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Trump Ignites Firestorm in Remarks About Second Amendment; Did Trump Threaten Violence Against Clinton?; CNN Projects Paul Ryan Wins GOP Primary in Wisconsin; Must Win Key Battleground States; Orlando Gunman's Father Attends Clinton Rally. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired August 9, 2016 - 22:00   ET



[22:00:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Thanks for watching. Time now for CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Off script and in the line of fire, is this a new campaign low for Donald Trump?

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

Breaking news. Did Trump threaten violence against Hillary Clinton by saying this?


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know.


LEMON: Clinton's campaign manager says that's a dangerous suggestion of violence, but Trump's campaign says it simply mean that supporters of the second amendment will vote in record numbers for Trump in November.

We're going to begin this broadcast with some breaking news.

CNN projects House Speaker Paul Ryan has easily won the GOP primary in Wisconsin's first district, defeating his challenger Paul Nehlen. This despite the controversy over an endorsement from Donald Trump who first withheld it and then finally gave his support to Ryan.

Again, Paul Ryan wins there. The speaker is expected to hold a news conference very shortly. We'll update you on it as we get more details on that.

Now our other breaking news story, Trump's controversial remarks about Clinton. I want to turn right away now to CNN's political reporter, Sara Murray now who is following this story.

Sara, Trump was mid-pivot, mid-reset when he went off script again issuing a warning or potentially a threat about Hillary Clinton and the second amendment. What's the latest on that?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, that's right, Don. This was a week where Donald Trump was planning to stick to the script but he got a little off script today and he had this to say about Hillary Clinton and the second amendment. Take a listen.


TRUMP: Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick...


... if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the second amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know. But...


MURRAY: Now, this of course immediately set off a debate about what Donald Trump actually meant by those remarks. And the Clinton campaign was quick to seize on it saying that Donald Trump was promoting violence and clearly taking that as an indication that Trump was essentially encouraging people to harm Hillary Clinton.

Of course, today, the campaign is saying that that is not what he meant at all, Don.

LEMON: And, Sara, I imagine that the Trump campaign is in clean-up mode after yet another self-made Trump controversy. What are they saying now?

MURRAY: They are in clean-up mode and they are in faster clean-up mode than we have seen them in a while, Don. They put out a statement very quickly after this, I'm going to read you just a part of it, essentially saying that "This was just Donald Trump trying to coalesce some political power behind him."

In the statement the Trump campaign said "It's called the power of unification. Second amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power."

Now, at his event here tonight, Donald Trump actually did not address this controversy, which is very rare for him. It was clear he wanted to try to stick to his message. Instead, he left it to his supporters to defend him.

And among those who leapt to his defense was former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Take a listen to what he had to say about this entire dust-up today.


RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: What he said very clearly was that if Hillary Clinton were elected president, she would get to appoint the judges to the Supreme Court, and among the other things that they would do to destroy us would be to do away with the second amendment and your right to bear arms.


Now, is there anybody here that -- is there anybody here that doubts that? OK. And then he said and you have the power to do something about it. And what he meant by that was, you have the power to vote against her.

They spin out that what he meant by that was -- that it was a joke and that what he meant by that was that they would kill her.

Now, OK. Now to buy that, you have to be corrupt. Because if you said that to me, I would say to you are you out of your mind?


LEMON: It's in here.

MURRAY: So, Don, you see that very spirited defense by Rudy Giuliani. And it's worth noting that even though Donald Trump did not mention this tonight at his campaign event, he did do a number of interviews where he was asked about this this evening.

And he, of course said that this had nothing to do with violence, he said it had everything do with trying to coalesce those second amendment supporters behind him. So, clearly, this was a remark that raised a lot of eyebrows today, Don.

[22:04:58] LEMON: Yes. Absolutely. Thank you very much for that, Sara. I want to bring in now Dan Bongino, he's a former Secret Service agent, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and senior political analyst David Gergen.

David, as we're sitting here, do some -- do they think Americans are crazy? Do they think people are crazy that we didn't hear Donald Trump say what he said? He completely got the quote wrong, Rudy Giuliani.

That's now what Donald Trump said. He tells it to a crowd full of people, a lie. That's not what Donald Trump said. Donald Trump said something completely different than what Rudy Giuliani said.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I happen to be a friend and ally in many ways of Rudy Giuliani, and I respect him a great deal. But I think on this particular one I think you're right that what Donald Trump said was - if we lose the election, after the election there is still might be a remedy.

The second amendment folks, the second amendment people as he calls them might do something. He didn't say what. He just left that out there. You know, there has been for a long time, Don, as you well know a conversation among gun supporters, second amendment people, that Americans ought to have the right to bear arms in case we have a tyrannical government. And then they can rise up against that government.

That's been a fundamental argument. So, Rand Paul calls it, you know, this plan B. Plan A doesn't work, election is going to work out, plan B is out there for second amendment folks.

There was a woman named Sharron Angle who ran against Harry Reid, a few years ago, and she famously talked about, you know, if the Congress gets out of control after the election and Harry Reid's your problem, well, we have second amendment remedies.

And everybody interpreted that as that's an uprising, that's intended for use of violence. And so, when Donald Trump goes there, he's drawing upon, he's doing dog whistle to that whole sensibility that's been out there for a long time among, you know, strong second amendment supporters that one day you may have to have violence against your own government.

LEMON: OK. But, again, today was not a dog whistle. It was quite plain, quite obvious what Donald Trump said and what he meant. People come on and try to spin it to something else.

It's just -- I've been sitting here watching this all day saying, do these people believe what's coming out of their mouths? Let's play it again.


TRUMP: Hillary wants to abolish -- essentially abolish the second amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick...


... if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the second amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know. But...


GERGEN: That was a clear signal that many people may just say, hey, he wasn't saying anything important, that's what he said. You know, let's move on.

LEMON: But people in the audience got it.

GERGEN: Yes, people in the audience got it.


GERGEN: People in the audience got it. And as you well know, after you've had a long series of efforts to demonize Hillary Clinton and to treat as a -- you know, he's called her a crooked, he's called her crooked, she ought to be in jail, people in the convention yelling "lock her up."

When you get on a role like that that this person is already a criminal and should be lock up, it's not a big step, it's not a big step, well, maybe we'll just take care it with a gun.

LEMON: Right.

GERGEN: And, you know, that's what...


LEMON: That's what the language and the words are so important, especially if you're running for leader of the free world.

GERGEN: Exactly. And you're old enough to remember, maybe you're a child at the time of 60s with the assassination of the 60s. I worked for two presidents who were assassination attempts and Ronald Reagan came within an inch of losing his life.


GERGEN: I can just tell you that within politics if there's an unwritten rule, it's absolutely forbidden to go anywhere close to suggesting violence against a federal official.

In fact, if you openly threaten violence is against the law. You violated the law. And secretary of arbitration will tell you, wait a minute, he came very close to the edge of the law today.

LEMON: I want to -- Jeffrey Toobin, I want to bring you in here, because here's what Donald Trump tweeted out tonight. He said, "When is the media going to talk about Hillary's policies that have gotten people killed like Libya, open borders and maybe her e-mails?"

We may be talking about that if he had wouldn't make comments like the ones he make today, Jeffrey?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, it's not like the media has neglected the issue of Benghazi and her e-mails. I think people are quite aware of those subjects because they've been subjects of a lot of press attention.

Look, I've also watched this clip many times now. What he said is not a crime. It is a -- it is not direct enough to be a crime, but in my experience of dealing with the Secret Service, if anyone comes even near to a threat of physical violence against someone who is protected by the Secret Service, they pay a visit and they talk to the person and they say you understand the seriousness of what you said.

And what -- and what Trump said today is certainly the kind of comment that would merit a visit from the Secret Service and a warning stay away from threats of violence.

[22:10:04] Because there is no doubt, as you've been saying over and over, Don, what Trump was saying here what Trump was saying here. And it clearly related to violence against Hillary Clinton.

LEMON: Dan, you're disagreeing with Jeffrey?

DAN BONGINO, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT: I mean, Don, I'm trying not to break down in laughter. This conversation is almost broken into the comical realm. It's clear what he was suggesting?

I mean, he clearly from -- I had to read through his exact comments in the Washington Post today, twice, when I was asked to be on the show to try to find out what exactly the controversy was even about. You know, for 12 years of my...


LEMON: OK. Let's play it again. Stand by, Dan, just in case you're not -- you're confused.


LEMON: Let's play it again.

BONGINO: No, I'm not confused, Don.

LEMON: OK. Let's play it.


TRUMP: Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick...


... if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the second amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know. But...


LEMON: OK. Explain to us people who don't understand and you, that you want to laugh at what he meant by that.

BONGINO: Don, the man, I think we all know, is running for president of the United States. He probably has some data that one-issue voters, a lot of one-issue voters vote on the second amendment issue.

It's clear he's trying to motivate people to go out and vote based on the potential for an open Supreme Court seat. How that's clear to you that was some kind of call to an open revolution and to start firing your weapons at public officials is utter absurdity.


LEMON: No one said that, Dan. No one said that. So, no one said that, Dan.


BONGINO: Don, you know...

LEMON: And if he wanted people to go out and vote, why not just say go out and vote, the Supreme Court depends on it.

BONGINO: Listen.

LEMON: The second amendment depends on it? Why give -- why say something like that if that's not what he meant. As someone who is running for leader of the free world, shouldn't he be as clear in his words as possible? Go ahead.

BONGINO: Don, I'll answer that question. Listen, we can disagree about how imprudent he worded that, but to suggest that he was calling for violence means to me that you came into this with the idea that Donald Trump was calling to violence, let me make the case afterwards.

You didn't come into this with a clear and open mind. Listen, I was -- I endorsed Cruz in the primary campaign. I'm not a Trump surrogate. I'm supporting him now, I happened to be republican.


LEMON: Dan, what you're saying right now makes no sense. I'm sitting at home, I'm watching Donald Trump, I have two ears -- I have two ears and I have two eyes, and I can see the reaction of the people behind me.


LEMON: And I'm not -- we're not stupid.

BONGINO: You're right.

LEMON: Every single person you have on this panel...


BONGINO: No one is saying...

LEMON: ... who are very smart people, David Gergen, who is respected -- hang on. Will you let me finish, Dan. David Gergen, who has respected by people...

BONGINO: Well, none of this because you cut...

LEMON: ... on both sides...

BONGINO: You're saying ridiculous things.

LEMON: ... by republicans and by democrats, who worked for republicans and democrats, who has worked for presidents who has had assassination with him, who's (Inaudible) with a president who's been assassinated knew exactly what Donald Trump is saying.

And worse, we're supposed to be stupid enough not to understand that? I should believe the spin coming from the surrogates or from people like you? You should be ashamed of yourself.

BONGINO: Don, it doesn't make -- Don, frankly, I'm ashamed that you're talking to me as if I'm a child when 12 years of my life...


LEMON: No. You're treating me as a child because you're telling me what I'm supposed to hear, and you're sitting here on television...


BONGINO: While you were learning how to be a TV personality sitting here lecturing me.

LEMON: ... lying to the American people.

BONGINO: You don't know crap about this, Don. You're a TV guy. I was a secret service agent. Now cut off my mic. Do what you want.

LEMON: I'm not going to cut off your mic. I'm going to tell you that you sit here and you're lying to the American people.


BONGINO: Listen, (Inaudible), you don't know what you're talking about.

LEMON: You're lying to the American people and you know that.

BONGINO: Yes, right. I'm lying, Don. Yes, I'm lying. I read these comments; a couple of people read them.


GERGEN: Don, can we go back...


LEMON: Go ahead, David.

BONGINO: They're just nonsense, Don. You're making this up.

GERGEN: Can we go back to Jeffrey Toobin, Don, and his point about that ordinarily in this situation a secret service agent would visit the campaign and talk to the candidate and warn him about the rhetoric like this.

Jeffrey, can you jump in here and help us understand that and let Don respond to that process?


TOOBIN: Right. I mean, obviously, you know, Dan worked for the Secret Service and I respect that. I worked with the Secret Service when I was an assistant U.S. attorney when I was an advance person working for a presidential candidate in 1980.

I mean, I have -- I certainly have less experience than Dan did, but I know how seriously the FBI -- the Secret Service takes these issues, and they don't wait around to parse very carefully is it a threat, is it not a threat, what does it really mean?

They are aggressive about these issues and they reach out and they don't arrest people necessarily. And there is no grounds -- let me be clear about this. There are no grounds to arrest Donald Trump for what he said, but it is close enough to the edge of a threat and, Dan, I really -- I just think you're way off base about this. I think any serious...


[22:15:00] BONGINO: No, I'm not.

TOOBIN: ... person who listens to this recognizes that there is -- that this is close to a threat and it's the kind of thing where the Secret Services...


BONGINO: You're not even in the ballpark.

TOOBIN: Hey, pal, take it easy.

LEMON: It's one of those things...


LEMON: ... where everybody else is crazy but the person who is wrong. But, Dan -- Dan, you are running for office in Florida, you're running for Congress.


LEMON: So, do you support this kind of language, this kind of rhetoric coming from Donald Trump as someone who is running for elected office?

BONGINO: What? Don, what kind of language trying to motive the second amendment voters...


LEMON: Just answer the question. Do you support what Donald Trump said today?

BONGINO: ... to go out to the polls? That was an answer to the question.

LEMON: Yes or no?

BONGINO: Support what? Getting people out to vote for Donald trump?

LEMON: Do you support -- do you support what he said today?

BONGINO: Don, people who believe in the second amendment should absolutely vote against the gun grabber Hillary Clinton, 100 percent. And whatever you need to say within the realm of reason to motivate to get out and vote. Yes, you should do that because you will lose your second amendment.

(CROSSTALK) LEMON: First of all, that's a talking point to call someone a gun

grabber. No one is trying to take your guns.


LEMON: That is your talking point, but go ahead.

BONGINO: Don, your captain talking point. You never -- you're like captain talking point and then you throw it back at me. You're insults...


LEMON: What's my talking point? Tell me what's my talking point is, Dan?

BONGINO: OK. You came into this and you said, listen, this is pretty clear. Donald Trump was implying some kind of a violent act against Mrs. Clinton. Which I'm telling you from 12 years of experience doing that...


LEMON: How is that a talking point? How is that a talking point? How is that a talking point?

BONGINO: Because you came into this...


LEMON: Do you know what a talking point is? A talking point is when you, a political operative and you go on television every single day...


BONGINO: Right. I'm a political -- Don, candidate not an operative.

LEMON: ... and you say the same thing over and over and over whether it's wrong or not because you have been fed something by the campaign.


BONGINO: I've never -- I've never said this over and over. You're actually the first person to ask me about it. So, I've never said this over and over. That's not a talking point. You asked me a question, I gave you an answer. It's clear to me and -- Jeffrey, again, I appreciate your comments, but I disagree with you completely on this.

When you take the totality of circumstances, the guy -- he was not a guy in a bar making these comments, it was a presidential candidate giving a speech where he was talking about the second amendment. This isn't even close to the -- the secret service would laugh this off if you brought this in their office.

LEMON: The Secret Service is not laughing it off, by the way. But go ahead, David Gergen.

GERGEN: Time magazine has a piece out tonight interviewing a former secret service high up. He said, "I would be in there and then basically to tell the campaign to cool it."


BONGINO: Who is the higher up?

GERGEN: Well, it's just like you, someone they went to interview. And he said, you know, this is very close to the edge, the very words Jeffrey Toobin used.

And so, Dan, I think you at least have to agree to the proposition that reasonable people can have a different interpretation of what he said, that it falls on different ears, you know.

That's what a dog whistle is out about. Some people hear one thing and some hear another thing.


GERGEN: And to after you've gone out and called her crooked, for all this time, basically called her criminal, ought to be in jail, your people are always yelling "lock her up," one of your people said, you know, she ought to be shot for treason. And you have...


BONGINO: My people?

GERGEN: One of Trump's people, one of his top supporters said she ought to be shot for treason. When you have that kind of rhetoric of violence...


BONGINO: Well, David, I can see...

GERGEN: ... when you have a rhetoric of criminality and violence and then Donald Trump drops these words into the middle of it, don't you think that some people could reasonably conclude from that? Wait a minute, that really sounds like sort of a, you know, someone called a violence. In the event that you know then.


BONGINO: No, because, David, listen...

GERGEN: Don't you understand that some people...


LEMON: By the way, Dan, there's a secret service official Twitter account, this is the secret service aware of the comments made earlier this afternoon, and as you said laughing it off. They're not laughing it off. But, go on...


GETGEN: They're not laughing -- that's exactly right.

BONGINO: Don, I actually talked to secret service agents who work on the jobs still. I worked...

LEMON: All right. Have them call me. But, go ahead.

BONGINO: ... believe me, they think this is ridiculous. What I was going -- the point I was going to make is, David, I see what you're saying, but the same standard of reasonableness as you're using that word does not seem to apply when it's democrats.

Not to get off topic here but when Barack Obama compared republicans literally to Iranian hardliners and terrorists, I didn't see anyone saying, oh, my God, we should go after republicans they're all terrorists because Barack Obama said so.

So, my point in this is if you come in to this with a pre-existing narrative that trump is calling for violence you are naturally going to build the case ex post facto.


GERGEN: Don't you think...

LEMON: Your argument would make sense if it was just democrats who are coming out saying he meant what he meant. But, Jeffrey, I'll give you the last word. Go ahead.

TOOBIN: Well, it's just, you know, this is a good example, it's good it's on videotape because everybody can see it for themselves and everybody who understands the English language can make a judgment about what Donald Trump was talking about.

And I think most reasonable people will listen to what he said and be very disturbed.

LEMON: Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it. Much, much more on our breaking news ahead. I'm going to talk to actor and filmmaker Rob Reiner, a longtime democratic activist about Trump's comments. We'll be right back.


LEMON: Breaking news, Donald Trump igniting a firestorm in remarks about the right to bear arms. He said that supporters of the Second Amendment could possibly stop Hillary Clinton.


TRUMP: If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know.


LEMON: His words are being interpreted as a veiled threat of violence against her. The New York Daily News now blaring in a headline that says "This isn't a joke anymore."

Joining me now is Rob Reiner who is a noted filmmaker and actor and producer. Rob, thank you so much for joining us this evening.

Listen, can I read this to you?


LEMON: I want to read this. This is a tweet from Donald Trump. This is a brand new. He says, "Media desperate to distract from Clinton's anti-Second Amendment stance. I said pro-2A citizens must organize and get out and vote to save our Constitution." Is that what you heard from Donald trump?

REINER: No, of course not. And any right thinking person didn't hear that. I mean, I can't even believe we're having this conversation, that we're having a conversation about this kind of talk from a man whose running for president of the United (AUDIO GAP).

[22:24:58] The volume of idiocy that comes out of this guy's mouth is, you know, you can't even wrap your mind around it.

I mean, first, he starts by saying let's, you know, let's spy, let's have a foreign country spy on this country, then he demeans a Gold Star family, and now he's recommending assassination as a remedy for political redress.

It's crazy. And the fact that we're even having this conversation and that this man is running for president, we're living in some kind of a dream world I think.

LEMON: Yes. This is why our words are so important. Because let me read this now, Rob. This is from Gabby Giffords, as we know, Gabby Giffords was, you know, very nearly killed by a gunman.

She said in a statement saying that "Responsible, stable individuals won't take Trump's rhetoric to its literal end but his words may provide a magnet for those seeking infamy. They may provide inspiration or permission for those bent on bloodshed."

And I'm sure and you agree, why do you say that even Trump is in joking this is a dangerous, dangerous comment?

REINER: Well, it's dangerous because of the types of followers that he has. I mean, it's no surprise -- you know, it's no secret that there are a lot of white supremacist groups and neo-Nazi groups that support him, and those people have a violent nature and a violent streak and they want -- they want to redress things with violence.

So, when you have a candidate that says things like, you know, I could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and it wouldn't -- it wouldn't change anybody's opinion of me and he incites violence at his rallies and he has these kind of followers, it's very, very scary.

My wife is the daughter of a holocaust survivor and these are the kinds of things that we've heard from the past. My aunt is a holocaust survivor.

And when we hear this kind of rhetoric and we know it's supported by these kinds of racist, violent groups, even if Donald Trump doesn't mean it, even if he's going to try and walk it back and saying I was joking, you are sending -- it's not a dog whistle, it's a dog mega phone.

It's a dog -- I don't know what to these groups and you don't know what they're capable of.


REINER: And so, it's very, very scary, very, very scary.

LEMON: Here's the thing.


LEMON: If you said I was kidding or you say the words are wrong, if you're running for president of the United States, you must be precision in your words so that people don't misinterpret you.

You mentioned that your wife is the daughter of a holocaust survivor. Hillary Clinton tweeted this out tonight, she said, "Our kids are watching, Donald." Then along with her ad, she's in the link in there with the children watching Trump on television. Watch this, Rob.


TRUMP: I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They'd be carried out on a stretcher, folks. And you can tell them to go (muted) themselves.

I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK? It's like incredible.


LEMON: So, Rob, I know you're a busy man, usually on a Tuesday night if we try to get you to come in here on the show or come in the studio that you're very busy and you can't do it.

But tonight, this is so important to you, that you're calling on the show, you're calling on GOP leaders to say enough is enough. What would you like them to do?

REINER: Well, I mean, we've had the beginning of it. I mean, you had 50 national security experts, republican national security experts already backing away from Trump -- not just backing away but writing a letter that saying that he's not fit for command, he's not fit to run this country. They talk about his being frightening. And so -- and we're seeing

Susan Collins and we're seeing some of the members of the House of Representatives. It's time for people like Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and the republican establishment.

And I've had many conversations with good republican friends, you know, who are really intelligent, right-thinking people. We need an intelligent Republican Party to have, you know, a conflict of ideas, where we have a real discussion of ideas and how to figure out which way to go.

But this is not good for the country, it's not good for our democracy. And we need to have the strong republican leaders step up. We've had some very, you know, serious-minded people step up in elected positions now, have to step up and say this can't happen.

This is not good. It's not about the Republican Party. This is not good for the country.

LEMON: So, let me ask you this because you mentioned republicans. There are many democrats on this show -- I need you to -- hang on, let me get this, Paul Ryan is speaking. We can get to that in a minute.

What do you say to democrats as well, Rob?

[22:30:00] REINER: Well, I mean, for democrats, I mean, you know, we have a candidate who is a responsible person, who is a hardworking person who has dedicated her life to public service and she is capable of running a country.


Rob, thank you very much. I need to get to Paul Ryan who is speaking now, who has won his district in Wisconsin, won re-election. Thank you, Rob Reiner.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I want to thank Southern Wisconsin. On behalf of Jenna, myself, and our kids, thank you.

Thank you for your trust. Thank you for your confidence. Thank you for your support in my efforts.

I'm a fifth generation Janesville Native. And I have been honored to serve this first congressional district since 1998. It's been one of the best experiences in my lifetime.

And I'm humbled that so many want to see me continue to work on their behalf. People here, they know me well. They know I believe that to serve is to work to become part of the solution, not be part of the problem.

They share my desire for political leadership that is inclusive, not divisive. They look at the horizon and they look for hope, not fear.

Most of all, they want someone who works to effectively advance our founding principles. Look, there is a lot of real frustration in this country. There's a lot of anger that Washington just isn't working and that it seems irrevocably broken.

The people want to see Congress and their elected leaders tackle our tough problems, not duck those tough problems. They're sick of the paralysis and they're hungry for results.

And all too often, Washington fails to provide results. In times as uncertain as these, it is easy to resort to division; it's simple to prey on people's fears. That stuff sells but it doesn't stick. It doesn't last.

Most of all, it doesn't work. Around here we look beyond the noise and the static. Our strength comes from the principles on which our country was founded, self-government and liberty.

Our inspiration comes from the notion that the condition of your birth doesn't determine the outcome of your life. And our desire is to see everyone get ahead and make sure that our children are left better off.

And so, because we want to bring people together, not divide them, because we want to break the gridlock, not perpetuate it, because we want fresh ideas, not outdated ideas, republicans are offering a better way to fix this country's big pressing problems.

By taking a better way, we can reignite our nation's economic engine. We can lift people out of poverty and get them on the ladder of opportunity. We can restore our Constitution, we can have real patient-centered health care and we can keep our country safe and free.

This is how we turn this passion of the moment into a hard-won future, through ideas, through inspiration, through inclusiveness, through an agenda that we can be proud of, through an agenda that can unite people.

So, we will take this agenda to voters across this country this fall and I am confident that they will reward our efforts.

Between now and November, I am committed to doing everything I can, to make sure that the status quo, which isn't good enough, is not continued because we can do better.

We are going to make the case that house republicans are offering new ideas for a new day and let it be known that we can't afford another four years like the Obama years. And let's be very, very clear.

That is exactly what Hillary Clinton and her party are offering. We can get this country back on track. We can tackle our country's biggest, most pressing problems before they tackle us.

We can restore the optimism that is there in that small business owner from Janesville. We can restore the optimism that's in the heart of that farmer from Elkhorn, that's in that worker that gets up at 6 a.m. to work tool and dine and re-seen (Ph), or that's in that college student Kenosha, they all want to find and reach their version of their American dream. And I'm going to do every single thing I can as their representative

of the first congressional district and as Speaker of the House to try and make that possible. I just want to end with this.

I want to thank my employers, the people I work for here in the first congressional district for hiring me to fight on their behalf, I simply want to say thank you very much for your confidence. I appreciate it.


How about some local guys? Charles Benson, I think I see you. Yes, there you are. I thought I heard your voice.


[22:35:07] RYAN: Oh, I don't think it means he's doomed in November. I think it means right here in Wisconsin people know me very, very well. Look, you know me well, Charles. I'm a local guy. People know who I am. They know what I believe in. And they know I mean what I say and I say what I mean and I don't do it in a mean way.

And I think that's the kind of politics, that's the kind of policies that Wisconsinites, republicans, reward. That's why I think I won. I wouldn't ascribe anything other than that.

How about Bauer. I just want to get some local folks. I thought I heard Bauer. Yes. OK.


RYAN: Yes, I was. That's not even a question I'll even bother entertaining. There's no point in having that conversation. Manu.


RYAN: I've been a little busy today. I heard about this Second Amendment quote. It sounds like just a joke gone bad. I hope he clears it up very quickly. You should never joke about something like that. I didn't actually hear the comments. I only heard about those comments.


RYAN: Look, I think it's very clear the Trump/Pence ticket is going to be one that will put good judges at the Supreme Court and we will find far better receptivity of our agenda that we're trying to get on track to fix this country's problems than the Hillary Clinton administration, that much we know.

Frank Shaw (Ph). Let me get Frank and then Kelly.


LEMON: That was Paul Ryan speaking, easily winning his seat in Wisconsin's first district. Again, he will continue on as Speaker of the House. When commenting about -- he was asked by our Manu Raju here at CNN about the comment made by Donald Trump today, he said, "I have not seen the comments, I heard about them, I've read about them." He said "I think it was a joke gone bad and that should clear it up quickly because one should never joke about things like that."

It's all he would say on that. And then he said he thought that the Trump/Pence ticket would be good for judges at the Supreme Court better than a Hillary Clinton administration.

So, we'll continue to monitor Paul Ryan and bring you information as we get in again. Again, sorry to cut Rob Reiner off. I thank Rob Reiner tonight as well for coming on to CNN Tonight.

Up next, Trump defending his remarks tonight.


LEMON: We're back. A very busy night. Lots of breaking news going on.

I want to talk about Donald Trump's remarks with John Phillips, a talk radio host who is supporting Donald Trump, also with me now, political commentator Angela Rye, Basil Smikle who's the executive director of the New York State Democratic Party, and republican consultant, Margaret Hoover.

Again, we do have a lot to talk about. Margaret, I know you want to weigh in real quickly on Paul Ryan on his comments this evening. What do you want to say?

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I'm delighted. I'm a Paul Ryan supporter. I'm delighted he won. But I would caution anybody to read too much into this win in terms of nationally what it means. As a victim on Trump versus non-Trump people.

Because Wisconsin as you recall has a Republican Party that actually went for Ted Cruz. The conservatives in Wisconsin actually haven't been huge Trump supporters.

And in the case of Eric Cantor where everybody saw this has a harbinger for the Tea Party successes, it was actually a case of somebody not going home and tending the fences at home. What we saw very clearly here even in this press conference is that Paul Ryan's first two questions went to local press guys.

Paul Ryan's graciousness and thank after he went to everybody local. I mean, he is first and foremost, a representative of the first district of Wisconsin tonight and secondly, the Speaker of the House.


HOOVER: And so what he did is he really made sure that he was attentive to his local consistency, thanks to voters. Thanks to his employers.

LEMON: And he did talk about it in the beginning when he was doing his comments about fear, and about playing on people's fears. And then he went on to take a question he did from Manu Raju regarding Donald Trump's comments.

John, let's talk about that. I want to bring in Rudy Giuliani now and the Trump campaign. He's saying that the crowd in the room got it and that this is a manufactured media comment. This is what Trump said to Hannity. Look.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Nobody in that room thought anything other than what you just said. This is a political movement. This is a strong, powerful movement, the Second Amendment.

You know, Hillary wants to take your guns away, she wants to leave you unprotected in your home. This is a tremendous political movement. The NRA is, you know, endorsed me. They're terrific people, Wayne and Chris and all of the people over there.

And by the way, they've already, I just saw they tweeted out basically they agree 100 percent with what I said. There can be no other interpretation. Even reporters have told me, I mean, give me a break.


LEMON: All right. But let's listen again. And I want everyone to watch the reaction of the man behind Trump.


TRUMP: Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick...


... if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know. But I'll tell you what, that will be a horrible day.


LEMON: OK. So, he's saying on Hannity that everybody in the room didn't -- and no one in the room thought he was saying what, you know, what's happening in the media now. How do you explain that man's reaction, John?

JOHN PHILLIPS, KABC TALK RADIO HOST: Well, the intervention was fun while it lasted. I was just hoping it would be more than one day before he fell back off the wagon. But you should never joke about these sorts of things.

Donald Trump should know best because he's the only candidate so far in the race where there is an assassination attempt. Let's not forget what happened in Las Vegas. You should never joke about these things.

There are lots of nuts out there that could misinterpret these, quote, unquote, "jokes" and do something very harmful. Now that being said, the worst part about this for Trump, is it took

him off message. Yesterday, he was on the economic speech. He delivered it in Detroit. He got a good reaction to that and now all of that is for naught, because we're talking about this joke gone bad as Paul Ryan described.

[22:45:08] LEMON: Reaction from the rest of my panel right after this quick break. We'll be right back.


LEMON: We're back. We're going to discuss an embarrassing episode for the Clinton campaign at the Clinton rally in Florida.

So, back with me, John Phillips, Angela Rye, Basil Smikle, and Margaret Hoover. We'll discuss that. But first, I want to get your reaction, Angela, you first to this Donald Trump comment today.

ANGELA RYE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: So, a couple of things, Don. I want to start with what he actually said about the Second Amendment. We continue to kind of just brush over this as if this whole abolishing of the Second Amendment by Hillary Clinton has not been debunked time and time again by PolitiFact and several other fact checkers.

Hillary Clinton has never, ever, ever said that she wants to abolish the Second Amendment. She not even hinted to it. So, it's really frustrating to me to also hear him lie, repeatedly lie not only at rallies but also on air. He lied on air with Hannity. So, this is very, very frustrating to hear.

[22:49:59] The one thing that she has said is she wants to protect the Second Amendment and she also want to enact common sense gun control reforms to ensure that gun violence is prevented in this country.

Moreover, on the whole exchange you had earlier in this show, what he's gone on to say, the gun grabber comments, all of these things are ridiculous and he needs to begin to own his word. As if he's actually running an election to be this country's commander-in-chief.

LEMON: So, unfortunately, Basil, I have to move on and I'm going to start with on our next subject. Yesterday, Saddique Mateen, the father of the Orlando fall shooter stood directly behind Hillary Clinton at her rally in Kissimmee.

Trump's vice presidential running mate, Mike Pence said this tonight about that.


MIKE PENCE, INDIANA GOVERNOR: It seems like every single day the national press latches on to some other issue about my running mate. You know, just each and every day of the week.

But you know what they're not talking about? Anything having to do with Hillary Clinton. I mean, did you know yesterday, yesterday at a rally outside Orlando,

Florida, you're not even going to believe this, yesterday at a rally outside Orlando, Florida, the father of the very radical Islamic terrorist who murdered 49 Americans attended the rally, was on television through most of the rally, sitting behind Hillary Clinton and he said he was there because he supports Hillary Clinton because she's, quote, "good on national security."


Now, the media is not talking about that, I expect because Hillary Clinton's been a disaster on national security.


LEMON: Basil, how could this have happened that he got into a rally and sat behind? Can you imagine if this had happened at a Trump rally?

BASIL SMIKLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Right. You know, look, I was in event for one point in time, you know, if -- I didn't recognize him quite frankly. You know, his face did not come to mind for me when I first saw it.

So, it's possible that somebody just did not recognize him. But I think my guess is that if somebody had or if it came to the attention of someone higher up, they would have said that that's not appropriate.

I think it was just a terrible mistake and, you know, I hope it -- I hope it doesn't happen given. But I can understand if you're an advanced person, if you're someone on the ground and you just are not familiar with this individual, then that's how it would happen.

LEMON: I wonder if heads should roll because -- and let me give this to John and then Margaret will come too. But because the Clinton campaign tonight released a statement saying that they didn't want his support, they disavowed his support.

Do you think that heads should roll this -- do you think this would be a much different story if that happened on the other side?

PHILLIPS: Oh, of course. Let's not forget what kind of lunatic this guy is. He claims to be the president of Afghanistan in exile. He is a supporter of the Taliban.

He tried to justify the shooting at the Orlando night club by saying, well, you know, my son saw two men kissing in Miami so he was really upset about it. I mean, just take all of that out of it. I mean, this guy is a potential threat to Hillary. How could you let someone that unvetted stand that close to a candidate, who's as close as she is as a major party nominee for the presidency. It's unbelievable.

LEMON: Margaret, last word.

HOOVER: In just any ordinary year this would be an episode that would set the Hillary Clinton campaign back at least a week because this is a terrible unforced error.

I mean, really this should never happen in a presidential campaign. You vet every single person who appears on stage behind the candidate. That's just how you run campaign especially some of these experiences Hillary Clinton running for national office.

That said, Hillary Clinton won the lottery by running against Donald Trump this year because Donald Trump is just giving her so much ammunition to go for that this won't eat up the kind of news cycle the way his comments do.

LEMON: Yes. Thanks, everyone.

Up next, experts say Trump absolutely has to win the key states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida to win the White House. New polls show us where he stands today.


LEMON: If Donald Trump wants to sit in the Oval Office he has to win key battleground states that Mitt Romney couldn't call for the republicans in 2012.

And as of now the numbers are not in his favor. I want to bring in Larry Sabato, he's the director for the Center of political -- Politics -- excuse me, at the University of Virginia.

Always a pleasure to have you because you always break down the numbers for us. So, good evening to you.

Three new battleground polls out today, Larry. The Quinnipiac, it says Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Tell us about them.

LARRY SABATO, VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR POLITICS DIRECTOR: Sure. In those three polls, Clinton is ahead in each state, though in Florida they have her ahead only by a point. I should add that the polling average has her ahead by closer to three.

In Ohio and Pennsylvania, frankly, Trump is not performing nearly as well as he was expected to do, given the concentration of blue collar white men in both Ohio and Pennsylvania.

And in Pennsylvania he's actually getting blown out of the water in a series of polls. Don, he has to win all three. This isn't a question of getting to and then making it up in Michigan, which he's going to lose or Wisconsin, which is he's going to lose and he has to worry about Arizona and Georgia normally republican states that are actually dead even.

LEMON: Wow. So, it's all or nothing. Let's talk about this new NBC News/Wall Street -- Wall Street Journal/Marist University battleground poll.

It shows Clinton has strong leads in Iowa, in Ohio, and an 11-point lead in Pennsylvania as we discussed in the other poll. What's Donald Trump's path to the nomination if these polls hold up. SABATO: Well, his path to the nomination would come in 2020, Don,

when the next election comes up.

Look, Iowa I was interested in because we haven't had many polls there and again, the white/blue collar population there and the older population is substantial.

This poll and a couple of others that we've had there suggest that even though it's relatively close, again, Clinton is leading there just as she is leading in literally every other swing state. The closest two appeared to be Florida and North Carolina and she has leads in both of those states.

LEMON: You mentioned Florida, you talked about that and about his -- I mean, and it's really close there, but I want to go on with the time that I have left with you and talked about this whole rigged election idea.

When Trump says the election is going to be rigged, what do you think he means by that, Larry?

SABATO: He means that he has an excuse in case he loses. Don, it is utter and complete nonsense. There is not one scintilla of proof that anything has been rigged in advance or will be rigged on Election Day. That's not to say that you can't hack election systems.

[23:00:00] Unfortunately, as has been proven over and over, you can hack almost anything. But there just -- there's no proof, there's no evidence. No one appears to be doing this. It's pulled out of the air.

And again, the only people who believed it are in Trump's base.