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CNN TONIGHT

Trump To Speak Soon; Romney' Repulsed' By Trump, Back Cruz; Fox Hits Trump 'Verbal Assaults ' On Kelly; Most-Wanted Man Captured; Pressure On Kasich To Drop Out?; Trump's Magic Number; Who's Afraid Of Donald Trump?; Protests Outside Trump Rally; Trump Holds Big Lead In GOP Delegates; Romney: 'Trumpism' Is Racist And Vulgar; Protests Outside Trump Event In Salt Lake City. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired March 18, 2016 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[21:00:02] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Five presidential candidates sitting down with me and Wolf Blitzer.

Time now to turn things over to Don Lemon for "CNN Tonight."

DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT HOST: The breaking News is you're looking live now. This is Salt Lake City. Donald Trump about to take the stage at any moment now for the first time since saying there would be riots if denied the nomination.

This is "CNN Tonight." I'm Don Lemon.

We're going to bring you the very latest on this as it happens. Also the clearest sign yet the Republican Party's at war with itself. Mitt Romney, the man who campaigned with John Kasich now says he'll vote for Ted Cruz just to stop Donald Trump. He says he is repulsed by everything the GOP frontrunner stands for. Will Romney's Hail Mary work?

Also tonight, Fox News accusing Trump of sexist verbal attacks against Megyn Kelly. Plus, the most wanted man in the world. What happened when the chief suspect in the brutal Paris terror attacks was captured in Belgium today? There's a whole lot going on this evening.

I want to get right to CNN's Sara Murray and Dylan Byers as well to talk about all of this. So listen, so Sara, you are covering this Trump campaign tonight. This is the first time since he's spoken since those comments about possible riots at the convention. What's the latest on that?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right. We're still waiting on Donald Trump. He should be a couple minutes out. So we should expect to hear from him any moment now. And so it will be interesting to hear from him on a couple of different things. I mean, obviously the security situation around his campaign in the last couple of weeks, we'll see he comments on that but we also want to hear if he has anything to say about Mitt Romney coming out and saying that he's going to vote for Ted Cruz. Donald Trump has been tweeting up a storm about it. So we'll see if he addresses that here tonight.

I will say Don as of right now it's a free, it's a rambunctious crowd inside but it's a secure one. We haven't seen any protesters inside the event, although we hear that some are on their way marching over outside.

LEMON: Yeah, outside, it looks like they are hitting a pinata and, you know, doesn't -- it looks like all the disturbance is to themselves. But there's -- and you can hear them on loud speakers there on megaphones, Sara.

MURRAY: Yeah, that's right. They are marching over here from outside. We were expecting this. They sort of set it up ahead of time. So we're waiting for them to arrive. What will say is so far since they weren't here as people were coming in they're really hasn't been in any interaction between the protesters and the Trump supporters then, Don, that's sort where we've seen an issue in the past. These are where we see the two kind of interact and where we've seen things start to get violent.

We'll see if that happens when people leave. But it seems like, I mean they were prepared for it here in Utah. This is something it was advertised on Facebook ahead of time. So we'll see how they handle that later if the crowed exit.

LEMON: So security deliberately keeping them apart, correct?

MURRAY: Security has kept them apart in past events. Like I said this protest started away from the event actually. So far there is been no interaction. And in terms of just getting into the event, if the usual security that we would see everyone goes through secret service. Everyone goes through a sweep here and so far no disturbances inside, Don.

LEMON: All right. Thank you, Sara. We'll keep continue to check in with you. I'm going to get to Dylan Byers now because there's never a dull moment when it comes to Donald Trump, Dylan. There is been a war of words between Donald Trump and Fox News Tonight. It is escalating. Please, fill our viewers in.

DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR MEDIA AND POLITICAL REPORTER: Sure. There's been a war of words between Donald Trump and Fox News for about seven months now going back to last August. What happen today is that war went atomic and it happened when Fox News responded to something that Donald Trump tweeted. Now I want to read the statement that Fox News put out tonight.

It says, "Donald Trump's vitriolic attacks against Megyn Kelly and his extreme, sick obsession with her is beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate who wants to occupy the highest office in the land. Megyn is an exemplary journalist and one of the leading anchors in America. We're extremely proud of her phenomenal work and continue to fully support her throughout every day of Trump's endless barrage of crude and sexist verbal assaults.

As the mother of three young children, with the successful law career and the second highest rated show in cable news, it's especially deplorable for her to be repeatedly abused just for doing her job." LEMON: And so he is been tweeting Megyn Kelly for a couple of days. Now I was reading along the statement with you. What was -- what did he write today that got that made Fox News so mad?

BYERS: Well, he's been spending the whole week trying to brand her as crazy, "Crazy Megyn Kelly." Much the same way he tried to brand Ted Cruz as "Lying Ted" or Marco Rubio as "Little Marco". What he wrote tonight though really took it to new level and was indeed vitriolic as Fox News says.

His tweet was, "Everybody should boycott the "Megyn Kelly Show", never worth watching. Always a hit on Trump. She is sick. And the most overrated person on TV." So he went there and he called her sick, which really -- I mean really taking these attacks to a new level.

[21:05:02] LEMON: OK. Let's bring in CNN's Chief National Correspondent, anchor of "Inside Politics," Mr. John King. John, I don't even know what to say. What is going on here? This man is running for president of the United States.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT AND ACNHOR: His supporters, and clearly Mr. Trump himself, think Megyn Kelly is unfair to him all the time. They don't think it was just that question at the first debate. They say she's unfair to him all the time. But Don, this is my eighth presidential campaign. I would been do this with 30 years now, I have never seen anything like this.

I have seen a lot of fights between candidates and reporters. I've been in the middle of fights between candidates and me. Sometimes candidates and Dylan knows this very well. Sometimes they shut you down.

The normal way to do this, if a candidate so thinks a reporter is out to get him or out get her is they just shut you out and they won't give you any more interviews, they tell their senior staff not to talk to you and they shut you down. They don't then publicly fight with you everyday or every week.

That's the part of this that to be is just unprecedented. Donald Trump clearly thinks he benefits from this fight. And it's clear from that statement that Dylan just read that Roger Ales and the senior people at Fox News are standing by Megyn Kelly even if it means a public escalation of a feud with the Republican frontrunner.

LEMON: Sara, how does you're out there with him. How does he deal with reporters generally? It's a little bit different for the anchors, because we go in, and set up an interview and we're going to interview him. We're not following him on the trail you generally everyday or he comes into the studio or calls in. How does he deal with the reporters in the field on a daily basis?

MURRAY: Sorry, Don. Is that one to me? It's a little hard to ...

LEMON: That's to you Sara, yes, that's to you.

MURRAY: ... hearing with that. The music is blare here. Yeah So dealing -- I mean you essentially see our interactions with Donald Trump on a daily basis. Sometimes he'll have print reporters who going to fly along with him. But in terms of how we deal with him here on the ground, he'll have his media avails, you know, we see him at the press conferences. But it is very different. You see the press conference as he does on election night.

He stocks sort of the fronts of his various properties with, you know 10 to 15 rows of supporters and put the press behind them. I think that's a good way to chart that. Get the press to ask you nicer questions because, you know, there are fans of Donald Trump in the room. But it's also kind of interesting to see how the Trump campaign uses the press pen.

You know, usually the press pen it's a place for you to work and sort of keep your belongings secure. But -- and with the Trump campaign, not only are you there, your keeping your belongings secure but he likes to call out reporters as, you know, the worst people on earth, sort of the scum of the earth and the crowd turns around and cheers that and that just part of his stump speech, Don.

LEMON: Yeah and of course, you know, the interaction with Corey Lewandowski, his campaign manager and a woman reporter as well.

I want to play the moment that it is believed, because there's got to be something else behind this. It can't just be this moment but it is believed to have started this. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL ANCHOR AND POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You've called women you don't like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals. Your Twitter account ...

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Only Rosie O'Donnell.

KELLY: No, it wasn't. Your Twitter account ...

TRUMP: Thank you.

KELLY: For the record, it was well beyond Rosie O'Donnell.

TRUMP: Yes, I'm sure it was.

KELLY: Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women's looks. You once told a contestant on "Celebrity Apprentice" it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Is that sound you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton who is likely to be the Democratic nominee that you are part of the war on women?

TRUMP: I think the big problem of this country has is being politically correct.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: So Dylan, why he -- Donald Trump in an interview, a taped interview with Bill O'Reilly was running on Fox News Tonight as this story was breaking. Why would they continue to have him on Fox News when he is saying such crude things about one of their stars?

BYERS: Well, you are arriving at what is a central question and point of tension for Fox News which is that on the one hand, they have been robust in terms of standing behind Megyn Kelly and they've also offered one of the most robust criticisms of Donald Trump, far more robust than many of his Republican competitors did.

On the other hand, it's also a network that is home to many hosts, contributors, pundits who have been staunch defenders of Donald Trump. And this is the big question for the network. How on the one hand do you stand up against this guy, do you accuse him of sexism, of vitriolic statements and a verbal assaults and yet on the other hand continue to sort of host him and not only host him but have these interviews with people who have been champions of his campaign.

And what the network will say is, look, it's our job to cover the 2016 presidential campaign. We can't stop covering Donald Trump, and we have to continue to give him a voice, even if we don't like that voice. And that's the fine line of the network is walking right now.

[21:10:08] LEMON: Yeah, but at what point do you stand up for something that is clearly deemed as message and if you look at some of the things his retreated and what he saying, I don't hear him saying that about male reporters. It's really sad. I know that they are in an uncomfortable position but my God, at some point you have to say enough is enough. All right I thank you Dylan, thank you Sara, I appreciate that.

John King, we'll discuss a little bit later on the broadcast. John King, I want to talk to you about Mitt Romney today, he explained his vote for Ted Cruz in Utah. A state where Romney may hold the most sway, and here's what he said, "Today there's a contest between Trumpism and Republicanism. Through the calculated statements of its leader, Trumpism has become associated with racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity and most recently threats and violence. I am repulsed by every one of these. The only path that remains to nominate a Republican rather than Mr. Trump is to have an open convention. At this stage, the only way that we can reach an open convention is for Senator Cruz to be successful in as many of the remaining nominating elections as possible". So John this is stunning, it's blunt. Will it work?

KING: That's an interesting question, will it work. Because Mr. Trump thinks it benefits him. Because here you have another establishment figure coming out against Mr. Trump and endorsing one of his opponents, not endorsing him, I should say, Mr. Romney stopped short of endorsing Cruz but saying vote for Senator Cruz, Donald Trump is great along all the lined up, but why don't every Republican senator, every former Republican presidential candidate say your for Cruz and say it for Kasich because my voters don't like the Republican establishment. You did right, Don, Mitt Romney does have a good base of support in Utah, it is a caucus and not a primary and Ted Cruz has tended to do well in those but he just step back for a minute. Think of the early days of the Cruz campaign. What was his central reason for running? He said, I'm not going to be like Mitt Romney, I'm not going to be like John McCain. I'm not going to promise you I'm a conservative and then the primaries and then go squishy moderate in a general election. So it tells you how desperate the Republican establishment is to stop Donald Trump that Mitt Romney would say something nice about Ted Cruz.

LEMON: I want you to listen to a clip of Ted Cruz today talking about the Utah caucuses. Here it is.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

TED CRUZ, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It Kasich manages to pull enough votes in Utah to pull me below 50 percent, the effect of John Kasich will be giving Donald Trump 20 more delegates which I think would be a big, big mistake.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

LEMON: John how much pressure is on John Kasich to get out of the race and clear the way for Trump versus Cruz at that battle?

KING: Well there's a lot of pressure from Ted Cruz but what standing does he have to deliver that message right now. Don, if you go back and look at last Tuesday, John Kasich, yes, it was his home state but Ted Cruz won his home state and said yeehaw I'm in the race, but John Kasich won his home state, now he still on the race, Ted Cruz went all for five on Tuesday.

We haven't finalized Missouri yet but it looks like Missouri is going to go for Trump and Ted Cruz that 0 for five, so what is his standing for John Kasich to say get out, yes, Ted Cruz is in second place among the delegates but he got spanked. Don, there's no other word for it, across the south which was supposed to be Ted Cruz's wheelhouse.

So he doesn't exactly have the moral authority to tell John Kasich he get out of the race which is why we're at such a defining moment in this race. Donald Trump as we speak tonight, needs 55 percent of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination. If he wins Arizona that's 58 delegates on Tuesday night if where to take all, if Trump wins that and then if he gets just say 30 percent in Utah, that would be 70 more delegates for Donald Trump which would mean he would only need 52 percent of the remaining delegates.

Then if he wins the Wisconsin primary day, he'd only need 50 percent. So every time Donald Trump has a good election from here on out, the percentage for him to get to the magic number goes down which means it's time for Ted Cruz or John Kasich. You -- here's my pint Don, you're not going to stop Donald Trump by talking about it. You'll not stop him by having a meeting. You're not going to stop by conference call. The only way to stop him is on Election Day and so far Ted Cruz has been unable to do that.

LEMON: John King, thank you very much. I appreciate it John, have a great weekend.

You are looking at pictures here, this is outside of the Trump rally in Salt Lake City. We'll continue to monitor those pictures for you as they come in and see what happens especially if there are any confrontations, we'll bring that to you live.

Make sure you stay with CNN though, for a three-hour Prime Time event with the final five presidential candidates is this Monday. Republicans, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will all be interviewed. Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer will host that. That's Monday night beginning at 8:00 Eastern only here on CNN.

And we come right back, who is afraid of Donald Trump? Well it seems like everybody, except for Megyn Kelly maybe. His critics say he stands for the worst of America, so why is he so popular?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:18:27] LEMON: I want to get back now to our breaking news. Let's go to my colleague Boris Sanchez with protesters outside the Donald Trump event in Salt Lake City, Utah. There's a rally there. What's going on?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Don, so just -- it was just a few minutes ago when the protesters over a block and a half away from the Trump event started marching toward the event.

There are about 200 maybe 300 at the event. And as they started coming down the street they ran into at least 50 to 60 Trump supporters that were in the street. Now they've met in the middle of the street, they're all clashing. I'm sure you can hear some of the slogans being screamed back and forth.

There you go. There's been a couple few screaming build a wall. There's been people on the other side calling Trump a fascist.

As you can imagine, a lot of emotion out here, so far no violence. The police did close up the streets that are adjacent to this area, because no one so far that I've seen that has started actually fighting. A lot of passion on both sides. People yelling in each other's faces. As you can imagine, a lot, a lot of emotion side by side scattered in the street. People yelling at each other, but again, so far this hasn't got out of hand. It appears to be two sides having relatively peaceful demonstrations in front of each other.

But, Don, right now I don't see very many police in this area which may be a concern considering that these people may not be going anywhere any time soon.

They're kind of stopping in the middle of the street yelling at each other. So we're going to keep watching these Don and get back to you in just a moment.

[21:20:01] LEMON: All right, Boris Sanchez, Boris we will keep ...

SANCHEZ: We were going to see where they're going.

LEMON: ... yeah, we'll keep an eye on it. Boris if you get something, get back to us. Boris Sanchez, Salt Lake City outside of a Trump rally. You could see there are some protesters on the street.

Let's move along now and talk about the Tuesdays Republican contest, because ahead of Tuesday's Republican contest in Arizona and Utah, Trump holds a commanding lead in the GOP delegate count. But Ted Cruz, John Kasich and many conservatives are trying to block him from getting the nomination.

Let's discuss now, CNN Political Commentator Bob Beckel is here, Christopher Ruddy CEO of Newsmax and Newsmax TV and Political Commentator Margaret Hoover. Happy Friday evening. Good Friday evening to all of you.

So I'm going to start with you, Chris. You know, you're good friends with Donald Trump. Romney has said he talks about the choice between the Truism and Republicanism. What do you think?

Trumpism, excuse me and the Republicanism?

CHRISTOPHER RUDDY, CEO NEWSMAX: Let me say that Newsmax first of all was neutral in the race. We're using Newsmax as a platform for all the candidates to get out all their views. I would say our viewers, and our readers on Newsmax tend to be very pro-Trump. And they also tend to be very pro-Republican and pro-conservative. So they don't see it the way that Romney sees it.

I think Romney is maybe creating a false thing saying Trump is not a Republican. That's probably not the best approach. You know, Reagan was really good at this which was, you know, at the end of the day, the very same people that you're attacking in the primary you need them to win in the general. And I think we're seeing not only with Romney's side, but also with Donald, he keeps attacking people on a personal level. It's really hard to put it together again and get them back in support.

And so I think that maybe the rhetoric needs to be cooled on both sides.

LEMON: Yeah, let just for the sake of arguing. If Trumpism is an ideology, then what does it stand for?

RUDDY: Ask Donald. I mean, I think, you know if you look at the polling down of the exit polling it shows Donald is pulling from almost every different group except from the very conservative group.

That core group, the "Rush Limbaugh" listeners, the "Breitbart-type people", they're backing Ted Cruz. And they've been giving him a majority or certainly victories in various primaries and caucuses Ted runs in. So Donald is pulling his -- I think what's drawing Donald is the sense of strength that he's projecting.

LEMON: Yeah, but it just that he's projecting. But you're going to need more than one person to run a government. So, what kind of people, who might he look to for help?

RUDDY: Good question. I think we're waiting to hear. I hear that he's reached out to Rudy Giuliani and Guliani is helping him form what's known as a kitchen cabinet, trying to bring experts and advisers around him that he can call upon. And I think if that happens and if that's true, I think Rudy is the same person. I think he's a very good guy. I think that would help if an assurance to the establishment. A lot of people, independent voters, that he's forming a government.

LEMON: So as we look at these protests, you can see how he rallies people up on both sides, right. I mean he definitely gets people, in passions about people. So listen if he gets, if he does gets to the convention and he doesn't have enough delegates, what do you see happening?

RUDDY: Well, if he gets very close and he does not get the majority, the 1,237, the Republicans would be crazy not to give him the nomination. Not because of the threat of riots, but because it would create such a fracture. Remember, we had two major conventions where there was a huge fracture. In '64 and '76, and both times the Republicans lost in the general election very badly. So you need a united party.

Now, at the same time, I believe that Donald actually can be defeated in that first ballot. But it would take Kasich and Cuz getting together right now, like yesterday ...

LEMON: Right.

RUDDY: ... and I'm not sure that they have the ability to do that.

LEMON: All right, let's move forward. Can we please talk about this? I have been wanted to talk about this whole in this Fox News thing.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Let's go, here we go.

LEMON: I want to talk to you about this. Donald Trump has been tweeting and retweeting messages criticizing Megyn Kelly, describing her as sick, calling for a boycott of her show. And here's the statement that Fox News put out. And I wouldn't read all of it, got go ahead and (inaudible) is ,"Donald Trump's vitriolic attacks against Megyn Kelly and his extreme sick obsession with her is beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate who wants to occupy the highest office in the land."

Then they go on to tout her journalistic credibility, her as an attorney, as a mother and on and on and on. Why these petty attacks, Margaret, against Megyn Kelly? Why is he punting down? He said a very good chance of being the president of the United States. Why is he hitting back at a journalist?

HOOVER: You are asking the wrong person, Don Lemon. I cannot begin to explain this. I mean I truly ...

LEMON: It's mind boggling. HOOVER: ... truly hand off. Look, for many, many reasons, this reinforces all of the narratives the Democrats are going to run against Donald Trump. A, that he's a misogynist, that he's vulgar, he doesn't like women. I mean already look.

[21:25:03] This is Megyn Kelly of Fox News Channel and most people watch Fox News Channel self-identify as Independents or Republicans. Independent women Republican women, 21 percent of them in the latest ABC poll say they'll never vote for Donald Trump.

The other piece that it demonstrates is that he's got a thick -- thin skin. Does this man not have the temperament to be the leader of the free world? And this is -- these are the two major sort of prongs by which the Hillary Clinton campaign has already told us they're run against him. And he doesn't have a temperament and that he's a ...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: As a woman, what do you think it is?

HOOVER: What I do is I think he had an incredibly thin skin and he's such a, you know, I don't -- I want to be careful about using for a psycho babble terms, narcissism or sort of self-involved. But clearly, he has a bee in his bonnet whenever somebody insults him in a way that really goes to his core and how he sees himself.

And, so he -- I mean the small hands comment from Marco Rubio, the challenge from Megyn Kelly.

LEMON: Here's the thing with you said reinforces it. It's also, at a certain point, you know, you have to defend journalism here. Does Megyn is an incredible journalist.

And go through her Twitter feed. Here's what it causes. If you go through her Twitter feed, you can look. "F off you slot, I will beat you up so bad, I will force you to support Trump you slut". So is this what Donald Trump wants?

HOOVER: I think Donald Trump is only thinking about himself.

LEMON: Does he understand what's -- I want to get Bob Beckel. Hang on. Bob, go ahead.

BOB BECKEL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first of all, let me take exception to a couple of things that was said here. He is not popular. In fact, he's now got the largest margin between unfavorable and favorable of any presidential candidate ever, according to Gallup. He is popular among a very narrow band of Republicans or Independents and some Democrats, former Democrats.

The other thing is, that when he takes on Megyn Kelly like that, this is Fox News you're talking about. I used to work there. I know that kind of audience they got, those people he needs to have vote for him. And so, if for the life of me, the guy -- and he does not stand a good chance to get -- to be president of the United States. You know, I know a lot of this and myself included, said he wouldn't make it into the nomination. We're wrong. But, now everybody is hedging their bets saying, oh well, maybe he can win the general election. I'm here tonight to go on the record with you to say he's going to be crushed. I mean crushed. Unless you've already get the anxiety.

RUDDY: I wouldn't -- Bob, Bob, to say he has a narrow base of support when every city he goes to is getting 30,000 to 50,000 people to show up at rallies, and he's won 35 percent in a 15-man race, it's significant and it's a real ...

LEMON: All right hold your thoughts. I have to get a break in. Don't go away. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:31:40] LEMON: We're back there. Donald Trump, you can see him touching down now in Salt Lake City, Utah, about to speak at a rally there. The GOP war of words, of course, heating up again. Donald Trump's plane landing.

He's going to have some protesters. Those are live pictures. He's going to have protesters waiting for him as well as a huge crowd there in Salt Lake City tonight.

So, get ready for that. We'll carry this for you live as this continues here on CNN. I want to get back now to my panel Bob Beckel, Christopher Ruddy and Margaret Hoover.

OK, so that we talked about that moment back in August, the first GOP debate to the question of Megyn Kelly. And then just a couple days later I interviewed him and asked him about, why he was so upset with Megyn Kelly. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, let's talk about Megyn Kelly because you brought her up. She did push you and pushed a lot of people. But what is it with you and Megyn Kelly?

TRUMP: Well, I just don't respect her as a journalist. I have no respect, well, I don't think she's very good. I think she's highly overrated. But when I came out there, you know, what am I doing, I'm not getting paid for this. I go out there and, you know, they start saying, lift up your arms if you can, then I, and you know, I didn't know notice the million 24 million people. I think if I knew it's going to be a big crowd because I get big crowds I get ratings. They call me the ratings machine.

So I have , you know, she gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. And, you know, you can see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her, wherever, but she was, in my opinion, she was off base. And by the way, not in my opinion, in the opinion of hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter because it has been a brutal day, in one way a great day for Fox and another day in the Twitter sphere it's been very bad because she's been badly criticized.

LEMON: Let's take a look at ...

TRUMP: She's a lightweight. I couldn't care less about her. You're competing against her and I'm doing your show.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK.

HOOVER: I mean, this is evidence also that Donald Trump is not taking advice from anyone , because there's not a single person around him who if you asked him would say, hey, you think it's a good idea that I reinstigate a war with one of Fox's star female anchors? I mean, nothing about this played well him or helped him. So, why would he pick this fight again?

RUDDY: Well, I would say Megyn is not so popular with the core Fox audiences, as you would think.

HOOVER: Her ratings are off the charts challenging Bill O' Reilly.

(CROSSTALK)

RUDDY: Well, I think that there's -- that conservative base that votes in the Republican primary, Trump is playing to that base and the Hannity vote for instance. And he has very good relations. But I think with the attacks on her really a lightning rod for his upset with Fox, Rupert Murdoch, "The Wall Street Journal" he's been recently attacking. And there's a perception by a lot of Republicans that Fox was not fair, not only to Trump. You know, Ted Cruz said it was basically a Super PAC for Marco Rubio.

LEMON: Is it, why not attack Fox News instead of attacking Megyn Kelly, listen, I have seen interviews with especially Bill O'Reilly where he has been really hard on Donald Trump. Harder than that question. That was not a tough question, I'm sorry, at that debate. That was a very fair question, Bob Beckel?

BECKEL: Yeah, of course it was. And, you know, he's got a history of this. And the thing is amazing to me is every time this comes up he then moves on, back fills, changes his mind and goes on to say something else outrageous and takes over the news cycle.

[21:35:01] Look, here's the fact. The four cycles ago when the American electorate for president, 82 percent of the people who voted were white. This time around it would be 70 or maybe 69. Donald Trump has had like 4 million or 5 million voters. There's 135 million or 140 million who will vote. His are almost all white voters. And he just -- the rest of it is just he's so alienated people. Can you imagine how many Hispanics will come out to vote against Donald Trump? I mean he's making Hillary Clinton's life really easy.

(CROSSTALK)

RUDDY: It's going to be really difficult. OK, I agree with Bob. I think if Donald is going to have a real problem getting those middle voters. And the idea that there's enough white angry voters, the Reagan Democrats, those numbers Barack -- Romney got 60 percent of the white vote against Barack Obama. It's a pretty high mark. It's going to be really hard to get much more than that. So Donald has to get votes among immigrants and Asians, and Latinos.

LEMON: So how does he do in the general?

RUDDY: I think he's going to have a really, really hard time and it's going to be very difficult.

LEMON: Margaret?

HOOVER: I agree. I think it's a tsunami of biblical proportions against Donald Trump in the general assembly.

LEMON: You think he'll get Trumped in the general?

HOOVER: Yeah.

BECKEL: And it simple as this. It just simple as this, he has to win 70 percent of the white vote, 70 and you're right about Romney. That was an all-time record high. He needs to win, Trump, 70 percent ...

RUDDY: And the last voter when to get 70 percent was Ronald Reagan.

HOOVER: No, no. Actually in 1984 Ronald Reagan got 66 percent of the white vote and whites were 80 percent of the electorate. The share of the white vote has gone down since then. There's no way he can do it.

BECKEL: Yeah and I know a lot of body for I was up against it in (inaudible) tattooed right here.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Quickly we got.

RUDDY: Donald has the ability, though, of being incredibly creative. He is probably that known of the greatest communicators has God ever created. He will be able to try to reach out. And he changes his positions very often as you know. So I think we're going see a much more friendly immigration Donald Trump if he were to win the primary.

LEMON: He's going to need women too and, you know, some of the things that he's said about Megyn Kelly won't go over well with women.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:41:05] LEMON: We showed you in moments ago Donald Trump landing in Salt Lake City. I want to go back to CNN's Boris Sanchez with protesters outside Donald Trump's Salt Lake City rally tonight. Boris, what do you have for us?

SANCHEZ: Don, so far of things have remained peaceful. I just want to give you a look at the scene right here. There are literally a line of police officers dividing those who are against Trump and behind us on the other side, a huge crowd in front of the event supporting Trump. They anticipated these protesters being here. A lot of shouting back and forth, "Build a wall, build a wall." People calling Trump a "fascist". You see some of signs here.

Police officers have started moving in and they are asking people to move down the street. There have been no violent incidents so far. As matter of fact just a short walk from here, there were people on both sides having a pretty peaceful conversation, and just talking about issues. But again, it's very tense for the most part. It's just a lot of people on the street of all ages, children as a matter of fact you maybe able to see them off to my right.

Right now the police officers are keeping control of the situation. Building essentially a barricade between the protesters and the supporters of Donald Trump. Right now I can tell you there's probably several hundred, I would say close to maybe 500 Trump supporters going up against roughly 300, maybe 350 protesters. Just a lot of chanting back and forth, but, again, no violence.

Things remaining somewhat peaceful right now. That's the good news from here, Don.

LEMON: Yeah. Thank you, Boris Sanchez. We appreciate that. As you all remember were here last Friday night when there was violence that broke out at a Trump rally in Chicago. Let's hope that does not happen tonight, but we'll keep on eye on it.

Back with me now, Bob Beckel, Christopher Ruddy and Margaret Hoover. OK, so let's talk about a little more about the general election. Both of you said, you think that Trump will get trounced or at least you were saying Christopher is going to be an uphill battle from this going to be really tough. Does he -- you said he needs to pivot as he heads toward this election. How so?

RUDDY: Well, the demographics in this country no longer favor Republican candidates nationally. We know that ...

LEMON: Are we going to see a different person, a different Trump?

RUDDY: Oh I think he's going to moderate on a lot of issues and reach out to Hispanics and younger people and other groups. I think it's going to be difficult. I think the Clintons will hold him accountable for all his changes. But he's already showing like he's bringing in -- he has been bringing in non Republican voters into this primaries. So he does have the ability to reach out.

The question is, are we going to see a new Donald Trump? Well I think some of the things he's doing now are just not going to work in the general. Sometimes there's ...

HOOVER: Look, but he's already lit the fire. I mean, look what we just saw are these protests happening in Salt Lake City in Utah. What -- I mean, what is very -- what is well known and has been really well reported. Is that there are 22 liberal activist groups. Some who support Hillary Clinton, some who support Bernie Sanders who have organized and I mean, this is on the front page of ""The Wall Street Journal"" today, and have decided that they're going to begin a stop Trump movement now from the left, and they're going to have protests just like this, like you're seeing here. This will be Cleveland and this is going to be every primary leading up to Cleveland.

LEMON: Yeah, but the stop ...

HOOVER: So this isn't going away. I don't know how he neutralizes that.

LEMON: But the "Stop Trump Movement" is from inside the party. So where that you ...

HOOVER: There also an outside the party, too. So there's two, there's a Republican and a Democrat.

LEMON: Would it be better for the Republican establishment? At least Republicans in general to work with him and try to influence his positions from the inside?

HOOVER: But that -- it was -- I mean, that was maybe the argument for Chris Christie going there. Like ...

RUDDY: One of big problems is there is really no Republican Party left.

LEMON: Yeah.

RUDDY: ... Super PACS have been there so right there. Reince Priebus has been a disaster, his lost control of the party. You now have one candidate dictating the terms of debates, when he's going to show up, what he's going to do. It's a really bad situation.

LEMON: Bob Beckel, do you see in -- go ahead. Go ahead with your comment.

BECKEL: Well I was going to say is, can you imagine if Trump gets the nomination, I think he probably will.

[21:45:00] Can you imagine any Republican Senate candidate in a marginal state appearing with Donald Trump on a platform? I don't believe so. They'll be in a -- if I were advising him, I'd go to the other side of the state.

The second thing is very much like Barry Goldwater could not convince any Republican to go with him on his ticket, he picked Curtis Lame who was the head of strategic air command. You know, who is going to go on, because whoever it is will be forever linked to Donald Trump. And if Trump makes a lot of moves, right away, I think its will very difficult because his base, if they see him moving, these supposedly are new voters, are probably not going to vote for him. So I, you know, it's tough. I mean the Republicans down ballot are scared to death of this guy.

RUDDY: I think the other thing is he got $2 billion in earned media, according to the Huffington Post.

BECKEL: Yeah.

RUDDY: That's going to be equal time for Hillary. He's not going to get the free air time means the same way. There if the, the Soros Groups and others are going to spend a billion dollars against him. And I don't see the Republican donors. He's frightening a lot of the Republican donors, the same people he needs in the general he's scaring off.

LEMON: Everyone hold your thoughts, I need to get a break but again we're watching keeping a close eye on Salt Lake City. There are protesters waiting for Donald Trump, there's a rally right there, he's expected to speak at any moment. We'll carry, will see what happens for you live. We'll be right back.

There's Donald Trump. There's his motorcade.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:50:12] LEMON: All right, back now on CNN with our breaking news. And there is a -- look there, police and tactical gear out there, protests outside of Donald Trump's campaign event in Salt Lake City. There you go. The aerial shots of that, folks are waiting for him. His motorcade arrived just moments ago. We saw it at least leaving, I'm not sure if it reached the arena yet.

So we're going to discuss all of this. I want to welcome back Bob Beckel, Christopher Ruddy and Margaret Hoover and bring up to the panel CNN presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley.

Douglas, I want to talk about your book as well, "Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America." That's your new book. So, and listen, when we spoke earlier this week, Douglas, we were talking about -- you said Donald Trump doesn't -- if he doesn't get the nomination, he said that there're going to be riots. And now, you're looking at what's happening in Salt Lake. Do you -- what's the likelihood for that?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, we don't have a riot yet and so ...

LEMON: No, but I mean, you see people gather.

BRINKLEY: But, you know what? Salt Lake City is a big progressive city. I mean, Utah as red as red can be but Salt Lake got a very activist progressive community. And it's such an isolated city that's easy for all those people to come and meet there. So it's a perfect formula for Trump to get booed and hissed. But because it's their but activist, there are environmental front, in fact.

LEMON: When, if ever, have you seen anything like this leading up to a presidential election?

BRINKLEY: Well, you know, we've -- we come a brokered ones, so but I'm mentioning the FDR. The last guy, FDR in 932, had a brokered convention but he convinced somebody to come with them, Speaker of the House, you know, John Nance Garner to be his VP, and then, FDR was able to beat Al Smith.

I don't see who -- and Cruz doesn't want to be the VP for Trump now. After all, what you guys have been talking about, I don't think Kasich wants to hitch his career to that. And Rubio, who wants to be his VP except, maybe, Chris Christie, meaning, I don't see his -- he doesn't have enough support. I don't -- everyone is calling establishment but it doesn't seem like anybody wants make accept with these Trump cobol (ph). So it reminds me more of Huey Long or George Wallace than it does somebody who's going to seize the great party of Lincoln.

LEMON: As we have been talking about, you know, presidents, they don't usually like the press, right? And I think the one in the office now doesn't really like the press. But, have you ever seen anything like this when you look at this feud that's happening with Megyn Kelly and with Donald Trump?

BRINKLEY: Only Richard Nixon, who has people like Dan Rather, who you have a mixing and aid of the press kept enemies which had the IRS go after press. That the whole generation of journalist thought they were failure if they weren't on Nixon's enemy list. And he even picks Spiro Agnew almost to be solely as his vice president to just rip into the press all the time, like Trump does. But Nixon had ...

LEMON: He'll do in the campaign trail.

BRINKLEY: He would do it on the campaign trail but he had Agnew do the dirty work for him. Now, Nixon probably was a little bit above the press. He's been a two term vice president for Eisenhower.

LEMON: Is this presidential behavior?

BRINKLEY: I don't think it is. I don't think we when you -- I think when you -- you're supposed to unite the country, you're supposed to promote the optimism, but it's fear mongering in my view and its pitting group against group. And you're -- what you see in Salt Lake is child's play to what will happen in Cleveland if Donald Trump gets the nomination. We are in for a -- just an incredibly chaotic year in politics.

LEMON: Bob Beckel?

BECKEL: No, I was going to say, Doug did -- when I ask, Spiro Agnew, is put on that ticket with Nixon. Remember he would say about the press, they were "nattering nabobs of negativism." That was his favorite line. But, the last time you had a leader and delegates who it with the establishment tried to pull away those delegates was Andrew Jackson, who then became president of the United States. So, it's -- it ain't easy to do. I mean, it's, you know, brokered conventions need brokers among others things and the Republicans have no brokers. It's ...

RUDDY: So, Donald said at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday night at the press conference, he said, we all have to get together. And the real truth is he has to bring people together. BECKLEY: Yeah.

RUDDY: And we haven't seen that. He hasn't reached that. You know, for him, I think, it's a little bit of shtick. He's been a reality TV star now for 15 years. He loves it. It's work. It's a formula that works. I talked to him, and I'd look you got to stop attacking all of your opponents and doing it on a personal level. And two or three months ago, he would say, I'm not stopping, I'm going to go after Karl Rove, I'm going to go to this one.

Now, he has changed his tune a little bit on that but we're still seeing, you know, the Twitter storms that erupt at 11:00 at night. He has to develop a presidential temperament. He'll never get someone like a Henry Kissinger style level person to work for him in the administration if he's not working with them and allowing them to develop policies.

[21:55:00] LEMON: Does he understand that you can only go so far with that shtick? And maybe he has never had to go beyond that shtick as a reality TV star. But there are people who were in the beginning that I would hear say, "You know, I like this Donald Trump." But then now, they're saying, you know what this guy has gone too far. He lost me with the KKK thing, he lost me with this, he lost me with that.

RUDDY: You know like in a family, you have a brother and sister and you have a fight and you call them a jerk and an idiot, but you still them love them the next day, that's how Donald sort of thinks of this. He's calling this one on any other jerk or this not. And the next day, he's friends with them.

You know, Ben Carson, he compared to being a child molester, liar, all of those things. Ben Carson shockingly endorsed him right away. You're not going to have that from Jeb Bush. Marco Rubio is not going to do that.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Before you go on, well, how much of that is Ben Carson just hates the other guys so much, especially Ted Cruz? And Ben Carson, I mean, he needs to do something, right? He's got to do something after this.

RUDDY: Well, I don't think there's ...

LEMON: Its not do so much as love for Donald Trump.

RUDDY: I don't think there's any rational explanation for what Ben Carson did after some of the comments that were made. You know, any self-respecting in person, you would at least give it some time and let that heal. And that was a very strange. My head is still spinning on that one.

But I think the fissures are so deep with people like Marco and Jeb. And you need this people. You know, the Bush family is a very powerful. George W. Bush is still very respected. The donor class of the party, Donald Trump's going to needed $1 billion to win the race. LEMON: All right, stand by everyone, listen to -- there's Donald Trump's motorcade heading towards the arena where he's going to speak in just a moment.

BECKEL: Are you going to take another break?

LEMON: We're going to take another break because, Bob Beckel, you're sticking around. We're going to do another hours.

BECKEL: I know. I just, I've never seen so many commercials at one time. It's because you're so popular and you've got this panel.

LEMON: Don't worry, you're not going to miss a thing. So, it will be a very short break. We'll be right back, right at the top of the hour, unless something happens. We'll come back.

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