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Trump and Clinton Spar Regarding Fighting ISIS; American Medics Volunteer in Conflict Against ISIS; Battle for Mosul Nearing. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired August 26, 2016 - 22:00   ET



[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: Donald Trump speaking at a sold out fund-raiser at Harrah's Lake Tahoe. (AUDIO GAP) on that.

This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

Trump sending mix signals on the cornerstone of his campaign and that's immigration. Will he face a backlash from his base? Plus, Donald Trump calls Hillary Clinton a bigot.

Clinton charges Trump's campaign is built on prejudice. In the middle of a campaign that is dividing America what do we really mean when we talk about race? We're going to discuss that.

And here to discuss all of this now, Alice Stewart, the former communications director for Ted Cruz, CNN political contributor Van Jones, democratic strategist Maria Cardona; and Paris Dennard who was the director of black outreach for President George W. Bush.

If you didn't join us last hour, you missed a very interesting conversation with these guys. so, we're going to start it again.. We're going to try it again.

Trump and Clinton trading accusations of bigotry. Here is what Clinton's running mate Tim Kaine said today.


TIM KAINE, VIRGINIA STATE SENATOR: He has supporters like David Duke connected with the Ku Klux Klan who are going around and saying Donald Trump is their candidate because Donald Trump is pushing their values.

Ku Klux Klan values, David Duke values, Donald Trump values are not American values, they're not our values. Donald Trump was a main guy behind the scoreless, and I would say bigoted notion that President Obama wasn't born in this country.

And Donald Trump has continued to push that irresponsible falsehood from all the way up to now.


LEMON: All right. Trump yesterday said he doesn't want white supremacist to vote for him. So, Paris, what's your response to this attack from Kaine?

PARIS DENNARD, GOP POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First of all, I was deeply offended. Because look, I went to John Marshall college behind and that was KMU, HPCU. And to go to HPCU and have that type of gutter politics is just beyond the pale to me.

And I think every democrat needs to step up and say, this is -- this is reprehensible, this is beneath you, it's beneath this campaign and we need to rise above it.

If you have a problem with Donald Trump talking to the black community, talking about the black community and issues that go on every day in the community then have a counter. Don't attack him by calling him a bigot and a racist.

LEMON: And Sean Spicer, the communications director for the RNC said, tweeted this saying "KKK comments are reprehensible and over the top. Democrats who don't denounce are complicit." Van Jones, what do you say?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I, first of all, think it's important that we take note that even though Donald Trump has disavowed and I applaud him for disavowing the support of the white supremacist organizations, the support keeps coming. That you can't control who is for you.

That, you know, there might be some terrible who are people for Hillary Clinton. But it is a real reason for a concern when he then does stuff that gives them encouragement.

One thing he did that gave them encouragement was appointing Bannon. Bannon runs one of the most racially inflammatory web sites in the world, this Breitbart web site. And employees, someone who said that Latinos are genetically inferior in terms of I.Q.

So, part of what you got to take responsibility for is you can't control who supports. But when you're doing things that continues to give them cat net and give them encouragement, you got to look at yourself. And I'm very concerned that there is this mainstreaming of people like Bannon, which is dangerous for the country.

LEMON: Alice, why are -- why aren't there more republicans coming to Trump's defense?

ALICE STEWART, TED CRUZ NATIONAL SPOKESWOMAN: I think -- I think clearly right now a lot of republicans are focusing on attacking Hillary Clinton. And that's the -- that's the number one issue right now, attacking her and her policies and how she's been harmful to the country. And I think that's the main focus.

I think the fact that we've spent this week talking about bigots and racists is a race to the bottom in terms of the presidential election. Hopefully we'll get back on track the next few days and weeks to come because that's what people are certainly concerned with. And if you want to talk about guilt by association, it didn't hurt

Barack Obama and his association with Reverend Jeremiah Wright. So, I think the focus now is for us to -- Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton focus on the issues. If you want to talk about their relationship with the minority community, talk about what they will do to help improve the minority community and help improve a lot like and attack the others for what their policy are doing to...


LEMON: Alice, I understand -- I understand you're talking about six of the issues but I mean, we all remember that he had to denounce Reverend Wright, he had to give a speech about Reverend Wright.


LEMON: He had to give a speech on race...


JONES: A whole speech.

LEMON: I mean, right.


DENNARD: His past tenure.

LEMON: I mean, it was -- there was a whole, there was so much consternation about that and that was indeed an issue back in 2008 during that campaign. Go ahead, Paris.

DENNARD: It was an issue.

JONES: Can I just?

DENNARD: Real quick, Van, I just want to say this. I do not want Donald Trump to let up at on his efforts, which I believe are sincere, to talk about the issues going on in the black community.

[22:05:04] The reason why we've taken this week and talked about bigotry is that's because the Clinton campaign has inserted that narrative because they don't want to talk about these issues. But it's important we have these issues and refocus our conversation...


LEMON: I hate to say, you know, he did it first but we started talking about it when he said Hillary Clinton is a bigot on the campaign trail. That's when we started discussing it.

MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes. And, Don, if I could also just say, you know, Hillary Clinton this week I felt gave a very important speech, which was when she really laid out a calm and straightforward, very methodical, very strategic, factual case that essentially was a takedown of Donald Trump and how he is and has been trying to mainstream these kinds of hate web sites, hate speech.

The rhetoric that he started when he first burst on to the scene calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I think what she was laying out was something that the majority of the American people already believe, is that this man does have racist and bigoted tendencies.

We see it in every single poll. Sixty six percent of people believe that consistently. So, she was making I think in a case that is important to the American people because it is all about our American values and how we see each other in civil society.

LEMON: Paris says -- Paris says that's not true.

CARDONA: What's not true?

DENNARD: It's not true.

CARDONA: What's not true?

DENNARD: What's not true is that he -- when he at his announcement he said that he believes that the Mexican government sends over people that -- some of them are racists.


LEMON: There's no evidence that they do that.

DENNARD: I mean, it's not rapists. But that was his opinion. That's what he stated. What he did not say was that all of the Mexicans that come over here illegally are rapists or bad people. That is now -- so we need -- let's set the record straight about what he actually said. And what he did is not...


CARDONA: He said Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals and that from the very beginning -- and then he followed that, by the way, with a deportation force and talking about a program that Eisenhower used called Operation Wetback.

So, again, even if you don't use what he said in his announcement speech, there is instance after instance and example after example when he uses this kind of vitriol, of rancorous, hatred rhetoric to talk about specific demographics and groups of people in this country.


DENNARD: I would love Jesses Jackson to chime in on that.

LEMON: Yes. Well, Alice, in addition to -- go ahead, Van.

JONES: What did you say about Reverend Jackson?

DENNARD: I said I would love to hear Reverend Jackson chime in on how he feels about Donald Trump. Since if you go back to the time with Rangel Push coalition launch there Wall Street project, it was Donald Trump who Reverend Jackson praised openly, repeatedly because of Donald Trump's given (Ph) to the university a commitment to the Rainbow Push coalition and opening up offices in Wall Street for Reverend Jackson.

JONES: I think that there -- Paris, I think you raise a very good point. It's a point that is seldom raised. Part of the heartbreak and part of the tragedy and part of the crime of Donald Trump is that I'm not sure that he in fact is a racist himself.

STEWART: He's not.

JONES: I think he's worse than a racist. I think he's a racial opportunist in that he's actually playing on other people's racial anxieties, other people's racial fears when he in fact may not hold these views at all. Which means at least if you are a racist you believe that white people are good and black people are bad, white people are smart, black people are dumb.

Donald Trump thinks we're all dumb because he's playing the whites against the blacks for his own purpose. So, I think you're right. I think this whole thing in fact may be an attempt on his part to fool us, to trick us all.

LEMON: Alice, in addition to her speech, Clinton released a new web ad attack on Trump's outreach to black voters. Here it is.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What do you have to lose? You're living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs.

Look at my African-American over here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump management was charged with discriminating against African-Americans and breaking federal law.

TRUMP: I have a great relationship with blacks. I've always had a great relationship with the blacks.

What the hell do you have to lose?


LEMON: What the hell do you have to lose? That phrase, Alice, was that the right one to use?

STEWART: That was not the right one to use. And how many times have we said this? We know what he meant to say but he should have said it this way. Look, I do believe Donald Trump's policies are better than Hillary Clinton's policies in order to help poor minorities and African-Americans across the country.

I do think he needs to tweak his message and goes about saying. He's saying what the heck do you have to lose is not very inspiring. I think if he were to look back say at Jack Kemp in his message of appealing to minorities and the poor of empowering them and giving them ladders of opportunity for them to use their God-given talents to improve themselves.

I think that is the kind of message that would resonate and also help them to help themselves in their community.

LEMON: I like that.

[22:09:59] STEWART: And I think he can do that. And I think that's where he contrasts with Hillary Clinton and that's the message he can use and should use to connect with the minority community.

LEMON: I like that you couldn't even say it yourself. You use what the heck.

STEWART: This is a -- this is a family show.

LEMON: A family show. It's 10 o'clock, though, on the East Coast.

DENNARD: My mama is watching.

LEMON: Yes. Trump is hitting right back with his own web ad. Here it is.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They are often the kinds of kids that are called super predatory, no conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way but first we have to bring them to heal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You called President Clinton for defending Secretary Clinton for the use of the term "super predator" back in the 90s when she supported the crime bill. Why did you called them out?

BERNIE SANDERS, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because it was a racist term and everybody knew it was a racist term.


LEMON: So, Maria, is this ad effective?

CARDONA: I think it will be effective for his supporters, but it certainly not effective in what he needs to do desperately, which is to grow his tent, expand his appeal to not just minorities, which frankly, in my opinion, I think that is -- that is I done.

I mean, the train has left the station. He's not going to get additional support from African-Americans or minorities or Latinos, at least with the strategy that he has so far, but he does need to get more white, educated voters.

Right now Hillary Clinton is beating him by one point.

STEWART: Right. CARDONA: Democrats have never won white, educated -- college-educated voters. And in 2012, Mitt Romney won college educated voters by 11 points and lost the election. And she is right now winning white college educated women by 19 points.


CARDONA: And so, that is what he really needs to do. And by doing this kind of stuff and calling Hillary Clinton a bigot and bringing in people like Steve Bannon, that's not the way to go.

LEMON: So, he is in the most awesome, amazing -- I can't -- give me another adjective health ever?

CARDINA: Huge. Believe me.

STEWART: Hugely healthy.

LEMON: Hugely healthy. Huge. Bigly. Healthy. We're going to hear from his doctor, coming up, Donald Trump. We'll be right back.


LEMON: Donald Trump's doctor is explaining tonight just what he meant when he said his patient would be, quote, "the healthiest individual ever elected."

Back with me now, Alice Stewart, Van Jones, Maria Cardona, and Paris Dennard. I mean, these two seem like they were made for each other. And I'm just -- I'm impresses. No shade, I'm serious.

So, Donald Trump's personal doctor for 35 years said he wrote the letter saying "Trump was in excellence health in just five minutes as a limo driver waited for him outside." Here's what he said to NBC News.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought about it all day and at the end, I get rushed and I get anxious when I get rushed. I tried to get four or five lines is possible because they would be after it. His health is excellent health particularly his (Inaudible). Words that are just fine.


LEMON: All right. So, what's your reaction, Alice. My doctor's a little eccentric. I mean, I love him, but what do you think, Alice?

STEWART: My doctor is fantastic. And let's just say I think for something as important as this and knowing that you're going to run for president and knowing that people are going to ask about your medical records, it seems as though you would at least maybe give your doctor at least 10 minutes while you wait in the limo for him to write a letter instead of five. I think it could and should have been done in a much more, you know,

formal way. I think he is in good health. I think that's not the question. I just think he could have gone about this in a way that would have not raised questions by just going about it just in a little more formal way.


JONES: Well, first of all, if have you a whacky doctor like that, maybe that explains why he won't release his taxes. He's got a whacky accountant who is also saying that he can't release his taxes...

DENNARD: Exactly.

JONES: ... from 20 years ago because he's under audit today. He can release his taxes for every other year. But I guess he just hired whacky people. I hope he's not the president, he's going to have a whacky cabinet.

DENNARD: Don't discriminate him because he has long hair, Van.

LEMON: Go ahead, Paris.


JONES: That's not the issue. If I can grow and I have it, too.

LEMON: Go ahead, Paris.

DENNARD: I think you know what, if I ask one of my mentors who know me for 20 years and asked me to write a recommendation letter for me, it would take them 5 to 10 minutes. This man he's been his doctor for 35 years. He knows him, he knows his health, he knows his mental capacity. He wrote the letter. He knows him. He knows his files. It's a done deal, it not a story.

LEMON: "If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."

CARDONA: And how exactly does one measure that.

LEMON: But that was the only medical documentation that was -- go ahead -- released to the public.

CARDONA: That's right. How exactly does one measure that? And I thought it was funny when he started laughing when he was talking about his mental health. But, look, you know, I think this is an important issue. And it doesn't seem like there's anything wrong with Donald Trump's physical health. He is, you know, going from stump to stump to stump so, you know, I think that will be fine. I think that...


LEMON: Are you inferring that there is something else that maybe wrong with him. CARDONA: I'm not inferring anything.

DENNARD: Democrats get upset.

CARDONA: I think physical...


LEMON: Democrats get upset when they first heard that something is wrong with Hillary.

CARDONA: I think -- no, no, hang on. I think his -- I think his physical health is fine. I think what Americans will be concerned with is the health of his proposals and the health of the country, its economy and national security and foreign policy as a whole if this guy ever gets anywhere near the Oval Office.


LEMON: Was that a side eye out there? Paris gave you a side eye.

CARDONA: Don, I'll say this, haven't been on top.

LEMON: But why was that a side eye? Hold on, Alice.

DENNARD: Because she skirted the issue of his mental health. You don't have a problem with mental capacity or his mental, you think he's fine, don't you?

CARDONA: I don't know.

JONES: We're (Inaudible) to believe.

CARDONA: That's up to the voters, you know.

LEMON: Oh, boys.

CARDONA: That's up to the voters to decide.

LEMON: Go ahead, Alice.

STEWART: I just think, look, having been on several presidential campaigns, I think both of them, they're excruciating, long days, long nights, early mornings. And for him to be, have the kind of energy he has at this stage of the game I think is very commendable. The same goes for Hillary Clinton for that matter.

LEMON: And, Alice, you did say they should release more of their records, right. Didn't you say that earlier?



STEWART: I think they should. And I think, I do say that I don't have any questions whatsoever about the health of Donald Trump. But if he's going to raise questions about Hillary Clinton's health, I think he should provide something a little more formal than what you get.

LEMON: Are you guys in agreement with Alice that he should release more, both of them should release more?



JONES: Sure.

LEMON: Paris?


JONES: But I think that this whole idea that he won't release his taxes from 3 years ago, 5 years ago, 20 years ago because he's under audit now, even if he gave him that one year. it doesn't make any sense. And so, he's got to get better advisers around him in his personal life and certainly in his political life if he's going to go to the White House.

DENNARD: I'd love to -- I'd love to Hillary...


CARDONA: I'd be more interested -- I'd be more interested in having him release his taxes than having him release anything else on medical records.

[22:19:58] DENNARD: I would love to hear, I'd be more interested to having Hillary Clinton have a press conference which she hasn't have in 200 somewhat days. I would love to hear her release her transcripts about these big Wall Street banks meetings and things that she had while giving the speeches.

CARDONA: Let's start with Trump's taxes and why don't we, because that's something...


DENNARD: Let's start with our beating -- let's just have a talk to the press.

LEMON: What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

CARDONA: ... that is something that president -- that is something that presidential candidates have been releasing for the last 40 years.

LEMON: Thank you.

DENNARD: Talk to the press. Talk to the press. What does she have to hide?

CARDONA: Why don't we pick something that has been dying for the last 40 years? She talked to Anderson Cooper yesterday. (CROSSTALK)

LEMON: We'll be right back.

CARDONA: She talked to Anderson Cooper last night, Paris.

LEMON: Have a great weekend, guys.

JONES: She talks every day.

DENNARD: Not to the press.


LEMON: Donald Trump doubling down on his charge that Hillary Clinton is a bigot and accusing her of trying to smear his supporters as racist.

Meanwhile, Clinton said Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. The charges are incendiary, but what do we really mean when we use the language of race.

So, let's discuss that now with John McWhorter, he's a professor at Columbia University and the author of "Words on the Move" which comes out next week and I can't wait to read it.

Thank you for coming on. I think it's fair to say John that the political discourse this election season has been harsh, the language used, right, particularly by Donald Trump was raw and emotional but there was a moment this week that really stood out. Listen.


TRUMP: Hillary Clinton is a bigot, who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future.

[22:25:06] She's going to do nothing for African-Americans, she's going to do nothing for the Hispanics.


LEMON: So, can you see the reaction of the woman behind him, jaw dropping. She's like, oh, my gosh. What did you think when you heard that?

JOHN MCWHORTER, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: We could have seen this coming. And unfortunately it's because we're using this word racist in sloppy ways. There is such a thing as a racist and I do believe that Donald Trump is one. But America listens to people using racists in verbal ways.

The last thing I heard Ellen DeGeneres was a racist. Her photo shopping picture herself on Usain Bolt's back. A couple of summers ago, I heard that there was racist ice creams because ice cream trucks are playing a song that you could have heard in minstrel shows for a thousand years ago. (CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Ellen is not a racist then?

MCWHORTER: Ellen is not a racist. There is all of this clever use of the term racist in which really just the kind of witch-hunting against people who aren't racist.

Now somebody like Trump, people on the right or the 'alt-right,' are listening to that creative use of the word racist and the next thing you know, Hillary Clinton is supposedly a racist.

LEMON: OK. Before we get to that, you said you believe he's a racist. Why? What's the -- what's evidence. Is that he said publicly and his history?

MCWHORTER: He's not going to come out and say I think black people are inferior, and he might not think that. But when someone doesn't care about his association with David Duke and is confident enough to say it, then that says to me that he deprioritizes legitimate black concerns to the point that I would imagine that this person thinks that there's something wrong with the people who he refers to as "the blacks" and "the African-Americans."

And there are other stories about his past. Frankly, I don't lose any sleep over the fact that I think that the man who is a lot older than me and who doesn't matter to is somebody who I would describe as a bigot. I don't think that's the main point. I think we use the term too freely beyond the more obvious cases like that.

LEMON: OK. Regarding Hillary Clinton, he doubled down when he spoke to Anderson. Listen to this.


ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 SHOW HOST: Previously you called her policies bigoted. You directly called her a bigot.

TRUMP: She is a bigot. Because you look at what's happening to the inner cities, you look at what's happening to African-Americans and Hispanics in this country where she talks the time. She's talking -- look at the vets where she said the vets are being treated essentially just fine. That is over exaggerated what's happening to the vets not so long ago.

COOPER: But how is she bigoted. Bigoted is having hatred for a particular group.


TRUMP: Well, because she's selling them down the tubes. Because she's not doing anything for those communities. She talks a good game.


COOPER: So, you're saying she does -- he has hatred or... TRUMP: Her policies are bigoted. Her policies are bigoted because she knows they're not going to work.


LEMON: Does he know what a bigot is and who is he trying to reach here about saying that?

MCWHORTER: He doesn't know what a bigot is if we use the word the way we used it in 1972. But what he is pushing against Anderson Cooper with is today's modern clever form of calling somebody a bigot, which is to call somebody a bigot just because, for example, their policies or policies they support in the black community haven't worked very well.

He's not getting that from nowhere. he's getting that from the simple fact that even this week there was a piece on slate saying that it's bigoted to have the hash tag meme of what your first seven jobs were where you're trying to show that you start low and you climb because that insults people who would have a harder time climbing than privilege white people.

Now, that's a very creative use of the term. If that is going to be the way we use the term the next thing you know Donald Trump is calling Hillary Clinton of all people a racist. That's predictable.

LEMON: She has been taking the high road. She had been at least calling him, let's see, a loose cannon, temperamentally unfit. Then she came a speech yesterday saying that Trump and his campaign has been a steady stream of bigotry, trying to lump him with the KKK, David Duke and reminding them of the whole birther movement. Listen to this.


CLINTON: He promoted the racist lie that President Obama is not really an American citizen, part of a sustained effort to delegitimize America's first black president. And in 2015, Trump launched his own campaign for president with another racist lie. He described Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals.


LEMON: OK. And then you have Tim Kaine talking about -- saying that he is espousing Ku Klux Klan values. Have the wheels come off on both sides?

MCWHORTER: No. I think the Ku Klux Klan values and espousing them, that's rhetoric. However, there is such a thing as dog whistles and the fact that Trump does not explicitly condemn and more than once and in a wide venue, the fact that he has such a fan base among people who aren't ashamed to call themselves bigots is a major statement.

There's an issue of degree here. And I don't think that this means a Klan's member, I don't think that it means that he's Archie Bunker, but yes. There are names that one can call such a person. [22:30:04] LEMON: He has recently as this week said -- now said that

I don't want the votes of those people. Is that -- is that enough?

MCWHORTER: That's not enough because he's not saying it loudly enough. He should say it again and again and he won't.

LEMON: He's been making -- you know, he's been talking about Hillary Clinton, remember and then her super -- her predator. Listen to the remark and then we'll talk about it.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But we also have to have an organized effort against gangs, just as in a previous generation we had an organized effort against the mob. We need to take these people on. They are often connected to big drug cartels. They are not just gangs or kids anymore.

They are often the kinds of kids that are called super predators, no conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way but first we have to bring them to heal.


LEMON: So, they have put this as a web ad, the Trump people. She has said that she regretted it, she apologized and she'll never use it again. Is there parity here?

MCWHORTER: Frankly, people aren't going to like it when I say this but calling Hillary Clinton a racist for using the word super predators that way has been inaccurate and the beginning of the abuses of the sorts of abuses of the word that I've been talking about here.

She was talking about trying to help black communities. She used a certain word about a certain kind of person, which she said after mentioning similar efforts against the mob. She was saying here is how I'm going to help you black America, may be used the word that doesn't sound as good now as it does then.

To call her a racist because of is I've always found recreational and inappropriate. But once somebody pulls something like that, well, look at what Donald Trump does in general. And of course he's going to use the clip and say she's a bigot.

So, I really do think our misuse of this word, this misuse of the word among educated people has led people with different kinds of agendas to basically throw that back in our faces.

LEMON: It's our fault, meaning everyone, it's everyone's fault.

MCWHORTER: No, it's educated America's fault...

LEMON: Educated America's fault.

MCWHORTER: ... for taking that term and making it much too general.

LEMON: Donald Trump has been making this blatant appeal to African- Americans in recent speeches. Listen to this clip.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What do you have to lose? You're living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed, what the hell do you have to lose?

I say this to the African-American community. Give Donald Trump a chance. We will turn it around. We will make your streets safe so when you walk down the street you don't get shot!


LEMON: Do he or his people realize how insulting that is? And if they do, why would they continue to say it?

MCWHORTER: To be perfectly honest, if you're going to talk about black America as if that's anything close to everybody, then that's the objectifies that justifies I think my saying here is somebody who on the continuum is someone who I would say has a very low opinion of black people in general.

Although, Don, we can't forget this, how often we hear when black successes talked about that we must understand the black misery and the hideous statistics, et cetera. I think to an extent his people are taking it from that, that sometimes we, and by "we," I mean we can be highly cherry of describing black success and talking about black America's progress.

Sometimes people who aren't exactly good at nuance will listen to that and next thing you know he's talking about the black community as if new Jack city never ended. And as if you and I are going home to our ghetto apartments.

LEMON: Not one person I know is worried about getting what. And I live in Harlem, I don't worry about getting shot and I lived in a building with very educated people who go up to work every single day...


MCWHORTER: It's great. There's great diversity in the black community. And it's quite clear today that this inner city underclass that we talk about is increasingly race neutral.


MCWHORTER: But once again, it's not only his fault that he can pull something as repulsive as that.

LEMON: But if you're running for a president of the United States, then you should surround yourself with people who understand that that is insulting and that's not all about black America.

Thank you, John McWhorter. MCWHORTER: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Always a pleasure. I always learn when you come here. It's always a teaching moment as I say. The author of "Language on the Move," right?

MCWHORTER: "Words on the Move."

LEMON: "Words on the Move," "Words on the Move," "Words on the Move." Thank you very much.

When we come right back, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton battling over who is best able to defeat ISIS, but it's a matter of life and death for American medics on the front line. That story is next.


LEMON: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have gone head to head on ISIS and how to defeat them. Trump even going so far as to insist that Clinton and President Obama were what he called co-founders of ISIS.

Trump later said he was being sarcastic but the battle against ISIS is a matter of life and death. And American medics are volunteers in that battle.

CNN's Arwa Damon is i Iraq for us with more.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's early morning and the Kurdish Peshmerga are launching a major push into ISIS's controlled villages.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're looking for a place to set up our medical triage area.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have five dead, a few wounded.

DAMON: John Reed and Pete Reed (Ph) are two Americans on the medical frontline.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. We have two casualties. Let's treat them appropriately. Stop blaming leverage. Get him on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jack, black box! Black box!

DAMON: It's a chaotic are frantic effort on this day, compounded by a language barrier, different culture and significant lack of resources.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need four (muted) plastic.

DAMON: John, a trained emergency medical technician from Syracuse, New York, is volunteering. Pete, of Bordentown, New Jersey is a former marine turned medic who works with a nonprofit providing medical training and assistance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Move, move, move!

DAMON: There is no advanced warning when a casualty is coming in. No time to prep before the next one arrives.

[22:39:56] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The toughest thing about being out here as a combat medic is when your patients don't live.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, man, stay with us! Come back to us, man, come on!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes, you know, we can't fix everything. So, I think that's the hard part for you personally. You know you want to save everybody but you can't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a breakdown in communication between us, coalition forces, Peshmerga. It's difficult when you're trying your best to work on someone but just the rest of the system isn't there or it's not working properly.

DAMON: They both say they have comfortable happy lives at home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right here. Right here.

DAMON: Was it a guilt?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guilt or sense of purpose. Sometimes those overlap somewhere in the middle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can help people at home for sure and I do and I feel -- I feel good for what I do there but here that feeling is much greater.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Peshmerga need significant help. They need training. They need an actual combat medical unit. People are throwing ammunition and guns at this place all day long. That's not saving lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I think of ISIS, I think of Khmer Rouge, Nazis. I mean, there are few times in history there's such a black and white good versus evil situation. They've been carrying this war in this region on their backs with not nearly enough support.

And people back home are upset about shootings and things like that and ISIS is involved there. And they don't have a clue what it's like a day here or a day in Baghdad or in Syria. It's pretty horrible.

DAMON: And, Don, one of the things that is greatly lacking despite the fact that the U.S. military is training both the Iraqi army and the Kurdish Peshmerga is the medical aspect of all of this, which is why those two men really felt that they had a significant role that they could play.

LEMON: Arwa, what an incredible story that you covered there. And I understand you've just come back from a town liberated from ISIS on the outskirts of Mosul. What did you see?

DAMON: Yes. It was the town of Qayyarah, it's about 40 miles to the south of Mosul. It's very strategic because ISIS used to move around 100 oil tankers of crude a day from there. And if you look at the images, you'll notice a black cloud of smoke hanging above the entire town.

And that's because for the last six to seven months ISIS has been burning that crude to try to impair visibility from above, to try to protect themselves against coalition air strikes. The people whose stories we heard when we were just inside there, Don, are absolutely heartbreaking.

You had a father who was clutching his 2-month-old, talking about how he was trying so hard just to protect him from the violence because ISIS was using residents as human shields.

A little girl told of how her father had been murdered and then strung from a post on the road down the middle of the main market because he was suspected by ISIS of sending information to coalition forces.

People are absolutely terrified and they are celebrating the fact that the Iraqi army was there. The Iraqi army soldiers who we spoke to were telling us that they did face pretty intense resistance, a lot of booby-trapped vehicles, homes roads inlaid with bombs and also around 10 to 15 ISIS suicide bombers.

And so it's just a snap shot of what troops will be facing as they get closer to Iraq's second city of Mosul.

LEMON: Arwa, I want you to stay with me. Because when we come back, I want to talk about what all this means for the war on ISIS. Are we on the verge of defeating them?


LEMON: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at odds over how to defeat ISIS. Meanwhile, on the ground where on the verge of a major battle, Arwa Damon is back with me. And joining us now CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank, he's the editor and editor-in-chief CTC Sentinel.

This month's issue is devoted to the challenges in defeating and destroying ISIS in Syria. And also, CNN military analyst major general James Spider Marks. Welcome to the panel. Arwa, thanks for coming back.

General, marks, a battle to retake the main city of Mosul is looming. It is Iraq's second biggest city and the largest one that ISIS still occupies. How important is retaking the city in terms of overall, the overall fight to destroy ISIS?

JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, it is one city but it is an extremely important crossroads and historically, it's a magnificent city that needs to be back in Iraqi hands. So, there is some great symbology. There is also some commerce, it's the intersection of all the nations that surround Iraq and as they pass through Mosul.

So, there is some economic reasons. But first and foremost, it is a major city that needs to be under the control of Iraq. Iraq is fighting for its identity, and in order to claim it, you have to be able to control the land. You've got to be able to control the ground. That's the key about Mosul. You've got to get in there and it's going to be a horribly nasty fight in order to retake it.

LEMON: Well, Paul, right now the Iraqi army and the Kurdish Peshmerga are closing in around the city, taking towns on the outskirts. But they're tightening the news. Couldn't ISIS fighters just melt back into this population?

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, there's certainly a possibility that even if they manage to take back Mosul and that's going to be extraordinarily challenging, that they could melt back into the population, melt back into the countryside, into the deserts around and then launch guerrilla attacks, launch terrorist attacks and come back in some kind of way in the future.

After all ISIS already made one comeback in Iraq after being nearly defeated in the surge. But this is going to be extraordinarily challenging in Mosul. ISIS is going to fight to death in that city. It's absolutely key to their legitimacy as caliphate that's why I'll be back around Al-Baghdadi in the summer of 2014 declares this as caliphate.

[22:50:00] And as all those were recounting they've been using IEDS and booby traps and snipers to slow the advance of Iraqi forces of Kurdish forces. This could resemble something like Stalingrad.

I mean, there could be absolute devastation and humanitarian catastrophe in this city. And that's why for the last couple of years our western strategists really have been trying to cement and uprising from within in Mosul.

But that has not materialized for a variety of reasons. One of them being that ISIS is simply terrorize the local population.

LEMON: Yes. Having heard, Arwa, you have reported as the Iraqi army pushes towards Mosul, there are fewer foreign fighters. Does that mean the flooded new recruits that they're getting from all over the world has been cut off?

DAMON: That could be one of the factors, Don. We do know that obviously they are struggling to get foreign fighters in, given Turkey having restricted its own border and tried to tighten it.

But this is something that Iraqi commanders on the ground have observed. The other conclusion that they're coming to is that they have actually pulled the bulk of their best fighters, the foreign fighters, to try to defend the city itself.

And speaking of resistance within the city, we also recently reported on this organization that is calling itself the Mosul battalions. And, yes, they're very small at this stage and they're not going to make on their own any sort of massive moves against ISIS, but they are able to, according to some of their operatives, launch a small hit-and-run strikes against them.

They are carrying out very brazen assassinations against top ISIS leaders. And they say that they have a plan from Mosul. And their plan is that as the Iraq security forces do and that breaching the city they'll have what they call zero hour and that's when they will intensify their attack.

That's when this other battalion called the peace battalion is meant to mobilize to protect the city, to protect these residents to try to prevent the chaos and looting that we saw happening had in Baghdad in 2003.

There is this recognition for the fight against ISIS in Mosul to succeed, you do need the support of the population, it cannot work without them. And some of the concern has been that, while, yes, there is a military plan to attack this city, it's not necessarily directly going to translate into a plan that means that the Iraqis will be able to win the war.

One can even begin to define what's happening here in terms that are as simple as we're winning and we're losing.

LEMON: General, you've been listening to Arwa and Paul discuss all of this, that the Iraq army with a lot of American help has taken back territory Tikrit, Ramadi, Fallujah and they've killed thousands of ISIS fighters.

But ISIS is still able to direct or inspire terrorist attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, Orlando. What's your assessment of how we are doing in this fight?

MARKS: You know, that's the point. You know, Paul made the comment about Stalingrad. Arwa made the comment about the resistance within the city. The key point is what happens next.

Let's assume for a moment that Mosul can be retaken. It will be a -- it's crucial that it is and there will be a brutal fight. But let's assume that there is military success on the ground. It's now the next step which is all about governance and are all the stake holders in Mosul on board.

Do they feel like they are part of the solution going forward so that ISIS cannot blend back in and come back. The key thing is across the board if ISIS loses its physical control of terrain, if it no longer has anything that approximates this caliphate, they have demonstrated this immense capability to create what I would label a virtual caliphate.

There is recruiting that's taking place cynically online, there is inspiration that takes place online and there is no lack of desire of young, aggrieved men that are out there in the world that want to be a part of this ideology.

That's the intergenerational fight that we're about. We may be able to take Mosul but it's all about the next steps and how do we cut down on what the incentives are to join this demonized form of Islam.

LEMON: Do you think we're winning, Paul?

CRUIKSHANK: There's been significant process -- progress against ISIS in Syria and Iraq and in deal so in Libya. But one of the concerns is as the noose tightens around ISIS that they're going to lash out with a surge of international attacks, that when that pressure increases on them in Mosul, that they could launch even more operations in your -- their external operations division is thought to be based in Raqqa, Syria, in around that town so that there can be pressure on them in Iraq but then they can still orchestrate these attacks against the west.

LEMON: All right. Thank you, Paul. Thank you, general. Thank you, Arwa. I appreciate it. We'll be right back.


LEMON: In Kenya, terrorism is a constant threat. Attacks by the extremist group Al-Shabaab have left many who live in the remote islands bordering Somalia struggling to survive. And some communities would be left without any medical care if weren't for this week's CNN hero.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have about six villages that have absolutely zero access to health care. When an individual is in a remote area and has an absolute emergency, it's considered a matter of destiny.

I feel like there's no purpose if you don't challenge your comfort zone and do something that's a little bit bigger than who you are.


LEMON: Umra walked away from a successful life in America to help those in her homeland. To watch one of her life saving missions visit And while you're there nominate someone you think should be 2016 CNN Hero.

[23:00:00] That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I'll see you right back here on Monday night.