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Trump and Clinton Trade Shots in California; Trump Reaches Out to California Latino Voters; Clinton Reposnds to State Dept IG Report on Emails; Donald Trump's Far Fetched Theories; Creating Music That Defined the Eighties. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired May 25, 2016 - 23:00   ET


DON LEMON, HOST: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton duking it out in California. This is CNN Tonight. I am Don Lemon. It is 11:00 p.m. here on the East Coast, but all the action in this race for the White House, happening out in the West. Trump and Clinton holding dueling rallies and denouncing each other.


DONALD TRUMP: And we have a person running for office who is not equipped to be President. She doesn't have the temperament to be President. She's got bad judgment.

HILLARY CLINTON: But I've concluded that Donald Trump doesn't seem to actually care about making America great so much as he cares about looking great himself.


DON LEMON: So much commotion at the Trump rally. We will begin there now.

CNN's Kyung Lah joins me now, live. Kyung, good evening to you. You were on the scene of those protests earlier today. How bad did it get?

LAH: You know, it started out as a gathering of protests -- about 150 of them. It was quite loud, it was raucous, but it was contained. What happened was, when Trump left -- when his speaking stopped -- the protests then spilled into the streets. What we saw was a clash between protestors and the police department. The various police departments were on horseback. They were in riot gear. They began to try to clear the streets. They warned the protestors this is business for them -- they need to open up the streets; they need to let people in Anaheim have their streets back. And when they did not listen to the police orders, they began to pick-off some of the lead protestors -- arrest them.

We are told tonight, Don, that there were no police officers who were injured and there was no property damage.

LEMON: A lot of interest and discussion, Kyung, about who, exactly, these protestors are. Describe them for us. Old? Young? And what were they saying? LAH: Predominantly young. And what we noticed in looking at this crowd -- and, again, about 150 of them -- it was a good mix of predominantly anti-Trump forces, but also some pro-Trump forces, as well. So when you brought them to together, it was a bit of a toxic mix and they were clashing and screaming primarily about the issue of immigration. It is something that is very potent here, especially in the city of Anaheim -- predominantly Latino city -- and it is a majority Latino city. That's who we saw who were the anti-Trump forces. And, in fact, the passions were so inflamed -- you saw it when they pulled out the Trump pinata. The crowd -- the anti-Trump forces began to rip apart the Trump pinata. It was stuffed with Mexican candy. They even hoisted the head on top of a Mexican flag then moved it to an American flag. So very inflamed group, but very passionate about this particular issue, often saying that they believe Donald Trump is, simply, racist. Don?

LEMON: And Kyung, by the way, great reporting. I watched you all afternoon. Thank you very much, Kyung Lah out in west Los Angeles.

Donald Trump reaching out to California's large Latino community today. And I want to talk about this with Republican strategist, Leslie Sanchez, the author of "Los Republicanos - Why Hispanics and Republicans need each other". And Raul Reyes is an attorney who is a CNN opinion writer, and he is a Democrat. Good to have both of you here.

Leslie, I'm going to start with you. You say that there are many Latinos who appreciate Trump's message and leadership style. How so?

SANCHEZ: Yeah -- no, absolutely. And I think when you go across the country what you're seeing is there's naturally a divide. You have a lot of conservative Democrats, former military who appreciate the strong leadership stance -- protecting America and thinking America first. But there's a lot of frustration when it comes to his tone and rhetoric, and borderlining nativism and there's just now tolerance of acceptability for that. So that's the cross-pressure that this very diverse community is facing.

LEMON: Do you agree, Raul?

REYES: Well, I would say I respectfully disagree. This is someone -- you have to remember, Donald Trump has generated enormous and well- deserved antipathy in our communities -- in our Latino communities -- literally from day one by insulting our community, belittling many of our national Hispanic leaders, inciting and condoning violence at his rallies. He's on track, I believe, to get the lowest number of Latino votes in this election cycle since these numbers were even ever recorded. So this is someone that's not just a divisive figure, but it's very personal.

Leslie says there are many Latinos who still support Trump. Granted, there are some -- we're a diverse electorate. I would say, right now, I believe the polling puts him at about 20 percent of the projected Latino vote. I think Fox News' Latino puts him at 23 percent -- that's the highest I've seen. But I predict by -- come November, after Hillary Clinton has deployed her surrogates, including cabinet members, Latino celebrities, the grassroots activists -- that's going to be cut in half. We're looking at 10 percent.

So they exist, but it's a very small number.

LEMON: Go ahead, Leslie.

SANCHEZ: You know, I think trying to understand where the Latino vote's going to go is like trying to mold Jell-O. It's a very nimble type of process and it's a dynamic, fluid voting group. If you just think about the fact that Latino millennials are breaking away from the Democratic Party, and not going in-line in ethnic solidarity, and supporting Bernie Sanders in very large numbers. And the fact you have a lot of conservative Democrats, like I talked about before, who are looking at a Trump candidacy with serious consideration. There's a lot of movement back and forth across party lines because Latinos don't necessarily buy into political ideology. They're buying the candidate. And this is not in a vacuum. They are going to be looking and comparing the potential of a Donald Trump versus a Hillary Clinton.

LEMON: Okay, let's discuss that. Leslie, I think you've said something very interesting. By the way, it's good to have you back on. I haven't seen you on in a long time, at least not with me. But it's good to have you back on. I appreciate your expertise.

And you as well, because we reminisced about old times and Arizona weekends.

REYES: Yes, thank you.

LEMON: But, listen, here's what I would like to know. When you talk about that, you know, they like a candidate -- they don't necessarily believe in political parties or ideology. So what is it appealing -- is it immigration? Because everyone says immigration is such -- you know, the Mexican and the wall, or whatever -- that's going to turn people off. Is there -- is there enough of a divide in the Latino community, right, where they may disagree on illegal versus legal immigration? Can -- is he sort of coalescing Latinos who believe in legal immigration and have something against illegal immigration?


SANCHEZ: Sure. Absolutely, Don. I think you're exactly right on the point. For example, I went down to the U.S. -- Mexico/Texas border and you have so many individuals who are just as concerned about border enforcement, border security. They don't, necessarily, believe that Donald Trump is going to build a wall because they feel there's a natural interior border with the Rio Grande River; but, that being said, they do want strong enforcement. They want a strong system that can, basically, allow labor to move legally -- and good and services -- legally back and forth across any port of entry.

LEMON: The question is, are there enough of those voters to be the majority -- to help him win the Latino vote, or at least a large enough portion of it to win the election, Raul?


REYES: If you look at statistics that show Donald Trump has negatives among the Latino community -- 86 percent-87 percent disapproval. And of those disapproval, it's 73 to 74 percent strongly disapprove. So, granted -- I mean, I understand Leslie Sanchez's point, that there are some Latinos who do back Trump, but the overwhelming majority of Latinos are against him -- against his rhetoric. And we see that -- you know, for example, there's been a -- New York Times has reported on the skyrocketing naturalizations -- the rise in Latinos turning out to register to vote. In a sense, Latinos -- I guess the only good thing for the Latino community in regards to Donald Trump is that he has mobilized so many people to actually turn out to show up and vote.

LEMON: Will it mobilize the vote for him or against him?

REYES: No, to vote against him. So there are pockets of support for Donald Trump but this is small.

LEMON: This is what Donald Trump said last night about New Mexico's Republican Governor, Susana Martinez -- listen to this:


TRUMP: She's not doing the job. Hey, maybe I'll run for Governor of New Mexico. I'll get this place going.


LEMON: So she is a Republican, a woman, Hispanic, well-liked within the party, very smart and accomplished woman. How did Trump insulting her play today in the Hispanic community? Be honest with me, Leslie.

SANCHEZ: I think it was disastrous to say this -- (inaudible) Governor Martinez. And the reason is, she's -- you know, while her favorables may not be very high right now, she's extremely popular among Independents and Democrats, and it's 3-to-1 Democrat -- you know, outnumbered in terms of being a Republican in a very blue state. She's managed to bring people together. And she really is not playing politics, or doesn't conform to a certain ideology. I think she really is looking for the interests of New Mexico.

So, rather than, kind of, separating somebody who could be really a big power player within in a campaign organization, it's always, obviously, better to bring them in. And she was very hesitant in 2012 to get behind Governor Romney at the time, as well. She really does look out for the interests of her state. So I think it was very much in line for her to keep her powder dry.

LEMON: And you know, Raul, Governor Kasich is saying a similar thing. Here is what John Kasich said: He said "Governor Martinez is an outstanding Governor who has brought conservative reform to a blue state. She's exactly who our party and nominee should be lifting up and supporting, not tearing down."

REYES: He is exactly right. LEMON: So what is his strategy? Why go after her?

REYES: His strategy is like a scorched-earth strategy. If you ask me, as someone on the outside of his campaign, his strategy is to alienate and offend as many Latino voters as possible. Susana Martinez is someone -- as Leslie said, she is -- she's relatively popular, she's a moderate, she's the first Latina governor, she made history. But this is part of Donald Trump's pattern. He did the same thing with Marco Rubio during the primaries. I mean, there's always -- they're always rough and tumble, but he belittled him and mocked him in a way that he has driven him and his supporters away forever. One person that I would say he has -- the only major Latino figure he has not completely alienated is Brian Sandoval, who declined -- who said he would not endorse Trump during the primaries, but recently has said -- I think on May 5th -- that he would endorse the presumptive nominee. He would not even say Trump's name, but he did say that he would endorse the nominee.

So we'll see if Trump continues his pattern and insults Brian Sandoval, as well; but, as of now, I mean, that's his trajectory.

LEMON: Let's talk about a Democrat now, because Bernie Sanders tweeted out "Donald Trump and his friends should realize that their bigotry is the past, not the future." I mean, but for Trump, it's very much about the future. He is (inaudible) "Build the wall today." Why is this so personal for Latinos?B

Go ahead.

REYES: It's personal for Latinos --

LEMON: And then I'll let you get in, Leslie.

REYES: It is personal for Latinos because we are descended from immigrants. Whether you're first generation -- third, fourth, fifth generation -- we know undocumented people. The Pew Hispanic Center says that two-thirds of Latinos personally know someone who is undocumented. So when Donald Trump is, you know, railing against what he calls "drug-dealers and these Mexicans who are rapists", these are, potentially, undocumented people who we know. It's not just politics and policy; it's deeply personal with us. That's why it resonates so much.

LEMON: So, Leslie, then why do you think, from what he's saying, that he could -- that Donald Trump could be successful at immigration reform?

SANCHEZ: Absolutely. I'll tell you why; because there's a big nativist movement that is very suspicious about amnesty, and they are -- many of them are aligned with the Donald Trump campaign. And he may, actually do something that no other Republican or Democrat could do, and that is bring people together and have real negotiated talk on comprehensive immigration reform, if he chooses to do that. He could get the parties together and really move forward. So there are opportunities here. And with respect to that, I think there are many Latinos who don't see themselves as anything other than Americans. They have the same kind of concerns, but they want a President who is inclusive. So that's going to be, really, the tone argument.

LEMON: So, can he win in November without the Latino vote?

SANCHEZ: They've already aligned with policy and leadership. Look, he -- Donald Trump is not trying to win -- you know, I can't speak for his campaign, but -- win the Latino vote, but a Republican nominee needs to be competitive by being in the high 30 percent -- or around 40 percent -- as we have been for the last 10 presidential elections. So that's really where the marker is. Can he move that 10 percentage points -- maybe 12 percentage points -- to be competitive in November. And I would argue he can.

LEMON: Yes or no (inaudible)?

REYES: No, I would argue "no way" and we've seen that in the fact no major Latino political figure has --

SANCHEZ: He has to --

REYES: -- endorsed him. If no major Latino endorses him, he will not get (inaudible).

SANCHEZ: Endorsements really matter this cycle.

LEMON: Thank you both.

REYES: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Thank you. I appreciate you coming on.

Up next, can Trump win the White House without the Latino voters? We'll discuss that more. And he's -- he likes to dabble in conspiracy theories, as well. Does that help or hurt with voters? We'll take a look.


LEMON: We have some breaking news to report to you. Hillary Clinton -- Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, responding tonight to the State Department report that slammed her use of a private email server. Here's what she told our affiliate, KMEX:


CLINTON: Well, there may be reports that come out, but nothing has changed. It's the same story. Just like previous Secretaries of State, I used a personal email. Many people did. It was not at all unprecedented. I have turned over all of my emails. No one else can say that. I have been incredibly open about doing that. I will continue to be open and it's not an issue that is going to affect either the campaign or my presidency.


LEMON: All right, let's discuss now. Nina Turner is here -- former Ohio State Senator and a Bernie Sanders supporter; Lanhee Chen is here -- Lanhee Chen is -- who is the former senior advisor to Marco Rubio; Tana Goertz, a senior advisor to Donald Trump and a former contestant on "The Apprentice"; and Mo Aleithee, Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and a former spokesman for the 2008 Hillary Clinton campaign.

So, interesting -- she's weighing in tonight on this State Department report about her email use at (inaudible). What do you think, Tana?

GOERTZ: Well, I think that the American voter does need to know about this and does care about this. This is more of a political problem than it is a legal problem. And I think she's got -- she's got a long way to go. A lot of the democratic people are very upset at what's come out and I know a lot of Republicans are thrilled that, now that the news has broke -- that there's been deceit and people want to know about this. So I'm glad that it's coming to the surface and I hope that they get to the bottom of this.

LEMON: Mo, she says nothing has changed.

ALEITHEE: Yeah, and I'm not sure that it did. I'm not sure that -- look, we've been talking about these emails now for months, ever since -- yeah, right before she got into the race. I'm not sure that there's a tremendous amount of new news here. And I, frankly, think that, you know, folks may be getting a little, you know, weary -- to borrow from Nina's candidate, Senator Sanders -- right? Like, we're sick and tired of talking about this issue. So I think, you know, she's answered. She's going to move forward. The Trump campaign is going to keep throwing it at her, and if this is the best they've got, I think she's going to be okay.

LEMON: Nina, I'm sure you want to get in on this. What do you think? Nothing has changed? She seemed to be saying it's not a big deal -- it's not going to affect her campaign.

TURNER: I think what the difference here is that, yes, this story has been percolating, you know, for months now, but now we have the IG's report. And I don't think, as Democrats, we can kind of thumb our nose at that report. Now, again, ultimately it will be up the voter; but the IG is the unbiased investigator -- investigated and has determined that the Secretary broke the rules. And so, as Democrats, we've got to come to grips with that. It is going to be a political problem and we can't -- we can't just shake it off just for political expediency, here. This is -- this is real. Now, whether or not it's going to impact -- if she is the nominee, and I still say "if" because my candidates is still raging on -- but this is -- this might be a problem. I'm not going to just say that it's not just for the sake of political unity here. This is going to be unity versus truth.

LEMON: She said "There may be reports that come out, but nothing has changed. The same story -- just like previous Secretaries of State, I used personal email. Many people did. It was not at all unprecedented. I have turned over all my emails. No one else can say that. I have been incredibly open about doing that. I will continue to be open." So she's -- and then she goes on -- but, she's saying she turned over all of her emails, but Lanhee, in the report it said when she finished her official business she turned over all her emails. She did not actually turn over all the emails when she finished as Secretary of State.

CHEN: Yeah, Don. I mean, I think there are three issues here. First of all, this is a report from an appointee of the Obama administration. This is the Inspector General of the State Department. It's not a report from Republicans in Congress. The second issue is, she didn't sit for an interview for this particular report. That's going to be seen as problematic. And, finally, the fact that she did this -- she was the only Secretary of State to exclusively rely on a private email server and a private email account in addition -- you know, other Secretaries of State have used a public account as well as private one.

So, look, the problem here for Hillary Clinton is the drip, drip, drip; right? Everyone already thinks she's untrustworthy. A lot of Independent voters are out there trying to evaluate who they're going to support in November. And what this does is, it reinforces the impression of her as untrustworthy and, ultimately, unfit for office. That's the problem with this report, Don.

LEMON: Let's move on, Tana, and talk about the other side now. You just heard my conversation about the Trump and the Hispanic vote just before the break. When Trump shot off this tweet last night, he said "The protestors in New Mexico were thugs who were flying the Mexican flag. The rally inside was big and beautiful, but outside, criminals." So how does Donald Trump expect to improve his standing with the Hispanic community when he is reminding him about previous remarks about immigrants, and rapists, and criminals, and all of that.

GOERTZ: Well, Don, Mr. Trump is just talking about the people outside of the rally who were disruptive -- who were looking for their few minutes of fame -- you know, getting televised, and being able to see themselves on television, and tell their friends that they were the ones that disrupted the rally. It has nothing to do with Hispanics, or anyone that is a law-abiding citizen. Mr. Trump was 100 percent --

LEMON: Does that make them "thugs" and "criminals"?

GOERTZ: The people that are -- well, the people that are acting criminally in a -- outside of a rally and being violent and disruptive? If the law enforcement has to get involved and people are getting -- if it's getting violent and people may get hurt, law enforcement's going to do their jobs. And if they get arrested, they are criminals. Yes. Mr. Trump was not generalizing, saying that all --

TURNER: He was, though.

GOERTZ: -- Hispanics and --

ALEITHEE: Yeah, he was.

TURNER: He was.

GOERTZ: He was not. He was talking --

LEMON: Go ahead, Nina. GOERTZ: -- about the people outside. No, he wasn't

LEMON: And then I'll let you respond, Tana. Go ahead. Go ahead, Nina.

TURNER: But he has generalized in the past and that is wrong. So whether it's Muslims; whether it's our Hispanic or Latino sisters and brothers, he should not -- he should not be doing that. I mean -- and he's turning off the Hispanic vote. I will tell you that -- and we all may remember that even Senator John McCain is worried about whether or not his reelection is in peril because some of the things that Mr. Trump is saying -- painting ethnic groups and other folks with a broad brush. And he has to stop that. That's not right.

LEMON: Mo, you wanted to get in. Go ahead.

ALEITHEE: Yeah, look, that tweet -- going back to what he said in the tweet -- he talked about the "thugs outside waving the Mexican flag." Why is he doing that? He's trying to make a political point. He's trying to make a point that -- he is "otherizing" these people and trying to make a point.

GOERTZ: What he was --

ALEITHEE: That is divisive.

LEMON: Hang on, Tana. I want Lanhee to get in and then, Tana, I'll give you the last word.

ALEITHEE: It's not okay to call Mexicans rapists and talk about the flag and then say "All is well because I like Taco Bowls."

LEMON: Lanhee, go ahead.

CHEN: I think -- look, I think the reality is, Donald Trump --

GOERTZ: Please (inaudible).

CHEN: Donald Trump doesn't particularly care about his share of the Latino vote. That is not how he foresees his pathway to victory, here. He is going to drive up the percentage of working-class whites that support him. Part of his strategy is not garnering significant-- LEMON: Is he deliberately trying to alienate minorities to boost the

support of his base, do you think?

CHEN: I don't know if it's deliberate. I mean, it's certainly seems that way from some of his commentary. I'm just -- the point I'm making is I don't think he particularly cares. I don't think that their model of how to win this election is premised on winning states like Colorado and Nevada. I think it's premised on doing well in rust belt states where there are a lot of working-class whites. I think that's the strategy.

LEMON: Go ahead, Tana.

TURNER: The demographics are changing though, Don. That strategy is not going to work because, guess what -- people of color are going to be the majority in this country, so that just doesn't work and it's foolishness.

LEMON: So, Tana, before you respond, he's already viewed unfavorably by 74 percent of Hispanics. So is he -- is he shooting himself in the foot intentionally?

GOERTZ: First off, Don, his -- his strategy is working. He's clearly winning by a landslides, and was winning by landslides when he had 16 other contestants -- candidates in the race, okay? So Mr. Trump is -- he's winning. His strategy works. Mr. Trump was not generalizing. What he was saying is we live in America; this is the race for the President of the United States; we wave the American flag here in America. That's all he was saying. If you're outside acting a fool, you will be arrested; law enforcement will do their job -- because we know how Mr. Trump loves his law enforcement and respects the law enforcement -- and they will do their job. He was clearly saying "If you're going to act like a criminal, you'll be arrested, then you're a thug and criminal. I was with Mr. Trump in Arizona --

LEMON: Do you think the protestors realize, Tana -- do you think the -- and you guys can weigh in. I have to put a short amount of time here. Do you think the protestors realized that they are actually playing into Donald Trump's hands -- that it's actually helping him and it is revving (inaudible) against the party?

GOERTZ: No, they don't realize that. They don't realize that, Don, or they wouldn't be doing that. Mr. Trump realizes that everybody inside the rally that waited five and six hours in line to hear him speak -- to hang on to every word that he's saying -- they are the voters. Those are the people that are voting -- going to vote for Hillary, Bernie or Donald Trump -- not the people outside acting crazy and acting foolish -- who are getting arrested. So he realizes --

TURNER: Well, how do you know that the people outside are not voters?

GOERTZ: Those -- those people -- the majority of those --

TURNER: Don't call them "those people". I'm going to tell you something; it's very offensive --

GOERTZ: I'm not just talking about Hispanics.

TURNER: It's very offensive to see "those people".

GOERTZ: I'm not talking about Hispanics.

TURNER: Well, who are you talking about? Hispanics? African- Americans? Those "those people"?

GOERTZ: I'm talking about every single human being --

TURNER: It doesn't work in our world.

GOERTZ: Oh, you know what? I'm not going to -- I'm not going to entertain you allowing me to -- TURNER: Oh, you're not entertaining me. I'm just letting you know

what the -- what the facts are.


LEMON: One at a time, please. One at a time.

GOERTZ: I'm just saying -- I'm just going to say --

TURNER: You cannot make those kinds of statements --

GOERTZ: I don't play that game.

TURNER: -- when referring to people of color.

GOERTZ: If that's what you want to think. I'm talking about all the people outside.

LEMON: The people outside were diverse, though, Nina.

GOERTZ: And that is fine. And guess what? I -- I'm Italian.

TURNER: But she was making a reference, Don, to --

GOERTZ: I'm sure there was Italian-Americans out there. I'm not going to allow you to say I was making a reference to anything race.

TURNER: Oh, it's not about "allow" -- it's not about what you're going to allow me to say.

GOERTZ: I'm just saying.

TURNER: You and I are having an adult conversation right now.

GOERTZ: So, whatever you want to think. I don't have to defend myself to you. I'll answer Don's questions.

LEMON: Mo, go ahead.

ALEITHEE: Yeah, Don, look, I think the people -- I think your point is well taken. I think the protestors outside who turned violent actually end up hurting their own cause. And I think they're playing right into his hands and what he's hoping to accomplish here. But let's also not (inaudible) --

LEMON: It also draws the cameras to Donald Trump.

ALEITHEE: It -- let's not pretend for a moment that Donald Trump is all smiles, and fuzzies, and happiness, and peacefulness inside after his long record during the primaries. He's toned it down a bit, but during the primaries, when he was out there encouraging violence -- when we were seeing violence inside the hall. I think both sides here need to seriously de-escalate because the rhetoric is actually playing into his hands and turning people off to the process.

LEMON: You guys are so interesting, I'm going to keep you around. So stay with me, everyone. Donald Trump has some big ideas, but he's also got a lot of theories -- conspiracy theories. We'll take a look, next.


[25:23:31] LEMON: Many Americans think building a wall on the U.S./Mexican border seems far-fetched, but from the death of Justice Antonin Scalia to 9/11 to the Kennedy Assassination, Donald Trump has his theories. Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In 1993, the Clintons were being scrutinized over a real estate deal called White Water when Deputy White House Council Vince Foster was found dead. Investigators in five separate investigations called it suicide, but still some people have suspected murder.

And Trump's thoughts on Foster? He knew everything that was going on and then all of a sudden he committed suicide. Trump told the "Washington Post," "Very fishy."


FOREMAN: It's not the first conspiracy theory he's liked. Last fall, he fixated on the widely disproven claim vaccines cause autism.

TRUMP: The beautiful child went to have the vaccine and came back -- and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.

FOREMAN: Then he turned to the 9/11 attacks.

TRUMP: And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down.

FOREMAN: But CNN and others could not find any proof. More recently, Trump wondered about the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

TRUMP: But they say they found a pillow on his face which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow.

FOREMAN: Authorities say yes but he was sleeping and died of natural causes. So Trump moved to the Kennedy assassination, suggesting a link between Ted Cruz's father and Lee Harvey Oswald. Again, no proof.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: This is nuts. This is not a reasonable position, this is just kooky.

FOREMAN: It may have all started with the birthers in 2011 when Trump joined the chorus saying Barack Obama was not a native-born American. President Obama's birth certificate proves otherwise but listen to trump just last summer.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Do you accept that President Obama was born in the United States?

TRUMP: I don't know. I really don't know. I mean I don't know -- I don't know why he wouldn't release his records. But, you know, honestly, I don't want to get into it.


FOREMAN: And that answer is fairly typical. Trump doesn't often insist that these conspiracy theories are true, he just throws the rumors out there and he gives them room to room to run.

And if there's too much pushback or they are proven to not be true, he's also given himself room to run.

LEMON: He just moves on. I guess the big question is how does Trump get away with these statements? It's not like no one calls him on them.

FOREMAN: Yes, but you know how politics works. Sadly, as much as we want to think people analyze the issues, a lot of this is based on if you like someone you're willing to consider what they have to say is possibly or probably true.

If you don't like them you think it's definitively false. And in the case of people who are supporting Donald Trump, I think in many cases they think well, he says enough that I really agree with. If he believes this or hint at some of these things, well, a lot of people think maybe like the old show the "X Files" the truth is out there and they're just not being let in on it.

LEMON: You and I encounter that every single day as journalists. So what if Trump becomes president, can this continue you think?

FOREMAN: No. I mean of course not, and I don't know if it will. I mean who knows what would happen in that circumstance as you have to say about any candidate. When they become presidents, they're different than they are as candidates.

But yes, I think as president there'd probably be a whole lot more pressure from people saying you can't just spout these things out there or even wink at them. You need to have some kind of proof or else he's inviting trouble.

LEMON: You realize by just doing a fact check now that you are anti- Trump? I know you're not but those on his side will say that, even though you're just checking the facts.

FOREMAN: You know, Tom, I've (INAUDIBLE) a lot of people during this election. In any moment, I've been called anti-everybody. But we're just trying to find out what's really going on.

LEMON: Anyhoo, great report. Thanks, Tom Foreman.

FOREMAN: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Up next, more about Trump's conspiracy theories. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:23:39] LEMON: We're talking about Donald Trump and his conspiracy theories. Back with me now, Nina Turner, Lahnee Chen, Tana Goertz, and Mo Elleithee.

So Tana, Vince Foster's suicide, Trump calls it fishy, he links autism and vaccines, he says that he saw people cheering in New Jersey after 9/11. He suggested Ted Cruz's father was involved in JFK's assassination, and he still doesn't know if Obama was born in the U.S. He was, by the way. Is Trump a conspiracy theorist?

TANA GOERTZ, AMERICAN ENTREPRENEUR: No, he's not. He just likes to get people thinking and doing their own research to find out the facts. I mean he believes that for Vince Foster to go -- to have -- you know, wake up -- not wake up but, you know, be labelled suicide that there should have been more than just five investigations.

He thinks Washington, D.C. should have done 500 investigations to actually find out what really happened. I mean a top White House guide -- aid doesn't go missing like that so he just wants people to be doing more research, I guess.

LEMON: But I mean, Tana, don't you think five investigations are really. I mean that's kind of a lot. I mean do you --

GOERTZ: Enough? No.

LEMON: -- expect them to do an investigation until they find something that's not there or find something that suits the other side for someone who believes in a conspiracy theory?

GOERTZ: No, I just think that Washington, D.C. to only have five investigations? That doesn't seem like enough.

LEMON: It's not just Washington, D.C. You're saying Washington, D.C. but there were police, there were investigators, there were all kinds of people involved. It wasn't just politicians going, "Hey, let's see if this was not something that was ideology. This was done by professional investigators, police."

GOERTZ: It didn't seem like it was enough, and Mr. Trump was just saying that.

LEMON: It wasn't enough to suit people who believe in a conspiracy theory but it was enough to suit the truth. The truth about it is that Vince Foster committed suicide. Why can't that just be the end of story?

The truth of it is that President Obama was born in America. There is a long form birth certificate that has been authenticated. But yet and still these conspiracy theories.

Why isn't the truth enough and why would you need to float a conspiracy theory in order to get people to think about what? The -- a falsehood? GOERTZ: People are doing their own investigation and people are digging into other facts. I mean I know for a fact a lot of women, mothers who have children with autism were researching autism and vaccines. And a lot of people came up to the rallies and said, "Mr. Trump, you were right. I was there. I mean I witnessed it." That was just one of the examples.

LEMON: So professional opinions don't mean anything, it's just people --



GOERTZ: They do. The professional opinions do matter, Don. I mean I didn't see the autopsy report. I haven't -- I haven't done my research on vaccines and autism. So there's a lot of things that he just -- he wants the American voter to --

LEMON: But if you didn't do your research on it and you haven't seen the report, then how can you defend it on national television -- actually, international television? How can you defend it if you haven't seen it?

GOERTZ: I'm saying I have not -- I'm also referring to President Obama's U.S. citizen birth certificate. I haven't personally seen that.

LEMON: The birth certificate is on the Internet. It's on the Internet. It has been authenticated by the government. He was -- you know, there is no dispute that President Obama was born in Hawaii, in America. It's not a conspiracy theory.

GOERTZ: I'm not saying I believe in the conspiracy theories, Don. I'm just answering why Mr. Trump was talking about Vince and his suicide.



GOERTZ: I don't think his -- it should have been stopped at five. That's just my personal opinion.

LEMON: But don't you think at some point -- at some point, especially if someone is, you know, running to be the leader of the free world and is responsible for not only Americans but for safety and for people all around -- all over the world and the economy, the -- you know, the economic viability of really most of the world, don't you think that facts should matter and those who support him should rely on those facts to determine their support of that person?

GOERTZ: Definitely. Definitely.

LEMON: OK. Let's move on. Go ahead, Mo.


TURNER: I'm with you, Mo. Mo, I'm with you.

ELEITHEE: It's like -- I mean come on, you know -- you know who does think five investigations is enough? Vince Foster's widow, his children, like what are we doing here?

Why are we dragging a family through this again? What he's doing, from pure political perspective, is very, very simple. On both sides, there are groups of people who love to hate the other side.

It's true on the left, it's true on the right. There's a cottage industry of people out there who love to hate all things Clinton or Obama.

When he says these things, they love it. They eat it up. He gets huge applause and crowds go nuts, and so he keeps doing it.

I think it's that simple because there is no other real political reason for doing it.

LEMON: Go ahead, your response.

LANHEE CHEN, HOOVER INSTITUTION, DAVID AND DIANE STEFFY RESEARCH FELLOW: Yes. You know, look, I think he is -- he is accomplishing probably exactly what he wants strategically, which is that we're talking about it and other campaigns have to talk about it, right?

The Clinton campaign now has to spend a day talking about Vince Foster, at least answering questions about Vince Foster or the link between autism, the alleged and mythical link between autism and vaccines, or talking, for example, about President Obama's birth certificate, none of which by the way are issues that this election ought to hinge on, right?

But presidential campaigns, presidential candidates are the agenda centers. They have the opportunity to help drive the discussion. And instead of talking about tax policy or foreign policy, we're talking about Vince Foster and other things.

So I think Donald Trump is getting exactly what he wants and so I do think it's incumbent on all of us to talk about other stuff.

LEMON: Nina, I have a short time -- I don't mean to give you short shift but can you quickly respond?

NINA TURNER, FORMER STATE SENATOR: Never let the truth get in the way of a good story, Don. That's exactly what's going on here. And newsflash, President Obama was born in America.

LEMON: Okay.

TURNER: Goodness.

LEMON: Thank you all. Tana (ph), thank you especially for taking it. And then Lahnee, thank you, Nina and Mo as well. I appreciate it. Coming up tomorrow night, CNN's series "THE EIGHTIES" takes a look and a listen to the music that shaped the decade. Who better to join me than Pat Benatar and her partner, Spyder Giraldo. They're next.


[00:23:49] LEMON: For a lot of us, especially with certain age, the music of the 80s is a soundtrack to an unforgettable part of our lives, but this is how it began.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You start the decade with the death of a Beatle. You don't really know where you're going to go from that point, you know, culturally or musically.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a while it seemed there was nothing new on the horizon. Announcing the latest achievement in home entertainment, the power of sight, video, the power of sound, stereo, MTV, Music Television.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are so excited about this new concept in TV. We'll be doing for TV what FM did for radio.


LEMON: Oh, my gosh, I'm getting old. I remember that. Joining me now, two people who helped create the music that defined a decade, they're icons from the 80s and even now, Ms. Pat Benatar and her husband and musical partner, Mr. Neil Spyder Giraldo, thank you so much for joining us. Oh, my gosh, don't you guys remember that like it was yesterday?

PAT BENATAR, AMERICAN SINGER: Not exactly, but I remember it.

NEIL GIRALDO, AMERICAN GUITARIST: We wish it was yesterday.

LEMON: You know, Pat, welcome guys. A lot of people know that the first video ever played was "Video Killed the Radio Star." What not a lot of people know is the second video ever played was yours, "You Better Run." So did you have any idea that you being in music videos would be such a big deal?

BENATAR: I don't know. We -- I mean we knew -- you know, we knew when we were doing it that it was going to be something different for sure. I don't think that any of us expected it to go as crazy as it did, but it went fast. It was nuts.

GIRALDO: But I'll tell you -- I'll tell you one funny thing about it is that when you're in one place for 12 hours trying to shoot a three- minute video song, you start off with really good hair. but by the time they get to take your hair is terrible.


GIRALDO: I had perfect hair when we started. BENATAR: We didn't have to worry about that until they started, you know, MTV. You know, you could have bad hair and it would be all right.

GIRALDO: Yes, it would be a bit -- of course, they get the take when it's all done, yes.

LEMON: What was your career like before and after MTV?

BENATAR: Well, I mean it was -- it was rolling along. It was doing great. The first record came out, you know, and it went platinum right away and we had "Heart Breaker" which was a huge single.

And then they said, "Well, you know, these guys are doing this thing and, you know, we think you should, you know, shoot a video for it." And we're like, "OK,


And then in about a week after MTV aired, we couldn't go anywhere after that. So it was over.


LEMON: Pat, you were really ahead of your time culturally in a lot of ways. Your music was all about female empowerment.

A lot of female empowerment going on now. You were a tough chick, at least portrayed that in your videos. Why do you think the message resonated with so many?

BENATAR: I just think it was the first wave of young women that were the daughters of the women's movement, you know, and I think that everybody as a collective had the same idea.

And I -- you know, the best part for me was that I had this really secure boyfriend who had no problem with that and he was -- he was ready to just like, yes, no problem, let's go.

So it worked out great and he did all that, you know, he put all that music underneath all of that bravado and made it work, so it was great.

LEMON: You know, that gets me to my next question. That's a great segue. So Neil, you know, you're the quintessential rock and roll couple. You met in '79 -- 1979. So what was going on in the country at that time? Take us back.

GIRALDO: Well, yes, disco -- it was a funny thing because the disco movement was really strong in 1978 and '79. And when we released "Heart Breaker", which was really funny, no radio station would play it.

BENATAR: At first.

GIRALDO: At first, they said can we -- there's too much guitar on it and can we take the guitar off or turn it down. And we said, "Well, no, because that's what the song is really based around, a guitar - driven sound."

And then there was one radio station that broke through and it seemed like it just changed. Once that radio station started playing it, all of a sudden the guitar was okay, can now be in it.

BENATAR: Again, right.

GIRALDO: Yes. And it felt like you felt the disco era cracking and a new age was coming. And that felt -- that felt fantastic for us because we were -- we were a rock and roll band. We weren't planning to be a disco band, so I mean that would've never happened.

LEMON: I have to ask you --

BENATAR: And we were just crashing and burning.

LEMON: Pat, you know, there's a -- there's an excerpt from your 2011 memoir called "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" and I'll just read part but we can put it up.

But it talked about you don't really like to talk about your politics at all. You say you don't want to influence people one way or the other or someone who may disagree with you. You just want people to have a good time.

BENATAR: It's so personal.

LEMON: But there's been a lot of controversy lately about artists who have gotten political, you know, the Black Lives Matter, Beyonce being

criticized and all of that Oscar's so white. Why do you think -- why do you think it's important for maybe for you, for artists not to show their political side?

BENATAR: No, I don't think it's important not to. I think everyone needs to choose. I mean it's just for us it's -- I don't really like to blend those things together.

We have, you know, pretty specific ideologies and, you know, that's our personal business and sometimes it crosses, you know and we take a stand on things and -- you know, things that are important certainly for -- you know, when it comes to children's rights and people's rights, we do that all the time.

But basically and generally we stay out of it because I just don't want to, you know -- it's really not what this is about. We're just trying to, you know, make music so that everyone can get away from all that stuff, you know, and have a good time and just, you know, give their mind a rest and just have some, you know, fun and some good emotional stuff.

LEMON: As an escape just to have fun. But I have to tell you, so then you did that for me because -- you want to guess what my favorite Pat Benatar song is?

BENATAR: I don't know. What do you think?

GIRALDO: I have no idea.

LEMON: Why don't we play it? Why don't we roll it?


BENATAR: OK, yes. That's great, yes, that's a great song.


BENATAR: You should come here tonight and sing the part.

LEMON: Well, let me think about it.


LEMON: But I love the first part, the dramatic intro, you know, I love -- that's what drew me in.

BENATAR: See? We talked about this. We talk about this every night in our show. We talk about this.

GIRALDO: Don, let me give you a little insight into that. I had a motto when I made -- I tried to make these records and tried to make hit records, and it went very simple as this.

I wanted to make a song identifiable from the very first note.

LEMON: And it was.

GIRALDO: And what I tried to do is create -- and try to create and write a certain sound that every time you heard that song from that very first note, you knew what that song was. I'm glad you picked that out.

BENATAR: That's a good song.

LEMON: That's what I love. I used to call it -- it was -- you could dance to it, you could sit and listen, but it was car driving music. When that came on in the car it made me speed up. I was like, "Yeah, I love this song." It was just, you know -- and it was intense.

BENATAR: I'm glad.

LEMON: Thank you, guys. I appreciate it.

BENATAR: Thank you, too. Take good care.

LEMON: I'll see you soon. Such an awesome couple. "THE EIGHTIES: VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR" airs tomorrow night at 9:00 eastern right here on CNN. We'll be right back.


LEMON: That does it for us tonight. I'll see you right back here tomorrow night. "AC360" starts right now.