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Back-to-Back Confirmation Battles, Jared Kushner Named Senior Adviser to the President; Meryl Streep Versus Donald Trump, President Obama's Farewell Speech Tomorrow; Donald Trump Takes Office in 11 Days; Trump Pick Monica Crowley Accused of Plagiarism; New York's Lesson on Fighting Crime. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired January 9, 2017 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:41] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Congress gearing up for eight, count them, eight confirmation battles this week, as team Trump kicks into high gear with just days to go until the inauguration. This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon. But one of the most powerful people in the new Trump White House is not on that list. And that's Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law, today named a Senior Adviser to the president. Meanwhile, Meryl Streep blasts the President-elect in her Golden Globe speech. But is Hollywood playing into the President- elect's hands. I'm going to ask one of celebrities -- one of the celebrities taking aim at Donald Trump, you don't want to miss that.
So, let's get right now to CNN's Jim Acosta, also with me, Senior Political Commentator Matt Lewis, and Presidential Historian, Douglas Brinkley. You came back for more punishment, huh?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Yes.
LEMON: Jim, what are you learning about D.C.'s new power couple? I'm talking about Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's interesting. And it falls under the category of unprecedented. To see the son-in-law of the incoming president, essentially being teed up to serve in a very consequential role, it's just something we haven't seen in a long time. Now, what they're saying over at the transition is Jared Kushner first of all is not going to take a salary as Senior Adviser to the president. They're saying that's not the reason why he's not breaking these nepotism laws, they're saying the President-elect has broad discretion to pick the team he wants.
And, so that allows Jared Kushner, his son-in-law to serve in this capacity. But he is going to have to divest himself of many of his holdings and they say he's going to do that. There are going to be some cases where is going to have to recuse himself according to transition officials and Ivanka Trump, she is not going to be taking a position early on in this administration, she is going to essentially be the first daughter, but she too, Don, will be selling off a lot of her holdings, a lot of her investments, resigning from positions with the various companies she's involved in. Because they wanted -- transition says they want to make sure they are putting this at least this appearance that they're not going to be in violation of any of these ethics rules or other problems --
LEMON: Because as we -- as we discussed last hour, no one knows for sure, except for when the financial disclosures are sent to the government, that that's really the only sort of oversight that they have.
Matt, I have to ask you because the press release said his son-in-law in this position is going to work closely with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, also said that he's going to work with strategist Steve Bannon. And this is a quote from the release said; together Bannon, Priebus and Kushner have formed an effective leadership team. Three very different men, very different backgrounds. How are they going to shape the White House you think?
MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think there's a lot of balance, I think that, you know, you've got Steve Bannon who's this outsider, populous nationalist guy. You've got Reince Priebus as more of a establishment insider republican. And then you got Jared Kushner who I think is the family member, the trusted confidant. This is a trio that obviously worked quite well in helping pull off an amazing election, but let's see how they work together in the administration.
LEMON: So, the 1967 anti-nepotism law specifies that son-in-law is a type of related covered by the regulations or relative covered by the regulations. Kushner's lawyers argue that that doesn't apply to the White House role. Are they right, Douglas Brinkley?
BRINLEY: Yes. I think he's going to be able to be an adviser to Donald Trump. As we talked about many times, those nepotism laws were aimed at Bobby Kennedy, a White House staff kind of became immune from it. These charges have hit Bill Clinton hard when Hillary Clinton in 1993 started working on healthcare reform. Somebody may sue the White House over this but in the end, Jared Kushner I believe will be there advising Donald Trump in a month or so.
LEMON: What are the optics of a son-in-law getting such a senior role in the White House?
LEWIS: Look, I think to the average American out there, it's not -- it's not weird, it's not problematic. I think it makes a lot of sense. You have a guy, you know, who's a member of the family who's trusted, and frankly I think that it's a little bit comforting, because I think that Ivanka Trump and Jared have been two of the people who have been voices of reason sort of keeping Donald Trump in check. I think it would be a travesty or actually just kind of silly to dismiss them or rule them out from advising him based on their familiar relationship.
LEMON: Before I get back to Jim, I'm just going through the files here that I had for the earlier show because Douglas Brinkley, Michael Reagan said this or Ronald Reagan's son tweeted this, says FYI, my sister Maureen lived in the White House and advised my father, along with representing a U.N. conference on women, you know, and at Donald Trump is what he -- that's what Michael Reagan tweeted. Is that the same thing you think as Jared or Ivanka being in the White House, Douglas? BRINKLEY: Well, Jared and Ivanka have to be separated. But right now, Jared is going to get security clearance. He's going to be in the White House. I think the democrats need to aim at people like Pruitt, at EPA and go after on Jeff Sessions, it's going to be hard to stop Donald Trump from having his son-in-law in the White House. And there may be, as I said, people that sue over this, it will be debated but I think it may be a lost cause to try to stop a family member like that from being in the White House Chief of Staff. If he was up for cabinet, it would have been impossible. In this particular job, the law is going to bend in Trump's favour.
LEMON: Yes. Jim, what's the democratic response meant to be?
ACOSTA: Well, the ranking democrat on the house judiciary committee, John Konyers has already said he's asking the Obama justice department to look into this and so forth. But what Douglas Brinkley is saying I basically exactly right, that at this point, there really isn't stopping Donald Trump from doing this, he can pick the team that he wants to have in there and that includes his son-in-law.
And, you know, if he wants to bring in the rest of the kids, that could become more of a problem because they've said his sons Don Jr. and Eric are going to run the companies, there are some questions about, you know, if Don Jr. and Eric are running the companies, can they sit in on official business, they've already done that during this transition. So there are some separation issues they're going to have to work through.
LEMON: Matt, what did you want to say?
LEWIS: Look, I think that if you -- if you look at the way that Trump has run, it's always been unorthodox and there's some psychological warfare and all sorts of devious strategies and I think what they're flooding the zone. There's too many things going on. You can't be against everything. You can't be against how many? Nine -- this week --
LEMON: That's what I was going to say.
LEWIS: Nine of these --
LEMON: You stole my question, Jim. Go ahead.
LEWIS: -- confirmation here, right? And then you got Jared Kushner the same week, democrats simply can't be against everything. And so I think this is going to slide through and they're going to have to pick their spots. I think maybe it's going to be Sessions, maybe Tillerson, but you can't stop everything and so I think that's part of the calculus here.
LEMON: They just announced tonight they're delaying the confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, did you know that?
ACOSTA: That's right. Yes. That just came in a few moments ago and I think the big moment of this week, potentially may be the Sessions confirmation hearing that Matt just referenced. It was announced earlier this evening that Senator Cory Booker, senator from New Jersey who's been talked about as a potential candidate for 2020 is going to be testifying against Senator Sessions. A sitting senator testifying against another sitting senator to try to block his -- being put over at the -- at the justice department in the spot of attorney general.
That is history that we're going to be witnessing. And also the civil rights icon, Congressman John Lewis also testifying against Senator Jeff Sessions. That's going to make for very difficult political theater for the Trump transition team. That is not a fight they want right now this week.
Jared Kushner, can you put that aside. The sessions hearing is going to be something everybody's going to be watching this week.
You want to wear h weigh-in on that.
LEMON: You want to weight on that, Douglas?
BRINKLEY: Yes. I couldn't agree with that more and I mean, the democrats are going to try to paint Sessions as being a bigot. And Cory Booker is starting to get some momentum right now as a leader of the Democratic Party. I mean, there's a void out there. Barack Obama's leaving, Joe Biden's leaving, Harry Reid's leaving, John Kerry's leaving, Cory Booker is one of the stars of the party on race issues, he's going to go after Sessions and I think tomorrow's going to be a lot of sparks and Booker may start becoming along with Schumer, one of the two real leading voices of the democrats on capitol hill.
LEMON: Interesting because what did the democrats response, and that's probably going to be their response. But do you think that -- I mean, is it -- Sessions is going to be confirmed, right?
ACOSTA: Unless he messes up. Look, there's always somebody, whether it's Tom Daschle or Linda Chavez, there's somebody who either something comes out about them in the vetting or they don't have a good hearing.
Now, I think, my guess would be that Sessions having been United States Senator for a long time, these are his colleagues and he's been doing the murder boards, he's been prepping for this, probably will be fine. Maybe this is just the way this course and points and for Cory Booker to make, you know, kind of develop that bench where democrats need a bench. But there's a chance, that's why they play the game. He could -- something could come out and it could, you know, it could derail him.
LEMON: I'm just wondering because the news conference is supposed to be on Wednesday, right?
LEMON: Donald Trump's first, the President-elect's first news conference since July. And so that means some of the hearings won't be televised because they're going to be, you know, sort of battling there. Is that a coincidence? ACOSTA: Is it a coincidence that we're not getting this news conference until nine days before the inauguration?
LEMON: But also -- but some of it --
ACOSTA: After the Electoral College met? After the votes were officially tallied in the congress by the Vice President, I don't know, were all those coincidence?
LEWIS: Which also that they (INAUDIBLE) President Obama's final address.
ACOSTA: But I think this more of it -- I think that's -- I think that's right, man. I think this is more a rebuttal opportunity for Donald Trump to rebut with Barack Obama's going to be saying in this historic televised address tomorrow evening. You know, this is going to be a sort of a prebuttal for Barack Obama to Donald Trump and say, listen, these last eight years, they can't just be cast by the wayside, and Donald Trump is going to have this opportunity on Wednesday, not only to talk about Jared Kushner and these nominees for cabinet positions, Don, he's going to answer these questions about Russia.
I mean, we still don't have a direct answer from Donald Trump on the Intelligence Community's findings on Russia meddling in the election, I mean, it -- the questions don't get much bigger than that. And so, the stakes are awfully high for Donald Trump. This is probably the only chance we're going to have to really pepper him with questions so close to the inauguration.
LEMON: So Matt keeps reading ahead in the textbook. But I did that actually. I did that in fourth grade and my math teacher was really upset with me. I had to go back and start over again.
But I want to ask you about the President is going to give his farewell address, Douglas Brinkley, tomorrow night in Chicago which is a city under siege of violence. We know he gives great speeches. But -- and we always say, you know, this is the speech of his life. But what does he have to do tomorrow. He's going to come out and really hit it out of the ballpark or do you think it's this -- the weight will be off of his shoulders?
BRINLEY: I think he does have to hit it out of the ballpark, he's really preparing for it, it's maybe the most watched farewell address in American history. I think he's going to steal a page from Dwight Eisenhower and do kind of a warning and the warning that Barack Obama's going to give, is the country divided cannot stand that we are ripping at each other right, left, conservatives, liberals, we're losing a sense of what it means to be an American.
And that may disappoint some on the left, I think he's going to try to be a healer, but also warn us that we're sowing seeds of destruction here at home, with bigotry, hate speech, humiliation, reckless politics, the powerful and privilege taking advantage of the weak and down trodden. And I believe it will be -- he's working on it exceedingly hard. And I think going to be a seminal moment in Obama's presidential history.
LEMON: Thank you very much. And speaking of which -- thanks, everyone. Speaking of which, let's talk about Hollywood. Hollywood royalty versus the President-elect. Meryl Streep uses her Golden Globe speech to blast Donald Trump. I'm going to talk to one of her celebrity defenders.
Speaking of which, thanks, everyone.
Let's talk about hollywood.
LEMON: President-elect Donald Trump using Twitter to take a swipe at actress Meryl Streep calling her over-rated and, "A Hillary flunky who lost big." This is after Streep called out Trump at the Golden Globe Awards. Listen to what she said.
MERYL STREEP, AMERICAN ACTRESS: But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter, someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it and I still can't get it out of my head, because it wasn't in a movie, it was real life.
LEMON: Here to discuss now, actress Rosie Perez. The Rosie Perez. Thank you so much for joining us.
ROSIE PEREZ, AMERICAN ACTRESS: Thank you for having me.
LEMON: How are you?
PEREZ: I'm very good.
LEMON: What did you think of Meryl Streep's speech?
PEREZ: I thought it was brave, I thought it was very, very brave and I thought it was her right to say so, to speak her mind. And I think that it's really funny because I remember back in the day when people used to criticize celebrities for not speaking out on issues such as aids or homelessness or Reaganomics or what have you. And now all of a sudden, they're telling us to be quiet. And I don't think that that's right. It's so un-American.
It's, you know, isn't that why the pilgrims came here because they wanted freedom of speech, they wanted to live free and have the right to speak their mind and to, you know, practice the religion that they want to practice and here now we're being told to be quiet, and I just -- I thought it was very brave because I believe that hate and fear is just ruining the soul of America, it really is. And it's -- you know, but I do have an immense amount of hope. Watching her on the Golden Globes really confirmed that hope.
LEMON: And so I have -- so I've got to play devil's advocate because, you know, people say, listen, when I tune into an awards show, right? I don't want to see your political beliefs, I don't want to see a speech, I just want to see you accept an award. I like you, I want to go to your movies, I don't want to know your political links and you say?
PEREZ: It's our right. That's what I say. And I say that's a specific platform that it is a privilege for celebrities to -- that celebrities are afforded. But nowadays, everyone has a platform because of social media. You voice your opinion on social media, you put it out there to the world, you have that right.
I'm sure if you had a red carpet, you would stand up and use that right as well.
LEMON: I believe in freedom of speech for everybody. If you -- I don't believe in freedom for hate Speech.
LEMON: But if -- just because I don't agree with you, that's what freedom of speech was meant for, for a speech you didn't agree with. So, it's surprising to me that people who didn't agree with what she said, I'm not saying -- I'm not saying I agree with her or disagree with her but I definitely agree with her right to do it and it's funny, my first reaction to someone who said she shouldn't do it was same as yours, is that -- what do you mean that un-American not to speak your mind, even if it's not what the other person believes.
PEREZA: Exactly. Exactly. And it's -- you know, I have friends who are Trump supporters, I sit next to them when I go to a boxing match at the Barclays. You know, we get along just fine. My issue was not with Trump supporters. My issue is with our President-elect. Do I hate our President-elect? No. Do I want to see him fail? Not necessarily. Because that means we all fail, right?
PEREZ: I want it to work out. But I will hold his feet to the fire and I have the right to do that and I have the right to voice that, and I -- you know, when I did this video.
LEMON: I'm going to talk about that but, you know, you want me to talk about this is -- you have this video and then I'll let you discuss it. It's a PSA and it's called stand up for us.
LEMON: It was along Sally Field and Steve Buscemi. We'll play a part of it and then we'll talk about it. Here's Rosie.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dear members of congress.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dear members of congress.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dear members of congress. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dear members of congress.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm mad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Flabbergasted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Furious.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Concerned for my children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm worried for everyone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The majority of Americans regardless of who they voted for.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did not vote for racism.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For sexism or xenophobia. And yet Donald Trump won.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And since he won --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hate crimes are rising.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Women have been attacked in his name.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People of color attacked in his name.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You represent us in congress.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are our last line of defense opinion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So it's a lot of public figures, it's not just celebrities. Why did you want to be involved in -- and why is it important?
PEREZ: Because -- first of all, I want you to reiterate that because 75 percent of the people in that video are not celebrities. We have two rabbis, we have an imam, we have a bishop, we have reverend, we have a former police chief, we have union workers. We have activists and only 25 percent of celebrities were in that video. You know, but I did the video because I truly believe in our right to hold our elected officials accountable. And we are speaking to congress, we are speaking to the senate saying, we want you to represent us in the right way.
PEREZ: And if you don't, we will come for you. But if you do, we will applaud you and we will support you. And that is our right as Americans.
LEMON: You know what I hear from -- and I think this is sort of the -- what this video is saying, is that I hear from a lot of people who did not necessarily support Donald Trump. They say, listen, "I don't have a problem with a conservative as president, I don't have a problem with Donald Trump being president. What I do have a problem with is bigotry having a platform and being normalized, or misogyny or racism and they felt that this election did that explain. And do you agree with that? And explain that?
PEREZ: I do. I think -- I think the President-elect offered that platform for people to kind of speak that hidden truth that may have been inside them. I don't think he brainwashed everybody, like a lot of people are saying. I think that if you believe that when Trump was speaking those hateful things, I think you always believed it, you know, and I think that other people voted for Trump, not because of those reasons. I think that they voted for him because they're hurting and they wanted a change and I get that, I get that but I don't think -- I think there's going to be a day of reckoning when they're going to wake up and say, oh, my goodness, this man is not the man for us.
LEMON: You came from here in New York, right?
PEREZ: I came from -- yes, I came from abject poverty.
LEMON: And abject poverty. That's what I want to ask you. So, do you consider yourself an elite?
PEREZ: No. I consider myself a person that worked really hard for a wonderful life that I have now. I'm a person that was a ward of the state, a part of the foster care system that didn't -- I didn't even have proper shoes to go to school. I used to go to school with holes in my shoes. And policy was so important to me as a child. I even understood that when I was a young person.
LEMON: So how do you -- how do you feel then when people who may live in the middle of the country, there's nothing wrong with that, I do, or they may look at you and say, "Oh, there's another elite actress on television, telling me how I should live my life or who I should vote for?"
PEREZ: I'm not telling you how to live your life, I'm not telling you who to vote for. I'm telling you, this is what I believe and then I have a right to speak up and I will fight for every person out there that believes in the same things that I believe in.
And what I believe in is fairness and the American dream and the right to speak your mind. This is what I believe in. Let me tell you something, when I was in the -- in the system, meaning being a ward of the state. Every time there was a policy change it affected me directly. I understand politics, OK? It hits closer to home. So, I want to tell those people, I know what it is to be hungry, I know what it is to be abused, I know what it is to be ignored, to be think that you are subpar, less than. I was that person.
What did I do? I buckled down and I worked really hard and I made it. And I am the embodiment of what an American is. And that's what I'm fighting for and that's why I say, you know, I have a right and I don't want you to think I'm an elite. You know, yes, I have a fabulous life. Yes, I have a big fat house in Brooklyn, but I worked hard for it, and I still work hard for it.
LEMON: Stand up for us, PSA and Rosie Perez. It's always a pleasure. Thank you so much.
PEREZ: Thank you. And tomorrow is very important, so make those calls -- make those calls to your elected officials, hold those people accountable. Make them the vetting process as hard as possible so we get the right people in office.
LEMON: Thank you.
PEREZ: Thank you.
LEMON: Up next, back to the future -- back to the future when Donald Trump becomes president. Will there be a return to the kind of protests that this country saw in the 1960's? We'll discuss that.
[23:30:27] LEMON: Can Meryl Streep's speech last night kick off a new era of political protests? Some might argue it's a kind of tone-deaf tantrum that helped to elect Donald Trump in the first place.
Let's discuss now with CNN Political Commentator, Jeffrey Lord, Reagan White House Political Director; Symone Sanders, a former Press Secretary to Bernie Sanders; Republican Strategist and CNN Political Commentator, Kevin Madden; and Contributor, a "New York Post" Columnist, Salena Zito.
Jeffrey, you want to tell the audience what your first name is?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Frank. Nelville.
LEMON: His first name is Nelville.
LEMON: So Nelville.
LORD: Thank you, Don.
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's such an elite name.
LEMON: That is such an elite name, Nelville.
LORD: I've never seen it anywhere other than in my family.
LEMON: So, Nelville, Meryl Streep's speech at the Golden Globes last night reminded me of the protests in the 1960s and '70s, like, you know, when the black athletes raised their fists in the podium.
LORD: I was there.
LEMON: It's a nice cost to the Olympics. Or when Marlon Brando sent a Native American activist to reject his Academy Award for the Godfather. Do you think we're going to see a return of this '60s or maybe even '70s-style protest under Donald Trump?
LORD: I don't want to ruin your ratings, but a quick guess on. All we are saying is give peace a chance. I have seen this in my lifetime repeatedly. It started out, I thought, well, with civil rights, which I thought was the gold standard, then it move (ph) to Vietnam, and I was there and protested once myself and I kind of get that. But then this just became, if your left thumb's finger nail is out of joint, let's have a protest.
And after a while, I think it's lost its -- it's not only lost its value, although -- I mean I believe American citizens should have the right totally to do it, but I do think it helps the opposition. I mean I think something like this in the day, this helped Richard Nixon a lot. It helped Ronald Reagan when they had all those nuclear freeze demonstrations out there. A million people in New York City. He won re-election a couple years later with a million -- you know, with 49 states. So I would encourage these people by all means, please go do it. Donald Trump --.
LEMON: We've got three other people on our panel that need to get in, Nelville.
So, listen, Symone.
LORD: Yes, sir.
LEMON: Were you surprised by Meryl Streep's speech? Do you agree with Jeffrey that -- I've almost forgot your first name though. Do you agree with Jeffrey that it doesn't mean anything any more?
SYMONE SANDERS, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY FOR BERNIE SANDERS: No, I mean I think protests are still relevant. I wasn't surprised. I mean I think Nina Simone once said it's an artist's duty to reflect the times. And so we have seen actors and actresses and athletes over the years use their platforms to protest.
So what I think is happening now is that we have to remember, look, 56 million people voted for Donald Trump. Now, Hillary Clinton did get 3 million more votes than that, but there are people out there that voted for Donald Trump. But I know actresses and actors, the running joke now in some circles is, look, we're not all Jesse Williams, we can't all unabashedly put it out there. So I think we're going to see more people, not necessarily take on Donald Trump directly like Meryl Streep. Meryl Streep has had had a very long career so she could take him on.
I think we'll see people take on causes and we'll see people engage in protests via causes, not necessarily directly against the president- elect in terms of our artists.
LEMON: OK. Kevin, Kellyanne Conway pushed back today. She took issue with Streep's characterization of what Donald Trump said. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, SENIOR TRUMP ADVISER: Why do you not believe him? Why is everything taken at face value?
CHIRS CUOMO, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Because he doesn't (ph) --.
CONWAY: 62 percent of Americans, according to CNN's polling, said Hillary Clinton can't tell the truth about anything. And yet, she was --.
CUOMO: Who was right behind her in that analysis?
CONWAY: No, she was given the benefit of the doubt here constantly.
CONWAY: You can't give him the benefit of the doubt on this, and he's telling you what was in his heart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So I don't understand the Hillary Clinton reference because she's not -- Hillary Clinton is irrelevant now.
LEMON: But does Trump deserve the benefit of the doubt, Kevin?
MADDEN: Well, I mean, I think that's what's extraordinary about being elected president, is that your words matter, your actions matter there. And, you know, Symone was saying that they're reflective of the times while these are reflective of, you know, the leader of the nation. So they do matter.
But I think you have to put in context, Kellyanne Conway is engaged in political combat. She's a defender of her principle with passion, with prejudice. So that's just her job, which is to do that and to explain the president-elect's position.
So -- But, you know, to another point, like this is something that we've always been used to.
[23:35:00] People like Meryl Streep, take it upon themselves to seize the platform and make their views known. And I think one of the things we had to remember is outside of so many of the people who are sort of rooting partisans in this, doesn't have -- The question I'd ask is, does it have a bigger impact on the people that are going about their daily lives? I think they become more aware of some of these issues, but I don't think it serves as -- you know, it has a real catalytic effect on moving them one way or the other.
LEMON: So, Salena, I'm sure you saw this Meghan McCain's tweet, where she said, "This Meryl Streep's speech is why Trump won. And if people in Hollywood don't start recognizing how and how, you will help him get re-elected." She got a lot of pushback from that. It was very controversial for some people. But do you agree with the sentiment of her tweet?
SALENA ZITO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean her sentiment, the sentiment of her tweet reflects a lot of how people feel, you know, of sort of outside of the -- outside of new York, outside of Washington, outside of Hollywood. This kind of speech from Hollywood has been going like Jeffrey said since the '60s. I grew up in the '60s and '70s. Marlon Brando, I mean everyone, you know, everyone has like -- you know, each year on the Oscars, there was, you know, some sort of new protest about. This has always been happening.
Having said that, it has escalated. And we saw this year in the election result that people finally said, that's it, we're sort of done with everybody looking down at us. And we are just tired of it.
And part of the vote for Donald Trump was a protest against the elite. It wasn't -- All of it wasn't for him. The votes that he received weren't for him, but it was a pushback against sort of on the culture wars and how people feel about how they are looked at by the Hollywood or Washington or New York, whatever it may be.
LEMON: Can you make that argument, though, Salena, when Symone said that 3 million more people, he didn't win the popular vote? So does it mean the bulk of the country actually agreed with that?
ZITO: Also, how many more million people just didn't vote? I mean I would say we're split pretty much 50/50. And half of America is going to feel that this is something about them. Even though it wasn't directed at them, it's directed at the person they voted for. And they're going to look at it and see it that way.
MADDEN: It's where those votes came as well, Salena?
ZITO: That's right, exactly.
MADDEN: Big margins in cities, but in rural places, you know, like Western Pennsylvania, a lot of those folks, there was a bit of a backlash on this.
LEMON: I've got to get to a break. On the other side, I promise you'll weigh in. We'll be right back.
[23:41:36] LEMON: Back with me now, Jeffrey Lord, Nelville, Symone Sanders, Kevin Madden, and Salena Zito.
Kevin, will you finish making your point? Or is it Jeffrey's turn?
MADDEN: Well, we're just talking about where some of these criticisms came from then we talked about Hillary Clinton. Absolutely, it's a very powerful point that the Democrats made that she won 3 million more voters than Trump, but a lot of that was from margins that were run up in the city.
But in places, you know, 200 counties across the Midwest, you know, places where Salena spent a lot of time driving across during the election, counties that went for Obama went for Trump in this election, and a lot of it was because there was a pushback against this idea that a lot of the people in places like Washington, New York, L.A. weren't speaking for a lot of these folks.
LEMON: Yeah. Go ahead, Jeffrey.
LORD: Well, you know, Don, I think it was two nights before the election Hillary Clinton was at a concert in Cleveland with Jay Z and Beyonce. It was a massive deal. The following night, the night before the election, she held this mammoth rally in front of Independence Hall with Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, right at then, and then Former President Clinton and the Obama's, et cetera. The next day, she lost both Ohio and Pennsylvania.
You know, when I was watching those rallies, I thought, well, this is exactly the wrong message you need to be sending, and I think that turned out to be accurate.
LEMON: Yeah. Salena, go ahead.
ZITO: I was at both of these events, in Cleveland and in Philadelphia, and you know, everyone was there and they were enjoying the music and the concert. But the types of voters that, you know -- And there were a lot of young people there. But the types of voters that they needed to show up were not there. They were there for the entertainment.
I mean, you have to look at Appalachia, right? It's a designated region that runs from New York to down south to Texas. Four hundred ninety-one counties in there, Clinton only won 21 of those. That is -- Her husband almost carried all of them. That's that disconnect that I'm talking about in terms of how people viewed that video or that speech by Meryl Streep. Those are the people that are like, well, I don't --.
LEMON: Is that Hillary Clinton or the Democratic?
ZITO: Well, no, I mean, I'm talking about -- I guess what I'm talking about is that feeling that Hollywood, you know, those people voted against Democrats, and they were also voting against elitism.
So as I was telling you before, people did -- all people that voted for Trump didn't vote for him. A lot of that vote was against elitism. And a lot -- that feeling that you know, you hear about after that speech, comes from areas like that.
LEMON: Salena, I'm sorry. Symone?
SANDERS: I think what we have to also note is that we know from, I mean, interviews with folks from the Clinton campaign, people in places like Appalachia or in the Midwest, where I'm from, places like Nebraska, that the Clinton campaign did not invest in the same way in those places that the Obama campaign invested. Some of those counties went for Obama, but some didn't, but he didn't get --.
LEMON: How does this relate to Meryl Streep, though? That was really far.
SANDERS: Well, what I'm saying is that it's --.
LEMON: I don't want to reiterate (ph) the election again.
SANDERS: I really don't think that people are necessarily rejecting folks like "the Hollywood elite", if you will. I think people don't like people talking down to them. And one could argue that some folks out there feel as though people are talking down to the hem, instead of talking with them and having a conversation, and having a dialogue, which is why I noted that I think we'll see a lot more folks speaking out about specific issues and not necessarily against the president- elect. Clearly, I'm just about speaking about the president-elect (ph).
[23:45:10] LEMON: I just remember being in school and thinking that my teacher was talking down to me, and my parents saying, they know more than you. So listen to that. It's just that simple.
But so, Salena, listen, this is very important. Another Trump appointment raises some questions. This is about Monica Crowley. She's a former Fox News contributor up for a senior communications post in his National Security team. But a CNN investigation found that Crowley has a plagiarism problem. The team found more than 50 examples of plagiarism, word for word, in a book she wrote in 2012. The Trump team is standing by Crowley. But why stand by a communications official with such a serious communications problem.
ZITO: Well, you know, as a journalist and reporter, I have a big problem with plagiarism. You know, that's a big deal. Stealing someone's art, someone's work, someone's reporting, someone's investigating and putting your name to it, I mean that's incredibly dishonest.
ZITO: And, you know, that then goes to character and that's something that, you know, they should probably review.
LEMON: Yeah. Kevin, now, this is another one, "Politico" reports that Crowley plagiarized parts of her PhD dissertation at Columbia. There's no comment from the Trump transition team yet on this new allegations. But previously, here's what they said. They said, "Any attempt to discredit Monica is nothing more than a politically motivated attack that seeks to distract from the real issues facing this country." Can they continue to defend her?
MADDEN: Well, I think they will. I mean, this is a campaign that fights very hard and pushes back on what they see are political attacks from opponents. But I think in this particular case, it's going to become increasingly difficult. I haven't seen or read the entire report about "Politico" on the PhD thesis. But what we have seen, instances of the plagiarism that has been cited on previous reports. These are not one or two grasp (ph) that are reworded, these wholesale-lifting of paragraph after paragraph after paragraph, and not cited properly, and no citations whatsoever. I don't even think the one book provided a bibliography. So those are -- There's a mountain of evidence here that they're going to have to fight against.
LORD: Hey, Don.
LEMON: Yeah. Quickly, I have to go, Jeffrey.
LORD: Quickly. When I was a young White House aide, I personally outed Joe Biden for plagiarizing directly from Robert Kennedy. He's now the outgoing Vice President of the United States. I just don't think there's any dare there with this, even though plagiarism is never good.
LEMON: Even though as elected one is an elected position and the other isn't?
LORD: Well, the one that's elected is more important one, you think?
LEMON: I mean I'm just asking the question. I don't know.
LORD: Yes, yes.
LEMON: Maybe people will decide (ph).
LROD: The elected Vice President --.
MADDEN: Was it bad then when you cited it?
LORD: Yeah, I made the front page of the "New York Times".
MADDEN: And you criticized it?
SANDERS: And it's so bad now.
LORD: It was a direct quote.
MADDEN: Right. Well, it's not bad now.
LORD: I remember my colleague Robert Kennedy, and he did exactly that.
LEMON: And you're not making excuses for plagiarism, are you?
MADDEN: Jeffrey, you're embracing the fact that you have kissing standards (ph).
LORD: No, no, I'm not making. I'm not. No, no, I'm just saying the few things, Kevin.
LORD: Let's do the same (inaudible).
LEMON: Okay. So, Jeffrey says that and that --. (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: -- he has a simple mind, so he is a simple-minded man. There you go. That's what you get when you watch CNN tonight. Thank you, panel, I appreciate it. We'll be right back.
ZITO: Thank you.
[23:52:12] LEMON: When President Obama makes his farewell speech tomorrow in Chicago he will be speaking in a city where violence is at record highs. Not too long ago though, New York was one of the most violent cities in the country, but a lot has changed since then. So could Chicago learn a lesson from New York?
CNN's Jean Casarez has more now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES O'NEILL, COMMISSIONER, NEW YORK CITY POLICE: In '92, there were 5,000 shootings, last year, there were hundred a thousand, and none of that happens by accident.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN NEWS CORRESPODENT: Here is the New York Police Academy leadership training. It's focused on what the department is calling "21st Century Policing". And at the latest statistics or any indication, it's working.
The philosophy is precision policing. Commissioner James O'Neill says it is smarter and more effective at combatting gangs, the most serious violent crime problem in the city.
O'NEILL: We know there is a very small percentage of the people in New York City involved in the violence and crime, involved in homicides, involved in shootings.
JAMES ESSIG, ASSITANT CHIEF, NEW YORK CITY POLICE: We don't have to go in and do blanket enforcement in an area. We can focus on the worst of the worst criminals.
CASAREZ: Case in point. These are members of NYPD's gun violence suppression division at an undisclosed location in the city. They target the most violent offenders.
When you see a pocket of activity in a neighborhood, do you monitor it for a little bit to see if it keeps going, to see if it warns to go to the investigative level?
ESSIG: Absolutely. And it's not just on a daily basis, it's on an hourly basis.
CASAREZ: In 2016, New York City had with the population of 8.5 million have the lowest number of shootings since modern record- keeping began, 998, compare that with Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Chicago, who recently sent a high profile police delegation to the NYPD.
O'NEILL: The senior command staff from Chicago, they came in to take a look at what we do at com-stat, what we're doing with neighborhood policing and what we're doing with precision policing. I think it was a good meeting. They liked what they saw. So hopefully when they get back, they can put a lot of it into place.
CASAREZ: Lieutenant Richard Zacarese, Investigation Coordinator, says utilizing every tool in their tool box is key.
RICHARD ZACARESE, INVESTIGATION COORDINATOR, NEW YORK CITY POLICY: I will speak to individuals who will conduct the briefings of arrested individuals through computer checks, through listening to telephone calls. You know, we'll use every investigative tool.
CASAREZ: Video surveillance at some point?
ZACARESE: Video surveillance.
CASAREZ: You are looking at actual surveillance video during the investigation phase, focusing on pockets where police suspect there is criminal activity. Investigators work with prosecutors early on, resulting in takedowns. As you are seeing here, warrants already in hand by the arresting officers. One big success in the few two years, a reduction in rival gang activity in the Borough of Queens.
[23:55:09] Now, right here where we are, at this deli, what happens here?
ZACARESE: This is the R&R Deli. This was -- Some of the local gang members used to often --frequent dislocation, and this is where shootings would occur, three separate shootings, where people are actually hit were right in front of the deli, not to mention the numerous times that they were shot by idea (ph).
CASAREZ: Fourteen shootings in this neighborhood in 2015 went to three last year.
What are you going to do now to keep this area where it is at this point? Keep the level of violence down?
ZACARESE: We'll always follow up on the gangs, their new trends that are occurring. And we always want to stay on top of the violence.
CASAREZ: Proactive instead of reactive?
CASAREZ: Although officials will not comment on crime rates in other cities, including Chicago, they will say this.
O'NEILL: I think this is the way forward for New York City, and I think a lot of what we do can be definitely universally applied.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CASAREZ: The NYPD says they started changing the way they do business in the '90s. Crime was at its worst as it is now in Chicago. New York says they had to become proactive to find those people involved in the violence. Step by step, they say they have gotten to where they are now. And along with neighborhood policing, where the same officers patrol the same streets every day to handle other crimes and quality of life issues, the net result to all of this, they say, is deterrence.
And Don, they are working to have the crime rate even lower in 2017.
LEMON: All right, Jean, thank you very much for that.
And don't miss, President Obama's farewell address from Chicago. Coverage starts tomorrow night at 8:00 Eastern right here on CNN.
That is it for us tonight. Thank you so much for watching. I'll see you right back here tomorrow.