Return to Transcripts main page

CNN TONIGHT

Mueller's Investigators Asking About Jared Kushner's Role In Firing Of Comey; CNN Exclusive Former Trump Campaign Adviser Testifies; Kushner's Team Turned Over Documents To Special Counsel; Trump's Twitter Account Disappeared; New Scrutiny Of Kushner, Sessions, Clovis, And Carter Page; Trump On Unfilled Jobs. Aired 11- Midnight ET

Aired November 2, 2017 - 23:00   ET

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


[23:00:00] HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: ...this blanket is not the time, it is not going to work.

DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: Hillary, what do you say that and isn't it about having a bee behind her name?

ROSEN: First of all, since that time there is a significant number of reform that is the DNC had instituted that ought to be recognized. Whether or not or not they are getting well enough communicated is a good question. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders over the last couple of months have been very focused on where this country is going, the kind of leadership that we have is destroying us. That is where we have to have our priorities. The inner working of the DNC is not really that important to people. Let the DNC get their act together and let them live with their new reforms. But Democrats have to stand as Americans have to stand and focus on the real threats that we are facing right now from the current leadership.

LEMON: I will tell you what, though, Scott you don't get a chance to talk because it is over.

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I disagree. What?

LEMON: It is over. I am sorry, listen.

JENNINGS: I got like a great ten seconds line. I got like a hundred of them.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: OK. You are going get me in trouble, OK. What do you want to say? Do you want to have the final word?

JENNINGS: You know what I love Democrats right now is none of them can accept the results of these election. Hillary Clinton is cannot accept still that Trump beats her. Sanders still can't accept that Clinton beat him. It is like a whole circular firing.

LEMON: Oh boy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It had nothing to do with those two candidates. (LAUGHTER)

LEMON: I tell you what though.

ROSEN: Donald Trump is obsessed with Hillary Clinton. Come on.

LEMON: I am going to read Dona Bazile's book, because it is going to make it all interesting and good for book sales. I am sure. Thank you all. I appreciate it, see you next time. This is CNN tonight, I am Don Lemon. It is just a little past 11:00 p.m. here on the east coast. We are live with breaking news of the Russian investigation, it seems that no matter where the President turns, another member of team Trump is facing uncomfortable questions. CNN has learned, investigators are asking and witness interviews about Jared Kushner role in the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

That as former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page testified today that he told Jeff Sessions, he was traveling to Russia in July of 2016. Sessions himself seems to forget about that in his senate testimony. You know what else he seems to have forgotten? Trump listening to George Papadopoulos and quote, "heard him out in that meeting" with campaign foreign policy adviser that is according to another adviser who was in the room. Also tonight, a story behind President's twitter account, why disappear for a full 11-minute tonight and who did it? We'll discuss all of that. But first we want to get to the serious business here. I want to bring in CNN justice correspondent Evan Perez. Evan, what are this documents that Jared Kushner is handing over to the Mueller's team?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well Don, sources tells that Kushner voluntarily turned over documents that he had from the campaign and transition and this related to any contacts that he had with Russians and documents that are similar to ones that Kushner gave over to the congressional investigators earlier this year. Investigators have begun to ask questions about Kushner's role in the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Some say Kushner was a driver of the President's decision. Others opposed that something that the President have made up his mind and based on what they know, Kushner is not a target of this investigation, Don.

LEMON: There are also new questions tonight about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his testimony of congress and possible contact between the Trump campaign and Russia. What are you learning?

PEREZ: Well, today Carter Page, you remember Carter Page, former national security adviser to candidate Trump spent more than six hours giving private testimony and he was asked about July 2016 trip that he made to Moscow and whether he told anyone at the Trump campaign about it. He told lawmakers about a dinner that he attended with the Trump national security team. When he approached then Senator Jeff Sessions, he mentioned in passes that he was heading to Russia in a few weeks. Democrats say this raises yet more questions about whether Sessions had been forthcoming in his answers about testimony during his Russian contacts in the campaign. They say he may have to come back to Capitol Hill and explain himself. Republican Congressman Mike Conway said, look, he does not blame Sessions for not remembering such a minor interaction, you know we reported earlier this week that Sessions was at a Trump's campaign national security meeting. We saw pictures of that we have been using the last few days. That is where the former national security adviser, George Papadopoulos, who has pleaded guilty and lying to the FBI and raised the prospect of a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Sessions we are told, ended up rejecting the idea, but Don, we are also learning tonight that there was another Trump campaign adviser who was in the meeting and picture in that photograph we are using Jaime Gordon, he told Jim Acosta that Donald Trump listened to George Papadopoulos on the Putin meeting idea and he quote, "heard him out." The White House of course Don has said, they don't think the president remembers any of this.

[23:05:15] LEMON: Evan Perez, thank you for your reporting. I want to bring in now former CIA officer Evan McMullin who ran for president last year as an independent. Also CNN political commentator, Van Jones and Mike Shields, and CNN national security and legal analyst Susan Hennessy. Good evening. Welcome to the program everyone. Evan you first.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good evening.

LEMON: You just heard Van, Mueller's probe has now gone to the president's inner circle at the White House, beyond just campaign matters, how significant is that?

JONES: Look, I think it is very significant and we'll talk about a lot of stuff tonight. I want to point out it is very difficult for a White House to function when you know people who work there are going home and their spouses are asking them, we have to go into our saving accounts to hire lawyers just because of what's going on. I love listening to Trump -- oh, this is so normal, this is almost unprecedented level of dysfunction, chaos and now possible criminality at the very inner circle. When you got Jared Kushner, the President's son-in-law having to turn over documents in a criminal investigation, this is gone beyond reality TV show. It is a horror show.

LEMON: Mike, here is President Trump in February.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I told you General Flynn obviously was dealing. So that is one person, but he was dealing as he should have been.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: During the election?

TRUMP: No. Nobody that I know of.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you are not aware of the contact during the course of the election?

TRUMP: How many times do I have to answer this question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you just answer it?

TRUMP: Russia is a rouge.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So tonight Trump campaign adviser who was in the March 2016 meeting where George Papadopoulos mentioned setting up a potential Trump/Putin meeting. Does the president heard him out? How damaging do you think this is all to Trump.

MIKE SHIELDS, FORMER RNC CHIEF OF STAFF: I said from the beginning that the reason the President gets frustrated by this is because this campaign is unlike any, a little bit to Evan was saying, this campaign, this administration is unlike anything you may have seen. You had the Clinton's campaign that had a hierarchy, that had staffers, you knew what their jobs were and they know how to do sophisticated things like pay a law firm to and get a dossier so that does not show up on you FPC report. That is something a professional operatives would do.

The Trump's campaign was people coming in and out and volunteers, there wasn't a real structure around this campaign and the only person that is in charge was the chief communicator and the President. He gets frustrated, I did not collude with Russia and I was the entire campaign. Maybe some staffers did it and it is a load of bull but I had nothing to do with it. So far what we have seen is there are some people that may have made mistakes. They have done something they should not have done. It is a far cry from a big co conspiracy that collude with Russia. The Trump campaign barely could collude with themselves. The only person that won the election that was in charge and that was President Trump.

LEMON: So they are too incompetent to collude even though they are trying. So if you are trying to rob a bank, don't you think you still go to jail for it?

SHIELDS: I don't think they were trying. I think the Russians were trying to collude with them. I don't know that. I don't know if they are trying to get involved. I don't think you had low people that wanted the grand stand. Most of us who works in politics never heard of before. They're trying to puff themselves up and getting involved is what looks like to me. Let me be clear.

Look, if they did something illegal and it is found out, don't get me wrong and even incompetence can get you do something illegal and get you into jail, right?

JONES: Listen, Don, first of all, these are not low level people involved, you got the Vice President and high people. But also, much more importantly, you have the candidate himself, Donald Trump, saying things out of his mouth that are verbatim, a Russian propaganda talking points over and over again. You have the candidate and the President himself who has talked bad about everybody on earth. I think this guy has insulted every form of life on the planet except Vladimir Putin. So, the idea that all this --

SHIELDS: Van, policy had not been proven.

LEMON: Evan, what do you say to this?

EVAN MCMULLIN, 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let us be clear, that incompetence is not a requirement for attempted collusion. In fact, I would argue that if you are an American, Presidential candidate and you are entertaining colluding with the foreign power that is actively trying to undermine our democracy, you are incompetent. That is for sure.

[23:10:08] You are also disloyal and a slew of other things. Just because you are incompetent does not mean you did not try to collude or did not collude. In fact the president of United States encourage openly overtly the Russians to interfere with our election. Some say that was a joke but that has meaning in these things and I think, he was encouraging the Russians to take the action they did. Every week we find out something new about how this campaign was connected at multiple levels to Moscow and the kremlin.

This is not a nothing burger, this is very serious. Trump set the tone at the very least, maybe he did more but he at least set the tone. His campaign was riddled with people with Russian connections that is not normal and it does not happen. If you are Jeff Sessions and sitting in meetings and these ideas are being raised and somebody else is coming to you, hey, you are going to take a trip to Russia. Your alarm bell should go off. Any U.S. senator should have that experience should go either to the candidate first perhaps and say this got to stop and eventually if not to the FBI, there is a serious problem here. This is not normal at all.

LEMON: I appreciate your patience. Sir, let me ask you this question. There is new scrutiny tonight over Russia connections related to Jared Kushner, Jeff Sessions, Sam Clovis, and Carter Page, who do you think is in legal jeopardy here?

SUSAN HENNESSEY, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY AND LEAGL ANALYST: I think all of them has potentially, what we really see here is something that plays out in lots of different kinds of investigation investigations, it is not the crime and it is the cover up. What's going to put these people into jeopardy is making federal investigations or to congress. Those are sworn statements and those are legal penalties. What we look at the Papadopoulos and what he pled guilty to and what he caught up in was making those false statements. Those are likely charges and those are what to look for right now. They certainly sort of smoke around and all of them but we don't have any sort of substantive information to say ok, there is evidence that they are guilty of this crime or that.

LEMON: To Van's point Susan, I mean if all these people are being interviewed and you got to go home, you are wondering yourself, can we afford this and how much longer can it go on and do I have any exposure here, Van makes a really good point, what do you say to that, Susan? HENNESSEY: I think it is unbelievable demoralizing. It is not the

first administration that face this issue. White House staffers there legal fees aren't covered by the government. You know this was something a lot of staffers in the Clinton administration wind up with hundreds of thousands of dollars of legal fees. What we are seeing that the Trump administration is hemorrhaging talent and not only they are not able to maintain sort of the staff that they do have a difficult time, you know drawing new people in, we are seeing a lot and a lot of vacant positions as sort of the chaos continues and continues to develop the administration and they really do need effective communications, effective attorneys, they are going to find out and people do not want to take on the risk themselves

LEMON: All right. Stick around everyone, when we come back with Russian revelations piling up and President Trump is speaking out tonight about Hillary Clinton. Plus who took President Trump's twitter account offline for 11 minutes and how did they do it? Hire that person.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:17:10] LEMON: We have breaking news tonight, President Trump speaking out tonight, talking about Hillary Clinton. Back with me is Evan McMullin, Van Jones, Mike Shields and Susan Hennessey. OK so welcome back everyone.

Susan, the President was just asked in an interview tonight about why the Justice Department is not going after Hillary Clinton. Here is how he respond.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The saddest thing is because I am the president of United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department or the FBI and doing the things that I would love to be doing, I am very frustrated but --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So very frustrated, what does that statement say so you, Susan?

HENNESSEY: The president of United States is saddened and frustrated by sort of the commitment to the fundamental rules of law. That is a whole mark of U.S. Democracy. It is an unbelievably important traditions that is respected by Presidents of both parties. They are both stunning and not yet at all surprising and really shocking to hear this kind of attitude and approach of the fundamental rules of law from a President. At the same time we have seen Trump not only says things like this in the past, but actually act as if he does not care about the FBI. Making statements about that his political opponent should be investigated. I am calling for individual to receive the death penalty before they actually gone to the criminal justice system. So once again, sort of his instinct and really hostility to the notion of an independent, a political law enforcement is in full display again. LEMON: He said he is frustrated that he cannot get involved, right?

In the same interview, he tweeted this. Dona Brazile just stated the DNC rigged the system and steal the primary from Bernie Sanders. Bought and paid for by crooked aide. This is real collusion and dishonesty, major violation of campaign finance laws and money laundering. Where is our Justice Department? Van, what do you make of that? The President is calling the Justice Department to go after the political rival and not mentioning after he just said he cannot get involved.

JONES: This is sort of stuff you kind of expect from Trump and consistency is not his middle name. I see that somewhat differently. The first statement that he made in some way could be read as a recognition that he does have someone to his power, which is unusual for him to say. I agree, it shows a frustration that is shaping a bit which I agree with the earlier comment. There is a bit there. That is something good that I think you can take away from it if you wanted to. But him trying to say the best he can and it goes back the whole "lock her up thing." we had this obsession that Trump had with Hillary Clinton criminality which I can't help but at some point believe could be projection. I mean if everything he says about her is how criminal she is, I sometimes wonder - it is a psychological projection, we will see these investigations going forward.

[23:20:17] LEMON: Mike, the president also did another interview with Fox tonight where he was asked about filling in empty positions at the state department, here is how he responded.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We don't need all the people. Don't forget, I am a business person. I tell my people that you don't need to fill slot, stone filling, but we have some people that I am not happy with their - let me tell you, the one that matters is me. I am the only one that matters, because when it comes to it, that is what the policy is going to be. You see that and you see it strongly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: "I am the only one that matters." is that what you want to hear from your President?

SHIELDS: First of all. Can I go back to some Van of what he said? I completely agree with him, I sort of shaking my head. People, critics of the president gets really frustrated with him when he talks about how he is going to sort of his authoritarian figure and he is going to just ignore the rule of law and here he was actually saying factually, I cannot get involved with the Justice Department. I ran a campaign and saying lock her up every day, I cannot do that. He is still going to be criticized for that.

HENNESSEY: But he is frustrated and sadden.

SHIELDS: He is expressing his opinion that he is watching someone that he thinks that broken the law but he cannot do anything about it. You have Bill Clinton getting speeches from Russians. You have the Secretary of State's foundation getting money and you also see the uranium deal that is going through while she is secretary of state. So you are watching things that I am pretty frustrated by it too.

LEMON: Not only you dodge the question and you held out a shiny object that has been disproven over and over again about uranium. You should not bring up talking point or conspiracy theories that is not proven and that has been debunked. You do yourself and the candidate and the viewing public a service.

SHIELDS: I would love to have a whole conversation. I will talk to you about the state department.

LEMON: We could. Hang on. I could read you every fact checking, talk to you about (inaudible), I could talk to you about the nine different departments of the government and Hillary Clinton not being involved and the person who supposedly had ownership in uranium one that is sold before the deal went through, none of that matters because that is not what we are talking about. Evan, can you please answer the question that I gave to Mike before.

MCMULLIN: We are so far past that, Don, sorry

LEMON: The President says he is the only one that matters, do you want to hear that from your President?

MCPIKE: OK. First of all. That tape you just played is Donald Trump confessing of his authoritarian tendencies. That bit in his mouth was put there by his the system. That was put by there by the system that is not him restraining himself and respecting the system. That is the system checking in so that is a good thing.

With regards to that, it is not all about Donald Trump. We have a leader in the system and he is very important but there are many other powers. They all have their authorities according to our constitution. It is not all about him. I believe that he does want to keep other elements of the executive branch like the state department so that he has more power within the executive branch. I do think that is a purpose of his. But, it is all wrong. We have our power divided across the government and we need experts and we need people to carry out policies to execute activities and our interests and it cannot all be done by the President and his loyal family members.

LEMON: That is all we have time for, thank you all, I appreciate it. The Mueller's indictment had been the story of the week since they were revealed Monday morning. One of the homes, Paul Manafort is accused of laundering money through is right here in New York were some people notice an interesting Halloween decorations. A Brooklyn resident placed this Jack o lantern with Robert Mueller's face on it. And in front of Paul Manafort's Brooklyn Browns. Manafort remains under house arrest at his home in Alexander Virginia. His lawyers were in court today and the next hearing is Monday at 9:30 a.m. When we come back, the president's personal twitter account deactivated for over ten minutes today. What twitter says happen plus denial and denial mistruth at the White House press briefings? We are keeping tabs on how Sarah Sanders is spinning the truth. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:28:55] LEMON: I want you to imagine this, President Trump went out on his twitter account. It actually happens for several minutes tonight. And for a pretty surprising reason, I want to bring in now CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter, CNN political commentator David Swerdlick, and Annie Courtney White House reporter for Politico. So Brian, can we get this out of the way. We had a major crisis tonight, President Trump's twitter account went down, Twitter recently said his account was deactivated due to human error by a twitter employee, but after investigating, the incident they found that it was done by an employee of his or her last day.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: It is seem like a customer service employee who want to torch the president on his way out. On one level it is silly and juvenile behavior. On another level that person could have potentially posted fake tweets, could have posted threatening comments or somehow disable the account more permanently. That is troubling of any random employee at a technology company had the ability to mess with your account and never mind the President's account. Don, I think twitter will have some explaining to do.

LEMON: Yes, does that reinforce the idea that we should not be, twitter should not be serious policy tool, especially someone who is running the free world should be using. It should be coming directly from the White House.

STELTER: I think you are dreaming a little bit.

LEMON: I am just saying. That is one added filter and one other level that something could go wrong.

David, what does it say about America in 2017 that the President's twitter feed is going down for 11 minutes cause such a stir?

DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. I agree of what Brian said. There is a humor side to this but when you look at it, it is very serious. Twitter is a private service, they have the right if they feel the president or anybody else violates their term of service. Someone there had access but it should not be a random employee. The President has 40 million plus followers and it is his primary tool of communication. People get his every word even if it offends or causing controversies in many instances rather than the pre-scripted press relief President Trump. That is why people over the last year or two years or more have become accustomed just hanging on exactly what his next tweet will be.

LEMON: Annie, the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders had the day off today, instead National security adviser H.R. McMaster took the podium, watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The President will use whatever language he wants to use obviously. What the President has done is clarified in all of his discussions and statements on North Korea and our determination to insure that North Korea is unable to threaten our allies and our partners in the United States. He is done that with a great deal of clarity in the past and I am sure he will do that during the trip as well. That is been a great resource to our allies, partners and others in the region who are literally you should under the gun of this regime.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Annie what do you think? Did you notice a difference between McMaster's briefing today and when Sanders is running the show?

ANNIE KAMI, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, POLITICO: I think he gets more target questions to his area of expertise. Than with Sarah Sanders have to kind of take all of the day questions. We are going to go five rounds with McMaster on the Mueller's investigation, they wanted this briefing to be ahead of Trump foreign trip and more focus on that. Sometimes it makes for less news.

LEMON: Yes, I think the reason that some people that McMaster was a welcoming for some today. The White House briefing, the briefings have become filled with almost laughable of in accuracies and deflections and lies and cutting people off. I want to walkthrough some of them just from this week. Take a listen and we'll discuss.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We need quick justice and we need strong justice, much quicker and stronger than we have right now. What we have right now is a joke and it is a laughingstock.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President calling the U.S. justice system is a joke and a laughing stock.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He says the process had people calling us a joke and a laughingstock.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Are you surprise of the length that that Sanders will go to defend the President, because I mean it is really shocking because - the tape will show something and she say no that is not what happen.

STELTER: And the same with John Kelly. This is what we mean as a credibility crisis at this White House. It was clear on day one and two after the inauguration of Sean Spicer, but it is continuing to be drawn on a daily basis and sometimes we get numb do it and we forget how often there are these untruths and I am glad you are highlighting with a clip like that. There is times that Sanders won't answer questions and on basic of what you just showed there is no rational for that.

LEMON: This is general Kelly is talking about the civil war.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did the White House at least acknowledge that

the chief of staff comments are deeply offensive. It is historically inaccurate?

HUCKABEE SANDERS: No, because as I said before that you cannot -- because you don't like history does not mean you can erase it and pretend it did not happen. I think it is disgraceful to keep trying make comments and taking them out of context.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: What do you say to that? How do you take something out of context when you are reading back the exact and playing back the exact words of what someone said, how is that out of context?

[23:35:08] KAMI: I think what she is doing here is, two things, one is, she is following her boss lead which is very rarely never apologize. You don't back down. She is not going to apologize especially John Kelly has said and did not back down. She is pushing a message and she is speaking and distributing the talking points to the base and supporters and that is what she comes out there to do. That is how she sees her role and Donald Trump, President Trump still watches almost daily and still asks her for a debrief and giving her notes when she comes off the podium. And he likes it when she is combative and she doesn't give in.

LEMON: David, she is not just speaking to just the base, maybe that is what they are doing. He is governing for all America. It does a disservice to Americans and to inform electorate when you are constantly lying at the podium about something that is right in front of your very eyes. That is a disservice even to their own base.

SWERDLICK: Well, sure, right, the President once he becomes the President should speaking to the entire people even if he recognizes the entire body politics does not agree with him. Sarah Huckabee Sanders in the role she is in, should recognize that she is articulating official information from the White House. It is not the political campaign. You expect the White House press secretary to spin things or to frame things that are favorable to the administration. What you don't expect is for her to hear a tape play of the president saying one thing and then to say the other. You don't expect her to say that General Kelly was taken out of context when we have the entire context.

STELTER: She feels she is under attack on a daily basis and as of Trump. They feel like they are under attack and so she is trying to give them a day to come up with something. It is interesting of her perspective, will she be proud of this ten years from now, all of us want to look back and be proud of how we as journalist approach to this moment of history. I don't know if White House aides are going to be proud of how they handled this?

LEMON: Will you force to take this down?

STELTER: I am thrilled to be here every day and I am not sitting here and twisting myself like a pretzel, because then I cannot come back the next day.

LEMON: I agree with you. Lying is a whole another show. When we come back, Trump ally and Brexit leader Nigel Farage, in hot water for saying quote, Jewish lobby has disproportion power in the United States.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:42:16] LEMON: Trump supporter and leader of the Brexit movement in Britain Nigel Farage accused of pushing anti-Semitics stereotype referring to the influence to the so called nonexistence Jewish lobbying of American politics. A caller to his London radio program ask why Russia's involvement in the election is an issue. Yet nobody talks about Israel involvement. Well Farage answered, by citing what he calls big influence of Israel and America and then said this about the Jewish lobby in America.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIGEL FARAGE, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER AND BREXIT CHAMPION: We in terms of money and influence, yes. By a very powerful lobby, an army actually. America has interfered in election all over the world for decades. There is a degree of hypocrisy about this. There is a powerful foreign lobby in the United States of America and the Jewish lobby with its leagues with the Israeli government is one of those strong voices.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So I want to talk about this with CNN political commentator Peter Beinart, Alice Stewart and Angela Rye and Ben Ferguson. So the caller shifted the subject to Israel and Farage went even further, is he saying Peter that Americans should be more worried about Jews than about Russians meddling?

PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think the problem with the analogy is pretty simple. Russia is a foreign government. American Jews are citizens of the United States. The American Jews should be involved in the political process. Just as any other American should be involve in the political process. To kind of compare of a group of Americans to a foreign government seems to be suggested that somehow, American Jews are not legitimately citizens of the United States. Whether he meant that or not, that is kind of the way it came across.

LEMON: Angela, Nigel Farage is an ally and friend of Trump and the two have met at Trump tower just days after Trump won in November 2016. The president twitted this, many people would like to see Nigel Farage represents Great Britain as the ambassador of the United States, he would do a great job, this a problem is there a problem here, you think?

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think there is a challenge and the challenges is that Nigel Farage sounds very much like a lot of what we heard. Not just from Donald Trump but a number of people affiliated with Donald Trump. One of the things that Peter just said, that I think is really important is that we encourage people this in country to get involved in lobbying the government and ensuring the government is pushing forward policy that impacts the community in a positive way. I for one, as a black woman in this country, think that we have a lot to learn from the way in which Jewish folks and Jewish community in this country had ensured their interests are being heard and when we are talking about issues relating to the holocaust and ensuring that people understand that history and to ensure it never happens here or anywhere in the world is very important as particularly when you think of the slave trade that impacted on African-American people. I don't understand why there are other rings of Jewish people now. We certainly see it before we just saw just the other day with the terrorist attack.

[23:45:27] LEMON: So Ben, months later the President and Farage are dined together again at the Trump's international hotel. Do you think these comments by Farage who the President has embraced? Do you think it reflect on the President of the administration?

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Dom I think it is pretty clear that this President has a very close relationship with the leadership in Israel and a lot of his good friends viewing the work with him is Jewish. He has a strong relationship with the Jewish community. And the campaign supporting the state of Israel. He was talking that he is a friend of Israel. I think you got to put in context, I do a radio show three hours a day and when someone calls in to you show, I think one of the things was influence does give you and money does give you influence in elections. Let's be honest, if you are an ally of the United States of America like Israel is, they are going to have a very close, you know, relationship with whoever the next President of the United States of America is. They did not have a close relationship with President Obama. There were a lot of people that were Jewish that wanted to be involved in the last election and supported Donald Trump. I think people are making more out of the statement of what's really there. I don't think it is controversial as someone trying to make it out to be.

LEMON: Is it of a covert operation of the election?

FERGUSON: I don't think he was going as far as talking about an operation. I do think his point was you do have many people that are Jewish and making sure their voices are heard in Washington. We have seen that for decades. They're in the Middle East where it is a really important issue and being surrounded by Hamas.

LEMON: I get your point.

I want Alice.

FERGUSON: I don't think it is that tough.

LEMON: Go ahead, Alex.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it is a fine line of thoughts and comments from one person to the candidate or elected officials all the time and to directly link Donald Trump to these comments is a mistake. Another thing as Ben said, I listen to a pretty good portion of the hour long show that he had and most of it was on Russian meddling and his callers got him off down this rabbit hole with regards to Israel. I think he did make a mistake when he referred to Israel influence in regards to the money and having money to influence America's politics and calling it a Jewish lobbying.

Jewish people and America are not the only ones in America that supports Israel. Israel are greatest allies in the Middle East and many America support issues that will be beneficial to Israel. I think that is important to keep in mind. I think some of what he said was taken out of context in a larger scheme of the segment of a show. I think it is important to notice it and as Angela says, I think it is great when you can have someone having a vested interest or united interest that they could really get together and influence politics. I think any group should do the same.

LEMON: I got to get to a break. Stay with me everyone. When we comeback Michelle Obama says women protect men too much and making them entitled and self-righteous, is she right?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:53:00] LEMON: Back now with my panel. Angela I want to play some sound from Michelle Obama yesterday at the First Obama Foundation International Summit in Chicago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE U.S.: Are we protecting our men too much so they feel a little entitled and a little self- righteous sometimes, but that is kind of on us two as women and mothers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yep.

OBAMA: You know, as we nurture men and push girls to be perfect.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So what do you think? Are we raising, are women raising men to feel entitle the and self-righteous sometimes?

RYE: I think that she has a point. I definitely appreciate the fact that she said sometimes. I am a godmother of five god sons, and I know that it's in our nature to protect them, particularly going out into a very rough and tumble world. The one thing that I will acknowledge is that it's very important to understand the sign of the times. What's happening right now? Why would Michelle Obama be saying that? Think about Harvey Weinstein and everything that is happening in Hollywood, think about who is in the White House. So I think it's important for us to recognize those other aspects.

LEMON: Alice do women and mothers fall short in raising boys, do you think?

STEWART: I don't think so. Look, I think she and the former President have been phenomenal parents. Their daughters are phenomenally young women. I look at this from a different standpoint for society today what we're seeing is liberals raising a society of snowflake kids where everybody has to be protected, everybody gets a participation trophy. I think that is where the problem we have right now. I think all kids should learn the agony of defeat otherwise you don't understand the thrill of victory. That is where we need to focus now. Kids to not be protected, they need to learn right from wrong, winning and losing because that will set them up for things that happen in the future.

LEMON: Peter, she said society protects boys more than it does girls.

BEINART: Look, men are privileged over women. I mean, just like white privilege are privileged over African Americans. When you're privileged it means you can ignore certain things. You don't have to deal with certain things. You can just pretend they don't exist because they don't really happen to you. I think that is what Michelle Obama was getting at and I think she is right.

[23:55:11] LEMON: Ben?

FERGUSON: I think she is partly right about one thing. I think we do put too much pressure on women to be perfect whether it be magazines and looks and hair and everything else and I think we've seen a lot of negative impacts on society. I also disagree with her on the point that we're raising boys to somehow and maybe we're, you know, making them to have too big of an ego or to be too powerful. No I think we are actually doing the opposite.

LEMON: Entitled and self-righteous, she said.

FERGUSON: Yeah. I think we have too many men that aren't being men. We have too many men that aren't taking care of their kids in this country. We have too many men that walk out on families. We have too many men that don't raise their children.

LEMON: Don't get too entitled and self-righteous now, Ben.

(LAUGHTER)

FERGUSON: No. I'm not ripping on men. But I mean we have too many men in this country that have been able to punt on their responsibilities as a father, as a parent. There are too many moms that are having to be mom and dad in this country. And too many grandmothers that are raising too many of their grand kids.

LEMON: Listen, I've got to go. Ben, but we had a conversation on the break about you hogging the panel, and you went longer.

(LAUGHTER)

FERGUSON: I get bonus time for that.

LEMON: Bring the stop watch over here. We stop watched, just throw it over here. We stop watched your entire thing and you went one minute and that was longer than anybody else spoke. There you go.

RYE: Time hog.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: Bye. Good night. See you tomorrow.

RYE: Fact check. Goodbye.

STEWART: Good night Don.