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Tom Brady expected to visit his pal President Trump at White House along with his super bowl champion Patriots teammates; President Donald Trump wrapping up what certainly could be called a difficult week for his administration; Kellyanne Conway taking a lot of heat for hawking Ivanka Trump's clothing line on FOX; Aired 11-12p ET
Aired February 10, 2017 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:01:32] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The sports stars who are not team Trump.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
Tom Brady expected to visit his pal President Trump at White House along with his super bowl champion Patriots teammates later this year. But not everybody is on board with that as more and more sports heroes take issue with the president. Will their fans listen or tune them out?
Plus, President Trump's advisor Kellyanne Conway says this about her boss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: All I can say to America's women is, at some point in your life you want to have a boss who treated me the way that the president of the United States treated me today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: But is that really what every woman wants? Are there things really so rosy in the White House there? We will discuss all of that.
But let's get right to sports stars at odds over President Trump.
CNN's Jason Carroll has that story for us.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president's controversial first few weeks in office has inspired a new wave of athlete activism. NBA player Lebron James, prima ballerina Misty Copland, Olympic medal-winning Fencer Mohammed all speaking out against President Trump's policies.
Super Bowl champ Chris Long and Legarrette Blount now joining at least four other New England Patriots players passing on White House meeting with the president and their team later this year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I won't be going to the White House.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It that a will not? No?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to expound on that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is just so many things that I just don't feel welcome into that house. I'm just going to leave it as that.
CARROLL: Patriots player Martellus Bennett will also a no-show shortly after the patriots' victory over the falcons, Martellus said he won't attend because the president has what he called too many prejudices.
MARTELLUS BENNETT, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: I'm not going to go. It is what it is. People don't know how I feel about it. Just follow me on twitter.
CARROLL: And it supported Hillary Clinton on social media during the election and criticized Trump's travel ban days after the order was signed, tweeting America was built on inclusiveness, not exclusiveness.
Patriots Leadership is firmly on team Trump. Owner Robert Kraft, head coach, Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady all say they are friends with Trump. Trump's make America great cap displayed in Brady's locker. And while Brady visited White House with his team all three times. During the Bush years, he skipped. During Obama's term citing family commitment. That day, Brady spotted shopping at an Apple store in New York City.
CNN has reached out to Patriots and White House for comment and has yet to receive a response.
Sports analyst Christine Brennan says her sense is that more athletes will come forward to express their political opinions.
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: My sense is we are going to see more and more athletes speaking out and their fans actually supporting it and thanking them for it.
CARROLL: Already On the Record a number of former and current NBA players criticizing trump's immigration restrictions.
KYLE LOWRY, TORONTO RAPTORS: I think it's (bleep). I think it's actually (bleep). Our country is home of the free. And for that to happen I think is (bleep).
CARROLL: And when Under Armour CEO Kevin Planck praised Trump's pro- business approach calling him asset to the country.
Golden State Warrior's guard Stephen Curry said I agree with that description if you remain the ET from asset.
Certainly one the first time players have taken a political stance. This iconic image Olympics the 1968 in Mexico City, Tommy Smith and John Carlos raising fists to support civil rights.
And just last season, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (ph) refusing to stand during the national anthem in the name of racial injustice. Now other athletes standing up to challenge the White House.
Jason Carroll, CNN.
[23:05:34] LEMON: Great report. Jason, thank you so much.
Let's discuss now. Rachel Nichols is here, the host of "The Jump" on ESPN. So good to see you again, Rachel.
RACHEL NICHOLS, HOST, THE JUMP: Thank you.
LEMON: And former NFL receiver Donte Stallworth is here. Good to see you as well, sir. Thank you both for joining us. This story is fascinating to me. I have been wanting to talk to you guys about it.
Donte, I want to start with you. As former Patriot yourself, what do you think of these Patriots players saying that they won't go to the White House?
DONTE STALLWORTH, FORMER NFL RECEIVER: I have always been advocate for players to speak out on social and political issues. You know, the interesting, the funny thing to me is that people always say that athletes and actors should not engage in politics. I mean, Donald Trump was a reality TV star. Ronald Reagan an actor. Al Franken, he was on "SNL."
I think these are precisely the people that should be leaning the political example. These guys - these people are people that should - that are role models. And if you look at it, a lot of these athletes have grown up in these types of neighborhoods where they, you know, they have come from the bottom. And so, they relate more to the average person than some of these politicians who are, you know, sponsored by a lot of these corporations and have a lot of money. But I think at end of the day, when you look at it, you know, Martellus Bennett is writing a book o, you know, a children's book on how to be a good child. And you look at what Donald Trump has done in his books. And so, to me there's no comparison. You can't say that athletes shouldn't engage in politics.
LEMON: And also Donte, I mean, listen. They are putting their endorsements on the line which, you know, will carry them on to retirement long after whatever sport that money is gone. So this is very important to them.
I want to play this for you because the president is fond of name dropping his support from the Patriots top brass. Let's listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Tom Brady, great guy. Great guy. Great guy, great friend of mine. Great, great champion, unbelievable winner. He called today and he said, Donald, I support you. You are my friend. And I voted for you.
This guy is a true champ. So he writes, coach Belichick, congratulations on a tremendous campaign. You have dealt with an unbelievable slanted and negative media and have come out beautifully. Beautifully. You've proved to be the ultimate competitor and fighter, your leadership is amazing.
Bob Kraft, so good luck Bob. Your friend Tom just called. He feels good. He called to congratulate us. He feels good. Good luck. You're going to do great. Thanks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. So Donte, listen. Do you think that puts these other players in a tough position with their team being closely associated with the president, even having dinner at Mar-a-Largo, as Bob Kraft the owner?
STALLWORTH: No, I don't think so. I think Mr. Kraft respects his players and respects him on an individual level. I have a pretty good relationship with Mr. Kraft to this day even though haven't played for patriots since 2012.
But if you look at it, I think the players are going to do their own thing anyway and especially with what the Trump administration has done since their first three weeks in office. Players will double down if Mr. Kraft tries to do that. But I don't think he would. Why would the players leave their conscience at edge of the stadium?
LEMON: Yes, interesting.
Rachel bring you in now. And I want to talk to you, you can weigh in whole thing but let's talk about the NBA, shall we? Because we have Steph Curry, we got Lebron James among others making it clear in no certain terms, they do not support this president's policies. Why is the travel ban such a big issue for the NBA, NBA players?
NICHOLS: I think the travel ban really struck a nerve with a lot of these guys because the NBA is an international league. You have Players from more than 200 countries playing in the NBA. About 30 percent of the league is from countries born outside of the U.S. And one of the teams, the Toronto raptors, you have to cross the border back and forth to get there.
Two prominent players have Sudanese passports. So it was a big question. Could they go play in Toronto and they have a game? Could they come back?
This is really affecting the people that you saw on the court on day- to-day basis. And it also has to do with the freedom that these NBA players have now too. You mentioned, Don, earlier the endorsements, right. Michael Jordan
was sort of reported to famously have said, hey, Republicans buy sneakers too, and that is why he was never that politically active. Michael Jordan at that point was an employee of Nike.
Steph Curry, when he was criticizing Under Armour, he is an investor in Under Armour. That is a different kind of power. You not only had that very sort of cute quippy quote, he is called the company the next day and spent apparently hours on the phone with them making sure that the company's values aligned enough with his that he could stay on as brand endorser and ambassador.
So they are taking more of a leadership role. Steph Curry is playing on a $44 million contract. He is about to sign $200 billion plus contract. That buys you a lot of freedom to speak your mind. You don't have to really worry about where the next dollar is coming from.
[23:11:01] LEMON: And what is interesting is that people - I think where people are getting wrong, is that many people, they are looking this as a sort of Republican versus Democrat thing or liberal versus conservative versus liberal. And for athletes, it is not about that. I mean, we have conservative presidents with athletes in the White House before. This is about values and about some of the - a lot of the rhetoric that Donald Trump displayed on the campaign trail and now with the travel ban.
And with that said, let me say this, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has made a number of public comments, most recently that he doesn't think Trump will last four years in office. And then there is coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio's Spurs and he said this. He said it's hard to be respectful of someone when we all have kids and we are watching him be misogynistic and xenophobic and racists and make fun of handicapped people. If our children would have said it, we have grounded them for months, without a doubt. But we ignore all that because - because why? That says something about all of us and that what's dangerous.
And by the way, both of these teams, to my point about this not being about liberal versus conservatives or Democrats versus Republican, both of these teams are in red state Texas. So I'm wondering, is it somewhat surprising to hear such forceful comments from the sports world, Rachel?
NICHOLS: No, I mean, it really is interesting. Gregg Popovich specifically has been so outspoken. That quote you just read was remarkable. And he does operate in a red state world. He has joked that I get looks in the grocery store now. He said there are people who definitely don't approve of what I'm saying.
But this is a guy who went to the air force academy, served in the U.S. air force, and is currently the head coach of the men's basketball team for U.S. Olympic team. His bona fides are real. He is somebody who has a legit place to comment on what is going on in our society. And I think it is important in places like red state Texas that there are different voices. And what Donte was saying about athletes having a role on this, look,
whether we like it or not, sports, athletics, these guys, these are the places where Republicans and Democrats do come together. They sit together in the same arenas. We are not reading the same newspapers anymore. We are not watching the same TV anymore. We are not going to the same movies. We have seen a bunch of articles on that. We are still all watching the same sports.
So when these discussions happen in the sports arena, it is so important, because it's one of the only places we are all still talking to each other.
LEMON: I completely agree with that.
Donte, you saw in the piece earlier, Tommy Smith & John Carlos raising their fists in Mexico City. We remember the late great Mohammed Ali when he refused to go to Vietnam pulling no punches. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMED ALI, BOXER: My conscience won't let me go shoot my brother, arson darker people, arson 400 people in the mud, a big powerful America and shoot them for what? They never called me Niger. They never raised me. They (INAUDIBLE) dogs on me there. Robbed me of my nationality, raped or killed my mother or father? Shoot them for what?
You my (INAUDIBLE) when I want justice. You my (INAUDIBLE) when I want equality. You won't stand up for me in America for my religious beliefs and you want me to go somewhere and fight but you won't stand up for me here at home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Those athletes experienced serious backlash but they were redeemed by history. I mean, Mohammed Ali is revered right? Do you expect any backlash against these players for speaking their minds? Go head, Donte.
STALLWORTH: No. I mean, Mohammed Ali was a great example. You look at what Mohammed Ali did. Mohammed Ali resisted the war in Vietnam. He resisted going into the draft while a lot of these senators paid for - and funded the war. And Mohammed Ali now as you said is looked upon in history as, you know, someone who made the right decision and useless war where, you know, over a million Vietnamese people were killed, over 50,000 Americans were killed. This was a useless war that did nothing. And Mohammed Ali in the end as history tells it, it shows us today, he was the right one, not these politicians. So stop saying that players and athletes and actors shouldn't engage in politics because that is a perfect example which you just showed right there.
[23:15:15] LEMON: And Rachel, I think it is -- you said something I thought was brilliant. You said we are not all reading the same newspapers or even watching the same news programs. But if you remember, Rachel, when John Stewart was on the "Daily Show." There were a lot of people, especially young people who said that they got most of their news from that show. And I'm wondering if it is the same way when it comes to sports, that some of these people, especially young people, they are not big news consumers but they are getting views at this administration through their sports heroes.
NICHOLS: Absolutely. And I talked to these athletes about this all the time. I mean, Charles Barkley famously said a couple of decades ago, I'm not a role model. And that idea has really passed everyone by.
There is no question that these guys are role models. And they are embracing their responsibility to present themselves, to present ideas in more serious manner in way that influences the young people who follow them. Because they understand the responsibility they have, and the voice that they have.
When we were talking all of the summer about police violence and sort of the killings that were going on among young African-American men, guess what, guess who were the most visible young African-American men in our society, basketball and football players. They are the ones who have the most platform to cot out and say, hey, this is going on and this is important and worth paying attention to. And they use their voice for that and I think they are going to continue to.
LEMON: Yes. And before -- those of you watching, before you criticize, there were people who didn't want to go to see Barack Obama as president in the White House, athletes as well.
NICHOLS: Jason mentioned in his piece that Tom Brady, Donte's teammate, declined to go.
STALLWORTH: Tom Brady and Matt Burke. And Matt Burke cited, explicitly cited, political reasons for not going. That's fine. Let him do that. It is within his rights. That's what makes us stronger. This is a free society. That is free speech that makes us stronger. We need that.
LEMON: Yes. I love this conversation.
Thank you guys. Have a great weekend. I appreciate you coming on. Rachel, come back.
LEMON: Absolutely. Thank you, guys.
NICHOLS: Miss you guys.
LEMON: Miss you too.
When we come right back, who is the real power behind the scenes at White House? And is the president unhappy with somebody in his inner circle?
[23:21:01] LEMON: The president wrapping up what certainly could be called a difficult week for his administration, especially a ruling by the federal appeals court which keeps his travel ban on hold.
Here to discuss now, Bill Press, the host of the "Bill Press show," and syndicated talk radio host John Fredericks. They are both gluttons for punishment because they keep coming back week after week.
Good evening. Thank you guys, for coming on.
John, you first. The first three weeks of Donald Trump's presidency have been - and that we can call it a whirlwind, how do you think he is doing?
JOHN FREDERICKS, SYNDICATED RADIO TALK HOST: Policy-wise, Don, I think he is doing fantastic. He is doing exactly what he said he was going to do. He is fired up his base. The people that voted for him couldn't have gotten anything better because he is doing exactly what he said he was going to do. And that is what is defining this president.
Look. He came to Washington. He is the rain maker. He is the disrupter. He is going to change Washington. He is going to break the glass. He is going to do things differently. People wanted a change. They wanted a different Washington. They wanted somebody to come in and peel back the onion, tell them the truth, tell them what was really going on, and he is certainly done that.
But look. You got to take the good with the bad. And some of it is bad because we are going to have collateral political damage, no question about it. There is going to be some friendly fire in order to get the kind of change that Donald Trump is trying to do. But the thing is he is telling the truth to the American people. He is telling them the truth. HE is telling them what is going on. And I think in 2018 he is going to reap the benefit of that.
LEMON: All right. Did you bring your pom-poms with you, John?
FREDERICKS: I'm fired up tonight.
LEMON: Yes you are.
BILL PRESS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Can I ask? Are we living on the same planet? I mean, come on. This is absurd.
First of all, Donald Trump hasn't accomplished anything. I mean, hasn't built the wall. He didn't even get the wall started. He did not repeal Obamacare on day one which he promised.
Now, I want to be fair. I remember, it was little rocky when Bill Clinton got started. This is a big job. It is very complicated. Nobody walks in to it and does it that smoothly. It was a little rough when Barack Obama started.
But these last three weeks I think for Donald Trump have been a disaster. He has been - he have lost the three rounds in the court. He has generated the biggest protest we have seen since the Vietnam War. He has got the president of Mexico canceled a visit. The president of China won't talk to him. His chief counselor and his national security advisor are both now being accused of perhaps breaking the law. I mean, what more can go wrong in these three weeks? I think it shows that they are just not ready for prime time, the whole gang.
LEMON: You guys, it's so weird that people have such different perspectives on this. It's just fascinating to me.
I mean, John to Bill's point, look. Hundreds of protesters, upset at this town hall geld by Utah representative Jason Chaffetz last night, forcing him to end 45 minutes early. I want you to listen to this retired teacher from Utah.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm retired teacher and I taught for 35 years in Salt Lake. And I rarely had a discipline problem because I laid out expectations very clearly and I laid down the consequences. But once in a while at beginning of the year after two or three weeks look at kid and think you are going to be a problem. It's been two or three weeks.
No, I want you to know what I would do is draw a line in the sand at beginning of the year and say cross this line and this is the consequence. For the president of the United States, the consequence is impeachment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So in the second part of this, John, she is saying, considering how she feels about what the president, what he has done so far, she thinks consequence, and those are her words, are impeachment - is impeachment.
She has also saying as school teacher, she knows after two or three weeks when she has a kid that's going to be a problem, that there are going to a problem. And she is saying this s a problem. This is a Republican district in a red state, should you be worried and should he be worried and the administration that this sentiment is beginning to grow?
[23:25:23] FREDERICKS: Don and Bill, he is going to be a problem for liberals and the left and mainstream media that doesn't really understand why he won.
LEMON: This was not my question. I said this is a red district --
FREDERICKS: Don and Bill, every district in America has Democrats in it. Every single one. My district, district four in Virginia, I'm represented by Don McEachin, probably one of the most liberal congressmen in America. Who cares, right? Trump got nearly 44 percent of my district. There is always about --
but look. Trump should wear these protesters like badge of honor. I think it is a great thing. The reason he has fired up the Democratic base, fired up the liberal - the progressives and got them to come out of protest is because he is making change like no one has ever seen. If the protesters stop, Don and Bill, that's when I would get worried.
LEMON: It's not all liberal protesters out there. And it seems like you're saying the protesters when its tea party on the right, they are legitimate protesters, but what you consider as liberals on the left, the protesters are not legitimate. How do you --?
FREDERICKS: I never said.
LEMON: How do you make that judgment?
FREDERICKS: Words in my mouth. I never said they weren't legitimate.
LEMON: You just said that the protesters are liberals in every single district - yes.
FREDERICKS: Well, the tea party protesters were conservatives. They were concerned about Obama's policies. The progressive protesters are very unhappy with Trump's policies.
LEMON: You are making my point.
FREDERICKS: Actually doing something.
PRESS: Hey, Don, let me just point out. First of all, I want to repeat. This is Utah. This is the reddest of the red states. And the other thing about these town halls, I got to tell you, you know, the teas party - I know this. I wrote a book about it, it called "the Obama hate machine," the tea party town halls were banked and planned and orchestrated by the Koch brothers and their operations.
These are organic grassroots people just turning out because they are pissed off already on what is happening with this administration. We saw it with the march in Washington. You aw where people turning up in the airports and we saw - I got to tell you as a lefty, these are not being planned by anybody. These are just people coming out on their own. There is an energy, there is a movement, really, that Donald Trump has sparked which I don't think he planned for and he is going to have to deal with.
LEMON: OK. So stand by --
FREDERICKS: Bill, but --
LEMON: Hold it. Hold it. You know. You are in radio. I got to get to the break. We are coming back. We will be right back.
[23:31:57] LEMON: So, I'm back now with radio guys. Bill Press and John Fredericks and we having a quiet conversation about the protests happening - which have been happening around the country.
But John, do you disagree -- Bill said this is organic, it's not --
LEMON: Not like the tea party which was paid for by the Koch brothers.
FREDERICKS: Well, look. I'm sure there are some of these protesters that might be paid. I don't know what the numbers are.
PRESS: Get out of here.
FREDERICKS: But that is not the point. Bill, that's not the point. The organic nature of the progressive protesters going on around America is real and it is great and it is fabulous and I encourage it. Keep coming out. Keep speaking what is on their mind. And as I said earlier, the day the protest stop is when I get concerned about the Trump agenda. They are coming out because they don't like what Trump is doing because he is the disrupter and rain maker of Washington that's going to get the kind of change that people never thought would happen. And that's going to come with protest and change disruption. You are not going to be able to get this level of differences that he is trying to do without a very formidable resistance.
So I applaud what they are doing. They need to keep coming out and speaking their mind. At end of the day, though, if Trump is able to create jobs, get out of these wars, create economic prosperity, stop illegal immigration from taking our jobs away, put people back to work, put money in your pocket. He is going to win in 2018 and he is going to get reelected in 2020.
PRESS: First of all, let me just assure you, OK. The protests are not going to stop, alright. I mean, thanks for your encouragement. We don't need your encouragement.
FREDERICKS: That's good. I don't want them to stop.
PRESS: These protests are going to continue for the next four years at which time Donald Trump is going to be history. But I just want to say I think Donald Trump learned a lesson this week and I hope we all learned this week. And the lesson is black robes matter. But I love he fact that Donald Trump said we are going to see you in court. You are damn right we are going to see him in court. And that's -- thank God for our founding fathers and the separation of powers, and created this judiciary branch that would keep a president in check. Because we have already seen in the first three weeks this president totally out of bounds when it comes to the constitution and American law, not to mention morality, and judges stood up and best that Donald Trump can do is call them so-called judges.
So I think that's where the battle is going to be. You can't count on the Congress to stop it. The protests will help but the real strength for the American people is going to come from the judicial system.
LEMON: John, I know you want to respond to that. But I do want to said that was pretty clever you told by the way.
But I do want to say, John, is you said that these protests have been happening because of what the president has done, because he is getting things done. The biggest one of all happened day after the inauguration when he hadn't done anything yet.
PRESS: He still hasn't done anything.
FREDERICKS: Didn't like the outcome of the election.
PRESS: Accomplished one thing, right?
[23:35:00] LEMON: You're saying all he has done is just the executive orders and that is not been - as resulted in any legislation.
FREDERICKS: Well, he has been in office three weeks. Give him a chance to get his legislative agenda, Don. That's why Reince Priebus is there. If can't get some of these through Congress, he is going to get fired. The over under on him in Washington is ten months.
PRESS: Don, he said he was going to repeal Obamacare on day one, where is it?
FREDERICKS: Well, he didn't have - the Republicans couldn't, Bill, come up with replacement. And he said if you are - look, you guys had all this time to come up with the replacement, you don't have one, I'll get my own. So they are figuring that out. But the cry baby Democratic caucus with these protesters before he is even done anything, they are mad over the election outcome. But look, I encourage that. Let's get to the judicial end of it. You have got liberal activist left-wing judges that are now making policy, legislative policy from the bench.
LEMON: Who is going that, the ninth circuit?
FREDERICKS: Through the American people.
PRESS: Yes, exactly. George W. Bush appointee James Robart in Seattle, is that the left-wing liberal you are talking about? You don't know what you are talking about dudes.
LEMON: All right. I got to go, guys.
FREDERICKS: Did you just call me --?
LEMON: I have got to go. Thank you guys. I will see you next week hopefully.
When we come right back, turmoil in Donald Trump's inner circle is somebody about to get thrown under the bus?
[23:40:33] LEMON: Three weeks into the Trump presidency and it has been a rocky and publicly - rocky road, publicly and behind closed doors.
Let's discuss now. CNN political commentator Symone Sanders is here. Jack Kingston is a former senior advisor to the Trump campaign and CNN political commentators Alice Stewart and Angela Rye.
We have one dude here. I don't know if you guys heard that comment earlier, someone called a dude on the air. It is pretty funny.
JACK KINGSTON, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN: I have been called a lot worse.
LEMON: Right on this show too.
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Bill Press saying dude, that was unique.
LEMON: It was. I thought the black robes matter was pretty clever too. So did my mom.
SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Black lives still do matter though, Don, in case there's question.
LEMON: Black robes matter, too. How about that? Yes.
KINGSTON: Along with blue lives.
LEMON: All right. So before we go down this rabbit hole, Symone. Let's talk about some of the troubles inside the White House this week.
Kellyanne Conway taking a lot of heat for hawking Ivanka Trump's clothing line on FOX. Now both ranking members of the oversight committee, the Republican Jason Chaffetz and the Democratic Elijah Cummings sent a complaint letter to the government ethics and office (INAUDIBLE), we request that you use authority Congress granted to you under the ethics in government act of 1978 as amended to recommend to the head of the officer's or employer's agency that appropriate disciplinary action like reprimand, suspension, demotion or dismissal be brought against the officer or employee. How bad is this for Kellyanne Conway?
SANDERS: Look. It's bad. Kellyanne Conway broke the law. I think Angela said earlier on this week on CNN that she was giving a QVC commercial. It was a QVC or with the FOX News.
But look. I think this is indicative, though, of a larger issue the Trump administration and their people. That they don't know the rules. That they are dead set on appending the entire process but they don't know the process. You can't really break the rules unless you know them and you can't bend them and, you know, figure out what works for you. So this is administration that is going definitely through some issues and they are not above the law. I think we saw that with the ruling in the Muslim ban case. And we are seeing that with this letter from, you know, the ranking member and leader of the house oversight committee. These are not things the Trump administration can do and get away with and learning that harshly, if I might add.
LEMON: Jack, do you think there should or will be some disciplinary action?
KINGSTON: I think what Sean Spicer said in the press statement the other day that she had been counseled, I think that's what happened. But frankly, I think the left loses so much credibility when they going after nonstories like this. I watched the press release. I saw it live. There was nothing -- it was throwaway line. It was kind of a go-team comment.
Now, I understand in Washington uptight, particularly Trump, they got to be held to higher standard than anybody who has ever walk in the planet earth. But the reality is it was a throwaway comment. I mean, the left should be going after real serious policy instead of this kind of thing, Don.
ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: As a former hill staffer, and congressman, I know you know this, but I'm actually really surprised by your answer. I was expecting this would be a moment of bipartisan agreement for us.
KINGSTON: No, no.
RYE: You know, I was.
KINGSTON: Picking on my girl, Kellyanne Conway.
RYE: No, no, no. And I love Kellyanne personally. But as an attorney, Kellyanne should also know better. Of course, you know, on the hill, on the house side in particular, there is a committee on ethics. There are ethics rule that if members of the house and their staff have to abide by. The distinction here is Kellyanne has a law, as Don cited from 1978 that applies to her as member of the executive branch staff and it doesn't apply to Donald Trump.
One of the things I would like to see congressman Cummings do, congressman Chaffetz do is ensure these the same ethics rules and laws apply to the president. That is the biggest problem. So now, you have staffers who worked on the campaign who are now part of his staff at the White House who think that they can be Teflon, Don, just like him and law don't apply.
LEMON: Hold on. Hold on. Hold on, everyone, please. Before you respond, let's play this moment so we can look at it and then analyze it properly and then we will talk. Play it please.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: Go by Ivanka's stuff is what I would tell you. I'm going to get - I hate shopping, I'm going to get some on myself today. It is wonderful line. I own some of it. I fully - I'm just going to give a free commercial here and go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[23:45:12] LEMON: Alice?
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Don, I think it's important to actually look at entire clip in its context. We all know Kellyanne. She is a serious hard-nosed worker and employee and loyal to the president. She was asked a question about Nordstrom grapping Ivanka's clothing line. She answered it in a serious manner. And then, as Jack says, she gave off the cuff, lightheartedly response, lightheartedly and as a joke and that's exactly how it came across to me. And those who are making a big deal out of it I think are barking at the wrong tree.
And as for whether or not she will face any disciplinary action, hot of the press as the "Washington Post" just released a story in the last hour that she is hired her own chief of staff. So that is hardly the action president is going to give to
LEMON: And if I'm not mistaken, I think it is up to the president to bring disciplinary action.
STEWART: That's right.
LEMON: But listen. I mean, we all know Kellyanne Conway, some of us longer than others. I think Alice has known her for a decade. I'm not sure how long you have known her, Jack. She is a professional. And you know, whether you like what she says or how she does it, she is very good at her job. She is also very responsive to the media.
But this is a whole another thing when you are the leader and you are representing the leader of the free world and there are rules in place, you should be abiding by them and maybe it was a throwaway line, but the question is should she have known better?
KINGSTON: Don, I don't think - but I don't think she would have done - I mean, keep in mind, the format was "FOX and Friends." It is a lighthearted morning show. They don't really get into the heavy --.
LEMON: All right, Jack. Jack. Don't make me throw something at the camera.
SANDERS: You know what? Why is the bar so low for Donald Trump?
LEMON: No one is attacking Kellyanne Conway. We just said - hold on, Jack. We all just said nice things about her. No one is attacking Kellyanne. We are simply analyzing the actions of senior adviser to the president of the United States on a show that is considered a news program on a news network.
KINGSTON: All right. But let me ask the ladies since I'm the only dude, did any of you run out and buy the clothes based on that ad?
RYE: That's not the point.
LEMON: We have to take a break. We'll be right back.
[23:51:21] LEMON: I'm back now with Symone Sanders, jack Kinston, Alice Stewart, and Angela Rye.
So Kellyanne Conway talked about the support that she gets from the president in an interview yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you spoke about that matter and he is not - doesn't have any intention to suspend you?
CONWAY: We spoke about a range of matters. And he supports me 100 percent. In fact, it was a very heartening moment. All I can say to American women is at some point in your life, you want to have a boss who treated me the way that the president of the United States is treating me today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Symone, is that what American women need, a strong male boss like president Trump?
SANDERS: I don't really know what Kellyanne was referring to. I definitely don't want of vagina-grabbing, trash talking, (INAUDIBLE), such as Donald Trump. That's all I got to say. I mean, Don, if you want me to say so much, I don't have anything else for you.
Look. Donald Trump - look. Let's not forget this is the same man that bragged about being able to -- grab her by the pussy. This is the same man that started his campaign disparaging everybody from Mexicans and he has talked about black people to women, to the disabled community.
So, no. I don't want a boss like Donald Trump. And definitely think Kellyanne knows better. She is not going to spin me on this. This is absolutely just malarkey.
STEWART: Getting back to the actual topic that we were talking about with regard to Kellyanne in the situation happening this week. Look. She -- I think what she said painted a good light on what we heard a lot about Donald Trump with regard to loyalty. And we have seen that -- he actually wrote about it in one of the books. If you are good to him, he is good to you. And he pays dividend to those on his stuff who are loyal to him. And while Kellyanne was under fire during a difficult time this week, it was refreshing to hear that the president of the United States was gracious to her. And it is good to hear especially from the president of the United States.
RYE: You know, Alice, it is interesting that you said that Donald Trump pays dividends to those who are loyal to him. What a great choice of words for someone who has failed at all of this to distance himself from his business interest. And perhaps, that's what Kellyanne was hoping for with that QVP.
KINGSTON: Symone, that's a good come back, but --
LEMON: That was Angela.
KINGSTON: I'm sorry.
RYE: You got us confused? All black people don't look alike?
KINGSTON: Angela, I couldn't even see you.
KINGSTON: Don, just tell them there are three sweet voice and then there is yours and mine. You know, I'm a dude on this.
But let me say this. I think frankly it is refreshing in Washington, D.C. for a political boss not to do the political thing which would have been to suspend her and make her the sacrificial lamb of the day so that he could continue his political career and they try to pretend to be above the fray. Instead, he stood up for the employee and I think that is admirable think and maybe, Symone, he has changed. And that may be a good thing.
SANDERS: We are reaching now.
KINGSTON: That was a tender moment.
SANDERS: Like Donald Trump is this beacon of greatness and that he is, you know, abided by the law. This is somebody who doesn't even know the rules, OK? So to pretend as though that Donald Trump has, you know, given Kelly, like thrown Kellyanne a bone, if you will. That didn't really happen. How is he going to reprimand Kellyanne?
KINGSTON: I have seen over and over again when some employee does the slightest thing, the political boss cuts and runs and turns his back on them and takes his own shelter and that's what so many other political leaders would have done.
Donald Trump may now stood up for her and I think it's a very good thing. And you know what, speaking of women, I don't understand why she is not a better icon for all of women.
[23:55:16] KINGSTON: Where is the sisterly love that Kellyanne should be getting. She is the only woman --
LEMON: Go ahead. I have got a minute left. Go ahead. Let them answer, Jack. I got short time left. Who wants to answer it? STEWART: I think, look, more than anything, I look at Kellyanne at
someone who is strong and competent at her job and whatever job she does. And I worked with her many times over the years. And she happens to be a woman. That is just a part of who she is. That I think is as a female to know that she is the first being woman who actually run a winning presidential campaign. I think that is inspiring to many people.
LEMON: OK, Angela?
SANDERS: This is what I say.
LEMON: Go ahead, Symone.
SANDERS: Kellyanne is very good at what she does. And we know she is competent and capable. And frankly, if Kellyanne was a man, we wouldn't have to use those words competent and capable. But as a former spokesperson, I know that Kellyanne is not holding the bar high. And that is dangerous. Her credibility has been challenge. She has lied on air to journalists and to the American people.
KINGSTON: She has not lied to anybody.
LEMON: Angela. Go, Angela.
RYE: Hold on, dude.
KINGSTON: She has not lied.
RYE: I think the important thing to note is that Kellyanne has made a gross mistake and I think a good boss, a good leader would challenge the person to say, hey, I think you should retract. That is a reprimand and that is it. It doesn't need to be a big deal. They have made it a big deal.
LEMON: All right. Thank you all, dudes and dudettes.
Have a great weekend. That's it for us. Thanks for watching. Good night.