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Don Lemon Tonight

Secret Service Assistant Director Tony Ornato Leaves Agency; Intel Agencies Have Been Examining Mar-a-Lago Docs Since May; Some GOP Candidates Adjust Abortion Message Amid Apparent Backlash; NASA Scrubs Launch Of Artemis Moon Rocket. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired August 29, 2022 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: So, we have a big development tonight. Secret Service Assistant Director Tony Ornato has left the agency. That is according to two sources. This coming just two months after the former -- a former White House aide testified that Ornato had told her then President Trump -- had told her then that President Trump was irate when his security detail wouldn't take him to the Capitol on January 6th.

I want to turn now to CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein, contributor Garrett Graff, and former assistant special Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman. Good evening to one and all. I couldn't get my lips to work tonight. I can't be involved, be able to ask you, guys, some questions. How are you, guys, doing? Good to see you.

So, Garrett, listen, I want to get your reaction to the news that Tony Ornato is leaving the Secret Service and the implications for the January 6 investigation.

GARRETT GRAFF, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, this figure is one who has been controversial within the Secret Service for some time, and I think his departure from the Secret Service comes just as the January 6 Commission now has him in their sights.

This is a moment of some transition for the Secret Service. Just in the last couple of days, President Biden has appointed a new director as Director James Murray is stepping down and retiring himself.

So, I think we are seeing a lot of questions about the role of the Secret Service right now. There are ties to President Trump and sort of what the loyalty of some of the agents within that agency has been and was certainly in those hours around January 6.

LEMON: Nick, Tony Ornato was mentioned during a key part of Cassidy Hutchinson's January 6 testimony. Take a listen and then we'll talk about it.


CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF MARK MEADOWS: The president says 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 and said, sir, we need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We are going back to the West Wing. We are not going to the Capitol. Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel. And when Mr. Ornato had recounted the story to me, he had motioned towards his clavicles.


LEMON: So, I need to remind everyone that before Hutchinson's testimony, Ornato met with the secret -- met with the January 6 Select Committee behind closed doors. Now that he has is no longer with the Secret Service, can he be compelled to appear again?

NICK AKERMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: Well, he certainly could be subpoenaed and compelled to appear again. I think the real question is whether or not he's going to cooperate and testify or assert his Fifth Amendment privilege against self- incrimination.

Don't forget, the key piece that Ornato really knows about is whether or not the Secret Service had set it up to take Mike Pence out of the Capitol after the rioters came in. And there was a request, there was a car that was in the back of the Capitol ready to take him away from the Capitol, which is exactly what Donald Trump wanted to have happened in order to stop this vote on the electoral college from going forward.

So, that is probably one of the most key pieces of evidence that this individual can provide.


And the question is, once he's out on his own, is he going to get council and will council advise him to essentially assert his Fifth Amendment privilege? Now, on the other hand, he's also in a position where he could be provided with immunity either by the committee or by the Department of Justice. So, he could be forced to testify, and that's where this all may end up at some point.

LEMON: Ron, what about the relationship? What do you know about the relationship between Ornato and Trump? How much could he know?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, I mean, you know, I'm going to defer to Nick's point. Certainly, he can know a lot, and I think that, to me, as I was listening to this conversation, it is -- we have been so focused on the issue of Trump mishandling classified documents that the revelations of the January 6 Committee about the bereft of his effort to overturn the election, how much of the federal government was pulled into that from different agencies and departments, how far it has spread in other states, all of that, Don, has kind of receded into the background. But it will be back again in September with the committee, you know, and we are having this night after night debating whether Trump can be indicted for his mishandling of classified documents.

We -- you know, the original issue was -- is there an indictment out there for his broad role in trying to upend a democrat -- small D democratic election?

So, you know, to me, this is just a reminder of how broad a range of legal challenges he faces and how stark a question it poses for the Republican Party. Is there any behavior that would cause them to either step away from him or imply that they will impose any constraints on him if he is reelected again -- he is elected again? And so far, the evidence above seems to be no.

LEMON: Yeah. Nick, we are learning tonight that the DOJ is preparing to give a 40-page response to Trump's request for a special master to oversee the Mar-a-Lago documents. What does that tell you? Does Trump have a shot here? What do you think?

AKERMAN: Well, I don't really think he has got a shot here.

LEMON: You don't really think he has a shot?

AKERMAN: I really don't. I know that everybody is kind of hinging their belief on the judge's initial reaction that she might appoint or would appoint a special master here. But she also said at the end of her opinion that she hadn't decided yet whether to do it.

The opinion also asked for information at the bearing on that, that is, what is the state of the search that has been done already? The government responded today that they looked at everything and that they segregated certain documents that could be attorney-client privilege.

So, there is really nothing for a special master to do. The whole idea that he would be looking at executive privilege is complete nonsense. Executive privilege belongs to the executive branch. It doesn't belong to Trump after he leaves office. He has lost that battle before the Supreme Court already.

So, it's kind of crazy, you've got a lawyer today who filed something in that court with four individuals that he's recommending to be special master because they have backgrounds in executive privilege.

LEMON: Garrett, I want to play something. This is Lindsey Graham's comments. I want to get your response.


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

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Donald Trump posted Graham's comments on social media. And then tonight, Graham followed up, saying that he rejects violence and wasn't calling for violence. The thing is there's real potential for violence here, especially after what we saw on January 6. Is this why the DOJ has to be so careful in all of this, they are in a really dangerous position right now?

GRAFF: Yes, but also, that's exactly what Lindsey Graham and President Trump supporters want us to think. They want this hesitation, that the idea of actually applying the law to former President Trump would cause so much violence that Donald Trump should be allowed to escape without criminal penalty.

I mean, it is an incredibly dangerous and corrosive action that they are pushing here. This is the equivalent of a mobster saying really nice country you've got here, shame if something happened to it.


I think we need to recognize that these threats of violence are not meant as a warning, they are meant as active intimidation of the normal rule of law and the normal process of the Justice Department here.

LEMON: That's my question to Ron Brownstein. What is the strategy, Ron, behind Graham and Trump putting out this message? Is it -- is it meant as a threat? Is it an acknowledgment that some of the president's supporters would be inclined to defy the rule of law and riot? And why is that okay? Are they essentially saying that Trump supporters or Republicans or whoever they're speaking to are inclined to breaking the law and violence?

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah, it is -- clearly, it is meant as a threat. For Lindsey Graham to predict violence without condemning it except blatantly, is essentially to invite it.

And, you know, we have seen in the Trump era the boundaries between the republican coalition and far-right forces in the society that are anti-democratic and see violence as part of the way to advance their agenda. We have seen those boundaries erode and collapse in some cases.

I mean, just think about a local public health official, school board officials, election officials, members of Congress who voted to impeach, all of them -- impeach Trump -- all of them are now facing kind of a drumbeat of threats of violence that were simply not part of the American experience in the past.

And, you know, as I have said to you before, the real group that all of this raises the most political issue for is at roughly 20% to 25% of Republicans who see all this as a dangerous direction for the country.

I mean, you saw Republicans reacting with umbrage when President Biden said that the MAGA movement, and he was specific to the MAGA movement, you know, was semi-fascist. Maybe he should have said it was authoritarian.

But the reality is that there is a part of the Trump movement that is clearly willing to subvert democracy if that what it takes to impose their values on the rest of the country.

And the critical question remains, what do Republicans who don't share those views do? Do they continue to enable those forces and those voices, or like Liz Cheney, do they basically say they are drawing a line and no longer supporting people who are clearly a threat to the basic democratic structure of American society?

LEMON: Just a quick question. Do you think the DOJ will take these potential threats or potential riots into consideration when deciding charges here?

AKERMAN: No. No, they are not going to take it into account. What they are going to do is they are going to act just as carefully as they have acted up to this point. They're going to go by the facts. They're going to go by the law. They will continue the grand jury investigation. And if the facts warrant an indictment, there is going to be an indictment.

I don't see that this will ever stop this juggernaut from moving along, directing at Donald Trump, and determining whether an indictment is warranted.

LEMON: Yeah. Garrett, I just have to ask you. I saw you nodding your head in agreement with what Ron was saying over the fascism and semi- fascism or whatever. Do you want to respond? Do you want to say something?

GRAFF: Yeah. I think one of the things it's also important to look at here is the track record, which is these are not -- you know, they are not warnings, they are intimidations and they are (INAUDIBLE) calls. I mean, this movement knows what --

LEMON: Hang on, this is beyond the president's comments. You're talking about what Lindsey Graham is saying, what the president is posting? Is that what you're talking about?

GRAFF: Exactly. You know, this is Donald Trump saying, show up on January 6, it will be wild. Look, in the hours and days after the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, they came out attacking the FBI. It led to one of those January 6 protesters attempting to attack the FBI field office in Cincinnati. They know the call and response here. This is Proud Boys stand back and stand by.

And that I think we have to recognize this track record where they are directly inciting violence and that they know what these types of warnings and threats actually lead to, which is their supporters turning those threats into action.

LEMON: Let's hope it doesn't come to that. Thank you very much. I appreciate it, gentlemen. Good to see you.

The intel community doesn't know who might have viewed any of the classified material at Mar-a-Lago. So, do they have to assume everything is compromised? The former director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, weighs in, there he is, after the break.




LEMON: Tonight, we are learning the intelligence community has been reviewing documents taken from Mar-a-Lago since May. These are the documents from the 15 boxes the former president handed over in January. The FBI found 184 documents with classification marking. Twenty-five marked "top secret," according to the filing. That is coming as the director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, notified lawmakers that her office will conduct a formal damage assessment of the classified documents at Trump's home.

Let's bring in now the former director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. He is now a CNN national security analyst. Thank you so much. I appreciate you joining us, director.

So, the White House is reiterating tonight that they had nothing to do with this assessment. It is up to the director of National Intelligence.


As someone who used to have that job, what can you tell us about this process? How long will it take to find out the damage?

JAMES CLAPPER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Well, Don, first, couple points I think I need to make. First is we don't actually know the substantive content of any of these documents. We in four things based on the classification and how potentially damaging these documents could be.

Now, when the DNI - the current DNI is leading this damage assessment, the first thing I think they will have to be concerned with is kind of the chain of custody of these documents from the time he left the White House, how they were transported to Mar-a-Lago, and what the conditions of retention at Mar-a-Lago. Who had access?

The reason I say that is because the one determination will be who actually had access, who saw these documents, who might have reproduced them, who might have photograph them.

And then there is the potential damage. Then you can render an actual damage assessment, but you really have to do, though, in the end is a worst-case assumption that a sophisticated foreign adversary intelligence service got a hold of these documents and what is it they could potentially glean. So, a damage assessment is a formal undertaking under any circumstances.

Now, unfortunately, I have some personal experience from overseeing one that was done after Edward Snowden revelations, where there were thousands and thousands of highly classified documents that he purloined. We don't actually know in most cases how much of that actually found its way, for example, to the Russians. Was that the price of admission for them harboring him?

So, we will have a similar challenge here except the population of documents is more finite, is more limited than it was in the case of Snowden's -- the damage assessment done with Snowden's revelations.

LEMON: So, let me -- what I think I hear you saying in your answer before the Snowden part, the intelligence community doesn't know who have assessed these documents at Mar-a-Lago. They have to assume that everything has been compromised?

CLAPPER: To me, yes, you always have to make a worst-case assumption once these documents are out of government custody, where the government is not protected, is not in the position of protecting these documents, there are areas that don't meet storage requirements for the protection of highly sensitive, classified information.

So, that is the worst-case assumption that you have to make. What is the potential damage that could be done to U.S. Intelligence capabilities? That is, were sources, methods, trade craft compromised? That can get very personal in the case of human assets. We do know there were HCS or human control system documents, which by the way could also have been controlled in no form.

So, another point to be made here to add to the complexity is these alphabet soup (ph) caveats are not necessarily mutually exclusive. So, again, we can infer that if these fell into the wrong hands of sophisticated adversary intelligence service and what they might be able to glean from them, what mitigation steps need to be taken?

LEMON: You just said something that struck me because you said these documents are out of government protection. Documents that need to be protected by our government or no longer being protected by the government. They are in the hands of the former president.

The former president and his allies say, what's the big deal, the president has the document? But what you just said really hit home, out of government protection, they're no longer protected by anyone.

CLAPPER: That's right. And that is the challenge here in rendering a damage assessment. They're out of your control. You have no real good chain of custody. I doubt there any written documentation, no records at Mar-a-Lago on who had access or potential access to these documents. Who actually funneled them, if you will, we don't know that. Perhaps an investigation will be able to determine that.

But in the meantime, once they're out of custody and they are not protected property, in my view, you have to make the worst-case assumption.

LEMON: The U.S. works closely with some key allies on intelligence. How could this impact those relationships? Do you think it will or can?

CLAPPER: It could just as it did post-Snowden.


First of all, if allies that we have close intelligence partnerships with, for example, (INAUDIBLE) alliance countries, you know, it makes their confidence in our ability to keep their secrets a little shaky. We have many other intelligence relationships that are not as close but there could be a chilling effect on the willingness of foreign governments to share their intelligence secrets with us.

LEMON: Director Clapper, always a pleasure. Thank you, sir.

CLAPPER: Thanks for having me, Don.

LEMON: Voters turning out in support of reproductive rights since Roe v. Wade was overturned. Now, are some Republicans who opposed abortion rights changing their tune?




LEMON: So, a review by CNN's KFile discovering Arizona Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters has scrubbed his campaign website of language saying the 2020 election was stolen. And that is not all that is changed. Also gone, controversial language concerning abortion.

Masters is not the only Republican changing their tone now. Several candidates are altering how they talk about abortion with primary season showing the issue is motivating -- a motivating factor for voters.

Here is CNN's Kyung Lah.


BLAKE MASTERS, REPUBLICAN U.S. SENATE NOMINEE: Most people support common sense regulation around abortion.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Republican U.S. Senate nominee Blake Masters surrounded by his children trying to reset the debate over abortion rights.

MASTERS: I support a ban on very late-term and partial birth abortion. And most Americans agree with that.

LAH (voice-over): Just after this digital video dropped, Masters' campaign site scrubbed strict anti-abortion language. Before, Masters wrote he is 100% pro-life, calling Roe v. Wade a horrible decision. Then he listed a series of strict stances on abortion.

Now, a softer tone. Roe went from horrible to a bad decision. The words, 100% pro-life, removed from the section. That list of positions is shorter.

JOHN THOMAS, NATIONAL REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: There is no getting around that abortion, in his particular race, is a hot, hot issue for one of the swing coalitions. He has to speak to that issue. And being pro-life 100% of the time isn't going to get him there. So, he has to attempt to make that debate.

LAH (voice-over): Masters' campaign says he remains 100% pro-life, but he is not the only one retooling.


LAH (voice-over): In Michigan's seventh congressional district, challenger Tom Barrett fundraised in the republican primary as 100% pro-life. No exceptions. Over the weekend, his website that listed a value section to protect life from conception is now gone. Barrett's campaign tells CNN, we regularly update the website.

UNKNOWN: Should all abortions be illegal in this country?

LAH (voice-over): In Iowa's republican primary, two represent the third congressional district.

UNKNOWN: All abortions, no exceptions.

LAH (voice-over): The man in the center, Zach Nunn, won the republican nomination. The incumbent Democratic congresswoman, Cindy Axne, turned that primary debate moment into a campaign ad.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Even in the case of rape, even in the case of incest, even if a woman's life is in danger.

LAH (voice-over): Nunn's campaign did not respond directly to CNN's request for comment on the democratic attacks. But Nunn wrote in an editorial that the ad was false and says while he opposes abortion, we must be compassionate towards both women and unborn children.


LAH (voice-over): In Minnesota's gubernatorial race, Republican nominee Scott Jensen, a doctor, said this in a radio interview before the primary.

JENSEN (voice-over): If a mother's life is in danger, I think that would have to be a medical consideration and an area for potential exception.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): No exceptions for rape or incest?

JENSEN (voice-over): Unless a mother's life is in danger.

LAH (voice-over): Now, in the general election, he's calling his previous words, clumsy.

JENSEN: If I've been unclear previously, I want to be clear now. Rape and incest, along with endangering the mother's mental or physical health, are acceptable exceptions.

THOMAS: It is an animating issue, particularly in very tight congressional and Senate races where there are lots of college- educated white women, but that is not every district in America. So, in select races, you are seeing these shifts on abortion. The challenge is, on some of these very hot issues, the other campaign keeps receipts, meaning they have the website, they have the primary TV ads.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Too dangerous for Arizona.

LAH (voice-over): Those receipts are now appearing in general election ads. Democratic campaigns and groups have spent more than $15 million in ads referencing abortion since Roe was overturned, sensing a chance to energize voters this November.

(On camera): Pivots in politics are certainly not that unusual, whether or not it works on a wedge issue like abortion is, how convincing the candidate is, if the candidate is sincere, and most importantly, whether or not voters believe it. Don?


LEMON: All right. Kyung Lah, thank you very much. GOP candidates backing up anti-abortion messages. Are they concerned it is going to be a losing issue for them? We are going to discuss that next.




LEMON: Oh, my gosh. Just 10 weeks away, 10 weeks for the 2022 midterms, and the post-Roe political landscape may be changing the conventional wisdom. Sources are telling CNN that Republicans who were recently hoping for a large majority in the House are now adjusting their expectations.

Joining me now to discuss, senior political commentators Alice Stewart and Ashley Allison. Hello, hello, hello.



LEMON: Alice, it is only early August. Republicans were so confident they are going to take their -- you know, everything is going to be a red wave. So, they're still pretty confident that they're going to take the House. Correct?

STEWART: Don't be so pessimistic. I'm going to look at it as a glass half-full, okay? I'm going to look at it from the bright side. And speaking with folks with the RNC --

LEMON: Yeah. STEWART: Recent "RealClearPolitics" number show, with regard to the republican momentum, has actually gone up one point over the past two weeks. So, there is a trend in the right direction. Yes, favorable list for Joe Biden had gone up with recent successes, and yes, there have been some polls that show that the momentum by Democrats post Roe v. Wade being overturned is positive, but you have to look at other factors as well in terms of where Democrats spending their money, how are they spending money.

And we just heard that the DCCC had spent a multimillion-dollar ad buy in several. They are concerned that they are not going to do well in places where Joe Biden has done traditionary very well in the past.

So, I'm not going to throw in the towel. Whether or not there is a huge red wave or not, all we have to do is pick up four seats, and we will send Nancy Pelosi packing. I just want four seats. That's all I want. I don't need a big red wave, just four seats so we can --

LEMON: This is not the 11 thousand --




LEMON: What's say you?

ALLISON: So, I think Dems and Republicans should be really careful. Democrats can't get too confident right now.

LEMON: And they're relying on traditional politics --

ALLISON: That's right.

LEMON: -- historically. This is not --

ALLISON: We're in a new day and age.

LEMON: Yeah.

ALLISON: And anything can happen in the next 10 weeks that could upset this totally. I've always thought that Dems have a better shot of winning than a lot of people in politics. They thought everyone -- they're going to get (INAUDIBLE). And now, it is not happening that way. And the reason why is that people are sick of Washington and want things to get done.

And it doesn't feel like the Republican Party has a platform for anything. They just don't want anything to get passed. They just say no to everything. And Democrats now are passing some bipartisan legislation and some on their own. And I think voters are excited about that.

Dobbs is playing a huge role in this. But it's also gun reform. Gas prices are going down. Democrats are meeting the needs of people. They're not saying everything is perfect because that would be lying to voters. Voters don't want to be lied to. But they aren't giving up, and they are fighting for the American people.

STEWART: Ashley, you have to also realizing what is getting passed in Washington right now are big spending packages, major multibillion- dollar spending packages. We are in historic inflation, and we are entering a recession.

Republicans at least have their sense enough to realize we don't need to be continuing to spend money. And if you look at the issues that really motivate voters, while abortion has been a top-of-the-line in the headlines, when it gets right down to it in the next 10 weeks, what drives people across middle America are the economic issues, crime, and inflation. Those are what is going to motivate people. Democrats are not doing well on any of those.

LEMON: And abortion. And democracy.

ALLISON: I know they're passing big spending bills but they are bills to actually help people. They are bills to cap medical cast. They are bills to lower the insulin.

LEMON: Let me just -- what you both are saying -- you are talking about the issues that, you know, for Republicans, right, that motivate Republicans? You're talking about the issues that motivate Democrats. The issue with Democrats is that they weren't motivated.

But now, Joe Biden, President Biden, I should say, excuse me, and Democrats are passing legislation that could be -- that could motivate Democrats. And, you know, Republicans are saying, well, you know, (INAUDIBLE), but it is helping a lot of people. There's a point there. Do you understand what I'm saying?

STEWART: I hear what you're saying, but it doesn't -- it is not going to pan out that way. The Inflation Reduction Act, you ask economists across the board, this is not going to reduce inflation. And when Democrats are asked, how is this going to reduce inflation, how is this going to affect my bottom line, they have no answer for it.

And so, for the next 10 weeks, you're going to see Republicans tout how this package is nothing more than a bloated progressive spending package and is not helping average everyday Americans' bottom line. That is going to be the message moving forward. When they realized that American people were so to bill of goods with this inflation reduction package, they're going to vote accordingly.

ALLISON: When you go to middle America, when I go home to visit my parents and they have to go to the pharmacy to pay for bills, the Inflation Reduction Act is actually going to help them. Those are issues that -- policies that are going to help improve the quality of life. We know our health care system is out of control and it cause everyday Americans way too much money. And Democrats did something to do it.

I also will just say that it is not just the economic issues. People look at the issue of abortion. They want to know who's telling me the truth and who's lying to me. Those Supreme Court justices, during their confirmation hearings, didn't just lie to the senators, they lied to the American people.


And now, you have candidates on here saying, I am pro-life all the way, but now scrubbing my website. They are lying to their potential voters, and they are going to get called out on it. I think that is why Democrats will also fare better in November.

LEMON: So, when people are scrubbing their websites and they're saying, you know, well, now, they want to have this car (ph) about, so to speak, for, you know, the life of the mother and whatever. So, is that a sign that this is a losing issue for Republicans?

STEWART: Keep in mind, those of us who are pro-life and those of us who have thought and advocated for overturning Roe v. Wade for years, ever since Roe v. Wade was imposed, pro-life advocates have been fighting to overturn it. This is not a political issue. This is --

LEMON: Again, I know what you're going with that, but what I'm saying is, for the folks who are now scrubbing the websites and now all of a sudden saying that they are changing their mind, this isn't something that was from their heart that they believed in. If it is an issue that is going to keep them from winning an office, then they go, oh, yeah, I changed my mind.

STEWART: Exactly.


STEWART: Again, this is not an issue about politics. This is an issue about saving and protecting the sanctity of life.

LEMON: Not for those candidates.

STEWART: What we are seeing is many of them took too extreme of a position. I happen to believe there should be exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother, but the whole point is to protect the sanctity of life. Many of those people --

LEMON: What I'm saying is, why did they change? What caused them to change that? Just because they're not going to win an office?

ALLISON: Because they are being disingenuous.

LEMON: That's my whole point.

ALLISON: They just want to win. It is about power. It is not about saving the life of an unborn child. It is about winning. It is about grabbing power so you can send Nancy Pelosi packing. They will do whatever -- they will say and do whatever they need to win. And then when they get an office, they will lie to their voters and go back and retract their --

LEMON: Listen, I just want to get -- this is Jim Jordan. This is student debt. I want to get to it now. GOP Congressman Jim Jordan tweeting this out today. He said -- quote -- "In real America, you work hard, you pay your bills, and provide for your family."

You hear a lot of this real American rhetoric coming from Republicans. They don't think someone is in real America unless you are saddled with debt? Is that what is happening?

STEWART: Well, I guess people would rather him say, in Biden America, you work hard, pay your load, and Joe settles you with someone else's loan. That is the reality of it.

What is Jordan is trying to say is that what Joe Biden did with this student loan -- quote -- "forgiveness," is he took it to the backs of people, hardworking Americans that pay off the loans, and now they're paying for someone else's loan.

Most people in this country have a real problem with that. They don't like the fact that if you actually save for college and paid it off, now you're paying for someone else's. That is the problem. That is the message that he was trying to get out there, and a lot of people don't like that.

ALLISON: I don't know who these people are. I am dying to meet the people who have saved up so much money in that. You know you can't start college unless you put your full payment for a whole year down. It is not like, you know, you can get a job and then save up and the offices are like, okay, we'll let you pay later. No, that is not how it works. People have to take out loans.

I am from Jim Jordan states. Let me tell you something, I have student loan debt and I've worked very, very hard. All my friends also have student loan debt and have worked very, very hard. You know who else that debt is also affecting? Their parents, because their parents are aging and we are having to be concerned about taking care of them.

And when you have that debt weighing over you, we are all working hard. Nobody wants to hand out but the way the loan system is set up, you can't get from under it because of the interest on it.

LEMON: Okay. This conversation needs to be continued. Thank you both very much. I appreciate it. We'll be right back.




LEMON: NASA's next window, to attempt a launch of the Artemis 1 moon rocket early Friday afternoon, but it is still unclear if it will happen even then. Today's launch was scrubbed due to a problem with one of the rocket's giant engines. Here is CNN's Kristin Fisher.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): Mission and lift off at the space shuttle Discovery --

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Engine number 2058 has helped propel six space shuttles into orbit starting with this flight back in 2006.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Scrub of the attempt of launch of Artemis 1.

FISHER (voice-over): But today, the system that cools that engine was the primary culprit behind the scrub of the first test flight of the Artemis moon rocket.

MICHAEL SARAFIN, ARTEMIS MISSION MANAGER: We need the engine to be at the cryogenically cool temperature such that when it starts, it's not shocked with all the cold fuel that flows through it.

FISHER (voice-over): NASA says it is too soon to determine when it will try again. But Artemis mission manager Mike Sarafin gave a classic NASA response when addressing if the next launch opportunity on Friday is still in play.

SARAFIN: There is a non-zero chance we will have a launch opportunity on Friday.


FISHER (voice-over): The Artemis rocket or SLS has largely been cobbled together using leftover parts from the shuttle program. The four RS-25 engines on Artemis 1 combined flew more than 20 shuttle missions. NASA had hoped that by recycling these old parts, they'd be able to build this new rocket faster and more affordably. Instead, the SLS rocket is six years behind schedule and billions overbudget.

LORI GARVER, FORMER DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, NASA: We know the shuttle parts are very finicky and expensive, and so it shouldn't have been any surprise that putting them together differently was going to also be expensive and take longer than we hoped.

FISHER (voice-over): Still, this rocket is the most powerful ever built. It is designed to return humans to the moon by 2025 and someday go on to Mars.

Thousands of people converged on the Kennedy Space Center today in hopes of seeing it fly for the first time, including Vice President Kamala Harris.


KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today was a very important day, and while a lot of folks might be disappointed that the launch did not actually happen, a lot of good work really happened today.

FISHER (voice-over): NASA administrator Bill Nelson, whose own shuttle flight scrubbed four times, reminded that these kinds of delays are routine for any spaceflight, but especially a first test flight.

BILL NELSON, ADMINISTRATOR, NASA: This is a brand-new rocket. It's not going to fly until it's ready. Needless to say, the complexity is daunting when you bring it all into the focus of a countdown.


LEMON: Kristin Fisher, thank you so much. And thank you for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.