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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Trump Rally Postponed, Protesters Clash; Trump: I Don't Want People Hurt; Trump Protesters Marching In the Streets of Chicago. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired March 11, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:15] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: All right. Good evening. The pictures tell the story tonight. And it is an ugly story near pandemonium at a Trump rally in Chicago. Thousands of protesters, and Trump supporters. You can see it there. Clashing on the campus of the University of Illinois and Chicago. The event was postponed. Donald Trump didn't take stage. Other reports say it was flat out canceled. Surrounding it all, a history of violence, allege violence of some of these rallies. There was some blaming the candidate for tolerating or in some cases, even encouraging it.
Our Jim Acosta is inside the UIC pavilion joins us right now.
Jim, you have been there for quite some time. It looks like it is emptied out behind you. But tell me, what is happening now and how did we got to this point?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John. I can tell you right now that you the situation has gotten under control which is the good news. Chicago police came in by the droves here in the last 15, 20 minutes and started to clear this crowd out of here.
Basically what happened is shortly after 7:00 your time, 6:00 our time, you know, there was an announcement made by the Trump campaign that this rally was going to be cancel because of their consultations with law enforcement officials. And as soon as that happened, this place erupted into chaos.
There were hundreds if not thousands of protesters who were on here. They started cheering because they were able to stop the Donald Trump rally from taking place. That started basically almost domino effect where you had Trump supporters yelling at them and then there was pushing and shouting back and forth.
Police at the beginning, they just were not in the proper number to break up all of this. There is private security, the arena security. They were just run insufficient numbers to stop all of this. And that is why it spiraled, out of control. It took a good 15 to 20 minutes before things got under control.
We saw pockets of different scuffles breaking out throughout this arena. And then slowly but surely, you saw Chicago police officers filing in, going down the staircase on to the arena floor here, separating these fights. And then pulling these protesters and supporters out of this arena. But John, it took a very long time and it was a completely ugly scene.
And as you were just mentioning, you know, it has been building up to something like this. We could all feel it. You know, we who covered the Trump campaign on a daily basis, you know, would see a scuffle here, a scuffle there. You know, there had been some recent rallies where you would see a couple of dozen protesters in the stands. Those folks might lock arms and it might be difficult for law enforcement or security to get them out of here.
But what we saw tonight as it was building up to this, John, I saw a whole section of protesters. Several hundred protesters just behind me right here. That is why you started to have this volatile mix because it was just impossible for the security here to get those people out of here.
Now, I understand outside of the arena right now, you still have some protests going on. You might even have some back and forth going on with police. But inside this arena right now, John, I can tell you, things are much calmer. It is a dramatically different scene than what we saw breakout here about 45 minutes ago, John.
BERMAN: Jim, standby. Let me read you the actual statement from the Trump campaign as to what happened. It says Mr. Trump just arrived in Chicago. And after meeting with law enforcement has determined for the safety of all the tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena, tonight's rally will be postponed to another date. Thank you very much for your attendance. And please go in peace.
And just a few minutes ago we had a statement from the Chicago police department telling us, as of now, no arrests have been made. And no one injured. And I hope that's does remain the case. And we are lucky if that is the case based on the some of the tensions and the clashes that we saw inside that arena, that's video from earlier in the left-hand side of the screen. On the right-hand side is pictured from right now outside the arena where thousands of people. I mean it was hundreds before, now it is thousands of people are gathered. There were people outside the arena for hours. And now there are even more as people are leaving the arena.
Jim, just to be clear about one thing. We were watching those pictures from inside. There were hundreds, again if not thousands, of anti-Trump protesters inside this event. It is clear what happened in this event is that people protesting Trump, infiltrated it. They were inside there. They were waiting for Donald Trump to take the stage to protest them. Into a certain extent, a lot of what we're seeing in left hand side of screen is video is them. These people protesting against Trump. They got in there in enormous numbers.
ACOSTA: That's right. And we saw this building up throughout the day. You know, there were news stories playing out in the local media all day long from Latino groups, from civil rights groups, from progressive groups, Muslim-American groups here in Chicago, saying that they were going to try to disrupt this rally, or at least protest this rally. And you saw hundreds of those people from those groups coming in here
essentially to, you know, stage what was supposed to be, I think, a peaceful protest of this Trump rally. But because of the numbers of people, the volatile mix here, because of the clash, with the Trump supporters, that is why things spiraled out of control here.
And as you were saying earlier, John, we've seen this build up over time over the course of the last several weeks. You know, this is something that I think the Trump campaign could have expected.
John, you have been to Chicago many times just like I have been to Chicago many times. This is not the only venue in Chicago where you can hold a rally. This is the University of Illinois at Chicago. It is one of the most ethnically, religiously diverse areas of the whole city. There are areas outside Chicago, the collar conservative counties liberal Republican, where you have arenas, auditoriums and venues and so forth where you can stage a rally and probably not have what unfolded here tonight which was total chaos. The whole situation was completely out of control. Law enforcement did not have a handle on it. The private security did not have a handle on it. And honestly, this could have erupted into a full scale riot, I think, John, had things not gotten under control over the course of the 15 or 20 minutes when things finally did get under control. And the Chicago police came in and started breaking up this fights. Because clearly, there were here to cause trouble. But it could have been a whole lot worse.
Luckily not a lot of injuries we saw here. There is certainly a lot of scuffling, a lot of pushing and shoving and certainly not what you want to see when you're in the middle of a presidential campaign. It is hard to get your hands around the fact, John, that this was supposed to be a political rally building up to this primaries that are taking place on Tuesday. Illinois is one of those primaries on Tuesday.
But what unfolded here was just total chaos and really, just sort of a sad picture of where the country is right now. It is just so bitterly divided. The atmosphere is so poisonous. People are so on edge. At some point, you would think Donald Trump is going to have to come in and say, instead of celebrating some of the edginess at these rallies where he might have to tone it down. And I imagine that the Trump campaign is discussing that right now, John.
[20:07:10] BERMAN: Jim, standby because I want to you stay part of the discussion. But I also want to bring in Maggie Haberman, presidential reporter for "the New York Times," David Gergen, of course, CNN political analyst who has advised many, many presidents. I think John King on "INSIDE POLITICS' is joining us from Washington too.
And Maggie, you just bring us up to speed again as we are looking at a tape from before of the clashes on the floor at this arena just after the Donald Trump event was canceled. But on the right hand of your screen, you are seeing aerials as, you know, as tens if not tens of thousands, thousands of people are still outside the arena trying to figure out what to do. But Maggie, this is not happening in a vacuum. I meant, this event, a
lot of what we are seeing now is caused by protesters against Donald Trump. But their anger is not again in a vacuum. There has been rough stuff at Trump events from Trump supporters in recent days.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: There is also been rough stuff suggested from the candidate himself over many week. I mean, I remember Trump at the end of February at a rally in Las Vegas. He talked about a protester who was taken out. He claimed, I don't know if this true or not, but he claimed that guy was swinging punches. He was misbehaving. And trump said, and I've never seen this before from presidential candidate, let alone somebody who is on track to be the nominee as he is right now, I would like to punch that guy in the face. That is what Trump has said. It got very under-covered because it was in the midst of all sorts of other things going on.
Trump has said things like that. He has lamented the good old days. He did this again in North Carolina the other day when a protester was sucker punched by one of Trump's supporters. So there is a physics law here, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Trump has on the one said I don't condone this. He has on the other hand said, you know, these guys started and it therefore that's what happens.
BERMAN: Well, let me show the video of what Maggie was just talking about right there. The punch at this event in North Carolina where a Trump supporter, you can see it here. Just out and out sucker punches of protester right there. And that man is facing charges now. The Trump campaign, you know, disavows any contact. But this said what that man does is not our fault. But again, this is the time of thing that has been happening at some of these events. And Donald Trump has said he would like to punch protesters in the nose.
John King who joins us I think from Washington right now, and like all of us, John, you have covered a lot of political events, a lot of political rallies. I have never seen anything like what we saw tonight. I've never seen an event canceled at the last minute when the candidate doesn't take the stage because of conflict.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And Maggie makes a contextual point. Look, as Jim Acosta said, a lot of these protesters came up. They want to be on the news. They came in not only wanted to make a political statement against Donald Trump. They wanted ti disrupt his event. So they came with motivation of causing a problem. The question that is what happens after that, and what tone does the candidate set?
"It is not Donald Trump's fault," quote unquote, that people want to protest him. That is their right and it is his right to have this position on the issue. But because he has repeatedly, as Maggie noted, essentially said I would like to punch this guy.
In the old days we would rip him out of his seat or, you know, he used strong language against them. That does seat tone for many of his supporters. And when you see that guy get up out of the seat and sucker punch a guy who is being escort on the arena, again, Donald Trump didn't tell him to do that. But maybe the guy has followed news coverage and heard Donald Trump say several times, I wish could I do it. Or it is OK, he said earlier when some black lives matters protesters at one of his events, it was OK to rough the guy up a little bit.
This is a test for Donald Trump. He has never been a politician before. As Maggie noted, at the moment, it looks like he is on the path to be the nominee for the Republican Party. He is whether he gets nomination or not, at the moment, a leading spokesman for the Republican Party. And the leading spokesman for his many followers who are new people are coming to vote in America. That's a good thing, right. We want more people to participate and to vote.
But this is a test of his leadership now to say, OK. These people disagree with me. These people have every right to be in the streets to try to talk to them at a moment when his biggest challenge, immediate challenge is trying to unify the Republican Party. When he looks at these pictures, there should have the message that there's a bigger unification, as bigger unity. A bigger, at least, you know, step back and break the ice here somehow. Break the tension challenge for Donald Trump.
[20:11:20] BERMAN: What you do see is successful protests tonight. I mean, these protesters, they went to this event to make their voice heard. Perhaps and disrupt it and it worked. Donald trump cancelled the event.
David Gergen, you now think Donald Trump needs to do something. He needs on get out in front of this. I guess not out in front now because it has already happen. He has to make a statement.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: He certainly does.
Listen. This is maybe one of the most important moments of the entire campaign. This could cost him the nomination. It could also catapult him. We don't know which way it is going to cut. I think a lot of people are going to be frightened and horrified. We have had this kind of violence in Chicago in 1968, the Democratic convention. Forty-eight years later, we still talk about it.
We have this kind of violence in George Wallace' campaign. When he used language similar to Trump. And bad things came out of that. There were a lot of (INAUDIBLE). And eventually the candidate himself was shot, you know. So this is very dangerous. And the - here is the deal. The candidate must set the tone for his responsibility. That is his responsibility.
As Maggie as point out, the others have said, he has set a tone that encourages his supporters to go after and punch people. And naturally it draws out bigger and bigger protests and it sets the stage for this kind of incendiary climactic moment. And so, when has -- this is a test of his leadership to be president. To show that he can unify in the way that he claims. And to what he has to do. I think he has to go to the country tomorrow, no later than this weekend and make it clear that while he wants to have rallies, it is critically important that they are peaceful. That people come in peace and they leave in peace.
BERMAN: Megan, you have been covering Donald trump for a long time. Do you have any sense that is the type of thing he might do? When just earlier today he was saying sometimes you need to fight back at these rallies?
HABERMAN: I'll do you one better. I spoke to him at about 6:00 our time. So that was 5:00 in Chicago. And when he was on his way to this rally. He gave no indication that there would be a cancellation. They told me that he was expecting it to get rough in his words. But he did not think of it. He had warning there were going to be a lot of protests but he at no point mentioned sort of what was coming this. It was clearly on his mind.
I do not believe that he is going to go do something that is completely counter to his message and say - and we have seen Donald Trump, the various point in his campaign say one thing and then say a completely different thing. So he was saying I'm a unifier and but I want to punch the protester in the face.
I don't think that he is going to say something that is going to be something of a message of harmony tomorrow. He does, however, as Davis says, he is going to have to address this. I don't know that it is going to hurt him in the contest that we are facing on Tuesday.
BERMAN: Well that, that's a great point.
David Gergen said a moment ago that this is the type of thing if he doesn't handle it the right way, they could cost him the nomination.
But John King, you know, you look at the type - you know demographics. You know who is supporting Donald Trump. Do you think that Donald Trump taking a stand against these protesters will hurt him with the people who support him?
KING: You don't have to embrace the protesters to say we need to have this debate in a civil way. Look. You know, Donald Trump is running for the Republican nomination. Participation in the Republican primary is as overwhelmingly white. If we want to make this a white- black or a white versus African-Americans and Latino issues, there are policy reasons. There are policy reasons, many of these protesters are there. Whether it is Donald Trump's views on immigration or whether it is Donald Trump's use another things.
And again, some of them came just to cause trouble. Let's just be honest about their motivation. Some of them are out there to disrupt his event. That to get in his face and to see what he would say.
But there is an interesting challenges, David, for Mr. Trump to be able to say, you know, you have a right to protest. I have a right to speak. And I'm going to speak and I'm going to speak my mine and I'm not going to change my positions. But I'm going to urge my followers to be peaceful. If there is a problem in the room, let the security people deal with it. Let firearms fire side maybe shut our mouths and let it pass. Don't turn up the volume if you will. That's the question for Mr. Trump. There are also other candidates in
this race at the moment, three of them. And one of the thing you saw in the debate last night, especially from Senator Rubio and Senator Crus was an attempt to say Donald Trump is not presidential. He is not up to the job of being not only a commander in-chief but the leader of the country. A president has to lead the country at big moments. The current president has had a number of mass shootings on his watch. Sometime you have events that happen around the world. And so, we have one president at a time and that president often, you know, has to try to bring the country together at very difficult times. And as people are picking a president. That should be, anyway, one of the things is, is this a person I can see in the oval office when a big thing happens who can step out and get the country to take a breath and give pause and reflect on the gravity of the moment.
This is David Gergen noted. It comes in a very interesting time in his campaign. And there is a question as to how Mr. Trump reacts to it. There is also a question as to how the others would.
[20:16:15] BERMAN: David, you said it could cause him the nomination. Do you think it could lose Trump's voters to support him?
GERGEN: Yes, sir. Look. I think a lot of people are going to look at these pictures and be frightened. You have to think, when you elect a president, what is life going to be like the next four years if this person in that office? If this represents the future, if this kind of chaos and the lack of control and the lack of leadership represents the future, a lot of people are going to walk away from it as attractive as they find Donald Trump, I think many of the supporters will look at this and go to say, well, they came to cause trouble. They shut him down. That's unfair. He is our candidate. And they will come out in large numbers. Most American people like the politics want it more peaceful than this.
BERMAN: Maggie, you know, people are watching this. Chicago in March saying if this is Chicago in March, what will Cleveland in July look like if the Republican convention with a Trump nominee.
HABERMAN: It is a very important question. And we assume that it will really a trump nomination. But it might be (INAUDIBLE) that as well.
But conventions tend to be much more controlled environments. People know that protesters are coming. I remember the Republican National convention in New York City in 2004. There was a widespread awareness. The police were very engage in what was happening. I'm sure that will happen in Cleveland too.
What is striking, and this has been said in this panel before and Jim Acosta said it earlier, too. There is just -- it is an out of control scene here. The police still didn't have a handle on it despite the fact that there were warnings that there were going to be hundreds upon hundreds of protesters. Trump's private security didn't have a handle on it despite the fact that Trump security clearly knows that there have been protests at this rallies. And one of the things that's striking to me about the protests, these
are not protests, as you said, I have never seen anything like it. And this is my fourth presidential cycle covering. I have never witnessed a scenario where because it is through rallies, this is the only way where people can protest him. Because the way he communicates is either through the media or through these large events.
One of the things that's crucial to the Trump candidacy to this air of strength that he projects is the element of control. The illusion of control and his ability to command the room. And what the protesters realize in the last month is if we have these rolling waves of disruptions, not just one, not just two periodically, but ongoing. He said last weekend in Florida, clearly irritated at one point in Orlando. The protesters stop so we can speak for few seconds?
This was getting to him. And so, I don't know whether this was - this is a security concern as to why he didn't go on and it certainly could be a piece of it. It is not like the security issue was resolved. And as Jim said, it could have been much worse.
BERMAN: I want to say few things. First of all, number one, again, a short time ago the Chicago police department did tell us as of a few minutes ago, there have been no arrests made and no injuries which indicates, you know, as bad as it looks on the left-hand side, that's video from earlier. As bad as it looks, that eventually they did get the situation under control. On the right hand side of your screen looking live pictures right now from the street where there are a bunch of people now, maybe a little bit less. Maybe fewer people out there than before. But they do look to be standing around peacefully. So hopefully this situation is diffused.
And as bad as it looks in that video you're seeing on the left hand side of the screen, eventually the police came in and took care of the situation.
Joining us by phone right now is former secret service agent, Dan Bongino.
Dan, I'm glad you're with us right now. Help us understand the security around these events. I mean, Donald Trump, you know, he is a candidate right now who does have secret service protection. What kind of precautions are taken at these events to keep, not just the candidate's safe, but the people, the crowd safe? Or is crowd safety even an issue?
DAN BONGINO, FORMER SECRET SERVICE (on the phone): Well, yes, it is. I mean, you know, when you triaging your needs, crowd control is top two or three every time because an unruly crowd is clearly dangerous to the candidate.
I just - you know, I'm having a tough time of this entire conversation, though, because the tone of it has been strange. It seems like there is this its eagerness to put this on Trump. And as a former service agent, I ran for office. I think that is clear as a Republican. I proudly put my butt on the line for Barack Obama and would do it again ten out ten times and twice on Sunday. I don't see how this is a Trump issue.
Listen. I'm a Cruz supporter. I already endorsed him. But blaming Trump for this, or even insinuating that Trump had something to do with a near violent protest at a rally that put public servants in danger, and a protect the running for president in a democracy, I have to tell you. I don't get it. Having been on both sides of this. I really don't.
BERMAN: Well, Dan, let me say one thing. First we made it clear that what happens tonight was that hundreds if not thousands of anti-Trump protesters staged was clearly a demonstration on the floor of this event and managed to stop it. Their presence there was what had this event called off. We have made that clear. And that is different than anything we have seen before in this campaign today.
But what is also different in this campaign than anything most of us have ever seen is the level of tension and the atmosphere, the charged atmosphere at Trump events where you get trump supporters like we saw in North Carolina earlier this week sucker punching a protester. And when you have a candidate who says things like I want to punch that person in the nose. And you know, I remember the good old days when protesters were carried out on stretchers. This is the language that we do not normally hear when you cover campaigns or as you have done running campaigns. It just doesn't happen in modern worlds of politics.
BONGINO: John, I don't disagree with you at all. I mean, I'm not supporting Trump. Like I said I have been a public advocate for a different candidate on the Republican side. I don't think it is productive at all. I gave an interview to a media outlet just a week ago where I said it is probably making the job of the secret service very difficult.
You know, my problem with this, though, is it just seem when it is a Republican candidate, that they're held to a completely different standard. I mean, we have seen this kind of nasty rhetoric emanating from the left. And there is always this interest to run and (INAUDIBLE). They always it is just them. They don't speak, you now, for the movement.
You know, we have a few knuckle heads at rallies that have done some really stupid things. In some cases, criminal things like assaulting people. But I think it is very dangerous, you know, for us to somehow pin this on a candidate who hasn't broken any laws. He is running on a platform I don't agree with clearly. I don't think it is helpful. And I don't think it is helpful to the secret service either.
But, you know. I think it is up in the press and as commentators, it is very dangerous to somehow insinuate that, you know, Trump should be, well, squelch somehow? I don't think it will hurt his campaign at all. I be honest. I think the left is trying to get him elected with activists by doing things like this. It only fires up his supporters.
BERMAN: Standby one second. Maggie Haberman wants to get in this.
HABERMAN: Yes. I just want to disagree that I think that either, A, that anybody is quote-unquote "pinning this on Trump." As we said I think we are talking about the language that candidate uses which I think we would say whether it was Ted Cruz or Ben Carson or Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, if this was taking place at a Bernie Sanders rally, it would also be covered the same way.
BONGINO: No, it wouldn't.
HABERMAN: I disagree, sir.
BONGINO: First, Bernie Sanders appeared at Liberty University and got a standing ovation. It's a conservative Christian college. This doesn't happen. That's the whole point. This only happen when's it is a Republican candidate. That's the point. When does this happen on the left?
GERGEN: I will tell you exactly, Dan. I appreciate your service. And I respectfully disagree along with Maggie. 1968 and 1972, there was a candidate named George Wallace. He encouraged people to punch back. He encouraged people to stand up to any protesters. And there was a lot of fisticuff that's came out of that in his rallies. And you know, eventually, he got shot himself as you know and badly wounded. It was terrible.
In this - in 2008 when John McCain was running at the Sarah Palin rallies, and by the way, the press covered George Wallace heavily. Just because he was a Democrat, did not keep them back. And the Democrats lost in 1968 after their convention when there was so much violence. They got really hammered for it. So it is not a partisan thing.
But in the John McCain convention, or his campaign of 2008, that's a Sarah Palin rally. We had similar things going on when people are calling Barack Obama all sorts of names. The press came down hard on those rallies as to be sure. But what happened? John McCain understood and took responsibility for what was going on in the Sarah Palin rallies. At a rally, he told about a woman who was talking about Obama being an Arab and how he is going to destroy the country and all the rest. He stood up and said enough is enough. We're going to treat this man with decency. We are going to treat him with respect. And he change the tone of his campaign and put an end to it.
That's what we're saying about Donald Trump. You have to agree that he has taken a very, very encouraging view toward people.
BERMAN: Dan, hang on one second. Hang on one second, everyone.
I want to go to CNN's Jeff Zeleny who is outside right now on the streets. And I want to get a sense of what has happened to the thousands of people who are inside. We're looking at pictures right now of many people on the streets.
But Jeff, give us a sense of what you're seeing and hearing out there.
[20:25:15] JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: John, we are at the corner of (INAUDIBLE). It is just a little bit of west of downtown Chicago. And now, a lot of these protesters are moving east toward downtown.
Really, a lot of signs of the protesters, are all anti-Trump, obviously. A lot of if (INAUDIBLE). We see a few Bernie Sanders supporters here. Of course, he is now organizing this. A lot of local Chicago, this is a very anti-Trump sentiment, a very liberal crowd here, John. But it is very calm. It is very peaceful. We have been out here for a while. Not seeing any pushing and any shoving based on Chicago police presence here. It is very calm and this is nothing like a protests that we want to see in purpose or anywhere else, John. This is very clam and orderly.
But there is a sense that, you know, that they have won in a sense of protests. And that Donald Trump will not be able to give his rally here tonight in Chicago. So that is one side of victory for them. But we also saw disappointed Trump supporters who were walking away from the rally. They want to see Donald Trump. They may vote for him on Tuesday (INAUDIBLE) primary. And they were disappointed they didn't get to see him here. But off the street here outside, very peaceful at this hour.
BERMAN: All right, Jeff, thanks. Standby.
Jim Acosta, our Jim Acosta is actually outside right now.
And Jim, before I bring you, I just want to make clear again. With the Chicago police department has told us. There is no arrest have been made. There have been no injuries. And just a second ago we got a statement from the Chicago police department and says the decision to cancel the event was not made by them. They didn't decide to call off the event. The Chicago police department did. So the implication is it must have been the Trump campaign itself, Jim.
ACOSTA: That's right. That's the announcement that was made inside this arena that the Trump campaign decided after talking with law enforcement, to cancel the rally that were supposed to take place down here in Chicago.
I can tell you right now, we are standing on the corner of one intersection just outside this arena. I can see the Sears tower looming on the horizon downtown.
As Jeff was saying, it is fairly peaceful out here as well. When we came out just a few moments ago, there was a little bit of pushing, a little bit of shoving. But I think mostly what you're seeing out here is a lot of very excited boisterous, you know, protesters who came in here tonight to disrupt this rally. And they feel like it is mission accomplished. Their very happy about the fact that they were able to stop this Trump rally.
But I have to tell you right now, there are also some very disappointed Trump supporters. I'm standing next to one right now.
Are you upset? What do you think about what happened tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would just like to say that these people are yelling out free speech but they just shut down a speaker, a speech by Donald Trump. And that just -- it doesn't make sense, you know. They're shutting down people for giving his views. She is yelling power to the people, but people can't even speak. They are shutting him down. They are protesting. And things are not doing it the right way. There is just a fight like 20 seconds ago. It was crazy. These people yelling and swearing. It is just insane.
ACOSTA: OK, thanks you.
So you can see, John, out here, you know, there are some tensions out there but so far nothing like what we saw inside that arena about an hour ago. No pushing, no shouting, you know, happening right now. Things seem to be calming down, getting more peaceful. But at the same time, you know, this is something that these protesters were hoping to do tonight. And they have seen to have gotten what they wanted.
At this point I can tell you that we have seen pockets of law enforcement trying to get ahold of the situation. Just down the street, you can see a whole -- I'm not even sure if our camera can get to it because it is behind so many crowds of people here. There's a whole group of Chicago police officers on horseback. Presumably they are positioned there just in case this escalates out here. But my sense of it is right now, John, is that besides the occasional shuffle, besides the occasional pushing and shoving, most of these protesters out here are here to talk to the media. Talk to themselves about what happened here tonight. Because obviously this was a very wild scene. It is not something we typically see at a political rally on a daily basis, John.
BERMAN: All right, Jim. Thanks so much. Stand by outside the event and let us know what is going on right there.
I want to bring in Kayleigh McEnany. She is a Donald Trump supporter and a conservative columnist. Also joining us is Stuart Stevens, a Republican strategist who worked on the Mitt Romney campaign and George W. Bush's campaign as well.
And Stuart, you know, let me start with you because David Gergen is here. He says he think this is the type of thing that could derail the Trump campaign or hurt it. But you can also make the counter argument that Trump is running in a Republican primary. We just heard from a Trump support right there who feels as if he was denied the right to hear the candidate he is supporting speak. And you can see Donald Trump saying, you know, this just proves what I've been saying which is you need a strong leader who can speak the truth, you know, and tell people when they've gone too far. What is your take on this? Could this counter intuitively help Donald Trump tonight?
[20:30:08] STUART STEVENS, FMR. ROMNEY CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: Look, this isn't complicated Donald Trump is running as George Wallace. But he's really almost doing with it more deliberateness than George Wallace did. Wallace at least pretended at times to be civil.
I mean what's remarkable about what Donald Trump is doing, he is sort of exalting in this stratocracy. He's out there red faced and shouting and playing the thug and encouraging people to do that. He is inciting violence.
Now, look, they just -- can you win a Republican primary this way? I sure hope not. I hope that he's defeated. But I know you can't win a general election this way. There are not enough white people in America who are angry at those who aren't white to win an election this way.
It's an absolute train to nowhere, it's incredibly disruptive for the country, it's incredibly disruptive for the country. And it just really, he has no idea what he's playing with.
BERMAN: Kayleigh McEnany, I want to bring you in here. You are a Donald Trump supporter. We heard from a Donald Trump supporter at this event who felt like he was denied the right to hear his candidate speak. What do you want to hear Donald Trump the man you're supporting for president say about what's going tonight?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, I think he said tonight exactly what I wanted him to say. At the end of the statement, he said please go in peace last night in the debate he renounced violence. He has done so repeatedly and so there's no place for violence and I think missing in this conversation, we constantly hear about Donald Trump somehow instigating the actions of those in the crowd somehow is that he is supposed to be baby-sitting 35,000 people.
But you know what about the culpability of the protesters? 10,000 people showed up tonight to cause disruption. I've heard two of your reporters say that that was their intent. You are not seeing Tea Party supporters in the numbers of 10,000 show up at Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders rallies to cause disruptions to cause anger to cause violence.
When you watch those scenes, you see a ton, 10,000 people with anti- Trump signs causing disruptions and where is the culpability of the protesters? People are responsible for their own actions this is not Donald Trump's fault. He has completely renounced violence and that's all he needs to do. This is the fault of the protesters and they should be ashamed of their actions.
BERMAN: Dan Bongino, former secret service agent who has been at events like this before just let us know when you're on the ground at events like this, what is your job? How far are you willing to let protesters go at events like this? What is your relationship to the campaigns themselves?
DAN BONGINO, FMR. SECRET SERVICE AGENT: The secret service is a very specific pre defined role. We have no ability legally to squelch protests. I want to be very clear on that I'm not their spokesman I left four years ago. But having been an agent for 12 years and having done this repeatedly, we have zero ability to squelch a protest.
Now when we can get involved is if you make any furtive motions toward the protectee, toward the stage, or if you make a threat. Now this is clearly a case where a bunch of people showed up with the intent on threatening people I mean your video I can I have your channel on here I'm looking at it. You know, your video shows those people are clearly there to cause some kind of physical altercation. That's why again you know I pin this completely on these protesters for risk putting secret service, the Chicago cops and people who are politically assembled in danger.
I think they are 100 percent at fault. And we can argue the political ramifications as well but I think purely from a tactical perspective, the fault lies 100 percent with people who showed up with malicious intent. There's no excuse that though.
BERMAN: Stuart Stevens, there is a disagreement around this table and I imagine around the country right now about who is to blame for what happened tonight. On the one hand, you know Dan Bongino what he saying is true that there were protesters who showed up tonight with the intent of stopping Donald Trump, they succeeded.
He did not speak tonight but, Stuart, your suggestion is that this happened on the vacuum that this happen in those protesters showed up in much of what they are protesting. It is the atmosphere created over the last weeks and months by Donald Trump. Is that your contention?
STEVENS: Look it's not a contention, it's a fact. Well, I played this game I know what it is like. We can say it is the protesters' fault but why is this happening? You have someone who wants this violence. You have someone who goes out there and talks about punching people in the face.
We have someone to talks about roughing up protesters. We have someone when his campaign manager grabbed a female reporter he has backed up the campaign manager. He hasn't called for an investigation. He has an apologize to the reporter. This creates an atmosphere where violence is condoned it is encouraged.
[20:35:03] So what happens when you do that? It's not any different -- take any institution you know because campaign it's really aren't that different from the rest the institutions. Take a school. When you encourage violence in a school, you're more likely to have violence. When you take any sort of institution, you're going to have, a sports team.
Our sports teams are kind of teams that have violence or not? It's all comes from the top. This is coming from Donald Trump. The man up there who's red faced and yelling, "Punch them in the face." He's asking for violence and he's getting violence.
And look, this is not anything that's happening in isolation. This is what Donald Trump is creating. It's what Donald Trump wants. He's proud of this. This is sort of the scene that he wants played out.
The question for Americans to ask is, is this what you want? I hope not, I don't think so. I'm with David Gergen on this. I think this is an ugly version of an angry man who has no idea really of what it is to govern America.
BERMAN: Kayleigh, just a second ago, we showed some live pictures. I believe it look like protesters were on the streets blocking traffic. There is still an ongoing protest there. You can see it right there. You can see live pictures of what's going on, on the streets, outside the arena, few protesters on the street in the way of traffic right there.
But again, the police tell us there, no arrests have been made. No one has been injured. And our reporters on the ground, tell us that it is largely peaceful outside there, which is nice because inside the event after it was cancelled, we did see some moments of extreme tension in some moments where there were clashes.
Kayleigh, Stuart Stevens asked the question, "Is this what you want to see as a Donald Trump supporter? Is this what you want to see right now, what's happening tonight?"
I'm not talking about the protests but I'm talking about, you know, Donald Trump has said. He is the candidate who has said that he wishes he could punch protesters in the nose. He's the candidate who said just a day, sometimes you have to fight back against protesters at these events. Is that something that Donald Trump supporters, you, want to see?
MCENANY: No. I don't think anyone wants to see violence like this. Absolutely not. And Donald Trump doesn't want to see violence like this.
But I take real issue with what Stuart said about Donald Trump wanting this violence. I mean really stop and ask yourself, do you think Donald Trump ...
BERMAN: But Kayleigh, Kayleigh, can I ask -- Kayliegh.
BERMAN: Just (inaudible) quick, is he joking when he says he wishes he could punch someone in the nose? Is he joking when he says it's good to fight back?
MCENANY: We -- those were two off-the-cuff remarks in a long string of other times when he said, "Simply take the protesters out and remove them from the room." Those were two off-the-cuff remarks. I do think he said it jokingly. I think people are just harping on those two comments. That's not what Donald Trump wants.
This is a man who today was endorsed by Dr. Ben Carson, one of the most peace, loving Christian, soft-spoken men probably ever in politics. This is the man who when he saw a story about a bus driver who stopped his bus and talked a woman off the cliff who was about to commit suicide. Donald Trump saw this story in the news, sent the bus driver $10,000 to $15,000. This is a man whose butler was on your network the other day, saying what a great boss Donald Trump was. This is a peace loving man.
It's a very serious accusation to say he wants to see violence like this. I think it's an absurd one. And I think if your viewers at home say, "Does Donald Trump really wants this in his heart?" I think most viewers would say, "No. He doesn't want this in his heart.''
BERMAN: Kayleigh, hang on. Maggie Haberman wants to enter in this discussion.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, "NEW YORK TIMES" PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I'm going to -- I've been covering Trump for many, many -- I've been covering Trump for many years. I covered him at the "New York Post", prior to this, prior to this campaign. I have not seen him say things quite like this before.
I think there's a couple of factors here. One is I think it is important to say that most of the attendees at Trump's rallies actually do not do things like sucker punch, protesters and so forth.
That is very important, I think, that I think that most of the rallies that I've attended have not been like that. I think that Trump has -- was not taken seriously for a very, very long time. I think that a lot of what he was saying was either dismissed as fantastical or not seen as serious or for whatever reason, he has said things that if any other candidate said them, such as the punch the protester in the face thing. That would be a huge deal.
But Trump has said things over and over and over, that because he has been treated as sort of half entertainment figure, half candidate, has not really been treated that seriously. This is not to off the handcuff comments.
Trump has said things like this repeatedly. And in the same way that president Obama for instance was appropriately criticized for describing the Islamic State as the Jay-v team and those comments came back to be analyze later.
I don't understand why Trump's comments about violence at his rallies would not be treated seriously as well.
BERMAN: Do we still have guys out there on the streets ...
BERMAN: Hang on one second, Jim Acosta, Jeff Zeleny, are you still outside on the streets right now, because we're watching.
Jeff Zeleny is with is right now.
[20:40:00] He's on the streets outside this event that was cancelled right now because we're still seeing a number of protesters on the street.
Jeff, give us a sense of what's going on right now outside.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi John, I am walking with a group of protesters. I would say a couple of hundred or so. And I think it's important to point out Chicago has a very considerably large Mexican American population. That is a lot of the crowd that I am seeing out here at this roughly. A lot of Hispanics and Central Americans. They are obviously protesting Mr. Trump's immigration policies. The signs you see of most of which I cannot repeat on television here. The cleanest are racist and the go much beyond that. They are protesting his policies. And you have to imagine, John, this is something that is sure to continue as this campaign escalates and it is very peaceful. You know, we see drums and whistles and bells. It's like any other Chicago protest, any other parade. It's in the eve of the St. Patrick's parade tomorrow in Chicago here but this is a, you know, the new class of Chicago immigrants.
This is a very diverse city and it's not surprising at all that this would happen here. And this is would happen here and this is something that here we certainly will see. But again a very peaceful, which we talked to a Chicago police officer moments ago. He said that no problems that he's been outside here, it's important to make that point or just making their opinions known, they don't not like Donald Trump.
BERMAN: John King is with us in Washington right now. Jeff brings have a great point, John, which is that, if you're against Donald Trump, if you're inclined to protest at an event, wouldn't this incentivize you to go out tomorrow, in Sunday, and Monday at Donald Trump events and try to shut it down? Is this a sign of what is to come among those who oppose Donald Trump?
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR, "INSIDE POLITICS": I think without a doubt. And we have and again I'm going to try to split the difference here if I can if you will, in the sense that that we have seen the study escalation of the protest at Trump rallies because I think it was Maggie who noted earlier. There have been some signs that it gets under his skin and he gets into a verbal jousting with them.
But there is also that signs that it is getting more and more attention by the news media. And yes these protesters came to cause a problem. They came to disrupt the event. They came to stir their conversation where having tonight. Maybe they didn't expect the event that would get canceled but they came to cause trouble and so you could say they started it. But then the question is, what is the environment in which this is playing out which is where we're having the debate around here and what Mr. Trump does next.
Is Mr. Trump watches the coverage tonight and we know he is a consumer, a very voracious consumer of news coverage. He is going to have to decide what to say about this and Kayleigh is right. The statements said go in peace.
The question is we should what I used to cover the White House. We used to say, the secret service would Vegas. Don't cover fence jumpers. Don't cover when somebody throws a backpack over the fence or does something like that because you're just going on encourage somebody else to do it.
And you can be sure, that there are people right now trying to figure out when is Donald Trump coming to my town? Because let's get more people and let's get more in his face without the doubt.
That would happen any way. We're in the middle of a political campaign and he has views that have drawn provocative policy positions that have drawn significant protest. But it's just the fact of life when people see they disrupt the Trump event in the big major city and they have a ton of news coverage and then there's conversations about what does Trump say and do next? You can bet there will be more of this.
BERMAN: Gary Tuchman, is all what this as well and Gary you've been attending a lot of Donald Trump events and in a sense, chronicling the atmosphere at this event. Have you seen this evolution? Not just of the atmosphere created perhaps by Donald Trump and his supporters but the atmosphere being brought by people protesting him. Is that escalating as well?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESONDENT: No question about it. We've seen more protesters each and every week at the Trump rallies. What I can tell you about Trump supporters, most absolutely love demand. They revere the man. They listen to every word he says so carefully. And when Donald Trump says things like punch him in the face or knock the crap out of him. You know, some of your guests say he's joking but a lot of them take it very seriously and they get very angry at protesters when they hear Donald Trump say those words.
I've known Donald Trump a long time. I've done stories on him and I interviewed him 25 years ago. And I can tell you that Donald Trump -- there is a little disconnection in my ear here. But I can tell you that Donald Trump does not back down. And be shock and don't be surprised if he changes absolutely nothing. Backing down would disappoint a lot of his followers.
He is tough. He likes being a tough guy. It worked very well from him in business and works in politics so far and don't be surprised if he changes absolutely nothing.
BERMAN: David Gergen.
DAVID GERGEN, POLITICAL COMMENATATOR AND FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER TO REAGAN, FORD, CLINTON AND NIXON: I don't see how a man who says he is a unifier, and that's where he wants to in the country who are call for peace's, rallies is backing down.
Now, I do want to point out. In Twitter's, you know, lit up over this thing as you might imagine and I must tell Dan has a lot of support there in Twitter. There are a lot of people who agree with what he just been arguing that this - they say, these are college bums. You know, these people never earned a living, they're only came to protest and to disrupt this thing.
[20:45:05] But I do think that that ignores what John King was just said, where's the context in which this is happening? If not only had all the Donald Trump comments about, you know, you know, punching people and then fighting back, we've also had all these statements about Muslims, about Mexicans and other.
Of course, you know, and Donald Trump to his credit, has mobilized a massive group of people who want to come into the Republican Party. But he's failed too and his people will not acknowledged that he's also unleashed peerage in this country. He's unleashed other fumes in this country, that are very emotional too. And inevitably unless you do this right with statesmanship, you're going to bring these kinds of clashes. And they didn't have to choose University of Illinois for a site knowing that something like this might well happen at that site.
BERMAN: John King, you're on with this right now. You're getting some information I think from MoveOn.org. Where they somehow involved with what happened tonight?
KING: You just asked me a moment ago, you think, we're going to see more of this. But let me just emphatically restate my yes.
And this is an e-mail that MoveOn.org, a liberal activist group has sent out to its members, it was breaking news and they have some pictures from this protest and they take credit for being part of the effort, part of the successful cancellation of the Trump event.]
And they say, "This is what's standing up to hate looks like and it's a huge win for courageous students and community organizers, who knew they are risking their own safety by taking action. Everywhere Trump goes, his hateful and violence sight and rhetoric needs to be met with this kind of outpouring of peaceful opposition."
So MoveOn has a very large e-mail list, a very large membership list around the country and you can be certain that they're taking credit for being part of this tonight, John. They're saying it's a good thing.
What is happening on your screens right now and the cancellation of the Donald Trump event and they're urging their members and friends of their members and other community groups to do it again.
BERMAN: Maggie, we have an election in four days, we have ...
BERMAN: ... five states, voting on the Republican side, a huge number of delegates at stake. What that's going to go on for the next four days after what's been happening tonight?
HABERMAN: I think John, makes the most salient point here which is -- it is absolutely true that these protesters came to disrupt. They came to cause havoc. They have succeeded. And it is going to be like a virus and spread. And I think that, you know, if you saw that you could do -- nobody has been able to either contain Donald Trump, curtail Donald Trump, really impact what Donald Trump will do.
Donald Trump has set the terms of this conversation, of this of primary, of this election on both sides frankly, in many ways.
Since he got into the race pretty much, this is the first time that you've had an event basically control Donald Trump. And so if you are a protester, you are going to feel emboldened by this. I think you are potentially seeing some real ugliness tomorrow.
I will say, you're going to hope that it stays as relatively calm. As what we saw, there were skirmishes but they broke up pretty fast.
BERMAN: Stuart Stevens, you're still with us right now. You know, once again though ...
BERMAN: ... that Donald Trump road show has overtaken everything, anything else that may be going on in the primary cycle. You know, we're going to have you on talking about the Ben Carson endorsement. Also Marco Rubio saying, "Vote for John Kasich in Ohio."
There's other thing that are going to on in this campaign, but once again, what's happening with Donald Trump seems to be overshadowing that.
So if you are one of these other campaigns, you know, how do you handle this tomorrow?
STEVENS: Listen, one of the dynamics in this whole race has made is very tough for these other candidates, as Donald Trump has gotten, you know, multiples of other -- greater coverage than anybody else. That's made it very tough.
And some of these Super PACs have come in with tremendous work contrasting and attacking Donald Trump, but they're not campaigns.
I think that Republicans have to sort of ask themselves. Do you at all care about winning the White House and winning the Senate? This is just a suicide vested for Republican Party is pulling on and Donald Trump is pulling the cord. There's no question about that.
Look, I worked for the man who was the last Republican to get elected president in this country, George Bush. And think about how George Bush went about getting elected. Think about what George Bush did in Texas before he ran for president and how he reached out to Hispanics, versus, say, how -- in California with Pete Wilson.
It was completely different. That's the path to win. And it's an inside straight for Republicans to get elected president these days. It's just as the facts of how it is.
Democrats start with about 245 electoral votes. This is an absolute blue print for a slaughter for Republicans and one that the day after, you haven't just lost an election. You've lost a party. And you've got to fight back.
[20:50:00] I think this is really, as Ben Sass said, it is a moral question here, the Republicans have to ask themselves. Donald Trump isn't a conservative. He's out there with this weird mix of 45 percent tariffs and he's call for violence. And it's absolutely something that goes against what it means to be a conservative and what it means, I think, to be the best of a Republican. And I hope it's defeated.
BERMAN: Kayleigh McEnany you were a Donald Trump supporter, you're hearing the in streets even they are saying this is a recipe for disaster in a general election. What's your response?
MCENANY: I don't so. I think most people can watch that video and recognize that those were protesters being disruptive. You do not see gangs and gangs of people and Donald Trump shirts throwing punches.
If you had seen that, it might be a different story that those were protesters who were at fault. And it's worth mentioning that there was the same effort to paint Ronald Reagan as being bigoted and hateful.
In fact, Jimmy Carter came out with that intimate smile that upturning that hatred is what Ronald Reagan was engaging in.
People accused him of being in bed with the KKK as well. The same accusations if you go back and read some of the newspapers during that time. The difference is today there are cameras and today as people want to go out and they want to make a name for themselves and they're going to show up and they're going to protest particularly so when they know that doing so will cause the event to shut down and they get cameras and attention.
We saw the same sort of rallying in Ferguson. The same insightfulness elsewhere. When there are cameras involved, it escalates the affair and I think that's what we saw tonight.
BERMAN: Gary Tuchman, you again, you've been at Donald Trump event, I've been to Donald Trump event. I just walk in, I wasn't really screened at all. I suppose had been protest really easy for me to protest but are these events somehow screened to try to keep people out?
TUCHMAN: Well, John you're right. Anyone can get in. You reply the e-mail and you get a ticket. But what they do to sometimes, when they see the private security people who Donald Trump players, when they see people who look a little bit suspicious. They have a shirt that directly says something against Donald Trump or something that sets them off the radar, they will preemptively kick people out before rallies.
We just saw this earlier of this week in Concord, North Carolina where there was some -- there were nine disruptions over a period of 40 minutes. A bunch of people were kicked out before hand.
One thing I want to mention to you John about Donald Trump. You know, you see him to numerous rallies. He calls them disgusting. He calls members of the news media disgusting. And people shake their fist of the members of the news media who are contained to a pen in the back which was very unlike any other rally.
But when we talk to Donald Trump in private, when he get some news conferences. When he has availabilities with us, he's a totally different person.
He's mellow, he's polite, he's quiet, he doesn't call us disgusting, he doesn't call other people disgusting. So the it's two different Donald Trumps we see. The Donald Trump at these large rallies with the energetic supporters were there, turns into a very different person.
BERMAN: Ben Carson in fact today said there are two Donald Trumps. Ben Carson who had been called that pathetic by Donald Trump and also likened to a child molester today, endorsed Donald Trump and said literally there are two Donald Trumps today.
HABERMAN: Two things that I would say. I mean, I think that is absolutely true. That Trump can be charming, he is entertaining, he can be very mellow, he has three children who are all pretty terrific to deal with which are I think a real testament to him.
I also think that one thing that is striking, is we're talking about what it means to be a Republican, what it means to be a conservative. Trump is tapping into a lot of anger within the Republican Party based because there are a lot of voters who feel like their leaders have not been listening to them for a very long time.
And so, while he is saying things that are of questionable responsibility and whether he should be handling things differently and as we discussed, when you were potentially the nominee, you need to do carry your words differently.
There is an audience for it or as we probably put it there is a market for it. And there are people who are responding to it for a reason. People are angry and have been for a long time.
BERMAN: I got to tell you the discussion is going on right just over the last, you know, half-hour as we've been covering this is extraordinary. I'm hearing
from people telling us, on the one hand that, you know, it's the protesters who are all to blame tonight.
Other people who are saying, Donald Trump has created the worst environment we've ever seen. Other people saying that, you know, we're enabling Donald Trump by covering like it is. Other people saying we're enabling the protesters. The discussion is going on right now about this. I've never seen anything like it, David, I mean it's extraordinary.
GERGEN: It is and there is something healthy about bringing it to a head and trying to deal with it because it's been trouble like this fever that we've had. But as now broken into the open as a real illness in our democracy.
But I do want to point out. We've had candidates in the past who have mobilized, lots and lots who supported millions of supporters. Barack Obama in 2008 mobilized people, he had rallies, he had massive rallies. He didn't have this kind of protest. He didn't have this kind of violence taking place.
Ronald Reagan and -- he had compare Donald Trump to Ronald Reagan I think is a disservice to President Reagan. But the point is, Reagan had lots and lots of people who came out. And -- but he was a positive campaigner. He didn't try to divide people. Well, yes was he tough of it? Yes.
Jack Kennedy had large crowds. He mobilize people, he didn't bring out all these haters like this.
[20:55:03] You know, if you're going to be a unifier, that's part of what your pledge is. You have to rise the occasions and this is the most important -- I think it's the most important challenge to Donald Trump as a leader that he's facing the campaign. The single most important challenge is faces a leader.
BERMAN: Dan Bongino in a former secret agent. He was also a Former Political candidate who was supporting Ted Cruz for President right now. Dan is on the phone with us.
And Dan, you think that Donald Trump is getting a raw deal somehow in all of this. So what do you want to see Ted Cruz, the guy you're supporting say and do about it? Do you want Ted Cruz to come out and defend Donald Trump's right to speak or do you want Ted Cruz to come out and say Donald Trump's got to do something to take care of these events and tamp down the tone?
BONGINO: If Ted Cruz doesn't have to do that. He's a constitutionalist. He already believes in free speech. It's people like Stuart Stevens who don't believe in the constitution. I mean this guy is a typical D.C. insider who will amazingly is so against Donald Trump.
Keep in mind, as I've said over and over, I'm a Cruz guy. We saw against Trump, he's willing to forfeit his own values, the sanctions speech depression under the idea that Donald Trump is just a really bad guy. No kidding. I don't support him either. I think he's done some really bad things and said some bad things.
But the fact that Stuart is even remotely insinuating again, that this should somehow be laid on Trump and he should do some mea culpa or a bunch of rioters protesters shutting down the right to free speech in a political campaign is borderline outrageous. He should be embarrassed to say on it a cable station with the big audience like you yours.
BERMAN: Stuart, your name was mentioned abide or debate rules you get a rebut.
STEVENS: Listen, I'm right and he's wrong. But I appreciate his right to express it and I appreciate his support for Senator Cruz who I think would be a far better president and candidate than Donald Trump.
Look, this isn't a coincidence. We know what Donald Trump is doing and Donald Trump knows what he's doing. And this really isn't about policy. There's a lot of candidates out there who have strong policies about immigration. But they don't go and call Mexicans rapists. You don't do that.
Running for President of United States is a great privilege. Being President is the greatest privilege. And you have to respect that privilege and understand that you're speaking to millions and millions of people. And in many ways, you're speaking to the world as a candidate. And what signal does it say to America that we're calling our neighbors rapists? You just -- you can't do that and not expect that there won't be a violent reaction. And you're responsible for what you say and how it impacts other people.
And that's something unique about being a presidential candidate versus even running for governor or running for Senate. And I just don't think that Donald Trump has any sense of that responsibility.
It's really the candidacy, I think that he probably didn't take this seriously to begin with. As long as everybody else -- as well as everybody else. But now he has a serious candidate for president, he has a serous responsibility. He's representing in some ways America.
And he needs to start acting like that. Instead, getting up there and hugging his steaks and doing these things. He needs to start acting a lot more like somebody who's representing the United States of America and ask what is the best of America.
BERMAN: Let me just remind people what happened tonight. Donald Trump was supposed to hold an event in Chicago tonight at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Inside the event hall, there were hundreds if not thousands of protesters who had gotten in and were prepared there to protest Donald Trumps presence.
Donald Trump called off the event. He did not hold the event. We saw video of very tense moments between Donald Trump supporters and the protesters there and you can see it right now.
They broke out on the floor after the cancellation. Police tells us there were no arrest and no injuries. That is a lucky thing, the event broke up, was called off, people spreading in to the streets but it was a remarkable image to see.
John King we have about 30 seconds left. I want to give you the last thought here. Where do you think we go over the next four days before voting on Tuesday?
KING: It's hard to say how it affects the voting on Tuesday. And the voting on Tuesday could be the turning point in this campaign if Donald Trump runs the board in the five states up on Tuesday.
And he'll be close to 800 delegates and the effort to stop Donald Trump will be very hard for him to succeed. He'll need about 44 percent of the delegates if he runs the board.
The voters will decide. Stuart thinks they might process it one way. David Gergen thinks it might be processed one way. I do think one thing we do know is that, you know, we are going to be asking whether the Trump supporters don't think it is fair. And we're going to be asking Mr. Trump to address this and say what he thinks about this and what he thinks the convict, or should be these rallies going forward and the protests will continue without a doubt.
BERMAN: All right John King, David Gergen, everyone who has been with us tonight. Thank you so much. [21:00:00] Don Lemon picks up the coverage right now with "CNN Tonight."
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