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Don Lemon Tonight

Donald Trump Attacks Mitch McConnell And Wife Elaine; Lawyer Refused To Lie About Documents In Mar-A-Lago; Death Toll From Hurricane Ian Continue To Rise; Vladimir Putin Not Hearing The Truth From His Troops; NATO Countries Won't Sit Idly By; SEC Charge Kim Kardashian $1.3 Million Fine. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired October 03, 2022 - 22:00   ET




KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Thanks so much for watching. I'll be back with you tomorrow night. But don't go anywhere, DON LEMON TONIGHT starts right now. Hi, Don.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Hey, Kasie, am I just naive to think that Republicans would be speaking out loudly the former president's attack on Elaine Chow and Mitch McConnell? Yes? Is that the --

HUNT: You're putting -- making me put my Capitol Hill reporter hat back on --

LEMON: Hello.

HUNT: -- to explain over and over and over again. No, Republicans are not going to say that. Not this time, not next time, not the time after that.

LEMON: It's crazy. Thank you, Kasie. We're going to continue to talk about that.

HUNT: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: I'll see you. I'll see you tomorrow. Hopefully you're here tomorrow. Thanks.


We've got news on those documents the former president took with him to Mar-a-Lago, and we're going to talk about the other story as well I just spoke to Kasie about.

But the Washington Post is reporting that the former president asked one of his lawyers to tell the National Archives early this year that he returned everything that they requested. That lawyer's name is Alex Cannon refused because he wasn't so sure that it was. More to come on this a little bit later on in the broadcast.

Plus, 39 days until the midterms, can you believe it? And the former guy who is not on the ballot anywhere is attacking, this is the story. What do you think about this one? Attacking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Claiming that he has a quote, "death wish," slamming his wife with a racial slur, not even spelling her name correctly.

See that Chow-Chow? There you go. That racism man. The casual remark about a death wish, not even two years after a blood thirsty mob attacked the United States Capitol hunting for lawmakers in the halls. Well, it is. There's no other way to put it. All right. It's despicable. It's disgusting.

Every single Republican ought to be able to say loud and clear or loudly and clearly that violence is wrong, racism is wrong.


SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): It's never ever OK to be a racist. It's, you know, like, I think you always, you have to be careful, you know, if you're in the public, you know, how you -- how you say things. You want to make sure you're inclusive. So, I hope no one is racist. I hope no one says anything that's inappropriate.


LEMON: How what Donald Trump did and said was wrong, it is beneath the dignity of anyone, especially a former elected public official president. How about just saying it is wrong, he shouldn't do it. He hopes no one says anything inappropriate.

Inappropriate does not even begin to cover it for a former president or such an ex-president who says that the top Republican in the Senate has a so-called death wish. And then goes on to slander his wife with racist garbage. But what do you expect from a man who launched his political career, must we keep reminding people, launched his political career with a racist birther lie that Barack Obama was not born in this country.

The Wall Street Journal had no trouble saying former president has gone too far. And I quote here, "the death wish rhetoric is ugly even for Mr. Trump's standards and deserves to be condemned. It's all too easy to imagine some fanatic taking Mr. Trump seriously and literally, and attempting to kill Mr. McConnell. Many supporters took Mr. Trump's rhetoric about that former Vice President Mike Pence all too seriously on January 6."

And then there is Susan Collins telling the New York Times another quote. "I wouldn't be surprised if a senator or House member were killed. What started with abusive phone calls is now translating into active threats of violence and real violence."

And then there's Liz Chaney still out there telling the truth while so much of her party is living in fear of a twice impeached, disgraced, one term, former president.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): When you see, former President Trump just in the last 24 hours, suggesting in a pretty thinly veiled way, using words that that could well cause violence against the Republican leader of the Senate saying he has a death wish.

And then, you know, launching a absolutely despicable racist attack against Secretary Chao, Leader McConnell's wife. And then you watch the fact that nobody in my party will say that's unacceptable. And everybody ought to be asked whether or not that's acceptable and everybody ought to be able to say no. That is not acceptable.



LEMON: She's right. Imagine we're, we'd all be right now if more Republicans were just willing to tell the truth.

Alex Burns is here, CNN political analyst and co-author of "This Will Not Pass." Also, CNN political analyst Natasha Alford and former Republican Congressman Charlie Dent.

Good evening.

Charlie, you're shaking your head in agreement, shaking your head in agreement. Here's my, why? This is -- this is what I want to ask you. Republicans get so upset, right, and Trump apologists when you say, this is the party right now, right? But no one defends it loudly and clearly. The majority of the party doesn't defend it. If you don't, isn't that your party?

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I'm afraid you may be right about this. Look, for too long, too many have chosen silence.

LEMON: I should say, doesn't speak out about it.

DENT: Yes. The silence. The silence is a form of consent and silence does not create an alternative narrative. That has always been the problem. This can't be a few people standing up there speaking truth. You know, a leader with no followers is just a guy taking a walk, and there are too many who are just taking a walk.

They're just, they need critical mass. They've never had it. And how hard is it to call out the violence? I mean, Steve Scalise was nearly killed. Gabby Giffords. I mean, these members since I left, there are plenty of members now who have a security detail, capitol police security detail protecting them when they're not around the capitol.

It's gotten that dangerous. And so, to go out there and say that, you know, McConnell has a death wish. Well, that's kind of sending a signal, and of course the attack on his wife is just hideous, and that should be very easy for anyone to condemn.

This is horrible thing. And in so many -- so many ways, he's mocked, he's gone after Muslims, he's gone after Hispanics, he's gone after all sorts of people, you know, make all sorts of racially and ethnically incendiary inflammatory comments. And this is just one more. LEMON: And just offensive remarks. I mean, even gold star families. So why aren't we hearing, especially when you hear something, you know, chow-chow, calling Elaine Chao, chow-chow, right? Coco Chow. Why, why are we hearing a stronger course from the right? And listen, I understand what we've been through the last seven years or so. I get it. But I want to -- why? I got to ask the question, why not?

ALEX BURNS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's not even why we're not hearing a strong course. We're not hearing basically any voices at all. We're not hearing any, any particularly strong solo performances denouncing Trump on this. And it's really very simple, right? They're scared of him. They're scared of his political impact in the Republican base.

When you talk to members of Congress, at least the ones who are relatively honest and relatively self-aware. They're not all at Charlie Dent's level, but a relatively honest and relatively self- aware. They're pretty upfront that they find this kind of thing abhorrent and they don't see any direct personal political benefit in saying anything about it.

And the survival strategy of so many Republican lawmakers, and certainly candidates in the current midterm campaign has not been to necessarily lock arms with Donald Trump when he says something like this, and not to condemn it, but just to kind of shrink into the backdrop. Right? And hope that nobody asked them about it too directly. That could be played of Rick Scott as obviously just a really painfully unconvincing political performance.

LEMON: And then try to generalize it into something. I mean, it's -- it's --

NATASHA ALFORD, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Can -- and can I say they're scared of him, but also, Donald Trump is doing what his followers sent him to do, right? They want him to say the things that other people are quote, unquote, "afraid to say" or "won't say anymore in this so- called politically correct environment." And so, they even --


LEMON: Do you think they want him to say Coco Chow?

ALFORD: Yes. I believe that when they hear that they look and they say, look, he's unafraid, right? He's going to say it how it really is. He's calling out, you know, Mitch McConnell in a way that should have happened a long time ago, and they justify it because, you know, this is about power. This is about maintaining power.

But I really believe that, as Charlie said, this is just a long line of insults that have become so normalize that we almost don't even blink anymore. I mean, people, you know, went on Twitter and they expressed their outrage, but are we really surprised that Donald Trump said this? This is not the bottom for him.


ALFORD: It's not the bottom.

LEMON: Am I surprised? Yes, I'm surprised he said it. I was like, how long before he says the N word Publicly. That's my question to people. How long before he does that? If he can get away with saying Coco Chow for the top. He -- Mr. McConnell is like the number one Republican. Wouldn't you think that, right?

DENT: Yes.

LEMON: The most important Republican in the country?

DENT: Absolutely.

LEMON: Other than Trump.

DENT: Absolutely. And to attack his wife like that. I mean, I just don't know why people can't --


LEMON: This is why --

DENT: This is easy to condemn. This is easy.

LEMON: This is why it's so infuriating.

DENT: It's not hard.

LEMON: Because an attack on one of us is an attack on us all for, listen, I -- for someone to say that about an Asian person, you must be outrage if you are someone, right, who has a conscience. If someone says it's something derogatory about a woman, someone says something derogatory about a black person, someone says something derogatory about an Asian person, a Jewish person, then you have to have the same outrage, the same energy, and people don't have that energy.


So, I, as a black person, I am infuriated that he would say something like that about an Asian person and that this wasn't veiled. I've heard people say, you know, an allegedly what appears to be or a, no, this was a racist attack and we should all be speaking out.

I think Democrats should be speaking out about and saying, this is wrong. I think you hear more Democrats saying it's wrong than Republicans. But do you think I'm wrong with that?

BURNS: No, of course not. And I do think it's important to, sort of contextualize this as well, that Elaine Chow was a member of President Trump's cabinet. What he said would be abhorrent even if she were not a public official, but she was a member of his cabinet. And also, she was a member of his cabinet who resigned after January 6th.

And what we know about former President Trump is that he sorts people into these categories. After the Access Hollywood tape, were you with me or against me? On the day of January 6th, were you with me or against me? After January 6th, were you with me or against me?

And this is part of what terrifies Republican elected officials into submission. It's also, Don, part of why Donald Trump's political base is shrinking because he keeps on subjecting the, not just Republican office holders and candidates, but ordinary Republican. Our rank-and- file voters to these increasingly outrageous tests of what they will go along with.

And we have obviously seen that far too many people will go along with it, but it is a steadily shrinking community of people in this country who are totally comfortable with that kind of rhetoric.

LEMON: When is -- are we going to get to a day where they say we're against you?

DENT: Well, look, look to Alex's point, the base is shrinking. I mean, look, you want to be just like Donald Trump. Look at Doug Mastriano. Look at him in Pennsylvania. His base is shrinking. He is speaking to a very small segment of the electorate, he's going to lose in a year when actually a Republican should win walking away, but he's going to lose. Because they've embraced his very narrow nativist, kind of speaking to the ugliest elements of the human spirit. And that's not what leaders should be doing. And that's what's happening. Trump's always done it.

These were -- these would be career ending comments that they been uttered by anyone else. When they marginalized Steve King for making racially incendiary comments, you know what? That destroyed him politically.

They marginalized and they pushed him off to the side. They should have done this to the Marjorie Taylor Greenes and to the Donald Trumps, and we wouldn't have this problem right now. But they normalized and --


ALFORD: There's no more consequences. And Mitch McConnell had an opportunity to hold Donald Trump accountable. And he voted not to impeach him --


ALFORD: -- because he wanted to stay in power. And now look who's coming for his wife.

LEMON: Now it made him -- yes.

ALFORD: It's ridiculous.

LEMON: I -- if he stays quiet about this, it's, well, obviously it says a lot about Mitch McConnell wouldn't be the first time he said he hasn't spoken up. I just want to get this in because I think it's important as well.

Speaking about the danger level and the killing. Marjorie Taylor Greene said that Democrats want Republicans dead and they're already starting the killings. I mean, we know this, this is dangerous rhetoric, Charlie. But I mean, what went through your mind after hearing these remarks?

DENT: I just thought that was insane. I mean, why would anybody say something like that knowing the threats against sitting members of Congress?

LEMON: Because it must be working. No.

DENT: Well, may -- I guess it works for her. She's able to monetize her notoriety. This is what happens when they don't marginalize the people who go carry on like this. She should have never been welcomed into the House Republican conference. She should have never been assigned a committee and they should have defeated her in the primary. That's how they should have dealt with her.

And instead by bringing her into the tent, she's been able to normalize it and monetize it. And now she raises go get raises, gobs of money by making outrageous statements like that.

LEMON: Marjorie Taylor Greene was right behind GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy center stage when he rolled out the GOP's agenda. That's exactly, you know, on the fringe, right? So, she's standing behind him.

DENT: Right.

LEMON: So that means listen. Yes, there it is right there. I mean, she's standing right behind him. Isn't -- does that mean that she's part of the mainstream?

DENT: She's in and Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger out. Good honorable people are pushed out and they brought in people like her.

LEMON: Yes. Alex, I want to talk about now this audio that was released by Maggie Haberman. She has a book coming out, you know, this interview with Donald Trump for a new book, "Confidence Man." And she asked about January 6th. Here it is.


MAGGIE HABERMAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: But what were you doing when, when -- how did you find out that, that there were people storming the capitol?

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I had heard that afterwards and actually on the late side, I was -- I was having meetings. I was also with Mark Meadows and others. I was not watching television. I didn't have the television.

HABERMAN: You weren't? OK.

TRUMP: I didn't usually have that, the television on. I'd have it on if there was something, I then later turned it on and I saw what was happening. I also had confidence that the capitol who didn't want these 10,000 people --

HABERMAN: The capitol police, you meant.

TRUMP: -- that they'd be able to control this thing. And you don't realize that, you know, they, they did lose control.


LEMON: So the law and order President blaming the police there for what happened and said.

ALFORD: How convenient as he rallied the crowd.

LEMON: As he, right.

ALFORD: Right.



ALFORD: Told him it was going to be wild.

LEMON: The back the blue president blaming the police for what happened.

ALFORD: And led them to the capitol, but did not want that detail to be public, by the way.


ALFORD: Right. So, there was some intentionality and strategy behind that.

LEMON: Yes. We know what Stephanie Graham, who was the former aide to the president said he was gleefully watching the television on January 6th and watching it and even kind of smiling. I mean, is there anybody who believes Donald Trump was not watching cable news that day?

BURNS: No, of course not. And this is something he -- the -- his TV watching habit is something he lied about again and again as president. Obviously in the audio you heard with Maggie, after leaving the presidency, he's sensitive about that clearly for some reason.

But almost everything he said in that audio clip that you just heard is either an obvious lie or probably not the truth, right? And it really does capture --


LEMON: Wait, wait, wait. Alex would assume -- what's a distinction there?

BURNS: Well, I mean, you know --

LEMON: An obvious lie or probably a lie. BURNS: An obvious lie or probably a lie, right? Or at least some kind of sort of like fog machine.

LEMON: Right. I get it.

BURNS: You know, not quite a reality. And it does really capture the way he has dealt with January 6 over time, right? That first he was silent, then there was that sort of proforma denunciation as we've gotten further and further away from it, he has created this sort of increasingly farfetched mythology about what happened that day, who is responsible for it? Obviously not him. And not lie about the sort of capitol police and congressional leaders.

Often, he talks about a Nancy Pelosi and other elected officials on the capitol having sort of, really let their guard down in the run up to January 6th to sort of blame the victim there. It obviously is a strategy of just pushing away responsibility from himself as much as he could.

LEMON: Doesn't it, you consider everything that we just talked about when he talked about Elaine Chao and all of this, the rhetoric, is it surprise? It says more about the country, right? That there are people who would want someone like that who says stuff like that to be their president.

ALFORD: Well, Don, you were pointing --


LEMON: And people who imitate him as well, the little Trumps.

ALFORD: You made a really powerful point about, you know, someone does something to a member of the Asian community or the African- American community. We should all be outrage. But not everyone believes that we are truly part of the same community and the same fabric.

There are a lot of people who believe that the country is worse for having immigrants. The country is worse for having diversity. And so, even though we say this is who we are, deep down there's this ugliness that that persists. People who say, actually, no, you're not part of our community when we say America. That's why they think they are the patriots, right, even as they tear democracy apart in the process.

LEMON: Republicans, if you don't want your party to be called racist or bigoted or whatever it is, then you got to speak out against this stuff. Otherwise, you get tard with the same brush as what Donald Trump just said.

Thank you. I appreciate it.

So, he said that he returned everything the archives asked for. He said the documents in the boxes at Mar-a-Lago were newspaper clippings, and we know how that worked out. Right? Now, the Washington Post is reporting one of the former president's own lawyers refused to back him up. More on that, next. [22:20:00]


LEMON: So, we have a new development tonight. Sources confirming to CNN that former President Trump asked one of his lawyers back in February to tell the National Archives that the documents it requested had been returned. That lawyer, Alex Cannon refused because he did not believe the statement was true.

It turns out thousands of additional documents, including some marked top secrets were later discovered at Mar-a-Lago.

I want to discuss now with CNN's senior legal analyst, Elie Honig is here. Elie, good evening. Yet another twist and turn in these, the documents saga. Alex Cannon, Trump's attorney, pressed to say all the material was returned to the National archives, but then refused. It turns out there were still thousands more documents at Mar-a-Lago. If Trump knew that than, what does that mean?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Don. This is crucial evidence of Donald Trump's knowledge and intent, and these are key things that prosecutors look for. Let's play this out. So, Donald Trump says to his lawyer, hey, I want you to tell the archives that we've now returned everything to them.

This is after they return that initial batch of 15 or so boxes. That is false. We know that's false. We know there were not just a few documents scattered around Mar-a-Lago, but thousands of documents left and then Trump's lawyer responds by saying, I can't, or I won't do that.

Now, the only reason a lawyer would say that is because the lawyer knows, or suspects it's not true. Lawyers cannot lie to investigators to court. So, at that point, Donald Trump certainly knows that his lawyer believes this is a false statement. So, to me, this really is important evidence that prosecutors ought to be taking a close look at.

LEMON: Didn't, we had a similar conversation, I believe it was last week when we were talking about this lawyer who was sidelined for Donald Trump, and I said, well, --


LEMON: -- maybe they did not have a real irrational argument to come up with. And you said, well, they can always come up with something. Is that what we're seeing playing out here once again, a similar thing?

HONIG: It's more of the same, Don. This is a waving red flag. Anytime Donald Trump says something publicly or wants to argue something in court and his lawyers say, no can do.

The reason is, yes, as we discussed, lawyers have very broad latitude in the kind of things they're allowed to argue. You have a duty as a lawyer to argue vigorously for your -- for your client. However, you cannot lie to a court under court ethics rules and you sure as heck cannot lie to investigators, whether they're from the archives or the FBI because that is a federal crime to make a false statement to a federal investigator, potentially obstruction of justice as well.

So anytime we see this pattern Don, and you're right, it's been a recurring pattern. Trump says something publicly, lawyers refuse to say it in court. Then you should have your antenna up there.

LEMON: All right, Elie, this is fascinating. Because the Washington Post is reporting, it says that Trump himself packed the boxes that were returned in January. What are the implications of that?

HONIG: So that's actually really important because one of the big questions is how do these boxes get from the White House down to Mar- a-Lago, and then who sort of put them together for the piecemeal return that was made to the archives and then DOJ.


And what this tells us is that Donald Trump, hey, he's a hands-on guy, I guess. He physically put together those 15 boxes according to this reporting of documents. And so, somebody, and if you follow this reporting, it would be Donald Trump said, OK, these 15 boxes we're going to give back to the archives. What inherent in that is, but not the rest of these documents, not the other documents that are going to remain at Mar-a-Lago until DOJ gets involved.

So again, that shows me some intentionality here by Donald Trump. Some conscious decision making. Give them these documents, but not those.

LEMON: The Post is also pointing out here that if Trump continued to pressure that, that Trump, I should say, if Trump continued to pressure aides to make false statements even after learning the Justice Department was involved in retrieving documents that could be seen as obstruction of justice. Do you agree with that, if Trump continued to pressure aides, that could be seen as obstruction of justice. Can you speak to that?

HONIG: I do -- I do agree with that. If that reporting proves out, it is a crime to make a false statement yourself to investigators. It also is a crime just the same to pressure others to make a false statement.

That would be sort of an accessory to the false statements, and also, if Donald Trump was aware that there was a federal investigation going on, or that a federal investigation was fairly likely, then it also could be obstruction of justice.

And keep in mind, Don, these are very closely related, or in some instances, the exact crimes that DOJ cited when they went to a judge to get that search warrant in August. So, it seems like DOJ is thinking along these lines as well.

LEMON: Elie Honig, thank you, sir. I appreciate it.

HONIG: Thanks Don.

LEMON: So, I'm just back from Florida, right, on Friday, I came back. The death toll now from Hurricane Ian now at least 105 people, and questions are being raised over whether evacuation orders were issued early enough.



LEMON: Hurricane Ian's destructive path through Florida has now claimed at least 101 lives. And tonight, there are growing questions whether more lives could have been saved if evacuation orders were issued earlier, especially in hard-hit Lee County.


SHAWN CRITSER, PASTOR, BEACH BAPTISH CHURCH: And then when that evacuation order came, we're like 24 hours. That's, that's not a lot. But, you know, we'll --we'll still kind of make it. And it wasn't until Wednesday morning when we woke up and saw that it had made another adjustment. And at that point, it's just too late.


LEMON: Joining me now by phone is Dana Ferguson. She wrote out the hurricane in Fort Myers.

Dana, thank you so much. I appreciate it. We're glad that you're OK. You were at work the last day that, or I should say the day that they sent the evacuation notice, you didn't get home until 6.30. What were your options at that point?

DANA FERGUSON, RODE OUT HURRICANE IAN, FORT MYERS, FLORIDA: Well, I told my husband by the time eight o'clock rolled around, I was like, so no one is allowed on the street. We have about an hour and a half to go somewhere. Well, I guess we're just going to -- we're just going to end up staying here.

LEMON: So, at this point, you didn't think that it was going to what had obviously be, as bad as it was, but it wasn't even going to come as close to you as it did.

FERGUSON: Yes, the -- there was -- there was so much confusion of where it was going to go, and so what me and my husband did, we just, you know, we kind of just, you know, just, I don't know, just kind of prepared ourselves. I mean, it is hurricane season, so we knew to have our generator up and running and a lot of water and make sure our kids had food and us. Yes.

And they said that there was that possible storm surge, so we made sure the kids had their life jackets just in case. I've never seen a storm surge in Fort Myers ever out of my entire life. So, watching the water come in our house was really unbelievable.

LEMON: I'm sure. Listen, the question I'm getting is the one that everyone at home is asking is, why didn't you leave, right? Why did you stay? Would you have left sooner if you had been notified earlier?

FERGUSON: I believe we would've evacuated if we would've known sooner.

LEMON: Dana, thank you. I'm glad that you're OK. All right.

FERGUSON: Thank you.

LEMON: I appreciate it. I want to bring in now CNN national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem. She's the author of "The Devil Never Sleeps: Learning to Live in An Age of Disasters."

Juliette, thank you so much. You just heard from Dana there.


LEMON: Riding out that storm, the hurricane in Fort Myers, hindsight is always easier, but should officials have worn --


LEMON: -- residents sooner, you know, in these hard-hit areas, likely counting.

KAYYEM: I think so, and I'm probably one of the last people to do Monday morning quarterbacking, so to speak. I've been in the room when these calculations are being made, whether it's a snowstorm and calling a school day, or a hurricane evacuation. What you're basically, you're looking at modeling that's difficult.

You are weighing the risk of an evacuation. Those -- they come with some risk. And also, if you do it too much and there's no storms, people won't do it when there's a real storm. So, I just want to raise the counter.

In this case though, just looking at the totality of the facts, the Lee County officials knew a couple things. The modeling was actually getting better and getting closer to them. So, they certainly had sometimes. Surrounding jurisdictions had already evacuated. So, you kind of wonder, you know, what are they looking at that, once you second guess yourself, looking around you.


But third, their own emergency management planning it has a trigger point for evacuation. That trigger point had already been met even by the say, the least risky modeling, and they should have called it. So, in some ways, they put a judgment over a plan that probably would've been exceptionally -- was exceptionally thorough and sophisticated.

I don't see the point in the governor and others defending this at this stage. We have to learn and see what they were thinking and determining, just so, just because we all know there's going to be more hurricanes. We have to figure out whether these planning and trainings are good to get people to move, to make the decisions sooner. LEMON: Look, it's no matter how much you see this destruction, Juliette, I'm sure you can attest to this.


LEMON: It's just, it's unbelievable. You just can't believe that it's --

KAYYEM: It's unbelievable.

LEMON: As we're watching those boats just sort of strewn about. Is that part of the problem though, that these hurricanes so much that a lot of people don't believe --


LEMON: -- that this is, you know, this one is really going to, to hit.

KAYYEM: Right. I mean, we still, I -- we still talk in terms of a once in a lifetime hurricane, and I don't, you know, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to simply just be a scientist and look at the data.


KAYYEM: We are looking now at likely, I'm -- I'm looking at these numbers now. This is what I do. Just in terms of what we're seeing now. This could be a half a trillion-dollar disaster. You can't survive. I mean, you can't get the economy moving when you're -- when you're under that way.

That has to do, those numbers come from the fact it's going to be very hard to get people to still live there. It's going to be hard to get insurance. and that's just, that has nothing to do with just the disaster relief.

So, we need to find a more strategic way that we're thinking about these areas in terms of how we ensure, how we protect the uninsured, where people live, how we build, and whether we build more resilient. All of those questions are, you know, have to be asked now. I don't know if anyone has the exact answer. And we have to work with the communities there.

But the idea that our disaster relief money is just going to go out there with no conditions that people learn, communities learn, mayors and governors learn to build better. It seems like a perfect waste of money. Because I know one thing there's going to be more hurricanes, right?

LEMON: Yes. Do you expect the, sadly, the death toll to rise when more areas are reached?

KAYYEM: Yes, I do. We're sort of far enough away that I don't -- I'm not anticipating any surprises. I don't think there's going to -- there's a, you know, there are going to be a hundred people found that we didn't know what. There's enough connectivity that we certainly know what these numbers look like, but there's two types of deaths.

We're looking at sort of isolated people or communities that have -- that were people who were already abandoned who -- whose bodies might be found. So, you're going to get in the ones and twos. And then the other is of course what we talked about last week, which is, which is the incidental deaths or the deaths that are occurring not because -- not in the hurricane, but because of the hurricane.

Someone has a trauma, someone can't get access to the medicine they want, either some deprivation of food or water. That's why you're seeing this massive surge of just essential services at this stage just to head off any of those later deaths that occur. That wouldn't have occurred, but for the hurricane. And that those are the numbers that we're looking at, you try to keep those lower as well. But the number will go up.

LEMON: Juliette, thank you. I really appreciate it.

KAYYEM: Thank you. And thank you for covering the recovery because everyone thinks it's over. It's not over.

LEMON: Yes. I agree. Thank you so much, Juliette.

KAYYEM: Thanks.

LEMON: So, Ukraine making more gains against Russia in territory that Russia has claimed as its own. What's Putin's next move? Fareed Zakaria is here in the studio to talk about it, next. There you are.

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: They asked me to do a walk up here. So.

LEMON: Good to see you.

ZAKARIA: So good to see you.



LEMON: Ukraine forces are making further gains in the south, pushing toward the occupied city of Kherson. That's just days after Ukraine pushed the Russian military from the strategic city of Lyman. This comes as we're learning that the U.S. is considering how to respond to a possible escalation from Russians, from the Russians, including their potential use of tactical nuclear weapons.

Fareed Zakaria, the host of Fareed Zakaria GPS joins me now. Good to see you.

ZAKARIA: Pleasure. In person.

LEMON: And yes, in person. It's great. Listen, so Russia is trying to make this territorial claim, but clearly, they are facing these major setbacks in the conflict. I'm going to enroll this video because you can see, Fareed, that the Ukrainian troops driving through the newly reclaimed Lyman. How do you see Putin sham referendum playing out on the battlefield?

ZAKARIA: Well, it's looking a bit of a disaster right now because Lyman is strategically really important. It is a key logistical hub, so the fact that they've got it makes it much easier for the Ukrainians to keep moving in the east. Kherson is where the heart of the battle is. If they win in Kherson and they're moving forward every, every hour, they've gained 20, 30 miles, which sounds like a small amount, but it's actually a lot. It takes a lot to move 20, 30 miles.

Kherson is the heart of the battle because if they start moving through the Russian position south, it means Ukraine will live, you know, will be a viable country no matter what happens afterwards. Because they get back the coast, they get, it becomes impossible for the Russians to take Odessa or it becomes very, very difficult.

So, these are, it's almost like a pincer movement. This is very, very important. This is probably, we are witnessing the turning point of the war if the Kherson advances continue. Because if the Ukrainians can keep moving, they're -- they're essentially driving the Russians out of the most important gains they've made in 2022.

There's a whole bunch of stuff they did in 2014 and '15, which is a separate issue, but of the stuff they took these years, Kherson was, this area is the most important in the South. It's what blocked access to the sea. It's why the Ukrainians couldn't export their grain export food.


So, if they're able to continue to do this, it's huge. And as you say, Putin says he's an ex-territory, but then his spokesman says, we don't know exactly how much we have annexed. But we have to have discussions with the, the puppet rulers of those region. But one of those public rulers, by the way, seems to have just been assassinated. So, they love to find somebody else to have a conversation.

LEMON: So, I think you'll get this question. So then, what's going on with Putin? Where is he? Because if he doesn't, if he does not have an understanding of what's going on, right, and he is the guy at the top right? He's the puppet master there. Then does anyone really have an understanding of what's going on?

ZAKARIA: You, you'd have to imagine what's happened. Here's highly centralized power structure anyway. You know, in those kind of highly dictatorial, highly centralized power structures, bad news does not go up. Who's the person who wants to go to Putin and say, your idea to invade, to take Kyiv was a bad idea.

Your idea to do this, your, these were all bad ideas. So that's not what he's hearing. He's hearing probably the most sugar, sugarcoated version of all this. But at the end of the day, the thing about, you know, war is if you're losing territory, it's very hard to sugarcoat that.

LEMON: But, so to add to the last question, so now he's, you know, he's been ratcheting up this sort of nuclear, right, this saber rattling and these tactical nuclear weapons. And sources briefed on the most recent intelligence telling CNN that they've been developing contingency plans, the U.S. This is, the U.S. is taking this very seriously.

ZAKARIA: The U.S. has to take it very seriously. Look, Russia has 2,000 tactical nuclear weapons. Putin has twice now said he will -- he will defend this land by using every means possible. And so, the Biden administration is, taking it very seriously and I'm sure they're developing specific responses.

Now I haven't talked to them about this specific thing because I don't want -- so I don't want people to think this is some kind of an, you know, the -- I am -- I'm sort of leaking what the Biden administration is going to do.

But my sense based on previous discussions with senior officials about what to do in these kinds of situations is, it's most -- most likely the United States would not respond to a tactical nuclear strike by the Russians with a nuclear strike of its own. It would not, you know, the idea is they may behave irresponsibly. We are not going to behave irresponsibly.

LEMON: So, then what is the responsibility?

ZAKARIA: What they would do would be a massive conventional response. I mean, the, the U.S. could, just give you one example. It could do an air bombardment campaign that would essentially destroy every Russian military position in Ukraine, effectively ending the war. The Ukraine troops would then just walk into those positions.

So, if it decided that it was, you know, serious enough, the U.S. has that capacity. I don't think the Russians would be able to stop it. The U.S. has much, much better air capacity.


ZAKARIA: But they wouldn't use nuclear weapons in response.

LEMON: Listen, we just talked about it, but I think it's important to hear. This is a former CIA director David Petraeus what he said when he was asked about whether how the U.S. respond, but we talked about it, but let's hear.




KARL: We would respond by leading a NATO, a collective effort that would take out every Russian con -- Russian conventional force that we can see and identify on the battlefield in Ukraine and also in Crimea and every ship on the -- in the Black Sea flip.


LEMON: That's what you said. Best plan.


LEMON: That's the best plan you think?

ZAKARIA: I think that's a -- that's a, I mean, this would be a brutal plan and I think it's important. We're probably talking about 50,000 Russian troops. I think it's important to communicate to the -- that to the Russians. And last week on my program, Lloyd Austin, the secretary of defense, indicated that he had communicated to his Russian counterpart. The, you know, the nature of the American response may probably, obviously not the specifics of it.

So, I think the Russians are aware. My own sense is, look, we've all gotten Putin wrong, but right now I think Austin said this, which I think is correct. He's going to try this mobilization first. It's been a very politically painful thing. It's been very unpopular in Russia, 300,000 new troops.

Remember, none of them are out there yet. So first he's going to try that. He's going to see, and this is why the Ukrainians are going to have to keep pressing forward because the Russians are going to try and take back the ground, they're losing using these new troops. So, the Ukrainians have to keep pushing forward.

But I think they have a fundamental strategic advantage. It's their country, which means, you know, when you have a conquering army come in, the conquering army has to keep lots of troops in all the cities it take -- it takes because it's holding these cities against the will of the people.

When the liberating army comes in, it doesn't need to do as much of that because the people are securing the city for them. I mean, we saw this --

LEMON: Right.


ZAKARIA: -- in the, you know, in World War II when the Nazis would take cities, they had to, they had to use huge numbers of troops to hold them. The allies didn't.

LEMON: Does Russia have that number?

ZAKARIA: It does theoretically. I mean, it could if it did more conscription. Yes. It's a big country, 150 million people. So, I mean, they have 300,000 called up now. They could call up another three.

LEMON: Or if they were more organized. Perhaps.

ZAKARIA: Well, the whole thing has been a complete -- the incompetence, you know, part -- partly -- part of what we are seeing here is, you know, Russia as a, I think Kissinger said this, Russia as a military power has its reputation, has suffered a devastating blow.

Remember what was Russia's claim to power? Oil and guns? Well, what we're seeing is that the Russian military is just not that good. So, you know, I tell my friends in India, India military has bought for long decades all of its advanced military equipment from the Russians. I say, are you watching how this stuff is performing on the battlefield? Are you really sure you want to do this?

I predict that in the next 15 years, the Indian military will start buying a lot of American and French and British stuff and try to phase out of the Russian stuff. This has been a devastating blow to the Russians there. The military equipment doesn't function. Their men don't want to fight. Their soldiers don't want to fight. No. It's a -- it's a disaster.

But that is why you, your question about the nuclear weapons is so relevant because Putin is not going to sit still. He's going to fight back. My guess is he'll first try, try to take out Ukraine's energy and infrastructure, you know, in other words, bomb the power plants, put those cities into darkness in the winter. So, this may be a very tough period for the -- for those Ukrainian towns and cities. They're going to be without heat. They're going to be without light. But they will fight. It's their country.

LEMON: Always a pleasure. Make us all smarter.

ZAKARIA: Thank you.

LEMON: Especially me when you sit there and talk to me. Thank you, Fareed.

ZAKARIA: Pleasure.

LEMON: Good to see you.

So, she is one of the most high-profile celebrities and influencers in the world. Now, Kim Kardashian is facing a hefty fine over an Instagram post. We'll explain. That's next.



LEMON: Kim Kardashian shares a lot with her 331 million Instagram followers, but tonight she is notably silent about her legal troubles. The reality TV star was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with promoting a crypto company on Instagram, but never disclosing that she was paid $250,000 for the post.

She added a hash tag ad, but the SEC says that's not enough to comply with laws around touting investments. Kardashian agreed to pay nearly $1.3 million to settle. She's also promoting, or excuse me, she's also promising to cooperate with the SEC's ongoing investigation and can't promote any crypto securities for three years.

It's a steep fine, but according to Forbes, Kardashians net worth is estimated, this according to Forbes, $1.8 billion.

New developments in the Mar-a-Lago documents scandal. Sources telling CNN Trump's lawyers refuse the former president's request in February to tell the National Archives that all documents were returned. What it means for the investigation, next.