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Trump Calls for Punishment for Women Who Have Abortions; Will Abortion Controversy Hurt Trump at Polls?; Aired 10-11p ET

Aired March 30, 2016 - 22:00   ET


[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: There has never been a candidate like Donald Trump. Listen to this.


CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no, as a principle?

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.

MATTHEWS: For the woman?

TRUMP: Yes, there has to be some form.


LEMON: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

Since Donald Trump said that, he put out a statement saying that doctors, not women, who have abortions, should be punished. He supporters say he tells it like it is. But is the GOP front-runner making it up as he goes along?

Here's exactly what Donald Trump said to MSNBC tonight about abortion.


MATTHEWS: This is not something you can dodge.


TRUMP: It's a -- no, no.

MATTHEWS: If you say abortion is a crime or abortion is murder, you have to deal to with it under the law. Should abortion be punished?

TRUMP: People in certain parts of the Republican Party and conservative republicans would say yes. They should be punished.

MATTHEWS: How about you?

TRUMP: I would say that it's a very serious problem. And it's a problem that we have to decide on. MATTHEWS: You say you want to ban it. What's that mean?

TRUMP: I would -- I am against. I am pro-life, yes. I am pro-life.

MATTHEWS: What is ban -- how do you ban abortion? How do you actually do it?

TRUMP: Well, you know, you'll go back to a position like they had where people will perhaps go to illegal places...


TRUMP: But you have to ban it. I'm against...


MATTHEWS: You ban it. They go to somebody who flunked out of medical school. Do you believe in punishment for abortion? yes or no, it's a principle.

TRUMP: The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.

MATTHEWS: For the woman?

TRUMP: Yes. There has to be some form.

MATTHEWS: Ten years, what?

TRUMP: I don't know. That I don't know. That I don't know.

MATTHEWS: Then why not?

TRUMP: I don't know.

MATTHEWS: You say physicians and everything else.

TRUMP: I don't know because I don't -- I frankly, I do take physicians and everything else. It's a very complicated position.


LEMON: Well, that seems pretty clear. He calls for a ban on abortion and says that women who have abortions should be subjected to some form of punishment. But then, Trump issues a statement saying this. "If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation or any state with permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman. The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed. Like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions."

Now I want you to listen to what Trump said about NATO during our town hall last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Let me tell you, NATO is obsolete. It was 67 years or it's

over 60 years old. It is -- many countries, it doesn't cover terrorism, OK? It covers the Soviet Union, which is no longer in existence. And NATO has to either be re-change, you know, changed for the better. I'm not saying the other thing that's bad about NATO, we're paying too much.


LEMON: Way too far for a lot of people, including one republican congressman.


ADAM KINZINGER, ILLINOIS STATE REPRESENTATIVE: For Donald Trump to say this blew me away. In fact, I was totally sad that I had to, you know, confirm it for myself because I couldn't believe it.

It's one thing to say the allies need to spend more on defense and they do. But at a time when you have Russia tearing up Ukraine, occupying a third of Georgia, really in the Latvia, Estonia, Lithuanian countries tearing that apart or beginning to encroach there, this is not a time to send a message that we need to back out of NATO.


LEMON: And what about nuclear weapon?


ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 SHOW HOST: You have no problem with Japan and North Korea having nuclear weapons?

TRUMP: At some point we have to say, you know what, we're better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea. We're better off frankly if South Korea is going to start to protect itself. We have to...


COOPER: Saudi Arabia with nuclear weapons?

TRUMP: Saudi Arabia, absolutely.

COOPER: You would be fine with them having nuclear weapons?

TRUMP: No, not nuclear weapons. But they have to protect themselves or they have to pay us. Here's the thing. With Japan, they have to pay or we have to let them protect themselves.

COOOPER: So, if you say that Japan that yes, you get nuclear weapons, South Korea and U.S. as well and Saudi Arabia says we want them, too.

TRUMP: Can I be honest with you? It's going to happen anyway. It's going to happen anyway. It's only a question of time. They're going to start having them or we have to get rid of them entirely.


LEMON: Experts absolutely blasting Trump on that. Listen to what one of them says to our very own Pamela Brown.


JOSEPH CIRINCIONE, GLOBAL SECURITY EXPERT: Every president since Harry Truman has tried to stop other countries from getting nuclear weapons. No exceptions.


LEMON: So, as you can see there's a lot to talk about. I want to bring in CNN's Gloria Borger and Salem Radio Network host Hugh Hewitt. OK. Here we go. Good evening, Gloria.


LEMON: There's only one way to describe Mr. Trump's comments on abortion. It's a bombshell this evening. But should we really be surprised when he's made such an outlandish seemingly uninformed statements on policy before?

BORGER: Look, here's the thing about Donald Trump. People who support Donald Trump aren't voting for him because they agree with him. They are supporting him because they believe that he is strong, number one.

Number two, Donald Trump clearly and you saw in the town hall last night. And I think you saw it today in that clip from MSNBC, that there is a sort of stream of consciousness when it comes to policy and Donald Trump.

[22:05:10] His view on abortion, we know now he says he is pro-life, right? But he said that it is the deeply held beliefs of some conservatives that the woman should be punished. That is not the case.

Conservatives believe that the woman is the victim, as he later -- as he later said.


LEMON: In a statement, yes.

BORGER: And they do not believe the woman should be punished, they believe the doctor should be punished. So, there is kind of ironic here. Because I think Donald Trump was trying to appeal to conservatives in the party who are pro-life and he ended up alienating they within a nano second, they were all out there with press releases saying this is not what we believe.

LEMON: Hey, Hugh, does this bolster that the part of the Republican Party the base says Donald Trump is not a real conservative, he doesn't even know what the conservatives stands i on abortion. HUGH HEWITT, RADIO HUGH HEWITT SHOW HOST: No, I don't think you can

go that far. Look, first thing I want to note is that Donald Trump sat down with Chris Matthews, in her 25 years of public life, Hillary Clinton has never sat down with anyone half as conservative as president liberals. All right. So, Donald Trump sat down with...


LEMON: But this -- all right. Hugh, Hugh, this is not about Hillary Clinton.

HEWITT: No, but it's about the campaign.

LEMON: All right. So, let's take to Donald Trump. We're going to talk about that. I have a...

HEWITT: I am. But Hillary called in to Anderson Cooper show.

LEMON: That's my next question. That's my next question. Can we keep it about Donald Trump?

HEWITT: I am. It's about the presidential race.

LEMON: So, it doesn't bolster -- it doesn't bolster the republican side of the part -- the part of party...

HEWITT: But, Don, it helps...

LEMON: Hugh, let's stick to Donald Trump and then we'll get to Hillary Clinton, OK?

HEWITT: I am cuing to what you're saying, Don.

LEMON: So, response to the Donald Trump part of it and then we'll get to the Hillary Clinton part of it, OK?

HEWITT: Don, you can't separate Hillary from Donald Trump.

LEMON: You can separate Hillary...

HEWITT: Hillary called in the Anderson Cooper 20 minutes ago.

LEMON: Hugh, Donald Trump's comments are Donald Trump's comments. Hillary Clinton's comments are Hillary Clinton's comments.

HEWITT: And it's a presidential election.


HEWITT: It's a presidential election.

LEMON: So then let's stick to Donald Trump's comments. So, you don't agree that it bolsters the part of the Republican Party who said he's not a conservative.

HEWITT: No, Don, you can't. That is unfair to Donald Trump. LEMON: That's not unfair to Donald Trump.

HEWITT: I'm not in every Trumpster.

LEMON: Hugh, I'm not going to that.

HEWITT: The idea that a presidential campaign can be reduced to sound bites on an issue as important as pro-life. I've been pro-life my entire life. I'm a devote Roman Catholic, and the idea that the debate can be reduce to this issue and that sound bite without bringing up the fact that Hillary Clinton is immediately...


LEMON: I'm going bring up Hillary Clinton. You're moving ahead in the textbook. I wanted your response on Donald Trump. And then I'm going to bring up...


HEWITT: And it goes this way.

LEMON: ... that is my very next question.

HEWITT: Hillary Clinton is playing this like a violin because the media abets her in doing so.

LEMON: But she's -- Hillary Clinton is playing this like a violin because Donald Trump made the statement. The conservatives were the ones who jumped on it before Hillary Clinton did and you're bringing Hillary Clinton into it. Why can't you stick to the conservative side and then we'll get to Hillary Clinton?

HEWITT: You can't -- Don, I'm going to stand my ground here. I'm not going to be pushed around on this because the answer is Hillary. Donald Trump hurt himself last night because he showed that in a debate with Hillary Clinton...

LEMON: Oh, my God.

HEWITT: ... he is not as prepared as other candidates...

BORGER: Right.

HEWITT: ... to answer either liberal media advocates like Chris Matthews or even nonpartisan advocates like you. He got -- doesn't have the practice so he had to walk it back. Hillary jumped on him like that even though she has never gone in harm's way of a serious question.


HEWITT: And here's a question about that. Does the conservative base then say, even if I like Donald Trump he's going to get ground up because Hillary will hit him every time he makes a mistake.



LEMON: OK. Gloria, so let me -- so, Donald Trump's comments are Hillary Clinton's fault? It sounds like is that Hugh is saying?

HEWITT: I didn't say that, Don.

LEMON: That's what it sounds like you're saying though.

BORGER: Look, I think Hugh...

HEWITT: No, I don't.

BORGER: ... I think Hugh is right in the sense that Hillary Clinton has pivoted smartly, I think, to the general election. And she spoke with Anderson Cooper tonight about this and said that, you know, all republicans agree with Donald Trump.

And she is trying to lump every republican in with Donald Trump on every single issue.

LEMON: Right.

BORGER: You know, not just -- not just simply this particular issue. And I think if I were a democratic candidate running for office, I would take advantage of it, too. The problem the Republican Party has right now is they've got three people running and they're in a very divisive battle and they can't -- they can't, you know, take aim at the democrats right now because they're in a circular firing squad.

LEMON: Let's listen to what Hillary Clinton said when she called to Anderson Cooper just a couple of months ago about the abortion comment.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The choice is really clear. The republicans all line up together. Now, maybe they aren't quite as open about it as Donald Trump was earlier today, but they all have the same position.

[22:10:07] And if you make abortion a crime, you make it illegal, then you make women and doctors criminals.


LEMON: There you go, Gloria.

BORGER: Well, I will say that the two other republican candidates came out today very quickly and disagreed with Donald Trump on the question of whether women should be punished. So, if that's what Hillary Clinton is referring to, then she's not right.

The other candidates are pro-life. And she is right, you know, she is -- she is correct on that. But the republican candidates have not had any problem in disagreeing with Donald Trump on this question or on other questions such as NATO, which clip you ran off earlier.

I think John Kasich said that Trump was absurd on that. I'm not sure if that's the direct quote from our town hall. But, you know, republican candidates aren't lining up behind Donald Trump on issue after issue.

LEMON: Well, the first person that did I saw that came out with the statement was Ted Cruz. Can we put Ted Cruz's statement before I thought to support Hillary Clinton, I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong and my timing.

It says, "Once again Donald Trump has demonstrated that he hasn't seriously thought through the issues and he'll say anything just to get attention on the important issue of the sanctity of life. What's far too often neglected is that being pro-life is not simply about the unborn child, it's also about the mother and creating a culture that respects her and embraces life. Of course we shouldn't be talking about punishing women. We should affirm their dignity and the incredible gift that they have to bring life into the world."

So, Hugh, he's saying the same thing that Hillary Clinton is saying, Donald Trump has given ammunition to the republicans in his party who does not like him and who do not like him and to Hillary Clinton, to the democratic side. That's my point here.

But he is responsible for his own statements. Ted Cruz is not responsible for his statements. And Hillary Clinton is not responsible for Donald Trump's statements.

HEWITT: There is not one -- she is responsible for misrepresenting the pro-ll2e movement. She did so intentionally and thoroughly. It is simply a fabrication and a lie to say that everyone agrees with what Donald said last night before he walked it back.

There is not one leader in the pro-life movement in America who is responsible. You can start with Archbishop Chaput in Philadelphia, you can go to Robert George of Princeton, you can line them up. There is not one that will agree with what Donald Trump said last night, which is why he walked it back.

Hillary Clinton called in to Anderson, lied about what the pro-life movement believes, lied about what the republicans believe and gets away with it because -- she won't even debate Bernie Sanders, Don.

And so, while the national news media is busy jumping down on Donald Trump, they are giving our pass. Gloria did not. Gloria just called her out on that. I think Gloria for...


LEMON: But then to my initial question then, Hugh, does he fundamentally not understand what pro-life is about because he is or was originally pro-choice? That was the original...

(CROSSTALK) HEWITT: He does not fundamentally understand yet how aggressively left wing the national news media is and how someone like Chris Matthews, who is very practiced and very skilled will use opportunities like that not in good faith to explore what he in good faith believes, but to embarrass and taunt him.

And Hillary is smart enough never to go near someone who is skilled enough to ask her, for example, you called on Corey Lewandowski to resign, are you going to call on Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan to resign when they are indicted for breaking 18-USC 1924?


HEWITT: That would be a good question for Hillary Clinton to be asked.

LEMON: OK. So, and when I get to Hillary Clinton, if I feel that question is deemed to be asked, I will ask her that. So, tonight, Mr. Trump again said some controversial things about the use of nuclear weapons. Listen to this.


MATTHEWS: Can you tell the Middle East we're not using the nuclear weapons?

TRUMP: I would never say that. I would never take any of my cards off the table.

MATTHEWS: How about Europe? We won't use in Europe.

TRUMP: I'm not going to take off my table.

MATTHEWS: You might use it in Europe?

TRUMP: No. I don't think so.

MATTHEWS: But you say it. I'd never use nuclear weapon in Europe.

TRUMP: I am not -- I am not taking cards off the table. I'm not going to use nukes.


TRUMP: But I'm not taking any cards off the table.

MATTHEWS: So, the trouble is the sane people hear you and the insane people are not affected by your threats, that's the trouble. Then your fanatics say, good, keep it up.

TRUMP: I think they are more affected than you might think.

MATTHEWS: OK. Your call.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: OK. So then, is he, does he know enough about the issue to be president or is this another clever question by Chris Matthews, who is trying to trip him up?


HEWITT: I think absolutely in the latter category. Go ahead, Gloria. I'm sorry.

BORGER: Well, you know, look. I think journalists have different styles, OK? And Chris was very aggressive in questioning him. I think Anderson and the town hall last night was aggressive as well. And I think that as people begin to look at a candidate like Donald Trump, he talks to how he's against nuclear proliferation but he wanted Japan and South Korea to potentially have a nuke, right?

And I think that people are starting to raise questions about whether these ideas are thought through, whether Donald Trump needs to sort of huddle with some senior policy advisers and try and talk about these policies that he think he believes.

[22:15:11] Because they're very complex and he hasn't been on this stage before. And, you know, as people start to make a decision about a commander-in-chief, they start raising these kinds of questions as you go into the later primaries.

And I think one of the reasons that Donald Trump has not been able to consolidate his support the way you see a front-runner of his status, and he is a clear front-runner, consolidate support towards later primaries is because there are these lingering questions about what he believes and what he knows. And I think the commander-in-chief question is a very big question out there.

LEMON: Yes. Thank you, Hugh. Thank you, Gloria. I appreciate it. See you next time.

When we come right back, Donald Trump's rivals having a feel day with his stand on abortion. But will this latest controversy change anybody's mind or their vote for that matter?


LEMON: People on both sides of the abortion debate are up in arms over Donald Trump's comments today about punishing women who have illegal abortions, even though he later walked that back.

[22:20:00] I want to talk about that now with Kayleigh McEnany who is a Trump supporter, Matt Lewis, a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and Kellyanne Conway, the president of super PAC supporting Ted Cruz; and CNN political commentator, Margaret Hoover.

OK. Kayleigh, so I want to start with you. Donald Trump initially said if abortions are illegal, women should be punished. Here's that sound right now again. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Should the woman be punished for having an abortion?

TRUMP: Look.

MATTHEWS: And this is not something that you can dodge.

TRUMP: No, no.

MATTHEWS: If you say abortion is a crime or abortion is murder, you have to deal with it under the law. Should abortion be punished?

TRUMP: Well, people in certain parts of the Republican Party and conservative republicans would say yes, they should be punished.

MATTHEWS: How about you?

TRUMP: I would say that it's a very serious problem and it's a problem that we have to decide on. It's very hard...


MATTHEWS: But you're for banning it.

TRUMP: Are you going to say, well, wait, are you going to say put them in jail? The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.

MATTHEWS: For the woman?

TRUMP: Yes. There has to be some form.


MATTHEWS: Ten years, what?

TRUMP: I don't know. That I don't know. That I don't know.

MATTHEWS: Then why not?

TRUMP: I don't know.

MATTHEWS: You say physicians and everything else.

TRUMP: I don't know because I don't -- I frankly, I do take physicians and everything else. It's a very complicated position.


LEMON: So, Kayleigh, in all fairness on the campaign is clarifying saying it's the doctor who should be punished not the woman. So, did he mean what he said from his own lips 3 o'clock or what he said in the statement just a couple of hours later? Which one does he believe?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: The statement that was put out is what he believes. And, you know, I would make the point that Donald Trump gives more interviews than any other candidate. When you are on TV for hours and hours on end, multiple times a day in the case of Donald Trump, you will say things, and you will you make mistakes. Because guess what, we're all fallible, we're human beings.

But the reaction on the part of the media any time he stumbles and furthermore, the specific effort on the part of Chris Matthews to get him to say something wrong, he asked the question four or five times until he got Donald Trump to say what he wanted.

That is how you get cardboard cookie cutter candidates like Hillary Clinton, who refuse and stonewall media for the first five months of her campaign granting just two national television interviews.

That is what makes a cardboard candidate when you have the media who is going to vociferously attack you and try to come after you and try to get you say something wrong and hammer that point home till the cows come home.

There is a problem in this country with the media and how they go after candidates, specifically Donald Trump. And you know, I think that needs to change or you're going to get candidates who are afraid to come on national television.

LEMON: Margaret, listen, sometimes you've been on television a lot. Sometimes you can't get, you know, out from your own words if you've been on and you're tired.


LEMON: So, I will -- I will give her that. It's happened. I think that is a fair response. But go on. What do you...

HOOVER: No, I mean, look, we have a First Amendment in this country. I mean, Kayleigh understands the First Amendment better than most people. She's in law school right now. There is a free press and we have a free press for a reason. We have checks and balances in the system.

And you need a free and vigorous and absolutely thoughtful and frankly, dogged press to go after candidates for transparency. That's what the whole point is. Because how else do we hold our elected leaders accountable if there is no transparency.

If you are not a sophisticated candidate and you can't answer questions from the press, then maybe you shouldn't be president of the United States. But you've got to be able to take on Chris Matthews. He's a strong man, Donald Trump. He should be able to take Chris Matthews.

LEMON: Yes. People are not going to throw any presidential candidate I think soft balls, Kellyanne.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No, they're not, nor should they. I mean, look at just like night, Anderson Cooper in this town hall in Wisconsin. He was tough but never rude. I mean, if you want to be commander-in-chief and president of the United States, president of the free world, you're going to be asked tough questions.

But I have to just say as a pro-life or with many pro-life candidates who are very disappointed, pro-life of course a very disappointed today. They don't need four, five times to get it right. They would have gotten it right the first time.

Because the pro-life community is one mind on this. You do not punish the woman. She is looked upon as a victim. There are two victims if you're a pro-lifer, there are two victims, the woman and her unborn child. They are of a single mind.

They came out very strongly today, and many of them feel like their work over many years if not decades was up ended. And the attempt by (Inaudible) on Twitter today, the Planned Parenthood by Hillary Clinton earlier is this disingenuous to say that this is how they all feel. That is completely false.

And so I think that it does not take four or five times. And let's be honest, Kayleigh. Mr. Trump has gotten $2 billion worth of free earned media coverage so far according to The Washington Post analysis recently. So, if you live by the media questions, sometimes you have to die by the media questions and sometimes it's not just a good day for the home team.

LEMON: Matt, I want to ask you this because you write this and this is your latest piece for The Daily Caller. You said, "Part of the goal is to remove the ability for pro-choices the demagogue issue by scaring vulnerable women." Now, thanks to Trump that's back on the table."

"Hillary can now demagogue the issue telling women that not only do republicans want to force you into a dark alley, but they also want to put vulnerable women in jail, too."

So, this is the point I was trying to make with Hugh. Has he handed Hillary Clinton a gift here? Are we going to see this, start seeing this in ads now?

[22:25:01] MATT LEWIS, "TOO DUMB TO FAIL" AUTHOR: Absolutely. Look, you know, liberals and democrats want nothing more than to run this war on women campaign. We've seen this a couple of election cycles now.

Donald Trump has handed Hillary Clinton a cudgel to demagogue this issue. I wrote these hours before Hillary called in to Anderson Cooper and did exactly what I told that everybody that she was going to do. Because it's so obvious, it's exactly what any smart politician would do.

And you know, kudos to Hillary in terms of, you know, I think it's despicable to sort of the demagoguery, but in terms of being an aggressive campaign or calling in, I think it's a good sign for her campaign.

But this is what you do. And that's the problem with Donald Trump, is that he is not ready for primetime on some of these issues. He hasn't thought them. He's a smart guy, he's a quick guy, hasn't thought through these issues. And so, he's susceptible to this.

And the problem though is, he's not the only one. There's going to be collateral damage that this hurts the cause of the pro-life movement and it's going to hurt other republican candidates, too.

LEMON: And, Kayleigh, listen, it's not just the media, right? And it not just Hillary Clinton, it's not just democrats, republicans are going after him, too. That rather response directly for Ted Cruz, his name is Brian Phil (ph) just tweeted this out and said, "Don't ever think it. Trump doesn't understand the pro-life position because he is not pro-life." Again, ammunition to his enemies.

MCENANY: Of course. Because the Trump -- the Cruz campaign is going to jump on anything Trump says. It's in their strategic interest to do so. But you know, Cruz be very careful here because the fact is if targets and the bulls eye wasn't on Donald Trump right now. Well, we would be talking about its Cruz's proposal to send patrols into Muslim neighborhoods.

That would be the center of everyone's attention. I would be defending Cruz because I'm a republican and I lie to defend republicans and I like to beat on side of these issues. But Cruz is putting his target on Trump.

But he needs to be very careful. Because if Trump was out of this, the media target would be on Cruz. And that's just a fact. If you look back to every presidential race the target is on the republican. Cruz would be the object of what we are discussing right now. So, I wish he would be on one team on this issue rather than going after Trump on this.

LEMON: Everyone, stay with me. Will this controversy hurt Donald Trump at the polls, especially with women? We're going to talk about that next.


LEMON: Donald Trump is dominating headlines yet again. But is it different this time? Will his remarks on punishing women who have illegal abortion damages campaign?

Back with me now, Kayleigh McEnany, Matt Lewis, Kellyanne Conway, and Margaret Hoover. OK. So, Kayleigh, you saw the latest poll. It has ted Cruz with a healthy lead over Trump in Wisconsin. It's not, you know, has not been a great week for Donald Trump.

Let's just say he's under fire for his foreign policy positions. His campaign manager under arrest. Now this. Do you think that he's going overcome this and he's going to be able to make up some ground in Wisconsin? He's not used to fighting back from behind in this campaign.

MCENANY: Yes, you know, he might lose Wisconsin. We'll see. I certainly hope not. But he very well might. That being said, I think when you look forward past Wisconsin, losing Wisconsin with not be good, obviously. But if you look forward pass that, you look at New Jersey, you look at New York, these are not states that Senator Cruz is poised to do well in.

And in fact, he insulted New York State when he talks about New York values into derogatory manner. He's not poised to do well in the northeast. So, in order for Ted Cruz to win outright, he needs 87 percent of the delegates going forward.

Even if he were to win Wisconsin, which he very well might not, he's not poised to do well going forward. So, it's not be all and all no matter what happened.

CONWAY: We've been hearing this since Iowa, right before the Iowa caucus. The very first contest. It was a Ted Cruz camp in Iowa, where can he win. Folks, deal with it.

Senator Cruz has great chance of being the republican nominee. He can either win outright because the Trump versus non-Trump, both the non- Trump part, anti-Trump, the non-Trump of the electorate is the growth opportunity. That's the one that's increasing now.

I mean, Kayleigh, look at the polls. Mr. Trump has had this backward attrition in his favorable rating among republican women, suburban republican women, married republican women, 71 percent of all women have an unfavorable opinion of him.

If he's the nominee, I certainly hope he can turn that around. I love to help him turn that around. But until then he's sliding backwards. And always deflecting as to the other candidates that just can't do well because states geographically don't look that way.

Recognize that if Mr. Trump has never gotten over 50 percent in any contest, only Ted Cruz has, and if he can't get over 50 percent in a two and a half person race, then we have a real contest on our hands. Who is going to give Mr. Trump and extra delegate when he gets into Cleveland?

LEMON: Can we stick to Wisconsin. Because Matt, I want to ask you for this never Trump movement. Wisconsin is the last stand, isn't it?

LEWIS: Well, I think it's incredibly important. I don't know if it's the last stand but it's incredibly important. Because I think the way to look at this race is Donald Trump either gets 1,237 delegates or he doesn't.

And I would say that, you know, Wisconsin very well could be the difference. If Trump wins Wisconsin, he probably gets it.


LEWIS: He probably gets 1,237. If he loses Wisconsin, I think he probably doesn't. So, it's a big deal on Tuesday.

HOOVER: And what it also would demonstrate. I mean, you've had an extraordinary amount of outside money coming together, I mean, really. I mean, to the extent that it took time for the establishment to wake up and really hone their sites and focus on how to derail Donald Trump. This Wisconsin is a test state. I mean, finally everybody is really not just outside and obvious --

but there's really united and cohesive group put together to try to derail Trump. And if they can do that in Wisconsin, then I think Matt is right. I think he really could...


LEMON: All right. I want to play more of Trump's interview with Chris Matthews. Listen.


MATTHEWS: What are you going to do, are you going to be Teddy Roosevelt in? You mentioned about couple of days ago, you like Teddy Roosevelt. In 1912, he didn't get the nomination. He walked out, split the party, beat the Republican Party in November but lost the general to Wilson.

TRUMP: Yes. I can't tell you what I'm going to do yet because I'm not sure I know. I have to see. I hope they're going to be fair. If they're going to be fair, they're going to be very happy.

How can they give up millions of people that really feel disenfranchised to accept me?

MATTHEWS: Because they don't like you. They don't want you to be the nominee.

TRUMP: They don't want to -- that's true. But then they are going to lose and then you're going to have four Supreme Court justices that they are not going to like.

MATTHEWS: OK. You said last night on CNN you're not going to stick to this pledge to bite the nominee. Is that -- are you sticking to that?

[22:35:04] TRUMP: Well, you know, I have not been treated properly. People understand. They haven't stuck to the pledge. I don't want an endorsement from somebody that doesn't feel like, oh, I love Trump, if he win, he's going to be the guy.

I don't want that endorsement. I'm not looking for that endorsement. So, when they asked me about Cruz and the endorsement, I said no, no, just put no pressure on Cruz, tell him he doesn't have to endorse me, please don't endorse me.


LEMON: Does anybody here think that we could see the Teddy Roosevelt scenario happening at the convention if Trump doesn't secure the delegates? Anybody, dealer, anyone?

HOOVER: Let him take his marbles and go home. But the problem that he's not going to get the majority of voters.

CONWAY: Right. HOOVER: I mean, he's not going to get, he doesn't have enough voters to go beat the Republican Party in November. I mean, what he does to have enough to make sure that Hillary Clinton wins. But frankly, that might be happening anyway.

LEMON: Go ahead, Kayleigh.

MCENANY: This is where your lack of...


MCENANY: Oh, I'm sorry.

LEMON: Yes. Go ahead, Kayleigh McEnany.

MCENANY: Yes. I was just going to say, you know, I think what Trump said is exactly right. We have to see how this plays out. And Reince Priebus, the head of the RNC said something really interesting yesterday. You know he said, look, a plurality is a minority and a minority doesn't decide for the majority.

So, he's meaning, you know, if he gets shy of 1,237, that's still a minority and that can't decide for the majority of the Republican Party. So, at that point we ask ourselves what should decide? Should it be one minority, which is eight million voters? Many more million who are going to vote for Donald Trump.

Should they have the final say or should it be a minority of delegates who are unelected in a smoke-filled room deciding who gets the crown of the Republican nomination?


CONWAY: There's no smoking in that convention center, I've been there.

LEMON: Wait. I think the figure speaks. But go ahead.

CONWAY: But no, seriously, Kayleigh, the rules are the rules. Now you're trying to rewrite the rules. If he comes up short -- if he did, the rules as to get to 1237, or there are second, third, or fourth ballot.

And I think what the Trump campaign needs to do now is certainly what the Cruz forces are doing now, which is trying to pick off delegates now. This is where vote -- this is where the lack of ground game and data analytics and the infrastructure a lack thereof really hurts. This is where an infrastructure pays off.

And I think there is reason that Cruz is ahead of Trump by 10 points in Wisconsin right now and ahead of John Kasich by even more. It's because there is a retail politics in state and everybody has been in Wisconsin for a while and you don't have this 10, 12 races all clustered all together on one day. It's a huge test.

LEMON: Matt and Kayleigh. Go ahead, Matt. LEWIS: I will just say to Kayleigh. Look, there are a lot of things

in our American system that Donald Trump might say isn't fair, right? Like North Dakota has 700,000 people.

They have two U.S. senators just like California, right? There's an electoral college. Al Gore won the popular vote but he did not become the president because there are rules about the electoral college. So, this is the rule of the law. This is rule of law. And so, you know, it's not me, Donald Trump might say it's not and doesn't seem fair but this is how it works.

LEMON: And some people are still smarting over that. Thank you, everyone. I appreciate it.

Coming up, Donald Trump stands by campaign manager Corey Lewandowski after he is charged with battery of a female reporter but how will the justice system view the case?


LEMON: Donald Trump says he won't fire campaign manager Corey Lewandowski who has been charged with simple battery of former Breitbart reporter, Michelle Fields.

Joining me now to discuss this is Mark Geragos, CNN legal analyst, and Lisa Bloom, legal analyst with Good to have both of you on this evening. Thank you very much.

Lisa, you first. Michelle Fields has been consistent with her story. Would you take her case?

LISA BLOOM, AVVO.COM LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, absolutely. You mean, if I were on the civil side or for the prosecutorial side. Look, here's what we have. We have a victim who has told a consistent story. We have a videotape that corroborates her story.

We have an independent witness, The Washington Post reporter who corroborates her story and on the other side we have Corey Lewandowski and Donald Trump who have told multiple conflicting stories. So, unless the fact change significantly, unless the new video emerges or something else happens, I think this is a slam dunk for her side.

LEMON: Mark, do you believe Michelle Fields has a legitimate case here?

MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No, she has no case here. There are prosecutors across America who are laughing about this right now. There is never going to be a conviction. You can count on that right now. The worst that will ever happen to him is pre-trial diversion.

My guess is that sober minds will prevail. This case is -- but for presidential politics, it's a joke. And contrary to what Lisa says. The problem is going to be is that the secret service is going to back up Corey and Trump and they're going to say that she was the one who was reaching and that they were batting away.

There is no way that this case ever ends up in a conviction.

BLOOM: Well, they might say that but we have a videotape. So, we don't have to speculate as to what might have happened. We can see that she's not reaching for him...


GERAGOS: well, and the problem...

BLOOM: ... at most she has a very dangerous weapon in her hand, a pen. Perhaps that's a pen bomb that's about to explode, as Donald Trump says.

GERAGOS: It doesn't matter.

BLOOM: I mean, please, the pen is mightier than the sword.



BLOOM: But I don't think that's a dangerous weapon.

GERAGOS: Yes. It really doesn't matter.

LEMON: Here's the question, though. If you're traveling and you're that close...


GERAGOS: It really doesn't matter.

LEMON: ... if you're traveling and you're that close, the secret service has already vetted you. They do allow reporters to have writing instruments. Because otherwise they can't do their job.

GERAGOS: The reporters...


BLOOM: Because they're reporters. And you know, this is a press conference.

GERAGOS: Don, that's not the issue, Don.

LEMON: Go ahead, Mark.

GERAGOS: That's not the issue, Don. The issue is when she's reaching for him, which is what the video shows, he's got a right to push away. The pen is meaningless, number one. Number two, the secret service has already backed up his position here, and, number three, the video is completely contradicts her original statement, which was she was being pulled to the ground, she almost fell down, this or that.

It's never going to end up in a conviction. You understand, Lisa, wants to make this into a bigger deal. BLOOM: It's not this or that. She gave a very...

GERAGOS: There isn't anything on that video. There isn't -- I talked to 10 prosecutors today.

BLOOM: OK. Mark, if I may.

GERAGOS: They all laughed and said this is never going to get prosecuted.

BLOOM: OK. Well, you've already said that people laughed but the people in Florida law enforcement actually reviewed the record and arrested and charged him. Why? Because she didn't say this or that. She made a very clear statement. She didn't say I fell to the ground. She said I almost lost my balance. That's what she said. And that's not an overstatement.

[22:45:11] She's got a bruise on her arm. And listen, Trump and Lewandowski have come out as they always do particularly with women and try to punish them and they to demean them and call them delusional and make fun of them, and then when that doesn't work, they go to plan B and say, well, maybe somebody else attacked her.

GERAGOS: Right. And, Lisa, whenever anything happens, I know, and Lisa, whenever anything happens you always take refuge in the -- it's an anti-woman screen (ph) and do that whole things. So, I understand if Donald Trump has anything to do with what the facts are here.


BLOOM: Well, listen, every day Donald Trump makes an anti-woman statement, including today.

LEMON: Yes. So, Mark...

GERAGOS: Donald Trump is not on trial here. I'm not no Donald Trump supporter. I'm just telling you 35 years of experience, there's nobody who is going to convict this guy based on that tape.

LEMON: OK. So, listen, the reason I bring up the pen is because it was a writing instrument and they said that she has posed a threat, that was posed at Donald Trump, right? It was being post to Donald Trump because she grabbed him and she shouldn't have the pen. But reporters can have a writing instrument.


BLOOM: She didn't grab him, though. That's an important distinction.

LEMON: OK. So then, if she did, what if he says she did? It is a crowded...


BLOOM: But there's a videotape. LEMON: ... in a crowded press conference, is there a scenario that

would justify Lewandowski grabbing her arm and pulling her away. Any -- is there any scenario that justifies that?

BLOOM: Can I answer that?

LEMON: Go ahead.

BLOOM: OK. First of all, you have a pen right now and I don't feel the least bit threatened. And this is a press conference. Reporters are invited to come. And what she did is what reporters do at press conferences. But Donald Trump and Lewandowski don't like, which is she walked alongside and she asked impertinent questions.

She asked him a question about affirmative action, which he didn't like. Now, if he felt threatened, he was surrounded by secret service who none of them jumped in to protect Donald Trump. That I think that's very telling as to whether he was threatened.

LEMON: That's not true.

BLOOM: They are -- it is true because again, there is a videotape. So, you show me on the videotape Mark Geragos where secret service jumped in and got involved in Ms. Fields.


GERAGOS: I'm telling you -- let me tell you what's going to happen.

BLOOM: But here it is now, it doesn't happen.

GERAGOS: They're going -- they are going to enhance the tape, they're going to show the tape. There is never going to be a conviction. This is such a joke. The bat for presidential politics, the mother of the prosecutor hasn't been born that would ever pursue this case.

I don't know what was going through their mind when they filed this, but technically, that tape shows just as much the reporter reaching for Trump's arm or elbow as it does the other -- the campaign manager pushing it off.

LEMON: OK. Hold...

GERAGOS: And guess what? If you are -- if he's -- if she's reaching for his elbow, he's got an absolute right to push her off.

LEMON: OK. Everybody stand by. We're going to continue this conversation. I'll let you respond, Lisa, when we come right back.



LEMON: Back with me now, Mark Geragos and Lisa Bloom.

OK, Lisa, you are making your point. You don't believe it's a cut and dry as Mark is saying.

BLOOM: Well, listen, this is not a murder case. This is the worst case in the world. I think we all agree on that. But that's why we have felonies and we have misdemeanors. And misdemeanors are relatively minor crimes but they are still crimes.

And this was a crime, it's captured on videotape. And I just find it remarkable that a lot of people out there will say, well, what if this, what if that? And yet, we have a videotape. And I think that's what the police found to be most incriminating that's why they brought this charge.

LEMON: All right. Can we move along now because I want to discuss some other things?

The comments from Trump today about punishing woman for an abortion cause in an immediate firestorm today. Why are folks so offended by the notion of punishing women for this even if abortion were illegal? I ask you first, Lisa.

BLOOM: Well, about one million American women a year have an abortion. So, what are we going to do, round up a million women a year and put them in prison for making that choice. I mean, I think that's what really appalling.

Even those who are strongly pro-life don't advocate such a thing. And it shows that Donald Trump is so willing -- that's why when I talk about the war on women -- so willing to go after women. I mean, women like Megyn Kelly, or Rosie O'Donnell, or Michelle Fields. He has this culture of violence at his rallies.

And now to make a statement like that I think is really shocking.

LEMON: Mark, you know, Donald Trump later walked back his words and said he would punish the doctor, not the women if the law -- if this law is broken. Is that -- is that unreasonable?

GERAGOS: Well, what it is a throwback to the 50s and 60s. When I was growing up as a youngster, my father was a prosecutor here in Los Angeles, and they used to prosecute the women and the doctor and usually what they did is they'd give a deal to the woman to testify against the doctor to convict the doctor and send the doctor to state prison.

I thought we'd moved past that in this, you know, 2016. It's really somewhat astonishing that people would say we want to criminalize. I mean, the -- I think what even all the most right-wing republican who is anti-abortion is arguing that it should not be a federal law; it should be left to the states.

And the idea now of criminalizing this or going back to what we were doing 40 and 50 years ago is just astonishing to me. I don't understand it. We have prisons already that are...


BLOOM: Well, here's something that Mark and I agree on.

LEMON: Listen, I want to talk about something that happened at a Trump rally yesterday. A 15-year-old girl said that she was groped by a man before she punched him. Then she was pepper sprayed after the man allegedly put his hands on her breasts. The incident was all caught on camera. Let's watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, now it's the breast.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He touched my breast. He touched my breast.



LEMON: Wow, Mark, what do you make of this video?

GERAGOS: Well, to me it seems like more is going on there than there was in the previous video with Trump's campaign manager.

[22:55:00] LEMON: Lisa, who is at fault here legally?

BLOOM: Well, listen, any individual who throws a punch is at fault. And I'm not going to justify that. But clearly the problem starts at the top because Donald Trump has said repeatedly that people should be punch in the face when there protestors at his rally, that he would pay the legal fees of anybody who did engage in an action like that.

In fact, when somebody did throw a sucker punch, he said he would pay the legal fees. You know, when he's constantly using this very violent rhetoric, so it shouldn't be surprising that his supporters are constantly engaging in acts of violence.

LEMON: Mark, where does the blame lie here, is it among both of them, where does it lie?

GERAGOS: Well, I personally think that there is notion of individual responsibility. I think that whoever is doing the action. I don't care if you get riled up. I mean, just because you watch a violent video game or just because I go out and see Batman versus Superman doesn't mean that if I go outside the theater and punch somebody that we're going to go arrest the producer or the director.

So, I would not go that far. And I think that that's a stretch. I understand this argument that's being made about Trump. But, you know, the problem with that is you could make the same argument about democrats going back to 1968 and the conventions there.

So, you know, it's a very -- it's a very difficult situation when you want to reverse engineer the liability and place it on somebody else for words. We do have a First Amendment.

LEMON: I used to watch "Super Friends" every weekend and I try to fly after and it never worked. BLOOM: Well, yes. But that's not say about liability. We're talking

about the words from our leaders.

LEMON: I need to have a run.

BLOOM: And I think the words matter.

LEMON: Yes. Thank you. Lisa Bloom from the Bloom Firm, and Mark Geragos. I appreciate that.

When we come right back, the conservative war on Donald Trump. Why Glenn Beck says the candidate is winging the entire campaign.