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Knife Attack in Central London; Reviewing the Libertarian Town Hall; Donald Trump's Firestorm. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired August 3, 2016 - 22:00   ET


[22:05:11] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I also want to thank our audience here, and to you at home.

A programming note, we want to make an exciting announcement. Two weeks from tonight, there's going to be another CNN presidential town hall. Jill Stein, presumptive nominee of the Green Party and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka will join us on this very stage, that's Wednesday, August 17th, only here on CNN.

Time now for CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: All right. Anderson, thank you very much.

You know, you just heard from Gary Johnson and William Weld, two former governors who used to be Republicans lay out the Libertarian Party's case. And with the GOP in turmoil, could the libertarians be the spoilers here?

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

Thank you so much for joining us. But we are going to begin with breaking news tonight.

A knife attack in central London to tell you about. Investigators say that they believe that it is a terror attack. You're looking at video now from our affiliate ITN in London, one person dead, five others injured in London's Russell Square.

That is according to police who say a suspect was arrested within minutes after this attack. Officials say one of those injured in the attacks appears to be American.

We'll follow this situation for you throughout the evening here on this attack in London and get the details to you as we get them.

Now I want to turn back to today's political news here. And with me a CNN political director, Mr. David Chalian. We have been watching this Libertarian town hall, David. They made their case tonight.

Gary Johnson in our latest CNN/ORC poll got 9 percent in the poll rate matchup. There are a lot of people who aren't thrilled with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Do you think they moved the needle at all, especially with the Republican Party in turmoil?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: It's obviously they get the least amount of press coverage, obviously we're so dominated by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. So that I do think when voters hear this, we know when you add up the 9 percent that they get, the 5 percent that Jill Stein pulls in some of these polls, as well as some of the undecided, you're at near 20 percent of the electorate that is not going with Trump or Clinton.

So, if you're sitting at home and you're hearing these guys, you're hearing folks that don't sound like your typical politician. You're hearing and I thought one of the most interesting answers that Gary Johnson gave in that town hall, was when he was asked about Black Lives Matter, and what he think as a white man about the Black Lives Matter movement.

He said I think I've had my head buried in the sand for a long time. What? Like you don't hear politicians say that. Or I have to go ahead and admit mistakes. I'll just admit when I was wrong.

LEMON: Who does that?

CHALIAN: Right. Exactly. So, I do think that if you are looking for something different, you can imagine why listening to these guys, that you may find something appealing.

Now, it is tough because they don't cut down an ideological line. So, if you're somebody who believes in sort of the democratic platform and the Republican Party platform, you're going to find something that you don't agree with Gary Johnson...


LEMON: Even these guys are more relatable, as I'm sitting there and listening to them, I said, you know, I can relate to these guys. They are even more so than the two traditional, so to speak, candidates.

CHALIAN: True. The challenge is we are still dominated as a two-party system.


CHALIAN: And Gary Johnson himself says it. Their big thing is they got to get on the debate stage. If they can get to that 15 percent threshold in the polls, and get on the debate stage in the fall, then there's a whole different conversation taking place.


LEMON: It's not looking likely though, still at 9 percent.

CHALIAN: Right now they still have quite a bit to do.

LEMON: Yes. So, and speaking of the two traditional candidates, let's talk about this Fox News poll that's out tonight, showing Hillary Clinton with a 10-point lead over Donald Trump, 49 to 39 percent in a head-to-head matchup.

That same poll shows 69 percent of voters felt that Trump's response to the Khan family, the controversy of the Gold Star family, was out of bounds. What are these numbers tell you, David?

CHALIAN: Well, that last number there we probably didn't need to poll on it. Just by the sheer reaction from every corner of the political universe since that controversy erupted, from his own fellow Republicans, Don, from obviously his opponent from the democratic side.

Everybody was sort of calling them out of bounds. That 10 points is similarly we had her at a 9-point lead, we've seen similar margins from other polls throughout the week.

So, since all the polls seem to be telling us the same thing right now. As Hillary Clinton emerged from her convention in Philadelphia last week, she emerged there with a bounce and she's got this wide lead right now.


LEMON: Upper trajectory, right?

CHALIAN: Upper trajectory. And now the question is, will she be able to sustain it? But controversies like what Donald Trump just came through the last couple of days clearly helps the Clinton cause to maintain that momentum.

[22:10:00] LEMON: I want you to listen to this because, you know, we've been covering this since he's been running for over a year now. And it doesn't seem like he's had as much of -- well, he has a number of self-created controversies. But it seems like the last week or so, it's been really worse. Look at this.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: So, I just want to tell you the campaign is doing really well. It's never been so well-united. We started on June 16th. I would say right now it's the best in terms of being united that it's been since we began. We're doing incredibly well.


LEMON: So, David, is he aware of the firestorm around him?

CHALIAN: He is, no doubt.

LEMON: This guy is kidding.

CHALIAN: I mean, I think -- yes. I mean, I think he's trying to portray a different reality, one that he really hopes to get to. Listen, there are some signs for him that he can point to. He had really big fund-raising numbers, his most successful month of

fund-raising since the campaign really closing that gap with Hillary Clinton and doing so, Don, by getting a ton of low-dollar donors.

So, those are folks you can keep going back to over and over again to keep donating. That's converting that grassroots energy that we've seen in his rally now, to donating to his campaign, I think that's a really good sign for him.

You saw him today at the beginning of one these events really try to keep on message on Hillary Clinton, on his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal. He then, you know, veered off again and this is the biggest concern inside the Republican universe, is that he can't remain disciplined and on message.

LEMON: He can't help himself.

CHALIAN: But he can't help himself. But you see little sparks of opportunities where he can really continue to drive the message. I think that, though, what you just played there is clearly a little more wishful thinking than the reality is...


LEMON: I was just going to say, it's interesting to me, people are like, oh, there was a little bit of it like, you know, you expect. He's a presidential candidate and then keep saying he's not a politician. But if you're running for the president, you should be a politician by now.

Newt Gingrich, who is one of his vocal Trump supporters, could have been the vice presidential pick. He said this to the Washington Post. "Anybody who is horrified by Hillary should hope Trump will take a deep breath and learn some new skills. He cannot win the presidency operating the way he is now. She can't be bad enough to elect him is he is determined to make these many mistakes."

So, I mean, Gingrich is saying that Trump has a matter of weeks to reverse course or he's done.

CHALIAN: Yes. It's not the first time that we've heard Republican say that.


LEMON: How does he do that?

CHALIAN: We have after Judge Curiel, Bob Corker was out there saying, he's only got a couple of weeks to turn this around.

LEMON: But Newt Gingrich is kind of, he was almost in his camp and -- I mean, that was, the judge, that was his Fargo.


LEMON: Now we're this close to the election. CHALIAN: I think you just hit on the most important point.


CHALIAN: I think each time something comes up now, we're now at 97 days. When we're at 80 days, when we're at 60 days, if things like this it's going to become that much more problematic.

LEMON: Right.

CHALIAN: Because the party is just going to get so concerned about what will happen on November 8th down ballot for the rest of their candidates, they're going to start fleeing if they have no sense of confidence that Donald Trump will keep it together through the election.

LEMON: He said he met with Gold Star families tonight. Listen to this.


TRUMP: I met with six families that were -- and just like incredible people. And a gentleman handed me a check. And he said, you know, "Mr. Trump, this is for your campaign." And I said you don't have to do that. He goes, "I do." He said it's more money and I haven't even opened it yet, I don't think I'll tell you how much it is actually, but he said it's more money -- wow. He said it's more money -- more money than we can afford, but I want you to have it for your campaign. And I think it's incredible.



LEMON: Does that help him at all?

CHALIAN: Well, I think meeting with Gold Star families makes a lot of sense.


CHALIAN: In fact, for a nonpolitician, it is a very political play.


LEMON: What about I met with these families? I wanted him to know how much I respect and admire them and that I didn't mean any harm with the Khan family and instead he's talking about money, it's himself.

CHALIAN: Right. I mean, it went back to this check that the family itself said it couldn't afford to give him. And so, you wonder if he's going to accept that payment or not.

But I do think the fact that he did meet with these families, and when he went on stage he want to say it, that was clearly him trying to say I get that I didn't handle this correctly. You know, I am sure there are some people that would have preferred

him to have done that a few days ago.

LEMON: He is blaming Hillary Clinton for the $400 million in cash the U.S. sent to Iran. Is this strategy you think, going to stick?

CHALIAN: I think this is a good avenue for him to continue to press the opposition to the Iran nuclear deal. It's not some widely popular deal. And this is something Republicans grabbed on to as soon as it came to fruition.

Hillary Clinton was there at the very creation and the beginning of that deal. And now that we learned the details of this payment that was supposed to be what we were told on this entirely separate track.

LEMON: Right.

[22:14:59] CHALIAN: Having nothing to do with releasing hostages...


LEMON: But simultaneous, yes.

CHALIAN: ... but simultaneously it happens, that payments happens. And whether or not the hostages would have been released without it.

I think this is a pretty good avenue for him again, to formulate a foreign policy argument, not just on the Iran nuclear deal but the broader critique against the Obama and Clinton administration on whether or not we are indeed safer if the world is a more contained place.

LEMON: I've got to go. With her standing in front of a, you know, a sign, a Trump sign and talking about things he does not make and the products he doesn't make in the U.S. is that resonating do you think?

CHALIAN: I think it can use. You saw her, she was holding up his ties.


CHALIAN: We're going to see that in advertising. We've seen this, in fact, it worked against others in his position like Mitt Romney or what have you to talk about outsourcing. This goes against the grain of his economic appeal.

She's trying to up end the gains that he's made talking about trade, getting in there with white working class voters. She's trying to remind them all he doesn't even make his products here.

It has the potential to take away some of the gains he made with those voters.

LEMON: Thank you, David Chalian.

CHALIAN: Thank you, Don. LEMON: Much appreciated.

When we come right back, a high profile Republican who supports Donald Trump, her message for the candidate.


LEMON: Donald Trump is insisting to supporters that his campaign is united and doing well. But a lot of Republicans are disagreeing with him right now.

[22:19:59] I want you to listen to some of the things the candidate has said over the last few days.


TRUMP: Don't worry about that baby. I love babies. So, I love babies. I hear that baby crying. I like it. I like it. What a baby. Actually, I was only kidding. You can get the baby out of here.


That's all right. Don't worry. I think she really believed me that I love having a baby crying while I'm speaking.

I'm afraid the election is going to be rigged, I have to be honest. Because I think my side was rigged. If I didn't win by massive landslides.

The whole thing with voter I.D. identification, I think it's really -- I mean, people are going to walk in they are going to vote 10 times maybe.


Now I said to him, I said to him, is that the real one or is that a copy? And he said that's my real Purple Heart. I have such confidence in you. And I said, man, that's like -- that's like big stuff. I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.

And I've, you know, never been a big fan of John McCain. And I just hate the way our veterans have been treated by John and other people.

All of a sudden I was viciously attacked on the stage of the Democratic National Convention by Mr. Khan and I responded to that vicious attack.

His wife, if you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.

I don't regret anything. I said nice things about the son.

Well, I think my whole life has been about handling pressure. I think I have a great temperament for winning.

Listen, even if people don't like me, they have to vote for me. They have no choice. Even if you don't, you do like me I hope.


LEMON: Here to discuss all of this is Jan Brewer, the former Republican Governor of Arizona. Thank you, Governor for coming on. You're a supporter of Donald Trump, what's your reaction to the way that he has been conducting his campaign over the last five or six days.

JAN BREWER, FORMER ARIZONA GOVERNOR: Well, that a -- thanks for having me on, Don. But that was an interesting lead-in. Of course a lot of it taken out of context. In my opinion some of it was done in a kiddingly manner. And unfortunately, it's been portrayed across the media as being very, very harsh. You know, I think Donald says things that sometimes...


LEMON: What was taken out of context, Governor?

BREWER: Well, the issue -- you know, with Mr. Khan and his son that maybe she didn't have anything to say. You know, when I was watching that on the debate at the convention that night, I thought, well, because they didn't want her to speak that night, that it was the campaign that didn't want her to speak.

And then afterwards it was all kind of spun to the fact that it was -- that they didn't want her -- that they didn't want her to speak because of her religion. I didn't get that sense at all when I was watching it.

LEMON: Well, she said she was so emotional...


BREWER: Or about the baby...

LEMON: ... to speak. And what he insinuated is that she couldn't speak because of Islam, because of her religion and that women weren't allowed to speak. But she said that was not the case, she just could not. She was too overcome with grief and emotion to speak that evening.

BREWER: And you know, Don, I understand that now. But at the time it didn't affect me that way. I'm a mother, I have lost a son. I know how that grief is with you for the rest of your life and it leaves a hole in your heart.

And certainly her son, Captain Khan should have been and is admired and respected. He was fighting for our country, for our freedom. And I believe that the majority of the people believe that and I hope that Donald feels that way, too.

LEMON: Do you -- would you have reserved, you know, as a politician someone who has run for office before, would you have reserved your criticism of that mother? And I don't know if that's your advice to Donald Trump.

Even if you think it was taken out of context -- I don't think it was taken out of context but even if you do, do you think that he may have just sort of withheld his judgment or his criticism of her?

BREWER: Well, you know, when you're speaking on subject matters like that, Don, sometimes you say things and they just don't come out the way you want to sound when say them. You know, I've tried to present myself to sensitive issues.

We know that when you have a grieving mother, it's a sensitive issue and they were talking from their heart and it was a bad -- it was a bad situation. And I hope that we all learn from that incident.

But you know, with the crying baby -- the crying baby...


LEMON: Do you think it will help if he just apologized to the family, and because now if you're looking at it in the polls it shows that a number of people at least 69 percent, almost 70 percent say that, you know, his comments on the mothers, criticism of the mother and the family were just out of bounds in a Gold Star family.

Do you think it would help if he said, you know what, I'm sorry, I read it wrong -- there it is, 69 percent -- I read it wrong and I apologize to the family. Would that help?

[22:25:01] BREWER: Apologies always help, always help a situation in any circumstances where it's been called out on you and, you know, it's usually an easy thing to do and on the same vein, I think that there's apologies owed to some other -- some other mothers...


BREWER: ... that they were lied to and they were never apologized to and nor were they ever told the truth.


BREWER: You know, never, ever forget Benghazi, by the way. So, it's on both sides.


LEMON: There are lots of family who have paid the ultimate price. You know, their family members have...

BREWER: They have.

LEMON: And in our hearts go out to all of them.

BREWER: They have.

LEMON: And they deserve the right -- they can say whatever they want and you allow them their grief and you move on. So, let's move on from this one. So, I agree with you on that one.


LEMON: A new Fox poll is showing, and since you're a politician and you know that because the time is closing, that Donald Trump is 10 points behind Hillary Clinton.

This reflects both Hillary Clinton's convention bounce and the universal disapproval that we talked about the Khan family. It's a dangerous time in this race, isn't it, to fall that far behind?

BREWER: Well, it is dangerous, but it is the dog days of summer. I think after Labor Day we're going to see things really come together and will have a better feel for the moment and where we're headed.

Polls move all the time, but I think after kids get back in school, summer's behind us, Labor Day is gone, then everybody else -- everybody will move forward and we'll a much, much better feel.


BREWER: And I think there will be transitioning in both campaigns. I'm very hopeful of that.

LEMON: You said that...


BREWER: Because I do believe...

LEMON: Go ahead, Governor. Sorry.

BREWER: I do believe that there are a lot of people out there that want a change and they appreciate Donald Trump out there speaking about the issues that they are concerned about. And they are tired of the last eight years of Obama and Hillary and they want somebody there that's going to be a truth teller and tell it like it is and make a difference. That was our opportunity...


LEMON: But you did say -- you did say -- you told my producers that you said that Hillary Clinton -- you believe that his opponent is spinning his words, but you also said that you wish he would be more careful with his own words.

BREWER: Well, I do. You know, I do wish that he would be more careful with his words. I don't know if that's possible or not, but I think that it would be well received. You know, I said that I wish he would tone is down.

But that comes from not being a politician. You just say things and you don't realize that when you say things, that they -- that you drop anchor, the whole world is hearing it.

(CROSSTALK) LEMON: Do you think that's what legitimate any more to say that he's not a politician when he's running for the highest office in the land for over a year now. I mean, he admitted to me. He said to me back in the early days, I think it was last summer, or early last fall.

He goes, you know, "I reluctantly admit that I am a politician." He can't and he can, and people who support him can't keep using that excuse. He is indeed a politician. If you open the dictionary someone who runs for president is a politician.

BREWER: Well, a lot of people have ran for president of course, and they didn't have the same difficulties that weren't lifelong politicians, but people usually are a little smoother, a little bit more articulate when they have had the opportunity to be up against opposition and to spin world out there, if you will.


BREWER: He will -- he will get his legs underneath him. He will get his legs underneath him.

LEMON: Yes. You know, the door is closing. I have to ask you if you -- you know, because I think people will think that you're part of the establishment somewhat since you were a governor.

Do you -- and, you know...


LEMON: John McCain has thrown his support behind Donald Trump, so has Paul Ryan, but he has yet to do that. Do you think that's a mistake to say that he's not supporting McCain, Kelly Ayotte, Paul Ryan, is that a mistake?

BREWER: Well, you know, Senator McCain is from Arizona and he started his career when I did. So, I'm a big supporter of John McCain. I think that he served Arizona and our country well.

I certainly have endorsed him and support him, and I believe he's done great things for our country and with the times the way that they are now, I want him in my foxhole.

I think all of America should want somebody of that caliber in our foxhole. And I'm going to work hard for him just as I am working hard for Donald Trump. And we -- as time passes, Donald Trump is going to have to work with both Paul Ryan and John McCain.


LEMON: Are you going to encourage him to endorse him?

BREWER: Well, I'm -- you know, I think that he knows that I endorse him and if I have the opportunity, I certainly will. I certainly will.

LEMON: OK. Governor, thank you. Governor Jan Brewer, I appreciate it. BREWER: Thank you so much.

LEMON: All right. Just ahead, Donald Trump trying to do a bit of rewriting history. When we come right back, we're going to tell you what he claims he said and what he really said about Megyn Kelly in the Fox News.


LEMON: Donald Trump returning to one of his favorite themes today blaming the media. He claims the media and the Clinton campaign misrepresented what he said about Megyn Kelly and, quote, "blood coming out of her wherever."

A remark he made right here on this show just about a year ago. I want you to listen to what he said to a crowd in Florida today.


TRUMP: Those commercials were so false, just like Hillary's commercials. They're so false. They're so false. Like, she's got the one with blood coming out of her eyes. And I meant her nose. Or her ears. Or her mouth.

But these people are perverted and they think it was another location. Unbelievable. And you know the truth? I cut it short because I was talking about either taxes or economic development, so I said "or whatever" and I wanted to get back on the subject. I should have finished it out. I would have been much better. So, they lied.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cross my heart.


LEMON: I want you to hear what really happened. Listen to that moment from the interview exactly as it aired on August 7th last year.


LEMON: Well, let's talk about Megyn Kelly because you brought her up. She did push you, pushed a lot of people. But what is it with you and Megyn Kelly?

[22:35:00] TRUMP: Well, I just don't respect her as a journalist. I have no respect for her. I don't think she's very good. I think she's highly overrated.

So, when I came out there, you know, what am I doing? I'm not getting paid for this. I go out there and, you know, they start saying lift up your arm if you're going to -- then I -- and, you know, I didn't know there would be 24 million people. If I knew it would be a big crowd because I get big crowds, I get ratings, they call me the ratings machine.

So, I have -- you know, she gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. And you know, there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.

But she was, in my opinion, she was off base. And, by the way, not in my opinion, in the opinion of hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter because it has been a brutal day, in one way a great day for Fox, in another day in the Twitter sphere. It's been very bad because she's been very badly criticized.

LEMON: Let's take a look -- let's take a look at...


TRUMP: And she is a lightweight. I couldn't say a lot about her. In fact, you're competing against her and I'm doing your show, that's interesting.


LEMON: So, Donald Trump went on for another two minutes on the topic of Megyn Kelly and Fox News before he finally changed the subject to how well he was doing in the poll.

So, the claim he made tonight is just, I will be kinder and say just not true.

So, I want to bring in Andre Bauer, he is a former lieutenant governor of South Carolina who is Trump supporter, political commentator Angela Rye, Bob Cusack, the editor-in-chief of the Hill, and Liz Mair, who is with a group of Republicans for Johnson/Weld.

I wonder why he would go back there, Andre, I'm going to start with you because you're a supporter - to go back because he's been pummeled about this. He's been pummeled Gold Star families.

Does he forget that there's actual videotape out there that will show exactly what he said? Every single week it seems he's calling the media liars and saying that we're going after him when we're just vetting hi as a president of the United States. Why would he even go back relegate all of this stuff and tell a lie about it?

ANDRE BAUER, FMR. LT. GOVERNOR OF SOUTH CAROLINA: I don't know why. But they are very big missed opportunities. We're sitting here with less than 100 days now and these are opportunities where he could be hammering Hillary Clinton, or hammering messages of economic growth and creating jobs.

And so, any time he gets -- I think this is buried in the weeds, it's not helping. And I really -- and you question where you go from here. And so, I would hope he'd get back on message quickly to...


LEMON: I have to be honest with you, I don't mean to put you on the spot, I don't remember how many times you've been on this show and other people, and you said the same thing that he I hope he would do that. Kayleigh has said, I hope he would do that, you know, Scottie has said I hope he would do that. And I don't know about the -- who's the other one, I forget it,

Katrina Pierson, she has been on well. When is he going to do it?

BAUER: Well, he doesn't call me and seek advice. I'm going to turn off to this...


LEMON: Are you tired of saying that though, as a supporter?

BAUER: I hate to see missed opportunities. I mean, both candidates have their negatives and he could really be pointing out some big ones that are key issues to people that are in the middle, the swing voters that could easily be exposed to things that would drive her negatives up even further, true statements that he ought to be hammering home like what we see right now with this hostage trade deal. I mean, that stuff will people go, wait a minute, wait a minute.

LEMON: When we were talking about we were talking about the interview that Hillary Clinton had this weekend that she got four Pinocchios for it. But instead he's doing this.

Liz, I have to say, he did stay on message at the beginning of that rally today, but then quickly diverted to some of the same old, you know, topics that he always address including this. I want you to listen.


TRUMP: We had a story where I was talking to people dancing in the streets or dancing on the rooftops. Do you remember? Now in all fairness throughout the world they were dancing.

But I said in New Jersey they were dancing. And, no, I said when the World Trade Center came down, nice, real nice.

So, here's the story -- by the way, those people that knocked down the World Trade Center most likely under the Trump policy wouldn't been here to knock down the World Trade Center, just so you understand.



LEMON: So, Liz, this is not showing political discipline, is it? Because nobody had been talking about that for months now.

LIZ MAIR, REPUBLICAN FOR JOHNSON-WELD: No, it seems like he's almost on a suicide mission here. I feel for Andre and a lot of other Republicans who have chosen to get on board with Donald Trump. Because realistically, I mean, we are in a situation now where this is pretty painful to watch.

And the only reason that it's not extraordinarily painful for me to watch is that I'm not supporting Donald Trump. But, you know, with regard to on message/off message, the real problem here is that what Donald Trump is saying and what he is doing is Donald Trump's message. I will put it in slightly more delicate terms than I did earlier this evening.

But the reality is, this guy is a loud mouth, insert whatever phrase you want right here, but something offensive. And he is somebody mostly head up on, sort of going over and over and over his ongoing list of grievances against whoever in the media, or whatever group of people, so on and so forth.

[22:40:07] And that is his message. That's not the Republican Party message, it's not what the Republican Party wants his message to be. But that is his message. And so, that's what I think we're going continue hearing pretty much from now until Election Day.

LEMON: Here's the weird thing though. Even if you -- and you know, Andre and I like each other. We're friends. I'm not in a hate to push you that way.


BAUER: Push me...

LEMON: But even if you -- but even if you point out to Trump supporters, if you show them the tape of a falsehood, they're going to say that you're biased or against Donald Trump where it's like, no, he's running to president of the United States, he just lied to you, the supporters. We're actually looking out for you the supporters and the American voters, but then you say that we're biased. What is going on here, Angela?

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think that we're stuck between a rock and a hard place in that you have Trump supporters who aren't traditional Republican voters per se. And so, this vetting process seems like you're coming down on them.

I'll never forget there was a woman leaving a rally last year and she was like, "the media is just so hard on him." And I was like, $2.1 billion of free earned media it doesn't sound too hard to me.

And it's just very interesting. So, they're not used to this type of vetting process, whereas you look at the same type of pressure that's been applied to Hillary Clinton and it's just kind of normal.

What is particularly interesting to me and I'd love to hear your take on this, Andre and even you, Liz, is you have the Republican establishment that couldn't figure out how to get another voter.

They came up with this autopsy report after the 2012 election when Mitt Romney lost by nearly six million votes. And in this they say that they got to reach out to Latinos, and black folks, and gay folks, and millennials.

And you have Donald Trump come along and they don't want him. But he was the only way that they would see a potential victory. LEMON: Yes.

RYE: So, they're stuck. They have people who don't like anything about the establishment conflicting with people who are the establishment and couldn't figure out how to get to a win.

LEMON: You know what, Bob, it's interesting because I was speaking to a friend who works in real estate recently and he said, you know, in order to understand Donald Trump, you have to understand the world of real estate because, you know, people -- there's a tendency in real estate to oversell, to embellish, to always close a deal and to do it no matter what you have to do or say to do it.

And so he is just bring that over. But I find it interesting because you say even though in this bad week for Trump, there is still a silver lining. I'd like to know what it is.

BOB CUSACK, "THE HILL" EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Well, I think the only silver lining is that it's not mid-September for Donald Trump. We're still, you know, we're early August, yes, we have about a hundred days to go.

A lot of people on vacation. Donald Trump has had a terrible week. He's going to have to show some political discipline, which we have not seen before.

And unless that happens, Don, I think you're going to see high profile Republicans more than have been out there now possibly retracting their endorsement.

So, I do think that the things that Donald Trump is saying shows no discipline. I mean, he's talking about the criticism that he has taken over the last several months and then repeating it to audiences.

He's got to be talking about Hillary Clinton, he's got to be talking about this Iran payment of $400 million, he's got to be talking about Barack Obama. But I don't know if there is a Trump 2.0. We've been waiting months for it and we haven't seen it yet.

MAIR: Yes.



MAIR: I mean, manifestly there is not.

LEMON: Go ahead, Liz.

MAIR: And I think this is why you're seeing a lot of Republicans including myself and the other people who form Republicans for Johnson/Weld starting to say, look, we've known for a long time that this guy wasn't a tenable option but there's nothing that's happening, nobody's coming to the rescue, nobody can save this anymore.

The only option you have if you actually want to vote for somebody who is going to be on the ballot on all 50 states and who is generally a Republican and generally of a right of center discipline and somebody who doesn't come off as being completely crazy, bigoted, just plain lunatic a lot of the time, frankly is going to be if you vote for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld.

I mean, that's the only -- that's the only viable alternative that a lot of people are seeing right now. And I think tonight, the town hall that we saw with this two also, you know, they did a very good job of presenting themselves, seemed a lot more polished, seemed a lot more detail specific, looked a lot more ready to lead, and so I think you may see a lot more people jumping on board that train.

LEMON: OK. Stay with me, everyone. When we come right back here, Donald Trump challenge is President Barack Obama. Is it just par for the course here?


LEMON: Donald Trump has a novel suggestion on how to settle the race for the White House. And it may involve the competition outside of the voting booth.

Back with me now, Andre Bauer, Angela Rye, Bob Cusack, and Liz Mair.

OK. So, Bob, this tonight from the Trump rally earlier in Florida. He's criticizing President Obama for playing more golf than they do on the PGA tour and discussing his trip to Turnberry course in Scotland. Listen.


TRUMP: I'm a good golfer, believe it or not. People are shocked. People are shocked. But let me -- so, I should play Obama for the presidency.


I'll do it. Then I'd be assured of winning, OK?


LEMON: That would be one way to settle this, Bob, don't you think?

CUSACK: Yes. And, you know, the word is that Trump is a little better at golf than Obama, though the word is that he takes a few generous gimmes.

But, you know, this is -- this is vintage Donald Trump. He's entertaining, he's funny. I think that's fine. Those types of statements are fine.

[22:50:00] Going after the Khans, also going after the presidential debate commission, who set up these debates a long time ago and complaining about it. And listen, I think he's going to need a lot of debates. I think Donald Trump should actually ask for more than three debates, should ask for five debates.


CUSACK: Regardless of whether there is NFL. Because he's behind. He's behind double digits. And I think he's going to need to come back, so he's going to need as many debates as possible. He's just going to have to risk it. Then going toe to toe with Hillary Clinton, I think Donald Trump will...


LEMON: Do you think he knows enough about the issues, policy, foreign policy, to go toe to toe with Secretary Clinton?

CUSACK: I think on foreign policy, he's definitely the underdog but he have to bone up. We haven't that. But, listen. I think that both Hillary Clinton on a Democratic side did well on the debates against Bernie Sanders and Trump did very well on the Republican debates. But, yes, is he going to have to bone up on policy? Absolutely.

LEMON: All right. Angela, there's a new Fox Poll out that has Trump down 10 points. But there is a long way to go until Election Day, do you expect to see this tighten?

RYE: I think that it's going to fluctuate. I think right now we're looking at numbers that come right after the Democratic National Convention. I think that Donald Trump has a ton of work to do.

On this debate thing, I just have to say this. He was -- there were 17 people in the primary. It's different when you're trying to get attention like you do with a tweet or you're trying to get, you know, a jab in and you're name calling. He can't do that in a general election debate.

It's one-on-one. Mano-a-mano. Like it's not happening. He's not going to win the debate. Hillary Clinton is a formidable debater. Do you remember her against Barack Obama?


RYE: Or, I mean, Bernie Sanders? She is a formidable debater.

LEMON: So, you're being awfully quiet tonight.


RYE: So, those polls never going to go out for Hillary.

LEMON: Do you think there should be more debates? If you were Donald Trump, would you take Bob's advice and ask for more debates?

BAUER: Yes. Because I think he can continue to broaden the tent if more people are exposed to his message. His message is easier to sell. It's a message of job creation, it's a message of economic growth and he's a business guy so it's easy to draw the two together.

And it's easy to beat up Hillary Clinton because she's got 40 years of voting. And when you've been in public office, you got a lot bigger record you can beat up.

RYE: Andre, we just spent the whole first segment talking about he can't get on message. So, do you think he's going to stay on message in two more debates?

MAIR: Absolutely not.

LEMON: hey, Liz, I want you to listen -- go ahead quickly.

MAIR: I'm not sure that broadening his coalition is really going to happen by giving him more air time than we're talking about Megyn Kelly's menstrual cycle.

But it's an interesting idea and potentially if he stands on stage with Hillary Clinton more and does his usual routine of sort of yelling and blustering, I mean, he might potentially force her to have an aneurysm right there on live TV. And that might actually be his best shot to becoming president right now. It might actually be.

RYE: Well, let's not wish that.

LEMON: I'm going to put -- I'm going to play Newt Gingrich today. Listen.


NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: What's truly frustrating here is you have a very talented businessman, who might actually become a historic figure, but he has to keep or every morning he has to wake up and say the only two people I'm fighting about are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

And you have to take on Obama because clearly, Hillary would be the third term, so you got to win the argument about whether or not this is been good.

But other than those two people, every time he talks about anyone else, it is an unforced fumble, if you like, or interception as I would have said but it's clearly mistake. And until he can discipline himself to be very direct, very controlled, which frankly is what you want in a president.


GINGRICH: You want a -- the presidency has so much power. He has enormous potential. I would say that in the last couple of weeks he has been remarkably underperforming and we'll see whether or not he can take a deep breath and learn these lessons.


LEMON: You now, Liz, as the president said yesterday, these aren't episodic gaffes. These are -- these are daily now. You have Newt Gingrich out talking about this. I think I heard Karl Rove saying something similar saying, he's running out of altitude or running out of, you know, runway because it's getting so close. He has to and at this point if he continues the way he's going, he's

going to lose. Do you think these are capable -- he's capable of learning these lessons?

MAIR: I seriously doubt it. And I think collectively to use Newt's analogy to the NFL, actually what we're seeing here is kind of a very long, protracted butt fumble in my opinion.

I think it's going to be hard for Trump to turn away from that because that's just sort of his habitual nature. That's the kind of thing he likes to do. He does get very wound up in a lot of this airing of grievances.

He's not somebody who is really talking about anything forward looking apart from his slogan of make America great again. And so, I think you're going to continue to see a lot of this. I think you're going to continue to see a lot of this sort of thing going forward.

I mean, at the end of the day, about the only thing that potentially could help him and could result in this not being as bad as it looks right now is the fact that he's running against Hillary Clinton. He really is that disastrous of a candidate and that unappealing of a candidate. I mean, those...


LEMON: And Republicans hate her just that much.

MAIR: Republicans hate her but so do a lot of other people. I mean, she has very, very high negatives, just as Donald Trump does.

[22:55:02] I mean, basically right now, both major parties have decided to nominate literally the most loathsome people.

LEMON: I want to get...


MAIR: where they could find out of 300 million.

LEMON: Bob, I want to get this in, if you let me, Liz. I want to get this is before we have to go. He -- it is been -- he has denied -- the Trump campaign has denied that there is an intervention underway from Trump supporters. Do you think an intervention would even work, though?

CUSACK: I don't think so. I mean, there's no doubt about it that Donald Trump calls the shots. And usually in this type of campaign if they had a bad week or two you'd think well, who is advising the candidate?

Donald Trump is making the final decision, so I don't think and intervention would work. I think the only possible intervention that would work is if his kids went to him and said, listen, we need a new direction, you've got to do x, y, z.

But, whether it's Rudy Giuliani or Newt Gingrich going to Trump and doing some intervention, Don, that's not going to work.

LEMON: All right, everyone. When we come right back, more on the panic at the highest levels of the GOP over Donald Trump.