tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN August 22, 2019 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
let's bring in d. lemon. i know you were listening to that. i saw patrick byrne on fox today. i had read -- >> i saw it, too. >> -- last week or earlier in the week about what he had disclosed. the doj said he did seem to know some operational things, but he didn't say he gave them the identities. he says he gave them the names of the fbi people he was involved with. look, either he has proof that he had a relationship with her and he's got proof because he wasn't ever obviously prosecuted by the government for his involvement. he also wasn't mentioned in her indictment. either he has the names or you got to feel bad for patrick byrne because as great as he rose to the society, something's off with him now. >> what did her people say? her attorney said, well, he's making some claims that are worth investigating. and i'm paraphrasing him. >> they're desperate to do anything to help her situation. >> exactly. >> she's got real trouble. like you, i read the story earlier with a healthy degree of
skepticism as i read everything nowadays, especially with a healthy degree of skepticism. we're living in unprecedented times. you don't know. i saw the interview earlier tonight as i was preparing for the show, as i'm sure you did as well and then you jumped on calling him. listen, it's interesting because speaking for the people at home as i'm watching it for the first time i'm like, what is he saying because this whole deep state thing was supposed to be about setting up donald trump, yet he's saying that hillary clinton was set up. >> yeah. >> and that the fbi was used as a political apparatus. >> he's not making a -- if i had even sensed that this was about a political agenda or some infowars bs like that, i would never have him on the show, but i know him, i've tracked his career over the years, his website has got some stuff on it that is certainly controversial. >> deepcapture.com. the thing that he does. he is a conspiracy theorist of sorts. not the ones we were talking about yesterday with calling president trump the second coming. >> he's not some lunatic and,
again, his company was a $745 million company. i'm not saying you can't be rich and cuckoo, i'm saying that he's always sounded like that. when i interviewed him in 1998/'99, he sounded like that. look, either he's got the names or -- >> or he doesn't. >> in terms of politics he said what they did with clinton was wrong. what they did with trump was wrong. what they did with me was wrong. it's not like he's trying to advance a partisan agenda, i see. >> what's interesting to me though again a healthy degree of skepticism. >> either he's got the names or he doesn't. >> we don't know in these times. listen, people don't know what to believe now. having heard what he had to say, i don't know. i would like it to be investigated a bit more. >> well, he says the doj -- and they put out a statement that they did meet with him. >> right. >> but honestly, you don't have to go any further than this. either the names he has check out or they don't. >> and the dates and the times and the meetings and all of that, yeah.
>> look, either the names check and they know him or they say, no, this guy, it's sad but, you know, this is -- this is -- none of this is in the realm of reality. >> the whole part about -- he said warren buffett advised him to come forward and then he said him and others, i believe, hopefully i'm getting this right, said that you're going to be eaten alive by the political class in washington if you come forward with this. i'm sure they're mulling it over now. >> he's going to get eaten alive by us as we go through the fact checking of it. and that's okay. that's the rigor that a situation like this is going to warrant. and it's easy. you know, we're putting in calls right now to warren buffett and he's either not going to comment or he's going to comment and say this is true or not true. not the underlying story because i don't think he has proof of that. either he has pictures of him and butina or he doesn't. >> but if you listen to asha rangappa, she said, listen, it's not unusual for the fbi to talk to someone about it, you know, especially if you have a relationship with someone that they're investigating. >> he says he went to them. >> of course, they're going to
try to use you as an asset. >> i'm not saying that that part's weird, i'm just saying overall it's strange. look, given who he is, i think he deserved to have his say. and he's had it. and now we got to vet it. but i do not see it as the advancing of some deep state conspiracy that, like, we hear from a lot of the trumpers on the far-right or something like that. i don't see it. >> well, they will try to put the two together, right? it's a whole deep state thing. what he's saying, he's not talking about, as you said, they're just going after the trump people. they're just going after the campaign. basically what he's saying, according to him, is that the premier investigative unit in the united states is being used, at least he thinks, in this situation as a political unit rather than an investigative unit. and if that is indeed so, that is troubling. >> it is, but here is the good news. either the names that he says he gave them check out or they don't.
>> or they don't. >> and as soon as we find out that they do, then it's worth looking at the next chapter of this. and until that, you've heard it. there's no reason for anybody to say that we're, like, keeping it quiet or covering it up. >> of course not. >> and now he's had his say. he deserves it. he's the head of a big company. he's never been tarred with anything like this before. it's worth hearing. we've heard it. we're checking on it. we'll see. >> mull it over and then we'll figure it out. we'll go from there. thank you. we have lots to talk about. we're going to talk about that as well but a lot more as well. thank you, chris. i'll see you soon. nice, interesting interview, to say the least. fascinating. this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon. and we got to talk about the president of the united states as well. his erratic behavior because we can't let that slip to the wayside, okay? slip by the wayside, his erratic behavior because it is getting worse. it is getting worse. we've heard it with our own ears. we've seen it with our own eyes. sources inside the white house
saying the president is worried that the economy will take a downturn ahead of the election. some former members of the trump team, they're afraid that the pressure is getting to him. they're afraid of what he'll do or what he'll say if those warning lights on the economy keep flashing as the election gets closer because the fact is as the economy goes, so goes trump's presidency. and worries about the economy, well, they bring out the worst in this president. every campaign rally, every q&a with reporters on the white house lawn, every tweet is another opportunity for him to go off script to contradict himself on his own policies and to lash out at his perceived political enemies. the fact is most of us would be in big trouble for doing what this president has done. think about that. think about what -- if you had -- if you did or said what this president has said. you'd be in big trouble. lobbing anti-semitic attacks at american jews who support democrats.
launching a nonsensical scheme to buy greenland then feuding with denmark's prime minister when she wouldn't go along with him, not to mention praising a known conspiracy theorist who said he's like the king of israel and the second coming of god. and then there are the contradictions on his own policies. the latest on tax cuts. the white house economic adviser larry kudlow saying this today. >> what the president's trying to say is there's no near-term tax cuts for stimulus or fighting recession. we're not going to tamper with temporary tax cuts of any kind, any kind. >> he says the president is trying to say there are no tax cuts coming any time soon, but what the president actually said was this. >> we're always looking at the capital gains tax, payroll tax. >> payroll tax is something that we think about and a lot of people would like to see that. >> and a day later, this.
>> i'm not looking at a tax cut now. we don't need it. we have a strong economy. >> so he's not looking at a tax cut except he's always looking at tax cuts. it's like he doesn't even know or care about his own policies. let's not forgethat the president said about the tax cut he's already pushed through. >> our consumers are rich. i gave a tremendous tax cut and they're loaded up with money. >> okay. so here's a fact. the fact is the president's tax cut only lowered rates temporarily for individual taxpayers, but corporations got a permanent tax cut. and all of that has fueled an explosion in the deficit. it's expected to hit $960 billion this year and soar past a trillion dollars next year. $960 billion this year. soar past $1 trillion next year. what else is happening next year?
hmm, oh, that's right, the election. like i said, worries about the economy bring out the worst in this president. the worst. like trying to buy greenland and then freaking out when denmark's prime minister calls the idea absurd. >> i thought that the prime minister's statement that it was absurd, that was -- it was an absurd idea was nasty. i thought it was an inappropriate statement. >> and then taking the whole thing very, very personally. >> i thought it was not a nice statement, the way she blew me off, because she's blowing off the united states, and we've done a lot for denmark. we've done a lot. i know denmark well. i have many friends from denmark. i have many people from denmark that live in the united states. and we treat countries with respect. she shouldn't treat the united states that way by saying what an -- she said absurd. that's not the right word to use, absurd.
>> the worst like defending vladimir putin and claiming he outsmarted president barack obama. >> russia outsmarted president obama. they took over during his term, not during mine, crimea. >> they're still there. why let them in now? >> they took over crimea. we spend a lot of time talking about russia at those meetings and they're not there. i think it would be a good thing if russia were there so we can speak directly. >> so, let's remember this, okay? russia still holds crimea. russia still holds crimea. and that's the whole reason that they were kicked out of the then g8 in the first place. vladimir putin has done absolutely nothing to deserve being welcomed back. so what will president trump do at the g7 in a matter of days? well, he's told us what he -- what he's going to do, what he wants to do at least. he wants to get his buddy vladimir putin welcomed back, the man he stood by in helsinki as he threw his own intelligence community right under the bus.
>> my people came to me, dan coats came to me and some others, they said they think it's russia. i have president putin. he just said it's not russia. i will say this, i don't see any reason why it would be. >> well, and let's not forget this president's attacks on jewish americans who support democrats. trafficking in the old ugly anti-semitic charge of dual loyalty. only this time turning it on its head and complaining that he thinks they're disloyal to israel. >> in my opinion, you vote for a democrat, you're being very disloyal to jewish people and you're being very disloyal to israel. and only weak people would say anything other than that. >> your critics have said that is an anti-semitic remark.
how do you respond to that? >> i haven't heard anybody say that. just the opposite. i think that if you vote for a democrat you're very, very disloyal to israel and to the jewish people. >> let's not forget that this president, who is waging a trade war with china, said this. >> i am the chosen one. somebody had to do it. so i'm taking on china. i'm taking on china on trade. and you know what? we're winning. >> he says he's the chosen one. chosen by whom, i wonder. he says he's winning. must have forgotten that he backed down on a new round of tariffs just last week. the white house calling that a christmas present to the nation. and then there's the president's disgraceful flip-flopping on background checks less than 3 weeks after 31 people were killed in mass shootings in el paso and dayton. first he was for background checks. >> i'm looking to do background checks. i think background checks are important. >> then he resorted to spouting nra talking points.
>> we have very, very strong background checks right now. and i have to tell you that it is a mental problem, and i've said it a hundred times, it's not the gun that pulls the trigger, it's the person that pulls the trigger. a lot of people that put me where i am are strong believers in the second amendment and i am also. we have to be very careful about that. they call it the slippery slope and all of a sudden everything gets taken away. we're not going to let that happen. >> tonight he tweets about having a meeting on mass shootings without clarifying who was at that meeting saying, quote, i'm hopeful congress will engage with my team to pass meaningful legislation. hopeful? you mean those hopes and prayers that pop up after every mass shooting? did you see any mention there of any concrete, like, background checks? anything concrete like background checks? neither did i. all these contradictions, all these attacks on his enemies, all this crazy talk about being the chosen one and the king of
israel, it's all because his worries about the economy bring out the worst in this president. like i said, as the economy goes, so goes the trump presidency. you know, you heard a lot of shocking claims from the ceo of overstock.com in his interview tonight with chris. patrick byrne, he says he helped the fbi carry out what he calls political espionage and he admits he had a relationship with accused russian agent maria butina. we're going to dig into his controversy claims, his extraordinary claims, i should say, next. grab some pens. would shakespeare have chosen just "some pens?" methinks tul pens would serve m'lady well. thanks. and a unicorn notebook! get everything on your list. this week's doorbuster - sharpie markers and ticonderoga pencils for $1 in store or online from the advisors at office depot officemax.
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it eliminates odors and refreshes lightly-worn clothing. breathe happy febreze... la la la la la. we continue to follow developments on the overstock story, so stand by. but now i want to turn to president trump's increasingly erratic behavior. sources inside the white house telling cnn that he's worried the economy may turn downward ahead of the 2020 election. so how should the democratic candidates react? frank bruni's here to discuss of "the new york times," of course. david axelrod, a former senior adviser to president obama joins us as well. good evening, gentlemen. david, if economic concerns are bringing out the worst in this president, how should 2020 democrats be addressing the chaos that results from this? what is the message here? >> yeah, well i think the word you used -- the operative word is chaos. i've believed for a very long time that the most effective argument for anyone running against the president is that we just can't do this for another four years.
it's less about -- you know, it's easy to get outraged, it's easy to be morally indignant about what he's done, we do that all the time, but the reality is whether you like some of the things he's done or you don't, what i think a majority of americans can agree on is we can't wake up every day to the tweets and tantrums and gratuitous battles that create all of this chaos and make it very difficult to get anything done on the things that they actually care about. and i think that's the most effective argument for anyone running against this president. you know, you once asked, you know, are you better off than you were four years ago? the question in 2020 will be, can we actually do this for another four years? >> yeah, well, it's interesting because we do wake up evidence every day and people have no idea what they're going to wake up to, right? it's just a storm of you know what every day just coming out
of the president's twitter feed. then you see it on the white house lawn. listen, there are so many every day. let me read them. this is the headlining right now. trump administration wants to hold undocumented families together indefinitely. he doubled down an an anti-semitic trope. he thanked a conspiracy theorist. he threw a tantrum over greenland. what do democrats focus on now? is it fitness? >> well, i don't think they need to go through all of that because i think donald trump is making the greatest case against himself, do you know what i mean? i think most americans are watching this, they're exhausted by it. unless they're already predisposed favorably to donald trump, they're thinking we need to get beyond that. i think what the democratic candidates need to do is not bang on and on about how terrible donald trump is. people can clearly see that. i think they need to talk about themselves and what they're going to do and let voters fill in the blank of do i want four more years of trump? this is the most covered, dissected, discussed in his own way transparent president in my lifetime.
you can see very vividly all the time, every hour of the day in every tweet who donald trump is. voters know who he is. they know what what they think about him. what they don't know is what their alternatives are. so i think democrats need to focus on their plans, their vision and let him step all over himself. >> let me ask you this, listen, people are exhausted. it's true. they are. they have trump fatigue. they're just tired. he's still riding a pretty good economy. what happens if it turns south? then what? >> what i was saying is i would talk about the economy if i were a democrat. i would talk about what i would do differently and how i would pull it out of its tailspin. i wouldn't personalize it to donald trump. if everything becomes a food fight, everybody descends to his level. and david has talked about this a lot too. i think the way for a democrat to move forward is to model a much better kind of behavior, to model a more civic discussion, you know, to model a more collaborate approach rather than pitting everybody against each other all the time. >> what do you think of that, david? >> well, i do agree with that. i think people are going to be
looking for the remedy to this migraine headache that won't go away. they're going to be looking for calm. they're going to be looking for decency. they're going to be looking for, as frank says, a better model of what the president should be. i don't think you have to bring the language of repudiation every single day. the only place where i slightly disagree with frank is that i do think that you have to have an argument -- this is a choice. every election is a choice. and you have to be able to frame the choice, but i think the choice should be framed in terms of stability, decency, calm, reason versus what we have. i don't think it has to carry heavy judgement with it. i think people are making their own judgements. on that i thoroughly agree. >> i think i would also say a democrat should talk about broken promises, right? saying donald trump is indecent, saying donald trump is erratic,
that's all stuff a voter can determine by him or herself. broken promises. go through what he said his presidency was going to be like and where he's fallen short because that's concrete. >> frank, david, thank you very much. i appreciate it. be sure to watch david axelrod on "the axe files" saturday night at 7:00 eastern right here on cnn. i appreciate it. the president's attacks on jewish voters are still making waves. my next guest calls what he said breathtakingly cynical and buffoonish and he knows what he's talking about. he's the former u.s. ambassador to israel. he's next. we're pretty different. we're all unique in our own ways. somos muy diferentes. muy diferentes. (vo) verizon knows everyone in your family is different. there are so many of us doing so many different things. (vo) that's why verizon lets everyone mix and match different unlimited plans. sebastian's the gamer. sebastian. this is my office. (vo) and now with more plans, everyone gets what they need without paying for things they don't. the plan is so reasonable, they could stay on for the rest of their lives.
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president trump attacking jewish americans who vote for democrats, claiming they're being disloyal, disloyal to israel. joining me now to discuss is ambassador daniel shapiro who was u.s. ambassador to israel under president barack obama. thank you so much, ambassador. i really appreciate you joining us. you called president trump's expectation that jewish people vote for him because of his record on israel breathtakingly cynical. tell me why. >> well, look, first of all, the charge of disloyalty toward american jews who vote for democrats is outrageous and it does echo some of the worst anti-semitic attacks throughout history, sometimes that have led to violence against jews everywhere they've lived, so it deserves condemnation, but even more than that, it deserves ridicule because it's a sign of president trump's complete narcissism and childish expectation that the american jewish community will simply salute in obsequious
appreciation for the gifts he thinks he's bestowed on us for the support he's given to israel. now, american jews do support and appreciate united states' support for israel, which comes from both parties. mostly you would say, and you can't speak in monolithic terms because there is obviously a range of views. they support a two-state solution between israel and the palestinians and president trump has largely ignored that. but american jewish voters have also proven through decades of support for democratic candidates in the 70% to 75% range that they care about civility in our politics. and on those issues president trump is completely out of touch and out of sync with the american jewish community so his expectation that people will just fall in line and support him is just not going to fly. >> so explain this to me and
correct me if i'm wrong. trump calls jewish people disloyal to israel, but you don't think that's what he really means? >> well, yes, he said on day two that what he meant was jews are disloyal to israel or the jewish people if they vote for democrats as if he's any position to judge jewish people's loyalty to their own faith or their own people or to the state of israel. of course he has no standing to make such a judgement, but i think we know this president at this point in time well enough to understand what he really means. he really means that he deserves praise. it's his narcissism. it's his transactional nature. it's his insatiable desire for people to tell him how great he is. that he thinks he has backed israel by moving the embassy to jerusalem, by recognizing the golan heights as israeli sovereign territory, by cancelling the iran nuclear deal. those are things, by the way, that make him popular in israel and i don't begrudge israelis if they agree with him. but if he thinks that will make
american jews simply snap to attention and support him, he just misunderstands the jewish community in its entirety. >> the "washington post" points out that trump compares his unpopularity with jews to the overwhelming support he gets from evangelicals. what does president trump not understand about jewish americans? >> again, we shouldn't speak in monolithic terms. there are a wide range of views, but for decades, the american jewish community has voted 70% to 75% for democrats. that's not going to change. any time president trump opens his mouth, i think the numbers tick up. there's a wide range of things that people care about when they come into the voting booth and many of them, by the way, are informed by their understanding of jewish tradition and jewish values and caring for the stranger and caring for the less fortunate and a society that looks after its weakest members. other people may have a
different understanding of how it informs this politics. i don't begrudge anybody. the evidence is that the vast majority of the american jewish community thinks in those terms and when they think in those terms and they think about donald trump, they're thinking about the antithesis of what they're looking for in political leadership. >> you're right. that's according to a gallup poll. maybe you're right, the numbers may be ticking up. i want to ask you about jared and ivanka. jared has been trump's point person for all things israel in the middle east, but they haven't been speaking out on this issue. does their silence say anything to you? >> look, i don't know how that relationship works in that family and in the administration, so i'm not going to judge people personally on that. i do think one of the things that's interesting is that president trump's disconnect from the reality of how the vast majority of the american jewish
community thinks in terms of politics may be related to the fact that he has a small circle of advisers, some of them jewish and, again, everyone's entitled to their own views, but because he hears their views echoed back to him in support of his own outlook on the world, on israel, on other political matters, he thinks that that's what all american jews think. and that's where he's really out of touch and out of sync. and, again, for a reality challenged president, i'm not sure there's an issue on which he's more disconnected from reality than political behaviors and attitudes of the american jewish community. >> you were the u.s. ambassador to israel from 2011 -- excuse to israel from 2011 -- excuse me to israel from 2011 -- excuse me -- until the end of obama's presidency. relations between obama and israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu were certainly not as warm as they are now with trump. how do you see the main differences in the relationship? >> well, president obama was a very strong supporter of the u.s. security partnership with
israel. he provided funding for the iron dome missile defense system and israel purchasing the f-35 aircraft and signed a $38 billion military assistance agreement. he also strongly pushed for peace talks between israel and the palestinians based on a two-state solution. and actually netanyahu was on board for that for several of those years. they had some disagreements about israeli settlements in the west bank and that produced some public friction and then, of course, there was the iran nuclear deal which they disagreed on. it was a legitimate disagreement between two allies about how to deal with that. preventing iran from getting nuclear weapons. president trump is obviously much more in sync with prime minister netanyahu. he has said he's for peace between israelis and palestinians but never talks about a two-state solution. hasn't really asked israel to do anything on that. he's taken a number of steps that israelis appreciate, as i said, and that's all very fine. he also canceled the iran nuclear deal. so there's a lot more maybe
agreement on some of those core issues. it appeared from the steps that president trump took last spring, as prime minister netanyahu was heading into an election, that he wanted to actively engage to help the prime minister win that election. he did the recognition of the golan heights. he hosted him for a visit. he sent secretary pompeo to israel. it's interesting -- it will be interesting to see if president trump takes a similar approach at the upcoming israeli election, the rerun election that's going to take place about three weeks from now. >> ambassador shapiro, thank you for your time. i appreciate it. >> good to be with you. >> we'll be right back. this is rhis life is...of pretty comfortable. rick blomquist thought he had comfort all figured out. but then, he laid on a serta and realized his life was only just sorta comfortable.
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continuing attacks on four congresswomen of color. and that's just this week. there are people who predicted what a trump presidency would be like back in the 2016 campaign, but some of those former rivals have now become allies. and joining me now is cnn's chris cillizza. chris, good evening to you. senator ted cruz, here he is predicting a potential conflict with denmark. >> i don't know anyone who would be comfortable with someone who behaves this way having his finger on the button. i mean, we're liable to wake up one morning and donald if he were president would have nuked denmark. that's not the temperament of a leader to keep this country safe. >> was senator cruz's statement in response to anything in particular trump had done or said? >> i remember watching it live, actually, don. that was right after cruz had won the iowa caucuses. >> right. >> everyone thought, well, the trump balloon is now burst. remember, trump was accusing cruz of cheating in those iowa
caucuses and asking for a do-over. >> i remember. >> so that's the context there. just quickly, you can hear reporters laughing when cruz says he's liable to nuke denmark. the truth is cruz is just grasping at something. who knew that he would -- >> well, he's not nuking denmark. >> not that the president is going to nuke denmark, but if you said to me, what fight with our allies would we pick between donald trump getting elected and now? denmark would not be in the first 100 that i would name. >> one more prediction from senator cruz. >> sure. >> donald can't defend his own record. whenever you point out what he's actually said, he just screams liar, he insults you, he attacks you, he makes it personal and he gets very rattled. he doesn't like anyone pointing to his actual substantive records, but i think that's ultimately a sign of weakness. >> this is undoubtedly what president trump does. when and why did senator cruz change his tune about trump? >> yeah, he was right in his analysis that trump is fundamentally a bully and that's who he's always been.
remember, cruz took a long time to come around to donald trump, don. i remember at the republican national convention august of 2016 ted cruz was up on stage, gives a speech, he doesn't endorse donald trump. the crowd goes wild. he's booed. donald trump goes wild. he came around because guess what's coming up in 2018? ted cruz's re-election race. guess who is really popular in the republican party in texas? donald trump. so we remember the general election, right? ted cruz barely beats beto o'rourke. but the reason he didn't have a serious primary challenge is because he came around on donald trump and won trump's support. that's the -- it's all politics. >> i'm glad you reminded us of that convention moment. i remember that. it was pretty shocking. >> it was remarkable. you thought they'll never patch things up. well. >> another texan rival now turned ally, governor rick perry. watch this. >> he offers a barking carnival act that can best be described as trumpism. a toxic mix of demagoguery and
mean spiritedness and nonsense. >> listen, perry's one of the most stable members of the trump cabinet in a white house known for a high turnover. how has he managed to stay on so long after such a stinging rebuke? >> it's remarkable to think we're four years on and he's the energy secretary. he has been since the start of the trump administration. how has he been able to stay on? donald trump loves a redemption story. right, he loves the, we used to be rivals, but rick and i are good now. the way that it works is if you capitulate to trump. if you either apologize to him or you acknowledge he was really right, that's how you get back in his good graces. >> when you think about the constant attacks on the four congresswomen of color, comments about jewish democrats, this is what senator lindsey graham said. here it is. >> here's what you're buying. he's a race baiting, xenophobic religious bigot. he doesn't represent my party. he doesn't represent the values
that the men and women who wear the uniform are fighting for. >> senator graham is now one of trump's most vocal defenders. was he wrong about trump representing his party? >> no. i mean, he meant what he said. i've told people this all the time that donald trump is not really a republican. i know there's an "r" after his name, i know he ran as a republican, but look at people who have been in the republican party for a long time, jeb bush, george w. bush, people who are pillars of -- john kasich. people who are pillars of the party. they're not all actively speaking out against donald trump, but what he represents is not conservatism of paul ryan of john boehner, of people who were longtime stalwarts of the party. it's just not close. i want to make, don, if i can one other point. your great people built a great graphic for us. look, it's not just politicians or republican politicians who warned us about donald trump. we knew about donald trump. i pulled these numbers in a 2016 exit poll. so donald trump wins this election, but he wins it with 33% of people saying he's honest
and trustworthy. he wins it 64 -- two-thirds of people say he wasn't honest and trustworthy. he won that election. this one is stunning to me, 38% of people saying he is qualified to serve as president. these are not current numbers, folks. these are not from a recent cnn poll. this is from the 2016 exit poll, people who had just voted. we knew what we were getting. so how does he win is the question. he wins because people want radical change and they are willing to vote for him, putting aside all of those concerns. >> chris cillizza, thank you, sir. appreciate it. >> thank you, my friend. rain forests in the amazon are burning at an astonishing rate and this is going to have an impact that -- all over the world. we're going to talk about that. that's next. ♪ relaxing guitar male announcer: it's a familiar feeling. the first chill in the summer air, and each day shorter than than last. this is what you live for. it's your season.
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for a limited time, come to t-mobile and for each iphone ten r you get, get a second one on us. with a world facing a worsening climate crisis, we could be on the verge of a massive environmental disaster in brazil. scientists say wildfires are ranging across the amazon rain forest at a record rate. environmentalists blame ranchers and loggers who want to clear and use the land. let's talk about this with wildlife biologist jeff corwin. jeff, it's so good to have you on. thank you so much. appreciate it. >> thanks, don. >> explain why what's going on in the amazon right now is so disturbing and what the potential effects are for the entire planet. >> great question. first of all, you just said we're on the verge of an environmental catastrophe. correction, we are in the midst -- >> we are in one. >> -- of an environmental catastrophe. so what's the big deal about rain forests?
well, rain forests take up about 5% of our planet's surface and they contain 60% to 70% of all life and on a good day, don, we lose 3,000 acres of rainforest every hour. >> wow. >> so this catastrophic loss of life is really unprecedented. and right now with the -- with the onslaught of climate change mixed with homesteading and mining and all that contributes deforestation, brazil is on the verge to lose probably 60% of its remaining habitat with or in under a decade. >> listen, you mention all those things but the amazon rain forest produces about 20% of the world's oxygen.s 20% of the world's oxygen and is often called the planet's lungs. if it is damaged it could start
to emit carbon instead, right? >> well, not only is it the lungs, the respiratory organ for planet earth, don, it is a natural carbon reservoir. we take carbon and we the rain forest down that is locked. the carbon is liberated into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas. we are literally taking a natural solution as climate change remedy and we are turning it in to the problem. >> i am looking at the beautiful pictures, and it is hard to believe that it is happening when you have that with the climate picture. many green the rain forests are one of the best defenses for the threat of climate change. how important is the rain forest in trying to prevent the worst
of climate change? >> it is important because it is a great reservoir for carbon, which is locked up in the material that makes up trees. not only is it producing oxygen. through the process of creating shade it is significant in controlling temperature for our planet. and it is a part of our global hydraulic cycle, our water cycle. if we continue on the course and integrate everything else, don, happening on the planet. you know it used to be that in the north we had the great environmental compass, the united states. we are no longer that. the president of brazil has a no holds barred approach to the environment. basically the trump of the south of brazil. >> interesting.
fires spreading at a record pace when the land is dry. we have seen more fire this is year in the amazon than ever before. the driest parts of the year is yet to come. where do you see this headed? >> i think that we are heading to a moment of reckoning that is going to shake us in the 21st century. we are now, don, in what i view to be the sixth extension. when you take for example the fact that what we are doing now in the united states, we have just pulled out all of the teeth out of the endangered species act. we are no longer prioritizing our natural heritage when you take what is happening with habitat loss, you throw that in with the plastic waste issue around the world. $10 billion pounds of trash in our oceans every year. add it to the fact that in the
next week or two greenland will have lost half a trillion tons of ice. you put that all together, it makes me weep for my children's future. >> oh, boy. jeff corwin, i am sure we will be talking more about this. thank you for coming on and discussing this terrible tragedy. breaking news. a lot of shocking claims from the ceo of overstock.com in his interview with chris cuomo. patrick byrne said he helped the fbi carry out what he called political espionage and had a relationship with russian agent maria butina. we will dig into that next. we're pretty different. we're all unique in our own ways. somos muy diferentes. muy diferentes. (vo) verizon knows everyone in your family is different. there are so many of us doing so many different things. (vo) that's why verizon lets everyone mix and match different unlimited plans. sebastian's the gamer. sebastian.
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this is cnn tonight, i am don lemon. our breaking news, the ceo of overstock.com making shocking claims saying that he helped the fbi carry out what he called political espionage and patrick byrne admitted he had a relationship with accused russian agent maria butina. that as president trump's behavior is getting more and more erratic. sources inside the white house
telling cnn he is worried the economy is taking a downturn ahead of the 2020 election and what might it mean for the 2020 election. then there is the president's litany of strange and controversial statements and attacks having some question his fitness for office, doubling down about accusations of jewish americans that vote for democrats. >> in my opinion you vote for a democrat you are being disloyal to jewish people and disloyal to israel. >> what is really behind all of this? we will get perspective. the "new york times" magazine 1619 project examining the legacy of slavery in america. why is it criticized by some prominent conservatives? i will talk with one of the lead writers of the project. the ceo of overstock.com saying