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Don Lemon Tonight

Secret Service Assistant Director Resigns; Violence Is Guaranteed If Donald Trump Is Prosecuted; Intel Agencies Examines Seized Documents; America Bracing For More Gun Violence; Serena Williams Did Great In Her Last Game; Cigarette Users Shifted To Weed. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired August 29, 2022 - 22:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Not so fast there, Mr. Blackwell.

BLACKWELL: All right.

LEMON: It's a big deal happening over in Flushing, Meadows. Don't you think?

BLACKWELL: Yes. Yes, it is. I mean, it -- I'm here with you, but I would've been there to be watching.


LEMON: I was like, of all nights. Why are you working tonight? You should be at the U.S. Open.

BLACKWELL: Listen, when the boss asked, I said, yes, but that is Serena's last night there at the Open.

LEMON: Yes. She's got some, she's got more to come. I watched some of it from my office tonight. It was fantastic. (Inaudible) gave an amazing speech. Whatever -- we're going to talk about all of that. You talked about it.


LEMON: You shared it a little bit ago, but we got more to talk about. Victor, it's good to see you. I'll see you tomorrow and you're back tomorrow.

BLACKWELL: Likewise. I'm back tomorrow.

LEMON: I'll see you tomorrow evening or tomorrow afternoon first.


LEMON: All right. This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. Thank you so much for tuning in. So, what does he know? And will he ever testify? What does he know and

will he ever testify? Here's the sources are telling CNN. That Secret Service assistant director, Tony Ornato left the agency today. You remember that explosive testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, who said Ornato himself told her that then president was furious when his security detail wouldn't take him to the capitol on January 6th?


CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF MARK MEADOWS: The president said something to the effect of, I'm the effing president, take me up to the Capitol now, to which Bobby responded, sir, we have to go back to the West Wing. The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm said, sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We're going back to the West Wing. We're not going to the Capitol.

Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel. And Mr -- when Mr. Ornato had recanted this story to me, he had motioned towards his clavicles.


LEMON: We have lots more to come on that in just a moment. Plus, there is, sorry, there's a little glare in my glasses. There's news on team Trump's request for a special master to oversee the FBI's review of the evidence seized at Mar-a-Lago.

Now, the DOJ wants to file a response to, quote, "adequately address the legal and factual issues raised by Trump's team." That's due by tomorrow ahead of a hearing on Thursday.

And multiple sources telling CNN that the intelligence community has been working with the FBI since mid-May examining some of the classified documents of Mar-a-Lago to figure out whether they need to make emergency efforts to protect sources and methods that might have been exposed.

And in the face of all of that, the potential damage to our national security, the potential danger to human sources, Republicans are doubling down on their defense of a former president.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): If they try to prosecute President Trump for mishandling class -- classified information after Hillary Clinton set up a server in her basement, there literally will be riots in the street.


LEMON: Look, there's a real threat of violence. We know that. We know it because we've seen it. Lindsey Graham has seen it close up. Remember how he reacted after Trump supporters ran riot at the Capitol hunting lawmakers in the halls and brutally beating police? Remember when he said this? He said this it was just hours after that happened while they were still cleaning up the seat of our democracy.


GRAHAM: Trump and I have -- we've had a hell of a journey. I hate it being this way. My God, I hate it. From my point of view, he is been a consequential president, but today, first thing you'll see, all I can say is, count me out. Enough is enough.


LEMON: You know, he was right then. He really was. Enough is enough. But the threat to our democracy is far from over. And then there's the President Joe Biden. The president is set to make a primetime speech on Thursday. He's going to do it from Philadelphia. A speech and official tells CNN will be about, quote, "the progress we have made as a nation to protect our democracy but how our rights and freedoms are still under attack."

Stay tuned. That address will come on Thursday and we will carry it for you here on CNN and report on it. Straight to CNN's Whitney Wild now. She is our law enforcement correspondent. Whitney, good evening to you.

Ornato, Tony Ornato we're talking about became a key source through the January 6th committee to pursue following -- to pursue, I should say, following Hutchinson's bombshell testimony. What more are you learning about his departure?

WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, what he's telling us is that he is not going to work for the former president. He's not going to work for any of the former president's organizations. But he declined to comment on who his next employer might be.

Further, Don, he's telling us that this was something that had been in the works. He was working on a retirement plan for about a year prior. He's been with the Secret Service for 25 years.


Here's a statement that he gave us earlier tonight. I did retire today to pursue a career in the private sector. Again, I retired from the U.S. Secret Service after more than 25 years of faithful service to my country, including serving the past five presidents. I long plan to retire and have been planning this transition for more than a year.

But Don, it's really worth noting that the timing here is very conspicuous. I mean, this is almost two months to the day when Cassidy Hutchinson made that explosive testimony. It's worth noting though, that he had testified to the House select committee prior to that testimony. But certainly, he became a central figure, a more visible figure after that testimony and someone that the House select committee had made very clear they wanted to hear from again.

Members of that committee had pointed out that he had retained a private counsel. Our understanding was that, it is not exactly clear where those discussions stand between bringing Tony Ornato back in for another testimony to shore up some of these details about Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony.

LEMON: Yes. Let's dig a little bit deeper in here and talk, if you can talk more about this, about Ornato making this unprecedented move from the agency to the political post in the Trump administration, right? I mean the implications of that, Whitney.

WILD: Don, I think I lost you. I'm sorry.

LEMON: You're lost.

WILD: But I think the other question that you'd wanted to ask me and I'm hoping hearing this right. I'm sorry --


LEMON: Can you hear me now, Whitney?

WILD: I'll ask (Inaudible), but I think, you know, the big question here is about this unprecedented move that he had made from the Secret Service to the White House. And this was at the time not a huge story, but it did have very serious ramifications in the long run.

And we, you know, it's really in hindsight that you see why the implications of such a dramatic move are so significant because it really blurred the line between a political -- a political entity and what was supposed to be an apolitical entity.

And when that happened, it raised many more questions about specific security decisions that were made because people began to question, especially people who were highly critical in general of the Secret Service and some concerns about, you know, really deep loyalty to the former president. Whether certain decisions were made because they were in the best interest of safety, or if they were in the best interest of the former president's political agenda.

And those are really the long-term implications of that. A really unprecedented move.

LEMON: All right, Whitney can't hear me, but that's a pro. So, she answered the question what was on my mind. Thank you, Whitney. I appreciate it. I'll see you soon. Bye, bye. She can hear.

All right. Now I want to bring in now CNN contributor and former Nixon White House counsel John Dean, also CNN political commentator and Trump former Trump White House director of strategic communications, Alyssa Farah Griffin.

Let's see. Whitney was able to figure out what I was going to ask you guys have any idea what I'm going to ask. Maybe not? OK.

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Of course, we know.

LEMON: You're not clairvoyant. Good evening, everyone. Good to see both of you. John, I'm going to start with you. Secret Service has faced plenty of questions about its actions over the course of January 6th investigation. Is it significant that Ornato is leaving the agency? Is this a big deal?

DEAN: I think it is a big deal because he was pressed, he was being pressed to appear and testified before the January 6th committee. I suspect he has given an interview to the FBI, which may or may not be factual. So, I think he is feeling the pinch of being in a political spot when he was a part of an agency that supposed, as you said, to be non-political.

And to be deputy director of operations, he's clearly running the Secret Service detail in a way that is politically beneficial to the president. And that's just really unprecedented while -- while different details get attached to their president or not attached. They never really crossed the line in my mind, in my looking at this history.

I had liaison with the Secret Service as one of my duties as White House counsel, had to solve problems for them and they would bring them to me, and we'd work them out. But that that's where it happened was at that level and not at the staff level directly being a part of the Secret Service.

LEMON: You know, Alyssa, listening to you over the weeks and months, you have been really upfront with your experiences with Tony Ornato. I mean, he tells CNN that he is leaving to take a job in the private sector.

First, does that ring true to you? Secondly, how important would Ornato's information be concerning the former president's state of mind on the 6th? One, is that ring true? And then the other part if you need it, I'll ask you again, but go on.

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, and first, just let's just remember, as you noted, it's been two months since Cassidy Hutchinson's damning testimony. And Ornato was very quick to come out with a statement saying that she was inaccurate. She was misleading. She was lying. But it's been two months and he is done nothing to come forward and tell the truth under oath to the committee.


I have shared that he has misrepresented situations he and I have been in the past. Now I will say this. Many of us who know him knew that he was going to retire this summer after his 25 years were up, nothing necessarily nefarious about that. But I don't take him to face value that he's not going to a --


LEMON: So that part rings true.

GRIFFIN: That does ring true. LEMON: OK.

GRIFFIN: But I don't take him at face value that he's not going to a Trump entity. Keep in mind, there's an entire cottage industry around Trump world. So, while it may not be Trump Org., it could be one of the many MAGA leaning aligned groups or a big donor who needs private security.

I am almost certain, and this is again, me predicting. He is going to end up somewhere connected to Donald Trump because he is still loyal to him. The reason he has not come forward and that he's declined to cooperate with the committee, which Congressman Kinzinger has said previously is because he's loyal to the former president not to the work of the American people in this investigation.

LEMON: So, the second part of the question was, I know because there was a lot to ask, is how important do you think his information will be to getting at the president's state of mind?

GRIFFIN: It's very important in that he would know it, he would have firsthand knowledge. I'm not confident that he would be forthright about it. I think a lot of the gaffes if that were there to fill in from Cassidy's testimony were honestly filled in from some of Pat Cipollone's that was later recorded and others.

I think it's important for him to come forward for really one primary reason, which is to confirm both that altercation -- that altercation in the Secret Service vehicle, but also this idea that the president on January 6th wanted to go to the capitol and was basically a rogue actor that had to be reeled in by his own Secret Service.

That I would like to hear from him from. But otherwise, I think most of this has been filled in by others.

LEMON: Got it. John, let's talk about the investigation, those top- secret documents at Mar-a-Lago. The DOJ is saying that the -- in court today, that they've already gone through the documents, they have identified, quote, "a limited set of materials that could contain attorney-client privilege information."

Could this weigh in on -- weigh in, in the judge's decision to appoint a special master or no?

DEAN: It could, because they have already processed the documents that that's done and over to go back and redo it with a special master to look for, quote, "executive privilege," is to me a waste of time because there is no executive privilege.

It's this is the executive branch and you don't exert executive privilege against the executive branch. So that's -- that's a, I think a red herring that Trump has pled in his, rather lengthy description without any attestation to its truthfulness in his pleading.

Now what happened late this afternoon, Don, is the court granted the government, the Department of Justice the right to a 40-page brief to file tomorrow. So, they're planning on saying something and the court said that was fine. We -- she'd like to hear it.

LEMON: Alyssa, let's talk about investigators. They've had these documents for, I think two weeks before Trump even filed for a special master. Is this, do you see this as another delay tactic?

GRIFFIN: It's completely a delay tactic, and he's got this kind of, you know, ad hoc team of attorneys, none of whom to my knowledge specialize in these sorts of investigations, some of the more credible lawyers who surrounded him earlier in his presidency won't touch -- won't touch this issue because they know how legally expose, he is.

It's honestly an attempt just to stop this process. But honestly, his -- the former president's real focus is litigating this the public relations around it. He's been sounding off on Truth Social, putting out statements, saying what a corrupt job this was by the FBI and DOJ. And I think he knows the legal, the legalese of this is not in his favor, but he's trying to win in the court of public opinion.


GRIFFIN: I'm confident he's going to lose in both, but that's what he's trying to do.

LEMON: But Alyssa also, I mean, you know what happens around these situations, because I've seen it with other things that have come up, especially as it relates to Trump world, they start attacking the investigators. Right now, it's, they're saying that everything is a leak. Why is this leak? Why is that leak? That is the new tactic, but it has nothing to do with the actual substance of the story and why those documents ended up at Mar-a-Lago.

GRIFFIN: Well, exactly. This is what he is always done. It's a deflection tactic. And by the way, Don, may I just note that today the former president of the United States Truth Socialed that the election of 2020 should be overturned and he should be reinstated as president, but we've all got so accustomed to just the insanity and just the craziness of what this man calls for that.

That we've all kind of just dismissed it. Like, well, of course he said that. Something that is unheard of in our American history. You know, we kind of just dismisses like the crazy guy down in Mar-a-Lago. Yet he is the Republican frontrunner and he's the former president of the United States.

LEMON: No, it's serious. But the interesting thing is that will the people who support him, will they take it seriously? Will they, will it make a difference to him? Meaning in terms of changing their minds about the man, I doubt it. And that's why we're in the -- that's why we are where we.


GRIFFIN: Well, and just real quick, that's why this investigation will matter. I'm glad that the DOJ is going to put out this lengthier filing in response to the special master, but the public needs more information. I am confident there are moveable Trump supporters who with more information about this raid and about the unlawful actions he was engaging in will move away from him, but they need to see that.

LEMON: All right. Thank you, both. I appreciate it. Are spies and informants in danger because of those classified documents the former president took with him to Mar-a-Lago. We'll discuss. That's next.


LEMON: New tonight, the intelligence community has been working with the FBI since mid-May to determine the classification level of the documents that were taken from Mar-a-Lago in January. Now the review is so intelligence agencies can determine what needs to be done to protect sources and methods.

This comes as the -- as the director of national intelligence is saying that she and the DOJ are conducting a damage assessment of the documents taken out of Trump's home in Florida in early August at the request of Congress. The White House saying today that they are not involved in the damage assessment.


It's time to discuss now, Philip Mudd, CNN counterterrorism analyst. He's here, as well as Douglas London, a former senior CIA operations officer. He's also the author of "The Recruiter: Spying and the Lost Art of American Intelligence."

Gentleman, good evening.

Philip Mudd, I have to ask you first about this news that Tony Ornato is leaving the Secret Service. There is a lot of controversy, a lot of missing text messages that could shed light on the former president up to and during the one/six insurrection. Do you have any questions?

PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I do. I think the fundamental questions about service and leadership. Look, 20 percent of me sympathizes when you serve in government, especially at his level, you have a sense of loyalty that as he served, not just Donald Trump, he served the president of the United States. He's been in the Secret Service 25 years.

When you are on the inside, Don, sometimes like you feel like you're under siege and you feel like you're holding off the Congress, the media, public opinion. That's 20 percent of me. Eighty percent of me says that the circumstances that we witnessed on January 6th are so significant that those feelings of loyalty and service to government have to be put to the side. And you have to say, I don't want to do it, but I got to talk. I get the loyalty thing, but sometimes nation Trump's loyalty he should speak.

LEMON: Yes. Doug, you know, I want to talk about Mar-a-Lago now, the documents. The intelligence community has been working with the FBI since mid-May. What specifically are they going to be looking for to protect sources and methods, because that's a concern.

DOUGLAS LONDON, FORMER SENIOR CIA OPERATIONS OFFICER: Well, the DNI is going to be coordinating the search in the investigation, but she's really going to be tasking it out to the individual agencies who own the programs, who own the agents. What they're going to do is essentially a deep dive counterintelligence review. They're going to look at every human source who was used in the finished products that no doubt were among the documents that we saw or whatever operational traffic.

The NSA is going to look at signals intelligence programs that was part of those documents that were found and the images because we saw there were binders of images. I'm assuming come from some of our satellite programs or covert action programs. The owners will look, they'll look back from the onset of those cases or the onset of those programs. They'll look for inconsistencies. They'll look for anomalies. They'll look for changes in the posture of our adversaries.

But you know, the challenge here and I participated in the Snowden investigation and counterintelligence review. We knew what Snowden had done with those documents. That was very clear to see. In the case of the documents found at Mar-a-Lago, we don't know what the president's intent was. We don't know what the intent might have been of others who would've had access to those documents, which is, I think part of the reason the FBI is looking at DNA and fingerprint samples off those documents.

So, there's a lot we don't know. And at the end of the day the fact is we hear about TS/SCI. Some of those documents are so sensitive. We don't even know the programs publicly what they were, because even the names of those programs are classified.

LEMON: So, listen, this is, Doug, what's in the affidavit. It shows that some of the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago in January that they contain information about human intelligence, meaning spies, informants, as well as other highly sensitive documents and sources. Could those people really be in imminent danger now?

LONDON: Well, what would you expect the president to get? He's the most important customer of the I.C. He's going to get the most sensitive information from the most sensitive sources. And the difference in human intelligence from a lot of the other types of information is it has to be provided in context. You give the consumer some understanding of the source is accessed, their reliability and their placement.

By doing so, even if the source is not named in the finished product, there's so many clues there. And you're talking about intelligence of the most sensitive nature, which means the number of people who know that information is more limited, that an adversary has a great deal of clues to go on then to try to narrow down the scope of who might be exposing that information. What type of technical vulnerabilities they might have from which the United States is collecting the intelligence.

LEMON: Phil, this is all so bizarre. Like, you know, it's highly classified information. It's top-secret information, it's not usually released. And then the affidavit, this doesn't usually happen. You know, that the judges allow.

MUDD: Yes.

LEMON: All this stuff. Right? So, we're talking about some very sensitive issues here. The intelligence community's review, right? That's supposed to resolve any immediate operational risks. Does that give you any indication of what's actually in these documents?

MUDD: It won't. I think we'll see a little bit more. We already, if you're an intel guy, you already know some of what's seen these documents by some, believe it or not, this sounds really boring by some of the acronyms. When you're talking about --


LEMON: OK, well, talk to us. That's what I --

MUDD: -- (Inaudible) communications on the foreign government.

LEMON: That's what I'm asking. What -- so go on. So, what do you mean?


MUDD: So, I mean, if that information is released that foreign government is going to say that's a channel of communications, let's say from our nuclear program, from our political leadership, its military communications, they're going to be able to figure out in about two seconds where that comes from and shut down those communications.

I suspect the DNI is going to find that none of that stuff was released or they could prove that it was released or stolen, but it's pretty sensitive, Don. All of us in intel know what that stuff is.

LEMON: Well, that's what I was going to ask you. When you -- do you want, you don't want to say it on the air, what you're reading between the lines in this information, or do you think that because you said --


MUDD: Well, what I'm reading, as I said, is it's some of it is intercepted communications. And when -- let me take you inside for just a moment. When you read those intercepted communications, they're extremely detailed. So, if you are reading this, let's say you're in Russia or China or Iran. If you're reading those, it's going to take you zero time to figure out the origin.

Those aren't general communications, and they're not fuzzed up so that the reader doesn't understand the origin. If that stuff that's at the top secret, what we call code word level is released. Those lines of communications are closed. They're going to go what we call dark. That is that foreign government is going to shut them down. I don't think it happened, Don, but it could.

LEMON: OK. So, Doug, you can weigh in on that, but if you want to, I got a question for you. Do you want to weigh in on that? LONDON: Yes. I mean, Phil is exactly right. Back in 2013, if you all might recall, there were a series of terrorist threats against American embassies in the Gulf. We were getting that from intercepts. It was reported in the press. Quoting with some of the quotes of the exchanges between at that time Zawahiri and his operational commanders in Yemen.

And as Phil said that line of communications went dark immediately thereafter.

LEMON: Yes. All right. Thank you, Doug. Thank you, Phil. I appreciate it. See you guys soon. Thanks.

MUDD: Thanks.

LEMON: Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Michigan just some of the states that experienced deadly gun violence this weekend. What is driving the surge? That's next.



LEMON: Another weekend full of deadly gun violence all across this country. A gunman with an AR-15 style rifle opening fire in a Bend, Oregon grocery store killing two people. The 20-year-old suspected shooter was found dead at the scene. In Arizona, a gunman wearing tactical gear firing a semiautomatic rifle near several businesses. That attack leaving two people dead and five injured, including two police officers. The suspect also found dead there.

In Houston, a gunman setting, a fire -- setting fire to residential complex, and then shooting at people as they fled the scene. This leaving three people dead and two others injured. Police killing the suspect in that attack. An authorities say a recent eviction notice from the building may have been a trigger for the suspected gunman.

Detroit police arresting a man accused of randomly shooting four people in four separate shootings. That's free leaving three people dead and another injured. In Indiana, a shooting at an Indianapolis hotel claiming the life of a Dutch soldier and injuring two others. The soldiers were in Indiana for a training exercise and authorities don't consider the incident a random act, and there are still no arrests in connection with the shooting.

And in Washington, D.C., Washington Commanders' player Brian Robinson Jr. is on amend after being shot and what police say may be an attempted robbery or carjacking. Robinson posting via Instagram today that his surgery went well after suffering two gunshot wounds in that attack.

And these are just some of the many random related, randomly related gun incidents this weekend, I should say gun-related incidents this weekend.

I want to bring in CNN national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem. Juliette, boy.


LEMON: What the hell is going on? What is it?

KAYYEM: So, I mean, each of them can be explained as you, you know, as different, random different motivations. Is it the summer heat? Is it someone got evicted? Is it someone's mad at the grocery store? And then you take a step back and you look at the connective tissue across this country. Every demographic, every type of community is impacted.

And it's the, it's, you know, it's, it's guns. It's not a secret at this stage and it's different kinds of guns. I don't pretend that they are similar. There are weapons that we're seeing and especially in the Safeway case that are, should not be on the street.

Some of these are handguns, but it's a way in which Americans or some population of Americans utilizes guns as sort of conflict resolution or things get out of hand. So, each of these can be dismissed as separate. But of course, if you, if you sort of look at the totality, it was a weekend of gun violence, period.

There's a new, I hate to say it, but there's a new Beyonce song called America has a problem. And every time I hear it, I think this is it like, this is -- this is the homeland security problem. We're just not seeing it as one, because each separate case we can explain away in some ways.

LEMON: Yes, it, it is. Look, don't get me wrong.


LEMON: The guns are a connective tissue.

KAYYEM: Right.

KILMEADE: But isn't it, I mean, isn't it people's actions really, to responsible. There are people who have access to guns --


LEMON: -- who don't go off and just shoot people and rob stores, and do you know what I mean? Leave people for dead.

KAYYEM: This is, yes, absolutely. And this is where I think this is where I think the politics of this, or at least the discussion around gun control is getting very interesting, because what you're seeing, at least in the last couple of months is a commitment to supporting police.


If you look at the American Recovery Act 85 billion going to police, going to police departments from a Democratic administration. And Democrats have often been accused of sort of supporting defund the police. So, you have this sort of very focused effort to support police and law enforcement.

And then, a narrative, or at least as we're going to hear from President Biden tomorrow when he supports an assault rifle ban that objections to gun control are fundamentally anti-police. I mean, this is the way that this narrative is forming. And if you look at some of the victims in these shootings, they are often police who have tactical gear, they just are -- they can't protect themselves against some of this weaponry.

We saw some military; the foreign military soldiers also be victims. And so, it's a very interesting confluence of the sort of support police and the blue with viewing objections to gun control as being anti-police.

And I think that's a connection that most Americans can relate to. And most police departments, urban police departments are very supportive of gun control for this reason. They see who are often victims of these kinds of incidents.

LEMON: Yes. There used to be an assault weapons ban that expired, right?


LEMON: So, experts aren't clear on exactly how much of an impact that --


LEMON: -- that this is has, has been made here. I mean, what do the numbers say?

KAYYEM: So, the numbers are interesting. So, the assault rifle ban is going -- is going to be focused. And the politics people can debate about whether there will be the votes, but the focus is can we stop killings that kill people so quickly that there can be no police response? Even, or even the best police response cannot protect human life.

So, you're looking at this particular type of crime, which is 10 dead in two minutes, 15 dead in four minutes. We've seen these in which law enforcement bravely runs in. So, I'm not talking about Uvalde or, you know, in Texas or anything, but where police rush in.

The gunman is only killing for two or three minutes, but he can get 18, 19, 20 people. So, it's a particular focus on that kind of death. So even with an assault rifle ban, you may see either consistent homicide killings, but they're through, you know, they're with other weaponry. That's what the data has shown us.

What we also know is that during that 10-year-period, those mass shootings, the ones that were calling four or more deaths not including the killer himself, that those went significantly down. The reason why there was this 10-year, you know, sort of trial period, so to speak was the only way that they could get it passed at the time. When that then gets waved, then you see the gun manufacturers start to throw this stuff, essentially making it very sexy, so to speak. They begin to really market this kind of, sort of fast weaponry. I'll just be very basic here. I don't need to be technical. And then that's why you've seen the rise of the mass shootings for more deaths in a single incident.

And so, you know, look, it's a -- it's an important piece of it. It's not going to solve all the problems, whether he has the votes or not. Doesn't matter. The American public is relatively -- is basically for it. A lot of law enforcement are for it. So, you want to just basically push this narrative at this time when people see what's happening each weekend in this country.

LEMON: Well, look, yes, I get what you're saying, but it's just in, it's just someone people, a lot of this is people out there who think they're a bad ass when they're -- when they're holding a gun in their hand. Right?


LEMON: That they can do whatever they want to and that got to, we got to get --

KAYYEM: And it is --

LEMON: -- at that problem.

KAYYEM: Exactly. It's a, you know, one of the things that the NRA gave up on a long time ago, NRA used to represent responsible gun ownership, but then began to reflect really just the sale of guns. But responsible gun ownership seems to me, I mean, is a common refrain amongst most gun owners. They get it. They have safe boxes. They don't let their kids goof around the stuff. They don't have weaponry that would, that is unnecessary in civilian society.

And I think if we can get to that dialogue, which is essentially, I think where Biden is going to be tomorrow, that responsible gun ownership, whether you are a gun owner or not is something that we can all agree on. And it's that lack of -- it's because the NRA and other organizations really dropped responsibility from what they talk about when they talk about guns. They talked about purchases, which has been the shift.

And I should say that I think it's really interesting now with this sort of assault on police, the FBI and others, that you really are seeing this. I have never seen it before. And I've been in this field a long time. This combination of support for police. And these criticisms of police departments coming from what was traditionally the sort of alter egos of this debate.

LEMON: I get what you're saying.

KAYYEM: The Democratic Party. Yes.

LEMON: But there's got to be, there's got to be some personal responsibility to this. I, because I'll tell you.

KAYYEM: Now I get, you know --

LEMON: When I was kid. When I was a kid, I picked up my dad's gun. My dad had a business. I picked up a gun two seconds after I picked it up. I never picked up a gun until I was an adult.



LEMON: So, that's all I'll say.


LEMON: All right. Thank you.

KAYYEM: And I think I, no, I agree with you on that.


KAYYEM: Personal responsibility and responsible gun ownership, both of those are, I think, attainable goals in this country.

LEMON: He knocked that idea right out of me soon as I picked it up.


LEMON: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

KAYYEM: Thank you.

LEMON: So, it's likely Serena Williams last, I don't want to say her last hoorah. Just to say, because she says she's making a transition. She's a young woman. She's not going anywhere. She won't be on the tennis court as much competing, right, in the way that she's competed traditionally.

So, she's off to a strong start tonight though at the U.S. Open and we've got details. That's next.



LEMON: A very big night for tennis superstar Serena Williams at the U.S. Open right here in New York City, advancing to the second round in singles tonight and what's likely her final appearance at the Open.

CNN contributor Cari Champion joins me now and she was there. Hey, Cari, how are you?

CARI CHAMPION, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you for having me. I'm so excited to report live fresh from the U.S. Open moments ago landing --

(CROSSTALK) LEMON: You just came back. She won her first round. So, what do you think?

CHAMPION: I think there were a lot of symbols tonight that were very special. Serena Williams has played for 27 years. Imagine. Imagine you doing what you've done since you were 14 years old and deciding at 40, 41 years old.


CHAMPION: It's time to evolve, her words, not mine. I believe tonight the crowd was electric. It was magical. And the special part about it was that I felt like Serena started off a little sluggish, but the crowd willed her to win. She felt the love. She felt the significance of the moment. Her first Grand Slam U.S. Open. And this likely, as we're saying qualifiers might be it for her.

LEMON: At 14 was I, I think I was slinging burgers at McDonald's.

CHAMPION: You're not, you're not playing -- you're not professional tennis at 14 years old.

LEMON: I'm not playing professional tennis.


LEMON: I was. I think I was doing the French fries at McDonald's and I got the job and I was too young to work there and they found out, so then they fired me.

CHAMPION: And they got rid of you.

LEMON: Yes, I wanted to buy a car, so there we go. That was in high school. But yes, I mean, she's been doing this since, I mean, for a long time. Let's talk about it. Because I was watching some of it. There was a big celebration tonight.


LEMON: And this is what she told this is after the match.


LEMON: Surprise too, because she told Gail king about her decision. She didn't say -- she didn't say, she was retiring. Right? She said, this is like, she's going to a new phase. I think that when you're passionate about something and you love something so much, it's always hard to walk away. Sometimes I think it's harder to walk away than to not, and that's been the case for me. So, I've been trying to decide for a little while what to do.

She's changed not only tennis. But she's changed women's sports.

CHAMPION: Correct. I, today said something that I think people will think controversial. And I'll say it again, because I want to make sure it's clear. If you had to do and everyone talks about greatest of all time. If I had a top five, I would put Serena on my top five, not just for the sport of tennis.

Naomi Osaka the other day so eloquently said. Tennis is the biggest, Serena is the biggest thing in the sport. She said no disrespect to, you know, Djokovic or to Nadal, but Serena is really one of those players that comes along very similar to Michael Jordan and she changes the game.

LEMON: Was there a question about that? Because that's --


LEMON: -- not 100 isn't true.

CHAMPION: There was so much pushback. There were like, she's the greatest maybe female player.


CHAMPION: She's the greatest in tennis. And I said, no, no. She is a ghost.

LEMON: She's an icon.

CHAMPION: She's an icon. And what people don't consider is that before tennis much like Tiger, Serena came in as this figure that had more melanin than most. And as a black young girl, her and her sisters made it acceptable and a very white sport. And that is not a disrespectful thing to say, but it was a sport in which you didn't see people who looked like you.

So, when I saw Serena win her very first Grand Slam or when Venus won her very first Grand Slam, it's possible. So that's why there's a Coco Gauff. That's where there's Naomi Osaka. That's where there's a Sloane Stephens and that's where there'd be so many more.

LEMON: Well, its people, I mean, come on.


LEMON: People can't be serious. They know the difference between an icon, right. There are some people who are really great players.

CHAMPION: Correct.

LEMON: Right? And there are others who are icons like John McEnroe is an icon.

CHAMPION: Correct.

LEMON: Right? And there are other people, it was a great tennis.

CHAMPION: Correct.

LEMON: Serena Williams is an icon.

CHAMPION: She's an icon. LEMON: I think there are people you mentioned not icons that they're

great tennis player.

CHAMPION: Icon. Hands down.

LEMON: Yes. So, let's talk, this is something different. This is in the court of the volleyball court, the athletic director of Brigham Young University admitting today that much more should have been done when officials became aware that a black player on Duke's women's volleyball team --


LEMON: -- was taunted by racist slurs during a match against BYU. This was on Friday.


LEMON: Her name is Rachel Richardson. She says that the barrage of insults caused her and fellow black players to feel unsafe. And that BYU officials did not take adequate steps to stop the taunting. BYU says one person has now been banned from the athletic event. Richardson was not only called the N-word every time she served during a game against BYU, she was threatened. And she said she was made to feel unsafe in a crowded gym. What happened in this game?

CHAMPION: Unfortunately, we live in a world where athletes are being more vocal about it, where we see a lot of fans. And I'm not saying that this one particular fan represented BYU because that would be unfair. But we're seeing fans who are very bold or emboldened perhaps by the very polarizing times in which we live in.

And for this young lady to just go there and play and understand that she's the only, by qualifying black starter at Duke, they say she's great. She's the next thing she'll be playing volleyball. She'll be representing us in projected in the Olympics. For her to be there and feel unsafe is very unfortunate.

And here's what's unfortunate. If we live in a society where no one can speak up for her. If no one can say this isn't right. If there's not an adult in the stance to say, I hear this. And it's not OK.


That's why she felt unsafe. It's not so much because we're used to the taunting in terms of, she said she's, we're used to the taunting. I'm used to people saying mean things. That doesn't bother me, but it was so long and no one felt the need to dis -- to protect anything.

LEMON: Just say anything.

CHAMPION: And that's why she felt unsafe.

LEMON: Yes. I was looking at my notes as you were speaking because I want to make sure I get this in. This is what BYU officials said they had an apology. They ban the spectator from a -- from attending any sporting events. They say when a student athlete or a fan comes to a BYU sporting event, we expect that they will be treated with love and respect and feel safe on our campus.

It is for this reason BYU has banned a fan who was identified by Duke during last week's volleyball match from all BYU athletic venues. It should be banned, but something should have happened.

CHAMPION: They're starting to do that. They've done that in the NBA level. They've done it on -- they've done it, especially like Russell Westbrook has been very bold about players who have been rude to them.

Other players have talked about it. But now that you have to do it on the collegiate level, I think that everyone needs to take some sobering advice and pay attention to the people who were there. You can't let that. That's not OK. You cannot say it's OK to taut a fan using racial slurs.

I'm the biggest trash talker, Don. So, if I'm at a game --


LEMON: I know because you talk trash.

CHAMPION: You know because I talk trash. I talk trash, as you know how I do it, I love it. I love it.

LEMON: I love having you. Good to see you. How you doing? You're doing, OK?

CHAMPION: I'm doing OK. How are you?

LEMON: I'm great. It's been a while. It's been a minute since we've seen --


CHAMPION: It's been two minutes. Can you take some time off on Wednesday and go see Serena? She made it to the second round.

LEMON: I'm going to go see Serena.


LEMON: Trust.

CHAMPION: I appreciate you for having me. Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you, Cari. Good to see you.

America has seen a steady decline in tobacco use and growing support for legalizing marijuana. Now a new survey says more Americans are smoking weed than cigarettes.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: A major change in American society when it comes to people who

smoke. For the first time ever polling data from Gallup it shows more Americans saying that they smoke marijuana in the past week than those who say that they smoke cigarettes. Sixteen percent of people, 16 -- one-six percent of the people surveyed said that they smoked weed in the past week.

That number has more than doubled in nearly 10 years. And it is not surprising as more and more Americans, two thirds, that's according to Gallup now say that they are in favor of legalizing recreational pot. And, over the past few years, more states have, in fact, legalized it.

So, tobacco use has been dropping for decades. Gallup is showing that only 16 -- excuse me, only 11 percent, 11 percent say that they smoked a cigarette in the past week. By comparison, 22 years ago, about one- fourth of all American adults smoked cigarettes. Can you believe it? More people smoking weed than the tobacco. Sign of the times.

Major departure at the Secret Service by someone the January 6 committee believes could provide valuable information about Trump's movement that day. What it means for the investigation, next.