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GOP Leaders Condemn Trump's Dinner With White Supremacist; U.S. Men Team Beats Iran To Advance In World Cup; SCOTUS Questions Biden Administration's Authority To Prioritize Which Non-Citizens To Deport; NYC Mayor Orders NYPD And FDNY To Intervene When Someone Is Suffering A Mental Health Crisis; Will Smith Opens Up About Oscars Slap; Texas Family Reunited With Missing Daughter After 51 Years. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired November 29, 2022 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute" hosted by Anderson Cooper with special guest co-host Kelly Ripa live Sunday, December 11. We will be right back.
COATES: Republican leaders ramping up their condemnation of former President Trump for having dinner at Mar-a-Lago with Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist and holocaust denier. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying, there is no room in the GOP for Fuentes. But Senator Mitch McConnell going further, questioning Trump's fitness to run for office again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): There is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy. And anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, are highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: Also, today, former Trump -- former top Trump advisor Stephen Miller testifies before a federal grand jury investigating the January 6th insurrection, while Trump's former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Tony Ornato meets with the House January 6 Committee. We will get to all of that tonight.
But first, can we just start with what was a bright spot in the day today is now a bright light at night? The Empire State building in New York City lit up in red, white, and blue. Why? Well, they are honoring the U.S. men's soccer team victory over Iran at the World Cup. And just take a look for a moment at just how exciting the team was along with their fans as they return to their hotel tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: Families of the men's team are in Qatar to witness today's victory. Staying up late tonight for us and joining me now are Harry and Vicki Perry, the grandparents of midfielder Kellyn Acosta. I'm so happy to see both of you. Thank you for staying up late and helping us to cheer on your grandson.
I just have to know, what it was like in that moment? I mean, I am a mother of small kids. The number of orange slices you got to cut, the number of games you got to go to watch the kids run on these fields before they are any good. What was it like seeing your grandson out there in this way?
HARRY PERRY, GRANDFATHER OF USMNT MIDFIELDER KELLYN ACOSTA: It was fantastic.
VICKI PERRY, GRANDMOTHER OF USMNT MIDFIELDER KELLYN ACOSTA: Exhilarating. He's living his dream.
H. PERRY: Exactly. And it was just as much of an enjoyment for us as it was for the entire team.
I tell you what, the guys were fantastic, the people were fantastic. And this was just icing on the cake for us. He really made his grandparents proud.
COATES: I mean, I can only imagine what it was like. And talking about the energy in the room because, you know, it is not as if people expected the United States to -- although we all support them, there were a lot of people who did not expect them to go as far as they have gone right now. We are so proud that they have. But what was it like, the energy in the crowd? It wasn't as if you were the only ones cheering for this team. I mean, there was a significant, you know, spirit in the crowd rooting for the U.S.!
H. PERRY: Oh, it was. You know, since we are from the United States, we traversed nine time zones. So, it's extremely nice to have all the folks that were there from the U.S., the families. And, of course, it was a (INAUDIBLE) from Iran because they only had to travel across the Persian Gulf. So, it was ecstatic, it was electrifying, and we just had a phenomenal time.
COATES: And grandma, when you are looking at what has happened -- go ahead. Go ahead. I won't leave you out. Go ahead.
V. PERRY: It was just great. It was exhilarating to be there, to see the guys on the field, see my grandson on the field and playing, and the fans from the United States. It has been a fabulous job.
COATES: What I really appreciate at seeing was, in the presence of these players, was how, frankly, diverse this team is, to see the representation, to the see the spectrum presented, to see the world watching the athleticism and the camaraderie and the skill and the absolute positive, you know, spirit that these players had. What was it like for you seeing on this world stage this very diverse team?
H. PERRY: Oh, it was exciting. You know, not only racially diverse, it was diverse not in terms of -- most of the players are quite young, but it was diverse in terms of having players from MLS as well as from European teams. To see them (INAUDIBLE) together and players (INAUDIBLE) exhilarating and we could not have been prouder.
COATES: Well, Harry, Vicki, I'm surprised you still have your voices -- I mean, I'm surprised you still even have your voices right now. Are you sticking around for Saturday to watch them play the Netherlands?
H. PERRY: Hopefully, we can. But if not, we will be watching them on TV as well. We are hoping that we can, like I say, but we have to make some changes in our plans to do so. And if we are yelling and shouting (INAUDIBLE) --
H. PERRY: -- as well.
COATES: I'm sure I will be hearing your voices over everyone else as well. I'm so proud of your grandson. I can only imagine what it is like for both of you. If you do come back, nine time zones back, we will be here cheering alongside of you with snacks for everyone to have as well. So, I'm glad to see you guys. Get some rest. Congratulations. And please, let your grandson know that everyone is rooting for the whole team back home.
H. PERRY: Laura, we will do that. We would also like to shout out to our friends at St. Andrew for backing us as well during the entire match. We receive emails. We receive every -- not email but text messages every three or four seconds from people. And it was just exhilarating not only here but, like you said, over nine time zones.
COATES: I love it. And I see that you have -- Vicki, I see you matched the glasses to the outfit. I love it. I love the whole thing about it. It's wonderful. Nice to see you both.
COATES: You take care. Congratulations.
V. PERRY: Thank you.
COATES: Wow! I love having that bright spot, and everyone is rooting for that team. We will be watching on Saturday as well and waiting with bated breath to see what happens.
But, you know, sometimes the reality hits back home in Washington D.C. The sharp turns we take when we think about the politics here does not always put a smile on your face. And so, we will talk now about the Republican leaders who have been condemning Trump's dinner with the white supremacist and former Trump advisers testifying to the January 6 Committee and a federal grand jury investigating the insurrection.
Back with me now is David Urban. We are also joined with CNN political commentator Paul Begala. And CNN legal analyst Eliott Williams is here as well. I'm glad to see all of you here today and thinking about this. When we say, one more time, go team USA --
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER: Whew! Quite a turn --
COATES: I'm just saying -- well, that's the nature of the beast, my friend. We will do the -- what do they say in French? You've got to pivot. You've got to pivot, right? You've got to pivot the stairs.
But thinking about the pivots, I mean, frankly, there was a bit of a Thanksgiving pass that was given to many of the Republican members of the Senate and the House with respect to not coming out immediately and talking about that dinner. You are seeing condemnation now, far more widespread. Senator Mitch McConnell is speaking about this issue.
You know, when you think about this, Paul, the statements made by Senator Mitch McConnell -- I mean, he is already not persona -- he is persona non-grata with Donald Trump. So, that might contribute to it. But are you seeing a shift and a change in the winds here from the willingness of people to speak out?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Not really. Not enough. The Republican Party has to drive the extremists out. They were set up to win a landslide in this midterm. The high inflation, crime surging, trouble at the border, Biden unpopular, and they snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.
URBAN: That is painful to listen to.
BEGALA: But it's all true! Look, there's some history here. My party, the Democratic Party, 100 years ago, was the party of segregation, lynching, the most racist. The Ku Klux Klan probably had a dozen senators who are all Democrats. My party drove them out. They made the party of George Wallace (ph) the party of Barack Obama.
Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley helped to drive the John Birch society, which was a pretty radical right-wing group in the 50s and 60s, out of the Republican Party, created a modern conservative movement and made them a dominant party in America.
Republicans have to do that again. They have to drive these extremists out. And if that includes Donald Trump, and I think it does, it will be good for the Republicans, good for America.
COATES: Thinking about this more broadly, taking a step back, because you have, of course, this dinner, but you also have -- we also are focusing on tonight as well, David, and that is, and Eliott, the idea of Stephen Miller testifying. I mean, Stephen Miller is the first known witness, if I'm not mistaken, to testify since the DOJ appointed special counsel. This is pretty significant.
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: It's pretty significant
because, number one, it gets you very close to the former president. Now, look, the problem is we are not going to know what he said, and frankly, if anything that he provided the grand jury was actually all that useful or if he felt that he had criminal exposure and just pled the Fifth the whole time.
But it is a very senior staffer to the former president coming in and talking to a grand jury. You know, every day, we have these moments where we ought to step back and just think how remarkable that fact is. And so, perhaps when the books are written on this information on, this will come out, or if someone is charged with a crime, you will find out what he said. But no, it's a hugely significant moment, I think, in criminal justice history, but also in the arc of the story of Donald Trump.
COATES: How about the arc politically, David? I mean, just hearing about all the things that are happening -- there's a lot of news. Just tonight alone, Mark Meadows. You've got Stephen Miller and you've got a whole plethora of other things as well. You had Mitch McConnell talking about somebody being disqualified from office, not a too subtle nod to say, I don't want you to run. This is exhausting for the republican electorate, I would assume.
URBAN: Sure. I mean, listen, so, to Paul's point, right, in this midterm election, independents broke away from republicans in record numbers because of what Paul was saying, right? They looked down, they looked at their ballots, and they voted against extremism, right? So, they had a choice to make. They could pick a Republican or Democrat. And they were fearful that if they voted for the Republican, it would lead to more extremism.
And so, we need, as a party, Republicans, if we want to win, we need to do a lot of things. We need to win back those independents. We need to win back those moderate Republicans and moderates in America. we are not going to do so by having dinner with Nick Fuentes, people who deny the holocaust and the likes. I mean, a simple Google search would have said, oh, this guy should not come to dinner tonight, right?
I mean, there is -- it is just beyond -- it is beyond -- I don't even understand how did it happen, right? At the staff level, how does it happen? I promise you Donald Trump probably had no idea who the guy was. So, how he got in there is probably, you know, a very interesting story. Figure that out. Who is the staff person that let the person in the door, who said, this is a good idea for the president --
WILLIAMS: That's -- you know, all of us --
COATES: But he knew who Ye was, right?
WILLIAMS: All of us here, the three of us, have worked for elected officials in some way, right? And someone had to be in the room to --
URBAN: That is my point, right? Who didn't say, no, this is bad? I don't care if you are at the door. I don't care where you are. We've all done it. You (INAUDIBLE) say, this is not happening. Unfortunately, with the former president, we've seen this a lot with Mark Meadows and with other folks who are now testify before grand juries.
COATES: Well, the idea of yes people around people in power is not novel but certainly has been indicative of this prior administration. We'll talk more about this just ahead, everyone.
And the Supreme Court has questioned the Biden administration's authority to prioritize which non-citizens to deport. The legal challenge brought by two Republican state attorneys general. We will see what is at stake.
COATES: The Supreme Court questioning the Biden administration's authority to prioritize which no-citizen to deport. The challenge coming from two Republican state attorneys general, one in Texas and one in Louisiana, who say the policy goes against federal immigration law.
David Urban, Maria Cardona and Ariane de Vogue are back to talk about all of this. So, first, Ariane, flip the stage for us here. This case is about this tension, about what the Biden administration is able to set as priorities about who to actually pursue deportation against, right?
ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: What it really is, the latest battle between conservatives and the Biden administration, particularly on immigration. It has been an all-out war.
But here in this case, in 2021, the Biden administration set forth its priorities about which non-citizen who had committed certain crime could be deported. And the guidelines went through the priorities. They said, for example, that those individuals that are a threat to national security, public safety, border security, they would be prioritized.
But the guidelines also gave a lot of discretion, right, to immigration officials. And that is because there is something like 11 million non-citizens right now in and the government can't handle them all. And also, it's worth noting that other administrations, like the Trump administration and Clinton administration, they had set their own priorities.
But here, these two states, Texas and Louisiana, these Republican attorney generals say, look, this violates federal law. Federal law says that these people shall be detained, so these priorities are in conflict. And in court today, you could see that justice is really struggling.
On one hand, the conservatives did seem to buy into the fact that Louisiana and Texas had the legal right to bring this. And that's a big deal, right, because as Elena Kagan complained, she said, if you are going to allow Texas and Louisiana to come in here, then every time a state does not like an immigration policy, the federal government, they will be back in court. So that was one issue.
But when you got to the merits of its dispute, the harder the dispute, do these guidelines violate the federal law? The conservative justices were a little bit more torn.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Interesting.
DE VOGUE: You saw Chief Justice John Roberts, he said, you know, I see the language shell, but if we allow this, it is going to create kind of chaos because, in fact, the government does not have the resources to deal with all of this immigration. That was the heart of it.
COATES: Yeah, and thinking about this, the politics of what you described, you are both nodding along thinking about what is all at stake here, I mean, the immigration debate is raging still to this very moment. What do you make of this tension?
URBAN: Go ahead, Maria.
CARDONA: Well, it's exactly what Ariane said. This is the conservative states, I think, just trying to cause chaos, trying to be a problem for the Biden ministration. It's important to note that this goes back so many administrations, and what they call it is prosecutorial discretion.
I worked at INS under the Clinton administration. They were doing it then. Imagine now that there are double the amounts of undocumented immigrants in this country, and these attorneys general and these conservative states really believe that the federal government can detain 11 million undocumented immigrants tomorrow. That is what they are arguing. Number one, it's unrealistic. The economy would collapse in one day if we did that.
COATES: But isn't the larger issue, though, Maria, I would assume, for many Republicans looking at this is, why are there 11 million undocumented immigrants?
URBAN: I was going to say Maria is making the case for conservative Republicans right now.
CARDONA: Well, actually, no, because -- and this I think goes to the original argument. You and I have talked about this. Immigration is one of the most complicated issues that has really been an issue for so many administrations. This is not going to get fixed until Republicans and Democrats come together, in a common sense say manner, and we were so close, so many times, until frankly, in the last decade, it has been the conservative ultra-right-wing that has said, absolutely not, and they have blown it out of the water.
URBAN: Listen, I would like to see the vice president or the president actually go to the border, right, and make it an issue. I think that is what a lot of people -- COATES: Is that the only way to --
URBAN: No, no, no, but listen -- no, no, no, Maria, if you want to shine a light on it, you know this, the bully pulpit, the president of the United States has the biggest megaphone and biggest microphone. If it is that big of an issue for this president and this administration, he should go to the border and highlight it, say, listen, we've got to work together, Republicans.
CARDONA: Everyone understands it is a huge issue, David. We were so close in 2013 to come to an understanding -- the Gang of Eight had passed it in the Senate, comprehensive immigration reform, then it went to the House and John Boehner said, very clearly, to Barack Obama, President Obama, that he was not going to pass this because he knew it would pass with mostly Democratic votes.
President Trump could have been transformational on this issue, David. He also had an opportunity to do this. Chuck Schumer offered $25 billion in border security in exchange for some kind of legalization plan --
URBAN: Listen, I think there is got to be --
CARDONA: And they blew it out of the water.
URBAN: It's got to be comprehensive reform on dreamers and DACA.
URBAN: We got to understand that the people here are not going anywhere. We've done this before.
URBAN: We did comprehensive immigration reform. The notion of touch back, sending people back, it's not going to work. And so -- the Reagan administration, there was amnesty. I don't know if people are willing to do that. But we got to come together as a country and recognize there --
URBAN: -- is a huge, huge problem on our southern border. Huge problem.
URBAN: -- fentanyl, trafficking humans. It's every bad thing that you could imagine.
COATES: I tell you, we seem to have our marching orders, but not the bipartisanship to actually accomplish something. More on this -- CARDONA: David and I can do it.
COATES: I nominate both of you to do it.
URBAN: We probably could.
CARDONA: That's right.
COATES: Please, allow there to be a camera and Ariane and I will be there as well.
URBAN: It will get struck down by the court. They don't even respect --
COATES: You need her expertise. I mean, it's about shall, also about --
URBAN: The justice -- they will say the legislation is not clear enough because it is a shall.
COATES: We shall move on --
CARDONA: It's frivolous.
COATES: -- temporarily, everyone, because New York City's mayor, Eric Adams, is ordering officers to intervene and if necessary, involuntarily commit someone suffering from a mental health crisis. We shall talk about this new mandate next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announcing a major push to remove those with severe and untreated mental illness from the city streets and the city subways, announcing that now, first responders, including members of the police and fire departments, will be expected to enforce a state law that gives them the power to intervene when someone appears to be suffering from a mental health crisis and to potentially commit them involuntarily.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR ERIC ADAMS, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: A common misunderstanding persists that we cannot provide involuntary assistance unless the person is violent, suicidal or presenting a risk of imminent harm. This myth must be put to rest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: The announcement already drawing concern from civil rights activists. Let's discuss now with CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem and chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst John Miller. Let me start with you on this, Juliette, because when you're thinking about it --
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yeah.
COATES: -- and the idea of first responders and being able to, on one hand, ascertain in real time and assess whether the person has a mental illness, that sounds like a very difficult charge --
COATES: -- even given the concerns. Obviously, they've been raised by the presence of people who they believe might do harm.
KAYYEM: Yes, and I have to say the details are -- have not really been disclosed. This was a press announcement without a lot of details behind it. And he -- as I always say when teaching at school of public policy, what is the harm you are trying to solve? And this is where I think the mayor was incredibly vague. He talks about there is a mythology about what police officers can do.
So, what we need to make clear is that, first, this is not consistent with the movement in most jurisdictions towards non-law enforcement intervention in mental health issues. That's the rise of the 6-1-1 phone number, that if people do seem disturbed, even if nonviolent, you do not want to have police come in because of just the nature of the potential conflict.
The second is, of course, if you are saying, as the mayor was saying, that you can commit nonviolent people, perhaps even involuntarily, what is the trigger that is going to convince a police officer or a fire official that that person is in fact a threat? And that gap seems to me to be something that has to be filled by the mayor and public policy people. You cannot just throw the stuff out here without a lot of thinking because the danger, as we know, is real.
COATES: John, let me ask you about it. New York State did pass the law in 2021 that allows first responders to involuntarily commit someone in need of immediate mental health care.
You know, John, that there is a lot on the plates of law enforcement officials and first responders. There's a lot of criticism that has been leveled against them for their inability to decipher what is a mental health crisis from something that would initiate arrest proceedings, for example. I wonder what you make of this new policy and the implementation of it.
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: There's a lot of dependencies there, Laura. I mean, first of all, I think what Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, knows is he's in a homeless crisis. There's an estimated 48,000 homeless people in New York City. That's kind of the biggest number we've seen in New York since the Great Depression. now, the old standard was, for someone to be picked up and forced to go for a psychiatric evaluation or to be involuntarily commit, they had to pose serious risk of imminent harm to themselves or others.
The new standard has expanded. The law has not changed. The interpretation of it has. The new standard is persons who appear to be mentally ill and who display an inability to meet basic living needs, even where there is no recent dangerous act.
So, to talk about, you know, what are the standards, they give a number of case studies in the memoranda which are being studied, and there are co-response teams that are mixed with police and clinicians. But what they are trying to do is expand the ability to get people to help who clearly needed, even if they are not acting violently. It is getting cold, and they are going to suffer.
COATES: You know, the word I honed in on and with my civil rights background was those who appear to be something.
There's always going to be that moment of thinking about how does one ascertain -- is there training? Are there resources? Are they available? And the scope of the problem you described, even if at some point, won't -- they will meet a ceiling by the ability to actually be able to house and treat. But this is --
MILLER: They are at it now.
COATES: -- as you mentioned -- yeah, they're at it right now. As you mentioned, Juliette, and we'll talk about this another time as well as this unfolds, there has not been the level of details. That's the devil. The devil is in those details. So, we'll wait to see more information about how this all pans out. Juliette, John, nice seeing both of you. Thank you.
Well, Will Smith is now opening up about the Oscars incident where he slapped Chris Rock in front of the entire world. You won't want to miss what he's saying about that, finally, next.
COATES: Actor Will Smith opening up to "The Daily Show" Trevor Noah about slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars earlier this year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILL SMITH, ACTOR: That was a horrific night, as you can imagine. I was going through something that night, you know. And not that that, you know, justifies my behavior at all. I would just say, you know, you are asking, what did I learn? And it is that we just got to be nice to each other, man. You know, it is like -- it is hard. And I guess the thing that was most painful for me is I took my heart and made it hard for other people. You know, it's like, I understood the idea, when they say hurt people hurt people. I was gone, dude. I was gone. I was gone. I was -- you know, that was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: CNN has reached out to Chris Rock about Will Smith's recent comments, but we have yet to hear back from him.
Let's talk now with CNN contributor Nischelle Turner about her reaction to what we are seeing. I'm glad to see you, Nischelle, because I always look to your reaction for so many of the issues that are happening in the day. I wonder what you make of the statements that he has said, the idea of hurt people hurting people. And again, the timing.
We are almost in December. We are just now hearing after July -- it was on Instagram. He posted something. We are now hearing from him in an interactive capacity. what do you make of? it
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Number one, we are hearing from him in an interactive capacity because he has a new movie that is coming out. So, he has a movie to promote. He knows he has to do press for that. And so, that is why we are hearing from him. And, of course, when you sit down to do press for a new movie, you are going to get asked about this because we haven't heard you talk about it. So, I think that's, you know, know, number one, why we are hearing from him right now.
Number two, you know, I think it's interesting what he was saying, hurt people hurt people. I think all those things are true. I think that all of that us that night, as disappointed and disgusted we were with what happened, we all kind of said at the time, that slap was not about Chris Rock, that slap was about a whole bunch of other stuff that Will Smith was apparently dealing with.
You could see that. You know it was not about that joke. You know that joke may have been a culmination of a lot of things that maybe he had been bottling up. I will say this, though. Hearing him say he was going through something that night was very interesting because when we were on the red carpet, my co-host Kevin Frazier and I, and Will came in with Jada on the Oscar red carpet, they just kind of breezed by. It was very odd. He did not talk to anybody. He did not say anything. And that is so unlike Will Smith.
So, we both looked at each other that night and said, something going on? What's happening here? So, to hear him validate and say something actually was happening makes a lot of sense now because we did think that something was going on that night.
COATES: And, of course, one thing that was going on -- I will turn to my panel on this, Nischelle, as well, he was up for an Oscar. He was up for a win in "King Richard." And obviously, this all happened that night. I want to play for you guys, though -- he does talk about his childhood. He does not just talk about hurt people hurting people. He talks about the little boy inside of him. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: It was a lot of things. It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother, you know. All of that just bubbled up in that moment. That is not who I want to be, you know. You have known me for a long time. So, you know me personally. So, you know. But, you know, you all might not know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: And yet we feel like we do know him, Elliot, right? People think they know the celebrities. What is your reaction to this?
WILLIAMS: Okay, look, if he grew up in a home in which domestic violence was a norm, that is a profound tragedy, and we ought to pray for him and his family. It is a horrific thing that went on. That does not give him the right to assault someone on national television.
And, you know, like cry me a river with the hurt people hurt people nonsense. It is an explanation for what he did, but it's not a justification for it. And it is still a crime, it's still an assault, it was still wrong.
He should not have done it. And that was just a nonsense interview of a man who is trying to sell a movie. It is silly.
COATES: What do you think, Maria?
CARDONA: I think that he absolutely feels bad about it. I think that he is completely sorrowful that it happened, and he wants to make amends. The problem is the timing, right? Like you were saying, and Nischelle even said, that he could have been this remorseful a little bit earlier. He could have tried to speak publicly or explain that he has been trying to reach out to Chris Rock.
Chris Rock is the victim here. It is not him. Yes, he went through childhood trauma. And even like he said in the interview, there are people in the audience that are going through trauma right now. We don't see them coming out and slapping people in the face on national television.
URBAN: Listen, Elliot puts it right. There's no excuse for what he did.
URBAN: He went out and assaulted a guy in public and a big forum. I mean, it is not acceptable. However, I would just say, if he said, look, he was up there, he was talking junk about my wife, I lost my temper, I should not have done it -- I mean, more plausible explanation. He is obviously gone to counseling. He has met with some PR (ph) people who said, here is what we got to do to rehab yourself.
WILLIAMS: Here's the thinness of that explanation. Would he have done it if it were a woman who made the joke? Would he have done if it were The Rock or Vin Diesel?
WILLIAMS: He had his wits about him fully. He knew what he was doing. It is nonsense.
COATES: I seriously doubt if The Rock --
COATES: But again, you know, one never knows -- Nischelle, let me bring you back in here because you were there in the area. You were in the space. You cover this all the time. You have met with and spoken to and interviewed so many people who are in the limelight in these respects. I wonder, what do you make of the fact that, you know, he is not going to be able to escape this on the movie trail?
COATES: It is going -- it will haunt him, perhaps justifiably. It will be asked of him and also will be asked of Chris Rock until he speaks about it as well, which perhaps is profoundly unfair.
TURNER: Oh, it is. It is. And, you know, everyone on the panel is correct when they say Will Smith is not the victim here, Chris Rock is the victim here. Listen, we are talking to Will Smith tomorrow and we will be asking him about this when we speak with him tomorrow.
I will push back a little bit, though. I'm not sure that he was making a justification. I think he was explaining. I think that he -- back in July, he did make a statement which I thought he could have gone further in that statement, saying, I was wrong, it was inexcusable, Chris Rock did not deserve that, I reached out to him.
And I think he does realize and understand that there is a large faction of people who are just going to say what a lot of the panelists have said, like, cry me a river. I mean, so what? We don't care. I think there another faction of people that will be able to forgive him. I think that is kind of what he is starting to do.
I honestly -- I am so disappointed by what happened because I am a huge Will Smith fan. But I also don't believe, like he said, I don't think he wants to be that person. And so, will this go away in healing? I'm not sure. I think that he could have had a harder-hitting interview. I am not sure what that would have done, but Trevor Noah (INAUDIBLE).
COATES: I will tell you, Nischelle, you know I have been a prosecutor. And I have to tell you, it's very difficult. You meet people when they have made the worst decision of their lives, and then they meet you. And the idea that I have always been -- maybe not in all of my moments, but I hope to be, someone who believes in redemption. I don't know. It's always available in the court of public opinion. It's nice to speak with you, as always.
TURNER: Same here, Laura. And thanks to the panel, too. They were great.
COATES: They were. And they are still here drinking hot cocoa.
WILLIAMS: Well, I'm -- (INAUDIBLE).
COATES: No cocoa for you.
WILLIAMS: I'm not happy about it.
COATES: I tell you what, but you know what, there is some joy, and this is a story that is out there right now. Have you heard about this? Fifty-one years later. Their daughter had been kidnapped 51 years ago. And now, a Texas family is reunited. And it's all thanks to not police work and detective work, it's thanks to a 23andMe DNA test. The amazing story is next.
COATES: There is the most amazing story in Texas. A true miracle for one family. A woman has been reunited with her parents 51 years after she was kidnapped. The family saying Melissa Highsmith was just 22 months old back in 1971 when she was allegedly abducted by a woman who was hired to babysit her. Now, reunited. Thanks to a DNA match from the Ancestry Service 23andMe.
Joining me now is Lisa Jo Schiele, a genealogy and genetic enthusiast who helped to reunite this family. I'm so glad to hear about this miracle, Lisa. But, my God, what these families have been through in terms of thinking about 51 years. Tell me -- I mean, this wasn't a police investigation that led to this, this was 23andMe ancestry? How did this happen?
LISA JO SCHIELE, GENEAOLOGY AND GENETIC ENTHUSIAST: Basically, you have a family who wasn't willing to give up. Outside of that -- I mean, these commercial tests are amazing. They -- not only do you have 23andMe showing an obvious match, but you have ancestry. It is just -- all of this is completely unbelievable.
COATES: It really is. How did you come to be involved with the Highsmith family?
SCHIELE: So, I was called in to look at the results. And you had both of these platforms telling them what the predicted relationship was between them and these matches. And basically, when I came in, it was like, look at these, is this what we think it is? And absolutely, it was. So, it was not a hard genealogy problem to solve.
COATES: I mean, the idea of how this is coming -- just think -- I remember, in reading more about this and what the mother went through, the criticism and failure she faced, the idea of people questioning her, the not giving up hope, I mean, this reunification must have been so wonderful to be a part of.
SCHIELE: Absolutely. I mean, even just -- I live in Minnesota. Obviously, this happened in Texas. You've got a sister in Spain. Even from afar, this was amazing. And I'm on the other end of the phone, like, oh my, God, let me know what's going on. It is very exciting for everybody.
COATES: And really, just to see the pictures and to be part of this, even vicariously feeling it, and to know how increasingly these sorts of genetic tests are being used to unify families in ways we never anticipated, it really is unbelievable. Thank you so much for allowing us to hear more about this and see this reunification. It's truly beautiful to see.
And everyone, thank you for watching this moment and the program today. Our coverage does continue.