Return to Transcripts main page

CNN TONIGHT

Paul Ryan: Can't Support Trump Right Now; FBI Interviewing Top Clinton Aides; Trump Reaches Out to Hispanics with Taco Bowl. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired May 5, 2016 - 23:00   ET

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


[23:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Paul Ryan drops a bomb on Donald Trump.

This is CNN Tonight. I'm Done Lemon.

The house speaker is just not that into Trump. Not yet anyway. He says he can't support his own party's nominee. And Trump, well he say, he can't support Ryan's agenda. Who will come out on top in this latest battle in the GOP's civil war? And can the party be saved?

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has more than just Bernie Sanders to contend with. The FBI interviewing the candidate's closest aides including Huma Abedin as they investigate her private e-mail server. Soon, they'll interview Clinton herself as she battles to steal -- to seal the deal with the Democrat.

But let's listen now to the interview that's turning the GOP upside down tonight, Jake Tapper's exclusive interview with House Speaker Paul Ryan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: You have said throughout this process that you will support the Republican presidential nominee. Now you have a presumptive nominee, Donald Trump. Will you support him?

REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, to be perfectly candid with you, Jake, I'm just not ready to do that at this point. I'm not there right now, and I hope to though, and I want to. But I think what is required is that we unify this party. And I think the bulk of the burden on unifying the party will have to come from our presumptive nominee.

I don't want to underplay what he accomplished. He needs to be congratulated for an enormous accomplishment for winning, not now, a plurality delegates and he's on his way to winning a majority of delegates.

But he also inherited something very special, that's very special to a lot of us. This is the party of Lincoln, of Reagan, of Jack Kemp. And we don't always nominate a Lincoln and a Reagan every four years. But we hope our nominee aspires to be Lincoln and Reaganesque, that that person advances the principles of our party and appeals to a wide vast majority of Americans.

And so, I think what is necessary to make this work, for this to unify is to actually take our principles and advance them. And that's what we want to see. Saying we're unified doesn't in and of itself unify us. But actually taking the principles that we all believe in, showing that there's a dedication of those, and running a principled campaign that Republicans can be proud about, and that can actually appeal to a majority of Americans, that to me is what it takes to unify this party.

TAPPER: So you're saying you can't support or endorse him right now?

RYAN: Yeah. I am basically saying that. Look, I'm -- that's, you know, I thought about this two days ago. I thought actually this thing was going to go to June 7th at the very least probably to a convention. And so, this is all pretty new for us.

But at this point, I think that he needs to do more to unify this party, to bring all wings of the Republican Party together, and then to go forward and to appeal to all Americans in every walk of life, every background, a majority of independents and discerning Democrats. And so, you know, I think conservatives want to know, does he share our values and our principles on limited government, the proper role of the executive, adherence to the constitution?

There are lots of questions that conservatives I think are going to want answers to, myself included. And I want to be a part of this unifying process. I want to help unify this party. But we have to be unified, I think, for us to be successful for us to have a campaign that Republicans are proud of going forward that is unifiable and that actually can go and appeal to a vast majority of Americans.

TAPPER: Well, Mr. Speaker, you're casting this in characteristically optimistic and positive terms. And I would expect no less from you. But what you're saying is a fairly dramatic announcement that the Speaker of the House cannot, as of now, support his party's nominee for president. Is there something specific that he has done or said that has brought you to this moment?

RYAN: Well, like I said, I hope to support our nominee. I hope to support his candidacy fully. And I want to do that. But right now, just I've got to tell you, Jake, just being candid with you. At this point, I'm just not there right now.

The question is, can our presumptive nominee turn things around, unify, and have a different kind of cadence going forward? The way I look at this, Jake, is it's time to go from tapping into anger to channeling that anger into solutions. It's time to set aside bullying, to set aside belittlement, and appeal to higher aspirations, appeal to what is good in us and to lead a country and a party to having a vast majority of Americans enthusiastic about choosing a path.

That's why I just feel so strongly about the chance and the choice and the opportunity we have in front of us, but this to work. Our presumptive nominee, I believe, needs to unify the party for the party to be unified. And I want to help him do that.

TAPPER: Do you think that's even possible? Do you think that's possible?

RYAN: Just so you know Jake, we're not there right now. We're not there right now. Yeah, I think it's possible, but we're not there right now. and I think it is possible. And we better get on with it. But I think we just need to be honest with each other about these things.

[23:05:01] And look, I think yes, I think we can beat Hillary Clinton. Are you kidding me? So yes, I think it's possible. And it needs to be possible because so much is at stake.

TAPPER: So, you don't think the damage has been done?

RYAN: That work need to be done. And I think the nominee has a bit of work to do.

TAPPER: You don't think that so much damage has been done that it's almost as if it's a lost cause. Because it seems to me, from hearing people like Mitt Romney, hearing Ted Cruz the other day called Donald Trump a pathological liar on the eve of Donald Trump winning it all.

Donald Trump was attacking his father and suggesting that Rapheal Cruz might have played a role in the Kennedy assassination. It doesn't seem like there are going to be -- it's going to be possible to build that many bridges. Do you disagree?

RYAN: I'm familiar with the points you're making, that is why among other reasons, basically as a conservative, I want to see a verification that our conservative principles will be championed, will be run on, will be represented, and will be brought to the public and the country in a way that's appealing for us to be successful.

So, like I said, we're not there yet. But yes, I mean look, this man is going to get the nomination because he earned it. He deserved it. He won the vote. And more importantly, I think those of us need to earn a few lessons here. I think there's a bit of humility that each of us need, especially leaders in Congress, which is he tapped into something in this country that was very powerful. And people are sending a message to Washington that we need to learn from and listen to. But at the same time, now that we have a presumptive nominee who is going to be our standard bearer, I think it's very important that there's a demonstration that our standards will be bared. I mean, that he will advance our appreciation for limited government, for the constitution, for the proper role of the executive, for the principles, not only built our party but built this country, and how we're going to apply those principles to offer solutions and run a campaign that Republicans can be proud of, and run a campaign that Americans can be proud of.

And yes, looking back on the primary campaign, I think there are instances and episodes that questioned that, that's why, I, at this point, I'm not ready to jump in. But I hope we can get there and that's my goal. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, the political world is reeling tonight over that. Here to discuss, Mark Preston, CNN Politics Executive Editor. The speaker says he can't get behind Donald Trump, at least not yet. Have you ever seen anything like this?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: No, and I think we have to stop for a second.

LEMON: Yeah.

PRESTON: This is one of those moments in the campaign where something like this happens. You stop. You take a deep breath. This campaign has had a lot of white noise, a lot of rhetoric, but there have been really defining moments. This is one of those defining moments.

Him coming out there and saying this about Donald Trump is very, very interesting. Trump's reaction to it was even more interesting because Donald Trump could have used this opportunity to force Speaker Ryan into his tent. However, he chose to push Paul Ryan away a little bit. And now what we have is this civil war that's going to continue.

LEMON: Yeah. Let's take a look at Donald Trump's reaction. Here's his statement. "I'm not ready to support Speaker Ryan's agenda. Perhaps in the future, we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the American people. They have been treated so badly for so long that it's about time for politicians to put them first." OK. So, it is a power struggle. Who wins this power struggle? Or can they both win? Or do they both lose? What happens here?

PRESTON: Well, I think that Donald Trump would have been more successful from a strategic standpoint to come out and say, you know what? Speaker Ryan is absolutely correct in what he says. We're not going to agree with everything that Speaker Ryan says.

LEMON: You're asking Donald Trump not to be Donald Trump.

PRESTON: Correct. Right. Because there have been a lot of questions about Donald Trump. Can he be presidential, right? Ronald Reagan said, you don't have to agree with me. You have to agree with most things, right? So had Donald Trump come out and said that, and would've forced Paul Ryan into his camp and really served a bridge for those who don't think that Donald Trump should be their nominee.

LEMON: Is this a calculation on the part of the speaker? Is he thinking about this own presidential aspirations down the line?

LEMON: Right. Well, there's no question. You know, his motivations are going to be questioned because he's very young. He was on a ticket already. He was the vice presidential running mate for Mitt Romney. He has a big future ahead of him if he so accuses.

Look, he's the Speaker of the House. I mean, he's three - he's steps away from being the president, right? I mean, he is in that line of succession. However, Paul Ryan is a disciple of Jack Kemp, the all star quarterback, right, who went on to Congress and was known for being compassionate and conservative.

LEMON: But more inclusive, right, a big tent conservative, correct?

PRESTON: Right, a big tent conservative to reach out to the poor. Let's reach out to minorities. We don't have to have hateful rhetoric.

LEMON: So all of this about wall, about stopping immigration from temporary -- you know, from banning Muslims from coming into the country temporarily. That doesn't play with Raul Ryan.

PRESTON: It doesn't play. And in fact, it stood out when Paul Ryan said something along the lines, that's not where we are as a party. Now, that's not to say that Paul Ryan isn't extremely conservative. He is.

[23:10:00] It's just that him and Donald Trump are literally 180 degrees apart.

LEMON: So, is Paul Ryan misreading the party right now? And does Donald Trump damage the party in the way that Paul Ryan wants the party to go?

PRESTON: I think it's still too early right now. I mean look at -- I think that ...

LEMON: That's two questions. I understand that, right.

PRESTON: Right. We are seeing divisions in the Republican Party now, where we're seeing friends now become enemies, where they're taking up sides. There's the anti-Trump movement, and then there's the with the fall in line movement.

LEMON: Right.

PRESTON: Look at Mitch McConnell, the senate republican leader. He got behind Donald Trump grudgingly, but he did it. At the same time, the next day, less than 24 hours later, we just see Paul Ryan, the leader of the House Republicans, he goes the other way. So, I do think there's a lot of healing that needs to happen.

LEMON: Well John McCain, he's in a fight. He's facing the campaign, the battle of his life right now in Arizona. What does this mean for the GOP House and the senate races down the line? Does it make it harder for them?

PRESTON: Right, no question that Republicans, they're probably going to lose host seats anyway. They will probably make in a majority. But if you're looking at the senate, which Republicans right now were in danger of losing, you're looking at states such as Ohio, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, all states right now, Pennsylvania, where these candidates could be in trouble if Donald Trump turns out to be a bad leader at the top of the ticket.

LEMON: I kind of know what you're talking about, Mark Preston.

PRESTON: If you just make it up and nobody catches you, it is not a lie.

LEMON: No, you're actually very good. Thank you. I appreciate it.

So when we come right back, some conservatives are singing the third party blues. But is it too late for another candidate to enter the race? And who would take up that challenge?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:15:12] LEMON: House Speaker Paul Ryan telling CNN that he is not ready to support Donald Trump as a GOP's nominee.

Here to discuss that is Deborah DeMoss Fonseca, Spokesperson for Conservatives Against Trump, and CNN Political Commentator, Kayleigh McEnany, who is supporting Trump.

Deborah, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us.

DEBORAH DEMOSS FONSECA, SPOKESPERSON, CONSERVATIVES AGAINST TRUMP: Thank you for having me.

LEMON: Yeah, absolutely. Your organization has been calling for a third party alternative for weeks now. Do you think Paul Ryan's comments today add fuel to that fire?

DEMOSS FONSECA: Well, we haven't exactly been calling for a third party candidate. We've said we are pursuing a number of different options. We've been studying strategies and a number of different options for many weeks now. And we're certainly not going to, at this point, reveal our full strategy via the media, but I expect that -- our objective up until now was to stop Donald Trump from getting the nomination.

And by the way, he is still the presumptive nominee until he's ratified at the convention. And we still do have two months. Anything could happen from now until then. I assume he probably will be. But our focus has been on that up until now.

LEMON: Yeah.

DEMOSS FONSECA: So in the coming days I think ...

LEMON: Does this help your cause?

DEMOSS FONSECA: What ...

LEMON: His comments, Paul Ryan's comments.

DEMOSS FONSECA: Oh, I think that's the first of many that we have heard and that we're going to hear throughout the last 48 hours. I think it was clearly the most significant. And I think there's a very clear reason why he's doing that. I think he is hearing great concern from his members. That's what we've been concerned about is damn ballot. We're concerned about the country first of all, and having someone who doesn't represent our core values. Somebody who probably would have run in the Democratic Party had he known that Hillary was going to be in such legal trouble by now.

I don't think would have been running in our party with 17 other candidates, because he hasn't shared our values and he's backed with the donor of Hillary Clinton. It doesn't make any sense for him to be the standard bearer of the party of Lincoln and Reagan.

LEMON: OK, so Paul Ryan says that he cannot endorse Donald Trump now, he says, but he hopes to be able to do so.

DEMOSS FONSECA: Well I think we all wish ...

LEMON: What about you? Is there anything that Donald Trump could do or say to convince your group he is a candidate for the conservative party?

DEMOSS FONSECA: Well, I don't know how you change - I don't know how - you can't change character, you can't change -- you don't know where his ideology is from month to month, from year to year, or even from hour to hour, so I don't know how you change that because that is who he is. And, you know, there's no question that he got 10 million votes in the primary. But 15 million people voted for some other candidates. So, that's a significant problem, and he would answer.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Deborah, if you care at all about conservatism, if you - I heard you say you care about the country. I believe you do. But if you really and truly care about the country, do you not care about preempting Hillary Clinton to get into the White House to continue Obama Care, to shut down the coal industry in her own words. Do you not care about those things? Moving this country further and further left? Is that at all concerns you?

DEMOSS FONSECA: Of course I care, of course, and anybody who knows me knows that I've been in the trenches of the conservative movement for decades now, and I have never wavered in any of my positions. And I can tell you anybody in our group, we're united on one very particular thing. We're united that we don't think that Donald Trump is the person who should be the standard bearer of the party. And none of us is going to vote for Donald Trump. And none of us is going to vote for Hillary Clinton.

MCENANY: Well, why didn't you take the stand against John McCain? Why ...

DEMOSS FONSECA: So this -- hold on a second. Hold on a second, Kayleigh. You don't know who I took a stand against and who I work for in this campaign, OK.

MCENANY: Well, I want to know. I want to know. Did you really stand against John McCain because of his support for cap and trade? Were you standing against him because he was against the Bush tax cuts? Did you have a Never McCain Movement? Because if you did, I never heard from you guys. Do you have a Never Romney Movement? I never heard from you guys?

DEMOSS FONSECA: OK, hold on Kayleigh, Kayleigh, Kayleigh hold on a moment, hold on a moment. OK. We haven't met each other yet. I'm happy to meet you today. You're a very intelligent woman, very articulate. But I am somebody who was in politics for many, many years with Senator Jesse Helms, that's as conservative as you get.

And then I took a hiatus, and I got married, and I've been raising five kids, and I have been a mom and a wife for the last 20 years, and I have been in and out of the circles working in the trenches. I have not been public like you have been for the last several years. And so ...

LEMON: But to her point then, so why now, why now then, Deborah? What is it about Donald Trump?

DEMOSS FONSECA: Well because now I've got all of my...

LEMON: And why do you - and what do you say to all those voters, all those republican voters who are going to vote or who's voting for Donald Trump. What do you say to them?

DEMOSS FONSECA: Well, of course, of course, we'd like to have some of those people. We know those people. Those people don't want to vote for Hillary Clinton just like we don't want to vote for Hillary Clinton.

[23:20:03] But I think that some of them have been duped. I think some of them probably have not followed Donald Trump as long as I have. And I think that they don't know what they're getting in Donald Trump.

They like - he's entertaining. He had a successful T.V. show. And I think they like those things. But there's so much more that has not been vetted that we just don't know about him. We don't know about ...

MCENANY: I'm just trying -- I'm desperately trying to - Deborah, I'm desperately trying to understand how one can rationalize being so Never Trump, having never been Never Romney, or Never McCain. Conservatism is being used as a shield, as this veil of "I'm conservative therefore I can't support this person". When if you're really conservative, you would have taken a stand against those guys.

DEMOSS FONSECA: Listen, you cannot - you don't know who I have supported. I have voted. I have always voted at the end for the Republican nominee. And you cannot ...

MCENANY: But I know there's never been a Never Romney Movement. There's never been a Never McCain Movement.

DEMOSS FONSECA: Because they're not - you cannot compare them to Donald Trump.

MCENANY: Yes, you can.

DEMOSS FONSECA: They don't have anything in ...

MCENANY: They do not believe in Donald Trump.

DEMOSS FONSECA: Oh please, please, Kayleigh. They don't have -- Romney, Mitt Romney, Governor Romney has nothing in common and Trump has nothing in common with Governor Romney.

MCENANY: Governor Romney gave the blueprint for Obama Care.

LEMON: But Kayleigh, you're - Kayleigh, but even on rhetoric and on tone, I know that people think it's not important ...

DEMOSS FONSECA: Just character.

LEMON: ... especially Donald Trump, and character. There is a different. You can't compare Mitt Romney and Donald Trump, or John McCain and Donald Trump. It's really apples and oranges.

MCENANY: But just to think that you're committed to the ...

DEMOSS FONSECA: I mean, no, that none of our - Kayleigh, up until now, we have ...

LEMON: Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. Let her finish. Deborah, I'll let you get in. Go ahead.

MCENANY: The big difference between those candidates you named ...

DEMOSS FONSECA: She's been on for several hours.

MCENANY: ... and Donald Trump is that Donald Trump has run against the party. The voters feel the party failed them, every single exit poll show, so the majority of Republican voters believe the party failed them. So Donald Trump had the courage to call out the party leaders. That's the difference.

LEMON: Deborah, go ahead.

DEMOSS FONSECA: Donald Trump has not been a Republican. He has been more - much more in the Democrat party. His friends have been from there. He's the biggest insider in the race. He has been indebted to banks and to politicians and making deals with banks and politicians his whole life. And he has his contributions to the Clintons and all the way down the line to a bunch of Democratic candidates.

It shows where his heart has been and he's done - he himself said, that anything to make a deal. You have not seen that in the other candidates. He is somebody who has disparaged just about every group. And you Kayleigh as a woman, I would think you would be a little bit more concerned about that. We can't win this election. I'm not going win the election as a Republican at all cost. You know, it depends who are we supporting. It's not just the Republicans need to win. The country needs to win.

LEMON: And that has been ... DEMOSS FONSECA: And this is somebody who has denigrated just about every ethnic group out there, from Latinos, to Muslims, to women, to handicapped to the ...

MCENANY: No, you're - that's the media narrative that you are saying and people don't believe it.

DEMOSS FONSECA: I'm sorry, but Governor Romney never did that, not even John McCain did that.

MCENANY: No, you know, this is what happens. We have ...

LEMON: But then Kayleigh, it's not just the media narrative. I mean these are words ...

MCENANY: It is.

LEMON: ... have come out of Donald Trump's own mouth.

MCENANY: We have tons of - hold on one second. People come on ...

DEMOSS FONSECA: No, to the contrary, the media has been with him.

MCENANY: Time after time, just in the last show, Stu Stevens came on and called Donald Trump a bigot. You have people in the media who constantly say he's a bigot, he's a racist. They say that over and over

DEMOSS FONSECA: Kayleigh, Kayleigh, it's laughable to say that the media has been against Donald Trump.

.MCENANY: But the voters, the voters have rejected your opinion. The voters see through this facade of Donald Trump is X,Y or Z from week to week. And they said, we like this guy. We support him. We're not going to buy this characterization. We're not going to buy what you're trying to make him into because they see through it. And I am so proud of voters for seeing through it.

DEMOSS FONSECA: Kayleigh, you've had a couple hours on T.V. tonight, OK, so let me get a word in edgewise. I haven't had a chance yet. Donald Trump has been, in large measure, a creation of the media. Nobody believes you when you say that the media criticizes him all day because that's just not true.

He has had unbelievable support from "Talk Radio" from the very beginning, and from certain news channels who have pumped Donald Trump all day long, and that's one of the reasons frankly the conservatives have been duped is because these are some of the shows they listen to. They're some of the shows that I used to listen to. And they have been singing his praises and playing his rallies nonstop from the very first day of his campaign. Something we ...

LEMON: And Deborah.

DEMOSS FONSECA: ... we've never seen in campaigns before. LEMON: That's going to have to be the last word because I have to get

to the commercial break. This is just all part of it. Thank you, Deborah. Thank you, Kayleigh. I appreciate it.

Up next, new developments in the FBI's investigation to Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server used when she was Secretary of State.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:23:21] LEMON: Here's more breaking news to tell you about tonight. The F.B.I interviewed some of Hillary Clinton's top aides as part of its investigation to her use of her private e-mail server when she was Secretary of State.

Here to talk about that, CNN Justice Reporter, Evan Perez, Matt Lewis, Senior Contributor to the Daily Caller, who is the author of "Too Dumb to Fail", and CNN Political Commentator, Angela Rye. Good evening to all.

Evan, what are you're sources telling you tonight?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well Don, we now know that the FBI has reached into the innermost of Hillary Clinton's inner circle. And they've now interviewed some of her aides. We are told that some of her closest aides have made a trip to the FBI office just a few blocks from where I'm sitting to do these interviews. And that includes Huma Abedin, who's one of the closest and one of the most - one of the long standing aids to the former Secretary of State.

Now, still left to be done at this point, Don is an interview with the former Secretary of State herself. We expect that that interview is going to take place in the next couple of weeks. And what all this means is there's all this activity has been happening, it indicates that the F.B.I is close to wrapping up its probe, which is a very big moment. We are told that at this point, you know, they hope to finish this up in the next few weeks, certainly in time before the Democratic convention.

LEMON: Evan, are charges expected to be filed?

PEREZ: Not at this point, Don. We're told that investigators have not found evidence to support the idea that she knowingly or willfully violated a federal law. Now, that's not to say that they think what she did was fine. They clearly believe that this server, this private server she set up was not an appropriate way to handle sensitive and classified information. But the problem that prosecutors and the FBI face is that they have to reach a threshold to be able to bring charges to show that she willfully violated the law.

[23:30:07] LEMON: And she has not been interviewed yet, but has she released a statement?

PEREZ: She did. She -- her campaign today issued a statement, it's similar to what they've said before. Brian Fallon said, "From the start, Hillary Clinton has offered to answer any question questions that would help the Justice Department complete its review, and we hope and expect that anyone else who is asked would do the same. We are confident that the review will conclude and that nothing inappropriate took place." Don, we should mention that the final decision on whether or not to bring charges in this case rests with Loretta Lynch, the Attorney General.

LEMON: OK. So, to you now, Angela Rye, the Democratic National Convention, you know, two months away, Clinton is now focusing on Trump on one side, Sanders on the other side. Now this FBI interview in the coming weeks, what can she do to keep the attention away from her e-mails? Can she do anything?

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah, Don. I honestly think she's got to do what she's always done. If Hillary Clinton were new to a scandal coming after her, in a scandal changing and evolving over time, she would be in real big trouble. But let's be honest, the whole way this e-mail controversy came about was the Benghazi special committee. They were in there, looking for something, they started with the e-mails, the e-mails were about Benghazi, then it became, maybe there's something with the Clinton Foundation, maybe some -- so they've been on a search for now -- to nowhere for quite some time.

You've heard Congressman Cummings talked about this ad nauseam, that it's time out for this, it's politics. You heard Republicans say the special committee was designed to try to derail her presidential candidacy.

So, here we are now, they still haven't been able to find much through the special committee. We'll see what the interviews turn up, but I don't think at all that she's acting like someone who has something to hide. I think that Hillary Clinton set up this private server, have this set up, because of what she experienced while she was in the White House as first lady, because of what she knew happening throughout the Federal government. We still see hacks from the White House on down. I know when I was a Capitol Hill staffer, I got the notice from OMB, "Some of your information may have been hacked into. So be careful. Be on the look out. Look for I.D. protection," you know. So these are ...

LEMON: OK.

RYE: ... types of things that happen.

LEMON: All right. So, Matt, I think Angela basically -- I don't want to put words in mouth, she's saying it's a witch hunt. You believe it's a witch hunt, right Angela? Right?

RYE: Absolutely.

LEMON: Yes, OK.

RYE: I think it started with the Benghazi special committee, 100 percent.

LEMON: So, even with the -- even if the investigation is closed, Matt, is it too little too late? Is the damage already done here? MATT LEWIS, "TOO DUMB TO FAIL" AUTHOR: Well, I just want to say, and I think, this is an interesting standard. The standard that Hillary Clinton had to knowingly be violating classification law for this to be a problem, or at least a legal problem, that's interesting to me, ignorance of the law. I, you know, look ...

LEMON: You can't believe ignorance of the law, is what you're saying, right?

LEWIS: She was the Secretary of State, she's running for president of United States, I don't care if she knowingly or unknowingly put classified information in jeopardy, of being hacked. I think it's a real problem. It's a judgment issue. I think it's serious. I think Republicans would be smart. Let this play out. Let the media look into this. Let the prosecutors look into this, legally.

I think that the best thing the Republicans could do is sort of step aside. You don't want it to be a witch hunt. When has it ever worked for Republicans to try to get the Clintons on a scandal, politically?

LEMON: Do we know, Evan, if she put classified information at risk or is that what they're trying to figure out right now?

PEREZ: Well, that's one of the things they're trying to figure out, Don. But, we do know that retroactively now we know that there are thousands of e-mails on this private server that should never ...

LEMON: Retroactively.

PEREZ: Right. That where should never have been here -- have not -- which should never have been on there, Don.

But, here's the thing, I mean, classified information is classified. It doesn't matter that it was labeled or wasn't labeled, it's just classified. And the Clinton's defense has been, you know, when this was sent or received, it wasn't labeled as such. And so, this is a problem for her and it's clear that this is not the way to handle classified or even sensitive information.

This is a political problem. But the problem -- what I think Republicans are hoping, is that this is also a legal problem. What we're addressing here is simply, that it may not be a legal problem, it'll probably still be a political problem.

LEMON: Go ahead, Angela. The political problem ...

RYE: Right.

LEMON: ... that Trump will definitely capitalize on.

RYE: So, here's the issue even with the classification standards, I worked on the Homeland Security Committee, I'm well aware of not only classified but sensitive, but unclassified. There are all of these varying levels and they're confusing. And not only are they confusing on the Homeland Security Committee, they vary from government agency to government agency. So, if she received material that was not classified at the time, but later classified, that creates a whole another standard and whole another issue. It's very, very challenging waters to navigate and that is why on a bipartisan level, folks have said over time, we have to deal with classifications throughout the Federal government period.

LEMON: But doesn't that bolster the other side's argument that there never should have been this server anyway and there wouldn't be any issue when it comes to what's classified ...

[23:35:04] RYE: But then that's to say ...

LEMON: ... what's classified and what's not classified, it would be a government problem rather than a Hillary Clinton problem?

RYE: I think that's fair, Don. I think the challenge is that Hillary Clinton being supposed to the Federal government as long as she has wanted to solve for. The fact that there are hacks, that they happen, that they are still happening right now. Was it the best thing to do? She herself has said no. It has been the biggest headache and the biggest destruction that she could have ever imagined.

But the other issue is, other secretaries of state have done the very same thing. Other folks in the cabinet and other folks through the Federal government does the same thing.

PEREZ: That's not exactly true. Angela, that's not exactly true. I mean, the -- what Secretary Clinton did has never been done.

RYE: No, I don't mean the server. I meant ...

PEREZ: Right.

RYE: ... it's the private e-mail. I'm sorry. Private e-mail.

PEREZ: OK. That's a really big difference though, because ...

RYE: That's fair.

PEREZ: ... Secretary Powell used private e-mail and Condoleezza Rice did not use e-mail at all. So, what she did is actually very -- it's unprecedented and that's the reason why they're looking at this.

LEMON: All right. Thank you. That's it guys, I got to get to a break. Thank you very much. I appreciate.

Coming up, it's Cinco de Mayo, Donald Trump says he loves Hispanics, but he's got kind of a funny way of showing it. We'll show you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:40:07] LEMON: Donald Trump is leaping up a (inaudible) in a taco bowl today on Cinco de Mayo. Here to discuss, Carlos Limon, a member of Trump's Diversity Coalition, Maria Cardona, Democratic Strategist, and W. Kamau Bell, host of CNN's "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA".

Finally, someone named Limon, people called me Limon all the time. Is your name is Lemon, I'm like, "No, it's Lemon." But anyway, do people call you Lemon?

CARLOS LIMON, TRUMP'S DIVERSITY COALITION MEMBER: Yes, Don. Sometimes they call me Limon, Lymon, Lemon. We're almost cousins.

LEMON: So, Maria, good evening to all of you. Today is Cinco de Mayo, by the way Happy Cinco de Mayo and I want to begin by showing you this ...

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Gracias.

LEMON: ... tweet from -- de nada -- this tweet from Donald Trump, says "Happy Cinco de Mayo, the best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics." So what do you think? Are you offended by this tweet?

CARDONA: You know, Don, the stuff that he has said from the moment the he burst on to the scene ...

LEMON: Do you see Kamau's face?

CARDONA: ... when he announced his presidency, and calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals and drug addicts. You know, I looked at this and I just kind of had to laugh because I was surprised that he didn't have sombrero on, that he didn't been have a long mustache on, and that he didn't have a bolero jacket and started singing Mariachi songs.

So, you know, in the bar that Donald Trump has set for himself, this actually is kind of tame. But I think it symbolizes the fact that he absolutely just does not get Latinos in this country, does not care about Latinos in this country.

LEMON: OK.

CARDONA: And we're going do see the effects of that come November during the election.

LEMON: Kamau stand by, because you're making that face. Carlos, what do you think of his tweet?

LIMON: No, it didn't offend me at all. And there's tons of people right now who are out there drinking and having Margaritas, and they don't even know what Cinco de Mayo is about.

Mr. Trump is a great marketing guy and he was just showing a picture, you know, his connection. When he first announced his campaign, he just -- I think he just takes very little common sense to know that Mr. Trump doesn't really think that all Mexicans are rapists or criminals.

But there is a big, big problem and he know which is. I was -- two weeks ago, I was in Trump Tower, he, you know, we were there, and he was there and he treated us all nice. I had the opportunity to talk to his director of security, 15 or 20 minutes. The nicest guy. I don't have -- I know a quite of few people like him, he's tough, he's very disciplined but ... LEMON: All right. Go ahead, Kamau. What do you think? You have been holding it and holding in what? What?

W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST, "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA": I mean, come on, man. You can't have the -- he's like sort of reminding Hispanic and Latino people, I still don't like you.

CARDONA: Right.

BELL: That's what he sort of like ...

CARDONA: That's exactly.

BELL: ... just in case you remember the thing about rapists and murders yet, I still don't like you. Like if you have ...

CARDONA: Bingo.

BELL: ... your love of Latino is taco based, then you do not really love Latinos. That's all I'm saying.

CARDONA: That's exactly right. And again, it just underscores the disrespect the, you know, the fact that he wants to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. The fact that he wants to put up a wall and make Mexico pay for it. The fact that Joe Arpaio endorsed him. The fact that, you know, he has all of these proposals that scream anti- immigrant, anti-Latino.

LEMON: Are you reading too much into that and it's something that was just meant to be funny? Maybe he was -- maybe -- I don't know I'm just saying.

CARDONA: No. I don't need to read anything into that.

LEMON: OK. I got to -- OK hold on. Before you respond ...

CARDONA: I'm reading everything into everything else.

LEMON: My colleague, Erin Burnett, spoke with Eric Trump today and asked him about this tweet. So let's listen and you can respond later.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S SON: That's the difference between my father and a regular politician. He can be fun. He was a eating a taco bowl, it happens to be Cinco de Mayo. He takes a picture when he puts it on and then versus all the other politicians out there who have three lawyers and 12 pundits and four pollsters and they're looking at every tweet.

I mean, that's my father being himself. That my father's got a tremendous personality, he's a fun guy, he was having good time. And I saw that come across. I was hysterically laughing, and I retweeted right away. And he was just, he was having a lot of fun, and I think, I think sometimes the authenticity has won the day in this election. And I think people are actually looking for an authentic candidate for the first time in history.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, to my question, he had really too much as an authentic as he said and fun or is it offensive, Maria?

CARDONA: No, I actually agree with Eric. This screams authenticity on behalf of Donald Trump, but that's the problem, right? That he does this, and he thinks it's funny. And like I said before, this isn't as offensive as everything else he has said and done because he has set the bar so high for himself that in the scheme of things, yeah, it doesn't really matter, it made me chuckle. But it does underscore everything that he has said and done up until now that disrespects Latinos, that shows them that he does not care about them, that he wants to deport 11 million of undocumented immigrants.

[23:45:01] You know, everything else I said up until now which is the (inaudible) of proposal ...

LEMON: That's a lot for one tweet with a bowl of food.

CARDONA: Yes, Don. You know ...

LEMON: I mean, Carlos, it immediately went viral on Twitter ...

CARDONA: It reminds you to follow that.

LEMON: I got it in, you know, my Twitter box, I got it on Instagram, I got it on Facebook, I got it on text. Do you think this is Trump being politically incorrect or is it a bad sense of humor, what's going on?

LIMON: Oh, he is -- he's just having that taco bowl saying Happy Cinco de Mayo like everyone else. He, I think, he market his triumph in that restaurant. He -- I don't find it offensive. I'm from Mexico, I was born and raised over there. And it doesn't mean much to me, the Cinco de Mayo. I think most people don't know what it means.

LEMON: So if he's not offended as a Mexican, then why are you guys offended?

BELL: I'm offended as a human, actually, I take a bigger look at this. Look, I think that like -- first of all, taco bowl is not even authentic Mexican food.

CARDONA: Exactly.

BELL: Like, it's not even -- and they don't even serve them in that restaurant. He got it from his -- it's not even.

LIMON: Chips and salsa

BELL: ... none of it makes sense.

LIMON: Chips and salsa

LEMON: So what's different then there ...

BELL: It's empirically not true.

LEMON: ... if someone eating chips and salsa and if someone eating, drinking Margaritas on Cinco de Mayo or going out drinking, you know, coronas ...

BELL: Yes.

LEMON: And a lot of people saying they got a coronas friends and then we're up to Cinco de Mayo.

BELL: I'm not voting for them to be president either though.

LEMON: OK.

CARDONA: Right. Exactly.

BELL: But I think there's a higher standard with the president ...

LEMON: All right. Stand by, Maria, I'll let you respond on the other side of this break. Don't go anywhere.

CARDONA: OK.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:50:16] LEMON: All right. Now candidates scrambling to appeal to Latino voters. And this Sunday, the CNN original series, "United Shades of America", with W Kamau Bell takes a look at the Latino experience in the U.S.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BELL: Like many Latino families in America, this household has a mix of statuses. The parents brought their two daughters across the border when they were children. But the two boys are automatically citizens, because they were born in America. Get it? Me neither.

So, Maria, you're about to graduate?

MARIA: Yes.

BELL: And are you excited?

MARIA: Yeah.

BELL: So, what are your hopes for going to college? What do you hope happens?

MARIA: Like just helping others, this is like what I've really wanted to do when I like get my college degree. Because, like growing up, like trying to learn English, it was difficult. But then, since I was retained in first grade, because I didn't really know that much English.

BELL: So, they held you back not because you weren't smart, but because you didn't know English?

MARIA: Yeah.

BELL: So, she's going to college soon. How does it make you feel?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel excited, but worried because he decide to go away.

BELL: So, you want to go to college with her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

BELL: You just want her to go to college in there?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: It's a very cute family. Back with me now, Carlos Limon, Maria Cardona and of course, W. Kamau Bell.

So, Kamau, that was a clip from the latest episodes of your show, "United Shades of America". In this episode, you visited Latino neighborhoods, two Latino neighborhoods in Los Angeles, and you sat down to dinner with this family.

So, what did you learn about Latinos in America? I mean, what is the difference between, you know, I'm going to put this up, between this, you know, people sending me this on Snapchat, Friendster and, oh, Snapchat in Cinco De Mayo, than what Donald Trump did.

BELL: The person who sent that to you on Snapchat isn't running for president. That's the basic difference, unless that's their way of announcing. Or unless you're friends with Donald Trump on Snapchat, but yes.

LEMON: So, what is this all teaching you including the election? What Donald Trump, this whole tweet, you know, date today or whatever happen and what you did? What is it teaching you?

BELL: I mean, the thing is on some level, what Donald Trump has basically said throughout all of these appearances, and the way we talked about Latinos and -- is that he doesn't understand Latino Americans ...

CARDONA: Yeah.

BELL: ... or Latinos in general. I don't either, so I went and talked to them and came away with an understanding. I didn't just assume that because I ate a taco bowl, that I could go, look, I love you. I actually sat down and had conversations with them, that's the difference.

LEMON: That's the difference.

BELL: Yeah.

LEMON: And that's what -- what did you learn? BELL: I learned that, you know, a lot of times in the news when we talked about Latino-Americans, we talked about the fear of deportation immigration. And I learned that they live with that fear, but they're not afraid of it. They're living in the truth that we're going to be fine.

LEMON: Yeah.

BELL: Like we are good people, we're working hard, the numbers are on our side, and they live with a lot more joy than I was expecting.

LEMON: Yeah.

BELL: And there is the family who is on camera even though they probably shouldn't be. I don't know that I would have that bravery.

LEMON: But they have the same concerns, I mean, everybody they wanted to provide for their family ...

BELL: Yeah. (Inaudible) college not so far from home.

LEMON: So, Maria ...

CARDONA: Yeah.

LEMON: ... you know, there are a lot of stereotypes about Latinos in this country. They've become a key issue in the presidential primary.

CARDONA: Yup.

LEMON: What are the role -- what role will Latinos play you think in the general election?

CARDONA: I think they're going to play an outsized role. Look, in 2012, everybody talked about how the historic numbers of Latinos went to the polls. And yes, we did, and we helped elect President Obama twice. But, in 2012, Don, our participation rate, the Latino participation rate was only 49 percent. I guarantee you that they -- will be a lot higher this time. And it will be in large part due to the offensive nature and the discriminatory nature of Donald Trump's candidacy.

And to Kamau Bell's segment just now, and I can't wait to see the whole thing. He looked at a family that is mixed status. And Kamau, you said that they feel like they'll be fine. The problem is, is that if Donald Trump becomes president, they won't be fine, because if he goes and deports 11 million undocumented immigrants, that family is going to be split up. And that's what we're going to be dealing with. Major families that will be split up ...

LEMON: Carlos ...

CARDONA: ... moms and babies ripped from each other's arms and that's what we're dealing with.

LEMON: Carlos, what are you hearing of someone who supports him when you're supporting him?

LIMON: I know a lot of Mexicans who support him, business owners, very successful people. It's just common sense, it's the law. It's -- I know it's very complicated, very emotional. I have family and friends that have been in that self situation. But I think it comes down to self-accountability. You have, I mean, I come to this country illegally, there can be consequences. You have to be prepared for it.

Oh, it's time to go. OK, it's time to go. Oh, the big companies, the businesses took advantage of your labor.

[23:55:03] Well, well, you also got paid. But you have to respect the law.

I remember 16 years ago, I was making a line in the U.S. Embassy in Mexico waiting for my turn, you know, with my paperwork, you have to go through the process. Why do you have the opportunity, others don't have. It's just not my fault, this is the law, it's the law. It's just no-brainer.

CARDONA: You know, that's ...

LIMON: You're seeing (ph) out of control.

LEMON: But, Carlos, I want to ask you, though. Today, Reince Priebus gave his annual Cinco de Mayo message from the RNC, however, it no longer included a line welcoming immigrants from Mexico to this country like he did last year. How much of significance would you attach to this?

LIMON: To the Cinco de Mayo?

LEMON: Yeah, that he -- there was no longer a line welcoming immigrants to America.

LIMON: Well, I don't think I understood the question.

LEMON: I said, Reince Priebus gave his annual Cinco de Mayo message from the RNC, but it no longer included a line welcoming immigrants from Mexico to this country. Do you find that significant or no?

LIMON: It's a -- no, no, no, for Mexico, you know, like I told you, it doesn't mean much to me. Cinco de Mayo? No. I don't think Mr. Trump loves me more, because he posted a picture. It's just -- he, you know, all these racism stuff that, you know, he's accused of, I don't think, you know, he's a very intelligent man. He's a very successful man. And somebody like him cannot have that point of view, you know ...

LEMON: OK.

LIMON: ...discriminating, racists. I don't feel it like that.

CARDONA: Take his words for it.

LIMON: He's just trying to do the right thing for the American people.

CARDONA: Take ...

LEMON: I've got to go.

CARDONA: Take his word for it.

LEMON: Thank you guys.

CARDONA: And that's all we need to do.

LEMON: I appreciate it. You can catch, "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA", Sunday night at 10 Eastern right here on CNN. And we will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)