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Trump Has Delegates to Clinch GOP Nomination; Trump & Sanders Debate? Aired 10-11p ET
Aired May 26, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: It's the '80s all over again. A political outsider runs for the highest office in the land and promises a new day in America. Sound familiar?
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
Of course I'm talking about Donald Trump. He says this on the day he gets the delegates he needs to clinch the GOP nomination.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Big day today was the day where we hit 1237, right, 1237.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Hillary Clinton inching to turn her attention to the general takes aim at Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is absolutely no way that we can let Donald Trump get anywhere near the White House!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders promises this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE SANDERS, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If I am the democratic nominee, Donald Trump is toast.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, let's begin with Donald Trump celebrating as he reaches his magic number to clinch the republican nomination.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We had a big day today. Today was the day where we hit the 1237, right? 1237.
And you know, you had our president saying "He will not be the nominee of his party." Oh really? He's been right that like he's right about everything else which is never. And yet, a lot of the pundits, you see the guys back here, the people back here, some of the most dishonest people in the world, but most of them said -- and they said very strongly he will never be the nominee.
I could name them but I don't want to embarrass them. They're actually nice people. I don't want to embarrass them. He will never, ever be the nominee. And in fact, they used to say even worse. Ten months ago they'd say "He's not going to run, no, he's just having a good time." I am having a good time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Hillary Clinton who has, of course, not yet sealed the deal for the democrats made a point of calling into our Wolf Blitzer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Because I know Donald Trump says outrageous things all the time, but today, he officially clinched the republican nomination, so this is now as real as it gets. And this man who is an unqualified loose cannon is within reach of the most important job in the world.
So, it should concern every American. And President Obama came out of meets with our closest allies in the world and reported that they are, quote, "rattled" by the threat Donald Trump represents. Of course they're rattled.
He's talking about breaking up our alliances, letting more countries get nuclear weapons. Banning all Muslims from coming to America. That is a recipe for fewer friends and more enemies and it will make us less safe.
And, look, I know that Trump thinks this is a point of pride that people, you know, like me or President Obama raise questions and criticize him but it's not. This is not a reality show. It's not just politics, it's really serious.
The entire world looks at the President of the United States for leadership and stability and that is the kind of leadership I would provide if elected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So here to discuss all of this, Michael Reagan, the son of Ronald Reagan and author of "Lessons My Father Taught Me." Also Douglas Brinkley author of "Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America".
There's certainly a lot to discuss, gentlemen. Thank you so much for joining us. All that back and forth. My goodness. Michael, I'm going to start with you.
Trump clinched the nomination today as we have, you know, been saying. He has been dominant from the day he entered this race. What has he figured out that no one else has?
MICHAEL REAGAN, RONALD REAGAN'S SON: Well, what he's figured out was he's been listening to talk radio for the last 20 years and all he did was take or talk radio as we've been talking for 20 years and expand on it and take it to the presidential level.
And what you see behind him in those programs he gets together and the people that talk to him, the people that support him are people who have been listening to talk radio for the last 20 years. They have a hero now in him.
But in order to win the presidency you've got to expand past the talk radio group and get a whole other bunch of people on your team if you're going to win in November.
LEMON: So, you think he can do that? At this point you don't believe he can do it. He's got to change his ways?
REAGAN: Well, he's got to change his ways. You don't start the week by stomping on the Governor of New Mexico. The only female republican Hispanic that's ever been elected don't stop on her and then go after Marco Rubio, go after Jeb Bush. These are the people that you're ultimately going to need to coalesce...
LEMON: But not just the Latina governor but someone well lauded and well-liked within the Republican Party with consecutives.
REAGAN: Absolutely right. Now I agree with you on that.
[22:05:01] I've know the governor and I've known her for quite a long time and for him to do what he did the other night in New Mexico was unconstable. But as I've said before I'm not bothered so much by what Donald Trump says. I am bothered by the applause he gets after he says it.
LEMON: What's your assessment of him clinching, Douglas? And do you agree with Michael about, you know, he's just been listening to talk radio for 20 years?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I think that's a big part of it but also he's a great marketer and a bit of a media. I mean, we make jokes about him being the godfather of reality TV but he's known how to break through the glass when he gets into the people's living rooms to own the news cycle.
He almost wins the media game every day. Twitter has been a big part of that, and yes, I think today is significant for Trump. And nobody, I'd say a month ago, would have believed there wasn't going to be a brokered convention happening in Cleveland and lo and behold we don't even hear the name Ted Cruz anymore, and Trump seems to be having a lot of momentum.
And I thought it was very important that you heard Hillary Clinton calling in and starting to sound a little more fiery. She can't just lay low or take the high road anymore. I think that this is going to be a fight between the two of them and it's just escalating today and it's going to go more and more in that direction.
LEMON: Yes. She called into our Wolf Blitzer today and she doesn't usually do and that's a very recent issue. So, maybe she's getting the message of what you're saying, Douglas, that he's a master at sort of, you know, owning the media and taking the message.
Douglas, I want to ask you about these comments from Donald Trump today. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: In the history of the Republican Party, this is a history, you're talking about Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan. You're talking about names going all the way back. In the history of the Republican Party, to me this mean so much, I've gotten more votes than anybody has ever gotten.
And -- think of it, think of it. And very importantly we have 10 states left.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, what do you think of those comparison.
BRINKLEY: Well, we also have a lot more American alive today. Go ahead, Michael.
LEMON: No, Douglas, I want you to answer this as historian.
BRINKLEY: Well, we have a lot more Americans alive -- yes, there just more Americans alive today. I don't think that's his best line when he says, that it sounds so braggadocios. And he constantly that compares himself to people like Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan.
What is a fact is that Donald Trump has done very well and he's done it by this style that Michael was talking about that many people are shocked at but that's demolition derby style. And anybody who pops into his scope he seems to want to be off with their heads.
That's work in this environment after eight years of Barack Obama and some frustration in the country with the war on terror, but it's yet to be seen whether this can play out in the fall and be the movement that he thinks he is at this juncture.
LEMON: So, Michael, I want you to respond now but listen, in that respond talk to me about this. He is invoking your father. Can he unify republicans in a way your father didn't? Is it a fair comparison to say, you know, he's won more votes than your father?
BRINKLEY There's no Ronald Reagan out there. You know, I see a long time ago, this is not the party of Reagan any long, it's the party of Trump. Good luck. he's going to have to figure out what to do with it.
But I write in my book, "Lessons I learned from My Father" about my father, you know, my father is one of these people who didn't mind giving credit to others. You'll never hear the word "I" in any of his speeches. It's all about "we." He wasn't braggadocios. He made friends of enemies. He didn't make enemies of friends.
And he brought the part together. He unify the party because he found the good in people and I write about that in my book. I show the other side of Ronald Reagan, not the political side but the father side and the father side carried on to the political side and that's why people like, I think trusted him, even people who disagreed with him, trusted him, liked him, and voted for him.
LEMON: Is he right, Douglas, big tent Donald Trump is not necessarily big tent?
BRINKLEY: I agree with that. And we also have to keep in mind many people say, well, Ronald Reagan once a movie star and celebrity and Trump is a celebrity candidate, but Ronald Reagan was a two-term governor of California who really one of the most important economies really in the world that he oversaw.
So, he had learned the art of negotiations in politics. Donald Trump comes at life like a CEO, like somebody who is his own boss and likes to give direct orders and that's a tough proposition.
I also agree with Michael that Ronald Reagan always tried to give a helping hand and lift people up and make people feel better. Donald Trump likes to put people down that don't agree with them and insult them. So, their styles are very different.
LEMON: Well, you said COO, here is what Paul Manafort said today.
[22:10:01] He said, you know, how Trump is going to approach the president. He said, "He sees himself more as the chairman of the board," Douglas, "than even the CEO let alone a COO."
BRINKLEY: Yes, fair enough. That's exactly what I'm saying. And you know, we don't have a lot of in American history of business people succeeding. I mean, Wendell Willkie was the republican nominee and he didn't go anywhere.
The question about Trump is, is he a movement and can he really win in the Midwest. It's all -- we know the blue states already, we know the red states already. He gets back to Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and whether that Trump message of being anti-NAFTA.
NAFTA had been something that, you know, George Herbert Walker Bush was proud of and Bill Clinton was proud of. Can you be anti-NAFTA and get enough votes? But it's tough to see how Donald Trump brings any Latinos or Latinas into his tent and, also we haven't seen Barack Obama hit the campaign trail yet and try to generate college campuses in the African-American votes.
So, we've got a lot of acts ahead of us but today was a big day for Trump. He hit his 1237 delegate number.
LEMON: All right. Plus one, plus one, I hear. OK. So, stay with me, gentlemen. When we come right back, the wall is just beginning. The wall is just not beginning. Wait until you hear what else Donald Trump wants to build in Washington.
[22:15:00] LEMON: We all know Donald Trump wants to build a wall on our border with Mexico but that's not all he wants to build. I want you to listen to what he said just a little while ago in Montana.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Build a wall, it's going to be a big wall. It's going to be a beautiful wall. Someday when I'm gone so, maybe they'll name it after Trump. I'd much rather have a statue in Washington, D.C. I don't want a wall named after me but that's OK. I want a statue in Washington, D.C.
Maybe you share it with Jefferson or something.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Back with me now Michael Reagan and Douglas Brinkley. Michael, you first. There are actually statues of your dad in Washington. But in 1980, Ronald Reagan was an outsider, a Hollywood celebrity running an insurgent campaign against establishment republicans like George H.W. Bush. But do you see parallels between your father's candidacy and Donald Trump's candidacy.
REAGAN: No. Did you ever hear Ronald Reagan say "I want a statue of myself in Washington, D.C. I want to building named after me in Washington, D.C.?" He was surprised when he had a library named after him in Simi Valley, California, because it was never about him. It was about the United States of America.
And I talk about that in my new book about, you know, "Lessons my Father Taught Me." I learned about him. I learned about the fact that he was a pragmatic conservative. In order to get the taxes lowered in the United States he had to work with the democrats. He had to work with Tip O'Neill.
In order to get the star agreement he had to work with Mikhail Gorbachev. He had to work with people to get things done. It wasn't about I want all the credit. And Ronald Reagan didn't look for credit. He looked to get the job done.
He didn't care who got the credit for the Berlin Wall coming down, the fact of the matter is it came down. And this is all about Trump. And I think that's one of his Achilles heels moment, is him saying that nature.
I think of him basically as the first social media nominee but it's going to take more than social media and the angry people on Twitter and Facebook to elect him president of the United States.
LEMON: Well, speaking of that, I want you to listen to this because Ronald Reagan had a reputation as a cowboy, but the man who joked that, you know, well he begin bombing Russia in five minutes went on to preside over the end of the Cold War. Let's take a look at this historic moment right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate.
Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Could you see Donald Trump stepping up, Michael, the way Ronald Reagan did?
REAGAN: Well, in a different way. You have to understand, Ronald Reagan knew his audience. The audience in front of him, they were all free. The audience he was speaking to were the people on the other side of the gate, the backside of that gate who were not free, just like the evil empire speech.
You know, it wasn't the people in front of him he was talking to, it was Natan Sharansky and gulags a half world away that let them know there was a president who was standing strong standing for them and wanted them to in fact go free.
That's who his audience was. And I think Donald Trump has to expand his audience past the talk radio group and past those other people to Hispanics, to women, and to others in order to really move forward in this campaign for the presidency of the United States. I cannot see him giving that speech.
LEMON: I mean, everyone has been saying the exact same thing on this program and every other program but Donald Trump. So, I mean, Douglas, I'll ask you the same question considering what Michael just said. Do you see Donald Trump stepping up that way that Ronald Reagan did in that speech, you know tear down this wall and building coalitions?
BRINKLEY: Well Ronald Reagan there is talking about tearing down the wall of totalitarianism and talking about freedom of borders, free trade. What's Donald Trump is doing? He's talking about building a wall with Mexico. It's the complete opposite of that Reagan message there.
I mean, Ronald Reagan believed that democracy was going to spread around the world and he did everything he could. Also, even though that speech seems quite, you know, stringent in, you know, strong language, and the fact to the matter there was great diplomacy going on at that time.
And Reagan chose George Schultz to be the Secretary of State, probably the most under sung Secretary of State in American history. Schultz did a remarkable job of working with NATO in working with people like Chancellor Cole and Margaret Thatcher during in that area.
It's not clear who in the world is going to want to do any kind of business with Donald Trump at this point because he seems to belittle all the nations of the world.
LEMON: Michael, the president was in Japan today and he said that world leaders are rattled by Donald Trump saying Trump displays an ignorance of world affairs. Here's Trump's response to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[22:19:59] TRUMP: I love that word. He used a bad word because he knows nothing about business. When you rattle someone, that's good because many of the world as you know, many of the countries in our world, our beautiful world have been absolutely abusing us and taking advantage of us.
So, if they're rattled in a friendly way, we're going to have great relationships with these countries, but if they're rattled in a friendly way, that's a good thing, John, not a bad thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Rattling world leaders is that good, Michael?
REAGAN: I don't know about world leaders, but I will tell you, I travel quite a bit, I just got back from Sainte-Mere-Eglise, Normandy where we opened up the Ronald Reagan Center just last Thursday, and the people are rattled. There's people around the globe that are rattled.
I was in Asia, you know, in February and March. People are rattled. They don't know what to expect from a Donald Trump. And when you don't know what to expect, you do get rattled and he's got to answer that question to a lot of people.
Because the president can play pretty much by himself on international levels where on the domestic side he has to work with the Congress of the United States. So, he has to leave those fears. It's in his best interest to leave those fears, how does he do it and keep his audience?
LEMON: Yes. Douglas, we have been talking about the '80s on CNN with our -- the documentary that's been -- our series that's airing and also talking about Reagan in the '80s. I want you to look at this '80s artifact.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPRAH WINFREY, OPRAH WINFREY SHOW HOST: I know people have talked to you want to run. Would you ever?
TRUMP: Probably not. But I do get tired of seeing the country ripped off.
WINFREY: Why would you not?
TRUMP: I don't think I really have the inclination to do it. I love what I'm doing. I really like it.
WINFREY: Also it doesn't pay as well.
TRUMP: No, but, you know, I just probably wouldn't do it. I probably wouldn't but I do get tired of seeing what's happening with this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: What do you think has changed, Douglas?
BRINKLEY: Well, I think he may be being a little bit disingenuous there because if you read John Meacham's book on George Herbert Walker Bush in 1988, Trump was kind of begging to be considered to be vice president for Bush and Bush 41 just scoffed, can you believe how gauche he is kind of self-promoting himself in that fashion?
But, you know, Trump is part of the '80s history and, you know, I think the fact of the matter is he's been able to have staying power. He's been part of our public discourse year after year. He hasn't gone away and that is a tribute to his I think business acumen and he's read on American popular culture.
Part of it is by running casinos and starting to learn kind of the aspirations of Americans. Another part of him is somebody who plays on fear and that's the part that I worry about. Ronald Reagan believed that oxygen was optimism and that's how the country lived to be very optimistic, and Trump seems to me to be peddling fear.
REAGAN: You know, my dad once told me and we sat down and talked about this on one of the rides out to the ranch, he said you know, there's a big difference between running for president and becoming the president of the United States of America.
And there's a huge difference in what you might say and the rhetoric that goes into a campaign but what you have to do when in fact you are in that Oval Office and you have to make decisions. And every decision you make has somebody in the world on the other side of it.
LEMON: Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it. Have a good weekend.
REAGAN: Thank you.
BRINKLEY: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: Ahead, Trump is loving it. He posted a photo on Instagram showing how he celebrated his big delegate victory. We have that next.
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Donald Trump scoring enough delegates to clinch the republican nomination, it becomes official at the GOP convention in July.
Here to discuss, CNN political commentator Andy Dean who is a Trump supporter, CNN political contributor, Van Jones, Michael Isikoff, the chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo news and the author of "Uncovering Clinton, A Reporter's Story."
Also here is CNN political contributor, Maria Cardona who is a super delegate committed to Clinton. Isn't that special? And Matt Lewis, senior contributor to the Daily Caller and author of "Too Dumb to Fail."
I mean, she's super, she's a super delegate. That's like odd. Do you guys have Uber delegates, too, I mean, after that? What's next.
MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: You have a case or something.
LEMON: Andy dean, let's start with you, 1237, you know, he got it today. Here is Donald Trump, how he celebrated with McDonald's. Did he really eat that burger, do you think?
ANDY DEAN, TRUMP SUPPORTER: He does like McDonald's, Don. And actually we're at 1238 now.
DEAN: So, that's very exciting. And look, just 10 months ago.
LEMON: Twelve, thirty seven plus one.
DEAN: Right, 1237 plus 1 which was the number we needed to get. And 10 months ago when this all began there were two or three people on television, I think there was Jeffrey Lord, myself, and Donald Trump who thought this was possible and 10 months later, because of his hard work we are where we're at -- we are where we are right now which is, you know, this is history in the making and it's exciting.
So, it's a massive monumental day and the fact that he did it before the convention nobody expected, so it's exciting.
LEMON: So, while Andy -- while Trump was loving it -- see what I did there -- Hillary Clinton was talking with Wolf Blitzer.
DEAN: A good product placement.
LEMON: Yes. Talking with Wolf Blitzer. Here's what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I know Trump thinks this is a point of pride that people, you know, like me or President Obama raise questions and criticize him but it's not. This is not a reality show, it's not just politics. It's really serious. The entire world looks at the president of the United States for leadership and stability and that is the kind of leadership I would provide if elected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: What do you think, Andy?
DEAN: Well, I -- the idea of leadership coming from Hillary Clinton is bizarre, I mean, this is somebody the night when Benghazi was under attack was sleeping, and then the next she concocted some bizarre story with Susan Rice blaming a YouTube video, so we're not going to take lectures from crooked Hillary about leadership.
And also the American people most importantly are looking for leadership in the economy, they're looking for jobs and they're looking for wage increases.
[22:30:01] LEMON: Yes.
DEAN: And we're going to ask tough questions when Trump becomes president, Don.
DEAN: Questions like, why is the -- one thing, Don, why in China has the middle-class income risen by over 80 percent over the past 15 years, where as in America it's risen by less than 2 percent over the past decade. So, what's going on?
LEMON: OK. Andy, I've got four other people on that I need to get in. Go ahead, Van.
DEAN: Don't worry about them, Don. Don't worry about them.
LEMON: Go ahead, Van.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, well, first of all, you know, him asking questions that's the only thing he can really do because he doesn't actually have any answers. He's a master, the master of giving you an explanation that there is a problem without telling you how he can possibly solve it. And if he tells you how he's going to solve it, he'll change it the next day.
Look, I think it's a very, very sad day in America. You are right. You know, Andy is 100 percent right. Nobody thought this was possible because nobody believed that someone with this little experience with this sort of temperament and tone who's been this divisive would be able to secure the nomination for a major party.
I hope that this fact will sober up Americans. A lot of people have thought this was a joke, it's sending a signal. But I tell you what, the president of United States being this erratic on so many different issues is a dangerous -- the stock market the economist magazine says a Trump presidency would be a threat to global stability. That's not a liberal rag.
LEMON: But, Matt.
DEAN: That is a liberal -- it is a liberal rag, I gave up my subscription.
LEMON: Hang on. But, Matt, you say President Obama...
DEAN: It is.
LEMON: ... is partially responsible for the rise of Trump.
MATT LEWIS, "TOO DUMB TO FAIL" AUTHOR: I don't want to absolve the right of their sins and their part to play in this but I think it's true. I mean, for one thing these two guys, Barack Obama, President Obama and Mr. Trump have some things in common.
I think both are pretty big on the ego, both are very thin skinned and both seem to have somewhat of an authoritarian streak. You know, and not a huge respect for separation of powers. From either of these two guys.
CARDONA: Please, Matt. Come on.
LEWIS: So, look, I think that Barack Obama in two ways sort of paved the path to this and one way I think he grease these the skids to kind of accept somebody like a Donald Trump who is -- you know, President Obama, the first thing he does when he gets elected. Number one, he isn't quit blaming his predecessor, President Bush for mistakes that were made and, you know, and then he tells -- you know, he pushes through this ObamaCare with, you know, -- doesn't even get a single republican...
JONES: A majority of the vote.
LEMON: Michael, go ahead.
LEMON: Michael, do you agree with that? What do you make of all this?
MICHAEL ISIKOFF, "UNCOVERING Clinton A REPORTER'S STORY" AUTHOR: Well, look, I make of that fact that it's an unbelievable achievement that Trump is where he is today but he still got quite a few hurdles to pass here.
For one thing, he still doesn't have the endorsement of the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, who is going to be chairman of the republican convention and that tells you a lot about the unease that's still out there in republican circles about Donald Trump.
I mean, Ryan, in particular, is the guy to watch here. There is a lot of expectation that he would come around and endorse. But I'm told that by senior aids that he's not there yet, he's still has real problems with Trump's positions on entitlement reform, religious freedom, immigration.
And, you know, this is -- this is a really interesting test of politics versus principle because the politics would clearly dictate him and others in the House coming aboard the Trump train now that he's clearly going to be the nominee. But, you know, for some people -- and Ryan is a good example, principle does count and they're having a hard time coming around. And that's an important obstacle.
LEMON: Well, here's what -- everyone, here's what Michael Isikoff says. Michael Isikoff says Trump is winging it through the entire process. I want you to listen to what Trump said tonight and then we'll discuss. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELANIA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S WIFE: They don't want to say how smart he is, what he will do what he can accomplish. They don't want to give him credit.
GREAT VAN SUSTEREN, ON THE RECORD SHOW HOST: Why, why do you think that?
M. TRUMP: Because maybe he's -- because he's outsider, he's not part of Washington. He speaks his mind. He doesn't sweep under the rug. He says as he thinks and what needs to be said because he's not the politician. He just -- he's not into just talking he's a doer. He gets the thing done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, obviously that was not Donald Trump, that was his wife Melania, maybe she was answering the question. Let's play what Donald Trump said and then we'll discuss it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't know if you heard but I have one of the highest poll numbers ever recorded with men and I would swap it for the women right now, OK?
[022:35:03] I want the women. The hell with the men. The hell with the men. Right, men?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. So, as I said, Michael Isikoff said he's winging it. But my question is, is this winging it, does it appear to be helping him more than hurting him or vice versa? I'm not sure here because he is -- he's not the presumptive nominee anymore, he is until July when it's official.
LEMON: Go ahead, Maria.
CARDONA: So, Don, I think one of the things that we need to clarify here is that Donald Trump is a republican monster of their own making. He is not the problem. He is a symptom of something that has been going on in the Republican Party ever since the beginning of the southern strategy followed by suppression of the voting rights, shredding of the Voting Rights Act voter I.D. laws.
You know, the awful rhetoric that started years ago on immigration and on treating, how they treat immigrants in this country. And so, that is what has given rise to somebody like Donald Trump because republicans have made it OK to talk about these divisive issues in this inflammatory manner.
Now to your question, the way that he talks right now has been the way that he got the republican nomination. But I think what is going to slap him in the face is that he is now going to be facing a very different electorate with women, with minorities, with young people with progressives, and independents who are appalled that this is somebody that we are actually considering even in terms of being our next commander-in-chief.
LEMON: OK. Hold your thoughts, everyone. I know you want to get in on that. And we're going to discuss what Maria just said.
Plus, we're going to talk about Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. They say they want to debate each other. Will it happen? And what about Hillary Clinton?
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: A big day for Donald Trump. Now he has the delegates he needs to clinch the GOP nomination.
Back with me, Andy Dean, Van Jones, Michael Isikoff, Maria Cardona, and Matt Lewis. Matt Lewis, what's the deal with all of this talk about a possible debate between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders? Explain this to me.
MATT LEWIS, "TOO DUMB TO FAIL" AUTHOR: Well, I guess it came up on Jimmy Kimmel last night and it's probably not going to happen. I think Donald Trump want a $10 million to charity to do it. But I think the real question, the interesting question is how would it affect Hillary Clinton?
And I actually think it could go either way and I think it depends o whether or not Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have a sparring -- sort of a fun sparring match for charity or a knockout, you know, punch out.
Because think of it this way. If they kind of have this banter and have fun, all of a sudden Hillary Clinton, you know, left in the dark, she's not getting attention. Bernie is getting attention. Not good for Hillary.
On the other hand, what if Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump get in, you know, starts duking it out and it turns ugly? Now all of a sudden, you know, this is a problem, you know, for Trump, right? Because the hope -- I think for Donald Trump hopes that some of the Bernie Sanders supporters might end up -- I mean, it's not likely many of them well but some of them, in November might end up voting for Trump instead of Hillary.
And that's not going to happen if Trump and Bernie mix it up too much. So, fascinating possibilities here.
LEMON: I want Bernie with sound "I'm sick of hearing about your damn taxes, Van." I see e-mails tons over here. He continues to say -- Donald Trump continues to say he's going to release his tax forms when his audit is over. Do you believe he will? Does it look like he has something to hide by not releasing them?
JONES: I don't think that he will and he does something to hide. I mean, I think he has decided that whatever is in there he's willing to take the beating of not -- of being the first nominee in 40 years not to let the American people know where his bread is buttered.
Something is in there that's pretty shocking, break with tradition. There's got to be something in there he thinks is awful. He probably hasn't give an penny to charity. In fact, he still has this problem right now. He made a big, big stink about he's going to give all his money to veterans.
The veterans saying we never got a penny. So, there's something in there that he's hiding from.
LEMON: Michael, did...
ISIKOFF: Don, can -- yes.
LEMON: Yes, go ahead, Michael.
ISIKOFF: ... I just point out that probably the most newsworthy part of that fascinating interview that Paul Manafort, his new campaign chairman, gave to Huffington Post this week...
LEMON: Can I read -- let me read -- let me read part of it.
ISIKOFF: He finally says -- he said he doesn't think he is going to release them.
LEMON: let me read the part of it and then you can respond.
LEMON: You can respond. I want to read what he says since you mention it.
LEMON: He says "I will be surprised if he puts them out. I wouldn't necessarily advise him to, it's not really an issue for the people we are appealing to. His tax returns are incredibly complicated. I wouldn't understand them, so how are the American people going to? The financial disclosure he puts out give the salient point. The only people who want the tax returns are the people who want to defeat him."
Go ahead, Michael.
ISIKOFF: Well, going back to Richard Nixon, every presidential candidate has released his tax returns. And that signal from Manafort saying, you know, this is the people we are appealing to don't care about this is just a crystal clear example of how much he deviates from the norm of presidential candidates and it's hard to imagine this is going to go away.
All you have to do is think back to 2012 and how much the democrats hammered Romney until he finally did release his taxes and how big of an issue that became.
There's no way that the Clinton campaign, Clinton super PACs are not going to be hammering this every right up to election day.
ISIKOFF: And you know, there is -- there are real issues here. How much did he pay in taxes? Real estate developers are very good and very clever at avoiding paying taxes. And remember that exchange with George Stephanopoulos when he finally asked him "What's your tax rate?" And he said "none of your business." That was a pretty stunning remark.
LEMON: Hang on, Maria, I want Andy to get in. Andy, why the discrepancy between what Trump says and what Manafort said? Are they on the same page?
DEAN: Well, look, I mean, Donald has a lot of people out there speaking their mind so I can't know what's going on in Paul Manafort's head.
[22:44:58] But, Don, there are a couple of points I'd like to make here. First to Van Jones saying, oh, maybe Trump hasn't given anything to charity. You know, I ran Donald Trump's television company for five years and we did a little show called "The Celebrity Apprentice." And Donald gave over tens of millions of dollars to charity. So this idea that he hasn't given any money to charity is as offensive as it is ludicrous. And it's not accurate, Don. LEMON: Wouldn't his tax returns show just how much?
DEAN: Well, remember, some of these tax returns are done in productions and partnerships. I mean, the "Celebrity Apprentice" is done with Mark Burnett, so in certain years there may be returns where money is gained or lost. You have to understand, Don.
LEMON: But you can shut people up like Van Jones if you just said, look, the tax return would just say no, he gave 30 percent -- and just shut Van right down.
JONES: Please shut me up. Please.
DEAN: OK. Two quick things. One, he's under audit. So, any person with half a brain when you're under audit from the IRS doesn't release the returns because once again CNN will get...
CARDONA: Excuse me.
LEMON: Andy, that's not true. That's not true, Andy. We've gone through this before.
DEAN: It's absolutely true.
LEMON: But go on.
DEAN: I know we're repeating the same thing.
LEMON: Yes. What's the other point.
DEAN: Why would you -- OK. The other point is this, Donald Trump's investments, like, for instance, I remember when I first joined him we worked on the Las Vegas Tower. OK. That takes three years to build, there's a massive half billion dollar loan involved and so, you can't look at one year of tax returns and say, oh, well, he made this or lost that. Donald Trump's taxes when he has hundreds of entities that are making tens of millions of dollars each, there's a gigantic...
LEMON: But that's easily explainable, you just explained it.
DEAN: No, it's but the not. No, it's though.
LEMON: But you just explained it. But also on the other side...
CARDONA: How about put -- put out...
LEMON: hang on, Maria. Maria, hold on.
DEAN: Van Jones...
CARDONA: Put out 33 years.
LEMON: Yes, the other years, Maria. What about the other years?
DEAN: OK, hold on. What will happen is if he releases one year or three years, you'll say why isn't he releasing 5 years or 10 years? And the media will take 10 pages of his return and they won't paint the whole picture because a lot of this stuff involve deductions across multiple companies.
LEMON: So what?
DEAN: It's clearly be like...
LEMON: So what? That's why we have Andy Dean on this show at least two or three times a week to explain to us what is going on with Donald Trump.
DEAN: Don, our tax -- don't mess up.
LEMON: So if you -- hang on, Andy.
DEAN: As bright as I might be.
LEMON: Let me make a point, Andy, and then I'll let you finish. Hang on.
DEAN: Go ahead.
LEMON: So, if he releases his tax returns and you ran, you said you ran his business for five years.
LEMON: What better person to have on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon than Andy Dean to explain Trump's financials to the American people? Not only to the American people but to all the other countries that we air in the world. You would be the perfect person. I do not understand your point. It does not make sense.
DEAN: Don, we sold "The Apprentice" in over a hundred countries around the world. Donald has tax professionals in New York City that do complex tax transactions over multiple entities. Here to say our tax code in this country is so messed up that even I, the head of the production company, when you take hundreds of companies in one return, I couldn't understand it.
Literally there are very few tax professionals on earth that understand this stuff and it's because liberals have destroyed our tax code.
LEMON: Oh, my gosh. Hold your thought.
DEAN: Why don't we have a flat tax? Our tax code sucks.
LEMON: All right. Well, that's the perfect argument for Donald Trump. That's why I want to change the tax code because it's so complicated. So, you're really not making sense here, Andy. I have to be honest.
DEAN: I have -- our tax codes is so...
LEMON: We'll be right back. We'll be right back. I'll let you talk after the break.
DEAN: Thank you.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: OK. So, listen, it's a short segment. Back with my panel now. So, Andy, I want you to respond about the -- about the income taxes. And I will put this up because this is Paul Manafort. The last sign in his statement says "The only people who want the tax returns are the people who want to defeat him." Is there's something in there that would allow him to be defeated if it was released?
DEAN: No I think, Don, with all respect and you're a great guy -- it's a little bit of a misquote. I think what Paul was saying is that the only people who care about this issue are people who don't like Donald Trump anyway so...
LEMON: A misquote? I read his exact words.
DEAN: Well, was there a dot, dots, dot that m monitor? I can't see him. Usually these interviews.
LEMON: "The only people who want these tax returns are the people who want to defeat him.
DEAN: Yes, exactly. The only people who care about this stuff, this nonsense, are the people who want to defeat him. The American people care about jobs and they want a business -- remember one thing, Don. This is the demonization of success. Any time you have a gigantic businessman...
LEMON: How is releasing tax returns a demonizing of success?
CARDONA: Don, if I could jump in here.
DEAN: Because you never had a billionaire running for office like this.
LEMON: You're doing double talk. All right. Let's move on. Andy, you're double speaking. (CROSSTALK)
DEAN: He's a multi-millionaire.
LEMON: Now I want to move on because I want to talk about something that you think is more important and that it is we're going to talk about the e-mails. I'm sure you would like to hear about that more. And I'm going to start with Michael.
Michael, I want to play more on Wolf Blitzer's phone interview with Hillary Clinton. She is pushing back against the I.G. report on her e- mails. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, this report makes clear that personal e-mail use was the practice under other Secretaries of State and the rules were not clarified until after I had left.
But as I said many times, it was still a mistake, if I could go back I'd do it differently. And I understand people have concerns about this, but I hope voters look at the full picture of everything that I've done and the full threat posed by a Donald Trump presidency. And if they, I have faith in the American people they'll make the right choice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, the question, she's saying that the threat posed by Trump bigger than the concern over her e-mails. As she is sort of obfuscating there or maybe even for a decade.
ISKOFF: Well, look, there's no question that was an absolutely devastating report from the State Department Inspector General. The Inspector General made it clear this was an Obama appointee by the way, that the rules did not permit what she said they permitted. That she never asked for permission, she never got advice from the State Department lawyers.
And, you know, there are some, you know, really startling nuggets in that report, one that hasn't gotten nearly enough attention is two staffers in her inner office raised questions about this. They said they had concerns that federal records weren't be preserved.
ISKOFF: And the top information officer in her inner office said "don't talk about this ever again, we're here to support the secretary," basically shut up. That was -- that is in the report, it's a startling passage and I think we're going to be hearing more about it.
[22:54:57] Cheryl Mills, her former chief of staff, is going to be deposed tomorrow in the lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch, that's going to be released next week. She's going to be hammered with questions from this report. There's a lot of ammunition for Hillary Clinton's critics to continue to bring this up. And of course we're all waiting for what the FBI concludes.
LEMON: I've really have to go. I've got to give a light...
CARDONA: Don, I have to jump in here.
LEMON: Maria, you have to be quick.
CARDONA: First of all, there's nothing new in the report. Secondly, she apologized and said...
ISKOFF: There's plenty new in the report, Maria.
CARDONA: Instead it was not a good -- it was not a good idea.
LEMON: Maria, there was a lot new in that report.
ISKOFF: There was a lot new in that report.
CARDONA: No, there really isn't.
ISKOFF: There were things we hadn't even seen.
JONES: Let her finish.
CARDONA: There's nothing that we didn't already know. Number two, she already apologized. And number three, this is like a political Rorschach test, which is the people who support Hillary Clinton are not going to change their vote. People who oppose her absolutely are going to use this as fodder.
But she wakes up in the morning and they use that as fodder. The people who are looking for solutions are going to look at the contrast between Hillary Clinton who has spent 30 years of her public life focused on trying to solve those problems versus Donald Trump, who the only thing he can talk about is building walls and building a statue to himself. I mean, who is this guy Saddam Hussein or Mao Tse-tung?
LEMON: OK. I got to go. Matt and Van, I have to go, I'll give you the last word if you can give me an answer. What's the bigger answer? Taxes or e-mails? First, Matt.
LEWIS: Well, I think e-mails are a way bigger issue. I mean, not even close?
DEAN: Good answer.
JONES: Listen, I think the e-mails are going to be a problem for her going forward but I think the tax issue is also very serious.
LEMON: Thank you. I appreciate it.
CARDONA: Thanks, Don.
DEAN: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: We'll be right back.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)