Return to Transcripts main page


EgyptAir 804 Investigation; Politics of Terror; Egyptian Plane Down, U.S. Officials Suspect Bomb; Clinton Says Trump's Not Qualified to Be President; Trump and Clinton Go Head-To-Head on Terror. Aired 11-11:59p ET

Aired May 19, 2016 - 23:00   ET


[23:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: What's happening at the top of the hour, 11 pm on the east coast, 5 am in Cairo where the investigation of EgyptAir flight 804 is entering day two. This is CNN Tonight, I'm Don Lemon. The search for any sign of the plane and the 66 people on board intensifying as U.S. officials fear the plane was taken down by a terrorist bomb. Meanwhile, the candidates battling over the politics of terror.


HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have seen ow Donald Trump is being used to essentially be a recruiter for more people to join the cause of terrorism. So I think that if you go through many of his irresponsible, reckless, and dangerous comments, it is not just somebody saying something off of the cuff.

DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today, we had a terrible tragedy, and she came up, and she said that Donald Trump talked about radical Islamic terrorism which she does not want to the use. She uses a different term, because she does not want to use that term, and she refuses to use that term, and I am saying to myself, it is a terrible thing, and he essentially should not be running for office, because he does not have the right to run for office, and I am saying to myself, what just happened 12 hours ago? A plane got blown out of the sky.


LEMON: We are going to begin with the very latest of course on the EgyptAir investigation, and let's now bring in CNN's international correspondent, Atika Shubert in Paris for us. Atika, good morning to you, in Paris, and Charles de Gaulle airport is really in the spotlight tonight or in this morning there where you are with this crash, and tell us about the security measures there?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, really this is where the investigation begins, until they can find the wreckage, this is the best place to look for clues. And they have significantly stepped up security and not because of the missing flight, but actually months ago, they were particularly concerned about the sort of the backdoor vulnerability here at the airport, and whether or not employees may have had links to radical Islamism. And that is why in December around 70, dozens of employees both here and at the Orly Airport were actually removed from their jobs and their security badges taken away, because they were feared to be security risks. And since then, they've instituted a whole bunch new measures. There are random and regular checks of personal lockers here. And also, the same kinds of security check that you and I would go through to get on a plane, and no liquids and the checking of laptops, and the same thing happens to the employees in restricted areas here.

And now what the investigators are doing is they are looking at every single person who may have had access to that plane before it took off, trying to figure out if there were any weak links in the security chain, and so far however, there have been no red flags, Don.

LEMON: And Atika, we have new information about one of the passengers, now what can you tell us?

SHUBERT: Yes, that is right. We are now slowly starting to find out who was aboard that flight. Ahmed Helal was an executive with Procter & Gamble, with the local branch here. He was just one of several businessmen and also a Portuguese businessman was aboard the flight as well.

LEMON: By the way he's the one on the far right in the glasses, and I wanted to let the viewers know that. Continue Atika.

SHUBERT: Absolutely. No, it is good to get that clarity, and there is also a number of family members on board including three children. So it is a mixed flight, and most of the people on board were Egyptian nationals and quite a few French nationals as well. And what we know is that a number of the families based here in Paris have actually already landed in Cairo hoping to get more information. There were two flights that left after that, and bringing the family members there. As you can imagine, absolutely desperate to get any information they can, Don.

LEMON: Atika Shubert in Paris, and Atika thank you for the new information and we appreciate that, and I want to bring in CNN aviation expert Miles O'Brien, Michael Weiss, the co-author of "ISIS, Inside the Army of Terror", and Gregg Charvat, the author of "Small and Short-range Radar Systems".

Miles O'Brien and good evening to all of you, thank you all for joining us tonight, according to Greek officials the wreckage of EgyptAir 804, said it had been found, but it has not been found now. What do we know about this wreckage?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION EXPERT: It will turn up, it will and the fact that it hasn't turned up this quickly should not give us much pause, the experts it took them four days plus to find the floating vertical stabilizer of Air France 447 about eight years ago.

[23:05:00] And while the Mediterranean is a lot smaller space, and smaller confines than looking in the southern Indian ocean, it is still a big ocean and it will take a little bit of time, but I think pretty soon, we will see the floating wreckage.

Of course the key is to find the body of the aircraft under the sea where the flight data recorders presumably are.

LEMON: Let's talk more about what happened in the investigation, Michael, any chatter ahead of time, have there been any claims of responsibility so far?

MICHAEL WEISS, CO-AUTHOR, "ISIS, INSIDE THE ARMY OF TERROR": No claims of responsibility, and I mean, we are well past the point with the metro jet bombing, ISIS came out right away and said, we did it, and there was all kinds of confusion. And was it a missile, of course it turned out to be a soda can explosive embedded in the fuel line. It is very strange, Don.

ISIS often takes credit for things they haven't done, so to have complete radio silence on this is bizarre, I have to say.

LEMON: I have to ask you Gregg, when was the flight last heard from and when was it apparent that something was not right with this flight?

GREGG CHARVAT, AUTHOR, "SMALL AND SHORT-RANGE RADAR SYSTEMS": Very early in the morning it was last heard from and I think the sign that something was happening is the fact that it started flying erratically and tumbling in altitude very quickly based on the radar data.

LEMON: The latest they are involving several incidents involving EgyptAir over the years, Miles, and there were a number of them, and tell us about EgyptAir.

O'BRIEN: Well, EgyptAir, one of the flights that you may recall back in 1999, and EgyptAir 990 flying out of JFK airport was plunged into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantucket. Ultimately the investigation which was led by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board determined that the second officer of the aircraft basically dove it in, in a suicide plunge struggling with the captain who was trying to stop that from happening.

What's interesting about this is that the Egyptians to this day have never admitted that finding. It is very clear-cut from listening to the cockpit voice recorder, and I actually flew the scenario in a simulator, and it matched exactly what happened, and yet the Egyptians never accepted that. So, there is some concern that the Egyptian authorities and the investigators are not willing to call a spade a spade in these situations, and let's hope it has changed over the years.

LEMON: So having investigated a number of these, you doing the terrorism angle, and you knowing the last information as all of you said, you find it strange that ISIS has not said anything about it. WEISS: There is of course always the chance they didn't do it.

LEMON: Yes, has said not anything even that they didn't do it, say that we didn't do it. But as I sit here with all of you experts, just a round robin, what do you think happened? And I know at this point but given your level of expertise, Miles, you first, what do you think happened?

O'BRIEN: Well, put it under the umbrella of a deliberate act. I think that is safe to say. One of the possibilities would be a loss of control, I just don't see

a lot of evidence of that. Planes don't fall out of the clear blue sky, and that is what you had in this situation. So under the category of deliberate act, there's two basic possibilities. Was the flight crew involved in some way, shape or form, and the evidence could match that.

The air traffic controllers called the them about two minutes before things go bad, and no response and then suddenly the plane falls out of the sky. Was there a struggle in the cockpit and one member of the flight crew versus another. You could also with the same evidence come up with the scenario that involved a bomb which didn't completely disintegrate the aircraft. But kept it going in the air at some capacity.

The crew may or may not have heard air traffic control, may or may not been able to get a mayday call off, or wasn't heard. And was struggling to get the plane down in what we call an emergency descent after rapid decompression. What is interesting about the flight path is that it did take a 90-degree turn, which is standard operating procedure for an aircraft in a situation of rapid decompression.

You don't want to go down on the virtual highway that you are flying on. Straight down because you might hit an aircraft below you on this virtual highway. So you take a dogleg and you go down fast, and that's the first maneuver was before they went into the 360 and then ultimately into the sea.

LEMON: So hold that thought about a bomb. Because I want to hone in on that, but what do you think?

WEISS: Look, the U.S. came out very quickly and said we suspect it was an act of terror, it was probably a bomb. And the most remarkable thing to me is the Egyptians and who in 1999 they still don't admit that it was a co-pilot crashing the plane. MetroJet it took them four months to say this was an act of terror. They had claimed it was mechanical failure.

They were right out of the gate to say we suspect this is terrorism, and maybe that is to be quite cynical if they are trying to assign blame to security at Charles de Gaulle. And say this was a lapse in French intelligence or French security, hey, if it can happen to the French of course it can happen to us. And that is why Sharma el-Sheik happened.

My gut tells me it is terrorism, I don't know which organization, Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula has been trying for a long time to evade airport security and smuggle bombs aboard planes.

[23:10:00] TheKhorasan Group, remember them, they are Al Qaeda, they were in Syria, we started bombing them when the coalition went to war. One reason we went after them so assiduously is they were apparently looking to smuggle clothing to use in a certain incendiary chemical, aboard commercial airliners, so they could ignite the clothing. And that reminds me of the underpants bomb and the shoe bomber, Richard Reid.

So there are kinds of innovative ways you can try and get a bomb aboard a plane. If it was an infiltration though within the airport in Charles de Gaulle or airport security, that it is a major seismic change in the way that whoever is responsible does business, because that is infiltrating the heart of a major international European airport.

LEMON: Now we get to Gregg now.

CHARVAT: The last ping from that aircraft was a primary or secondary radar. Did it come from the transponders or was the primary radar that lit it up? If it came from the transponders, that means the aircraft had some amount of power on its way down, and that is something to look for next.

LEMON: OK, So I want to talk about this, I said hold your thought when it comes to the bomb. How small of a bomb could take down this plane of this size, and how sophisticated would it need to be?

O'BRIEN: Well, it is kind of on the placement for one thing, but a small bomb in the right spot could cause a lot of trouble. You know, so it is difficult to really speculate. Was it a decompression scenario which led to them to a rapid decent which actually might have exacerbated some problem with the aircraft on the way down, it is hard to say.

LEMON: OK. And don't go anywhere. We will continue the conversation, and we'll be right back.


[23:15:33] LEMON: We certainly have a lot more questions than answers about EgyptAir 804, but are there some clues as to what happened to the plane and the 66 people on board? Joining me is CNN aviation correspondent Richard Quest, and also Mary Schiavo, former Inspector General of the Department of Transportation, she is now who is now an attorney for victims of transportation accidents, she joins us via Skype.

And David Soucie who is author of "Malaysia Airlines Flight 370". Which we all spend so much time discussing, and Richard Quest actually wrote a book on that as well.

But David, you wrote the book on why planes crash, if you were investigating this right now what would be your first steps in determining what brought down this plane?

DAVID SOUCIE, AUTHOR, "MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT 370": Well, the first steps obviously would be to find some debris, find what's going on in the aircraft. I'd be having pinger detectors going out into the region. We know that approximately where it went down, and we know that following that, there is radar signals as to where it went down. Find the aircraft that is number one, but don't lose sight of the fact that there could be other things ready to follow, and that if it is a terrorist act, a bomb, and other plans in place, and so start looking back at who had access to the aircraft, look at the videos and see what was happening on the ground before this aircraft left.

LEMON: And I also want to ask you this. Mary, because you have been investigating this, the early theory right now from U.S. officials is that the plane was taken down by a bomb. And what leads them to think that?

MARY SCHIAVO, FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: Well, first and foremost would be the security situation in Paris and at the Paris airports. We've heard some people say they believe that the security there is very good, but frankly, having 70-some people who have ties to or who are suspected to have ties to terrorist organizations when they do a search of their lockers at the airport and they find terrorist materials, ISIS materials in the lockers at the airport.

And then the, you know, they said they got the security badges stripped, and they were fired, and not so fast. Not all of them were fired. French law required them to give them other jobs at the airport that didn't involve security. So the fact that they were doing security sweeps and the United States had insisted on additional security already says that we have a security problem.

No matter how much they are trying the do, and we have a problem there and I think that has led people, and in addition to the facts of the no mayday call, and the fall from 37,000 feet, and I think that those are the things that mostly made them say that they thought that is what it was.

LEMON: And Mary, a quick call follow-up for you, because this entire flight was only supposed to be about 3 1/2 hours, and the fact that the contact was lost, with this airplane, hours into the flight, does that tell you anything?

SCHIAVO: Well, yes, I always look at prior accidents or crashes or bombings and prior cases that I have worked on, And in some of them, the intent where it was a bombing, the intent was to bring the plane down over water for a couple of reasons, and one in particular was to make it difficult in the investigators, because in those cases, they were planning follow-up attacks, and they thought that if they dropped the planes in the water, they would be able to test that out, and go on to additional attacks, and Pan Am 103 and UTA and the Bojinka plot. The plan in 2006 to take airliners from Britain to the United States, and all of those depended upon many more than just one incident.

LEMON: And Mr. Quest, so you wrote the book that I mentioned the "Vanishing of MH-370" and you have pointed out so many times, that planes just don't fall out of the sky, and especially some of the planes that we have discussing have many redundancies for safety, and a plane cruising at 37,000 feet is at the safest part of the journey, right? RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR AND AUTHOR, "THE VANISHING OF MH-370":

Absolutely. That is why these planes like AirAsia and Air France and now EgyptAir 804 are so troubling and so significant. Because as David Soucie rightly points out, this is not one of the cases where we can just sit back and wait for the inevitable finding of the black boxes. They will find them.

They will find them, and they will find the debris and the wreckage and they will find the black boxes, and I'm pretty certain under these circumstances it will all be readable. But we can't wait for that, because as Mary says the facts of this, these so many security issues vis-a-vis Charles de Gaulle, and vis-a-vis other airports and the screening of the aircraft.

[23:20:12]So you really are with this one, Don, almost from the get- go, you are doing a multi-pronged and not just investigation, but solutions. You are looking now, and you cannot wait for the certainty of knowing whether this was a bomb or security-related or technical. And quite often when it is mechanical, you have to wait, because you just don't know, and until you have the data, you could be barking up the wrong tree, but here, you have to really start to look at Eritrea or Tunis. And you have to start of course at Paris Charles de Gaulle.

LEMON: Hey Richard, if this happened at Charles de Gaulle Airport, if there was some sort of breakdown there it is a game-changer?

QUEST: Completely. Absolutely, Charles de Gaulle, and the second or third or fourth depending on your matrix, largest airport in Europe after Heathrow and Frankfurt and Munich and then Charles de Gaulle. Headquarters of Air France and the Air France group along with Amsterdam. If and look I am just going to say if and keep saying if because I know viewers will rightly round on me for rampant speculation.

But if this does prove to be the weak link in the chain or indeed the security screening because a device was put on somewhere else, and the plane was not properly checked, then you are in game-changer. Because there is a huge difference between MetroJet in Sharm el-Sheikh and EgyptAir coming out of Paris Charles de Gaulle. So we put it out there. You wait for the evidence, but certainly, there can be no complacency that CDG was not necessarily part of the problem.

LEMON: David Soucie, and Richard Quest says beyond the flight data recorders, you can't wait for that you have to start trying to figure out what happened now. But once they are found, they will crucial in the investigation, but there is a lot of technology that exists that are not on the planes that could provide a lot of clues, correct?

SOUCIE: Absolutely. It is irreprehensible that we really are having the same conversations we've had for the two or three year now about this type of incident without any information, no data, no streaming information from the cockpit. There is nothing that we know about what was going on in this airplane at this time.

And that is the move to action, and that's what we need to, as soon as we do find those black boxes, and of course, we have to focus on this particular accident, but our memories are so short that as soon as this is done, and we find out what happened to the airplane, we will get short sighted again. And we will have to continue the movement to say, how do we get more information and the fact that the families are waiting for information, and again, with this type of the incident, it is just as I said, reprehensible.

LEMON: Mary, Richard, David, thank you. When we come right back, the candidates go head-to-head on terror. And Hillary Clinton sits down with CNN and does not hold back, and blasts Donald Trump saying he makes it more difficult to fight terrorism.


[23:27:02]LEMON: Hillary Clinton unleashed her sharpest attacks yet on Donald Trump in an exclusive interview with my colleague Chris Cuomo and she talks about her Democratic challenger as well, Bernie Sanders.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How do you fight the perception that we look weak? Trump this morning was out hot and early on twitter when this happened saying that, it looks like another act of terror and more proof that

we are weak. We have to be strong, because there is a lot of hate and anger out there. He is channeling the perception that a situation like this fuels which is we are weak, and they can take our planes when they want, and the Russians, the Chinese they can scare our military when they want, and America does nothing. How do you answer that?

CLINTON: Well, first of all, he says a lot of thing, and he says a lot of things that are provocative that actually make the important task of building this coalition, and bringing everybody to the table, and defeating terrorism more difficult.


CLINTON: Well, for example, when he says bar all Muslins from coming to the United States, that sends a signal to majority Muslin nations, many of whom we have to work with in order to defeat terrorism, and some of whom are already among our strongest allies in this fight, and it sends a message of disrespect and it sends a message that makes the situation inside of those countries more difficult. For them to go all-in in the way we need them to go all-in.

CUOMO: And to the Americans that message resonates with, where they say well, these attackers always do seem to be Muslin, and they are coming in here, and Comey who is in charge of vetting them says he can't vet them, and Trump calls for a temporary ban, and it seems to make sense to people. Does it make sense to you?

CLINTON: No, not at all. Let's remember what he has called for and break it up. He said that all Muslins should be barred from coming into the United States, all Muslims, Nobel Prize winners, entertainers, sports stars and you name it, the new mayor from London and all Muslins should be barred.

Now when confronted with the new mayor of London who is the first Muslin to be elected the mayor of London by the people of London and he says, well, I will make an exception for him, and the whole approach is incredibly provocative and wrong-headed. And look at what he has done just in the last week. He has attacked our closest ally Great Britain. He has praised the reckless dictator in North Korea, and he has said that we should pull out of NATO, our strongest military alliance.

He has advocated for more countries having nuclear weapons, and that kind of unpredictable dangerous rhetoric and the policies that he throws out there for whatever hope he has to get people to respond to him, make us less likely that we are going to be effective as we need to be going forward in assuaging the concerns of people that we want to be working with us to deal with this threat.

[23:30:00] We have been effective in beginning to kill off the leadership of ISIS. To go after their funding sources. To make it very clear that we are going keep training the Iraqi army, and they have taken back Ramadi, and we will support them to take back every other part of the territory, and most importantly Mosul that ISIS has seized, so we are making progress.

Our biggest concern, and I think that if it turns out to be an act of terror with a flight coming from Paris, the biggest concern is what is going on in Europe. And that is something that we do have to address and deal with, with all of the partners and that is going to require even closer cooperation.

CUOMO: And let me ask you, do you think that Donald Trump is qualified to be president?

CLINTON: No, I do not. And I think that in this past week whether it is attacking Great Britain, praising the leader of North Korea, a despotic dictator who has nuclear weapons, and whether it is saying pull out of NATO, and let other countries have nuclear weapons, the kinds of positions he is stating and the consequences of those positions, and even the consequences of his statements are not just offensive to people, but they are potentially dangerous.

CUOMO: So you get into the general election, and if you are the nominee of the party --

CLINTON: I will be the nominee for my party, Chris. That is already done in effect. There is no way that I won't be.

CUOMO: And there is a senator of Vermont who has a different take on that, and he says that he is going to be fighting to the end.

CLINTON: Yes, right.

CUOMO: And there seems to be a change here as Donald Trump is trying to galvanize his party, and the Democratic Party seems to be going to the other way, and his supporters are more aggressive, and feeling that the system is rigged against the senator, and we saw what happened in Nevada. And when you saw that, did you believe that Sanders responded the right way to that situation?

CLINTON: Well, I was very disturbed by what went on there, but I am --

CUOMO: With him or the supporters?

CLINTON: Well, what we saw.

CUOMO: With the supporters?

CLINTON: Well, what we saw was disturbing. I have every confidence that we will be unified. I understand --

CUOMO: Where does that confidence come from?

CLINTON: In part from my own experience. I went all of the way to the end against then Senator Obama and I won 9 of the last 12 contests back in '08, and I won Indiana, and Kentucky and West Virginia. So I know the intense feelings that arise particularly among your supporters as you go towards the end, but we were both following the same rules just as both Senator Sanders and I are following the same rulings.

And I'm 3 million votes ahead of him and I have an insurmountable lead in pledge delegates, and I'm confident just as I did with Senator Obama where I said, well, you know, it was really close, and much closer than it is between me and Senator Sanders right now --

CUOMO: Votes wise?

CLINTON: Yes, vote wise and delegate wise and I said, in fact if you depend upon how you evaluate it I had more popular vote but I had fewer delegates, and the name of the game is how many delegate delegates you have, right? So when I came out and withdrew and endorsed Senator Obama, about 40 percent according to the polls, about 40 percent of my supporters said they would never support him. So I worked really hard to make the case as I am sure that Senator Sanders will that whatever differences we might have they pale in comparison to what the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party.

And name an issue that you care about domestic or international, and clearly, we are much closer, Senator Sanders' supporters and mine than either of us is with Donald Trump.

CUOMO: And why don't you reach out directly to Senator Sanders and do the work of reunification, of unification of the party, and however you want to see it? I ask this, because Senator Sanders has said to me in the past, and to many others, it is not my job to get my supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Clinton has to make the case to these supporters and given what you are seeing with increase in hostility and antagonism towards the process within the

primaries on the Democratic side, should you reach out to Bernie Sanders and say, let's start doing this the right way and let me start talking to the supporters from your perspective. Have you done that or thought of doing that?

CLINTON: Well, I have said many times what I have just said to everyone including his supporters, and I am absolutely committed to doing my part, more than my part but Senator Sanders has to do his part.

[23:35:00] That is why the lesson of 2008 which was a hard fought primary as you remember is so pertinent here. Because I did my part. But so did Senator Obama.

He made it clear that he welcomed the people who had supported me. He made it very clear, and we went to unity, New Hampshire together, and appeared together, and spoke together. And we made it absolutely obvious that I was supporting him, and he was grateful for the support, and I was reaching out to my supporters, and he was telling his --

CUOMO: And you nominated Senator Obama at the convention. And Bernie Sanders is saying that --


CUOMO: He is going to fight all the way through the convention. It's different.

CLINTON: Well, he has to do his part to unify, and he said the other day, that he is going to do everything possible to defeat Donald Trump, he said he'd work seven days a week. I take him at his word, I think the threat that Donald Trump poses is so dramatic to our country, to our democracy, and our economy that I certainly expect Senator Sanders to do what he said he would.


LEMON: And coming up, strong words from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the war on terror.


[23:40:00] LEMON: Tough talk are from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on terror in the wake of EgyptAir flight 804. And here to discuss is Maria Cardona, CNN political contributor and a Hillary Clinton supporter, Bill Press, author "Buyer's Remorse",

and a Bernie Sanders supporter, and Buck Sexton, CNN political commentator. Hello to all, Buck, you first. What is your response to Secretary Clinton's interview today in the wake of the EgyptAir crash?

BUCK SEXTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Nothing new said from the secretary on this stuff. A lot of talk on how we need to work with allies, I mean sometimes when she speaks about foreign policy it sounds a bit to me like she's someone who is auditioning for model UN team at high school. Of course, we are going to work with our allies, and of course we need to try to confront terrorism.

I will say she is always very clear that she doesn't want to specify necessarily what kind of terrorism, she will say ISIS. She won't go beyond that but there are no solutions that she can offer. One in fairness because we don't actually officially know that it was a terrorist attack yet, it certainly looks like it was. But in terms of her rhetoric about Trump which is the point here about him being dangerous to America or dangerous to the world, it is just not going the sell.

I don't think that people really believe that Donald Trump is going to be invading foreign countries for no reason were he to become the commander in chief. And Hillary Clinton's record now which has tied the Obama administration's record is one of continuous failure on foreign policy. Iraq is worse than it was when Barack Obama took office in 2009, and Afghanistan is worse now, and Libya is certainly worse now, and which Hillary Clinton is responsible for.

Syria is a whole lot worse now, and you go around a map of the Middle East and pick out different countries, and where has there been some success on the administration so far?

LEMON: All right, so Maria, Donald Trump's response to Secretary Clinton was swift. He said this at a rally in New Jersey.


TRUMP: Crooked Hillary. And I love this crowd. This is great. My people. This is my people. But Bernie Sanders said that Hillary really is essentially not fit to be president, and she is not qualified to be president, and you know why? He said because she suffers from bad judgment. So today, we had a terrible tragedy, and she came up to say that Donald Trump talked about Islamic radical terrorism, which she doesn't want to use, she uses a different term. Because she doesn't want to use that term, she refuses to use that term.

And I am saying to myself, and it is a terrible thing, and he essentially shouldn't be running for office, and he doesn't have the right to run for office, and I am saying to myself, what just happened about 12 hours ago? A plane got blown out of the sky. And if anything, and if anybody thinks that it was not blown out of the sky, you are 100% wrong, folks.


LEMON: OK, so then here is the response he wrote this as well, he said, "the fact that Hillary thinks the temporary Muslim ban which she calls "Muslim ban", promotes terrorism proves Bernie Sanders was correct when he said she in not qualified to be President. Look at the carnage all over the world, including the World Trade Center, San Bernardino, Paris, the USS Cole, Brussels and an unlimited number of other places. She and our totally ignorant President won't even use the term Radical Islamic Terrorism.

And by the way ask Hillary who blew up the plane last night -- another terrible, but preventable tragedy. She has bad judgment and is unfit to serve as President at this delicate and difficult time in our country's history."

Maria, what is your reaction to that?

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, I that Hillary got under Donald Trump's skin, I think is such an easy thing to do. Look, you look at the difference in their responses and Hillary's interview today, and Chris did a fantastic job at asking her some tough questions versus what Donald Trump said in his rally. She was very focused on what the solutions were.

She was talking about what we need to do around the world. She was talking about how Donald Trump's dangerous language was not going to be making us safe, and in fact, would be a danger. So I think that when Americans really see the difference in the kind of detail that she uses in talking about how she would approach this kind of foreign policy threat versus, and here I'm going to be using the former Defense Secretary Robert Gate's words versus Republicans and Donald Trump's bluster and threats that are dangerous to the national security, I think that is an easy contrast that Hillary Clinton will win every time.

LEMON: Hang on Buck, you had your turn.

SEXTON: Pardon me.

[23:45:00]BILL PRESS, AUTHOR "BUYER'S REMORSE": Well, first of all I think that Donald Trump had better stop quoting Bernie Sanders, because it is going to turn around to bite him in the ass when Bernie Sanders takes on Donald Trump which he has already started to do. Having said that I think today was a game changer if you will, because what we saw was first of all a horrible act, looks like terrorism, we are not really sure, but certainly looks like one the most serious threats, an example of one the most serious threats facing this planet at this time.

And a contrast between two people each of whom is aiming at being the next president of the United States. I think the contrast in the capacity for leadership was striking between this hot headed response of Donald Trump who at 6:42 am before we knew anything puts out first of all, says nothing about the families of the victims. Asserts that it is an act of terrorism with zero evidence versus a very measured response on the part of Hillary Clinton.

I think it was striking and I think that we will see it all of the way from now until November. One person is ready to lead and the other person is reckless and dangerous, and yes, a hot head.

LEMON: All right, A quick response, Buck.

SEXTON: Well, the most important thing I can point to is Hillary Clinton's actual record, what she said today --

LEMON: I heard you say that earlier, but I wanted to get the other guests in there, Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration would say under this particular administration America has not had a successful attack and under the previous administration, 9/11, we were successfully attacked and so their foreign policy when it comes to terrorism is successful. SEXTON: OK, the U.S. pre-9/11 and post 9/11, are completely

different places, I worked for the CIA post 9/11, anybody who was there can tell you that it was on a completely different footing, the intelligence community, the military, everything was different pre 9/11 and post 9/11 about how we approach this issue.

PRESS: Yes, because George Bush was president pre 9/11.

SEXTON: So yes, the point here is that when you look at what actually happened, when the keys to the kingdom were handed over to this administration, to President Obama and Hillary Clinton for four years as Secretary of State, look at the hot spots around the world.

What were the problems? Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya became a much bigger hot spot is now a failed state and Syria is a civil war that grinds on with over 400,000 people perhaps killed at this point, and the administration has mostly sat on its hands, and all of that has happen and that is a record that Hillary Clinton cannot wash away now.

LEMON: Aren't Republicans are saying that are tired of America being the police officers of the world, that other countries need to invest more instead of America investing more. Is that contradictory to what you are saying right now?

SEXTON: Well, first of all Trump says a lot of things about that contradicts each other, I am not going to --

LEMON: But you support him?

SEXTON: I support him over Hillary, I am not saying he's perfect, but also hasn't made a mish mash and a hash of all U.S. foreign policy --

LEMON: Hang on, I'm getting yelled at. I got to go to break, I promise on the other side we will continue, be right back.


[23:50:00] LEMON: Back with me now, Maria Cardona and Bill Press and Buck Sexton, we were talking about Republicans and Donald Trump saying we should not be the policeman of the world. I think Buck pretty much made his point and Bill Press, you wanted to respond.

PRESS: Well, I did because I think Buck keeps changing the subject, right, he slamming President Obama's foreign policy, look, I'm not here to defend President Obama I wrote a book about the Obama administration called "Buyer's Remorse". The question is who are we going to turn the keys over to?

Right now, seriously, we're going to turn it over to Donald Trump who shows no sign of any understanding of foreign policy whatsoever, and his answer is that

I am willing to say Islamic radical terrorism, so therefore I am qualified to be president. All he says about ISIS is when I am president ISIS will be gone quickly, very quickly. He doesn't have a clue and seriously that's a question, do you really think he's capable of leading the country? SEXTON: Just very quickly, you're disentangling Obama's foreign policy from his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton who is the person we are talking about.

PRESS: I am talking about Donald Trump with zero capacity to lead and he's proven it and then he wants to ban all Muslims, ban all Muslims from coming in --

SEXTON: Hillary Clinton has a record of abject failure as Secretary of State and that is very relevant to this election.

LEMON: Let Maria respond.

CARDONA: I will jump in here and defend President Obama, because guess what, President Obama and Hillary Clinton did not break Iraq. That was George W. Bush and that opened up the opportunity for this cauldron of terrorism to breed in that area of the Middle East that then spread.

And so, when you have again a focus of Donald Trump when he is insulting our closest ally, Great Britain, when he is talking about getting out of NATO, when is talking about chumming up to Kim Jong-Un, when he is talking about making nuclear weapons available to other states, that sends shutters not just up and down the spines of the Democrats and the independents, but many Republicans are afraid of this guying having access to the nuclear codes, and Americans in general do as well.

LEMON: And so Buck, I want to ask you this as well, and we had you on when he did the foreign policy speech, were you on?

SEXTON: I can't remember. May have been.

LEMON: So what did you think about that because you haven't always on Donald Trump's side, and now all of a sudden you are defending him and his foreign policy, and now you are like his biggest supporter, I don't understand that.

SEXTON: No, definitely not his biggest supporter, but I would prefer Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.

LEMON: But to his point, he is saying -- listen I am not saying I necessarily believe this, but I am trying to come to a consensus, and Bill Press is saying that he does not Believe that Donald Trump has the foreign policy chops to lead

America, and at one point you were saying the same thing publicly and on this program.

SEXTON: I have been critical of his lack of foreign policy knowledge in the past, but that is something he can learn, and when you talk about somebody who is commander in chief. I'm saying it now, Don.

[23:55:00] I don't remember what I said the first time we talked about it. But the fact of the matter --

LEMON: But isn't that a problem that you don't remember this?

SEXTON: No, it is not a problem because you have some -- you have one side of the issue here that has a clear and proven record, and that stuff that Hillary Clinton said today means nothing. It is not going to be stop any terrorist attacks, it's nothing new, there is no policy involved in that we haven't heard a million of times before --

CARDONA: And it goes further --

LEMON: Hand on before you guys respond, I want to say this, if Maria had come on or Bill Press or anybody else on the program and had been contradictory in their statements I would call them out. So please don't get with me, oh, you're a Donald Trump -- I am not against Donald Trump. I am just pointing out the facts that Buck has been on the program, and has said detrimental things about Donald Trump and his foreign policy stance and now you are defending it. That is, it. Go on.

CARDONA: And I will go further, and Buck said that Trump can learn this, OK. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt, let's say he can learn it. It goes further than that, Donald Trump does not have the temperament to be president. He is thin-skinned and quick to the draw, and he is angry, and he channels that anger at 2:00 a.m. on twitter.

LEMON: Go ahead, Bill.

PRESS: I just want to say I won't go that far. I do not want somebody we are going to count on learn about foreign policy once he becomes president of the United States. Already we have somebody. Please, I thought I was my turn, somebody who wants to ban all Muslims from coming into the United States, that is recruiting tool for terrorism, and that dangerous man cannot be in the White House

SEXTON: You have one side of this ticket right now, Hillary Clinton that has a proven foreign policy failure, a failure across the Middle East. And you have another guy who says some things that not always in line with the foreign policy establishment but is at least willing to speak about tough issues. And isn't the most corrupt politician we have seen in 30 years or so,

LEMON: How is that for party unity on all sides, thank you, we will be right back.


LEMON: Thank you for watching. We will see you back here tomorrow night. Our live coverage continues now with John Vause and I should say in Los Angeles. Have a good night.