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CNN Tonight

No Special Treatment to Former President Trump; Two Former Trump Lawyers Were Asked to Testify; Barack Obama's Appeal Not Fading With Supporters; Pomp And Circumstance At The White House; LeBron James Calling Out Media's Double Standard; All Eyes To Saturday's U.S.-Netherlands Match. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired December 01, 2022 - 22:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Well, good evening, everyone. I'm Laura Coates, and this is CNN TONIGHT.

And look, there is a lot going on tonight. And a big loss for the former president. A federal appeals court is saying no to that special master review of documents that were seized at Mar-a-Lago.

And this is first on CNN. A federal judge is ordering the former Trump White House attorneys Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin to now testify in the DOJ's criminal investigation of the then president's effort to overturn the 2020 election.

Plus, the Georgia Senate runoff is only now five days away and a sign of just how crucial this race really is. Well, look who's out on the campaign trail tonight, campaigning for Raphael Warnock and saying this about Herschel Walker.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Since the last time I was here, Mr. Walker has been talking about issues that are of great importance to the people of Georgia. Like whether it's better to be a vampire or a werewolf. This is a debate that I must confess, I once had myself when I was seven.


COATES: That's when you do at the end of it when you hear that, that's what just happened. And as his former boss is campaigning tonight, President Joe Biden and First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden are holding their first state dinner hosting French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte. And surprise there's controversy about the menu.

We've got a lot to talk about tonight. And here with me, national security attorney Bradley Moss, also Liam Donovan, former National Republican Senatorial Committee Aide, and Tia Mitchell, Washington correspondent for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. First of all, can we just take a second to react to the laughter in

that crowd. I mean, this is crunch time, right? This is not essentially thinking this is the general, you're a little bit more composed and thinking, let's sort of have a different take.

That for President Obama was really going at him.

TIA MITCHELL, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: Yes. And that's been a theme I would say in the last few days of Warnock's campaign, is using Herschel Walker's own words against him, and they're running a really, an ad that's gone pretty viral.

That's just voters reacting to Herschel Walker's --

COATES: With the headphones.

MITCHELL: Yes. Yes. And it's very powerful because quite frankly, it's what we've been hearing from Georgia voters, not all of course, but a lot of Georgia voters have been saying the same thing kind of throughout the campaign. Like, is this guy serious? Why is he being taken seriously.

COATES: What's your reaction to it, Liam?

LIAM DONOVAN, FORMER NATIONAL REPUBLICAN SENATORIAL COMMITTEE AIDE: I just watched President Obama out there having fun. I mean, this is a role he, even to the extent that he ever was out on the trail, doing these sorts of things, he wasn't able to play that attack dog role. He is having fun. He's mixing it up.

I think this is a role that Biden would've played on his behalf and now that the shoe is on the other foot. So, I think he's really feeling that role.

COATES: We'll see if the voters agree with the role of it, but you know, he might be a former president having some fun. Brad, you know, who's not having fun tonight? I'm guessing another former president, hoping to be president again.

This was a very significant ruling by the 11th circuit to say, you know, that special mastered reviewed these documents that you took from the White House to Mar-a-Lago and why they're still there. No. Tell us why this is so significant.

BRADLEY MOSS, NATIONAL SECURITY ATTORNEY: Yes. If you're at Mar-a- Lago, hide the ketchup bottles, things are going to get start getting thrown. So what the 11th circuit did was it shut down this entire special master probe. It said that Judge Cannon, the judge out in Florida, who originally authorized the creation of this oversight had it exceeded her authority.

She never had jurisdiction to look into it in the first place. And what the 11th circuit outlines in this 21-page ruling was that the former president never put forward any facts, never put forward any sworn declarations, anything that would've backed up his claims, that there was constitutional violations, that there was some irreparable harm.

This was a ruling, basically saying, we don't know what you were thinking, Judge Cannon, but you got it wrong. This whole thing is being shut down now.

COATES: I mean, it's almost seemed like the -- their argument was, well, but I'm special. Right? But I'm the former president and you can't do this to a former president. That was the talking point about the audacity of executing a search warrant, although, albeit one that was validly issued.


But still the fact that it went to Mar-a-Lago, that did not fly for this court because they were thinking about precedent, which we know it's kind of a taboo word and thinking about how it's overturned recently in Washington, D.C.

But Brad, the idea of they didn't want to set precedent that said that this was somehow so special that when DOJ wanted to have an investigation and have a search warrant, but just because you didn't want it to happen, you got a pass.

MOSS: Yes. So basically, when the 11th circuit outlines it in this ruling, what they say is there's normal precedent, normal case law, which we're going to abide by. There's a second option, which is all criminal suspects. Whoever is subject of a search warrant could get this kind of process. We don't certainly think that's viable.

And there's a third option. The Judge Cannon option, which is Donald Trump is just Uber, Uber, Uber special and deserves this because he is Donald J. Trump, the former president. That wasn't a route they were willing to go. There was no basis to have done it in the first place. They stuck to where the law is right now. The Supreme Court will have the ultimate to say if they want to intervene.

COATES: If they want to intervene. And of course, Liam, when you think about it, you have not only the lawyers who are now the counsel thinking about these issues, but you've got the lawyers that we all know, the Patrick Philbin, right, the Pat Cipollone's. These are significant figures. And the overall thought about White House counsel and discussing the presidency more broadly.

What do you make of the fact that this is happening now that they are saying that they have to actually testify in a criminal grand jury probe. That's significant politically, too.

DONOVAN: I know this is helpful. I mean, look, this is a president who needs to be growing his coalition. He just lost an election in 2020. He's coming off an election where he had a significant, you know, downward effect on what should have been a much better election for Republicans. So, he needs to be growing his base of support, not shrinking it.

The longer these are in the headlines, the worse it is for him. I think there's a tendency to say nothing matters. These opinions of Donald Trump are baked. And that might be true on the Republican side, at least among the 30 to 40 percent of the party that is rock hard for him. But the rest of the country is not like that. And I think there's a level of fatigue even on voters who might have voted for him in '16 and potentially even in 2020.

COATES: I mean, it really feels in many respects, like you're bringing like the baggage with you, right? It's almost like the, you've got the issue of whether it's exhausting and whether this is enough to get voters to be motivated to keep coming out.

It's not as an attractive candidate just thinking of the baggage alone. But part of this baggage on Capitol Hill is about what we're all waiting for, Tia. We're waiting for this report from the January 6th committee that goes beyond what we've seen in testimony that's already been aired. Right?

And we know from Congressman Zoe Lofgren, who was speaking today earlier, that the committee intends to actually release all the findings and to prevent the GOP really from having a talking point, which they've had for quite some time about this being a political witch hunt, not a bipartisan endeavor.

Listen to what she had to say earlier today on her own airwaves.


REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): Well, they've been pretty clear that they'd like to undermine the work that we've done, but we're going to prevent that. We're going to release all the information we've collected so it cannot be selectively edited and spun.


COATES: Will this be effective enough to just say, you know what, this, this will stop the spin. This feels like a bit of a fool's errand to avoid it entirely, but will it be partially effective?

MITCHELL: Yes, I don't, I don't think it'll stop the spin from Trump and his allies and those conservative Republicans that no matter what, they're going to always have a problem with the January 6th commission.

However, the select committee, but I think it will help with the general public because we've sewn -- we've seen that the committee has been very effective in how it's conducted itself, the hearings and if it shows its work and is very transparent, I think most people will kind of, take that in good faith.

Again, not on -- not on the extremes, but that's -- those people, their minds are never going to be changed really anyways. But a lot of Americans, I think have a lot of faith in the committee and a lot of interest in the committee. And so, I think the more information the committee provides, it'll be consumed.

COATES: You know, I had a flashback to the lesson of my third-grade teacher, Laura, just show your work and then whatever answer you reach we'll believe it. That's the -- that's the crux of it. I mean, the idea of can of building credibility of showing the work, because it really does undercut to your very good point. The idea of, look, here's what we have. You can interpret how you will, but here's what it is.

I still have questions of course, about what that's going to look like guys, because there were certain agreements that were made about the testimony that was given. And so, if you're releasing everything, will names be redacted, will personal data, I'm certainly sure we'll hear more about that tomorrow as well.

Look, everyone, there's five days now until Georgia Senate runoff and one former president is nowhere to be seen. His name is Trump. Another is out on the campaign trail tonight.


OBAMA: I'm back. I am back.




COATES: All right, we're now just five days before the pivotal Georgia runoff that Democrats are hoping will give them 51 votes in the Senate. Tonight, former President Obama is campaigning with Senator Warnock and warning Georgia voters not to get tired.


OBAMA: John Lewis, even in his 70s wasn't tired. I got no excuses. I can't be tired.


OBAMA: And if I'm not tired, you can be tired. If the men and women went to endure the stain of discrimination, the smack of belly clubs we're in time. And the folks who had to fight those early fights. Those were the tough fights for union rights. And voting rights and gay rights and women's rights. If they didn't get time, you can't be tired.




COATES: CNN senior political analyst, Kirsten Powers is here, and Liam Donovan and Tia Mitchell are back.

I mean, Kirsten, the idea of when we're fired up and ready to go, this is a bit of a rift on that, and the idea of not being tired, particularly because for many people, you know, it's not election day any longer.


COATES: It's election season, and here we are at a point when at first it was thought Georgia was going to be the decisive factor about who held the majority. Now that's not the case. It's about the one more. Is that going to be a resounding message?

POWERS: I mean, that's a tough message to sell, trying to get people fired up about, but it's actually really important. And so, as much as that can be conveyed to voters, but you know, voters often aren't, you know, aren't following things that closely because they have lives.

You know, and they have -- they can't be following the, you know, ins and outs of Washington. But it's actually really important because you know, right now, Joe Manchin basically runs the Democratic Party, right? So, one person actually can make a really big difference.

So, this is also, you don't have anybody bringing out the voters necessarily like higher up on the ticket. And so, you have to really get people riled up in order to get them to turn out. And so that's why it's important that the -- President Obama is doing what he is doing.

COATES: I mean, it's also true, right? I mean, if, although this would give an opportunity for say, Vice President Kamala Harris to travel a little more because you're not deciding the tiebreaker.

But remember, in 2020, when there was a 50-50 Senate, there was an agreement about how to staff the committees. You had the idea of the even divide of Republicans and Democrats on these committees.

If there are 51 Democrats, there's no longer the requirement that have to happen between Schumer and McConnell to do that. Now, that's a nuance that many lawyers are probably thinking, go out because the committee assignments, but it's very important nonetheless, right?

DONOVAN: The stakes are very real. And it's not just that because I mean, the amount of floor time that is expended on discharging things from those tied committees, all the other rules. I mean, this is a body that works on consent and consensus, and 50-50 gives the minority an inordinate amount of power in a chamber where they already have a significant amount of power.

So, I think that's the risk is the anti-climax around the fact that Democrats have already clenched the Senate would risk a depressed turnout. But I think based on the numbers we're already seeing, and Tia can speak to this.

They're actually blowing it out right now, and they -- the Warnock people have to feel good about the numbers the way they look right now, but they can't take their foot off the gas. That's why you're bringing out President Obama. That's why you're trying to run through the tape.


DONOVAN: Because they need to keep this, this electorate as young as possible, as diverse as possible. And Republicans are trying to tug it back older and a little wider.

COATES: On that point, Tia, I'd love to hear your reaction to this because you did hear tonight, President Obama talking about specifically Georgia women, and the idea of who would fight and turn out. And reminder it was thought to be Roe-vember at one point. Listen to what he had to say.


OBAMA: Who's going to fight for you? Is it the party whose main agenda is cutting taxes for the rich and big corporations? The party that wants to gut social security and Medicare, flood our streets with more guns. Decide who you love when you should start a family. Or isn't the party that's trying to put people back to work and lower costs and make healthcare more affordable and keep our communities safe and save our planet. And give every woman the ability to make her own decisions about her body.


OBAMA: That's the choice in this election. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COATES: I mean, he certainly knows what side of the bread is buttered and it's women voters, right?

MITCHELL: Yes. And I mean, of course he's preaching to the choir. You know, you've got to be a pretty fired up Warnock supporter to wait in the line and getting a big crowd to hear President Obama speak.

But it's all about energizing the base so that they can then go home and encourage others to vote. And what we know is that abortion was a motivating factor in the midterm elections. It's one of the reasons why Democrats were so successful.

Yes, those pocketbook issues, inflation, the economy, number one for voters on both sides of the aisle. But abortion was way up there and a lot of voters said it mattered when it came to which candidates they supported in the general election.

And so, now, there's clear contrast between Warnock and Walker on the issue of abortion, and many of those like, culture war issues. And I think President Obama was, you know, smart to highlight them again as a motivating factor going into the runoff.

COATES: Liam, in terms of the contrast, and Chris -- Kirs -- Kirsten, excuse me, I'd love to have you weigh in as well. There is a contrast in terms of who is showing up to endorse and rev up a crowd. You've got the former President Barack, former Senator Warnock.

[22:19:55] Senator Lindsey Graham is going to be stumping for Herschel Walker. I think Mike Pompeo was supposed to attend in some way, but he has a family emergency and cannot and longer attend.

I wonder what you make of Senator Lindsey Graham there to do this.

DONOVAN: Yes, I mean, I think you've had a pretty big crowd of people throughout this election come down. I think it was Tom Cotton at one point. Leader McConnell was down there. So having Lindsey Graham coming in, this is just as just, you know, strong Trump allies, people that are trying to, you know, get out the base and people that can appeal to that element of the party.

But I just remember being down there for the 2008 runoff and it was Sarah Palin coming up to rev up the crowd. This is something that you always try to do is pull out your best surrogates. I think that was the challenge on the Democratic side. I think, you had young Jeezy and T.I. out there, trying to get out the vote for the Democrat there.

So, having President Obama is a pretty big counterbalance and Republicans don't really have anybody to bring in when Donald Trump is on the sidelines.

COATES: Kirsten, I knew his playlist included young Jeezy and T.I. I just knew it, Liam. I did. What do you make of Senator Lindsey Graham there. Again, this is at a time when you've got a lot of money going into these races at this late juncture of course, and the Democrats outspending, which probably reminiscent of what Senator Lindsey Graham did with Jamie Harrison, where he was outspent and begging for people to contribute.

POWERS: I mean, Lindsey Graham and Barack Obama are on par with each other and I, you know, those -- but I think Lindsey Graham has been one of his most outspoken supporters. And, you know, I personally don't think Lindsey Graham is going to really inspire that many people to turn out to vote. But it can't hurt him, I guess.

And, you know, it's been Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz really trying to send the message. We've seen these, you know, them escorting him on his interviews, basically clearly trying to send a very -- a message that he's going to do what we tell him to do. You know, he's going to vote the way we tell him to vote, and that's the message they're trying to get to the people that are feel, maybe feeling a little squeamish about some of the stories that have come out about Herschel Walker, you know.

And they're just saying, ignore those stories. This is, you know, a transaction, basically, kind of like it was with Donald Trump and he's may have possibly paid for an abortion, but he's going to vote against abortion rights.

COATES: That idea of the sort of so-called mentoring candidate is also being used against him in the thought of how this will play for Democrats. But finally, I, in the time we have left here, I am curious about President Biden's proposal of changing the order in which primaries are conducted, hoping to have South Carolina go first. We realize that this is during a week, of course, when, you know, Congressman Jim Clyburn spoke about meeting representation of the South in leadership. What do you make of the prospects of this being a successful proposal?

MITCHELL: You know, it's really interesting because all these states are clamoring, you know, you've got Michigan in the mix, you've got Georgia in the mix, you've got Nevada in the mix. And so, I think this is the start of a conversation. It does not look like something that's going to be easily settled because no matter what, there are going to be states that are making the case.

I think there is a strong case though for South Carolina, for a state from the south where, you know, there's a big population center that's not currently represented in the early states. There are much more diverse states than what we currently have as our first states that are, you know, more representative of the demographics of America now.

So, it's clear that there will be a shift, but I don't know if Biden's proposal is just going to be accepted easily. There might be a little bit of a fight first.

COATES: And the point to have black voters some assuming they have their way in earlier. That's the point.

MITCHELL: Yes. Well, to have the early states be states that look more like America and aren't. So, you know, Iowa not only is it not the most diverse state, but the way it conducts primaries are kind of out of step with the vast majority of the U.S. states.

So, it just, you know, seems like a relic of a -- of a time that doesn't really affect American politics now, especially on the Democratic side.


POWERS: The thing that's interesting about it is, if this had been the way it was set up when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were running. We might not have had a Barack Obama, because Iowa is what launched Barack Obama, this white state, right, at a time when black voters were really aligned with Hillary Clinton and were very skeptical, not because they didn't support Barack Obama, because they didn't think white people would support Barack Obama, right?

They were thinking like, black president, is that really going to happen? And then Iowa voters were the ones that actually voted for him, and then he was on his way. And so, I do think it's important to have a more diverse representation in the first votes, but it is kind of interesting how it's worked out. Right?

Of course, South Carolina is also, you know, I mean, Joe Biden, where would his candid -- candidacy be. Right? It's like, it's just interesting. It wasn't, it didn't help Kamala Harris. It didn't help Corey Booker. Right? COATES: No.


POWERS: It's an interesting kind of conundrum.

COATES: Well, I tell you, there's going to be a lot of proposed candidates that just aren't learning the South Carolina state fair food choices ahead of Iowa if that's the case.

But look, everyone, it's the final election night of a surprising midterm season. So join CNN for the Georgia runoff between Senator Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker. Our coverage starts Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern.

Joe Biden is also holding his first date dinner as president, hosting French President Emmanuel Macron, and they held bilateral discussions for nearly three hours. The big topics on their agenda are next.



COATES: Hosting a state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron, the first since he moved into the West Wing. Check out part of his toast.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Knowing that we can always, always count on one another as allies and friends. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me.


BIDEN: Please join me in raising our glasses, which neither one of us have. There you go. In raising our glasses to President Macron and his wife Brigitte, to France, ladies, and gentlemen, to the history that binds us and the values that still unite us and to the future we're going to forge together. Viva La France, and God bless America.


COATES: Kirsten Powers, Liam Donovan and Tia Mitchell are all back with us now.

This, yes, this is the first state dinner since 2019 is also, of course, his and his first presidency. I wonder with an event like this, you know, during the pandemic a lot of the pomp and circumstance was really sort of stripped away. Remember different awards ceremonies, people starting to question, do we really need things like this? This is a time when diplomacy is being questioned and sometimes its effectiveness.

Liam, what do you make of the need to still have things like this. DONOVAN: I think it's an important signal that we're back, you know,

we're back in business. I think it's a sign of normalcy. Normal things like bilateral diplomacy on our soil, with key allies. Allies that might have been antagonized by the previous presidency, allies who had bumpy early stages of the Biden presidency.

So this is an important ritual. It's something we haven't seen, as you said in years. and I think it's a -- it's a sign that we're back to normal, both as an administration back to normal as a country.

COATES: Well, you know, there was a moment that was kind of not normal today in terms of reaction, although maybe people think it is in terms of the ability to criticize an administration over things. They're serving certain foods today, Kirsten. I know you're smiling because you've -- and I talked about this.

Butter poached lobster, which frankly makes my mouth water and I'll admit that to you. But I also had SpaghettiOs for dinner. That's probably why I have two kids.

POWERS: Glamorous.

COATES: But you know, the glamorous life of it all, they had hot dogs in theirs. It was wonderful. But Kirsten, when you think about it, the reason they were questioning it is because, they were questioning.

Here was a tweet from Representative Jared Golden out of Maine, where we think of lobsters, of course, saying if the Biden White House can prioritize purchasing 200 main lobsters for a fancy dinner, POTUS should also take the time to meet with the Maine lobstermen. His administration is currently regulating out of business.

It was an opportunity to really point out hypocrisy that not many maybe have focused on.

POWERS: I mean, I think that's a fair point, honestly. You know, I think they have -- they feel Maine lobster. People feel that there's an existential threat to their business because of regulations that they want the president to deal with. And it's a good opportunity. I'd say give your communications director a raise because that's a great way to get attention. And I think it's totally fair. I don't, you know, it's not out of bound.

COATES: When you look at it, Tia, and think about the, the discussions and obviously, it's in a way, maybe rich nation problems to talk about the poached lobster dinner, knowing that three hours' worth, they had a sit-down conversation, the French president with President Biden, and the focus was on Ukraine.

We know, known as the bread basket of Europe. The impact of the invasion to Ukraine, having extraordinary implications on food sourcing across the globe, particularly in areas of Africa. When you think about what happened behind those closed doors, what do you think transpired to maybe move a needle in that direction?

MITCHELL: Well, I think it's always good when you know, leaders of these nations can meet face to face because it's not, they don't get to get together very often. They don't get to do one on one very often. You know, President Macron brought, you know, all of his top aides and he can meet with all these American folks and members of Congress.

And so, it wasn't just a dinner, you know? And so, I think it is important because Ukraine is not the only thing they had to talk about. It was an important thing, but they needed to talk about China. They probably needed to talk about climate change.

The issues are endless. And so, what -- however much time they were able to spend, and President Macron has been everywhere. He went to NASA. Again, he went to meet with Congress. So again, it's, it was a lot of face time because the leaders know that the -- their issue list is long.

COATES: And the face time did include, you're right, they talked about the Inflation Reduction Act you spoke about, the ideas of climate change, this relationship between France and the U.S. so strategically advantaged -- advantageous at a time like this.

DONOVAN: It is, and this is, I mean, this is the original ally of the United States. This is somebody who was at the core right in the middle of everything from Ukraine and diplomacy with Russia, with China, as you said, with Iran.


So, there is so much that Macron is in the middle of, and having that relationship being as strong as possible and demonstrating to the world that's as strong as possible is really important right now.

COATES: I mean, the demonstrations of diplomacy, I think is really the uniting factor here. What this looks like for other nations to know who you can mess with and who you cannot. And essentially the answer the question you in what army, right?

Well listen, coming up next, we're going to talk about LeBron James because he is speaking out not about lobster, but about not being asked by reporters about a 1957 photo of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who was at a racial desegregation protest.

LeBron says there's a double standard at play here going on.



COATES: LeBron James calling out reporters at a press conference this week, the NBA star asking reporters why they were quick to question him about Kyrie Irving, but not about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in a recently emerged photo from 1957. Now the picture appears to show a then 14-year-old Jones at an anti-desegregation protest outside North Little Rock High School in Arkansas.

I think, to be clear, it was a protest about trying to maintain segregation and this was the problem here. Here's what James had to say about the coverage.


LEBRON JAMES, NBA PLAYER: As a black man, as a black athlete, as someone with power and a platform, when we do something wrong or something that people don't agree with, it's on every single tabloid, every single news coverage. It's on the bottom ticker, it's acts about every single day.

But it seems like to me that the whole Jerry Jones situation photo, and I know it was years and years ago, and we all make mistakes. I get it, but it seemed like it's just been buried under, like, it happened. OK, we just, we just move on.


COATES: Joining me now, CNN sports analyst, Christine Brennan, and former NFL player Ephraim Salaam.

I'm glad to have you both here. You know, let me, let me start with you, Ephraim, because you think LeBron has a point, and frankly I have to tell you the coverage about say, a Kyrie Irving compared to what's happened with Jerry Jones very different.

And here's what Jerry Jones had to say, I mind you, about that picture. Here he is.


JERRY JONES, OWNER, DALLAS COWBOYS: That was, gosh, 60, 65 years ago. And, a curious kid, I didn't know at the time the monumental event really that was, that was going on and, I'm sure glad that we're a long way from that.


COATES: Ephraim, what do you make about this of the standard that LeBron is referring to a double standard of not only the coverage, but also the way in which black athletes have to atone. It seems he was implying. What do you think?

EPHRAIM SALAAM, FORMER NFL PLAYER: I get exactly what LeBron James is saying, and as a former professional athlete myself, I've been asked a myriad of questions about non-sports related things, non-football related things, social justice things, and so on and so forth.

So, this wasn't even about the photo of Jerry Jones. He wasn't even talking about the actual photo and what he thought about Jerry Jones. What he was talking about was, where's the media coverage? Where, where is the firestorm? Where is all of the questions and I saw some of the comments, well, why would they ask you about Jerry Jones, LeBron, that's football, that's not basketball.

I would probably say LeBron James is probably the athlete that it's -- that was, has been asked more questions about non-basketball related things more so than any other professional athlete. And so, to say, you know, what do you care? He was expecting the question, and it's a shame that the media coverage for Jerry Jones in that photo wasn't the same, and it wasn't as aggressive as for Kyrie Irving.

Kyrie Irving is still going through backlash. They suspended him, he lost money, all of these things, and all he did was tweet something. And I get it. Was it right or wrong? That's for you to determine and that's for you to decide. But as people in the media, we should have a standard and hold everyone accountable, and that's just not happening.

COATES: Well, Christine, I want to bring you in here into the conversation because the statement, you know, all he did was tweet. Let's just be very clear. It wasn't as if he tweeted LOL or an emo -- emoticon in some way, an emoji. The concern was about the substance of matter and nature of the documentary than with anti-Semitism.

And so, but the larger point here is, I think it is a bit of a cop out to suggest, LeBron, we only want to ask you about basketball. This is a person infamously who was told to stay in his lane because he had the nerve to venture outside of athletics and talk about social issues. So that's a cop out.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Yes. As a journalist, I would promise you, Laura, and Ephraim, that I would ask those questions and I would've tried to ask them as quickly as possible after the Washington Post story. It absolutely is an issue. It is deserving of our attention.


Racism at any time, 65 years ago or today matters, and especially because Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, the most lucrative team in American sports any league, you know, any sport. He, in addition to being the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, he's basically like the second most powerful person in the NFL to Roger Goodell, the commissioner, Laura. And he is never, as the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, had a black head coach.

So, it matters. And that is, as you know, a big issue. Sixty to 70 percent of NFL players are African American and the Dallas Cowboys the Marquee team in the NFL never a black coach. So that, under Jerry Jones. So that is a big issue and it relates to now.

And I think we can all agree anti-Semitism is terrible. It's wrong, and we should always ask questions and root it out and discuss it as much as possible, Racism at any point, terrible. We should discuss it. And I agree completely that these issues both deserve attention.

COATES: Ephraim, what's your reaction? And I know, by the way, LeBron James was a lifelong avid Dallas Cowboys fan.

SALAAM: Of course.

COATES: But he recently came out to talk about how he switched his, you know, allegiance to the Cleveland Browns, in part because of the Dallas Cowboys position in policy about having to stand for, and only in one specific way, honor the national anthem. What's your reaction? SALAAM: My reaction is, you know, you can't just dismiss the pass.

You can't say and laugh off, that was so long ago. Wow, they dug that up. That was so long ago. Because we're still dealing with those same type of issues now currently. And when you talk about the disparity between coaches and people of power and NFL organizations and owners compared to the players who make up between 75 and 80 percent of NFL teams, and there are no black head coach, very few black head coaches, no African American owners. Then yet, that's something that you can't laugh off because we're seeing it play out in real time.

You want to talk about desegregation and segregation and all of that. Well, it seemed like the top of, you know, the food chain in the NFL is pretty segregated. So, if we really were to get in into the issue, we can -- we can talk about that and, and then that'll fall on Jerry Jones' show. OK. What have you done as one of the most prominent owners to desegregate the ownership group and head coaches and things like that.

So, it's very important. It's not something you can just laugh off and us as media, we have to hold people accountable. We really do have to hold people accountable, just not the athletes are just not African Americans. There's a double standard here that at some point has to stop.

COATES: I agree, everyone's feet should be held to the fire for the -- for the issues that matter most. And it is a more than fair question if you were in an ownership position, and of course I know the use of the term, if there are photos like this, did it influence, does it influence your decision making process about aspects right now in the year 2022, or everything since that photo to now?

A fair question and I encourage people to continue to ask. That's the business we're in. Thank you both.

BRENNAN: Thank you.

SALAAM: Thank you.

COATES: Well, the U.S. is gearing up now to face off against the Netherlands and the World Cup as the final 16 teams take shape. And so, will one of America's star players be ready for the game after getting injured against Iran? We'll find out.



COATES: We're now two days away from the United States' next big World Cup game against the Netherlands that they play Saturday morning at 10 Eastern, so sets your clocks.

But all eyes are on Christian Pulisic. He's a star on the U.S. men's national team, who, as you know, is injured while scoring that game winning goal against Iran. Today, he spoke with the press. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHRISTIAN PULISIC, USMNT ATTACKER: Like I said before, it -- I'm taking it day by day right now, and I will do everything in my power to, you know, work with this medical team and make sure that I can -- I can play.


COATES: Back with me now. Christine Brennan, and joining us Wall Street Journal sports reporter Joshua Robinson.

You're out there in Qatar. I'm so glad that you're here helping us understand as well. Let me start with you, because I want to know what you're anticipating most on Saturday. The Netherlands, I mean, not a team to seize at, a very significant and very strong team. But look, over here, we're rooting for USA.

JOSHUA ROBINSON, SPORTS REPORTER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, I should mention the bad news is that the Netherlands is probably the best team ever to win the World Cup. The good news is that this is maybe a slightly diminished version of the Netherlands. One that, you know, doesn't play its traditional style. And that for the first time, maybe, for a U.S. team at the World Cup feels pretty beatable.

COATES: I mean, that's really good. I mean, and thinking about it, Christine, the idea of, I mean, I'm paraphrasing a little bit of the Susan Lucci of this, of the World Cup team. I'm probably dating without from that analogy, but it's still the idea of a lot of people counted this U.S. team out.

I mean, the idea of, we knew about the discussions with Iran and the political overshadowing aspect of things, but this team has people having a bit of a spring in their step, the coverage of it. This team in and of itself, a draw.

BRENNAN: Absolutely. Joshua, you know, is doing such a great job covering, and back over here on this side of the pond, Joshua, the, I mean, people are really into this. And we are, I think that a thing that we all knew was going to happen. This tournament of course, is November and December. It's not in the summer as it usually is. It's going right up against college football, Michigan, Ohio State, big NFL games. And it is more than holding its own TV ratings wise.

COATES: And by the way, there's history being made to women. I mean, all women refs in a match as well.


BRENNAN: Absolutely. So, for the first time ever, the head referee and the other two referees, all three were women in the Germany/ Costa Rica match. And of course, they did a great job and good credit to FIFA for doing that. And another example of how the game is reaching out and, certainly trying to give more opportunities for women, which is wonderful to see.

COATES: Joshua, you know, there has been some disappointment and some shocks as well through the World Cup and you're out there. I mean, there is the idea of the counting out. I mean, both Germany and Belgium today have been knocked off the World Cup in the -- in the next round. What happened?

ROBINSON: Well, Belgium, which was a team that was touted for so long as having this unique generation of talent, it turns out, got old. It's what happens to all of us. And so, they got to a point where that golden generation just aged out a little bit, got a little bit stale, and was knocked out in the group stage in a really shocking way.

But even crazier was what happened in the group involving Spain and Germany. It turns out that Japan won the group after beating both Spain and Germany. And so, what happened today is that in beating Spain, two-one, a result no one expected. Japan also eliminated Germany despite Germany's win against Costa Rica. So that was really one of the upsets of the tournament so far.

COATES: I mean, right now it seems it's anyone's match to win, so everyone's team leaning in to see what happens next.

So great to hear from both of you. Thank you so much.

BRENNAN: Thank you.

COATES: Well, speaking of, well, maybe a legal matchup, there's some big legal setbacks for former President Trump with an appeals court in the Mar-a-Lago case, essentially telling him you don't get special treatment because you were the president. So, the question is, where does the investigation go next?