tv Don Lemon Tonight CNN July 1, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
emergency workers at the condo collapse and families of the still missing. jennifer, the former president's crown jewel, the trump organization, and their cfo charged in an alleged 15-year tax fraud scheme. even though we knew something was coming, the details are cre incredible. apartments, cars, private school tuition, all off the books. >> yeah, that's right. and listen, there's still a lot of open questions including about what happened to the other parts of the investigation we've been hearing about. but this particular tax fraud scheme is much stronger than i had anticipated given the reporting out of the last couple of weeks. it's a serious offense. 15 years this has been going on. this is not just about allen weisselberg and his son themselves orchestrating this
scheme and allen weisselberg making it happen. this is a pattern and practice of the trump organization for numerous executives and employees over a decade and a half. so this is really serious stuff, much more expansive than i would have expected given what's been said over the last few days. it's real trouble for trump and his organization. >> the indictment, jennifer, repeatedly mentions other employees who also got benefits from the trump organization. weisselberg was the only one charged. do you think this is only going to get bigger? >> i think that's right. i still don't know what's going to happen, as i said, with kind of the other tentacles of the investigation as far as manipulating asset values for bank fraud and tax fraud and that side of things, the hush money payments, et cetera. as far as this particular scheme is concerned, the indictment was very careful to not only talk about weisselberg and his son, but to make clear that other people benefitted and other people were involved on the trump organization side as far as making this scheme happen.
so i fully expect that more people will be charged in this particular scheme in the weeks to come. >> michael, if weisselberg was being paid off the books, what are the chances others like the trump family were too? >> i think the chances are very good. in fact, the first person, i would imagine, they're looking at is ivanka trump, because it was revealed in the press a couple of years ago that she was paid in a way that was quite similar to the off-the-books payments that went to allen weisselberg. this involved paying her contractor's fees. in weisselberg's case, prosecutors noted he used that status of self-employed that he got by taking these fees as a consultant to engage in retirement programs that he would otherwise have been
ineligible for. so he got tax-free retirement investments. i think in ivanka's case, she too accepted sort of a double dipping scheme, where she was paid on a certain project as both a trump executive and a consultant. this is i think going to have much bigger dimensions than we're aware of right now. and i think it may even wind up pitting the various trump children against each other. and we may see them vying for their father's protection in one way or another. >> jennifer, you know how this works, but what does this all mean for donald trump? if prosecutors had something on him, would they have already put it out there? >> not necessarily. but, you know, what they need on donald trump is the knowledge, the intent. they need to prove not only that he signed checks that went to allen weisselberg's grandson's private school. even if he knew this benefit was
going to him, he had to know they were also not paying the taxes on it. they had to know there was something wrong being done with it. that was the piece they don't know if they have now. it's likely to require some sort of cooperating witness, because he doesn't email, so it's unlikely those kinds of communications will be found in writing in the documents they've obtained from the trump organization. they are likely going to need a live witness who can say of course he knew about the scheme, we discussed it on these various dates and at these various times, et cetera. ifallen weisselberg, that would be the easiest person. a lot of pressure has been brought to bear with him and so far he hasn't flipped. it could be someone else with intimate knowledge. if michael is right and people in trump's close orbit get involved, it would be interesting to see if someone else wants to come to the table and cooperate against donald trump. >> michael, there's another michael, donald trump's former
attorney, michael cohen, this is what he said about the trump organization today. >> every single thing, whether it was the acquisition of paper clips, light bulbs, furniture, mattresses, you name it, allen weisselberg's kids' payments, rents, everything, would have donald trump's signature on it or his initial. >> according to the indictment, trump signed the checks. but it seems like who's eisselb was the one taking all the risks. is that the way trump operates? >> it is the way he operates. but one of the things that also indicates that donald trump may have been at the heart of this is that such pen ny ante stuff. donald trump is notoriously cheap. so the idea that he would want to keep a set of books to make sure that allen weisselberg's compensation scheme didn't exceed what he expected weisselberg to get paid in total is very consistent with the
personality of this man. he's very controlling, but he's also very cheap. and he doesn't want to pay a penny more than he has to for anything. >> michael, jennifer, thank you. one of you should go check your car because an alarm was going on somewhere. make sure it's okay. i appreciate it. i want to turn now to house speaker nancy pelosi announcing her picks for new select committee to investigate the january 6th insurrection. republican congresswoman liz cheney accepted pelosi's offer to join seven democrats on that committee, saying her oath to the constitution is above concerns of partisanship and politics. so joining me now, one of the seven democrats selected. that's congresswoman elaine luria of virginia. we're so happy she's here. representative luria, thank you very much. republicans are already calling this committee partisan even though they were the ones who shut down a bipartisan commission. given their obstruction and attempts to whitewash what happened, how will you find out what happened on january 6th?
>> don, thanks for having me, and what i would say is, the point of this is to get to the bottom of the facts. the he'events that happened tha day, the causes, and come up with policy recommendations and a way forward that this can't happen again. and, you know, we attempted to have a nonpartisan commission. that passed with majority volts in th votes in the house and the senate but didn't meet the threshold in the senate to make it happen. it's a by partisan group with lays cheney joining our rafrnks and we look forward to the minority leader appointing gop members so we can get to work. >> there are sources who say kevin mccarthy threatened to take away committee seats from
any republican members who go on the commission. how will that work if he does that? >> i can't comment on internal deliberations in the caucus, but the committee is bipartisan and has a quorum and intends to move forward with its work as soon as possible. >> we know that mccarthy spoke to trump during the insurrection. your colleague bennie thompson says that evidence is necessary to produce a report. how are you going to figure out what was said on that call? >> as chairman thompson said, everything is on the table. we really have to dig in deep into all of the events that happened that day. and, you know, i can't say every witness or everything that we will move forward with in the investigation, but we will examine all of the facts and where those facts take us, we will draw from that to come to the conclusions for the committee. >> okay. speaking of witnesses, are you willing to subpoena the former president or people close to him to get answers?
>> don, like i said, and like chairman thompson has said, and going into this, everything is on the table. the committee is just now coming together, coming up with a plan, waiting for our additional members. i think we're all here because we took an oath as members of congress, i did, the first time when i was 17, and spent two decades in uniform. we truly think that that oath to protect the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic is very important. and in light of the events that happened on january 6th, it could never be more important than at this moment in our nation's democracy. we take this very seriously. and we will consider any witnesses who can provide evidence and facts to help complete and paint a full picture of what happened on january 6th. >> something that's also very serious is, we're hearing homeland security officials warning about more violence this summer, apparently right wing conspiracy theorists think that
trump is going to be reinstated in august. does that underscore the importance of what you're investigating and is that concerning to you? >> it's very concerning. and i think that part of what we're going to be looking at in this investigation through the committee is where was the breakdown. were the signs there? was there intelligence? and how was that fed to the appropriate people to maintain the safety of the capitol and, you know, the process that we were undertaking on that day in order to certify the election results? so really, this is about examining what happened on january 6th and how to prevent it in the future. any potential future threats underscore the purpose of having this committee. >> congresswoman, thank you so much, i appreciate it. >> thank you. now i want to turn to "washington post" columnist max boot and cnn senior political analyst kristen powers. good evening to both of you.
max, kevin mccarthy is doing everything he can to kill this committee. is he worried about trump, republicans, his own actions, all of the above? >> of course. i mean, that's what the republicans are worried about, is keeping the support of trump and keeping the support of trump supporters. they don't want to get to the bottom of what actually happened on january 6th. and it's pretty rich, don, because remember, one of the reasons that kevin mccarthy gave for voting against the impeachment of donald trump was, he said we have not done an investigation, we have not conducted hearings on what happened on january 6th. and now this is the second time in a row that republicans have attempted to stymie an actual investigation. the last time of course was a bipartisan commission, a bipartisan compromise which died because of opposition from senate republicans. and now you had 190 house republicans on wednesday voting against the special committee that speaker pelosi decided to put together.
so it's pretty obvious, republicans just don't want to know what happened on january 6th. they would rather propagate their crazy conspiracy theories and blame it on the fbi or antifa, anybody except trump and his followers. >> kevin mccarthy is denying he threatened to pull committee assignments from republicans like cheney who serve on the january 6th committee. listen to this. >> let me be very clear, i'm not threatening anybody with committee assignments. what i'm saying is, it was shocking to me that if a person is a republican, they get their committee assignments from the republican conference. for somebody to accept committee assignments from speaker pelosi, that's unprecedented. >> unprecedented that cheney is more committed to the truth than politics? i mean, what message is he sending here? what? >> yeah, i don't think he realizes what he's saying.
of course it's unprecedented, because she's having to do this because he's not willing to show any leadership on this, and republicans aren't willing to show any leadership on this. it might be easier to understand what he's saying if we weren't talking about liz cheney, who is a just dyed in the wool conservative, her father a former vice president of the united states. this is somebody who is through and through a conservative, and who is basically saying i'm not going to go along with this. this isn't someone you could pass off as being a democrat or too liberal or something like that. this is somebody who has all the credentials and is still saying no, this isn't okay, and if you're not going to appoint people to this committee and you're going to oppose this every step of the way then i'm going to show some leadership and i'm going to accept this offer, because she's interested in actually getting to the bottom of what happened, and this is the only way to do it.
>> max, i want to take a look again at the new video that cnn obtained. you have a new piece about the house republicans, the majority voting against removing confederate statues in the capitol and against a special committee to investigate january 6. here is what you write. you say, in part, taken together, these two votes show that the gop has become a white power party that is hostile to american democracy. the radicalization that has occurred in the past few years is dizzying and dismaying. add to that, mccarthy tolerating paul gosar planning fundraisers with white supremacists. where is this all going? >> it's going in a very bad direction, don. i mean, for a brief moment i had some hope that being chased around the capitol by a trump lynch mob might bring republicans to their senses. and clearly that happened with a few of them like liz cheney and
adam kinzinger. but most of them are as bad now as they were in january or perhaps worse. they're openly embracing these white supremacists' views. i can't imagine any argument for why you would want to keep a statue of jefferson davis in the capitol. they're opposing the investigation of january 6 of them, which again, i can't imagine any reason why you wouldn't want to get to the bottom of one of the most serious attacks on our democracy in our history. but republicans could not care less, they know what their base is. it's pro-trump, it's basically people who are motivated by a desire to maintain white power. that's who their catering too. it's shameful. it's disgraceful. but sadly it's getting worse. >> max, do you still consider yourself a republican? >> oh, no, i left the party the day after donald trump was elected president, don. >> i'm wondering, you remember how the former first lady said
the presidency doesn't change you, it reveals who you are. do you think that trump just revealed who the base of the republican party is? i mean, or do you think that it's just changed? >> i think it's some of both, don. i think it did reveal that there was this malignant base to the republican party, longtime republicans like me were blind to it, we chose to ignore it, but it was there all along. donald trump has also radicalized the base and given the worst elements of the party permission to come out into the open. there always used to be this disreputable part of the party but it was kept on the fringespy people like john mccain and mitt romney. and donald trump moved it from the fringe to the mainstream. he made that, these disreputable views, the dominant ideology of the republican party. now his torch is being carried on by the republicans in congress. this is just a very distressing
development. it really augers poorly for the future of american democracy. >> now it's the leadership. now it's the leadership. kirstin, i also wanted to get to the supreme court's decision that arizona's voting limits don't violate the voting rights act. president biden responded saying, i quote, this is our life's work and the work of all of us, democracy is on the line. so what happens next? how do democrats respond? >> i mean, it's just incredibly disappointing, how we're watching democracy slip through our fingers. it's been happening right in front of our faces. and i think that democrats just have to keep pushing this issue and, you know, keep making sure people understand what's going on and keep fighting back against this kind of stuff.
but i think the republicans are really dedicated to undermining democracy on many different levels. even what we were talking about before is an example of it, the fact that they have really no problem with people storming the capitol and trying to overturn an election, which is really fundamentally, you know, anti-democratic. so we have a party that no longer seems to be invested in supporting democracy. i don't know how one party can, alone, carry that burden. so this is a real existential crisis. i wish i could say i had a solution for it. i think we have to be hypervigilant about it. >> if you did, then, you know, perhaps you should be in the highest office in the land. >> yeah. >> thank you, kirstin, thank you, max, i appreciate it. president biden traveling to florida today to meet with families as rescuers continue to search rubble of that collapsed
condo. i'll talk to one of the members who spoke with him. that's next. >> it just brought back so many, so many memories. it's bad enough. it's bad enough to lose somebody. but the hard part, the really hard part is to not know whether they're surviving or not. to not have any idea. dad, why didn't you answer your phone? your mother loved this park. ♪ she did.
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president biden meeting with families and first responders in the surfside condo collapse, as teams are back combing the rubble after temporarily halting the search over safety concerns. biden saying everyone affected by the tragedy is suggestive. >> they're going through hell. and those who survive the collapse as well as those who are missing loved ones, they're praying and pleading, god, let there be a miracle, let there be something happen for me that's
good. because i have, like many of you do, some idea what it's like to suffer that kind of loss so many of them are suffering. >> joining me now is rachel spiegel. her mother judy spiegel is still missing. rachel met with the president today. rachel, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, don. >> an emotional day, i know. and i want to put up a picture of you standing with the president. what did he say to you? >> honestly, i can't remember what he said. but i can tell you that he and his wife and the whole time, they were really warm, they were compas compassionate. the way they held my hand, the way they embraced me, my dad, my brothers. they were really warm and they're good people. they were really empathetic and
very relatable. as you heard in that clip, president biden really did describe his own experiences and, you know, spent so much time there today and spoke to every single family. we were there for hours. he literally spoke to everybody. >> you know he knows loss, and he is not afraid to talk about it. what did seeing the president today mean to you? >> i mean, obviously this is the biggest tragedy of my life. and there's nothing that's going to replace this. this is unfathomable to me. seeing the president today meant all resources are on deck. we're not giving up as a nation. we're not giving up as a community. i am just praying that we are going to find my mom, because
that is my mission. i am not giving up. and i am not stopping until i find my mom. >> so i've seen you everywhere. the first time i spoke with you, you said you had gotten very little sleep. i imagine that is still the case. so talk to me. >> my dad yelled at me tonight, he's like, no more late night interviews. i said, i promise this is the last one. but, you know, everybody needs to be resting, but honestly, i can't sleep. even when i do sleep, i wake up in the middle of the night. it's very horrific for me. >> i heard that you saw other families at the meeting today with the president, including people who live like a couple of doors down from your mom. they were in the part of the building that is still standing. what did they tell you? >> here's the difference of what happened in the family meetings to what happened today. in the family meetings, the
family meetings occur twice a day. and, you know, at 9:30 and 5:30 every single day. you can join in person or on zoom. so we're always there. whether it's in person or zoom. and in those meetings, when you're physically there, you see the families that are grieving. you see the families that are fighting and looking for answers. but today, you know, with the president, it was also the survivors. and there may be some survivors that attended the family meetings. it's harder to decipher. when my dad and i were there, my dad was like, oh, my god, you know, he saw the family that lived two apartments down, the family that knows my daughter, my mom's granddaughter, that knows my parents. and that was really freaky for my dad, because, you know, it's
hard to believe that anybody survived that. but obviously they're part of the building still standing. so, you know, what they told us, you know, and they were so nice and lovely, but to provide us with comfort is that it really was instant and it really was an earthquake. they too were sleeping. i know my mom was sleeping at that hour. and they said it happened instantly. and it was like an earthquake. and when they opened the door, they only had like three feet of flooring in front of them. the rest of the building was gone. i don't know if that gives my dad comfort or is scary. but i'm not sure my mom could have done anything else. and that's the debate that everybody has in their mind, you know. it's your best friend.
it's my mom, my best froiend, i love my mom, i'm obsessed with my mom, everybody knows that by now. it's still a real nightmare for me. and it's just really crazy to see, you know, the survivors and what their experience was like, you know, experiencing this rumble. >> listen, rachel, we're all -- it's so weird, we're all closer than we know. rachel and i just found out -- we don't know each other, but her family knows my in-laws-to-be from the east end of long island. it's a small world. if we can help any way, let us know, okay? we're thinking about you. >> thank you. we did open up a fund for our family. feel free to look at my instagram, my handle is rach
hc rachiespiegz. >> thank you, i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> be well. >> bye, you too. olympian gwen barry getting all sorts of criticism for this, protesting while the star spangled banner played. but she's not concerned about the critics. she speaks out here, and she's next. heartburn happens when stomach acid refluxes into the esophagus. prilosec otc uses a unique delayed-release formula that helps it pass through the tough stomach acid. it then works to turn down acid production, blocking heartburn at the source. with just one pill a day, you get 24-hour heartburn protection.
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tonight, u.s. hammer thrower gwen barry is speaking out. while the star spangled banner played, she turned away from the flag and draped a t-shirt carrying the words "activist athlete" over her head. this is the second time that she has qualified for the olympics, which will be under way in tokyo in just a few short weeks. olympian gwen barry joins me now. gwen, thank you so much, i appreciate you taking the time. i know it's a busy time for you and a bit of a controversy so i know you have a lot going on. so thank you. >> thank you for having me. and thank you for allowing me to be able to speak for the black communities that i am trying to speak for and stand for. >> okay. well, let's get into it then. give it to us straight.
why do you turn away from the flag during the anthem at the olympic trials? >> let's be clear. i do respect the constitution, because obviously i was exercising my constitutional right. but i will not stand for any type of symbol or song that does not stand for all people in america. >> and you think the symbol, the flag and the anthem, are symbols and signs that don't stand for all black people in america? >> yes. >> why is that? >> the song, the lyrics, the symbols, it just doesn't. we know our history. everybody knows the history. and i feel like it is something that people are trying to pay attention to, instead of paying attention to the real issues that we need to be talking about. we need to be talking about the racial and social injustice issues that still face -- that black communities still face to this day. it's the same thing. and people are trying to diverse the attention to a song and a flag when that's not even the
biggest thing that we need to be focusing on right now. >> so here's the thing, because i think it's always important to educate people so that if they do disagree with you, they'll be coming from a place of knowledge rather than a place of ignorance. i would assume you're referencing specifically the third stanza in the national anthem of "the star spangled banner," correct me if i'm wrong. what parts of the anthem do you disagree with and why is it hard for you to hear this song? >> it's not that it's hard. it's the first verse. it's the third verse. it's all of these words. freedom, justice. it mentions slaves. these are things that do not hold true for all americans. and that's just it. it's not true for all americans. >> even the flag? because you said "symbol" as well. >> i mean, we could say that. >> same thing? >> i just won't stand for it. i just won't stand for it.
>> and you know -- i guess, look, to you, some things are important enough to stand up for it and i certainly respect it. but you know you'll get a lot of backlash, people will call you un-hearn, you'll lose sponsorships. >> i've already done it. i've already been through all of that. i've already done all of that. and yet i am still here, still saying that my black communities need help. and i will for always feel like that and i will for always stand on that until these issues are fixed. america is the greatest country in the world and yet we still have to talk about these issues. so what are we really saying? what do we really need to be paying attention to? let's be real. >> the people have asked, if she feels that way, why is she representing the u.s. overseas, why did she even want to do it. >> i've been representing the u.s. my whole career. this isn't my first team. i've been doing that. i pay my taxes, i do all of
this, in america. that's not the point. >> is there anything that would get you to stand up for the flag one day, or possibly the national anthem, gwen? >> of course. when the issues that my community faces, that the people that look like me, that we face in america, until these issues are fixed, until these communities are supported, and until america takes full accountability for the things that blacks have to face here in america, i won't stand for it, because we are capable of doing it. again, america is the greatest country in the world. we are capable of fixing these issues. i am tired of talking about them. i won't do it anymore. >> all right. so even the white house has weighed in, the press secretary
jen psaki said she's not discussed your protest well, president, president joe biden, but did say this about the president. here it is. >> he's incredibly proud to be an american and has great respect for the anthem and all that it represents, especially for our men and women serving in uniform all around the world. he would also say of course that part of that pride in our country means recognizing there are moments where we as a country haven't lived up to our highest ideals and it means respecting the right of people granted to them in the constitution to peacefully protest. >> what do you think about that, gwen? >> i think that was spot on. they said it. i respect it. >> at this year's trials, the u.s. olympic committee allowed athletes to take part in respectful demonstrations on the topic of racial and social justice, and that was a quote, that's their words. but there will be a ban on protests and demonstrations at the tokyo games. are you going to abide by the
ban should you make the podium at the olympics? >> we'll see. >> you won't answer? >> i won't answer. we'll see. you know, it just depends, it depends. everything depends on how i'm feeling, what i want to do in that moment and what i want to do for my people in that moment. i will do whatever comes upon me and what is in my heart. >> do you understand why some people are mad or offended, or no? >> yeah, i can see why. i mean, i can understand. but it doesn't -- it doesn't matter. i know how i live. i know how people that look like me, how we live, what things hurt us, the history, the whole history of america has hurt us and that's why we're still in this situation. so they can feel how they feel, but i'm extremely american because i'll fight for people here, because we've endured it here. people are still capitalizing off of our unpaid labor force,
more than 400 years. they still capitalize off of it, and we don't. so how can they be mad at me for standing up for my people? that's crazy. that's crazy. they should be trying to help. >> gwen berry, thank you. >> thanks. the delta variant, now in all 50 states. vaccines still protecting people. but what happens when you've got kids who can't be vaccinated yet? stay with us. use. ahhh! ♪ don't flex your pecs. terminix.
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so millions of americans traveling and getting together for the fourth of july celebrations this weekend, and there's growing concern about the rapid spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus, which the head of the cdc expects to become the dominant variant in the u.s. in the coming weeks. overall, new cases of covid are down 95% since january. but they're up 10% over the past week as the delta variant spread. i want to bring in dr. leana wen, an emergency room physician, former city health commissioner of baltimore. dr. wen, thank you for joining us. i really appreciate you helping us out with this story. so this delta variant is now in all 50 states. and everyone wants to know about, what about kids, kids under 12, can't get the vaccine yet. the delta variant is really
contagious. are kids in more danger now than they have been in the past? >> yes, because we have this variant here that's more contagious. what that means is that the activities that we thought were previously lower risk are now going to be higher risk. things that we got away from before and just did not get affected because of those activities now there is a higher chance of getting infected because of it. and so i do think we need to change this narrative. there is this narrative floating around that somehow kids are immune from getting coronavirus. that's just not true. more than 4 million children have already been affected during this pandemic, and if we have something that's even more contagious around, schools should not be dropping their mask mandates. if you have lots of unvaccinated children together with one another in indoor, cramped settings, not great ventilation, it's still important to have masking. >> let's go through the
scenarios, because parents want to keep their kids safe, obviously, right? can vaccinated pass on the delta variant to their kids? >> it's a really good question. and i think at this point we have to assume that the answer is maybe. so getting the vaccine means that you are very well-protected yourself from getting ill, definitely, extremely well protected from getting severely ill. you also dramatically reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus to someone else. certainly if parents are vaccinated the chance of them transmitting covid to their children is much lower than if they were unvaccinated. that said, the chance is not zero. that's something parents need to make a decision about, what is the level of risk they are willing to tolerate and what is the benefit of activities they're bringing back to their lives. me and my husband say we're happy to see anyone outdoors, that's very safe, very low risk. we'll also see anyone who is
vaccinated indoors without manifestation or distancing. but if we're going into crowded areas, for example into indoor church service or a crowded grocery store or a train station or something like that, we'll definitely still mask. unless they can be masking, in those indoor settings, where unvaccinated and vaccinated people are mixing. >> okay. so, got it. and -- so -- so, just quickly, so, what about when the parents are vaccinated and their kids aren't? what should everyone do? should there -- i have just a couple seconds left. >> i think they should decide about the level of risk that they are willing to take. but in general, i, still, think that an abundance of caution is a good idea. so, if you are around a lot of people, who are unvaccinated. unvaccinated people are at high risk to one another, and that includes unvaccinated children. >> all right. dr. wen, thank you very much. i really appreciate it.
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the man once described as the most senior member of the trump organization, not named trump, is now facing criminal charges. so is the company. and tonight, the question is where does that leave the man, whose name is on the door? john berman here, in for anderson. few people have worked longer or more closely with donald trump than chief-financial officer, allen weisselberg. he was charged, today, in manhattan, along with the company and trump payroll corporation in a 15-count indictment alleging tax fraud, conspiracy, falsifying business