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CNN’s Don Lemon Blows Up At Trump White House For Off-Camera Briefings: “Tell The Truth!”


CNN: CNN's Don Lemon responds to an earlier off-camera, no-audio press gaggle at the White House, saying presidents should be held accountable and not go unchallenged. "Can you imagine if Obama had done this?" Lemon asked. DON LEMON: If you're a Trump supporter and the president is saying this, do you want a president that is unchallenged, who only delivers a message that he wants? That is not the American way. Presidents — anyone who is in authority should be challenged, should be held to account by the American people, the people who put them in office. And that is what the media does whether he likes it or not. It's not about the president; it's about the people who actually pay the president's salary… Tell the truth at the podium! And then it won't become a dog and pony show. Tell the truth, get better people to represent you, get people who will challenge you, get people who aren't afraid to tell you the truth, who will stand up there and said, 'look, this is the truth, stop tweeting so people don't have to defend you when what you write is indefensible.' … You know how much guff the Obama administration got when he didn't press conferences for — for a while? Can you imagine if the Obama administration had done this? I'm just saying.

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Michael Reagan vs. CNN’s Don Lemon On Russia: What Law Did Trump Break? Lemon: I’m Not A Lawyer


Don Lemon, when confronted on what law President Trump may have broken if he did, in fact, participate in 'collusion' with the Russian Federation, said he does not know, "you have to ask a lawyer." "Collusion is not breaking the law. What law did they break?" Reagan asked the CNN host. "You mean if the Trump folks colluded with the Russians, that's not breaking the law? To influence the election?" Lemon responded. "What law? What law?" Reagan once again asked. "Isn't that treasonous to do that?" Lemon asked in response. "What law? No. What law?" Reagan said without receiving an answer. From Wednesday's CNN Tonight: LEMON: President Trump and Hillary Clinton lashing out at each other in a new war of words on Russia tonight as an investigation spreads a cloud over the White House. Joining me now, the son of President Ronald Reagan, Michael Reagan is author of "Lessons My Father Taught Me" and a Newsmax contributor and he's on this show frequently and we're glad to have him. Good evening to you. I have to ask you, though, about this war of words tonight between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump over this election and why she lost. Are we doomed to relive this 2016 election forever with these two? MICHAEL REAGAN, AUTHOR, LESSONS MY FATHER TAUGHT ME: Boy, I certainly hope not. I think the media's more caught up in this than the rest of the public. I think the rest of the public wants to get on to the business that they need to get on to. I think they want to hear about tax cuts… (CROSSTALK) LEMON: Michael, the media — they're the ones who are fighting about it. We're just reporting on it. REAGAN: I know. I know. I said in a tweet here a couple weeks ago, I said if I was the chief of staff to the President of the United States, I'd break his thumbs and get a roll of duct tape. I got it tell you, I just think that would probably be the best thing for him. Reince, if you're listening, you might want to do that. Because I think what happens is instead of letting it go away and get on to his issues he needs to get on to, he keeps on playing to the Hillary Clintons and other people that keep on talking about Russia and what's going on. And if I can say something, Don, I mean, I almost laugh at this stuff because it seems to me the media wakes up every morning thinking then, history just started that morning when they opened their eyes. If I could take you back for a moment to 1979 when Senator Ted Kennedy goes to Senator John Tunney of California and asks him to personally go to the KGB, to ask the KGB to get in touch with Moscow and let Moscow know that Kennedy will take a positive note on them going into Afghanistan and invite Russians to America to be on television and if they do that, it will help them defeat Jimmy Carter for the nomination of the Democrat Party in 1979. Well, guess what, that doesn't work. So in 1980, during the election, Jimmy Carter goes to Arm & Hammer, the industrials ask him to go to de Bruin… (CROSSTALK) LEMON: What are you saying in the interest of time? What's the bottom line here, what are you saying, you're talking about back channel. REAGAN: The bottom line is, this is not the first time Russia has tried or been involved in an election. It used to be where we knocked on their door and asked for their assistance to defeat at least Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan back in 1980. And everybody's treating this like this is new stuff. This is not new stuff. This is what Russia does if they're not asked, they try to get involved, themselves. LEMON: Yes, but the timing is different. And we spoke to General Michael Hayden about that. He said this is, to him, this is not back channeling. The timing matters and also the time that we can't look at the 1970s now through a 2016 or 2017 lens. There was no internet, the times were different. But, you know, anyway, I get your point. But I have to ask you, is this different to you that Jared Kushner reportedly proposed using Russian facilities and equipment to communicate with them secretly, intentionally keeping information from all U.S. entities? REAGAN: But, Don, that's a leak. We don't even know if that's fact yet. We really don't know. And what happens is the reporting leaks and what have you, we don't have the fact. We… (CROSSTALK) LEMON: They haven't denied it, Michael. REAGAN: What? LEMON: The White House hasn't denied it. REAGAN: Well, yes, the White House hasn't denied it. They say they turned it over that their attorney now. But the reality of it is, we don't really know what happened in that meeting and what went on. When we find out what went on, fine. But guess what, collusion is not breaking the law. Just like Kennedy, he didn't break the law. It was a political move he made just like Jimmy Carter. It was political. It wasn't breaking the law. LEMON: Wait, wait, wait. Collusion is not breaking the law? REAGAN: Not in this case. No, it's not collusion. Collusion is not breaking the law. What law did they break? LEMON: You mean if the Trump folks colluded with the Russians, that's not breaking the law? To influence the election? REAGAN: What law? What law? LEMON: Isn't that treasonous to do that? REAGAN: What law? No. What law? LEMON: OK. I'm not an attorney but it just seems like… (CROSSTALK) REAGAN: The democrats… LEMON: It seems like — it seems like that's the whole reason for this investigation by the intelligence community, from the FBI, from the CIA, and they said, in fact… (CROSSTALK) REAGAN: Finding out if… LEMON: .. if it did occur. And if it did occur, then there is a — then that's breaking of the law. No? REAGAN: What law? LEMON: You have to ask a lawyer. REAGAN: Nobody can name the law. Nobody can name the law. Just like the democrats colluding back in the '70s and '80s, didn't break the law. LEMON: People go to jail all the time, though, Michael, for collusion. Even beyond the government in just everyday business. REAGAN: Collusion… (CROSSTALK) LEMON: And when it comes to the mafia, people go to… REAGAN: … isn't the case. But nobody… (CROSSTALK) REAGAN: People go to jail all the time for that. REAGAN: Don, name the law. LEMON: OK. So then why would the — OK, fine. REAGAN: Name the law that they broke. LEMON: Fine. I know you're going to point about the law but why would be the FBI be investigating if it's not against the law? REAGAN: Because this has become so politicized to the whole process, and you know as far as… (CROSSTALK) LEMON: The entire intelligence community is being politicized? REAGAN: … if they found nothing happens. What, this has been politicized on every side of the equation. LEMON: Without intelligence community you think it's being politicized? REAGAN: It is being politicized. Hillary politicized it in her talk the other day. LEMON: No, no, I'm talking about the intelligence community. Listen, I think you're right. I think it's being politicized by politicians but I'm not so sure by members of the intelligence community. REAGAN: I think the intelligence community got to a point, they didn't have a choice. They really had no choice but to go into this because nobody was believing anybody else on the planet. Nobody was believing democrats. Nobody was believing republicans. I think they have no choice to go in… (CROSSTALK) LEMON: So Michael, let me get i in, when they started investigating possible collusion with the Trump campaign back in July of 2016, at least that's when we're told the investigation started, you think that that was political from the FBI? Because nothing was reported about them investigating the Trump campaign, but they did admit that they were investigating Hillary Clinton. REAGAN: They were investigating Hillary, they were investigating Trump, they were investigating both candidates when it came to this last campaign. But, again, collusion, what law? What law? If they find, in fact, they colluded with collusion with… (CROSSTALK) LEMON: I think that collusion is probably a broad term… REAGAN: … the Russians. LEMON: … and within that you'd have to figure out exactly what they were colluding to do if it was treasonous, if they were allowing a foreign influence to have influence — a foreign government to have influence in our election and over our country. (CROSSTALK) REAGAN: Don, Don… LEMON: I think that there are laws in that they have broken. REAGAN: Don, have you interviewed — Don, have you interviewed one person that changed their vote because of the Russian collusion? One person. LEMON: I haven't interviewed anyone who… (CROSSTALK) REAGAN: Have you? LEMON: Yes, I'm sure there are people. I have not. REAGAN: But have you? LEMON: I've interviewed a lot of people. REAGAN: Have you? LEMON: Yes. REAGAN: What person said you changed my vote? LEMON: I have heard people say, yes, all this investigating, and all of this ties to the investigation, or Hillary Clinton and e-mails, that changed my idea of who to vote for in the election. Yes, absolutely so people have changed their vote because of that. You don't think people did? REAGAN: Well, they need to be — they need to be on the air and find out was there — how many millions were there to overturn the election? LEMON: You don't think people who either thought Hillary Clinton did something wrong with e-mails or that Donald Trump may have done something wrong in some way, you don't think that influenced them in the way that they voted? REAGAN: Hillary lost because she ran a terrible campaign. (CROSSTALK) LEMON: No, that's a whole different point. Listen, I don't disagree with you on that. REAGAN: That's why she lost. LEMON: I don't disagree with you on that. I do think she should take more responsibility for her own actions and why she lost. But you don't think that people being investigated had any influence on how you voted? REAGAN: But at the same point, they were investigating Trump. So… (CROSSTALK) LEMON: That was not announced. REAGAN: It was tit for tat at that point. LEMON: No, it's not. No one was investigating Trump. REAGAN: But Trump didn't have… (CROSSTALK) LEMON: No one knew… REAGAN: … Trump didn't have an e-mail service — Trump didn't have an e-mail service. LEMON: … that Trump was being investigated. No one knew Trump, Michael… (CROSSTALK) REAGAN: Trump didn't have an e-mail service in his basement. LEMON: Michael, he did not that we know of. All right? All right. (CROSSTALK) REAGAN: Come on. LEMON: I'm just being facetious there. But no one knew Donald Trump was being investigated then. REAGAN: You know, Donald Trump is being investigated every day. Turn on the news. There's nobody saying anything good about Donald Trump. Look at the last program that you… (CROSSTALK) LEMON: But no one knew there was an FBI investigation is this point. Will you just admit that? Because it happens in July. James Comey did announced it until the hearings. REAGAN: Nobody knew there was an FBI — nobody knew there was an FBI investigation, true. That would not have changed the election. LEMON: OK. Read the full transcript.

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Former CIA Director Woolsey: Nothing Wrong With Backchannels; “Real Scandal” Is Leaks


Former CIA Director James Woolsey told CNN's Don Lemon there is nothing wrong with back channel communications with foreign contacts as long as, "you're doing it accurately and within the confines essentially of what your superiors have asked of you." From Tuesday's edition of CNN Tonight: DON LEMON, CNN: What was interesting because Sean Spicer today was asked about that back channel and he didn't really — he didn't really answer it during the briefing. So do you think that the president, the incoming president or the president-elect knew about this? Again, I have to ask you, ambassador. JAMES WOOLSEY, FMR. CIA DIRECTOR: I don't know whether it was him or whether it would have been somebody else in the incoming administration. But I don't see anything untoward about having a back channel communications as long as you're doing it accurately and within the confines essentially of what your superiors have asked of you. People have back channel communications all the time. It's often done via intelligence services because they can often — the head of DCI, for example, to travel without people knowing that he's traveling. LEMON: So, Ambassador, why not disclose that then? WOOLSEY: Well, there are a lot of things I think have been disclosed too much. And I think that is the real scandal here. That so much has been disclosed, it makes it hard for the secrecy that's essential to the operation of the U.S. government in these areas to continue. And I think the people who have broken these tacit and formal agreements and taken classified information and turned it loose are basically traitors to the country. LEMON: So Phil, Kushner and others should not have disclosed communications with the Russians because they should fear that it may be leaked to the press? WOOLSEY: Disclosed to the president, of course. LEMON: Disclosed, yes. WOOLSEY: Disclosed to the national security advisor? Of course. What's wrong with that? There was anything wrong with that.

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Don Lemon vs. Jeffrey Lord: Comparing Trump To Martin Luther King Jr. Of Health Care Was Insulting


Don Lemon and CNN contributor Jeffrey Lord go at it when the conservative commenter is unapologetic about calling President Trump the "Martin Luther King Jr. of health care." Symone Sanders, who once said Democrats "don't need white people" leading the party, also joined in on the fight.

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Dershowitz vs. Van Jones: Name A Country That’s Not Muslim That Would Come Under A Ban At This Time


VAN JONES, CNN: I am no fool to get into a fistfight on national television with Professor Dershowitz. But I have to say that what President Obama was doing with those seven countries is not related to what Donald Trump is trying to do. Listen, the explanation that the Trump administration is giving is completely arbitrary and irrational. There are other countries that should be included under the rationale he's putting forward. The only thing that holds these countries together are majority Muslim countries. There's no other criteria that holds up. ALAN DERSHOWITZ: Name a country that's not Muslim that would come under a ban at this time? JONES: France. How about France? … JONES: Let me tell you, just because France is in Europe and Denmark are in Europe, if what you're concerned about is countries that have a history of extremism, there are European countries that do, yet none of them are included. My only point is this — let me – DERSHOWITZ: The European countries have mechanisms for sorting out dangerous people that these countries, President Obama said, don't have the appropriate mechanism. Look, I agree with you, this is a complex issue, and I agree with you that if they look at the statements made by President Trump, he will lose. The question is, is that the jurisprudence that the Supreme Court will apply? That's a tough argument to make. (via Newsbusters)

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Don Lemon: Media’s Russia Coverage Is “Speaking Truth To Power, Holding People Accountable”


David Gergen said on Thursday's CNN Tonight President Trump is enjoying that the media is distracted from the Obamacare replacement bill by focusing on Russia. CNN host Don Lemon said he understood the position, but it is important to cover Russia because that is "speaking truth to power and holding people accountable." DAVID GERGEN, CNN: Of course we need to be covering this story, if the FBI has got major investigations underway and there's something very fishy underneath all of this, we all know that. At the same time, Jack Kingston has a point but I disagree with on where he came out with it. And that is, while we're doing this so much, the administration is enjoying the fact that we're distracted from covering this health care bill. And they're jamming it through in the middle of the night. Nobody knows what's in it. Nobody knows how much it's going to cost. And nobody really understands what it's going to do to Americans who so desperately need health insurance. And that's a major, major story. It's hard to cover in the midst of all this other stuff, but we have to do both… FMR. REP. JACK KINGSTON: Well, I think that the health care bill is something that's going to take a lot of debating, because it is one seventh of the economy. You know, I think — I just want to say that's where, in my impression visiting the Hill the past couple of days, that's where all the energy is going right now. They're letting the Intel committees take care of the Russian stuff but they're moving on with the people's agenda which is the right thing for them to be doing. DON LEMON, CNN: Yes. Listen, I understand where you gentlemen are coming from, but I think it's important when you have a Republican House, you have a Republican Senate, you have a Republican White House, it was the same thing the Democrats on the other side, part of that is speaking truth to power and holding people accountable. The media is a part of that. GERGEN: Right. LEMON: So we need to do that as the media. So let's talk about this. James Comey going over to Capitol Hill today to brief congressional leaders, Kirsten, who have access to highly classified information. What is Comey's goal do you think in these briefings?

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Don Lemon: Trump Sounded Like He Didn’t Know Meaning Of The Words, Used Big Words to Impress


CNN's Don Lemon praised the way President Obama delivered a speech compared to the way it sounds when President Trump delivers an address. "To me it sounds like a speech that was written for someone that he was reciting, and there were some big words and phrases that I don't think that he actually connected to," Lemon. 'If you just listen to the speech." "It didn't sound like his voice because when you look at when he speaks extemporaneously you learn a lot about people," Lemon said. "The way President Obama speaks extemporaneously was very similar in the way he spoke," gave speeches. The way President Bush spoke extemporaneously was similar to the way he gave speeches. The way President Trump speaks extemporaneously is not the same as what he said tonight. It sounded to me, and I thought he sounded very presidential, this is a speech written by a college student for someone else trying to use big words to impress the person who is reciting it did not know the meaning of the words. That's how it sounded?" "That's my assessment if you just listened to it. Go back and listen to it, he added." "I'm talking about his words. I'm not saying anything bad about him. But I don't think it was in his voice," Lemon would later defend his summation of Trump's speech.

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