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Trump and Clinton Campaign in the Golden State; Hillary Clinton's E-Mail Controversy Sparks New Crossfire; Speaker Ryan Still Not Ready to Endorse Trump. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired May 25, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Stay tuned to CNN for all of it. In the meantime, that does it for us. Thanks for watching. CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon starts now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: California dreaming but Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton take the gloves off in the Golden State.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
To get to the White House you have to go through California and both candidates are campaigning there today. Trump telling supporters that he has a great relationship with Latino voters and warning of a Clinton victory in November.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If she wins -- and I hope she doesn't -- but if she wins you better get used to it because you'll have nothing but turmoil and you'll have nothing but four more years of Obama and you can't take that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Clinton slamming Trump for his plan to build a wall on the Mexican border and to throw undocumented immigrants out of the U.S.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Pay attention to what Donald Trump says because he's telling you what he wants to do. He does want to have a deportation force to round up 11 million people to deport them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: It seems to get worse every day, that's because it does. Let's begin with CNN's Jim Acosta who is covering Trump's campaign for us this evening.
Hello, Jim. How did Trump respond to that State Department Inspector General report about Secretary Clinton's use of a private e-mail server? JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, as
expected he went right on offense and according to Trump campaign sources I've talked to, this is what they're hoping to bring up throughout the course of this general election campaign, that every time, you know, Hillary Clinton has a scandal it reminds the American people that this is what went on during the '90s when her husband was president, that it's always something with the Clintons.
And you heard Donald Trump going in that direction in an event in Anaheim here just outside of Los Angeles earlier this evening. Here's what Donald Trump had to say earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Crooked Hillary. She's as crooked as they come. She had a little bad news today, as you know, from some reports came down weren't so good. But not so good.
The inspector general's report not good. But I want to run against Hillary. Not the -- I just want to run against her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Now we should point out Hillary Clinton has also been talking about Donald Trump's activities during the housing crisis and his comments that he liked to go in and buy real estate on the cheap and make a lot of money.
Don, I'm told by a Trump campaign source earlier this evening that if Hillary Clinton continues to go down that road they're going to bring up the Whitewater affair from the 1990s. And so, yes, we're going back to the 1990s on multiple fronts, Don.
The other thing we should point out, there is some news on the Trump campaign front tonight that they let go of a senior staffer, Rick Wiley, who used to work for Scott Walker's campaign had been with the Trump campaign for the six weeks.
The Trump campaign put out a statement saying that he has left the campaign, but I'm told by sources that this was not a voluntary departure. There were grumblings inside the campaign that he was just not getting the job done and that Donald Trump was fielding calls himself of complaints about this particular staffer.
The other thing we should mention, Donald Trump and Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, are scheduled to have a phone conversation tonight to talk about a whole other matter and that is whether or not the speaker will eventually endorse Donald Trump.
And I'm told by Trump sources that they are going to give the speaker as much time as he needs.
LEMON: Let's get back to, you know, that housing, the housing crisis thing because Donald Trump really went after Elizabeth Warren, though, who has been taking him on, Jim. ACOSTA: That's right. He did. And Elizabeth Warren, she savaged
Donald Trump last night at an event where she said that he was small and money grubbing essentially because the way he behave during the housing crisis.
Well, he has been sort on a rampage going after Elizabeth Warren in recent weeks. Poking fun at comments that she's made in the past claiming that she's made of Native American heritage. Donald Trump went right back at that earlier today here in Anaheim. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And I was being hit by everybody. I was being hit by the republicans, I was being hit by Pocahontas. That's Pocahontas. Pocahontas, that's this Elizabeth Warren. I call her goofy. She is -- no, no, goofy. She gets less done tan anybody done in the United States Senate, she gets nothing done, nothing passed, she has a big mouth and that's about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: And now, I'm not sure Donald Trump will admit this, Don, but Elizabeth Warren has managed to do something pretty amazing. You know, we saw Donald Trump go through 16 different republican candidates. There weren't many of them that got under his skin but Elizabeth Warren seems to have gotten under Donald Trump's skin and she seems to enjoy this fight.
She has been tweeting relentlessly going after Donald Trump and almost the same style that he uses.
[22:05:04] And earlier today, she tweeted that he was unqualified to be president of the United States. So, this back and forth is going to go on for quite some time. And I think it's going to raise speculation as to whether or not Elizabeth Warren might be the ticket when it comes to Hillary Clinton's running mate because she has been a very useful attack dog as vice presidential running mates usually are.
LEMON: Yes. And she has nothing to lose right now.
ACOSTA: No, she's not.
LEMON: Advice from my mother, don't mess with someone who has less to lose than you do. And so, that's why she is enjoying this. Thank you, I appreciate that.
ACOSTA: Good advice.
LEMON: Jim Acosta. CNN's Jeff Zeleny is also in California tonight. Jeff, as I understand you have some reporting on Elizabeth Warren that Trump viewed. What's the latest?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, there's no question the Clinton campaign is loving every minute of this. Every tweet that Elizabeth Warren sends out. Everything that she says about Donald Trump.
Their messages are somewhat in coordination here but it really represents a warming of something of a freeze between Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren.
Elizabeth Warren is one of four U.S. Senators, only four, who has not endorsed anyone in this race. She still hasn't endorsed either side but by going after Donald Trump so aggressively the Clinton campaign finally believes that she's coming to their side and they believe she could play a pivotal role here in bridging this divide between Bernie Sanders supporters, progressives and the Clinton campaign.
So, you know, the establishment of the Democratic Party here. So, they are liking everything what they said. Now a little bit of a reality on whole running mate thing. A, no one inside her campaign has any idea what Hillary Clinton directly is thinking about this.
Sure she will be considered I'm told because she's a very prominent, popular democrat who's a good communicator and has a big following. There's some drawbacks, though, here as well.
Politically speaking, first of all, from Massachusetts, the governor is a republican if she was on the ticket her replacement in the Senate would be a republican, that would affect the balance of power among other things that they have different styles on what-not, but probably too early to say that she's on the short list for sure but they're sure enjoying everything she has to say, Don.
LEMON: I'm sure they are. Let's get back to the business of this I.G. report today. Did the secretary address the report that raised many of the questions about her e-mail server?
ZELENY: She did not directly address this. She was campaigning here in California at a couple stops. Reporters tried to ask her all afternoon. She did not answer any of those questions.
Her campaign spokesman is saying and her aides are saying look, she's complied with everything, there's nothing new here, there's nothing to see here, you know, all this is old information.
But the reality is, Don, it's not. She has said repeatedly for the last year or so that she is just following -- you know, the president of other Secretaries of State. Well, you know, this report was quite scathing in terms of saying she did not ask permission to have a private server.
If she had she would have been told no. She did not agree to talk to anyone in the inspector general's office at the State Department. So, here you have President Obama's State Department today is saying that Hillary Clinton was not doing all this on the up and up.
That's a problem for her because of trust. The one thing the Clinton campaign is trying to work through, the one thing that they're trying to sort of bridge among undecided independent moderate voters, what have you, is trust. She has a trust deficit and this only deepens that, Don.
LEMON: CNN's Jeff Zeleny in Los Angeles for us. Thank you, Jeff. I appreciate that.
I want to bring in now Dennis Prager, nationally syndicated talk show host, and CNN political commentator, Bob Beckel. Unleash the -- can I say talking heads. I don't know, I guess I can. Good evening to both of you.
Dennis, this is what about that State Department Inspector General report said today about Secretary Clinton used of a private e-mail. It says, "At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all e- mails dealing with department business before leaving government service. And because she did not do so she did not comply with the department's policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act."
So, right now this rule, this rule breaking it's not criminal behavior but do you expect to see this go further?
DENNIS PRAGER, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED TALK SHOW HOST: In terms of an indictment, only God knows and perhaps the head of the FBI or the Department of Justice specifically. But in terms of politically, it has to go on.
It's unfortunately, look, if I may take the big picture for one moment here, we don't have two wonderful candidates. I say this with terrible sadness as an American who loves his country. And the characters of both are very flawed.
The one great difference is that she truly has put her own fortunes above that of her country. You can't say that about Trump. He has just put his fortunes as primary in his life.
[22:10:01] But she, as Secretary of State, and before and after, has put the country second to her fortunes. And if that is not a political issue then I don't know what is.
LEMON: Bob, what do you think?
BOB BECKEL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I don't agree with like Dennis on that. I don't think she put her country second in anything. But here's the problem.
The big issue for her will be what the FBI decides, obviously, and we don't know that yet. But the Inspector General's report, the problem is as your reporter said, the trust factor for Hillary Clinton has been looming over her from the very beginning.
It's one of the reasons her unfavorables are as high as they are and that is because of a collection of issues that happened in the '90s and in 2000 that have overturned stuck. I mean, I don't think people care about e-mail servers and they are not going to vote because of the e-mail server.
It's the cumulative part of this. So right now she needs to get this behind her, as soon as she sits down with the FBI the better as far as I'm concerned.
And as for Donald Trump, Donald Trump's got plenty of things he's got to answer for that haven't been put before him yet, and when they are then we'll see whether he'll answer.
LEMON: Let's talk to the issue of trust hat Dennis is talking about. So, the issue of trust and transparency, right? I think they go hand in hand. Because, Bob, according to the report, Clinton and several of her staff members declined to be interviewed.
Why would she decline? Is that to limit liability and just talk to the FBI because she would have to talk to them? She doesn't have to talk to the I.G.?
BECKEL: I can't answer that for you. I would assume that there were two parallel investigations going on and she didn't want to say one thing in one and then at least on the edge of another. I think she wanted to let the FBI go forward.
She's talked to the Inspector General's Office and filed an answer to a series of questions in writing. But look, it is still not an issue that is going to knock her out of this race unless she gets indicted.
As I said before even if she is indicted she could beat Donald Trump. Trump is at the best of times right now. The only good time he'll have after this is when he accepts his party's nomination. Because he has not been hit hard.
Look what happened with Elizabeth Warren. It goes after him, he can't stand it. He's got such a thin skin, which is amazing to me that he blew up the way he did and he can't seem to control that.
Well, people said, well, look he got beat up by all those people on the republican stage in the debates. That's wrong. They all sort of agreed on where they were in the issues of personality question.
LEMON: You shouldn't be surprised.
BECKEL: It's a substance issue.
LEMON: Do you think Donald Trump is a bully, Bob?
BECKEL: Do I think? Well, absolutely. One of the worst I've ever seen.
LEMON: Yes. Well, I'm all -- if you -- listen, I'm not saying that he isn't but anyone if he believes he's a bully, bullies are typically thin skinned.
BECKEL: Yes. That's correct.
LEMON: All right. So, Dennis, the two go...
PRAGER: Don, if I may. LEMON: Yes, go ahead.
PRAGER: May I ask Bob a question? Are we -- I don't know if this is allowed.
LEMON: It's allowed but you only have about 20 seconds to do it and answer it.
PRAGER: Well, I like Bob. All right, so maybe he'll answer afterwards then. Does Bob, whom I really do like, and I want him on my show for his fine autobiography, by the way. I'm just letting him know that, letting the listeners know.
LEMON: That's 10 seconds but go ahead.
PRAGER: But Bob, I want to know, do you really believe she did not put herself above her country with her own server while she was Secretary of State?
LEMON: OK. Bob, don't answer that. That's a perfect tease. Thank you, Dennis. Don't answer. We'll answer that after the break, don't go anywhere.
PRAGER: That's all right.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Back with me now Dennis Prager and Bob Beckel. Dennis was asking Bob before the break, did he really believe that Senator or Secretary Clinton didn't put herself before her country.
Go ahead, Bob.
BECKEL: Well, the answer to that is no. Unless somebody can show me a specific leak of an e-mail or specific e-mail that caused national security damage to the United States, I don't think that you could say that she put her country -- because she put this in her house. I mean, and it was a smart move? No. Has it come back to haunt her. yes.
PRAGER: Why did she do it, Bob? Bob, why did she do it?
BECKEL: I have assumed and I'll take her at her word, it was easier for her to deal with it at one place than deal with scattered places, I don't know.
LEMON: There was -- there was a note in -- there was in the Inspector General's report there is a message saying that once when the server went down that she didn't want to send e-mails because she didn't want personal e-mails getting out so that has nothing do with it being simpler, Bob. BECKEL: No, but I wonder what personal e-mails have to do with
PRAGER: Bob, I'm disappointed. I love you, as you know. I admit the character flaws of my candidate. I'm stuck with him, why don't you admit, she's awful, she has put her country second to her own ambitions, she earned $21 million in speeches.
Why? Because she's a great speaker? She's one of the most boring speakers in American history. She got $21 million in speeches because she's corrupt.
BECKEL: Well, I don't -- hey, wait a minute. Wait, wait, wait a minute, Don.
LEMON: She is one of the most experienced politicians out there, though, being the first lady, a senator, also the Secretary of State, but go on, Bob.
BECKEL: You know, I don't think it's unusual for people to get those kind of speaking fees, if I remember Ronald Reagan got $2 million to speak to the Japanese. But the point here is do I think she's the ideal candidate? No. Do I think in this climate she is? No. Because there is a...
PRAGER: Do you think she's honest?
BECKEL: Do I -- yes, I do. As a matter of fact I do think she's honest. I think that she's been beat up so much over so many years she becomes across as defensive. And yet, all the things she's been through, whether it's Benghazi or Whitewater, nobody has even been able to lay a finger on her or saying that...
PRAGER: Lay a finger -- what?
LEMON: OK. We're going to discuss this throughout the show. Hang on, hang on, we'll do it another time. Dennis, thank you. We have -- we have five...
PRAGER: What she said to the parents of the murdered people.
LEMON: We have more than five months to deal with this. But I want to talk -- let's go on. I want to talk more about the campaign. I want to talk about Donald Trump as sources are telling CNN that Trump and Paul Ryan are going to speak on the phone tonight. How do you think that's going to go, Dennis?
PRAGER: Oh, it's hard for me to imagine that over the course of time that Paul Ryan will not ultimately endorse him because he is facing the exact same issue as I am as a conservative republican, which I proudly announce myself to be, and that is that the only alternative to Donald Trump is four more years of the left running the country.
And that is such a nightmare to those of us who believe the left have ruined our universities, ruined our economy, ruined our military.
LEMON: Why isn't he done it already?
PRAGER: Why is it...
LEMON: Why hasn't he done it already? Yes.
PRAGER: Because he would like -- he would like -- it seems to me that he would like Trump to move in his direction.
[22:20:03] And I think it is an honorable thing for him to take his time, not immediately jump on the bandwagon. I think Ryan has comported himself with great dignity.
LEMON: Why do you think he hasn't endorsed him already, Bob Beckel?
BECKEL: Well, I think I'm going to take him pretty much at his word. I know the guy very well and he's a very straight shooter and believes in the conservative agenda and many other things, not just a few, but many things Trump has said run counter to what Paul Ryan believes.
In the end will Paul Ryan endorse him? Yes. Will it matter all that much? I don't think so. What Paul Ryan has got to do is protect his majority in the House which he's worried about as they are in the Senate.
You know, one of the things that's beginning to percolate up here is why has not Donald Trump released his income taxes? Every presidential candidate in history of our country since we had income tax has done that. And for some reason Donald Trump refuses to do it.
Now that's the kind of thing he doesn't get that attack every day. But Elizabeth Warren when the team hits the field and I'm in this there's going to be formidable people on it including Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren, to take on Donald Trump, he's going to start to answer some of these questions, he won't get away with calling somebody lazy or no energy and move on.
PRAGER: Actually, just a brief note. To the best of my knowledge it's only been 30 years, not since the invention of the income tax. It's only been 30 years. And frankly, I don't believe that any presidential or any other candidate should have to release their income tax forms.
It's not of my damn business as a citizen, I couldn't care less what they earn, how much charity they give. I would -- it would be a nice thing to know but it is not my business. There has to be some realm of privacy...
LEMON: What if they didn't pay, what if you found out that they weren't paying taxes, Dennis? Don't you think the American people...
PRAGER: If they weren't paying taxes that the IRS should indict them if they have been illegal. If they have legally not paid taxes I would like to know what American, what one American who pays more than he has to.
BECKEL: Well, I don't know, maybe...
LEMON: I could answer that but I won't.
BECKEL: Listen, you learn a lot about it. Has he offshore money. That's legal, but has he done it? Has he hired people to come in from overseas to build his buildings, yes. He's done that. Is it illegal? No, but it runs right in the face of the things he said. That's the problem.
LEMON: Dennis, before I let you go I want to ask you about this about Donald Trump attacking a New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez last night. Was that -- was that a smart move on his smart move on his part, why would he do that?
PRAGER: Because he filter between Donald Trump's mind and his mouth is not effective. That's why. I have no excuse to make. I think it was extremely stupid.
LEMON: Bob Beckel?
BECKEL: I would add to that stupid or that stupid. But you're right. I mean, why does he do that. This woman that was on the short list of people being considered for vice president early on in the process and he said one say has made that state more of a blue state than it should be. And that's the real question here.
He's got to start looking at delegate counts, I mean, the electoral college, New Mexico, we've won it before but not often. You take a -- your hand on and slap around a popular republican governor and you're not helping yourself.
LEMON: Thank you, gentlemen. Always interesting when you're on, especially together.
PRAGER: Thank you.
LEMON: Up next, will the State Department's report on Clinton's e- mails hurt her on the campaign trail? We'll discuss.
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: In the midst of a presidential election Hillary Clinton's e- mail controversy not going away even though she has tried to put it behind her several times. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: My personal e-mail use was fully above board. It was allowed by the State Department as they have confirmed.
The truth is everything I did was permitted and I went above and beyond what anybody could have expected in making sure that if the State Department didn't capture something, I made a real effort to get it to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, I want to talk about this sound with Jeffrey Toobin, CNN's senior legal analyst, Mr. Carl Bernstein, he's the author of "A Woman in Charge, the Life of Hillary Rrodham Clinton;" and Lanny Davis, former White House special counsel to President Clinton.
I'm so excited to have all of you on. Carl Bernstein, you first. The Inspector General found that Secretary Clinton violated federal rules in setting up a private server at her home. What did she do wrong and why is this such a big deal now?
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Because it's rather indefensible. There is really no defense for what she did, it was reckless, it was irresponsible, it may have endangered the national security and she wasn't truthful about it.
That said, it's part of an accumulating problem she has of distrust, the so-called liar factor that's been talked about all day on CNN and the other networks. And at the same time she's up against a candidate Donald Trump, who can outlie her almost anybody else about 7 to 1 if we subject him to real tests of truth.
So, we have a pretty undesirable situation going on with these two candidates right now.
LEMON: Yes. So, all of you know Brian Fallon, who is her campaign press secretary. He spoke with Wolf Blitzer just a short time ago about it. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: If she didn't get approval from anyone at the State Department, doesn't that mean she broke the rules?
BRIAN FALLON, CLINTON CAMPAIGN PRESS SECRETARY: No, Wolf. I think what the secretary has said is that the use of personal e-mail by officials at the State Department was allowed. And that was confirmed today by the report the rules that were just cited that disallowed personal use for work purposes was were enacted after she left.
At the time that she took office and for the duration of her tenure there, the use of personal e-mail for work purposes was not disallowed.
And in fact, as documented in great detail by the report, personal e- mail was utilized by 90 plus different top officials at the State Department that they looked at including two other Secretaries of State besides Hillary Clinton. So, the practice was widespread.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Lanny, I mean, that's not exactly what the report said. So, how do you square what is down to saying with the report?
[22:30:02] LANNY DAVIS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SPECIAL COUNSEL: Well, I don't know how you read the report, you can pick and choose the negatives and the positives. So, I chose the positives. I haven't read the report but I've read all the news reports.
Let me tell you a few of them.
LEMON: So, you cherry picked the material that was favorable to your candidate and that's what you're going to go with tonight on this program?
DAVIS: Just as all day on CNN and certainly, and with all due respect, Carl focused on the negative interpretation but I'll just deal with facts.
LEMON: Let's just deal with the truth, though.
DAVIS: And all that you guys...
LEMON: That is not what the report said and Fallon is contradicting what the report says.
DAVIS: All right. Fact number one is that this was a practice long done in the State Department.
LEMON: No one has had a server in their home except Secretary Clinton.
DAVIS: Including Secretary Powell. Not having a server, I'm going to get to that. But everybody mixed business and personal, means that State Department officials. Fact two is that 90 percent of her e-mails were addressed to state.gov e-mail addresses. She did nothing to hide. Everybody knew about it.
And fact three, is that the speculation about the server compromising anything, the Inspector General said there is no evidence that her server was compromised.
LEMON: OK, Lanny.
DAVIS: You have lots of evidence.
LEMON: I just want to -- one of your points where you said that she had nothing to hide. Because one of the point in the report it pointed out that she said she did not want to mix her personal with the -- she didn't want anyone to see her personal e-mails. DAVIS: Yes.
LEMON: So, she is in fact hiding something.
DAVIS: Well, the personal privacy of e-mails, there isn't a government official who has a personal private e-mail account that wants those personal e-mails seen by the public and that is a perfectly appropriate and understandable reason for her to have the private server.
But my last fact that was in the report that didn't get mentioned tonight is that the Inspector General said there's no evidence that her server was compromised. We already know the State Department server has been compromised and hacked by foreign governments.
DAVIS: So, this notion of any compromise to our national security is pure speculation.
LEMON: So, Jeffrey Toobin, I stole the money but I didn't get caught. I don't know if that's -- that's a direct analogy but is that an accuse? Because her server may have been more secure than the government server so therefore it's OK?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I don't think that's a fair analogy because it's important to point out there is nothing in this report that suggests criminal behavior by Hillary Clinton.
This is a political problem, it's not a legal problem, at least as far as this report goes but it's a real political problem. They set up this ridiculous system for her which was not in conformity with the rules of the State Department. That much is clear. She broke the rules of the State Department. That is not a criminal violation, that is not something that can get you indicted.
But the report could not be clearer that she did not follow the rules. That is a political problem. It compounds the political problem that these e-mails have presented for her for the whole time. But, you know, you need to keep in the perspective.
It is not a criminal offense and this does not really affect the much more important FBI investigation which presumably will come to a close in the next few months. That is where the real risk to her is.
LEMON: So, to be clear, as I said earlier, it was a bad analogy, sorry for that, but there appears to be as you said nothing illegal and nothing in this that you can see, Jeffrey, that which will lead at this point to an indictment?
TOOBIN: No. Remember, the whole issue of the indictment in the criminal investigation relates to the misuse potentially of classified information. Classified information is not what today's report is about. It's about the procedures in place at the State Department which she did not follow. But that is not a criminal offense, it is a violation of her own
department's policies which is certainly a problem but it is not something the criminal justice system gets involved in.
LEMON: Carl, the report says that two State Department staffers did raise concerns about the server and were told that it was approved and they shouldn't ask again. What are the implications of that?
BERNSTEIN: The implications of all of this are that Hillary Clinton did not want her e-mails subjected to the Freedom of Information Act or subpoenas from Congress. And that's why she set up a home brew server. I think we all know that. People around her will tell you that in private if you really get them behind a closed door.
I was in Washington this week, I spoke to a number of top democratic officials and they're terrified including people at the White House that her campaign is in free-fall because of this distrust factor, and indeed Trump has a similar problem. But she's the one whose numbers are going south.
And the great hope in the White House as well as the democratic leadership and people who support her is that she can just get to this convention, get the nomination which they're no longer 100 percent sure of and get President Obama out there to help her.
[22:35:01] She has a lot of credibility, it's the election it's partly about his legacy but she needs all the help she can get because right now her campaign is in huge trouble, but it's a long time against a candidate like Donald Trump who's got tremendous negatives and a really awful record in business in many regards that the democrats and Hillary Clinton are going to attack.
LEMON: So, Jeffrey, did she lie in her previous statements -- quickly before I go to a break here -- about the e-mail?
TOOBIN: I don't think lying is perhaps is the right term. She was not that this was a very confusing situation. She was not fully candid -- boy, I sound like a lawyer, don't I?
LEMON: Yes, you are. Because you are.
TOOBIN: I don't think it was a lie but it was not an ideal way to present what the story was. I think that was horrible.
LEMON: Lanny, do you think this is going to resonate?
DAVIS: First of all, she knows she did not lie and there is not a single fact that shows that any security was compromised. The trust issue is certainly a concern but it's not about e-mails, all the data in every poll shows that Bernie Sanders has it right, that voters in certainly the Democratic Party and in most polls don't care about the e-mail issue.
This is Groundhog Day on CNN and deja vu all over again. When we get after the convention and we're comparing Hillary Clinton's solutions to Donald Trump's dangerous recklessness, then we'll have something to talk about.
LEMON: Lanny, Carl, Jeffrey, I know you are but what am I? You're an attorney. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. I'll see you, guys, later.
DAVIS: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: Coming up, more on the possible fallout from the State Department's report. We'll be right back.
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Hillary Clinton's e-mail report sparks a new round of political cross fire. Republicans charge she can't be trusted. Democrats claim her use of personal e-mail is nothing new. So, who's right?
Let's discuss now. Tana Goertz is here, a senior advisor to Donald Trump and a former contestant on "The Apprentice," John Brabender, republican political consultant is here as well. Nina Turner is back from last night, the former Ohio State Senator and Bernie Sanders supporter; and Mo Elleithee, the head of Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and a former spokesman for the 2008 Hillary Clinton campaign.
Thank you for joining me this evening.
Mo, you first. I got to ask you for a response to this Inspector General report. Here is the finding, "No evidence that the secretary requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal e-mail account on her private server. What's your response to that?
MO ELLEITHEE, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF POLITICS & PUBLIC SERVICE EXEC. DIRECTOR: Yes. Look, and you know, the campaign went out there today pretty aggressively pushing back saying, you know, nothing to see here that, you know, she did nothing wrong and that it's really consistent with what she said.
And, you know, people are going to keep talking about it. I don't think that's the best thing. I don't think they want to keep talking about this. But at the end of the day, I'm not sure this is what the campaign is going to swing on one way or the other.
Voters actually are going to sit there and make a decision based on where she sent e-mail from or where she kept a server? This is going to be a negative campaign, a lot of stuff flying both ways, trust is going to be a big issue and campaigns are about choices. When they put this up against what they're going to see from Donald Trump on the issue of trust I think she'll going to end up OK.
LEMON: Nina, I've been wanting to ask you this since I saw this report today, is it time for Senator Sanders to talk about her damn e- mails now? NINA TURNER, FORMER OHIO STATE SENATOR: Well, Don the senator, you
know, he has not wanted to go down that road and even today in light of what the I.G. had to say, he still does not want to go down that road. He wants to continue to talk about the issues.
But, you know, the report is what it is. The I.G. was unbiased, you know, unbiased person in all of this just conducting the investigation and democrats are going to have to deal with that.
But I think I do agree with Mo in that ultimately it really is going to be up to the voter whether or not this matters to them and they will weigh in at the ballot box. But let us not forget if the secretary is the democratic nominee.
And we know that we're still calling Mr. Trump the presumptive but by all intents and purposes he is. Those two people have the highest unapproval ratings of any presidential candidates in the history of this country, so all of those things I think are going to weigh on the voter when all this said and done.
LEMON: Since Nina brought up Donald Trump, let's talk about Donald Trump, Tana, since you are the official person for him.
TANA GOERTZ, DONALD TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: Sure.
LEMON: He has his own legal issues. He is facing multiple lawsuits over Trump University. Can the Clinton team use his legal problems to shut down attacks against her?
GOERTZ: No, not at all. Trump University may be under -- it is under legal investigation but there's been numerous people who have gone through the courses and have said wonderful things about it.
So, Mrs. -- you know, Secretary Clinton she has got a whole another set of problems that have nothing to do with anything Mr. Trump's ever been involved in and that is dishonesty and fraud and things of that nature.
So, she needs to concentrate, I believe, on making sure that she take down Bernie Sanders so she can concentrate on clearing up or letting the American voters know what happened with his e-mail server.
LEMON: We played this earlier but I want to play it again, Donald Trump on the Clinton news at his rally in Anaheim today. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Crooked Hillary. She's as crooked as they come. She had a little bad news today as you know from some reports came down, weren't so good. But not so good. The Inspector General's report, not good. But I want to run against Hillary. Not the -- I just want to run against her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: He is -- I mean, he's chomping at the bit to run against Hillary Clinton. This is for you, John Brabender. Are democrats setting themselves up for losing campaign?
JOHN BRABENDER, REPUBLICAN POLITICAL CONSULTANT: Well, as a republican strategist I sure hope so.
But look, this was a really big deal today because the report said two things. One is that she was deceptive and number two, she was wrong. And so, now we're now going to move to debate from did Hillary Clinton do something wrong to what type of damage did she do to our national security?
[22:45:02] You know, I think the fact that her campaign now is trying to say oh, this is nothing, nothing was really here. If they sincerely believed this they should do random drug testing at the Hillary Clinton for president campaign because this is a big deal that people are going to start talking about and it goes right to the heart of why people don't like the Clintons often.
LEMON: Mo, how much is this play, I mean, is John Brabender right there?
ELLEITHEE: No. And, you know, what I was saying before I still I honestly believe that -- is this the kind of thing that voters who everyday all they want to know is who's looking out for me. Is anyone out there going to get my back? If -- and how many are going to look at this and the whole notion of e-mails and say, you know what, that's the evidence I'm looking for. She doesn't have much that.
LEMON: So, you're saying that...
ELLEITHEE: You compare that to Donald Trump.
LEMON: ... the thing that compared to the loudest people aren't the majority. because most of what we hear about, not only in just on the news. If you read social media, if you look at polls people talk about the e-mails. They talk about trust, they talk about unfavorability ratings, they're not necessarily talking as much about other issues as you are saying here.
ELLEITHEE: Well, don't get me wrong. I think, look, there is a trust issue that her campaign has to deal with. And, yes. I mean, these candidates have poll -- both candidates have poll numbers that I don't think they necessarily love.
But, what I'm saying is in an election that is a choice if when they were trying to figure out which candidate is going to wake up every day and look out for me and the best that the Trump people can throw out there is e-mails.
And what the Clinton people are throwing out about him is Trump U or his position on the housing crisis wanting to benefit off that. I think at the end of the day they're not going to look at the e-mail thing and say that's the most relevant piece of information.
TURNER: But this isn't a choice, Don. LEMON: OK. Hang on, guys. I got to get to a break. Everyone, I'll let
you all respond on the other side. Stay with me.
House Speaker Paul Ryan shots down rules he's ready to endorse Donald Trump. Is this a bump in the road or a sign of a bigger split in the Republican Party? We'll discuss that as well on the other side.
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LEMON: House Speaker Paul Ryan still has not endorsed Donald Trump.
Back with me to discuss, Tana Goertz, John Brabender, Nina Turner, and Mo Elleithee.
Before we get to the house speaker, I want to continue on. So, go ahead, John, you were talking issue. I think what Mo was saying was the American people may be tuning out to all this mudslinging.
BRABENDER: Well, but he was also saying this is going to be a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and I don't believe that's actually the case. I think this is more of a movement election where the choice, if you will, is between the status quo where people feel we're getting sand kicked in our face all over the world, Benghazi type decisions, where we turn our back on American patriots, gridlock, lies on Washington, or somebody who is just going to shake the heck out of everything.
And if that's what the election becomes a referendum on, not only does it favor Trump but these things about this report today really do matter.
LEMON: Nina turner.
TUNER: And, Don, that's exactly why we need Senator Bernie Sanders to go head to head with Mr. Trump.
LEMON: How did I know you were going say that?
TURNER: You knew I was to say that. But this is an anti-establishment election, you know, let's be clear on both the left and the right. People are really lifting their voices. And although the voters may -- they have a big decision to make -- and we should not -- democrats are going to have to make a decision.
We cannot just simply ignore what the I.G. have said just for a political expediency. What the I.G. said was an unbiased report. At the same time it is ultimately going to be up to the voters.
But Senator Bernie Sanders is the best candidate. And, Don, I told you last night it's going to drama, drama, drama if it's Secretary Clinton versus Mr. Trump it's going to be nothing but drama. But you put Senator Bernie Sanders in there and it is going to be primarily about the issues. It becomes a different debate.
LEMON: You may be forgetting Donald Trump is on the other side over there. But anyway... TURNER: I know, but still.
LEMON: I want -- let's move on. Tana, Donald Trump, your candidate. So, let's talk about House Speaker Paul Ryan shut down rumors that he is ready to endorse Donald Trump. I mean, is he just delaying the inevitable Trump endorsement or is he, do you think he's really struggling over what to do? Why? What is it going to take to sort of close this gap between the two men?
GOERTZ: I think it's just going to be another meeting and Mr. -- once Mr. Trump gets with Paul Ryan, I think it will happen. I think -- I mean, he has no choice, I would think, but to get behind the presumptive nominee. The man that will be the nominee. We know that's going to happen so I don't even like to say the presumptive word, but I will until he becomes it.
So, I think it's just a matter of time and I don't know what the holdup is but who am I to push them along? I know they are going to have a meeting and I'm very much excited to what the verdict is going to be on that, and nothing but support is what we're seeing here on the GOP side to rally behind.
LEMON: There was supposed to be a phone call tonight and I don't know if anyone has checked Twitter to see if Donald Trump has reported on that phone call, but do you anything about this phone call because it's late, I'm sure it's happened already.
GOERTZ: Well, I don't know, nor I haven't heard anything. Last I knew that he was at a really fancy fund-raiser raising lots of money.
LEMON: OK. Mo, let's talk about Paul Ryan. He tweeted out of video today saying that he sees too much bitterness in politics. Look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Leaders need to say here's my principle, here's my solution and let's try and do it in a way that is inclusive, that's optimistic, that is aspirational, that's focusing on solutions. And so, that's the choice you'll have far more than a personality.
Republicans has lost personality contests anymore. We always do. But we win ideas contest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Is that a shot across Donald Trump's bow? Is he saying Donald Trump isn't inclusive or principled.
ELLITHEE: Well, look, I think it was no accident that that video went out today. That video was shot at the millennial town hall he did at Georgetown last month. And what he was trying to do there was trying to appeal, broaden the base of the Republican Party by reaching out to a constituency that republicans have had a hard time doing.
[22:54:59] Part of his argument is that both sides have been to divisive, too bitter have used rhetoric that turns you a lot. Turns young people off. And we have to do better.
I do not think it was a mistake that that video went out today, the day after Donald Trump's pretty widely panned speech in New Mexico where he kind of resorted to the same all divisiveness that has -- that has swirled around his campaign in the beginning.
LEMON: Especially when it comes to...
ELLEITEE: I think he's having a point. Yes.
LEMON: ... Governor Martinez. I get your point there. But John, listen, Donald Trump has done pretty well winning with his personality kind of speeches, you know, that Mo just talked about.
George W. Bush was no slouch in the personality department. Is Ryan right to say that personalities don't win republican elections?
BRABENDER: Well, I'm not sure it's that personalities don't. I think he's wrong with that. But I do think he's trying to be sincere in saying let's be very careful with our rhetoric.
And it's not just on the republican side. We're seeing it on the democrat side as well, and so I do think it is actually good advice. But let's be honest. None of us believe it's going to happen. In fact, my theory is we should just to have them do a duel and save time and get these things over with.
LEMON: I read that. I read that you said they should just come down to a duel. That was interesting in your notes. Thank you. Thanks, everyone. I appreciate it.
Coming up in our next hour, from the Obama 'birther' issue to vaccines and autism to the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Donald Trump often indulges those who believe in conspiracy theories. Is he helping or hurting his campaign? We'll take a look.
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