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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Clinton Attacks As Trump Clinches GOP Nomination; Trump Reaches Delegate Magic Number of 1,237; Sources: Turf War Inside Trump Campaign; Clinton Holding Campaign Rally in San Francisco; Clinton Downplays Email Report as CA Primary Looms; Trump: It's Good to "Rattle" World Leaders; Rail System Used By Millions Falling Apart. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired May 26, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:04] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, breaking news. Hillary Clinton in some of her harshest language yet slamming Donald Trump, telling CNN that he is an unqualified loose cannon.
And more breaking news. Donald Trump speaking live right now, taking a victory lap on the day he clinches the GOP nomination.
Plus, President Obama with his own blistering attack on Trump overseas. Saying world leaders are, quote, "rattled by the GOP's presumptive nominee." Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening, I'm Jim Sciutto in again tonight for Erin Burnett. And OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news. The gloves off. Just moments ago, Hillary Clinton speaking to CNN taking her attacks on Donald Trump to a new, more combative level. The very day that he clinches the GOP nomination. So that many in both parties had long confidently predicted would never happen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is now as real as it gets. And this man, who is an unqualified loose cannon, is within reach of the most important job in the world. So it should concern every American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Donald Trump live right now in Billings, Montana, a victory lap after passing that magic number of 1,237 delegates needed to ensure a first ballot nomination at the July Republican Convention. And earlier, taking a shot at Clinton, noting that he has something she does not. Her own party's nomination locked up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, GOP PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Here I am, watching Hillary fight and she can't close a deal. And that should be such an easy deal to close.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SCIUTTO: Phil Mattingly is OUTFRONT at Trump's rally in Billings, Montana, tonight. Phil, Clinton taking a page you might say, from Trump's book, calling in all the cable networks tonight trying to direct the news cycle, taking on Trump. What's the Trump campaign's reaction today?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Right, Jim? There's a little good of that going on here. But on one level, they welcome the attacks. They feel like their candidate, Donald Trump, operates best as the counter puncher. And as these attacks continue to roll, and we see no shortage of them. In Clinton's campaign over the last couple of weeks, they feel like Donald Trump is able to operate at a high level and fight back. But it is interesting to note, Jim. Obviously, hitting that magic 1,237 number today. There's no question about it.
It is now a general election race for Trump and his advisers. Because one thing to keep in mind, everybody has been talking repeatedly about this pivot to a general election, a change in tone, a shift in tenor. More and more, you talked to advisers and you recognized that that's not really on the table right now. Donald Trump, while he's having numerous behind closed doors meetings with top Republicans, working on digital strategy, data strategy, fund-raising, all very crucial components of that general election campaign. His tone, his policies, they have gotten him this far. And Jim, when you talk to his advisers and you listen to him talk throughout the day today, there isn't any sign of a shift. Something the Clinton campaign is very happy about. The Trump campaign says, look, it's gotten us this far. Why change now -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Phil Mattingly with the Trump campaign in Montana. And Clinton is not the only foe on Trump's radar tonight. Jim Acosta, is OUTFRONT.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After shaking hands with some of the delegates in North Dakota who helped him clinch the GOP nomination, Donald Trump took note of who hasn't reached the finish line yet. Hillary Clinton.
TRUMP: Here I am watching Hillary fight. And she can't close the deal. And that should be such an easy deal to close.
ACOSTA: But the presumptive GOP nominee still has one other Democrat on his mind. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Elizabeth Warren seems to have made it her job.
TRUMP: Who, Pocahontas? Well --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should you use that word?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very offensive. TRUMP: Look, she is a Mexican. You tell me.
Oh, I'm sorry about that. Pocahontas? Is that what you said? I think she is as native American as I am, OK? That will tell you. But she's a woman that has been very ineffective, other than she's got a big mouth.
ACOSTA: Trump is also taking hits from President Obama, who oversees world leaders alarmed over the real estate tycoon's campaign rhetoric.
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: They're rattled by him. And for good reason. He does a lot of the proposals that he's made display either ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude.
ACOSTA: Trump jabbed right back.
TRUMP: He's a president who's allowed many of these countries to totally take advantage of him and us unfortunately. And he's got to say something. And it's unusual that every time he has a press conference, he's talking about me.
ACOSTA: Trump also answered questions about comments made by his Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort. He told "The Huffington Post," the New York billionaire likely won't select a woman or minority as his running-mate, because he doesn't want to be seen as pandering. Not so, said the candidate.
TRUMP: We're looking for absolute competence. We're going to have many women involved and I think that you're going to see that. You're going to see that very strongly.
[19:05:05] ACOSTA: And Trump signaled that he is serious about winning House Speaker Paul Ryan, who still hasn't endorsed him. The two leaders spoke by phone overnight and are keeping the door open to working together.
PAUL RYAN (R), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It was a productive phone call like I said we've had.
TRUMP: We'll see what happens. We've had great conversations. And we'll see what happens.
ACOSTA: Now Donald Trump is having an "I told you so" moment right now. Just a few moments ago, Jim. Donald Trump Instagramed a video showing a slew of Republican lawmakers and pundits in Washington, predicting that the real estate tycoon would never reach this point and ends with President Obama saying, I still believe that Donald Trump will not be elected president. That video ends with the words, "We'll see about that."
Now, despite all that news that Donald Trump made today, he's having another news conference on Tuesday. He says that that news conference back in New York, he'll be talking about the money he's been donating to various veterans' groups and exactly where that money is going -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: He certainly proved a lot of doubters wrong. Jim Acosta in Bismarck.
OUTFRONT Tonight, Amy Holmes, she served as speechwriter to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. John Avlon, he is editor-in-chief of "The Daily Beast." Donald Trump supporter Jason Osborne. Bernie Sanders supporter Sally Kohn. Hillary Clinton supporter Bernard Whitman and Trump supporter Erin Elmore.
John, if I could begin with you. So tonight, you know, in these phone calls, we heard, you know, something of a new improved, maybe more media-savvy, certainly more aggressive Hillary Clinton?
JOHN AVLON, "THE DAILY BEAST" EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Yes, I think she's realized she's got to play offense. And I think it is extraordinary that she's taken that from Trump's playbook and just calling in, right? You know, call in, spread the love. But she's got to walk a line. She's got to play offense against Donald Trump. She's got to say these are the stakes in the election. But she can't get down in the mud with him. Because Donald Trump will win that mud fight every time. He's comfortable in the mud.
SCIUTTO: John, I have got to ask you. Jason, rather. I have to ask you if you're concerned at all. I mean, listen, this is the day Donald Trump clinched that nomination, it's a bit moment for him.
JASON OSBORNE, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Right.
SCIUTTO: And yet, she was at least attempting to own the news cycle.
OSBORNE: Well, I think you'll going to see that every time. Campaign 101. I mean, she is going to try and come in and take the oxygen out of the room. And I think with Donald Trump, you're not going to be able to do that. What's ironic in all this is that for over 12 months, everybody said that Donald Trump would never be the nominee but Hillary Clinton would be the nominee.
SCIUTTO: Right. Yes, look where we are.
OSBORNE: And now Donald Trump is the nominee for the Republican Party and Hillary Clinton is still fighting with Bernie Sanders. So --
SCIUTTO: Sally, I have to ask you. And I'll note again, Sanders supporter. It is right as Trump's points out, he's got the nomination, she doesn't. You know, should she be focusing on Sanders now to lock up that nomination?
SALLY KOHN, PROGRESSIVE ACTIVIST: Look, someone on the Democratic side is going to have the nomination and it's going to happen pretty soon. And again, you know, the comparison is interesting. Trump will say, oh, I had to beat 17 people. Yes, you had a crowded field and he was able to sort of very savvily play the media and play the sort of moment. And come in ahead in part because the field is so divided. And also, the Democrats are going through a real important challenge around substance. They are having a substantive primary, we're fighting it out, it's
good for the country, it's good for the future of the party. And whoever the nominee is, is going to be infinitely stronger on substance, which I hope still matters in elections. I don't know. And is going to have the broad support of the country.
OSBORNE: You know what's interesting, just on that point, which I think we're not talking a lot about, is that Bernie Sanders --
OSBORNE: Bernie Sanders is actually doing so well, because of the anti-establishment movement. And so the Democrat nominee is actually going to win because of the establishment in the Democratic Party. If you took out the super-delegates, Bernie Sanders would be within 200 votes. So now we have on the Republican side, you have the anti- establishment candidate that is far and away winning across the country. What do you do with your Bernie Sanders supporters, who have been fighting against the establishment? Do you continue to go to Hillary at the general? I think we're in better shape.
SCIUTTO: We do want to get to the Democrats, but Erin, I do want to talk to you. Yes, there is still a race going on the Democratic side. But let's be honest, there are still divisions within the Republican Party. This is the day the Republican nominee in effect crowned and yet he does not have the endorsement of a Paul Ryan. Today, Cruz, Rubio, they didn't want to comment on it. I mean, there are still deep divisions in the Republican Party.
ERIN ELMORE, DONALD TRUMP'S SUPPORTER: Deep divisions, but we are all working to unify and that's the goal that Donald Trump is really focusing on right now. He wants to unify the party. He wants everybody to get along and to be able to play in that same proverbial sand box. And he has already met with Paul Ryan, it's a very positive meeting and they're moving forward. So really his next target is taking down Hillary, if she maybe the nominee, she is certainly looking that way. And right now she is just also working on unifying that party.
SCIUTTO: Bernard, do you buy that? Are they moving forward? Is it GOP moving -- is it kumbayah and the GOP --
BERNARD WHITMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: No, it's lurching forward to, I think potential disaster in the fall. What you see is a party that can't even get the highest elected official to publicly endorse him. But I mean, the thing that really bothers me, frankly, about Donald Trump, is less about Donald Trump and what does it say about the Republican voters that are supporting him? Because actually I talked to Republican voters all the time who had supported Donald Trump and I say, how can you support someone who wants to build a wall, wants to ban Muslims, wants to pull out of NATO, wants to give South Korea and Japan -- they say, you know what, he's never actually going to do that stuff. It really doesn't matter.
[19:10:06] Oh, wait a minute.
WHITMAN: Doesn't truth actually matter?
AMY HOLMES, FORMER SPEECHWRITER TO SENATE MAJORITY LEADER BILL FRIST (R): Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. I talk to Trump supporters all the time, as well. Some of my closest friends are Trump's supporters. And they are anti-establishment, the Republican Party that didn't put the brakes on left wing policy agenda of President Obama. And Democratic leadership. And I'm telling you how Trump supporters feel. You can laugh at them if you want. But that's part of why they're supporting Trump. I think it's getting back to Hillary doing the call-ins taking a page out of Donald Trump, but she's also trying to frame him now. As if it is a general election, by calling him unqualified. So she's taking that page out of the Trump playbook, as well.
SCIUTTO: Unqualified, loose cannon.
HOLMES: Unqualified, loose cannon, she's hoping it will stick.
KOHN: I'm sorry, but again, it is interesting. Because I have also talked to Trump supporters, and yes, there are plenty who enthusiastically support his views. But there are not only many in the Republican electorate who are trying to come around to Trump, but even some ardent Trump supporters who have said, yes, I don't really want to round up and deport 11 million people, yes, I don't really want to ban 30 percent of the world's population from coming into our country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Temporarily.
SCIUTTO: Really -- let's be honest.
KOHN: And so, it is interesting that they're uncomfortable that Trump goes too far. Whereas the Democrats when we have to unify, the issue of Sanders supporters, maybe Hillary doesn't go far enough in terms of that populist rhetoric. So these are wildly different points.
AVLON: Because it is -- incredibly ironic that Hillary Clinton in a who froze out the field is still fighting to beat Bernie Sanders, 74- year-old Democratic socialist, and Donald Trump one of 17 person in the field. But it's absolutely not crazy to say that Hillary Clinton is going to have an easier time uniting the Democratic Party around her in opposition with Trump, that Donald Trump is uniting the Republican Party. Because from reformed, Republicans to center right, to evangelicals, a lot of them are going to have an incredibly hard time back in Donald Trump --
SCIUTTO: Let's hold on. Because we're going to have a whole another block to talk about this, including talking about the Democrats.
OUTFRONT next, even as Trump clinches the nomination, sources say his top aides are locked in a nasty civil war. Our special report takes you inside team Trump.
Plus, Hillary Clinton speaking to CNN tonight, again defending her use of a private e-mail server.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Yes, I believed it was allowed. But that's not the point. I said it was a mistake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: And every week, more than one million people ride through these tunnels. Tonight, OUTFRONT Takes you underground to show the rotting and crumbling walls.
[19:16:15] SCIUTTO: Tonight, a heated turf-war inside the Trump campaign. Sources telling CNN that Trump's top advisers are right now angling to win Trump's trust. The bitter back and forth that seems to have cost one person their coveted job.
Suzanne Malveaux is OUTFRONT.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Donald J. Trump.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, fresh off of Clinton, the Republican nomination, the Trump campaign is rejecting new reports of more top-level in fighting. The Trump campaign announced it was parting ways with its political director, Rick Wiley, Wednesday. Just six weeks after he was hired. Wiley, the former campaign manager for Scott Walker's presidential bid, was originally brought in to build up the ground game to clinch the delegates needed to avoid a contested convention. When asked if he was fired, the Trump campaign says, Wiley was just meant to serve a short-term role.
RICK WILEY, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN, POLITICAL DIRECTOR: General election match-ups will change dramatically once we get through Cleveland.
MALVEAUX: But sources close to the campaign say, Wiley butted heads with Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski. Wiley is also closely tied to Lewandowski's reporter competitor, campaign Chairman Paul Manafort brought in late March to broker a possible ugly contested July Republican convention.
TRUMP: Corey, good job. Corey, good job.
MALVEAUX: Sources say, tensions between Lewandowski and Manafort have worsened as Trump gets closer to the general election. So much so, sources say the two are now working on different floors in the Trump Tower.
MJ LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Certainly not unheard of that there are tensions within a presidential campaign. But it is unusual that two such top aides are really going at each other, and that the rift has shown up in such a public fashion.
MALVEAUX: Manafort's duties have expanded.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I work directly for the boss.
MALVEAUX: As Trump consistently downplays reports of any inner team turmoil.
TRUMP: Paul actually gets along very well with Corey. They get along. They have different functions. But I'm telling you, they get along really well. They have separate functions, very separate functions and they're doing great.
MALVEAUX: In an interview with the "Huffington Post," Manafort says Trump isn't likely to pick a woman or minority as Vice President saying, that would be viewed as pandering, I think. Today Trump said Manafort was misquoted and that he wouldn't pick a nominee just because they are woman or minority.
TRUMP: I think it's likely that we would have somebody, but we don't do it for any specific reason. We're looking for absolute competence.
MALVEAUX: Manafort also said, it's not his job to change Trump. You don't change Donald Trump. You don't manage him. He is going to win unless we, meaning people like me, screw it up. This is not a hard race.
MALVEAUX: Lewandowski has said the same thing, letting Trump be Trump. He also tells CNN, there is absolutely no tension between me and Paul Manafort. I have been exceptionally inclusive. Manafort did not respond to our request for a comment about that -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Suzanne Malveaux in Washington.
And OUTFRONT Outside, Tana Goertz, she's a senior adviser to the Trump campaign. Tana, there have been multiple reports of infighting within the Trump campaign. Today, sources telling CNN that Wiley was fired after clashing with Lewandowski. Is the Trump campaign truly unified?
TANA GOERTZ, SENIOR ADVISOR, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Absolutely. That's news to me. We have never -- I've never heard of any inside turmoil. I've worked with Corey very closely. And I'm part of Paul Manafort's delegate team. So absolutely not. We are all unified and we have one goal in mind and that is to get Donald Trump elected and in the White House.
SCIUTTO: Let me tell you, to be fair, it is our reporting that the Trump campaign never said that Wiley was a short-term hire. So why is he gone now?
GOERTZ: It was always my understanding that he was a short-term hire. And I work for Donald Trump. So we -- that was always my understanding, is that he was just a short term.
SCIUTTO: Well, let me ask you on another topic, where there has been some division. Paul Manafort, as you know, top Trump aide, he told the "Huffington Post" that Trump is unlikely to pick a woman or minority for Vice President because, quote, "That would be viewed as pandering." We heard Donald Trump say today that Manafort was misquoted. What exactly did Manafort say?
GOERTZ: I don't know what Paul had said in that regard. But I do know Donald Trump well and I know that Donald Trump hires talent. And gender is not a job qualification for Mr. Trump. He hires the best. And if you look into the Trump Organization, the top executives in the Trump organization are females. So, I would highly bet that Mr. Trump would have a female in a top position like that.
SCIUTTO: Do you believe as a senior adviser that choosing a woman or minority would in any way be viewed as pandering?
GOERTZ: No, I don't. I think that would be brilliant. And Mr. Trump is a smart man. And he surrounds himself with smart people. And a lot of them are females. So, I'm very excited about that.
[19:21:05] SCIUTTO: Well, to be fair, again, it's not the first time we've heard confusion over the qualifications for a VP choice. Listen to Ben Carson, who is, you know, who is helping with the VP search. And then Trump himself on the question of choosing a Democrat as his vice president. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN CARSON, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, the question came up when I was interviewing with the "Wall Street Journal," would you look at a Democrat?
TRUMP: I would rule them out. We want to have a great ticket. The Democrats have been in there for a long time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: So on that point, first of all, is a Democrat under consideration for the vice presidential pick?
GOERTZ: That I'm not privy to that information. I do not know that. But I would think we would stick with the Republican, and Mr. Trump is surrounding himself with people that are in the political field he would like someone inside, as he said. He is the outsider. The businessman, the successful CEO of the Trump organization. So he would like an insider. But I do not know if he would ever consider a Democrat. That I have no information on.
SCIUTTO: Tana Goertz, thank you so much for taking the time tonight.
GOERTZ: Thank you. Have a great evening.
SCIUTTO: You too.
John Avlon, I just want to bring you in. So you heard her insisting there that the Trump campaign is united. So, why do we see these symbols of division percolating up? AVLON: Because the divisions are real and she is spinning. That's
her job. But to deny there are tensions inside the camp between Lewandowski and Manafort is just to deny reporting, and sources that -- and evidence that being the case. Rick Wiley being bounced out is a big deal. And there are always power plays, there's always a degree of criminology in campaigns. And, you know, her job is to go on TV and deny it and say everything is sunshine and rainbows, but it's not. It's not a reality.
SCIUTTO: Erin, do you have a response? Is that fair?
ELMORE: This sounds like fodder for the tabloids. This is really not important to what's going to happen in November. And I do believe --
SCIUTTO: It's a key campaign position, to be fair.
ELMORE: Certainly. But we do believe that it was a temporary thing. But this is almost like Brittney versus Justin. It sounds like something you would read in "Us Weekly." Because --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's normal political --
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
ELMORE: But I don't think it's going to have any sort of --
KOHN: He has no governing qualification, he has no leadership, he doesn't know anything about foreign policy, so his ability to actually manage his team effectively would seem to be important.
SCIUTTO: I need you to hold that thought. One more thought before we go, Bernard.
WHITMAN: This entire race like a reality television campaign. And actually, he's done a really good job. And I think we shouldn't be surprised that after 12 years of being fixated on reality television, we have reality television front and center in the presidential race.
HOLMES: Wait a minute. Isn't the nature of a political campaigns to be full of all sorts of tumult and second-guessing and blame shifting, et cetera. That's politics. And we remember when Al Gore was running in 2000, he had to move his headquarters down to Tennessee. There's all sorts of personnel changes. It didn't bode well for Al Gore in the end. But to say that this, you know, something unusual I think is --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's exactly right.
SCIUTTO: We will have another section with the panel when we come back from this break.
And OUTFRONT next, Donald Trump slamming Hillary Clinton over the e- mail controversy. Charging her with, quote, "Poor judgment," and saying she did something that is probably in his words, illegal.
And President Obama on how world leaders are viewing Trump. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: They're rattled by him. And for good reason.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Ahead, why Trump says that rattled is actually a good thing.
[19:28:37] SCIUTTO: Tonight, Hillary Clinton struggling to move beyond the scathing State Department report on her use of a private e- mail server. You're looking at live pictures now out of California. At any moment, we're going to see Hillary Clinton about to hold a rally in San Francisco. Speaking to CNN earlier, Clinton trying to put the issue behind her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: As I said many times, it was still a mistake. If I could go back, I would do it differently. And I understand people have concerns about this. But I hope voters look at the full picture of everything that I've done and the full threat posed by a Donald Trump presidency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: To potentially make matters worse, a new poll shows that Clinton and Sanders are in a dead-heat in the upcoming California primary.
Jeff Zeleny has tonight's big number.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in a fierce fight for California. The Democratic finish line may be in sight, and Clinton's lead is secure. But the party is still divided.
CLINTON: This election is a make or break election.
ZELENY: Tonight, a new California field poll shows the race is a near dead heat. Clinton, 46. Sanders, 44. Sanders is closing strong.
BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: On June 7th, let's give them a rude awakening!
ZELENY: Even as Clinton tries downplaying a new inspector general's report that she improperly used a private e-mail server as Secretary of State.
CLINTON: If I could go back, I would do it differently. I think voters are going to be looking at the full picture of what I have to offer, my life, and my service. And the full threat that Donald Trump offers. ZELENY: But the e-mail saga has kept questions alive about Clinton's
trust that Trump seized on today in North Dakota.
TRUMP: This was all bad judgment. Probably illegal.
ZELENY: Sanders still won't touch the e-mail issue, but insists he's the candidate best to defeat Trump. Now he's trying to prove it by enticing Trump into a debate, making the pitch Hollywood style through Jimmy Kimmel on ABC.
JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN/TV HOST: He wants to know if you'll debate him.
TRUMP: Yes, I am. How much is he going to pay me?
ZELENY: And today, Trump says he's serious.
TRUMP: I'd love to debate Bernie. He's a dream. But I want a lot of money to be put up to charity.
ZELENY: Sanders says he's ready.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hillary Clinton has not agreed to debate me here in California, so I look forward to debating Mr. Trump.
ZELENY: In the middle of it all, some Democrats are growing nervous. President Obama, in rare comments about the race, urged patience.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People get a little grumpy with each other. You know, it's just the nature of the process.
ZELENY: He didn't mention Clinton by name. But she said today, the party will come together.
CLINTON: I have every reason to believe that after June 7th, we will begin to unify the Democratic Party.
ZELENY: But, Jim, the question is, how long that unification will take. The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia is in two months from this week. Now, she is trying to finish strong here on June 7th. There are the California primaries and six other states. She's only 88 delegates away from clinching this Democratic nomination here. Jim, she doesn't need to win California, but she wants to win it. She is telling every audience, we would like to finish strong -- Jim.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Jeff Zeleny with the Clinton campaign.
Back with my panel now.
And Bernard, I'd like to start with you. So, Clinton, of course, trying to pivot to the general election, taking shots at Donald Trump today. But you have that tight race in California. You have this really damning e-mail report.
Is she looking like a vulnerable Democratic presidential candidate?
BERNARD WHITMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: No, she's literally on the verge of capturing the nomination. And the fact is, inspector general report is a rehash of a rehash. There's nothing new there. It actually validates everything she has been saying for months.
SCIUTTO: What was new in that report was she had always said she had permission to use that e-mail server, the report found there was no permission, she never asked for it.
WHITMAN: She went precedent. If I were secretary of state, I would look to my predecessor and see what they did. Not a single secretary of state previously had used the state.gov address. Dozens and dozens of people knew about it. There is not a single shred of evidence to suggest there was a security breach, a data breach of any sort.
And after the request, she released 55,000 pages of e-mails that the National Archives have said, you know what, this covers her off on record-keeping.
SCIUTTO: So is Bernie Sanders regretting he said, "I don't care about your damn e-mails"?
SALLY KOHN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Again, this is why it's still good to be a Democrat. We have managed, despite that there is plenty of fodder, we have managed it actually keep this election -- try to keep it about substance.
I will say this about emails. You know I'm not a big Hillary Clinton fan, per se. But it's worth noting what the report didn't say. She didn't do something illegal.
Yes, Hillary Clinton has transparency issues. By the way, if she's the nominee, so does Donald Trump. He won't release his tax returns.
She has said she is sorry. He when asked has said he has never apologized for anything.
KOHN: Again, I think the voters are going to see what really matters here. And by the way, Colin Powell did the same thing and he wasn't attacked. And he wasn't attacked for generations.
SCIUTTO: On Sally's point of the allegation of an uncomfortable relationship with the truth, let's be fair here. Donald Trump has been fact-checked to a tremendous degree and he's played with the truth.
JASON OSBORNE, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Let's go back to the first point here on the email server, though.
SCIUTTO: Quickly on that but you have to answer on Donald Trump.
OSBORNE: The predecessors never had their own server in a closet outside of the government. So, let's just -- set that aside.
John Kerry was the first secretary of state that actually had a state.gov e-mail address. Now, in terms of telling the truth, Donald Trump speaks for Donald Trump. Now, I can't speak for him, and I can't say that everything that he has said has been honest and truthful. That's on him. But he's never been elected officially.
When Hillary Clinton is dealing with taxpayer dollars, and continually lying.
KOHN: He could lie until he's elected? And then --
AMY HOLMES, FORMER SPEECHWRITER TO SENATE MAJORITY LEADER BIL FRIST (R): OK. Has Donald Trump exaggerated, hyperbole, what is his net worth, really? Donald Trump has certainly stretched the truth.
What we're talking about with Hillary Clinton is in her conduct as a cabinet secretary, a public official, that speaks directly to her ethics, and her suitability to be president of the United States. And even President Obama's own director of intelligence for the Defense Department, he said that this is completely out of bounds and that she really should not be running for this highest office in the land.
[19:35:07] And that's from the Obama administration itself.
SCIUTTO: John, is she going to pay a price for this?
JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think she -- look, I think she has paid a price, I think this has taken a real toll. It casts a cloud over her candidacy particularly last summer and fall.
And this report is scathing. I mean, the Hillary Clinton supporters can't spin it away. It is scathing about a freeze that was put on when people tried to say this was an issue. They were told don't dare ask about the secretary's private server. It was an error in judgment and it was reckless, whatever the intention was.
But I don't think that at this stage people who were on the fence are going to be swayed by the server issue. We'll see what the DOJ and FBI have to say.
SCIUTTO: How does Donald Trump capitalize on this? It's not a legal issue. The State Department did not find she broke a law. But seemed that her explanation of it was not true. But how does he capitalize on it when he has his own issues? ERIN ELMORE, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: This goes to truthfulness. Moreover -
SCIUTTO: He has his own issues with truth --
ELMORE: Certainly, but it's just back and forth.
And the other back and forth, he always criticizes -- she is criticizing him for being anti-woman. Meanwhile, the Clinton Foundation has accepted money from countries like Qatar, Amman, Algeria, that are inherently misogynistic, inherently misogynistic. There is no equality in wages, there is mutilation, there is spousal abuse, there is rape.
That is millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation that Hillary Clinton is financing her lifestyle. So to say that Donald Trump is --
WHITMAN: What? She is not --
WHITMAN: The Clinton Foundation is saving people's lives.
ELMORE: That money still came from the country.
KOHN: Yes, but our country gives money to countries like Saudi Arabia and to Egypt that also have horrible policies.
ELMORE: And she never brings -- the countries I just mentioned. She never brings --
SCIUTTO: Folks, we're going to have to leave it there. Thanks very much to our excellent panel tonight.
OUTFRONT next, President Obama slams Donald Trump, saying he is rattling leaders around the world. Why is Trump saying that's a good thing?
And millions of people travel through these tunnels every year. Tonight, OUTFRONT takes you underground for an inside look at crumbling walls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This salt is eating away at the concrete that's eating away at the rails.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:41:07] SCIUTTO: Tonight, Donald Trump is firing back at President Obama. President said that world leaders are, quote, "rattled by the prospect of a Trump presidency." Trump says that's a good thing. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: When you rattle someone, that's good. Because many of the world, as you know, any of the countries in our world, beautiful world, have been absolutely abusing us and taking advantage of us. So, if they're rattled, in a friendly way, we're going to have great relationships with these countries. But if they're rattled in a friendly way, that's a good thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: But here's what the international community is saying about Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I think his remarks are divisive, stupid and wrong. And I think if he came to visit our country, I think he would unite us all against him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's going to take that nation back to the old days of conflict, war -- he remembers of Hitler.
MAYOR SADIQ KHAN, LONDON: He's inadvertently playing into the extremist' hands by giving the impression that western liberal values are incompatible with mainstream Islam or that it's a clash of civilization.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
SCIUTTO: OUTFRONT tonight, former senior adviser to President Obama, David Axelrod.
So, David, you heard Trump's argument there, this is an advantage, it's a good thing world leaders are rattled by him. Is it?
DAVID AXELROD, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, look, I think if you are a leader of another country, America is a very -- the most consequential country in the world. The president of the United States is the most powerful figure in the world. If you heard a president of the United States saying, as Donald Trump did a few weeks ago, that America's creditors might have to take a haircut, or suggesting that Japan and North Korea should arm themselves with nuclear weapons. These are un -- or the Muslim ban, for that matter -- these are unsettling notions. And no, I don't think that's particularly positive.
But from a -- from a political standpoint, Donald Trump has run a nativist campaign about national sovereignty. And this is consistent with his message.
The test will be for voters whether they buy Trump's message that America has been abused and he's going to, by rattling the world, take back our sovereignty. Or whether there is a real sense of unsettlement among voters about -- about whether it is -- whether it is wise to put someone in the president's office who has this penchant for shooting off these very provocative statements.
SCIUTTO: As you know, a lot of the criticism he's got, particularly from Democrats, is for saying things like he would meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. But a reminder, during the 2008 campaign, your candidate, then-Senator Barack Obama, he made some waves saying he would meet with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, which at the time a controversial position. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them, which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration, is ridiculous. Ronald Reagan and Democratic presidents like JFK constantly spoke to Soviet Union at a time when Ronald Reagan called them an evil empire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Is that fundamentally different from what Donald Trump is proposing?
AXELROD: Yes, I think it is, because if you listen to Trump, he talks about it as if it's all a negotiation, like it's an episode of "The Apprentice."
Yes, Obama said she should as a country and leadership of the country should be willing to meet with hostile leaders, but for a purpose. And if you follow the track of his administration, he has ultimately met with the leaders of Cuba. He has dealt with Iran. But only after years of preparation to make those exchanges productive. Right now, that a conversation between the president of the United States and the very, very rogue leader of Korea, North Korea, would produce any really valuable result.
[19:45:11] SCIUTTO: Let me ask you to take your diplomatic hat off for a moment. Just think purely politically, does this kind of thing work with voters? It certainly worked in the primaries for him. Does it work in a general?
AXELROD: Well, I think it will work with his base. There is no question about it. They are responding to his appeals to the wall, to the Muslim ban, and to this notion that he will push back on the world. I think that in order to win the election, he has to persuade people he has the temperament to be president of the United States, people who are on the fence, people who are a concern, people who don't like either candidate and there are those swing voters who don't like either candidate.
And it seems to me right now, that's an advantage for Hillary Clinton, because she has that experience, she has a temperament more suited to the office. So he needs to pass that test if he's going to get to where he wants to go.
SCIUTTO: David Axelrod in Chicago, thanks very much.
AXELROD: All right. Jim, good to see you. SCIUTTO: OUTFRONT next, millions of lives could be at risk. One of
the most traveled rail lines in the U.S. is in dangerous need of repair. But is anything being done? Our special report, right after this.
SCIUTTO: Tonight, disturbing news as nearly 40 million Americans prepare to travel for the Memorial Day weekend. The nation's rail infrastructure outdated in some places literally falling apart.
[19:50:01] It's responsible for deadly derailment and repair backlog and tens of billions of dollars.
CNN was granted rare exclusive access to the Northeast crumbling infrastructure. Rene Marsh has a story you'll see only here on OUTFRONT.
RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Deep inside the 106-year- old Hudson River Tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey, the concrete is cracked and crumbling, and after Superstorm Sandy flooded the tunnel, the situation became urgent.
JOSEPH H. BOARDMAN, AMTRAK CEO: The salt is eating away at the concrete. It's eating away at the rails. It's eating at the cables that go through here for power.
MARSH: Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman calls it one of the most glaring example of aging infrastructure in United States.
BOARDMAN: This is the busiest corridor in the Western Hemisphere. We got here because we didn't maintain our infrastructure.
MARSH: Every day, about 230,000 riders pass through it. The tunnel has been plagued by power failures. Power cables are 80 years old, causing shut downs and massive delays for days.
The repair backlog for 450 miles of race from Boston to Washington, D.C. alone is $20 billion. Aging infrastructure has also contributed to deadly derailments.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Notify Amtrak, shut down the entire Northeast corridor.
MARSH: In May, 2015, Amtrak 188 traveling more than two times the 50 miles per hour speed limit jumped the tracks in Philadelphia. Eight people were killed, more than 200 injured. Thousands of miles of railway lack technology called positive train control that can automatically slow speeding trains.
(on camera): Why is the industry as a whole taking so long to put that technology in place?
BOARDMAN: It takes time to make sure that works right. MARSH: Across the country, 30 freight and passenger train accidents,
69 deaths, and more than 1,200 injuries could have been prevented had that technology been in place. But it's not just safety, it's speed.
In Japan, bullet trains are capable of going almost 200 miles per hour. That speed would cut a six-hour Amtrak ride to two and a half. The fastest train in the U.S. can go 150 miles per hour, but usually travels at half that.
BOARDMAN: We could have that kind of service along this corridor, but you would be talking $151 billion.
ANTHONY FOXX, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: You want to be able to show the benefit of the dollar you invested.
MARSH: Anthony Foxx heads the Department of Transportation.
FOXX: I think members of Congress struggle because they actually require longer than a political term to take root.
MARSH: But for the busiest strip of track in the Western Hemisphere, speed takes a back seat to the urgent need to stop the crumbling.
SCIUTTO: So, Rene, and I traveled through that tunnel on my way up here yesterday. I mean, looking at that, how did we get here, why did we get here?
MARSH: A couple of things at play. While Amtrak, you know, they just don't turn enough profit to pay for their maintenance as well as improvement. They rely heavily on the federal government. Last year, they got $1.6 billion. That's about the annual rate that they get from the federal government. But you heard in the piece there, their backlog is $20 billion. So, that's a drop in the bucket.
Compare that to China now, they invested $128 billion last year alone, although putting that in context, they have a lot of open space where they can expand the track. But the bottom line is, there isn't enough to pay for repairs and to expand.
SCIUTTO: And I've been on the trains in China and they are a lot faster than our trains, too.
MARSH: I bet you they are.
SCIUTTO: Rene Marsh, thanks very much.
OUTFRONT next, one of the biggest names in '80s music talks about the secret behind this song's success.
[19:57:40] SCIUTTO: Tonight, CNN is taking you to the '80s. My youth. Nothing defines the decade better than the music.
Earlier, Erin spoke to the artist behind one of the '80s most iconic songs.
ERIN BURNETT, "OUTFRONT" HOST: That's Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." Every single person watching this knows that song. Nearly 30 years later, it has become an Internet sensation, thanks in part to a prank known as "Rickrolling" where you click on a link you think is one thing, but then you're misdirected to the 1987 music video.
Rick Astley is OUTFRONT from Berlin tonight. He is currently on tour there.
You know, "Never Gonna Give You Up", why do you think it was such a global hit?
RICK ASTLEY, SINGER: Hi. You know what, I wish I could answer that question. I wish I knew what makes a hit because if I knew that or different producers and writers around the world, they'd be doing it every week, I think that's the magic of music. You get some ingredients together, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
So, I can say, if we knew that magic trick, someone would do it every week.
BURNETT: The White House says, quote/unquote, "rickrolled" its followers as it's now called. You even rickrolled the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.
Here's how that happened.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
BURNETT: When did you realize that you had become this phenomenon?
ASTLEY: I don't know, like I say, I just kind of -- it's not really -- on one hand, it's got nothing to do with me, because it's just a song that somebody thought that video was cheesy, we'll use that one. I like to say, I'm kind of glad they did, because it has given the song a new lease of life on the Internet and stuff, certain generation of people which would have never heard it, probably have heard it.
My favorite one was one of Obama's speeches, ended up saying, talking, singing, never gonna give you up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASTLEY: And to me -- you know, I mean, the president singing your song, that's pretty cool.
(LAUGHTER) BURNETT: All right. Well, Rick Astley, it has been cool having you on the show. We appreciate it. Thank you so much.
ASTLEY: Thank you. My absolute pleasure. Thank you.
SCIUTTO: "The Eighties" airs tonight at 9:00.
Thanks for joining us. I'm Jim Sciutto.
"AC360" starts right now.