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CNN Tonight

Stormy Daniels Hush Money And Special Counsel Investigations At Critical Points In New York And D.C.; Culture Wars Changing Laws In Multiple States; Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) On Trump's Nicknames For Him, I Kind Of Like It; DeSantis Versus Trump As GOP Frontrunners; Jack Daniels Versus Dog Toy Company In The Supreme Court; Idaho Tries To Get Firing Squad Back; Two Inmates Escapes Virginia Jail. Aired 10- 11p ET

Aired March 22, 2023 - 22:00   ET



MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I thought it was interesting that the Murdochs gave him the spread. There's a sign in that, I think.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Well, clearly, I remember when Trump ran for re-election, he just did one small line there.


COLLINS: Michael Smerconish, Laura, Sara, what a lovely evening together. I enjoyed this. And thank you for joining us here tonight. CNN Tonight with Alisyn Camerota starts right now. Hi, Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. I'm Alisyn Camerota. Welcome to CNN TONIGHT.

A big development in one of Donald Trump's legal cases today, Trump's own defense attorney was ordered to testify on Friday before the grand jury in the investigation into those classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago. A source says that he will also have to turn over his handwritten notes.

Meanwhile, the investigation into those hush money payments just Stormy Daniels continues. That grand jury will meet again tomorrow. The D.A. may call another witness. We have a lot more on all of this.

Plus, a Republican lawmaker in Montana wants to ban diversity, equity and inclusion training that might make state employees feel quote guilt, anguish or other forms of psychological distress. How do you legislate against distress?

And what were they thinking? Well, you know, how sometimes you get a really bad craving for something, even if you're in jail, we'll tell you how a daring escape from jail ended because of a craving for delicious pancakes.

We have a lot to talk about tonight. Let's bring in our panel. We have the Bob Seger-loving S.E. Cupp, the Prince-loving Van Jones, former Congressman and fellow parent of twins Lee Zeldin, and an attorney who knows all about presidents in legal trouble, Watergate Prosecutor Nick Akerman. Friends, great to have you here.

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's like you know us.

CAMEROTA: It is. It is. I like to know your musical interests. I don't know you well enough yet, but I look forward to knowing your musical interests.

In the meantime, let's talk about these investigations. So, big development today, Congressman, I want to start with you, because the fact that this federal appeals court has ordered Donald Trump's attorney to appear before the grand jury and turnover handwritten notes, this is in the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago thing, how big of a deal do you think this is?

FMR. REP. LEE ZELDIN (R-NY): It depends where they go from there. It's not much of a big deal if there aren't further developments that actually lead to some type of an action. Sometimes with these criminal justice actions, they end without any type of charging any indictments. They say case is closed. And then the person who might be the subject of it claims that they've been vindicated, they didn't do anything wrong, or, alternatively, it keeps going, there're further developments and actually go after someone who's a target the investigation. So, how big of a deal this ends up being really depends on where this ends up going after that.


NICK AKERMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: Yes. I would agree with Lee except for this one fact, and that is that this individual really knows everything from A to Z --

CAMEROTA: Evan Corcoran you're talking about?

AKERMAN: Yes, I'm talking about Mr. Corcoran, he really was advising Donald Trump right from the beginning when the Archives was asking for the documents that were taken by Donald Trump from the White House. So, he knows exactly what happened.

He was involved in dealing with the Archives. He was involved in handing over certain documents to the Archives afterwards that were not complete. He was involved when the subpoena came for additional documents. He oversaw the lawyers who actually did the search, which Donald Trump, or at least one of the lawyers claimed, was complete and accurate and was done thoroughly.

CAMEROTA: And is it possible that that he thought it was done thoroughly and was completely accurate?

AKERMAN: Absolutely. He could be an unwitting dupe in this. But what he said, what Donald Trump said to him is extremely relevant because the Department of Justice has already gathered evidence from various people who have essentially given the department the probable cause that they had to get the search warrant in the first instance. So, he could be saying things that could be extremely important that he doesn't even know are important.

So, you know, for example, the search that was taken, where was this thorough search? Did they look in Donald Trump's office? Did he say things -- Donald Trump say things that are counter to the idea that his desk was chockfull of your account confidential and classified documents? We don't know. But I could see that this person before you decide, just as Lee said, whether the person is going to be indicted or not indicted, this particular person is absolutely critical to know what he has to say.

CAMEROTA: Here's a couple of key parts, I think, S.E., from the timeline. So, in June of 2022, Evan Corcoran, this attorney drafted this statement to the DOJ, saying that they had searched for classified documents and turned everything over. And then two months later, the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago finds more than 100 classified document records.


CUPP: Listen, being a Trump lawyer is a perilous job, even if you think you're doing everything right, you're probably going to get in trouble somewhere down the line. And the net result of that for Trump is that he's running out of secret keepers. He's running out of people that cannot be subpoenaed, cannot be deposed, who cannot tell what they know about him, former business partners, people who ran his business, former attorneys, family members who have been subpoenaed and deposed. So, I don't know. It feels like a pretty perilous time to be to be Trump. But then we've been saying that for a while.


VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I mean, the crazy thing is, if you're at home, you're like, now which indictment is this? Like, which of the -- we have so many simultaneous legal threats pointed at one person who is somehow still rising in the polls. That is the craziest thing to me is that he's actually more popular with Republicans now with this many threats against him. I don't know a single person in my life, and I do criminal justice that has this many legal problems, and it's still somehow succeeding.

CAMEROTA: Speaking of the other cases, Van, I know that you've said that the one that has gotten a lot of attention, which, of course, is the Stormy Daniels hush money payment, that one, you think, should not go first. Because this is the first one we were talking about is classified documents, which could hold the nation's secrets.

JONES: Sure. Like if it turns out that somehow like Donald Trump has like the nuclear secrets, and he's like that is actually consequential. The coup was consequential, calling Georgia and trying to like steal the election that's consequential. Hush payments to porn people is just not as consequential and that's where we're starting. And I just think to myself, this is proof that there is no organized conspiracy among progressives to do anything because we wouldn't have started with this.

CUPP: But you don't think Alvin Bragg should consider that right? JONES: I certainly do not think that he should have considered. I think he should just look at the law and apply the law. But I pray that somehow, as he looked at the law, it will just take him longer and Georgia will go first.

CAMEROTA: What do you think?

AKERMAN: I think you have to look at this and the context of what we have here. It's not just a matter of payments for hush money to a porn star. This involves a corporation that has basically been convicted of a crime in New York State for falsifying business records right across the board for false financial statements, false statements on insurance, false statements on banks.

CAMEROTA: But that's already happened. I mean, this is separate thing.

AKERMAN: It already happened, but it's part of the same ball of wax. And, in fact, we may see some of this actually charged in this indictment. We don't know if it's just going to be the payment to Stormy Daniels. Keep in mind, this also didn't just involve $130,000. There was like some $800,000. It wound up passing hands over all of this between David Pecker and between what was paid to Michael Cohen.

CAMEROTA: I mean, David Pecker, CEO of The National Enquirer, can pay as much as he wants for catch and kill to a story. That's not illegal. He can pay as much as he wants.

AKERMAN: Of course. But it's part of the scheme that started this whole thing that wound up falsifying records in the Trump Organization that wound up also committing other crimes, state tax crimes and other crimes that involved state law that are prosecutable. But this has been prosecuted forever by the district attorney's office.

What you're dealing with here is a run of the mill white collar crime that's big time because of the context that is in and who it is who it is, but it is a typical white collar crime much like the stuff I used to prosecute in the U.S. attorney's office.

CUPP: But the problem is there are so many of these, right, that we can actually sit here and prioritize like which should be -- which is worse, which is not as bad. That's crazy in and of itself. But they're all bad.

AKERMAN: They're all bad, but the one we're not talking about that really poses danger to Donald Trump is this defamation case that's been brought by Jean Carroll that's going to trial next month, and the judge there has ruled that is admissible evidence to put in two other witnesses who were groped by Donald Trump and to put in that Access Hollywood tape. I mean, only way that that evidence can be rebutted is if Donald Trump takes the stand and doesn't take the Fifth Amendment.

CAMEROTA: Okay. Congressman?

ZELDIN: I think that a lot of people will look at the Manhattan district attorney case is being political in nature, that's one view that a lot of people will have on it. There're other dynamics, other debates that play with policies of Alvin Bragg. Remember, he had a very controversial day one memo that said that many different crimes across the board, he wouldn't prosecute, many other crimes lesser included offenses. So, there's that --

CAMEROTA: I mean, some of those you were saying were outdated. For instance, one of them that he wasn't going to prosecute was adultery.


ZELDIN: I would -- so, it's a long list. I would say that if you're a district attorney, take the oath, you come in on day one, if there's a whole bunch of crimes that you want to update, your first move as you go to state legislature in Albany and you advocate for change to those laws, as opposed to just saying as the prosecutor, I'm just not going to enforce these across the board.

There's just a number of different dynamics that are a little bit more complex as it relates to Alvin Bragg, Manhattan district attorney's office, the perception of it being political in nature, and as Van very accurately pointed out what's happened in the last few days is it actually, especially amongst the Republican primary base, Donald Trump's numbers have actually gone up. And people who are opposed to him have said that they are -- that they don't feel like this is appropriate what's going on.

And I also point out you have the FEC with jurisdiction to look into, the Department of Justice has looked into it before side, Cy Vance was the district attorney before Alvin Bragg, and up to this point, you have many years where no one has brought a case and last I would say is you have a statute of limitations. What's been perceived to be a misdemeanor by so many in this case is going to be elevated to a felony. The misdemeanor charge comes with, you know, that shorter statute of limitations. So, there's that legal dynamic of whether or not it's even appropriate to charge it at a district attorney's office.

CAMEROTA: Go ahead, Van.

JONES: Look, there's a whole thing now to kind of just beat up on Bragg and just say he's like a Soros (ph) guy, and he's a terrible guy. I see it differently. All D.A.s have prosecutorial discretion. They all have policies. He was just clear about it and he's getting beat up for it.

Some of the stuff that has been overcharging the city for a very long time against certain communities, he was trying to roll that back. I think that's a good thing. It does, though, give the Republican opening to say this guy is political. This guy is -- he's an ultraliberal, that kind of thing. And I think it's unfortunate because I do think he was trying to do something good when he made that statement.

CAMEROTA: Okay, friends, thank you very much for all of those perspectives. Now, these states across the country waving the culture war banner, as you know, and some trying to ban diversity, equity and inclusion training and/or gender affirmation, treatment or transgender children or teachings or books. Some states are acting on these laws as we speak. So, we're going to discuss all the latest this week. That's next.



CAMEROTA: This is real. This is happening. Okay. Another entrant in the culture wars across the country, a bill just passed through the Montana Senate, which would ban diversity, equity and inclusion training that might make state employees feel, quote, guilt, anguish or other forms of psychological distress.

My panel is back with me. Also joining us is Mosheh Oinounou, the founder of Mo News and former executive producer of the CBS Evening News. Mosheh, great to have you here.


CAMEROTA: I am so excited that we can finally outlaw my feelings of psychological distress. This is a fantastic idea, guys. I did not know, Van, that you could legislate against guilt, anguish and psychological distress. I'm very relieved suddenly.

JONES: Yes. You know, it's really unfortunate because in order for us to get the benefit of being the most diverse country in the history of the world, we have every kind of human being ever born in one country, every faith, every gender, every sexuality. But in order for us to get the benefit of that, we've got to be able to work together, to be able to listen to each other, learn from each other. That's what these diversity trainings are supposed to do. Some of them suck and are terrible. But conceptually, that's the point. And the idea that now you can't even try I just think is really sad and unfortunately.

And you know what really hurts, it hurts the people who had the least exposure to diversity. Well, I think sometimes we forget to say is if you're straight white male, we want you to be awesome. We want you to be able to work with everybody. We want you to be able to get contracts anyplace. We want you to be able to have a fantastic life. In order to do that, you're going to have to up level in some areas, which where you might not be that skilled. No, we're not going to let that happen. We're going to actually make sure that you are not capable, not competent. So, it's not just hurting people of color and women, it's hurting everybody when you prevent people from learning.

CAMEROTA: You fit that category, Congressman.

JONES: And you're awesome.

CAMEROTA: You're an awesome straight white male. But, I mean, do you do you agree with, you know, banning any training so that nobody can feel any guilt, anguish or psychological distress? ZELDIN: I'm not going to pretend to know all the best and worst examples of the implementation of this policy, and I think that Van's point is extremely well taken that this isn't going to be implemented the same exact way across the board.

There is a concern that many have that you need to protect merit-based promotions, merit-based hires. You also have to make sure that you don't end up with stereotypes that actually end up harming the setting even more where let's say a woman is getting a job, and there's a belief oh, no, the only reason why that woman got the job is because of our diversity, equity and inclusion training.

CAMEROTA: This is just a sensitivity training, meaning like this isn't job hiring.

ZELDIN: So, with regards to the training, there's a subjective nature of it. And if anyone is implementing it incorrectly, you're actually not making the -- meeting the intended goals.

Now, it's possible that this legislation could have been motivated by a perfect example to back up their argument. I'm just not going to pretend to know what that legislator would have as their best justification in their home state. Hopefully, they have a really good reason.


OINOUNOU: What's really interesting working off of Van's point is there's a survey that came out last month out of Forbes that asked people about their DEI training. Two-thirds of people found it not to be effective and half said it was harmful. So, I think that --

CAMEROTA: That's interesting. I wonder what was harmful about it, like it's what the Congressman is talking about, but I wish we had an example of what would -- how it armed someone right.

OINOUNOU: Right, like to dive deeper into those numbers. But I think one of the things we're noticing is like we definitely have to play catch up, right, and a lot of it comes out of the BLM movement, the social justice movements in the last couple of years, and so we're playing catch up, and there's a feeling clearly in this state that playing catch up has moved too quickly, and it just feels, generally speaking, that things move on a pendulum and not a straight line.


CUPP: Well, I think diving into the efficacy of these programs is really important. We all seem to like turn a blind eye to whether things are working.


I'm glad that's come up several times at this panel, because, listen, I've worked in places that have had that training and I don't think it's worked. I've experienced it not working to my face. CAMEROTA: Is that right? Now, hold on a second. I'm interested in that. So, were you made to feel psychological distress and guilt, et cetera?

CUPP: No, in a different way. People had that training. I did not see it work in evidence.


CUPP: So, I think asking those questions is important.

But I also just want to say, I think when we talk about the culture wars, I think it's important to acknowledge, I'm not both-sidesing in this, okay, but leaning into this has been beneficial for left and right. Right leans into it because in red states, it helps get them elected, you know, political leaders elected, it gins up the base. I think the left leans into this too because for the same reasons, for the exact same reasons.

One example, I have zero problems with drag queens story hour, zero. I think it sounds really fun. And if it were happening in my town, I'd probably take my son, fine. Five years ago, you'd never heard of it. It is everywhere now. It is everywhere now, and you can't tell me that's not because the left is leaning into these wars because it helps them. Again, not both-sidesing, I think the right leaning in for far more nefarious reasons to make people really angry and afraid, but I think the left is into this too. And I think some of the DEI and the, you know, the Disney episode, I just think there's a little sticking it to Republicans and getting their base ginned up too.

OINOUNOU: It's like everything else. You know, one of things that we do on our platform, Mo News, is engaged with a lot of people out there, and I actually pose this question to Republicans, independents, Democrats alike. And one of the frustrations that comes out of this is like there is a feeling that the left is pushing this to a certain extent, the right is making this political, there's not a productive conversation happening. And that's what you see coming out of Montana is like we're going to just kill it all together as opposed to maybe they're -- both sides are right, God forbid there's a gray area.

JONES: I think the reason that it's kind of sits poorly in the mouth for progressives is distress in the workplace, trauma, feeling bad is something that people who are not in the majority have to deal with all the time. The idea that this legislation to step in and say this 45-minute training, which may suck and may not be that great, is so bad, that for 45 minutes, somebody might feel bad we're going to outlaw. And you don't see the same passion to outlaw other things that might make other people uncomfortable. So I get it.

Look, I don't think that these trainings are working. I think there's a much better way to go about getting people to work together, to trust each other, to understand each other than what these trainings usually do. But I don't think the answer is for the legislature to come in and the government to mandate, you just can't try it at all. You can't do it at all, because that means that 45 minutes of pain for some people is more important than a year of paying for everybody else. That's not fair.

CUPP: But there is a liberal effort to keep people safe from being hurt. I know this isn't you because we do college speeches and you're very much against safe spaces and all that, but there is a liberal effort to make sure that liberals are not hurt and offended. And that's really weird. I know we rail against that equally, but to say, in this case, your pain is worth my gain, that feels a little hypocritical to me.

JONES: Look, I know what you're talking about. You're talking about the fact that there are some campuses where kids are saying, you can't come to my campus and say something that makes me feel bad, and we will protest and you can't come. Well, I disagree with that as well.

CUPP: I know you do.

JONES: So, I'm just saying like -- so -- but what you don't see is those kids going to the legislature, to the legislator to outlaw those folks coming to campus. They might protest. They're saying, we're going to outlaw 45 minutes of discomfort, and I think that's just --

CAMEROTA: Yes. And also, by the way, sometimes getting comfortable with a little discomfort is helpful.

CUPP: Yes.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Thank you all very much for that. Everyone stay with me.

Governor Ron DeSantis clapping back at Donald Trump. This is a change in approach, so we're going to talk about what they self proclaimed counterpuncher is doing and who we think won this latest round, that's next.



CAMEROTA: He's not technically in the race yet but Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is starting to take digs at the current frontrunner on the Republican side, former President Trump. This is in an interview with Piers Morgan, and here's what DeSantis thinks about Trump's nicknames.


PIERS MORGAN, FOX NEWS HOST: What's your favorite nickname that Trump has given you so far? Is it Ron DeSanctimonious or Meatball Wrong?

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Well, I can't --

MORGAN: Even he went off Meatball Wrong.

DESANTIS: I can't -- I don't know how to spell DeSanctimonious. I don't really know what it means. But, you know, I kind of like it. It's long. It's got a lot of vowels. I mean, so we go with that. That's fine. You know, you can call me whatever you want, I mean, just as long as you, you know, also call me a winner.


CUPP: Okay.

CAMEROTA: I'm back with -- what's wrong?

CUPP: I mean, does anyone think that was like a zinger?

JONES: Kind of.


JONES: I think it was because the loser, winner -- no, I'm wrong. Never mind. I take it back.


CAMEROTA: I like that. I've never seen you acquiesce so quickly.

JONES: I'm not going to argue with S.E. Cupp.

CUPP: You know, happy wife, happy life, right?

CAMEROTA: I like what's happening here? He went to Yale. I think he knows that. It's sanctimonious, but in any event, I guess the point is that is a new approach.

In Piers' interview with Governor DeSantis, he seemed to be hitting back more at Donald Trump than he had in the past. Did you see that?

ZELDIN: I did. And it's a proven successful tactic in 2016 for Donald Trump to filet the field with these negative attacks. He just went through one after another and emerges the nominee.


So, in Donald Trump's calculation, to go after Ron DeSantis, it has always proven to work for him in these Republican primaries. We have seen in recent polling that his lead is expanding. There are different reasons why that would happen. And for Ron DeSantis at this point, not yet in the race, choosing to punch back we'll see what the responses but we don't -- we don't know yet.

But it is a tactic. It has been proven to be successful inside of a Republican primary, not to just try to take it, but to be willing to punch back.

JONES: The reason -- I think it's important is because I think if the Republicans are going to find anybody that's not Trump, one of the things is they're looking for strength. I think we have a Republican Party and a base that feels that, you know, the liberals are taking over and they want somebody who's going to be able to stand up.

And so, to begin to punch back, I think it's important in terms of him establishing himself and also like he was kind of ducking and hiding for a while. Like DeSantis' book, he brags on Trump more than Trump. I'm like this book is like, this is not going to work for you, dude. So, the fact that he's now actually trying to get the footwork together, I think is important.


OINOUNOU: It's a 10-step process having covered these elections and you guys all know this, of I don't talk about my opponent. I just focused on the good things I'm going to do to, by the end of this fall, you're a liar, and by January --

CUPP: And a murderer, right?

OINOUNOU: -- if you elect this person, the world will end. So, it's good to see you on the 12-step process that we're now on step two, which is I'm contrasting myself with my opponent. I thought it was notable about the census critique, if you, you know, listen to his answers, is he hits Trump from the right with the Fauci stuff, you know. He let Fauci get out of control. I would have fired would have Fauci, right?

CUPP: I would have fired him, right?

OINOUNOU: So, that gets you sort of on the right. In the independent, it's like, listen, he did some good stuff, but I don't like the way he goes about things. He's not effective, right? And I think hearing feedback from Republicans and Independents, some who voted for Trump, some who voted for Trump twice say, okay, that's fair. I liked, you know, he had foresight on China and on the Nord Stream Pipeline, and you know, you look at Trump record, whatever. But I don't like the way he went about it.

And he engenders this ill will, you know, this rabid ill will and multiple potential indictments, etcetera. And so that's what DeSantis is playing too.

CUPP: No, Lee is right about the strategy in the past for Trump, but what's different now is Trump was president and Ron DeSantis hasn't gotten in yet, and he's spending almost all of his energy talking about this guy, and I'm wondering if it's elevating him.

CAMEROTA: Elevating?

CUPP: DeSantis.

CAMEROTA: Oh, elevating -- oh, you mean, Donald Trump is elevating DeSantis.

CUPP: Yeah. Listen, if I were campaign manager, we're all lucky I'm not. But if I were, I would say, Mr. Trump, you were the president. He's not announced yet. Pretend you're in the general already. Punch Biden. Ignore the primary. Act like you're the nominee-elect.

He's not traditional. I'm not sure anyone could coach him. He's doing the opposite. He is really zeroing in on a guy he believes is probably his biggest threat who isn't even in the race yet. And to me, it feels like that's elevating Ron DeSantis.

ZELDIN: He's a former president.

CUPP: Yeah!

ZELDIN: What is he doing talking to governor of Florida?

CUPP: Right! I mean, but we sit in a conventional world, right? He's in the upside down.

OINOUNOU: He's playing chess.

CUPP: No, he's not. He's definitely not.

ZELDIN: I would just add that, you know, you're not going to have your followers on their own to start talking about the issues, the economy, and the border, and your past record. You as the candidate have to push those issues. And it's a strategy that works for primary and you have to get past the primary to get to the general election.

But I think for a lot of independents who are out there, people who truly will vote for -- you know, they're deciding right at the end of the 2020 election, do I vote for Donald Trump? Do I vote for Joe Biden? Truly independent. To get those voters you're going to have to talk about the issues that matter most to them.

And this back and forth is not going to connect on what matters most to them. And I think if I was, you know, if I was the Democrats (inaudible), I would love this back and forth because you're not defining the race and the contrast on the substantive issues that matter most to independents.

CUPP: You don't think Ron DeSantis' sexuality matters most to voters?

CAMEROTA: Maybe actually, but I don't think him being called meatball or desanctimonious is necessarily what matters to most of them. Thank you all very much. Listen to this. Supreme Court justices were laughing at a case today. But what is so funny about this? That's what they were discussing.

CUPP: Are we drinking?

CAMEROTA: Guys why are some of it missing, congressman?

ZELDIN: I think it was your -- it was your last guest?

CAMEROTA: Where did this go? We'll explain.



CAMEROTA: Now to our booze news.


Well done.

JONES: (Inaudible).

CAMEROTA: If you're a regular viewer of "CNN Tonight," you know we bring you the latest Jack Daniels news --

CUPP: Exclusively.

CAMEROTA: And tonight -- exclusively, and tonight is no different, but this time it involves the Supreme Court. Lawyers for the whiskey maker Jack Daniels are suing the makers of a doggy chew toy called Bad Spaniels, claiming the chew toy -- we also have sound effects -- claiming the chew toy violates their trademark. For some reason, the Supreme Court justices found this funny.


ELENA KAGAR, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: What, is there to it? What is the parody here?

UNKNOWN: The parody?

KAGAR: Yeah.

UNKNOWN: The parody is --

KAGAR: Because I, maybe I just have no sense of humor but what's the parody?

UNKNOWN: The parody is multifold, but the testimony indicates, and it's not been disputed that the parody is to make fun of marks that take themselves seriously.

KAGAR: Well, you, I mean you say that, but you know, you make fun of a lot of marks. Doggie Walker, Dos Perros, Smelia Arpa, Canine Cola, Mountain Drool are all of these companies taking themselves too seriously?




CAMEROTA: All right. So here are the products. So, I'm sure you recog -- you all recognize Jack Daniels.

CUPP: I've never seen that.


CAMEROTA: I've been out with you. And then the -- a chew toy looks like this. So, do you think, S.E., this is violating this trademark?

CUPP: Yes. And I don't want to be the wet blanket on this panel.


CUPP: Because this is funny. But trademark law is really important and it protects I.P. and I think absolutely they are trying to parody brands, but in the process, I think they're damaging the brand. And that is the argument.


JONES: Listen, if it -- if the parody doesn't damage the brand a little bit, it's not a good parody. That's the whole point of parody. And that's why you have the exception for a parody. So, I think I -- look --

CUPP: Well, that's what they're considering (inaudible).

JONES: I don't drink alcohol. I don't have a dog. So, this really doesn't apply to me, but I just think in general that, you know, chill out. If you -- unless you can prove that you lost in sales then, you know --

CAMEROTA: Well, here, maybe this will change your thinking. Mosheh, I'll put this to you. It says Jack Daniels product is 40 percent alcohol by volume. Bad Spaniels toy is said to be 43% poo. Now, do you want to re -- now, do you want to rethink that reputation will asset (ph)?

OINOUNOU: I stand by my -- you know what I found so interesting about this. Well first of all, one of the only good things that came out of COVID was that we have now audio live stream from the Supreme Court, so we're able to listen in on these people. Now, the day probably will never come that we have video of them because --

CUPP: Hopefully. Hopefully not.

OINOUNPOU: Because that will just change the Supreme Court acts and they'll be acting for the camera, etcetera. But it's great to be able to hear them and you're like, oh, these are the people making important decisions. What was also very fascinating in this time of a 6-3 conservative liberal split and left right, etcetera was a couple of interesting alliances in terms of the discussions. You had Alito and Sotomayor who were very much on your take being like, come on, come on, really, Jack Daniels, seriously.

And then you had Gorsuch and Kagan who are like we don't get involved in this. Look, more like I see, but like, can we keep this to a lower court? But you had this interesting conservative liberal matchups that you, again, you could hear in their tone, not just the transcript. And so, it's hard to predict how this will go. But it seemed like I don't know, generally speaking, ill -- I'll be surprised by if SC's ruling comes into effect.

CAMEROTA: I totally agree that it was interesting to hear them because we got to hear some Supreme Court humor there. They were really yucking it up, congressman.

ZELDIN: So, first off, one owner of a dog named Baxter tells me that they received this chew toys specifically and the dog hated it. I thought that that was just an important data point. Secondly, I would agree with S.E. on the legal analysis. It's a lot of work to go through, you know, getting the trademark. There's a reason why we have this trademark law in place. There is an impact on the brand and I think that Jack Daniels will likely be successful. We'll see where it goes.

CAMEROTA: I mean, guys, obviously, if we're going to talk any more about this, we really would have to do a deeper dive and do some research, research into the product.

CUPP: Well, obviously, you'll be following the story.

ZELDIN: We should tell everyone that's actually the second bottle for the night for us.

CAMEROTA: They'll believe it. All right. Thank you all very much. There maybe drinks during the commercial break. I don't know. Who wants a sip? All right. On a more serious note, another state okaying firing squads for executions. Why? There is a reason and we'll try to figure out if it's more humane or less humane, after this.



CAMEROTA: The state of Idaho plans to bring back execution by firing squad. Lawmakers approving the bill this week, but only if officials cannot get the drugs needed for lethal injections. If the bill is signed by the governor, Idaho would become the fifth state to allow firing squads. We're back again with my panel.

So basically, what's happened is that they're having a hard time finding the drugs for lethal injection. There is a shortage of them, and I just can't tell, is firing squad more humane, less humane, more barbaric, less barbaric?

JONES: How about more?

CAMEROTA: It's more barbaric than lethal injection. Because lethal injection, by the way, sometimes goes awry if it doesn't work.

JONES: If it goes awry, it's a horrific thing. Look, I'm against the death penalty anyway. So, this is, you know, we're already, you know, in territory that I'm not that comfortable with, but the reason they went with lethal injection is because hanging people and handing out rifles to five people and you don't know which one has a real bullet and then they all fire, it was so traumatic, not just the damage it did to the human that got shot in front of everybody, but to the people who are pulling the triggers, they said, let's do something else.

And so, now what's happened is that it turns out it's just hard to take a life. It is hard to take a life. And so, we're now saying, well, you got people have always struggled going hanging people again. We want to start shooting people again. And, you know, I think the whole thing is just unfortunate.


CUPP: I'm also against capital punishment. We've talked about this as well. And you know, I've seen movement in that even on the right. The capital punishment -- capital punishment is becoming less popular, but these kinds of ideas are being resurrected on the right I think, because there are questions of efficacy again, not a bad question to ask.

But really is any state-sponsored killing humane? I don't think so, obviously. That's why I'm against capital punishment. There's been a lot of cases where they didn't go well. Oklahoma famously for a lethal injection case. But it just feels like I -- it just feels like we're not progressing as a society when we're having this debate, firing squad versus lethal injection, or again in a state like South Carolina wondering if we should kill women who have abortions.


I mean, it's just really hard to wrap my mind around this as a millennial, right, as a person from a relatively recent generation. We're talking about should we kill people and how best to do it.

CAMEROTA: Congressman, I think there are 27 states still -- where it's legal, the death penalty is legal. Where are you on this?

ZELDIN: I'm somebody who believes there are some cases where the death penalty is appropriate. I believe that lethal injection is, of all the options, the one that is most humane.

CAMEROTA: But if you can't get the drugs for it, then what?

ZELDIN: The firing squad idea seems just a little too far out there for me, personally. There i's no-good option. I mean, honestly, there's no good option.

CAMEROTA: And it's funny that you say that because it sort of plays into what Van was saying, which is, if there's no good option, does that tell us something?

ZELDIN: So, I happen to, I mean there are cases where I would say the death penalty is appropriate in my personal opinion. I believe that in the case of the Boston marathon bombers, I'm supportive of there being a death penalty, but there would need to be a proper lethal injection administered in all of these cases.

And I -- and I do believe that where you have a problem where it goes awry, it can quickly become the least humane way of delivering the death penalty.


OINOUNOU: Yeah. You know, what's so interesting is that literally evolution in Idaho looking into this was hanging to firing squad to lethal injection and now. So, now we're reverting back. And the issue they're having in Idaho is they had someone who's been on death row now they were supposed to -- for 11 years now, they haven't been able to execute that person.

And that's why they're getting desperate. And like, maybe we should bring the firing squad. Interestingly to your point Van about the trauma that was -- that the people doing the shooting, either the ones who got the blanks or the ones who got the real bullets. They're looking at a technology there, again, it's going to cost a million dollars allegedly. That's more like Squid Game, like a machine does it. That's where they've gotten. Again, is that where we want to be in 2023?

CAMEROTA: That feels dystopian, of course. I mean, obviously. So, they banned it in 2009 in -- they outlawed it in Idaho.

JONES: I loved that, the firing squad.

CAMEROTA: Yes, the firing squad, in 2009, and now out of necessity, as you say, they're going back to it. But I just think this is an interesting conversation, which is we're all struggling with. So, what's the right answer? There has to be an answer to this. What's the best way to --

JONES: I just want to say the problem with the death penalty is when you shoot somebody and they're dead, you can't take it back. When you give somebody lethal injection and they're dead, you can't take it back. And sometimes it turns out that these long delays in that time period turns out the person was innocent, and it's just -- the idea that we have a perfect system that can have with absolute certainty know for sure that you've got the right person with the right charge, I just know too much about our courts to believe that.

CUPP: Yeah. We're not even close to having a perfect system.

JONES: So, since you -- since you can't know with 100 percent certainty, and you can't take it back, I just think that's about the possible -- life without the possibility of parole is the better option. And so that's why I'm less willing to kind of play with, well, should we drown them? Should we throw him off a bridge? Should we like -- should we burn him alive? I think at certain point like maybe we should just not be doing this.

ZELDIN: And along those lines there's another option, and this is from somebody who's supportive of the death penalty. If you don't have the lethal injection available while you don't yet administer any -- you don't administer of the death penalty. They continue to be on death row until you have the lethal injection available.

I will tell you when we had the Tops Supermarket shooting in Buffalo. In that case, we know who did it. In my opinion, I believe that that person should be executed for what happened. But you know, to Van's point, there is a history in our country where there are people who have been convicted, sentenced to death, and they didn't in fact do it and they get cleared years later, and that is a real problem.

CUPP: Just one little part to add to this. It's really expensive to keep people on death row. Way more expensive because of all the appeals and lawyers and judges, and all of that. It's bankrupted counties and several states by having these people just sit on death row forever. And so, delaying that, I mean, it's kind of crass to think about, you know, economics when you're talking about this, but it's just a real thing. Yet another fact in the no column for capital punishment.

CAMEROTA: All right, thank you all very much. We'll be right back.



CAMEROTA: CAMEROTA: We often wonder what criminals were thinking. In this case, we can safely say they were thinking pancakes. Two inmates escaped from jail in Newport News, Virginia on Monday. They were captured a few hours later at of course, IHOP. Sheriffs say the inmates dug a hole in the wall using what's described as primitive made tools, that they fashioned out of a toothbrush, old school, and a metal object.

Then they got access to untied re bars in the wall that they used in digging out. Now, this is resourceful, I feel. John Garza and Arley Nemo were turned in by other patrons at the IHOP and taken back into custody by police. Charges are pending for both on their escape, and the sheriffs are conducting an internal investigation to determine how the inmates were able to break out so easily.


All right back to serious news.