tv Don Lemon Tonight CNN August 6, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
thank you so much for watching. please join me tomorrow and every saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. eastern more smerconish here on cnn. don lemon, "don lemon tonight" starts now. >> i'll listen to smerconish tomorrow as i listen to him every day on xm srirus. have a good night. see you soon. >> thank you. this is "don lemon tonight." we'll catch up on everything that is happening. catch you p on everything happening. first up new york's governor breaking it clear he is not going without a fight. facing an impeachment investigations from top democrats to resign. the legal team for governor andrew cuomo attacking the attorney general's bombshell
report on sexual harassment allegations by 11 women hours after one of them, a current staffer known in the report as executive assistant number one filed a criminal complaint against him. the attorney general's report included this selfie of her with the governor. her image blurred to protect her identity. the governor's lawyers today calling the investigation unf unfair. >> there is no open minded back finding in this case. the investigation was conducted to support a predetermined narrative. >> his attorney claiming visitor logs from the governor's mansion and emails that day support his denial that he groped executive assistant number one in his home office. >> she was at the mansion that day for several hours. she wasn't just working with the governor. she was working with other staffers, emails that she sent
while she was at the mansion reflect that she was joking while she was there. she was eating snacks, and she even offered to stay longer at the mansion when her work was done. >> the governor's attorneys didn't address allegations from a former member of his security detail identified in the ag's report as trooper number one. >> the governor will address that allegation himself, and so i will let him speak for himself when he does. >> when will he do that? >> soon. >> so the question is whether any of that will impress assembly members who would have to vote on whether to impeach the governor. his attorneys have until a week from today to submit any additional evidence. the attorney general's office putting out a statement tonight saying and i quote, there are 11 women whose accounts have been mounted by evidence and attempts to undermine the credibility of these women and investigation is
unfortunate. whether or not the new york state assembly votes to impeach the governor is already paying a political price right now. the latest poll finding that 70% of new york registered voters say that governor cuomo should resign and there is news tonight to tell you on the pandemic. half of the total population of the united states now fully vaccinated and that is indeed good news. here is the bad news, though. there are 90 million people who are eligible to get vaccinated and are not. last night on this show, you heard from two of those people. travis and kelly campbell who both came down with covid. travis speaking from his hospital bed. he was struggling to breathe as he urged everybody to get vaccinated. >> please, please don't wait. don't procrastinate. the delta variant is stronger and faster and it attacks those
who are not vaccinated or have more medical conditions. a diabetic or person with health issues will be attacked ten times faster and harder and it's not worth it. you got to put value on your life and you got to determine if you're prepared to have to take a vaccination that your friends will carry it. >> don't let anybody tell you, don't let anybody tell you kids don't get sick with covid. an 11 month old girl in texas tested positive for covid had to be airlifted 150 miles away when no pediatric hospital in houston could take her. she's too young to be
vaccinated. the president had a message today for everybody else. >> please get vaccinated. we can get this done. we just have to stay the course. we just have to remember who we are. you've heard me say it before, we're the united states of america. there is not a single thing, nothing beyond our capacity. we do it together. >> well, i wonder what they think of that at south dakota stu sturgis. hundreds of thousands of people expected to attend despite fears of another superspreader event. last year's rally was linked to more than 600 covid cases. you think they'd learn but nope. governor christie gnome tweeting there is a risk associated with everything we do in life but the fact is we can mitigate the risk. we know how to do it. and that is to get vaccinated. but in an american that's averaging more than 98,000 new cases a day, the misinformation
is killing us just as surely as the virus is killing us. parents at a school board meeting furious about a mask mandate for unvaccinated students and staff. >> i am not leaving until you do a revote for the people, by the people and of the people. now! >> okay. these are children who aren't vaccinated, by the way, whose only protection is the mask. one state too many people aren't safe is florida. with 134,506,000 cases, a recor high over any seven-day period throughout the pandemic. governor ron desantis is locked in a battle as several florida school districts are defying his ban on mask mandates but the governor seems to care more about his feud with joe biden who yesterday said this. >> who is using your words about
don't be in the way and he said i am in the way to block too much interference from the federal government. your response, mr. president? >> governor who? >> desantis. >> desantis reacting today exactly the way you'd expect him to. >> i guess i'm not surprised that biden doesn't remember me. i guess the question is what else has he forgotten? >> the white house press secretary jen psaki said florida's governor is putting political fortunes ahead of public health. >> not only is governor desantis not abiding by public health deci decisions, he's fundraising off of this. >> and going on to insist there are no lockdowns coming. >> we're not going to lockdown our economy or schools because our country is in a much stronger place than when we took office thanks to the president's leadership and vaccinating the american people and getting economic relief to those who need it. >> i said this before. misinformation is killing us and
killing our democracy. exhibit a. a new jersey gym owner and former mma fighter pleading guilty today to assaulting a police officer at the capitol on january 6th. the first of the rioters to be convicted of violence against police defending the seed of our democracy that day. body cam footage shows scott fairland is following and taunting officers as they made their way through the mob shoving one and punching him in the head. we have not bleeped the language, so you can see it and hear it as it really happened. >> you guys got no idea what the f you're doing. no idea. talk to me, bro. >> get f out of here.
mother fers. >> his family must be so proud. with that guilty plea, he's also clearly proving the idea that this was about hugging and kissing and tourism that it is utterly absurd. but you've known that all along, haven't you? because you believe the facts. former congressman denver wrigg wriggleman is conservative republican is joining the staff of the house select committee investigating what happened and considering whether to seek call logs from the trump white house on the day of the riot. that as we're learning even more tonight about the attempted coup that is still threatening american democracy and how a trump loyalest and environmental lawyer tried to weapon news the doj to help the then president in the scheme to overturn the vote. sources tell cnn that jeffrey clark told senior doj officials in late december he nuisance t -- knew sensitive information using
special kinds of they arrmometeo change results in machines tallying votes. thermometers. it is unhinged. it would be laughable except this was an official in the justice department who became an assistant attorney general and given a high level intelligence briefing which did nothing to convince him to drop his bogus claims of election fraud. this is where we are right now. it was nothing less than an attempted coup. efforts to weapon news the doj, the insurrection even the assault on the vote it's all part of the threat to our democracy. and the threat is still there. the voting rights is all about giving the gop the power to overturn the next election and it is happening right now. texas governor greg abbott calling for a special session of
the state legislature in hours to push voting regulations democrats blocked by fleeing the state. this was the week that we learned just how close we came to losing it. now the question is will we heed the warning signs? the governor of new york making it clear tonight that he is not going without a fight and his legal team attacks the state attorney general's bombshell report on sexual harassment allegations by 11 women. >> the governor deserves to be treated fairly like anybody else in this country accused of something. carvana's had a lot o. 100% online car buying. car vending machines. and now, putting you in control of your financing. at carvana, get personalized terms, browse for cars that fit your budget, then customize your down payment and monthly payment. and these aren't made-up numbers. it's what you'll really pay, right down to the penny. whether you're shopping or just looking. it only takes a few seconds,
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new york governor andrew cuomo fighting back against the attorney general's state report. focussing on discrediting accusers today including one woman who claims the governor groped her and filed a criminal complaint with the albany sheriff's office. cnn crime and justice correspondent shimon joins me now. what do they have to say? >> don, as you said, this all
comes in the day that a significant development occurred. we learned that the executive assistant number one who perhaps has the most serious accusation against the governor accusing him of groping her and touching her breasts filed a criminal complaint with the sheriff's office and today, the lawyers representing the governor sort of, you know, pled their case publicly saying that she was wrong about some of the facts, kind of going after her in terms of what she recollected from the day, what she was doing that day and here is how they describe some of what was going on. >> he was at the mansion that day for several hours. she wasn't just working with the governor. she was working with other staffers, emails that she sent while she was at the mansion reflect that she was joking while she was there. she was eating snacks. and she even offered to stay longer at the mansion when her
work was done. >> and don, they then also went after another one of the accusers lindsey saying she was doing all of this, these sack sanctions, the fir woman to come forward to come public accusing the governor of harassing her. they're saying she was doing this for publicity because she was running for political office here in new york city. >> so the governor's team, shimon, also going after investigators claiming the report was one sided and done to support a premeditated narrative. talk to me about that. >> yeah, they basically have been going after the investigators, the two lawyers hired to act as independent investigators and always been going after specifically one june kim who used to work for the u.s. attorney's office here in the southern district of new y york. so they have been going after him and basically said look, this team came in with preconceived notions and had a
target and in essence, we'll do whatever they had to do to get after that target. they said there was impartiality and they weren't fair and claim, well, the attorney general's office didn't give us an advanced copy of the report and tell us what was coming. there was no reason for the attorney general to give them an advance copy of the report or any information about what is going to be contained in the report. the governor's lawyers are taking issues with all of that saying that they were not fair, that they didn't conduct this in any kind of fairway. >> yeah. >> look, the bottom line now is there is a crime untinal compla sitting with the sheriff's office and the albany's d.a.'s office says they have enough information, enough to charge the governor with the crime. >> interesting to watch this and done over zoom considering the times we're in on top of everything else. thank you, appreciate your reporting. i want to bring in criminal defense attorney joey jackson and former u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york,
jennifer rogers and very qualified legal minds. very experienced. thank you for joining us. joey, these are very serious, very serious allegations. you are the defense attorney. what do you think of the governor's defense today? >> i think good evening to you don and jennifer. i think they came out swinging and need to. with respect to process and not getting information in advance, you should. the fact is that yes, there is a public relations narrative. the whole trust of the people. we have to know our governor is not a criminal at all but if you conduct an investigation, it ought to be fair and there ought to be people on the investigation team that don't have preconceived notions and perhaps have not had prior dealing to call anything into question with respect to what you do. yo u you have to interview witnesses and take cause welal notes and
them to plead what they say. i'm a former prosecutor, as well. i want the information. i want everything. if we have the airing of everything, give me everything. don't say it's a process and he doesn't deserve it, he does. i'm for this, i don't want the rich and powerful to be treated any better than anybody else but i don't want them to be treated any worse. if our system works, it has to work for everybody. the disenfranchised and the person. we love grabbing people and taking them and pulling them down but he deserves his day and i know also that god forbid you defend an issue involving this me too time generation, how dare you? they challenge credibility, that's significant. do you have an ax to grind with what you're telling investigators. can we believe in what you say? is there information to call into question the veracity of motivation which things were said. i can go on. the bottom line is all i'm saying is this, i don't know what happened. i wasn't there.
179 witnesses were interviewed. 74,000 pieces of information and text messages but you're going to have a report, make sure you interview the appropriate people. make sure the report is objective and make sure it's subjective to cross-examination and last point, this, you can say anything in a lawsuit. you can say anything in a crime until complaint. you can say anything in an indictment but guess what? when you get in front of a person in a courtroom, the defense attorney has questions. we call that cross-examination. what you say has to pass muster with regard to the cross examination and i think and i'm looking for that forum where the governor's people have an opportunity to pick apart and present their case if not in the court of law, certainly in the court of public opinion and the factual rendition they laid out was compelling to me. >> okay. that's all we have time for. good night, everybody. joey, are you going to let jennifer rogers say -- i know -- >> sorry. >> you're a former prosecutor, right? but you're the defense attorney
in this scenario. jennifer, you're the former prosecutor. investigators interviewed 179 people and reviewed thousands of pieces of evidence but his attorneys are goiing after two f the 11 accusers on substance. how did they do? >> not well. i disagree with joey on this. the fact they only went after two of these episodes out of 11 tells you something. it tells you they have nothing to say about the other nine and not given an advanced copy of the report but the notion cuomo didn't know what was coming, there were only two new accusations. everything else was known to the public, much less to him. he was interviewed for 11 hours weeks ago. he has known what was coming. the notion they couldn't get-togethers anything on the march marc merits for the others, saying executive assistant number one
was eating snacks so she couldn't have been groped. we're getting a little silly now. the defense on the marcerits wa not good. he will have to have more due process and the ability to challenge the evidence and bring forward his own evidence because if he doesn't and he's removed, he's going to litigate. we'll have a long protracted litigation on our hands whether his due process rights were violated. new yorkers don't need that. please, assembly, give him the process he needs and let's do this right. >> jennifer, another question -- >> okay. sorry, don. >> what did you say, joey, quickly, please? >> i think they went after the two because those were the two with respect to criminal allegations. >> right. >> look, it's tv time. we don't have time to go over 11 witnesses. i don't think the fact they didn't get to them doesn't mean they -- >> well, they had -- joey, hang on, joey, joey, they're not
working with a rundown of guests and commercial breaks. they could have taken -- it was over zoom. they could have taken -- they could have still been on the air and we could have been carrying it had they gone on. >> i disagree with that. if you're hiring -- if you're getting prosecuted and you're hired to defend someone, the civil alallegations, that's different. take my money. when you talk about liberty and i'm hiring a defense attorney, address that. that's what people are concerned about is our governor criminal or not? people assume every day in our court system i'm worried and were canned if there are crimes to be had or done, then attack that and i don't think they were tiki tacky at all. the fact you're running for manhattan president matters. the fact you stay there all day aftermathers. the fact you said nothing afteafter has matters. i don't know what happened. as a defense attorney, i like a
full airing of everything. as a prosecutor that files criminal complaints, i did indictments -- >> i'm running out of time, joey. let the other people speak. [ laughter ] >> jennifer, you want to respond to that, please? >> yeah, i mean, i think we'll learn more in the days ahead. one thing they didn't respond to were accusations by the state trooper and they wouldn't deny it. his lawyer didn't say this wasn't true and we'll tell you more later. she said oh, the governor wants to talk about that. i'll let him do so. there is a lot more they could have done and didn't. we'll see what happens and what comes out in the public eye but he's in trouble with this. >> joey, you have a very vigorous defense for your client. we can see why you're a successful defense attorney. fascinating conversation. we'll be covering this more. thank you so much. so we got a lot more on today's news and new york assembly member that called for governor cuomo's impeachment reacts to his governor's defense.
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joining us this evening. we appreciate it. what was your reaction to the governor's legal team today? did they say anything that could change the minds of the assembly? >> i don't think so. in fact, i think what they said was actually very triggering to a lot of survivors. today the governor's lawyer tried to paint him as the victim. their arguments were the woman he groped didn't show up as a quote unquote real victim because she was able to walk out, smile, joke with other staff, ate snacks, cheese and crackers in their specific claim and the claim that a survivor should act a particular way otherwise they shouldn't be believed is really disgusting and vile and as you know, i am myself am a survivor of childhood sexual assault. i was 13 years old when i was sexual assaulted by my teacher and after my assault, i went to class and when i went to lunch, survivors all over the nation
were really triggered by today's response and have been sharing what happened to them and what they did after and it is incredibly heartbreaking but also, you know, i think it's really empowering to tell our stories, because this is how our brains work to help us survive and this is how we make it. i think that's really important to say, if you're a survivor of sexual assault, it doesn't matter if you had to smile or laugh it off or go to a dance party or drink until you throw up and pass out or make a joke or have sex or forget or sleep or read a book or eat or even eat cheese and crackers, you're here. you survived. you're a hero. >> with that said, appreciate your saying that, that said, do you understand, though, it's his attorney's job to mount a vigorous defense for him, you understand that right? >> i do. i think that was a very stupid defense. >> okay. thank you. the attorney representing charlotte bennett. one of the governor's accusers
said in part the governor has made clear he will continue his fight to stay in power caring not at all about the people he has hurt and the consequences of his actions. it is time for the assembly to act. further delay is an affront to the women who came forward and to survivors everywhere. similar to what you were saying, your sentiments, she said the assembly needs to act now. will you? >> i think that, you know, i pe personally feel like the process has been interesting. there are a lot of experts that have said we don't need this, you know, kind of process that the trial is where -- is in the senate and we write the impeachment article, the trials in the senate, et cetera. i think right now what is happening is there a judiciary committee doing an investigation to figure out what should go into the articles of impeachment. this is a process that might
take, you know, maybe until the end of the month or, you know, what we said from or chuck lavine said in his statement and so, you know, i think it's really important we move quickly. i agree with chapiwhat charlott bennett said. if we don't move quickly, new yorkers will suffer and andrew queue moe doesn't care about new yorkers. he never cared about new york. he always cared about andrew and with held information from the legislature and lied about nursing home deaths and used staff to write his book and sexually harassed women. it's always about andrew and right now we're facing an eviction crisis and pandemic. we're facing huge amounts of need in new york as we're still facing the pandemic and our governor is focused on himself. >> yeah. i just want to clarify, you said you're a survivor of assault, right? >> yes. >> okay. so the governor is accused of
harassment at this point, there is no assault allegation. but with that said, though, leads into my next question, several members of the assembly say they were particularly disturbed by the allegation of the governor allegedly touching the state trooper on his detail. are you surprised his attorneys left that alone today? >> i was very surprised because that was one of the things that was first off new information and also the most disturbing piece in some of the report that came out because, you know, we saw a lot of the stories that came out. we saw nine of them come out in the press before the attorney general's report came out and i think the detail and the fact that this was a person who i mean, she was there to protect his life and he was there to
ruin and threaten hers. >> i can see -- listen, i can see this is personal for you. and it hits very close to home, and i really respect and admire you for come and sharing your truth and being on tonight. thank you assembly person new. thank you. >> thank you for having the discussion. >> be well. a trump ally in the doj makes up all sorts of things, right, all to try to keep him in office. you have to hear the claims he's making. that is next.
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used special they are rmometers change election results. yeah. joining me is a former chief strategist for the author of, i know, matthew. he's the author of the book revelations on the river available for preorder now. it gets more absurd by the moment. the absurdities being pushed is really frightening. it's a growing list of efforts by the former president and his allies to undermine the election and no matter how you slice it, they were clearly plolttting a coup. >> yeah, this wasn't a spontaneous response where passions got too high and resulted in crazy behavior. this is a concerted effort and not only undermining the election but was to undermine our entire democracy and our
constitutional form of government that has been established for 240 year the. so these folks, you would say is bizarre and crazy if it wasn't so dangerous and detriment l and we'll continue to feel it for a long time so i put him in the same category as someone like benedict arnold a traitor to the country and i'd put him in the same category of someone like benedict arnold that tried to defeat our system of government. he's the same one to me. >> matthew, the threat is still here from the assault on voting rights to gop whitewashing of january 6th to the big lie. we're still at risk of losing it. last night i said it's a fine democracy if you can keep it. >> yeah, i always thought
democracy is not a given, it's a gift. it takes work and takes respect of others and it takes the idea that all men and women are created equal. all of these things established and the leaders weren't perfect but there was always sort of step by step by step to get there. i mean, today is the anniversary of the voting rights act of 1965 that came 100 years after the amendments to give african-americans the right to vote and took years of pushing and shoving to get to the 1960 it's so we have to constantly push this but there is no guarantee that our democracy survives. it is totally dependent on citizen action and citizen holding leaders accountable for their actions and when that stops, that's when democracies are in trouble. >> well, how is the president doing, president biden doing? he's calling out the threat on
our democracy, but what do you think of his efforts to confront it? is it enough? >> i've said for awhile and i think you and i had this conversation, i don't think it's enough. i think the president, president biden's heart is in the right place and made moves but i often thing about lbj, actually on the voting rights anniversary. lbj wouldn't have done that unless he had been pushed and pushed and pushed by martin luther king and all the other civil rights leaders. remember, it took the montgomery march months before signing for it to remove it. i think joe biden, good person, but i think joe biden still believes in a system that no longer exists which is you have an equal trustworthy person that believes in the same principles as you. i don't think that exists with the republican party. like the texas legislatures that went there with other folks around the country, many people are pushing and should keep pushing the president because i
think the president is inclined to do the right thing but sometimes as i said good people have to be pushed to do the right thing because many times the right thing is hard. >> yeah. sources are telling cnn that the house select committee looking into january 6th is wondering whether to pursue logs from the trump white house on the day of the riot. are you worried about what we'll learn if they get the records? >> well, i'm a huge believer in transparency. i don't think our government through both democrats and republicans is as transparent as it needs to be. i see no reason why logs shouldn't be done that day. somebody comes in and has a meeting to be filed openly given to the press and general public. we should be much more transparent and open in our government system with technology. i think if we actually access them in the house select committee pursues this, i think we'll find out what happened on january 6th and what happened after election day is much,
much, much worse than we could possibly imagine. i think what we'll discover is the president, which would many of us believe was actively involved in trying to undermine our constitutional republic. i think that's definitely if we get access, and we can get the information, which again should be transparent to the public, we will discover that the president was in a concerted effort to undermine our u.s. system of government. >> republicans are trying to undermine the right to vote. the access to the ballot box, governor greg abbott doing everything he can to get the laws enacted in texas even though democrats fled the state, some of them. we'll see what happens and talk to you after the break and talk about that. we'll be right back. >> thanks.
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all right. matthew dowd is back with me. the texas governor calling for a new special session tomorrow to try to force a vote on restrictive voting bills. democrats have to decide whether they'll stay out of texas. is this the best way to fight this? is there any more that can be done there? >> at this moment, pro proceedurally, i think that's what has to happen. ultimately, i think greg abbott will face the wrath of the voters, but texas democrats, they have to keep a quorum from happening. i think they're going to keep pushing it. greg abbott is in a race to be the worst possible governor in the country.
the only one he has competition with is governor desantis of florida. restricting local jurisdictions and schools from requiring masks, and i've lived in texas for 35 years, raised four children here, buried two children in texas. it's a state i love. i love the people. i cannot stand our leaders. and greg abbott is the dr. evil of texas government. everything he does is cruel and craven. >> you mentioned ron desantis of florida, today questioning joe biden's memory, after he jokingly referred to as governor who.
>> and just the awful thing is, governor desantis and governor abbott, they're trying to blame immigrants for the spread of the coronavirus around the country. and if you really looked at the data, more people have died and more people have been hospitalized because of the decisions of those governors than have come close to dying because of some immigranthorrib. but in the end, we can keep having this conversation, but it's up to us and the rest of the voters to tell the politicians we are not going to stand for this anymore. >> matthew, i have to say, i left home, seriously, without my tan suit because i planned to wear it today. this is the closest i could find. the viewers have seen it before, but it wasn't in my office. and i have to ask you about president biden's wardrobe,
wearing a tan suit, similar to one else, who got you know what for it. >> it's funny. the original wearer of the tan suit in modern times, ronald regan. and i don't remember anybody criticizing him for his suit wear. as we've reflected back on, and i actually think, what started much of this awfulness, is the reaction to president obama being in the white house. and why we're in the position we are in with so many people being angry and so many people being divided in the midst of where we are. and so many people being upset about the diversity of america. which most of us know is a plus and will make us a better country. there's a segment in our society that the gop stirs up that cannot stand thate diversity of america. >> thank you. and i heard what you said about your children, i'm sorry. i didn't want to interrupt the
flow, but i love having you on, you're a good man, and please come back. >> great to be with you. >> i know you have a daughter who is going away to college. going to be an empty nest. >> yes. i'm so proud of her, i can't contain myself. >> as you should be. thank you, proud dad. i'll see you soon. >> thank you. governor cuomo's lawyers in attack mode, in defense of their client. as he faces a criminal complaint. stay with us. emed music playing] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ summer is a state of mind, you can visit anytime. savor your summer with lincoln.
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surging to nearly 100,000 per day, hundreds of thousands of bikers gathering for the giant sturgis motorcycle rally. we'll hear from some of the bikers just ahead. and a new focus tonight on a trump ally at the doj, pushing the big lie by claiming without evidence hacking by chinese intelligence. evan perez joins us. good evening to you. we're hearing more each day about what trump ally jeffrey clark was doing, and this may be the most wild development. a bogus claim about special thermometers from china. take it away. >> right. you can't even say it with a straight face, right? but this is what he believed. jeffrey clark, the head of the civil division of th