America’s Lawyer E57: Vice President Kamala Harris might be the biggest drag on President Biden’s reelection chances because the public hasn’t been happy about anything she’s done since taking office. CNN fired their CEO last week after a pathetic year, but firing Chris Licht isn’t going to do anything to fix the problems at the dying network. And small business owners in Florida are in an absolute state of panic as Ron DeSantis’ anti-immigrant legislation is set to go into effect in just a few weeks. All that, and more is coming up, so don’t go anywhere – America’s Lawyer starts right now.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: Hi, I’m Mike Papantonio, and this is America’s Lawyer. Vice President Kamala Harris, well, she might be the biggest drag on President Biden’s reelection chances because the public hasn’t been happy about anything she’s done since she’s taken office, according to the numbers. CNN fired their CEO last week after pathetic year, but firing Licht, well, it isn’t going to change anything. It’s not going to fix the huge problems there at that dying network. And small business owners in Florida, well, they’re in an absolute state of panic as Ron DeSantis’ anti-immigrant legislation is set to go into effect in just a few weeks. All that and more, it’s coming up. Don’t go anywhere. America’s Lawyer starts right now.

President Biden is facing a tough reelection campaign and one of his biggest problems is his own vice president. Kamala Harris is hugely unpopular and even former White House employees say that she’s not doing anything that helps the president. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins joins me to talk about this. As I look at the word salad queen, I think of Sarah Palin and John McCain. I think of Dan Quayle. You know, that’s what you have here, right? And why don’t you just call it what it is and say, I need somebody else to run. She’s killing him.

Farron Cousins: Well, look, there’s actually, there’s a lot of people in this administration that are poison for President Biden’s reelection campaign. But when you simply just look at the numbers and you see her unfavorables that are overwhelmingly, you know, majority of the country says, I don’t like what she’s doing. And then I think one of the most powerful things is the statements from the former White House employees themselves, the people that were there.

Mike Papantonio: That is what’s bothering me the most about it. They talk about her plan is incoherent. She’s not smart. That came up, these are her ex-employees, you understand. This is staff that left her. They say that it’s low morale. She causes low morale. It’s a low trust factor. They don’t trust her. They say she’s lazy, she’s abusive. And then they get mad and I think justifiably so when they say, when somebody accuses of it being racism, since it’s coming from black staff members that are saying this. It’s an exodus. So how do you ignore that and say, yeah, we’re gonna stick with her. First of all, just look at her history. I mean, this is a woman who was Attorney General of California after she failed the bar exam. And I swear to God, I can’t even listen to her. I can’t even listen to that ridiculous laugh, when she’s in a tense moment, she goes into this crazy, hysterical laugh. And you just wonder that mixed with the word salad, that’s constant. What does the public think? The numbers are showing what the public thinks, right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah, absolutely. And to me it really does come back to what has she done in these, you know, two and a half years that she has been vice president? Well, first of all, like you pointed out, she wasn’t great as Attorney General.

Mike Papantonio: No.

Farron Cousins: She got hammered for that in the primaries. She performed pathetically in the Democratic primaries because voters didn’t like her. And with Biden’s age gonna be 82 at the time of the next election, I think maybe older than that.

Mike Papantonio: Which is unheard of. You know, I went back and this is an article that appeared, I think in Politico, and they talk about how Eisenhower, it was a test for Eisenhower. And the fact is, when he was 66 years old moving into the White House, the big talk is, wow, he’s too old. You know? And so now we got a guy who’s 81, who’s ready to tip over. The guy is tipping over all the time, but he’s ready to tip over for good. And then you’ve got her and I gotta tell you, it’s very smart what the Republicans are doing right now. They’re running against her. They are saying, look, let’s call it what it is. She’s the next president if you go with Biden, that is your choice. And it’s not helping the Democrats at all. What is it about this Democrat, about this whole Democratic structure, this nepotism where they can’t bring in a fresh face and say, we’re tired of the old, let’s bring in the new? Why can’t Democrats do it? Republicans are just as bad. But Democrats I would think can rise above that, but apparently not.

Farron Cousins: Well, I mean, the last new face they brought in was Pete Buttigieg and we’ve seen what’s happened at the transportation department with him.

Mike Papantonio: Oh God.

Farron Cousins: It’s been a disaster. But he’s another one of the people that I say like, you’re such a drag on this administration. If I performed that poorly in my job, I’d have been let go years ago. Because he has failed every atrocity that has come before him. But with Harris, the big thing we hear from the insiders in DC is one, she doesn’t want to take on big projects because she’s afraid to fail. Two, she is not.

Mike Papantonio: Immigrants, the border.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. She went down there and said, do not come and then left. But then, she’s not taking anything off Biden’s plate. She’s not making his job easier. She’s not helping him in any way.

Mike Papantonio: Every time she appears on television, and they give her a tough question and she moves into that crazy word salad, I don’t know where that comes from, but it’s like her brand, every time she does that, it’s hurting him. Especially when the Republicans are running against her now. And then for somebody to say, oh, it’s just racist for you to, the staff members got really off when they started, when they talked about the fact that she was lazy, she’s incompetent. And then they accused black staff members of being racist. Right. That actually happened.

Victims of Jeffrey Epstein have reached a settlement with banking giant JP Morgan. These women have sued the bank for allowing Epstein to traffic girls right under their nose, even though the bank was given constant warnings about this behavior. Now, people don’t understand this story. They don’t understand what the connection is. Let’s lay out that connection. JP Morgan’s enabling of this guy right here.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. So what happened is, obviously when Jeffrey Epstein is paying these women and paying other people to recruit these women, he’s not swiping his debit card. He’s not writing a check. So what he would do, because he had these connections at the bank, including Staley, who I believe was the president.

Mike Papantonio: Staley ran his secret accounts, so to speak.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. So Epstein would go take out huge sums of money that immediately should raise red flags and they did at the bank, they raised the red flags, but so that he could pay these people off. And starting in 2006, you had banking employees going to the higher ups and saying, we believe this money is being used for illegal activities.

Mike Papantonio: Well, they were actually flagging accounts, you understand? There was, they actually said, we’re gonna flag this because it doesn’t look right the way it’s moving through. Look, this happened after he had already been convicted. Convicted of predatory activity against teenagers. He, you know, he is raping teenagers and down in South Florida, his pals let him go. The judge let him go. The prosecutors let him go. Everybody that let him go, by the way, was tied up to big organized Democratic money. Did you know that?

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. It was all tied to Democratic money. And this guy was a big Democratic donor, but JP Morgan just acted like it wasn’t a problem. They knew there was a problem here, but they ignored it. Right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah. Because Epstein was sending them clients. That was part of the deal he had worked out with Staley was, listen you, because Staley knew exactly what was going on. You cannot convince me otherwise. I mean, I think that much is pretty clear.

Mike Papantonio: I think you’re right.

Farron Cousins: So he said, Staley, listen, I’ll send you all these big name clients. You know me, I know people with money. You want money, you’re a bank. I’ll send them your way. How about that, buddy? Doesn’t that sound great?

Mike Papantonio: I’m a little disappointed in David Boies settling this for $75 million. This case was worth a lot more than $75 million all day long. As a matter of fact, the US Virgin Islands folks in charge down there, they’re still proceeding against him. They still have the documents. They know that JP Morgan was allowing all of this to happen. And, you know, so they’re not gonna abandon it. And I can promise you this, they’re not gonna settle for $75 million.

Farron Cousins: Well, and I will say too, the thing that disappoints me about the settlement in general is.

Mike Papantonio: Quiet.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. Just everything goes quiet. Now we don’t get to know. These women know what men were there. They know which high profile people in this country were coming and abusing them, and they’re not gonna be able to tell us. And at the heart of this entire Epstein drama is those men. Like, he’s an animal. He was absolutely a horrendous person. But there’s other ones that are out there in this country today running businesses, running politics.

Mike Papantonio: They were all, all in the game, man. He was just the leader of the game. This is how he influenced people. First of all, he would create, this is something that he could go after them with. If they didn’t do what he said, he could say, I got pictures of you. I got pictures of you and teenagers, and oh, by the way, I’ll let them go if you don’t allow me to do this, if you don’t do this for me. And he had all that, and so the idea of keeping that quiet is such a disservice. And I know these women probably wanted to get it over with, I know David Boies. I mean, you certainly can’t settle the case without the permission from your client to say, I’d like to make this public. I don’t know what happened there. I can’t speak to it, but it’s a big mistake, isn’t it?

CNN fired their CEO Chris Licht last week after just 13 months on the job. Licht’s performance wasn’t great. It was pitiful. But firing him isn’t going to fix any of the problems that this dying, dying, dead corporate media outlet is still facing. Who killed them? Zucker. Zucker killed these people, but they still, what’s so amazing, when I read this story, the staff that Zucker hired said, oh, we want Zucker back. Really? He destroyed your job. He’s destroyed your network. He’s destroyed everything about CNN, but the staff wants him back. It’s like crazy people, crazy people are running the crazy asylum. Right? And don’t they have to respond to these employees, say, I don’t care what you want. This isn’t working for us. Right?

Farron Cousins: I agree. I mean, I don’t think these employees necessarily need to be calling all the shots. I do think they should have a say, you know, in what happens at their network. This is their job. But at the same time, I think all of that is total BS. I don’t think Licht was fired because he did the Trump Town Hall and the employees didn’t like it. Nobody liked it, but it did bring them ratings. So in terms of what CNN did, for them, the network, it was a success. What I think the big problem is with not Licht, not even necessary, well, actually it does go back to Zucker. That network is the most boring thing you can find on cable TV. Not just cable news, but cable TV in general. Because even the hosts, they look bored. They look tired. They don’t want to be there. They just want to go in, read their script and get the hell out of there.

Mike Papantonio: Isn’t that part of the problem? Read the script. Okay. Do you think Walter Cronkite came on the set every night and just read the script? Or do you think he worked on the story? Do you think Huntley and Brinkley just came in every night and just read a script? Or did they actually work on the story themselves? We don’t have news reporters anymore. Look, this is, there’s an easy solution. By the way, the article that was written on this, it just, it landed the same way we have. We have been saying there’s an easy solution here. You know what it is? Report the news. Tell us what the news is. Put people in the field that are actually journalists. People, I don’t, you know, people are tired of looking at these talking heads that look like game show celebrity hosts.

They don’t want that anymore. They want the news. When they go to CNN, they want the news. Matter of fact, they did the numbers on this and they found out people still go to CNN when there is a crisis, right? So, and the conclusion to all of this is, okay, if they go to CNN when there’s a crisis, great. That’s gonna, I hate that there’s a crisis, but they go to CNN. But you could take that and you could add something real simple. Report the news again. Tell us what the news is. I don’t need that little freak, stellar, Stelter, whatever his name was, or Don Lemon giving me an idea of what they think about it. Just tell me the news.

Farron Cousins: Well, and you know, when you look at Fox News and you look at MSNBC, you know, they’re the two at the top of the ratings. And it’s not just because of the ideological bents of those networks. That does play a role. But at the same time, people tune into it because they’re watching hosts who actually believe in what they’re talking about. They have passion. They enjoy what they’re doing. And that is a big difference, right? Even if you disagree with, you know, the host, whatever, doesn’t matter. They’re still passionate about it. Which is same as you and me, because we can sit here, talk about a story about, look, Americans.

Mike Papantonio: But this isn’t, we’re not reporting. We’re telling the news. But when you come here, you expect to get an opinion, right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: I’d like the place where I can turn on the news and it’s, well, this is the news. And then let me determine what my angle is gonna be on that. Don’t give me some, you know, what’s the guy’s name? Brian, the little, the little.

Farron Cousins: Stelter. Stelter, I think.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. The little mi, mi, small guy. So, do I really want to hear from him. But Zucker built it like that. Zucker surrounded the network with ideologues just like him. And look, they’re on life support right now. I don’t know that they’re gonna make it another two years. They’re on life support. Matter of fact, the owners of the company, Warner, they say, we do this not to make money. Well, that’s a good thing because they ain’t gonna make any money.

Farron Cousins: Well, the other part of it too is, and we’ve talked about this, rather than hiring journalists, the people going out there and finding the stories, who are they hiring? They’re hiring the retired generals. They’re hiring people from the intelligence agency. They’re hiring former politicians to give us the inside scoop. We don’t want the inside scoop of a political decision. What we want are the people on the ground, the people making the FOIA requests and uncovering government misdeeds. We want the people on the ground in Flint, Michigan. We want Jordan Chariton, we want David Sirota’s.

Mike Papantonio: Exactly.

Farron Cousins: And Ken Klippenstein. That’s what we want on TV.

Mike Papantonio: Real reporters. People that we draw from. I mean, people that, like Klippenstein is a great example. He’s a real journalist. Lee Fang is a real journalist. Put them on to tell the news and hell with their opinions. Just give us the news. Do the hard work and get the news. I thought this was interesting. I went back and looked at an article when they tried to characterize who’s watching CNN and they almost described it as old, angry, one-time hippies who now have moved, who’ve now moved to the position of couch potatoes. And they now are simply focused on the same thing that they wanted to hear, which is anger, anger, anger. They’re not in the streets anymore.

This isn’t me talking, by the way. They’re not in the streets anymore. They’re at home listening to it because they want to get mad. You know, one day they were working, they were hate Ashbury or in the street protesting. The next day they’re on Wall Street working as inside traders or working as insurance executives. These are the folks, if you look at the demographics, those are the folks that are watching that program. So now what ends up happening is they appeal, they continue to try to appeal to that and it’s not working. And at what point do you say we gotta try something different, right?

Farron Cousins: Well, I don’t think they’re there yet. They’re gonna keep, you know, rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Mike Papantonio: According to them, money doesn’t matter. And that’s a great thing if money doesn’t matter. But at some point, the shareholders that own the company are gonna say, you know, it kind of does matter.

The PGA has allowed the regime of Saudi Arabia to buy ’em out, allowing the country to continue to try to rebrand themselves as a sports hub rather than a bloody dictatorship that murders anyone who questions the leadership in the country. You know what? These folks were called traitors by everybody. These, you know, this new business plan that the PGA has. It’s almost like they don’t care that the Saudi Arabia was responsible for 3000 Americans being murdered on American soil. Like, that’s not important as long as the money’s good. Like they weren’t making enough money to begin with. Talk about it.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. I mean, we’re talking about a country here that committed an act of terrorism right down the street from where we are. These are the same people who we did a story on, again, last year beheaded more than 200 people at a single event. Most of them because they sent out tweets critical of the Saudi Arabian government. That is what we’re dealing with here. And you even had some of these PGA folks that came out initially and said, oh my God, this is horrendous, horrific. We can’t be in bed with these people. Then as soon as the deal went through, they say, oh, I apologize. You know, these are good folks, you know, they’ve already sent me my checks. What am I supposed to do? They sold their soul for this Saudi Arabian blood money, which is exactly what it is.

Mike Papantonio: Right. Day one, oh yeah, they’re terrorists. They killed 3000 Americans. We’re all against this. Day two, oh, wait a second. Not so fast. The money looks pretty good. I love this statement. This is Greg Norman. Look, we all make mistakes. You just wanna learn by your mistakes. You can correct them going forward, as he was defending these murderers that murdered 3000 Americans on American soil. That is what Greg Norman had to say, according to this story.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. He’s the president of the Saudi Arabian LIV Golf tournament. And that’s what he said, oh, we all make mistakes.

Mike Papantonio: We make mistakes, when they murdered.

Farron Cousins: Like, they accidentally were slicing people’s heads off.

Mike Papantonio: Did they not know, honestly, did Greg Norman not know when he said that, that they had killed 3000 Americans on American soil? And that very year they had, what, killed 80 people by beheading, most of ’em were simply dissidents. They’re mostly people, they were political dissidents that they had just murdered. And so, we all make mistakes. Does that carry the day? Well, fortunately, what is it, we take a look at I think it’s less than, what is it, less than 6 million people even watch golf on TV.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: I don’t know how it’s a thing to begin with. Why the Saudis, I don’t know. But they’re interested in it. And so they’re willing to put, this point, they’re willing to put up to $3 billion into it. And all of these bottom feeding types are saying, yeah, we will do anything for money.

Farron Cousins: Well, it’s PR isn’t it? I mean, that’s the whole purpose of this. Saudi Arabia has more money than they know what to do with. So you buy this, you know, golf tournament just like they’ve tried to do with soccer and other sports. So people do look at it as, oh no, it’s Saudi Arabia. That’s the soccer people. It’s the golf people. Not the murder people.

Mike Papantonio: Let’s put up the picture of the golfers that think it’s okay, this is all right. We’re gonna just look the other way that they killed 3000 Americans and we know it, but it’s okay. Let’s take the picture.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. It’s okay because they’re gonna keep cashing those checks.

Mike Papantonio: Exactly.

Businesses across Florida, well, they’re panicking as workers pack up and leave the state following Ron DeSantis’ anti-immigrant legislation that goes into effect July 1st. Companies say that workers are growing scarce. They aren’t even sure how much longer they can keep their doors open. And DeSantis is pretending like everything is perfectly normal. Well, you know, we’ve been doing this story soon as this started before it actually was signed, we started doing this story. We said all this is gonna happen. We made the prediction that businesses are gonna close, that they’re gonna leave the state. And sure enough, it’s happening. It’s being reported all over the state right now.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. We’re looking at, you know, some of the major, you know, hubs down there in South and Central Florida. We’ve got Bradenton. We’re seeing it in Miami. We’re seeing it down in the Florida Keys. We’re seeing it in Orlando. And it’s because these migrant workers who come to the state of Florida and bail out our economy, we’re dependent upon them and now they’re saying, I’m not coming. I can’t, I’ll be arrested.

Mike Papantonio: But isn’t the story, isn’t the story really this. I mean, we’ve done every iteration of this story. I don’t want to overkill this story. It’s a shame. It’s deplorable that this happened. But we’re not politicians. But when we did the, we first saw the legislation, we said this is gonna happen.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Surely somebody in Tallahassee said that they’re gonna be people that are writing in the Bradenton Herald after this starts. This story comes with Bradenton Herald, said, it’s not speculation anymore. It’s actually happening. But don’t you think those politicians had a duty to at least think about that? Think about what the impact was? I mean, what do you think?

Farron Cousins: Well, they do have a duty to do that. But look, you and I have had plenty of conversations with these lawmakers. We’ve seen how legitimately crazy some of them are. They are not smart people.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. I think that’s part of the problem.

Farron Cousins: They’re people that have, you know, either family connections or they come from old family Florida money or Florida lineage in the House and they get elected. And so then you enable this creep here to do whatever the heck he wants to do and that’s what’s happened. And here’s the thing, you know, these businesses, these migrants that are leaving the businesses that are saying, we’ve got another week before we can, you know, stay alive. This is all before the law even goes into effect.

Mike Papantonio: Well, again, I don’t wanna beat this. I mean, we’ve done several stories now. We started doing stories before it ever really came into fruition and we made these predictions. And to think that over in Tallahassee, there weren’t politicians that were smart enough to understand what the net effect of this is. We’ve always said, look, immigration is about Chamber of Commerce, it’s about Wall Street. They wanna bring in cheap labor. Their idea is, hell, if we kill this worker, we’ll just ship them back to Mexico. That’s the ugly side of it.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: But it’s all driven by Wall Street. This is all driven by Wall Street. It’s driven by the Chamber of Commerce bringing in cheap labor and everything’s gonna be good for Americans. That’s the ugly part of the story. The other side of the ugly story is most of these people come here because they want to do better. They want a good life for themselves and their family. They’re willing to do, handle jobs that nobody else will handle, and then people have the audacity to say, well, they’re taking my job. Really? It’s a ridiculous argument.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And the problem is too, we’ve now made our economy, not just here in Florida, but across the country, we’ve made it dependent upon them.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, exactly.

Farron Cousins: We’ve made it to where we can’t survive without them. And Florida by the end of this year, we are gonna see this horrendous negative effect.

Mike Papantonio:Yeah. This story that we just called on down in Bradenton, these stories are gonna be all over the state. I wanna see what the reaction is. Farron, thanks for joining me. Okay.

Farron Cousins: Thank you.

Mike Papantonio: That’s all for this week, but all of these segments are gonna be available throughout next week. And make sure you follow us on Twitter @AmericasLawyer. I’m Mike Papantonio and this has been America’s Lawyer, where we tell you stories that corporate media won’t tell you because their advertisers don’t allow for it or their political connections simply don’t permit it. We’ll see you next time.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.