Return to Transcripts main page


Race for the White House; Teleprompter Trump vs. Tough-Talking Trump; Trump Slams Beyonce and Jay-Z; CNN Poll of Polls: Clinton Leads by 3 Points; 12-Year-Old in Wheelchair Kicked out of Trump Rally; Bill Maher Slams Trump; Obama Mocks Trump's Tweeting. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired November 7, 2016 - 00:00   ET


[00:00:00] DAVID ZUCCHINO, NEW YORK TIMES: And they said if Hillary makes any move at all to place any restrictions on gun or ammunition ownership, that they'll be marching by the millions with their guns to Washington, D.C.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: David, Chris -- thank you very much.

ZUCCHINO: Thank you.

LEMON: It is midnight on the East Coast. And that means we are in the final 24 hours before millions of voters begin going to the pulls.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

This unprecedented race is almost over.

But we've got one more bombshell tonight. FBI director, James Comey sending a letter to Congress saying investigators found nothing in those recently discovered e-mails that would lead them to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton. Most of those e-mails were personal and duplicates of what had already been seen, according to law enforcement officials.

What will voters make of all of this? Will this seal the deal for Hillary Clinton? Meanwhile, Donald Trump holding a rally in Virginia tonight -- we're going to keep an eye on that for you.

I want to get to CNN's Mark Preston and the "Washington Post's David Swerdlick first. Mark Preston I'm going to start with you. It is midnight. 24 hours from now we'll be reporting the votes, right?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: We will -- Don -- big, big couple of hours now that we're going to be heading into right now. It's going to be a big schedule for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Let me just take you through a couple of the places where they're going to be, Don, which kind of gives you an idea of where they think the path to victory is.

Donald Trump is going to start in Florida. He's then going to move up to North Carolina. He then goes on to Pennsylvania. Then he heads up to New Hampshire. Then he's going to close the night in Michigan which is a state that we weren't talking about probably five or six days ago.

Hillary Clinton is going to start her day in Pennsylvania then she's going to go to Michigan. Then she's going to head back to Pennsylvania for a rally with President Barack Obama and the first lady. And Bruce Springsteen is going to headline that rally. Of course, Philadelphia is really a very important place for a lot of Springsteen fans and seeing that he's next door in New Jersey. And then she's going to end her night in North Carolina.

So it just gives you an idea of where the candidates are going to be and where they think they need to get as many votes as they can possible.

LEMON: Hey Mark -- there's a brand new poll. It just came out of New Hampshire from WMUR. It shows Hillary Clinton with a commanding lead -- 49 percent to Trump's 38 percent. Previous polls had them at a tie. What do you make of this?

PRESTON: Yes. You know, this is surprising because, you know, the last WMUR poll had Hillary Clinton up seven. And as you pointed there are three other polls that we've seen in the past couple of weeks that had the race tied.

Look, we know that U&H and WMUR do a good job on their polling. I mean 11 points is quite a lot at this point in the election, specifically with the New Hampshire electorate which is definitely a little bit fickle in how they choose their presidential candidates. So I mean good news for Hillary Clinton. The question is will that 11 points stand?

LEMON: David, New Hampshire is a battleground on CNN's electoral map. This is a big turn of events -- right?

DAVID SWERDLICK, WASHINGTON POST: I think it's just maybe illustrates the challenge for the Donald Trump campaign, right. Trump has seen a narrowing in national and from swing state polls in the last two weeks, both before and after the Comey FBI letter and issues kind of rose.

But here's the thing. Every state where Clinton sort of solidifies her polling lead forecloses another angle for Trump. He's got an inside stream (ph) he's got to fill. Right now the CNN map shows him with 204 electoral maps. That's two less than Mitt Romney wound up with at the end of 2012. Trump has to win a number of states. He's got to try and put together a couple of big states and then maybe a few of those little states like New Hampshire, like Nevada. New Hampshire has four electoral votes; Nevada has six to win. Every state that appears like it's out of range for him makes it that much harder for him to get to that magic 270 number.

LEMON: David -- I found this very interesting because millions of people voted early this year and many in key battleground states. This is what I found interesting. I'm going to read a tweet for you from one of Hillary Clinton's most vocal critics, former representative Joe Walsh. And he said "For nine days, over $20 million early voted thinking the FBI had something big on Hillary. I'm a Trump guy, but man, that's not right."

So if Clinton -- I know you probably think it's interesting as well. If she loses, does some of the blame go to the director of the FBI?

SWERDLICK: You know, I'm not going to put that on the director of the FBI. Look, I think it's very fair to make the argument that starting all the way back in July when he made what was a nontraditional, outside of protocol, outside of the box speech to explain in detail why he was not recommending criminal charges to the Justice Department against her and then the subsequent leaks, the subsequent congressional testimony, the letter nine days ago, the letter today. Yes -- this was unorthodox. You could criticize it.

[00:05:01] On the other hand, if you go all the way back to Hillary Clinton, with the home brew server, there's a lot of blame to go around. I think Republicans have tried but not ultimately maybe succeeded -- we'll see on Election Day -- in driving home this narrative that Hillary Clinton had done something more nefarious than just simply mishandling e-mails. They may have overplayed that especially a couple of days ago with Trump saying thinks like this is bigger than Watergate.

On the other hand, Democrats have been a little bit to0, I don't know if I want to say coy, they've over-dramatized this idea that they've gotten a raw deal from the FBI when in fact this all centers around an investigation that started with their candidate.

LEMON: Mark -- I'm wondering if there's going to be any new polling tomorrow. And from that polling, if there is, will we be able to tell if the e-mail probe had -- how it influenced voters here?

Preston: I don't think so. I mean at this point, you know, I think it's baked into the cake when it happened when that letter went out that the investigation was continuing on. There was definitely some movement, I think, that we saw in the national polls and quite frankly in the state polls.

By polling tomorrow, it much doesn't matter. It really just comes down to get out the vote. What we've been trying to do over the past week here is to talk about the early vote, look at the demographics of who is voting specifically in the early states -- Florida, North Carolina, out in Nevada as well -- looking at some really hard data as well to kind of compliment the polls.

By the time we hit tomorrow, it really is going to be these get out the vote rallies, these massive rallies that we're going to see from Hillary Clinton and from Donald Trump. And then we'll see where the chips fall on Tuesday night if not into Wednesday morning.

LEMON: Let's talk about some of the election results. With all those early voters, does that mean that we're going to know the outcome of this election sooner? How and when are those votes counted and reported, Mark?

PRESTON: It all depends what state that you're in. There's a different way of how they count them and when they report them. What it does, though, give us, and again we don't know how people voted. So if Democrats returned 2,000 more ballots than Republicans in any specific state, there's a good chance that they voted for Hillary Clinton. That doesn't mean that they all did but there's a good chance that they did and that get out the vote operation was by and large successful.

But as far as whether this is going to be called tomorrow night, who knows because there's going to be so many states that are going to be close whether it's Florida or North Carolina. We think it's going to be close. We'll see what happens up in New Hampshire. I'm trying to think about the East Coast now before we start to move across the country and get out west to Colorado and states like Nevada.

But I just don't -- I can't imagine that we're see early calls in some of these states where the race is so tight right now. So I don't think it's going to be an 11:00 call when, you know, polls close on the West Coast. I think that it's probably going to be later.

LEMON: Does high turnout affect any one particular party or candidate?

PRESTON: Well, in early voting, high turnout usually helps Democrats because they have a better operation, by and large, than Republicans do in getting out the early vote. Republican voters tend to be traditionally ones who will go on the day of. But we'll see. I mean we're not necessarily sure.

What we do know, though, is that the rise of the Latino vote in this election in early voting is definitely helpful to Democrats. There's no question about that. We have seen a dip in the number, when it comes to the overall electorate of African-Americans voting than they've voted in previous elections.

But I don't think we should be too surprised by that given the fact that Barack Obama was the first black president elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. However we do know that Democrats would have preferred and would have liked to see a higher turnout of African- Americans and that's why we saw Barack Obama on the campaign trail basically non-stop for the past week, trying to get out the vote.

LEMON: Yes. So David -- what about exit polling? What will we know and when on that?

SWERDLICK: Look, Don -- I'm going to be looking at, as Mark said, the Latino vote. Right now it's up in -- up as of this time in 2012, the Latino voters up in Florida, in Nevada, in North Carolina. I think that's going to be an indicator; if that holds true through Election Day, that's a strong sign for Democrats.

I also think that I'm going to be looking at where unmarried women and white women with a college degree land. If those two demographics go strong for Clinton, then she is likely to prevail even if she winds up losing some states like Ohio, I suspect, is going to be tough for her. That then those demographics will carry her through and even with that slightly lower African-American turnout it still will suggest that she somehow managed to hold together the Obama coalition of voters of color, women, voters with college degrees, voters in urban centers and closed-in suburbs.

[00:10:04] LEMON: All right. David, Mark -- thank you very much. I appreciate that.

Two key states in this election, Florida and North Carolina, CNN's Randi Kaye is in Orlando for us and Gary Tuchman is in Charlotte. Hello to both of you.

Randi -- first to you, today was the last day of early voting. What did you see there on the ground?

RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There were some long lines, don, even though there had been so many voters out already. In fact, some of the counties, including this one, Orange County, had already set records for early voting. Miami-Dade also set a record. So did Broward County down the southern part of the state.

Here in this county, 50 percent of the residents, the registered voters have already voted and across the state, Don, 60 percent of the voters took part in early voting -- so certainly some big numbers.

But just to let you know where I am along the I-4 corridor here, this includes Tampa, this includes Orlando, this includes Daytona Beach. They call this the swingiest part of this swing state of Florida because it's pretty purple. You have the Republican supporters to the north and then you have the Democrats who do really well in the southern part of the state in Broward and Miami-Dade as I mentioned. But this, Don, is the county that they say, at least the locals do, this is who picks the president -- Don.

LEMON: So Randi -- the Hispanic voter turnout we've been talking about -- it's been historic, they believe. What can you tell us about it there in Florida?

KAYE: Well, as far as the early voting -- what it's showing right now still Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton neck and neck. But it could get interesting because you do have the Latino population. You have a lot of folks here from Puerto Rico, very easy for them to vote. They are certainly trending towards Hillary Clinton. And then you have this very large portion and population of retirees -- white, trending toward Donald Trump.

So this could really get interesting. And then as Mark was just mentioning, you have the African-American voters looking like in the early voting that has taken a dip but the Latino voters have actually nudged up a bit so maybe they'll balance each other out.

We did talk to the board of elections county supervisor about all of this earlier tonight. And here's what he had to say.


BILL COWLES, ORANGE COUNTY ELECTIONS SUPERVISOR: Here in Orange County one of the things that's unique and I think is part of this election is the growth of the Hispanic vote. And particularly the statistics show that the ones leaving Puerto Rico and moving to the state of Florida are settling here in central Florida where Cubans and South Americans tend to settle in the Miami area.

And so with the Puerto Ricans coming with citizenship, it's easy for them to register and vote. So I think that adds to the additional focus here. And they tend to register Democrat in Orange County. It's a solid Democratic county.


KAYE: And with the Latino vote Don, so key that's probably why Barack Obama came here to Florida yet again today just outside Orlando to a very Hispanic community trying to rally those Latino voters to get to the polls and to support Hillary Clinton.

And since Obama won here in Florida in 2012, Don, the two populations have exploded. It's the retirees that I mentioned and the Latino population. So it will probably come down to who really shows up at the polls that can make all the difference come Tuesday night -- Don.

LEMON: All right. Randi -- stand by. Gary to you now in North Carolina, it's hotly contested and also a state where we've seen a lot of early voting. What are you seeing there tonight?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Don -- just like elsewhere in the United States, many people in North Carolina are disenchanted with the two presidential candidates. But after early voting, 16 days, 3.1 million North Carolinians voted. That's 15 percent more than four years ago.

We were at early voting polling place yesterday. It closed at 1:00 but if you were in line, you were allowed to vote. At 3:00, two hours later, there are still 250 people in line and they waited for up to five and a half hours to vote.

Now there were enthusiastic voters here in this building behind me today. This is the Philmore Theater in Charlotte, North Carolina. This is where rocker Jon Bon Jovi performed a short time ago for Hillary Clinton supporters. He too, is a big Hillary Clinton supporter. They had a get out the vote rally.

What's interesting about the timing of this Jon Bon Jovi concert was that while people were waiting in line two hours before the concert, that's when FBI Director Comey's letters came out. We talked to people in line about that.


TODD, CLINTON SUPPORTER: I felt Overjoyed and very excited because everything as far as this whole campaign is innocent until proven guilty. Every single American has that right and same with Hillary.

ELAINE, CLINTON SUPPORTER: I think it's wonderful. I'm so excited that Trump can't arrest her now, you know, if something happens. You know.

TUCHMAN: Are you being facetious when you say that?

ELAINE: Well, let's say yes.

TUCHMAN: So you're happy about this?

ELAINE: I'm very happy.

ALANA BURGESS, CLINTON SUPPORTER: UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's taken away from the true issues in this campaign. If you have to go to something like e-mail to try to find something against a candidate, then you're pretty much scraping the bottom of the barrel.

MICHAEL FREEDMAN, CLINTON SUPPORTER: Since the news first came out it was kind of hurting her. Now that it's finally put to rest I think you know, it will boost her right back up to where she needs to be where we can get a nice clean victory on the 8th.


[00:15:09] TUCHMAN: This was billed as a get out the vote concert and celebration. Many people when they left told me that it was even more of a celebration after that letter was released -- Don.

LEMON: All right. Gary Tuchman, Randi Kaye -- thanks to both of you.

And make sure you stay with CNN for all-day coverage on Election Day -- every race across the country. It all starts on Tuesday.

When we come right back, this campaign has not been America's proudest moment. And a lot of voters aren't happy with their choices. Listen to how Seth Meyers sees it.


SETH MEYERS, TV HOST: And that's a problem for a lot of Americans. They just don't love the two choices. I mean, do you pick someone who is under federal investigation for using a private e-mail server, or do you pick someone who called Mexicans rapists, saying the President was born in Kenya, proposed banning an entire religion from entering the U.S. States, mocked a disabled reporter, said John McCain wasn't a war hero because he was captured, attacked the parents of a fallen soldier, bragged about committing sexual assault, was accused by 12 women of committing sexual assault, said some of those women weren't attractive enough for him to sexually assault, said more countries should get nukes, said he would force the military to commit war crimes, said a judge was biased because his parents were Mexican, said women should be punish for having abortions, incited violence at his rallies, called global warming a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, called for his opponent to be jailed, declared bankruptcy six times, bragged about not paying income taxes, stiffed his contractors and employees, lost a billion dollars in one year, scammed customers at a state university, (inaudible) with money from his fake foundation, has a trial for fraud coming up in November, insulted an opponent's looks, insulted an opponent's wife's looks and bragged about grabbing women by the (EXPLETIVE DELETED). How do we choose? It's so -- it's so even.


LEMON: All right. In some ways this campaign has been a contest between teleprompter Trump and tough-talking Donald Trump. Back again with me now -- Angela Rye, Peter Beinart, Andrea Bowers, Bakari Sellers, Scottie Nell Hughes and Matt Lewis -- I missed you guys.

Let's talk about this -- about teleprompter Trump because when he got on the teleprompter in the last nine days, after the first Comey letter came out, you started to see him stabilize and do better. Should he have been teleprompter Trump all along or does that sort of negate who he is?

MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He got better. He started off being authentic and that really worked in the Republican primary. Then they tried to script him and it was sort of stilted. He finally has gotten pretty good at the teleprompter. And I think it's amazing.

I still think Hillary Clinton probably wins this race but it is amazing that the last ten or maybe even two weeks of this campaign is essentially Donald Trump being fairly disciplined, being fairly on message and mostly being on offense, Hillary Clinton being on defense. That's actually an anomaly. That rarely happened during the entire general election. And that's how the election is ending.

LEMON: Do you think that, Scottie, do you think that by continuing to push the e-mails narrative which is not true anymore, does that help? Is that going to help him close the gap with Hillary Clinton because he's still three points behind her?

SCOTTIE NELLS HUGHES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely. Anytime you get to talk about the emails. I mean let's think about it. Right now, today, the Hillary Clinton camp is celebrating the fact that she's not underneath a federal investigation. That's the headline right now. So people are reading this going there is an investigation. It's reminding people that she put our national security possibly at risk and this is all because of her secret server that she was told not to have and she did.

So once again it's reminding people of all this corruption and the reason why people are wanting an outsider in the first place which is Donald Trump.

LEMON: Do you think people are reading that much into it as she says -- Angela?

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. I think that Donald Trump, as we know, has been judged by a completely different standard throughout the duration of this election. He is graded on preschool and kindergarten criteria whereas Hillary Clinton -- and never has to be responsible, mind you, for his own mistakes, his own wrongdoing, and certainly not anyone on his team.

On the other hand, Hillary Clinton has to be responsible for all of her mistakes -- past, current and future -- and everyone on her team. So I think that it's more than unfair. We've talked ad nauseam on this network about the sexism at play, about what it means to have 30 years of public service, three decades of public service experience and how you're judged on that and not on actual deliverables --

LEMON: All right. Let's -- I want to get back to teleprompter Trump versus the off the cuff Trump. This is what he said about our generals.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Whatever happened to the element of surprise? The element of surprise. What a group of losers we have.


LEMON: You find that amusing. Why?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Because it's Donald Trump. Donald Trump's -- his secret is plan ISIS is that, you know, it's a secret. He doesn't have one. That is the big secret.

But Donald Trump, it's amazing. I mean we live in a culture of low expectation. I think that Donald Trump has exemplified that to kind of piggyback on what Angela was saying briefly.

But when you see this teleprompter Trump, I guess that's what we call him versus this kind of off the cuff Donald Trump. It's amazing that people actually think that when he reads from a teleprompter he's doing an amazing job -- I mean literally. He's putting a subject and verb together. We're like -- there you go.

LEMON: But even supporters come on and they kind of laugh about how he reads the teleprompter, how he's gotten better.

SELLERS: I mean it's patently absurd because of the fact that he has --

It's the bigotry of low expectations. It's all the bigotry of low expectations.

LEWIS: But he has gotten better at it.

SELLERS: He can read.

LEMON: Why did you not think the man could read?

SELLERS: Because he couldn't.

RYE: Or he wouldn't.

LEWIS: -- he doesn't do any tough interviews anymore. It's whether he can answer --

HUGHES: Oh, no wait a minute. Hold on. Hillary Clinton has not spoken to an interview ever since it started. She did not come and talk to -- LEMON: It's true. Hillary Clinton --

HUGES: No, he has not talked to a reporter since this e-mail thing broke out ten days ago.

PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You made the point. If you let me finish, I'll tell you. Hillary Clinton has avoided the press a lot too, but I don't think there's not much question that Hillary Clinton knows what the nuclear triad is. Donald Trump missed that question twice with Hugh Hewitt.

We think -- it's a pretty good guess that Hillary Clinton knew what Brexit was. When Donald Trump was asked what Brexit was, just a week or so beforehand, he clearly had no idea. Because Trump doesn't do these interviews, he can stay on message. What we don't know is whether he has the basic knowledge to be president. Hillary Clinton, even though she's avoided the press, I think we have a good idea of that.


[00:25:06] SELLERS: But she's also -- I understand. But it's amazing how the narratives have turned because Donald Trump has only sat down with Hannity and Fox News. He hasn't done a press gaggle. He hasn't done a press conference. He's only these softball interviews from people that he appreciates and loves and adores.

BEINART: They weren't softballs.

SELLERS: Hillary Clinton has actually done press gaggles --

RYE: It's not a press interview, come on.

SELLERS: She's actually done press conferences. I mean it's amazing how it turned. Because it's like Donald Trump is hiding, period. When Hillary Clinton hid, which was an awful strategy, but they did it anyway, she was blasted for it. Now Donald Trump is in hiding.

HUGHES: Let me just point out, when you look at Andrea or any of us, we don't come in and we don't insult your candidate and call them elementary or ignorant. Of all the things that has been used tonight to define Donald Trump that he is non-intelligent or he can't read, I would never do that because what you're doing --

SELLERS: You do call her corrupt --

HUGHES: -- because what --

SELLERS: You call her a crook and --

ANDREA BOWERS: Let's talk about what John Sununu did last night.

LEMON: Hold on, hold on, hold on.

HUGHES: We are going to, at this stage in the game, I respect the supporters of Hillary Clinton. I support you guys because that's where we're at. That's the stage that we're at. These conversations of calling him ignorant or calling that he can read or so surprised -- let me point out how this goes.

Mr. Trump and actually his speechwriter, they sit on the plane and they work on that speech back and forth, back and forth -- same thing that they've always done. They just add it on a teleprompter.

And let me remind you guys, President Obama, that's was one of the big criticisms they had on him for so long is that he was always on a teleprompter.

SELLERS: They're not comparable.

HUGHES: And now you're criticizing Donald Trump for being on a teleprompter.

LEMON: Scottie -- hold on, hold on.

RYE: Donald Trump called Barack Obama weak for being on a teleprompter.

LEMON: Her point is -- Scottie's point she said the surrogate. She wasn't -- she was talking about. But no one said that Donald Trump couldn't read. They said that he can read and we're giving him credit for --

HUGHES: You're surprised that he can read.

Reading a teleprompter is hard.

SELLERS: No, no, no. Let me explain this because I want to be clear because if you missed it, the viewers also missed it. The soft bigotry of low expectation is that we should hold him to a higher standard than simply reading off a teleprompter. It's not a question of whether or not he's ignorant or illiterate or anything like that because he's not. The man can read. That's not the point. The point is we're giving him credit for simply reading off a teleprompter when we need to know his plan for ISIS. We need to know if he actually understands what's going on in the global --


LEMON: And the point is also, when he's not on teleprompter he cannot stay on message. And, you know, he's not going to have -- he's not going to have a teleprompter when he's meeting with our allies and even for those who don't support us when he's in meeting. It doesn't -- the Oval Office doesn't come with a teleprompter.

LEWIS: He did not have a teleprompter when he met with the President of Mexico.

RYE: And that went disastrously terrible. You didn't read what the -- oh, I'm going to let you all spin this. What did the Mexican president say?

HUGHES: He had the courage to meet with him and actually -- (CROSSTALK)

RYE: Nobody is afraid --

BEINART: His signature line which is that Mr. President, you are going to pay for this wall.

RYE: You're going to build --

SELLERS: That's like going on your first date and saying hey, here's what --


LEMON: One at a time. One at a time. One conversation at a time. Go ahead.

BEINART: So you want us to talk about Donald Trump the way we talk about Hillary Clinton.

RYE: We can't.

BEINART: The difference is that Donald Trump has again and again and again said things throughout this campaign that betray fundamental lack of understanding about the way our government works. When he said he wanted to renegotiate our debt, right? The way you would as a private businessman so maybe we wouldn't have to pay it all off, for instance. That was a really, really disturbing statement.

You say that as president, that could literally threaten the entire global economy.

HUGHES: And Hillary Clinton has continuously told lies and yet you don't hold her accountable for them.

BEINART: Politifact said that Hillary Clinton has been --

HUGHES: A very left-leaning organization.


HUGHES: Lord, have mercy. Left-leaning.

BEINART: 24 percent according to Politifact, 24 of her statements are untrue. That was actually even better than Bernie Sanders. Donald Trump, 70 percent of his statements were --

HUGHES: Left leaning.

LEMON: All right. Let's get -- everybody, one conversation.

Donald Trump is also -- he seems to be offended that Hillary Clinton had a big rally with Jay-Z and Beyonce. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We get more people at our rallies than Hillary gets with Beyonce and J Lo and Jay-Z and Jon Bon Jovi. And Jay-Z and Beyonce use the most filthy language you've ever heard. They used words that nobody would use. And she comes out, oh, thank you so much. Thank you. Hugging and kissing. But to the public, she says -- oh, Donald Trump is lewd. Give me a break.


RYE: He's off prompter and you see what happens when he's off prompter. And this is the most amazing thing here --

LEMON: What's wrong with what he said?

[00:29:57] RYE: -- is he's not really bothered that Hillary Clinton said he uses lewd language. He's not really bothered about Jay-Z's lyrics. What he's really bothered about is Jay-Z coming out on to the stage, Beyonce coming out on to that stage and saying that they're with her because they can't be with him. They cannot support a Donald Trump presidency. And that damaged his very, very fragile ego in all kinds of ways. It is shattered in front of his little play.



SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: As an evangelical Christian, I can actually say I think he was more bothered by the multiple uses of the "MF" word that night and the "N" word that was used within the lyrics of the songs. And I think also when you look at Jay-Z and we talked about this that night. That he might working on for one of his main videos starts off with a crowd throwing Mazel tov cocktails at the police. And this very much anti-police message that --

LEMON: What song is that? Molotov cocktails --



LEMON: What about -- what about, you know --


HUGHES: But there are sorts of things --

LEMON: What about "Pussy willow?"



LEMON: What about "Pussy willow?"

HUGHES: You know what, that's a song. But what I'm saying is, when you use those kinds of words --

RYE: What?

LEMON: The "P" word, I was just softening it.

RYE: Oh!

HUGHES: Oh, the kitty cat word, on that side. The word that I don't like to use. I think that's more -- that type of language being used and all the criticism that goes against Donald Trump for a word that he used 11 years ago is just a double standard as Hillary Clinton sat arm-in-arm with somebody that had just finished saying the word "MF" over and over.


RYE: (INAUDIBLE) with grabbing his ball today at a turn rally, he did.


BAKARI SELLERS, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: Jay-Z is not -- Jay-Z and Beyonce are not running for president of the United States. Jay-Z is an artist. Jay-Z -- you cannot condemn rap music. If you do not understand the conditions of which they talk about. And so for Donald Trump to actually sit here and talk bad about Jay-Z and Beyonce --


SELLERS: To culminate his African-American outreach, I just think it's --

BAUER: Not in that clip.

SELLERS: I just think it's ironic.

HUGHES: I'm just saying I don't think there's ever any right to talk (INAUDIBLE)



SELLERS: This is rich.

PETER BEINART, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: Can I just mention for the record, the problem about what Donald Trump said 11 years ago was not that he used the "P" word. He talked about doing --

RYE: Grabbing them.

BEINART: Doing something which is sexual assault. There's a big difference there.

BAUER: He actually said this is what they let you do.


RYE: That -- oh, OK. That's not exactly -- he said grab them by the "P"--


HUGHES: Once again, they are proven false and there was no evidence to that.


LEMON: What's your point about that?

BAUER: Well, you're trying to make it -- well, I shouldn't say you. It has been -- of course, the timing, the whole thing is...


RYE: Andre --


BAUER: ...politically motivated, of course.

LEMON: Go ahead.

BAUER: It didn't come out one, two, three, four years after it happened. It came out when he was running for president. Somebody held it. Why were they even running a tape at the time, but he said this is what they let you do when you're a star. I'm not a star. So I don't know. But I'm just telling you, the verbiage of --


RYE: Run the tape. Run the tape.


LEMON: No, no, no, I am trying to understand his point. Let him finish.

BAUER: I'm trying to dig my hole --


LEMON: No, I'm trying to understand his point. Let him finish.


BAUER: I heard over and over again that the accusation is that he forced himself upon these people. But if someone actually invites you to do it, then they aren't -- you aren't forcing it upon them.

SELLERS: Yes, but that's not what the women said.

RYE: That's not what he said. (CROSSTALK)

BAUER: They only came out after --


HUGHES: There was no evidence that that actually happened besides words.


RYE: Let's run the tape.


BAUER: And guys sitting next to him in the plane said wait a minute, that's not what happened.


MATT LEWIS, SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR, THE DAILY CALLER: Best case scenario, what he is saying is that you can abuse your power as a celebrity to do that. So like even a best case scenario is not great --


SELLERS: At what point will someone actually say that Donald Trump has crossed a line? Like I get it. Like Hillary Clinton should not have set up her private e-mail server.

As a Hillary Clinton supporter -

BEINART: I told them many times.

SELLERS: Hold on, hold on -- but I'm just -- this is not just for you, but like I get it. Hillary Clinton made an enormous mistake that has drag down her campaign and they just can't -- the word e-mail -- hold on. The word e-mail has been, you know, is just all over the campaign. It's thrown shade over the entire campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gross negligence.

SELLERS: But if Donald Trump literally says that he sexually assaults women, at what point can you say Donald Trump was wrong? I mean, do Donald Trump -- can we say that? As surrogates of Donald Trump, is that OK to say that?


LEMON: Also, you said the e-mail thing dragged down America. I want you to make your point. How --

HUGHES: Very easy, national security. We don't know where these e- mails were.

SELLERS: We do. The FBI said they're not hacked. LEMON: Let her finish.

HUGHES: Time and time again, that's what brings up this. Time and time again, we heard she said that they turned everything over. And now to find out that there were e-mails actually on this other -- you know, you got Weiner's -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And 33,000 emails --

HUGHES: So, I mean, that is a -- we don't know what were on them. We don't know the national security that was risked. And she knew she signed off saying that she would not do it and she actually criticized her staff members.


SELLERS: This is what I'm talking about because in the response to sexual assault...

BAUER: Right.

SELLERS: You say e-mails, right?


RYE: In response to everything, they say e-mails.


BEINART: Let's be honest. That's what the Trump surrogate folks have been doing for -- ever since --


HUGHES: Actions versus words, what affects America.

BEINART: You got, you know, a woman comes forward and said Donald Trump sexually assaulted --

SELLERS: E-mails.

RYE: E-mails.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't you know that Hillary Clinton is a liar.

RYE: E-mails.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm criticizing -- I don't hear the Democratic surrogates really criticizing Hillary that much --

RYE: That's not true. That's not true. That's not true.

BEINART: If you think it's disqualifying --


RYE: She didn't break the law. She did not break the law.


[00:39:00] LEMON: All right, it's down to the wire. And the latest CNN Poll of Polls has Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by just three points.

Back again now with me, Angela Rye, Peter Beinart, Andre Bauer, Bakari Sellers, Scottie Nell Hughes and Matt Lewis.

OK, so, Matt, this is a 12-year-old boy who has a severe case of cerebral palsy and he was in a wheelchair. He was pushed around, yelled at by a crowd at a Trump rally. He says he went to the rally with his mom to protest Trump mocking of those with disabilities. Trump reportedly yelled when he saw the disturbance, get them out. The same boy went on to meet with President Obama today who took some time to talk to him.

What's your reaction to that?

LEWIS: Well, you know, who knows. I don't know all the details. But based on what you just told me, that sounds absolutely horrible. And I would juxtapose it with what President Obama did the other day, which I thought was a great example of leadership where he said, you know, this is a veteran. He - however, he put it, sort of very in colloquial terms, but he was right.

[00:40:10] This is America. You can protest. You can do it peacefully. And I would just -- I would urge Donald Trump supporters, if you see a protester, not only is it stupid from a public relations standpoint, but it's just not good from a human standpoint, you know. So I know things get crazy. We get close to an election. But that's not how you treat people. It's not a good representation to conservatism.


LEMON: I also want to bring this up to what's interesting that happened. They say it was an assassination attempt against Donald Trump. His son re-tweeted a tweet saying, you know, his father, there was an assassination attempt.

He's head of digital. I think it's Dan Scavino as his name tweeted, "There was no assassination attempt. The guy did not have a gun."

RYE: He had a son.

LEMON: They didn't find a gun. He was a Republican who was anti- Trump.

So what is going on at these rallies? Why did this happen? Why was this so overdone?

HUGHES: Let's also talk about that he had also -- he had actually canvassed for Hillary, who had been actually volunteering for Hillary Clinton -- LEMON: Still doesn't matter.

HUGHES: And his name actually came up in these WikiLeaks, these Podesta e-mails.


LEMON: He could be -- he could have given Hillary Clinton a million dollars. To president Obama's point is that he's an American. He has a right to protest.

HUGHES: Absolutely.

LEMON: So then why not --


BAUER: He yelled gun, though. That's like yelling fire --

LEMON: A Trump supporter yelled gun.


LEMON: He didn't yelled gun.

HUGHES: Well, we don't -- and once again, we don't know. Every other night, I kind of see it, you show one of these stories and later on we find out exactly the details that surround it. We're still finding out the details on this.

I don't think that Trump supporters would just randomly attack and secret service would not just randomly attack somebody. There had to be something that set them off. And I'd rather they err on the side of caution, whether it's at a Trump rally or on the Clinton rally. How they handle it post and what they posted out, that's another issue. But, actually, you know, until you know all of the details and all the facts that happen at any of these events, I think --


LEWIS: We do know there was that one incident, the James O'Keefe video that appears to show a leftist activist saying that back, you know, back in the spring, they were going to rallies with the intent of inciting people. Not saying that's what happened here.

RYE: But do we have somebody that with Democratic ties which caused trouble.

LEMON: Again, we don't know, because we --


BEINART: We can just -- it seems like it's a little like the conversation about that final ad and anti-Semitism. You know, once, twice, three times, this is all we can say. I don't remember a lot of reports about people being manhandled at Ted Cruz rallies, at Marco Rubio rallies, at Jeb Bush rallies, at John Kasich rallies, right? But again and again and again and again, going back to last fall, we have seen these incidents at Donald Trump rallies and we also can remember that Donald Trump has at times egged people on by talking about how great it was when they used to carry people out on stretchers in the old days. So it seems to me there's a problem here.

HUGHES: Once again you are demonizing Trump supporters.

BEINART: No, no, I'm --

RYE: No, that's facts.


LEMON: This is a Hillary Clinton ad. It's called role models. It featured children watching some of Trump's most controversial moments including mocking a disabled reporter. Watch this.


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK.

And you can tell them to go (EXPLETIVE DELETED) themselves.

You know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her -- wherever.

You got to see this guy. I don't know what I said. I don't remember.


LEMON: Saying that he's not the right candidate for your children, Andre. How is he the right candidate for children?

BAUER: Because he's going to change the direction where this country is going. He's going to get rid of the problems we have in Washington. And at least address them, at least discuss them.

I mean, no matter where you are on government, all of us are frustrated. And I thought part of this with Republicans. Republicans have not done a good enough job in Washington delineating the difference between themselves and the Democrats. We continue to let spending get out of control. We continue to see people make careers out of serving in public office.

LEMON: How does that affect the children?

BAUER: Well, it affects the children because it's where the future of this country goes. And so I swore to Donald Trump, not because I support everything about him, but because I wanted to see substantial change in Washington and how we do business as a country. And he's the only one that's actually talked about doing that. So everything he's done, no. There are things I would change. There's no perfect candidate. I'm not running for president.

LEMON: OK. "Real Time" host Bill Maher said it was wrong for Democrats to have portrayed former Republicans as the enemy.


BILL MAHER, HOST, REAL TIME: I know liberals made a big mistake because we attacked your boy Bush like he was the end of the world, and he wasn't. And Mitt Romney, we attacked that way. I gave Obama a million dollars. I was so afraid of Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney wouldn't have changed my life that much or yours, or John McCain.


MAHER: They were honorable men who we disagreed with and we should have kept it that way. So we cried wolf, and that was wrong. But this is real. This is going to be way different.


LEMON: So we discussed that a little bit earlier. Does he have a point, Peter?

[00:45:00] BEINART: No. I actually think he mostly doesn't. If you go back to those campaigns in 2008 and 2012, Barack Obama again and again and again said John McCain is a good man. He served his country. He's a war hero. He called Mitt Romney good.

The thrust of his attack was on their tax policies, their economic policies which he said had not worked in the past, had bankrupted the country and would be good for the rich and bad for most Americans. That was his argument. It's a totally different --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He ties the dog on the roof and --


HUGHES: I was a binder in 2012. I remember that one.


BEINART: No, no, I mean, there was -- there was, I mean, I'm not saying there weren't some Democrats out there in the country. But if you look at what the Obama campaign did, the campaign was completely different than the kind of campaign Hillary Clinton is running. It's a completely different nominee.

SELLERS: I think what Bill Maher was doing, though, is accurate. I think there's a clear delineation between Mitt Romney and John McCain and Donald Trump.

I think that they are -- even if they're on the same spectrum as Angela was talking about, they are on opposite ends of that spectrum. I do think that Donald Trump poses a clear and present danger and it has a lot to do with the fact of some of the things that he embraces.

In Twitter just a minute ago, I found out that John McCain voted against King Holiday or something like that.

RYE: Absolutely.

SELLERS: Yes. And so there are aspects to each person. But at the end of the day, I don't question whether or not Donald Trump -- whether or not John McCain feels differently about me because of the way that I look.

LEWIS: Part of the problem, though, I would say is the other side of the coin is that conservatives and Republicans who watch this play out over the course of decades began to get the sense that we can't win. We can put up a guy who is thoughtful and ironic and charismatic and they will destroy him. They'll call him misogynist. They'll call him a racist. So let's -- don't even bother nominating Marco Rubio because they'll eat him alive.

RYE: That's not fair. That's not fair. That's not fair.

BEINART: So absurd.


LEWIS: No, I don't think it's absurd. I'm not saying this is right. I'm saying this is the calculus of a lot of conservative primary voters. Right or wrong, they essentially came to the conclusion, they came to the conclusion that if you nominate a Marco Rubio, he's going to get eaten alive because we need a tough guy who is not going to play by the rules, who is going to fight fire with fire and who is not politically correct.

That -- I'm not saying that's why Donald Trump was elected. I'm saying it is a one factor among many.

RYE: Here's my issue with that. What you're saying to me is Republican voters made a decision that because there are issues of sexism, bigotry, xenophobia, homophobia, et cetera, in this country, we're going to double down on that BS and get someone who is completely rogue, right?


LEWIS: That's one way of looking at it.


RYE: No, no, no, I'm not saying that's what you wanted, I'm saying that's my -- just like one of those communications they send. What I hear you say is, right -- and so the challenge I have with that is, there are some real issues in this country with all of those things on both sides of the aisle. And I don't see Democrats, to your point earlier, moving more to a damned right posture. We're trying to really understand, like Hillary Clinton talked about in the debate, implicit bias.

She brought up implicit bias and it was like she was saying let's start World War III. It's a thing.

LEMON: But both sides are becoming more polarized.

RYE: Absolutely. Which is why I was making faces at Andre earlier, when he was talking about people can't distinguish Republicans from Democrats in D.C. I'm like oh, they are pretty distinct.


BAUER: That's why he got selected out of the primary because he wasn't the normal Republican.

SELLERS: That is true.

RYE: Sure.

BAUER: And he was something different.

SELLERS: About 68.

HUGHES: I think the point that he was making, it doesn't matter who we put up there. You're going to make those same comments against them, whether it's right or wrong. And then you're going to have four years (INAUDIBLE)


LEMON: Let say why don't you put someone up there who doesn't do that because I think --

LEWIS: And then you'll call him a racist anyway.

LEMON: No, no, no, I'm not saying that --


Listen to my point. There are people who I hear, moderate Republicans, who say why does the Republican Party get bogged down in these social issues? It does not help them. They should get off of that and they should become a bigger tent party rather than getting bogged down in --


HUGHES: And that's what Donald Trump is. If you talk about Mr. Trump, there's two reason, it's about his economy and security. Everything else is like, leave it to the states when it comes to these social issues.

LEMON: Scottie, how can you say that considering some of the things -- many of the things that he said?


HUGHES: Most of the things --

LEMON: About women, about Muslim immigrants --


HUGHES: Because he is told he has to talk about those things. But when it comes out to his policies of why most Americans like him, it's because of his economy --

LEMON: He's told he has to talk about those things?

HUGHES: He's asked about those questions by reporters, antagonize by those reporters.


LEWIS: When we talk about social issues, still, we normally think about things like abortion and gay rights, and Donald Trump really doesn't talk about those issues much.


BEINART: No one made Donald Trump say those things about Judge Curiel, right? He did that on his own.


HUGHES: But there are reasons why he said how he has the economic ties. But the question is they did ask him about that question about Judge Curiel. He didn't just randomly come out and say that.

BEINART: No one makes a racist statement about the judge Mexican ethnicity.

HUGHES: It's not necessary -- it was a racist statement in your opinion --

RYE: No, no.


[00:50:05] LEMON: Someone else wrote the speech when he said he's going to run for president?

HUGHES: Well, no, that was not a racist speech in my opinion. That was not -- and the majority of people that were supporting Trump. Obviously, he had a better momentum catapult than any of the other candidates than with his initial speech. But once again, it doesn't matter who the republicans put for, that is going -- (CROSSTALK)



HUGHES: Yes, it is, in four years that you're going to apologize and say we didn't mean that.


SELLERS: This is why it's not -- that statement is not true. Because if you take someone like a Marco Rubio or you take someone like a John Kasich -- John Kasich actually got 20 percent of the black vote in Ohio when he ran for governor again.

I mean, when you look at the background of this people, yes, they are very conservative. Yes, I have a problem with a lot of their policies, but the first thing that comes to mind when I talk about John Kasich is not xenophobia, is not bigotry.

LEWIS: If he was the nominee, you might be.


RYE: Matt, Matt, Matt -- let me give you another example. Let me give you another example. Someone also on this spectrum that we haven't talked about as much, Michael Steele. Michael Steele who was demonized by the G.O.P. Michael Steele who not only gained a lot of ground as chairman, but also was fired after he ensured that you all got back the House.

LEMON: But he is also demonized by the left and a lot of that.

RYE: And so that is one of those -- this is one of those moments where I'm acknowledging that, right? Like you start to look at, again, the spectrum. You realize, you know, we're not that far off. Decent human being completely demonized so much has to do with race.

HUGHES: But he said --

RYE: I'm not done. He said that Donald Trump was racist. That is in your party. And what I'm saying to you --

LEWIS: I don't like Trump either.

RYE: I understand. My point is, in fact, --

HUGHES: Can I tell a fact, Michael Steele --


LEMON: I've got to take a break.

HUGHES: OK, but real quick, the reason why Michael Steele was taken from the RNC is the amount of debt that he ran up being the Republican chairman.

SELLERS: He won.

HUGHES: Love Michael Steele, but he actually put us through a lot of debt that Reince Priebus has had to work to get out of.


LEMON: Michael Steele is not Reince, anyway. We'll be right back.

HUGHES: Facts matter.


[00:55:00] LEMON: Back now with my panel. The president hit Donald Trump hard on his staff keeping him off Twitter today.

Take a look.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now you may have heard that this was just announced. I just read it. So I can't confirm it's true, but apparently his campaign has taken away his Twitter.


In the last two days, they had so little confidence in his self- control, they said we're just going to take away your Twitter.


Now if somebody can't handle a Twitter account, they can't handle the nuclear codes.


If somebody starts tweeting at 3:00 in the morning because "SNL" made fun of you, then you can't handle the nuclear codes.


LEMON: All right, Matt, what's your reaction?

LEWIS: Well, first of all, I think President Obama is really good at trolling Donald Trump.


LEWIS: And I think that part of the goal here is probably to get him to respond.

LEMON: Right.

LEWIS: But, look, I hope the campaign for Donald Trump's sake did take away the phone. Because that -- they should have confiscated that and like duct taped him at night and that would have solved a lot of problems.

RYE: And then you'd say he's doing so good.

LEWIS: Then that's his reward. I have kids.


HUGHES: Just be careful, you're insulting everyone who supports Donald Trump and there are millions of them. When the president talks like this and then in 48 hours you're saying that we're supposed to be unified --

LEMON: Explain about how that's --

HUGHES: Because you're sitting there and talking about him as if it's a child. Mr. Trump has historical things for --



HUGHES: And once again, this is just something written in "The New York Times." It's not true. Mr. Trump -- let's give him credit. The man has accomplished a lot for the Republican Party as well as our country.


LEMON: Scottie, do you think that he has access to his Twitter?

HUGHES: I absolutely 100 percent know that he has access. He is not a child.

LEWIS: What if he were to tweet right now.

LEMON: Just say hi --

LEWIS: To let us know.


RYE: I double dog dare you, Donald. I double dog dare you, Donald.


SELLERS: To say that you are a loser and to say that you're doing great. I think it would be perfect.

LEMON: Actually, you bring up a very good point. He's probably goading him. How much has taken that dinner.

SELLERS: Let me tell you something. The president of the United States of America --


LEMON: Hillary Clinton's ability and the surrogates ability, too --

SELLERS: The president is the best campaigner we have, period, on either side of the aisle.

HUGHES: He put it on the candidate.


SELLERS: Yes, the candidate will tell you that Barack Obama is better than she is. The only person who is comparable is George W. Bush. And George W. Bush is in Texas, not supporting the G.O.P. nominee. But what is --

HUGHES: At least not publicly.

SELLERS: Yes, at least not publicly. But what this does, I mean, I think that -- and, Matt, you were right. I mean, if you are running a campaign and your candidate has certain bad attributes, you hide those attributes.

LEMON: OK, quickly, because we're almost at the end. Did you get a prediction for Tuesday?

BEINART: I think that early voting is suggesting that her organizational advantage is real and significant. And she's going to do better than the polls suggest. I would say by five points.

LEMON: What do you think?

RYE: I said 290. I'm going to stick with 290 electoral college votes.

LEMON: Mr. Bauer?

BAUER: Trump.


RYE: I mean for Hillary.

LEMON: Bakari?

SELLERS: She gets 323. If she adds Ohio, which she may over the next couple of days, she'll be above 330.

LEMON: Ms. Scottie Nell Hughes, I'm going to be very, very humble Wednesday morning when all of you wake up and you're crying. I promise I will not gloat too much when Mr. Trump is our next president.



LEWIS: I've got Hillary --


LEMON: I'm not going to be crying. I'm just going to be like, it's over, no matter who wins. So I just want to put this up, because I think that you see, Scottie, you thought that this was something terrible, but we all need this.

HUGHES: You are kind of terrible there right now.


LEMON: It just says "Make America laugh again."

HUGHES: Oh, we're laughing.

LEMON: And we could use that, right?

HUGHES: I think Donald Trump would love that.

BEINART: Amen, Don Lemon.

LEMON: Make America laugh. Can't we all just get along?

SELLERS: 24 hours.

LEMON: Wednesday, let's hope that happens.

SELLERS: 24 hours.

BEINART: Kumbaya.


Not yet.

Speak for yourself.


LEMON: That's it for us tonight. Thank you so much for watching. I'll see you right back here tomorrow. "America's Choice 2016" with Ms. Poppy Harlow starts right now.