tv Cuomo Prime Time CNN February 13, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PST
trump or the kingdom of saudi arabia played parity in the story. they're now providing the evidence to support the claims. i news continues now. i want to hand it over to chris. for cuomo "prime time". >> thank you. i am chris cuomo. welcome to "prime time." new tonight, a judge ruled that paul manafort lied about his meeting with a russian operative repeatedly mueller, to the fbi, and a grand jury b matters that are considered close to the heart of the russia investigation. we now know the central question mueller needs answer and we're going to take it up in cuomo's court. then do the democrats have a problem? are the party of the progressives? or the sent sen -- we have one of each here to take on competing notions of the green new deal. and the gop, they have their own family feud going on over the shutdown deal. 48 hours left before the
government goes out of business. again, which voices will this president heed? great debate. what do you stay? let's get after it. things just got worse for the president's former campaign chair. there is a chance he could spend the rest of his life in prison. why? federal judge just voided his plea deal with the special counsel tonight. that means they don't have to request leniency. the judge agrees with bob mueller of three of the five examples he gave of them lying. over the course of the cooperation in the russia inquiry. lies matters close do the heart of the investigation, his interactions with a man tied to russian intelligence, the judge also says he lied to the fbi and grand jury. here's the main question. why did he lie if he had nothing to hide?
when he had already cut a plea deal? why? let's bring cuomo's court into session. we have mike rogers. just so we're on the same page, gentlemen, thank you for doing this short notice. three of the five things. where they say i don't think did he lie. i judge said i don't think did he lie is one about his contacts with the administration and, two, about whether or not he was involved with trying to miss with the other witnesses. that is one thing. both of those are really irrelevant. it would have been bad if he was lying about the contacts. garret, when you look at this, the judge coming through and saying mueller was right. he's lying about these things. why is it relevant to you with the overall scope of the investigation? we're not that concerned about paul manafort. the sentence is the sentence. it's what he means to the over all probe. what's your take. >> it's not irrelevant that all of this seems to involve the
russian. this is a figure who is uncredibly important to the investigation, we think. his ties to multiple russian oligarchs. this is a figure that we know from paul manafort's inability to use technology correctly, that he leaked polling data to in the midst of the campaign. and we also know that bob mueller in court filings has assessed that u.s. intelligence believes that this is someone who is tied to russian intelligence in the midst of 2016. so this is in many ways the key figure on the other side that we have seen so far. and remarkably it consisted of over a year now that paul manafort's most shady behavior is that which involves this man. >> the reason it's such a big deal is it's a matter of fact that he lied about these things h who is right and who is wrong?
you see it now. the judge used the right standard. it is laid out. that is the process. it's in the record as fact. here's what i don't get. the meetings weren't illegal. they were not even arguably a problem for him. why lie about them? i get lying about the payments. i get lying about the money transfers and stuff like that. he was trying to cover his tracks from attacks and investigative perspective but why did he lie about these things? >> that's the question. in the entire investigation. why would he lie? he not only just had these relationships, he went to spain to have a conversation specifically to talk about polling data. that in and of itself is not illegal. if it's yours, you own it. you're allowed to share it with whoever you want. there is no classification on it for sure. boy, that's just -- that doesn't pass the smell test for me. and so the loan, $125,000 loan very late into this event or payment i should say to the law
firm. all of these things just -- yeah, they don't smell right. then you look at general flynn who lied about calling up the ambassador which by the way in and of itself not illegal. having a conversation about any policy issue he wanted as the incoming national security guy for the incoming president of the united states. not illegal. >> right. >> you know, off color a little bit. not illegal. then he lied about it to the fbi. why? and i agree with you. i wish i knew the answer to this. i think the mueller report is going to find that out for us. but all of the folks who are going to jail they have a whole host of other charges. like manafort brank fraud and other things. same with his lawyer cohen. but in the case of lying piece to the investigators, it's all centered around russia. and again, you know, you just have to start asking yourself why did all of them lie about their connections with the russians? what are they hiding?
did they somehow think that they were going to get in trouble? i'm going to lie to stay out of trouble. that part the investigation will have to determine. >> that would make sense. we see it all the time. you lie because you want to cover up what you were doing. here they keep saying, we have nothing to cover up. there is nothing wrong about this. the meeting in trump tower was fine for us to take it. but then why did you lie about it? why did you come up with that statement? why did you say the president had nothing to do with it and then he did? it's like they're making their own trouble. how do you see it? >> the third example is mike cohen trying to work the trump tower moscow deal in this. and the president is lying about it. this is a case you have clear evidence they knew what they were doing is wrong because they were lying about it. you can see an alternate scenario in the trump tower deal
where the president donald trump is out there on the campaign trail saying, look, i'm the world's smartest businessman. we can fix this relationship with vladimir putin. i know because i'm fixing the relationship with putin. i'm going to build this great building in the midst of moscow. i alone can figure out how to make the deal with putin. and the fact that he didn't say that and covered it up and covered it up for two years gives you some sense there is a guilty mind at work in these situations. >> yeah. look, i got to tell you. i'm listening to you and processing it. it's hard for me to put it together, mike. i thought i had seen everything. i covered so much shady stuff. i saw every creative way that somebody commits a crime for 12 years. but this just doesn't make sense. the special counsel offered up an explanation in the last set of pleadings. they said maybe manafort gets a
pardon by lying to us about this. how does it implicate the president? why would he get a pardon for this? why the president be crazy enough to pardon somebody who did these kinds of things. >> but even that doesn't make sense. you know, how is he helping president? >> i have to say, looking at this, this struck me odd in the sense if you were trying to make a deal with the prosecutors, those russian connections, you know that's what they're interested in. would be really important to them and any relationship that you can tie back into the campaign. and he continued to lie about it. now was he lying to try to protect someone in the campaign? or was he thinking hey, i'm going to play this game? by the way, as you saw on "20/20" and you see in doing stories, i saw in the fbi, people will try to game the system. they think they're the smartest guy in the room. even when -- >> he cut a deal already. he already pleaded guilty. >> but you pleaded guilty on the
notion that he was going to cooperate. where he thought he was going to cooperate. apparently the special counsel and the judge saw differently. i've seen this before where they think, you know, yes, i'll plead guilty to, you know, smashing a window on the car but not driving it away. wink wink, nudge nudge. that's now how the system works. when they play this game this is what happened. he clearly lied to them. he misled them on their investigation. that that's why the sentence is going to be a little steeper than he anticipated going into next week. >> i'll tell you what, this is a very interesting piece of the puzzle. it now frames this question. garret, mike, thank you very much. at the end of the day we have to know. why did all of these people around the president and maybe including the president lie about russia related matters if they had nothing to hide? just boggles the mind. gentlemen, thank you t important night. great people to have here. now i want to tourn a democrat on the judiciary committee. what are they going to do about this?
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great to have you here. >> great to be here. so answer this question. very easy. why did paul manafort lie about these things after making a plea deal if he has nothing to hide? >> well, that is the million dollar question. and all i can think is that he is covering up something. perhaps something he was told to do at the direction of the president and he is now protecting his ability to get a pardon from the president by not actually telling the truth. i don't understand it completely. but that is all i can surmize. that's what you said earlier, chris, that if he was just having meetings or just talking about foreign policy, that would be one thing. but he is telling the special prosecutor one thing. he is lying about it. even though the special prosecutor has told him they will know that he is lying. and so that, of course, leads you to believe that there is something big that he is covering up for the president or for somebody on the president's team. >> i have to tell you, known him a long time. talk to him a lot. not a dumb guy.
he got out over his money. he is all over his schemes. he was upside down with debt. that can create pressure and make do you stupid things. i don't get it. heres the tougher question. what you are going to do about it? when the mueller report comes out, let's say i'm right and it's no the this dispositive prosecution document. it's going to end the presidency and it's not something as absurd treason that it's a no-brainer. all of you must be on the same page. what do you think you do? do do you anything? do you investigate? wa what are you going to do? >> well, first of all, we're not waiting just for the mueller report to come out. as you know, we want to protect that investigation. incredibly important. we have oversight responsibility as the judiciary committee. and so we are getting information. we're preparing for a series of hearings, oversight hearings and we will continue to do that do that work to assess for ourselves and the the mueller report will be a very important piece of that. i believe, chris that, the dominos have just continued to fall.
if you look at what you've covered very well on your show, if you look at the variety of indictments, guilty pleas that mueller has put forward and the information that is there, i think it is actually very, very significant. >> do you see an impeachable set of offenses? >> i'm not sure yet. because i need to get all of the information in front of us. we need to have the hearings. but i think it is extremely significant. these are not small crimes. these are not, you know, there is very clearly being laid out in the documents a conspiracy. and i think that, you know, the work that we have to do is really untangle everything, get the mueller investigation. and then we have to lay it out for the american people. remember, for the last two years, republicans have not allowed us to do a single hearing on any of this. so they completely changed the responsibility of the committee and that's what we're trying to do now. >> you say conspiracy for this moment with a small c. if it were a big c, a felony,
you'd have to show an act of furtherance of that, a criminal act. i know you no he that, congresswoman. i'm just saying for the audience. i haven't seen any proof of that and there's no charge of that. i take your point. we collusion by definition. >> we don't know. mueller is not going to dif you divulge everything in the indictment. we have to see what is really here. there have been a number of things that criminal acts. does it rise to the level of impeachment? we don't know yet. we're going to get that information. for the first time the american people will get the cha ns to -- chance. to actually hear what has been going on. and really be able to have hearings and oversight that we should have had several years ago. >> better go than that whitaker hearing. that thing was a mess. that was a hot mess. while i have you, i want to ask you about something else. another tough spot. who are you in the democrat party? you know, are you the progressive idea of the green new deal?
or are you the centrist idea of figure out what you can in the moment? the green new deal seems to be -- i know it's just a resolution. i know it's not fair to call it a deal. but the republicans see it as pure advantage for them. what's your take and where do you think your party comes out on it? >> the republicans saw the tax plan, the tax scam as pure advantage. they saw stripping health care way from millions of americans as pure advantage. who are we? we're the democratic party and we are for the people. what does that mean? that means that we have to have not only things that we can advance in this session of congress through the house, pass it as a democratic majority. hopefully with some republicans with us on some key issues. but we also have to put forward some bold proposals that really address the emergencies front of us. i argue as a co-sponsor of the green new deal that climate change is a national crisis. it is a national emergency.
and we do need to have a response and a vision of the scale that would take that on. en that is what the green new deal is about. and there are so many lies out, there chris about, what a green new deal does and doesn't have. you know? today i have a reporter say to me -- >> the colleague got out over the skis on this in terms of putting out the faq, frequently asked questions things that gave suggestions of what this might do that went farther than the resolution itself which is already ambitious. this is a little bit on you guys for the rollout as well. >> i didn't see the faqs. i heard what was in them. i take your point. we're still trying to establish what is actually in the deal. so today somebody said to me, well, aren't you, you know, in the town of boeing? and do you feel about eliminating all air travel i went back and checked. it definitely not does do that. >> that came out of president. it needed to be fact checked. but, look, there are things in
there that go to this fundamental sense of philosophy of your party and what you present to the american people. guaranteeing everybody a job. single payer health care. there will be an argument that, boy, these things sound great. but how do you pay for any of these things? you guys are being too generous, hyper ambitious. where do you draw the line? >> i'm introducing the medicare for all bill. i'm excited to have that conversation with you. i think these ideas are the ideas that fuel almost every industrialized country in the world except the united states. and an idea like medicare for all is really about the fact that people are hurting on health care across the country. and so for me, when i look at this, what i believe is that, you know, i think about martin luther king's i have a dream speech. most people remember the piece that's are repeated all the time. but i think about that phrase. the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. we are living in a time, chris,
where three people in this country own as much wealth as the bottom 50%. that 40% of americans don't even have $400 in their bank account for an emergency. >> true. >> and so we have to address these crisis. this is not just a small thing. we are back to the time of inequality of the 1920s. and so we have got to understand that the place that people are in across the country might actually be far ahead of where congress is and to call these ideas simply radical or, you know, or left or -- whatever definition you might use -- is really belying the fact that most americans want this. they want us to take on these bold approaches, not just nibbling around the edges. they want us to fix thing thez can fix right way. they want to have a proposition agenda. who are we as a country? what do we stand for? do we stand for equality and justice in i think that's what these proposals are all about.
>> you're certainly right about the time we're living in. this is a definitional moment for us, our culture, and certainly our country. congresswoman, i promise you any time you want to come on to discuss what these policies are and let us pick at the strengths and weaknesses, you have an opportunity right here. >> fantastic. thank you so much, chris. look forward to being back on. >> good luck with the job. >> thank you. >> the president is already seizing on what he sees at the democratic party's push left. that's why i'm talking about it with a democrat who is at the forefront of the ideas. what will happen to the party if they don't figure out a plan that is not just ambitious but calculated to win? that is the starting point of great debate next.
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ironies, he won't put anything that matters up for a vote. but this he wants to put up a resolution. he wants to put the resolution up for a vote of confidence in the upcoming senate session. i mean come on. the president also sees opportunity in. this listen. >> they introduced the so-called green new deal. i really don't like their policy of taking away your car, of taking away your airplane flights or let's hop a train to california. you're not allowed to own cow anymore. a lot of problems. >> i don't think he would know the truth sometimes if it were staring him right in the face. facts first. there nothing in there about putting an end to your car or cows. it's certainly radical. the ideas that they're having. it is hyper ambitious. they keep qualifying the language by saying as tech know logically feasible.
tgs ambitious. there's no reason to lie about it. >> let's debate. so let's deal with the reality. there say division in the party. it's interesting. we have joe on the show tonight. he makes an interesting point. hey, you have to figure out who you are. the progressive voices are dominating indict log. -- the lie dialogue. he said what you are talking about? we won 40 seats. 7 of them are progressive farther left people. 33 were centrist. what you are talking about? where do you see the state of the party in terms of what voices are heard the loudest? >> i think when you talk about the senator, he is more likely to agree with scott here on his points than he is to agree with me. we know that this is someone who also supported -- he is also someone who regularly supports donald trump including his last supreme court justice nominee. so let's be very clear that joe manchin is no standard-bearer for the party, especially on
climate change given the area he represents. so let's be clear there this not something he is going to be favorable. the other thing i do want to emphasize is the difference between a resolution and another right. i think that is really, really important for us to talk about this. what i think democrats are hoping to do is to lay out a plan to say, listen, climate change is real. no matter what the president tweets, even if there is know, climate chaj change is still real. even if epa says new epa scientists say that climate change is a hoax. climate change is still real. i think they're really trying to be clear and standard-bearers for that. fit was so controversial, why are there so many democratic presidential nominees getting behind the idea of this. is there work to be done? absolutely. let's be super clear, democrats are not known for having amazing messaging strategies. what democrats are known for is being right on policy and doing right by people. policy rollouts, not so much.
>> all right. certainly website rollouts not so much. we remember that stuff during the obama administration. scott, why do you see advantage in this? >> well, the republicans see advantage because, you know, to call this policy half baked would be -- i'm not sure the democrats turn the oven on yet. this thing got rollout. it was botched. the policy implications for the energy sector and manufacturing sector for the agriculture sector, talk about the thousands of jobs that would be impacted. in the midwest, ohio, spence, -- pennsylvania. texas, north dakota where joe manchin is in west virginia and my home state of kentucky. this would dramatically, fundamentally alter the u.s. economy and would put a lot of people out of work. and i'm not sure the american people are going to be ready for such a fundamental change in the way our economy works, for central planning of the way we build buildings in this country. there was discussion of the idea that we don't need air travel anymore. and this idea that we're going to replace it with high speed trains. they can't even afford to build in california.
so if you look at the political implications of this and the key critical states that are going to be important in 2020, it is easy to see why republicans see advantage in this. >> what is your response? >> yeah. well, first i hope that we can start dealing with facts as we talk about the resolution and what i hope to become a bill. scott, you know as well as me, there used to be a time on capitol hill where you could introduce legislation which by the way again has not yet happened, but you can introduce legislation and that legislation goes through the traditional committee process. there is a committee markup. members of congress are allowed to introduce amendments. so even when you talk about targeted missions here this he say they want to have zero emissions at a ten year mark. scientists that i is not realistic. maybe 2035 or 2050. there is a negotiation process that normally happens in a markup with amendments and then if you didn't get your -- you weren't properly heard in the committee process or maybe you don't sit on a committee of jurisdiction, there is always the floor.
for whatever reason, republicans are so afraid of this idea of coming to the floor that they want to bash it before it even starts. i think the reality of it is if we can acknowledge that climate change is real and even jobs that currently exist are not helping us. will cause harm for future generations. what is the idea? where are the things we can put forth to ensure that we're not just creating jobs in new sectors and just preparing future american workers for what was the very regulations that donald trump roll back that were obama policies and reduce our reliance on. on coal. we have to change some of the things if we want to live. >> all right. so we have to see what the policies are that match the resolutions and take it from there. let me ask you this while i have you both. this manafort decision matters to me. you now have a matter of fact. you have to deal with politically if not legally. i think that is the more likely course.
scott, why do people around this president and including the president keep lying about russia related contacts and matters if they have nothing to hide? >> yeah. paul manafort has made a series of bad decisions. and it started a long time ago. >> they all lie about the same thing. why? >> yeah. this is common. this is common in an investigation. we give people that are -- whatever the motivations are, they think they can outsmart the prosecutors and tell lies and try to cover it up and create diversions and distractions. it always catches up with you. my advice to neighbor is ever ensnared is all you have to do is tell the truth. there say likelihood it will turn out better if you don't. we're seeing that manifest itself for paul manafort. eyes he's going to go to jail for a very, very long time. i heard the senate intelligence committee say they not uncovered any evidence of collusion between trump and russia. but lord have mercy --
>> since when is that the bar? we started with the president telling the american people in the eye nobody around me had any contact with anybody. then he said i've had nothing to do with russia. i got no business. i got nothing going on t then they said none of my people did anything that is any collusion. there is it no collusion. now what scott just said is accurate. that is the new line. there is no proof that president of the united states committed a crime with russia. with regard to interference. since when is that bar of what we were looking for? >> since when is anything he does ever been the bar? >> i think about victor blackwell on the weekend where he has the gum balls in the jar. and how many lies donald trump toll. there say shelf now. this guy is not honest. there is no honest brokers around him. roger stone, paul manafort, i mean just -- i don't know, chris. i don't know the answer to this. >> when you get angela speechless on a proposition, now that's hay high bar.
>> i think the mandate of the special counsel is whether they the trump cap campaign colluded. and how deeply did the russians try to interfere in our election whether there's collusion or not. that's what the average person wants to know. that's what we're looking for from mueller. >> when was the bar -- it's only about the president and committing the crime with russia? it's what you're saying now is all the bar. >> he also used to say since when did collusion become a crime? remember that? >> that's right. >> collusion is a behavior. what manafort did with kilimnick is collusion. what roger stone was attempting to do is collusion. its no the a crime. i'm not saying it's a crime. it's never been my bar for satisfaction in. this a felony and anything less is fine is not our standard accountability?
who knew what. why did nay meet. what were they thinking? how did they do this so well the russians. those are the answers we need >> and why is he lying? >> right. that's where we started and that's where we'll finish. well argued. all right. more to come on this idea about where the democrat are going to be. what does the green new deal mean? okay. you heard her say, joe manchin, he is going to argue differently. he says that party is about centrism. that is the winning strategy. hear senator joe manchin make the case for himself next. it's just a cough. yeah right. and the earth is flat. ahhh!! treat your cough seriously with robitussin cf max. nothing lasts longer and treats more symptoms for your cough, cold and flu. robitussin. because it's never just a cough.
the sand in the hourglass is running out. the president wants to avoid another shutdown. he's in control of that. when are they going to have a vote? is he going to take this deal? it is a bipartisan compromise. you know what that means? no one's completely happy. the house won't consider the legislation until tomorrow night. some lawmakers want more time to read it before voting on it. you know what that means. how is it going to end? let's bring in a democrat who backed the president's proposal
to end the shutdown last time. senator joe manchin of west virginia. >> senator, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me, chris. appreciate it. >> so are we going to have a deal before we get to shutdown? >> i think. so i talked to some of the people on the conferrees. they feel good and getting the language worked out. i'm hoping that everything will happen and we'll be voting tomorrow. i hope we should have it done. >> what is your word on where the president is? do you think he should sign this deal? >> i do think i she sign it. i think he will site in. he is talking about how he can move money around. i understand as a governor and sometimes we have certain money that we can use. discretion. if he can do that, so be it. the bottom line is the deal is what it is. $1.7 billion towards new technology which is much needed. it is 1.3 in this funding package for a structure, a secured structure.
replacing and putting new in. >> no daca of tps on the table. is that going to maybe anybody on your side of the aisle slow to vote for this? >> it's going to make it very difficult for some people. i do. i understand that. i have a compassion and sympathy and empathy. i spoke to the president before about this. i said mr. president i know in your heart of hearts you know the young people that have been great citizens, they're in our military and education and in the system and in our economy, they're in our lives, they deserve to have an opportunity. he keeps pushing back. i hope sooner than later that we can have a doca fix and immigration fix. >> the big issue within your own party. the green new deal. seems the republicans see opportunity in this. we're told that senator mcconnell wants to get it on vote. to get all the democrats on record about this. not all democrat are of the same mind as a lot of other democrats.
why are you not fan of the green new deal? >> first of all, the green new deal is a dream. its no the a deal, takes dream. and that's fine. people should have dreams. the perfect world what they would like to see. i have to work with the realities and what i have in front of me. i have to make sure our country has affordable energy 24/7. you can't just be a denier and say i'm not going to use coal or natural gas, i'm not going to use oil. you have to understand also the climate. we talk about global climate. chris, it's the global. it's not north american climate. it's no the united states climate. it's the globe. how do we bring on china and other polluters of carbon to be carbon free also by using technology? >> you seem to be saying two things, senator. you have to find ways to clean up damage we're doing to the environment but you don't like the green deal because it's a dream you'll get away from fossil fuels?
don't you have to get way from them to i have better tomorrow? >> you have to use the fuel. >> you can't just eliminate. the rest of the world is not going to eliminate. by 2040, the iea, international energy authority said china will still rely 51% on coal. india is still at 57 to 60%. the united states is using 20%. to 25%. if that is the reality, don't you think we ought to find ways to remove this the co 2 and affordable fashion and reuse this energy? >> you have a division in thought there. now when you look at the people who running for president. they all seem to be stepping toward the progressive side. i don't think they would call them a centrist. >> maybe not. they should. that's where the party is. that's where most peoples lives are. that's where this country is from the political process. we have already proven. that the only thing i say about my friends running, democratic tent very big as you can see.
if they want to see how well they will fair, come to west virginia. that is a good testing ground. >> you know, it's interesting. those on that side of the party, they hear you on the green new deal. they say joe manchin? joe manchin is protecting the jobs in his own state that are a jobs of a by gone era and joe got a lot of money from foos i fossil fuel. and he wants to protect that relationship. fair dig? >> that's a horrible analogy basically and wrong to from what they're saying. i support the miners and workers. that's where my heart and soul, is my dedication. where i was born and raised. the people that contribute to campaigns, it's hard to believe this but some don't care at all. some don't solicit that. it just doesn't happen that way as they think, the quid pro quo. with that, i can tell you that what the miners have done and what coal has done for this country is something we should be able to honor. we don't have to -- if there soot defendable reliable fuel that runs 24/7, let me know.
>> i hear you. it's tough. change is difficult. you want to protect what you have and prepare for what you're going to need in the future. it's not an easy balance. we'll see where the party comes out on it. joe manchin senator of west virginia, i appreciate your straight talk. >> thank you. always good to be with you. thank you. >> all right. when you have controversy, best thing to do is to get after it. that's what we do on the show. they're going to have to figure that out and we'll stay on it. now another one. i hope you know we're in the middle of the black mystery month. president trump issued a proclamation weeks ago. it is a point of bitter contention in one state because of who lawmakers tried to honor. wait until you hear what went down in wisconsin next. (ala♪m goes off) wake up sweetie. ♪ doctor dave. see ya. ♪
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listen to this. and give me your feed back on twitter about this. wisconsin lawmakers wanted to mark black history month by writing a resolution and in it they wanted to honor the state's most notable black americans. people like former secretary of state condoleeza rice, reggie jackson but they also had colin kaepernick on there. you know him. he took a knee during the national anthem and gave $25,000 to a local educational effort there. the republican lawmakers see his name, refuse to let the bill pass until his name was removed. let's bring in d. lemon. the black caucus is like wait a minute, these are our names. the party does a vote, 61-34. they take him off and replace him with other african-americans, black former politicians that i guess they liked more. >> well, boy, i feel a certain way about this.
there are so many things that you can pull people on and yank people off. they want to honor condoleeza rice, a great woman of color. she achieved things most people don't aspire to. but she was also part of the weapons of mass destruction. you can always find something in someone's past that can disqualify them from certain things. potentially. >> arguably though what they don't like about kaepernick is what defines him to the public. >> yes. >> so i have to give a hat to max kellerman over at espn. i don't know if you saw that. watching live. and he made the point that i have been making all along. there are people who are professional athletes, we're talking about the nfl now, who have committed crimes, who have beaten people, women on camera domestic violence. they are getting and have gotten second and third chances. >> and this guy -- >> colin kaepernick didn't break the law. he is doing what is a right to
all americans, to peacefully protest. and yet and still, he is suffering the consequences of that after he broke no laws, and he's trying to help out the very community that he's trying to bring attention to. i don't understand it. i think they're wrong. i think they should put him back on there. just because you don't like it, that's your problem. but everyone has something in their past that people don't like. it doesn't make you any less of a great american, and i think colin kaepernick is a great american and should be honored for his efforts whether you agree with what he did or not. >> one of the black lawmakers said this is white privilege on display of these guys -- like we had to go to get the approval the white man for which of our own race we could honor. >> look, i don't know about it. i just think it's ignorance. i just think it's b.s. whatever you want to call it, if you want to call it white privilege, that is your business. i think it's ignorance. and i think it's cherry picking about who you think is a good person and if they're doing what
you think is right. we all know what right is, right? i think everyone knows in the back of their minds, deep in their heart, what colin kaepernick did was courageous and heroic. the narrative has been twisted unfortunately by the president of the united states, but i think people know. he stood up for what he believed in, and he's walking the walk right now. >> all right. i'm going to check with you at the top of the hour. >> neal katyal is coming on. he's going to talk everything manafort at the top of the hour. >> another guest to be jealous of. another night with d. lemon. >> i'll see you. i'll see you in a second. all right. so the manafort news tonight -- that's why he has neal katyal on. great guest for that. there's a central question there, and we've been asking it throughout this entire inquiry, and it is time to focus. and this manafort decision makes the main concern that we should all share clear. the argument next.
why lie? that's the question about paul manafort, and it is the question that i argue is at the center of all this russia stuff. a judge ruled tonight that the osc, office of the special counsel, proved manafort lied to them about his meetings with a russian operative and to the grand jury and to the fbi, and he did so more than once. the judge also ruled that the osc did not prove that manafort lied about his associate's role in messing with other witnesses, nor did they prove manafort lied about his contacts with the administration. but it is now a fact that manafort lied repeatedly about meeting with a russian who is connected to state intelligence
during the campaign, while he was running the campaign and giving the same russian internal polling data. so why would he lie about this? there's nothing illegal about meeting with an old friend about ukraine politics, even taking pitches about u.s. policy vis-a-vis ukraine and russia, and even planning on how to capitalize on his then newfound power. so why did he lie? manafort, his partner gates, flynn, cohen, stone, arguably trump's son and the president himself. case after case where they lied about what they were doing when none of it was likely a crime and all of it somehow involved russia. why lie? if there's nothing to hide, why did they all lie? now, some have suggested to me that it's all politics, and they lied to blunt the attacks of the media and partisan prosecutors.
that would only make sense if the lie helped cover up something that could get them in bigger trouble than the lie itself. there's often a calculation at play, right? especially when you have so many covering up on the same subject. the calculation is that the lying is better than admitting to what they did. here the president and all his people keep saying they have nothing to hide. in most of these cases, the lie was the worst part of it as far as we know. the underlying acts range from unethical to just stupid, but rarely were they lying to cover up what is obviously a crime. the special counsel suggested in legal filings that maybe manafort lied to help himself get a pardon. is the idea of a pardon for any of these folks something the white house would really entertain? how could he justify excusing this kind of conduct? because they're just lying? it's not so bad? that's mob mentality. our president is donald, not a don. he can't pardon people for being loyal by lying, can he? i've made no secret that unlike others, i don't see how the
mueller probe winds up in the prosecution of the president or removal of him from office. and i'll be surprised if there are any major felony indictments to come. there could be. i've been surprised before. but even if the story stands where we now know it to be, the lying will haunt this administration. and the president is going to have to explain something to all of you. remember where he started. >> can you say whether you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with russia during the course of the election? >> well, i told you general flynn obviously was dealing, so that's one person. but he was dealing as he should have been -- >> during the election? >> no, nobody that i know of. >> so you're not aware of any contacts during the course of the election? >> how many times do i have to answer this question. >> can you just say yes or no on it? >> russia is a ruse.
>> now he's fallen back to this. >> i never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign. >> yes, you have. >> i have no idea if -- i have not. i said the president of the united states. >> stupid face. i'm haunted by that face. so here's the proposition. was the president really that clueless about what his main people and others were doing for his benefit, for his campaign, or was he lying about what he knew or both? criminality has never been my standard for judgment of the actions here. a felony is not the bar for acceptable conduct by a president and his people. as long as it isn't a felony, you're fine. that shouldn't work for us. if he knew and lied about it and then in bad faith tried to undermine an investigation into the same, putting vanity and self-protection before your interest in finding out what happened, that's wrong. arguably abuse of power. remember that phrase. and if he were to pardon anyone found to be lying about these russia contacts, that arguably could be abuse of power also.
the president has vast pardon power but not unlimited, and no pardon is free from political scrutiny. the actions and words don't have to amount to a crime to be wrong. that's the point. and this president is going to have to confront that reality, if not in court, certainly in the court of public opinion. thank you for watching. "cnn tonight" with d. lemon right now. let's get to him. >> chris, you realize you're talking about donald trump, right? >> yes. thank you. >> i'm just saying. i mean his own lawyer said this week that he couldn't trust him to tell the truth during a deposition, or if he was questioned by robert mueller. the guy can't tell the truth, and you say his name is donald. he's not a don. well, certainly he's been accused of trying to