tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN August 23, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PDT
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 he helped the fbi carry out what
he called political espionage. we are go to start with sarah and matthew. sarah, the overstock ceo patrick byrne made a series of extraordinary claims. who is he talking about and what is he alleging? >> well, sure. don patrick byrne is eccentric and a controversial ceo and resigned today. over the last couple of weeks he came out publicly saying he had a romantic relationship with maria butina spanning a number of years and he was providing the fbi information. now he is taking it a step further saying he believes he was involved in something akin to political espionage and directed by people at the top levels of the fbi or giving the fbi instructions. he was directed to build this
relationship and maintain the relationship with maria butina and directed to have romantic relationships with her and he dropped a lot of names over the course of his interview with chris cuomo accident j, james c. he played it a little bit coy but he said his relationship with maria butina spanning a number of years is something that he continued at the direction of higher-ups of the fbi. >> let's play a little bit of what he said to chris. here it is. >> they said and they are very honorable men and women, the men in black. we want to be clear this never happens in the united states. we are the good guys. we don't work like the bad guys. we need to ask you to rekindle a romantic relationship with maria butina. >> members of the fbi you are sure were members of the fbi asked you to do it and you know their names.
>> they said these orders are coming from the personal -- personally supervised by y and at the request of x and then two months later they said mr. z has added his name to these. >> i heard you say on fox if you go put a camera in jim comey's face and say the name patrick byrne you are not going to like the reaction it gets. >> that is the z. that is mr. z. >> you believe that jim comey knew that you were being asked to do these things in the name of the united states government? >> i was specifically told this is coming at the request of mr. comey. do not assume it was president obama. do not assume that. >> you have their names? >> yeah.
yeah. this is the kindergarten stuff. >> i have to believe when they respond they will say we like patrick byrne. he was good in business. but this story is 100% fugasi. >> they are not going to do that. they will no comment. if they come out to deny this. >> do you have anything in writing? >> this is the silly part. >> this story is so wild you have to have proof. >> chris, i am light years beyond the world you are talking about. >> sara, do we have a response from james comey or law enforcement? >> so right now we reached out to james comey, fbi, doj, we don't have a response from them. cnn hasn't independently corroborated the claim patrick byrne is claiming. he did not provide any proof of
it. we will continue to reach out to see if we can corroborate any parts of the story. we were told by a u.s. official that patrick burns met with officials from the justice department to talk about the beginning of the russian investigation and some viewed what he had to say as credible because he did have operational details that was not widely known. but we haven't heard back from law enforcement or james comey. >> i want to bring in matthew rosenberg. a lot of accusations being made. some of our experts are saying let's take it slow. let's look at these. you heard what he is claiming. what are your big questions here? >> i mean there is a lot here. my biggest question is look. was maria butina the center of some kind of political operation or anything in 2015 or a russian
grad student? you kind of hear both versions of it. what people on the right say is that she was a smalltime thing. nothing to look at here. if he is right she was important. the fbi was targeting her. there are a lot of ifs here. a lot of supposition. i have no idea what the fbi asked him to do. i do know it is not unusual if you are a prominent person and go to the fbi and say the shady foreigner approached me what do i do. keep meeting with them, see what they say and tell us. does that mean sleep with them? i have no idea. >> i want to share this tweet from our colleague, a former member of the fbi. he said -- horse manure. suspend disbelief if able. if true agents would be
investigated by doj, ig and fired for mishandling of source. he is obviously saying for himself horse manure. be very careful about the accusations though. >> i would be because he is right. if they did tell him to sleep with maria then they absolutely should be investigated and should be fired. that is a clear violation of the fbi's rules. do we see government officials violate their own rules? yes. but it is treat with care because it sounds so fantastical and outlandish. >> 2015-16 i took some request from the fbi. men in black. they are not the bad guys. they are not the problem. they passed a request from
someone up above to do stuff in 2015, 2016. i never knew who it was. last summer watching congress rip apart people i figured out who sent me the request. the man's name is peter strach. >> that is not just any name. this is so vague. it is impossible to assess. in 2015 there was no russian investigation to speak of. he was a senior counter intelligence official. who did they want him to speak to or ask or find out. we do not know. >> there was more. watch. >> i was involved in helping them in that period with what i thought was law enforcement. it turned out to be political
espionage conducted against hillary clinton, minor marco rubio and ted cruz, major donald trump. hillary clinton and donald trump. this had is not a theory of mine. i was in the room when it happened. i was part of it. >> extraordinary claims. what is next matthew? >> you know, i mean in his version of events the fbi is out to get everyone. i think there are certainly more questions to ask. right now patrick buryrnebyrne, needs to share more details. a lot more details leveling this type of stuff. >> thank you very much, i appreciate it matthew and sara murray. so, we have enough here. i want to turn to the president.
president trump's erratic behavior and how it could play into the 2020 election. i want to get the big picture from dan jones and karen finney. >> yeah. go ahead. >> what did we say like the dawning of the age of jupiter in line with mars. what is happening in the world? what is going on? what is happening? >> honestly i don't know. >> i never lived through anything like this. >> crazier and crazier every day. what do we do? if you listen, and the president has been all over the map this week. right. even for his standards. how do democrats running against him respond to this? >> i think that the need now for basic stability. just stability. we just would like to be able to
wake up in the morning, reach over and pick up our phone. look at it and not freak out every morning. just show an ad with someone looking at their phone and smiling. smiling. stop taking a fork and shoving it into the back of their head into their eyeball. >> it is making people nuts. they are making them feel like, i don't know, like other people are enemies. you know what i am saying? >> look. i think that you have to question how do democrats feel about this? i think it is bad for the country. democrats have spent a lot of time, and you said this, arguing about the policy details and how many private insurance companies are you going to put out. you just won't be insane every day. make america sane again. >> coverage for all. when you look at the big picture you are like okay.
you mentioned what you called soft voters for president trump could turn on him in 2020. a new poll showing his approval at 20%. how likely is it that democrats pull voters away? >> pull voters away from trump? i think it is quite possible. there are a lot of people that voted for donald trump, not because they liked him but because they couldn't stand hillary clinton or wanted change so badly they are willing to take an enormous risk on donald trump. donald trump has no margin for error. what should democrats do? talk about order of stability, discipline, measured statement. common sense conservative makes
the same argument that we need someone that will reflect traditional common sense conservative values and not his values. i think the president is in a tough spot. everybody talks about the economy being the issue. it is what is driving the election for the president. it is slowing down now. i think voters are not just voting about their pocket books. they are voting values and based on the president's behavior and conduct in office. >> we don't want to forget about the economy. president trump said the economy is doing really well. there are warning signs of a slow down ahead of the economy. it has been his biggest asset so far. you say he does not have the discipline to run on it. >> yeah. remember the pivot? does anybody remember that back when he first got elected. it is like he is going to pivot. he is going to act like a grown
up. >> there are people asking about the pivot during the election, not after it. >> yeah. yeah. >> so my point is what -- the information that we now have three years later, there is no pivot. he does not have the type of discipline. how many times have we had infrastructure week. if he had discipline to talk about the economy, i think he would actually be able to get traction. i will tell you what is interesting. i have seen polling when you ask people do you approve of the way you are handling the economy he gets good marks. a lot of black and brown people have been affected, you and your life, are you doing better. they say no, not really. if you get under the hood of the numbers the reality is for a lot of people the economy is not doing so well for them. they are working two jobs. costs are going up. the problem is that on top of that you have a president that
creates all of this anxiety for people. we are hearing in a lot of the focus groups i have done, people are exhausted, right. i think there is a feeling like you said of can we just have calm? can we just, you know, wake up in the morning and not worry. cleveland, ohio. we are buying greenland, we are not. we are going to denmark. we are not. there is going to be a payroll tax cut. there's not. people are nervous. they were already anxious. we saw it with president obama in 2012. even though the economy was strong people were very anxious. they did not know if they can trust it. i think that carried on. certainly the president's behavior does not make you feel more comfortable or confident. >> yeah. listen, thank you. our time is short because of the breaking news as you understand. who knows what we will be reporting on tomorrow. >> who knows.
thank you all. what we heard from the president in the past few days or few hours raises questions about his fitness for office. we will discuss next. these folks, they don't have time to go to the post office they have businesses to grow customers to care for lives to get home to they use stamps.com print discounted postage for any letter any package any time right from your computer all the amazing services of the post office only cheaper get our special tv offer a 4-week trial plus postage and a digital scale go to stamps.com/tv and never go to the post office again!
>> we left the elephant in the room. what would happen to us if we did the things this president does. if you went to work talking about being the chosen one, would people wonder if you are okay? i am the chosen one for this project. i am the chosen one. if you made a habit of attacking people on race or religion, how long is it until they showed you the door? if you made decisions costing your company money and were not based on sound financial practices.
if you lied about anything and everything. would they believe a word you said? would they? those are good questions. good evening. if your uber driver behaved the way he did as president you would jump out of the moving vehicle. if donald trump was your employee every day hr would fire him because of his racist comments, anti-women and anti-muslim behavior. if he were the manager of a starbucks he would destroy the profits, increase the debt and promote pete's coffee. but commander of chief of over 330 million people and he could destroy the world because the bar is so low for donald trump he has to slither under it. i joke. but the bar has been lowered for a man who is corrupt.
he can't convince china to come to terms for the trade wars he started and lost. >> why don't you tell us how you really feel. >> that was me being subtle. >> why does president trump get a pas on this? imagine if you were here as a contributor and did all of that. why does he get a pass? >> i would probably be shown the door. at the end of the day the donald trump we have seen the last few weeks is the same that came down the escalator and ran for president. what people are supporting him for and why they will vote for him again is because of the policies that he represents. to use the analogy, they don't like the way he drives the uber or delivers the starbucks coffee, but they like the coffee. this president is delivering on many of the things the people
want. he was the eventual nominee. when it came down to who would i support, the policies of the democratic president or the republican president, i will support him every time. because it is inappropriate to question his fitness for office, whether or not he should be reelected because you don't like his policies. you can't deny the fact that these people today and in the past week and in the months to come that don't like his policies, not because they question his fitness. >> i think because he says things like i am the chosen one on the white house lawn. who says that? if you are an evangelical and someone says you are the chosen one. there is only one chosen one? that is who? >> donald trump. >> no. seriously you are christian? >> i am evangelical christian.
>> your chosen one is who? >> our lord and savior, jesus christ. evangelical christians recognize he might not walk or talk the way we talk. but at the end of the day he represents our belief in the white house and will execute it. far more than anyone can say when they reach out to democratic candidates. >> i understand what you are saying. let me put your tweet up. this is what you said. please do not sellout your religion for trump. do not betray jesus for this conman. all of us, including you deserve better. sincerely a concerned muslim that loves jesus and knows trump is not the king of the jews or the second coming of god.
>> because they believe that donald trump is cyrus, a blunt instrument. he will help them deliver religious freedoms, will be pro-life and protect israel not because they care about jews but because they need to control jerusalem. when jesus comes back according to the end of time prophecy the jews and muslims will be erased. as a muslim that went to an all boys catholic high school, open up the good book. read mark, chapter 8, verse 36. what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul. it is not worth it. you deserve better. >> zero democratic candidates reached out to the evangel can
christians. in 2016 donald trump reached out his hand saying let's make america great. hillary clinton looked at them and called them deplorable. he supports their belief and executes on what they want in the white house. democratic candidates give them nothing. >> jesus will not support locking up and celebrating children at the border. i would tell them follow jesus. >> i have to go. thank you both. does he understand the outrage? diarrhea. e the leading competitor only treats symptoms. it does nothing to kill the bacteria. treat diarrhea at its source with new pepto diarrhea.
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i think if you vote for a democrat you are very, very disloyal to israel and to the jewish people. >> here to discuss yair rosenberg and adam from the atlantic. i am go to start by reading a line from your piece in the "washington post." you say the man that stood solely for his own naked self interest. president trump does not see the anti-semitic self interest as a complaint but rather a complement. >> the traditional is only out for themselves. they put their own interest ahead of whatever nation they are in and their country's interest ahead of america's interest. to most that is a negative. to trump that puts his self
interest before the national interest and looks out for you and yours ahead of anybody else, he accepts them and takes it as a complement. he thinks he is praising jews when he says it. >> it is like he says to african-americans what else do you have to lose. he does not understand. >> he does not understand his audience. when jews hear people making the stereotypes about them, no matter intentions, you should be suspicious of them. >> thank you very much. much more articulate than i am. adam, this is what you tweeted. trump has more positive feelings towards jews than latinos. but like others he thinks jews are conditionally american. are you saying for trump there is a hierarchy? >> i think that there is
obviously a hierarchy he puts himself at the top but to vote in the interest of israel is not only flipped on its head but an implication that we are guests in the country and do not belong here. we are displaced citizens of the state of israel. that is simply not the case. and it is offensive. i am not even sure how else to describe it. the implication is that we are not truly american but guests. while he is a bit more kind to america's jewish "guests" than he is to black americans, latinos or muslims, it is fundamentally a world view saying we do not really belong here. >> yeah. you outlined in your article what you called the president's positive anti-semitism and say it is deeply dangerous. positive anti-semitism.
>> imagine one person thinks jews are good with money and jews control finance, the banks and countries. jews are my enemy. the other says i want jews to run my finance and to be my lawyer so i can be powerful. i want to imitate them. this is the one he dabbles in. he sees the stereotypes and sees them as positive. places i have travelled, you find where there are no jews, there are stereotypes. how can we be smart like the jews or succeed in politics like the jews. some it is better than the alternative. in other ways it is the stereotypes anti-semmigites tha are out to get you believe. they believe jews are scheming and cunning and krel lots of things. actually they are your enemy. they are the reason the problems
are here. we have examples of that in various places. >> i read the article. you mentioned that. >> in south korea. >> south korea is a great example. they have best sellers, when asked about it we want to know the secret of the jews. in 2015 there was a giant anti-semitic controversy when there was a dispute in samsung, the biggest conglomerate in south korea, a proposed merger and the major shareholders, very powerful, minority investor, paul singer a you here in america said it is a bad idea. instead of arguing against the policy they put anti-semitic cartoons and other things up. >> thank you.
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>> "new york times" magazine with a project 1619 project aims to reframe the country's history understanding 1619 as our true founding and placing the consequences of slavery at the story as we tell ourselves busy who we are. here to discuss the driving force behind the project, nicole hannah jones. so happy to have you here. i am fascinated by this. there is a lot. it has taken me a while to read it but it is good because you learn a lot about it. there are more than a dozen reported essays. photos, essays, poems. so much that we can scratch the surface here on television. >> the most important thing to
me is that i realize the anniversary of what i consider one of the most pivotal things to happen, most americans never heard of the year 1619. i hope people take away is that slavery has been marginalized in the american story but it is foundational. it is just as important to the story of america as -- >> why do you say that? >> because everything that we can look at across modern society, so much about the way that the united states was developed politically, our constitution, even our declaration of independence included a passage about slavery until thomas jefferson took it out. the fact we are here in america talking right now is because the first group of africans sold in
virginia. we are not taught the history. it is something we are ashamed of. we are trying to force us to address the history and the legacy of slavery. >> yours is the first i read. i grew up in a home that was similar. not quite as emphatic as your dad but similar. we had the flags folded from the funerals and those things. but you write about your dad and he flew an american flag at your home growing up. even when your house was in disrepair he made sure the flag was pristine. how can the black man seeing firsthand how his country abused black americans proudly fly his banner. it deeply embarrassed me. i thought that i understood so much when i understood so little. my father knew exactly what he was doing. he knew our peoples contributions to building the
richest and most powerful nation in the world was indellable and the united states would not exist without us. what a realize that is. >> i did not truly understand my dad until embarking on the project. i was thinking of the role the black americans played trying to perfect this democracy and trying to make the ideals written in the constitution and founding documents real. i really just started to understand what it was that my dad was doing, laying claim to a country that so many have fought for. they were born and buried here. it is disrespectful to the ancestors not to claim the country as our own.
it is the only country we have known. we have fought harder than anyone to make the country a democracy. not to honor the legacy is not honoring ourselves. >> you talked about the white house, the stock market, all of these buildings. the building of a democracy. >> absolutely. >> not only we share in it but we put an enormous contribution to that. when the founding fathers draft the constitution it does not provide it for most americans, women, native people, black people. a large number of the people that wrote the document deprived other people of liberty. they took the words literally. not only fighting wars abroad
but against their own country men for 250 years to make those ideals real. >> let's talk about some of the push-back. you expected it. >> of course. >> conservatives over the project. newt gingrich calls it propaganda. erick erickson says you are wrong about one of the reasons the colonnists wanted to declare independence. >> they have learned the history that glorifies our country in ways it does not need to be glorified. i am upon not arguing that ideals were not amazing. but they were not true at that time. what i find interesting about this is that we somehow believe 1776 was important. we don't get to choose which parts of history matter and which don't. 10 of the first 12 of the
presidents were enslavers, the primary wealth that allowed a scrappy group of colonists were coming from slavery. they could have ended slavery. they chose not to. these are all of the facts of who we are. i think not telling the truth about the country delegitimized it. these ideals could be made true and the people on the bottom were the ones that believed in them the most. >> thank you so much, not only for coming here but for doing this. i really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> we will be right back. customers to care for lives to get home to they use stamps.com print discounted postage for any letter any package any time right from your computer all the amazing services of the post office only cheaper get our special tv offer
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>> during the height of fame in the 1970s, the name halston was fame, status as a groundbreaking stylist to the stars and fixture on the new york party circuit as well as the fashion and life empire mystifying industry insiders and the american public alike. here is a preview. >> it hit me like this is it. this is the fashion that i would want to wear. overnight it was a clean look. the simplicity was really needed after the 60s. it was all-american. from an all-american boy.
>> wow. joining me now is model pat cleveland who worked with halston through the height of his career and so good to see you. >> i appreciate it. thanks. >> listen, it was such an iconic designer, larger-than-life personality. what it was like to work with halston? >> a generous person that cared very much about the people he chose to be around him. we were like a colorful tribe of rainbow people. it was lovely. he hosted beautiful people. he wanted to dress everybody. we were the ones that were fortunate to get the chiffon to wave. i am like a flagpole. the way that he cut it made us all feel like goddesses.
it would flow and you felt like you were in heaven. the breeze on the runway. that's the way you have to do it. my god, we were invited into a social world that was beyond stars. we were in the cosmos of stars. >> even the clothes you are looking at now they hold up. they are timeless. he is really credited as being one of the early american designers to put american fashion on the map globally. what is it about his designs that did that? >> it was himself. the way that he saw women. he took on girls and made them gorgeous. he took on stars and made them shine. the way that you feel in those clothes enhances what you have. >> not only was he a trail blazer for fashion but i think in fashion for diversity as well because he worked with models of
color like you. go on. how did that impact fashion? >> i think it was the realization of the power. it was one-sided. there were no sides. it was just one thing. he brought a -- i could people with the wonderful people that i dreamed about. it is a dream come true to spend time with creative people that have a vision that is bigger than themselves. they see the future. they want to help people. they want to make the world beautiful. that is a place to be. >> you are working on a new project? >> i am. >> what is it? >> it is from my book and we are going to do a movie. i can't tell everything now. i am so excited. writers and directors are at your house right now. >> and your beautiful daughter who is a model.
>> yes. >> so good to sit here with such an iconic. >> i love you. >> i love you so much. thank you. it is good to see you. >> thank you so much for your time and your energy. >> be sure to tune in to the new cnn film called "halston" sunday at 9:00 p.m. only on cnn. thanks for watching. our coverage continues. your sleep number setting. can it help us fall asleep faster? yes, by gently warming your feet. but can it help keep us asleep? absolutely, it intelligently senses your movements and automatically adjusts to keep you both effortlessly comfortable. so you can really promise better sleep. not promise... prove. and now, all beds are on sale! save 50% on the sleep number 360 limited edition smart bed. plus 0% interest for 24 months and free home delivery. ends saturday
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cracks in the economy threatening a downward spiral. the fed chief will try to calm investors today. top world leaders gathering this weekend for the g7 and france as they try to calm growing concerns back home. pointed fingers over raising fires in the amazon. he says they're being ignited to make him look bad. and a school superintendent in tennessee got a $15,000 bonus. what he's doing with it will inspire you. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world, this is "early start." i'm dave briggs.