experience. These are very eccentric people. You know, Dr. Oz voted in Turkey before he ever voted in Pennsylvania. He's been living in New Jersey for 20 years. And now, he was famously on TV talking about crudite at a grocery store (INAUDIBLE) Wegners. It's talent.
But there is also a larger, I think, national mood that is going on that I think too many in the press have missed. Gas prices are getting better. Abortion rights are not. So, the things that are motivating Democrats are still motivating them.
And everybody thought, oh, the search warrant executed at Mar-a-Lago, that is going to inflame the Republican base. How many times did you hear knuckleheads on cable news say that? No evidence of that, Don. I've called all around the country, campaigns all across the country, even the Democrats. None of them are saying, gee, this Mar-a-Lago thing is killing us.
They are saying gas prices are getting better, abortion rights are not. We think things are (INAUDIBLE) 81 days is anyone lifetimes, okay? But, for right now, the Democrats are on the front foot for once.
LEMON: Interesting. Charlie, do you agree with that?
DENT: Well, look, certainly, the environment is better today for Democrats than it was a few months ago. I would agree with Paul that the Roe v. Wade decision is certainly a challenge for Republicans in the swing states and marginal districts. This is not an issue that they want.
And to the extent that Republicans are talking about the search at Donald Trump's home at Mar-a-Lago, well, they're not talking about Joe Biden and the Democrats, inflation and the economy. They want -- Republicans want to make this issue about the party in power. That would be the Democrats. But to the extent they are talking about abortion rights and also talking about Donald Trump and the search and election denial, this is a major problem for the party.
They can't stay on a message because Donald Trump is trying to turn this election, it seems, from a referendum on the Democrats into a choice between himself and the Democrats, or maybe a referendum on Donald Trump. That's not where the Republicans want to be.
McConnell has mentioned by fall, that McConnell and Trump do not have a good relationship for obvious reasons. Trump cost the Senate Republicans the majority by his intervention in the Georgia runoffs. So, there's a lot of hostility out there.
LEMON: Well, Charlie, this is exactly the reason that I think that the whole crudite story was a big story, because of what you said. You have Sean Patrick Maloney here, you have Sean Maloney here in New York saying that, you know, Democrats are not relatable, right? They need to be more relatable to people.
But if you look at what's happening in Pennsylvania and someone is saying crudite, that's actually a real story because Fetterman versus Oz in this recent poll shows that Fetterman is up by 11 points. There's a relatability issue when it comes to this race. You have said that this race is going to tighten up, but will it tighten up enough?
DENT: Well, yeah, look, the crudite thing, that was on forced air. But I think the bigger challenge for Dr. Oz is his residency.
DENT: I mean, I think that's the issue because I think in many respects --
DENT: What's that?
DENT: Yeah. And Fetterman is a very flawed candidate. I think many Republicans feel that. He is kind of a Bernie Sanders-type. I can make a case that he's probably not going to have a great appeal in a lot of suburban communities in Philadelphia. That whole shtick that he has is not always playing very well.
But, again, it's the residency issue. And also, don't forget, too, that Dr. Oz had over $20 million of negative ads dumped on his head. That primary was enormously contentious. Many of the republican establishment preferred Dave McCormick.
And so, there's still a lot of hostility. So, Oz has to put back together his base to a much better extent than he has. I think the crudite thing, again, that is going to pass but it did not help.
LEMON: I don't know. I don't know about that. I think people are underestimating that story, especially when you look at -- this is all about authenticity. It is not just a crudite. It's relatability and authenticity.
Paul, let's talk about Georgia. It was a big surprise when they went for Biden in 2020 and put in two Democratic senators. Warnock is fighting to keep his seat up against Herschel Walker who has had a series of (INAUDIBLE). Does Warnock have a good shot at keeping Georgia blue?
BEGALA: He does. This is the Republicans' best opportunity to pick up a seat because Georgia is so close and it's traditionally been a republican state in the last 20 years or so.
But, yeah, Mr. Walker, one of the great football players I've ever saw, not one of the great candidates I've ever seen. Reverend Warnock, he knows what he's doing. He is executing on middle class economic issues in Georgia. And poor Mr. Walker is having to answer questions. Just like Dr. Oz, he could not answer how many houses he has? He said he had two, he has got like 10.
There have been a lot of questions about, like, how many children Mr. Walker has. I mean, that's a pretty easy question as a dad for me to answer.
And so, again, in this case, it's not authenticity, it's just like, who really is this guy besides the guy who carried football like nobody has ever seen? Is he really what we want in Georgia? And it is really hurting him. He is having a very hard time getting out of his shoot.
LEMON: It's also qualification. Let us just be honest. And yeah, I'll just leave it there.
BEGALA: As we say back home, bless his heart.
LEMON: Yeah. Yeah. Qualification, quality of candidates. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Thank you so much.
So, he says Florida is a place where woke goes to die. But a federal judge is handing (ph) Governor Ron DeSantis a defeat today in his war on wokeness. That's next.
LEMON: A federal judge in Florida ruling a law pushed by Governor Ron DeSantis restricting conversations around race in schools and workplace, what DeSantis deemed woke ideology is unconstitutional.
Joining me now to discuss, CNN political commentators Alice Stewart and Bakari Sellers. Good evening to both of you. I'm so tired of you all. I'm so tired of this woke word. People use it as a catchall. They don't even know what it means. I mean, am I wrong, Bakari?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, you're not wrong. I mean, woke was a word that was ours, Don. It was a black colloquialism. I mean, it was utilized when people just knew what was going on around them. I mean, in college, when I was in Morehouse in 2005, in 2004, people said you are woke because you knew what was going on around you. You are someone who is alert, who is paying attention.
And sometimes, you even delved into conspiracy theories, etcetera. But now, it's just -- it is being bastardized. It's anti-intellectualism. It's dishonest. Whatever Ron DeSantis thinks woke is, it is not what it is supposed to mean.
LEMON: A lot of people, I'm like, you don't even know what woke is and you're talking about woke and wokeness. Stop it, please, people.
This is from the ruling, Alice. Normally, the First Amendment bars the state from burdening speech, while private actors may burden speech freely. But in Florida, the First Amendment apparently bars private actors from burdening speech, while the state may burden speech freely.
What do you think of that? What is that.
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR SENATOR TED CRUZ: Well, first of all, everyone likes to throw woke around, but the name of this piece of legislation that was signed is the Individual Freedom Act.
LEMON: Yeah. The governor called it the anti-wokeness bill. Go ahead.
STEWART: Ron DeSantis is all in on wokeness. He is 100% using this as really a cornerstone for what he plans to do next. He's really covering the gamut on this.
But here's the thing, there are some components of this that I do think are important, things that do need to be pushed back on. Whether we're talking about in the workplace or in schools, there has been some efforts by those on the left to really push an ideology that makes some people feel as though they are inferior. The whole white privilege concept makes people feel inferior.
And that is one aspect of this that I think is important to push back on that in the school. There should never be an effort to try and make any person, due to their race, feel inferior. And that is part of what is happening in this new ideology that's being taught in the schools. And that's one component that I think is important.
However, there is a large part of this that has done a tremendous overreach in regards to pushing back on some concepts that I think are important, but they are taking it a little bit too far.
LEMON: Okay. Bakari, let's talk about this, because what -- they call it the Stop Woke Act. The bill does not mention critical race theory. Its intention was to prevent teaching or training that suggests a person is privileged or oppressed based on their race or color, their sex or their national origin.
The judge says, if Florida truly believes we live in a post-racial society, then let it make its case. But it cannot win the argument by muzzling its opponents. I mean, go on. What do you think of that?
SELLERS: I mean, this conversation is kind of silly. First of all, white privilege is a thing. I mean, you can look at Silicon Valley, for example, in a recent example. You have the former founder and CEO of WeWork who ran that company into a ground. They lost $40 billion. But again, he got another $350 million worth of investment. He was able to fail not once but twice in a private venture. That was due to his privilege and being a white man.
You have a privilege that's exist in this country by the color of your skin. And look, whether or not we want to actually talk about the honest history of our country or not is something totally different. If we want to talk about people's place in this country because of who they love or the color of their skin or who they pray to, then we really have to have a honest conversation. We've never dealt with the issue of race.
And what Ron DeSantis wants to do in the state of Florida is make us dumber. Ron DeSantis is pushing -- it is not wokeness, it's not white privilege, it's anti-intellectualism.
And I've said this before, I'll say it again, not everybody wants to be as anti-intellectual as Ron DeSantis. And the fact of the matter is this: He does not want individuals to feel empowered knowing their real history.
I believe that I can criticize this country because the blood of my family really runs through the soil in this country. Whether or not it is my grandfather who's a veteran or whether or not it is my father who was shot in the civil rights movement, this is a part of our history. My father went to jail not once, but twice, unjustly.
And so, when you consider all of these things in raising Black children in this America, let's tell the truth. I don't care if it's called woke, I don't care if it's called white privilege, I don't care what term you want to put on it. I want to be honest about this country's history.
And Ron DeSantis lives in Disney, weirdly enough. He is the governor of Florida. He lives in a fairytale land. He doesn't really live in what America really is.
LEMON: Alice, you are saying that it makes people feel inferior. How exactly does it make people feel inferior?
STEWART: Well, when part of the teaching and part of the conversation that has been introduced tells a child that simply by the color of your skin, you are inferior or you are unduly privileged, that does make someone feel a though that they owe something to other students.
And here's the thing. When we're talking about diversity and inclusion and equality, the mere definition of saying that one race is superior than another, flies in the face of making sure that we have equity in our school system. And that's the message that he's trying to say, we need to take these teachings out of the curriculum and out of the schools.
LEMON: Shouldn't we just be teaching the history of this country, which is, you know, black history is the --
SELLERS: Don, I don't know -- but, Don, we are not -- I don't want a white kid to feel inferior.
I don't want a white kid or a Black kid or anybody to feel because of the color of their skin they are inferior. That's the point.
But what we are talking about is that there are systems in this country who treat people unequally because of the color of their skin. I mean, there are communities -- Jackson, Mississippi is a predominantly black city. It doesn't have clean water. Denmark, South Carolina doesn't have clean water.
We have a criminal justice system that we know Black and brown folks are wrongfully and overly incarcerated. We're talking about Black women in this country, who are three to four times more likely to die during childbirth than white women. We're talking about Black women who are the largest and most booming small business owners but who have the least access to capital.
I mean, this isn't like a figment of my imagination. I don't believe. I mean, these are real life statistics. So, we're talking about systems of oppression. So, I don't want a white kid to feel any type of way other than understanding what the history is and where we're living now.
I firmly believe there's nothing, there's absolutely nothing that is in this country that we can't reimagine. And that's what I want to do, is allow us to reimagine what this country should be.
LEMON: Yeah. Thank you, Bakari. Thank you, Alice. I appreciate it.
STEWART: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: New developments in the case against Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson to tell you about. What the NFL decided about how to discipline him after two dozen accusations of sexual misconduct. That's next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: A major development tonight in the case of Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson under agreement by the NFL and The Players Association. He is suspended without pay for 11 regular season games and will pay $5 million fine, who also undergo a professional evaluation by behavior experts and follow any recommended treatment program.
Watson has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than two dozen women. Most of the cases were settled confidentially. Here is his reaction today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DESHAUN WATSON, CLEVELAND BROWNS QUARTERBACK: I am moving on with my career and my life. I'm continuing to stand on my innocence. Just because, you know, settlements and things like that happen does not mean that a person is guilty for anything. I feel like a person has the opportunity to stand on his innocence and prove that, and we proved that on the legal side. We will just kind of continue to push for it as an individual and as a person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: All right. So, joining me now is CNN contributor Cari Champion. Cari, hello. Good to see you.
CARI CHAMPION, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Hi, Don. Good to see you, too.
LEMON: So, Cari, can you break this down for us? What about Deshaun Watson? How far -- talk to us about how far these allegations go.
CHAMPION: So, bigger picture here with Deshaun Watson. I will set the stage for the folks at home who are not necessarily familiar with this quarterback. At one point in time, no less than three years ago, he was called by his then former coach at Clemson University the Michael Jordan of the NFL.
Deshaun Watson comes in as this wonderful draft pick who was doing amazing things. He is the face of the NFL in terms of quarterbacks, what they look like, how they think, how intelligent they are.
Things went really bad with his team, Houston, Texas. And as things are going back with the Texans, we're hearing these stories as early as 2020 that he may be inappropriate with massage therapists. But for whatever reason, call it life, call it COVID, the pandemic, you name it, everything starts to languish. We don't hear anything about it.
And then ultimately, somebody comes out and says, this is what he has done to me, one of these massage therapists. They're talking about it in a real way. They have receipts, if you will. He DM me, he did this.
At the very least, he was inappropriate. And at the very most, most are saying that it was sexual harassment. So, the NFL has this huge problem on their hands. They have gotten it wrong when it comes to punishment time and time again. Insert different name, whether Ray Rice, Colin Kaepernick, we can go down the list, they can't get it right.
And listen, not in their defense but how do you say sexual harassment versus how many games you're suspended? It does not make sense.
LEMON: Yeah. You're talking about -- I don't want the people to get confused. You're talking about Colin Kaepernick, you mean they got it wrong with the kneeling, right, not that he's been accused --
CHAMPION: Yeah, they got it wrong with the kneeling. They got it wrong with how they treat these people who they feel are not fair off the field.
LEMON: Got it. You heard Watson, though. He denies everything. He just wants to move on with his life. So, will the NFL's penalty and any of the measures that they say that they are taking get through to him if he is just over it?
CHAMPION: I think the Shaun Watson is a special case in a sense that I think he cooperated with the NFL, the NFL PA. I think everybody wanted to get it right and this was their first time showing that they went through the different protocols. And they came back and they pushed back and said, instead of this private sentence, this private arbiter says he gets six games. The NFL says, no, we want more.
Deshaun says, okay, I accept more. Can we just move on with their lives? I think, ultimately, if they have it their way and this is a coordinated effort, it looks good on all sides, and they will move on.
The problem that the NFL has is that they are not willing to talk about the quiet part out loud. They have a real problem, and they have to address it. But the bottom line is business. So, the aspect of somebody's personal life just doesn't coincide with them making their money, Don.
LEMON: Yeah. Look, at the same time, Watson has been given one of the biggest contracts in NFL history. We are talking big money here. What message does that -- what do you think of that?
CHAMPION: The message says, quite simply, winning trumps all, $230 million guaranteed. And just for those who are watching and paying attention, they structured the deal. The Cleveland Browns structured Deshaun Watson's deal, so that very first year, he was only making a million dollars and some of dollars, only sounds crazy for me to say.
But he is only essentially getting fined a little more than half a million dollars. This does not really affect that big guaranteed chunk of change because they knew this was coming and they wanted to cooperate. So, at the end of the day, if you can win, if you can put fans in the seats, in these arenas, in these stadiums, we will take you regardless of your behavior.
LEMON: We need to see more of you, Cari Champion. I love conversing with you, as you know. Again, we don't see enough of you. Thank you for appearing. We will see you soon. CHAMPION: Thank you for having me, my friend. Take it easy.
LEMON: You, too.
Hawaii has seen a post-COVID surge of tourists and transplants, and a lot of native people are not happy about it. W. Kamau Bell asked, can you move to Hawaii without being a jerk? That is next.
LEMON: W. Kamau Bell is back with another all new episode of "United Shades of America." This week, Kamau takes as to Hawaii to look at how the pos-COVID surge of tourists and transplants, how that surge is impacting native people, land, and culture. Here's a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: This is where the broken relationship begins between the United States and as military and people in Hawaii.
W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST: More and more mainlanders have been moving here because it is an easy place to escape. We saw that Movers and Shakas program.
UNKNOWN: Yeah. I think that is a very problematic program. It's a settler-colonialism supercharged with social media so that you can be a digital nomad and then occupy the space, right?
UNKNOWN: And weanwhile, the people of this land can't afford it.
UNKNOWN: And they can't move to the suburbs, right? There is the ocean. There's no place to go.
UNKNOWN: People are homeless in their own homeland, struggling and surviving as best they can. And often, that means affordable housing is in your car or under a blue tarp tent. Your kids are going to school, you got a job maybe, but you just can't afford housing.
BELL: You can't afford a place to live.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, joining me now, the host of "United Shades of America," W. Kamau Bell. He is also the director of the Emmy-nominated series "We Need to Talk About Cosby" and the co-author of the new book "Do the Work: An Antiracist Activity Book," which is available now. Good evening, sir. Didn't you tell me that you made the bestseller? You said that I join the group that you're in?
BELL: Yes. I'm part of the exclusive "New York Times" bestseller list, finally.
LEMON: That I'm on.
BELL: Yes, I know you're on.
LEMON: Let us talk about you, though. Enough about me. Let's talk about you. What do you think of me? So, listen, Kamau, like everything else, Hawaii was lockdown during the beginning of the pandemic. That meant basically no tourists. But that is not the case anymore. Hawaii is dealing with a huge influx of people right now. Is this their version of gentrification? What is going on here?
BELL: Yeah, I mean, I think it's been a version of gentrification since the natives will say that the island was stolen from them. And when you think about the fact that tourism is back up in Hawaii, the thing that has changed is a lot of people who were making a living off tourism, they haven't gotten their jobs back.
We are talking about the housekeepers, the people who work in the hotels and the maintenance staff. A lot of those people have not gotten their hours back because many of us who travel gotten used to not having that same level of service. And the hotels, they were doing that for your safety because COVID, what it means is that even less people are making money off tourism than before.
LEMON: Right. So, they're saving money, right, with not --
LEMON: -- as many people in their employ. So, listen, this isn't new for Hawaii. Outside, they're trying to control and use the land, resources of Hawaii, for generations.
BELL: Yeah, I mean, you think about Hawaii. I mean, as I say in the episode, it literally -- the land is so fertile it could grow rocks. You know what I mean?
BELL: And yet most of their food is imported, which puts them in a very vulnerable position because of the way that they are set up with America. They could grow all the food they needed and more. They could be exporting food, and yet because of the way they are set up through the U.S. government, they import most of their food.
LEMON: Yeah. So, what's the answer? Because the big question that you asked throughout this episode is, can you visit or move to Hawaii without being a jerk? So, what's the answer? How do you fix it?
BELL: I mean, it's a complicated question. I think overwhelmingly, the answer is, no. But if you have to, be careful and try to do it the right way. I mean, my family has been to Hawaii several times. I didn't go as a kid, but my wife who was in that clip, has gone a lot of her life. We understand that if we go, we want to connect with locals. We want to make friends with people and be a part of people's lives instead of going to a resort and expect them to aloha all over you.
LEMON: Yeah. So, is that the ideal situation for the native Hawaiians that you talk to when it comes to mainlanders? What is it?
BELL: I think a lot of native Hawaiians will say the ideal situation is Hawaiian sovereignty. They would have their own country back, the same way a lot of people in Puerto Rico feel, that they would be allowed to make decisions for themselves. I think the relationship with the United States government is an easy one at best for many native Hawaiians.
LEMON: It's always -- your program is always, and I'm not just saying that because, you know, I love you, but it is always fascinating. I always learn a lot. So, thank you, Kamau. I will see you soon. All right?
BELL: Thank you.
LEMON: Be sure you tune in to the all-new episode of "Unite States of America" with W. Kamau Bell. It airs Sunday at 10:00 p.m., only on CNN.
And thanks, everyone, for watching. Our coverage continues.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We are one step closer tonight to knowing what the government's criminal case may be against the former president. And we made it closer still because the federal judge who signed off on the Mar-a-Lago search warrant signaled his intention to make public at least portions of the government's detailed affidavit in support of it. He unsealed a number of documents today. We are going to have details for you in just a moment.
Also, ahead tonight, what some of the former president's top White House officials make of his claim that he had a standing policy in declassifying documents by default. And there's also new reporting tonight on why he has been calling for all court papers in the case to be made public, but not doing so in the one place that it matters most, the courtroom.
Also, CNN's Clarissa Ward is in Afghanistan in her harrowing return to a place deeply affected by the war, and what she found when she got there one year after American troops departed.
We begin, though, with the search of Mar-a-Lago and the fight in court today over unsealing documents.