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Hillary Clinton Gets A Seven-Point Convention Bounce; Trump Tells ABC Putin Wouldn't Move Into Ukraine; Father of Slain Muslim- American Soldier Criticizes Trump; Clinton on "Truthful" Answers to FBI. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired August 1, 2016 - 22:00   ET


[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST:. That does it for us. Thanks for watching. CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon starts now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Any other candidate would be on the ropes right now, but Donald Trump, well, we'll see.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

Hillary Clinton gets a seven-point convention bounce. As the mogul turned reality star turned presidential candidate tells ABC that Vladimir Putin wouldn't move into Ukraine, although Putin sees a Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

And doubles down on his harsh criticism of a Gold Star father whose Muslim-American died a war hero in Iraq. I'm going to talk to the father, live in just a moment right here in this broadcast.

And meanwhile, Hillary Clinton takes aim at Trump tonight.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Donald Trump is wrong. America is not weak.


I agree with Warren. This is the greatest nation on earth, and our best days are still ahead of us.



LEMON: And Trump, well, he says this about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: People are angry at them and they should be. If he would have just not done anything, just go home, go to sleep, relax, he would have been a hero. But he made a deal with the devil. She's the devil. He made a deal with the devil. It's true. (CROWD CHEERING)


LEMON: So, let's get right to CNN's Jeff Zeleny following the Clinton campaign in Nebraska. Jim Acosta with the Trump campaign in Pennsylvania. Good evening to both of you, gentlemen.

Jim, you first. You're with the Trump campaign. He's battling a few fire storms right now. He's calling to move the presidential debate. He's getting pushed back for saying Putin is not going to go into Ukraine, despite the situation in Crimea.

And of course the backlash Trump is getting for criticizing a Gold Star Khan family. On the Khan family, is there any sign that he's going to back down?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I don't think so, Don, although we should point out and this doesn't happen very often in this campaign especially not with Donald Trump, he did not talk about this controversy with the Khan family at either event today. He had two big rallies, one in Ohio, one in Pennsylvania. He did not mention it at all.

We should point out he did do a local TV news interview earlier today. During that interview he said he considers Captain Khan to be a hero but still defends the fact he went after these parents. Saying that he was viciously attacked by the father and that he responds and he plans to continue to do the same thing.

But in true Donald Trump style, Don, Donald Trump appears to be, perhaps, trying to replace yesterday's controversy with today's controversy. He went right after Hillary Clinton in ways that we had not heard before.

At this rally here in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, he called Hillary Clinton the devil. Here's more of what he had to say.


TRUMP: And then when they showed Bernie very angry, they're talking about Bernie, because he made a bad deal. He should have not made a deal. He would have gone down as done something really important. Once he made that deal, and believe he, he has buyer's remorse, you know, this guy has buyer's remorse.

He looked at that and he was so angry when they were talking about him and his people are angry at him and they should be. If he would have just not done anything, just go home, go to sleep, relax, he would have been a hero, but he made a deal with the devil. She's the devil. He made a deal with the devil. It's true.


ACOSTA: So, there you go, And speaking of other things that Donald Trump did tackle during this rally tonight, he did talk about his relationship, or lack thereof, with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as this has been a big topic of conversation over the last several days.

Donald Trump said at this rally tonight that he does not know Vladimir Putin at all, that despite the fact that he has said on a number of occasions, at least suggested that he has spoken with the Russian leader, but tonight he says he doesn't know him at all, Don.

LEMON: He has ado stirring up the pot tonight by offering public praise of Speaker Paul Ryan's primary challenger. What's that about?

ACOSTA: That's right. Well, you'll recall that Paul Ryan put out that statement yesterday praising Gold Star families. Did not really go after Donald Trump. Did not criticize Donald Trump for what he had to say about the Khan family. But praising Gold Star families.

So, it was -- it was very notable tonight, Don, when Donald Trump issued this tweet before this rally here. We'll put it up on screen. It says, "Thanks to P. Nalen, that's Paul Nalen for your kind words. Very much appreciated."

Paul Nalen is challenging House Speaker Paul Ryan in that congressional district in Wisconsin. Paul Ryan could be primary although not a lot of people think that's going to happen coming up here when they hold that primary election.

And Donald Trump issuing that kind of tweets is very much a warning shot, it seems, and it's being received that way, it seems, from Paul Ryan's political operatives.

[22:04:58] One operative said in a statement to CNN, "Rather than engage in a back and forth the speaker is going to remain focused entirely on ensuring we deliver strong republican majorities this fall."

Don, the fallout inside the Republican Party is pretty amazing to watch. Mike Pence was at a rally earlier today. The vice presidential candidate for Donald Trump. He was challenge by an air force mother as to whether or not Donald Trump's rhetoric should be tolerated and Mike Pence at that event tried to calm things down.

Because people started booing when they heard this woman say this. And Mike Pence at this rally said while he and Donald Trump consider Captain Khan a hero. So, the controversy is not over yet.

LEMON: Yes. We'll be playing that later on. Much of that later on in this broadcast. Jeff Zeleny, to you first. Hillary Clinton packed in another billionaire endorsement today. This time it was from the oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett. He's praising Hillary and attacking Trump. What's he saying?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: He is, Don. This is the string of billionaire businessmen coming to Hillary Clinton's aid here, building the case against Donald Trump. We saw it last week first with Michael Bloomberg, and then over the weekend with Mark Cuban in his hometown of Pittsburgh. But here in Omaha tonight, Warren Buffett was so strong and vociferous, 85-year-old warren Buffett making clear that he is on Hillary Clinton's side. But not only that, Don, they are trying to discredit Donald Trump as a businessman. But Warren Buffett tonight went directly after Donald Trump's taxes and why he's not releasing them.


WARREN BUFFET, BILLIONAIRE BUSINESSMAN: You, you will learn a whole lot more about Donald Trump if he produces his income tax return. And so, that's why I'd like to make him an offer. An offer I hope he can't refuse.

Donald Trump -- Donald Trump at one point, he says various things at different times, but at one point, and he said it several times, is he can't do it -- can't release it because he's under audit.

Now, I've got news for him. I'm under audit, too. And I would be delighted to meet him any place, any time between now and election. I'll bring my tax return. He could bring his tax return. Nobody's going to arrest us. It is not -- there are no rules against showing your tax returns. And just let people ask us these questions about the items that are on there.



ZELENY: So, Don, this democratic race is really becoming the battle of billionaires here, but one thing that the Clinton campaign is trying to do is to get under Donald Trump's skin. That was one of the central reasons for having Michael Bloomberg at the convention last week in Philadelphia.

Having other people on the campaign trail with him. And Warren Buffett certainly was playing up that role tonight at a high school here in Omaha. But you may wonder what Hillary Clinton is even doing in red state Nebraska, in Omaha.

It is because, Don, that her path to 270, the electoral votes needed to win the electoral college she believes could run directly here through Omaha. Nebraska one of two states that splits their electoral votes proportionately so she could win this congressional district here in Omaha, like President Obama did in 2008.

And Warren Buffett tonight said he will drive people to the polls on Election Day in November. He put on a Chauffeur's hat and he said he's going to drive as many people as he can. He actually started up a group saying drive people to the polls here.

So, this is really a sign of how, you know, we think the rulebook has been thrown out in this campaign, Don, in many ways, it has. One way it's still sticking, you need 270 electoral votes to win the White House. That's why Hillary Clinton was here tonight in Omaha, as well as to poke a little bit of maybe some salt in the wounds of Donald Trump still not releasing taxes.

LEMON: Can you imagine you call a car service to come get you for Election Day and Warren Buffett is the -- that would be -- that would be amazing, right?

ZELENY: I mean, hey, it would.

LEMON: Thank you, Jim. Thanks, Jeff, Jim and Jeff as well.

I want to bring in CNN's political director, David Chalian. David, may need a ride to the polls on election day. I'm counting on you to come...


DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I bet he drives a nice car.

LEMON: I bet he does. Listen, we have a lot to break down tonight. And I want to start with this brand new polling. Hillary Clinton got a seven-point convention bump. Her lead over Donald Trump now 52 to 43 percent. What do you make of these numbers? And how does this compare to Trump after the RNC convention?

CHALIAN: Well, yes. Let's circle that 52-43 right there. Because that's a nine-point lead for Hillary Clinton outside the margin of error following both conventions. That's the big headline there, but be careful about that. Because this is about a convention bounce.

We saw Donald Trump get a bounce and then he came down. And we see Hillary Clinton getting a bounce. What we don't know yet, Don, if that she's going to be able to sustain that bounce. Donald Trump's bounce was a six-point bounce as you can see there after his convention, after Cleveland.

[22:10:01] Then after Philadelphia, the democratic convention, as you just showed, we saw Hillary Clinton go from 45 percent support to 52 percent. She got a seven-point bounce. So, they each had effective conventions.

She, of course, got the last word and now the big question is, can she maintain this lead or does her bounce begin to settle down as well?

LEMON: Yes. So, listen, her trustworthy numbers, that's a big deal for her. She was not able to make -- get a boost there, was she?

CHALIAN: Yes, no, this is really fixed. And we've seen it month after month after month. Take a look at these numbers. You see that 34 percent of Americans say that she is honest and trustworthy. They said that before the republicans started hammering away at her in Cleveland.

Then, you know, after taking a week of attacks in Cleveland, that even went down to 30 percent. But even after her own convention, Don, four nights of lots of positive coverage, her own program on display, and she made no real inroads there. She's back at 34 percent saying that she's honest and trustworthy. The

best thing she has gone for her on that score is that Donald Trump is at 35 percent, so this is her Achilles' heel, but it is not an area where Donald Trump has some great advantage.

LEMON: She hasn't moved the needle on trust. As you said. And he hasn't either, really. But was she able to make some headway, though, with Sanders supporters despite some rocky moments during last week's convention?

CHALIAN: She was. And you did see those moments. Listen, her party now thinks they're going to be more unified in November than they had previous thought - previously thought before the convention, and take a look at this with Sanders supporters.

Before the convention, 78 percent of Sanders supporters were Clinton/Kaine supporters, 12 percent of them went to Trump and Pence. After the convention, 91 percent to 6 percent.

So, I do think this was one of the big achievements of her convention. She's got really consolidated support on the democratic side now. Even with the supporters from her primary rival, Bernie Sanders.

LEMON: You know, Trump got a lot of backlash from both sides of the aisle for publicly criticizing the family of Humayun Khan, the Muslim- American captain killed in Iraq. I'm about to speak with the father.

Now that we're officially in general election territory, how will this resonate particularly with states like North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, where there are large pockets of military voters, David?

CHALIAN: There are, and no doubt they revere Gold Star families, if not, you know, as much of the rest of us, probably more so because they understand the sacrifice that much more.

But, Don, we have seen time and again these kinds of controversies surrounding Donald Trump and it doesn't peel away support. Even high- profile folks who sort of admonished him on this, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, John McCain, none of them actually withdrew their support for his candidacy for the fall, and we've seen what a loyal base of support he has.

so, I think the question now becomes, OK, so perhaps he won't lose a voter over these comments, but how is he adding voters? Because his base of support, it's not enough to get to 270 electoral votes as it is right now. He's got to find a way to build a coalition that is slightly larger than what he has currently got, as you see from our poll numbers. He's at 43 percent.

So he's got to add to that to win and controversies like this, Don, I think make it very difficult for him to add to his coalition.

LEMON: David Chalian, thank you very much.

When we come right back, Khizr Khan whose Muslim-American son died a war hero in Iraq responds to Donald Trump, live right here on CNN. [22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Donald Trump doubling down on his feud with the Gold Star family. Khizr Khan, the father of Muslim-American soldier slain in Iraq in 2004, blasted Trump in a speech at the democratic convention saying Trump would have barred his family from coming to this country.

Well, the candidate has been on the attack against the family ever since and despite calls from republicans like John McCain urging him to back down.

Joining me now Khizr Khan, the father of army captain Humayun Khan, an Iraq war hero. Mr. Khan, first of all, I am so honored to have you join me tonight. Thank you for your son's service and thank you for coming on.


LEMON: I know many Americans feel the same way. The Washington Post published this picture today from Arlington Cemetery. Since your speech on Thursday night, people have been leaving flowers and letters at your son's grave. Do you know that?

KHAN: Yes. We went there just to stand there and say a prayer. We go there often, and during this controversy, we were just, again, reassured the goodness of this country, the goodness of the people. The appalling love, the appalling respect.

And I'm just amazed and it reaffirms the belief that we have had always since moving here that this is a wonderful, wonderful country. Its values, its people are exceptionally generous and kind, and so that's what we see and that's what we are experiencing.

LEMON: Yes. The reaction has been very positive to your speech and the support has been overwhelming. You said you can't walk, you know -- you told me in the commercial break you can't walk two feet on the sidewalk without people coming up to talk to you?

KHAN: Believe me, I've been surprised and I've been telling Ghazala that we should be careful when we walk outside because it used to be as a private citizen we would just simply walk and go and do our things. Not anymore.

And this is what people say, thank you for touching our heart. Thank you for speaking what we have been thinking, what we have been feeling but have not been able to say it and they're so generous, hugging, so generous. Stranger. When they hug med I see tears in their eyes. Emotional. Not being able to articulate themselves.

It is amazing. Amazing. This has reaffirmed my belief that some stands are worth taking.

[22:20:02] Certain burdens must be born to be on the right side. To make sure that we identify that unacceptable leader, the person that has no quality of empathy, has become a candidate of a major leader. Are there any risks and burdens? Of course, there are in this political discourse.

LEMON: Yes. I want to play something that happened just a few hours ago. This was at a Mike Pence rally in Carson City, Nevada. Look at this.



CATHERINE BYRNE, MOM CONFRONTED MIKE PENCE: My name is Catherine and I am a military mom. My son is currently serving in the U.S. Air Force.

PENCE: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much.

BYRNE: My question for you, Mr. Pence, is, time and time again, Trump has disrespected our nation's armed forces and veterans and his disrespect for Mr. Khan and his family is just an example of that.


Will there ever be -- will there ever be a point in time when you're able to look at Trump in the eye and tell him enough is enough?

PENCE: It's all right.

BYRNE: You have a son in the military. How to you tolerate his disrespect?

PENCE: Well, I thank you for the question. It's all right. It's all right. Folks, that's what -- that's what freedom looks like and that's what freedom sounds like. OK? It is.


Let me just say, first, I want to honor your son's service to the country and your family's service to the country. I truly do, ma'am. Let me say I know this has been much in the news of late, in the last few days, but as I said last night, as Donald Trump said -- Saturday night. Captain Khan is an American hero. And we honor him and honor his family as we do all Gold Star families in this country.



LEMON: He went on to talk about the sacrifices that Donald Trump has made as well. What do you think of that woman's appearance, by the way, she's a staunch Clinton supporter, and what do you think of Pence's response, Mr. Khan?

KHAN: I wish his running mate would have the same empathy that he's displaying, or this is just to answer the criticism that they're receiving. I wonder.

It really -- every response that comes from that campaign seems so disingenuous that Governor Pence would say one thing, whereas the candidate for the presidency for the stewardship for the stewardship of this country would say something else.

I don't think they're on the same page. The leadership of Republican Party is saying one thing, but their candidate is saying another thing.

LEMON: You have asked leaders supporting Trump to be held accountable. Are you satisfied with the results? Because a lot of them are denouncing his words but then not renouncing their support of him.

KHAN: That is amazing, amazing political maneuvering, saying things but not denouncing -- not standing with but not supporting half, more than half of the republican leadership has disassociated, they have nothing to do with their party's presidential candidate. That speaks volume to an ordinary citizen.

I think what has happened here is that because of the fear mongering, because of the economic conditions, this person has been promising snake oil. He's promising things that constitutionally cannot take place in this country. He said he's going to build a wall.

We know he will not be able to build a wall. Wall for what? He says he's going to throw 11 million Hispanics out of this country. That will be such a constitutional crisis that this country has never seen.

For example, the only thing he can do, Congress is not going to pass the law to deport that 11 million people from here. The only thing he will have is that he would execute, he would sign an executive order. Who's going to implement it? Department of Justice.


KHAN: Department of Justice is not going to go and knock at the door. It's going to be gone to the sheriffs and to the police departments and then you have courts sitting there watching all this, violation of the Constitution, will they let it happen?

So, what are we talking about? We are talking about not thought through. That is what is, we need to -- and I plan to continue to say that is what we need to say to the good American that this is not thought through policy.

[22:25:05] This is pandering for votes, say anything. First, Mr. Trump says we are going to ban all Muslims because that sounded good, to gather some votes. Then when he realized that now people are becoming aware of it, that that cannot be done, that is against the Constitution of the United States, now he has switched. What he's saying now is from the states where terrorism is prominent and these immigrants are coming...


LEMON: So, how do you decide that as well? I mean, yes, so how does that work? But I have to ask you, though, and you answered one of my questions that I was going to ask you earlier if you were going to continue on to do this.

Because some people are calling, you know, you're a political operative. They're saying that, you know, you went up there at the DNC convention and that you were a political operative.

One of Donald Trump's, one of this veteran co-chairs, the State Representative Al Baldasaro of New Hampshire who recently said Hillary Clinton should be executed by firing squad for treason is saying you're using your son as a political pawn.

Did you expect to have your motives questioned in this manner from people within the campaign? What do you think of what he said about you?

KHAN: Here is what happened. When Trump made a statement of deporting all Muslims from this country, a reporter approached me and say, what are my thoughts? I gave him my thoughts that that's not possible, this is good country. This is -- we have made it home. And I don't think that that would be possible.

So, those words were written in an article and that article probably got caught the eye of the Clinton campaign. They asked me if they could pay tribute this...


LEMON: Let me read this -- let me read this and then you can explain it. Because this is from December of 2015.

KHAN: That is correct.

LEMON: You recount a conversation you had with your son, Shaharyar, right, about radical Islam. And this is a quote. You said, "This is a time for us American Muslims to rat out any traitor who walks amongst us. Among us hides the enemies of the value system of this country and we need to defend it. And if it means ratting out the traitors who hide behind an American passport, that is what we need to do."

What you said that eight months ago before your speech and you said that's what you believe got the eye or the ear of the DNC, so.

KHAN: Yes. There is -- there is another section prior to that which says that we made the decision to come to this country 30 years ago. We are proud to be here. We are patriotic Muslim Americans citizens of this country, and so I went on and then that article ended that way.

So, that article was looked at and I got a telephone call that could we use your words for a tribute to be paid to Humayum Khan? Which father would -- which parent would deny that or refuse to that? I said wonderful. And that's how the tribute was prepared.

Then I was asked if me and Mrs. Khan would come and be on the stage when the tribute is being paid and say a word or two. And I said how much time would I have to say this? Between three and four minutes.

So, I wrote a speech. My wife asked me to not say this, not say this, not say this, and I wanted to cut it to about three or four minutes, my allotted time, because there were lots of speakers and all this.

So, I went with that preparation in mind. No association with the campaign or anything. We are non-political -- I'm neither democrat nor republican. We have voted this way or that way to both sides in the past elections. Depending on the candidate.

And the part of the Constitution came into being, I keep a stack of Constitution, if you read New York Times article, I think they have spoken with the commander of the ROTC. And affirmed he said any time our cadets go to Mr. Khan's house, the very first thing he does, he gives them copy of the Constitution and tour of his house.

And they are amazed to see how similar we live, how it feels them, even though this is the first time they have stepped into a Muslim home, but they feel this is like their parents' home. And we're so similar in all of that. That's the compliment we get once we sit down and eat dinner. Thereafter, I keep copy of it in my coat, formal coat pocket.

LEMON: I keep one of my desk. I don't carry one with me but I keep it in my desk. You carry it with you.

KHAN: I keep it in my pocket. I mean, you can tell that it's all written and all torn and I have my notes written on it and all that. I keep it in my pocket. And I wasn't aware that if I have it in my pocket, we got ready and the last thing I did was before we get into the cab, I put my coat on.

[22:30:00] When I put my coat on, my hand touches something. I said, what is this? And there it was. It was the Constitution in my pocket. And so, during the ride, I said my actual words were that if you read the Constitution of United States, there is -- look for the words, "Liberty and equal protection of law."

I said I could change this and I could pull the Constitution out at that time. That was totally, totally instantaneously came to my mind that that would be a good gesture.

LEMON: Can I ask you something about your wife? Because she didn't speak. And I've since heard, you know, that -- and I saw you and her do another interview that she was just too overwhelmed.

She could barely -- you know, when the interviewer asked her about what do you think when you saw your son in uniform? She could barely get the words out. She said, I was so proud of him and then she started crying.

And it is been said, you know, Donald Trump said, maybe she couldn't or insinuated she didn't speak because of something, it has something to do with Islam or being a Muslim. How is she? What do you say to that?

KHAN: Well, you have heard her, the world has heard her. The respect the world is paying to her is amazing, amazing, amazing. This I -- this is dangerous political rhetoric that when I speak about Mr. Trump's disqualification as candidate for the presidency, he says, oh, I am being severely attacked, harshly attacked.

Well, this is political season, you're a candidate for an office and I have same rights as you do. You can attack Mitt Romney, you can attack John McCain, you can attack Ted Cruz, you can attack Jeb Bush, you can attack women, you can attack minorities, you can attack Muslims, you can attack judges. And nobody can question your caliber? Your leg of empathy? And you want to be commander-in-chief?

Read today's rebuke of all Gold Star mothers. That speaks volume towards the candidacy, towards the ability, toward the character, towards the qualification of a candidate for the presidency for the commander-in-chief of the United States.

Never in the history of this country, I know little bit about the history of this country, any Gold Star mother has spoken that negatively or no candidate in the history of the United States has spoken so disrespectfully.

Mr. Pence, Governor Pence corrected but there is -- there is strange dichotomy here. The candidate for presidency says something. The vice president candidate says something else. Speaker of the House says something else. Senate majority leader says one thing. And then the candidate has nothing to do with that. This is -- this is amazing.

LEMON: But yet, and still they still support him and he is -- a lot of people who support him.

KHAN: I tell you this, Don, I want to be very frank. I have received over -- well, at this unopened 890 e-mails that I have not opened. I've opened several thousand e-mails that I've received. In there are e-mails from one republican, prominent republican wrote to me, I not violate his trust.

He writes, "I'm a republican, I was on the border line before I saw your speech, before -- after I saw your speech, I changed my mind. I am not voting for the president this time republican candidate for this time."

There are several e-mails stating similar sentiments that most disqualified candidate of the Republican Party because of the temperament, because of lack of empathy, no moral compass, no respect of women, no respect of minorities, no respect for judges, for judicial system.

This is mockery of the political process. That is why you see there are leadership -- they are fully aware of the consequences and they do not rebuke him. Yet, they don't stand with him. They don't support him the way other candidate.

Hillary Clinton, she's receiving the support of the party leader and the party -- the leadership of the party. Whereas, the republican leader, republican candidate, who stands with him?

[22:35:00] Half of the leadership has denounced openly that we have nothing to do with this.

LEMON: Yes. Yes. I have to go, Mr. Khan. And I don't want to. I could do this for another hour.

KHAN: Thank you.

LEMON: I want to, if you will, I think that this is a moment for Donald Trump and for the country to learn something especially about Muslims, especially about Muslims who fight for this country, American-Muslims.

What do you say to Donald Trump and what do you say to this country especially at this moment now dealing with this, what American Muslims are dealing with in this country? What do you want to say?

KHAN: Yes. Well, first, I don't think my saying will make any difference. He has good advisers around him. His family around him. They're the one that can influence his judgment, his thinking. Not I. So I don't want to address him directly. That's one thing.

Second thing is that, I am saddened to see the level of lake of empathy for te people that this candidate wishes to lead, and it is that, without that empathy, without that moral compass, we have seen leaders in the history that have come to power with no empathy for the people and no moral compass.

And history does not look at them kindly. And my country, my nation, deserves better and we will have better, and this election will pass and the good people of United States will vote their conscience, they will vote for the right candidate, a uniter, and not a divider.

LEMON: Khizr Khan, thank you.

KHAN: Thank you.

LEMON: Coming up, we'll continue our conversation. We'll be right back.


LEMON: Will Donald Trump's feud with the Khan family cost him in November? Cost him votes?

Well, here to discuss is John Phillips, a talk radio host with KABC and a Trump supporter, Maria Cardona, a democratic strategist, Matt Lewis, senior contributor to Daily Caller and the author of "Too Dumb to Fail," and Bakari Sellers, CNN political contributor and Hillary Clinton supporter.

Good evening to all of you.


LEMON: I'm sure you, guys, heard the interview with Mr. Khan just moments ago. First of all, Matt, I want to get your reaction to that man and whether or not, you know, this if it's going to make a difference this time with the Trump campaign.

MATT LEWIS, "TOO DUMB TO FAIL" AUTHOR: Yes, I was in the greenroom with him here in D.C. a little bit. He just seems to be a very kind man, very calm, considering the circumstances, and, you know, obviously none of us can really comprehend fully what he went through with his son.

And I think that he, you know, as he said during your interview there, this is a political season and if Donald Trump wants to criticize certain Americans, and it's fair game for Mr. Khan to criticize him.

And so, he's clearly passionate, but, you know, really I think presents very well, and I do think that it's, you know, it's very hard for Donald Trump to go after somebody who clearly has the moral high ground.


LEMON: Will it have an impact this time, is the bigger part of my question? Do you think this will be different?

LEWIS: Yes, yes, I do. First of all, we're coming out of the convention. Both conventions. I think we've had now four -- we're going on day five of this being the dominant news cycle story.

Donald Trump is clearly divided from Mike Pence, his running mate. Paul Ryan, other republicans. I think we're going to look back at this moment, not as the one thing that changed the election, but as one of a handful of moments where Donald Trump messed up and things could have gone differently.

LEMON: Yes. Bakari Sellers, this is from Senator John McCain who, himself, was a target of Donald Trump. And he says, "I cannot emphasize enough how deeply I disagree with Mr. Trump's statement. I hope Americans understand that the remarks do not represent the views of our Republican Party, its office or our candidates. While our party has bestowed upon him the nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to deame those whore the best among us."

So, he's just one of many who have been denouncing his words but not renouncing their support. He said it doesn't represent the Republican Party. Yet, the Republican Party is supporting Donald Trump. How do you reconcile that?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. They're walking this fine line, and I have to applaud John McCain. One, John McCain is a hero. And I think John McCain was the first one who was disrespected in terms of persons who've, you know, had the utmost military service in this country and being a prisoner of war.

And he was disrespected just man to man by Donald Trump. But you saw him at least mention his name. Paul Ryan, on the other hand didn't even mention his name. But you have republicans who have primaries or who had general elections like John McCain who were simply having to walk this tight rope and Donald Trump is putting them in a very, very awkward situation.

I do have to applaud John McCain, but I wish he would take it one step further and just flat-out repudiate the candidacy of Donald Trump. I don't think we'll see that. I think that takes a lot of courage. I'm not sure we'll see that. But I wish more people would stand up to him.

LEMON: Yes. Maria...


SELELRS: I was very pleased though, with John McCain, I was very pleased with Lindsey Graham and many others but I have to say, I'm very disappointed in Majority Leader McConnell, I'm disappointed in Paul Ryan.

LEMON: Maria, the Clinton camp has been relatively, and by the way, to think that the Republican Party is going to -- I mean, he's their candidate. They'd probably rather have him as a republican in office rather than, you know, to think that they would do that is probably would be naive to think that.

But the Clinton campaign has been silent, Maria, about this controversy. A case where -- I mean, is it better to let this play out and let your opponent just dig himself in?

CARDONA: Yes. I mean, they haven't been completely silent. They've actually come out and applauded Mr. Khan and said under no uncertain terms that he deserves our respect as an American who has sacrificed everything.

And I think what is implicit in that statement is the contrast with Donald Trump who has been given every advantage in this life here, in this great country, and he has sacrificed nothing in terms of comparing to what Mr. Khan has sacrificed.

And I got to tell you, Don, that interview was so compelling as an immigrant myself, there is nothing that speaks more to what this country means and the values that this country represent.

And the reason why people kill themselves literally to come over here every single day to live a better life for themselves and their families than the testimony that Mr. Khan gave at the DNC.

[22:45:05] And has been giving ever since in terms of defending those values which he believes that Mr. -- that Donald Trump is trampling upon every time he opens his mouth. And he's not wrong about that.

And that's why I think republicans are in such a difficult position because, while I agree with Bakari, I applaud Senator McCain and Lindsey Graham and those others who have not unquestionably supported Donald Trump.

But, yes, he does represent the Republican Party. Until they disavow him and take away their endorsement of him, he is the Republican Party's nominee.

LEMON: And he is their nominee, yes.

CARDONA: And he represents the Republican Party.

LEMON: Yes, I want to hear from the Trump supporter now, so the -- John, Trump avoided this subject today, but at a Mike Pence rally this evening, I'm sure you saw this, a military mother got booed by the crowd for asking how he tolerates Trump's disrespect. Has this put him in a difficult position? Do you think it doesn't matter?

JOHN PHILLIPS, KABC TALK RADIO HOST: Well, before I get to that, I just want to say for the record that the soldier is a hero. He deserves nothing but our respect. This family has sacrificed for not only themselves but for the country as a whole, for our freedom and liberty and they deserve nothing but our condolences and collective respect.

And Trump has been beaten up over this the past few days and frankly, he deserves it. Now, that being said, in terms of the politics, I don't necessarily think this is the death blow. I don't think this is going to hurt as much as some of the others on the panel think so.

Because Trump is not a guy that runs as the white knight. He's not a guy that runs on motherhood and apple pie. Trump runs at the anti- hero. He is the Walt white. He is the Dexter. The nurse Jackie. He's the guy that breaks all the rules when people have lost faith in institutions.

People have lost faith in corporations, they've lost faith in the Congress, 69 percent of people think the country is on the wrong path. So, you've got this guy that comes in and breaks all of these rules.

And because of that, I think the public gives him certain allowances that they wouldn't give other candidates. And in this particular case, he definitely picked the wrong target. But he's the only guy in the race that was willing to take on the Republican Party establishment on, say, foreign policy. He was the only guy that was willing to take on the republican establishment...


LEMON: But I understand what you're saying, John, but on this.


LEMON: I mean, it's this.

PHILLIPS: He hit the wrong mark.

LEMON: Yes. Talk about this particular issue, it's hard to defend it. We'll be right back. Don't go anywhere.


LEMON: Hillary Clinton gets a seven-point convention bounce and that's not the only good news for her campaign.

Back with me now, John Phillips, Maria Cardona, Matt Lewis, and Bakari Sellers will be back in a moment. We had a little technical problem.

John, I want to put up this poll, Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by nine points nationally, this can't be what the Trump campaign was hoping for coming out of the conventions, right?

PHILLIPS: Well, it's the convention bounce that we knew that she would get. She's not blowing him out by any stretch of the imagination after the last three days that he's had to be down by single digits. I think you can put that in the wind column.

Now, that being said, I think one of the key plays for Trump here is to try to do everything he possibly can to get Gary Johnson on the debate stage when they debate in the fall. Because when you add Gary Johnson and you add Jill Stein to the question, Trump does better and I think that's really the play here.

LEMON: Yes. Matt, this same poll shows 64 percent of registered voters don't believe that Clinton is honest and trustworthy. The Clinton campaign can't figure out how to address this issue, can they?

LEWIS: No, because she's not honest, because she goes on a Sunday show, you know, just yesterday, and says, you know, FBI director Comey said that I was telling the truth. No, he didn't. He said you were lying. Hillary Clinton is a horrible candidate. She's utterly unlikable. And she has a real problem telling the truth. And the fact -- and the fact that she's...


LEMON: Matt, let me play that moment that you're talking about. Let me play that moment then you can look.


LEMON: This is the moment on Fox news that he's talking about.


CLINTON: Director Comey said that my answers were truthful and what I've said is consistent with what I have told the American people.


LEMON: Go ahead, Matt, continue.

LEWIS: Well, and then we should play the clip of director Comey at a House, you know, hearing being asked several times...


LEMON: There it is. Play it. Ask and you shall receive.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Secretary Clinton said there was nothing marked classified on her e-mails either sent or received. Was that true?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Secretary Clinton said, I did not e-mail any classified material to anyone on my e-mail. There is no classified material. Was that true?

COMEY: There was classified material e-mailed.


LEMON: OK. So, the Washington Post fact checkers gave her statement four Pinocchio's, their worst rating saying that Clinton was cherry picking as you said, Matt, statements by Comey to preserve her narrative.

LEWIS: Yes. First, I have to hand it to your producers for being on their game tonight. That's good stuff. No, look, I mean, this is a very flawed candidate. And the fact that she is beating Donald Trump is evidence -- all the evidence you need that Donald Trump is the even worse candidate.

I mean, if Marco Rubio right now were the nominee, he'd be up by seven or eight points I think on Hillary Clinton and going into the homestretch. And instead, this is a debacle. She's a horrible candidate. She's a liar. A proven liar. And she's going to win probably.

LEMON: Yes. Hey, Bakari, I'm not sure if you -- we were talking about director Comey and Hillary Clinton's interview with -- what's his name, this weekend on Fox News. Chris Wallace this weekend on Fox News.

She -- listen. She can't afford to get four Pinocchio's. I mean, that is -- when you got such a bad trust deficit, you can't afford that.

SELELRS: I think what we saw is going into the Democratic National Convention, after that week-long episode of, you know, "lock her up, lock her up," you saw her honesty and trustworthy numbers go down five points, and after the DNC it went back up. And we do know that those numbers are extremely low.

[22:54:59] But this is somewhat bake into the cake.


SELELRS: Because you have to go back to 1992 when the republicans have started attacks on Hillary Clinton. This is not new. And this something that she is going to have to consistently deal with, rebuilding the trust with the American public.


SELLERS: And yes, I think that it gets very nuanced when we're talking about these e-mails. We're talking about 100,000 e-mails and the fact that three of them were marked classified, mismarked, partially marked, buried down in the e-mail.

And so, when you're talking about these things, yes, she has, she does get extremely nuanced. And sometimes that's very difficult. But she has to deal with these issues straightforward. I think -- I think that the issue we have here that's good for democrats is that she's running against Donald Trump.

LEMON: Yes. Hey, I'm running out of time. I want to get Maria in. According to PolitiFact, Hillary Clinton is significantly more truthful than Trump.

CARDONA: Yes. Thank you.

LEMON: So, I mean, how can she turn this around?

CARDONA: Well, I think what she does is she focuses on the message and, you know, I just want to respond to Matt. Because I don't think you want to get into a back and forth about who lies the most when your candidate is Donald Trump. So, you know...


LEWIS: She lies about classified information. She's a secretary of state.

CARDONA: OK. OK. Let me say what Comey did say because this is really important. What Comey said was there's absolutely no evidence that she said anything untruthful to the FBI. And I think the viewing audience needs to know that. That's what she should have said on Fox News this morning. Because that is what he said. Anyway, moving on, she's got to focus on the message...


LEWIS: What about to the House? What about to the...

CARDONA: ... of making -- hang on.


LEMON: Quickly, make your point, Maria, because I got to go.

CARDONA: Let me finish. Let me finish.

LEMON: Let her finish.

CARDONA: She has to focus on making sure that her message of unifying the American people versus what Donald Trump wants to do which is divide everybody, fear mongering, saying you have your lot in life because of that person who looks and speaks differently than you. That is not the America that we all have come to love.

LEMON: I got to go.

CARDONA: And adore and fight for.

LEMON: I got to go.

CARDONA: That's what Hillary Clinton needs to continue to focus on.

LEMON: Thank you, everyone. We'll be right back.