tv Cuomo Prime Time CNN November 18, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PST
mata and other children. the u.s. justice department says debra paris who helped run the so-called adoption agency and handled mata's case and others has pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with a first of all and bribery scheme involving adopted children from uganda and poland. paris will be sentenced in march. as for her two alleged co-conspirators, margaret cole, that's her, the owner of the now closed agency, faces trial in february on charges tied to polish adoptions. and prosecutors say a third defendant, a ugandan attorney who helped in the scheme, remains at large. the news continues. want to hand it over to chris for "cuomo prime time." chris? >> all right. thank you, anderson. i am chris cuomo and welcome to "prime time." you know, we have four big legal cases in different parts of the country, and the reactions to them will be the measure of where we are as a nation. i've got the qanon shaman's lawyer here. he's going to be with us in just a moment. because his client's prison sentence tells us a lot more than seems to be resonating. however, the big ticket items,
the kyle rittenhouse jury, they're going to go into a fourth day of deliberations starting tomorrow morning. they're done for the night. they've already spent a combined 23 hours. what does that mean? it's proof of the complexity of the case. it's proof of the difficulty of deciding the killer's fate. even after he shot and killed two people and injured another in kenosha, wisconsin during the protests following the police shooting of jacob blake. a juror today asked a very interesting question, got a more interesting answer from the judge. she said, can i take home the jury instructions? remember, they're not sequestered. the judge said yes. now, there's no reason to speculate about it, but it certainly raises an eyebrow. what's she going to do with them at home? is she going to ask somebody else about it? she's not supposed to. we have no reason to believe that this juror tends to do anything else. but that's a curious situation in that courtroom. in georgia the prosecution went after travis mcmichael on cross-examination for the killing of ahmaud arbery. here's a taste.
>> so you're telling this jury that a man who has spent five minutes running away from you you're now thinking is somehow going to want to continue to engage with you, someone with a shotgun, and your father, a man who's just said "stop or i'll blow your [ bleep ] head off" by trying to get in their truck? >> you're going to hear his answer. and more importantly, we're going to unpack some major inconsistency in mcmichael's testimony. here's a little lawyering 101. all right? in an investigation when somebody changes their story over time, embellishing with more details, common sense may tell you that that's oh, recollection. no. no, that's not what experience teaches you. adding details, bad sign. adding details that help their position over time? big red flag. now, we're going to unpack it for you ahead.
and then there's this trial that i want to talk to you about tonight that you're not hearing much about. and part of that is our fault. there are no cameras in the courtroom, in the charlottesville unite the right trial. and that's going to be part of the reason, because it's not as exciting to cover it for you. i can't show you it as well because there are no cameras. and also it's not a criminal trial. it's civil litigation. but you know, those discrepancies -- or those distinctions aside, this trial is a real demonstration of the brazen nature of white supremacy. it is alive and unwell in america right now. the jury is expected to start deliberating tomorrow. now, it's civil, but there is a jury, and it's about holding people responsible or in this case liable. okay? more than ten -- actually a dozen people, more than a dozen people and ten white supremacists and nationalist groups, should they be liable for the deadly bloodshed coming out of that disgusting
hate-filled rally? now, the reason i want to do it tonight is it turned bizarre today. the defendant is richard spencer. okay? one of the dozen. he defied the judge repeatedly, ignoring his order not to mention trump's "good people on both sides" quote because it was never part of the evidence. a defense lawyer told the jury that all his clients agreed to do was get in a fistfight. i guess no one told that to the guy who rammed his car into heather heyer and dozens more. now, here's an interesting point. you don't have to be in a civil war to be in a real war on civility as well as rule of law in this country. and that brings us to january 6. i've never seen a situation more underplayed for political effect in all my years doing this job. you've got more than 660 defendants charged, and one of the toughest felony sentences yet goes to the face of the
absurdity of that day, the qanon shaman, jacob chansley. >> yeah! >> yeah, that's him. the judge who handed down the 41-month -- it's three-plus-year sentence said for good or bad he made himself the very image of this whole event. he's actually a good face for it, if you think about it. the ridiculousness. the misplaced sense of patriotism, you know, with the red white and blue, whatever he was going for there. the horns on his head. chansley was one of the first 30 rioters inside the capitol. but you know, if you subtract the time served, he's out by summer 2024. now, that summer is one in which many now expect donald trump will seek the republican nomination for president once again. and yet the shaman's lawyer says the real person behind january 6th is the former president. >> i will say that i would probably be far more effective over a beer with former
president trump and i'd tell him you know what? you've got [ bleep ] things to do. clear this [ bleep ] mess up and take care of a lot of the [ bleep ] that you [ bleep ] up on january 6th. >> with me now is chansley's attorney al watkins. counselor, welcome back to "prime time." >> how do you do? a pleasure. >> the sentence was for the offense of disrupting an official proceeding. do you agree with that? >> obstruction. yes. felony. >> and in terms of the sentence the only real issue is whether or not you believe that your client is competent, meaning that it's not mental illness that made him do this. what is your position on that? >> no. this is not a competency issue.
it's not a guilt issue. my client pled guilty. a court conducted and ordered a forensic psych exam. the determination was that yes indeed, my client had a very significant and long-standing mental health vulnerability but was competent, just like the military in 2006 diagnosed my client with that same significant lifelong mental health disorder. only in 2006 their issue was is he fit for duty. >> right. >> and in 2006 they didn't tell my client about that vulnerability, that disorder. my client had a 15-year window where he could have gotten treatment, he could have gotten counseling, he could have gotten assistance dealing with that disorder. but you know, with mental health we treat that like we need to shroud it in secrecy. >> right. >> and it's not right. >> it's definitely a stigma. and you say that that is part of the recipe that made him vulnerable to the entreaties of trump and others about january
6. he's going to serve his -- >> no. no. i'm not saying that. you know, jake made a really important point in front of this court. and that was not only was he accountable but he wanted to be held accountable. jake made it clear, i made it clear to the court that indeed this was not about president trump, this wasn't about whether he should be pardoned, this was about jake holding himself accountable and doing so in a remarkably articulate and profoundly candid fashion that was recognized by the court as a matter of public record as being something that judge had never seen in 35 years as a federal judge. >> i mean, that could go just for the guy's outfit. he hasn't seen that in 35 years either. >> well, that's sort of given us both a clue. a guy half nude -- >> maybe, maybe not. all i'll say is this, though, counselor, this is not where he's always been, your client. for a while his story was oh, i
wasn't doing anything in there, i was trying to stop people, i was trying to help. so it's good that he eventually wanted to kind of own the reality. now, my question to you is do you believe that the accountability for these crimes and the behavior of that day needs to include the former president or not? >> you know, look, i said to everybody at the press conference the other day, my opinion isn't worth anything. that being said, if i'm asked for my opinion, i'm not shy about sharing it. there's no doubt about the fact that there is a duty and an obligation of a former president to belly up to the bar and say hey, you know what? if i really do love them and i really do think they're beautiful people and i told them to do this maybe i should clean things up a little bit. >> is that what you meant with your colorful language outside the court? >> oh, yeah, look, i come from a
big old italian family who grew up with a lot of coarse language. you may understand what i'm talking about here. it's time for us to really keep it simple. when somebody has a problem, it's really, really important to get your message out so it's understood. we've got a former president who's really screwed up a lot of people. i'm not saying anything about the political end of it. not my business. not my role. i'm an advocate. but you know what? you mess with people, you mess with their heads, and you put them in a position like that, you know what? own it that you screwed it up. >> let me ask you one other thing. in the course of your representation here and the work you've done on the case and what the atmosphere was like and what the constituencies were about, are you concerned that there are a lot of other people out there that haven't come to the realization that your client has, that aren't going to be incarcerated that are still out there, still listening and may want to act in similar fashion? >> yeah, i'm very concerned about it and i see it, i breathe
it, i live it. and it's out there. you have a really healthy percentage of our population, including many who have been charged for events occurring on january 6th but have been released. in the case of jacob and in the case of others there is a -- there is a calming effect, albeit not one that's healthy for someone with mental health disorders, there's a calming effect about being alone, about being contemplative, introspective. and truly with a guy who's disciplined like jake able to say you know what? i need to extricate myself, i need to pull myself up out of this muck and mire and i need to own what i did. and jake is not an example to be made of by the government. jake truly serves as an example for others. >> well, i think he's going to be both, right?
because the flamboyance, the brazenness of how he went in there is something that the american government wanted to make very clear will not stand. >> there's no doubt about it. but that american government is the same government that did not tell jake in 2006 that he had a disorder. you know what? we can talk about the brazenness of jake. i can talk about it. he's a gentle, loving, really smart man. >> he also walked with a huge spear into the u.s. capitol under bad pretenses with a group of people that were looking to stop congress from doing its job. >> he would fall over if he tipped the spear down. but you're right. my client owned it. >> appreciate it. >> my pleasure. >> to the arbery killing now. the defense for those two suspects made a choice. they kept their clients off the witness stand. but travis mcmichael's attorney rolled the dice. you're going to hear his version of that day. you tell me, was it worth the risk? next.
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all right. now, we've been pretty clear here. the trials in wisconsin and georgia while linked by the question of white vigilanteism are very different in terms of the law and the facts. we started seeing that really sharply illustrated today. while taking the stand in your own defense may have helped kyle rittenhouse, it's hard to say the same for travis mcmichael. this man, joey jackson, knows the reward of putting a client on the stand. let's discuss how this shifted the state of play in georgia today. first of all, joey, thank you as always. >> thank you, chris. >> what was your overall take about whether or not it was the right move? >> look, i think in a situation like that i can't say that i would have done something differently. why? i think that the defense had a significant issue challenging the prosecution's case. always a game time decision as to whether or not you're going to put a client on the stand. in the event you think you're
behind-u think he's got to explain why i had to avail myself of the citizen's arrest statute, you do it. why i had to engage in self-defense, you do it. why i think how i acted reasonably was appropriate, you do it. and i think they were so far behind it didn't matter. calculated decision? i think he tripped himself up quite substantially. and i think it hurt. but you know what? i can't say that i would have done something differently under these circumstances. >> let me show you with a couple pieces of sound that are going to really stand out to the jury. first the question was who's the threat? take a look. >> so you're telling this jury that a man who has spent five minutes running away from you, you're now thinking is somehow going to want to continue to engage with you, someone with a shotgun, and your father, a man who's just said stop or i'll blow your [ bleep ] head off by trying to get in their truck? >> that's what it shows. yes, ma'am. >> all right. so what you see there is he's way over his head. okay? he doesn't even understand what's be being said to him.
and that goes with this next piece of sound, which is about -- remember what i said at the top of the show. when people change their story, common sense tells you well, maybe they're learning and understanding. not in this context. you start adding facts that are good for you as you go along, it it's a huge red flag. listen to this on the main issue here, which is whether or not ahmaud arbery ever became a threat and how he demonstrated that. watch this. >> i specifically asked you do you remember if he grabbed the shotgun at all? and your response was "i want to say he did but honestly i cannot remember. i mean, we were -- me and him were face to face the entire time." do you remember saying that? >> yes. and i was trying to think of that exact moment. trying to give -- like you said trying to give him as much detail as possible under the stress of all this going on. it was obvious that he had the gun from what i was saying, rereading it, that he had the weapon the way that i was describing it.
but why i said he did not have the gun at that second i don't know why. >> well, yeah. it never plays well when you're curious as to why you said what you said. he's changed his story over time. he's been inconsistent. but most importantly, and i think damning for travis mcmichael, is you told the officer at the time that you didn't know whether or not he grabbed the gun. how could he have reasonably been exercising self-defense if he doesn't even remember whether or not the guy did what would have triggered, pun intended, the need to defend himself? >> major issue. right? it's a major issue because it's how you felt at the time. did you feel that you were in immediate fear of death or serious bodily injury at that time? and of course if you did, right? you would have given that indication. but you would have always said why. and why would have been because he was grabbing. so you mean to say you didn't say it then but you said it now. what i thought was interesting, though, and they could get away with this, they used him, chris, as an expert witness.
that is, the defense did. they were not allowed to call an expert so, they used him as an expert. use of force continuum, escalation. the other thing they did in doing that is they sort of made him out to be a semi-police officer. and so the question becomes are juries loath to convict police? we know they are. do you make him look enough like a police officer? his dad's like a police officer. such that the jury draws that analogy, he's a cop, let's not convict. now, that was i think a calculation they made in putting him on the stand. but i think the inconsistencies really hurt him significantly. not only about what he did but what he didn't do. remember the cross, chris, when she says, well, you could have just gone away, right? you could have called the police, right? >> and why does that matter? even in the wisconsin statute, which a lot of people are misunderstanding -- not joey. that's why i got him. is if you provoke can you still use self-defense? the prosecutor in wisconsin says
no. but that's not true under the statute. you can even if you provoke the situation, you can still use self-defense if two things happen. one is that you then reasonably fear that you're in imminent threat of serious injury or death. and. and you've exhausted all other reasonable methods to get away from the threat. okay, that's a big and. for rittenhouse. it's an even bigger and for these guys. even though they're going to try to plead under a statute which i don't even think they're going to be able to get the protection of. but listen to how he changes and doesn't understand the reckoning of what happened in that moment and what he did to avoid the threat. watch this. >> you have moved out on the road. you've aimed this shotgun at mr. arbery. >> i did. >> mr. arbery goes to the passenger side of the truck. >> yes. >> okay? your dad is still yelling at him because we can hear him go "stop goddamn it, stop," right?
>> yes. >> you could have easily just stepped back to your pickup truck and watched him keep going, right? >> i could have, yes. >> boom. first of all, she's good. >> yes. >> she has this stylistic thing that you're always worried about when you're in court against somebody like that which is where she's using all these commas and the word and to keep the person on the stand kind of following along with her in a way. not to say that she's be being deceptive. she's being skillful. he says he could have gone back to the truck. what does that tell the jury? >> it tells the jury in closing argument that he could have availed himself of that protection. right? that he is the initial aggressor. that as a result of being the initial aggressor and having provoked the issue, right? you lose the benefit. now let's say if you're right, where you don't quite lose the benefit, if you still feel that you're an immediate threat, then you could use it but how do you feel you're an immediate threat when you do as she indicated, you point it, you put it down and then of course you could have walked away. you didn't do that. as a result of that you didn't
avail yourself of other alternatives. what does that mean? according to her it's going to mean you're guilty. and i think that's what we're going to hear. >> joey jackson, thank you very much. >> always. >> i think i will be seeing you if you're available. but if not i am thankful for having you in my life. as a friend off tv and as just without equal in terms of making things understandable in the way that the audience benefits from it. so thank you. >> thank you, brother. appreciate you. >> one place i'm not going to look for logic right now is congressman paul gosar office. of course he blew off his censure and went right back to his vile happy place. okay? now, look. two things can be true at the same time. all right? he is an agent of animus. but i don't think the democrats are playing this the right way. they have high ground, unless they push too far on a consequence. the one word they should stop using this instant. and why republicans, they may be all but lost. next. ♪day to night to morning,♪
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toxic mix of this system that i believe just doesn't work anymore, this two-party system, is just intent on running things down. and i think that's one of the things that resonated with you last night with bill maher. he's all too familiar for being a target of right and left. but he sees the problem. here. >> i don't think we're on a great trajectory. i keep trying to preach on my show that the thing we have to do long range is stop the hate that goes on in this country. the two sides hate each other to such a degree. i don't think anybody's hearing each other. when people hate each other, it doesn't matter what the policies are. >> that's right. because hate is ignorant, cheap, and easy. and that's why it's perfect for politics, right?
the proof isn't just in how polarized we are but how political attacks are getting more and more personal. on the law you can't do that. they're called ad hominems. you can't talk about the other lawyer. think about that. that's all they do in politics now. that's where we are. that brings us to republican congressman paul gosar. look, i don't know how anyone who's being honest can say that he wasn't way out of line and in fact he's been way out of line too many times. now he was censured and he was removed of his committee assignments. it was the first time a sitting house member has been censured in more than ten years. now, look, i think there's reason for that. when you look at the history of what censure is for, i don't even know that this falls into it, to be honest. and i think that by forcing a consequence the democrats now open themselves up to two things. one, the right's going to do what it does best, which is close ranks and they're going to pretend that somehow they've been victimized by this. because only had two republicans, kinzinger and cheney, willing to buck their own party. and you know what happens afterwards, right? what happens when a consequence isn't respected? doesn't hold. right after the censure gosar shamelessly -- and by the way, i don't know how to say his name.
and frankly i don't care. so if i'm getting it wrong so be it. because you're judged by your actions. i have a funny name also. people don't get it right. it's okay. you know who i am. retweeted the same violent video that got him in trouble in the first place. it's an act of defiance. he's just telling the democrats i don't care what you do. because opposition is the position. censure. what was that going to get you? see, it assumes, just like impeachment, it assumes an integrity of the collective, that you guys will agree on certain things. that's not the case. so here it just becomes ought and for the democrats and the media pushing them to want more consequences, more, more, more. why? because that's drama. that's tension. we like that. you know, censure him. and? well, we're going to have a whole vote. and? we'll strip him of the committee assignments. that's a move historically used on convicted criminals. now it includes extremists like
the qanon kook, taylor greene. so what else? because you've already done that. so then pelosi says maybe there should be a criminal investigation. for a cartoon? look, it was ugly. it was obvious it was stupid and it was malintended. but a legal investigation for a cartoon video? now, what does that do? that sets up the other side to attack what seems absurd about taking it too far and take back leverage. mccarthy. >> they all have committees. the committee assignment they have now they may have other committee assignments. they may have better committee assignments. >> why? because he doesn't respect. that's why.
there is no respect. they don't have it anymore. because you don't have it anymore. so you don't expect it so they don't need to reflect it. this is where we are. democrats reaching for extreme circumstance to somehow right the balance. republicans playing the aggrieved and saying to the fringe right and all the people they're trying to outrage, you see? you see what they do? you see how they punish us just for saying what we think? take matt gaetz. he says he wants to offer a congressional internship to kyle rittenhouse. the guy shot and killed two people, blew half the arm off a third one. why? what exactly are you looking for in somebody like that? seriously. what is that supposed to say? that you feel badly for him? is that what you're saying? look, it's right out of the trump playbook. this is who they don't like, so i love them. this is what they don't like, so i say it's great. fealty to trump. disruption for disruption's sake. that's all that matters right now. and it's working.
ted cruz took aim at liz cheney, accusing her of suffering from trump derangement syndrome. when i first came up with that phrase, i was like wait, so you're saying that trump has a derangement syndrome? but what did liz cheney do? she shot right back saying, "a real man would be defending his wife." now, look, in fairness i think that's a little cheap. and in truth i've said the same thing. but it wasn't me at my best. i shouldn't have said it. i shouldn't bring up what trump said about calling cruz's wife
ugly. why? because it's not respectful. and if i want things to be more decent then i've got to walk the walk. so i shouldn't have said it. liz cheney shouldn't have said it. there is some intelligence to the point, though. how ted cruz can cotton to -- can kiss up to this guy who's insulted his whole family tells you something about him, how important trump is. so now the question becomes pretty obvious, right? you're going to be talking about it with your family next week, you know, god willing that you're able to be together and enjoy each other. you're going to talk politics. it's going to come up. and everybody sees the problems and everybody's sick of it. and that's what you're going to hear at your table. they're sick of it. it will just be which side they're saying they're sick of. but aren't we sick of both of them? i mean, we're not going to get a redo. you're not going to blow up the system. but we do have to find a way to get to a better place. a sense of balance like we do with everything else in our eyes. more wisdom for more on this. >> i think everyone recognizes, everyone right thinking in my view, that still a lot of work needs to be done. remedial efforts need to be taken still. but i did a thing one night about progressophobia, which is
a term steven pinker coined which means somehow liberals got afraid to acknowledge progress. you know, it's two thoughts in your head at the same time. you can acknowledge that we have made great progress on all the social issues and yet there is still more work to be done. we're not saying mission accomplished. we're just saying let's live in the year we're living in. you can't come up with good solutions unless you're realistic about what the problem is. >> when we come back, let's dig deeper into whether or not there are solutions. because we know what the problems are. i've got two veterans who know the game the way it has always been played. paul begala and former ohio governor john kasich. good men, good minds. let's see if we can do better. next. i strip with the guys. i strip all by myself. breathe right strips open your nose for relief you can feel right away, helping you take in air more easily, day or night.
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leader in the house kevin mccarthy giving a speech just to kill time so they can't vote on the bbb. and they jeer him on the democrat side, and he says that's okay, i've got all night. they say so do we, we've been waiting for this a long time. governor kasich, how do you improve anything when opposition is a legitimate position and one side just hates the other? >> you know, chris, i listened carefully to your analysis. the one thing i can tell you is at some point, i don't know at what point, at some point as you like to say better minds, better minds and people of better motivation in both the democrat and republican party are going to say we've had enough. and frankly i'm sick of both of them. i call them the way i see them. sometimes i criticize the democrats. this whole thing with this guy
who did this cartoon, chris, i think he should be punished for what he's done inside the house. it's just unacceptable behavior. but what i will tell you is at some point there have to be people who are willing to put, just like kinzinger and cheney have done, put it on the line. and if you get taken out, if you lose your committee, if you lose election, so what? there's life after congress. stand up and protect that institution. we stood up and protected it on january 6th. we have to protect that institution. it's a part of america. so it's going to take courage and it's going to take some sacrifice. >> look, i like what the governor's saying, paul, but it's not right. congress didn't protect congress on january 6th. the cops did. the capitol cops. the congress went back there at 4:00 in the morning looking like heroes and then republicans stood up and voted to decertify an election with no good goddamn basis and they knew it. so that's the truth. and gosar isn't going to get punished because his party likes what he does. because again, there is no incentive -- look, the governor's right. better people, better minds. it's not going to happen. they're not going to leave congress because they like the
power. there's life after congress. yeah, but nobody wants to live that life. so paul, what gives you hope? >> that's a great question, chris. i had the distinct honor this morning of speaking at the national war college. i do it every year. it's the highlight of my year. these are the best fighting men and women, army, navy, air force, marine corps, coast guard and also civilians, state department, intelligence. they're the most important people to protecting our country and defending our freedom. and they gave me a challenge coin that i want to show you. this is the class of 2022 at the national war college. and their slogan, their motto for their class, is "victory through unity." this is how important -- i don't want to speak for these warriors, but this is how important unity is to them and how deeply concerned they are of the viciousness and the polarization that they're seeing
in their national civilian leaders. we have to find a way to come back together. i do think governor kasich makes a good point. there has to be accountability. what a different story this would have been if mr. gosar had gone to congresswoman ocasio-cortez, who has been targeted with threats, and said i am sorry. you know, it just takes strength. that's all it takes. >> he's not sorry, paul. >> that's the problem. >> he's not sorry. he thinks that they're taking it too far, that she should get a sense of humor, and he thinks that she's a danger and he thinks the democrats are nuts and radical and his base and his constituents like it. so look, i get you but you've just got to be realistic about where we are. you know, gov, he's acting in good faith in a perverse way. he really believes this b.s. he thinks it's okay. >> but chris, look, you know this. the legacy of your family, particularly your father. he was an optimist.
he looked for the better angels in people. he had guts and he had courage. i'm saying to you, chris, there are of the 435 people in that place, there are some on both sides who are sickened by what they see. you're right to some degree that they're in power, they want to stay in power. but that's not everybody and that's not the way all of them think. some of them are realizing -- you know liz cheney she says they come up to me quietly. at some point they will not. and if a small band of those folks will get together they can create upheaval in that entire house. they can bring about a change in the culture. i've been part of it. i've seen it happen. and it will happen again. i just don't know when, chris. because there are people that are seeing that institution being torn down. and they at some point are going to say i've had enough and they will have their time. they will have their leverage to do something to say to the leaders of both sides, i will not put up with this anymore.
you want my vote to pass something? the debt limit or something else? no. and if the republicans win the majority some of them will say to mccarthy, don't count on me, i will not work with you until you change the tone and the mood of this place. it will happen, chris. hope springs eternal. come on. you know that. you know that people inside have the capability of reaching down and saying i'm going to go all the way regardless of the cost. >> absolutely. they just have to have the proper incentive. people i believe are inherently morally neutral. you leave a state of nature where you do everything for yourself and you do it because you believe in the surrender of the self for the dignity of the community. right? you surrender the me to the we. i don't know why anybody would do that in politics when it's not rewarded right now. so it's not me be being a cynic or a pessimist. i'm a realist. this is the state of play -- >> it is real. >> i hope it changes. i just don't know why something is going to change when it's being rewarded. but i hear you. i've got to jump.
>> liz cheney -- okay. liz cheney will always be respected. no matter what happens in a re-election, she's bigger than life right now. >> yeah. >> for the good. >> and unfortunately the way it looks right now she's got a good chance of being a regular on my show if they primary her and she gets kicked out. governor kasich, i appreciate and respect you. begala, thank you very much. best for thanksgiving. >> happy thanksgiving. >> always. >> happy thanksgiving. >> be well. i'm thankful for you both. all right. now, look, let's use our sense of common concern and collective will. all right? i just want to take a quick break beat and then we're going to stay on a story until it ends. okay? one of the best known names in tennis in china is missing. you may have never heard of her. she's a huge doubles player. i think she was ranked number one in doubles. she won majors and stuff. she's a phenomenal player. i've seen her play. she's missing. now, china's not saying that. but it should be said. and it should be said by tennis. and not subtly. many of this nation's top tennis stars are demanding answers from the chinese government. but i say there should be more.
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simple question. should be an answer. where is chinese tennis peng shuai. if she's okay the chinese government should put her out. where is she? let us see her. what is this e-mail? doesn't make any sense. she matters. she's the former number one ranked player in womens doubles. she won the french open. i think she won wimbledon. she is a big deal. now, she accused the former vice premier of china of sexual assault. now we don't know where she is. yesterday chinese state media released an email. it stinks, okay? it reeks. something is wrong. it's supposedly from peng
retracting the accusation and saying she's safe. where is she? come on. why would anybody buy this? let's bring in someone who is demanding action, former tennis pro pam shriver. it's great to see you. >> thanks, chris. good to be with you. >> what should happen? >> what should happen? we should have absolute certainty and proof that peng shuai is healthy and free. it's absolutely difficult the wta has 11 tour stops in china. they're a huge business partner. but i believe steve simon, the ceo when he says we don't get the right answers and get absolute certainty that peng is fine, then we can no longer be business partners. >> do you believe it is being put forward forcibly enough? and do you believe that right now it should be a tennis issue for now? the leverage of the commerce of
the wta and maybe the usta, and not necessarily a government thing? >> i think that's all that women's tennis has control over right now is to use the leverage that we have and realize that, you know, we have other partners that we can partner with that have the same core values that we have as an organization of about 50 years that's helped build the biggest professional women's sport on the planet. and it's been done on the core values of equality and treating women fairly and listening to what they have to say, and not censoring them. >> the key is action. when does the wta have to pull the string on the money that goes to and comes from china if they don't get an answer? >> well, i'm not in those business rooms. but steve simon, i know he has already had key meetings with tournament directors worldwide. this became even during the tour
championships that ended last night in guadalajara who stepped in to host the year-ending championships for china. that there have been literally nonstop meetings about this. but as far as those specifics of the financials, when to have to pull the plug, i don't know those answers. i just believe steve simon when he says that you cannot be partners with somebody who is not treating an athlete with the kind of respect and dignity that she deserves. >> deadlines matter. pam shriver, your shot is breaking up. that's not china, although they have been messing with cnn's signal. thank you very much. i hope we get answers before thanksgiving. all people want is to know she is alive and well. pam shriver, thank you. i will stay on this story. we'll be right back with the handoff. move to a sofi personal loan. earn $10 just for viewing your rate — and feel what it's like to get your money right.
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we can ask the right questions. we can keep demanding answers, as long as i have a platform to do it. thank you for watching us. it's now time for "don lemon tonight" with its big star, d. lemon. >> and we have to keep demanding answers. maybe we'll get answers tonight when it comes to the build back better plan. >> not if mccarthy has anything to say. >> oh, my gosh. he doesn't want it to happen. of course he is going to vote for it. that was sarcasm. of course he is not going vote for it. we have to continue and hold their feet to the fire as well. especially, especially our elected officials here in this country. >> you know, i had your boy kasich on. >> yes. >> john and i often clash. >> i like where he is coming from. >> i do. he is a little pollyanna. i love him, but a little pollyanna. >> i feel pollyanna gets a bad name. having read several of the book, she just had a good perspective on things. she tried to stay positive. his idea of people will find their moment