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Chilling Orlando 911 Calls Released; Trump Campaign Bombshell; Interview with Dr. Ben Carson; Senate Votes Down New Gun Control Measures Tonight; Could Dump Trump Movement Make a Move at Convention?. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired June 20, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Chilling new information about the Orlando shooter and breaking news from Capitol Hill on guns. Plus, a Trump campaign bombshell.
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
In 911 calls during the rampage while he was killing 49 people, Omar Mateen claimed to be an Islamic soldier and warned of more attacks to come.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The killer of 49 and shooter of 53 others identified himself as an Islamic soldier who pledged allegiance to a terrorist organization which was bent on killing Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Meanwhile, our breaking news, the Senate votes down new gun control measure tonight, as 55 percent of Americans say in a brand new CNN/ORC poll they want stricter gun laws.
Plus, Donald Trump fires campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Insiders say the candidate's children convinced him to give Lewandowski the act. And he's the only one. Top adviser, Michael Caputo resigned after Lewandowski tweeting, "Ding dong, the witch is dead."
What is going on here? Let's get right to the Trump campaign turmoil. CNN's Dana Bash who interviewed Corey Lewandowski today, and CNN politics editor, executive editor, Mr. Mark Preston, here as well.
This is huge news for the Trump campaign and the former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and Trump spoke to just a short time ago, he's on O'Reilly. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O'REILLY, THE O'REILLY FACTOR SHOW HOST: So, one of your advisers, Corey Lewandowski, he's out. What happened? DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's a good man, we've
had great success. You know, I got more primary votes than anybody in the history of the Republican Party by a tremendous amount, not by a little bit.
I think Corey's terrific. I watched him before. He was terrific toward me, said I was a talented person and he's a talented person. He's a good guy, he's a friend of mine.
But I think it's time now for a different kind of a campaign. We ran a small, beautiful, well-unified campaign. It worked very well in the primaries. With Corey, I'm really proud of him. He did a great job but we're going to go a little bit of a different route from this point forward.
O'REILLY: All right. So, a different style.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, I mean, it's almost like nothing happened. That was very positive, don't you think?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: It is great.
LEMON: Everything's great. Everything -- I mean, is that part of the problem? Don't you think it sounded like nothing happened?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I do. And I think that he was reacting to, in fact, we both were told that he was very well aware and actually watched the interview that I did with Corey Lewandowski today and, you know, I think that's classic vintage Donald Trump.
He saw how loyal Corey remained to him and how positive and affirmative and, you know, effusive he was still, even just a couple of hours after he got fired as campaign manager. And he was returning the favor.
LEMON: Yes. You got the big scoop today. I could not take my eyes off the interview as I was getting ready for it. Let's listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: From your perspective, what happened? Why were you fired?
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANGER: I don't know. I don't know the answer to that, but what I know is what we've been able to achieve in this election cycle has been historic.
You know, we had a candidate who, in June of last year announced he was going to run for president with no elected office experience in a field of 16 other people in the race plus him, who has gone on to something historic, which was he get almost 14 million votes, and fundamentally change the way people look at politics. And I'm proud to have been a small part of that.
BASH: Sources who I talked to and others I have talked to said that they describe you as a hot head and that you just didn't treat people right. What do you say to that?
LEWANDOWSKI: Look, I think I'm a very intense person. And my expectation is perfection because I think that's what Mr. Trump deserves. I think he deserves the very best because he has put his life and his fortune into this campaign, spending tens of millions of dollars to go do something that candidly he didn't need to do.
He's had a great life but he wants to change the country for the better. And I see how hard he has worked on this campaign. He works 18, 19, 20 hours a day consistently.
BASH: But this is -- but my question is about you.
LEWANDOWSKI: I understand. Because leadership starts at the top. And I see what he's put into the campaign. When I see someone who I don't think as working as hard as the person who is funding the campaign, who's the campaign principal, meaning the candidate, yes, that bothers me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. First of all, let's get to he doesn't know why he was fired?
BASH: He knows why he was fired.
LEMON: Yes. Exactly. Dana, as I was asking you -- as I watching and I was quite, let's just be honest here, as I was listening, he sounded like the same talking points...
LEMON: ... from the Trump surrogates that come on, which are many times really bad talking points. The campaign gets upset with me because they say why won't you just let some of these things go? Because it's terrible. Because they have terrible answers.
[22:05:00] His answers were terrible. So, were the surrogates' talking points change? Was he in charge of the talking points for the surrogates?
BASH: Yes, he was.
LEMON: Then maybe it will change now.
BASH: Maybe, but I'm not so sure that the surrogate operation in that, the surrogates who are going on television actually got a lot of talking points, which I think, and we heard from some of them, which was part of the problem.
But I think, look, the fact that he was on these talking points, the fact that he continued to say over and over again how wonderful the campaign was, to me -- and I actually just said at one point to him, it's like, what planet are you on? Because you just got fired.
BASH: And if you just got fired, I mean, and you're the campaign manager, it means things clearly are not going that well.
BASH: You know, when you comes...
LEMON: The answer was not 14 million votes. The answer why did you get fired, and he said, well, we got 14 million votes.
BASH: Right. And it is all true.
BASH: And he should be commended for helping to steer Donald Trump through a primary process that was unprecedented.
BASH: But now it's a different ball game and Trump himself said he needs somebody else to lead in the general election.
LEMON: His answers it had been so easy to say it is time for the campaign to evolve past what I can do for the campaign. It's just that...
BASH: He kind -- he did kind of say that.
LEMON: ... kind of say that.
BASH: Sort of. I mean, look, I think everybody on the planet has an ego. When you're running a presidential campaign and you abruptly get fired, you know, it's hard to kind of admit that. But I think any other reading of this...
BASH: ... would be, you know, crazy in fantasy land.
LEMON: So, the children had a lot to do with this, especially Ivanka, we're told, CNN was told. And then either was it either it was him or me? We're hearing it was similar to that.
PRESTON: Right. So, we don't really know exactly what the conversation was between the father and daughter. But we do know this, right. We do know that his children are actively involved in the campaign. We do know that Jared Kushner is actively involved in the campaign and for, you know, for viewers out there, Jared Kushner is Ivanka Trump's husband. OK.
Very successful person here in New Your City. This is basically what has happened. Is that, Corey Lewandowski was not able to take the campaign from this primary victory and expand it into a general election.
When Paul Manafort was brought on to this campaign, in old school, old time political guy, comes in and wants to take the Trump campaign to the next level...
PRESTON: ... you have a power struggle at the top. And so, in many ways, you would have thought that Corey Lewandowski could have stayed on, right? If he was such a good friend of Donald Trump why couldn't Donald Trump fund his platform in the campaign.
However, when you reach you reach a certain point which what we're seen, Don, you have these two heads clashing together.
PRESTON: It was basically Manafort says it's either him or it's me basically.
LEMON: So, is that what's really going on here?
BASH: Yes. And when it come -- I will say that when it comes to Ivanka Trump I am told that it wasn't so much, you know, an ultimatum that I'm not going to work on your campaign if you don't get rid of him, but that their conversation was the culmination of a lot of conversations that she and her brothers had with each other, with their father, you know, which led to this point.
But to your point about Paul Manafort, who is now going to be running the show, who increasingly got more and more power in the campaign versus Corey Lewandowski, it is certainly was a personality clash but more importantly it was a strategy clash.
Corey was still of the mind that Donald Trump can do anything because he did that in the primary.
LEMON: Yes. It's him.
BASH: And it's -- and so you need to let Trump be Trump.
LEMON: Everybody saw but, yes.
BASH: And Manafort says, no, he's got to be more presidential and that was the clash inside the campaign.
LEMON: And here's the proof, Dana. Monmouth University poll out today shows Hillary Clinton leading him head to head, in a head to head match by seven points. Other recent polls give her an even wider lead.
I mean, that was part of the reason. His poll numbers were sinking because of all the mistakes that were being made in the last couple weeks of the campaign.
PRESTON: Yes. Look, someone very loyal to Donald Trump said to me today, listen, the kids watch TV, OK? The kids read the newspapers. This has been a terrible two or three weeks for Donald Trump.
If Donald Trump is not able to turn this campaign around in the next couple of weeks, then the campaign is over. Because what we're seeing is Hillary Clinton is quite frankly, these outside groups are spending money now, Don, to define who Donald Trump is.
BASH: That's right.
PRESTON: We saw Joe Biden today attack him on foreign policy, defining what's happening now. It really is...
LEMON: I mean, there's a whole host of people.
PRESTON: Absolutely. And they're just going to keep on. And you know what? He's got no money. Donald Trump has got no money.
LEMON: Yes. So, that's what I wanted to ask you. He's having trouble organizing, getting speakers, raising money. What's going on with that?
BASH: Yes, I mean, we have these new numbers coming out that show a big part of the problem that Corey Lewandowski was in charge of, which is the fund-raising, raised only $3.1 million and had $2.2 million in loans.
But more importantly, it's cash on hand, $1.3 million cash on hand.
[22:10:13] LEMON: And you said that's peanuts.
PRESTON: Put that in perspective.
PRESTON: If you're running a house race, right, for a congressional district of 500,000 people you have more than $1.3 million in the bank.
PRESTON: He's running for President of the United States. There's no money. He says he has the money but is he willing to spend that money? We says he has but we haven't seen a TV ad yet, OK. And listen, he could self-fud his campaign, we know that. Is he willing to do so.
BASH: He'd have to sell buildings and I mean, that's a whole another issue. PRESTON: Right.
BASH: But whether or not he's liquid enough to do that in terms of his finances. But look, when I talk to Corey today, he said, well, do yu remember last week, he did a whole host of fund-raisers and he's raising a lot of money now, we'll see what the next one shows.
But the fact that he doesn't have money, that the infrastructure wasn't there, but most importantly, donors, I am told and I'm sure you are as well, were so reluctant to give. A combination of they felt that the campaign infrastructure was a mess.
LEMON: The rhetoric.
BASH: And is a mess.
BASH: And the rhetoric.
LEMON: The rhetoric. I mean, when I listened to him today, I said he's in denial and I wonder if he put Donald Trump in denial as well, if he was the voice in his head saying, no, no, no, everything's fine, you're going to do great. Look at what exactly...
BASH: That is what -- and that is what I heard and I'm sure you've heard as well that one of many concerns and criticisms about Corey Lewandowski at the helm is that he was with Donald Trump all the time.
BASH: All the time.
BASH: And with him on the plane. I actually asked Corey about this, if they had a plan in case and that Corey would get in there and undercut the strategy. He denied it but he also made pretty clear to me today that he supported what Trump said about the judge, who he called Mexican, who was actually born in Indiana.
He supported doubling down on the Muslim ban. Two of the biggest blunders from the perspective of most of Trump's fellow republicans in the last several weeks.
LEMON: yes. That was very -- that interview was very telling. He tried to skirt around it but it said a lot. What he didn't say spoke volumes.
Thank you very much.
BASH: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: I appreciate it. When we come right back, the man who went from running against Donald Trump to supporting him, Dr. Ben Carson is here to weigh in on the turmoil in the Trump campaign. Don't go anywhere.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: My next guest really has a unique perspective on this, because he has seen Donald Trump's campaign from both sides. He ran against Trump, and now, he supports Trump.
Dr. Ben Carson joins me now.
Good to see you. Thank you for coming on.
DR. BEN CARSON (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good to be back.
LEMON: So, as I said, you have a really unique perspective.
LEMON: When you look at the turmoil, you know, it's been a rough couple of weeks for the Trump campaign.
LEMON: The firing of Lewandowski, was that the right thing to do, Dr. Carson?
CARSON: Well, virtually, every campaign involves. You know, my campaign evolves. You know, there are people who are good at certain things to get to a certain point, and then there's a shift in focus, and you may need somebody else to take over at that point. It happens on both sides, Democrats and Republicans.
LEMON: Uh-huh. So you've done this. You were running. And, you know, Donald Trump had some strong comments about you and for all the candidates. He was saying, you know, some pretty out there things when you were running against him.
His remarks about the Orlando appearing to credit, you know, taking credit for, you know, sort of predicting terror, saying people inside the club should have had weapons, attacking a federal judge -- all of this incidents caused a whole lot of trouble for him. People have questioned -- Republicans have questioned whether or not he has, as the Clinton campaign says, the temperament to be president and whether they can support him.
Do you think that it's time for him to shift folk from us attack dog to a more traditional presidential candidate?
CARSON: Well, I certainly think it would be helpful to focus on the actual issues and not get caught up in the quagmire of personality. And this is something, you know, for all of us because we're talking about our nation. We're talking about America. And, you know, I think the media themselves should be interested.
And what are the underlying issues? And what are the differences between this party and this party? I think that would serve the American people very well. You know, the personality thing -- you know, you can just get caught
up in those weeds and make no progress at all.
LEMON: You think he got caught in the weeds a little bit?
CARSON: I think we all get caught up in those weeds and deviate into things that are not important.
LEMON: Yes, because those were his own words, as you know. And I think that maybe it was the people around him and maybe Paul Manafort realizes that, you know, you need to focus on the issues, which his children have said that he needs to do.
Have you ever given him that advice that he needs to focus on the issues rather than getting caught up in these things?
CARSON: I give everybody that advice.
LEMON: You do. What did you say to him?
CARSON: You may have noticed when I was running, I tried to do exactly that, I tried to focus on the issues, particularly in the debates. No one was interested in the issues. They wanted to see WWE Raw.
But, you know, if we can, because the issues are so grave that face us as a nation right now -- I mean, you don't hear anything talking about the fiscal gap and these unfunded liabilities, and yet those threaten to destroy the financial foundation for our future.
LEMON: But do you give him that advice? Do you tell him, hey, listen, focus on the fiscal gap. Focus on -- what does he say to you when you say that to him?
CARSON: He does try to focus on it but -- and he's getting better at not being pulled into the weeds.
LEMON: So, let's talk about money. This is according to what we show, that you have $1.7 million cash on hand, he has $1.2 million cash on hand. Your campaign, which is suspended, which has more money on hand. Should that be a concern for them?
CARSON: I think there is a process in place right now that's going to rectify that situation.
LEMON: That's going to get donors to turn -- because you heard Dana Bash saying donors were concerned about the rhetoric. They're concerned about the campaign being disorganized.
CARSON: Well, what is -- the main thing I think that the donors have been confused about is where to donate. It has been very unclear and there have been a lot of different bandwagons on which to jump and it hasn't necessary been clarified by the campaign, which is the one that they most favor.
LEMON: Do you think that -- I think in the primary it was a talking point for him to say I'm self-funding, I'm self-funding, I don't need to raise money. Do you think that's hurt him? Where people said, well, if you don't need -- if you don't need money, I'm not going to -- there's no need for me to donate if you're self-funding?
CARSON: I think that that needs to be clarified, because there's a big difference between the primary stage and the general election. And that has been clarified for the public.
LEMON: So, everyone is so focused on the polls, and I, you know, remember, he would bring his own polling sheets to the debates, he would bring them to interviews with me. Now, it's showing national polls that he's behind Hillary Clinton at least seven points, and there are polls that are saying that the gap is even wider. This is a new Monmouth University poll.
Do you think the controversial statements are catching up with him and, you know, maybe the campaign being a bit disorganized or the lack of a better term, not evolving when it should?
CARSON: I think what you will see happen is a pivot to being able to explain the difference between the secular progressive view and a traditional American view. If that distinction can be made in a way that the average American can understand it, I think you'll see that gap close very quickly.
LEMON: Where he can keep the people he brought in by being a non- traditional candidate and then pull the people in who want him to be a more traditional candidate.
LEMON: That's a tough road to hoe as they say.
CARSON: It's tough, and it's a matter of being able to communicate the real issues that concern Americans, because they're not Democrat or Republican issues. They're American issues.
LEMON: OK. So, listen, let's get on the issue of guns, because we had a horrible tragedy last week in Orlando. On guns, even the head of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, criticized Trump on concealed weapons saying, "I don't think you should have firearms where people are drinking." Trump then backtracked and here's what he tweeted. He said, "When I said that if within the Orlando club, you had some people with guns, I was obviously talking about additional guards or employees."
Was that a mistake for him to make that statement?
CARSON: Well, I think you got -- you always have to pivot to the purpose of the Second Amendment. When you go off again into the weeds, and you get away from the purpose of it, you kind of get into all of these controversies.
Why is the Second Amendment there? And a lot of people don't know the reason that it's there. Because I hear people saying, you don't need this kind of weapon to hunt deers. The Second Amendment is not about deer hunting. The Second Amendment is about the people's right and ability to protect themselves.
LEMON: It's also about a militia as well.
CARSON: It's about being able to help in case of a foreign invasion, being able to help our forces, but also being able to defend themselves against an overly aggressive government.
LEMON: Yes. But there's not going to be an invasion where people with semi-assault weapons are going to save America.
CARSON: Whether there is or not, that's why it's there.
CARSON: And remember, when it was put in place, the government had muskets and the people had muskets. There was equivalency.
LEMON: Yes. But now the government has, you know, nuclear weapons. Citizens shouldn't have nuclear weapons as well.
CARSON: Well, I think we're talking about things that a person can carry on their person.
LEMON: Yes, but I'm just saying that I don't think that our forefathers, in my estimation, thought far enough ahead where would have people -- have that sort of fire power where they can kill multiple people.
I have to tell you honestly, I took the train back from the beach today, the Long Island Railroad, and I just kept thinking what if something -- you know, what if someone is on here with that. I just kept looking around and I didn't know what to think about it.
CARSON: But there was no one there.
LEMON: There was no one there but it's always in the back of your head.
CARSON: But if there had been someone there, wouldn't you have felt better if you had a weapon on you?
LEMON: Not really. I would not have --
CARSON: Or someone else had and they could stop them?
LEMON: If someone will be a trained law enforcement, yes. But just an average citizen, probably not. I would think more people might --
CARSON: I would take an average citizen over no one if there was somebody in there firing guns.
LEMON: All right. We'll agree to disagree on that one.
So, you have been traveling around with Mr. Trump, right? And you've been talking to evangelicals. And tomorrow you're -- what, what's going on? CARSON: Tomorrow, we're having something that's bringing in hundreds
of evangelical leaders to ask questions and to express their opinions about what's important, and Mr. Trump will have the opportunity to do the same, so that they get to know each other, rather than having things filtered through some other parties.
LEMON: Is the support waning among evangelicals that's why you're doing it, or?
CARSON: No, the support seems to be building. In fact, you know, this started out, we were going to have about 300 evangelical leaders. The leaders are just kept coming and coming and coming and it's up to 800, 900 now. And we probably could have taken it much further than that.
LEMON: He has -- you know, we were talking about the tragedy last week. He has made supportive comments about the LGBT community saying he would be best for the LGBT communities. Do you think that's going to help him among -- or hurt him among evangelicals?
CARSON: I don't think so. I --
LEMON: You don't think it will hurt him?
CARSON: No, because evangelicals for the most part believe in the rights of everybody, believe that the Constitution protects the right of everybody. They just don't believe that it gives extra rights to some people to redefine things for everybody else.
LEMON: But they don't believe in marriage between -- they don't believe in same-sex marriage, which would be equal rights for everyone under the Constitution.
CARSON: Well, they believe in what the Bible says.
LEMON: But that's not the Constitution.
CARSON: Well, again, the Constitution does not make provisions for same-sex marriage. That has been something that has been done extra- constitutionally.
LEMON: But there is a separation of church and state -- another issue for which we'll agree to disagree.
LEMON: Thank you.
CARSON: All right.
LEMON: It's good to have you and it's always a pleasure to see you.
CARSON: A pleasure.
LEMON: Thank you so much. When we come right back, is today's shake up the shot in the arm that
Trump campaign need or is it too little too late as Trump slumps in the polls lately. We'll be right back.
[22:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Campaign manager Corey Lewandowski joins a long list of people fired by Donald Trump. But what does the shake-up really mean for the Trump campaign?
Here to discuss now two veteran republican campaigners. Campaigners, I guess we can call them that.
JOHN BRABENDER, REPUBLICAN POLITICAL CONSULTANT: Does veteran mean we're old? I never know what that means.
You're much younger than Kevin. So, joining me is republican strategist Kevin Madden and John Brabender. Not old, just experienced. Just experienced and experience does count.
So, Kevin, I'm going to start with you.
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.
LEMON: Good evening to you, by the way. Corey Lewandowski says he doesn't know why he was fired. Do you buy that?
MADDEN: No. I think if anything this is a -- you know, the firing today was a reflection of a campaign that is in chaos. A campaign manager is responsible for many things inside a campaign, a fund- raising, messaging, candidate discipline, organization, and all of those metrics right now are lacking.
And so, you know, the Trump campaign made a decision to take care of somebody who is at the top. But that also -- campaigns are also -- every campaign is a reflection of the principal. So, while you're firing Corey Lewandowski, one of the main problems with the Trump campaign right now is the candidate himself.
Here you can't -- you know, that's -- Donald Trump you can't get rid of right now, unless the folks at the convention in Cleveland tried to make a play for delegates.
LEMON: I want to -- before I get to John, Kevin, I want to ask you because we, you know, you and I are on this program a lot.
LEMON: Many times you're here in New York with me, sometimes in the D.C. with you as well. Do you think we're going to see -- we're going to a change in the people who come on to represent Donald Trump? Because the talking points that I hear from some of those people which are not great all the time, in which sometimes they obfuscate a lot.
I heard that in Corey Lewandowski today and I said, is that where that comes from, does that come from the top? Do you think we're going to see a pivot or a shift and how they handle questions from people out in the campaign trail?
MADDEN: Look, I remain skeptical of that, Don, because we've been hearing about Donald Trump 2.0 for many months now. Every time the campaign goes through a rough patch, you hear the people who are closest top Donald Trump plea that Donald Trump is going to get more disciplined, he is going to get more -- the campaign operations is going to become more professionalized and we never actually see that materialize.
Instead, we have one campaign -- one distraction after another, campaign story -- a story -- new stories of campaign infighting continuing to distract both the candidate and, you know, the republican operation from getting its message out.
So, I remain skeptical.
LEMON: OK. John Brabender, let's go behind the scenes now. Because you saw Corey Lewandowski in New York just a few weeks ago. You went to check out the campaign headquarters. How would you describe it and him?
BRABENDER: Well, look, I mean, it was unlike any campaign I've seen running for president. It was a room with a bunch of maybe 10 or 11 22, 23-year-olds and Corey. It was, it looked like a challenger for Congress.
But in fairness, that's how the campaign was set up to win the primary, not as a traditional campaign but as a P.R. campaign. And what they proved is you can win the republican nomination for president that way.
The problem is you wake up one day and then find out that you're not well-suited to win the general campaign. I mean, but put yourself in Corey's position, too. Here's somebody who was a campaign manager for a candidate not expected to win, probably blow up in the republican nomination, actually gets it and then he gets fired.
And so, that just adds to sort of the drama of the Trump campaign. I feel a little bit for Corey but I do think it was necessary.
LEMON: But let me -- OK. You said you think it was necessary.
LEMON: But there are people who thought it was necessary a couple months ago with the whole controversy with Michelle Fields from Breitbart, that they said that he would have been gone long ago. Don't you think, you know, he lived past his life as a campaign manager?
BRABENDER: Yes. But let's be fair. You're naming one incident with Corey. We could sit here and name 10 or 11 with Donald Trump with things that he said.
BRABENDER: the key is two things. One is, they've got to get control of their messenger if they're going to get control of the message.
LEMON: Of a message, exactly.
BRABENDER: And so that starts with Donald Trump. Second of all, they don't have the organization that you need to win a presidential race.
In key states they don't have state directors yet. In some sense, though, I'm actually pretty jealous of Paul Manafort. Because there still is the possibility to win. He gets to be the Lee Iacocca of Chrysler by coming in and changing things but that's only going to work if Donald Trump actually let's him do that.
MADDEN: And to a point, one of the other thing that John, and campaign managers can't constantly be in the news. That was the one big problem with the whole Michelle Fields incident. And many other incidents, which is that the campaign manager was constantly in the spotlight.
[22:35:00] Ken Mehlman who ran the last successful republican presidential campaign, never in the spotlight like that, David Plouffe, never in the spotlight like that. So, there are -- there are huge problems.
Nobody, you know, people couldn't spot Jim Messina, who is the campaign manager in 2012 if he was walking down the street. That was a good thing for a campaign manager.
MADDEN: In this case, it was becoming more and more of a liability.
LEMON: And for the millennials who are watching with Lee Iacocca and Chrysler, it's a long story. Google it and you can figure it out, but...
BRABENDER: Did I prove we are old, exactly what I did. I'm sorry.
LEMON: Yes. I think you got just in rich Corinthian letter by the way.
So, listen, we've learned, Kevin, that Trump's daughter, Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner played a pivotal role in the decision to fire Corey. You know from your time with the Romney campaign that sometime the most important advisers are within the family fold, correct?
MADDEN: That's right. But there also has to be a clear understanding of the command and control about the decisions made in the campaign. Spouses, sons and daughters of the candidate having a vehicle, or a chance to weigh in or offer their opinions at the candidate, that is absolutely guaranteed. In many cases it's encourage.
But there has to be a clear command and control structure inside the campaign where the campaign manager is making decisions about fund- raising, about personnel, about travel. When those two worlds intersect, or collide I should say, campaign tend to have big problems. And that's how you see a lot of these internal battles which are oftentimes they are also guaranteed in the campaigns.
There's always descent inside campaigns. But when they become publicly reported and they become distractions as far as daily drip, drip of news stories, that's what happens to losing campaigns.
LEMON: John and Kevin, I have I to run. Thank you. I appreciate you both coming on.
MADDEN: Great to be with you.
LEMON: When we come back, the turmoil in the Trump campaign isn't the only bad news for the candidate tonight. Could the dump trump movement pull the rug out from under him at the convention?
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: This is going to be a rowdy bunch. The republican convention less than a month away. Can the Trump campaign get its mojo back?
Let's discuss now with Bruce LeVell, executive director of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump, republican consultant, Margaret Hoover, CNN politics executive editor, Mark Preston -- I got that executive in there, and CNN political commentator, Marc Lamont Hill.
So, the question is can they pick up ground? They need to gain ground by the convention. And you said it's over? You said it to me in the first segment.
PRESTON: No, right. I think this campaign has been really dictated by very big moments and this was a very big moment today in the Trump campaign.
There's a power struggle going on that has now been dissipated. But I do think that within the next two or three weeks it's really going to be a turning point for the Trump campaign. They have to build an infrastructure, they have to get bodies on the ground, they have to raise money, which is what we talk earlier they only $1.3 million in the bank.
But it is critical that if they're not able to pull it together within the next two or three weeks, it's really indicative of where the campaign is going in as we go in November.
LEMON: This is a pivotal point, Margaret, especially with the shake- up today, and all the recent problems. It comes from the candidate himself you think mostly I'm sure, but do you think this firing of Corey Lewandowski is a turning point and can help the campaign?
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it has to be a turning point. I mean, this is clearly that's what it was intended to do. It has to be. I mean, I agree with Mark. I worked on two presidential efforts.
It's by this point four weeks out from the convention, five weeks out for the convention, you don't have your operations in place, you don't have -- I mean, the Trump campaign race and the RNC raised $13 million in May, $13 million is the least amount of money that has ever been raised since recorded history online, OK.
So, if you go up and look it up literally, I mean, it's abysmally little and it's not, look, I know Trump thinks he doesn't need it, maybe he'll just write the check. But the problem isn't him. It's also all the down ballot races.
But about the Senate, how does the RNC paid to put people on the ground in new Hampshire to help Kelly Ayotte, to help Rob Portman in Ohio, to help Ron Johnson in Wisconsin. I mean, this is not just Mr. Trump. It's about the Republican Party because he's the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party.
If he wants to get anything done if he gets elected, which, by the way, is looking like a stretch without the infrastructure especially when you're going up against the Clinton operation.
LEMON: Did Corey Lewandowski not get that?
PRESTON: No, I think, listen, I think Lewandowski was running a primary campaign based upon this personality, this oversized personality that won the primary. We're in a general election right now.
MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It doesn't work that way.
PRESTON: Right. It doesn't work that way. It doesn't.
LEMON: So, with the Clinton campaign has been saying, you know, he's unfit for office, he's unfit for office. They're trying to define him before, you know, he could define her. Are they successful that being successful at it?
HILL: I think so, I think two things are happening. One, they're defining him and framing him as someone who doesn't have the temperament for office or the knowledge and experience for office.
At the same time, his very words address the temperament issue. Every time he speaks out like the judge with Judge Curiel, every time he makes this bold and bizarre claims, he reinforces the idea that he's not able to be a commander-in-chief who would be stable. So, it's actually working on both sides and I think that's a problem.
HOOVER: And by the way, it's not just the Clinton campaign who's doing it. It's Vice President Joe Biden, it's Hillary Clinton.
HILL: Elizabeth Warren.
LEMON: It's Elizabeth Warren.
LEMON: Mr. President's camp.
HOOVER: It is the entire left wing of the political (Inaudible) in this country.
HILL: And the right, for that matter.
HOOVER: And Hillary Clinton.
HILL: All the sitting...
LEMON: Let me put up this poll before you. This is a new Monmouth poll that I've been showing, Hillary Clinton leading him by seven points and there are other polls that show her gap is widening. So, does this add fuel to the fire, you know, to Mark's point, about even republicans to this dump Trump movement heading into the primary?
BRUCE LEVELL, NATIONAL DIVERSITY COALITION FOR TRUMP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: No, no. One poll, and first of all, I just want to say one thing. I've been around the campaign for since its inception and I have to respectfully disagree. It is not dysfunctional, it is not -- guys, we got 14.5 million votes. We have -- we have set a record. You know, it is a tsunami. We do have a ground game; we do have in every state.
LEMON: Bruce, hang on. It sounds like...
LEVELL: And I'll tell you here it is.
LEMON: No, no, no. I'm going to let you finish. But you sound like Corey Lewandowski and you sound like all the people who come on, the Trump supporters and who...
LEVELL: I speak for myself, Don.
LEMON: OK. OK.
LEVELL: I don't have to speak for anyone.
LEMON: But it sounds like...
HILL: You have $13 million, I mean, that's an infinite amount of money for a presidential campaign.
HOOVER: And at this point in the presidential campaign, I think Mitt Romney is raising $1 million a day.
[22:45:02] HILL: Right.
HOOVER: And with the problem that they're saying on the -- for the Trump folks...
LEVELL: Mitt who?
HILL: The guy who had more independent votes at this point than you do.
LEVELL: The guy who ran twice that loss has find a --- OK. That won't support the nominee because he lost. That guy?
HILL: Where he last time run...
LEMON: Let him finish.
HILL: Can I ask him a question so that you can answer.
LEMON: Go ahead. Go ahead.
HILL: Why have you raised some little money then?
LEVELL: What do you mean raise a little? What do you mean?
HILL: He's raised $13 million. That's a very small amount of money.
LEMON: He has $1.3 million on hand.
LEVELL: First of all, we're just getting, OK. We have been raising money. We have plans to raise a lot more money. You know, guys, at the end of the day, we fought 17 candidates, we fought governors, we beat very good candidates. Dr. Ben was here, guys.
HILL: Great guy.
LEVELL: Awesome. Yes, a lot of great guys. Governors, we beat a lot of good -- we had to fight the media, we had to fight the left...
HILL: We beat George Pataki.
LEVELL: I mean, you only had two people in the race.
HILL: Who you're beating -- all right. Who you're beating as a matter of the question is why have you raised so little money and you haven't answered and that's fine.
HILL: But the other question here is why are -- why are people who ran for office and won like the Bush's not endorsing him. I mean, there are people who establish politicians who didn't lose their race.
LEVELL: Because Donald Trump is not an established politician, guys, and this is all going to come together.
HILL: That's for sure. LEVELL: Look, at the end of the day just like when we talked about the convention when they come -- you know, first of all, if you're a republican you're saying that you don't want to support Donald Trump, you need to get out of the party. Period. If you a republican and you say...
HOOVER: Hold on, hold on.
LEVELL: Listen, well, you need to get it. Because if you sign up for it you need to stay with it.
LEVELL: You know -- I was with...
HOOVER: All right, here we go, here we go.
LEMON: Hold on, Mark. This is between the republicans. So, go ahead. How do you feel about that?
HOOVER: No, I mean, the challenge is you're talking about Mitt Romney and saying that who? If Donald Trump is going to win he's got to win every single vote Mitt Romney won plus some more. So, if you say you get out of the part if you're a republican, then there's no way you're going to win.
LEVELL: No, no, no.
HOOVER: There's no way you're going to way.
LEVELL: You can't be in the convention. When you sign up as a republican you are the republican. If you're a delegate your obligation...
HOOVER: Oh, you're talking about the convention and that?
LEVELL: Exactly. As it relates to earlier.
HILL: And that's a different issue. The question is why has he not inspired the base enough that even people who ran for office and won, such as the president...
LEMON: And what he's saying is that back to my original question when I said you sound like a talking point. I mean, quite honestly, if you don't...
LEVELL: No talking points. LEMON: ... if you don't believe that, you have -- he must run a traditional campaign at this point or at least the campaign must evolve, then you're in denial because the campaign manager was fired today.
LEVELL: What's traditional, Don?
LEMON: Hold on.
LEVELL: Traditional being embed with the lobbyist or being embed with special interest...
HILL: Traditional raising money, traditional power brokers that endorse you.
LEMON: You have to stay in the race, otherwise he's not in the race. It's over.
LEVELL: All I know is we're number one and we're going to be number one...
HILL: Compared to what. Number one compared to what?
LEVELL: Number one...
LEMON: Hold on.
HILL: Not compared to national polls. Hillary Clinton's winning.
LEMON: Hold your horses. We'll be right back.
HILL: Who's holding the horses, too? Dr. Carson?
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Back now with Bruce LeVell, Margaret Hoover, Mark Preston, and Marc Hill Lamont. You guys were just where you are ganging up on Bruce before the...
LEMON: What did you say your mom taught you?
PRESTON: hey, when you see a good street fight, you just stay out.
LEMON: You just stay out. Let's talk about this dump Trump movement. Because, let's see. Trump says that it would be illegal for delegate to change the delegation rules to prevent him from getting the nomination.
PolitiFact rates that as mostly false. So, legally it could happen. What are the chances you think about of actually happening? LEVELL: It won't happen. And this is why, Don. You know, at the end
of the day there were a lot of Cruz supporters, there was a lot of Rubio supporters, Kasich supporters, there's a lot of emotions going on, and this is kind of typical guys, you know. When democrats as well as repubicans you want your guy, you want your -- whoever you want, but I know for a fact when we get to Cleveland, these folks will come around. I really, really believe that.
LEVELL: I really do.
LEMON: Do you ythink that they will, Margaret Hoover?
LEVELL: They will.
LEMON: I see you with a little bit of a fog out there.
HOOVER: I really, I mean, I love your optimism and...
LEVELL: No, no, they are.
HOOVER: But I will tell you I think in this case...
LEVELL: Because if they don't, then you've been voting for Hillary. So, what -- I don't understand.
HOOVER: Well, I think -- I think a lot of people...
LEMON: There are some republicans.
HOOVER: You know, I mean, there are a lot of republicans who think that the interest of the party -- the longevity of the party is longer than one election cycle. And so, they don't think that...
LEMON: And they think that maybe just when Hillary get it...
HOOVER: But I will say to your point, I actually -- I actually think you're right on this. I think that there certainly are delegates who still want to mount a challenge. I think a lot of them are Cruz delegates who are trying to get their piece in place for 2020.
HOOVER: And while they may try to change the rules, they may try to force a floor fight, they may try to embarrass the nominee, and I mean, these are the things that we should look out for, but if I think that stop is going to happen, I don't necessarily believe that there's going to be a real challenge because there's nobody to run.
HOOVER: I mean, there is just nobody who is going to take the mantle and take Trump out at this point.
PRESTON: Nobody has said that they're willing to step up and take him on. We haven't said ted Cruz do it.
LEVELL: But we've already been through the process, guys.
PRESTON: No, no, no. It's called a primary.
HILL: Come on.
HOOVER: It wasn't a fight.
LEMON: Take a breath and let it happen. Go ahead.
HOOVER: You're a Donald Trump guy.
LEVELL: Listen, I got my vest on.
PRESTON: Listen, bottom line is, you are wrong in the sense that there are people that are not going to be supportive of him and they are going to try to take him out. But the fact of the matter is that's not going to happen. And there's a lot of reasons. I've been saying this for months. Cleveland will burn. OK. And that is, that in itself...
LEVELL: Easy, guys. Easy.
PRESTON: That would happen -- that would happen if they tried to take out the republican nominee. To your point which has gotten...
LEVELL: I hate to use that word burn.
PRESTON: It is true, though.
LEMON: OK. You guys listen to this. I want you to...
PRESTON: And it will hurt the party.
LEMON: I want you to listen to Lindsey Graham today at a security conference. Here's what he said about the next president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The next president, whoever, he or she, most likely she is going to be, needs to get these defense cuts set aside.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, she. So, to my point...
HILL: Yes, yes.
LEMON: So, Margaret said there are -- there are people in the Republican Party who think that it's just -- it's bigger than just one election cycle, and they are resigned to the fact that they'd rather have Hillary Clinton maybe in the White House for four years, right. They'd like to get her out after four rather than have Donald Trump.
LEVELL: Real republicans don't. OK. Other want-to-be or whatever you want to call it...
[22:54:59] HOOVER: I love you.
LEVELL: I signed up for the Republican Party, I stand by the Republican Party.
LEVELL: It could be Cruz, I'd be sitting here right here for Cruz.
HILL: So, you're saying if a candidate emerge who's values like contradicted yours, and you thought like it was presidential to vote but you vote for them any way just because they're republican.
LEMON: That's what he's telling us.
LEVELL: Listen, here, I'm with Donald Trump, I'm with Donald Trump.
HILL: I have to ask you one more time. You're saying that if a candidate...
LEVELL: I'm with you to the end, Marc.
HILL: No matter what they believe?
LEVELL: Yes, he's telling you that.
HILL: No matter what they believe a bad republican you will vote for him?
LEMON: Marc, did you not see all the people who came here who were...
HILL: I just can't -- that's so mind boggling. That's so bizarre.
LEVELL: Because first of all, what has the American people said? They have spoken.
HOOVER: No, no. You know, listen, who has spoken.
LEVELL: They have chosen this nominee. What is all this other wheeling and dealing?
HOOVER: Who has spoken? Let me tell you this, OK.
LEMON: OK. One at a time. One at a time.
HILL: I guess my -- OK, go ahead. I'm sorry.
HOOVER: A plurality of republican primary voters have spoken for Donald Trump.
HOOVER: That is 25 percent of the republican primary -- 25 percent of registered republicans, a plurality of them have spoken. So, that's report in millions.
HILL: Not a majority.
HOOVER: But it's not a majority. It's less primary votes than Hillary Clinton has received and it is, frankly, a really weak, weak front- runner, incredible front-runner who is still having to fend off challenges from a party base that is incredibly unconfident and can't raise money and can't fill in...
LEMON: But those are not real republicans.
HILL: But, Don, this represents -- this represents -- Don, this represents the delusion of the Trump campaign. Rather than saying we're in crisis, we don't have any money, we don't have support of our base, we don't have -- just let me finish.
LEVELL: There is no crisis, Marc. There is no crisis. Where are you getting that? The National Inquirer?
HILL: But the polls, Trump is begging. You have more money than Donald Trump does right now.
LEVELL: Well, I didn't know about that.
HILL: My only point is you guys are in crisis and I don't think you're going to continue to trouble.
HOOVER: Well, they did acknowledge it because they fired their campaign manager and tried to get around some of their surrogates.
HILL: You didn't get that memo but you got to go in the circle.
LEMON: End scene. And we're done. I got to get -- I got to get to the top of the hour.
HILL: Not to diverse teasing here...
LEMON: I got to get to the top of the hour. I have to start on time before I get in big trouble.
HILL: All right. Sorry, Don.
LEMON: All right. Thank you. We'll see you all soon.
The Senate tonight fails to pass four new gun control measures, but would any of them have saved lives in Orlando? What can we do to protect ourselves?
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)