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Trump Goes Off Script and Ignites New Controversy; House Speaker Paul Ryan Wins Wisconsin GOP Primary; Trump Catchphrase: "Many People Are Saying"; Trump Claims Election Rigged Against Him; Trump and African-Americans. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired August 9, 2016 - 23:00   ET


[23:00:00] LARRY SABATO, POLITICAL ANALYST: Unfortunately, as has been proven over and over, you can hack almost anything. But there's no proof, there's no evidence. No one appears to be doing this. It pulled out of the air. And again, the only people who believe it are in Trump's base.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Larry Sabato, thank you very much. I appreciate your expertise this evening.

SABATO: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Donald Trump goes off script at a campaign rally and ignites new controversy. This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

Breaking news, did he threaten violence against Hillary Clinton with this remark?


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: 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 quickly called it a dangerous suggestion of violence with Trump's campaign says, it simply means that supporters of the Second Amendment will vote in record numbers for Trump in November.

So let's begin this hour with CNN Political Reporter Sara Murray. Sara has been following this story for us.

Let's listen to what Trump's comments were earlier today, Sara, and then we'll discuss.


TRUMP: Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, and 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. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, Sara, you were with Trump at a rally tonight in North Carolina, did he address his controversial comments?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Don, it was interesting. Donald Trump came out here and he did not address this. He talked a lot about the Second Amendment. He hammered Hillary Clinton but he did not directly address this controversy while he was here campaigning.

Now, he did take to it on Twitter this evening. He said, "The media desperate to distract from Clinton's anti-2A", that's on the Second Impedance aiming, there stance (ph). "I said pro-2A citizens must organize and get our vote to save our constitution." So pretty clear that Trump is doubling down on his idea that he was talking about building a coalition of Second Amendment supporters to sort of help boost his support.

He is saying that there was no threat of violence there. But he did rely tonight on one of his surrogates and supporters, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to make the case that this is all just a media generated controversy. Take a listen.


RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR: 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? I saw it. I heard it. I know what it meant. I heard how the crowd reacted to it because if he had meant what they're saying, he meant or suggested it, they would have reacted the way you just reacted.


MURRAY: Now, Don, one thing that has become clear with how the campaign has handled this tonight is, they do want to clarify that this is Donald trying to talk about consolidating political power through the statement that they put out earlier today, through the Trump tweet, through surrogates. Even though Donald Trump didn't talk about this himself tonight, it's pretty clear the campaign wants to be able to put this to bed.

LEMON: And now, the Clinton campaign wasted no time hitting Trump on his comments. What did they say?

MURRAY: That's absolutely right. The Clinton campaign seized on this as an indication that Donald Trump was promoting violence, that he was somehow promoting this threat against Hillary Clinton, their campaign put out a statement saying this is simple.

What Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to president of the United States should not suggest violence in any way and we have seen many Hillary Clinton supporters and her own surrogates echoing those same comments tonight, Don.

LEMON: All right, Sara, thank you very much. I appreciate that.

Our breaking news story tonight, House Speaker Paul Ryan easily winning the Republican primary in his Wisconsin district. I want to go CNN's Manu Raju, he joins us now.

Manu, you were there. You spoke with Paul Ryan at his press conference just a little while ago, what did he say?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we had a chance to talk to him about those very controversial comments that Donald Trump made, about the second amendment.

Remember, Paul Ryan has said repeatedly that he will speak out against Donald Trump if he believes conservative principles are being distorted in his view. He's done that against Trump's call to ban Muslim immigration in this country and the Mexican-American judge, Judge Gonzalo Curiel.

So I had asked him specifically what about these comments about the Second Amendment and suggesting perhaps that folks take it in their own hands.

Paul Ryan offered a measured response.


PAUL RYAN, (R-W1) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I've been a little busy today. I heard about this Second Amendment quote. It sounds like just a joke gone bad.

[23:05:04] 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.


RAJU: Now, in the Paul Ryan's opening statement, he also showed us some of the different view of the party, a different view of the country than Donald Trump does. He said that we shouldn't prey on fear and he talked in a more optimistic terms, clearly an effort by Paul Ryan to showcase a different side of the Republican Party as they deals with a top of ticket whose standings in the polls could frankly make it harder for Republicans to keep control of Congress if Donald Trump continues to struggle, Don.

LEMON: Manu, you also asked the speaker about the numerous Republicans denouncing Donald Trump and now withdrawing their support. What did he say about that?

RAJU: You know, he actually did not side with those critics of Donald Trump. I asked him specifically, what do you think about Susan Collins' comments and what do you think about the 50 Republican National Security officials who say frankly Donald Trump is too dangerous to lead this country.

He would not go there. He said that the Trump/Pence ticket is the way to go. He thinks Hillary Clinton would be a danger to this country. It really just shows, Don, that Paul Ryan needs Donald Trump to do well.

If they want to hang on to control of Congress, if they want to do well in November, Donald Trump needs to keep this competitive. Even if doesn't win, he cannot get blown out. If he does, it will be difficult to maintain control of the House and the Senate and for him to maintain the Speaker's title.

So, clearly, Ryan sees some benefit in Trump improving his standing and improving his campaign, and that's one reason why he made those remarks.

LEMON: Manu Raju in Janesville, Wisconsin for us this evening. Thank you very much for that, Manu.

I want to bring now Philip Bump from Washington Post, a Political Reporter and also Jonathan Wackrow, he is a former Secret Service Agent who served President Obama and Attorney Alan Dershowitz, author of upcoming book, "Electile Dysfunction: A Guide for Unaroused Voters", he joins us via Skype to make sure I get that out correctly because I don't want to be -- yes. I will just leave it that.

Philip, Donald Trump stayed clear of this controversy of this rally but he did appear on Fox this evening and I want you to listen to this.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: So, obviously you're saying there's a strong political movement within the Second Amendment and if people mobilize and vote, they can stop Hillary from having this impact on the court, but that's not how the media is spinning it. What's your reaction to it?

TRUMP: Well, I just heard about that and it was amazing because 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 as 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 say it. They tweeted out basically they agree 100 percent with what I said. And there can be no other interpretation. Even reporters have told me, I mean give me a break.


LEMON: Go on. PHILIP BUMP, WASHINGTON POST POLITICAL REPORTER: I'd love to know who the reporters are told him that. You know, I mean, to his explanation (inaudible). It doesn't make any sense that he would say what he said in the way that he said it in the moment in which he said it. And say that he's arguing that this is bout voters, come on (ph).

He's talking specifically about what happened once Hillary Clinton was president and if she appointed judges. It is simply not believable.

And the thing that's most remarkable about this, this is the moment when Donald Trump is stumbling. He's doing poorly in national polls, we just talk about how he's doing poorly in state polls. He needs to expand his base of support. And the way to expand the base of support is not to go back to his existing base and say, "Oh no, they're taking this out of context and what I really meant was X", which is clearly not true.

In any objective person who is coming at this who isn't already on board with Donald Trump is going to hear his explanation for that. And I find it hard to believe, any of them would be convinced.

LEMON: Mr. Wackrow, you saw, you know, my exchange, I think, with the other Secret Service agent, which everyone on the panel sort of disagreed with. As you -- you're a former Secret Service agent?

JONATHAN WACKROW, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT: Absolutely. Well, I think that what you have to look at here is that Donald Trump is a leader. Leaders are held to a different standard. You can't go into a theater and yell fire and say, "Oh, I was just joking." You know, and that's what we're seeing here.

I mean, these statements, you know, have ramifications. You know, to many Americans, they're going to blow it off as, "Oh, he was joking." But what about that one person that was listening and said, "Wait a minute, maybe this is my moment. Maybe this is moment to grab his attention."

That's what we look for in terms of threats with the Secret Service. We look at means, opportunity and intent. And, you know, (inaudible) who was on earlier, I have to absolutely disagree with him.

The Secret Service has to look at this situation because there are greater ramifications beyond just a joke here. They have to look at insightful language, what does his followers going to do.

[23:10:04] This is a very, you know, a nontraditional campaign that he's running. He's bringing out a base that we haven't seen in the electorate before.

So these are things that need to be focus on and need be addressed ...

LEMON: What do you mean he's bringing out a base you haven't seen in the electorate?

WACKROW; So these are people that this is a nontraditional campaign. These people are coming out and they're following him. He will do -- his followers will do almost anything that he says.

If he says tomorrow, "I want all of my followers to wear red if they say that Hillary Clinton is crooked." They'll do it. So, they'll do it because they're following his lead. He is the leader. And when he has language like this, you know, it's not a joke. These things need to be taken absolutely seriously.

LEMON: Alan Dershowitz, what are your thoughts?

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, there are three possible legal consequences to these statements. Number one, there is a statute that says if you threaten a presidential candidate, can you go to jail. And people have gone to jail for telling jokes against presidents of the United States.

Second, if you incite violence by others, it's a crime. And, third, God forbid anybody were to do anything based on that, there would be civil liable.

Let's remember what happened in Israel not so many years ago, a rabbi issued a curse against Rabin, the Prime Minister of Israel. And somebody took it seriously and went out and he killed Rabin and the rabbi was sentence to imprison for doing that.

So it's not only what Donald Trump intended. It's how it's perceived by those people. And I have to tell you, I think Donald Trump fully knew that there would be some people out there who would understand his ambiguous statement as a license to do something violent to Hillary Clinton.

So I think there are very, very serious issues here. And one just hopes that nobody is inspired to do anything. But if God forbid, somebody were inspired to do anything. He would be civilly liable and might be criminally liable.

The courts are sled all over the place. There's no Supreme Court (inaudible) but there are circuit court cases as to what constitutes a threat and what doesn't constitute a threat, this comes awfully close to the criminal line.

LEMON: The former CIA Director General Michael Hayden, one of National Security leaders who sign that letter yesterday, saying that Donald Trump was a threat. They responded to his comments, look at -- take a listen.


GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN, FORMER CIA AND NSA DIRECTOR: When I heard that for the first time, that was more than a speed bump, all right? That's a very arresting comment. If someone else had said that outside the hall, he'd be in the back of the police wagon now with the Secret Service questioning him.


LEMON: Jonathan, what's the next step for the Secret Service here? WACKROW: Well, the next step is, you know, one, Joe Clancy has to, you know, really look at, you know, trying to help manage the campaign and try to tone down this rhetoric. I mean, because there are consequences here.

People that make and act upon threats normally are not of sound mind. And what Joe Clancy as the Director of the Secret Service has to talk to leadership from the Trump campaign and say, "Listen, this type of rhetoric can't happen. You know, there are greater ramifications." And give them that guidance because as this campaign moves forward, the Secret Service can't past interference between two candidates that were protecting. This is a very unique situation.

And, you know, the Secret Service has to, you know, really set a threshold right here and stop this type behavior.

LEMON: That's a very good. His, you know, supporters are quick to downplay this. Gary Tuchman talked to some people. There are other folks we spoke to as well about what they thinking, that they were quick to sort of downplay. Let's watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, you can kind of skew it in your way or another way or my way and somebody else's way, but I think it was just political banter that both of them, you know, will do.


LEMON: Is this political banter?

BUMP: It's totally atypical conversation to happen at a political rally, it is safe to say. You know, I mean, I think that we have to remember that Donald Trump has said in the past, "Oh, you know, if you see someone out there with tomatoes, knock the hell out of them. I'll pay your legal fees", and people have knocked the hell of protesters at his rally.

He's said in the past few of these things and people have done them, they've acted in a violent way. You know, and it's also the case that the joke he made, if it was a joke, is not an uncommon joke. This is something that is said, people who are strong advocates of gun rights have said in the past, "Well, you know, if you're going to come take my guns and I'll fight you off."

I mean, this is in line with rhetoric is not uncommon but it's extremely uncommon for a presidential candidate to raise that in the way that he did. In that is also why we can feel confident in saying that this is what Trump's intent was. He was also making this seem sort of ...

LEMON: Go, Alan.

DERSHOWITZ: Remember also that many advocates of the Second Amendment believe it's not in there for purposes of hunting or self-defense. It's in there to make sure that guns can be used to change the government. Guns can be used to overthrow tyranny.

[23:14:55] And the statement was at least ambiguous enough so that I am 100 percent positive that there are some people out there who heard that statement and listen to it as an invitation to use the Second Amendment, that is the right to overthrow government by force and violence, and use it in the event that Hillary Clinton was elected president.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that some people out there so interpreted it and if there are people who act on that, we have a real problem and Donald Trump is going to be morally responsible and perhaps legally responsible.

LEMON: Thank you, everyone. Up next, Trump and conspiracy theories, why he often uses the phrase "many people are saying."


LEMON: Notice how often Donald Trump uses the phrase "many people are saying", well, what exactly does he mean when he says "many people are saying"? Here's CNN's Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It has long been a staple of Trump speech.


[23:20:00] TRUMP: Some people have been saying that.

A lot of people are saying that.

Half of the people in this room is saying that.

Some people, I don't know.


BASH: Then this tweet, "Many people are saying that the Iranians killed the scientist who helped the U.S. because of Hillary Clinton's hacked e-mails."

TRUMP: Let's go.

BASH: That harsh allegation using only "many are people are saying" as his proof has turned the catch phrase into an instant internet sensation. Many people are saying hash tag went viral, becoming a forum to mock Trump.

Hillary Clinton's spokesman Nick Merrill tweeting, "Many people are saying that a unicorn has house than a cage to talk Trump tower." The band Spoon, "Many people are saying our next album will heal the sick and end all war. It's just what many people are saying."

BASH: But beneath the sarcasm is a serious question, why does Donald Trump sent conspiracy theory into the ether eater with only a version of many people are saying to back it up.


TRUMP: Is he a natural born citizen? Some people, I don't know.


BASH: Sometimes it's about knocking an opponent off message, like during the primaries when Trump questioned Canadian born Ted Cruz's eligibility to become president.


TRUMP: You know, a lot of people think you have to be born here. You have to be born on this land.


BASH: Cruz who has then gaining on Trump in Iowa denounced to Trump's allegation.


SEN. TED CRUZ, (R-TX) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The legal issue is straightforward. The son of a U.S. citizen born abroad is a natural born citizen.


BASH: Other times, it appears Trump uses it is to change the subject when he's getting bad press. Trump's Monday afternoon tweet connecting Clinton to an executed Iranian scientist came little more than an hour after the New York Times first reported about a letter signed by 50 GPO National Security experts warning Trump would be a dangerous commander-in-chief.


TRUMP: A lot of people are very skeptical as to what happened and how he died.


BASH: When Trumps started focusing on Clinton after he locked up the GOP nomination, he used his -- "some people say" phrase to road test conspiracy theories from the 1990s like questioning whether Clinton aide and friend Vince Foster really committed suicide. Trump telling the Washington Post, "There are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder. I don't do that because I don't think it's fair."


BASH: Beyond why Trump does this, the question is do these people exist? And if so, who are they?


BASH: One source familiar with how Trump operates tell CNN sometimes, those people are some of Trump's 10.8 million Twitter followers, many of whom constantly send them ideas and suggestions.

Remember, this Trump M.O. worked for him in the GOP primaries and even before he ran in 2011 seizing on the Obama birther movement.


TRUMP: A lot of these birthers are just really quality people that just want the truth.


BASH: Still, scroll through Trump's Twitter feed and you'll realize he's relied on the phrase for years even to promote his businesses. "Many people have commented that my fragrant Success is the best scent and last the longest. Try it and let me know what you think."

Dana Bash, CNN, Washington.


LEMON: Let's bring in now Dennis Prager, the Nationally-Syndicated Talk Show Host, also Political Commentator Angela Rye, and Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter, the Host of Reliable Sources.

So, you first, Mr. Prager, I want you to answer the question that Dana poses in her piece. Why is Donald Trump pushing out questionable claims and conspiracy theories by citing "many people" to back it up?

DENNIS PRAGER, NATIONALLY-SYNDICATED TALK SHOW HOST: I have no good answer for you. That is the way his brain operates. I am stuck with the 17th of my choices. Any of the other 17 would have been preferably to me that he comes with baggage.

But I think I'm going to say something that will sound shocking but it is not meant that all to shock. I would say all of them put together are inconsequential compared to the president and many, many -- like at the New York Times and Democrats generally, who purvey the notion, many say that police disproportionally killed black because their black, when in fact, that has been shown to be false even in the New York Times report just from the few weeks ago with a black professor of economic of Harvard who studies the whole issue and found that in fact, black were disproportionately less killed.

So, when we talk about purveying conspiracy theories, the left has it over Trump in spades.

LEMON: OK. That's not what the studies have shown by the way. There is some very you well ...

PRAGER: Well, it is as well.

LEMON: ... studies that show that, that is not true Dennis but ... PRAGER: And, you know, you and I very rarely disagree, we think that we have opinion, but very rarely on facts.

LEMON: There have been a number of fact checks that we have -- I did the whole things, black, white and blue with -- I did a number of facts that show that shows a black disproportionally affected by police brutalities ...

PRAGER: No, no, affected, yes. Affected but not shot ...

LEMON: That blacks been shot more often by police than whites.

PRAGER: So, the black Harvard professor's report you're saying is inaccurate?

[23:25:00] LEMON: No, it's not inaccurate. I've gone through this before. That is a very small study. I have to go the site -- we're getting off topic here.


LEMON: It's a very small study of 10 police departments and just set their poll polling that is accepted by certain news organizations and certain people that are deemed to be credible. That particular one was not deemed to be credible because the sampling size was so small. But let's move on, we'll debate that another time.

So, I spoke with Fareed Zakaria last week who calls Trump a B.S. artist. Is that what it comes down to? He's just throwing out things a blatant lies to see what sticks just raise some doubt?

PRAGER: Are you talking to me or -- I'm sorry, I don't know if it's ...

LEMON: To you, Dennis, to you.

PRAGER: Oh, I'm sorry. So, ask it again, I was sure you were asking my , you know, I'm always worried about taking up too much time so ...

LEMON: That's okay. Fareed Zakaria, when I spoke to him last week he called Donald Trump a B.S. artist. And I'm wondering why he throws these things out that are blatant lies, these things would stick or to raise doubt?

PRAGER: The first time I was on with you, I said what I still believe, there is a minimal filter between Donald Trump's brain and Donald Trump's mouth. It is -- as I said, the baggage that comes with this man and if one can live with it, one lives with it, if one can live with the baggage that comes with Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, then, you live with that.

Hillary Clinton was given four Pinocchios by of all places the Washington Post last week for lying. That's the highest amount of lying I think can you do four Pinochios. It got almost no attention compared to this utterly silly comment about the NRA.

This is what we on the right have to live with. There is a disproportionate amount of attention paid to the non-sense ...

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Can we stop for a second? You just said it was silly. You just said his comment was silly.


STELTER: A lot of Americans tonight are very, very concerned about what he said about the Second Amendment. They're very concerned about the specter of political violence. Calling it silly, you dismiss people's fears?

PRAGER: I do dismiss -- I might dismiss people's fears heterosexually aids in America. The -- I dismiss people's fears ...

STELTER: By the way, you know, you can't come on television and lie about fact checking. Talk about four Pinochios, talk about the Washington Post fact checking. I'm glad they're fact checking all the candidates by the way. There's a lot of fact checking that can be done by Hillary Clinton, but Donald Trump has earned many more four Pinocchio ranking than Hillary Clinton has, that's a fact.

PRAGER: Right.

STELTER: Why are you cherry pick? Why you're out cherry picking about Hillary Clinton?

PRAGER: I'll tell you why, because first -- and I'll you why because I consider her lies to be far more significant than his.


PRAGER: When she was secretary -- that's why. I agree with you. He's gotten four Pinocchios.

STELTER: That's clear, but I just think it's important to note the Trump is getting many of those ...

PRAGER: Fair enough.

LEMON: So then, that's why her lies more significant than his because --

PRAGER: Because as secretary of state, what this woman did was to put her power and interests and money ahead of the country's security, that there's nothing that Trump has done that comes close to that.

LEMON: And how is that a lie? How is that -- how was -- do you fact check that?

PRAGER: Well, no. I'm talking about the e-mails, what she has said about the e-mails, that's where she got the four Pinocchios last week from the Washington Post. But why it's more significant ...

LEMON: Here is what I have to say, Dennis, that's one lie and if you can -- however you want to deem that, that she continues to repeat it. It's not something that happens every week, right?

You know, Donald Trump had a chance, three or four chances this week, to be on top of the headlines, to have positive headlines about him, negative headlines about Hillary Clinton. Instead, he keeps stepping on it by either doing something that is false about the Iranian scientist tweeting that out last night, then doing the Second Amendment comment. How can we not cover that as news organization? He does it almost every single day ...

PRAGER: Right.

LEMON: ... instead one lie that continues to be repeated or it continues to live on.

PRAGER: All right. So, I'll go -- I go back to the significance issue. I'm no big defender of this guy, Don, as you know.

LEMON: Yeah.


LEMON: Let him finish and I'll get you in, Angela. Go ahead, Dennis.

PRAGER: Yeah. So, the issue of the president of the United States saying, "Hey, $400 million in cash, that wasn't a ransom. Do you, Don, think that was true what the president said?

LEMON: Listen, that's -- we're going onto something else.

RYE: Can I chime in on this topic?

PRAGER: Yes, but that's the point.

LEMON: We're going into something else that that is -- the moment that is fact checked then, we will discuss it and we will discuss all the new ones of that.


LEMON: But that is not something that is as simple and is cut and dry as just asking a question ...

PRAGER: But it's infinitely more significant.

LEMON: Yes, but also the State Department was involved. There's also national intelligence involved, there's also a history. The president also said that Josh Earnest hold a press conference and told you about this back in April. So, you know, it's not as cut and dry like did he just flat out lie about it, that's a whole other show.

Angela, go ahead and get in.

RYE: OK. So, let me just chime in on Donald Trump being fact checked.

There was a CNN town hall have post report on this. Donald Trump was averaging a lie a minute.

[23:30:00] So, whether or not we want to call this significant or not, he's launched all out assault on other presidential candidates characters on their fathers. He perpetuated a lie that was national, entire worthy (ph) about a JFK assassination or not is launched all out installs (ph) on other Presidential candidate characters on there fathers. He perpetuated a lie that was national inquire worldly about JFK assassination attempt and Ted Cruz's father. So, these are very serious things we're talking about here.

We talked earlier about the second amendment and him saying that Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the second amendment. That has been debunked over and over again.


RYE: These are egregious lies and now it goes to character. There have been Pinocchio after Pinocchio. They say that Donald Trump lies 75 percent of the time in political (ph). It has been very, very clear that he has a tremendous problem with lying. Whether it's B.S. artist used to recall it or not, there's a problem with truth telling here.

LEMON: All right.

STELTER: I thought (ph) my nose is growing just talking about Pinocchio. So much here it's kind of awkward.

LEMON: All right, everyone -- thank you, everyone. Stay with me we're going to talk more about this. Trump's -- Trump keeps saying the election will be rigged. We'll going to fact check that next.


[23:35:25] LEMON: Donald Trump has been saying that he believes the election will be rigged. Back with me now, Dennis Prager, Angela Rye and Brian Stelter, and we're joined now by Ryan Godfrey, he's the Inspector of Elections for Philadelphia. Ryan, welcome to the panel. Donald Trump likes to talk about how he thinks the election is rigged against him. Watch this.


TRUMP: In theory it should be the easiest, but it's a rigged system. It's a totally rigged system. The elections are rigged. And I'm afraid the election's going to be rigged, I have to be honest. Because I think my side was rigged. And I'm telling you in November 8th, we better be careful because that election is going to be rigged.


LEMON: OK, so Ryan, you shot off a series of 24 tweets after Sean Hannity raised doubtful (ph) on how Romney votes were counted back in Philadelphia in 2012. And here's what you wrote, OK. You said, "I am inspector of elections for a Philly voting division. Independent but was a Republican as recently as June." Number two, "People like me sign off on election results in every division in Philly. We take jobs seriously, certifying the accurate will of all people -- of people." And then number three you said, "Claimed that 59 divisions in Philadelphia engaged in electoral fraud in 2012 because of votes for Romney is absurd and personally insulting." So what do you think when you heard Trump saying that the system is rigged?

RYAN GODFREY, INSPECTOR OF ELECTION FOR PHILADELPHIA: Well, I'm not a hyperbolic person generally, but I probably of a little hyperbolic about this. Our system of free and fair elections is the foundation of democracy. It's -- what everything else we're trying for here is built on.

And, obviously, there are problems there or things that could be better. We need to improve, you know, access to the polls and that's certainly true. There are problems, of course. But when someone comes in and says something they don't know anything about it -- about specifically Philadelphia elections without looking at the fact, without looking at what happened, it's kind of insulting to me personally and kind of feels like Brian said the other day, it's unpatriotic. This is a little bit of kicking dirt on the American flag, I think.

STELTER: It's like a little bit of knowledge is a bad thing, right? And these conspiracy theories they take growth (ph). Sometimes the conservative media -- it happens on the left too, but in conservative media, I think of snake eating its tail.

So when Hannity hear something then Donald Trump hears it, then Trump talks about it to Sean Hannity, they think it's new and it's like it goes round and round and round without getting the fact phase (ph).

LEMON: Well, that's the whole thing. It's like the facts -- we've been saying if you repeat were just talking this -- about this, you could quit (ph) a conspiracy theory or a lie.


LEMON: So often, you said enough people are going to believe it and ...

STELTER: That's why I think tonight is -- if I can say about the second amend in people, tonight is related to the rigged election. Rigged election is related to Trump's other conspiracy theory. They're all related. They're all have a piece because they're all about a broader story that Donald Trump is telling.

LEMON: Yeah.

STELTER: And the story is not supported by the facts. You know last week you said that thousands of radical Islamic terrorist had been allowed in the United States. Think about that.

LEMON: Yeah.

STELTER: He said thousands of Islamic terrorists have been allowed inside the United States. People barely noticed because he said so much, that has the fact check. We can barely keep up. But he is saying things that are flatly untrue and they all buy into this larger story line that the system had against the American people.

LEMON: Well, that's the whole thing that we ...

STELTER: It goes that up to (inaudible).

LEMON: But that's the whole thing that you hear and it's not just from Donald Trump. You hear it from a lot of folks especially - I think more so during this election we talk about police balance and Dennis was just talking about but it doesn't matter. The fact checks don't matter.

I think many times people want their beliefs reinforce. And if you're on television, you're trying to point out even events calmly like this person is lying to you ...


LEMON: ... just because they're saying it loudly, it does not mean that they're actually right.

STELTER: Yeah. Because this is a gut (ph) election, right? This is an election or guts (ph) but that's why the Sean Hannity to the world, conserver's leaders have to speak up. They can't let ...

LEMON: But Sean Hannity then basically shaped Donald Trump's responsing, "Oh but the media didn't say it's like ...

STELTER: It's a shame.

LEMON: Yeah.

STELTER: It's a shame. It was a middle (ph) opportunity.

LEMON: Let me get Dennis in. Dennis, you said that Trump's rigged election comments are -- do you believe that they're terrible? So, why do you think he is racing his gal?

PRAGER: As I said -- I think he says whatever he emotes. It's -- as I've said each candidate comes with their baggage. I've said to you the first night that I was on your program.

LEMON: But is that acceptable to you ...

PRAGER: That I am proud as a conservative about the amount of angst that we feel about his character. But there is no corresponding angst among liberals about the character of Hillary Clinton.

[23:40:10] We care more about character than liberals do. That's what I would say.

LEMON: I think that a lot of people that are concerned about Hillary Clinton. Listen, I get you ...

PRAGER: No, about her views not her character. LEMON: OK.

PRAGER: You never hear it. You never hear it.

LEMON: All right, so - so I'll take you at face value. All right, let's just say that. I'll let you have that. But -- then considering all these remarks that we hear every single day and so you have 50 very well respected people who know foreign policy and security coming up yesterday, how then can one in good conscience as a conservative say this is the guy for me?

PRAGER: Because if one believes, as I do -- this is the larger picture of all -- if one believes as I do that the left is damaging my country perhaps irreparably as it is doing to western civilization in Europe as well, undermining the basic values of the society. I know that that's not how a nice, sweet person on the left wakes up in the morning. I understand that half of my relatives are on the left and I love them. I understand that.

But that is the damaged - look, take the university. The university has been damaged terribly. It is become a place of indoctrination and virtually no free speech versus what it was in the past.

GODFREY: Can I jump in here, Dennis?

PRAGER: Yes, sure.

LEMON: Go ahead Ryan, please.


PRAGER: Defend what the left does at the university.

GODFREY: You're talking about a lot of things here but fundamentally if we -- if you agree with me that the free and fair election is the most important thing that we're building everything else on, isn't that more important than, you know, what's going on in the -- in academia? I mean, I'm talking about basis of everything.

PRAGER: Well, it's not the basis of everything because I think a lot of people just dismiss what he says when he makes these hyperbolic statements. But you can't dismiss what is happening at the university where conservatives are shut down if they speak.

GODFREY: What happens if he loses the election?

PRAGER: Yes, yeah. OK, so listen.


PRAGER: Right. And he yells rig.


RYE: He's already yelling rig because he's afraid of these holes. And I think the reality of it is there are several people, people who look like me who have felt like they have been locked out of an electoral system for decades.

We finally had some relief with the voting right act of 1968 which the Supreme Court gutted with Shelby versus Holder. Then you have these states who are passing voters suppression laws, voter I.D. laws. Trump goes to North Carolina and says that he supports the very facts ...

LEMON: We've got to go, Angela ...

RYE: ... a very piece of legislation ...

LEMON: ... quickly.

RYE: ... that they just - the appeals court just said is not constitutional. That is major problem.

LEMON: That's going to have to be the last word. Thank you all, I'm out of time.


LEMON: Thank you, Ryan I appreciate you coming on, we'll have you back. Up next, Donald Trump says that he will be a better president for African-Americans than president Obama ever was.


LEMON: Donald Trump says he will be a great president for African- Americans. Here to discuss now is Calvin Tucker, he's the Chairman of the Pennsylvania Black Republican Council and a Trump supporter. And Marc Lamont Hill, the author of "Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond". Thank you gentlemen for joining us this evening.

Calvin, I want to start with you first. You're the only black delegate from Pennsylvania supporting Trump. How do you explain to people that they should vote for a man - Marc you find that funny - they should vote for a man who has a record of making racist comment?

CALVIN TUCKER, PA BLACK REPUBLICAN COUNCIL CHAIRMAN: Well, I always say that rhetoric (ph) never solved one problem. And the African- American community, we have some serious problems that have existed over a period of time. And we made bill that we need someone who can get in to the community and help us eradicate, you know, some with the serious issues that we are confronted with, you know, economic distress, unemployment, underemployment, the lack of opportunities, and because he has been a builder and that's been the trademark throughout his life.

I believe if he does in a public sector what he did in the private sector, it's going to be good for the African-American community.

LEMON: Marc?

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I find that answer puzzling. I mean, to say that someone who has a record of making racist comments will be beneficial to the people about whom he's been racist seems bizarre to me.

Also, if we talk about Donald Trump's contributions to the private sector, we'd have to look at his record on housing, his record -- his reports on housing discrimination in his own properties. I mean, if his private life shows - yes he's a great builder but he tends to build in his own interest and after the interest of white people, middle class people, wealthy people.

And when you look at his tax plan, when you look at his vision for redistribution of wealth to the wealthy, when you look at how he thinks about American opportunity and how he talks about even things like immigration, or the blocking of immigration, to building a wall to xenophobic instances towards Muslims. There's no sense that the building that he's going to engage in will beneficial to vulnerable people and certainly not to black people.

And I would ask Calvin, what evidence he has -- that Donald Trump has referred (ph) for black people in those time (ph).

LEMON: Well let's - let me play this and then we can discuss it. Here's what he said about unemployment among African-Americans.

LAMONT HILL: Sorry, Don. Go ahead.

LEMON: All right.


TRUMP: Nearly 12 million people have been added to the food stamp and these people are growing and it's growing so rapidly since president Obama took office. Another nearly 7 million people, great Americans, are right now living in poverty. Poverty. OK? Poverty.

We have the lowest labor force participation rates in four decades. 58 percent of the African-American youth are either outside of the labor force or not employed.


[23:50:02] LEMON: So, here is what we did. We fact checked that and we found that they - that statement to be false according to he Bureau of Labor. In July, unemployment among blacks between the ages of 16 to 19 was 25.7 percent.

So, to Marc's question and then we'll get your reaction on the other side of the break. What is your evidence that Trump would be better for African-Americans and for African-American employment? We'll get that after the break.


LEMON: Back now with Calvin Tucker and Marc Lamont Hill.

So Calvin is going to ask you. So, what he said about black unemployment, Donald Trump at a press conference not long ago talking about this economic plan was false. So what's your evidence that he would be better for black Americans?

TUCKER: Well, you mean it is false that we don't have high unemployment in the black community whether it is 28 percent or 58 percent, that's a very significant number that we have to do something about.

[23:55:13] And I don't have a concrete plan from Donald Trump that he's going to, you know, do all of these things for black America that needs to be done. But in my discussion with many of his surrogates, you know, they are putting together a plan that's going to address the urbanization of America. And that's where all the problems are that exist in our ...

LAMONT HILL: Wait a minute.

TUCKER: ... principally in European communities. Go ahead.

LEMON: Marc, I mean, there's a big difference between 58 percent and 28 percent. That would be huge if that was, you know, almost ...

LAMONT HILL: Yeah, if ...

LEMON: 60 percent of black and also ...

TUCKER: No. There is a big difference. Absolutely.


LEMON: But if you're going to say that he's better for black Americans then what -- then I think Marc is right. What is the plan? Go ahead, Marc.

LAMONT HILL: Well, I'm just puzzled by my man Calvin here. I mean -- so Calvin you're saying Trump hasn't given you a plan. We been now hearing (ph) he doesn't have a history of having a plan for black folk. There is no history of positive treatment of black folk, but you're still supporting ...

TUCKER: But he hasn't been in the public sector.


TUCKER: He hasn't been in the public sector.


LAMONT HILL: Great point, Calvin. So, Calvin is saying that he doesn't have any experience in the public sector. He has no history of helping us in the private sector. He has no plan, but you're still supporting him because you talk to a surrogate who'd someone who also don't vote for him like you Calvin, with no plan, Calvin. Go ahead, Calvin.

TUCKER: But, let me ask you a question. What's the plan that Hillary Clinton put forth in the African-American community? What is her plan? (CROSSTALK)

LAMONT HILL: I don't endorse -- I'm not a Hillary Clinton surrogate so I can't speak for Hillary Clinton. But what I can tell you is, Calvin ...


TUCKER: Well, I'm just saying whoever you're supporting, independent or Green Party or whatever. What is ...

LAMONT HILL: Right now you're changing.

LEMON: Guys, we're overtime.

LAMONT HILL: You're changing the subject from Donald Trump to other people. The question is, why support Donald Trump, Calvin if he doesn't have a plan, no record, no history, and he doesn't even have a numbers right, Calvin? That doesn't make a lot of sense.

LEMON: That's a great question to leave our viewers with tonight. Thank you, gentlemen. We'll be right back.