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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Federal Judge Denies Trump's Motions to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Over Trump University; Trump Refuses to Back Ryan or McCain; Obama: Trump Unfit for Presidency; Khizr Khan Responds to Trump's Latest Comments; Khan Blasts Trump's Purple Heart Comments; Remembering Capt. Khan. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired August 2, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:12] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks very much for joining us.
We just learned that a federal judge has denied Donald Trump's motion to dismiss the class action lawsuit over Trump University meaning the case is going to go forward. We'll have more on that breaking news shortly.
Also tonight, Khizr Khan joins us and Donald Trump speaking out yet again late today saying he has no regrets about anything he said about the Khan family. We begin though with the political hand grenade that he just dropped into his own tent giving critics who say he has a thin skin even more ammunition.
Speaking to "The Washington Post" he declined to endorse either former GOP Presidential Candidate John McCain or House Speaker Paul Ryan which has criticized him over the Khans as they seek reelection. "I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country." He told "The Washington Post". "We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership and I'm just not quite there. I'm not quite there yet." And if that wording sounds familiar to you, well, you're right. Speaker Ryan once said the same about Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI) HOUSE SPEAKER: I'm just not ready to do that at this point. I'm not there right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Paul Ryan's spokesman this evening said the speaker has never sought Trump's endorsement. As for Senator McCain whom he mocked you'll recall for being taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese Trump said he just hasn't been good enough for veterans.
There's a lot to impact. Joining us, Philip Rucker, who wrote the story for "The Washington Post". Philip, thanks for being with us.
So a lot of focus on the words Trump used about endorsing Paul Ryan. I'm not quite there yet, obviously very similar to what Ryan said about Trump back in may. Ryan's primary election is just seven days away. Did Trump give you any indication when he would be making up his mind or if he would? I mean, it's hard not to see this as anything other than a warning shot on Ryan.
PHILIP RUCKER, WASHINGTON POST NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I saw it as just that, a warning shot. He did not indicate whether he would make an endorsement at all before next Tuesday's primary. Anderson, it's a remarkable development here in the Republican Party. Just two weeks ago. Ryan was on stage at the convention with Trump, endorsing Trump and trying to show party unity and here we have the presidential nominee refusing to back the top elected official in the party in his primary.
COOPER: And I mean John McCain as well. I mean this is such an extraordinary situation, Phil.
COOPER: Can you recall any time when the Republican presidential nominee has declined to endorse both the Republican speaker of the house and a prominent U.S. senator who was himself the party's nominee just eight years ago?
RUCKER: I don't know that this has ever happened, but this is a different kind of candidate and a different kind of campaign year and Donald Trump made it very clear in my interview with him that he sees himself as the head of the Republican Party and that he's other Republican leaders like Paul Ryan and John McCain, he even mentioned Senator Kelly Aillot of New Hampshire that when they criticize him they need to get in line and support him. He talked about Kelly Aillot being disloyal and weak. All three of these Republicans criticized Trump for his comments about the Khan family over the weekend and I see this as Trump sort of getting retribution.
COOPER: Well, is it -- I mean just -- here's a conspiracy theory some people are throwing out. Is it possible Donald Trump did this in order to get the conversation to be about this as opposed to be about the Khans?
RUCKER: Well, if that was his goal it worked because that's what we're talking about here tonight and it's been all over the news all afternoon.
RUCKER: You know, I don't know if this was a deliberate strategy. He did not bring this up voluntarily. I asked him about Speaker Ryan and the endorsement in the interview and he was responding to me.
COOPER: Trump's national spokeswoman was on with Wolf Blitzer earlier, arguing there is no story here that Trump was just answering your questions. He wasn't attacking anyone. But again he is the Republican presidential nominee, he knows what he says about Paul Ryan or John McCain is going to have an impact, I would assume.
RUCKER: Yeah. And I think he deliberately used that similar language from the Jake Tapper interview a couple of months ago. He knew what he was doing. He repeated the point several times over the course of the interview with me and he's -- he going to said, signaled afterwards that they knew this would be a news story. So there's something here.
COOPER: But just to be clear, as you said, this is something you asked him about. This wasn't like he intentionally brought up or he said before the interview oh, by the way, I want to talk about Paul Ryan.
RUCKER: That's correct. Last night Donald Trump tweeted something complimentary of Paul Ryan's primary opponent and it led to speculation on twitter that maybe he was trying to lift up the primary opponent and so I asked him about that and I asked him to clarify what he meant by that tweet and whether he would endorse Ryan and you've seen what he said.
COOPER: All right. Philip, stay with us.
I want to bring a report around the table. "New York Times" Political Correspondent, Patrick Healy also CNN political analyst, CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash and Molly Ball political writer for "The Atlantic".
Dana, I know you've been aching out to your GOP sources, does anyone think this isn't personal? Because Trump's spokeswoman says simply, you know, Donald Trump is not getting involved in the Republican primaries.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: No. I have not found anyone who doesn't think this isn't personal. Now, I heard her say that in she is right that there are times when Republican leaders and Donald Trump is the, you know, one of the leaders if not the leader of the Republican Party now because he is the presidential nominee.
[20:05:06] And they don't get involved with primaries, but this is different. It is different for a number of reasons. Number one is because when it is the speaker of the house, it is kind of expected in tradition for other like-minded leaders to get behind him and not the challenger from the right, but also as I was reminded by a senior Republican here in Washington a couple of hours ago, Anderson, Paul Ryan nominated Mike Pence, Trump's vice presidential running mate at the convention. He put Mike Pence's name into the nomination, you know, making it formal.
So it's not as though he's kind of a stranger here. I mean, he is somebody who has clearly tried to do what he could, somewhat reluctantly at times, but did what he could to help the ticket and you know, there's no question that there is a personal animosity there because of his delay in endorsing and as you were talking about with Philip the fact that Ryan was critical of Trump this weekend about what he said about the Khan family.
COOPER: But Patrick, I mean he all has now endorsed Donald Trump. I mean that's the incredible thing. John McCain, he said, he is supporting Trump, you know, these are not rank and file Republicans running some obscure rates.
PATRICK HEALY, "NEW YORK TIMES" POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: No, but, you know, I remember interviewing Donald Trump the day before his Ryan meeting in June and that line by Ryan, I'm still not there yet, it was galling to Trump and it's still sort of stuck in his throat. I remember that from the interview just how much he was sort of, you know, really still feeling it that clearly this is a guy who takes slights and he loves certainly the counter punch but he takes slights.
But the thing, one of the things from Philip's great interview and the point that he made was it, I mean Donald Trump is the leader of the party right now but it's feeling more and more like it's the tea party. He's really sort of the leader of that wing of the Republican Party and he's almost sort of saying I am not interested in uniting and making peace and galvanizing sort of the broad Republican Party as we know it at that convention and even now, so much of the energy around this guy is about sort of saying okay, I'm the head of the wing of the tea party of the Republican Party and the rest of you are kind of on your own if you're not with me.
COOPER: Molly, it's obviously another example of how Trump is bucking traditional Republican politics and yet he's done very well so far with that so why would anyone think this would cause him a problem?
MOLLY BALL, "THE ATLANTIC" POLITICAL WRITER: Well, exactly. I think from day one of this campaign Donald Trump has been running against the Republican Party and the Republican Party that used to be thought that would stop once he became the nominee and that -- and they thought this was a two-way street that if they were loyal to him he would be loyal to them. What they didn't realize is that Trump really believes he's made a new party and he's never thought that he needed them and while this is personal and this is about slights to him, I really think we ought to take seriously the fact that he does think he has up ended this institution for the better. He does think that it's a new party now and that this is partly in a way ideological, this is about making the Republican Party stand for things that he wanted to stand for and if people don't get in line with him he's not going to meet them halfway.
COOPER: Philip, and just to be clear. Did he know he was speaking to "The Washington Post"? Because I thought he wasn't speaking to "The Washington Post" anymore.
RUCKER: He did. It was a lengthy interview on the record with "The Washington Post". We are banned from covering his events, that includes me and my colleagues, but he does still talk to us as do his aides.
COOPER: Were any advisers with him when he gave the interview? I mean I know -- did anybody -- I know you said that, you know, some of his folks said they knew this would be a story. Did anyone in the circle seem rattled or concerned?
RUCKER: Not, that was not apparent during the interview. Nobody interrupted him or, you know, urged him to try to clarify his remarks or anything of that sort.
COOPER: Dana, where does this go from here? I mean is there -- it was interesting how quickly, you know, Ryan's folks put out a statement saying we didn't ask for his endorsement, but I mean, would anyone or would Ryan or McCain or anyone else actually rescind their support of Trump? That's something obviously President Obama is urging people to do, Republicans to do which ...
BASH: Which is the quickest way for them not to do it, by the way?
COOPER: Well, right. Exactly. Yes. Which may be the point of if you're ...
BASH: Which may be the point, right, which is a different conversation. Look, I think that the fact that Paul Ryan threw his campaign spokesman said, we didn't asked for his endorsement suggests that Ryan is going to act the way Paul Ryan tends to act which is try to kind of keep his head down and hope that this blows over and not get into a tit for tat between the house speaker and the Republican nominee for president, that that doesn't serve anybody well because by all accounts he should be doing okay in his primary next week so his electoral future is probably not in real peril. John McCain is a different story. He has a primary at the end of the month and then tough reelection race against a Democrat and already, Anderson, his Democratic opponent assuming he wins this primary is out saying, remember, John McCain has said that he would support the nominee 49 times or whatever it is.
[20:10:14] So the Democrats are trying very hard to tie John McCain and Kelly Aillot for that matter who is also in a tough reelection campaign in New Hampshire to Donald Trump. So it's a tougher position for somebody like McCain.
HEALY: And this is part of what Donald Trump does, right? I mean during the primary, so much of his strategy was about sort of swagger and cowing his Republican rivals, sort of into submission. He's almost the sort of, you know, daring McCain and Ryan almost to take, you know, President Obama's side on this and somehow sort of move off of them. And that the question though for the Republicans is, you know, what happens to all of these kind of down-ballot candidates who have sort of looked to Ryan as the guy to give them signals about Donald Trump when even that relationship seems to be fraying.
COOPER: Yeah. We also saw that Governor Pence has a meeting today with John McCain. I believe that's taken place and that's a meant to be a fly on the wall during that meeting would it must be pretty fascinating.
We're going to pick up the conversation after the break. With this panel, we'll talk about President Obama's combination if Donald Trump is unfit to be president as well as his call to Republicans to as we mention there's so many words, dump Trump.
Also joining us shortly is Khizr Khan. His take on the Trump's latest remarks about him and his motivation as Trump sees it for speaking at the Democratic convention. You may not have heard this explanation from Donald Trump about why he believes Mr. Khan spoke out. Members of his unit also now speaking out of, his son's unit are speaking out about the friend and the hero his son was.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:15:03] COOPER: The breaking news, Trump declined to endorse the nation's highest ranking elected Republican as well as the party's 2008 presidential nominee, their re-election bids and President Obama calling Republicans to yank their endorsements of Donald Trump. Plus, more from Donald Trump and the Khan family with Chris Christie condemning his remarks.
Plenty to say about all of it. We've got plenty people to say it. Joining us, Republican Strategist Susan Del Percio, CNN Political Commentator and Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany, Trump surrogate, John Jay LaValle who served as a Trump delegate as well and Kevin Sheridan, former communications director for Paul Ryan when he was the 2012 vice presidential nominee. He's also a former RNC spokesman. This is our republican panel.
Kevin, let me start with you, Katrina Pierson, the national spokesperson for Trump said this was not an attack on Ryan or McCain. You were the communications advisor of Ryan when he was the VP nominee in 2012. Is that how you interpret this, as an attack?
KEVIN SHERIDAN, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR TO VP NOMINEE PAUL RYAN: Well, attack might be strong. Look, I think Paul Ryan is going to win his primary either ways. So whether or not the nominee of the party who he has endorsed and said he would support wants to return the favor. I don't think it really will matter.
COOPER: Why do you think he's doing it? Why do you think he said it?
SHERIDAN: I think it's pretty clear that he was, you know, he was a little peeved by Paul Ryan's reluctance to begin with. You know, he threw his words back, the same words he use. Also, he's being cute with it and he's drawing a little bit but honestly this isn't going to matter for Paul Ryan's primary reelection. I think he'll be just fine.
COOPER: Kayleigh, I mean is this, you know, Donald Trump's -- is it just a personal thing? Is it him declaring war on the Republican establishment?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, I think it's partly personal and partly declaring war on the Republican establishment. You look at poll by poll and nearly every primary or caucus state and you saw not only anger at the political class, now Washington. Well, voters felt betrayed by the Republican Party. They felt betrayed by people like Paul Ryan who went to Washington and then supported Amnesty. Like John McCain who went to Washington and supported cap and trade. Voters feel betrayed by these individuals that is why both of them have conservative challengers. And Donald Trump isn't prepared to just throw it all out the window, play party politics, play the Washington elite game and just endorse people who ...
COOPER: But John, Donald Trump did talk about uniting the Republican Party. This is not really the way to do that, is it?
JOHN JAY LAVALLE, TRUMP SURROGATE: Well, uniting the Republican Party which consists of the people of the Republican Party. Donald Trump set records this year. Fourteen million people voted for Donald Trump. The Republican Party bought out a turnout. There are so many new voters that have gotten off their couch and now they're involved. That's who he's speaking to and he has to continue speaking to those voters. That is the part of America that is disenchanted.
The Republican Party not the establishment ...
COOPER: But is this the way to bring in new voters? I mean does it ...
LAVALLE: Absolutely it is.
SUSAN DEL PERCIO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: It's not a new way, then you shouldn't have had him chair your own convention and nominate your vice president candidate. This is simply Donald Trump getting on his own way, frankly. He should be talking about Hillary Clinton. He should be talking about little GDP numbers. He should not be picking these fights.
Part of me thinks he's doing it because it' a way of him saying that Paul Ryan is going to be in on this rigged system that he's imagining should he not win in November. He's just all over the place. He's a train wreck. He has to get back on track.
LAVALLE: If I may. This is the problem, is that the establishment and those who are, you know, consultants that are involved in this process. They think things are supposed to go as they always go and we know from day one of this primary process into this general election, Donald Trump has just turned everything upside down.
COOPER: But first -- I mean isn't the number one priority right now getting elected president of the United States?
COOPER: And this has really helpful in that half.
DEL PERCIO: Well, and you know, John Jay ...
LAVALLE: Well, though there are number of issues that Donald Trump stands for that the Republican establishment hasn't jumped onboard yet.
DEL PERCIO: John Jay.
LAVALLE: And we need to do better with our trade policy.
DEL PERCIO: You've been part of the establishment as a county chairman. You know that certain things need to happen in order to win an election and that's what he should be focusing on, not himself and not petty matters. All he has to do is make this a referendum on Hillary Clinton and he would win.
COOPER: Kayleigh. MCENANY: Susan, it would be completely disingenuous if he just full- throated endorsed Paul Ryan and John McCain the way any Washington politician would.
DEL PERCIO: Wait, with ...
MCENANY: Donald Trump ran against these figures. Donald Trump lifted up the will of the people. He ran against the class that defies ideological lines, that defies Republicans and defies Democrats.
DEL PERCIO: Maybe I would have written ...
COOPER: But Kayleigh, to Susan's point, he did have Paul Ryan chair the convention, not only open it up but also introduce Mike Pence, nominate Mike Pence.
DEL PERCIO: Who is also part of the establishment. He has set himself up. Don't say no. If you want to say Paul Ryan is a part of the establishment, he was the host of the convention or chairman of the convention. Donald Trump is just taking a little petty revenge because he's a petty person most of the time when it comes to Donald Trump. That's all it is.
LAVALLE: It's about business here. That's what this is about.
DEL PERCIO: Business of what?
COOPER: Kevin, President Obama has said to other Republicans that they should essentially dump Donald Trump. Doesn't that sort of paint them into a corner? I mean, if they then follow through on what he says then they're following President Obama which is the last thing most Republicans want to do.
SHERIDAN: Yeah, pretty skillful political move there by the president.
[20:20:03] COOPER: Do you think it was intentional?
SHERIDAN: Oh, absolutely. And look, we know that Obama loves this time of year. This is his -- he's being political, purely political. He's daring leaders of the Republican Party to ditch Trump and then he's, you know, he's going to be able to -- he's trying to fuse those leaders even closer to Donald Trump and you know, by daring them to un-endorse, you know, it makes it tougher for them to do that and that's what he did today.
COOPER: Susan, you agree with that?
DEL PERCIO: Yeah, I do because what the president has done basically is said we don't -- we're not going to attack the Republicans. Republicans aren't bad. Donald Trump is bad. He's making this -- helping Hillary Clinton make this a referendum on Donald Trump and if it is a referendum on Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton will win. If it's a referendum on Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump will win. MCENANY: This is -- I mean, this is very simple. Donald Trump is a warrior for the people, curious, plain and simple. Its like, you see some Bernie Sanders Supporter comes to his side.
DEL PERCIO: That's nice, but I think he would want to win.
MCENANY: And I know you expect him to play by the political playbook and do every disingenuous thing every politician does, the scripted lines, the poll tested words, the focus ...
DEL PERCIO: That's laughable.
MCENANY: He is not that. Donald Trump is real.
COOPER: All right, Susan and then we got to go.
DEL PERCIO: I'm sorry, you just can't say that. Like I said, he's gone down and addressed the house. He's gone down -- has Republicans. He's gone down and addressed senate Republicans. Again, look at his convention, look who had speak those (inaudible), these are people who -- part of both the political establishment.
Donald Trump should be focused about winning and that's what he need to do ...
COOPER: OK. John, I take it to you.
LAVALLE: Donald Trump likes and respects Paul Ryan. There's no question about it, but he is a messenger of change. He is a messenger that on behalf of the people there are some substantial things that need to change in this government and the Republicans need to be responsible for those changes, as well. That's what when he's best.
COOPER: All right. A lot more to talk about. Just had a breaking news on Trump University plus more on President Obama ramping up his criticism of Trump calling him unfit to serve as president, slamming Republican leaders who are still supporting him.
[20:25:53] COOPER: Welcome back. We first got word of it at the top of the broadcast tonight. Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel denying Donald Trump's motion to summarily dismiss the class action lawsuit in connection with the so called Trump University.
Our Drew Griffin has been on the story from the early days of it. He joins us now with the latest. So what is this ruling today mean and would Donald Trump be called to testify?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's two separate rulings. Number one, it's a ruling against Trump's lawyers. They wanted the case thrown out, obviously. The case is not being thrown out. Judge Curiel is positioning this for trial, a trial that should take place late November. That would be after the election. And Donald Trump most likely, if it goes to trial, Anderson, will be part of the case in terms of being brought on the witness stand. It is all about whether or not he lied or did not lie to his potential students at Trump University.
The other ruling, the judge ruled on in favor of Trump and his lawyers was that the video depositions, the depositions that Donald Trump has already given under oath, those videos will not be released. CNN was a party to those asking that they be released in the greatest public interest because we wanted to see Donald Trump on the witness stand. But keep in mind, those transcripts, the printed transcripts have been released and we have reported on those on your show, Anderson.
COOPER: So, bad news for Donald Trump that the case goes on, good news for him that the video because that's something that the Trump attorneys did not want released the videos of Donald Trump being deposed?
GRIFFIN: That's right. We wanted to see them for news purposes but the attorneys for Trump argued. Listen, those would be cut and pasted and turned into political ads ...
GRIFFIN: ... which they would have been, Anderson, because they were damning depositions in my opinion after I read them, and the judge said listen, the transcripts are out there. The video is irrelevant to this case being released and it would potentially create a problem sitting an impartial jury.
COOPER: Drew Griffin. I appreciate that. I want to get our political reporter's take on all of this. Joining us again is Patrick Healy, Dana Bash and Molly Ball.
Dana, the ruling from the judge, a legal setback for Trump to get also get -- I mean it could give Trump something new to criticize, I suppose, in the way of arguing that the system is somehow unfair to him or this judge is unfair which is an argument extremely he's embraced in the past.
BASH: It is. And it's an argument that has one of the many argument I think that has Republicans kind of with their heads between their legs with the paper bag trying to breathe heavily because they just think it's one distraction after another. This is one of those like we talked in the last discussion about whether the Paul Ryan situation was personal. We know that this is personal.
I mean, this is as personal as it gets and it's about Donald Trump's name and business and reputation and that is why he lashed out at this judge in a way that, you know, he went too far according to almost all Republicans. But this is something that if it keeps him going will be from the perspective from a lot of Republicans I talked to yet another distraction.
COOPER: Patrick, I want to ask you about something that we were talking about with the Republican roundtable, what President Obama said today about Donald Trump. Let's play that on. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president. I said so last week and he keeps on proving it. The notion that he would attack a gold-star family that had made such extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our country. The fact that he doesn't appear to have basic knowledge around critical issues in Europe, in the Middle East, in Asia means that he's woefully unprepared to do this job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[20:30:00] COOPER: There was a tweet, Patrick, earlier today by our colleague Ryan Lizzo who is, you know, saying -- suggesting, perhaps or asking if by telling Republicans or suggesting Republicans to un- endorse Donald Trump is actually forcing them to stick with Donald Trump.
HEALY: Yeah. I mean it's -- that day he's boxing the man. I mean Republicans don't want to be seen as seem certainly cow towing President Obama. But the bigger issue here right now, politically for Donald Trump is that he's got all of this incoming fire coming from Democrats, from President Obama, from Hillary Clint. He had Warren Buffett that he had to play defense against.
He's got the Khans were coming -- Mr. Khan coming up on your show shortly. And then, you know, John McCain, so much sort of piling on and this is a guy, Donald Trump, who has had opportunities in the last 48 hours to go back at Hillary Clinton in terms of secrecy, you know, in terms of the tax issues, you know, to push back on that. You know, certainly around that kind of the e-mail server and the interview on Sunday, and he's still playing defense. This is yet another day where he's got all of this incoming fire and nothing is going out. Nothing is breaking through for him.
COOPER: Yeah. I mean Molly, to that point, the conventional wisdom during the primary was that the more President Obama goes after Trump, the more Trump, actually, gets a boost. In the general election, it's a much different equation right now and you know, you just had a number of people from the DNC, you know, basically resigning, being forced to resign in the wake of the WikiLeaks hacks. And again it gets, you know, buried in all of this other Trump stuff.
BALL: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, Trump is so busy creating new controversies and fighting with everybody except the Democrats that all of that stuff sort of gets swept under the rug and as Dana was saying, it's tremendously frustrating for Republican leaders, for Republican -- for the Republican establishment to see this happening, to see him seeming not to be able to control himself.
And I think going back to the Trump University lawsuit, that's what seems to be the danger here is that every time something like this comes up that sort of provokes him on a personal level and implicates his personal brand, he doesn't seem able to have restrain himself and hold back from, you know, criticizing the judge as he did before. Even if he weren't criticizing the judge the Trump University lawsuit is a big issue for what it says about his business practices, and what it says about his career before he entered politics.
BASH: And Anderson, if I may, there was another statement that President Obama made today at that press conference which was a big political gift to Donald Trump and one that so far he hasn't picked up and opened up which is President Obama talked again about TPP, about the trade plan, the trade pact that he pushed and he's continuing to push which Hillary Clinton supported sort of when she was secretary of state. She pushed for it and then as a candidate she said that it changed and she doesn't support it because it is such a potent issue for Donald Trump and his kind of populist message.
That should have been a no-brainer for him to get out there and say, you see? If we elect Hillary Clinton she is going to do just what President Obama is going to do because it could be a third term. He didn't do that so far and so that is the kind of thing that makes Republicans pull their hair out because that is the more winning message as opposed to making headlines picking at Republicans.
COOPER: It's also fascinating, Patrick, how the Clinton folks are responding to all of this. Essentially, there's radio silence. I mean, she might as well be in the witness protection program for like all she's been seen in the last day or so. I assume the strategy is just step back, like don't kick a person when they're down. Just step back and let all of this -- let Donald Trump just kind of wind himself up into, you know, more controversy.
HEALY: Yeah. Unforced error after unforced error. I mean, just let him do the damage to himself. She's at west raising money and talking to ...
COOPER: Yeah. She's at a funeral today also.
HEALY: You know, she was at a funeral today but -- and she's heading back out west again but she's doing what two nominees are usually doing the week after conventions which is starting to look at how do you expand, you know, your voter group. How do you -- not only hold on to your base but start attracting a larger number of voters and that's what you saw with her going in Nebraska and not having to play defense on things like the DNC e-mails whereas Donald Trump, who is -- what undecided voters is he persuading by saying, maybe I'm not going to vote for Paul Ryan, you know? Maybe I'm not going to endorse him? You know, how is he growing that base? Not happening.
COOPER: Right. And again on Sunday she gave that interview to Chris Wallace on Fox in which, you know, statement she said about the Director Comey of the FBI and "The Washington Post" said four Pinocchio's on, you know, that what she said was actually incorrect and each, you know, we covered it yesterday extensively but that's something Donald Trump could have been running with and again kind of just ...
HEALY: Yeah. I mean the whole idea, I mean in terms of what a normal Republican candidate would go with. I mean this is -- he would -- he -- a normal Republican nominee would have had sort of a line of attacks, of surrogates who were going out there to press the message of commercials, you know, they were up on the air quickly in swing states. You haven't had any of that.
[20:35:10]COOPER: I want to thank everybody on the reporter roundtable. We'll cover a lot more ahead. And a reminder, join us tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, we'll be on of course at 8:00 for the news but at 9:00 p.m. Easter a second town hall with the libertarian ticket, former Governors, Gary Johnson and William Weld.
Just ahead tonight, Khizr Khan who spoke out against Donald Trump at the Democratic convention and lit the spark is burning through the Trump campaign all these day. Later, his thoughts on Trump's latest remarks. Has Donald Trump actually made a new statement about why he's now claiming Mr. Khan spoke out against him? We'll play that for you and we'll talk to Mr. Khan about that and we'll talk about the son Mr. Khan lost in Iraq.
COOPER: As we reported at the top of the broadcast, Donald Trump says he has no regrets about anything he's said or done in the wake of Khizr and Ghazala Khan's appearance at the Democratic National Convention. We'll talk to Mr. Khan in a moment.
If you recall that Mr. Trump's first reaction was to insinuate Mrs. Khan was silent on the stage because of her husband or perhaps because of her faith or both. So we didn't say faith that he did to some lead that implication.
[20:40:07] Then he conceded that their fallen son was a hero in a written statement, but complained that he was viciously attacked and was therefore justified in his parlance, counter punching. Then last night, speaking to an Ohio ABC affiliate, he seemed to take it to a new place, suggesting that Mr. Khan sympathized with radical Islamists who might be trying to enter United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: It's a very big subject for me and border security is very big. And when you have radical Islamic terrorists probably all over the place, we're allowing them to come in by the thousands and thousands. And I think that's what bothered Mr. Khan more than anything else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Trump has since drawn condemnation, many including his closest ally, Chris Christie, it still refuses to back down.
Joining us now is Khizr Khan. Thank you so much for being with us. I'm sorry it's under these circumstances.
First of all, Mr. Khan, what is your reaction to what we just heard Donald Trump say in an interview from yesterday that the real reason you're angry, perhaps, is because of his policy to keep, what he says, are thousands of terrorists from coming into the country?
KHIZR KHAN, FATHER OF FALLEN MUSLIM-AMERICAN SOLDIER: Well, I -- this is typical Donald Trump. He does not comprehend what is coming out of his mouth, what is he saying, yet he continues to say this. He has implied that somehow I have any sympathies in people coming into this country.
I have -- I want the strongest security measures taken before anybody enters this country, I support, I have. His folks are implying that I have read it, people have e-mailed it to me that somehow on my work website, I had a section of immigration law.
I practice commercial civil litigation. In there, there is a small section of immigration law. I have not had any client in all these years, no client at all, I have not entertained anybody. Nobody had come to me. They probably don't find me suitable. But the implication on Donald Trump's part is that somehow I am bringing or I'm supporting, and I'm upset because of his -- this is the ...
COOPER: Right. There was a right-wing media reporting that you had taken down your work web page, that on it, you have a business which essentially allows wealthy people from the Middle East to essentially buy visas legally, but that it's a visa program. You're saying that's not your business.
KHAN: That is not my business. I tried to see if I could have a client or two, the rich people, the rich men -- businessmen that want to come in, they don't come to Khizr Khan. They go to large companies, large law firms and immigration specialists and come through there.
But let me point out to his surrogates, as well, you saw an example of the heartlessness, lack of empathy again today. I hope, I hope America is listening and watching. A man comes to him, a veteran, so kindly and what a gracious man, hands him his Purple Heart. What he does? He receives it, thanks him, puts it in his pocket and later on pulls it out. "I got this Purple Heart, so easy. I always wanted one."
Donald Trump, you had the time. You did not serve. You know what you should have done and listen to me, and I want his surrogates to listen to me, you should have pinned that back to that veteran's chest and should have hugged him and thanked him. That is the lack of -- I'm sorry I'm shouting. I'm just so upset at this lack of empathy, lack of common sense.
He wants to be the leader, commander in chief of this United States of America? That is the thoughtfulness? He should have put that Purple Heart back if he would have been sensible, he would have known what it takes to earn that Purple Heart.
That Purple Heart belongs to that person. That was the most gracious person that came and handed him the Purple Heart. He takes it in his pocket and says, "Very easy, I always wanted one." Well, you had your chance. You escaped. You dodged the draft. And now, you want an easy Purple Heart in your pocket. You should have pinned it back even now, call that man.
I want his surrogates to call that man, thank him and put that Purple Heart back on that person's chest.
[20:45:03] COOPER: Earlier today, Donald Trump's son, Eric Trump, was asked whether his father would be willing to apologize to you. I want to play what that exchange that took place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NORAH O'DONNELL, CBS ANCHOR: Would your father be willing to apologize and move on?
ERIC TRUMP, SON OF DONALD TRUMP: I think that's a great question for him and I think he has by calling them a hero. You know, in terms of the one question, whether he's made a sacrifice, I think my father has. Now, that's certainly not the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice is soldier dying for this nation and drying to protect the three of us, there's no question about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, we all know Donald Trump initially in his response to George Stephanopoulos did not say your son was a hero in any way, and later on, they put out a printed statement which they said that and subsequently he's been saying that. Do you consider Donald Trump putting out in a printed statement that you're son was a hero an apology?
KHAN: I really don't need any apology. My family doesn't need any apology. Apology is not what I am looking for. It is the empathy of his thinking and his thinking, the emptiness, the void. His thinking is totally void of empathy.
So, apology is not needed. His saying my son is hero or not, that doesn't change anything. Today, somebody sent me the pictures of his grave site. Amazing, amazing outpouring of love and respect and flowers and people lined up there to pay respects and all that. That is more than enough for me. That is not going to come from Donald Trump or his surrogates.
To them I say, Donald Trump, do you have any sense of decency? You have not shown -- you have maligned people. You have maligned minorities. You have disrespected women. You have disrespected judges.
I will continue to remind you what your behavior for the whole year had been. I am not going to continue to appear on televisions. It is really disturbing because it is emotionally disturbing. It is family- wise disturbing.
But I wanted to say this today that this person, it is not up to him, it is not up to his surrogates. They will not give him the moral direction. They will continue to pose questions so that he can continue to make statements.
I ask the leadership of the Republican Party, I ask them to disown this person. Totally, totally, totally withdraw their support, and I ask the folks that are voting for him that this will make a burden on their conscience when the time comes to vote.
COOPER: Mr. Khan, if you will stay with us, we're going to take a short break.
When we come back, perhaps the only non-controversial aspect of this whole affair and namely everything we are learning about your son, we've learned a lot more about your son, particularly from his friends and former comrades, brothers and sisters in arms. And I want to talk a little bit about your son so more Americans can know about him.
We'll just take a short break. We'll be right back.
[20:50:55] COOPER: For all we have been talking about tonight about Donald Trump and veterans, Donald Trump and Gold Star parents, Donald Trump and the Khan families We're taking a moment and then perhaps a few moments more to remember this. Not everything to do with Donald Trump is about Donald Trump or even about politics. This entire episode certainly may reveal something about the Republican nominee or the state of politics today or many other things depending on your point of view.
For a moment, though, and perhaps a few moments more, we want to focus instead on an American hero. "360's" Randi Kaye reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: June 2004, American soldiers are being targeted in Iraq. Army Captain Humayun Khan was on patrol. Overseeing routine vehicle inspections by his unit, when it happened. A taxi plowed through the gates of his base in Baquba. Khan yelled to the others to hit the dirt but he faced the danger head on, walking toward the taxi, signaling it to stop. Just 10 steps later, the driver detonated 200 pounds of explosives, killing Captain Khan instantly. He was just 27. Sergeant Laci Walker ran to the scene.
SERGEANT LACY WALKER, SERVED UNDER CAPT. HUMAYAN KHAN: It was horrible. It was gruesome. It was disgusting to fathom. I know it was devastating for anyone who had ever even shaken his hand.
KAYE: To his unit and those who knew him, Khan was down-to-earth, kind and generous.
WALKER: He always kept a can of tuna in the shelf, a loaf of bread on top of the shelf, a jar of mayonnaise and a jar of pickle relish in his drawer, and if we had worked through lunch he would always make us sandwiches.
KAYE: Once, when Sergeant Walker came under heavy fire, Captain Khan risked his own life to help her.
WALKER: Captain Khan drove out in his Humvee and parked it like an L with my Humvee, and stayed beside me while I hid behind the hesco basket. He kept reassuring me that it's going to be OK. KAYE: Humayun Khan's story began long before that terrible day in Iraq. He was born in the United Arab Emirates to Pakistani parents. His family moved to the United States when he was just a toddler. He and his two brothers were raised in Maryland.
Growing up, his father says he loved to read books about Thomas Jefferson, telling "The Washington Post" years ago that his son's love for the man who authored the declaration of independence came from frequent visits to the Jefferson memorial in Washington, D.C. as a child. His son would often read the founding fathers' famous quotations, carved in the memorial stone.
In his free time during high school, Khan taught disabled children to swim. Later, he enrolled in the ROTC program at the University of Virginia. He graduated in 2000 with a degree in psychology. His family says he wanted to be a military lawyer and joined the army first to pay for law school. Somewhere along the way, he learned incredible courage. It was that courage that drove him to save so many others, preventing that bomb-laden taxi from getting any closer to the mess hall at his base where hundreds of soldiers were eating breakfast. A true war hero posthumously awarded the bronze star and the Purple Heart.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course he's a hero. He paid the ultimate sacrifice as everyone does but he was a hero long before he died.
KAYE: On Captain Humayun Khan's headstone at Arlington Cemetery, the awards are noted. On display for a steady stream of visitors who come to honor a man who loved what America stands for and died helping preserve it.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And joining us once again is Khizr Khan.
We just learned a little bit more about your son and was really, I think, powerful to hear from those he served with. What else do you want people to know about him? Was he always interested in joining the military?
KHAN: Not always, but since he came to University of Virginia, he began to see the difference of character and discipline and organized lifestyle of the ROTC cadets and he was very, very much impressed with that.
[20:55:11] I would go to visit him and we would talk about this, that he would like to join ROTC because that is -- he feels in his mental when he's around them, when he is with them, and that was -- somehow it had clicked with his character, with his habits. That is how he joined army.
COOPER: It was so powerful, I thought, to hear from Sergeant Walker in that piece, who said that your son was the most incredible man to work for, a leader who communicated what he wanted and that he died so honorably. When you hear people who served with him say those things, it's got to -- I mean, though the grief obviously will never go away, it's got to make you stand that much taller.
KHAN: Yeah, we are very proud of the 27 years that we had with him. He came to United States two years old. He was educated here, brought up here, learned all the wonderful characteristics in this country.
He was a strong believer of public service and that was his mantra. And it heartens us the way this nation continues to pay tribute to this young son. We were so honored earlier this month, a regiment was named after Captain Humayun Khan. And we were invited to sit there.
Believe me, when the regiment passed in front of our eyes, every man in that regiment looked like Humayun. He was kindest person.
Another tribute, a line that comes to mind, somebody that had worked with him, one of his colleagues said that these trainings, these courses, army teaches to prepare leaders. Humayun was born leader, a person with love, care and empathy.
That is why I keep repeating that if a soldier, if a junior officer like Humayun can have that much empathy for the people he was responsible, where is that empathy in the candidate of the Republican Party? We don't see that. Example after example, Humayun was the best of this country, as Secretary Clinton said in her tribute to Humayun, that he was the best of America.
COOPER: Mr. Khan, I want to continue the conversation. We're going to take a short break and then we'll be right back. At the top of the hour, also, the rest of the tonight's breaking news, no shortage of it.
We'll be right back.
[21:00:07] COOPER: And good evening. We begin this hour with Khizr Khan, father of Army Captain Humayun Khan. He called out Donald Trump during the Democratic convention.