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Senate Votes Down Four New Gun Control Measures; New CNN/ORC Poll Finds 55 Percent of Americans Want Stricter Gun Laws; FBI Releases Full 911 Transcripts with Orlando Shooter; Joe Biden Aims at Trump and Policies. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired June 20, 2016 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:58] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Looking live, Capitol Hill where tonight the Senate votes down four new gun control measures.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
The votes coming just a week after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history leaves 49 people dead and as the FBI releases transcripts of the killer's phone call to 911.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we're not releasing the audio. What I can tell you is that while the killer made these murderous statements, he did so in a chilling, calm and deliberate manner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Meanwhile, a brand new CNN/ORC Poll finds 55 percent of Americans want stricter gun laws. Plus, Donald Trump's campaign in turmoil, Joe Biden taking aiming (ph) at Trump and his policies on Muslim are refusing to mention the candidate by name.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: There are 1.4 billion Muslims in the world. Some of the rhetoric I'm hearing sounds designed to radicalize all 1.4 billion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Let's get right to our CNN's White House Correspondent Michelle Kosinski. Michelle, good evening to you. The wake of Orlando, the massacre, the President along with many in the country were hoping to get some movement on the gun issue. The Senate voted on several bills today. What happened?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right. Well, you definitely saw, heard and felt the desire there. I mean, these impassioned speeches in the evening on the floor of the Senate, you know, some fiery language at times urging fellow Senators to take some action.
These are four bills, two from Democrats, two from Republicans, very much dueling bills, though, and they all went down in times (ph) and two of them dealt with expanded background checks, two others would be how to bar certain people from having as easy access to guns as they do now.
But because they were dueling, I mean, with Republicans saying that the Democratic bills were too broad, Democrats saying the Republican bills were only half measures, they ended up just like everyone though they would, they failed.
That doesn't mean this is over, though. There has been talk of compromise and we could see Susan Collins bring her bill as early as tomorrow. She's going to announce it tomorrow afternoon. This is going to be a really narrowly tailored bill. It would limit the barring of access to weapons to people who are on the "No-Fly" list.
So, of course, you're going to get that argument from Democrats saying that it's too narrow, who would this really stop, how many people really is this going to be, but that is the one hope really that's left here for compromise. Don?
LEMON: Let's show the viewers some numbers, Michelle, because 92 percent of people favor background checks and 85 percent of Americans think people on the terror watchlist should not be able to get guns. Why doesn't that count for more with elected officials here in Washington?
KOSINSKI: Huge numbers there. Huge numbers. I mean, there are some people -- analysts who will look at that and say, "Well, you know, it depends how you word it, people who will say that as part of a survey won't tell you the same thing when you really talk to them on the issues."
But on the other side, you know, as many people clearly feel that way. Many, many people in America feel that there is a need to make at the very least some tweaks to access, but there's an ideological difference here that is so strong.
When one side wants to see it be much broader, the other side feels like it needs to be very narrowly tailored, make sure there is due process, make sure it's not infringing on people's rights, then you're going to get that loggerhead that we're seeing. So this is not unexpected.
I guess if you want to look at this optimistically and you are one of those people who want to see some change, there are clearly is a movement on both sides to get something done. What that ends up being, of course, we're going to have to see this play out in the next couple of day, Don.
LEMON: Michelle Kosinski, thank you very much. Joining us tonight from Washington.
This evening (ph) I want to bring it up Congressional -- Congressman, excuse me, Jim Himes, a Democrat from Connecticut, Richard Feldman, the President of the Independent Firearm Owners Association. He joins us via Skype, also CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin. OK gentlemen, thank you for joining us.
[23:05:03] Let's talk about this. So, first to you, Congressman. Let's talk about the Senate failed to pass a bill to restrict guns to people on the terror watchlist and one to expand background checks. What's your response on that?
REP. JIM HIMES (D), CONNECTICUT: Well, it is disappointing of course coming after particular work that the Connecticut delegation did with Senator Murphy's filibuster and now that, you know, that we weren't able to very quickly make some progress here.
But what was said earlier is exactly right. Look, there's a negotiation under way and it's not a negotiation over that probably 10 to 20 things we should do for gun safety, but it is in negotiation. So, look, if Collins can succeed, we can get something done, that's a good thing.
And look, those of us who look at America today awash in guns, weekly if not daily violence, you know, at the end of the day the law is on our side, the constitution is on our side. And what I mean by that is that there is no such thing as an absolute right that doesn't have some safety regulations or other regulation around it.
And of course, as you point out, public sentiment is strongly on the side of people like me who say "Hey, I support the second amendment, but we are going to have certain limits and certain regulations that do a lot more to keep people safe.
In the end, that point of view prevails, even if it doesn't prevail quite as rapidly as we think it should.
LEMON: Well, Richard, what's wrong with denying some on a terror watchlist gun?
RICHARD FELDMAN, PRESIDENT, INDEPENDENT FIREARM OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC.: The problem isn't denying terrorist a gun. The problem is who gets on the watchlist and how does one get off? Most of you guest will recall (ph) that former Senator Ted Kennedy was on the "No-Fly" list, the most recognizable Senator in the United States at the time and he had a devil of a time getting himself off that list. If he couldn't do it, how would any legitimate citizen get themselves off?
LEMON: Jeffrey Toobin, do you take umbrage with that?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, look, I mean, I think that the words that have not been uttered yet are there -- that they sound sort of academic, but it's preference intensity. And that is the people who support gun control, the people who want more restrictions.
They are interested in the issue and they think, you know, and they -- but they think about a lot of different issues. They think about climate change. They think about the economy. The people in this country who care about gun rights, who want to preserve guns, it's the single most important issue to them. And they vote based on who will protect their right to bear arms. And they control the entire Republican Party at this point.
The Republican Party is not a party that supports any restrictions on the right to bear arms. And that's why we're not getting gun control. It's not because of -- I mean, it's -- the 90 to 10 is misleading because the 10 percent are so passionate and they control so many votes.
LEMON: That goes directly to you, Congressman, and something that the Police Commissioner of New York City said was that Congress was completely controlled, our lawmakers are controlled by the NRA and that's why no sensible gun laws have been passed, that can be passed. Do you agree with that?
HIMES: Yeah. It's a little more complicated than that. Look, I don't think the NRA really controls anybody, but what the NRA does is and, you know, Wayne LaPierre is just a master of this, is that they are just a 24/7 fear machine.
So, you know, before this President was even sworn in seven year ago, Wayne LaPierre was out there telling people that his secret and hidden agenda is to take away your guns. OK, now people in North Dakota and Montana, two states that use advisedly (ph) are saying, "Gosh, well, this new President is going to take away my guns."
And then there's the, you know, there are criminals at your door. The only way you're going to be safe is if your armed. The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with the gun. It's just this constant fear that gets the populous realty whip up and Jeffrey is right.
Now, you've got a relatively small group of voters who are fabulously intense and the thing that Jeffrey didn't mention is that you've got the United States Senate where North Dakota and Montana, two some lightly populated rural states still have two Senators each whose votes count just as much as the two Senators that represent 40 million Californians.
So you put that altogether and you've got one heck of struggle on your hands.
LEMON: Richard, you've listened to both gentlemen here and Jeffrey Toobin saying, you know, this is -- it's really about not the majority of the Republican Party, but a small group in the Republican Party who control -- who vote on one issue and they control the party over that one issue.
FELDMAN: You know, I think so much of our debate really misses the problem. The problem is never the gun per se but always in whose hands are the guns. And if we focused a little better on getting them out of the hands of those we all agree shouldn't have them, we could move this agenda forward better than we've succeed to date.
LEMON: I think that's ...
TOOBIN: Well, but that's part of.
LEMON: I mean that's a very good point.
[23:10:05] LEMON: Jeffrey first and then Congressman. Jeffrey, go ahead.
TOOBIN: Well, that the question is -- I mean, it's like, it's not just in whose hands. The question is should an AR-15 semiautomatic weapon be in any civilian's hands? I mean, that's a question in and out of itself putting aside, you know, in whose hands.
I mean, that's an important part of the debate. So it's not just in whose hands, it's what guns are available.
LEMON: Go ahead, Congressman.
HIMES: Well, I mean I'm glad to hear Mr. Feldman say that we should do something to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them. That would point the way universal background checks which we do not have today. And it would point the way to a deal on things like terrorist watchlist.
But I just -- I have to register objection to this idea that he articulated that is the same old argument that it's not the gun that kills the people, it's the person who kills the people.
You know, every country on this planet, we don't have any more people with mental health issues than Russia or China or Germany or the U.K. We don't have more people who are violently inclined. We just don't.
Our people don't look radically different than the people of any other country on this planet with respect to their propensity for violence and yet we have a massive gun violence problem with 30,000 Americans dying every single year because it is so easy, whether it's a momentary intense desire to commit suicide, whether it's a drunken argument at home with the firearm right there on the dining room table.
When you are awash in guns, the passion, the anger, the disposition for violence will lead to where we are today in America, which is just unbelievable gun violence.
LEMON: Richard, we don't have a difference in mental health, countries are no different, but what we do have is more guns. That's what he's saying.
FELDMAN: Well, you know, we have a unique experience in this country as Americans. If we're going to have the fight over guns, this issue is not going to go forward.
There are things we could do in this country to iterate (ph) the problem, but we'd all rather fight over the things we disagree about rather than to move forward on those things we do agree on.
Today's vote is one of them. Look at all the Democrats that voted against the foreign (ph) amendment. You know, it moved the agenda forward.
Terrorist shouldn't be able to get guns, but the question is, who's going to put this people on list? What if somebody decided to put every Hispanic, every Muslim on the terrorist list? This would be atrocious. It would be vulnerable.
This is America. We are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, not put on some watchlist by the government and remove your civil liberties.
LEMON: I'm not sure I understand the analogy, Jeffrey Toobin, but I'll give you the last word.
TOOBIN: Well, it's very easy to need peek (ph) whatever people propose, but what happens is because gun rights supporters object to any specific proposal, they can speak generally like Mr. Feldman is, but the fact is they stop everything just like they stopped these proposals.
LEMON: (Inaudible), Mr. Feldman have a good question for you, which I ask everyone. So if everything -- why is sensible gun legislation the only thing that's off the table when everything else is on the table? Why is that the only thing that's off the table?
FELDMAN: Well, the planning sensible gun legislation, everyone is to get for keeping guns out of the wrong hands because someone says, well, my proposal is sensible and reasonable doesn't make it so just because you say it.
There are so many things we could do in this country, but we don't do. Let's face it. Criminals steal 600,000 firearms every year. Are we serious the terrorists wouldn't be able to obtain some of those guns? And the shooter in Orlando went through a background check. How (ph) Florida concealed carry license and was vetted twice by the FBI.
LEMON: OK, last word. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate you joining us.
When we come right back, what the Orlando shooter said when he called 911 during his deadly rampage and why the FBI didn't want you to hear all of it until now?
[23:17:51] LEMON: The Orlando shooter called 911 during his deadly rampage, but some of what he said was not released by the FBI until now.
CNN's Brynn Gingras is with us from Orlando with more this evening. Brynn, good evening to you.
Today the FBI released the full transcripts of the 911 call made by Orlando shooter Omar Mateen that he made from inside the club. Why was the full transcript finally released and why this controversy?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, first the decision to redact a part of that transcript was -- which was ISIS, the terrorist group that whole idea came from the FBI and the Department of Justice who signed off on that.
And the whole idea there was they didn't want to give any credence to the terrorist organization. So originally they released to this part of the transcript, the 911 call, without the word ISIS. And then there was a lot of controversy about the decision to do that from a lot of elected officials, including Speaker Paul Ryan, who called the idea preposterous and then they ended up releasing the transcripts again, this time with the unredacted version, Don.
LEMON: So what have investigators learned from this call?
GINGRAS: Well, you know what, they described this call as Mateen acting deliberate, acting calm and chilling are the words that he described in this 911 call.
Remember, there were several calls made. There was the 911 call and then there were three more calls later on with hostage negotiators and he made a lot of statements during all these conversations about the bombing of America with Syria and Iraq, and also he claimed that there were bombs inside the club, bombs outside the club, in cars.
So there are a lot of statements being made about Mateen. So they gathered a lot of information through talking with him and through that 911 call, but that's the way that they described his demeanor. It was calm, it was deliberate and he had a purpose there.
LEMON: Brynn Gingras, thank you very much joining us live from Orlando. I want to bring in now Juliette Kayyem, author of "Security Mom." Also, Psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Seager, co-producer of "Shattered Families: The Collapse of America's Mental Health System" and Michael Weiss, the co-author of "ISIS Inside the Army of Terror." Hello to all of you. Good to have you on.
I want to start with you, Dr. Seager.
DR. STEPHEN SEAGER, NAPA STATE HOSPITAL: Don, nice to be here.
LEMON: Why would a shooter call 911 in the middle of his rampage? What is he hoping to achieve by doing that?
[23:20:07] SEAGER: I think as we talked earlier, I think part of his problem was he was a narcissist and I think he wanted to make sure he got full credit that his name was spelled right if you know what I mean.
And I think he wanted to make sure that his point of view was -- and they knew it was him and they knew all this carnage have been done by him. I think it was just an act of narcissism.
LEMON: So when he -- during the 911 call when the dispatcher asks for his name, Michael, Mateen replied, "My name is. I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic state." What would you make of that?
MICHAEL WEISS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That standard protocol. You're a Jihadist and you want to conduct an attack and claim they have it (ph) re-down to the benefit of the black flag of ISIS, that's exactly what you have to do.
You pledge allegiance either right before the attack or during it. We saw this with San Bernardino. The wife of that -- the (inaudible) couple of American Jihad posted to Facebook a pledge of allegiance to the scale (ph) of it and to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi himself.
Look, we thought a lot in the last week what is the drop main motivation behind this attack and what was really going on this guy's head. Was he positive homosexual? Was he mentally, emotionally disturbed?
All of this to one side, Don, is the sort of cookie-cutter little wolf Jihadist on right here and I think it's a very clear that he wanted it to be known that he was doing this for the cause of the so-call pivotal (ph).
LEMON: Juliette Kayyem, during one of three calls between Mateen and crisis negotiators, he identified himself as an Islamic soldier, told the negotiator to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq and that it -- that is why he was, you know, out here right now. Is this typical in ISIS messaging?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It is. I mean, ISIS messaging, there's no typical ISIS messaging. I mean, sometimes we don't hear from them at all. Sometimes they'll say anything to get the attention.
So, in some ways the way I read this was he like, you know, picked like, you know, the best of that he could get off of newspaper is there wherever else you might hear it and say, "Oh, I don't like America for Syria. I don't like America for Israel."
And sort of replay them to make his intent known that he was at least doing this killing under the name of ISIS, even if ISIS had actually nothing to do in terms of directing it.
LEMON: What do you think, Michael? They didn't -- the FBI didn't release his name in the, you know, partial transcript that they initially released saying they didn't want to give the terror group a platform. What do you think of that?
WEISS: Well, you know, we were all in such great mystery about who is pledging allegiance to. Was it the scientology? Was it the free maze (ph)? Was it the Mormon Church? I mean, this is ridiculous.
This is what the Brits call an own goal and I think Loretta Lynch made herself look like a fool on the Sunday program by saying, "We're not doing this because we don't want ISIS to claim credit for it."
ISIS was first out of the gate, other media apparatus to said this guy is an Islamic soldier, soldier of the Islamic state crazing him, although when the news came out that he might have actually had a secret of his own, I can only hope to be a fly on the wall of the latest editorial meeting at Dabiq, their propaganda magazine about how to reconcile whether or not he was sexually ambivalent.
Look, the President -- I think that the worst aspect of the rhetoric of his campaign and his strategy has been to try and deny that these guys are who they say they are. We say, "Don't call them the Islamic state."
Well, the White House calls them ISIL. The I and the S in ISIL stand for Islamic State. We say, let's call them "DAESH". DAESH is the Arabic acronym for what is the Arabic translation of the Islamic State of Iraq in al-Sham.
This is sort of meaningless. This is beside the point. And if the FBI is spending resources doing this -- let me give you an example. You know that I talk to defector from ISIS and people who informants for the organization.
Few months ago I got a tip from somebody inside ISIS saying that they are planning an attack in Minnesota recruiting the Somali diaspora community in that state. I call the FBI. It took them several days for them to get back to me.
They said, "We'd love to bring you into the New York Field Office, but we need permission first." And so what kind of permission? "I'm a journalist. There were book on these guys. Here's my articles. You know that I write about inextensively (ph) and I have resources and contacts." I still haven't heard back from them.
So they're too busy redacting ISIS and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from 911 transcripts, they don't actually follow up on these credible eminent threats.
The FBI Director call me himself said, "Several months ago we have active investigations in all 50 states of ISIS plots or ISIS conspiracies that are ongoing. Not all of them are credible and imminent, but they're in all 50 states." What are we trying to hide there?
LEMON: Juliette, so that speaks to you, National Security Analyst, and someone who has worked for the government. So there is no more credible source than Michael Weiss. What's going on?
WEISS: I wouldn't go that far.
KAYYEM: Well, so let me just say what the FBI did, I said this morning, what the FBI did was standard operating procedure and it was totally untenable in this case for variety for reasons.
One is, I don't think, you know, there's not going to be case, he's dead. So unlike the Boston Marathon situation where they actually protected what he wrote on, they did not disclose what he wrote on the boat. Remember in those last moments that waited until the trial.
[23:25:02] There's no trial here. The only thing interesting to me about these transcripts that actually we shouldn't forget was it provided me, and I was saying this all last week, an explanation for that three or two and a half hour delay.
KAYYEM: To me I could not -- when you asked me, Don, I could not answer that question. I kept saying, well, they didn't have situational awareness.
It really did become clear to me if you actually read through the whole transcript the extent to which they thought he was armed. They're hearing from victims of multiple -- and this happens all the time in crises of multiple shooters because the victims are seeing different things and calling in simultaneously.
So while I agree that they just -- it was untenable not to say it, because we already knew what it was. Let's not also forget that for the victims' families who are probably asking themselves the question why the heck did it take that long? This was I thought a very suitable explanation for what they were doing in that time period.
LEMON: Right. Dr. Seager I have more questions for you on the other side of the break. We'll be right back. We'll continue our conversation.
LEMON: Back with me now, Juliette Kayyem, Dr. Stephen Seager and Michael Weiss.
[23:30:02] So, Doctor, we are talking about the information that came up from the 911 calls some that redacted earlier. Having communications like that in 911 call, does it showed any more light on the gunman and his motivation?
SEAGAR: What does -- it doesn't really, but what does is I think that teachers that came out over the weekend. This wasn't just a guy who suddenly snapped. This is a guy who is teachers in school had said that he had problems and he -- this is the kind of thing where mental illness plays a part.
They are not unknown to people. This guy was trouble. He clearly was trouble. We're on last week with his ex-wife that she's thought he had bipolar disorder. I'm not claiming he does or not, but this is a guy who was emotionally unstable.
You can call him what you want and I think what happened is when you get radicalized or, you know, something happens, if you have a mood problem, it kind of lifts the list. I've taken the brakes off a car. It makes this kind of thing more likely to happen.
I'm not saying he did it because he was mentally ill, he did it for other reason. But I think he just had the lead taken off the paddle a little bit and I think he had problems like this most of his life. LEMON: So you think he was going through a deep internal struggle about his identity? I mean, how many years that he had such a troubled history when you look at his schooling, I'm going all the way back to his childhood.
Do you think that he could have had some help successfully if someone had gotten to him earlier to try to figure out what was going on?
SEAGAR: Actually, yes, I do. It's not uncommon. Bipolar disorders, mental disorders are used to be a manic depression. It used to be kind of happy sided people, but now they're irritable, angry people.
And it's just has change and it fits this picture pretty well that had someone intervene, there had a system been in place where intervention would have been possible. It's possible something could have been done to at least make this emotional instability go away.
LEMON: How would you characterize his personality?
SEAGAR: I would characterize in two ways. He has probably a narcissistic personality disorder for sure that makes people hypersensitive, hypercritical or hypersensitive to criticism. I think he also have maybe a mood disorder either bipolar disorder or some sort of underlying mood problem.
So, I think he had two problems and I think the call was a per classic example of a narcissist kind of a personality disorder, very calm, very organized, very thoughtful because you can be mentally ill and still have very organized thoughts.
He wasn't rational disorganized. He was very organized, but I think it's -- if this whole thing can be explained by kind of a narcissistic personality disorder and some sort of underlying mood problem which goes back his, you know, fourth grade teacher said this kid was trouble.
LEMON: Yeah. And Michael, you know, this is -- when you -- if he did have a mental issue, if he was disturbed in some way, it's so. This is exactly the kind of person who is attracted to, right and who?
WEISS: And so they are looking attracts (ph).
LEMON: I mean, they are looking to attract.
WEISS: I mean, before it was ISIS, it was al-Qaeda in Iraq. I can show you any number of examples where they used mentally disabled, I mean, young girls as young as five years old, 12 years old and turned them into suicide bombers. You can Google this stuff. This was reported during the Iraq war.
Another point I would make though is, look, these things are not mutually exclusive, right?
WEISS: He kind of have been a narcissistic, kind of have been manic depressive or bipolar. He kind of have been sexually ambivalent and also a Jihadist, you know.
I mean, there are reasons that people join organizations ideologically extreme movements such as ISIS.
I've interviewed people who aren't necessarily motivated by sensible or (inaudible) or messianic kind of world historical force. Some of them joined because of geopolitical reasons.
WEISS: They hate the United States because they think the United States is in lead to murder and dispose Sunni Muslims.
And just a final point, I've seen it said and written that, well, he was kind of ideologically promiscuous. One day he liked Hezbollah, the next he liked al-Qaeda, the next day he liked ISIS. Also not uncommon.
WEISS: A lot of people in Syria who are now fighting Hezbollah, used to domicile them during 2006 war and '11 on between Israel and Hezbollah. So, people can flip there and change their religions as very quick.
LEMON: Juliette, the question on everybody's mind is how could this have been avoided. And listen, I don't know if you have the answer for that, but do you see a way kind of could have been avoided with what we've learned here?
KAYYEM: Well, there's something to learn. I mean, I thought when FBI Director Comey came out that first day and said, "I've looked at it and, you know, there's nothing we would do different." I mean, there's 49 people dead. Of course, there's something we would do different.
KAYYEM: You know, looking at it now, a week later, there's been a couple of quick questions I have. One is, you know, why did they close not one, not two, but three interviews. I mean, it seemed like any quick interview of the ex-wife, of the father or of the present wife would have gotten them a little bit further.
LEMON: Something there (ph).
KAYYTEM: I think something more generic also has to be looked at. Our lists tend to be on-off switch, because you're either on the list or you're not off the list. And we see in these cases, especially those involving mental disorder, there's a lot accreditations and we have to get better about predicting them even through our law enforcement mechanisms that's quite alone our mental health one.
LEMON: I've got to go. Thank you all. I appreciate it.
[23:35:03] When we coming right back, follow the money, a massive deficit in campaign finances leaves Donald Trump way behind Hillary Clinton. Can the billionaire candidate close the gap?
LEMON: Donald Trump's campaign in turmoil. It extends to his finances. He has tens of millions of dollars less than Hillary Clinton, a deficit that's unheard of in modern presidential politics.
The Clinton campaign had $42 million in the bank as of May 31st that is according to this report to the FEC. The Trump campaign had $1.3 million.
So here to discuss now, Carl Higbie, the co-chair and spokesman for the Great American PAC which supports Trump, Republican Consultant Margaret Hoover, CNN Politics Executive Editor Mark Preston and CNN Political Commentator Marc Lamont Hill.
OK, let's talk about this. Mark Preston, what are the numbers?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: The numbers are bleak. I mean, this is, you know, this is a kind of report that you want to have released to the public. $1.3 million is really a drop in the bucket.
I understand that, you know, Donald Trump's called the personality carried it through the primaries, but we're in a different campaign right now and for them to compete with Hillary Clinton, they're going to have to raise an incredible amount of money or Donald Trump is going to have to stroke (ph) that check like he say's he's going to.
[23:40:13] LEMON: He's going to have to write it.
PRESTON: A very big check.
LEMON: Do you think that -- so you're the spokesperson for the Trump super PAC, right, through this Trump's Great America PAC. Do you think that he's going to be able to make up this ground?
CARL HIGBIE, GREAT AMERICAN PAC: Well, I don't know of the campaign because right now you he can only raise $2,700 increments for the campaign. But you have the super PACs and that's why a number of us have stepped up. But we welcome all the super PACs that we can get on Donald Trump's side.
The Great America PAC has been able to raise significant funding to the tune of just about $4 million, double that in pledges to try to make up this gap because we can take unlimited donations, but we're the ones who need to be airing the ads, going to be hit in the ground game, because Donald Trump -- he only has 70 people to Hillary Clinton's 700 or 800 right now.
So Donald Trump's campaign, he is a little bit smaller and less infrastructure than where he needs to be.
LEMON: Go, Margaret.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean this is exactly what we're seeing (inaudible). Hillary Clinton has $117 million in the bank in her outside groups. And in all of the accumulated outside groups at least probably report at the moment have $700,000, all right.
So where is the air war (ph)? Where's the cavalry? Where is all of the support going to come in?
HIGBIE: And donors are fatigued.
LEMON: OK. So I had Dr. Ben Carson on earlier. He said something very interesting. (Inaudible), you listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN CARSON, FORMER REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think there is a process in place right now that's going to rectify that situation.
LEMON: That we get donors (inaudible) because you heard Dana Bash saying donors were concerned about the rhetoric, they were concern 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 necessarily been clarified by the campaign, which is the one that they most favor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOOVER: All right this -- that for me is really, you know, I wasn't a fund-raising professional on a presidential incumbent's campaign and then on another presidential campaign.
So it's inconceivable to me that they haven't designated which super PAC is going to be sort of the official super PAC. That hey haven't designated where anybody who wants to help him bundle can plug in.
And this is what I'm hearing from finance operatives, from sort of people who are in the donor community. First of all, they're having a really hard time recruiting bundlers, frankly.
HOOVER: Because people actually are wary of being associated with what has become as the Trump brand, which is a damaged brand -- it's a damaged. Secondly, there is donor fatigue, but that fatigue is associated with -- what people perceive will be a failed presidential ...
LEMON: There's donor fatigue on the Republican side, but not donor fatigue on the Democratic side because Hillary Clinton is raising tons of money.
MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hillary Clinton is raising tons of money and I think, again, the fatigue is linked to Trump to Trump branding. It's not just logistical as Ben Carson is suggesting. It's also ideological.
And while Trump can always write a check as you pointed Mark, to help support his own campaign. He has a bigger responsibility as a standard bearer of the party and that is to make sure that Donald take -- elections go well. That other people are supporting -- are supported
And if he has -- doesn't have the ability to raise money on the road not just for himself but for others, it really makes the whole Republican Party position in the very vulnerable way.
HIGBIE: I'm glad you brought that up because right now what is happening with the donors, they are divided because, look, the establishment is not behind him and Trump is not behind the establishment. And the fact is that they need to ...
LEMON: You're the first person to admit that.
HIGBIE: Ever, ever.
LEMON: No, I'm on the show.
HIGBIE: So -- but the fact of the matter is, is all those people, all those people on that stage took the pledge to support the Republican nominee. They need to get behind him or we will lose massive seats in the House and Senate. That's a fact.
HOOVER: Well, no. I mean, you have actually is many super donors, many of these people who are bundlers for other candidates saying we can't do Trump that simply against our principles. We can't support him, but we're going to put all of our resources into down ballots.
So you do have a lot of outside money instead of going to this Trump super PAC sadly for you are actually going to other super PACs that independent candidates efforts to help defend the Rob Portmans, the Kelly Ayottes, the Ron Johnsons in the Senate so that there's this chance.
The truth is though, it depends how big this tidal wave is that she has, if he looses by 10 points or more, all of that money is not going to make a difference to hold the Senate.
LEMON: So let me ask you about what (ph) you're saying, Donald Trump is behind seven points, when you look at a candidate like Donald Trump, no one ever thought that -- today no one.
HIGBIE: Well this week.
LEMON: Right, this week, but in the last couple of weeks, I mean his -- the numbers are trending down. Usually his numbers have been ticking up. But, many people said Donald Trump is never going to get this far.
I mean, we're saying Donald Trump is seven points down in the poll, but that's not a huge amount considering the election is still months away.
HILL: Well, but here's the thing, in the primary we all said he's not going to get far, he'll never get more than 10 percent, never get more than 20 percent, he'll never get more than his number. And he kept getting those numbers.
But as Mark said it's still a plurality. He never had them overwhelming majority or any majority of the Republican primary voters.
Now, he has the responsibility, not only have the majority of voters but you really get populations that he's really not doing well with, whether it's minority voters, whether it's independent voters.
[23:45:04] He's not even operating at the level of Mitt Romney was.
LEMON: But he has been able to do more with less than any candidate that we have seen.
PRESTON: He has because he understands television better than any candidate that we've seen.
LEMON: Well, is that still work in the poll?
PRESTON: Right, no, no, no. It's just -- so here's the thing, all right. So we see Donald Trump is down seven points, OK. In the political world, right track, wrong track.
Right track, that's where you want to be. Wrong track, that's not where you want to be and, I mean, if you look at the last three weeks, wrong track, not where you want to be, right, so campaign manager gets fired.
PRESTON: OK. We see a consolidation of power right now in the Trump campaign. We've talked about this last hour. The bottom line is, he's got two or three weeks right now to really show these donors that he is going to be a serious candidate in the mold of a traditional candidate because that's how he's going to get any money and support from the establishment.
HILL: But he needs to have (ph) discipline to do that
HOOVER: And what -- I mean, what Dr. Carson said about like people don't know where to go to fundraise, I mean, it's really just basic stuff. I mean people who are actually on the finance committee, who want to raise money and want to plug in, literally there isn't a receiving end on the campaign where they can plug into. There's no one that they can call and say, "Hey, where do I send this bundler? Who's the staffer that's going to take this call? How are we going to get the schedule? Trump's schedule to sign off on to be able to tell people when they come to different areas of the country, that's he's going to have a fundraiser in your area on this day because they can't get the schedule to sign off on.
LEMON: Carl, if it continues like this, what she's describing, he's describing, he's describing and Dr. Ben Carson has described the reason the campaign manager was fired, if it continues like this on to the convention?
HIGBIE: It could be bad. It could be very bad. But the fact is we have this super -- like for instance our super PAC. I know it keep peddling, but the fact is Great America PAC is run by Ed Rollins. Ed Rollins had a 49 state win.
We are running campaigns individual of the candidate ...
LEMON: Is there enough time though between now and ...
HIGBIE: There is and what needs to happen is the ground swell, crowd soars, much like Bernie Saunders did. Get the small dollars in large, large numbers of people and that's the way he's going to be effectively able to raise the money. That's the only way.
LEMON: Well continue after this. Don't go anywhere.
[23:50:50] LEMON: Back now with Margaret Hoover, Mark Preston, Marc Lamont Hill and who we think is Carl. Hey, what have you done with Carl Higbie?
HIGBIE: I didn't see him.
LEMON: No you're being -- you're one of the first person to admit that there's actually a problem with the Trump campaign.
HIGBIE: There is a problem. I mean, they wouldn't fire the campaign manager if there wasn't a problem. But this is indicative of what you need to do.
Look, he's making tough decisions right now. If a candidate were to take a hard turn on the style in which he run a campaign and everything like that, people would question it.
Now, if you fire the top leadership and you bring in someone new and then he makes a hard turn it's not as much of a question and it's actually a positive.
LEMON: Yeah. So we said, the question is though as I said again, is there enough time now? Will you consider -- what did you say, hundred -- how much does Hilary Clinton have? HOOVER: $117 million and outside money.
LEMON: And you said like you do raised $4 million dollars. If you compare that to $117 million, I mean, Lord, I mean common.
HIGBIE: There's no doubt. We are fighting very hard. And hat's why we need you know, these super PACs to jump up like this. I mean it is a beer in a bottle right now.
HILL: This is not a popularity contest. This isn't just to earn media is great and being able to be visible all the time 24/7 on all media outlets is great, but at some point you need a ground game, you need a ground team and he doesn't have that.
LEMON: All right, so -- OK, thank you. So how long have we been sitting here saying, "Everyone this is not a popularity contest at this point, Donald Trump needs to pivot. And everyone is like, "You're a Trump hater, oh you just don't want to take."
People were giving him actual real advice and telling the truth and then all of a sudden it's a reality today. Where is that reality been for the campaign?
HIGBIE: Well the message now is Republicans get behind Donald Trump because if you don't we're going to lose this election.
And two, he does need to start making a couple of changes. I mean ...
LEMON: All right, such as?
HIGBIE: Such as I think the narrative needs to come to not attacking every single person that has something bad to say about him, right.
LEMON: Oh my gosh, wait a minute. Wait, are you sure you're Carl? Every Thursday -- everybody ...
HIGBIE: It was fine during the primary because, you know what, it won him the primary but now guess what, the Republicans are your friends. And that goes for the Republicans are attacking him too, shut up and get on board.
LEMON: But any time any one question Donald Trump or a surrogate that came on, even if they boldly lied to my face or to the person on the panel, you are against Donald Trump and you are anti-Trump and its like, "No, this is how every person is questioned. Develop a thicker skin." Where is this coming from now, Carl Higbie?
HIGBIE: That was back then, now its tough love because we're down to the wire and we got to turn voters.
HILL: Well, here's the bigger problem you had, the Republican Party many people in the party are saying, "Look we can afford to lose an election, but we can't afford to lose the party."
And so some people won't get on board. They'd rather sit this one out and let Hillary Clinton be president.
We saw Lindsey Graham earlier today say that very thing, right. He's eluding to the fact the next president ...
HOOVER: It's not even, you know, but it's not even about that. I mean, it's not like, "Oh, if we all get on board right now, we'll be able to do it." Because there's so much damages have been done and if you really, if look at the demographics, if you look at the states, if you look at the statistics, if you look at all of the things Republicans need to do at least to hit that watermark that Mitt Romney had and then do better.
This is almost insurmountable. I mean, it's really inconceivable to see how Trump pulls this together. It's totally beyond, you know, most of our imagination than we've ever imagined Trump. But we're dealing with a different set of factor now.
HIGBIE: He can win.
LEMON: With the time that we have left, let's talk about the Never- Trump Movement. Here is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), HOUSE SPEAKER: So it is not my job to tell delegates what to do, what not to do or to weigh in on things like that. They write the rules, they make their decisions.
LEMON: So it's -- this unbinding of delegates is that possible?
HOOVER: This is -- I mean, what so extraordinary about this is that you have the highest elected Republican in the United States basically giving delegates a pass to not vote for the nominee of their party. He's had a conscience clear. You know, it used (ph) to vote your conscience that means do whatever you want.
PRESTON: She's right. She's -- I mean she's absolutely right and the fact that Paul Ryan is, again, the Speaker of the House trying to get anything through Congress right now is now everyday being asked the same question over and over again.
You know, do you still support Donald Trump, because he does. He himself supports Donald Trump and says he will vote for him, but everyday he's being asked by reporters.
HOOVER: And he's trying to get a major substantive legislative agenda through and then policy agenda through.
LEMON: Does that hurt Carl to hear that? HIGBIE: He is key. Paul Ryan is tearing the Republican Party apart, not Donald Trump. Donald Trump has been doing the same thing.
[23:55:03] HOOVER: Wow, I could not disagree with you more. I really ...
HIGBIE: Paul Ryan needs to get ...
LEMON: You were doing so well today.
HIGBIE: Yeah, I know. But here -- the reality of it is Paul Ryan needs to understand that the Republican Party is reinventing itself with Donald Trump and he needs to get on board with that.
HOOVER: No. But, no, no, what you need to understand about Paul Ryan ...
HIGBIE: Not entirely but in 73, 70 percent Paul Ryan, 30 percent Trump and they get it ...
HOOVER: No, no, let's just be clear. I mean, you and I both know it was a plurality of Republican primary voters who got Trump to his position not a majority. And what Paul Ryan is doing, what everybody should know is Paul Ryan is putting a substantive agenda through Congress right now.
He's unveiling it everyday. He's about two major pillars, six pillars. Every week he has -- focuses on two new areas, regulatory reform, economic reform, poverty, really an agenda that can stand in contrast to the inanity that's being spewed by the Republican nominee.
And what we need to see is what Republican stand for if it's not Trump, because everybody else is thinking that's what Republicans have become?
LEMON: 10 seconds.
HOOVER: And Paul Ryan is trying to show ...
LEMON: I'll let you have the last word.
HOOVER: ... that we are substantive and we are coming up with solutions for America.
HIGBIE: Paul Ryan has to understand that if he doesn't get on board and work with the new Republican Party that he might loses the Congress.
HIGBIE: He might lose in the Congress.
HOOVER: If Donald Trump is going lose the Congress ...
HIGBIE: I don't think so.
LEMON: And he's back, Carl Higbie. There we go. Thanks everyone.
HIGBIE: Thank you very much.
LEMON: We'll be right back.
LEMON: That's it for us tonight. Thank you so much for watching. I'll see you right back here tomorrow night.
Fareed Zakaria's "WHY THEY HATE US" starts right now.