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Don Lemon Tonight

Florida Bracing For Cat Three Hurricane Ian; Residents Were Called To Evacuate; Tampa Hospital Put Up Aqua Wall; Officials Anticipates Before And After Effect Of Storm; Russia Desperate To Claim More Cities In Ukraine; January 6th Rioter Sentenced To Seven Imprisonment; Professional Skier Missing In Nepal's Manaslu Mountain. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired September 27, 2022 - 22:00   ET



LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Don, it's scary.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Yes. I -- it's growing and growing and growing and I'm supposed to go down, so hopefully I can get down and get on a plane. And if -- if so, I will see you there tomorrow night. I'm going to get started though and get on the statement.

COATES: Please stay safe.

LEMON: Thank you very much, Laura. Have a good night. I'll see you soon.


And what Laura and I were just talking about, a life-threatening impact. I mean, this is something that you really need to pay attention to, especially if you're in the path, if you have loved ones and relatives there, just as a country as a whole. This is enormous.

This is what forecasters are warning about as Hurricane Ian is a dangerous cat -- category three storm, maximum sustained winds of 120 miles an hour. It's strengthening with Florida right in its sites.

Take a look at this. There's the radar. If you are in Florida right now or you know someone there, the next few hours could really be crucial. Millions of people, millions are under warnings and watches as this massive storm takes aim at that state.

The numbers are staggering. Fifteen million people under hurricane warnings in southwestern Florida. The National Hurricane Center says that they need to rush to finish preparations to protect their lives and their property. More than seven million are under a tornado watch in central and southern Florida, and that includes Miami, and that's through 5 a.m. That's -- that could change. We're going to get updated forecast throughout the hours here.

Over two and a half million people are under evacuation orders right now. One and three quarter million of them under mandatory evacuation orders, but the wind and the rain may not be the worst of it right now. Nearly 10 million people are under a storm surge warning, including in Tampa Bay, with danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline.

Now, the National Hurricane Center is warning that everybody -- warning everybody to promptly follow evacuation orders. The center of this storm expected to approach the west coast of Florida tomorrow afternoon or early evening as an extremely dangerous major hurricane is happening right now.

Forecasters warning, Hurricane Ian could be a storm like nothing we have ever seen in our lifetimes. Now, that's what the forecasters are saying. That's what the experts are saying. I'm not just saying that. It's not hyperbole from me.

We're going to be tracking all of it for you throughout the night here on CNN. So, buckle in, everyone, pay attention. This is an important show the next couple of hours, so stay tuned.

Let's get right to CNN's Ryan Young in Tampa for the very latest. Ryan, good evening to you. You rode along today --


LEMON: -- with officers from Tampa Police Department. They were going door to door in the mandatory evacuation zone. So, what is it like on the ground there and how are those in danger, in that danger zone preparing for this massive hurricane? Are they staying? Are they going, what's up?

YOUNG: And that's the big question right now. Don, you said it up so well. There are so many story lines that are involved here. When you think about this, so many people moved to this state. For so many, this is their first hurricane. So, as you can understand, they're not sure what to do and officials have been trying to give them as much guidelines as possible.

We went door to door with these officers today and the first place we were there with them at a trailer park and they were trying to get people to leave. And you could understand some folks say they did not want to go to a shelter because they did not want to leave their animals behind. And we could understand that.

Others said they had planned to leave later on in the afternoon, but we could see the traffic getting heavier and heavier moving out of the city. But when you think about this, we talked to one family that had just moved from Oregon who said they are scared about leaving their possessions behind, but at the same time, this is their first hurricane.

Listen to this officer talk about the idea of why it's so important to go door to door to make sure they press people, especially in the areas that they've been asked to evacuate to leave.


UNKNOWN: Hello, how are you today? UNKNOWN: Good.

UNKNOWN: Good. Hey, we're coming by and letting everybody know that you're in a mandatory evacuation situation. You -- you aware of that? OK. Did you get the flyer yesterday with some of the shelters that are available or -- yes? OK. All right. Well, be safe and make sure to make your plans here pretty soon. OK? All right. Thank you.


YOUNG: Don, you can think about this at some of the schools that have been closed in this area, cafeteria workers are now stepping up to cook food for folks. I also want to show you what's behind me, because obviously at night it's so hard to see preparations for the storm.

But behind me at the hospital here, this is Tampa General Hospital and you can see that wall that's an aqua wall, that's been created to keep the water out. Even in heavy rains here, they deal with a lot of water and they want to keep this level one trauma center open. But you can understand with the amount of rain that is expected here, that storm surge, such an important word that could be dealing with so many folks have to deal with. They want to make sure that barriers up so the water doesn't get in there.


The mayor talked about today making sure people did not try to drive through water, because we obviously see that from storm to storm. And today at the news conference, she made it very clear what she hopes that people heed the warnings as they get closer and closer to the storm hours.


MAYOR JANE CASTOR, TAMPA, FLORIDA: It's going to be in our rivers, it's going to be in our streams, it's going to be in our canals. It's going to be in our storm water drains and ditches.


YOUNG: Don, a lot of times we talk just about what's going to happen. We talk about the inches, and I know you understand this. There's a lot of emotion involved in this. So, we saw folks getting in line for over two hours to get sandbags, and at most sandbag locations they could only get 10 sandbags. We also saw neighbors picking up sandbags for each other.

You understand how people feel about their property, but at the end of the day, when you're talking about that much water, you fear for what people may choose to do and then try to drive out too late. That's something that they've been pressing here, especially in those evacuation zones. A and B, they told them to get out earlier today. Some people were moving, some people decided to stay.

LEMON: I find it fascinating, you know, people obviously should get out. They should never decide to stay. It can be the worst mistake. It's better safe than sorry, obviously. But can you show us again where you are? Did you say that is an aqua wall that is keeping the -- that will keep the surge out of the hospital? That's -- is that what's going on?

YOUNG: Yes. So let me show you this, Steve, my photographer, I'm going to have them zoom in a little bit and we can show you this. They've been setting this up for the last two days and this creates a barrier in front of the hospital. In fact, there've been heavy rains that have affected this hospital. It's Tampa General Hospital. It's a level one trauma center.

Don, you know how important those trauma -- level one trauma centers are. So, we're across the island, so to speak here, and the water is just on the other side of this wall. So, it comes up all the time. And so, what they did is they created this barrier right in front of the E.R. So hopefully the water will just come up to the front and then not be able to penetrate its way toward that hospital. And that's something they've been working on for the last few days.

Just in the neighborhood over here. The last time we were here for a storm, we saw a man using an inflatable aqua wall to guard his house. So you understand people here have dealt with water before and they're trying to do the most they can to keep the water out, because obviously once it gets in to the bottom floor it's trouble from there, especially when the surge starts going and gets higher and higher.

LEMON: Really, this is really just the beginning and our, Ryan Young is there. Ryan, thank you very much. Be safe. We'll get back to you.

I want to get now to the National Hurricane Center in Miami and the acting director Jamie Rohme. Jamie, I appreciate you joining us.

This is serious stuff. We can't -- we cannot underscore that any more than we are now. What are your latest models showing what parts of Florida should brace for the worst here?

JAMIE ROHME, ACTING DIRECTOR, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER NOAA: Yes, you can see, Ian is now, within radar site and so you can see the well-defined circulation and now approaching just to the south- southwest of Sarasota. And then you can see this band of heavy showers and thunderstorms already moving out ahead of it.

This activity was down here in South Florida, last night and today really heavy rain to proceed the actual core of the hurricane. So, looking like a big flood threat as Ian basically crawls across the Florida Peninsula.

LEMON: So, if it -- if it -- this continues within the model that you have now in the direction as this model is showing you, what places will be impacted the most here?

ROHME: It's actually going to be a multi hazard event. So, for the areas the strongest surge will be to the south where the winds are on shore. So, we're looking at Fort Myers in Marco Island. Marco Island I'm really concerned about tonight for the peak surge. But then the winds and the rains spreading inland along into the north, along into the north of the track, and that would include the i-4 Corridor Tampa, Orlando, and potentially all the way up to Jacksonville.

LEMON: Yes, that's a big area. So, meteorologists, Jamie, have said that this storm could be entering another period of rapid intensification. Can you tell us what this is and what effect the climate change has on this phenomenon?

ROHME: Well, we can come back and talk about climate change at a later time. I want to focus on the here and now. We think the rapid intensification is probably almost done. There could be a little bit more intensification as it's still over the warm waters of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, but I don't think we're going to get any more rapid intensification.

If you look here, you can actually see pretty interesting for your viewers. You can actually see a second eye wall forming around the inner eye wall, and that's basically the second eye wall has overtaken the original eye wall, and that should arrest development.

LEMON: So, listen, I just -- I'm just trying to get that you said you want to talk about climate change, but what -- what effect does climate change have on this phenomenon that -- that is happening now. Because it seems these storms are intensifying. That's the question here.


ROHME: I don't think you can link climate change to any one event --


ROHME: -- on the whole, on the cumulative, a climate change may be making storms worse. But to link it to any one event, I would caution against them.

LEMON: OK. Well, they -- listen, I grew up there and these storms are intensifying something is causing them to intensify. So, this storm is just -- it's a massive one. Its effects are also being felt in the southern part of Florida. What about the areas that that may not be taking a direct hit or experiencing the storm surges, like on the West Coast, how much will the rest of the state be impacted?

ROHME: Well, yes, that's actually a good question because we flip out to this other graphic. You can see, this orange area is the size. So, if you think about how big the wind field is, and you can just see how big that wind field is relative to traditional hurricanes. And as that moves up and over the Florida Peninsula into the southeast United States, you can see this big area. Blue area of tropical storm warnings. So, it's really going to be a big event for not just Florida, but also, Georgia and South Carolina.

LEMON: Look, listen, Florida's coastline as we discuss every time there is, you know, one of these huge storms, Florida's coastline has been massively developed. Is this impending storm a warning about that given the strength of the storms that we are now seeing, as I said before, much bigger in intensity than in my 50 some years on this earth growing up on the Gulf Coast. ROHME: Yes. You know, unfortunately, you know, a lot of people are

moving towards the coastline. A lot of people moved in the Florida the last couple of years. These people don't necessarily have a lot of hurricane experience, so I'm really worried about them hoping that they're, rather than try to tackle this one on their own, they're heeding the advice of local.

LEMON: Jamie, thank you. You've been very informative. We're going to check back with you. We appreciate that. This man, this thing intensified and is getting worse and closer. Thank you.

I want to bring in now, I'm going to Rob Herrin of Hillsborough County Fire and Rescue, which includes Tampa and the Vice Mayor Nick Pachota of Venice, Florida.

Gentlemen, we appreciate you joining us. Thanks so much.

Rob, I'm going to start with you because this is the first time that your area has been under a hurricane warning since Irma. This was in 2017. Tonight, you were telling people the planning time is over. So, now what?

ROB HERRIN, PIO, HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY FIRE AND RESCUE: It's time to execute now. And we're really getting short on that time as well. We've been urging our residents, especially those in the two evacuation zones that have been man -- mandated to evacuate, to please heed our warnings and get out of the area.

We urge our residents; you don't necessarily have to go to the shelters that we do have available. You know, if you can go 20 miles, 30 miles inland to family and friends houses that -- that'll get the job done. You know, you're going to be getting away from that potential storm surge and the flooding. The water is the true danger here. Wind you can shelter against. The water is the true danger here.

LEMON: Do you think, Rob, should people be heading to shelters? I know you said that it's over, right? Should they be heading to shelters now? Hotel rooms, traveling further inland to stay with friends or family? The best plan of action if they haven't already left.

HERRIN: Yes, absolutely. If they are in one of these evacuation zones, if they're in a manufactured home, a mobile home, then they need to execute this plan of evacuating. Find friends, find family. If not, Hillsborough County has 43 shelters that'll accept general population, special needs and families with pets. So, there are options.

LEMON: Nick, to you Now, Ian is expected to make landfall in the city of Venice. That's tomorrow. And it'll do it as a category three hurricane. That's what -- that's what the forecast calls for with winds of up to 125 miles per hour. The city has cut off water service to the island. What do conditions look like right now where you are?

VICE MAYOR NICK PACHOTA, VENICE, FLORIDA: Right now, I mean, it's pretty moderate. you know, there's some, some rain and some wind, but we're not expecting a lot of the stronger storm forecast to hit us until later in the morning, you know, 2 a.m., I think up to about 11 a.m. is when we start to really hunker down and get ready for the big part of the storm.

LEMON: You know, Rob, the real threat for emergency operations is flooding storm surge. You know that the water kills more people than anything. What are you expecting to see and what preparations are being made?

HERRIN: Well, I'm hopeful that our citizens have heeded our warning, you know. And we know how many people are in our shelters. We can't ascertain how many people have gone to friends and family in the center of the state.

But rest assured, Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, local law enforcement and fire rescue have mobilized all assets and personnel and are ready to stand by once the storm has passed and even toward the end of the storm to start assisting residents in the best way possible.


LEMON: How do you feel about, you say, you know how many people have gone to the shelters? How are you feeling about that number right now?

HERRIN: It's a little short right now. You know, we -- we estimate 20 percent roughly of the people -- of the folks who evacuate end up in shelters. And we're not quite there right now. We're close to, I believe, 4,000 people in our -- in our shelters. And as you know, the population of the Tampa Bay area, and there's two evacuation zones that's not 20 percent of the folks who evacuated.

We're hopeful that more people found family and friends inland hotels, whatever the case may be. But I guess we'll find out as time passes.

LEMON: Yes. So, you're looking at pictures now. This is Key West, Florida, at 10 p.m. Eastern on the left side of your screen right now. And you can just see the wind how it really whipping through there and the waves storm surge as well.

Nick, I have to ask you, how are the evacuations going? Are you getting the sense that most folks are taking this seriously and heading out of town?

PACHOTA: I don't feel that we've had as many as we hoped would. We're -- we're still messaging, trying to get everybody that we can. We have law enforcement, you know, traveling through the community and making announcements about our evacuation zones. A and B are currently under evacuation.

We're still messaging through the county, letting people know come on up until 2 a.m., you know, please, you can go to a shelter if that's what you need to do. Go inland. You know, very much like what they're messaging up in Hillsborough. It's the same thing. We need to take this seriously. It kind of has a hint of what happened to us in 2004 with Charlie. We dodged a bullet, you know, but south of us they didn't. Very devastating. So, we're very hopeful that people are -- are, if they're on the fence, it's time to go. It's time to move to the shelters now.

LEMON: What's your concern? Because, I mean, these things just seem to be to, I was speaking to Jamie, they just seem to be getting bigger and bigger. You know, they're smaller ones obviously that happen, but they just seem to be getting intensifying more and bringing more water with them, Nick.

PACHOTA: You know, what I can say is that we, in Venice haven't seen a storm. I mean, in my lifetime, we haven't -- haven't seen a direct hit. And if that's what happens, that'll be the first, you know, that I can recall. So, it's -- it's terrifying. You know?

I mean, we want people to, to be aware. We don't want people to panic, but we want them to be aware that this is -- this is a problem.

LEMON: Yes. Rob, Florida has certainly been through hurricanes before Tampa area as well, but this is expected to be the first direct hit as he just said, to Tampa of a storm of this strength in a hundred years.


LEMON: Do you have the resources you need? Are you feeling as prepared as you could be?

HERRIN: Yes. We're very confident we have the resources we need to handle the after effects of this storm. We have mobilized, you know, 5,000 of our county employees that are -- been put to work at various locations throughout the county. Fire rescue, all public safety in the entire area as poised ready to respond. Public works, the electric, everything has been considered. And really, we're just kind of in this standby and wait.

We have, at our fire -- at our fire stations right now we have all three. Every firefighter's present at the fire stations in this whole local area just waiting for the storm to arrive and pass.

LEMON: But listen, we talk about all these preparations, right, for power, lack of power, you know, storm surge or whatever. But I think, are we at a point now where the best preparation is just to get the heck out of there? Is that the best preparation at this point?

HERRIN: Yes, yes, absolutely. If you still have time, I can't urge that enough, you still have time, if you're -- if you're in one of these evacuation zones A or B, you still have time to evacuate. You can get to one of our shelters. They're probably not too far from you. We have plenty of rooms, as stated before, get to one of our shelters. Get away from that water, that storm surge, the flooding.

This storm is predicted to kind of camp out on the Tampa area. Our -- our grounds are saturated already. They're not going to be able to accept a lot of water, and it's going to rain in addition to the storm surge, potential storm surge, and then our rivers cresting. And you know, it's just kind of that becoming that perfect storm, if

you will, to really test that response and our preparation. But we're lying on our citizens to heat our warning. And we're confident that no matter what happens, we'll -- get through this together.

LEMON: Nick Pachota, Rob Herrin, thank you, gentlemen. Please be safe. I really appreciate it. I know it's a busy time for you, but -- and then as this continues, we'll have you back. Thanks so much. So, I hope you guys listen --

PACHOTA: Thank you.

LEMON: -- to them, right? The best preparation, maybe the only preparation when a storm is this big, so get out.


Next, why storms like Hurricane Ian are getting more intense and more dangerous?


KEVIN GUTHRIE, DIRECTOR, FLORIDA DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: I implore, I urge everyone that is in an evacuation zone that has been asked to evacuate. The time is now. You must evacuate now.



LEMON: All right, we're back now and we are tracking Hurricane Ian, a dangerous category three storm with maximum sustained winds of 120 miles an hour. The live pictures that you're looking at right now, this is from a camera that is set up at Key West, which is the southernmost point in the contiguous United States.

And there, it is freezing at some points, but obviously being battered by the wind and the rain that is coming down in Florida right now. Millions of people in the path of the storm tonight as a monster storm intensifies. What will it take to help them? What will it take to help them?

Joining me now by phone is the former FEMA director, James Lee Witt.

Mr. Witt, good to have you on. Thank you so much. You've joined us so much on these broadcasts for these stories, so it's good to have your expertise.

Florida is bracing for a direct hit from this category three storm. What's your biggest concern at this hour.


JAMES LEE WITT, FORMER FEMA DIRECTOR: Well, I think, you know, Florida probably has the premier emergency management department in the country at the state as the local level, and they -- they do a great job. And I think they've -- the governor, I think they've all set everything up in place to respond to this storm particularly immediately.

But I think, Don, the one big question is going to be the recovery, you know, for the small businesses, for the individuals who may lose everything they worked all their life or, and that's going to be so important. And I think that, you know, the administration and Congress needs to look at, you know, when the -- when the state does their damages as estimates. That, you know, they fund 50 percent of it up front, and so that they -- local governments can get back in the recovery effort very fast.

LEMON: So, listen, they're going to get hit. Hopefully there won't be any loss of life. But this is a big storm. So, the direct concern -- concern, I would think would be loss of life. But you saying the recovery is going to be important, as well, because people are going to lose their livelihoods here.

You know, I was asking are we getting to a point where really the best preparation is to just get out when these things happen before you could kind of hunker down maybe sometimes that they've gotten, they seem to be intensifying so much that the best preparation now may just be to leave and then come back when it's over.

WITT: Well, it is. It's -- it is to listen to your local officials in the states and the National Hurricane Center and say, you know, this is -- this is a huge, huge storm. It's going to be bad storm, surge is going to be bad, flooding is going to be bad. And it's time to either get out of harm's or risk your life. And, you know, and life is too precious to do that.

And so, you know, I hope that and pray that people do that. But you're looking at a recovery effort that's going to be massive. And I hope and pray that I know FEMA and the site and through the partnership there, can help make a difference with SBA and all of them. I mean, this is a major, major storm and people need to understand that.

LEMON: Yes. Look at the size of that thing. So, listen, what specifically, James, can and should FEMA be doing before the storm hits so people can get help after the fact?

WITT: Well, I, FEMA has a 1-800 number that they can call for individual assistance. But I think that then -- then the process of going through the -- all the project work orders and all the documentation for the public infrastructure and all of that's going to be a huge deal.

And particularly in the -- in the long-term recovery efforts. And this is -- this is the biggest storm we've had in Florida I think since Andrew. I mean, it's huge.

LEMON: Yes. James Lee Witt, the former FEMA director, thank you, sir. We appreciate it. I'm sure we'll be talking to you a lot. We'll be seeing you a lot on the air, not only on this network but all over, as this continues. Thank you, sir. I appreciate it.

WITT: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you.

LEMON: So, we're going to move on now and talk about one of the capitol rioters who attacked D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone sentenced to more than seven years in prison. Michael Fanone is here to respond next.



LEMON: Tonight, a measure, a measure of justice for former D.C. Metropolitan police officer Michael Fanone known who was nearly killed and sustained serious injuries when rioter severely beat him during the January 6th capitol insurrection.

A federal judge sentencing Kyle Young, one of those attackers to more than seven years in prison, and rebuking Young by telling him, quote, "on January 6th, the violence was you."

Michael Fanone joins me tonight. He is now a CNN law enforcement analyst. Mike, good to see you. Thanks for joining us.

Let's talk about what Judge Amy Berman did today. She described Kyle Young as a one-man wrecking ball. You were at today's hearing. How you feeling about his sentence?

MICHAEL FANONE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I mean, I think that Judge Jackson got it. I think she understood the significance of Mr. Young's actions, not just in, you know, what he did to me.

But the totality of the circumstances involving his participation that day and you know, his role in the insurrection at the capitol on January 6th, as well as, you know, many of the elected official -- officials and, you know, members of our government who continue to perpetrate lies and peddle misinformation about that day and about the 2020 election.

LEMON: You know, speaking of that, you said she gets it. She pointed out how Young was the person who handed another rioter the stunt gun used to electrocute you. And you say the assault on you by Kyle Young cost you your career. Talk -- talk to me about that.

FANONE: Yes, I mean, it wasn't just Kyle Young. I mean, I -- I've said before, like his actions, Daniel Rodriguez the defendant in which he handed the stun gun to, or the taser to, as well as the other individuals that were involved in assaulting me that day.


They were all catalysts for the, you know, on timely end of my career as well as the former President Donald Trump. You know, their actions that day caused, the injuries that I sustained, and the lies that former president peddled, caused me to speak out and that brought about the, the end of my career. LEMON: Listen, after this, that's a lot there, but I want to talk about this as well. Because listen, your reasons for leaving the department are many, not only you were injured, you have to deal with a lot of trauma, a lot of stress, and I'm sure some sort of digging into yourself to figure out exactly what you wanted to do and how you could move ahead with all of those headwinds and all of those people coming at you, that has to be very difficult, even beyond just the physical nature of what happened to you.

FANONE: It was. I mean, it was a complicated decision. There wasn't just one, one factor that resulted in me resigning from the police department. But I think it's important to note that from the get go my intention was to return to full duty, which I did, you know, and resign from the department in a full duty status.

I mean, that was important to me, not to diminish other officers who resigned or who were retired as a result of the injuries that they sustained that day. But I didn't want to hear shit from anybody regarding, you know, me having taken a medical retirement. So, I returned to (Inaudible) and I resigned.


FANONE: I don't receive any type of pension from the police department, nor do I receive any medical benefits from the police department. Hell, I didn't even leave there with a shirt on my back because I had to turn that into the property division when I left. Yes. But that was my decision. And I'm proud of the way that I handled my resignation from the Metropolitan Police Department.

LEMON: Listen, every time you talk about this, you have to keep reliving it. And I do know that's tough, personally I know it's tough for you because we discuss it, but today after giving, you know, half hour victim impact statement, you walked back to your seat. Someone in the audience called you a piece of s, h, i, t. Right?

You also had interactions with Young's family outside. Talk to me about that.

FANONE: Yes, so I delivered my victim impact statement. And I mean, I, as I always, as I've been throughout this process, I was honest in my experiences, not only on that day but in the -- in the days after January 6th. And I think the judge, Judge Jackson was understanding of, you know, what I've dealt with as a result of my participation in the defense of the capitol on January 6th.

And when I was walking back from the podium delivering my victim impact statement, an individual who was seated with other relatives of Mr. Young stood up and called me a piece of shit. He was quickly escorted out of the courtroom and then out of the court building by the U.S. Marshals.

But, you know, I think it's important for the American people to understand that we have the, you know, a lot of the family members and a lot of the defendants in these cases that are expressing a degree of remorse in order to hopefully, you know, gain some leniency from the sentencing judge as was in this case.

Mr. Young expressed some degree of remorse. His mother stood up and tried to apologize to me in the courtroom, and then later on as I was leaving the courthouse, his mother and several other individuals who were seated with her in the courtroom, again, called me a piece of shit.


So, I think it's just another example of a January 6th defendant begging for leniency, but in reality, there's no remorse there. There's no remorse for their actions. And so, I'm, you know, I feel that the sentence that was handed down by the judge was sufficient, which was 86 months. And that is the maximum sentence under the guidelines that were sought by the government.

LEMON: Mike, you know, obviously you or none of what they say. If anyone realizes, if -- what people should realize is that in one fell swoop in an instant and I -- and your attack lasted longer than that, but just in one single incident this -- this man's life changed. I think his, if I can be allowed to say this, his perspective on American politics changed the people who actually support law enforcement and support people like him, his perspective changed on that.

Because many of the people who say they support law enforcement are the very people who are attacking him and attacking others and beating police officers with blue lives matter flags. And that's why it's very difficult for me to sit here having a friend like Michael and offer a platform to insurrection deniers, people who lie about being supporters of the police department, bigots, racists, people who support election denying.

It's really tough because those people will say one thing in front of a camera and then do other things when they're not in front of a camera, or say that they're not going to vote for a Democrat because they will vote for an insurrection person who participated in an insurrection or believe the insurrection was okay, or people who say that the election was fraudulent.

They'd rather vote for that person than vote for someone who is not a Republican. It is the weirdest place that I've ever been in my 20 some or 20 some odd years in this business. I don't understand it. I don't understand why people don't stand up for what's right, that they put politics beyond doing what's right.

That's exactly what Michael Fanone did. He put what's doing what is right above his politics and lost his job in the process and doesn't get a pension for it. How do you expect a man to feed his family? I hate to go on, but I mean, it really pisses me off when I hear shit like what happened to you in the courtroom?

Because it makes my job more difficult because I do not want to offer a platform to those, you know what holes. It is just we're in an odd place, Mike. I'm -- I -- this is a conversation we have on the telephone or when I see you in person and now it's time to have it on television. What is going?

FANONE: Is that the question that you're asking me?

LEMON: That's for you. Yes. Talk now. Speak now or forever hold your peace.

FANONE: I, well, I -- mean, I think that, I think that you have a lot of people in this country that would rather put what happened on January 6th and what happened with the previous administration in the rear-view mirror without addressing some of the root causes of, you know, of that day and of that event.

I mean, I think that there's -- there's a lot of different factors that lead people to continue to support Donald Trump. But I think that, I -- I don't know. I think that, and I'm sorry, Don. I, you fucking got me there, man.

LEMON: Yes. I'll let you go. You, all right?

FANONE: Yes. I just, it's hard to focus in on -- it's hard to focus on the bigger picture when, you know, like -- what happened today is not just like an isolated incident. It's become my new reality. It's every single day of my life.



FANONE: You know, it's when I'm at -- when I'm at event with my kids and I'm trying to focus on being a father and trying to focus on being a parent and putting all this behind me, and I get phone calls and text messages from people that want to express -- they want me to die.


FANONE: They looked at a rotten hell.

LEMON: Yes. Well, Mike, I'm sorry. I don't mean to put you on the spot. But I feel like it needed to be said, and especially after having someone who tried to do what they do and then call you that. Yes, that sucks for all of us. For you mainly, but for all of us. Thanks.

FANONE: Thanks, buddy.

LEMON: Back in a moment.



LEMON: The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy slamming Russia's sham referenda in four regions of eastern Ukraine, calling it an attempt to steal the territory of another state. Russian media claiming partial results show large majorities in favor of joining Russia, but western governments have dismissed the votes as completely illegitimate.

Joining me now to discuss, Max Boot, the senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Max, I appreciate you joining us this evening.

These bogus referenda have involved officials going house to house to collect votes, sometimes accompanied by soldiers. And we know that Putin's goal is using these as a pretext to annex territory, but is this really going to give him what he wants in this war?

MAX BOOT, SENIOR FELLOW, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: No. Putin is not able to achieve his objectives unless his army performs a lot better on the ground than not the case, Don. And clearly, the Ukrainians have the initiative. They're on the offensive. They're driving the Russians back. Putin doesn't know what to do, so he -- and he's desperate and that's why he's making nuclear threats. That's why he's partially mobilizing military manpower, and that's why he's staging these sham referendums whose outcome was predetermined to begin with.

It's, it's illegal. It's a joke. It's not to be taken seriously. He doesn't even control the territory that he claims to be annexing. So, this is another sign that his invasion of Ukraine is failing and he doesn't know what to do.

LEMON: You know, I have to ask you about this strange development. European officials are investigating unexplained leaks in two Russian gas pipelines running under the Baltic Sea. Officials say that it appears to be sabotage. If it was sabotage, who do you think could have done this, and why would they do it?

BOOT: You know, it's a complete mystery of me as well, Don. I really -- I really would not want to speculate. I've seen some speculation online. I don't want to join into it, but clearly it does seem to have been an act of sabotage. But I don't know that it's going to make much difference in the long run. Because Europe is already weaning itself off of Russia natural gas, and those pipelines are not going to function much longer anyway.

LEMON: Yes. Max Boot, thank you very much. I appreciate you joining us this evening.

BOOT: Yes.

LEMON: We have more breaking news to talk about, especially when it comes to the storm.

And also, this a world-renowned ski mountaineer, missing on, on one of the Himalaya's highest mountains. Now teams are carrying out a search and rescue for American Hilaree Nelson. We'll tell you about that.



LEMON: So, tonight, an American ski mountaineer and one of the most famous explorers in the world is missing. One of the highest peaks in the Himalayas. Hilaree Nelson, a 49-year-old mother of two who lives in Telluride, Colorado is a pioneer in her sport, a legend, and a veteran of more than 40 ski mountaineering expeditions worldwide.

The apparel company the North Face, one of Nelson's sponsors confirmed that she went missing on Monday during a skiing and exploring expedition in Nepal's, Matula -- Manaslu and the world's eighth highest mountain with her partner Jim Morrison.

They reportedly reached the summit and had begun the dissent when she fell. It is unknown if she survived. But a search and rescue operation is underway. Hilaree Nelson's career spans more than two decades. In 2012, she became the first woman to climb the world's highest peak Mount Everest, as well as the adjacent mountain Lhotse in 24 hours.

In 2018, she was named a National Geographic Adventurer of the year after summiting Papsura, a mountain in India known as the peak of evil, fulfilling a 20-year goal. As rescue efforts continue, our thoughts go out to the family and all who love and admire her. We'll continue to update you on the progress of this. We'll be right back.