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CNN Live Event/Special
Special Counsel Wants Limited Gag Order For Trump; Trump Blasts Deranged Smith After Gag Order Request; Feds Want Gag Order To Stop Trump From Intimidating Witnesses; Jokes Fabricated To Boost Audience Impact; MAGA Congresswoman Kicked Out In Venue For Her Misbehavior. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired September 15, 2023 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: That cloud of smoke was not coming from smoke machine, which is what her office initially had claimed about what happened. Boebert is also seen on the video taking selfies with her flash on. Her office claimed that she was unaware that photos weren't allowed in the theater.
But as she left after she was promptly escorted out by the theater workers, the congresswoman and her date flipped the bird to the employees who were really just doing their jobs.
On that note, please behave if you go see Beetlejuice this weekend.
Thank you so much for joining us. CNN's PRIMETIME with Abby Phillip starts right now.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Kaitlan, thank you so much. Wow.
COLLINS: Hi, Pam.
BROWN: Everyone needs to leave the room when that video comes on, especially on the grouping section.
All right, thanks, Kaitlan, have a good weekend.
COLLINS: You too.
BROWN: Good evening, everyone. I'm Pamela Brown in for Abby.
And tonight, the feds are asking for a limit to gag order on Donald Trump and the former president is firing back, essentially daring the judge to give him one.
The special counsel's team wants to impose restrictions on what Trump can say about the election interference case, accusing him of telling lies, intimidating witnesses and threatening prosecutors.
It is a pretty extraordinary move given the circumstances of Trump being a presidential candidate, and Trump, for his part, wasted no time firing back. He called Jack Smith deranged, and just moments ago, accused the feds of trying to silence him during a campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Did you see today that deranged Jack Smith? He's the prosecutor. He's a deranged person. He wants to take away my rights under the First Amendment, he wants to take away my right of speaking freely and openly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Keep in mind, Trump has a long history of trying to intimidate his way out of legal trouble. There is a record of this after Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were indicted by Robert Mueller. Manafort said Trump's personal lawyer called to say he would take care of them. And Rudy Giuliani-ally told Michel Cohen, he should, quote, sleep well because he had friends in high places.
And Trump called Roger Stone brave for refusing to flip, eventually pardoning him. A Trump lawyer left a voicemail for Michael Flynn on the eve of his guilty plea suggesting Flynn would stay in good graces if he stayed close.
As president, Trump also ordered his White House counsel to publicly lie about efforts to fire Mueller after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. He threatened Comey with tapes if he talked. And during a live hearing, Trump personally attacked the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was asked about the tweet in real-time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIE YOVANOVITCH, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: It's very intimidating. I mean, I can't speak to what the president is trying to do but I think the effect is to be intimidating.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And the Georgia investigation Trump recently told a Republican witness not to testify, and in the January 6th investigation, the intimidating continued.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FMR. REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): After our last hearing, President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation, a witness you have not yet seen in these hearings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: I want to bring in former January 6th Committee Investigative Counsel Marcus Childress and former Federal Prosecutor Gene Rossi. Gentlemen, great to have you here with us late on this Friday evening.
Let's dive into this. I mean, Trump, no surprise, wasted no time firing back at Jack Smith. And his latest criticism, he is saying, that with this limited gag order that Jack Smith is requesting, that, essentially, Gene, he is trying to take away his First Amendment rights. What do you say to that?
GENE ROSSI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I say it's baloney. And Shepherd versus Maxwell, which is cited in his brief on page 1, that's the seminal case. When you have a trial, the outside influences and the influences inside of a courtroom, they can be controlled by the judge. Because what's paramount in a criminal trial is the integrity of the process, number one, and the unbiased nature of the jury pool and the jury that is selected. So, that's the purpose of the gag order.
What bothers me about Donald Trump is he is going to violate the gag order if it is issued. There are clauses that they're asking for the government and he cannot possibly comply with that. He is not allowed to talk about the merits of the case. That's what the proposed order says. He is going to violate that in a New York minute.
So, I'm applauding the special counsel for seeking the gag order, but just -- we're creating a can of worms for Donald Trump.
BROWN: So, what does that mean if he violates it, what would happen? Would there be jail time?
ROSSI: Cuffs. And here's what Judge Chutkan should do if she ever listens to me. Give him a couple of mulligans. Let him hang himself after a gag order. If he breaks the rules two or three time, you have to do something about it and incarceration would possibly be a remedy.
It would have to be.
BROWN: I hear your point about you have to respect and abide by the decorum and the rules to of this case and the courtroom and so forth, but this is unique in that he is the leading Republican presidential candidate. I mean, how much should the judge weigh that as a judge looks at this request and decides how to move forward?
MARCUS CHILDRESS, FORMER JANUARY 6TH COMMITTEE INVESTIGATIVE COUNSEL: Look, the court will have to look at the facts before it. But also you can't ignore this elephant in the room that you just said, that he's the Republican nominee.
Look, Gene, mentioned the integrity of the process. And I think this is what we're seeing with President Trump repeatedly. He tried to undermine the integrity of the election process leading up to January 6th. And now he's doing that same play book leading up to his trial here with the special counsel's office.
And the special counsel is doing kind of an extraordinary remedy saying, look, you have a chance, court, to try to rein this in and try maybe to prevent some violence from happening again like we saw on January 6th.
And going back to you are why opening with Mr. Stone, Roger Stone, it is also interesting that the special counsel cites to that case, and that obstruction of Congress case in its filing about this gag order. BROWN: And I think we can't separate the politics from this and that Donald Trump stands a lot to gain from this and from his rhetoric, saying he's trying to take away my First Amendment rights. I mean, he fundraises out of that. It gins up his base. It gins up his supporters, right?
ROSSI: I had an epiphany waiting to come on your show. I think Donald Trump wants to poison this jury in the worst way because he knows that the evidence against him is so strong. And the only way he can win is to create a jury pool that is so tainted.
I finished a six-week trial in February and March of this year. Judge Meta, he did the best he could with the jury pool and he concluded he had a fair jury. But there were answers and responses in our jury pool. It was an Oath Keeper that were just over the top.
Donald Trump is multiplying that times five. And it is going to be impossible, or very hard to get a fair and unbiased jury pool.
BROWN: But let me follow up on that and to you on that point, because Jack Smith is making this argument, too, that this -- that his -- that Trump's public rhetoric is just going to further prejudice a jury. But, I mean, some might hear that and say, well, look, he was the former president of the United States. He's a leading Republican presidential candidate. I mean, how are you going to get an unbiased, unprejudiced jury with someone like Donald Trump? I mean, how -- is he really making it --
CHILDRESS: Well, the jury just has to follow the judge's instructions. That's the real key. Or do you have an opinion formed so concretely that you can't follow judge's instructions?
But I think I'm more worried about the safety of the jurors and the witnesses who don't want to really be involved in this, right? They're called to their civic duty. And you heard Senator Romney mention this week how there were members who are afraid to vote on impeachment because the former president was tweeting about how they should vote and they were scared for their safety.
And so, if you have former or congressional members that are scared to vote on a certain way, imagine how a juror would feel if you have a former president tweeting these things out about the process and how it is out to cheat him.
And so that's what I'm kind of concerned about and I think that the special counsel is also worried about that.
ROSSI: Can I just add to that? Marcus brought up a good point. Page 13 of this gag order motion, there is the United States versus Brandon Fellows. For a juror, the jury sent a note, they wanted to confirm that the defendant does not have any personal information on individual jurors. So, what Marcus just said about the jurors being scared, that has happened already in one of these cases.
And I do want to add this. In our jury pool, believe it or not, there were several jurors that just shutdown, did not watch news, just read online and they tuned out everything to do with Donald Trump. And they live near the U.S. Capitol.
BROWN: And I do want to note just in the larger context of the threats and the concerns about that. I mean, we have seen how his public rhetoric has impacted election workers and some having to get personal protection because of the way he spoke and his allies, Rudy Giuliani, and so forth. So, it's not unfounded in that broader context.
Marcus and Gene, thank you again. I appreciate your analysis and perspective on this story tonight, this breaking story.
Up next, we're going to head to the picket line to speak with a mother and daughter autoworkers duo who are on strike tonight.
Plus, we'll also talk with the Chamber of Commerce on why they're blaming President Biden for this.
And one CEO taking heat for saying income inequality isn't the issue, it's actually worker arrogance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM GURNER, CEO, GURNER GROUP: When they say (INAUDIBLE) economy, we need to remind people that they work for the employer, not the other way around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: The historic strike against America's big three automakers is underway tonight and the sides are far apart. Today workers walked out at three plants of G.M., Ford and Stellantis in Missouri, Michigan and Ohio.
Members' demands including 40 percent pay raise over ten years and a 40-hour pay for 32 hours of work. Automakers are offering counterproposals to those demands including double-digit pay raises, but they are nowhere near close to what the union is asking.
And the strike is already making an impact. Ford temporarily laying off 600 workers while G.M. said it will idle about 2,000 workers next.
The UAW President Shawn Fain saying today that 80 percent of the union demands have been left off proposals from the big three automakers.
I want to bring in UAW Member Adalisa Lebron along with her mother and fellow UAW member Marilyn Lebron-Jasso. They are currently on the picket lines in Wayne, Michigan. Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.
Adalisa, I want to start with you. You were there. You're there at the picket line. It started last night. How would you describe the mood out there and how are you feeling right now? ADALISA LEBRON, UAW MEMBER: Well, the mood right now, everybody is calm. We have fellow workers with us today. I'm really nervous about what this is going to be and how long it is going to take.
BROWN: Marilyn, you've been working at Ford for almost 22 years. How important is the strike for you and your fellow members? In your view, has this been a long time coming?
MARILYN LEBRON-JASSO, FORD ASSEMBLY LINE WORKER: Oh, it's been a long time coming. We have given up so much. And it's about time that Ford, Chrysler and G.M. stands up and takes care of their people.
We need the tears to be gone. We need our pay. We gave away so many things. And now it is our time. It is time for them to give back to the workers. We are the backbone. We are the ones that put value in this product, not the CEO's. Let them take a pay cut.
BROWN: And when you say you gave away so much, you're talking about during the 2008 financial crisis, right?
LEBRON-JASSO: Yes. We gave so many things up. And now, when I work across and someone who say (INAUDIBLE).
BROWN: Adalisa, I want to go to you, because AUW's demand of a 40 percent pay increase every four years and pension increases for retirees. Would you be willing to go back to work for less than that?
LEBRON: Honestly, like what they're giving, what they're offering right now, the 20 percent, no. It would have to be more than -- it would have to be more than 30 percent at this point.
BROWN: I got to asked, you know, we're already seeing layoffs happen by some of these auto companies. Are you concerned the longer you hold out that your job could be threatened, could it be eliminated, or possibly these companies could turn to artificial intelligence in a way that is faster than perhaps they were planning on, similar to what we've been seeing with other manufacturing jobs? What do you think about that, Marilyn?
LEBRON-JASSO: Well, we must (INAUDIBLE). At this point, it doesn't scare me. We're going to do what we have to do. And we stand together with this. So, whatever happens, we have to leave in it God's hands.
BROWN: Adalisa and Marilyn, good luck to you both. Thank you so much for coming on the show.
LEBRON-JASSO: Thank you so much for having us.
BROWN: And now I want to bring in Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Hi, Neil, thanks for your time tonight.
So, the Chamber of Commerce is blaming President Biden for this strike. Why do you think he bears responsibility here? NEIL BRADLEY, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Well, I think part of what we're seeing going on in this strike and really a summer of strikes, over 200 strikes so far this year and counting, is this kind of sense of unrealistic expectations of what can economically be done.
No one is talking about not raising employee pay. In fact, you just showed the graphic yourself, bringing in this segment, a 20 percent pay increase that are being put forward by the major auto company.
So, the question is, what kind of pay increases can be absorbed in this moment? And I think what we've come to realize is that when you want to increase pay by 40 percent and you want to get paid for five days but only work four days, these are the types of kind of demands that just aren't grounded in economic reality.
And if they were to be forced upon these companies, what it would mean is that they're going to have to shutter their operations. And so no one wins in a situation which unrealistic demands means that companies can no longer operate. And so that's what concerns us quite a bit at the U.S. Chamber.
BROWN: You heard what they had to say. Look, this is about recouping from all the sacrifices we made, and they're arguing that CEOs got 35 percent pay increase. So, is that really out of line what they're demanding for their own pay increases given how the CEOs, how many they're making, how much of an increase in their salary there is, and the fact that there have been record profits for these auto companies in recent years?
BRADLEY: There is definitely a lot of apples and oranges going on here, and it is very hard to compare some parts of compensation with others. You really do have to look at the collective things that are being requested in this instance by the UAW.
But I think one of the reasons that we're in this situation is because the president's approach for an all of government pro-unionization at any cost has created these unrealistic expectations.
And if you just look at what's happening in public policy today, the thumb is being put on the scale in favor of labor in a way that kind of brings things out of bounds. And when you begin to see it in the real world, in negotiations like we're having today, we end up in situations where the two sides are so far apart, we end up with strikes like this that are going to end up becoming economically devastating not just for the nation, not just for these companies and these employees, but all the small businesses, the suppliers, the restaurants in these areas who won't have customers anymore.
And so this is not a cost-free exercise here. That's why we need to get back to reality.
That's why we're urging the administration to help get the parties back to the table, and most importantly, bring back balance to the labor management relationship.
BROWN: And I want to note, given what you're trying to argue here, that this is Biden's fault, that the UAW has actually not endorsed President Biden in this presidential race. And as we know, President Biden, he has spoken out about this and said that, look, the CEOs, as I pointed out earlier, they're making so much more money. It is time for these workers, who are the backbone of these companies, to make more money.
But you pointed out the economic risk and how this can be felt throughout the economy. There's really no telling when this will end. The last one in 2019, which was not in this grand scale, it lasted for about 40 days. How could American consumers feel the economic impact of this strike?
BRADLEY: Well, let's start with the fact that those who are buying new cars and, eventually, those who end up buying used cars will pay more. And so as cars are not rolling off the end of that assembly line, as we have a mismatch between supply and demand, prices are naturally going to go up. That's going to be compounded by the fact that the demands that are being made by the unions today are going to have to be made up somewhere. That's going to be made up in higher costs paid by consumers.
Not to mention the fact that you have all the other collateral damage that's done. We talk going auto parts suppliers. We're talking about the restaurants, the service industries in these areas. When they lose business, there is no way to make that back up. And so there are going to be losses for those small businesses, for those employees. You begin to compound that over time, especially if this goes on. We have four weeks, eight weeks, and you're talking about significant damage to the American economy.
BROWN: All right. Neil Bradley, thank you so much for offering your opinion on this matter, this developing matter.
BRADLEY: Thanks for having me.
BROWN: Well, as class warfare hitting an inflection point in America, one CEO says workers have become arrogant and need to be taught a lesson. We're going to debate that, up next.
Plus, Comedian Hasan Minhaj from the Daily Show admits the fabricating some of the stories he's told about racist experience that he claimed have happened to him. Does it matter though in comedy? We'll discuss that, too. Stay with us.
BROWN: Well, class warfare is hitting an inflection point this year. Strikes across the nation putting an spotlight on America's widening income gap from auto workers to Hollywood writers.
But there's one CEO who says it's not inequality that's the issue. Tim Gurnur, an Australian properly developer who, according to Fortune, is worth north of $500 million, argues this is the problem.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GURNER: I think the problem that we've had is that we have -- people decided they didn't really want to work so much anymore through COVID and that has had a massive issue on productivity. Tradees (ph) have definitely pulled back on productivity. They have been paid a lot to do not too much in the last few years and we need to see that change. We need to see unemployment rise. Unemployment has to jump 40, 50 percent in my view. We need to see pioneer (ph) in the economy we need to remind people that they work for the employer, not the other way around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Well, Gurner has faced fierce back lash following his comments and he has since apologized.
With us now, the former president of the Miami Marlins, David Samson, and CNN's Economic and Political Commentator Catherine Rampell. Great to see you both.
David, this CEO says the workers need to be reminded that they work for the employer, not the other way around, that unemployment should go up 40, 50 percent. Is this a good look for a multimillionaire CEO to be calling his workers arrogant?
DAVID SAMSON, FORMER PRESIDENT, MIAMI MARLINS: Clearly, it was not a good look, and that's what forced him and caused him to apologize. I think his point was a little more nuanced than that. And he was trying to explain that, coming out of COVID, we have to get people back in the mindset of being more productive. Of course, they need to be compensated for that. And a 40 percent increase in unemployment, still people thought he meant 40 percent unemployment. That's not what he meant at all.
And I'm not calling for more unemployment but I do agree that we need to get workers back, all of us, to the point pre-COVID where we were responsible to work five days a week, to go into the office, when our job requires us to go into the office. You've got bankers and lawyers who don't even want to go into the office now. So, it is really all across the income spectrum. So, his point was a little more nuanced and he didn't deliver it very well.
BROWN: Catherine, is David right here?
CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't know. I think this is one random rich jackass from Australia who is mostly known for making wrong economic pronouncements.
The previous one that I associate with him anyway, that he said millennials couldn't buy houses because they were spending too much money on avocado toast. He subsequently apologized for this comments, which I thought it was pretty tone deaf and was rightfully ridiculed. But I don't know that I would read too much into it. Productivity growth has been slow, that's true. But I don't think it is because employees have gotten too arrogant. There's a lot of other stuff going on in the economy.
BROWN: But I want to follow up on that, because David is correlating, it seemed like, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the lack of productivity is tied to workers not all going back into the office five days a week. But how much, Catherine -- I mean, employers do want their workers back in the office. How much does that correlate to productivity?
RAMPELL: Well, we don't really know at this point. And, actually, there has been studies that have found it can work in both directions. There are some studies that have found that workers are more productive when they are home, in part, maybe because they're able to organize their days more efficiently, they're getting interrupted less frequently, they're happier. There are some studies that find the opposite. I think it is industry dependent.
I do worry about new entrants to the workforce, sort of being onboarded remotely and how quickly they are able to learn new skills and to be more productive.
If you're right out of college, I think it is actually quite hard to learn everything that you would need to learn at your very first job. And I do wonder if there might be some enduring effects from this sort of transition, if you want to call it, to remote work or hybrid work.
So, I think that there are some parts of the economy, some parts of the labor force that may be affected by this. But I think we just don't know how it's going to shake out. You know, there's a lot of evidence that workers are happier, and if they have more control over their schedules. And that may, in fact, as I said, translate, at least in some sectors, to a more productive workforce.
There's lot -- there's a lot of different variables cutting in different directions here. So, I think it's really too soon to say, but absolutely there are lots of fights, you know, including in offices that I've worked for about trying to get people back into the office.
BROWN: I want to tie all of this discussion into what's happening right now. This dynamic situation with the strike, the UAW strike. David, auto union workers are demanding a 40 percent pay bump. Many argue they are recouping on the sacrifices they made in 2008. But when you look at the pay gap between CEOs and workers, it's staggering. CEOs now make 399 times more than their workers on average. Do these union workers have a fair argument here, David?
SAMSON: Well, certainly union workers have a fair argument and it's their right to strike. But tying into what we were just talking about, they're asking to get paid for five days of work and only working four. Who wouldn't want that deal? But the real issue is that Shawn Fain, who is leading the UAW, he ran
on a platform of being a hardliner. He was elected by the workers for the first time in a very, very close vote. And he has promised the world. And you can tell by what his demands are.
So, what really concerns me about this strike is, whether or not he can manage the expectations of the union's membership. Because as we saw in an earlier interview, just throwing out numbers, well, we'd take 30 percent or 32 percent. That's not exactly how the negotiations go because they're different trades. When you're talking about pension, when you're talking about overtime, when you're talking about wages, healthcare.
So, it's got to be an all-in solution. And I'm certainly concerned that Shawn Fain really doesn't want a solution so quickly because that was his whole campaign.
BROWN: When you look at this auto strike, Catherine, who currently holds more leverage?
RAMPELL: That's a good question. I think both sides are in for some pain here, because the workers obviously have money in the strike fund now. It will not last indefinitely, particularly if the scale of the strikes increase and more people have to draw on that strike fund.
And even, you know, and even the strike pay that they're getting now, obviously, is less than they would work if they were doing their normal shifts. So, there's going to be pain there. There's obviously pain at the auto companies because they're not able to produce. And then there's lots of difficulty throughout the rest of the supply chain because there are a lot of companies that sell to the auto companies that buy cars, auto dealerships, for example.
And so, you know, who has the upper hand in all of this, I think, is really hard to tell at the moment. I think it is fair to say that the workers' expectations need to be managed here, not only on the amount of pay that they are asking for. And I wholeheartedly agree that they deserve a raise, particularly since prices have gone up across the economy and lots of other workers have gotten raises. They deserve a raise.
But some of the other things that they are asking for beyond those eye-popping raises, I think are going to be really problematic and are probably going to make the companies that they work for much less competitive in the long run and that's going to be an issue during this EV transition.
I'm thinking things like demanding that the companies continue to pay workers even if a plant is shut down entirely, which is one of the things that the union is asking for and is sort of a version of a -- of a famous policy that these unions used to have in their contract going back to the 80s. That was problematic and that caused a lot of financial problems for these companies.
You know, the big three, as they are known, maybe dominant or semi- dominant in this industry today. But, you know, there's a transition coming, there are a lot of upstarts, and these companies need to maintain a competitive edge. So, it's a difficult dance here.
BROWN: All right, David and Catherine, great to have you on. Thank you so much.
SAMSON: Thank you.
BROWN: And up next, Daily Show comedian, Hasan Minhaj admits to embellishing stories of racial discrimination. I'm going to speak to one of his friends coming up later in the show. Also, new video shows Congresswoman Lauren Boebert vaping and she and her date groping each other before she got kicked out of a theater.
And we're now hearing new remarks from her about this incident. We're going to tell you about them after this break.
BROWN: Well, for many comedy, comes with a purpose, but should it also come with the truth? The Daily Show alum, Hasan Minhaj, admitting to The New Yorker that many of the stories that he's told in his standup routines aren't entirely true. In his Netflix special, The King's Jester, the comedian tells a story involving an anthrax scare that sent his daughter to the hospital. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN MINHAJ, COMEDIAN: Yo, you got fan mail. I go, give me my fan mail, Carlos. He grabs a stack of letters, he hands them to me, I rip it open, I flip it over, and all this white powder falls into the stroller.
MINHAJ: And it falls on my daughter's shoulder. Her neck, her cheeks. And she's staring at me. And I run upstairs and I tell Beena. And this time I can't lie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: It turns out that didn't happen. Minhaj says himself. He says, the punchline is worth the fictionalized premise.
So, let's discuss this with comedian Vince August. He is the warmup comic for Comedy Central's The Daily Show and has worked with Hasan Minhaj. He is also a practicing lawyer. Hi, Vince.
VINCE AUGUST, COMEDIAN: Hi, Pamela.
BROWN: Thanks for coming on.
AUGUST: Yes. BROWN: So Minhaj is defending himself. He says every story is quote, "built around a seed of truth." On a stage does just a seed of truth justify?
AUGUST: Well, first of all, no comedian should have to defend themselves. It's comedy, it's art. It's part of the process is creating. And I hate to tell everyone this and break down that third wall, but we exaggerate stories to make them funnier.
I don't know if you've ever seen Jeff Dunham, who works with the puppets. I'm going to break down the third wall. The puppets don't really talk. So, I know that's going to shock a lot of people, but yes, we exaggerate. You know who else exaggerates story? Everybody I know. It's what people do.
BROWN: But hold on, there's a difference between exaggerating and making something up that's completely false, claiming that you were a victim of a racist attack, for example. So, I just want to --
AUGUST: And it's --
BROWN: -- what do you say to that?
AUGUST: It's provocative, and that's what comedy is. That's what art is. It's provocative. You have to elicit emotion. And listen, different comics do different things. Some work with cringe, some work with extreme examples to try to get laughs, to try to get different reactions out of crowds.
And you know what? First of all, I don't know how many people here know Hasan. I've worked with him. He's one of the kindest people I've ever met. In fact, he's a lot nicer than me. So, I mean, you have to know the person too and not just take one segment of a special, play a clip and then break down that clip.
Because the other thing about this family is that's a special on Netflix, right? I don't know how many people are tied to their chair at home and forced to watch that special. This isn't waterboarding. You choose to do it, you can get up and walk out of a comedy club, you can shut off the special.
So, if people are that bothered by it, and bothered by, my God, he made something up, he fabricated something, then let's shut off all television. Let's shut off Hollywood. Look at the movie Rudy. The last third of the movie was a lie. It was based on an exaggeration. So we can't get to this point where, so what, comedy has to be true? Is this where we're going?
BROWN: Right. And you know, you make a fair point. I think it is a worthy discussion though. And you mentioned, OK, you can't just like pick apart one clip, but I want to talk about another clip here where Minhaj talks about an FBI informant who he claims infiltrated his family's mosque in the aftermath of 9-11. Let's listen to this and then talk on the other end.
BROWN: This too, we should note, did not happen. So, let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MINHAJ: What's up, Eric? He's like, shh, come here, boys. Come here. Let me ask you a question. You boys ever think about Jihad? Hey, Eric, do you know what I want to do one of these days? He's like, what's that? I go, I want to get my pilot's license. I want to get my pilot's license. Then I hear a police siren, whew. I look outside. Fifteen police cars are in the parking lot.
Amron called the cops. They bum rush the 24-hour fitness. They run past brother Eric. They grab me. They drag me outside. They slam my head against the hood of the car. Boom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So, in this case, Minhaj singled someone out, right? Essentially said he was racist. Did he cross a line here?
AUGUST: You know what you didn't want to talk about in that clip? And I don't know if anyone wants to talk about it, the crowd reaction. They were laughing. People were laughing. So, whatever happened in that clip that people are upset about, look at the effect of what happened there. It's a joke. He's creating humor. It's entertainment.
This is not a news piece. This is not a documentary. This is a comedy show. This is art. We can't have this incredible high standard for comedians now. It's not a TED talk, it's a comedy show.
BROWN: All right, Vince August, nice to have you on.
AUGUST: Thank you for having me.
BROWN: We appreciate your time.
AUGUST: My pleasure. Thank you.
BROWN: Well, even more video released from Lauren Boebert's ejection from a Denver theater and it completely contradicts her denial over what actually happened.
Well, she just responded to the criticism moments ago. Hear what she has to say. Up next.
BROWN: Just in, an apology tonight as new surveillance video shows why MAGA Congresswoman Lauren Boebert and a companion were kicked out of a performance of the musical Beetlejuice at a Denver theater last weekend. Well, there were multiple complaints about their behavior, including
that she was vaping, which she denied, but the video doesn't lie. You can see it. There she is vaping inside that theater. Now, a patron behind Boebert, who was apparently pregnant, told the Denver Post that she asked the Congresswoman to stop doing it. Bobert then took out her phone to snap photos of the performance, which is not allowed.
Patrons also complained that she was singing and dancing in her seat, and she and her companion were noticeably groping each other in front of others.
Well, tonight she released a statement apologizing for her actions, saying, quote, "the past few days have been difficult and humbling, and I'm truly sorry for the unwanted attention my Sunday evening in Denver has brought to the community. While none of my actions or words as a private citizen that night were intended to be malicious or meant to cause harm, the reality is, they did, and I regret that."
Joining us now is Rachel Nichols. So here you are, Rachel Nichols --
RACHEL NICHOLS, HOST, SHOWTIME: Yes. Hi, good to see you.
BROWN: -- who is headliners on Showtime, headliners with Rachel Nichols. It's interesting because Boebert herself, for her part, she has not held back. She's a Republican who has not held back, judging, being very vocal about other people's behavior, right?
She's spoken outspoken against a drag queen's story hour. She has spewed a homophobic and transphobic commentary about the grooming, the quote, unquote, "grooming of children." And yet here she is during this performance behaving this way, which was all caught on video.
NICHOLS: Yes, I mean, look, this isn't a federal crime and we shouldn't treat it like a federal crime. What it is rude. It's very rude to the woman behind her, who by the way is pregnant. She's the one who asked her to stop vaping. It's rude to the people next to her who wanted to hear the performer sing instead of her sing. It's rude to the people on stage who were trying to perform and she was flashing with flash photography.
And look, this isn't the first time she's done something like this. You can go back to 2015. She was actually arrested, led away in handcuffs from another musical performance for disorderly conduct. Normally, you would think that would tell her not to do it next time. Normally you think her kindergarten teacher would have told her, don't be rude, treat other people well.
Clearly none of those had an effect on her. I don't know if this time, third time's a charm, maybe she won't act this way again. I do know she's supposedly facing a tough reelection battle next year. We'll have to see what the voters think. BROWN: It's interesting. I was actually meeting with a Republican
source recently and he was talking about some of the conduct we've seen from members of Congress like Boebert, like Marjorie Taylor Greene.
BROWN: The shelling during the State of the Union. And this source of mine expressed concern that you're seeing members in his own party, he was talking about, who are acting in this way because they want to garner attention in all the wrong ways, because they think it's going to help them in the reelection. They want to be infamous.
BROWN: Now, of course, you don't know for sure if that's why, but is this really the kind of standards of conducts with members of Congress we're seeing now. Is this what we should just expect?
NICHOLS: I mean, I don't think it's just now, right? I think we've seen outliers, frankly, in either party on the fringes on both sides trying to act in a certain way to get attention, pulling stunts, things like that. And normally it's just a matter of how far are they willing to go and how much are view -- are voters willing to tolerate.
We had a president of the United States who pulled a lot of stunts and behaved in ways a lot of people didn't like, but he got elected president and then wasn't elected the second time he ran. So, I just think that sometimes there are members of Congress who are politicians in general who are going to try to push the envelope and it's going to be interesting to see whether they pushed it too far.
BROWN: All right, I want to turn now to New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers. We heard from him today after his Achilles injury that put him out for the rest of the season most likely. Let's take a listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AARON RODGERS, NEW YORK JETS QUARTERBACK: Monday was an amazing day to start, amazing night run on the field with the flag, the electric. And then it turned into one of the toughest 24-hour stretches I've had in my life, for sure. A lot of sadness, a lot of -- a lot of tears, a lot of dark frustration and anger, all the yammer of emotions. But then the sun rose the next day and I found myself in L.A. and had surgery on Wednesday and since then I've been feeling better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: How realistic is it that he will be back?
NICHOLS: I mean, look, I think that he will be able to come back. We saw Kobe Bryant with this injury. We saw Dan Marino with this injury. Both of those guys were able to come back. They were not able to be the same player that they had been. Now the advantage for Aaron Rogers is there's been new advances in
Achilles surgery. I'm not a doctor nor do I play one on television but I do know there's something now called a bridge technique. We actually had an NFL player who was able to come back after just six months, used to be around nine months or even a year, and he was able to come play in the Super Bowl.
He's also 24 years old and Aaron Rogers is turning 40 in the couple months. And I don't know about you but when I crossed 40 years old my body did not do the things that it did at 24 years old. And so, we'll have to see whether Aaron can do that.
NICHOLS: A little bit later in that same interview, though, he talked about the fact that, you know, all the doubters, all the people who would like, you know, would sit up here and say, hey, he's 40 years old, he said, you're just giving me fuel. You're just giving me inspiration.
And that is very on brand for Aaron. He is someone who his entire career has sort of fed on those doubts and in a lot of ways, been very successful at it. He wasn't offered a college scholarship. Out of two division on school out of high school. While he went to community college, then he was able to go to a division on school and he proved everyone wrong with this amazing Hall of Fame career that he's had.
So, in some cases, it's really worked for him. I think he will definitely use all those doubts to see whether he can fuel himself. We'll just have to see if that gas in the tank is actually going to get him where he needs to go.
BROWN: Yes. That's a good reminder of all the adversities overcome.
BROWN: And the way he has used those doubts to fuel him. We'll see, like you say, if that is the case this time around. Thank you so much, Rachel Nichols.
NICHOLS: Thank you.
BROWN: Great to see you.
BROWN: And that's it for me and CNN PRIMETIME. "CNN TONIGHT" with Laura Coates starts in just a moment with the breaking news of the special counsel wanting a gag order on Donald Trump.