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Anthony Weiner Caught in Another Sexting Scandal; Is Trump Flip-Flopping on Immigration?; Donald Trump Courts African-American Voters. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired August 29, 2016 - 22:00   ET


[22:00:03] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: A weary world in deed, but made much better because of Gene Wilder. If you haven't seen "Willy Wonka" or "Blazing Saddles" or "The Producers," if you haven't see the "The Producers" I urge you to rent it. He was truly extraordinary. He was 83 years old.

Thanks for watching. Time for CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Say adios, Carlos danger.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

Anthony Weiner caught in another sex thing scandal. Now Hillary Clinton's right-hand woman Huma Abedin separating from her husband and Donald Trump saying this, "Huma is making a very wise decision. I know Anthony Weiner well and she will be far better off without him. I only worry for the country and that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information."

Plus, is Trump flip-flopping on immigration or is it all part of the plan. He is promising a big speech on immigration on Wednesday, a speech so big he says it needs a huge venue. But will we actually lay out his plan or is he deliberately keeping voters in the dark?

We'll discuss all of that. I want to get straight though, to CNN's senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny and senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta. Good evening, gentlemen, to both of you.

Jeff, I want to go with you first because you're traveling with Hillary Clinton out in South Hampton, she's discussing the pros and the cons of debating Trump. What is she saying?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, interestingly, tonight at a fund-raiser in east Hampton not far from here, she was actually talking about what it is like, she believes, to be debating Donald Trump.

Now, this is a closed fund-raiser but our producer, Dan Merica, was there and was able to hear some of it from standing outside. And she asks these donors who are paying considerable money to hear her talk what they thought she should do when she is going up against Donald Trump.

Now, some know him. This is New York, of course, so they're very familiar here. She made the point that not everyone in this country is paying attention to this election. She said that she knows she has to begin to make her case from scratch against Donald Trump. And she said there's still a chance she believes that Donald Trump could sort of moderate himself.

Normalize some of his positions. So, she said she is taking this debate preparation very seriously. And we know she actually is, Don. She's been reading briefing books and even more interestingly I'm told by her advisers been watching most every debate that he did in that republican primary season to get in her mind what Donald Trump is like on that debate stage.

LEMON: OK. Now let's talk about this. Huma Abedin has been with Clinton all weekend for these fund-raisers. And this morning, this is a cover of the New York Post. What's her reaction been to these photographs and this latest scandal, Jeff?

ZELENY: Well, Don, the reaction was pretty swift this morning when Huma Abedin put out that statement saying that she is, indeed, separating from Anthony Weiner. Now this was not entirely a surprise. Their relationship had been rocky recently, to say the least.

Some of her friends said they were estranged. Others said they were simply going toward a path toward maybe splitting. But she did not want this to be a distraction in the campaign and that, of course, is exactly what happened.

But, Don, I am told when she learned of those specific photographs that you saw there on the cover of the New York Post today, "she was sickened and furious." Those are two words that a friend used to describe her feeling there.

And they were all out here in the Hamptons, Don, Anthony Weiner was here, Huma Abedin was here, their son, Jordan, was here, who is spending a working weekend that kind of exploded on them.

But Huma Abedin was out of public view today, was not at Hillary Clinton's side at all. And a short time ago, some reporters asked Hillary Clinton about the whole situation and, Don, not surprisingly, she declined to answer their questions.

LEMON: Yes. She said she was sickened especially because her son was in that photograph. To Jim Acosta now. Jim, speaking of Donald Trump, he's certainly not afraid to weigh in on this scandal. What is he saying about this?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right, Don. Donald Trump who is no stranger to being on the cover of New York tabloids did weigh on this today. He has of course, not been kind to Anthony Weiner in the past. He's called him a pervert and then some.

But he did talk about this in a radio interview earlier today. He tried to tie this sad chapter in the lives of Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner to the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal. Here's what Donald Trump had to say.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In the case of Anthony Weiner, she's married to a guy that is uncontrolled and uncontrollable. He's a sick person, and, you know, she has access to classified information. Huma Abedin has access to classified information.

[22:05:01] How Hillary got away with that one, nobody will ever know, but to think that it's very likely that much of this information Anthony Weiner would know about.

And I think it's something that was terrible. At the same time, I think knowing Weiner, I think Huma Abedin did a very, very smart thing when she finally decided to leave him. Very smart.


ACOSTA: So, Don, you can hear Donald Trump there trying to make this connection between Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin and the fact that Huma Abedin was married to, or still married to Anthony Weiner, that potentially Anthony Weiner might have had access to classified information.

In a statement earlier today, that was released by the Trump campaign, he was trying to talk about the carelessness with which Hillary Clinton has handled important classified information, but at this point, Don, there's absolutely no proof that Anthony Weiner has seen any classified information. He only has proximity to Huma Abedin because he's married to her.

LEMON: Jim, Donald Trump is going to make a major speech on immigration in Arizona on Wednesday. What do we know about that?

ACOSTA: Right. I'm told by a senior Trump campaign adviser that we will hear more from Donald Trump when it comes to his policy for dealing with this issue of immigration, what to do with those millions of undocumented immigrants that are in this country right now.

That Trump campaign adviser says that Donald Trump is standing firm when it comes to his position in favor of a wall on the U.S./Mexico border. That is not going away according to this senior Trump campaign adviser.

But the issue of what to do about the millions of undocumented immigrants, Don, that is a very important question. Remember, during the primary process of this campaign, Donald Trump said there would be a deportation force, that they would be rounding up these undocumented immigrants, millions of them, whether or not they'd been law-abiding in this country.

Lately, Donald Trump, he said this over the weekend, he started to talk more about criminal undocumented immigrants. Undocumented immigrants who have been accused of a crime or convicted of a crime. He's now saying they're going to go out of the country first. And it's now unclear as to what's going to happen to the millions of

law-abiding undocumented immigrants in this country. And I talked to a senior Trump campaign adviser today who said that conversation may come years later, that they want to secure the border first then deal with the question of undocumented immigrants. That's a big departure from where he was during primary process of this campaign, Don.

LEMON: Jeff, Jim, thank you very much. I appreciate that. Now I want to bring in the panel, Symone Sanders, the former national press secretary to Bernie Sanders, she's now supporting Hillary Clinton. Also republican strategist Kevin Madden. KABC reporter -- radio, excuse me, host, John Phillips, a Donald Trump supporter. And Betsy McCaughey, former Lieutenant Governor of New York and a Trump supporter.

Such a great panel we have here. So, guys, I have so much I want to cover. So, if you guys could keep it short, I would really appreciate it. First of all, Betsy, I just want to get your take on this whole thing with Anthony Weiner and the photographs.

BETSY MCCAUGHEY, TRUMP ECONOMIC ADVISOR: Ordinarily I wouldn't waste a second on Anthony Weiner's perversions. And ordinarily I'd want to express a lot of sympathy for any woman in Huma Abedin's position.

But remember, that she has played a key role in the corruption that Hillary Clinton brought to the State Department, turning the State Department literally into a cash machine for the Clinton Foundation.

And so, I'm very troubled that she continues to play such a close advisory position with Hillary Clinton literally at her side every minute she's on the payroll of the foundation and the State Department at the same time and have to remember this threatens to bring the corruption right back to the White House.

LEMON: Symone, do you think this should be politicized?

SYMONE SANDERS, FORMER BERNIE SANDERS NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY: No, I don't. And actually I'm going to show Huma Abedin the respect her husband apparently couldn't and I'm going to give her the privacy that she asks for.

But I do want to note that this suggestion by Mr. Trump and his surrogates that Huma Abedin somehow committed some criminal act by sharing information and somehow she is unfit to serve and she's a danger is absolutely ludicrous and it's just another distraction from the issues because they don't have any issues to talk about.

LEMON: Before we move on, Kevin, quickly?

KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I don't -- I think there's a lot of legitimate questions on Huma Abedin. I don't think this is one of them. I think this is something that is definitely a very personally tough thing for them to go through.

And I think it's, look, I don't think there are many voters out there, Don, that are going to be making up their mind who they support in this election based on this particular scandal that's on the front of the tabloids right now.

LEMON: All right. John?

JOHN PHILLIPS, KABC TALK RADIO HOST: You know, on a personal level, I always kind of felt sorry for Anthony Weiner because he never molested anyone, he never sexually harassed anyone, he never met any of these women, but when I saw the picture on the cover of the New York Post of him in an excited sort of state with his kid right there, that's dangerous.

Because you're sending pictures out of a child. You don't know who you're talking to. You could be cat fished. You could be talking to a 55-year-old child molester who's claiming to be a woman. It's just really, really, really reckless and dangerous.

[22:10:01] LEMON: Yes, it's bad judgment and it's not the first time that he's exhibited bad judgment. All right. Let's move on to immigration. Here's Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway on his big immigration speech.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: He wants to address that issue humanely and fairly. Those were his words. And he also said he does not want to cause harm to people. So, the question is what to do? He has said that if you want to be here legally, you have to apply to be here legally.

We all learned in kind of kindergarten to stand in line and wait our turn. And he is not talking about the deportation force but he is talking about being fair and humane but also being fair to the American workers who are competing for jobs.


LEMON: So, it's been seen as a flip-flop. I know the campaign is not saying that. How is he going to clean up his stances on deportation?

MCCAUGHEY: Well, it clearly isn't a flip-flop. What Donald Trump is doing is prioritizing as all leaders do and he has said the number one priority on the issue of immigration is the public security. He is going to make sure that dangerous criminals who are in this country illegally are forced to leave.

And secondly, he's going to build a wall which will stop the influx of drugs and drug-related gangs into this country.

For Donald Trump the issue of immigration is not race. Its public safety and economic resources. And let me just add that any senior who goes to an emergency room has experienced personally seeing the emergency rooms now flooded with illegal immigrants, and seniors who are on Medicare are told they're not going to get the care they need they're slapped for big bills for observation care and their won meds because all these other people need care.

LEMON: OK. All right. Symone, you know, she's saying it's not a flip- flop, but he's prioritizing. You say that this immigration is a flip- flop and it's an attempt to pacify members of the party. How so?

SANDERS: Yes. Look, no one wants to vote for especially -- the majority of voters out there and the republican base, not Donald Trump's base, but the Republican Party's base, they don't want to vote for someone whom folks are saying is a racist or is a bigot.

So, Donald Trump is definitely trying to walk back this divisive and very extreme rhetoric that he started his campaign with saying that all Mexicans are rapists and they're drug dealers and coming into this country because that is not what, you know, the moderate base of the party wants.

And these folks are jumping ship out of the Republican Party left and right because of Donald Trump's rhetoric. So, on Wednesday, I think we will see as Donald Trump said in his own words, a softening of this rhetoric, a severe walk back, what I like to call that many others are flip-flop to reach out to some of those moderate voters.

LEMON: But we just so, we like to give the facts on this show. I know people don't always say that. But he didn't say all Mexicans were rapists. He said when Mexico sends their people over they sends over their criminals their rapist and like that.


SANDERS: Oh, yes, yes. That the people that Mexico are sending are rapists. Again, if we want to talk about facts, that is not factual.


SANDERS: What Donald Trump is saying in that statement was inaccurate.

LEMON: And there is no -- and you're right. There is no evidence that Mexico is doing that. John, Trump is doubling down on his appeal to black voters. He said "Crooked Hillary getting desperate on TV bashing Trump, she forgot how she had a KKK member was her mentor." He's referring to the late Senator Robert Byrd, who was a former member of the KKK. Clinton called him a friend and a mentor. Do you think this is going to haunt her?

PHILLIPS: Look, I don't think it's going to haunt her in this election but I think it's good for him to aggressively go after all voters including black voters. One of the things that's been a huge disaster for America's big city is one-party rule.

You look at Detroit. Detroit went bankrupt. In Philadelphia, you had countless members of the elected class end up going to jail because of corruption. We've seen race riots in Baltimore. We saw race riots in Ferguson. We see shot every single week in the City of Chicago.

That is not acceptable. And if you have members of both parties that are going in and looking for these votes, I think that's a good thing for black Americans, I think that's a good thing for the Republican Party. And it's something that not only Donald Trump should be doing. Republicans should have been doing this cycles and cycles ago. LEMON: Kevin, I'll ask you a very similar question.


LEMON: Do you think this continues to be a good talking point for Donald Trump and for some conservatives even though Robert Byrd apologized, spent the most of his career working with the NAACP and working supported black Civil Rights?


MADDEN: Well, I think that, yes, although I would answer that question, Don, is pointing out who it's designed to appeal to. I think so many republicans feel that democrats who have criticized republicans have been -- there's been a level of hypocrisy there, and also there's been a level of hypocrisy by the media, and how they cover somebody like former Senator Byrd and then how they try to attach different folks with the same divisive rhetoric to republicans.

But look, I think John's point is right. I think that republicans by in large have to do a much better job of appealing to African-American communities and growing our support amongst those communities but it has to be less about dividing us against democrat or drawing a contrast with democrats, but much more about appealing to their higher aspirations on the issues that they care about.

[22:15:00] Job creation, education, things like that. His, Donald Trump's appeal has been -- hasn't been as focused on that. He's done it, you know, he's sort of just touched the top parts of those issues, but he hasn't really demonstrated that he actually cares about those issues, has a plan on those issues. That's where I think would be a much stronger appeal in those communities.

LEMON: Betsy, I know you disagree with us but I have to get Symone in.

MCCAUGHEY: Of course.

LEMON: Symone, what do you think?

SANDERS: Well, Don, Donald Trump hasn't actively gone out and given us any remedies for this rhetoric that he's given so he hasn't actively tried to seek, again, the African-American vote.

Again, I think this goes back to that he's trying to pull back these moderate republicans, people that, again, don't want to vote for someone with this divisive rhetoric and he wants to say, hey, look, I am trying, I'm not a racist, I'm not bigoted, I'm not being divisive, I'm trying to reach out.

But he has not yet visited an African-American community. I think this Saturday will be the first time that he's stepped foot in an African- American church since announcing his campaign for president.

So, I really think that if Donald Trump really wants to make some headway and some ground, I don't like to give free advice, but if it was me, you know, when people said that Bernie Sanders had an issue with African-Americans, we got out there in the community.

So, if Donald Trump really cares about crime in Chicago, perhaps he'll get on the ground and talk to some activists, talk to families that have been affected, throw some of these millions of dollars that he apparently has. We don't know. We haven't seen the tax returns. But put that toward some efforts in the movement. Maybe then folks will believe that he's actively interested in reaching out.

LEMON: His campaign did say he's going to do that, he's going to start by visiting Detroit on Saturday and then they'll go from there. OK. Stick around, everyone.

When we come right back, one of Donald Trump's fellow billionaires is going to weigh in. Mark Cuban is here to talk Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and everything election. We'll be right back.


LEMON: One of Donald Trump's fellow billionaires is weighing in on the battle between Trump and Hillary Clinton. And it's Mark Cuban. Mark Cuban joins me now by phone. Thank you, sir, for joining us this evening. How are you doing?

MARK CUBAN, THE DALLAS MAVERICKS OWNER: I'm doing great. Thanks for having me.

LEMON: So, listen, Donald Trump is reacting to Anthony Weiner, the scandal, and he is saying that Hillary Clinton has been careless and negligent by allowing Anthony Weiner to be in close and close proximity to classified information because she's married -- he's married to Huma Abedin. Is that a fair attack?

CUBAN: I mean, of course, it's not fair but he should do it because it diverts everybody's attention from anything of substance. I mean, that's what Donald does. He doesn't want to get into substance. He doesn't have any substance. And so the more, you know, random stuff that he can talk about, the better it is for him.

LEMON: You say, you know, talking about this classified information now, you know, the new -- the supposedly 15,000 new pieces of material that had been uncovered or, you know, recently turned over, some of it may be old, you say all of this attention to Hillary Clinton's e-mail use is crazy. Why do you say that, Mark?

CUBAN: Well, I think people are asking the wrong questions. The, you know, people like to fixate on e-mail because today in 2016, we do so much of our business and communication via e-mail. But what you really have to ask yourself, how did Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State communicate classified information? How does she consume classified documents? How do you think she did?

I mean, the reality is in her skiff, in her office, she wasn't even allowed to use her Blackberry. So, for classified information, if you work backwards, she had a very specific process. Everything was turned in to hard copy. So, she, when she dealt and did her normal duties, when she did her

classified business, when she had to review classified documents, her staff knew to always put them into hard copy. And so, when you talk about all this e-mail, and she was mishandling classified -- her process was set. That if it was classified, and if it was marked classified, you turned it into hard copy.

If she was out of the office, you put it on a secure fax and you sent it securely to wherever she was. She didn't use a personal computer in the office so there was no chance that she was consuming classified documents that way. She didn't use a personal computer anywhere else. And she wasn't allowed to use her phone in her office.

LEMON: She's admitted, though, she's saying that she made a mistake, she should not have done it, shouldn't have had this server in her home. So, you don't think she did anything wrong with the handling...


CUBAN: No, I really don't. I think she -- look, if you're not technical which she obviously is not. She didn't know how to get her e-mail on her P.C. What's -- and someone -- and you say, I want to do personal e-mail.

Well, first of all, it's 2008, and back then Gmail was still in Beta and it was in the clear meaning it wasn't protected by default. And so, you go -- look, I was in this business. My first career, my first company all I did was install local area networks and messaging and e- mail systems and I had my own personal server in my office until about 2010.

And so, I've been through this whole process. And so, she talks to the admin who is responsible, she didn't know any better, and takes his or her advice. I think it was a 'he.' And it just so happens that he was given immunity by the Justice Department so we haven't had a chance to hear any of this.

But for that personal server if that admin had done his job like I had done my job doing the same thing, I would have set up filters and alerts that said any e-mail that came with a classified header or any of the determined classified markings like the little "c" director Comey mentioned, pop it out, right?

You, create an alert that says this shouldn't be on this system and deal with it so that you don't, you know, consume it in this way. But the administrator didn't do it and she didn't know to do it because the whole time she had a very specific process in place. If it is classified, print it out and let me deal with it in hard copy which is why she had complete confidence to say I never dealt with anything marked classified.

LEMON: All right. Mark, I want to, because I want to the panel about then, we'll discuss what you said about the e-mails.

CUBAN: OK. BOLTON: But let's talk about this Donald Trump now accusing the Clinton Foundation and other, his supporters as well, of this pay-to- play, saying donors got access to Hillary Clinton at the State Department.

CUBAN: Right.

[22:25:00] LEMON: There's a new hard-hitting ad about this, and whether or not she is trustworthy.

CUBAN: Again, ridiculous.

LEMON: Go ahead, why do you say that?

CUBAN: OK, So, let's put it in context. Bill Clinton has a dramatically more valuable and bigger brand globally than Donald Trump. Bill Clinton has a brand for the rest of the world outside the United States is enormous. He was the leader of the free world for eight years. He knows how to do things in ways that, you know, Donald Trump and pretty much anybody else unless you were president don't, you know, only know -- only they know.

And so, for him to go out globally and talk to foreign nations and say, look, you know, I can help you, I can help you deal with issues that, you know, I've seen, that are unique to you, that apply to, you know, health initiatives, we're dealing with these initiatives through the Clinton global -- the Clinton Foundation, and so I want you to donate to the Clinton Foundation.

In exchange, and yes, there is an exchange, right, I'll help you where I can because I have knowledge that nobody else has and I can help you. Now, along the way, and maybe some people might not like this, but it happens with me, this is how people, my friends deal and, you know, my business associates deal with me when people try to pitch me businesses.

Along the way, is it fair for him to say, look, is there something that has to do with Hillary, we'll get somebody to send an e-mail. Now, if it's a -- if there's a good reason for her to meet with you, fine, and if not, fine, but it's her decision and let me just tell you, it rarely happens.

Just like my friends say to other people that rarely happens that Mark invests in businesses. And so, for him to go out and get money for his foundation, the difference between him and Donald Trump, and it's very clear.

Donald Trump sells his name for hotels in exchange for a check. Bill Clinton uses his experience and provides help to a lot of foreign countries, a lot of other organization and in exchange, he provides them support.

But rather than having the check written to himself, OK, you can say other than some speeches, the money goes to the foundation. Big difference. And I don't see anything wrong with that even in the least bit. LEMON: Mark Cuban. Thank you. Come in. We'd love to get you on camera

and hear from you more on this as we continue on here. Thank you so much.

CUBAN: I appreciate it, Don. Any time.

LEMON: Let's bring in the panel and get the response. Kevin Madden is here, John Phillips, Betsy McCaughey, and Symone Sanders.

What he's saying basically, Kevin Madden, is that we're using, you know, 2016 standards is what I think he's saying, for 2008 e-mail and server and the way it was operated back then. Did you understand what he was saying? Do you agree?

MADDEN: Well, no, I don't agree. I mean, he has a certain level of expertise on the technology, but the e-mail controversy is pretty clear on why it's damaging to Hillary Clinton. Look, first, we had an I.G. report from the State Department make two very clear facts. Or make two facts clear to the American public.

The first was that using an outside e-mail system was against the State Department's procedures. Hillary Clinton violated that. The second was that national security was put at risk because she used that. That was very clear.

The FBI director when doing a review of the case said that Hillary Clinton acted with extreme carelessness. All of those are demonstrably true statements from the folks who were tasked with looking at the e- mails.

So, I think Mark Cuban definitely has a -- definitely has an expertise on technology, but the questions revolving around Hillary Clinton's use of it, you know, time and time again by those who have looked at it have -- the criticism has stood up.

Now, it hasn't resulted in an indictment, but there are reasons that the American people have problems with her trustworthiness because of it.


LEMON: Her concerns about it. Go ahead, Betsy.

MCCAUGHEY: Well, as I documented in the New York Post this morning, when Mrs. Clinton was considered for Secretary of State, she appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and senators from both parties expressed their extreme concern that she would use the State Department as a vehicle to raise money for her family's foundation.

They asked her repeatedly, will you disclose the size, the identity, or the timing of gifts from foreign entities? Again and again, she refused, even though they explained to her it would look as if the U.S. government was for sale.

She intended before she ever took office to use her influence to raise that money and now we have the evidence that that's exactly what she did.

LEMON: So, I want to -- he's talking about the use of e-mail. You're talking about this sort of make them look of impropriety when it comes to the Clinton Foundation.


MCCAUGHEY: Well, I'm showing that the e-mails demonstrated what she did which was to agree to meet with private citizens...

LEMON: Got you.

MCCAUGHEY: Half of them were donors to the Clinton Foundation.

LEMON: Symone, are you sick of hearing about, as your candidate says, her damn e-mails, even now.

SANDERS: I am so sick of hearing about the damn e-mails and even now.

[22:30:03] But, Don, Secretary Clinton came out she has apologized over and over again. She's noted that if she could do it all over again she would not use the private server, she would use the e-mail.

And I just think this is a distraction to the American people. The suggestion there was a pay-to-play operation going on in the State Department between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation is egregious and I think it's absolutely unfounded.

And, again, I wish we would talk about the issues and this has been disapproved. The State Department has come out and said there was no pay-to-play, everything was basically on the up and up. We have to remember, Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch which is a group that's been after Secretary Clinton; went to the Clinton's for a while. Again, we just need to get back to the issues and the e-mails are not the issues.

LEMON: OK. All right.

MADDEN: Just real quick, people's faith in government institutions is an issue.

LEMON: Trust is an issue.


PHILLIPS: Hey, Don...

LEMON: John -- John...

PHILLIPS: I think Mark Cuban was at a Dallas Mavericks game the day James Comey's gave his press conference and might have gone into overtime because he missed all of the apologies...


MCCAUGHEY: That's correct... PHILLIPS: ... from Hillary Clinton.


PHILLIPS: They're not selling goodwill for this foundation. What they're selling is access. We've seen stories from the Associated Press of people going to the State Department trying to get access to Hillary, denied, then they go to the foundation after sizable contributions and end up getting access.

LEMON: All right. That's got to be the last year. I got to go.


LEMON: I'll see you guys the next hour. Thank you so much.

Up next, the husband of Hillary Clinton's top aide caught in a sexting scandal again. Donald Trump not missing the opportunity to blast Clinton over it. I'm going to talk about this with Frank Rich of New York magazine.


LEMON: Donald Trump using the marital woes of Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's top aide, to question Clinton's judgment. He's claiming that Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal may have compromised national security.

A lot to talk about now with Mr. Frank Rich, writer-at-large at New York magazine and producer of HBO's "Veep." I read it and I watch it.


LEMON: Both of them. And your glasses are great. It's good to see you. This is a new poll out. We're going to put it up now. It shows Hillary Clinton's lead over Donald Trump, you know, she's leading but that big bounce she got is dwindling. Very clear that the new campaign advisers he wants to do the election his way, he's saying, right, by being himself. You think he can win by being himself, Frank?

RICH: I think that's his best bet. Because when he's not himself, it's so obviously fake. I mean, when he tries to be presidential, it's tedious, isn't it? He starts to lowers his voice. He's reading a script. You know he doesn't really believe it or care about it.

LEMON: He's getting better at the teleprompter, you don't think?

RICH: I guess by the standards of this profession, but so what?

LEMON: It is a skill that you have to -- you have to practice.

RICH: It's true.

LEMON: Yes. Let's talk about the Anthony Weiner thing and Huma Abedin. And this, that you tweeted this. You said, "No one knows what goes on anyone else's marriage." It's stop stopping Donald Trump from weighing in, though, right? Because he released is a statement. And here is what he said.

He said "Huma is making a very wise decision. I know Anthony Weiner well. And she will be far better off without him. I only worry for the country and that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information. Who knows what he learned and who he told. It's just another example of Hillary Clinton's bad judgment."

"It is possible that our country and its security have been greatly compromised by this." So, he's taken this opportunity to slam Clinton. I had Mark Cuban and Mark Cuban said, yes, he doesn't know if there's any there, there, but he should. That's what he should do. Is this a good or bad move do you think?

RICH: I think it doesn't makes any difference in the end. I think it's kind of hilarious that he has affirm sort of Huma Abedin policy but not a clear policy on immigration, his signature issue. It's a good distraction before Labor Day and the dog days. But, no, I don't think it's going to make a damn bit of difference in the election.

LEMON: Do you think this example, this statement is an example of Roger Ailes or Steve Bannon's influence on the campaign?

RICH: I think this is trump being Trump. I think he can't stop himself. Just also calling her Huma as if they're on a first-name basis, are they really, what's that about? I just think he, you know, he listens to Kellyanne Conway when he's trying to compromise about immigration and then, you know, Bannon and Trump, is there really difference there in voice? Probably not.

LEMON: Yes. Let's talk about the debates, because I have since limited time with you and I like getting your response on a number of different issues. This is from the Washington Post when they talk about the debates, which is just a, you know, a month away. Trump has done some debate, you know, prep this weekend within his advisers. Apparently he likes to meet at golf courses or whatever.

RICH: In a fast food and drink Coke.

LEMON: Right. Yes. The Washington Post is reporting this weekend that two of the candidates who would not be preparing -- it couldn't be preparing more differently. Hillary Clinton is methodically preparing with mock debates and prep sessions and briefing books.

Trump, in contrast, holding a mock debate, but rather not holding mock debate, he's rather meeting with advisers including Roger Ailes for Sunday chats. You know, to test out zingers who that may work on the debate stage. Do you believe these accounts of this debate prep?

RICH: I do, because there's nothing to suggest that he has an attention span of longer than 10 seconds or 140 characters. So, he's not going to sit there and be reading briefing books. Really. And look, it may be the right preparation for him. I'm not saying it's a mistake but I think that's what he's doing. I believe it. LEMON: What do you think, how do you think they're going to do in the

debates? Because I have spoken to some very bright people who have said there is not enough time between now and then to prepare for someone who's been -- who is so immersed in policy as Hillary Clinton is to go up against her.

RICH: He can't. There's no way. There's not enough time left in the history of western civilization for him to learn what he needs to know, but on the other hand, that's not his game. His game is throwing her off guard and, you know, insults, Don Rickles -- Don Rickles act and do what he did in the other debates. And that's I think what makes an interesting and possibly horrifying tension for what's to come.

LEMON: I would venture to guess that this is going to be one of the highest rated things on television ever in recent memory.

[22:39:58] RICH: Absolutely. I'm going to charge my own family to watch it in my living room.

LEMON: Yes. I think everyone is will watch.


RICH: Everyone is going to watch because it's -- you couldn't have two more different people going at each other.

LEMON: Who should play -- who do you think they should play in mock debates? Because playing -- that actually works when people do debates. Having someone play the person you're debating works. It has been shown to work especially someone who knows them and knows their policy well. Who would you have play Donald Trump, who would you have play Hillary Clinton?

RICH: Hillary Clinton I think is easy to cast. There are wonks in the Republican Party. As I say, I don't think Trump's interested in hearing about policy, anyway. In her case, I think she needs Al Franken, someone who involves politics and show business, she needs, or someone in show business who's sympathetic and fast.

I don't think she needs more wonks like her and I don't think the type of wonks on the Democratic Party can approximate his personality. They're too relatively civilized.

LEMON: Yes. The guy that I watched late night is Jimmy Kimmel.

RICH: I like Jimmy Kimmel, too.

LEMON: All right. Jimmy Kimmel and he suggested I think Gary Busey.

RICH: Gary Busey been on "Celebrity Apprentice," we have a conflict of interest.

LEMON: All right. I've got to run. I love "Veep." I can't wait to be on. You're going to write me in I'm sure.

RICH: Thank you. Of course. LEMON: Thank you. Always a pleasure.

RICH: Good to be with you.

LEMON: Frank Rich.

Coming up, Donald Trump headed to Detroit for his first speech to a predominantly black audience. Can he make his case?


LEMON: Donald Trump tweeting up a storm aimed at African-American voters this weekend and headed to Detroit to try to make his case in person.

Here to discuss, bishop Wayne Jackson, the founder and president of the Impact Network. Bruce SeVell, CEO of National Diversity Coalition for Trump. And Charles Blow, op-ed columnist for the New York Times.

Thank you, gentlemen, for coming on. Bishop, you first. Bishop Jackson, Donald Trump is going to Detroit this weekend where he's going to visit your church. You're also going to interview him. What are you going to ask him and what are you hoping to hear from him?

WAYNE JACKSON, IMPACT NETWORK FOUNDER & PRESIDENT: Well first of all, Don, before I get into the interview, I wanted you to know that my wife sent a message and that she told me to tell you that she loves your show.

LEMON: Thank you. I appreciate -- tell her, Mrs. Jackson, I appreciate it, Mrs. Jackson. Thank you very much.


LEMON: So, what are you going to ask him, and what do you want to hear?

JACKSON: Well, there's a lot of things that's going on in the African-American community, and certainly Mr. Trump has desire to lay out a policy, his policy that he wants to do for African-Americans.

He had been speaking to the wrong crowd and he's been trying to get into African-American venues, and so, Impact Network that I'm the founder of, I'm in a unique position.

First of all, I am a pastor of 30 years, I'm also the founder of Impact Television Network that services over 50 million homes through satellite and cable. So, it's the only African-American Christian television network in our nation and Mr. Trump reached out to myself, and he wanted to do an interview...


LEMON: So, what are you going to ask him, though? What are you going to ask him? JACKSON: Well, I'm going to ask him about, you know, issues about

jobs and we're going to talk about Black Lives Matter. We're going to talk about the police, law enforcement, how that African-American, we do support law-abiding African-American, we do support law enforcers.

But there have been some questionable killings that we all concerned about as far as African-Americans that unarmed black men have been shot down. We're going to talk about jobs. We're going to talk about our educational system. And so, there's things that, you know, we're coming at him with real questions and we expect answers.

LEMON: OK. Let me ask you this. What do you -- how is the -- when he says what the hell do you have to lose, what do you think there?

JACKSON: Well, you know, that was a poor choice of words, no question about that.

LEMON: That laugh you said before said it all. You think it was a poor choice of words, he should not.

JACKSON: Yes. No question. Because, see, you know as well as I do, African-Americans, you know, you can't put one brush and stroke and say we're all the same because everybody's not living in the ghetto and everybody is not being shot every time they walk down the street.

But part of our community, they are, and so, you know, definitely that is not a good choice of words saying that, you know, what the blank you have to lose?

LEMON: OK. Let me get the other panelist in here, bishop. Charles, do you think this is a good move for Trump to speak at a black church and go to Detroit?

CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I'm fascinated by the whole move and I am curious to know what the questions will be, the specifics of the questions and what the specifics of the answers will be because to, for the most part, there has been no specificity. It's just most have been kind of a white savior syndrome that your life is horrible, and let me fix it, and but there is not a lot of meat on those bones.

And so, if he is going to be asked actual questions, both, not just about what are your policy prescriptions but also the deeper kind of cultural questions about how you have responded to the Black Lives Matter movement, which has been with some degree of hostility. How he responded to the unrest in Baltimore which was tremendous amount of hostility.

How he has responded to this particular president which is with tremendous amounts of hostility. How he has, you know, his history of racial bias in his housing developments. All of these things have to be on the table and asked in this particular interview because he has to address those and he has to make some sort of amends here that says, you know, I acknowledge that I was wrong and that I apologize for that. Because anything short of that, if it's only law and order, flood more neighborhoods with more police officers, well, we saw that. The cime bill was that. We thought black people, some people thought that was going to be a good idea. It was a horrible idea. And that's a problem. So, we need to see what he's going to say.

LEMON: OK. All right. The head of Trump's National Diversity Coalition CEO is Bruce LeVell. Bruce, we're going to hear from you right after this break.


LEMON: Back now with my panel. Pastor Wayne Jackson. Charles Blow, and Bruce LeVell. Bruce, so...


JACKSON: It's Wayne Jackson.

LEMON: It's Wayne Jackson. Sorry. Not Wayne. Sorry, pastor Wayne Jackson. Pardon me, pastor. So, Bruce, the other panelists got to respond. What do you say, do you think is a good move now that Donald Trump is going in to speak to black audiences?

BRUCE LEVELL, NATIONAL DIVERSITY COALITION FOR TRUMP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Well, first off, I just want to commend Pastor Jackson, bishop Jackson. The last time we met we were in I believe Trump Towers and there are little over 100-plus African-American pastors at that time.

JACKSON: No, I wasn't at - I wasn't at that meeting.

LEVELL: At that one. OK. But one thing I have to say is that with, you know, with your policies in terms of wanting to meet and also being, you know, heroic in opening this dialogue.

Because unfortunately, there are a lot of churches that come under tremendous scrutiny when it comes to meet a republican candidate or in a church, they get a lot of backlash. So, I commend you for opening your doors and I know you invited both candidates which, you know, all churches should do.


[22:54:56] LEVELL: So, I commend you tremendously for that. And also, too, on another note, you know, Mr. Trump when he says what do you have to lose? That's pretty much understanding the heart that's going on where it's applicable to people who are suffering and going through tremendous -- it's not a paint brush across all African-Americans.

LEMON: But it's being received as insulting, though, Bruce. I mean, you heard the pastor say that if everyone is telling you this is insulting and you're getting so much pushback, I don't understand why Trump and his surrogates -- well, first of all, why Trump continues to use it and why the surrogates continue to defend it. Because if I had people who were around me and looking out for my best

interest, they would say, Don, that is not the best way to for you to get the message out there, perhaps we should figure out a better way. No one is doing that and that is -- it's arrogant. It feels arrogant.

LEVELL: Well, you know, Don, like I said, it does have -- you can interpret a lot of things. I do hear some of the opposite things.

LEMON: It may not be the way that it is meant, but that is the way it's being received. You understand that?

LEVELL: Yes. Yes. I understand what you're saying, but, you know, I can assure you that, you know, knowing Mr. Trump, I know that's not intended in terms of insulting or humiliating anyone for that matter.

LEMON: So then...

JACKSON: Well, let me -- let me say this.

LEMON: Go ahead.

JACKSON: Let me say this. Don, your comment on, you know, going forward with this interview, I feel that as you said there has been a lot of backlash and, you know, a lot of hate and I just don't understand all of the hatred that's come out when they first found out he's coming to speak at the Impact Television Network to do a one-on- one interview with me.


JACKSON: I mean, we have to heal. I mean, my thing is that I am a registered democrat. I have voted democrat all my life. I mean, all my friends are democrats. But I believe that there's two sides to the story. We have two major parties, republicans and democrats. And one of them going to be the president of the United States.

Now, we can engage and don't have to endorse. This is not an endorsement. This is not a Trump rally. But I got to commend Mr. Trump for coming into, I mean, the inner city. He's coming right where the hood is to come in and have this interview.

And the last two republican candidates, they never came to Detroit. And that's why most blacks feel, I'm not speaking for all blacks, we feel that when it comes to republicans, republicans not reaching out to the black community and not reaching out with a loving hand and I just want to say this to Mr. Trump, you know, again, he wants to come, he wants to talk.


JACKSON: And we at least listen. And we don't have to have someone, you know, one thing God had given us, He's given us the power of choice to make our choices. And people ask me do you think Mr. Trump is coming to manipulate black folks?

Well, black folks got enough sense to know who's manipulating them and not manipulating. Not being that we don't need a guardian, we don't need nobody to take us by the hands and tell us who we listen to and we don't listen to.

I feel that you need to hear both sides of the story and once you hear, let people make their own decision.

LEMON: And Charles, after reading your columns and sitting here and speaking with you, I think you do think that republicans should reach out to all voters, voters of color, but you're not sure Donald Trump is the republican candidate to do so.

BLOW: Well, I find the language that the pastor is using to be kind of interesting. The idea that, you know, commending Donald Trump for coming to a black church. Donald Trump has had 70 years of his life, 14, 15 months of this campaign, he could have gone to any church that he wanted to at any time, asked for an invitation. Probably people with invitations open. The NAACP saying...


LEMON: He started his campaign...

BLOW: ... certainly had in.

JACKSON: But it's not just...


BLOW: I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Charles, he wasn't running for the president. We don't do that. We don't talk over people.

LEMON: Let him finish. Let him finish. Go ahead, Charles.

BLOW: NAACP offered him to come. The Urban League offered him to come. They turned them down. The NABJ offered him to come. He turned him down. He has been turning down these invites. So, the idea that he should be now commended for, in the last stretch, when he needs black votes, for coming to show up and talk to black people, I'm sorry, I don't pat him on the back for that.

LEMON: All right. Stand by, everyone. We're going to do another segment at the top of the hour. Don't go anywhere. We'll be right back with this conversation and other news as it relates to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. We'll be right back.