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CNN TONIGHT

America In The Trump Era; POTUS And RNC Backing Candidate Roy Moore; Trump Accuser In Court; Defamation Case Against President Trump. Aired 11-Midnight ET

Aired December 5, 2017 - 23:00   ET

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


[23:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: Bannon is not just rallying the troops for Moore, an accused child molester, he is launching some incendiary and very personal attack on the GOP establishment. We will have more on that in a moment. Plus, the Trump accuser who wants to take the President to court could he be forced to give a deposition I'm going to ask her attorney, Gloria Allred is going to join us, I want to bring in now CNN Contributor Frank Bruni of the New York Times and McKay Coppins staff writer for the Atlantic. Good evening to all of you. Frank there is so much turmoil in our politics right now it teams like the wheels are constantly coming off the bus, you heard the conversations that we had before. What is going on? What's your take on all this?

FRANK BRUNI, NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED COLUMNIST: I talk to my colleagues about this all the time it is positively exhausting. We have a President who tweets, we have him making decisions, sometimes seemingly to provoke, to turn the page, to crowd the stage with more action. I don't think Americans know how to make sense of it. One of my greatest worries about this president - about his presidency is the provocations, the acts of indecency and acts of bad judgment come at us so quickly that they all blur and none of them really stands out the way that it should and he sort of, kind a flattening Americans. He is numbing them to a point where we really can't see as clearly as we should.

LEMON: Do you think that is strategic or just someone whose mind is so chaotic.

BRUNI: I think it's an organic convergence of both those things.

LEMON: I often feel the same that way you feel. What were we covering last week do you remember.

BRUNI: No. I was with a prominent Republican friend and turned to me and said you realize Pocahontas was just three days ago and we were stunned on how quickly these things are receding to the past and we move on when no one of them should be recede in the past. Because they're not OK. None of it is OK, but because it becomes this blur I think President Trump actually benefits from the offenses he gives from the sheer volume of indecent things he says and tweets and does.

LEMON: It's exhausting. You're right about that. Republican Senator Jeff Flake weigh in today on the Alabama special election and writing check for Democrats Doug Jones with the message on the check was country over Party. The RNC, the capitulation to Moore has to be going for many people and even Republican like Flake and Romney and they are all standing up now.

MCKAY COPPINS, THE ATLANTIC: Yes absolutely, you know it's interesting. I spent time talking to Jeff Flake earlier this year, I profiled him in "the Atlantic" he at the time had not announced he was going to retire, but he was kind of lamenting the state of our politics, state of our political culture raising a lot of the same concerns Frank just raised and at the time he was deciding whether he thought there was still a place for someone like him in the Republican Party. He obviously decided to retire.

I think that is the answer to his question there's not. What's remarkable, you see this wide-spread shift in conservative base especially among religious conservatives. A public religion research institute had a poll last year tracked a remarkable shift among white evangelicals five years earlier widely believed character, personal morality was important, was essential to assessing a public official or politician, five years later in the midst of Donald Trump's campaign the vast majorities has change their minds and now believed that private morality was not important and public official can continue to serve admirably and ethically even if they committed accident morality in their private lives. I think is playing out in Alabama and going to continue seeing that have effects on our culture and politics.

LEMON: What is that called? Plain old hypocrisy or not having any real moral convictions.

COPPINS: I talked to a lot of them and a lot of them recently in my reporting, a lot of them say I think we under estimate just how aggrieved, how victimized a lot of conservative Christians in this country, they feel that the culture is slipping away, polls show that White evangelicals actually believe that Christians are more persecuted in this country that Muslims are. People will say that is delusional, that is ludicrous, but it is how they feel. When you feel that attacked or under threat by the cultural elite you are willing to compromise and frankly they're just looking for body guards people who can protect them.

[23:05:14] LEMON: They might need to get out of their own, seriously, when you feel things like that. I'm not here to coddle anyone that simply is just not true. Because you feel that way does not make it true might the people who feel that way need to get out of their own bubble, stop watching whatever they watch to get there or reading whatever and take a look at the world and nation around them to figure out what they feel is not necessarily the reality.

BRUNI: You said a crucial word which is bubble, we're all living in these bubbles where we curate the information we get and only hear things that we want to hear. We dispute anything that is inconvenient to believe. There's a word that didn't come up in this conversation about Christians conservatives and evangelicals, but has to come up whenever we are talking about them and its abortion. They came to this. Character is not important. That was convenient to believe when they wanted to support Donald Trump. Why did they want to support Donald Trump, one reason, he was promising them. He would be a following abortion and he was promising certain kind of Supreme Court justice and Hillary Clinton wasn't going to give it to them suddenly character didn't matter, because Donald Trump whom they wanted to vote for, didn't have any character.

LEMON: Interesting. Let us dig in a little bit, because the many voters in Alabama, they are rejecting the reporting about Roy Moore and the President in endorsing him saying he denies it, do you think is that a larger strategy when it comes to muddying the water so people don't know what to believe.

COPPINS: No question we seen it since 2015 when Donald Trump launched his campaign that is a core piece of the strategy, a core piece of the strategy by the way also is undermining the non-partisan press. They make it, Trump and his allies make it so the base the conservative base and the Republican Party not only believe that the press is bias, the news outlets are bias but that they are outright fabricating that are part of the globalist conspiracy to disenfranchise them or undermine them and when people believe that it becomes very easy for reality to become relative. Reality is no longer an objective thing. It can be shaped in whatever way is convenient to you.

LEMON: That is doing the ultimate disservice to you. I mean seriously. It is the worst -- I think it's sort of using your worst instincts for a very singular and selfish purpose for your own benefit and you own good.

BRUNI: Your own (inaudible) and (inaudible). There can be no healthy civic life and there can be no common ground if everybody is allowed to pick and choose what they want to believe and you done away with the concept of objective truth which is what Donald Trump is trying to do. When you see 70 percent Republicans in Alabama disbelieving the Washington Post meticulous reporting on Roy Moore when you see Republican Senators going after the joint committee on taxation because they don't like it what it concluded even though it is nonpartisan and they previously praised the joint committee on taxation. You see the extrapolation on the fruits of Donald Trump tactics since the day he stepped on the campaign trail. He is trying to delegitimize institutions to the point where he can dictate his own truth. Where no one is trust worthy other than Donald Trump.

LEMON: Think about that. If you can do that you have no core. The people, whatever your convictions are, the people are respected to the people who said listen there isn't a tax break big enough for me to put up with someone who said he can grab my daughter by the genitals. One has to respect that because money is one thing but teaching your child and having you child living in a world that is a certain way and respects certain boundaries that is another thing you can't put a price on. Maybe you want a tax break. Maybe you want to buy something for your family. Maybe you get fewer Christmas presents. Or you have to spend a little extra for something else rather than compromising morals, it's over money. Disgusting.

BRUNI: You have to have a moral compass.

LEMON: Hang on the most disgusting thing I hear from people that just truly grosses me out and pushes me away when I hear people say, I don't care about anything, politician left or right says, just give me my money. That is the vilest thing that you can say to me. If you don't want me to speak to you again say something like that to me.

BRUNI: And Don, what we need in all leaders and right now especially in a leader, ideally in a President is someone who exhorts to move beyond our self-interest. There's way too much of that. We instead have a President who is the epitome of it. He is using the presidency to promote his brand and enrich his family further and they're doing just fine. That is where we are.

[23:10:18] LEMON: McKay, you got a big piece in the Atlantic and you talk about the aftermath of the "Access Hollywood" tape we just saw, we just played Billy Bush last night. This has on the Trump campaign and the RNC, here is what you raised in, meanwhile a small group of billionaires is trying to put together money for buyout even going so far as to ask a Trump associate, how much money a candidate to require to walk away from the race. According to someone with knowledge of the talks, they were given an answer of $800 million. It is unclear whether Trump was aware of this discussion or whether the offer was actually made, Republican donors and party leaders began buzzing about making Pence the nominee and drafting Condoleezza Rice as his running mate. So I mean, Reince Priebus, McKay told our Dana Bash about this reporting and this 100 percent false. What is your response?

COPPINS: He is free to deny it. I'm very comfortable with my sources. The kind of quizzical thing that Reince Priebus said that I never reach out to him for comment which is just false. I send him two emails and left a message to his office asking for comments and I don't know why he is saying that. The reality is, it's amazing how many time we revisit the "Access Hollywood" tape it was a turning point in our politics, that moment was one of tremendous political upheaval, Republicans were calling on Donald Trump to drop out. Pence actually made clear to the RNC that he was ready to take Trump's place as the nominee and I report that Reince Priebus actually said that Pence and Condoleezza Rice were ready to step in as the new ticket. That obviously didn't happen. It's remarkable to think Trump was able to push past that and just four weeks later to be elected President, I think that says a lot about where we are as a country.

LEMON: McKay, Frank here five nights a week. Love to have you both on. Great conversation and see you soon. When we come back the president once said, there is nobody that has more respect for women than I do. One of the 13 women accusing him with inappropriate sexual misconduct has some serious issues with that now a Judge is set to decide if Donald Trump can be disposed in a her lawsuit. We are going to talk to Gloria Allred who is representing her.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:16:18] LEMON: President Trump facing the possibility that he could be deposed in a defamation case against him, Summer Zervos a former contestant on Trump's show the Apprentice accuses him of sexually assaulting her in 2007. She is one of at least 13 women who had made accusations against Trump ranging from assault, to unwanted kissing and groping. Trump kiss her twice on the lips during a lunch meeting in his New York City's office and separately occasion in Beverley Hills, she alleges he kissed her aggressive and touch her breast. In a statement at the time Trump denied these claims. Zervos file a defamation lawsuit against him following his denials and joining me now is Gloria Allred, who is representing Summer Zervos. Good to have you on. You and New York State Supreme Court today with your client who filed this lawsuit against the President what's the basis of the suit, Gloria?

GLORIA ALLRED, ALLRED, MAROKO AND GOLDBERG: The basis of the suit is we allege that President Trump when he was candidate Trump called her a liar. Now she came forward as you indicated Don, after the Access Hollywood tapes were broadcast and we heard what Donald Trump said on the Billy Bush tapes he alleged he could grab a woman by her genitals, he could kiss her, because after all he was a star. He then denied in the Anderson Cooper debate with Hillary Clinton that in fact he had actually ever done what we heard him say on the tapes. He said it was locker room talk. After that, Summer came forward as did other women and alleged in fact he had commit the sexual misconduct against her. He then took to twitter and also campaign rallies and other places, said all of the women were liars and what they said were fabrications and he would sue them after the election. We called him to retract, he didn't. So we filed this defamation case against him on behalf of Summer Zervos right here in New York Supreme Court.

LEMON: OK. Speaking of what you just said, because either he or his surrogates have denied all of the allegations. Calling them liars. Trying to sue them. That never happens. So what is she and you hoping to achieve from this.

ALLRED: Her reputation matters. Truth matters, accountability matters, so we're pursuing this lawsuit for her because she has in fact been harmed. She is been harmed by threats, by loss of some of her business, emotionally she has been harmed, but again her reputation matters. So we were in court today, President Trump through his lawyers argued that he cannot be sued that he is President of the United States that he has immunity. He can't be sued in state court we of course argued Jones versus Clinton and President Clinton said he was immune from the lawsuit and the United States Supreme Court said no man is above the law including the President of the United States for artificial acts. We allege the defamation which is a torque, we alleged that if we can prove that, that was an act that he committed prior to becoming President and he can be sued for that.

LEMON: So you potentially would have the opportunity to depose the President of the United States.

ALLRED: Yes if we're permitted to proceed with the lawsuit.

LEMON: What would you want to know from him and is anything from his past off limits to you.

ALLRED: Well, of course we would be entitled to engage in discovery. Deposition would be part of that in any normal lawsuit. I would like to say one of the arguments that President Trump's lawyers made today is essentially he is too busy. But we said that we're willing to accommodate the president's schedule. [23:20:13] In other words we understand he is busy, but in the event

for example that we needed to take his deposition we'll be happy to take it at Mar-a-Lago between his rounds of golf, because we want to accommodate his schedule.

LEMON: The state court as you say does not have jurisdiction over the President of the United States basically saying if you are to pursue this and any decisions should be made to be done after he is the President of the United States. When he is done serving. What's your reaction?

ALLRED: Well of course President Trump has indicated that he expects to be President for seven more years. So that would mean if in fact his argument where are to prevail that our case would be stayed for at least seven years. Of course that is something that is the burden of the defendant President Trump to prove why there should be a stay. Of course in that time evidence could be lost. Memories could fade. We think that could prejudice our client. So no, we don't think it should be stayed for seven years for that matter, we don't think it should be stayed at all.

LEMON: So the judges still deciding whether this defamation lawsuit will go forward? How long will it take? What happens next do we know when the Judge could make a decision on this?

ALLRED: I thought the Judge was very, very thoughtful today. She was extremely well prepared. Obviously read the motion to dismiss by President Donald Trump and our position and her reply and the cases which there were many. She had many, many questions for both side. She did indicate that she will e-file her decision. She did not indicate when she would file her decision. But I think it's going to be a very thoughtful one. And we're looking forward to that. We're hopeful that we would be permitted to proceed to litigate our lawsuit and protect our client and her rights.

LEMON: As we know recently from reporting last couple years and even before that this is a President involved in litigation he seems to thrive on litigation, what do you think will differentiate this lawsuit from all the others that he has in the past some may still be open as well.

ALLRED: I understand there were 75 lawsuits this is the only one, Don, on behalf of one of the women who alleged that in fact then- candidate-Trump had committed acts of sexual misconduct against her. We think this is a very important lawsuit. We think that a woman's word matters. That it's of value. And that she has as much rights as anyone else in United States and we're there to vindicate those rights.

LEMON: Gloria Allred thank you so much, always a pleasure.

ALLRED: Thank you.

LEMON: When we come back. Will President Trump actually be depose as Gloria said in the case? Paula Jones versus Bill Clinton could provide a hint. Paula Jones lawyer would joined me next to talk to me about what he thinks.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:27:20] LEMON: A justice New York hearing arguments today on whether defamation law suit against President Trump can move forward. It is brought by Summer Zervos to accused Trump of sexually assaulting her 10 year ago. I want to talk about this. CNN legal analyst Mark Geragos and Joseph Cammarata, who is a lawyer who represented Paula Jones in her lawsuit against Bill Clinton. Gentlemen good evening. Thank you so much for coming on. You heard from Gloria Allred, does Summer Zervos has a case here?

JOSEPH CAMMARATA, REPRESENTED PAULA JONES: Summer Zervos, if she is telling the truth certainly has a case. It is a question of who is telling the truth. She has been called a liar and now she is file a lawsuit to vindicate her good manner and reputation. She is done the right thing and she believes she is telling the truth that is left to be determined by a jury as to which side was actually telling the truth, is it Mr. Trump who says she is a liar this never happened it's politically motivated or was it Summer Zervos who said in fact this sexual abused misconduct actually take place.

LEMON: Well the question is do you think the judge will let it go forward, he still has to decide.

CAMMARATA: I think there is an argument that was left open by the Supreme Court decision in the Paula Jones case that I handled that the Supreme Court did say that the issue of whether or not there would be immunity if this case were brought in state court is left for another day. I don't know why it wasn't brought to federal court to eliminate that risk that Trump may have immunity never the less it's in state court. If you read the Paula Jones decision as a whole, the court was concerned with the interference of the judiciary on the operation of the office of the President and the court found a sensitive judiciary court or Judge acting in its discretion to protect the interest of the President in conducting official conduct can do justice and allow the case to proceed and give both sides opportunity to hear their case in court.

LEMON: So here is what they are saying, the President Trump attorney has argued that President Trump is immune from state court action and that his speech was political, does this have any merit?

MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well look there is an argument that the state court Judge can't enforce something against a federal officer and he clearly is a federal officer. If I go to court in a criminal case for instance and I want to subpoena in an FBI agent in a state-court action I have to go through a process called the three process in order to get the Department of Justice to analyze whether they will comply or they don't have to comply. I got a case right now, where I am trying to get a state court judge's order, ordered by Feds and the Feds take the position routinely important state throughout United States if they don't have to comply. So they got an argument there. The argument about the immunity while he was in office was clearly settled 8-0 in the Jones-Clinton case but I'm not so sure right now because at the time part of the rationale if you read that case it's not going to take up much of his time and we all saw what happened with President Clinton. So I'm not sure the Supreme Court will rule on this and that issue you might now say well that was to quote Scalia, that was then, this is now.

But they clearly have a good argument here. I'm not so sure a Supreme Court Judge is going to want to get into a situation where they order him or the case to go forward that they have no way to enforce it. Not like they can send a Federal Marshall, no federal marshal is going to listen to him, nobody going to go get him, if he doesn't show up for a deposition what is a state court Judge going to do to enforce that order.

JOSEPH CAMMARATA, REPRESENTED PAULA JONES: I think the state court Judge does have the ability to have authority over people appropriately litigants before him or her. You have a President that is not being sued in his official capacity. He was a private citizen who committed a wrong. So the state court would arguably have jurisdiction over Mr. Trump. With respect to the Supreme Court ruling, I hate the state court ruling it was 9-0 don't leave out the extra justice there, but we won 9 to nothing and as a matter of fact said a careful judiciary can oversee a lawsuit.

GERAGOS: Right.

CAMMARATA: And we know a President like anybody else has time.

GERAGOS: The fact remains that that case has been criticized by legal scholars ever since and as you well know cases are reversed all the time depending on the composition.

CAMMARATA: I don't know what court you're talking about.

GERAGOS: With the supremacy clause it's a real problem. You can say state court Judges can sue, he is a federal officer, and they have no way of enforcing it. That is what is called the supremacy as clause so how is a state court Judge going to enforce this.

CAMMARATA: I know, you know, it's funny, but I litigated the case and I don't remember anybody criticizing it.

GERAGOS: And I litigated in front of that same Judge when I was in Arkansas and I joined --

CAMMARATA: Use me a second.

GERAGOS: I don't know why they hadn't gone federally. Suzanne Webber Wright had authority over Bill Clinton. This Judge does not have federal authority. This is a state Supreme Court or trial court Judge. There's no enforcement mechanism.

CAMMARATA: I understand what you're saying, but saying it three times doesn't make it anymore true. So I think the fact

(CROSSTALK)

GERAGOS: You saying you litigated the case doesn't make it true. CAMMARATA: Fact of the matter you say was criticized I never heard

that only person who criticized it was President Clinton because now he had to face justice, put under oath and testify.

DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: You know what we need to here, we need a Judge. I'm going to step in and be a Judge and say it's done. That is the gavel, thank you guys. I appreciate it. When we come back the man who declared open war on the GOP in Alabama tonight campaigning for Roy Moore. More on Steve Bannon full throat offensive for and accused child molester and it is an attack on Mitt Romney's faith. My question is the GOP becoming the Party of Bannon.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:38:23] LEMON: Steve Bannon, President Trump's former top aide, headlining a rally in Alabama for Roy Moore praising the candidate and the president but taking opportunity to slam GOP leaders.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE BANNON, CHIEF STRATEGIST TO THE WHITE HOUSE: Jeff Flake, did he sign a check today $100 to Jones, what, put country ahead of Party? Come on, brother, if you are going to write a check, write a check. Mitch likes to be called leader McConnell in Washington they all call him leader. All of the consultants and all of the, you know, lobbyists, are you kidding me? Judge Moore served his country in one of the toughest wars we've ever had, Vietnam. Mitt, that is honor and integrity, and by the way Mitt, why we're on the subject of Vietnam and honor and integrity, you avoided service brother.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: I want to bring in our CNN political commentators Matt Lewis, Alice Stewart and Kevin Madden. Dems fighting words right there. I feel like considering that soundbite, that just happen I mean, Kevin I got to go to you and you know why, why is that?

KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well I think it is a pretty obvious attack given Steve Bannon referenced Mitt Romney's religion, I was governor Romney's spokesman in 2008 and 2012 campaigns, but to bring religion into it I thought was a pretty obvious attack, but I think it is emblematic of the fact that I think civil war is too strong of a term for the party right now, but there's certainly a split.

[23:40:03] If there was a split inside the Republican Party a generic Republican would win that race against the Democrat by 20 points and instead by all accounts down there it's neck in neck. We do have a nationalist, populist base right now that Steve Bannon recognizes and understands and stokes in order to drive some level of divisiveness inside the party and the question is whether that serves the long-term goals of the Party. Because all of the attacks on Mitch McConnell and President Trump they need a really strong working relationship if they are going to achieve some of their goals whether it is tax reform or conservative judiciary. So it just feels like a short-term game for a lot of the fodder for Steve Bannon but there's a long-term loss for the Party overall.

LEMON: It's like the proxy Alice for the President, because Steve Bannon has taken aim at Mitch McConnell as well and Romney continues to be a proxy war between Bannon and the establishment.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure that was the game he played throughout the general election was draining the swamp doing away with Washington and business as usually and it was very successful. It's another powerful tactic that Bannon has been able to use for President Trump and he is using it successfully with Moore is putting the power back in the people's hand and he said several times tonight, don't let Washington tell you how to vote. Don't let them take your vote away. Don't let fake news. Don't let the Republican establishment tell you how to vote. This is your vote you should do this how you see fit. The successful thing with that is he managed to make it us against them and not about this allegations of sexual harassment and I think that was the key to success for Roy Moore given he is doing well in the polls. But to Kevin's point long-term impact of the Party, I think the fact we're supporting Bannon and the President and the RNC supporting someone with these allegations is harmful, I think it is important put principle and character and integrity far above any political outcome in this case and I think continuing just puts some of this cloud over them, I think this is a long-term black cloud over the Party.

LEMON: Matt, it's not just Steve Bannon endorsing Moore the President and his endorsement in the last 24 hours has given Republican national committee and other Republicans cover to follow suit. Senator Orin Hatch says the President Trump didn't have any choice, because Moore is the only Republican you can possibly get down there at this time. What does this say about the GOP?

MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, it's a sorry state right now. And I think that this is a surrogate battle I guess right now between Romney and Roy Moore but it is really about Donald Trump and the direction that Donald Trump has taken. The Republican Party and the conservative met, it's a real danger you're rebranding the Party of Abraham Lincoln.

LEMON: You think it is a mistake, but are you not surprised the RNC is not embracing Moore?

LEWIS: No I think the RNC is a political operation and it's perfectly natural that they would be essentially the arm of the Republican President. So I think what they're doing is calculating maybe political but it's not surprising they are doing what the Republican standard bearer, the Republican President wants them to do.

LEMON: Do you think this is an extraordinary circumstance?

LEWIS: I do. But I'm still not surprised. To me the mistake was made when the Republican Party nominated Donald Trump. What we're seeing happen right now is pretty much an exorable response to that decision that was made over a year ago.

LEMON: Kevin, public rights -- the GOP is a broken Party, adding that Trump is the largest and most obnoxious symbol of that, but GOP supported Moore shows this is not about individual awful men, it is about a toxic institution that has proven itself beyond redemption again. That is a quote there, not my words. How can Republicans turn this around? Is that even possible? Do you agree with that?

MADDEN: It's a very tough assessment, and it's one many Republicans are going through the process of discussing. I was at an event years ago and a question was who represents the heart and soul of the Party. The answer I think most telling was parties don't have hearts and souls. Parties are organizations and fundamentally organizations around ideas and what has happened we are talking about Roy Moore versus Steve Bannon and Mitt Romney, we're talking about individuals, sort of personalities.

[23:45:16] I think the Party will flourish again and it should flourish again when it becomes a party that is organized around defense of principles and ideas that matter and have an impact on voters. The longer we start arguing about or litigating this through the cult of personalities and I think that is part of what happens when you have a reality TV President, who is head of the Party we end up with debate that is are vacuous and lacking substance. It is about personalities. It has to get back to about ideas and issues.

LEMON: I don't have time Alice, I'm so sorry. Thank you very much. When we come back, one of my next gust calls for Republican tax plan debt to Democrats, the other is the (inaudible) historian who warns the policy, it looks like the policies that led to the great depression. The vast majority of Americans seem to plan is set up to benefit wealthy people. We are going to break it all down for you. That is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:50:00] LEMON: New polls showing Americans do not like the GOP tax plan that is making its way through congress at lightning speed. Only 29 percent approve. But is a plan designed to penalize Democrats in blue states across the country? Let's discuss now. CNN senior economic Stephen Moore, he is a former senior economic adviser to the Trump campaign and historian Robert McElvaine the author of the great depression in America 1929 to 1941. Looking forward to this conversation all the evening. So let's discuss gentlemen. Steve, you first. You were quoted in a Bloomberg article describing the Republican tax plan as death to Democrats. Why make policy this way, and is this political pay back?

STEPHEN MOORE, SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST, CNN: Well, just one thing on the polling. You're right that the poll does show a majority of people don't favor the Republican bill, but it's also true. You know, one of the most important polling results is by over a 2-1 majority Americans think a tax cut would be good for the economy. I happen to agree with that. I think when they get this Republican bill passed I think it will pass next week.

LEMON: A tax cut or this one?

MOORE: This one will pass. LEMON: No, no. A cut is good for the economy or this tax cut because

you said a.

MOORE: No, will a tax cut be good for the economy is the question. I think the reason people are reacting negatively to this because a lot of Americans are just against anything Trump is for. But to your question, Don, about blue states being impacted, it is true. There's no question about it. By getting rid of the local and state tax deduction people in New York, California, Illinois, in New Jersey, Connecticut, will be relatively negatively affected by that because their taxes are much, much higher than states like Texas and Florida. And the other point I was making --

LEMON: Are you OK with that? Are you saying this is good because...

MOORE: By the way, the reason I'm for that, Don, is because I don't think it's fair for people in red states to pay for higher taxes, to pay for bloated services than in blue states. I mean California and Newark, they have twice as much government services in terms of the cost of services than a state like New Hampshire. So why should New Hampshire people pay higher taxes to pay for services in New York and California. Especially when their services are much better than those in New Hampshire?

LEMON: Robert, I am going to let you, you want to respond to that, and then I'll talk about what you said in the "the Washington Post." go on.

ROBERT MCELVAINE, HISTORIAN: We'll get throughout the comparison, but this idea that people in New York and California are somehow getting benefits illegitimately is just ridiculous. Those states that have it high taxes, one of the reasons they have to pay for services, is they send more revenue to Washington than they get back. They are supporting the rest of the country with those. But beyond that, I mean this whole idea of attacking Democrats and not just through doing the removal of the deductibility of the state and local taxes, but also they're taking out things like universities and their endowments, taxing the grants that are given to graduates students. These are people I guess they don't like. I don't think tax policy should be made on that basis. But I hope in a moment we'll get to talk more about --

LEMON: Let me talk about this. Yeah, let's talk about what you write. You wrote this piece for "the Washington Post." You're issuing a warning about the bill, and you write in 1932 in the depths of the great depression Franken Roosevelt called for bold persist experimentation. And said it is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails admit it frankly and try another, but above all, try something the contrasting position of Republican then and now is take the method and try it if it fails, deny its failure and try it again and again and again. Talk to us about.

MCELVAINE: At least for over a century, he said there are two contrasting views of how government and the economy should work. One is that you should make the people at the top richer and richer, and their prosperity will leak through on those below. Brian said correctly the Democratic idea is the other way around. And all those dependent on those will rise with them. And that is been the distinction ever since. He was talking about leaking through. That is the sort of this term we now use of trickledown economics. Which we've had a couple of Trump advisers come out and say recently yes, I believe in trickledown economics. Well, trickledown economics has never worked. And in the 1920s, is a perfect example of that.

[23:55:07] The idea in the 1920s is the least government you can possibly have, the least regulation you can have, massive tax cuts. There were three different tax cuts in the 1920s. Republicans were in charge of the government entirely during that decade as they are at the moment, and they were able to do whatever they wanted. And what they want was mainly being pushed by the secretary of the treasury, Andrew Melon was one of the richest people in the world and most important the revenue act of 1920.

LEMON: I've got to get Steven. Robert -- Robert, stop.

MCELVAINE: Said at the time this bill would get more tax benefits to Mr. Melon himself and aggravate of almost all the people in the state.

LEMON: Robert, Here is the thing, Robert. I've got to go. Thank you all. Maybe he can't hear us. All right, guys. That is it for us tonight. Bye.