Return to Transcripts main page


Coverage of the Republican Convention. Aired 9-10p ET.

Aired July 21, 2016 - 21:00   ET


[21:00:01] DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: He of course is the libertarian candidate.

I talked to one delegate who told me that he was almost shaking when he was telling me about it, saying it's very under the radar that it's not entirely clear who or how many people will show up, but this delegate in particular is a vice-chair of the Republican Party in his home state and he said he will lose that as designation once he does this, but he says he doesn't feel like he has a choice.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Well Dana, you know, Jake that's a huge challenge for Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican Party who is about to speak.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yeah, to unite the Republican Party and no one knows this challenge more than Reince Priebus. He's been bruised and battered during this election process, this campaign process. He had fought with Donald Trump's campaign very openly. They fought with him. He tried to calm things down.

They said that the Republican National Committee was cooking the books, they were not fair to him, and conversely, he has also been criticized by non-Trump loving Republicans for being too nice to Donald Trump, for being too accepting. He is somebody who is trying to, he has been trying to push Donald Trump more to the mainstream in his rhetoric, being more inclusive.

Remember, Reince Priebus is the one had made sure there was that so- called autopsy after the 2012 electoral defeat of Mitt Romney running and the autopsy, if you read it, it said bunch of things Donald Trump clearly has not spent much time taking very seriously outreach to Latinos, being more inclusive in language, being warmer, being more positive and Donald Trump got here doing it his way, not the republican national committee way. Reince Priebus has been in a very tough spot.

BLITZER: Earlier Trump said the system was rigged. He has strong words against the RNC But now that by all accounts their relationship between Donald Trump and Reince Priebus who is about to speak right now is excellent. They speak several times a day.

Let's listen in, Reince Priebus, who's chairman of the Republican National Committee.

REINCE PRIEBUS, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. To the people of Cleveland, we say thank you for your hospitality. And to my wife, Sally and my son, Jack, and daughter Grace, I love you, thank you for everything you do for me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love you too (inaudible).

PRIEBUS: I stand before this convention tonight as the chairman of a party that is carrying the torch of liberty. We are the party of the open door. To some people and some presidents, America is just another country. To Republicans, America is the greatest nation on earth. We don't apologize for America. We celebrate America at every level. Republicans stand for aspiration and achievement. We stand for peace and prosperity. We stand for freedom and fairness.

These values have inspired people the world over, ever since we won our freedom two centuries ago. These values fueled the sacrifices for freedom at Gettysburg and Normandy and Fallujah. These values spurred the fight for equality in Birmingham and Selma.

It is clear the Republican Party is the only party willing to fight for these values and lead America to greatness in the 21st century. You see, the dirty little secret Democrats don't want you to know is that they are the same party doing the same old thing.

Next week, they're going to trot out the same old Democrats with the same old message running the same old candidate. We are the party of new ideas in a changing and faster world than ever before. Democrats depend on super delegates and bureaucrats to sneak their agenda through the back door. We are the party of the grassroots. We honor what the voters say.

Democrats want to put labor union bosses in charge of our schools, limit our choices and feed our kids a steady diet of the left-wing propaganda. We know every child matters and a classroom is not an assembly line. It's time to give power back to parents, embrace school choice, equip our children with the skills they need for college, career and life.

[21:05:17] Democrats want health care choices in the hands of politicians. We want health care choices in the hands of patients. Democrats want Washington to impose a one size fits all policy on everybody. We say, an independent people deserves individual solutions.

What separates Republicans from Democrats is our belief in better. We believe in better schools, a better health care system, a better economy which rewards hard work, no matter where or when you punch the clock, and most of all, we believe in a better chance at the American dream for everyone.

The Republican Party will not stop until that becomes a reality. And that's why we need to stop Hillary Clinton. A Clinton presidency only means more debt, more ObamaCare, and more hard-working families never seeing a raise. If Hillary Clinton is given the chance, she'll stack the deck with the Supreme Court, with activist left wing judges who will treat the constitution like a doormat. You can kiss your gun rights good-bye if she ever finds her way into the White House. In foreign policy, a Clinton presidency means forgetting our friends and enabling our enemies. Just look, just look at her disastrous Iran nuclear deal which lined the pockets of the world's number one state sponsor of terrorism with your money while abandoning our greatest ally in the Middle East, the nation of Israel.

It was on her watch ISIS began to spread its wings of evil over the Middle East, and she has spent the last 16 months looking in the eyes of the American people and lying about how recklessly she jeopardized the American people, our national security, with her secret e-mail server. She lied. And she lied over and over and over and over. She lied. She lied.

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps worst of all, perhaps worst of all, Hillary Clinton has perfected the art of politics for personal gain. She reads ethics rules as carefully as Americans read their junk mail. Just look at her track record. She used her post as secretary of state to grease the wheels for Democrat lobbyists, special interests and political insiders connected to the corrupt Clinton machine. Her family foundation took millions of dollars in donations from countries notorious for human rights abuses and funneling money to radical Islamic terrorists.

For Hillary Clinton, the Oval Office is just another cash cow. Well, I have one word for all of this hypocrisy and corruption. Enough. Americans have had enough of a government that plays favorites to the well-connected. They have had enough of the Clintons' excuses, cronyism and cover-ups. They have had enough of the corrupt deals Americans have had enough.

This election, this election is our chance to stop it and Donald Trump is the right man to lead that charge.

[21:10:03] You all know he's brought millions of new voters in our party because he's listening to Americans who are anxious about a country which has lost its wing. Donald Trump wants to bring jobs back from overseas and hold companies who want to send them abroad accountable.

He's finally going to stop illegal immigration and make sure our government puts American citizens first. Working families, working families are the lifeblood of our country. And we can't thrive as a nation unless they are thriving. A lot of them haven't seen a bigger paycheck in a very long time.

Donald Trump wants to make sure you can pay the mortgage, put gas in the car, and buy new clothes for the first day of school. Donald Trump is committed to hitting terrorists hard and making the safety of every man, woman and child in America his number one priority.

No more negotiating with terrorists. If they want to take us down, we're going to take them down. And he will protect the Second Amendment and every other right guaranteed in the constitution by approving and appointing conservative justices to the Supreme Court. And importantly, he's going to protect the lives of the unborn. So, I have a message to America, hold on, help is coming with Donald Trump and Mike Pence, America's ready for a comeback after almost a decade of Clinton/Obama failures.

I want to close by telling you a little-known story of American greatness. William Knudsen was a Danish immigrant who started out working in a shipyard and living in a boardinghouse. He knew America promised limitless opportunity and was determined to make the most of it.

He developed his talents for industrial engineering and worked his way up at general motors. By 1937, he'd become the president of the company. In 1940, the government asked him to get America's factories on a wartime footing. Instead of cars and trucks, America's great manufacturers were now proudly making tanks and planes.

For this enormous responsibility, Knudsen was paid $1 per year. He didn't do it for the money. He was motivated by a duty to keep America free from tyranny. He set aside the job of leading one of the largest companies in America so he could help save the world.

At the end of the war, a war department official told him you have never done anything for yourself, only for your country. You have never spared yourself. Like William Knudsen, we cannot spare ourselves either. Economic freedom, belief in the American dream, a strong defense, putting country first, those values are under assault from Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democrat Party.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is not just a tag line for a bumper sticker. It is our American legacy and it's our responsibility to save it and strengthen it for our children and grandchildren. Listen, God didn't put us here not -- he didn't put us here by accident.

This is our moment to set a new course for an America as strong and confident as we have ever been. Let's stand united as Republicans. Let's stop Hillary Clinton. Let's get to work. Expand our Republican majorities and let's elect Donald Trump president.

Thank you and God bless you. Thank you.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Still ahead tonight, a tech tycoon ready to do something that's never been done at a Republican Convention. Stand onstage, publicly declare that he's gay.

Later, we'll also hear what kind of tone Donald Trump takes and what kind of message he sends to America in his speech tonight.


[21:18:40] COOPER: And I want to show you, Donald Trump is just arriving with his wife, Melania and their young son, Baron, and just a few seconds ago while we were in commercial break.

Obviously, Donald Trump looks like perhaps he has the speech or copy of the speech in his hand. As you know, he often reads from a page like that which has bullet points on it. We're told, that he is going to be reading off the TelePrompTer tonight for a speech that is going to be very closely watched, perhaps the most important, without a doubt the most important speech of his career.

Thus far, he will be introduced by his daughter Ivanka Trump and also what is billed as a very important speech for her and the entire Trump family and Trump campaign. In just a matter of minutes though, Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire, one of the early, I guess founders of Facebook, PayPal, is going to be speaking.

He is the second openly gay man ever to address for Republican convention. The first time it happened was in 2000. Jim Cole, the congressman, but he didn't address actually being gay or acknowledge it or talk anything about the fight for equality for gay and lesbian in Americans. We are told Peter Thiel will address some of those issues. We are not exactly sure how.

S.E. Cupp, what do you make of the fact that Peter Thiel is being allowed to speak tonight? What do you think the reception is going to be?

[21:20:00] S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It is the speech I am most looking forward tonight. If I had a dime for every millennial I met instead I would be conservative not for the gay issue. I'd be a billionaire. And it's usually disappointing to me that so much anti- gay rhetoric was added into a platform when the candidate himself is far more progressive on those issues.

COOPER: Many of the gay community believe this is probably the most anti-gay of Republican platform they have seen.

CUPP: Without a doubt it is. That's deeply disappointing. I hope Peter here changes some hearts and minds, right now.

COOPER: Let's listen in to Peter Thiel.

PETER THIEL, ENTREPRENEUR: Good evening. I'm Peter Thiel. I build companies and I support people who are building new things from social networks to rocket ships.

I'm not a politician. But neither is Donald Trump. He is a builder and it's time to rebuild America. Where I work in Silicon Valley, it's hard to see where America has gone wrong.

My industry has made a lot of progress in computers and in software and of course, it's made a lot of money. But Silicon Valley is a small place. Drive out to Sacramento or even across the bridge to Oakland, and you won't see the same prosperity. That's just how small it is. Across the country, wages are flat. Americans get paid less today than 10 years ago. But healthcare and college tuition costs more every year.

Meanwhile, Wall Street bankers inflate bubbles in everything from government bonds to Hillary Clinton's speaking fees. Our economy is broken. If you are watching me right now, you understand this better than any politician in Washington, D.C. and you know this isn't the dream we looked forward to.

Back when my parents came to America looking for that dream, they found it right here in Cleveland. They brought me here as a 1-year- old and this is where I became an American.

Opportunity was everywhere. My dad studied engineering at Case Western Reserve University just down the road from where we are now. Because in 1968, the world's high tech capital wasn't just one city.

All of America was high tech. It's hard to remember this, but our government once -- was once high tech, too. When I moved to Cleveland, defense research was laying the foundations for the internet.

The Apollo program was just about to put a man on the moon. And it was Neil Armstrong from right here in Ohio. The future felt limitless. But today, our government is broken. Our nuclear bases still use floppy discs.

Our newest fighter jets can't even fly in the rain. And it would be kind to say the government software works poorly, because much of the time, it doesn't even work at all.

That is a staggering decline for the country that completed the Manhattan project. We don't accept such incompetence in Silicon Valley and we must not accept it from our government.

Instead of going to Mars, we have invaded the Middle East. We don't need to see Hillary Clinton's deleted e-mails. Her incompetence is in plain sight. She pushed for a war in Libya and today it's a training ground for ISIS. On this most important issue, Donald Trump is right. It's time, it's time to end the eras of stupid wars and rebuild our country.

When I was a kid, the great debate was about how to defeat the Soviet Union, and we won. Now we are told -- now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom. This is a distraction from our real problems. Who cares?

[21:25:05] Of course, every American has a unique identity. I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all, I am proud to be an American.

I don't pretend to agree with every plank in our party's platform, but fake culture wars only distract us from our economic decline, and nobody in this race is being honest about it except Donald Trump.

While it is fitting to talk about who we are, today it's even more important to remember where we came from. For me, that is Cleveland and the bright future it promised.

When Donald Trump asked us to make America great again, he's not suggesting a return to the past. He is running to lead us back to that bright future.

Tonight, I urge all of my fellow Americans to stand up and vote for Donald Trump. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you.

COOPER: The speech you were most looking forward to, to live up to, any expectations are less (ph)?

CUPP: It definitely did to see that man get a standing ovation in this hall and say to America I'm proud to be gay, I'm proud to be a Republican, I'm proud to be an American, was everything to me. It was important for people to see. I hope a lot of millennials in particular were tuning in.

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Welcome to the party of Donald Trump.

CUPP: Yeah. I'm not crediting Donald Trump for his own convictions. Jeffrey, that's ridiculous, but it was really nice to see at that moment here onstage.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But Donald Trump has opened up this party, he has a differed from the platform in various ways and then where all of these for voting mornings that does that -- his speech wouldn't be accepted in this room and that was difficult because his speech was accepted in this room.

He got a standing ovation. And I'm tired of caricaturing Republicans in a certain way, caricaturing Donald Trump in a certain way with all those caricatures have been incorrect.

COOPER: Does the platform, though, which Donald Trump frankly stayed out of and didn't try to influence at all, is against equality of marriage, attempting to repeal Supreme Court ruling against gay people being allowed to adopt in this country?


VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The platform is horrible. I think the pick of Pence is very disturbing because of his position on LGBT. But what we just saw was beautiful. What we just saw was history. What we just saw was something that if you had told us hey, Donald Trump was unlikely, but this was unlikely.

I was terrified that young gay people watching this tonight were going to see a man either booed or met with silence and he was not met with silence. He was met with applause. And we can be proud of that. That's bigger than Donald Trump.

It's something that's happened in this country that shows that positive change is possible and every kid watching tonight and every parent watching tonight can be proud of this party and of this country. That was beautiful.


LORD: One of the things he said that I thought would be most important, which we had talked about many times in context of race. He said I'm proud to be gay, but I'm proud to be an American. That is the point. This is the country of 300 million people, gay and straight and black and white, Hispanic, whatever. The point is the country is about the principles of freedom and liberty. It isn't about your identity of any kind.

BORGER: But he was talking about the Republican Party I think when he said that fake culture wars distract us from the -- our economy decline.

In other words guys, cut it out. Stop having this fake culture, of these culture wars over issues that the demography of the country has changed, the party has changed, the platform hasn't changed, but he's right. But he's saying stop it, we have other more important things to do.

COOPER: He was also referencing the war over transgender people using bathrooms ...

CUPP: Bathroom, right, right.

COOPER: ... just saying who cares. A lot of people in this room though do care and certainly a lot of people on the platform committee chair because it's actually in this Republican Party platform.

CUPP: And Donald Trump says of their -- the correction which is that they should use whatever bathroom they want.

COOPER: He said that initially, but then he backtracked in, he said it should be up to states.

AXELROD: I'm trying, I'm trying to pick through. I'm trying to -- I'm trying to pick through all this.


[21:30:00] AXELROD: Look, I certainly agree that it is progress and it is heartening to see the response that he got. It's really hard, though, to reconcile these things, so what does it mean in terms of policy if Donald Trump becomes president? Is the platform going to be in the force? Is the Pence view going to be enforced? What's going to happen?

COOPER: Tom Barrack CEO of Colony Capital.

TOM BARRACK, CEO COLONY CAPITAL: ... wow, I have to tell you, I feel like the anchovy on Ivanka's Caesar Salad. I know you are salivating for that and you are going to get it but before I start, I just have to tell you a funny story. I was driving over here and for sure I was a little bit nervous. So I picked up the phone and I have a great uncle in Beirut who is an unbelievable international lawyer and orator.

So I called him up and I said, uncle, you got to help me. I'm speaking right before Ivanka and Donald at the Republican National Convention and I'm a little bit nervous. So can you give me some advice? He said why would they have you? I said no, that's not exactly what I need. I need to be pumped up. I'm nervous, and I need some confidence. Don't do this to me. So he said OK, OK, give me two minutes and let me think. He says I've got it. I've got it. You're just like a deceased in an Irish wake. I said you mean I'm that good? He said no, you need to be there to get things started but nobody really expects you to say very much.

So with that, I want to start in and I'm here because Donald Trump is one of my closest friends for 40 years, and I'm the son of the very humble Lebanese grocer from Culver City, California. Where's California?

Yes, and I'm here because of the amazing magic elixir that happened between the DNA of a thousand civilizations from the levant and the beauty and the wonder and the opportunity of America that puts all of us here in this rapture of the American dream for me to be here tonight to talk about my friend, my partner and the future president of the United States, Donald Trump.

But what I'm going to do is something different and you're going to hate me for it because you're not going to hear one negative thing out of my mouth. I have nothing negative to say about Hillary. I have only amazing things to tell you about Donald, because this man is good enough, he's tough enough, he's smart enough and he's well-versed enough to do it on his own merits.

We don't need to go anyplace else, so what I want to do is spend a little time talking to you about the messenger, the man. Without his armor, without his weaponry, walking down the tunnel into the arena, who is he? What is he made out of?

So if we start at an easy place to find him is in his children. And you've all had the great opportunity to see his kids over the last couple days. What do you think of that?

And the litmus test for any parent as we all know is in the children, and my mother used to say you learn what a man is by listening to your mother but you learn how to be a man by watching your father. You watch this man, you get it.

Those of us who are married or have a partner understand that the best reflection on us is our wives. In my case, for sure it's my wife, Rochelle. And in Donald's case for sure it's his wife Melania.

And Melania, I want to tell you on behalf of the 10,000 people that are in this stadium and the 50 million people who are watching, you are a timeless tribute to beauty, grace and elegance under pressure. You're amazing. You're awesome.

So I'm going to use words that you probably haven't heard about Donald. I started my relationship with him in a funny way. I had the great fortune of working for a man named Bob Bass in Fortworth, Texas.

[21:35:04] In the '80s we bought a hotel company and the hotel company in addition to lots of other things happened to own the hotel that was right behind Donald's window in his office. So, you know, Donald well enough by now they know that he needed that hotel. I was a young pup. He was a big guy in New York at the time and he wanted to buy the hotel. Long story short, we end up having 30 lawyers, 50 accountants, we can't get to a deal. I'm scared to death because my boss is going to fire me for selling to Trump, who's smarter, who's brighter, who's better, and who will end up getting a much better deal.

So Donald in the midst of this, and this is really what started my friendship, did something I had never seen before and that I have used consecutively after, he said look, I want to do this. I don't know what I should know so I will pay your boss the price that he wants and I'll close it in one week on one condition. You, Tom Barrack, tell me everything I should know that I don't know. I said look, I just told you, I'm not doing that. We're not entering into this kind of a coverage and that no contract. No contract. You and I shake hands right here, no lawyers, no contract, no nothing. You just tell me the things that I should know and how to fix it and I'll do this deal.

He played me like a Steinway piano. I then spent four months fixing everything in the hotel, a little rent-controlled tenant named Fanny Lowenstein, who was the smartest woman in the world, 83 years old, he had me buy her a piano, do the carpet. That it was one of the most amazing things I had ever seen.

He was incredible, but he practices an unbelievable set of disciplines. So everybody says OK, that the man is rich, he's a celebrity, he's powerful. But what is he going to do, how does he do it? And he has relentless habits, relentless beautiful habits. He shows up on time. He believes that punctuality is the courtesy of kings. He doesn't confuse effort with results.

He befriends the bewildered. He pushes everybody around him including you through comfort barriers that they never thought that they could ever, ever shatter. And he does all this with the discipline of an animal in the jungle, you know, his motto is that a lion wakes up every morning and knows one thing that it has to run faster than the fastest gazelle and a gazelle wakes up and she knows that she needs to run faster than the fastest lion. But whether you are a gazelle or lion, you wake up in the morning, you get the hell going. And that is Donald.

But I want to share with you two little vignettes that really stuck in my mind. And it's not financial, it's not how rich he is or what a great deal guy he is and so, you know, all those things. And I'm telling you after 35 years of being with the man through the valleys and up the mountains, he really is better than the billing that you see. Just as an administrator, as an executive, as a guy who can actually take care of the people that work for him and build teams.

But it was 1989, I know many of you, especially you girls, were not alive then. And it was a Tyson fight and this time, Donald was big in Atlantic City and he called me up and said OK, let's go to the Tyson fight. I said I had one of my little sons with me. He said no problem, I'll bring Donny, let's go. Of course, in typical Trump style we hop in the Trump helicopter, we fly into Atlantic City and it's a zoo. We land, thousands of paparazzi, thousands of people everywhere, whisked to his limo, go to the front of the Convention Center and there's 10,000 cameras. He said let's go back to back of the Convention Center. We go to the back of the Convention Center. We start walking in and people harassing him like mad.

At the side of the door there's a little nondescript man and he says Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump and Donald stops, he walks over to the door, he says Louie. He says Mr. Trump, I'm so happy to see you, and thank you for what you've done for my employees and thank you for what you do for me. And I just want you to know that my critically ill son thinks you're the greatest man in the world.

Meanwhile, every thing's going crazy, we are late to get to the fight and Donald's just focused, eye to eye with this man who at that moment, thought that he was the only star in Donald's universe. He said Louie, I'm not the greatest man in the world, you are.

So we take the kids, we roll in. Its five minutes to the fight. I think it was Tyson-Holmes, probably lasted four seconds. It can it was one of Tyson's longer fights.

[21:40:06] We get to the floor and he's fidgety and I can't figure what's happening, I've got the boys and I said what's wrong? He said give me your program. I give you my program, he write something on it, he brings a lot of security guards over and sends it back to the doorman. I said what was that? He said I just wrote a note. I said, what did the note say? He said it was to his son and said, I came here tonight to see two champions, Mike Tyson and your dad, true story.

Now, what kind of man in the middle of his celebrity ship has the presence to focus on the littlest guy in the shop, and that is Donald Trump.

Ten years later, ten years later, one of the greatest men in Donald's life passed away, Fred Trump. And the funeral was being held the night before at the Frank Campbell Funeral, 82nd in Madison.

So, Donald called me up evening because I can't stand it, I'm going to go over early, why don't you come over early with me? I said fine. We get to the funeral hall and we're sitting as kind of, you know, two middle-aged guys that go through that debate when your father leaves of what's the difference between relevancy and mortality, right?

That loss where you're really questioning what's important and what's not important and it's not about money and it's not about power and it's not about stuff, and all the agony that you have with your father at that instant just evaporates, and you're sitting there with something.

So we sat there, just keep it saying, musing, and I said, how do you feel? He said well, I'm thankful that I have my dad's strength and my mom's sensitivity and all I want to do is leave the legacy of the Trump name that they built brick by brick a little bit better than I found it. He's done it.

But look, we're at a tipping point. The world is in a mess. This necklace of globalism that we've all talked about has crumbled and shattered into a thousand shards.

It needs a jeweler to take each of those jewels one by one, starting with America its own diamond and polish. Then slowly, find seamless strength -- them all back together.

So what we look at is the necklace of prosperity and tolerance around the world. So, we've been on an adventure and people say wow, Donald Trump, it's like a mission or tale from businessman, celebrity, father, to potentially president of the United States.

And I say to you, it is a tale but it's up to you, all of you tonight to unite in one pen, one hand, and make once upon a time, once upon in this time. Thank you.

COOPER: Tom Barrack, CEO of Colony Capital and founder approach on Trump Super PAC. It really interesting, I mean, this is probably the first time where we have heard intimate details of somebody who has an ongoing long-term relationship with Donald Trump.

MCENANY: That are consistent with the stories that Donald Trump Jr. told. We heard him say, heard Tom Barrack say that Donald Trump cares about the littlest man in the shop.

The time he took to spent with dully (ph) and write that beautiful note when he was there with his son and this is a night of entertainment.

Those are reflective of the stories we heard from Donald Trump Jr. saying we were there, pouring concrete, we were there when they were putting up sheet metal.

That is consistent that Donald Trump has consistently reached the bottom of his company and uplifted the people who hard a work to be at the top.

BORGER: I spent some time with Tom Barrack, who when you ask people who is Donald Trump's best friend, people often try and say I don't know.

But one of the names that comes up and there are only a few, is Tom Barrack. And Tom Barrack, you know, it may sound like a chapter from "The Art of The Deal" and, you know, in some ways.

But he goes back with him 40 years and he goes back with his kids which is why he's speaking before Ivanka because he raised his children with the Trump kids.

And he went through Trump's divorces with Donald Trump and so, you know, it's interesting to me that this evening, instead about political speaker and you have somebody from the business world and just a close personal friend of Donald would tune. [21:45:00] COOPER: It was also, Michael so interesting to have him say from at the get-go, I'm not going to be talking about Hillary Clinton. We don't need to do that.


COOPER: I'm focusing on Donald Trump.

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: I'm not sure whether I just saw a home run or I saw Clint Eastwood without the chair. But, what I do know is that the tone that was struck by him answers my question from earlier in the night, which is, is this intended to play to this hall or to the nation at large?

Peter Thiel in combination with Tom Barrack answered that question. They are trying to expand the tent, I think for the first time decisively since the entire convention began.

LORD: About the kind of friends that he has. When you think that he has some friends with Peter Thiel and Tom Barrack and the doorman, that says a lot about someone. That's one of the messages.

COOPER: We got to take a quick break. When we come back, Ivanka Trump and then Donald Trump. Stay with me.


[21:50:10] BLITZER: We're back at the Republican National Convention. We're getting ready Jake, for the definitive moments, the final moments of this night, we're going to see a video first of, a video narrated by the actor Jon Voight telling the story of Donald Trump put together by this convention.

Then Ivanka Trump, the daughter will introduce Donald Trump the Republican presidential nominee and he's got a very lengthy speech is going to be delivering, you see the podium there, the lecture that they're putting up there right now.

TAPPER: Yeah, the a new lecture in a -- it has the gold Trump's signature style and it might be curious for people who have been watching this race Trump fans and post the like that there are so many million Americans who have not really tuned in all that much. This of course in a few minutes will be a moment that a lot of Americans start paying their first real attention and with millions of undecided voters because this is a big moment for Donald Trump.

I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say it is the most important moment of the presidential campaign, so far he has an opportunity to rise above the candidate and the campaign that has been so decisive -- successful that also very off putting to know youths of Americans. He has an opportunity here to present a new quote unquote "Presidential Donald Trump".

And of course he's going to be introduced by perhaps the best person that there is to introduce him to America, his daughter Ivanka Trump, who is by almost all accounts that it take lovely and very, very bright and warm person.

BLITZER: Very poised. We say she's got a really excellent speech that she's been working out for a long time, it's been a challenge, the story, the personal story of her relationship with her father, but this video that is about to, that we're going to show a video put together by this convention.

They worked really hard because they also believe that they going to use this video to relax the remainder of these campaign, to tell the story, they want people out there, voters out, out there to know who this man is. You see the family at the VIP and Melania is there. You see 10-year-old Baron the son, we see him here first time parents ...


BLITZER: Melania. We haven't seen her here since she gave that speech Monday night.

TAPPER: You know, that's right and as you say that the video will be narrated by the actor Jon Voight, not the dentist Jon Voight, the anchor Jon Voight who has been acted the Republican presidential politics for few years. I remember him campaigning for Rudy Giuliani, and this will be a narrative that they want the American people to see especially the American people who are considering voting for Donald Trump and those who are undecided.

This is the Donald Trump they want you, if you're among those voters right now watching, that they want you to think of when you think of Donald Trump. They don't want you to think of the negative news coverage, they don't want to take negative of Ted Cruz's speech last night, they want to think of this very positive and narrative and the video we're going to see and what Ivanka Trump has to say about her father.

BLITZER: That's Melania and her son and Donald Trump son Baron who's only 10 years old. First time he's been here at this convention. The entire family is there in that VIP section. Right now, they're there and after the speech I'm sure all of them will get up on that stage for the traditional moment, the whole family will celebrate his acceptance of this Republican presidential nomination.

TAPPER: Traditional moment for a very non-traditional candidate and I'm sure a nontraditional speech. We're told it's more of a greatest hits of what he is been saying on the campaign trail for months and months and not anything new but a lot of new delivery in how he presents it to the American people.

BLITZER: And the video is about to begin right now.


JON VOIGHT, ACTOR: I want to share with you the story of my friend Donald Trump.

As you know, he is running for president of the United States. And as you know, when he gets elected, he will make our country great again. The story begins in New York in the early '70s. The city was on the verge of bankruptcy, but Donald looked across the river and saw not a troubled city but a city that symbolized America's greatness and he was committed to making it great again.

Donald was born in Queens to Fred and Mary Ann Trump. His father was a builder and was the greatest influence in young Donald's life. He learned about a leadership early at New York Military Academy. He became captain of the baseball team and captain of the cadets. He learned that building business at father's side while working on his degree at the Wharton School of Finance.

After college Donald faced a decision, joined his father in Queens to dream big and make it in the greatest city in the world. The decision was easy.

[21:55:08] Donald's first notable project was less about renovating a building than helping the city rediscovering its soul.

The once great commodore hotel languished in a rundown neighborhood next to Grand Central Station. The hotel was sold to the one developer who showed that he had the kind of the drive packing an imagination that would be necessary. They chose Donald Trump.

Donald convinced the banks that they had a moral obligation to invest in New York and negotiated a tax abatement with the city jump starting a project and creating new construction and hotel jobs. Donald's striking new building revitalized the neighborhood.

HOWARD LORBER, ENTREPRENEUR: He single handedly changed the Grand Central in midtown area by himself by doing that project.

VOIGHT: Before long, more Trump buildings helped change the skyline of New York. Building in New York was not easy, but Donald was never more frustrated than watching the city waste six years and $13 million trying to rebuild Central Park's Wollman Ice Rink. Donald was astounded. It took him only two years to build Trump Tower. So he stepped in and took over the project.

He finished in three months and under budget. He took over another city project, tied up in Red Tape since 1978. Donald transformed a land fill into a championship public golf course and saved the city millions. Donald will tell you his secret for success is a strong team.

MICHELLE GRIFFITH, FORMER BROKER SPECIALIST: He just has that knack of finding the right person, the qualified person, who will really excel in that position.

VOIGHT: Like his father before him, he taught his children the business and now they're important members of the Trump team.

AMANDA MILLER, VP THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION: Mr. Trump and his children, they love what they do and they're incredibly good at it. I think that breeds the same type passion for all those that work for him and are around him. DONALD TRUMP JR., DONALD TRUMP'S SON: From day one, my father trained us really well, whether it was in a board room, whether was on the job site. We spend time learning the business and he make sure we understood the value of a dollar and what it meant to really work.

IVANKA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: He'd send me renderings when I was a little girl with hundred and notes on them of buildings that were under construction or in the planning stage, and say I can't wait for you to grow up and help me build these. Now it's fun to stand shoulder to shoulder with my father.

VOIGHT: Over the years Donald has created tens of thousands of new jobs, many of them for women.

PETER KALIKOW, NEW YORK CITY BUILDER: When I was building my building on Park Avenue and he was building the Trump Tower, he had the first female construction superintendent on the job.

SUZIE MILLS, GENERAL MANAGER TRUMP INTERNATIONAL HOTERL & TOWER: When he made me general manager nine years ago, there were only three female general managers of Five Star hotels in the whole of North America.

VOIGHT: After a long career accomplishing much of what others said couldn't be done, Donald Trump has set his sights on a new rebuilding project.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I am officially running for president of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again.

VOIGHT: Donald has said he admires people who put themselves directly on the line. Today he's not only putting himself on the line but under fire. Donald could have continued himself successful career and spent more time with his family, but instead he chose to run for president.

ERIC TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S SON: He doesn't need to do this. But what's been happening over the last eight years has been so tragic for the course of our nation, he simply had to do this.

I. TRUMP: For my father to step away from a company that he's deeply committed to in favor of running for elected office was a real sacrifice for him.

VOIGHT: It's Donald's nature to help others.

LYNNE PATTON, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION: A lot of times he comes across a story or meets a person that touches him and he'll make sure that that person is taken care of privately for the rest of their lives.

RUDY GUILIANI, FORMER MAYOR NEW YORK: Donald Trump has a very big heart. When police officers or firefighters or even sanitation workers, correction officers, I can remember a teacher got injured or died, he would step forward and he would make an anonymous contribution. VOIGHT: For Donald it all begins with our young people.

DARREL SCOTT, PASTOR: Donald Trump believes that higher education and more job opportunities will enhance the quality of American living.

VOIGHT: Donald has committed to protecting our families and keeping our cities safe.

DAVID CLARK JR., SHERIFF: What I see out of Donald Trump, it starts with a message, it starts with a positive message of respect for the American law enforcement officers. What we need from our national leaders and that's for when I'm getting it right now.

VOIGHT: He used the one candidate, the non-politician, who can fix our broken economy and get America working again.