Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Defends Tweet, Calls Accusations of Anti-Semitism Ridiculous; FBI Director Calls Clinton Extremely Careless, Does Not Recommend Charges; ISIS Spreading Terror Attacks Around the World. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired July 5, 2016 - 23:00   ET


[23:00:47] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Well, we've said it before. Trump means never having to say you're sorry. This is CNN TONIGHT, I'm Don Lemon.

With Donald Trump dogging the latest controversy, this statement is truer that ever. The candidate tweeted a graphic slamming Hillary Clinton as the "Most corrupt candidate ever", along with a pile of cash and a six-pointed star. Trump calling accusations of anti- Semitism ridiculous. And to be fair, his daughter Ivanka is a convert to Judaism, but there's no denying that Donald Trump has a lot of support among white supremacists.

So is he trying to have it both ways? Is this a case of dog whistle politics? Trump facing that controversy as Hillary Clinton deals with one of her own fallout from the FBI's decision not to recommend charges over her use of private e-mail service while Secretary of State.

CNN's Senior Political Correspondent Brianna Keilar joins me now with more. She's out on the campaign trail. Good evening to you, Brianna, from Charlotte, North Carolina.

FBI Director James Comey said, "Hillary Clinton has been extremely careless but will not face criminal prosecution." Tell us about the reaction to that decision.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That was still a tough rebuke for Hillary Clinton and her aides but the Clinton campaign says they are pleased and certainly they are pleased that this has moved to this point and there aren't any charges. And they're stressing that it was career officials who came to this conclusion. So they're trying to highlight a process that they say is not political.

But Republican have a very different reaction. They're questioning the validity of this decision or questioning the objectivity of the Obama administration, and Donald Trump is going even further than that, questioning the ethics of the Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Here's what he said today in North Carolina.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The attorney general sitting there saying, "You know, I can get Hillary off the hook. I'm going to have four more years or eight more years. But if she loses, I'm out of a job." It's a bribe. It's a disgrace. It's a disgrace.

She's laughing at the stupidity of our system. She's laughing and so is her husband, Bill, laughing at what's going on because - and they've been there before.


KEILAR: The Clinton campaign today, Don, saying that they're happy this is resolved, but as you can see this is anything but for Donald Trump.

LEMON: Brianna, today was a big day for the Clinton campaign with President Barack Obama appearing with her just hours after the FBI announcement. What was that like?

KEILAR: This was fascinating, Don, because if you had not watched that press conference with Director Comey earlier in the day, if you were just watching this event here in Charlotte, North Carolina, with President Obama and Secretary Clinton, you wouldn't have known what even happened this morning.

There is no mention of it and yet, this trust gap that Hillary Clinton has with voters, the polls show in part because of her e-mail situation is a big reason that President Obama was here today vouching for her character and also taking on Donald Trump. He didn't mention him by name but he certainly took aim at him. Here's what he said.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I know the other guy talks about making America great again. America's really great. This is a choice between whether to cling to some imaginary past or whether we're going to reach for the future. This is about whether we have an America that works for everybody or just a few people.


KEILAR: Some really scathing words for Donald Trump here today in Charlotte from President Obama. And it was also significant, Don, just the full-throated endorsement that he gave Hillary Clinton. He said there's never been any man or woman more qualified for this office than Hillary Clinton. You're seeing a bit of a symbiotic relationship here. Obviously President Obama wants his legacy to remain in tact. He finds it's essential for him that Hillary Clinton go to the White House and Hillary Clinton is hoping that some of President Obama's popularity rubs off on to her because you look at their approval ratings and his are more than 10 points higher than hers.

[23:05:07] LEMON: It is funny because he made a little joke, you know, to that end. But as I was watching today going wait a minute, who's running, him or her, because he was really comfortable and he seemed really happy to be up on that stage, right?

KEILAR: Yeah. He is running for her and he's also really giving her a push for himself. They're so tied together in this, their success is just inextricably linked at this point in time.

LEMON: Yeah, his legacy depends on her. Thank you very much, Brianna Keilar. I appreciate that.

Now, I want to turn to Donald Trump and the controversy over a tweet some are calling anti-Semitic. Here to discuss now, CNN Politics Reporter Jeremy Diamond, Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany and Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League, good to have all of you.

Jeremy, you first, Donald Trump has his own fire storming contain with right now. It started with this weekend with this tweet. We're to put it out. So walk us through this, Jeremy.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Yeah, Don. So it all began Saturday morning, early Saturday morning when Donald Trump tweeted this graphic, a six-pointed star, a pile of cash and the words "most corrupt candidate ever". The backlash was pretty much immediate online with critics on both the right and the left firing off with accusations that this amounted to anti-Semitism or at least evoked anti-Semitic imagery.

Less than, two hours later Trump would then tweet a different version of the graphic, amid all of the backlash. This one now with a circle instead of a six-pointed star, and a little while later, he would actually end up deleting that original tweet.

LEMON: So, for several days, we heard nothing from the Trump campaign. Then yesterday morning, we heard from Trump, who did he blame, a staffer, correct?

DIAMOND: That's right. Well, Donald Trump did not in his own words blame a staffer, but a staffer did take -- responsibility for posting the tweet on Monday. His social media Director, Dan Scavino, said that in fact, you know, the tweet was posted that it was a mistake or at least that he realized it was offensive to some and therefore they removed it. He was explaining the decision why.

But we didn't hear anything from the Trump campaign over the entire weekend as this controversy was brewing over where this image appeared. You know, on Saturday, there was a report from that emerge that this graphic has actually been posted ten days earlier to a message board, or online message board that featured anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that neo-Nazi propaganda. We quickly confirm that report at CNN on Sunday, but the Trump campaign still refuse to acknowledge whether or not that image had actually been pulled from that site or from elsewhere.

So Donald Trump, so the Director actually said that the image was pulled from a an anti-Hillary Clinton Twitter account that posted a range of images but actually some of the images that that Twitter account posted, if we were to believe that it was the account that posted this image several days before it appeared on the anti-Semitic message board, that account actually posted images that were both Islamophobia and racist.

LEMON: So it's being called a dog whistle to anti-Semites. In fact, David Duke even defended the original tweet, correct?

DIAMOND: That's right. David Duke today actually said that, you know, there was no way that this was a sheriff's badge. That was with Donald Trump himself said this was a sheriff's badge or a simple star, in no way meant to invoke the Star of David, the Jewish Star of David.

So you see, even the white supremacists that support Trump, as Duke does, are saying that, "No, this was in fact something meant to evoke this anti-Semitic imagery and that's something that we're hearing from of those white supremacist supporters of Donald Trump as well as, you know, the critics who've accused Donald Trump of promulgating at least anti-Semitic imagery.

LEMON: All right, Jeremy, standby.

Jonathan, so let's put the tweet back up. David Duke is an American. He's a free person. He can tweet whatever he wants, Donald Trump can't control whether he supports him or not but he can disavow him. When you looked at this, what did you think?

JONATHAN GREENBLATT, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: I knew exactly what was it was. It's a Star of David on a back drop of money, calling a candidate corrupt, it evokes anti-Semitism. That was clearly the intent of the tweet and image behind it. It was developed by white supremacists, so it's interesting.

For all that years at the ADL with fighting anti-Semitism and bigotry, on this, the ADL and David Duke agree. It was an anti-Semitic image. It was offensive and we wish Donald Trump hadn't pushed it out.

LEMON: Kayleigh, what are the - it's a sheriff's star they're saying, do you believe that? Is that what the campaign saw?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Yeah, I believe a staffer saw this. He thought it was a good image. He didn't think about what it could mean or he have to see that ...

LEMON: OK. So this is the six-pointed star. This is a star. That's the one that was on the tweet on the left. The one in the middle is a holocaust. The one on the right is the sheriff's star. The sheriff's star has little circles on the end. How could anyone say it's a sheriff's star?

[23:10:00] MCENANY: You got to love what this campaign has come to.

LEMON: I mean - OK. No, the proof right there, are you still going to say - OK. No, proof that what a sheriff's star looks like and what the holocaust star looks like. Are they still going to go with the sheriff's star?

MCENANY: I just had an image sent to me and the sheriff's star looks a lot like the one in the middle. And here is the thing, well, this was not ... LEMON: Wait, wait. Put it back up, please.

MCENANY: That is one image of a sheriff's star. What happen was, a staffer saw this and thought this is a funny image, send it out, you know, carelessly perhaps, and then had to change it. And that is fine because if you look at the intent of this. Donald Trump is not - let's get to the bottom of what we're saying here.


LEMON: Let's get to this one point at a time. So if it's an image and they thought it was a funny image or they thought it was cute, then why the excuse it's a sheriff's star. Why not say, "You know what? I screwed up, I didn't realize it was an anti-Semitic image and that was a holocaust star. Why come up with this whole thing rigged in a row ...

MCENANY: The staffer did come out. Dan Scavino came out and said, "I mistakenly send an image. I didn't mean to offend anyone and I changed the image." And you just said that do you think Donald Trump's intent was to be anti-Semitic here, that's not the case." His daughter is Jewish, his grandchildren are Jewish. His son-in-law came out to Jared Kushner and said, "He has never had an anti-Semitic bone in his body and in fact the Anti-Defamation League praised Donald Trump 20 years ago for opening his resorts to Jewish individuals praised them in a Wall Street Journal article. He is not anti-Semitic

LEMON: Are you saying Donald Trump is anti-Semitic ...

GREENBLATT: I didn't say ...


LEMON: Because Donald Trump didn't tweet. He did not tweet this, a staffer tweet this, right, from his account. So I don't know if people are accusing Donald Trump of being anti-Semitic. I think it's a campaign and the person he - although he has retweeted things from racist web sites.

MCENANY: But here's the thing. We throw out these accusations and focus in on these stories because the root of what we're trying to say is Donald Trump is X, Y, Z. For a while, this week he's racist, this week he's Islamophobic. This week he's all of a sudden he's anti- Semitic. He is none of those things. And people should start owning the accusation they put forward. If you ...

GREENBLATT: Kayleigh, there's no accusation. There's just the outcome. There's a reason why the KKK says the recruiting is up. There's a reason why David Duke happily endorsed the tweet. There's a reason why reporters and journalist on the right and left have been slandered and viciously attacked with anti-Semitic images and tweet harassment online and offline. There's a reason why this is happening. And the dog whistles. Don't take it from me. Listen to what the KKK is saying. Listen to what Andrew Anglin who run, the (inaudible) is saying. He said, "Let the white evangelicals hear his message on Israel, we will listen to his signals." MCENANY: You know what? You sounds exactly like, this sounds exactly like 1980 when the same accusations were being levied again one Ronald Reagan. Esquire magazine said and it's important for viewers to understand that anyone who votes for Ronald Reagan is like a good German and Hitler's Germany. Carter's Secretary of Health and Human Services said that Reagan raised the specter of white sheets - hold on, I let you finished, said that Reagan raised the specter of white sheets, because people from the KKK had endorsed him.

They were saying the same things about Reagan that they are now saying about Donald Trump. And it's time to not have revisionist history and repeat this all over again.

LEMON: Was Ronald Reagan sending out an anti-Semitic literature or, I mean, there was no Twitter at the time, was he sending out messaging or ...

MCENANY: It was a completely different time. This was a mistaken that was actually sent out, the staffer came out and explain it. Donald Trump is not anti-Semitic. That's the bottom line. That's the end of the story.

GREENBLATT: Again, Kayleigh, the better comparison is not Ronald Reagan. It's George Wallace. We have to go back to the Wallace campaign in the '60s, to hear some anti-Semitic and racist rhetoric.

Look, the bottom line is this. He should just admit the offense, apologize and say and I think this would satisfy all of the public on the right and the left, just say white supremacists, extreme right, you have no place in my campaign, hate has no place in the public square, you have nothing to do with making America great again. If Donald Trump would say that clearly, unequivocally ...

MCENANY: He has.

GREENBLATT: ... this issue would be over.

LEMON: He has said that directly.

MCENANY: Yes, he has said that.

LEMON: He said, I don't want your vote, I don't want your support.

MCENANY: After the whole interview with Jake Tapper, he came out a multiple number of times and said I do not want the support of anyone involved with the KKK or David Duke or any of this, it's the people who want to caricature him as racist and all of this other things that try to simplify him into this little box, that don't see that Donald Trump ...

LEMON: Respectfully.

MCENANY: ... was on the cutting edge ...

LEMON: You'll get the first word on the other side of the break. We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:18:19] LEMON: All right, we're back now talking about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and specifically talking about the tweet sent out with the star. I'm back now with Jonathan Greenblatt, Kayleigh McEnany.

People are asking me why I don't refer to it as the Star of David. I've seen those Star or David. This is sort of a perverted representation of the Star of David. You call it the, what, the Nazi star?

GREENBLATT: You can refer it to the star that the Nazis used to identify the Jews.

LEMON: To identify the Jews, right. That's why we're not technically calling it the Star of David because that is a symbol of reverence. This is not used in that way.

So, Jonathan, I will give you the first word on other side.

GREENBLATT: Well, I think it's really important to point out. You know, we track hate crimes at the ADL. And we saw last year that the number of anti-Semitic were up a little bit as well as the number of assault against Jews doubled.

And the FBI report said 57 percent of the faith-based hate crimes, crimes committed against people because of this religion, that happened against Jews. Jews are the most targeted group.

So I think we've got to be really understanding of why so many people their eyebrows are raised, and they took offense at that tweet. Now, the fact to the matter is Donald Trump does have a Jewish grandchildren, Donald Trump did with his club in Southern Florida open it up to blacks and Jews when he opened it in the '80s. Donald has done those things.

But what he has also done on his campaign is give winks and signals to white supremacists and allow their ideas to be mainstreamed. I only wish, I only wish he would call them out with the same energy because of the media. I only wish he would criticize them with the same verve that he's been using to criticize the other candidates.

LEMON: So, Kayleigh, if you scroll through David Duke's Twitter feed, you see a combination of tweets that praising while people and denouncing minorities, along with a love for Donald Trump.

[23:20:00] Does it concern you to what Jonathan saying that your candidate is obstructing that and maybe people think there is not enough force and energy behind denouncing that sort of thing?

MCENANY: No, because I've seen him repeatedly denounce these individuals.

And David Duke is irrelevant. There's no place for his views. In the society, Donald Trump has made that clear you can look back to Ronald Reagan, when the KKK leaders were endorsing him and everyone said -- as I mentioned the last thought, he's a specter of white sheet coming back again and just simply what's not true.

We can look at the fact that the KKK Grand Dragon in California endorsed Hillary Clinton but these are the actions of third party individuals who quite honestly do not deserve to have a voice in society. Donald Trump has dismissed them and I think that's the big picture is the things that he didn't do at Mar-a-Lago, opening his clubs to Jews and blacks when no one else will do that.

I look at the big picture and I don't see it and mistaken tweet that, that was carelessly sent out by a staffer as that meant for Donald Trump being anti-Semitic.

GREENBLATT: Well, look I mean, I like ...

LEMON: Hold on, hold on, hold on. This is you're running for a leader in the free world so just to say Kayleigh McEnany is running for a leader in the free world and someone puts how to tweet like that and you said the star represents what? Explain us what this ...


LEMON: Oh, no, no, on the money, you said this particular tweet.

GREENBLATT: Jews and money as if Jews were corrupting government as if Jews have control of candidates, its invoking this age-old stereotypes about Jews and money.

LEMON: OK. So Kayleigh McEnany is running for president and someone in your campaign tweets that out. And your daughter is married to a Jewish and has converted and you have a Jewish grandchild, what is the first thing you did when you woke up that morning, would be like, "I don't know who the hell did this. I am sorry that this happened and whoever did it is fired. We do not stand for this at all." Wouldn't that be the first thing that you did?

MCENANY: I wouldn't fire the staffer because Dan Scavino has done a great job, this is one misinformed tweet that was nothing.

LEMON: I would fire the staffer. Why wouldn't you fire the staffer? You're running for a president of the United States, you can't have people around you who will make stupid mistakes like that.

MCENANY: He's loyal to the people around him and that's something I really like and she's not your typical politician ...

LEMON: He was loyal to Corey Lewandowski, he was no longer employed. He is now at CNN. Where did that get him?

MCENANY: And Corey did a great job. Corey, want him to the primary and I'm glad he will go out to Corey. He might not have won without Corey. Corey, did an excellent job on that campaign. He has loyalty and it's worth mentioning, you know, this is -- there are, you know, these tweets shouldn't have gone out, whether it have gone out on the George Bush administration, probably not. We have this, huge, you know, panoply of staffers around him but this is what still good about Donald Trump. Just 12 months ago, this guy was just a citizen running his business, he's not a Washington politician, he doesn't have a well-oiled campaign machine that's, you know, got everything under control and I was -- it has this eloquent phrases ...

LEMON: That's great story. That's a great story. That's great story

MCENANY: It's the truth.

LEMON: But when you're running for a president of the United States, you simply have to be buttoned up and you have to have people around you who know what they're doing and who are going to protect you and not have people having to come on television every single week to apologized and defend the indefensible sometimes, go ahead.

GREENBALT: Yeah, like look, I run the companies myself. I worked in government too I didn't worked and run the ADL today and I would fire someone on my staff that they sent out a message like that with so misrepresented my values because this isn't in a right wing thing or left wing thing. It's not about being the Republican or being a Democrat. The stuff of that tweet like, so many other tweets that his retweeted from white supremacist websites or quotes from fatuous leaders or naming a white nationalist to be one of his delegates from California, or just dismissing this as Corey Lewandowski did as political correctness.

Look, we're still mourning Elie Wiesel and to call an anti-Semantic meaning like this, something that Donald Trump was able to sustain with his millions of followers to dismiss that while we're mourning Elie Wiesel. I think this disgrace him.

MCENANY: The staffer who sent the tweet has a Jewish family. There was no intent here and that's why, you got to look at the intent about ...

LEMON: And the staffer who did that and was (inaudible) that he was ignorant to do that. And I have to - do have to say this Jared Kushner who many people who respect too is Donald Trump's son-in-law.

He is an orthodox Jew. He released a statement. He said "My father- in-law is an incredibly loving and tolerant person who is embraced my family and our Judaism since I began dating my wife. I know that Donald Trump not at all subscribe -- I know that Donald Trump does not at all -- sorry I don't have my glasses -- does not at all subscribe to any to any racist or any anti-Semitic thinking. I have personally seen him embrace people of all racial and religious backgrounds. The suggestion that he may be intolerant is not reflective of the Donald Trump I know." And I think that's perfect way to end it.

Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

MCENANY: Thank you.

LEMON: And we come right back, will Donald Trump's controversial tweet cost him votes in November, Alan Dershowitz tells me why he thinks it will. We'll be right back.


[23:28:35] LEMON: The FBI director calling Hillary Clinton extremely careless but saying he will not recommend charges against her for using private e-mail servers.

Here to talk about this is Alan Dershowitz, he noted defense attorney who is the author of "Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law", among numerous other books that he writes.

So, Alan, before we get to the Hillary Clinton, because I know you wanted to discuss that. You have some very pointed things you want to say about that. My last conversation were talking about the star and the Donald Trump tweet.


LEMON: We'll put that up. It's dominating the conversation. When you look at this tweet, what do you think?

DERSHOWITZ: Well, clearly it's the Star of David and if you have any doubt about it, just see what the source is. And whoever put a sheriff's star in front of a lot of money, does anybody think that sheriffs make too much money or they're too corrupt? Of course, it was intended by the person who did it as anti-Semitic.

Now, I don't blame Donald Trump personally for that. I don't think he knew that, but when I got interested in this case was when some people on his behalf was saying it's a sheriff's star.

LEMON: There it's on the screen.

DERSHOWITZ: That's just an absurd, absurd statement. Of course it's the Star of David and was so intended by the anti-Semites who put it in front of hundred dollar bills. So, I think he just should have said look it was a mistake, we didn't realize it, I apologize. I don't think he can ever say the words I apologize but in this case it would really serve as interest.

LEMON: Do you think it's going to help him -- hurt him, excuse me, with Jewish voters?

[23:30:00] DERSHOWITZ: Yes, I already have heard from four to five Jewish voters who are thinking ...

LEMON: Republics, I'm sorry.

DERSHOWITZ: -- voting for him, Republicans, who say this cross the line.

And, so I think it will hurt him, but it will help him with people on the extreme, extreme neo-Nazi right. And, you know, I think he and Bernie Sanders have in common, they're not bigots individually personally, but they don't want to lose the vote, in his case, of the hard, hard right and Bernie Sanders didn't want to lose the votes of the hard, hard anti-Israel left.

So they both kind of pandered and let things go. And we're a centrist country and I think people win elections by appealing to the senators.

LEMON: Do you think the campaign use this as a dog whistle or you think it was just a mistake?

DERSHOWITZ: I think it was a mistake originally, but I think not apologizing was probably some kind of a dog whistle.

So, I want to give him the benefit of the doubt that it was a mistake.

LEMON: Let's move on.

You said that what the FBI director, James Comey, did today was unprecedented. Why did you say that?

DERSHOWITZ: Not only unprecedented, but very questionable. Heads of the FBI are not supposed to make judgment calls. They're supposed to lay out the evidence and leave it to prosecutors to make the judgment calls.

Directors of the FBI are not supposed to issue statements about what they think of the evidence, they're not supposed to make statements about what the consequences might be for others. He has suggested, for example, that Hillary Clinton's aides may be denied security clearance.

And, he was very confusing. I still don't know and I looked at every single word he said. I don't know whether any single e-mail was stamped classified.

LEMON: Yes, that's a whole thing.

DERSHOWITZ: Because he used this ambiguous term, marks, what are the exact words.

LEMON: I have -- I've got it, I've got it. So listen ...

DERSHOWITZ: Yeah, markings.

LEMON: Yeah, I was sitting here with Marc Mukasey.

DERSHOWITZ: Who's a terrific guy, a terrific lawyer.

LEMON: And Jeffrey Toobin and ...

DERSHOWITZ: Great (inaudible).

LEMON: ... no one could figure out exactly what I was saying. So I'm going to read this, and you tell me, you're an attorney, if you understand.

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.


LEMON: But even if information is not marked classified in "in an e- mail participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it". I'm glad that's ...


LEMON: ... in a big print so could I read it.

DERSHOWITZ: So, what we have is exactly what the FBI should not be doing.

LEMON: What did that mean?

DERSHOWITZ: The FBI should be giving us the facts, ma'am, nothing but the fact. I want to know whether any of those e-mails had a stamp that said, "Classified." I can't know that from this statement.


DERSHOWITZ: What he gives us is that his opinion that even if it's not marked classified, person should be held responsible for not dealing with them, and that's not the role of the FBI.

Now, I want to ask all your listeners one question, we all love Comey. I like him, he's terrific, he's honorable. Let's remember the name of the man who was on the building that Comey works in, his name was J. Edgar Hoover. Would we want another J. Edgar Hoover in the future to exercise the kind of power that Comey exercised in this case? And the answer is no, which I'm sure it is, then we have to make some structural changes that don't allocate all of this power to the FBI. In this case, the FBI found the facts, supplied the law, and exercised discretion in judgment. That's not the proper role of the FBI in a democratic society.

LEMON: Do you think she should have been indicted ...


LEMON: ... she should have been charged, not at all. OK.

DERSHOWITZ: Oh, no, I don't think it's a close question.

LEMON: Donald Trump likes Secretary Cinton's e-mail investigation to what happened with General David Petraeus. Is that ...

DERSHOWITZ: Not even close.

General Petraeus knew that he was disclosing classified information and he did it for personal reasons of a sexual or autobiographical nature. He knew. He did the Hamlet's Soliloquy, to be or not to be a felon. And he knew, he stepped over the line. He knew he was violating the rules of classification. Hillary Clinton never had that moment to be or not to be a felon. She never said to herself. Now, I'm crossing any line. She didn't know that lines were being crossed and that's not the basis for criminal prosecution.

LEMON: And just for that as just we were talking about that, Donald Trump said the system is rigged. General Petraeus got in trouble for far less very, very unfair as usual. Bad judgment. Was it far less?

DERSHOWITZ: No, it wasn't far less. It was very different.

LEMON: Got you.

DERSHOWITZ: No -- you know, what Hillary Clinton did involve many more pieces of e-mail so it -- you may say it was more. But when you look at the totality of the evidence, it was the right decision made by the wrong person. Comey should not have been exercising the prosecutorial judgment and discretion whether or not carelessness constitutes gross negligence. That should be done by a prosecutor.

LEMON: Will the Justice Department take his recommendation and not prosecute do you think?

DERSHOWITZ: Absolutely.

LEMON: Yeah.

DERSHOWITZ: This case is over as far as Hillary Clinton.

LEMON: But it's not going away politically.

DERSHOWITZ: It's not going away politically. And, you know, question everybody ask, they ask themselves, let's assume you think that she showed bad judgment.

[23:35:00] Compare that to the bad judgment that we see by Donald Trump every single day, this is going to be an easy case when it comes to making calls about who has the least worst judgment. And unfortunately, in this election, for many people, it won't be who's the best candidate, it will be who's the least worst candidate.

I think Hillary Clinton is a terrific candidate. I agree with President Obama that it's hard to find anybody who's ever been more clarified.

But for a lot of people, this will be a choice of evils, unfortunately.

LEMON: Always a pleasure to have you on. Thank you, Alan Dershowitz.

DERSHOWITZ: Thank you.

LEMON: When we come right back, a war on terror. A wave of deadly attacks around the world during the holy month of Ramadan. Is ISIS losing the war but winning the battles?


LEMON: ISIS may be losing territory in Iraq, but they're spreading deadly terror attacks around the world. Here to discuss, Bob Baer, former CIA operative and the author of "The Perfect Kill, 21 Laws for Assassins," Juliette Kayyem, the author of "Security Mom", and Michael Weiss, the co-author of "ISIS, Inside the Army of Terror". I have so many authors here. I'm just going to keep saying author, author, author. Three of them.

So, in May, ISIS issued a chilling call to step up attacks during Ramadan as we have seen that they have done with a wave of attacks, killing hundreds across 10 countries during Islam's holy month.

[23:40:07] Michael, I'm going to start with you, because, is all of this, you know, a call for violence, is called for violence in May designed to make it seem like ISIS has this, you know, far of a reach or influence?

MICHAEL WEISS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. And they're also trying to steal the media narrative away from their losses on the battlefield.

LEMON: Really?

WEISS: So they get booted out of Fallujah and they set a bunch of things off around the world, and guess what, we're sitting here now not talking about Fallujah, we're talking about Bangladesh, Istanbul, Orlando, et cetera.

But this goes back to 2014 when -- it's not a pivot of strategy, it's a reemphasis on what have been the kind of the old strategy of ISIS, which is foreign operations, terrorism worldwide. Zarqawi struck Jordan in 2005, first he tried to do a chemical weapons attack in Amman. That failed, then he perpetuated a series of suicide bombings in three hotels, killed, you know, hundreds of people. This is known as Jordan's 9/11.

It's always the goal of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, what we now call ISIS to conduct global jihad. So they're just -- they now have the resources, the manpower and the finances to do that.

LEMON: OK. So speaking all that global resources, finances, manpower, the coordination between all of these countries and locations, I mean, it's pretty ...

WEISS: Well, I wouldn't say there's coordination necessarily. You know, Istanbul would be for sure. That came from Raqqah HQ.

Orlando, no. At best, you can call that ISIS inspired. Bangladesh also seems to be more of the inspirational mold than somebody being dispatched operatives trained up in Syria and Iraq.

But again, it's what I call the invisible armies of the caliphate. People that are unknown to ISIS, that are unknown to Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi, who are inviting Iyad ideology, watching the YouTube sermons, reading Dabiq. Following the social media threads, seeing what they put out in their own propaganda as uninterrupted battlefield success and a kind of Messianic, you know, global prowess. That is driving people to want to commit jihad under the black flag.

LEMON: And Juliette, speaking of, these attackers come from countries as different as Russia, and you heard Michael said, Bangladesh. Will this affect the way security officials track the group?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes. I mean, obviously, your -- heir concern is going to be immigration or people who have trained in Syria getting into either Europe or other countries. And so that is actually -- that was part of the debate of Brexit. I mean, look, this is a global debate of discussions (ph), part of the debate here in the United States about whether you can keep bad people out with a wall.

So this idea of trying to stem the flow of individuals who might attack in this homeland or other homelands is a key part of counterterrorism. It will fail. I mean, I'm just being blunt here. I mean, the idea that, you know, in a world in which millions of people are in the air right now as I speak that you're going to be able to stop the one or two or three individuals from coming here or anywhere else is probably a bridge too far at this stage.

So while immigration is a piece of it, we do have to recognize that this is the consequence of successes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and also, you know, begin to build our defenses internally, have good response plans, all of them combined. Immigration is not going to be the sole solution for the kind of challenges both as Michael said, ISIS directed but then also the ISIS inspired, which is not an immigration issue. They're already here.

LEMON: Yeah, Bob Baer, CIA Director John Brennan and other officials have said that as ISIS loses land, they increase their international violence. Will this change the Iraqi government strategy at all?

ROBERT BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Don, I think we have to look at Iraq as pretty much a failed state. This was a huge car bomb, killed 250 people. There's some reports that there was napalm in it, which is just devastating, it killed mostly women and children that were out shopping.

And the Iraqis took Fallujah using militias. And I read their Arabic press everyday and these people are not, you know, focusing on Fallujah, the fall of it, but rather the atrocities committed by the Shi'a militia. They have a different way of looking this and it's fueling ISIS, and I think, you know, I agree with Juliette, we just cannot stop these attacks. And yes, Brennan is right. It's just going to come this way and because it didn't come on the 4th of July doesn't mean it's not coming.

And as long as these conflicts go on and as long as Iraq is a failed state, violence will spread out, no matter how much land ISIS loses.

LEMON: What do you think the driving forces behind this increase in attacks, Michael?

WEISS: Well, if I can just pick up on Bob's ...

LEMON: Dropped my pen.

WEISS: Sorry, if I can pick up on Bob's point about Baghdad, in a way, this is the outlier because these attacks have been characteristics since the U.S. occupation invasion and occupation of Iraq.

But with respect to Iraq, ISIS has a got a very Machiavellian strategy. And it has been the case since 2004.

[23:45:02] Iraq is a Shi'a majority country, ISIS is the extremist outcropping of Sunni jihadism. To get Sunnis on side, what do they have to do? They have to attack the Shi'a in a genocidal pathological fashion, brutalize and radicalize the Shi'a such that they join the Hashd al-Shaabi or this consortium of Shi'a militias as Bob was saying. Which then go in and conduct retaliatory acts of violence against the Sunnis, ethnic cleansing, burning the homes of Sunnis, pilgrims (ph), et cetera.

That pushes Sunni minority population into the ISIS fault. Fallujah right now is a popped moonscape, uninhabitable. It's not going to be inhabitable for a long time.

If you're looking at this from ISIS's perspective, you can say, "Yeah, that's a tactical loss for us." But in the long term, this could be a gain in terms of morale because it's going to make Sunnis want to rejoin the fold.

Also, one of the reasons the Iraqi government put forward for going after Fallujah and prioritizing that above the battle for, say, Mosul, was Fallujah is only 40 miles away from Baghdad. That's what they thought ISIS was staging a lot of these vehicle borne IED attacks inside the capital.

This bomb came from Diyala Province by all accounts. Diyala Province is where ISIS have set the most intense, pitched sectarian meltdown battle to end all battles is going to take place. And that is one of the most pluralistic mixed provinces inside Iraq.

LEMON: All right. Everyone, stay with me. When we come right back, attacks on Bangladesh and Baghdad killed more than 270 people. What can we do to prevent the next attack, if anything?


[23:50:17] LEMON: Back with me now, Bob Baer, Juliette Kayyem and Michael Weiss.

So let's talk about the terror attack in Bangladesh, 21 hostages dead, two police officers. What do we know about these attackers, Michael?

WEISS: Well, it seems like they were mostly ISISI-inspired attackers. Again, they're not operatives that were trained up and sent from Syria and Iraq.

One of the trends that has been noted about this attack is that they all came from very well to do upper middle class families. Again, giving the lie to this notion that poverty breeds terrorism. In fact, most of these cases, we've seen in Britain, we've seen in Paris, we've seen in Belgium, they all come from bushwa backgrounds.

You know, look, Bangladesh has been in denial about the state of jihadism inside its own borders. One Bangladeshi official came out and said something really stupid like, "This is an Israeli false flag." I mean, again, designed to just pretend like all this hunky dorying well.

It does look, unfortunately, like the Bangladeshi authorities ended up killing a few hostages thinking they were the terrorists themselves.

LEMON: Right.

WEISS: So, we're -- again, this is not the most open of societies. We're still trying to get to the bottom of what happened.

LEMON: Hey, Juliette, ISIS had direct interaction with their victims terrorizing them four hours before brutally hacking many of them to death. What does that tell you about ISIS tactics now?

KAYYEM: Oh, I think it's all for media interest and it's all for recruitment at this stage. I think the name of the game is recruitment for ISIS right now.

And so, you know, I don't really even like saying, you know, are we winning the war and they're -- you know, and they're winning the battles. They're not winning the battles, this is all about, can they still be the big, you know, bad guys in the world.

And so the longer that, say, Bangladesh happened, the more interest there was, the more focus there is. And, you know, they get the attention that they want and that's what this is about, right? It is about recruitment because they need bodies. They need land. They need land for money, they need land for training, they need land for oil, but they need bodies.

And so the more that they're successful -- and I just have to say one thing. We haven't talked about the one that was a jaw dropper for me was, of course, Saudi Arabia. Because whatever that was, it was supposed to be a lot worse than it was. And Saudi Arabia, you know, we talked about these different counterterrorism, you know, can we be tougher. I mean, Saudi Arabia is, you know, a harsh, you know, sort of monarchy which there's no rights and they're killing and beheading people they alleged to be terrorist every single day, and they still had what might have been very, very bad attacks have they not been stopped.

LEMON: Bob, do you want to respond to Saudi Arabia?

BAER: It doesn't look good to me. I mean, three coordinated attacks, they happened on the same day. You had the Saudi King today come out and say, "We are going to take this on." There is a problem with radicalization. I always worry about the kingdom, it's very opaque, the politics, or I don't know what's happening.

LEMON: No one has claimed responsibility.

BAER: In a lot of times, they don't. They -- the Islamic State does not want to declare jihad on Saudi Arabia just as it didn't for Jordan for a long time. Or even Turkey, no one claimed responsibility for Istanbul. So it's not a hard and fast rule.

LEMON: Could this hit reinforced unity between gulf countries in fighting back at ISIS, Bob?

BAER: Yes, it already has. The Saudis are predominant in the gulf. Very good connections with the intelligence services there. They have put a lot of money into it. They're very worried about it. They violated a lot of human rights but they're scared, and that's the reason they're doing it.

You know, I think at the end of the day, again, it's going to depend on Syria and Iraq the way those conflicts go, if they continue to be -- go very badly and a lot of people die, it will affect Saudi Arabia sooner rather than later.

LEMON: I also want to talk about the attack in Baghdad. This attack in Baghdad on July 2nd killed 250 and injured another 200 people. Iraq's interior minister resigned. Where can the country go from here in making sure their citizens are secure? Bob, you first.

BAER: I think one thing they have to get a government that really, truly has Sunni representation. They need to have a national army that can go into Diyala as Michael was talking about. These car bombs, I mean, a truck this size with the sophistication is a really a bad, bad sign and there's no way to protect them. There are no detectors in the rest of it. So you really have to get a national government in Iraq before you're going to solve this.

But right now, I think the Islamic State may be losing ground, but it's picking up adherence, radicalized Sunnis.

LEMON: Same question to you, Juliette.

KAYYEM: Oh, I think Bob's exactly right in this regard. I mean, obviously, this is done also, I mean, the prime minister is being booed.

[23:55:01] You're trying to sort of turn -- you know, make a failed state even more failed if you're ISIS.

But, you know, once again, from this sort of defensive perspective, if you're at the stage that you cannot stop a truck going into a crowded market in a country that is not, you know, sort of has had its history of violence, there's been a lot of failures to get to that point.

So what we have to do is, you know, support the kind of training and counterterrorism efforts that may not stop everything, but boy, this was -- I mean, this was -- I mean, this was sort of old school, this was like the 1990s, you know, the guys would buy, you know, trucks into Lebanon. This was -- and sort of means that they knew that Iraq was unprepared to stop it.

LEMON: OK. And final thoughts, Michael.

WEISS: Well, look, in addition to what Bob said about Iraq being a failed state, this is one of the most corrupt countries on the planet. People are asking how did this truck bomb get into this crowded marketplace. I bet, you know, anything, that when this investigation is conducted, assuming a transparent investigation can be conducted in Iraq, you're going to find that money changes hands.

Haider al-Abadi, the prime minister, comes out a day ago and says, "We're going to now outlaw all of these bogus bomb detection devices we've been using for years." Well, why were you using them in the first place? I mean, somebody was making money. It's a racket.

LEMON: Yeah.

WEISS: The ombudsman for corruption in Iraq told my friend, Martin Chulov, at The Guardian that everyone in this country is corrupt, including myself, I've taken bribes.

LEMON: I got to go.

That's it for us tonight.


LEMON: Thank you, everyone. Thanks for watching. I'll see you right back here tomorrow.