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CNN TONIGHT

Update Forecast On Hurricane Maria; U.S. Government Wiretapped Former Trump Campaign Chairman; Trump Lawyers Overheard Talking About Russia Probe; President Trump United Nation's Debut; Too Late To Stop Climate Change. Aired 11-Midnight ET

Aired September 18, 2017 - 23:00   ET

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


[23:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: Are those people still in shelters tonight even as we speak?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Still in shelters tonight more than a hundred of them at last check with government officials. Many of them right now at the Puerto Rico convention center, which we visited as well. And we actually talked to one man, 22-year-old guy from the British Virgin Islands. And he was telling us that he felt he had been welcomed here, that there was a lot of help. But he was concerned because he still had family in Virgin Gordo where he was from. And they didn't even know that Maria was on the way given communication lines are still not so great over there. So still evacuees on this island. Those numbers seem to be going down quite a bit as they make their way to other destinations. Puerto Rico not only bracing for the storm themselves but still housing some that managed to escape from their home islands destroyed by Irma.

LEMON: Leyla Santiago in San Juan Puerto Rico for us, thank you Leyla we appreciate that.

This is "CNN tonight." I'm Don Lemon. It is 11:00 p.m. On the east coast, and we've got a lot of breaking news for you tonight including a CNN exclusive.

We're learning tonight that government investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election. "The New York Times" reporting tonight that prosecutors told Manafort they plan to indict him.

And wave got a brand new forecast for extremely dangerous hurricane Maria. A category 5 storm that made landfall on the island Dominica tonight. Let's get back to CNN Pedram Javaheri he is in the CNN Severe Weather Center. You just got a new advisor from the national hurricane center. What can you tell us?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: They're saying some slight weakening to be noticed with this storm system. They've not dropped the warning on this, Don. They're waiting for this storm system to clear land before they can fly into it and get the latest observation. But I use the analogy of a top on a table as it spins. And as it begins to hit an imperfection, it starts to wobble in the spin. This is one of the most mountainous islands. In this region we're talking about some areas having mountains go up as high as 4,700 feet. So they will certainly do tremendous damage with this storm system as it moves over this region. But we think it could strengthen again beyond that. But 160 miles per hour so a healthy category 5 right now. As it pushes over in areas homes of some 75,000 people here. Potentially make landfall around eastern Puerto Rico sometime early Wednesday afternoon as a strong category 4 or category 5. This will be the first time since the 1930s that Puerto Rico has been impacted by anything category 5 or greater. You never saw that turn until it was too late and began to push up towards Florida. But model guidance on this, very confident this will begin to push into eastern Puerto Rico by midweek. And then it becomes a little more dicey as far as when it turns and where it turns depending on the steering current in the atmosphere. One thing I want to talk about here is we compared Andrew to Irma in the last few days, last few weeks. But this storm have a lot more in common. A lot more compact. Almost exact same size. Almost identical to when Andrew moved over south Florida. Remember with Irma it was a large one here with a 75 mile wind radius. The disparity comes in mid-week with the European model. That is right there in blue, Don. It begins to really push the storm system offshore. The American kinds of hang on a little bit in meanders a little bit off the eastern coastline. Regardless a significant storm that will move a shore we think. Puerto Rico here sometime this week. Want to break something down here. Show you the comparison with Irma and the track we have with this coming in as Maria. It is a little to the south here, but it will begin a right turn far earlier. So we think it'll cross somewhere around areas just north of the Dominican Republic. Notice Turks and Caicos could be around here with a second hurricane landfall within a ten day period. I was just talking to my producers saying I really hope these folks are not trying to put things back together right now because of course it wouldn't make no sense because another major hurricane is coming through. So really a sobering thought in what is happening across the island.

[23:05:08] LEMON: With the potential of being torn apart again. Thank you, Pedram, I appreciate that. I want to get to the phone now and get Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosello, he joins us now. Governor thank you so much for joining us. The last time a category five hurricane made landfall in Puerto Rico was 1928. Is your territory ready for Maria?

RICARDO ROSSELLO, PUERTO RICO GOVERNOR: Well, Don, we're as ready as we can be. Of course, this sort of event is a very dangerous event. High wind, slow form, a lot of rainfall. And this coming just two weeks after Irma has got off the coast of Puerto Rico. So we made preparations and focused on things that matter right now, which is making sure people are safe. So we have 500 shelters, moving people to those shelters. Hopefully weathering the storm so we can rebuild pretty quick.

LEMON: You warned your residents, governor, hurricane Maria is unlike anything Puerto Rico has ever seen before. How bad do you expect this to be the.

ROSSELLO: Well, it's catastrophic. There's no other way to put it. We're going to be feeling tropical storm winds for about two and a half days. We're going to be feeling the sustained high level hurricane winds for the better part of a day. We're going to have a lot of water. The floor is already saturated, so the flooding areas are very dangerous here in Puerto Rico. So these things make it a very dangerous storm. And what we want to make sure is that people are safe, so we've made effort to have people go to our shelters or to identify the shelters that are safe for their families. So the next couple of hours before we start feeling the tropical storm winds are going to be focused mainly on that.

LEMON: Governor, we wish you the best. Thank you so much, and we'll check back with you. Best of luck.

ROSSELLO: Thank you so much.

LEMON: Thank you very much.

We've got much more on this monster storm coming up here on "CNN tonight." but now I want to turn to our CNN exclusive. Sources say U.S. investigators wiretapped former Trump Campaign chairman Paul Manafort under a secret court order, before and after the election. Here to discuss all of this now is Fareed Zakaria host of CNN Fareed Zakaria GPS. Mr. Zakaria good to have you on. I want to get your reaction to this breaking news, that the government wiretapped the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort before and after the election. What do you think?

FAREED ZAKARIA, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS SHOW, CNN: What we know with Paul Manafort and his dealings, it certainly seemed as though there were a lot of things he was doing that were, and shall we say, unorthodox. He was playing footsie with a lot of governments, with a lot of opposition movements that were unsavory, that were large cash transfers. I'm talking about in the millions of millions of dollars. So it doesn't surprise me that, you know, it appears there's something here that is a violation of the law. Obviously, everybody is innocent until proven guilty. But certainly on the basis of what we have read in places like "The New York Times" and "the Washington Post," Paul Manafort had played -- it seemed as though he had done things that were at the very least touching the edge of the law and not crossing over.

LEMON: It was interesting because I remember during the initial tweets by President Trump saying inaccurately that the former President had wiretapped Trump tower, many people pointed out that Paul Manafort had an apartment in Trump tower and that the President could possibly be caught up in some incidental communication or collection because they were interested in Paul Manafort, who had a residence in Trump tower.

ZAKARIA: You know, it's possible. My guess is that American intelligence community and law enforcement are more discreet and discriminating than that. They would not have almost kind of accidently dealt with Trump because they were dealing with someone in the same building. If they were going after Paul Manafort or eves dropping on Manafort, they would be doing that. It raises this larger issue that there's so many people associated with the Trump campaign that seemed to have dealings not just with Russia but with oligarchs and Ukraine and the Turkish government. We know about Michael Flynn. The whole thing does have the feeling of people who are very comfortable pedaling influence with people you're not supposed to pedal influence with.

[23:10:04] Look, that influence allowed and legal in United States. That is called lobbying, but there are rules about it and particular rules about what you can do with foreigners. And this has always been an issue because foreigners try to influence the United States, the most powerful country in the world. Governments all over the world try directly and indirectly through sources to somehow get America to change its policy, get America's foreign policy change. And as a result there are rules about what you can and cannot do. As I say, it does appear at the very least Paul Manafort seems to have played footsie with some of those rules.

LEMON: I want to bring in our justice correspondent Pamela Brown and also Evan Perez, both of CNN as well. Pamela I am interested in learning more about what you are learning and also will the President use this as yes, he was right and that he had been wiretapped Trump tower?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN NEWSROOM SHOW HOST: well this reporters on twitter think they are. What is interesting here is, there are two court warrants the first one is related to his dealings with the former ruler of the Ukraine and then the second one happened sometime before the election and went through after the election until at least early this year. And in that same time frame, Don, while Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman was under surveillance, sources tell us he was also talking periodically with the President. And so the big question is where any of these conversations with the President swept up as part of the surveillance on Paul Manafort? You'll recall, Don, that months ago Donald Trump tweeted that President Obama was tapping his wires at Trump tower. So what the Justice Department has done in the wake of that is come out and said, no, the FBI was never tapping the President's phone. But what is still unclear is whether his conversations were picked up. And we should also mention that Paul Manafort does have a residence in Trump tower. Though it's not clear whether the FBI was using surveillance on him at Trump tower. Don.

LEMON: Okay, so the initial investigation, Pamela, started in 2014. It was stopped, I believe what the reporting is, for lack of evidence. I'm not exactly sure. And then it was picked up again, but it's not exactly sure when it was picked up or if it's the same investigation or two different investigations. I don't know.

BROWN: Well, there's two different investigations. You have the investigation that began in 2014 and had to deal with consulting firms in the U.S. And Paul Manafort's ties and the pro-Russia regime there in the Ukraine. And then fast forward a couple years later in 2016 the FBI notice these curious contacts between Trump campaign associate and Russians. So then you have the Russian meddling investigation. And as part of that, the FBI was back to the FISA court, we're told by sources, and got a warrant to put Paul Manafort under surveillance as it related to Russian meddling investigation that was sometime before the election and went after the election. What is interesting here as you pointed out, Don, at some point it dropped out. And during that time he was no longer under surveillance was the Trump tower meeting back last June, that Russian attorney whereas you'll recall Don junior was promised an e-mail of incriminating information on Hillary Clinton. We're told last June Paul Manafort was not under surveillance, otherwise authorities would have known about it much sooner. Don.

LEMON: All right. Pamela, I want you to standby. I want to bring Fareed back in. Fareed on top of this exclusive reporting "The New York Times" is reporting that following an early morning raid, Mueller's team told Manafort they plan to indict him.

ZAKARIA: You know I think that Mueller's team is clearly trying to figure out where it can find the sort of maximum leverage. And one of the things you often do in these kind of situations is you let somebody know that basically they violated the law. The prosecutors think that is a very likely prospect. In the hope you get cooperation. And it does feel as though the investigation has ramped up in this regard. It has always struck me that one of Donald Trump's greatest vulnerabilities is that he ran a very half hazard, crazy, unstructured campaign with a lot of people who, frankly, did not have a reputation for the highest ethical standards, the highest legal standards.

And the result is that he has gotten associated with those kinds of actions. I don't think we know whether Trump himself was involved, knew. But what we do know is that the campaign was trafficking with people who clearly have been playing fast and loose with these things. As you can see in that meeting. That meeting is prima facie evidence. Whether or not it has succeeded, the argument against it is that nothing came of it. That would be like saying you had a meeting where one person says I would like to rob a bank and have a plan how to do it. The other person says, great, they meet and nothing happens. You're still planning to rob a bank. That was what that meeting was. The Russian guy says I have stuff for you on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government, and this is important. It could hurt her chances. Donald Trump, Jr., says great, I love it, they meet. It seems as though nothing came of it, but they were trying to rob a bank.

[23:15:47] LEMON: Yeah. And listen, this other piece of reporting from "The New York Times," can you believe the President's lawyers talk so casually what's going on behind the scenes at the White House regarding this Russia investigation in earshot of a "New York times" reporter in public at a D.C. stake house?

ZAKARIA: Well you know the whole - the story of this administration at some level has been incredible lack of discipline. Think of the number of times we've been surprised and stunned that Donald Trump would answer a question or go off on a riff or something. Or think about Lester Holt where he just casually admits, yeah, I fired James Comey because I worried he was going too far on the Russia investigation. And I think that permeates. If you don't have discipline at the top, you're not going to have discipline down. We'll see whether it changes now you have Kelly, a former marine general in charge. But I don't think it can because these things are set by the person at the top. And the person at the top is not General Kelly. The person at the top is Donald Trump. If he behaves in a kind of impulsive, instinctual and undisciplined way, is it any surprise that his staff does the same? LEMON: Fareed Zakaria I want you to stick around. When we come back,

President Trump making his U.N. Debut, promising what is being called a deeply philosophical address. What we should expect from that speech, plus we'll continue to track hurricane Maria, dangerous category five storm slamming the Caribbean tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:20:55] LEMON: The eyes of the world will be on President Trump when he gives a major speech at the U.N. tomorrow, expected to lay out his foreign policy. Fareed Zakaria is back with me. So, Fareed while the Russian investigation marches on, the President is making his debut at the United Nations general assembly. We're talking about an America first President. He is expected to deliver a deeply -- this is quote from the administration -- deeply philosophical address in rational terms for a global audience. What do you think that means? What are you expecting?

ZAKARIA: Well, I worried when I heard that because to the extent that Donald Trump has a philosophy and it's one that he has had for a long time, it's been a kind of instinctive feeling that the rest of the world is trying to rip the United States off, that the united States should not bear burdens, should not set agendas, should not meet the world really, it should take care of itself. And it's exactly the wrong message for the world at this point. We're living in a time of enormous change, and a lot of people are looking for some sense of what is the direction forward? You know, what is the North Star we can look to? Is it greater openness, greater sense of international cooperation? Is it a greater sense of -- you know, search for growth or is it human rights? Whatever it is, the United States has usually provided that leadership.

And what Trump is seems to be saying as far as I can tell is we're going to look out for ourselves. You guys are taking advantage of us, and you're on your own. And you already see it in much of the rest of the world. It's the Europeans like Chancellor Merkel saying we have to worry about our own affairs, don't look to the United States. You see it in places like Asia where many Asians strong men from Philippines to Thailand, and the middle east, they're clamping down on democracy, because they know that the United States, the one country that used to stand for these things has gone AWOL. So that feeling that the United States has gone AWOL on world leadership is already quite present. What Trump needs to do is correct on that and say, no, no we're here. We still care about issues, whatever it is he wants to talk about. But lead. Instead I have a fear what we're going to see is a retreat. A sense that we're going to look after ourselves and you guys should do the same.

LEMON: There's a lot of concern not only here in America but around the world about a possible nuclear conflict. The President as we understand, drafted the speech, put front in Stephen Miller, Secretary of State, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. But CNN has learned the President will specifically call-out Iran and North Korea. What's your reaction?

ZAKARIA: What I worry most about this are these are very provocative statements the President has been making about North Korea and Iran. And there does not seem to be any strategy to back it up. So the President has now gotten really bellicose and threatening about North Korea. As far as we know, there's no strategy what to do about that. There's very little prospect of any kind of military option. It's not clear how you would pressure the Chinese. In fact of anything the president rhetoric has alienated the Chinese, who are the ones source of pressure for North Korea. With the Iranians, there seems to be a kind of gratuitous insulting of them even though they are by every international agency and by every other country's judgment and by our own intelligence agency's judgment, they are abiding by the agreement. So, again, what I fear is that what you have here is not an America first strategy but an America alone strategy. The United States is not building allies in any of these areas. It is just making these pronouncements.

[23:25:02] And as Trump makes these pronouncements and as I fear is going to happen in many cases, they're not going to be backed up by anything especially in North Korea. Perhaps in Iran he'll tear up the agreement. But the Iran's will continue to maintain the agreement with every country in the world, so it's the United States that will be isolated. What you're going to witness is the United States being isolated rather than Iran and North Korea being isolated.

LEMON: Interesting. Fareed I want to talk to you about this, because this is another hot topic of the year, no pundit intended, The U.N. it is going to be the climate change, this United States is dealing with the aftermath of Harvey and Irma and hurricane Maria, now category 5. You've got Jose out there as well. You know, taking aim at the Caribbean. I want to play what astrophysicist told you about climate change, listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON, AMERICAN ASTROPHYSICIST: I worry that we might not ever to recover from this, because all our greatest cities are in the oceans and waters edges. Historically for commerce and transportation. As storms kick in, as water levels rise, they're the first to go. And we don't have a system. We don't have a civilization with the capacity to pick up a city and move it inland 20 miles. This is happening faster than our ability to respond.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Interesting. He says it might be too late to recover at a time when there is a rift with allies or the President's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. There was some confusion this weekend over whether the President was reconsidering. What do you make of all that?

ZAKARIA: I think the President is not reconsidering. I think this is too important to his base. It's largely symbolic as you know, and really doesn't mean much. But I think he raises a very important point, which is we have probably passed the point of simply having a strategy which is about stopping global warming. What we need now is a strategy to mitigate -- I'm sorry, to adapt to global warming. Because it is happening. I think we can all see it is happening by the increased strength of these hurricanes, increased fury of this forest fires, increased temperatures. Hottest in recorded history in the last 20. So what does that mean? We have got to have a serious conversation about do we need to start planning to build dikes in New York, do we need to start building fortifications in Miami, do we need start (inaudible) people, start moving inland, figuring out (inaudible), do we need new patterns of irrigation? I think that climate change is so real at this point it's not an academic debate. And unfortunately for those who just want to talk about stopping it, I think we're past that point. You've got to think about how we will adapt as a country and a planet to the reality. There's all that carbon dioxide in the air already. No matter what it we all start driving Prius tomorrow that stuff isn't coming down.

LEMON: Fareed Zakaria, thank you sir. When we come back, big developments on the Russia investigation, what it all means for the White House in chaos. Plus extremely dangerous hurricane Maria slamming the Caribbean tonight, we will go live to the storm zone.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:32:16] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: President Trump making his debut at the United Nations tomorrow, but will his address be over shadowed by new developments in the Russia investigation? Let's discuss mow. Ben Shapiro is the editor-in-chief at the Daily Wire and former editor in charge at Breitbart. He is also the author of Brainwash, how universities adapt to America's youth. Also CNN political commentator Mike Shields, former Chief of Staff to Reince Priebus at the RNC. Daniel W. Drezner, a "the Washington Post" contributor and CNN Political Commentator Patti Solis Doyle former Hillary Clinton presidential campaign manager. Now, that is panel everyone. Dan I am going to start with you, good evening by the way to all of you. Despite a couple of weeks where it didn't dominate the news, the Russia investigation back in the headlines, CNN exclusive reporting that the U.S. government wiretapped Trump former campaign chairman Paul Manafort both before and after the election. What do you think make of this new reporting and how do you think it's going to impact the ongoing Mueller investigation if at all?

DANIEL W. DREZNER, CONTRIBUTOR WASINGTON POST: Well, we know for a fact in some cases the Mueller investigation has actually got information, I believe, from reports in the news. We know, for example, they apparently were not aware of the Donald Trump, Jr., e- mails until "The New York Times" actually published them. So it's possible this is just going to be something else, that they'll get more information. In this case, I would suspect they already knew about the FBI wiretap. I think the more important issue is there's just a steady drip, drip, drip on this when it comes to this kind of things. I mean this is one story, yesterday we learned the two of the Trump lawyers were chatting about this openly in at a restaurant in D.C. The story is clearly not going to go away.

LEMON: Mike we're also learning from "The New York Times" that Robert Mueller and his team are engaging in what's being described as shock and awe tactics, even going as far as telling Manafort they plan to indict him. Why do you think they're going at him in such an aggressive manner? MIKE SHIELDS, FORMER RNC CHIEF OF STAFF: I think when you make it

public, you're going to indict somebody, and it seems a tactic you're trying to get them to cooperate. And it doesn't like a huge grand conspiracy. It sounds to me they're trying to pick-off a person here and there. There's a lot of people in Washington that don't believe that this investigation is going to show some kind of grand conspiracy, I told you before, I find it highly, highly unlikely that Russia was able to collude with the Trump campaign because the Trump campaign couldn't collude with the RNC. It couldn't collude with itself. He is going to have to get something to show for all this stuff they've done. So they're going to go after people, threaten them. They're going to use tactics the FBI uses all the time to get people to talk. I think it is pretty effective. I think they are pretty good at that. They get one person. They say we're going to do this to you and they start unraveling and talking to other people. I think if they really have their hands around some kind of master strategy, this isn't the sort of thing they'd be doing. They're looking at individuals now.

[23:35:28] LEMON: Ben, what's your reaction to this?

BEN SHAPIRO, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF FROM A DAILY WIRE.COM: I think what you have and what you are going to see is Republicans and Democrats arguing on two completely different tracks. What I've seen is Republican saying tonight Trump is justified in his wiretapping tweet at last. What this wiretap shows is he was caught up in a wiretap at Trump tower. Sure, it may not have been aimed at him, but Manafort had an apartment in Trump tower. And then you're going to see people, Democrats basically saying it doesn't matter whether his tweet was right or not but whether the FISA warrant on Paul Manafort was justified and whether Paul Manafort is guilty of anything. That actually seems to me a more factual case. It does seem like justifying Trump's tweet. It is going to be a great outcome for him in any case, because the real question is going to be what is the under lying crime if there is any here. I tend to agree, by the way, just because Manafort may be guilty of something that certainly doesn't mean President Trump is guilty of anything.

LEMON: Exactly. And let's not forget I think this was then on second of September, Patti the Justice Department came out and said there's no evidence that Obama wiretapped Trump tower. And the justice department would certainly have this information, this new information that is being reported by CNN and the New York Times tonight.

PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, POLITICAL CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, I think that still holds true. President Trump wasn't being wiretapped. Paul Manafort was. Now, whether or not some of Paul Manafort's conversations with, you know, then candidate Trump are sort of put into that wiretap, we don't know. We don't know the answer to that. But I just want to comment to what everybody else says. The idea that President Trump's campaign chairman will get indicted. That is a big problem politically for the President, for the administration. Not just for Paul Manafort. This is something that this investigation has been going on for months and months. We've seen a lot of smoke. We haven't seen a fire yet, but if there's an indictment, there's a fire. And that is a problem. LEMON: Listen, I was speaking to Rick Santorum earlier. And I think

that is the conversation you heard, Mike. The conversation was about whether the President's tweet was justified or not, and that is really not the question. The question is whether he thinks the Trump administration should take the latest reporting very seriously, something they should be concerned about, Mike?

SHIELDS: Well, I think it is worth pointing out from what Patti just said, Paul Manafort was removed from chairman because of these type of things. So it wasn't because he was sort of brought into the campaign. It was Steve Bannon became the CEO of the campaign because Paul Manafort was removed. And it's because of these issues. I do think, look, we should never take it lightly -- any part of an investigation like this, we shouldn't take it lightly which is Russia's meddling in our election, of course. We also shouldn't take lightly in democracy when an administration is investigating another political Party in a campaign. I think President Trump tweeted that, it would become a huge fight. But it's something pointing that is worth talking about, which is we have to keep an eye on our democracy when the sitting President of the United States, the Justice Department is investigating a candidate. We also have to be vigilant and keep a very important investigative eye on a foreign enemy of the United States, even though Russia is an adversary when they're trying to meddle in our elections. So I think we have room to be able to make sure that we keep an eye on both of those things and keep them in proper contacts.

LEMON: We'll continue this conversation. Also we're going to talk about spicy. You guys ready for that? All right, don't get too excited. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:43:20] LEMON: And we're back. Sean Spicer, President Trump's former press secretary making a surprise cameo appearance at the Emmy awards. But not everybody was laughing. Back with Ben Shapiro, Mike Shields, Dan Drezner, Patty Solis Doyle. So, Patti he may be gone from the White House, but he is not out of the spotlight. Sean Spicer continued his -- I don't know, could you call it a redemption tour? Let's call it that. Last night at the Emmys, poking fun of his press conference after Trump's inauguration, take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unfortunately, at this point we have no way of knowing how big our audience is. I mean is there anyone who could say how big the audience is? Sean, do you know?

(APPLAUSE)

(CHEERS)

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period, both in person and around the world. Wow, that really soothes my fragile ego. I could understand why you'd

want one of these guys around. Melissa, McCarthy, everybody. Give it up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So by playing along with his guest. Spicer sincerely admits that he lied to the American people on behalf of President Trump, is that a laughing matter?

SOLIS DOYLE: Are you talking to me?

LEMON: Yes, Patti.

SOLIS DOYLE: Look, the White House press secretary has a responsibility to the American people to tell the truth. And he betrayed that trust by lying to them on a consistent basis. And then he left the White House and went on national television and basically made a joke about betraying the trust of the American people. And that is pretty offensive.

[23:45:11] And not only is it offensive but it's wildly hypocritical. Sean Spicer has spent the last eight months basically land-basing the media. Calling them fake news, calling them irresponsible, calling them elitist and liberal. And what does he do? He shows up at the glitziest, elitist most liberal event that Hollywood has to offer and all for a buck? It's really shameful. I didn't find it funny, and I'm no fan of Sean Spicer clearly.

LEMON: Mike Shields, from the expression of your face it looks like you agree with every words she just said.

SHIELDS: No, not at all.

LEMON: That was sarcasm.

SHIELDS: Yeah, OK thanks. I mean first of all, full disclosure, I've known Sean for years. Used to work at the RNC. We have completely lost our sense of humor, even comedy is now partisan. So it's funny to make fun of people from a liberal perspective but not from a conservative perspective. And it is not even funny when someone is admitting to something. When Sean was in the White House as a press secretary there were people that would say we take ourselves too serious. Sean would be good to go along with the parody. Maybe go in on Saturday night live, I think that is a good idea, I think the president should to. I think the president knows people at NBC, he ought to go to Saturday Night Live and sort of join in on the joke. So Sean's now joining in on the joke. And watching the press corps in Washington, D.C. today freak over this. Speaks volumes about why people think of the media the way they do. It's like we had a competition in the last 24 hours to see who takes themselves more seriously, Hollywood or Washington reporters.

LEMON: Ben, I want to get you in. Is this more evidence of as disconnect with Hollywood and, I guess, elites as conservatives would call and the rest of the country? We're told at the governor's ball last night Sean Spicer was so popular he could barely eat his dinner.

SHAPIRO: one of the things that really irritates me about a lot of this stuff is merger of entertainment and politics means I don't take things seriously at all. So there's this rock-em, sock-em robots were Sean Spicer is utterly irredeemable, and must never allow him to make a joke again, but the same time and they meant they say this stuff about President Trump. He is evil, he is terrible, Hollywood last night bashing a living crap about him at the Emmy's. President Trump in the last two weeks has governed like a modern Democrat. He signed a budget deal that they like. The President is apparently making moves now on the Paris agreement. These are all things they're sort of okay with, but yet we're all treated this spectacle of WWE, Trump tweeting of getting hit with a golf ball. And Democrats getting very mad at Sean Spicer I just feel like there is two narratives to reality which is a bunch of people in Washington, D.C. are basically governing as though they get along and people in Hollywood ripping on each other for entertainment purposes. The idea that Sean Spicer is so out of normal, you can't normalize him. Jay Carny used to fib on behalf of the President Obama all the time. We had a President that was not convicted of perjury but impeached in my lifetime. And we're going to pretend Sean Spicer is the end of politics and he can never be allowed on any show in the history of man because he was guilty of lying --

LEMON: Ben that is not being fair. Listen, Bill Clinton lied under oath, right.

SOLIS DOYLE: And was impeached for it.

LEMON: And was impeached for it.

SHAPIRO: Yeah, you would have him on the Oscars, wouldn't you?

SHIELDS: Yeah, he made a joke about it, everyone would laugh.

LEMON: He just admitted today that he said he should not have been so hard on reporters and basically admitted he lied to American people.

SHIELDS: If you don't allow people to make a joke about themselves, and you just crush them when they do that, what's the incentive for everybody to say maybe I was a little harsh and maybe I was just doing my job or I can now make a joke about this. Accepting the premise of the attack.

LEMON: I think you guys are getting it wrong. People are not so upset with Sean Spicer. They're upset with the folks who were there that invited Sean Spicer on, because they think they're normalizing Sean Spicer. So I get what you're saying but --

SOLIS DOYLE: I'm actually upset with both of them. Just to respond to you, it would have been more sincere if Sean Spicer would have apologized while he was on the job. If he had come out on the podium and said, you know, know what, I was wrong. The crowd wasn't as big as I thought it was or I had my facts wrong, no, he does it after he leaves. And he does it only to make money.

[23:50:02] LEMON: Dan, has not waded on, Dan what do you think, is these appearances normalizing -- as a member of the news media, my sincere question is, does this risk normalizing misinformation?

DREZNER: No, because obviously when Sean Spicer was at the academy awards he was mocking the fact that he was -- at the Emmy's. I would say two things about this. The first is that the problem with Sean Spicer when he was press secretary was that the very first thing he did was lie. You know, the very first thing literally like a few hours after the inauguration took place he goes out and makes that ridiculous statement about the inauguration crowd size. It wasn't just a lie. It was such a bad obvious lie that there was no point in ever taking Sean Spicer seriously after that. Therefore, I actually do feel a small amount of pity for Sean Spicer because he falls into the rare category of people that is actually the second best person to portray himself. One more situation where Melissa McCarthy is without question a funnier and also more poignant character than Sean Spicer playing Sean Spicer. So you have to feel at least a small swell of sympathy for this guy who was a bad liar while in office and after office has got to sheepishly acknowledge that.

LEMON: I got to go. OK. You all made great points, but I think Dan is right and I kept saying as I was watching it would have been a lot funnier if Melissa McCarthy had come out as Sean Spicer in the rolling podium, so you are right on that. Thank you all. I always enjoy our conversations, will see you back here soon, thanks so much.

When we come back, hurricane Maria an extremely dangerous category 5 storm slamming the Caribbean tonight and taking aim at Puerto Rico. We'll have the report live from the storm zone.

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[23:55:06] LEMON: Ronald Jackson is the Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and he joins us now. You're in Barbados tonight, bracing for the hurricane. What are the conditions like?

RONALD JACKSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CARIBBEAN DISASTER EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY: (Inaudible) is on threat from hurricane Maria. We are actually here planning for Dominica and also looking further at the potential impact as well as the possibility of impact in the Virgin Islands again. So that is our focus pretty much, trying to wrap up the immediate response to those that have been impacted by hurricane Irma, but also now looking at Dominica being hit pretty badly by a category 5 hurricane Maria and planning for the response tomorrow into Wednesday.

LEMON: Yes. Well, we'll continue to check back with you. We wish you guys the best of luck. And again, we'll continue to check back as Ronald Jackson joining us. That is it for us tonight. Thanks for watching us. We'll see you right back here tomorrow. Good night.

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