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CNN Live Event/Special

Fears Skyrocket Among Democrats As Biden Numbers Suffer; Navarro Guilty As List Of Trump Allies Convicted Gets Longer; Tonight, Trump Hosting Fundraising For Giuliani For Legal Bills; Representative Espaillat Talks About Migrants Seeking Refuge In America; Representative Norman Endorses Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley; Jimmy Fallon is Apologizes To His Staff After Accusations Of A Toxic Work Environment At The Tonight Show; FBI Director Christopher Wray Warns Of A Big Number Of Russian Spies Operating In The U.S. Aired 10- 11p ET

Aired September 07, 2023 - 22:00   ET



KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: CNN Primetime with Abby Phillip starts right now. Abby, a scary situation.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR: I cannot even fathom what that depth is like. That's pretty amazing. And hopefully he does make his way back up. Scary situation there. Thanks, Kaitlan. Have a good night.

COLLINS: Thanks, Abby.

PHILLIP: And good evening, everyone. I'm Abby Phillip.

The United States is barreling, it appears, toward a potentially epic rematch between Donald Trump and President Biden. And allies of both men are convinced that their opponent is so fatally flawed that there is no way that they can possibly lose.

And if you look at the evidence, it's not too far off. Trump, impeached twice, indicted four times, and likely to spend much of the next year inside of a courtroom, and Biden, according to new poll numbers tonight, is being weighed down by many weaknesses.

At the heart of his vulnerability is, of course, his age. Nearly half of Democrats say it's their biggest concern, and 74 percent of voters don't think that he's sharp enough. And if you're liberal, perhaps most worrisome of all, an eye-opening 67 percent of Democrats prefer another candidate.

Now, let me reiterate, two-thirds of his own party wants someone else to run. But the issue is not just his age. Nearly 60 percent of Americans believe that Biden has made the economy worse. In a moment, James Carville joins me to react to all of that. But,

first, here's a little taste of how some Democrats are spinning today.


KATE BEDINGFIELD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Let's not forget, Donald Trump has three fewer candles on his birthday cake than Joe Biden. He also has 91 more criminal counts on his record than Joe Biden.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: If, Wolf, a year from now, these numbers are the same, and this were a referendum, he would be in deep, deep trouble. He would not win that.

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): Joe Biden has an incredible record to run on. I'll note that this poll has a margin of error of 6 percent when you're talking about Democrats.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: If Jim Messina says that we're bedwetters, invest in Pampers and Depends, because a lot of people are terrified that Joe Biden is in real trouble.


PHILLIP: And joining me now is former lead strategist for Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign and the co-host of Politics War Room, James Carville himself. James, thanks for being here.

Look, these polls seem to get at the elephant in the room when it comes to President Biden. For voters, it's his age that they're concerned about, his mental acuity, his health. What does that tell us?

JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I guess to say the least, the polls are not great. And it tells us that voters are expressing some apprehension here. It's pretty clear. I mean, there's not much else you can say when you look at them.

I mean, I guess the best thing you could say is that, if anything, they're worse for Trump. But there is an apprehension out there. That's undeniable.

But on the other hand, I point out we haven't lost in elections since the Dobbs decision. So, we were supposed to lose in November and the off of the year. We didn't really. We're kind of tied. So, I don't know. But the polling that I've seen or anybody else has seen is not very good.

There was a memo, my friend Jim Messina said, I said, Democrats need to quit bedwetting, my wife has already changed me to rubber sheets.

PHILLIP: I mean, but do you -- are you saying then that you're worried that you think the Democrats should be taking this more seriously?

CARVILLE: Well, I mean, you know, it's typically in the August or September before the election, you know, about think President Reagan's numbers were not great. President Clinton's were, you know, starting to move up a little bit, the same thing as President Obama. But you can't look at this and not say that you're concerned. It's just for me to come on television and say, I don't find this alarming or troubling at all. It would be stupid. I wouldn't do that.

PHILLIP: Look, the one thing that President Biden can't change is his age. So, in that case, what do Democrats do? I mean, I'm sure you hear it too. There are a lot of Democrats who are maybe in their minds, but at their dinner parties or what have you, they're pining for someone else. Are you hearing any real talk about another strategy here for the Democratic Party if age is one of those things that we cannot take off the table when it comes to President Biden?

CARVILLE: Well, I honestly, I hear a lot of talk about I can't tell you that any of it is substantial. But, you know, the CNN poll had a brouhaha, but a lot of the ones before that weren't very good either. I mean, this has been going on since, you know, for a while now.


And if I told you that people were not kind of nervous -- of course, I'm sure the White House knows this, by the way. They don't need to be told that, you know, the president has an age problem.

PHILLIP: So, you've talked in the past about the deep bench that Democrats have. Do you think that that should be unleashed in 2024?

CARVILLE: Well, you know, the Democrats and myself included really like President Biden. A lot of them think he's really done a good job. He's helped them a lot. He's a very popular person with people. But, you know, I think it depends on what happens here. If this doesn't get any better, people are going to get pretty shaky.

PHILLIP: It depends on what? Are you saying it depends on how Biden fares against Trump in the coming months? And at what point would Democrats need to start making some choices?

CARVILLE: Well, you know, it's how McMillan said, events, dear boy, events.

You know, we have a lot of events coming up with Trump. The economy, you know, the hope is that -- the White House hope is that we continue to kind of jobs growth we have, we continue to flatten inflation, that incomes start to inch ahead of the CPI, see some evidence is starting to do that now.

But you're right. I mean, I have said it. I believe there's as much help in the party. I've seen any party have in my lifetime. And to be honest with you, I'll be 79 in October. So, there's a long and deep bench out there.

PHILLIP: You brought up the economy a couple of times, and I do want to get at this here. So, I mean, everybody knows you coined this phrase, it's the economy, stupid. And I like to remind folks that the economy is, objectively speaking, improving.

However, you look at the poll numbers, President Biden's approval ratings are not good on this front. 58 percent believe his policies have worsened economic conditions. That has gone up by eight points since last fall.

The White House's argument is that if things continue to get better, this is going to be easier to message around. But the economy is getting better and the numbers are getting worse. So what now? CARVILLE: Well, I'm going to say what the White House would say. The Clinton numbers and Reagan was like at 42 percent in August of 1983. He won re-election easily. Clinton was, I don't know, 44 percent, 45 or whatever in September of 1995, and he won re-election easily. So, the White House is saying pretty clearly that, as it takes hold, it will improve. It had improved. And I think part of the problem is while inflation is coming down, people feel it's still as high.

And you can't win an argument if people don't feel. It's the hardest thing to do in all of politics is when you're incumbent and, objectively, you have the statistics to say it's clearly getting better, but people don't feel it. When you tell them it's getting better, they think you don't understand their lives.

PHILLIP: So, James, I'm going to ask you to put your pundit hat on for a second here.


PHILLIP: Right? Take your pundit hat off or put it on. If Democrats do need to find a challenger to face whoever is on the Republican side, and it's not President Biden, just put the pundit hat on, who do you think is the best name out there that you've seen?

CARVILLE: Every time that I give a list, I forget someone.

PHILLIP: Okay, not a list, a name, one name.

CARVILLE: What I would say, well, it doesn't matter what I think it thinks the Democratic voters think.

PHILLIP: All right, fair enough. We'll revisit that at another time. James Carville, thank you very much, as always.

CARVILLE: I don't mind you asking the question. Just get a tooth out of my mouth before you get a name. Thank you so much, you bet.

PHILLIP: And tonight, the seemingly endless stream of Donald Trump loyalists who end up paying the price for that loyalty, it's getting longer. A jury convicting former White House Aide Peter Navarro of contempt of Congress, he's joining another Trump adviser, Steve Bannon, after they both refused to cooperate with the January 6th investigation.

Those two join all the allies who were charged in the Russia investigation, from Paul Manafort to Roger Stone, and don't forget, of course, Michael Cohen, or the CFO of Trump's empire, or the head of his inaugural committee, or the Mar-a-Lago aides in the document case, and, Of course, the 18 co-defendants who are currently charged alongside him in the state of Georgia.


And speaking of Georgia, Trump's lawyers are now signaling that they may ask to move his case to federal court.

Joining me now on all of this is Atlanta Trial Lawyer and RICO expert Joshua Schiffer.

Joshua, Trump officially now has notified the court that he may -- emphasis on may -- try to move this case from the state level to the federal level. They're not going all the way at this point. But can you just tell us here what would be the advantages to him of moving this case out of Georgia?

JOSHUA SCHIFFER, TRIAL LAWYER, J.D. LAW GROUP: Out of Georgia, it is unlikely, but moving it from the state court to the federal court is something that we're actually already watching people like Mark Meadows do, with the assumption that a different jury pool, it would be a more broad jury pool, not limited to just Fulton County, but a ten-county area of kind of the North Metro Atlanta universe.

That would be a more broad jury pool, theoretically more conservative. It would also be less politically spicy, you could say. A federal trial wouldn't have the press and media transparency that Fulton County indicates that it would. It would kind of turn down the temperature.

And federal court, under the very honorable Steve Jones, a federal magistrate or federal judge appointed by President Obama, it's a little bit more austere and formal than a state court proceeding. And that's really going to be an advantage due to the defenses that we all expect the president and the other co-defendants to bring forth.

PHILLIP: And as you alluded to there, potentially cameras in the Georgia court system, no cameras in the federal court system. That's a huge, huge difference for someone like Trump.

But you also pointed this out. Mark Meadows has already started down this road. Does Trump's team potentially want to see how this works out for Meadows first before themselves finding out, saying definitively whether they want to move it to federal court?

SCHIFFER: Absolutely, Abby. And that's precisely why they use that specific may language. We know that Judge Jones is in the middle of a really complex redistricting bench trial. It was this week and it's projected to go into next week, all while we're waiting for his ruling on the Meadows removal petition that was heard on the prior Monday. And that's a big issue because if it goes for Meadows, maybe it's going to go for some of the other co-defendants.

Now, the court would have to look at those individuals one by one, but then there's the argument that what's good for one would be good for all of them and the difficulties in severing the various defendants. But we all also recognize that what Mark Meadows and possibly President Trump and others are going to ask Judge Jones to do isn't very likely.

Traditionally, the federal courts and the federal system defers state criminal prosecutions to the state. The states are the ones that need to take care of criminal actions within their borders as sovereign states. And the federal government should only come in under very specific delineated situations. PHILLIP: Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis is pushing back against efforts from House Republicans here in -- over in Washington who are trying to investigate how she's handled this Fulton County indictment. And in a letter, though, to House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, a close Trump ally, by the way, Willis accuses Jordan of trying to, quote, interfere with an active criminal case.

She argues that your job description as a legislator does not include criminal law enforcement nor does it include supervising a specific criminal trial because you believe that doing so will promote your partisan political objectives. And she goes on to say, it's clear that you lack a basic understanding of the law.

These are real sharp words from Fani Willis, and she seems to be trying to say to Jim Jordan that she's not afraid to fight back here.

SCHIFFER: You're being far too kind with a push. That was a lot more than a push. Rarely do we see that strong language in something like this, a published letter that's going to be consumed by the community involving high-profile litigation. But anybody that's ever sat and spoken with Ms. Willis, Madam Willis, knows that was her voice in that letter. You can literally hear her dictation of the terms, the mannerisms that she uses.

And what she did in that letter, similar to what Alvin Bragg did when Jim Jordan kind of pulled the same letter stunt, investigation stunt in the New York case. What Fani Willis did is pick apart his entire argument and as well on top of that supplement it with arguments against and regarding other issues that are going to be coming up in the case.

She even goes as far as to include arguments about, hey, Fulton County, the only power you have as a congressperson is over federal budgeting. Look at how we spend our federal budget. Look at how we spend our federal budget.


It was a full-throated attack and response. It was very powerful, and I think she, you know, ends up in a better position at the end of the day.

PHILLIP: Well, it's, as you said, not the first time we've seen Jim Jordan try something like this, and we know that a lot of it, frankly, is aimed at an audience of one expecting his allies, Trump, that is, to defend him in this way.

Josh Schiffer, thank you so much for joining us.

SCHIFFER: Thank you so much.

PHILLIP: And new reporting just in that Rudy Giuliani owes millions of dollars in unpaid legal bills. Here's what he's doing tonight to try to raise that money.

Plus, all the Republican candidates, Nikki Haley is now faring the best against President Biden in a hypothetical matchup. We'll discuss that as well.

And a liberal mayor going off on the White House and Congress with a stark warning about the migrant crisis.


MAYOR ERIC ADAMS (D-NEW YORK CITY, NY): This issue will destroy New York City.



PHILLIP: Tonight, a lot of people are paying $100,000 a plate to break bread with Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump. Why? Well, because the indicted former New York City mayor owes millions of dollars in unpaid legal bills. And one source tells CNN that that number could be as high as $5 million.

The fundraiser is at Trump's New Jersey Golf Club, and it's trying to make a dent in that figure.

Let's discuss all of this with CNN Political Commentator and Spectrum News Political Anchor Errol Louis.


He is the host of Spectrum News' podcast, You Decide.

Errol, even a successful event tonight for Giuliani, $100,000 a plate won't get him out of the trouble that he's in, in terms of these legal bills. How big of a hole is this for him?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it's a serious problem. I mean, unless there are a whole lot of people there, some of whom kind of get the spirit and maybe go above the $100,000 ticket price, it's hard to imagine they're going to raise the whole $5 million tonight. It has been reported that this will be the first of two fundraisers, so there might be another chance to get at it.

But to answer your question, it's a very serious problem. Rudy Giuliani cannot practice law. He's been disbarred in Washington, D.C. He's been suspended from the practice of law in New York. And so he doesn't have a lot of options for how to make money on his own and he's got these crushing legal bills, some of which are going to involve travel, some of which are going to involve retrieval of records, which requires paying not just your lawyers but other specialists to help put together your case.

We've already seen Rudy fail to come up with records in a defamation case for lack of $15,000. You can't survive that way when the stakes are this high. So, we'll see if he gets a head start on making up some of that. But he's in very serious trouble right now.

PHILLIP: Does it surprise you? I mean, Giuliani, when he left the mayorship, when he launched his political career at the national level, after all of that, he had had this kind of successful career as a consultant. He was making a lot of money. Does it surprise you that $5 million seems to be really breaking the bank here for him? He's going hat in hand to these donors begging for money.

LOUIS: Well, yes, there's some real problems. I mean, look, on the one hand, he's lost his ability to make a living as a lawyer. On the other hand, he apparently, by all accounts, has continued kind of living in the high style, private planes, lots of travel, state dinners, lots of cigars, membership in clubs and so forth. And not insignificantly, he just had a pretty ugly divorce with his third wife and that put more financial pressure on him.

So, Rudy Giuliani has done about everything you could do to put yourself in the hole. And we'll see if he fights his way back.

One thing we're thinking about, for example, Abby, is maybe, let's say, he raises a million or two tonight, maybe you use that to create a fundraising operation rather than just paying off your lawyers, create some kind of ongoing enterprise or effort to try and go and raise money for a legal defense fund. I think he's going to need more than just a couple of million dollars to get out of this hole.

PHILLIP: Yes, and that's basically what one of his attorneys said tonight here on CNN in the previous hour. He's going to need a lot of money. He's going up here against the state and against a lot of huge corporations and multiple defamation lawsuits.

Errol Lewis, good to see you as always. Thanks.

LOUIS: Thanks, Abby.

PHILLIP: And New York's mayor says that the migrant crisis there will, quote, destroy the city. And he doesn't see a solution for it. A New York congressman responds to that next.

Plus, a developing story out of the entertainment world. Jimmy Fallon is now apologizing to his Tonight Show staff. What he's accused of doing, that's coming up.



PHILLIP: A liberal mayor going directly after President Biden and Congress with a stark warning about the migrant crisis unfolding in New York City. Here is Eric Adams.


ADAMS: Never in my life have I had a problem that I did not see an end into. I don't see an end to this. I don't see an end into this. This issue will destroy New York City, destroy New York City.


PHILLIP: Adams laid the blame directly at President Biden's feet. He tore into the administration claiming it has ignored his pleas for more federal support.

With me now is Democratic Congressman Adriano Espaillat of New York. His district represents part of the city and he's also the first formerly undocumented immigrant to serve in the United States Congress. Congressman, thank you for joining us.

Look, it seems part of what's happening here is that New York City is required to provide shelter to anyone who needs it, which is why it's picking up the tab for all of these migrants who are finding themselves there. Do you agree though with what Mayor Adams said there, that this crisis will ultimately destroy the city?

REP. ADRIANO ESPAILLAT (D-NY): Look, Mayor Adams is doing what he has to do He's fighting to get the funding and the help that the city of New York needs to get through this crisis. I don't think it will destroy the city. In fact, I look at it from another perspective that every crisis also brings about great opportunities.

And these folks want to work and our economy needs them. The private sector deems them. Agriculture needs them around the country. Construction needs them and so they're here and they're willing to work and that's what they want to do. They don't want to be a load on government. They want to be productive to the economy. And I think that we should embrace that.

PHILLIP: Your colleague, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, says in response to all of this that there are solutions to this problem, but she said that Adams' rhetoric is, quote, alienating people. Some people have accused him of demonizing immigrants and not just addressing the funding issue that he wants to get help with.

ESPAILLAT: Look, I'm a friend of the mayor. He's a fighter and he's fighting for the city of New York and I could identify with that. I consider myself to be a fighter for the city of New York. And we have to join forces to ensure that we get the resources that we need to get the work permits.

I think, Abby, that this is something that could be resolved if we allow, for example, Venezuelans to get an extended TPS, temporary protective status, that they already have, but it was cut off some years back.


If we get it extended, they have the right to work relatively soon.

In addition to that, I think that folks that come in and apply for asylum should apply simultaneously for the work permit. If we can reduce the time they're waiting to get a work permit, we get them out of the work force and they become productive New Yorkers. I think that should be our effort.

PHILLIP: So, why doesn't Mayor Adams just say that rather than escalating the rhetoric in this way?

ESPAILLAT: Well, look, I think he's fighting for the citizens of New York, and there is a budget impact in all of this, obviously. And we're trying to get these folks to work. Today, 20,000 or so young children went to school. And the money, the federal money, follows the kids wherever they go.

So, the federal government is doing some things. We're going back to Washington next week. We're doing a supplemental soon. In that supplemental, we should have additional help for the city of New York, the state of New York and the country that's carrying the load of the migrants that are coming to our nation.

PHILLIP: You make an important point about there are not -- there are other parts of the country, not just New York, carrying this load. Democrats, your party, has consistently supported this idea that migrants should be able to seek refuge here. Is it fair then that -- to say that some people in your party don't fully appreciate how challenging and implementing that can be if New York City is buckling under the weight of this? What about other places along the border that have been dealing with this for years?

ESPAILLAT: Well, migration is not a new dynamic. In fact, it is a global dynamic. You know, everywhere from Ellis Island to migration that we see from people that get on boats, actually, and cross over to Florida, other parts of the country, have been with us for decades. This is not new. You know, in many ways, it is a sign of our neglect of the rest of the hemisphere for decades and now is showing up at our doorstep.

So, the nation that we -- the nation that we -- the values of our nation are vested on certain principles and one of them is that people that are seeking asylum because of violence, because of natural disasters or other kinds of crises should be able to come up and make their case. Now, we have difficulties here in New York City because we're not getting the funding but primarily because the migrants don't have the right to work.

I think that should be the goal of everyone, including the mayor to get these migrants out and working as quickly as possible. And I think everybody, whether Democrats or Republicans, support that if they come in and they're productive residents of New York City, they will be welcome. So, let's do that.

PHILLIP: All right. We'll see what happens there. Congressman Adriano Espaillat, thank you very much.

ESPAILLAT: Thank you. Thank you, Abby.

PHILLIP: And only one Republican candidate now is hypothetically beating President Biden in CNN's new poll. But there's one problem for Nikki Haley. She's got to break out of the primary battle first. One of her biggest endorsers joins me next.



(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PHILLIP: Donald Trump may be dominating his rivals in the polls, but there's one candidate who is faring much better than all of them against President Biden. In this new CNN poll, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is sitting comfortably at the top of a hypothetical matchup against Biden. But whether or not she can break through the GOP primaries to actually take him on remains a big question mark here. Republican Congressman Ralph Norman of South Carolina was an early endorser of Haley, and he joins me now.

Congressman, you were at a campaign event today with Governor Haley. Did you talk to her about this new poll? What's her take on what's happening here?

RALPH NORMAN (R), REPRESENTATIVE, SOUTH CAROLINA, ENDORSED NIKKI HALEY: Well, we did talk about it, Abby, when she walked in. I said, congratulations on the poll. You did what no other candidate is able to do, which is beat Biden by not the error margin, but by a comfortable 49 to 43.

America is just seeing what I've known about Nikki Haley since she hit the political arena in 2005. She's electric, she's got a vision, yet she's got a compassion and a way of communicating with people. And it's evident. Today, it was standing room only. People drove for hours. We were with her last week in Indian Land, South Carolina. We expected 200 people and there were 900 to 1000 people. The lines wrapped around the building.

It doesn't surprise me. She is a great candidate. She will be a great president, and she will be our first female president.

PHILLIP: And not to take away from what you're saying here about what that hypothetical match-up shows, however, the latest polling still does show that Trump has a massive lead over the rest of the Republican field here. Haley may be making grounds and gains against the other candidates at the bottom of the race, but she's not exactly peeling away voters from Trump.

NORMAN: Well, we've got 425 days before we elect the next president on November 5th, 2024. You will see Nikki Haley as she has always done. I've been with her when she -- she beat a 30-year incumbent in her state House race in 2005 for governor. I think she was polling to like two or three percent.


No one knew her. When she hits the ground, when she talks to people, when she relays her message, that's where she shines. And she's going to do the same thing here. Her percent --

PHILLIP: But is she going to have to take on -- is she going to have to address the front-runner in the Republican field, you know, aggressively here, to show voters that she has an argument against Trump himself?

NORMAN: Look, she enjoys competition. She doesn't ask who's in the race, she will compete. And so, she'll do whatever it takes to showcase her beliefs, to showcase her vision for the future. And you will see a Nikki Haley who is like no other candidate that I've ever seen to be honest with you. So, we look on it as competition and she's fared pretty well in every race. She has never lost a race and she's not going to lose this one.

PHILLIP: So, Haley says that she's confident that Americans won't vote for a convicted felon. She's talking about Trump here. But she herself recently said that she would support President Trump as the Republican nominee even if he was a convicted felon. How do we square those two things?

NORMAN: Look, Abby, she is running against basically Kamala Harris. I think all the candidates are going to support any of the candidates on the Republican ticket will do better than what Joe Biden and his administration has done to shipwreck this country. And let me just finish.

PHILLIP: But the question is. Okay. Go ahead.

NORMAN: The question is, she's running against a man who has got ethical problems. She's running against a man who's derailed this country at every level. Why do you think he's got such a low approval rating? People know instinctively the country is not better off. They're worried about the future. And she is the answer. So, she'll take on anybody, and you will like what you see.

PHILLIP: With all due respect, Congressman, the reason I was trying to get in there was just to point out that this was a question about Donald Trump. She was the one who said that the American people can be trusted to not vote a convicted felon into office, and yet she herself said that she would vote for that man who could be a convicted felon. How does that make sense?

NORMAN: It makes sense because any of the candidates running for president are going to support the Republican nominee, any of them. I don't think anybody at the end of the day, whether they admit it now or not, will support the Republican nominee because they would do far.

PHILLIP: So, why would -- why would voters -- why should voters then not do the same?

NORMAN: Why should voters go with a Joe Biden who has got ethical issues? He's got problems coming that are just now being uncovered that were never uncovered before the Republicans took office. So, this isn't about Donald Trump. She's taking on everybody in the Republican field. And you will see she will have the opportunity to address everybody. And whenever President Trump takes the stage, there will be questions. And I'm not going to take the bait that you're saying he's a convicted felon.

PHILLIP: I'm not saying he is. I'm saying that he could be, because he's facing four indictments, several of which are federal indictments.

NORMAN: I will get back. The country's in trouble. She's not running. She is a candidate for president. Donald Trump happens to be one of her opponents, one of them. And you will see her address every issue with every other candidate, and she will be successful. And she will beat a president who has -- derailing this country like we've never seen before. Why do you think she's got the poll numbers that she has?

PHILLIP: I want to ask you about this. Just a couple nights ago, I spoke to Ronald Reagan's daughter, Patty Davis, and she had this to say about Nikki Haley's critiques of President Biden and, frankly, other politicians, older politicians who are serving in office.


PATTI DAVIS, DAUGHTER OF PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: By the way, Nikki Haley also made a comment a few days ago saying that the Senate is a nursing home for privileged people, which is a really mean thing to say. You know, I just think it's really sad that cruelty has become currency in our political landscape, right? Those are -- those are both -- kind of mean things to say. And what is the point of that?


PHILLIP: Is that mean? I mean, she's talking about your colleagues on the other side of the chain, the other chamber from you. What's your response?

NORMAN: What Nikki Haley is talking about, she's telling the truth. Anybody that sees the, you know, Mitch McConnell, who basically passes out, anybody who sees Joe Biden, who can't read a thank you note from a teleprompter. There should be an age limit, a term limit in Congress, which she's all for.

She will also support a cognitive test, which if you give it to most of them, a lot of the members of the Senate, they couldn't pass it. But for the leader of the free world to be in the condition he's in, and for the leader of the Senate, you know, it's a problem with a lot of senators, and she's telling the truth.


Now, is it mean? I will tell you this. What Joe Biden is doing to the country is more than mean. It's un-American. And she's going to call it out like she sees it. And that's what the American people like about Nikki Haley. She's not going to mince words.

PHILLIP: I wonder, Congressman, do you think, then, that Mitch McConnell should step aside?

NORMAN: Mitch McConnell has got health issues. He's got a big job. That goes to show you've got to have some limit. Pilots have the age limit of 65. To -- particularly in today's world, to get this country out of the shape that we're in, it's going to take youth. It's going to take eight years of service as president. And yes, there is a -- age limit that should be in the House and the Senate, because it's not -- do you really want the leader, leaders, the 535 leaders of the free world pass down on the floor, or like the leader of the free world, obviously not cognitively there. It's unacceptable and American people deserve better. PHILLIP: All right, Congressman Ralph Norman, thank you for joining

us tonight.

NORMAN: My pleasure. Thank you.

PHILLIP: And just in. A chilling warning from the FBI Director on the number of Russian spies that are currently in the United States. Plus, Jimmy Fallon apologizing to his staff after a bombshell report alleges a toxic workplace at "The Tonight Show". I'll speak with the reporter who broke that story, next.




PHILLIP: Jimmy Fallon is apologizing to his staff tonight after accusations by former and current staffers of a toxic work environment at The Tonight Show. In a "Rolling Stone" piece, some of the claims involved the host screaming at his staff, drinking at work, and a high turnover rate due to mental health issues. I want to bring in the reporter who broke this story, Kristie Lee Yandoli, from the "Rolling Stone". So, Kristi, your report has detailed these examples of these outbursts, the mistreatment. Can you lay out for us what you discovered about Fallon's behavior?

KRISTIE LEE YANDOLI, SENIOR ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER, "ROLLING STONE": Yes, so, from the two current and 14 former employees who I spoke to on the record, they said that a lot of their mistreatment comes from the top. So, the alleged behavior from Fallon trickles down to, you know, their managers and so on and so forth.

They spoke to me a lot about, you know, these, what they call Jimmy's good days, what they call Jimmy's bad days and his mood kind of dictating, you know, the vibe of the whole day of the whole show. You know, snapping at crew members, not having a lot of patience with people, and the erraticness of, I mean, that's what toxicity is, you know, the good and the bad that comes with that, and then how that over the years has impacted their mental health, as well.

PHILLIP: Yeah, what happened today in that apology that he gave to his staff after this bombshell report?

YANDOLI: I spoke to two current staff members who were in a Zoom call with Jimmy and the current showrunner, Chris Miller. They told me that Jimmy apologized. He said he was sorry. He said that, you know, Chris Miller is going to continue to be the showrunner for the rest of the, you know, his time at "The Tonight Show". And yeah, I mean, he apologized. He didn't really deny anything. And he apologized for, you know. I don't know what the apology was for. He didn't get specific in it. But you know, the people who I did speak to who were on the call said that they felt like it was earnest and that it was coming from, you know, a genuine place.

PHILLIP: And is NBC responding, as well? YANDOLI: NBC responded on the record in our story. They also did not

deny things that we alleged in our story, they did acknowledge that in the past, employees had made complaints to HR and that they took proper action. So, they did respond in that way. Yes.

PHILLIP: So, did anybody in the, you know, I'm sure dozens of conversations that you had with current and former staff, did anybody speak up to defend working at "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon"?

YANDOLI: So, I've reached out to in total at least 80 current and former staffers. One employee who works for NBC, not specifically on "The Tonight Show", got back to me and they emailed me saying that they loved their time there and that they've worked with Jimmy for years in different capacities at NBC. They declined to talk on the phone and they weren't available to chat with me.

But that was the one person who had that to say. And many people did also say, you know, they admire Jimmy's talents. They think he's a very talented comedian. They think he's very funny. Those were definitely things people had to say about him.

PHILLIP: That's really interesting and seems to speak volumes, really, after all of this. Kristie Lee Yandoli, thank you very much for joining us.

YANDOLI: Thanks, Abby.

PHILLIP: And just in tonight, the FBI director is warning about the number of Russian spies in the United States. What he said, next.




PHILLIP: And just in, a stark warning tonight from FBI Director Christopher Wray. He says that the number of Russian spies operating inside the United States is, quote, way too big. During an appearance at the Spy Museum in Washington, Wray says the Russian intelligence threat looms large and that despite the FBI's continuing efforts to kick the spies out, Wray says as Russia under Putin increasingly becomes more of an adversary, going after his spies on American soil gets top-level attention. And that's it for me in CNN Primetime. CNN Tonight with Laura Coates starts right now.

LAURA COATES, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Abby. So good to see you.

PHILLIP: You, too.

COATES: Spying -- that's a good movie, by the way, also. Listen everyone, good evening. I'm Laura Coates. Welcome to "CNN TONIGHT".


You know what I've been thinking ever since Peter Navarro was found guilty of contempt of court today? Did they just open Pandora's box? Not because he was convicted, because what else would you expect when someone gets a congressional subpoena and then chooses to treat it like it should line a birdcage?