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Interview with Donald Trump. Aired 10-11:00p ET

Aired September 1, 2015 - 22:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: Breaking news, Donald Trump, one- on-one, right here. This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon. And this is Donald Trump. No holds barred. An exclusive.

As summer turns to fall and the heats up in earnest, the front runner is firmly in the lead in every national poll, including wide margins in two brand new online polls out today. One shows him topping the field at 29 percent. What is his path to victory?


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to fight in Massachusetts, and in New Hampshire and we're going to fight in Iowa, and we're going to fight in, I'll tell you what, South Carolina, 30 percent and more. South Carolina is amazing.

The way I look at it, Iowa is so great. Incredible people. New Hampshire, so great. Incredible people. Winning there, winning there, winning in South Carolina. Maybe, at some point, people are just going to give up. I don't know.


LEMON: But let's begin with our breaking news. Donald Trump one-on- one and the candidate joins me now on the phone.

Hello, Mr. Trump. Thank you for joining me.

TRUMP: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Hey, let's get right to business because you have been a very busy man. And let's talk about you and Jeb Bush have been going back and forth. You put out an Instagram video attacking Jeb Bush on immigration on Monday. He is now hit back with a new video of his own calling you out as a liberal. I want to play part of it because I want you to respond. But let's listen to it first.


TRUMP: Hillary Clinton, I think is a terrific woman. I mean, I'm a little biased because I've known her for years. I know her very well. She's very talented.

I live in New York. She lives in New York and I've known her and her husband for years and I really like them both a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you like them more for a democrat or a republican?

TRUMP: Well, you'd be shocked if I said that in many cases, I probably identify more as a democrat.


LEMON: So, basically, Jeb Bush is saying that you're not a conservative republican and he's using your words to show that. You just released another video. Let's watch it and then we'll talk about it.


JEB BUSH, U.S PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You recognize the commitment of someone who has devoted her life to public service. I want to say thank you to both Secretary Clinton and to President Clinton.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does that make Hillary Clinton to the Bush family?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My sister-in-law.


LEMON: What do you think of that, do you take -- do you take issue with Jeb Bush with that?

TRUMP: Well, look, when he did his a rather long commercial. You know, don't forget he's getting all of this money from people that are lobbyists and, you know, tough -- tough group of people. I know all of them and they wanted to do something, and he should do something. Because he's got to fight back.

And you know, he's way down on the polls and he's got to. But I was described in one of the magazines as a world class businessman. So, as a world class businessman, I knew everybody. I had to be friendly with everybody with, you know, doing business in this country, you want to be friendly with Clinton and you want to be friendly with everybody.

And I would help people and I would get along with people. That's part of my part, to my company, to my family, I owe that to everybody. So, I would do that. I would do it well as well as anybody.

And you know, I was part of the group so I would contribute to a guy like Jeb Bush, and who's a nice guy, by the way, but to Jeb Bush and to everybody else.

And when Jeb is paying for these ads by the lobbyists by the special interests and by his donors and they want him to do something like this. But I would get along with Hillary. I'd get along with Bill Clinton. I'd get along with everybody.

Now I'm a different world. I'm in the world of politics, I'm sort of a politician, I guess you would say. And as you can see from the polls we're doing well because people are tired of politics as such.

And, you know, one other thing I'll say because he mentions the fact that I was at one point democrat. Well, in New York City, everybody was a democrat, practically. If you run for city council. If you run for political office, if you -- whoever wins the democrat primary is automatically -- that's the, you know, there was almost no election. Because the republicans hardly exist in New York City.

Well, that's where I was. If you look at Ronald Reagan -- he was a democrat. He was actually, Don, he was a democrat with a very liberal or at least a pretty liberal bent. And then he became a republican with a somewhat conservative republican. I would say very but he was a conservative republican.

LEMON: But Mr. Trump, that's the first time I've ever heard of you, you know, call yourself a politician. You referred yourself as a politician, and I mean, or did you -- did you ever consider yourself a politician?


TRUMP: I hate to do it. I hate to do it. But I guess when you're running for office I hate the term politician as it relates to myself. I've never been. I've only been a politician for three months. But, you know, I guess that's what I am right now.


LEMON: Were you a democrat at that point?

TRUMP: That's going to be politics as usual.

LEMON: Were you a democrat at that point when you said that?

[22:05:03] TRUMP: Well, as one point, I was -- at one point I was a democrat and for a period of time. And over the years, as Ronald Reagan changed, I also changed. I became much more conservative. I also became a republican.

LEMON: So, your position got changed. You have conservation positions now you believe?

TRUMP: All my positions are change a lot absolutely over the years.


TRUMP: As they have with Ronald Reagan, Don. As they have with many people. I mean, you changes and some people go the other way, they become more liberal. Although generally, I've found people tend to become a little bit conservative.


TRUMP: But now I am actually a politician whether I like it or not.

LEMON: OK. I want to get to those polls. But let's -- one quick theme before you get to the polls. I think the polls are important. One more short excerpt. This is from Jeb's ad because I want to give you a chance to respond to this, as well. Here it is.


TRUMP: I lived in New York City in Manhattan all of my life. OK? So, you know, my views are a little bit different than if I lived in Iowa.


LEMON: The question is that because of the Iowa polls, you know that you're leading in the polls, right?

TRUMP: Right.

LEMON: And there's some polls that are saying that you're tied with Ben Carson. Are you worried that people there might see it as a bit of an insult that, you know, New York is not the same as Iowa?

TRUMP: No, I don't mean it as an insult. I think the values of the people in Iowa are incredible. But it is somewhat different when you're living in this huge, you know, metropolis, its huge city. The views have a tendency to be somewhat different. I mean, all you have to do is look at both profile.

But my relationship with the people of Iowa has been great. Every time I go to Iowa have the most incredible reception. And that goes in all fairness, New Hampshire where we had -- you saw a tremendous turn outs and Iowa have tremendous turnouts, South Carolina.

The other say we're in -- two weeks ago, we were in Alabama. We had 30,000 people in a stadium. You know, the turnout has been absolutely tremendous.


LEMON: You know, I saw that. I saw that, honestly, though. When you see that many people, what did you think?

TRUMP: Well, I think was a great tribute to what we're all saying. We want to make our country great again. These are people that are really wanting to make this country great. They hate to see what's going on, whether it's a horrible deal with Iran that, you know, that a baby could negotiate a better deal than deal.

And I like the idea of deal but they should have doubled up the sanctions for another couple of months and they would have come to the table and they would have been begging to make a god deal.

We don't get our prisoners back. They have 24-day inspections. You know, there is something in the Iran deal that people I don't think really understand or know about. And nobody is ever to explain it that if somebody attacks Iran, we have to come to their defense.

And I'm saying this that includes Israel? And most people say, yes. They don't have exclusion for us here. So, if Israel attacks Iran according to that deal, I believe, the way it reads unless they have a codicil or they have something to it, that we have to fight with Iran against Israel.

Now, you tell me. I mean, you're the one that does this professionally for a living. What is this agreement say? If that's the case I think it's unsignable. How could you possibly sign such a thing?

LEMON: Let's talk about, you said, you know, it was a tribute to people wanting to take their country. Because I know you've heard the criticism that phrases you with Nixon. And people out there saying it is a dog whistle to some sort of -- there is some sort of racist intent behind it. Can you please respond to that?

TRUMP: No, I think the phrase that they're talking about is the word "silent majority." You know, when you have the word "silent majority," to me, it's just a very obvious ways. There is a silent majority out there that actually becoming much less silent. Because when you look at Iowa and the crowds I have and those people are going wild to, you know, with enthusiasm. And you look at New Hampshire to same thing. And you look at that football stadium with 30,000 people, they are not so silent anymore.

They're angry and they're upset, Don, with what' going on and they, you know, they don't like what's happening with our trade deals. They don't like what's happening on the border. They don't like, as I said, what's happening with Iran and that horrible deal that was made by a bunch of babies.

I mean, these are people that don't know the first thing about negotiation. And how a deal like that can get approved that's inconceivable. We're giving them $150 billion plus, plus, plus...


TRUMP: ... and nobody can understand why we can't negotiate a far better deal than that. And I cannot understand that because I think that's negotiating 101, there's no way that that deal should be approved.

LEMON: Let me...

TRUMP: If it's approve it's going to be -- it's going to be the scourge on our nation. And by the way, a disaster for Israel.


TRUMP: A complete disaster for Israel.

LEMON: OK. Let's talk about the polls because I know those are important to you. You just noted that Ben Carson is running neck-in- neck in one poll, 23 percent in the latest Iowa poll. Are you surprised by this poll and his popularity, seeming popularity?

[22:09:59] TRUMP: Well, I was a little bit surprised to see it. I have been leading in Iowa by a lot. I had a bigger surge than anybody even Ben because, you know, when I was first done, as you saw it. I think I was -- before I announced, I was at, you know, sort of at a low number because nobody thought I was going to run.

And then when I did announce, I had the biggest surge of all, if you call it in your professional business, the surge. And I went up to 23, and Ben's doing nicely, too. I like Ben. I think Ben is a nice person. I've, you know, I've met him a numerous times and I like him.

LEMON: Are you going to go after him like you've been going after Jeb and Hillary now that he is doing...

TRUMP: Well, you know, I usually go after people -- I'm more of a counter puncher as they would say in the boxing world. I tend to be, you know, Jeb went after me and, if you know, Perry went after me and I went after him. And Rand Paul, for some reason out of the blue came after me and I went after him.

And the other one I guess would be Lindsey Graham. I thought these people were all fine and they came after me and then I had to go after them and perhaps I did a better job than they did. But they all went down. And they went down big leg.

You know, Ben and I have gotten to know each other over the years. I like him and I don't know. I can't tell you what's going to happen because I really don't know. You know, politics is a very -- it's a very strange thing and a very strange place that you end up in. But I can tell you that he's somebody that I like on a personal basis.

LEMON: And when we come back, I'm going to ask Donald Trump about his closed door meeting today with the top Hispanic leader and why he thinks a lot of democrats will vote for him.


LEMON: Donald Trump's surge shows no signs of tapering off. The mogul who wants to be your next president topping all the national polls.

You have turned your favorability numbers around. The majority -- with the majority having a positive view now, do you worry that they increase negative attacks on you by Jeb Bush and by other that they may turn that back? Because, again, your favorability numbers are up?

TRUMP: Well, it was sort of an amazing thing. They said in the polls and that same poll that you're quoting, which I think was at 23 percent. They said that it was one of the biggest turnarounds of favorability that these polls body has ever seen.

LEMON: why do you think that is?

TRUMP: I think when people hear me speak. I think they realize I love the country. I'm good at what I do. I will not let China, Japan, Mexico both at border and at trade out smart us and take advantage of us. I mean, we're going to be creating jobs in this country. They see it.

I'm very big into the vets. I'm going to take care of our vets and I'm going to rebuild our military. We're going to make it great again and strong again, and nobody is going to mess with us. Not a military that we're going to want to use.

You know, if you make it strong and really strong, nobody's going to want to mess with us and that's true.


TRUMP: The expressing I've been using. And we're going to end Obamacare. We're going to do something far better than Obama. So, and people see what's happening with Obamacare. You know, you look at your premiums, they're going up -- they're going through the roof.

And look at the deductibles on insurance now. It's -- I mean, unless you die you can't -- its people can be gravely ill and they're going to get to the deductible.

So, a lot of bad things are happening in the country and I'll turn them round.

LEMON: And you...

TRUMP: So, when I look at that and when people here me speak, in this case it was Iowa, yes, the polls are actually said it's one of the greatest -- he said actually, I think he said the greatest turnaround he's ever seen.

And, hey, you know, it's one of those things. I'm very honored by it.

LEMON: But you said that you're going to do something about immigration. You said that you would -- the 11 million undocumented immigrants that you would like to somehow deport one group. That's one group where your poll numbers have not been so favorable among Hispanics. And I know that you met privately with the head of the Hispanics Chamber of Commerce today.

TRUMP: We did.

LEMON: Tell me about that meeting. What did you discussed? Was it tensed?

TRUMP: Well, he was a terrific person actually and we had a very nice -- we have a very nice meeting. And it worked out, I think, you know, we had a very good understanding.

I told him all my life I've had great relationship with Hispanics. And I've employed tens of thousands over my career and I have thousands working for me. And they are great people. They have been -- they're fantastic people.

And this has nothing do with Hispanic. This has to do with illegal immigration. They may come from the Middle East; they may come from lots of other people. But the southern border is totally perish and you can't have that. If you're to have a country you can't have that.

And we had a great conversation and it will continue. It was really a very good Javier. He came up and we had a really good conversation. And you know, in one of the polls that just came out, I don't know if you saw it. But I just won the Hispanic vote in terms of the poll, I won it.


TRUMP: That's sitting right in front of you, I guess. And another one I just won in Nevada, the Hispanic vote. And I think I'm going to win with Hispanics. And a lot of people sort of smile when they said that. But actually, the people that live here, Hispanics that are legal, that came in through the long, hard process, they absolutely have a great feeling about me. And I have a great feeling about them.


LEMON: But it's in a long...

TRUMP: It has to be legal immigration, not illegal immigration.

LEMON: But Mr. Trump, it's been a long, hard, I would say a hard slug with Hispanics because, you know, the comments that you made initially about Mexico sending its, you know, people over...


TRUMP: Well, that's because I was misquoted by the press. I mean, the press was misquoted me and you know that, Don. All over the place. And frankly, had I not been in this race as an example, you wouldn't even be talking right now that illegal immigration. It wasn't something that was high on the agenda.

And now, they are talking about a big league. Now you had things happen after I announced and after I brought it to the floor. And one of the things was Kate. It was beautiful Kate killed in San Francisco. Other people killed. Even the woman two weeks ago, in California, who was a 66-year-old veteran who was raped, and killed, and tortured and everything else by an illegal immigrant.

And 66-year-old veteran. And a lot of things have happened and they see the kind of crime that we're talking about. And I've had people in your profession quietly apologize to me for what happened.

[22:20:04] Because that first two weeks for me was not pleasant, Don, frankly.

LEMON: I can only imagine because, again, you said you were taken out of context because you said that...


TRUMP: Totally out of context.

LEMON: ... that Mexico sends out people over. But if you could go back, would you amend those statement?.


LEMON: would you say them more fairly? TRUMP: No, because I think in the end -- no, I don't think so.

Because in the end, I'm now being quoted correctly and we're talking about illegal immigration.


TRUMP: And, again, if I wasn't in this race nobody wouldn't even be talking about illegal immigration and the problems.

LEMON: I'd like to clear up -- I'll like to clear up context and I like to get people to, as you know, to get on the record. Because is it true that you joke that you don't need the Hispanic vote? As a nominee, if indeed so, how would you win the general election if you're a nominee?

TRUMP: No, I never said you don't need the Hispanics. I think I'm going to win the Hispanics. I never said that. I will say this however. When Mitt Romney ran, there was a tremendous millions of people that are republicans and conservative republicans and Evangelicals, and people that I have a great relationship with.

They stay at home for some reason and they did not vote. You know that. And I'm talking about millions of people. And had they gotten up and voted for Mitt Romney he would have won the election.


TRUMP: And people are forgetting about that. Plus, I think, me, more than anybody else I'll cross -- I'll go across line. I think I'll have a lot of democrats. You know, Reagan had democrats for Reagan. It was a very big group of people and a very big Reagan.


LEMON: The Reagan democrats.

TRUMP: I think I'll have democrats for Trump. I think I will have a lot of democrats voting for me, far more than any republican for the last long period of time. I will say this and I will say this, you know, very strongly. The republican conservatives were not energized in the last election. Had they been energized and had they voted, you would have seen victory for Mitt Romney.

LEMON: And there are lots more to come when it comes to Donald trump here. Up next, he tells me who he wants to tax, how he will take on China and if he's changed his mind on campaign fund raising.


LEMON: Donald trump says he is the man to reform taxes in this country. But how he plans to do it may surprise you.

This is something that some people don't think is a conservative issue that you are -- that you have waited on. And I was surprise actually to hear you say it. I shouldn't be surprise to hear you say anything. But last Friday, when you were in Massachusetts you said several times that your plan is to increase taxes on the richest Americans and you specially targeted...


TRUMP: I didn't say that.

LEMON: ... hedge fund managers though. OK.

TRUMP: Yes. I say that it's different. There's a big difference. What you're saying is very different. Now, I want to create great incentives. I want to reduce taxes. But what I said to hedge fund guys. I know the hedge fund guys. They're all supporting Bush and Hillary Clinton. And some of the other candidates.

I won't take their money. You know, I turned down today millions of dollars. Fund raisers. They want to have -- everybody wants to have fundraisers for me because, you know, you're in first place, according to every poll and they all want to have fund raisers, right?

I turned down millions and millions of dollars where all I have to do is go to somebody's house and have a fund raisers. But every time if I ever do that I end up with all sorts of, you know, probably connections and do this and do that. I don't want to do it.

And part of the reason that people are really I think generally rating toward me is the fact that I'm not doing it. But I feel, I actually tweeted recently I said I feel stupid. I'm turning down millions and millions of dollars, I just hope the voters appreciate it when it comes to hand the vote.


TRUMP: Because I'm spending my own money and it's going to be a lot of money by the time I finished. And I'm turning all of these people that want me to do fundraisers for myself.

Now you see Bush all over the place. You see Hillary all over the place. You see every one of these guys, most of their time is consumed by doing fundraisers. Now every time they do a fundraiser, they're bought and they're sold and they're owned to a large extent. And in some cases completely, I will tell you that by the people that are putting up money. I'm not doing that.

LEMON: All right. Let me finish the question because you had proposed that you want to impose tariffs on American companies who put their factories abroad. You also said hedge fund managers. And my question is, do you think that you can win a republican primary by proposing to raise taxes?

TRUMP: Totally. We're losing all of our jobs. We're losing all our business. You have a terrible thing happening right now, Don. It's called corporate inversion. You know what that is?

LEMON: No, I don't. What is it? TRUMP: That's why our companies are leaving this country in order to

go out to other countries for lower tax rates. Where companies have -- we have $2.5 trillion, at least, out. Where company have the money out. I have some of them out. We have $2.5 trillion outside of the country. They can't get the money into this country because the taxes are so honors.

That frankly would a quick -- with some quick movement and thinking we could get that money coming into this country and to spend the money in this country.

And what they're doing is they're buying small companies and they're leaving the United States in order to save on taxes and in order to get the money that they have sitting out there. It's called corporate inversion.

And you should take a look at it because to me, it's a very big thing. You know, it used to be where a company would leave New York for Florida, or they would leave New Jersey for Texas, or they'd leave another state for another state, right? State-to-state, it's called.

Now companies are leaving the United States for another country.


TRUMP: And they're going to Ireland and they're going to other countries where the tax rates are low. And we're losing tremendous companies and we're losing tremendous number of jobs.

LEMON: I just...

TRUMP: That's a huge problem. I will be able to solve that problem. You don't have anybody else running that knows what. They don't even know what it is.

LEMON: But again, you think you can win the republican primary by proposing to raise taxes?

TRUMP: I'm not proposing to raise taxes. I'm lowering taxes on the middle class and the upper middle class and the moderately wealthy. I'll be lowering taxes. The middle class is getting clobbered. So, that's where...


LEMON: But isn't that raising taxes on the wealthiest of Americans? That's not raising taxes?

TRUMP: Hey, Don, let me explain. You reported it incorrectly. I said these hedge fund guys are making hundreds of millions of dollars and they're not paying tax.

[22:30:00] LEMON: right.

TRUMP: And they're paying very little tax. And if you're somebody that's making 50,000 and 60,000, and $70,000, number one, your return is so complicated. You have to go H&R block or somebody who I want to put out a business because we have to simplify the tax code. We have to lower the taxes. But we have to lower the taxes on the middle class because we're losing our middle class. They're getting wiped out.

LEMON: Yes. OK. Let's -- as I am interviewing you now, I just got an alert that says stocks starts September with a nose dive as the Dow closes nearly 470 points. The markets got tumble again today. More concerns about China of a slow down there. Talk of about China is a big part of your campaign message and they're...


TRUMP: Yes. I've been calling this for a long time. I'm telling you it's a big bubble.

LEMON: But they've said missed your attacks as, quote, "disturbances." Are you surprised by that?

TRUMP: I don't know what you mean. What I'm saying is that disturbances?

LEMON: That's what they said disturbances.

TRUMP: Not a disturbance. I get along great with China. China loves me. I'm in the biggest banks in the world that my buildings, I mean, they are there from China. I do business with China. China knows I know what I'm talking about.

Look, China has taken advantage of the United States to a point that you cannot understand. China -- it's one of the great steps in the history of this world, what China has done to -- they've drained our jobs, they've drained our money. Because their politicians are much smarter than our politicians.

I will change that around. We will take back jobs and we will just fine. And we'll actually have a better -- China doesn't even like us. We don't even have a good relationship with China. And they've taken our money, our jobs, our base. They've taken so much from us and they don't even like us. They don't even respect us. We will turn that around.

And you know what, they'll like us better than they do now.

LEMON: What would you do...


TRUMP: And not only China, there are many other countries.

LEMON: How would you calm the markets now and keep the economy going right now.

TRUMP: Well, right now, what you have to do is you need better trade deals. Because the trade deals are just absolutely just ripping us left and right. And part of the reason you're seeing this tremendous, you know, this tremendous swings in the stock market, is because we are just getting hammered by other countries.

We're so intricately woven to China and other places, that when they problems they're going to take us down. And I've been saying this. I believe in free trade. But, Don, we don't have free trade. You need smart people to have free trade. I love the idea of free trade. But it's free trade with us.

But when we go to China and we got to Japan, look at the cars that Japan is selling us, we give them practically nothing by comparison. We sell them beef and they don't want it. I mean, you always read with having big protests, farmers over there. They don't want our beef and they don't want what we sell them, which all perishable stuff.

They sell us millions of cars and they come pouring out of these massive ships. It has to be fair, Don. Our country is losing its jobs. It's losing its base. It's losing its money. And then on top of everything else, Don, we owe China $1.4 trillion. Think of it.

They make a fortune with -- and we owe them money. We owe Japan $1.4 trillion. It's the same exact amount. we owe them each $1.4 trillion. With all of the stuff that they do we owe them money.


LEMON: I want to ask you. I want to ask you about because as I said and watch last week and I interviewed the gentleman who owns the car dealerships who held the fundraiser for you. Now, is it -- you said you don't want to be beholden to any donors.

Was it a fundraiser, was it in a fundraiser?

TRUMP: No, no.

LEMON: Are you accepting donations?

TRUMP: No. Let me explain to you what it was. He's a very good guy. He's up in that area in Massachusetts. He wanted to do something for me. And somebody put out a sign make a contribution for the cause. By the way, that 2,000 people they were serving roast beef and everything else. And somebody put out a sign to defer costs for, I thought it was for him because I assumed he was paying for it. I don't know. What do I know? I'm not involved in that.

But, they had a thing to defer some cause. The costs were far greater than the money they took in, far greater.


TRUMP: But that was just to defer some cause. I'm not even going to do it anymore. From now on I'm going to pay for my -- you're talking about peanuts. They're talking about nothing.

Now, most of the people came in for free. They had a choice of coming in for free of making a contribution. And the contribution was only to defer some of the costs for him because I didn't think it was fair for him to pay when I heard he was paying. He's a good guy, very good guy, and that's all that was.

LEMON: So, you're not holding any more fundraisers?

TRUMP: Don, I'm not going to do it anymore because it's too complicated. People don't understand what it represents. I mean if you something to defer cost, you end up with a story on CNN because CNN was the one that covered that, frankly, and they actually covered it very incorrectly, but these are minor details.

LEMON: So, even though the sign said...

TRUMP: It gets to be, Don, it gets to be too complicated because people don't know the difference making a contribution to defer cost. I'm just going to pay for the whole thing myself. Because it's, you know, you get stories that are false stories. And, yet, I can understand how they can be rip, frankly.

LEMON: All right. So, no more fundraisers throughout this campaign?

TRUMP: No, I'm not going to do it.

LEMON: You're not going to do it.

[22:34:58] TRUMP: Now, I have to say this. With all of that being said, many people have forms PACS. I think there is five or six PACS. I have had nothing to do with them.


TRUMP: I can't help. I saw two guys being interviewed, I think on your network, they were being interviewed they formed a PAC. It's having to do some PAC that they name. And they said it's for Trump because we love Trump.

I never met them. I may never meet them in the future.


TRUMP: You know, I can't help if somebody forms a PAC, if they want to go out and do some advertising or do something. I have nothing to do with that. I'm not putting money into it. I have nothing to do with it.


TRUMP: But, you know, that's the crazy law that we have right now. If somebody wants to form a PAC because they love Donald Trump and they think it's important that I get in because I'm going to make the country rich again and make the country great again, I can't help that.

So, they may be PACS formed. I think there's five or six PACS already that are formed. And I assumed these guys are going to go out and do answer something. But, it has nothing to do with me, Don.

LEMON: OK. TRUMP: You know the law better than me.


TRUMP: And purposely, I'm not even supposed to talk to those people and I don't. I think other people do talk to people having to do with that, but I don't.

LEMON: All right. Just before we move on, though, are you going to accept donations, large donations, small donations if people want to give you money?

TRUMP: No. The answer is no.


TRUMP: I'm not going to do that.

LEMON: OK. That's it. I just want you...


TRUMP: Cash donations -- wait a minute. Wait. Small donations. People sending in $100 and $7 and $9, and we do accept that because they want to invest in the campaign and it's relative peanuts. But you know what, they want to be a part of it. And I love that.


TRUMP: That's not influence. That's not a lobbyist. Give me five million where I turn down $5 million where they want to put in millions and millions of dollars. That's people that want to invest in the campaign. That, I happen to love.

I think it's a really good thing and I think it's a really positive thing. It's a relatively, it's a very small amount of money overall. But it still, that kind of money, just because I don't want to have a misunderstanding with you.

So, you know, I have a woman sends $7 and a long beautiful note. I have people that are sending $100 and $200 and 250, and things. That kind of stuff I do like. I think it's a positive. And frankly, I think it's insulting when they send in a check of $10 and $19 and we send it back. We don't want your money. You want to know the truth I think it's almost an insult to them.


TRUMP: So, that kind of money we do accept and we like it because we think it's a positive for the campaign.

LEMON: When we come right back, Donald Trump answers the charge that he uses on Twitter to go after his people on his, quote, "enemy's list."

[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: I want to get on now to one of your other opponents and that's Chris Christie. He was on Jimmy Fallon last night and he was asked about you. Here it is.


JIMMY FALLON, COMEDIAN: So, you have Donald Trump now in the lead of all of these polls. Is this a surprise to you? Do you know him that...

CHRIS CHRISTIE, U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Oh, no. I completely expected that, didn't you?


CHRISTIE: Of course, everything he does is spectacular, wonderful, amazing.

FALLON: Yes. Super, fantastic.

CHRISTIE: Trump is the best.


LEMON: What do you think of his impression of you?

TRUMP: Well, I thought it was fine. He was trying to be cute and funny. And he's a nice guy. I actually like Chris. I've known him for a long time, and he's trying to be cute and trying to be funny. And you know, he's out there pitching. He's trying to get on to the main stage. He's got, you know, not a lot of time to do. And I actually found it to be fun. I like Chris. I always have,

LEMON: OK. Here is what I want to ask, because you mentioned you said earlier in the interview, you said, I tweeted out something out the other day -- and I just want to ask you, if you -- let me read this then I'll ask you the question.

This is USA Today. There's an op-ed calling out you quote as "unpresidential." We'll put the quote up. I don't want to read the whole thing. But it says, "Are American voters really looking for a president who spent his evening sending out nasty and petty tweets about journalists rather than, say, working his way on how to defeat the Islamic State.

And then it goes on. It is a longer statement, but do you ever think like when you're about to tweet, like maybe I shouldn't say that or, is there someone there, you know, Mr. Trump, take your hands off the keys, don't do that.

TRUMP: No, I don't do that. I mean, look, I out tweet and I have fun with it and my people. You know, I have more than four million on Twitter. I have millions on Facebook. I think I have like nine million with Instagram and all of these things with...


LEMON: They're comparing you to Richard Nixon, they're saying you have an "enemy's list."

TRUMP: Well, I have a group of people that I don't respect. I have people in your profession that have great admiration to respect for. And I also have many in your profession unfortunately, who I know are very dishonest people.

So, what Twitter does allow me to do is that allows to reveal those people. You know, in the old days you weren't able to do that. But it allows me to reveal when somebody is dishonest. And you do have dishonest people in the media and it's sad.

When I had source written about me knowingly false stories, I mean, they reported news that was false. And when we called them on it, they actually practically admitted that they knew what they did was wrong but they were looking for headline or they were looking for.

So, you have a lot of very dishonest people in the media. At the same time, you have some very fine and very fine people. And I would say this with Twitter, with Facebook, with all of that stuff. It gives you, not just me, it gives people a voice. And it's something I think very reassuring about that.

LEMON: As we are doing this interview now there has been a situation in Illinois with police officers. There was a Dallas police officer sheriff deputy who was killed last week. Some have said that the climate in this country is lending to police officers being put into more danger. What do you make of that? Do you believe that is true?

TRUMP: Oh, I think the police are in a terrible position. They're so -- they're such great people, and, yes, you do have your bad apples every once in a while. But a tiny, tiny percentage. And what's happening with the police, when you look at Baltimore, a place I knew well and know well.

And you look at what happen on that person they've done you covered it very brilliantly. You would, you know, you saw what was going on. The police stood back. I mean, you have to have law in order. You cannot have a situation where the police are afraid to talk to somebody. Because they're going to be fired, lose their attention, lose their life, lose their house.

And what's happening now is the police are some amazing people, but they're afraid to act and they're afraid to do what's right. And people want protection. The people want the protection.

[22:44:59] So, you see it more and more and the respect is to take it away from the police. And that's a very bad thing for the country and it's a very bad thing for security and safety.

LEMON: Do you think that because you talked about the Black Lives Matter ladies who interrupted Bernie Sanders. Do you think that this -- that Black Lives Matter the group or the rhetoric has contributed to this at all?

TRUMP: I think it was terrible when they took the microphone away from him. I thought that was a disgraceful situation. I mean, I had a similar type of situation with Mr. Ramos of Univision and I think it was handled much more professionally to be honest. And I've actually been given very good reviews even by people in your profession. Because he was, you know, he was out of order.

By it ended being very nice and we've brought him back and he -- we had a, you know, civil. By the time we finished at the end of three or four minutes, I think he was actually very interesting. We actually we seem to be getting along.

But I thought it was terrible that Bernie Sanders allowed that microphone to be ripped out of his hand because that's essentially what happened. And the people in the audience were going, what's going on over here. Take the mic back. You know, the people that were listening, they were people that, I would say probably like him, they couldn't understand how it could allow to -- to me, it showed tremendous weakness.

LEMON: But as it relates to law enforcement and the climate in the country, do you think that Black Lives Matter is dangerous when or...

TRUMP: I don't know that. I can't answer that question. No. But, again, who knows what's going. All I know is that the police are tremendous people. And, yes, you will have some bad ones as you do any profession and any, you know, walk of life. But the police are tremendous people. They do, overall, a tremendous job. And they have to be allowed to do their job.

LEMON: Thank you, Donald Trump.

TRUMP: Thank you very much, Don.

LEMON: Up next, reaction to Donald Trump. And CNN has announced new rules for the next GOP debate. Who will make the main stage?


LEMON: Bit of breaking news to tell you about tonight. CNN is changing the rules for eligibility for the September 16 republican presidential debate. This could open the door for Carly Fiorina to join the other candidates.

So, joining me now is Washington Times columnist Charles Hurt, and republican strategist Rick Wilson. And, Rick, I know you were hanging on every word of the interview. So, what do you, is there anything that jumps out to you?

RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You know, look, Don, it's the same thing every night. The guy is just -- he's going to say what he's going to say. It's always this stream of consciousness. It's like he's paid by the word in his things.

And it doesn't have to make any sense. It doesn't matter if it makes any sense. It doesn't have to hang together. His supporters are locked in now, that 20, 25 percent. They don't care what he says. It just...

LEMON: You can -- a 40... (CROSSTALK)

WILSON: It's all.

LEMON: And almost, what, I guess it was a 35 minutes of interview and there was nothing positive or informative that you found in anything that he said?

WILSON: Well, he rents bank buildings to Chinese banks, which obviously means he's capable of dealing with the super sophisticated communist government over there. I just -- the -- you know, there are always insights into the way the guy thinks.

But you could also just project like I said before, he's your cranky uncle at thanksgiving. He's always got the theory about the builder burger, or the world bank or the IMF, the trilateral commission.

It's a very strange sort of parochial, old fashioned view of the world and the international economy. And this thing, I'm going to bring back the jobs from China. OK. The $2 an hour jobs making wire harnesses for computers. It's just a fantasy. It is just a -- it's a contraband in this guy's brain.


LEMON: Yes. But here in America, though, I don't think it would be a $2 an hour job. You can't do that. But, Charles, Trump...

WILSON: Right. Then your iPhone costs $4,000.

LEMON: Yes, well, we'll see. Charles, Trump predicted plenty of democrats would end supporting him. You know, he talked about Reagan a lot. You know, those Reagan democrats. But the demographics of the country the same as it was in 1980, does he have a point there?

CHARLES HURT, WASHINGTON TIMES COLUMNIST: Well, I think Rick said it very well. I mean, the guy really is, I mean, he's a force of nature. And he is relentlessly on message. And if you get anything for that entire 35 minutes there or 40 minutes, of where you're interviewing him. The guy just doesn't get off message.

He can't -- he can't be blown off message with dynamite. And it does get repetitive if you're somebody who's listening to him the way -- the three of us are always listening to what he's saying because it's our job.

But for average voters who don't listen to everything he says, they get the message, you know, as long as everybody gets hit with that message a couple of times. It starts to stick. And I think that, you know, that along with that feudalistic, the willingness to, you know, to box with anyone, I mean -- he was talking about how he's more of a counter puncher?

Well, yes, I guess, he's sort of more of a counter puncher but that counter puncher is brutal.


HURT: And you know, people are digging this. They love it. Because when he goes on the attack after either, you know, Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush or anybody, it's just merciless.


HURT: And people think they view that attacking to political system and they love it .

LEMON: All right. I want to get this in because it is important. CNN announced today. This is our breaking news. The rule change for qualifying for September 16th that debate to include all candidates who crack the top 10 in surveys conducted after August 6.

Fox News -- the Fox News debate. Do you like this decision, Rick?

WILSON: I love this decision. I think it's going to absolutely bring one of the star -- if Donald Trump wasn't in this race, the person we would all be talking about right now is Carly Fiorina.

She is a rock star. She is a rising power house in this campaign. She's the most on-message. You can see Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party. Of any of these candidates at all and she really deserved that spot on the stage like I really want to praise you guys and salute you guys for doing that.

LEMON: Bu, Charles -- well, we thank you. But, Charles, I mean, it's not guaranteed. I mean, some people are looking it this is a big victory but it still not guarantee.

HURT: No. But the trajectory that she's on seems pretty safe to bet that she'll end up making it.

WILSON: Yes, that's right.

[22:54:56] HURT: But, you know, she's a rock star and I think it's interesting when you look at the top two spot right now in Iowa and two of the strongest candidates as well as Carly who's moving up quickly from nowhere, a couple weeks ago.

There are three people who are not politicians. Ben Carson, Donald trump, and Carly Fiorina. And I think that that as much as anything, you know, tell us about the mood of the electorate and explains why Trump has become, you know, has kind of taken over politics. That's how frustrated and angry people are.

LEMON: Rick, who's not going to like this? Who's going to be the loser here because you have to give spot? Quickly because I only have a few seconds.

WILSON: Well, you're going to probably end up -- it looks right now like Chris Christie is going to probably fall out of the top 10 given most the polling we're seeing right now.

HURT: And that's not a bad thing. WILSON: I don't think he's going to be very happy about that. Yes, I don't have a problem with that, but I don't think that he's going to be very pleased with that because he views himself as a guy with stature because he's a sitting governor. And it's probably not going to work out for him this next debate.

HURT: His time has passed I think.


HURT: He was the hotshot a couple of years ago.

WILSON: I agree.

LEMON: Yes. All right. Wow, wow. We shall see. Thank you, gentlemen.

HURT: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: We'll be right back.