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Trumps Calls Clinton a Liar; Fact-checking the Presidential Candidates; Rubio Back in for Senate Race, Not Backing Trump; Investigating Clinton Foundation Donors; Democrats Hold Sit-In To Push For Gun Control; CNN Libertarian Town Hall Minutes Away. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired June 22, 2016 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:12] BURNETT: And thank you so much for joining us. "AC 360" begins right now.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. John Berman here coming to you from high atop CNN Studio 51 whereas you can see behind me last- minute preparations are underway for tonight's Libertarian town hall.

The audience, voters, many of them undecided just now getting seated. They have come with questions for presidential nominee Gary Johnson and running mate William Weld and they will be asking them starting at the top of next hour.

First, though, those other two candidates. Donald Trump on teleprompter and on message, calling Hillary Clinton, in his words, a world class liar, and perhaps he says the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency. She took some shots at him as well today. So is this a case of the pot calling the kettle black and if so, which pot and what kettle?

A lot of fact-checking to do, a lot to talk about. First, CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash sets the stage.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An unconventional candidate making the most conventional of political moves, trying to replace talk of his own campaign turmoil and anemic fundraising with a scathing speech about his opponent.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Hillary Clinton's message is old and tired. Her message is that things can't change. My message is that things have to change.

BASH: Seven weeks after effectively becoming the Republican nominee, Donald Trump drew the contours of his pitch to voters, laying out his most cogent arguments to date.

TRUMP: The choice in this election is a choice between taking our government back from the special interests or surrendering really the last scrap of independence to the total and complete control.

BASH: New tag line and all. TRUMP: Her campaign slogan is "I'm with her." You know what my

response is to that? I'm with you, the American people.

BASH: And he replaced his preferred term, "Crooked Hillary," with this.

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton, and as you know, most people know, she's a world class liar.

BASH: Still, Trump took some of his own liberties as he painted Clinton as a liar, explicitly blaming her for the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens killed on her watch as secretary of state and falsely accusing her of allowing China to steal U.S. intellectual property.

TRUMP: We'll never be able to fix a rigged system by counting on the same people who have rigged it in the first place.

BASH: But Trump finally took the advice of many advisers and frustrated Republicans around the country who have been pleading with him to focus on Clinton and issues where she is vulnerable with voters in key battleground states like trade.

TRUMP: She has betrayed the American worker on trade at every single stage of her career and it will be even worse than the Clintons' NAFTA deal.

BASH: And his talk about Muslims was quite different this time around with no mention of his controversial proposed temporary ban on Muslim immigrants.

TRUMP: Peaceful Muslims across the world who have been terribly victimized by horrible brutality and who only want to raise their kids in peace and safety.

BASH: Most of Trump's uncharacteristically, carefully crafted remarks were aimed at Clinton, making clear he is going after her biggest weakness with voters -- honesty and trustworthiness.

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Every day we see how reckless and careless Trump is.

BASH: Just as Clinton keeps hitting Trump's soft spot with voters his temperament.

CLINTON: Just imagine if you can Donald Trump sitting in the Oval Office the next time America faces a crisis. Imagine him being in charge when your jobs and savings are at stake. Is this who you want to lead us in an emergency?


BERMAN: All right. Dana Bash joins us right now. Dana, she says he is corrupt, she says he is temperamentally unstable.

Will either of these arguments play with voters?

BASH: You know, that is going to be I think the question for the next several months until Election Day, whether or not these arguments are going to have any sway with the -- what, maybe 10 percent or 20 percent of those in the middle, who are so-called persuadable voters. Clinton campaign, they are banking on the fact that people look at Donald Trump who are not yet decided between the two of them and say, you know what, I just can't imagine him having his finger on the nuclear codes.

[20:05:01] He is banking on the fact that the anti-Washington, anti, you know, sort of anything institution if you will sentiment that rode -- that drove him in the primaries is still very much there, which is why he is saying she is a big part of the problem, you've got to get me in there. We'll see if it has an effect on that sort of small percentage in the middle.

But you know what, John, if this is any indication of what we're going to see, maybe those people who are not yet decided are just going to turn it all off because the negativity is probably going to drown everything out.

BERMAN: Yes. Uplifting campaign on both sides, not really. All right.

BASH: Not so much.

BERMAN: Dana Bash, thanks so much.

BERMAN: Now a little fact-checking, given the sheer number of claims made and allegations leveled today, a whole lot of fact-checking.

Tom Foreman joins us now with that. Tom, give us a reality check on what you saw.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that Donald Trump wanted to hit Hillary Clinton very hard over the Benghazi attacks in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died. And he did. Listen.


TRUMP: Ambassador Stevens and his staff in Libya made hundreds and hundreds of requests for security. They were desperate. They needed help. Hillary Clinton's State Department refused them all.


FOREMAN: And independent State Department investigation into all of this did say that there were requests for help and that they were inadequately addressed, but they also said no one engaged in misconduct or willfully ignored responsibilities by suggesting that nothing was done and that Hillary Clinton actively denied help to these people in Benghazi, Donald Trump really went a little bit too far here and what he had to say was basically false, John.

BERMAN: All right. Tom, Donald Trump campaigning hard on the economy, all fall, all winter, into the spring. He had some attacks on Hillary Clinton on that front as well.

FOREMAN: Yes. As Dana mentioned a moment ago he hit her on trade deals, specifically NAFTA, which was approved under her husband in 1994 and a deal to let China into the World Trade Organization in 2001. Listen.


TRUMP: We've lost nearly one-third of our manufacturing jobs since these two Hillary-backed agreements were signed.


FOREMAN: Well, first, did she back these deals? Yes, she did. She was in favor of them. And that's been a delicate area for her. But we've talked to a lot of economists who have said it's very difficult to -- establish a clear cause and effect between that and the loss of manufacturing jobs, although many people believe that is the effect. It's difficult because a lot of time has passed, we have been through a recession, there have been technological advances in addition in that time, and Trump also over-exaggerates the number just a little bit. But on the face of it, his basic statement, yes, that is mostly true, John.

BERMAN: Bernie Sanders hit her on trade, now Donald Trump doing the same. What about guns? Because Donald Trump has been talking about Hillary Clinton and the Second Amendment for weeks now.

FOREMAN: Yes, and this is one of her signature issues now. He went after this issue of the right to bear arms and specifically the kind of judges she might put on federal courts.


TRUMP: Hillary Clinton's radical judges will virtually abolish the Second Amendment.


FOREMAN: That's a big claim. What Clinton does want to do is she wants gun dealers held more accountable. She would like to see more background checks of a deeper nature and she would like to get some types of weapons limited out there. But there's just no evidence right now that she wants to virtually abolish the Second Amendment. That is false.

We have a whole lot more on all of these things, John, including our fact-checks on Hillary Clinton's speech today. You can see it all at -- John.

BERMAN: All right, Tom Foreman, thanks a lot.

And we do have a segment coming up on the Clinton Foundation, so stay tuned for that.

I want to bring in our panel right now. CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger, a New York Trump delegate John Jay LaValle, Clinton supporter, a former New York City council speaker Christine Quinn, also Dana Loesch, NRA adviser and spokesperson, conservative talk show host and author of "Fly Over Nation: You Can't Run a Country You've Never Been To."

Gloria Borger, I've been hearing from Republicans all afternoon, largely happy with Donald Trump's speech.


BERMAN: Paul Ryan spoke to Wolf Blitzer. He said he didn't watch the speech. It was interesting in itself, but Paul Ryan said he had been hearing great things from Republicans about the speech.

BORGER: Right.

BERMAN: What did they like about it?

BORGER: Well, what Donald Trump did today was something he hasn't really done before. He touched all the sweet spots for the Republican Party. He wasn't talking about mass deportation, he wasn't talking about a Muslim ban, which you know Paul Ryan has been against. He was talking about judges, which they can all agree on. He was talking about a broader appeal, creating jobs, general issues of immigration, not specifics, not the wall, we didn't hear about the wall today actually, you'll notice. But larger issues.

And he also not only questioned Hillary's trust, which Republicans agreed with him on, but he said that she was inept essentially as secretary of state, which Republicans also agree with.

[20:10:06] And then he made one other point, which is I'm change and she's not. And that has a lot of resonance out there with not only Republicans but with independent voters.

BERMAN: You know, change versus more of the same. A classic campaign argument.

BORGER: Exactly.

BERMAN: Particularly when one party is finishing two terms in the White House.

Dana Loesch, you are no Trump supporter. That's an understatement. You're also no Hillary Clinton supporter.


BERMAN: That's an understatement. Does this speech resonate with you?

LOESCH: It seemed more put together, it seemed more -- better thought out. I like Trump with the teleprompter. I do. I like Trump with the teleprompter. Teleprompters aren't necessarily bad things.

BERMAN: I use them all the time.

LOESCH: I mean, he has proven that he can speak off the cuff, and that he can speak from the heart. We've got the passion. And now we want to hear some of that substance and I think having it planned out, knowing that -- you know, knowing where you're going to go, having -- you know, just, it's a calmer. It's a calmer Trump. I think everybody can agree on that with that teleprompter, and he gets his ideas out there. And he gets the sound bites in. And that ultimately, in a sound bite culture, that's what counts.

BERMAN: This is a reigned in Donald Trump.

John, you were in the audience. We saw you sitting in the audience. The question that -- you know, that Dana is asking essentially is, can Donald Trump do this again? Is this the new Donald Trump?

JOHN JAY LAVALLE, TRUMP SUPPORTER: No, it is Donald Trump. I mean, yes, he can do it again.

BERMAN: It's not the Donald Trump we saw for the last several months.

LAVALLE: Well, you know, he hasn't used the teleprompter and the teleprompter isn't bad. It allows you to deliver your agenda and your plans in an organized manner that your supporters or those that are looking at you --

BERMAN: But it's not just the prompter.

LAVALLE: -- can understand.

BERMAN: It's no wall, it's no attack on Susana Martinez, it's no Judge Curiel comments. It's a direct message.


BERMAN: The question is, do you feel he will stay on message? And isn't the difference, you know, no Corey Lewandowski?

LAVALLE: Yes -- no. He will stay on message. And this was a very thoughtful speech, it was well thought out, it was well delivered. This is Donald Trump. He was very presidential, I have to tell you. I was very impressed. I'm always impressed. And yes, he can speak with passion and from the heart. But this was a speech I think he needed to give.

I think a lot of people that are on the fence really have their eyes wide open tonight. And he was on the mark all around, even his attacks were done in the proper manner. I think he was great today. I was very happy to see it, very proud of what I watched.

BERMAN: Christine Quinn, you're jumping out of your seat.


CHRISTINE QUINN, CLINTON SUPPORTER: First of all, this is about --

LAVALLE: Shocking.

QUINN: Yes, I know. The third or fourth time on the show we've talked about, is this the new Donald Trump?

BERMAN: True story.

QUINN: Can he control it? So basically we are touting the fact here that the man can read off a teleprompter. That in my opinion is a credential relevant to getting into third grade, not getting into the White House. Thoughtful speech, mostly we heard attacks against Secretary Clinton many of which are simply not true.

BERMAN: To be fair, Hillary Clinton said today, you know, Trump is going after me personally because he has no answers on the substance. Hillary Clinton has been going after Donald Trump personally. She gave two very highly touted speeches which were just Trump takedowns.

QUINN: So let's also be clear. Hillary didn't jump immediately to attacking Donald Trump and in fact was criticized widely by folks in the media and others that she should have been going after him earlier.


BERMAN: Well, once she locked up the nomination, these were two of her first three big speeches, true?

QUINN: Well, but people were saying all through earlier on, even during the primaries -- because he was attacking her before he was the presumptive nominee, so I think it is a clear case of Hillary being hit and her having to hit back.

But I also want to mention the fact, it's curious to me, Donald Trump gave that speech in New York in his hotel, not in a competitive state. And are we going to see he paid his hotel himself for giving that speech?

BERMAN: All right.

QUINN: Because you know what's a bigger scam than Trump University?

LAVALLE: He has to do that.

QUINN: How much he is paying himself.

BERMAN: Hang on.

QUINN: He is the highest paid person on the Trump campaign, period.

BERMAN: All right. Quickly, John.

LAVALLE: Here's the deal. It's the regulations. He has to charge himself. You are not allowed to have in kind contributions as a federal candidate. QUINN: He doesn't have to do pay himself personally.

LAVALLE: Yes, you do.

QUINN: No, he doesn't.

LAVALLE: If you use your facility, which is a separate corporation, by the way, you must take that.

QUINN: That's not his style.


BERMAN: All right. There's something else we're talking about. We're talking about FEC report file which turned out that a lot of the money the Trump campaign spent went to entities related to Donald Trump, companies owned by him, his kids, and whatnot. We're going to leave that there.

LAVALLE: His money.

BERMAN: We're going to leave that there?


BERMAN: We're going to leave it there. We can take a quick break. Continue this conversation.

The allegations, not just Donald Trump, surrounding the Clinton Foundation. Hillary Clinton says it has a long record of helping a lot of people around the world. Donald Trump says otherwise, he says she ran it like a personal hedge fund. So do that claim fit the facts? Or are there still legitimate concerns about that entity? 360 investigates.

Then at the top of the hour right here, CNN's Libertarian town hall, registered Democrats, Republicans, independents and more. All the questions for the Libertarian presidential nominee and his running mate. It's happening right behind us. We're back in a moment.


[20:18:07] BERMAN: All right. We're back. About 45 minutes away from tonight's Libertarian town hall. We're talking tonight about the campaign bill of indictment that Donald Trump unloaded today on Hillary Clinton and a kind of backhanded slap at Trump from the rival he once called Little Marco. Marco Rubio announced a change of heart today. He will run to keep his Senate seat but he won't be campaigning for Donald Trump.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: It's not that I'm looking to undermine him but I think the differences between us on some key issues are so significant that I just don't plan to campaign. I've got to run my own race, my own identity. Yes, I have my own identity, I have my own positions on issues, and I'm not going to be out there undermining him or anything of that nature because I don't want Hillary to win, but I really think I need to tell people what I'm going to do as a senator, as opposed to kind of -- and that was going to be the case irrespective of whether I ran.


BERMAN: All right. Back now with our panel. First off, Gloria Borger, we'll get to Donald Trump in moment and Marco Rubio. But let's just focus on Marco Rubio for a second.


BERMAN: Because he announced today he is doing something which he has said for a long time, multiple times, he would not do, which is run for re-election.

BORGER: Never say never. Right? Well, he said never and now he's running for reelection. Look, he was under a lot of pressure from his colleagues in the Senate, didn't want to spend lot of money in the state of Florida, a seat that they could potentially lose, they're worried about down ballot with Donald Trump as the nominee, and I think he decided that it was better to have a voice from the United States Senate, particularly since we know he's going to run again for the presidency in 2020. So Marco Rubio, there you go. Never say never.

BERMAN: It was a strange announcement, John.


BERMAN: He put out a press release where he went after Donald Trump, he essentially announced he is running against Donald Trump. Let me read this to you. Said, "The prospect of a Trump presidency is also worrisome to me. It's no secret that I have significant disagreements with Donald Trump, his positions on many key issues are still unknown, and some of the statements especially about women and minorities I find not just offensive but unacceptable.

[20:20:02] "If he is elected, we will need senators willing to encourage him in the right direction and if necessary stand up to him. I've proven a willingness to do both."

Marco Rubio in but he won't campaign with Donald Trump, and that statement, you know, really sets up a juxtaposition. Is this the kind of thing the Trump campaign wants?

LAVALLE: Not really. They were competitors. And obviously it was a very lively competition during the Republican primary. Marco Rubio is a great senator. I'm glad he made that decision to run again. I think he made the decision. It's not based on pressure, I think it's a job he enjoys. Obviously there were a lot of people urging him to run. But enjoys the job, that's why he's doing it. And I think he's done a great job as a senator in the state of Florida.

And, you know, I'm OK with that. You know, when he -- this happens in both parties. It takes a while for everyone to come together. Certain circumstances might have exacerbated this. But I think they're all going to be working together. He's going to be voting for Donald Trump.

BERMAN: He says the reason he's running --

LAVALLE: He will vote for Donald Trump.

BERMAN: -- is to stand up to Donald Trump.

BORGER: Right.

BERMAN: That's unusual. It just is. It is.

LAVALLE: He is talking about particular topics. And like you saw today, you're going to see a more focused Donald Trump, you're going to see very, you know, focused on the issues that Republicans want to hear about.

BERMAN: Dana, can I ask you --

LAVALLE: And I'm excited.

BERMAN: You know, Marco Rubio has been sort of the Republican savior since he, you know, leapt to the national stage in 2010. It didn't work out like a lot of Republicans thought it would work out this time. So where is he? I mean, what's his positioning right now in the greater conservative movements?

LOESCH: He is insuring himself for a 2020 run. That's exactly what he is doing. He wants to be able to maintain some consistency in his criticism of the Republican nominee, while at the same time making it look as though he's still playing on the team. So he is preserving a 2020 run. I mean, it would be silly for him not to. He is young. I mean, he's -- you know, he still has a lot of popularity within the Republican Party. He has a lot of popularity where it concerns millennials. He's got a long career ahead of him but he's got to be very careful and really so do a lot of other Republicans. They got to be very careful how they play it because they could risk angering the base. And it's a really weird time right now.

BERMAN: Christine, can I ask you one quick question about Democratic unity? We got about 30 seconds left in the segment.

QUINN: Because that statement from Marco Rubio is the opposite of Republican unity, that's unheard of from a senator.

BERMAN: Bernie Sanders still hasn't endorsed Hillary Clinton. It's been 15 days. You know, Hillary Clinton endorsed Barack Obama after four days, you know, eight years ago. It's a long wait.

QUINN: Look, I have no doubt Senator Sanders is going to get there and it takes some folks longer to get there than others. But let's be clear, Senator Sanders has not issued a statement saying, I'm running for United States Senate so I can be a watchdog over Hillary Clinton and not let her ruin the party, which is another way to describe in my way what Marco Rubio is doing.


LAVALLE: He's going to the convention.

BERMAN: He said he's going to the convention.

QUINN: No, he has not. That's very clear.

BORGER: But Rubio also said he could be a watchdog over Hillary Clinton, too.

BERMAN: Yes, well --


QUINN: Well, that will make sense, though. He's a Republican.

BORGER: And he's not voting for Hillary Clinton.

BERMAN: All right, guys, stand by.

Just ahead, Donald Trump says Secretary Clinton ran the State Department like a personal hedge fund. He slammed donations the Clinton Foundation received from countries with abysmal human rights records.

Do his allegations hold up? 360 investigates.

Plus less than an hour away from a big event in this very room. The Libertarian town hall, Gary Johnson and his running mate William Weld taking questions from CNN's Chris Cuomo. And also these voters you see in the audience. That's at the top of the hour.


[20:27:10] BERMAN: A blistering day on the campaign trail where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton trading a slew of attacks including this one.


TRUMP: She ran the State Department like her own personal hedge fund, doing favors for oppressive regimes and many others, and really many, many others, in exchange for cash.


BERMAN: That isn't the first time that Trump has accused Secretary Clinton of profiting personally from her position at the State Department. Tonight 360 investigates. Here's Drew Griffin.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is no question the Clinton Foundation has received tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments. That includes Saudi Arabia, which gave $14.5 million, though the foundation says none of that came while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

But you also have Kuwait donating between $5 million and $10 million, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, all donating between $1 million and $5 million over the years. Even the Embassy of Algeria donated $500,000.

Is there a common thread? All of course are Middle Eastern countries with poor human rights records and poor records when it comes to women's rights.

And even with private companies there is smoke. Monsanto is a U.S. based global food giant that has been trying to increase its worldwide business in the biotech food industry. It's donated between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation. And while she was secretary of state, Secretary Clinton made general statements supporting biotech foods as the company was asking for government help to open up new markets.

For her critics, it's enough to cry foul.

TRUMP: Maybe her motivation lies among the more than 1,000 foreign donations Hillary failed to disclose while at the State Department.

GRIFFIN: There's no evidence that is accurate. What we have learned is that the foundation said it did fail to disclose a funding source while Mrs. Clinton was at the State Department. That donation, the $500,000 from the government of Algeria. The foundation called the lack of disclosure an error. But again said there was no connection between the donations and the policies of the Clinton's State Department.

Earlier this year, Hillary Clinton told CNN's Jake Tapper the foundation is an open book.

CLINTON: We have disclosed everything. You can see what we do. We have -- we've put out reports. We could find you millions of people who feel that their lives have been improved because of the work.

GRIFFIN: To avoid potential conflicts, the Clinton Foundation did sign an agreement with the Obama administration before Hillary Clinton was sworn in as secretary of state. That agreement banned Bill Clinton from personally soliciting donations and also banned donations from any government that hadn't been approved by an ethics committee at State.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.


[20:30:00] BERMAN: All right, we'll also talk about right now, back with the panel. Joining the conversation David Brock, founder of the Pro-Hillary Clinton Super Pac Correct the Record and before that

Gloria, of the Clinton foundation, we heard a lot about it ...


BERMAN: ... for a lot of years. The Clintons have to do a lot of explaining about it. And when you're explaining?

BORGER: It's difficult particularly when Hillary Clinton has a trust deficit with voters. And I think that this is an issue as we all know that came up during the primaries. So I think Jeb Bush may have been the first person to raise the Clinton Foundation as an issue.

There are questions of conflict that clearly Donald Trump is going to continue to raise. Hillary Clinton has her answers for it. I think that if it's an open book, everyone will look at the books as we've already begun to do and I think that there is no doubt in my mind that it will remain an issue, because Republicans will continue to raise it as an issue about her.

BERMAN: And David, she admitted that at least one donation slipped through the credits, and maybe more. How big are the credits?

DAVID BROCK, FOUNDER PRO-HILLARY CLINTON SUPER PAC CORRECT THE RECORD: Well, there's the one that's been acknowledge and look when your taking in this many grants in a foundation at this size where they raised over $2 billion, that's going to happen. The reality though I think is that without proof, what we're talking about is mostly innuendo if not slander.

BERMAN: Proof of what? Proof of quid pro quo?

BROCK: Well, proof of -- right that a donation affected an official act and Hillary Clinton has been in public life for 30 years, and nobody has shown that a donor influenced one public act.

BERMAN: Is that the right measurement though. You should -- he'd be taking money from Saudi Arabia and other countries who have questionable human rights.

BROCK: Well, I think she should, it's a global foundation and I think it's perfectly fine even these regimes are far from perfect to take from the rich and give to the poor. I mean they have transformed and saved 430 million lives, including so many, whose prescription drugs for AIDS, reduced the price by a factor of 10, all of the good works that they've done here seem to get lost in the questions that are raised. And I think that raising a questions are fine. I just think that the end of the day there is no ...

BERMAN: John, Donald Trump has such a long standing concerns with the Clinton Foundation ...


BERMAN: ... that he donated quite a bit of money to it.

LAVALLE: Well, here's what it is, there's not only an appearance of impropriety, there are actual improprieties. The Clintons made $160 million on the side throughout -- this is own personally from foreign countries. They also donated to this foundation. Give the money back. It's an appearance of impropriety.

BERMAN: Well, you're talking about the paid speeches correct?

LAVALLE: Please, take Ericson, by the way ...


LAVALLE: ... let's start with Ericson, which is a, you know, international telecommunications company, they're under investigation by the state department. All of a sudden Bill Clinton makes a speech, $750,000. What could he possibly say for $750,000, I want to know because I want to start saying things like that. He's hiding that much.

BERMAN: So you're problem with the foundation is -- you're problem was the paid speeches.

LAVALLE: When the paid speeches are being -- the pay is coming from companies that are looking for favoritism from the United States government, that's a problem.

BERMAN: We can to David let's talk about there ...

LAVALLE: But there's an appearance at the very least. We have to protect the integrity of our government. So even when there's an appearance, you have to pull back, they have to give the money back. Whether -- and all these countries and, you know, the foundations accepting from Saudi Arabia from all these Middle Eastern countries that are anti-women, anti-gay, they're anti-American. And they're taking money from them. Give the money back. Make it clean. Make it pure. What's the problem?

BERMAN: Dana, you have a look there.

DANA LOESCH, CONSERVATIVE TAK SHOW HOST: Well, this is how -- I'm kind of shocked that no one advised the Trump campaign to say this yet but the best way for him to get out of this particular pickle and which she finds himself in having donated to the Clinton Foundation and I do agree that there are some very questionable things here, particularly the green lighting of arms deals to these countries but that's another topic, all he has to say is you know, "I was wrong, I was wrong to have done this and to pay penance, I am running to correct this error."

And that would be applauding. Why isn't he doing that? It would be so grandiose only if he could do it.

BERMAN: All right guys, guys standby more to talk about ahead. Democrats, holding a city. And right now on the house floor to push and fro gun control plus at the top of the hour and the CNN libertarian town hall.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:38:18] BERMAN: All right, no bill, no break, that's what Democratic lawmakers chanted today from the House floor as they stage a sit in to push for gun control. Leading that protest, Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights icon during the '60s, organized sit in to segregate lunch counters.

He said and he and his fellow lawmakers won't be leaving the House floor any time soon. Some Republicans call this a political stunt. The backdrop for all of this is, obviously it's a recent massacre in Orlando and the senate's rejection as we go forward gun control measures were proposed in the wake of that tragedy.

CNN's Manu Raju joins me now with the latest. Manu, the sit in has been going on for eight hours now. Congress is due back in session later tonight, not on guns. But what are you learning?

MANU RAJU, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, John, Republicans are going to try to seize that control of the House floor in about an hour, and a pretty confrontational move, they're going to do. Three things, they're going to try to have a vote to override a presidential veto, they are going to file a bill, introduce a bill to deal with Zika funding to combat the Zika virus and they're going to vote to adjourn the House and what they're not going to do is have a vote on guns.

Now, and Republicans met earlier about a couple of hours ago, and they emerged from that meeting real united against the Democratic tactics. They don't believe Democrats are doing the right thing. They think the hijacking the House floor. They think that this is a publicity stunt. It is countered to House rules. They do not want to give in.

Now, when they vote to adjourn, John, it will be interesting. Potentially, I am told by Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, that the air lights could go off, the air conditioning could go off. And what do Democrats do then? They have signal and they'll going to stay in longer days, maybe we'll stay for ...

BERMAN: Looking at live pictures by the way of the house floor, right now. Live pictures provided to us I assumed by a periscope, where the cellphones of some house members because C-Span is not broadcasting.

[20:40:05] They can't. Congress turned it off and House doesn't recess automatically the cameras go off there.

Democrats monitor -- you just mentioned this -- Democrat say they're going to keep this going indefinitely because Paul Ryan -- because they're not getting the vote, they're going to do this forever?

RAJU: Well, that's the big question, how long can they last. And Democrats were saying they're going to wait for a bill to be -- have a vote on a bill but they're being unclear about what build out actually was and even if they get a vote, it is not going to become law. These two parties are fundamentally divided over a gun control, John.

BERMAN: How long forever is? All right, Manu Raju thanks so much. Dana Loesch, let me ask you about this. You know, you're an NRA, you work for the NRA. LOESCH: I have a chapter in my book about it too, yeah. And the last book was about guns I've only have a chapter in this one about.

BERMAN: That the house will not pass these measures so I think that the Democrats on the floor calling for. But why not at least, hold a vote?

LOESCH: Well, that I think Democrats kind of loss their chance when they couldn't even gather enough on this floor of the senate for cloture, performance amendment which was to me I was dissatisfied that was Cornyn's amendment, because I thought it was too much of a compromise.

But it was the compromise. The Democrats have said that they wanted on this. Cornyn met them. All they had to do -- the only requirement was that you have to prove your case to a federal judge and within three days of purchase they can act on that.

That was the only requirement, protecting due process. Now, I don't want to go so far as some of these elected officials who have said that Republicans are just giving guns to ISIS. I don't want to match their hyperbole by saying that I believe Democrats are against system and the due process, however I do believed that they missed the golden opportunity with the Cornyn amendment.

BERMAN: David, and you didn't answer my question about why no vote? You can still vote and vote it down if you wanted to ask.

LOESCH: Well, and what are they're going to vote on as the reports said they haven't really been specific on anything. I mean give us some specificity.

BERMAN: All right David let me put that question to you. The Cornyn amendment, that Dana was just talking about there why do Democrats think that that's, you know, not better than nothing? I mean they voted against that they won't get on board with that. If they all got onboard, they might be -- they could pass it.

BROCK: Yeah, look I mean, I think you can have rules, you can have debate about that. I think Democrats thought that it didn't go far enough. I think what we're seeing here though with Democrats but this used to be an issue that was considered to be a losing issue for Democrats and that's changed now. They're going to campaign on it. It's part of Hillary's platform to deal with Isis. It's becoming a wake of Orlando seen more as a National Security issue and therefore I think it's going to resonate whether they really make any real progress here or not, it looks like probably not, but the symbolism is powerful.

BERMAN: It is interesting and again, I mean on both sides of this issue there are people who feel passionately and genuinely. It doesn't mean there aren't politics involved, Gloria. And David is right, the Democrats feel that guns are now a winning issue for them?

BORGER: Yes, they do.

BERMAN: You know the rule has been for years that they lost elections because of that.

BORGER: Right, you go back to the 2000 election, Al gore might tell you that guns was a very decisive issue in his loss of that election although some people believe he didn't lose, but yes. And, I think that the politics has changed. If you look at polling in this country, you see that a majority of the American public wants some form of gun control. You look at the polls on assault weapons, you know, et cetera, et cetera. So they do -- It's a risk. It is a risk. But there are less Southern State Democrats than their used to be so it's not as much of a risk as it once was.

BERMAN: John, you're a New York Republican, which actually an interesting breed you have about, 30 seconds left. John, do you think there is room for compromise here?

LAVALLE: Yeah. This is all part of the Democrat Strategy to spin this, you know terrorism. They want to call it gun control and that's what they're doing. That's what this is all about. And the measures fail, they're not even together on this. You're talking about -- you say the Republican Party isn't unified. Well, what failed in the Senate? Go ask the Senator Tester, well, how did he vote? He's not even with his own party.

This is Hillary Clinton's spin, this is a Democrat party spin and to stop people from talking about terrorism. It's the failed Democrat policies of foreign affairs and national security that brought this to be.

LOESCH: And just to make this point really quickly too. Too many Americans are erroneously mistakenly put on the list, to simply strip of rights with zero judicial oversight, ACLU agrees with me.

BORGER: So can you explain that to Donald Trump is to -- who is to the left of the NRA on that?

LOESCH: He is not only to the left of the NRA, I mean on that issue, and I have been very critical of him before and this is my singular issue that is that make or break for me. I mean all these simply saying is you know we need due process for this. You can't just simply take due process away and has suspicion to take the place of conviction. There is that responsibility.

BERMAN: We will leave that there guys. Thank you so much for the discussion on this that we look at these moments ago. Again, lived pictures from the house floor.

Up next the libertarian ticket, what you need to know about Gary Johnson, the party's presidential nominee, and his running mate, William Weld. Both, former Republican governors now running as a ticket. Both will be on our stage in the next hour for the "The Libertarian Town Hall." Chris Cuomo will be the moderator.

[20:45:00] Stay with us.



BERMAN: In just a few minutes at the top of the hour, the CNN Libertarian Town Hall begins on the stage right behind me there. Gary Johnson, the party's presidential nominee and his running mate William Weld.

They will answer questions from voters. Both of them are former Republican governors. Now, they are libertarians. Part of America's third largest party which is active at all 50 states with more than a quarter million registered voters.

Before tonight's town hall, we want to give you some insight on the libertarian ticket. The two men helping to get your vote is fall. Here's Jake Tapper of what you need to know.


GARY JOHNSON, LIBERTARIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is America's libertarian involvements.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Gary Johnson says you might be a libertarian even if you don't know it yet.

JOHNSON: Help me reach out to the majority of Americans who are libertarian and don't know it.

TAPPER: Or at least the libertarian presidential candidate hopes you'll vote that way.

In their campaign, Former Republican Governors Johnson from New Mexico and his running mate Bill Weld from Massachusetts are casting themselves as outsiders.

And Johnson's style is a bit more like that stoner professor you had in college than a traditional candidate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think you're too freaky dicky to be our president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this is what you want in a president.

DONALD TRUMP (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think he's a fringe candidate you want to know the truth?

TAPPER: But, there may be an opening, the two major party candidates are the least liked in modern history helping libertarians earn support from 9 percent of registered voters in a recent CNN ORC poll more than any third party candidate at this point in the campaign in recent open elections.

[20:50:07] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No excuses, libertarians.

TAPPER: The libertarian party was established in 1971, despite the relatively high profile presidential run by Congressman Ron Paul in 1988, libertarians have consistently struggle to be seen as anything but fringe. Why should anybody vote for you, sir? How will it not be throwing away their vote?

JOHNSON: Well, throwing away your vote is voting for somebody that you don't believe in. But, I think that libertarians, I think my package, Bill Weld's package is really unique.

TAPPER: Johnson is unique. He's a tri-athlete who's climbed Mount Everest and Kilimanjaro, when he's also the former CEO of a medical and recreational marijuana company.

JOHNSON: I have always maintained that legalizing marijuana will lead to less overall substance abuse.

TAPPER: The libertarian say they lean left on social issues such as LGBT rights and abortion.

BILL WELD, LIBERTARIAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'd like to ideally nudge the Democrats toward the economic centered.

TAPPER: While promising to crackdown on the national debts and cut corporate income tax. Those who dislike Clinton and Trump are giving them a closer look.

MITT ROMNEY, (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: If Bill Weld were at the top of the ticket, it would be very easy for me to vote for Bill Weld for president. So, I'll get to know Gary Johnson better.

TAPPER: But the libertarians still need to earn 15 percent in national polls to make it to the presidential debate stage this fall. Perhaps, Johnson's steepest climb yet. Jake Tapper, CNN, Washington.


BERMAN: Governors Johnson and Weld will be taking part of the CNN Libertarian Town Hall in just a few minutes.

Back to first with our panel and joining the conversation, Kendal Unruh, Founder of the anti-Trump movement, "Free the Delegates".

She is also Republican Convention Rules Committee Member, also with Steve Lonegan, National Spokesperson for the Courageous Conservative Pack and Former New Jersey State Director of Ted Cruz's presidential campaign.

Kendal, I want to start with you, because you're working hard to overthrow Donald Trump at the convention so you can get another Republican to vote for.

Well, you're going to have two Republicans on the stage behind us, right here, two guys that served two terms as Republican governors. Why not just sign up for Gary Johnson?

KENDAL UNRUH, FOUNDER OF THE ANTI-TRUMP MOVEMENT "FREE THE DELEGATES": Well, because I've read the libertarian platform. And one of the reasons why I am fighting so hard to make sure that Donald Trump is not our nominee is because he doesn't adhere to the parts of the platform that truly are my passion.

I'm a person of faith, I'm a born again Christian, and I believe in the sanctity of life. And I believe that we are in doubt by our creator with life -- of the right to life liberty, the pursuit of happiness. And he doesn't adhere to those.

So, would I then go to another party platform that also doesn't adhere to the values of distinctive life and does not support traditional marriage believes and legalizing drugs and ways in legalizing prostitutions?

BERMAN: Steve Lonegan, anything Gary Johnson can say on the stage and I -- that would get you to vote for him?


But, you know what's important here is that the reason Gary Johnson and the libertarians are doing so well at this point is because of Donald Trump, because Donald Trump is alienating a lot of Republicans like myself. I have very many libertarian tendencies.

I personally don't understand why the libertarian parties running two candidates who support gun control that's not exactly libertarian position, it is a contradiction there.

But again, this is a reflection on the Trump campaign. They wouldn't be doing as well as they were if it wasn't for Donald Trump's failure within the Republican Party.

BERMAN: You know, is this, you know, a binary thing, Gloria though where that every vote for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld is a vote that would have gone to Donald Trump?

BORGER: No, no. And if you look at our recent polling, it shows that a lot of it, it takes away from Hillary Clinton as well, because as you folks were saying, there are some pretty left-wing and liberal positions that you're going to hear from that stage tonight that may appeal somewhat to the Bernie Sanders supporters who are looking for somewhere else to go and not necessarily to Trump supporters.

BERMAN: It is different, Kendal, this time around. Though, I mean, yes, Ron Paul was a libertarian nominee. But you do have two names that are more known.

Where I mean, I may be biased, because I'm from Massachusetts and I grew up with William Weld, that's my governor for a long time. But Gary Johnson and Bill Weld were in the national spotlight for quite a long time.

UNRUH: Well, unfortunately, we really are binary system. And that is actually what we're -- part of what we're going to struggle with if we cannot support Donald Trump as our nominee is where do we go?

There's 28 different parties, and there's just really no place right now that the social conservatives that were going to be leaving the party, because Donald Trump cannot be the face of our party believing that the way that we do. We just simply don't have a party where we can defect to. And that's one of the questions that all of us struggle with is what will we do.

BERMAN: John, you know, may be binary, but don't tell Al Gore. No other option, right. I mean, look what happened in 2000 with Ralph Nader. If this is a poll selection, it very well might be the polls are very close down to ...

LONEGAN: Ross Perot, you know, Ross Perot.

BERMAN: Ross Perot, yeah, but Donald Trump's getting every vote he can get, you know. How does he make clear that Gary Johnson's not the right choice for some disaffecting Republican?

LAVALLE: I think Gloria is right. I think they're taking from both candidates. Their pro-legalization stance raise is they certainly going to take from the Democratic vote.

So, I think they're going take from both. Donald Trump by virtue of what he does going forward.

[20:55:01] And you saw some of it today. He's going to bring a lot of people home to the Republican Party. He will unify this Republican Party to the extent it needs to be unified to win this race.

But, this third party candidacy is going to take from both candidates. We saw how it affected the polls as soon as they took them. It showed exactly that.

BERMAN: Steve, you've got 30 seconds left.

LONEGAN: Donald Trump got about 25 percent of the Republicans to vote for him in the primaries. 50 percent of Republicans don't want to be their candidate.

Right now he's losing in every one of the key swing states. Marco Rubio is not going to be able to win Florida with Donald Trump at the top of the ticket.

Come to the convention, it's up to Republican delegates to pick a different candidate, one that will take votes back away from Gary Johnson and Mr. Weld and things Republicans ...

BERMAN: But, yes, you now -- Steve, last and quickly 10 seconds left. Yes or no, does Gary Johnson affect that? Does he hurt Donald Trump's ability to run?

LONEGAN: I agree he takes from both sides. But, I think he's taking a bigger chunk from Republicans.

BERMAN: Guys, thanks so much of you being with us, appreciate it.

Up next, the very thing we've been talking about and up building up to the CNN Libertarian Town Hall, Chris Cuomo is the moderator. Gary Johnson, Former Two-Term Governor of New Mexico, a man who runs ultra marathons and climbs mountains you can hardly imagine. He is at the top of the ticket.

William Weld, Two-Term Governor from the State of Massachusetts. He is the running mate.

What will they say to win voters from both sides? Come back right after the break.