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Coverage of Primary Results; Trump and RNC Meet over Finances. Aired Midnight-1a ET
Aired May 18, 2016 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: What an exciting night. Thank you very much, Wolf Blitzer. It is midnight here on the East Coast. This is a Special "CNN TONIGHT." I'm Don Lemon.
Our breaking news tonight, a razor-thin victory for Hillary Clinton in Kentucky and in Oregon, a win for Bernie Sanders.
[00:00:07] His supporters cheering their man on tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDDATE: We are in until the last ballot is cast.
LEMON: As the bruising battle for the democratic nomination rages on the GOP's last man standing, and that's Donald Trump, edges closer tonight to that magic number, which is 1237.
Bernie Sanders speaking now to his supporters; let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: -- here in California, you will have a proposition making sure that California can control the outrageously high cost of prescription
[Cheers and Applause]
SANDERS: I congratulate those people who put that item on the ballot; let's pass it.
[Cheers and Applause]
SANDERS: Together we will end the fact that we are the only country -- major country without healthcare for all, that we pay far, far more
per capita for healthcare than any other country. We are going to end that by passing a Medicare for all healthcare system.
[Cheers and Applause]
SANDERS: Now, the insurance companies may not like it, the drug companies may not like it but the American people do like it and that's what we got to do.
[Cheers and Applause]
SANDERS: This campaign understands a very, very important historical lesson, and that lesson is that no real change has ever occurred in our country from the top on down. It has always been from the bottom on up.
[Cheers and Applause]
SANDERS: Think back. Think back 100, 120 years ago, when workers in this country were forced to work seven days a week, 14 hours a day. They had no rights on the job. Think about the children, 10, 11 years of age, losing their fingers in factories --
SANDERS: -- and what the working people of this country said: sorry, we are human beings; we're not beasts of burden. We're going to form trade unions and negotiate contracts.
[Cheers and Applause]
SANDERS: And I thank the train union -
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: All right; as Bernie Sanders continues to speak there, I want to get straight to CNN's Jeff Zeleny. He is with the Sanders campaign. Hello to you, Jeff; good evening here. Good morning here, good evening to you out there. Raucous supporters there at a rally tonight, after tonight's contest. What did he say to his supporters besides what he is saying there now?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, Senator Sanders made clear from the outset that this race is not over. He is going forward until every last vote is counted and he did say there's a steep hill to climb; but he put this final month into the context of what he has accomplished, overtaking Hillary Clinton in terms of the idea that he could take on the establishment. He said in order to beat Donald Trump, we need to defeat Hillary Clinton.
So, Don, I was struck by Bernie Sanders was more defiant tonight than we have heard him in recent weeks. There is no sign at all that he is preparing an exit strategy here.
He also talked specifically about California. The primary, of course, is on June 7; 475 delegates here. This is what he said about California.
SANDERS: This is, in a sense, the beginning of the final push to win California.
[Cheers and Applause] SANDERS: When -- when we -- by the way, I should tell you, that there are a lot of people out there, many of the pundits and politicians, they
say, Bernie Sanders should drop out.
SANDERS: The people of California should not have the right to determine who the next president will be.
SANDERS: Well, let me be as clear as I can be: I agree with you. We are in until the last ballot is cast. Gay marriage will be legal.
[00:05:02] ZELENY: So, Don, you can hear there, by the defiance in his tone, he is going forward. What he didn't say though was the math remains more than an uphill climb for him. It remains impossible for him to reach that threshold of delegates here. Hillary Clinton is now fewer than 100 delegates away from hitting that magic number of 2383. She won in Kentucky. He won in Oregon. So he said they will go forward Don, but he did not exactly say the math here is still not on his side.
LEMON: Very good point, Jeff. We will discuss that with our panel, whether he is giving his supporters false hope or not. Thank you, Jeff Zeleny. I want to bring in now CNN's Jim Acosta at Trump Tower, right here in New York City. Quieter there. It's New York City but it is quieter. Some big news from the Trump campaign tonight as he looks forward to the general election. What do you know, Jim?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT, via satellite: That's right. A quieter night for Donald Trump. He didn't really have to watch any election returns come in. The returns did come in from Oregon. Of course, he did win the primary there. But, Don, Donald Trump was very much trying to stay in the conversation tonight. Earlier this evening he released his personal financial disclosure forms to the Federal Election Commission. Those disclosure forms, according to the Trump campaign, show that he made about $560 million, in terms of his latest reported income and now that he has a net worth of $10 billion.
That is not the only numbers that we're talking about tonight. Just in the last hour or so, Don, the Trump campaign and the RNC announced they have reached an agreement to basically roll out these joint fund- raising agreements over the next several weeks. Basically what this means is Donald Trump will not only raise money for himself but for Republican candidates down ballot. This was a concern that you heard expressed inside the Republican Party, what is Donald Trump's affect going to be down ballot?
Obviously, there are going to be candidates in danger, in purple states, Republicans like Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, his name comes up a lot. He may not be welcoming this with open arms, but a lot of republicans who are in safe districts, red states who aren't concerned and looking over their shoulder, in terms of who they are facing in the general election against a democrat, they are going to welcome this commitment from Donald Trump as he can get a lot of people out to these rallies out on the campaign trail. So just another example of how even though it's a quiet night for Donald Trump, he can still stay very much in the headlines. Don?
LEMON: Well tonight's win in Oregon gets Donald Trump closer to the nomination, Jim. Where does he stand right now?
ACOSTA: Our latest estimate, according to our delegate counters at CNN, is that Donald Trump is right now at 1173. So he is very, very close to that magic number of 1237 delegates. He will hit that number, obviously, on June 7, if not before then, when the republicans go into the primaries in California, New Jersey and so on. So Donald Trump essentially could do what he and his top advisers were doing tonight and that is sort of enjoy watching this from the sidelines.
I was talking to top Trump advisors earlier this evening who were describing the Hillary Clinton/Bernie Sanders slug-fest in Kentucky as a nail biter. Donald Trump was tweeting at one point earlier this evening that if Hillary Clinton can't win Kentucky she should drop out of the race. Obviously that's not going to happen. There was one adviser I talked to just as he was leaving here at Trump Tower, earlier this evening, who was making a point of saying, listen, look at the drama that unfolded out in Nevada over the weekend. He said to me, you know -- you thought our convention this summer was going to be a -- he used words that rhymed with the words spit show.
ACOSTA: So it goes to show you, Don -- that's right. That's right, a little salty language. It's after midnight.
It just goes to show you how they sort of feel like the shoe is on the other foot now. They're kind of sitting back and enjoying what's happening on the Democratic side of the equation here. it shows just how much -- when you look at that fund-raising agreement with the RNC, this is very much Donald Trump's Republican Party now.
LEMON: Whatever could you mean? I have no idea what he might be saying. I'm talking to the panel here. I have no idea what you're saying. I just want to put up the --
ACOSTA: We will let you digest that.
LEMON: -- Trump tweet that you were talking about. It says, "I look so forward to debating crooked Hillary Clinton. Democrat primaries are rigged. Email investigation is rigged. So time to get it on."
So he says he is looking forward to it, Jim. They are ready.
ACOSTA: He is ready to get into this with Hillary Clinton. He basically has moved beyond the primary battle. He is ready to engage in the general election campaign. When I talked to Trump campaign advisers earlier today, they were not surprised by the Super PAC ads that were released by Priorities USA, the pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC. They know that that is coming. In the words of one adviser that I talked to earlier today, Don, he said that we [00:10:01] know what Donald Trump's weaknesses are. We know where these attacks are going to come from. But they feel like that this is very much baked in, that the public understands Donald Trump's past, when it comes to women and they're not concerned about that.
In the words of this one adviser, the Hillary Clinton campaign better "watch out", were the words use by one adviser, in terms of what they are getting into with these attacks because, as you saw with Donald Trump on Twitter all day long today, he went after Bill, went after Hillary Clinton. This could literally just volley back and forth for the next six months, until we hit the November election.
LEMON: Jim Acosta, thank you. By the way, we're all admiring your requisite reporter trench coat this evening; very nice.
ACOSTA: Thank you. It was raining earlier.
LEMON: Thank you, Jim. I want to bring in now John King. He's at the Magic Wall for us. Hello, John. Sanders won Oregon tonight, but a close win in Kentucky for Hillary Clinton. What does this mean going forward?
JOHN KING: It means going forward, Don, that the math is against Bernie Sanders. Even though he can claim a split tonight, normally, if you are the insurgent and you have a split against a frontrunner, you take that as a good night but only nine contests left now on the Democratic side. Remember, coming into tonight Senator Sanders needed 67-percent of the remaining pledged delegates to catch Secretary Clinton among pledged delegates. Well, she wins Kentucky by the narrowest of margins, 46.8 to 46.3. Essentially a split of the delegates there. She will get a couple more, but Senator Sanders needed 67-percent. He didn't get it in Kentucky.
Even as he gets his win out in Oregon tonight, we're up to 66-percent of the vote counted, Don. That's a six-point win right now. Again, that's an impressive win; right? In any other context we would say that's impressive win; except under the Democratic Party Rules, where he is, Senator Sanders simply needs more. Yes, it's impressive but it doesn't change this. Let me switch maps and show you.
Secretary Clinton came into the night just shy of a 300 lead among pledged delegates. Senator Sanders tonight will cut into that most likely only in the single digits, Don; maybe ten or 12 by the time we're done allocating the delegates in Oregon. That's simply not enough, in the sense that now you have nine contests left. Senator Sanders is going to need 70-percent, maybe a little higher than that, of the remaining delegates.
Yes, there's no question, he can win the state of California. You think he will win California with 70-percent or 75-percent of the vote? His supporters say yes. Let's say a more likely scenario is a win, if he wins. The Clinton campaign says it can still win. Even a 55/45 in a situation like that -- Let me play this out even a little bit further for you and bring the states out and give California to Senator Sanders under this scenario. Let's say he surprises the Clinton campaign and takes New Jersey, 55/45, right? Secretary Clinton in this scenario wins Puerto Rico and wins New Mexico. Senator Sanders wins some others there. It's going to look like this, Don, at the end; even if Senator Sanders won them all, he wouldn't catch up to her.
And Sanders supporters don't like this, with that defiant tone Jeff Zeleny was talking about, if you are a Democratic super delegate, an elected official, a mayor, a union leader and Senator Sanders is now railing against the party, essentially saying the system is rigged, the party establishment is wrong, how likely is it, do you think that any of these people, 521 super delegates now for Secretary Clinton to only 41 for Senator Sanders -- with Senator Sanders turning up the heat on the Democratic Party establishment? What are the odds that many of these people are going to change their mind?
So a win tonight for Senator Sanders. He presses on as he said, until the last votes are counted. California critical to him. District of Columbia, the last contest, critical to him. But, I don't say this -- what Senator Sanders has done in remarkable in this campaign. It's just very hard to see him winning the remaining contests with 68- percent, 70-percent or more of the vote, but we will keep counting as we go forward.
But, on this night, Secretary Clinton is happy. she's roughly splitting the delegate delegates; which makes this the hill for Senator Sanders even more steep, Don.
LEMON: Assuming she is the nominee, give us the official - what does the official delegate count map look like? Do you have something there you can show us?
KING: If she is the nominee?
KING: Oh, the electoral map. We can go through what a fall race would look like. It's hard to give you an exact number on the Democratic side. Now one of the things the Sanders supporters will say, when it comes to this, if you take the super delegates away, it's more than likely that Secretary Clinton will end the nomination battle short of a majority of pledged delegates, short of the number of pledged delegates to clinch the nomination. This number - remember, this number includes super delegates.
So when Sanders supports say she won't get to 2383 with pledged delegates, that's probably right but that number includes the super delegates who, by Democratic Party rules, a lot of people don't like it especially Sanders supporters, they get votes at the convention. So, when it comes to that, she keeps these people. She's the nominee of the Democratic Party.
Let's play out the remaining contests; but if she holds on to these, she gets across the finish line. Now, you want to look into the Fall a little bit, if you assume this
is a Clinton/Trump race, --
KING: My best expectation to you is to start here. Some people do it in a different way. We could start here. This is a CNN map where the yellow states are our early tossup states. This is one way to look at it and say they will fight to get to 270, with a democratic starting with the advantage, 237. Republicans at 191.
[00:15:01] I always like the best way to start is with the last campaign. This is what President Obama won, the blue, in his re- election campaign against Governor Romney. 332 for the Democrats, 206 for the Republicans. So if you are Donald Trump, Don, here is your challenge: you are looking at this map and saying, I must change Pennsylvania. No Republican can win the White House without changing Ohio. Donald Trump thinks he can change Michigan, Trump democrats replacing the old so-called Reagan Democrats.
The democrats would tell you that's a pipe dream but this is where Donald Trump will start. Whiter states, working class states, states where his trade message, just like for Bernie Sanders, might be able to sell. if he could win those three, it's a heavy lift, but if he could win those three, and nothing else changed, Secretary Clinton would still win a narrow race.
So if you're Donald Trump then, you're looking for the rest of them. Again, this would be a steep climb. Could it be Florida? He says that's his second home state. That would make the difference. Now, Democrats would say no way Trump is going to win Florida with his problem with Latino voters.
Where else would Trump look? He'll look for smaller victories. He'll look, maybe, for Iowa. He will look maybe in New Hampshire. Under that scenario, if nothing else changed, Donald Trump is the next president of the United States.
So how will this play out Don? Follow the Super PAC spending, like Priorities USA, the Clinton Super PAC. Follow where it's buying ads, not necessarily this week or next week because they are testing things right now, but watch in the states. Watch in the states where the Democrats start running ads early to block Donald Trump because they know he is going to make a push across here. Then they know he will look for a few other states like in Iowa, New Hampshire, maybe it's Colorado. They will certainly want to contest in Virginia.
Watch how this plays out but most of the electoral battleground, it begins here. Unless Donald Trump can make inroads right here, from Pennsylvania across, then the democrats have an advantage. Mr. Trump knows this. This is where he will start and then we'll take it from there.
LEMON: Look at that. I mean, look how close that is
KING: Right. LEMON: What is it, 268 to 272 that you have?
KING: Under this scenario.
KING: Now, again, Pennsylvania hasn't gone republican since the late 1980s. So it's -- this is -- a lot of democrats would say give me a break, John; that's not going to happen. I'm just saying if it happened. if he can change these couple. If he doesn't get this one --
LEMON: A couple on my panel are giving you a side eye right now, by the way, John.
KING: If he doesn't get Pennsylvania, that's the challenge for Trump. If you don't get Pennsylvania, you have to find somewhere else. Is it Wisconsin? Is it -- do you go back to Colorado? There's no question, no question the map is tough for Republicans but watch Trump. He is going to start here and try to build here. We will see what he does over the next couple months. That's the test. He knows it; the democrats know it; everybody knows it. To get there it starts here.
LEMON: Okay; before I introduce the panel and let you go, John, do you have any questions for him because I think this is fascinating? No; nobody? Good, then save it.
John, thank you; I appreciate it. Have a good one.
KING: Have a good morning.
LEMON: Thanks for staying up late. Yes, have a good morning to you.
My political dream time is here; they're very quiet. I don't know what's happening to them, maybe they're asleep. Trump Supporter Kayleigh McEnany is here; Sanders Supporter Bill Press is here; Matt Lewis, Senior Contributor to "The Daily Caller"; CNN Contributor Bakari Sellers; and, CNN Politics Executive Editor, Mark Preston. Amanda Carpenter, the former Communications Director for Ted Cruz.
They're all going to have their analysis on tonight's races and what is to come next. Is Bernie Sanders giving his supporters false hope? we will talk about that next.
[00:21:49] LEMON: And, we're back. Hillary Clinton is scoring a big victory tonight over Bernie Sanders in Kentucky's Democratic Primary, while Sanders takes Oregon.
Back with me now, my political dream team: Kayleigh McEnany, Bill Press, author of "Buyer's Remorse: How President Obama Let Progressive's Down"; Matt Lewis, author of "Too Dumb to Fail: How The GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Go On to Win Elections"; and, Bakari Sellers; Mark Preston; Amanda Carpenter, who do not have books. Mark, I have to start with you because Bernie Sanders showing no signs
of conceding this race to Hillary Clinton. Is he wrong, because he was onstage, it seemed like it was -- he had -- he had gotten the nomination at the Democratic convention.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: I think the Democratic Party really is at this crossroads right now. Bernie Sanders is not going to win the Democratic nomination; however, Bernie Sanders is not going to get out. The reason being is -
LEMON: Say that again because people are listening at home.
PRESTON: He will not win the Democratic nomination but he is not going to get out of the race. It's killing the Clinton people, like Bakari over here, to my right, that he won't get out. Having said that, look at him. Look at who he is drawing out with these huge rallies; how many people there tonight, 15,000 people tonight. In many ways, he is really good for Hillary Clinton in the long run because he is energizing the party and they head into the doldrums of summer and then into a very tough general election.
LEMON: Here is what Hillary Clinton tweeted out tonight - wait, do you want to respond to that because you are --
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I think, first and foremost, one thing no one mentioned tonight in the hours we have been on air at CNN, Hillary Clinton got that much closer tonight to being the first female nominee of a major party in this country. That is a huge milestone.
I, like many Democrats, right now sit somewhat confused, somewhat disappointed by Senator Sanders' tone today. In the Democratic Party we are at a crossroads. We saw what happened in Nevada. For me it feels as if Senator Sanders is not doing the same thing Hillary Clinton did in 2008 but he is taking every effort he can to delegitimize her. That's troublesome.
We're at a point right now, and Senator Sanders had an opportunity tonight to look at the country and say that we're larger than this, that we are not them and he refused to do that.
LEMON: Does it seem petty, what he's doing?
SELLERS: I don't want to say petty, because his movement is larger than being petty. He does stand for something. The cause -
LEMON: I don't mean his movement.
SELLERS: The messaging is important. What he stands for is important. However, his tone; however, his attacks; however, the fact of the matter is that there is no way that he can win this race. He spoke tonight for two points: One is if he wasn't a democrat and, two, as if democrats in 2008 and 2012 didn't win the presidency of the United States, not by small numbers, but we got 330 electoral votes in one race and 350 electoral votes in another race. So, yes, I'm confused. I don't understand his goal. I saw Jeff Weaver, earlier tonight, who refused to denounce the attacks against -- who refused to say that violence and threats against the Chair of the Nevada Caucus is wrong. I don't understand this.
[00:25:01] LEMON: Let Bill Press -- go ahead, Bill.
BILL PRESS, AUTHOR, "BUYER'S REMORSE: HOW PRESIDENT OBAMA LET PROGRESSIVE'S DOWN": Look, let's face the facts; okay? There's a primary going on. This primary is going to continue through California and through December, so get -- deal with it, dude. Deal with it. Bernie Sanders is not going to get out.
This primary is good for the Democratic Party. Those people out there tonight, they came out because they believe in the -- Bernie Sanders and they believe in the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders was talking tonight like a Democrat. He talked about raising the minimum wage. He talked about saving Social Security. He talked about Medicare. He talked about healthcare for all. He talked about community -- free community college for every kid in America. Don't tell me he's not talking like a democrat, Bakari.
SELLERS: No, no.
PRESS: Wait a minute, I want to finish.
SELLERS: Go ahead. Finish, dude.
PRESS: This is -- I'm just saying this is going to go on. Clinton had just better relax; okay? Now Bernie --
PRESS: Bernie had a great win tonight in Oregon, sets him up well for California and he came very close in Kentucky. What I think you ought to be thinking about is Hillary Clinton, who won Kentucky, 65-29 in 2008, this is Clinton country. Bill Clinton won in '92 and '96 and she barely wins Kentucky? I think you better think there are some weaknesses in the Clinton campaign you ought to be worrying about rather than Bernie Sanders.
SELLERS: We're not - first of all, dude, respectfully, my dude -- my dude (inaudible) what I will tell you is that by every simple metric that you can put forth, every metric that you can put forth, super delegates, we have had this discussion. The super delegates change, if they were thrown out, if they actually voted with the state, Hillary Clinton would still be the nominee but the fact of the matter is -
PRESS: Not true.
SELLERS: That is very true. The fact - the fact --
PRESS: You just heard John Nichols say -
LEMON: John King. PRESS: John King say just the opposite. John King said without the super delegates Hillary Clinton will not have enough pledged delegates -
SELLERS: No, no, no; that's not what I'm saying. Let me be very clear with you, Bill Press. If the super delegates voted with their state, Hillary Clinton would still be the nominee. If the super delegates were not involved in the process, Hillary Clinton would still be the nominee. My only point to you is simply this -- is this -- my only point is simply this, we have larger fish to fry right now. We are facing the probability of Donald Trump being the next president of the United States and you - we have had this discussion many times.
Either Bernie Sanders is going to be Ralph Nader or he's not.
PRESS: Oh, come on.
LEMON: Stop. Stop. Stop.
PRESS: He's not going to be Ralph Nader. He's running as a Democrat.
LEMON: Bill, seriously. Bill -
PRESS: That's a low blow.
LEMON: What about the reality of the numbers? You heard John King say one thing. I think others on the panel heard John King say another. Basically saying there is no path to the nomination for Bernie Sanders at this point and, at this point, if he -- if Bernie Sanders does not want Donald Trump to be president, then he needs to think about something else and stop leading his -- that's what I'm reading here.
PRESS: Well, I have to say, the first conversation that I had with Bernie Sanders --
LEMON: Isn't the path -
PRESS: I know. I know.
LEMON: (Inaudible, cross talk).
PRESS: I'm going to answer.
PRESS: Give me a little break here?
PRESS: I have to say first conversation I had with Bernie Sanders about running for president is, I told him, you can't be any Ralph Nader. Bernie Sanders promised me, he's promised the world, he will not be Ralph Nader. He will support Hillary if she's the nominee. He is running as a democrat, Nader did not. To compare him to Ralph Nader, -- SELLERS: What about Eugene McCarthy?
PRESS: -- I think, is not worthy of you, Bakari.
SELLERS: What about Eugene McCarthy?
PRESS: I supported Eugene McCarthy.
MATT LEWIS, SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR, "THE DAILY CALLER": He doesn't come out for Hubert Humphrey.
SELLERS: You say that. It's one thing to say it but it's another thing to actually do it.
PRESS: How is he -
SELLERS: I mean, because every time he speaks, from this point forward, what he is doing right now, what he did tonight was delegitimize Hillary Clinton.
PRESS: He did not.
SELLERS: Yes, he did. Every single attack. The fact that they literally -- they are yelling tonight Bernie or bust, Bernie or Bust -
PRESS: But you know what --
SELLERS: -- that delegitimizes -
PRESS: When Hillary was running against Barack Obama all the way to June 8, --
SELLERS: That's fine.
PRESS: -- she didn't go out there every night and say Barack Obama is a wonderful guy. No, she said this is why you should vote for me.
LEMON: Mark Preston?
PRESTON: Can I take my dudes and bring them together? This is the passion right now that's going to be good for the Democratic Party, heading into November. They are fighting right now but they're not fighting over whether or not Hillary Clinton will be a good nominee. They're fighting over just getting to that end point. For the Democratic Party, that's not a bad thing right now. While it looks like this is a blood bath right here, --
LEMON: And, believe me, there's blood coming our way and that way right there.
PRESTON: Donald Trump is announcing a joint fund-raising effort with the RNC. Donald Trump is looking more presidential, more esteemed to that then the Democrats are.
LEMON: We keep talking about the dissention - we keep talking about the dissention from the GOP, but it appears as more dissention - it looks like the GOP is coalescing right now around Donald Trump and the Democrats are doing the opposite.
LEMON: Hold that thought. I will let you address that. That will be the first thing we address on the other side of the break. Don't go anywhere; we'll be right back.
[00:33:20] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Back with me now, my political dream team and a couple of dudes.
LEMON: I'm sure dude is trending right now. Mark Preston, I cut you off, I'm sorry. You were saying?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: I just think a couple things. You know, Matt said, tonight we did see a monumental thing happen where the Republican National Committee and Donald Trump have come together to figure out how they will raise money to take on Hillary Clinton, expectedly, in November. Matt's point was, listen, the Republicans and Donald Trump are all getting along but the Democrats are fighting. I think that is too simplified. The Democrats are fighting and, guess what --
LEMON: I said it looks like they are coalescing. I didn't say they were getting along. It looks like they are starting to.
PRESTON: It is what it is, but the bottom line is, for the Democrats, this fight has been simmering, and we have ignored it.
LEMON: Right, I agree.
PRESTON: We have ignored it because there has been so much focus on Donald Trump.
MATT LEWIS, SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR, "THE DAILY CALLER": It's part of a larger trend that's actually bipartisan. I think you're right, we have ignored it. Both sides are now having violence erupt at rallies. Both sides are delegitimizing elections. Remember, Donald Trump was essentially saying they're stealing -- the system is rigged. They're stealing the election from me. That's a dangerous trend in our political system.
LEMON: I thought I was listening to Donald Trump when I was listening to Bernie Sanders.
LEWIS: Right; exactly.
LEMON: This sounds like a Trump speech. LEWIS: The two guys have more in common than we think.
LEMON: Except you said -
LEWIS: It's not just about Trump, it's also about (inaudible, cross talk).
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: You said Trump was winning. (Inaudible, cross talk) Trump won. I don't mind you railing against the establishment. I appreciate the tweaking of the system. I mean, we've had serious problems in the democratic process, whether or not you have to blame Governor Cuomo and whomever else in New York for the 100,000 votes that were not counted and the people that were disenfranchised in Arizona. We've had those problems. I think the difference between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, though, in their respective races is that, very simply, Donald Trump won.
But Trump --
AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, TED CRUZ: Is it more that [00:35:00] he just doesn't have an exit plan to get out of this race? Because I go back and think about what Bernie Sanders was like in the Senate. Before he decided to run for president, he was kind of just there, not doing a lot. Then he kind of jumped in front of this parade, became the leader of it and he may not know where to go next. He could easily just go back to the Senate and be quiet. Maybe he's going to have a think tank. No one knows where he is going to go. Maybe Bill should address this.
BILL PRESS, AUTHOR, AUTHOR, "BUYER'S REMORSE: HOW PRESIDENT OBAMA LET PROGRESSIVE'S DOWN": I think I say this on every broadcast, you have to understand about Bernie Sanders. If you listen to his speeches, he doesn't talk about a campaign. He talks about a movement.
CARPENTER: Yes, but where's it going? How does he harness it?
PRESS: He talks about a political revolution. I'm trying to tell you where he's going with it. He's going with he wants to get the nomination, that's goal number one. He still sees, a very slim but a chance.
SELLERS: But could he -
PRESS: He wants to shape the party platform and have his issues in that party platform. He wants to -
CARPENTER: That's like a consolation prize at this point though, come on.
PRESS: -- shake up the Democratic Party.
LEMON: He had a message for the Party leadership tonight; listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me also say a word to the leadership of the Democratic Party -
SANDERS: -- and that is - that is that the Democratic Party is going to have to make a very, very profound and important decision. It can do the right thing and open its doors and welcome into the Party people who are prepared to fight for real economic and social change.
[Cheers and Applause]
SANDERS: That is the Democratic Party I want to see, bringing in people who are willing to take on Wall Street.
[Cheers and Applause]
SANDERS: To take on corporate greed --
SANDERS: -- and to take on a fossil fuel industry which is destroying this planet.
[Cheers and Applause]
SANDERS: I say to the leadership of the Democratic Party, open the doors. Let the people in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Matt, he is, to Bill's point, throwing down the gauntlet for the Democratic Party saying, this is what our party should be focused on.
LEWIS: He wants to push Hillary to the left, in a sense away from Bill Clinton's policies on a variety of issues like he was talking about, including about Wall Street, for example; but the question is, how do you accomplish that? He could -- if he goes too far, he could turn off Hillary and the Democratic Party and not get to push the policy. So I think there's a balance, in terms of how do you get the convention speech, how do you get your agenda on the platform? Don't you think you can go too far with this?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR AND DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: But right now he is just standing up for his supporters because, here's the thing: there's a lot -- a lot of what's going on can be traced back to Nevada, just this weekend. It's a perfect example.
The media has been talking for hours and hours on end about the violence with Bernie Sanders supporters et cetera, et cetera. Meanwhile, no one is addressing the real grievances of what happened there. It was a three tiered caucus system. Essentially they changed the rules in the middle of the caucus to delegitimize the second tier that Bernie Sanders had won. Not only that, they decertified 54 of Senator Sanders delegates.
No one is talking about this on air. No one is talking about these supporters --
LEMON: As a matter of fact, we are going to talk about that. We're going to talk about that after the break and is Donald Trump at Trump Tower going yeah, watching the Democrats go woo? We will discuss right after this.
[00:41:49] Hillary Clinton winning tonight in Kentucky's Democratic Primary, Bernie Sanders winning in Oregon. Joining me now CNN Political Commentator, Mr. Carl Bernstein, the author of "A Woman in Charge, The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton." He has been standing by patiently, ready to talk about this. Good morning to you, sir.
Is it hurting Hillary Clinton? Let's talk about what we have been discussing. Is it hurting Hillary Clinton right now that she can't devote her full attention to the general election with Bernie Sanders still in the race?
CARL BERNSTEIN, AUTHOR, "A WOMAN IN CHARGE: THE LIFE OF HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON": Of course; but I want to try a rather cynical explanation of perhaps what's going on. I can't be in Bernie Sanders' head, but I think he does see a very narrow, needle in a haystack, path to victory as follows. That is that Hillary Clinton comes into the Democratic Convention as damaged goods. She already is partly damaged, largely damaged from where she was by an awful lot of the distrust factor, by what's happened with the server, by supposed lies she's told, some that may exist, some that may not, and
we have an FBI investigation that's ongoing.
The slightest chance that something could result from it, not an indictment in all likelihood, but perhaps some fallout that would be damaging to her; and, if she does not have enough of pledged delegates, which she probably won't, and comes in there damaged and Trump is running around, and Crooked Hillary is sticking to some extent, then perhaps Sanders thinks those super delegates might think twice. I think that this is partly what's going on now and that we ought to take a look at that dynamic. It's very unlikely that he can succeed with that narrow threading of the needle, but it could happen.
The other thing is, he has not attacked Hillary Clinton on the server and those kinds of questions, so that when he gets up to speak at that convention, if he is not the nominee, he can be a savior of sorts to her. He can deliver, or try to deliver his movement to her. So I think the exit plan that I just heard doesn't exist, I think there is an exit plan.
I also think there is this little wiggle room that he sees, cynically perhaps. We heard his wife say, where is this FBI investigation? I think it figures, perhaps, in this.
LEMON: Interesting. Can you hone in on this for me because you have said to me, on more than one occasion that it is past time to talk about the real Hillary Clinton? I mean, it's amazing, given how long she's been in the public eye, that you think there is something that is missing. What is it that you think is missing? BERNSTEIN: I think that what's missing is, look, the viewers of cable news do not read all the biographies out there of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, that we have an obligation to do investigative biographies on our air. I'm not talking about looking for dirt. I'm talking about the arc of these candidates' whole lives.
The fact that we have not done them in the primaries is a grievous, grievous [00:45:02] abdication of our responsibility on television, on the networks, the cable networks, because we need much more than simply the great analysis that we have had after the debates and every night with the panels that we're all part of, but we do not look at the whole arc of these candidates' lives.
How much do we know about Hillary Clinton and the fact that religion, family and the whole concept of public service has been the backbone of her belief through her life? Now, you can say, and many people do, that, well, she's kind of undermined that by her own conduct. How much do we really know about Donald Trump and his business dealings? How much do we really know about Bernie Sanders, who won't release his tax returns?
The idea that we have three candidates now, two of whom won't release tax returns and one of whom won't release her speeches, is rather astonishing. Should candidates for presidency of the United States be unwilling to share that information with voters? So I think we have had a real abdication of responsibility. There's a lot that is not known to our viewers.
LEMON: He did release -- Bernie Sanders did release one year.
BERNSTEIN: One year, but not 2015, which he said they thought he would.
LEMON: So, listen, when you are talking about Hillary Clinton's background or Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump -- let's talk about Hillary Clinton here. Donald Trump has called Hillary Clinton the biggest enabler when it comes to her husband and women. What is behind that charge? Is there anything to that charge?
BERNSTEIN: I think the enabler allegation is less damaging than what he really intends, which is to show Hillary Clinton as someone who tried to intimidate and, in his words, Trump's, savage the women who accused Bill Clinton in one way or another of egregious sexual conduct. I think it has much less with enabling Bill Clinton and making an issue -- bringing forth these women it's going to be ugly.
There's no question, back in Arkansas, that Hillary Clinton and the law firm she was at interrogated some of the women named in a lawsuit that was brought against Bill Clinton for supposedly having a slush fund and enabled him to have relations with some women. It has never been shown that that slush fund existed or that he actually had sexual relations with those women, with the exception perhaps of Gennifer Flowers.
But whatever the case, the real allegation is, look, women Trump needs to win. One of the ways he sees to go about winning women is to say, look, Hillary Clinton, who claims to be a feminist, has gone after the women who her husband has been involved with. Is it a nice way to play ball? No. Is it what we're going to see and what we're seeing? Absolutely. We are headed for one ugly campaign, both ways.
LEMON: Yes; it's already starting. Thank you very much, Mr. Carl Bernstein. We appreciate that.
So, I will open it up to the panel now because it's really tricky because Hillary Clinton is obviously forever tied in Bill Clinton and that administration, its successes and its failures as well. But, she has been her own woman, very successful but she's walking -- it's a double edged sword. So how is she doing on that balance? Anyone care to follow up on that in?
MCENANY: She also said Bill Clinton would have a big role in her administration and take over the economy. So when you implicate your husband in that capacity, saying he is going to take over the large portion of my administration -
LEMON: Is that exactly what she said though?
MCENANY: That's basically what she said.
LEMON: Or is that what people are hearing?
MCENANY: She said I'm putting him in charge of economic recovery in my administration. When you do that, not only is he fair game because he was a political spouse, he is also fair game because he is going to play an integral role in your administration.
PRESS: I do have to add, I do think there's a big difference between the job -- number of jobs he created and the way the economy grew, the largest, longest period of sustained economic growth in the history of the country up until that point and charges of infidelity, or facts of infidelity I think bring -- talking about one issue is a lot different from the personal, ugly, nasty stuff which I think, by the way, will backfire. It has been so long ago. We have been over it so many times. All the people who were alive then have moved on and dealt with it; and half the voters today weren't alive then and they're not going to give a damn.
MCENANY: But the other thing that --
LEMON: Hold on; hold that thought. Are they? Is that true? We will discuss.
[00:48:11] LEMON: The breaking news tonight, or this morning depending on where you are, on CNN: Bernie Sanders wins the Oregon Democratic Primary while Hillary Clinton claims a narrow victory in Kentucky. Then on the GOP side, presumptive nominee, Donald Trump edges closer to his magic number of 1237. Back with me, my panel. So, Bill Press says he thinks it's going to backfire if he continues on with the Hillary Clinton is an enabler thing; do you agree with that?
CARPENTER: I'm not sure. I think Hillary Clinton has to start defending herself more because we have Donald Trump on the airwaves all the time, as the principal, making news. Hillary Clinton seems to think that her surrogates, other people can defend her. I think she has to step in the fray herself soon.
LEMON: All right. All right, let's move on. Bakari, remember Trump's taco bowl tweet -
LEMON: -- for Cinco de Mayo, says he loves Hispanics. Well, Jeb Bush blasted it, saying -
SELLERS: I'm with Jeb on this.
LEMON: -- It's like eating a watermelon and saying, I love African- Americans." What's your reaction?
SELLERS: I think my tweet today in response was -- to that was, Jeb is out here giving real truths.
The fact of the matter is that Donald Trump is so disconnected from the plight of many persons of color in this country that it's laughable. I have to laugh at Donald Trump sometimes because it's so sad. Jeb Bush actually hit the nail on the head, because that's simply like saying, you know, man, we're going to get red Kool-Aid, some fried chicken and some watermelon and we're going to invite every black person we know.
LEMON: I'm so hungry right now. That sounds really good.
PRESS: Can I quickly add -
SELLERS: Let me put a bow on this. What he attempts to do to relate to minorities is fill in every stereotype as if he is a third grader coloring in between the lines, and that petrifies Republicans.
LEMON: Well it's like when someone says, I have black friends. I will let you answer --
SELLERS: I have five of them.
LEMON: Let me put this up, Jeb Bush went on to say that, "Not all Hispanics are Mexican. Secondly, not all Hispanics eat tacos. Thirdly, showing your [00:55:01] sensitivity by eating an American dish is the most insensitive thing that you can do." Go Bill.
PRESS: The only point I want to make is that Cinco de Mayo, May 5. Today is May 17 and we are finally hearing from Jeb Bush.
PRESS: If you want to know why Jeb Bush is not the Republican nominee, I make my point.
CARPENTER: I love that him and Marco Rubio are suddenly liberated on Twitter now and say whatever is on their mind from when the campaign was going.
MCENANY: That's true.
LEMON: Go ahead.
MCENANY: I just want to make the point we live in a high offense society and I think Americans are really kind of tired of oh, I'm offended by this, I'm offended by this, walking through life being offended by anything.
I think most Hispanics don't feel slighted by the fact that Donald Trump sent out a picture eating a taco. I think it's ridiculous. I think it's silly we are talking about this. I think they care about issues; I don't think they care about a taco bowl being tweeted.
SELLERS: But are you - I mean, that is -- I think the audacity for you to make that statement and feel as if you can empathize for someone who is actually going through some level of oppression or racism or sexism or bigotry or whatever it may be at that particular point, or xenophobia, which I think a lot of people feel Donald Trump exudes, says a lot. I mean, that is not -- for someone to sit back and say that yes, I'm a Hispanic and I was offended by that, for you to say that --
MCENANY: He said I love the Hispanics, Bakari.
SELLERS: The idea -
MCENANY: He said I love Hispanics --
SELLERS: No -
MCENANY: -- and somehow you are going to twist this to make it offensive?
SELLERS: It was more than that.
MCENANY: Come on, Bakari. Come on.
SELLERS: Okay, how about this? How about this, the exact -- let's use Jeb Bush, for example, because he was correct.
LEMON: Ten seconds.
SELLERS: If, for example, he had a watermelon and said the blacks love me, I would be offended as well.
LEMON: It's about being out of touch. I think that's what people are offend -
MCENANY: He said he loved a group. I don't think people are offended by this, outside of the media.
LEMON: (Inaudible), when we come right back, much more on tonight's primaries in Kentucky - or last night's primaries in Kentucky and Oregon; again, depending on where you are. Plus, death threats over democratic delegates. I'm going to talk to the woman who says she was threatened by angry Bernie Sanders supporters in Nevada. The Chairwoman of the Nevada Democratic Party tells me why she's afraid for her family.