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Clinton Loses Polling Edge Over Trump; Trump Hires McCain VP Vetter For His Search; New Polls: Sanders Tops Trump; Convention Chaos; Investigating Scam Pacs; Can Dems Come Together?; Inside The U.S. Fight Against ISIS In Libya. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired May 18, 2016 - 21:00   ET



[21:01:43] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We have breaking news on two fronts tonight, new polling just out showing Hillary Clinton losing her general election edge against Donald Trump. They're now in a statistical debt he and where the Donald Trump has just chosen an advisor to lead his search for a running mate.

His name is A.B. Culvahouse. He helped a similar role in 2008 when John McCain picked Sarah Palin. Both stories cap the day that so Democrats struggling to regain part of unity. And Trump taking steps to raise his stature within the GOP. More on all of it from CNN's Jim Acosta.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It's a move widely seen as a step to calm Donald Trump's conservative critics. The presumptive GOP nominee released a list of his picks to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The early reaction, Texas GOP Senator John Cornyn, who would criticize Trump's tone last week praised the list as, quote, "reassuring".

Trump also took time out to burnishes foreign policy credentials sitting down behind closed doors with Republican Party Elder and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The meeting came one day after Trump floated the idea of talking with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in in what would be dramatic departure from U.S. foreign policy.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would speak to him. I would have no problem speaking to him. At the same time, I would put a lot of pressure on China.

UNIDENTIFIED: But you say you would talk to Kim?

TRUMP: Yeah, I would speak to him. I have no problem with speaking to him.

ACOSTA: Clinton campaign chair John Podesta mocked Trump with this tweet, asking whether the job of secretary of state would go to former NBA star, Dennis Rodman, (inaudible) traveled to North Korea for some one on one time with the communist dictator. Trump sized up the North Korean leader at a rally back in January.

TRUMP: If you look at North Korea, this guy, this -- I mean, he's like a maniac, OK? And you got to give him credit. How many young guys -- he was like 26 or 25 when his father died, take over these tough generals.

ACOSTA: Last December, Kissinger took issue with Trump's proposal for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

HENRY KISSINGER, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I would urge him not to make such a blanket exclusion and I would only would comfortable -- be more comfortable with another nominee.

ACOSTA: Trump's critics say the real estate tycoon could use Kissinger's advice.

BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER U.S. ABASSADOR TO THE U.N: Henry Kissinger has a very tall order. It's like trying to tame a bucking bronco. But Kissinger is a very respected figure. And I hope he knocks some sense into Donald Trump.

ACOSTA: Trump also raised eyebrows this week when he was asked by the "New York Times" about the most dangerous place he's visited in the world. Trump joked Brooklyn. Then added seriously, there are places in America that are among the most dangerous in the world. You go to places like Oakland or Ferguson, the crime numbers are worse.

With Trump on the verge of winning the nomination, he is spending much of his time in the office gearing up for the general election, announcing a fund-raising agreement with the RNC. This campaign is also hitting back at news stories he doesn't like such as the article of the "New York Times" on his treatment of women. His daughter Ivanka is defending her father.

IVANKA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: Look, I'm not in every interaction my father has, but he's not a groper. That's not who he is. And I have known my father obviously my whole life and he has total respect for women.


COOPER: Jim Acosta joins us now, what do we know about some of the Supreme Court picks?

[21:05:01] ACOSTA: Well, Anderson, there are some curious choices. One thing that Donald Trump put out was Justice Don Willett from Texas who has trolled the real estate tycoon on Twitter for months now. And we could put one of those tweets on screen and shows the death star in Justice Don well as it says we'll rebuild the death star, it will be amazing believe me and the rebels will pay for it, signed Darth Trump.

So that just gives you one taste. And then there's another justice on the list, Justice Diane Sykes from Wisconsin, she is the ex-wife of Charlie Sykes, it was conservative talk show host in Wisconsin, he is of the Never Trump Movement. I did talked to Charlie Sykes earlier today and he said his ex-wife would be a wonderful choice. And we should point out, Anderson that these choices are calming some of these conservative critics as we said. Charles Grassley the Republican from Ohio called it less impressive. But Donald Trump has been enjoying some down time off the campaign trail of these last couple of weeks. He will end that tomorrow, he's going to hold a fund-raiser for Chris Christie down in New Jersey which sounds like it was going to be a sort of a rally for Donald Trump. And you can bet Anderson, he'll be talking about these new poll numbers showing him in the lead over Hillary Clinton.

COOPER: Yeah, Jim Acosta thanks very much.

Let's talk about that with our panel. I mean, Christine, let's take a look at this Fox News poll, for the firs time putting Donald Trump ahead of Secretary Clinton by three points. This is a big change. It's just from last month or she was leading him by seven points.

CHRISTINE QUINN, CLINTON SUPPORTER: Yeah, I mean I am not very surprised by that. At this point in elections, things move, around. This is in a big concern today.

COOPER: But it's not moving around in the direction for your candidate.

QUINN: No, but this is very much the beginning of the general election. He is the nominee. She is still engaged in the Democratic primary. So it's not really a comparison of apples to apples. Because he is the nominee, she's still fighting it out in the primary against Senator Sanders, so this doesn't worry me, and again as we talked about before, you look at those Supreme Court choices, that is going to clear up the mind of any independent who was up in the air or cast a vote for Trump in this poll.

COOPER: Jonathan, on the flip side to Christine's argument, Senator Sanders now beating Donald Trump in this poll by four points, although admittedly his lead has shrunk quite a bit since last month.

JONATHAN TASINI, BERNIE SANDERS SURROGATE: Yeah, I do think there's the Hillary Clinton's people should be concerned about it and I putting -- taking into account that I take whatever Fox News puts out without a grain of salt, a mountain of salt ...

QUINN: I don't disagree with that.

TASINI: I would say that consistently, and it's an argument that our campaigns made, Bernie Sanders is a stronger candidate against Donald Trump in for two reasons. One is he's always done better with independence than Hillary Clinton. We saw that in New Hampshire and many other states where independents were allowed to vote. And the second thing is frankly an issue of honesty, Bernie Sanders at the high level of trust and honesty among voters.

People may disagree with Bernie but they think that when he is saying something, he's authentic and they believe he is a man of principal and they don't think that of, of something ...


COOPER: Let me just point out just for viewers who maybe Fox is actually very transparent in their methodology of polling, and we actually trust their polling, I just want to put that across.

TASINI: I think this is the.

COOPER: I know you can.

But, Margaret, I mean, these are not trend lines which are good for Democrats, I mean whether you're a Sanders supporter or you're a Clinton supporters, or you can say, well, there's still not in the general election they're still new candidates, but for both candidates, they've calmed down.

MARGARET HOOVER, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: Well, I think what you see. First we know that Hillary Clinton, and everybody knows that, I mean people know her, and she is a hugely problematic candidate. I think we see it even on their Republican side of polling if we're running anyone else against her. I think we have a hard time with specific demographic groups that we need to win on the Republican side with Donald Trump against her, but we see how weak she is with all these demographic groups that even should be really solidly in her column.

So we know that certified candidate, but what we see I think in that particular snapshot in the national races is evidence that this election year is about real failure on both the Democratic side and the Republican side of dealing with the economy. Certainly on the Republican side there's been a market failure of offering economic solutions to republican voters, Republican based voters who don't feel the Republican Party has been able to answer any questions. I think on the Democratic side, this fuels much of Bernie's enthusiasm as well, and, so you know, the fact that Hillary Clinton has a lock on the nomination and is trailing Trump now, it's part of ...

COOPER: Kayleigh, do you think Trump is moving up because in the polls against these two just because he's got the nomination that the other two don't or they're more going on?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. I don't think that's it, Margaret has a good point about the economy, because the middle class has been left behind, and Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are the only two people speaking a very different remedies, opposite remedies when I don't like Sanders, but they're speaking to this group in a powerful way and a strong way. That's one.

But two, different falls lines in the election. As of Van Jones pointed out I think that's a great point, I point as well there's insider versus outsider, not just Republican versus Democrat, this is not an ideological battle necessarily. When you see in Nevada, Bernie Sanders supporters being disenfranchised, the second tier about caucus was nullified.

That is what's happening on the Democratic side. It's what happened on the Republican side, people are frustrated with the elite, they are frustrated with the establishment on both sides and Donald Trump represents the anti-establishment. Hillary Clinton is the ultimate insider.

[21:10:06] COOPER: It's interesting Carl though when you look at this poll, certainly ahead Trump by 14 points among women. But Trump is ahead by nine points among white women.

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well. Look, the women advantage that Hillary Clinton has is real one. And if the Democrats are going to win with Hillary Clinton, they're going to need it because the other number in this poll that I looked at and I think it's indicative of what's going on, is it 66 percent I think regard Hillary Clinton to be distrusted and 57 percent are somewhat like that regard Donald Trump is someone to be distrusted.

Something is going on in this country. And something is going on with Hillary's numbers that has been consistent. Since she began her campaign, not only are her overall numbers awful but this distrust factor has become a dominant trend. However, we have got two months to go in which before we're even at the Democratic convention.

And there is going to be a real contrast that is going to be drawn between the nominees. We've been now picturing Trump after saying he was a buffoon and all the rest, now we got on somewhat invincible. I think an awful a lot can happen to the dynamics are subject to all kinds of things.

PATRICK HEALY, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT NEW YORK TIMES: Yeah. I mean, look, for the last thirteen months, it's been writing about Hillary Clinton. She is been losing ground more than she's been gaining ground whereas Donald Trump has been, you know, about 10 months is sort of figuring out who he was, could he be president, you know, why was he running, you know, just a lot of questions around him.

The thing with Hillary Clinton is she has had 13 months to deal with some of these dishonesty, untrustworthy, kind of likeability issues. And it hasn't gotten better. And now, she is sort of an as a vice of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump trying to figure out answers for what Bill Clinton is going to do.

BERNSTEIN: Crooked Hillary is his message with her.


PETER BEINART, CONTRIBUTOR THE ATLANTIC: Right. But she has an argument about being qualified for the job which she is not. And I think it's given it ...

COOPER: As more and more Republicans coalesce around him and he builds a team ...

BEINART: Right. I think that is the key take away from this poll is the fact that Republican support out in the country is coalescing behind Donald Trump, his percentage supporters among Republicans almost as high as her percentage among Democrats. And that was not the case a couple weeks ago. That's a big deal. But it's still also very important to remember. The polls have to model the turnout. QUINN: Right.

BEINART: If the Democratic Party can bring out the same African- American and Latino turnout and Donald Trump is their best ticket to do so, they will win nonetheless. So, they can't, they may not.

QUINN: And that is a community in which the secretary has always done very well and has tremendous amount of support. And we can't forget that when you get into the general, the election becomes not about the -- Secretary Clinton winning over the core phase Trump supporters that we saw on the Town Hall.

It's really focused on independents where I think very clearly as there is election between Donald Trump and Secretary Clinton, the fault lines are going to become crystal clear. And the independents are going to move and support Secretary Clinton because there is so much potentially at risk.

COOPER: You don't think Donald Trump will get independent away from her?

QUINN: I don't think you will get the vast majority. I believe Secretary Clinton will be this, because I don't think independents are going to want to move backwards of the way Donald Trump would have us move backwards.

HEALY: And it's not about national polls in six months. It's about what happens in Ohio, what happens in Florida ...

QUINN: Right.

HEALY: ... Virginia and North Carolina. Those are the places where, you know, Hillary Clinton is going to, you know, on the Monday before Election Day, there's going to be a giant kind of reckoning with whether we want to wake up on Wednesday, the day after Election Day with president elect Trump.

But I just think that there are going to be so many events over the next six months. But that's got Monday is going to the day that so key when people really ask themselves, you know, are they ready to do this. To go ...


BERNSTEIN: What we've learned from past campaigns, it maybe not apply to this one is that those debates at the end of the cycle are terribly, terribly important.


COOPER: Jonathan and ...


TASINI: Just real quick, Patrick's point was very important about the state by state. And I think this is one point where Donald Trump versus Bernie Sanders, Bernie Sanders is much stronger as the issue on trade, because if you look at states that are going to be important, Pennsylvania and Michigan, Ohio, Bernie Sanders being clearly against those bad trade agreements.

Donald Trump is making a smart move in talking about how bad NAFTA was for the country. Hillary Clinton has been on the wrong side of that. And so, the contrast of Bernie running against Donald Trump on those issues be very important in those states.

BERNSTEIN: Well, that's the thing about the unpledged delegates. That Sanders one lone hope and it is threading the needle and like a real long shot is to go into the convention and convince the superdelegates that Hillary is really damaged and that he can run a better campaign.


[21:14:59] BEINART: One more thing. One thing -- another thing we've known from Obama years is the importance of data in this election, the importance of being able to target your voter. Right now, the Democratic Party has a massive advantage over the Republican Party because Donald Trump has not even basically built the apparatus to do that. Maybe he can catch up, but that's going to be a very important Dem he had.

COOPER: Time now for a break. Much more for the panel ahead included. So, we'll be discussing one big difficulty for Hillary Clinton has compared to Donald Trump. Her party, not yet coming together behind her. These are pictures from the party convention in Las Vegas show. Also, there are PACs and there are Super PACs and then there scam PACs.

Pitches that plead for money for causes like impeaching Obama or saving Donald Trump. Drew Griffin investigates where that money actually ends up.


COOPER: Late last night, Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee finalized a joint fundraising agreement that would allow individual donors to write checks for nearly $450,000, far higher than the $2,700 cap on what the presumptive GOP nominees presidential campaign can accept.

Now, that is a legitimate option for raise campaign cash. But there's also a darker side to some fund-raising.

CNN senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin has been looking into this for several months. Here's what he found.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: They target the gullible, the elderly, their messages often desperate please, impeach President Obama, save Social Security, rescue Donald Trump.

JENNIFER BELL, RELATIVE SCAMMED: They'll say anything to get their money.

[21:20:04] GRIFFIN: They're called scam PACs or fraudulent political action committees. Jennifer Bell learned about them when she and her family were cleaning up a home of a deceased relative. The 80-year- old woman had been living in a pile of political junk mail, and her checkbook was nearly empty.

BELL: She gave thousands of dollars, she actually took out a second mortgage on her house and gave all the money to the scammers. We estimated that she gave well over $100,000.

GRIFFIN: A $100,000?

BELL: A $100,000, the entire value of her house went to junk mail.

GRIFFIN: Bell begin to dig and found something peculiar, the Super PACs asking for money, all had the same address, the same vague conservative plea for instant cash, and the same treasurer.

BELL: This one is called conservative strike force. And Mr. McKenzie is in charge, he is the treasurer. He is the treasurer of all them, of all of this PAC, and the money goes in, people donate money but it never goes anywhere.

GRIFFIN: This is Scott McKenzie, a former Reagan administration staffer and according to Federal Election Commission records, he had served as treasurer for about 50 PACs.

And when you try to find any of these political action committees like Republican member Senate fund, the Rocky for Congress fund, Save New York, Save Our Society, Stand America, Tea Party majority super fund or the Conservative Strike Force, well, things get very interesting.

UNIDENTFIED MALE: I'm mailing your address is 2776 South Arlington Mill Drive, Suite 806.

GRIFFIN: 2776 South Arlington Mills Drive is a UPS store, and Suite 806 is a mailbox.

This is his home.

Hi, is Mr. McKenzie in, please? Can I leave a card for him? We have been trying to reach him.

Mr. McKenzie it seems isn't interested in talking about his political action committees and what they do. What we've been able to determine is they are making this to McKenzie a pretty good living.

According to FEC records, since 2005, more than a million dollars has been funneled to him or to his own company.

Didn't you think there is supposed to be a federal election laws that covered this?

BELL: I talked to FEC had control over these people.

ANN RAVEL, FEC COMMISSSIONER: That's true most people think that.

GRIFFIN: Not so, how is it?


GRIFFIN: Ann Ravel is a democrat appointed by President Obama to the Federal Elections Commission, admit she is powerless.

RAVEL: It is clearly easy to perpetrate fraud, what I would consider to be a afraud and any normal person would think is fraud.

GRIFFIN: And all perfectly legal. Set up a super PAC, tell donors the money is going to fight for or against a certain candidate or cause and no one to stop them if they want to pocket the money.

RAVEL: Which is why I think that Congress should do something to give the FEC power to deal with this kind of fraudulent behavior, and I generally do not communicate with members of Congress since we're ...


RAVEL: ... independent, but I did write in Op-Ed and roll call hoping to get the attention of Congress on this matter.

GRIFFIN: And I'm sure your phone rang off the hook. No?


GRIFFIN: I'm shocked.

RAVEL: No, it did not.

GRIFFIN: Dan Backer isn't shocked at all. He is the head of his own tiny political law firm in Alexandria, Virginia. Just like Scott McKenzie, he is treasurer for dozens and dozens of Super PACs, including a Stop Hillary PAC, and his donors show support, he says, by sending him money.

DAN BACKER, CAMPAIGN ATTORNEY: They're paying to communicate ideas in the political marketplace.

GRIFFIN: And so First Amendment protected political speech.

BACKER: If I tell you hey, we want to support this candidate or want to attack this candidate, will you help us do so and, provide funds that in turn allow that activity to occur, how is that a scam

GRIFFIN: Jennifer Bell says she has no doubt it is a scam, a legal scam.

BELL: She put a second mortgage on her house so she could give money to scams.


COOPER: I mean if it wasn't a scam, you would think that guy would be more than happy to talk about it, because it is publicity for his alleged organization. It be sounds like some the very -- the same bad charities that we have reported on, that you've done such a great job reporting on Drew.

The money really doesn't have to be accounted for and there it doesn't appear to be anyone actually policing these PACs.

GRIFFIN: They're working, Anderson, of the same type of professional fund-raising lists and marketing strategies that is we've shown have really fooled lots folks to donating money to charities, it's the same here, with an added element of political protection for political speech.

So the money flowing in is really tremendous, the accounting, the oversight of that money is extremely weak.

COOPER: And it seems to be even is that only growing?

[21:25:00] GRIFFIN: No, it's growing, this is an industry, 2,300 Super PACs registered this election cycle. That's a thousand more than they were last year. They've already reported in total now $700 million in receipts and it keeps growing.

COOPER: And before you give money to anybody, just check out the organization as much as you can. Drew, thanks very much.

Next, more on efforts inside the Democratic Party to make sure this doesn't happen again. The search for party unity and concerns the effort may fail.


COOPER: Welcome back. Tonight's breaking news, Hillary Clinton's deteriorating poll numbers against Donald Trump, fallout perhaps of the growing tension within the Democratic Party. Some of it no doubts stemming from Democrats -- Democratic frontrunner string of recent defeats and lackluster victories, some of course due that some issues campaign of Bernie Sanders is running as well as his point attacks on the party. It's all adding up toward some Democrats. There will be toxic mixture at the convention this summer and in later on November.

More on that from our Suzanne Malveaux.


BERNIE SANDERS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We won Oregon last night and I have a strong feeling with your support, we will take the West Coast.

[21:30:00] SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tonight fresh off another win in the west, Bernie Sanders is digging in his heels.

SANDERS: In every state that we have run in we have had to take on literally almost the entire Democratic establishment and in state after state the people have stood up and helped defeat the establishment.

MALVEAUX: Even with his victory in Oregon, and another near win in Kentucky, Sanders still faces a tough road ahead as Hillary Clinton is on the edge of clinching the nomination.

Tension now boiling over within the Democratic Party and Sanders supporters lash out in frustration over a system they view as rigged.

SANDERS: So I say there's a leadership of the Democratic Party open the doors, let the people in.

MALVEAUX: The Nevada Democratic Convention turned ugly Saturday after the party announced last minute rule changes which would award more delegates to frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

The state chair received a stream of death threats after Sanders supporters posted her address and phone number on social media and California Senator Barbara Boxer said she feared for her safety.

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D) CALIFORNIA: I was on the stage and people were six feet away from me. And if I didn't have a lot of security, I don't know what would have happened.

Boxer who's a Clinton supporter and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz called for Sanders to personally condemn the violence.

DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, DNC CHAIRWOMAN: This is unacceptable behavior, and the Sanders campaign and Senator Sanders himself should not only outright condemn that specific conduct but they also need to take steps to prevent it.

MALVEAUX: California senator and another Clinton supporter Dianne Feinstein warns the party up level, it could lead to riots Democrats saw at their national convention in Chicago.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D) CLINTON SUPPORTER: I don't want to go back to the '68 convention because I worry what it does to the electorate as a whole and he should too.

MALVEAUX: The Sanders campaign is crying foul.

JEFF WEAVER, SANDERS CAMPAIGN MANAGER: The categorically condemns any kind of threats that went on, absolutely unacceptable, you know, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, we can have a long conversation just about Debbie Wasserman Schultz shows and how she's throwing shade on the Sanders campaign since the very beginning.


MALVEAUX: Tonight, the White House is down playing concerns about potential violence at the Democratic convention. Press secretary Josh Earnest saying that yes, there will be a need for Democrats to come together in the general election and that the president will be making that case, Anderson?

COOPER: Suzanne, thanks very much. She is pointing out the word violence was used about at the Nevada event. It really wasn't actual violence, there was really destruction, there was a lot anger, and emotion, and surely death threats and it completely inappropriate but just for accuracy sake, no arrests or anything like that were actually made.

Back now with our panel. Let's talk about this -- the RNC, that Kayleigh, teaming up with Donald Trump now, releasing a joint fundraising deal, it allows donors to write checks up to $449,400.

It does, I mean, at one, you know, a seen it will say, well that goes against what Donald Trump has been saying, but in truth, I mean, he did give himself cover all along by saying, well look, I'm going to self fund, even now, he didn't totally self fund, there were a lot of individual donations that went to Trump, but he said up until the general election campaign.

MCNENANY: Sure exactly that, you know, here's the thing, he ran the primary like Bernie Sanders did, and now he did not take money from Wall Street. There were individual donors, yes, but he did something very few other candidates have done. He did that. But now it's time to turn to the general election, and be a realist, that if you want to compete with Hillary Clinton, is going to have a billion, $2 billion, you likewise have ...


COOPER: You don't think it weakens his message, because that was obviously a strong appeal for a lot of folks, he said, look, you know, I mean in fact we have him talking about this on the campaign trail during the months ago, let's watch this.


TRUMP: I am self funding my campaign. I'm not taking money. I'm for you.

And I'm self funding. I self fund.

I'm self funding my campaign. These guys are all taking their money from special interest.

I spent a lot of money, I'm up to close to $40 million. I'm self funding my own campaign, by the way.

Me, I'm self funding my campaign, folks.

All these other guys are getting a lot of money. But I am self funding my campaign.

This is a self funded campaign. I don't need money, I don't want money.

Now I'm self funding, so it's a big difference, folks. I don't care. I'm going to do what's right for you.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: He did get millions to millions from individual donors but to your point now, not from large big money donors. That was obviously something that was very popular when he was running, you heard the reaction to all the statements. Do you worry it takes something from him?

MCENANY: I don't think so, because he did self fund essentially his campaign, with individual donations, yes, but he did something very big. He deserves a lot of credit for that, he deserves a lot of commendation for that. But turning to general election, it's time to beat Hillary Clinton.

COOPER: Margarett?

MCENANY: Right now, that's what has to happened.

HOOVER: I think he's put himself in a significant disadvantage and, you know, Bernie Sanders didn't hurt himself by crowd sourcing the funding for his campaign. Right, I mean Bernie Sanders as John have seen and tell you, you know, has slews and ton of very small dollar donations from hundreds of thousands of people.

[21:35:06] Donald Trump could have done the same thing and not lost and have authenticity. The down side for Donald Trump now, is he has to raise a billion dollars in order to beat Hillary Clinton and he has no fund-raising apparatus. And so while it's great that you can go around and get big checks from people, you need small checks, too, and you need people, you need a funs raising infrastructure. I mean I was ...


COOPER: I mean Sheldon Alyson (ph) says $100 million that' for Super PAC.

HOOVER: That's for a Super PAC and you know, Super PACs are personal, it costs more money to buy ads if you are Super PAC, you right actually that there's a difference sort of a scale economy of scale, when your do participating a campaign at that level, but it takes time.

I mean I was a finances two presidential campaign, it takes time to build bundlers, to identify the infrastructure, to actually start make those assets and getting money in the door. And he is so far behind, to that really hurts me.

HEALY: Just to step back, you know, it was just Thursday that Paul Ryan came up met with Donald Trump, and they said there's a process that's going to take place to unify the party to essentially, to get my endorsement, to get other Republicans to come on.

Now you're seeing Donald Trump making, joint fund-raising agreement, putting out a list of Supreme Court nominees, potential nominees, hiring A.B. Culvahouse sort of professionalizing the campaign.

I mean, I think what you're seeing is Trump taking sort of a series of steps, realizing that he never gave some major philosophical speech on how he felt about self funding. He was just sort of doing his shotgun comments, but taking steps that Paul Ryan and others have sort have said to him this is what we want to see, we want to see you're a professional real deal candidate not just, you know, running the thing on the fly.

BERNSTEIN: Our whole broadcast here has been about how Trump is succeeding in getting to the convention. It's going to be his convention. He's pulled this off and all the things we are talking out are indicative of it. And also I believe, correct me if I'm wrong, if he gets back the money that he self funded, he is eligible ...

COOPER: He loan his campaign ...


BERNSTEIN: ... he loaned himself that money, now he's going to get it all back.

COOPER: I actually I ask about that ..

BERNSTEIN: What did he say?

COOPER: ... he said -- well he claim, he said, he never thought about paying himself back.


BERNSTEIN: He will soon, has never thought about it.

COOPER: Right and he said, he, you know, he haven't thought about it and he didn't have an answer for but he is through within his rights to pay himself back.

BERNSTEIN: I think it will, Anderson.

COOPER: It would make sense.

BEINART: And look, and the big story is Donald Trump's takeover hem is temporarily of the Republican Party.

BERSTEIN: That's right.

BEINART: You know, anything he sets this to the Republican Party to talks a lot about, how it despises appeasement right? When it comes to authoritarian figures abroad, it turns out when they have an authoritarian figure in their own party actually, what we see is appeasement on a mass level with the exception of a few very principled conservative journalists in the Never Trump Movement, but among Republican politicians, it's actually been Paul Ryan is one of the best, but we have seen the party has moved beyond Paul Ryan and they hitched their wagon to Donald Trump.

MCENANY: No, they just don't buy into media caricatures. I mean you call him authoritarian over and over but I would want ... BEINART: Yes, do you want me, do you want me to tell you.

MCENANY: ... I would look to your own president, he uses the executive order when he doesn't like the will of Congress.

BEINART: It's your president too actually.

MCENANY: You can call, might, you can call, you can call Donald Trump an authoritarian, but you have a lot to answer for on your side of the aisle. You have an authoritarian president.

BEINART: That's a sort of side, that I don't -- when I hear the debate Barack Obama. Right.

MCENANY: OK, because you don't want to (inaudible) in here.

BEINART: You know, I'm here -- I did that for years and years and years but Barack Obama, the last I checked had not suggested a religious litmus test for entering the country, he had not subject, not threatened the owner of "The Washington Post" that he would go after him on tax fraud issues is because he doesn't like his coverage. He did not suggest that he was going to change American libel laws to make it easier for us journalist, right?

MCENANY: The wheels was we are changing American libel laws, you can call it authoritarian, all you want that there's a legitimate academic juries prudential debate on whether libel laws to be ...


BEINART: You know, is there is a legitimate debate on whether Donald Trump is the presidential nominee so he should be threatening the owner of "The Washington Post" because he doesn't like his coverage.

MCENANY: This is why people get frustrated with the media. You throw out terms that Donald Trump is authoritarian, he is racist, he is this, he is that, and creates caricatures without facts.

BEINART: I just gave you several facts. I just gave you a bunch. You want me to give you more?

MCENANY: But that, you gave the libel law in fact without acknowledging there's a legitimate academic in here ...


MCENANY: ... that's not an authoritarian.

BEINART: OK, let's talk about what he said about Jeff Fraisser, do you think it was legitimate that he said, essentially, I don't like "The Washington Post" coverage over me, and by the way would someone really should look at the fact that he doesn't pay enough taxes and he has real big anti-trust. That was a clear threat at one of the country's major newspapers. This is what authoritarian people do.

MCENANY: If "The Washington Post" is going to go after him, he will go back at them for things that they have in their past, it's fair tip in ...


BERNSTEIN: No, no, no, it is argued and it is indicative of a larger point. I think that Donald Trump began his campaign with a neo knock and neo-fascist message, and what he has accomplished is to move past that, and now be regarded as benign. And if he can continue to convince the country that he is benign, that that early message has now been overcome and he has had a great antenna for the reality of some of the things in this country, including the fact that that institutions are not working in this country, people are responding.


[21:40:16] COOPER: You clearly I don't believe he's American neo- fascist?

MCENANY: No, I don't think so. And likewise, we have to remember ...

BERNSTEIN: I'm saying his ...

MCENANY: ... when you say these things about Trump, you were saying these things about millions and millions of people ...

BERNSTEIN: No, no, I'm not talking about the people who vote. No, no, no. I'm talking about what he said about his own authoritarian approaches to dealing with America's problems in an extra- constitutional way without regard for Democratic process. He's now moved past that, he's forgotten most of it.

But, no, it began as it not Hitlerian, not Mussolini but it could too where the American kind of neo-fascism that is about an authoritarian, nativist ...

COOPER: OK. We got to go.

BERNSTEIN: ... extra-constitutional way of proceeding.

COOPER: We just got to move it. We got ended the discussion. Appreciate everybody being with us.

Just ahead, they're called superdelegates for a reason. Now, they're threatening to slinking the Democratic Party. Who are they, and why do they have so much power. Tom Foreman breaks it down for us.


[21:45:04] COOPER: We've been talking a lot tonight about the tensions within the Democratic Party. One point of dispute superdelegates and we hear a lot about them.

But they're actually kind of mysterious, at least, to those of us who want in the political trenches day-in and day-out. Tom Foreman is here to shine some light on who these superdelegates are and why they're so powerful, Tom? TOM FOREMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. Anderson, let's start it by putting them in context by looking at the big number here that either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton has to reach to get the nomination, 2,383 delegates. And this is currently how the pledged delegates, meaning, the ones they have won through 44 states of voting is in territories have divided.

So far, it looks like this. She is doing better, 1,774 on her side, 1,482 on his side. There are about 800 still to be decided in the remaining six states plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

So, based on just this, just the pledge delegates, she is absolutely winning the popular vote, she's absolutely winning the delegate count. Could he catch her, yes. If he got 70 percent of everything that's left, he could catch her just barely, but that would be vastly outperforming what he's done so far.

And even then, he would as you just noted, Anderson have to worry about the superdelegates, because, these people are decidedly tilting the field in her favor, Anderson.

COOPER: So, explain exactly who these people are and why they matter so much.

FOREMAN: There are about 700 of them. Let me give you a sense of how super they are.

Right now, we've had more than 20 million people vote in just the primaries on the Democratic side. If you divide that by the number of pledge delegates, you can say that every pledge delegate represents about 7,000 or more actual voters.

Each superdelegate has just as much power, but they can vote any way they wish. They don't have to pay any attention to what voters want if they'd like to do that. And right now, look at how they are dividing. They are going only 41 saying they will support him in Philadelphia, 521 saying they will support her. Why such a huge disparity between two candidates? Well, think about who the superdelegates are.

These are members of the Democratic National Committee, they are elected Democrats like governors and senators and they are party leaders. In other words, many of the superdelegates are really the establishment of the Democratic Party. Not all of them, but a lot of them are.

They were created back in the 1980's, specifically, to keep the party from being swept up in some populous movement that might saddle them with a candidate that could not win in the fall.

Well, the party bosses didn't really like. And so far, Anderson, the superdelegates are showing very little appetite for the campaign of Bernie Sanders and the direction he would like to take it. That's why, no matter what else happens here, she's beating him in the popular vote, she's beating him in the electoral count. But, she's also beating him in the superdelegates, and that's a big deal. Anderson?

COOPER: All right. Tom, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

Tomorrow afternoon when Hillary Clinton talks with New Day's Chris Cuomo, you can see that conversation live 1:00 p.m. eastern right here on CNN.

Up next, a CNN exclusive, Nick Paton Walsh takes us inside the U.S. Special Forces fight against ISIS in Libya, witnessing the aftermath of the worst ISIS attacks in months.


[21:51:56] COOPER: Now CNN exclusive inside Libya and the United States' fight against ISIS. Just recently, Pentagon officials have acknowledged the U.S. Military presence in Libya, where U.S. Special Forces and Surveillance Flights are operating. CNN went with Militias in Libya who are trying to keep ISIS from taking over. They already control an estimated tenth of the coastline.

Nick Paton Walsh reports.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the eye in the sky for America's the quietest war on ISIS. In Libya, a specially adapted spy plane.

These flights part of a growing effort by U.S. Intelligence Agencies to learn as much as they can about ISIS in what many consider to be its most dangerous stronghold, so close to Europe.

Buried in the rock of the remote Sicilian Island of Pantelleria its run by hands full of Americans they fly over North Africa's Coast of the nation records show likely hovering up electronic chatter video from above the failed state, a tenth of whose coastline ISIS now control.

And down here is where it matters. The long isolated road between the Libyan City of Misrata, and the ISIS stronghold of Sirte. This day is all bad news. ISIS using a suicide bomber to help them advance the furthest yet. Fighters tell us that Americans are also on the ground here.

Along this road, we're seeing reinforcements pouring down there. And one witness said they saw what looked like four armors SUVs containing western-looking soldiers.

They're nervous about what we see. One Libyan official later revealed that dozen U.S. troops operate out of a nearby air base. The Pentagon confirming U.S. Troops are, quote, "meeting with Libyans", but wouldn't give details.

This man saying he managed to save his family, as ISIS moved into their hometown. This was the scene they left behind. This chaotic Militia are all that stand between ISIS and one of Libya's biggest cities. Hours later, ISIS, sent another suicide bomber in an armored car. In Misrata, it was a state of emergency. Flooding it with casualties.

Scenes they thought they'd seen the last of once they defeated Gadhafi, but back again. Over 100 injured and 9 dead. On a scale, the hospital can barely cope with. Relatives kept out can only peer through the glass for news.

The most severely wounded are being brought out now. A steady stream of casualties, quite unlike anything this city is used to. Along with that sense of ISIS, never really have been so close or so threatening.

[21:55:07] Funerals now too common, they say, this for Abdullah (inaudible) killed in the first of the two suicide bombings, leaving his wife pregnant with their third child. The martyr is the friend of God, they chant. After five years of war, it barely jars other routines. Weddings go on nearby. America is for now here as little as it can be. And ISIS are winning. The wait for outside help measured in sons lost.


COOPER: That's Nick Paton Walsh reporting. We'll be right back.


COOPER: A shout-out to a friend of the program. Adrianne Haslet survived the Boston bombing she recently completed the Boston marathon and now she is throwing out the first pitch at a Yankees game with very impressive accomplishment for a die hard Red Socks Band. Equally impressive that day, the heroics of her guest at the game.

"360's" Senior Producer, Chuck Hadad. Chuck he put his body on the line by stepping in front of a bat that slipped out of a player's hands and was hurtling towards their seats. Take a look at this.

As you can see, Chuck is a very excitable guy. Nice save, Chuck. That does it for us. Thanks for watching. "CNN Tonight with Don Lemon" starts now.

[22:00:06] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: A party at war with itself. A frontrunner under fire, but it's not who you think.

This is "CNN TONIGHT." I'm Don Lemon.