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CNN TONIGHT

Donald Trump Makes First Speech Since Shake-Up; Trump and Mike Pence Will Go to Louisiana Tomorrow; Trump Says He Regrets SomeThings He's Said. Aired 11-12p ET.

Aired August 18, 2016 - 23:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:01:09] DON LEMON, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Donald Trump makes his first speech since his big staff shake-up. This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

And what a speech it was? The mogul turned candidate of all things polished and professional, but is that a new Trump we're saying? Or is he about to double down in the final months of the campaign? Plus, the worst natural disaster in the United States since Superstorm Sandy.

Trump says he and his running mate Michael Pence will go to Baton Rouge tomorrow. But President Barack Obama is not in Louisiana, he's on Martha's Vineyard. Some, calling for him to cut his vacation short and visit the flood zone. Should he do that?

I want to go right now to CNN Politics Executive Editor Mark Preston, who joins me here in studio,

So, he held his first rally tonight since his big campaign shake-up and he sounded a little bit different.

MARK PRESTON, CNN NEWS POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: He did, Don.

LEMON: Yes, listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Sometimes in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that. And believe it or not, I regret it. And I do regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues. But one thing I can promise you this, I will always tell you the truth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Mark, what do you think?

PRESTON: Look, tonight could it be a turn in the Donald Trump campaign?

LEMON: Maybe for 24 hours.

PRESTON: Listen, tonight's speech is very solemn, very serious ...

LEMON: Yeah.

PRESTON: ... not sticky, so to speak. He had some mannerisms that are very Trumpisms but he really did stick to script. I think that if you are the democrats in the Clinton campaign, this is not the Donald Trump you want to see in the closing gate of this (ph) campaign.

LEMON: Yeah. So, he has also said he's going to Louisiana to the flood zone tomorrow.

PRESTON: He's really sticking it toward Barack Obama, who is off the waters of Cape Cod on an island playing golf.

LEMON: Very bad optics.

PRESTON: Terrible optics.

LEMON: And, well, if you have watched the news all day and the split screen of the devastation that's happening in Louisiana, and then President Obama in shorts or golf pants, whatever it is, swinging a golf course, laughing and yucking it up on the golf course. Horrible optics and it's bad ....

PRESTON: Worst than ...

(CROSSTALK)

PRESTON: Right now, you're from Louisiana?

LEMON: Yes.

PRESTON: Right. So, when you ...

LEMON: Yeah.

PRESTON: So, it's obviously, you know, going to hit home personally for you. I saw pictures today where there were coffins floating down the street.

LEMON: Yes, they are. It's awful. It is underreported. I hate to criticize the news.

PRESTON: Right.

LEMON: It is underreported. There it is right there, and there he is on the golf course. It's underreported. Thousands of people have lost their homes, there have been at least 13 people who've lost their lives and they're looking in homes now going door to door. There could be other people who've died. Family members of mine have lost all of their possessions.

PRESTON: Right. LEMON: Two of my friends have lost their businesses. And then you remember when, you know, Katrina, it's like, "Oh, well, Bush just flew over," right?

PRESTON: Right.

LEMON: And this is I think an equivalent to that.

PRESTON: And look, it is about optics. Donald Trump is going to go down there tomorrow. He will go through, he'll say some words.

LEMON: Yeah.

PRESTON: And then he'll leave, but optically that will be good for Donald Trump, because specifically in the speech tonight, he talked about one nation, he led his speech talking about one united nation when all of our people are hurting, while one is hurting.

LEMON: We're all hurting. I want you to look at this. This is "The Advocate" it used to be when I was there with the "State Times" and the "Morning Advocate". But, now, it's just the "The Advocate, it's one paper, the biggest newspaper in Louisiana calling for President Obama, he said he's hurting, "We need you now, President Obama."

[23:05:05] PRESTON: I'd be surprised if Barack Obama doesn't go down there in the next few days. I think, in many ways, he has to. Look, let's see how Donald Trump behaves when he goes down there. I suspect that if he goes down there, he's solemn, that will be a good day for him politically. I know it's terrible to put this in political terms, but if he goes down there and tries to grand stand and make a big political issue, it will not be a good day.

LEMON: And I want to say just so people know, my cousin's daughter, Colby Lawrence (ph) lost all of her possessions and my friend Mike Wilson lost his business. And so, you know, I'm getting reports from people all the time we're on text, it is horrible down there. If you guys don't realize what's going on, it is absolutely horrible.

President Obama, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, they need all the help they can give. All of you should get down there and help, including all of us. We could all help as much as possible.

PRESTON: Sure.

LEMON: And we'll put up some information for people to help as well. Mark, let's talk about this new poll out today from the Pew Research Center. It shows that Hillary Clinton's lead is narrowing. She comes in at 41 percent, Trump at 37 percent. Is this post convention bump for Secretary Clinton over?

PRESTON: Well, cover things. One, that's a national poll and that's not going to decide what the election is, but this gives you a snapshot overall about where the country is making about this election. However, when you do go into the battleground states, the five or six that will decide this election, and I know that our voters is going to necessary right to hear that but we're looking at Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, you know, a couple of other states, maybe Colorado, Nevada. Hillary Clinton is doing much better than Donald Trump in those states.

LEMON: Thank you very much. I appreciate it, Mark.

PRESTON: Thank you. I want to bring in now Kurt Bardella, who was a spokesman for Breitbart, but subsequently resigned, and Ben Howe is Contributing Editor at Red State who is working on a film about Donald Trump, the film is called "The Sociopath", and Jason Osborne, the former Senior Communication Strategist for Dr. Ben Carson, he is now a Trump supporter.

Good evening to you, gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us this evening.

Kurt, I want to start with you, because you parted ways with Breitbart News. That was back in March when you described Steve Bannon as a dictator-bully, now he's Trump's CEO and campaign CEO. So, what do you expect to see from Trump in the campaign in the terms of messaging?

KURT BARDELLA, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF ENDEAVOR STRATEGIES: You know it's funny. I think you're going to see a lot of what you've already seen, the idea that the hiring or the official recognition of Steve's role with Trump is a new a signal, a new chapter. You know, Steve's modus operandi is being provocative, is being controversial, is doubling down when people say you should back down.

That's exactly what the Donald Trump campaign has been this entire time. And I think that what you're seeing is the recognition of a role that Steve has been playing behind the scenes for a long time.

LEMON: Jason, you first, you say Breitbart plays an important role as a good counterbalance of today's media landscape. But I want you to take a look at some of their headlines. One says, "Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy," "There's no hiring bias against women in tech, they just suck at interviews," "Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew." Jason, do they go too far or no?

JASON OSBORNE, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, first, Don, let me say my thoughts and prayers are with your friend and family in Louisiana.

LEMON: Thank you, Jason. Thank you.

OSBORNE: I do have friends and family there as well. So, but to your point, you know, I think if we've looked at every single headline or every single story from every single media outlet, we would find cases like this.

My point in terms of saying they provide a good counterbalance is that, you know what? We're in a day and age where we have broadcast media. We have 30-second sound bite stories. We need a place like Breitbart, Drudge Report, Red State I think we'd even say it, where we have a more comprehensive look at the news of the day. And so I do think they provide a good counterbalance. LEMON: OK. And, you know what, Jason? It's one thing to be vulgar, maybe an attempt to get clicks, but I mean what about these headlines? "What if the Birthers are right?" or "Bizarre behavior, seizure allegations raise doubts about Hillary Clinton's health." Does Breitbart, Jason, peddle misinformation and conspiracy theories?

OSBORNE: You know, I think everybody kind of plays that role. I mean, look, I worked for Dr. Carson, and I can tell you -- I can't tell you how many times I would have to call a publication and say your headline is outrageous and ridiculous. The story -- the people that write the stories, and the meat of the story, seemed to be, you know, generally better, but it's the headline writers that are the ones that caused the most problems many times.

LEMON: Ben, with Steve Bannon now on team Trump, do you think that we'll see Trump make questionable claims? Is this, you know, as Corey Lewandowski put it, this is about win at all costs, that's the strategy?

BEN HOWE, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR AT RED STATE: Well, I think he's already made plenty of questionable claims from Ted Cruz's dad to a number of other conspiracy theories that he's peddled that started in places like info wars. I definitely think Breitbart News represents today, not when he was under Andrew Breitbart, but today it does represents a counterbalance sort of the same way the dark side of the force did.

[23:10:01] And I think that because they bring that conspiracy theory pandering, which kind of started with the Drudge Report and then moved in the Breitbart News, that, yeah, it's going to seep into the Trump campaign even more than it already has.

LEMON: Ben, do you think also think that Breitbart News and other far right sites urge Trump to bring back the anger. Why?

HOWE: I think they think it works. They look at the primaries -- I think Trump believes that, too. If you look at -- even just go on Twitter and look at some of the, I guess if you can call them high profile, the highest profile Trump supporters that are really part of the alt-right movement, a lot of them were really disappointed to see Donald endorse McCain and Ryan. And I think that that sent some shivers down in some spines in the Breitbart News and probably for Trump as well, because some of his most -- some of his biggest advocates were worried. And this was sort of a move to show them now that he's still on their side, he's still not just part of the alt- right movement, he's the leader of the movement. And I suspect that regardless of this newest, this week's pivot, that's going to be what we see.

LEMON: Jason, does bringing back the anger work?

OSBORNE: You know, I think everybody is angry with the way this country is going. I mean I think even Hillary Clinton I think you're going to hear her say that our country needs to move further along in many ways in tax structure in the inner cities. And Donald Trump is channeling the anger that we all feel towards our government. I'm surprised to hear the folks at Red State aren't angry at the way that Hillary Clinton has been handling her tenure at the State Department or how she's advocating for an increase in taxes. Instead they want to continue to focus on, you know, the personalities related to Donald Trump.

HOWE: It's not just the personalities.

LEMON: Go ahead.

HOWE: It's not just the personalities. I mean, look, that I could be angry about something and still not think that the best answer is to go down into the neighborhood a shoot everybody I disagree with. So being angry is not an answer in itself. What answers that are provided, matters. And the way that Trump talks about how to solve things, the way the alt-right, the movement he leads, talks about solving things is white nationalism. I'm sorry, I just don't consider that a good answer to anger.

LEMON: Let's talk now again about the tragedy ...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: By the way, again ...

OSBORNE: That's outrageous.

LEMON: Go ahead. Why did you say that?

OSBORNE: That's outrageous. And, you know, they have -- you can throw out these words and say that somebody is racist and they're a bigot but, you know, you're not looking at what Donald Trump particularly tonight said on what he wants to do to move this country forward. How is reducing the tax burden on Americans and on businesses being racist? How is protecting our national security and making sure that we don't have a problem with terrorists coming into this country racist? Explain to me about how all those thing he's been coming out with in the last couple of weeks with all his policy plans.

LEMON: Sure.

OSBORNE: How does that translate into racist?

BARDELLA: I'm sorry. How was attacking ...

LEMON: I mean that's an intellectually dishonest position.

BARDELLA: ... a family that lost their own son to military defending our country? How does that further any cause? Or any number of things that Donald Trump has been saying day in and day out, week after week, month after month as this campaign does progress just because he had one day during a one speech where he stayed on message doesn't erase what the last years look liked in the Donald Trump campaign and the focus of things that he has directly said. People aren't taking what he said.

LEMON: And so what critiques has said?

BARDELLA: They'll be playing what he actually said.

LEMON: Yes, the words that he actually said. And, Jason, you know, to that point, what critics have said is he expressed regret. Regret is not an apology. I regret that I ran the stop sign, right, but, yeah, I'm not sorry for what I speaking. I regret that because I got a ticket. You can regret things and still not be sorry for them, Jason.

HOWE: Yeah. He's the Eric Cartman of political candidates. He doesn't understand what's wrong is -- he doesn't understand that what he's done is wrong. He basically regrets that he was caught.

LEMON: Jason, last words to you.

HOWE: I mean, I think that's the way that he looks at it.

LEMON: Jason.

OSBORNE: I'm sorry, Don.

LEMON: Jason, last word to you. Go ahead.

OSBORNE: You know, what I'm troubled about here is that we have people out there that are so focused on what parsing Donald Trump's words but don't seem to be concerned at all that we have $400 million that was just used as ransom to bring back hostages from Iran, that we have Hillary Clinton out there talking about attack structure that the rich need to pay more and saying that how Donald Trump is the only that's going to benefit them there.

LEMON: I don't think because you analyze a speech or criticize a speech that you have don't have concern for the other. If they're not mutually exclusive, one doesn't care a lot here (ph).

OSBORNE: And words matter. When you want to be President of United States, Commander in Chief, what you say matters a great, great deal, what you say can determine whether the stock market rises or falls, whether not allies will be comforted with what your military form policy is. If we base the entire ...

BARDELLA: I don't think that's a new one.

(CROSSTALK)

OSBORNE: If we base the entire decision -- well, apparently you do because you seemed to think that what Donald Trump says this entire time shouldn't matter at all. And if you don't agree with what he said ...

BARDELLA: No, I never said I don't care about the economy.

(CROSSTALK) LEMON: I got to go. Jason, I'm sorry. Thank you everyone.

[23:15:00] Thank you, Kurt. Thank you, Ben. Thank you, Jason. I appreciate it.

When we come right back, Trump means never having to say that you're sorry, until now, maybe. Do the candidate's regrets go far enough?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Donald Trump changing strategy at his rally in North Carolina tonight. His first since shaking-up his campaign leadership. What did we call it before? A ...

BORIS EPSHTEYN, SENIOR ADVISER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Expansion of heroes.

LEMON: Expansion of heroes or ...

EPSHTEYN: Expansion of winners ...

LEMON: Yeah, of winners.

EPSHTEYN: ... which is what we call it.

LEMON: Staying on message and telling supporters that he regrets some of things that he has said on the campaign trail.

I want to bring in now Boris Epshteyn and he's the Senior Adviser to the Trump campaign, Republican Consultant Margaret Hoovers here, Andre Bauer, a Trump supporter, and Bakari Sellers, a Clinton supporter.

So, I was talking about this in the last segment. Yes, I know that the governor of Louisiana, again, my home state, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana said, "I think it would be a security issue." And they have spoken, all right. I know that conversation happened. Also the governor said he would rather Donald Trump not come and send money. But do you remember how Bush got lambasted? President Bush got lambasted for the fly-over ...

MALE: For the fly-over, yes.

LEMON: ... and for not going? Look, I'm from there. I know that they would welcome a visit from President Barack Obama. They would welcome a visit from Hillary Clinton. They would welcome a visit from Donald Trump. They need as much attention on this story as possible. Let's talk about the politics of it. Go.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I mean, I think that -- first of all, I think that I'm not certain where I was, but ...

LEMON: You don't think the optics are bad for the president on the golf course and you have coffins floating down the street?

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Go ahead. SELLERS: Yeah.

LEMON: Go ahead, Bakari. Everybody will get in. Go ahead.

[23:20:00] SELLERS: I do think the optics are bad. I think the optics are poor, especially when you talk about the pure politics of it. However, practically, I was one of the people who, when we have incident in Charleston last year, who said, "You know, I wish the president would come down now. I wish the president would come down now." But the questions was, how many resources was the president going to take away from that when you talk about New Orleans, the reason that George Bush did the fly-over, I didn't know this until later, because I actually had a long conversation with Donna Brazile, who is a big fan of W, and said he couldn't land because it would take away too many resources.

LEMON: Okay. I wish I covered that and I was there. And again, that's my home state and President Bush and Brownie, right, remember that?

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But he got lambasted for that and they said, "He should have done it. He should have done it any ways. I don't know what the truth is in there. But go ahead.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It does take resources. It doesn't take a lot of resource. It takes a lot of resources for a very short period of time, OK. And so -- and the value of the optics, right, you have to have sort of the opportunity cause and weigh what it was. I was very familiar with the Katrina situation and I worked at the White House at that time and I was in Madison Country officials. Connection to those cities and counties that were hit (inaudible) by the floods, and President Bush went not for optics seven times after he gave a speech in Jackson Square on September 15th when people -- nobody knew. And he would go down. I mean he would meet with all these mayors and county officials, mayors themselves who lost their counties literally.

LEMON: Who do you think -- what do you think -- what effect do you think it's going to have that Donald Trump that's where he's going? He and ...

(CROSSTALK)

EPSHTEYN: Yes, he's going there tomorrow morning. It's actually not just about the optics. It's about what you said. It's about bringing attention to a grave matter. And the president is sitting in Martha's Vineyard right now playing golf with Larry David, while Donald Trump is going to Louisiana and saying, "There's something horrible going on here, we need to save these people. We need to bring attention and resources to this." And by the way, it not as if Louisiana is paying for the trip. Donald Trump and the Trump campaign are paying for it.

ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And even take politics out of it. It's part of his legacy. I mean, he's got six months until he's done. And the fact that he doesn't go, I think it sends the wrong message.

(CROSSTALK)

SELLERS: That's right. Let's parse this real quick. Because the fact that we're saying he's not going is also not true. I'm just -- we're talking about him going now.

LEMON: Now. That's right.

SELLERS: And the fact is when the president moves, it's not as if me and Boris, and Margaret, and even Don Lemon, who is famous in Baton Rouge go down there.

(CROSSTALK)

EPSHTEYN: No, he's gone all over the world.

BAUER: He can land any time he wants.

EPSHTEYN: No. The president goes all over the world. He goes to India. He goes to Asia. He goes all over the country campaigning for Hillary Clinton.

SELLERS: Not during a natural disaster when people need those resources.

EPSHTEYN: And you told me he can't go at Louisiana ...

(CROSSTALK)

HOOVER: Yeah, yeah.

EPSHTEYN: He should bring resources with him.

(CROSSTALK)

HOOVER: But Donald Trump can go over here (ph). I mean ...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Let's talk about tonight and the speech. Because he did say tonight that the reason we're talking about this is that he's going there tomorrow. Tonight's speech was on script. It was thematic. He said that he regrets sometimes saying the wrong thing and that he was tough on Clinton. But, you know, he said some of his campaigning has been scorched earth. So what do you think will happen, Margaret, in the days to come having said he regrets, not that he's sorry? What happened?

HOOVER: Look, if history is any indicator, which it ought to be for those of us who are informed. I mean, one expects that within a couple of days, maybe a week, Donald Trump will go scorched and say something horribly offensive, probably lower than we could ever imagine it would be because -- by the way, I'm not being a hater. I'm just telling you what happened for the last six months.

SELLERS: Who said you're a hater? You just expected us to say.

HOOVER: Every single time, he said that he hasn't -- he has a good couple days, he then has like an abysmal week. So, I mean, does -- what other template is there?

LEMON: Do you think that he changed course tonight? Change course with tonight's speech?

EPSHTEYN: I think the course is to win on November 8th and I think you will see a candidate which is a mix of these speeches, which was extremist (ph), which was exciting. It was not just strong opposite. It was a great speech to listen to. It was a great oratory, right? And you'll see a mix of that. And of course if you see his rallies (ph), you're going to have a candidate who will put it all on the line. He's not going to take three days off in a row like Hillary Clinton is. He'll put it all on the line. And he's going to win on November.

LEMON: I know you said that it was -- the course is when. But my question was, did he change course? Meaning, did he write the ship? That was my question?

EPSHTEYN: I disagree that the ship was wrong. So, I'm not going to say he's writing the ship. But I will tell you ...

SELLERS: Says who? Says who?

(CROSSTALK)

EPSHTEYM: All of them. All of them.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Again, as Mark Preston said, that's a national poll and that's different. But I'll give you that.

Hillary Clinton, she's been hurt by this e-mail scandal. There're a lot of questions about the work around the Clinton Foundation. Tonight, the foundation says it won't take foreign or corporate if she is elected. Do you think that's going to silence the critics?

SELLERS: No, it's not going to silence the critics. I mean, one thing we've seen is that whether or not it's a figment of the republicans' imagination or not, is this -- the part of the strategy is to keep this cloud over Hillary Clinton. That's why you have them requesting the 302s, which are the interview notes from her FBI investigation. That's why you have this continuous episode with this house oversight committee or that house oversight committee.

[23:25:00] But I'm not one of those people who also backs-away from the Clinton Foundation. I'm one of those people, who understands the good work that the Clinton Foundation does, that it's not a grant writing organization, that it's actually a private charity. I know the 9.5 to 10 million African children now have access to HIV and AIDS medications. I mean, these are very real things that children Malawi, Ethiopia that are alive today because of the Clinton Foundation. So, I mean, I'm not backing away from the Clinton Foundation but the optics, since we're having a whole discussion about optics ...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: You don't get a chance to talk again.

EPSHTEYN: But Clinton ...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: You know why? Because we have to get what he's that her husband is saying no paid speeches that happened.

EPSHTEYN: And no foreign money.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: You don't get to talk.

EPSHTEYN: OK. That's it. No foreign money.

LEMON: You will after the break. I just have to get through it.

BAUER: Only if she wins so.

LEMON: We'll be right back. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: All right. And we're back now with my panel. Donald Trump in North Carolina tonight speaking at a campaign rally. Let's listen and then we'll discuss.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: So while sometimes I can be too honest, Hillary Clinton is the exact opposite. She never tells the truth.

[23:30:03] One lie after another and getting worse with each passing day. Thank you. The American people are still for Hillary Clinton to apologize for all of the many lies she's told to them and the many times she has betrayed the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So -- and you were saying, you said, I wish they wouldn't do that, lock her up.

BAUER: As much as Hillary has lot of negatives, I wish somebody else we're doing -- Trump's got so many good ideas. I wish he'd spend all of his time talking about how to move America forward.

LEMON: But he didn't -- he did not respond.

BAUER: No, and I'm glad he didn't.

LEMON: So he -- the thing is that he can't continue, as you had discussed here before, stepping on his message. You think that's going to stick?

BAUER: I think it helps him. I think if he hones his message and talks about how he improves people's lives, he wins this election. I don't want to just see him get caught up in the beating of somebody else. He can run as higher than that. Let surrogates beat her up.

EPSHTEYN: It's a binary choice. You run the campaign by doing two things.

LEMON: But there are four people in the race so far.

EPSHTEYN: Focusing -- you know, it's a binary choice. You focus on two things, on making -- on capturing in your message which for Donald Trump is national security and the economy. But you also have to make a case for why the opposing candidate is not fit for the job. And in this case, it's a pretty easy case to make with Hillary Clinton based on -- and we were talking about this off air, e-mails, the Clinton Foundation, the Lincoln bedroom scandal when Bill Clinton was in the White House. You look at the whole mass of the Clintons' public life and it's all scandals, nonstop scandals. The American people deserve better. No, some people -- the people who are tuning in might not know he had, Andre.

BAUER: Yeah, but when they're tuning in, I would like for them to see that message. I don't want them to get caught up in the other stuff, I want them to get caught up in, "Oh, he can help me get a better job, he can make me -- this a safer place for me to live, he's going to change things for me." And I want that to be the message.

EPSHTEYN: And I think that's very important that we agree on that but I also think that if you, you guys who can join us, I think that if -- as somebody who is a voter, who's just plugging in around Labor Day and you look and say, "You know, Hillary Clinton, she seems like she's telling the truth a lot." It's important to know that she perjured herself in front of Congress.

BAUER: Are you pointing out ...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Hold on, because two Trump Supporters are here.

HOOVER: Right.

LEMON: And they disagree and I think this is a moment. So ...

EPSHTEYN: Which happens at that point and it's friendly (ph), you know.

LEMON: So, do you hear what he says?

EPSHTEYN: Of course.

LEMON: He says -- he's saying to you, this campaign is addition and not subtraction. He has those people. When it comes -- he has those folks. Do you hear what he's saying? EPSHTEYN: Absolutely and I agree with Andre to a degree. But what I do ...

BAUER: He's trying to help you.

EPSHTEYN: But what I do -- and I know is that in any campaign that you want to win, you have to address your opponent and you have to make a case for why your opponent should not be president. So if Donald Trump just went out there and said, "I'm going to fix the economy," which he will, "and I will keep us safe," which he will, "but if he let Hillary Clinton just off with everything she's done, that would not be doing the voters justice."

LEMON: He's also telling -- he's also saying, I think this is the message whether you realize it or not, to Trump supporters and to Trump surrogates and to Donald Trump, that criticism does not necessarily mean anti-Trump, it is just what it is, criticism.

EPSHTEYN: And I take that as ...

LEMON: As a constructive. He is a Trump supporter.

EPSHTEYN: I know and I took it as that and I'm sure we'll be laughing about it out there.

SELLERS: Sixty-seven percent of Americans in the recent CNN RNC poll find Donald Trump to be unqualified. And I think one of the things, and this is probably going to make your point worse, Andre, because I'm agreeing to you is that Donald Trump can't afford to subtract any more groups of people from his very, very small circle. And, you know, we can say that he won the most votes of a primary of anybody in Republican history, that is true, but that's still only 15 million voters and you have to get 65 million to be President of the United States.

EPSHTEYN: About the same ...

SELLERS: And what I am -- what I'm also -- but they have 49 to 40 over who you value their trust more. Hillary Clinton beats Donald Trump in that category.

BAUER: So to the point that I was trying to make ...

EPSHTEYN: But he's finally making great strides.

BAUER: Yes.

SELLERS: And I'm just saying, when you -- and my point to you earlier was people of good sense, the people that he's trying to bring in to his tent don't want to be at a rally where people are chanting, "Lock her up."

EPSHTEYN: But people want to ...

LEMON: So I put these headlines up and I want Margaret to respond. This is a Breitbart headline. Does he continue to add people with these bombastic and conspiratorial headlines? Is this a good idea to bring, you know, the person who is responsible for many of these headlines on board as the leader of his campaign?

HOOVER: Well, I think, you know, that is this new CEO, you know, the editor of chief ...

LEMON: Bannon.

HOOVER: Bannon is this new CEO of the campaign but the new campaign manager is somebody who would starkly advice against that.

[23:35:05] So the question is ...

BAUER: Who wins?

HOOVER: Who's going to win?

LEMON: Yeah.

HOOVER: Who wins? Well, they're not -- that is the same message. It is just not the same message. Kellyanne Conway is not going to be telling -- it's just not. So, maybe, Boris, you're in the middle somewhere and maybe you'll be one of the better forces, better sort of angel in there nature, but what we know about Donald Trump is that he is unprepared. He is really undisciplined, he is totally unpredictable, and he has very spotty sort of policies, questionable judgment on foreign policy and has very little track record of having cared about much else in his life beside himself.

EPSHTEYN: I disagree on all of that.

LEMON: That's fine.

HOOVER: So you're going to have to try to weave a narrative and build a case that's stronger for a general election.

LEMON: I have to go.

EPSHTEYN: OK.

LEMON: And this ...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: I have to go.

EPSHTEYN: But I want to hone in how strong I disagree.

LEMON: I've got to go. You guys don't have to go home but you got to get out of here. Thank you very much.

When we come back, why Glenn Beck is now urging Trump voters to jump ship.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: How bad are things between Donald Trump and the Republican Party? So bad that one leading conservative says, "Now is the time to jump ship."

[23:40:03] His latest book is "Liars: How Progressives Exploit Our Fears for Power and Control. Glenn Beck, the founder of The Blaze joins me now. I know you consider yourself a libertarian but you do have conservative views, correct, don't you?

GLENN BECK, FOUNDER OF THE BLAZE: Yes, but I don't like calling myself a conservative anymore because of the Donald Trump thing. I don't know what it means to be a conservative. I'm a constitutionalist.

LEMON: OK. Before we get into all of that, I want to get your reaction first as the new poll from Q is showing Hillary Clinton down from her post-convention ballots, Trump remaining at 37. What do you think of that?

BECK: I'm surprised it's that high. You know, I said all the time ...

LEMON: For who? For him or her?

BECK: For him. You know, I thought that Hillary Clinton is one of the worst candidates of my lifetime. I don't think I've seen a more flawed candidate, and who do the Republicans give you? Someone who makes that -- makes her look strong.

LEMON: someone who has just -- who has -- they're both, what is it, the most unlike candidates in recent history for president.

BECK: Oh my God, it's ...

LEMON: Yeah.

BECK: And it's crazy how people on both sides of the aisle have just accepted the lies and will go to the mat for each of these. I mean, you say anything about Hillary Clinton and her supporters will go to the mat for her. Come on, you know she's been lying. When it comes to Donald Trump, same thing. Come on, you know he's lying. Nope.

LEMON: You can't even say anymore -- just answer my question or repeat the candidates' own words back to, you know, a surrogate or even to them without being called bias. It's really an unbelievable time and it's really a dicey time for journalists. Glenn, let's -- I want to talk about yesterday, you know about Stephen Bannon named CEO of the Trump campaign. You said on your radio show, "Andrew Breitbart is spinning in his grave now." And then you went on to call Bannon a horrible and despicable human being. Explain your reaction to him being named as the campaign executive, chief executive.

BECK: Oh my gosh, I think he is -- I mean, he is a guy who does his research with the dark web. So, you know, he's got his fingers in some very dark places from what I am told. I know lots of people who have worked for him. He is -- he will make the Nixon administration look like Mary Poppins. He is a play-to-win and kill-your-enemy kind of guy. He is vindictive.

There's been many people who have told me that he has been sending messages to not only me but anybody that has my opinion that we don't like Donald Trump that he will never forget and to his dying day he will make us pay. He is not a fair journalist, and he's a dangerous man, I think. You give him power and he's a dangerous man. You put him and Manafort with his Russia connections, you know, Trump and this guy together, you've got the makings of a dark army.

LEMON: It's Roger Ailes, too, and it's roger stone, who are consulting with Trump. And this is what David Axelrod wrote for CNN about Bannon and Roger Ailes. He said, "The presence of Ailes whose edgy television channel became a rallying point for conservatives, and Bannon whose right whose right-wing news website is also notoriously pugilistic, portends a bloody fall campaign. And in ever-combative Trump, they will a willing delivery of missiles. The question with trump is always where will they land? Even if Trump were adding the greatest political team in history, which he is not, the problem is not the campaign, the problem is the candidate whose allergy to substance and impulse, to react angrily and often tastelessly to any provocation has unnerved voters." Which are -- how do you ...

BECK: Can I make ...

LEMON: Is he right?

BECK: ... a prediction of -- can I prediction of what's coming?

LEMON: sure.

BECK: And I would love to enlist anybody on the left, anybody on the right, anybody who is tired of the lies from both parties that just feel that we can find common ground and common decency among us to listen to what I'm going to say. I believe Donald Trump is going to lose, I believe he's going to start his own network, I believe it's going to be run by Bannon. I don't think Roger Ailes will be involved because of his non-compete but Roger Stone will be involved.

And what's going to happen is Roger -- I mean Donald Trump is going to make this look like it was a stolen election. He will divide us even more. He with his alternate right, alt-right kind of viewpoint, it will grow, it will metastasize. There will be maybe 10 percent to 15 percent of the population that will just become virulent and he will create possibly a third party, but he will definitely cause a movement and it will all be for his fame and money.

[23:45:05] LEMON: You think he knows he's going to lose and all of this ...

BECK: Yes.

LEMON: ... about the hiring of Bannon is to do a network and that's the end game for him, right?

BECK: Yeah, I think he wants to but I think he wants to go out swinging. And believe, if he gets in, you're looking at a -- I think you're looking at a South American dictatorship if we would go into war, civil unrest and economic instability. I think he's so unconnected to reality and disconnected to clear thinking on global issues that I think you could see us going into a horrible, horrible situation.

LEMON: This is why you're telling people to vote for the bottom of the ticket, to do down ballot instead of voting for Donald?

BECK: I don't believe -- yeah. I don't think things are going to be a picnic with either of them. Even if that doesn't happen, we have trouble on the way and we need strong constitutionalists on both sides of the aisle, people who say the Bill of Rights, those are good things. And vote for those people at the bottom of the ticket to hold whoever wins, to hold their feet to the fire. But I know one thing, Don, we better start talking to each other and uniting with each other the common sense people on both sides of the aisle or we're toast.

LEMON: I agree because everyone wants to be at each other's throats. I don't really like that. Every time I -- you know, I have someone on, I try to get them to come to some sort of consensus and it seems like this election cycle, everyone wants to fight and point out what's wrong with either side. Which brings me to your book, OK? Let's get to that because that's important.

Your book -- new book is entitled, "Liars: How Progressives Exploit Our Fears for Power and Control". And here's a quote, "Politics is no longer about pointing out -- pointing to a shining city on the hill, it is about promising you a shiny new car in your -- for your driveway. The candidate who tells the people what they want to hear is usually the one who wins, facts be damned." So I think you're right on that. But do you think that's just progressives I think that, you know, Donald Trump is doing that, the candidates are doing that?

BECK: Oh, no. Wait, look at the picture, look at the picture. On the first card -- I'm holding cards, on the first card is Donald Trump's face. Progressives, you can't -- this is -- first of all, this is not a hatchet book on progressives. It's really not. It's more of a history book.

You'll find really unbelievably sympathetic things about Margaret Sanger, believe it or not, because I tried to find out what makes people tick. We worked with behavioral scientists to try to figure out why this works and what's happening. But progressivism should not be confused with liberal or Democrat. Progressivism runs across the board and it is the desire to control other people.

Progressivism is about statism. If you're talking about early 20th century progressivism, which I'm talking about, and the long-term plan of where that's heading, I think there's a lot of people that claim that they're progressives that don't know the history of progressivism. And it's important to know, as Hillary Clinton describes herself as an early 20th century American progressive, with her being that specific, you have to find out what that is in the first place. But Donald Trump is a progressive as well, just a nationalist progressive as opposed to an internationalist progressive. LEMON: The book is called "Liars: How Progressives Exploit Our Fears for Power and Control". And he says progressives don't -- is not just Democrats. Progressives can be conservatives as well.

BECK: It's not.

LEMON: Thank you.

BECK: Big time.

LEMON: Thank you, Glenn.

BECK: It started with the Republicans.

LEMON: Yeah. Thank you very much. It's always a pleasure to have you on. Thank you, Glenn.

BECK: You bet. Bye-bye.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:52:33]

LEMON: Awkward. We can say it was awkward, slightly testy, you know, exchange between a CNN correspondent and a top Trump advisor. CNN's Jeanne Moos explains why it got so many people saying, "Says who?"

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was a little like the old Abbott and Costello routine about the guy with the last name who claimed first base.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LOU COSTELLO, ACTOR: Who is on?

WILLIAM ABBOTT, ACTOR: Yes.

COSTELLO: I mean, the guy's name.

ABBOTT: Who.

COSTELLO: I guy on first

ABBOTT: Who is on first?

COSTELLO: Why are you asking me? I don't know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: Now imagine that in slow motion. An exchange between CNN's Brianna Keilar and Trump attorney, Michael Cohen, has become an instant campaign classic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You guys are down and make sense that there would ...

MICHAEL COHEN, TRUMP ATTORNEY: Says who? Says who?

KEILAR: Polls. Most of them, all of them?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: That led to an awkward five seconds of silence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COHEN: Says who?

KEILAR: Polls. I just told you. I answered your question.

COHEN: OK. Which polls?

KEILAR: All of them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: "I watched it five times. It is hypnotic," posted one person. "Her single raised eyebrow at the end deserves an Emmy on its own."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COHEN: Which polls?

KEILAR: All of them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: That ended up on a mock, "make America great again" hat but the big takeaway seem to be ...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COHEN: Says who?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: #SaysWho became a thing. The aftermath of the interview, you're fired! Says who? Who else says who? Either Trump's attorney was in denial about the polls ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or doing his best impression of an owl.

MOOS: The exchange even inspired we kid you not, knock, knock jokes. Knock, knock?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who's there?

MOOS: Says.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Says who?

MOOS: The polls. All of them. #AllOfThem also picked up steam and in this case, an Olympic theme. So you're losing this race.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Says who?

MOOS: The clocks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which clocks?

MOOS: All of them.

There was even a poll pitting says who against all of them. All of them won by a landslide. In the wake of Brianna's interview, Trump's attorney told Yahoo News, "I think I unraveled her." Let's take a poll on that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COHEN: Which polls?

COSTELLO: Why are you asking me? I don't know.

MOOS: Maybe most.

COHEN: Says who?

MOOS: CNN.

COHEN: Which post?

MOOS: New York.

KEILAR: All of them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Was that not awesome? That was great. We love that. Brianna.

We'll be right back. All of them.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:58:54] LEMON: I want you to meet an 86-year-old farmer in North Carolina who is anything but retired. For 20 years, Harry Swimmer has introduced hundreds of children with disabilities to the healing power of horses.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HARRY SWIMMER, FARMER: Horses are very special animals. People just don't realize it.

What do you say now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Walk on.

SWIMMER: That's my girl. We had a child on a horse who had a seizure and that horse stopped dead in his tracks. When nobody else noticed it, the horse caught it first.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Harry Swimmer is this week's CNN hero. And you can watch his full story and more great video of his healing horses at cnnheros.com. And while there, make sure you nominate someone who you think deserves to be 2016 CNN Hero. And you can also help the victims of the Louisiana floods by donating to the Red Cross. Look at the devastation behind me. Unbelievable. Make sure you text, please, LA floods to 90999 to make a $10 donation, 90999, $10 donation.

[24:00:00] Thank you so much. They can use it. Appreciate you watching tonight. Thanks for watching again. "AC 360" starts right now.