Return to Transcripts main page


Carson Threatens To Leave GOP; GOP Leaders Discuss 'Open Convention'; Trump; CNN Debate: Foreign Policy & National Security; Carson Threaten Third Party Campaigns; Trump Calls For Ban On Muslim Into U.S.; Ted Cruz Rising In The Polls

Aired December 11, 2015 - 21:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That does it for us tonight, thank you for joining CNN tonight with Don Lemon starts right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Donald Trump campaigning tonight, now was sounding confident that he will be the GOP nominee.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESEDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If we win Iowa, a lot of people say we just go through, I think we win virtually every state in the union and it's over quickly, over quickly.


LEMON: This is "CNN tonight", I'm Don Lemon but does another candidate threatened from its dominance of the GOP field. Plus, Ben Carson, echoing Trump threatening to bolt the Republican Party. We're going to see why, a lot to get to ahead this hour, but I want to begin with the day in Trump.

The GOP frontrunner addressing a crowd of supporters tonight at the Iowa State fairgrounds and joining me now to discuss all of this, Mr. Hugh Hewitt, the host of the Hugh Hewitt Show. Hue, Good to see you. Finally, it's Friday. So...

HUGH HEWITT, HUGH HEWITT SHOW HOST: Friday night fights with Don and here with...

LEMON: Oh my gosh, no fighting, no fighting, but I'm really just a couple of days away that means we were closer, four days away from the big CNN GOP Debate. And in the fabulous Las Vegas, are going to be a panelist, the focus of course Foreign Policy National Security, you must be champing at the bit about this.

HEWITT: I am and I'm looking forward, I'm going down tomorrow to Las Vegas, sit down with the CNN team and start preparing how to make sure that the candidates on the main stage and the other card all get adequate time, I'll get good questions and all talk to each other not to the panelist. As you know, Don, it's not about us, it's about them and I think CNN and Salem have put together good preparation again.

LEMON: Yeah, so you've done what 85 candidate interviews since the last time you were a panelist at a CNN debate, that is crazy, that was back in September. 85, a lot has happened.

HEWITT: That's right, including,

LEMON: Yeah. A lot has happened.

HEWITT: Including Carly Fiorina today. And Carly Fiorina today had made some news done, she said she would not be voting the party because she's actually a Republican and not so subtle jab at both Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

LEMON: Ben Carson, right, right. So then, what would you say about the debate? What's make or break for any candidate in particular?

HEWITT: You can't make a big mistake. You can't have a Jerry Ford polling moment which from -- people remember from the 1970, six debate with Jimmy Carter, he thought polling was free and he refused to budge off of that. So, you cannot win and still be competitive in Iowa, New Hampshire in South Carolina and into Super Tuesday and the SCC primary on March 1. But you can't make a fall on your face big mistake or you could hurt yourself very badly.

I do think that this will be Donald Trump in the middle with Ted Cruz who began to square off against him and Marco Rubio on the other side and Chris Christie gaining in New Hampshire. It's going to be a pretty sparkly evening.

LEMON: Yeah, you know, I realized that this may put you on the hot seat a little bit but don't you think some of the candidates you maybe people polling at 2, 3 and 4 percent, do you think that they should get real and really lead the race? And you think these give -- there are fewer candidates left than that may help, you know, the GOP to dwindle down who actually may be the person to win?

HEWITT: I'm not on a hot seat there, Don, because I think it's up to voters to decide, and when someone like Scott Walker decides it's just not working for them they decide to exit. And, no number of pundits are going to force people out. It's not machine politics anymore. I've been laughing about the brokered convention talk, not any brokers left. There is actually only one corrupt political machine left in American and I know you don't like me to talk about this so I brought along a visual aid Don. There is only one corrupt political...

LEMON: There we go.

HEWITT: There isn't going to be -- you don't let me bring up her name so I have to bring the...

LEMON: No, no, that's fine. But every answer is, but Hillary, you know, I have to call you out when you do that. Let me see that shirt.

HEWITT: I'm giving that to you in Las Vegas, Don. But my point is, in the old days when you had a Lormer who is the blonde boss of Chicago or a Thomas Plat, who is the quite boss in New York, they could broker a convention but they don't exist anymore. You need 1,236 votes on the Cleveland convention floor to be the nominee. It might be an open convention, it would be the most interesting political event of my life and I'm going to make my hotel reservations for two weeks not one because I think it's a realistic possibility.

LEMON: OK. Let's talk more about the broker convention. OK. You mentioned Carly Fiorina earlier just talked about the broken convention, Ben Carson is saying he's hinting towards that. Here is what he said about that, he said, "If the leaders of the Republican Party want to destroy the party, they should continue to hold meetings like the one described in the Washington Post this morning.

[21:05:00] If this was the beginning of a plan to subvert the will of the voters and replace it with will of the political elite, I assure you, Donald Trump will not be the only one leaving the party." Do you think -- is this theater? Did he need some attention? What do you think?

HEWITT: Well I think he may not have understood what that meeting was about. Sean Spicer, who's the COMMS Director at the RNC and he happens to my son's boss, full disclosure, came out today on this network and said ,"Look, the delegates decide we had a logistics meeting and we aren't see it does it have meetings about logistics. And I want to stress this for people who support Dr. Carson or Mr. Trump or any of the candidates, delegates get elected and they get elected according to state law. They are not bossed around by puppet masters in the back room. There is no establishment that is running this.

Someone got to win delegates. And if you don't win 1,236 delegates, you don't get nominated, so I think there's an incentive for everyone to get in the race, stay in the race, grab as many delegates as they can and play their cards very well in Cleveland if no one has the majority.

LEMON: OK. And here's Donald Trump now talking about the whole thing in an interview that with in air on Sunday State of the Union with Jake Tapper. Watch this.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What do you think about the idea of the brokered convention when Dr. Ben Carson heard about it, he got upset and said it sounded like people were trying, people empowering the Republican establishment, we're trying to subvert the will of the voters.

TRUMP: Well, you know, I watched what Ben said, I agree with him 100 percent, I even wrote him a little note, I thought it was excellent and frankly, he may be right. I haven't seen it yet. I've been hearing about it. I've been hearing about these closed-door meetings and I don't like that. That wasn't the deal I made. I signed a pledge, but the pledge was double deal, they're supposed to be honorable. So, we're going to find out if it's that way, they're going to have problems. But I hope it's not going to be that way. I hope it's not going to be that way.


LEMON: So, you said that Carson may not have understood that meeting. Do you think Donald Trump did?

HEWITT: Well I think Donald Trump is absolutely right. He signed a pledge and he has a right to be treated with great respect. He is the frontrunner by far. 35 percent in the CNN poll, 35 percent in the New York Times poll, and he will be center staged, you know, get the most time as a result. So I think he's right about that. If there was called (ph) drudgery, if there was trickery, I'd be the first person to call it out.

But if Ted Cruz wins Iowa and then generates momentum, or Chris Christie wins New Hampshire and generates momentum or Marco Rubio does well on the SCC Primary, if they break away and they surprised everyone and they're winning like the Cavaliers then they get to be the nominee that's not double dealing. So I think we have to see this play out, but like Donald Trump, I would also be concerned about back room dealing. It just doesn't exist. It's a myth.

LEMON: Let me see that shirt you have there.

HEWITT: This is the -- this is the last corrupt political machine that could actually...

LEMON: You look like you're a Hillary Clinton supporter holding up that shirt saying vote for Hillary.

HEWITT: I was going to actually wear it. I was going to wear this tonight. You know a little higher. But it's for you, Don. I'm bringing it to Vegas for you.

LEMON: All right, well, thank you very much. We'll see you in Vegas. Have a good Friday night, have a great weekend. See you next week.

HEWITT: Will do.

LEMON: All right. I want to tell you about Jake Tapper's full interview with Donald Trump, you can see it on State of the Union this Sunday 9:00 a.m. and then again at noon live from Las Vegas site of the GOP Debates on Tuesday December 15th, hosted by CNN. You can watch the debate but watch Jake's interview this Sunday on CNN.

Joining me now Lanny Davis former White House Special Counsel for President Clinton and also Katrina Pierson, National Spokeswomen for Trump's campaign and Buck Sexton, CNN Political Commentator. Good evening to all of you. Happy Friday. Lanny you first.

I imagine you probably want to respond to something that Hewitt said, I'm sure you love the shirt.

LANNY DAVIS, FORMER WHITEHOUSE SPECIAL COUNSEL: Thank you Mr. Hewitt for broadcasting the great Hillary Clinton t-shirt and I assume not only did it help Hillary Clinton for him to mention her but it also gives my grandson who is listening to me, Gabrielle out in California a special thrill. So thank you Mr. Hewitt.

LEMON: He said the only -- he said at Barker (ph) Convention, the only thing that's you know, that is corrupt is Hillary Clinton, there's nothing corrupt about what's happening in the Republican Party, do you want to respond those comments?

DAVIS: Look, he's making a very valid point. The delegates are elected and there aren't party bosses that can -- which they're used to be in the 40's and 50's. So that's a valid point but what he didn't mention are the rules. The rules in both parties are that you're only bound in you're morally bound, not legally bound on the first ballot to reflect the preferences of the people who voted in the primaries or the caucuses.

On the second ballot and in most cases, the third ballot, you're completely free to vote for whoever you want. So if the frontrunner, say Mr. Trump gets 40 percent of the votes and somebody gets 30 and somebody gets 30, then in some states, the second ballot is at least morally obligated, in some states the second ballot is wide open.

[21:10:00] So people are free to switch to the second choices, or in the case of Mr. Trump, there may be a movement to move to somebody that is more electable than Mr. Trump who I think in the general election, while he does very well in a Republican base, in a general election will have greater difficulties.

LEMON: Do you agree with that Katrina?

KATRINA PEIRSON, NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: No. I don't agree with the, the election side of the things. But Lanny's right, I mean, we have been talking about, hearing about the Republicans changing the rules. We hear about it on the state-level too. It's very possible and they've made no secret about how much they do not want Trump as their nominee. Some go as far as to say they know for a fact it won't happen. So, what else does that tell you?

I think Mr. Trump is going to do very well in all of the States and I think it's going to surprise a lot of people because he does have a wide range of support in the Republican establishment as well. But he has independents and also minorities and you have new voters that are registering just to support Mr. Trump.

So, I really think the GOP should stop attacking its voter base and start telling everybody why they want them to vote for them.

LEMON: Buck, she has really good point. We've all heard the house divided, right? Does not sent (ph) and I mean, this is a house divided.

How does a GOP fix this disconnect right now between the party and the voters and what's actually going on?

BUCK SEXTON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think the GOP is pretty aware, the GOP establishment is pretty aware of the sense of intramural warfare that's going on right now. I think, they haves some sensitivity this fact which is why they are saying this isn't some smoke-filled back room where we're having discussions about what would happen in a broker convention. This is just a logistics meeting. I don't think that just fair and well-put.

Look, this is all a little bit on the premature side in the sense that we really have to see what happens in Iowa, in fact I think we should see what happens in next week's debate.

Ted Cruz is poised to do very well and perhaps be in first place after Iowa. And we've talked about a number of scenarios where you could have a frontrunner who becomes the real frontrunner. I think that's something we have to wait and see how it plays out.

I don't think that there's a movement of foot to just forget the will of the people and decide that those Republican voters who actually want to go for Donald Trump decide that they don't count.

I don't see that happening. I think the GOP knows that it's on notice right now, it's being watched very closely and the establishment such as it is, is going to have to make room for the fact that Donald Trump has beaten all expectations about how long he'd be around. His support is durable and he's not just going to go away so let's see how this plays out.

LEMON: I wonder if that translates to Hillary Clinton because -- Lanny and I think I know what your answer is but maybe you'll surprise me among the group who's the toughest when it comes to Hillary Clinton, you'll probably say none of them but what do you think?

DAVIS: Well, I always thought that John Kasich and Jeb Bush would be the most difficult Republicans to beat. And I always and still believe that Mr. Trump, Dr. Carson and probably Senator Cruz would be the easiest to beat.

But I don't really know, I have been surprised at the durability of Mr. Trump despite him insulting so many people, using bigoted language about so many groups. I'm not saying he's a bigot and I think that his language is reckless. And indeed, what he said about Muslims, a broad pressure (ph) caused a whole religious group not radical violent Muslims but just all Muslims, he would prohibit to come in at least for now, is a reckless term and really will help us even defense experts say, ISIS in their recruiting.

So he would probably be the easiest one to beat but I say probably because he's surprised me so far on his durability at least among the Republican base.

LEMON: Yeah. There were -- but Katrina, that does not surprise you and there were many people who, from the very beginning said, they thought Donald Trump was going all the way.

PEIRSON: Well yeah, including myself. And, you know, this idea that ISIS somehow liked us more a week ago just -- just the sound of it just doesn't make any sense. But, Mr. Trump has been very strong from the beginning. And of course, Hillary Clinton doesn't want to run against Donald Trump. Of course they want to pick the milk toast Republicans but guess what? We finally have an opposition rising up for so long, we've had not really a big choice between Republicans and Democrats and that's what we're seeing play out on the Republican side, somebody that's coming out with actual positions that show opposition to the party in charge today.

LEMON: One of those positions though is causing, you know, a lot of issues when it comes to the Republican Party especially with the one on Muslims.

Buck, wanted to show you -- put this up, Florida gun shop, Florida is selling, excuse me, stop signs that say, "Warning, this home is a Muslim free zone".

So, I mean, how many ways can I tell you...


What I'm just saying, but, when you think about the rhetoric, do you think the rhetoric that what's happened with Donald Trump is saying out on the campaign trail what people are feeling in this country, do you think it is adding to this sort of thing?

SEXTON: No. I think, as I've said here before, I think it actually makes it harder to have necessary discussions about what a reformed immigration policy with respect to countries that do have very serious security issues.

[21:15:00] You know, there was a bill that was trying to get through the Senate just in the past week, but get any attention because all the attention went to Trump, Rand Paul was sponsoring and people are thinking about ways that they're actually trying to deal with the problems and when it all becomes about who can sound not just the toughest but in someway the most outlandish on this issues. I think that can be a big problem that can drown out a more serious discussion which is already going be acrimonious by the way.

A lot of people don't want to have a discussion about what really would be necessary to prevent radical Islam from striking this year home once again. And so, I think that the trump rhetoric on this is a problem and I think that other people could step up and say the same thing as they have been in fairness within the GOP.

LEMON: Everyone stay with me...

PIERSON: But can't you...

LEMON: Hang on, hang on. Is Ted Cruz becoming the biggest threat that Donald Trump's lead in the GOP race? We're going to look at that next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: ... and even in Iowa at a school, I've seen some of the love that these parents give to those schools, this is real love, these are smart people. And these are people they're not working for a paycheck, these are incredible people and I've seen...



LEMON: The gloves have yet to come off between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Is that about to change? Back with me now, Lenny Davis and Trina Pierson and Buck Sexton. The reason I'm asking that Buck because I want to talk to you about Ted Cruz, New York Times leaked audio of him speaking about Trump and here's what Trump and Carson, here's what he said.


TED CRUZ, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Both of them I like and respect, both Donald and Ben. I do not believe either one of them has going to be our nominee. I don't believe either one of them is going to be our president. I think both of them, their campaigns have a natural arc.

[21:20:00] Look, people run as who they are, I believe that gravity will bring both of those campaigns down, I think the lion's share of their supporters come to us.


LEMON: So the latest poll show that Ted Cruz gaining ground, Donald Trump so was commanding lead 35 percent. Do you think Cruz is a candidate that, you know, is he going to reign in Trump?

SEXTON: I think Cruz is probably in the best position of all the candidates we see now because what he was saying in that audio is what many even said all along that Ted Cruz has been playing the sort of draft position. It's like he's in the race and he knows exactly where to be.

He knows that if anyone's going to be able to pull a lot of support away from Donald Trump, who is going to benefit the most net support it's going to be him. I think that's been clear from the beginning.

And so, as Trump continues to move on here we get closer, when people are actually casting votes instead of just sort of speculating what it will be. I think Ted Cruz is very well positioned. People may look at this whole thing in retrospective and say, "Wow, Ted Cruz is sort of a political tactical genius." That's if it works and if he end's up winning, but I do think that he's in a very serious position to do that based on the numbers so far. But also how he's positioning himself?

He's an absolute real conservative but he also is hard line on these issues that Trump is hard lined on without necessarily being outlandish and offensive to certain portions of the electorate. So, he could be considered more electable.

LEMON: Katrina Trump indicated on Twitter this morning that it would be easy for him to take out Ted Cruz. Tonight, he's in Iowa tonight. We showed him live for just a little bit but here is what he said earlier.

TRUMP: I do like that Cris, but not a lot of evangelicals come out of Cuba in all fairness, it's true. Not a lot come out, but I like him nevertheless.

LEMON: So, these sort of Cruz draft position this love fest, Trump Cruz love fest, is it over Katrina?

KATRINA: I don't think it's over. Look, senator Cruz had to say what he said because he needs people's money, he was not a fundraiser. Donald Trump tweeted and everybody covered it. He just wanted to acknowledge it.

At the end of the day, we're going to have to see what happens with Senator Cruz and Donald Trump had been very quartile to each other. And the reason why Senator Cruz is rising is because he's actually running a pro-Ted Cruz campaign unlike the others whoa re falling with the exception of Carson, instead of running an anti-Trump campaign.

So, we have to look at all of the candidates running to figure out why who's going up and who's going down because senator Cruz is running for Cruz and Donald Trump is running for Donald Trump.

LEMON: Let's put up, this is the Ted Cruz tweet, he tried to make up this morning on twitter and he said, here is what he said. He said, Trump actually -- what did he say? "The establishment's only hope Trump and me in a cage match sorry to disappoint, Donald Trump is terrific, #dealwiththis." Why are you laughing Lanny? Is this...

LANNY: Well, because good try, Senator Cruz. You also said what you didn't quote and I heard the quote, said, "who do you want to have your finger on the button in referring to Donald Trump?" He can tweet only once but he's touching on a key issue that causes people genuine concern about Trump.

The recklessness of his words makes you wonder about the recklessness of his ability to lead representing the United States in this horrible war that we have against terror and ISIS.

So, there is concern about Donald Trump and Ted Cruz reflected that. I will also like to say that I do respect and Katrina, you may not like me saying this, I do respect Mr. Trump, Senator Cruz and all of the Republicans battling it out, taking part in this process and letting the voters decide and we Democrats have to respect whoever comes out of that convention, it's going to be a tough election and I think we're right on the issues.

Hillary Clinton is probably 70-80 percent in favor, the American people favor, background checks on guns. She favors all the Republicans oppose. Choice for women and support for Planned Parenthood, 60-70 percent of the American people support and all of Republicans opposed and things like background checks and certainly minimum wage and tax cuts for the wealthy which all of the Republicans support, Hillary Clinton opposes.

This is about a unified Democratic Party representing on most issues, 60-70 percent of public opinion and Mr. Trump and most of the Republicans are in a narrow Republican base and will have a hard time moving back to the center.

LEMON: I'm surprised you didn't bring your Hillary Clinton t-shirt tonight. That was...

DAVIS: Mr. Hugh has it.

LEMON: All right. Its two Republicans versus one Democrat. We're going to give Lanny the last word. Thank you, have a good one, appreciate it.

LANNY: Thank you.

LEMON: Up next, Donald Trump ignoring all the criticism and defending his call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

TRUMP: There is something out there that is evil. There is something out there that's causing problems. My people are smarter than the pundits. The people that support me and many of the people that don't support me who agree with me and they agree with me.

[21:24:00] But the amazing thing and the beautiful thing is that many Muslim friends of mine are in agreement with me. They said Donald you brought something up to the floor, that's so brilliant and so fantastic.


LEMON: Donald Trump leading the polls defending his proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S., I sat down with him in New York this week and he told me why he is right and his critics are wrong. Take a look.


TRUMP: So when I did the whole thing on illegal immigration and Mexico and the border, I get much more criticism than I'm getting now and everybody said "Oh, that's going to be the end, that's going to be a disaster" and three weeks later everybody agreed with me I was right. They all came into my side.

The group that is not criticizing me is the public. The public agrees with what I said. They saw those two animals last week go out and shoot people and the husband and wife, the wife came here on a phony visa, on a visa that frankly it's disgraceful that she was able to come in and she radicalized probably radicalized him. She had a fiancee visa.

LEMON: Fiancee visa. [21:30:00] TRUMP: And disgusting disgraceful thing. So, the people

that are with me a 100 percent are the people, and that's frankly all that matters. The politicians, look, the politicians are very upset, they haven't caught on. I don't think they will catch on, in your own polls, I'm 20 points up, I'm way up on everybody. And I'm not -- by the way, the last thing I care about is the poll from -- I have to do what's right and what's right is this, we have a problem, it's a serious problem. It's got to be solved and people that are Muslim that are friends of mine are so happy that I brought it up.

LEMON: Where are the parameters on Mr. Trump? Where are the foreign leaders, what about leaders who are Muslim, from Muslim countries...

TRUMP: We don't have a lot of foreign leaders that want to bring up the subject and that's why I'm getting so much credit because I'm willing to bring up a subject that nobody else wants to bring up. And you know why Don, because I am self-funding my own campaign.

I have no people giving me money. I don't need anybody's money. I have no people in terms of special interest donors, any of this. I have none of them.

LEMON: I want to talk about funding your campaign but let's stick to this because -- what I mean is, what about foreign diplomats or people from Muslim countries who are coming into the country?

TRUMP: Certainly exceptions can be made, I mean, you'll going to have -- I'm not going to say you can't come into the country.

And the one thing people didn't pick up, at the end of that sentence, it said, until we get our hands around it, essentially, until we find out what the hell is going on, which is the express I used.

Now, I can go quickly, but you know what, it's a subject that has to be discussed.

LEMON: So you said there will be exceptions even for like international athletes and competitions...

TRUMP: Of course there will be exceptions. You can't keep people out like that.


TRUMP: There will certainly be exceptions made.

LEMON: So, you have been saying that until we figure out what is going on, what exactly does that mean? We'll figure out what? What is there to figure out?

TRUMP: Why is there such hatred and such viciousness? Why is somebody willing to fly airplanes into the World Trade Center and go after it even prior to that? They failed although they did tremendous damage by any normal standard. And then after they failed, they went, they actually took airplanes into the World Trade Center. Where does this hatred come from? Why does it come? We have to figure it out because we have problems.

So, when you surveil the mosques, I took a lot of heat for surveillance of the mosques. Well now, other people saying that we have to surveil all the mosques. I took heat for we have to study things. Nobody's taking the heat like me, I don't care. I don't care. Because what I'm saying is right and you know what? You know what's right and everybody knows its right. And you know who really knows it right? It's the public. The public knows its right.

We have to find out Don, where does this hatred come from? But, it seems to be one group. I mean the people that flew the planes into the World Trade and many other things, not only in this country but in many other countries. You look at what's going on all over the world. We have to find out why and where is it coming from.

LEMON: So, how would you do it? How would -- and to be practical, how would you put this policy into action? Do you do ask someone coming over...


TRUMP: You have to go through a series of questions. You have to go through a series of -- you need paperwork. You have to find out where these people are coming from.

But we can't allow radical killers into this country. We can't do it. We have enough problems. We owe $19 trillion, it's going to be $21 trillion very soon. We have jobs that are being stolen from us by China, by Japan, by everybody. We cannot continue to allow this to happen to our country.

We're not going to have a country where people pouring across the borders that we have no idea who they are.

LEMON: You have big business interests in the Middle East?

TRUMP: Yeah.

LEMON: People are wondering, why are you continuing to do business in the Middle East if you have such concerns...

TRUMP: Because I've great relationships with people and I love the Middle East, I love the people of the Middle East...

LEMON: But aren't you worried about...

TRUMP: But there is a problem.

LEMON: ... being affected by the policy...

TRUMP: Maybe it is -- look, look. Maybe it will be. I mean, look, that's one of those things.

What I'm doing now is far more important, and I'm talking about for the Muslims. I'm doing good for the Muslims. What I'm doing now is far more important than any particular business I have in the Middle East. I'm doing a big favor.

I was just called by one of the most important people of the Middle East and just said to me, Donald, you have done a tremendous service to the Muslims because we're making -- nobody wants to talk about it. Everybody wants to be so politically correct, and let everybody come in. We have a problem. And the problem has to be solved.

LEMON: Yeah.

TRUMP: And when that problem is solved, it's going to be a much happier world.


[21:35:01] LEMON: Donald Trump's comments about Muslims are a personal front to CNN's Fareed Zakaria, he say, "He is appalled at Trump's positions not as a Muslim but as an American".

We're going to talk to him about it next.


LEMON: Donald Trump is defending his call to ban Muslims from entering the United States claiming the public agrees with them and he stands by his statement calling for the surveillance of mosques.

Fareed Zakaria, is the host of Fareed Zakaria GPS, he disagrees with Trump and calls him out in his column in the Washington Post and he joins me now.

This is very moving and very personal for you because you're an immigrant to the country, you're a non-practicing Muslim and now your citizen here. You're appalled by this you say.

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: You know, I think I can feel -- sometimes when you're a commentator, you could write about something intellectually and you can write about it with reason and facts. But in this case, I can almost feel what he's doing. The way it's poisoning the atmosphere because what happens is, people who were off the minority community that's being discriminated against, kind of huddle together and the people, you know, in the mainstream start viewing them suspiciously then the minority gets more and more defensive.

[21:40:03] And that dynamic just creates a cycle of segregation and mistrust, and I've watched this. You know, you go to places like Bosnia, you go to places like Iraq, where people use communities used to live together. And what happens is you, you fuel this kind of cycle of mistrust and it ends very badly.

LEMON: That's for you on an intellectual you because you travel the world and you see things but I have personal, this is -- I haven't seen you or maybe I haven't read everything you've written but write about this personally, ever.

ZAKARIA: You're exactly right. I've been writing for 25 years and I've never wanted to write as Indian-American, as a Muslim, as a practicing, non -- I mean to my mind, that stuff is -- so I want you to agree with me because I have good arguments, good facts, but yeah, you can not but be moved, this really emotionally because what he's doing in a sense is, he's dehumanizing.

LEMON: Does it hurt? What is it? What's the...

ZAKARIA: Yeah, yeah.

LEMON: What's the emotion?

ZAKARIA: It makes you feel you're not being treated like an individual, you know, you're not being -- and to me that's what so un- American about it.

That the core of being an American of the America is that you judge every individual as an individual. You don't put on them this idea that they are a member of a group and so that you're suspicious because of that -- and that part of it, yeah, it feels very personal and it -- yeah, it does hurt.

It is also very -- I'll tell you honestly, it's very awkward. I feel awkward talking about it honestly when you pressed me on it because I've always felt like, I don't want to be the guy who talks about his identity. I want to talk about acts, of logic and you know...

LEMON: I was going to say to you, I was thinking about this in the office as I was preparing for this, it's almost like you're coming out, I remember coming out on television, it felt so invasive and personal like, "I don't want to share this."

ZAKARIA: Exactly. And look, in both those cases, you're dealing, you're talking about being part of a minority that is viewed suspiciously by a lot. You know, says like, "Do I really want to talk about this, do I want, you know, do I want people to see me in those terms"? Yeah. It is -- at least for me was difficult.

LEMON: That important to you. This was then important to you.

ZAKARIA: Yeah, because I felt as though I could hunker down and you know, hope it will pass and most people know I have a funny name but they don't know what it means. But I feel like that wasn't the right thing to do. Might as well just stand up and be counted.

LEMON: This is different than their conversations. You and I have had some very strong conversations, heated conversations about Islam. That's more intellectual in trying to figure things out. This is different. This is different.

ZAKARIA: Yeah. This is about, as I say, it's about you're dehumanizing people like imagine when you step into a taxi in New York, chances are the guy is Muslim. OK? So you're treating that person who has nothing to do with what some people 6,000 miles away are doing. You're treating that person cruelly because of, you know, something he had nothing to do with.

LEMON: Do you think he'll change?

ZAKARIA: No. I think that Donald Trump has realized that the path to the Republican primary voter or a large part of the Republican primary voter is through the gut.

He's realized that, you know, he doesn't even bother to put out an economic plan. And he's a businessman running for president. He doesn't bother to put out any of the kind of policy proposals that all the other -- he's realized nobody cares about that. They vote with emotions, their gut and all he does this is reaching those emotions, Mexicans, Muslims, extend the Chinese, that's where he goes for.

LEMON: He talks about being politically correct in his interview with me, he talked about for example in San Bernardino, the neighbors, you know, of the people who committed those heinous acts in San Bernardino not wanting to, you know, tell authorities that they saw something suspicious but because it was too P.C.

Do you buy that?

ZAKARIA: I don't really buy that. I mean, I think in retrospect people may say that my guess is -- look, there's a lot of activity that looks weird to us. I mean, you and I walk around the streets, you would -- in retrospect, some of it might turn out to be something that was potentially criminal. I would guess that that's a lot of what happened. I doubt very much that people were that worried about, you know, seeming like, they were politically correct.

And also, what Trump is suggesting the alternative, which is that everyone constantly goes around spying on people who are brown skin or look weird or have funny names and go and report to the police, that also strikes me as a kind of weird (inaudible) police state that he's trying to create where you're putting everybody against each other.

I think people should of course -- at a common sense level, if they see something that seems illegal, report it to the police. But I don't think you need special encouragement to, you know, go around snooping around whether it's blacks or Muslims or Hispanics. I think again, this is all very un-American.

And let's keep in perspective Don, since 9/11, in the 14 years since 9/11, 45 people have been killed by Muslim terrorists in America. We will have 11,000 people die because of gun violence.

LEMON: You just read this.

[21:45:00] I have the stats here somewhere but you gave them and it's in your piece, this is really kind of a letter to Donald Trump, isn't it? Is it?

ZAKARIA: Well, I don't want to write a letter to Donald Trump. It's a letter to America because as you know, I am very optimistically. I'm sure most Americans don't feel this way. I had only the best experiences in my long, long time in America.

Americans will get past this but it is a test of -- you know, will people denounce him? That's a test of moral character.

LEMON: Thank you Fareed Zakaria.

We'll be right back.


LEMON: The newest song (ph) with the CNN Quiz Show.

Why are you laughing at me? Is this Sunday. And this is the luckiest person in the world right now. It's Kate Bolduan, you're my teammate.

KATE BOLDUAN, BROADCASTER: That's right. I'm lucky because I'm with you.

LEMON: We're in fighting mode.

BOLDUAN: That's right.

LEMON: Do we really have any competition?


LEMON: Yeah. But let's look at the other people at least. Here they are.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Were going to testing our CNN host knowledge of famous Americans.

[21:50:00] The Wright flier aircraft, if you don't post knowledge of famous Americans. The Wright flier aircraft appears on two commemorative state quarters, which states? Time to meet the teams.

LEMON: We're the crowd favorite. Woo-hoo.

BOLDUAN: I was thinking of a motto for us, it's my life motto. Its second place is first loser.

ROBIN MEADE, NEWS ANCHOR: I'm a little bit country.

JOHN BERMAN, NEWS ANCHOR: I'm a little bit rock 'n' roll.

MEADE: I think we need a theme song.

BERMAN: I'm kind of partial to fun.

MEADE: I'm a brick house. I bet the others don't have a song.

BERMAN: No, they have no music in their life, they need Mariah von Trapp to bring music in their life.


W.KAMAU BELL, STAND-UP COMIC: This is the dream team. SPURLOCK: Hercules, Hercules.

BELL: Take that Harvard grad, you would put this if we win, I get to be KB at CNN.

LEMON: There's a new KB as out.

BOLDUAN: Back out, that's mine!

W.KAMAU BELL: I get to be CNN's new number one black guy.

SPURLOCK: My god, we were hired for our looks and then we brought our brains with us.

UNKNOWN: Not as dumb as we look.


LEMON: We'll see who's dumb.

BOLDUAN: We will see. Can you lift that bell...

LEMON: Not without with this thing on. So, look, we were ready. I have to say we're good and someone said we are the new Lucy and Ricky.

BOLDUAN: I think that's a compliment.

LEMON: Is that a little racist?

BOLDUAN: I think it's a complement, I'll take it, I'll take it. It was so much fun and so hard, it was so hard. But, I know its kind of look like we were joking about it and when we're promoing (ph) it, I'm not actually, I'm just sweating, not in the right places. But, your training and your tips on -- there are real tricks to succeeding in this quiz show and your bell skills, stellar.

LEMON: So, I'm not so great at the buzzer because it's just like...

BOLDUAN: No one is it's really.

LEMON: I was lost a lot of brain cells in college, if you know what I mean. So my short-term memory is gone. But, you know, so it's like that is too fast. Because I going take a second right, to fire in my brain. But this is -- I always saw you like this, put your hands behind your back like my mistake the first time is that I was clasping my hand.


LEMON: And so, I like lost every one, right?

BOLDUAN: We're not going to keeping it away about your tips on bell etiquette...


BOLDUAN: ... key. Yes. Because I was right here, right here.

LEMON: And also like if you don't like, just -- it's fast. So, If you -- just say and answer, right? So, you can keep moving on.

BOLDUAN: That's when you already got frustrated with me because (inaudible).


LEMON: Just say something, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Just so you have a chance to talk.

LEMON: It's a lot of studying though. We called each other, we were e-mailing thing, are you studying, are you studying?

BOLDUAN: And then you twitted something out where you're studying in a bar.

LEMON: That was said -- I just went to Blondies which was my favorite weighing bar and sports bar I go to, like almost every Sunday as you can probably tell, me extra 10 pounds I've gained lately. And I was studying and it actually helps. I was like watching football, eating chicken wings and studying.

BOLDUAN: I don't believe it. I joke corny (ph) and I took a lot of heat when I said that you're so fun and you're a lot smarter than people give you credit for. And then, it did not come out, whatever, that's just not how I meant it. You really...


LEMON: ... that way?

BOLDUAN: Yeah, I did a little bit. But, the thing that was -- the fear of shame is kind of -- I think was the motivating factor for all of us. Because you really don't look like the dam-dam.

LEMON: But you won't believe how competitive this young lady is. After rehearsal, she is like up all night, she did an all night of studying and we...

BOLDUAN: We crammed.

LEMON: And we kicked, you know what, we won't tell you this.

BOLDUAN: Oh, we can't tell you what happened. We would like to tell you all but we can't.

LEMON: Anyway, we played for the Alvin Alley Dance Foundation which is a great Alvin Alley, the great choreographer and dancer in the grade school here in Mid Town West Coast (ph).

BOLDUAN: And it's also part of the motivating -- like you really want to win it for -- but everyone does win.

LEMON: Thank you my dear.

BOLDUAN: Thank you for having me (ph)

LEMON: You're fantastic, it's past your bedtime.

BOLDUAN: I know, can I go to sleep now? Yes, it's Friday, it's bed time.

LEMON: Well, you have to deal (ph) with the kid.

BOLDUAN: Deal with the kid, I like to say it that too (ph).

LEMON: You can catch the CNN Quiz Show Famous Americans Edition this Sunday, December 13th at 4:00 p.m.

BOLDUAN: Winning.

LEMON: Winning, losers, we'll be right back.



LEMON: The 2015 CNN Hero of the Year is 28-year-old Maggie Doyne, mother to almost 50 children in Nepal. And she is helping to educate hundreds more.

CNN's Michaela Pereira sat down with Maggie moment that she won for $100,000 award.


ANDERSON COPPER: Ladies and gentleman, a 2015 CNN Hero of the Year is Maggie Doyne.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, TELEVISION PERSONALITY: When you heard your name said on the stage ...

MAGGIE DOYNE, CNN HERO OF THE YEAR: From Anderson Cooper's mouth.

PEREIRA: ... from Anderson Cooper's mouth, what went through your mind?

DOYNE: Just joy, just pure joy and gratitude.

PEREIRA: What does it feel like?

DOYNE: I'm proud. I'm proud that I took that step and I'm happy for the kids. This is really for them. They are the ones that have had heartened

stories and the struggles and they've overcome so much.

PEREIRA: What do you want people to know about the children of Nepal?

DOYNE: There's hundreds and thousands of girls who are not enrolled in to school. There are many orphan children as a result of civil war and disease and starvation and I can't do it alone. We all have to do it together.

PEREIRA: How will this money help you do that?

DOYNE: I'm building a brand new school and I'm going to take in more kids. It's gas in the tank. It's, you know, remembering what this is all about and why we do it. So I'm taking this back to Nepal and for Nepal and for my kids and I'm just going the keep going.

PEREIRA: We're terrifically proud of you young lady.

DOYNE: Thank you.

PEREIRA: Have fun doing it, OK?

DOYNE: Thanks Michaela.


LEMON: And if you missed that you can catch CNN heroes and I'll start a preview (ph) tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

That is it for us tonight. I'll see you right back here next week. Blind-Sided; how ISIS shook the World " starts now.