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FBI Director Does Not Recommend Charges Against Hillary Clinton; Clinton and Trump Battle it Out in North Carolina; President Obama Campaigns with Clinton; Trump Calls System Rigged; Backlash for Trump's Controversial Tweet. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired July 5, 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] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: That does it for us. Thanks for watching. Time now for CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: On the day after the Fourth of July weekend, the real fireworks are on the campaign trail.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
When you're the first woman with a real shot in winning the White House, you know at least one thing is for sure, the men at the top are going to have a lot to say about you.
First, let's listen to the FBI director James Comey's blistering statement of Hillary Clinton's e-mail scandal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, U.S. FBI DIRECTOR: Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive highly classified information.
For example, seven e-mail chains concerned matters that were classified at the top secret special access program at the time they were sent and received.
Those chains involve Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails about those same matters.
There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton's position or in the position of those with whom she was corresponding about those matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Now Donald Trump says this in North Carolina.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And we've got Hillary Clinton, who's weak, who's ineffective, she'll never be able to do the job. Her judgment is horrible. Look at her judgment on e-mails. Who would do it? Look at her judgment. Her judgment is horrible.
When you hear what was said by the FBI director today and you listen -- you listen to what he said and in the middle of it he was talking about so many different things. He talked about extremely careless, she was extremely careless. That's a tremendous word.
You didn't have to be careless. You didn't even have to really know that what you were doing was wrong and you're guilty because we're talking about serious stuff. We're talking about the life blood of our country. We're talking about the safety of our people.
The laws are very explicit. Stupidity is not a reason that you're going to be innocent, OK? It's not a reason.
And I don't happen to believe that it was stupidity, OK? But even stupidity is not a reason. And, boy, what they've done.
And she should not be allowed to serve as president of the United States.
We now know, I just wrote this out, we now know that she lied to the country when she said she did not send classified information on her server. She lied.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And President Obama with an entirely different view of the woman he once ran against and now supports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PRESIDENT: I saw how deeply she believes in the things she fights for. And I saw how you can count on her, and how she won't waiver and she won't back down and she will not quit no matter how difficult the challenge and no matter how fierce the opposition.
And if there's one thing I can tell you, Charlotte, is those things matter. Those things matter. I'm here to tell you that the truth is nobody fully understands the challenges of the job of president until you've actually sat at that desk.
So, you can't fully understand what it means to make life-and-death decisions until you've done it. That's the truth. But I can tell you this -- Hillary Clinton has been tested.
(CROWD CHEERING) She has seen up close what's involved in making those decisions. She has participated in the meetings in which those decisions have been made, she's seen the consequences of things working well and things not working well. And there has never been any man or woman more qualified for this office than Hillary Clinton. Ever.
[22:05:03] And that's the truth. That's the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Now I want you to listen to Hillary Clinton herself going after the GOP's presumptive nominee with both barrels.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The world hangs on every word our president says and Donald Trump is simply unqualified and temperamentally unfit to be our president and commander-in-chief.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, here to discuss all of this is Michael Isikoff, the author of "Uncovering Clinton, the Reporter's Story," Mr. Jeffrey Toobin, the senior legal analyst here at CNN, and Mark Mukasey, a former supervisory federal prosecutor under FBI director James Comey. So, he knows a lot.
So, Mark, I'm going to turn to you first since you know a lot about that. Hillary Clinton interviewed voluntarily, she said an interview by the FBI then Comey he's not going to recommend charges. Take us behind the scenes of a decision like this because you've worked for him. You say he's not afraid to pull the trigger.
MARK MUKASEY, FORMER SUPERVISORY FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: He's not afraid to pull the trigger. And if you look at his track record, he prosecuted Zacharias Moussaoui, the last hijacker of 9/11, he prosecuted Martha Stewart, he prosecuted Frank Cotroni, he's prosecuted a bunch of the communications scandals of the early 2000s.
The first thing that James Comey said to us when he became federal prosecutor and he showed up as the U.S. attorney, he said "don't ever become a member of the chicken ship club."
LEMON: It's 'chickenish' as we call it, right?
MUKASEY: And he said "bring cases, try cases and don't be scared," which was really inspiring. Now, with respect to the Hillary Clinton case, a three and a half hour interview on a Saturday in a case involving tens of thousands of documents, that's a quick interview.
I think Jim Comey's integrity is unimpeachable and he's incorruptible. A three and a half hour interview in a case like is rocket fast. I've had cases way less important than this where people have been interviewed for hours, days, weeks.
LEMON: So, what are you saying?
MUKASEY: I think Jim probably had a sense that this case was not winnable at trial. I don't really understand why. It's hard to convince 12 people beyond a reasonable doubt that the sky is blue, right? Some people say the sky is gray and it's pink and it's black and it's whatever it is.
LEMON: Especially if you're talking to a politician but go on.
MUKASEY: This is true.
MUKASEY: Having the evidence to prosecute is difficult than having the evidence to convict.
LEMON: To convict, right.
MUKASEY: And in this case there's no question he had the evidence to prosecute, right? The definition of gross negligence is an extreme departure from the standard of care. Jim said today that she was extremely careless.
LEMON: He never said gross negligence.
MUKASEY: He never said gross negligence, he said she was extremely careless.
MUKASEY: The definition of gross negligence which is necessary to convict under the statute is an extreme departure from the standard of care. So, Jim, I'm assuming, knew something that made this case not convictable at trial.
LEMON: He didn't think it was winnable, which is my next question that you already answer. So, I'm going to go to Jeffrey now. So, he knew something. But, Jeffrey, it just wasn't three and a half hours or three hours or so, as Mark said, because he interviewed lots of people who are involved in this, lots of her staffers, some of them took the fifth.
They didn't answer the question. So, he didn't recommend any charges. Is there still a chance that justice will recommend charges? Because the head of justice has said I'm going to go with what the FBI said.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Basically zero. The FBI is not going to get overruled by the Justice Department. I mean, it has happened in history that FBI agents have said don't prosecute and then the Justice Department says, no, we are going to prosecute.
But in a case like this given these circumstances, given the credibility, given the stature of Jim Comey, I just think there is essentially no chance that this case now proceeds at a criminal level. LEMON: Michael Isikoff, I have to ask you this. I have three-word
question for you based on what you've heard from the director Comey, what you have heard from the gentlemen here tonight, just a three-word answer -- ma three-word question, did Hillary lie?
MICHAEL ISIKOFF, YAHOO NEWS CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you listen to director Comey's statement, he certainly didn't say that, but he did undermine virtually every pillar of her public defense on this since the get-go.
She had said she turned over all her work-related e-mails. Comey said not so.
[22:10:03] The FBI found several thousand work-related e-mails that were not turned over. She said she originally in her original press conference, she did not send any classified information via e-mail. Comey clearly said not so.
They found e-mail chains going up to top secret classified access programs that were sent and received on the computer server.
She had said that there was -- that she had been claiming as recently as last weekend this was a security review. Comey made crystal clear that from the get-go, the FBI was focused on whether she violated a federal felony statute. This was a criminal investigation.
So, on everything that she has said publicly, Comey undermined her. But that said, when he came to the point where he was discussing why the FBI was not recommending criminal charges, what he talked about was the law but then the precedent.
And he said that the FBI looked at the precedent for cases that the Justice Department has brought for classified information, and he found no precedent that matched the details in this case.
ISIKOFF: Even General Petraeus, which is the one that Hillary Clinton's critics have pointed to the most, involved a conclusion by the FBI that he had lied to them about disclosing classified information...
LEMON: But that was my original question. Did she lie?
LEMON: Did she lie?
LEMON: And that if...
ISIKOFF: He found no evidence that Hillary Clinton lied to the FBI.
LEMON: OK. Because here's the...
ISIKOFF: People can reach other conclusions about how truthful she was in her public explanations about what happened.
LEMON: OK. Let me get -- let me jump in here because this is to me, the most important sentence and I want all of you to listen to this.
This is from his transcript. He said separately. "It is important to say something about the marking of classified information. Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information, but even if information is not marked and this is in quotes, "classified," in an e-mail participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it."
TOOBIN: That's true.
LEMON: So, does that mean she lied? That's what -- because she was saying nothing is classified. And what does that mean?
TOOBIN: I think she was clearly wrong. I mean, as the great Michael Isikoff pointed out, I mean, this is -- the fact that this -- that these e-mails contained classified information. That is beyond dispute.
LEMON: But it didn't have a big stamp on it that said.
TOOBIN: But it didn't have a stamp on it.
TOOBIN: Now, she should have known it was classified. I think, you know, her statement evolved. At first she said there's -- I didn't pass along any classified information. Then she changed it and said I didn't pass along anything that was marked classified.
LEMON: Classified, yes.
TOOBIN: That I don't think has been refuted by what Comey said. I mean, maybe Michael heard different. But I didn't hear Comey say that there was information marked classified.
MUKASEY: Don, he said that he needs that he needs...
ISIKOFF: I think it was evolved over time.
LEMON: Hold on, Michael. Hold on, Michael.
LEMON: Mark, go ahead.
MUKASEY: Sure. Comey said that any reasonable person would have known that the content of these e-mails should not have been passed along on a private server. That leads to only one of two conclusions.
Hillary Clinton is not a reasonable person who understood that, maybe she's not a reasonable person because she thinks she's above the law and she never understood that this can't be put on a private server because she thinks I can put anything on a private server because I'm Hillary Clinton, or there was no evidence that she understood that, and either way she's a loser.
LEMON: Yes. Michael, I'll give you the first one on the other side of the break. We'll be right back.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The FBI director not recommending charges against Hillary Clinton over her use of private e-mail servers, but calling her extremely careless in handling classified information.
Back with me, Michael Isikoff, the author of "Uncovering Clinton, a Reporter's Story," Jeffrey Toobin, CNN senior legal analyst and author of "The Nine." Do you have another book coming out soon?
TOOBIN: Yes, about the Patty Hearst kidnapping on August 2nd.
LEMON: What is it called?
TOOBIN: It's call's called "American Heiress."
LEMON: All right. There you go, "American Heiress," the author of "American Heiress." and also Mark Mukasey, a former supervisory federal prosecutor under FBI director James Comey.
So, Mr. Isikoff, I was going to -- you wanted to get in here, but I want to ask all of you a question. I'll ask you first. Do you that charges should have been brought?
ISIKOFF: Look, I think you got take Comey at his word. I think he clearly viewed this is an extremely serious matter. The FBI did. That's the reason we have this extraordinary statement from him today.
I think he was concerned that if he did not make a statement like this, the Justice Department would put out a very bland statement saying there had been no -- there's no recommendation from the FBI, no charges should be filed.
He wanted to make a statement about just how serious the FBI viewed this.
ISISKOFF: But that said, you have to go back to the analysis that who pointed to at the end of his statement saying there was no precedent in previous cases that would have formed the basis for bringing criminal charges and it would have been extraordinary to bring criminal charges or to recommend criminal charges against the presumptive democratic nominee.
ISISKOFF: Especially on the eve of the convention.
LEMON: Jeffrey, do you think charges should have been brought?
TOOBIN: No. Brother Isikoff has said exactly right. I mean, this would not -- I mean, this would have been an extreme departure from prior precedents and you don't do that. You don't come up with a novel legal theory with someone who is the democratic nominee for president of the United States. You just don't.
MUKASEY: I think base on Jim's words charges could have been brought.
LEMON: Are you surprised that they weren't? You sound like you are, why?
MUKASEY: And I think based on Jim's words the fact that she exercised extreme carelessness squares exactly with the gross negligence standard, and the fact that there's no precedent for this, this is not like a judge who needs to follow precedent of his appellate courts.
[22:20:00] If you have the proof, if you have the law and you have the facts, you can bring a case, even though no one's ever done the exact same thing before.
LEMON: Even with no precedent.
LEMON: What about intent?
MUKASEY: This is not an intent crime according to the gross negligence standard.
TOOBIN: But it has always been prosecuted as an intent crime.
MUKASEY: And you do not have to always do what your predecessors have done. If the facts are there and the law is there, you can bring a case as a matter of law.
LEMON: So, why didn't he do it? You said he didn't think he was -- it's winnable. Is that what -- or do you think it was political?
MUKASEY: I don't think it was political because I think Jim's heart and head are in the right place.
LEMON: But you said he carefully, do you believe he carefully avoided the term -- the term gross intelligence.
MUKASEY: He didn't say the term gross intelligence. He can explain...
LEMON: As a matter of - but before you answer -- before you answer, let's play this. This is Reince Priebus and then I'll get your answer. Play that, please.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: He described gross intelligence and then recommended no charge. Now, if he would have come out and said the opposite of those things, in fact, there was no classified e-mail and the fact that she was telling the truth about all of these things and then said and therefore, you know what?
There was no intent, there's really not even kind of gross intelligence here and therefore there is no charge. But he didn't do that. So no one can figure this out right now how you define gross intelligence on one hand as a lawyer, and then you don't recommend it while there are other folks that have been charged and are being charged for far less conduct without intent.
Some of these cases have no intent and they've been charged under the same -- for the conduct similar as Hillary Clinton. It doesn't make any sense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, he's saying that, I heard the Speaker of the House tonight on Fox saying gross intelligence, although Comey never said -- used the term gross negligence. So, then what is...
MUKASEY: I agree with Reince that the case that Jim made out today in his statement could have been prosecuted as a gross negligence violation. Sometimes the hardest decisions for prosecutors are the cases not to bring and only Jim knows.
He's not a scared guy and he's not a kowtowing guy. He must have some reason why he thinks that it was...
TOOBIN: What do you mean he must have. He gave the reasons.
MUKASEY: ... that it wasn't -- that it wasn't a winnable case.
TOOBIN: He said it.
LEMON: Go ahead, Jeffrey.
TOOBIN: He said it. I mean, and the another factor that we're working that often comes up in white collar cases is, you know, is the prosecutors look did the person cover up? Did they lie about what they did? Did they try to destroy documents?
And in all of those areas, he said no, there was no effort on her part to cover up what she had done. That she -- that she had been forthcoming about -- with the FBI interviews and...
MUKASEY: Well, let's parse that a little bit.
MUKASEY: Hillary Clinton clearly has been lying to the public. Whether or not Hillary Clinton told the truth in her three and a half hour interview none of us know but she's clearly been lying to the public.
LEMON: Michael, I'll give you the last word.
ISIKOFF: Don, yes, can I just point out a couple of things. Look, the political fallout from this is far from over. This was hardly an exoneration of Clinton, of Secretary Clinton, and it's worth noting that none of this -- none of the evidence was presented to a grand jury, which means it's not covered by grand jury secrecy.
So, already you are hearing from members of Congress and certainly there's going to be FOIA requests to see the full investigative files on this, to see what the various witnesses said.
So, that in and of itself will keep this going. Beyond that there's issues about some of Secretary Clinton's top aides, Jake Sullivan in particular, who is her top foreign policy adviser who sent and received some of the e-mails in question.
Comey said there could be in cases such as this security and administrative penalties. Jake Sullivan has been widely talked about as future national security adviser for Clinton. You know, will there be a cloud over that, over him because of this.
And finally, the last thing worth pointing out, Secretary -- Jim Comey was nominated by President Obama in 2013, he has a 10-year term. He is going to be serving through the next -- the full term of the next president of the United States.
ISIKOFF: If that is President Clinton, it's going to be very interesting to watch the relationship between a president Clinton and an FBI director like Jim Comey, who has so publicly rebuked her.
TOOBIN: The best thing that could happen to Hillary Clinton is another fiasco congressional investigation like the Benghazi investigation where a bunch of incompetent publicity hounds chased Secretary Clinton around a desk. I mean, this is just the exact worst thing the republicans have.
LEMON: I said last word to Michael, but you know, Jeffrey jumped in. He always said he get the last word.
TOOBIN: I apologize to you and to Michael.
LEMON: But I love you, Jeffrey. No, that's OK, no need to apologize.
[22:25:02] Now he has the last word. So, I think -- will you come back. I really enjoy having you on.
LEMON: Thank you so much. The other guys are they're old had to this but this is your first time. Thank you so much.
MUKASEY: That much (ph).
LEMON: Up next, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, battle it out in North Carolina, a crucial state in November. What President Obama says as he campaign there today with his former Secretary of State.
LEMON: North Carolina is a key battleground state in November. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump campaigning there today. And for the first time, President Obama, the campaigner-in-chief, on the stump with Hillary Clinton.
Here to discuss, Jennifer Granholm, the former Governor of Michigan who is supporting Clinton, and Andre Bauer, the former Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina who is supporting Trump.
Governor Granholm, it's South Carolina and I'm getting my southern accent back just sitting on the set speaking to Andre Bauer. So, watch out, you may end up with a twang after the segment.
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, FORMER MICHIGAN GOVERNOR: Bring it on. Come on, Don.
LEMON: Bring it on. President Obama wasted no time taking swipes at Trump. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Everybody can tweet but nobody actually know what it takes to do the job until you sat behind the desk.
[22:30:00] This is a choice between whether we are going to cling to some imaginary past or whether we're going to reach for the future.
But I know the other guy talks about making America great again. This is not a reality show, this is reality.
And now they picked a nominee whose only plan is to build a higher wall. You don't have the luxury of just saying whatever pops into your head. You've actually got to know what you're talking about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Andre, I'm watching this today and I'm saying that's the commander-in-chief. Donald Trump doesn't have a cavalry of, you know, that kind of person with that stature behind him. How does he counter that?
ANDRE BAUER, FMR. SOUTH CAROLINA LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: I don't know that you get a whole lot right now with Obama. I mean, his number's around 50 percent and, quite frankly, he hasn't taken any arrows lately. All the news has been the candidates since.
So, once he starts getting pounded on again, his numbers I think will actually go down. You know, we're not -- when you look at Real Clear Politics, who said 67 percent of the country think we're going in the wrong direction, I'm not sure she gets a whole lot other than getting the troops fired up.
The base will be excited that the president came up and helped her. But I'm not sure those swing voters, it really helps that much with them.
LEMON: Does it hurt -- does that help even though as he said to his point, Governor Granholm, that it gets the base fired up? Because it has been said that, you know, there's -- that Hillary Clinton didn't have enough enthusiasm behind her.
So, even if you, you know, agree or don't agree with what Andre Bauer said here, does it help to have the commander-in-chief out campaigning for you?
GRANHOLM: Absolutely, absolutely. And this commander-in-chief, there's nobody who can campaign like him, there's nobody who can get people riled up and excited and enthused like him.
And he also is really great at pressing two important points. One is that you've got a candidate on the republican side who continues to be utterly divisive. And Barack Obama talks about us all being in this together and how we should be united as a country.
And even with this tweet this past weekend with Donald Trump offending Jewish-Americans. I mean, every single group that he has divided people and created division, that has been very unhealthy for America.
And Barack Obama reminds us that we're all in this together. But the second thing that he does and he did it so enthusiastically here, and he doesn't get a chance to do this that much as president to go out on the stump and say, hey, we were at over 10 percent unemployment rate.
That unemployment rate has been cut in half. We have a terrible deficit. That deficit has been cut by three quarters.
LEMON: He did... GRANHOLM: The -- I mean, he can recite with great pride and great honesty how far we have come. And that's very helpful.
LEMON: Well, Lieutenant Governor, it's interesting because he did mention all of those things today and he does have -- I mean, he has a record approval ratings, you know, these are ready -- that he's ready to pass the baton.
But you're saying that doesn't matter because to you most of the country doesn't believe that?
BAUER: Well, I do agree with Governor Granholm that he is a dynamic speaker, no question. He's got unbelievable skills when it comes to campaigning, but the record does speak for itself and there a lot of people that are hurting, there are a lot of people that actually voted for him before.
LEMON: So, contrary to what he said today about the unemployment rate, about, you know, bringing the country back from the brink of a recession and all of those things. What -- contrary to what is the country saying? Do the numbers speak for themselves or?
BAUER: When you go -- depends on who's doing the numbers.
BAUER: There are a lot of unemployed people that are no longer being counted as unemployed because they're no longer applying for jobs. I mean, so, we -- the number -- we know the numbers can be played with but you look at these battleground states and there's a lot of folks that are concerned am I going to have a job.
And they look at things like, is the coal business still going to be in if Hillary Clinton get elected. So, she's got some problems to overcome. Look, both candidates are scarred candidates, but at the end of the day, who can actually change Washington? I think Donald Trump has the leg up on that.
LEMON: There's a...
LEMON: Go ahead, quickly, Governor.
GRANHOLM: Yes, just very quickly. I mean, this point about jobs is so important. The lieutenant governor is right that people are concerned about their jobs and then they have to look at the plans of these two candidates.
What is Donald Trump's plan? If you look at objective folks who looked at it, like Moody's Analytics saying that with Donald Trump's plan we will lose 3.5 million jobs, that our debt he will add over $11 trillion to the deficit. They call it fantasy. On Hillary Clinton's side, she has very specific plans that she
continues to roll out to make sure that people know she cares about those who are unemployed, but she can also point to this democratic president who came out to campaign for her today.
The numbers are the numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that unemployment rate has been cut in half, 75 straight months of job creation, six years of job creation.
GRANHOLM: You cannot deny that.
LEMON: I have to -- I have you to have respond to that.
[22:34:59] BAUER: I would say the only job that Hillary knows how to create is getting lawyers employed. I mean, at the end of the day she's never created any jobs.
LEMON: That's it.
BAUER: Donald Trump has actually created jobs, he knows how to create jobs. He knows...
GRANHOLM: In Mexico, in China, in India, where he has employed people. What about in the U.S. other than declaring bankruptcy for those casinos? He's talking about outsourcing, he's talking about trade today but he's the outsourcer in chief.
BAUER: You don't become a billionaire by having nothing but losing businesses.
LEMON: Yes. OK. Thanks to both of you. We could go on and on and on.
GRANHOLM: I know.
LEMON: Governor, good to see you again. Thank you. Thank you for coming here, Lieutenant Governor. I appreciate it. Thank you for having me. It's good to have you here.
Another friend of the south. When we come right back, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have each other -- have hit each other plenty of -- given each other plenty of speed bumps on the road to the White House. Whatever, I'm not sure what I meant to say there. But whose judgment is worse and what do voters think? We'll be right back.
LEMON: So, just a little while ago, Donald Trump told a rally in North Carolina that Hillary Clinton was laughing at the, quote, "rigged system" after the FBI recommended no charges after its e-mail investigation.
[22:40:00] But Trump is dealing with plenty of controversy himself. Here to discuss, Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to the Trump campaign. We're going to talk about that. Margaret Hoover, republican consultant and Sirius XM host, and Bakari Sellers, a CNN contributor and Hillary Clinton supporter.
Kellyanne, when you came in I said now you're a senior contributor to the Trump campaign after all those conversations -- all those conversations that we had. I don't understand politics. What happened?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Why I support republican nominee, I always come around and do what I can for the party.
CONWAY: And I'm with all -- I'm in great company. I'm in the company of Chris Christie and Governor Mike Pence, and Senator Joni Ernst, Senator Tom Cotton and we don't have enough time to go through the list of all this. You have to unify around the nominee.
LEMON: No, I love you, Kellyanne, but I mean, we had such -- you had such heated conversations with Trump people and you were like, oh, my gosh, this is why he should never be president. Now you are a senior adviser.
CONWAY: No, I never said that.
CONWAY: I would ask them why they always felt the need to apologize for everything.
LEMON: Yes. So, let's talk about that then. Let's talk about because Hillary Clinton was interviewed for three hours to the FBI, but all anyone is talking about this controversy that the tweets, right, with Donald Trump and they're talking about the star.
So, there is the star. They think that it was the holocaust star and that there were some sort of anti-Semitism and it was changed to the circle. So, when you're saying they're always having to apologize. (AUDIO GAP)
CONWAY: No, I'm talking about you asking about the other Trump -- sometimes they're on with me.
LEMON: OK. Did you apologize for this?
CONWAY: So, what the Trump, the man who tweeted it has said he is married to a Jewish woman and that of course nobody intended any type of ant anti-Semitic references and that they changed it right away.
But I do like what you said about how Hillary Clinton spent her weekend. Three hours to the FBI and Donald Trump said he's going to be interviewing serious people to be vice president.
LEMON: We're going to get to that, we're going to get to that. We're going to get to that. But this star that was changed to a circle so -- and they said it was a sheriff's star. It's not the sheriff's star. The sheriff's star has little circles on the end that looks like a sheriff's star, it's very obvious. This looks like the Jewish star or the holocaust star. And to say that it's not the holocaust star is just not the truth.
CONWAY: What Dan Scavino said and what Mr. Trump -- what people would say about Mr. Trump is to call him anti-Semitic is a bridge too far and it's incredibly unfair. Donald Trump was one of the first people to allow Jewish members in his club in Florida. His daughter is a converted Orthodox Jewish woman. And I think that's important.
LEMON: OK. To that point, shouldn't they know better then?
CONWAY: I think that's important.
LEMON: Should they know -- but they just said, I just heard a sound bite from Donald Trump saying, basically saying you can't call him ignorance or stupidity, you can't be, you know, you have prosecutor...
CONWAY: You're talking about a classified e-mail server with multiple devices, 30,000 e-mails aligning.
LEMON: But that's not ignorance of stupidity to tweet that and then all of a sudden claim that it's not the star? That is the same thing. It's ignorance and it's stupid to tweet that, from which is an anti- Semitic from a mean, from an anti-Jewish site, from a hate site.
CONWAY: Well, I only know what Dan Scavino said. And he has said that he got it from an anti-Hillary site. But I do think that what Donald Trump said is relevant, Don, in that we're talking about an investigation that was not 140 characters long. It was about 140 weeks long. That's how long she had private servers, multiple devices.
James Comey decided not to press charges today. However, not to indict her. However, he totally rebuked everything she said publicly. I asked to have the private server. He said, no, she didn't, she would have been denied.
CONWAY: I had one device. No, she had multiple devices. My lawyers looked at all the e-mails before we turn them over. Also false. So, at least six falsities in what she had said and he refuted today.
LEMON: OK. All right. Now listen, I'll give that. And we've discussed that all night on the show and we're going to continue to discuss it for the next hour. We're going to be on two hours tonight and we're going to discuss that. But right now I want to talk about this star. So, earlier today you said that you were very sorry if anyone was
offended by this tweet, Trump nor his campaign has apologized during this campaign season for anything.
As a -- remember when you were on the other side and you were saying all of these people have to come on and they have to apologize for something that Donald Trump says every single day and they should be sick of it.
CONWAY: I didn't say that.
LEMON: Well, a lot, and let's be honest. A lot of things come out of Donald Trump's mouth, the surrogates end up coming on and they end up having to apologize or to try to make it better.
CONWAY: Or they should disagree with it.
LEMON: OK. So then how do you feel about this?
CONWAY: I give you a great example.
LEMON: Why does that the campaign apologize. Why do you have to come on and apologize?
CONWAY: You ask -- I didn't come on and apologize for it. You have to ask the campaign and that would include Dan Scavino. His view and he's been very clear about that view. I can't speak for him.
CONWAY: He's been the social media director from the beginning, he's done a phenomenal job. He alone has sent out thousand and thousands and thousands of tweets and this man beat 16 other people to become the republican nominee.
LEMON: But Kellyanne, this is a presidential campaign.
LEMON: Yes, you're running for the highest office of the land.
CONWAY: Oh, yes. And the Secretary of State and also a presidential campaign now is lying about her e-mails and server and maybe she seems to care.
LEMON: OK. I think it's fair to Dan Scavino to his side of the story, he said "For the MSM, meaning mainstream media, to suggest that I am anti-Semite -- anti-Semite is awful, I probably celebrate holidays with my wife amazing Jewish family for the past 16 years." Is that the best to respond?
CONWAY: I think that's relevant, Don.
[22:45:01] CONWAY: Listen, I think it's relevant, it's not just a response. It's who he is. And that's my whole point. Look to see who people are.
LEMON: But he said, listen, I've dated Jewish people, right, I have Jewish friends, I would know better than to tweet that star. That's a whole point. If he has a Jewish wife, shouldn't he know better than that?
CONWAY: And they change -- and he changed it. He changed it.
LEMON: OK. Go ahead.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I mean, at very best this is what Jim Comey said of Hillary Clinton extremely careless. OK? This was extremely careless. This was not -- look, I'm not going to pretend to understand why Trump was doing that, whether he thought about it, whether he just doesn't know, it's just ignorance.
But this is why there are a significant number of republicans who can't just fall in line behind the republican nominee. And it's not, I mean, it's not just this was a bad day for the home team. It was -- it's not just this tweet or the misogynist tweets or the racist tweets.
HOOVER: I mean, this is a long -- but one more bad day in a long line of very, very bad days that represents the character of an individual, the knowledge of an individual and the preparedness of an individual to lead the free world.
LEMON: And of the campaign. And of the campaign.
CONWAY: So, Mike Pence, and Joni Ernst, and Tom Cotton, and Dick Cheney and the whole crew are just wrong?
HOOVER: You know what? There's about -- and you think about to serve the Republican Party, Kellyanne, but you and I both know there's at least another good third of solid Republican Party leaders and stalwarts like George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush...
HOOVER: ... and many other republican nominees you're not going to have...
CONWAY: And a million people -- and many consultants very upset that their candidate...
HOOVER: At the republican nomination for this candidate.
LEMON: OK. HOOVER: So, you can cut me off but the truth is you and I both know there are many, many republicans who will not and cannot get behind a man like this to be the new president of the United States.
LEMON: OK. So, then I was listening to the Speaker of the House on Fox tonight saying, "Yes, I do support Donald Trump and I endorsed him but when he does something or says something silly, I'm going to speak my mind about it," and he thought the same thing about this star. Go ahead, Bakari.
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No, this is what I was going to say. I was going to piggy back on what Margaret was saying and just kind of push back on Kellyanne for a moment.
Because this morning, Paul Ryan had to go on radio, I believe his hometown radio station and he had to disavow this tweet for being anti-Semitic. He's already said that Donald Trump has actually said something that's been racist, now he's talking about how anti-Semitic his candidate is.
But this evening, in North Carolina, in Rowling, North Carolina, Donald Trump after Hillary Clinton, I'm sure she was very, very relieved to get beyond this -- to get beyond this investigation, but now Donald Trump is on stage and he is praising Saddam Hussein.
He literally came out of his mouth today and praised Saddam Hussein, one of the most ruthless dictators of the 20th century, someone who when Israel was not even in the Gulf War decided that he was going to use scud missiles to bomb and kill many Israelis.
And so, Paul Ryan himself had to disavow that tonight as well. So, I agree with Margaret. It's not just the morning but sometimes midday and even in the evening, you never know what Donald Trump's going to say. Donald Trump is so unprepared to be president of the United States, that is not even laughable, it's this scary.
LEMON: All right. I got to take a break. You'll get the first, Kellyanne, when we come back. We'll be right back.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: We were talking about Hillary Clinton and the e-mail controversy and also Donald Trump in this controversial tweet with the star.
And back with me, Bakari Sellers, Kellyanne Conway, and Margaret Hoover. Kellyanne, I wish that, you know, we could roll the cameras during the commercial break. What was your point during the commercial break about coverage? You said I ask you some very tough questions, but...
CONWAY: Oh, no. No, no, no, I'm saying that my stock and trade is voters. And voters have a reason why my expectation that at some point this campaign will start to be a battle of ideas and choices over policy. And that we leave that content-free cacophony of character and personality and that we go into comparing their health care plans. (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: But don't you think that would happen if there was a tweet of a star or saying about...
CONWAY: Well, why did it happen last week, in a week before, in a month before that?
HOOVER: I think -- I do think it's up to the candidate who have been making about substance. And I think we've seen an absolute lack of substance from Donald Trump.
SELLERS: But Donald -- but this is...
CONWAY: He makes speeches on substance all the time.
SELLERS: This is astounding. This is astounding that we're actually having this conversation because we're talking about a conversation about issues and substance when Donald Trump lacks that.
I mean, Donald Trump hasn't put out a white paper on how he's going to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Donald Trump hasn't talked about our aging infrastructure system. Donald Trump hasn't given a speech about how he's going to improve our school. I mean, Donald Trump's immigration policy the extent of it is to build a wall. And you said you want to have a conversation about substance is disingenuous.
CONWAY: Right. And Hillary has left, Bakari, if I surveyed Americans right now and ask them, please complete the fallen sentence, Hillary Clinton's vision for education reform is -- I'm going to get crickets in return.
HOOVER: Here, it is a...
CONWAY: And here it is in North Carolina.
HOOVER: It is, I mean, it is a little bit (Inaudible) here of Trump surrogate say it needs to be more about substance because I agree it should be more about substance and this is the major, I think, fallacy and problem and frankly, shame of this campaign is that there is no respectable mainstream republican alternative taking these debates and taking the substance to the American people.
Paul Ryan is trying his dumbest to do it, he's put out a policy papers for the last three weeks, two of them per week trying to focus on poverty, trying to focus on the debt, trying to focus on immigration. But you know what, taking the problem is, but every single day he's apologizing for Donald Trump.
And the challenge is that will now be branded. The Republican Party will now be branded and associated with the negative rhetoric.
LEMON: Let Kellyanne respond. Go ahead, Kellyanne.
HOOVER: What exactly the Republican Party brand is decimated.
CONWAY: No, what was it before? I'm curious.
HOOVER: It was quite low to be fair.
HOOVER: I was talking about...
CONWAY: OK. Well, but, everybody -- but you supported Marco Rubio, or you supported whomever, they had their chance.
HOOVER: I didn't.
CONWAY: Well, whomever, I'm sorry, but whoever, I mean, there were a lot of people running.
LEMON: OK. But the person who has a chance this time.
SELLERS: Can we get back -- can we get back to Donald Trump for one second?
LEMON: Bakari, go.
SELLERS: Can we get back to Donald Trump for a second? Let's talk about how troublesome in the lack of debt. I mean, Donald Trump has the foreign policy depth of a shallow bath tub.
For example, today when he was out there praising, when he was praising Saddam Hussein, we literally have military people right now who are working alongside Iraqis, Iraqi military, fighting back ISIS, ISIS and ISIL and he's praising the person who was butchering them and their family.
[22:55:08] CONWAY: Did Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama address that in North Carolina?
SELLERS: I mean, that is how -- that is how absurd his foreign policy and his, quote unquote, "substance is." I mean, that's just one example.
CONWAY: This is what democrats always do, Bakari, about Donald Trump. You can't talk about Hillary.
HOOVER: But hold on, Bakarai. Bakari, you're right. On the one hand you're right, you haven't heard a lot of substance from Donald Trump about his foreign policy.
On the other hand, because there is not a serious foreign policy candidate on the right, there is no one to push back on Hillary Clinton's pretty spotty record when it comes to -- I mean, she should answer for her Russian reset policy, she should answer for her invasion of Libya, she should answer for the policies of the Obama administration.
And you know what? She may be very well qualified but there are judgments and questions that she called when she was there that no one is calling on her to answer those questions.
SELLERS: Are you talking about...
LEMON: OK. I got to get to a break, Bakari. I'm sorry. Yes.
SELLERS: Go ahead.
LEMON: They should answer for a lot of things, but when you're doing things that usurp the headlines...
LEMON: ... it doesn't -- there's no room for it.
LEMON: When you're doing -- when you're doing stupid things like the star and that is the shame of the election.
CONWAY: I should have really thought Jim Comey usurped the headlines of no charges will be filed or that you had a great day next to President Obama, because he basically said you can get a job in your first, in your State Department.
LEMON: Tut there was a perfect -- today was a perfect headline for -- today was a perfect headline for that. Instead...
SELLERS: And he killed it.
LEMON: He killed it.
SELLERS: Donald Trump killed it.
CONWAY: Oh, lots of us would be happy to talk about it.
LEMON: It happens every time.
CONWAY: We'll be happy to talk about it.
LEMON: It happens every time. It was a complete like, I wish I could think of the number of examples...
CONWAY: I think with the income he said today, Don, will be an ad this fall.
LEMON: ... that republicans come on and on this show and say, my gosh, we had the perfect headline and then all of a sudden this. That's all I'm saying.
CONWAY: Well, the headline for a year and a half was he could never win. So, that's it...
LEMON: That wasn't the headline. Not on this program. That's not true.
CONWAY: But, no, no, you said republicans.
CONWAY: But look, Jim Comey what he said today in his 15-minute press conference was so brutal against Hillary Clinton, it was such an indictment and not indictment criminally but such an indictment of everything she had said, you will see that in ads in the fall.
LEMON: I got to go. Thank you. I appreciate you, all of you coming on. We'll be right back.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)