tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN June 11, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. the importance of iowa brought home both president trump and joe biden who was leading his rivals in the polls. holding dueling campaign events in the hawk eye state. talking up the strength of economy, job growth, low unemployment. and biden ignoring his rivals and going after trump instead, slamming his trade wars that he says are crushing america's farmers including those in iowa. both men taking pot shots at each other. so what does that say about how trump views or fears biden, even though he is not the democratic nominee? we're quite a ways from that maybe but it seems like it's playing out right now. good to have all of you on this evening.
let's start with you because joe biden is calling trump an existential threat to the united states. trump is calling joe biden dumbby and weak. is this the one on one fight they both want? >> i think so. i think this is a sign of things to come and i think the trump campaign understands and joe biden understands the way to cut into the president's chances for reelection is it to go to the heart of its base and to places like iowa, back to the blue wall states that trump took down in 2016 and when joe biden talks about trump being an existential threat to the united states, he's trying to hit trump where it hurts and we saw this at the beginning of joe biden's launch, when he dropped charlottesville from the get go. i talked to a trump advise arlittle while ago, who said we're not worried about joe biden. it's just fine. i usually believe my sources. i'm not going to believe this
one tonight. they can do the math and they know without those blue wall states they can't win reelection. >> i want listen to what trump said about biden and then we'll talk. >> i heard biden, who's a loser. he never got more than 1% except obama took him off the trash hypoand now it looks like he's failing. he's a different guy. he looks different than hew used to. he acts different and slower than he used to be. i think he's the weakest mentally and i like running against people that are weak mentally. i think he's the weakest up here. >> so it joe biden is three and a half years older than trump. anyway, i digress. we know trump's advisors, they don't want him elevating biden, constantly calling him out. do you thing the president is not listening to them? tonight in iowa seem likes he did.
and he does want biden to be his opponent next november. >> well, trump likes to hit what's right in front of him and right now joe biden wasf the candidate who's right in front of him and poses the greatest threat. it the reason that biden is doing well and it's very interesting to note that in iowa over the last months biden has dropped a 1/3 of the support and when you add the support for elizabeth warren, she's actually tied with biden. just yesterday we had 19 democratic candidates. nobody got a story out of that yesterday and today joe biden is well thanks to donald trump. >> this is john harris of politico.
he says trump mocks his leading opponents because that's what he's always done, giving no more thought than a shark does whether he prefers to bite first in a swimmer's thigh or torso. can he operate any other way? can he help himself? >> he can't. as is usually the case with trump, psychological analysis might be more relevant than political analysis. and i think a lot of trump's obsession with biden is he is the democrat talking about trump the most and the fact that he's talking about trump the most means trump is paying attention because he pays attention to people who talk about him and he feels the need to respond, not understanding politically that he is playing right into biden's kind of sit on the lead frontrun rb strategy. i was talking to a trump advisor when this all was taking off who
told me the night befoe he was on the phone with trump saying mr. president, don't elevate joe biden. he's the strongest candidate in the field. you help him against his opponents. thatted that advice has not taken. >> i have complete power. i have absolute power. no, you don't, donald trump. >> as you just mentioned.
he has slipped just a little bit. but is it a smart strategy to focus solely on trump? >> absolutely. that's how he gets trashed and that's what voters want to hear. this election is going to be all about trump. it's going to be a refer rendm unless trump can make it a choice between a socialist democrat and his agenda. and look at what all the other candidates are doing. and the same thing. as you referred to earlier. and they left the white house was joe biden.
i bet the people who were the primary votes in iowa, they were hoping to reach that status. so beware of running as the inevitable candidate. it's the candidate he needed in 2016. he had that ability back then and still does today to talk to trump voters in ways that other democratic party candidates could not and even barack obama could 2345u9. and i think that puts joe biden in the driver seat at this point. the question is whether or not biden can keep this momentum going. it's such a long way to go and there are so many other kand d candidates in the field. you can see them rising up and taking that away from them. >> let's put the poll up that
you were talking about. look at that. >> and what happens in the field of joe biden goes away? it's going to be an incredible contest. at this point he's running a rose garden campaign. up until today we hadn't been seeing him as much. i get press releases from the biden campaign. they look like white house press releases. he does not have any scheduled events today and that sort of thing. >> i wunlder how the other folks go about it. do you have any idea how they feel about it? are they like what about us? >> oh, yeah. i'm here in iowa covering biden and talking to some of the other campaigns and the frustration, frustration that they can't break through. look at our segment tonight. it's all about biden and trump. look, biden's strategy is not
rocket science. the most popular person in the democratic party is barack obama. so any subject verb barack obama was great. >> i played a sounld bite earlier -- >> donald trump. >> i played a sound bite earlier and i said you're going to hear a lot more of that. that's all part of his strategy. >> yes. >> absolutely. what did they do tonight? he has four people running his campaign. the newness off his speech tonight in davenport was that while all the democrats last weekend were at that cattle call getting five minutes a piece to talk to the democratic activists in iowa and biden was getting a little bit off heat for not being there. not only was he at his granddaughter's graduation but his best friend is obama's daughter and the obamas and the bidens hung out together and had
this wonderful families meeting together. he just casually dropped that in his speech and said please don't criticize me for hanging without the obamas. sehe's going to play that card until he can't play it anymore. it's a very powerful card in democratic politics. >> so listen, a lot of people -- this is for you. democrats need to nominate a white man like biden to beat trump. two people in the history of the u.s. who got the most votes for president happen to be a black man and a white woman. do democrats need to rethink who they think is electable? >> absolutely. and again i think we're talking about biden being the frontrunner. and if you had to trade places, you'd have to be the fruptrunner. i'd hat
i'd hate to be the advisor. it's going to be a slow slide. he peeks the day he announces and he's lost 1/3 of his support in iowa already and we're a year and a half out. elizabeth warren, when you add up people who say they'd consider, she's tied with biden. it's towards women, diversity. biden's not where i'd want to be. >> thank you, mark, thank you, ryan. jim, i want to get to your new book "enemy of the people." a dangerous time to tell the truth in america. i saw your piece on cbs sunday morning and i appreciate the way you've conducted yourself throughout all this. i do not have enough energy to get unhere.
i know how -- i understand how tough it is to do what we do as journalists a journalists and can be dangerous at times. er >> i wanted to keep following this thing that we've been watching. it's been a remarkable political story. we saw this during the campaign. you and i watched the campaign. the president referring to the press as the disgusting news media and so on. and a lot of pundits thought he would change. he's doubled down and escalated. he's called us fake news and enemy of the people. somef ohis supporters have absorbed that hostility and made us feel endangered as journalists and news anchors covering this presidency. and i wanted to write thing that thuds marecon people do we really want to live in a country.
and hand off -- that's what you and i grew up with. and i think we're at one of of those points in the country. do we want to hand off in the next generation, where it's okay for the president of the united states to referrer to journalists or any segment as the enemy of the people? and we saw joe biden saying that the president demonizes the press because he wants to run rough shautd over us because he wants to control the narrative. >> what did other presidents understand about the sflesz i'm not a political reporter. i sit here 30,000 feet and analyze what you go through every day. >> if you go back -- i looked at john kennedy's speech to an association of newspaper editors in the early 1960s and he said
listen, sometimes the press chases the bright shiny objects. he put it in those exact terms but said it's sometimes up to the press to inform, insight and even anger public opinion is the way he talked about it. he understood there are times when we have to tell painful truths and painful truths that might get the public irated about what's happening in the world today. i think what the president fails to understand is we rrer not here to do a commercial for him. we're not part of the trump organization. we're here to do the news for the american people and just like the folks that white house need to keep in mind they work on behalf of the american people, may don't serve the president, they don't serve the man in office right now. they serve the presidency in the united states of america and i see journalists and you and i in the same regard. one of the things i talk about in this book. the "washington post" fact
checker laid out the president has made 10,000 false orrer misleading statements. >> you didn't fact check it. >> what would be your sense of reality in the truth right now. >> we have to be here on this patrol, on the watch to make sure this president, any president is held accountable. there are consequences to that. the president, his team, supporters, have gotten very upset with us and that's led to all sorts of negative things. what i hope that folks with will keep in mind when they read the book is that we are all on the same team, we are all americans. >> we forget sometimes because off all of this and negativity, that we actually forget what a great country we live in
negativity. er for all those people that cnn is -- loves dmps. i watched nancy pelosi who clearly did not want to answerer manu's questions and he persisted and asked her the tough questions anyway. regardless who it is, if you hold a position of power, we the journalists at cnn are going to question you about it whether you like it or not. >> and just because we're pro truth doesn't mean we're arnt trump and as i write and try to close out, we're not the enemy of the people. year defenders of the people and we want to defend the people because we're devoted to the people. you and i, don, our families, our parents, kids, our loved ones, we all think about those folks with when we come in the office and do this job on a day lay basis. we're not here to spin things or cull things a certain way.
we're here to give the people reliable accurate information on a daily basis. we get a high out of it. and i want to make sure we can keep this going as a country. >> listen, you continue to work and i hope your stamina is better than mine. it'ser called the kwaetd enemy of the people." thank you. president trump demonstrating his fondness for strong men. that story next. geico makes it easy to get help when you need it. with licensed agents available 24/7. it's not just easy. it's having-a-walrus-in-goal easy! roooaaaar! it's a walrus! ridiculous! yes! nice save, big guy! good job duncan! way to go! [chanting] it's not just easy.
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you first. listen. >> i just received a beautiful letter from kim jong-un and i think the relationship is very -- >> so the only question why is he so obsessed with these letters from a north korean dictator? >> so i've begun to think donald trump's views, his role in history, his historic moment is if he can get a breakthrough with north korea. all other data points that can kim is violating any agreement, that these letters mean nothing, that he's a horrible human being with massive human rights abuses, none of that matters to don dop. if you can understand that, then everything donald trump does visa venorth korea, otherwise it doesn't make sense. i think donald trump has a
notion off what his legacy will be and it includes getting kim to agree to something that gives him -- puts him on root to the nobel peace prize. >> very good assessment. it was only a year ago but do you remember how excited. how can excited to look at that giant letter from kim. has north korea really changed for the better since it the two became pen pals? >>y with have no evidence it changed. the letterer has this goofy sweep steaks feel to it. just as trump was saying things are going to forward, working. his own national security advisor said they were not. they were not ad hering to any agreements they made. so we don't have any evidence north korea has changed in any significant way. president is determined he's got to get a deal. that's what he wants his legacy to be.
never mind this is a murderous dictator. i'm going to praise him, sending you beautiful letters and that's a thing. >> juliet announced the new letter. democratic presidential candidate said this. watch. >> you will not see me exchanging love litters on white house letter head with a brutal dictator who starves and murders his own people. >> is trump's relationship with him fair game for criticism? >> absolutely. i mean it shows -- i think essentially trump's weakness. whenever he gets with a powerful man, someone who is a dictator, we -- he folds. he completely folds and maybe he admires them or he likes what they are able to do. but for trump, there is no united states inters. there's only trump's interests. maybe it's because i went
through prom season with the kids but comis like the quarterback that the girl wants to have him take her to prom. forget he's a jerk and ignores and abusive and everything. she really wants that. it is completely fair game because it shows how weak and -- trump is essentially a coward with these guys more than anything else >> matthew, there's this new reporting from the "wall street journal." it says kim jong-un's brother who lived in exile met with american cia agents. this is what the president had to say. watch this. >> i saw the information about the cia with respect to his brother or half brother. and i would tell him that would not happen under my offices. that's for sure. >> he's saying he wouldn't use the kim family as an asset. >> i would think if you're the cia and you can get a member off
kim jong-un's family as one of your assets. you're going to work them as hard as you can. we're not going to pretend they're angels. however, it is truly odd the president would promise a dictator off a state that is an adversary, a friend of the u.s., that i'm going to put your family off limits, put spying off limits. might do that with allies. and germany is a pretty close ally. we're willing to do that but not willing to use kim jong-un's inner circle is a pretty strange tact for an american president to take. >> thank you. i appreciate it. the president and his favorite network going on the attack, peddling baseless conspiracy theories just like they did to
looks like president trump's pretty rattled by joe biden, even though he's not the democratic nominee, trump's already attacking him the way he went after hill hull in 2016, making baseless claims bout his health and he's getting assistance from his allies at fox news. >> the country is sick of the division. >> reporter: while joe biden is taking direct aim at president trump. the media outlets portraying biden as weak, sometimes sinking done into the gutter as they do
it. and trump has been watching. >> he looks different than he you used to. he acts different than he used to. >> reporter: so where is all this coming from? >> we have two years to talk about this. >> reporter: as the "daily beast" put it this week, here we go." pushing rumors about joe biden's health. there is a big page devoted to this. the idea is the cast opponents as unhealthy. as secretly sick. nancy pelosi was a recent target with cheaply mod vid yes implying she's drunk. it's a play book hillary clinton knows all too well. shaun hannity and his friends use misleading photos and stories to skmemear clinton in 2016.
now they're going after biden. the democrat's krauzy train is another passengerer because he is. crazy uncle joe biden. >> crazy and too old, even though he's only four years older than trump and there's this. >> it's people having a few drinks at bar and whispering you know there's something wrong with the former vice president. >> and saying democratic operatives are the ones spreading rumors. >> and that's what they're actively doing right now. >> reporter: and she's passing them along to millions of viewers. >> do you want me to say what i have heard? >> reporter: still she dropped all the necessary hints. >> he looks healthy to me. >> reporter: is this a preview of af what's to come? >> he's not the brightest light bulb in the group. >> reporter: insults, rumors, distorted videos. what's actually sick is the ugly underbelly of american politics. >> you just heard loud dog
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this isn't really a story about joe biden health, this is about how fox news try to amplify the attacks against the president's political foes. er >> look at president trump talking about biden the kpaktd same way, claiming he's lost a step or something. i think what we see is the right-wing media ecoho chamber n full effect. there's obviously no evidence biden's got a health problem he's hiding. not every day, not all the time but just enough to started to sew doubt and it gets straight to the president and spreads everywhere. >> a federal indictment unsealed shows roger stone, jerome corsi and says would not hurt to sugge suggest old memory has bad stroke.
this happened shortly after, the rumors began perkulating on very fringe right-wing websites. >> it's through these right-wing websites and people on fox repeat them and on and on it goes. often times we see a game of i'm rubber and you're glue. when concerns are expressed about the president's will being, he says that about his critics. we saw that with nancy pelosi. and now it's involving biden. it's like that school yard child hood game of i know you are but what am i and we see it all the time with president trump. >> may not work against biden. why not? >> i think it's a mistake. i think joe biden wants the make the entire race about who is more fit to be president. and so to go down this road
is -- i think is a mistake. it may have worked in 2016 but i think most of the nation has seen the play book played out too many times. and i think when you get to fitness, i'm not talking just about fitness to be the psz president of the united states, which i think biden wants to be compared with trump in that vein. but how fit are you when you sit in the office watching cable news all day, eating cheeseburgers and french fries? and biden is the exact opposite. and i think he wants that kind of comparison. i think his strategy of coming in late was smart. i think the strategy of not engaging day to day with events every day has worked for him up unt until now. that's going to change. he's got to work hard to win it and he's got to be there.
i think the comparison is not going to work to president trump's advantage. >> let's bring tara in. i'm sure you don't want to weigh in on any of a this. trump recently called himself young and vibrant. they're both in their mid-70s. trump's birthday is friday. biden is 76. that's like three and a half years apart. if you look at it specifically. on the one hand, engaging seems to give it oxygen. but what if ignore it? joe biden wants this. >> he basically made light of it today. he was like can come on. he was like look at us. the question answers itself. there is nothing wrong with joe biden. i have people who work with joe biden for many years close to me that said they were impressed with how spry he is. so this idea of of spreading
rumors about joe biden not being up to the task or there's something wrong with him, it's projection from trump. we all know trump doesn't have the stamina and he disappears for day or two at a time with nothingen his public schedule, obsessing about cable news. he doesn't exercise, other than playing golf, which we're up to $103 million spent on taxpayer money on golfing at trump resorts mostly. everybody can see he's in poor health. well, george conway being one of the most open critics, kellyanne conway's husband who talks about how there's something wrong with him and he's a malignant narcissist. we can see that. i think what joe biden has been doing so far is working.
he needs to stay above the fray and continue to call out what donald trump does when he does these things and aktsz like a child like when he was in iowa. you're president of the united states. fix yourself first. er >> is it fairer game what she's saying? because these things have often been said about the president. >> certainly there are opinions about his well being, his fitness. it's hypocritical when there are critics of trump. there are hundreds of psychorists that have written essays about this. it's a controversy about whether they can diagnose trump? it's a hot topic. it's different from a random host spreading a rumor about biden.
>> and it's irresponsible of fox news. this is something that as a republican and watching these people. they should be ashamed of themselves. >> i give you the last word. >> again i just think getting into a fight about who's more fit to be president is a big mistake for donald trump, given the number of issues out there about him and how the american people have gotten to know him better than they have in 2016. wu to manage my money? it's racquetball time. (thumps) ugh! carl, does your firm offer a satisfaction guarantee? like schwab does. guarantee?
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the battle over to take a vote on whether to hold the commerce secretary and the attorney general in contempt for failing to comply with sub ninas to turn over documents. i want to talk more about this with congressman roe khanna, a democrat that is a member of the oversight committee. congressman, pleasure to have you. the oversight committee put out a statement, a letter tonight, giving barr a 9:00 p.m. deadline to hand over the document in order to postpone the vote. do you know if he met that deadline? >> he has not. we haven't received the document, so, we're going to have the vote tomorrow to hold bill barr in severcivil and cri contempt. >> and that's it. a vote and you'll see what happens after that?
>> we'll see what happens after. our hope is that this will incentivize him to hand over the documents. the judiciary committee voted to hold him in contempt and as you know, he didn't want that vote on the full floor, so, before that vote, he handed over a lot of the -- or, has agreed to hand over a lot of the evidence underlying the mueller report. bill barr doesn't want to be held in criminal contempt, that's obvious, and so our hope is that maybe this will finally get him to the table to hand over some of the documents on the census. >> secretary ross is getting the same offer, to postpone for the documents. do have an update on that request? >> he hasn't met them. and let's be clear about what these documents are. these are emails that secretary ross has said talking about the census that he's not willing to hand over. now, they claim they've handed over 17,000 pages. the point is, they haven't handed over the relative documents about their conversations about the census. if he's going to do that, he deserves to be held in contempt. >> the chairman was responding
to a doj letter about the upcoming vote, says the attorney general is now compelled to request that the president invoke executive privilege with respect to the materials subject to the subpoena to the attorney general and a subpoena to the secretary of the department of commerce. but it sounds like the chairman is standing his ground. >> he is. and that's so disingenuous. they've been invoking executive privilege since the beginning. they haven't been handing over any of the documents. these are memos to the justice department, concerning the census. so, they are just stonewalling and we will have a vote on criminal contempt if they continue down this road in the full house. >> what happens if the white house attempts to assert executive privilege? >> well, you can't exert executive privilege for fraud or illegal conduct. and it would go to a court and a court would find that some of these things, a, don't qualify as sensitive national security secrets and b, involve the violation of constitutional and other laws and so we would get to see the documents.
of course, they would succeed in delaying it and that's their strategy. >> the house passed a resolution today approving chairman nadler going to court to enforce the subpoenas against don mcgahn and a.g. barr. are you confident the courts will force the administration's hand? >> i am. i mean, i think any fair-minded court will look at this and say, there is a clear exception for the executive privilege when you have issues of fraud, when you have issues of obstruction, and that testimony is relevant, and these are not issues that are deeply secure or national security. obviously, they waved those executive privileges when they allowed don mcgahn to speak to mueller in the first place, so, why would they now apply suddenly? >> i want to play some of what speaker pelosi said when asked about impeachment earlier. here it is. >> it's not off the table. my obligation is to do whatever we do in the most effective way possible. i believe in the committee's system and it will bubble up from there. >> do you think the committee
investigations are enough for now? >> i do, and look, we're being effective. people have criticized the speaker, but we just had a big win. the attorney general buckled. he's now going to give us the underlying evidence that we would need in any hearings. tomorrow, we're going to vote to hold bill barr in contempt if he doesn't give us the census documents. so, we're making progress, the committees are being aggressive and i think it's building a case for the american people and for our own caucus. >> don jr. will be back on the hill tomorrow testifying in front of the senate intelligence committee. what questions do you think they need to have answered? >> i want to know if his testimony was consistent. he told the senate committee earlier that he had only given information about the russian meeting to paul manafort and to one other individual. rick gates told mueller, no, actually, donald trump jr. had told a lot of people in the campaign that the russians may be able to assist. there seems to be a
contradiction. we have to understand if that contradiction existed. and michael cohen has contradicted a lot of donald trump jr.'s testimony. he has a lot of explaining to do. >> congressman, thank you. >> thank you, don. >> and thanks for watching. our coverage continues. in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. ♪ ♪ award winning interface. award winning design. award winning engine. the volvo xc90. the most awarded luxury suv of the century.
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good evening. we begin tonight with breaking news and perhaps a preview of things yet to come. after trading verbal jabs all day, president trump and joe biden are at dueling live campaign events in iowa. the president is in west des moines at a gop fund-raising dinner. he's just getting started, thanking his host, talking about his 2016 primary victory. vice president biden just about 160 miles down interstate 80 in davenport. this is a day after each man slamming the other. neither waiting to get to iowa. biden earlier this morning releasing an advance copy of his davenport remarks, describing the president as an existential threat to democracy. the president weighing in a short time later on the south lawn. >> well, i heard biden, who is a loser, look, joe never got more than 1% except obama took him