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Remembering Prince; Tuesday Primaries PreviewedNew CNN Show to Debut Sunday. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired April 22, 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] (MUSIC PLAYING)
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: You are listening to a choir of thousand Southern California High School students performing Prince's "Purple Rain."
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
Thank you so much for joining us. A tribute to Prince pouring in tonight as investigators try to learn why he died so suddenly at the young age of 57.
The autopsy is now complete, but it could be days or weeks until the test results come in. Police say there were no signs of trauma on Prince's body and they have no reason to believe his death was a suicide.
Meanwhile, on the campaign trail, we're counting down to the next big contest, five states voting on Tuesday, with hundreds of delegates at stake on both sides. Are the front runners getting close to sealing the deal?
We'll discuss all of that this evening. But I want to get into it -- beginning with CNN's kyung Lah joining us from Minnesota. Kyung, hello again to you. You spoke to someone who saw Prince, just a few days before he died, what did he -- what she tell you about what she learned about today's investigation?
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The most remarkable thing we learned, Don, is that she was actually able to capture some video of Prince doing something very mundane, he was riding his bicycle in a strip mall right near his house. She said he looked quite healthy. She didn't think anything was wrong.
It is confusing to her and certainly to investigators who are now trying to piece together a timeline. They say that they know some specifics, they know he was battling the flu, they know that he had canceled some concerts, that he picked up those concerts, that he was healthy enough to ride a bicycle.
They know that the night before he last seen alive and fine at 8 p.m. and the then next morning when he did not pick up his phone, staff started to get confused and concerned and that's when they discovered him collapsed in the elevator.
The investigators say what's going to happen now is they want to try to talk to as many people as they can. You mentioned the autopsy is done. They need to figure out who was he seeing, where did he go? Was he suffering from anything significant? Don?
LEMON: CNN's Kyung Lah. Kyung, thank you very much for that.
Now joining me exclusively, so icon Ron Isley of the legendary Isley brothers, he was a close friend, he was close to Prince. And he joins us now via phone. Thank you, Mr. Isley. How are you?
RON ISLEY, SONGWRITER: How are you doing, Don?
LEMON: Yes. I've been better. How are you?
ISLEY: Oh, man, me, my brothers and family, everybody is just upset over this thing. You know, it is just something that is hard to believe.
LEMON: Yes. Did he influence your music? Because you guys, you know, were around about the same time. Did he influence you at all?
ISLEY: Well, we started, like, 20 years before him, you know. And so he -- when he started, in the business, he would call us at the studio, and talk about records and we would talk about what we were doing and we talk about the things that he was doing.
LEMON: Yes. But, you know, I remember, drop the bomb and all of that back in the '80s, when I said you were around for the same time. I knew that you started years before him. But I wonder if you went back and forth and were inspirations to each other. Did you even collaborate?
ISLEY: Oh, yes, yes, we did. And you know, him and my brother, you know, on the guitar, that, you know, Ernie would play his guitar and talk about, you know, what he was recording and that type of thing all the time.
LEMON: Yes. You know, his music transcended genres, generations. He also helped collaborate with so many artists. Can you think of another musician like him, who helped so many artists? We hear about the young people he was trying to help out. Is anyone else like him?
ISLEY: Sam Cook. Sam Cook with songs for other artists and, you know, he would share his everything with you, you know?
LEMON: Yes. When you mentioned Sam Cook, you made me think about Sam Cook, you made me think about Little Richard, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown.
[22:05:06] And if you look at -- you know, I said last night, he's all of that rolled into one, plus Prince, unique in that respect. A lot of people had -- a lot of people influenced him, but he also influenced a lot of people. Talk to me about those people who he sort of -- I think he brought
them into the present, even though they already had a presence. I mean, he brought many people into the presence because they had such an influence on him.
ISLEY: Well, he would talk to us about Jimi Hendrix played with us and he would talk to us about Jimi, you know, and want to know different things about Jimi. Jimi, living at our house at the time, another musician that he knew about was Elton John played with us when we were -- when we were in England. And so we would talk about all those -- just about everything and just -- and everybody. Yes.
LEMON: Yes. What do you think his greatest hit was?
ISLEY: "Purple Rain." "Purple Rain". The movie and just the whole time. When we thought so much of that, you know. And God bless his family and -- it's just -- he's going to really be missed. He was one of the greatest.
LEMON: Yes. What are you going to miss -- how often -- you said that you guys -- I know that you said he would come over and you would talk to him. When was the last time you had spoken to him? Had you spoken to him recently?
ISLEY: We were in Minnesota, I think it was October, around October, we played Minnesota. And at the theater. And I think that would be the last time.
LEMON: Yes. What do you think about most when you think about Prince, Mr. Isley?
ISLEY: He's going to be -- his music will be here forever. His music and what he did in the business will be the same as Michael Jackson or, you know, just the greatest.
LEMON: Yes. You know, can I ask you a question? We have talked about it on this program when other artists have passed, and now about ownership and about a lot of those artists, especially artists of color during your time, in the music industry, when you started, and before, other people taking their stuff, making money off of it, they died poor. Prince really fought against that. How important was that?
ISLEY: It is very important. You know, we -- from 1969 on up, you know, we started with our label and we own -- we had ownership of everything. And so, I was glad to see him be able to get his ownership back. That was very important to us and he would talk about that, with us.
LEMON: Well, Ron Isley, we appreciate you joining us. Thank you so much.
ISLEY: I thank you.
LEMON: Thank you. I want to bring in -- go ahead, continue Mr. Isley.
ISLEY: The family just keep him in our prayers and everything and, you know, he's in the right place now.
LEMON: In heaven.
LEMON: Thank you, sir.
ISLEY: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: I want to bring in now Rolling Stone contributing editor, Douglas Brinkley. His latest book is called "Rightful Heritage, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America." Also Rolling Stone contributor, Alan Light. He is the author of "Let's Go crazy" Prince's and the making of "Purple Rain."
Can I start with you, talking about this, when I was talking ownership and about artists who went to their graves broke because of record labels, some other artist had stolen their material and many times, most of the time, those were artists of color. That's a real thing.
ALAN LIGHT, ROLLING STONE CONTRIBUTOR: That's certainly a real thing and it is interesting that Mr. Isley referenced Sam Cook because that really was the pioneer, the first person who was thinking and talking to other artists of color about the need to get involved in the business, get involved in the music publishing and other side of everything that was going on with the industry.
I mean, when we think about Prince in the 90s when he change his name to the unpronounceable symbol...
LEMON: Artist -- yes. That symbol. Artist.
LIGHT: That we didn't how to call him and he kind of turned into a punch line for a little while, but those issues that he was raising about who controls how his music was released, when and why his music was released, who owned those recordings. You know, those are all the things that right now in a digital universe are the center of every debate that we're having about what the future of this business is going to be.
How do musicians get paid? Who does decide how and when is the best way for them to put music out?
[22:10:00] So, I think he knew that he was maybe making himself look a little ridiculous in the way he was presenting himself, but he was drawing attention to issues that he saw an urgency to, you know, 10 or 15 years before a lot of the rest of us caught up.
LEMON: As a historian, Douglas Brinkley, I would be interested to get your perspective on that. And that's going to be -- is that going to be part of Prince's legacy, and a big part of it?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, yes, you know, the very fact he had to have slave on his -- and did it so bravely, I mean, Prince is so brave to think of how many African-American artists have been ripped off over the decades, how shabbily we treated Little Richard in the '50s, Chuck Perry went to jail and was hounded by the law, and he stood up in so many ways for African-American artists in the past, and paved a way in the future.
So, if it is all part and parcel for this highly individual Minnesotan who, you know, didn't take any gruff from anybody, but was a deeply spiritual man, a Jehovah's witness at the end of his life, somebody who tried to not be about power and bullying but about love and sexual healing.
LIGHT: I think what Doug is starting to say there, the thing that is interesting is this business crusade that he was fighting was consistent with this absolute independence and pure creative vision that always drove what Prince did.
I mean, this was a kid who, he was a teenager and offered his first record deal, he turned it down because he was holding out for complete creative control. Think about, you're some, you know, teenage kid from Minneapolis, you get offered a shot at the big time and you say, no, I'm not going to sign that deal because I need to be in charge of what my music sounds like.
LIGHT: That was always what drove him was trying to be as true and as close to his own vision, his own creative spirit as he could and that then moved into this business fight.
LEMON: How hard is that to do when you're an artist and, you know, during your time, you're making money, you're the top of the charts, right? You don't want to tick off the record label, you don't know where your future is going to go, Douglas Brinkley, and then all of a sudden, you say, you know what, I'm going to drop -- I'm going to take my name out of it for a while, I'm going to put slave on my face, and I'm going to fight for other artists including myself. That takes you know what oneness.
BRINKLEY: Absolutely. And incredible self-confidence, but self- confidence, Don, backed by practice, you know. His parents were jazz musicians. You don't become as quality a musician as Prince without playing, playing, playing.
We were talking earlier on your excellent tribute show you've been doing, Don, about the vault and all the songs. He couldn't go a week without doing something because it was just part of his life blood.
LEMON: I want you to listen to this. This is lyrics and I wonder if this lyrics put him in a different category. Listen to this.
LEMON: So, I'm not your woman, I'm not your man. I'm not a man, I'm not a woman. I'm something that you'll never understand. Lyrics like that earned him a real -- you know, the real nickname of his royal badness. And there were other very provocative lyrics he had as well. LIGHT: Well, this was somebody who from the beginning, you know,
really trafficked in, first of all, in being absolutely fearless about being controversial, being daring.
LIGHT: Writing about things that were on his mind and inside of himself. Controversy. He came out with that song and sang and saying, you know, "am I black or white, am I straight or gay?" He knew the power also of mystery and secrecy and keeping people guessing and wondering.
I mean, we live in a world now where everybody Instagram's every cup of coffee that they have. And it's all about impressions and likes and being visible all the time. And I think Prince had that sense, people will stay interested in you if they still want to know more about you if they're not sure about where you came from.
And he was a master of working with, you know, big themes and big ideas and not turning over all the cards.
LEMON: Yes. You know, I wonder how much he was able to look into the future, Douglas Brinkley, because you and I have been speaking a lot about Donald Trump, right?
He wrote a song for R&B group the time and the lyrics featured a prominent political figure, we all hear about today and that's Donald Trump. Listen to this.
LEMON: I mean, you have to smile when you hear that.
[22:14:59] So, let me just say this, that, you know, Donald Trump tweeted that he met Prince numerous occasions, calling him -- the musician an amazing talent and a wonderful guy. What do you think that song meant, Douglas Brinkley?
BRINKLEY: Well, it's funny, and it is about power in the '80s. The greed is good, Donald Trump becomes very big in 1987, Prince had done an album called "Sign of the Times," that was quite political, and here by 1990s making a joke about Donald Trump, kind of I'll be your sugar daddy like Donald Trump.
It's a love and he's bringing in contemporary like Trump in a very clever way and it seems to hold up well even today listening to it. The press CNN funny at the same time.
LEMON: And comedians have said, have made jokes about Donald Trump as black man because he likes gold and all those things. You heard that. I'm not saying that you haven't heard. Forget it.
LIGHT: Well, the most interesting -- one of the most interesting things, you spend time around Prince and when I would, you know, be with him for a different stories. You know, you have the sense that he landed from outer space and he was this completely disconnected figure from the world.
But, you know, then there was this side of him that this guy from Minneapolis, who liked to talk about, you know, like to talk about basketball, liked to talk about new movies that were out, new records that were out, was involved in different social causes, charities, you know, understood what that was to make a joke, to make a punch line out of Donald Trump.
You know, for all of the things that made him different than every other person on earth. There was also a part of him that was grounded and connected to the reality. And that was always the most surprising thing.
You know. You knew when he could do these incredible musical things that nobody else alive could do. You expected that. I mean, from what you didn't expect was something that, you know, one of your friends might say.
LEMON: What does this loss mean?
LIGHT: Well, I think we've lost the towering musical genius of a generation. I mean, there is nobody who could do all of the things as a singer, songwriter, producer, instrumentalist, band leader, nobody had all the tools the way he did and he did all of that better than anybody else.
And I think he stood for this independence and the idea that if you're an artist, you always move forward, you're always creating, you're always evolving. He set that example, not just for musicians, but all creative people that follow him. And that's the most important thing we take from him.
LEMON: Alan, thank you.
LIGHT: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: Douglas, thank you. I appreciate it. I'll see you soon. All right.
LEMON: We're going to talk more about Prince and his legacy. But when we come right back, I want to turn to the other big story tonight, the race for the White House. Big votes coming up in five days. We're going to tell you what to watch for. We'll be right back.
[22:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: We're counting down to the next big event in the campaign calendar. Five states voting in Tuesday's primaries with a total of 172 republican delegates at stake, 384 for the democrats.
Here to break it all down is Michael Smerconish, host of Smerconish right here in CNN.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, THE SMERCONISH SHOW HOST: So, I'm for it. LEMON: I want to talk about this audio recording obtained in the closed door meeting from the Republican National Committee in Florida. We're going to hear Donald Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manafort say that Trump has been playing a part during this campaign. Listen to this clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL MANAFORT, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Trump is an outsider. That's why maybe we don't know. So, he's sitting in a room, he's talking business, he's talking politics. It is a different -- he's on the stage, he's talking about the kinds of things, he's talking about himself, he's projecting an image that's for that purpose. That the part that he's been playing is even evolving, the part that you you've been expecting but he wasn't ready for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. Does any of this true, that he's pretending to be an insurgent at the rallies and then slamming the system in the rules, but in reality he's playing a game?
SMERCONISH: It totally buys into everything I always thought about him, even since two Corinthians, right? It's all shtick, it's all just saying whatever he needs to say to get through the republican primary process.
LEMON: All right. All right, so let's talk then. Because if he really is doing that, and I've heard people say that from the beginning, I don't know if he believes anything that comes out of his mouth, he will say anything.
I'm just saying what other people are saying.
SMERCONISH: Sure. Yes.
LEMON: This isn't me talking. So, isn't that more -- isn't that worse than if he actually believed it? Because then you're not telling the truth. You're pretending.
SMERCONISH: Right. So, your question is, aren't people going to ditch him now?
SMERCONISH: Right. I mean, if he doesn't mean, if it is all BS...
SMERCONISH: ... aren't they going to run for cover.
LEMON: Because they say Ted Cruz, I actually believe Ted Cruz believe what he says.
SMERCONISH: I got a friend who said to me, as between Trump and Cruz, he doesn't like either of them. I'm going with Trump. Because Cruz, he believes all that crazy stuff he says. Trump, he doesn't believe any of it.
LEMON: OK. So, what does that mean?
SMERCONISH: I don't think Trump's core constituency will abandon him for any reason. Think about all the things that have taken place thus far, and I thought. I mean, when he said what he said about John McCain, I thought it is over.
I'll tell you something else. I don't think that this was a mistake. I think this was deliberate. Paul Manafort is a sophisticated customer. He's been around. He knew exactly what he was doing. He knows better than to say something even behind closed doors without it getting out.
LEMON: So, then what's the end game? Why would he want to stick around?
SMERCONISH: The end game is, all right, ready for this theory?
SMERCONISH: It's the pivot toward fall.
SMERCONISH: Donald Trump is doing the math, he knows he's getting close to 1237, he's already making a play for centrists. And look at what happened yesterday with North Carolina, with the transgender issue, he broke from all of the conservatives on that, and he said, you know, I don't care who uses what bathroom. If Caitlyn Jenner comes into the Trump tower, let Caitlyn Jenner choose wherever she chooses.
LEMON: OK. So, we're going to talk about that. I want to stick to -- let' stick to this Manafort this.
LEMON: And then I do want to the bathroom. As we mentioned Ted Cruz, as you said, people believe that he actually believes all the things that he says. He jumped right on this. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED CRUZ, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Telling us he's lying to us, you look at what his campaign manager says is that this is just an act, this is just a show.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. So, is this a problem? He's a front-runner.
LEMON: Go ahead. SMERCONISH: But Cruz has his own baggage, right? Remember when he came here to Wall Street and he was behind closed doors and in a conference room, someone surreptitiously recorded him, that tape came out and he was pretty much saying the same thing.
So, I think to the public, they think they're all like this, the only thing different about Trump is at least his campaign manager is admitting it.
LEMON: So, it's not going to hurt him.
SMERCONISH: I don't think it hurts him with his core constituency. I really don't. Can he woo the people that he needs to win the general? That remains to be seen.
LEMON: OK. Let's go. You jumped ahead a little bit in the playbook.
LEMON: But let's talk about the whole North Carolina bathroom issue. Because initially he said, you know, "leave things the way they are, if Caitlyn Jenner came to Trump tower, she could use any bathroom that she wanted." And then he sort of walked it back and said "let the states deal with it." Is this a problem for -- is where conservatives stand on this?
SMERCONISH: Well, I think it is -- first of all, I solved the issue, hash tags stalls for all, OK? I think it's a problem because when you push those wedge issues, you lose in a national election.
[22:25:00] I believe this was organic from North Carolina. Without an eye toward winning the White House. But this could harm republicans nationally. I think it came up on a local level, and on a national basis the GOP should want nothing to do with it.
LEMON: I thought nationally, remember a couple of years ago, they made a concerted effort that the GOP said we're not going to get bogged down in the social issues. Now they're getting bogged down in the social why.
SMERCONISH: Right, because I think they can't control what goes on at the grassroots level within the party. I don't think any of the presidential candidates would be rise to run on something like this.
LEMON: All right, Mr. Pennsylvania.
LEMON: Or can we say, Mr. Philadelphia.
LEMON: OK. Mr. Pennsylvania, take us -- and the northeast, let's talk about the contests coming up, what do you expect...
SMERCONISH: We got something crazy going on in Pennsylvania, OK? Fifty of the 71 delegates who will be selected on Tuesday, they owe nothing to their constituency. They can go to Cleveland and vote however they would like. So, they will be the largest untethered group of delegates in Cleveland. A big prize for Donald Trump or somebody else.
LEMON: Is there anything that Cruz and Kasich can do right now to slow Trump's role? Because these five contests favor Donald Trump. Right?
SMERCONISH: Right. Yes. They absolutely favor Donald Trump.
LEMON: So, they can they do anything?
SMERCONISH: I mean frankly think that Kasich can do more to thwart Trump because he'll run better in the mid-Atlantic states, and then we're going to look to Indiana and then we're going to finally look to California. My view is Donald Trump is going to get close. But what happens if he ends up at 1150 or near 1200 but not 1237.
LEMON: The only thing that has ort of taken politics out of the headlines has been the death of Prince. Sort of frozen politics right now in this country. Hasn't it?
SMERCONISH: absolutely. And the reach out but not only nationwide. Hey, I was thinking maybe it's because we wanted a break from this. You know, I mean, I recognize just what an artist he was, how rare he was. I also think there is something to the psyche of people who just are like, wow, man, we had it, at least for 24, 48 hours with the politics. Let's talk and mourn appropriately about Prince.
LEMON: Yes. And I like the purple tie.
SMERCONISH: Thank you, sir.
LEMON: You are a fan.
SMERCONISH: Purple Rain. Yes, absolutely.
LEMON: You're a fan.
SMERCONISH: You're looking at me and little skeptical.
LEMON: No, no.
SMERCONISH: Like this suburbanite can't be a Prince guy. Yes. I'm into Prince, OK. Thank you.
LEMON: Prince spanned all demographics.
SMERCONISH: Absolutely. Can't we just all get along?
LEMON: Thank you.
SMERCONISH: Good to see you, man.
LEMON: Good to see you. Don't miss Smerconish tomorrow, 9 and 9 a.m. and then 6 p.m. Eastern. Thank you, Michael, again.
Up next, Donald Trump's adviser says he's evolving. Is that what his voters want to hear?
[22:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Donald Trump's new delegate guru tells GOP insiders that the candidate is evolving. Ted Cruz called that lying.
I want to talk about this now with Ron Nehring, the California chairman for Ted Cruz, CNN political commentator, Kayleigh McEnany who is supporting Trump, and CNN political commentator Bob Beckel.
Hello, to you. Kayleigh, I'm going to start with you. I want to listen to this recording, it's Paul Manafort obtained by CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL MANAFORT, TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER: That's what's important from our standpoint, for you to understand that he gets it and that the part he's been playing is evolving into part that now you've been expecting but he wasn't ready for it because he had to complete the first stage. The negatives will come down, the image is going to change but Clinton is still going to be crooked Hillary.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Look, Donald Trump has said time and time again on the campaign trail, it's just not the time, so he himself has admitted he's going to change, he's going to take on a different tone. So, the fact that it was echoed by Paul Manafort, I don't see why this is controversial.
He's changing, not his policies or his principles, but he's changing his personality, that's very different than changing his positions which he is not going to do.
LEMON: Bob, do you -- what's your take on it? Do you see why this is controversial? Are you surprise that...
BOB BECKEL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. I've known Paul Manafort for a long time. He can say all he wants. What is he going to say, is he going to go in the room and say Trump really believes half the stuff he says? No. He has to try to get him to calm down.
Trump came out today, right after that -- the Manafort manifesto and just -- you know, in Central Pennsylvania, it was a scary speech. But, I mean, Manafort is doing his job. But I tell you, this has been set for months. Roger Stone never left Donald Trump, he went out to do dirty tricks and Paul Manafort was the guy who backed it up. And I've known them both. I like them both.
LEMON: Ron, I want you to listen to Ted Cruz's response. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED CRUZ, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE In the past 48 hours, Donald Trump's lobbyists have taken over his campaign and they gone down and told Republican Party bosses that everything Donald has said on the campaign is just a show, he doesn't believe any of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Ron, do you think, you know, Donald Trump has said a lot of things, do you think this is going to damage him?
RON NEHRING, TED CRUZ'S NATIONAL CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, you know, tomorrow morning on Saturday morning, those infomercials are going to be showing a lot more credible products to the American people than Donald Trump on his best day.
I mean, the fake, phony con job that is the Donald Trump campaign is finally exposed to the world when his, you know, campaign manager lobbyist, you know, admits in an open meeting that everything that Donald Trump has been doing has been an act.
You know, this is the same -- this is the reason why Donald Trump won't authorize the New York Times to release that secret tape of -- that was made of his editorial board meeting because it's been reported that he told the New York Times editorial board what his real position is.
So, you know, this guy is so fake. You know, he comes out and says, oh, yes, I'm running against the special interests. And you know, the lobbyists, and so on. And then what does he do? You know, at this point, he hires a whole bunch of them and they're now running his campaign. Give me a break.
NEHRING: This guy is just -- I mean, come on.
MCENANY: You know, when I listen to Mr. Nehring but the ironic part to me is that Donald Trump has not switched on to anything. But meanwhile, Ted Cruz has gone out and openly encouraged the states to rebel against the Supreme Court same sex marriage ruling, he's done that on the campaign trail.
And yet, at a Manhattan fund-raiser, he says that it's the law of the land, he won't fight it that it's going to stay. So, it's not my candidate that switched on anything. It's your candidate that have said one thing at the fund-raiser and another thing on the campaign trail. So, I'm not sure how you swear this two statements that are severely are odds.
BECKEL: You know that the...
NEHRING: Yes. You know, the person who Donald Trump is arguing with the most is himself. I mean, I've never seen a candidate have four different positions on abortion in the same day.
MCENANY: He didn't.
NEHRING: Or two different positions on the -- yes, he did. Or multiple positions on NATO in the same day.
MCCENANY: I would love to hear you name the four positions.
NEHRING: I mean, the man knows -- the man knows very little about how the world works and he believes even less which is why his campaign manager can say with a straight face that everything that he's been doing so far has just been an act. And, you know, and that he claims that he won't -- he won't blow it now. Well, now we're seeing the real Donald Trump.
LEMON: Well, Bob Beckel, you say no matter how hard he tries, that Manafort can't change Trump. I mean.
[22:35:01] BECKEL: No.
LEMON: Will he listen to any of his advisers?
BECKEL: Listen, this has gone on for years. I mean, when I did Mondale, Gary Hart got caught at a dinner fund-raiser saying my wife gets to do California, I got to go back to New Jersey.
Now they're voting on the same day. I read that as an ad, I mean, we won New Jersey big. But it happens. Look, Ted Cruz has been doing a lot of this too, and Donald Trump. This is -- we all do it. We all try to fix our candidates in fund-raisers with political officials to try to make them feel more comfortable. The fact to the matter is Donald Trump is set -- he's not going to change. In fact, I don't know if Ted Cruz is going to change.
MCENANY: And here's the thing. Look, Donald Trump is the first politician in modern history that doesn't have focus groups, that doesn't test the words coming out of his mouth, he doesn't have pollsters, he doesn't have speechwriters.
LEMON: You don't think that he's saying that Donald Trump doesn't believe what he's saying? That's what it lends to, that he doesn't believe what he's saying. He's saying it, but he's going to change.
MCENANY: Well, he goes on...
LEMON: That is malleable.
MCENANY: The context of the speech, he goes on to say, look, he acts one way in a business context, he acts another way who he is out on the campaign trail. And I think that makes a ton of sense. When you're in a professional setting...
LEMON: His whole thing, though, is authenticity, though, Kayleigh.
LEMON: Is that authentic?
MCENANY: You can be authentic and act one way in a professional setting and act another way among your friends and family. I think you can adopt two different tones, two different personalities and still be authentic when your principles are not changing. Had Cruz's principles change by the day, Donald Trump's do not.
NEHRING: Wait, hold on a second. Hold on a second. Donald Trump on the one hand says that he doesn't want to raise taxes. And just in one setting yesterday said that he would raise taxes on, quote, "the rich," of course, the government then gets to decide who the rich is, so hold on to your wallet, he also endorsed a pathway for citizenship for those people who violated the law by coming to the country illegally. And also changing the Republican Party's position on abortion. He did that in one interview. This is pretty amazing what happens when you turn...
MCENANY: OK. And here's the thing. Your...
NEHRING: Hold on a second, when you turn your whole campaign over to a group of professional Washington registered lobbyists, it's -- this is how the establishment works. They filter themselves into a candidate.
NEHRING: Donald Trump embraces him because he has no idea how to run a campaign going forward, and this is what happens. He changes his positions on issues on the same day.
LEMON: All right. Ron, stand by. Stand by. I've got to get to a break. Kayleigh, I'll respond on the other side and we'll also talk about the primaries coming up on Tuesday. We'll be right back.
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: In a race for the White House, next Tuesday is another big primary day. Five states in the northeast hold elections and the outcomes could be pivotal for the democratic and the republican race.
So, back with me now, Ron Nehring, Kayleigh McEnany, and Bob Beckel. Go ahead, you want to respond, Kayleigh.
MCENANY: Yes. You know, Mr. Nehring, you say that Donald Trump changed his message yesterday on taxes, on a path to citizenship, and on abortion. Donald Trump has always been for the three exceptions for abortion. That did not change. With regard to pass to citizenship, he did not advocate for that yesterday. In fact, he said everyone had to leave and certain people could come back. And with regard to raising taxes on the rich, he's always spoken about closing the carried interest loophole tax which would tax hedge fund managers.
So, he has not changed his position. This is something Ted Cruz repeatedly does, he's mischaracterize Donald Trump and it's not fair because facts matter and you can say he's changed all you want but the facts aren't there to support that.
BECKEL: But Kayleigh, let's face it. He's said things that are very difficult to get out of. I mean, Paul Manafort's job is to try to get this guy to move to the center. You're not going to do that. When I still had candidates who are digging themselves a hole, I say give me a shovel. In Trump's case he takes the shovel and throws the dirt on the guys. I mean, Manafort is got a tough job and he's not going to change, Don.
MCENANY: But he has moved to the center. That's the thing. He's the most centrist candidate in this race with regard to trade, with regard to noninterventinonism and foreign policy. He is in the center. He is more centrist than probably any candidate ever in the race aside from John Kasich. So, I don't understand where that come from.
LEMON: All right. So, let's talk simple math here, OK? Ron Nehring, this Tuesday, I mean, it's a crucial day. Races in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. How is Ted Cruz going to win the northeast and the mid-Atlantic?
NEHRING: Well, the goal of this campaign is to win this nomination ultimately. And in terms of this coming -- you know, these upcoming states, we're going to raise the current in terms of how many delegates we're going to win from each state. There is opportunity in all of these states.
We've already launched a campaign in Maryland. We've been campaigning in Pennsylvania. There are opportunities there. You in the previous segment discussed how the delegates, that most of the delegates in Pennsylvania are unbound completely. And then we come out of the 26, and we move on to the five states so they are going to vote in May.
This is the top of the sixth inning. This isn't the end of the game. I mean, I know there is a great, you know, thirst on the part of many people in the media, not yourself but others to try to call this race over when it's not.
Donald Trump is not going to get to the delegates he needs in order to win this thing. This is going to go to multiple ballots in Cleveland, and ultimately at end of the day, Ted Cruz will be the nominee because at the end of the day, Ted Cruz is a champion for those issues that bring those delegates, those grassroots volunteers, those people Donald Trump is always insulting calling the party bosses. He's the champion of the issues that bring in to the table.
(CROSSTALK) LEMON: OK. Go ahead, Bob.
BECKEL: Yes. One thing about this, the republicans said that they wanted to change their system and have the back end of the system, winner take all. There is none of these states are winner take all. They're actually closer to proportion than they are.
If you win the state, you maybe get some percentage of the delegates at large. In Pennsylvania, you get nobody too bound to you. In fact, it was Ronald Reagan who went to pick Dick Schweizer when he tried to beat Gerald Ford for president. Because Schweizer was sitting on 71 delegates, it didn't work.
You go all through these. You know, set it to Rhode Island, all these are byzantine delegate selection process, they're not winner take all. So, I agree with you, you can pick up a few, but this is not Ted Cruz territory. Not at all.
LEMON: Kayleigh, it's Trump -- I mean, he is going to have to the 1237. Is he planning on a clean sweep on Tuesday in the races to help him get there?
MCENANY: I think that he needs to get over 100 delegates for sure. There are 172 at stake. He needs to probably get 100 and then do exceedingly well in Indiana. But I definitely think he can do that. You look at the polls, he's leading in most of the states next Tuesday by almost 20 point margins. I mean, that's huge.
LEMON: Bob, we said we've asked, you know, so many times, but after he wins New York, this sort of puts him on the path to possibly getting to 1237. You don't think so?
BECKEL: Yes, I know. I mean, I can put it together for me. You know, it's interesting, all of the talk was about Bernie Sanders and Cruz having this momentum go into New York. You know how fast the stuff with New York? And now the states do not look good for either of the two major party second place runners.
And I think for Trump's standpoint, it really does come down to Indiana. I mean, that's -- if he can pull off Indiana and get a margin in Indiana, then I think he could probably do it. The other thing is, if he goes into this convention in Cleveland and he's got 1200 delegates or 1150, who is going to say no?
[22:45:02] I mean, the problem, Cruz's guys, you say and say no to Trump, say hi to me. And it's not going to be.
LEMON: All right. Thank you, guys. Have a great weekend.
MCENANY: Thank you.
LEMON: When we come right back, if you think the KKK is a thing of the past, think again. An inside look at the modern day KKK.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: I can't wait for this. CNN premieres a brand-new original series this Sunday night It' called "United Shades of America." It is hosted by W. Kamau Bell, he is a sharp observer of American life who says I'll tell jokes, but I'm not kidding.
And he joins me now. What do you -- I hate to ask you in this way, but what do you think of this - what do you think of political season? I mean, so many extremes. I don't 8now it's a joke. What is going on? Do you think it's a joke?
W. KAMAU BELL, UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA SHOW HOST: I don't think it's a joke. I take it seriously. I got two kids so I can't completely think it is a joke. I do think, you know, when you think it can't get any crazier, I think it does get crazier. I do think that the left and just basically my friends who are Bernie Sanders supporters should take Trump a little more seriously. You know, they should have taken Trump as serious as they took Bernie Sanders. I think people waited too long.
LEMON: I had a lot of fights with a lot of progressives this fall saying you guys are you're underestimating your opponent.
LEMON: And they were like, no, never, Don, never, never.
BELL: No, In Berkeley they were treating him like he was a candy man. I won't just say his name and he won't appear.
[22:50:02] LEMON: Let's talk about your new show, "United Shades of America," it premieres Sunday right here on CNN. You met with a KKK member, what's wrong with you?
BELL: I met with lots of KKK members.
LEMON: All right. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then I'm going to let you know I'm the Imperial Wizard of the International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
BELL: Imperial Wizard of the International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir. I'm the president of the organization.
BELL: You're the president. But first of all, thanks for meeting with me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
BELL: I guess my first question is, Klan historically, as I'm sure you know has been a group associated with violence. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not associated with violence.
BELL: I know. What I'm saying historically.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're out to look at the Klan in the 21st century.
BELL: Don't you think that by wearing the same robes that it's hard to separate those two different Klans?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have an opportunity to wear a Klansman robe. Why? Because I'm white and I believe in the ideas, rituals, and beliefs of the Ku Klux Klan. I was raised this way. This is always going to be Klan regalia.
BELL: All right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no ifs, ands or buts about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: In 2016.
LEMON: I'm not surprised either. I mean, I grew up in Louisiana.
BELL: Well, black people are not surprised. The black response is, are you crazy?
BELL: The white people's response is, I didn't know there was still a Ku Klux Klan. I mean, so my thing is like that's what the show is for. It's so that when black people discuss the worst evil in this country we have evidence we can point to the show.
LEMON: You're big, you're bad, you're bold. If you're so proud, why not show your face?
BELL: That I think it's funny that the white pride comes at the expense of like, I don't want anybody to know. I can't -- I got a job. I can't let people at the office know. There's a lot -- I got an e- mail from one who said, please don't show my face because I don't want my son to have a problem getting a job. It's like, wow, we better let before I'd go.
LEMON: You know, there was this poll done by Kaiser and others that say people feel that racism is worse now since the president took office. Where do you think that comes from? Do you believe it's true first and then where does it come from?
BELL: I don't -- I don't -- I don't know the words.
LEMON: I think the perception.
BELL: I think we know more about racism now because of social media and cell phones. I think as many people said, the best recruiting tool for the Klan is a black president. So, I think that they feel more emboldened and a guy running for president on the right who seems to dog whistle them all the time, and clearly he's running, since he won't get the colored people, Donald Trump, he's going after those people.
LEMON: You think so?
BELL: I think he's -- anytime you use the rhetoric he uses around like immigration, around Arabs and Muslims, that's their -- you're doing Klan platforms right there. That's Klan positions.
LEMON: Yes. Can we talk about what -- the other thing going on in the news, and that is Prince.
LEMON: You're a huge fan. How did he influence you?
BELL: I'm a huge fan of Prince. Prince was one of the things when I got -- me and my now wife, my then girlfriend started dating, she had never seen purple rain because she was younger than me. And so, I was like, we have to sit down and watch this movie and if we want to date, you have to at least pretend that you like it.
BELL: Otherwise, it's not going to work out. We have to have a common language of purple rain in our household.
LEMON: Yes. You know, he was inspirational to all people, all types of people. But for African-Americans there was this certain thing about him. I think that he sort of -- he helped expand our minds about what a man should be...
BELL: Yes, absolutely.
LEMON: ... what a man looks like, what a person of color looks like, all those things.
BELL: Yes. I mean, the lyric controversy am I black or white, am I straight or gay, do I believe in God or do I believe in me? It sort of kicks the door open f like redefining blackism, redefining how you can be in the world.
And I think as much as he's open to everybody for black people we really do feel like he's one of those avatars of alternative blackness. You know, a lot of times black people we sort of criticize that black people were never part of the herd mentality. And Prince was never part of herd mentality.
LEMON: I said that -- I said that yesterday about am I black or white. People said, you don't know you're black? Yes.
LEMON: What that's exactly what he's saying. He is saying that all black people aren't monolithic and they don't have to act alike and be herd mentality...
BELL: Yes. I don't have to act the way a straight guy acts, I don't have to act the way a black person acts.
LEMON: I love you, Kamau.
BELL: Thanks. We're to pound it out.
LEMON: Tell us pound it out. All right. Thank you, everyone. CNN's new series, original series, the "United Shades of America" premieres this Sunday night at 10 Eastern.
We'll be right back. But first, an early Prince song one of my favorite from 1981 "Controversy."
[22:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Before we leave you tonight, a moment that no one who was in the room will ever forget when Prince was inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame it was in 2004. He said the thing that mattered most to him in his career was freedom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCEC NELSON: When I first started out in this music industry, I was most concerned with freedom. Freedom to produce. Freedom to play all the instruments on my records. Freedom to say anything I wanted to.
And after much negotiation, Warner Bros. Records granted me that freedom and I thank them for that.
Without any real spiritual mentors other than artists whose records I admired, Larry Graham being one of them.
I embarked on a journey more fascinating than I could have ever imagined. But a word to the wise. Without real spiritual mentoring, too much freedom can lead to the soul's decay. And a word to the young artists, a real friend or mentor is not on your payroll.
A real friend and mentor. (APPLAUSE)
A real friend and mentor cares for your soul as much as they do their own. This world and its wicked system will become harder and harder to deal with without a real friend and a mentor. And I wish all of you the best on this fascinating journey. It is not over. Peace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I want to tell you that you can see more from the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame live on iTunes. Then Prince took the stage with a super group including Tom Petty, Jeff Len, and Steve Winwood, all of them paying tribute to George Harrison with the song "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". With all that talent on the stage it was Prince who blew everyone away.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)