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CNN Tonight

No Assurance President Biden Will Run For Another Term; A Father's Love Is Immeasurable; Police Officers Turned Their Back To A Colleague; Lizzo Not Bothered By Criticisms; Mitch McConnell Ignored Donald Trump's Insulting Words. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired October 11, 2022 - 22:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: I'll be back tomorrow night with Anna Sorokin, or is it Anna Delvey? You know the fake Aris from inventing Anna fame? She's out of jail. She's in house arrest. She'll show us her apartment, maybe even her ankle bracelet tomorrow night, 9 p.m. Eastern. Until then, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the TikTok at Jake Tapper.

Our coverage now continues with the wonderful Laura Coates and the splendiferous Alisyn Camerota. Coates, Camerota, what else?

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Splendiferous.


COATES: I like it.

CAMEROTA: Jake, way to launch with two fabulous sit-down interviews. Those were super compelling and thank you for giving us a lot of material for tonight.

But with, with President Biden, what was your biggest takeaway from that?

TAPPER: I thought it was interesting how he wouldn't call Putin irrational, but said his goals and his speech were irrational. But, and you, you saw there like when, I guess I misheard or misunderstood, or I assumed he was calling Putin irrational after he said Putin speech wasn't, and he -- he jumped in and corrected me.

No, I didn't say that. I said his speech was, and I thought that was interesting. He trying to, trying to parse it a little bit and I, I not sure what the significance is.

Also, interesting that he's going to, he says he's going to -- there's going to be consequences for the Saudis. I wonder what they're going to be.

COATES: You know, I thought we parse it out. His point was essentially like, look, don't mistake him for a fool. He's doing this intentionally. And the sanctions will happen, has to come from somebody who he believes is acting rationally, even though it's illogical to many, wrong, amoral, all those things.

I do have an issue with your interviews tonight though, Jake. Is there a reason why you got the rock as opposed to splendiferous and fantastic?

CAMEROTA: Right, right. The rock couldn't have been happy about that.

COATES: I'm just -- I'm wondering about how that worked. Because Alisyn didn't like that.

TAPPER: I -- I am assume --

COATES: Just put that out there.

TAPPER: I'm assuming, I am assuming it's because he's going to run for president and wanted a D.C. based anchor.


COATES: That's nothing --

TAPPER: -- to establish a relationship with because --

CAMEROTA: It's true to be.

TAPPER: Does that make sense?


TAPPER: I mean that's --


CAMEROTA: That's the only thing that makes sense, I think.


TAPPER: Completely.

COATES: But that's a good try. That was a good try.

TAPPER: Certainly not, certainly not for brains or looks. I mean, so, the only thing I could think of is location.

CAMEROTA: Perfect.

COATES: That's the first rule of real estate and apparently journalism. Location, location, location. Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Jake. Thanks so much.

TAPPER: OK, guys.

CAMEROTA: We can't wait to play all of your stuff. It was great. We'll see you tomorrow night.

TAPPER: All right. Cool.


TAPPER: I'll be watching.

CAMEROTA: I am really grateful that Jake gave us all this material because --

COATES: I know.

CAMEROTA: -- that was very interesting. He had a lot of interesting points that he talked to President Biden about including the $60,000 question. Is President Biden going to run again?


CAMEROTA: Because he's given different answers at different times, as you know.

COATES: Well, it's not just, it is a million-dollar question at this point, because of course it's a domino effect, right? If he announces, will someone like Trump announce? Will DeSantis announce if Biden does not announce? I mean, it's odd. Here we are. Less than five weeks away, less than two years into a first term president. Yes, two-term vice president. And we don't know if he's running again. It used to be a foregone conclusion.

I feel like where we are today is a very different world and I -- I'm wondering if a little bit of it, is it age? Is it frustration? Is it the approval ratings? All the above.

CAMEROTA: He addressed the age thing and we will get to that.


CAMEROTA: So, let's bring in our friends from across the political spectrum to talk about this and more. We have with us Andrew Yang, Paul Begala, and Alyssa Farah Griffin.

Great to have you guys tonight. Thanks for being here. OK. Is President Biden going to run again? Should he?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He should, and I think he will. And, but here's how the dominoes fall. Slightly different order, I think, Laura -- than Laura suggested.

If Trump runs, Biden will because you saw it. Jake said, do you think you're the only person? He does think he's the only person? He didn't say that. He said, I think I can. Because he doesn't want to insult his vice president or a hundred other governors who want to run. Well, whatever. Yes.

COATES: And because he did beat him once.

BEGALA: He did, and I believe he thought that about 2016 when he chose not to run. So, if Trump runs, Biden, I believe, I mean, he hasn't like called me up about it, but I think if Trump runs, Biden will, because I think he does believe he's the only one.

CAMEROTA: And if he doesn't, if Trump doesn't run, Biden is not going to run.

BEGALA: I think -- I think then it's much more open.

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But that makes it difficult because he is leaving Democrats in this position where they're not grooming who it's going to be after him.

I've been surprised, like whether it's a Pete Buttigieg or Vice President Harris, they're not really putting these people in a position to be the best candidate they could be to run against him. So, Kamala Harris has been tasked with border security, a no-win situation that I'd argue she's not doing an excellent job on.

You know, Mayor Pete, an excellent politician, he's great when he goes on television, goes on Fox News and can communicate to Republicans, but he's overseeing a massive supply chain crisis. He's not doing anything where he has foreign policy experience, which again, if you were saying this is the future leader of the Democratic Party, you would think the institutions would get behind him and put him in a good place to run.

So, I worry that Biden waffling on this is going to set the Democrats up for a tough place going into 2020.

COATES: I mean, doesn't it tell you everything that people would be super excited to talk about it at the prospect of the Rock, Wayne Johnson running and no shade to him.


But the idea of it, what excites you about a candidate is usually the first thing, and then everything seems to fall into place. If I like you, if I want it to be you, everything kind of falls into place. If you start with the premise that, look, this is the lesser of two evils again. And we've been there. We've been here before time and again, where the candidate who's the RNC hopeful, the DNC hopeful and the public are like, I mean, OK. This is why you come in so interestingly, you've got this. Look at --



COATES: Look at my setup, Andrew.

CAMEROTA: Andrew Yang.

COATES: Enter the real-world party.

YANG: It's a great deal.

COATES: It's almost like you wrote a book about this mo -- about this notion, and you, you have a lot of experience here. I mean, that's part of why you think the two-party system is problematic in and of itself?

YANG: Well, I agree with Paul in terms of the dominoes that are likely to fall. I think Donald Trump does declare probably at the end of this year after the midterms, and then at that point, Joe declaring sometime in Q1 or Q2 of next year becomes very, very likely.

At that point you have two candidates whose combined age will be 158, I believe in 2024. And there's one poll that said 58 percent of Americans would want to consider an option aside from either of those two people.

And so, if you did have a candidate like The Rock who's a capital I, independent has mass appeal, and has a vitality and energy that frankly would be lacking from the two major parties, I think a lot of Americans would get very excited.

COATES: Isn't it -- yes.

CAMEROTA: I think we have seen Americans like celebrities to run for president or for office.


CAMEROTA: I believe we've seen that movie so to speak. But you brought up his age, and I don't know if our control room has this ready, but it is a sound bite from the president and Jake's interview that I do want to play if we can find it because he addresses the age.

I mean, Jake asks him directly. There are Democrats who think that you are too old and the president, I think, always hits this one out of the park. I mean, this one he's ready for whenever he's asked it. So, I don't know if we have that. You guys let me know if we do.

COATES: But do you think he hits at the park though? Because he keeps being asked the question and I -- and I almost feel like the more they have to ask him. And again, there is ageism as a part of this, right? He is going to be, if he were to run again, and you'll do the math for us at that moment.


CAMEROTA: You'll be the oldest, is what we need to know.

COATES: I'll the oldest. I'll be the oldest. But the idea here of thinking about just last night, remember Tim Ryan made the point of, look, I don't think he should run, he said. Because we need fresh voices, has the Democratic Party, frankly, the Republican Party had this conversation time and time again about fresh voices, not the institutional knowledge. I mean, that to me is the conversation.

GRIFFIN: Right. And I want to be careful with the ageism thing because it's less his age so much as generational to me. I think that a lot of younger donors, voters, millennials, Gen Zs, they want to see somebody who represents and understands their generation.

I mean, Joe Biden's been in politics for over 40 years. He's been on many sides of different issues. And while I'm all for politicians evolving over the course of their time in office, I think somebody who is more representative of, you know, where the majority of the country is, just in terms of their generation, is something that is kind of both parties would like to see.

CAMEROTA: And let me just quickly tell you what he said because we don't have it, but basically when Jake asked him, you'd be the oldest president in history. And what do you say to people who say that you're too old. And he says, if you think I'm too old, look at what I've done. Look at what I've gotten done. I've gotten more stuff done, he said than any president in recent history.

BEGALA: Well, as the kids say, I coached all my kids in youth sports. Right? And you start, John, you know what the kids say when they're winning? Scoreboard. Joe Biden in only two years has had the largest investment in the middle class since FDR, he's had the largest investment in infrastructure since Eisenhower. He's had the largest investment in healthcare since Obama.

He's had the largest decrease in the deficit since Clinton. First gun Bill since Clinton, prescription drug med, costs coming down for seniors. It was the fastest job growth in American history.

In other words, he has been the most consequential president imaginable. Not just the oldest and he is the oldest, but he's been so successful.

COATES: Paul, that's true.

BEGALA: Look at the scoreboard.

COATES: But yes. Here's the thing, the scoreboard. And that's, it's a great analogy. And by the way, I can't think of a better youth coach. I mean --


BEGALA: I was coach of the year, I'm sorry.

COATES: No, no, I was going to say, (Inaudible) to be very evident here.

BEGALA: I'm the youth basketball. It helps. My son was six-three on the basketball team.


COATES: I can see it.

BEGALA: Sorry, it made me a great coach.

COATES: I mean, that's going to give a layup. But you think about all things you talk about scoreboard, then why is that not translating for the approval rating?

YANG: Well, the tough thing is that he can give a quality answer. He can point to legislatives -- legislative accomplishments, but the fact is a majority of voters are uncomfortable with having a commander in chief, a president of that age.

I mean, it is unprecedented. I think the oldest president before him was 69 at election, and this time around he'd be 82 to 86. The fact is a lot of Americans are looking up and saying, if I cast a vote for an 82-year-old man, I may be casting a vote for his vice president.

CAMEROTA: But they don't --


COATES: Sorry. They don't mind Mitch McConnell, who's similar age. They don't mind Nancy Pelosi who --


CAMEROTA: I think they mind.

COATES: Well, I mean, they mind McConnell for maybe other reasons, but I'm thinking about Donald Trump. He's not that far behind.

GRIFFIN: Well, they vote for him.

COATES: Biden.

GRIFFIN: I think most, I think people have issues with the age. I think Donald Trump is too old. And Joe Biden is. I think that we shouldn't have too soon to be octogenarians run against each other with no other option.


CAMEROTA: I mean, I hear what you're saying.

YANG: Most Americans agree with you.


CAMEROTA: But who else, who do you think could win in the Democrat side?


YANG: Well, so this is the tough thing. I was with, frankly, someone who was going to run for a president against Donald Trump with the Republican primary. And the case he was making --



COATES: Are you kidding?

GRIFFIN: Don't make us thinking.

COATES: We're like, and that person would be?

YANG: I'm sure. I'm sure that the news will come out pretty soon. But --

CAMEROTA: Like tonight.

COATES: Like on CNN, like breaking news, Andrew Yang, it's -- we -- you looked around, where's, what's the news?

YANG: So, the argument he was making was a conventional Republican -- can defeat Joe Biden in the general election. And I said, fantastic. Generic Republican can't get through your primary and defeat Donald Trump. The fact is there may be four generic Republicans or moderate Republicans running against Trump in the primary, and they'll get steamrolled because he has, stranglehold on, let's say 50 percent of the primary electorate.

So, when people are trying to cast about for a, hey, maybe we should have new blood, maybe we should have younger candidates. The people that resemble that, if they decide to run in a primary, can see the writing on the wall that it's not going to go their way.

And on the Democratic side, I don't think they have a primary. If Joe decides to run for reelection, let's say that there are going to be a couple of people who would like to challenge him. I think the DNC shuts that down.

BEGALA: The DNC can't shut it. The voters will because he's done such a dog on good jobs. Democrats love this --


GRIFFIN: Well, the DNC will try to shut it down.

BEGALA: -- love this guy.

YANG: My gosh.

GRIFFIN: We've got --

BEGALA: The Democratic National Committee have a power to shut down (Inaudible) candidacy.

YANG: Well, no, Paul. Paul, if they open it -- if they open it up, you're going to see --


BEGALA: (Inaudible) they can't stop him from running.

YANG: You're going to see a number of people stepping up. And the fact is no incumbent president who's had a significant primary challenge has won reelection.

BEGALA: Right. YANG: Everyone knows that. So (Inaudible) with Democrat, we'll say, look, and they'll be leaned on. They'll say, cannot run against Joe. So you know who might run if they actually have an open process, people are already outside of the establishment, someone like Nina Turner, someone like Maryanne Williamson. And if you have a just a Nina Turner versus Joe Biden, Nina Turner ends up gathering a significant amount of support just ideologically.

And the last thing the DNC is going to want is for Joe Biden to have to debate Nina Turner six times. So, they'll shut that thing down.

COATES: How? I think your point is how?

BEGALA: The legal ballot --


YANG: We're going to all find out together. It's going to be a good time.

BEGALA: But she was Bernie's -- she was Bernie's co-chair. She's a former state senator.

CAMEROTA: No, we -- yes, we know her well.

BEGALA: That's how we all her name. Bernie won nine. Count of nine. You were there, Andrew. Nine contests, Joe won 40. I think Bernie maybe has more support than Nina. So, bring it on. What the hell are you worried about? I'm -- I mean, you're not a Democrat anymore, but I, I am. And as a guy who loves Joe Biden, that's fine.

He'll steamroll any potential Democrat --


YANG: Look, Paul, I was with --

BEGALA: -- and then go on and beat Trump.

YANG: -- the field in the Democratic primaries. And the fact is Joe Biden performed worse in the early states where voters saw a lot of it. And that's just a fact. Iowa --


BEGALA: Why is that? Why is that?

YANG: Look, I spoke before or after Joe Biden half a dozen times. And the fact is when he came off that stage, you know what people were not saying? That guy has the energy, the vigor, the like the --


BEGALA: And then all of a sudden, he developed it.

YANG: (Inaudible) primary. BEGALA: You're missing the most important thing, Andrew. The early states are full of white liberals. They don't like Joe. Then when we moved to real Democrats, African Americans in the south, they loved him and he steamrolled everybody. Because in my party, the heart and soul of the party are people of color, not pain in the ass white liberals on Twitter. I'm sorry to use bad language.

CAMEROTA: I think you could have touched a button here with Paul.

BEGALA: Yes. But that's the heart of my party. The Republicans should start with white Christian Evangelicals.


BEGALA: Because that's their heart. My party should start with people of color.

COATES: Well, let's start with the people of Twitter for a moment. Because everyone, stick around, because we got a lot to talk about and they want to weigh in and we want to hear from you.

You heard Jake's interview. You heard what's going on right now. Do you think The Rock should run? Do you like or do you smell what the rock is cooking? That's actually the tagline. That's how bring at (Inaudible).

Well, and anything else you want to say to Alisyn and me, within reason of course, tweet us at Alisyn Camerota and the Laura Coates.

CAMEROTA: All right. We're going to talk about President Biden's empathy because there was something that he told Jake Tapper that resonates with a lot of American families. He's talking about his son's drug problems. So we'll talk more about that when we come back.



CAMEROTA: We're back now with more from Jake Tapper's exclusive interview with President Biden. Jake brought up Hunter Biden, the president's son and the legal jeopardy that he could be facing.


TAPPER: Our reporting, CNN's reporting, and the Washington Post reporting suggests the prosecutors think they could, they have enough to charge your son Hunter, for tax crimes in a false statement about a gun purchase.

Personally, and politically, how do you react to that?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well, first of all, I -- I'm proud of my son. This is a kid who got, not a kid, he's a grown man, and he got hooked on like many families have had happen who hooked on drugs. He's overcome that. He's established a new life. He is, I'm confident that he is what he says and does are consistent with what happens.


COATES: You know what I found so powerful about that is there's also a clip that was played on Fox News, and it was with Sean Hannity.

CAMEROTA: Last night.

COATES: And I -- it was last night. Now we have not independently confirmed and corroborated this voicemail that was played through Sean Hannity is indeed the voice of President Biden, or a voicemail left, which is the White House to the Biden family, Hunter Biden's family as well himself.

CAMEROTA: But it sounds like him.

COATES: It sounds like him. I want you just to hear this because it's the way in which it was introduced, and I think what the intention was to actually raise the issue. Listen to this.


SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS: We are learning even more about Joe and Hunter's interactions, including this voicemail obtained by the Daily Mail from October of 2018 where Joe Biden is allegedly begging Hunter to get help for his substance abuse. Take a listen call.

BIDEN: It's dad. I called to tell you I love you. I love you more than the whole world, pal. You got to get some help. I don't what to do. I know you don't either.

HANNITY: It's actually sad.


COATES: Well, wait. This is actually sad because he then references the idea of applying for a gun and other things in conjunction with it.


I mean, look at your faces right now. You're all kind of grimacing a little bit, and I can feel that there was an ick factor there, to say the least, because of how impactful this is across the nation. What -- what do you think was the talking point that said, let's bring that up.

GRIFFIN: I remember, if I could jump in on this, Telling Donald Trump in 2020 during the election, you can go after Hunter Biden for legitimate allegations of wrongdoing. That's fair game. Do not attack his addiction or the way that his father has supported him throughout it.

Almost every American family has been touched by addiction. We have an opioid epidemic, any number of issues. My family has dealt with it. That shows a loving father. That shows a loving father supporting his son through the throws of addiction.

It is cheap. It is shallow. There's no benefit to even sharing that. I don't know what Fox is thinking and doing. So, and it just, it's just honestly and a gutter kind of move.

CAMEROTA: There was backlash on social media from after Hannity played that. They said, I don't -- I don't think Fox News knows the damage they just did to the Republican Party. Mocking a loving father desperately trying to reach his son who's struggling, desperately trying to save the only son he has left.

It was, Paul, to hear that, you do hear the desperation. I mean, to Alyssa's point, it's a universal, virtually a universal experience at this point in terms of knowing somebody or loving somebody with a drug addiction. And hearing what sounds like the president's desperation.


BEGALA: And people should know this, addiction is a disease. It is not a character flaw.


BEGALA: Cruelty is a character flaw. And I believe that Mr. Hannity is showing cruelty there and you ought to be ashamed of himself for dragging a hurt family into this. So, they -- Alyssa is right. Perfectly find, attack him if he -- if he did something wrong, that's fine.

What a contrast though, to at least reported conversations in books. Omarosa, former Trump aide, wrote in her book that Mr. Trump called his son Donald Junior, a foul up, different word. But that we all, we all remember years ago. But he went on The View with his daughter. He said, well, if she wasn't her daughter, my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her.

This is how he talks about his children. What a contrast with Joe Biden. Now, nobody is running for father of the year. But if you want to talk about parenting, my God, any kid in America would be honored to have Joe Biden as their dad.

YANG: You know, when you asked what would spur them playing that clip, it's just terrible judgment and a lack of moral compass. And to the extent it was supposed to be a political attack, it actually humanized the president, it made him seem like a caring parent that millions of families unfortunately, around the country can relate to. So, if it was a political attack, it backfired tremendously.

COATES: And by the way, I mean, it's not as if President Biden, who as candidate Joe Biden was the foil to Donald Trump, who was then president as the consoler in chief. Right? The idea that nearly most the speeches that Biden will give when he's called to have that empathetic bone showed it's the idea of the missing person at the table, the empty chair at the table.

And so it's not as if, President Biden needs help with people believing that he has compassion or that in that instance. So, I just wondered about that. And again, opioid last I checked, they didn't just impact blue states and red states. It is problematic --

YANG: It's everybody.

COATES: -- universally. And I just -- and again, one more thing. You know, President Biden, then Senator Biden had to combat the omnibus drug bill. And the idea that at the time he did not view drug use as anything but criminal and this, but trust that argument.

Anyway, just food for thought. Look, he defended the capitol on January 6th, everyone. But former officer Michael Fanone says that his fellow cops literally turned their backs on him. He's going to tell us more about that after this.



COATES: All right, so we've been talking a lot. I mean, a lot about political hypocrisy.

CAMEROTA: Because we have a lot of material.

COATES: There's a lot of material, Alisyn, a lot, and probably still more to come. And the focus for far too many seems to be well, power never principle, which is for many the problem with politics.

So, joining us now, someone who's experienced this all firsthand. Former D.C. police officer Michael Fanone, who as you know, defended our capitol on January 6th. He's got a brand-new book out today titled "Hold the Line: The Insurrection and One Cop's Battle for America's Soul."

You know, this book is incredible and the culmination, thinking about all the conversations that we've having over time that we've heard you talk about, to see it all in paper, to see it written. It's astonishing. When you felt -- you felt compelled to write it, tell me why.

MICHAEL FANONE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I mean, the main, well, I'll tell you that the main reason was I got tired of trying to get out, you know, to have substantive conversations about things like January 6th and my experiences and also policing and police reform in, you know, 60 or 90 second soundbites. Which I mean unfortunately is kind of how things work in cable news arena.

COATES: We didn't notice the soundbite world.

FANONE: So, yes. So, I was looking, I was looking for like a longer form, like a larger or a different platform to kind of compile all those thoughts and get it out there.

CAMEROTA: And you say some things in here that even though we have been talking to you for a year, or thereabouts, I haven't heard before. So let me read an excerpt from the book. One of them -- one of the things that you bring up is, basically how after you started telling the truth about what happened, your colleagues, some of your colleagues turned their backs on you.

And you say, it was not lost on me that most of the venom came from white cops. Black cops, for the most part, were supportive. From them I got handshakes and hugs. Most white cops avoided eye contact. A few literally turned their backs. What's that about?


FANONE: I mean, that was just an observation that I made. You know, again, like, you can draw your own conclusions.

CAMEROTA: But I can't. What is that? Meaning that the white cops were supportive of what happened on January 6th?

FANONE: I don't know. I -- to be completely honest with you, I don't know. I mean, I know that obviously there were a lot more white cops that were, like hard line Trump supporters, not just people that voted for Donald Trump. Much like I did because we saw the opposition to law enforcement from the Democratic Party in the post-Ferguson era.

And so, you know, for me, 2016, I was a single-issue voter and my issue was law enforcement. I saw the rhetoric that was being used by not all Democrats, but some Democrats. And I saw a direct correlation. You know, much like rhetoric that's being used by Republicans today and the violence that's ensued.

I saw violence being committed against police officers and we saw a surge in police assassinations in the immediate aftermath of Ferguson. You know, we had the assassinations.


COATES: You mean the killing of Mike Brown, that's your referencing, the riots that ensued after that in Ferguson, Missouri.

FANONE: Correct.


FANONE: Yes, ma'am. So, we had officers that were assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Officers that were assassinated in Louisiana, assassination attempts throughout the country and then here in New York City. I mean, I went to the funerals of those officers and the effects that that had on police officers was chilling.

I mean it was, you know, an environment where you felt concerned about putting on the uniform and going out into the public.

COATES: But that was -- now your book points out and a lot of the jumping off points comes around January 6th. And you mentioned that the former comments that you lead to be attributed to Democrats, now Republicans are saying it.

I mean, what is it like knowing that you were on the capitol? These are lawmakers that some of the comments, the frustrations, your honesty about just telling what you saw that day created backlash that made people want to -- forget this defund the police conversation, to silence officers, disrespect and harm them. What is that like for you having that?

FANONE: I mean, it's outrageous, but I mean, I've come unfortunately to expect that from, you know, our political leaders. I mean specifically now obviously we're talking about Republicans, but people like Kevin McCarthy, who I think viewed me as an inconvenience.

You know, it didn't fit the traditional Republican narrative that, Republicans are for law and order. Republicans back the blue, they back police officers. The Republican Party as an institution doesn't care about individual police officers.

You know, the Republican Party, I think like most politicians cares about public safety because public safety is an issue that people vote about. They don't vote about individual officers. And so, you know, the Metropolitan Police Department, the officers that responded to the capitol that day, the U.S. Capitol Police, we were an inconvenience. We didn't fit the narrative, like I said. And so, you know, we were, set aside.

And then in a lot of situations, we were attacked by, you know, the alt-right media. And even some of you know what you would, I guess you would describe as like mainstream conservative media like Fox News. I mean, I was parodied for my, you know, testimony before Congress and they talked about other officers and our response that day is having been a failure.

COATES: Is it that you didn't, you know, stick to the narrative or that you didn't stick to the talking point, like you didn't fit it or you didn't stick to it? Because it seemed like, and that was a lot of the conversations we've been having with people over time and hearing is about the way that there has been a reaction, not just in law enforcement. But for those who are members of Congress, those who are running for office, who want to say and speak the truth about what happened on January 6th, you're not praised for that. You're punished.

FANONE: Absolutely. I mean, because right now the Republican Party is held hostage by Donald Trump. And Donald Trump supports those who went to the capitol that day, to participate in an insurrection. And so, Republican lawmakers have to walk that fine line of not angering Donald Trump, and also not being seen as anti-law enforcement.

And so, what they've done, for the most part is just ignore us. Choose not to address the issue at all, which is cowardly. And then you've had a few of, you know, what I call like the tinfoil hat squad. The Marjorie Taylor Greens, the Paul Gosars, the Andrew Clyde's. You know, people that have made some of the most outrageous statements about that day saying that it was a peaceful protest, that these people were patriots.


I mean, these weren't patriots in any sense of the word, not even in the most traditional sense. Most of these guys, when you look into their backgrounds, they were criminals. They were people that had prior arrests for drug trafficking. They were people that had prior arrests for spousal abuse.

These were not people that you would typically see held high by the Republican Party as American patriots. They were misfits, they were morons, and they were malcontents. But those are the people that flock to Donald Trump and his, you know, bombastic approach to politics. And they were the people that were easily manipulated and turned against true patriots that were the police officers that were there that day, and the members of Congress that were doing their job.

CAMEROTA: Such a great point, Michael. I mean, just because you carry a flag doesn't make you a patriot. It's always fascinating to talk to you and your book is really fascinating as well. And it'll be things that people have never heard about that was go -- that are going with you behind the scenes. It's called "Hold the Line."

Thanks for talking to us about it. Great to have you here tonight.

FANONE: Thank you guys.

COATES: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I really appreciate it. We have so much more to talk about. So, you heard Jake's interview where The Rock said that he is seriously -- he's seriously considered running for president, but he's -- well, he'll tell us when. OK.

But we asked you, do you think The Rock should run? Here's what Vincent has told us already. The Rock would not only be the people's champion, but the people's president, and I'm here for it. So that's a yes. I think, Laura.

COATES: I think it's a, heck, yes. About that point in time. It's not the first, I mean, I'm, you know, I'm from Minnesota, so the idea of a former wrestler.


CAMEROTA: You like that.

COATES: I mean --

CAMEROTA: You like, you understand it. You're familiar with it.

COATES: I understand. I can relate to Jesse Ventura notion of it and The Rock certainly has surpassed that. Anything else you want to say to Alisyn and me right now within, I got to keep clarifying. Anything else you want to say with Alisyn --


CAMEROTA: Keep it clean is what she's trying to say.

COATES: Keep it clean. All right, because you know, we, we do have Fanone next. He's leaving soon.


COATES: So, we can't have that happen.

CAMEROTA: And he'll -- he'll beat you up if you don't.

COATES: Will, will you?

FANONE: It's possible.

COATES: Tweet us, Alisyn Camerota and the Laura Coates, everyone. Coming up.

CAMEROTA: All right. She's won an Emmy, she's won a Grammy, and everyone has an opinion about her. What did Lizzo do now?



CAMEROTA: Just like Cher, Madonna, and Beyonce, Lizzo is famous enough to go by one name, just like the Laura Coates, even though those are three words.

COATES: She's in Minnesota too, by the way. Shout out to Minnesota.

CAMEROTA: That is good. That's very cool. So, she's a singer and a musician. She's a proud, confident black woman who seems to push a lot of buttons for some people. Just this month, she's upset everyone from conservative Ben Shapiro to provocateur Kanye West. Why? Let's bring in our panel.

Nayyera Haq is here. She joins us. She's a Democratic strategist who worked in the Obama White House, also here Mara S. Campo. She's one of -- TV One's host on Last Words, and Alyssa Farah Griffin is back with us.

Ladies, great to have you here.

UNKNOWN: Thanks for having us.

CAMEROTA: So, Alyssa --


COATES: I love this all women panel by.

CAMEROTA: I love it too.

COATES: I'm just saying to you right now.

CAMEROTA: I love it too.

COATES: This is where we need to be. CAMEROTA: So, Mara, I find Lizzo so appealing, truly, like I find her

physically very pretty. I find her so captivating like when she talks, she's very charismatic to me.


CAMEROTA: So why is she pissing people off?

CAMPO: Well, you know, she seems to piss people off simply for existing. You know, she rubs a lot of people the wrong way because it's almost like they expect her to be miserable and self-loathing and perpetually dying.

CAMEROTA: Because she's heavy.

CAMPO: And so, yes. And so, the fact that she owns her status as a fat black woman. Those are her words, not mine. She loves herself. She thinks she is beautiful and sexy. That seems to bother a lot of people. And it ties to this larger issue of fat phobia, which seems to be one of the remaining areas of society where people think that they can comment on other people's lives, and its disguise as this concern for their health.

But meanwhile, lots of other overtly unhealthy behaviors are not publicly criticized. People smoke cigarettes in peace all the time.

COATES: You mean like when Jill Michaels did it? I mean there, remember the -- from the -- one of the hosts, The Biggest Loser, and I'll come back to this point when she made the comment, well, here it is when she talks about the idea of why don't people celebrate her music and commenting from a place of concern, remember this?


UNKNOWN: And I love that they're putting images out there that we normally don't get to see of bodies that we don't get to see being celebrated. And --

JILLIAN MICHAELS, FITNESS EXPERT AND LIFE COACH: But why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? That's what I'm saying, Like, why aren't we celebrating her music? Because it isn't going to be awesome if she gets diabetes.

UNKNOWN: Well, I want to ask you --

MICHAELS: I'm just being honest, like I love her music. Like, my kid loves her music. But there's never a moment where I'm like, and I'm so glad that she's overweight. Like why do we, why do I even care? Why is it my job to care about her weight?


COATES: Now she does come back though. I want to be fair. She did. She got a lot of flak for that comment and she came back to address that. I think it was on Twitter when she said this. Do you see it up there? It was Instagram? Instagram. Twitter. It might sound old now, the gram. She addressed it on social media defending herself in some way didn't really go all that well.

But I mean, just the idea of thinking about the why. I mean, you wanted to jump in as to the why. Do, do men get this? I mean, do men get this con -- these comments about it, and here's what you said on the Instagram, but do men get the comment, the fixation on how they look? No.


NAYYERA HAQ, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: No. And let's take a look at this panel on how we've all come prepared and looked a certain way. I guarantee that other men on here are not nearly as concerned about having everything exactly the right place. And that's what I found so refreshing about Lizzo.

And I had a hard time with her at first because I was like, I don't -- I don't understand, like, wait, she's -- she plays the flute and she can rap and she can do splits and she's heavy. Like, this is a lot that I'm absorbing right now.

But the part that I realize I'm struggling most was her radical self- love. Because she showed us that you should love yourself or who you are right now. And that was not something I was used to hearing or even experiencing. Because I'm constantly in that face of, I can be better, I can do more and be better.

And she's like, love yourself right now. Let's embrace it. And that really seems to bother people.

COATES: Let's agree right now to stop calling her heavy. First of all, I'm going to tell everyone this right now.


CAMPO: She calls herself that.

COATES: She does. Yes, she does. But here -- but here's the issue. I mean, and we mentioned the flute one second. She got -- she got hate for the flute.

CAMEROTA: Well, she got hate for sort of --

COATES: She got hate for playing the flute.

CAMEROTA: For twerking with James Madison's flute. She has done (Inaudible) fantastic --

COATES: She's a (Inaudible) way worse than twerking. I know.

CAMEROTA: I don't think his flute minded this moment.

COATES: Here is the moment.

CAMEROTA: So, she was -- she's such a great musician and she's a classical flutist. OK. So, she was here playing, and I think you, it's hard to see, but at this moment she gets this rousing applause. And then I think she --


COATES: It's a crystal flute.

CAMEROTA: It's a crystal flute, and I think you're going to see that she twerks. But I mean, it's -- it's truly, that's it. OK. The end. The end. It was like a one second thing. And, you know, Ben Shapiro who's a well-known conservative said that that was sort of degrade.

He said, again, I'm correct. Lizzo's performance wearing actual clothing in the Library of Congress was delightful. That was something different. Twerking with pieces of American history is however degrading and vulgarizing, and that's the clip the media celebrated. I don't know about the media, but why is he so bummed out?

GRIFFIN: I honestly, it's worth watching the Ben Shapira thing if you haven't, because it seems like a parody, like if western civilization is so fragile that Lizzo twerking with James Madison flute is going to throw you into a tailspin, like we should just call it a day.

But that moment, actually I loved it so much. The thing about her that's so capitating is her confidence and her excitement, and you could tell she genuine -- genuinely appreciated the history of it. None of us, I bet even knew that James Madison had this flute until she went to the Library of Congress.

By the way, a black woman going to the Library of Congress playing a flute of a former senior --


COATES: Under a black Librarian of Congress.

GRIFFIN: Under the first, I believe.

COATES: The first librarian of Congress.

GRIFFIN: That's a cool powerful. American moment. I'd argue a conservative should be proud of it. She's a success story and something we should be proud of, but it has a way of triggering certain people. I don't know what it is about her. I love her. I'm Lizzo all day long.

COATES: She's on the cover of Vanity Fair, by the way.

GRIFFIN: She is.

COATES: I mean she's also having to respond to Kanye West who wanted to weigh in on her as well. Because you know, his opinion is so invaluable.

CAMEROTA: Well, he talked about her weight as well, and he said that, you know, basically that why is being overweight the new goal. And she said -- he said it's demonic. But basically, he said it's demonic that people are promoting that. She said, I'm minding my fat black, beautiful business.

CAMPO: But also, I mean, Kanye West is making this point about her health, right? He's saying he's concerned about her health when this is someone who is clearly neglecting his own mental health. So why does he have a right to comment on what she is doing with her body when she is bothering nobody?

HAQ: Because apparently America loves to hear from people who want to pick on black women on television.

CAMPO: It's a sport.

HAQ: That's a --

CAMPO: It's a national sport.

HAQ: That is part of that, right, of what we're seeing here is that she represents so much of what is complicated about America's moment right now and our history that her even celebrating and being in awe of playing James Madison's flute had people saying, well, you know, why aren't we celebrating white person playing his flute? I'm like, it's, you know, let's put some context here. Right.

At the founding of our country, James Madison said that revolutionary principles were against slavery, yet he brought slaves to the White House, right? So, this is part of what she was unpacking in that moment and should be celebrated for that experience.

COATES: Is it the moment we should plug my social media? Has he'd been going to attack other black woman? No. You think so.


CAMPO: I don't think we need to plug it to get those --

CAMEROTA: No. You're getting lovely comments.

COATES: Well, you know, I'm going to tell you something. Here's the lovely comment for Lizzo. I think we can all agree. I'm so glad about your artistry and your talent. Full stop.

Everyone, thank you. Speaking of talent and full appreciation, I'm just kidding. What did Mitch McConnell --


CAMEROTA: I'm wondering about this segue? I was waiting for this segue.

COATES: What did Mitch McConnell say in response to Trump? Well, hurling some insults to his wife. I'm going to tell you about it, next.


CAMEROTA: Can you play a flute? I don't know. We'll find out. COATES: I actually, maybe you can.



COATES: So, Donald Trump recently took to his social media web site to, well, to insult Senator Mitch McConnell and level a racially charged dis at his wife, Elaine Chao. Trump referred to her as McConnell's quote, "China loving wife," and these are his words, "Coco Chow," how insulting. And he also said that McConnell has a death wish, which as you can imagine is particularly dangerous rhetoric at a time like this.

Well, today, CNN caught up with Mitch McConnell and when he was asked about Trump's comments about him, and of course his incense, McConnell said quote, "I don't have anything to say about that." Now, he then was pressed further. Don't take out of context. He was asked more about the racist comments about his wife, which McConnell did not want to respond to that specifically apparently, but he did say, the only time I've responded to the president, I think since he left office is when he gave me my favorite nickname, Old Crow, which I considered a compliment, and after all it was Henry Clay's favorite bourbon.

How's that for Kentucky? I mean, I got to say the idea of him not commenting at first blush, Alisyn is kind of like, why wouldn't you comment? Why wouldn't you respond in some way? He's insulting your wife, she's a member of his cabinet. Then it's almost maybe a, is it sort of a kick rocks?


CAMEROTA: Yes. It's that he doesn't want to poke the bear and I understand that like not no good comes from picking a fight with Donald Trump. However, isn't there a way to just take the high ground and say something to the effect? I mean, like, I think Mitch McConnell missed an opportunity because he could have just said, I consider it low class to insult someone's wife or someone's spouse. That's it.

Like he doesn't have to say Donald Trump's name. But I just think that just walking away and pretending that didn't happen, I don't know if that's the most effective thing or if it stops Donald Trump from then insulting you in the future. Tell us what you think. What is the right response if someone insults your spouse. You can tweet us at Alisyn Camerota and at the Laura Coates.

COATES: And everyone, next big sit down with Dwayne the Rock Johnson, not with us, with Jake. Would he ever consider a run for office? Seriously. Yes. And what is it about celebrities that make best think that, well, maybe they'd make great presidents or great governors or anything else.