tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN May 31, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
sending with all of this? is it part of an instinct to break all the rules? gentlemen, good evening. so let's look at the big picture here, frank. you see a bigger story behind the president's pardons, behinds the way he deals with the race controversies, the mueller investigation, that this president has a reflex to see how much he can get away with. talk to me about that. >> i think he enjoys and looks for opportunities to thumb his law at conventions, thumb his law at established practice. i think they do something else really crucial if we're talking about trump's personality. he hates it that as president he's not omnipotent. he hates he as a congress that checks his powers, that he has to go to them for legislation. pardoning is the most god-like act he can do. he overturns anything that's come before. >> you said it's intoxicating for him.
>> i think it's totally intoxicating. >> and proving people wrong. >> one of the themes if you look back through his whole political cull rear, which isn't as long, of course, is he likes to see what he can get away with. we treat it as a random one off comment when he said it slightly wrong i can shoot someone on 5th avenue and my supporters would forgive me. he has said privately to other people who he's talked to his presidency about i can't believe what i can get away with and my supporters still support me. >> there's so much the president has gotten away things that other people would never get away with. we can't even count them. what do you think about what frank is saying that he wants to test his limits? does he have any limits? >> well, he has unfettered power to pardon people, and frank just nailed it. it's a very god-like thing to say you're free, a get out of
jail card. but who's he giving these pardons to? it's been a lot of the alt-right heroes, people who are kind of outlaws of radical right conservatism. sheriff arpaio, susan libby, dinish. it's also an attempt to kind of seize the playing field. like he used to say on the apprentice you're pardoned, you're fired. he'll do a pardon and say it's just all a witch hunt that we're in, and i'm defending the right team, the right-wing team in america. >> but he's using it as a tool, but to what end specifically, frank? >> i think there are a number of events, but two that come to mind is he is under investigation. he has people around him who have been indicted or whatever. he's saying to the american public the criminal justice
system is erratic. it's not to be trusted, it goes on selective prosecutions. in fact what dinish is saying i don't trust this system and i also think it's interesting is he's someone who savagely went after president obama's father, president obama's mother, who has said many racist things on twitter and many racist things about president obama. and yet this is another opportunity that president trump has seized to sort of stick his finger in his predecessor's eye. >> a lot of things he said. in summary in his book he said was slavery a racist institution, no, slavery was practiced for a thousand of years. and slavery is not distinctly
racist. basically saying the worst news that their parents could give them was telling them they could get summer jobs. he later apologized for that. >> he's not denouncing her, but he's finding someone else who has similarity horrible things and he's saying here is wrongly prosecuted and persecuted man and i'm going to restore his reputation. >> what's the big fuss about rosa parks not sitting in the back of the bus? when the president was testing a selfie and saying obama, that you can't take the boy out of the ghetto. and then he kept questioning president obama's place of birth. donald trump dropped the issue and questioned it on twitter as recently as september. and there you go. that's who he pardons. douglas, what does this say
about him? >> and d'souza. >> let's put up some of the people the president has either pardoned or thinking about pa pardoning. recently pardoned scooter libby and comey prosecuted martha stewart. he has only granted five pardons, but there you go. >> well, and these are celebrities. and in the history that he pardons jack johnson who was perhaps a legitimate great african-american boxer, that was recommended to him by sylvester stallone to do the part. there's a celebrity theme going on here in our prison, people that are sitting right now in jails for marijuana, charges for
hasheesh and things, these people aren't getting pardoned. it's a sad speckical when you have kim kardashian in the oval office and he's defending roseanne barr's racist statements, and you have the original obama birther basher being par pardoned and all. it's the ugy grim side of trump's america. >> that was an interesting assessment by john boehner today and get you to reply to. because this party has no check on what he's doing. here's john boehner. >> there is no republican party. there's a trump party. the republican party has kind of taken a nap somewhere. >> and john kasich says he doesn't know what this gop is doing right now. what's going on? >> i think boehner said the republican party is taking a
nap, and kasich said it's going dormant. it's in a coma. that's the true state of affairs, it's in a coma. but both of them to some extent roominu romanticizing the republican party. it couldn't have been perverted in this sort of way unless the perversion was already there. however, free trade, that's out the window. we've got a president who's instituting tariffs, who wants to close borders, who personifies the sort of v vulgarity that's supposed to be the antithesis of the republican party. >> do you remember when president-elect trump visited president obama in the white house and he seemed sort of
overwhelmed? and everyone was like what did they talk about? what wept on behind closed doors? and we're getting a preview of the book which details the aftermath of the 2016 election. and this is what peter baker writes about it "the new york times" in the he says the day mr. obama hosted mr. trump in the white house mr. trump kept steering the conversation back to the size of his rallies, noting that he and mr. obama could draw big crowds but mrs. clinton could not. he writes, afterwards mr. obama calls a few aides to ruminate. you can see it right back to some of the characters to huckleberry finn, maybe mr. obama, answered, that's the best we can hope for. what's his place in history? >> i think barack obama was saying he's just a con artist,
this president. donald trump makes up facts all the time. he doesn't go on empirical evidence, and it's kind of blowing up of any kind of integrity from the white house now. and because trump doesn't know much history, he's simply anti-obama. anything obama does or says he criticizes. and hence his alley is d' souza who really became famous in the republican world hard right by just trashing obama as much as possible. >> how big a part of the trump presidency is president obama, frank? >> huge, huge. i mean i was thinking about that today. president obama is like the first husband, and you're the second husband. and that person has to either not exist or be all things bad so you can relish your marriage
to the extent you want to. i think that's trump's attitude. one of his other predecessors was scooter libby. that was sort of poking the eye of president bush. he's constantly talking about nest up situations that his predecessors bequeathed to him. if we're going to give the credit for the economy we're in right now that credit goes to president obama. it takes a little while for policies to work. >> everyone knows that, and he knows that deep down. >> just like president clinton owed some of his economy to president bush. >> usually the second wife remodels. i'm surprised he didn't do a complete renovation, a gut -- >> well, the state dinners -- >> i wonder why he disliked or
talked so much and said such disparaging things about barack obama is because barack obama was a classy man and no matter how much money you have you cannot buy that. >> he is profoundly threatened by the example that barack obama set, absolutely. >> thank you both. when we come back, stunning audiotapes from president trump's fixer. michael cohen threatening a reporter. but we have learned that law enforcement has more tapes. what might be on those tapes. on my tempur-pedic, the sleep i get is better than any other mattress i've ever tried. experience the most highly recommended bed in america for yourself. now through june 3rd is your last chance to save up to $700 on select adjustable mattress sets. visit tempurpedic.com to find your exclusive retailer. if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla.
otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable after just 4 months, ... with reduced redness, thickness, and scaliness of plaques. and the otezla prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. otezla may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. tell your doctor if these occur. otezla is associated with an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts, or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. other side effects include upper respiratory tract infection and headache. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take and if you're pregnant or planning to be. ♪ otezla. show more of you.
the digital divide is splitting this country. we have parents who are trying to get their kids off of too much social media and computers, and then we have parents who would only hope their children have access. middle school is a really key transition point, right. the stakes start changing. students begin to really start thinking about their futures. what i like about verizon's approach is that it's not limited to just giving kids new tools, it's really about empowering educators to teach in different ways, and exposing kids to more active forms of learning. giving technology is not a total solution. teaching technology, now that is. since joining ninehahi, ubmonths ago,o. my priority has been to listen to you...
to cities and communities, and to my own employees. i've seen a lot of good. we've changed the way people get around. we've provided new opportunities. but moving forward, it's time to move in a new direction. and i want you to know just how excited i am, to write uber's next chapter, with you. one of our core values as a company, is to always do the right thing. and if there are times when we fall short, we commit to being open, taking responsibility for the problem, and fixing it. this begins with new leadership, and a new culture. and you're going to see improvements to our service. like enhanced background checks, 24/7 customer support, better pickups, and ride quality, for both riders, and drivers. you've got my word, that we're charting an even better road for uber, and for those that rely on us every day. ♪ okay, so president trump's
attorney michael cohen, threatening a reporter released today. and what we're hearing on those tapes is really pretty stunning. i want to bring in now joe lockhart, also political consultant george arts who's crossed paths many times with rudy giuliani. we'll talk about that. welcome to the program. and cnn political commentator scott jennings. welcome to the program all of you, by the way. so, george, you say that president trump's personal lawyer, michael cohen and his new lawyer -- he's not so new anymore, rudy giuliani. that they're cut from the same cloth. >> i would say rudy is a pretty r rambunctious guy that has threat threaten a couple of people. he has sent a couple of people after me saying rudy didn't like what you said about him on tv and you have a lot of business
at city hall. rudy is like that. it's -- his favorite movie is "the godfather," and he likes to imitate mob figures. and he's done that on the stage, and he enjoys doing that. but he also likes to play the role. and so he and michael cohen, michael cohen also likes to play the role obviously from this tape. so they very much are alike. >> and it sounds like the kind of figures that donald trump, especially with his lawyers, that he surrounds himself with. there are some newly released audio recordings. and they reveal michael cohen made a series of vulgar threats to a reporter in order to protect donald trump. between cohen and the daily beast reporter who says cohen was making threats over a piece he was writing about a trump
biography. here's the exchange. >> you're talking about donald trump. you're talking about the front runner for the gop presidential candidate, as well as private individual, who never raped anybody and of course understand that the baegs by the very definition you can't rape your spouse. you're going to have a judgment against you for so much money. what i'm going to do to you is going to be [ bleep ] disgusting, do you understand me? >> listen, every lawyer wants to protect their client, scott. what do you think of that,
appropriate? >> well, it's not like how i would think lawyers back in kentucky speak to each other. but honestly if you're surprised after hearing everything we've heard about michael cohen, this is how he would speak to a reporter, this is guy who's made his career recently out of being donald trump's enforcement officer. >> that's his personal attorney. they were close for -- >> i think the president has made clear that he wants lawyers to be just like that. >> by the way, he's responding to this. this is what he said responding to this. as i said in a previous statement, i made an inarticulate statement based upon the horrific question posed by that reporter. feel free to look it up. so? >> by the way, though, i think he's wrong about the spousal rape issue. because i think in new york it is law that you can rape your spouse and has been for quite some time. so at least as a factual matter
he got that wrong. >> so there are tapes, right, like this. there were tapes supposedly when they raided his office. so what does this all mean for michael cohen, you think? >> well, the tape is in character. it's in character for michael cohen. it's in character for donald trump who's run his business empire like an organized crime organization. now, some of this may be parody, that they're trying to be the tough guys. >> i was surprised, though, because i know michael cohen and i've spoken to him a lot. >> but it's him and they've made their reputations, and it's not just a new york city thing. this goes beyond the rough and tumble of new york city politics. and i think the importance of the tapes are not that one. it's what else do they have? what else are on the tapes particularly if he's talking to the president?
because i have a feeling that if there are conversations back and forth about the business, we're going to hear things that the president absolutely doesn't want to get out. and if they exist mr. mueller will be listening to them. >> you think that is sort of the precursor to what's there, forshadowing? >> yeah, i think that time in and of itself tells you something about michael cohen, but doesn't tell you what the bigger case is. the fact there's that one means there's others. and the investigators will be listening to them. >> let's talk more about rudy giuliani, okay, george? because my colleague dana bash has some interesting analysis, an ainteresting analysis piece on giuliani titled "how giuliani wins by being the craziest guy in the room." and here's what she writes. it ourns out he's doing exactly what the president, his own best
strategist wanted him to do. be aggressive, shape public opinion, take harpoons. so he's the aggressor that president trump wanted. >> it's exactly -- he's doing exactly what his client wants. and he's eroding public trust in the mueller investigation. and he's eroding it now because of the mid-term elections. and he wants the republicans to remain in control of both houses as well as get rid of a trump administration, the russian investigation if he can or damage it severely. >> scott, dana opponents out that his mission, the mission is trance parent. but is it work something. >> i think it is working because giuliani is out there speaking and throwing these bomb and the special counsel office says
nothing. that's probably what they're supposed to do, but whatever that operation is, some of the stuff is going to stick. as a purely political and pr matter in less than one calendar year there's a really high chance they could be facing impeachment. there's a 50/50 democrats could be taking the house. if you're trying to shape the political conversation around what is a purely political activity as joe knows, then this is precisely what you'll be doing. and i think they're having some success. >> the polls indicate that. the polls indicate that the president's ratings on russian issues are improving. >> but he's doing it at the expense of his own reputation, which i think now is irredeemable. he's doing it at the expense of the truth. he's making things up, and doing it at the expense of institutions this country needs,
the justice department -- the reality is he was the law and order mayor. and now he's eroding law and order in this country. >> do you not see the similarities in the play book being run now? >> i'm glad you bring that up now because i don't. ultimately here's the similarity. which is the clinton white house knew we needed to make sure the democrats stayed with us. and trump knows he needs to keep the republicans with us. that's where it ends. president clinton never fired the fbi director, never publicly shamed the attorney general, never by name went after fbi agents by name. he may have personally believed that ken starr was after him for partisan reasons or moral reasons. he may have believed that janet
reed -- and he just doesn't care about what's going on in the country. >> thank you. appreciate it. when we come back samantha b. apologizing for a crude remark about ivanka trump. roseanne barr losing her job after a racist tweet. are comedians being held to a higher standard than the president? . that's why i switched to the spark cash card from capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy. everything. what's in your wallet? i'm all-business when i, travel... even when i travel... for leisure. so i go national, where i can choose any available upgrade in the aisle - without starting any conversations- -or paying any upcharges. what can i say? control suits me. go national. go like a pro.
this is bill's yard. and bill has a "no-weeds, not in my yard" policy. but with scotts turf builder weed & feed, bill has nothing to worry about. it kills weeds and greens grass, guaranteed. this is a scotts yard. and greens grass, guaranteed. thethe more you know theme, commute is worth it. for all the work you pour into this place, you sure get a lot more out of it. you and that john deere tractor... so versatile, you can keep dreaming up projects all the way home.
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.
comedian samantha bee is apologizing after a making a crude and offensive comment about ivanka trump on her show. >> ivanka trump, who works at the white house, chose to post the second most oblivious tweet we've seen this week. you know, ivanka, that's a beautiful photo of you and your child, but let me just say one mother to another, do something about your dad's immigration practices you [ bleep ]. he listens to you. put on something tight and low cut, and tell your father to [ bleep ] stop it. tell him it was an obama thing and see how it goes. >> bee released a statement saying in part, quote, it was
inappropriate and inexcusable. i crossed a line and i deeply regret it. let's discuss this now. stacey washington and cnn political commentator angela rye. hello, everyone. angela, did samantha bee's comment just epitomize what we're seeing in the country right now? >> i think the challenge we have right now is just yesterday, you know, we were -- or the last couple of days even we've been hearing people go back and forth about roseanne and, you know, there was an intense debate that i heard with simone and another commentator where the guy is just justifying all of roseanne barr's acs and how she should have free speech and blah-blah blah. but when it comes to this side, right, all of a sudden this is the most egregious harm ever.
and i'm trying to understand when truth became so subjective. i understand that we are, obviously we have our own experiences and we can see things through different lenses. but at some point wrong and just wrong and right is right. and i think samantha bee did the right thing by apologizing for this. it was tasteless, it was harmful. and yes ivanka does have a lot of persuasion powers with her father, and i think calling her out of name with a word that doesn't offend me but offends other people was horrible. she needed to apologize. >> and the message was last in all of that. she had a very good point about immigration and she lost it. tbs is owned by cbs's parent company. they said it should not have aired. is that enough? >> i found roseanne barr's
comment to be ridiculous. they were awful, disgusting, demeaning. any comparisons between black people and monkeys, that's a no go in my book. and i'm always at the ready, guns blazing to shoot that commentary down. now that i've said that, if we're going to talk to about civility or lack thereof why does bill marr still have a show? if just tweeting something out is the standard then a lot of people in hollywood should not be on the air, should not be on television if that's the standard. i think, you know, abc and the production people, the management there, they have every right to fire or not fire. do what you're going to do. but then samantha bee says what she said about ivanka trump, and it's the see you next tuesday, yeah, don, but it's also put on something low cut and racy and seduce your father like they have a incestuous relationship. that's disgusting and vile and
hateful towards women. we justify adding onto it, that's not okay for me. so i think what we have to do if we really want to be honest and have our experiences validated is admit there's a double standard. so roseanne lost her job. i'm not defending roseanne. i'm asking how does samantha bee have a job? >> there's a vast difference between what samantha bee said and a racist comment by roseanne barr. donald trump would not use the word racist to talk about her -- >> it was racist. i already said it was racist. >> the reality is they're far different. >> i'm not donald trump. >> and roseanne barr has a histo history, i wrote last month
saying you're going to have problems with her. right now roseanne barr lost two sponsors. in a time of comedy -- >> there's a running list. >> let him finish, stacey. >> i would love to see the outrage of stacey and others on the right to the bigotry and racism of donald trump against blacks, latinos, defending rob porter who beat his wife. how about half of that kind of anger? i would love that, i would embrace it. >> but 12 rights -- 12 wrongs don't make a right. 14 wrongs don't make a right. >> when have i never defended -- >> don't take it personally, stacey. >> he just called my name, don. >> but do you criticize him for his comments? do you criticize the president?
>> i have thousands of hours of radio out there on the podcast where i have definitely criticized the president as well as praising him. >> that is fair. >> i'm not a -- fan. for you to equate statements made by someone else. >> i've got to go. >> to me unless you've researched it and listened to what i've said. we'll be right back. 52% off this kenmore refrigerator. 50 percent off kenmore elite laundry pairs. find your new appliance at the sears memorial day event.
hey rick, all good? oh yeah, we're good. we're good. terminix. defenders of home. and it's also a story mail aabout people and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you
back now with dean, stacey and angela. so my question is does context matter here? because comedians have always been vulgar. is it different, angela, if they're vulgar versus racist? >> yes, from my vantage point certainly. i think right now comedians and anyone with a platform really, don, has a different type of responsibility. you asked the question leading into the first segment about whether or not comedians were held to a higher standard than the president. and i think all of us are. i don't know what it is, we called him teflon don during the
campaign and it still applies now. no matter what he does, no matter how egregious the action, his followers, his base doesn't shift. we know his approval rating has never gone higher than 50%. it certainly stayed in the 40s, and for whatever reason his base is very loyal. he stokes their worst fears and it's really worked for him. i think the frustration is all of us have this great responsibility to try to bring everybody together, to try to get rid of the most egregious and ugliest things of america's past. and this president doesn't do anything except lead into them, furthering the division we see. and i think it's unfortunate all the rest of us have a deeper broader responsibility between platforms. >> the reason i asked this question is you guys all know this, i'm a huge proponent of free speech, and that means speech you don't like. but that doesn't mean you have to deal with hate speech.
are we going to get to a point where nobody can say anything and everyone's going to be in fear of losing their jobs and we can't be honest? i do think context matters. if roseanne had had something similar in a club she was performing would it be different? she put it in the context of her show and did an episode about it, there would be context. but she did it on twitter and there was no context behind it. >> i understand what you're saying. it could be different. like donald trump had praised roseanne, she she became part of the hyperpartisan world where if she says something we don't like and vice versa with samantha bee, people on the right looking to go after liberal comedians, we might have never known about it. comedians are held to a higher standard the more famous you are, the more advertisers you
have. the progressive base does not want her to apologize, but i think the network does. >> stacey, i was speaking to someone today, a woman, and we were talking about that. and she made a point to me i hadn't really thought about. that word is personal to her. and i said you know what, i understand it was vulgar and terrible, but before i had that conversation with her, but also as a person of color what roseanne did was personal to me. >> and to me. and i condemned it immediately. >> that's what where i'm going with this. perhaps it's a way people can perhaps understand each other, maybe it doesn't affect you so you don't think it's awful and terrible. but when it does affect you, then maybe you should be more empathetic about listening to what other people say about it. because the president certainly seems to think that only what samantha bee said matters, not what roseanne said.
go ahead, stacey. >> i can't speak for the president, don. i have no idea what he thinks -- >> and some people are defending him, but you're not one of them. but go on. >> i do think there's a huge dichotomy here. you're talking about something roseanne tweeted out as offensive as it was, it was on twitter, the show's on hiatus. she's on her personal account, tweets out something offensive, she's gone. samantha bee pretaped that program. they actually had writers write that for her, went through the whole editorial process and was brought before a live studio audience, wrapped, audited and sent out. >> sent out on social media. >> so you're saying because it happened on network television it's not as egregious, and if we're talking about things that are offensive, how many times
has bill marr called -- see you next tuesday. i'm wondering do people on your panel care i'm called that all the time? >> i think everyone here cares, stacey. >> i know, angela. i've seen your twitter feed. it's rough. but i'm talking about either we care about all of it or we don't care about any of it. so bh when people like joy behar compared hearing from god, praying to god to mental illness, she was forced to apologize from disney. >> hold on, please because i'm out of time. but that's what i mean about we're going to get to a place where nobody can say anything. i saw that episode live with joy behar. and i thought it's a joke. i didn't think she was comparing christians, but that's how it
has evolved. she was making a joke about one thing -- she said it's one thing to talk to god, it's another thing to have to hear voices or god talk to you. okay, but that is not on the same level as comparing somebody to -- >> no, racism and racism. >> it's a textbook example of a false -- i'm a christian, too, stacey. hold on. >> one at a time. >> i'm on christian radio and i can tell you that was offensive. millions of people woke up that morning. >> you were mad at dean earlier for the same thing. i actually spoke at the potter's house last mouth, so before you get too far let me help you reel it on back. >> oh, i'm not too far. >> go ahead, angela. >> i'm sorry you're upset today. i understand this is frustrating topic, but i'm very frustrated, too, about the ways in which
folks in the sunken place who look like me and you can start creating false equivalencies like what you just did which is to say this person saying something asinine on daytime tv is the same thing as you calling somebody black a monkey who's beautiful intelligent and the president's right-hand. [ drum roll ] ...emily lapier from ames, iowa. this is emily's third nomination and first win. um...so, just...wow! um, first of all, to my fellow nominees, it is an honor sharing the road with you. and of course, to the progressive snapshot app for giving good drivers the discounts -- no, i have to say it -- for giving good drivers the discounts they deserve. safe driving! for giving good drivers the discounts they deserve. wait what?
directv gives you more for your thing. your... quitting cable and never looking back thing. directv is rated #1 in customer satisfaction over cable. switch to directv and now get a $100 reward card. more for your thing. that's our thing. call 1.800 directv. ♪ now that i'm on my way ♪ do you still think i'm crazy standing here today ♪ ♪ i couldn't make you love me applebee's 2 for $20, now with steak. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. (keybdear freshpet, tank was overweight and had no energy. until freshpet... put the puppy back in my dog.
thethe more you know theme, commute is worth it. for all the work you pour into this place, you sure get a lot more out of it. you and that john deere tractor... so versatile, you can keep dreaming up projects all the way home. it's a longer drive. but just like a john deere, it's worth it. nothing runs like a deere. now you can own a 1e sub-compact tractor for just 99 dollars a month. learn more at your john deere dealer.
times he's turned it into a story a 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.