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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA

Sanders Still Meeting with Obama; Clinton Considers Women Running Mate; Kasich Blasts Trump, Still on Fence, Trump Tweets; Ryan Expresses Concerns about Trump. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired June 9, 2016 - 11:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:30:00] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news. The Bernie summit is underway we believe. Live pictures. We're looking at the White House right now where President Obama is set to be meeting behind closed doors with Bernie Sanders. This, as Sanders is still vowing to fight on.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We've been told that the president will not directly ask Senator Sanders to exit the race but there could be a gentle nudge in that direction. Party unity is something that the president very much wants as they meet in the Oval Office. I'm sure it's what Hillary Clinton wants, too, if it means getting a Bernie Sanders endorsement at some point soon.

Now, since Hillary Clinton is the presumed nominee, one of the things she obviously has to think about is a running mate. And a lot of people are wondering will the first woman to be the presumed nominee of a major party, would she consider picking a woman to be her running mate? Clinton is not ruling that out.

Here is what she told Anderson about her search.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm looking at the most qualified people and that includes women, of course, because I want to be sure that whoever I pick could be president immediately if something were to happen. That's the most important qualification.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: One of the people she's obviously talking -- one of the women obviously mentioned is Elizabeth Warren, the one woman that's talked about so much.

Let's get to that in just a second.

I think we have tape right now of President Obama and Bernie Sanders. Let's just be quiet and listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: All right. They are --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: It looks like there were two jokes told there.

BERMAN: I have to say, dissecting that walk is fascinating. First of all, we learned that Bernie Sanders arrived on the south side of the White House. He was taken into the residence --

BOLDUAN: That's the walk you see when the president gets off Marine One. That's the walk that you see. That's the side of the White House that he walks into.

BERMAN: In that walk you just saw through the colonnade in the Rose Garden is the walk you see when the president is with heads of state.

BOLDUAN: That's a picture.

BERMAN: These are courtesies being extended right now to Bernie Sanders. I saw at least one back slap from the Senator to the president.

BOLDUAN: And then a back slap from the president to the Senator.

BERMAN: What does it mean though?

BOLDUAN: Let's discuss this now with senior political reporter, Nia- Malika Henderson; along with Matt Viser, national political reporter for "The Boston Globe."

I do recall, Nia-Malika, you covered the White House. Your thoughts on that image you're seeing, that video.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yeah, I mean, it's the image that Bernie Sanders certainly wants. This is a meeting he asked for. And, you know, one other thing I think that Bernie Sanders has always wanted is public affirmation of his historical place in the Democratic Party, right? And I think that image essentially says Bernie Sanders is a player, Bernie Sanders has arrived in many ways. And we know this was a meeting that will eventually lead to him being eased out of this race. But, my goodness, they are giving him every courtesy and every image and every platform that he could want at this point.

BOLDUAN: That's bigger than that quick shot that you can get of him walking into -- Bernie Sanders walking into the White House solo. This is very different.

BERMAN: This wasn't any shot.

BOLDUAN: Right. Right.

BERMAN: That was more than just any picture. Matt Viser, your thoughts? I wonder if this is the friendliest part

of the conversation or the friendliest part of the meeting that will perhaps happen, the public part, and if behind closed doors, it might be different.

MATT VISER, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE BOSTON GLOBE: The question is, what comes next once they enter this meeting, how tense is the meeting, how strongly does President Obama urge Bernie Sanders to think about getting out of the race and trying to unify the party?

Also, what's next for Bernie Sanders? He has had an amazing campaign, far stronger than anybody expected him to have and what does he do next? How does he return to the Senate, and does he sort of try and capture this movement that he has started with these big crowds?

BOLDUAN: And, Nia, the Senator has a big rally planned in D.C. tonight. I mean, I think everyone is going to be trying to listen to is there a message? Does he tone change? What is his tone at this gathering? What we can decipher from coming out of this meeting or maybe we'll hear from Bernie Sanders coming out of the meeting ourselves, who knows.

HENDERSON: Maybe so. They had a meeting a few months ago at the White House, and after that happened, Bernie Sanders did come out and talk about the meeting, talk about his relationship with the president. But this I think big rally, again, we've got this contest coming up, the last contest on Tuesday in D.C., and people meeting in D.C. now also to talk about the platform, the DNC's platform going into Philly. So we'll see what he says in this rally. He has -- he hasn't really criticized Hillary Clinton much. He certainly didn't in that last speech he gave in California. But, yes, all eyes on Bernie Sanders.

[11:35:19] BERMAN: Matt, I want to get one quick question in about Elizabeth Warren, the Senator from the state your paper works in, Boston. Elizabeth Warren, a Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Your colleague wrote that she is planning to endorse Hillary Clinton at some point soon and is also intrigued by the possibility, intrigued by the possibility she could be picked for vice president, but not so sure it makes sense for her. What is going on here?

VISER: It's not a shock that Warren will endorse Hillary Clinton, the presumptive nominee at this point. There's a lot of chatter about Elizabeth Warren potentially as a unifier, somebody who can bring the Bernie Sanders' wing of the party along in the general election, something that Hillary Clinton has struggled mightily throughout the primary to do. So Warren is very attractive for that reason to the Clinton campaign. Warren is also somewhat auditioning for this role. She's been a chief attack dog. She's going to attack Donald Trump even harsher this afternoon in a speech. So Warren is really, you know, sort of, you know, kind of auditioning for the role. But it's something that in terms of the vetting, and how far along things are, is something we don't know at this point.

BERMAN: All right. Nia-Malika Henderson, Matt Viser, thank you for being with us. Really appreciate it.

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: All right, thanks, guys.

So Bernie Sanders in the Oval Office right now. The question is, will he approach those microphones right there outside of the West Wing and talk to reporters? It will be very interesting to see what he says from this meeting.

Other news right now, refusing to commit. One of Donald Trump's former rivals, a man you might recognize there on the left, he's refusing to say whether he will support the nominee. He's not ready to commit. Is this the beginnings of a revolt?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:41:17] BOLDUAN: Governor John Kasich blasting Donald Trump's comments about the federal judge, Judge Gonzalo Curiel, but also still on the fence when it comes to supporting his party's presumptive nominee. This morning, Kasich, in an interview, said that he might even go to the convention without endorsing Trump because this, he says, quote, "Why would I feel compelled to support someone whose positions I kind of fundamentally disagree with?"

BERMAN: So this is how Donald Trump feels about John Kasich's indecision, which by the way, has been going on for a few weeks. Donald Trump re-tweeted this, "John Kasich, the voters have spoken. We want Donald Trump. You agreed to support nominee. Get on board or leave the GOP." Again, Donald Trump on Twitter re-tweeting "leave the GOP" to John Kasich.

Let's bring in our panel right now, Margaret Hoover is back with us, along with Miami Beach Mayor and Hillary Clinton supporter, Phil Levine. "CNN Politics" executive editor, Mark Preston, is here; and Donald Trump New York Delegate, John Jay LaValle, also an official with the state Republican Party in New York.

John, let me ask you flat-out, Donald Trump re-tweeted that message, "leave the GOP" to John Kasich if he doesn't get on board. Do you want John Kasich out of the party?

JOHN JAY LAVALLE, DONALD TRUMP NEW YORK DELEGATE & CO-CHAIR, NEW YORK STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY: No, we don't want him out of the party but we need to unify the party to a certain degree. One, Donald Trump didn't run with all the endorsements of all these individuals. He didn't run with the support of the establishment. So while he's not necessarily looking for it, we all need to move together because the alternative is Hillary Clinton. And it's getting to a point with certain people in the Republican Party, they have to understand it's not about them. It's about who we are as a Republican party --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: But, John, does it help unity if Donald Trump is re-tweeting something that says support me or get out? Does that help unity? LAVALLE: Well, I watched the registrations changing dramatically.

Like in the county that I'm chairman of, larger than 10 states. There are Democrats moving over to the Republican Party in record numbers. We're out registering the Democrat party for the first time in, like, eight years, and that's because of Donald Trump. The people have spoken. The average Americans have spoken. A lot of them jumped off their couches and they went to the voting booths, and they've spoken clearly. And people have to get the message. It's not about the individual candidates. It's about the Republican Party. It's about the men and women that live in our communities. It's not a top-down. It's a bottom-up, grassroots effort. That's what making America great again is all about.

BERMAN: So, Mark Preston, John Kasich is not calling for an out-and- out insurrection but there are plenty of Republicans who are, including on this show. We had Steve Lonegan the other day --

BOLDUAN: Amanda Carpenter.

BERMAN: -- Amanda Carpenter saying time to vote your conscience at the convention, don't vote for Donald Trump. Is there actually any real machinery for people who want to stop Donald Trump, to do it now at the convention, or is this just shenanigans?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: I think it's a pipe dream at best. You know what's interesting about John Kasich right now is you're talking about the sitting Ohio governor who is hosting the convention in his state saying that he is going to walk into the Quicken Loans Arena and he is not going to endorse the nominee. This is why it's a problem right now. And it's a problem on both sides. It's Donald Trump's problem and it is the Republican Party's problem. One is Donald Trump needs the support of everybody in the Republican Party in order to defeat somebody like Hillary Clinton, who is a very strong candidate. Whether you like her or not, she's a very strong candidate. They need the Republican Party base behind them. Every vote counts. And they need the Independents. It's a problem now for the Republican Party because they have Donald Trump who is out there saying some things that is very difficult for them to reckon with. We're seeing the likes of Mark Kirk who in a difficult race in Illinois saying, I can't endorse him anymore, I can't be with him. There needs to be a coming together where Donald Trump acts more like a politician. Yes, I said it. He needs to be more of a politician. And the Republican Party needs to get behind their candidate because what it comes down to is the Supreme Court, and that's what we're not talking about.

[11:45:20] BOLDUAN: Despite the unrest among the GOP, you do hear from Trump people, and others, don't underestimate the unifying effect of Hillary Clinton.

Mayor, Hillary Clinton, she's now going to be giving a big speech taking on Donald Trump, another big speech after the one that -- the one on foreign policy. This one focused on economic issues. Is this the new playbook for Hillary Clinton?

PHILIP LEVINE, (D), MIAMI BEACH MAYOR & HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: No, I think what she's going to be doing, of course, is calling out the differences between herself and Donald Trump. Now, of course, we don't really know the economic policies of Donald Trump. I mean, we've been trying to study the course book at Trump University and we're learning, of course, misrepresentation, fraud, scams, and so on and so forth. But besides Trump University, what are the economic policies of Donald Trump? We know what Secretary Clinton is about. She's about equality, about breaking down barriers by raising the middle class, raising, of course, the minimum wage for all Americans. But when it comes to understanding what Donald Trump is about, it's very, very challenging, very difficult. The American people don't know. But Secretary Clinton is about the middle class. I think it's important for her to come out there and explain how would her presidency help the American people. And that's what she plans to do.

BERMAN: Margaret Hoover, though, you want you in on this whole idea, Hillary Clinton is giving a speech, going after Donald Trump on the economy. Hillary Clinton -- Donald Trump is giving a speech, going exclusively after the Clintons. Do you think -- and I know you were wavering on Donald Trump and I think that's an understatement -- but do you think the more Hillary Clinton engages with Donald Trump like this and they go after each other, that it can prove unifying to Republicans, like you, that don't want Hillary Clinton anywhere near the White House?

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. To be honest, John, I don't know if that's -- look, what we're going to see is this back and forth. Frankly, I know a lot of Republicans, myself included, who frankly acknowledge that her faux foreign policy speech was just a Donald Trump takedown. She didn't speak in hyperbole. She used his own words. She made a very reasoned case about sort of his preparedness for the presidency. Look, back to his tweet, "The voters have spoken, now it's time to unify behind me." I mean, let's just remember who those voters are. They are Republican primary voters, who represent less than a quarter of the Republican electorate broadly, all right? And he won a plurality of them, not a majority of them. So this is not a unified field win. And there are people like John Kasich, like Ted Cruz, many, many Republicans, like Paul Ryan, who believe that there's an important role to play in a principled contrast to Donald Trump so that the Republican party brand nationally doesn't sink even lower than it continues to sink every single day.

BOLDUAN: A couple quick questions on this. Governor Scott Walker, also a former rival, he's now putting a condition on his endorsement of Donald Trump, saying he needs to renounce the comments on the judge, and basically get on message with the rest of the Republican party.

John, to you, percentage chance that Donald Trump is going to apologize about the judge remarks?

LAVALLE: Probably about zero.

BERMAN: OK. So, Margaret, we'll give you this question. Margaret Hoover, what percentage chance that Scott Walker sticks to his guns and actually doesn't endorse if Donald Trump doesn't apologize?

HOOVER: Maybe the same answer. Look --

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: But that shows you what's going on here.

HOOVER: Exactly. And that shows you the moral bankruptcy of Republican leadership right now, and that is my real beef, and the real beef of many Republicans out there right now. And the truth is, it doesn't matter what Scott Walker does. It matters what Donald Trump does for the rest of this campaign. The ball is in his court. It's his to win or lose.

BOLDUAN: One quick question to the mayor on this.

Bernie Sanders is meeting with President Obama right now. If you can give me a two-word answer, when people say he needs space to decide his exit on his own, how many days are you willing to allow him?

LEVINE: I think he should take as long as he wants. The convention is not until the end of July. Bernie Sanders is going to support Secretary Clinton. Obama is going to support Secretary Clinton. We're going to have an incredibly unified party. It's moving in the right direction.

BERMAN: All right. All of you, thank you so much for being with us. Really appreciate it.

At the White House right now, Bernie Sanders meeting with President Obama. That is their walk to the Oval Office. We saw it moments ago. What's going on behind closed doors? We are waiting for Bernie Sanders to emerge from the Oval, perhaps speak to reporters at any moment.

[11:49:46] BOLDUAN: Also happening at any moment, Donald Trump is getting ready to meet with dozens of his top fundraisers in New York. I think you're looking at Chris Christie walking into the building right now. We'll take you there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: A whole lot of action on Capitol Hill this morning on which member is still supporting which presidential candidate and by how much.

BOLDUAN: CNN senior political reporter, Manu Raju, is live from Capitol Hill where it is all happening.

Manu, what is going on with Paul Ryan today? It's like the daily Paul Ryan saga. What is going on?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right. Actually, Paul Ryan has been, last couple of days, preaching how important party unity will be going into the fall and worrying that Donald Trump, the things he says and does could undercut that. Today, he is unveiling, Paul Ryan is, a national security agenda that brings together key Republican principles, long-standing Republican principles. But he also expressed concerns on a radio program earlier today about Donald Trump's antics hurting the Republicans going into the fall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE (voice-over): Do I think that these kinds of antics are distracting and give us a campaign that we cannot be proud of? Yeah. I have spoken very clearly about it. But I think and hope and believe that he can fix this to the point where we can run a campaign that we can be proud of. And what I control, Jay, is what we do here in Congress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[11:55:01] RAJU: Now, on the other side of the aisle, Democrats have their own issues to deal with, namely Bernie Sanders. I had a chance to ask House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi earlier today whether or not she thinks Bernie Sanders should drop out ahead of the July convention as a lot of Democrats want to unify behind Hillary Clinton. Pelosi would not go there. She said she thinks Bernie Sanders ultimately will be constructive, but sympathized with how hard it is for Bernie Sanders supporters to let go and realize that it is over for them. So she is like a lot of Democratic leaders, giving Bernie Sanders some space. We'll see how long that lasts -- Guys?

BOLDUAN: The line of the week.

BERMAN: Giving them space.

(LAUGHTER)

Manu Raju --

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: Thank you so much. Appreciate it, Manu.

RAJU: Thanks, guys.

BOLDUAN: Breaking news right now. Bernie Sanders is meeting with President Obama at the White House in the Oval Office. We are watching. The image on the left is them walking in. The image on the right is what we are watching now. Will Bernie Sanders come to the microphones and speak and spill the beans on everything they talked about in the meeting? We'll see. Details ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:00:12] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.