Return to Transcripts main page


Two More Women Accuse Trump of Sexual Assault; Trump Calls Accusations "Lies and Smears"; At Least Eight Women Accuse Trump of Groping; Trump Threatening to Sue NY Times, People Mag; Trump: Clinton Camp and Media Behind "Attacks"; Can Trump Recover From Accusations?; Trump Ridicules Accuser; Trump Claims There's Proof Accusations Are False; Trump's Path To 270 Electoral Votes; Trump Dragging Republicans Across The Country; Two More Women Accuse Trump Of Sexual Assault; Trump Calls Accusations Lies And Smear; Matthew Kaplan's Positive Peer Pressure Program. Aired 11p-Midnight ET

Aired October 14, 2016 - 23:00   ET


[23:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump on the defense tonight as two more women accuse him of sexual assault. This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

One of the new accusers, a former contestant on "The Apprentice," who says that after she was fired off the show, she met with Trump privately, believing he was a mentor.


SUMMER ZERVOS, FORMER APPRENTICE CONTESTANT ACCUSING TRUMP: He then asked me to sit next to him. I complied. He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again aggressively and placed his hand on my breast.


LEMON: Well, Trump is slamming these mounting allegations against him calling it a smear campaign.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: These are lies being pushed by the media and the Clinton campaign to try and keep their grip on our country.


LEMON: There's whole lot to get to ahead in this hour. I want to begin, though, with CNN Correspondent Jessica Schneider who is outside Trump Tower tonight. Jessica, good evening to you. You have been digging on all of these allegations of sexual assault and groping. And what are you finding?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, the stories from all of these women all sound similar. They all say that these are incidents of uninvited groping and kissing, and all of the women, including the two tonight, said they are coming forward now because of Donald Trump's own comments in that "Access Hollywood" tape and the subsequent denials in Sunday night's debate.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Summer Zervos was a contestant on "The Apprentice" Season Five in 2006. But after getting the boot from Donald Trump in the first episode --

TRUMP: You know what, Summer, you're fired.


TRUMP: Go. Thank you.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): -- Zervos turned to Trump to guide her career.

ZERVOS: And even after I was fired, I continued to see him as a possible mentor and as potential employer.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): She says she met with Trump twice in 2007, first in his office in New York.

ZERVOS: When I arrived, he kissed me on the lips. I was surprised but felt that, perhaps, it was just his form of greeting.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Trump asked for her number and they planned to meet up the next time he was in L.A. Zervos says the family members and friends she told about the kiss suggested she ignore it.

ZERVOS: I spoke at length to my loved ones and we came to the conclusion that this was undoubtedly some form of greeting, and that I should not take it as anything other than that.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): So when Trump called her a few days later, she agreed to meet with him at the Beverly Hills Hotel. When she arrived, she says a security guard led her inside Trump's room.

ZERVOS: I stood up and he came to me and started kissing me open- mouthed as he was pulling me towards him. I walked away and I sat down in a chair. He was on a love seat across from me, and I made an attempt at conversation.

He then asked me to sit next to him. I complied. He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast. I pulled back and walked to another part of the room.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Zervos says she resisted while the aggression continued.

ZERVOS: I pushed his chest to put space between us. And I said, come on, man, get real. He repeated my words back to me, "Get real," as he began thrusting his genitals.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Zervos says the sexual advances eventually stopped. She had dinner with him and then left the hotel. She says she was eventually offered a job at Trump's golf course near L.A. but she turned it down when the salary was half of what she expected.

She hasn't talked to Trump since, though she says she reached out in April of this year to give him a chance to explain his behavior. She never heard back. With the flood of allegations, Zervos says she felt compelled to speak out.

ZERVOS: You do not have the right to treat women as sexual objects just because you are a star.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): In a statement today, Trump says, "To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago." He continued, "That is not who I am as a person, and it now how I've conducted my life."

Kristin Anderson telling "The Washington Post" she, too, was groped by Trump at a night club in New York in the early 1990s.

KRISTIN ANDERSON, ACCUSES TRUMP OF GROPING HER: The person on my right, who, unbeknownst to me, at that time, was Donald Trump, put their hands up my skirt. He did touch my vagina through my underwear, absolutely. I pushed the hand away and I got up and I turned around and I see these eyebrows, very distinct eyebrows of Donald Trump. And I got up and I moved and I continued to talk with my friends, and they said, oh, that's Donald Trump. I was like, ew, he's gross. He just put his hand up my skirt.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): CNN has not verified either of these claims. The Trump campaign responding to Kristin Anderson's allegations with this, "This is a total fabrication -- it did not happen. It is illogical and nonsensical to think Donald Trump was alone in a nightclub in Manhattan and that the alleged incident and recognition of Mr. Trump went unnoticed by both the woman involved and anyone else in this 'crowded' venue."


[23:05:00] SCHNEIDER: And in just the past few moments, we got another statement from the Trump campaign, this one coming from the first cousin of Summer Zervos. He's named John Barry. I'll read it for you.

That first cousin is saying, "I think Summer wishes she could still be on reality T.V. And in an effort to get that back, she's saying all of these negative things about Mr. Trump. That's not how she talked about him before. I can only imagine that Summer's actions today are nothing more than an attempt to regain the spotlight at Mr. Trump's expense, and I don't think it reflects well." Again, that statement coming from the Trump campaign direct from the first cousin of that woman who was on "The Apprentice" season five.

I did reach out to Summer's father tonight. I talked to him briefly, but he said, he could not comment on any of this. Don.

LEMON: All right. Thank you very much for that. We appreciate it. I want to bring in now Defense Attorney Alan Dershowitz, and Jack Kingston, a former Republican congressman who is a senior adviser to the Trump campaign.

Jack, first of all, I want to get your response to this response from the cousin of the woman.

JACK KINGSTON, SENIOR ADVISER TO THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN: You know, I actually had the -- first of all, I want to prefix everything I say, take everything very seriously. I think we should. I think we owe it, not just to the women but to society.

So having said that, I actually did have the opportunity to hear her first cousin speak, and he was not as complimentary of her sincerity. And I thought it was interesting. What he was saying is that, she was extremely fond of Donald Trump. And at some point, he felt like when Donald Trump declined to go visit in April at her invitation, that she got mad at him, and that was what his statement was.


KINGSTON: So, you know, I think it's something that needs to be considered. He's somebody who has worked with his first cousin, obviously grew up with him -- and grew up with her in the same town.

LEMON: But, Alan, he would not be present for any of these allegations, correct? What's your response?

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, AUTHOR, ELECTILE DYSFUNCTION: A GUIDE FOR UNAROUSED VOTERS: Well, my response is that there should never be any presumptions about these accusations. There shouldn't be any political assumption that women always tell the truth or that women always lie. Every single accusation should be evaluated on its merits.

You should look at all the evidence, both supporting and opposing the allegation. Could Trump have been where she said he was? Were there any other witnesses? What possible motive would there be? And then come to a conclusion without any presumptions.

And you have to have the same standards applying to accusations against Bill Clinton as you do about accusations against Donald Trump. Of course, one is running for President and one is not, but you can't say, if you're a Democrat, oh, all the allegations against Clinton are false and all the allegations are against Trump are true, or if you're a Trump supporter, the opposite.

You have to evaluate every single case on their merits without a presumption either way, and I think the media is trying to do that, but it's essential that every case be considered on its own merits and demerits.

LEMON: Right, because at the moment, these are allegations, right? None of it has been proven, at least not yet.

So, Jack, I have to ask you. You heard in Jessica's piece right there, the story, there are now eight women who have come forward to our count. Nicholas Kristof says he knows more. Do you think that they're all lying? KINGSTON: No. I have great concern about all of this, and I think

that's the proper way to approach it.

LEMON: What's your concern?

KINGSTON: Well, you know, I have a concern, is, you know, we need to hear them. And as Alan says, each case needs to be evaluated separately as to, you know, what were the circumstances, who was there, what were witnesses. And I think that -- you know, and I'm hopeful we can get to this.

You know, Mr. Trump is at a disadvantage in terms of, you know, running a campaign and defending himself publicly, when, often, you can't defend yourself publicly in terms of these.

LEMON: How is he at a disadvantage? I mean, he's got --


LEMON: He can step in front of a microphone at any time, and everyone will take him live. He can tell his side of the story. He could apologize. He can come on any news program.


LEMON: He's been invited to every single show. He seems like he has more of an advantage, at least, to give his side of the story than these women.

KINGSTON: Well, for one thing, any time you're talking about this as a candidate, you're not talking about national security, you're not talking about economic changes and jobs and healthcare reform. So --

LEMON: You're not personally defending yourself if you believe in your innocence.

KINGSTON: Well, I'm just saying that that's one of the disadvantages.

LEMON: Right.

KINGSTON: The other disadvantage is, he may know something that should any of these cases become a legal matter, which I believe is possible, he might not want to try this in the court of public opinion. And Alan could probably speak more accurately about that.

LEMON: Go ahead, Alan.

DERSHOWITZ: Well, I think in a normal case, that may be true. But when you're running for President and it's a couple of weeks before the election, you have to try it in the court of public opinion. And it's fair to put on a defense and to say, look, I couldn't have been there. It was a crowded night club, and other people would have seen it.

[23:10:04] What's absolutely wrong and what no lawyer would ever recommend that a client say is that, she wasn't good looking enough for me to abuse. That is almost essentially an admission of guilt. What he seems to be saying is, if she were good looking, really attractive, then the argument would be a plausible one.

And in terms of quantity, that's a knife that cuts both ways. Clearly, when a lot of people come forward, that is corroborating evidence that it may be true. But we also know that there are copy cats. That we also know that there were 10 or 15 people who'd come forward, very frequently, some of them will be true but others will say, there is a bandwagon. There may be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

So we have to evaluate each of these situations on their merits and demerits.

LEMON: So the Congressman, you know, talked about, there may be legal actions that we don't know about, and he doesn't want to try it in the court of public opinion.


LEMON: He is threatening to sue "The New York" --

DERSHOWITZ: That's not going to happen.

LEMON: -- "The New York Times," Alan, "People" magazine, even some of the women. So what are his chances of success?

DERSHOWITZ: Almost zero. There is a privilege for journalists to report things that other people have said. This is a news-worthy item. It would be a frivolous lawsuit against "The New York Times." It would not be a frivolous lawsuit against the people making the allegations.

And if "The New York Times" published without itself doing any kind of corroboration -- but I think "The Times" was fairly careful in seeking to corroborate, and they published all the accounts. They published those that they could corroborate. So I think that Donald Trump has to go back to college and learn a little bit about the First Amendment. The First Amendment protects journalists from reporting news-worthy items.

Now, you have to ask yourself, what's the standard that "The Times" applies in reporting on these issues, but I think they're pretty safe from a lawsuit. I think everybody is safe from a lawsuit.

This is now a three-week issue, unless you take seriously Donald Trump's request that people vote on November 28th. Actually, the election is on the 8th. By that time, this will be over. There will be no lawsuits.

And if he has anything to say, if I were his lawyer, his adviser, I'd say, say it now, say it respectfully. Put your evidence forward. Get the information. Try to get records that show you couldn't have been in various places if you couldn't have been, and if you were there, acknowledge you were there. Make it is best case you can but without insulting the people who have made the allegations. They have to be taken seriously and treated respectfully.

LEMON: Congressman, Donald Trump is saying all of these recent allegations of sexual misconduct are being driven by Hillary Clinton and the media, a conspiracy against him, but these women came forward after hearing Donald Trump's own words. Listen.


TRUMP: I better use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

BILLY BUSH, NBC NEWS HOST: Whatever you want.

TRUMP: Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.

BUSH: Yes, those legs. All I can see is the legs.

TRUMP: Oh, it looks good.


LEMON: And some of the accusers say that they had to speak out after hearing Anderson's question at the debate about, have you done this before? Are you admitting to having done that? And then he denied it and they said that that just really upset them. How is that a conspiracy from the media and from the Clinton campaign?

KINGSTON: Well, I think there are enough critics outside of the Clinton campaign that he probably doesn't have to worry about there being any conspiracy, that they can act independently.

But, you know, I think Alan has given some solid advice in terms of there won't be legal action. This is a political matter, if I heard Alan correctly, and therefore, he needs to, in the next couple of weeks and, hopefully, really in the next couple of days, to say, here's where I was on those nights. I could not have been here, for example, if he was allegedly in some particular bar. If he can show, actually, I was in New Orleans, I wasn't in New York City that day, that week, I think that's the sort of thing that, you know, we've got to get it out to the public and got to get it out quickly.

And so that's probably the better tactic, but, you know, again, where he wants to go and certainly where I want to go is to be talking about economic policy, immigration policy, and foreign policy and things like that. And so you've got to get this off the deck in order to get that flexibility again.

LEMON: That's going to be a really tough one to do considering the severity of these allegations. I understand that you want to talk about those issues, but this is --


LEMON: -- serious stuff, as well, which you agree -- which you've agreed on on this broadcast as well. It's a serious topic.

Thank you, Alan. Thank you, Congressman. I appreciate it.

KINGSTON: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Straight ahead. We're now only 25 days until Election Day, but plenty of voters are already casting early ballots. Can Trump recover from these mounting allegations? We're going to get some answers from the political experts next.


[23:18:23] LEMON: So here's our breaking news tonight, two more women coming forward today accusing Donald Trump of sexual assault. Trump calling all allegations against him lies and smears.

I want to bring in CNN Political Commentators, David Swerdlick, assistant editor at "The Washington Post" and Mary Katharine Ham, senior writer at "The Federalist," and Ryan Lizza is with us as well, Washington correspondent at "The New Yorker." Hello to all of you. Thank you so much.

Here is Trump defending himself against the allegations of sexual assault.


TRUMP: Take a look. You take a look. Look at her. Oh, I was with Donald Trump in 1980. I was sitting with him on an airplane. And he went after me on the plane. Yes, I'm going to go after you.

Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you. You don't know, that would not be my first choice.


LEMON: So, David, you know, he's mocking the victims. We've seen him mock other people before.


LEMON: It seems like a strange tactic to take when one is defending one's self. Why do you think he's doing this?

SWERDLICK: Yes, it's a strange tactic to take. Donald Trump does not like to back down, does not like to apologize, does not like to admit any kind of wrong. I heard Congressman Kingston in your last segment say that whether he's attracted to the women is irrelevant, and I'm glad he said that because that's right.

Either the allegations against Donald Trump are true or they're false. The how long ago the alleged incidents took place, or whether or not he says he's attracted to the women who have accused him are not relevant. Either what happened is true or false.

[23:20:00] And I think it's a strange strategy, Don, in part because, right now, he's in a fight to the extent that he is trying to win this race. He's in a fight to win over women voters, particularly college- educated women voters. And, you know, you can tell by the movement of the polls in the last couple of weeks that he --

LEMON: The numbers are slipping, yes.

SWERDLICK: The numbers are slipping for him, so it's not helpful. I'm not sure why he is doing, other than he doesn't like to back down.

LEMON: The reaction that he's had dealing with this crisis over the past week or so, Ryan, has this shown him to be presidential?

RYAN LIZZA, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORKER: I mean, the argument that, you know, I only assault attractive women is both the strangest argument I've ever heard and also the most Donald Trump argument I have ever heard.


LIZZA: But implicit in what he is saying is, you know, look at these people, I only assault, you know, 10s or however he put it.

LEMON: You're almost at a loss for words, and I've never seen you at a loss for words, Ryan.

LIZZA: You know, I find myself at a loss for words almost daily in the final weeks of this campaign, you know, watching this stuff play out. You know, you asked David to sort of explain why he said that, and, you know, I'm glad you didn't ask me to do that because it doesn't -- at this point, it takes, you know --

LEMON: It defies logic.

SWERDLICK: It does, yes.

LIZZA: -- psychiatrists to understand how he could get up there and talk about the looks of his accusers rather than, you know, if he's innocent, lay out some facts and then explain in a careful way why he is the victim of an unfair, unsubstantiated attack. He's not doing that.


LIZZA: He's not putting any evidence forward.

LEMON: When he said this was, you know, the strangest thing but the most Donald Trump thing, Mary Katharine, you said, yes. I heard you.

HAM: Yes. Yes, because it is strange coming from anyone else. The problem with Donald Trump as a nominee is, it's not strange coming from him. It makes perfect sense to me to hear that as part of his defense.

And I think part of what Donald Trump does is, he speaks to the audience in front of him, and he is not often thinking about the other people he needs to bring in, and that has caused many problems along the way. And in this case, I think he's talking to an audience that does think the media is after him and that many of these things are unfair.

And, look, when it comes to these charges, right, and each of these things, take each of them on their merits and, you know, try to verify and figure out what's going on here and be fair to the person who is accused and take the accuser seriously. And the merit should not include what party the person being accused is of, even though in this town, that often is what people base their belief or not belief on.

But, look, I'm sympathetic to the notion that he can't come out and disprove each one of these in systematic fashion and still run a presidential campaign. The problem for Donald Trump is, the reason people believe these accusations --

LEMON: Because he said it.

HAM: -- is because he said it on tape.

LEMON: On tape, yes. Mary Katharine, you said he won't recover from this. Why do you say that?

HAM: Oh, well, I am not -- yes, I don't think he will. There's not enough time on the clock for one thing, and he's not a guy who changes his way of doing things. I think we've seen that throughout this. I've been asked, I don't know how many times, will he change during this campaign? And I always say no. No, he won't.

SWERDLICK: He's not going to.

HAM: He is who he is and that's part of what worked for him for part of the time, but it was always going to be what spelled problems for him in the end.


HAM: And anybody who thought there was not a bunch of oppo coming in October on this guy who's been mic'ed up for 25 years was out of their mind.

LEMON: Was it a little bit weird that he wouldn't allow his own campaign to do oppo research on him? I found that -- according to reports. I find that flabbergasting. But I have to ask the rest of the panel the same question I asked Mary. Mary Katharine says she doesn't think he can recover. David, do you think he can recover from this, you know, between now and November 8th?

SWERDLICK: No, I don't, Don. And I agree with Mary Katharine that, you know, with three and a half weeks left to go, it's just not enough time for him to change the narrative.

You know, if Donald Trump -- well, he has been accused of sexual assault by several women. He's been accused of what is, in fact, a crime. If he's ever charged with this crime, he's obviously entitled to the presumption of innocence and to due process, but we're not in a court room right now. We're in the court of public opinion, and a narrative is hardening

around him, in part because of that "Access Hollywood" tape where he was heard saying a bunch of things. That doesn't prove he did them, but it does entitle voters to make up their minds about him in a particular way, and I don't think he can do anything or he is doing anything to turn that around.

LEMON: What do you say, Ryan? Can he recover?

LIZZA: No. I mean, recover in that, can he still win this election? For him to win this election, it would be the greatest come-from- behind victory -- you know, I'm tempted to say, in modern American politics -- I think, in the history of American politics.

But, certainly, in the modern era, nobody this late in October has come behind from the deficit that he faces. If you look at the demographics of the race, if you look at the states where he is hurting, it would be one of the all-time greatest come backs in political history.

[23:25:14] LEMON: Yes. Mary Katharine, what do you think is happening inside the campaign right now? And especially that, I mean, is campaign is being led by woman, what do you think is going on there?

HAM: Right. Well, I think this has always been a competition in that campaign. It's always been fraught between whoever is trying to sort of manage Donald Trump and Donald Trump who sees himself as the ultimate manager.


HAM: And he is happy to be himself all day long and he doesn't like being bottled up. And I think when you try to send him down the road and make him a little bit more disciplined, it often just mean he boils over more later. And I think that's the problem that Kellyanne Conway has had since she's been on.

LEMON: Yes. Let's put up her tweet.

HAM: But she has had some success at times.

LEMON: Yes. You can keep talking, but we'll put up her sweet. Her tweet says, you know, because someone in the audience is like, stick to the issues or whatever, and she goes, that was me. I was there. According to our Jim Acosta -- I think it was Jim Acosta who's -- yes, Jason Carroll said, you know, he saw a guy in the audience saying it.

HAM: Right.

LEMON: But she's saying this. But, obviously, she's having her own issues with him.

HAM: Well, and here's the thing about Donald Trump -- and many, I think, sometimes, with merit, complain like, well, why isn't the media paying attention to the WikiLeaks and talking more about the some of the collusion between media and the Clinton campaign, and I think some of that is fair.

The problem is, Donald Trump will continue to talk about almost only this and not the issues and not the things about Clinton that he should be prosecuting. He is the guy who has the power to get media attention, and he doesn't use it for these things.

LEMON: Yes. When someone says, why aren't you talking more about the e-mails, then I already know how they feel, right? And then they're going to say, why are you talking so much about the e-mails, then I already know how they feel. It's just completely ideological.

Trump insists though that there is evidence exonerating him on all of these accusations that we have heard. Do you think that that evidence actually exists? Because Mike Pence was on this morning on CBS's "This Morning" show saying it's going to come out now. That was this morning. You know, it's almost midnight Eastern Time and nothing has happened. Where is it, David?

SWERDLICK: I don't know and, again, I don't think it matters. Again --

LEMON: It reminds me of last Friday night --


LEMON: -- when we were sitting here waiting for, you know, the tape to come out, but go on.

SWERDLICK: No. I mean, again, if he winds up being charged with something in the legal system, then, yes, you really have to look at evidence, due process, et cetera. But in terms of what's going on in voters' minds, look, take this all the way back, right?

Last week, we were talking about the "Access Hollywood" tape.


SWERDLICK: We talked briefly about what Megyn Kelly brought up in the first Republican debate about his comments about Rosy O'Donnell. I was thinking earlier about an incident that really went by almost unnoticed, which was when he -- anybody who has been following this campaign remembers when he brought the woman on stage a year ago, to run her fingers through his hair to prove that he had real hair. And when she left the stage, he said, Don -- he said, look, there goes -- someone has a really nice wife. And you go from there, and you go to more comments.

LEMON: I didn't hear. Someone was talking to me. Say again, what did he say?

SWERDLICK: When the woman left the stage after running her hands through his hair and verifying that it was his real hair, his comment, on the microphone was, that, hey, there -- look, thank you, someone's got a really nice wife there. There are all these little comments that suggest to me that he sees

women in these situations as two dimensional, as not three dimensional, as not people in the in the sense that they should be regarded by him.

That's not a crime, but I think you have incident after incident after incident, and a narrative forms. And like Mary Katharine said, with a few weeks left to go, it's just going to be too hard for him to turn this around.

LEMON: Tone deaf on --

LIZZA: Definitely, yes.

LEMON: Ryan, we'll get on the other side after the break, but tone deaf on so many, many issues that have been brought up throughout this campaign, and yet the people in his campaign will fight back when you tell them, you're tone deaf on this issue, you're tone deaf on that issue. They just don't believe it and they keep moving on, and now here they are.

We'll be right back. We'll discuss the electoral map. We'll put it up for everyone and discuss where we are. Coming up.


LEMON: Donald Trump spending time on the campaign trail fending off allegations of sexual assault. Is this having any impact on his attempt to win 270 electoral votes? Here's CNN's John King. John, what do you have?

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS: Don, you look at the map and things are growing even more bleak for Donald Trump. And all these controversies about women are at the center of it.

First, let's just start with the latest national poll. Not good news for Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton with seven-point lead in this Fox News poll among likely voters, 45 percent to 38 percent. Worth noting, just a week ago, Clinton had a two-point lead. What's happened in the last week? You don't need me to tell you. Hillary Clinton has now opened up a seven-point lead.

And, as I noted, defections of women are the big problem for Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton now with a 19-point lead over Donald Trump among female likely voters. Nineteen points. That's a blowout. Remember, women will be a majority on Election Day in November.

How does this break down? Let's take a closer look at how this is breaking down and how much, Don, that hurts Donald Trump. In just the last week, dropped 12 points among women age 45 and older. Dropped 10 points among suburban women. Close presidential elections are decided in the suburbs. That's a huge problem. White women a college degree, Donald Trump has lost seven points in the last week. Republican women, six points in the last week. You get the picture.

This hurting him nationally and all that trouble translates into what we might call the battleground state blues. Remember, Donald Trump was going to win across the rust belt? He's losing Pennsylvania by nine, Michigan by 11, Wisconsin by 7. Ohio's his best state. The latest poll has him plus one. Other polling there shows a tie, maybe Clinton plus one or two. But that's Trump's best state, in Ohio.

But, Don, it's just simply not enough. She's winning in New Hampshire. She's winning in North Carolina and even Indiana. Mike Pence's home state, a reliably red state, for the most part. Obama did win it in 2008. But even in red Indiana, Donald Trump leading but only by four. That tells you the ticket's in trouble.

So, we switch and we say, can Donald Trump get to the magic number, 270 electoral votes? At the moment, we already have Clinton across the finish line. If the election were held today, we believe she would win the states shaded either reliably blue or leaning blue and win the presidency. And, at the moment, she leads in Nevada. She leads in Florida. And she leads in North Carolina.

[23:35:09] Trump maybe leads in Ohio. That's the closest one for him. Not enough. If you play it out like that, that's a blowout for Secretary Clinton.

So, can Trump win? Well, even his own campaign says the path is very narrow now. They think you need to turn Florida which is close. You need to turn North Carolina which, again, is still very close. You need to hold Ohio or win it. It's pretty tied right now. See how that one plays out.

But even if he did that, Don, even if he did that, he's 17 electoral votes short. The only place to get them in one swoop is Pennsylvania where he now trails by nine. Is that impossible? A lot of Republicans think so. A lot of Republicans actually think the presidential race is over.

Those who don't think it's over think that is an incredibly steep hill to climb. You're going to turn one, two, three and hold that state. Complicated states cost a lot of money. Only 25 days left, not impossible, Don, but incredibly hard, especially when you're trying to do it in the middle of all this controversy.

LEMON: Absolutely. John King, thank you so much.

Back with me now, David Swerdlick, Mary Katharine Ham and Ryan Lizza. David, I'll just say to you what a friend texted me today. They said, man, he was 45 days from living in the White House. And do you agree with that? Because this looks like an incredibly steep, uphill climb that is likely impossible.

DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I don't know if he was that close to the White House, but certainly there was a moment just a few weeks ago where Donald Trump was ascending in the polls. Kellyanne Conway had sort of taken the campaign by the reigns, gotten Donald Trump to get back on message, gotten him to use teleprompters. And he was really giving Clinton a run for her money.

What happened -- what we've seen in the last couple weeks, particularly leading up to the "Access Hollywood" tape, is that he's lost all that ground. Hard for me to add much to that analysis that John just did with the map, accept to say that this just, in some ways even with all we've seen in the last year and a half, remains a turnout election.

If Clinton can turnout on Election Day, the Obama coalition, unmarried women, white women with a college degree, voters of color, millennial voters, voters in urban areas, in suburbs of Cleveland, in suburbs of Philadelphia, she probably wins this election. If she can't, if people stay home, they're probably not going to vote for Trump, then it's a different story. Then Trump has a shot.

LEMON: A quick reaction from my other two panelists, because I want to move on and then talk about up and down the ballot. Mary Kathryn, you first. What do you think of John King's?

MARY KATHARINE HAM, SENIOR WRITER, "THE FEDERALIST": Yes. Like I say, it's a very tough map. The map was tough for Republicans before Donald Trump was the nominee and before this month. It's obviously not looking great. And you have to play sort of a perfect game to turn all of those states. I've always joked that he's the disruptor who disrupted too much. And maybe, in the end, he'll win Ohio, Florida and lose everything else.


HAM: And just turn the whole game on its head.

LEMON: Wow. Ryan?

RYAN LIZZA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I mean, often, these swing states sort of all tip one way or another. They don't, you know, line up even if they look like they're close going in, you know, half for one candidate, half for the another. They tend to fall like dominos for one side or the other.

Look, there are three big demographics in this race that kind of help explain it. There's the non-white Hispanic votes, and then there's the divided white vote, white working class, and white collar whites, whites with a college education.

And the minority vote in this country is growing. The whites -- the white vote with a college degree is growing. And the white working class is in decline. And the only -- you know, probably by about two points in 2016. And the only demographic that Trump has a lock on is the one that is -- that is in decline.

LEMON: The shrinking one.

LIZZA: The shrinking one. He's done a huge favor for Hillary Clinton in pushing a lot of college-educated whites who voted for Romney but will not vote for him this time and will vote for Hillary Clinton reluctantly.

HAM: You lose six points of GOP women in a week and a half and you keep on that pace. LEMON: That's not good.

HAM: Not looking good.

LEMON: Well, let's put this up real quick, Mary Katharine, and before we leave here. This NBC poll shows that he's dragging out Republicans across the country. 49 percent of voters say that they want Democrats to control Congress. What's going on here? What do you say?

HAM: Look, I think it's really tough for people who are down ballot from him. But, let me say this, in this weird year, people have shown in polling a tendency to want to split tickets more than they have in the past. Portman is a perfect example who has been running a very good race, localizing it.

And I think NRSC sort of recognized very early on, which is the Senatorial Committee for the Republicans, that they needed to do that and that he might be at the top of the ticket. And so, they've been putting in some work on that. They have their own ground games that don't have anything to do with him. There may be more tickets splitting than usual. But if this gets out of hand for him, I'm not sure they can still overcome it.

LEMON: Mary Katharine, Ryan, David, thank you. I appreciate it.

SWERDLICK: Thanks, Don.

LIZZA: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Coming up, a former "Apprentice" contestant is one of Trump's newest accusers. We'll get reaction from two other former contestants as well.



LEMON: One of the two women coming forwarded today to accuse Donald Trump of sexual assault is a former contestant on "The Apprentice," and I want to talk about this with Randal Pinkett, winner of the fourth season of the show and author of "Black Faces in White Places." And Maria Kanellis, a former professional wrestler with WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment. She was a contestant on "Celebrity Apprentice" as well. Welcome back. Thank you for coming on for the first time.

So, let's talk about this newest accuser. Her name is Summer Zervos. Here's what she said about her experience with Donald Trump, in her words.


SUMMER ZERVOS, FORMER CONTESTENT, "THE APPRENTICE": He then asked me to sit next to him. I complied. He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his -- placed his hand on my breast. I pulled back and walked to another part of the room. He then walked up, grabbed my hand and walked me into the bedroom.


LEMON: Now, CNN has not been able to independently confirm her story, and Donald Trump has denied this ever happened. But she was a contestant on the fifth season of "The Apprentice." She says this all happened after she contacted him after the season in hopes of getting a job. So, what do you think of her account? First you, Randall.

[23:45:01] RANDAL PINKETT, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, BCT PARTNERS: Well, we talked last week, Don, and 20 people came forward from the cast and the crew from "The Apprentice," giving accounts of Donald's behavior on the set, talking about women's looks, talking about who he would sleep with.

I had my own firsthand account and seen his behavior. That, to me, was only a precursor to what we now see this week which is, again, candidates from the show coming out and saying, hey, after the show was over, when the cameras weren't rolling, things got worse.

Donald -- I think her -- Summer's account is very credible, clearly visibly moved. People want to criticize and say, why now? I think Anderson Cooper's question was the catalyst and now the floodgates are open.

LEMON: Maria?

MARIA KANELLIS, FORMER STAR, WWE: I think that it's incredibly difficult to come forward right away. But when you hear all of these other accounts, account upon account upon account, and then you can all come together on this one topic. I think that's why all these women are coming out now. And I do think she's a credible source.

But beyond that, his actions speak a lot louder than these words that she said.

LEMON: What do you -- you guys were there. And, you know, Mark Burnett has these tapes, supposedly. He's not going to release them. What's possibly in there? Because you were there.

KANELLIS: We were there. I think that there's probably a lot there. And if, legally, these tapes could come out, I think that they would be incredibly interesting to people.

LEMON: How so?

KANELLIS: Because he is a rash man. He is a man that just speaks his mind, doesn't think before he speaks. You know, something so small as a person's skin or they might have a mole. Like, I have a mole on my shoulder and he'd say, oh, well, you should get that removed. It's an imperfection. Or, oh, you shouldn't stand like that. Oh, you're looking pretty today. And just hang a little too long on those words. Star a little bit too long. And those are the things I think people would really see.

PINKETT: I mean, the "Access Hollywood" tape was all of about a minute. "The Apprentice" tape, 24-7 for more than a dozen seasons, right? We can only imagine -- and we saw first-hand our own glimpse of Donald said. I observed Donald to say things about women's looks, about who he would sleep with. He would ask other candidates who they would sleep with. Imagine that, 24-7.

LEMON: Let's remind the audience and then we'll pick it up. Here it is.


TRUMP: I've got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful -- I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.


TRUMP: Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.


LEMON: Go on.

PINKETT: There you have it. And we listened to Donald's comments on "Access Hollywood" where he thought nobody was listening. There were several moments during the taping of the show which were considered not the actual moments when we were filming but we were in the middle of making transitions. We're having off-camera conversations. But the point is the cameras rolled 24-7. There has to be footage that Mark Burnett, MGM, NBC is sitting on, where Donald has made as bad if not worse comments.

But the point is it's already been corroborated. We have accounts from 20 people from the cast and the crew who have already said that it's there. All we have do nab the tapes to prove that it's there.

LEMON: So, Maria, I want to play this. Trump brushed this off as locker room talk, right? This is what guys do. This is one clip that I want to play when you were fired from season -- your season which was season --


LEMON: -- five of "The Apprentice."


KANELLIS: You came in our dressing room and you took a crap and left of the stench in the room so that is the whole purpose of why I was upset.

TRUMP: That's sort of gross, though, bringing that up. It's like disgusting. This is my boardroom. It's not a locker room. Maria, you're fired. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KANELLIS: Very ironic.

LEMON: So, you --

KANELLIS: And that's actual locker room talk. I mean, that is what happens in a locker room. And me, I've been in a locker room for 12 years with wrestlers. I've been backstage. I've been in green rooms. And I have never once heard a man talk like that. That and what he was talking about was assaulting a woman, a married woman. And that's disgusting.

And he wants to become the president of the United States. And, to me, as president holding the highest office, you should be the best of America. And that, right there, is the very worst.

LEMON: Why do you think so many are making it -- again, these are just accusations but I see people coming on and they turn flips. And not just about the accusations, but to defend the language and the actions on that bus?

KANELLIS: Because I don't think people want to believe that they're wrong. I think that this was their guy and they believed in this guy. And they went all the way down this path and then, all of a sudden, they can't get off the road.

LEMON: Yes. So, you were -- you were -- you were the first and only black contestant to win "The Apprentice," right?

PINKETT: That's right.

LEMON: And then, he latched onto this birther story which -- and then I think you became upset about that. But he also wanted you to share your title?

[13:50:04] PINKETT: Right. So, I was the fourth season winner of "The Apprentice." There were seven seasons of "The Apprentice," then they flipped to "Celebrity Apprentice." For my season, I had a white adversary who I was against and Trump asked me, after handing me the winner, Randal, do you want to share the title with the white runner- up, which was insulting.

And if I reflect on Donald's history with race, you know, the (INAUDIBLE) and discrimination, center park five, black lives matter, to me, it was just a pattern of racist behavior, a pattern of racism.

And I've had that (INAUDIBLE) with Donald. Why did you do it, Donald? I got it -- I never got a single answer. One day it was for the water cooler. The next day it was because I wanted to test you. The next day it was for ratings. But I think underlying that was Donald's privilege and the way he's lived his life, thinking he's above everything and that sexist behavior and racist behavior, he can never be held accountable for that. And now, he's being called for that.

LEMON: Do you think that he thought that maybe a black winner could not support? It wouldn't look good? The ratings wouldn't be great?

PINKETT: Well, I think that he --

LEMON: You've seen there's not been a black bachelor, you know what I mean?

PINKETT: Right, right. Well, I'll say this --

LEMON: Not for a long time, there wasn't a black bachelor.

PINKETT: -- much like he can't hold back from talking about Rosie O'Donnell or can't hold back in talking about Alicia Machado at 3:00 in the morning. I don't think Donald could bare to see a single African-American winner and not have that victory tarnished.

LEMON: All right. Thank you, all.

KANELLIS: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you, both, I should say.

We'll be right back.


LEMON: It is national bullying prevention month, and this week's CNN hero is tackling bullying where it often starts and that's in middle school. Every year in the U.S., 7 million children are bullied, either at school or online.

And when Matthew Kaplan realized his little brother was a victim, he took action, even though only in the eighth grade. In the past five years, he has shared his free anti-bullying program with more than 4,600 middle school students across the country.


MATTHEW KAPLAN: The term peer pressure is thrown around a lot. And usually when it is, it's meant as a negative thing. But I believe that we can actually harness peer pressure for good. I mean, why don't people think it's cool to be kind? And that's what positive peer pressure is all about, creating a culture where being inclusive and being kind is the norm.


LEMON: To see in Matthew Kaplan's positive peer pressure program in action, go to

That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching.