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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  August 27, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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going to think about the senator, your husband, your father, your friend and a smile is going to come to your face before a tear will wet your eye. i do pray that that day comes sooner than later. thank you for watching tonight. cnn tonight is going to take up our coverage with don lemon right now. >> i know you know it's not about me or you and i dealt with death too much this year. i lost my father and stepfather. i can only imagine what meghan mccain and her mother are going through. i hope one day their sadness is transcended and they can smile with memories of what a great man their father and husband was. >> i hope they take that solace. john mccain was a great man. they have a big family and i hope they are there for each other.
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>> you never get over it, but you live with it. this whole coverage i have been watching this weekend, this is what we do. i hate to mention president petty in the same sentence with john mccain. i don't think this president even deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence given the way he has acted. over the last couple of years when it comes to john mccain, but especially the last couple of days. this is an american hero who deserves all of our respect and who would debate you on the issues and leave with a smile or tell you that you were -- what was the saying? i can't believe. >> how can such a big head hold such few thoughts. i remembered that. >> listen, i'm going to have to do it, but just know i hate mentioned this president. >> remember this. there is a reason you do it. john mccain would have done it. you are pointing out proof of
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contrast in a moment where the country is remembering what matters. >> thank you, my friend. it was beautiful what you said in the end. i appreciate it and i will see you tomorrow night. this is cnn tonight and i'm don lemon. the strange and challenging times that we live in, it feels like one word is lost and forgotten. that word is statesman. tonight we have lost a true statesman with the death of john mccain. he is the embodiment of a true leader and he is mournedas a hero and a patriot by the senate and house colleagues on both sides of the aisle. and by his fellow americans, of course. after learning he had cancer, mccain stood on that senate floor, a proud servant of his country and i want to play some of his words which are more important now than ever. >> my service here is the most important job i have had in my
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life. i am so grateful. so grateful to the people of arizona for the privilege, for the honor of serving here and the opportunities it gives me to play a small role in the history of the country that i love. our system doesn't depend on our nobility. it accounts for our imperfections and gives us an order to our individual strivings that helped make ours the most powerful and prosperous society on earth. it is our responsibility to preserve that. even when it requires us to do something less satisfying than winning. what have we to lose by trying to work together to find those solutions? we are not getting done much apart. i don't think any of us feels very proud of our incapacity. the success of the senate is important to the continued success of america. this country, this big
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boisterous restless, beautiful, bountiful, brave, good, and magnificent country needs us to help it drive. america made a greater contribution than any other nation to an international order that has liberated more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. we have been the greatest example, the greatest supporter and the greatest defender of that order. we are not afraid. we don't cut at other people's wealth. we don't hide behind walls. we breech them. we are a blessing to humanity. >> john mccain earned the right to say that. having fought communism and authoritarianism his entire life. he was a prisoner of war in vietnam in years. the scars of torture remaining
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with him his whole life. it says so much about his character that the foreign minster praised him for building and developing u.s. relations with vietnam. john mccain, the longest serving senator and statesman. a true leader composed a final message to his fellow americans delivered today by his long time aide, rick davis. >> 10 years ago i had the privilege to concede defeat in the election for president. i want to end my farewell to you with heart felt faith in americans that i felt so powerfully that evening. i feel it powerfully still. do not despair of our present difficulties. we believe always in the promise and greatness of america. because nothing is inevitable here. americans never quit. we never surrender.
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we never hide from history. we make history. farewell, fellow americans. god bless you and god mess america. . >> john mccain, a statesman and an american hero. president trump finally speaking out saying our hearts and prayers are with john mccain's family and that we appreciate everything senator mccain has done for the country. i will bring in abby phillips, cnn politics reporter and global affairs analyst, max boot. good evening. what's wrong with this man? >> that's a great question, don. to paraphrase winston churchill, donald trump occasionally sometimes does the right thing, but only after he exhausted every other alternative. it was sickening to see how hard it was to get him to do the normal decent human thing and to
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pay homage in any way whatsoever. >> how small can you be? >> he redefines smallness and it's a contrast with john mccain who is larger than life. his heroics are beyond belief. his inspires nothing but admiration and we hear that expressed. you can see how it eats away at donald trump in his small soul, he can't stand to see someone else get all the praise. it's a horrible thing to see from somebody who is supposed to lead the nation and express our highest ideals and donald trump talks a lot about american greatness, but does not exemplify american greatness. john mccain exemplified american greatness. >> i said in the open the word statesman. i keep using the word statesman. it's a huge loss not only for the senate, but the country. >> i mean look, if you had to ask someone to name a u.s.
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senator, chances are with hillary clinton out of the senate and ted kennedy having passed, you would probably get john mccain as the name that would be on most people's lips. there is a reason for that. he ran for president twice and part is because of the compelling nature of his life. someone born into a military family who by his own admission, screwed up. i was watching for whom the bell tolls documentary and john mccain said i don't know how i graduated from annapolis. his life story i think is something that draws a lot of people in and his willingness to admit, i screw up. i get knocked down and i get back up. that's all you can do. that's why i'm with you, by the way, don. if we can spend 90% of the time talking about john mccain and 10% -- >> not even that.
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>> what donald trump did today, what the statement he released on saturday and under pressure today lacks a lot of things, but the most important thing it lacks is grace and class. that's what we expect out of a president. republican, democrat, independent, whatever. >> there is another g that goes with that. gaush. look it up. it exemplifies exactly what is happening in the moment right now with this person. and yes, i agree with you on that. abby, i have to bring you in because i need analysis from the white house. the president issued a proclamation to lower the flags at the white house to half-staff again and finally issued a brief statement of praise after ignoring numerous questions at photo opes about mccain. i want you to watch this and i will get your response.
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>> mr. president, any thoughts on john mccain? mr. president? >> do you have anything to say about john mccain? >> nothing at all on john mccain? >> why won't you say anything about john mccain? >> mr. president, any comment on john mccain, sir? >> abby, we are hearing more about what the staff was hoping would happen. what are you hearing? >> it seems like the pressure just built and built and built not just outside the white house, but inside the white house. we are learning that some white house staffers here were hoping that the president would correct this. many of them were exerting pressure internally and trying to get the president to understand the need to change course here. one of the interesting things
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that happened later this afternoon was that we got a strongly worded statement from the american legion that put out a statement pointing out in clear and not in flowery terms, but straight forwardly that the president made proclamations lowering the flags for people like barbara bush and billy graham and they said we encourage you to make a proclamation about his death and legacy of service to the nation. the spokesperson for the american legion actually said they heard from white house staffers, thanking them for putting out such a strongly worded statement on the issue. ultimately that pressure caused president trump to cave. listen to what he effectually said at an evangelical dipper at the white house. >> also our hearts and prayers are going to the family of senator john mccain.
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there will be a lot of activity over the next days and we appreciate everything senator mccain has done for our country. >> the question remains why. why did this have to happen? you are hearing from the president's allies and people close to the white house who call it an unforced error. it could be something simple following the basic protocols established by presidents before him, but this president chose not do that. many, many hours later with the president taking a sharp turn in the other direction from where he started. >> i wanted to read this op ed. mccain's passing is the sadder now. his dedication to america's global leadership and advocacy and steadfast opposition and willing to break with his own party and insistence on putting the nation's interest above self interest and above all, his
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unwavering sense of right and wrong. all are needed when his party embraced a narcissistic demagogue and white nationalism. as i read that, i thought about this whole debate about what's patriotic and what's not and who owns the flag? is it the military or all americans? he doesn't know how to be a patriot if he doesn't know the true patriotism is honoring an american war hero. >> that's right. you hear him try to wrap himself in the flag and make use of patriotism for political gain. that's something he does by abusing nfl players or making himself out to call democrats treasonous. he has not idea what it's all about. >> what are does it say about
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the character of washington? >> something very alarming about the nature of politics. something john mccain talked about in his farewell statement how it weakens the greatness when we talked about the tribal rivalries. that is exactly my point and what happened. donald trump didn't create this environment. he's the culmination of it, but his exacerbates it and makes it worse and does so for cynical political gain. this is how he solidifies his base. john mccain stood for different politics where it was not about himself, but putting the country first and being willing to suffer physically and politically if it's to help the great country of ours. donald trump clearly does not share that same view. it's truly tragic and infuriating the way he misuses patriotism while ignoring what the country is all about.
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>> people should be vehemently speaking out against this. not just on twitter, but people in washington are not doing that. >> democrats are and republicans aren't. they gave up everything they claimed to believe in to be the cult of personality around donald trump. every day trump does something that hits a new low. you realize there is no bottom. he can keep going forever. >> it's just sad. it's gross. it really is. >> stay with me. much more about the amazing life of john mccain. two men who beat him at the ballot box and went on to occupy the oval office will eulogize him. ational... it's kind of like playing your own version of best ball. because here, you can choose any car in the aisle, even if it's a better car class than the one you reserved. so no matter what, you're guaranteed to have a perfect drive.
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>> no, ma'am. no, ma'am. he's a decent, family man, citizen that i just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about. he's not. thank you. >> we know, abby. nothing wrong with being muslim or arab, but it was something fake and false and the way they used it was in a detrimental trying to place the president as other. it's one of the powerful moments that speaks to mccain's character and decency and you can't help but compare it to the rhetoric now. >> you can't help but compare it to the president who actually trafficked in those experience theories that were fueling what this woman was saying. john mccain said he was a decent man, but he knew it was coming from the experience theory misinformation campaign that
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said that barack obama was born in kenya and he was a muslim and he was other. he was someone else. john mccain was saying that's not true. we actually just have political disagreements and you can disagree about politics without trying to denigrate their character or make up things about them. president trump spends time about talking about how president obama he didn't believe was an american citizen. those were lies born out of the same thing. the contrast is really sharp. i think it also is one of the reasons why these men never got along. it's partofa long standing difference of opinion on politics and on temperament and a lot of other issues that led us to where we are today. that's why we are seeing this spectacle that we knew president trump would have a hard time dealing with this moment when it finally came. >> you have been working hard and you have more work to do. we will let abby go and continue
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the conversation with max and chris. thank you to abby for doing such great reporting. even in mccain's concession speech to obama, it was gracious. it was more than that. watch this. >> this is an historic election. i recognize the special significance it has for african-americans. for the special pride that must be theirs tonight. i urge all americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together. >> think about that, chris. he very much understood the historic nature of the country electing the first african-american president and urged supporters to get behind president obama. he didn't say i want to see his birth certificate and what does he have to lose. get behind my african-american. i want you to get behind and
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understand the historic nature of this. he is all of our president. imagine that. >> i'm glad you played that. as abby was talking i was thinking one of the big differences between donald trump and john mccain is john mccain understood the difference between -- not always, but between doing the right thing and doing the thing that will make you win. for donald trump, his moral compass is entirely focused on is this good for me and will it help me win. >> there is no moral compass. >> right. john mccain both in the instance where he corrects the woman and said say what you want about his policies, but don't say that about his background. it's not true. and then by the way, in the remarks that rick davis, his former campaign manager wrote to have read posthumously, he talked about what an honor it was to concede and acknowledge
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that there are things that are not worth doing, even if that might give you a leg up, whether it's in a day or a week or a campaign or a time of politics. he spoke eloquently about his unwillingness to speak out in taking the confederate flag down in south carolina and spoke about the fax that he wrote a letter when he was in the north vietnamese prison, sort of a confession that he wished he had done. he spoke eloquently about the times in which he didn't do the right thing. again, i do still think there is a difference between winning and losing and right and wrong. those are not synonymous. our current president views them as such. we should not fall into that trap. >> part of the reason why donald trump hated john mccain so much is because on some level, john
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mccain made him feel inadequate and he realizes that john mccain was a superior human being and exemplified virtues that donald trump does not possess. >> let me jump in because i want to hit this before we go to break. talk to me about what it means, what does it say about john mccain that he wants two men who beat him, george w. bush and barack obama to eulogize him. that is to me -- i was like wow, that's huge. >> that's the bipartisanship that he dedicated his life to. let's remember how bitter the election was in which he lost the election to george w. bush. in south carolina, it got ugly and dirty where the bush campaign had rumors where he had an illegitimate africa know american child. that riled up senator mccain. he was furious about what happened, but he got over it and
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understood for the good of the country, you have to get behind president bush and the 2008 campaign was bitter in many ways. it was hugely disappointing to mccain that he was ahead in early september and wound up losing and got over it for the good of the country which is what he whole was about and the way he was able to reconcile with bush and obama is a great example that i wish donald trump and others would pay attention to. >> listen, he took the high road. this one couldn't find a high road with a gps and a driver and secret service motorcade. >> low road every time. >> remembering john mccain with one of the men who knew him best. mark mckin on joins me next. who would have thought,
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for his decades of service, senator john mccain could not raise his arms because of wounds suffered as a pow. throughout his career, he excelled at reaching across the aisle. his former adviser is the executive producer of the circus on show time. i always love having you on. i'm honored to have you here and i loved your tribute. it was a fantastic letter. we will get to that, but the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell paid tribute a short time ago. i want to you watch this. >> when john saw an issue, the same way you did, you knew you
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just found your most stallard although e ally. when you found yourself on the other side of the table, as you think all of us learned, you ran for a different unforgettable experience. >> what were times you saw john mccain abandon his party? >> i love that. hats off tonight for senator mccain. i hadn't heard that clip for senator mcconnell. that was moving to me because they had real tangles over money and politics and campaign finance. mitch mcconnell fought him tooth and nail. that was an example of someone rising up. someone who had a lot of fights with john mccain. we are celebrating this week, he represented all the great ideals and why we got involved in
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journalism in the first place. there was honor and integrity across party lines to do the right thing. courage, honor, and he represented and was such a towering figure. when the news came, it hit me hard that we are going to miss the guy, but man would we miss his voice. what i love about what we are celebrating and the remembrances, i hope that that's going to inspire more john mccains to come forward in the future. >> his famous thumbs down on the top legislative priority which was trying to kill and replace obamacare. not because he supported obamacare, but this is not how legislation was supposed to work. do you see them governing the way it should have been? have those days passed? >> again, i hope that the events of the week will kind of slap
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everybody in the face and say there was a time we did things differently and rose up and there was a process where in the senate and in our congress where it was much more democratic. not bottled up to reflect a representation of the people who elected these people to have a say of what happens in this country. that was a great example, but he paid severely for that among a lot of republican who is voted for trump and probably even voted for mccain thinking he would vote against that bill. >> a farewell letter to mccain in the daily beast, here's what you wrote. your independence was legendary. while i didn't always agree with you, there was never a question that you always did as you pledged you would and indeed put country first. when was a time you disagreed with him? >> gays in the military. that was one i felt strongly
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about as did he. we kind of tangled about that a couple of times, but effeventua he came around. he an old military guy and i got it, but we disagreed. again, he had a famous temper, but never held it very long and appreciated the fact that people would disagree with him when they felt strongly. >> huh gone to work for john mccain after working for george w. bush who stymied the first white house run. you quit working for mccain because of barack obama. how do you come to that arrangement and how did that play out? >> it was an unusual arrangement, don. senator mccain asked me to work for his presidential campaign and said i would be honored, but if i do this, i have an unusual
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ask. if you get the nomination and this guy barack obama who i met and i liked him, i disagreed with his politics, most of it, anyway, i thought his candidacy would be good for the country and if he were nominated, i didn't want to attack obama and didn't think i would be the right guy to do it anyway. mccain said that's kind of weird, but you are kind of weird anyway. he dismissed it thinking it was not going to happen. it was too early in 2007. to make sure and knowing he might forget and wanted to see your staff not to be surprise and to pin my own wings to the wall and not honor my word, i wrote a memo to the campaign. then it happened and mccain had forgotten. i had to get the memo and lock it in. then he gave me a hug and said thanks for helping me get here. i appreciate all you have done
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and it would be very unmccain-like not to. >> it's a pleasure, captain. you're right. hat's off to john mccain. >> i know he will be kicking it hard upstairs. >> thank you, sir. the enemy is dead is how one russian senator reacted to the passing of john mccain. the differences between mccain and trump's view of putin and what happened to the u.s.-russia relations. that's next. when did you see the sign? when i needed to create a better visitor experience. improve our workflow. attract new customers. that's when fastsigns recommended fleet graphics. yeah! now business is rolling in. get started at and i'm the founder of ugmonk. before shipstation it was crazy. it's great when you see a hundred orders come in, a hundred orders come in, but then you realize i've got a hundred orders i have to ship out. shipstation streamlined that wh
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>> senator john mccain was a thorn in russia's side throughout his career. he was portrayed as the ultimate cold war your and a symbol of russia phobia. mike rogers is a former house
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intelligence chairman and the host of declassified. mr. rogers, always a pleasure. >> thanks for having me. >> john mccain is remembered so far many things. decorated military career and decades in congress and presidential aspirations. what do you think john mccain's legacy will be. >> the guy who worked to reach across the aisle when it wasn't popular. he is very hawkish on national security. he was believed in the importance of u.s. engagement in the world. that's going to be really important. he led so many congressional efforts around the world to work out problems in realtime. didn't get a lot of credit for a lot of that, but he did great work overseas. when you look at that body of work, that's the story of john mccain. i thought mcconnell said it
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right. there was no better friend to have in a fight and no worse enemy. when he wanted to clobber you, he came at you. a as i member of congress i have been on both sides, but i always respected him. his temper never went longer than 24 hours, i will tell you that. he would call you after a disagreement when i was chairman and say yeah, we are all right, we're all right. the next day we would be at something different. >> that's how it's supposed to be. you have an argument or whatever, you go have a beer later or go out for coffee and it's fine. you don't have to agree, but that's how it's supposed to be. let's stick to this russia thing. there were disgraceful things said about him in russia. he was a frequent foe of russia throughout his career. the reaction to his death really hasn't been kind. they called him the main symbol
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of russia phobia and they said he is a symbol of the anti-russian thinking and russia cannot be anything other than hostile. may the lord accept his dark soul and determine its future. gee wiz. that's harsh. why was he so unpopular? which was a good thing. >> if john mccain were on your show, he would take that as a badge of courage because he had the courage to stand up. he was sober about what the rugs have been doing not only recently, but over the last 40 years. they can put on a happy face, but they have been ugly actors around the world and they do it with the levers of power they have. they don't have an economy. when was the last time you bought something made in russia? they use intelligence and cut outs and did the things like they did with us. john mccain understood that
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force was always and constantly at work to great democracies including our allies and always willing to stand up. i don't think he would be bothered by it. he probably has a bit of a smile on his face that the russians who he knew and frequently called out for activities now think he is no longer important. what they don't understand is i think his legacy of that hawkish work across the aisle, u.s. engagement will transcend john mccain in a way he would be proud. >> he spent 5.5 years in a vietnamese prison after being shot down from a bombing mission in 1967. this is what the man running the prison said of his passing. at the time i liked him for his toughness and strong stance. later when he became a senator, he and john kerry contributed to promote vietnam-u.s. relations. i was fond of him. when i learned about his death early this morning, i felt very
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sad. what is it about john mccain that even the man who oversaw his torture came to admire him? >> this was one of the moments where we should not cry he died, we should smile that he lived. this is one of the moments. he was able to get through harsh treatment both mentally and emotionally. take that into his u.s. senate role and then reach back and say i forgive. let's move on. we can do something better. that was that spirit this and that legacy of john mccain. he said we will fight it out when we have a difference, but we will work for something bigger and better because he always put his country first and he believed that vietnam as a friend of the united states was the better solution for the united states of america and that international engagement. think about somebody who could
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have carried a grudge. unlike what we have seen in the united states in the last few days. he could have carried a grudge, but he put his country before that and the interests not only of the people of vietnam who he believed he was fighting for in the interest of the united states. that's the essence of gem's efforts and personal ethos he brought to public office. >> it thank you for your kind words. appreciate it. we'll be right back. if you have psoriasis, ...
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pah! thano, no, no, nah.k. a bulb of light?!? aha ha ha! a flying machine? impossible! a personal' computer?! ha! smart neighborhoods running on a microgrid. a stadium powered with solar. a hospital that doesn't lose power. amazing. i like it. never gonna happen. he'll introduce a -- the building currently named
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after senator richard russell who served from 1923 to 1971. he was known for his strong support of the military. he supported to get the country out of the great depression. he was flown as the master of the senate's rules and procedures. russell was a segregationist. he had a deep opposition and was against the civil rights act. he simply didn't believe in equality. in his own words he sate. he said we will resist to the bitter end any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and of race ns our southern states. so should the building used on capitol hill be used in honor of someone who didn't fight for all americans or should it be named after john mccain? joining me now is a professor
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at the university of baltimore. and the author ending race. in post racial america. good evening, sir. senator schumer to the mccain senate office building. what do you think of that idea? >> i think it is very appropriate. as you mentioned richard was a divider. he coauthored the southern manifesto which was an encouragement to oppose integration i think it's -- which eliminated discrimination in employment. he's the poster child for gym crow segregation. a divider. somebody who didn't represent americans. it's really wonderful that john mccain's name would go on the office building.
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because he has been a uniter. has been mentioned to many times today. >> richard russell was a democrat. why do you think republicans would balk at supporting the change? >> i don't think they should. i think it would be very appropriate, as you say. he is a mccain and republicans should be in favor of it. russell was a democrat. i think a bipartisan effort by republicans and democrats would be very appropriate for this change. mccain is a uniter. that would be much more appropriate. particularly in the devicive of times. >> taking down confederate statues. >> this week is robert e. lee. noticed that stone wall jackson was coming down. i wonder is it george washington flexion week and is it thomas
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jefferson the week after? you do have to ask yourself where does it stop? are we going to take down statues? how about thomas jefferson? what do you think of thomas jefferson. you like him? he was a major slave owner. are we going to take down the statue? he was a major slave owner. you're changing history. you're changing culture. >> wow. there's so much wrng with that. >> a whole lot wrong. this is all about backwards thinking. >> he did have backwards views about civil rights and equality. do you think he feels ts same way about taking down russell's name? >> it's an interesting question. i think the president needs to
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be sophisticated in his analysis and his approach. >> good luck with that. we are a country with a long history of race discrimination but one country that knowledged that history was wrong. at least most people have acknowledged it. when you that kind of a situation it is very important to have a little bit more complexity in your analysis. certainly individuals that were slave holders and supported segregations. we have had individuals who oppose slavery and segregation. we need to recognize and honor those individuals as well. and mccain would be an appropriate person to recognize with all his sacrifices for the country. putting the country over party. he needs to be recognized. this would be very appropriate. >> always a pleasure. thank you, sir. >> my pleasure. >> when we come back is paul manafort changing his tune? attorneys reportedly sought a
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plea deal with federal prosecutors but talks stalled. remember the president said paul manafort would never flip. he was trying to. what is means for the manafort's future, next. ♪ meet george jetson. ♪ ♪ his boy elroy. with instant acceleration, electric cars are more fun to drive and more affordable than ever. electric cars are here. plug into the present. electric cars are here. plug into the present. (door bell rings) it's ohey. this is amazing. with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, are you okay? even when i was there, i never knew when my symptoms would keep us apart.
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this is "cnn tonight" i'm don lemon. live with all the new developments for you this hour. wall street journal reporting after being found guilty of fraud at his first trial. paul manafort sought a plea deal before his second trial. but talks with mullers team broke down. this happened against the backdrop abandoning him. his former lawyer claim tsz president directed him to pay two women for their silence during the 2016 campaign.


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