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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Ginsburg Issues Apology for Trump Comments; Obama Meeting on Race Relations, Police; Trump to Pick V.P. Soon. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired July 14, 2016 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:33:51] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is voicing regrets for her comments about Donald Trump after calling him, among other things, a faker. A short time ago, Justice Ginsburg issued this statement. "On reflection," she says, "my remarks in response to press inquiries were ill advised and I regret making them. Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future, I will be more circumspect."
BERMAN: I regret making.
All right, CNN legal analyst and Supreme Court biographer, Joan Biskupic, joins us by phone. She spoke to Justice Ginsburg in one of those interviews when she slammed Donald Trump. Also with us, CNN political director, David Chalian.
Joan, thanks so much for being with us.
What changed between when she talked to you and called Donald Trump a faker and today when she's expressing regret for doing so?
JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN LEGAL ANALYST & SUPREME COURT BIOGRAPHER (ph): Well, I think in part it was all the criticism that was leveled at her across the ideological spectrum that made her stop and think, wait a minute, I don't want to be part of this election issue. I think she felt passionately when she made those remarks about Donald Trump. When I spoke to her on Monday and asked her if she'd been initial criticism, she said, no, she wasn't surprised. I think she couldn't help but be surprised by what's happened in the last 72 hours with so much second-guessing from even folks who are her fans on the left. I think she felt it was important for her to clear the air. I think she felt she wanted to acknowledge that she made a mistake, and instead of just waiting to hope that the issue would die down, just come right out and say, I made a mistake here, judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for office and I shouldn't have done it and in the future I'm going to watch it.
[11:35:44] BOLDUAN: Joan, was there -- do you get any sense this was something that her colleagues, other justices, the chief justice, that they had an opinion, they weighed in, gave her a call and said this doesn't look good.
BISKUPIC: No, I actually -- I don't know anything for certain, but my feeling is right now all eight of them are in different cities, in different places. I think she's somebody who pays attention to what's going on in the news and what's going on in politics, which is what brought her to say the things she said in the first place. I think Chief Justice John Roberts would not have called her. I think he would have waited to see what was happening. I think this was a conclusion that she came to on her own watching what was happening.
BERMAN: David Chalian, it was interesting, Brian Chalian, the Clinton spokesperson, yesterday, and he wouldn't criticize Ginsburg for this. I'm wondering what the political fallout is.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, listen, I think the Republicans still plan to use these comments as sort of a battering ram and help excite the base that this liberal justice overstepped her bounds because, remember, Donald Trump has publicly called for Ginsburg to resign over this. Conversations about recusal from cases that involve Donald Trump going forward will no doubt be part of the political conversation as well. Yes, she obviously lanced the boil of her immediate P.R. problem by issuing this statement, but I don't think it takes the desire of Republicans to insert this moment and call into question her impartiality. I don't think it removes that desire to inject that into the campaign.
BERMAN: All right, David Chalian, Joan Biskupic, thank you for being with us. Appreciate it, guys.
BOLDUAN: Thanks, guys.
Coming up, President Obama urging a group of civil rights leaders and law enforcement to help ease the tension rocking the nation right now. We're going to be live with one of the men in that meeting. Four hours the president sat in that meeting at the White House yesterday.
BERMAN: Plus, we really could have news on Donald Trump's pick to be his running mate at any minute. We were told a phone call could come within the next hour or so. Will it be Mike Pence, Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie, or someone else entirely?
BOLDUAN: John Berman.
[11:43:03] BOLDUAN: President Obama met yesterday with activists from the Black Lives Matter movement as well as law enforcement officials, community leaders and civil rights leaders. This all comes after the police shootings last week of two African-American men and the ambush that left five Dallas police officers dead.
BERMAN: Marc Morial, the president of the National Urban League. He was in that meeting at the White House.
Thanks so much for being with us.
MARC MORIAL, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: Thanks for having me.
BERMAN: I have to say, four hours is a long meeting with anyone it's incredibly long meeting with the president of the United States. I'm not sure I ever heard of a meeting quite that long. Just give us a sense of what went on in that room.
MORIAL: I would add, in the many years I've been meeting with President Obama or former presidents, I can't remember a four-hour time block. And the president was literally there with his sleeves rolled up, taking notes, intently listening, facilitating a conversation. I think what's important about this was who was in the room. So you had protesters, in fact, protesters who had recently been arrested. And you also had the state police chief from Louisiana and the governor of Louisiana. You had representatives of police organizations and police chiefs, mayors, historic civil rights leaders and other activists.
So what was remarkable was the depth and breadth of the conversation. And this was no dog and pony show. This was no formality or check- the-box meeting. This was a real substantive discussion. As you can imagine, lots of points of view were expressed about the current situation, about police officers, about citizens, about communities. Lots of ideas on how to move forward from ideas on how we need to respect each other, how we need to understand each other's humanity, how we need to reaffirm each other. To the very difficult challenges of systemic reform needed when it also to either criminal justice or the police system in America. So the president devoted a considerable amount of time, was thoroughly engaged.
[11:45:19] I thought two things that people should understand. And these are qualities that I think we saw on display yesterday. One was the president was very intent on ensuring that everyone had a chance to speak and everyone's voice was heard. And the president I think demonstrated, by the recap in terms of what he did at the end of the meeting, a very, very keen ear in terms of not only listening but hearing what people had to say. So it was a remarkable meeting, it was a very important meeting, and now the question is how we move forward.
BOLDUAN: Exactly right. The president said, "We have to sit down and just grind it out, solve these problems." What was the takeaway? How do you get there?
MORIAL: Well, I think the takeaway is a starting point certainly from a substantive point. The recommendations of the 21st century task force that made a set of recommendations. I think there's a thought I know I embrace that this thought that the recommendations of that task force need to be enhanced, that the guidance of local police needs to take place. I also think the president was leading yield by example. And my hope is that in local community communities, that mayors, that governors, that others will convene similar meetings and conversations, to bring a diverse people to the table for conversation. There were Republicans in the room. There were certainly people in the room who were Democrats and Independents. But politics was not on display. Partisanship was not on display yesterday. I think others should, mayors, governors, community leaders, should in their local communities take the lead to hold conversations to take inventory to assess and also to make a commitment to the kinds of changes. This is a 21st century policing, has to match a 21st century America. And I think that yesterday's meeting was a very important but candid conversation about how we go forward in this country.
BERMAN: Marc Morial, thank very much for giving us insight into what went on in that room for four hours.
MORIAL: Thank you. We'll be back.
BOLDUAN: Thank you.
BERMAN: This is turning into a real political thriller. We're reaching the end point of this, Donald Trump's search for a running mate. We are less than 24 hours from the public announcement, but I actually think we're within a couple of hours. This whole thing is going to leak. It's going to happen within the next two or three or four hours. You heard it here first.
Stay with us.
[11:52:00] BERMAN: All right. Less than 24 hours from now, Donald Trump will appear publicly with the man he is going to pick -- or woman, I suppose, although no women are on the short list -- he's going to pick as his running make.
Want to show live pictures of our stakeout cameras following the top- two finalists. That's the home of Indianapolis (sic) Governor Mike Pence. Jim Acosta says he's the leading candidate. In Arlington, Virginia, we have a camera at the office -- we don't have it. You can imagine what it looks like. Make a mental picture of the office of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Earlier today, he told CNN he would not be surprised is picked.
BOLDUAN: Is he playing mind games?
Let's discuss. Let's bring in John Jay LaValle, Trump delegate from New York, and vice chairman of the New York State Republican party; Pete Seat, former communications director for the Indiana Republican Party; Guy Cecil, co-chair and chief strategist for Priorities USA Super PAC, supporting Hillary Clinton; and Josh Holmes, Republican strategist and former chief of staff for Senator Mitch McConnell.
Pete Seat, you are once again at the center of the political universe, Indiana, it always is. You know the players. What is happening there right now? Do you know yet if Mike Pence has booked a ticket?
PETE SEAT, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, INDIANA REPUBLICAN PARTY: We don't know for sure, but a lot of signs are pointing that way, and they have been for several days. As we spoke about yesterday, I think Mike Pence is the most well-rounded candidate that Donald Trump is looking at. The speculation machine has been churning for several weeks now, especially a few minutes ago, there's reports Mike Pence's deputy campaign manager has been spotted on a commercial flight to New York. So the level of intrigue has increased a few more decibels.
BERMAN: Maybe he's just coming to see "Hamilton." I hear it's popular. You never know.
BERMAN: John LaValle, you are a Trump supporter, have been for a long time. This is your last chance to make your pitch to the guy you're supporting. Who do you want to see Trump pick?
JOHN JAY LAVALLE, TRUMP DELEGATE & VICE CHAIRMAN, NEW YORK STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY: I think he certainly has had three great choices.
BERMAN: Pick one.
LAVALLE: Three great choices.
BERMAN: Which one?
BOLDUAN: Come on.
LAVALLE: It's not for me to say. I will say this. I do agree that Mike Pence does offer a lot. He checks a lot of boxes for Mr. Trump. He was in Washington for 12 years. He has that kind of experience. Mr. Trump has said one thing consistently, he's looking for someone who is going to help him govern. He's not looking at an electoral map, although that's certainly a factor. Most importantly, it's someone who is going to help him govern. Certainly, all three can do so. Governor Christie, certainly a former prosecutor, been a successful governor in a blue state. Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House, certainly has an inside track in Washington, understands how it operates, would be an excellent choice. Governor Pence is a good yin and yang both personality and --
BERMAN: That's the second time we've heard the yin and yang.
BOLDUAN: It's been thrown out today. Put John LaValle in the category of Mike Pence. We got it.
Thank you, John.
Josh Holmes, do any of these three candidates on the short list, do any of them make you more comfortable or more likely to move closer to supporting Donald Trump?
[11:55:] JOSH HOLMES, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think, ultimately, anybody in this situation has got to pick somebody that they're most comfortable with, right? I think as we go along, there's going to be an awful lot of difficult moments in the campaign. You to be willing to run with somebody who is going to have your back no matter what, who is going to be there relatively on all your policy platforms and has a general understanding of how you operate. I think from that standpoint, all these final three work. I think Governor Pence, for all the reasons that John just mentioned, does make a lot of sense. He's from Indiana, a state that obviously he's going to have to win. He's got congressional experience. He had foreign affairs experience while he was up there. I think it checks a lot of boxes for him.
With somebody like Newt Gingrich, on the other hand, great personality, great fit for Donald Trump. But what you worry about is whether he'll be ad-libbing down the stretch in a way that maybe Donald Trump doesn't appreciate.
BERMAN: We're running out of time.
Guy Cecil, I will ask you about Trump's pick, but you don't get a say in this.
Instead, I'll ask you about the polls. A lot of polls showing this race is very, very tight. They spent a lot of money so far, both the campaigns and the super PACs, going after Donald Trump. Trump spent nothing. How is it tied?
GUY CECIL, CO-CHAIR & CHIEF STRATEGIST, PRIORITIES USA SUPER PAC & HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: I don't think it's tied. When you look at the aggregate of the public polls so far, by almost any measure, Hillary Clinton leads in every battleground state and leads nationally by four to five points. The important thing is that that structurally speaking, presidential races in our country are close, that no one is going to get to walk into the White House, and that the important thing for Democrats to do is to stay focused on the work ahead of us. We are not going to win this election by 15 or 20 points. We are not going to win every electoral vote. What we need to do is focus on these contrast between these two candidates.
And to answer the question you asked of Josh, there isn't anybody Trump would pick that would make me more likely to support him.
BERMAN: All right.
BOLDUAN: Good to know. Good to know.
Things are very close and they are tied.
Guys, Guy, John, Josh, great to see you.
Pete, always great to see you as well.
Thank you very much.
Coming up for us, we're keeping a close eye on Dallas. Another funeral under way for an officer slain in the ambush on police there. Family and friends giving their emotional tributes. Those pictures get you every time. We're going to remember the officers' service and watch these funerals. That's ahead for us.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [12:00:04] ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone. I'm Ashleigh Banfield. And welcome to "Legal View."
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