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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  May 31, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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educe the impacts of a small disaster, but we need the help of experts. pg&e is an integral part of our emergency response team. they are the industry expert with utilities. whether it is a gas leak or a wire down, just having someone there that deals with this every day is pretty comforting. we each bring something to the table that is unique and that is a specialty. with all of us working together we can keep all these emergencies small. and the fact that we can bring it together and effectively work together is pretty special. they bring their knowledge, their tools and equipment and the proficiency to get the job done. and the whole time i have been in the fire service, pg&e's been there, too. whatever we need whenever we need it. i do count on pg&e to keep our firefighters safe. that's why we ask for their help. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon.
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live with new developments tonight on the russia investigation. former fbi official andrew mccabe feared that rod rosenstein helped provide president trump with a cover story for it firing of james comey. so he wrote a secret memo about it last spring, a memo that's now in the hands of robert mueller as a "new york times" first reporter. more on what that secret memo said in just a moment. plus new allegations from michael avenatti. he said there were secret recorded conversations and he wants them released to the public. thank you so much for joining us. so you said michael cohen recorded inappropriate conversations with his client. >> correct. >> basing that statement on what >> i'm basing that statement on two things, three things actually. based on a call i received from a reporter last week asking me about a specific recording about a communication that had
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occurred between michael cohen and mr. davidson relating to my client. that's the first thing. the second thing i'm basing it on are the admissions in open court today, relate today the fact these recordings actually exist and very likely relate to the president of the united states. and the third thing i'm basing it on a source that we have and additional evidence that strongly suggests and in fact shows on at least one of these recordings that donald trump and michael cohen are conversing. >> conversing and what? >> there's a whole host of things relating to these tapes concerning communication between the president and michael cohen on a whole host of topics. and we believe ultimately when those tapes are released the american public is going to learn it likely shows a conspiracy to commit various federal offenses. >> you call them the trump
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tapes. >> that's correct. >> which there's evidence the president on these tapes. >> i think i just stated there's significant evidence -- >> you said there's significant evidence there are tapes, but not the president was on the tapes. >> i also told you we have significant reason to believe, in fact we have more than significant reason. i know on at least one of these recordings the president is on one of these recordings. and look, if we're wrong, don, lets mr. ryan, cohen's counsel who's been very vocal in his criticism of me come on your show and say there's no recordings of mr. trump. he knows to make that represent would be false these tapes exist. they're incredibly damaging. michael cohen should have never been recording conversations with the president, mr. davidson and others. and ultimately it's going to
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come back and bite michael cohen and the president. >> do you think these tapes, what's on them, contains attorney-client privilege. >> i think certain information on some of these tapes may be covered by the attorney-client privilege. but there may be an exception to that privilege in that if mr. trump and mr. cohen were conversing about activities that may constitute the commission of a crime, that would not be protected under the attorney-client privilege. >> so today it was revealed that michael cohen shredded some things and the fbi is trying to patch them back together. they said they needed a couple of weeks to figure it out. what is that all about? >> evidently, don, they have forensic specialists in quant co, virginia, the fbi lab that are now trying to piece together information that was found in the shredder of michael cohen at the time of the fbi raids. evidently michael cohen was too dense and too cheap to invest in what's called a cross cut shredder in which nothing can be pieced back together.
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he has a cheap shredder that allows for the reconstitution of documents. it's going to be very interesting as it relates to the documents that were shredded right before the fbi raids. >> i've heard attorneys weigh in on this and they say anytime the fbi is trying to put back together shredded documents, that does not bode well for you, if you're the person they're investigating. what do you say to that? >> i agree 100%. i've been saying for weeks michael cohen is going to face criminal charges. there's no question that's going to happen. he's in a very, very bad place. this case gets worse and worse for him, don, by the day. michael cohen should be spending morning, noon and night in the district attorney's office in the southern district of new york. >> you said it wasn't going well for him. do you think today went well for you because the judge said you couldn't be a party in this, and then you dropped -- didn't you drop your claim you wanted to be a party.
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>> we had a discussion with the judge whether we were going to formally intervene in the case. that was tabled by an agreement between us and the government. we then had a further discussion as it relates to my motion to be admitted into the case formally. she indicated she was going to postpone that and she was going to take it up in connection with the motion to administer vene. and ultimately after the hearing we withdrew that motion because we determined there was no need for it to sit out there unruled on for weeks on end, and we'll probably refile it when and if the appropriate time. >> you filed it without prejudice which means you can bring it back up. >> what she said was that in the event that i was formally admitted into the case that there's certain things she would want me to adhere to. she referenced this term publicity tour which the press has picked up. but she was not using that in a
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derogatory sense but rather she recognized the right to publicity. and the first amendment. my client's not on a publicity tour. my client and i are on what's called a truth tour, and we have been on a truth tour now for about ten weeks. and that relates to the disclosure of evidence and facts related to what happened here and when the president knew and knew it and what he did about it, period. >>o i want to put up, this is the wall street journal. "the wall street journal" reporting investigators believe you're slowing down and complicating this investigation. how do you respond to that? >> that's ludicrous. i've talked to the u.s. attorney's office on a regular basis, don, almost on a daily basis. sometimes multiple conversations or communications in a day. we have been very cooperative with the u.s. attorney's office. we are providing documents with them. we are working closely with them as it relates to them completing their investigation. i don't know what the unnamed or who the unnamed sources are for this article in the wall street
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journal, but it's without all basis. >> it's been in the news your personal life and finances have garnered a lot of attention lately. lawsuits and those kinds of things. you've called it completely bogus, i think bs maybe is something that you said. how do you respond to that? do you think that has undermined your credibility? >> no, not at all, don. look, i'm a guy doing a job. i'm an attorney representing an incredible client. i think i've done an admiral job. i don't think there's any question about that. this is all designed to distract away from the facts and the evidence relating to these cases. designed to undermine my credibility. i think people see it for what it is. it's a bunch of nonsense. it's ironic to me none of the other lawyers in the case, mr. ryan, and there's a lot of other lawyers in the courtroom today, none of them have had their finances read by the press.
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>> thank you, michael cohen -- >> please, whatever you do call me anything other than michael cohen. >> thank you, sir. i appreciate it. a secret memo turned over to the special counsel's office by andrew mccabe. more on that. what the president specifically wanted to mention in the memo used to fire james comey when we come back. you won't see these folks at the post office
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ends sunday. it was always our singular focus. to do whatever it takes, use every possible resource. to fight cancer. and never lose sight of the patients we're fighting for. our cancer treatment specialists share the same vision. experts from all over the world, working closely together to deliver truly personalized cancer care. and these are the specialists we're proud to call our own. expert medicine works here. learn more at appointments available now. we have some breaking news tonight on the russia investigation. the former fbi acting director andrew mccabe feared that rod rosenstein helped provide president trump with a cover storey for the firing of james so he wrote a secret memo about it and turned it over to robert mueller last spring. let's discuss now. good evening to both of you.
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so, laura, let's start with you. in this memo by andrew mccabe he says that president trump had originally asked rod rosenstein to reference russia in rosenstein's comey memo. rosenstein didn't end up doing that, does that raise any questions to you given what we know about how president trump wanted russia referenced? >> i think it answers several questions that we've had. remember we've known through a variety of sources whether it be his meeting with the russians in the white house or a statement to lester holt or a statement through rudy giuliani and a number of other sources that he actually did have russia on the brains and that was one of his motivations and he wanted to craft a narrative around that. now you have andrew mccabe probably inadvertently perhaps intentionally bolstering what the president said and maybe giving credence to his statement. now it shows independent on the part of rod rosenstein who by
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all accounts did not even mean to have the role he had in this overall investigation or the role he had in james comey's firing. because it puts him in a position at this point in time to perhaps be a witness or perhaps ask whether he's conflicted out. >> that's the position it puts rosenstein, that he's the guy overseeing the mueller investigation. >> that was always his concern. he didn't not understand or interpret or mean his memo referencing loretta lynch's role by having that press conference was going to then put him into the water. it did just that. i think that was an unintentionally consequence but one he should have anticipated. >> rudy giuliani would not rule out the president firing attorney general jeff sessions. listen to this. >> he's not going to fire him before this is over. more than i think he should.
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>> before the special counsel's investigation he's not going to fire him? >> there's got to be a resolution. remember the special counsel writes a report. once the report is out, i'd have to read it. he takes whatever actions he believes is necessary as president, it it may be some may want to leave. >> and are you predicting he will in fact ask for his resignation? >> what do you think significant? >> i actually think it makes abundant sense because really what's going on here, what giuliani is saying is keep everything the way it is. and that's for the president's benefit and for the public's benefit. because what everybody wants, and i actually agree with mr. giuliani on this. what everybody wants is that the process is above reproach. and so that's for the president's benefit as well.
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because whatever happens we can't predict what's going to happen. but what we can do is control the process. and if you assert any influence on that process so whoever wins at the end of the day, whoever is the loser at the end of the day they can say i had a fair shake. and i think that's what giuliani is saying, and i think that's the right thing to do. >> he refers to it as i've known trump for a long time, he's just sort of spouting off is what he's saying. is that a fair assessment, because it appears he tries to influence his investigation in a number of ways either behind the scenes by a number of people, i want this person fired or i want loyalty from you in some of his tweets? >> i think what this shows is maybe a turn in the way that the administration's approach things. and i think what it shows is perhaps now they're waiting to see it all play out.
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as ultimately is the way it should go. >> case in point, laura, "the new york times" has reported that president trump tried to have the attorney general jeff sessions unrecuse himself from the russia investigation. if true, could that seem as obstruction? >> in and of itself, no. but what it does is lead to believe the larger conclusion and gives contextual clues about the fact what are the stages and steps that were put in motion to have the overall obstruction case be built against the president of the united states if any. remember the president seems to have a chicken versus the egg game playing out. he believes it was the firing or recusal of jeff sessions that in many ways led to the firing of james comey and the special appointment. in many ways has led to this self-fulfilling prophecy he in fact is or his campaign is being investigated the way it is. in isolation every single stage is important, but not being critical in telling you it's
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absolute obstruction. certainly if he's attempted to do so in a way that undermines the investigation and also begs the question why do you require somebody's to be a loyalist, who's somebody to have a role over an objective agency, it begs the question if you believe you do not have a loyalist then the process my colleague is talking about will ultimately lead to your particular indictment. to me it's only one relate. >> so, ken, the president says that mueller's investigation is meddling in the mid-term elections. and we know he's considering an interview with the special counsel in january. do you think he's intentionally delaying or his attorneys may be deliberately delaying this process? >> i don't think you can tell either way. and i agree with laura that there's, frankly, been a lot of inconsistency with the administration's approach with this investigation. so it's hard to say whether there are any delay tactics going on or whether this is
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really just a change in the approach. >> ken starr released the information i think it was in september and people said it was really close to the election and he was trying to do it on purpose. he said it was because the president and then clinton and his lawyers were delaying the process. do you think they'll release the findings, the special counsel's findings if it's close to the election? >> i think they're going to try their damnedest to avoid that. because there's doj guidelines about when that type of information should come out, and try to do it really far in advance of any election because you don't want to influence any election. >> it didn't seem to happen in the '16 election, but go on. >> exactly. it is so universally accepted that you do not want an investigation to interfere in some way with the election. which means either you have to wrap it up beforehand or do so after the election.
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well, donald trump has delayed unnecessarily the interview process, which would probably be the end of the investigation in a very large part. so he has delayed in some way, and i think he is using its a strategic region to get close door the mid-terms and end of his presidency if he tries to run for re-election. and the bottom line is he cannot have his cake and eat it too here. you cannot say it's impeding the mid-term or influencing the mid-term elections and delaying it to the point where if he were to have an interview by the end of the summer you are knocking on the door of the mid-term elections. so in many ways he's trying to have his cake and eat it too and i'm just not biting. when we come back donald trump, jr. retweeting roseanne's conspiracy tweets. how much of a problem is all this as the president's eldest son gears up for a role in the mid-term?
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i'm a small business, but i have... big dreams... and big plans. so how do i make the efforts of 8 employees... feel like 50? how can i share new plans virtually? how can i download an e-file? virtual tours? zip-file? really big files? in seconds, not minutes... just like that. like everything... the answer is simple. i'll do what i've always done... dream more, dream faster, and above all... now, i'll dream gig. now more businesses, in more places, can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. roseanne barr losing her hit abc show after tweeting racist and anti-semitic comments. but the president emphasis own son donald trump, jr. retweeted
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one of those comments from barr and he is pushing the same debunked conspiracy theories. it's part of a pattern for trump junior. jason carol has the story. >> reporter: no apology from donald trump, jr. in retweeting the anti-semitic tweets. early wednesday again retweeting the same unproven conspiracy theory barr did. saying only in the world of 2018 could donald trump, jr. retweet a jewish woman attacking a well-known and admitted nazi sympathizer be considered anti-semitic. nonsense. sorros a billionaire magnet and survived the nazi occupation in hungary. while conspiracy theories about him being a nazi sympathize, have been repeatedly debunked. trump, jr.'s re-tweets come
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after barr's re-tweets that sorros wanted to over throw the u.s. government. trump, jr. saying one retweet doesn't mean don endorses everything. he went onto lash out at the media saying it's pieces like this that dishonestly use innuendo to unjustly smear political enemies. the president's eldest son has been one of his father's staunchest supporters. and in that role he has supported a number of conspiracy theories. shortly after that parkland shooting. >> it's unbelievable to me these people are even saying this and
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the fact that donald trump, jr. even liked that post is disgusting to me. >> reporter: critics coming to hogg's defense. >> we have known people, people like donald trump, jr., the president's least favorite son, perpetuating this kind of stuff. donald trump, jr. took time to like two of the stories that attacked this kid and his father. this is the president's son doing that, liking a story that directly defames a student that survived a shooting. >> reporter: in 2017 critics again took issue for trump junior for tweeting mike cernovich deserved a pulitzer. cernovich was a central figure in pizza gate that climbed members of the clinton campaign were involved in a child sex ring. also tweeting inflammatory statements like who cares about breast cancer and rape, a date
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rape does not exist. in 2014 trump junior took to radio creating another controversy when he referred to warming of the gas chamber while complaining about how his father had been treated in the press versus hillary clinton. >> the media has built her up, let her slide on every discrepancy, every lie, on every dnc game trying to get bernie sanders out of the thing. if republicans were doing that, they'd be warming up the gas chamber right now. it's a very different system. there's nothing fair about. >> reporter: the anti-defamation league called on trump junior to apologize. >> i said the same thing two weeks ago and i used the term electric chair. it was poor choice of words, perhaps, but in no way, shape or or form was i ever talking about the holocaust. it's not my style. >> reporter: in a political environment where conspiracies
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flourish don't expect to see him dialing back. sources tell cnn he's gearing up for a more involved role in the upcoming mid-term elections. during the mid-terms trump junior will be focusing on states such as indiana, west virginia, montana, and missouri. and do not look for him to stop tweeting or retweeting anytime soon. don? >> jason carol, thank you very much. >> when we come back, just who is the president's son trying to reach with all these conspiracy theories, and is it working?
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roseanne barr and trump, jr. both pedaled the same anti-semitic conspiracy theories, so why isn't the president's son facing any consequences? let's discuss now. matt lewis, simone sanders, steve cortez. good evening to all of you. so good to have you on. so matt, let's see i'll start with you. just a few minutes ago donald trump, jr., we said he has a history of retweeting conspiracy theories. what do you think is behind it and who's buying what he's selling? >> i think there's two possibilities.
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one is that this is the 21st century version of a dog whistle. he's trying to overtly signal all of his followers. they always have plausible deniability. hey, man, i just like the tweet. i didn't retweet that. that's one possibility. the other is that this is not him trying to overtly influence people but who he is. i think out of the 21st century it's out of the abundance of the heart the hand tweets. >> all right, matt. preach on, brother. >> preach. >> so, steve, do you think it's irresponsible for the president's son to be getting involved spreading conspiracy theories. it could be irresponsible and a deliberate strategy to keep his
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base engaged. >> i don't believe in conspiracy theories. why is he doing it? i don't know. i also know this, he has no role in this administration. he happens to be the president's son. he has no government job. when you say he faces no consequence, we're talking about it right now. obviously there are consequences to what he re-tweets. i'll let him answer to what he re-tweets. >> discussing is a consequence >> of course it is. >> so do you think it's appropriate or not appropriate, and why do you think he's doing it? >> i don't know why. i don't know don junior, i don't know why he's doing it. i don't delve into conspiracy theories, don't think it serves us well. i think i'm being very conciliatory here in agreeing with you, but let me also defend the trump movement. because i think you're making this illogical leap to say there's a dog whistle to this
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racist -- >> you're talking about matt, not me? >> yes, to a conspiratorial crowd. and that i will take issue with because the trump base which is tens of millions of hardworking americans is not racist or retrograde, not deplorable and does not believe in conspiracies, by the way. >> it's got to be working on some level, simone. weren't they focused on family business? >> to respond to steve what i will say while i absolutely don't believe that the large surplus of folks who support the president are in fact racist, there is a racist contingent and ie, white supremacy in khakis contingent of the president's base.
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and we'd be very wrong to ignore that. in terms of donald trump, jr.'s tweet, i think this is who he's always been. it's just that now folks have cared enough to pay attention. i think that's important to signify. i don't think donald trump, jr. is doing anything different than he has previously done. this is who he is and we should have to acknowledge that. >> are their crazies who happen to support the president, absolutely there are. are there crazies who supported your candidate, bernie sanders, of course there are. including the man that literally shot -- donald trump isn't responsible for a small group of crazies who may happen to support him. they may endorse him, but he doesn't endorse them. >> that's a really good example, and i'm glad you brought that up. senator sanders was extremely
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clear on denouncing very fringe aspects of his movement. one could argue he could have done it maybe swifter, but he was very clear on denunciation of said individuals. meanwhile president trump is out here talking about there are many people on both sides in charlottesville. i think that is where folks have a question about the president. that is why folks say he identifies with pieces or fringes of this alt white or white supremacy in khakis movement. i don't think that's an alt right assumption to make. >> listen, don junior headlined an event. he's slated to do an event for new york congressman lee zeldin in august. he gave an unofficial foreign policy speech in india, and he and his brother eric are raising a lot of money. the question is he said he's not part of the campaign, but he certainly sounds like he's part
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of the campaign. >> this isn't billy carter or roger clinton. this is guy who is part of the political team to some degree. and there are no consequences. like, you know, people do stupid things. sometimes people accidently like things, right or the butt dial. but is anybody going to call him out? will president trump get on the phone and tell his son knock it off, don't do this again? is john kelly going to call him into the office? is anybody that has any sort of authority in trump world going to say this is not acceptable, you can't -- >> maybe he believes it, matt. maybe he believes the conspiracy theories. >> it's possible he does. he's either engaging trying to spread false information and mislead people over the internet or he is himself a product of this world view and sincerely
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believes it. >> stick around, everyone. was colin kaepernick denied a job on an nfl team because of what the president said? i'm going to ask kaepernick's lawyer and what one team said about that. that's next.
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tonight we learn that several nfl owners have testified under oath that conversations with the president influenced their handling of players taking a knee during the national anthem. that is according to "the wall street journal." they reported that dallas coy boy's owner jerry jones' recollection of a phone call with president trump talking about the protests and the rallies. this is winning strategy. so very winning strong issue for me. tell everybody you can't win this one, this one lifts me. so jones' comments were part of his sworn deposition in colin kaepernick's case with nfl owners. i want to discuss it now with colin kaepernick's attorney. thank you for joining us. good to see you. so the president seems to be saying to jones that his attacks against protesting nfl players
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against taking a knee during the anthem was benefitting him politically. the it also seems the president was suggesting jones needed to relay that message to other nfl owners. explain exactly why this is so pivotal to colin kaepernick's case? >> let me start with the preface, don, before i got on the air the nfl was already seeking to have me personally sanctioned because some journalists did their job and is reporting on this symbiotic relationship between the nfl and the trump and this partisan political conspiracy, which is actually if you take a look at the code section of the law, looks to be something that is sanctionable by the law. so without commenting before i go in front of whoever, whatever authorities i will tell you this, if anybody reads the arbitration demand this is not a hard paint by the numbers to connect.
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you took a look at where trump was back in march, who he was riding with on his jet, and then you take a look at his campaign rallies where he's talking about the sons of bitches referring to my client, colin kaepernick. and then publicly reported they've had conversations, why the nfl is against that or wants to sanction me because they or somebody else leaked the deposition testimony is beyond me. but i will tell you that it's apparent to me at least from what has transpired that the evidence we've collected supports everything we've put into that arbitration demand under the collective bargaining agreement. >> you said earlier today that there are super bowl winning coaches who have testified under oath that colin kaepernick hasn't been hired since the 2016 season because of his national anthem protest.
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does that prove the basis of his suit? >> yeah, i think that clearly the thing that i couldn't believe, and i now understand in retrospect what happened here, they ran in trying to get discovery closed in this matter. and once they did that the reason they did that is they then wanted to go in and under kind of cover of night without consulting with the player's association, without consulting with the players, they wanted to announce this unanimous policy, which by all published reports was cleary not unanimous because the owner of the jets came out immediately and said i'm not going to pass this onto the players. it was then reported that jed york abstained. this was all orchestrated in some kind of kabuki theater that the nfl owners figured this is the way we were going to appease the president, this is the way
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we're going to play along with his partisan political conspiracy. and i think frankly "the wall street journal" and cnn now reporting about it has done a great service to the country and to show exactly what's going on. because today it's the nationalistic football league. tomorrow it's amazon. after that it's abc. you know, you're in there -- literally we've tied up the courts with the at&t litigation. this is an administration at least that appears bent on insinuating themselves not only in the department of justice -- and we can talk for hours about that, and you have -- but in the administration of justice. and kind of creating their own enemies list in the business world as well. >> now that you've gotten all these depositions in, so what is next for the case? >> well, i would stay tuned
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because this case is about to take a dramatic turn. and i will be -- i'll wait, don, and come back here and announce it. >> any hints? >> well, i will tell you that everything that we laid out in our demand under the collective bargaining agreement we've now -- we've now made a pretty good analysis of we've tested it, and it took like we were either pressured or somebody has decided they were just going to dime out the nfl for what they were doing. >> interesting. come back and talk to us about it. thank you, mark. i appreciate it. >> i will. >> back with me now, matt lewis, simone sanders and steve cortez. you heard the conversation. even some of the owners rejected the president's stance. kaepernick is still unemployed, the nfl has a new policy, fining players who may kneel during the playing of the national anthem. what do you think?
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>> to quote the caucus chairman, i would like to think people want to stand for the national anthem because they feel as though the country represents who they are. i don't know if folks remember when the nfl commissioner originally put out a statement, a letter if you will, a couple months back. that statement came about -- and i have this on authority from, again, members of the executive office who i've spoken with. that statement came about because he's battling two things, the owners and it's also the players. and that original statement came about because he wanted to keep the owners. you know, you have to at some point keep the owners at bay. i think what we've seen in the last couple weeks and days actually is that it backfired and the nfl has now sided with the owners over the players. i ask you, what is the national football league without the players? the players have a decision to make. i think what we'll see in the
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coming weeks, don, the players are going to choose themselves. they're not going to side with the owners. i don't think they're going to go quietly into the night. >> steve, you heard my conversation with mark geragos there. you have three nfl owners testifying under oath the president spoke to them about protesting players. does this show an attempt to bully the league, you think, into submission? >> no, i think an attempt to persuade the league which he did very successfully into recognizing that no one, none of us, has a right to unfettered protest at work. not a plumber, not a tv commentator, not an nfl player. the reason, let's be very frank about colin kaepernick, by the way, the reason he's not playing is because he's not a good enough quarterback. the last -- >> that's not true. >> yes, it is true. let's talk football. let's talk -- >> he has statistics that are -- >> the last 12 games -- >> he has statistics superior to other -- >> hold on, stop. symone, steve, stop. he has statistics that are superior to other quarterbacks. >> not he doesn't lately, no, he doesn't.
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not lately. over his career, he was amazing at first. >> he's not playing, steve. >> his last 12 games he was 1-11 as a starter. 1-11. one of those games his quarterback rating was 39. >> have you seen his rateing compared to other players? have you compared them to other players? >> that's over his career. don, he was great early on. he was then figured out and by the way, his style of play is no longer that effective in the nfl. this is a football issue. the nfl is very willing to give second chances to controversial people. michael vick -- >> i don't think your information is accurate. >> it is accurate. he went 1-11. if he were better at football, he'd be playing. that's a fact. >> i don't think your information is right because every study shows he is superior to other players who are -- >> don, that's over his career. >> no. it's not his career. >> not his last several years. >> anyway, we're getting off topic here. matt, what do you say? >> that is the topic. >> we'll talk football. i think he would be in the nfl, he might be a backup. he certainly isn't what he used
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to be. but he would be in the nfl were it not for the controversy, but that's not necessarily donald trump's fault. you know, you could become a controversial figure that, you know, has nothing to do with your on-the-field play, but, you know, still would turn teams off to you. but look, i think two things are -- >> let me just -- you said -- yesterday you tweeted, you said how he had to focus his energy on trade, north korea, the economy, with all the responsibilities of the presidency, why do you think he's spending so much time an energy on the nfl? you thought he should be spending his time on other issues. didn't you say that? >> i don't know if that was me or something i liked on twitter, but -- >> oh, that was trump who tweeted -- >> sorry, got my information wrong. >> that's okay. >> it was trump who tweeted. >> you know, i would say a couple things, what i think is perfectly legitimate for the nfl to have a rule that governs, you know, their employees, when they're on duty, but by the same
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token i think it's inappropriate for the president to intervene in a company like this. you know? it's one thing to say something at a rally, it's another thing if you pick up a phone and call jerry jones and try to get him to do something. that's the part of this that, you know, my spidey sense goes off at a conservative. i don't necessarily like the idea of a president getting involved in business to that degree. doesn't quite sound appropriate to me. >> it just seems weird he would get involved in this at all. symone, you know, in the nfl, almost 70% of the players are black. black people own majority stakes in none of the 32 teams. zero. so if players aren't being represented by the players union, as you say, how do they get a voice? >> absolutely, and so what the union, not an actual union, if you will, it's the nfl players association, was the primary voice at the negotiating table over the last couple of months. when the controversy started,
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the nfl was not, in fact, talking to colin kaepernick. they were talking to the players association. there were key folks in the players association that represented the players. one could argue the negotiations didn't go well, don, because they have a policy that sides with the owners. i think what we'll see is the players decide to take their destiny into their own hands. a number of prominent players suggested in private they're not going to pay their $15,000 to $18,000 dues to the nfl players association. and i would argue that the association rendered themselves not effect in the negotiations so players have to come to the table themselves and cut out the middleman. >> i'll give you the last word, quickly, i'm almost out of time. go ahead, steve. >> you know, i would say you make a great point. isn't that sad that i think everybody owner is a white man in america, diverse a country as we are, the way to rectify that is more wealth and prosperity for hispanics, more wealth and prosperity for african-americans. if donald trump, by the way, is moving that ball forward so someday they can be nfl owners and not just the players.
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symone, you can roll your eyes. that's the economic reality. we right now are not the owners of assets, we people of color. we want to be and need to be for america to realize its full potential. >> okay. i have a couple articles, steve -- >> i'm just saying the african-american unemployment rate -- >> i got to go. we're over time. >> the last 20 years. we are celebrating that. >> i got to go, but i have so many people saying your statistics are wrong and i'm going to send you a couple articles when we're done. okay? thank you, steve. thanks, everyone. i appreciate it. that's it for us tonight. thanks for watching. i'll see you right back here tomorrow. . . . .
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