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CNN TONIGHT

Trump and Clinton Trade Fiery Attacks; Trump on Immigration: No Path to Legalization. Aired 11-12p ET.

Aired August 25, 2016 - 23:00   ET

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


DON LEMON, CNN HOST: It is one of the worst things one candidate can say about another. And tonight, Donald Trump is repeating his claim that Hillary Clinton is a bigot.

This is "CNN Tonight." I'm Don Lemon. Trump insisting that Clinton's policies are bigoted, Clinton firing back, charging Trump's campaign is built on prejudice and paranoia. Meanwhile, Trump walks back his (ph) suggestion, he might soften his immigration policies.

Listen to what he tells Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: There is no path to legalization.

(CROSSTALK)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: ...paying taxes (ph)...

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Unless people leave the country, let (ph) -- well, when they come back -- if they come back in, then they can start paying taxes.

COOPER: So they still have...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: But there is no path to legalization unless they leave the country and come back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Here to discuss all of this, Ryan Lizza, Washington correspondent for "The New Yorker," Bob Cusack, editor-in-chief of "The Hill," and Matt Lewis, senior contributor to "The Daily Caller."

Welcome to the rodeo (ph), fellows. Thank you for joining me this evening. You know, we heard from both of our candidates today. Trump is speaking to CNN's Anderson Cooper.

He called Clinton a bigot at his last rally last night, doubling down today. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: You called last night Hillary Clinton a bigot. Previously, you called her policies bigoted. You directly called her a bigot...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Well, she is a bigot because you look at what's happening to the inner cities, you look at what's happening to African-Americans and Hispanics in this country where she talks all the time. She's talking -- look at the vets where she said the vets are being treated essentially just fine, that it's over-exaggerated what's happening to the vets not so long ago?

COOPER: Well, how is she bigoted? Bigoted is -- is having hatred for a (ph) specific.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Well, because she's -- because she's selling them down the tubes, because she's not doing anything for those communities. She talks a good game and she doesn't do anything...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: ...she has hatred or -- or just like (ph)...

TRUMP: Her policies are bigoted. He policies are bigoted because she knows they're not going to work.

COOPER: But you're saying she is personally bigoted.

TRUMP: Oh, she is. Of course, she is. Her policies -- they're her policies -- she comes out with the policies and others that believe like she does also, like she came out with policies over the years. This is over the years, a long time.

She's totally bigoted. There's no question about that. Look at what...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: But it does it imply that she doesn't -- she has antipathy. She has hatred toward, in this case, I guess, you're talking about African-Americans (ph)...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: I think she has been extremely, extremely bad for African- Americans. I think she's been extremely bad for Hispanics. You look at what's happened with her policies and the policies of President Obama and others.

Look at the poverty. Look at the rise in poverty. Look at the rise in violence.

COOPER: But hatred is at the core of that or dislike of African- Americans...

(CROSSTALK) TRUMP: Or maybe she's lazy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

So Matt, to you, what do you make of this? What is the strategy in calling Hillary Clinton a bigot?

MATT LEWIS, SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR, THE DAILY CALLER: Well, I think the strategy is that Donald Trump believes that if you -- you name it and you claim it, I think he believes that if you call him lying Ted (ph) enough times, people believe that he's a liar. And if you call her a crooked Hillary enough times, people believe that.

And so I think -- look, it's -- if you want to call Hillary a liar, I'm with you. Or you want to call her a phony, you know, I think you're probably right.

It took Donald Trump really three questions. I think Anderson had to ask him three times before he got to really a pretty arguable or defensible position where he said, look (ph), I don't think Hillary Clinton and her policy isn't par (ph) to the Obama administration, have been good for African-Americans or good -- good for Hispanics, that's a debatable and I think defensible argument to make.

I -- I don't know where you get -- where Trump gets the bigoted part from. That's a different animal.

LEMON: Well, he has so many real issues, Matt, to criticize her on, I mean, the e-mails, the foundation...

LEWIS: Yes.

LEMON: ...at least these past weeks. Sticking -- sticking to those seem successful for him. Why even go here?

LEWIS: Again, the only thing -- it doesn't make sense. The only thing that makes sense to me is that its -- its projection -- it's when Donald Trump is attacked for something, he then goes on the offensive and accuses his adversary of the same thing.

And I think it's a naive belief that the big lie works, that -- that you can basically -- if you say something enough times, people will believe it. It's a -- a, you know, the Trump reality distortion field or something.

LEMON: Bob, what do you think of that?

BOB CUSACK, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE HILL: Yes, no, I agree with Matt in that I think some of it is the counter-puncher in Donald Trump, where democratic critics have -- have called Trump a racist and certainly a bigot. And maybe, he's trying to muddy the waters here in this very, very nasty race.

But I mean, the one thing is that Republicans are at least happy about is that -- who want him to win is that Trump is talking about Hillary Clinton. He's not talking about the Khan (ph) family. He's not talking about Megan Kelly (ph). But the way he's doing it

could be improved because he can -- as you said, you can talk to -- a lot of stats out there, seven in 10 Americans think the country is going in the wrong way. Some of the things that he said in the interview, well, it's all overshadowed by that one word, "bigot," and that's the headline.

LEMON: Yes.

Ryan, Clinton is giving a big speech today, trying -- tying, I should say, Donald Trump to -- to extremists and racist groups. I want you (ph) to listen to part of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party.

His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous. A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark, conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far dark reaches of the internet...

(APPLAUSE)

...should never run our government or command our military.

(APPLAUSE)

Ask yourself, if he doesn't respect all Americans, how can he serve all Americans?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So Ryan, did she accomplish her goal here?

RYAN LIZZA, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORKER: Look, I think the -- the power of that speech was when she was giving -- when she wasn't offering her opinion about Donald Trump but for when she was simply quoting him, or when she was quoting headlines from breitbart.com, the website that Trump's new CEO used to run, right? It's just like with the -- with the advertisements that are being run by the Super PAC for Clinton or Clinton's own ads.

They're better when it's just -- it's letting the opponent hang himself with his own words. And so I think to the -- to the extent that that speech was powerful, that's where the power was. I will say I was struck by the political decision she made.

She could have done one of two things here. She could have said Donald Trump is tied to all of these awful people and so is the entire Republican Party. And you only have one choice in this race. And that's Democrats up and down the ballot.

Instead, what she did, she basically defended conservatism, mainstream conservatism and the pre-Trump Republican Party from what she argued, and frankly, a lot of conservatives argue, is a virus that is infecting it and -- and has been sort of smuggled in by Trump.

LEMON: She did say this is not the ideas of conservatism or Republicans. She did try to, you know, make that distinction.

(CROSSTALK)

LIZZA: Yes, if you look at some of these (ph)...

LEMON: Do you think that was -- that was an honest distinction or was...

LIZZA: Well, I think a lot of conservatives certainly agree with that. There were a lot of conservatives...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: I mean, on her part. I think many people...

LIZZA: Yes.

LEMON: ...will agree, obviously, the alt-right is not the right. And it's not conservatives. And many conservatives will say Donald Trump is not part of the, shall we say, establishment conservative party as well. Go ahead.

LIZZA: No, she was -- she was trying to -- look, there are a lot of -- and let's just break it down to the demographic that we all know is -- is -- is abandoning Trump or is not cottoning to him in a way that they have to other previous Republican nominees. It's college- educated whites and especially college-educated white women.

And if there were one demographic that perhaps Clinton was trying to speak to today, it was that demographic. If -- if...

LEWIS: Yes.

LIZZA: ...Trump loses that...

LEWIS: I...

LIZZA: ...he's going to lose the election.

LEMON: Hey Matt, let me ask you this. You know...

LEWIS: And I think this is a governing -- I think this is a governing -- I think Hillary is going for the, you know, in her mind, right, so the easy -- the temptation -- the partisan temptation is to vanquish your enemy. Hillary's not doing that.

She's -- it's a surgical strike against Donald Trump. She's authorizing (ph) Donald Trump. And that goes against the partisan temptation.

I'm sure the democratic senatorial committee would prefer Hillary to do something different. This is a governing decision. It is a decision -- I think that's going -- it's a landslide.

She's going for the landslide. And then for somewhat of a, you know, of an agenda, where she can push through...

LEMON: Yes.

LEWIS: ...an agenda and be a -- a uniter.

LEMON: OK, here is a -- here is a transcript.

And Bob, listen to this closely because she -- she talked about -- she said, Maya Angelou, when someone shows you who they are, you should believe them, talked about the 1970s, the justice department suit against Trump and his father, which was settled out of court using C to designate for colored or people of color, talked about casinos repeatedly, black dealers on the floor not allowing them the rate of turnover for minorities. Then she went on to talk about the birther (ph) issue.

Then she talked about Judge Curiel. She talked about the Wall (ph) and she went on and on and on, and went through all of this whole litany of things using his own words and actions against him. He was -- I wonder if you think this pushed him today to give this interview, you know, if it came afterwards and I'm assuming that it did, about white supremacists and not wanting their vote.

Listen to this and then we'll discuss.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's trying to turn this around on you now saying you're bringing a hate movement mainstream. Do you want white supremacists to vote for you?

TRUMP: No, I don't at all, not at all. And I will tell you, this is not about hate. This is about love.

We love our country. We want our country to come back. We want our country to be strong again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Do you think this was in response to that? And why -- why just say that now? Why didn't -- didn't he (ph) say this from the start?

CUSACK: Well, that's a great answer that -- that, you know, I think it is because -- partly because the primary was going on a while back now. He's -- he's been told, I mean, Kellyanne Conway (ph) is a pollster.

And I think she's told him, listen, you're not going to get there with just the white vote. You're going to have to reach out to -- to minority voters.

And I think that has -- has -- that's why the Clinton campaign -- that's why Hillary Clinton gave, I thought, a pretty effective speech today. But she's got to push back on that because she does not want this race changing.

She is in control of this race at this moment. Of course, it's going to be a roller coaster. We're not even at Labor

Day.

But -- but overall, I do think that was a bit of a response that Trump is trying to soften his image, saying he does not want that, the white supremacist vote. And I think that kind of language would do him well over the next two-plus months.

LEMON: Does she, Ryan, have to tread lightly here because, you know, they are both making, you know, this race a referendum on their opponent? Should she focus a little more on her own policy?

LIZZA: You know, it's funny, I mean, I think the natural place where Hillary Clinton likes to campaign is on policy detail, right? She likes -- she doesn't like to talk about herself.

She, you know, has some well-known vulnerabilities personally. And her advantage going back to her 2000 senate campaign always when she could get in a -- a war over white papers and policy, right? That was one of the ways that -- one of the major debates that Obama and Clinton had in 2008.

Obama tried to make it much more about her character. She tried to make it more about policy. So this is a unique race for her in that she is running against someone where she talks about policy now and again but it's not really what drives the news.

The main strategy is to disqualify Donald Trump as an acceptable president and to make it a referendum on him. And she's been doing quite an effective job of doing that so far.

LEMON: Matt, do you think between now and what is it -- whatever we (ph) -- I think it's like 74, 77-some days until election, will there be a difference? Can Donald Trump make enough of a dent in the minority vote, people of color, blacks and Latinos, to really make a difference here?

LEWIS: Well, I still think Donald Trump could win, you know, but I don't think he will win because I don't think he's going to do what he needs to do. And we see even just in the last 48 hours, he -- he will -- you know, so it's the last person who talks to him.

You know, he'll -- he'll moderate a position, then he flips back. So I don't think he has the discipline -- the strategic discipline to do what he needs to do.

But you know what, I still say he still has a shot. It's within the realm of possibility. I just don't think he'll -- he'll execute.

LEMON: Oh, absolutely. I mean, anything is possible. And it's not -- I mean, it's not like she's put him away in the polls. I mean, she's ahead but not by that far. And there's still a lot of

time to go.

LEWIS: She's not that great of a candidate. That's the -- that's the thing so...

LEMON: There it is -- those are the numbers. Let me just read them real quick as we have it up before we go to break. Yes, this is a new Quinnipiac national poll here, Clinton 45, Trump 38, Johnson 10, and Stein 4.

And I think with Johnson and Stein out of the race, I think it's more like 51-41. There's a 10-point...

LIZZA (?): Yes.

LEMON: ...difference. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it. When we come back, Hillary Clinton slamming Donald Trump for his ties to the so-called alt-right, but who are they and what do they stand for?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton trading fiery attacks today. Matt Lewis is back with me. And we're joined now by Pastor Mark Burns, the co-founder and CEO of The NOW Television Network who is supporting Donald Trump.

Good to have both of you on this evening.

Matt, welcome back.

Pastor...

MARK BURNS, CEO, THE NOW TELEVISION NETWORK: Glad to be here.

LEWIS: Thank you.

LEMON: Donald Trump did not back down today from calling Hillary Clinton a bigot. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: You called last night Hillary Clinton a bigot. Previously, you called her policies bigoted. You've directly called her a bigot. And (ph)...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Well, she is a bigot because you look at what's happening to the inner cities, you look at what's happening to African-Americans and Hispanics in this country where she talks all the time...

COOPER: How is she bigoted? Bigoted is -- is having hatred toward a specific group.

(CROSSTALK) TRUMP: Well, because she's -- because she's selling them down the

tubes, because she's not doing anything for those communities. She talks a good game. But she doesn't do anything.

COOPER: Does she (ph) -- she has hatred or -- or...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Her policies are bigoted. Her policies are bigoted because she knows they're not going to work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So Matt, if you're going to call someone a bigot, citing her policies, shouldn't you have some specific policies to point to?

LEWIS: Right, so that's a big charge to level against someone (ph) -- a bigot, a racist. I mean, you know, conservatives especially, I think, are, you know -- when you label somebody that label, it discredits everything they have to say.

Just to give some more (ph) -- if you're going to accuse somebody of that, if you're going to call him Archie Bunker (ph), you need (ph) something to back it up.

No, if -- if -- I mean, Trump's argument that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, that their policies haven't been great for African- Americans or Hispanics I think is utterly defensible. And he could make that argument.

But to call her a bigot, I just don't get it.

LEMON: Pastor Burns, you're working on gaining tracks into the Trump campaign when it comes to minority voters. Do you think calling Hillary Clinton a bigot might be a confusing message to the minority groups that he wants to attract?

BURNS: Well, you know, I think it's important really to just -- right now, there is so much excitement that is going on within the Trump campaign. The -- the response that we're getting within the African- American community and the Hispanic community, I mean, it's just -- it's just huge. I mean, right now...

LEMON: But do you think -- it's my -- my question -- do you think it's confusing -- a confusing message to the -- the very groups that you're trying to reach because he needs to add people? Obviously, he needs to add minorities.

BURNS: Sure.

LEMON: Or he wouldn't reach out to them. Do you think that's confusing to say, oh, she's a bigot. They may go...

BURNS: Well, you know, I really think it's -- it's just politics. And you know, I mean, again, you have two candidates who -- some believe that they -- they have some negatives and Hillary Clinton, this is her game. I mean, the ad she put out there today was -- was horrible.

I mean, the fact that she had the KKK and trying to connect the dots to Donald Trump, this false narrative that he is -- this racism, this bigot.

I mean, she's been -- she's been calling Donald Trump a racist, you know, from the get-go.

LEMON: She never specifically called him that.

BURNS: Well, her (ph)...

LEMON: He says that he traffics in bigotry. She's never said Donald Trump is a bigot.

BURNS: Right, but she implies. I mean, her actions, her policies -- that's the real story is she's not regrettable of -- of the policies that has taken place within the democratic party that has impacted African-Americans. But that's what we should be talking about.

LEMON: So -- so let me ask you a personal question, as a -- as a...

BURNS: Sure.

LEMON: ...person-to-person, people of color here. Does that bother you that someone is just explicitly calling -- I've heard the surrogates do it, that's fine, that's their thing to, you know, do the work of a candidate. But for a candidate to say something like that, does that bother you in any way?

BURNS: A candidate say what exactly?

LEMON: Just a candidate just say, you know, you're a bigot. You're a racist, regardless of who the candidate is?

BURNS: Right. I think for me personally, as a pastor, I think name- calling in -- in politics, you know, it just shouldn't be there at all period. I mean, that's just my personal opinion.

But then again, a person like Donald Trump, if you're in a room full of 16 people who are constantly calling you names, attacking you, you can't be defensive. You've got to attack.

You've got to respond. Right now, our country needs a warrior.

LEMON: Right. Let's listen to what Hillary Clinton said today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Matt, this is for you. Trump's new campaign, CEO Steve Bannon, says his former website, Breitbart News, is the platform for the alt-right. Do you think their relationship, you know, to take Breitbart news at message even more mainstream? Is that the goal here?

LEWIS: I don't know if that's the goal. But, look, I think -- I mean, so on one hand, I -- I agree with what the pastor was saying there. I mean, I think that the left and the media have always accused Republicans of being racist, even when it's utterly unwarranted, whether it's Rick Perry, you know, having some, you know, vacation spot that someone else had previously owned and then (ph) written something racist on a rock or whether it's, you know, attacking, you know, Mitt Romney as a misogynist because he had binders full of women, like she wanted to hire women.

So I think conservatives are defensive -- understandably defensive about these attacks. But in the case of Donald Trump, I think he is clearly stoked, you know, at least racialism -- I mean, he's -- he's played to this.

And -- and I think it's divisive. And when it comes to Breitbart, my concern is the mainstreaming of this alt-right thing, OK?

So there have always been, you know, white nationalists and white supremacists and these groups out there on the fringes. But Breitbart has brought it much closer into the mainstream conservative media world.

And I think Trump largely has done the same thing.

LEMON: Yes, he has said, though, tonight in the interview that we played for you to comment on earlier, that he does not want white supremacists to vote for him. He says, "I do -- I don't want your vote," which many people have been waiting a long time to hear him say that.

Pastor Burns, I want to play a clip from an altercation you had earlier with the protesters outside of Trump Tower.

BURNS: OK.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you support a racist. OK. And so do you...

(CROSSTALK)

BURNS: First of all, I -- I wouldn't -- I wouldn't support...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...do you want my family -- do you want me and my family to get deported? You want my mother and my little sister to be separated?

(CROSSTALK)

BURNS: ...I wouldn't support a (ph) racist. Just because you are loud... UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, do you want my mother...

BURNS: ...and just because you are talking louder than me don't make you right.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want my little sister to be separated from my mother?

(CROSSTALK)

BURNS: ...racist, that -- first of all (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But do you want my mother and my father to be deported?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK, so you were heading into this meeting with Hispanic and black leaders at Trump Tower today. You had this encounter with someone who was upset by your support, I would imagine, of Donald Trump.

Does this happen often to you from -- do you encounter this?

BURNS: No, not -- not -- not in most cases. I think most people are afraid of -- they see me, they know that I don't -- I don't play no games. No, joking (ph).

LEMON: So what happened? What -- what did (ph) you...

BURNS: Well, you know, I was obviously just got finished interviewing on this network here. And then when I got done there, all the media, the fringe (ph) had turned around. And they began to interview me.

And then obviously, they were out there chanting, et cetera. And the gentleman began to talk to me calmly.

And so obviously, I knew he was in disagreement with me. So I -- I literally grabbed him by the arm and -- and had him follow with me, walk with me while I'm talking.

I would love to hear what he has to say because I thought for a moment we was about to have an engagement to an intelligent conversation.

LEMON: He was talking basically about deportation, saying, do you want me or are you OK with me going back? Are you OK with my family going back?

(CROSSTALK)

BURNS: And I wanted to hear his grievances. I wanted to hear what he had to say again.

LEMON: Are you OK with that, with the deportation of -- of people who are here, undocumented immigrants?

(CROSSTALK)

BURNS: Well, I think it's important -- I think it's important that like Donald Trump has said, we either have a country or we do not have a country. And I know that that may sound harsh or -- but the fact of the matter is, is we either have borders or we don't.

And there is a law that the American people has put into place. It is not Mark Burns' law. It's not Donald Trump's law.

It is a law that the American Constitution has put in place.

LEMON: So him saying now that he would -- he is softening, so to speak, that he wants to work with people and...

BURNS: Sure.

LEMON: ...not send them back, does that bother you at all because that's a...

BURNS: Well (ph), no.

LEMON: ...that's a turnaround from what he's saying.

BURNS: Well, it's not a turnaround. That's just simply -- as we're getting closer and closer to the race, Donald Trump is just giving details of his plan. This is -- this is detailed information.

LEMON: Do you -- come on, Pastor, he's never said that from the beginning. And from the beginning, he said, they have to -- he was very...

(CROSSTALK)

LEWIS: Well, he wouldn't have won if he said that.

LEMON: ...yes, he was very...

LEWIS: That's what Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush said.

LEMON: ...he was very specific and very implicit about they had to go back...

BURNS: Right. And I think that plan is still (ph)...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: And I think (ph) what you said, is we have a country or -- or we don't.

BURNS: And I think he's still pretty clear on the deportations. I mean, he has not -- he has not reverted from that.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But he said we're going to work with them. They're going to have to pay taxes.

(CROSSTALK)

BURNS: But he's simply saying...

LEMON: That's what citizens do. I know people are saying that's not amnesty.

BURNS: Right.

LEMON: But that's what -- if you're saying, you may not explicitly be saying it's a path to citizenship...

BURNS: Sure.

LEMON: ...but when you're a U.S. citizen, that's part of being a citizen, is paying taxes. That's on the road to citizenship.

BURNS: Well, I think that -- what he's (ph) done here is this -- see, this is what the democratic party do versus what the Republican Donald Trump is doing.

LEMON: You said, what I've done?

BURNS: No, no, no.

LEMON: Oh, OK.

BURNS: ...the democratic party.

LEMON: Yes.

BURNS: ...the democratic party and what Donald Trump is doing. The democratic party say I'm at the top, Hillary Clinton at (ph) the top. You, people, would do what I say.

Donald Trump says, I had been listening to the voice of the people. Now, yes, I declared in the beginning, everybody's gone. Everybody is out of here but...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Everybody up on that stage with him during those debates, every single person -- hang on...

BURNS: ...hold on, Don, let me finish my statement because...

LEMON: Go ahead.

BURNS: ...but -- but -- but he did say, I've been hearing people from all over the country. And the people are telling me, you know -- you know, Mr. Trump, that is harsh.

And he is now listening to the voice of the people. The people -- we, as Americans should dictate to the politicians. LEMON: So if the people say -- if the people say to him, we don't

want deportation, we want a path to citizenship, we want amnesty, is he going to go, OK?

BURNS: If the American people say -- and first of all, they have to make him president of the United States.

LEMON: That's what -- that's what the polls show, that most people in America are OK with -- with that.

BURNS: If -- if he -- as and when he becomes president of the United States and the American people suggest we want this -- he's going to do what the people say. I mean, that's what democracy is.

We, the people of the United States, the people dictate the policies, not the politicians like Hillary Clinton and the democratic party. Why are you smiling?

LEMON: Because sometimes, you just have to laugh, right (ph)?

BURNS: All right (ph)...

LEMON: You've got to (ph) laugh to keep from crying, you know that. I -- I feel you. I know, it's tough sometimes.

As I say, it needs a way (ph) sometimes, I get it. Thank you.

BURNS: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: I appreciate you.

Thank you, Matt.

Up next, Donald Trump...

LEWIS: Thank you.

LEMON: ...shifting positions on immigration are no laughing matter unless you're a Jimmy Fallon.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Donald Trump backtracking tonight, ruling out any pathway to legalization for undocumented immigrants, this after hinting earlier this week he was softening his position. Listen to what Jimmy Fallon said on "The Tonight Show."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FALLON: After more than a year of promising mass deportation of undocumented immigrants, last night, Donald Trump actually referred to them as great people.

(LAUGHTER)

Even Ryan Lochte was like, get your story straight. Now, you did not (ph)...

(APPLAUSE)

...they do like (ph) -- are they great people (ph)?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: I want to bring in now CNN political commentator, Bob Beckel, Trump supporter, Amy Kremer, who is co-chair of Women Vote Trump and Political Contributor Van Jones, a former official in the Obama administration and political commentator, Andy Dean, also a Trump supporter.

Amy, thank you so much for that kind note you sent me about my family in Louisiana. I really appreciate that. Everything is fine.

AMY KREMER, CO-CHAIR, WOMEN VOTE TRUMP: Sure.

LEMON: Thank you. Everyone thinks that because we mix it up back and forth, that we don't like each other. We actually all like each other very much.

KREMER: Yes.

LEMON: We don't take this beyond the television.

So Amy, again, thank you that kind note (ph).

KREMER: Sure.

LEMON: Here is a clip from -- that was pretty funny. Sometimes, I don't understand, I'm not sure where I am with what Donald Trump said about immigration. So let's listen to what he told Anderson tonight about immigration and then we'll discuss.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: So if they -- if they haven't committed a crime, is there going to be a path to legalization? I'm talking about citizenship and (ph) legalization.

TRUMP: No, there's not a path -- there is no path to legalization.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: You talked about paying their taxes and identity (ph)...

TRUMP: Unless people leave the country -- let -- well, when they come back in, if they come back in, then they can start paying taxes.

COOPER: So they still have to leave the country?

TRUMP: But there is no path to legalization unless they leave the country and come back.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: So Van, on all honesty, do you have a grip on Trump's

immigration plan now?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't. And -- and part of the thing is that, listen, we can go back and forth about what he said, what he didn't say.

It's not only that he keeps changing his position and keeps changing his message. Even who he has running his campaign, this guy, Bannon -- Bannon is someone -- if you're trying to signal to people that you're softening, if you're trying to signal to people that you want to be inclusive, you don't put someone like Bannon who runs a racially inflammatory website and who has praised someone who has linked Hispanics to having low I.Q.

How can your campaign CEO believe that Hispanics have -- are genetically predisposed to having low I.Q. be leading you toward a better policy? He is just sending so many mixed messages, not just with himself, but even with his own campaign.

LEMON: Go ahead, Amy.

KREMER: No, I would just say, look, you know, Donald Trump has said a couple of things and he said, he's going to secure the border. He's going to deport all criminal illegal aliens, 86,000 of them, I believe.

He's going to put Americans first. And we're going to enforce and uphold the law. And he's going to build a fence.

So the thing is all this other stuff that everybody's talking about is it's not written policy yet. It isn't in stone yet. So what we're doing is speculating on things we don't know about. Let (ph)...

JONES: Didn't he say 11 million has to go? He didn't say 11 million has to go? He's never in his campaign said 11 million has to get out of the country?

KREMER: He is...

JONES: He said that numerous times.

KREMER: He is traveling around the country -- and you know what, he may have said that many times. He hasn't said that he's not going to do that.

He has not said -- absolutely, he's not going to do that. He said he's traveling around the country. He's listening to people.

He's -- he's listened to their stories and what their thoughts are on this. And he's going to put out an immigration policy.

And until he puts out that immigration policy...

JONES: It's almost September.

KREMER: ...we don't know.

LEMON: OK, Andy, you want to help Amy out here because you agree that it's in flux, right?

ANDY DEAN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, no, I don't think it's in flux. But Don, I think what's missing from this argument and it's often missing from many arguments that I see in television about illegal immigration is that it is illegal. And it is a crime.

And so the liberal fallacy (ph) of, oh, we have to feel bad and so what should we do about people who commit a crime? I mean, that's equivalent to saying somebody who robs a bank, we should...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Can you just hang on, Andy? Can you just hang on?

DEAN: Yes.

LEMON: It is not just liberals who say that. You say it's liberals who think it. These are the -- the policy that he's proposing is very similar to the policy that most of his opponents in the primary election were proposing.

And they were all conservative Republicans, if I am not mistaken by that. Go ahead.

DEAN: Well, sorry, Don, I think you're -- you're proving my point here. I mean, Donald Trump, though, as far as his immigration policy has been the toughest of any of the Republican contenders -- maybe Ted Cruz was equally as tough -- is the idea is simple. We get the bad dudes out first.

You focus on that. You build a wall. You do extreme vetting of radical Muslims coming to this country.

But Don, back quickly to my point of this sympathy for people who break the law, I mean, what about sympathy for people who are waiting all over the globe to come to America the right way?

BOB BECKEL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Wait a minute...

(CROSSTALK)

DEAN: What about sympathy for those people who are being cheated by people who illegally came here.

BECKEL: OK.

DEAN: Why don't we talk about those people?

LEMON: Go ahead, Bob.

BECKEL: Andy -- Andy, you know something, you know, I've got -- had it with you people suggesting that those of us on the left or Democrats are in favor of people come into this country and commit crimes, we are not. Barack Obama has exported out of this country war criminals who were illegal immigrants than -- than Donald Trump could count.

I'll tell you Donald Trump's problem is, he doesn't have a clue what his own immigration policy. He said tonight, all 11 million...

(CROSSTALK)

DEAN: Bob, we spelled it out for you.

BECKEL: Excuse me, if that's how you spell it out, then you better go back to grammar school and learn to spell a little bit straighter.

DEAN: I'll send you an e-mail later, Bob.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: OK, speaking of...

KREMER: Hey, you guys, be nice. Be nice.

LEMON: Speaking of -- speaking of -- well, thank you, Amy -- speaking of what the plans were and -- and comparing and contrasting

the Republican plans, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush campaigned on this issue during the primary. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUBIO: And I think people are going to be reasonable and responsible about what do you do with someone who's been in this country for 10 years, who otherwise, has not violated the law, who's learned English, is paying taxes, paid a fine and wants a work permit.

BUSH: You receive a -- a provisional work permit. You pay taxes. You don't receive federal government assistance. You learn English. You earn legal status, not citizenship.

That to me, is the most practical way of dealing with this problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Andy, I mean, does that -- that sound familiar to you?

DEAN: That -- look, to some extent, I mean, but, Don, we all sympathize with people who work hard and pay their taxes. We are overlooking the fact that once again, they did commit a crime to get here.

But what Donald Trump is saying is that there is no pathway to citizenship. But the goal isn't immediately to deport 11 million people.

The goal is first to get rid of the bad dudes, as he said, and he's right -- get rid of the bad dudes, build a wall. And then we will evaluate because you can't move 11 million people out at one moment. We all get that that's not possible.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Amy -- Amy, let me ask you, though, but if Donald Trump is going to allow...

KREMER: Yes.

LEMON: ...a form of legal status to some undocumented immigrants, as you heard him say, as you heard Jeb Bush say there, as you heard Marco Rubio say, is that not amnesty or a form -- at least a form of amnesty?

KREMER: I mean, you know, Don, it's very complicated. I don't know exactly what he's going to do. And I think if it were easy, President Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid (ph) would have done it his first two-year differ (ph) -- his first two years of his administration.

The thing about it is he is -- I think he is doing the right thing by traveling around the country and listening to people and having these conversations. It's better that he delay putting out a policy and -- and get it right when he puts it out than to put it out and have to change it.

JONES (?): But Don (ph)...

KREMER: And I think that we -- but we should all want our leaders to listen to us. And -- and that's what we expect of them. So he's doing that.

And I don't have a problem with it. I want him to listen more. He hasn't said he is...

LEMON: What...

(CROSSTALK)

JONES (?): Don?

KREMER: He hasn't said he's going to -- he's like, you know, backtracking or doing a 180 or anything. Let's give him a chance and put the policy out there.

LEMON: What will Van Jones and Bob Beckel say after the break? We'll find out.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: All right, back with me now, Bob Beckel, Amy Kremer, Van Jones and Andy Dean. We're going to talk about Hillary Clinton's speech today tying Donald Trump to hate groups.

But I also want to continue this conversation about immigration. I promised Van and Bob the first response. I want to play this, though, because we've been talking about, you

know, him backtracking on this deportation forces and now, maybe on this wall and if it's actually possible.

Let's listen. This is Gary Tuchman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TUCHMAN: You can build a much more big wall along the border. But can you build a continuous wall from the Pacific Ocean in California to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas? The answer is no.

There are a number of reasons for that. Firstly, we start with the fact that there are many ranchers who own land along the border who would all have to sell their land to the federal government.

Then you have Indian reservations that are on the border. And then you're dealing with the issue of the topography -- steep terrain, mountains, streams -- make it impossible or nearly impossible to build a 15 or 20-foot concrete or steel wall.

You can build a fence here like the one that's here right now. But once you get to this fence, you would always have a gab right here, maybe a wall on this side, wall on this side and immigrants going under this fence.

Donald Trump says to believe him when he exclaims that nobody will get through the wall he will build. But the facts on the ground indicate that at the very least, it'll be a promise that is quite challenging to keep.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: All right, that was back in August of 2015. And that was our Gary Tuchman.

Van Jones first, the backtracking on deportation and now, you know, this. What's the reality of Donald Trump's or what do you think it's going to be once he announces his plan?

JONES: Well, I mean, first of all, I just want to say, I thought Amy was doing a great job trying to, I don't know, polish this thing up and make it seem like it's a great thing for him to be wandering around, listening to people to form his ideas. We are 75 days away from the election.

The time to figure out what you think about American policy should be before you run for the highest office in the world. It should be before you -- you get the nomination of a major party.

The idea that his closest supporters, his best friends, his most passionate surrogates don't have any idea what he's going to do 75 days out is reason enough to disqualify Donald Trump.

LEMON: Bob Beckel? BECKEL: Yes, I -- I think it's pretty obvious. If you look at the

tape with Anderson Cooper, he did say tonight that 11 million would leave. And they could come back through a door and they could start the process of legalization.

LEMON: So it's back to amnesty.

BECKEL: That means (ph) -- or amnesty -- and that means to me that he wants 11 million people to leave and suddenly -- look, he rode to the nomination on this platform of illegal immigration. And -- and the other thing about bigotry, in order to be called a bigot by a man whose -- he and his father redlined African-Americans so they couldn't stay in their apartment buildings, which is against the law.

Now, he got himself out of it with good lawyers like he usually does. But being called a bigot by -- by Donald Trump is like being called ugly by a frog.

I mean, give me a break.

LEMON: OK, well, let's talk about that.

Amy, Hillary Clinton launched a direct attack on Donald Trump today, attempting to link him to white nationalists and saying he is helping the paranoid fringe (ph). Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: On David Duke's radio show the other day, the mood was jubilant. "We appear to have taken over the Republican Party," one white supremacist said.

Duke laughed. "No, there's still more work to do," he replied. So no one should have any illusions about what's really going on here.

The names may have changed. Racists now call themselves racialists. White supremacists now call themselves white nationalists. The paranoid fringe now calls itself alt-right.

But the hate burns just as bright.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Amy, are you concerned that maybe a fringe element may be attaching themselves to the Republican Party under a Donald Trump leadership?

KREMER: Don, honestly, I think that this is the Democrats pulling the race card on Donald Trump because he is reaching out and trying to appeal to minorities, whether it's African-Americans, Hispanics, women, everyone. And I think it was about August of 2012 when the same thing happened when they started calling Romney a racist.

I mean, you know, it's -- this is ridiculous. We are getting into gutter politics.

LEMON: OK.

KREMER: I mean, if you really want to go back and litigate, you know, what Hillary Clinton's done and what Donald Trump has done with, you know, racism, there's plenty to go around on Hillary Clinton's side, too.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Amy, let me play...

BECKEL: Hey (ph), Donald Trump engineered and built the gutter.

LEMON: ...let me play this for you. Let me play this, guys. Let me play this. And these are Donald Trump's own words.

Let's play this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I don't know anything about David Duke, OK? I don't know anything about what you're even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So I don't know.

I mean, I don't know. Did he endorse me or what's going on because you know, I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists. And so you're asking me a question that I'm supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I guess the question from the -- from the anti-defamation league is even if you don't know about their endorsement, there are these groups and individuals endorsing you, would you just say, unequivocally, you condemn them and you don't want their support?

TRUMP: Well, I have to look at the group. I mean, I don't know what group you're talking about. You wouldn't want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about.

I have to look. If you would send me a list of the groups, I will do research on them. And certainly, I would disavow if I thought there was something wrong.

But you may have...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Ku Klux Klan?

TRUMP: ...groups in there that are totally fine and it would be very unfair. So give me a list of the groups. And I'll let you know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I mean, I'm just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here but...

TRUMP: I don't know -- honestly, I don't know David Duke. I don't believe I've ever met him. I'm pretty sure I didn't meet him.

And I just don't know anything about him. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't care if you criticize him. That's fine.

You can criticize every decision.

What I'm saying is, if you invoke his race as a reason why he can't do his job...

TRUMP: I think that's why he's doing it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But...

TRUMP: I think that's why he's doing it.

Look at my African-American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest? You know what I'm talking about?

I say this to the African-American community, give Donald Trump a chance. We will turn it around. We will make your streets safe so when you walk down the street, you don't get shot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK, so some of the -- some of the things that he said that people, his outreach to African-American (ph) -- may be problematic for outreach in the African-American community, Andy.

DEAN: Don, whoever edited that package, it was like watching, you know, Arnold Schwarzenegger's "The Running Man." Quickly, you know, with the idea of that African-American, that sequence, there is a whole back story as to why Donald Trump singled out that individual.

As to what he said about hate groups, he said, hey, let -- let me take a look at who the groups are and he'll disavow who he needs to disavow. This idea that Donald Trump hates anybody is absolutely ludicrous.

And the anti-defamation league, by the way, which is a Jewish group, I mean, I'm Jewish. I worked for Donald Trump for seven years personally. And I saw nothing but an honest, hard-working guy who loves all people.

So this idea that the media is throwing out some concept that Donald Trump's a racist is just -- these old attacks that come from the left, we're tired of it.

It's old. It's boring. And I -- the one thing that I can say is the one thing that Donald Trump is -- that he's doing that is smart is by saying that, oh, Hillary Clinton is racist, it neutralizes the entire thing because the whole thing has become silly, because, you know, Donald Trump is not a racist. That's my comment (ph) on that.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: All right, a final -- a final word from everyone when we come right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: A final word from all of you -- seriously, 10 seconds each.

Amy, what's your final word here?

KREMER: I just want to tell everybody to calm down. We still have two more months, and be respectful. I mean, things have gotten out of control.

And it's just not good for any of us.

LEMON: Thank you very much.

Van?

JONES: I think it's -- I think it's very, very serious. These very dangerous groups that are getting mainstream that's (ph) not just playing the race card when you're dealing with -- with the legacy of the Ku Klux Klan.

LEMON: Bob?

BECKEL: I think it's very clear what Donald Trump has said about his immigration policy. He said in his own words, he wants to deport 11 million people and let them (ph) maybe come back in.

LEMON: OK.

BECKEL: And he wants to continue to build his silly wall.

LEMON: All right.

BECKEL: The guy is a joke.

LEMON: Andy?

DEAN: I think Don Lemon is great. And let's make America great again.

KREMER: Hey, Don Lemon wears great socks.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: I think you're all right. Thank you, everyone. That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I'll see you right back here tomorrow.