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CNN TONIGHT

Top Fox Grosser Kicked Out; Patriots Snubbed White House Visit; Truth Unveiled on a Doomed Campaign; Offensive Word Flying Out of a Senator's Mouth. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired April 19, 2017 - 22:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: More news ahead. Don Lemon joins us right now. CNN Tonight starts now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Talk about your no spin zone, Bill O'Reilly dumped by Fox News.

This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

The end of O'Reilly stunning and sudden as more and more women voice allegation of sexual harassment. Now the network's top talent is out after more than 20 years. But have we seen the last of the Factor host. And what does this sell mean for the Republican Party in the age of Donald Trump?

Plus, Super Bowl champs the New England Patriots honored at the White House by their number one fan but it looks like the feeling is not entirely mutual. I want you to compare this photo of the past visit to the Obama White House. This is in 2015 to today's photo.

I'm going to one patriot who boycotted today's -- we have a lot to get to. But let's get to the bottom show fall of Bill O'Reilly.

Let's discuss now, Wendy Walsh, the factor guest who accused O'Reilly of sexual harassment, also with us CNN's Brian Stelter, and Benedict Morelli, an attorney for Andrea Mackris, a former plaintiff against O'Reilly.

Good evening to all of you. Brian, let's start with the news here. You have been keeping a close eye on this story, what's the very latest that we know about, how all of this went down.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: The Murdoch's who own Fox, two weeks ago, commissioned an investigation from a law firm called Paul, Weiss. Why? Because Wendy Walsh made a phone call to fox reporting what she says was harassment by O'Reilly.

So, as a result of her phone call, an investigation took place. We don't know exactly what the Murdoch's found. What they found was enough to essentially push O'Reilly out. He won't say good-bye. He won't be back. His show is no longer even called the O'Reilly factor.

He's been canceled which is an astonishing development, Don. I've never really seen anything like this in cable news. He was the biggest star and now he's out of a job. We'll see if he goes elsewhere but he's not coming back on Fox.

LEMON: And we'll talk about that a little bit more. Not only the biggest star for two decades.

STELTER: Right.

LEMON: But very influential when it comes to politics, and especially the Republican Party and this particular president. But Brian, just to other news when it comes to this. I understand that Fox is getting new sexual harassment complaints from current employees until today?

STELTER: Yes. Even today, Fox News contributor who had spoken to the New York Times very privately now one public and speaking out about this. Lisa Bloom who represents Wendy Walsh also said there was another woman, a guest on Fox, who has spoken out publicly today. So, even though O'Reilly is gone there's other issues for Fox. They're having drags right now is Fox executive fear there's more to come.

LEMON: How on earth did this not -- why did this -- I was in an event and people asked me, why did this take so long considering the background and all of that?

STELTER: It was convenient silence for a long time.

LEMON: Yes. Does it appear that they are complicit at Fox?

STELTER: You mean Fox executives?

LEMON: Did they know, I mean, they had to know if they paid out all of this money they had to know.

STELTER: Yes. I get worried about the word complicit from a legal perspective. But certainly Fox executives were aware of O'Reilly's reputation, they were aware of some of these settlements but he was a profit engine until he turned into more of a liability.

LEMON: Yes. I mean, and not that they were part of it but I mean, they had to know some part of it because they were paying out -- O'Reilly was paying out all of this money.

STELTER: Right.

LEMON: So Wendy, this whole thing you heard Brian mentioned, you just now. This whole thing started with you and other brave women speaking out about your experiences with sexual harassment. And the fact that since 2002 Fox has paid $13 million in five settlements. Are you satisfied that O'Reilly won't be returning on Fox News?

WENDY WALSH, ACCUSED BILL O'REILLY: I don't know if satisfy is the word. I obviously have mixed emotions because I'm a compassionate person and there's a human being involved. But I do think that Fox made a seismic shift in our corporate culture by putting the rights of women above the bottom line. And as a mother this is good news for my daughter entering the workplace. LEMON: You represented, Benedict, Andrea Mackris, who is a former

producer, a former producer who accused Bill O'Reilly of sexual harassment. This is in 2004. Bill O'Reilly settled that particular case.

Is this -- I mean, Fox looked the other way, it appears, for a decade. That's why when I said to him, does it appear that they knew about it, do you -- does this speak to the power of how powerful he was?

BENEDICT MORELLI, FORMER PLAINTIFF FOR BILL O'REILLY: Well, actually they looked the other way for 13 years.

LEMON: You think so?

MORELLI: It's very interesting that certain people and I respect, you know, your opinion, Brian, but I disagree that it had anything to do with the investigation by Paul, Weiss because Fox News and Bill O'Reilly both knew exactly what he did because they have seen the evidence.

[22:04:56] No one pays out millions of dollars because they're a target. OK? Bill O'Reilly refuses to even be contrite today when he gave a statement that he was -- that he's a target and basically these are unfounded claims. They're not unfounded claims. OK?

Fox went after me, went after Andrea Mackris, they sued me, they named my wife in the complaint as a democratic operative who wanted to swing the election against W. Bush. They played hardball. They knew about this guy. The money was too great. The profits came before the morals.

LEMON: But it does take those women, like Andrea Mackris...

(CROSSTALK)

MORELLI: No question about it.

LEMON: ... and like Wendy Walsh to come forward and other to come forward in order to even get it out there.

MORELLI: No question. That it not only takes the women, it takes their courage because they have to have a lot of courage because after they come out, they are doomed. They will never work in the industry again. And one of the reasons why the evidence never saw the light of day for the public is because we had to get money for Andrea Mackris because I knew she'd never work again.

LEMON: Wendy, you don't agree with that?

WALSH: Well, I do agree that perhaps 10 years ago the cultural climate was very different and I do believe those women were black balled and facing potential financial ruin. I have no financial connections to Fox. I teach at California State University Channel Islands. I have a radio show on KFI AM 640 Los Angeles.

I will continue to work in the media because, Don, let me tell you, most of my support that I got online through this last couple of weeks have been from men saying thank you for doing this for my daughters and for my wives. It is the men who have rallied behind me. So, I'm going to keep working.

LEMON: Yes. And it's not just men. It's also people, I mean, there are minorities who feel that they are discriminated against in their workplace, they're afraid to go to the boss, they're afraid to go to H.R. and say something because they think they will never work again and there will be retaliation.

And I think, Wendy, women like you who came up for this particular case not only helping women who have been sexually harassed but everyone who feels that they have been discriminated or slighted in the workplace, so I thank you for that.

But listen, he did mention...

(CROSSTALK)

MORELLI: Don, there's one other important thing.

LEMON: Yes, go on. I want to get to -- let me get to...

MORELLI: Sure.

LEMON: ... Bill O'Reilly's response because you mentioned that first. Today, he's meeting with Pope Francis. He's in Italy. He's on vacation released a statement saying calling it a witch hunt saying, "It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims but that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride and unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all of my dedicated viewers."

Wendy, your response, and then Brian.

WALSH: Well, the only word I take exception there is the word unfounded. I was subjected to two hours of grilling by four Fox attorneys. My attorney, David McGriff, my entertainment attorney from 2013 also testified, they interviewed three or four of my colleagues and friends. They did a deep investigation. I also provided them with a lots of e-mail evidence. So, unfounded? No. They did their investigation.

LEMON: Brian, the unfortunate reality that many of us in the public eye must live with today?

STELTER: He's suggesting that when you're a public figure, a television anchor, for example, you face these kinds of claims or even lawsuits from people who expect to get money out of you. Don, have you been challenged five times by people who say they have been harassed...

LEMON: Yes. No.

STELTER: ... or you verbally abuse them?

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: The only thing...

STELTER: Because five different women settled with O'Reilly.

LEMON: The only thing you have is that you can -- if you're in the public eye, you can give more light to a story by responding to it if you think it's unfounded. But this is beyond that. You know, you can't get into a fight with a waiter if that's where the thing because it can end up on page 6.

STELTER: That's right. You try to be defensive of that.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: That's a whole different story.

STELTER: That's right.

LEMON: But if someone accuses you of something this serious and you don't believe and you didn't do it, then you fight like hell.

Go on.

STELTER: This is complicated. And by the way, he is trying to the high road. He would call that statement taking the high road.

LEMON: Yes.

STELTER: Trying to keep his options open for the future.

LEMON: Yes, go ahead.

MORELLI: Actually, he won't take responsibility for what he did. He knows what he did. He won't be contrite. He has never been and never will be in the no spin zone. He is the spin man. Totally. And what he did with reference to Andrea Mackris back in 2004 wasn't enough to get him fired. It took more women with additional courage to come forward.

LEMON: Yes.

MORELLI: It was very different back then.

LEMON: Right.

MORELLI: Andrea Mackris worked for him directly. She wasn't a celebrity that was able to survive.

LEMON: I want to get this in really quickly if we can, producer. This is Howard Kurtz reporting on O'Reilly's exit on Fox tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[22:09:57] HOWARD KURTZ, FOX NEWS HOST: Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan have emphasized changing the company's culture so any form of harassment is unacceptable. For that reason, some female employees were uncomfortable with

O'Reilly staying on and pressure escalated once the company asked the law firm to examine the allegations. The move means some programming changes.

On Monday, Tucker Carlson will move to O'Reilly's slot at 8 p.m. Eastern, and The Five will go to primetime at 9 p.m. Martha MacCallum's show becomes permanent at 7 p.m. And on May 1st, Eric Bolling launches a new program at 5 o'clock.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Do you think this means that they won't tolerate that type of behavior anymore?

STELTER: Clearly the sons, the Murdoch sons want a clean break with the past. They want to clean up what they think is a mess with their father has left the Fox News. Between Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch, a certain culture developed, I would call it a toxic culture and the sons want to move on.

How and whether they can do that is an enormous question. You heard there Howard Kurtz saying some female employees inside Fox were uncomfortable with O'Reilly staying on. There's a gamut of emotions. People relieved he's leaving. Others sad he's leaving. Many people though relieved.

MORELLI: But Don, here's what has to happen. Here's the problem.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Quickly if you can.

MORELLI: They absolutely must change the system.

LEMON: Yes.

MORELLI: They have to have systems in place that a very specific where the woman is thought to be telling the truth instead of being an adversary when they report and they should be looked into and unless they change it and put new systems in place, it won't change.

LEMON: Wendy, I want to give you the last word because as you know the president defended Bill O'Reilly last week saying he believes that he's a good person. I don't think that Bill O'Reilly did anything wrong. Would you like to see the president of the United States address it? Do you think it was appropriate for him to do it in the first place?

WALSH: Yes. I mean, does he have better things to do? We got a problem with Korea right now and Syria. I mean, come on. But I do think these two are birds of a feather. They're men of a certain generation who thought of women as, you know, ornaments in workplaces. And I'm hoping I have faith in the president's daughter Ivanka that she is going to do more for women than her father.

LEMON: Thank you, everyone. I appreciate it.

When we come back, the patriots visit to the White House. Noticeably absent, several members of the team. We'll speak to one player who skipped the trip.

[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots were honored at the White House by their biggest fan, President Trump. Now we know crowd sizes can be a source of subject for the administration. But I want you take a look at this comparison from the New York Times.

In the photo on the top that's when the Pats visited President Obama at the White House. It was in 2015. And in the photo on the bottom, the scene today. Definitely some missing players there. Though, the Patriots tweeted that some of the staff were seated on the south lawn.

Well, one of the missing players joins me now. His name is Alan Branch. He is the defensive tackle for the patriots. Good evening, sir. Thank you so much for coming on. I appreciate it.

ALAN BRANCH, NEW ENGLANG PATRIOTS DEFENSIVE TACKLE: No problem. Thanks for having me.

LEMON: Why didn't you attend today's reception at the White House?

BRANCH: Say that one more time again.

LEMON: Why didn't you attend today's reception at the White House?

BRANCH: For me, it was a personal matter. You know, what President Trump said on the bus really struck a nerve with me. You know, I'm the father of three daughters and I have a son as well. I just can't see myself having any type of interest, you know, to go and meet this person that said such horrible things.

And then I have a baby boy, not even a year old yet and I don't want him to grow up to think that saying stuff like that is all right at any point of his life.

So, I mean, I have no interest in meeting the guy and I hope he does a great job. I'm an American at the end of the day so I hope he does well. But I just don't believe in, you know, any of the locker room talk that he said or anything like that. It just struck a nerve with me.

LEMON: Thank you for saying that. I want you to listen to this. This is part of the tape that you're referring to. Here it is.

(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've to use some Tic- Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. I just kiss. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever you want.

TRUMP: Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.

(END VOICE CLIP)

LEMON: So he said that. So many people -- you know, he said it was locker room talk, so many other people said it was locker room talk. You've been in a lot of locker rooms. Do you ever -- do you think that's locker room talk?

BRANCH: I've been in the NFL for a whole decade and played in college football all my life and, you know, I've never heard anyone talk like that so aggressively and, you know, disrespectfully like that towards -- or about women at all and maybe it happened in a different locker room.

But I hope that, you know, anyone that has respect for their parents, their mom, sisters, daughters, you know, would stop that because if anyone said anything close to that near me, I'm shutting that down right now.

So, I mean, I just -- it's disgusting the way that, you know, he talks about women and I just -- I can't deal with it and that's why I have no interest in, you know, going and shaking his hand. I got to back home and look my daughters in the eye. I don't want them to view me in a different light just because I did that.

LEMON: You realize -- you realize you're voicing what many people have not been able to articulate. How do you, what's more important to you, how do you explain to your young son or your young daughter that it's OK for someone to either grab them or say that they are going to grab them or for your son to grab women because you want to pay maybe a little bit more -- a little bit less in taxes or you're unhappy with someone's health care bill or what have you.

You realize you're voicing what a lot of people were not able to articulate and cannot understand why someone could support this president when he said those things?

BRANCH: I don't understand still to this day, especially with how many women went out there and voted for him still. I'm a man and, you know, I was sickened by that and it still happened.

So, I mean, everybody has their free choice to pick who they wanted but that's not a person I want to represent me even though he is.

[22:20:02] He is the President of the United States. He so happens to represent me but, I mean, I'm not going to go out of my way to go meet the guy when I don't have to. Because I have to lose -- I would lose time with my own family to go meet this person.

And I would miss two softball games to my oldest daughter to meet with person. So for someone to have me miss family time, which I don't have during the season, that's someone I have to respect and, I mean, I don't have enough respect for him to take time away from my kids and my wife to just shake his hand. That's not me.

LEMON: And you're ready to face the repercussions of that if people -- if fans don't agree with you?

BRANCH: I mean, I never been a big name so it doesn't bother me. But honestly, I've always been the type of guy that, you know, does what I think is right and even if I happen to be wrong, which I don't think I am, I'll deal with what comes later.

But, I mean, hopefully everybody will agree that women should be treated or talked to or, you know, approached like that. So I don't see where anyone could actually say that anything I'm saying is wrong just because it's not about politics.

We've had bad presidents. We've had, you know, ones that made bad decisions. And I don't even know if Trump is going to be a bad president. He could be a good president, for all I know. It's the beginning. But like I said, like it's nothing about the politics. It's about the person and what he said and I don't agree with that.

LEMON: Alan, many Patriot players didn't attend. There were some that didn't attend today. Some gave reasons, some didn't. Are you OK with players not saying why they didn't want to go?

BRANCH: Yes. I mean, sometimes you just don't like being in the light like that. You know, I happen to be one of them but I just felt like I had to say something just because I don't want my daughters to see me and be like, that's my dad and he doesn't believe in, you know, women being treated like this because I don't.

I'm very against it and I'd hate for my son, you know, to see me go to the White House and act like it's OK to do whatever you want if you're a celebrity. Because that's wrong. No matter who he is, I want him to be a humble young man and do the right thing, so.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: You'd rather have -- rather have the respect of your children and your family than the respect of people you don't know, for whatever reason that is.

BRANCH: Yes, for sure.

LEMON: Did you receive -- did you receive any backlash from the Patriots organization for not attending?

BRANCH: I have not. No. I don't expect to have it. I mean, if it does happen, I'm just saying what I feel and I feel like the organization is a great organization and, you know, I don't think that's their organization that would, you know, give me repercussions for saying something I felt during my own off time.

And they usually have everybody have their own voice there.

LEMON: Yes. BRANCH: As long as it's not, you know, distracting towards the season or anything and we're not playing right now, so I feel like I'm pretty good.

LEMON: Alan Branch, thank you. Your family should be very proud of you. Thank you.

BRANCH: Thank you.

LEMON: When we come back, the White House boycott by some Patriots players just the latest political statement by pro-athletes but should they take a stand or stick to sports?

[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Some members of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots boycotting a White House event with President Trump today. This latest collision between politics and professional sports.

I want to bring in Donte Stallworth, the former Patriots wide receiver, Denise White, the CEO at EAG sports management, and Jack Brewer, a former NFL player.

So good to have all of you on. I really enjoyed my conversation just a moment ago with Alan. Jack, I'm going to ask you first. Why do you say players shouldn't bring their political views into the locker room?

JACK BREWER, FORMER NFL PLAYER: I think, you know, the locker room is there. It's a team atmosphere. I think the team concept, I was lucky enough to be captain on three football teams and I always try to keep political views aside.

I think, you know, the team approach is one that's very important and you know, you should keep those things separated. You know, as a team leader, you know, I always looked for opportunities to bring people together and try to avoid any type of divisiveness. And in my opinion, I lead political views and perspectives away from the locker room.

LEMON: OK. But what about when the president talks sports? Let's listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: With your backs against the wall and the pundits, good old pundits, boy, they are wrong a lot, aren't they, saying you couldn't do it, the game was over. You pulled off the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all-time. One of the greatest comebacks of all time. But the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all time and that was just special.

Whether you're trying to win a Super Bowl or rebuild our country as Coach Belichick would say, there are no days off.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So Donte, just one day before the general election Trump announced that Brady and Belichick supported his campaign. But Brady's wife to sell bunch and later denied that he was a supporter. And Tom Brady wasn't there citing family commitments. What's your opinion of the president blurring the lines between sports and politics?

DONTE STALLWORTH, FORMER NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS WIDE RECEIVER: I think everyone in this country, the line has been blurred between sports and politics for decades. You know, when we have our men and women of uniform at our games, that can be a show of patriotism and a show of appreciation towards their sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives for our country.

[22:29:56] But at the same time, people can also view that as political. People view the national anthem at every professional and collegiate and even high school sports and even youth level even where they play the national anthem.

All of that could be seen as political. But I think the biggest thing is when you look at a professional team, and you look at the players and an important part, the most important thing for a team is to be successful and to win football games. And a part of that you need certain cohesiveness to exist.

But as an individual, that cohesiveness can exist if you are not consciously right within yourself, so I don't think that when players speaks politics in locker rooms I don't think it should be an issue. I think that the players are all there for the same reason.

They're all there to win but I don't think anyone should leave their conscience at the edge of the stadium just because someone else doesn't agree with their views or doesn't want to hear them speak about politics.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: And just because they are a professional athlete.

STALLWORTH: Right.

LEMON: Do you see a difference, Denise, between some of the Patriots team members not going to the White House and Colin Kaepernick who refused to stand for the national anthem last season?

DENISE WHITE, CEO, ENTERTAINERS & ATHLETES GROUP: I don't see a difference because each of them are exercising their right to what they believe in. So, although some people might not agree with how Colin Kaepernick got his views across, he's still was able to speak his mind and the same with the Patriots players there out there.

They don't agree with who is in the White House right now and they have that opportunity to decide whether they want to go or not go and that's completely up to them. We live in a society and a country where we get to choose.

So for them to make, to be able to make those stands, I don't think there's a big difference between the two except Colin Kaepernick has kind of made more national news because he was doing it alone in the beginning where the Patriots players have kind of -- some of them have forged together and have done it as a group.

LEMON: Yes. I want to ask you guys about Aaron Hernandez. Today, this is what Roxanne Jones, the founding editor of ESPN magazine wrote. He said, "A college football start at 17, drafted by New England Patriots at 20, signs $40 million deal with the New England Patriots at 23, convicted killer at 25, and dead in apparent suicide at 27. As most of us in sports know, stats never tell the whole story."

So, Donte, you overlapped one season with Hernandez. Is Roxanne right?

STALLWORTH: You know, it's a complicated situation. And obviously he's -- Aaron had a troubled past and all of that, unfortunately, came to fruition with the murder of Mr. Odin Lloyd and the accusal of and subsequent acquittal of these other two gentlemen that were in Boston.

So, you know, as a teammate, I saw Aaron as an extremely talented kid. I saw him as a dedicated kid and who loved football. But obviously, you know, there were -- there was an incident where he had been living a double life and that's really disturbing not just for someone who's worked with another player or person but I think for anyone.

And this whole situation has really been -- I think a lot of it has become lost upon the victims of not just Aaron but just the victims of this whole situation in general, including this 4-year-old daughter.

LEMON: Yes. Right. Jack, let me ask you. Do you think that the NFL provides enough guidance for young people, 23-year-olds or so, who sign $40 million deals who get these big deals?

JACK BREWER, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Definitely they do. I have a lot of experience working with players both on and off the football field. You know, we -- they have, the National Football League provides plenty of resources.

One of the big issues, Don, is that oftentimes these young people don't take advantage of resources and you know how that is when you're a young person. But the National Football League provides educational resources, and every person that plays in the National Football League can get tuition reimbursement, they have programs, they have symposiums. I mean, millions of dollars.

They've also funded a million-dollar trust for NFL players. So you know, I'm a big advocate for the league and that since just because if you really want to take advantage of that, you can go to school for free, you can get, and learn a trade for free. The National Football League compensation takes care of you.

And at some point, you know, as an adult, as a grown person, you have to take that responsibility onto yourself. And a lot of people may not want to hear that but personally that's my opinion.

LEMON: Yes.

BREWER: And that's what I've seen with my own eyes and I've seen tons and tons of success stories of athletes that come from lesser means that end up doing great things off the football field. So, you know, I think the league has done a better job, I think over the past decade you're seeing more and more resources put towards professional athletes off the field, and you know, those programs will continue.

[22:35:01] LEMON: Denise, I'll ask you similar question. In the case of Hernandez, do you think too many people turn their heads to his troubles because of his talent and maybe some folks in the NFL as well?

WHITE: I don't think they turned their heads too. I think he probably hid it very well. You know, the NFL does a remarkable job at the columbine of that he need guys. You know, they go through the Wonderlic Test for their intelligence. They go through grueling interviews by the teams. So, you know, they do the best they can when they are interviewing these kids prior to the draft and coming into the league.

You know, no one can be 100 percent sure that a kid isn't going to get into trouble when they get there. I will tell you sometimes, you know, there's guys that get into trouble and they turn their lives around. The league has -- like they were saying earlier, the league has phenomenal resources for these kids.

But a lot of times these kids don't take those resources and use them to their benefit. With Aaron, I don't feel that people weren't stepping up for him and telling him he was in the wrong or telling him he was doing things wrong. I'm sure his agent -- I know his agent really well -- was probably on him for whatever maybe he was doing that wasn't necessarily in line with being an NFL player.

But at the end of the day he probably hid a lot of what he was doing because no one really thought of him as a killer. I'll tell you, our office was looking at him to represent him probably about eight months before all of this happened and we had no knowledge of a character flaw like that.

So, you know, it's one of those things that, you know, players like that are few and far between, you know, obviously. But they do exist and it's unfortunate because sometimes they're such chameleons. You never know what you're getting until you get it and then sometimes it's too late.

LEMON: Denise, Jack, and Donte, thank you. I appreciate it.

When we come back, inside Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign I'm going to speak to two journalists who say it was doomed from the start.

[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: This is going to be a fascinating conversation so stop what you're doing and watches tonight what may be the first detailed look inside Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and how she failed to defeat Donald Trump, a political novice.

I want to bring in Amie Parnes, she is a senior White House correspondent for The Hill, and Jonathan Allen, a columnist at Roll Call and they are co-authored of "Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign."

I cannot wait to read this. I have a copy right here. I'm going to get you guys to sign, but I cannot wait to read this. So, I have to tell you guys, if you look at the polls, right, the predictions, the blue wall, everything was pointing to Hillary Clinton that it didn't happen. That did not happen.

New York Times reviews your book and described Hilary Clinton's campaign as Titanic-like disaster, a Titanic-like disaster, an epic fail. Do you think people would be surprised or will be surprised from reading your book the dysfunction in this campaign from the very beginning at the very top?

JONATHAN ALLEN, COLUMNIST, ROLL CALL: I mean, they'll be shocked. So, little of it was evident during the campaign. She was ahead in the polls for so long and people expected her to win. A lot of in total machination, the worrying that was going on between different tribes within the campaign was kept quiet this time which was very different than 2008. Because I think people were worried that they were going to be punished if they leaked, if they had some of that come out.

But you know, we go through in this book literally from the launch point all the fighting that was going on internally. All of the dysfunction that was going on. And then through election night, we've got a tick-tack in this book of what was going on in the Peninsula Hotel in Hillary Clinton suite as she is finding out that she is losing the presidency. She believed she was going to win and this incredible, stunning, heartbreaking for her defeat.

LEMON: She couldn't even come out to face everyone.

ALLEN: Yes. That's right. And she needed -- and it took the president - President Obama calling her and urging her to concede to Donald Trump for that to actually happen.

LEMON: Wow. In over their heads, this team?

AMIE PARNES, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE HILL: A little bit. You know, I think what John was saying her message was off from the beginning. We detail we have a tick-tack of what went wrong from the very start of her campaign, the launch speech, she had dozens of aides working with her, outside advisers helping her.

That's different from what you usually see with a speechwriter and a principle. They couldn't come across, they didn't have a message, a central gravitational pull. No one knew what her campaign was about even the speechwriters were confused by that speech. That's how she kicks the ball.

LEMON: But she had all of these plans on her web site, right, but then it was so much when you look back at the Trump message, very similar things. Build the wall.

PARNES: Right.

LEMON: I mean, very simple things, I should say. Build the wall. Jobs. And just, you know, that sort of penetrated where her message was sort of nuanced and do you think that it was too nuance and too sort of muddled that people didn't quite know what she stood for?

ALLEN: Not only people who she was trying to get to vote for her but even some of the people who were on the campaign, one of the senior aides said to us that if had -- what this aide said was I would have had a reason for running or I wouldn't have run. One of her top aides said that. That it was difficult to understand the rationale for her candidacy.

And for Donald Trump, it was a very simple message that involved the few issues that were pretty easy to correlate together that kind of came into this idea of America first. The isolationism, the nationalism, cutting down on trade, cutting down on immigration.

These all sort of fit together into a pretty easy to sell theory. For her, she had a position on everything and I think when we talked to sources, some of them said, look, if she's for everything, she's not for anything.

LEMON: For -- if she's for everything, she's not for anything. She was -- one of the things as I was watching it as an observer here from this particular platform was that she was too sort of wooden and what's the word, almost -- it was almost like a Hollywood studio had put together a presidential candidate. Instead of saying and Donald Trump was saying all of these things and none of it seemed to penetrate.

[22:44:59] Instead of her saying if that doesn't penetrate, then Donald Trump's a you know what, a jerk or whatever, and just come out and say it and let her hair down, that never happened. And so many people who supported her wanted that to happen. Why didn't it?

PARNES: It's so funny. You know, what we're seeing right now is what people are calling the real Hillary Clinton. You know, she's -- she doesn't have that whole system around her so she's able to say what she wants to say.

There was a whole counter to that. They wanted to make her seem likable. They rolled out a whole late-night talk show circuit. She was on Ellen. You know, they -- aides always told us, she's really likable behind the scenes. They couldn't quite break that glass ceiling and make her seem a little more likable.

LEMON: OK. So, let's move on and talk about, we have the pneumonia thing, right, which was a bad move even finally they realized it, just come out and say she's not feeling well. And she's trying to be iron woman, right?

And then you had the Comey thing. And Comey -- the Comey came out and said there was an investigation then later said that they found nothing. But at the same time, there was an investigation going on with Donald Trump that didn't come out.

Has anyone talked to you about that or does that seem odd to either of you? ALLEN: It certainly seems odd. I think there are a lot of things that

Jim Comey, the FBI Director did that was inexplicable in this campaign. He certainly upset everybody when he decided that he was not going to move forward to try to get charges against Hillary Clinton. That upset the republicans.

And then he upset the democrats because he went out and essentially reading an indictment of Hillary Clinton's character which you would never see in FBI director too.

When looking at all of the Comey moves, though, they all trace back to this e-mail server that she set up and whether or not it was criminal, I don't think there was -- I don't think there were many people who thought it was a good idea from a good governance standpoint, and certainly not a lot of people thought it was a good idea from a political standpoint to do that.

That's an own goal to borrow a sports metaphor.

LEMON: Yes.

ALLEN: And that happened. The news of that came out before she even launch her campaign. That was a cloud over the campaign that allowed those who questioned her honesty to have something to point to for the entirety...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: And it took them too long. It took her too long to tackle that issue, to have a definitive answer about that issue.

ALLEN: Absolutely right. She resisted and resisted. We have a scene in the book where she and Bill Clinton are basically giving a lecture to their aides because they're angry that the aides have not figured out a way to make her economic message breakthrough the server.

LEMON: Yes. Quickly, I want to ask you. Because I think it's important, there's another interesting nugget on her e-mail. Hillary Clinton had her I.T. team download her top aides e-mails from 2008. She wanted to know who was leaking and back stabbing.

PARNES: Yes. This is an interesting anecdote that we have in the book. It was all part of this autopsy that she wanted, Don, in the Post (Inaudible). She wanted to know exactly who was leaking, to who where she went wrong. She called in aides around that time to find out exactly what happened and then she ordered a couple of her aides to look and see who was leaking to who.

And in this campaign we saw a different kind of thing. They kind of swept things under the rug. They tried to portray things as very joyful and everyone was getting along when in reality it wasn't the case.

ALLEN: And what's interesting instinct continues, New York Post right now top story.

LEMON: Yes.

ALLEN: It's a witch hunt to find out who talked to us. Even after the campaign, even after all is said and done, the Clinton folks...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Stop complaining. That's good for your book. Jonathan Allen, Amie Parnes, the book is called "Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign." I can't wait to read it. It sounds like a really fascinating read. Thank you for coming on.

PARNES: Thank you.

ALLEN: Thank you.

LEMON: When we come back, outrage after Florida State senator uses the n word in front of two African-American colleagues. I'm going to talk to one of those colleagues next.

[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Well, growing calls tonight for a Florida state senator to step down, he's under fire for using the n-word in front of African- American colleagues.

And I want to bring in CNN correspondent Nick Valencia to update us on this story. Nick, you're down in Florida following this story for us. Florida State Senator Frank Artiles is now apologizing. Explain to us exactly what happened.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The shameful behavior by the republican state senator here in Florida this apparently all unfolded on Monday night when he was having drinks with two democratic state senators both of them African-Americans. They were talking about their frustrations with the state legislature.

And sooner or later, the conversation turned to the frustrations with the GOP state leadership to which Artiles took exception with the Senate president using a vulgarity that we will not use on this program.

But he did not stop there, saying the only reason that the Senate president was voted in was because of the support of six colleagues who he called the n-word.

Now the senator we're about to have on right after this, Senator Audrey Gibson was reportedly so disgusted with the language that he use, the racial slurs that she's stormed off. But Senator Artiles tried to justify his use of the n-word by saying he grew up in a rough part of the town, therefore he was allowed to use it.

The last 48 hours have been very difficult for the senator with calls for him to resign. But we tried to get a one-on-one with the senator, he refused that, but did say earlier tonight that he is not resigning and saying he's actually seeking reelection. Don? LEMON: All right. Nick Valencia in Miami. Nick, thank you very much.

I Appreciate it. I want to bring in now the Florida State Senator who Nick mentioned, Audrey Gibson, one of the senators who heard her colleague use that racial slur. Thank you for joining us tonight, Senator. You doing OK?

AUDREY GIBSON, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I am and thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.

LEMON: Of course. You heard my colleagues reporting, anything you'd like to add to that?

GIBSON: Well, I think that particular part of what unfolded that evening is the second half of what started as slurs towards me personally, the b-word and the a-hole word directed at me personally and then it turned to denigrating the Senate president and his colleagues and calling them that nasty n-word, and I was just taken aback and totally insulted.

LEMON: When you heard Artiles use the P word that word for female genitalia and the n-word, we know that. What went through your mind?

GIBSON: I was just totally disgusted and in shock. I had already turned my back towards him because he had come to a table that several of us were already sitting there chatting with each other and I had totally turned my back towards him and when the conversation escalated, or not, I just looked at him, I said, "what did you say" and I picked up my purse, walked out and walk myself back to my car.

LEMON: I want to play your colleagues apology. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANK ARTILES, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: To Senator Audrey Gibson, I apologize. I'm so sorry. For the words and the tone I used with you, regretfully Monday night. There is no excuse, nor will I offer one. My comments to you are the most regretful of all because they injured you personally.

No one deserves to be spoken that way, much less, a person of your stature, dignity, and integrity. I humbly ask that you accept my heartfelt apology.

(CROSSTALK)

[22:55:06] LEMON: Senator Gibson what do you think?

GIBSON: I think it was very staged. I never look back but I understand that there was a scripted, those were scripted remarks and so be it.

LEMON: Is this the first time an incident like this has happened?

GIBSON: It's the first time an incident like this has happened to me personally. When I was in a member of the Florida House there was an incident that involved an individual who used an n-word to refer to a colleague in his hometown in South Florida which he ultimately he did resign his office.

LEMON: It sounds like he, Artiles, tried to clarify to you and your other colleagues, state Senator Perry that he used the n-word ending in an a and he explains his use of that word by saying he's from Hialeah which has a large Hispanic population. What do you make of that explanation?

GIBSON: Well there is no explanation for it. The sentiment is the same anyway. And he was not talking to the boys. That is not how that happened. It escalated from personal insults to me because I had questioned some of his bills or voted against them and he rescinded that. And so, it turned from me to talking about our leadership and it was very, very disgusting and nasty.

LEMON: I have to go, Senator, but what do you want, do you want him to resign or you just want to talk to him?

GIBSON: I have nothing else to say to him at all. Whether he resigns or not I believe is up to the leadership.

LEMON: Yes.

GIBSON: But he as an individual knows what he should do.

LEMON: OK. Thank you, Senator. I appreciate it.

GIBSON: Thank you so much.

LEMON: When we come back, President Trump talking tough on Iran but are his stern words enough for supporters who expected him to rip up the Iran deal on day one?

[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Fox News kicks its biggest star to the curve.

This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

Bill O'Reilly out after multiple women come forward with allegations of sexual harassment.