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Trump in Salt Lake City; Trump-Megyn Kelly Conflict; Republicans and Trump; Airliner Crashes in Russia. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired March 18, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, HOST, CNN TONIGHT: Top of the hour at 10:00 here in the East. Breaking news. Donald Trump in Salt Lake City tonight for a campaign rally. Protests are spreading outside.
Is this a live picture we're looking at?
Live picture. This is Trump inside. Let's listen in just for a second, everyone.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So we had an amazing Tuesday. We won five, including The Islands. We won five, and it was incredible. We picked up a lot of delegates. We're moving. We're moving.
And I think, you know, they talk about the convention, I think we get to the convention, it's over. I don't think there is going to be much of a dispute. I don't think we're going to have a lot of dispute.
The numbers were fantastic. Illinois, unbelievable.
And then, you know, we had -- as you know, I had a tough race in Florida. I was facing the future of the Republican Party, Marco Rubio. The future.
Well, that's what they said. They said he's the future of the Republican Party. I assume he's not going to be endorsing me. I don't know. I haven't found that out, but I assume.
But we face the future of the Republican Party, folks. Someday you'll get another chance to vote for him maybe. You know, you never know. You never know.
And boy, did we win big. We got 99 delegates, just about the max. And we got 99. We did incredible between Illinois, Missouri. We're still waiting for -- I mean, we won Missouri, but we're still waiting for that final count.
And, you know, I keep hearing that Cruz or somebody that's a big shot in Missouri, but I don't think Missouri works that way. That's a great place, folks, I'll tell you.
So we did -- we did fantastically there. We did -- we've done great essentially everywhere. Started -- LEMON: All right, that's Donald Trump speaking in Salt Lake City speaking at the Infinity Event Center. And as you can see, I'm sure there's a huge crowd inside, but outside there are protestors as well. You're looking at that on the right side of your screen.
Police have been trying to keep the two apart, the supporters and the protestors. Donald Trump's campaign had sought to block the streets off, and when they did that, protestors made sure that they showed up so that they could -- Donald Trump could know how they feel.
Let's discuss some of this now. Joining me now is Christopher Ruddy, the CEO of Newmax; Bob Beckel, CNN political commentator, author of "I Should Be Dead: My Life Surviving Politics, TV, and Addiction"; Margaret Hoover, CNN political commentator and Republican strategist and consultant for Sirius XM radio host; and also Angela Rye, Democratic strategist; and the Douglas Brinkley, CNN presidential historian and also the author of "Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America."
So here we go. We're looking at all of this. He comes out and he says, hey, listen, we've got a lot of support. I don't think there's going to be a brokered convention once we get there. He doesn't think there's going to be one, but you think that there's going to be one.
You don't think there's going to be one, Margaret?
MARGARET HOOVER, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: I don't -- I don't think so, and part of it is because of what the scene we're looking at right now. And what we have seen is that as these rallies become riots, like the one in Chicago last week, actually his support went up in Florida around the same time that the negative advertising and rooting against him from Rubio pulled back.
Twenty-two percent of Republicans said those riots actually solidified their support for Donald Trump. And what Ted Cruz -- I mean, this is a huge topic right now. Right? Romney comes out, endorses Ted Cruz today. They're supposed to be tying up this caucus there. If they can get over 50 percent, Ted Cruz, it's winner take all. Ted Cruz would get all 40 delegates.
But now that you've got these protests going on there, all that does is rabble up support for Donald Trump right there in Utah. So I think you're going to see more and more of this. It's going to actually add inertia and momentum to Donald Trump, and he only has to win half of the remaining delegates.
CHRISTOPHER RUDDY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NEWSMAX: When you add up all the anti-Trump candidate delegates right now, they lead Donald Trump. OK? He trails them if they were all to vote together. And a number of them will become unbound as the -- because if you're not in the race, your delegates become unbound.
But those delegates generally are party regulars. They're not going to be voting for Donald Trump. So there's still a pathway for Kasich and Cruz. They have to unite. Now, the story I hear is that Kasich is saying I'm going to win these
blue states. There's enough country club Republicans out there. Cruz is not going to win them.
So they're going into Wisconsin. It's happening on April 5th. It's a blue state. If Kasich wins there, Kasich will stay in the race.
RUDDY: And if he doesn't, he's told the Cruz people, look, I'm going to reconsider.
And look, Kasich did not do well in Michigan. He came in third. He did not do well in Illinois. Came in third. So the idea that somehow he does well in all blue states is wrong.
ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: But the one thing that I'm just like -- just puzzled by is the fact that now all the sudden Cruz has become the establishment candidate when he's been everything except for establishment. The fact that we're comparing a John Kasich with a Ted Cruz is crazy to me.
The fact that now Mayor Romney is saying he's going to support Ted Cruz, which we know is damaging --
RYE: -- for Ted Cruz, and the fact that John Kasich continues to stay in the race is also damaging to Ted Cruz.
So I hear your scenario. I just don't think it's very likely.
RUDDY: Well, but the historian here will tell in 1980 Ronald Reagan was the anti-establishment candidates. He united with Rockefeller wing of the party, brought in Bill Casey to run his campaign, and he won big. He brought in George Bush as his vice president.
Trump would need to do something like that, but definitely Ted Cruz is going to reach out. I think you're going to see a change in the Cruz campaign. This is a very, very clever politician, and I think he could win. And he can win over Latino voters. I think he's going to moderate on immigration.
LEMON: So Chris, you have been saying that, you know, the country club -- there are enough country club Republicans that will, you know, get at Kasich or --
RUDDY: The Kasich people are saying that.
LEMON: The Kasich people are saying that. But those aren't the folks that are showing up at these rallies. You know, these thousands of people were showing up aren't country club Republicans. Those probably aren't the people who have -- you know, who have gotten Donald Trump 683 delegates so far. RYE: Right.
LEMON: Are you with me, Bob Beckel?
BOB BECKEL, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, we're -- I just want to know if there's another commercial break. I was waiting for you.
LEMON: Well, I mean -- all right, well, forget Beckel. You're done. No, no, I'm kidding. See, now when you get the chance, go on.
BECKEL: What did you ask me?
LEMON: I asked you -- I said, are enough country club Republicans -- those aren't the folks who are going to vote for Donald Trump and who have garnered him 600 and some odd delegates.
BECKEL: Listen, the states ahead are good for Trump. There's New York, his home state. There's New Jersey with Christie. Pennsylvania, where he will probably draw a lot of blue-collar supporters. New Jersey, you will get blue-collar supporters. Connecticut may be a different story. Rhode Island may be a different story.
But it's not a bad setup for him. And in California, you know, the people who vote in the primaries in California, Republicans, are very far right. I mean, they're not evangelical. That's the other problem Ted Cruz has got. He's run out of evangelicals in any significant numbers. And so for Trump, frankly, it doesn't look bad at all.
LEMON: Hey, Bob, let's --
LEMON: -- put -- we can put these pictures up. When you look at these pictures, when you see what's happening outside of this Trump rally, what comes to mind? What do you -- what goes through your head?
BECKEL: Not -- being outside the 1968 Democratic Convention as a sophomore in college and having a horse chase me down. That's what comes to mind.
You know, the divisions in the Democratic Party after '68 when there were brokers around who could shove Hubert Humphrey down everybody's throat, it disrupted the Democratic Party for two decades until Clinton came long.
This has got the potential to split this party, the Republican Party, and go -- it'll be that long before they get their identify back.
HOOVER: Bob Beckel, this is Margaret. I got to -- I got to take you on a little bit on this. I mean --
BECKEL: OK, fine.
HOOVER: -- 2016 and 1968 are two very different years. BECKEL: Well, I mean --
HOOVER: Listen, I mean, race riots across the country. Bobby Kennedy is shot. Martin Luther King is show. I mean, real not just -- I mean, dissension across the country, let alone the fact that the Democratic Party actually did have a completely untransparent process, was kicking people out, people who were supposed to be delegates, supposed to be coming out for, you know, specific candidates.
And it was totally corrupt. I mean, the Democratic Party had to go back and really redo entirely how they select their nominee. That is not what's happening here --
BECKEL: Well, first of all --
HOOVER: -- either in the country or at the Republican Party at all, and so we have to be careful with these kind of irresponsible analogies I think.
BECKEL: -- the Democrats changed the rules. The Democrats changed the rules of the convention, the rules committee, so Humphrey could get himself nominated. You know this was -- remember here, the Republican National Committee, they're going to have a rules committee there, and that rules committee can change whatever rules they want to change except for the binding on the first vote.
RUDDY: And they won't be Trump delegates making those decisions. The other thing you have to remember, Bob --
BECKEL: Well, maybe.
RUDDY: -- is that this is all taking place in March. This isn't the summer conventions. This is only the start, and I think it's going to be explosive summer, and I think we're going to see things. It's going to be off the charts.
I think the groups that are already out there that have been agitating on so many -- they're going to be ramping up. And I think you're going to see a counter-side. Trump has very -- whether it's larger numbers or not -- very devoted followers. So --
BECKEL: Yes, that's why -- that's why I want to say --
RYE: This is also why it does remind me of 1968, at least what I've seen. I wasn't here. But it reminds me of 1968, because these are the images that triggered that type of frustration, that type of anger.
This type of speech is what causes the reaction of like a black lives matter. The fact that this black man got punched in the face in Fayetteville by a Trump supporter, these are the kinds of things that trickle. And people get fed up enough, that is the type of violence that happens. I'm not saying that it's going to result in this (inaudible) -- (CROSSTALK)
BECKEL: And let me -- let me take a --
LEMON: Mr. Historian, what do you think of this? I want to hear what Douglas has to say. What do you think?
BECKEL: I'm sorry.
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, you know, I think -- look, television doesn't look -- it doesn't look good on TV brokered conventions.
In 1952, CBS trained cameras on Taft versus Eisenhower, and it was smoke-filled rooms, and it was people kind of squabbling and fighting. And you really get the modern-day caucus and primary system out of the fact that let's do our dirty laundry early so the convention is an infomercial.
Edward R. Murrow wouldn't even go to the conventions, it's because he said it's an infomercial for the parties. That's pretty much the way it goes.
This summer ain't going to be an information one way or another. Cleveland is going to be known in history as a -- as a -- as a war zone for --
RUDDY: Wrestling -- World Wide Wrestling, isn't it?
BECKEL: Can I respond back to Margaret here for a second? You're right it was a much different year, but when Trump looks out at those supporters in these rallies of his, he thinks that these people reflect America. But these people are as emotional about where they are now as the anti-war protestors were in '68. That's the difference. You've got a committed group of supporters for Trump who are just as strongly committed to him and whatever he stands for as the anti-war people were, and that's what's got me concerned about it.
BRINKLEY: Well --
BECKEL: It doesn't have me concerned. If it falls apart, I'm really not going to shed a tear. But I mean, it's --
BRINKLEY: But tonight where we're watching in Salt Lake right now, it's quite spontaneous. You know, the caucus is in town, and now people are coming out.
Cleveland, people are going to have a lot of time like Chicago in '68 in the sense that the buses coming in, protestors, black lives matters, massive Latino groups, feminists, they're all going to descend on Cleveland as sort of the place to look at the messy American pie that's gone -- grown very dysfunctional.
So, you know, it does not -- it doesn't look good for the Republican Party right now either way, whether they have a Cruz-Kasich team or whether they have Trump.
LEMON: As we are looking at these pictures now --
BECKEL: And they don't much --
LEMON: I want everyone to stand by. We're going to look at these pictures here as we're talking about what's happening now in Salt Lake City.
I'm going to go to my colleague, Boris Sanchez. He's outside this Trump event now where the protestors have gathered. What's going on now, Boris?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Hey, Don. So they moved a little bit further away from the entrance to the event to try to get into the side entrance. This is where Donald Trump went inside.
And moments before he walked in, a crowd rushed over to try to get his attention. They started chanting, "Shut it down. Shut it down." There's still a lot of people out here yelling. Very, very passionate crowd as you can imagine, Don.
But there's still a pro-Trump crowd out here, and they're being somewhat civil. There hasn't been any, you know, fist-fighting, any disrespect, the kind that we saw in Chicago. It's been mostly peaceful, and so far, we're starting to watch the crowd leave.
There hasn't been anything that's gotten out of hand. Police officers have maintained the peace here. There have been quite a few officers moving about.
I asked one specifically when they might start asking people to move out. He told me he had no idea. The crowd may stay here until the end of the event.
As I understand, the event is still going on right now, so we'll have to wait and see exactly how it all unfolds. But so far, things have remained civil here.
LEMON: Horace Sanchez, thank you very much. We'll get back to Boris in just a minute, and the panel as well when we come right back.
Much more on our breaking news. Donald Trump speaking in Salt Lake City as protestors gather outside.
LEMON: We're back now on CNN with our breaking news. You're looking at live pictures outside the Infinity Event Center in Salt Lake City. That's where Donald Trump is speaking. Protestors have gathered outside that arena.
Back with me now, Bob Beckel, Christopher Ruddy, Margaret Hoover, Douglas Brinkley, Angela Rye and -- is Kayleigh with us as well? Kayleigh McEnany.
Oh, Kayleigh. Hey, Kayleigh. There we go.
Can we listen for -- to Donald Trump just for a little bit before we start our conversation?
TRUMP: Yes, ultimately, millions of people coming here, they've never -- you know what a great thing that is for a democracy when you think about it? These are people -- these are smart people, these are great people, these the hard-working people, but they've been left out.
They've been disenfranchised. They haven't liked the people that the -- you know, they're smart. They see people that they're supposed to vote for, and they say, I'm not going to vote. And we can understand that.
But people that -- I had one person in Tennessee, she's the all-time record, 93 years old. Everybody knows who I'm talking about, a big story. Ninety-three years old, never voted before. Now, I could say, come on, you have to have -- you know, you've got to do a little voting, right? She never voted before. She voted for the first time recently in Tennessee. Ninety-three years old. That is so amazing. And she's like a fan. She's 93. She's wearing a Trump shirt. She's wearing a Trump shirt.
LEMON: So there is Donald Trump doing his stump speech. Typically, he points out people, and, you know, he gets points across.
Usually, I mean, quite honestly, he says the same thing sort of over and over and over. But maybe that's good, because it's sticking with the public.
I'm going to bring in Kayleigh McEnany. Kayleigh, who is a Trump supporter.
So Kayleigh, what do you make of what's happening in Salt Lake City tonight. The first thing he talked about before he said, after he said no brokered convention, was Marco Rubio. Now, Marco Rubio is in his rear-view mirror. Why even bring up Marco Rubio?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I think that's what Donald Trump. He brings up his competitors. Marco Rubio is part of the establishment. He's going to bring Marco Rubio.
But I think the real story tonight is the absolutely unacceptable behavior of these protestors in front of Donald Trump's rally. It's so bad that even the media cameras have to be weary if they even shoot in their direction.
In the previous hour, we saw a sign --
LEMON: But Kayleigh, they're peaceful -- they're peaceful protestors that we --
MCENANY: Oh, they're peaceful all right. But if the media turns their cameras that way, there's a big "F-you" sign that had to be taken down, and we had to cut to a different video. There are protestors flicking cameras off. It's so bad that the media cannot even turn the cameras in that direction for fear of having vulgarities that are not allowed to be aired on national television and are not permitted.
This is absurd. These same left-wing protestors are coming to Trump events. They're going to other events. They're all over college campuses, protesting other right-wing issues.
Just last week, they stormed a Metallica event where a Metallica speaker was speaking, and tried to assault the speaker. There is a problem with violent left-wing protests in this country, and it needs to be stopped. And that should be the story of the night, not Donald Trump.
LEMON: OK. OK, go ahead (inaudible).
RUDDY: These aren't -- these aren't spontaneous demonstrations. Somebody's funding it. There's talk on social media that there's ads going out telling people to show up.
The Democratic Party already sees Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee, and they are starting. They're not giving him a minute to breathe.
RUDDY: You know, Jonathan Alter had a great column on "The Daily Beast." I think it was yesterday. Trump is too poor to win this election. It's really interesting.
He's going to need a lot of money, and he doesn't have the donors behind him. And he's probably not going to want to spend the billion dollars of his own money to do this. And meanwhile, we're seeing heavy funding already going into protests everywhere he speaks.
RYE: Yes, I have to -- I have to push back on that.
RYE: And part of it is just this is actually like legit, real anger. Like people are legitimately frustrated by the fact that Donald Trump has gotten away again with this type of rhetoric. These are not violent leftist protests, Kayleigh.
MCENANY: Yes, it is.
RYE: No, it's not. I think we can even go to the fact that earlier -- and I mentioned this earlier -- the fact that Donald Trump's campaign has now put out the fact that we're not going to have you leave the press cage, press folks. You can't record these protestors anymore.
It's caused him real trouble. And there may be fear, right, that these protests are gaining -- protestors are gaining traction, but what we certainly cannot say is that these people are getting paid off to do this. These are legitimate issues and frustrations.
LEMON: Bob first and then Margaret. Go ahead, Bob.
BECKEL: Wait. I'll tell you. The thing that worries me about this, whether you think it's paid for or whatever, is that I don't think it's a good idea for the progressive movement to be doing this, because as -- the only place I agree with Kayleigh very rarely, but also Margaret said this earlier. Whenever this happens, Trump supporters get stronger.
And the ultimate protest is going to the ballot box. That's where you can protest. But I wouldn't want to do anything to try to reinforce Trump, which is what this is doing. And so it probably makes sense.
I mean, they have every right in the world to do it, and I used to do it all the time. But I'm telling you, the best thing for the left to do is to stay away and not let him have his supporters get that much more riled up.
LEMON: OK, go ahead, Margaret.
HOOVER: What we also know is that this is organized, and this is paid for. I mean, these are -- these are liberal acts. Front page of "The Wall Street Journal" today, 22 liberal groups, some of them pro- Hillary, some of them pro-Bernie, some of them neutral, are -- have decided that they are going to consolidate their efforts and to organize and start at the following primaries, Bob, and protesting Donald Trump rallies.
So we know that this is -- this is organized by the left. And that's fine. That's perfectly their right. But --
RYE: -- paying off the protestors. I just -- I reject that notion like --
HOOVER: But it's -- well, I mean, but it's --
RYE: -- the black lives matter activists that are out are not --
HOOVER: Oh, well, that -- but, OK. But these grassroots organizations, I mean, these people are -- they get salaries. They're paid for. We have them on the right. You have them on the left.
BECKEL: Oh, come on, Margaret.
RYE: Yes, I'm sorry.
(CROSSTALK) HOOVER: No, I'm not saying that everybody that shows up is paid to be there, but these are 22 organizations --
MCENANY: And guys, it's important to acknowledge that this a problem that started long before Donald Trump. It started in Ferguson when people were --
MCENANY: -- burning down building. It happens on college campuses every day where --
RYE: This is --
MCENANY: -- conservative speakers --
MCENANY: This is a problem.
LEMON: I want -- I want to play this, because I was talking about what happened at the rally tonight. Because as we know, Mitt Romney is speaking out against Donald Trump today, tweeting about Donald Trump. Donald Trump responded to that just moments ago. Listen.
TRUMP: We never want to take on the Pope, right? You know, we don't want to take him on.
So anyway, so the evangelicals have been so amazing. Everybody's so amazing, and do I love the Mormons, OK? Do I love the Mormons?
I have many friends that live in Salt Lake. I have a lot of friends. No, I have a lot of friends.
By the way, Mitt Romney is not one of them. Did he choke? Did this guy choke? He's a choke artist. I can't believe. Are you sure he's a Mormon? Are we sure?
He choked. He choked. It was so sad. He should have beaten Obama.
LEMON: So Chris, is this your example of Donald Trump becoming a different person and pivoting on the campaign trail?
RYE: -- the Mormon vote.
LEMON: Yes. RUDDY: I am praying that he changes. I know that we -- I admit that
he has a problem here by being so argument and contentious.
You know, I know a little bit of the backdrop of here why the background on this. Donald was very upset he was not invited to that convention in 2012. He was promised something at that convention. They even did a video program.
RUDDY: They brought in Clint Eastwood, who totally screwed up the prime time program. And Donald really should have been given a speech. He was a major player in 2012. And there's been a lot of ill will between him and --
LEMON: So he never forgets?
RUDDY: After 2012, he and Romney had a phone call, and he told Romney, he said, I will never forget -- and I know there were some expletives used in there -- what you did to me in that convention.
LEMON: So if you -- do you remember the whole Pope thing and Donald Trump, and he said you should never question someone's religion, right? Do you remember? I think that Donald -- I'm paraphrasing here.
HOOVER: Right, right.
LEMON: So then why is he questioning, Kayleigh, Mitt Romney's religion?
MCENANY: I don't think he's questioning Mitt Romney's religion. And I don't think there's a --
MCENANY: I don't think there's a place. I have said consistently on this program I don't think there's a place for criticizing anyone's religion. I don't think Barack Obama's faith should be questioned. Likewise, I don't think Donald Trump's faith has been questioned. And many people on this panel have before criticized Donald Trump's faith. I think that is unfair game --
BICKEL: His faith?
MCENANY: -- for anyone.
HOOVER: I don't know.
MCENANY: I don't think Donald Trump's faith should be criticized.
MCENANY: I don't think anyone's faith -- BICKEL: Are you saying -- are you saying we criticized his faith?
MCENANY: I don't think anyone should -- yes, his faith.
BICKEL: I don't know what his faith is. I've never criticized it.
BICKEL: I don't think the guy goes to church. I mean, what --
MCENANY: He said -- OK, that, to me -- that, to me, is what that is about.
LEMON: Go ahead, Chris.
RUDDY: Donald Trump was not saved by Jesus, but he was saved by Jerry Falwell, Jr. That endorsement gave him the whole South, all of those Baptist states. Was just mission critical. If he didn't have that, the Liberty University impramada (ph), and that has really helped him. Donald's not known as being an evangelical.
HOOVER: But this is -- this is -- he's -- I mean, he's up there. He's at the stand. He's just saying whatever comes to his mind. A lot of it is riffs we've heard before. And then he -- and then he throws in a new one. Oh, I'm in Utah. The Mormon thing. So he sort of just throws it in.
And it's actually, to a serious point, "Politico" magazine put out an article a couple of days ago. They analyzed 4.6 hours of Donald Trump's speeches at these rallies, and they found more than five dozen either mischaracterizations, exaggerations or flat-out falsehoods that accounted to -- five dozen of them, a lie, a falsehood, a mischaracterization once every five minutes. All right?
So that is the kind of scrutiny that he is not getting.
RUDDY: People are supporting Donald not because of the facts. They're supporting Donald because he represents strength. They see Obama as being weak. They see ISIS advancing. They see --
LEMON: You heard what you just said, right, Chris? No because of the fact.
RUDDY: You know, admittedly, hey, look, I might be friendly with Donald. Look, he changes his positions fairly frequently on things, but he is known as a strong guy, and he's a tough guy. (CROSSTALK)
BECKEL: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
RYE: Hold on just a second. I want to go back to what Margaret just said about Donald Trump and this article. And the thing about this whole thing is he continues to not only mischaracterize the truth, he grossly overstates the truth. But it's also, this wasn't an accident today. This wasn't him just throwing something in there today.
Mitt Romney just so happened to say he was going to support Ted Cruz. He has to undermine Mitt Romney. Of course, he's going to throw in at some point at this rally, you know, Mitt Romney lost the election by five million votes almost. He's a loser. He's the one who got thrown out for the 47 percent. Donald Trump is saying far worse than the 47 percent comment of Mitt Romney.
RUDDY: But what's only interesting is that after 2012 --
BICKEL: Well, you know, you're right about the -- you're right about the fact thing. I mean, listen, remember that what Donald Trump also said one night, I love undereducated people.
RUDDY: Donald Trump said that we lost -- the Republicans lost the 2012 election because Romney had a crazy immigration plan of deportation. And what is Donald promoting? I mean, it's a similar plan.
LEMON: Stand by. But did you finish your thought? Did you finish your thought? Yes.
RUDDY: No, that's the point.
LEMON: That was your point.
BECKEL: Is this another commercial break?
LEMON: Bob, it's television. Have you ever done it before?
BECKEL: I've done it a lot, but I've never taken this many commercial breaks. It shows you how popular you are.
LEMON: You are a contributor to CNN. And if you don't want to get paid, then I won't do a commercial break. I mean, that's how we get paid.
BECKEL: OK, fine. That's all right.
LEMON: When we come right back, we're going to have much more on our breaking news. The Trump campaign fires back at Fox News and their ongoing battle over anchor Megyn Kelly. Dylan Byers has the latest on that.
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: Our breaking news tonight is Donald Trump firing back at Fox News in their battle over Megyn Kelly, joining me now Dylan Byers, CNN Senior Media and Politics Reporter. Okay, so this war of words continues now. What do you have for us Dylan?
DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR MEDIA AND POLITICS REPORTER: Well, the war of words continues and tonight as we have said it's gone absolutely atomic. What it started with Donald Trump who has been criticizing Megyn Kelly throughout the last week as he has been many times over the last seven months, tweeted out that...
LEMON: Hey, Dylan?
LEMON: I need you to standby. I need to get some breaking news. CNN, Boris Sanchez -- Boris is that a protest outside of the rally? Boris, what do you have for us? Can we hear Boris?
LEMON: Okay. We cannot hear Boris, but as I understand, as we try to fix that, his audio cut -- Boris, work on your audio. We're having a -- we're having a problem with it. Can you speak into the microphone?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Can you hear me?
LEMON: Yes, I can hear you now.
LEMON: What's going on?
SANCHEZ: Right, so essentially they came around the side of the building. They started storming the front of the building. I want you to give you a look. There were these tents set up outside with metal detectors and other kinds of security apparatuses and the protesters just tore them down, and one of the guard is (ph) trying to get inside right now.
We're going to try get closer to get a clear look of what's going on but it appears that the doors are closed and the protesters are right at the door. We heard someone say that they got inside but it's still unclear to see exactly what's going on. We're going to try to move closer right now, Don. But it appears that the protesters just tore down the security apparatus that was in front of this Infinity Event Center.
SANCHEZ: And right now, I don't see any police right in front of them, so we're trying to figure out where the police officers are and exactly how far these protesters have gone. And I think they were clearly trying to get inside to try to send a message to Donald Trump. I'm not sure if he's still in the building but as we move closer, we'll get a clearer picture of exactly what going on right now...
LEMON: Hey, Boris standby...
LEMON: Standby Boris -- I mean, Boris you are still speaking but I'm going to look -- let's take a look inside and see if he's even aware. Don't go anywhere, Boris. Let's look inside. So -- all right, so he's still speaking inside obviously he's not aware or it's not making a difference. So Boris Sanchez, it doesn't appear that they've gotten inside, but if they did, they were held off. Boris?
SANCHEZ: Yes, it appears that they were held off. Now, I'm getting a glance closer and it looks like there's a line of -- I'd say a dozen police officers that rushed to the door and got outside, now they're blocking them. It looks like they have a gap between the protesters and the door and they're starting to march away from the door. So, they're trying to -- trying to push the protesters to the back.
LEMON: Okay. All right, Boris...
SANCHEZ: It's definitely at least a dozen...
LEMON: Boris, keep an eye on that and we'll get back to you. Boris Sanchez outside of Trump rally where you can see there are protesters, Donald Trump still speaking inside. We are also in the middle of some other breaking news with our senior media correspondent, Dylan Byers. Dylan, you are saying that Donald Trump's campaign has responded to the Fox News statement who was responding to a tweet from Donald Trump earlier today?
BYERS: Right. That's absolutely right. And what Fox News had said in its statement is it accused Donald Trump of making verbal assault, it accused him of sexism, and it accused him of basically behavior that was beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate running for the highest office in the land.
This is the response that we just got from the Trump campaign. I'll read it to you. "Megyn Kelly is a highly overrated reporter and anchor that constantly disparages Mr. Trump with negative and inaccurate reports. Despite the fact he wants nothing to do with her and will not appear on her show due to her extremely biased reporting, much of the program is about him anyway on a nightly basis.
In fact, Fox News has begged Mr. Trump to do a primetime special to be broadcast on the Fox Network, not cable, with Megyn Kelly. He has turned them down. Likewise they recently called for an unsolicited and unplanned debate with Kelly as the featured moderator. He turned them down and they immediately cancelled.
On the Fox Debate that Mr. Trump did not do, they received by far their lowest rating. Unlike, Megyn Kelly who resorts to putting out statements via Fox News, Mr. Trump will continue to defend himself against enormous (ph) amount of unfair and inaccurate coverage he receives on her second rate show each night."
So, what you're seeing from the Trump campaign is more of what you've been seeing from Donald Trump. He's doubling down on those remarks. He is continuing to insult her and to try and impugn her integrity and he's very focused of course on the ratings as always.
LEMON: Okay. Well, that is -- thank you, Dylan Byers. Stand by. This is a -- that's a lot to absorb and it -- I mean he's really -- the campaign is really going into detail about what's happening behind the scene.
CHRISTOPHER RUDDY, CEO NEWSMAX: Well, I also think isn't this really the end of Fox News as a powerhouse. Roger Ailes was the most influential media person in the Republican Party, that's not true anymore...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you run it in (ph) news network?
RUDDY: ...and you should actually check it out in the next few weeks...
RUDDY: ...the game is over. They don't have the influence. You just had a candidate saying, I'm not showing up at your debate. Fox is being regularly pilloried by him and there have been some studies that show Republican viewers are not so happy with Fox. I think they're also tuning in to CNN because you guys tell it straight. Look at the diversity of views we're having here. We're not here...
RUDDY: ...they were effectively -- we talked about it earlier, a Super PAC for Marco Rubio. Marco Rubio came in almost 20 points behind in his home state and Fox said he was going to win. You know, so I think...
ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: ...there's anything in Super PAC and Marco Rubio when the data shows that Trump got 2 billion -- more than $2 billion of free coverage...
RYE: ...earn media coverage...
LEMON: Other than Donald, Marco...
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: So what's going on here? I mean every day Trump wants to win the media. You know, he's there tonight in Salt Lake because Ted Cruz is beating him there and it's a caucus state. And Cruz, did very like to beat Donald Trump, so he's got to do a few things quickly -- going -- he re-brought up the old -- the golden oldie of Megyn Kelly again today. Tonight, he doubled down against Romney saying he's not really even a Mormon, that's going to make a lot of news.
LEMON: You thought that was a particular one (ph)?
BRINKLEY: I found it a very low -- it's a horrible thing to say to anybody to say that they're -- you know about their faith, I don't think you're a real Catholic, I don't think you're a real Jew, it's disgusting. But, politically he thinks that he need to -- emasculate Romney, re-bring up the Megyn Kelly and I think...
BRINKLEY: ...Margaret Hoover nailed it. I think that these protests helped Donald Trump in Utah...
BRINKLEY: ...the more commotion we're seeing, the more...
LEMON: ...that got to go...
BRINKLEY: ...Cruz and go Trump...
LEMON: But I think the Donald Trump supporter here deserves a shot at responding to what Dylan Byers reported, quickly Kayleigh unlock the kids (ph) breaks on.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, no problem. I mean I think it's time for Donald Trump to turn his target to Ted Cruz because that is the person he needs to beat. He's on the march to front-runner status, he already has it. It's time to pivot and turn to the candidates and leave Megyn Kelly behind. He feels he's been treated unfairly fine, but it's time to pivot.
RUDDY: Time for us to go...
LEMON: Thank you very much Kayleigh. You've been saying what a lot of people have been saying. I appreciate that. I appreciate the effort when you speak honestly on this program. Thank you, very much.
MCENANY: I always do.
LEMON: When we come right back, how Donald Trump is making history in this campaign, plus the GOPs war of words against their own frontrunner. We'll be right back.
LEMON: The GOP establishment waging war against Donald Trump, it's own frontrunner here with me now is Senior Presidential Historian, Douglas Brinkley, the author of "Rightful Heritage," "Franklin D. Roosevelt," and the "Land of America". Someone talked about the CNN series "Race for the White House" and then in Sunday's episode it's about the presidential race between Dukakis and Bush back in 1988. Let's take a closer look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten points ahead, Michael Dukakis seems untouchable.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is stupid, untrue, terrible rumor floating around that Dukakis had suffered a serious depression after he lost his first re-election campaign for governor and had been treated by a psychiatrist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's now veto the defence authorization billing in the (ph) office.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I think we tamped it down for at least a week or so.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you feel that Michael Dukakis should make medical records public?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then, Ronald Reagan, the President in a news conference was asked about -- something about Dukakis' policies or whatever.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think that American people (ph) will be govern by having his medical records made public?
RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENT: Look, I'm not going to pick on an [invalid].
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every line I have on my desk is ringing. Everybody's phone is ringing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I was pretty upset. I mean an incumbent president is calling the Democratic nominee an [invalid]. What did he mean by that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president elevated this crazy rumor to something that made some people believe it. I was very, very angry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Brings back, Reagan could be very quick, right?
BRINKLEY: Oh, that might be (ph)...
LEMON: Was that a low blow -- that was...
BRINKLEY: It was low but an effective blow. Because, they're starting to paint Dukakis as weird, didn't help that he was seen in that tank, you know, looking that weird but strange photos...
BRINKLEY: It all started playing in the -- to the flaky factor with Dukakis and back then -- now, we do much better on mental health issues, back then if you saw a psychiatrist in 1972, Eagleton was going to be the VP Senator from Missouri George McGovern had to drop out because he was once seen a psychiatrist. So, it was dirty politics in '88 and there's the President of the United States trying to help his VP, Bush get the victory.
LEMON: That -- that tank thing, did that really make him sort of a laughing stock? Was that -- did that cause him...
BRINKLEY: Well, it cost him a lot. You know, Dukakis was an add candidate I think to win in the first place. You know, Al Gore had run that year and he was the good-looking handsome guy from Tennessee and Jesse Jackson entered that year.
BRINKLEY: It was really -- we underestimate what that meant to Jackson went forward -- like that Gary Hart, people thought were going to be the nominee at '88. He had the monkey business, the girlfriend on the boat and all of that, so Dukakis submerge starting tracking but then the Republican heat machine starting going after him and he was painted as the big weak liberal, almost fantasy that Willy Horton had that got used against him.
LEMON: When you're talking -- I think that was the year but I -- do you remember the "I Am Somebody" speech from Jesse Jackson, that...
BRINKLEY: Oh, yes.
LEMON: ...was the most and we should play that at some point -- one of the most inspiring and memorable speeches...
BRINKLEY: ...ever, I think and the fact is we don't give Jesse Jackson, I think enough credit for he deliver the talks about the bridge at Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma...
BRINKLEY: ...paving the way for Barack Obama, but that Jesse Jackson had a hot spot (ph) in 1988 to run and do really well in a lot of primaries to be a serious presidential contender...
BRINKLEY: ...it's a major moment in there of American history.
LEMON: Michael Dukakis spoke to Wolf Blitzer today and here's what he had to say about Donald Trump.
MICHAEL DUKAKIS, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, he's the grandson of German immigrants. He ought to be ashamed of himself. I'm very proud of my background because I'm sure you are and as others of us are a lot closer to the immigration and the immigrant experience Wolf than other people but this is a guy who is a grandson of somebody who came over from Germany and I don't know what he's talking about.
LEMON: I can't imagine Donald Trump cares much about that.
BRINKLEY: No. because Michael Dukakis once he lost, you know, what the problem he really is he abandoned the world Liberal and everybody fled from the Dukakis Legacy. The 1992 when Bill Clinton ran, he said I'm a new Democrat. I'm not a Dukakis Democrat. I'm not even a Liberal, I'm something new. So, but -- he is a wonderful person -- public personality; Michael Dukakis, been teaching in the Boston area and a very likable person.
LEMON: If you had to pick the most memorable moment so far from this campaign, I know there have been a lot, what would it be?
BRINKLEY: I think the Megyn Kelly debate with the fact that Megyn Kelly win after him in that Rosie O'Donnell line worked, thunders of applause, people applauding, everybody said he's toast and the fact that was Fox News. What consultant would you have paid...
BRINKLEY: ...last summer, he said, here -- here, Mr. Trump, is the way to win. Just devastate Fox News as a Republican.
BRINKLEY: Everyone thought that you had to court Fox News. And the fact that Trump got away with that started telling us something new was happening.
LEMON: It's interesting though as I walk to the airport because Megyn Kelly was famous before this but she's even famous now. She's on the cover of more magazines, she's on "Vanity Fair," she's on it, she's like...
BRINKLEY: ...she's a memoir. She's riding with my publisher, Harper Collins, I think is going to go whoosh.
LEMON: Thank you very much. The book is called "Rightful Heritage," "Franklin D. Roosevelt" and "The Land of America" -- "Franklin D. Roosevelt" and "The Land of America" and make sure you tune in on Sunday night at 9 for the CNN Original Series "Race for The White House." When we come right back, breaking news reports of a fatal plane crash.
LEMON: There's some breaking news out of Russia to report to you. A Boeing 738 passenger jet crashed as it was landing in Southern Russia. That's according to emergency authorities. Russian State News Agency task reports at least 55 people on-board are dead.
The plane had taken off from Dubai, joining me now on the phone is CNN Aviation Analyst, Mary Schiavo. Mary, what can you tell us about this?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: We have a couple of fairly big clues right now. First of all I'm looking at the flight radar tracing. This plane had made three very large looping circles that it already tried to land once, came around to try again and it was supposedly poor visibility weather.
I mean in a lot of crashes when you've got poor visibility and you don't make it in on the first time, it's -- I can't tell you how many times that word crashes where they crash coming in on the second time, so the poor visibility is probably the biggest clue. There are -- but this runway was lighted. It had good lighting at one end, impossible (ph) lighting in the other and it did have an instrument landing system.
Now, whether it was working or not or like previous crashes where the system was out or maybe the pilot didn't know it, but with the clue of bad weather and making so many, you know, at least three different circles, you know, trying to reorient to the runway, it does look like pilot disorientation.
SCHIAVO: The airline itself had some safety issues -- safety violations and it had an engine overheat on 737-800 which is what this was. It had a couple issues in other airport not Russia and Iran and another airport where there had been missiles in the vicinity.
And -- so, in terms of safety regulation, they got the biggest issue would have been a maintenance issues and a previous engine overheat but that's about all that there is in terms of previous problems with the airline or an aircraft like this one. I can't say it wasn't sure (ph). LEMON: All right, that is Mary Schiavo, joining us former inspector general for the Department of Transportation reporting to us, thank you Mary...
SCHIAVO: Thank you.
LEMON: ...about this passenger jet carrying 55 people on-board crashed in Russia and of course you heard Mary said, she believe that it possibly pilot disorientation at least initially that's what she thinks.
They're still investigating again, a 737-800. It happened in the flank (ph) from Dubai again crashed in Russia, it is believed all 55 people on-board this plane has died. We'll continue to update you on this breaking news here on CNN as we get it.
Make sure you stay with CNN for a 3-hour primetime event as well with the final five presidential candidates this Monday involving (ph) Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich and also Democrat Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will be interviewed. Anderson and Wolf are going to host that, that's Monday night beginning at 8 Eastern right here on CNN.
That is it for us tonight. Thank you so much for watching the CNN Original Series "Race for The White House" starts in just a moment. Good night.