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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
UCLA Shooting; Hillary on Trump University; Zoo Investigation; Die-Hard Sanders Supporters: Bernie or Bust. Aired 4-4:30p ET
Aired June 1, 2016 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: The allegation, did Trump University teach the art of the steal? THE LEAD starts right now.
Salespeople allegedly fleeced the elderly, the uneducated, even the homeless. New damning accusation coming to light today against Trump University and the pitch to students.
Hillary Clinton today trying to draw a line between this case and his campaign.
He's an NBA All-Star and one of the most famous athletes in his home country, but he is so worried about Zika, he might skip the Olympics. He will join us to talk about it.
Plus, breaking news, a mother' desperate call for help. Her 911 phone call released today with her little boy in the clutches of a giant jungle beast.
Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
We're going to begin today with some breaking news in our national lead. Deadly gunfire on a college campus that started with a report of an active shooter, then, of course, the inevitable lockdown, scenes such as this one, students using equipment, classroom equipment to barricade themselves into the room, posting photographs on social media, as police fanned out across the 400-acre UCLA campus, soon announcing that they had found two people dead.
Let's bring in CNN correspondent Stephanie Elam. She is at UCLA.
Stephanie, is the threat to public safety now over?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's what we understand now, Jake.
In fact, we were standing out here as students started returning to campus. It was very much deserted for most of the morning, as police were searching for potential other people on the loose who may be shooting. And now what we understand is that it was a murder-suicide that happened in an officer inside the building that you see behind me here, Engineering 4, on UCLA's campus. It happened about 10:00 in the morning local time this happened. The campus wasn't reopened again until 12:15 or 12:30 or so, so people
now just coming back out and finding out, but the police chief saying that this murder-suicide was contained, but out of abundance of caution, they were searching through the rest of campus to make sure that there was no other threat.
But we do know that it was two adult men that lost their lives by gunshot wounds here in this building behind us. Still not clear who these men are or why this murder-suicide happened, but obviously a tense time for these UCLA students as they are heading into finals.
I talked to one student. He said he was concerned about what was going on on campus, but he was more concerned about missing out on his finals. So many of these students getting close to graduation next Friday. So, they were concerned.
But, at this point, I can tell you that classes here for the rest of the day are canceled and they are expected to resume tomorrow -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Stephanie Elam on the scene, thank you so much.
Now to our politics lead. Brand-new details today from former Trump University employees who claim Donald Trump's now defunct school was in fact a scheme meant to con potential students out of their money.
One ex-worker described homeless people instructed to max out their credit cards to take classes, but the presumptive Republican presidential nominee says it was a good school, in fact, and he will win the lawsuit and, what's more, the judge is a hater.
CNN's Drew Griffin joins me with the new findings.
Drew, yesterday's information was from students who felt fleeced. Today, we hear from former employees.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And that, Jake, is what is so damaging. The Trump Organization sent out YouTube videos this afternoon of satisfied students, trying to counter these declarations.
But the words of actual Trump University employees seem to corroborate what the three lawsuits against Trump University are alleging, that it was all a scheme to defraud gullible people out of thousands and thousands of dollars.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Trump University preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money. That's the declaration of Ronald Schnackenberg, sales manager at Trump University from October 2006 through May of 2007.
Schnackenberg says that's when he quit, "Because I believed that Trump University was engaging in misleading, fraudulent and dishonest conduct." Schnackenberg even cites an example of a couple he thought couldn't afford a $35,000 elite program he was supposed to sell them because of their precarious financial condition. He writes the couple would have had to pay for the program using disability income and taking out a loan based on the equity in his apartment.
He refused to make the sale, he says, and was reprimanded by Trump University. Then he stood by as another salesperson talked them in to buying the $35,000 seminar.
"I was disgusted," he wrote.
Connie Summer (ph), a sales event manager for six months at the school, said instructors used high-pressure sales techniques no matter the financial situation of the students. "I recall that some consumers had showed up who were homeless and could not afford the seminar," she writes.
"Yet I overheard Trump University representatives telling them, it's OK, just max out your credit card."
The declarations just released are part of an ongoing class-action lawsuit, one of three claiming the school was a fraud. Trump's defense so far, the declarations will be disputed in court. And on the campaign trail, Trump holds up high approval ratings for his school, while individually attacking his former students who have sued him.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So we have 10,000 surveys from former students giving Trump University rave reviews. So you have this guy Bob Guillo. He appeared in TV attack ads, even though he rated the programs a five, meaning excellent, the top mark, across the board.
GRIFFIN: This is Bob Guillo.
BOB GUILLO, TRUMP UNIVERSITY PARTICIPANT: suing It was a scam from the start.
GRIFFIN: He says he was suckered into a $35,000 worthless Trump University real estate course by a motivational speaker. And, yes, at that moment, he did give that instructor a five out of five.
GUILLO: And the reason we did that was that at every one of these retreats, the instructions would say your certificates of accomplishments are waiting for you in the back of the room, but you first have to fill out a questionnaire. And, guys, I want Donald Trump to invite me back to New York to teach more of these retreats, so please be kind, give me the highest rating possible.
GRIFFIN: Jake, in response, like we said, to the documents today, that Trump camp sent out a YouTube video of students who gave reviews of the course, saying things like the course was outstanding, I made my money back, I never felt pressured.
And there's a political conspiracy theory behind the lawsuits as well. Bill and Hillary Clinton were paid $775,000 to give three speeches to the law firm involved in the Trump University lawsuits. It's important to note the speeches were given in 2009, 2013, 2014, before either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton were in this presidential race.
TAPPER: All right. Drew Griffin, thank you so much.
As Mr. Trump deals with this potential bad news, fallout from the lawsuit against Trump University, he's also getting some of his favorite kind of good news.
Senior political reporter Manu Raju joins me now.
And, Manu, new national polling suggests that this race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is as tight as a tick.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It really is getting very tight, Jake. And this really comes as a slew of new polls show that this race is becoming very, very close, as Hillary Clinton is mired in her primary fight with Bernie Sanders, and Republican voters are getting used to the fact that Donald Trump will in fact be the Republican nominee.
But that doesn't mean that all Republicans are ready to fall in line.
RAJU (voice-over): As Donald Trump tries to focus on the general election, he continues to be reminded about this simple fact, the Republican Party is not fully behind him yet.
A long-shot third-party candidate, Iraq War veteran and conservative writer David French, is being pushed by GOP pundit Bill Kristol. And House Speaker Paul Ryan remains a key holdout.
QUESTION: What is taking you so long?
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, first of all, principle. Principles are what matter the most to conservatives like myself and the policies that come from those principles. That's not something that you just turn a dime on.
RAJU: This despite Donald Trump's own improving poll numbers. A new Quinnipiac poll finds Trump down by just four points to Clinton nationally and 86 percent of GOP voters would back Trump over Clinton with more than seven in 10 Republicans holding a favorable view of him.
REP. LEE ZELDIN (R), NEW YORK: Ultimately, the decision is between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at this point. So holding out hope for this other Republican to emerge to be the next president at this point, it's just not going to happen.
RAJU: Controversy is bound to follow Trump overseas later this month, when he attends the opening one of his Scottish golf courses in his first trip abroad as the presumptive GOP nominee.
It will come a day after the U.K. votes on whether to stay as part of the European Union. And he could receive a rocky reception from the British Parliament, which threatened to ban him after he proposed his own temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S.
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'd unite us all against him.
RAJU: Back home, Trump is still attacking his favorite punching bag, the media. Facing criticism that he made big donations to veterans groups only after reporters began to inquire, today, Trump fired back, tweeting: "So I raised, gave $5.4 million for the veterans and the media makes me look bad. They do anything to belittle. Totally biased."
RAJU: But Clinton hopes the bigger problem for Trump will be allegations that his for-profit college, Trump University, took advantage of students.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Trump and his employees took advantage of vulnerable Americans, encouraging them to max out their credit cards, empty their retirement savings, destroy their financial futures, all while making promises they knew were false from the beginning. This is just more evidence that Donald Trump himself is a fraud.
RAJU: Now, Democrats are hoping that that the Trump University issue and the fact that Trump won't release his tax returns will be far more potent issues in the general election than they were in a primary season and they believe they have gotten some ammunition on the tax return front.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said today that it would be a good idea for Trump to release his tax returns since, Jake, it's been customary for candidates to do so.
TAPPER: All right, Manu Raju, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
Let's bring in our political panel to break down all this news, conservative columnist Mary Katharine Ham, Democratic strategist Paul Begala, and senior adviser to Donald Trump Ed Brookover.
Ed, out of fairness, let me start with you.
What is the response of the Trump campaign to the specific allegations made about people who work for Trump University being encouraged to take money from people, including homeless people?
ED BROOKOVER, SENIOR DONALD TRUMP ADVISER: We believe the lawsuit is going to show that those allegations are false, they're incorrect, and the flat-out wrong. You have got a judge here that granted a trial in a case which had no merit and we think moving forward that's going to show just that.
TAPPER: Paul, Secretary Clinton, you saw a very forceful condemnation of Mr. Trump and Trump University. Trump's campaign yesterday was taking shots at the Clinton Foundation and questions about all of the financing there.
Is it going to be tough for Clinton to use Trump University as an issue, given the questions that there have been? There was the book and the forthcoming moving "Clinton Cash." Is that going to be an issue?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: No.
In fact, this is a good example of Hillary -- she is on offense. Ever since Donald Trump has emerged -- and he's been a phenomenal success. The question to Hillary supporters like myself has been, well, how are you guys going to answer all his charges?
I actually checked the rule book. We are allowed to make charges and make him respond. And that's what is happening now. Trump is on his heels. He's defending against charges of fraud, not only from Hillary, his political opponent, OK, but also from his own employees, or former employees. He will spend a lot of this campaign on the defense because there's so much to attack him on.
TAPPER: And do you think, Mary Katharine, that his press conference yesterday, where he was so aggressive with the media -- and I know he likes to do that anywhere -- but do you think that that was intended at all to distract from either questions about the money to the charities or even perhaps more so to distract from this lawsuit and the information being released to the public?
MARY KATHARINE HAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I think he feels attacked and then as he said in his more in-depth interviews, he said when I feel like I'm wounded, I go on attack. And I think that's what he was doing. That's what his gut tells him to do. And he does what his gut tells him to do.
It's certainly not going to hurt him with his base that he's attacking the media. The interesting thing to me is, I think these are all real issues. There's also normal issues that hurt normal candidates. If there's one thing we have learned, he's not a normal candidate. I wouldn't count on these things having the resonance that they would with another candidate.
TAPPER: Ed, let me ask you the question about -- there's a lot of polls that I'm sure you like that show the race very competitive.
There's one, the "Wall Street Journal"/NBC poll from a few weeks ago that also showed the race very competitive. But one of the things that was very interesting is it showed 60 percent of the voters said Trump did not have the right temperament to be president.
I think it was like 12 percent said he did. Do you think how he acted at the press conference yesterday if he continues that demeanor will ultimately hurt him?
BROOKOVER: I think that the voters, when they choose the president, look at a whole package of what they want.
Right now, he's expressing and capturing the frustration that people have with Washington, D.C., with its failed policies, with its failure to act. If he continues to do that, he will be just fine.
TAPPER: Paul, we just heard from President Obama, who does seem very eager to enter the political fray. If feels like he almost wishes he could run against Donald Trump.
But yesterday -- or not yesterday -- last week, when he was abroad and he said that the world leaders were rattled at the prospect of Donald Trump and some of the things he said, that frankly seemed to play right into Donald Trump's hands. He said, good, they should be rattled. Does he know how to go after Trump?
BEGALA: I think he knows better than anybody how to go after Donald Trump, honestly. Go back to 2011, when Mr. Trump was making noises about running and running this racist nonsense about the president not being born in America and the birth certificate.
The president went at that Correspondents Dinner, carved Trump up. The ridicule -- the president has a gift that Ronald Reagan had, too, of belittling his opponents with ridicule in a way that doesn't seem mean-spirited.
I can't wait for him to get out. By the way, he also has the same approval rating as Ronald Reagan, which is the last time a president essentially got his -- head of his party got a third term.
[16:15:04] HAM: But here's the question. Has that gift done anyone but President Obama a lot of political good? Because if you look at the state houses, if you look at governorships around the country, Republicans have taken those by storm, largely because of the Obama legacy and because of the way he played this game and did it well for himself but not for a lot of people on the ticket.
BEGALA: That is a very good point. But I can't wait to get him out there as a Hillary supporter. I can't.
He had two terrible midterms. He did. He had two terrific presidential elections. And he seems to be zeroing in on Trump more than anybody else in this business.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Ed, are you surprised that the race is so close right now?
ED BROOKOVER, SR. ADVISER TO DONALD TRUMP'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: No, not really. I mean, when we were on the campaign trail, what surprised me was the frustration and, in fact, the anger of the American voter out there, showing up with Mr. Trump, showed up with Dr. Carson, showing up to Senator Sanders. There was a whole lot of people out there that are saying, we have to do something different, we have to do it now. TAPPER: And about 10 percent of the country, according to these
polls, has not made up their mind. Do you think ultimately that this is Donald Trump's to lose given the fact that he is -- I don't think there's any way to dispute this -- he is more -- he more represents change, an outsider than Hillary Clinton does?
HAM: So, one of these people who thought he wouldn't get out of the primary, but if he did, he had a chance to shake up the math. And I think he does and what's what makes him unpredictable and dangerous for Hillary Clinton. But I do think, look, if it's a change election, he will probably win.
But I think one of her arguments can easily be because of the temperament question. Look, I'm going to put it this way, she might not. I'm dishonest but I'm a grown-up. He's dishonest but not going to be able to handle the nuclear codes, like that will be the -- that will be what people decide.
TAPPER: Vote for the dishonest person you can trust?
TAPPER: You're suggesting that as a --
HAM: That's what it feels --
TAPPER: It's an interesting bumper sticker. I appreciate it.
TAPPER: Mary Katharine, Paul, Ed, thanks so much for being here. Appreciate it.
Die hard Bernie Sanders supporters saying that they will take drastic measures if he's not the nominee. What are they dealing and what are they threatening, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[16:20:50] SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No candidate, not Hillary Clinton, not Bernie Sanders, will have received the number of pledged delegates, i.e., the real delegates that people vote for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Senator Bernie Sanders, as you hear there last night, saying that superdelegates aren't, quote/unquote, "real delegates". He's called the entire Democratic primary process dumb for the superdelegates and he's pleaded for the powers that be to, quote, "let the people in".
All of this talk has Bernie bros and Bernie broads, whatever they are called, vowing to not only refuse to Hillary Clinton, but also to renounce the Democratic Party altogether.
Our Jeff Zeleny talked to some of the people behind the movement.
STEVE STERLING, REGISTERED INDEPENDENT VOTER: I will never vote for Hillary. Bernie or bust.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the waning days of the Democratic primary, those three words, "Bernie or bust," may keep the fight alive.
Bernie Sanders has one decision to make after the final wave of states vote next week.
SANDERS: Thank you.
ZELENY: His supporters have another and many insist they will not fall in to line behind Hillary Clinton.
GARY FRAZIER, BLACK MEN FOR BERNIE: You can't expose the corruption of these political systems and expect us to get behind that same political system.
ZELENY: Gary Frazier is organizing a movement for Sanders in Philadelphia, only blocks from where Democrats will gather next tonight for their convention. He's taking Sanders call for a (AUDIO GAP) getting any party hope for quick party unity.
(on camera): If it's Trump versus Clinton, what do you do in that election?
FRAZIER: I mean, it's plain and simple what we are going to do. If Bernie Sanders does not walk out of that thing as the nominee, we can guarantee you from that moment on, we'll start the deregistration of the Democratic Party.
ZELENY (voice-over): His passion doesn't change the hard reality of the delegate math. Clinton will clinch the party's nomination next Tuesday. Sanders will not.
As Sanders rails against superdelegates --
SANDERS: It is an unfair system and it's a dumb system and it's a system we will change.
ZELENY: His most loyal supporters are now convinced that the system is rigged, setting up a collision course for Democrats. Sanders support is not built on the party faithful alone. Sixty-three percent of his supporters are Democrats and 33 percent independents, according to exit polls from 27 states, a far cry from Clinton who draws most of her support from Democrats but needs independents in her battle with Donald Trump.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Whatever differences Senator Sanders and I have, or our supporters have, they pale -- they pale in comparison to our differences with Donald Trump.
ZELENY: Clinton campaign hopes the idea of a Trump presidency will over Democrats and unify them by the party convention here in Philadelphia. But many Sanders supporters say they will come here to protest, not support Hillary Clinton.
BILLY TAYLOR, SANDERS SUPPORTER: If we don't give Bernie -- we're not just automatically going to vote for the demon because you say the devil may be there.
ZELENY: In a back room of a Philadelphia barber shop, Billy Taylor is helping organize to protest the convention.
TAYLOR: It's not about one man anymore. It's about we the people.
ZELENY: Sanders inspired a movement. But now, it's unclear whether he can control it or if he wants to.
SANDERS: We're going to go marching in to the Democratic convention with incredible momentum.
ZELENY: He's pulled Clinton to the left which could influence the selection of a running mate. But even loyal Sanders supporters, like Sarah Long, aren't eager for him to be chosen.
SARA LONG, SANDERS SUPPORTER: I think there are a lot of compromises that would have to be made. The whole Bernie or bust movement is also -- that a lot of people don't want her. So I think that that would achieve nearly the same as just voting for her alone.
ZELENY: Now, Sanders is not ruling out the possibility of being a running mate. But Jake, nearly all of his supporters across the board are. The most polite answer we got was, he would be a sellout for doing so and many other answers were far less polite than that -- Jake.
TAPPER: A revolution in Philadelphia. Jeff Zeleny, thank you so much.
Joining me now to discuss all of this is the campaign manager for Senator Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, Jeff Weaver.
Jeff, thank you so much for coming back. I appreciate it.
JEFF WEAVER, BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Thanks, Jake. Any time.
TAPPER: So, you just heard Jeff Zeleny's reporting, a contingent of Sanders supporters, the Bernie or bust crew, they're vowing to deregister as a sign of their refusal to vote for Hillary Clinton should she be the nominee. What's the message of the Sanders campaign to the Bernie or bust movement?
WEAVER: Well, I think the senator has been very clear - and we're still in the middle of the primary caucus process here. Let's not jump the gun and talk about who is or is not the nominee.
We've got a bunch of states voting on the 7th. We have Puerto Rico voting on the 5, we've got the Virgin Islands voting and the District of Columbia votes on the 14th. And then after that, the superdelegates won't vote until the convention.
So, there's not going to be a nominee until the convention because neither candidates are going to have the requisite pledged delegates needed to secure the nomination. You need 2,383 delegates between pledged and superdelegates. Neither candidate is gong to have that -- is going to have that with pledged delegates alone. And so, until the superdelegates vote at the convention in Philadelphia, there will not be a nominee of the Democratic Party.
TAPPER: I understand that there won't officially be a nominee of the party but next week, it is likely that Secretary Clinton will get enough pledged delegates that if you combine that with the superdelegates who have already publicly come out and said they will support her at the convention, she will have the magic number of delegates needed for the nomination.
And I guess one of the questions is, what then happens to all of these millions of supporters of Bernie Sanders who have been told that the system is rigged. Are you not concerned that they will end up as these people in the Bernie or bust movement just told Jeff Zeleny, end up leaving the Democratic Party and handing the election to Donald Trump?
WEAVER: Well, in the event that Secretary Clinton is the nominee, they will certainly have to have a lot of outreach on the part of the Clinton campaign to these young people, independent voters to bring them in to ensure that we don't elect Donald Trump. Bernie Sanders has said he will support the nominee of the Democratic Party and we'll work hard day and night to defeat Donald Trump if he's not the nominee.
But, again, I want to get back to the point. I think one of the problems, Jake, is that the superdelegate counts that you have, basically, they are a poll and you don't design delegate counts, pledged delegate counts based on polls because the voting hasn't happened.
TAPPER: They are not a poll?
WEAVER: You call people up and say, how are you voting?
TAPPER: Yes --
WEAVER: You call people up and say, how are you voting? But they haven't voted.
I mean, you could do a poll in California today and say, how are you going to vote? You don't count those. TAPPER: Jeff, a poll is a statistical sampling of a thousand people
to predict how a million people are going to vote. This is calling one after the other after the other, giving like a roll call of individual superdelegates and they are going on the record saying, I will support Bernie Sanders or I will support Hillary Clinton. This isn't -- this isn't guesswork. This is what they said they're going to do.
WEAVER: Right. But they're not obligated to do that until they get to the convention. There's a long way between the 14th which is the last day of primary caucus voting and the convention, Jake.
I think as we get closer and people begin to focus on the polling that demonstrates that Senator Sanders is, this polling has been consistent out for a long time, a much stronger and general election candidate than Secretary Clinton. I think you just had a graphic up there that showed his overwhelming support among independents which are going to be critical to the Democrats winning in November, not only the White House but up and down the ballot, I think people are going to begin to take a look at this race, particularly if he comes out of the 7th with a tremendous amount of momentum.
TAPPER: What makes you think that they would vote against the majority of the popular vote of Democrats who he voted and the majority of pledged delegates? Because it seems entirely probable that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, when all of these contests are over, unless there's landslide after landslide after landslide, Hillary Clinton will have more actual votes.
Why would superdelegates go against the will of the independent Democratic voters who have participated in the process?
WEAVER: Look, we didn't make these rules, Jake. These were handed to us. The fact to the matter is, is that superdelegates, the role of superdelegates is at the end of the process to make a determination about who they think can best represent the party in November. If they are supposed to mirror the votes of the pledged delegates, why are they even there? They're there because that's not their purpose. Their purpose is to make an independent judgment about who they believe can best lead the party in November to secure not just the White House but to win up and down the ballot. That's the purpose of superdelegates.
We can have a debate about whether there should be superdelegates at all. And I think the senator has expressed some serious concerns about the whole superdelegate process. But that's the rules we were handed. And now, people want to change the rules.
The rules are, you go through the elections, you get pledged delegates, then at the convention, the superdelegates vote based on their independent judgment. You have hundreds - literally hundreds of superdelegates who, quote/unquote, "came out" for Hillary Clinton before there was even a race, before they knew who the opponents were, before they saw any vote returns from their either state or other states. TAPPER: Well, have you gotten any of them to change their mind? I
mean, have any of them come forward and said to you, or privately said to you, "We're going to be with you at the convention even though, publicly, we're with Hillary Clinton"?