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CNN TONIGHT

Russia Controversy Follows Trump to Asia; Democratic Party in Shambles. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired November 3, 2017 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN: ... over to Don Lemon. CNN Tonight starts right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN Tonight. I am Don Lemon.

And this has been a week of one big revelation after another in the Russia investigation. So many that you may have trouble keeping track. Though it all -- through it all the White House are denying, deflecting and distracting here. But don't for a moment loses sight of everything that has happened in just the past five days, because the facts do matter here.

So let's go through the facts first. OK? Monday morning we learned that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates were indicted on 12 counts. Their trial proposed for May 2018 on charges including money laundering and improperly filing disclosure forms about foreign lobbying.

That surprised virtually no one. But this did. The revelation that back in July, Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians. Court documents suggest he has been a cooperating witness for months, maybe even wearing a wire.

Tuesday, the president takes to Twitter, of course, to try to do damage control. Quote, "Few people knew the young low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the dems."

But wait, there's more. Today the president said this about his meeting during the campaign with his own foreign policy advisers, including that so-called low level volunteer named George.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't remember much about that meeting. It was a very unimportant meeting. Took place a long time ago. Don't remember much about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, in the interest of refreshing the president's memory, according to what he said just nine days ago, one of the great memories of all times, there is this photo of the meeting. Tweeted from his very own account. On Wednesday we learned that that meeting, the president entertained

the possibility of a sit down with Vladimir Putin, and it was suggested by, wait for it, George Papadopoulos. On Thursday, we learned that Jeff Sessions rejected the meeting idea but somehow neglected to mention it in multiple congressional hearings.

That same day former Trump foreign policy aide Carter Page says he told Sessions in June of 2016 that he was taking a trip to Russia. But that's not all. We also learned that President Trump's own son-in-law, senior adviser Jared Kushner, has turned over documents to Robert Mueller's team. Other witnesses in the investigation have been asked about Kushner's role in the firing of the FBI director James Comey.

And that brings us to today, Friday. Carter Page telling our very own Jake Tapper that he mentioned that planned trip to Russia on a few people on the campaign, and President Trump says this as he heads out on a trip to Asia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: All I can tell you is this. There was no collusion. There was no nothing. It's a disgrace, frankly, that they continue. You want to look at Hillary Clinton and you want to look at the new book that was just put out by Donna Brazile where she basically bought the DNC and she stole the election from Bernie. So that's what you ought to take a look at.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: There are some certain real questions about Hillary Clinton's relationship with the DNC, questions that we have been covering and will continue to cover. But Hillary Clinton lost the election. She's not the president of the United States. Donald Trump is. And that makes the Russia investigation a matter of national and international importance. Don't let anybody distract you from that.

I want to bring in now CNN's chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, CNN political analyst, Margaret Talev, and CNN political commentator, Matt Lewis.

Good evening to both of -- to all of you. Thank you for coming on. Jim, the president is heading out of the country right now as things are heating up with the Russia investigation. His administration under pressure. Remember this from back in February?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you say whether you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with Russia during the course of the election?

TRUMP: Well, I told you General Flynn obviously was dealing, so that's one person. But he was dealing as he should have been.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: During the election?

TRUMP: No, nobody that I know of.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: That was an unqualified, Jim, denial there. But the key question after this week did President Trump and Jeff Sessions mislead about campaign contacts with Russia.

JIM SCIUTTO, CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, listen, Don, the Trump world story on their contacts with Russia has changed a number of times, because remember the initial -- the initial story was there were no contacts or meetings. They were dismissed out of hand. That has been proven false overtime. There was documentation of these meetings, e-mails, et cetera.

And now you have President Trump himself and others admitting that such meetings took place, but dismissing them as unimportant. The next story was that there was nothing untoward discussed in those meetings, that they were a matter of course, normal kinds of conversations during a campaign between a nominee and an important foreign country and officials of that country.

But we now learn, and again, there's documentation that there are e- mails that describe that Russians were offering damaging information on then nominee Trump's political opponent, Hillary Clinton and in mother-in-law one instance beyond the Trump tower meeting in June of 2016.

[22:05:08] Now George Papadopoulos describing other Russians offering him similar dirt as it was described in the court documents. So the story has changed a number of times, and each time it's expanding. And we know that this is very much of interest to the special counsel's investigation.

LEMON: Jim, I want to stick with you for a moment because I understand you have been doing more reporting late tonight on the Russian investigation, what do you know?

SCIUTTO: That's right. The New York Times a short time ago broke a story that said that Carter Page had in fact met with Russian, at least one Russian government official during a trip to Moscow during the summer of 2016. I have since spoken to Carter Page himself just a couple of minutes ago. He confirms that this is true.

He says, though, that this was not a formal meeting. That he met, in his words, this Russian official. They were at the same event. They were both speaking at the same event at the new economic school in Moscow and that he met him there. He said it was a matter of course because they were both participating in the same event.

This person, I should add, was a senior Russian official, a deputy foreign minister of Russia. And I just want to look down at my notes here because I want to spell his -- I want to pronounce his name correctly. His -- it's arcade (Ph) -- and I have to -- I just have to get it right.

LEMON: That's all right. Take your time. It's Friday night. SCIUTTO: Come back at me so I get it right because I don't want to

misstate it. But it was the deputy foreign minister of Russia.

LEMON: Yes.

SCIUTTO: And again, Carter Page confirmed it took place, but again, he says it was not two officials sitting at either end of a conference room table but that he met him as a matter of course during an event that they were both taking part in.

Now, the trouble, of course, is that in previous interviews when asked about these kinds of meetings in the past Carter Page has denied that they've taken place.

LEMON: Matt, I want to bring you in now. You heard that the president -- the president say today that he doesn't remember that national security campaign meeting where Papadopoulos proposed a Putin meeting. But it was just last week that he said this. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: There's no hesitation. One of the great memories of all time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So does the president have a selective memory? It was in July that he told the New York Times he didn't remember details about his one-on-one meeting with Comey.

MATT LEWIS, COMMENTATOR, CNN: Well, I think he's like everybody else. He doesn't remember everything. He should quit bragging about having a great memory. He's human. And so, maybe he doesn't remember that. That's plausible he meets a ton of people. Who knows?

But, look, the problem is it's hard to give any of these people the benefit of the doubt, right. Carter Page, what he just explained makes perfect sense. You're speaking at an event. You bump into somebody else who is speaking there. Is that a meeting? I don't know if that qualifies as a meeting.

If that was the only instance, then you could just, you know, give him the benefit of the doubt. But it's like these things keep coming up. And so it's really hard to give these guys the benefit of the doubt because there's always whatever they're saying, there's another shoe to drop.

LEMON: Yes. The president is saying he doesn't remember another person in that meeting. J.D. Gordon told CNN Trump heard Papadopoulos out. What do you think?

LEWIS: Who knows about that? Here -- what I've been saying all along is they'd better be telling the truth, OK, because you've got this investigation now where you have the ability to indict people and squeeze them. You've had no knock raids on peoples' houses. You've had their storage facilities raided. You've had Donald Trump's security guard, I think is going to be questioned now. Anybody who is lying about anything right now could go to jail just

for that. You now, if you're lying to the FBI, that is a crime. They are putting the squeeze on these people, and I do think some of these, especially the younger folk here, may be stupid enough to really get themselves in trouble.

LEMON: Yes. Margaret, I want to bring you in. Listen, Margaret, I cover this every single night, and it's -- there's a lot of information. It's confusing. Wait a minute, what's happening with this person? What's happening with this person?

President Trump's long-time adviser former bodyguard as Matt just mentioned, a confidant Keith Schiller will face a wide range of questions on Tuesday from congressional investigators including on the president's 2013 Moscow trip and the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. He only left the White House in September. And again, when the president says this investigation has nothing to do with him, he's wrong.

MARGARET TALEV, POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: Keith Schiller you cannot overstate how close these two men are. What a confidant he has been to President Trump. How sort of unwary the president felt in those initial days after Schiller left his post in the White House and returned to the private sector.

[22:09:57] What he saw, what he heard, obviously that's going to be of intense interest to investigators and to lawmakers. What he's going to share with them and what he actually did here is another matter. And when you talk about loyalists to the president, I'd be hard pressed to think of many people who are either closer or more loyal.

LEMON: Margaret, you're right. You can, you mean you could hardly get a pictured with candidate Trump, you know, the real estate person, the candidate and then as president without Schiller in the picture. I mean, they were together pretty much all of the time.

Jim, Carter Page spoke to Jake Tapper, as we have been talking about there. But listen, I want to move on because I want to talk about how significant these developments could be and what could come next. Can more be coming next week?

SCIUTTO: Well, listen, just on Carter Page now, so as we said earlier, I spoke to Carter Page tonight. He confirms what was first reported in the New York Times and during this visit to Moscow in December of 2016 he met with someone who was quite a senior Russian official.

His name, just to be clear and I wanted to make sure I pronounced this correctly but the Deputy Prime Minister, Arkady Dvorkovich, like I said, Carter Page describes this not as a formal meeting, but that he met him in the course of an event in which they were both speaking in Moscow at the new economic school of Russia.

And he described that meeting as sort of a passerby kind of meeting, met in the hallway backstage before they were both speaking at this event. But to be clear, Carter Page was on our air just a number of hours ago, Jake Tapper spoke to him at length for a number of minutes and asked him a number of questions about whether meetings in this category took place, and he didn't say so.

And now we are learning -- and again, I just spoke to him on the phone him saying yes, indeed, it did. But to be clear from his perspective, it is something that he does not describe as a formal meeting.

That said of interest enough that we know that it was something that the House intelligence committee was questioning him about when he appeared earlier this week for a number of hours before the House intelligence committee, which is, of course, as part of its investigation looking at Russian interference in the U.S. election. So as part of that questioning, this was a topic that came up, and he faced some hard questions about that.

LEMON: Thank you all. It's been a long week. Get some rest. Recharge because next week I have a feeling will be another long week as well. I appreciate it.

When we come back, Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied meeting with Russians before correcting himself. Is he in legal trouble? I'll ask my experts.

[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Welcome back. Before taking off on his Asia trip -- Asia trip today President Trump answered a few questions from reporters, and there's some bad news for Jeff Sessions. The president didn't rule out firing his attorney general.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Well, we're going to Pearl Harbor.

(OFF-MIC)

TRUMP: I don't know. I'm really not involved with the Justice Department. I'd like to let it run itself. But honestly, they should be looking at the democrats. They should be looking at Podesta and all of that dishonesty. They should be looking at a lot of things and a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Let's discuss now. CNN legal analyst, Laura Coates, former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, and John Flannery, former federal prosecutor for the southern district of New York. Welcome to the program. Good evening all.

RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Hi.

LEMON: So, Laura, the president is under the gun when it comes to Russia, and as usual he's trying to deflect. Today refusing to rule out firing his attorney general and pushing the Justice Department to go after his political enemies. Is it just the latest outrageous statement just to meant to distract?

LAURA COATES, LEGAL ANALYST, CNN: I think it's probably a distraction and an intentional trying to distract. But I think it's also confirmation he really fundamentally misunderstands how this whole thing works. The fact that he is not supposed to interfere with the FBI or Justice Department, not because they're trying to inconvenience him, but because it is a matter of policy you want those agencies to be independent.

They are not the marionettes of the president of the United States. They're supposed to make independent decisions based on their prosecutorial discretion not about the vengeance or axis that are grounds by the White House.

LEMON: So, John, former President Obama aide Tommy Beater, if the press uncovered - tweeted this, "That if the press uncovered secret conversations between Trump and DOJ where he pushed the FBI to investigate Hillary, it would be a massive scandal. Watergate level. But when he tweets repeatedly, it gets brushed off." Do you agree? What would be the consequences?

JOHN FLANNERY, FORMER NEW YORK CITY FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, I do agree with that. There's like no boundaries for this fella. And it's like he deflects a punch by talking about what we should be doing about the democrats. He's fixed in the same thing in the election that got him into this trouble.

That is to say that he's looking for stuff against Hillary and he can't get over the fact that the FBI has twice cleared her, and so what does he expect the department to do? But he still talks about it because it's the only thing he can latch on to because he can't talk about anything else. And I think secretly or not, he's prepared to do the most boorish things. I mean, he is the original bull in a China shop, and the China shop is our legal system.

LEMON: Interesting. Renato, Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied meeting with Russians. Before correcting himself, he also said he didn't know of anyone from the campaign who did. This week's revelations contradict that. So is Sessions in any legal trouble here?

RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, I will say...

(CROSSTALK)

FLANNERY: Well, I think he is.

LEMON: That's for Renato.

FLANNERY: Sorry. Pardon me.

MARIOTTI: That's OK. Don, what I would say is Mr. Sessions in his testimony before Congress did an expert job of avoiding answering questions. He tried to when he was giving the answer that you talked about he tried to qualify it later.

I think at one point in the transcript, you know, he did, I think, directly say that you just mentioned. But in many other points he would say, well, when they would ask him, you know, were you aware of meetings with Russian officials, he'd say, well, I was not aware of any meetings involving collusion or inclusion that would affect the election. He was always trying to qualify them.

So, you know, I think that realistically much of what he said sounded evasive but wasn't chargeable. It's possible that there may be a statement or two to Congress that is chargeable as a crime that, you know, as viewers may not know, lying to Congress is a crime. But you have to prove that he knowingly did so.

[22:20:01] So I imagine the defense is going to be from Jeff Sessions and his team is that he didn't remember at the time. You know, he misremembered, et cetera. Those cases can be more challenging to prove than you think, and I certainly do think that the attorney general is doing his very best to expertly avoid, you know, being charged with a crime.

LEMON: So, Laura, should Sessions come back to correct his testimony to Congress?

COATES: Well, I mean, if they'll have him, and I'm sure they'll welcome it. However, it would put him I think into greater legal jeopardy for this reason. You know, selective amnesia really does breed suspicion and increased scrutiny.

I mean, part of the role of the FBI and any investigator worth his or her chaps is to have their spine, you know, their hairs on the back of their neck raised whenever somebody tries to qualify statements and give different caveats and contingencies to try to make their statement make sense.

And I think that's what's going to get him in the most trouble of all is that he continues to try to give different reiterations of what he's originally said. And the problem it behoove him at this point knowing that he is the head of the Justice Department really and the top attorney in the land, although Rosenstein arguably because he's, you know, now he's instead.

But as the top attorney in the land I think earned know better than anyone else that to qualify statements and continue to try to re- explain them would put him in jeopardy and have accusations of perjury be much more supported than they would before.

LEMON: So, John, you want to weigh in?

FLANNERY: Yes. One of the things that's interesting about his lack of memory is that he doesn't remember any meetings and then when he's confronted with the meeting with Papadopoulos, he says he knows specifically what happened at it and he speaks against the trip to Russia.

So the meeting he didn't remember. He now remembers what was said at it and it's an exculpatory statement as we're considering whether or not the campaign is mixing visits and associations with Russians during the campaign. So that's the kind of thing you would look at, this kind of selective

memory that Laura was referencing when you have a person who he remembers no meetings and had nothing to do with the campaign.

Now forced to confront things, he grudgingly admits what he's confronted with and no more. And he now also remembers that he said affirmatively we shouldn't have any trips. And then there are, of course, trips.

LEMON: Yes. Renato, we talked about this a little bit in the last segment. CNN has learned that long-time Donald Trump bodyguard Kurt -- Keith Schiller will be questioned by investigators about the president's trip to Russia in 2013. What kind of questions do you expect investigators will ask him?

MARIOTTI: Wow. Well, whenever you have somebody with that level of access to the president, I would think investigators are going to ask him everything that the president heard, everything the president said, everything that the president reacted to or whatever feelings he had. Really trying to get a complete picture of what -- you know, what the president did, saw, heard and who he interacted when he was in Russia.

I mean, someone like that man is very much like a human recording device to the extent to which he's truthful and forthcoming.

LEMON: John, what did you want to say?

FLANNERY: Well, there's a very interesting way to do that which is -- which follows these categories, which is to take the e-mails that Trump Junior had that he first lied about and to drill down with the correspondents with the person who was with Trump back in 2013 at the beauty contest and with his bodyguard and who is arranging the meeting at Trump Tower during the election to get the dirt from the prosecutor general of Russia by a former prosecutor, Russian prosecutor from Moscow.

That's really pertinent stuff. And he may, quote, not recall anything, but I think his energy will be focused when the FBI is talking to him.

LEMON: Speaking of what they're going to ask him...

(CROSSTALK)

COATES: And you know...

LEMON: Go ahead, Laura.

COATES: And here is why the timing is so important. Remember, 2013 is the time that Donald Trump went to Moscow for that Miss Universe pageant and the bodyguard was accompanying him on that particular trip. But you may think to yourself 2013 predates the presidential election and probably before the president of the United States even declared that he was running for office. So why is that important?

And that's where you have the domino effect of what happened with Mueller's indictments for Manafort and Gates. The idea that during the course of an investigation that was centered around the collusion alleged during the campaign, you have to figure out where the foundation for potential interference would come from.

Was there information in the dossier, was it information that it is gleaned in 2013 that would have compromised now president of the United States in a way that would have made his team more susceptible to being involved in collusion.

So you've got Manafort and Gates' indictments and you've got Mueller's team who really is following their charge of anything that arises out of the course of their investigation, they're following the money and now they're following the passports.

LEMON: Thank you all. Appreciate it.

[22:25:00] When we come back, the president attacking one of his favorite targets. Guess who? Hillary Clinton and Clinton's own party may be giving him the ammo.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The president on his way to Asia trying to deflect this week's revelations on the Russia investigation calling on the Justice Department yet again investigate Hillary Clinton.

I want to bring in now political commentator Keith Boykin, political contributor Ed Martin, political commentator Symone Sanders, the former press secretary for Bernie Sanders, and republican strategist Rick Wilson. Hello, welcome to the show. Let's see.

Rick, I'll start with you. It was just Monday morning that Robert Mueller announced indictments against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, a surprise guilty plea from a former Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, who admitted to lying about having contacts with Russians during the campaign.

Mueller also set to question Trump's former bodyguard, Keith Schiller. Longtime aide Hope Hicks. How bad of a week do you think this was for the president.

RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, here is the thing that I find most amusing is. There are a lot of people on the Trump side of the fence who really thought Hillary Clinton or Podesta were going to be indicted this week.

[22:30:02] And the fact of the matter is Mueller just laid out one card. He's got a whole hand full and frankly has probably got a royal flush in here. And these guys have had a catastrophic week and the ones that don't understand, that are just too dumb to figure it out yet.

This has been extraordinarily bad for this president and the fact that he's going to Asia for a week is a nice escape route for him, but I don't think it stops the grinding process here. And Trump is going to be very nervous, especially about Hope and about Schiller. DON LEMON, HOST, CNN: Ed, I'm looking at you.

ED MARTIN, POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR, CNN: Well, Don, I mean, look, Rick has been locked into a mode for a year and a half. I mean, this is one of the best weeks when they look back on this week, you're going tell -- we're going to talk, Don, about how this is the week the democrats lost the 2018 election. The exposure of the cheating by Hillary Clinton at the DNC makes it clear you can't trust the democrats. And then by the way...

(CROSSTALK)

WILSON: That would be like a farther in a hurricane.

SYMONE SANDERS, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: Look, wait, hold on. Listen.

MARTIN: Listen, let me finish. Listen, let me finish. It's very simple question. Who do you trust, democrats or republicans?

SANDERS: Not Donald Trump.

MARTIN: But wait a second. Wait a second. Don, you asked me a question. This president this week confirmed five judges, conservative right wing judges that Rick Wilson says he likes all these people -- he confirmed five this week. The announcement today was the best jobs report that anybody could see coming. Unemployment is down. You guys are missing a great presidency.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: You're juggling a lot there.

MARTIN: Because you're yelling Russia, Russia, and Russia.

LEMON: Ed, you're juggling a lot.

MARTIN: It's a great week. It's a great week.

SANDERS: God love him.

LEMON: It was about the Russia investigation. But to his point. I mean...

SANDERS: Well, Don.

MARTIN: You asked about the week. It's a great week for Trump.

LEMON: Yes, OK.

MARTIN: It's a great week.

SANDERS: It's not been a great week for Donald Trump. And no amount of spin in the world...

(CROSSTALK) MARTIN: There's no spin.

SANDERS: ... can manufacturer that. I agree that the jobs numbers are -- the job numbers are up, that NASDAQ, the Dow, everything is up.

MARTIN: Five judges.

SANDERS: You know, I'm not here for those right wing judges because I really do care about criminal justice reform. But I will tell you is you can talk about the job numbers, but that builds on the enormous success of the Obama presidency. But you cannot ignore that Donald Trump is having a rough week.

He has no major legislative accomplishments. The republicans are fighting on the Hill about what to do about tax reform. Folks are still talking about repealing and replacing Obamacare. And this White House is yelling, no one has anything to do with collusion or Russia and everybody who has ever been on the Trump payroll it seems like is being paraded in front of the special counsel. So this is definitely a problematic week for this White House.

KEITH BOYKIN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: You know how you know it's a bad week? Donald Trump is on Twitter. He's attacking his own attorney general. He's attacking the Justice Department. He's attacking the FBI.

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: He does that all the time. He does it all the time.

BOYKIN: He's attacking the FBI. He's attacking the U.S. military judge. He's attacking Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama. He recycled the old attack against Pocahontas, Elizabeth Warren.

MARTIN: Right.

BOYKIN: He's on a tirade on Twitter today because he really literally is understanding that his presidency is disintegrating before his own eyes. Bob Corker who has already been a critic on the republican side for the past few weeks came out today and said this is totally inappropriate.

At what point will republicans start to realize that just calling something totally inappropriate, you have to take action. And just one little comment about those jobs numbers, the jobs numbers are actually down from where they were last year. We had more jobs created in the first 10 months of 2016 than in the 2017.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Stay with me, everyone. You'll get your point in the other side. When we come back, Hillary Clinton is putting herself in the spotlight again, but is she playing into Trump's hands, giving him a target?

[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: President Trump is using the person he considers public enemy number one, aka Hillary Clinton to try to steer the American people away from the deepening Russia investigation, but will it work?

Back now with my panel. Symone Sanders, you first. There's been a lot of talk about the revelations in Donna Brazile's book where she writes that the DNC and Clinton campaign had entered into a fund-raising agreement that gave the Clinton campaign a great amount of control over the party because she had locked up the nomination.

But today the MMO obtained by CNN, we learned that the agreement was meant only for the general election, not the primaries, and that both campaigns had signed the same agreements. We discussed that last night, both campaigns had signed the same agreements so what happened here, Symone?

SANDERS: Well, what I'll note both campaigns did sign a joint fund- raising agreement with the Democratic National Committee. The difference between the agreement we signed and the agreement everyone has now seen at this point details some language about staffing, oversight, oversight on fund-raising and some research stuff and all of these things were signed into and codified into, if you will, contract in September of 2015.

So what I'll say on this is, look, whether it was Hillary Clinton, Papa Smurf, Boo-boo the Cat or whatever, that particular agreement with those extra addendums that the DNC entered into was improper.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: So yes or no, was it rigged?

SANDERS: Well, look, somebody had the thumb on the scale, the DNC for Secretary Clinton's campaign, yes. But were the primaries themselves rigged, no.

LEMON: OK.

SANDERS: Because if you know anything about the democratic primary process, that's not how it looks.

LEMON: Rick, I want to hear from you but let me play Elizabeth Warren, because she left no doubt about what she thinks. Let's watch. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE SENATOR, HOST, CNN: Very quickly, senator, do you agree with the notion that it was rigged?

ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: Yes.

TAPPER: All right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Was it -- was it rigged or was it just Hillary being Hillary? Ed?

MARTIN: Look, I think -- you're asking me or Rick? Sorry.

LEMON: Go ahead, Rick. Sorry. Sorry, Rick.

WILSON: Look, this is classic Clinton. She's methodical, she's plodding. She's an apparatchik. And of course they were going to do this. Of course they were going to go and make these arrangements for fund-raising.

Both parties make these arrangements with candidates in the general. Both parties do these kinds of operations. It's not really surprising. I didn't find the Brazile revelations all that shocking or disturbing. It's just sort of like, you know, but obviously these scandals that are building up, they're going to lead to the impeachment of President Clinton anytime now because that's obviously all that Donald Trump can think about is how Hillary is just ruining this country as president.

[22:40:05] LEMON: Rick.

WILSON: It's time for Robert Mueller to really go after the real criminal here which is Hillary Clinton.

LEMON: Rick, two things. I had the same when I heard the thing I was like, didn't we go through this through the campaign because Bernie Sanders and his folks said all the time that it was rigged.

WILSON: Right.

LEMON: And some of this stuff was pointed out. The other thing is apparatchik is one of my favorite words. And you used that. I'm going to send you a bottle of wine. Ed, I want to -- go ahead, Ed.

MARTIN: Hey, Don, I want to say something more broadly. I think maybe Rick will agree with this. Both parties have been what we say as corrupt. I mean, what we've seen is a look under the DNC both with the e-mails and now with this book. Both parties are used as fundraising and really I would call money laundering entities.

I was on the RNC from 2013 to 2015 and I kept saying the same consultants are making millions of dollars to do things like data and media buys and they're putting their thumb on the scale for a system that favored Jeb and Marco. Donald Trump blew that up. It was extraordinary. And Bernie Sanders almost did.

But I think the lesson here is that when the American people, both parties, remember, Sanders got millions of and votes and Trump got millions and millions of votes. They look at the party system and they say they're both corrupt. And the people are right. And I think you're going to see the democrats have to face it sooner, but the Republican Party is not exempt. Trump does not have control of this sort of consulting class that makes money by laundering money through these parties. And it's a huge problem.

LEMON: Clinton kept a very low profile in the immediate aftermath of the election. These days she is much more visible now. Here she is on the Daily Show criticizing President Trump's leadership style. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, of course he can have his own point of view and push his policies. That goes with the job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

CLINTON: But not to continue to divide Americans against each other. So he just doesn't have any empathy, and you can disagree with somebody over all kinds of partisan issues, but you want to have a president who can try to put himself into the shoes, the feelings of somebody else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

CLINTON: And he has not been able to do that.

LEMON: And this question is by no means a criticism. Hillary Clinton is a private citizen. She's an American citizen. She's free to go on TV and speak as much as she wants. But do you think that she is giving President Trump and republicans the ammunition they need to distract to point away from Russia, because the polls will show that people dislike Hillary Clinton, republicans, more than they like Donald Trump.

BOYKIN: Yes.

LEMON: And he knows that.

BOYKIN: Donald Trump is going to attack Hillary Clinton regardless of whether she has a book tour or whether she says something or doesn't say something. Remember when the Harvey Weinstein story broke everybody was saying how come Hillary Clinton didn't speak up in the first 72 hours.

Well, now as soon as Hillary Clinton does say something, well, why is Hillary Clinton speaking. You can't have it both ways. You can't just say that she...

MARTIN: Yes, but...

BOYKIN: Look, the election was 360 days ago, and Donald Trump is still relitigating that election from 2016.

LEMON: My gosh. Has it been that long?

MARTIN: Yes. But it's high humor for Hillary Clinton to talk about people with empathy. If there's one thing the American people know she has no feeling for people...

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: OK. Wait. Hold on. Hold on.

WILSON: Come on. That's ridiculous.

MARTIN: Well, it's totally...

SANDERS: Hold on. This is going to...

MARTIN: That's totally obvious.

SANDERS: Hold on a second. Let me say something.

BOYKIN: She's the one who helped to get the children's health insurance bill...

MARTIN: Give me a break. She's somebody who doesn't have empathy or concern for people.

BOYKIN: Don't just go calling somebody crooked because Donald Trump says it. Use some original...

MARTIN: I'm saying it. I'm saying it.

MARTIN: She's a loser.

SANDERS: I think -- no. No. Wait. This is a personal attack.

WILSON: Both parties -- both parties are making mistakes to make Hillary Clinton.

SANDERS: These are the facts. This is a personal atack.

MARTIN: No, it's not.

SANDERS: The fact of the matter is -- the fact of the matter is...

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: She lost. That's the fact.

SANDERS: The fact of the matter is Hillary Clinton was the first woman -- be quiet. No. No. Hillary Clinton -- the fact of the matter is...

LEMON: All right. Come on.

SANDERS: Hillary Clinton would be the first woman to be the major to beat the candidate for a major presidential party.

MARTIN: Rigged. It was a rigged primary. She rigged it. She cheated.

LEMON: Ed, let her finish.

SANDERS: I'm sorry. I worked there. Are you going to literally sit here and tell me about what I experienced? I'm literally telling you, one, Hillary Clinton has not -- has the right to be in this space. We're not going to tell her to shut up. We're not going to tell Bernie Sanders to shut up.

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: I didn't tell her to shut up.

SANDERS: And two, I too -- it wasn't rigged. The people have their hands and maybe their whole foot on the scale, yes. But knowing that I worked there, our campaign made calculated decisions that resulted in us not being victorious.

LEMON: And Bernie Sanders.

SANDERS: Yes. Bernie Sanders, our campaign. We made calculations decisions that resulted in us not being victorious. Now, were things happening at the DNC that contributed to us not being victorious, yes. But were they the main factor, no. And I do not want to continue to relitigate the 2016 election. But I think it's really important that as we move forward we preserve the integrity of our process and restore the integrity of the Democratic Party.

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: OK.

LEMON: One more question.

WILSON: I agree with Elizabeth Warren.

[22:44:56] LEMON: I've got -- wait, wait. Rick, I have to say it's interesting to hear democrats say, yes, they think that things need to be changed, that their thumb was on the scale but by no means did it cause Bernie Sanders to lose the nomination. You don't hear republicans saying the same thing about the Russia meddling in our election. They just keep saying it's fake. There's a difference there, isn't it?

BOYKIN: Nuance.

WILSON: Well, look, the folks around Trump have built this entire artifice up and their entire argument rests on the dossier is fake, all the investigations are fake. All the intelligence agencies are lying. Russia never did anything. They're perfectly nice people. Vladimir Putin is a swell guy and Donald Trump is the only one telling the truth in this entire process.

And as you can already see, that artifice is falling apart. That artifice is cracking. There is nothing that is going to sustain them through this except, you know, the pretend fantasy bubble, the hermetic bubble around Donald Trump supporters where they think everything -- they're going to find piles of evidence -- Bob Mueller has got a mountain of evidence about Donald Trump and Russia and about the campaign and Russia and about Russia's attempts to manipulate the election.

LEMON: I've got to run.

WILSON: This is not going to go well for them. LEMON: Thank you. When we come back, enough blockbuster news in the

past week to last a month and most of it hasn't been good news for the president. But what do people across the country think? Our radio guys will fill us in next.

[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: President Trump has arrived in Hawaii on his way to Asia for a 12-day-trip with the dark cloud of Russia's election meddling hanging over him.

I want to bring in now two men with the ear of America. John Fredericks, syndicated talk radio host who is the former co-chair of the Trump campaign in Virginia, and Joe Madison, a host on Sirius XM.

Good evening. Welcome to the program. Joe, this has been a whirlwind week for President Trump, the Trump administration. Two former campaign aides have been indicted and another pled guilty to lying to the FBI and e-mails revealed that aide repeatedly tried to set up meetings with Vladimir Putin. Overall would you say this was a good or a bad week for the president?

JOE MADISON, HOST, SIRIUS XM: It's been a bad week. Initially were prepared to say it was mixed because again, he's going to take credit for the job numbers, but before John gets started, let's be honest. He inherited great job numbers that were given to him by President Barack Obama, much better situation than Barack Obama got. So, a good week there.

And if I were in the Trump camp, I would be bragging about that. So we can put that aside. But let me tell you, when you get three people on your campaign, and please, John, do not say that the one young man was nothing more than a coffee boy. Coffee boys do not sit in high level meetings over at least two or three times.

The reality is any administration in their right mind would know that this is serious and more is to come. The other thing that I think and I will conclude by saying this tax proposal that he is presenting to try to sell to the American people around $1100. Gee, just think how much that's going to get you. Well, let's see. That's $3.20 a day.

Now you tell me what most people can do with $3.20 a day and that's on average. So all in all, maybe it's a good thing he's leaving the country.

LEMON: John, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows nearly half of Americans believe President Trump likely committed a crime in connection with Russia's election meddling. The president has been trying to deflect and distract attention. But is he failing to convince Americans. There is no there-there, there is nothing there.

JOHN FREDERICKS, SYNDICATED TALK RADIO HOST: Well, they're watching CNN as you guys blast him 24/7. And that's skewing some of the poll numbers. Let me just start what Joe's $1100 and I'll get to your question. Joe, that is so elitist and so New York and so I'm making $400,000. And so what is $1,000 mean to a family of four? There are so many...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Joe is in Virginia, by the way, in western Virginia, I think, right?

FREDERICKS: So do I. Joe, we have so many working people whether it's Virginia or anywhere. That $100 a month when you are making $60,000 with a family of four, these are working people. That's $1100 a month, Joe, is a car payment. It's football practice. It's baseball shoes.

(CROSSTALK)

MADISON: John, it's all of the above and sometimes they both come at the same time and then these wealthy people can take the elitist view.

(CROSSTALK)

FREDERICKS: Wealthy people...

MADISON: Excuse me. You want to take the elitist view.

FREDERICKS: You want to take the elitist people like $1100 doesn't matter to average working people, Joe.

MADISON: What is elitist is when you give billionaires 400, $500,000. That's the elitist in the group. You are right. It is a payment on a car, it is car phone. And guess what, sometimes they all show up at one month.

FREDERICKS: Joe, the tax plan of Donald Trump has nothing to do with tax breaks for millionaires. Actually taxes for people that make over $1 million are going up pretty significantly and they have that new...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: So, Joe...

FREDERICKS: ... rate in there that takes this into account. This is a tax cut for middle class working Americans...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: So, John Fredericks. John.

FREDERICKS: ... which is the Trump revolution that, Joe, you just refuse to understand.

LEMON: John, please stop. John, please stop. The question was a new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows nearly half of Americans believe President Trump likely committed a crime in connection with the Russia's election meddling. The president has been trying to deflect and distract attention, but I'm wondering if he is failing to convince Americans. There is nothing there. That's the question.

FREDERICKS: The same polls that predicted that Hillary Clinton would win in a landslide are saying this. It's all nonsense. Fake news. Fake polls. There is, Don and Joe. I know you are going to be disappointed. There is nothing...

(CROSSTALK)

[22:55:02] LEMON: I'm not disappointed. I'm just asking you a question. You're answering it.

FREDERICKS: I'm answering. Paul Manafort and Rick Gates are bad guys. They are bad guys. The biggest mistake that Donald Trump made had nothing to do with Russian collusion or breaking the law. It was hiring Paul Manafort.

LEMON: And Papadopoulos?

FREDERICKS: This was a disastrous decision. Papadopoulos is a volunteer. Let me tell you about Papadopoulos. He came into...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: And Flynn?

FREDERICKS: .. one meeting. Nobody ever saw him. You asked me about Papadopoulos. Nobody saw him in Trump Tower. He started with Ben Carson's campaign.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Well, I'm just going through the list of people who have been fired or let go or...

(CROSSTALK)

FREDERICKS: He was at Ben Carson campaign, Don. You got to get your facts check.

LEMON: ... some connections to Russia. OK.

FREDERICKS: You asked me a question and I never get a chance to answer.

LEMON: Well, because, guess what. We are out of time because you go on and you filibuster.

(CROSSTALK)

FREDERICKS: He was with the Ben Carson campaign, they fought down...

LEMON: John, let me tell you. John, let me tell you this. I have -- I have, John, let me tell you this. I have time constraints on the show. You go on and you filibuster and I ask you a question that you don't answer, you answer something else and you complain.

(CROSSTALK)

FREDERICKS: Because you don't want the answer, Don. LEMON: No. Because you don't answer...

FREDERICKS: You just want the narrative. I'm trying to...

LEMON: You don't -- you don't -- John, please let me talk. Can you please me talk? You don't answer a direct question. If I ask you a question if I say hey, John, what color is the sky? You will say, well, the sky, that's not important. Let's talk about the tax cuts.

I didn't ask about you a question about tax cuts. I ask you about a poll. Had you answered the poll question directly, we would have plenty of time for you to finish your answer but you didn't do that. And now I have to go to the break because I have to get to another segment.

Thank you, gentlemen, for coming on. When we come back, breaking news tonight on the Russia investigation. CNN's Jim Sciutto just spoke with Carter Page and he has new information about his meetings with the high level Russian official.

[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)