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One on One with Donald Trump; Trump Weighs in on Cruz, Flint Water Crisis; Preview of "The Person Who Changed My Life'. Aired 10- 11p ET
Aired January 20, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "AC360": I want to thank all our panelist. That does it for us. CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon starts now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Donald Trump, one-on-one.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
The candidate joins me for a one-on-one no-holds-barred interview on the day he tops our brand new poll in New Hampshire and he's got the biggest endorsement of the race so far. So, is the Trump campaign confident tonight? You bet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Are you ready to stump for Trump? I'm here to support the next President of the United States of America.
LEMON: But with 12 days to go until Iowa, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are neck and neck. Will Sarah Palin help him there? Well, conservative voters block to Trump. Well, tonight, the man who says this.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to make our country again. We're going to win, we're going to win, and we're going to win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Joining me now on the phone is Donald Trump. Hello, Mr. Trump.
TRUMP: How are you, Don?
LEMON: I'm well. I'm sure you're well as well. Because I know that you love the new polls, in this brand new poll. Because I think you've tweeted out you are happy with CNN. You thank us for the poll. The CNN WMUR poll tonight, this first in New Hampshire, our new poll
shows you have a 20-point lead over Ted Cruz, only a third of the voters say that they've made up their minds. So, things get changed but what is your reaction?
TRUMP: Well, I even heard it was 21 points. I'm not sure. I haven't seen it yet. But I heard it was like a 21-point lead. That's a pretty big lead no matter how you cut it.
TRUMP: That's a pretty big lead. I'm very happy about it. That's a very respected poll and we, you know, I've done really well in New Hampshire. I love the people of New Hampshire. And we've done -- we've done really great there. So, I'm very honored by it.
LEMON: So, you are at 34, Cruz is at 14, and Bush is at 10 percent. Are you surprise that Bush -- it seems that he's now doing better in the polls.
TRUMP: Well, I don't think he's going to do well. He spent $79 million and is a low-energy person. It's not what the country needs. The last thing we need is another Bush. And the only reason I speak badly about him because I almost feel sorry for him frankly. The only reason is that he spends millions and millions of dollars in negative ads about me. Otherwise, I wouldn't even talk because he said the back of the PAC.
So, you know, he's not doing well. I mean, probably in New Hampshire a little bit better, but nationwide he's doing almost nothing.
TRUMP: I mean, can you imagine spending $79 million and I spent almost nothing. Now I'm going to start spending money because I feel guilty. So, I'm going to start spending money and I don't want to take any chances either, by the way. But he spent $79 million and he's toward at the back of the pack. It's ridiculous.
LEMON: Let's look now at the match-ups here, other polls up now. And it's a match-ups between Hillary Clinton and the other candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. And again, this survey is of New Hampshire voters, Mr. Trump.
LEMON: You lose to both of them, though, and you really lose to Hillary Clinton. I'm sure you don't like that much. What's your reaction to that?
TRUMP: Well, in the Fox poll I beat her very easily by a lot. And, you know, it's a -- that came out a couple of weeks ago. And in the Fox poll and in a couple of other polls I beat her.
I haven't even focused on them yet, Don. What I'm focusing on, Bernie Sanders, I mean, the guy is a whacko. I think that Bernie Sanders would be very easy to beat. I can't even imagine that he wins. I'm not sure that she is going to be allowed to run because based on all that's going on with the e-mails and everything that happened especially over the last couple of weeks. I can't imagine she'd be allowed to run.
So, maybe a third person comes in. Who knows? But we are, you know, as soon as I focus on them I'm sure I will do very well. But the Fox poll has me, as you know, winning very substantially.
TRUMP: So, I'm sure I'll be able to do very well against either one of them.
LEMON: So, listen, since you brought that up let's about this. Hillary Clinton's e-mails are in the news again today. Because today, you said that she is trying to avoid the clink, now that was your comment.
You also called Bernie Sanders and you just said a whacko or a whack job. CNN is going to host its democratic Town Hall on Monday night. What would you ask Clinton and Sanders?
TRUMP: Well, I'd think I'd really talk to Clinton about her e-mails and say, how would you be so stupid to have done such a thing. This shows such bad judgment. How could a person running for president and wanting to be president show this kind of judgment?
And historically, she's had this judgment whether its whitewater or, you know, it's always something. It's always something traumatic and that's bad judgment.
I think with Bernie Sanders, I'd say did you make a mistake when you so easily in order to get a good sound bite gave up on the e-mails. Because he really did, in my opinion, made a very serious mistake. I mean, really a big one.
LEMON: Do you think there is some "there there" with the e-mails? Do you think that they're asserting is prosecutable?
[22:05:00] TRUMP: I think most people do. Look, I think most people do. I think that she frankly is far more guilty than Petraeus and all these other people who have had their lives destroyed.
And by the way, while we're on it, I hope they leave Petraeus alone. I mean, I hope they're not going to damage him any more than he has been damaged. They are talking about reducing his status, reducing his rank.
LEMON: Demoting him, right?
TRUMP: I really think, Don, that he's really had enough and he's suffered enough without having to do more to him. He's gone through the mill. You know, we have ISIS to fight, we have... (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: But let me ask you this.
TRUMP: ... and the trade deals that is so horrible. We don't have to go in further destroy General Petraeus.
LEMON: So, then what is the difference, because if you're saying because General Petraeus is accused of sharing classified information with a mistress. And you're saying Hillary Clinton shared classified information, she was found guilty of it. And if she shared classified information from a server that you deem or people saying deemed is not to be legal, then what is the difference there, why should he be left alone and she be prosecuted?
TRUMP: Well, what I'm saying is she should be prosecuted and he was. I mean, he went through -- he went through the wringer. He was really prosecuted. And, you know, what happened with him was suspended sentences and everything else and it's been terrible. And she hasn't had anything yet.
So, we're going to have to see whether or not the democrats are protecting her. Because I think anybody else on that position would have been prosecuted long ago.
And when you speak to experts on the matter, when you speak to lawyers that do nothing but this, they can't believe that it's gone on so long and that nothing's happened to her.
LEMON: Yes. OK. Let's focus on Iowa right now. Because you know the big news is you and Sarah Palin. What was it like with Sarah Palin on the campaign trail for the first time today?
TRUMP: Well, it was terrific. You know, we had 15,000 people, we had to send away 5,000 people. You saw the arena today. I hope you saw the arena.
LEMON: I did. I did. It was full.
TRUMP: It was massive. It was like a -- it was incredible. Every seat packed. I mean, literally, 5,000 people sent away. And what I'm doing is I'm going to go back to take care of those 5,000 people. Oklahoma has been unbelievable. Iowa has been unbelievable.
Every place, I mean, no matter where we go it's like love. There's love in the room and it's been incredible. They want to see -- you know, the theme is make America great again. That's what they want to see and that's what we're going to do.
But the crowds that we're getting and, by the way, as you know, far bigger than anybody else by a lot. Now, Bernie Sanders, I will tell you, is second. But he is a distant, distant second. The crowds that -- the crowds that we have, it's a movement. It's actually a movement. It's a beautiful thing to see.
LEMON: So, I have -- I have interviewed you enough and I've watched you with other people and I can tell, I think I can, when you're comfortable and when you're not with certain interviewers. And even if you're comfortable with your interview with me.
And I watched the speech last night. Everybody was riveted by that. But you did seemed to be uncomfortable, other people have said it. Am I wrong? Are they wrong? Were you uncomfortable there for a bit watching Sarah Palin?
TRUMP: No, not at all. I was there. I mean, I didn't know it was going to be quite that long. But she made a beautiful, you know, she made a very good speech. No, I wasn't uncomfortable. I was very happy.
I would have normally left the stage and let her speak, but I thought it would be nice. I thought it would be, you know, frankly, and I said if I was there. I thought it would be disrespectful to her if I left the stage. So, no, I wasn't uncomfortable at all.
LEMON: Here's what Rush Limbaugh said. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, THE RUSH LIMBAUGH SHOW HOST: I saw Trump standing aside while she was at the podium and he's not the kind of guy that stands aside. He just isn't. He's that dominant. He is -- he is that huge to give up the podium, even to somebody endorsing him, sponsoring him.
It didn't -- not criticizing it, don't anybody misunderstand. I'm just telling you what I think here, do with it what you want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: What is your reaction, Mr. Trump?
TRUMP: Well, I love Rush. I think he's an amazing guy and he's been so supportive. And I understand couple of people have actually told me that some people thought it was really nice because it showed respect.
So, you know, I guess it's a flip of a coin. Probably if I left people would have said, oh, gee, why did he leave the stage, that wasn't very nice. But I understand exactly what they're saying and I understand Rush and, by the way, I really like Rush.
LEMON: I think the thing is what they're saying is that you both happen, you happen to be a reality star. I mean, come on. You know, the "Apprentice," that was all you. You sort of, you know, created reality television in some way, right?
You set a precedent is a better way to do it. She had a reality show. You're both happen to be politicians. And I think that what people are saying is he's used to the spotlight, she is now in the spotlight. Is that uncomfortable for Donald Trump?
TRUMP: Well, I thought it was great. Look, she wanted me. I mean, it was an amazing thing because she wanted to endorse me. And she let it be known. And I was actually really impressed and, you know, I've had a great relationship with her for a long time.
But the fact that she chose me over many others. I mean, because frankly...
LEMON: Over Ted Cruz.
TRUMP: ... Ted would have wanted that endorsement. Sarah's endorsement is a very powerful endorsement especially in certain areas like in Iowa.
[22:10:01] TRUMP: And they wanted that -- and you, by the way, the crowd, you saw the crowd reaction today in Oklahoma to Sarah. So, it was a very important endorsement. And, you know, I was just very honored that she wanted to do that.
LEMON: Well, I'm glad you...
TRUMP: She wanted to think. She didn't come up and say -- oh, I'd like to do this, I'd like to have that. She wanted nothing. She just wants what's good. You know, she loves the country and she really wants, she wants what's good for the country, Don, which is really nice.
LEMON: You said she wanted nothing. She spoke with my colleague, Jake Tapper in September and she said, you know, she's energy secretary or what have you. But there was no negotiating over, you know, if she would join your campaign. What might happen?
TRUMP: No. Zero. I mean, she will work with the campaign, probably. But, I mean, in terms of if I win will she want a job or what some kind of thing is zero. Absolutely, not discussed in. I mean, it's frankly, very impressive that she doesn't discussed it.
TRUMP: But every one of the candidates wanted her endorsement, and in particular Ted Cruz, who, right now is having tremendous difficulty. I mean, he's got a loan problem where, as you know, he didn't on his financial disclosure form. He didn't list that he borrowed a lot of money from Goldman Sachs and from Citibank.
That's a big thing. When you are sign a financial disclosure form. You are signing a very important document. You are giving it to the government and he didn't list two major institutions that he has borrowed money and that he is guaranteeing. And he knew he borrowed it. So, he said, oh, well, I guess, I forgot about it or something.
I mean, that's not so easy. My financial disclosure was the longest in the history of the, you know, world in terms of what we're - in terms of what we're filing. It was almost 100 pages and nobody complained about it. It's been gone over by you and every other reporter from here to Asia and nobody complained about it.
LEMON: Well, let's...
TRUMP: Close to 100 pages. He had a very small financial disclosure. He had two banks maybe he's got more than that, I don't know.
TRUMP: But, you know, he always goes on the side of the banks and we're going to protect the -- we're going to protect the people. He is always talking about the banks. Well, the people didn't know that he was borrowing from Goldman Sachs and from Citibank.
LEMON: Well, he said if it needs to be he will fix it if it needs to be.
TRUMP: Well, sure.
LEMON: He will send it. He will rescind it.
LEMON: We have got much more ahead with Donald Trump. When we come right back, why he says Ted Cruz is the one who doesn't have the temperament to be president.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
TRUMP: We are going to win so much. We're going to have win after win after win, you people are going to get sick and tired of winning. You're going to say, please, please, President Trump we can't take this much victory. Please, stop.
We don't want any more wins and I'm going to say to you, we're going to win, I don't care what you say, we're going to make our country great again. We're going to win, we're going to win, and we are going to win.
LEMON: I want to talk to you about Ted Cruz today. Because he said that the Washington establishment is abandoning Marco Rubio. Because they've decided that he can't win this race and the establishment is rushing over to you because you'll cut deals with them and the democrats. Are you getting more establishment support and is that good for your campaign? Is he right?
TRUMP: I didn't know that he was saying that and I didn't know that they were abandoning Marco to be honest with you. And I'm just doing my cmapaign and we are getting by far, the biggest crowds. We're getting by far the biggest poll numbers. You know, he is very concerned because his poll numbers are going
down. He looks very, very nervous actually and his poll numbers are going down drastically. And you see the ones that just came out. I mean, we have tremendous numbers. I don't know if you saw the one that just came out in Florida, the big one. I'm at 48 and they are at very small numbers by comparison, very, very small numbers.
You know, just a very small by comparison, very, very small. And he sees what's going on. I think I'm doing to do very well in Iowa. I hope so. I'm doing fantastically with the Evangelicals and the Tea Party, and you know, I'm doing very well. I think we're going to have a really good time in Iowa also.
LEMON: OK. One more thing on Ted Cruz. Here's what else he said.
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R-TX) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, listen, it is exactly right that in terms of who I am, I'm a Christian first, I'm an American second. I'm a conservative third, and I'm a republican fourth. And I'll tell you there are a whole lot of people in this country that feel exactly the same way that are fed up with republican leadership.
LEMON: OK. So, Christian first, American second and then he goes on conservative republican, in that order. Is that who -- that's who he says he is. So, who is Donald Trump? Would you put it in that order?
TRUMP: You know, at some point I think he should add his family. I mean, he forgot to add his family. I mean, does he have his family in that group?
LEMON: He did not -- he said he was a Christian first.
TRUMP: Well, I think you got to ask him. What about your family, where do they come in? Do they come in fifth? So, I think that's probably something that he slipped up on. Hey, look, I am somebody that is going to do something really good for the country. We owe 19 trillion with that horrible budget that was just approved which is a horrible and disgraceful approved by the republicans.
Things are in that budget that including bringing Syrians in which should never ever be let to happen. We don't know where they come, et cetera, et cetera, including, you know, bringing people through the border, including funding Obamacare.
There are so many things that are happening in that budget. I cannot believe that the republican leadership frankly, would have approved that budget. But that budget is going to take us to $21 trillion in a very short period of time. We're already at $19 trillion.
This country needs help. It needs leadership, Don, and it needs it fast. And Ted is not the right guy, hasn't got the temperament, hasn't -- I mean, look. Everybody dislikes him. I mean, he is a nasty guy that everybody dislikes and he's got another problem, Don, that you haven't mentioned yet, but he is born in Canada.
(CROSSTALK) LEMON: Well, I'm going to mention that. I'm going to mention that.
TRUMP: Excuse me.
LEMON: Listen, I had someone else on from the New York Times who said the same thing that he -- people who work with Ted Cruz and this is according to him, said, that most -- they don't like him for some reason. That people -- but...
TRUMP: Nobody likes him.
LEMON: ... let's talk about this poll.
TRUMP: I mean, that's wonderful to go and tell the voters that nobody likes you, but you're going to make to make. You're going to have to get these senators and congressman and all of these people you have to cajole them. You have to get all. We got to make deals. We can't always sign executive orders. You can't do it. That wasn't the way our founders set up this country. You understand that.
[22:20:02] It's not part of the deal. You're supposed to get everybody together and you're supposed to come up with deals that everybody -- whether it's Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill, however it works out you have to make deals.
LEMON: What is it about his temperament that people don't like?
TRUMP: They don't like him. I mean, he didn't have one senator stick up for him recently. Because now people are saying he has a real problem with running. Because he was born in Canada. He was born in Canada and he was a citizen of Canada until 15 months ago. And he said he didn't know.
So, he didn't know about his loans. He didn't know about Goldman Sachs and Citi. He didn't know that he was a citizen of Canada and now he is running for president. He's got a real problem because he was born in Canada.
And there are people, and very, very great constitutional lawyers and I'm not only talking about Professor Tribe from Harvard, Lawrence Tribe. I'm talking about many others that say he should not be and cannot be running for president because he doesn't qualify under the guidelines. And that's the way it is.
Now, I don't know if it is right or wrong. I can tell you this. He should go and ask for a declaratory judgment from the courts because the last thing the republicans need and frankly, the last thing that Ted needs is to be running for office and then to be disqualified.
LEMON: Well, it's interesting because this is showing up in the polling, Mr. Trump. And in this new Monmouth University poll that's out today. It shows you with a big national lead, 36 percent to 17 percent which were for Ted Cruz, and 11 percent for Marco Rubio.
TRUMP: Oh, well, I didn't know about that.
LEMON: But there is a...
TRUMP: You can tell me about polls, I don't even know about that. That just came out I guess.
LEMON: But there's another interesting result that goes along with what you're saying. A third of republican voters, a third of them are questioning Ted Cruz's eligibility for president.
TRUMP: I understand that.
LEMON: Do you think that's due to your very public discussion on this issue?
TRUMP: Well, I understand why they would. And by the way, I'm not -- you know, this was a question posed to me...
LEMON: By the Washington Post.
TRUMP: ... three and a half weeks ago by the Washington Post, OK?
TRUMP: It was one of 10 questions. Do I think that he has -- and I said, I don't know. And that's a big problem. When you say you don't know. We will find out some day, as you know, it's been untested. Nobody really knows and that's a problem.
Supposing you are the nominee that you know the democrats are going to sue. And by the way, two people have already sued as I understand. They already sued out there. So, two people, Don, have already sued.
This is a huge problem. So, how can the republicans pick somebody where there is a very substantial chance that he is not allowed to run for president?
LEMON: Can we get back -- I want to get back to because I think that issue it's going to have to be resolved one way or the other. And we'll see how it plays out.
TRUMP: Well, I think the best way for him to resolve it is to go to court and ask for what's called a declaratory judgment so that the courts clear up the matter.
TRUMP: Because unless they clear it up, nobody knows if he has the legal standing to run for president.
LEMON: So, you said this was a question from the Washington Post, but you have been and as you've said, you know, you care about him and that's why you don't want there to be any question about whether he is eligible to be president.
TRUMP: I don't care about him. I care about the country.
TRUMP: I care about the country. I also care about the party and he's going to have to clear that up and many people right now -- many, many people are saying that is a problem. I didn't know this was in this poll that you just say came out.
But if you say 36 percent of the people are concerned about it, that's a lot of people that are concerned. And this is just an issue that just really started recently. But, Don, he was born in Canada and he was a Canadian citizen until 15 months ago.
LEMON: But do you think that's part of the -- the way -- the reason it's polling this way is because you are leading on this that you have been front and center on this public discussion about it.
TRUMP: No, because I'm not making an opinion. I'm not saying he is right or wrong or he has the right to do it or not to do it. I'm just saying that it's something that's going to be -- it's untested. It's untested. The Supreme Court has not ruled.
You have in many, many lawyers out there. Great constitutional lawyers. I listened to one the other day on television where saying -- she was saying, a very highly respected person, she was saying he does not have the right to run for president because he was not born on the land.
LEMON: OK. All right. So, listen. I want to move -- let's move on and talk about you again.
LEMON: You mentioned -- you mentioned Oklahoma and Sarah Palin that you said today she had a great reception. In Tulsa, this afternoon, she spoke about her son's...
LEMON: ... her son's, Track domestic violence arrest on Monday night implying that it might have something to do with this combat related trauma. And she criticized the president's policies dealing with that. Did you ask her to address her son's arrest?
TRUMP: I told her it would be absolutely fine. I thought it would be appropriate. There was tremendous press and I think it's something that's very important to discuss not even for her son, but for so many other sons and daughters that are coming back from the Middle East where they have, you know, traumatic problems, they have tremendous problems and I told her. I actually suggested. I think I said I think it would be a great forum. And I know, she started the dialogue.
[22:24:56] I think it's a very important dialogue. Because she told me that they're coming back, so many are coming back and they are, you know, they're under tremendous pressure and tremendous strain. There's no question about it.
LEMON: Do you think it's fair to link the president with her son's issues?
TRUMP: Oh, I think so. Look, you know, everything starts at the top and he's the president. And I think you can certainly do that. From what I understand, they just -- and all you have to do is look at the Veteran's administration, look at the bad, the horrible care our vets get.
One of the many things I'm going to do is I'm going to straighten that mess out. You take a look at the Phoenix Veterans Administration in Phoenix, Arizona. It's a disgrace. It's a cesspool. It's dishonest. It's corrupt in every way, it's incompetent.
But more I think frankly, I think it's more dishonest than incompetent. But you look at this is true all over the country. And I think it's a good thing and you have to say ultimately, it's the president's charge, it's the president's responsibility. He has to make sure that Veterans Administration works, but it doesn't. Our vets are being treated horribly.
LEMON: At -- so that has to do with our veteran's care, healthcare. Let's talk about the economy now. Because as the president you would be -- people would look to you to find out what is happening with the economy. This is the worst start to a year on record for the stock market, Mr. Trump.
Stock market closed down 250 points today, recovering from a 500-point drop earlier. What do you think is going to ease the fears of investors?
TRUMP: I think if you have a great president and somebody that's a proven leader and somebody that knows business like I do, I think it's going to greatly help.
Look, it's the worst start to a year in our country's history. It's down unbelievable. I have friends that are being wiped out. I mean, I have friends that are fairly substantial people that are being wiped out. Now I will say this. I've never been a stock guy, I've never been a stock picker. I've never really been into that and I never like what other people run my companies, OK. You know, it's one of those things.
LEMON: You are real estate.
TRUMP: I was never much of the stock -- I never, you know, really did it much. I'm not a believer. A number of years ago, I bought a tremendous amount of stock and about a year ago, I sold it all. So, I should get -- you know, I should get credit. Now I'll show you the stocks if you want I'll give you a whole list of them. I bought them. I sold them, made a lot of money and I should be getting a certain credit for vision.
LEMON: Have them send it over. We'll take a look at it.
TRUMP: And you could be -- you can be the one. I've never done this. I mean, I did this just because I thought that the money was free. You know, the interest rates were so low. The money was free so the market had to go up because it was free money.
TRUMP: Now all of a sudden we'll find out the money is not so free that some people are having a very, very hard -- many people are having a hard time getting it and the stock market is semi-crashing. Let's see what happens.
LEMON: And when come right back, Donald Trump weighs in on the toxic tap water in Flint, Michigan and who he thinks is to blame.
[22:30:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am very proud of what I've done as president.
But the only job that's more important to me is the job of fatherhood. And I know if I was a parent up there, I would be beside myself that my kids' health could be at risk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, as the president, you are going to have to comment on many things. The president commented on this today. So, I want to ask you about this water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Last night, republican Governor Rick Snyder said that in his state -- of the state -- quote, this is his state that he said, "No citizen of this great state should endure this kind of catastrophe, the government failed you, the federal state and local leaders by breaking the trust you placed in us."
And then today, again, President Obama said that as a parent he would be beside himself over his kids' health if this were -- if he were there. So, what is your reaction to what's going on in Flint? Should Governor Snyder step down?
TRUMP: Well, I think it's a horrible thing. And it's a real -- I mean, it's just a horrible example of bad government. Now they were having the water from its other location and they were doing fine and somebody came up with this horrible idea of going to the River Flint or whatever, and the water was unbelievably, atrociously, dirty, and disgusting.
And it's hard to believe that they before they hook in to the new river, the new water supply, they wouldn't have tested the water. They could have test it adequately. So, EPA, you know, we talk about the Environmental Protection Agency, they are really guilty of a horror show.
I hear that the council, whoever the council may have been, they wanted to make this switch to. And I mean, in all fairness I'm watching the governor and I can see he's going through a lot and it's not easy for him. But he seems to be taking the full blame for everything, when in fact, I know you had a lot of different groups involved including the local council and probably the mayor that wanted to do it.
LEMON: Should he step done, though? Should he step down?
TRUMP: I don't know the situation well enough. I think it's a very difficult situation. Certainly, it's leading to catastrophe. It's one of the really bad things that I've heard of.
TRUMP: But you do say this, Don, where is EPA? You know, we talk about the Environmental Protection Agency, where are they when they're doing this? Can somebody check the water before they start pumping it into people's homes and down into people's stomachs and into the stomachs of beautiful children who now may be -- you know, they may be scarred for life. Hopefully that won't happen. But where is the EPA, where is everybody?
LEMON: What would you do about it now if you were the president?
TRUMP: I mean, there's more than just him. Yes, he is responsible. But, EPA is responsible. I believe that the council at the time and the mayor at the time is also responsible. There are a lot of people responsible for this. This is a horrible thing. It's incompetence, it's bad management and it is a really a very bad mark on government.
LEMON: So, before we move on, I just want to -- what would you do right now if you were the president about the situation in Flint.
TRUMP: Well, all I can do is get the funds to clean it up and get it done and get it done quickly because you can't have people drinking this garbage.
TRUMP: And it should have not taken place.
TRUMP: A very simple thing. All you had to do is check the water and you could find out that -- it sounds like they didn't check the water until after the water was being pumped into people's homes.
LEMON: Yes. TRUMP: So, there is a lot of incompetence to go around here and it's a very sad circumstance. I hate seeing it.
[22:34:59] LEMON: Can we talk about this because you've gotten a lot of guff for this and I have plenty of your supporters on who defend you and other people who are saying, oh, my gosh, it's a screwed up.
Monday at Liberty University you said two Corinthians instead of second Corinthians. You also said "hell" which is in violation of the student -- the university/student code of conduct. What happened, what do you think of this whole controversy?
TRUMP: Well, I think it's OK. I think it was fine. You know, we had a number of people and my mother was from Scotland. And in Europe and in the U.K. is they say, they actually say two, they say two Corinthians, and a number of people have pointed this out and it was not a big deal.
I'm surprised you've even asking the question. It's a very small deal. But a lot of people in different sections of the world say two. And I have had many, many people say that to me. And my mother, as you know, was from Scotland and they would have said two.
And frankly, Tony Perkins wrote that out for me. Because Tony thought it would be great. He knew I was going to Liberty, he has a great respect for Liberty. And Tony Perkins is a very, very good guy.
And he actually wrote out two, he wrote out the number two Corinthians, which I could show you very nicely if you'd like. And I called Tony and he said, no, well, I meant second. But he wrote out the letter two. And he was the one that actually, he was, you know, he's somebody I do respect a lot and like a lot. And he would -- he liked me to say this and he wanted me to talk about exactly what we're talking about, Corinthians.
And so, what I did is I took exactly what Tony said and I said, well, Tony has to know better than anybody and that's the way it is. If you'd like I'll show that to you.
TRUMP: And it's one of those things. But, you know, in different participants of the world they do say two. And in parts of Scotland as I understand they say...
LEMON: And you still have...
TRUMP: I've heard it. And by the way -- by the way, I have to tell you, Don, I've heard it both ways and it was a very small deal. What you're not saying is that they had the biggest crowd in the history of Liberty University.
LEMON: And you have -- and you have big support among Evangelicals. So, I mean, and everyone has come and said...
TRUMP: No, wait a minute. They had the biggest crowd in the history of Liberty, as you know, of Liberty University which is an amazing place.
TRUMP: The biggest crowd in their history, Dr. Jerry Falwell is an incredible guy and he made the most beautiful introductory speech. And when I finished I got a standing ovation. You forgot to say those things.
LEMON: You said them, so I didn't have to.
TRUMP: Now I said it.
LEMON: I want to ask you about this because I saw this comment from you earlier. And I was actually surprised that you did comment on it. And this is the whole thing that's going on with the Oscars and some people are saying that they are going to boycott it.
Someone said, one of the commentators on Fox today said, "Either we want segregation or integration." You weighted on this and you said, "I never thought about it that way." And then you went on to say, "That it would certainly be nice for everyone if everybody could be representative -- represented." What do you make of the situation with the Oscars and diversity and the possibility of a boycott?
TRUMP: Well, I think it's a shame and I hope there is not going to be a boycott. I think it's a shame. But I have, you know, I have seen over the years, many African-Americans and people that I know and really like a lot, both as actors and, you know, people that I know and just respect, I've seen many people that are African-American receive Oscars. But I don't know what happened this year. It seems that this year it's a -- maybe a different story.
LEMON: And the year before.
TRUMP: But the head of -- the head of the Academy I believe is an African-American. Is that correct?
LEMON: Yes. She's a woman of color.
TRUMP: Yes. I'm not very well -- I haven't been following it very closely. But I think it's a shame. I think it's a shame that this has to, you know, that it has to come to this, where there seems to be great animosity. And, you know, too bad. It shouldn't be -- it shouldn't come to this, I feel.
LEMON: Donald Trump, thank you.
TRUMP: Thank you very much, Don. Great honor.
LEMON: So, let's talk about all this now. I want to bring in Gloria Borger who is CNN's chief political analyst, if anybody can analyze this, you can. There is a lot to dissect in this interview.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.
LEMON: He is feeling really good. He's got Sarah Palin out there, he is doing well in the polls. The national, the CNN poll that we had out today. Iowa, he may have a shot now. What do you make of what he said?
BORGER: Yes. I think he definitely has a shot, a good shot to win Iowa, a good shot to win New Hampshire. And you saw the way -- you didn't have to prompt him that much to take on Ted Cruz.
LEMON: He really went in on Ted Cruz.
LEMON: I was surprised that he -- so much. So, is this -- so, you know, the strategy, it seems -- they have had this, what we call a 'bromance,' from the beginning.
LEMON: Was it right for Ted Cruz? Was it the right strategy for him not to hit back at Donald Trump for so long?
BORGER: The people who have historically in this race hit at Donald Trump tend to fall themselves, right? Lindsey Graham, remember Rick Perry, I mean, they all attack Jeb Bush, it doesn't seem to do them any good.
Cruz understood from very early on that if Trump were to fall that he would want to get some of his supporters. And so, he didn't attack him hard at all. In fact, he liked him and it was a 'bromance.'
[22:40:03] But once they became one and two, then he realized and once Trump started attacking him on the 'birther' issue. He at first started to kind of say, oh, he jumped the shark and he made light of it. But then he realized that people were taking it seriously. He saw his poll numbers start to go down. So, he had no other choice.
LEMON: Did you see the poll that we had, I think it was 36 percent of people in one form or fashion of republicans believe that -- are wondering if Ted Cruz is actually eligible to be president because of citizenship.
LEMON: And I think that's in large part because of Donald Trump.
BORGER: Right. It is. It is. Absolutely. So, he's changed the topic of the conversation. So, he's taken Cruz off his message, put him in a defensive crouch on of all things, citizenship.
And tonight, with you, Trump also took him on the unreported bank loans...
LEMON: Right. BORGER: ... and went very hard at that. And it's very clear to me that Donald Trump is not going to stop, Don. Because he wants to win Iowa and Ted Cruz is the only thing standing in his way.
LEMON: You know, it's surprising me -- it's not surprising that he is hitting Ted Cruz. But he is not doing is talking about sort of the perception versus reality of what Ted Cruz is.
Cruz is like, you know, I'm Middle America, I'm out there with the guys and, you know, down south.
LEMON: And I'm a hunter and a sportsman or whatever, when he has this very high profile if you could it that way, Northeastern education, right?
LEMON: Law school. His wife were Goldman Sachs'...
BORGER: Supreme Court clerk, worked for George W. Bush. Princeton and Harvard. That's not...
LEMON: Donald Trump is not pointing that out, though. Why?
BORGER: No, I don't think -- I don't think he is. Although, maybe he will. I mean, who knows?
BORGER: I think the one thing about the unreported loan from Goldman and Citi, it does go to the sort of notion that Cruz may be more elite than he would -- than he would have you believe. His wife works for Goldman Sachs.
LEMON: Yes. I saw this immediately and I thought of you. This is former Senator Bob Dole who also ran for president. Remember, I'm Bob Dole. People would do that thing. He said that Ted Cruz would be cataclysmic for the GOP.
LEMON: Is that in line with what your establishment sources are telling you this.
BORGER: Yes. Look, there are a lot of republicans in Washington who are looking at this new reality that they've got and it's a choice they believe at this point between Cruz and Trump. And they are looking at, who is the person, who is going to help us retain control of the Senate?
Because don't forget, presidential elections down ticket matters. People just kind of press the levers, right? So, they now believe, a couple that I've talked to, I can't say it's universal. But they believe that Cruz would be more damaging to them than Trump because they believe that Trump is more malleable and he knows how to cut deals.
LEMON: You put that -- that was -- that was very nuanced.
BORGER: Right. Malleable, right. And that, and so, and they don't like Ted Cruz, by the way.
BORGER: And Bob Dole. I remember when nobody liked Bob Dole. But Bob Dole doesn't like Ted Cruz.
LEMON: So, this is sort of -- this is a sort of Sophie's choice for the republican establishment.
BORGER: Yes, it is. Well, there are a lot of people who are saying, you know, OK, I have to hold my nose and I have to go with one of these guys.
BORGER: There are still a lot of republicans holding out hope that Marco Rubio will be able to kind of bridge that, have one foot in the establishment and one foot in the Tea Party and be able to work it out. But right now it doesn't look that way. But things change overnight.
LEMON: I like that you clarified two things. That it was he -- about the two Corinthians, right?
LEMON: That he said it was Tony Perkins who wrote two Corinthians.
LEMON: And also he said he did looked a bit uncomfortable because he didn't know that Sarah Palin's speech was going to be that long.
BORGER: That long. But I thought, and I'm glad you raise that because and Rush Limbaugh, obviously raise it. I thought he was wearing a full coat, too.
BORGER: So, he looked a little uncomfortable sort of being in the background.
BORGER: You know, he's not a good presidential spouse.
LEMON: Yes. He's not a guy that, you know, is a second number two on the stage. He's a number one. BORGER: No. Absolutely.
LEMON: Thank you, Gloria Borger. We appreciate you sticking around.
BORGER: Thanks. It's good to be in here.
LEMON: Thank you so much. Good to have you.
When we come right back, the story of the hero, my hero. I want you to meet the person who changed my life.
[22:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Every one of us has a hero, a parent, a mentor, a friend, a life changer. Well, this week at CNN, we are telling you the stories of our heroes. Mine is the reason that I'm here right now talking to you. But he never even knew how he changed my life until now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: It might sound strange. Maybe even impossible but the person who changed my life is someone I never even met.
THOMAS DEXTER "T.D." JAKES, THE POTTER'S HOUSE BISHOP: Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
LEMON: Through the power of his voice and message, Bishop T.D. Jakes pulled me out of crisis more than a decade ago, and I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't heard his words.
JAKES: I hear it with my spirit. Somebody say it, I hear it in my spirit. You said you hear things that your spirit that contradict what you hear with your natural ear. You got to be willing to be criticized because you are hearing on a level that other people don't hear and you are seeing on a level they don't see and you are building for things that they don't even understand because it hasn't appeared yet but it's -- oh, you all don't hear what I'm saying.
LEMON: Do you know how much I listened to you?
JAKES: No. I'm shocked.
LEMON: You are the voice in my head. You are the voice in my head. In many ways you've changed my life.
JAKES: Wow. When I got the letter that you could have picked anybody as a hero, as a mentor and that you chose me, I was like -- I thought it was a joke. But what I am so grateful for is that I could say anything that made anybody's life better, you know, that I could do something that other people would find useful because I grew up not thinking that I had anything at all to offer to anybody.
LEMON: This is a story about dreams. For as long as I can remember, my dream was to be a journalist. So, I worked my way up all the way to NBC News in New York City. It was very exciting but I was never at home. [22:49:59] So, I took a chance. I believe in taking chances. I took a
chance for my big network gig and I went to Chicago to become a local news anchor.
They told me when I came there I would do the big stories and specials and that I would be the anchor and I ended up knocking on people's doors and doing local -- how do you feel that your child is dead?
And I said I don't want to do this. I took a stand for myself and I got suspended and almost got fired. So, I went to this really low place and I had to reach and find something to keep me alive and at that low point I found T.D. Jakes.
JAKES: Look at your neighbor and say neighbor, you don't have to believe in my dream.
LEMON: It a sermon that resonates with me that saved my life. I could probably repeat it by heart.
JAKES: You probably do it better than I do.
LEMON: But it's called my dream.
JAKES: But to all of you that have a dream that's bigger than you, to all of you who have a dream and it looks like that people don't want to get with the program I want you to say hey, neighbor.
LEMON: Hey, neighbor!
JAKES: You don't have to believe in my dream.
LEMON: You don't have to believe in my dream.
LEMON: And I do that in the gym. I look at the people on the next machine or...
LEMON: ... or I'll be running and I'll say to them...
JAKES: They're going to laugh.
LEMON: ... and they just look at me and laugh. And I just keep moving.
JAKES: Look at your neighbor and say I don't have time to wait. I don't have time for you to figure out who I really am or what I really meant, understand my true heart, take into account how I was raised, where I came from or what I've been through. By the time you get through adding all of that I'll be an old man and be dead. LEMON: That was all I needed to hear. He had me right there. So, my
dream wasn't to go to a poor mother's house and say how do you feel that your kid is dead?
My dream was to make people in the world better through my work. You have to be fearless. How do you do it? I think you just do it one step at a time. When I'm going -- when I went through what I went through in Chicago as I would run on the path I would just say one foot in front of the other.
JAKES: You thought I wasn't going to survive? Ha, ha, ha, girl, please, let me enlighten you.
LEMON: Listening to T.D. Jakes, I came to realize that I had the power to change my situation.
JAKES: I can deal with presidents and ambassadors because I got something. I'm not intimidated by anybody because I've got something.
LEMON: That we all have the power to control our own lives.
The difference between negativity and positivity is just that.
LEMON: You helped flip that switch for me. How do you do that?
JAKES: Well, I think if there is something unique about me, I have been down. I have been broke. I have been depressed. I have been suicidal. I have had my car repossessed, I know what it is not to have all my utilities and I know what it is the need to use my neighbor's phone.
So, when you see life from down under and you finally get up over where you can talk. The fuel that pushes me comes from where I came from not where I'm going to.
LEMON: After I came to CNN I interviewed Bishop Jakes about his work, his books, and the news of the day. But I never told him how much he inspires me or what he means to my life.
Most of my adult life the father figure that I've had in my head is you.
JAKES: That's amazing to me. I was really surprised and honored that something that I said had caught you at a critical moment and given you the velocity beneath your wings to rise again. I think that it's very, very, very important.
LEMON: So, what I want to say to you is -- first of all, thank you. I didn't just get here. I've been working at this for -- since I can remember. I'm almost 50 years old. There are very few people in my life other than my family, who actually tell me the truth.
You do that when I didn't know you, and now that I know you, even more so. So, thank you for the tough love, the inspiration, for understanding me when I didn't even know you. And now that I know you, for understanding me even more.
[22:54:53] JAKES: To know that I am helping you gives my life meaning. My destiny is to help you reach yours. And the one thing that I know for sure, when you started talking a moment ago, I heard your heart speak. And hearts don't lie. Hearts really don't lie.
LEMON: When someone changes your being and the way you look at the world and life, that's invaluable.
JAKES: Lord, I want to see you
LEMON: So, I live every single moment in gratitude because I know where I came from, I know where I am and I know who I am. Thank you so much.
I'm loving it, I'm going to make the most of it. Every day, I wake up and I feel like I live in a dream. When I look out that window, I'm thinking, why wouldn't I live in gratitude?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: There is more to come from our week-long series, "THE PERSON WHO CHANGED MY LIFE". Carol Costello tells her story tomorrow morning at 10. And then Wolf Blitzer shares his hero tomorrow at 5 on "THE SITUATION ROOM". It all wraps up with a 2-hour special Sunday night at 8 Eastern.
And there is more on our web site, cnn.com/lifechangers.
Thank you, Bishop Jakes. Thank you, God.
We'll be right back.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: That it is for us tonight. I'll see you...