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Outrage Over Stanford Rape Case; Trump Meets with Top Donors; G.O.P. Leaders Struggle with Trump; Big Endorsements for Hillary Clinton; Clinton and Trump's Twitter War. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired June 9, 2016 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:01:15] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Two judges in the national spotlight, one attacked by Donald Trump for his Mexican heritage. The other, sparking outrage over a slap on the wrist for a former star athlete convicted of sexual assault.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
It is a sentence that shocked the country. Six months in jail for sexually assaulting a defenceless, unconscious stranger. Six months reduced to three for so-called good behavior. That's the price Brock Turner, a former Stanford University swimmer will pay for what he did to a 23-year-old woman he had never met.
The unnamed young woman, detailing the horror in a 12-page letter. A letter she bravely read out in court. Her words echoing all the way to the Nation's Capitol.
CNN's Sara Sidner has that story.
CHIRLANE MCCRAY, WIFE OF NY MAYOR DE BLASIO: You don't know me, but you've been inside me. And that's why we're here today.
CYNTHIA NIXON, ACTRESS: I was butt-naked all the way down to my boots, legs spread apart. And had been penetrated by a foreign object by someone I did not recognize.
ASHLEY BANFIELD, CNN LEGAL VIEW WITH ASHLEY BANFIELD: I stood there examining my body beneath a stream of water, and I decided I don't want my body any more.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The searing words of a sexual assault victim brought to life by people who have never met her, but want her voice heard.
The 12 page letter first read allowed in court by the 23-year-old victim to her 20-year-old attacker, former Stanford student and swimmer Brock Turner.
The two go to the same party. Both drink too much. And Brock Turner attacks her. Two grad students find her unconscious behind the dumpster. A jury convicts Turner of three felony counts. The prosecutor asked for six years in prison. The judge sentences him to just six months in jail and three years probation in line with the probation officer's recommendation.
The decision sparks outrage by the prosecutor, victim's advocates and more than 950,000 people online, trying to recall the judge.
Then letters in support of Brock Turner are revealed. Some partially blaming the victim for drinking. Others turning Brock Turner into the victim.
Turner's father writes in part, his life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.
That letter causes its own firestorm. Another father's message to the Turners going viral.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN PAVLOVITZ, NORTH CAROLINA PASTOR: There's no scenario where your son should be the sympathetic figure here. He is the assailant. He is the rapist. I can't imagine as a father how gut-wrenching that reality that is for you. But it is true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: In this case, the deeply personal words of a victim managing to stir a nation. And spotlight an issue so often kept in the dark.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According to the CDC, one in five women will be sexually assaulted during her lifetime.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And 80 percent of those cases, those attacks are perpetrated by someone they already know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And one in four girls will be sexually abused before the age of 18.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This isn't a secret.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's reality.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: And there is something else that has the community especially online outraged that has come up.
Brock Turner will not serve his full six month sentence in jail. Here in California, the law only requires him to serve 50 percent of that, which means he will serve just three months in jail.
Perhaps, Don, the largest part of his sentence, the most severe part of his sentence is that he has to go ahead and be registered as a sex offender, and that will affect him for the rest of his life.
LEMON: Sara, there is new evidence of Brock Turner's history of substance abuse. Why is that significant?
[23:05:00] SIDNER: It is because he told the judge that he was from a small town in Ohio. That he really didn't drink much. And all that happen is he had too much to drink, and he was just trying to fit in to the culture there at the school of Stanford and trying to deal with sort of the college culture. He wasn't used to it. He just simply drank too much.
And as it turned out, in text messages that the prosecution did bring forward to the forward to the judge. The judge did see this before the sentencing, the prosecution shows that his text messages showed that he was taking acid, that he was taking drugs with friends long before he ever got to Stanford.
And so there are a lot of people looking at it and saying, hold on, did you take that into account? He didn't even tell the truth when he was trying to mitigate the sentence against him.
LEMON: Sara, could this, could this case be appealed?
SIDNER: The case could be appealed, but it can be appealed by his attorney. And his attorney says he will appeal the sentence when it comes to, you know, the justice system now that he has been convicted. Now that a jury has decided that he is guilty.
The judge has put the sentence down on him. That's usually where that stands. It is the defense in this case that will come forward and appeal his case, which the defense says he will.
LEMON: Sara Sidner. Sara, thank you very much. I appreciate that.
I want to bring in now Amy Ziering, the Oscar-nominated producer of CNN films "The Hunting Ground," who helped bring attention to this case.
So good to have you on, Amy. Let's talk about this.
You call this a watershed moment for survivors. How so?
AMY ZIERING, OSCAR-NOMINATED PRODUCER, THE HUNTING GROUND: Oh, it's incredible. I mean, for the first time in the history of my lifetime and in our culture, we're actually hearing the public resoundingly support the voice of survivors instead of perpetrators. And that's an amazing moment. And a big shift.
LEMON: You say this. I want to know why you say this. You said that this a moment that is akin to Lady Gaga's performance of "Until It Happens to You" at the Oscars.
Why are these moments resonating? So powerful right now, you think. ZIERING: Well, I think it's been coming for about the past six years, when Kirby and I made our first film, "The Invisible War," which broke the story of the epidemic of rape in our military.
We couldn't get anyone to give us any funding for that film. We were told no one would be interested. Rape is not a topic the American public is willing to hear about, et cetera, et cetera.
And then we made that film. It opened at Sundance. It galvanized audiences and it actually changed military policy. And that film itself, when we were showing it on campuses, students would come up to us and say, you know, this actually happened to us here. You don't need to go to the military. We've got a similar problem going on at universities across our country.
And so we started looking into that. Made the film "The Hunting Ground," and you know, found that there was a public ready and willing to hear these stories in a way they've never had before.
So it's just been this progress. And not only our films, but also this incredible advocacy movement which is actually documented in the film "The Hunting Ground," but also has been occurring for the past three years. You know, in a way we haven't seen in our culture before.
That combined with all the advocates we've been working for years on the ground on this issue. So all those elements combined, it's been like this perfect storm of, you know, understanding and awareness shifting in our culture for the first time, in which finally, finally, finally survivors voices are being heard and perpetrators are being blame instead of victim. This is remarkable.
LEMON: It is.
Vice President Joe Biden, Amy, who introduced Lady Gaga at the Oscars, and he wrote an open letter today to the Stanford survivor, and I want to read some of it. It's a little bit lengthy, but I want to read it for you. I think it's important.
"I do not know your name, but I see your unconquerable spirit. I see the limitless potential of an incredibly talented young woman full of possibility. I see the shoulders on which our dreams for the future rest. I see you.
You will never be defined by what the defendant's father callously termed "20 minutes of action." His son will be. I join your global chorus of supporters, because we can never say enough to survivors.
I believe you. It is not your fault. What you endured is never, never, never, never a woman's fault. And while the justice system has spoken in your particular case, the nation is not satisfied. And that is why we will continue to speak out."
Wow! Those are powerful words. What's your reaction?
ZIERING: It's unbelievable, right? I also forgot to mention it's also the administration, the Obama administration has been remarkable in stepping forward on this issue. And it also in a way that's unprecedented to have a vice president read a letter that went viral online and respond to it, in that way? Remarkable.
And I want to encourage anyone watching this broadcast to please go and read the original letter. I mean, what this woman has done is remarkable.
You know, in a few short pages, she has turned a horrific and unconscionable act into something inspiring and sublime. And like that's, you know, very rarely happens in our culture. And look what it has ignited.
LEMON: You're a very big person, because you know, you are congratulating everyone else and talking about what they're doing, but you shouldn't downplay what you did. Because you actually had a big hand in bringing this story to the world. Tell us about that.
[23:10:05] ZIERING: Well, remarkable woman named Michele Dauber, who is a Stanford law professor. She was in the courthouse when the sentence was read. And she, like everyone else, was really crushed and heart broken. And she texted me immediately, because we had been in touch in the course of making the film.
And she said, can I send you something? You've got to see this letter. And so I said, sure. And she sent it immediately. And I read it.
And she said this is what the judge read, and yet this was the sentence he gave.
And she said, you know, can you help me.
And I said let's get this out. We can get this out.
Can you ask the woman who wrote it, if she would be OK if I got it to a reporter. And she said I'll ask. And she went and asked, and the woman said, yes, absolutely, as long as I stay anonymous, you know.
I would love for my words to at least be heard and validated by someone. So I immediately went and went through my list of reporters, and I thought of Katie Baker, because she's done really great work at Buzzfeed in the area of sexual assault.
And I texted here. And I said, I got something for you. Can you call me?
And she did. And I sent it to her. And I remember I went to sleep. She's says, I'll look at it and I'll let you know in the morning. And I went to sleep. And I woke up. I live in L.A.
And there were text messages -- there was all these text messages that are coming up 5:00 in the morning, and it was from Katie. And she was like, oh my God, oh my God. And she said, I sent this to my editors and they're weeping. She said we're going to go with it. And you know, it's been -- I mean, right? I mean, who could ever imagine this?
LEMON: And the public has really responded to the letter in a way that the judge didn't.
Brock Turner will only serve three months as a result of California law.
What type of sentence do you think he should get?
ZIERING: Oh I'm not -- that's not my expertise. I mean, I'm a filmmaker. I don't give out sentences. I would have loved a sentence which actually, you know, did what sentences are supposed to do.
I mean, this person was convicted of three felonies by a jury. I think that's pretty severe. And that's someone that -- if the jury felt was dangerous, too dangerous to be out on the street, I think a judge should have thought so, too. But didn't happen this time.
LEMON: You have interviewed hundreds of sexual assault survivors. And you know that the victim in this case.
How does she feel about the response to her letter?
ZIERING: She's just amazing, she's gracious and she's overjoyed and she's mostly happy that this is helping other people.
I mean, look, right? We live in a culture where everyone's doing something for fame or for self-aggrandizement. She didn't. I mean, she wrote that letter in order to protect other people from a predator.
And, you know, it was from her heart, and it was -- and, look, you know, she never imagined it would go public. And she never imagined it would cause fathers to weep and cause mothers to hold their children closer and cause, you know, the vice president of the United States to write her a personal letter of thanks.
And, you know, the letters that have come in from around the globe have just been remarkable. Like thank you. Thank you for speaking for me. Thank you for giving me a voice.
And also, I just -- you know, what's so also incredible about this letter and what it's done is, you know, it's so strange, but you know, you always hear in these cases that everyone's worried about the man's future. No one ever talks about the assault victim's future.
You know, it's always their past. What did they do? How did they provoke it? What were they wearing? You know, it's always, oh, but the poor, you know the poor assailant, you know, how's he going to fair?
And I love that she just completely shifted that paradigm. Like suddenly the world's going oh, my God. You know, oh my God. Look what this did to someone. And, you know, we have to stop and think about that, and we have to take care of them. LEMON: Amy Ziering, thank you very much. Produced a documentary, "The Hunting Ground," a film about sexual assault on college campuses, and it aired right here on CNN.
Thank you. I appreciate you doing this.
ZIERING: Thank you. Appreciate it. Thanks for having me.
LEMON: I want to take a moment because this is personal to me. I want to take a moment now to thank a group of people who are really fighting tirelessly to prevent sexual violence.
As a survivor myself, this means a lot to me. PAVE, which stands for Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment held an event in Washington, D.C. last night.
This is why I was in Washington. Among the honourees: Lady Gaga, New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand and me.
It was indeed an honor.
So this is an award that means a lot to me. And I want to thank PAVE very much. You see the award right there, whom I get a picture of, both you, for you and for the honor, and more importantly, for the work that you're doing to help victims of sexual violence.
Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.
We'll be right back.
[23:17:48] LEMON: Hillary Clinton picking up President Barack Obama's endorsement today. Donald Trump, meanwhile, laying out his campaign strategy during a meeting with more than 60 top donors.
And here to discuss this CNN political commentator Peter Beinart. A contributor to "The Atlantic" and Carl Higbie, co-chair and spokesman for the Pro-Trump Great America PAC.
Hello to both of you.
So, Carl, last month, Trump said he expects to raise a billion dollars for his campaign and now he sort of backtracking things. He doesn't need the money.
The question is, can he go all the way? Can he win the White House at a discount against Hillary Clinton?
CARL HIGBIE, CO-CHAIR, PRO-TRUMP GREAT AMERICA PAC: I think there's a real feasible possibility that he can. And because he won a primary election on $56, $58 million, which has never been really done before in recent history.
Jeb Bush spent like three times that much, and he didn't win a single state. Also, Hillary Clinton spent over 200 million, I think, at this point. So there is a possibility that he could do this for half the price.
LEMON: You don't think it's different in the general, though? Because he's playing to his audience in the primary. In the general, not --
HIGBIE: What takes the most amount of money in a presidential election? Media ad buys.
HIGBIE: So he already has over $6 billion in earned media value, because all we do is talk about him on the media, because he says media worthy stuff. So he might be able to do it.
LEMON: Do you think Trump is being, for you, Peter, do you think he realizes he may not be able to get to that billion dollar mark?
PETER BEINART, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: Yes, I think it's unlikely he will given that a lot of the big G.O.P. donors are not rallying behind him.
I mean, I agree. He's got no problem in terms of visibility in the media. I think their concern would be about the ground game.
You know, what the Obama campaign showed was the value of highly targeted information with a very sophisticated data operation. And the people in the field to actually implement it. If you don't have the money, then that's hard to do.
LEMON: So, you know, I understand what you're saying, Carl, but it doesn't hurt to have a war chest. Right? Right?
It's a cushion, right? Even he would preach that as someone who is in business.
So we keep hearing that people are nervous about being associated with Trump especially, you know, with the recent comments and what have you. They are not comfortable with this recent comments.
So what does he need to do to win those people over so that he does have a war chest, that he can raise money?
HIGBIE: Well, I can tell you, there's -- what Donald Trump is doing, we saw his speech the other night, where he was on teleprompter. He still had a little zing of Donald Trump. You better hope I'm president. Little side comments like that.
[23:20:00] I think you're going to see him start pivoting like this. He's still the street fighter that we love. But he's going to start to say a little bit more on message and things like that.
But what's also important here is places like, the Great America PAC, we're getting people to volunteer, to go door-to-door. We're really making the effort for people to have use human capital rather than financial capital to win this election.
LEMON: I want you to listen to what Paul Ryan said today about Donald Trump.
Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL RYAN, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Do I think that these kinds of antics are distracting and give us a campaign that we cannot be proud of? Yes. I've spoken very clearly about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So two days ago he said that his comments were textbook. He said racist or racism. Yesterday, he said the party needs to unify. Now, this.
Do you think he wishes that he hadn't endorsed Donald Trump at this point?
BEINART: Paul Ryan? I think Paul Ryan wishes he had some opportunity not to. The reality, he's in a weak position, because I think his members of the House are pushing him to endorse. And so he doesn't really have the option.
Yes. But I think in his heart, I think I have very little doubt that Paul Ryan thinks that Donald Trump is an embarrassment and absolutely unqualified to be president of the United States.
LEMON: So I want to ask both of you what you thought about his performance on Tuesday night.
You shared a little bit. You said he had a little bit of a zinger there. You thought some of the, you know, the Donald Trump unscripted came up.
Matthew Dowd told "ABC News" that it was like watching a circus lion that had been tranquilized, because he had a bit too many people -- he had bit too many people -- excuse me.
Is subduing Trump really the way to go here, you think?
HIGBIE: I don't think subduing is the way to do it. And, look, nobody can subdue Trump. He's committed to winning this presidential election. He's going to do whatever it takes. But the fact is he does have to tone it down to bring some more people over.
Now as far as --
LEMON: Because this is about addition.
(CROSSTALK) As far as people like Paul Ryan and stuff like that, Paul Ryan, got to get on the Trump train. Trump doesn't have to come to him. Trump won by overwhelming majorities of votes more than ever before in the Republican primary. Paul Ryan needs to get on his side.
BEINART: Yes. The number of votes that Trump won is only a small fraction of the number of votes he would need to win to win the presidential election, right.
So, first of all, he has to consolidate the Republican Party. He has to win Republican leaning independents. And he has to win even some Democrats.
And the problem is that the very thing that Trump supporters love about him, which is that he's, quote, unquote, "politically incorrect," is the same thing which is repelling so many other people who don't see it as a cool blow to political correctness. They see it like Paul Ryan did as racism, misogyny and things that are hostile to our basic liberal Democratic order.
HIGBIE: Yes, but you have a lot of Bernie supporters. You know, 30 percent plus by some polls that are going to go to Trump instead of Hillary Clinton.
BEINART: I don't think there are very many people who take that seriously. What we know is we're in an era -- we're in an era of a highly partisan era. There's no precedent in recent campaigns for any political party candidate to win 30 percent of the other party's support.
HIGBIE: But there's more precedent for Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. And most of them --
LEMON: There are precedents for outsiders, but to this degree --
BEINART: To be honest, I think the Hillary Clinton campaign has more to be worried about, about Jill Stein and the green party that he does about Donald Trump, because the Bernie Sanders people fundamentally are anti-racist. I mean, that's very important, right?
Donald Trump is basically running a pro-racist campaign.
HIGBIE: He's not running a pro-racist campaign.
BEINART: When you call for banning all Muslims from entering the United States that is an astonishing act of bigotry without precedent in modern American political history.
BEINART: To say that simply because you worship God in a certain way, knowing only that, will not allow you into the United States.
As a Jew, if someone said we are not allowing any Jews into the United States simply because they are Jews, I don't have anyone having a problem saying that's anti-Semitism.
HIGBIE: 100 percent of the terrorist attacks have come from a Muslim population. Let's try --
BEINART: OK. First of all, that's nowhere near true. Right?
I mean, most of the gun violence in the United States is not committed by Muslims. Most of the mass shootings in the United States are not committed by Muslims. But even if it were true, which it's not, it would still mean that the vast, vast majority of Muslims in the world, have no connection to terrorism and should be judged based on their personal record and not on their religion.
HIGBIE: Their personal record of not speaking out against the radical Islam that is being --
BEINART: First of all, lots and lots of Muslims do. But you're saying that just because they haven't spoken out, that alone is grounds for not allowing them into the United States.
HIGBIE: I think we should take a broad sweeping it, approach all this stuff and say, hey, look, how can we do this? How do we figure it out now? Then let's narrow it down.
LEMON: We should ban some, you know, but people from America as well if we, you know, if we start banning people based on terrorism, there's --
HIGBIE: Well, he said we're not going to let any more in for now.
BEINART: Yes. And that's really -- it's hard for me to understand how you cannot see that as bigotry. If you want to say certain people because of their past experience, they've been involved in certain organizations, that's fine. But to say simply because you worship God in a certain way, that is astonishing.
LEMON: OK. Let's move on. Because I want to talk to you about John Kasich, Ohio, which is a swing state he won. His home state. That's where the convention is. Here's what he said today.
I want you to listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[23:25:00] GOV. JOHN KASICH, (R-OH) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The fact of the matter is that the qualities we need in leader is very important to me. This is not a game for me.
I can't go for dividing, name calling, or something that doesn't really represent conservative principals.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you saying it's possible you can walk into that arena in Cleveland, Ohio and not endorse?
KASICH: Absolutely. Of course.
Look, I've been this way since I was in politics. I kind of call them the way I see them. Never more than today does a country need to be unified.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, John Kasich has said, and other Republicans have said, listen, it's not up for them to come to Donald Trump. Donald Trump has to come to them. And you say the exact opposite?
HIGBIE: Look, John Kasich, at one point, he was in fourth place in a two-way race, all right? The American populous rejected him, OK? He needs to get on with the American people just like all the other G.O.P. leaders out there that are not on board yet. They need to get on board and say, they're worried about losing congressional seats and senatorial seats. They're going to lose them if they don't support the guy that America is supporting right now.
LEMON: Do you agree with that?
BEINART: I'm not sure that it's fair to say that America is supporting Donald Trump. Well, he won the Republican primary. It was impressive. That's true. But the problem that Donald Trump has is he has to win every last Republican vote.
And when you have significant holdouts in your own party, that makes it harder.
LEMON: Yes. And Donald Trump is right, feels the way that you feel about John Kasich's indecision, because he re-tweeted, someone who wrote, "The voters have spoken. We want Donald Trump."
So you agree to support the nominee, get on board and leave the G.O.P.
I mean, does it help with party unity that Donald Trump is re-tweeting something like that?
HIGBIE: Well, remember, all these guys committed to party unity at the beginning. Donald Trump was the only guy who held off and didn't. But all these guys committed to it. So what is it, a double standard now? It only applies to Donald Trump?
They made that pledge, too. They have got to get on board.
LEMON: Yes. There are two types of establishment Republicans. Some like John Kasich. And then there's the Jeb Bush type, who disagree, that Trump won't get his support. Marco Rubio also disagreed with Trump, and he's not going to support him as well.
Why can Rubio support a guy -- I mean, he disagreed with what he said, but he's going to support him.
So how can Rubio disagree with a guy and then still support him?
BEINART: Right. I think Rubio of all of these guys looks in a particularly bad position now. I mean, he called Donald Trump a conman. Right?
And now he's saying he would even speak for him at the convention. Party is important. But there are higher principles than party. And I think one of them has to do with our political system itself.
What Donald Trump has done is try to de-legitimize those core institutions that limit a president's power. When you attack a sitting federal judge, purely on the basis of his ethnicity, when you suggest that the "Washington Post," that you want to go after the owner of the "Washington Post" for tax purposes, because you don't like his coverage of your campaign.
That's actually a threat to liberal democracy in the United States. It's a threat to the core institutions that limit the power of the presidency. And I would hope people like Marco Rubio could see that that might be more important right now than being a loyal Republican.
LEMON: I'll give you the last word, Carl.
HIGBIE: Well, I think, you know, first off, Marco Rubio lost his entire 67 counties, 66 went to Donald Trump, only 1 went to Marco Rubio in his own state.
I think Marco Rubio needs to understand the voters a little bit more clearly. Additionally, I think that we're sitting here --
LEMON: The voters have spoken, but they've spoken in the primary.
HIGBIE: Absolutely. Spoke in the primary. And I think we're going to see them start to come out. He took a lot of independents also in those open primaries. So I think we're going to see a lot of independents.
LEMON: Thank you. I appreciate both of you coming on.
When we come right back, Elizabeth Warren's blistering attack tonight on Donald Trump. Could it win her a spot on the ticket?
[23:32:33] LEMON: Senator Elizabeth Warren endorsing Hillary Clinton tonight and delivering a scathing speech attacking Donald Trump. Let's discuss now with Alice Stewart, the former communication directed for Ted Cruz. I'd seen you a while Alice. Mo Elleithee, the Executive Director of Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service, I see you all the time. And Kayleigh McEnany, CNN political commentator and a Trump supporter. I never see you Kayleigh.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Never.
LEMON: That was sarcasm. She's like a co-anchor here on CNN. So Alice, I'm going to start with you. Elizabeth Warren has no doubt, been one of Donald Trump's toughest critics, unleashing on him several times in the past few months. Why do you think she's managed to get under Trump's skin so effectively?
ALICE STEWART, FORMER TED CRUZ COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, because she constantly day after day after day has done it in and has not stopped short of anything calling him names and using personal attacks and to also reinforce the fact that Hillary Clinton as a female took a little bit warn as a female reinforcing the fact, here is a man, here is a man in his constant, the way he has been critical of females and that has gotten, certainly under his skin, and she has been effective in that. And I think it's ...
LEMON: Yeah and she doesn't back down. She just keeps going.
LEMON: Mo, I want to you listen to what she said tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN, (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Donald Trump says, they all look into look into Judge Curiel because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace. No, Donald, what you are doing is a totaling disgrace. Race baiting a judge who spent years defending America from the terror of murderers and drug traffickers simply because long ago his family came to America from somewhere else? You Donald Trump are a total disgrace.
Judge Curiel is one of countless American patriots who has spent decades quietly serving his country sometimes at great risk to his own life. Donald Trump is a loud, nasty, thin skinned fraud who has never risked anything for anyone and who serves no one but himself. And that is just one of the many reasons he will never be President of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: She did not mince words. Well, what do you make of it? Tell us how you really feel, right?
[23:35:03] MO ELLEITHEE, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: I think Alice is right, right. She's pulling no punches, she's not holding back, she's taking it to him and getting under his skin.
LEMON: And using his words. ELLEITHEE: He's using his words. Now the one line of attack in there
that I think is the one that lands the hardest hit was the very last thing we heard, where she said, he serves no one but himself. For a guy whose entire campaign is predicated on I'm going to level the playing field and I'm going to make America great again for you. That's the thing that none of his Republican opponents in the primary I think really got until it was way too late. And you see the Democrats here do it on the front end.
Pulling the rug out from under that argument, the central tenet of his campaign, saying, you're r6 not in this for other people, you're in this just for yourself and nobody else. Every time he gets pushed on that point, that's when you see him react the worst. That's when you see the ...
LEMON: Is that why the last thing with the judge seems to be sticking more than other things that he said because this seems to be about him, Trump University, his wealth, money, a lawsuit against him?
ELLEITHEE: Yeah, I think that's exactly right, right. When he spends entire portions of his stump speech litigating this in public, talking about how unfairly he is being treated. It takes the focus that he was very smart using in the primaries, focusing on people. He takes it away from them, and puts it on himself. And I think he does that to his own detriment.
LEMON: This growing buzz about Elizabeth Warren as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton, I mean it would be interesting an all woman ticket. Is there a concern from the Trump campaign? Do you think America's ready for that? Kayleigh, Can the Trump campaign counter that?
MCENANY: I think they can. I think anyone who watched Elizabeth Warren shout these insults that I think don't have a lot of merit to them, can say that dismiss her, and say that she's not a very effective attack dog. Compare that to Joe Biden who was calm in his demeanor, very standup, very relatable. I would fear someone like Joe Biden far more than I'd fear someone like Elizabeth Warren. Joe Biden is an effective advocate. I don't think Elizabeth Warren is, not do I think for lefties policy there's something that's palatable (ph) to the American public
LEMON: I have to ask you, Alice, there's, you know, Senator Elizabeth Warren's biting attacks, but there's also a high profile season campaigner who's ready to stump. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, (D), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: No one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald. And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter. Like did we fake the moon landing? Donald lacks the foreign policy experience to be president. But in fairness, he's spent years meeting with leaders from around the world. Miss Sweden, Miss Argentina. Miss Azerbaijan.
In politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue.
GWEN IFILL, PBS NEWSHOR: Why don't you mention Donald Trump by name?
OBAMA: You know, he seems to do a good job mentioning his own name.
How can you be shocked? This is the guy who was sure that I was born in Kenya.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, there's some serious concerns, and plenty of funny swipes too, in all seriousness. Do you think, Alice, that we're going to see the President Obama getting under Donald Trump's skin?
STEWART: I think he'll continue to lob some more attacks, that reel you just blade there, and Elizabeth Warren will do the same. I expect we also will see from Joe Biden, I think it's interesting everyone today jumping on the bandwagon to stand behind Hillary on the day that White House Press Secretary Josh Ernest was forced to actually acknowledge and confirm that Hillary Clinton is under criminal investigation.
So, it's interesting. It's a good distraction from that. But sure, everyone's jumping on board, because the democrats actually throughout history have been good about rallying together as quickly as possible in a situation like this, and uniting, having a united front as we move closer to the general.
So, it's not a surprise, I expect we'll see certainly Bernie Sanders take a little more time before he makes a decision, whether or not he'll do this. I think having Elizabeth Warren coming out there and showing her support. She's a darling of the progressive left, very well liked amongst those in the left. And she will do a lot to help galvanize support without a doubt.
LEMON: So Vice President Joe Biden spoke after Warren also and had some choice words for Trump. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VICE PRES. JOE BIDEN, (D), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: To use the office of presidency were he to acquire it, to intimidate and undermine an independent judiciary would be blatantly unconstitutional abuse of power.
[23:40:06] Either Mr. Trump which is possible doesn't understand -- I mean necessarily, he's a bright guy, I'm not saying that, not pretending -- be he either doesn't understand because this is a realm in which he's never dealt before or he doesn't care.
That it would border on an impeachable offense for a president actually to use the great powers of the office to attempt to undermine a federal judge by placing pressure on that judge in any case. Especially one the president has in this case a personal financial stake. This kind of conduct is pernicious and unprecedented.
(END VIDEOC CLIP)
LEMON: So, Mo, I'm going to ask you, if Trump were to become president would this be an impeachable offense?
ELLEITHEE: Look I'm not legal expert. But I do think it raises serious questions about the separation of powers and about abuse of power were he to become president in the way he would handle the judiciary. But he goes back to the point we were talking about a few minutes ago. What he is doing right now is proving that whether it is for personal financial reasons or for personal political reasons that he's willing to strong arm the judiciary for his own benefit. And i think that does raise, right, put aside the very racist nature of what he says. There is the constitutional issue about his willingness to strong arm the judiciary for his own personal benefit. Not even for the benefit of his office.
LEMON: Kayleigh, go ahead quickly.
MCENANY: I mean this is not a constitutional issue, he's a litigant and matter -- his private matter, he has right to a fair trial. He's not trying to strong arm, let's say, Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a Supreme Count case, this has no constitutional implications whatsoever. He has every right to question the judge's bias as a little began.
LEMON: Stick around everyone. When come right back, a tough week for Donald Trump. Is it a sign of things to come in the general election?
[23:46:06] LEMON: There's no doubt for Donald Trump is changing the face of politics. Will the Republican Party change with him or will they change with him. Back now with me Alice Stewart, Mo Elleithee, Kayleigh McEnan. So, Kayleigh the first question to you. The GOP sure has their hands full when it comes to Donald Trump and their nominee. Do you think the GOP will even successfully unite around him or will he manage to create some deep lasting divides in the party?
MCENANY: I think among leadership there maybe some divides because, look, he ran against the Democrats but also ran against the Republican establishment in large parts. I think he's going to take some time for the (inaudible). But I wish they would step back and instead of criticizing Donald Trump, say, how did he get to this point, how did he get the most votes of any GOP nominee in history and they'll find he really changed the platform in some very really good ways. Questioning free trade, questioning the efficacy of letting companies move abroad.
If they look some of the ideas he put forward, that resonated, I think that they -- it would do them a lot of good.
LEMON: Alice Stewart, where do Republicans go at this point, who just don't share Trump's values and can't get on board with him. But they don't necessarily want to vote for the Democratic Party either?
STEWART: Well, I think right now, a lot of those folks are talking about elected officials or private citizens. For the elected officials, I think what they'll do is continue to wait and see what Donald Trump has to say and do over the next five months. They have tremendous leverage at this point of the game, if they are waiting it out to whether it's for their endorsement or signs of support or going out to campaign for him. Because he does have a lot to do to unite, help unite the Republican Party.
And do I think it's incumbent upon Donald Trump who is the presumptive nominee to be the one who is bringing people together. He's here in Washington this week, he'll have a very important speech tomorrow at the Road to Majority, which is faith leaders and grassroots organizers from across the country who need to hear that he's going to listen to them, and share their views and values and bring them together. I think a lot has to be done on his part, and the campaign's part to unite the Republican Party, make this -- it is a game of addition at this point, adding people who ordinarily would not have stood behind him, in order to unify strong and forcefully against Hillary
LEMON: In general, he must do that in the general. The primary as you know, Alice. And you've been on a number of campaigns. The primary is a whole different ball game than the general. It's a different game.
But Mo, you know, this week, how many times have I said this so it's been a tough week. One of the toughest for Trump's campaign. I've said that a lot. Kayleigh sitting here. You know, he managed to offend though and anger so many on both sides with his comments about this judge, about Judge Gonzalo Curiel. Do you think Republicans will be wary of his judgment, even through the convention and onward toward the election?
ELLEITHEE: I think a lot of them already are, and I think we're seeing that now. I thought it was really a remarkable thing the way the House and Senate leadership Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell came out so forcefully, even days after publicly endorsing him, and I'll tell you, you know, there were hardly full this throated endorsements, but days after endorsing him, coming down really, really hard on their own nominee. You don't see that very often in a presidential race that could be as competitive as this one has the potential to be.
So, I think there's a lot of nervousness. I think there are a lot of people watching very closely, I thought that speech he gave the other night on the teleprompter was surprising to a lot of people. I thought it was Trump with his wings clipped a little bit. Showed he could turn the volume down a little bit. I think there are a lot of people, you know, exhaled that night and felt a little better. But within 24 hours, he was back out on the media and social media with his old persona, and you just -- you could feel people tense up again.
LEMON: He has not responded. Hey quickly, I have less than 10 seconds here, Kayleigh. This is my last question to Kayleigh. Do you think that about -- I want to ask you. I just thought it might turn the thought -- that he should have responded quickly because he mentioned, you know, he's going to give a speech about Hillary Clinton. He should have responded quickly to Hillary's attack on foreign policy? [23:50:12] STEWART: I would have liked to see a response yet, but keep in mind he just laid out his positive foreign policy vision two weeks earlier, so he didn't need to respond.
STEWART: But it would have been nice.
LEMON: All right. Thanks everyone. I appreciate it. We'll be right back.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks Don.
LEMON: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump go nuclear in 120 characters or less. CNN Jeanne Moos has the blow by blow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It's Twitter war on one keyboard.
TRUMP: Crooked Hillary.
MOOS: On the other keyboard.
CLINTON: He can say whatever he wants to say.
MOOS: May the best Tweeter win. After President Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton.
OBAMA: I'm with her.
MOOS: Donald Trump fired first. "Obama just endorsed crooked Hillary. He wants four more years of Obama. But nobody else does." To which Hillary's campaign tweeted, "Delete your account." Her followers made it seem like the greatest insult ever. They posted gifts expressing shock and awe over Hillary's come back from oh, snap too boom to a congratulatory toast. Not all of us understand the magnitude of delete your account as a zinger.
[23:55:07] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just smack talk.
BRIAN SULLIVAN, CO-ANCHOR OF "POWER LUNCH": Yeah, I don't even know what that means but apparently our producer said that's what kids use to say they don't like you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the technical term is.
MOOS: The delete your account was presumably sent by a Hillary aide since tweets Hillary herself writes are signed with an H, the chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus jumped in, tweeting at Hillary, "If anyone knows how to use a delete key it's you."
Last week, Hillary tweeted the Donald for his tweeter habits.
CLINTON: I'm willing to bet he's writing a few right now.
MOOS: And sure enough his counter account to delete your account soon arrived. "How long did it take your staff of 823 people to think that up? Where are your 33,000 e-mails that you deleted?"
TRUMP: Crooked Hillary Clinton.
CLINTON: I really could care less.
MOOS: But how could we not care when someone unexpected chimed in on the subject of Hillary's delete your account tweet. "Too late for some of us." The (inaudible) Anthony Weiner, "There's nothing like a war of tweets to put the twit in twitter."
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Is this a presidential campaign or -- we'll be right back.
LEMON: That's it for us tonight, thanks for watching, I'll see you right back here tomorrow night. The "The EIGHTIES" starts right now.