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CNN TONIGHT

Authorities Grab Man Climbing Trump Tower; Secret Service Spoke to Trump About Second Amendment Comments; Clinton and Trump Target Each Other; Growing Number of Republicans Backing Hillary; Questions Over State Department and Clinton Foundation Links. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired August 10, 2016 - 22:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[22:00:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: That does it for us. Time now for CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Security breach. Authorities grab a man who climbs up Trump Tower, and they talk to the campaign about Trump's Second Amendment remarks against Hillary Clinton.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

Trump still battling the fallout from his comments as the candidate duke it out in the campaign trail. Clinton slamming Trump, telling supporters that words matter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: And if you are running to be president or you are president of the United States, words can have tremendous consequences. His casual inciting of violence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Trump, meanwhile, blasting Clinton over a new batch of e-mails that point to a link between her State Department and the Clinton Foundation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: A couple of very bad ones came out, and it's called pay for play. And some of these were really, really bad and illegal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: A lot to get to tonight. Let's begin with CNN correspondent Brynn Gingras and senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta. Jim, you can't write this stuff.

A Trump rally just wrap up, what's going on down there? This is -- this is just days after the father of the Orlando shooter was standing behind Hillary Clinton. Who was sitting behind Donald Trump tonight? JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Don, you said it.

There's never a shortage of jaw dropping moments. Donald Trump rallies tonight was no exception as Donald Trump was trying to call attention to the fact that the father of the Orlando night club shooting -- shooter was at a Hillary Clinton event earlier this week.

He was saying this as a disgraced former congressman was sitting behind him in the audience here at this rally in Sunrise, Florida. That was former Congressman Mark Foley, who resigned nearly 10 years ago in disgrace after it was learned he was sending sexually explicit texts to congressional pages.

So, here is that moment when Donald Trump was talking about the father of that Orlando night club shooter just as Mark Foley was sitting behind him. Let's play that moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: You think you have the best location, right? And you do in one way. But the people behind me, they're all on television. They're going to be famous.

(CROWD CHEERING)

They're going to be famous. They're going to be famous. And, by the way, speaking of that, wasn't it terrible when the father of the animal that killed the wonderful people in Orlando was sitting with a big smile on his face right behind Hillary Clinton.

And, by the way, including a lot of the people here, how many of you people know me? A lot of you people know me, right?

(CROWD CHEERING)

When you get those seats, you sort of know the campaign. So, when she said, well, we didn't know. He knew, they knew.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Now, another moment that got everybody's attention here is when Donald Trump was going after President Obama and Hillary Clinton and their foreign policy over the last several years.

Donald Trump at one point described the president has the founder of ISIS and also referred to the president by his full name, Barack Hussein Obama. We'll can play that clip and explain more about that in just a moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: President Obama. ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS. He's the founder of ISIS, OK. He's the founder.

(CROWD CHEERING)

He founded ISIS. And I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton. Co-founder. Crooked Hillary Clinton.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: And, Don, like a lot of moments at Donald Trump rallies where he is going after Hillary Clinton, the crowd was starting to chant at that point "lock her up, lock her up." It is something that we hear time and again at these rallies.

LEMON: Jim, Trump continues to push back against the uproar over his comments about Second Amendment -- Second Amendment people and Hillary Clinton. So, tell us what happened today.

ACOSTA: That's right. And we should point out at this rally here in Sunrise, Florida, Donald Trump went off on the media saying that the coverage of his comments about Second Amendment people being able to do something about Hillary Clinton, he called that coverage, quote, "disgusting."

He also, we should point out, was putting out tweets all day long today saying he was never trying to incite violence, he was going after CNN at one point in a tweet saying that his campaign never in fact met with the U.S. Secret Service.

Officials from the Secret Service say that their representatives from the campaign who did meet with them.

[22:05:00] And so, this was just another one of those moments, Don, where he was blaming the media for controversy that he basically created.

And I can tell you, Don, at one point during this rally tonight when he was going off on the media coverage, the crowd here was not chanting "lock her up," they were chanting "lock them up," as in us, the media.

LEMON: I would -- it's not surprising. Jim, stand by. Brynn, describe what happened at Trump Tower for us, if you will.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, pretty incredible event, Don. Thousands of people were standing here in the middle of Manhattan with their cell phones up and really holding their breath as a man decided to climb Trump Tower today saying he had a message for Mr. Trump.

He started that climate about 3.30, lasted about three hours long. All the while talking to police who were trying to coax him inside safely. After three hours they eventually did.

Everybody yelled out a cheer, actually Donald Trump just tweeted and "Thanks police officers for their efforts in saving that man's life." Certainly it was a bizarre moment out here outside of Trump Tower.

LEMON: And, Brynn, what do you about the climber and his motive?

GINGRAS: Well, we know that he's a 20-year-old from Virginia. We know that he came here to New York yesterday, he stayed in a hotel. He had this plan all along according to police. And he told police as he was climbing that he had a message again for

Mr. Trump and he posted it in a YouTube video. Take a listen at what that looks like.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, Mr. Trump. Do excuse my manner of appearance. I just don't know how many people will watch this. I'd rather not be recognizable. I'm an independent researcher seeking a private audience with you to discuss an important matter.

I guarantee that it is in your interest to honor this request. Believe me, if my purpose was not significant, I would not risk my life pursuing it. The reason I climbed your tower was to get your attention.

If I had sought this via conventional means, I would be much less likely to have success because you are a busy man with many responsibilities. I'll get my contact information to your campaign.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRAS: And again, as you just heard this man whose name has not yet been released by police said he wanted to talk to Mr. Trump that he had a message. No details on what that message is.

Certainly police are going to talk to him. But right now he's being evaluated, Don, at Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric reasons.

LEMON: Do we know about charges and what he faces?

GINGRAS: Not right now. Again, he's being evaluated and then he's going to be officially put under arrest. And we do know police are saying they're having conversations with the D.A exactly what those arrests will be. So, certainly we'll out more as the night goes on, Don.

LEMON: All right. Thank you, Brynn. Thank you, Jim. I appreciate it both of you.

I want to bring in CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, the author of "Rightful Heritage, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America," also with me Andre Bauer, the former lieutenant governor of South Carolina, who is a Trump supporter; and law enforcement analyst Cedric Alexander, public safety director of Cobb County, Georgia and the author of "New Guardians."

Andre, first, I want to play this again, the Mark Foley at the rally and Donald Trump. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: You think you have the best location, right? And you do in one way. But the people behind me, they're all on television, they're going to be famous.

(CROWD CHEERING)

They're going to be famous. They're going to be famous. And, by the way, speaking of that, wasn't it terrible when the father of the animal that killed the wonderful people in Orlando was sitting with a big smile on his face right behind Hillary Clinton?

And, by the way, including a lot of the people here, how many of you people know me? A lot you people know me, right?

(CROWD CHEERING)

When you get those seats, you sort of know the campaign. So, when she said, well, we didn't know, he knew, they knew.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, Andre, what's your reaction? I'm sorry.

ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: At fire whoever was sticking this people that sat behind me especially when they knew I was going to make that comment.

LEMON: You can't write this. I mean, just yesterday we're dealing with a horrific...

(CROSSTALK)

BAUER: Don, I'm shaking my head.

LEMON: Go ahead.

BAUER: Just between people climbing buildings. TV shows aren't written with plots this big. I mean, House of Cards can't come up with this stuff.

LEMON: Should they -- should they be more careful about who they let in? I mean, sadly we were talking yesterday about the man who was, you know, behind Hillary Clinton, Seddique Mateen, the father of the Orlando night club shooter.

And now we're talking about a disgraced congressman. Is it karma? Is it, I mean, what is going on here? Someone is placing these people behind?

BAUER: Don, in my experience all these people were always vetted in the past. Now these are totally different campaigns from what we've seen in the past. But they knew every single person on that stage and they picked them for a reason in campaign going by.

[22:09:57] So, you would think that they would heavily vet who is going to be in TV right over their shoulder.

LEMON: It's just interesting that he's talking - you people are famous me and you're going to be on TV and there is...

BAUER: It's just...

LEMON: You cannot write this stuff.

BAUER: You cannot.

LEMON: I mean, if someone is they are an incredible writer.

Cedric, I want to talk to you about security at this campaign. You know, we were talking about what's happening now, the guy behind both candidates. We're talking about the Trump Tower protester; a protester rushed the stage at a Hillary Clinton rally.

In these instances, it matters who is behind you but words matter as well. Why do words matter so much?

CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, words are very important, particularly in this political climate that we're in. And any time that you make any statement you're a presidential candidate, you're be kind -- trying and attempting to become the most powerful person in the free world, commander-in-chief of this great country.

Any words that come out of your mouth are going to be measured and they are going to be measured individually. So, I think you have to be very, very careful because depending on the context, the infliction, the tone, all of this is going to characterize your message in terms of whether it is that you are trying to say.

And to say that you are unintentional about it is not an excuse really because of the fact that you are a presidential candidate. And we have to be very, very careful.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: And you have so much influence.

ALEXANDER: You have a great deal of influence. Great deal of influence.

LEMON: What do you make of -- what do you make of Trump's comments about Hillary Clinton and the Second Amendment people and the handling of them afterward?

ALEXANDER: Well, you know, what's very clear about that remark if you listen to the American people, both sides of the aisle have great concerns about that remark. Here again, depending on the inflexion, the tone and the context in which it was stated.

It can be interpreted in a variety of ways. And I think what we've heard from the American public, Don, over the last few days, is that it's just that, is taken in very different ways.

But here's the thing. If anyone is taken it in a way that is negative, if it is an attempt upon someone's life and safety, that is serious.

And whether that's your intent or not you have to remember your position as a presidential candidate, every word coming out of your mouth is going to be measured and you have to be responsible for it.

LEMON: Yes.

ALEXANDER: And you have to have the temperament, quite frankly, to be in control of yourself. Because you are a representative that is attempting to become president of this country.

LEMON: I want to bring Douglas Brinkley in. Douglas, is it worth taking a step back and talking about why comments like this on the third rail of American politics, the last attempted political assassination attempt was 35 years ago, Ronald Reagan.

But I mean, it's been unfortunately not uncommon over the course of U.S. history. This is an academic question.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, no. I mean, first of all, Donald Trump is trying to lead a pitchfork revolution right now. And he wants to be incendiary. He dominates the media coverage with it. And he's the king of the dog whistle.

So, you're going to get more and more of this kind of thing. But when you start lurching into calling you kill the other candidate, when you're starting to intimate even with a nod and a wink or even in a jokey way that violence of any kind might be OK, it's not only beyond the pale but it's very close to being illegal.

Now Donald Trump didn't say anything that's going to get him arrested but he's walking this kind of line that's deeply unhealthy. I mean, I've done do presidential history for a living so I lecture about Garfield being killed and McKinley and Kennedy, and you know, the shooting Squeaky Fromme and Gerald Ford, that we know all of this.

And so, it's the one thing you can't do is to say that I want my opponent to be physically harmed, but Trump seems to enjoy dancing in that inter-zone between decency and just crude, rude, violent threat.

LEMON: I think it's interesting that you think that Trump's comments yesterday might have been pre-scripted. I want to know why. Because, you know, the president last week said that, you know, it wasn't episodic gaffes but these were daily and weekly. Why do you think that these comments might have been pre-scripted?

BRINKLEY: Because he's a home grown demagogue. Because we've seen this going on, Don, for a long time. I mean, blood coming out of her, you know, no, I wasn't mocking the New York Times reporter for his disability when the camera shows that he did.

You can however, read Trump's line and interpret the way he is that he didn't really mean anything except Second Amendment people are going to vote. But anybody watching that clip knows what were Trump's lurching forward with that, it's part of the off with her head and, you know, 'lock her up' that kind of cheap that his campaign is running.

Donald Trump has one -- one issue that he's running on, a complete another demolition of Hillary Clinton as a person. And it's very ugly to watch and it's hard to find for children that have to tune in to this sad unraveling of the American political season structure.

LEMON: The question is when are there more lawmakers that are going to, you know, when -- there are more that are coming out now but Paul Ryan last night said he thought it was a joke at first implying -- but that doesn't really make it any better.

[22:15:05] My question to you, Andre is, how did politicians like Reince Priebus, John McCain and also Paul Ryan, how did they -- how can they support him but then say what he says is reprehensible?

BAUER: Well, I think they realize that he is their best vehicle to move in the direction they want to move the country. Do they agree with all his policies? Maybe not. Do they agree with everything he says? No.

But we, as Americans now are given two reasonable choices. There's only two. I mean, there's other candidates but they feel as I do, that of my choices is clearly is what I would rather have for the next four years.

And so, I think a lot of republicans and democrats for that matter have said this may not have been my candidate of choice but I back this candidate now. I supported Trump early on.

I didn't agree with every one of his policies, but I was so ready for a fresh voice in Washington and a substantial change that sometimes I'm willing like a lot of people to overlook shortcomings.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: To spin reality? I mean, and to -- I have to -- because in the beginning it was like, you know, people said, some people said it was refreshing. Oh, this is someone who is -- who is not P.C, right? And then now you, as a surrogate, you have to keep coming on and defending him. That is not easy. Honestly.

(CROSSTALK)

BAUER: Well, I only -- I only defend it when I believe it, and I really don't think he was trying to ascent people to create violence. If I did, I wouldn't defend it. I don't believe he did. I can't get into the individual's mind and know what he -- here's why.

Because most of the time when Donald Trump wants to tell you something, he doesn't hold back. He lets everybody know exactly what he thinks.

LEMON: So, then why isn't that exactly what he thought then, because that's exactly what he said, why do you think he believes that? And why do you...

BAUER: Well, to me, he was saying look.

LEMON: Do you believe Mark Foley at that rally? The video shows it.

BAUER: I do. I saw it with my eyes. LEMON: OK.

BAUER: Why still question it?

LEMON: Do you -- so that is akin to say that Donald Trump didn't mean what he said as akin to saying mark Foley is not at that rally. It's on the video or when see him mocking the New York Times reporter to say that he's got doing is just, it defies logic. It's like you're telling us that we don't see with our own eyes what's actually happened.

BAUER: Well, again, my interpretation was, look, NRA, you're one of the most powerful groups to get people elected, you do have something you can you do about it. If you don't want Hillary Clinton to be picking the next judges, you got something you can do about it. I take that, I mean...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: You got something to do something to do about it which is what?

BAUER: Engage in the process. Get out. Vote. Put up signs.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Why didn't he say that? Why didn't he say that?

BAUER: Trump doesn't think like a normal person running for office, has this process whereby here's your check, here's what you want to get done at every rally. You want to make sure the people know they can send in money, they can grab a yard sign on the way out, put a small, unobtrusive bumper sticker on your car, call your friends, call your neighbors, make sure you get every...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But why didn't he say that?

BAUER: I don't...

LEMON: It's so easy for you to say that the next day or the two days after you can say that, but then why didn't he say that? If he is clear, if you say he is a straight shooter and he says what he means and he means what he says.

But then you constantly and that as a the president said, it's not episodic. Every week, Andre, you're sitting here and you're having to explain to media and to the American audience to the American people, the voter what Donald Trump meant that no one sees but him and his surrogates and some of staunches supporters.

BAUER: Well, and I think had he had been able to get ask to a couple of -- the head of these column stab...

(CROSSTALK) LEMON: How much longer are you going to keep giving him excuses?

Making excuses for him?

BAUER: I don't -- I think you've seen sometimes I haven't come to the defense on certain issues. This is one where I see it differently. I don't -- I can't again.

But I will say this in giving the other side of the story, Hillary Clinton stubbed her toe the same way in a primary with Barack Obama before the California primary when they were trying to get her out.

LEMON: Yes. And that was -- and we did that, I remember the whole thing, but this isn't 2008 nor is it 2012.

BAUER: No. But she's a seasoned politician. She made a mistake.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: And this time she's not doing it. Cedric, I'll give you the last word here.

ALEXANDER: Well, let me say this, Don. We all have a social responsibility to maintain a certain level of etiquette, and particularly when we're in leadership positions.

I think it's inexcusable for any candidate to make inflammatory remarks or make remarks that leads to be questioned to the minds that of people that they -- may not be very stable.

Now in as much as we don't have control of 300 million people in this country, what we do should have some control over is how we use our language, how we represent ourselves as American citizens who, particularly, here again, for anyone who has attempted to become president of the United States.

LEMON: Yes.

ALEXANDER: That is critically important that we have to assume that responsibility. And American people, here again, Don, on both sides aisle don't like these statements because it's not for the best interest of this country.

LEMON: Thank you, all. I appreciate it. We'll be right back.

BAUER: Thanks, Don.

BRINKLEY: Thanks, Don.

ALEXANDER: Thank you.

[22:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The Secret Service telling CNN that it spoke to Donald Trump's campaign about his Second Amendment remarks, which many interpreted as a threat to Hillary Clinton. Now I want to bring in CNN senior political analyst, David Gergen, and

also attorney Alan Dershowitz, the author of the upcoming book, "Electile Dysfunction, A Guide for Unaroused Voters." He joins us via Skype. That is not a provocative book name. Clear? Anyway.

Thank you, gentlemen. Alan, here's what Thomas Friedman wrote. This was -- he wrote last night in the New York Times. It is scathing and he says, "And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin got assassinated. People are playing with fire here and there is no bigger flame throw into Donald Trump. Forget politics. He is a disgusting human being. His children should be ashamed of him. I only pray that he is not simply defeated, but that he loses all 50 states so that the message goes out across the land unambiguously loud and clear, the likes of you should never come this way again."

Your reaction to this. I mean, do you -- do you think that this is a sign that Trump's campaign is in crisis?

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR: Well, it's hard to know because everything Trump says that seems to put him in crisis, he then says he benefited from. He announced last night that he benefited from this.

You mentioned the Rabin tragedy. Ten days before Rabin was assassinated, the Israeli ambassador came to see me and told me that Rabin was coming to America to sleep in Boston and wanted to meet with me to talk about how to stop the rhetoric that he was afraid would cause violence.

[22:25:06] And of course, 10 days later caused his own death. The problem, of course, is that Trump has been creating or contributing to an aura that violence is acceptable. He creates this notion through his double entendres and his dog whistles, that easily to be understood by people.

Remember, we live in -- we live in an age of lone wolf terrorists who are inspired by what leaders say. And one can just imagine all you need is one or two or three people, quote, "misunderstanding," what Trump said to take Trump at his word that he didn't mean it.

Misunderstanding that, going out and saying, look, what does the Second Amendment really mean? It means the right to stop tyrants from taking over our government. If Hillary Clinton wants to take away our guns she's a tyrant. One can easily say.

Now this could lead to an attempted assassination -- God forbid that ever happened...

LEMON: Yes.

DERSHOWITZ: We would be playing and replaying what Trump has been saying over these last months and saying see, see what contributed to this? We all hope it doesn't come to that.

LEMON: Let's listen to what Trump said yesterday, David. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Hillary wants to abolish -- essentially abolish the Second Amendment. And by the way, if she gets to pick...

(CROWD BOOING)

... if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, to Alan's point about making her a tyrant, she doesn't want to abolish the Second Amendment, does she?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: No. And there's no evidence to that and Donald Trump and his supporters and many in the Republican Party continually overstate her positions on guns.

But let me go back and echo something that my former criminal law professor just said, and that is, I do think that often in public life people create a context that -- and there's a rhetoric about violence that often can send a message to the nut cases out there that maybe violence is a reasonable solution to a problem.

And we've seen -- and I thought Tom Friedman had an excellent point today in the New York Times in which he argued that -- and Alan just essentially argued as well -- that there were those who use a rhetoric of violence against Rabin and he was -- and then someone picked up a gun and shot him and it was one of the most -- one of the worst tragedies we've had in the Middle East.

I think we might well have had peace today had he lived on. But we've also seen this, Don, and others have written about this. We've seen this in some of the rhetoric that is often used by people who hate abortion clinics.

And they paint the doctors who perform abortions as somehow criminal and they do dehumanize them, they delegitimize them and then they argued that maybe somebody really ought to take action.

And suddenly we have a lone wolf out there who will shoot people at these abortion clinics as we've seen in Colorado and elsewhere. And the people who use the rhetoric of violence to start with, they sort of walk away and say not me, I didn't have anything to do about it. I didn't intend anybody to do anything.

And yet, there are some lone wolves out there who gets that and hears that whistle and that dog whistle as Alan said, and I think well, maybe I'll be the person who will save the republic.

And that's when we have real tragedies that occur. As you heard last night, you know, I would deeply scared by the two attempts on the lives of presidents I worked for, especially Ronald Reagan who came within an inch of losing his life by this nut case.

LEMON: Yes.

GERGEN: Who thought that he was doing something for humanity, I think. I don't know what the hell he was thinking. But nonetheless, with so many guns in the country and so much violence already, it is so easy to trigger something.

And that's why it's so important, so important to stay miles away from any kind of rhetoric, which is open for that interpretation.

LEMON: Is it fair, Alan, to hold some -- I was responsible for what a disturb person might do?

DERSHOWITZ: Yes. Morally responsible yes, and sometimes even legally responsible. There are cases where people have told the (Inaudible) the famous case in England where somebody inspired the (Inaudible) to kill and that person was found irresponsible.

Remember, too, that Second Amendment people, many of them, not all, but many of them believe the purpose of the Second Amendment is not necessarily prompting for self-defense. It's to overthrow the government to make sure that if tyrants take over we have the guns that are necessary to take action against them.

And you're going to get some Second Amendment extremists out there who are going to read this as saying what Mr. Trump said legitimatizes using violence to stop Hillary Clinton from taking our guns away

[22:30:05] That's what the Second Amendment is all about. We're not committing crimes they will think. We're acting as patriots.

LEMON: Yes.

DERSHOWITZ: Patriotism requires that the blood, that the tree of liberty be refurbished ever so often by the blood of patriots. That's part of the rhetoric. And Trump plays into that rhetoric. And so, I agree with David.

LEMON: I got to go.

DERSHOWITZ: That's an atmosphere that's created and that's what we have to figure out.

(CROSSTALK)

GERGEN: But, Don...

LEMON: I've got to go -- I've got to go, David. I'm sorry.

GERGEN: Don, let me just add 30 seconds, just 20 seconds. Yes. I do think Trump doesn't intend this. I just don't think he understands how rhetoric can trigger something.

LEMON: Thank you, gentlemen.

DERSHOWITZ: I agree. LEMON: I appreciate it. Up next, a growing number or republicans who are not only deserting Donald Trump but supporting Hillary Clinton. I'm going to talk to one of them.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: A growing number of republicans not only deserting Donald Trump but deciding to vote for Hillary Clinton. Former Connecticut Congressman Christopher Shays is one of them and he joins me now.

Good evening. Thank you for joining me.

FMR. REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS (R), CONNECTICUT: It's nice to be with you. I don't like the word desert. But, whatever, I left that guy a long time ago.

[22:35:00] LEMON: You did?

SHAYS: Oh, yes. I mean, he was -- he was terrible a year ago. He was unethical a year ago and he would say whatever he wanted. He's a wonderfully talented con man that's put one over on my party big time.

LEMON: So, what took you so long?

SHAYS: What took me so long was I knew -- it didn't take my long. It didn't take me long at all to part company with Donald Trump. What took me some time was to say, well, now who do I vote for? So, I was for John Kasich. He was my first choice, my second choice, my third choice.

I wish the press did paid more attention to him. He didn't make it. And then I said, OK, let's look at both conventions. And I saw a very dark republican convention. I heard words like "lock her up," I heard, you know, "guilty." I felt like I was watching a lynching. I mean, it really was pathetic.

LEMON: Are you afraid for your party of the country when you say that?

SHAYS: I'm afraid -- I'm afraid for both. And then I watched the democratic and they were talking about what they want to do. I was seeing people of all colors and stripes and then I listened to Hillary Clinton and I said, you know what, that was the kind of speech that she kind of made when she was a senator.

I worked with her as a house member. I remember coming up for a hearing where I chaired on the illnesses inflicting the 9/11 folks. And she came into the hearing, she asked me few questions, she sat down next to House members and she didn't play any party politics, she just said we've got to solve the problem.

LEMON: Yes. Is this -- this is painful to...

(CROSSTALK)

SHAYS: You know what? To be honest with you now, it's almost screened.

LEMON: How come?

SHAYS: Well, you know, because I've really come to grips of the fact that I think she can really be a good president.

LEMON: Yes.

SHAYS: You know, she knows the world community, she knows world leaders, she knows the House, she knows the Senate, she's traveled this country extensively. And, you know, she's a smart lady. She's learned from her mistakes.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: I want to...

SHAYS: Only problem with her...

LEMON: The e-mails, trust?

SHAYS: She just -- she takes things to the edge. And it calls in question why some people don't like her. This shouldn't even be a close election.

LEMON: OK. I'm going to get to that.

SHAYS: OK.

LEMON: But let's -- because I want to talk about the -mails and the trust...

(CROSSTALK)

SHAYS: I don't want to talk about the e-mails.

LEMON: OK. But we have to talk about the e-mails, especially with the controversy that they involved in the Clinton Foundation.

But do you hear other lawmakers who are concerned and they can't speak out because do they feel that they're held hostage?

(CROSSTALK)

SHAYS: Every lawmaker is concerned because some...

LEMON: Republican lawmakers?

SHAYS: Oh, yes, absolutely. Because some like Donald Trump, some don't. And they might be very frank with a group and all of a sudden you're seeing one of their constituents get really mad at him or even -- I have some family members that like Donald Trump.

LEMON: Yes. We have heard from a number of these people that, you know, the Khan controversy that was the tipping point here. Was made you come out against, was that the one thing, the Khan controversy? SHAYS: No, I mean, it was just an evolution. It was really after the

convention. But I'll tell you, that was huge.

LEMON: Yes.

SHAYS: But this is not going to stop. Donald Trump is going to keep doing things like this.

LEMON: Let's talk about the e-mail scandal, OK?

SHAYS: OK.

LEMON: Because there's this development today with the Clinton and the e-mail and then somehow there's this cozy relation they believe in the Hillary Clinton State Department and then, you know, the e-mails. Is that -- is that a concern for you?

SHAYS: I'm not going to defend the e-mails. There's no way I'm going to defend the e-mails. But what I am going to do is choose someone who I think can really be a real good president.

I wish she did what we did in my congressional office. And we said if you can't defend it at a community meeting comfortably, then you don't do it.

LEMON: So, the e-mails and the trust factor you think are a lesser threat than what Donald Trump proposes or his...

(CROSSTALK)

SHAYS: Donald Trump -- Donald Trump is dangerous.

LEMON: And Hillary Clinton is not dangerous?

SHAYS: No, she's not dangerous. Of course she's not dangerous. She's done things that I wish she hadn't done.

LEMON: So, why is Donald Trump dangerous?

SHAYS: Because he is ignorant of world events. He says things that are absurd like, you know, Russia coming in to Ukraine and he -- I mean, the list is so long.

LEMON: Yes.

SHAYS: I don't really have to go there.

LEMON: Do you think that when people compare that there's a false equivalency when people are saying, Hillary Clinton you can't trust her, but then Donald Trump.

SHAYS: You know what, I had a mom and dad and you never said anything you never -- you never said anything you weren't totally comfortable with and you could tell -- they could tell if I wasn't comfortable.

The bottom line is, Hillary Clinton when she becomes president needs to make a real oath to herself and the public that she's not going to do things that give people the opportunity to be critical of her.

[22:40:04] LEMON: OK. I want to put up this video because this is Mark Foley, who was at a Trump rally this evening in Florida.

You served in 2006 when Mark Foley resigned and at the time you called for the resignation of any member of the House leadership who knew or should have known about the e-mails going further than some of republican colleagues. What do you think at him sitting behind Trump at this Trump rally? Because you know, Hillary Clinton was...

(CROSSTALK)

SHAYS: I don't know why he did it and I didn't -- I don't know why someone didn't catch it.

LEMON: Was it planned?

SHAYS: Well, all I know is Mark was a very nice guy. I mean, frankly, he's a nice guy. I enjoy his company...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But you had a huge problem with him?

SHAYS: I had a problem with the fact of what he did. And I had a problem with the fact that we didn't understand what he did soon enough and that the democrats exposed it, and that we ended up losing the majority because of it in large measure.

LEMON: Thank you, congressman.

SHAYS: Thank you.

LEMON: I appreciate it. It's been a long day for you. I've been watching you on television.

SHAYS: It's been a long day.

LEMON: I appreciate it. Up next, Trump supporters claimed the media is twist in his remarks about Second Amendment people.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[22:45:00] Donald Trump's reaction to the uproar over his Second Amendment remarks, quote, "give me a break."

I want to bring in now Matt Lewis, he's a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, Bakari Sellers who is a Clinton supporter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders who is a senior adviser to Trump's campaign, and political contributor, Van Jones.

Hello to all of you. Thank you for joining us.

Mr. Matt Lewis, you first. Donald Trump slammed Hillary Clinton again tonight for allowing the Orlando shooter's father to sit behind her at a recent rally. But as he was knocking her for that, a disgraced ex- Congressman Mark Foley was sitting right behind him really in the same spot almost as the father of the shooter.

Mark Foley, of course, resigned back in 2006 for sending sexually explicit text messages to teen-age boys. What's your reaction?

MATT LEWIS, CNN COMMENTATOR: It's unbelievable. I mean, it's just really unbelievable. I mean, first the fact that Hillary Clinton would allow this to happen. She's obviously got a more organized campaign than Donald Trump, ought to be doing the vetting. It's horrible optics, should have been prevented.

But then the audacity of Donald Trump to mock that and, you know, if you see the clip, he basically says, hey, all these people behind me, I knew them all personally. And they would, trust me, they wouldn't be sitting back here unless they were fully vetted.

LEMON: And, wait. We have it. And many raises his hand. Here's the moment. Here's the moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: How many of you people know me? A lot of you people know me.

(CROWD CHEERING)

When you get those seats, you sort of know the campaign. So, when she said, well, we didn't know, he knew, they knew.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Van? I'm sorry. Raise your hands. How many of you know me? Raise your hands if you're sure.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, it's just -- it's a comedy -- it's an SNL skit. We are living. We have been trapped in a Saturday Night Live skit. But, you know, at the end of the day we have to say, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. But, my goodness. That you literally can't make this stuff up.

LEMON: Sarah, you know, I want to talk -- Sarah, what's your reaction to this?

SARAH HUCKABEE-SANDERS, DONALD TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: Look, I don't -- I certainly don't think Mark Foley should have been there but to try to compare the two is absurd. I mean, Mark Foley, a disgraced former congressman versus a radicalized father of the person that shot 49 innocent Americans? I mean, those two things are not comparable on any level.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: But, wait, he didn't shoot anybody.

SANDERS: I said the father of -- I said the father of.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: But, Mark...

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: He's a Taliban supporter. That's a very big difference.

JONES: The father?

SELLERS: No, I understand that. I mean, his father shouldn't have been there, Mateen's father shouldn't have been there. But to try to say and somehow justify Congressman Foley, who's not just a disgraced Congressman, he's a pedophile.

I mean, I think both of them were bad optics and I think that you should be able to judge both of them equally.

SANDERS: I agree.

SELLERS: And I think both campaigns made serious mistakes of judgment but don't come up here and sit in and say, oh, my God, Hillary's campaign was worse because of this when we simply had a pedophile. That makes no sense whatsoever. That's a horrible contortion.

I think the line of argument is that, look, I'm a Hillary Clinton supporter. Yesterday, I simply said they should disavow, they did. It shouldn't happen again. But I think all of us together, the four of us, the five of us, need to get together, grab all these advance staffers, but some pizza and beer and figure out what's going on.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: It's going to be, and people are going to be saying, who's behind -- who's behind the candidate?

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: I think, Bakari, the problem is that they may have had too much pizza and beer.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But don't you think it makes a a different...

SANDERS: I think they may have had too much beer ahead of that.

LEMON: But don't you think it makes a difference the second day? Wouldn't you be on your game at -- like no matter which campaign I was with? The Clinton campaign or the Trump campaign, Van, I would be like, OK, who is sitting behind my candidate?

JONES: Yes, I mean, to be, you know, now more serious, you would expect for him to button this up. In fact, you would expect everybody in the country, whether you're running for the presidency, Congress, or dog catcher to realize this is a new thing to be concerned about and to button it up and button it down.

Part of it goes to this kind of wild, crazy campaign that he's running that he would literally tell his staff I'm going to really hit Hillary Clinton on this issue and nobody says hold on a second, boss, let me check this out.

And you have to judge people based on the campaigns that they run. People want to judge Hillary Clinton based on her campaign. I think it's very fair to judge Donald Trump on this one.

LEMON: All right. Stick with me, everyone. It wasn't just Hillary Clinton who had a bad -- a bad week either. More on her e-mail controversy coming up.

[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Newly released Clinton e-mails may shed light on a relationship between her State Department and the Clinton Foundation.

Back with me now, Matt Lewis, Bakari Sellers, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, and Van Jones.

Sarah, first question to you. We now have a new batch of Clinton e- mails released by the conservative watch group, Judicial Watch, raising questions about the relationship between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation.

One instance shows a top foundation official lobbying top Clinton aides at the State Department for a job for a former staffer. Another e-mail shows a foundation official trying to connect a foreign billionaire donor with a U.S. ambassador abroad. What's your reaction to this?

SANDERS: It's just another example of Hillary Clinton's just absolute corruption within her office and as Secretary of State and that we can only expect that she'll take to the presidency.

The Clinton Foundation is nothing more than a slush fund. If you look at the breakdown of the budget that they had, they gave away $5 million in grants but spent almost $86 million paying the expenses and travel stuff and just salaries to help out their political cronies.

It's just a pathetic excuse for something that they really need to reel in and another example of while Hillary Clinton is not qualified to be president.

LEMON: Van?

JONES: Well, you know, I see it very differently. First of all, I do think that there's some sloppiness here. And just like we want Donald Trump to make sure his words are absolutely above reproach, I think we also it's fair to say Hillary Clinton should make sure her actions are above reproach.

The reality is when you are a person in public life over many, many years, you wind up with a lot of people slashing around you doing all kinds of stuff. This was sloppy, it shouldn't have happened.

[22:55:01] But I just want to say what people a year ago, two years ago, were saying quite boldly, the Clinton Foundation is a good organization. And this whole -- this whole lie that keeps going out there that 85 percent of the money just went to -- that is simply not true.

This is not an operating foundation. What they do is they have a staff and they have convening and they bring in other people to bring in their money. And I'm going to tell you, I've been to the Clinton Foundation, those big gatherings and to see rich people come in and give money to poor organizations has been a heartwarming moment for many people.

I think we got to stop pretending the Clinton Foundation is just a right wing talking point. They've done a good work.

LEMON: So, Matt, isn't it also not about that there has been no evidence of impropriety as of yet. But also the appearance of impropriety, you're supposed to be careful of that as well, Matt.

LEWIS: Absolutely. It looks pay to play. I mean, on the one hand I'm cynical, I follow this stuff. I said, well, there's shock that there's gambling in Casablanca.

But, on the other hand, you know, we have -- we have in America now where people have the sense that elites play by different rules, that there's a ruling class, that they take care of each other and help each other find jobs. And this doesn't look good.

And you're right. I mean, there's no quid pro quo just yet, but there's 30,000 missing e-mails allegedly about yoga that might be discovered. And now we're hearing that the hacking ostensibly by Russia and to democrats is more widespread.

So, like, this could be a story. It may not just be judicial watch looking into this. Who knows where this might go?

LEMON: All right. Thank you. I'm out of time. Bakari, I'll see you next time. Thank you.

SELELRS: Oh, good.

LEMON: You're going to get on. Relax. You'll be on next time.

SELLERS: I had -- because they were all wrong, Don.

LEMON: All right. Well, we got -- we have another hour ahead. We'll be right back with that other hour.

[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)