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Is This Any Way to Run a Campaign?; Reince Priebus Talks GOP Convention; Will Sanders Supporters Vote for Clinton?; Obama Meets with King Salman; 9/11 Families Versus Saudi Arabia; Anthony Bourdain Visits Manila. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired April 20, 2016 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:23] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: The question voters on both side are asking, is this any way to run a campaign?

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

Clinton versus Sanders, Trump versus Cruz and Kasich. How long will it take for the front-runners to seal the deal and pivot to the general election? And if it all comes down to Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump, how will Bernie Sanders supporters vote? Could they actually switch to Trump?

Let's get right now CNN's Jim Acosta with the Trump campaign in Maryland. Good evening to you, Jim Acosta. So, we saw a different, more diplomatic Donald Trump ...


LEMON: ... in last night's speech, but how about today?

ACOSTA: Right. Yeah, Don, I think we can toss that Donald Trump and the rhetoric that we heard last night which was much softer and some were saying it was much more presidential, and I think that's out of the picture. Donald Trump went back to being Donald Trump today. And I think that is an acknowledgement of what they feel inside the campaign, that Donald Trump is going to set the tone for this campaign.

You know, out on the campaign trail in Indianapolis and here in Maryland, he went right back to referring to Ted Cruz as "Lying Ted." You know, last night he referred to him as Senator Cruz. And Hillary Clinton is now "Crooked Hillary" is the way Donald Trump describes her.

And at one point during his remarks this evening here in Maryland, Don, he suggested that as president, he will continue -- or he wants to investigate Hillary Clinton's e-mail practices. So nothing has changed in terms of that. I think if anything, we had a brief reprieve from it last night in New York.

LEMON: Yeah, interesting. So, you know, Donald Trump is trying to pivot to the general election, saying that Ted Cruz is all but finished mathematically. But, I mean, he still have to win a lot of delegates, Jim, to capture this nomination. What's the strategy going forward?

ACOSTA: That's right. And, you know, we obtained an internal campaign memo earlier today that is essentially distributed out to surrogates. And when surrogates go on T.V or wherever else, they essentially have the Trump campaign talking points.

And what they're talking about is once again, what they consider to be this rigged system of allocating delegates inside the Republican Party. Not only is Donald Trump saying this out on the campaign trail, they want their surrogates to say this as well. And, you know, this is basically a strategy to take all the way to the convention. If they don't have the delegates they need to clinch the nomination, they can say, "Listen, this is a rigged system." And it gives Donald Trump essentially that opening if he wants the vote (ph) of the Republican Party, this is what he can blame. But we'll put this up one screen, because one of the things that is mentioned in this memo, Don, is Donald Trump's belief that the establishment is essentially afraid of what he's trying to bring to the Republican Party. We can quote from this memo here, it says, "This movement scares the hell out of them, talking about the establishment, and the people scare them, so they will do whatever they can to keep power.

So, you know, this is something that we've never seen before, Don. Think back to 2012. Would a Mitt Romney campaign memo ever say something like this? Absolutely not. But that just shows you this is a different GOP front-runner we're dealing with this time around.

LEMON: Yeah. And we thought 2008 and 2012, we thought that -- those years were, you know, were crazy, but this, you know, we hadn't seen anything then.

Jim Acosta, thank you very much. See you soon.

I want to bring in now CNN's Jamie Gangel who went behind the scenes with the man who just may have the worst job in Washington and I say that because he's going to have to deal with all of this. He's been having to deal with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and John Kasich, and the entire thing.

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Correct. There are two parts of his life. There is his life before Donald Trump, when he was the savior of the GOP party, raising millions of dollars, revolutionizing technology data, opening up the party, and then there is his life after Donald Trump. He has found himself in the middle of a firestorm. So we started by asking him, have there really been shenanigans to get rid of Donald Trump? And the question he did not want to answer, which is what he really think of the GOP candidates.


GANGEL: I want to do a quick lightning round with you. OK? Word association?


GANGEL: OK. Here we go.

PREIBUS: These are trouble.

GANGEL: I say John Kasich. You say?

PREIBUS: Great governor.

GANGEL: Ted Cruz?


GANGEL: Donald Trump?


GANGEL: Meaning?

PREIBUS: Everything he does is big, lots of attention.

GANGEL: You have no -- you're laughing.

[23:05:00] Why are you laughing?

PREIBUS: These are like the uncharted waters of being chairman of the RNC. Spontaneity is usually not your friend.

GANGEL: And that's the least of his problems.

PREIBUS: Hey, it's Reince.

GANGEL: Without a doubt, Reince Priebus, the mild-mannered 44-year- old lawyer from Wisconsin has the toughest job in politics this year. Working 20-hour days ...

PREIBUS: You should come.

GANGEL: ... preparing for the possibility of a contested convention ...

PREIBUS: No, I think the system is working.

GANGEL: ... and navigating the GOP through the year of Trump.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The system is rigged. These are dirty tricksters. It's a crooked system. The Republican National Committee, they should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this kind of crap to happen.

GANGEL: Nonstop damage control.

PREIBUS: I find it to be rhetoric, and hyperbole. This is a very normal system that we've been using for many years. Sometimes you can't fix it. Sometimes you can just take a seven-alarm fire and just make it a four-alarm fire. It's still burning, but it's not as bad as it was. Now, you feel sorry for a man who sign up for this.

GANGEL: Yu are the man in the middle. You have Donald Trump doing his thing. And then you have the GOP establishment, whatever that is.

PREIBUS: Yeah, that's a word that apparently no one can quite define, but, yeah, I understand it.

GANGEL: Whatever -- all those people over there who are not on the same side ...


GANGEL: ... as Donald Trump. They're saying, well, it's all your fault. How do you let Trump -- why didn't you get rid of him?

PREIBUS: Yeah. Well, look, being in the middle, you have to accept the fact that there is a thousand opinions. I mean, so -- I'm so used to it, that I don't even care. It doesn't bother me

GANGEL: You're not pulling out your hair?

PREIBUS: No. I'm not. People assume, oh, you must be miserable. You've got a horrible job. But I don't see it that way. I'm not -- that's what I'm saying, I'm not pouring bailey's in my cereal, I'm not sitting here trying to find the Johnny Walker. I mean, this is fun.

GANGEL: In fact, the day we spent with him, he raised $1.2 million with just a few phone calls.

PREIBUS: Let's talk about money.

GANGEL: Took a brief break for hoops.

PREIBUS: All right. I'm going to take you guys down. We have a shot off (inaudible). There we go. Come on.

GANGEL: And showed off his prized possessions.

The gavel.

PREIBUS: The gavel. This is when I actually won in 2011.

GANGEL: Ever attempted to use it?

PREIBUS: Oh, yeah. Well, I don't have to try that hard. This is the chair that cling (inaudible) actually at the convention. So this is the one that -- yeah. So, when this all happened, you know, I obviously was perplexed when I was watching it.

GANGEL: You and everyone else.

PREIBUS: And then when I leaned over -- because I was down behind the stage most of the time. I leaned over the balcony to look and see the center teleprompter and it was blank. And I thought, "Oh, my gosh, there's nothing on that screen." He's just winging it. And then I remember going back, I left, went back behind the stage and told the chief of staff at the time and said, "Get me the chair."

GANGEL: He also keeps three items nearby. He says are critical for getting through the day. The Greek orthodox liturgy, the Republican Party platform ...

PREIBUS: This is my safe zone.

GANGEL: ... and this.

PREIBUS: And of course, I've got the brewers' schedule on top, because I will put on, you know, MLB T.V. and have that in the background if I need to not watch the news.

GANGEL: Other escapes? Time with his family.

PREIBUS: All right. Try to eat with cameras in your face.

GANGEL: And he plays the piano. Really well.

PREIBUS: Just goof off. That's what I do.

GANGEL: But Priebus admits he's always been a proud political nerd. As early as third grade, he was lobbying classmates to support Ronald Reagan. And he even used the GOP to woo his wife.

You went to prom together. But, Sally, on your first date, he took you to a political dinner. He took you to the Lincoln Day Dinner.


GANGEL: Swept you off your feet.

S. PRIEBUS: Right.

GANGEL: What kind of first date is that?

S. PREIBUS: It's crazy. I think he tricked me. I think he tricked me and I ended up at the political event, which I didn't know about it first because he told me we're going to the movies, but, you know, we made it.

[23:10:01] It was pretty boring, it's pretty bad, but we did go to the movie afterwards and we had a great time.

GANGEL: And he says you can't say you didn't know what you were getting into.

S. PREIBUS: Right, right. I did.

GANGEL: That said, neither one ever thought their lives would be consumed by the roller coaster of Donald Trump.

S. PREIBUS: Reince is very strong. He has a thick skin. He lets it roll off his shoulders. He's, you know, he's tough. He doesn't tolerate a lot of drama. GANGEL: Including rumors that he might try to convince one of his best friends, Speaker Paul Ryan, to be a so-called white knight candidate in a contested convention.

PRIEBUS: He would kill me, and I wouldn't do it, and I agree with him. I don't -- you have to want to actually be president of the United States. He doesn't want to be right now, and he's not going to have a floor operation to get it done. It won't happen.

GANGEL: He said if I do that, he'll kill me.


GANGEL: You would kill ...

RYAN: Yes, I would.

GANGEL: An old political pro told me, to be RNC party chairman, you're either the bravest person in town, or the craziest person in town. Which is it for him?

RYAN: It probably requires a little bit of both would be my guess, especially these days. Reince, I would put him in the bravest category.

GANGEL: Brave or crazy, Preibus insists his only concern is being neutral.

For the record, are you conspiring against Donald Trump?

PRIEBUS: Of course not, of course not.

GANGEL: Is there a plan to steal the nomination?

PRIEBUS: No, there's nothing to steal. I mean, either you have the votes or you don't.

GANGEL: And you will be at peace if he is the nominee?

PRIEBUS: I'm going to be at peace with whoever the nominee is, because I know that whoever the nominee is, is going to beat Hillary Clinton.


LEMON: So, Jamie, you know, it's a tough job. I'm not sure anyone would want to be in his shoes having to go up against Donald Trump, and Donald Trump ...

GANGEL: Right.

LEMON: ... attacking him, saying he should be ashamed of himself. I believe him when he says that it doesn't, you know, it doesn't bother him much. But some of it has to penetrate a little bit, doesn't it?

GANGER: Look, we spent a lot of time with him. He gets frustrated. And he does not like it when the party is attacked. His favorite word these days is transparent. He wants to really be neutral. That said, I want to tell you, he told us straight out, I get along with Donald Trump. You're laughing.

LEMON: Because here's the thing, I'm laughing because I think if most people, if you meet Donald Trump in person, he's a very personable guy. But then some of the, you know, when you see him out on the campaign trail and then you see this bombaster (ph) like, "Well, who is this guy that I actually met in person." So, yeah ...

GANGEL: That's what happened to him. Remember, a couple of weeks ago, Trump went down to the RNC.

LEMON: Right.

GANGEL: They had this meeting, everything was fine and dandy. Then the delegate thing came up.

LEMON: Right.

GANGEL: And Trump goes, as we say, (inaudible) about it. But Priebus says, "Look, he sees that as a political move to energize his base and get out the vote."

LEMON: So, how much scrutiny is he under and does he feel the pressure of trying to prove to everyone that the system is not rigged, the process isn't rigged.

GANGEL: Absolutely. That I think is true. And I think it's the reason he's never done a profile like this before. His wife has never done an interview. I really think he wanted to show exactly that open book.

LEMON: My favorite?

GANGEL: Do you like the piano?

LEMON: No, the piano's great, it's -- that he's an award-winning pianist. I think that's ...

GANGEL: He has won competitions, right.

LEMON: Right. He's a complicated and very talented person.

GANGEL: Right.

LEMON: But I like the sense of humor he had about the Clint Eastwood moment and then he keeps the chair in his office.

GANGEL: Absolutely.

LEMON: Because as head of the party, wouldn't you be like, "Oh, my gosh ...

GANGEL: right.

LEMON: ... what the heck is he going to say?

GANGEL: But he said, "Go get me that chair."

LEMON: What did you -- did you learn anything, I guess you probably learned a lot about him that was unexpected. I mean, you know, I'm sure you did your research on him, but being there with him, what did you think? Is he worried that Donald Trump says, "You know, I'm going to fire Reince Priebus as soon as I become the nominee?"

GANGEL: First of all, he's elected to office ...

LEMON: Yeah.

GANGEL: ... so he can't get fired. I also -- he speaks very openly, that apart from anything else, this was really going to be his last term. I think one of the hardest things on him is that there are GOP establishment folks who blame him for Donald Trump. They think he's been too fair. So he's getting -- he's going to have to get some more body armor, because he's getting it from both sides.

LEMON: And Cleveland's coming up and he's got really ...

GANGEL: Get ready.

LEMON: Yeah, get ready for all the criticisms ...

GANGEL: Right.

LEMON: ... and everybody going after him. Thank you very much, Jamie.

GANGEL: Thank you.

LEMON: Don't go anywhere. We're going to continue talking about that -- we're going to continue to talk with you when we come back.

Donald Trump's landslide victory in New York hasn't turned him to a kinder, gentler candidate. He still says the system is rigged and his supporters are eating it up. But is he on the verge of winning enough delegates that none of that will matter?


[23:18:31] LEMON: Donald Trump wasting no time after his big victory in New York, hitting the campaign trail tonight in Maryland, one of the five states in the northeast holding primaries, that's next Tuesday.

So, back with me now, Jamie Gangel. And we're joined by CNN Political Commentator Bob Beckel, author of "I Should Be Dead, My Life Surviving Politics, T.V. and Addiction", and Republican Strategist John Brabender is here, as well Matt Lewis, Senior Contributor to the "Daily Caller" and author of "Too Dumb to Fail." Good to have all of you.

So, he won in a landslide last night winning almost -- all the available delegates, and yet he is still calling the system rigged. Let's take a listen to his victory speech.


TRUMP: Nobody should be given delegates which is a ticket to victory and it's not a fair ticket. And even though we're leading by a lot, and we can't be caught, it's impossible to catch us, nobody should take delegates and claim victory unless they get those delegates with voters, and voting, and that's what's going to happen. And you watch, because the people aren't going to stand for it. It's a crooked system. It's a system that's rigged. And we're going to go back to the old way, it's called you vote and you win.


LEMON: This seems to be the new pitch speech for Donald Trump at the moment. Is it working with his supporters, Matt?

MATT LEWIS, "TOO DUMB TO FAIL" AUTHOR: Well, it certainly works with his supporters. And I mean there's a strategy behind this. And it could even play out in Cleveland where you have people intimidated or pressured, because there's a system being stolen.

[23:20:00] And of course, it's a complete strategy. But I feel like right now Donald Trump is also has this identity crisis happening. And what you're seeing with Trump is a microcosm of the Trump campaign. There on one hand, there's a sense that he should soften his rhetoric a little bit, be more professional, being more presidential. On the other hand, there's the old Donald Trump instinct, let Trump be Trump. He's got him this far, keep doing it.

LEMON: Jamie, do you have an idea -- first of all -- yeah, go ahead.

I'm talking to -- like I'm working all on this, because I wanted to put up the numbers about how the system is actually working in Donald Trump's favor, but he's complaining, we'll talk about that.

But, when you said, the old Donald Trump versus a new Donald Trump campaign ...

LEWIS: Yeah.

LEMON: ... do you have some ideas how that might, the two might merge and then he becomes one singular candidate out of this?

GANGEL: I don't know that he will ever become one singular candidate, just because we saw one last night, and then he was right back to the old Donald Trump today. But, I do think that you're seeing two tracks on the campaign. You're seeing the old Donald Trump track, and then you're seeing the Paul Manafort and friends track. And they are going to handle this in a very different way, they are going to be more professional.

LEMON: Teleprompters speeches.

GANGEL: Teleprompters, try to discipline him.

LEMON: Yeah.

GANGEL: And some days they'll succeed and some days they won't.

LEMON: OK. So, let's talk about the system being rigged, because, listen, according to our numbers here, Donald Trump has won 47 percent of the delegates so far, and about 38 percent of the votes across all contests. So, you know, the delegate process is actually in his favor, because it's almost 50 percent, but he keeps saying, you know, it's rigged, it's rigged.

LEWIS: Yeah. Well, it's a Byzantine and archaic system, and it is rigged for Donald Trump ...

LEMON: Right.

LEWIS: ... as you can see, right. He's actually over performing, he's gotten more delegates than he should have, if it were purely based on the votes. But, it's also a good talking point.

And the -- and I would say that the establishment has done a very poor job here-to-for of pushing back, right, saying it's rig, the fix is in, is a bumper sticker message.

Finally tonight, I saw Sean Spicer, Republic -- RNC guy, finally, I thought have an analogy that made a lot of sense. He said, it's like a football game. If you get close, you don't get it, you don't win, right? So, if you get it to the two yard line, we don't give you a touchdown, you have to get the touchdown. You have to get ...

LEMON: It's not like horse shoes, is that ...

LEWIS: Exactly. You have to won 1,237.

LEMON: John, what's your take on this?

JOHN BRABENDER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, look, I advise candidates on messaging. And I do think Donald Trump is making a mistake right now. Everything is about, what if he doesn't get to the magic number? How does he get people say, "I still want to have him?"

And so, the way to do that is first, talk about Hillary Clinton. For our party, she's the great unifier. You talk about Hillary, everybody on our side gets unified on wanting to beat her.

Second of all, I do think he has to offer more of a vision and get rid of his talking about delegates. He's got to get people to say, "I can see him as my president, I can support him and I think he can beat Hillary." And I don't think that's where the rhetoric is right now.

LEMON: Bob Beckel, your turn.

BOB BECKEL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Thank you. I think getting Donald Trump to be different than Donald Trump would be like getting me to be a Republican, it ain't going to happen.

And number two, you know what, the other thing you got to consider here is, this is all part of the hundred-vote strategy.

He gets within a hundred votes, he's got to win this thing. But, he's got to keep the pressure up above a rig system, so he can go to other 200 -- or roughly 200 delegates will be on that floor, they're not committed. So, it's a smart strategy, I think.

The last thing I'd say is, who in their right mind would run on a ticket with Donald Trump if they had any political future. I mean, that's the thing.

I mean, ask yourself, if you are adviser to a senator or a governor, would you say take that job?

LEMON: Well, if you listen, if you believe the people who support him, and Donald Trump, they could end up working for the next president of the United States. I mean not many people ...

BECKEL: Where were you last night? We got night, late night ...

LEWIS: Well, a lot of the people, I mean, honestly, a lot of the people who are supporting him are people who have a bright future behind them.

LEMON: Right, right.

LEWIS: He's got the Scott Brown's of the world, the Rudy Giuliani's of the world. People ...

LEMON: And all those people who have really gotten a lot of criticism have supported Donald Trump from the beginning. Cory Lewandowski, for -- one of them, they had been behind him from the very beginning, and still -- when no one, and everyone else, just about everyone else said, "He doesn't stand a chance." Even you, Bob Beckel said, "Oh, this is going to go until September, this is going to go until October," then it just kept going.

BECKEL: He doesn't stand a chance, like, here's a test to this. You find me a Senate candidate in a marginal state, either incumbent or challenger who will appear with Donald Trump in their state.

LEMON: Yeah.

BECKEL: And I'll bet you don't find it. They'll be on the other side of the state or they'll be out in the state raising money. But, they ain't going to interfere with Trump. Who would?

LEMON: Yeah, John?

BECKEL: I mean -- I mean really.

BRABENDER: I'm just glad that Bob earlier said that Hillary can win from jail, because it's clear the Democrats are working on that campaign platform.

LEMON: That goes back to another segment that we had that Bob Beckel said in our 10:00 show. So, listen, I want to talk about something that Bob said regarding this magic 100 number are getting close to the delegates, because CNN obtained a copy of an internal campaign memo, and it predicts Trump will get 1,400 delegates before the convention, and that's well over that 1,237 magic number.

[23:25:08] I mean, do you think that he can do that, John?

BRABENDER: I think that based on the momentum from yesterday, where, I mean, he got 60 some percent of the vote, Cruz got less than 15. You're going to have five states next week where I think Donald Trump very well may run the table.

I think there's going to be a certain inevitability, I think there's going to be fatigue among the Republicans saying, "Why do we keep hitting our head against the wall, maybe, we actually have to figure out if he's really going to win this many delegates, how to actually join him rather than fight him." And I think there's a real possibility if he does run the table next week.

LEMON: Jamie, you know, there are many on the Democratic side, who are hoping for the turn-around on the Republican side, right, for a contested convention. But what if he's able to win this nomination outright, then, what happens with their strategy?

GANGEL: The strategy goes away. You know, on the other hand, he is -- he's going to do Donald things, so, there's always a lot of material there.

LEMON: (Inaudible), right?

LEWIS: And there's so much video footage of things he's done, anyway even if he became Mr., you know, Boy Scout. They've still all this video footage of things he said that they'll use.

LEMON: All right, everyone stay with me. We're not done yet.

When we come right back, if the general election is Trump versus Clinton, will the Bernie Sanders supporters vote Democrat or could they defect and vote Republican?


[23:30:26] LEMON: Big wins in New York for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, changing the dynamics of both the Republican and the Democratic races.

Back with me, Jamie Gangel. Jaime, you basically just co-hosting the show with me tonight.

GANGEL: I'm so happy to be with here.

LEMON: Bob Beckel is here, John Brabender and Matt Lewis. Bob has had a lot of time on and so as John as well. OK.

So, listen, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are one step closer to becoming the presidential nominees of their parties. But, what happens in November if this is a match up? Meghan McCain says, well, she thinks that Bernie supporters can actually throw their weight behind Trump instead of Clinton.


MEGHAN MCCAIN, FOX NEW CHANNEL HOST: Well, Bernie Sanders is the cult leader and he has bunch of cult followers and I saw people tweeting last night saying that they would vote for Trump over Clinton. Don't underestimate how ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not for Hillary, I think.

MCCAIN: I was going to say something inappropriate, but how angry Hillary -- Bernie Sanders supporters, the young millennials who have really bought into this, really bought into this cult, how angry they're going to be at her.


LEMON: OK, Mr. Beckel, let's assume for a moment that Trump wins the Republican nomination. You have said there is no way that Trump can win the general election. But, I mean, do you think Trump can get some of Bernie's supporters?

BECKEL: Well, if they're drunk enough. I mean, I was -- I don't -- listen, the chances of anybody who supports Bernie Sanders, whether black, women, Latinos, millennials, they're not going to do it.

I mean, it's just -- it is so -- I mean, I don't know, you're a smart guy. You understand politics. Whoever gave you that lead out of the last break was crazy. I mean, tell the writers to get that off. I mean, you did -- I don't want to see you caught with that.

LEMON: I -- you're -- I wrote it myself, Bob.


BECKEL: ... go to the hospital before they gave their vote for Donald Trump.

LEMON: Well, I'm going to say that Jamie -- raise your hand. Jamie Gangel is going to, you know, and will defer. So, I mean, differs. She thinks that it's possible, at least hears that is possible.

BECKEL: I'm a big fan of Jamie Gangel, but I'm not going to give her the political analyst yet. And I think for her sake, she's a brilliant person, stay away from politics.

LEMON: Let her speak her own mind here. Let her have her say, go ahead, Jamie.

BECKEL: I was trying to give her an out, man.

GANGEL: Bob, I love you. We've known each other a long time. So this is just anecdotal. LEMON: OK.

GANGEL: But I will tell you that in the last six months out on the campaign trail, talking to civilians, I cannot tell you the number of times when I would say to someone, "Who are you going to support?", they said, "Donald Trump".

And then I would say, "Well, if it's not Donald Trump, who would you support?", because frankly, I was trying to figure out where in the Republican field they would go next. And inevitably the answer was, Bernie Sanders.

I apologize, Bob. I apologize.

LEWIS: Listen, there is something to that, right? So they're both consummate outsiders. I mean, even they're both -- in the populous thing, they're both against, you know, adventurism. They're both against free trade. And they're both tapping into the working class white angst and frustration out there.

And you can blame immigration as Trump does. You can blame globalization as Trump and Sanders does. Nobody blames automation, which actually is a big part of the story. But there is something out there.

I don't know that they're going to actually end up showing. I think they're more likely they'll stay home.

LEMON: Right.

GANGEL: So that's it before I get really in trouble with my old friend Bob, that they'll hear. I will say, those are anecdotal stories and I truly believe that what's much more likely is that those folks will stay home. They won't vote for anyone.

LEMON: So, John, here's what I have to say. I would tell anecdotal stories about what people would say to me about Donald Trump, especially after interviewing him, looking over their shoulder and then saying, "You know, John -- I like that Trump guy", and it has, you know, transferred to them actually going out, people actually going out to vote for him.

So my question, John, is, are Democrats underestimating how angry these young millennial voters are just as they underestimated Donald Trump's appeal?

BRABENDER: Yeah. And I did. And I think a lot of Republicans did.

The truth of the matter is, where at least I've come to believe is that, Donald Trump is not about Donald Trump. It's about the people who are supporting Donald Trump and they're channeling through him. He's their megaphone, their lobbyist because they would never be able to afford a lobbyist.

And they like the fact that he irritates people that are on this show, and that he irritates the establishment. And they just see that as he's authentic. And because of that, they are going to be there for him, come hell or high water, in November.

And I disagree with Bob. I think that Hillary will lose from jail.

[23:35:00] BECKEL: Listen, keep this number in mind, 62 percent negative, that's never happened. He couldn't win a rigged election in Cuba. I mean, it's just not going to happen.

LEMON: Well, these negatives are high as well.

BECKEL: Yes, they are, but they are movable. Trumps are not movable. I mean, you know, cracking a buildings. I mean, come on.

BRABENDER: Trump went through a lot more incoming than Hillary has come through so far. And I think that her unfavs (ph) are going to a lot higher, quite frankly.

LEMON: You mean, in this election?

BECKEL: She, for 25 years, she's been the incoming.

BRABENDER: Yeah. But not to what -- she complains about Bernie Sanders and, you know, it's like going to Tea Parties there, you know. Not the kind on our party, you know, where they wrap up each other.

I mean, the truth of the matter is, Hillary's had a pretty easy ride. We haven't spent a lot of time about whether she is going to go to jail or not. And at some point a lot of this is going to be talk about that.

LEMON: So, Bob, listen, I know that if you can, you know, separate yourself from what you actually believe is going to happen and just become a political -- someone who has seen the process before. Let's just say that these voters, it does happen. How much will it hurt Hillary Clinton if these voters stay home?

BECKEL: Well, not much. I mean, a lot of these voters are not going to be really tough (ph) anyway. I mean, will it hurt her? Maybe in Michigan a little bit, maybe in Illinois a little bit.

But, I just don't see the coalition of Trump voters who are going to go -- they'll stay home. They won't vote for Hillary Clinton, no question about that.

But the idea that Trump voters would vote for Sanders, or Sanders vote for Trump. I mean, you know, you're talking about a Cold War here. I mean, would the Russians vote for the Americans? No. I mean, they got -- I'm not trying to -- I am being a political analyst and I'm telling you, this ain't going to happen.

LEMON: So, listen, Donald Trump though has already drawn a comparison between himself and Bernie Sanders. He says, "Bernie wins and wins and wins, and then the pundits say he can't win just like they do about him." So is he already trying to appeal to these voters take it away whoever you want to.

BECKEL: Yeah, I mean, why not? Why not? LEMON: OK, Matt?

LEWIS: Listen, I don't think he's trying to appeal to the voters, but I think what he's trying to do is make this a bipartisan argument in a sense that it's not -- it's the American people feel like the game is rigged. And the American people feel like we're not winning.

And that we're having these horrible trade deals, and that we're getting involved in. And that the elites are controlling things. And I think he's making that a bipartisan argument and there is, I mean, I think that resonates. That resonates.

LEMON: That was very similar in a weird way because Donald Trump speaks out against Wall Street. Bernie Sanders speaks out against Wall Street. I mean, you know, they separate from ...

LEWIS: Donald Trump could hit -- if Donald Trump runs against Hillary Clinton, he could hit Hillary from the left on a lot of things. And frankly, his arguments against Hillary would be very similar to Bernie's arguments against Hillary.

LEMON: Thank you, everyone. Bob, I got to go.

BECKEL: No, that's fine. That was fine. Just wait until the fall (ph). We've got plenty to think.

LEMON: All right. When we come right back, President Obama's chilly reception in Saudi Arabia, why he bill back by some 9/11 families is causing trouble with America's ally.


[23:41:50] The families of 9/11 victims are expressing outrage over the White House threat to veto a bill that would allow them to sue Saudi Arabian.

That as President Barack Obama meets in Saudi Arabia with King Salman. Administration officials saying they clear the air and the tensions between the longtime allies

Joining me now, Ari Fleischer, former White House Press Secretary.

The Obama administration argues that this bill would allow other countries to retaliate against Americans with their own legislation. Is that a valid argument?

ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think there's a lot of be concern about because there is part validity to it.

For example, the United States military, we operate in Syria, we operate in Iraq, we operate in a number of nations. We operated in Libya. If our military kills civilians, will we now lose our immunity? Will our pilots, will our military now have to go to courts in other lands and be sued? This opens up a world that has previously been closed. Immunity has been an agreement that has benefited the United States around the world. If we start to unravel it now here, we could be at risk of other nations misinterpret it to target us.

LEMON: Ari, Saudi officials have long denied any involvement in the 9/11 plot. And the 9/11 Commission has found no evidence that the Saudi government or Senior Saudi officials individually funded the plot. Do you believe that they played a role and at what level?

FLEISCHER: Well, I would very much like to see the 28 page classified Senate report. I have no problem with that gets make public. I like to know what they know.

But based on what the 9/11 Commission showed and what I knew from the Bush administration, the Saudi government actually was tremendously helpful to us in fighting terror. There was no evidence that the Saudi government played any role in September 11th.

Now, below the levels, the highest levels of the Saudi government, Saudis do play a two face game. They wink and look the other way as many of their princess and underlings and other people from Wahhabi institutions and pay money to make terrorism go away inside their own borders.

Pakistan and Saudi are two of the nations that have the most two-faced approaches. But at the top levels of the government, the King, the foreign minister, the administer of intelligence, the top people in the military, they were powerfully pro-American and have been for a longtime.

LEMON: Let's talk more about the 28-page report that you're talking about. On Monday, that the -- President Obama and the White House said, it's almost finished with the review of the confidential 28-page section of the Congressional report and could soon determined whether it's going to be the classified families of 9/11 victims would like to see these 28 pages be released. Do you think they should be?

FLEISCHER: Absolutely. I think people have a right to know what happened. And if there's something that they have that the 9/11 Commission did not have, we all have a right to know ...

LEMON: Why are they classified then?

FLEISCHER: I suspect because of sources and methods that's probably the best reason why because they have something that indicates how we got something and they don't want that known.

LEMON: The president landed in Saudi Arabia today where he will work to ease tensions between Washington and Riyadh. What do you think? What do you make of his visit?

FLEISCHER: I think the United States sadly has missed a tremendous opportunity in the Middle East. There's been historic strategic realignment that puts Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan on one side, and Iran, Qatar and a couple other nations on the other side. And we have taken the side basically of Iran against Saudi Arabia. That baffles me.

[23:45:03] And so, United States has bad relations with Saudi Arabia right now, basically because of our acquiescence to Iran and are missing the boat on a big strategic realignment.

LEMON: All right, Fleischer thanks.

FLEISCHER: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: I want to discuss it this now with Jim Riches, the former Deputy Chief of a New York Fire Department. His son lost his life on 9/11.

Thank you so much for being with us and I'm so sorry for your lost.

I want to -- your son was a -- lost his life in the World Trade Center, right? He was a fireman. His name is Jimmy (ph)

JIM RICHES, FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF, NEW YORK FIRE DEPARTMENT: He was fireman, Jimmy (ph) died in the hotel.

LEMON: I want to get your reaction to this because this bill would allow, you know, families, victims' families to sue the Saudis. You want to see this passed, but even the bill's co-sponsor, Lindsey Graham has put a hold on the bill over concerns that new changes could expose the U.S. legal attacks. What's your reaction to that?

RICHES: I think -- I mean, I'm sitting here listening to him from Bush administration. They're saying people told us about the weapons of mass destruction, they told us the ground zero, the air was fine. Everybody got sick. I was in a coma for 16 days. They have some nerve.

I mean, we should be allowed -- all they're doing is looking for a right to sue. Not, you know, they can go to court and we'll have -- what they're doing now is having sovereign immunity so they get a blank statement.

It's just the law. We'll wipe out the sovereign immunity and we'll be able to go to court and sue them if they abetted, aided, finance and funded the terrorists.

LEMON: What do you say to Lindsey Graham now? Who was the co-sponsor of the bill who's saying, "This could open the U.S. up to legal attack."

RICHES: I just say I don't know what happen when he sponsor the bill and now all of a sudden maybe in Saudi Arabia has seven firms and lobby down in Washington. Maybe he got a piece some money or something.

I think the families deserve the right. This was not a routine attack. It's not a routine thing. This is a mass murder of people. We need this legislation to prevent this from happening again, to punish the people that fund these attacks. And that we have nothing right now. And if we continue like that, we'll never have anything.

LEMON: You say, it's a slap in the face to the families. And do you think, though, that the White House and now Lindsey Graham, do you think they're looking at a bigger picture of something else is at play here?

RICHES: I think they're looking at something else between Saudi Arabia and them. They want to think of the American families who've loss their loved ones that day 3,000 people died. I picked up the parts down there.

They're worried about the Saudi feelings and how they're going to be with, probably threatening them with the $750 billion. Let them do what they want. We have to stop the terrorists with the funding and everything else.

And right now, we're not doing it. And President Obama was going to reject the bill. He didn't even read the 28-pages in the classified report. And he's saying that we're going to get routine lawsuits.

The 9/11 was not routine. It was a major, major attack. We need legislation to prevent countries from doing this. Otherwise, Paris is going to happen again, San Bernardino and 9/11 is going to happen again and again unless we hold these people accountable.

LEMON: As Ari Fleischer said that the administration is worried that this could put Americans overseas in jeopardy. Do you agree with that?

RICHES: I don't agree with that. I think that if we're -- this is legislation that's strictly for terrorist attacks. We're not going to be supporting terrorist attacks. And our people aren't going to support them.

And if you do, you do deserve to be sued and hold them accountable. And that's what it's about and not about -- they're worried about routine lawsuits. There's nothing routine about 9/11. For them to say that, that's ridiculous.

LEMON: You said that you believe the president didn't even read the 28-page classified report. But you want that report to be released. Why is that so important to you?

RICHES: It's so important to us because we want to have the right to sue them. We also wanted to be bringing this information into the court.

If you look at those 28-pages, some of the people that have read it, there's been -- out in San Diego embassies, money exchanged hands between handlers and then 9/11 hijackers from the Saudi embassy out there, they treated these people with kid gloves.

The Bush administration flew 100 people right after 9/11 of the Bin Laden family. That was the only plane allowed up, back to Saudi Arabia, while we the firemen were down there digging our loved one -- looking for our loved ones. Let's not worry about their feelings. Let's worry about the country, prevent this attacks from happening. And if we do this with this bill, it will prevent these companies -- countries to be held accountable because nobody's been held accountable for 9/11, from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed down in Guantanamo to the -- if they get the 28 pages. And what we'll do is being able to go into court, they're not guilty. They'll be able to defend themselves.

And if they didn't do it and these pages show that they didn't, then they'll be off the hooks and nothing to worry about. So, I don't know why they're threatening us.

LEMON: If you're allowed to sue, what does this do for you? What will you sue for? What will the families sue for? What do you want?

RICHES: I don't -- I'm not even -- we're not even thinking about money or anything like that. We want accountability. We want it to be known that Saudi Arabia, if you look at these pages, they said it doesn't affect national security. But that's the reason they held them.

Why did they hold them up? Why was it, because Bush had oil ties with the King of Saudi Arabia? We have to ask these questions. Why did they protect them? They had numerous things in these 28-pages where local police departments had information, and the FBI squashed it. They said, "No, no it's the Saudis, leave them alone."

[23:50:04] This is all that's in those 28 pages. Let's release them. Those who forget history don't repeat it, but whenever -- kind to get to know the history if they hide it from us.

LEMON: And you even think it has to do with president's trip now and what do you think of it?

RICHES: I just saw that he got a cool reception at the airport. And I think he ought to put them, you know, put them right in their place.

And say, listen, if you're not guilty, you have nothing to worry about and that the families deserve this, 3,000 families, heartbroken we read (ph). Heart's pour out everyday. My son's never going to walk back in the door. We deserve to know what happened. We deserve to see the 28-pages. And, I guess, it would be a good law to prevent future attacks in the future like Paris, San Bernardino, 9/11.

And then anybody -- we don't want them happen here on American soil and that's what they're going to protect.

LEMON: Jim Riches, thank you again. And we're sorry for your loss. I really appreciate you coming in. Thank you.

RICHES: Thank you.

LEMON: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: Anthony Bourdain is back this Sunday with an all new season of "PARTS UNKNOWN." In the premier, he heads to the capital of the Philippines, Manila, and discovers what he says is the best thing you could ever eat with a cold beer.


[23:54:59] ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST: Night in Metro Manila. And I'm ready for my single favorite Filipino street food, possibly the best thing you could ever eat with a cold beer.

[23:55:11] I'm talking, of course, about sisig. Hot sizzling pig face with a runny egg on top and bet you better act somebody because nothing is getting in between me and this spicy, chewy, fatty goodness.

Just drinks, eat up and go?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a lot of sisig restaurants here. But, here's one is the best.

BOURDAIN: This is really, really good.

This evening's dining companions, cover band Regatta.

You may remember them from such epic office Christmas parties as last night's.

This is the Christmas season. A lot of Christmas parties?


BOURDAIN: Your life, a lot of work?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a peak season.

BOURDAIN: All over Southeast Asia. Any hotel lobby, any hotel bar, there's a Filipino band.



BOURDAIN: And I've sat there drunk and challenged band after band. Surely, bouncing, no problem, all of Dark Side of the Moon, no problem, all of Guns and Roses, no problem.


LEMON: Makes sure you tune in Sunday night at 9:00 for the premiere of an all new season of "PARTS UNKNOWN" with Anthony Bourdain right here on CNN. We'll be right back.


[24:00:13] LEMON: That's it for us tonight. I'll see you right back here tomorrow night.