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Donald Trump Hurls Insults at Reporters; Trump Blasts Judge Over Trump University Case; Clinton on Democratic Unity. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired May 31, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: There is not a news conference like a Donald Trump news conference.
This is CNN TONIGHT.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've watched you on television. You're a real beauty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
The mogul who wants to be your next president taking aim at reporters at Trump towers today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think the political press is among the most dishonest people that I've ever met. This sleazy guy right over here from ABC, he's a sleaze in my book. And you think I'm going to change? I'm not changing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: That won't matter to voters but it definitely doesn't sit well with Hillary Clinton. She tells our Jake Tapper this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've said many times and as Senator Sanders has said, we both are going to do anything we can to prevent Donald Trump from getting anywhere near the White House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And meanwhile, Bernie Sanders about to speak to a crowd in California. We're going to keep an eye on that for you tonight. You're looking at live pictures right. But we're going to begin with a very feisty day in Trump. Joining me now a quartet of CNN's finest, I like that, right, Jim Acosta is with us, Drew Griffin with us as well, Gloria Borger and Mark Preston.
Wow, I shouldn't say quartet.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, Acosta is a beauty around here. Knights of the Round Table.
LEMON: But Acosta is a beauty. Speaking of, let's listen today, I mean, he's been feisty from the beginning.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: A little bit, yes.
LEMON: But today, he took a swipe at you. Let's listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: To follow up on that, you keep calling us the dishonest press, the disgusting press, the disgusting one.
TRUMP: Well, generally speaking that's 100 percent true. Go ahead.
ACOSTA: I disagree with that, sir. And if I can ask you this question it seems as though you're resistant to scrutiny the kind of scrutiny that comes with running for president of United States.
TRUMP: I like scrutiny. But you know what? When I raise...
ACOSTA: You're rasing money for veterans...
TRUMP: Excuse me, excuse me, I've watched you on television, you're a real beauty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I was watching. What was the reaction in the room?
ACOSTA: Well, I think Tom Ellis from ABC and I felt like little Marco and lyin' Ted for a minute there. You know, this is part of Donald Trump's shtick. We've seen this throughout this campaign, whether he's talking about GOP rivals, whether he's talking crooked Hillary as he calls Hillary Clinton or crazy Bernie, as he calls Bernie Sanders.
He uses little shorthand to go after the members of the press. He was doing some of that today. But we've seen this before. You know, at his campaign rallies he talks about the dishonest press or the disgusting press at almost every rally and almost every event and the crowd eats it up.
And I was talking to a Trump adviser today and this person was saying, listen, you know, the supporters like it when he goes after the news media and nobody really cares about you, guys.
LEMON: Do you think it's strategic or do you think he's just reacting emotionally?
ACOSTA: I think half of it is strategy, I think half of it is emotion. I think he feels, you know, he does feel treated because, you know, here he is raising almost $6 million for veteran's causes, which a lot of these causes are very worthy groups.
But at the same time, if you can't stand the scrutiny, if you can't the questions, should you be in the business of running for president of the United States? And I think that's the question that was asked today and I'm not sure he answered that question.
LEMON: You have some tweets also that he put today. One of them says, "I'm getting great credit for my press conference today. Crooked Hillary should be admonished for not having a press conference in 179 days."
ACOSTA: He does make a point that Hillary Clinton does not as many news conference as he has. He had one just last week at Bismarck, North Dakota after he clinched the nomination or got the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination.
And so he does have a fait point there. I think Hillary Clinton was taking a page out of his book, called in to CNN today. I don't know if she's going to come up with nicknames for all of us. Maybe that will be in the next coming days.
But this is an orthodox campaign. But if Donald Trump can't answer questions about how much money is being raised for veteran's groups.
ACOSTA: You know, what's to say how he's going to respond to other more pressing questions like his tax returns.
LEMON: Go ahead.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: No. Particularly if Donald Trump is calling for scrutiny on Hillary Clinton and, you know, the Clinton Foundation and everything else, he has to -- he has to be able to take the heat himself.
I do think that every candidate has learned something from Donald Trump this election cycle, which is you can't get your point across, unless you get your point across, unless you talk to the press.
And so, that's why Hillary Clinton is calling in. But if you talk to the press, you have to actually answer questions.
LEMON: I'm going to talk more. I'm going to talk more about the press and, you know, his -- him antagonizing the press so to speak. He said the press antagonized him.
But I want to get to some new information. Because the press conference was actually about the money that he supposedly raised for veteran's groups, which is $6 million but you have -- which was supposed to be $6 million, 5.6 is actually what he raised thus far.
You have some new information about when they got their money tonight? What can you tell us?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: We've been following this. It's been dogging this campaign for a while, right, since he announced the $6 million. In April we were able to track $3.1 million which was given out. But there was a lull. And we are reporting after that and we keep asking and asking and asking. It seems just in the last week all the money kind of came in.
[22:05:00] I actually talked to Trump on the phone last week and he said he had to remind people of their pledges. He had to call them up and say, hey, we need your money now, remember you promised to? We need the money now.
And then he also said he had to vet it. But look at where most of the money came from in this last batch, which was just last week, it came from Donald Trump.
LEMON: From him, a million dollar.
GRIFFIN: Yes. He pulled out his checkbook, he wrote a million dollars to a great cause I might add, but, I mean, he filled the gap here.
LEMON: Yes. He is in court being sued now for fraud in connection with Trump University. I want you to listen to what he said about that to say and then we will discuss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Can I ask you about Trump University, though, sir, because there have been a lot of questions about that and you also challenged the credibility of the judge handling that case.
TRUMP: The judge has been very unfair, has not done a good job, he's been a very bad judge, he's been very unfair. And I will win the Trump University case. I already am as far as I'm concerned, but I will win the Trump University.
ACOSTA: Why antagonize the judge in this?
TRUMP: Because I don't care.
ACOSTA: And talk about the ethnicity of the judge.
TRUMP: Because you know what, why I antagonize because I don't care. I have a judge who is very, very unfair.
TRUMP: Well, you'll see it in court documents.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, you have been investigating this for months as you just let on a short time ago. Today, new documents were released in connection with the suit. Tell us about them.
GRIFFIN: The documents are, well, here they are, right, it's the sales playbook for Trump University. And I don't think this adds to the case of fraud. But what it shows is the sales playbook about how this entire initiative and it wasn't a university.
All right. That's one of the first things they got in trouble with in the State of New York, it's not an accredited university, they had to change their name, it's the Trump Entrepreneurial Institute now.
It was all about upselling. It was about selling this, you hear them on the radio come down to the local hotel for a free seminar and we're going to teach you how to make millions in real estate.
Well, for three hours you're hammered with trying to buy a three-day seminar, then you're hammered with trying to buy a five-day seminar and you're promised everything, you're going to get experts handpicked by Trump, you're going to learn the secrets that Trump has to success. The allegations in the lawsuit are that it is not true.
LEMON: Let me read some of the highlights and you can talk about it.
Trump University sales playbook. "Target customers with a net worth of at least $200,000 year."
GRIFFIN: Right. They didn't want to mess around with poor playbook.
LEMON: "Make customers feel special, selected. Find out about finances. Trump University sales playing encourage credit cards for tuition. Never give advanced training details. Be mindful of the ethical and moral impact of our actions."
GRIFFIN: That's right. And to work on the emotions and people's financial goals to try to get them emotionally attached to Donald Trump and his success and to sell him into these programs.
GRIFFIN: I've talked to many of these -- they call themselves victims. All right. They say that they were just bewildered by what turns out to be motivational speakers who upsold them into these things and they didn't learn anything they're left with bills of $34,000, that's a lot of money to people.
LEMON: Mark, he says he's looking for a credit, you know, that for what he did for the veterans. You know, the event was originally because he didn't want to join the debate. Remember for Fox News because of Megyn Kelly, so how does this claim stand? How does he stand up -- it was ridiculous.
PRESTON: Well, it's absolutely ridiculous. I was there in Iowa that night when he decided to hold this fund-raiser because he didn't want to do a debate on Fox News because he thought he was being treated unfairly, and when he was being treated unfairly he used going to take his ball and go home.
In this case, he decided to go across town, he rented out an auditorium, it just so happen to be an auditorium that seen and had held a democratic town hall in just a few days earlier which was the irony of it all, but Donald Trump goes there and he raises $6 million. And to Drew's reporting, you know...
LEMON: That's a good thing.
PRESTON: That's a great thing. And I really think that the lesson for Donald Trump in all of this is that he could have taken what could have been a fantastic story for him, like an unbelievable story, a great story that could have so much goodwill that he was able to build up in however he has turned it into a negative.
He turned it into a negative because he didn't do correct accounting. Raising money is very difficult and you have to call in the chips for the money, and it doesn't seem like they were on their game.
And quite frankly, Don, you know, at this point his declarative statements of $6 million is -- he thinks people are just going to believe him. Well, people like Drew goes and we do go out there and they find out, you know what, they didn't have $6 million.
LEMON: OK. But can you fault him though? What if he did want to keep some of the donations private? Or maybe he's donating, he said...
PRESTON: He was. Absolutely right. But no, no, no. This was a political play on his part to avoid a presidential debate. He was able to turn what could have been very negative and turn it into a very good positive that is going to help a lot of people and it has now spun backwards.
LEMON: But then that happens a lot with Donald Trump and if you push him on it or if you remind his surrogates about it, they actually become very angry like the tax thing.
If he has issues with these taxes it's very simple. He can always say...
GRIFFIN: We're out there.
LEMON: The tax code is very complicated and that's why I want to change the tax code because even for people like me who can afford accountants.
[22:09:59] Gloria, I want to say this before I want you to respond to this. As I'm watching you today, I was very proud of you and Tommy and all of the reporters there. And the guy from Fox's said sometimes we're voicing the voice of the opposition. It's not just us, right, and that's our jobs to do.
But I was actually kind of jealous. I would like to be in that room because I think we need more of that from our politicians, especially from our president and our people who are running for office like Hillary Clinton, a back and forth with the press not necessarily calling people slime balls or whatever, but sleaze, sleazes, but I thought it was a good thing.
BORGER: Well, I think having these open, large press conferences can be challenging for any candidate but more power to a candidate who does it, honestly.
BORGER: You don't see Hillary Clinton do that a lot...
BORGER: ... standing in front of a room full of how many reporters were there today? Hundreds?
BORGER: Hundreds of reporters, taking questions. Now, what Donald Trump does, though, is he deflects, right? So, you don't -- maybe you don't want to talk about the problems you had with the accounting on the veteran stuff or you don't want to talk much about Trump University, so you deflect and you disrupt and you make it an issue about the press and, by the way, that works, OK? That works unless...
LEMON: There's no sympathy for the press out there.
BORGER: There is no sympathy.
LEMON: Actually very little.
BORGER: Unless you keep coming back on it and questions are raised about either candidate, by the way. I mean, if Hillary Clinton were to have a press conference, you could ask about the Clinton Foundation and potential conflicts.
If there were -- if there were you could ask about the e-mails, for example. You could, you know, you could have a bunch of reporters out there following up on each other's questions.
So, you know, on the one hand, you know, Trump has done this throughout the entire campaign, largely to his benefit, although now we're in a different part of the campaign, the question is whether it will be to his detriment or not.
BORGER: I don't -- I don't know the answer to that.
ACOSTA: And here's my question, Don. What are we going to be doing with Donald Trump for the next six weeks? There aren't any primaries after June 7th all the way to the July convention.
Can Donald Trump have the discipline to look like a presidential candidate for the next six weeks and not implode every week on national television because there haven't a race to run for or there isn't a -- he could go after Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, but he's going to have to -- there's going to be five or six weeks of just questions.
LEMON: I just have to say that I had an off-the-record conversation with someone, a Trump supporter today, let's put it that way. And I said if you think this is bad, you have five, you know, months, four months, three months, two months, one month up until the presidential -- it's going to get worse.
LEMON: So, just get ready for it. I think your point is well taken. It depends on how he handles this. I got to take a break.
ACOSTA: The White House is a bigger pressure cooker than this.
LEMON: Much bigger pressure. But go ahead.
PRESTON: His greatest weakness right now is his inability to say I'm sorry or I made a mistake. Had he said I made a mistake in the accounting of raising this money for the veterans, people would have wash their hands so they understand.
BORGER: But he says he's not going to change and he announced that today. And he has never said he's made a mistake.
PRESTON: I know he said he never said sorry to God. No.
LEMON: All right. I got to run.
GRIFFIN: Just one thing. I have no idea what Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders did today.
BORGER: That's right.
LEMON: He talked to Jake Tapper.
GRIFFIN: I must have missed that. He's saying that he's in the news and he's not running against anybody at the moment. LEMON: Jim, Drew, thank you. You guys have to get out of here.
ACOSTA: We do.
LEMON: All right. But Gloria and Mark, you guys stick around. Much more to talk about.
When we come right back, Donald Trump is not just taking shots at reporters. He's got a thing or two to say about a judge in the Trump University case and what he has to say, it's not good.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: An angry Donald Trump launching a full scale attack on the media today saying reporters should be ashamed.
I want to talk more about this with Frank Sesno. He is the director of the school of media and public affairs at George Washington University. He is CNN's former Washington bureau chief as well.
And back with me, Gloria Borger and Mark Preston. Welcome, Frank, to the panel. You know, Donald Trump is today just really launched into the press. I want to you listen and then we'll discuss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I will say that the press should be ashamed of themselves. And on behalf of the vets, the press should be ashamed of themselves. They are calling me and they are furious because I sent people checks of a lot of money and we're going to give you the names right now, which is what you want.
And instead of being like thank you very much, Mr. Trump or Trump did a good job, everyone's saying who got it, who got it, who got it, and you make me look very bad. I have never received such bad publicity for doing such a good job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, he's so -- it's not the press's job to give Donald Trump glowing reviews or fawn over him. It's the press's job to ask him questions and some of those questions are critical and tough questions. Do you think he understands the role of the press?
FRANK SESNO, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDIA AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIRECTOR: Oh, I suppose in his own way he does. He certainly can use it to his advantage when he wants to. But I think what needs to be said and what everybody needs to understand is this isn't a popularity contest. That's not what the press's job is.
The press's job is to hound every candidate, ask Hillary Clinton. She's been hounded plenty. She doesn't like it very much. He's fine when the press is hounding Hillary. But they hound him about the details, about things they've said, about contradictions, about promises made, plans proposed and whether the dots actually connect. And that is often unpleasant to watch, it's making sausage, but it's
part of what we call a transparent, accountable system. It's part of what a candidate does when they run for office, they're supposed to answer these questions and they're often snarky.
But that goes with the territory. And I think Jim said it earlier, if he thinks he's tough now, wait until he -- if he gets to it -- moves into the White House.
I mean, this is not child's play. And, yes, I do think, though, if he knows exactly the way it works. He also knows exactly what he's doing when he attacks the press. It's very deliberate.
LEMON: Frank, he does. But he probably, you know, there's not much sympathy I would imagine for the press from the American people. Do you think this makes one bit of difference with voters, his supporters at all or with independents for that matter?
SESNO: Well, independents is a tougher matter because there is this kind of holistic sense that people get over time about their candidate, you know, and for people who haven't made up their mind, they'll listening to tenor and tone, they're listening to words.
They take a lot of this in though. They listen to friends. It's a part of the overall take.
As far as supporters are concerned, you're quite right. Supporters are not -- the press is at the rock bottom in terms of the amount of public support they've got.
[22:19:58] And by the way, Donald Trump is not the first candidate who has attacked the press, OK?
SESNO: I mean, George Bush, George W. Bush did it, his father did it, Ronald Reagan did it, but in different ways. Thomas Jefferson had a pretty tough relationship with the press.
So, this goes with the territory but it's not new and it's not news when you shoot the messenger. This degree of personalization, though, Don, and I think the thing to keep in mind here and that viewers and voters should remember is it's really not about the press and the media.
This is about accountability and accessibility and transparency and the willingness to take tough questions at the time when you're running for the highest office in the land.
LEMON: All right. Let's talk about some issues here. And this question if for Gloria Borger.
Donald Trump is being sued for fraud in connection with Trump University. We talked about a little bit earlier when Drew was here.
LEMON: I want to play something that he said about the judge in this case on Friday. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He's a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel. The judge who happens to be, we believe Mexican, which is great. I think that's fine. You know what? I think the Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump when I give all these jobs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, he could have said a lot of things but he chose to attack the judge. And is there any proof that this judge is a hater?
BORGER: No. I mean, I think if you supporter they will say that he is not naturally a Trump supporter, his connections to La Raza or whatever.
But honestly, what Donald Trump is doing is deflecting. I mean, you know, he's saying the case is without merit and attacking the judge. If he were a conventional politician, which he is not, he would say I welcome the scrutiny, OK?
Here is Trump University, I did a great job, we educated a lot of great people, we did good work. I'm opening it up for anybody and everybody to see because I believe in this institution.
You know, when Mitt Romney was attacked on his role in Bain Capital and everything else, he defended his role in Bain Capital. And instead of, you know, saying let's put it all out there and let everyone judge. He goes on the attack.
And, you know, this is -- this is the M.O. that I think we're used to, and by the way, it has worked for Donald Trump.
LEMON: Yes. Do you think these documents released today will hurt him more?
PRESTON: No. Well, this well I think. I think singularly, absolutely not. Because there hasn't been one single bullet that has taken down Donald Trump. And in fact, he seems to get hit in the arm and he get stronger for whatever reason.
The question we all have to ask ourselves, though, is come August, come September, come October if there are questions about his credibility, about his honesty and there are mounting things that are building up against it, I think quite possibly then this could hurt him.
I think right now, though, I think that this is another thing that's just going to blow past Donald Trump.
BORGER: But don't forget, the two candidates now that are running are historically the most unfavorable candidates.
BORGER: Polarizing that we've ever seen.
BORGER: So, neither one of them is particularly popular.
LEMON: And Hillary Clinton is not great with the press either.
PRESTON: I would argue Donald Trump is better than Hillary Clinton with the press.
LEMON: I completely agree. Because here is the thing that I work about earlier.
BORGER: Well, I would, too.
LEMON: I would rather know that you something issue against me. I would rather you not call me a sleaze but if you do, that's fine, rather than what many people do, some people do, they freeze you out, some administrations, and you don't know why. Why were you doing interview with me, why don't you call me on a press conference because we've -- yes.
BORGER: Well, Richard Nixon had a private enemies list and Donald Trump has a public one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Wouldn't you rather the transparency from that, you know, without all the vitriol.
BORGER: Right. I mean, personally the vitriol is something that nobody likes in politics, but look, we've seen a lot of it. But I think you've seen the Trump effect on Hillary Clinton, which is that she is now doing phone-ins on televisions that Jim is pointing out.
BORGER: She's trig to make herself more available.
LEMON: Yes. Frank, I have to ask you. His supporters always say, you know, many of them say that he's treated unfairly by the press. Do you think that the press has done enough, though, to scrutinize Donald Trump?
SESNO: Well, where do you begin?
LEMON: From the beginning. SESNO; I think the press is doing a better job. I think there's a much
better job here. Look, I've said this before and I've said it on CNN, I think there have been several phases of the Trump campaign.
One is the novelty, put it on the air, it doesn't matter, he's just interesting to listen to. Two, he is the insurgent, super Tuesday he's actually starting to win. Boy, this is getting serious.
But now he is the contender, he is the candidate. And now is when the scrutiny sharpens and everything is fair game, as long as it's approached fairly. And what he appears not to like is scrutiny of any kind that challenges him.
Look, he is right when he says I wrote a big check, this is going to help a lot of people. Fair enough. But it's also fair to say, well, you've made this promise some months ago, the money isn't forthcoming, we're going to ask a lot of questions about this just to make sure it wasn't a lot of hype. That's fair.
His taxes, his policy. Heaven forbid we actually get to talking about policy somewhere in this campaign. These things are fair game and should be asked. Because guess what, guys, if we don't ask the questions now, it gets too late, right?
LEMON: That's right.
SESNO: So, welcome to the circus.
LEMON: yes. Thank you very much. Thank you Frank. Thank you, Mark. Thank you, Gloria. I appreciate it.
LEMON: Up next, Clinton versus Sanders. She picks up a key endorsement as we count down to the California primary.
LEMON: One week from today, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton face off in the final round of primaries, including the important race in California. That would be California for most people.
Joining me now, Jennifer Granholm is a former Governor of Michigan who is supporting Hillary Clinton, and Nina Turner, former Ohio State Senator who is supporting Sanders.
Good evening to both of you. Good to have you on.
NINA TURNER, FORMER OHIO STATE SENATOR: Good evening. Thanks, Don.
LEMON: A lot of people say endorsements don't matter as much as they used to. But, today, Hillary Clinton got an endorsement both sides coveted California Governor, Jerry Brown. And he says this.
"I believe this is the only path forward to win the presidency and stop dangerous, the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump."
So, Nina, you first. Would you like to have had the support of Governor Brown given that he is probably the biggest progressive name in California?
[22:30:03] TURNER: Well, of course, every candidate wants those endorsements. I mean, endorsements certainly don't vote but it makes you feel good. But there is no surprise. I mean, the surprise would have been had the governor endorse, actually endorse Senator Sanders. There is no surprise that he endorsed the secretary. Every establishment-type candidate has done that so far. So we're not surprised at all.
LEMON: You're not surprised that he endorsed her instead of him. I mean...
TURNER: No, I'm not surprised.
TURNER: That's where everybody is going. I mean, look, if the governor was really in line with what his state, you know, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, universal health care, those kinds of progressive things that Senator Sanders is fighting for, he would be on the side of the people but instead he went the easy route, so we're not surprised.
LEMON: Do you think he get the easy route, Governor Granholm.
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, FORMER MICHIGAN GOVERNOR: I don't know if that's so easy. No. I mean, for him, as you know, there has not been a history of great closeness with the Clintons.
But what he did today was to say here's what's important to me. What's important to me is climate change. Not that Bernie Sanders doesn't care about climate change but the fact that he endorsed Hillary Clinton suggests both to her supporters but as well to Bernie Sanders supporters that she's really strong on that.
The fact that she -- that he endorsed her and did so with a message of unity is really important. He said democrat shouldn't be fighting democrats because in the end the enemy facing us in November is much bigger and much more important to defeat in a united way.
LEMON: I'm going to get back to...
TURNER: But, Don.
LEMON: I'm going to get back -- let me get back to this process. To Governor Granholm's point, though, Nina, and he's fighting over a nomination, because Governor Brown ran against Bill Clinton. He said it hasn't always, you know, hanky dory between the Clinton's. He ran against Bill Clinton in 1992 in a primary and it got pretty ugly. Listen to this debate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERRY BROWN (D), CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR: He is spoiling money to his wife's law firm for state business. That's number one.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I don't care what you say about me but you ought to be ashamed of yourself for jumping on my wife. You not worth of the same platform of my wife...
BROWN: I tell you something...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, the governor has not always been easy. They have united. Do you think there's going to be enough time to have some sort of unification between democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders before this thing actually gets to the convention?
TURNER: But, Don, Senator Sanders is in this race. I don't know how many which ways we got to say this or we got to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Senator Sanders is in this contest, he has said it every which way that he can, every stair he is going to say the thing, he is in this race to become the democratic nominee for the president of the United States of America.
And so you just don't stop in the last quarter of the game just because some people want him to be -- to get out of this race. He's going all the way to the convention. Nothing has changed and no matter what happens in California on Tuesday, I'm going to say the same thing when you ask me that again. He's going all the way to the convention. Save the tape.
LEMON: But even if the math is not in your favor, I mean, even -- let's talk about facts. So the math is not in your favor.
Let me ask you this, Governor Granholhm and then can you respond, Nina. Hillary Clinton is likely though, to clinch the nomination by the time the polls close in California on Tuesday.
So, if she is by, you know, Nina is saying this, Bernie Sanders saying that, does this, does she going to go into this convention wounded?
GRANHOLM: You mean if she lost California?
LEMON: Yes, if she lost California. Even if she lost California, she's probably still going to clinch it by Tuesday.
GRANHOLM: She's going to win it. I mean, that's the bottom line. I mean, let me just say this, Don. And I don't know how many times her team has to say this but she is not asking Bernie Sanders to get out of this race now.
She'd be the last person to do that. She went all the way until the last votes were counted, she totally gets that and she wants California to have its say.
That's why she's here this week, she's fighting for votes, too. In the end, though, and I know, Nina, I know you. I know you would say that if Bernie Sanders won, you would ask her and her supporters to be all in for him in the same way that if she wins a majority of these delegates, she's going to ask Bernie Sanders' vote. And she's going to make that appeal, she's going to ask Bernie Sanders to help make that appeal.
We have got to be united in the end. But right now as we speak, it might be a week early for us to be having that conversation.
GRANHOLM: We got to go through the process.
LEMON: Nina, before you respond, listen to this. This is Hillary Clinton talking to Jake Tapper today and the then you can respond. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I have said repeatedly I will certainly do everything I can to unify the Democratic Party. Our campaigns have been reaching out to one another. We will continue to do that. And once the primaries are over as of next Tuesday, we will begin talking in more detail about what we can do to unify the party.
Because as I've said many times and as Senator Sanders has said, we both are going to do everything we can to prevent Donald Trump from getting anywhere near the White House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Nina, there...
TURNER: Presumptuous, Don. I mean, the race is not over next Tuesday. The D.C. still has to vote. The race is nor over next Tuesday. So, I want everybody to understand is that the super delegates do not weigh in, neither the senator, nor the secretary will have the requisite pledged delegates necessary.
[22:35:10] It will take super delegates to push either one of them over the top. But this is the thing, Don. Yes, some other Clinton surrogates have say, oh, no, we don't want him to get out of the race.
But at the same time, you know, even Senator Feinstein just recently said just this past Sunday, so they're saying one thing one way but they're talking out of the left side of their mouths when it comes to really respecting Senator Sanders, the 21 contests that he has won and the people all across this country who still have yet to cast a ballot.
Don, they can't have it both ways.
GRANHOLM: Nina, that's not -- that's not true.
TURNER: So, Senator Sanders is going to stay in this race all the way to the convention, period. We're not going anywhere.
GRANHOLM: We get it, totally get it, totally get it. We hear you, Nina.
TURNER: Ok. I hope so.
GRANHOLM: And she's not asking him to get out. She's not. She's not. How many times does she have to say it?
LEMON: All right.
GRANHOLM: She's respecting it really and respecting his voters.
LEMON: All right. That's got to be the last word. Thank you. I appreciate it.
TURNER: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: When we come right back, Donald Trump goes to war. His supporters love it but will it turn off voters in November. We'll be right back.
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Donald Trump's take no prisoner's news conference today was something to see. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the media is frankly made up of people that in many cases, not in all cases, are not good people.
The bad part about the dishonesty of the media is that people like me will be inclined not to do it anymore. The press should be ashamed of themselves. And on behalf of the vets, the press should be ashamed of themselves. They are calling me and they are furious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Here to discuss, look, he's back, he came back, Andy Dean is here! Andy is a Trump supporter.
ANDY DEAN, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Hello. Hello. LEMON: Hello, hello. Mo Elleithee is here. Mo came back as well, former DNC director of communications, Matt Lewis is back as well, the author of "Too Dumb to Fail: How the GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections and How it Can Reclaim Its Conservative Roots," that's as long as the book, Matt.
And then a CNN political contributor Van Jones with us as well. Van says Cleveland is going to win the championship, so there we go.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, no!
LEMON: I know. All right, Van. I know, I know.
JONES: Go Dogs. Go nation.
LEMON: So, Van, I really want to get your reaction to Trump taking on the media today. Is this his way of trying to create a distraction do you say away from maybe the lawsuits, Trump University, what do you think is going on here?
JONES: Well, look, I thought it was really, really disturbing today. Look, the reality is Donald Trump set out to do something good. He was trying to distract from the fact that he didn't want to go to the debate. He could have just stayed home. Instead, he went out, he did go out and raise a bunch of money.
The reality, though, is that the process by which he gathered the funds, distributed the funds was a mess of reporters are trying to figure out what the heck is going on, And then rather than him saying, guess what?
It takes a little bit of time some time to get your pledges in, I knew what I'm trying. He goes ballistic and starts calling name and acting like a child. This is not that he was doing something good but he stepped on it by being horrible today.
I think it shows a contempt for the fourth of the state, it shows a contempt for the role of the press and it's very dangerous in a president.
LEMON: Matt, what was the big smile for?
MATT LEWIS, "TOO DUMB TO FAIL" AUTHOR: Well, I don't understand. Why don't you just -- if I were giving $6 million or $5.5 million or whatever to veterans, I show up, do a victory lap, say I'm doing something really amazing here that's going to help a lot of people, it's really important and then I leave.
You know, it's like the George Costanza line. You don't -- you don't stand out in front of a bank waiting for the cops to show up. You get in, you get out. Why does he -- like, you know, he was there for like an extra 45 minutes taking random questions attacking the media.
LEMON: So, Matt, I actually give him -- I give credit for taking random questions. I mean, I don't give him credit for calling people names. I mean, that's you know, I leave to you guys to discuss that. But I give him, I actually give him credit for standing there and taking the heat from the media because as if he is elected president, he's going to have to do that.
LEWIS: Well, I'm putting on my political strategist hat for a second and I say you've got great news you want the headline to be Donald Trump gives $6 million to veterans. That's the story.
You get in, you get out. You don't hang around and attack the media and talk about Bill Kristol and everything else. You want the story to be about the donation. It was a great thing and it was totally overshadowed by his attacks, I think unprovoked really on the media because they were just asking legitimate questions.
LEMON: Yes. Mo, I want to ask you, but you hear what he said. You said that Trump's news conference, you said it was full of inconsistencies with Trump saying how dare you question him, you know, but he questions people all the time about different issues. Do you think that there is a double standard when it comes to the Trump campaign?
MO ELLEITHEE, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF POLITICS & PUBLIC SERVICE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: I think Donald Trump has a double standard when it cops to how he's covering and how he's perceived.
LEMON: That's what I mean.
ELLEITHEE: Yes. I mean, here's a guy who stands up there. It would just blew my mind every time he stood up there and says "I was not in this for the credit." The whole thing was him announcing it out of rally. I mean, this was all about taking the credit and he got called on it.
Now, where I'm going to disagree with you a little bit, Don, is you know, you just said you give credit for standing up there and taking questions and taking heat from the press. He didn't take any heat from the press today. This was all carefully orchestrated by him to give heat.
He was trying to deflect from a terrible week of coverage about how badly he bungled this whole veterans thing. And what are we talking about? We're talking about how he -- how he is attacking the press. The press which is not much more well-like for them in politics. You know, that is now what we're talking about and that just perfect for the supporters.
So, it was actually pretty smart I think what he did today, not good but smart.
LEMON: Yes. Point taken about the taking heat, but I did think that he took some tough questions from reporters especially when he started to give it they started giving it back and that's what I meant.
[22:45:00] So, Andy, I want you to weigh on this, but as you weigh in, I'm going to ask you this question. Hillary Clinton said that Trump was shamed into having to give this money to vets.
Our CNN investigation along with others have found that a substantial number of these checks were donated in the last week or so, after questions were raised by the press. So, why did that happen and what's your response to the press conference?
DEAN: Well, Don, remember, Donald Trump gave away $5.6 million. And I guess the old saying that no good deed goes unpunished. I mean, when you're giving away that much money to over 40 groups, you have to make sure that these groups are who they say they are.
And there have been issues of people running fake scams and fake charities and Donald Trump was very thorough. It takes time to vet all of this. And I'll tell you this, if Donald Trump had written a gigantic check to a charity that spent way too much on overhead or was flying first class, then the lead story on your broadcast will be why didn't Donald Trump take more time all the time he needed to vet these charities.
So, he's damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't. But at the end of the day this guy gave away almost $6 million. And one thing I'll say to Matt Lewis's comments that, you know, why didn't Trump, you know, come out in a parade and celebrate this? He was trying to be classy about this.
He didn't to present gigantic checks as if people these people won Power Ball, it wasn't about winning a Power Ball. It's about making a charitable donation and Trump was classy and he took the time he need to do it right.
LEMON: OK. Andy, hang on. OK. There's a question. Go ahead.
JONES: How is calling someone sleazy classy? I mean, it's like to the looking glass.
DEAN: It's honest.
JONES: If he was trying to be this classy and put the veterans first, he missed the opportunity to put the veterans first. In fact, what he did he has the veterans standing behind him and he goes upfront and defends his own ego rather than talking about for the veterans.
LEMON: OK, Van.
JONES: I thought -- I don't understand how that's classy.
LEMON: So, Andy, you said it's honest. What's honest about what proof is there that the reporter is sleazy that he called sleazy? How is that honest?
DEAN: Don, as much as, you know, we honor the media field and I actually think that you do a good job, Don, but many people in your chosen field are very, very sleazy.
Now that being said, in any field whether they're lawyers or doctors or janitors, there are people who do a great job...
LEMON: But a reporter isn't -- Andy, with all due respect, the reporter is an ABC reporter, who is an accomplished reporter...
LEMON: ... who has never been called sleazy and to my knowledge has never been criticized for being this fair -- to being unfair and dishonest. So, I don't understand what evidence is there that this particular reporter is sleazy and how is it honest to call him sleazy if there is no evidence that he is sleazy.
DEAN: No, I said Donald was being honest with how he felt. Now what the appropriate definition of sleazy is, you know, I'm going to leave it to Donald Trump to decide. But he clearly doesn't like this guy.
But, Don, the overarching theme here is that the media and the reason why the media is so disliked, is that they're supposed to report the news, not become the news. And we've seen this time and time again, whether it's Michelle Fields or this ABC news sleaze. Stop making the news and report the news. That's what the people want.
ELLEITHEE: But here is the thing. Here is the thing.
LEMON: Quickly, Mo. I had to get to a break.
ELLEITHEE: I respect that point but who made the media the news today? Not the media. Donald Trump made the media the news because he did not want to focus on this veteran story. The media didn't seek to make themselves the news today.
Donald Trump wanted the headlines that Trump attacks the media. He got what he wanted today.
LEMON: All right. Stay with me, everyone. Could Hillary Clinton be feeling the bern, enough to ask Bernie Sanders to be her V.P.? We'll discuss that coming up.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: We're back with Andy Dean, Mo Elleithee, Matt Lewis and Van Jones.
So, Van, let's talk about the democrats now. Hillary Clinton was on CNN earlier today speaking with Jake Tapper, and she says that her camp and the Bernie camp are reaching out to one another.
Is she doing enough do you think to unify the party, is Bernie doing enough?
JONES: Well, look, I think that she has been doing a lot. I mean, she reaches out especially on the policy. She's showing that she's responding to the Bernie Sanders policy agenda.
Here's where I think there's going to be some challenges. First of all, a lot of Bernie's people are not policy people, they're process people. They're very concerned about the role of money. That's a process issue. They're very concerned about whether the umpires are fair, whether the DNC chair is fair. These are process issues.
So, she reaches out with a policy olive branch but she misses the opportunity to soothe some of these process concerns. Number two, you've got a real ideological split in the party.
When you have Obama versus Hillary Clinton in 2008, there was no ideological split. It was basically which flavor of ice cream do you want but you're going to get ice cream.
With this, you've got, you know, caviar and corn dogs. It's a very big ideological split and it's hard to heal that. And so, she's going to have to continue to work but you got to give her credit. She has reached out, her tone has been good. So, her surrogates done so much but she's been doing what she can do to open the door for that reconciliation.
LEMON: And there is a big slit on the republican side. I mean, they are pretty much I think that they have gotten together buy they do only have one candidate now who is a presumptive nominee, so there is a difference there.
So, Mo, in 2008, Hillary Clinton endorsed President Obama, then or the candidate Obama, four days after the final primaries. She lost the delegate game. Do you think Bernie Sanders should reevaluate his plan to take this race all the way to the convention?
ELLEITHEE: Yes. Look, he should stay in as long as he wants to and he's earned the right to do that and he's run a heck of a campaign. I do think that once the final vote is cast -- giving his voters a chance to turn out and vote for him is the right thing to do for him and for the party.
But once the last vote is cast, when it's clear that he doesn't have enough votes or delegates and by no measure is he going to be the nominee, then I think he needs to think about what it is he wants to accomplish.
If it is to force some sort of a floor fight on an issue, that's fine, but it just means that the party is going to take longer to unite and to heal.
If the goal is to put a populist progressive in the White House and defeat Donald Trump, then I think he should think about how quickly he should be encouraging his supporters to work towards that goal and get behind what will then be the presumptive nominee.
[22:54:59] LEMON: Matt, the longer that this, you know, their primary goes on, does this help the democrats, are they helping Donald Trump? LEWIS: I think they are. I think they clearly are. I mean, look, it's
really unfathomable that Donald Trump has, you know, closed this thing out so early compared to Hillary Clinton.
And if you look at the polls right now, you know, it's neck and neck. And some of that is attributable to the fact that Hillary Clinton is in this battle against Bernie Sanders and I'm sure some Bernie supporters are not -- or saying whether or not ultimately they might end up voting for Hillary, they're saying that they won't right now, that's helping Trump. It's helping him to get better media coverage.
LEMON: I got to get -- I got to get Andy in here. Andy, before I go, because I got to get to the top of the hour here.
DEAN: Yes, sure.
LEMON: But Bernie Sanders is making the case that he is better against Trump than Hillary Clinton. Does the Trump team fear that Sanders as a political opponent?
DEAN: No, we don't fear cramming old socialist that's very bizarre. But we do like Sanders in this campaign because he gives us good talking points against Hillary. And if he wants to run as a third- party candidate, we have no problem with that. We find the whole thing, the Sanders thing comical. So, that's that.
LEMON: All right. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it.
When we come right back, Teflon Trump. Why nothing seems to stick to this candidate. And revelations from the Trump University playbook. What the mobile and former reality star doesn't want you to know.
LEMON: Teflon Trump strikes again.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
[23:00:00] Donald Trump hurls insults at reporters at a Trump towers news conference. He calls a judge presiding over his Trump University case a hater and blast the republican governor of New Mexico, yet none of it seems to stick.