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Trump's Latest Campaign Trail Feud; How Sean Penn's Interview with El Chapo Led Police to Hideout; Iowa Caucuses Three Weeks Away; Obama's Final State of the Union Tomorrow Night; Tragic Accident in Atlanta. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired January 11, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: That does it for us. Thanks very much for watching. We'll see you again at 11 p.m. Eastern for another edition of 360. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon starts now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Trump versus the talk show host, the latest feud on the campaign trail.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. Thanks for joining us.
Donald Trump is never one to take tough talk, lying down, but why does he call one TV host, quote "a racist and a racist?" What's going on? I'm going to the man himself in just a moment. He's live here.
Plus, this may just be the kind of support Donald Trump doesn't want. The white supremacist making robo calls whether the candidate likes it or not.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID DWYER, RECORDED AMERICAN NATIONAL SUPERPAC ROBOCALL: We don't need Muslims. We need smart, well-educated white people, who will assimilate to our culture. Vote Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Also, the drug lord and the Hollywood star, how Sean Penn's interview with El Chapo led police to his hideout. A lot going on tonight.
But I want to begin with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz neck and neck in Iowa in the Quinnipiac poll. And with the caucuses just three weeks away, the pressure is really on right now. And now Trump is really taking aim or has been at least at a TV host, his name is Tavis Smiley. Tavis is here. His latest book is called "The Covenant with Black American," and he joins me now.
And trust me, Tavis, I want to get to this book and I want to talk to you about it. But first, this war of words with you and Donald Trump now, I want to play the part of the interview. This is on ABC this week, and then we'll talk about it. Here is what he took issue to. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAVIS SMILEY, "THE COVENANT WITH BLACK AMERICA" AUTHOR: What troubles me, though, is that Trump is still, to my mind, at least, an unrepentant, irascible, religious and racial arsonist. So, when we talk about how Donald Trump is rising in the poll, you can't do that absent the kind of campaign he's running, the issues that he's raising.
And for us to just say Donald Trump is rising in the polls and not connect that to the base message that he is putting out there I think dismisses the point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Tavis, you never say anything without meaning it, right? You were intending to call him out?
SMILEY: No. I mean, it wasn't about calling him out. I tried to tell the truth. And I think that's what you and I are supposed to be doing in this media business that we're in. Donald Trump is an unrepentant, irascible, religious and racial arsonist. And by religious and racial arsonist I simply mean that when you go after people like Muslims because of their faith.
When you go after people like immigrants and there is a race issue involved here -- I don't know how else to call that. And what troubles me quite frankly, is that we keep talking that they tried to intimidate me yesterday, talking about Trump rising in the polls as if somehow this is happening miraculously.
It's happening in part as you're leading that showed a moment ago with this now white supremacist supporting him, it's happening because he's appealing to a certain base voter in this country. He's appealing to the dark side, the night side of America and that's why he's rising in the polls. And we ought not to cover him without condemning him for doing it.
LEMON: I want to talk more about that but I want to know why he took so much of an issue with you. He is what he said to your appearance. He said, "Why just this week on ABC, allow a hater and a racist like Tavis Smiley to waste good air time, ABC can do much better than him." He's calling you a hater and a racist.
LEMON: Are you surprised, you're not surprised by that, are you?
SMILEY: First of all, you know, for a guy with a Wharton, a Wharton degree, he has to do better than hater and racist. Number one. Can I, first of all, can we just remove the word hater from our lexicon? There's got to be something else. Everybody is a hater.
LEMON: Hater and a hater there. SMILEY: Hater this, hate a race, and hate relation. Let's just take hate take out of our vocabulary and find something different, number one. I'm sure the rap community can give us something else that are better than hater these days.
But the other thing is, that, I mean, I don't know how it is that I'm a racist. You know, I'm not the one who went after Muslims. I'm not the one who went after him or eventually or undocumented workers. I don't know how I end to being a racist.
But my grandmother said to me years ago, be careful of stooping so low that you can't get up. So, I'm not going to stoop that low to waste a bunch of good TV time on CNN and trying to respond to Trump, because I don't even know how to respond it. All I know is that my comment yesterday was not singularly directed to Mr. Trump, as I said a moment ago.
It's at the media. I'm quite frankly, and my family hangs tired sick and tired of being sick and tired, of watching us cover this campaign without with calling him on the carpet.
LEMON: So, then what is his appeal? Because, again, your quote was "a religious arsonist." He's a leading conservative right now. What is his peel?
SMILEY: I'm not sure he's a leading conservative. I think Ted Cruz might take exception as to the leading conservative.
LEMON: But I mean, he's a leading populous.
SMILEY: Yes. He's leading, let's put it that way. He's leading something and I don't want to -- anyway, he's leading something. Where he's leading us, I do not know. But it says something about America that he is resonating in the way that he is.
And, you know, I can't get in the minds of the voters. I just hope that at some point we will come to our senses and that we will see that this is how these slippery slopes begin.
[22:05:03] You let people slide in, who we let get away with this kind of xenophobia and then you don't know where it ends up.
LEMON: More than leading in the polls, so he is leading in the conversation and the agenda. Let's listen to this and you'll see what I'm talking about. Go ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they are rapists and some, I assume, are good people.
You know, you can see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.
I saw in parts of New Jersey, Jersey City, but parts of New Jersey, I saw people getting together and in fairly large numbers celebrating as the World Trade Center was coming down.
You've got to see this guy. Oh, I don't know what I say. Oh, I don't remember. Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.
She was favored to win and she got schlonged. She lost. I mean, she lost.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, you said that it's -- you don't know what it says about the voter. But this hasn't hurt him. This is helping him.
SMILEY: To my point, I don't know what it says about those who are supporting him in these polls. Here is what I do know. Here is a guy who was married not once, but twice to two immigrants. How do we in the media, again, let him get away with bashing immigrants, when he was married, was, and still is married to one, immigrant number one.
LEMON: But he says, he says that he's talking about immigrants who come over illegally. He wants the door to be open to those, for those who come over legally.
SMILEY: What Donald Trump did by using that one is a horrific example, but using that example in San Francisco with that horrible murder and with a broad brush painting all undocumented workers, as what he did, he knows what he did.
And more importantly, I come back to this, in the media, we know what he was doing and we keep letting him get away with this. So, I'm disappointed in us for letting that happen. And when it comes to, you know, this test -- so all of a sudden, in a Christian nation, the Christian thing to do is to tell folk who don't have the same faith that we have that you can't come in. And the media is not calling -- we're not calling him on that.
LEMON: This is over the weekend, talking points and I'll point it out. This is a white supremacist group making robocalls for Donald Trump. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JARED TAYLOR, WHITE SUPREMACIST GROUP: I'm Jared Taylor with American Renaissance. I urge you to vote for Donald Trump because he is the one candidate who points out that we should accept immigrants who are good for America. We don't need Muslims. We need smart, well-educated white people who will assimilate to our culture. Vote Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: He, now, I have to say, he has no control over who makes those calls.
SMILEY: But it has and that's about it.
LEMON: But that's -- so what should he be saying?
SMILEY: Well, here is my question. I'm on your program tonight because I made a comment about Donald Trump yesterday on a morning show. And within a matter of hours, Donald Trump had tweeted about me, the tweet that you read earlier in this program.
If your reporting is right now, assume it is, this is CNN, so if that story broke over the weekend about white supremacist, again, he can't be responsible for supporting him but how can he get around to calling me a racist and a hater in less than 24 hours? But since the weekend, he hadn't gotten around to condemning a white supremacist for supporting his campaign. See, this is what I'm talking about and nobody in the media is asking these questions.
LEMON: Well, we're asking tonight and you're on here asking tonight.
Let's talk about this now. This is "The Covenant with Back American." This is the new cover and there's a new cover up on the screen now. This is, what, 10 years later that you did this? So, I want to talk to you about the struggles of African-Americans. Do you think that it's better 10 years later, and do you think the president has kept his covenant or so-called covenant with black Americans?
SMILEY: It's a great question, Don. So, it's not so much what I think about what the data shows.
SMILEY: Ten years after the original covenant which laid out the top 10 issues of importance to African-American as you know what we got to do about that and laid out a national plan of action.
Here we are now, 2016, 10 years later, and the data shows very clearly, and it pains me, it saddens me as a black man to say this to another black man and with the country watching.
But the reality is, the reality points there is out there that black people have lost ground in every leading economic category over 10 years. Not one, two or three, but in every leading economic category over 10 years, we have lost ground. That is unacceptable.
LEMON: You can't deny the data.
SMILEY: You can't deny it. You can't deny it.
LEMON: And so, why is that?
SMILEY: Well, there are lot of reasons. One, I think honestly, that black people who I love, they can't do nothing about that, but we've been too differential at times of this president. I get that. We got caught up in the symbolism, didn't press the moment. He's our guy and I get that. We didn't want to pile on because republicans were obstructing him already anyway. He's getting death threats anyway. We don't want to pile on.
But when you're deferential and you don't demand, you have not because you ask them not. So, one, too much deference. Number two, too much indifference. The republicans are clearly obstructing him. This guy had a headwind unlike any president in the nation's history.
But at the same time, Barack Obama could have done more. My granddad put it this way, Don, there are some fights that is not worth fighting even if you win. But there are other fights that you have to fight even if you lose. There is more than he could have done. He could have been more bold.
[22:10:00] What there are -- those who say you sound like serving, you even sound like Trump because many conservatives are saying the same thing that Barack Obama could have been a great healer...
SMILEY: I voted for Barack Obama twice just like I suspect others did in this country.
SMILEY: He's my guy and I'm proud of him as a black man. I was on the air the night he won have called...
LEMON: But you can criticize him as a black man.
SMILEY: Of course, you can.
SMILEY: I don't think the -- I mean, the motives of these conservatives, Ms. McCaul (ph) and others who said their job was to defeat him from day one, you know, that's not my motive. I'm trying to hold him accountable out of love. I want him -- I want him to be a great president. I don't want him to be another garden variety politician.
I want him to be a statesman. But I understand I said to you before on this program some years ago, that great leaders aren't born, they're made. They had to be pushed into their greatness. There is no FDR without a Phillip Randolph pushing him. There's no Abraham Lincoln if Frederick Douglass isn't pushing him. There is no LBJ if MLK isn't pushing him.
LEMON: Do you think he was sort of boxed in by -- because he was black. Because you heard Michael Derrick says...
LEMON: ... that he believes that at least -- that at least that's what the headlines said, that Hillary Clinton could do more for black folks or African-Americans than Barack Obama did.
SMILEY: I think race is the most intractable issue in this country and race can be not just a personal or human reality, race can be a political reality, no doubt about that. At the same time, though, I think, again, you have to govern and campaigning and governing are two different things.
He figured out the hard way, but you have to govern and live your life for that matter. Whether you have a president or not, we have to live our lives by a certain set of immutable principles. It's what do you believe in?
If you believe in it, and particularly if you believe in it as a moral issue, you've got to fight for that. Lyndon Johnson almost lost it. As you know, didn't run again.
SMILEY: But he passed voting rights. He passed them rights. What do you believe in?
LEMON: Thank you, Tavis.
SMILEY: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: I appreciate it. And again, the book "The Covenant with Black American." This is a new edition.
SMILEY: Ten years later.
LEMON: Ten years later.
LEMON: I appreciate you coming in. Thank you, sir.
SMILEY: Thank you, too.
LEMON: When we come right back, the Trump campaign responds. Plus, how Sean Penn's interview with El Chapo landed the drug kingpin behind bars. Could the fallout spell trouble for the Hollywood star? We'll be right back.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: A war of words breaks out between Donald Trump and PBS host, Tavis Smiley. So, let's discuss now with republican strategist Kayleigh McEnany, CNN political commentator, Bob Beckel, author of "I Should be Dead, My Life Surviving Politics, TV, and Addiction." like I drop my voice when I say Bob Beckel. And also Bob Cusack, editor-in- chief of The Hill.
Good evening, gentlemen and lady.
BOB CUSACK, THE HILL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Hi, Don.
LEMON: So, Kayleigh, let's start with you. Your reaction to him, my interview with Tavis Smiley and his response to what Donald Trump said?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, POLITICAL PROSPECT EDITOR: You know, my one question for Mr. Smiley would be, you know, why do you call Donald Trump a racial arsonist? Because Donald Trump, you know, return the answer to you. If you text Donald Trump he's going to attack you back. You know, he's shown that to be the way he approaches things throughout this whole entire election season.
But, you know, Mr. Smiley said just two years ago, he made the absurd statement that America, this country, America, has contempt for the black man. That to me is being more of a racial arsonist than anything Donald Trump have said.
Because, you know, I ask the viewers now, is America -- is America, do we have contempt for the black man? I don't think so. You know, right now, the national championship is happening, 80 percent of the men on the field are black men, and the people who understands love these men.
So, this is to say, you can't categorize groups. Mr. Smiley has done that. So if we want to start calling people racial arsonists, he should take an inward look at himself as well.
LEMON: Bob, what do you think? Does America have contempt for the black man?
BOB BECKEL, "I SHOULD BE DEAD" AUTHOR: Certain segments do, sure. I mean, it's the -- you know, you can't the idea that racism is over in America is a silly notion. You have to, you know, when a woman goes into a store and she was black, she is followed around. Or when a black guy walks down across the street with a three piece suit on and you hear click, click, click, people locking their doors, that's racism.
It's a different form of racism than what I grew up in. But, yes, it's there but inside pockets. And it's not -- I think there's been a very strong effort on a lot of people's parts to deal with and that we've come a long way, but we still have a long way to go, and that's at least of which Tavis pointed out the economic that this has been just to blacks out.
LEMON: Hey, listen, Bob, this is the first time that I've heard Donald Trump calling a media personality a racist. Do you think that there is anything wrong with a member of the media holding a candidate accountable for his message?
BECKEL: No, not at all. I mean, I find it...
LEMON: I mean, it's Bob, I mean, it's Cusack, sorry.
BECKEL: Oh, sorry. Go ahead.
CUSACK: You know, I don't think so. And I think that Tavis, obviously, has been critical of republican administrations, was critical with you tonight of the Obama White House. And this is, I mean, this is Trump's game. He goes after people who attack him, as he said he's a counter puncher. This is a crucial stretch for Trump. He loves guessing into fights
with members of the media, whether it's Tavis or whether it's Chuck Todd or whether it's Megyn Kelly. And the base likes that. And I think that you're going to see more of that in the next couple of weeks.
LEMON: What do you think the reaction is from voters or will be from the voters on this war on words, Kayleigh? Is it going to resonate?
MCENANY: I think it will because look, you know, you look back to the September survey USA poll. Folks were astonished to find that in a matchup with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump was polling 25 percent among African-American voters.
The pundit class was astonished. They didn't know what to make of that. That, by the way, is more than Bob Dole got, who got the most African-American voters in recent history, more than Mitt Romney got, more than John McCain got.
So, I think voters, when they look at a candidate, they look at them holistically, they listen to what to say people on the media are saying. And right now, the African-American male is hurting under the Obama administration. When they look to Trump, they see hope, they see economic hope in their future. And I think that's the wise thing to do. I think he could do well among black voters if he's the nominee.
LEMON: Bob Cusack, I mean, maybe it's for long, it could just be the bright lights in the studio, but it makes you look skeptical. Are you skeptical about that and about his appeal to black voters?
CUSACK: Well, listen, I think that the demographics in this country without a doubt favor Hillary Clinton, who will likely be the democratic nominee. However, there will be a push for the nominee, whoever that is, for to get the Reagan democrats.
Trump told me last week that he can get the Reagan democrats. Ted Cruz has said that he's the one who can get the Reagan democrats. I think it remains to be seen. But there is no doubt about it that when you have the party so divided in the republican side, there is going to be, have to be some unification or Hillary Clinton is going to be the next president.
LEMON: OK. With that said, Bob Beckel, Fox Business News just announced their lineup for their debate on Thursday night. There it is, you can see the photographs. It's Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, they didn't make the cut for the main stage.
[22:20:02] So, last week, Senator Rand Paul told me when he sat down right in the studio that he would not participate in an early debate, in the undercard debate if confirmed to Wolf Blitzer. And he confirmed to, excuse me, to Wolf Blitzer today. Is he making a mistake by not showing up to this debate, Bob Beckel?
BECKEL: No, I don't think so he is. Look, Rand Paul is a smart politician. He understands he's not going anywhere. He picked a bad year to be the libertarian candidate when four or five other people pick the part of libertarian gentlemen and used it themselves. But can I make one fast point about the -- about black American and Donald Trump?
LEMON: If you will, go ahead.
BECKEL: If Donald Trump were to get the nomination, you would see the largest turnout among blacks and Hispanics in history to go and vote against him. If he got 3 percent of the vote, I would be shocked.
LEMON: Kayleigh, you don't agree?
MCENANY: No, bob, I don't agree because the polling doesn't bear that out. You know, I think that you'll be...
BECKEL: That's pre-election.
MCENANY: ... I think that you are -- I understand that. But, you know, the polls are not completely accurate right now. But, Bob, there's no denying that Hispanic men, black men are doing worse under the Obama administration than beforehand. They are turning economic...
LEMON: But, Kayleigh, what you're saying, though, is that they are worse under the Obama administration, but they -- and they believe a Donald Trump rather than a Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders would do better for them with this economy?
MCENANY: I think so. I think so because I think folks are very good are reading through some of the BS we see, some of the lights we see. Sixty percent of people don't trust Hillary Clinton as a candidate. And I think voters really appreciate, minorities appreciate, the average voter appreciates when Donald Trump speaks, he speaks truth. You don't get the feeling you're being lied to. You get the feeling that this is a man who is speaking to you for better or worse. And I think voters appreciate that and will come to appreciate it.
LEMON: All right. Everybody, stay with me because we're going to talk about Iowa, Iowa, the Iowa. Now just three weeks away. Hillary Clinton may have a Bernie Sanders problem. Speaking of Bernie, what will it mean for her campaign? We'll be right back.
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The Iowa caucuses are just three weeks away on Monday, February 1st, a day that could change everything in this race.
Back with now Kayleigh McEnany, Bob Beckel, and Bob Cusack. OK. Mr. Cusack, this is for you. Let's talk about the democrats now. A new poll out showing that there is a possibility that Hillary Clinton could lose the first two primary contests. Good. Lose two primary contests.
Hillary's lead in Iowa has shrunk to within the margin of error. She's at 48 percent. Bernie Sanders is at 45 percent. And in New Hampshire, Bernie is beating Hillary. But that's within the margin of error, too. So, what happens if she loses to Bernie in the first races?
CUSACK: Don, there's going to be a lot of angst on the democratic side and there will be rumors that maybe Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden will get in the race. That would be a very bad scenario for Hillary Clinton.
LEMON: Whoa, whoa, whoa, this late into the race? That Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren?
CUSACK: There would be speculation on it that if can't beat Bernie Sanders...
LEMON: By the way, Joe Biden denied. That's our Gloria Borger tonight, but go on.
CUSACK: Right. But there will be speculation and angst. But, I mean, listen, Hillary Clinton is in good position as long as the FBI doesn't find anything bad about the e-mails to win the nomination.
I think if she wins Iowa -- remember. Remember, Don, she finished third in Iowa in 2008.
CUSACK: So, if she were able to just split the first two, then she goes on to South Carolina and she has the machine in the South to potentially bury Bernie Sanders. But if Sanders wins the first two, and it's a distinct possibility issue poll has shown, then that's a bit of a game changer.
LEMON: You said South Carolina like a true Southerner. South Carolina that she -- but I think I was speaking with a friend this weekend about this. I think Elizabeth Warren is probably saying now, my goodness, what was I thinking? She probably should have stayed in this race, Bob. Do you disagree?
BECKEL: Well, yes, I disagree because this is then about Joe Biden is real. Let's assume that Hillary Clinton does run into trouble with the FBI. And she's an unelectable candidate. The democratic delegates are not dumb. They could go to Joe Biden could walk in that convention two days and get the nomination, that surely they would turn to.
They would not turn to Bernie Sanders. But this time around, it's a little different. Clinton is very well organized in Iowa. The last time she wasn't. She also, in New Hampshire, has latched on to an issue, as have the republicans, I might add...
LEMON: But she's still within the margin of error. Bernie Sanders is close.
BECKEL: Yes, I know. But, listen; this is how smart she has played this. On the heroine epidemic in both Iowa and New Hampshire, particularly New Hampshire, the number two issue, on pain pills, the addiction of pain pills.
Now, she was the first one to have the votes on that. Now Bernie Sanders and the President of the United States has. And I give republicans some credit. They've raised it, as well. There is one place they could all get together.
LEMON: That was the first the thing that Bill Clinton said the first day that he went up or he brought up that issue there.
BECKEL: He did?
LEMON: Yes. Hey, Kayleigh, I want to ask you because everyone is been saying, every republican strategist saying this is going to be a coronation for Hillary Clinton. And what I'm wondering is if she loses one of these or loses both of them, is she a better candidate? Because many people say, when she is on the defensive, right, when she's, you know, someone is coming after her, she's the underdog, that she becomes a better candidate? Is she a better candidate if she's a little bit bruised after these two contests?
MCENANY: You know, I think she needs that, no doubt about it. I mean, the DMZ has been bearing the democratic debate on the weekend. There's been very few democratic debates, so she's untested, so, yes. A little bangle like that or a little stumble in the road would definitely make her a better candidate.
But I would argue that this is more proof that she's an unelectable candidate. You know, you look to last time around and Barack Obama, basically a no-name Senator that Illinois came and swept it out from under her.
Now you have a self-proclaimed democrat socialist. Think about how extreme that is doing very well against her. It just goes to show that she is not a good candidate. Her husband is a good candidate and she has gotten a reputation for being a good politician and a good statesman because of her husband, I would argue.
LEMON: OK. And her experience, Secretary of State, none of that has anything to do with it?
MCENANY: I think her record as Secretary of State is awful. Four dead Americans on her watch and she looked into the faces of those family members and lied about the causes of their deaths. That makes you unelectable in my vote, and among many other things.
BECKEL: You know, Kayleigh, you know, you all have been picking on Hillary Clinton for a quarter of century now. She's been playing defensive politics. And people eventually, when they hear all of the stuff coming out and say, maybe there is something there. Her trust numbers are not good. But either are Donald Trump's.
[22:30:04] And that's the single most important characteristic when it comes to electing a president. I don't think Hillary can't do and win the presidency, but I think the republicans will lose it and that's her advantage.
LEMON: don't think Hillary Clinton is going to win the presidency. You think the republicans are going to lose it and...
BECKEL: I don't think she -- no, I think she couldn't win. She couldn't win it in her own rights. I think her ceiling is probably 48 percent.
BECKEL: If you look at all these polls, she hasn't...
MCENANY: But, Bob...
BECKEL: Yes, go ahead. Sorry.
MCENANY: ... if it's Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, someone has to win it. And Hillary Clinton, to me, is the unelectable, untrustworthy candidate. Because, look, Americans have heard relatively little about her e-mail scandal, they have heard relatively little about the quid pro quo corruption in the Clinton Foundation.
But I can tell you this, Donald Trump as the nominee or Ted Cruz, they'll be hearing all about it. And she's pointing to that ship that goes down very quickly.
BECKEL: Remember this clip today, 54 to 46, she'll bet Trump. And by the way...
ENANY: Fifty to forty-six, Bob?
BECKEL: Yes. Because Trump -- Trump is going to give away -- do you know how many Hispanic voters are going to come out and vote against Trump if he gets the nominee?
LEMON: Bob Cusack, you're smiling. What's the grin about?
CUSACK: Well, I think the likability is very important. I think far more important than policies in politics. So, Hillary Clinton does have a likability problem, she does have a trust problem.
Donald Trump certainly is liked by a solid 30 to 40 percent of the republican voters he's getting now. Can he broaden that? How would he do in the debates? He's a pretty good debater.
I mean, in politics, you never know what's going to happen. I certainly do think that democrats are very good when they have a boogeyman on the other side and they did this to Romney. They're very good at going after that boogeyman. And, you know, we have a long way to go. Obviously it's going to be fun because we're going to be fun because we're going to actually see people voting.
LEMON: You certainly -- you certainly don't know...
BECKEL: Let's give Don -- let's give Don Lemon, I want to give you a little credit here. It was seven months ago, when I first came on this show and you said people shouldn't rush to say Donald Trump can't win the nomination. He can be alive in the 2016. You were right and virtually every pundit was wrong.
LEMON: Well, because here's the thing. I'll tell you why I said that. Because Donald Trump, as you said, the shark infested media waters of New York City. He knows how to manipulate the media and use the media to advantage -- his advantage. He's not a -- he's a smart man and also he has a lot of money. And that two things that I think you need in order to be a viable candidate.
And if anyone tells me they're going to run for president, then I take them seriously. I take them at their word. But I want to, speaking of turnout, right, and predictions, Donald Trump is on the Tonight Show tonight, Kayleigh. And he says that if he wins the GOP nomination and Hillary Clinton wins the democratic nomination, will be the largest turnout in history and the history of this country. Do you think he's right?
MCENANY: I think he's absolutely right. Because he's already shown himself at least in poll numbers to draw in a lot of unlikely voters. Voters who traditionally wouldn't even be interested in elections are at least polling, saying they support Donald Trump and will show up. We'll see if that bears out.
But I think there is no doubt about it, he's got a star power to him. And I think that this will be heated up based on the media coverage that we've seen so far. And we will see large turnout if the not the largest.
LEMON: Thank you very much. The other thing is, he's not canned, and everyone else is speaking talking points.
MCENANY: That's true.
BECKEL: It will be the biggest turnout because there will a lot of people cast voting against you.
LEMON: All right, Mr. Beckel, we'll see you guys later. Thank you very much. I appreciate you coming on tonight.
CUSACK: Thanks, Don.
MCENANY: Thank you.
LEMON: President Barack Obama delivers the final State-of-the-Union address tomorrow night. Make sure you watch it right here on CNN. Our coverage begins at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.
And coming up, what to watch for President Obama in that State-of-the- Union.
Plus, Sean Penn's secret meeting with the drug kingpin, El Chapo. Why Mexico says it was essential for his capture.
[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: President Obama is determined not to be a lame duck in his last year in the White House. So, will he set an ambitious agenda in his final State-of-the-Union tomorrow night?
Joining me now is CNN presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley. So, Douglas, I think what he's going to say, I'm not sure, is that our State-of-the-union is strong. I think is he's going to say that.
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Good bet, Don. I'm with you on that. He's going to say, you know, and better times are yet to come. We've made a lot of progress.
BRINKLEY: And he's going to, I think, walk us down memory lane and talk about the progress over the last seven years, particularly with the economy. And I think he's also going to make a big deal out of the gun violence in America issue, talking about murder rates are actually going down in America, but this big problem about background checks which everybody has been talking about.
I think it's going to be a centerpiece tomorrow because they're going to have that empty chair there and that's going to be a very symbolic moment.
LEMON: Yes. It used to be the economy. Everything is the economy, it's the economy but not so much. I mean, it is important, but it's not the number. He's going to probably talk terror and as you said, he's going to talk guns. He's going to have to talk economy a little.
BRINKLEY: He's going to talk about economy but it's going to talk economy, but it's going to be try to tell why we're getting out of the mess that we're in. But people want to know about ISIS right now.
BRINKLEY: What's going on in the Middle East? I think there's got to be an important foreign policy plank. And also, he always invokes climate change. He's done it on both of his inaugural addresses. He does it every State-of-the-Union, because I think when he leaves the White House, he's going to continue to be both a gun reform advocate and a climate activist.
LEMON: All right. He spoke to Vice President Joe Biden, he spoke to our very own Gloria Borger tonight and he shared some personal stories about his son, Beau Biden.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT: I was having lunch with the president, and he's the only other than my family I confided in all along in everything that was going out with Bowe because I felt a responsibility to do that so he knew where I was and my thinking. And I said, you know, my concern is, I said, if Beau resigns, he has
no -- there's no -- nothing to fall back on. His salary. And I said, but I worked it out. I said, but Jill and I will sell the house and we'll be in good shape. Then he get up and he said, don't sell that house. Promise me you won't sell the house.
He's going to be mad at me saying this. He said I'll give you the money. Whatever you need, I'll give you the money, don't, Joe, promise me. Promise me. I said I don't think we're going to have to, anyway. He said promise me.
[22:39:57] And then I'll never forget the eulogy he delivered for Beau. When Beau had his stroke, when he had a stroke and they thought it turned out it was the beginning of the gliobastoma. And he came running down the hallway in his shirt sleeve, he said, Joe, Joe, is he OK?
His love of family and my family and my love of his family, you know, his two granddaughters -- his two children and my granddaughters are best friends. His number two daughter, my number three granddaughter, they vacationed together, they play on teams together, she sleep at each other's homes all the time. It's really -- it's personal. It's a -- it's a family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: That's a friend. What's your reaction?
BRINKLEY: I never have seen a president and a vice president as close as Obama and Biden are. There's nothing quite like it. Jimmy Carter was close to Walter Mondale, but there is this deep intense friendship that the two developed in a love when they talk about their love for each other. It was a very moving clip and a very -- a very fine interview.
LEMON: Yes. And people may not know that. They certainly do now after hearing that and people may not know this...
LEMON: ... and you are actually good friends -- can I say good friends?
LEMON: With Sean Penn, right? And you -- what do you make of him? Because you've worked with him. He went to interview him. He put his life in danger. Why would he do this?
BRINKLEY: Sean is an activist.
LEMON: With El Chapo.
BRINKLEY: A journalist activist. I was with Sean when Katrina hit. I was living in New Orleans and I watched Sean bring bodies out of the water, take them to the hospital and save lives. He works in Haiti all the time. I went down there and wrote a piece about Sean for Vanity Fair and it was stunning that he was setting up women's clinics and helping people there.
He thinks in global terms. But he grew up in Malibu and Southern California in the '60s and '70s, counterculture. He liked Turner Thompson, the writer who infiltrated with the Hells Angels and then wrote about it and got beat up. Or people like Norman Mailer who wrote Armies of the Night, meaning there's a rough and tumble side that Sean he's willing to put himself at risk to get a story.
LEMON: Is that the story you want to -- because I understand you went to Venezuela to interview Hugo Chavez...
LEMON: ... with Christopher Hitchens and Sean Penn, is that the story you wanted to share?
BRINKLEY: Oh, I can tell you that. You know, I went with the late Christopher Hitchens, the late Christopher Hitchens. Sean and I both have journalist credentials. We flew down at Caracas, Sean said I can get you in with Hugo Chavez for an interview. And we all did, we spent hours with Chavez. Then we went to Cuba and he was going to talk to Raul Castro.
Why did Sean do this? It's much like Jimmy Carter does when he does in his post-presidency. You know, he try to talk to people that maybe the regular media doesn't get to and Rolling Stone gets a bounce out of this whole bit with Sean, I think.
LEMON: So, but why would, number one, why would he put himself in danger to meet with a Mexican drug lord, and why would a Mexican drug lord and -- you know, someone like Castro, agree to speak with Sean Penn?
BRINKLEY: Because he is a man of the left, Sean, he's been a -- he's a lover of Howard Sims and a critic of American foreign policy at times, also praises foreign policy, but he's been a critic. I mean, Sean took out full page ads in the last that post denouncing George W. Bush's war in Iraq. You know, that they pick out that stuff in countries like Venezuela.
LEMON: Does it help that he's not a traditional journalist?
BRINKLEY: Definitely. El Chapo would not have wanted to talk to a traditional journalist from the New York Times or Wall Street Journal coming to see him. But, you know, Hollywood has a lot of allure. But, you know, Sean say kind of an extreme man of humanitarianism and he gets on the plane and he get this stuff done. This last Rolling Stone piece with El Chapo, he's one of a string of them. He's written that someday I supposed that be omnibus of his long form journalist.
LEMON: Why do this instead of a movie role because -- most -- and do you think it was just for this or is it for a possible movie role?
BRINKLEY: But, you know, he's played in a lot of, you know, gangster movies and drug movies and border violence. And that's part of it. He's a student of Marlin Brando's Method Acting kind of got to go and see it if he doesn't want to the movie about drugs on the border if he doesn't get to feel what that culture was like. So he lives all this in a visceral way.
LEMON: Yes. Good to have you in studio.
BRINKLEY: Hey, always.
LEMON: Thank you. And I appreciate those stories.
BRINKLEY: Great. Thank you.
LEMON: Thank you so much.
When we come back, did Sean Penn inadvertently lead police to El Chapo? We're going to go inside the raid that took down the drug lord.
LEMON: In his interview with El Chapo, Sean Penn says the fugitive drug lord didn't strike him as, quote, "the big, bad wolf of lore." But a lot of people might disagree.
So, joining me now to discuss this is Don Winslow, author "The Cartel," Matt Belloni, the executive director of the Hollywood Reporter, and Lisa Bloom, legal analyst with Avvo.com and with the bloom firm and mother of the newest attorney here in New York City, her daughter just passed the bar today.
LISA BLOOM, AVVO.COM LEGAL ANALYST: That's true.
BLOOM: Thank you.
LEMON: So, Don, I'm going to start with you. If Sean Penn met -- met -- was able, I should say to meet with El Chapo and he was recaptured. Should he be blamed somehow for El Chapo being caught?
DON WINSLOW, "THE CARTEL" AUTHOR: No, I don't think so. Look, look at what we're being asked to believe here, Mr. Lemon. We're being asked to believe that an American film actor and a Mexican soap opera star were able to find the most wanted man in the world when the Mexican government couldn't. It doesn't hold water. It's beyond belief.
LEMON: I know that some people would draw the conclusion like, well, maybe Sean Penn had something to do with it because he met with him and maybe he gave him up somehow. You don't believe that?
WINSLOW: No, not at all. look, in Mr. Penn's article, he says he passed two government checkpoints. He, and perhaps, you know, a very well-known actress in Mexico went through these government checkpoints. So, we keep hearing story after story and the stories always change. You as a journalist, me as an investigator know that the first story is rarely the true story and I think that certainly the case here.
LEMON: Is there something you want to know about El Chapo's capture? I mean, why do you want to see an unedited version of the raid?
WINSLOW: Well, if you look at the tape, it is highly edited. There are some anomalies there. There are a lot of things that you don't see. You know, it's like the dog that didn't bark.
[22:50:01] And so, you're not seeing any of the people who were shot or wounded. You're not seeing Guzman. And, again, the story keeps changing about this. And so, at one point he's captured in the house. Another point, he's captured in the hotel. Now we hear he popped up in the middle of a busy intersection where nobody ever photographed him or apparently saw him.
Again, I think there are a lot of problems with this story and sources in Mexico are telling me that we're going to hear a rather different story a few months from now.
LEMON: Yes. Lisa, people want to know what the truth is. I mean, he's right.
BLOOM: Yes. Listen, absolutely. And I wouldn't assume that the article necessarily includes everything. You know what gets me is all the people calling for Sean Penn's head, even suggesting he should be jailed. I mean, we don't -- jailed journalists?
LEMON: You don't think there should be any legal ramifications for this?
BLOOM: Are you kidding me? I mean, should you be jailed if you speak to a criminal, even a notorious criminal?
LEMON: No, no, no. And I don't think that Sean Penn is, but I can understand why people would think that. Because many people don't see him as a traditional journalist that's why.
BLOOM: OK. But he actually has written an article...
LEMON: Yes, absolutely.
BLOOM: ... and he's interviewing a prominent figure for a respected national magazine, Rolling Stone, he was behaving like a journalist, we don't have to have any particular certification...
BLOOM: ... to become a journalist. And listen, I don't particularly care for the article. I could hardly even get through it. It's not my cup of tea. But I support his right to say it and I think we all should.
LEMON: Matt, I want to ask him, Mexico's attorney general said today that Sean Penn's interview was essential for El Chapo's capture. Do you think he could be called to testify?
MATTHEW BELLONI, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER EXECUTIVE EDITOR: I think that's a possibility and it's unclear so far...
LEMON: This is for Matt.
BELLONI: ... whether -- yes. I think it's unclear so far how much Sean Penn is going to cooperate with authorities, both in Mexico and in the U.S. That's a big question. His lawyer is not talking and Sean Penn has not really addressed that.
LEMON: Yes. Don, you're an expert in drug cartels. Explain how bad El Chapo is to the viewer.
WINSLOW: Well, El Chapo is one of the major mass murderers of recent history. And this idea that he's not the big, bad wolf, that he is some sort of Robin Hood is ridiculous and offensive.
And the fact that he would brag about being one of the greatest heroin and cocaine dealers in the world is frankly disgusting. After Chapo's first so-called escape back in 2001, he started out to conquer the Mexican drug world.
He launched wars, basically, that eventually cost over 100,000 lives. So, he's responsible for the deaths of innocent children, journalists, police officers, all kinds of people, not just other gangsters and certainly not in self-defense as he said in this interview. Again, it's offensive, it's wrong, it's a lie.
LEMON: So, bad guys go after all the time, Don, bad guys go after, you know, journalists. So, do you think Sean Penn is in any danger from any other kingpins?
WINSLOW: No, I don't think so. Look, I don't think that anybody in the drug world buys that Sean Penn's interview is responsible for Guzman finally being captured. It's just not realistic. It doesn't hold water. I don't think Mr. Penn is in any danger.
LEMON: Do you think he's going to be brought back to, you know, he's going to be extradited I should say, to the United States, El Chapo?
BLOOM: I absolutely do. Because Mexico this time says, yes, he should be extradited. I think they have to acknowledge twice he slipped through their fingers through their own high security prison. The U.S. wants him here, Mexico wants him to come here. He can find it with his high priced lawyers in Mexico, maybe a couple of months, maybe a year, but he's coming here.
LEMON: Matt, you know, and Penn's piece, it was said to be published today. It was rushed on Saturday night after El Chapo's capture on Friday. How do you think that this profile would have been received if El Chapo had not been captured yet?
BELLONI: Oh, I think it would have been a completely different reaction. Had he's still been at large and this piece comes out, and you know, the entirety of law enforcement cannot find this guy, and yet, a movie star can find him?
I think the fact that El Chapo was captured before the interview can be published, changes the entire scenario, both for the case and for Penn himself. I mean, a lot of the scrutiny on him has been lifted because this has published after.
I mean, we know, he met with him secretly while he was still at large, but the story came out after. So, I think that lessens the interest that law enforcement will have in Sean Penn. Even though that I think they will want him to testify there if the trial in the U.S. But the heat is off him to a person extent.
LEMON: So, Don, he's in the dame prison. I mean, this prison, that security can he escape from that? I mean, are we looking at another escape again, do you think?
WINSLOW: I think it's very possible. Look, as far as extradition goes, I disagree. I don't think it's going to be a matter of a couple of months. The Mexican attorney general today said it could be as long as three years. He does have high priced lawyers. Beyond that, he still has power and influence and, by the way, he knows where the bodies are buried. He knows who he's paid millions of dollars over the years.
[22:55:01] And so, there's a lot of fear among certain elements of the Mexican government and police that Guzman comes to the United States where the only bargain he can ever make it name names down in Mexico.
Now they put him in the same prison. Hopefully, they didn't put on the ground floor, by the way. But he still has influence in that person, he still has power, he still has money, we'll see what happens.
LEMON: All right. Thank you, everyone. I appreciate it. Thank you.
BLOOM: Thank you.
LEMON: When we come right back, I have a personal know that I wanted in the broadcast on.
LEMON: Before we go tonight, a personal and sadly tragic note. This weekend in Atlanta, three young lives were taken in an automobile accident when their car hit an embankment and fell 50 feet on to the interstate below.
The three young men were good friends who I just left a nightclub together. Adam Bailey was 33 years old, he graduated from Fort Valley State where he pals football. He also had an MBA from Georgia State. Cordell Fowler was 24, friends call him Corky from his college days at more house. He was the life of the party and kept everybody laughing.
And Esu Manzano was 36. He had two children, Trinidad and Brooklyn with his partner, Dionne. Gentlemen, there are a lot of people grieving your loss from Los Angeles to Atlanta to New York. Some of those people are my very dear friends who I love more than life. [23:00:01] They love you, guys, very dearly. And our hearts go out
tonight to you, to your families, and your friends. Corky, Esu, and Adam, gone too soon. Good night.