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Laura Coates Live

Trump Asks SCOTUS To Block Ruling Rejecting His Immunity Claim; Trump's NATO Comments Stir Up A Political Storm; What Happens When Super Bowl And Politics Collide?; Police Reveal New Details On Texas Megachurch Shooter; Snoop Dogg Sues. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired February 12, 2024 - 23:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Well, here we are, everyone, deep in the 2024 campaign, but the thing that may change everything, 2020, tonight on "Laura Coates Live."

So, any one of the hearings today could actually be a break glass in case of emergency kind of moment. You got immunity, the Georgia election subversion case, the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case. They could all change the course of this election.

And Donald Trump's strategy is right there in his team's argument to the Supreme Court today on the case of immunity. He's claiming that a months-long criminal trial will make it harder for him to campaign. Translation: Delay, delay, delay.

And the fight over Trump's immunity or, frankly, lack thereof, has already prompted district judge Tanya Chutkan to postpone a trial date that was previously set for March 4th, coincidentally or perhaps not, the day before Super Tuesday.

And then there's the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case. You remember this one. Now, we haven't heard about it as much lately, but take a complex case, add some defendants, multiple at that, and classified records that are part of the evidence, and what do you get when you mix it all together? That's right, you get delays. Interestingly, while the former president was in attendance for today's closed-door hearing, there was no press conference, no outbursts.

And let's not forget the Georgia election subversion case in the hearing. The judge saying today that district attorney Fani Willis could -- and I emphasize could -- be disqualified if there is evidence that she financially benefited from a personal relationship with her lead prosecutor on the case.


SCOTT MCAFEE, JUDGE, SUPERIOR COURT OF FULTON COUNTY (voice-over): I think it's clear that disqualification can occur if evidence is produced demonstrating an actual conflict or the appearance of one. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COATES: Hearing is set for Thursday and the D.A. may be required to take the stand.

Here to talk about all this, national security attorney Bradley Moss and Norm Eisen. Remember, he was House Judiciary special counsel in then President Trump's first impeachment trial and also a former White House ethics czar. I love both of your smizes at night. That was lovely to that camera. I loved it all.


COATES: It was good. Mr. (INAUDIBLE), close up is here. Um, let me ask you first here about this, Norm, because Trump, as you know, has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, not surprisingly, about the absolute immunity issue. He is making the argument that the criminal trial would hurt his ability to campaign. Said Captain Obvious.


What do you make of that?

NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The response of Judge Tanya Chutkan in the trial court to that argument was exactly right, that every defendant who comes before her has life circumstances.

But justice is blind in the statues for a reason. It cannot take account of his political calendar. So, I think the Supreme Court is going to be a little put off by his overt politicking. He didn't lead with that. That's at the very end --

COATES: Right.

EISEN: -- of his introduction of his arguments. Um, I don't think that argument is going to work. What I do think may work with them is, hey, we've never decided if a president is absolutely immune to order assassination of political opponents. Do we need to speak to that? And Jack Smith, after all, asked them to do it just a short while ago.

COATES: They punted, though, right? That was the thing. They did not take it up immediately. They said it -- they didn't really say a whole lot about it. But now you have it in front of the court again. They can't possibly be surprised.

But I do wonder on the idea of, yes, they've never had to deal with it before, and you can't take someone's politics into account, but the novelty of all of this, should they?

MOSS: Almost certainly, yes, they should, if for no other reason than there should be a resolution to this. This is the Supreme Court. It's the ultimate court of the land. They should set down what this rule is so that going forward, we don't have to play this game with endless appeals if there is another president who does something like what Donald Trump did. Now, will they take it up? This is going to be interesting. This is a motion for stay. This isn't a petition for cert. It's a motion for stay.

COATES: And that means --

MOSS: He's going to get five --

COATES: Translate -- translate the motion to stay for me, to the audience.

MOSS: Motion -- sorry, sorry. Motion for stay being he wants to halt the mandate from the D.C. Circuit that was going to send the case back to Judge Chutkan. And with the motion for stay, he had to demonstrate there was a substantial likelihood he's going to prevail in the merits, and he's got to get five of these justices to agree to it.


It's basically a preview of, do I have any chance on the merits at the end with this court?

COATES: Why are you chuckling?

EISEN: Well, uh, it's more likely than not that they will take it up. But it is a resolution for them to say Judge Chutkan got it right, the D.C. Circuit took her holding, it narrowed it to only apply to former presidents. That's enough and slammed the door. They did that when Pennsylvania's vote was attacked by Texas at his behest in 2020. They slammed the door. They didn't take the case.

When Judge Cannon, who we'll talk about, interfered with the criminal investigation of the Mar-a-Lago documents, he went to the Supreme Court. No cert. When -- at Trump v. Thompson, the January 6 Committee, he tried to get the Supreme Court to interfere with their investigation. Cert denied.

The greater likelihood is they'll take it, but there is a significant chance that they'll say enough is enough, this is insane --

MOSS: You would hope.


EISEN: -- we're stopping matters here.

COATES: Well, before we go down to Florida, let's stop off in Georgia for a second. Like I think a little bit of a detour. I think that's 95, a little bit further down, right? Before we get there, you know, today, you have the judge in this case. And, of course, we know there is the drama in the backstory about whether there was a personal issue, whether it was somehow problematic for the underlying case.

You have the judge in a hearing today that they're going to proceed with a hearing, by the way, to examine the relationship between Fani Willis and the lead prosecutor. Listen to what he had to say. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCAFEE (voice-over): The state has admitted a relationship existed. And so, what remains to be proven is the existence and extent of any financial benefit, again if there even was one. Because I think it's possible that the facts alleged by the defendant could result in disqualification. I think an evidentiary hearing must occur to establish the record on those core allegations."


COATES: So, what was meant by financial benefit? Because a lot of people look at this and they might say to themselves, okay, if they had some sort of romantic relationship, how does that go to the underlying facts of the case or how does it impact the case? Maybe it's a bad look. He was married. I don't know the facts of this scenario. But why is the financial benefit an issue?

MOSS: Because that's what would be bringing up in terms of recusal. That was what is relevant under the Georgia code. Norm and some of his colleagues had a great piece on this weeks ago when this first came up about where the Georgia rules and the Georgia case law has it.

But what is ultimately going to undercut this argument by the criminal defendants and was probably going to salvage this for Fani Willis is that under that existing case law, simply getting a salary for Nathan Wade isn't going to be enough to implicate that financial interest. He's not getting a cut, he's not getting bonuses based off of a particular conviction. It's a standard --

COATES: Or a guilty plea or something like that.

MOSS: Yeah. It's a standard salary. Yes, he's using it to take a vacation. He's a legal adult. He's allowed to do that. He's taking someone he apparently was in a relationship with on that vacation. They say they were splitting costs. All entirely proper and still ethical.

It's a bad look for Fani Willis that this occurred, but I don't see disqualification ultimately coming to play in the end. I think the judge just wants to, you know, check the boxes to make sure.

COATES: But if they were to be disqualified, it's not a matter of Fani Willis saying, okay, fine, I can't be a part of it. It implicates the entire team, right?

EISEN: That is Georgia law. If she is removed from the case by the judge, the whole office is removed, and that means this case will not go to trial in 2024. It may never go to trial.

That happened. There was a conflict with respect to one defendant, it is over a year ago, and no lawyer has been appointed to prosecute that case from all of the DAs of Georgia. So, that's a very momentous decision for the judge.

Laura, as you know, I favor the evidentiary hearing. I think it is part of clearing the air. The law is against the defendants here because there is no, what Brad was describing, is a contingent fee. That's what Georgia requires, that he gets a success fee if he convicts somebody. That's not what's going to happen here.

But we're not just in the court of law.


We're in the court of public opinion. This is happening in the real world.

COATES: Uh-hmm.

EISEN: This is a judge who's going to have to run for reelection this year. He's a smart judge, so he's creating the bare legal basis to have this hearing to try to clear the air. I think there's going to need to be some kind of accountability, some consequences for this very foolish relationship.

COATES: Well, you know who's not running for reelection? An Article 3 judge with lifetime tenure down in Florida who's overseeing the Mar-a- Lago case, Judge Eileen Cannon.


And there was a question in the courts about whether one could publish the witness lists or make it public to people who might be a part of this trial. She's potentially going to do so.

You are a national security attorney. You can tell us. I'm sure you have more experience than anyone else about this. But the idea that intimidation could possibly result -- I mean, I didn't call ready for my trials and hand over a witness list until we were actually going to trial.

MOSS: So, here's what occurred with this. The Trump team and -- well, now they got this various discovery as part of the Mar-a-Lago case. They had sought to file a motion to compel additional discovery. But there's a protective order in place in this case. So, everything had to be filed under seal.

Then they, as well as various transparency media organizations, asked to lift the seal on some parts of those documents, particularly what they had gotten in discovery for purposes of transparency. Normally, everything you file in court is filed on a public docket. This was put under seal.

Her decision from a couple of days ago, when it came to national security information, she sided with Jack Smith. When it came to particular identity, she sided with him. But she said, you may have legitimate arguments when it comes to witness intimidation and threats to witnesses, but your affidavits are garbage, they're not telling me what I need on a factual context to warrant this legal conclusion.

I haven't seen what he actually submitted. You haven't seen it. None of us have seen it. It's all under seal. But what her analysis became was, give me better affidavits, show me why I should actually rule in the government's favor on this front.

COATES: Why can't they give that information to her? Is there any reason they can't?

MOSS: No reason they can't. The government gets a little arrogant sometimes when it comes to this. They get a little confident in their ability to just go with a bare minimum with their affidavits.

I deal with it all the time and judges a lot of time will go along with it. Judge Cannon, in her discretion, has chosen not to. Whether that was appropriate, it's hard to say because we haven't seen the affidavits, but that's what happened.

COATES: Well, we will see. I don't know. On behalf of somebody (INAUDIBLE) was a government attorney.


How dare you.

MOSS: I know.


COATES: Okay, Brad, Norm, thank you so much.

Donald Trump starting a firestorm with his claims that NATO members aren't paying their bills and his threats to let Russia do -- quote -- "whatever the hell they want" -- unquote. But what's the real truth behind this? We'll do a fact check next.




COATES: Favoring foes over friends, former President Donald Trump ramping up his attacks on NATO.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One of the presidents of a big country stood up and said, well, sir, if we don't pay and we're attacked by Russia, will you protect us? I said, you didn't pay? You're delinquent? He said, yes, let's say that happened. No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You got to pay. You got to pay your bills.


And the money came flowing in.


COATES: The comments drawing little condemnation from Republicans while riling allies. But did Trump actually paint an accurate picture of the alliance's funding obligations? I got to turn to CNN senior reporter Daniel Dale for a fact check here because the second I heard this, I wanted to talk to you, I wanted to figure out whether he was right about this, because he has been saying for years, frankly --


COATES: -- that these other NATO countries are delinquent, that they're not paying their bills, that they actually owe the United States money. Is he right about any of that?

DALE: None of that is right, Laura. This is a very real issue that former President Trump has insisted for years on talking about inaccurately.

So, let me take people through this. So, for about two decades, NATO had a non-binding guideline, non-binding guideline that said that all members should spend 2% of their own gross domestic product on defense. So, two key facts there. One, it's on defense. It's not, you know, on the United States. You don't have to give NATO money. You don't have to give the U.S. money. It's defense spending.

And number two, again, this is a non-binding guideline. If you look at the language that existed until it got a little firmer last year, it was pretty soft. It said that if you're not at the 2% guideline, you should aim to hit it within a decade. And so, it did not create any delinquency. There's no debt. There's no arrear. There's nothing like Donald Trump says.

Now, none of that is to say that this is not a real issue. Now, for decades, American presidents tried to get European allies and Canada often to spend more on defense. Bush tried, Obama tried. And Trump claimed he had great success, he had some success, but most members are still not hitting it.

If you look at official NATO data estimates from 2023, it's still 11 of the then 30 NATO members were at or above 2%. So, still a long way to go.

COATES: So, his claims that spending by NATO members is going down until he took office and reversed that is just not accurate?

DALE: It's not accurate. You've heard him say that a lot. It was like a rocket ship downwards.

COATES: Right.

DALE: I don't know if rocket ships go downwards or they shouldn't.

COATES: I hope not.

DALE: A rocket ship downward until I took office. That's not true. If you look at, again, at that official NATO data, it increased each of the two years before he took office, 2015 up by 1.6%, 2016 up by 3%.

So, why did it go up? If not Donald Trump, well, Vladimir Putin. If you remember 2014, Putin of Russia invaded annexed Ukraine's Crimea region. A lot of European allies were like, okay, I guess, you know, we got to get serious about spending. And so, they started spending before Trump took office.

Now, spending did increase by more after Trump took office. NATO secretary general did credit him in part for the spike. But if you talk to experts, they'll tell you that much of that spike was still the Vladimir Putin effect from that Crimea invasion.

COATES: Now that's interesting, to think about what was the actual approximate cause and beyond of Trump or other areas in the region.


But I was really intrigued by the fact that there was applause to what he had to say.

DALE: Yeah.

COATES: As you mentioned, you know, even with the fact-check notwithstanding, this is a real issue for people. Why do you think it did generate that applause?

DALE: I think Donald Trump crowds often applaud anything that Donald Trump says. I shouldn't speculate too much. I'm a fact-check reporter.

I will note, though, Laura, that, you know, one thing that gets applause is Trump's claims at these rallies that, you know, we're there for them, we're there for European allies, they wouldn't be there for us.

I think we should note that the one and only time that NATO's Article 5, you know, collective defense provision, was invoked was in 2001 after the U.S. was attacked on 9/11. The rest of NATO alliance stood with the United States.

And so, this claim that, you know, we're with them, they're not with us, well, that time, they were with us, the United States.

COATES: This has been really important. Thank you so much for breaking that because I was really worried and wondering about whether there was accuracy or not. And as my mother always says, the truth just sounds right. And when Daniel Dale tells me what it is, I'm appreciative. Thank you so much.

DALE: Thank you.

COATES: So, the question is, how are Republicans feeling about former President Donald Trump's comments on NATO? Well, two Senate Republicans are saying, don't take Trump so literally.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Donald Trump was president, and he didn't pull us out of NATO. In fact, American troops were stationed throughout Europe as they are today. They were then as well. But he's telling a story and, frankly, look, Donald Trump is not a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. He doesn't talk like a traditional politician.

SEN. ROGER MARSHALL (R-KS): I just encourage people not to overreact. I learned a long time ago not to overreact to what President Trump says or what he tweets. I think that people should take everything he says seriously but not literally. That's simply the president telling NATO countries they need to step up and play their part. It's that simple. I think everybody is overreacting.


COATES: Hmm. Are they? I wonder. Joining me now, Congressman Dan Goldman, a Democrat from New York, joins us here in studio. Thank you for being here.

First of all, to that point about the overreaction aspect of it, people were really stunned, frankly, in a long line of being stunned about his comments, whoever this figurative person or real person or not. What did you make of that statement by the former president of the United States?

REP. DANIEL GOLDMAN (D-NY): Well, first of all, it's a continuation of his view towards Vladimir Putin that we saw in 2016 when he asked Russia to get Hillary Clinton's emails. He was found by Robert Mueller in the special counsel's report to have welcomed Russian interference, to have used it for his campaign. Then you fast forward 2018 and he chooses Vladimir Putin over our intelligence agencies to this when he says, oh, no, no, no, of course, I didn't interfere. And it is just his constant sucking up to Vladimir Putin.

And so, when Republicans say, oh, it's just Trump being Trump, it's like, yes, that's the problem, is that this is a danger to democracy, this is a danger to both our country here domestically, but also to the world order abroad.

So, the excuse that, oh, it's just Trump being Trump is not really an excuse because that is what the true danger of Donald Trump, who has declared his desire to be a dictator.

COATES: Well, you know, when we think about if Trump is being Trump, there are a number of legal issues that Trump is facing that have had that same philosophy of you can't take it seriously, what he has said or what he is doing, and that these are political hit jobs targeting him.

And most recently, the most recent argument he has now been making is a double standard when it comes to the Mar-a-Lago classified documents compared to what President Biden is not being charged with. There has been a lot of discussion about that transcript being released to the public or at least to your committee, in particular, from Special Counsel Hur. Do you want to see that transcript? Do you want to hear from Special Counsel Hur about that report?

GOLDMAN: Well, I'll get to that in a second because you bring up a really good point, which is you hear a lot of these political defenses being used by Donald Trump in a court --

COATES: Uh-hmm.

GOLDMAN: -- and trying to use them in a court, whether it's E. Jean Carroll or any of the other cases. They don't work in court. They almost uniformly fail because they aren't real defenses and they're not supported by the facts.

So, when he claims there's a double standard, and you can look in the Hur report, and you see laid out in great detail what -- how cooperative Joe Biden was, how he didn't know about the documents, how he wanted to respect the independence of the Department of Justice and cooperated fully, and then you look at Donald Trump, and he obstructed justice, he concealed his documents, for what purpose, we don't know, but no good purpose since he knew they weren't his, this goes all the way back to the Mueller report when he was found to have committed 10 acts of obstruction, and he refused to sit for an interview and was found to have lied in his written answers.


So, you don't have to go very far to look at the difference between the two. But yes, I would like to see that transcript because from my discussions with Joe Biden and others that I've spoken to, his knowledge and understanding benefits all of us so much.

His age comes with wisdom and experience, and especially on the issue of Israel and the Middle East and Ukraine, the way he was able to rally all of our allies together to support Ukraine, the way he has managed a really complicated geopolitical situation in the Middle East where his firm understanding from decades of being in this foreign policy realm is incredibly valuable and his leadership has been essential. You don't see it so much, but it is there behind the scenes.

COATES: Well, some would argue that's a problem if you're not seeing it as much out in front. And, of course, he is being criticized for what's going on in his handling of his relationship with Israel as compared to what's going on in Gaza.

That has been a point of concern for people. It's not the issue of age. It's not the issue of acuity. It's the issue of policy distinctions as well, which I'm sure he would like to discuss more than his age and going on.

But there's also this huge election in New York, I'm sure you've been hearing about it, involving the former colleague, your former congressman, George Santos. This would make a huge difference for Democrats if you were able to secure that seat. How do you think it's going to turn out? GOLDMAN: Well, I think Tom Suozzi, who was a three-term congressman from that district, is a Democrat, a moderate, a bipartisan legislator who gets stuff done, going up against a complete neophyte rookie who has not -- is unable to enunciate what her positions are on abortion, on assault weapons, and seems to just be a rubber stamp for Donald Trump and Mike Johnson and the MAGA movement, which is very dangerous for a district that is not a MAGA district.

And so, when a national abortion ban comes on the floor and she has just catered to Donald Trump and opposed this border security bill, that bipartisan bill, because Donald Trump doesn't want it, whereas Tom Suozzi has made it very clear, he supports bipartisan legislation that will address the problems, she doesn't seem to have her own views of anything that mean anything, and she'll just follow along.

When you add in, in this district with George Santos, some real shady financial disclosures, it's bewildering to me that anyone who just voted for George Santos or just had George Santos as their elected representative would vote for anyone with shady financial disclosures like the Republican candidate has. It's going to be snowy tomorrow, so it's going to take some energy, but I think the Democrats are motivated and will get out to the polls.

COATES: Oh, God, the Minnesotan in me is laughing at the fact you guys can't turn out for snow, but that's fine.


I'll leave it there for a second. I know we have to go, but I just got to ask you, the former president has filed the appeal with the Supreme Court about the issue of absolute immunity. This is extraordinary important. I cannot overstate it enough. This idea of the Supreme Court or any court deciding whether or not a president has absolute immunity or not.

When you look at what is at stake, given your background and how you have dealt with the former president before in the entire process, impeachment and beyond, what are the consequences here if the Supreme Court does not take up this case?

GOLDMAN: I think if the Supreme Court doesn't take up this case, that's a win for democracy because then it goes to the appeals court opinion, which really convincingly and persuasively explained why a president cannot have absolute immunity because that would mean that the president is above the law, and the most basic foundation of our system of government, our rule of law, is that no one is above the law.

And the opinion on the appeals court was very persuasive. A unanimous opinion. So, if the Supreme Court doesn't take it up, then that's a victory. If they do, which I expect they will because it's such a significant novel issue, I still cannot imagine that this Supreme Court, even with three Trump justices, could ever bring itself to say that a president is completely immune from any crimes that he may commit just because he claims they are official acts which as the district court, as the appeals court as you know all too well, really debunked because he could order SEAL Team 6 to kill someone, and that's technically an official act but, obviously, that would also be a crime.

COATES: Well, we'll see what this court decides to do. And you're right, the idea of the appointments weighing very heavily on everyone's mind, particularly Donald Trump. Thank you for joining us today --

GOLDMAN: Thank you.

COATES: -- Congressman Dan Goldman.


And be sure to tune in tomorrow starting at 8 p.m. Eastern for CNN's special coverage of the special election, extra special, in New York to replace George Santos. Thank you.

Super Bowl drawing the biggest, get this, the biggest TV audience since the moon landing. Yeah, you heard that right, since the moon landing, everyone. And political figures across the board looked to capitalize from President Biden, leaning into the dark Brandon meme to Trump's pleas for Taylor Swift's loyalty next.





COATES: (INAUDIBLE). Really? I can do it? All right, fine. Okay, hold on, I got to get it right. I didn't even make contact. There you go. Okay, thank you. What an electric night at the most watched event since the moon landing. You're welcome, that's Usher's comment.

The Super Bowl is setting a records rating, a ratings record. It's getting an astonishing 123 million viewers. Can you believe that?


But athletes were not the only ones vying for attention. Politicians were also trying to capitalize on all of the fanfare and all the eyeballs. There was President Biden's campaign poking fun at a conspiracy theory in his campaign's very first TikTok video.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): Deviously plotting to rig the season so the Chiefs would make the Super Bowl or the Chiefs just being a good football team?

UNKNOWN (voice-over): You're getting in trouble if I told you.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COATES: Then, hours before kickoff, Donald Trump making a plea to Taylor Swift on social media, don't be ungrateful, writing in part, "Joe Biden didn't do anything for Taylor, and never will. There's no way she could endorse Crooked Joe Biden and be disloyal to the man who made her so much money."

Who would that be? And a new Super Bowl ad for long shot independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. stirring some family tension for invoking the late President John F. Kennedy's 1960 campaign.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): Kennedy.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Kennedy.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Kennedy.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Kennedy.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): Kennedy.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Kennedy.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Kennedy.



COATES: Well, RFK, Jr. has since apologized to his family for that ad. Joining me now, Republican strategist Rina Shah and CNN political commentator Ashley Allison who served as the national coalition's director for the Biden-Harris 2020 campaign.

Okay, I want to talk about Usher, but we won't right now. That's fine with everyone.



COATES: We'll talk about it later on. That's fine. But let's talk about the fact that, Ashley, Biden is now embracing sort of a tongue in cheek 'Dark Brandon,' right? He is leaning into it. The question is, is it a productive and good strategy or is it cringe to you?

ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Okay, overall, I think 'Dark Brandon' had some highlights free last night. Last night, if the TikTok video would have just stayed where it was, they would have nailed it.

The problem was they then took it over to Twitter or X now and try to make it live -- have a longer life, and it fell flat. And this is the trick about social media because you have to have things in context. And at the same time when Joe Biden posted the 'Dark Brandon' thing, the same -- the bombing in Gaza was happening in Rafah.

And so, there was this -- we know that Joe Biden wasn't talking about he was controlling and this is what was happening, but the context, it missed the mark. And so, something that could have been so great landed flat for a significant part of the audience.

But I am glad he is on TikTok because a lot of voters are there getting their news there. He needs to meet young people there and other voters as well.

COATES: That's a great point about where he is, frankly, because for many people watching, they may be like, well, there's the nuance of when you're supposed to post and are you on TikTok or are you on X or Instagram.

And this is appealing to younger voters in particular who are using these different mediums and platforms in ways that we've never seen before and never had the opportunity to do so before. We're talking about appealing to younger voters, though. Is this the play for him right now?

SHAH: I mean, it has to be the play. Who put him in the White House? Gen Z. It can't be said enough. And I think, you know, looking at his presence on TikTok, I'm a little bit like Mr. President, come on, wasn't it just two short years ago that you banned TikTok from most federal government devices due to security concerns? So, I mean, make that make sense. Your staffers are suddenly like, Super Bowl Sunday, we're doing this. It's clearly not the president on TikTok doing his own TikTok. He is not dancing. He's late to the game. It feels like he kind of missed the mark.

I'm over the memes, it's just they're played out for me, but I think him on social media is no surprise because what else is he going to do to get the youth vote to understand grandpa is still with them? I mean, look, I'm critical of his age because we've got to be. He's the oldest ever American president. And the average retirement age, guys, 61 to 67 across these United States.

ALLISON: Okay, but let's just be honest.

SHAH: I do wish he'd stepped aside by now.

ALLISON: Well, that's not the question about whether or not he should be on TikTok. And Joe Biden, if you're running a campaign, you need to go every single place you can meet voters.

SHAH: Sure.

ALLISON: And TikTok is a place that you can meet voters.

SHAH: But it's also very anti-American. It's rife with security concerns. And the only candidate taking it seriously is Nikki Haley. When she talks about it, it is the fact that China is controlling so many things in our society, and we don't talk about them fairly and openly enough. And then you have Joe Biden being like everything is fine, dudes, I banned it two years ago, but I'm on it.

ALLISON: That's not what he's saying. I think it is --

SHAH: I mean by being on it, he is.

ALLISON: No. I think that you cannot -- I mean, if that's the case, then get off of Twitter because Twitter is run by Elon Musk who is highly problematic.

SHAH: But not China.

ALLISON: First Amendment question -- I don't care. I mean, I'm not going to -- I'm not --

SHAH: No ties to the CCP (ph) that we know.

ALLISON: No, I'm not -- it's not -- it's about having platforms, holding platforms accountable regardless of --


SHAH: And take on should be.

ALLISON: Can I -- let me finish.

SHAH: Sure, sure.

ALLISON: Holding platforms accountable regardless of who owns them, whether it's Chinese, whether they're Elon Musk.

SHAH: But you just said Twitter --

ALLISON: Let me finish. Let me finish.

SHAH: -- is owned by Elon. You're not making sense here. I'm sorry.

COATES: Well, Rina --


ALLISON: I'll stop there.

COATES: Let me both stop you. So, anyone who comes to my extended home, I want to have a chance to hear from both of you and so does the audience.

SHAH: Sure.

COATES: So, I've heard you. I want to hear you again, Rina.

SHAH: Yeah.

COATES: Let me hear what you have to say, Ashley. ALLISON: Thank you. So, TikTok has its problems, Twitter has its problems, Instagram has its problems, Facebook has its problems. But guess what is consistent across all four of those? Voters. And so, if you were trying to reach voters, then you need to go where they are. If Joe Biden doesn't go where young voters are, what do you say? Oh, he's too old, he's too out of touch. If he does, then what do you say? Oh, it's a problem. So, you can't win.

Joe Biden actually probably, maybe he's trying to get your vote, maybe you're a Nikki Haley supporter, I don't know, but he is saying to people, I understand young people are on TikTok, I understand the older audiences on Facebook, I'm going to go, I'm going to present my case, and if you don't like it, don't vote for me, but I'm not going to shut up because you don't want me to be on a platform.

COATES: Well, I have to ask both of you, and I want to hear from you on this point as well. Why does Donald Trump think that Taylor Swift, she owes her success to him?


ALLISON: Because he's a narcissist.

COATES: I mean, is there -- is there -- I keep going through and wanting to figure out what it is that she has owed -- he -- she owes him her wealth.

And here's what he had to say, by the way. Here's this entire post for context. He said he signed and was responsible for the Music Modernization Act for Taylor Swift and all other musical artists. "Joe Biden didn't do anything for Taylor, never will. There's no way she could endorse Crooked Joe Biden, the worst and most corrupt president." He goes on to talk about (INAUDIBLE) to the man who made her so much money.

Besides that, he did say, "I like her boyfriend, Travis, even though he may be a liberal and probably can't stand me." So, there's clarity. No? Great. I don't hear it either.


What's your last comment? Go ahead.

SHAH: I mean, look, Taylor Swift is not a national security concern to either of these candidates like TikTok is. So, I'll just leave it on that bit. But I will say Taylor Swift is a woman who should be admired. And a lot of Republicans take red issue with her. Why? Because she is open about the fact that she didn't want her home state senator making it to where she did. She took great issue with Marsha Blackburn, right?

So, it started kind of in her being this person that was open about her own views, concerned about abortion and what it meant to the American woman. And she is getting people registered and out there and into the process. But we also forget that a lot of the criticism that Trump comes with is rooted in misogyny. We are not acknowledging facts and we don't look at the fact that at the end of the Eras tour, last -- I think the last show by then, I got the figure right here, 5.7 billion boosts to the U.S. economy. I love that. I love that figure so much. And we --

ALLISON: That's a very complicated answer. Donald Trump is a narcissist.


And so that's why he thinks that he makes everything about him. I agree everything about Taylor Swift. Go Taylor, go Swifties, go Beyonce, go Usher, go everybody, but Donald Trump is a narcissist.



Usher. I'm just replying to Usher.

SHAH: Yeah, I agree on that.

COATES: There you go. I was just doing the Usher thing just now. Rina, Ashley, thank you so much. I told you I wanted to talk about Usher.


Thank you so much. Well, there is also a lot more news to get to because we also saw this horrific notion of frightening shooting at a megachurch in Houston that Pastor Joel Osteen says could have been a lot worse. What police found on the shooter's gun, we'll tell you next.



COATES: New details tonight about the woman who walked into a popular Houston megachurch with an AR-15 and opened fire. Police say the shooter was armed with an AR-15 that had Palestine, a Palestine sticker on it. She arrived with a seven-year-old boy, her son, who is now in critical condition.

According to investigators, Moreno had a criminal history dating back years, including an assault and legal possession of a weapon, as well as a history of mental health challenges.

Joining me now, former chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence in D.C, Donell Harvin. Donell, when you hear this, it's just so tragic, that little boy, and thinking about what could have happened that day as well. We don't know what motive yet, according to Houston police, but there are several factors at play here. How do you piece together what may have been the motive?

DONELL HARVIN, FORMER CHIEF OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE: It's tough and I know law enforcement is doing that right now. I think, and I don't want to sound trite, it's irrelevant for some folks, right? And the reason why is because she may be a symbol for those folks who are radicalized.

The Palestine on the rifle, we've seen that with other active shooters. We saw that in Christchurch in New Zealand. We saw that in the Buffalo shooter with antisemitic and anti-black writings. And so that in and of itself is symbolic.

Irrespective of what her motive is and it is important to find out, she may be held up as a symbol of hate for other folks. We do know that antisemitism is up almost 400%. Law enforcement has indicated that they found some, you know, antisemitic writings. And so, it is concerning.

COATES: They have highlighted that aspect of it. Does that give you an indication of how they are investigating this matter?

HARVIN: They're probably all over the place with this. I mean, how do you -- how do you investigate someone that brings her seven-year-old child into a shootout? I mean, let's just think about it. There's a child on life support right now and it's tragic. Where do you begin? And so, they're piecing together a lot of stuff.

You know, I've done forensics for many years. Something that we know in the business is if everything you learn in the first 24, 48 hours is kind of misleading, it could be wrong. We're going to have to wait. We're going to have to wait for at least a couple of days so people start coming again, they piece these things.

But clearly, my heart is with the seven-year-old. And once again, for some individuals out there, I'm sure who are radicalized and in the abyss of hate, they're already upholding her as a symbol.

COATES: We're seeing yet again a place that ought to be safe, now a scene of a shooting. You had a Tree of Life Synagogue. You had Mother Emanuel Church.


You had Sutherland Springs, I believe, in Texas. Of course, you also have now what's happened at this megachurch in Houston. I mean, these are softer targets these days. That's startling.

HARVIN: Yeah, and for years, I worked in this very city to work with soft targets, particularly houses of worship and schools, simply to get them prepared for something terrible like this.

COATES: Unbelievable. Donell, thank you so much for always sounding the alarm on these issues and keeping us informed. Donell Harvin, thank you. We'll be right back.


COATES: Here's a story you may have been hearing about because I certainly saw this all over my feed. [23:55:00]

Snoop Dogg is accusing Walmart of dropping his cereal like it's hot. I know. You know what? Sorry about that. But the legendary mogul along with his business partner, rapper Master P, are suing Walmart and Post Consumer Brands, claiming that they're keeping Snoop's cereal in store stock rooms instead of displaying it on shelves.

Now, according to the lawsuit, they say when they approach Post to get the product Snoop Cereal on retail shelves, the company allegedly tried to buy the brand. The pair declined and instead entered an agreement to split profit while Post produced and distributed the cereal as its own product to major retailers, including Walmart.

Lawsuit alleges -- quote -- "Post essentially worked with Walmart to ensure that none of the box of Snoop Cereal would ever appear on the store shelves," adding -- quote -- "This automatically resulted in losses to the product, which cut into the profits that Broadus Foods was supposed to receive from the agreement."

Now in a statement to CNN, a Walmart spokesperson said, "Walmart values our relationships with our suppliers, and we have a strong history of supporting entrepreneurs. Many factors affect the sales of any given product, including consumer demand, seasonality, and price to name a few."

And Post said, "Post Consumer Brands was excited to partner with Broadus Foods and we made substantial investments in the business. We were equally disappointed that consumer demand did not meet expectations."

We're going to follow this story and bring you updates as we get them.

Thank you all for watching tonight. Our coverage continues.