Return to Transcripts main page


Candidates on America's Prescription Addiction; Trump on Capitol Hill Tomorrow; Trump Refusing to Release Taxes. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired May 11, 2016 - 22:00   ET



[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The candidates on America's prescription addiction. Plus, Trump's fact troubles and what to expect from tomorrow's meeting on Capitol Hill.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

You just heard the stories of some of the millions of Americans addicted to pain killers and the candidates are listening, too.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I-VT) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are looking today at a very, very severe crisis in this country regarding opioid addiction and heroin addiction.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Kentucky is facing a huge opioid crisis. And we've got to do more, because we're losing thousands of people a year to overdoses.


LEMON: So, how do we stop the crisis? Plus, Mr. Trump goes to Washington. Can the candidate win over the Speaker of the House? And will Donald Trump release his tax returns before the election?

I'll ask a top member of Trump's inner circle, his advisor; Paul Manafort is here with me live. We'll get to that in just a moment.

But I want to begin with what Washington can do about America's prescription addiction. So joining me now is the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. And that's Michael Boticelli.

Good evening. Thanks for joining us, director. How are you.

MICHAEL BOTTICELLI, OFFICE OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY DIRECTOR: Hi, Don. It's good to be with you this evening. And I want to thank CNN for this tremendously important conversation. It's really a top priority for us, and being able to get out some of the messages that were clearly very important. LEMON: Absolutely. And we're glad to have you here. We just heard

some heart-breaking stories, opioid addiction is a national health crisis. Someone dies every 19 minutes from accidental prescription drug overdose. Is the federal government doing enough to fight this epidemic, director?

BOTTICELLI: This is been a top priority for this administration for the president from the very beginning, you know, and we have taken a series of actions to increase access to training that so important and some maybe of your viewers talked about, increasing access to treatment.

Making sure that overdose reversal drug is available to all people who are in a position to do that. But despite all of our efforts, we know that we need to do more. The president has clearly made increasing access to treatment one of his top priorities.

And, you know, we hear too often that people who need help aren't able to get it because they can't afford it even with the expanded access under the Affordable Health Care Act. The president in his FY '17 budget has proposed over a billion dollars to ensure that every American who needs treatment can get it.

And, you know, unfortunately, we need Congress to act. We need Congress' help on this to make sure that they are resourcing this issue to the extent and the magnitude of the problem.

LEMON: When you say do more, specifically, stricter controls over how much a doctor can prescribe?

BOTTICELLI: So, we know that we have an overprescribing problem in the United States, and we have been calling for mandatory prescriber education. We are, you know, many years into this epidemic, and while we've made some progress in reducing the prescription drug misuse.

[22:05:02] We still need the medical community to rein in overprescribing, and to make sure they're doing this in a safe and effective way.

You know, this is been so important to the federal government that the president actually issued a directive to all prescribers in federal government to go through training, because we think it's that important.

You know, this is a top priority and there is not one solution to this problem, but clearly stemming they're prescribing behavior that we have going on will be a significant move forward in terms of our ability to make progress on this epidemic.

LEMON: And you just said that, I want to talk about it specific mandatory training for these doctors who prescribe this powerful drugs, right?

BOTTICELLI: That's been I think particularly important, and you know, again, we have been undertaking the initiatives, we have been soliciting private commitments from medical communities to do voluntary training.

But, you know, one of the issues that is important is that we have, while we have very well meaning physicians, physicians get little to no training on safe and effective opioid prescribing, and we think that it is not unreasonable in the middle of an epidemic to ask physicians to take a minimal amount of education as it relates to safe and appropriate prescribing to stem the tide of this epidemic.

LEMON: But yet, there is dissention among the top groups. The AMA, the American Medical Association opposes that, so to make it go through Congress. So, what kind of solution would get all of the different groups in agreement on this?

BOTTICELLI: Well, you know, again, we've been trying to get various medical associations, nursing associations to do some commitments, and they have stepped forward in terms of looking at voluntary commitments.

You know, but year after year as we've seen this epidemic grow, you know, and again, you know this is not a one-solution problem. But, you know, we don't think it's unreasonable to ask prescribers to get a minimal amount of education on safe and effective prescribing.

LEMON: You said that you to get Congress to act, and the House is scheduled to vote on 18 bills this week to combat this addiction, is the problem finally getting the attention needed to solve it in your estimation?

BOTTICELLI: Well, it's gotten attention, and we're really appreciative of the attention. You know, many of these bills really do little to make progress on the epidemic. And, you know, we have been calling for increased resources, and increased funding to deal with that.

You know, we hear, and I hear countless stories from parents and others who, you know, finally want to get care and treatment, and they are faced with long waiting lists, with not an ability to get care when they need it.

And so, it's really important that while we look at the solutions, we understand that this needs to be resourced just like, you know, the based on the magnitude of the crisis.

LEMON: Director Boticelli, thank you very much. We appreciate your time.

BOTTICELLI: Great. Thank you very much for doing this.

LEMON: Absolutely.

Now I want to turn to the race for the White House. In just a few hours, Donald Trump sits down with House Speaker Paul Ryan who shook the republican establishment just last week saying he is not ready to support his party's presumptive nominee, although he is hoping to do so.

Here to discuss that is Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign convention manager. It's so good to have you here.


LEMON: So, I'm sure you saw this, maybe you didn't. But Hillary Clinton tweeted out tonight a new video attacking Donald Trump, and guess who is featured in it?

MANAFORT: I have no idea.

LEMON: You are. Take a look at it.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would know how to bring ISIS to the table or beyond that defeat ISIS very quickly and I'm not going to tell you what it is like.

Maybe Syria should be a free zone for ISIS. We have to be unpredictable.


TRUMP: And by the way, one thing, this is a very good looking group of people, and can I go around to know who the hell I am talking to.

MANAFORT: This is the ultimate reality show. This is the president of the United States.


LEMON: What is your reaction?

MANAFORT: Well, the point I was making is that this is very serious business, and the campaign for president is going to focus on a lot of the issues and the fitness of from our standpoint to Hillary Clinton to be president and why we think Donald Trump is the only one who deserves to be sitting in the chair next year.

LEMON: So, it's going to be, some people say it could be the Clash of the Titans tomorrow, because in less than 12 hours Donald Trump is meeting with the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Donald Trump is under a lot of pressure or Paul Ryan, I should say under pressure to endorse Donald Trump. Here is the Speaker today. Listen to this.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We've got a process we're just getting started. So, the last thing I'm going to do is say exactly what the end of this process is going to be when we are just beginning this process.

We have an obligation to merge and unify around our common principles to offer this country a choice, a better way forward, and that's going to take some party unification to do that.


LEMON: So, what is the strategy on the campaign's part, Donald Trump's part to close this deal?

MANAFORT: Well, the two men need to get to know each other, and that's what tomorrow is all about. You know, Donald Trump has been in politics, running for president since last June. He has not been an active person in Washington.

[22:10:00] And he is, he hasn't spent time getting to know the republican leaders in the Congress, because he announces his candidacy in June, he spent all of the time out meeting the people, and explaining his vision for America, and winning an overwhelming victory in the primary process.

So, now that he is the presumptive nominee, we are focusing on some of the things that somebody who had been in politics a lot longer would have already done which is getting to know some of the leaders of the party.

LEMON: How big of a priority is it though that they establish some sort of cohesion or that they are unified in some way and that they come out with the united front? Is that a big priority?

MANAFORT: Well, they have both said that it's important for them to get to know each other and for them to work together, because they represent the Republican Party and Donald Trump is the leader of the party going into the general election.

LEMON: Well, who needs to do more?

MANAFORT: Well, it's a team effort. I mean, you know, Donald Trump has won the nomination of the party running on a candidacy of being an outsider, but he also understands his responsibility now that he is the leader of the party to work with the party leaders and to present the common front so that we ensure not winning the presidency next year, but making sure that the Congress stays republican as well.

LEMON: All right. Let's talk about taxes because that been an issue lately. All right? Here is what Donald Trump told the A.P., he said, quote, "There is nothing to the learn from them," meaning releasing his tax return, "Mitt Romney, though slamming your boss over this." And here is what he is saying, "It is disqualifying for a modern day presidential nominee to refuse to release tax returns to the voters."

"There is only logical explanation for Mr. Trump's refusal to release his returns, there is a bombshell in them." So, Donald Trump criticized Mitt Romney back in 2012 for not releasing his sooner, Donald Trump has said that he is not releasing it because he is under audit, Richard Nixon released he's under audit."

Why are you the democrats and the never Trump people something to criticize him over? Why not just release them?

MANAFORT: Well, the never Trump people have lost, so they're not real from getting over it. LEMON: Is Romney right, is there a bombshell there.

MANAFORT: I have not seen Donald Trump's tax returns, he says he's being audited and that's the reason why he's not releasing them. I accept that. The bottom line is people know he is a wealthy person, the people know see what he has built, his business empire is obvious in almost any state that you go t. That's not an issue.

What's an issue here is the future of the United States and making America great again and these are all issues by people who are trying to distract Donald Trump for presenting his vision for America. The American people aren't calling for his tax returns to be released. American people want to know what he's going to do to change the gridlock in Washington.

LEMON: But I have to disagree with you, a lot of people are wondering. Because this whole thing is, you know, that he (AUDIO GAP) is that he is built on his wealth. Right. That he is a wealthy businessman, he knows what he is doing business wise, and the tax returns are an example of that.

MANAFORT: No, the tax returns are example of maybe the success, but the bottom line of what his real success is what he has built in the country, and people are interested in him because he gets things done, and because he's presented an image of a vision of what is wrong with America, and the American people, he understands what is bothering them, and he understands the angst.

And as a consequence, we had this overwhelming victory over the last primary process. The tax returns have nothing to do with why Donald Trump is being -- is in the strong position that he is in today.

LEMON: But if that is your reason on debt row, if that is your reason for being for existing where you are saying that I am a strong businessman, and I can help this country, and people see that the tax returns, as I said, are an example of that.

The question is you said that he is not releasing them because he is being audited. There have been other people who have released their tax returns because they are being audited. If there is nothing wrong, if he doesn't anticipate that there is nothing -- there's anything wrong, that he has done his taxes correctly, why not release them anyway, there is nothing -- the IRS does not say that you can't release the tax return if you are being audited.

MANAFORT: I'm not his accountant. I don't know why. But he said he is audited. I accept that as an answer. It's not an issue. What's an issue in this country -- in this campaign are the kinds of things that he's been talking about regarding the terrorist crisis, regarding the loss of jobs, regarding the unfair trade deals.

This is what people are talking about, they are not talking about his tax returns. The people who are talking about his tax returns are people who don't want to see him be president of the United States, they're not driving his decisions. LEMON: The only -- the only proof that we have that he is being

audited is that he is saying that he is being audited. The IRS is saying we don't comment on that. Will you allow or the IRS to say what years whether or not he is being audited and for what years?

MANAFORT: I have nothing to do with his tax returns. Look, again, this issue is just too much to do about nothing. The bottom line is it's being presented as an issue by people who want to see him defeated. It's not being presented by an issue of the people he sees on the campaign trail.

It has entered into the equation of -- look, the hundreds -- the hundreds of thousands, over 10 million voters who voted for him in the primary process. What they're looking at, they're judging the man based on his accomplishments, based on what he is promising to do and based on the fact that he is connecting with them at a local level.

[22:15:00] LEMON: You don't see some degree of hypocrisy though because he is saying Hillary Clinton should release her speeches, right for Goldman Sachs, release her talks, why won't she do it, and then he won't do it when it comes to tax returns.

MANAFORT: Well, Bernie Sanders is the one saying that and you have to ask her why that.

LEMON: So here is what -- this is what Trump tweeted after Mitt Romney's Facebook post. He says "In interview I told the A.P. that my tax returns are under audit and I would release my tax returns when audit is complete not after election. So, what happens though if the audit isn't completed until after the election.

MANAFORT: Then they will be released after the election.

LEMON: Yes. So, it's simple as that. So we may not see them until after the election.

MANAFORT: That's what he said.

LEMON: Of the American people. Ok. We're going to continue on. Paul Manafort, don't go anywhere. Stick around.

When we come right back, I want to talk about your boss' short list for running mates and who might be on it, and also what's it's like to work on this campaign, because he has already told me there is nothing like it.


LEMON: Just hours away, the highly anticipated meeting between Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Back with me now Paul Manafor -- Manafort, the Trump's campaign convention manager. So, the question is he said he wasn't ready to support, the House Speaker said he wasn't ready to support Donald Trump. Although he said he was, you know, he was anticipating that. [22:20:00] And then Donald Trump tweeted out, you know, I'm not ready to support him as well. What are their policy differences, do you know three tof heir policy differences?

MANAFORT: I know the things that unite them. I mean, you know, Paul Ryan's five-point agenda for America has many of the points that Donald Trump has been raising on the campaign trail like dealing with the trade issues, dealing with the jobs, dealing with repealing ObamaCare, there are all things that unite them and not divide them.

LEMON: So then why not tweet that, because if you, doesn't it sound like sour grapes if he -- you don't know what divides them, but you know what unites them. It sounds like sour grapes, it's like, well, I'm not ready to support you either, even though you're saying that they...

MANAFORT: Both of them have said in the last 24 hours that they are looking forward to this meeting, both of them said that they feel as much that unites them and both of them recognize the importance of this meeting to the lead the party in the general election.

LEMON: And he has promised to be more presidential once he made it to the general. I mean, he is in, he is the presumptive nominee, right?

So, my question is, he said his tone will change. I'm going to be more presidential and he says I'm going to be so boring that you can't stand me. But just on the last couple of days on Twitter he's called Elizabeth Ryan Goofy, he's called Hillary Clinton crooked, he's called Bernie Sanders crazy. I mean do you think that -- Elizabeth Warren, excuse me crasy -- goofy, and then Hillary Clinton crooked, and Bernie Sanders is crazy. Do you think that's presidential?

MANAFORT: Donald Trump is never going to be boring.

LEMON: But is he ever going to be presidential?

MANAFORT: He is presidential, and in 10 million people voting in the primaries said that they saw him as presidential, and I think that you're going to see as the campaign progresses with the millions more voters that he is going to be getting to the side that people think that he is someone who can be president, and then proud to be president.

LEMON: You have a lifetime of experience when it comes to politics, and we were talking about working with someone like Donald Trump, and working with this campaign, have you seen -- what is this like for you?

MANAFORT: This is unique.

LEMON: How so?

MANAFORT: He is an incredible candidate. And his personality is just gigantic, and he is very smart, he understands how to communicate things that people relate to, and he's got the courage not to let conventional wisdom of political correctness get in the way of his connections to the people. That is a very unique quality.

LEMON: But does he ever become frustrating to you does he ever not listen to you if you say, you know, don't call Elizabeth Warren or, you know Bernie Sanders crazy? Does he ever, does he take your suggestions, does he follow that?

MANAFORT: I mean, if he listens to my opinion, and he processes it, and you know, we've got a good, a good working relationship.

LEMON: OK. So, perfect person to ask, because you are the convention manager, and everybody is saying, that Cleveland is going to be oh, my gosh, I don't know what is going to happen in Cleveland. So, will there be, will this party be united by the time Cleveland happens? Is that what we're going to see? What are we going to see there?

MANAFORT: You're going to definitely see a united party, you're going to see a united party before Cleveland. You know, all of this communication, and conversation over the last month and a half of how Cleveland was going to be disaster and there is going to second ballots and third ballots, and now of that was ever really in the offing, and republicans didn't want to see that.

It was just part of the competitive nature of the primaries. Republicans are already coming together. You're going to find that as we build the program, and provide a better understanding of who Donald Trump is to the American people, and what republicans stand for, and create the Trump ticket for the general election, that we will leave Cleveland very united and much more united than the democrats are going to leave Philadelphia.

LEMON: OK. So then everyone is expecting fireworks?

MANAFORT: Well, they should go to Philadelphia, because that's where they are going to be.

LEMON: You don't think it's going to happen in Cleveland?

MANAFORT: I think the fireworks will be at Democratic National Convention.

LEMON: Is it going to be anything different this time that we can expect than we usually see because he has said the convention was so boring last time.

MANAFORT: You're going to see Donald Trump nominated for the president of the United States and that's going to be very exciting and very different.

LEMON: But now show business?

MANAFORT: Depends upon the eye of the beholder.

LEMON: OK. So then who are we going to see then standing besides -- beside Donald Trump saying, you know, together, we will make this America great again?

MANAFORT: Well, his family for one.

LEMON: You know what I am talking about?

MANAFORT: Look, he said he is now starting the process of talking to people, getting the opinions, and in his own mind processing the kind of the vice president that he wants, he said that he wants somebody who can work with Washington, he said he wants somebody who knows how to deal with the Congress.

But he is not really given any indication of who those types of people are, he's got a list of people but it's in his mind, and at this point in time, he is still processing it.

LEMON: He hasn't shared that list of people with you?

MANAFORT: He is sharing the ideas of names of people, with many people, but to say that there is a list that he is now prepared to start vetting, he has not shared that list. Is there any -- who would you like to see standing next to him.

MANAFORT: Oh, everybody got an opinion of who they would like to see standing next to them, but only one matters.

LEMON: but I mean, who would you as someone like to see?

MANAFORT: I would like to see him choose the man or woman that he chooses.

[22:25:00] LEMON: That was a really good answer. It wasn't an answer, but that was...

MANAFORT: That's the truth.

LEMON: That was a really good answer. You know, it's interesting because we have been talking about seeing this coming or at least anticipating this, and I said that we have on the show anticipated this from the very beginning, and you said that you did as well, and now everyone in Washington is wanting to speak to you?

MANAFORT: Well, there are a lot of people calling these days that I had forgotten about, yes, because they now see that, well, again, Trump ran as the outsider. Trump's whole mission was to connect with the America, was to talk to the American people, and to say that he was going to break the gridlock of Washington.

So, Washington now is trying to find a way back into Donald Trump, and the American people are going to be doing that.

LEMON: Are you in Washington tomorrow for that meeting?

MANAFORT: I will be in Washington tomorrow.

LEMON: Thank you, Paul Manafort.

MANAFORT: Thank you.

LEMON: I appreciate that. And come on the show and report back. I appreciate it.

When we come right back, a man with his own unique perspective on campaigns and running mates. Frank Rich, the man behind HBO's "Veep," is here.


LEMON: On the eve of the hotly anticipated Trump/Ryan meeting, do voters even want party unity?

Here to discuss a man with a unique perspective on this very unconventional campaign. Frank Rich, writer-at-large for New York magazine and executive producer of HBO's "Veep" and I'm sure he could not even write this.


LEMON: You are listening to my interview with Paul Manafort.

RICH: I was.

LEMON: He says his expectations he gave me the expectations of tomorrow's meeting. He said, you know, I think there is going to be some meeting of the minds, what do you think is going to happen?

RICH: I think sooner or later, there will be unity of some sort because I think people are starting to fall that Trump is the presumptive nominee, and I don't know what's in it for Paul Ryan to fight him, because to fight him is to fight the base of his own party. Isn't it?

I mean, let's face it. Trump's real fans really don't care what Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush have to say about any of it. So, if, you know, Ryan leaves in the snit? I don't think it helps him, and it may help Trump. Criticisms from people like him, some called the establishment always backfire and help Trump more to make him stronger.

LEMON: I also talked with him about the tax returns, and you know, I pushed him on that, because some people are saying that there is some degree of hypocrisy. And he says it's not. It's not going to be issue.

Mitt Romney says that it is disqualifying not to release returns, and Trump says that he will his returns after the audit of this -- when his taxes are complete. You saw Mitt Romney's statement today saying it was disqualifying, what do you make of that?

RICH: I think Mitt Romney has been trying to do this never Trump thing for weeks and months and it's completely failed. And I don't think that he has any authority to say it's disqualifying.

Of course, Trump should release his tax returns, but Mitt Romney is not the Supreme Court, but he is a failed candidate who is largely hated by the republican base.

LEMON: And it's interesting that many of them are saying, you know what, I won't even going to bother to go to the convention. And my question is that as everyone, you know, keeps saying about party unity, party unity, but do you think the American people or at least the GOP, do you think their voters even care about party unity?

RICH: No. I don't think -- I think that Trump is his own brand, and I'm not a Trump fan, I have to add, but I think that, no, they don't care about party unity. They don't like Mitch McConnell, they don't like Paul Ryan, they feel like that they betrayed him and Trump is their hero.


RICH: So, why should they care if these people kiss Trump's ring or not.

LEMON: On the subject concerning taxes, here is what Hillary Clinton had to say.


CLINTON: And what out his taxes? So, we'll get around to that, too. Because when you run for president, especially when you become the nominee, that is kind of expected.

My husband and I have released 33 years of tax returns. We got eight years on our web site right now.


So, you got to ask yourself, why doesn't he want to release them? Yes, well, we'll going to find out.


LEMON: First, Frank, do you think that there is a bombshell there in Trump's taxes?

RICH: Probably. But if it were illegal the government would step in and say so. You know, I'm sure he took care of every advantage he could of someone in his position. But I think in a way Hillary Clinton is playing with fire, because the Goldman Sachs speeches remain an issue. For now they are Bernie Sanders' issue, but he is going to say, well, use exactly her language, what's in there, why can't you release those speeches.

LEMON: Well, the question is as he is running as a businessman and that's why I thought it was important to ask Paul Manafort that his raise on death threats that, I can't.

RICH: Right.

LEMON: I can save this country I can help business wise with the economy, and if you are a businessman and what you are doing in your business is your tax returns are in part an example of that, why not release them? RICH: Exactly. And why -- and do we really know what his net wealth

is or any of that, we don't really know any of that, but he is going to stonewall it, and just say, look at the towers, they are gorgeous, they represent a ton of money.

LEMON: Yes. Let's move on now to the democrats. Bernie Sanders won again last night, why can't Hillary Clinton win in these last primaries?

RICH: Because he has a huge following, it's kind of analogous to Trump's without being the same people. They are loyal to him, and they don't -- have not warmed up to her.

LEMON: yes. Do you think that Sanders is pushing Clinton too far to the left for a general election?

RICH: People say that, but I don't know if it is true, because on one hand, and another hand, she has to win over his voters, and they have to come to the polls for her this November. So, she has to move to the left on some of the issues or they will stay home and she is caught between the rock and a hard place on that.

LEMON: Did you see Bernie Sanders last night? He really hit Trump hard last night in his victory speeches, and here is what Trump, how he responded.

He said, "I don't want to hit crazy Bernie too hard yet, because I love watching what he is doing to crooked Hillary, his time will come." Why do you think he is holding back his attack besides the, you know, crazy Bernie part, and is he trying to garner some sort of favor or curry some Sanders supporters?

[22:34:59] RICH: Partly there is a theory, and I don't know if it holds up that he could peel some of them off, and maybe you could peel some small number of them off, but what does he have to really gain by going after Bernie Sanders. He might as well welcome them into the tent when they come or not, and save the barrage for Hillary.

LEMON: Well, you know, your "Veep" is your thing, right.

RICH: Yes.

LEMON: So, who is on the short list for that?

RICH: Well, one thing V.P. is unequivocally it is the most worthless job in America, so I don't know. Amarosa, Gary Busey or whatever. You know, I mean, "Veep" is dedicated to prove that as a job it has no power or no clout and it's worthless.

LEMON: What about on the democratic side?

RICH: I don't know. I don't think it makes a difference, I don't think that people vote for vice presidents.

LEMON: Yes. Thank you.

RICH: Thank you.

LEMON: Don't tell that to "Veep." All right. I appreciate it. Frank Rich.

When we come right back, Donald Trump says don't worry nothing to see here, but should he just release his taxes and get it over with?


[22:39:58] LEMON: Donald Trump says he plans to release his taxes when an IRS audit is completed. What he doesn't say just exactly when that might be.

Here to discuss now is Tim Pawlenty, the republican former governor, former republican Governor of Minnesota, CNN political contributor Maria Cardona who is a super delegate committed to Hillary Clinton, one of those infamous super delegates, and Mark Preston, CNN politics executive editor.

Good evening to all of you. Mark, I'm going to start with you. Let's start taxes now, we have been talking back and forth about Trump's taxes and the timing of when, and if those taxes might be released.

Mitt Romney for some reason is going after Donald Trump. Here is what he tweeted. He said, "Mr. Trump, tear down that tax wall," and then link to a Facebook post where he said "it is disqualifying for a modern day presidential nominee to refuse to release tax returns to the voters? Disqualifying?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, perhaps that is true, but in the case of Donald Trump, unless we find out there is something actually in those tax returns that are damaging offshore accounts or using a loopholes that he shouldn't be using, or his tax rate is so unbelievably lower than what it would be for the normal person, I don't think the American public is going to care.


MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: He's not as rich as he says.

PRESTON: He's not as rich as he say. Although I don't even think that's going to care, or even that is not going to hurt him either. Listen, Donald Trump is the unconventional candidate that none of us had ever seen in our lifetime.

LEMON: Why is Mitt Romney going after Donald Trump? No? Went after him is what's good for the goose. Yes.

CARDONA: Because Donald Trump went after him, and I also think that Mitt Romney felt the heat from the democrats when he was running in terms of releasing his tax returns, and he got hurt by it, and I think actually that's another reason why I don't think Donald Trump is releasing this.

It certainly gives fodder to the democrats, and I agree I don't think his supporters will care. LEMON: Yes.

CARDONA: But our party is going to hammer about it.

LEMON: Governor, do the voters care about this?

TIM PAWLENTY, FORMER MINNESOTA GOVERNOR: No, but the press does and the democrats do and there will be a drip, drip, drip, which will be a distraction, and the norm is to release them, but he's not the norm. He's not the norm candidate and the rules don't apply to him. So, he will probably get away with it.

LEMON: you think he will get away with it. Unless as Mark Preston said there is something really detrimental in those tax returns. Do you think there is a bombshell there, Governor?

PAWLENTY: Probably not. And if there, you know, the IRS would be after that and the context of the audit. So, you know, who knows. It's probably very complicated, he's probably not releasing it because it's complicated and there is something there that he doesn't like, but bottom line is this is not a vote driving issue.

LEMON: All right. Here is Donald Trump on Fox tonight. Listen to this.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: If you are my client, you're under audit, I'd say don't release.


SUSTEREN: But I think there are some years outside of the audit that might be released...


TRUMP: Well, first of all, if there are, they are meaningless.

SUSTEREN: All right.

TRUMP: OK, it doesn't matter because they are so far back, but at the right time, I will release them. I hope to release them. I'd like to release them, but when I am under audit, I can't do that.


LEMON: OK. But the IRS says nothing prevents the individuals from sharing their own tax information that's not actually a correct answer, right?


LEMON: So, this audit, excuse, Maria, doesn't it?

CARDONA: No, absolutely not. And we've actually seen I think it was a presidential candidate, wasn't it Nixon that released it.

LEMON: Nixon released it.

CARDONA: While he was being audited and again, it's not something that the IRS says you can't do. This is absolutely completely up to him. And...

LEMON: But, you know, I have to say though that it is the perfect argument for him, let's say there is something wrong in his taxes, that he did not anticipate, that happens to a lot of us, a lot of Americans. Because by his own admission he has said that the tax code is complicated.


LEMON: All he has to do is say, listen, this is so complicate in these taxes, we got it wrong, I know the American people got it wrong.


LEMON: I am an example of that so we need to fix this thing, it's that easy.

CARDONA: Well, this is why I agree with Governor Pawlenty that this is not going to be an issue for his supporters, we have seen it. This is a person who has defied conventional wisdom, no other candidate would have been able to get away with this.

I don't think his supporters care about it, but again, it gives fodder in a general election which is a different electorate than the primary during the republican primary electorate, it is going to give fodder for the democrats, it will be and great for our base to mobilize our side and that's not good for him in the end.

LEMON: Mark, no one -- no one would accuse Hillary Clinton for being too transparent but you can't find 40 years...

CARDONA: Well, on this, you can.

LEMON: Of 40 years of tax returns from the Clinton's, I mean, does it make it harder for Donald Trump?

PRESTON: No, but what's interesting about the Clintons is that they really didn't making money until Bill Clinton left office himself, right, after he was done with the White House and he went on and giving the speeches.

LEMON: That happens to every president. Every president does...


CARDONA: And I'm not criticizing him for it, but their tax returns were not interesting before that, right? I mean, they were very much like, you know, a governor of Arkansas doesn't make a whole lot of money, and senator does OK, but doesn't make a whole lot of money.


CARDONA: But, look for Donald Trump, again, he is not the ordinary candidate and by the way, he is the first one to admit, Don, I will use all of the rules I can, you know, to my advantage, by the way I hate lobbyists, but I hired lobbyist, right? So, he has already telegraphed that he probably has done stuff that would others would find objectionable.

LEMON: Hey, governor, let's move on and talk about this meeting tomorrow between Paul Ryan and Donald Trump.

[22:44:59] Paul Manafort, his campaign manager was here, he said, you know, we will see unity tomorrow. He believes that. What do you think we'll see tomorrow, what will happen to that meeting?

PAWLENTY: I think we'll see the sights and sounds and movement towards unity, I don't know that it will be achieved exactly tomorrow, I don't think there is any doubt that Speaker Ryan and others will fold in eventually. I don't think the magic moment will be tomorrow.

And look, Donald Trump needs unity, he doesn't need perfect unity, he doesn't needed it immediately, but come October, this party will be mostly unified and they'll be good enough for what it means to get done in the fall.

LEMON: Who needs two more do you think?

PAWLENTY: I think they are co-dependent.

LEMON: How so?

PAWLENTY: Well, Speaker Ryan, both in his current position and if he has future aspirations does not want to alienate the 10 million primary voters that just voted for Donald trump. And Donald Trump wants a party that is more or less unified. That would be helpful to him this fall. So, I think they need each other.

LEMON: Maria, House republicans are urging Paul Ryan to get behind Donald Trump. They say his resistance will fracture the party not unite them? What do you think?

CARDONA: I think ultimately that's true. And that's why I agree again with Governor Pawlenty that, ultimately, they will -- they will come out of this unified, but there is a grand canyon of differences between Paul Ryan and House republicans and the conservative positions and Donald Trump entitlement reform, immigration, the muslim ban, trade.

I mean, these are huge conservative policies, bedrock conservative policies that Donald Trump is not in line with, and I think that's perhaps going to be the gist of the conversation tomorrow, in terms of how they can try to come together, given this grand canyon of actual policies that is between them.

LEMON: If you can solve that in an hour or however long meeting is going to be then maybe in a half day meeting you could solve world peace.

CARDONA: That's right. Exactly.

LEMON: That's not going to happen in a short meeting like that. Thank you very much. Thank you, governor. I appreciate it.

PAWLENTY: You're welcome.

LEMON: All right. When we come right back, a man who knows the struggle with prescription addiction from the inside Patrick Kennedy shares his story.


LEMON: The House votes this week on 18 bills to address opioid addiction, but what will it take to solve this crisis?

Joining me now is a man who knows the problem from the inside, and that is former Rhode Island Representative Congressman, Patrick Kennedy and the author of "A Common Struggle."

Good to have you here especially talking about this, Congressman. Thank you so much. How are you?

PATRICK KENNEDY, "A COMMON STRUGGLE" AUTHOR: I'm great. Thank you, Don. I appreciate you having me on.

LEMON: You have struggled with the prescription drug addiction, so many people think that it couldn't happen to them. Tell us your story.

KENNEDY: Well, like many, I got addicted to OxyContin when originally prescribed for a back surgery that I had, and then since I had the back surgery, I used that as an excuse to continue to seek prescriptions for OxyContin.

And the reason I did is that I liked the way that OxyContin made me feel, and not only did it relieve the pain as doubtful as the pain often was, but it's just the pain, the psychic pain that I had, there is nothing like that calming effect of an opiate on the brain to make you feel good.

And that's why people use these drugs to seek that relief, and then the brain becomes hijacked. It becomes addicted. The brain chemistry changes so that's not as much that you are looking for the relief as much as you need the drug just to replace this deficit in your brain that is causing you real dysphonia if you don't have the drug in you.

So, many people often think that it's a big party for everybody who is an addict, but I can tell you that it shifts very quickly from it being something that feels good initially to something that you just need in order to survive to keep you from crashing.

LEMON: So let me ask you, the question really is how did we get here? Because the CDC reports that opioids which includes prescription pain medication and heroin were involved in almost 30,000 deaths in 2014; 28,648. So, instead how did we get to this point? But is it do we get here

because the doctors are overprescribing drugs, and these types of drugs?

KENNEDY: So, there are a number of reasons of how we got here. One is Purdue pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin produced a lot more pills than were really necessary to treat cancer pain. I mean, these kind of powerful medications were really designed to treat, you know, the kind of pain that comes from cancer and the like.

So, once they were out, then kind of physicians got into the practice of writing them, because they were under the gun, so to speak, with the patient satisfaction. So, the reimbursement for hospitals actually will suffer if the patients fill out a satisfaction that says, oh, we were not happy with how I was treated especially for my pain management.

So, doctors don't want to get, you know, that knock against their hospital, so they will give a pill even if they know that the patient is drug seeking. Then it comes to the fact that there is really isn't good as you've heard earlier from Michael Boticelli, good education for the doctors.

Very few doctors get any professional medical education in terms of both addiction or mental illness. And in fact, most primary care docs, in fact, most all of the docs treat a better part of their patient population has co-occurring addiction, depression, anxiety issues, but the medical school none of them really get the training.

LEMON: So, why is there a distinction here, the AMA, the American Medical Association are against what Congress, what many people have proposed? What is going on here?

KENNEDY: Well, they're wrong. I mean, Don, this is a medical profession that is supposed to be taking care of the patients. The fact that so few doctors are actually even going into treating addiction, OK, so the other flipside of this, Don, is there is medication assisted treatment for those who are chronically addicted to opiates.


[22:55:02] KENNEDY: And none of these doctors want to sign up to provide this medication which is known as Buprenorphine or methadone and this is the evidence-base. If you are suffering from a dependency, you can't just run off to the big 30-day rehab and detox and have plenty of time, most people lose their jobs and have no livelihood.

They need to get medication that will supplement that deficit in the brain that I spoke about earlier, and that medication is there, but they can't even now get doctors to write for the treatment, so not only are doctors overprescribing on the front end, they are not, they are actually under prescribing on the back end, when in fact, that's where we now need the doctors to clean up their mess.

LEMON: Yes. KENNEDY: And it is an outrage today that the AMA is fighting both the

expansion of the professional education which should not be a position that they are taking in good conscience.


LEMON: And that -- that has to be the...

KENNEDY: ... and not signing up to treat the addicts, and you know why they are signing up to treat people with addiction?

LEMON: I've got to run, Congressman. But quickly.

KENNEDY: It's because they're stigmatized group.

LEMON: Stigmatized group. It's clear that something has to be done about it, and we are going to hear much more from Congress this week, and we'll have you back on to discuss. Thank you, congressman. I appreciate you coming on.

KENNEDY: I appreciate it, Don. Thanks so much.

LEMON: We'll be right back.


LEMON: That's it for us tonight. I'll see you right back here tomorrow. "AC360" starts right now.