tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN March 13, 2019 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
be a great disservice to the truth and to our democracy. and it will make it that much more likely that the russians will do this again because the resulting division will be proof that their efforts to confuse what is real and factual, to blur what matters, to play out our differences -- this will be the best proof yet that their efforts worked. thank you for watching. "cnn tonight" with d. lemon right now. >> rorschach test. reality is not a rorschach test. truth is not a rorschach test. you know, and the russians win if that is, indeed, how people feel. >> yes. >> they win. >> yes. >> i really don't get it. i don't get how so many people are hoodwinked, how so many people don't believe what they see and what they hear, how people -- and you're probably right -- won't believe what's in the mueller report. do you actually -- i'm not sure if it's actually going to make a difference.
i think the people who support the president are going to say, yeah, it's -- you know, even if they say conclusively there was collusion or there was conspiracy or there was obstruction of justice, oh, he was set up. mueller is trying to find information. he's biased and on and on. and if they don't find anything that's conclusive on those things that i said, then the folks on the left and the people who don't like him or the resistors are going to say, oh, well, they were biased, and of course it's there. and what happened in that trump tower meeting, that's already evidence of collusion. >> you're going to have some victims of extreme analysis. you have people on the left who have been set up for disappointment because they've been set up to believe that this is going to lead to the downfall of the president. they got him. >> you and i have never said that, by the way. >> no, i've never had any reason to say it. i'd be happy to say it if i saw the proof. >> i've always said that if you want this president out of office, the best way to do it -- >> vote him out. >> -- is to vote him out, conclusively say, we're done, vote him out, and then there's no question about it. otherwise, they'll say, oh, well, you usurped the will of the people.
>> that's the power of a democracy. i'm happy to say right now what the faa did with this airplane, something's wrong. >> something's wrong. >> something's wrong. now, can i say that with the presidency? yup. there's a lot that they did that was wrong, not a crime, not a felony, but you heard the rnc head tonight. if it's not a crime, they think it's okay. and you know who agrees? 90% of republicans. so, where do you go with impeachment? of course pelosi is going to back off that position because you have zero chance of removal. why go through the exercise? what does that get you? if the american people can't agree that things are wrong even if they're not illegal, this is over. and i'll know the answer as soon as i read that report. >> well, i watch people's -- their strategy. nancy pelosi is shrewd. >> shrewd. >> shrewd. she says it's off the table unless there's, you know -- and then she leaves herself some room. and then she allows her members to say whatever they want, to govern for their own districts. but at the end of the day, she
is the leader of the party in saying no. but then her members are saying whatever they want. i think that is an interesting position. it's a very shrewd and smart way to handle this. >> it is because, look, ultimately i think the reality is simply stated. you will not win. if you don't have buy-in from the other side, you can't win. it's a vote contest. it's an election of sorts. it has all these legal trappings on it, and it may even result in having a chief justice of the supreme court sitting there presiding in the senate. but it's all about votes. but as soon as we see the report, we will see -- >> if we see it. >> right. if we see what is passed along -- and, you know, you got to wonder if one of the reasons we keep hearing it's coming and then it doesn't come is because they're actually giving more leeway to mueller to do a lot of classified redactions and stuff like that than we had assumed, but that's probably too inside baseball. >> i know. >> whenever it comes out -- i'm sorry. that's the world i live in. >> that's you.
i always tell people, so, let me tell you about chris. chris is the ultimate dad. whenever i go somewhere with chris -- like, if i go fishing or whatever, you overexplain everything like you're talking to bella, like, one of your kids. i'm like, chris, i grew up in fisherman's paradise. i know how to fish. >> i know. i'm sorry. >> but that's almost something that's very endearing about you. >> and then i brought the bass right to the boat and i dropped it because i didn't -- >> the other night when we were doing this thing on one of the historically black communities where we live and you said this is where the definition and it came from here. and i'm like, chris, i don't know if they care about that right now. >> i thought it was interesting. >> they can read that in the dictionary. >> i overthink things. i overanalyze. there's no question about it. i'll keep it simple. whenever the report comes, whatever access we get to it, if it is a narrative that tells how at every turn people around this president and in his campaign knew what they were doing was wrong and did it anyway and then
lied about it, they're going to have to put a question to the people in the middle. you're going to have two polls, a third and a third. they're not going to give a damn what it says. they made up their minds months ago. that third in the middle are going to have to make a tough call and push their lawmakers or not. >> that's where the election is, right in the middle. >> mm-hmm. >> i'm sure there are other candidates, but the one that i know about because i did a town hall, that's kind of where klobuchar is, sort of in the middle. she's not going hard left. she's sort of being the moderate liberal. that may be where the actual win is. we shall see. >> maybe. i don't know. my guess is a decade from now, we have another party at least. it's the way all the big democracies go. >> all right. we shall see. >> not to overexplain it. >> i got to go, but, boy, did you see what george conway tweeted? >> no. >> ooh. ruh-roh. i'm about to tell you. >> i don't like it. i know you are. you love the drama.
>> come on. >> i hate the dynamic. i hate it. it makes me uncomfortable. >> i know. >> it makes my hair move. >> it's news, though. >> it is. >> i got to get to it. >> i'll be watching. >> you get after it. i'll get to it. see you tomorrow. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. it's not what matt whitaker said today. it's what he didn't say that is making news. the former acting attorney general meeting behind closed doors with top members of the house judiciary committee. a meeting to clarify whitaker's public testimony last month, testimony that, you remember, amounted to six hours of bobbing and weaving, designed to impress an audience of one. you know who that is, right? well, today, whitaker did not deny talking with president trump about michael cohen's case. listen to the chairman, jerry nadler. >> unlike in the hearing room, mr. whitaker did not deny that the president called him to discuss the michael cohen case
and personnel decisions in the southern district. >> now, that may have been a bit more bobbing and weaving by whitaker, who seems to be an expert. he did not deny, did not say no when he was pressed about whether the president called him to discuss cohen's case. but here's what he said publicly in the hearing room. here it is. >> did you communicate to donald trump or any senior white house advisers about investigations from the southern district of new york concerning the trump organization, the trump inaugural committee, michael cohen, or the investigations that relate to trump entities or potentially the president? >> congressman, i mentioned that -- i said other investigations in my opening statement. i really don't have anything further to add to that answer. >> and when you said other investigations, you mean you communicated to the president about -- >> no, i didn't. >> you did not? >> that's not what i said in my opening statement. >> bobbing, weaving.
so, what about whitaker today, not denying the president called him to talk about cohen. ranking member doug collins disputes chairman nadler's version. but the question now, is this evidence that the president was trying to influence the investigation? and if so, what's congress going to do about it? and then there was the second one, manafort verdict today. the former trump campaign chairman sentenced to a total of 7 1/2 years in prison, and the president doubled, tripled, quadrupled down on his favorite lie. i've said it before. when you'll lie about anything, you'll lie about everything. >> yeah, i can only tell you one thing. again, that was proven today. no collusion. there's no collusion. there's no collusion, and there hasn't been collusion, and it was all a big hoax.
>> lie about anything, you'll lie about everything. so, just listen to what george conway, husband of kellyanne conway, has to say about that. his words, not mine. this is a quote. ready? look at your screen. what a lying piece of garbage, exclamation point. that's what he said. what a lying piece of garbage. put that back up. hmm. senior adviser to the president, his wife. the fact is that what the president said is 100% false. it's false. paul manafort's case had absolutely nothing to do with collusion, nothing. that is a fact. you know how we know? because judge amy berman jackson said so today in court. and this is a quote from her.
the no-collusion refrain that runs through the entire defense memorandum is unrelated to matters at hand. the no-collusion mantra is simply a non sequitur. and if that's not clear enough, okay -- and it really should be -- there is this. the no-collusion mantra is also not accurate because the investigation is still going on. is that clear enough for you? so the judge told everybody in the courtroom the case has nothing to do with collusion, nothing at all. and she pointedly said, court is one of those places where facts still matter, end quote. this is me speaking now like cnn. one of those places where facts still matter, like cnn. yeah, i said it. sometimes these days, though, it seems like court, and here as well, might be the only places where facts still matter.
but that didn't stop manafort's attorney from repeating the same old no-collusion lie, though he was nearly drowned out by shouts of traitor and liar. >> judge jackson conceded that there was absolutely no evidence of any russian collusion in this case. >> traitor! he's a traitor! traitor! liar! that's not what she said! >> why would he go the no-collusion route? again, when the judge herself shot down that claim? simple. audience of one. the one person who hammers the no-collusion lie over and over and over. the one person who holds the power to pardon manafort. >> will you pardon paul manafort? >> i have not even given it a thought as of this moment. it's not something that's right now on my mind. i do feel badly for paul manafort. that i can tell you.
>> not something that's on his mind? the possibility of a manafort pardon sure seemed to be on the president's mind back in november when he told his hometown paper, "the new york post," that a pardon was not off the table. but let's not forget minutes after manafort was sentenced on federal crimes, he was hit with new criminal charges in new york, where the president does not have the power to pardon him. all this, as beto o'rourke is in iowa tonight, poised to push the button on a bid for the democratic nomination. sure seems like he's gearing up for a big announcement at any moment, seeming to confirm it in a text message tonight. put it up. this is a text message. he says -- oh, we don't have it, so i'll just read it to you. the text message was tonight, and then i want you to show this. this is a "vanity fair" cover. there it is. cover story with the quote, "man, i'm just born to be in it."
but is he the right person to take on the president in 2020? we'll see if we can get the text message, and we're going to talk more about all of this. we're going to discuss. so, if the president talked to matt whitaker about michael cohen's case, is that obstruction? laura coates is here, max boot, michael isikoff. we'll talk about it next. ♪ now audible members get free fitness and wellness programs to transform your mind and body. download the audible app and start listening today. ♪ i've done all sorts of research, read earnings reports, looked at chart patterns. i've even built my own historic trading model.
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questions tonight about whether president trump attempted to influence the justice department investigation of michael cohen. the head of the house judiciary committee saying the former acting attorney general, in a meeting with committee leaders, did not deny talking to the president about the case. the top republican on the committee, he's disputing that assertion. let's discuss. laura coates is here. max boot, the author of "the corrosion of conservatism: why i left the right." and michael isikoff, co-author of "russian roulette: the inside story of putin's war on america and the election of donald trump." so good to have all of you on this evening. max, the house judiciary chairman says the former acting a.g., matt whitaker, would not deny the report that president trump called to discuss the michael cohen case. if that is true, why is the president always seeming to influence or involve himself in the investigation, an investigation that concerns him?
again, if it is true. >> well, if it's true, don, it comes back to three simple little words -- obstruction of justice. i mean, this is pretty clear-cut. there is no way in heck that the president should be discussing an ongoing case, especially one in which he is involved with the acting attorney general. and, remember, the conniptions that republicans had earlier on when bill clinton was on a tarmac and happened to run into loretta lynch, who was then the attorney general under president obama, and apparently they had a friendly exchange about their grandkids and so forth. but then people like donald trump screamed that this was impeding the course of justice and that hillary was not going to be locked up for her supposed crimes because of this conversation between bill clinton and loretta lynch. now, if that was improper, what is this? this is improper on steroids. this is truly the kind of thing for which richard nixon got impeached. i mean, this certainly looks like obstruction of justice if in fact this report is accurate.
>> that would make sense in a world that deals with reality right now, but i mean, max -- >> yeah, nothing seems to matter anymore, right? unfortunately, nancy pelosi, reading the political tea leaves, is basically saying there's little chance they're actually going to impeach him. so how is he going to be held to account if in fact he did obstruct justice? >> doug collins, who is a ranking republican member, laura, says there's no evidence that whitaker discussed the michael cohen case with the president. but if the president did, in fact, talk to whitaker, if he did about this case, about michael cohen, and it can be corroborated, do you agree? could the president's actions be obstruction of justice? >> well, they could be but you have to answer the question, for what purpose? why was he having the conversation? it belies logic to think he was suddenly interested in a particular u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york above all other people. why he had a vested interest in interviewing this person, hand-picked this person for the job, replaced somebody who was already there, who had been told by him that he was going to
remain, and why this would be the person overseeing the michael cohen investigation among other enemies of the president of the united states. if his purpose was to have a review of the u.s. attorneys across the country, perhaps it would not be a nefarious event. but when it's targeted in this matter, when you have the overlap of the cohen investigation as it directly relates to him, you look toward the notion this may be for a criminal or a corrupt purpose, and that of course is a problem. >> so, michael, let's talk about paul manafort, the sentencing. why on earth does president trump feel so badly for paul manafort? the guy stole millions of dollars from the u.s. government. >> and also it's worth remembering that president trump actually fired paul manafort as his campaign chairman in august, of 2016. so it is unusual that he would display such empathy for
somebody who he had fired unless he was, you know, very much taken by the fact that paul manafort didn't give up anything that implicated him. and, you know, that does raise the question of whether a pardon is down the road. look, at some point donald trump will have his last day in office. it may be january 20th, 2021. it may be four years later. it may be well before then. but that's the moment that you would expect to see a pardon of paul manafort and perhaps others. let's remember there's precedent for that. presidents issue controversial pardons on their last day in office. a prime example, bill clinton, who pardoned susan mcdougal, his business partner, who had been convicted in the whitewater matter and refused to cooperate, on his last day in office. so, i think when that last day comes, that's what paul manafort
is waiting for. >> how do you explain joe arpaio, then? >> i don't think arpaio was as controversial as manafort would be because manafort was so integral to the russia investigation. so, you know, the controversy would be about the president issuing a pardon for somebody involved in the investigation of him. arpaio doesn't fit in that category. so, look, it would be too politically explosive at this point for trump to pardon manafort, but down the road when he's about to leave office, sure. >> all right. i feel you. laura, not even an hour after manafort was sentenced, the manhattan d.a. charged manafort with mortgage fraud, falsifying business records, and conspiracy. give me your take on this because these are state charges. there's no get out of jail free card from the president on this one, right? >> that's correct. the president only has the authority to pardon federal crimes. however, new york is unique in
the fact that they do have a double jeopardy impact here. double jeopardy normally means can't try somebody twice for the same crime. in new york, you cannot use a state prosecution to prosecute somebody who has already been dealt with in the federal system if you have the same core body of facts, if you have the same elements you have to prove, if it's a perfect overlap. they will raise a double jeopardy argument to say this is actually similar to that and it should go away. the legislature in new york is trying to do away with that loophole for presumably issues just like that. assuming there's no double jeopardy issue here, you do have the issue of these charges in and of itself have been brought by a grand jury, who has found there is more than enough probable cause to actually charge him, and there's evidentiary support to actually take him over the line. the issue here really is the political perspective here and the timing of it because the timing in this case may have undermined the credibility and the gravitas of these charges. these have been in the works under an investigation since 2017.
within minutes really of this particular ruling, it appears as though it was put in place to be a pardon-proof scenario, which of course lends itself to the argument that this is overkill. now, that may not be what this evidence says, and it may be an unfair assessment. however, the jury pool looks at this and says to themselves, well, hold on. the timing of it is really coincidental, and there's very few coincidences here, and why this particular thing? so i think they do themselves no service by waiting until this moment in time to actually assert these charges given the fact there was actually no immediate forthcoming pardon. >> max, let's talk now about this back channel that was set up between michael cohen and the president's legal team. cnn has obtained two e-mails from bob costello. bob costello is a lawyer with ties to rudy giuliani. he sent to cohen saying he's, quote, loved and can sleep well tonight. you have people in high places,
right, or friends in high places. how do you interpret this? >> i think it's very hard to know what to make of this, at least based on what i've read. i think this calls out for more investigation. i mean, it seems pretty ambiguous and maybe ambiguous on purpose so that you wouldn't be having this discussion about whether there was actually a pardon dangled or not. perhaps there was a pardon dangled but it was fairly indirectly through intermediaries talking to rudy giuliani. we don't have evidence yet that giuliani actually communicated with president trump. now, that may well be the case and there is some evidence that president trump has certainly not ruled out publicly a pardon for people like manafort and others, suggesting that he is in fact dangling a pardon, and this may be more evidence to show that is the case. but i think we need to have a lot more evidence before we can reach that conclusion. that's why i think it's imperative for the house investigations to continue because there's a lot more to uncover, and congress basically wasted two years on the republicans, helping donald trump with a cover-up instead of trying to get at the facts.
now we're starting to see some of the facts come out, and i think there needs to be a lot more fact-finding before we jump to conclusions here. >> and the conversation will continue tomorrow and the next day and the next day. thank you. tomorrow is a new day. look what happened just today. i appreciate it. we're going to dig a lot deeper into matthew whitaker's meeting on the hill with chairman nadler. i'm going to ask a member of the house judiciary committee, did whitaker tell the truth during his testimony? congresswoman sheila jackson lee, next. ♪ pardon the interruption but this is big! now with t-mobile get the samsung galaxy s10e included with unlimited data for just $40 a month.
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and according to the chairman, matthew whitaker did not deny talking to the president about the michael cohen case. i want to bring in now democratic congresswoman sheila jackson lee. she sits on the house judiciary committee, by the way. good evening, congresswoman. so let's get started by doing this. i want to play what matthew whitaker told your committee about having a conversation with the president about cohen. watch this. >> did you communicate to donald trump or any senior white house advisers about investigations from the southern district of new york concerning the trump organization, the trump inaugural committee, michael cohen, or the investigations that relate to trump entities or potentially the president? >> congressman, i mentioned that -- i said other investigations in my opening statement. i really don't have anything further to add to that answer. >> and when you said other investigations, you mean you communicated to the president about -- >> no. no, i didn't. that's -- >> that you did not? >> that's not what i said in my opening statement. i'll refer you back to my opening statement. i was very clear.
>> so, what he said in his opening statement was this. >> at no time has the white house asked for nor have i provided any promises or commitments concerning the special counsel's investigation or any other investigation. >> congresswoman, was he truthful in his testimony? >> how many times, don, do we have to hear that to know that there is a clear sense of not being forthcoming and, frankly, not telling the truth? he, in his own statement, indicated he had no conversations regarding the special counsel or regarding any investigations, and so, as i interpret that, that would be any investigations that were related to this white house, this administration. he was asked by a member of our committee again, and he referred to his opening statement. to say that he was not forthcoming would be an understatement. i'm very disappointed.
mr. whitaker was under oath, and i believe that he is certainly, as he indicated, a man that knows the difference, and the reason is because he offered his former service as a u.s. attorney as evidence that he knows the difference. and so, this is a sad conclusion to our hearing. >> so, today, speaking of what he said, you know, the chairman, chairman nadler says that whitaker did not deny, congresswoman, that the president called him to discuss the cohen case. nadler also says that whitaker was involved in conversations about whether to fire one or more u.s. attorneys. if it turns out that those conversations were with the president involving investigations into the president, how big of a deal is that? >> well, it means that mr. whitaker, as i said, sadly may have told an untruth to the united states congress. we will now investigate further
based upon his conversations in this smaller meeting where he did not deny that he had conversations, whereas in the hearing it seems as if he made it very clear to emphasize what he said. no, i did not have discussions regarding the special counsel or investigations. as you well know, don, we have the right to address the question of whether someone has told an untruth, has lied under oath, and to respond to it accordingly. that is unfortunately a crime. >> yeah. we should say that the ranking republican on the judiciary committee, who was there for the whitaker meeting, says whitaker did not talk to the president about cohen. can you explain that? >> what i can explain is this long journey that we've had has been consistent. the democrats are trying to find out the facts, and my good
friends -- they are my good friends -- republicans are defending the white house. but i think this is not about either one of us. this is about the american people. and we've taken an oath to uphold the rule of law and to be able to provide to the american people the accountability that is necessary to uphold the rule of law. it will be our task not to cast judgment, not to immediately decide what has happened between our hearing and the meeting that was just held, but to pursue the facts. and once we pursue the facts and we'll make a determination as to just what happened with former acting attorney general whitaker. >> thank you, congresswoman. i appreciate your time. >> thank you so very much, don. it's been good to be with you this evening. >> you, too. beto o'rourke is in iowa, and he's telling "vanity fair" that he is, quote, born to do this. it sure seems like he's about to announce, and he may have dropped a big, giant hint tonight. we'll discuss, next. the way ty subscribe to movies.
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breaking news. beto o'rourke seeming to confirm he is running. in a text message with cnn affiliate kstm in el paso, the station is reporting this, that he texted, "i'm really proud of what el paso did and what el paso represents. it is a big part of why i'm running. this city is the best example of this country at its best." sounds like he's doing it. arriving in iowa tonight, o'rourke and his aide declined to comment to cnn's leyla santiago or confirm the content of the text. but he's also on the cover of "vanity fair," looking a lot like a candidate. here to discuss, patrick healy from "the new york times" and former democratic nominee for governor of florida, mr. andrew gillum. thank you so much. i appreciate you both joining us. i should say mayor. so, mayor, listen, o'rourke doesn't shy away from his ambitions, telling "vanity
fair," i want to be -- i want to be in it. man, i'm just born to be in it and want to do everything i humanly can for this country at this moment. so, he's ramping up to something, it looks like. >> yeah. i mean, it's clear. i think the congressman may be ready to make a decision. i will tell you, though, that a race for president clearly has to be about the people of the country. you got to feel it in your heart and in your nerve and in your sinew, that you're restless at night because you're so moved by the conditions in the country that it causes you to do something. and so i think that's what people are going to be looking for in candidates in this democratic primary, the people who are in this race and are in it for them and will do the best job at demonstrating what they're going to do to improve their everyday live condition. and i think that's what we're going to be looking forward to. >> let me ask you this because you've run races.
you know this political game. would his entrance change this race, do you think? >> oh, well, i mean obviously. he then enters this race, and there's another lane. i think he does bring something to the table and will give us another option here. i saw just this weekend stacey abrams out of georgia also at south by southwest sort of tweeted out that she may be interested in joining this race as well. i think she'd bring something. quite frankly, even here in my own state, mayor wayne messam in miramar, florida, has opened up a presidential exploratory committee. i think there will be no shortage of choices in this race, and frankly i think that's a good thing for the democratic party. i think it's a good thing for this country. and i believe that we choose right, we'll have a new president of the united states. >> all right. so let me ask you, patrick -- let me bring you in because you
got a lot of people's hopes up because he came close to winning in texas. but then he sort of waffled and he hedged. i'm wondering if that's going to hurt him at all, or do you think that will all be forgotten? >> i think that's been the media's focus definitely and sort of the political class has been wondering, you know, on twitter, on cable news and our pages what to make of him. you know, normally a candidate in waiting will spend these three or four months, you know, looking for advisers, looking for staff, calling donors, you know, sort of lining something up, working on policy. and he's been sort of driving around the country. you know, he's been talking to voters. he's been doing very low-key events like going to universities and talking in closed rooms to students. you know, in some ways, you know, he's being himself. this is how he ran in texas. so, i think once he sorts of hits it tomorrow in iowa and he starts talking to voters, i don't think voters are going to be sort of judging him, you know, where have you been? what have you been doing?
the reality is, if and when he starts running, don, he is second only to bernie sanders in having an incredibly formidable online fund-raising machine. and i think even though he's been, you know, sort of under the radar, that will probably kick in pretty quickly. >> so, do you think that's why he's gotten, as they call, so much free media, unearned media? he's on this cover of "vanity fair." there are people who have already declared, people who are very popular like kamala harris. >> absolutely. >> they don't have this kind of -- why him? >> he is a celebrity candidate. right now he is the celebrity candidate that is in the field. kamala harris has some of that. there's some excitement around her even though she hasn't been the policy force that elizabeth warren has been in the race so far or the ideological force that bernie sanders has been in the race. kamala harris certainly has -- >> i'm just using her as an example. >> exactly. >> but even bernie sanders, he gets -- he's not on the cover of "vanity fair," and he's already announced. he's declared. >> we went down to atlanta a couple weeks ago and did a long interview with stacey abrams,
who got very close to being governor of georgia. the mayor ran a very strong race, got very close to being governor of florida. but it's beto o'rourke who, you know, fell three points behind, got close to ted cruz. but he's the one who's on the cover of "vanity fair." i think it goes to -- you know, what his trademark was in texas, was driving around in that pickup truck, live-streaming himself on facebook, getting into sort of the alexandria ocasio-cortez space of having what people call real sort of authenticity and an ability to connect with people. he excited a lot of people, and also he does have far, far more online small-dollar donors than a kamala harris or elizabeth warren. so, that's real. >> so, basically what he did in texas, he's doing that now around that country. >> that's what he wants to do. >> let me ask you this, mayor, because dave weigel from "the washington post" tweeted out, he showed o'rourke's "vanity fair" cover side by side with a "time" cover of ronald reagan
from 1981. you see that? he said he's more often compared to rfk. these are pretty lofty comparisons, mayor. do you think he can live up to that? >> well, i'll tell you, if i were him, i would want to be known as beto o'rourke. i would get out there, and i would let people see who i am. i would show my full self, and i also have to say that people in this primary, voters, are going to want to know what it is you stand for. what do you believe? what positions drive you? and ultimately what are you going to do to make this country better for me, for my children, for my family, for my neighborhoods? and so i think there will be some celebrity-ness to this at the beginning. but i will tell you, democratic voters are pretty hardcore these days. they are pulling back the layers of their candidates and really sussing out what's really and what isn't. what do you stand for? what don't you? the veneer will wear, and i think it's going to be to the content of what the person
happens to be offering by way of policy and our belief about their willingness to get it done. >> yeah. i said, well, he's sort of waffled, but just remember, it was, what? was it june or july when trump announced? >> yeah. >> so, this is pretty early. >> yeah. no, this is quite early. just to the reagan point, if i could just say, reagan was an ideological warrior. he wasn't just a celebrity. he was an ideological warrior. i think the mayor is so right. the democratic party right now wants policy specifics. they want to know where you stand. o'rourke brings immigration, elevates that certainly more than what we've been hearing about in terms of being in the economic space. right now he's got something to prove. >> thank you very much. i really appreciate the conversation. we'll see you soon. we'll be right back.
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19 ups workers are suing the company saying they suffered repeated racial discrimination and the company did nothing to stop it. the lawsuit also alleges that managers and supervisors enabled and even encouraged the hate at a distribution center in ohio. sarah, hello to you. these are some shocking allegations against ups in this lawsuit. so walk us through what the workers say happened at that distribution center. >> reporter: they are shocking. they're surprising in 2019 that this lawsuit has been filed with the allegations that are in it. some of the employees say, one of them in particular said when he came to his workspace there were two nooses hanging over his workspace, above his workstation. and he went and took a picture of it and alerted the company to that. and that he was almost terminated because then he posted it online. he said nothing had been done about it.
this all they say happened at the distribution center in ohio. so you have the issue with the noose. and the black workers who are there are saying it's not just they feel fear because things like this happen which are very overt in your face, you know, racial threats, having a noose hung like that. but they say when they would complain or when they were trying to get promoted, when they were trying to become drivers, which is the best job they feel is available there at the ups center, they would be constantly knocked down, they happen not given promotions. there were very number of blacks given promotions at that distribution center, and they were very concerned it had to do with their skin color not their skill. and there was a video game that black workers saw people playing. it was a hangman game and the person being hung lo and behold after you see this noose show up at your office is a black stick figure they've colored in and main the skin of the stick
figure black. then you've got these text messages, don. and a lot of employees that found out about them they disturbed them. there's a group chat. i want to read you through. the text group chat amongst the workers they were talking about winning the lottery, which sounds like a wonderful thing. and as they're going through talking about how great it would be to win one of the people texted just remember if you don't win and you're feeling down-and-out, the noose is loose. and that's an early retirement option as well. and then someone replied to that, well, we can buy another noose with the winnings. these are the sorts of things that were being said around the employees who were blacked, that were being talked about, played. and this isn't just men. this is men and women. there are 19 people who have filed suit who have come forward. some of them are working at ups, some of them have retired. but there is a great fear amongst some of those working at the ups office and also just a
disappointment with the fact they feel they have made these complaints to management and nothing really has been done to stop this kind of behavior, don. >> so ups took no action when they learned about this behavior? what are they saying? >> reporter: so the workers are saying they don't feel like action was taken and not proper action. and in one instance as i mentioned the person who discovered the noose and took a picture of it and brought it to the attention according to the lawsuit to the managers, and he was told to erase the picture, and then when he posted it online out of frustration they threatened to fire him. so those are the sorts of reactions they say they would get. and they were sort of walking on egg shells if you will at work. but ups has responded. we did reach out to ups to find out what their thoughts are on this lawsuit by 19 people. and they said in a statement ups has no tolerance for hate, bigotry or prejudice.
the company has strict policies against harassment and discrimination. we will not comment further on pending matters. it is not unusual for a company not to want to comment because a lawsuit has been filed. but certainly these workers want some answers -- >> i've got to ask you sarah about a report you had earlier this year about a similar accusation at a general motors plant in ohio. what does this say this behavior is happening at some of the country's most well-known companies, and how many other places is it likely happening? >> that is really good question. i can't say how many places it's happening. what is surprising these two companies are in and very close to each other. one in imami where the gm plant is being sued by nearly a half-dozen employees who face numerous incidents of people with hanging nooses and nazi symbolism being put into the workplace. one in particular said he was
threaten asked had to have guards watching him go in and out of work. one of the issues may be, don, and we've heard this from the folks who live in and around the toledo area, the demographics of the plant were starting to change. peelt -- people coming from other places. and when i say lots of people, lots of people of color. and there was a lot of push back people felt just because of their skin color and there was a lot of fear. and there were people saying i shouldn't have to fear to go to work. i'm trying to work here. i'm trying to better myself and my family, why am i facing this kind of discrimination? again the company says they don't tolerate it but these workers beg to differ. thank you. dig deeper into the moves robert mueller has been making. is he wrapping up his investigation?
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