Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Large Crowd For Sanders Event Tonight In California; Clinton & Sanders Neck-And-Neck In Kentucky; Clinton Slightly Ahead With 99% Of Kentucky Vote Counted; Trump Says He Would Talk With North Korea's Kim Jong-Un. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired May 17, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:11] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And as John said, we are counting the votes. I'm Anderson Cooper, in the CNN Election Center. We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world to a special edition of "AC360".
It is an extraordinarily closed Democratic primary in Kentucky it's been back and forth between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Since the poll is closed. If this contest plays out they're amounting fears among Democrats of a bruising split within the party following weekend disruptions in Nevada state convention which out maneuvered Sanders supporters.
Well, some said they were throwing chairs, threatening local leaders. Define statement from Sanders is doing nothing to calm establishment fears about similar disruptions of July's national convention in Philadelphia. Sanders is hoping for a crushing win of course against Clinton tonight in Oregon, but he needs that and much more to slow Clinton's drives the nomination.
There's also a Republican primary in Oregon. For some that nominee Donald Trump is trying to seal the deal ahead of the GOP convention. The voting ends at 11:00 p.m. eastern, while our first result right after that.
Let's go to Jeff Zeleny. He's covering the Democratic race. Jeff?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: Hey Anderson, I mean, Bernie Sanders right now is flying from Puerto Rico to California, making good on his pledge to fight for every vote. Now, I can tell you, but you saw me outside earlier where there was a long line of people. Now we're inside this tennis arena here.
Some 8,000 people will be sitting in the stands, another 1,200 on the floor and 4,000 up top here. So, that will be, you know, more than 12,000 people here, Anderson. And the voters we talked to here in California really are wanting to vote for Bernie Sanders, his supporters certainly.
Hillary Clinton also has supporters as well here in California. This race is going to go until the end, but Kentucky, I can tell you, the war rooms of both campaigns are looking exactly at what's happening county by county. They're watching John King as well, to see his analysis of these counties. If Clinton wins Kentucky that is big shot in the arm for her. It is a big interruption of Bernie Sanders winning streak, but again, it doesn't change anything necessarily.
But given all that, I'm still struck by tonight Anderson, how much Hillary Clinton and her campaign is focusing solely on Donald Trump. They are looking ahead to those ads that are coming out tomorrow by her Super PAC and they're strategizing going forward how to best take him on here. So, despite this Sanders distraction and that's what they've view it, as a distraction, they're still focussed solely on Donald Trump. Anderson?
COOPER: Jeff Zeleny. Jeff, thanks very much. I was watching very closely. The results come in from Kentucky. Right now, Bernie Sanders in the lead with just 316 votes. More votes to be counted. Wolf?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: It's very close Anderson. 46.5 percent for each. As you say 316 votes separate them almost 400,000 votes have been counted and 96 percent, 96 percent of all the votes in Kentucky have already been counted. Bernie Sanders right now has a lead of 216 votes. Dana and David, it's -- it doesn't get closer than that. Two hours ago they closed all the polls in Kentucky. Obviously we can't make a projection yet.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: No, we can't and the Clinton campaign going into tonight as far they were saying well, it's going to be 50-50 whether she wins. It turns out at least at this point it looks like that prediction was correct. But, even having said that, the Republican race I think it's important to underscore again, the fact that this is still happening on the Democratic side. And that, you know, a year ago we started out with 17 candidates or at least heading towards 17 candidates on the Republican side and thought there was going to be a contested convention and that's over.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Right. Although it's not over in terms of -- I don't think that party is completely unified yet.
BASH: Not at all. There's one candidate left.
CHALIAN: Yes. There's one candidate left, the nomination race is over. But in terms of what we're talking about how Democrats are going to come together in terms of an advance of Philadelphia. I think that we can't forget the earthquake that the Republican Party experienced throughout this nomination season.
CHALIAN: Yes, it delivered Donald Trump as the nominee. He vanquish all of his opponents and he did that very successfully. But, you can see just in recent days, John Kasich talking to Anderson. Paul Ryan is still reluctant. The party still is going through a healing process.
And so it's not as if Donald Trump is able to focus all of his attention on Hillary Clinton right now just like she can't focus on him. He's doing the business now of converting himself to a general election nominee and doing some things he didn't do in the nomination season, hiring a pollster.
CHALIAN: He's trying to consider how to race money with the RNC after making a very big deal about.
CHALIAN: Having new special interest attached to him. So he's trying to sort of go through the process of transition to the general election nominee and still working to persuade his party to be there with him.
BASH: No question.
CHALIAN: So doesn't have a clean shot at her either yet.
BASH: No question. And I've been talking to Republican sources about this melding of the Trump campaign and the Republican Party apparatus and how fascinating it is and it continues to be.
[21:05:06] And I'll tell you Wolf, the one thing that I am just -- I guess I shouldn't be floored by it because this is what happens when you're the nominee. But as somebody who has been to many Trump rallies, hearing how successful his line always is when he says I'm not beholden to anybody.
I'm not raising money and talking to voters there who say this is so important to me that he's not kind of in the pocket of donors. How he's going to sort of transform that concept into somebody who's got to help raise a $1 billion dollars to run against Hillary Clinton.
BLITZER: He can no longer, can say he's self-funding his campaign. He's going to be ...
BASH: I guess according to the disclosure form today he's got $10 billion and he could, but I don't think he got bigger than.
BLITZER: He got to start selling some big buildings and some golf courses and stuff like that which he clearly does not want to do. All right guys, standby, I'm going to go over to John King. Look at this John, Bernie Sanders building up a slight lead 1,012 votes out of 400,000 almost that have been already counted. 96 percent of the vote is now in.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And so the question is, can Hillary Clinton come back and she find 1,000 plus votes as we count the remaining 4 percent in Kentucky. You know, at 46.6 to 46.3, just wow. We got a great nail binder and a seesaw account that's going back and forth quite a bit in the last hour or so. But let me use the magic wall or let me use the sliding scale and go back a little bit.
So west, I'm going to stop here at 95 -- right at 95. That eliminates here only the counties that have counted 95 percent or less of the vote. There still votes to count. Everything else is largely in including Pike County over here in the eastern part of the state which Senator Sanders is waiting for. He wanted quite convincingly, but it's one fewer county where we're looking for votes for Senator Sanders, as he tries to hold on to that lead.
So, what else are we looking for, over here on the Paducah area, right? McCracken County Senator Sanders is winning, but not by a lot. 91 percent of the vote is in. You can see, here are the five point lead here. If it continues at that pace, you can assume Senator Sanders would add some votes to his lead. No guarantee of that, but if the rest of the votes come in at roughly this percentage, he would add some votes there.
What else is out, well, if you're in the Clinton campaign this is why you're a bit in encouraged even though you're behind at the moment. The other counties that are still out at the moment are counties Secretary Clinton is leading. This one here is a small one. Barren County is only 1 percent of the state population, but we've got almost none of the vote in yet.
So this one here, if this race is very close to the end, tiny Barren County could decide it. I say could because I want to show you something in it, but at the moment with just a tiny percentage of the vote, technically 0 percent is counted, a small lead for Secretary Clinton. Let's watch as the rest of the results come in here. Again, it won't be a lot of votes. It's a small county, but in a close race that could be the difference.
Here's what's more significant it may. It starts to move up here. Hardin County, 2.4 percent of the state population, it matters in a close race. This one is essentially a wash, 47 percent to 46 percent. We're still waiting for 5 percent. In a close race we have to count them all, but if you're Secretary Clinton this is why you're most encouraged.
Again, this one is going to be close no matter what. Jefferson County 17 percent of the state population here and we've been at 78 percent for some time. Our people are checking in with the county trying to figure out what's left, why the slow count all of the sudden, but Secretary Clinton here has a 17 point lead, nearly 18 point lead in this county. It is a big Democratic county, significant African- American base here. She tends to win by a decent margin among African-American voters.
So, if you're looking at this map, you're trying to figure out the final 4 percent of the vote, you know, a big chunk of that final 4 percent is going to come from the largest county of the state. And if you're in the Clinton campaign you'd think, you're hope that would be enough. The math certainly supports that she could get a narrow victory here, but we've got a few other places Anderson to wait for.
A very, very close to the end. If you made me place a bet, I would say a slight advantage Clinton, but it would be a risky bet. Let's keep counting. COOPER: Yeah, only about a thousand and 12 votes should right now. I had Bernie Sanders out in front. Let's talk about Donald Trump. We talked about Hillary Clinton hoping to pivot to a general election. Donald Trump already gearing up obviously for a general election. He has that luxury which Hillary Clinton really doesn't have.
I want to play something that Donald Trump said several of a while back. And I'm not sure if this was several weeks ago or several months ago about what he would and would not do in terms of preparations. Let's play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't have pollsters telling me what to say. I mean, a lot of these folks have pollsters.
I'm turning down millions. I don't want your money. I don't want your money. You think those people are giving without favors? Now, Hillary raised $46 million. It's a lot of money. The good news is I got -- well, the good news is how much do I have? $10 billion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Donald Trump earlier.
COOPER: He has now -- I mean, sensibly he has -- I mean, it's one of the remarkable things that he didn't have a pollster before considering ...
JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Tony Fabrizio who polled for him before when he was thinking about running for president. He's known quantity to him. He's also worked with Paul Manafort.
[21:10:04] I would just suggest that what you see is what happens. I mean, it's unusual into some extent with Donald Trump. But you're beginning to see the establishment cluster around the Republican nominee for president. This is how it's done. You get foreign policy advisors, health care advisors and pollster getting all these sort of ...
COOPER: But does it go against what one of the appeals one of the attractions.
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.
COOPER: I mean the whole argument, or the whole argument that he was self funding his campaign which frankly was a false argument because he wasn't self funding his campaign, I mean he was getting a lot of donations from individuals.
COOPER: No, no, no, he was saying he was taking five bucks here and there, which did add to up -- I don't know the final number but the last time I look, I think it was 8 to 9 million but I believe and more that.
LORD: Like Bernie Sanders ...
COOPER: ... and by the way, he was only lending his campaign his own money which once now if he's taking ...
CUPP: Taking it back.
COOPER: ... he can pay his campaign back. And so I asked him about it and he said he hadn't considered it but that remains a very real option. So anyway.
That's when you set the facts, yeah ...
COOPER: For none of this is a criticism, look, you play this very well but in a general election -- are you happy that he is going to start getting donations from, you know, big money people?
LORD: I believe they're going to go to the Republican National Committee ...
COOPER: And Super PACs for him.
LORD: And Super PACS, right, my friend Ed Rollins is going to be involved ...
COOPER: And for guy who said, I don't have, you know, I'm not with Super PAC and all that.
LORD: Right, right, this is the burdens of power. This is a burden of.
CUPP: It's amazing.
COOPER: Does it undermine one of the appeals of him.
LORD: Are you still with me S.E.
CUPP: This is the thing Jeffrey, this is ...
LORD: No, starts look, look, look, no, no, seriously. CUPP: This is the problem. You say this is the way it's done. The entire campaign predicated, until it's way.
CUPP: ... was been that this is not how he's going to do it was a total rejection ...
LORD: Right, not just that there is no one there are not.
CUPP: ... of the way that this is done. And my question to you Jeffrey.
LORD: Yes, ma'am.
CUPP: On behalf of many sad conservatives.
LORD: The sad of them?
CUPP: No, there's is that quite a bit, is what does Donald Trump stand for. What does he stand for?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What change when he's president -- I want to add to the question sir.
LORD: Yes sir.
JONES: Listen, how many times is it going to happen? Right now you say, oh, he's just doing this because it's what's always been done, the party will surely requires it, well then he gets in office, well you say he's doing that because it's always been done. I think the bait and switch is what people are point of -- I think that the last -- the I idea of this guy is a con artist who will say whatever he has to say to get what he wants.
COOPER: I think what would Jeffrey answer now ...
LORD: Listen, he does believe in flexibility obviously, but the whole, no -- but the whole notion is you are not going to get any Trump supporter out there to believe that he sold his soul to the establishment of the Republican Party. It ain't gonna happen, by now everybody knows this. I think the Republican establishment knows this.
COOPER: I guess S.E.'s question is what is his soul? I mean what is his core?
CUPP: Right, there is no soul to sell, what does he stand for?
LORD: He's conservative on taxes, on energy, on judges. He's named two specific people for the Supreme Court nomination.
CUPP: That's not what I would asked though.
LORD: Were you are asking that.
CUPP: If he's telling me that this is something I'll never do and the entire campaign is rejecting all the things he would never do and then decides ...
LORD: But I think, did he self funded, did it self funded (inaudible) or not.
COOPER: Do alone.
CUPP: Well now, now it's different, how do I know what to believe in? How do I know what to vote for? How do I know what to expect if every thing's flexible, negotiable and moveable?
LORD: It now, everything is not negotiable.
COOPER: Which parts are?
LORD: It is not negotiable.
COOPER: How do you know which parts are not?
LORD: At judges to the Supreme Court. Are you kidding me?
CUPP: How do you know?
JONES: And he just before it now, he does for the (inaudible) was on are taken money.
PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: But everything, I think that -- honestly, I think the media immediate pays way to much attention of flip-flops I really do. First of, most politicians don't flip-flop that much and it shows actually in the movements of that mind, so I don't care that he hired a pollster. I -- more importantly I don't think a voter cares. And all I won't have a pollster now, it's got in that, it that doesn't matter.
CUPP: Well, it's bigger than Paul though.
BEGALA: Well, I think that one thing that's critical to Trump's appeal has been the self-funding piece. There's a need for campaign reform in this country and desperate need and Republicans frankly have post it all along.
LORD: Let's get through Super PACs.
BEGALA: I would love to. Oh my God, I'd be thrilled.
LORD: You'll be at the beach?
BEGALA: Yeah, exactly. I'd like to had to do honest work but I'd be really happy to get with all Super PACs especially including my own. But that pieces, that still self funding piece, I think you already been lost Trumps supporters but as he tries to expand, one of the things that had, that perhaps could have opened the door to a lot of voters who are not primary voters was -- well he's not part of the corrupt finance system, now he's going to embrace the corrupt finance, I think all the rest that you can have those flip-flops it doesn't matter.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, the question I have Jeffrey, is how does he distinguish himself from everybody else who takes ...
LORD: Because I think it's already been done.
BORGER: ... money. Well but then he can say that Hillary Clinton is bought and sold. How can he say she's bought and sold but I'm not bought and sold starting from this day forward starting now? Starting now, why?
LORD: It goes straight to the character question that everybody likes to talk about here. You want to talk about his character, I think we now and for all the negatives that people have been throwing out there, the positive is he is tough as nails here in dealing with his opponents and with the establishment. That is not going to change.
[21:15:13] COOPER: So somebody, so Sheldon Adelson (ph) who gives a $100 million to a Super PAC, Donald Trump is not going to immediately return his phone calls? I mean, he doesn't have some sort of in with Donald Trump?
LORD: I don't think the person is alive who can buy Donald Trump.
BEGALA: But he's curious and ...
COOPER: We've got a Key Race Alert and we'll come back in this. Wolf?
BLITZER: So take a look at this Key Race Alert right now. Hillary Clinton now pulling slightly ahead of Bernie Sanders. 99 percent of the vote has been counted. Hillary Clinton has a lead of 2,479. 46.9 percent for Hillary Clinton and 46.3 percent for Bernie Sanders. 2,479 vote advantage for Hillary Clinton with 99 percent of the vote counted. Anderson, back to you.
COOPER: All right.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We want to analyze this a little bit more of the Clinton-Sanders results.
LORD: One point is difference there.
COOPER: David do you think it makes a difference -- to Paul's point that makes a difference the self funding or ...
AXELROD: Well, it's a core thing. CUPP: Yeah.
AXELROD: The thing -- I think that what Donald -- I think Donald Trump believes in one thing and he believes deeply in himself. Everything else as he would say is negotiable. You say he's flexible, I mean, he could be in circus soleil from what we've seen.
But, all of that may not matter. I think what will matter is what I said earlier, I think intemperance it's something that matters. I think it matters when people look at a president of the United States.
Yesterday, you know, we heard that David Cameron criticized him for the ban on Muslims and he said well, I guess we won't get along. Well ...
AXELROD: That's what it all is?
AXELROD: It's all negotiating.
JONES: But watch this, everything that he does will -- his supporters will say is either flexibility or smart negotiating. Everything, which means you have a candidate who can literally say anything and he's running on and still have people support him.
BEGALA: I tell you who he is communicating to is Wall Street. Today and even in Reuters, he said he wants to roll back the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform the president signed.
LORD: That's standard conservative document.
BEGALA: I understand, but it's just a little coincidental that just when he decides he needs rise. Especially if there's money he takes it very for a Wall Street position.
JONES: With pro quo anybody?
LORD: Yeah. Hey, this is standard conservative position and it has been for ages here.
BEGALA: It wasn't a standard Trump position until 10 minutes ago.
BORGER: But if he's trying to appeal to Bernie Sanders supporters which he says he is ...
BORGER: Go vote for me. The system is rigged, et cetera, et cetera. The flip on money and where you get your money is not exactly appealing ...
LORD: So they're going to go to Hillary?
BORGER: ... to Bernie people. Well one would presume there is two choices.
LORD: Speaking of circus soleil, I mean ...
BEGALA: I mean, she's for Wall Street reform. She's for even more than Dodd-Frank.
LORD: Which is why she gave all those speeches to Goldman Sachs and won't release them?
BEGALA: And yet, she's still for reforming him. President Obama took more money from Wall Street than any candidate in history then he pass the toughest ...
LORD: I'd love to see what she said in those speeches.
BEGALA: Sure fine. You can go.
COOPER: And we've all been asking about that as well. Oh let's take a quick break. More ahead.
[21:22:27] BLITZER: All right let's get another Key Race Alert right now. Look at how close it is in Kentucky right now, 99 percent of the vote is in, more than 420,000 votes have been counted.
Hillary Clinton has a very slight advantage right now, 1,869 votes ahead of Bernie Sanders right now 46.7 percent, 46.3 percent that's with 99 percent of the vote in, John King take a lot of us that, it would be close I don't think -- people thought it would be this close.
KING: I know, this is about as close as it gets, Wolf and so we're going to get down to the final votes and so what I've done is I set the scale here on the magic wall, you moving there, have you seen 95, 96, 97. I'll stop at there at 96. But what counties in the State of Kentucky have reported 96 percent or fewer of the vote.
I just want to tap this one here because it's at 98. I just wanted to show it. Warren County a pretty decent size county, 2.6 percent of the state population where Senator Sanders have been winning consistently, two percent of the votes still out so a chance if the margins stay as they have been throughout the -- a chance for Senator Sanders to make up some votes here so that's one reason of the reason for some optimism inside camp Sanders but if you look at this counties where the votes are out.
And this county is essentially is a wash, Hardin County, that's been very competitive plus all night, 47.7 to 46.3 so 5 percent of the votes still to be counted there. Every vote counts when the race is this close.
If the margins stays the same they're essentially trading votes in that county at the moment then you look, we're also be looking for votes.
Up here in the Cincinnati suburbs, I mentioned earlier, Kenton County, growing suburban area here, 3.7 percent of the state's population includes Covington where the Cincinnati airport is, in Covington, Kentucky.
Secretary Clinton has a small lead here but 4 percent of the votes still to be counted. If it comes in a roughly -- those percentages, the rest of it and again they'll guarantee if it tracks, the earlier precincts that would pad slightly her vote total, so we have to watch out that as well and one last place I want to check, let me take this off so you could see the whole state as we look at it again.
One other place to check is in Jefferson County which is she jumped ahead of it when more of the votes came in earlier from Jefferson County. It's at 99 percent right now, so not much more to come in but she has a 17 point lead in Jefferson county so if more votes come in and if they track even close to that and Secretary Clinton could add a bit to her lead there.
So as you pop it backout and you want to look at 99 percent of the map filling in, A, doesn't get much closer than that, B, both campaign is going to look at this closely and C, you would have to say slight advantage to Clinton at the moment and Wolf, as I get to D what D is do you do next? What are your options tomorrow morning? And there's no specific margin that guarantees a recount in the State of Kentucky.
If you want a recount you can ask for one but you have to go to court to do that. So we'll see if either campaign with the Democratic proportional rules, in terms of the slicing of the delegates, it's going to be roughly even.
[21:25:10] We'll see if anybody wakes up tomorrow morning and thanks there was something wrong in this county or miscount in that county. If they want to recount, well Anderson they go to court.
COOPER: Yeah. A lot to watch for the numbers still coming in. John, thanks very much. Let's talk it more with our panel.
It seems that when you see that Sanders rally all those folks went in California for Bernie Sanders, I mean does your volume and enthusiasm of Sanders support still at this point in the race when, you know, every pundit on television is saying, look the math doesn't is really add up. It's a long haul don't tell that to the folks who were gathering and waiting for hours for.
AXELROD: Well, that's of course what keeps him going. That's of course why he wants to stay in there. He will win some primaries moving forward. He may win another one tonight in Oregon, probably will. He'll do well in California. And he -- I think he wants to A, give those people their voice but also he wants to go to a convention with maximum leverage in terms of the program and the platform of the party. So I understand why he's moving forward ...
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think we knew that it was going to be within a whisker in terms of what the split would be ultimately. The big picture is it's all about the narrative, it's all about the story line and what do they get to say going forward and earlier we talked about the post Nevada. I've been reading the statement that Bernie Sanders just put out about Nevada. There's a lot of fight left in him.
You look at that statement and he talks about how the Democratic Party is at a cross roads and can either fight for real economic and social change or here's the key part, go to the status quo with limited participation and limited energy. I took that as a real shot toward Secretary Clinton and it tells me he's not going away.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yeah and it's true that I mean his supporters have such an emotional attachment to Bernie Sanders and emotional attachment to his message and to this movement and Hillary Clinton hasn't had that same sort of dynamic with her supporters.
She's going to figure out at some point how to harness that. I think we saw that spill over in a negative way in Nevada, but mostly we've seen it in a possible with these huge crowds in turning out some of these states.
BORGER: You know, it's not that easy to pick up and say OK good bye, I lost. I mean, we'd talked about this David in the past. When you're in a campaign and you fought your heart out and you're this close and you think you deserve it and you think it's not over until it's over, it's not just -- it's not easy for Bernie Sanders to just ...
JONES: It's more than just that. I think that -- I don't think that the Bernie Sanders movement is well understood. Frankly not by Hillary and sometimes not even by Bernie.
This is a real movement in that, first of all when it comes to Hillary Clinton it's not just they don't believe her, I think she's not honest. They don't believe in her. They don't believe in her ability to beat Donald Trump. And so there's a way that they feel like they are trying to save the party from itself in a way. I think they don't get credit for that.
CUPP: I think you're right. I think you're absolutely right, but let me just ask you is it a movement without anywhere to go? Because that's when it gets dangerous, that's when it gets dangerous and a leader understands and Bernie might have some soul searching to do that if he actually cannot become president, he has a responsibility to guide these millions of people who are with him to the right place. And I think he -- as you pointed out and as you pointed out, he has missed opportunities to ride that fine line between understanding someone's anger and stoking it. And I could see this going in a dangerous place if he doesn't really internalize what is happening here.
JONES: I agree. I think that Bernie Sanders -- I said early on that he's now is a character moment for Bernie Sanders. He's got to figure out how he's true to his ideas fully which means not just in the short term but also in the long term. But here's the deal, I think that both Hillary and Bernie misunderstand this movement. I think Hillary does sees it as a bunch of rowdy kids that at some point will just calm down and fall into line. This is not 2008 and it's not that kind of party. I think Bernie actually sees only the good in his followers. I think Bernie really misunderstands there is a nasty edge to this following that I think he is not taking seriously enough.
COOPER: Sorry, let's take a quick break and I want to hear from Jeffrey and the rest. We're going to take a short break, we continue to watch the numbers as they come in incredibly close base 99 percent of the vote coming in Kentucky. Hillary Clinton has a lead of 4,294 votes, we'll be right back.
[21:34:14] BLITZER: And look at how close today's, let's get a Key Race Alert in Kentucky right now, the Democratic presidential primary, 99 percent of the vote has been counted. Hillary Clinton has a lead of 4,294 votes. She's got 209,870 votes, Bernie Sanders to a 5,000 not just change Hillary Clinton's lead is 1,781, once again, 99 percent of the voters in.
She's at 46.7 percent, Bernie Sanders, 46.3 percent extremely close. Right now, I want to go over to David Chalian, over here, our political director, David, one county in Kentucky right now went from having counted votes to going gray. Explain what that means.
CHALIAN: And that back to our seeing vote because it just got fix Pike County all the way in the eastern part of Kentucky which is a Sanders county is winning at 54 percent to 26 percent right now with 100 percent of the precincts reporting.
[21:35:11] Moments ago Wolf, our viewers may have seen the margin for Hillary Clinton jumped much larger and then it shrank again.
And so now that Pike County is back in this margin that you're seeing of 1,700 votes, is where the race is right now. Our viewers may have seen it jump to something like 4,200 for Hillary Clinton but that's because this Pike County we lost all the votes there. They were zeroed out due top something from the secretary states office in Kentucky. Now the votes are back in and her margin of 1,700 or so votes is back stand. BASH: Is back. And, you know, I mean, this is fixed. It was a blimp, we don't know what happened if there was computer issue or not. But, you know, I'm the one who brings you the kind of the personal of drama and back story here.
I mentioned that I was down covering Mitch McConnell's reelection campaign which is really tough he was running against the current secretary of state, Alison Grimes who, you know, she's doing her job and she's, you know, keeping it straight, but she does happen to be somebody who is from a family that has been very close to the Clintons for very a long time and she said many times on the stump that she's known Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton since she was a little girl. So it's interesting that she is presiding over this particular primary right now.
BLITZER: Then so far, that's pretty smooth, what's been going on and I'll tell you two and a half hours, 99 percent of the voters has been counted that's pretty good so far. Let's see how that holds up. I want to go to Jeff Zeleny. He's watching what's going on. You're getting some new information about Hillary Clinton's finances. What are you learning?
ZELENY: We are indeed, Wolf. The Clinton campaign released just a short time ago their financial disclosure of information and what they're trying to do here is make the argument that Donald Trump is not releasing his taxes. Donald of course released his financial disclosure report earlier. So they followed soon.
We're getting a little bit new information in there, mainly in the area of paid speeches. In 2015, the year 2015 both Bill and Hillary Clinton gave 28 paid speeches to the tune of $6.7 million. We knew most of those paid speeches, but there are seven new speeches that Bill Clinton gave and he made $1.7 million out of those paid speeches. Now he gave 22 paid speeches in 2015 and she gave six paid speeches. All of her is had already been disposed last year.
Just a glimpse into the Clintons' finances here. They again politically speaking the reason they're doing this is, you know, to show that Donald Trump is not doing anything extraordinary by releasing his financial disclosure earlier. In fact, they're calling on him to release his taxes returns as well. And the follow up on some of Dana just said about Alison Grimes, the Secretary of State in Kentucky she is in fact is been campaigning with Hillary Clinton.
We have seen her out on the campaign trail. It's one of her biggest surrogates there. Then Wolf, it is something that feeds into some of the Sanders campaign suspicion here that the establishment is behind her. Now there are no suggestions of any wrongdoing at all from the secretary of state's office but that's why the Sanders people are so part of suspicious here to the establishment of course is with Hillary Clinton.
BLITZER: All right, so very, very close in the Kentucky right now she's ahead by 1,781 votes. Let's take a quick break, we'll resume our coverage right after this.
[21:42:41] BLITZER: Welcome back, let's get another get another Key Race Alert, look at how close to this in Kentucky 99 percent of the vote is in -- Hillary Clinton has a very, very slightly 1,813 votes, she's ahead of Bernie Sanders, 46.7 percent for her and 46.3 percent for Bernie Sanders. Still votes outstanding. She has a very slightly, they have more than 420,000 votes have been counted. She's ahead by 1,813 votes. That's Kentucky, the Democratic presidential primary.
We're also counting down to the close of polls in Oregon tonight but we're only about an hour and 16 minutes away from the polls closing in Oregon. And what in Oregon, there are 61 Democratic delegates at stake and will get ready to see what's happening in Oregon once the polls close there. We'll see if we can make a projection to those numbers should be coming in relatively quickly.
We're also standing by then here, from Bernie Sanders himself. He's getting ready to address a big rally out in California right now. That contest June 7th, the biggest prize in all the Democratic contests, you're looking at it live pictures or -- a thousands of people have gathered there to hear Senator Sanders.
Earlier Donald Trump gave an exclusive interview to the writer's news agency and he said something very significant.
He said if he were a president he would not hesitate to meet with the North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un. "I would speak to him." He said, "I would have no problem speaking to him." That's Donald Trump saying, he said he would speak directly to Kim Jong-Un the leader of North Korea and I spoke with Senator Jeff Sessions who is a strong supporter of Donald Trump, he's a key National Security Adviser to Donald Trump about that assertion from Trump. Listen to what sessions said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, (R) TRUMP SUPPORTER: He just have to be very careful about that if he means actually just opening up a possibility of a discussion to see if it's fruitful that's one thing, but I believe there's nobody run for president in years who understands how to negotiate more effectively than Donald Trump and I do believe he will not be disadvantaged by Kim Jong-Un or anybody in North Korea. I think it's unlikely that a good result would come out of it but to attempt something like that may be worth the effort.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Meaning that Kim Jong-Un and not Kim Jong-Il his father -- Anderson, that's a very strong statement though from Donald Trump opening up a whole new level of discussion.
[21:45:09] COOPER: It would be and it would be disadvantage to talk to Kim Jung-Il because he's dead. It would be a top discussion to have. But I mean does it matter? I mean David Axelrod, does I mean to Trump Supporters they say look, this is a guy who knows how to negotiate and he's willing to think outside the box. AXELROD: Well that's what Jeffrey said, I don't know how the average voter will react to it. You know, there was this debate back eight years ago. It's interesting, you know, President Obama said he would meet with hostile leaders but it took years to get to the point where there was a sense that would be productive.
COOPER: It's interesting though. Take us back to that debate where then Senator Obama talked about that and so I think Mitt Romney winners are, I can't remember what said to mapping the Democrat ...
AXELROD: Yeah. It was people who were named
COOPER: Right. And in Hillary Clinton went after him in that debate and a lot of people from the foreign policy establishment did and if I didn't -- if I remember the back story on it. Is that some of then Senator Obama's advisers said we're talking about maybe walking us back and that Obama said very clearly
AXELROD: Indeed. And he said we're not going to walk it back but it's also true that he wants -- he was president he pursued these things in a very methodical way so if there were contacts that they would be productive contacts. And this seemed like a casual statement on the part of Donald Trump. And again it goes back to the point of the making all night long. I think what discomforts people is the notion that you throw things out without thinking about it which if you're president of the United States can have really, really profoundly negative results.
BORGER: Yeah. I think Obama -- candidate Obama was talking about a policy of constructive engagements that was thought out that he could apply to X, Y and Z. I mean we've heard Donald Trump talk engaging with Putin, we've heard him now talk about it engaging with Kim Jong- Un and I think the question has to be how, under what circumstances and to what end and do you believe that you will succeed where everybody else has failed in terms of the nuclear weapons issue and as president do you want to put yourself in a situation where you do fail? And it goes back to David's point.
AXELROD: And S.E. pointed out he's already said he thought maybe we ought we are allow South Korea and Japan to ...
BORGER: Get nuclear weapons.
AXELROD: And which it does seem like
LORD: If you deal -- he is a big believer in Ronald Reagan's peace through strength and we're talking about something that's thought out versus something that's not thought out. Let me read to you these couple of sentences here from Bill Clinton's agreed framework in 1994. "North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. South Korea and our other allies will be better protected the entire world will be safer as we slow this better nuclear weapons." That was the thought out version in 1994. None of it came to pass.
AXELROD: So let's try the unthought as well.
LORD: No, no, no. So what I'm suggesting is let's try the peace through strength. The larger world view here is that the Democratic Party beginning with the Vietnam era moved left. It abandoned Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt and moved to policies of the essence of George the Government Barack Obama, how of you wish to describe it. And what Donald Trump is saying in Reagan as fashion is peace through strength, you negotiate with strength in that's where you ...
CUPP: So what your saying?
BORGER: To talk to them.
CUPP: No, this is, there's two questions here. There's the how and why. Donald Trump loves to talk about the how he would talk, right. He would negotiate, you know, he would bring all of his negotiating argument, President Obama also like to talk about the how. He talks about leading clinch fist with open hand. The difference is President Obama also talked about the what, the what that he wanted to get.
Conservatives like me maybe disagreed with the what, but Donald Trump never feels in the what. What would he negotiate with Kim Jong-Un over? What would he negotiate with Vladimir Putin over? What does he want? What does he stand for, what does he think that we can get from them? It's all about the how. And the how is very convincing but the what is important.
COOPER: I mean I guess some critics of Trump would say you defend Trump's position more coherently than he perhaps defends his position and I'm wondering does that concern you at all that you're able to kind of ...
CUPP: Fill in the blanks.
AXELROD: Even though in struggle early persuade the person.
COOPER: No, but I mean, you know, he's saying a simple sentence. Declare a sentence ...
COOPER: I thought you sort of filling in and putting historical precedents on it. Do you want -- is that now concern?
LORD: It doesn't and I tell why it doesn't concern because I've heard this before with Ronald Reagan. Will in his first term as president, his critics were saying he has no idea what he's talking about here, he doesn't know what throw weight means. He doesn't know this having the other things about nuclear strategy. This went on four years winning as president. So I've seen this before and the answer then and the answer now is you have your basic message and your basic principle, and then you surround yourself ...
[21:50:08] BEGALA: He has no basic principle. Ronald Reagan and you serve in that. I voted against him every chance I got. He knew what the hell he stood for. He believe.
BEGALA: Communism was evil, he opposed it everywhere OK. I still don't know what Donald Trump stands for. He has get this just in the course of this campaign said nice things about Kim Jong-Un and Vladimir Putin and awful things about the Prime Minister of Great Britain, the president of Mexico what country Mexico. So we have close allies that he seems to be bent on alienating then we have these enemies and ...
LORD: Prime Minister of Great Britain went out of his way to insult him first.
BEGALA: The Prime Minister said his policy was -- he did say stupid for insulting.
BEGALA: That's -- that's ...
LORD: You know when the American Revolution, we learned that we don't have a great high power.
BEGALA: If that's not principle. In other words, if he had a principle, fixed principle, and I guess it is anybody who attacks me, I'm going to smack them back harder.
LORD: You know his isn't principle.
SMERCONISH: I think we're making kind of fun. Way too much out of this. I just in the time we've been discussing it read the Reuters interview, and its two lines in it, they're significant no doubt about it. His saying he would have a conversation it's reminiscent, I'm want to support you on this one, Jeff -- to me it's reminiscent of Cuba. I mean the embargo succeeded in one thing and that is perpetuating the rule of the Castro brothers. Whatever we're doing with regard to North Korea is not working. Isolation is not working. And so to have a conversation, I don't find so important.
JONES: I felt actually not too dissimilar in that, I don't think that him saying he wants to have a conversation is a bad thing.
CUPP: Yes that's not the bad thing.
JONES: Exactly that's actually not the bad thing. I think for me the problem is, first of all, there is a distinction between the kinds of countries that Obama was talking about -- when he wither would non- nuclear rogue states in some -- by some measure, but non-nuclear toward not at that moment of appearing to attack our allies a nuclear weapons.
My problem is if Donald Trump wants to make these kind of statements, he should actually roll them out in a major way. This is a major, major problem that we are right now with a actual rogue state with real nuclear weapons that is preparing right now to put them on rockets. If you are running for President of the United States and you want to say something about that, you shouldn't just roll it out in to sense. And my problem is the how -- I don't know what he wants to get done. I don't know why he's rolling this out ...
SMERCONISH: I think that's a fair ...
COOPER: In this Reuters article, is it the reporter who brought up the idea of talking to Kim Jon-Un? Did he suggested and then Donald Trump went with it or did Donald Trump bring it up?
SMERCONISH: He was asked spontaneous, and Trump replied in kind I would speak to him. I would have no problem speaking to him.
COOPER: So he was asked -- so because its interesting, because again to me, it similar to Chris Matthew's interview, where if Donald Trump is asked something that he perhaps has not thought a lot about, and I'm not saying this disrespectfully, but this had not thought about in the Chris Matthews' interview, it was should women who had an abortion ...
CUPP: Be punished.
COOPER: ... been punished. If he'd been given more options by Chris Matthews he probably would have picked the one that was least offensive to be because he had that instinct but because Matthew just suggested this one thing, I'm just wondering ...
SMERCONISH: It gets him in trouble time and again. It's also his virtue, I mean think how many nights we've sat at this table and it's been an election night and all the sudden we shift in Mar-a-Lago and he takes questions from the media after he disparages the media, but that openness and that willingness to address everything. You know how many won't answer the questions.
AXELROD: That is true, but I think one of the big questions moving forward as he gets into this next phase is whether the things that work for him as a primary candidate will work for him in the general election with a different electorate when the next step is you become President of the United States. I think that -- the things that have made him so appealing that willingness to say whatever comes into his head at whatever time and to take any punch that he wants to throw may be a little scary to people.
(CROSSTALK) COOPER: We got to take another quick break, with that more ahead tonight very close result in Kentucky. More evidence the Democrats divisions right now. We'll talk with DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz about that and concerns about what may happen in Philadelphia. That's ahead.
[21:58:37] BLITZER: Kentucky is known for neck-and-neck races but tonight's Democratic primary rivals any Derby Day. I'm Wolf Blitzer in the CNN Election Center. We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders they went back and forth all night, sometimes hundreds of votes apart, sometimes dozens. Let's get a Key Race Alert right now. 99 percent of the vote is in. Hillary Clinton has a very slight of 1,813 votes. 1,813 votes out of more than 420,000 votes that have been counted. 46.7 percent for Hillary Clinton, 46.3 percent for Bernie Sanders.
We're also coming down right now to another state contest. Both parties are holding primaries in Oregon. Polls close there in just an hour. Sander -- Bernie Sanders has been hoping to delay Hillary Clinton's march through the nomination while on the Republican side, the presumptive nominee Donald Trump is looking to reach that magic number of delegates ahead of the GOP convention.
Tonight, there's also concern among Democrats that disturbances that the past weekend's Nevada Sate Democratic Convention could be repeated at the National Convention in July.
Let's go to CNN Manu Raju. His got the latest on this very worrisome development. Manu, what are you learning?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right Wolf. what we're hearing from Democratic senators, Democratic leaders is that what we saw in Nevada over the weekend, and with Bernie Sanders supporters where we felt they were disenfranchised from the process and led to angry protests and outbursts.