Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Pope Arrives at Diplomatic Residence in New York; Huge Crowds Greet Pope Francis in New York City; Papal Security Concerns; Trump Lashes Out at CNN's Randi Kaye; 700+ Killed During Hajj Pilgrimage; 4 Killed After Bus, Duck Boat Collide on Bridge; President Obama, Putin to Meet Next Week; Texas Coach Resigns, Accused of Telling Players to Hit Ref; What's in the Bag?
Aired September 24, 2015 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:34] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey good evening from New York. Thanks for joining us we're outside St. Patrick's Cathedral in the middle of a city still buzzing with the arrival of Pope Francis. After leaving St. Patrick's where he led evening vespers, evening prayers, the pontiff arrived just a short time ago, the residence of the papal nuncio, the papal observer to the United Nations about a mile or so uptown where he is going to be spending the night ahead of a very big day tomorrow. He is, of course, 78 years old. It's his first visit ever to the United States and he made history this morning in Washington and frankly took people's breath away here in New York starting from the moment his plane touched down at Kennedy Airport arriving to the sounds of a band, a local band playing "New York, New York". Before going any further tonight, just here are some of the incredibly moving sights and sounds, enjoy.
An incredible day here in New York and this is just day one for the pontiff in New York. Here we talk about it and what still to come we're joined by Father James Martin, author of "The Jesuits Guide to (Almost) Everything", also biblical scholar and CNN contributor Bruce Feiler and CNN Vatican correspondent Delia Gallagher. Delia, for you in terms of today, what really stood out?
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORREDSPONDENT: Well, it's hard to choose, isn't it? I mean, this final event possibly in New York because there was that nice, warm welcome literally, big hug from Cardinal Timothy Dolan and that is typical Cardinal Dolan and I think typical of the embrace that New Yorkers wanted to give and wanted to show to Pope Francis and I saw also the pope really relaxed and enjoying himself and indeed his entourage which...
COOPER: You feel like he's sort of warm -- gotten into the trip in a sense?
[21:05:00] GALLAGHER: I think he is, maybe I'm just projecting it, but I think that he's ...
COOPER: His hit his stride.
GALLAGHER: Hit his stride here and we'll see how the rest of the trip goes, but I see that he's actually really having a good time.
COOPER: Bruce Feiler, for you?
BRUCE FEILER, RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR: Well I agree that he seems to be warming up to the experience and to me, one of the highlights of today Anderson was the moment after lunch when he went plunging into that crowd, sort of almost unannounced to the security.
COOPER: A catholic charity.
FEILER: Exactly and there where criminals and homeless people and he just lit up, but thematically, he's also getting stronger. I want to sort of draw attention to this moment that you saw this morning when he was at Congress, he was standing at the podium and he quoted Moses, interesting he didn't quote Jesus. He quoted Moses and across from where he's standing in the House Chamber of course is that (inaudible) of Moses and he -- that's understanding really to my year of the role of Moses in the American history, the pilgrims compare themselves to Moses, the Founding Fathers wanted him on the seal, the Statute of Liberty and both Lincoln and Martin Luther King were both compared to Moses. So to me it shows he seems to understand America for the fact that this is his first trip, it's all the more remarkable.
COOPER: Father, for you? Father Martin?
FATHER JAMES MARTIN, EDITOR AT LARGE, AMERICA MAGAZINE: I thought that talk to Congress was stunning. I think it was a real voice of prophesy basically. The themes were his traditional themes he called us to reconciliation, but for me I almost cried at the end, he mentioned four great Americans, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, but a big surprise Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement and Thomas Merton, the great Trappist monk. Dorothy Day, the great apostle of social. Merton, the great apostle of dialogue. One of the amazing things is Dorothy Day was told by the cardinal, this cathedral behind us not to use the word catholic in the catholic worker because she was, you know at odds with the church. Thomas Merton was silence for awhile by his religious peers so these are people that went through great struggles and have been seen in some corners of the church with some suspicion and hearing he is raising up these great apostles of social justice and dialog and kind of using them to kind of say his message. I couldn't believe it frankly.
COOPER: Have you heard him talk about them before?
MARTIN: Never, never. Now Dorothy Day is a servant of God, meaning she's on her way, you know, to sainthood and she's well known in the United States, sure. Thomas Merton is still seeing with some suspicion by people. He's a little too open to the eastern religions. He is too open to dialog. I was stunned frankly and it was beautiful. He used people that we know, Martin Luther King of course, Lincoln, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, the kind of call us to our better selves and rather than kind of resetting a litany of ills with the United States. He said here's your heritage, here are your blessing, let's build on it and see what you have.
COOPER: Do you think a trip like this really does allow him to kind of understand the United States in a new and a different way? I mean, given he's never been here before in his life?
MARTIN: Absolutely. I mean, as you said, this is his first trip. One of the -- two of the big words in his vocabulary are encounter and dialogue. He loves to actually meet people and one of the goals of the trip was actually ,you know, interact with Americans and see what they were like and as Delia was saying, I think he's getting more and more comfortable because he's getting to know the United States. And one of the things he said about the poor is it's not enough to simply give them charity. We have to meet them, encounter them, touch them. He's doing the same with the poor in the United States, but everyone in the United States.
COOPER: Does it -- Is it important that he understands the United States as pope? I mean, I think if I -- correct me if I'm wrong, but I think only 8% of the world's Catholics are in the United States, obviously, in terms of money, in terms of I guess in a lot of different measurements, the United States perhaps has an outsize importance in the Catholic Church but does it matter that he understands?
GALLAGHER: Well I think so. I mean, it certainly matters for him personally as the leader of the Catholic Church to understand his flock in all areas and perhaps the United States having such a reputation that goes before it, it's good for him to come here and be able to meet and speak with Americans here rather than just at the Vatican and see how people live here and what people are feeling. And also, on the level obviously politically and internationally, it's an important country for all of the things that the pope would like to advance, which he has been speaking to us about in these last few days and in particular, it strikes me that he continually repeats the fact that he, too, is an immigrant, that he is the son of immigrant, that he is a foreigner so his...
FEILER: As an American, he keeps saying he's an American, too.
GALLAGHER: And extending the idea of what it means to be an American.
COOPER: I mean, he clearly knows the time he is here now. I mean, he knows what has been going on, he knows the debate that's taken place. There's no doubt about it, given his emphasis on immigration.
FEILER: Well, he knows the time and he also knows the place. I think there was a subtle difference in the message that he gave in Washington and the message he gave here behind this in New York a few minutes ago. In Washington, he was talking about dialogue in front of Congress where that is a problem. Here, he's talking about work, he is talking about we're not just going to be efficient and talk about metrics and success. We need to take a rest and encounter people in that way. So it was a split change I think in the message that shows not only using the moment wherein he understands the difference in the place where he's talking.
[21:10:06] COOPER: We got to take a break. Father Martin, thank you so much, Delia Gallagher, Bruce Feiler as well, just fascinating conversation more now on where the pope is spending his night and all his nights in Manhattan. Take a look. That is the view live there from outside...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: (inaudible) have laid their people heads when visiting the Big Apple for nearly 40 years.
ARCHBISHOP BERNARDITO AUZA, APOSTOLIC NUNCIO: For this pope to visit the United States for the first time in Cuba, I think that really means a lot to him.
MARQUEZ: Archbishop Auza will host Pope Francis at the Vatican's official home in New York. In church speak, it's called the Apostolic Nunciature for the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holly See to the United Nations. A big title but for this pope, it will be a simple affair.
AUZA: Dinners and lunch and breakfast would be very simple, really and no, no red meat.
MARQUEZ: All fine for a pope who shunned the ornate papal apartments in Rome for the simplicity of the Vatican's more humble guest house. The New York Times reports Francis has asked only for water and bananas in his room during his stay.
The five floor home is 11,000 square feet located on Manhattan's Upper East Side valued at around $20 million. It was given to the church in 1975 by the family of former New York City Mayor Hue Grant. Francis will be the third pope to stay.
AUZA: That's where Pope John Paul II stayed of his visited in 1979, his visit in 1995 and then again when Pope Benedict came in 2008.
MARQUEZ: Pope John Paul II dedicated the building on his first New York trip as pontiff in October 1979 even shaking hands with Hue Grant, Jr, the son of the New York mayor who owned the house, Grant grew up in the home.
AUZA: The house was completed in 1894.
MARQUEZ: Regis High School also founded by the Grant family made this video, the pope's home away from Rome for Francis' visit. Those who have been inside the residence say it is modest by New York standards, even the bedroom where the pope will sleep is described as basically a room. It does come with its own chapel.
AUZA: In 1914, Mrs. Grant had a private chapel built in the residence naming it the Chapel of the Holy Spirit.
MARQUEZ: After two nights in New York, the pontiff moves on to Philadelphia and somewhat less storied accommodations. The St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, the church was forced to sell its 23,000 square foot mansion in 2012 for budgetary reasons. Miguel Marquez, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Well, a lot more ahead in this hour including this, instead of a fancy luncheon with lawmakers as Bruce Feiler mentioned, the people's pope as he's known, visited a free meal program for the needy in Washington. We'll talk with two people who were there.
[21:16:38] COOPER: Pope Francis is now settling in for the night at the Vatican Diplomatic Residence just about a mile or so uptown from us, we're outside St. Patrick's Cathedral where he led the evening prayers, vespers. He has been putting his unique stamp on this entire visit from the moment he climbs that tiny FIAT to each time he takes a selfie or lingers to shake hands with people who have gone to extraordinary lengths to show their love for him. There is so much to talk about so when we -- he was done speaking at Congress earlier today, he left the regal capitol building and visited the poor spending his lunch hour with some of Washington's homeless at a meals program run by catholic charities. Carol Costello gives us a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Catholic charities plan was so well orchestrated, these humble doors would open, those gathered the homeless and destitute would stand and applaud respectfully. Pope Francis would have none of it.
After blessing a simple lunch, the Pope in an extraordinary get maddening move for the secret service launched into the crowd. People swarmed around the Pope, everybody dispensing with the advice to address him as your holiness, as far as kissing his ring, forget about it. Selfies ruled.
JOSEPH MARCHELL MALLOY: Like what dignitaries and people like that to see the Pope and the Pope said no, he wants to see the common people. He wants to see the people that he serves. Imagine that, me so I not to get off.
PHILLIP GOLDEN: I felt something, I'm not lying, I felt something.
COSTELLO: Pope Francis made a beeline for children and they came prepared. Eight-year-old Steven who lives in a shelter with his mother and sister came armed with a letter. It reads, "Dear Pope, can you please pray for me and my mother for a better life and a better job?" Pope Francis took the letter with him.
COSTELLO: What was that like?
STEVEN WALKER: Awesome.
COSTELLO: All of this vintage Francis and expert at using his grace to inspire.
Did you feel something, too?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I felt a little vibe of positive energy, a lot of it and I hope it flows through the city. COSTELLO: What did this mean to you, this whole experience?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It meant the world to me because like as the pope and by me being in the situation I'm in, like I get to meet the Pope and then I walks out. I didn't get no picture.
COSTELLO: Does it give you hope?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it does. It gives me hope that I'm full of hope and I'm full of joy and happiness so it's just added on.
COSTELLO: Pope Francis leaving that impression I've heard so many times, a man so human yet divine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's an incredible image, such a day. Carol Costello joins us where the Pope is now. The Vatican Diplomatic Residence here in New York. Carol, I mean, to have been there and talked to the people who the pope met with, what was the energy like there?
COSTELLO: I can't even describe it. It was electric. As soon as the Pope started mingling with the crowd, people really did literally swarm around him and reached out to touch him. They forgot all protocol, even people who worked at the archdiocese came up to me and said, you know I know I wasn't supposed to talk to the Pope, but I just -- one woman told me, I just blurted out, can you bless me? And he did. I mean, people were so excited and he was so accessible. He made them feel comfortable enough to say anything to him.
[21:20:11] COOPER: And you could tell the joy on his face, clearly I think probably one of the highlights so far for him. Carol Costello, a great piece. Thank you so much for that.
Joining me now is Lolita Hilliard who also met Pope Francis during the lunch. Also there was -- Lolita joins us now. Lolita, thanks so much for being with us. Also Kenyatta Brunson was there, a program director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese in Washington. Lolita first of all, tell me what it was like meeting the Pope today?
LOLITA HILLIARD, MET POPE FRANCIS TODAY: Oh it was wonderful. I didn't think I would ever experience anything like this because I do live in the shelter and I was really excited about going today with the ladies and I really, really-- the atmosphere was beautiful. I just felt -- I felt it when I first got there, even the security were nice. So I really, really enjoy the day.
COOPER: Did he say anything to you? Did you say anything to him?
HILLIARD: I didn't get a chance to. He was surrounded by so many people. I didn't get the chance but a couple of my friends did get to touch him, and one of the ladies from the shelter she was able to touch him also, but just being there in the same room with him was enough for me.
COOPER: Yeah, can you out -- I mean, Catholic Charities does such great work and your clients work for weeks preparing for this historic moment. For you what was like? What did it mean to have the Pope there today?
KENYATTA BRUNSON, CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF WASHINGTON: You know, it was a really great experience. We did do a lot of work. We had weeks of preparation trying to ensure that this was -- this day was special for the clients that we serve.
The Pope's visit today for me was historical because it meant that the Pope recognized the individuals that we work with every day. Our individuals tend to be pushed to the side in society. They tend to be ignored. People tend just not acknowledge their presence so today, they were the VIPs in the room when the Pope came through and seeing our ladies and gentlemen so excited to be in his presence made my heart melt. It was a wonderful, wonderful day.
COOPER: And it was so clear Kenyatta that I -- you know, many of our commentators have said this that are, you know, though he had just talked to Congress, he could have stayed on Capitol Hill and had lunch, you know, with the muckety-mucks on Capitol Hill but clearly, this was something not just important to him but something that he looked forward to and he seemed happier with you and your group than really anyplace else we've seen him.
BRUNSON: Well, I'm glad to know that. You know, I think positive energy begets other positive energy and there was so much positive energy in that tent this afternoon that we fed off of his positive energy and he fed off of our positive energy. So we are very happy that he chose to spend his afternoon with us.
COOPER: Lolita, was it kind of what you expected? Was it, I mean to actually be that close to him, it's one thing to see pictures of the guy, to see pictures of him on television, to actually be in the same room for it, was it different than you thought?
HILLIARD: It was a little bit. The shelter that I'm in is one of those shelters that we all try to deal with on a daily basis. But to go to this place here and meet this Pope, it was just amazing to me and I couldn't ask for anything more right now even though I don't have in life what I want right now, but just to be around these ladies and Ms. Kenyatta, this is satisfying to me right now but with this Pope around and know that he cares about us that much to come out and walk around, even if I didn't get to touch him, I was still satisfied with that.
COOPER: Well, Lolita Hilliard I appreciate you being with us and thank you for talking about the day you had and Kenyatta Brunson as well for all the work that you do and everybody and Catholic Charities, thank you so much.
HILLIARD: You're welcome.
BRUNSON: Thank you.
HILLIARD: Thank you. COOPER: When we come back, the Pope's historic and to many deeply
moving words to Congress earlier today and late word on security concerns that we just learned he's having. He's in as we've seen already a very tight cocoon given that what could he be concerned about? We'll have the surprising answer. It's going to surprise you ahead, tonight.
[21:28:37] COOPER: As we said this morning, Pope Francis did something no pope has really ever done. He addressed a joint meeting of congress a short time ago, Senator Chuck Schumer described how inspiring the Pope's words were to him. The house chamber was packed, lawmakers, Supreme Court justices and invited guest giving the pontiff an enthusiastic welcome, a scene that not too many decades ago would have really been unthinkable. I mean President Kennedy certainly could not have foreseen it. When Francis began speaking he did not mince words and while his message was blunt, he drew cheers on both sides of the aisle.
Dana Bash joins us now with more. You were in the chamber when the Pope spoke today. Just the feeling what was it like in that room?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, the one hand I want to say electric, but it was even more than that because there was obviously a spiritual element to it and it is something that I've never felt in the House Chamber, Anderson. I've been in there for many speech, from presidents, from heads of state and so forth and it is of course always kind of by its nature a partisan event and there was really nothing partisan about the message that the Pope was giving.
There was a lot of trepidation beforehand that he would scold republicans or democrats on various issues. He certainly got his message across without scolding at all. It was the most unbelievably written and performed message that I've actually ever seen and more importantly, unbelievably received because I've never seen the whole House Chamber, hundreds and hundreds of seats, all of the elected representatives from this whole country is so singularly focused and frankly most of them mesmerized.
[21:30:20] COOPER: Also incredible when you consider, you know, he's still learning English.
BASH: It's true.
COOPER: It's not a language that he is all that comfortable in. I mean, it seems like he, and correct me if I'm wrong here, but it seemed like he used I guess more elliptical language when he talks about issues that might appeal for more social conservatives when he talk about the sanctity of life, about the unborn when he made references to families and relationships. He seemed to speak in more concrete terms on issues that might have appealed to progressives or liberals, is that (inaudible)?
BASH: I think that's a really excellent observation and is exactly right. Talking about immigration, talking about climate change, there was no question about what he was saying. He was saying you need to open your hearts on immigration. You need to -- he actually talked about people coming north. I mean, he was talking about the immigration problem and more importantly, the political debate in this country. On climate change, he said it's human made and we got to deal with it. But when it came to -- so those are issues that most democrats agree with him on.
When it came to the issue that traditionally republicans tend to agree with popes and the Catholic Church on, abortion, same-sex marriage, he was more vague. He spoke in kind of the papal code if you will, particularly on abortion talking about life. But he didn't even give those who agree with him a chance to take that in before he finished his sentence talking about the death penalty, which most republicans disagree with him. That's why I think that's an excellent observation.
COOPER: Dana, fascinating day. Dana Bash, thank you.
Just as we saw in Washington, there is a massive amount of security here for the Pope really -- I've certainly never seen anything like it here, not even for President Obama. Jim Sciutto our chief national security correspondent joins me now. When you saw that motorcade of the pope mobile coming down, the sheer number of vehicles, have you seen anything?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: I haven't seen that for the president I have to say. I mean, they talk about presidential level security and of course there's no man or woman on earth protected like the U.S. president but this was a failing of security around the pope, you know, who wants to get in touch with the people, right and privately, there is some frustration with this because he wants to be able to reach out...
COOPER: You're hearing that with people?
SCIUTTO: I am. I am and listen, deathly and diplomatically delivered but he wants more opportunities to connect and we've seen him take every opportunity possible. For instance when he landed at JFK today, he went right to the crowd but that's a very controlled environment.
Tomorrow when he goes through Central Park that's going to be a time when he wants to get closer to the crowd. And you know it's interesting, for all the security and the immense challenge you and I were talking about how he's a political leader is also religious leader. So he would be sadly, just lay it out there a tremendous terrorist target and that's the context that they're dealing with but the New York police say this, on New Year's Eve they deal with a million people...
SCIUTTO: ...in Times Square. It's going to be about 90,000 people in the park tomorrow so this is a challenge that the NYPD and the secret service of course all who are involved feels very much up to. COOPER: And unlike -- and I mean, in the area airing, the pope mobile
where you see him right now, those people were not prescreened, those people had just been waiting for a long in the street and they had backpacks with them. Central Park tomorrow I believe everybody has to go through airport style screening.
SCIUTTO: That's right and with that, that's when, you know, the opportunity like we saw Francis at Kennedy Airport.
SCIUTTO: That was a screened crowd so it's a different kettle of fish.
COOPER: Jim Sciutto, thank you very much. We'll talk to Jim a lot more tomorrow.
From the sacred now to the very, very secular, we turn to -- well, Trump Tower just steps from here and while the news today is focused on Pope Francis, certainly no doubt about that and his message of love. There's also some news from Donald Trump in the world of politics since pretty much, well the opposite of love. He's now lashing out at our own reporter Randi Kaye based on her reporting on this program last night reporting that was accurate, I might add. See what he's saying, next.
[21:38:04] COOPER: Well, Donald Trump is upset again not just at Fox News or politico. This time he's now lashing out at 360's Randi Kaye and he's armed with nothing more than misinformation and misplaced ire frankly.
She reported on this program last night about a Trump event in South Carolina that was sparsely attended compared to his other appearances and compared to a later appearance that same day. Trump apparently did not like that and attacked the messenger this morning on "New Day" on CNN.
(BEGIN AUDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Your reporter in South Carolina who is absolutely terrible, she covered my speech. I made a speech to the African-American Chamber of Commerce in South Carolina. Wonderful people and the room was full, every seat was full. When I went to the stage, everybody rushed forward. They all rushed to the front of the room, it was a ballroom. They all rushed to the front of the room and when they did that, you had half of the seats in the back were empty because everybody was standing in the front and we had a great time. It was like a great thing. She starts off, the CNN reporter, absolutely horrible reporter, she starts off saying "Oh, look, the room is half empty." The room wasn't half empty. Everybody was standing right next to me in the front of the room.
(END AUDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well make no mistake, everything you just heard Donald Trump say is wrong. Here again, is Randi Kaye.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just excited about seeing him in person.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The enthusiasm was there but the turnout was not. We arrived at the North Charleston event center capacity 1500, about 90 minutes before the scheduled start time of 2:00 p.m. and 30 minutes before the speech was to begin, the hall still looked like this, more than a third empty, at least.
Hello Mr. Trump, Randi Kaye with CNN.
When Trump arrived, he was happy to see us.
TRUMP: Where is CNN? Come here CNN.
KAYE: But that happiness turned into something else entirely this morning after he saw our report last night noting the room was only about two-thirds full. It had hundreds of empty seats. Listen to him on CNN's "New Day".
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
[21:40:08] TRUMP: Your reporter in South Carolina who is absolutely terrible. She covered the -- my speech. I've a speech to the African-American Chamber of Commerce in South Carolina, wonderful people and the room was full. Every seat was full.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
KAYE: Every seat full? Not so much. This picture was taken while Mr. Trump was speaking. Here's some video around the same time. Notice he's on stage. And notice the many empty seats in the back of the room, again, Mr. Trump.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: When I went to the stage, everybody rushed forward. They all rushed to the front of the room. It was a ballroom. They all rushed to the front of the room and when they did that, you had -- half of the seats in the back were empty because everybody was standing in the front.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
KAYE: For the record, not everyone was standing and the empty seats were empty because they were never occupied. We weren't the only ones who noticed. This "New York Times" headlines reads, "A Day of Empty Seats and Donald Trump in Full Attack." "The Washington Post" headline, "Donald Trump says he didn't speak to a half-empty room, but he did."
"The Post" writer Philip Bump noted Trump's comment about our reporting, then fact checked it, posting this photo from the "Associated Press". Notice all the empty seats? Trump is at the podium. "The Post" noted this one, too, "Some people standing, most not." "The Post" summed it up this way, "CNN's assessment appears to have been the correct one." We also pointed out in our reporting that the event was sponsored by the South Carolina African-American Chamber of Commerce, but the crowd was overwhelmingly white with only a handful of African-Americans, but on CNN's New Day, Donald Trump denied that, too.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, they had many African-Americans. They had many white people, too.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
KAYE: Here's another angle of the crowd. Note the ethnicity and yet another angle. In television, pictures tell the story especially this story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And Randi Kaye joins us now. And just to be clear, as I remember last night, you also talked about a second event he went to that was better attended, correct?
KAYE: It absolutely was better attended, but this one, not so much, Anderson.
COOPER: Right. Okay. This polling that Trump keeps quoting that has him doing so well with African-American voters, what about that?
KAYE: Well, the poll that he keeps talking about shows him with 25 percent support among African-Americans. He talked about it yesterday at the event that we were at and he says even that is a huge number for a republican candidate to have and it is. The trouble is though, Anderson, is that this poll that he quoting and keeps quoting is not one that CNN's polling unit thinks is reliable. I'm told that this particular poll used a sample size that is a very small subset of African-Americans so the estimates from them are considered to be unreliable.
In fact, Anderson, other polls with larger, more robust samples of African-Americans have found that Trump is decidedly unpopular with the group. For example, after Trump kept touting that poll, we looked at the Gallup poll from this month and that poll found that just 16 percent of African-Americans had a favorable view of Donald Trump and you can compare that to 72 percent who said that they had an unfavorable view. But Trump never mentions that poll no matter how many times he talks about his support among African-Americans, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Randi Kaye, appreciate your reporting as I always do. Thank you, Randi.
Joining me now is CNN Political Commentator and former RNC Official Tara Setmeyer, CNN Political Commentator and New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Charles Blow and also CNN Political Commentator and Trump's supporter Jeffrey Lord. He was the Political Director in the Reagan White House.
So, Jeffrey, I mean what about this? I mean, if Trump is going to portray himself as a guy who tells it like it is and speaks the truth, you know, no matter what, then shouldn't he speak the truth? I mean to, you know I've never heard somebody who seems as obsessed with talking about numbers and ratings and how many people were in a hall. And to Randi's credit, she talked about a very well-attended event, you know, that same day, but seems like this one, you know, wasn't as well attended.
JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN W.H. POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Anderson, when I learned what we were going to talk about tonight, I went back and look. I did an interview with Donald Trump over a year ago and one of the things I asked him was along the lines that republicans keep thinking that, you know, their candidates are treated badly by the media. If he were the candidate, how would he deal with that?
And I brought along the transcript here. I'll just read you a couple lines from it. He says, "and the one thing you have to do is inform the public. The public has to know about the dishonesty of the press because these are really bad people and they don't tell the truth and they have no intention to telling the truth and I would expose them 100 percent. You got to fight them, you got to fight them."
In other words, what I'm suggesting here is, this is his MO, if you will and I think it also feeds into the -- what we were talking about last night, you know, he is a fighter. He is trying to demonstrate this and he does it.
[21:45:10] So it could be Randi today, it could be the "New York Times", it could be whomever, but this is what he does, and this came up in context, by the way, also of the Donald Sterling situation where he felt he'd been badly misquoted.
COOPER: Right. I mean, look, I understand there's nothing more frustrating than being misquoted. There's nothing more frustrating than having an inaccurate report done about you and I'm all for fighting back on that sort of thing. It's everybody's right and everybody should do it and if you're wrong you should say you're wrong. But in this case, I mean, "The Washington Post", "The New York Times", Randi Kaye, I mean, there is no reason Randi wants to put out a report talking about the number of seats so I just...
LORD: Obviously -- yeah. I mean...
LORD: ... different opinion of.
COOPER: Yes, yes, clearly no doubt about that. Charles, does he play to his supporters this notion of being the aggrieved party, this anti- media attack and look, there's plenty to attack, bias is a real issue in the media. These are all things we certainly spend a lot of time thinking about and worrying about and wringing our hands about. But whether or not Donald Trump is accurate, I mean, in this case he doesn't seem to be accurate, does it not matter to those people who are supporting him because it plays into that narrative of the media is out to get me?
CHARLES BLOW, NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED COLUMNIST: Well, I think, you know, in this particular situation, this is a media creation I believe. My personal opinion is this entire candidacy is completely propped up by kind of free media time and so he can play both sides of that and that's his prerogative to both play the victim of the media and also ride the coattails of the media. I think that the bigger problem is that the campaign made such a horrible decision about touting this particular meeting in South Carolina as an outreach to African-Americans that it just doesn't work that way.
In 2008, the number of African-Americans in the primary -- in the republican primary is so negligible so much below 1 percent that it wasn't -- it didn't even register. In 2012, it was in fact 1 percent, 98 percent of the republican primary voters in South Carolina are white.
If you want to reach out to black people, go to a state where you have a bigger shot at attracting more people. Your hall will more likely be filled. You may have more black people in your black event than white people. You could have done that by simply staying in New York City. Eight percent of the republican primary voters in 2012 in New York State were black. You have a larger chance of actually pulling off a great event that has black representation in a place like New York rather than going to South Carolina. It's just a folly. And it's a bad move by any republican candidate to try to go there and pull off a black event.
COOPER: Tara, you know, it's one thing for the real estate magnet to embellish things. I've got the best buildings, the most beautiful buildings. I'm the richest guy around. I'm the best businessman around, you know, and Trump certainly embellishes things in that sense. He's always done it. He's done it -- you know, you do it once or twice, people overlook it. But in the realm of politics when you're actually, you know -- when what you say and you're selling yourself as a truth teller, as a guy who tells it like it is, doesn't there reach a point where people catch on or people start to wonder if what you're saying is just self-promotion and embellishment and what's really true?
TARA SETMEYER, FORMER RNC OFFICIAL: Well, one would hope, you know, I mean in this day and age and the things you just listed, right, that could be subjective. I have the biggest buildings, I'm the greatest, you know. Trump is very good at those kinds of embellishments, but when it comes to empirical facts and Trump fits there and tries to tell you, well no, every seat was occupied and we have proof of that in the day and age of Twitter and, you know, social media. You have folks that are on the ground besides the reporters who can take those photographs, who can make comments, who are there at the same time that have nothing to do with the media. So, you have multiple sources of information that can prove something to be true or not true.
So Trump continuing to do this, telling people that the sky is orange when we all know that it's blue just because he says so and then blaming the weatherman because there is a conspiracy against him is going to wear thin and I think that he -- if he continues to attack the media like this, I mean, the media is an easy target, right? But, you know, we already know that the media doesn't poll well. People are suspicious of media, big media so he's been using that to his advantage. I think you brought that up earlier, but at some point that becomes tiresome. That's why Fox News is over it. That's what -- you know, he's attacking every -- anyone that has any kind of reports things that aren't favorable to Trump, he attacks them and to me that's awfully thin-skinned.
I mean he better...
[21:50:00] COOPER: But what's interesting about it...
SETMEYER: But I don't see him fighting and taking it on the chin when he needs to and standing up which God forbid you can criticize him.
COOPER: I got it. What's interesting about it to me though is this doesn't matter. I mean this is a small event. It is understandable. Maybe it wasn't well-promoted or for whatever reason, it's understandable maybe not all the seats are going to be full and yet by him making it into something else, he makes it into a bigger thing than it really should be. Again, he had a much bigger event the same day and he said huge events. And he's leading the polls. Anyway, Tara Setmeyer, Charles Blow, Jeffrey Lord, I appreciate all of you being with us.
Next, a deadly day, a very serious day. The Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, more than 700 people killed in the stampede. We'll get an update from Saudi Arabia next.
COOPER: There's a lot more happening. Tonight, Randi Kaye is back with the 360 Bulletin. Randi.
KAYE: More than 700 people were killed in a stampede during one of the last rituals of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Islam's holiest city. Hundreds more were injured. This is the worst disaster of this kind in 25 years.
A busy bridge in Seattle became a bloody triage scene after a tour bus and a duck boat tourist vehicle collided. At least four people were killed. Dozens are hospitalized including two with critical injuries.
President Obama and Russian President Vladmir Putin will meet in New York next week during the United Nations General Assembly. They are expected to discuss the situation in Syria and Ukraine.
In San Antonio, Texas, the assistant high school football coach accused of telling two players to tackle a referee at a game has resigned. The players say coach Mack Breek told them the official used racial slurs, the ref denies those accusations. Anderson.
[21:55:15] COOPER: All right. Randi, thanks very much with that. You may be have noticed that Pope Francis was carrying a bag as he boarded the plane today in Washington. Up next, we can end the mystery and tell you what it was he was carrying. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Quick reminder from here outside St. Patrick's Cathedral, Pope Francis has a very big day tomorrow and will be there for all of it. Before we go tonight, the answer to a question that quite a few people have actually been asking about this picture namely just what is in that bag he carries? Tonight, we can tell you it's an electric razor, a prayer book, a novel to read, rosary beads and a toothbrush. There you go. That does it for us. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon starts now.
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT HOST: Anderson, thank you very much. Nice little trivia there.