Return to Transcripts main page


New Details About Brutal Orlanda Massacre; Where is Donald Trump's Money Going?; Donald Trump Courts Evangelicals and Questions Hillary Clinton's Faith. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired June 21, 2016 - 22:00   ET


[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: New questions tonight about the worst terror attack in this country since 9/11. Plus, Trump and Clinton go head to head on money and god.

This is "CNN Tonight". I'm Don Lemon.

We're learning more tonight about the brutal Orlando rampage massacre, rampage shooting. Investigators say the gunman was inside the Pulse Nightclub hours before the attack, leaving, and then returning two hours later. But we don't know where he was or what he did during that time.

Meanwhile on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton hits Donald Trump where he lives with money.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We cannot put a person like this with all his empty promises in a position of power over our lives. We can't let him bankrupt America like we are one of his failed casinos.


LEMON: And Trump tells a group of Evangelicals this.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: What you really have to do is you have to pray to get everybody out to vote for one specific person.


LEMON: A big day out on the campaign trail. Let's get right to it. Senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta, global analyst, Rana Foroohar, and CNN politics executive editor, Mark Preston.

I think it's an understatement to say it's a big day on the campaign trail. Hello, Jim Acosta.


LEMON: It's good to have you here. ACOSTA: Good to be here

LEMON: Hey, can we talk about this. I want to talk -- this is a day after he fired his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Let me put these numbers up before you respond.


LEMON: CNN's new poll out showing Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump 47 to 42 percent, that's not a huge margin.


LEMON: Almost within the margin of error. But tonight, here's how he responded. Take a listen to this.


TRUMP: I have been brutalized by the press for three weeks, and she has had the best week she's ever had and there's very little difference in the polls.


LEMON: It's not the first one that shows him trailing.


LEMON: Are the controversial remarks catching up, histrionics?

ACOSTA: Well, that is the message coming from the campaign that, "Hey, look, you know, we've had this rough few weeks but I'm only seven points down in the polls or five points down in the polls."

And you know what, they do kind of have a point, but when Donald Trump says the press has been beating up on me for the last few weeks, I mean, let's just dispense with that for a moment. These are all self- inflicted wounds that Donald Trump has been dealing with ...

LEMON: Not to Trump supporters.

ACOSTA: ... these past few weeks.

LEMON: Although, the media hates him.

ACOSTA: And you know, and perhaps they stopped some of the bleeding yesterday with the firing of Corey Lewandowski. I talked to several Trump advisers today, campaign sources today, who said, you know what. This is going to sort of open up the floodgates.

We've needed to hire communication staff, now we can hire communication staff. And you notice this evening the Trump campaign put out this e-mail saying we've hired this certain people to do, you know, high-level jobs within the campaign.

And we've been told that these positions were being filled and this was in the works while Corey Lewandowski was in charge. But, Don, I have to tell you, I have not seen a volume of e-mails coming from this campaign that I've seen today.


ACOSTA: We've gotten more e-mails coming from this campaign today than I've seen throughout the entire course of this campaign, all offering sort of a rebuttal of this speech from Hillary Clinton earlier today, and then responding to her speech acting like -- and Mark Preston knows this from covering campaigns -- acting like a real presidential campaign. So, the post-Corey effect appears to be up and running.

LEMON: Was Corey stopping all of this? Was he the ...

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: So, the big -- talk about inside politics, right, at its best, but really like intrigue, right. This is palace intrigue ...

LEMON: Yeah, it is.

PRESTON: ... that we're talking right now. You have Corey Lewandowski who really did help Donald Trump win the Republican Primary. Anyone says any different is lying.

However, you needed a change at the top, and they had brought in Paul Manafort who is this longtime Republican operative to come in and try to develop strategy for a general election, and then you had these two gentlemen butting heads.

And what do they say, proximity is power? Corey Lewandowski was always right next to Donald Trump.

LEMON: He had Donald Trump to his ear.

PRESTON: That's true.

LEMON: Yes. So, every time I went to Trump Tower almost all the time he was there ...


LEMON: ... with Donald Trump in his office and was a person who came down and would invite us up or what have you. Let me put up another poll here, this is Quinnipiac University also published a three battleground state poll, Florida, Hillary Clinton now beats Donald Trump 47 to 39, in Ohio, it's dead even, in Pennsylvania, she beats him by one, so it's called dead heat.

So, those are the key -- those are key to -- wins for either candidate, right? If Trump loses Florida, can he win in November?

ACOSTA: No, he can't, and I think the state poll numbers are almost more important than these national numbers.

LEMON: Really? ACOSTA: We're going to see that national number fluctuate from time to time but if he can't win Florida, Ohio and -- I mean, Pennsylvania has always been fool's gold for Republicans. That's a very difficult state. They think they can put it in play and perhaps his different brand, his different style of voter can put that state in play.

But if you lose Ohio, if you lose Florida, it's over. You don't win by popular vote. You win by electoral vote. This is the United States. The guy with the most votes doesn't always win.

LEMON: So, you think they are realizing now that it's -- I mean, it's actually not a popularity contest. I mean, you think that -- yes.

RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: It's not a -- I was fascinated by how close things are in Ohio still because Ohio is really the key economic battleground in a lot of ways.

[22:05:02] You know, Ohio is where you've got the rust belt voter, working class white man who, you know, hasn't had a raise in real terms since 1968.

LEMON: And that's a Trump supporter you say, right?

FOROOHAR: That's the Trump supporter. That's the people that Hillary needs to be speaking to. And you know, she did frankly, I think a pretty good job today kind of laying out some of the problems in his economic message. But now she needs to, in the next stage, bring a really inspirational message to some of those people ...

LEMON: Right.

FOROOHAR: ... to get them excited about, you know, why should they care about her.

LEMON: You mentioned her message today. Listen, she hit him on his business acumen today. Take a look at this.


CLINTON: Donald Trump has said he's qualified to be president because of his business record. A few days ago he said, and I quote, "I'm going to do for the country what I did for my business."

So, let's take a look at what he did for his business. He's written a lot of books about business. They all seem to end at chapter 11. And over the years, he intentionally ran up huge amounts of debt on his companies and then he defaulted.

He bankrupted his companies not once, not twice but four times. Hundreds of people lost their jobs. Shareholders were wiped out. Contractors, many of them small businesses, took heavy losses. Many went bust but Donald Trump he came out fine.


LEMON: So, his business success is the centerpiece of his pitch, right, of why he should be president, but do you think people are going to be taking a second look? Is she causing people to take a second look at ...

FOROOHAR: I think so.

LEMON: ... his business acumen here and how he's run his businesses?

FOROOHAR: Oh, yes. I mean, in this day and age anybody that says I like to play with debt, you know, I'm great at debt. I don't think that message resonates at all, you know.

ACOSTA: That's awkward.

FOROOHAR: It's very -- I mean, it's very -- the chapter 11 remark was I think one of the best ones of the speech, and, you know, you look at this guy's record. He's trying to position himself as the anti-Wall Street candidate, right? I mean, he's a completely a creature of Wall Street, highly leveraged real estate deals, bankrupt four times. I think that she made some serious points there.

LEMON: One more clip about national debt. Listen to this.


CLINTON: He calls himself the king of debt, and his tax plan sure lives up to that name. According to the Independent Tax Policy Center it would increase the national debt by more than $30 trillion over 20 years. That's trillion with a "t".

It's much, much more than any nominee of either party has ever proposed. And economists describe it with words like "not even in the universe of the realistic".

And how would he pay for all this debt? Well, he said, and I quote, "I would borrow knowing if the economy crashed you could make a deal."

It's like he said you know you make a deal before you go into a poker game. Well, actually it's not like that at all. The full faith and credit of the United States is not something we just gamble away.


LEMON: Rana.


LEMON: Rana, excuse me, I want to ask you this because you're an economic analyst.


LEMON: He backed -- Trump did backpedal on defaulting on the debt and the fact that the U.S. could print more money.


LEMON: I mean, is his economic policies as dangerous as Hillary Clinton is making them out to be?

FOROOHAR: They are pretty dangerous. I mean, you know, the analyst she's quoting is a pretty middle of the road person. A lot of people see his plan, what he's released of it, and there hasn't been enough detail as kind of Reagonomics on steroids.

You know, you're talking about major tax cuts, a lot of them accruing to the wealthiest but no real areas of spending cut, so that means that you have to take on more debt to run the government, that, you know, causes the deficit exactly what happened in the Reagan era.

But then you've got this kind of weird mix of populism on top of it that sort of anti-trade rhetoric, and the fact is that global markets have no idea how he would react in a crisis. I think, you know, Thursday's vote on Brexit in the U.K. is actually going to be an interesting moment because if there were a market-moving event that might actually be a good moment for Hillary Clinton to seem like a safer pair of hands relatively speaking. I mean, being in ...

ACOSTA: And Donald Trump is heading over to Scotland by the way ....


ACOSTA: ... at the end of this week.

PRESRON: He'll be there ...

ACOSTA: He'll be over this.

LEMON: He has of course got new golf course that he's ...

PRESTON: Yes. Another one of his businesses.

LEMON: OK. Let's talk about the debt thing, Jim.


LEMON: I have one more question because here's what he tweeted. He said, he has called himself the king of debt and said that he loved debt. But today, after Clinton attacked him he responded by tweeting, "I am the king of debt. That has been great for me as a businessman, but it is bad for the country. I made a fortune off the debt, will fix U.S."

So, now he's backing away from his embrace of the debt as a businessman. I mean, is it ...


LEMON: ... is that going to hurt him?

[22:10:00] ACOSTA: Well, there are a couple of things and I can hear the talking points from the White House echoing in my ears for my days coming to White House. They will say time and again that this president, President Obama has cut the deficit, you know, like no president has done before since Bill Clinton. And so they feel like the Democrats are pretty safe, Hillary Clinton is pretty safe in that regard.

I mean, Donald Trump trying to make the economy an issue in this campaign, but Don, I'm not convinced that voters going to be voting with there pocketbooks this fall, the unemployment rate is going to be under 5 percent more than likely. I mean that is a very good economic barometer for the Democrats.

FOROOHAR: The wages are still so flat.

ACOSTA: Wages ...

FOROOHAR: I think that that's the problem, you know.

ACOSTA: ... wages are still stagnant. That's true.

FOROOHAR: You know you've got -- and that's actually where Hillary could scores some point in her next few speeches because the nature the labor market has changed ...

LEMON: Yeah.

FOROOHAR: ... you know, we've got low unemployment, we just don't have any wage growth because there's service jobs -- cheap, you know, cheap just jobs, not the kind that we had in the '90s.

LEMON: But from having sat here and listen to else's talking points, I can hear them saying, but that's not the real unemployment rate. The real unemployment rate is here ...

ACOSTA: Well, and Donald Trump just like to say that.

LEMON: Yeah.

ACOSTA: But, you know, the thing I do find very interesting about that Quinnipiac poll ...


ACOSTA: ... for Hillary Clinton not to be doing better than Donald Trump in Ohio.

FOROOHAR: Yes, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

LEMON: Yeah.

ACOSTA: You know, big economic bellwether, big industrial state and Mark remembers in the 2012 campaign, Obama versus Romney. It all came down to Ohio. It seems that the ...

FOROOHAR: But you know, trade is as huge issue in Ohio hand that can be weak point for her because she has to grapple with Bill Clinton's ...

PRESTON: But surprisingly, it surprisingly in our CNN/ORC poll today she actually does better on the issue of trade which I was very surprised nationally especially seeing that she got beat up in a pretty well.

LEMON: So, she hit him today. He's promising to hit her tomorrow with a big speech. Take us forward.

PRESTON: Right. Well, look, I mean I don't think it's anything we're not used to hearing anyway. He's already said he's putting out a website called


PRESTON: Yes. It's one thing to do that. And it's one thing as a ...

ACOSTA: As it is working earlier this evening.

PRESTON: ... it is one thing for a political operative to put that out to try to take down a candidate. It's another thing to have one of the candidates put that out to try to take down his rival, and that's what we're seeing here.

Listen, he's going to head over to Scotland, but tomorrow he's just going to go out, it's going to be the same rhetoric over and over again, but guess what? His rhetoric is still working.

I mean, the fact of the matter is if you look at our polling numbers, he is still held higher on the question of honesty and trustworthiness, OK, and that's what he will hit her hard tomorrow. The American public still think that he is more honest and trustworthy than Hillary Clinton is. That is her Achilles' heel.

ACOSTA: And if he can ratchet up those negatives, I mean, Don, this is boiling down to being a barf bag election. It is the -- it is a competition between who is the least unpopular.

LEMON: Have you heard that before? I mean, did you just ...

ACOSTA: I think I just made that up.

LEMON: Did you just coin that? I think you should trademark that. Thank you very much.

FOROOHAR: Thank you.

ACOSTA: Sorry to end it that way.

LEMON: No. We enjoyed it.

ACOSTA: All right.

LEMON: I'm sure the people at home may not, but I did. Thank you, Jim. Thank you, Rana. Thank you very much, Mark.

When we come right back, Donald Trump says he is happy to use his own money in the campaign, but wait until you hear exactly where the money is going.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [22:16:31] LEMON: Donald Trump says he's worth more than $10 billion. He says he's happy to use his own money to pay for his campaign, but where exactly is that money going?

Drew Griffin does the math for us.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: He is famously rich, famously boastful and from the very beginning of this campaign, he made sure everyone knew Donald Trump would be like no other candidate in the race.

TRUMP: Because I don't need anybody's money. It's nice. I don't need anybody's money. I'm using my own money.

GRIFFIN: Donald Trump may be using his own money, but he's also spending a lot of that money on Donald Trump. In one of the odder twists in an ever odder campaign, the candidate who owns jets, resorts, hotels and office buildings is apparently making sure that's the very jets, resorts, hotels and office buildings his campaign is using.

TRUMP: Nobody's going to be taking care of me. I don't want anybody's money.

GRIFFIN: Newly released Federal Election Commission expenditures show Donald Trump, the candidate, has been spending millions on Donald Trump the businessman, and it's all perfectly legal.

Trump's campaign has paid Trump's tag air $4.6 million to use the Trump jet, Trump's Mar-a-Lago Resort, well, that's been paid for, $123,000, Trump restaurants, $133,000. It goes on and on.

Tens of thousands to Trump golf courses, thousands to Trump hotels, even $3,900 to son Eric Trump's winery. Altogether, it adds up to about $6.3 million, roughly 10 percent of Trump's campaign spending is on, well, businesses run, operated or owned by the candidate himself, Donald Trump.


GRIFFIN: What is true, Don, is Donald Trump has self-financed most of this campaign by loaning his campaign his own money. Now will he eventually end up profiting on his campaign for president? Unless he releases those tax returns way down the road, we may never know. Don?

LEMON: Drew Griffin, thank you very much for that. Here to discuss all of this, Timothy O'Brien, the executive editor of Bloomberg View, William Cohan, the author of "The Price of Silence," and Stephen Miller, senior adviser to Donald Trump.

Good evening, gentlemen. Thank you so much for being here. So, as you just heard, Stephen, as much as 10 percent, some say up to 17 percent of Donald Trump's campaign spending is going back to Trump businesses. So, is he lending his campaign money and then a good portion of what the campaign spends goes back to him, is that right?

STEPHEN MILLER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISOR: Well, he's already said that he's not going to repay the loan, but, of course you're going to spend money on your own facilities if you're visiting a place where you have a facility.

How crazy would it be to go to Palm Beach, Florida for an event and then not stay in the hotel that you own. That would be very wasteful because obviously you're going to be able to get a better deal at your own properties.

LEMON: But he hasn't filed that with the FEC saying that he's going to forgive the loan.

MILLER: But he's already done the interview and answered the question, so that's already been set.

LEMON: But he saw as another filing, he said that he's going to do it?

MILLER: No, he said that -- he said that he's not going to repay the loans. So, that's already so.

LEMON: So, why not file with the FEC if he said that?

MILLER: I believe that he either has already or will.

LEMON: OK. All right. So, but how far he's lagging behind the fund raising, do you think he can attract more donations from people if they see that his money is going back to Donald Trump as much as 17 percent to going back to his own property?

[22:20:03] Do you think that's going to hurt him with the attraction of more money?

MILLER: Well, actually, I think it's the opposite. I think that the extent to which the campaign has been extraordinarily frugal makes it a more attractive investment for people.

I mean, if you compare -- and this is I think everybody agrees on -- in the primary we spent the least amount of money and got the best result. And I think everybody agrees that we've shown that we can have a more efficient campaign operation.

Now, if you look at where a lot of money will go in the future, obviously advertising would be a big chunk of that. And another thing that we're doing differently is we're putting more scrutiny on people who are involved with polling, involved with advertising, involved with all aspects of the campaign. We're just running a much tighter ship than people are used to.

LEMON: William, is this -- do you look at this as a frugal campaign as Stephen says and, you know, because again, I said, he hasn't filed with the FEC that he's going to forgive the loan, he said he is but ... WILLIAM COHAN, AUTHOR, "THE PRICE OF SILENCE": You know, look, he's gotten -- I don't know what the numbers -- $2 billion of free advertising, free T.V. time. I assume that will continue during the general election and Hillary Clinton will get a lot of that, too.

You know, I'm not certain that I feel like Donald is as good a businessman as he'd like us to believe. I mean, there's the four bankruptcies. I don't feel like this campaign -- maybe it's lean, but when you find that you only have like $1.5 million in your coffers at this stage of the campaign, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

And, again, we've said this before on this show, I mean, he claims he's worth $10 billion or $11 billion. We have no idea what he's really worth. Whether he hasn't left -- he hasn't released his tax returns, he certainly hasn't released anything that looks like business projections that one could do a discounted cash flow of and try to figure out what he's worth.

So, I mean, I think as usual he's very good at the bluster and very good at making people think he's very important and very successful but I'm not -- I don't really see that it's really there.

LEMON: These filings raise these new questions, Tim, about Trump's financial situation and you have seen Trump's tax returns previously, right ...


LEMON: ... but you can't discuss directly what's in those tax returns, right?

O'BRIEN: I can discuss generally why I think it matters to the American public that he releases his tax returns. I think one thing I'd like to note earlier when Steve was saying that Trump's been very frugal in his spending.

We actually have no evidence yet that he's been frugal. All we know is that he's paid his own properties to use his properties but we don't know whether or not he paid market rates or above market rates ...

MILLER: Oh, what I mean is that he's spent less ...


O'BRIEN: Until there's more -- until there's more disclosure ...

LEMON: Let him finish ...


MILLER: He's talking about Trump's business record.


LEMON: Stop, stop, stop. When both of you speak, the audience gets nothing out of it.

MILLER: He's directing the question to me.

LEMON: OK. So, let him finish his statement and then you'll get a chance to respond to it. Finish your statement.

O'BRIEN: I think until there's more disclosure from the Trump campaign, we don't really know whether or not this is frugal spending. When it comes to the tax returns, Donald Trump can settle a lot of issues about people's concerns about what his income really is, about how robust his businesses really are, whether or not he could really self-fund a campaign by releasing his tax returns. It's a very easy thing to do which he hasn't done yet.

LEMON: Now let him respond. Go ahead, Stephen.

MILLER: I don't know where to start. There's always kind of -- there's a sort of comical fixation from the two of you on these subject matters that you just go on and on about all the time and I don't really understand why. But the reason it's frugal is because he spent less money on their campaign

It's not a complicated equation. You add up how much money he spent and you compare that to other campaigns, so that should answer your question. As for your whole ...

O'BRIEN: What about the free advertising?

MILLER: ... your whole ...

O'BRIEN: But that doesn't answer ...

MILLER: No, no, no. I took care of you. With respect to what you were saying, you can go into the world and touch and see and experience the amazing properties that he has stretched all across this country and all across the world.

You can you go visit Turnberry in Scotland. You can go and look at Trump Tower. You can go and look at Mar-a-Lago. One of the most exceptional ...


COHAN: One thing that New Yorkers know ...

MILLER: ... properties in the face of the earth.

LEMON: All right.

MILLER: I think, no. I think it's important, I think it's important to say these are wonderful, amazing buildings that he's built, that people live their lives. They have their businesses. They live out their dreams. They make memories. They raise families.


LEMON: What does that have to -- what does that have to do with what we're talking about?

MILLER: The point is that these are iconic, world-class properties.

LEMON: But what does that have to do with what we're talking about?


MILLER: And to listen to these people talk these buildings aren't even real, they're imaginary and the plane is imaginary. Everything is imaginary.

O'BRIEN: But what you're not addressing is why doesn't he just release the tax returns? He's got an opportunity right now to simply disclose ...


MILLER: Such a surreal debate. I don't even -- honestly, I don't even know why we're talking about this, why we're not talking about ISIS or immigration or the economy or anything else.


O'BRIEN: Oh, because we're in the moment right now where ...



LEMON: OK. Stand by ...

MILLER: No, you two are so fascinated on this you can talk about it off camera.

LEMON: ... stand by, stand by both of you. Stand by both of you. Donald Trump talking about his tax returns, listen.


DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Will you reveal your taxes to the American people before the election?

TRUMP: As soon as the audit is done. I'm under a routine audit. I've been audited many, many years in a row. There are audits that go and they are routine and by the way, you don't learn very much, if anything, from a tax return. I filed ...

MUIR: But it's all in your tax rate.

TRUMP: No, but I filed papers with the Federal Elections. Now, when the audit is complete, 100 percent, I don't care. A lot of people haven't filed their tax returns. A lot of people haven't given their tax returns ...

MUIR: What if they audit ...

TRUMP: ... prior to a number of these ...

MUIR: ... what if that audit is after election day? Is there a chance that your tax return will ...

[22:25:00] TRUMP: I don't know that it will be. I hope it's not. But you know what, if it's before I give my tax returns, I have no problem with it.

MUIR: There's a chance we're going to see them.

TRUMP: There would be a chance. But I think it would probably be done before. It's very routine. But there would certainly be a chance.


LEMON: So, I think it's fair to say that any candidate who says I am a great businessman, I'm going to rescue this company because of my business acumen, this country economically because of my business acumen. But yet, and still I'm not going to show you the health of my businesses, how I make my money, how much taxes I'm paying. I think that that is being hypocritical. And the American people want to know if he is what who he says he is. That's not too much to ask.

O'BRIEN: It's a 40-year tradition.

LEMON: That's not too much to ask when that's a centerpiece of why he's running for president of the United States.

MILLER: If you want to have a conversation about transparency, then we can talk about the most ...

LEMON: We're talking about Donald Trump now.

MILLER: ... unbelievably lacking in transparent candidate in history in Hillary Clinton.

LEMON: Stephen, we're talking about Donald Trump now. We will discuss Hillary Clinton.

MILLER: No, but here's the thing, though. I mean let's ...

LEMON: No, no, no. I want you to answer my question. You don't think that it's fair to ask ...

MILLER: I think that he's already ...

LEMON: ... if someone is running on their business acumen to save America ...

MILLER: I think that ...

LEMON: ... economically that he won't show his wealth, don't you think that's hypocritical?

MILLER: He has. That's what the financial disclosure is. And if Congress in its wisdom chooses to change the rules of what the financial disclosures include, it doesn't include then they can do so. But that is the record of his business finance and he's answered the question ...

LEMON: So he's not ....

O'BRIEN: It's not in the record ...

COHAN: It's not that.

MILLER: I understand -- I don't -- I understand that this is a deeply important issue to both of you, more important than anything else in the whole country.

COHAN: No, it's actually -- it's important to voters, Stephen.

MILLER: But the ...

COHAN: He said he's worth $10 billion.

LEMON: It's important for anyone who is running for president of the United States.

MILLER: Right, but the question has been asked and answered so many times.

O'BRIEN: It hasn't been answered.

LEMON: It has not been answered.

MILLER: Yes, it has been.

O'BRIEN: The simple answer is release the tax returns. That hasn't been answered.

MILLER: You two should get a show together you can call it -- we talk about Donald Trump's taxes all day long while ISIS is marauding across the world.

O'BRIEN: I think that the larger issues ...


MILLER: Are you two brothers, are you cousins? I don't understand why the two of you ...


O'BRIEN: It's his financial -- it's his financial wherewithal.

MILLER: I mean, honestly ...

LEMON: One at a time, please.

MILLER: It's just the level of obsession here is unhealthy, guys. It's just I'm telling you on a personal level, as a friend, it's getting unhealthy, guys.

COHAN: It's not unhealthy. It's not unhealthy.

MILLER: No ...

LEMON: But the whole basis ...

MILLER: No, you're asking the question about taxes is fine, but the sclerotic focus on no Donald Trump is not worth 10, we think it's 7, we think it's 9. It's not healthy.


O'BRIEN: We're talking about his track records as a business operator.

MILLER: Guys, guys, guys.

O'BRIEN: He's now running ...

LEMON: One at a time, please.

O'BRIEN: He's running -- he's running ...

MILLER: Calm down on this stuff.

LEMON: One at a time, Stephen, please.

O'BRIEN: He's running a campaign right now where there's very little disclosure, he doesn't have a ground operation, his accounting ...

MILLER: Everything that's required by law to disclose is being disclosed.

LEMON: All right.

O'BRIEN: ... his accounting is -- his accounting is problematic ...

LEMON: Let's take a breath.

O'BRIEN: ... and he's running out of money.

LEMON: And on the other side of the break we'll continue this. We'll be right back.


[22:31:41] LEMON: All right. We're back now discussing Donald Trump stepping up his fund-raising efforts today, but is it too late, too little too late? And maybe he can do it. Back with me now, Tim O'Brien, William Cohan, and Stephen Miller.

Stephen Miller, I certainly know that you said you think that he can do it. He had a fundraiser tonight in New York City, right, at Le Cirque. You guys said that you were -- you got caught in the traffic. He said he's planning to match dollar for dollar over the next 48 hours up to $2 million foreign donations. So, in this primary season though, do you think that he should have been building a, you know, a network of smaller donors like Bernie Sanders has been building, or has he actually been doing that and we don't know about it?

MILLER: You know, we put together a pretty robust fund-raising operation and we selected an amazing finance chair, Steven Mnuchin to head the whole operation who is one of the brightest financial minds in the country.

And so, I think we're going to see some amazing results, but the great luxury that I have is that I get to focus on policy. And I think most of the American people are interested in the policy issues in this race and I think a fund-raising is rather dry details.

And I hope that their -- that the decision that we make in this country, in fact, I know the decision we'll make in this country will be about issues.

LEMON: You know, I don't disagree with that. I think you're right. People are -- should be more concerned about policy, but also your candidate needs money to stay in the race. And if he has $1.3 million on hand comparatively to Hillary Clinton's $40 some million that he's going to need, you don't think that's important to discuss how he's going to raise money?

MILLER: Well, right now -- right now he's been ...

O'BRIEN: You have to win a campaign before you make policy. So it's about ...

MILLER: We all agree not to talk about policy then for the next few months, apparently, under your reasoning.

LEMON: No, we will talk about policy, but, I mean, you just can't -- you can't change the subject. Money in the campaign is very important. Come on, Stephen.

MILLER: Right. But the premise is false.

LEMON: He's right.

MILLER: The ...

LEMON: You have to stay in the race in order to win it. In order to stay in the race you have to have money so that you can get your policy across to get into the White House.

O'BRIEN: And the reality is he had a -- Trump had a free ride in the primary season. He's got a lot of freebies ...

MILLER: Yes, it was a free ride in which he made history in America and Western civilization and changed the course of politics forever and gave hopeless people hope for the first time in many, many years. Yes, that's not anything remarkable at all. You're right. O'BRIEN: That's all well and good. So ...

MILLER: But ...

LEMON: Hang on, hang on, hang on.

MILLER: ... but to your question though ...

LEMON: In order to achieve what he wants to do to give those people hope, he's got to stay in the race until November and it's going to take millions upon millions of dollars to do that.

MILLER: Right. But ...

O'BRIEN: And it's really -- it's really not ...

LEMON: Hang on. Hold on, please.


LEMON: So then how does he do that?

MILLER: It's a simple factual issue. Right now we're focusing on raising money for the party through the RNC, through the joint fundraising account which is not only about our campaign, it's that all the campaign it's down ballot which is an important thing for the party right now and we're proud to be doing that. So, just a simple factual correction there about where the fundraising efforts have been focused.

LEMON: So, the fundraising efforts have been focused on down ballot rather than Donald Trump?

MILLER: They've been focused on -- they've been focused on raising money with the RNC, a joint fundraising account which lifts up the whole Republican Party because politics like the economy are rising title of all those.

LEMON: So, every single person that I have heard today, I've read today, said that the Trump campaign has an issue with raising money. You're going to be the first person to come on to say that there is no money raising issue with the Trump campaign?

MILLER: Right. I've been sort of watching T.V., it's been sort of comical because, you know, everyday we're doing this fundraisers, not every day ...


MILLER: ... but every week we're doing these fundraisers and the money is going into the account and everything is going swimmingly.

LEMON: Ed Rollins is a top strategist for Great America PAC, which is a pro-Trump Super PAC, all right? And he said this to the Washington Post about Trump's fundraising. He said Trump is, "he says "now looking into the abyss." And then he goes on to say "He can't either start writing checks and selling some -- he can either start writing checks or selling some buildings and golf courses or get on the phone to talk to donors.

[22:35:07] Big donors just don't want to give money unless they have the opportunity to talk to the candidate. Hear what your positions are. There's just been -- "sorry, it's hard to read this. "There's been a failure from start to finish on the fundraising side."

So, I mean, this is not coming from a, you know, a never Trump person. This is a pro-Trump guy who is admitting -- who has a Super PAC. His job is to raise money. He's saying there's an issue. You're telling me no, everything is rosy. There is no issue.

MILLER: Well, as based on what you just told me it is possible somebody watching CNN all day could get the wrong impression.

LEMON: Which is what? What's the wrong impression? Come on, Stephen. Don't come on and be smug and cute and try to lie to me. There is a problem raising money and you are saying the same ...

MILLER: No, it's just ...

LEMON: ... everything is hunky dory. And this guy, that's his job to raise money and he said he can't raise money.

MILLER: Well, remember, you know that we can't coordinate with Super PACs, and so that limits the conversations that occur especially about of course on issues of finances.

But, no, I have endless respect for you and I have endless respect for the network. I'm just saying that is sometimes there can be, as you know, an echo chamber in politics and an idea that is incorrect can get repeated enough times that it takes on the norm of altruism.

LEMON: OK. Again, I don't disagree with you on that, but it's simple arithmetic, and if you -- where's the money? So if you look at the bottom line, what the Trump campaign sent out last night is that they raised $3 million, they had $1.3 million on hand. That's not echo chamber, that's not fiction, that's the reality coming from the Trump campaign.

When you look at the Hillary Clinton campaign, that's what they have, $42 million on hand, $52 million on Super PAC. Donald Trump raised $500,000 from his Super PAC. You're telling me those numbers aren't reality and that this is some ...

MILLER: I'm just telling you ...

LEMON: ... echo chamber that we're making this up on CNN?

MILLER: I'm just telling you that we've been raising money for the RNC's joint fundraising account.

LEMON: So then where is it, how much did he raise? Where is it?

MILLER: The -- yes, I don't work in fundraising so I'm not going to have the exact numbers to show you.

LEMON: So, how can you come on television and tell me ...

MILLER: Because I know where the money is being raised.

LEMON: But then how come you don't know how much it is if you know -- that it's been raised?

MILLER: Because I have the great privilege of being able to focus on policy in this campaign and don't do fundraising which is a completely different animal.

O'BRIEN: What's the ballpark figure, how much did he raises at ballpark figure roughly?

MILLER: Based on your conversation this evening I feel like you're not going to be the first person I'm going to be briefing on that, but the -- I assume as much as you have our best interest at heart.

O'BRIEN: But I mean, what is the ballpark figure?

MILLER: I just -- the conversation does feel a bit surreal to me and I understand that everybody is very focused on this, but the fundraising picture is fine, the projections are fabulous.


COHAN: Now you sound like Donald himself.


COHAN: I mean, he entered this campaign saying he was a great businessman and there's no evidence of it.


MILLER: I'm just telling you, everyone watching at home is asking this one question why on earth are they still talking about this. I guarantee you.

COHAN: Because he's asking people at home to donate their money.

MILLER: I'm just telling you.

LEMON: OK. I'll tell you. Because Donald Trump is running for president.

COHAN: Right.

LEMON: And this is what happens when you run for president.

MILLER: And I welcome the chance to talk about fundraising, but I hope we also get the chance to talk about the issue that affect the lives of working people in this country.

LEMON: OK. Very well. Thank you. You're going to come back and we'll continue this. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Then we come right back, Donald Trump courts Evangelicals and questions Hillary Clinton's faith. What did he tell them today about his opponent? That's next.


[22:42:08] LEMON: Donald Trump making a big push today for Evangelical, the Evangelical vote, but are they on the same page with the candidate?

Here to discuss is Dana Loesh, author of "Flyover Nation".

DANA LOESCH, "FLYOVER NATION" AUTHOR: Right here. Yes, I'll grabbed that, there you go.

LEMON: There is it right there "Flyover Nation: You can't run a country you've never been to", all right, and Bakari Sellers, formerly the South Carolina House of Representatives and he is a Hillary Clinton supporter.

Good to have both of you on.

LOESCH: Thanks for having me.

LEMON: Dana, I'm going to start with you. Donald Trump spoke to a group of the Evangelicals today trying to get their support. He has spoken about his support of Planned Parenthood and parts of Planned Parenthood.

LOESCH: Right.

LEMON: He's also talked about recently supported some gay issues, gay rights. Is he on their side, or are they on his side?

LOESCH: I don't know. I would love to know. I think everybody would love to know the answer to that question.

LEMON: That's a good answer, I don't know.

LOESCH: You and I, but for the starter, we were like, is this not the craziest political cycle ever.

LEMON: It's crazy.

LOESCH: Here's the thing. I -- if there is, look, I'm all about, you know, finding common ground and people ...

LEMON: Right.

LOESCH: ... coming to terms with stuff that they've said in the past and working with the Evangelicals, what have you. I think what people are looking for and what some voters are looking for and even people who are outright Donald Trump supporters they want to have that connection. They want to hear that story that resonates with them. Why did you have this change of heart, why do you think the way that you -- why do you think the way you think on this certain issue? And I think they're waiting for him to have that moment, you know that humanizing moment ...

LEMON: And he hasn't have one, hasn't he?

LOESCH: ... because everybody knows Trump the pop culture icon. Everybody knows Trump from the "Apprentice", everybody knows him from television, and they know him from his kids. But aside from all of that, that's the brand. They want to hear more from just Trump the guy, and I think that that would go a long way and kind of help with some of that.

LEMON: But do you think the Evangelicals are behind him when he makes statements like that, when he says I'm the best for gays and, you know, and you know Planned Parenthood does some good things. So, those are sort of antithetical too.

LOESCH: Well, I know there are some issues with the Planned Parenthood stuff, but I don't know any Evangelical that would have a problem with him saying, you know, I like the gays. Who -- honestly. I'm like arm the gays right now. Arm them.

LEMON: All right. We'll discuss that. Bakari, I want you to listen to what Donald Trump said today at a meeting about Hillary Clinton's faith. Listen.


TRUMP: This is about Hillary in terms of religion. She's been in the public eye for years and years and years and yet, there's no -- there's nothing out there. It's like nothing out there. It's got to be an extension of Obama but it's going to be worse because with Obama you have your guard up, with Hillary you don't and it's going to be worse.


LEMON: So, he says there is nothing there. There's nothing there, but we have seen Hillary Clinton in probably hundreds of religious settings speaking to congregations of all faiths. What's your response to that today?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I mean, it's completely absurd and it's the type of politics that I think many Republicans are afraid of in this country is just tired of.

[22:45:00] Hillary Clinton walks by her faith. I mean, to question her religion is just beyond the pale.

I was talking to my good friend, Bern Strider, who is one of the faith and values and religious adviser and spiritual adviser and just people prayer warriors for Hillary Clinton, and I mean, just to actually say that and not have any basis for it. I mean, this woman like anybody else, like Dana, like my mom, like my wife, like anybody else, goes through ups and downs in their life and when she goes through those ups and downs she gets on her knees and she prays to her God. I mean, she is as Christian as Christian can be.

But you know what Donald Trump doesn't get? Being Christian is not about saying it, but it's about how you treat others and I don't think Hillary Clinton has to wear it on her sleeves. I think by the way that she treats others is enough.

But I mean, some things in the political realm have to be off limits, and to question somebody's religious beliefs and then throw that and juxtapose that with Barack Obama and we know what he believes Barack Obama to be, I just don't know what he's doing. And I think that this is the type of things that people thought were going to change when he fired Corey Lewandowski, but it's the same old Donald Trump.

LEMON: Before you respond, Dana, I want to ...


LEMON: ... both of the candidates talking about their religious beliefs, listen to this.


CLINTON: I feel very fortunate that I am a person of faith, that I was raised in my church and that I have had to deal and struggle with a lot of these issues. I have lived a very public life for the last 25 or so years, and so I've had to be in public dealing with some very difficult issues, and personal issues, political, public issues.

And I read "A Treatment of the Prodigal Son" parable by the Jesuit Henri Nouwen who I think is a magnificent writer of spiritual and theological concerns. And I read that parable and there was a line in it that became just a lifeline for me, and it basically is practiced the discipline of gratitude.

So, regardless of how hard the days are, how difficult the decisions are, be grateful. Be grateful for being a human being, being part of the universe. Be grateful for your limitations. Know that you have to reach out to have more people be with you to support you, to advise you. Listen to your critics. Answer the questions.

TRUMP: I see God as the ultimate. You know, you look at this, you look at this incredible -- here we are in the Pacific Ocean. How did I ever own this? I bought it 15 years ago, I made one of the great deals they say ever with this piece of land. I have no mortgage on it. I will certify and represent to you.


TRUMP: And I was able to, you know, buy this and make a great deal. That's what I want to do for the country make great deals. We have to. We have to bring it back. But God is the ultimate. I mean, God created this and, you know, here's the Pacific Ocean right behind us so nobody, no thing, no, there's nothing like God.


LEMON: What's your reaction?

LOESCH: What reaction can you have quite honestly? Here's how I like to set it.

LEMON: Because I think that your God is your personal -- that's your personal thing.

LOESCH: I think it's totally fine to question candidates about their faith. I think it's totally fair game.

LEMON: You think it is?

LOESCH: Oh, completely. Question Trump about his faith, question Hillary about her faith. I think we should be questioning them about their faith and here's why. I want to know what -- to whom do they hold themselves accountable, do they hold themselves accountable to a higher power? Is -- who do they -- do they ask for forgiveness? Do they ask for repentance? That's the thing. That's what I want to know and I think that's what voters want to see.

LEMON: What do you think he meant ...

LOESCH: You know, and let me get to this too, Don, and I wrote about this in the book "Flyover Nation". One of the things, and this is me coming at it from like "Flyover Nation", you know Christian. I go to church on Sunday. I'm a sinner. I'm not perfect. I mess up, but it's about repentance and trying not to make the same mistakes. And I think some people are going to look at what Hillary said and they are going to have difficulty reconciling that with her position on abortion

SELLERS: But, Don, if I may just quickly. I mean, we're talking about repentance and we're talking about just, you know, asking for forgiveness for your sins but you're talking about someone who has never made a mistake in their life before.

You're talking about Donald Trump who refuses to admit that he's done absolutely anything wrong, and I'm not going to sit here and question Donald Trump's faith. I'm not in any position to do that and I don't have the audacity to do that.

LOESCH: Judge them by their faith, Bakari, you agree with that ...

SELLERS: And if you feel that -- if that's an appropriate question for you to ask, then so be it, and I just think that Donald Trump was out of bounds.

And if I have to stand up here tonight and defend Hillary Clinton's faith, then I think that she does that well enough on her own, not by what she says but how she lives.

LEMON: We'll talk more about the book and more about religion, coming up. Don't go anywhere.


[22:53:30] LEMON: Back here with Dana Loesch who is the author of the new book, "Flyover Nation", and Bakari Sellers here with me as well. So, let's talk about your book, it's called "Flyover Nation: You can't run a country you've never been to". It's about political and social division in the country right now.

LOESCH: Right.

LEMON: And I think it sort -- I hope personifies this whole gun debate that people are talking -- that's being discussed now.

LOESCH: Yes, there's a chapter in there.

LEMON: So, what do you make of what's happening with this gun debate in Washington?

LOESCH: To me, I think that there's a lot of misinformation out about the issue. Look, there's common ground here. There's common ground for pro-Second Amendment advocates like myself and people who don't like the idea.

We're on the same page here. I don't want to prohibit a possessor illegally obtaining a firearm and running around with it and using it to murder innocents any more than you do or any more than anyone who support gun control does.

But here's the thing. Gun control doesn't solve that problem because it's not a gun issue. It is a hate issue. It is a heart issue. There is something wrong with people's hearts when they want to go out and mass murder people. Mass murder, that's a pretty serious crime. They're not going to be put off of committing that crime by just a simple gun law.

LEMON: But not even the type of gun that should be available, because we know people -- I mean, people are going to get their hands on guns. If you want to get your hand on a gun illegally, you probably going to get it. But you don't think that even the types of guns that should be available, you don't think that should be limited or there should be some limitations.

LOESCH: Well this already limited. I mean, National Firearms Act, you can't go out and just purchase a fully automatic firearm. You can't. Whenever they say assault weapon, that's incorrectly applied because they are talking about military grade firearms.

The AR-15 is the civilian version of the M-16.

[22:55:02] In fact, the M-16 was patterned after the AR-15, but it's semi -- it's semiautomatic.

LEMON: And the SIG Sauer.

LOESCH: It's just a high-powered 22 is what the AR-15 is. And it just looks dangerous because it's all black and it has a scope and it has things on it that people don't know what they are, and they think it looks aggressive. But they cannot go out and get fully automatic firearms. They are virtually prohibited.

LEMON: But you can get semiautomatic weapons, you can get and what is perceived what is known as an assault weapon, the SIG Sauer that he used and the AR-15, you can get that.

LOESCH: Those are semi auto, yes. But ...

LEMON: Those are semiautomatic that can kill a lot of people.

LOESCH: ... but fewer than 1.4 percent of crimes are committed with those, with rifles.


LOESCH: They are committed with handguns, and that's the big issue. It's not rifles. It's the media saturation though about these tragedies that everyone thinks that these rifles and crimes committed with them, and that's more prevalent than that point.

LEMON: And you discuss this disconnect on this issue and this issue on your book.

LOESCH: Absolutely.

LEMON: Bakari, what do you make of this conversation and what Dana said?

SELLERS: Well, I mean, I think it's very interesting because I have a concealed weapons permit. I'm, you know, I'm from the South. I have a concealed weapons permit. I go hunting. I've never known anyone to hunt or protect their home with an AR-15 or any other semiautomatic weapon. I'll throw that out there.

LOESCH: It's a common firearm for them.

SELLERS: But I do want to ask Dana one question. I want to ask Dana one simple question.


SELLERS: And we kind of got off on AR-15's and everything else, but there was a young man who was deranged, still with hate who shouldn't have got a weapon, got a weapon which was a handgun, multiple handguns and walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina ...


SELLERS: ... and murdered nine people and someone in that same situation can do the exact same thing today. So, I think we have two options. We have two options. Either we extend that loophole either we extend the days whereby ...

LOESCH: Are you asking me a question? SELLERS: I am.


SELLERS: ... either we extend the days whereby the FBI has the opportunity to perform the background check and free to whatever.

LOESCH: That's the problem right there.

SELLERS: Or we actually give the FBI the resources ...

LOESCH: That's also the problem.

SELLERS: ... to complete the background checks in those number of days.

LOESCH: Here's why.

SELLERS: So, I mean, tell me, you are going to ...

LOESCH: The FBI -- yeah, let me answer that really quickly. It's quite easy.


LOESCH: The FBI admitted that they screwed up with that. Dylan Roof was a murderous racist thug who, you're right, he shouldn't have been able to obtain a firearm. But the very system that our government tells us was designed to protect us from acts like this failed us.

James Comey, the director of the FBI came out and said, "You know what, we screwed up. It was an error on our part and if we had not made this error he wouldn't have been able to get these firearms." The government tells you, Bakari.

SELLERS: But, Dana, you're not telling the whole story.

LOESCH: That the government tells you -- let me finish my answer and I'll get the full answer out there for you the whole story.

SELLERS: Please.

LOESCH: The government tells us they are going to protect us from incidents like this, but yet, they didn't protect us in San Bernardino. That was an illegal transfer. It violated the universal background check while that was in California, it was the San Bernardino a terrorist attack, that could have been stopped, it could have been stopped if Tashfeen Malik was fully vetted.

Jared Loughner in Tucson could have been stopped. The sheriff document's office have responded to community colleges.

SELLERS: But, Dana, can we ...

LOESCH: There are notices. Here's the problem. Criminals are always going to have guns. That's not good enough argument to take mine from me, I want to be able to defend myself.

SELLERS: That's a cop top.

LOESCH: And I'm a woman.

LEMON: Quickly, Bakari.

SELLERS: That's a cop out.

LOESCH: It's not a cop out. That's a fact. The FBI screwed up.

SEWLLERS: Because what we do know if the FBI had longer, we do know that there was a pending investigation and if the FBI had longer one or two more days than those nine people to be alive.

LOESCH: If the FBI had done its job in the beginning he would have been denied and that's what James Comey said. And that's also a fact.

SELLERS: That's a fact. That's a fact, Dana. That's a fact.

LEMON: One at a time, please. One at a time.

LOESCH: They messed up, Bakari, the FBI screwed up. You're talking about giving a government agency more resources when they continue screwing up.

SELLERS: Dana, I'm going to -- Dana, the FBI had an opportunity and they were fully investigating this and they were further investigating this because it was a clerical error, and if they had more time those people would be alive.

And there is one other simple fact that you and others fail to realize. Omar Mateen was not on the terror watch list anymore and why he was not on that list we do not know.

LOESCH: Political correctness.

SELLERS: But I guarantee that there are other -- there are other Omar Mateen's on the watch list. And they do not deserve to have weapons.

LOESCH: Right. So, democrats need to open up a federal investigation and they need to bring charges because that will render them prohibitive possessors.

My step dad is on that watch list. He was detained and interrogated in Miami for two hours.

SELLERS: And you know what's amazing? Let me tell you ...

LOESCH: Thousands of innocent Americans are on that list.

SELLERS: ... you're step dad ...

LOESCH: Democrats need to bring charges and open a federal investigation.

SELLERS: ... your step dad should not be able to get a gun.

LOESCH: Because he's an American your family against.

LEMON: Let her finish.

SELLERS: Your step dad should not be able to get a gun if he's on the terrorist watch list.

LOESCH: By an error? By an error?

SELLERS: But he should have an opportunity to go and have -- should go and have ...

LEMON: Let him finish. Let him finish.

SELELRS: He should -- can I finish? Your step dad, Ted Kennedy, John Lewis, the eight-year-old, every other sad story you're going to give me should not be able to get a gun if they are on the terror ...

LOESCH: That's aren't sad stories, those are facts though.

SELLERS: Dana, if they are on the terrorist watch list until they have a probable cause hearing ...

LOESCH: By an error.

SELLERS: ... until they have a probable cause hearing, and prove that they should not be there.

LOESCH: See, that's the problem though.

SELLERS: ... because you know what?

LOESCH: You're monologuing and I'm going to get my time in. See here is the problem, Bakari with this. They're not -- they are wanting to reduce probable cause and they want to be ...

LEMON: We need to go straight to the top of the hour and take a -- and we'll take an extra break.

LOESCH: That's what they're wanting to do.

LEMON: Can we just do that, please. Just go straight to the top of the hour from here and then we'll have an extra break and then in the 11:00 show because this is an important conversation that we're having here.

OK. So, thank you, guys. Very much. I appreciate it.

LOESCH: Thank you.

LEMON: All right. Thank you very much. And by the way, it is a myth that Ted Kennedy was on the no-fly list.

LOESCH: John Lewis was on it, Nelson Mandela was on it.

LEMON: Ted Kennedy wasn't.

LOESCH: My step father was on it.

[23:00:01] LEMON: Thank you ...