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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Autopsy Under Way on Prince; Fans Mourn Prince at Paisley Park; Tapes on Trump Surface. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired April 22, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[11:00:39] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everybody. I'm Kate Bolduan.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm John Berman.
You just want to dance. Every time those songs come over on CNN, I just want to start dancing because that's what you do when you hear Prince music.
The breaking news this morning, an autopsy under way right now to try to determine what caused the death of the music icon.
It has been 24 hours since Prince was pronounced dead at his home studio in suburban Minneapolis. The mayor of the city says the loss is too large to describe. He was just 57 years old, leaving his mark around the world as one of the greatest musical geniuses, and that is no overstatement, of his generation and more.
BOLDUAN: Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, composer, producer, performer, he did everything. He did it all, literally, known for playing every instrument, singing every line of many of his songs.
A huge party in his honor went throughout the night in his hometown of Minneapolis.
And that is where we will begin this hour. Stephanie Elam is outside Paisley Park studios where Prince lived and he died.
Stephanie, what are you seeing there?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's right, Kate and John. A lot of people wanting to know exactly what led to his death. We do know that that autopsy is under way AT THIS HOUR, but I should point out it will probably be weeks before we know. And this is what happens in every autopsy case. It takes time for them to go through the process that they need to go through and then analyze the data that they get and then release those results. Nevertheless, people here still in shock and still mourning. Since the sun came up at Paisley Park people have been coming out.
Take a look. I will move out of the shot so you can see it, how many people are out here now paying their respects, putting up flowers, balloons, leaving messages. There's even purple candles out there burning. People really revered Prince in this community. Keep in mind, he was a native son. He was from here. He never left. Always kept his home here. His compound here. As you see behind the fence there.
That meant a lot to the people of Minnesota because, you know, a lot of times when people blow up and become ultra famous, they go live in one of the big cities. He didn't do that. He stayed here and that meant a lot to the people here who are trying to digest this news and why a man at 57 would be gone so soon -- John and Kate?
BERMAN: It was a mutual love affair between Prince and Minneapolis. Completely requited love, if you will. He loved Minneapolis, Minneapolis loved him.
Stephanie Elam, thanks so much.
We're going to talk more about Prince right now. Joining us now is W. Kamau Bell, the host of CNN's "United Shades of America;" Cori Murray, "Essence" magazine entertainment director; Bill Werde, former editorial director of "Billboard" magazine, currently CEO of Fenton Communications; and joining us by Skype is Zena Burns, who has worked with Prince, and heads Moxie Coalition.
Cori, you were in Brooklyn last night during the celebration there. We were talking to Sheila E. this morning about what -- how Prince would want to be remembered. She knew people so well. She goes he wouldn't want people to mourn. He'd want people to celebrate.
BERMAN: He wanted people to dance and party, which is what happened last night.
CORI MURRAY, ENTERTAINMENT DIRECTOR, ESSENCE MAGAZINE: Absolutely. I can I tell you, I was in traffic. I was so mad at the cab driver. I was like get me to Ft. Green. When we got there, it was beautiful like "Purple Rain," they were playing that. There was someone there holding an umbrella with an illustration of Prince's face around the umbrella. People were crying. People were holding up their phones. That crescendo of that moment. Everyone was singing along. It was a beautiful moment. I think it's right, Prince, I'm sure he is smiling from heaven saying, yes, this is how we want to be remembered.
BOLDUAN: We're looking at some of the video. We saw a lot of video. Kind of in this whole moment of everyone celebrating together and coming together in Brooklyn. It was really, really beautiful to see and it was amazing you were able to be there with it.
Bill, you were the editor of "Billboard" during the re-launch of the magazine when that -- I think we can call it that iconic cover for "Billboard" magazine in 2013. BILL WERDE, CEO, FENTON COMMUNICATIONS & FORMER EDITORIAL DIRECTOR,
BILLBOARD MAGAZINE: That's right.
BOLDUAN: Why did you guys choose Prince? Someone who had already had such a long career? Why was he the image for the re-launch of "Billboard"?
WERDE: If he were looking for someone that, you know, just had that factor, right? Like had that magical factor that you always want to know about this person and this person has untouchable musical integrity, right? And so it's a very short list of people, right, that aren't overexposed. Prince was never over exposed. He didn't like to talk about Prince. So, yeah, it was kind of perfect.
That experience, if I may, you know, it led to one of the funnier moments I actually had with Prince.
[11:05:16] BOLDUAN: About that cover?
WERDE: About that cover, because that cover almost didn't happen. It wound up winning all sorts of awards but it almost didn't happen. We were down to -- beyond the - 11th hour, like the 13th or 15th hour. We had no image because Prince was going to supply some images at that time. He was not going to be photographed. And we had nothing. Printer is calling me. It was really, really getting panicked.
BOLDUAN: You're going to have to hand deliver the "Billboard" --
WERDE: I'm sending panicked texts from his manager. The manager is like Prince is with me. He picked out the image. He knows you're going to love it. I will e-mail it. I go to my in-box, I'm hitting refresh, refresh, refresh, and this image starts downloading, and it's a picture of a random old woman who has nothing to do with Prince.
And then, of course, three minutes later we get three images, one more beautiful than the next. It's an embarrassment of the riches. And that was Prince. He really never lost his sense of humor in the midst of certain intense moments or at least like to screw with journalists.
BOLDUAN: He liked to mess with your head.
BERMAN: It was his way of saying I am in complete control of this --
WERDE: Complete control.
BERMAN: -- and everything.
WERDE: Every aspect of his career.
BERMAN: It really was Prince. We are men of a certain age, right? Which means for us in junior high
we grew up to Prince. We were introduced to the concept of naughty in some ways by Prince.
W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST, UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA: I think I discovered women when Apollonia went into the waters of Lake Minnetonka. I was like, hmm, ladies, you say?
BELL: The point I was making here was ladies.
BERMAN: I understand the sophistication of that.
But as we look back and think today at all the attention that's being paid, to me, it's a true Ameritocracy because he was so incredibly talented. I mean, just exploding with talent.
BELL: And I think that's why everybody feels like they have a piece of him. Like his music went across boundaries, across genres, and in his final act he let us know you need to value this music because this morning when I'm like I'm going to listen to some Prince music, I couldn't find it, I had to pay for it. I feel that's another lesson we have to talk about is how he told artists, control our careers. Don't let business people take advantage of you. Don't let the media take advantage of you. It's your image and your career.
BERMAN: He gave up his name for years --
BELL: -- for every artist. And now every artist, Taylor Swift and everybody, wants to control their careers.
WERDE: He blazed every trail you could want to blaze in the music business from an artist's perspective.
BOLDUAN: And from that frustration with the industry and wanting to push the industry to be better, Zena, that is something that came up in conversations that you had with Prince. You had a lot of first- hand kind of -- these conversations with Prince not only about the industry but also about artists who lost their lives too soon, but about that frustration that he had with the industry. What did he say?
ZENA BURNS, DIRECTOR, MOXIE COALITION & WORKED WITH PRINCE: Oh, boy, where to start. You know, as you guys were saying, he felt very, very strongly that artists need to control their careers. Several times he referred to the music industry as being nefarious.
I think there was that business aspect to it, but then there is also like the personal, the life aspect to it. At one point, I asked him why he felt so passionately about working with really unknown developing artists and trying to get them a name out there, and he said that he'd been thinking a lot about Amy Winehouse recently, and that this nefarious music industry sends young artists on such high peaks and such low valleys where they don't necessarily get support that he felt he had a duty to help make people stronger songwriters and more confident in their musicianship so that when they did hit those valleys, they had more confidence and a more healthy way than he considered, you know, Amy Winehouse to have, for whom he had a lot of respect for her talent.
WERDE: It's funny, one of the most cherished memories during my time at "Billboard" was getting a call -- it was an after-party for the 2013 Grammy awards, and I got this frantic call. I was actually back at my hotel after the Grammys trying to get a quick disco nap, and I get this call, and it's Prince, is coming to the after-party and he wants to speak to you. It was like, Prince wants to speak to you.
BOLDUAN: I'll take that call.
WERDE: When I got there, all Prince wanted to talk about -- we sat down in a little cabana and all he wanted to talk about -- he spoke about -- it was the music business and the way it treated artists unfairly.
WERDE: He thought you're the editor of "Billboard," you need to be a vessel for speaking truth to power. He spoke in literally biblical terms, not flattering biblical terms, about the music business for a good 40 or 45 minutes. He was very passionate.
[11:09:54] BERMAN: There are lots of sides of Prince. That's one of the reasons people knew he was sick. He had the flu last week. But other than that, you know, everyone thought Prince was a guy who kept incredibly healthy. Always in shape vocally.
Cori, what questions do you have about his death?
MURRAY: It's funny. When the news broke, it was the first time as a journalist, maybe because I had loved Prince -- and I'm wearing purple to honor of him today --
MURRAY: -- but I didn't want to know why he died. I didn't want to know the cause of death. I wanted him to remain this icon in my head. But now to see these things coming out, it is making me sort of question him, but I'm trying not to just keep my memory of him intact, the man and the music that I love because, like you, like he was great. He was really passionate about his image. He was passionate about his story. He allowed our writer, when he did our June 2014 cover story, he's like, I'm going to let you take notes. He usually wouldn't let you take notes.
WERDE: Yeah, he wouldn't let reporters take notes. Forget about recording.
BERMAN: because he wants you to listen. He basically said, I want you to listen to me and leave with the essence of the conversation.
BOLDUAN: And you kind of feel the same way. Do you feel the same way, that you don't want to -- you don't need details?
BELL: I don't care how he died. For his family and friends, he's gone. He's dead. But for those of us who don't know him, I feel like today I'm the only black person who didn't have a Prince story, but --
BELL: Thank you.
But I feel like the music is alive. His legacy is alive. His example is alive. We live in sort of a TMZ world. Who knows what happened. We will debate that forever in barber shops in my community. But Prince is gone. He's missed.
BOLDUAN: Perfect note. That's the perfect note.
BERMAN: Guys, Bill, Cori, Zena, Kamau, thanks so much. Really, really interesting discussion.
BOLDUAN: Interesting discussion.
And you can still hear more from Kamau Bell in a bit of a turn on Sunday. His show premieres this Sunday, "United Shades of America." The first episode, it is truly amazing. He comes face to face with the KKK.
BERMAN: By choice, by the way.
BOLDUAN: By choice. Kamau takes it on, in the Kamau way, with biting humor and intelligence. That's this Sunday night, 10:00 p.m., right here on CNN. Can't wait for that.
BERMAN: Brand new this morning, audio tape surfaces, recordings surface of Donald Trump's top adviser admitting to Republican insiders that Donald Trump is playing a kind of a part, that he's a different guy behind closed doors, but this recording doesn't stop there. We'll discuss.
BOLDUAN: Plus, inside the vault. Prince reportedly with hundreds, maybe thousands of songs finished, yet unreleased. Who is in charge of that now? More on the loss of an icon. That's ahead.
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[11:17:07] BOLDUAN: So will the real Donald Trump please stand up? That is the big question today it seems after his top campaign adviser, Paul Manafort, told Republican insiders in a close-door meeting that Trump's private persona is different from the part he plays publicly and that he is now more ready to shift to a more presidential image. Listen to this.
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PAUL MANAFORT, DONALD TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN CONVENTION MANAGER (voice-over): Trump is an outsider. So he's sitting in a room, he's talking business, he's talking politics in a private room. It's a different persona. When he's out on the stage, when he's talking about the kinds of things he's talked about on the stump, he's projecting an image that's for that purpose. He's evolving into the part you were expecting but he wasn't ready for.
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BERMAN: CNN's Phil Mattingly is live in Hollywood, Florida, the site of the RNC's annual spring meeting.
Phil, I think the most consequential RNC spring meeting of all time.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You might be right. The rules committee meeting were packed. I think there were more reporters than RNC meetings.
John, I think the interesting thing besides the potential as we walk into a contested convention in Cleveland in a couple months is this, 168 RNC members, state party chairs, local officials, not only is that basically John Berman's dream scenario as a reporter to talk about GOP politics, but it's a difficult scenario for Donald Trump's advisers. And that's exactly why they were down here in force meeting one-on-one with several of the committee members, talking to people in the hallways, at the pool, near the beach, but also in its presentation that they had. More than 45-minute presentation, and part of the point of the presentation is to say, look, we know what Donald Trump has been like at rallies. We know how he sounded, how he's come across, how he's attacked many of the people sitting in this room, but he's shifted.
Listen to what Paul Manafort said specifically about the RNC.
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MANAFORT: Is Donald Trump running against the Republican National Committee? The answer is he is not. He is concerned about what he considers to be a transparency issue where the voters are voting for something and the rules might be something else regarding the selection of delegates. He is not trying to change the rules in this process. He's winning. He's not interested in changing the rules. But he believes that starting the conversation, it's good to, because this is when we're all facing the issues.
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MATTINGLY: Guys, it's important to note that this relationship is far more important than just dealing with the primary and the general election. The RNC will be crucial to any Trump ability to defeat the Democratic nominee. They have data infrastructure, digital infrastructure. Trump's advisers, at least behind the scenes, trying to mend fences in these presentations over the last couple of days -- guys?
BOLDUAN: Phil Mattingly in the center of it all for us. Phil, thanks so much.
[11:39:58] Let's discuss this and more right now with Barry Bennett, senior adviser to the Trump campaign; Kayleigh McEnany, CNN political commentator and Donald Trump supporter; Errol Louis, CNN political commentator and political anchor for Time/Warner Cable News; Doug Heye, former RNC communications director; and Dan Pfeiffer, CNN political commentator and former senior adviser to President Obama.
Barry, let's begin where we were right there, with Phil Mattingly. What is going on here? Different persona in public, different persona in private, playing a part as Paul Manafort puts it. Is that true?
BARRY BENNETT, TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISOR & FORMER BEN CARSON PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I don't know that I wouldn't use the words playing a part necessarily, but when you're speaking to a crowd of 20,000 people in an arena trying to get an emotional reaction out of them, you say one thing. When you're in private, of course, you don't do those things. It would be kind of weird actually.
BERMAN: Does that mean we shouldn't pay attention to what he's saying in public?
BENNETT: No, no. What he's saying in public is working. He has 300 more delegates than anybody else.
BOLDUAN: Working but can you take him at his word?
BENNETT: Oh, yeah, sure. I don't think he meant to say that, that he doesn't mean what he says.
BERMAN: But the implication is that he's going to tone it down in private. You will see a different Donald Trump when you meet with him in person, and you, RNC officials, will be able to work with that. You may not be able to work with the guy out on stage, but you can work with the private Donald Trump.
BENNETT: Yeah, the personal Donald Trump is very gregarious, huge personality, very Bill Clinton-like, almost. He's never met a stranger, can talk to you about anything. And as we move to the general election, of course, there's a pivot away. They're not going to be talking about Ted Cruz and John Kasich all the time. BOLDUAN: Errol, consider the audience where Paul Manafort was laying
this out. He was with RNC -- there are party people, right? Is that what they want to hear? Does that work?
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Imagine they needed to hear something resembling that or Paul Manafort wouldn't have offered it to them. I don't know how believe it is. And, you know, you have a multi-month set of experiences. If you start sort of picking through it, it's like, OK, which of the things was he playing a part on? Is he no longer going to call for people to be beaten at his rallies if they do a demonstration? Is he no longer going to insulting people's personal appearance, will he drop the profanity from the podium? Which of these things is going to change? And I think probably if the representatives can get real answer so those things, perhaps there will be some sort of a change. I personally wouldn't bet on that. I don't see any reason because just as you suggest, it's worked for him up until now. Why would he change now?
BERMAN: Doug Heye, you know these people who are meeting right now in Hollywood, Florida. You know the Republican insiders because you're one -- no, you worked at the RNC. Genuine real question here, can any of those people be won over? Are there people who can go to the Donald Trump side right now in Hollywood?
DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure. There are people who want to hear Donald Trump's message. And that's what's so interesting about what Paul Manafort said. There's a sad cliche in politics that the ultimate gaffe is telling the truth and that's what Paul Manafort clearly did to that audience to try to reassure them, possibly not thinking these comments would go public. But we know Donald Trump has been playing a role for a long time. Kate and John, we have talked about this a lot. I thought he was playing the part of a bad guy professional wrestler to incite the crowd. Perhaps now he's going to try to be the good guy professional wrestler. His support is baked in with his supporters. They're very loyal to him. They're not going anywhere. The problem he faces is, so are the high negatives he has.
BOLDUAN: And will those change? They say they will change and will change especially up against Hillary Clinton.
Let's talk about something else, Kayleigh, moving away from this public/private kind of conversation. We're going to talk to the Cruz campaign in just a moment. Donald Trump's comments yesterday about transgender bathroom policies, do you think that it will hurt him, what he said yesterday, with social conservatives in places like especially my home state Indiana?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think so. Because, look, at the end of the day it should be a state issue and that's what Donald Trump has said. And I think there's two things at play. Here he said I have no problem with Caitlyn Jenner coming in and using the restroom in Trump Towers. Most of us would be fine with that. There's another issue at play, we don't want men taking advantage of this and going into the women's restroom. Donald Trump was saying, we haven't had those problems yet in North Carolina, let's leave it to the state. I think that's a very fair point. BERMAN: He said more. No, no, no. He didn't say it was a state issue. What he actually said was that he understands the business leaders complaining about what North Carolina did because Donald Trump says he doesn't see a problem that North Carolina was trying to solve right there. He actually took a stand on what North Carolina says is a state issue. So the question is, will that stand, that he thinks that transgender people should use whatever bathroom they're comfortable with, will that hurt him with social conservatives?
MCENANY: He gave his opinion. Yes, he thinks the status quo should be the status quo, but at the end of the day, and he said last night, this is for North Carolina to decide, not for the federal government.
[11:25:04] BOLDUAN: Modifying his position, as folks projected he would need to do. He did that with Sean Hannity last night.
Dan, let's talk about the Democrats, unless you want to weigh in on any of this, and please feel free to do so --
DAN PFEIFFER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And I may.
BOLDUAN: And you may. I said that because I kind of anticipated hearing your giggle that you were going to.
Sanders, Bernie Sanders last night, yesterday, in pennsylvania, did not seem to, despite there were a lot of calls publicly forum to change his tone, tone it down, modulate his tone -- is how you described it, John, which I really like how you said that, after his New York loss. You've been involved in a hard-fought primary battle. You have been involved in a primary battle that went long into the primary season. At this point can he change his tone? If you were involved, would you advise that he change his tone at this point? What would that say to his supporters?
PFEIFFER: I'd say a couple things. First, I think Bernie Sanders should stay in this race until the last primary. He has had -- I heard Tad Devine make this point the other day, millions of people around the country have contributed to the campaign and volunteered and the Bernie Sanders supporters in the remaining states should have the opportunity to vote for their candidate. I think Bernie Sanders over time does need to modulate, if we want to use John's SAT word, his tone so he's not giving Republicans additional ammunition. But, look, losing campaigns is hard, right? It is -- there are like several stages of grief you go through both for the candidate, the candidate's staff, and the supporters, and this is going to take some time for him to do that. I think Tuesday looks like -- it looks like it's going to be a very hard day for the Sanders campaign. These are states Clinton has won and won big recently and we'll see what comes after that. Hillary Clinton in the exact same position Bernie Sanders was in 2008 after a period of time when it became basically mathematically impossible for her to win, she changed her tone. She campaigned hard. She made her case. She pointed out where she was different from President Obama, but she was careful to begin to build a bridge to her supporters to support President Obama in the fall. And I suspect and certainly hope that Bernie Sanders will do that sooner rather than later.
BERMAN: You know, you mention next week, Tuesday, a lot of states vote in the mid-Atlantic and northeast. Pennsylvania is one of them.
Hillary Clinton, by the way, leading in all the polls we've seen. Donald Trump leading in all the polls on the Republican side.
Barry Bennett, there's a report that you're spending $2 million on advertising in Pennsylvania. There are 17 delegates that will be bound, awarded, winner take all by state but there are 54 unbound, free agent delegates. How does $2 million ad spending help with those free agent delegates?
BENNETT: Well, because those free agent delegates aren't really free agent delegates. Many of them are identified supporters of somebody, and so you help those people run for office. You know, the term "unbound delegate" is probably the worst moniker used to describe these delegates because there are very few delegates who are like, I just can't decide which one to go for.
BENNETT: Some of them are very quiet and keep it close to the vest but there are a lot of people in Pennsylvania running for unbound spots that are Trump supporters, and we're helping them.
BERMAN: How do you think you're going to do?
BENNETT: Just fine.
BOLDUAN: Just fine.
We'll have him go deeper on that as we get closer.
Guys, great to see you. Thank you very much. All of you, really appreciate it. Happy Friday.
So, the Cruz campaign with a tough new ad against Donald Trump and his stance on transgender issues. We're going to have the Cruz campaign joining us next.
BERMAN: Plus, inside the final days of Prince. The health problems that he had just over the last few weeks. His pretty eerie words to a crowd just days ago.
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