Return to Transcripts main page
He said, He said; The Tale Of The Tapes; Trump's Taxes; Trump's Proposed Muslim Ban; Trump: 'Can You Imagine Me Running For Office?'; Trump Denies Posing As Own Publicist In Recording; Trump Disavows Comments By Former Butler; Trump: My Tax Rate Is 'None Of Your Business'; Trump: 'Not Me On The Phone'; Trump: 'Doesn't Sound Like Me On The Phone'; Trump Changing Positions On Some Issues; Flip- Flopping?; 9 House Committee Chairmen Back Trump; Speaker Ryan Has Not Endorsed Trump; Trump: Voters Don't Have Right To See Tax Returns; Trump No Longer 'Self-Funding' Campaign; Is Trump Flip-Flopping?; On The Beat With W. Kamau Bell; Battle Over The 'Bathroom Bill'. Aired 9- 10p ET
Aired May 13, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:28] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, thanks for watching. Time for "CNN Tonight" with Don Lemon.
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT ANCHOR: This just might be a case of he said, he said.
This is "CNN Tonight". I'm Don Lemon.
Does this guys sound at all familiar to you?
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JOHN MILLER, PUBLICIST FOR DONALD TRUMP: He's somebody that has a lot of options, and, frankly, he gets called by everybody. He gets called by everybody in the book, in terms of women.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
LEMON: That 1991 recording obtained by the "Washington Post" is of a man who said that he was John Miller, publicist for Donald Trump. But reporters who covered Trump back in the day claimed, he called them masquerading as Miller or John Baron. What does Donald Trump say about that? Listen to what he tells NBC.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you're going so low as to talk about something that took place 25 years ago about whether or not I made a phone call. I guess, you're saying, under a presumed name.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, under a presumed name.
TRUMP: OK. The answer is no. And let's get on to more current subject.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. Speaking of current subjects, what about Donald Trump's taxes?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I fight very hard to pay as little taxes as possible
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA" HOST: What is your tax rate?
TRUMP: It's none of your business.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, maybe we should move on to Trump's proposed Muslim ban.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Anything I say right now, I'm not the president. Everything is a suggestion. No matter what you say, it's a suggestion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: All right. Let's get deeper into the tail of the tape. So, "Washington Post" today, releasing a recording from 1991. A reporter from "People Magazine" Sue Carswell speaks to a man who identifies himself as John Miller, a publicist for Donald Trump.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MILLER: By the way, I'm sort of new here and ...
SUE CARSWELL, REPORTER FROM "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: What is your position?
MILLER: Well, I'm the sort of handling PR because he gets so much of it.
CARSWELL: Yeah, where did you come from?
MILLER: And, frankly, I mean, I could tell you off the record. Until I get to know you, and talk a little bit off the record, I can tell you that he didn't care if he got bad PR until he got his divorce finished.
So when he got a lot of bad financial stuff, he liked it because, you know, it was good, because he could get a divorce finished. And once his divorce is finished, if you noticed, since then he's doing well financially and he's doing well in every other way. The licensing was five to nothing.
CARSWELL: Yeah I was watching that on TV.
MILLER: And people are saying how come all of a sudden he's doing so well? And then, I guess Newsday about two week ago, did a story on that so, I've sort of been put in here to handle, because I I've never seen anybody get so many calls from the press.
CARSWELL: Where did you come from?
MILLER: I was, I basically worked for different firms. I worked for a couple of different firms, and I'm somebody that he knows and, I think, somebody that he trusts and likes.
CARSWELL: What (inaudible).
MILLER: So I'm going to do this a little part-time, and then, go on with my life, too.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
LEMON: We've played a long excerpt from the tape, so that, so you can judge for yourself whether John Miller sounds like a certain presidential candidate but Donald Trump tells NBC'S today show, there is no question, it's not him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It was not me on the phone. That was not me on the phone. And it doesn't sound like me on the phone. I will tell you that, and it was not me on the phone. And when was this 25 years ago?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the early '90s but -- yes.
TRUMP: Wow. You mean, you are going so low as to talk about something that took place 25 years about ago about whether or not I made a phone call. I guess, you're saying under a presumed name.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes under a presumed name.
TRUMP: OK. The answer is no. No.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: But the plot taken. So "Washington Post", James Hohmann, tweeting this afternoon, WaPo reporters were 44 minutes into a phone interview with Trump about his finances when asked about John Miller, the phone went silent, then dead.
Here now to talk about the Trump tape controversy is Forensic Audio Expert, Paul Ginsberg.
I feel bad for calling you in. Because when you listen to that, if that person, I'm quite honestly, I'm not an expert, but that person called me up on the phone whoever that was, I would say how you doing, Mr. Trump. I mean, to me it sounds like it. We have another Audio Expert, Forensic Audio Special. His name is Thomas Owens, you know him. He said based on the pitch and cadence of to the voice on this tape, that John Miller and Donald Trump are the same guy. Do you agree? Is this Donald Trump? PAUL GINSBERG, FORENSIC AUDIO EXPERT: It seems like it is. In addition to which, this Mr. Miller, knows more about Donald Trump and Donald Trump does.
GINSBERG: And he uses the same words, same phrases, and with the same knowing of each and very detail of different questions as they are thrown to him, and without any hesitation.
LEMON: Yeah. Do you think the clip we played in the intro is significant because, you know, where people quote, "John Miller". He starts to work for Donald Trump. Tell me why? Why do you think that's important, the clip in the beginning?
[21:05:09] GINSBERG: Well, what's important is, he's asked twice, what company do you work at and where did you come from. As he had never heard the name. And he doesn't give a name of a company. He doesn't say, how long his worked for the company. Just that he's a friend of Donald Trump. Donald Trump thinks highly of him. And then he's going to do this part-time and then move on.
LEMON: Right. I want you to listen to this quote. It's from Donald Trump on Larry King's program back in the '90s. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, CNN PROGRAM HOST: There are rumors that you are being asked to run for governor of New York?
TRUMP: There are a lot of rumors about a lot of things. I have zero interest. First of all we have a great Governor. Mario Cuomo is friend of mine.
KING: But you're a Republican?
TRUMP: I'm a Republican. But I would have absolutely. Can you imagine me running for office? Would you say, I'm a little controversial for that? Wouldn't you say?
KING: How people asked you to run?
TRUMP: Everybody asked me to run for political office. And I've always turned it down. I turn it down cold.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. So what are you comparing when you listen to the "Washington Post" and when you listen to this interview from the '90s.
GINSBERG: I'm listening to the tone. I'm listening to how quickly he responds, his voice, what his accents are. It is the same kind of analysis as we do on ISIS tapes from say Jihadi John to see whether it matches up to what we know his type of speech is.
LEMON: Yeah. This is with -- I want to play another clip and I want you to listen to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CARSWELL: You can't say, like, did Madonna ever really call?
MILLER: He was so set up with that. You know, Madonna called and what happened -- I mean, I don't know if you want to listen to this.
CARSWELL: No, I do.
MILLER: Do you? Do you have a second?
CARSWELL: Yeah, obviously. MILLER: What happened is it was a benefit at the Plaza Hotel which he owned for Vreeland, Diana Vreeland, or no, for Martha Graham. It was a ball benefit for Martha actually just before she passed away. And Madonna was there and she came in a beautiful evening gown and combat boots. She was wearing combat boots, and Trump was asked to go over to meet her. And he was there just for a little while to say hello and to make a speech and make like an introductory speech. Madonna was in the room, and so somebody from Madonna's entourage, because she comes in with an entourage of dancers and everything else, and somebody from Madonna's entourage came over and said, would you go over and say hello to Madonna? And so he went over and said hello to Madonna. (END AUDIO CLIP) LEMON: So, what stands out to you on that quote? GINSBERG: At every ...
LEMON: But that was supposed to be John Miller, right?
GINSBERG: Yeah. At every turn, Mr. Miller talks about how great, how popular, how much of a ladies man, how many hotels Donald Trump owns. And no matter what the questioning, he is right on without any hesitation and he has more details than anyone else.
LEMON: Maybe he is just a really good spokesman and he is just sort of pick up on -- you know he as become Donald Trump. Wouldn't you want that kind of a spokesperson?
GINSBERG: I would but I don't know that he could exist.
LEMON: All right. Lastly I want you to listen to this. This is John Miller then and Donald Trump now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MILLER: I can tell you this.
TRUMP: I can tell you this.
MILLER: You understand that.
TRUMP: You understand that.
MILLER: He's probably doing as well as anybody. TRUMP: I know politics as well as anybody.
I hold up the Bible as well as anybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GINSBERG: That would be evidence in a court of law. Don, if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, looks like a duck, it's a Donald.
LEMON: Thank you, Paul. Always a pleasure. Appreciate it. Have a good weekend.
Now, I want to bring in now, Mark Dagostino. He is Former Senior Writer at "People Magazine", who covered Donald Trump for years. He is the author of Hulk Hogan: My Life Outside the Ring. You know Mark, we're sitting here because it almost seems preposterous. I mean, what do you tell us, and you have done reporting on this, right?
MARK DAGOSTINO, FORMER SENIOR WRITER PEOPLE MAGAZINE: Yeah. I mean, look, this is -- you listen to that tape and anybody who has ever spoken to Donald Trump on the phone or in person, that's Donald Trump on the tape. I mean, I've absolutely no doubt. More than that, let's go back to the original "People Magazine" story in 1991.
In that article, they took that tape at the time to a series of Donald's colleagues and associates including Marla Maples, his girlfriend at the time and soon to be wife and they all verified that that was Donald Trump on the tape. So it is preposterous to think it was anything other than Donald Trump on the tape.
What I don't understand, it's well known in media circles that he used to do this, right? He especially used the name John Barron more than Miller.
LEMON: John Barron, right.
[21:10:02] DAGOSTINO: ... more than Miller. But yeah, he -- yeah, he is John Barron all the time. You know, Barron is actually a name that he just seemed to use a lot with the girlfriends and things and now Barron is of course his youngest son's name.
LEMON: And he reportedly admitted to this back in '90s, right, during interviews that he use to do it.
DAGOSTINO: Well, that's it. He admitted -- he's admitted that he use to do this. Everyone in New York media knew it at the time. You know, that happened a little bit before my time at "People Magazine". But those stories still went around the newsroom because everybody knew it. It was just part of who he was. Why is he not owning up to this now? That's point's I don't know.
LEMON: Well, that's my question. My question to is, why would he do this? I mean, what's in it for him? Is it because you think it makes him look kind of silly?
DAGOSTINO: Maybe, right, because we're talking about the presidency now. We're talking about the President of the United States. And the President of the United States is generally not the same person that Donald Trump was when he was a tabloid fixture in New York City going through very public divorces -- excuse me, living a life as a business man that was a celebrity.
He was a symbol of '80s excess, you know, that was rolling into the '90s. That's a very different persona than what even the people want an outsider in the White House are looking for, you know. It's just outside the norm. So maybe there some an embarrassment there, but I've never known Donald Trump to be embarrassed of anything.
DAGOSTINO: That's what I don't understand. Why isn't he owning up to this?
LEMON: Well, that's the question.
DAGOSTINO: By the way, can I just mention something?
DAGOSTINO: Can I just mention something? He, you know, this is also out of -- he got this right out of his father's play book, Fred Trump you know, who is a developer in New York city as well. He used to make phone calls to people who he didn't want to know that he was the one calling. Fred Trump use to calling -- use the identity of someone named Mr. Green. And yet people knew that it was Fred Trump calling.
So this is an even out of character for the Trump family. This is something Donald picked up from his father and is carried on and he did it right through the '90s.
Now, he doesn't need to do it. You know what I mean? For years ...
LEMON: Well he used Twitter now.
DAGOSTINO: He would just call me directly.
LEMON: He has better connections in the press and he has Twitter now so he can sort of -- he can say whatever he wants to say and get it out there, but ...
DAGOSTINO: Exactly. He used to say whatever he wants.
LEMON: You specifically covered the Rosie O'Donnell feud that Trump had, the famous feud between them which even came out during, you know, one of the debates. Was Trump happy with the way that you covered that story?
DAGOSTINO: Oh, yeah, because I quoted him accurately as he was making fun of, I mean, putting down Rosie O'Donnell as loudly and as brashly as he could.
He loved that I quoted him accurately on that. He loved that I was one of the first people to call him and that we were the first ones to put the story up on people.com at the time because it's spun into months and months and months of publicity for him that spun into higher ratings for "The Apprentice," higher ratings for the Miss Universe Pageant.
He loves it when the press reports on the outrageous things that he says. He loves it.
LEMON: We also saw, Mark, that this week that he had to come out and disavow comments made by his long-time butler who worked for him over 30 years, because he said that President Obama should have been -- this is a quote, "should have been taken out of our military and shot as an enemy agent in his first term."
The campaign said that the butler doesn't work for Trump any more and hasn't since 2009. Even though up until pretty recently he was taking groups on tours at Mar-a-Lago, what do you think about that?
DAGOSTINO: Look, it was a completely outrageous statement. I think Donald Trump did the right thing by disavowing that statement and distancing himself from it immediately. I think he had no other choice.
We live in a very different world today, you know. In the old days no one ever would have heard from a butler. A butler, I mean, you think about "Downton Abbey" or something, right? But, you know, the butlers is the one keeping the secrets and being the most reserved person on the staff.
Now, we live in an era of Twitter and Facebook and when your butler has Facebook and makes public comments, the public is going to find out about them. It's going to make its way into the news media. And that's going to be nerve-racking for Donald Trump or anyone else who is out there campaigning for office.
This stuff didn't exist just a few years ago and how you handle it and how you react to it is something every single politician out there is trying to figure out and trying put a handle on.
LEMON: Yeah. Thank you, Mark Dagostino. Appreciate it.
DAGOSTINO: It's wild.
LEMON: Yes. We come right back, more from the mysterious John Miller. Well, maybe, you know, he's not so mysterious. Will comments like this dent Donald Trump's campaign?
(BEGIN AUDIO TAPE)
JOHN MILLER: She was having a very big thing with Mick Jagger. And then what happened, she was going with Eric Clapton. And Eric Clapton introduced her to Mick Jagger. And then Mick Jagger started calling her and she ended up going with Mick Jagger and then she dropped Mick Jagger for Donald and that's where it is right now. And, you know, and again, he's not making any commitments to Carla either just so you understand.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
[21:18:36] LEMON: "None of your business." Donald Trump's response when asked what his tax rate is and not me on the phone, denying he posed as his own spokesman in an old audio recording that has come to light.
Here to discuss now is Michael Smerconish, CNN Political Commentator and Anchor.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He said making out, come on.
LEMON: Come on, Michael. Let's -- come on.
SMERCONISH: Well, I can cut it short.
LEMON: You're a straight shooter. All right, but listen, all right, I got to tell you. Someone just tweeted me and said, "You liberals are lying to trash Trump anyway, but you are liars and people know that Don Lemon, you know, the guys on the tape is not DJT."
SMERCONISH: Here's the deal, OK. If there were a John Miller, he'll be sitting here right now on your program and it's like, "Oh, no, Don, it's me." And if there were a John Barron, he'd be sitting here next to Mr. Miller. I've invited Mr. Miller and Mr. Barron both to be on my program tomorrow morning, but I want to see them at the same time.
LEMON: Can you really have do? How do you listen to the voice?
SMERCONISH: Oh, come on. I've admit (ph) from the get-go.
LEMON: This is not Don.
LEMON: This is Don Barron.
SMERCONISH: Don, I'm not (inaudible) now. I used to call, you know, the drugstore and ask if they had Prince Albert in the can. But I was 12 and 13 at the time. I mean, that's the thing about this.
It's not just the inflexion of the voice. It's the word choice. He uses -- as you just proved with the tape that you -- he uses the same words today.
LEMON: So the thing is this that -- is this the thing that doesn't damage, because I don't think there is anything that can do him damage. Does these matters ...
SMERCONISH: No, not with his core. OK, but, here is what I was thinking because it's not just this, it's also the tax returns, it's also the butler, right? [21:20:06] If I'm Paul Ryan and I just had this big rapprochement this week and I'm finally coming to terms with getting on board with the Donald, what am I thinking now? Like, what the hell am I getting into with this guy making phony phone calls, not releasing his tax return and hiring a crack pot as his domestic staff? That would make me nervous.
LEMON: So, do you think it -- does it make a difference that he just didn't own up to it saying, "Yeah, I was in the '90s and I was ...
LEMON: If he insisted, "Yeah, I was having fun back the '90s."
SMERCONISH: Oh, my God. If he said this morning, "That was me, look, I was, you know, I was in the midst of an ugly domestic situation and I need to play that game." I really don't think we'd be having this conversation, right now.
LEMON: Is it about that or is it just the confluence of everything including this, as you said? Is it just about the phony phone call or ...
SMERCONISH: I think when we're talking about the phony phone call in and of itself, but I think it's that -- it's the tax returns, it's the butler and it's this. What's to come, right?
SMERCONISH: I mean, what else is out there?
LEMON: Let's talk about the taxes. This is the exchange on "Good Morning America."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: So I fight very hard to pay as little taxes as possible.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What is your tax rate?
TRUMP: It's none of your business. You'll see it when I release. But I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: But it is our business.
SMERCONISH: It is our business. And listen, he's just planted a seed, OK. He twice said to Stephanopoulos, "And I work very hard to pay as little taxes as I can."
Get ready, Don, because if in three months -- believe me, I don't think he wants to hand over that return. But if he feels pressed to do it and finally does it and you find out that Warren Buffett secretary is paying more in taxes than Donald Trump and I don't mean her rate, I mean paying more in taxes he's then going to turn around and say, "Well, I told you. I work awfully hard not to pay taxes."
And one other observation, if I can, what does he most like talking about?
LEMON: How much money he has.
SMERCONISH: How much money he's got. How much he earns.
LEMON: What if he's not worth as ...
SMERCONISH: Exactly. That's his brand. But if ...
LEMON: You think that's a fear?
SMERCONISH: Absolutely. If he had a big income statement, he would have handed over those tax returns a long time ago.
Remember, he did make a financial disclosure. I think 92 pages. If the income were what he represented to be, if he really were that charitable, you would have seen it by now.
LEMON: So, do you remember this, what's good for the goose and I don't know if this is karma or what have you that's coming back, because remember, Mitt Romney, he criticized Mitt Romney when he found out that Mitt Romney was paying a very low tax rate and encouraged him, I think to release 12 years of taxes. He spoke to Piers Morgan on CNN in 2012. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And those returns are perfect. Now, I would say, if I were Mitt and I'm not and I've never discussed this aspect of it, but if I were Mitt, I'd say, "Hey, listen. I'll release all of the rest, I mean, it's already released a lot."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So that was then, this is now. Does it make him look bad?
SMERCONISH: Absolutely. I think it makes him look bad. And I wish that someone would question him in detail on this and say, "Wait a minute. You say you're being audited, are you being audited personally? Is it one of your 500 business entities?"
Maybe it's the golf shop at Del Boca Vista and he's just trying to stand behind this sort of thing. I want to get to the bottom of at least that which is being audited. But Richard Nixon was being audited.
SMERCONISH: And he handed over his tax returns.
LEMON: And there's nothing that says that the IRS doesn't say you can't hand over your tax returns.
SMERCONISH: Oh, come on. They must be like chomping at the bits, PO that the idea that he's getting away with this, this far.
LEMON: Let's talk about the fact that he is not now self-funding that he's been or he had been self-funding, but as a matter of fact he had been taking donations all along. But then as he gets into this general election this sort of changes things because he is not going to self be funding as he sees it.
Does this change his whole idea about him, you know, the guy that doesn't need money and he's not bought and paid for by anyone.
SMERCONISH: So, I think the answer to each of your questions is in and of itself no one of these is a game changer. But at some point collectively, whether it's the tax returns, whether it's the phony phone call, whether it's that issue, I think collectively it might not hurt him with his base because he was right. He could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it and they'd still stand with him. But, how about the minds that he needs to win over, right? It is so funny.
LEMON: Can you make a phony phone call on Fifth Avenue and get away with it?
SMERCONISH: It's just -- right. But the point is, he needs to win new hearts and minds.
LEMON: Glenn Beck implied today that the press waited, you know, until he got this far into the...
LEMON: ... you know, probably into the general election to, you know, come out with these bomb shells. What do you make of his comments?
SMERCONISH: I don't want to talk about Beck, but my father has been saying that for weeks. My father has been saying, "I hope he won't be upset with me offering this, but the liberal media," -- this is my dad, "lying and wait and just waiting until he is annoyed then they're going to drop everything so that Hillary is able to skate right to the White House." So, it's a perception that's out there.
Hey, I'll say this. I don't think he's been vetted for all the attention that he's been receiving. We look at him as a guy who's been out there for a year. But Trump University, have we really gotten to the bottom of that?
[21:25:03] There's the tax issue. There a whole host of things I think yet to play themselves out. Everything sticks to her, so little sticks to him.
LEMON: Yeah, I can't wait to see Smerconish tomorrow.
SMERCONISH: Hey, thanks for that. I mean the reporter from "People Magazine" to whom he gave the interview, my guest.
LEMON: Tomorrow morning at 9:00 and ...
LEMON: ... then again at 6:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.
SMERCONISH: Thanks for that.
LEMON: Smerconish, thank you very much.
Ahead, Trump is no longer self-funding his campaign. He's walking back what he said about a proposed ban on Muslims coming into the U.S. Is there some flip-flopping going on here?
LEMON: Donald Trump picking up endorsements from nine House Committee chairmen in the last two weeks, but still no endorsement from Speaker Paul Ryan.
Joining me now is CNN Political Commentator Andy Dean, a Trump supporter. Political Contributor Maria Cardona, a superdelagate committed to Hillary Clinton and Lanhee Chen, a former Senior Adviser to Marco Rubio.
OK. Andy, you first. You know, is it fair to say that Donald Trump as a candidate has some unusual baggage impersonating a PR guy on the phone with "People Magazine", as butler making threats against the president's life.
I mean, isn't this what gives Republican's heartburn with this nominee that they don't know exactly what's coming?
[21:30:07] ANDY DEAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I wouldn't really call these scandals. I guess they are fun media tidbits. I mean his butler who doesn't work for Donald Trump said some crazy. He is a guy in his 70s. You know, Donald Trump can't control that guy.
As for PR thing, you know, I don't know if that was Donald or not, but to me if it was Donald, it makes him more likable because he saves five to 10 grand a month on a PR guy. But if you compare that to Hillary Clinton with the scandal e-mail scandal in Benghazi, I would take that comparison any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
LEMON: You said, if it is Donald Trump. Who do you think it is?
DEAN: Yeah, if it's Trump.
LEMON: Who do you think it is, Andy?
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Oh men.
DEAN: It could be Johnny Miller, the golfer. Has anybody interviewed him yet?
LEMON: All right, Andy. I'm going to move on. Lonnie, I guess in comparison, not releasing the report is almost mundane now. But a series of departures from what other presidential candidates have done. So, I want you to take another look at this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Just routine audit. I want to get through the audit first and that's what I'll do. There have been many presidents that have not shown their tax returns.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Actually, every single nominee since 1976 has released their taxes returns.
TRUMP: Right but before 1976 most people didn't do it. I mean, it used to be a secret thing. I don't want it to be secret but I do want the audit to get finish.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What is your tax rate?
TRUMP: It's none of your business. You'll see it when it is released. But I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Lanhee, Donald Trump says, his tax return is "None of your business." You are a Romney guy. Romney is, you know, has said that he thinks Trump is hiding a bomb shell there. Do you?
LANHEE CHEN, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO MARCO RUBIO: Oh, it's entirely possible. Look, if, you know, with all due respect, it's not really up to Donald Trump to decide whose business it is. It's the American people who with might want to know. And absolutely, we've been through this in past campaigns. This is going to be an issue, the longer he drags it out.
So, I think the best bet here is frankly just for him to get this out and litigate this issue for the Republican Party as well. What we don't want is we don't want our nominee getting to September or October putting out tax returns then and having some crazy revelation in them that were going to have to clean up for in the closing months of the campaign. That is not, what's the Republican Party needs. And ultimately, the better course would be for him just to get these things out.
LEMON: One more to you before I get to Maria. I want to follow up in what you just said. Because when you pair Trump saying that he will no longer self-fund this campaign with the secrecy, you know, around his taxes, it makes you wonder if he isn't worth possibly what he says he's worth. The question is, is he chipping away at one of the key pillars of his candidacy that he really, you know, he is a really rich successful businessman and not behold in to anyone?
CHEN: Don, there's two issues absolutely.
LEMON: Let Lanhee -- I want Lanhee to answer that.
DEAN: OK. Go ahead.
LEMON: OK. Go ahead, Lanhee. CHEN: OK. Yes. I mean, Don, there's two issues here. One is you're right. He is chipping away at this issue of how successful he's been. Because we can see that in the tax return, and we see exactly how much he is made. The other thing he is doing though Don is that he's setting up a very difficult situation for himself. Because he has presented himself as this paragon of -- I'm going to say it like it is. I'm going to tell you what's on my mind but I'm not going to tell you everything that's going on. And there's a little bit of irony there, about the guy's image.
And I think that's go going to be a problem going forward here is that, if the reality does not meet with the image he put up for himself, the tax returns are just the pieces of that, the fake publicist is a piece of that, so this all goes into a larger theme, Don?
LEMON: And Maria, what about changing his position on Muslim. Watch this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, I'm not the president right now. So anything I suggest is really a suggestion and if I were president I would put in legislation and do what I have to do. No, I'm not softening my stance at all but I'm always flexible on issue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Does this make him seem like a flip-flopper, Maria?
CARDONA: Of course but it's more than that. I think it goes to character or frankly lack there off. And the danger here for somebody like Donald Trump, let's remember that he gained the Republican nomination, not within a majority of Republican votes with the plurality of Republican votes and right now, the Republican party is going through their own civil war and through a painful process of trying to get leaders and other conservative voters out there to come around Donald Trump and unify, because he is not going to win this general election against Hillary Clinton without a unified Republican Party.
So, all of these flip-flops, or issues of, you know, him being flexible, and hiding his tax returns, and, you know, not admitting that this was his voice on the tape. I mean, who is this guy? Is he Donald Trump? Is he, John Miller? I mean, this -- I think, underscores the lack of core values, the lack of principles, the lack of really any personal beliefs whatsoever of any kind that this guy has had throughout his life.
So who is this person that we are about to perhaps elect for President of the United States?
[21:35:03] CARDONA: That gives Democrats huge fodder for the presidential election. LEMON: Andy, wanted to give to Maria in there. Go ahead now.
DEAN: Yeah, OK. Two points on first to Lanhee's idea that Donald is not that rich or, you know, not worth billions of dollars, that's just actually untrue. I ran his television company for over five years and I did the books and the audit and just from that one company I can tell you he made hundreds of millions of dollars. And he has hundreds of companies.
Also what magazine goes in?
LEMON: So why not release it?
DEAN: Well OK. Two things about the tax return. One, if you look at Mark Zuckerberg's tax return, if he doesn't sell stock in any given year that tax return will shows that he made $1. So a tax return does not show your asset.
LEMON: So, why not release?
DEAN: ... want. Oh, hold on. The information you want was already disclosed with your Trump's assets. The reason why he can't release the return in any tax attorney who understands the complexity of how does that all works, would say, do you absolutely cannot release these returns, because there's a lot that goes into tax strategy.
LEMON: Andy, that's not true. We've spoken to a number of attorneys. Hang on Andy. Hang on. Let me get clarify my point, Andy.
DEAN: ... attorneys.?
LEMON: No. Let me -- it's not true. No. I don't know the difference between a liberal attorney and conservative attorney.
DEAN: Now, I show some of.
LEMON: That's what made the law is the law.
LEMON: The law isn't liberal or conservative. But why not release them? What does have to do? I'm asking you a very simple question and you give me answers that don't make sense.
DEAN: OK. I'll tell you, Don. OK. If you've complex tax strategies and a lot of these tax strategies, I'm just telling the truth, some of the areas ...
LEMON: You don't think Mitt Romney had a ...
DEAN: Hold on.
LEMON: ... complex tax strategy. He is a multimillionaire as well. You don't treat that Ross Perot had a complex tax strategy. He's a very wealthy man as well. DEAN: Donald Trump is worth 40 to 50 times, 40 to 50 times from Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney worth $20 million. Donald Trump worth over $10 billion but quickly, Don on this point. This is important. While you're under audit you have clever tax strategies and you open it up to the world and then some attorney gets on CNN and says, well, this tax strategy doesn't work and the IRS reopens those books. Donald Trump had a more on, who would expose himself.
LEMON: The books already open because he is being audited?
DEAN: By the IRS. But if he opens his returns up to the world and you on CNN bring on 50 different lawyers.
LEMON: But he's going to have to opens his returns up to the world if he wants to be the president of The United States like everybody else as part of ...
DEAN: After the audit, he will.
LEMON: Like he said he would.
DEAN: After the audit he will.
LEMON: So then, maybe he should wait until next time after the audit to run instead of saying, yes, I'll do it because -- what if the audit is absolutely ...
DEAN: The American people need him now, Don. The American worried about this 1980 issue, worried about jobs.
LEMON: What if the audit is done after election?
DEAN: Well, then he'll release them then. The American people care about jobs, not a tax return.
LEMON: The American people care about his tax return as well. Don't give me that Andy, you're up scared.
CARDONA: Andy, this is hurting Donald Trump.
DEAN: Some American's do.
CARDONA: I don't understand why you guys would focus on a strategy that is hurting him, that is underscoring the fact that the American people ...
DEAN: It's not hurting him. Most people don't care.
LEMON: OK. I disagree with you. People do care.
LEMON: Stand by, everyone. Hold that thought. We'll be right back, after the break.
[21:41:54] LEMON: Back with me now, Andy Dean, Maria Cardona and Lanhee Chen. OK, so then Andy, why not release the years that are not under audit?
DEAN: He could. He could release the years that are not under audit but that's going back, I don't know, you know, five, 10 years. It's something that he could do and maybe he'll take a look at. It is possible.
LEMON: Maria? You think that would satisfy?
CARDONA: Hillary Clinton, yeah, Hillary Clinton has released 33 years of taxes. I mean, this is -- I think, when you do the comparison, again, this is, you know, far be it for me to give him advice that would actually help him. But this is hurting him and it's going to continue to hurt him. So by all means he should continue to say, no he's not going to release the taxes.
But it again, it underscores this huge doubt that is in the mind of most Americans about who this guy is. What does he stand for? What is his principles?
CARDONA: And then also then gives way to something that Michael Smerconish was talking about earlier and additional vet it's going to happen in the general election about Trump University, Trump mortgages, his multiple bankruptcies. It's all there and it's all going to come out into the light of day.
LEMON: Before I get to Lanhee, I want to ask you one more question, Andy, if Donald Trump ...
LEMON: ... is vetting a vice presidential candidate, is he going to want to see his tax returns?
DEAN: The vice president?
LEMON: Sure, in the vetting process.
DEAN: I'm sure he would be happy to be picked. But can I ...
LEMON: No, no, Andy don't you think that I want to ask you something, don't you think that if Donald Trump is vetting a vice presidential candidate that he's going to want to know everything about the candidate including his tax return.
DEAN: Oh, then he will want to see the vice presidential tax returns?
DEAN: OK, I'm sorry, I miss in thought the thing, and you meant the vice president want to see Trump's returns.
DEAN: Yet, I mean as far -- remember, Trump wants to pick a politician and these politicians, don't really have business live so there's not much money outside it, that's why Hillary Clinton like is that the Goldman Sachs (inaudible) in all that.
LEMON: So you think he would want to see the tax return?
DEAN: Yup, I think he might. I think he might but remember, it's probably can be a politician but one thing, Don, and this is to Maria's point, where, you know, they talked about Donald Trump and if he has one or two failures here. This is the guy who has taken risk his entire life as an entrepreneur, and anybody who is an entrepreneur out there a business person realizes, you try many, many different things and some work and some don't but his a risk taker, the American people like him and he's a job-creator, people who don't think ...
LEMON: But now he is a politician
DEAN: ... they end up with politics and that's with the one.
LEMON: ... and these are the rules of the game since as you have heard since the 1970s everyone who has run for president has released their tax returns. And just says at you know, back then he wanted the president to release his birth certificate. So what's good for the goose is good for the gander. I'm just being honest, why can't we release information that people are asking of him when he demands that others release information as well?
CHEN: And Don let's not forget by the way?
CHEN: I was saying, let's not forget that Donald Trump, yeah, I mean Donald Trump was one of the formalist voices calling for Mitt Romney to put his taxes returns out four years ago. And so look, I just think that if there's nothing there to hide, then you know, you get them out, now look they're complicated. There's no question about it, you know, Romney's tax returns were complicated as well.
[21:45:01] LEMON: Well, that is the perfect story Lanhee -- back in -- that is the perfect story for someone like Donald Trump who was saying that he wants it change taxes, this tax return.
CARDONA: It would be. Absolutely
LEMON: All he would say is that "I made a mistake" or there's an it goes on ...
DEAN: Don and give your answer ...
LEMON: Hang on. Let me finish and then I'll give it to you.
DEAN: I'll give you the honest answers.
LEMON: That he could say that tax -- our tax code is very complicated. And I am an example of how complicated it is. Just like the rest of the American people and that's why we need to change the tax code.
LEMON: Go ahead.
DEAN: Don, it is awful, but, you know, Donald Trump' tax returns because I remember it took a wheel baron for them to wheel it into his office. It's load with thousands of different pages. The issue is this and I'll just go off the record here between me and you Don, is it Donald words released his returns, which by the way would be a terrible idea once again because he doesn't tax strategist flagging the IRS to something that maybe a great area.
But the issue is this, if there are 10,000 pages on his tax return, the media are going to pick up on five or 10 pages of some strategy but they're not going to paint the whole picture. And that's the issue, is that the media is going to pick and chose different tax strategies when they're not going to look at the entire 10,000 pages. So it will be like getting ...
LEMON: I think you're underestimating the American voter. I think the American voter ...
DEAN: No, it's the media. The American voters yeah ...
LEMON: If he releases it, then everybody in America, everybody in the world has the opportunity to read it for themselves and interpret it for themselves.
CARDONA: He is interviewing for the highest office in the land. He is interviewing to be leader of the free world and commander-in-chief. That is an incredibly important position. If he does not release his tax returns and he continues to focus on all of these other issues, denying that he is the voice on the tapes, John Miller, et cetera. He is going to give Hillary Clinton and continue to give the Democrats the fodder to underscore that this is not a serious person, a loose cannon and then he blames ...
(CROSSTALK) DEAN: We could play this game all day.
LEMON: That's it.
DEAN: Hillary is much more crooked.
CARDONA: You said it, because to Donald Trump this is a game. This is not a game.
LEMON: Have a great weekend.
CARDONA: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: We'll be right back.
DEAN: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: Never a dull moment.
[21:50:55] LEMON: Everybody is buzzing tonight about Donald Trump and the tale of the tape. Here to weigh in now, W. Kamau Bell, the host of CNN's United Shades of America. Happy Friday, sir.
BELL: Happy Friday the 13th. I just want to confirm, you say I'm me. I can't confirm that I am me. Maybe I'm not me. I'm taking a lesson from Trump.
LEMON: OK. Serious face, because I've been wanting to ask you about this story that we have been talking about, this, you know, the old tape of what appears to be Donald Trump pretending to be his own publicist, right, and now denying it. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
BELL: I mean, the funny thing is, we've all done this. It's just all of us who have done this didn't end up running for president. I've pretended to be my own boss, I called school and pretended to my mom to get me out of school. They're like, you have a deep voice lady. We've all done this. If he just owned up and admitted it, we could accept it. But he refuses to be honest in any way, even when it's about ridiculous stuff.
LEMON: So then, why should something like this that happened many years ago, 25 years ago, if not more, why should it affect his bid for the presidency? Does it matter to you?
BELL: If this was the only thing we had, we might be able to go, that's silly, Donald Trump. But he -- literally, this is the straw that is breaking the GOP's back at this point, you know. It's like -- forget skeletons in the closet. Donald Trump has a closet built of skeletons. This is just -- considering everything else that happened this week with his butler. First of all, he has a butler. Like, I mean ... LEMON: let's talk about that for a second. I didn't want to say that in the other segment when the guy said, you know, and now, you know, ask your butler. I was like, who has a butler? Like not very few people
BELL: Donald Trump is basically Daddy Warbucks without the adorable orphan at this point.
LEMON: OK. Listen, let's talk about your new show, which is doing really well. Congratulations, by the way. We're very happy for you and very proud of you.
BELL: Thank you.
LEMON: So this week's episode, you spent time with the Police Department of Camden, New Jersey. Let's look at it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BELL: So this is the shooting range.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
BELL: And this is where you guys come down here and practice and keep your skills tight like yeah .
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty much. The threat has officially stopped.
BELL: Wow. Now, in the news a lot of times, people ask why didn't the cop shoot him in the leg and, you know, wound him and then -- so the person could still be alive. So tell me why it's center mass and not those other things?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shall I give it to you in one word and explain it? Hollywood. Unfortunately, we're not all Bruce Willis and Denzel Washington in real life. If we go to shoot for the arm or for the leg, if he moves, it might go in the back and shoot, you know, baby Suzy and we don't want that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Wow. What did you learn?
BELL: Yeah, I mean, it was a -- I mean, this is by far probably the least funniest episode of the show. I know I'm a comedian, but it was really an opportunity to sit down and talk directly to police officers in Camden, New Jersey about what it is to be a police officer and how they're trying to do it differently with community policing.
So, what they're trying to do is go back to an old school style of policing where they actually engage with the community and actually talk to the residents and then know the people in the community. And so, that when things go badly, they actually know who to talk to and who to target and hate those to work in like that.
LEMON: Before we run out of time, I want to ask you this because, you know, you and I have been on the air. We have been talking about this tension between people of color, you know, African-American community and U.S. law enforcement, right, and police officers. Is there anything that you learned or changed your mind about the whole situation or that you can enlighten our audience about in that -- in that respect?
BELL: What I learned is that it's a complicated problem and we can't expect anyone thing just make a solution happen. I think that the thing that the Camden Police Force is doing is acknowledging that they have done a poor job in the past of policing Camden. And most police departments don't do that. So, that's the start, but it's the very tip of the start.
Most in the police departments won't acknowledge they've done a poor job of policing black communities, Camden is doing that. It's the beginning of a start, but it's not the thing.
LEMON: Listen, today, the Obama administration called the public school districts nationwide to allow transgender students to use their bathrooms that matches their gender identity. They quickly -- I'm out of time here. What do you think that, good move?
BELL: Yeah. I think that you can -- you should be allowed to use the bathroom you feel comfortable and -- and there's a lot of bathrooms that happens already where multiple genders were allowed to use the bathroom. It's called my house.
[21:55:10] BELL: We let anybody use the bathroom at my house who needs to go to the bathroom.
LEMON: Thank you, sir. Have a great weekend. We'll be watching this weekend.
BELL: Thank you.
LEMON: You can catch W. Kamau Bell on United Shades of America, Sunday nights at 10:00 right here on CNN. It's a great program. Make sure you tune in, Sunday nights at 10:00 here on CNN, United Shades of America. We'll be right back.
LEMON: San Diego is one of the wealthiest cities in the U.S. But less than an hour away across the border on the outskirts of Tijuana, many families live in desperate poverty without running water, electricity or a proper shelter. That's where this week's CNN Hero from San Diego lends a helping hand.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's important to remember that these families that we're helping in Mexico are our neighbors. They're just right across the border. It's night and day the difference. We are helping the communities come together. And we are teaching them that there is love in the world that other people do care about them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[22:00:07] LEMON: To see how Paula (ph) can change an entire family's life in one day, go to cnnheroes.com. And while there, nominate someone you think deserves to be a CNN hero.