tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN June 13, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT
dealing another blow to the white house, affirming a hawaii judge's ruling that blocked the first version, the revised version of that ban. we'll discuss all of this. i want to begin this hour with the former u.s. attorney matthew whitaker, and john flannery, and former white house ethics lawyer richard painter, and political analyst april ryan. thank you all for joining me this evening. we have a lot to discuss. april, going to start with you because the president is considering firing special counsel robert mueller. the response tonight has been swift. why do you think this is coming out tonight, april? >> well, one, this president has never left us unexcited and anticipating his every move. he likes this, number one. number two, this president really is not a president of governance. he is a president who goes with
a knee-jerk reaction in a lot of instances, but he's also a man who feels that his base is with him. he is not the establishment. he is pushing the envelope. and this might just push it too far, if he does indeed fire robert mueller as special counsel in this probe into the russia investigation, that's dealing with issues of obstruction of justice possibly as well as collusion. >> it seems like that all of this is making the president's own making, these problems. because he's the one who started tweeting about these things. rod rosenstein chose to, i guess, fire him. but to hire mueller after the president fired comey. this is the president's own making, correct? >> right, it is. but the thing that i think we need to understand is that some of this continues to be within his power. the attorney general can, you know, and the deputy attorney general still report to the president.
if the president wants to. if the president wants to, he can put the -- tell the attorney general, who is now the d.a.g., because of the way sessions had recused himself from the probe, but i think it would be a complete -- >> why would he do that? >> he wouldn't, and he shouldn't. but he can. >> you don't think he would? >> i don't. we'll spend a lot of time talking about this, if and when he does. but i think this president puts these things out there into the ether of politics to see what the commentators and the rest of the folks think, and respond, and then ultimately makes his decisions, i think, based on that feedback. i don't think there's a single person that's heard this today that hasn't been that's a little ill-advised, would be a proper term. >> john, you're rearing to get in.
go ahead. >> thank you. i'm sorry that i couldn't suppress myself. >> i know, i could hear you. go on. >> nothing against matt, but i think the characterization is fair of mr. trump, as a man child. on the one hand on friday, oh, i will testify a hundred percent for the special counsel, and now he's afraid to do it. i think he's a coward at heart. the only way around doing what he said is to fire him. i think that he doesn't listen to anybody. he's not floating this to hear what we say. he doesn't even listen to his own staff. this guy doesn't know what he's doing, and he doesn't know how to commit a crime, and we all see it. and we need an intervention. it's not an impeachment, we need him to resign and we need this lawsuit to go forward in maryland. >> john, we'll talk about that. but may i ask you another question, please? according to a cnn analysis, a federal election commission record, three members of the legal team known to have been hired by special counsel robert mueller to handle the russia investigation, they have given political donations almost
exclusively to democrats. is this a troubling sign to you? >> no, it's not. you know, if i go back to my own appointment as assistant u.s. attorney, i was appointed from a clerkship that was held by eisenhower, and then i became an assistant u.s. attorney by a u.s. attorney paul kaern appointed by nixon. i worked on ted kennedy's campaign when strom thurman appointed me to the senate judiciary committee. and orrin hatch appointed me to the senate labor committee. we used to be able to recognize if somebody had a talent or not and what they would go by the truth. following the fact and the law. that's what public service is about. and how you vote or how you may in your spare time be a partisan is not a disqualifier as a public servant to do what's in the best interests of the nation. >> i'm always surprised by
anyone in public life for anything with politics would give to -- would donate to, you know, a particular political party. >> i agree. >> it shocks me every time i hear that. why would you do that? >> it lends to these types of attacks, and what you see is a case being made right now by the white house, and others, that bob mueller is somehow, you know, partisan, and can't conduct this investigation together with his assistants in a fair and equitable manner. remember, the symbol of lady justice who has a blindfold, and should not see republicans or democrats, should only see the laws and facts. >> richard, you're awfully quiet tonight. i have to bring you in here. the attorney general jeff sessions testifying tomorrow at a public hearing, 2:30 p.m., by the way, here on cnn, there are two key questions. how many meetings did attorney general jeff sessions actually have with russian ambassador sergey kislyak, and why did he leave the room on february 14th,
an valentine's day, leaving the fbi director comey alone with the president? do you think we'll get answers to those questions? >> well, we'll see whether we get answers, whether he just wants to claim executive privilege. and let's hope he gives truthful answers. because we had problems with his testimony the last time around in his confirmation hearing when he said he hadn't had meetings with the russians and he had had meetings with the russians. i hope he can sort out that under-oath business a little better this time around. i've got to say, these attacks on robert mueller are ridiculous. he was a bush appointee in the fbi. i was in the bush white house when he was at the fbi. he was an excellent fbi director. and the idea that he is a partisan liberal is ridiculous. some of the people he's hiring may have given money to democrats, but we have a lot of people appointed, united states attorneys who have given money
to the president's political party and they then have the power to prosecute anybody in the united states. so, yeah, we want to clean up our campaign finance system and get rid of the big donors. i'm all for it. but then to turn around and say, well, someone gave a few thousand dollars to a political campaign, and that makes them unable to be an impartial prosecutor and do their job professionally, that is a utterly ridiculous argument. what's more, bob mueller is a class act and he's going to do a good job. if the president were to choose to fire him, i think we'd have to be looking for a new president very quickly. it's not going to work that way. >> i want to ask you, because you're there at the white house every day, about -- >> yes. >> -- sort of impugning the reputation of robert mueller. it happened with comey. this is a deliberate strategy on the part of the white house and the administration. >> it's no longer the politics
of politics, it's the smear campaign now. you know, with this administration, if they don't like you, they will let you know, and let the public know. they are not afraid of playing the partisan game. you know, if you are considered a democrat, or there's a thought that you're a democrat, that is an ugly word. it's a pejorative now. if they don't like you for something that you're doing, they will go after you. the talking points, we've heard it today, against mueller. the issue is, again, the politics of politics are gone. it is a smear campaign now. >> we also know that the president has been angry at the attorney general jeff sessions for recusing himself from the russia investigation. listen to what the attorney general said today during a cabinet meeting, this praise-a-thon. >> we are receiving, as you know, i'm not sure the rest of you fully understand, the support, with law enforcement
all over america. they have been very frustrated. they are so thrilled that we have a new idea, that we're going to support them and work together to properly, lawfully fight the rising crime that we're seeing. it's an honor to be able to serve you in that regard. you sent the exact right message, and it's being responded -- the response is fabulous around the country. >> richard, what do you think of that? all joking aside, it has been reported that the president and the attorney general's relationship has been on thin ice. what do you make of this exchange today? >> well, i don't know what to make of that. everybody in the room was busy kissing up to the boss there. that was really quite a show. but, you know, i support the
stepped-up law enforcement. i would start with obstruction of justice and collaboration with russian spies here in the united states, go after those people. i think we should start putting people in jail, and we wouldn't have this type of stuff going on, corruption and obstruction of justice. we don't know yet who is guilty of what, but that's what bob mueller's job is going to be, to figure that out and prosecute them. i also think the house and judiciary committee need to have hearings on obstruction of justice and abuse of power. i've been with the republican party for 30 years, this is not a partisan issue. this is about our democracy. and whether the people in power are using it the way they are supposed to, or whether they're abusing it. the house and senate judiciary committee need to go to work. >> there you have it. richard, thank you. thanks to the rest of my
panel as well. more on the ninth circuit's decision to block president trump's travel ban. hawaii's attorney general now urging the supreme court to reject the ban yet again. he joins me next.
be the you who doesn't cover your moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. be the you who shows up in that dress. who hugs a friend. who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin. be the you who controls your psoriasis with stelara® just 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. some serious infections require hospitalization. before treatment, get tested for tuberculosis. before starting stelara® tell your doctor if you think you have an infection or have symptoms such as: fever, sweats, chills, muscle aches or cough. always tell your doctor if you have any signs of infection, have had cancer, if you develop any new skin growths or if anyone in your house needs or has recently received a vaccine. alert your doctor of new or worsening problems, including headaches, seizures, confusion and vision problems these may be signs of a rare, potentially fatal brain condition. some serious allergic reactions can occur. do not take stelara® if you are allergic to stelara® or any of its ingredients. most people using stelara® saw 75% clearer skin and the majority were rated as cleared or minimal at 12 weeks.
some breaking news tonight. hawaii attorney general doug chin files a briefing in the u.s. supreme court opposing the justice department's request to put president trump's revised travel ban into effect. and this morning, the ninth circuit court of appeals upheld the block on the ban. douglas chin, the attorney general of hawaii, joins me now. good evening to you, sir. you're all smiles today. what's your reaction to the decision? >> well, we were very encouraged by the decision that came out from the ninth circuit court of appeals. that was a decision that confirmed that our injunction against the travel ban should stand, and the reason for it was entirely new reason, that had not been really raised by the courts before. we've been raising it in our briefs from the very beginning. but essentially what they were finding is the problem with the
travel ban is that it violates our federal immigration laws. and specifically, the immigration and nationality act. there's this provision that's in the immigration and nationality act where they say that the president does have the authority to ban entry of certain people, when he finds that it's detrimental to the interests of the united states. and so what the ninth circuit did is they actually said, you didn't satisfy that standard. what you came up with in your executive order, even the revised one, was not justifying locking 180 people from the muslim nations from coming into the united states. >> do you think that that's just their ban, you know, on its head, it's just unconstitutional? because it keeps getting -- you know, it keeps getting upheld. >> oh, yeah. so what you have is you have the
fourth circuit court of appeals as well as several lower federal courts. not just hawaii. that are saying, look, there are so many discriminatory statements that have been made by president trump. he's the one who first called it a muslim ban, you know, in the first place. but then even beyond that, there were so many tweets and comments and statements that were made by president trump and his surrogates, not just when he was a candidate, but as recently as last week. >> the president, he tweets -- the tweets used against him, the three judges responsible for the current ruling, on june 5th, after the london terror attack he tweeted, that's right, we need a travel ban for certain dangerous countries, not some
politically correct term that won't help protect our people. the justice department should have stayed with the original travel ban, he called it a travel ban, not the watered-down politically correct version they submitted to the supreme court. his inability to stop tweeting, is that hurting his case? >> absolutely. and what's very impressive about the ninth circuit court of appeals, and i guess not surprising, is that they read the papers, too. or at least they're on twitter. pause they quoted those exact statements that were made by president trump as recently as a couple weeks ago. and so that was all part of the decision, and of course, what we all argue, and understand, is that he's not the candidate anymore. you know, what he says as a candidate to my mind is actually very important, but even to people who think that it's not, he's the now. and even sean spicer had said that the president's tweets are official statements of the president. he said that the day after president trump tweeted that.
>> do you think that played into it? because they cited sean spicer's confirmation of the president's tweets are considered official statements. >> oh, yeah. yeah. you know, and i think that's what's actually very -- like i said, what's very impressive about the ninth circuit panel is, usually you think of judges if they're so intellectual, so much in an ivory tower, that they're not going to start talking about a tweet. but instead, they are right there noticing exactly what the president is saying. now they're not just saying it's a constitutional violation, they're saying that those statements are actually showing that he's violating the statutory immigration laws that were set up by congress. >> it was a temporary ban in order to sort of get a handle on people who were coming into the country, and they needed to study it, they said. had it gone into effect, it might be over by now. don't you think in this time
they should be studying that? we've seen no study of this. >> right. and so that was actually an argument that they've made all along is they said, oh, this injunction, it's so harsh because it's not allowing us to be able to do our studies. we argued that from the very beginning. we said, look, we're not trying to stop the department of homeland security from doing whatever studies, whatever actions they need to do to be able to implement the policies of the administration. but they just cannot do it under the auspices of this muslim ban. and i think the other problem with this is that, people talk about how this is just a temporary suspension, and i think the statement that i've seen gets the most reaction from people when i talk about this is that the constitution is available to us 365 days a year. you don't suspend it for 120 days, or even one day. it's there for all of us every single day. >> douglas chin, thank you so much.
>> thank you. president trump assembling his cabinet today and they went around the table giving lavish praise to the president. for example, here's reince priebus. >> we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you've given us to serve your agenda and the american people. >> much more after this.
who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin. be the you who controls your psoriasis with stelara® just 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. some serious infections require hospitalization. before treatment, get tested for tuberculosis. before starting stelara® tell your doctor if you think you have an infection or have symptoms such as: fever, sweats, chills, muscle aches or cough. always tell your doctor if you have any signs of infection, have had cancer, if you develop any new skin growths or if anyone in your house needs or has recently received a vaccine. alert your doctor of new or worsening problems, including headaches, seizures, confusion and vision problems these may be signs of a rare, potentially fatal brain condition. some serious allergic reactions can occur. do not take stelara® if you are allergic to stelara® or any of its ingredients. most people using stelara® saw 75% clearer skin and the majority were rated as cleared or minimal at 12 weeks. be the you who talks to your dermatologist about stelara®.
included with xfinity tv. xfinity the future of awesome. president trump met with his entire cabinet for the first time today, but what caught everybody's attention is how they went around the table, taking turns praising the president. here to discuss it is jason miller, political analyst tara palmeri and jason candor. good evening to all of you. good to have you on. david, the president met with his cabinet today. here's what they had to say. >> it's good to be here and celebrate this group. >> mr. president, it is a privilege to be here. deeply honored. i want to thank you for keeping your commitment to the american
workers. >> i can't thank you enough for the leadership that you've shown. >> i want to thank you for getting this country moving again, and also working again. >> on behalf of the entire senior staff around you, mr. president, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you've given us to serve your agenda and the american people. >> what's going on here, david? >> don, first of all i'm honored to be associated with your broad shoulders and abilities. >> thank you. >> i don't know what's going on exactly, but i will tell you that it's a part of a pattern with this president. that's just the way that he likes to do business, when i think it comes to his ego, and how he sees himself as a leader. and i think his staff obliges him. let me say we're focusing on this particular event today, because of -- obviously, it seemed like so much. if you look at different news conferences where members of the president's senior team would come out and discuss elements of his policy, there have been hints of this all the way along. nick mulvany's after-the-fact
discussion of the president's budget that was signed, the omnibus, and over and over mulvany made it clear that the president wanted the negotiation. that the president is a great negotiator. and recently they were talking about the foreign trip and how courageous the president was. this is just how this administration talks about their boss. >> so they're doing it for -- on the boss' behalf. almost like he wrote it. if i wanted to write something, here's how you should address me. but let me guess, jason, you disagree with everything he said? >> look, you didn't think that was a little odd? >> david's great. i'll subtly disagree. here's the thing, this white house, this administration has been so under attack ever since they came in on day one. i think there's a bit of a rallying cry going through the administration. i chat with these cabinet people and folks throughout the administration. you have billionaires, wilbur ross and stephen mnuchin, rick perry or linda mcmann.
i think everyone wants to show there is a unification, and the only thing that really gets presented for many of their agencies is the negative attention. fill in the blank, russia, or comey, or these other things. >> let me ask you this -- >> we might be under attack but we are united here. >> why are they saying, hey, mr. president we're happy to be here and work with you, you have to stop tweet, why aren't they saying that? we want to get your agenda passed, but you've got to stop doing this. he's bringing all of this on himself. why wouldn't they say that to him instead of saying, now, hey, my gosh, you're great. you didn't think that was odd? come on, jason. >> look, it is a little bit of >> look, it is a little bit of selected clips put together. i'm sure you have schumer's clip
teed up. >> you have the president's ear, i think. i don't know if you are still in communication with him. at least people who work there. you're here because you're a trump supporter. wouldn't he be better served if people were honest with him about the things he's doing, instead of just praising him because they want to get on his good side? maybe in order to serve him better, they need to get on his bad side. >> i think plenty of people will go and voice their honest opinions directly to him, or even out in the public. but i think in these moments when they have the cameras on them, there's a realization if they don't say it, nobody else is going to say it for them. as far as the opponents coming after him, i think they're taking the opportunity -- >> hold on, hold on. i'll get you guys in. i'm so happy to have all of you on the show. but that also does not serve his -- the people -- his supporters. they're actually not being informed. and they're thinking that his behavior is okay, and that it plays well. and that actually gets his agenda across. it does the exact opposite. do you understand what i'm saying? >> i think you're talking about
two different things. >> no, for them to sit there and lavish all this praise on the president, it doesn't help people who support him. because they're not getting the full -- no, no, hold on -- they don't get the full picture. they think it's okay for him to be hyperbolic, for him to tweet out things that aren't true, that he's accomplished all these things when he really hasn't. that thing today we've accomplished this, we've done this, it's not true. shouldn't someone be sitting there saying, look, mr. president, instead of heaping praise on him in public, right? maybe they shouldn't say that, but in private you say, you need to get your act together. >> i think they're heaping praise on their agencies and the hard working people who are reporting to them as well. >> they should be saying it to them, then. >> don, they're not going to come out there and start blasting the president when they're working hard. >> i'm not saying that. >> what are you saying? >> they're not being honest with the president. they're actually hurting him. if your kid does something
wrong, constantly, constantly, and you reinforce the behavior by telling him he's great, that doesn't help your child. how is that helping him? >> i think they're presenting the image of how they feel in their department, and the work that they're doing. if they're not saying it, no one else is going to say it. >> if he actually accomplished something and did what ivanka trump said, on television this morning, i try not to listen to the noise, whether you agree with her or not, i keep my head down and do the work. that is great, great advice for her father. who should do the same. why does he care what the -- >> but she was also right when she made the comment about the viciousness of the attacks, the way they were coming. >> i'm sorry, guys. i brought you here. i'm hogging it. i'm eating all the food at my own dinner party. >> they won't get a fair shake if they don't say it themselves. >> ivanka trump is a grown woman. she knows what she's gotten into. her father has not been the nicest, kindest person to many,
many people. has said some awful things. i there's an opposite reaction. he can't expect to say things about people and then be nice to him. she can't expect that either. >> i've never heard her attack anyone ever in her life. >> she's working on behalf of the president. go ahead, jason, i'm sorry. >> isn't part of the problem, according to jason miller, in order for anybody to say anything nice about the president of the united states, he has to call a cabinet meeting? that should be an indication to him that things are not going very well. this is a perfect metaphor for everything going on in the administration. because the whole deal that donald trump made with people who voted for him was, you know, people said, look, i don't like this guy that much, i don't like the way he treats people, but if he does what he -- if he treated people that way and made him so successful, if he's going to do that for me and do that for the country, i'm willing to give
that a try. the problem is, this is a perfect example of what he's really done. what he's really done is he never stopped doing that for himself. he never started doing it for the country. all the people he brought in there today, they've got stuff to do, agencies to run. they can have a meeting about helping people get higher wages or making college more affordable. but they're having a meeting about donald trump. he's still the president of the trump organization. >> jason, respectfully, they're taking advantage of the opportunity with the big stage, the microphones and cameras -- >> i'm sure it was their idea. >> absolutely, to talk about what they're doing. because they're proud of the work that they're doing. look -- >> apparently what they're doing is praising the president. >> i respect your ability to have a difference of opinion. but on our side of the aisle, we just disagree with you. >> i think -- >> let me just say, my issue is not with the cabinet meeting. this is what they have to do all the time. they can't do any work for anybody, because everything is about what is the president's mood today. that's not a stable leadership strategy. >> they put up a number of accomplishments. i think they're doing some great things. heck, they're doing good stuff,
tech coming up next week, energy the following week. i think this administration is pretty excited with what they're doing. the fact they're able to fight a two-front war here knocking away the distractions at them and making good on the campaign promises, good for them. >> i took up so much time. i'll just say, tara, go. >> it was interesting to see chief of staff reince priebus to say it was a blessing to serve the president. as i reported this morning for politico, when president trump returned from the foreign trip, he actually eviscerated priebus front of two former campaign staffers and told him, you have to clean up this organization. i'm giving you until july 4th. and i'm not going to do a shakeup until then. because i want to bring in fresh blood if this doesn't work out. you know, just another example of trump giving another deadline
to priebus. this is the third time he said to him, you need to clean up the shop or you're out. it kind of shows you what kind of manager he is. and how he thinks this brings out the best in people. now people inside the white house tell me they see reince as an example as someone on the president's bad side. which might explain why you're seeing so much cabinet officials and staffers pouring flattery on him and being effusive, because they don't want to be in the same place as priebus is in. >> i don't want to keep beating up on him. i know you're a supporter. i know that you're a good guy. i'm just trying to figure out what in the world is going on here. we're going to continue to talk about this. we'll be right back. we're back.
we're back. even a stroll in the park is filled with drama these days. at least if you're taking in a performance of shakespeare in the park right here in new york city. back with my panel. you know what i'm going to discuss. shakespeare in the park. an institution, tara, in new york city, producers do a modern take on shakespeare plays. in their production of seizer,
they portrayed donald trump as caesar, and, of course, as in every production, you know that's how it ends, caesar gets murdered. do you think they crossed the line in portraying a sitting president this way? >> i think more than crossing the line, i think you see a real mobilization by the right wing activists right now. traditionally it's been the left that's been really great at organizing and boycotting against corporations that tend to offend people politically, like what happened with chick fillet and the boycott there. this time you're seeing a group of activists who are mobilizing to defend trump. it's like they have a new purpose and a new reason. if you look on the internet, you're seeing tons of these people on twitter. they put enough pressure that corporate sponsors like delta and bank of america said they would back out of the sponsorship of the show. so i think it's just livening the base, by the way. >> a lot of those are bots, too, by the way. yeah. it's not real people. jason, tonight the public
theater's artistic director spoke to the crowd before the performance. let's take a listen. >> anybody who watched this play tonight, and i'm sorry, there's going to be a couple of spoiler alerts here, but will know that neither shakespeare nor the public theater could possibly advocate violence as a solution to the political problems. this play, on the contrary, warns about what happens when you try to preserve democracy by nondemocratic means. and again, spoiler alert, it doesn't end up too good. >> he means caesar's murderers all eventually die in battle or by suicide. does that satisfy you, jason? >> i think this is terrible and inappropriate, whether it's this -- whatever it was in the park, or whether it's kathy griffin with the chopped-off head of president trump. you know, frankly, when people on the right do it, whether ted nugent said offensive things
over recent years, when you actually talk about killing people, or creating images that lend people to think about killing people, that goes beyond art. i don't think that's entertaining. i think it's downright offensive regardless of who the target is. >> you realize that there was one about obama in 2012 as well, right, and had the same ending. do you think that we should be boycotting art -- i'm not saying it's right for them to do it or not do it. guess what, he dies. >> well, there are two separate issues. >> there's a scene right there of him dying. >> should art be boycotted, or censured? no. we live in a tribal politically sensitive time. tribal meaning politically. and people are very sensitive about this sort of thing. and corporations, which just want to make money, and don't want to be in the business of offending anybody ever, are not
going to want to have their names associated with anything that could get them into hot water, and bring them unnecessary, unflattering press. and that is the entire reaction to this. >> jason, don't you think that's an impossible standard, though? listen, if you don't believe in what shakespeare in the park is doing, don't do it. all these boycotts, i think it's really dangerous. yes, freedom of speech, you have to pay the consequences if people don't like it. but all this boycotting and all this stuff, i think it's a bit dangerous. if you don't like it, don't go see it. if you don't like watching this show, don't turn it on. but don't boycott just because it's not what you like. >> i think it's interesting how eager people in the trump administration are putting themselves in the position of victim considering the facts that they spent years building a political philosophy around criticizing people for being politically correct. i don't think that the president of the united states, or anybody in his administration, is actually offended by this show
going on. i think it's in new york. but the reality is, if you don't want to go see the show, then don't buy a ticket. what's going on in washington, meanwhile, is something that americans can't cash in their ticket to, and not attend. if you're on the edge of your seat right now worried about whether or not you're going to lose your health care, because 13 republican men in washington are plotting against you and not telling anybody the details, that's not something you can just give your ticket away for. by the way, this is what the trump administration is upset about. two sergeants and a corporal died in afghanistan yesterday. >> i have to go. i have to get something else on the air. thank you all very much. by the way, christopher ruddy was supposed to join us. there was confusion about timing and him getting here. so we'll try to get christopher to come on as soon as possible. president trump's friend who made some remarks today about the president, maybe getting rid of the special counsel. a cause close to my heart. plus, more from this guy who might be after my job.
>> grayson here today. i'm with don lemon. what is your favorite part of this event so far? >> my favorite part is getting to hang out with you. so, your new prescription does have oh, like what?ects. ♪ you're gonna have dizziness, nausea, and sweaty eyelids. ♪ ♪ and in certain cases chronic flatulence. ♪ no ♪ sooooo gassy girl. so gassy. if you're boyz ii men, you make anything sound good. it's what you do. if you want to save 15% percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do. next! ♪ next!
i'm the one clocking in... when you're clocking out. sensing your every move and automatically adjusting to help you stay effortlessly comfortable. there. i can even warm these to help you fall asleep faster. does your bed do that? oh. i don't actually talk. though i'm smart enough to. i'm the new sleep number 360 smart bed. let's meet at a sleep number store.
all this week, cnn is running a special series called champions for change. featuring charities we think are doing spectacular work. i chose runway to hope. founded by mark and josie in florida. runway is dedicated to raising money to help fight pediatric cancer in a very special way. they bring together thousands of people in the community for a fashion show starring the children. pediatric cancer is particularly tragic because it attacks the most vulnerable and innocent. but i learned that these kids aren't victims, they're fighters, no matter what their age. >> at 3 years old, it's hard to imagine anyone more innocent than alana. >> she is so full of life. she's a talker. she doesn't ever stop talking. even when it was the worst. she's always smiling.
>> elena's mom is a pediatric nurse. >> one, two, three! >> and she and her husband, ron, started noticing bruises on elona. >> she bumped into a wall and she immediately went black and blue. within 30 seconds. they drew her blood and the doctor looked at the slide and said, i don't have to tell you what this is. you know that this is leukemia. so she gets chemo every single day. we're going to give you some juice. she also has iv chemo once a month. >> a lot of times as a parent and a mom and a dad, your first concern is, what can i do to fix it. and there's nothing i could have >> but mark and josie decided there was something they could do. seven years ago, they launched
runway to hope, a charity that raises money for pediatric cancer. for research. new technologies and to help families with needed cash. >> you can't appreciate what they go through until you see it. and then you still are not experiencing it. so you do the best you can to empathize. so many families are in economic chaos anyway. hard to balance budgets and checkbooks and bank accounts all that. really the dynamics are just something you never really can imagine until you see it and experience it. and that's why the dollars do make a difference. >> one of the scariest things about childhood cancer it's so random. one day you're learning to walk. >> arms up. >> the next you're fighting for your life. i met grayson at florida hospital when he came in for radiation treatment. >> one of the guys.
>> he has his own jubt channel loves video games and most of all baseball. >> his cancer came out of nowhere. >> i was like mom there is a giant lump on my neck the lump of the size of a golf ball. she is like my goodness. we went to the er they said you have hodgkin's type of lymphoma type of cancer. my mom and dad -- it was a big shock for me. because i thought oh, my this is not good. >> grayson taut me a lot about friendship. >> my friend kaden when i go to his house he makes me smile every day. he is the best friend i could ever have. >> wow. that makes you -- you love him, right. >> he is just the best. >> you're a pretty cool kid, man. thank you. you all right? um-hum. >> he is dealing with this awful thing. and what he cherished the most in life was friendship. i really sort of touched my soul in a way.
because all he wants is just a friend. he wants human contact. and i became his friend in that moment. grayson just celebrated his last radiation treatment. but survivors always fear the cancer could come back. that's what happened to hannah, she was diagnosed with wells tumor a kidney cancer at 21 years old. then eight years later she relapsed. news from her doctor hit hard. >> i remember her talking to me and not hearing a word she said. the mouth is moving. i see the motions. and not connecting the two. and they repeated. it's back. and at that point i was on the ground.
literally on the ground. >> but as powerful and deadly as cancer can be, no one gives up without a fight. >> you have two minutes to cry, two minutes to feel sorry for yourself. and then you have no time but to get to your child, explain it, wrap your arms around them. and then it's game on. >> game on. >> yup. >> hannah finished her chemo and is waiting for her first scan. >> i feel great because all my energy is back and i can run just run around and play. >> we talk about the kids and parents being warriors. >> each year runway brings together local leaders and celebrities for a fashion show starring the children. >> we have over a million dollars a night with the big event over 160 kids walking the runway tonight and we'll have about 2500 guests. >> 5,000. >> the millions raised by runway helped the three pediatric hospitals fund a brain tumor problem end of life care and new on college unit even direct aide
to struggling families. >> every day working people and living lives and cancer happens. and all of a sudden there's all these bills and there's not enough money. and what do you do? because your sole purpose is to take care of your child. >> to the children runway is hope is a chance to party, put on fancy clothes, get hair and make-up done and do what makes them happy. >> give it up for avery. >> this is the runway to hope they get on stage a walk the runway and strut their stuff. and you can just see like their confidence building, like they get closer and closer to the stage. once they get out there, they get all excited. >> up next, our friend and fellow co-host, don lemon, anchor of "cnn tonight." he is walking grayson and hannah.
>> it's amazing to witness. and i know we throw around the phrase this is life changing and life altering. it is. these kids are fighting for their lives and yet so happy. >> and elena, who is three years old, she is also is known as ladybug. >> the question i asked at the end of the night is what did the children teach me? i think i learned from them to be positive. at the end of the day no moment is promised to anybody. live your life, enjoy every single moment. be present and in that presence, be happy. >> that was awesome. >> they were great. folks at runway to hope say when you get to know the children and families you realize there is so much more to the story than a disease and that everyone who helps in whatever way walked away so much richer. do what you can. on the next champions for change learn about the causes close to may kala's heart in the 8:00 a.m. hour.
tonight i want to remember three american heroes -- u.s. soldiers killed in afghanistan on saturday. officials say the soldiers were shot in an apparent insider attack by an afghan army commando. they were all members of the 101th airborne division based out of ft. campbell, kentucky. sergeant eric m. houck was 25 years old, hailing from baltimore. his father says sergeant houck was due to come home next month. sergeant william bays was 29 years old from california and corporal dylan c. baldrich was 23 years old.
all were posthumously awarded a bronze star and purple heart. tonight their remains were flown to dover air force base in delaware. vice president mike pence was there to witness the caskets being brought off the plane. that's it for us tonight. thanks for watching. i'll see you right back here i'll see you right back here tomorrow. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com in retrospect, i should have slowed down and said, but i did meet one russian official a couple of times. >> today a major day for the trump white house. attorney general jeff sessions will be under oath, testifying about his meetings with the russian ambassador and the involvement in the firing of james comey. is president trump really weighing whether to fire special counsel robert mueller, a close friend to the president says that option is on the table. and it's being called the weirdest cabinet meeting o