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Laura Coates Live

President Biden Says He Will Not Pardon Hunter If Convicted; "Wheel of Fortune" Host Pat Sajak Signs Off; Ishana Night Shyamalan's Releases Directorial Debut. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired June 07, 2024 - 23:00   ET



LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Well, from delay, delay, delay, to now revenge, revenge, revenge. Donald Trump says the justice system only has it out for Republicans like him, but there are two big trials that prove otherwise.

Plus, President Biden's message from Normandy, his pitch for democracy, on the very soil where Americans fought against autocracy. And there's a new Shyamalan in town, the daughter of horror legend M. Night Shyamalan, on her new movie, "The Watchers", and what she thinks about her dad's films.

So, the American justice system, if you haven't noticed, is facing a pretty critical moment. Donald Trump has been trying to chip away at its credibility ever since the first charges were brought against him. But this past week, it has been a whole different beast. He has opened the floodgates in the days since his conviction in the New York hush money trial. Repeatedly and forcefully, Trump is vowing revenge. He said it this weekend.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My revenge will be success, and I mean that. But it's awfully hard when you see what they've done. These people are so evil.


COATES: He said it Tuesday.


TRUMP: "It's a terrible precedent for our country. Does that mean the next President does it to them?" Wouldn't it be terrible to throw the President's wife and the former Secretary of State, think of it, the former Secretary of State, but the President's wife, into jail. Wouldn't that be a terrible thing, but they want to do it."


COATES: He said it Wednesday.


TRUMP: Look, when this election is over, based on what they've done, I would have every right to go after them, and it's easy, because it's Joe Biden.


COATES: He also said it Thursday.


TRUMP: Well, revenge does take time, I will say that.


TRUMP: And sometimes revenge can be justified, Phil. I have to be honest.


TRUMP: Sometimes it can't.


COATES: And here's the thing. Several of those interviewers, they were trying to give Trump a kind of a very easy off-ramp. They were setting him up with some softballs, almost T-balls, really. A chance to bury the hatchet, take maybe a higher road, but he refused to budge. In fact, he doubled down.

Trump is being cheered on by his allies and a lot of potential V.P. picks who are raising their hand to be second in command, who say this is all political persecution. A two-tiered system of justice filled with lawfare, as they like to claim. But that just, I mean, it's not the case. We've got the evidence to show it.

In exhibit number one, Senator Bob Menendez. He is on trial for corruption, federally. A sprawling case involving gold bars and envelopes of cash and a brand-new Mercedes convertible. Menendez announcing this week he has actually changed his party to Independent, but that was just this week.

For years, he has been one of the most powerful Senate Democrats, and he is facing federal charges and federal trial with those brought by the DOJ, not some local or state prosecutor of a Democratic administration. And today, a witness for the prosecution testifying that he directly bribed the New Jersey Senator.

Exhibit number two, Hunter Biden, President Biden's own son, facing possible prison time over felony gun charges. Hunter's daughter giving emotional testimony today in her father's defense. Now, given how personal, all of this must feel, it would be easy maybe for President Biden to follow Trump's claimed playbook and claim the system is biased against people with the name Biden. But here's how Biden is addressing it.


DAVID MUIR, ABC ANCHOR: Let me ask you, will you accept the jury's outcome, their verdict, no matter what it is?


MUIR: And have you ruled out a pardon for your son? Yes.


COATES: Sounds a little different than Trump, right? Well, you be the judge. Joining me now, seated law enforcement analyst and former deputy director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, former law clerk for Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Tiffany Wright, and former National Republican Senatorial Committee aide, Liam Donovan. So good to have an embarrassment of riches on a Friday night. Thank you all for being here.

Let me begin with you here, Andrew, because this claim that there is a two-tiered system of justice. We can all agree that there are inequities in our justice system, period, full stop. You cannot convince me otherwise. But this allegation that this is only targeting Trump or Republicans or MAGA is just patently false.

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Absolutely right. And I think you had great examples of that there. I would also want to point out that part of this narrative that we're hearing from the former President and his supporters is that this is the result of some sort of political persecution, election interference.


The fact is that Donald Trump was indicted in New York and in three other jurisdictions, not by Joe Biden, not by any attorney general or any prosecutor. He was indicted by groups of 23 of his fellow citizens who got together on a grand jury, reviewed the evidence, heard the entire investigation, and voted that there was probable cause to believe he committed a crime.

And in New York, he was then judged by 12 of his fellow citizens of Manhattan who heard that evidence through what we can all observe was a trial that observed all of the privileges and rights, constitutional rights, that any defendant is entitled to. And at the end of that trial, they decided that he was guilty of those crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.

COATES: And the irony, we couldn't actually observe it because apparently, like, that just can't happen in New York. So, wouldn't it be great? I'm just going to go back. Wouldn't it have been great to actually watch it in some form or fashion? But, Tiffany, let me go to you on this because there is this, like, split screen happening. You know, there's accusations about how the DOJ controlled the hush money trial. They did not.

That was through the local D.A. But there is a federal trial happening. It involves Hunter Biden. They had his daughter up there today. It is a bit of an uphill battle to prove that there was this narrow window of time that he, in fact, was using in violation of what he stated. But talk to me about this split screen that you're seeing, that this seems to still have legs for people.

TIFFANY R. WRIGHT, FORMER LAW CLERK FOR JUSTOCE SONIA SOTOMAYOR: I think it's unfortunate, I think. And a lot of it comes from the lies that the former President tells, right? Like, either he was the leader of our entire federal government for many years and doesn't understand that the state of New York is not within the control of the federal government, or he's patently lying to people.

And either way, it's unacceptable. But I think what we see with Hunter Biden really is an unfortunate picture of how addiction can rip apart a family. And that is what I see when I look at it. You have a man who has recovered, who is in his sobriety trying to recover, and all of that is being brought back up. His daughter is on the stand.

It is heartbreaking. And to see the current President in a model that I wish President Trump would follow say I'm not going to consider intervening in the legal system even for my own son, even though I know he was suffering with addiction when he did this, is a really powerful model that I think should be one for all of our Commanders- in-Chief.

COATES: You know, Liam, there is a real risk of a strategy to attack based on sobriety. Otherwise, it could backfire in terms of a political talking point that suggests that this is, you know, this is a case to pursue, A, or that they could undermine the system of justice by using this as a case study.

There's a real tension there, because if you're a Republican strategist, as you are, you've got this balance to pull between wanting to suggest that there is a two-tiered system that's targeting Donald Trump and then proof of, like, Menendez being tried. I mean, a top-ranking Democrat who only recently is Independent, the President's own son, how should voters evaluate the two?

LIAM DONOVAN, FORMER NATIONAL REPUBLICAN SENATORIAL COMMITTEE AIDE: Well, there's two separate issues here. I think if you assume the premise that the system is rigged, all these things just point in that direction. You can backfill your rationale as to why the fact that Menendez is still a senator and Chuck Schumer hasn't called for him to resign, that's just proof that the system is rigged.

The fact that he's taking Mercedes or gold bars or what have you, that's proof that the system is rigged. The fact that Hunter is on trial not for the things that they think he did, the Biden crime family or what have you, this is for, you know, lying on a gun application, that's proof that the system is rigged.

So, I think you can always, you know, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But from the standpoint of how voters should look at it and, frankly, how voters do look at it, I think they're disgusted by the whole thing. I think even having to look into these issues, you know, it's not comfortable. I mean, as we were talking about, as a father, as a son, you wouldn't wish this on anyone. I think it's how voters really recoil from this stuff. And, frankly, if they're thinking about what voters care about, especially as it relates to law and order, they're not worried about what politicians who they already are sort of disgusted by are doing.

They're more worried about crime in their cities and the concerns over, you know, what's coming through our borders and those sorts of things. So, I think the idea that we're focusing our time, that prosecutors are focusing their times on things that they think is as a sideshow are a distraction from the things that are driving people when they go to the polls.

COATES: It's interesting to think about, I mean, Andrew McCabe, excuse me, the idea of if everyone's doing it, right, it doesn't actually prove that you haven't done it. It's the idea of if you think everyone's corrupt, but yet you yourself are accused of being corrupt, it doesn't take the wind out of the sails of prosecution.

But I want to get into the statistics here because in the Bob Menendez trial, I mean, you've got a key prosecution witness that happened today. I mean, you had a man by the name of Jose Uribe who took the stand today. He testified that he bribed the Senator, gave his wife a Mercedes Benz in exchange for gaining, and I quote, "the power and influence of Menendez".

I do wonder what kind of political impact this has to have this on the same screen as an accusation that only Republicans are targeted, but also largely that Liam's talking about, that you've got a sitting senator accused of this behavior.


What does that do to the trust of the system entirely?

MCCABE: It's horrible for the system. It's horrible for the Senate. It's horrible for our political system in general because it is yet another example of someone in that system who's gone, allegedly gone beyond the law, broken the law, and found himself in this situation.

But I think it's important to distinguish, and I do agree with you, Ian, that people are disgusted by that and more concerned with the issues that are rightly the focus of a political contest. But I do think it's important to distinguish that the criminal justice system, be it New York or the federal system or anywhere else, is not designed to convince people who to vote for.

Prosecutors don't bring cases because they're trying to commit election interference or they're trying to split off, you know, moderate voters. They bring cases because the facts and the law demand it. That's their job, right? Alvin Bragg was voted -- was elected by the citizens of Manhattan. He has the authority to bring cases where he thinks the facts and the law support them. He chooses to bring that case.

That's his obligation under the responsibility that's been vested in him by the citizens of Manhattan. If they don't like the way that he's making those decisions, they can elect someone else the next time. But the results of any of these individual cases are not designed to decide elections. They're designed to determine accountability under the criminal laws of this country.

COATES: That's a good point. And yet we have people who will accuse any elected official who is a prosecutor in particular, unlike the appointed or line prosecutors, that if you've campaigned in a certain way, then they assume that your only goal is to please a particular constituency. Now, he has been very direct in saying that was not his goal here. But we'll see how the voters ultimately judge that.

But let me talk about this Hunter Biden case because it is history in the making. I mean, a sitting President's child in a criminal trial. It involves I mean, some of the same narrative, same statements. This would never have been brought up. The last name wasn't this. This is a trumped up charge or this is never a standalone, whatever it could be. A lot of these things had been said about the hush money trial, as well.

And there's a lingering question that is actually in both. When it came to Trump, would he testify his own big spokesperson and only best person? Hunter Biden will have that choice, as well. Tiffany, should he testify?

WRIGHT: As a lawyer, I'm always hesitant to say that a defendant should testify. It seems that there is so much risk there, particularly because I think what's come out in the trial to this point is really the tip of the iceberg of some of the really unfortunate things that we know about that period of addiction in his life. And so he may not want to open himself up to that.

I think it's a calculus between how certain does conviction look? If it looks pretty certain, then maybe this is a Hail Mary testifying as something that could work or couldn't. There's not much risk. But if he thinks there's a chance, he might make a different choice. I cannot say that what I would do. I just don't envy the position that he or his lawyers are in.

COATES: Well, you know, I envy a position today. It's somebody who gets $4 million over the course of his career. And that is Clarence Thomas, Justice Clarence Thomas. I'm going to turn the page for a second because we saw that there has been -- these disclosures that have happened. And I know you were a Supreme Court clerk. Let me stick here for a second.

So, he is acknowledged at the 2019 trips. You're already closing your eyes and shaking your head. Hold on a second. So, I can't. I can't laugh. I have a cough. I can't laugh. Don't laugh. I'm not going to look at you anymore. Okay, I'm over here.

A 2019 trip paid by a Republican mega donor. There was a watchdog group Fix the Court identifying Thomas as the biggest gift recipient on the court to the tune of more than $4 million over the last 20 years. So, I mean, this idea of justices having at one time enjoying the highest approval ratings, right? I mean, they were untouchable. Everyone was fine with them.

They weren't in the mud. It was wonderful. They have been under a spotlight for a long time now over issues of financial disclosures and ethics and beyond. What does this tell you in terms of the amount of money that he, which stands alone from others, has accumulated?

WRIGHT: Clarence Thomas helped make the principle that money talks a constitutional principle. He voted in favor of money being speech under the First Amendment. So, the question for him is what does this $4 million say? And I think you can look to the Melendez trial where this gentleman testified today that for $60,000, I hoped to influence a criminal investigation.

What does $4 million get you? Because I don't think there's any doubt that if Clarence Thomas were a random law firm partner in D.C., nobody is taking him on trips to Bali or anywhere else for free. But what I think it does buy is an ethically compromised justice who, when the next Voting Rights Act case comes before the court, when the next Dobbs opinion comes before the court, what is he going to say?


Is there any doubt that had he voted the other way in Dobbs, for example, to overrule Roe v. Wade, would he still be getting this money? I mean, these are the questions you raise when you are accepting this level of money from political people who are very wealthy.

COATES: Why are you smirking? You don't agree?

DONOVAN: With due respect, and I'm here as the only non-lawyer at the table.

COATES: Oh, you're a lawyer? Oh, I'm sorry. You have to go.

DONOVAN: Asterisk non-attorney consultant. But I would say that if anyone was under the illusion that Clarence Thomas from 1991 on was ever going to be in a position to vote contrary to the way he's voted, I think as bad as the optics are, because obviously this is something that doesn't look good. And I think, you know, it's one of those things where maybe the scandal is what's legal, because he was under no obligation, didn't break any rules, he didn't break any laws.

Of course this doesn't look good, but the idea that he's been the most consistent person on the bench throughout his tenure. And so, I don't think there's been any mystery as to how he's going to come down, certainly not on something like a Dobbs.

But I think the through line here is it's not just about Thomas, because there's been a broader campaign against the court to delegitimize a number of justices and really call into question whether the court is legitimate in its current state.

WRIGHT: So, I think the question of whether or not he did something illegal, right? The argument has been that he was not required to disclose this. He disclosed it today. Why did he do that if he wasn't required to? So, I think this is sort of a tacit admission that I should have disclosed that then I did not.

And the purpose of ethics laws is not did you purchase a vote? It's we don't want the public to question that. We don't want a decision overturning Roe versus Wade to be infected by even the appearance that this billion or millions of dollars that he's received influenced his vote.

And so, that is a grave injury to the integrity of our entire justice system. And I don't want to push it away by saying we're under no illusions about how Clarence Thomas would have voted. Respectfully, I don't know that we can say that.

COATES: Final word.

MCCABE: Yeah. And an example of the importance of that is the fact that every other federal employee is held to a standard infinitely higher than what we currently see among our Supreme Court justices. It's basically what we refer to as the 2050 rule. You're not allowed to accept gifts unless it's worth $20 or less, and you can only accept a few of those from any single source not to exceed $50 over a single year.

Certainly far less than $4 million over 20 years. I know that in the FBI, the FBI director travels around the world, is constantly, you know, given gifts, wonderful tokens of appreciation by our foreign partners. Those gifts are taken by folks at headquarters who then determine the estimated value of each of them, bring them back about once a quarter to the director, and ask him if he would like any of them. And if he wants them, the ones he selects, he has to pay for.

So, these are the sorts of procedures that go on across the federal government every day, year after year, to ensure that people aren't creating that impression that we are receiving some sort of illicit favor from people affected by the work that we do.

COATES: That's really fascinating to think about the comparison. That's quite the split screen, as you describe the 2050 rule. Thank you, everyone, for this Friday night. I appreciate it. Now, from D.C., I want to go down to Florida, where Judge Aileen Cannon, the judge presiding over Trump's classified documents case, is under fire for ongoing delays. Why, you might ask?

Well, CNN spoke with ten veterans of Judge Cannon's courtroom about her handling of the case. Senior Judge Paul C. Huck of Fort Pierce, who said, on the record, she's very smart and very personable. Still, a number of other attorneys painted the picture of an indecisive and not efficient judge. I want to bring in former Miami-Dade County Court Judge Jeff Swartz to the conversation.

Judge, thank you for joining me this evening. I want to take a step back for a moment, and let's just go through Judge Cannon's actions, or maybe the right phrase here is inaction, so far, because at the beginning of May, she announced a laundry list of, I think, ten hearings and deadlines. Then she reshuffled that again this week, adding even more dates, and there's a calendar showing all the different spots that she'll have. She's got the next two months pretty much booked up. You have seen this court schedule. You've got four key categories still outstanding. How long do you think? You've got a motion to dismiss based on Jack Smith. You've got a gag order as a category. You've got classified information procedures act concerns, SIPA. And then, of course, a motion to dismiss based on attorney-client privilege as just a couple of the buckets here. Judge, how long should these typically take to sort out?

JEFF SWARTZ, FORMER JUDGE, MIAMI-DADE COUNTRY COURT: Most -- first of all, the SIPA stuff should have been resolved a long time ago. And that was all stalled off by the initial actions to enjoin the FBI from looking at these documents that went up to the 11th Circuit twice before they finally told her, let it go, you can't do this.


And so, as a result of which, this should have been over with. The motions to strike or to dismiss because of Jack Smith's appointment, both of them are really based upon the old independent counsel that was really independent, paid separately, not under the control of the DOJ. That's the reason why that was stricken.

But that doesn't happen anymore. This comes right out of the DOJ budget. DOJ is in charge. The Attorney General, the special prosecutors report to. So, these should have been dismissed almost immediately and handled summarily like they have been in every other instance where they've been filed.

As far as the gag order, it was kicked over 30 to 45 days because she alleged that they didn't have the proper certification that she had consulted with defense counsel, even though there was an allegation in the motion that he had in fact spoken to the defense and the defense said they would not agree.

All of these things should have been over with already. And it's extended to doing things like letting people like Ed Meese come in of all people to argue that Jack Smith isn't a proper special prosecutor. This is all just stuff that should have been handled and been gone already. So, the fact that it has taken --

COATES: Oh, excuse me.

SWARTZ: Go ahead.

COATES: But, you know, if they had been resolved, then the next step could be possibly to appeal a decision. So, if it's a decision that has not been made, then you don't have the opportunity if you're Jack Smith to then try to act on that. Could that be part of the point?

SWARTZ: This is part of the point. Part of the point is that she does not want this case to go to trial. And other people who have opined on CNN and other places have said she's doing this on purpose. She is stalling this case on purpose. There is no other reason for her to be doing these things. It's yes, she's inexperienced, but it's not like because she's in Fort Pierce, there's nobody to talk to. She's in a courthouse by herself. But the Southern District of Florida has a huge number of judges that she could consult. Many of them are very experienced in national security matters and could have guided her through some of this. Not told her how to rule, but guided her through all of this.

She refuses to get that help. She refuses to move the case forward. And as a result of which, Jack can't take an appeal. And if he doesn't take an appeal, he can't get her in front of the 11th Circuit for a third time, hoping the 11th Circuit will do something about her being the judge on this case.

COATES: So, does he have literally no recourse at this point in time? Just has to wait and he's at the mercy of her calendar?

SWARTZ: Yeah, I think that's the case. Because she hasn't done anything which under most judicial ethical codes stand for the proposition that she should be disqualified from the case. She just hasn't done anything to that extent. The fact that she doesn't rule, you can -- go and have the Circuit make her rule, but you can't get her removed for that.

The fact that she rules against you is not a basis to disqualify her. You have to have something unethical happening or something that shows her bias and her prejudice and her inaction, as much as most of us know exactly what she's doing and the reasonable person can, does not make it a basis to disqualify her from the case.

COATES: Judge Jeff Swartz, thank you so much for illuminating on this issue. I appreciate it.

SWARTZ: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

COATES: Well, next, President Biden delivers a speech in defense of democracy on the shores of Normandy. He took a big jab at his rival without invoking his name specifically.


BIDEN: Democracy begins with each of us, begins when one person decides something more important than themselves.





COATES: President Biden continues his state visit to France tomorrow to pay tribute to D-Day veterans. But he's also determined to draw some pretty stark contrast between himself and his predecessor, Donald Trump.

Today, Biden invoked the memory of Ronald Reagan as he spoke from Normandy, remembering the bravery of the soldiers who scaled 100-foot cliffs in a country they likely never visited to help liberate France from the Nazis. The President saying those heroes from World War II are counting on people today to continue to defend democracy and reject authoritarianism and stand with allies who are under threat.


BIDEN: They are summoning us, and they're summoning us now. They're not asking us to do their job. They're asking us to do our job, to protect freedom in our time, to defend democracy, to stand up aggression abroad and at home.


COATES: Tomorrow, Biden takes part in a state dinner with the French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. And on Sunday, Biden and the First Lady will travel to the World War I Wazan American Cemetery. It's the same cemetery that Trump skipped visiting during a 2018 trip, blaming the bad weather, if you recall.

Now, sources say that he referred to fallen soldiers then as, quote, "losers and suckers", comments that Trump denies making. With me now, Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley. He's also the author of "The Boys of Pointe Du Hoc", excuse me.


And he joins us now. Thank you so much for joining us. Forgive my French or the lack thereof. I was a Spanish speaker in school, so don't forget that. Anyway, Douglas, I'm glad that you're here right now. Listen, the location and the message were meant to invoke the memory of the 40th President, Ronald Reagan, and his speech called out the USSR. And Biden's speech compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to Hitler. Did you see any parallels in the messaging and was it successful to you?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I think Biden gave a marvelous speech. It's not as memorable as Reagan's or certainly not as memorable as Franklin Roosevelt's D-Day prayer to the nation when he was at the White House on June 6th, 1944, just waiting to see what would happen. Would this be the liberation of Europe or would our armed forces be pushed back into the English Channel?

So, I think Biden, all things considered, did a -- it's a tricky task. I mean, that's one of Reagan's greatest speeches, "The Boys of Pointe Du Hoc". That was Peggy Noonan wrote it. It was perfectly delivered by Reagan. Mike Deaver, who in presidential history we consider a master of stagecrafting, figured it all out. And back in 1984, it gave Reagan a big boost. For his re-election, Ronald Reagan in early '84 only had about a 27 -- 30 percent approval in foreign policy. But after that June 6th speech, Reagan kind of went up in the polls.

And Biden, so far, is having such a successful trip, particularly because Zelenskyy came there in Normandy and it was like a big reset for the Biden administration, putting Ukraine front and center. So, it's all great history. What FDR did on D-Day, but also Reagan's speech and Biden today.

COATES: You know, interesting that you mentioned Zelenskyy. And there was a moment when he spoke about and he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. And he apologized for Congress' delay in actually passing additional military aid for Ukraine. Listen to what he said.


BIDEN: I apologize for the weeks of not knowing what's going to happen in terms of funding. Some of our very conservative members were holding it up. But we got it done, finally.


COATES: It is striking to hear an American President apologize for a co-equal branch of government's delays. Is this something that you have seen before or that you think American Presidents might and should do?

BRINKLEY: They don't do it very often, Presidents. I remember when Barack Obama went to Hiroshima and apologized for the fallout from some of the bomb and bringing in their agent Japan. But what surprised me about President Biden is that that would be the something you would think he would say to him in private.

But he put it on a public stage and did it in a kind of low keyed way. And it was effective and moving. And I think it was really aimed to let the Ukrainian people that have been suffering so much know that we still have their back. We're working to get it funded. We kind of had a hiccup, but we're -- we're on track.

So, it was, I'm sure, a big morale boost for people in Kyiv and elsewhere in the Ukraine. And it would add to the admiration of Biden, who they might have some suspicion he hasn't done enough. So, that apology will go a long way in that particular theater.

COATES: I'm assuming as well, it will have quite the reaction. You know, he's heavily criticized by members of the Republican Party, as well. And the White House, you know, when they talked about this speech, they promised it would lay the groundwork for President Biden's world vision of democracy and for freedom. Do you think he delivered?

BRINKLEY: I think he did -- did well, but there's never -- you can't ring the bell loud enough to how important NATO is. You know, Biden is one of our Presidents after Bill Clinton really expanded NATO in the 1990s. But, you know, we've been growing NATO. I mean, Sweden is the newest NATO member.

And so, Biden didn't really get credit for that. And I think American people need to learn more about how important NATO is. This is the cornerstone of democracy. Canada, the United States, Western Europe, the Atlantic community. And one must defend Ukraine. If we're allowing Putin to take over the Ukraine, Putin will go into Lithuania or he'll go into another. He'll try to reconstitute the old Soviet Union that broke up in 1991 and put democracy in tatters in Western Europe. And it'll affect us here in America. So, I think Biden can't say enough to say that the United States is a leader of NATO. And we can plan on continuing to not only lead, but to encourage everybody to be part of the pro-NATO alliance.

COATES: Douglas Brinkley, always great to pick your mind. Thank you so much.

BRINKLEY: Thank you, Laura.


COATES: And ahead, from the Jake Paul, Mike Tyson fight to Flavor Flav's Red Lobster rescue, the head turning stories of this week. Next.


COATES: Well, as they say, TGIF, this has been such a busy week. I feel like I'm just really catching up on things. And I keep seeing a whole bunch of stories that have me asking, what the Friday? Like the Jake Paul, Mike Tyson fight. Now, it's back on, but it's rescheduled for November. The YouTuber arrested for shooting fireworks out of a helicopter at a Lamborghini. Yes, you heard me say that. Flavor Flav coming to the rescue of Red Lobster.


And tonight is the last night at "Wheel of Fortune" for host Pat Sajak, ending a run of more than 41 seasons and 8000 episodes. Congratulations to him. So now, I want to bring in the one and only CNN's Harry Enten. Harry, good to see you.

Oh, good. You look very contemplative tonight. You're touching your chin. That's a very good -- oh, yeah. So, let's ponder the world. All right. So, first of all, Jake Paul, Mike Tyson. This fight was delayed after Tyson had some kind of a medical incident on a flight. Do you really want this fight to happen?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Oh, 100 percent. I was too young in '97 to watch Tyson take on Holyfield when I believe Tyson bit a part of Holyfield's body off. I am not too young now. I am so looking forward to this. Mike Tyson, you know, I sort of had a redemption tour over the past few decades. And, you know, I got to admit, I'd like to see Mr. Paul taken down a peg or two.

So, 100 percent I'm looking forward to this. I hope Tyson cleans the clock with him. We'll have to wait and see if it happens, but that's certainly what I'm hoping for. And I'll tell you, I might even be looking more forward to this than the other big event in November, the election. I'm supposed to be psyched about that.

COATES: Well, you know, first of all, I was not old enough or too young to remember it. I watched the fight live. I remember that. I remember the whole aftermath of the whole ear incident. I'm going to tell you, I'm going to root for Mike Tyson here. That's what I'm rooting for in this, in November. And maybe we'll sneak away in November. We'll talk about the election and actually watch that fight instead. Who knows? Don't tell our bosses. That's where you and I will be.

Also, you got the YouTuber, a man by the name of Alex Choi, arrested for quite the stunt. Harry, he shot fireworks out of a helicopter at a Lamborghini. Now, just try to process what I've just said. There were no injuries reported, but he posted an 11-minute video to nearly a million YouTube followers. And now he's facing up to 10 years in prison for this stunt. Worth it?

ENTEN: I don't think it's worth it. I don't think doing anything is worth it these particular days to spend prison time, especially something like this. I am sick of these social media stars going out there and performing these high-end stunts without necessarily the professional expertise to do so. Can't we just do nice things on social media? Can't we see everyone's grandmothers and grandfathers? That's what I want to see, a nice cooking thing going on. I don't need to be seeing someone shooting things from the helicopters. That's way too much for me. You know, this guy, if he goes to prison, I guess got what was coming to him.

COATES: I mean, I can respect the fact that the planning that must have taken place in this, but shooting fireworks at a Lamborghini, I have a lot of questions here. I don't know if I want to see people's grandmothers and grandfathers on our social media posts, but I digress. If that's your thing, that's fine. I'm not judging you. As my kids say, don't yuck my yum. There you go.

ENTEN: I think they look nice.

COATES: There you go. Okay, sure, Harry. How about this? There's Red Lobster. This is how Flavor Flav is apparently trying to save them from bankruptcy by ordering the entire menu -- the entire menu. First of all, could you order enough lobster to pull a company out of bankruptcy? I mean, maybe the cheddar biscuits, because those are great.

ENTEN: I mean, if I ate as much as I wanted to in a day, which would be approximately every 15 minutes, I think I could pull it off. But look --

COATES: Is that how much you want to eat, every 15 minutes?

ENTEN: I want to eat so much. There's so much delicious food in this world that I have to pass up because, you know, at the end of the day, I'm trying to live past five minutes. So look, but I would love to go to Red Lobster with Flavor Flav. I used to go there with my father. Red Lobster is a great place for Americans from all different communities can come together.

And you know what? If it takes Flavor Flav to go into Red Lobster and save it by ordering everything on the menu, then I'm 100 percent for it. So, to clear up if there were any sort of doubts before this segment began, I'm 100 percent for Flavor Flav, and I'm 100 percent against shooting Lamborghinis from helicopters.

COATES: I thought we need a new season of "Flavor of Love" and Harry will be the host of this. It's going to be "Flavor of Love" colon Red Lobster. There you go. Harry, on another note, Pat Sajak is retiring. Will there ever be another Pat Sajak? I mean, Ryan Seacrest will take the helm, but man, what, 40 seasons, 8000 episodes?

ENTEN: I don't think there's going to be another Pat Sajak in the same way that there wasn't another Bob Barker in the way that there is not really another Alex Trebek. Look, we know that the television audiences are divided more than ever. You have a ton of different options.

We are well past the point where you can guarantee that someone's going to come in, sit down, watch one program with the rest of their family and families across this country. No, I don't think there's going to be another Pat Sajak, but the truth is there is probably not going to be another Ryan Seacrest after Ryan Seacrest retires whenever he decides to.

So, there can only be one Pat Sajak. There can only be one Alex Trebek. There can only be one Bob Barker. But Drew Carey has done a fantastic job subbing in for Bob Barker. And so, you know, look, I wish Ryan Seacrest the best.


But I can say at least we have Vanna White to ease the transition because I don't think I could do both of them leaving at the same time. And you know what? Maybe with Ryan Seacrest, we might get easier clues because the truth is whenever I turn in a "Wheel of Fortune", I would probably be the type of person if I did it live who would not be able to get a lot of these supposedly easy categories.

COATES: Oh, see, I'm convinced I could clean house there. But you mentioned Bob Barker. I'm going to sign out this way, Harry. And I'll say, remember to control the pet population. Have your pet spayed or neutered. See, I used to watch it all the time. "Price is right". Thank you so much, Harry.

ENTEN: I will tell you, Cody over my right shoulder was neutered.

COATES: Okay, that might be TMI. Great. Ahead, the daughter of M. Night Shyamalan taking center stage with her directorial debut, "The Watchers". Ishana Night Shyamalan is here to talk about that, next.



COATES: When you think of the name Shyamalan, what comes to mind? "The Sixth Sense", "Unbreakable", "Signs"? Well, how about "The Watchers"? Because the daughter of horror legend M. Night Shyamalan is hoping that that will indeed become the case. That is the title of Ishana Night Shyamalan's directorial debut. And it's out this week and distributed by CNN's parent company, Warner Brothers Discovery. It's based on A.M. Shine's novel and it follows a young artist who becomes stranded in a remote Irish forest and is trapped by mysterious creatures that watch her every move. Check it out.


UNKNOWN: I don't mean to scare you, but we haven't much time. It's not wise to keep them waiting. They'd be very interested in someone new. It's a window on the other side. They come every night. And they watch us.


COATES: Ishana Night Shyamalan joins me right now. Ishana, oh, my goodness. First of all, way to build some suspense. I'm so excited for you.

ISHANA NIGHT SHYAMALAN, WRITER AND DIRECTOR,"THE WATCHERS": Thank you. Thank you. I'm so excited, as well.

COATES: I mean, without spoiling anything, and we've all seen this trailer now, and this is going to be such an incredible ride and thrill ride for everyone, tell us a little bit more about the movie. What can we expect?

SHYAMALAN: I think it's very much for me meant to be kind of like an old school adventure, kind of a character that gets taken on a journey, and the world just kind of continues expanding and expanding. And it's meant to sort of subvert your expectations of the genre and kind of take you to places you didn't think you were going to go.

COATES: I love it. I mean, you actually, you wrote the screenplay, right? I mean, what were some of the challenges that come with getting your vision not only onto paper, but then actually being able to have it manifest into this film? And by the way, on your own for the first time.

SHYAMALAN: Yeah, I mean, it's totally, I think filmmaking is such a kind of intensive, all-consuming process. It very much tests you and pushes you to your own limitations. And it's very rewarding in that way. It felt like making this movie and just kind of overcoming this kind of massive journey taught me so much about the kind of person I want to be and how to communicate to people. And it's very much an art form that gives back.

COATES: Was it particularly challenging for you in this genre? I mean, your father has directed so many iconic horror hits. And by the way, I want to read something that you said -- he said something in a recent interview. Listen to this. It says, "We are a classic Asian-Indian family.

But maybe the difference slightly that's interesting is rather than aiming it toward medicine or engineering or law, you're only three options. We aimed towards the arts." First of all, I love that. I love the spirit of that. And I'm so glad this is going to be your journey. What was it like, though, to grow up with your father in this role and with him really as a mentor?

SHYAMALAN: It's been amazing. I mean, he's such a kind of deeply involved parent. He's very much integrated into our lives. But it definitely was, I think, for all my sisters and I, when we started to become interested in arts, it was sort of met with, you have to be certain that this is the thing that you want to do and regard it with kind of like the highest sacredness.

And so we all, I think, approach our various art forms and things that we want to do with that kind of technique and precision and try to be as disciplined as possible.

COATES: Well, if this movie is any indication, you are going to have that name maybe taken away from him and it'll be associated with you, which is really a parent's dream. But certainly, you are on your own journey. And I hope everyone respects and appreciates what that would have taken to do that.

Before we go, I got to ask you this question, because of all the movies that your dad has made, what has been your favorite? And then I'm going to throw you a little bit of a twist. What's your least favorite? I won't tell him. It was just you and I talking. It's fine.

SHYAMALAN: I don't have any least favorites. I so respect them all.

COATES: Good answer.

SHYAMALAN: Yeah. And yeah, my favorite one, the one I feel most connected to is "Lady in the Water" which I think is just a stunning, kind of effortless, kind of sensitive movie. So, I love that one.

COATES: Oh, wow. I would agree. It's a wonderful movie. But I cannot think, I mean, say it enough, how exciting it is for you to have this new venture and for people to be watching it. And I'm just so excited for everyone to see your creativity on display. Ishana Night Shyamalan, thank you so much. We'll be right back.




COATES: This week, the United States is experiencing a rise in temperatures in the West with alerts for a heat dome and multiple wildfires. These wildfires can wreak havoc on communities, causing extreme destruction and the loss of lives. And it raises the question, is there a way to protect homes and families?

Well, that's addressed this Sunday night on "Violent Earth with Liev Schreiber". And here's a preview.


UNKNOWN: Paradise, California, burned from an ember attack from a plume miles away from Paradise. This is like nine o'clock in the morning and it's pitch black. Given the smoke, it almost appeared as though it was the middle of the night and it was snowing. Ash and embers began to rain down.

UNKNOWN: We're in the middle of a firestorm.


UNKNOWN: Is it safe to stand here like that?

UNKNOWN: I don't know if it's safe anywhere.

UNKNOWN: The fire was moving at a football field per second.

UNKNOWN: And the way it did that, of course, was by jumping ahead and starting these fires.

UNKNOWN: They would immediately take hold and rapidly grow into a 100 acre, 200 acre spot fire. That was happening all through town.

UNKNOWN: That resulted in the town starting to burn all at once.

UNKNOWN: Thirty thousand people were trying to be evacuated while being overran by fire.

UNKNOWN: Go forward and turn around. Turn around and go north. Turn around and go north. This is bad.


COATES: A new episode of "Violent Earth with Liev Schreiber" airs Sunday at 9 P.M. Eastern, only on CNN. Hey, thank you all for watching. "Anderson Cooper 360" is next.