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Trump Orders Pentagon To Plan A Military Parade; Space X Launches the Worlds Powerful Rocket; Philadelphia Eagles Torrey Smith On Why He Won't Visit The White House. Aired 11-Midnight ET
Aired February 6, 2018 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[23:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: ...to be respectful of each other. That is it. Thank you, I appreciate it, see you next time when we come back an Eagles player who won't go to the White House to celebrate. We'll talk about that coming up? Are we going to break? We're not going to break. All right. Ok. So we start at the top of the hour. This is CNN tonight. I am Don Lemon. Thank you for joining us. It is 11:00 p.m. here on the east coast. We are live with new developments and we have some breaking news as well. The President wants a parade. Though congress can barely agree to fund the federal government. President Trump is pushing the Pentagon for a military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. He reportedly wants to top the one he saw in France hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron. Pentagon official confirming potential dates of being look at. The White House saying the parade would be a way to celebrate America service men and women or is it about celebrating the President?
Also President Trump top aides saying the President was clearly joking when calling Democrats quote treasonous. One Democrat hitting back. Reminding the President we don't live in a dictatorship. The Congressman Hakeem Jeffries joins me tonight.
And we are going to take a look at today's flawless and fascinating liftoff of Space-X's falcon heavy, the world's most powerful rocket. It was fascinating to watch that today. It was a victory. The City of brotherly love waited decades for the Philadelphia Eagles defeat the New England Patriots on Sunday night in a game many saying is the most entertaining super bowl ever, despite a warm message of congratulations from President Trump. Some members of the Eagles are saying they are passing on visiting the President joining me now it is Torrey Smith the wide receiver for the world champion Philadelphia Eagles who is declining the White House visit. Torrey so good to have you on. How you doing?
TORREY SMITH, WIDE RECEIVER, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Doing good. How about yourself.
LEMON: I am doing great as a former citizen, resident of Philadelphia, I'm extremely excited for you. And I'm happy. Congratulations on the big super bowl win.
SMITH: Thank you.
SMITH: Thank you.
LEMON: Listen you are underdog Eagles had us all on the edge of the seat Sunday night. What have the last couple days been like for you?
SMITH: It's been crazy. For me the journey of the team has been special all year long. And knowing what the win means for the City, not only the reaction there but come back and see the fans. You hear people saying they've been waiting their entire lives for this. It's unreal. I can't wait for the parade. It's something that I'm sure it would be like nothing we have seen before.
LEMON: You won't be visiting. You said that, the President, at the White House. Why not.
SMITH: For me it's not just about politics. You know, if I told you that I was invited to a Party by an individual that I believe is sexist or has no respect for women, or told that you this individual has said offensive things towards many minority groups and I don't feel comfortable by it and this individual also called my peers and my friends sobs, you would understand why I wouldn't want to go to that Party. Why is it any different when he has the title of President of the United States? It's that simple. I don't think it's something that I personally feel inclined to be involved with. And just my personal opinion.
LEMON: Playing devil's advocate here, those people would say that you should respect the office and go because you respect the office even if you don't respect the person. What do you say?
SMITH: To me I respect the office, but I feel like often times we put athletes -- we hold athletes and entertainers to higher standards than we hold the President of the United States.
SMITH: For me it's about doing the right thing. It's not about choosing sides or anything. It's simply about right and wrong. And there is -- there isn't too many things I agree with -- that he is doing just simply as a good man.
LEMON: Well said. Thank you for that. Listen your teammates McCormack, Chris Long also said they're not going to the White House. Have other teammates told you they won't be going as well? Is this something you guys discuss in the locker room or when you have time together at practices and such?
SMITH: Yes, I mean there are plenty of guys who said they -- you know they do not plan on going. Honestly I don't think it's fair to place that on everyone, because like you said it is an honor. You dream of playing this game and winning in game. And going to the White House should be viewed as an honor and privilege. Like we have all seen it on TV wanted to be involved with it. I've been there when President Obama was there when I won in 2012 with the Baltimore ravens. It was a great experience. But regardless how people may feel about President Obama, you can't say President Obama was a bad person.
[23:05:00] You can say you may not agree with policies, may not agree with some decisions that he made, but you can't say as a man he is a bad person. That to me is what it's all about. I have two young boys are going to look back on this time period and wonder what I did to help. I take pride on trying to live the right way and try to make the right decisions and try to help our community. Bring people together and help uplift people. And that is how a lot of my peers are as well. Especially with the player coalition that we formed. We're about doing right thing, giving back. I want to make sure when my boys read up about their dad they know their dad did everything he could to be the best man he can be.
LEMON: Torrey, I want to ask you about the NFL season and this whole anthem thing. But the protests took place during the anthem were reframed as a sign of disrespect to the military or the flag. As someone with a father from the military, what was your response when you heard that argument?
SMITH: yes I talked to my father about it. I was in San Francisco with Colin Kaepernick when he took a knee and I asked my dad how he felt. And he was like, I don't care. He fought for the right for people to protest. He also thought about the KKK protesting in Charlottesville not long ago. He fought for the right for them to do that too. They have the rights and freedoms as everyone else. He didn't view it as disrespectful, because at the end of the day when he is not in his uniform. He is a black man in America and he understands a lot of issue that is Colin Kaepernick dealt for and a lot of guys in the league are fighting for. It's real life. I'm glad that it's brought to the forefront. Honestly our president has helped lead the charge with some of the decisions that he made specifically with the way he handled the Charlottesville situation in my home state.
LEMON: You think that it will -- in some odd way help people because we will learn more about it and discuss it more and something may be done despite the way he characterizes it.
SMITH: Yeah, I think it's all about just dialogue. You know, I'm not saying I'm perfect or I have all the answers. But I'm willing to have an open mind.
I understand what it's like to come from the bottom, to -- I know what it's like to be discriminated against. I know what it's like to be racially profiled by the police. I know what that is like, so it's real. I'm telling you it's real from experiences. And so I just want to be able to talk to people and let them see through me that you know I'm not choosing sides. I love the police. I love the military. I think they are some of the biggest heroes out here. I think it's our responsibility to highlight them, but also think it's important for everyone to be policed equally and fairly. And I also think it's important for our education system to be equal as well. Because, I mean, it's just not fair.
LEMON: So you stood on Sunday night, right.
LEMON: Why -- and have you ever taken a knee?
SMITH: No. I never took a knee.
LEMON: Why do you stand?
SMITH: I talked about it -- well for me, the anthem honestly, I mean it might sound bad. But I think it's something that you do during games. I don't feel any deep connection to it. I feel a deeper connection when I have a conversation with a soldier. When I have you know friends who fought in Iraq, friends who are currently serving, friends who are -- have received purple hearts who I understand they're real men, real heroes to me. That makes more of an impact than an anthem where -- I watch people walking up and down the stands eating popcorn.
LEMON: Having a beer.
SMITH: That is disrespectful it to me. You know what I mean so, to me it's not -- it's not an anthem protest. Protesting the anthem means walking out during the anthem. It was a protest during the anthem that was silent and looking back as a person who asked cap why don't you think about another way to protest, because some people will twist your message and they will be so blinded by the fact that they're disrespecting they think you're disrespecting the country they're not listening to what you say. But I learned he was genius about it, because people talked about it in a way we never heard. And he never hurt anyone by doing it. I have a lot of respect for him, Colin Kaepernick is a person that history is going to look back on like he is a legend. He is a legend to me. And you know I have his back every day of the week.
LEMON: Listen, I think that history will be kind to him as we move past this. And I also think that you're a great representative for the NFL. And I thank you for your time and please come back. I would love to meet with you either in Philadelphia or here and sit down and talk more about this and how to help everyone. I appreciate it Torrey. Congratulations.
[23:10:00] SMITH: Thank you. Appreciate it, man. And also praying for you and your family. I know what it's like to lose a sibling. I know it's not the easiest thing in the world, but I just pray for your family I just want to let you know you are in our heart.
LEMON: Thank you. God bless you. I will see you soon. Back to the word that the President wants a military parade in Washington. I want in bring in now CNN Contributor Frank Bruni and op-ed columnist for "The New York Times." Frank thank you so much, thanks for staying up late, good to see you. President Trump has told top military brass he wants a military parade in Washington, first supported by the "Washington Post." The demand was inspired by the Bastille Day parade. He says I want a parade like the one in France. What do you think, Frank.
FRANK BRUNI, NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED COLUMNIST: Well, it's not exactly the kind of parade the way it's talked about with military artillery that kind of thing. It's not the parade we're used to. With President Trump you always question the motives. So much of what he does seems to be in the service of the cult of leadership, to kind of bolster this sense of himself as a strongman. I just think it's odd. And it's oddly self-aggrandizing in this case.
LEMON: The press secretary Sara Sanders issued a statement tonight. Here is what the statement says. President Trump is incredibly supportive of America's great service members who risk their lives every day to keep our country safe. He asked the department of defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation. Is this about the military or the President's desire for circumstance and appreciation?
BRUNI: To me it seems more like the latter. It's impossible to know. There are a lot of ways to show appreciation for the military. Shy of spending millions and millions of dollars to have tanks roll in front of you while you stand there beaming. In just feels odd to me. And I don't trust the motives are about us. I think they're about President Trump.
LEMON: Yes. So, listen I want to ask you that this was -- this was a "Washington Post" reports a possible date for the parade. They discussed Memorial Day on May 28th and July 4th. But the Pentagon prefers Veterans Day on November 11th. In part because it coincides with the 100 anniversary of victorious end of World War I and therefore be less associated with the President and politics. And that is what everyone is hoping said the official. But it sounds like from that that some military officials are wary of mixing this parade with politics.
LEMON: Are they in a position to say no? He is a commander in chief. My other thing is there are already parades on those days.
LEMON: That celebrate the same thing.
BRUNI: This is the story of the Trump administration. He has an impulse and wants to do something with not necessarily the optics that benefit him. And people around him say let's tweak it this way, let us bring you in. And I think that is what the data is partly about.
It's impossible Don, not to see this in the context of so much else, not to see him in a context of him calling Democrats on his hands during the state of the union, un-American or treasonous or not to say this in a context of that crazy cabinet meeting which I am sure you remember where they had to go around the table and talk about how wonderfully and nobbling it was to be in the service of Donald Trump. When you put all those things together and you and why does he want this military parade? It's impossible not to conclude it's about the deification of Donald Trump.
LEMON: So speaking of patriotism President Trump called Democrats as you said who didn't applaud, he said that they were un-American and treasonous. I want to play since you brought it up Senator Jeff Flake responding to those comments. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN JEFF FLAKE, (R) ARIZONA: I have seen the President's most defenders use the now weary arguments that the President's comments were meant as a joke. Just sarcasm, only tongue in cheek. But treason is not a punch line, Mr. President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Sara Sanders address Senator's comment at the press briefing today, watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I don't care what Senator Flake has to say. I don't think his constituents do either and that is why his numbers are in the tank. The President was clearly joking with comments. But what isn't a joke that Democrats refuse to celebrate the accomplishments of last year that has helped all Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: It is obvious that Mr. Flake doesn't care what the White House things, because he is speaking out today and doesn't matter about his numbers, because he is not running again. What do you make of this?
BRUNI: This notion -- she is parroting the President the notion that if your numbers are bad, you message doesn't need to be heard. These equation of viewership with the content of what you have to say that is something the President does it all the time except when skating over bad approval numbers. It is just ridiculous. I'm just troubled because we should hear more Republican lawmakers saying the kind of thing that Senator Flake did.
[23:15:03] You know we heard him say it, we heard some very eloquent retorts to the President's treason comments from Hakeem Jeffries. But on the Republican side of the aisle you hear way too little and everybody keep talking about Trump being Trump. But Trump continues to be Trump in a way that really diminishes the office. He is supposed to setting an example for us. As your last guess said the President should be held to a higher standard not to a lower standard. But that is not happening in this administration. And the way Trump uses language, the way he uses name calling instead of engaging the substance or criticism of his critics that is really a low standard.
LEMON: Wasn't it amazing watching Torrey. Those are the people he is calling sons of bitches, that an incredibly kind, smart, thoughtful young people and there are many in the NFL. But I just thought it was -- it was like I hope the President is watching this. These are the people he is calling sons of bitches.
BRUNI: It is really sad. This is a football player, I agree with you, I was very fascinated to hear what he had to say, and I thought everything he said was on point and even inspiring. He doesn't feel the man in the oval office is someone he can go visit without compromising his own values. I completely understand it. But that is -- that is a really sad commentary where we are as a country right now.
LEMON: Frank Bruni thank you so much. Appreciate your time.
BRUNI: Thank you.
LEMON: Just ahead more on the White House insisting that President Trump was joking when he called Democrats treasonous. One Congressman fighting back today on the house floor. He joins me next.
[23:20:05] LEMON: The White House Press Secretary Sara Sanders insisting that President Trump was joking when he criticized Democrats for not applauding him during the state of the union.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They would rather see Trump do badly, ok, than our country do well. That is what it means. It's very selfish. Even on positive news, really positive news like that, they were, like, deaf. And un-American. Un-American. Somebody said treasonous. I mean, yeah, I guess, why not.
HUCKABEE SANDERS: The President was clearly joking with his comments. But what isn't a joke is that Democrats refused to celebrate the accomplishments of last year that has helped all Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well the President has a habit of making questionable statements that he and his aide's then have to walk back or clarify.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters.
You don't think I was joking. You know I was joking. Of course I was joking.
Russia, if you're listening I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.
And I obviously was being sarcastic. In fact the people in the room were laughing.
Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the second amendment. By the way and if she gets to pick -- if she gets to pick her Judges, nothing you can do, folks. After the second amendment people maybe there, I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard about this second amendment quote. It sounds like a joke going bad.
TRUMP: When you see the thugs thrown in the back of the paddy wagon. You just see them thrown in rough. I said please don't be too nice.
HUCKABEE SANDERS: He was simply making a comment, making a joke and nothing more than that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: It's a lot of jokes, right. Both Democrats and Republicans chastising the President for labeling Democrats treasonous. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries taking to the House floor to call out the President. Congressman Jeffries is a New York Democrat, he joins me now. Thank you so much. A trip down memory lane. A lot of these are it's just a joke. Do you see all of these as jokes?
HAKEEM JEFFRIES, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Not at all and the President continuing to be irresponsible, totally out of control. And it gets worse day by day. Now treason is a serious crime. It's in the constitution. It's punishable by death, not a joking matter for anyone to accuse a fellow American of treason let alone the President of the United States. It's really a sad day in America that those words would come out of his mouth.
LEMON: Listen, we showed, you know, the times that he made questionable statements or jokes and then Republicans made excuses for him. That was just a couple of them. Do you think that they're allowing this President, giving him cover to make offensive statements and not standing up for it?
JEFFRIES: Absolutely. It's very unfortunate. House Republicans in particular continue to provide aid and comfort to this President in a manner that is wholly irresponsible and inconsistent with the constitutional responsibility. We are a separate and coequal branch of government. We don't work for the President of the United States. We work for the people of this great country. It's really time for house Republicans to step up consistent with constitutional responsibilities and be a check and balance. Otherwise history will Judge them harshly as so folks who enabled the destruction of our Democratic values and institutions.
LEMON: Well it showed you on the house floor I didn't play it. I want to play you hold ago sign that said treason. You made a powerful speech. Let's listen to part of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFFRIES: How dare you lecture us about treason? This is not a dictatorship. It's a democracy. And we do not have to stand for a reality show host masquerading as President of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So what the President was calling treasonous, you displayed your rights as members of the congress as Americans as member of the congressional black caucus not to clap during the state of the union specifically when he was touting black unemployment rates which weren't accurate, because it started under President Obama. Why didn't you clap?
JEFFRIES: Well does anyone in America really think that Donald Trump cares about black unemployment with all that he has done to disparage African-Americans, including his five-year attack on the first black President of the United States of America? And as you rightly point out, the declining African-American unemployment rates started under Barack Obama's presidency and the trend line simply continued. Still in all, black unemployment is twice the rate of white unemployment in America and is nothing to celebrate. There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done. But the President clearly doesn't understand that. And the reason why I believe many members of the congressional black caucus sat in stone cold silence is because this President has no authenticity or credibility on this issue and many, many others.
[23:25:20] LEMON: I want to talk to you about this Russia investigation, because you mentioned that. The former Vice President Joe Biden spoke with our very own Chris Cuomo today. Biden said he would tell President Trump not to sit down with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Here is why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The President has some difficulty with precision.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN TONIGHT NEWS GUEST HOST: That is one of the most subtle things I've ever heard you say, Jody Biden.
BIDEN: And one of the things that I would worry about if I were his lawyer is him saying something that was simply not true without him even planning to be -- to be disingenuous.
CUOMO: You think he has that little control over whether he tells the truth or not.
BIDEN: I just -- I just marvel at some of the things he says and does, like what, two days ago, anybody who didn't stand up and clap for him was un-American and maybe even treasonous.
CUOMO: They say it was trunk in cheek. Democrats can't take a joke.
BIDEN: Well, let me tell you, he is a joke.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: That was pretty bold. And some would say really extremely accurate. I want to know what you think of the comments. And another question, do you think Joe Biden is the man who can go up against Donald Trump in the next election, because he doesn't seem to be afraid to take him at all.
JEFFRIES: I think Joe Biden would be a formidable candidate. But I do think it would be premature for us to draw conclusions as to who is the best Democrat to take on Donald Trump. We are in the midst of trying to make sure that we could take back the house and senate so that congress can be the constitutional duty being a check and balance.
LEMON: What do you think of what he said there that he is a joke?
JEFFRIES: He is a joke. He is also a long national nightmare that hopefully at some point would be over. And you know we shall be focusing on trying to deliver a better jobs, better way and future for the American people. But Donald Trump continues to deliver nothing but chaos crisis and confusion. At what point will a significant number of the American people get tired of the masquerade that continues to emanate from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to the determent of focusing on issues design to improve the livelihood of everyday American.
LEMON: I think people around the country will thank you for talking about treason, giving the definition. Dissent is a bedrock of America and how we got here. We got to America from being dissenters. It was founded on being dissenters here in America. It's not treason. It's a right as an American to do that. Thank you, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. I appreciate it.
JEFFRIES: Thank you so much, Don.
LEMON: Ahead, the White House chief of staff doubling down tonight on comments he made about some immigrants who didn't apply for DACA protection calling them too lazy to get off their asses. We'll talk about that next.
[23:32:00] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: The White House chief of staff John Kelly doubling down tonight on comments he made about immigrants who did not apply for DACA protections. Let's discuss now with journalist Maria Elena Salinas. A former Univision anchor who is the host and executive producer of the real story. Good to have you back. Thank you so much. You doing ok?
MARIA ELENA SALINAS, JOURNALIST: It's always my pleasure to join you, yes.
LEMON: Let's talk about the chief of staff, John Kelly's comments on DACA. Here he is. And then we'll talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KELLY, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: There are 690,000 official DACA registrants. And the President sent over what amounts to be two and a half times that number to 1.8 million. The difference between 690 and 1.8 million were the people would say were too afraid to sign up, others say too lazy to get off their asses but didn't sign up.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: So John Kelly doubled down later in the day with different
language saying the undocumented immigrants who were eligible for DACA quote needed to get off the couch. Is this about laziness? What is this about Maria?
SALINAS: No, that is crazy. I think it was disappointing and surprising, not the kind of language we do -- we do hear that language out of the White House, but not from John Kelly. We all thought that he was the voice of reason in the White House, the adult in the room. So it really was surprising to hear it from him. And there is so many things that are wrong with that. Are they afraid? Of course they are. That is probably the only accurate thing he said. They're afraid because they don't trust immigration authorities. They simply don't trust them. They know that they go after everyone to arrest them as we have seen. They have arrested people when they drop off kids in school. They arrest people when they go to immigration offices or to courthouses to comply with the rules. They arrest people when they happen to be at the wrong place or wrong time even if they're not the target, called the collateral damage. It's difficult for them to trust the administration and to trust the authorities. Now, to call them lazy, that they can't get off their ass is an insult to them, it is an insult to the young people who really go out of their way, above and beyond to be model citizens. Many of them are super achievers when it comes to school and academic achievements. Many of them are first generation graduates who are working hard to make sure they help their families get out of the cycle of poverty. Many of them participate in the military. To say they are lazy when they get up and risk really being arrested in protest and peaceful marches in order to demand rights it's just simply wrong.
LEMON: Maria when President Trump ended the DACA policy he created -- it was a March 5th deadline. Though it's a little more complicated, because there is no date when the protections will actually run out. Do you think there is going to be a viable deal by next month?
[23:35:06] SALINAS: Well, if there was going to be a deal then Trump is not helping in any way. For decades now Republicans and Democrats have been trying to reach some kind of an agreement on immigration reform. And they haven't been able to which is probably the reason by President Obama decided by executive order to provide DACA for these young people. And maybe more than ever in the last few months it seems like there would be some kind of agreement. But with this kind of rhetoric coming out of the White House, I think -- it doesn't help. Let's remember that time that President Trump was sitting in the White House with a room full of Republicans and Democrats where he said that he would sign any bill that came to his desk, even if he didn't like it, because he trusted them. He wanted a bill of love for these dreamers. What happened to that? That is not a misrepresentation of his words by the media like he usually says. Those are his words. They are on tape. There were cameras there. So what happened? What happened to that Trump that wanted a bill of love? It seems like maybe Steven Miller was standing outside the room and reminded him that he needed to retract himself.
LEMON: I've been wanting to ask you about this. The conflation between these two things. It seems every time the President talk about immigration he brings up MS-13. Why does he tie dreamers and immigration reform to a violent gang that no one disagrees should be stopped?
SALINAS: Well because probably these that is the only way he can convince people it is needed. Because I don't believe too many people believe that it's needed. A wall that is a waste of time and money. Anyone who wants to cross the border will cross here in the sections and mountains where they won't have a wall or swim where there won't be a wall. They will come by boat, come by plane and overstay the visa. It's not going to do any good or help. And really it's a misrepresentation of the truth, as you say. There is nothing wrong with cracking down on MS-13. And they should crack down on them. But when you talk about crime in the U.S., immigrants really have a minor role in crime, only a very small fraction of immigrants commit crimes. Research shows in areas where immigrants grow in numbers, crime decreases. When you look at the crime rate, the last report that I saw from the FBI, 1.2 million crimes in a year. How many of those are committed by immigrants? 50? 100, 200 out of 11 million immigrants. You know what 71 percent of those are by firearms. If he wants to keep the country safe, why isn't he keeping the country safe from white men who commits massacres with guns or kids who get their guns from parents and shoot up their schools? Whenever that happens, all we talk about is mental health.
SALINAS: It's just not fair to do that.
LEMON: Maria Elena Salinas, thank you so much. The host and executive producer of "The real story on investigation discovery." we appreciate your time.
SALINAS: Thank you, Don it's always a pleasure.
LEMON: When we come back former FBI Director James Comey was eight months into investigating the Trump campaign ties to Russia when the president fired him. So why are some Democrats blaming him for making Trump President in the first place? We'll break it down. The facts for you next.
[23:41:23] LEMON: A report tonight that President Trump is considering a staff shake-up in terms of his administration's response to the Russia investigation. Let's bring in Lanny Davis, a former White House counsel, special counsel for President Clinton and the author of "The unmaking of the President 2016" how FBI Director James Comey cost Hillary Clinton the presidency and CNN political commentator also with us, Jason Miller a former communications adviser for the Trump campaign. Congratulations on the book by the way.
LANNY DAVIS, FORMER PRES. CLINTON SPECIAL COUNSEL: Thank you.
LEMON: Thank you for coming on. Jason I have to ask you. I'm starting with you. And in a "Vanity Fair" article that was published today, the author is Gabe Sherman reports that Trump is looking for someone new to steer the White House response to the Mueller investigation. And here is part of what Sherman writes. He says "The President's top choice for strategist position is Jason Miller who served as communication Director for President Trump's Presidential campaign. He wants a killer. And Jason isn't a killer. An outside adviser to the White House told me." So have you gotten any phone calls from the President, killer.
JASON MILLER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No offers from the President. And I'm not looking to go to the White House right now. But it's just an honor to be a supporter and a friend of the administration from the outside.
LEMON: What's interesting you're a contributor on CNN not such fake news if he considers you a killer. And he has been watching you here on CNN defend him so there you go. So Lanny, Hillary Clinton tweeted this out today, this is about your book. She says a new book is out today that picks up where I left off and what happen in explaining those damn emails. Terrific fact deal read. So Clinton said many times publicly she believes the timing of the FBI Director James Comey, the letter played a role in her losing the election. You aim to prove that in your book. Why do you feel that way?
DAVIS: Well, I feel lots of things towards a great friend. But I tried to write a book that was pure fact and as certain as adding 2 plus 2 equals 4. I dived into -- dove late at night into the data that on October 28th every aggregator, every poll in the key battle ground states. Hillary Clinton is ahead nationally by 6 percent in the most of the battleground states, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin by 6 to 8 percent. That is the morning. She is the President of the United States the morning of October 28th. On October 28th at 1:00 p.m. James Comey's letter goes out. The next six to eight days the media is saturated with headlines about Hillary Clinton under new criminal investigation. And she plummets in all the polls in the three states I just mentioned. She plummets I am able to prove, that for that letter she would have won the presidency.
LEMON: OK. So let me ask you this, guys. I haven't had the opportunity to read the book. Are you saying she did nothing wrong. She actually had the emails on her computer. Anthony Wiener and what have you. She didn't go to some of the states you mentioned in the last days of the campaign. Is it just Comey do you believe? She didn't do anything wrong?
DAVIS: This is a direct answer to your question. It's possible for two facts to be true contemporaneously and not mutually exclusive.
LEMON: Got you.
DAVIS: She said she made lots of mistakes, starting with the private server and starting with the way she handles the emails. So many, many mistakes. But on October 28th, 2016, 5:38. Every single pollster had her ahead by 6 percentage points a larger margin than October 28 by Barack Obama beat Romney.
[23:45:00] LEMON: I want to you respond to this Jason. What do you think of that? MILLER: I couldn't disagree more with Lanny, the fact of the matter
is by October 28th these race was already over. Things were moving in President Trump's favor. So you know I wish my Democratic friends could get it together here. First it was the Electoral College was too hard. Then it was Comey, then it was Russia. Now back to blaming Comey. The fact of the matter is the President Trump. Outworked and out hustled Secretary Clinton in this campaign. He did six, seven eight stops a day. She was struggle to do run one or two I need to correct Lanny on the events lead up to October 28. Internally on the Trump campaign where we saw the real movement coming out of the third debate everyone focuses on the second debate where President Trump really rose up secretary the Clinton. But the third debate especially his answer about the Supreme Court and what type of justices he would appoint. We saw her numbers with Republican go from the mid high 80s to the low mid-90s literally in the span of that one answer. That gave us the momentum heading into the next week. You remember I think on the 24th or 25th we got the news about the 2017 Obamacare premium increases which is a huge multiday story on the front page of every paper in the country. It was leading off every single news cast on TV. Then the story about the Bill Clinton business dealings which is a two-day news cycle. I remember vividly that morning of the 28th we got the tracking poll numbers. I couldn't believe the momentum I went running down the hall I'm wrapping up. I went down to Dave Bossy's office and said, we're literally tied in New Mexico and Michigan. We got to change our schedule.
LEMON: Let Lanny respond.
MILLER: Let's do this hold on.
DAVIS: Hold on.
MITCHELL: It wasn't until later that day.
DAVIS: I'm holding on.
MILLER: We were already moving this thing -- the trend line everything is moving and Lanny is just wrong. Just wrong.
DAVIS: Momentum rhetoric, movement here is facts. All you and I have to do is sit down with facts. Facts are not by Donald Trump's standards but facts are facts. On the 28th of October 5:38. The (inaudible) of all the polls. Every single poll in the battle grounds states Hillary Clinton is ahead by 5.9 percent nationally.
MILLER: They're wrong bad polls.
DAVIS: She won by 3 million votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. She was ahead by 6 points he lost by less than 1 percentage point with all your momentum those are facts.
MILLER: Here is where you're off. Secretary Clinton consistently was hitting the ceiling of 44, 45 percent. These were all in key battlegrounds that President Obama was over 50.
DAVIS: Your rhetoric is greater than for facts. MILLER: Hold on.
DAVIS: And you talk and talk.
LEMON: I got to go. Jason you're a contributor you'll be back tomorrow. You'll get it tomorrow.
MILLER: This is important.
LEMON: Thank you guys. I've got to.
DAVIS: Keep talking Jason.
LEMON: The book is called the unmaking of the President buy Lanny's book. Jason will be back tomorrow. Lanny will be back soon. Thank you very much. Breaking news in and out. Word tonight that Steve Wynn has stepped down as CEO of Wynn resorts. Casino mogul has recently faced allegations of sexual misconduct which garnered widespread attention. But which Wynn has denied. Wynn also stepped down as finance chair of the Republican national committee last month. Again, the breaking news on Steve Wynn stepping down from his own company as head of his own company. We'll continue to update you on this. We'll be right back.
[23:50:57] LEMON: President Trump ordering the Pentagon to plan a military parade in Washington. Let's bring in CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem, political commentator Andre Bauer and Republican strategist Rick Wilson. Andre, haven't seen you in a while. You do too.
ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Thank you Don. Thinking about you, buddy.
LEMON: Thank you very much, I appreciate it. Listen, welcome, all. Rick, first the President accuses Democrats of treason for not clapping for him. Now he wants an over-the-top military parade. Does it tell you something about how the President sees himself or the presidency? What's this all about?
RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, look, this is a President who is basically Kim Jong-don. He wants a missile parade. It's not about honoring the troops or praising our military, it's about self- aggrandizement and the trappings of what he thinks the maximum leader should have. And he is got everything going on this whole description except his fancy uniform with the sashes and the medals and the jodhpurs and tall boots. This is Donald Trump's ego. This is the self-aggrandizement. A small man who wants a big parade. It's not about our military. They're props in a show. It's the Donald Trump reality TV show he wants to put on here. It's frankly what did he win, the war on Christmas? This is a really sad moment, I think.
LEMON: Juliette, your thoughts? This type of military parade, it's not something normally done in the U.S., it's something most Americans associate with totalitarian countries like the soviet Russia or North Korea. What kind of image does this present to the rest of the world for us?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think it would be disturbing to a lot of our allies. Look, what the separation between military and civilian life is a core part of our constitution. We like it, that you have a civilian President. But also there is a legacy of the civil war involved with that. And many people who know civil war history know that white southerners used the military to continue to deprive freed slaves of their rights. So there's a national security reason why we have a distinction between the military and the pomp and circumstance of the presidency.
That has a long history. That has been a very good history in terms of that distinction. I think to the outside world it's got to look like the President is bored. I think it just sounds like he is throwing things out there. And I suspect that this was a well-timed, well-intentioned leak by the Pentagon that cannot get the White House off their back. We'll make fun of it long enough that it probably goes away. It should have gone away before it got to the Pentagon. I applaud whoever in the pentagon got this out early.
LEMON: Ok. Maybe, but listen, let me read this, Andre. You may have a different perspective on this. The Pentagon released a statement from a DOD Spokesperson that says, we are aware of the request, we are in the process of determining specific details, and we will share more information throughout the planning process. And this is what Ari Fleischer tweeted. He said, this and most media will decry this objecting to the cost, when it happens many ds won't like it because it is militaristic but most Americans will eat it up, they'll love the pomp and will take pride in the show of force, honor of the troops. Listen, I think it may be true, I think he is right. Should the President be politicizing our military like this?
BAUER: You're asking me the question, Don?
LEMON: Yes, it's for you, Andre.
BAUER: Don, I see this a different perspective. I see a gentleman who as a young man went to military school, who comes from a different generation, who believes in America first. He ran on a premise of make America great again. He truly believes in our military. He wants to build it up. He wants additional funding. If you look at all his campaign rallies, there was so much about veterans, so much about our military. We don't look at other countries and say, they had a military parade that is a terrible thing. In fact, this will bring more attention to our veterans, it will bring attention to our military, it will --
[23:55:05] LEMON: We kind of do look at them and say it's a bad thing, Andre that is not true. Especially North Korea and the soviets.
BAUER: I don't look at it, Don. But again it's all through different set of glasses. But I think a lot of Americans will take pride in the fact that we honor our military and that we show them off and that we are proud that this is a country that has always stood behind almost as a united front that we all believe in our military no matter what your background was.
LEMON: Yes. Listen, I've got to run, that is all I have time for. I need to tell the viewer that we have -- we do the fourth of July, what else do we do, Columbus Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, we have parades. Which is the exact same thing that he wants. I think many people are wondering like, why more money on this? We already had those. Maybe we honor a special day and dedicate one of those parades to what he wants. Ok, thank you all, I appreciate it. Thank you, everyone. I see what you said everywhere, on social media, emails, phone calls. I appreciate it, thank you so much, I love all of you. That is it for us, thanks for watching. I will see you right back here tomorrow.