Return to Transcripts main page


Donald Trump Doubling Down; Three People Shot to Death at a Planned Parenthood Clinic. Aired 10-11:00p ET

Aired November 30, 2015 - 22:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: Donald Trump says this to a cheering crowd in Georgia.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's only one way you get to the top and it's all through Trump, let's face it. They have to. They have to.


LEMON: This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

Donald Trump doubling down after on again, and off again endorsements from some prominent African-American pastors. I'm going to talk to several of them. They're here live here tonight.

Also, with our CNN GOP debate just two weeks away, who is up? Who is down? And is it do or die for one presidential hopeful.

Plus, three people shot to death at a Planned Parenthood clinic. A mad man's rampage. Home grown terror or is it both. And are candidates playing politics with this tragedy? We're going to discuss all of that. Lots to get to tonight.

But I want to begin tonight with Donald Trump in Georgia tonight. And that's where we'll find CNN's Sara Murray. She is covering it for us live. So, Sara, you're in Macon where a large crowd is gathered this evening for another Trump campaign event. Take us there. Tell us about it.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right, Don. There was quite a crowd here earlier. You can see there the event has wrapped up. Folks have left. But, look, Trump got the crowd roaring, going after these folks that you would expect, going after Hillary Clinton, going after Jeb Bush.

But he hinted that he's expecting to see some attacks from people who have been pretty nice to him so far, including Ted Cruz.


TRUMP: Hey, there's only one way you get to the top and it's all through Trump. Let's face it. They have to. They have to. Even, I think, Cruz is going to have to hit me because, you know, he's a nice guy. He's been so supportive.

Everything I said, he supported. Every single thing I said. And he's been so supportive, but at some point he's going to have to hit me, right? It's going to be a sad day, but we will hit back, I promise.


MURRAY: And, Don, of course, you know, we're getting closer to the next debate, we're getting closer to Iowa. So far, Trump and Ted Cruz have been pretty nice to each other, but it looks like even Trump is expecting that to end soon.

LEMON: And earlier today, as you know, Sara, Trump met with a coalition of African-American Evangelical pastors and religious leaders a Trump Tower right here in New York City. Let's hear some of what he had to say at this meeting.


TRUMP: I thought it was an absolutely amazing -- you know, it lasted for two and a half hours. But we came up with lots of good ideas and lots of future ideas. But I thought it was an amazing meeting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And how did you -- how did you address some of the concerns that were raised?

TRUMP: Well, I think we'll be addressing them over the coming months and even over the coming years. I mean, these are deep seeded difficulties that certain communities have. And we're going to address them.

And certainly, if I'm put in a position where I can do something about them, which in this case happens to be president, we will be working very, very closely with everybody and we're going the be solving a lot of problems.

Right now, you have black youth. If you look at African-American youth where it's 51 and 55 and 57 percent unemployed, you have African- American people of different ages where it's double and triple other numbers.

So, we're looking at a lot of different things, but this meeting was amazing. Amazing people. We must have had close to a hundred people in the room. And I just want to thank you. I want to thank both of you and, and in particular, I'll tell you what, it's been -- there's a whole group of people standing behind me. You can't see him.

Because we actually didn't think we were going to be having a press conference. But we all thought it was such a good meeting we would do that and we had many, many endorsements that came out of the meeting.


LEMON: So, Sara, it began with some controversy, but overall, would you say this was a success for Donald Trump? MURRAY: You know, it's interesting because it was sort of an unforced

error that caused all this controversy. They said they were going to get a hundred endorsements. Then pastors came out and said, look, we can't attend or we're not ready to support Trump or we don't want to.

But if they had all of this without having sent out that initial press release just seeing this event here today, just getting those support from the pastors who were there, I think it would have been seen all in all as a success.

It would have just been talked about as Trump doing outreach to the black community. I think the unfortunate thing was, you know, the campaign made it seem like he was going to be getting support from a lot of pastors who don't really agree with Trump's rhetoric so far.

LEMON: All right. Sara, thank you very much. I appreciate that.

Now I want to bring in three pastors who met with Donald Trump today at Trump Tower right here in New York. So, joining me now are pastors Darrell Scott, and Mark Burns, and also Bishop George Bloomer, also Bishop Corletta Vaughn, she is the author of "Teach Your Daughters to Fly."

Absolutely, I agree with that. She decline to attend the meeting and is not a Trump supporter. So, thank you, all for joining us this evening. I'm very glad that you're here.

So, let's have -- let's have a good all -- I want to say go to meeting...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go to meeting with Jesus.

LEMON: ... right or come to Jesus, whatever you guys want to talk about. So, pastor -- Pastor Scott, you helped organize this. How did this come about?

DARRELL SCOTT, NEW SPIRIT RIVAL CHURCH FOUNDER & SENIOR PASTOR: The meeting came about, this is actually a makeup meeting from a prior meeting. I was privy to be in a meeting of Bishop Bloomer and myself, and Pastor Burns were in a meeting with Mr. Trump in September.

[22:05:00] The meeting was attended. You know, it crossed ethnic barriers. There were blacks there, there were whites there.

LEMON: Third such meeting, right? This was the...

SCOTT: The first meeting.

LEMON: But this was the third one, yes.

SCOTT: Had blacks and white. This is our third one.

LEMON: Go on, go ahead.

SCOTT: Look, we've had two and a half meetings.


SCOTT: But at the first meeting, the dialogue progressed into a conversation about black issues. And it began to dominate the entire meeting to the extent that we said we need to have another meeting where we can focus primarily on these issues that are germane to the black community uninterrupted.

And so, he made the promise, I agree to sit down, I agree to meet with you. And so, then what I did was I begin to call friends, those that I knew that were friends and said listen, hey, we have an open door, we have Donald Trump's ear, we have some issues and concerns with some things that have been swirling around him. This is our opportunity to have a sit down, to have a talk with him.

LEMON: OK. So, how do you think it went, Pastor Burns?


LEMON: What were those things that you wanted to -- what were your concerns?

BURNS: Well, it was really important that Mr. Trump, out of his own mouth, addressed some of the controversial -- seemingly controversial somewhat rhetoric that could be easily misconstrued at racial tension such as a divinity...

LEMON: Such as?

BURNS: ... division versus racial unity.


BURNS: That's re-tweeting of the...


LEMON: The stats on right.

BURNS: ... formation, the stats. Absolutely.

LEMON: Black on black, white on white thing.

BURNS: Dealing with the -- dealing with the Black Live Matters protester at his rally in Alabama. We were able to address these issues, ask them head on, what was his thoughts, what really took place and we've received the answers that I believe that...


LEMON: What did he say?

BURNS: Well, that we needed to...

LEMON: Were you satisfied with what he said?

GEORGE BLOOMER, BETHEL FAMILY WORSHIP CENTER PASTOR: Before we get to what he says, I think that we need to really, really clarify and deal with the elephant around the whole situation, that Dr. Scott, myself, and a few others who were coming together to have a discussion, a meeting, a discussion.

I don't know how it got out that a hundred pastors were coming to endorse.

LEMON: To endorse, right.

BLOOMER: I don't know why other pastors got involved that way, didn't pick up the telephone and call us to access -- to ask us as to what was going on. So, I wanted to really, really clear that up.

The meeting today was fantastic. I was the one who raised the question on the racial situations, and for one hour to 40 minutes, Mr. Trump sat there and answered those questions.

LEMON: And what did -- what did he say?



LEMON: When you asked him about the re-tweeting of the stats that were in accurate?

BLOOMER: Well, I didn't ask him about the re-tweeting of the stats. I asked him about the...

LEMON: The Black Lives Matter.

BLOOMER: ... the Black Lives Matter, the young man who was shouting out at the...

LEMON: Right. In Alabama.

BLOOMER: In Alabama.

LEMON: So, what did he say?

BLOOMER: And what he said was that he didn't know that it was a Black Lives Matter persons or white lives matter. He didn't know who it was. He knew that he was in a room of 10,000 people. Something -- there was happening, something was going on and he was trying to do what he had to do when...


LEMON: When he said that, maybe he deserved to be wrapped up, did he talk about that?

SCOTT: No, we brought it up.


SCOTT: We brought up the fact that at times he can appear to be insensitive and we addressed the concern that going forward, we would hope that he would refrain from those type of comments in the future.

LEMON: All right.

SCOTT: And he took them -- it was a rebuke...

LEMON: He said that...

SCOTT: ... and he accepted the rebuke. And you know, we'll see. But we said it, you know -- we didn't mince our words.

BLOOMER: And we would -- and we made it very, very clear that we didn't want to be in a situation where color was being courted.

SCOTT: Right.

LEMON: OK. Let's bring -- let's bring Bishop Vaughn into this. Because Bishop Vaughn you got an invitation, right? You invited her and you declined the invitation. Why did you decline?

CORLETTA VAUGHN, HOLY GHOST CATHEDRAL PASTOR: Well, initially, it was Darrel Scott that asked me to come and I thought it was a great conversation that we were having. So, I had a lot of questions about Mr. Trump's issues on women, women and girls, women and their female caregivers, the poor, the disenfranchised.

I'm in Detroit, an emerging city from bankruptcy. I believe we're going to be America's number comeback city, but I have deeper concerns than just color. I have some gender issues, I have some poverty issues, and I was asking Darrel Scott about those things and we were just kind of talking about it.

He then called me and said, hey, listen, there's going to be a press conference that may turn into some endorsements and it may not be a place where you want to be. Because at this point, I'm not endorsing Mr. Trump. I don't even foresee in the future that I will endorse Mr. Trump. So, I definitely...


LEMON: But let me ask you this, with all due respect, Bishop Vaughn, you don't have to endorse him. You could have said I don't endorse him, but you don't -- and I'm sure you know this -- you don't always have to meet with people you agree with. You can meet with people -- it's maybe better to meet with people that you don't agree with so that you can sort of establish some common ground, you know.

VAUGHN: Thank you. Thank you.

SCOTT: Can I say something?

LEMON: Yes, go ahead.


VAUGHN: Well, you know, my -- I'm sorry.

SCOTT: You know, she initially agree -- she initially agreed to come, but she made it very clear to me from the outset...

[22:10:00] LEMON: OK.

SCOTT: ... that I'm not a Donald Trump supporter, but I will come.


SCOTT: And I told her any dialogue she wanted to bring them to the table she was welcome to.

LEMON: Go ahead, Bishop. Please, answer the question. Sorry.

VAUGHN: I think that, you know, anything, perception, perception that is unchallenged can become a reality. And so, being in the room is not my problem. But the possibility of an endorsement or a press conference, that was not something that I was willing to consent to at this point.

I did not want the photo-op. I did not want -- I wanted a meeting. If there was going to be a meeting. I didn't want to be on camera. I just wanted to hear what Mr. Trump had to say as those questions were posed.

So, I'm very careful about my image and the constituency that I represent. I want them to know that I am always above board and that I'm full of integrity and that I'm honest. And so, I didn't want to be on the stage with someone in a photo-op when I am not, at this point, endorsing this man or even in agreement with him.

LEMON: Yes. OK. Go ahead.

SCOTT: I will say this. I invited several people, friends, Corletta Vaughn is a friend of mine. We're good friends. We published the flyer and on the flyer, we listed some of the attendees. And there was no -- there was no lot of controversy until there was a miscommunication between myself and the Trump camp.

It initially started with a small group of people that were known supporters of Donald Trump. But then when I asked them could I expand the meeting and of course other people, they assumed and I didn't tell them that the others that were coming were not all supporters.

And so, that's how that miscommunication came for. But when that happens, when the word "endorsement" went out, the princess was named on a flyer got scared. yes. It's the truth anyhow. You know, got scared and ran.

LEMON: You don't think that you could have...


VAUGHN: I didn't get scared. Darrell Scott, I did not get scared. That was -- that is -- don't even play that.

SCOTT: You got scared, Corletta.

VAUGHN: I was not scared.

SCOTT: You got scared and ran.


SCOTT: No, you didn't. No, I called you and I say that wasn't an endorsement and I called you first and said you might want to stand next to me.

VAUGHN: You did.

SCOTT: And you know that.

VAUGHN: You did but it wasn't because of fear.


LEMON: But is there a...

SCOTT: But you threw us under the bus. You threw us under the bus and made it look like we doubled back and you know it.

VAUGHN: But it wasn't because I was afraid. No, but it wasn't like that. It wasn't like that.

SCOTT: You made it look like you put your name in that flyer and included you in this meeting and behind your back and you know that.

LEMON: How do you respond to that? How do you respond to that, Bishop?

SCOTT: And we didn't do that. I invited you and you accepted.

VAUGHN: OK. Here...

SCOTT: You accepted it.

VAUGHN: No, I never accepted.

SCOTT: You accepted the invitation. I've got the text message on my phone right now.

LEMON: Let her answer.

VAUGHN: I never accepted. You don't have any -- no, sir.

SCOTT: You accepted that invitation, you know it.

LEMON: Let her answer, please.

VAUGHN: I never...

SCOTT: I'll pull my phone out right now.

VAUGHN: I never accepted your invitation.

SCOTT: I'll pull my phone out right now.

VAUGHN: Good, because I have mine, as well.


LEMON: Stand by. Stand by. Let her finish. Let her finish, pastor. Go ahead, Bishop.

VAUGHN: First of all, I would not have accepted your invitation. My publicist would have done that. You and I were talking at a...


SCOTT: Well, that you and I talked face-to-face and you accepted it. Why are you trying to act like you didn't accept it?

VAUGHN: ... very consistent. I did not base -- no, no, we did not talk face-to-face.

SCOTT: You text me and even ask me why can't we stay on that. And then I called you back and I said I need your e-mail address so that I send you a confirmation.


VAUGHN: I did. These were inquiries.

SCOTT: And you sent me your e-mail address and I sent you a confirmation.

VAUGHN: I never sent you a confirmation back.

SCOTT: Why are you doing -- why are you doing this? Why are you doing this?

VAUGHN: But I never sent you a confirmation back.

SCOTT: Why are you on television doing this?

VAUGHN: You do not -- I never sent you a confirmation.


SCOTT: So, you could see. I don't believe this. I do not believe this. Jesus Lord.

LEMON: Hang on, hang on. So, hold on, hold on.

VAUGHN: I never sent you a confirmation.

BLOOMER: Jesus take the wheel right now.

LEMON: I told you it was going to be a come to Jesus.

SCOTT: I said send me -- I said send me your e-mail so I can send you a confirmation and you sent me the e-mail so I can send you the confirmaton.

VAUGHN: No, I was never -- and that's the problem I have with Darrel Scott.

LEMON: OK. Stand by, stand by. Let her finish, please.

SCOTT: We both are over talking.

LEMON: All right. Let her finish and I promise I'll give you -- I'll give you the chance.

SCOTT: I'll stop. All women hate me now so, you're my buddy and you know it.

LEMON: You're good.

SCOTT: You're my sister from another mister and you

LEMON: Bishop Vaughn, go ahead. Reverend, please.

VAUGHN: Scott, I'm going to be your sister forever and I told you in the set.

SCOTT: Well, I told you earlier, I said I wouldn't fight you on TV.

VAUGHN: I'm not going to lose my brother.

SCOTT: I said that.

VAUGHN: I'm not going to lose my brother over Donald Trump.

SCOTT: I know that.


VAUGHN: I told you that. I'm not going to lose my brother over Donald Trump.

SCOTT: All right.

VAUGHN: Here is where I was, Don. I said from the very beginning. I asked a ton of questions.

SCOTT: You didn't.

VAUGN: There was never a confirmation from my camp. These were inquiries. These were questions that I had, where would you be saying? Are you paying for my airfare, will there be any compensation? What kind of timeline are we talking? This is not a confirmation. This is an inquiry. This is protocol from my side.

Now, had there been a confirmation, that would not have come from me, Scott.


VAUGHN: That would have come from my publicist...


LEMON: Let's not get into inside baseball here. Please, Bishop.

VAUGHN: And so there is no publicist that was engaged.

LEMON: So, listen, what do you think that, what issues -- if you had gone to that meeting, what issues would you have liked to discuss with Donald Trump?

BLOOMER: Thank you.

VAUGHN: I'm very concerned, as anyone knows me, I'm very concerned about the issue of women and girls, their female caregivers. I'm very concerned about them.


LEMON: Do you think you missed the opportunity to do that by refusing to come because you could have stood there...

[22:15:02] VAUGHN: No, no, I do not.

LEMON: ... when Mr. Trump -- I had to say this, when Mr. Trump today, ended the press conference, Pastor Scott stood up and said -- he said his peace.

You don't think you would have had the opportunity to come on CNN or another network or at that press conference to say I do not endorse him. I took the opportunity to come here so that I could speak to him and see if there was some common ground or to tell him how much I disagreed with what he is saying and doing.

VAUGHN: Once the endorsement and the press conference became noted, everything changed. I don't want to be played. Once you get me into a room to discuss a situation, it's very difficult than me walking out on camera and -- I heard in the end that Mr. Trump said that he did get some endorsements.

LEMON: He did.

VAUGHN: So, there ended up being a press conference after all.

LEMON: OK. Bishop, he did...

VAUGHN: Now, is there going to be a press conference or not?

LEMON: Yes. OK. Bishop. OK, Bishop, you're right.

VAUGHN: Is he -- so we were told there was not going to be be a press conference. LEMON: So, then how do we move forward. How do you guys move forward

because if it keeps going the way it is, many are saying that Donald Trump can likely be the nominee and stands a chance of becoming the leader of the free world.

So, where do we move forward? So, I want all of you to stand by, we're going to discuss that.

And when we come back, we're going to talk about the Teflon candidate, Donald Trump, makes questionable claims about 9/11. We'll talk about that as well.

He faces accusations that a mocked a reporter with a disability. None of it seems to hurt him? Is he running a whole new kind of campaign? Back with our reverends right after this.


LEMON: All right. We're talking about Donald Trump's meeting today with more than 100 African-American pastors.

So, back with me now, Pastors Darrell Scott, and Mark Burns and also Bishop George Bloomer. Also with me is Corletta Vaughn.

So, let's talk about this, OK. You guys are upset because you find some of the rhetoric being used, you find it insulting and insensitive. Someone is saying, one of the pastors saying that you guys were pawns, that you were using your pulpits, your prostitutions your pulpits as poles, basically as stripper poles. What other names are you being called?

BURNS: We're being called plumes, sellouts, we're being called, you know, Uncle Toms, you know, that we're not really representing the black -- we're selling out the black people, the African-Americans for a white supremacist Donald Trump.

BLOOMER: I was going to listen to a presidential candidate. And anyone of them that is out there. I'm willing to Mr. Carson, I'm just -- the Bush, whomever.

SCOTT: Whoever invites.

BLOOMER: Whoever invites. So, I didn't go to endorse.

LEMON: Why shouldn't you listen to someone, even if you don't -- if you disagree with them? Why shouldn't you listen to him? Especially if they're leading in the polls, why wouldn't you if you have the opportunity, why wouldn't you?

SCOTT: One of the things -- one of the things that everyone supposedly dislike about Donald Trump is they say he insults people. So, the people who say they don't like him for insulting people insult us. How can this guy sit there and call us prostitutes on a pole? There were women in that meeting.

BURNS: Yes. SCOTT: There were about 30 to 35 women in that meeting, you called those women prostitutes?

BURNS: That's insult to women.

SCOTT: These are mothers, these are wives, these are daughters, you called them prostitutes?

BURNS: Business women.

SCOTT: You call us prostitutes? You need to have your credentials revoked. If that is what your organization is maybe they need to strip you of your credentials to set you off of misery and close that big fat mouth...

LEMON: Bishop Vaughn, what do you think...

SCOTT: ... and get you on shut that big fat mouth for a while and think about what you're saying before you say it.

LEMON: Bishop Vaughn, what do you think of that sort of rhetoric?

VAUGHN: I thought it was very disrespectful.

BLOOMER: Thank you.

VAUGHN: And I challenged it on periscope. I thought it was very disrespectful. What I don't want to happen is that there is divisiveness between the clergy.

BLOOMER: Absolutely.

VAUGHN: We have a right in America to sit in a room where we want to sit.

BURNS: Thank you.

VAUGHN: And we have a right not to sit. And I don't think that it's fair for any leader to bash another leader because they don't necessarily agree or not get an invitation. I thought it was very disrespectful. I challenged it and I felt that there was some type of an apology that came afterwards.

LEMON: The clergy, African-Americans, people of color are not a monolithic group, nor should they be a monolithic group.

BURNS: Yes. No one particular group controls all of black America, you know? It was almost like we had to seek permission to decide to sit down with Mr. Trump, hears had out, ask him some questions that we believe need to be answered and we get an attack for it just for simply sitting down at the table.


LEMON: What does that say about where we are right now?

BURNS: Well, again, it obviously says that, you know, we're divided. As a people, we are really divided.


VAUGHN: Oh, absolutely.

BURNS: As a people, not only as a people, but as the body -- in the Body of Christ, we are completely divided. Donald Trump said something that you cannot refute. He said it today, he said if all Christians would just come together, because there are so many of us in America, just come together, there is not one thing we could not get past or done in the United States of America.

But the problem, there are so many small sects all across the country, we can't really agree on anything, whether I'm talking tones, where the belief in full immersion, whether black and I need to, you know, vote for but...


LEMON: But Christians aren't going be monolithic, you can't expect that to be the same...

VAUGHN: Or whether I'm a woman.

BURNS: Or whether you're a woman, absolutely.

LEMON: So then what about his -- what about his rhetoric?

SCOTT: We addressed that.

BURNS: We did.

SCOTT: They have to understand. To be honest, at a point in that meeting, it was like we were the prosecutors and Donald Trump was the defense.


SCOTT: We went at him very, very, very strong about all of these issues and topics and what I did, I opened it up whosoever will, let them come.

BURNS: Let them see.

SCOTT: I said all of my brothers, all of my sisters, anyone of you that have a problem with Donald Trump, this is your chance, this is your shot.

LEMON: OK. I know that as people -- as clergy people you can't -- you don't like to officially endorse people. But as individuals, were you going to endorse someone, would you endorse possibly Donald Trump?

SCOTT: Well, I have a history with Donald Trump. He's a friend of mine. We get back years. This wasn't my first time that I met him. And I like Donald Trump.


LEMON: Would you endorse him?

SCOTT: And yes, I will endorse him.

LEMON: You will.

SCOTT: As a singular individual, but I've never tried to persuade anyone else to endorse him.

LEMON: Would you?

BURNS: Absolutely. I believe that, you know, again, I've have several meetings with him as an individual. You know, I think really he's a strong person that really can be a unifier, he's a leader.


BURNS: But not only that, he's a person that really helps create jobs which are one of the issues that play with standards...


LEMON: That's the issue that really people really care about, jobs.

BURNS: The inner cities -- right. The inner cities of America and meeting minorities across this country, they're hungry. They need to eat.

[22:25:02] LEMON: Yes.

BURNS: So, we need to have a person that's going to create jobs for people in America. We need to stop seeing color and look at -- look at creating jobs.

BLOOMER: Well, to me, the political process at this point is a concept...


VAUGHN: Well, you can't -- you cannot say...

LEMON: Hang on, Bishop Vaughn; I'll let you have the last word.

VAUGHN: All right.

BLOOMER: To me, it's a concert. I was invited to the concert. The choir was singing and I haven't heard my song yet. I'm waiting for my hymn.

LEMON: You're waiting for your hymn.


LEMON: Or you're waiting for the sermon, so you can decide if you're going to... (CROSSTALK)

BLOOMER: I'm heard the sermon, I'm waiting for the song.

LEMON: All right. I got you. Bishop, go ahead. I'll give you the last word. Would you endorse Donald Trump?

VAUGHN: You know, no, not -- no, sir.

SCOTT: I can't believe you.

VAUGHN: Not in this life. No. But I will say this. If he was to become the nominee and he were to win the election, I would support leadership. I support leaders. But at this point in my journey as a female clergyman, as a woman preacher, as an African-American woman that lives in the City of Detroit, he would not be my candidate. All right?

Now, in the context of America, we have to accept the fact that Mr. Trump represent what most of black America is afraid of. We are -- we are standing on the cusp of police brutality.


VAUGHN: We're standing on the cusp of the Sandra Blands.


VAUGHN: This, we just can't watch this away...

BURNS: Absolutely.

VAUGHN: ... and say, oh, this is going to be the person that is going to bring the jobs and going to do this. Listen, I understand that he has economic prowess and he is a wealth magnet. But there are some other issues in the black community that right now...


LEMON: Yes. OK. Yes.

SCOTT: We addressed that.

BURNS: We addressed that.

VAUGHN: We need to have addressed.

BURNS: We addressed those issues.

LEMON: All right. Thank you.

SCOTT: We addressed those issues. We addressed police brutality.

LEMON: And you addressed al that yes.

SCOTT: The shooting in Chicago. We addressed the rioting in the street, we addressed race relations, we addressed everything...


LEMON: And you'll do that with any candidate who invites you.

BLOOMER: Any candidate.

SCOTT: Let me say this.

LEMON: I've got to go but hurry up, hurry up.

SCOTT: We talked -- we talked until we didn't have anything else to talk about.

LEMON: OK. Great.

SCOTT: We brought of everything we could.

LEMON: All right.

BURNS: Two hours of talking.

LEMON: All right. Let me tell you this. You guys saw Thanksgiving there was a hash tag going around with Thanksgiving with the black families. This is what Thanksgiving with black families was like in America, you want to know, this is what is like and then we all kissed each other and said I will see you for Christmas.

VAUGHN: You, too.

LEMON: Thank you, guys. I really appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you.

When we come right back, the countdown is on to the next republican debate in two weeks right here on CNN. Which candidates need to do well and who may drop out, we're going to talk about that, next.


[22:30:00] LEMON: On the campaign tonight, Cruz is in second place in Iowa, just behind Donald Trump.

And also joining me now is republican strategist Rick Wilson. Katrina Pierson is here, she's the national spokesperson for Donald Trump's campaign, and McKay Coppins is here, senior writer at BuzzFeed, who is the author of -- I was going to say, 20 minutes to read this title, "The Wilderness, Deep Inside the Republican Party's Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House." I wonder what that's about.

All right. Thank you very much. So, all I have to do is sit here and say top that, Katrina, Rick and Kate. I mean, what do you think about. You first, Katrina.

KATRINA PIERSON, TEA PARTY LEADERSHIP FUND SPOKESPERSON: I thought that was amazing. I mean, Pastor Scott, he is so courageous and such a leader. You guys didn't even need me tonight. I mean, he was fantastic in talking about Donald Trump and what a lot of black Americans are thinking and feeling and my thanksgiving went over the same way, Don.

LEMON: So, it's not nut not everyone who went endorsed. There were two people here who said as individuals they would endorse him. But they weren't so sure yet. And some of the pastors at the meeting to today said, you know, I just wanted to go and talk to him. I'm not necessarily endorsing him.

PIERSON: Well, yes. And the beauty of that is how many other republican candidates are even going as far as to try to have these meetings or to have those discussions with black America? You know, the bishop said the same thing.

There are all these issues that needs to be addressed, and Obama sent Joe Biden to the NCAACP meeting. These are people who are looking for someone to lead, looking for that leadership in the economy and with the people. And I think they're finding it in Donald Trump.

LEMON: Rick, similar question to you. Do you think that they should because they got a lot of GOP meeting with some, you know, some African-Americans before meeting with Donald Trump? Do you think they should have met with him?

RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, look, I think the fact that this was a production that was sold initially as Donald Trump would be endorsed today by hundreds of African-American pastors and suddenly became a thing without a press conference, with a closed door meeting.

You know, it really is indicative of the fact that I think the Trump people got away ahead of their skis with these folks and I think that, you know, look, I'm all for any candidate talking to groups, in no matter what language they speak, no matter what demographic group they come from.

The fact of the matter is, though, in cold political terms, I don't think that Donald Trump got out of this today what they expected to get out of him. And it certainly what they sold on the front end of it.

LEMON: So, we had two pastors on tonight out of the four that we had on. McKay, they said that they would personally endorse him. There was another one who was on CNN earlier on Erin Burnett saying, yes, he would endorse Donald Trump, as well.

And these people have -- you know, some of them have really big congregations.


LEMON: Is this is a concern. Do you think should this be a concern for democrats?

COPPINS: Well, I think what's fascinating with Donald Trump is that he's from the very beginning -- and I write about this in the book -- is he's operated outside the conventional rules of politics. So, like we've all -- everyone here has been wrong in predicting what would happen with Donald Trump. So, you know, the conventional wisdom would be of course Donald Trump

has no chance at winning a sizable portion of the African-American vote. You know, he started, laid the groundwork for his campaign by touting birth right or conspiracy theories.

But, you know, a lot of people thought, including me, that he wouldn't still be running at this point, that he certainly wouldn't be leading the polls. So, I mean, I think there's that certainly there is a good case to be made that anything could happen. So, it's impossible to predict what would happen with Donald Trump.

LEMON: OK. So as Katrina said, listen, at least he met many of the pastors and said, what they find is important is that he's talking about jobs and that's what people need to do. They need to eat.

[22:35:03] So, I think that's where he's going to have to deal with birth right. They said they also talk about police brutality and many other things. But here's the question. Let's talk about the inaccuracies about Donald Trump that he said.

McKay, you say that it's part of Donald Trump's brilliance. Explain that.

COPPINS: Well, I think what's interesting about Donald is he's been kind of pushed recently on some of these questions about Muslims cheering in New Jersey on 9/11, and some of these other things that he says happened that have been proven not to be the case, is that his brilliance is that in defending himself, he says I have hundreds of people who agree with me.

You know, I'm getting calls from all these people who say, oh, I saw that, too. So Trump's brilliance -- and it's kind of a cynical brilliance, but his brilliance is in that he creates this kind of perception or this kind of mirage. And then when other people and it gets other people to buy into it and see it. And once they see it, he uses that as evidence of its reality, of its truth, right?

LEMON: So, OK, then I thought that was Katrina jumping in, but it was Rick Wilson.

PIERSON: I'd love to, actually.

LEMON: Go ahead, Katrina.

PIERSON: So, OK. The inaccuracies isn't about whether it did or did not happen. I think we can all agree now that it actually happen and there was network, anchor on another network that said he saw it...


COPPINS: Wait. I don't.

WILSON: No, no, no.

PIERSON: Hold on, let me -- let me finish.

COPPINS: I don't agree on that. I didn't say it, Katrina.

LEMON: Hold on. Let her finish and then you'll have your say.

PIERSON: He said that he saw it and his neighbor saw it the degree. We are talking about to the degree. is it thousands upon thousands, I don't know. If you liked your doctor, did you keep your doctor? We're not talking about those inaccuracies, are we?

WILSON: Hey, Katrina, if two guys show -- if two guys up at your house for a party, if a thousand show up at your house, it's a riot. There were not thousands and thousands of Muslims in the streets of Patterson, New Jersey or anywhere in New Jersey...

PIERSON: But that's what I'm saying, Rick.

WILSON: ... that day. There was no sufficient record of that.

PIERSON: That's the inaccuracy. Donald Trump didn't sit down and hand counts everyone that he saw.

WILSON: No, no, no. The inaccuracy, Katrina, is that Donald Trump claimed -- Donald Trump claimed in the usual recursive farrago of bull crap that this guy is always spewing, he claimed that thousands of Muslims celebrated 9/11 in the streets of New Jersey. This is not a fact. It is no true.

The word is thousands. He used the word thousands. He has dug in and he's quadrupled down on thousands. He has said this over and over again. It's like a tailgate party with thousands of people. This is not a fact.

LEMON: And this Katrina, he also said -- he also said he saw it on television himself, Katrina.


PIERSON: And so, did a network anchor today on Fox News and so did his neighbors. So, that's not just any random people, you guys. What I'm sayin is...


WILSON: And yet, where the most videotaped event, the most recorded event in history -- the most recorded event in history fails to capture a moment that would have been a gigantic nuclear political firestorm in this country.

PIERSON: Right, 2001.

WILSON: Somehow not a single video camera recorded, somehow not a single...


PIERSON: You know why, Rick, because the iPhone didn't drop until 2007. We didn't have camera phones in 2001, buddy? WILSON: Somehow not a single television network recorded it. Somehow

not a single television station...

COPPINS: Yes, we did.

LEMON: Yes, there were camera phones in 2001 and there are lots

PIERSON: Not video camera phones.

LEMON: Yes, there were.

WILSON: And yet Donald Trump says he saw it on television. I'm sorry, I know he's an old man who is getting -- who is getting a little dotty (ph), but this is not a guy who saw this on television. There is no record of it.


PIERSON: Because everybody is right.

LEMON: All right. Let Mckay -- Mckay and then Katrina, I'll give it to you last, but go ahead, McKay.

COPPINS: Well, I guess my question would be that, you know, OK. So, Katrina, you're saying that he claims he didn't -- that, you know, that he just exaggerated, a classic example of Trump being a hyperbole.

I mean, do you believe that he actually saw this or is this something that he actually believes or is he pandering to a segment of the Republican Party that wants to believe this and he's had a lot of success and rallying those people?

PIERSON: No, no.

LEMON: Katrina, quickly, please.

PIERSON: No, I don't believe that at all. I think he actually saw it. There are a lot of people who haven't come out publicly who say they saw it. So, I believe that he saw it and there's no reason for him to pander. I mean, he's winning.

LEMON: OK. Thank you, guys. I appreciate it. Very interesting.

COPPINS: Thank you.

LEMON: When we come back right back -- I'll see you soon. When we come right back, Hillary Clinton camp, will Hillary Clinton do more for our black Americans or African Americans than President Obama? We're going to talk about that next.


LEMON: Lots to talk about. Of course this pastors at war of a support of -- or lack of for Donald Trump. Joining me now, Amy Holmes and Charles Blow. Go. So, you guys were

there. I mean, you were listening. No, this is a big issue because there is -- I don't know if there's a war, but in the Republican Party, whatever you want to call it, saying that they must reach out to African-Americans, they have to reach out to women. This was part -- partly that today, that meeting with Donald Trump.

AMY HOLMES, THE BLAZE TV ANCHOR: I am not sure if that was a part of the GOP outreach to African-Americans.

LEMON: Right.

HOLMES: And Donald Trump is certainly, I think, trying to get a bit of political cover with these like pastors.

LEMON: How did it play?.

HOLMES: I think it played well for Donald Trump and certainly he should meet with all citizens and he should be campaigning for all citizens if he wants to be president of all citizens. And just because these pastors meet with Donald Trump doesn't necessarily mean that they endorse him.

And I spoke with them in the elevator on the way up here and I asked them how it went and they said, yes, we, you know, gave him a grilling. We gave him a piece of our mind and he listened and they thought that it was productive well.

LEMON: Charles.

CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So, the media also given him a grilling.

LEMON: Yes. And that's our freedom of expression. we have the right to do that.

BLOW: Exactly. And, you know, but it's important to understand that there was a -- one of the pastors today, specifically asked Trump to apologize for some of the things he said and there was no response from him as to whether or not he was going to apologize.

So, I think, you know, the idea of, you know, if you want to kind of make amends, part of that is to acknowledge that I've done something that offends you. It's not even whether you admit to defend or not.

HOLMES: Right.

BLOW: It is listening to the feelings of the person who is hurt and saying, I hear you and I want -- I need to say something to you.

HOLMES: For starters.

BLOW: So, it's a baseline.

LEMON: But they grilled him. He said we were the prosecutors and he was the defendant. HOLMES: exactly.

BLOW: Yes. But in earlier, on Anderson Cooper, another pastor was on and she's -- and he basically said the put -- he's put the question to Trump. And Trump basically didn't say anything. Amoroso jumped in and said he didn't have to apologize for anything.

[22:45:08] LEMON: Yes.

BLOW: And Trump did not respond to that particular issue.

HOLMES: But isn't that so political?

BLOW: Right.

HOLMES: And we saw politicians do this all the time. Donald Trump is, of course, a politician. I also asked the pastors, you know, did you bring up the issue of some of his inflammatory remarks about Muslim Americans? And they said absolutely we did. And they said that we told him to tone it down, knock it off.

LEMON: And I want to get move on. But it just one thing quickly, if we can talk about it, because it was mentioned at the press conference, afterwards he talked about Black Lives Matter and Donald Trump said yes, I think that's important, but I also think, you know, all lives matter, white lives matter, and so on, black lives matter.

So, he said they talked about that and said that they discussed that issue, but still, he says he won't meet with them. Do you think that...


HOLMES: The Black Lives Matter activist?

LEMON: The Black Lives Matter activists. He said that, you know, for him, it's just not something that he wants to.

BLOW: Yes. But, you see, you can't, you have...

LEMON: One of the pastors said that's more important. He said to Donald Trump, that's what -- what's more important is that the person who is now at 16 Pennsylvania Avenue deals with that issue rather than Donald Trump or the...


BLOW: Yes, but you can't pick audiences and then shift messages, right? So, if you were on MSNBC -- I think it was this morning that I read this. I didn't actually watch the program so I read it, and say basically, you know, Black Lives Matter, people might have gotten to some of these pastors and that's why they were kind of backing away from him.

You can't slam their name and say oh, well, it's really important in the evening when you're in front of a press conference surrounded by black ministers. That's not, it does not worth it. This idea that we're supposed to be stupid. This idea that...


HOLMES: Are you accusing Donald Trump of back pedaling?


HOLMEs: He does that all the time. He did it with Megyn Kelly, he's done it...

BLOW: No, I'm not accusing. It's not even about Donald Trump. It is about selling short people's intelligence to say to people, you didn't hear me say what I said.

HOLMES: Because he does it did it all the time.

BLOW: What you heard is very different from what I actually said or what I actually meant. And the idea that people have to just kind of go back and debate whether or not he said it, no, there's a tape what you're saying and there is a fact as to whether or not that particular thing is true or not true.

And the idea that you would be offensive, not after -- not apologize for it, not ask for forgiveness for it and then tell the people who you've offended that they are wrong from having benefited because it's not what you said or it's not what you meant, or it's not what you meant. It is insulting -- it is insult, on top of insult. And so, you know, you can't...


HOLMES: But what you're describing, Charles, is the Trump M.O. He did the exact same thing about Megyn Kelly when he said that she was bleeding out of parts of her body and then he said I didn't mean that.

LEMON: An interview happened right here.

BLOW: Which is precisely right.

HOLMES: This is Donald Trump's M.O. And it's working, unfortunately.

BLOW: No. It's not -- I think that it's working for among people who actually like this sort of thing, who actually relish the insult and who say what you call an insult, I call you trying to make me see.


HOLMES: Well, he just did it again with one of your colleagues at the New York Times.

BLOW: Precisely. And it is an insult and it is insulting to those particular segments of the voting population and they're not going to forgive that easily.

LEMON: OK. That's going to be the last word on that for now.


LEMON: For now, but a provocative question I want to ask, can Hillary Clinton do more for black America than Barack Obama? We'll talk about that next.


LEMON: All right. So, I'm back now with Charles Blow and Amy Holmes. As you can see, they were talking during the break here. So, listen, let's talk about this, Charles. This is an article in the New York Times.

BLOW: You recovered straight.

LEMON: The new republicans -- of course I would. It says yes, she can. Why Hillary Clinton will do more for black people than Obama, a skeptic's journey. So, if you're Hillary Clinton, I mean, you can't beat a headline like that, but do you agree with it?

BLOW: Agree -- OK, first of all, I know Michael.

LEMON: We're talking about Michael Eric Dyson.

BLOW: Michael Eric Dyson, he brought that...

HOLMES: Professor at Georgetown.

BLOW: Yes. I would need to just disclose that. That said, you know, I wouldn't frame it the way that Michael framed it.

HOLMES: No, that was the headliner. That was the headline writer.

BLOW: Right. So, I don't know if Michael wrote the head. I don't know where...

HOLMES: But he did agree everything that writes about...

BLOW: The idea of juxtaposing her to Obama and having that be the framing of the entire article, I thought that was kind of -- that was problematic. If you want to say -- which he does say in the piece that her approach is more legislative, it's kind of about, you know, it goes in that vein of kind of progress and she would try to do things that were legislative or not change hearts, it was the kind of the phrase she uses to talking to Black Lives Matter, people. I can...

LEMON: How she's evolved.

BLOW: All that and he gave -- right up front he gave, you know, the kind of questionable racial comments that they have -- that Hillary and Bill have made over the years and how you can, you know, how they are put in context.

HOLMES: But do you agree or disagree?

BLOW: Well, I don't like the framing of the juxtaposition, and I believe that, you know, it is -- it is kind of pie in the sky. LEMON: And then the headline -- here is the important thing that you

should before you finish. People should read the article because the headline -- the writer doesn't always do the headline.

BLOW: You have to read the headline. Exactly.

LEMON: The headline is to draw you in.

BLOW: And as a matter of thing they want to sell a magazine...


LEMON: Right. So, read the article, not just the headline. Read the book not just the cover. Go ahead.

BLOW: But that said, you know, the idea that, you know, he -- he's -- there's some troubling phrases, to me. You know, the comparison of Hillary to MLK, the constant references to Obama as race-shy. You know, those...

HOLMEs: Yes.

BLOW: ... don't quite sit...

HOLMES: I read this article and the audience has it. But I'll just sum it up this way. There were two audiences. There was the Hillary Clinton future HR department, I think, for Professor Dyson. And there was also --

LEMON: I'm sorry.

HOLMES: And there was also the Black Lives Matter activists, which is to me a more important audience. And it seemed to me that he was drawing a road map to advise the activists, as well as Hillary Clinton on how to enact real substantive change legislatively and in political action.

LEMON: Thank you. I thought that was very important. Because as we sit here and we talk about Black Lives Matter we've had this conversation. We had this conversation.

HOLMES: Right.

LEMON: Is that the -- when you're giving constructive criticism, it doesn't believe that -- it doesn't mean that you don't believe in what they're doing or you don't think what they're doing is important.

HOLMES: Right.

LEMON: It's everybody is open to...


HOLMES: But he was also saying to take...

LEMON: Yes, but hold on. All the way but as you have made a point here, all movements, the Civil Rights movement was you know, it wasn't perfect when it started.

BLOW: And it takes pride.

[22:54:59] HOLMES: Sure. But I think what he was saying, too, was not to get sort of into this constant sort of tail biting of symbolic politics, which can lead to constant tests of loyalty, constant tests of racial solidarity and to move that passion into action and into actionable results.

And to me, as a conservative, I see that as construction because it can invite more people to the table. To say if we share the same goals, which is I think to lift up our fellow citizens, African- Americans in particular, then we can bring these approaches together debate and find a consensus.

BLOW: But that also runs into a road block which is that legislation solves everything, right?

HOLMES: It doesn't.

BLOW: It doesn't, right? So, if you listen -- if you read king after the passage of the Civil Rights legislation, you see a person who realizes and starts to talk very openly about how legislation is the easy piece.


HOLMES: Right.


LEMON: And he does say in this, as there is action and there is legislation and Black Lives Matter folks seems to realize that legislation is part of the equation. I thought that was clear part. Actually it was a good read. I enjoyed reading it.


HOLMES: And hanging over this -- sure.

BLOW: But the idea that Obama didn't do it somehow and that the person comes to a bigger favor, that's...

HOLMES: Right. It seems to me you're telling...

LEMON: And plus, this is a not seven years ago, right. We move on, I think that happened.

HOLMES: It seems to me he is telling them if you don't want to turn out like occupy Wall Street, find a politician.

LEMON: Yes. Very good summation. We talked about that early...

HOLMES: There you have it.

BLOW: Land on occupy right...

LEMON: Well, I mean, that's a very good point, where is occupy right now if you don't want to end up like that you would take the criticism and move on as constructive criticism.

HOLMES: Know myself.


LEMON: Thank you. You're right there at good point. No, say there, I really don't care. Thank you, guys. I appreciate it.

HOLMES: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: We'll be right back.