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CNN TONIGHT

President Obama Makes Plea for Justice and Peace in Dallas Today; New Threats Against Cops in Baton Rouge; Philando Castile's Mother Makes Plea for Justice; Who Will Be Donald Trump's Vice President?; Bernie Sanders Endorses Hillary Clinton. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired July 12, 2016 - 23:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:00:56] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: New threats against police on the day America mourns five officers gunned down in Dallas.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

President Barack Obama making a plea for justice and peace in Dallas today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: I believe our sorrow can make us a better country. I believe our righteous anger can be transformed into more justice and more peace.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Meanwhile, police in Baton Rouge say they have stopped a plot targeting officers one week after the deadly shooting of Alton Sterling and the mother of St. Paul shooting victim Philando Castile tells me what she thinks it will take to get justice for her son.

I want to get right to Baton Rouge now where police say they are investigating two credible threats against officers just a week after the shooting death of Alton Sterling. CNN's Boris Sanchez is live with more.

Boris, good evening to you. There's breaking news tonight in Baton Rouge. Two new police threats to police officers there. What can you tell me?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, this really all started late Friday night into early Saturday morning. There was a burglary at a local pawn shop, the Cash America pawnshop in Baton Rouge.

Officials tell us there that there they arrested a suspect who had a handgun on him. And when he was interrogated, he told officers that the burglary into that pawnshop was heartily due to a plan that they had in order to "get bullets to attack police officers" during protest here in light of the death of Alton Sterling.

During that interrogation, officers learned that there were more people involved in this. They got information leading them to raid a home in South Baton Rouge yesterday. During that raid, two other suspects were arrested including a 13-year-old. We should tell you, we're likely not going to get much information as far as a mug shot or the identity of that 13-year-old. But we do have information on the other two people that were arrested.

One of them is Antonio Thomas. He's a 17-year-old. He's the one that was caught outside of the pawnshop with the handgun. He's also the one that told police that this was a part of a plot to target police officers. The second person arrested was Malik Bridgewater. He's a 20-year-old who was arrested at his home with three of the stolen guns.

To give you an idea, eight handguns total were taken from the pawnshop. Six of them have been recovered by police. So there are still two missing. And they believe they have every indication to believe there was at least a fourth suspect involved in this plot. They tell us they're still working to get more information on that suspect and they put out a plea to the public asking that if anyone else was involved in this, to turn them self in peacefully.

He also mentioned, Don, this is one of one of two credible plots against police officers here in Baton Rouge. We should tell you, they told us that they received dozens of threats over the past weeks, some threats to law enforcement, threats against protesters, threats against the general public as well. But they're taking these two very seriously.

The second threat involved an officer that reported having been followed by someone suspicious. We don't have very many details about that incident whether or not they were being followed in a car or on foot or whether by it was more -- whether or not it was by more than one suspicious person or have a spy group. What we can tell you is that police believe it is significant enough to dedicate resources into that investigation against them.

And once we have more information on that we will bring it to you. But obviously, this is a very tense time. Not only for law enforcement here in Baton Rouge but all across the country as well, Don.

LEMON: Absolutely. Thank you very much. Boris Sanchez joining us from Baton Rouge.

Now I want to get to Dallas. CNN's Ed Lavandera is there for us live tonight with new information about the gunman who killed five police officers.

Ed, good evening to you. We now know the name of someone who sold a gun to Micah Johnson., the sniper who killed those five Dallas police officers. What more can you tell us about this investigation?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this man that we know who has been questioned by federal law enforcement investigator tells us that in the fall -- and he asked not to be identified. Tells us that in the fall of 2014, he met with Micah Johnson, that they had met through a Facebook firearms group and then met in the parking lot of a target, exchanged $600 for a an AK-47 style assault rifle.

[23:05:02] That man who asked not to be identified says he is traumatized by all of this thinking and worrying that the weapon that he sold to Micah Johnson, who he believed was on the up and up, everything normal, in fact, he had field during the course of the conversation had thanked him for his military service. That everything was fine when this person tells us he's, you know, traumatized thinking about the gun that he sold in this case might have been used in this attack. It's not clear at this point whether or not this was the gun that that was used but federal investigators are taking a very close look at that tonight, Don.

LEMON: Ed Lavandera in Dallas force. Thank you, Ed. I appreciate that.

President Barack Obama led a memorial service for the five officers and was joined by his predecessor Former President George W. Bush. I want to bring in now CNN's Kyung Lah also live for us in Dallas this evening. Good evening to you Kyung. Today is memorial service for the police officers was so emotional for the people of Dallas and for all Americans really. Tell us what it was like to be in Dallas for this moment.

KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You could certainly feel that this city is deeply wounded. You can feel it r here at this memorial outside the police station where people continued to drop off flowers, drop off balloons and you certainly felt it as the president was speaking at this memorial. There was also a sense in this city, though, that there is the possibility of moving beyond it and the president himself addressing that, saying as he looked into the crowd, he could see that there was going to be unity coming to Dallas. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: In this audience I see people who have protested on behalf of criminal justice reform grieving alongside police officers. I see people who mourn for the five officers we lost but also weep for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. In this audience I see what's possible -- I see what's possible when we recognize that we are one American family, all deserving of equal treatment. All deserving equal respect. All children of god. That's the America I know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAH: It wasn't all uplifting though, and you certainly you could sense, Don, as you listened to that speech that the president was flowing through a number of emotions. He was frustrated at times. He was angry at times. He really channeled that national sentiment and then asked Americans to work through all of those feelings and push it to uniting and moving toward that's one America that he's talking about, Don.

LEMON: You know, Kyung, the president really, you know, tried to walk a fine line between honoring the officer's bravery and talk about race. How did people respond to that?

KYUNG: You know, it's a very difficult conversation to have. But it's a conversation that's been ongoing in the city for some time. You have a black police chief, who certainly has been warmly received, especially since the shooting of these police officers. There has been a lot of discussion about community policing and officer involved shooting here in the city of Dallas.

So this a community that is well versed in this conversation. So they're preparing for it. They are willing to have that conversation. But what a tough crowd. This is a group of law enforcement of a number of police agencies who are in that room and the president was trying to call on those national themes dealing with a number of police agencies across the country, asking those officers who are burying five of their own, then look at themselves and what can change.

LEMON: Kyung Lah, thank you very much. Kyung is Dallas for us as well.

Joining me now is Colonel Mike Edmonson in Louisiana State Police Superintendent with more on those threats against police in Baton Rouge that Boris Sanchez reported just moments ago.

Good evening, Colonel. Thank you so much. I know it's a busy time for you but we learned tonight that at least four people were involved in a plot to try to harm officers there. What more can you tell us about that?

COL. MIKE EDMONSON, LOUISIANA STATE POLICE SUPERINTENDENT: Well, first of all, Don, I think what's interesting here. This is a substantial, credible threat. We've been talking about that over the last week. You're getting all these different things on social media and calls coming in with threats to law enforcement. Nothing credible.

This was a substantial, credible threat. Here's four individuals. We're looking for a fourth one now, based on our investigation, based on interviews. We are reasonably there is a fourth or more individuals involved. You know we're missing two weapons out there. And what we do know and what we have led investigations -- have led to tell us the fact that their intention was to harm a police officers here in Baton Rouge. And when you're dealing with guns, that intention of harm can be death.

LEMON: Yeah. And we were told they were looking for ammunition, looking for bullets to kill Baton Rouge police officers. We know that there had been many threats to officers in the wake of the shooting of Alton Sterling. Some people have questioned, you know, how -- your show of force but they didn't know these investigations were going on because you have undercover people holding these investigations. How concerned are officers for their safety right now, Colonel?

[23:10:05] EDMONSON: Well, I talked to my officers continuously and I tell them remember your training. Be aware of your surroundings and just be safe. That's the message I've been giving to them. You know, we only have to look towards those five officers that memorialized today. We've got to remember them.

I'll say their names out loud before I go to bed tonight because it's important that we don't forget their service.

LEMON: Right.

EDMONSON: Death ends a life, not a relationship. But let me tell you something. It's a credible threat. It's something we take very seriously. We follow up on every single one and we'll continue to do so. This is not just a local effort, it's a state. The Sheriff's office, say go to your call (inaudible) both involved as a sheriff and a chief are working on this.

And we're going to continue to follow up on it because those guys out there that's right now is standing between those protests and this building that's monitoring, watching it. They deserve our protection because they're the ones that in harm and danger, they're the one just running towards it when everyone else is running away from it.

So we take the day very seriously. We wrote that information. We're still undercover working with it and I believe there's other people involved. We're going to do everything we can to find them and locate those two weapons.

LEMON: Yeah. We have a short time left. Do you think that there has been a difference since the shooting of Alton Sterling with bringing the community together in Baton Rouge for better or for worse?

EDMONSON: Well, I think what sets us apart here in Louisiana is the fact that we're involved with our community. We've been a part of it for a number of years now, not just based Tuesday. Out faith base committee, governor who step forward, the governor I will be traveling to Washington D.C. tomorrow. And to meet with the president, other leaders around the country will be down there.

So that will be a discussion that we'll be having. But let me tell you something, Baton Rouge is what they are today because of the involvement of our public and our citizens and our faith-based community all coming together. I think that's what's been the key here.

We're not out of the woods. We've got a ways to go. We've got a lot of discussion ahead of us but I think the discussion started with our governor, our legislature, out faith-based community and the involvement of the businesses in Baton Rouge. They've told people to come here to do harm, they don't want to do the right things. Don't want to peacefully protest. It's not going to be tolerated here.

LEMON: Thank you Colonel Edmonson. We appreciate it. The best of interest in my hometown. I have lots of loved ones there. So please keep them safe and keep looking out. Thank you very much. We appreciate it.

EDMONSON: Thank you.

LEMON: When we come right back, the mother's plea for justice of Philando Castile tells me what President Barack Obama said when he called her today from Air Force I.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:16:28] LEMON: On my way to Dallas for today's memorial. President Barack Obama called the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile to offer his condolences.

I want to bring in now Valerie Castile, Philando's mother and Judge Glenda Hatchett from TV Judge Hatchett show who is now representing the Castile family. Good evening to both of you. And I'm so glad you're on. And my condolences again to you, Valerie.

Valerie, I'm going to start with you. How are you doing?

VALERIE CASTILE, PHILANDO CASTILE'S MOTHER: I'm holding up. I have God and my son's spirit. This motivates me to keep myself going.

LEMON: I know you received a phone call from the president, as I mentioned just a moment ago. Let's listen to part of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We're all thinking about you and wish you the very best during these difficult times. And I'll be speaking about him today even when I'm in Dallas and let them know what a good man he is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: What did the president say to you, Valerie?

CASTILE: He and Michelle sent their condolences. And he also mentioned he would be speaking on behalf of my son, mentioning his name and that every thing's good.

LEMON: How important was it for you to hear from the president?

CASTILE: It was very important because when the president takes notice of things that's going on in the country, then he gives you a call that really means he's sincere about what's going on and willing to make changes.

LEMON: The president also said this about your son today in Dallas. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: And today in this audience, I see people who have protested on behalf of criminal justice reform grieving alongside police officers. I see people who mourn for the five officers we lost but also weep for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. In this audience I see what's possible -- I see what's possible when we recognize that we are one American family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Val, do you think it's possible that Americans can come together as one family?

CASTILE: That's a big job. I love to see that happen. But until some changes are made, I'm not so sure about that. But it would be a really good idea because we won't survive if we don't.

LEMON: Judge, I want to ask you the same question. Do you see that possible?

JUDGE GLENDA HATCHETT, ATTORNEY FOR PHINALDON CASTILE'S FAMILY: We always have to be hopeful, Don. And if we give up hope, we know who we are. And that is the beloved community that Dr. King talked about so, so powerfully, you know, decades ago. And we are still not there. But we cannot give up to moving there. We have -- we can't continue the way we are. We just can't.

LEMON: Why was it so important, Judge Hatchett, for you to reach out to Valerie and her family?

HATCHETT: Because my heart just continues to ache over and over. You know, Don, that I have two young sons, young men and raising African- American men in this world. And to see what is happening over and over again that I could not be silent on this.

[23:20:05] And I -- we had a mutual person who brought us together, for which I was very grateful but let me quickly say that when I walked into her home, I didn't walk in as Judge Hatchett. I walk in to hug her as one mother to another mother. And I count it a privilege because I'm passionate about this. I count it a privilege to be representing her and her family on this matter. And I'm going to give it everything I've got.

LEMON: You say that you want systemic reform. What does that mean to you?

HATCHETT: Yes. Well, it means that there have to be some national guidelines here that all police departments, whether you are in Minnesota or California or New York. Wherever you are and I think we've got to look at, first of all, hiring, retention, training in these situations and we have got to be honest that we need to do better than we're doing. Do I have all the answers? I do not. But we are going to assist at ...

LEMON: Stop, say that again. That is the ...

HATCHETT: I do not have all the answers.

LEMON: If you don't have all the answers, so you're willing to listen to other people, right?

HATCHETT: Yes. Absolutely, Don. Absolutely. You know, our hearts grieve over the officers who lost their lives. And Mrs. Castile will be the first to say that violence of any kind is not acceptable. But until we willing to put in the work on this and I have said to move from rhetoric, to the alley of how we move to the higher ground in this country. We're going to continue to be polarized and to look at each other with distrust and we can't live like this. We just can't continue to live like this. So our hash tag in the press conference today that this time, because, you know, we're talking about a man who was doing right, who had a job, who wasn't trying to fight with the police, who wasn't a felon running and combative and trying to get the police some in trouble. We're talking about a man who was employed. Who was loved by his community, loved by his family and who was permitted to have a gun and now he's dead. So we're saying this time, you know, and he did it all correctly. This time must be the last time. And if we don't work toward that, then we are going to continue to have this vicious cycle, in my opinion.

LEMON: You know, I know Valerie that you have a long way to go with this. It's a long process. You're doing a tremendous job right now. You know, everytime I speak with you, I say that to you. I don't understand how you're doing it. But Philando's services are Thursday.

CASTILE: That's correct.

LEMON: What do you want people to know about that and about what this process is like?

CASTILE: The process is very hard. But you have to have faith in God and that way it makes it a little bit easier. And his services, yes, they are Thursday at the cathedral in St. Paul and I want everyone to see that he was a king. He is a king in my eyesight because he did everything he was supposed to do to be a productive citizen in the state of Minnesota. And I want everyone to know who he is, who he was and what he stood for.

LEMON: That's coming from a mother who has lost her son. Keep that in mind as we go over the next couple of days and weeks, up until the election cycle. Those words point of. Thank you very much. I appreciate that Valerie Castile and Judge Glenda Hatchett. Best of luck for you.

CASTILE: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you.

HATCHETT: Thank you.

CASTILE: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Up next. In the wale of the Dallas shootings, President Barack Obama meets with law enforcement officials behind closed doors. I'm going to talk with one man who was there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:28:19] LEMON: President Barack Obama honoring the five fallen Dallas police officers and praising the force for saving countless lives last week as shots rang out.

I want to bring in now, Jonathan Thompson. He's executive director and CEO of the National Sheriffs' Association. Jonathan, I'm so happy to have you here to talk about this meeting and making a difference. Yesterday, President Obama attended a meeting with law enforcement officials in response to last week's deadly shooting in Dallas. You were at that meeting. How do you think it went?

JONATHAN THOMPSON, NATIONAL SHERIFFS' ASSOCIATION: Well, I think it was an extraordinary meeting for a number of reasons. Number one, as you heard the president say today, that we ask our law enforcement officers to do too much and we ask too little of ourselves. And that came through loud and clear in our discussions with the president last night. He was very honest. He was very candid but he listened. And I think he understands that we have a challenge in front of us in this nation on both sides of the equation.

Law enforcement has to protect this nation. We are a nation of laws and we need to uphold those laws. But our citizenry also has an obligation. And I think the president was crystal clear today in his remarks. He was clear, excuse me, he was clear last night with us that we have to ask more of our citizenry. And we live in a complicated society. So we have to look at these things. It's no longer just black and white not to speak in puns. This is an issue of complicated nature and we have to take that step back that we all talk about. We need to take a very deep breathe.

LEMON: Yeah.

THOMPSON: We have to ask ourselves some tough questions.

LEMON: Yeah. What -- do you think it was productive? Did you leave this meeting feeling positive that any -- that something was accomplished here?

[23:30:04] THOMPSON: I do. I think the president was sincere in listening. I think he understands that the difficult task of law enforcement is very nearly impossible. As I said he even said we're asking the impossible often times of law enforcement. We're asking them to be educator. We're asking them to be psychiatric nurse. We're asking them to be after school detention officers and this has to stop.

Our nation's got to take a deep soul searching and we've got to start asking ourselves questions like how I make certain that my children, our children, grow up understanding that concept of rule of law. And what is the incentive to make that happen? We were very clear across the broad with the president that you can't say one thing in public and another in private that your words have actions and that your actions are incredibly important, Mr. President. And I think he heard that loud and clear.

LEMON: Do you think that law enforcement has been given the tools to fight -- that they need to fight crime properly, to do their jobs properly?

THOMPSON: Well, Don, I think that's an easy question but think what's happened too much and too often recently the president did withdraw the military equipment surplus tools for law enforcement. He sought to put some very onerous rules attached to those and he committed to me and the group to reevaluate that decision.

I think it's the right thing to do and reevaluated because, number one, these are defensive tools. These are things like helmets and shields, things that can have no place other than protecting the law enforcement officers themselves. The equipment of a law enforcement officer is just their tools but they protect them, they protect the communities, and no one can tell me to have an in armor vehicle isn't a defensive tool.

Banks use them every single day to protect the money and all we're asking is to have the right tools to protect law enforcement and protect our communities. I think he's going to reevaluate that. I'm confident that we'll come back to this and we'll find out a workable path forward.

LEMON: And what you with those tools is important. It's also the mindset behind the people who use those tools which is important. So I have to ask you this very direct question that we have been asking people, our guests here. Do you believe that African-Americans are unfairly treated by some officers?

THOMPSON: Oh Don, I think that's -- that goes without saying. But let me make very clear something, that there are people that are mistreated in journalism, in education, in medicine, in every walk of life in this country. We cannot and law enforcement and sheriffs in this country, they won't stand for it. They cannot stand for it. We are a nation of laws and the moment we decide we are not, we are anarchy, and we can't have that.

LEMON: I think you're exactly right. And the -- I think for people who have calmer, more considerate minds will say there are as, you know, to cliche they're bad apples in every single profession. Why is it so difficult sometimes for members of your own law enforcement groups to admit that there is even a problem with discrimination in law enforcement?

THOMPSON: I don't think it's that we have difficulty admitting it. I think what's difficult is going through the process of recognizing it and then how do you solve it because it's not a snap of a finger that you can do these things. You know, we're talking about a very long training cycles, very long recruitment cycles, and it's a very difficult job. High stress is an understatement.

What I think the president and law enforcement do together over the next coming weeks and months is paramount. And I think there's a very important message here for our candidates, for national office is that look before you jump. If you watch a 30-second video, tell me what happened in the 30 seconds before that video, and tell me what happened in the 30 seconds after that.

And I believe when people think that way, they will understand the difficulty and the magnitude of the job that we have to do on a daily basis. You cannot watch a 30-second video and rush to judgment. You don't do it, Don, and we certainly home the people of this country don't do it. And most importantly, out politicians, they cannot do that. LEMON: I really appreciate your canter.

[23:35:03] This is a type of conversation that we all should be having. You said yes, of course, it goes without a doubt, but there was some discrimination, but it happens in every profession. That is a solid answer. I think most people will understand it. And it's also a way that you establish a conversation to a back and forth talking and then listening.

So I have to ask you then because what the president said and I think what most of the people up on that stage said that you know it's not just members of law enforcement, we all have to do more. I think you just said that as well. So then what can the average everyday person do in their own community to change things, to make a difference when it comes to law enforcement?

THOMPSON: Well, it takes that very difficult look in the mirror. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. I make dozens every day. And we have to try and be better persons. We have to be better Christians. We have to be better humans.

And that's not easy, Don. And we as humans have to continuously try to improve our stature in our community and with our families and it's hard. I know how hard it is. You know how hard it is. But those watching tonight and those listening, it takes courage and it takes conviction to ask yourself those tough questions.

So, I think, you know, I talk to sheriffs every day across this country and they are sworn and dedicated to uphold the laws and the constitution in this country. And when they see people falling short, it breaks their hearts. And it doesn't break their heart because it's wrong. It breaks their heart because they let the nation down.

LEMON: Yeah.

THOMPSON: And they let the electorate down.

LEMON: Jonathan Thompson, Executive Director and CEO of the National Sheriff's Association. I really appreciate our conversation. Please come back. Thank you.

THOMPSON: Thanks for having us. Thank you.

LEMON: Coming up, Donald Trump could be announcing his running mate at any moment but did he give us a big clue today?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:41:06] LEMON: I can't believe that the GOP Convention is just days away and Donald Trump could announce his running mate any minute now. Here to discuss is Matt Lewis, senior contributors to The Daily Caller, Hilary Rosen, CNN political contributor and Hillary Clinton supporter, and Bob Cusack, Editor in Chief of The Hill.

Bob, so many people said they didn't think Donald Trump will get this far. Now we're saying he's going to announce his running mate. Can you believe it? So let's listen to Mike Pence on the campaign trail with Donald Trump today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. MIKE PENCE, (R), INDIANA: We must come together and elect this good man as our next president. We must select this strong leader for one more reason, because Hillary Clinton must never become president of the United States of America.

Let us resolve here and now that from this day forward, we will unite, we will stand together, we will not rest, we will not relent until we make this good man our next president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: I mean he ought (ph) to be sound a little bit like a southern preacher right there but Bob, you know, Pence and Gingrich seemed to be at the top of V.P. list. Who is pulling for each candidate?

BOB CUSACK, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "THE HILL": I think Pence has the momentum, there's no doubt about it. I thought his speech tonight was pretty good. It was short and sweet, did go after Hillary Clinton. It's clearly interested in getting on the ticket. That didn't seem to be the case maybe a couple weeks ago because he's up for reelection. But they'll be able to replace him as long as the decision is made this week.

So Mike Pence, a very conservative member, served in the House, was kind of tea party before the tea party was born. Took on President Bush on a number of issues, including No Child Left Behind and Medicare Prescription Drugs. I think he's a favorite right now.

LEMON: Oh, you do. So, Matt, I want to ask you about this. This is what Donald Trump said about Pence shortly after that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I often joke, you'll be calling up Mike Pence, I don't know whether he's going to be a governor or your vice president, who the hell knows.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So I mean no tipping his hat there but I mean Pence, he checks a lot of boxes. Not all the boxes is positive make up for some of Trump's negative?

MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, no. Nobody votes for the vice president.

LEMON: Yeah.

LEWIS: And Mike Pence, it's dubious, you know. There was a time when Pence ...

LEMON: Can it be differently, Matt. Can it be different this time because -- since Trump is, you know, non-traditional candidate, as they say and may people think he needs someone who's bit more of a politician, a bit more steady, a bit more of an insight or no?

LEWIS: On the margins, on the margin. I don't think anybody says I don't like and so be Donald Trump but ...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: I Like Mike Pence, yeah.

LEWIS: It's also a question whether Mike Pence, there's an assumption that movement conservatives like Mike Pence and he is really lost a lot of sway with them in recent years. He backtracked on the religious liberty thing in Indiana. His milquetoast endorsement of Ted Cruz won him no favor -- favors amongst movement conservatives.

I'm in the Newt Gingrich camp. I'm betting my, you know, who knows. But I'm saying Newt Gingrich. I think Gingrich is the guy who can go out there and take on the media and really defend -- we just heard Mike Pence gave a really good speech but that's different when you're being questioned, when you're in a hostile interview. I think Newt Gingrich is the guy who can defend Donald Trump to the hilt. And actually be like the explainer and chief of the Trump campaign.

LEMON: Yes, he's been there. I mean he knows his way around Washington and around politics. Does a Trump, Pence ticket worry you or the Clinton campaign of Hillary?

HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: No. This is what's so interesting that nobody's been talking about all day, which is the idea that Donald Trump is kind of choosing among, no offense gentlemen but sort of conservative white guys is really remarkable in this way which is normally when you choose a vice president, you try and go to where you need help, right?

[23:45:13] So Donald Trump needs to expand his base from his Republican primary when he needs independence. He needs moderates to believe in him. He needs women to come back, Republican women and independent women to come back. He even needs a few Hispanics to win this race.

So, the idea that what he's doing is shoring up his most conservative base ...

LEMON: Yeah.

ROSEN: ... with the candidates that he's picking it really remarkable, but that's what he thinks he needs because his own base now is so shaky.

So, I don't think that Newt Gingrich or Mike Pence is going to do anything to take votes away from Hillary Clinton.

LEMON: I see, Bob, you're nodding in agreement because it's Mike Pence, it's Newt Gingrich, it's Chris Christie, it's Jeff Sessions and it's ...

CUSACK: Yeah. LEMON: I mean she said it, it's a -- you know, white guys. I mean he has his issues as you said with women and minority.

ROSEN: Conservative white men.

LEMON: Yeah. Does that -- so go ahead why are...

CUSACK: I know. I think that reading the tea leaves is -- you're looking at Gingrich, you're looking at Pence. Perhaps Chris Christie though I don't think so.

But I do agree with Hilary in that his numbers among women including married women which usually is a GOP stronghold are not that impressive. And I'm surprised there's not a woman that's among the finalists.

Now, of course, Donald Trump is full of surprises and he could surprise us. But I'm surprised there's not at least a woman that we've talked about. We've talked about Mary Fallin. We've talked others like Susana Martinez, who looks like she's not interested. Maybe Marsha Blackburn who serves in the House. But the reports and the sources are not talking about those women.

LEMON: A surprise but not likely, right is that what you just said?

CUSACK: Yes.

LEMON: Yeah, OK. Hey, Matt, let's talk about Justice Ginsburg, all right. Doubling down on her criticism of Donald Trump she told CNN that he is a faker and this is a quote from her, and then said, "He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his mind at the moment. He really has an ego."

Is that too far? What do you think of that?

LEWIS: Well, she right but you don't say that when you're a Supreme Court Justice, it's not appropriate. But I think it's indicative of where we're at in America today. Where the decorum, the tradition is out the window. I think she crossed a line.

LEMON: She's helped Trump, right, with ...

LEWIS: Probably does help Trump politically, yeah. I mean, I think that's the other irony is that she had inadvertently helped Donald Trump.

LEMON: Trump is demanding an apology from her.

ROSEN: I don't know if that's true.

LEMON: Trump is demanding an apology though from Justice. Do you think it's -- do you think Hillary that it's appropriate for the...

ROSEN: No look, Donald Trump has said much worse about the Supreme Court than Justice Ginsburg has said about him. You know, he has criticized so many decisions over the last couple of years. And I -- you might say that it energizes Donald Trump's voters but it sure as heck energizes Hillary Clinton voters.

So, you know, this one might be a wash. Look, Supreme Court justices are relatively unaccountable. They have one master and that's the constitution. And Ruth Bader Ginsburg takes that very seriously. And so, you know, I think she has a sort of moral high ground generally that people don't see her as a political animal and I think she's actually defending the court when she criticizes Trump.

LEMON: All right, so stay with me, everybody. When we come right back, Hillary Clinton finally, finally, finally gets Bernie Sanders' support. But will she get his voters?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:52:35] LEMON: Back now, Matt Lewis, Hilary Rosen and Bob Cusack. So Bernie Sanders officially threw his support behind Hillary Clinton today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT: I have come here to make it as clear as possible as to why I am endorsing Hillary Clinton. And I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So if that is to happen, Hilary, then what is the best thing that Bernie can do to help her defeat Trump and become the president of the United States as he says?

ROSEN: Well, he is a good surrogate in a number of states where he was successful that we need to win, like Wisconsin and New Hampshire where they were today. He's got an energetic base of support among millennial voters. And I think he, being on the stump for Hillary, can help convince voters that she really is going to be a progressive president.

So, you know, this was a long time coming, I -- along with many others, was sort of annoyed at how long it took. But, you know, having said that, that's where, you know, we are where we are and it's a good thing. We're going into the convention united and excited about our candidate. And I think Bernie Sanders is going to give a rousing speech there, so ...

LEMON: Yeah.

ROSEN: ... we'll be in.

LEMON: Hey, Bob, let's talk about this new research poll. It shows 85 percent of Bernie Sanders supporters will vote for Hillary Clinton. I mean, how can Trump flip some of them?

He's reached out to them today. And here's what he said, he -- I think, well, let's see, this is the statement that I have. No, but he did say that he did reach out to ... CUSACK: Yeah.

LEMON: ... Bernie Sanders supporters, so.

CUSACK: He has. I mean, I think it's a long shot and I think that Gary Johnson is also going to try to get some of Bernie Supporters. I mean, remember, Trump, few months ago was calling Bernie "Crazy Bernie," so it's hard to get those supporters when you're calling the candidate crazy.

Listen, I think that there are going to be some Sanders supporters who stay home and don't vote for Hillary Clinton, but the party that is more united right now is the Democratic Party. There is no doubt about it. This is a good day for Democrats. That I thought Hillary and Bernie appeared very comfortable with one another. That was something a lot of people were watching for. He gave a full-throated endorsement and it was a good day for Hillary Clinton. And we talked to one Clinton aide who said, "I'm relieved this is all over because it was a long time coming. There was a lot of negotiations but we finally got him."

[23:55:03] LEMON: Look at this. There is a hug. My goodness. Not only happens to Republicans but Democrats do it as well.

That guy is the worst. She's the worst. And they say, "Oh, will be the best president of the United States," the very next day.

So listen -- so we didn't have in the very next day in this particular one. So, Matt, Trump quickly hit back. He did reach out to supporters but then he used language that sound pretty familiar saying that Bernie is now officially part of the rigged system. You disagree?

LEWIS: Well, I think there is an interesting point here which is to say that, look, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have a lot in common. They're both against free trade. They're both protectionists. They both talked about the system being rigged. They both were anti- interventionists. They're both against entitlement reform. Hillary Clinton is actually on the other side of some of some of those issues and going whether it's for ties to see Obama administration or ties to the Bill Clinton administration, so Trump has an argument. I just don't think that dog is going to hunt and our current partisan political environment, but you know, he has a point.

LEMON: Yeah. I can't believe, just a couple of days. You guys ready? First convention starts in Cleveland and in Philly after that. Oh, it's going to be great. Thank you.

ROSEN: It is going to be great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: We'll be right back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Don't miss our CNN TONIGHT town hall, "Black, White and Blue, America 2016". It's no holds barred conversation with people on both sides of the conflict between police and the people they sworn to protect. That is right here.