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Trump Vs. Clinton; Romney Rips Trump; Trump Vs. Clinton On The Campaign Trail; A Clinton-Warren Ticket?; GOP's Trump Turmoil; Clinton Donor Got Top Spot On State Dept. Intel Board; Fact-Checking Trump; Will Mitt Romney Vote For Trump?; Thousands Pay Respects At Ali's Funeral; Ali's Funeral Gets Political. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired June 10, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:10] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The greatest. Thanks so much for watching. CNN with Don Lemon starts now.
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT ANCHOR: A fiery Donald Trump out on the campaign trail tonight as Hillary Clinton steps up her attacks.
This is" CNN Tonight". I am Don Lemon.
And it's on, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton blasting each other in dueling rallies in Washington today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Hillary Clinton or as I call her crooked Hillary Clinton, she's as crooked as they come.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: When Donald Trump says a distinguished judge born in Indiana can't do his job because of his Mexican heritage or mocks a reporter with disabilities or denigrates Muslims and immigrants, it goes against everything we stand for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Plus the interview everyone is talking about tonight. Mitt Romney tells our Wolf Blitzer this about Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY, FORMER GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: I've decided that a person of that nature should not be the one who, if you will, becomes the example for coming generations or the example of America to the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Let's get right to CNN's Sunlen Serfaty with the Trump campaign in Virginia and Joe Johns who is following the Clinton campaign for us this evening. He's in Washington.
Good evening to both of you. Sunlen, I'm going to start with you. Following another tough week for Donald Trump, we saw a more measured candidate earlier today speaking to evangelical leaders. Are we seeing vintage Trump tonight?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's hard to say yes, Don. He -- Don, Trump just took the stage in Richmond, Virginia. So, I think the jury is still out whether we will see this refreshed trademark Trump rhetoric. But he certainly he certainly now is are taken shots at Hillary Clinton, his familiar foe, and also, brought up the fact that President Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton this week.
But you're right, he really faced with so much pressure from the party whether it has release that seem made a concerted effort to tone down his rhetoric they say, doing things that are very unTrump like, like reading off of a TelePrompTer, or reading prepared remarks.
Really kind of going out of his way to tone down his rhetoric. This is his first big rally since we've seen this more scripted Trump. So we will be see as the night goes on here whether he deviates from that plan, Don.
LEMON: I just noticed, Sunlen, he is right over your left shoulder there. I didn't realize right in the light behind Sunlen's left shoulder he's there -- looks like he has drawn a very big crowd. Stand by Sunlen.
Joe, you know, Hillary Clinton gave her first speech today after receiving President Obama's endorsement. Now that she's the presumptive nominee, did she give any signs that she's going to pivot towards the middle?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: No. No visible indication that she's moving to the middle except for stuff in the schedule, Don. Hillary Clinton is going to Pennsylvania and Ohio next week. Those are some of the places where the center is very much alive.
And if she if she wants to rebuild that coalition that put Barack Obama in the White House, she's going to have to work to attract votes from working class independent minded voters, especially white voters, especially white men. Today though was all about the base that has been very reliable for her.
There were a lot of women leaders at this Planned Parenthood event. And Hillary Clinton gave a red meat speech telling them she has their backs, careful to talk about abortion rights, contraception, the Supreme Court. And then, she turned her attention to Donald Trump. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: When Donald Trump, says "let's make America great again", that is code for let's take America backward. Back to a time when opportunity and dignity were reserved for some, not all, back to the days when abortion was illegal. Women had far fewer options and life for too many women and girls was limited. Well Donald, those days are over. (END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: Don, this speech was a little bit symbolic because the Planned Parenthood Action Fund endorsed Hillary Clinton earlier. But it was closer to luck really than intention that she delivered this first speech before this group after going over the top in terms of delegate numbers.
LEMON: All right, Joe. So, here's what everybody is talking about when it comes to the secretary. She met with Elizabeth Warren today following Warren's endorsement in that speech last night. I know you spoke with voters today. Do they think that this is a potential ticket here?
JOHNS: Yeah. Unscientific poll, but I did talk to several voters before the media handlers spotted me and kicked me out. And look ...
LEMON: Of course they did.
JOHNS: Die in the wall Hillary Clinton supporters, a lot of women leaders in the area of reproductive rights and almost all of the people I spoke with. So, they thought the idea of Elizabeth Warren on the ticket is a great idea.
[21:05:02] Some of the people actually had had a chance to meet with Warren herself on Wednesday on Capitol Hill which was Lobbying Day on Capitol Hill for Planned Parenthood. And the main reason they said they thought Warren would be a good idea is because they said she could bring voters in that Bernie Sanders has already brought in the process.
LEMON: Well, why not two women? You know, it's been mostly two men forever except for that Geraldine Ferraro. So listen, someone who is not causing trouble where she is on the campaign show tonight. The stop Trump movement someone seems to be gaining some steam after Trump made those controversial comments about Judge Curiel. What's the latest there?
SERFATY: Yeah, that's right. These comments really breathed some new life in his life into this stop Trump, Never Trump Movement. The question is how much life is there really left out there. It is the contingent with the party that is trying to do anything they can to stop Trump, including some chatter about potentially staging an all out delegate revolt at the convention.
You know, I have to say that is such a far fetched idea, but it certainly does underscore how at this very late stage in the game how much still discontent and disapproval and concern there is about Donald Trump. And something that has been floating around for quite some time and still persists and really lingers and hangs over his campaign right now.
LEMON: Yeah. And brought and also concerns as well Joe about Hillary Clinton questions swirling over her ethics. Again, what concerns are being raised now? JOHNS: Well I think the biggest, latest concern you can call it embarrassing. You can call it controversy for the campaign. Reports that a donor who gave at least $1 million to the Clinton Foundation was selected to serve on a key State Department Intelligence Board in 2011. He actually received a security clearance while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and there are newly released e-mails that show this man was placed on the list of appointees by a top Clinton aide, but he withdrew his name two days later after an ABC news reporter started asking questions.
So, I think that's probably the headline. CNN also learned today that among the multiple classified e-mails found on Clinton's private server is a series of e-mails dealing with a CIA drone program having to do with potential drone strike in Pakistan.
LEMON: Very interesting. All right. Thank you. Thank you, Sunlen. Thank you, Joe. I appreciate it. Have a great weekend.
When we come right back, fact checking Donald Trump in his own words. Is the candidate contradicting to himself and will voters care? As we look at live pictures from Richmond, Virginia of Donald Trump speaking at a rally.
TRUMP: I have a great relationship with China, you know, they rent space from me. They buy apartments from me. I love China. But our leaders should be doing something about what they're doing to us. They're destroying us. Mexico, they're destroying us.
[21:11:35] LEMON: Donald Trump facing accusations that his remarks criticizing a federal judge are racist, but that's certainly not the only time his own words got in him into hot water.
Here to discuss, CNN Political Commentator Jeffrey Lord, a Trump supporter who joins us via Skype and David Brock, Founder of Correct the Record and Media Matters for America. He supports Hillary Clinton.
Good evening, gentlemen. Thanks for joining me on a Friday evening.
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hello, Don, my friend. How are you?
LEMON: Good to see you. David I'm going to start with you. Your organization correct the record analyzed 23 of the Washington Post fact-checks on Donald Trump. What did you find?
DAVID BROCK, FOUNDER, CORRECT THE RECORD AND MEDIA MATTERS OF AMERICA: Well we found -- what we did was we took the most egregious we could find and we actually set them to music. We set them to a Mozart symphony 41 and it runs 41 minutes. And the point here is that, every aspect that we look at of Donald Trump's life and of his campaign, compulsive lying is an unavoidable aspect of it.
We looked at the very first public statement we could find that Donald Trump has ever made back in 1973 where he said it was ridiculous, that he would engage in housing discrimination, yet he had settled a charge just to that nature four years before. We looked at the first nine words that Donald Trump said when he declared his candidacy where he said there were thousands of people in attendance and there were actually only 300. So, from 1973 to the time he announced his candidacy, it was a lie after a lie.
And the important thing here is that he's lying about himself, the story he tells about himself, that he's a self made man and a business genius. For example, Trump University is a lie that we got a fraud. And then on policy, he's lying to the American people on the promises he's making to, for example, reduce the debt by $19 trillion when the Chamber of Commerce says ...
BROCK: ... he's going to explode the deficit and put us in a recession.
LEMON: All right. So Jeffrey, we put together our own set of Trump contradictions. I want you to listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. OK. Just knock the hell. I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Do you accept any responsibility for creating this atmosphere?
TRUMP: I don't accept responsibility. I do not condone violence in any shape.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe in punishment for abortion? Yes or no, as a principle.
TRUMP: The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the woman?
TRUMP: Yeah. It has to be some form.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You believe abortion should be banned at some point in pregnancy. Where would you ...
TRUMP: Well first of all, I would have liked to see, you know, this be a states rights. I would have preferred states rights. I think it would have been better if it were up to the states.
North Korea has nukes. Japan has a problem with that. I mean, they have a big problem with that. Maybe they would in fact be better off if they defend themselves from North Korea.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With nukes?
TRUMP: Maybe it would be better -- including with nukes, yes.
They said I want Japan to nuke. I want Japan to get nuclear weapons. Give me a break.
I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He's a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel, the judge who happens to be, we believe Mexican which is great. I think that's fine.
Freedom of any kind means no one should be judged by their race or their color and the color of their skin should not be judged that way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[21:15:02] LEMON: OK. So I know you're probably going to say some of that is embellishment, others you're not going to believe that he was laying or contradicting himself and, you know, Secretary Clinton lie as well. But do you understand why this may give some people some pause when you listen to it like that, Jeffrey?
LORD: Well, sure if you look at it that way, Don. But, I mean, I hate to confess my age. I've been around this for a long time, you know. My father used to joke that he was told in the 1964 election that if he voted for Barry Goldwater, we would be at war in Vietnam in six months, he did and we were. And of course, Lyndon Johnson was at there saying he wasn't going to send American boys to Vietnam, and we wind up with 500,000 troops there. So, you know, I have to say I'm a little skeptical of this sort of find of reasoning.
LEMON: Are you saying it's OK lie? Because there are other examples of politicians that ...
LORD: No, I'm not saying that, Don. I'm not saying that. But I am saying that presidential candidates embellish. I will say this, the PolitiFact, which is you know, is one of full of surprise for his coverage. They have two pages on Hillary Clinton's lies. I'll just read you five of them that she lied on her e-mail. That It was allowed. That's a lie they said that she said she'd run no negative ads against Bernie Sanders. They said that was a lie. That she lied about Bernie Sanders wanting to delay a clean power plant, they said that was a lie. I mean there were more here. They go on. There were 20 some odd of these on the first page, and more after that.
So, one of the other thing, Don, you know, it's very interesting. The Quinnipiac people have a poll this summer and I remember being on CNN at the time when the poll came out and they asked people to free associate words for the different candidates. And the number one word for Hillary Clinton was liar, voluntarily put out there, and the number two word was dishonest. This is her problem.
LEMON: Well that's a good question for ...
LORD: And it comes accumulation over decades.
LEMON: Well, that's a good question for David Brock. David, did the Washington post do fact checks on Hillary Clinton, whether she's telling the truth or not?
BROCK: Sure, in fact the agency that Jeffrey just cited, PolitiFact rated Hillary Clinton the most honest of all the candidates they looked at, and Donald Trump was the most dishonest. So I think it's a really poor excuse to try to say, well, all candidates do this, all candidates embellish and lie. What we have here is something -- it's a difference of not degree but of kind. It is the order of magnitude, the volume, the brazenness.
And the other thing is, you know, so let's say politicians do sometimes not tell the truth. When they are called out on it by something like the Washington Post fact-checker, they usually stop. What our video shows is that Donald Trump compounds the problem time and again compulsively. He's caught in a lie and keeps telling it. That tells us something about character, tells us something about temperament, and just unfitness for office.
LEMON: Yeah, that's going to have to be the last word.
LORD: Sort of like.
LEMON: I'm out of time. I'm sorry, Jeffrey.
LORD: Yeah. One of the first things that David said ...
LEMON: Jeffrey I've got run, I've got a long interview with Mitt Romney.
LORD: Yes, sir.
LEMON: OK go ahead, go ahead, I'll make a room for you.
LORD: Thank you
LEMON: Go ahead, Jeffrey.
LORD: OK, they talk about Donald Trump talking about 200,000 Syrian refugees and that this is a lie. Let me just, the Washington Examiner, April 25th of 2016, Beth Ferris, a research professor at Georgetown, and a UN advisor even suggested a total of 200,000 Syria refugees in the United States in the Brooking Institution Conference. So, he's not making this stuff up. This stuff is out there and to say it is not true is not true.
BROCK: It's not a reputable source. I will go with the Washington Post any day.
LEMON: Thank you, guys, I appreciate. Have a great weekend.
LEMON: Straight ahead, a CNN exclusive interview with Mitt Romney, the GOP nominee in 2012. He has a lot of tough talk for Donald Trump. But will Romney vote for him? That's next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[21:22:40] LEMON: One of the most vocal critics of Donald Trump is Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for president in 2012. And tonight, he is not holding back. In an exclusive interview with our very own Wolf Blitzer, Romney insists he's not voting for Trump, the questions of candidate's integrity and character and critics Trump will never release his taxes. Here's that interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: You have said that Donald Trump in your words would sink the county into a prolonged recession that he is not smart at foreign policy. Your words that he's a con man, a phony, a fraud and a fake. If you feel that strongly, why don't you think you have an obligation to run right now?
ROMNEY: Well, because he has become the nominee of the Republican Party and the only way to win the White House in my view is to become a nominee of either of Republican or the Democratic Party and simply running to be a spoiler would not give the American people I think the chance to express their own views about Mr. Trump or about Secretary Clinton. I think they would do so.
I, myself, will not be voting for either one of them. I just can't bring myself to vote for Hillary Clinton. I don't think that the policies that she promotes are right for the country, and Mr. Trump I think is too great a departure from the values of our country for me to sign up as a voter for him either. So I'll be writing in someone else's name, it will be probably another Republican.
BLITZER: But isn't that sort of -- I mean, you're going to write in some other name that has no chance. But isn't that copping out right now of your responsibility?
ROMNEY: Well, my responsibility was to express to the American people what I believe was right about the potential nominee of our party. And I did so very plainly and clearly, and the people who made the choice and decided to go a different direction. That's their right.
But as an individual, I simply can't put my name down as someone who voted for principles that suggest to racism or xenophobia, misogyny, bigotry, who has been a vulgar time and time again, and the most recent attack on Judge Curiel, a racist approach is one which I think says to me I can't be part of that. I will not sign up for that, I don't want to be associated with that in any way, shape or form.
BLITZER: So what do you say to people like your vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, who is very critical of Donald Trump, does not like any of the words he said about Judge Curiel, called it a textbook definition for a racist comment but he still says he's going to support Donald Trump.
[21:25:10] ROMNEY: Well, I don't argue with people who come to a different conclusion. They're looking at the two candidates and deciding who they think is best able to serve our country at this time. And I'm sure there are some things they'd like to change in whoever they're going to support, every candidate has a problem or two or maybe more than that.
But for me, Mr. Trump's problems are such a dramatic nature, such a departure from the values of our country and my own personal values that I can't sign up to be part of his campaign.
BLITZER: Are you disappointed that Paul Ryan has endorsed him?
ROMNEY: I wish everybody in the Republican Party had rejected Mr. Trump and chosen someone else. But my choice is different than that of other people. And I'm certainly not going to argue with them about their choice.
Their view is that Secretary Clinton would so dramatically change the nature of the Supreme Court that that represents a threat to our future. I understand that perspective. But I find that compelling but also the Donald Trump failures also compelling.
BLITZER: He did tone down his rhetoric in that speech the other day. (Inaudible) Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee was here this weekend with you. He called it a great victory speech and the right approach. Trump says it's time to move on right now. Is that OK with you if he moves on and you forget about all of the other stuff? I don't think you -- you think it's a time to move on?
ROMNEY: Well, I can imagine that Mr. Trump would like to have people move on and forget what was said during the primary process and what's been said over the years. But we actually take the measure of an individual over their entire career and during the primary as well. And on that basis, we get a sense of the person's character, integrity, honesty, their values with regards to race and religion and gender.
And Mr. Trump has made that pretty clear through the campaign to this point. I'm absolutely convinced that Reince Priebus is right when he says that Mr. Trump will be able to read from the text and present a different image going forward. But that is not something which is consistent with who he is as demonstrated by his pass.
BLITZER: So, you don't think he should get a pass if he stops talking about Judge Curiel?
ROMNEY: Well, everyone else could make their assessment. But he indicated what he believes in his heart about Mexicans and about race by the comments he made about Judge Curiel. And he may try and distance himself from that today. But we know what he believes based on what he said.
And by the way, he didn't just say it once. It wasn't a slip of the tongue which he went back and apologize for. First of all, he's repeated it time and time again. And secondly, he's never apologized for it. So, he obviously sticks by what he believes.
BLITZER: What would he have to do to win your support? ROMNEY: Well, I don't think there's anything I'm looking for from Mr. Trump to give him my support. He's demonstrated who he is. And I decided that a person of that nature should not be the one who, if you will, becomes the example for coming generations or the example of America to the world. Look, I don't want to see trickle down racism. I don't want to see a president of the United States saying things which change the character of the generations of Americans that are following.
Presidents have an impact on the nature of our nation. And trickle down racism, trickle down bigotry, trickle down misogyny, all these things are extraordinarily dangerous to the heart and character of America. And so, I'm not looking for Mr. Trump to change a policy that more aligns with my own. This is not a matter of just policy. It's more a matter of character and integrity.
BLITZER: Do you think he is racist?
ROMNEY: Oh, I think his comments time and again appeal to the racist tendency that exists in some people. And I think that's very dangerous.
BLITZER: Hillary Clinton took a page out of your play book this past week using Donald Trump's own words against him. She painted a picture why she thinks he is dangerous. He would be dangerous commander-in-chief in her words. And temperamentally, unfit. You agree with her on that, don't you?
ROMNEY: I'm not sure I'm going to sign up with all of her words. But ...
BLITZER: Do you think temperamentally unfit to be president?
ROMNEY: Well, I've already said in my view that the temperament that Mr. Trump has demonstrated is not consistent with a world which is as combustible as it has ever been during my lifetime. And if you look around the world, China's assertiveness, North Korea's nuclear capability, Syria and a number of other failed states like Syria, Afghanistan still troubled, the Pakistan with over 100 nuclear weapons and so forth.
This is a very dangerous world and requires a person who is thoughtful, knowledgeable, curious intellectually, willing to listen to other people, to change their mind based upon the advice of other people. And I haven't seen those qualities to the extent I want to see them in a president in Mr. Trump to this point.
[21:30:08] BLITZER: You clearly have misgivings about Hillary Clinton. But a lot of Republicans do. But some say she's the lesser of two evils. Would you be on that camp?
ROMNEY: Well, I understand people who've come to a different conclusion than I have, those that support, Republicans that support Mr. Trump are saying, "Gosh, Hillary Clinton would appoint a more liberal court," and that's very troubling. And her policies are, in many cases, destructive to the kinds of things that are necessary to put people to work and to get them better wages.
And so, they're going to vote for Mr. Trump on that basis. I understand that. I'm not going to argue with them. I'm not going to spend the coming months campaigning against Mr. Trump and attacking him time and again. Now, I've expressed what my views are. And I'll let the American people make their choice.
BLITZER: But once again, just simply writing in a name, does that demonstrate a lack of political courage if you will? Because as you say, there's -- it's either going to be Donald Trump, president of the United States or Hillary Clinton, president of the United States.
ROMNEY: Well, for me this is a question of my own integrity and character. And if there's someone that was a -- an anti-Semite, for instance, and they were -- they had all the same positions I had and they were running for president, I simply could not vote for them. I could not bring myself to do that. And the things that Mr. Trump has said during this campaign and the things he's revealed about himself are such a departure from what I believe in my core that I cannot, in good conscience, vote for him.
BLITZER: Bottom line, who would be worse for the country as president of the United States, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?
ROMNEY: Both of them have enormous drawbacks. I'm not going to choose which one is worse. I've expressed my views about both of them. And this is a very critical time for our country and I think we're in a very unfortunate position.
BLITZER: And this third party, libertarian candidate, the former New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson, would you consider supporting him?
ROMNEY: Well, I'm going to look at what he has to say. His running mate, Bill Weld, is someone who I respect enormously.
BLITZER: The Republican Governor of Massachusetts.
ROMNEY: Exactly. And he was a fine governor, a fine friend, a supporter of mine, both in 2008 and 2012. If Bill Weld were at the top of the ticket, it would be very easy for me to vote for Bill Weld for president.
So, I'll get to know Gary Johnson better and see if he's someone who I could end up voting for. That's something which I'll evaluate over the coming weeks and months.
BLITZER: So you're not necessarily ruling out that possibility?
ROMNEY: I'm not ruling that out.
BLITZER: And changing the rules for the convention to have a contested open convention, you don't think that's realistic.
ROMNEY: I don't think that's realistic. I certainly sympathize with people who say, "Gosh, we would love to see a different nominee of our party than Donald Trump. He doesn't share our views on issues in many, many cases, and he doesn't have the personal qualities which we think are appropriate for president." I happen to subscribe to that point of view, but I think changing the rules and denying him the nomination at this point is not likely to happen.
BLITZER: You say there's a bombshell in his income tax returns, he's refusing to make those income tax returns public. He says it's being audited. He can't do that right now. What do you think he is trying to hide?
ROMNEY: Well, I think he was, in some respects, correct when he said, "You know, if I went on Fifth Avenue and I shot someone, people would still support me." But I think he's calculated that he could get support even if he shot someone, but if he released his taxes, he'd lose support.
So there's something in those taxes that's even worse than shooting someone on Fifth Avenue. And that, I think, suggests that there could be all sorts of things that could be very, very troubling there.
BLITZER: Like what?
ROMNEY: Well, you know, your imagination can run wild. He doesn't pay taxes. He doesn't have much income. He's receiving income from unsavory sources. He has ownership in enterprises that perhaps associated with unsavory enterprises or nations or groups. Who knows what it can be? But this is a person who has never had his personal life subject to an audit which can be -- it -- potentially prosecuted by individuals that are assessing that it is improperly stated. And the only place that you can get that kind of audit where the penalties for lying are criminal is with someone's tax returns.
And that's why over the last 40 years, the nominees for president have released tax returns so that people could say all right, I'm getting a clear view of who this person really is, and he doesn't want people to see that.
There's no question in my mind, he will never release his tax returns. He will follow one excuse after the other to say why he can't and he'll never release them because there's something in there that he feels is worse for him than shooting someone on Fifth Avenue. And I think the American people have every right to see what that is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Great interview Wolf. Coming up, reaction to the interview with Mitt Romney's Trump attack.
[21:38:47] LEMON: Mitt Romney ripping into Donald Trump in that exclusive interview with Wolf Blitzer. And here to break it down is Healy Baumgarten, she's a senior press representative for the Trump campaign and Republican strategist, Jason Roe.
Hello. You guys OK?
JASON ROE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Doing great.
HEALY BAUMGARTEN, SENIOR PRESS REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Great. Happy Friday night.
LEMON: Yeah, happy Friday. So Jason, I'll start with you, Mitt Romney says that Donald Trump has shown us who he really is and he doesn't have the character to be a president. What do you say to that?
ROE: Well, I would second that. You know, I think we saw throughout the campaign that he didn't have the temperament or the self-control to really be a think a credible leader for the Republican Party or for that matter a Oresident of the United States. And we have been assured by people around him that he would temper himself as he secured the nomination and moved forward. He has promised us that he would be so presidential that it would bore us and it's been anything but. He's actually I think in many ways gotten worse than he was during the actual primary process.
LEMON: What do you say to that, Healy?
BAUMGARTEN: Look, Mitt Romney has failed two times running for president. You know, he's irrelevant at this point. His actions quite frankly are saddening because we should be focused on uniting the party and moving forward to ensure we defeat Hillary Clinton.
And I think that Mr. Trump is more than capable of becoming president. The American people have spoken by these 13 plus million historic votes that they've turned out for him.
[21:40:07] So that's never happened before. So I think Mitt Romney should probably reassess what he's saying.
LEMON: Healy, Romney said that Trump won inspired trickle-down racist in that, the President sets the President for the country. Many Republicans are on easy down right upset about the things that Trump has been saying.
Do you think he's done enough to reassure them?
BAUMGARDNER: I mean, I'm going to be very succinct on this point, you know, Mr. Trump is my boss, and, you know, I know him personally. There's not a racist bone in his body. And, you know, I just don't think that it needs to worry any further discussion.
LEMON: And what about him saying that? Do you take any issue with the things he said, especially with the judge?
BAUMGARDNER: I think you should Google Mitt Romney on racism. And, you know, he was accused of, you know, very similar things while he was running. So ...
LEMON: Yeah. And he got skewered for it.
LEMON: He got skewered for it and he got skewered for the 47 percent on and on, but he is not running this time.
But so, do you ...
BAUMGARDNER: Well, that still I think he strong enough ...
LEMON: ... take any issue at all with what your boss, and you said, you know him personally with the comments he made especially about the judge?
BAUMGARDNER: No. Mr. Trump clarified his remarks he issued a statement. His remarks from misconstrued. There's a double standard in the media, you know. It was unfairly played out. Again, he doesn't have a racist bone in his body. He's an amazing person with a huge heart. He has employed African-Americans, Hispanics and minorities by the thousands. And, you know, the conversation really should be left there.
LEMON: Jason, he said -- Trump said that he can read off a TelePrompTer and pretend to be someone who is not.
But, do we know who he is? Do you think will voters are going to easily forget all of the things that he has said over the past year?
ROE: No. I mean, not. I think as Governor Romney said, you know, of course, he would like to move on from these comments, but the problem is you can't put the Genie back in the bottle. It is one thing after another. Every single week, we have a new controversy and every other week at least, he's offending some other groups that, you know, we need in order to win on election.
Elections are one by addition, not subtraction and by attacking women and Latinos and the various people he disagrees with, you know. Healy was talking about Donald Trump uniting the party. How do you unite the party when you lash out at the party leaders, at people elected officials? Susana Martinez, the governor of the Mexico ...
BAUMGARDNER: 13 plus million voters.
ROE: ... lashed up. You know, that's a great statistic that you guys like to rule out there.
BAUMGARDNER: It's history.
ROE: But if you look at any, if you look at ...
BAUMGARDNER: No one's ever done it including your eye (ph).
LEMON: Let him finish Healy. I promise you, I'll let you get in. Go ahead. Go ahead.
BAUMGARDNER: Sorry, sorry. OK.
LEMON: No, that's OK. Go ahead please.
ROE: He accomplished that in a very long primary process as opposed to the other ones where they've been settled in half the time. So, yeah, if you have to actually compete in 56 different primaries, you're going to rack up more votes. But every other Republican nominee has done it much more efficiently, sooner, so they didn't actually have to compete in 56.
LEMON: Go ahead Healy.
ROE: It's not the number that they like to try out there.
LEMON: Go ahead, Healy.
BAUMGARDNER: That's completely inaccurate. It's a historic amount ...
ROE: No, it's not, it's numbers. No, it's math. We'll look at the -- go look at the history.
BAUMGARDNER: Yes, it is, yes it is.
LEMON: Let her finish, let her finish.
BAUMGARDNER: Yes, it is. Thirteen plus million voters, it's a historic turnout, mind you starting with 16 candidates.
So, I mean and being, you know, not a career politician. So, it is what it is. I mean, your guy ran twice and failed when he could very easily beat Obama.
So, you know, it speaks for itself and, you know, Mr. Trump, you know, we will be uniting the party moving forward. We're already in daily communication with the RNC. We will be focused on raising money as well to help with the down ballot raises.
And, you know, to carving out the pass to victory and keeping America first, restoring jobs, rebuilding our economy, and excuse me, protecting our borders, and most importantly, ensuring that Hillary Clinton, you know, does not win the White House.
LEMON: OK. I want to get to this tax thing, because Mitt Romney believes strongly that there is something in Trump's taxes that's pretty bad. He said that there must be something in his tax forms worse than shooting someone on Fifth Avenue.
He said, "We will never see Trump's tax returns." Is he right? First, Healy, you think you'll ever see them? He promised to release them.
BAUMGARDNER: I think that that's a broad speculation on Mitt Romney's part. Again, you know, we have said on the record, Mr. Trump has said on the record that once his audit is completed, that he will be releasing the return and then he plans to do so prior to the election.
I mean ...
LEMON: Healy, I know you guys get upset when I say this, but that's not an excuse, because he has years of taxes that are not under audit and the representatives for the IRS had said, there is nothing to prevent him from releasing taxes if that's just an excuse to use of about things are (inaudible).
BAUMGARDNER: Well, I'm sorry, but I don't think that everyday people, you know, will adhere to the advice of the IRS. I would certainly, you know, check with my lawyers first. The fact of the matter is that Mr. Trump said that he will be releasing the tax ...
LEMON: If you speak to any other lawyers, they will tell you there is nothing that wrong with releasing taxes when they're under audit. That that is not ...
BAUMGARDNER: But Mr. Trump has said, Mr. Trump has said that he will release his tax returns prior to the November election and once the audit, which is a routine audit is completed.
[21:45:02] I'd like to clarify for the record Mitt Romney did not release his tax returns at this point in the election either. So, I think he's being very hypocritical. And again, you know, he is just trying to muddy up the waters and cause damage.
LEMON: But the same thing, your candidate ...
BAUMGARTEN: You know, I don't really think he's better.
LEMON: ... called on Mitt Romney to release his tax returns as well and actually pressures him to do it, and it was really hard on him for not releasing the tax returns. And now he's doing the same thing.
BAUMGARTEN: But you affected of those fact, Mr. Trump is the Republican nominee. And what we need to focus on as a party, as a Republican Party and moving the conservative agenda forward, and ensuring that Hillary Clinton does not, you know, win the election and continue four years of Obama and get in the White House, you know, and, you know, she has a clear agenda that America is for sale, is we need to unite. And we need to unite as a party. Mitt Romney needs to be part of that. His remarks, you know, in his interview are a clear endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
LEMON: OK. Thanks to both of you. I wish we had more time.
Coming up, Muhammad Ali remembered by family, friends, and a former president.
LEMON: I hope you saw it today, friends, family, politicians, stars joining thousands more to pay their respects today at the funeral of Muhammad Ali, the boxer who, for so many, was the epitome of the word "champion". And man who fought for his beliefs. It was really a spectacular thing to see today.
[21:50:13] Joining me now, Keya Morgan, a filmmaker and friend of Muhammad Ali and CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley. I'm sure you guy watch, was it amazing?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: It was absolutely incredible.
KEYA MORGAN, FRIEND OF MUHAMMAD ALI, FILMMAKER COLLECTOR: Incredibly, truly.
BRINKLEY: Yeah. It was just mesmerized, Don, by seeing it all. I thought that Bill Clinton was great and Billy Crystal you could go on and on and it was a perfectly choreographed event, and it had a lot of love and strength to it in the City of Louisville, itself, it has been a champion this last few days honoring their beloved son Muhammad Ali. So it was a very moving day and it was so refreshing having to deal with politics all of the time to get a sort of spiritual nourishment that we got.
LEMON: And we did have to deal with a little bit politics, so we got political at some points. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN COSBY, SENIOR PASTOR, ST STEPHEN CHURCH: He dared to love America's most unloved race, and he loved us all, but while he is the property of all people, let us never forget that he is the product of black people in their struggle to be free.
RABBI MICHAEL LERNER, POLITICAL ACTIVIST: Tell judges to let out on the prison the many African-Americans swept up by racist police and imprisoned by race judges, and tell the next President of the United States that she ...
HANA ALI, MUHAMMAD ALI'S DAUGHTER: My dad would often state when concluding or parting from another, may we meet again in the light of understanding, and I say to you with the light of that compass by any means necessary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Keya, as someone who has known Muhammad Ali personally, what would he say about all of that?
MORGAN: I mean it's sort of overwhelming for me to actually see it, it brings everything to life and makes it real, and it sort of, you know, creates a closure for me personally, because I have met him so many times, but I think that we should definitely not forget that in 1960 when he won the gold Olympic medal in Rome and came back, he was not allowed to eat in the same restaurant as white people. He couldn't use the same bathroom so to think that he went from there, you know, the son of a maid and a great grandchild of a slave to the highest levels in one of the most majestic incredible people.
You know, in the history of the nation is incredible giant leap, you know, which is mind boggling, and I'm just so proud of him. And I feel so emotional when I think what he accomplished and how high he went within a short period of time.
You know, I definitely think he will go down and history as one of the greatest Americans that's ever live and not just the greatest boxer.
LEMON: Yeah, I think I have to agree with you on that, one of the greatest Americans, and part of what Douglas that made Ali so great was that he was unapologetic as a person, his unapologetic with black, Muslim, and he stood for what he believed in, and he was fearless. As part of that fearlessness, does it come from what Keya said because of the challenges he faced as a young person?
BRINKLEY: I think so. And he developed the courage, and that's tough, you know it's probably, you know, we need more people that are just courageous to be individuals and say what they think. President Obama's remarks have are read by Valerie Jarrett very well today, I mean Obama I was talking about there wouldn't have been me without me being a young Barack Obama without watching the courage of Muhammad Ali not just in the boxing ring, but taking on the Vietnam War.
Bit willing to change his name because he thought Cassius Clay was a slave name, willing to embrace Islam and being a Muslim in a country where that was sometimes seen as being anti-American during the Cold War, but yet at the end of the day he is the great American, because he represents the individuality and really the spirit and the soul of American also the brashness.
LEMON: Yeah. And I think Douglas that he would have been in the couple of seconds that we have, I think he would have been OK with the political part of it because he that was part of who he was as well. He took political instances.
BRINKLEY: And he do the play -- he would have done it with a nod and a wink. You would love date and had not weak he loved to have a good laugh. And that we heard about at how Howard Cosell's funeral, he was cracking a joke about his great friend Howard Cosell's now the toupee and Muhammad Ali is wondering whether God would notice him with the toupee and, you know, he was telling jokes being at a funeral of a friend. So he would have been fine with everything in fact he really helped to organize this event and the spirit seemed to be there in the arena.
[21:55:00] LEMON: Hey real quickly to kind of hate to rush you, Keya, but your final thoughts there, what's your takeaway?
MORGAN: Well, I just want to say he was beyond being a great boxer, he would rap, he would rhyme, he would bust a move way ahead of any of these rappers today. So he was funny. Everything he did was funny. He would prank call people, he would pick up the phone and start calling people and say, this is Muhammad Ali. And, you know, I'm calling to wish you a Merry Christmas and nobody would believe it. They would hang up the phone.
So, he loved like, you know, having good humor and making everyone happy and uniting the world together.
LEMON: And float like a butterfly, sing like a bee. Today, we celebrated the life of Muhammad Ali. I know that's corny ...
MORGAN: God rest his soul. LEMON: God rest his soul. Great man. Thank you gentlemen, have a great weekend.
MORGAN: Thank you so much. God bless.
LEMON: We'll be right back.
LEMON: Every year, thousands of kids age out of the foster care system and suddenly towards defend for themselves.
And many have no family, no possessions, nowhere to live. But in Los Angeles, this week's "CNN HERO", Georgie Smith is working to change that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGIE SMITH, VOLUNTEER: This population is the most likely to become homeless and to become incarcerated and to be jobless.
[22:00:00] The odds are stacked high against them, and they finally get to that amazing place of having their own space, because they have never had their own home, and then just like never before.
We need to lift them up and create this foundation from which they can thrive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: To see how Georgie gives these former foster kids a real chance for success, you can watch her amazing story right now at cnnheros.com, and while you are there, nominate someone you think should be the 2016 CNN Hero. That's it for us tonight. Thank you so much for watching. I'll see you right back here on Monday night. Morgan Spurlock "Inside Man" premiers right now.