tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN May 24, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
hillary clinton and donald trump getting ready to take the stage tonight. hillary clinton is in california. donald trump is in new mexico. we're watching to see if they address the claims that have gone back and forth today. stay tuned for that. cnn tonight with don lemon starts now. donald trump set to address supporters and hillary clinton set to address supporters in california. no matter where you get your news you know the mud is flying between trump and clinton. it is harsh and nasty and some say it's adding up to the be the ugliest presidential campaign in history. here is dana bash. >> reporter: if is political
gore rila warfare. >> hillary clinton's husband abused women more than any other man we know of in the history of politics. >> reporter: a source familiar with donald trump's campaign strategy says that trump is dredging up allegations about bill clinton's past is not based on data or focus groups. >> she's married to a man who hurt many women. >> reporter: instead cnn is told this is vintage trump going with h his gut and shooting from the hip seething about attacks from his own past statements about woman like this ad. >> does she have a good body no. does she have a fat ass, absolutely. >> she attacked mr. trump and that's inaccurate. donald trump's not any of those things. >> reporter: a challenge for trump in attacking bill clinton as anti-women and tagging hillary as an enabler his own past statements of support like in 1998 in the midst of bill
clinton agency scandal. >> can you imagine how controversial i'd be. how about me with the women. >> reporter: even ten years later in 2008. >> look at the trouble bill clinton got into with something that was totally unimportant and they tried to impeach him which was nonsense. >> reporter: here's how a long time confidant explained his 180. >> he was a private citizen who was friendly with the clintons and he was trying to protect a friend. now it's a different game. >> reporter: then there are conspiracy theories like the false charge that bill clinton's white house council vince foster was murdered despite multiple investigations ruling it a suicide. trump told "the washington post" foster's death was very fishy but said i will say there are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder. i don't do that because i don't think it's fair. even that feeds the 2016
campaign conversation which bill clinton himself clearly saw coming saying this just last week. >> you think the stuff they said about her is bad, they accused me of murder. our memories are short. it's what they do. >> reporter: as for hillary clinton so far she's letting others do the responding which the first female house speaker told cnn is the way to go. >> hillary don't stoop to that level really. just keep it up here. >> reporter: some sources close to clinton are urging her not to take what they call trump's bait. >> i know that that's exactly what he is fishing for and i'm not going to be responding. >> a veteran clinton backer told me today that if clinton engages she will simply be agreeing to turn the campaign into an insultfest, something that she simply doesn't want to do and her campaign doesn't want to do, at least not yet. >> what about other democrats? you talked to the former house speaker but do all democrats
agree that hillary clinton shouldn't take the bait. >> no. all democrats don't agree for sure even those who all support hillary clinton. there are lots of different opinions, but for now based on my conversations with people who are familiar with her strategy they're determined at clinton headquarters for her to go after donald trump on issues like you saw today on his past business practices and on the housing crisis, things like that but at this point, don, it is unclear whether or not she's going to be able to kind of hold it together if he continues to go on and on and on about it. they say at clinton headquarters that she is thick skinned and used to this and she can just try to ignore it and move on. >> i have more questions for you but i'll let you get a drink of water. thank you very much.
>> thanks. >> take care of your voice there. my political dream team is standing by. trump supporter and a senior contributor to the daily column and cnn political commentators. thank you all for joining us. is donald trump being this aggressive this early on because he is trying to stop hillary clinton from launching an even stronger attack against him? >> i think of him as really ending the primary phase of this campaign where you try to sort of riel up your partisans by attacking the other party and show you will be the most outrageous. i think he's trying to sort of inokay late himself with a portion of his base. there are some people who don't want to hear those kind of comments. it's a tough commercial that has him saying unkind things about
women. this is his way of trying to push back. whether it works or not we'll see. >> if we've gotten to vince foster already and other women where else is there to go? how much lower can this go? >> well, knowing donald trump it probably can go lower but you know i worked in the clinton white house in the 1990s very closely with hillary clinton and i knew vince foster and i worked with him and he was a lovely man with a lovely wife and a lovely family and he tragically committed suicide and for donald trump to be dredging this up i think is wrong and it's an insult to vince foster's family and it's going to backfire on him. i don't think voters are ready to see this kind of battle. >> charles? >> i disagree slightly in the sense that i'm always of the opinion bring it on. if you're going to unload your gun early in the battle, that's actually bad for you because no
one can sustain this for six months and by coming with your worst digging up your largest scoops of dirt this early while we're still before the conventions even you have to understand how quickly people tired of this when it was actually happening, right. and now you're asking people to dig back 25 years and to sustain outrage for six months over things that you are con flating and you're not exactly telling the truth about whether or not these are proven facts or whether these were accusations that were never proven. in some cases there were no charges brought. i think he's overplaying it but i'm always for saying put it all out there because then you can say this is what you've said, some of it's true and some of it's not. now let's look at you because you brought this to the table and i think when you stack those two things up against each other
he has to be convinced he will stand up better and i think hillary clinton is doing the right thing saying i'm going to stick to politics because that's my strong suit. he knows that's not his and he'll go to dirt and she's going to stay on what she has and i think that's a smart move. >> it was a hillary clinton super pac that first went back 25 years ago to find donald trump's statements and donald trump is retorting if you want to talk about women -- >> is that the ad of his own words. >> yes. >> that's not 25 years. >> half of those statements were from 25 years ago. they went back 25 years finding his statements. so if they're going back 25 years we're going to go back 25 years. here is the thing, hillary clinton made this an issue when she said on college campuses and on her website tweeting out victims of assault deserve to be heard. let's start with those who have accused her husband. >> it was a fact check on vince
foster and saying there is no -- there has been no proof for any of this. most of it has been innuendo and i don't know how old you are but those of us who lived through the '90s we went through this. it's been litigated and reported. not saying that it's off limits but i think the american people have most people have seen this already litigated. >> the beef you have then is with "the washington post" who brought up vince foster. >> donald trump brought up vince. >> we asked him about vince foster so it's "the washington post" a high class tabloid is what i consider "the washington post." it's an insult to say these women do not have viable claims. they have detailed accounts of thien things that happened to them. >> i heard you say that earlier. let me say this to you. i think you're right, all victims of sexual abuse or at least accusers should have a
voice. but these women had their voice in the '90s. i remember sitting there when i was old enough with my parents and my family had going how much longer do we have to listen to this? we've heard from these women. we feel awful for them but they have had their day have they not. >> it's relevant again because hillary clinton's running for president. a lot of people actually not everybody does remember the '90s. the accusation is that it's hip okaysy for hillary to attack donald trump for what he said about women when she was enabling bill clinton and going after and engaging in character assassination against the victims. >> i was there in the '90s with hillary clinton. she was the one who was lied to. she was betrayed. to say to imcompply that she end her husband's behavior is wrong.
>> this is a situation where the woman who was cheated on is the one being accused of doing something wrong. usually women stand behind the women who was cheated on rather than saying she enabled him. if someone cheated on me i'm not going to say nice things about him. >> i'm supporting bernie sanders but to blame secretary clinton for that is wrong but this is is a part of what's going to happen if secretary clinton is the nominee and mr. trump is already the nominee. drama, drama, drama and we have to watch who can sling more mud and make it stick. >> the strategy is she started it first. >> he talks about being a great counter puncher but this is what donald trump does. he is driving the media narrative every day. it's not going to be vince foster tomorrow. it's going to be something else tomorrow. don't worry about him. >> paula jones or something else's. >> hang on.
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spoke with michael cohen about the nasty turn this campaign is taking. here it is. >> donald trump is this uber billionaire real estate developer, possibly the greatest negotiator in the history of this planet. he'll never come out with his first offer, right, in real estate right off the bat, meaning if she thinks this is bad, this is nothing. he's not coming out with his strong from day number one. >> so that sort of -- you were saying charles you were saying this is as bad as it gets and now i know who you are. he says there's more where this came from. >> you're right. i don't know how much to put into what he's saying. he's an associate, probably on the payroll. i don't know whatever the deal is. one thing i found fascinating about that interview that was not played in that clip was he said when he was confronted with the clips of trump defending clinton in the moment when things were actually happening
he said well he was a friend of his and so you would expect him to defend his friends and then in the same breath he's saying the woman who was married to him should not have defended him. her relationship was even stronger to the man who was doing wrong. i think that we in the media at some point have to pull back and say there's some truth here. >> you're using logic. >> we shall be forcing logic on to not only to trump but on to everyone who speaks for him and say and every time you say something you don't dpget a chae to say five things and because time runs out we only fact check one. if he says five things that are false we need to fact check five things on the air even if that's the only thing we cover. i think we're come ms. it in this that he is conducting on all of us by tweeting in the middle of the night so he can take over the morning shows and
he can wake up in the morning and gool agle and call in and h talking to people on the phone which i have never seen before and we're not fact checking on the fly and saying no you can't say that, you can't say that. you can't say he raped. you can say he was accused of rape. you can say there are women who accuse him of doing things but you cannot say he did it until somebody in the court of law says it happened. >> instead of fact checking donald trump we should fact check the claims of some of these victims. i don't think it's about donald trump or about whether he said this was my friend then, i think it's about this women who are accusing this man of sexual assault. i think we should fact check their claims not donald trump. >> if you make a claim this is what the court of law is built for, right, you make a claim and you have evidence to prove your claim then you should file a
charge, go to the court and say -- one second. >> we're talking about rape. >> i'm sorry, but you're asking us in media to provide evidence that the women themselves have not to this point provided to a court of law. that is not the same as saying you said something out of your mouth mr. trump that you are now backtracking on in my face. i'm going to have to calli you n and you're saying something that's false and you're saying five in a row and you're trying to say them so fast that will stand because i won't have time to correct you. that's how we are getting played. >> this is it. this is what's happening right now is what is going to be play out through november if those are the two that have to go head-to-head and again the american people are going to be left out.
never let the truth get in the way of a good story and hip okaysy in politics, imagine that. that's really what's happening. >> hold on. >> i'm sorry. >> i want to go back to the original question i asked you. is he doing this because he knows that they're friends, they were friends and he's like they were friends, that she knows so much more about him that there's so much more ammunition that he's trying to head that off at this point. >> i don't think so. i think he was attacked and it was hurtful. >> by a super pac. >> it's a clinton super pac. they take their marching orders by what they see going on by the campaign. they attack him and call him a sexist. of course he is going to respond. he's not going to do what mitt romney did or john mccain did and not attack, not go on the attack when you are attacked. that's what's happening and we need to fact check -- i would
love to fact check like you said because we could start with hillary clinton and the clinton foundation. >> let's start with these facts. even the super pac thing as hurtful as it may have been to him and i don't know what hurts this man and what doesn't hurt him and i don't care, but what they did was they used only his quotes, not a single accusation as to what he was -- what he meant by it, no names to call him, nothing. just used his quotes and let other people say them. don't alter them at all. >> let's listen to what you're talking about and then we'll
-- you can finish. >> you can see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her -- wherever. does she have a good body, no. does she have a fat ass, absolutely. if ivanka weren't my daughter perhaps i would be dating her. >> your question is how can he
take offense to his own words. >> how can you attack somebody who airs the words that he spoke. >> why don't we play the ad that he
aired in response. >> the first thing when he asked me the question first i said always i prefer get it all out. but once you say it, if you stand up the next day and say he's the worst abuser in the history of politics and basically called the man a rapist, you have to prove that part. that's not what this super ad is doing. it's saying here's what the man has said over his lifetime. make up your mind as to whether or not you want this person to be your president. >> some people would think being with a young girl in the oval office makes you an abuser of woman. some people would think that is over the line and all of these accusations, it's not one or two, these are democrat women
who have levied these accusations. >> if it wasn't for donald trump pushing this issue i don't think the media would be talking about bill clinton and hillary clinton and digging into the past and i think you have a very good point. look, president clinton the one thing we do know for a fact is the monica lieu win ski scandal. it doesn't get much bigger than the president of the united states -- it doesn't get much lower than an intern. >> bill clinton was impeached for thand he was wrong and i'm not defending him behavior. he's not on the ballot. hillary clinton is on the ballot and she did nothing wrong. she said that to her best friend in private and then that best friend after her death her husband released the notes. it wasn't for public consumption. she was con fieding in her best
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back with me now is my political dream team. i cut you off. you were make ag point. >> i agree with you patty that hillary clinton was a victim. she was cheated on by her husband. every women in america can empathize with her. there were other victims and i do think they deserve to be listened to just as much. >> we're two for one. you get two for one. you cannot separate bill from hillary. i get she is running but it's really hard to separate the two. it's two for one. >> help me understand this. as i say as the victim of sexual abuse should always have their say but have they not had their say. >> it never ends. my god i have a sister that was raped. it never ends. in terms of -- i agree with what she's saying -- >> that's are unsubstantiated.
>> look at those women. look at monica. she lost her life. she had to go into hiding. she was a victim. >> i think everyone agrees with you and she said that everyone said that monica was the real deal. >> she lost her life. >> there's other things that are being brought up. >> look, i wish they would take a page out of my candidate's book, senator bernie sanders, let's stick to the issues baby. this is what is going to happen. again, people are suffering in this country. people who need help are going to have to tease out who is telling the truth about whose scandal. we gravitate to this kind of stuff. there's psychology connected to when you go negative on somebody, when you put the scandal on someone you tend to win these elections. >> do they need -- ia i'm sick
hearing about your damn e-mails. >> they do. >> going negative is a form of voter suppression. it disgusts people where they say i'm going to stay home. that's kind of what lies behind it. so if both of them are doing it that don't bode well for the democracy. >> hillary is stick ing to the issues or that's trying to. >> do you call this ad sticking to the issue. let's play it. >> this is an economy that can't find the bottom of bad news. >> ten years of saving completely gone. >> it's the bigges crash of household wealth that we've ever had in the united states.
>> i hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy. if there is a bubble burst as they call it, you can make a lot of money. >> so the clinton camp isn't waiting to roll out the opposition research on this and the bad businessman. >> that has the benefit of edging towards something that could be called substance. with a lot of the rest of this stuff especially relitigating the clinton scandals it doesn't fix a school or build a road or get a job back. in this case she's making a case that is sort of worth thinking about, what happened in the crash. who did what and what does that bode for the future and a lot of people are still not back in their homes and a lot of people are not back in jobs that were paying what they were paying before the crash so that's the beginning of a real conversation and hopefully donald trump will
engage and respond to that. >> he did respond to this and said i am a businessman and i have made a lot of money in down markets and in some cases as much as i've made when markets are good. this is the kind of thinking our country needs, understanding how to get a good result out of a bad and sad situation. politicians have no idea how to do this. i will create jobs, bring back companies and not make it easy for companies to leave. if they do they will understand there will be consequences or our job market will flourish. >> that's a great political response. >> it's not necessarily -- it kind of skips the moral issue here. it a an absolute issue for a campaign. whether or not he paid taxes or what rate he paid taxes is a real issue that americans deserve to know if this is a person that is going to be dealing with how the
government -- >> hillary clinton -- >> the problem though -- >> this idea of whether or not you profit from other people's pain is a real issue. >> hang on both of you. i want to play hillary clinton talking about taxes today. >> it may be that he hasn't paid ever any federal income tax. that's why we want to see his tax returns. everybody else has had to turn over their tax returns who has been the nominee of a party running for president so we're going to keep asking. >> go. >> you can't expose somebody who isn't hieding anything and you can't shame somebody who is shameless amend that's why this doesn't work on donald trump. he says i didn't pay taxes. i'm not stupid. trump has mastered it. hillary clinton is running a 20th century campaign and they're testing things out but i
don't think they're there yet. it's not going to stick to trump. >> half of what you said is true, he is shameless. the second half is not true, the idea that he doesn't have anything to hide. i think he has a tremendous amount to hide. the idea he has not released the tax returns and the reason he gives is not legitimate. you can release while you're under audit. he can say he may not want to do. >> what could be in there that would hurt him? nothing. >> the idea that if you have not paid income tax or if your rate of -- your tax rate is so incredibly low that it offends most americans. >> he says of course i didn't pay taxes. in fact i'm going to use my business aquamen and put it to work for you. >> he's not doing that. so apparently somewhere someone along the way has made the calculation that what's in the income taxes is worse than
putting them out. >> there doesn't need to be anything bad. >> she should release transcript. >> so maybe what's in the transcripts is worse. >> if she's saying by him not releasing his tax returns something is in there -- >> what if she ends up making more than he does or paying a higher tax rate than he does. >> he has been audited so many times if there were something unlawfully it would have been exposed. there doesn't have to be anything bad in the tax returns. barack obama said mitt romney you have to release your tax returns and barack obama put out -- >> he said you should release your tax returns. >> he was lam basted for doing things that were legal. why would donald trump -- he said he will release it after the audit and i think he will. >> if he wants mitt romney to
release his tax returns then shouldn't he in turn do the same thing. >> he encouraged him to be transparent and when he was transparent the media helped barack obama by painting mitt romney as mr. 1%. >> number one, we don't know how many times he's been audited. that's what he's saying. the irs -- because they will never tell us how many times he's been audited. that's you saying it and that's his campaign saying it. we have no proof of that at all. >> take a break and we'll be back after this.
we are back. i'm going to read a piece from yesterday charles. you said whether or not trump loses in november to crooked hillary as he has dubed her he may well be an important part of the future of this party. he has given his republican supporters permission to vocalize their rage and that will not be easily undone.
as a louisiana boy experiencing da gentleman vau there is no way to uncook the gumbo. explain that to everybody else. >> it's hard to put the genie back in the bottle. once you kind of set the stage and give people a chance and normalize a certain kind of behavior, a certain kind of langua language, a certain kind of political morality that it does not easily change back even if you lose because people then have said to themselves i was able to for the first time in my life maybe say the things that i had on my heart, the pain that i was experiencing i was able to express it and this person gave me the right to do that. and now they start to search for the next person who will not only give them the right to express it, but win the election. i think that's going to happen with bernie and with donald
trump. i think a lot of people on the democratic side have said this has given me a right to vocalize. >> trump has created a permission structure and expanded the window. i think some of it is good. there are things that are like politically incorrect things that you couldn't say before and now you can, some of that's good but we're saying the rise of the white identity politics and in some cases white nationalists. i'm seeing things on twitter and things said about jewish people and about african-americans from the ault right and i would not confuse them with mainstream conservatives. that's disturbing and it's coming about because of donald trump's candidacy. you can't blame him. it's a correlation. >> i don't think he should be -- as a leader he's responsible for
how he amps that stuff but but my fear is this is real. we don't want to confess our sins that racism is still a part of the dna of america and because mr. trump has exposed that it's easy -- >> i think he's exposing it though. >> it's easy to point the finger at him. people are expressing what's in them. >> i think there's no denying that racism exists but i don't think donald trump is responsible for the rise of this but i think there's crazy people out there. >> this isn't exposing some red neck white supremacist somewhere in the south. there is an ault right movement and it's a young almost hipster thing. there's a hair do they have.
he is like sort of the normalizing but they are normalizing this behavior. >> go on. keep talking. >> i think it's concerning and the danger -- >> i'm surprised that the number of young people who are seen as not really progressive left but young people who are sort of going into this. >> the dangers are they're mainstreaming it and they're saying we should be victims too. if there's a negro college fund or african-american group what's wrong with having a white pride group and they're using technology and means and videos and they're actually co opting like taylor swift as this perfect image. it's scarey. a lot of it is on twitter. >> i have personal experience with someone like this. they say i have black and hispanic friends and gay and
less been friends and i still feel this way and they don't understand some of their comments are still racist and not to mention -- >> she wrote that piece and she was inundated by attacks online. it's always been around. >> is it fair to blame it on donald trump. >> some of it does need to be blamed on him. when the head of the kkk says i like donald trump and he plays this ridiculous comedy saying i didn't hear the question, my ear piece was broken, it's foolishne foolishness. we know there's a problem there. and then the next clan leader and they're all indicating they want this guy to win. do you blame him for that, no, but when it comes to a question
of normalization, the beauty of this is you can sort of set it back depending on what happens in the context of the rest of us between now and november 8th, not just the vote but the way the media portrays this and the way we have this discussion with our neighbors, the way we make this whole thing work. the way it works is to rely on institutions. >> this is part of the danger that mainstream conservatives could be con flated with this. >> you have to remember about all strong men that have lead movements that turned out to be horrible things, your primary motivating factor does not have to be malice but if you gave space to people who are motivated by malice and you do not make a stand and you will not be welcomed here, i don't
care if you stay home but we're never going to have you here -- >> i've said this before. you cannot determine who supports you. that's fine. but you can control your response. if you are that way, if you engage in that sort of behavior, if you are racist i do not want your support. it was not a strong denouncement of the kkk. his denouncement was i denounce, i denounce. it says a lot about who you are. >> i do blame him not for all of, but for much of it. he came out and said that mexicans -- i'm a mexican, are rapists and drug dealers and criminals. he said muslims are not welcome in this country. of course he's responsible for much of this. >> i'll give you the first word on the other side. i have to take a break. we'll be right back.
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donald trump for exposing some of these things. but to be fair, do you think if he was a little bit more diligent in his denouncement of things, he would win more people over than alienate people? >> i think he would surprise you. i think he will win a greater proportion of the african-american vote than mitt romney did. and i think the media has done a disservice by painting a caricature of trump. some people try to call him a raci racist, a misogynist, a home nobody. he is none of those things. this is not somebody who is any of those things. 11 million people, more than that, have turned out and voted for him. they are not racist or misogyni misogynist. they are supporters who support him for what he stands for -- >> do you think he would have been stronger in some of his denouncements like the kkk thing. let's be honest, it seemed a little flimsy. >> he came out many times after
and denounced david duke. i had three earpiece malfunctions in the course of a month after that. it happens. and i think for any of us to presume that something did not happen and he is just a racist, i think it's unfair. >> i think part of the thing -- >> no, you haven't. >> i think part of the thing that some of these folks see in trump, that they like in him, it's not his policies or even things he says about, you know, mexicans or whatever, it's that he appears to be an authoritarian strong man. and they like that. the demagoguery. the populist pandering he does resonates with authoritarians. >> right. i think you can say that. kayleigh, i do not think you can say, however, as a person who makes his living writing words, i don't know how else you define nativism or misogyny or racism. if you are saying that none of the things that we have collected over 30 years of donald trump saying out of his own mouth qualify as any of
those things. if you're saying that none of what he has said qualifies him as a bona fide misogynist, then you do not understand the definition of misogyny. i'm sorry. if you are saying that some of the things that he has said, including about all people, black people included, saying, i don't want black people counting my money. right? >> i don't -- >> you never heard that? i will send you that one to you. >> charles, i have -- >> if you're telling me that does not qualify as racism, you do not understand the definition of racism. >> i have said he needs to apologize for some of the things he's said in the 1990s with regard to women. i have said that. but i think it's a very heavy charge to call someone that. i think that is one of the worst labels someone could ever have -- >> then don't -- don't -- >> let her respond. >> charles, he has hired many black people. i've seen personal videos, they're out online, of people who have worked for him and say, he's nothing but kind to me, nothing but a grateful boss and
a great person to work for. i think it's a heavy accusation to call him that. >> fine, everybody needs a job, right? i'm not denying that. but to say what he said about the guys in central park, and to say about the president and needing to release his birth certificate, painting the president as other. many people of color see that as racist. he did not do that with anyone else. >> he did. ted cruz, a white guy, he accused him of -- >> if he releases his birth certificate, i release my tax returns. >> that's a perfect example. the birther move. he levied the same accusations against ted cruz. i don't think either of them are viable, but to say he's racist for -- >> he's an equal opportunity offender. >> that can't be used as evidence of racism. he is a good person and i think he represents -- >> not evidence of a good person, either. he basically attacks everybody. >> i'm from the south. a whole lot of people down there hired black people. and that had nothing to do with what they felt about black people.
right? this idea of using his employment history as to whether or not he hired somebody of a different race as disqualifying of the idea that you could hold an antagonistic view of that person or people who look like that in general is just a false -- >> it's their account. >> we will be right back. we'll be right back. >> it's the account.
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trust me, everyone, we're not beating up on kayleigh. she's strong, she's used to it, she can take it. we really like kayleigh. so she's good. thank you so much for watching. i'll see you back tomorrow night. but right now i want to turn over to my colleagues, wolf blitzer and jake tapper, "america's stories: 2016." >> donald trump is back on the campaign trail. >> trump is about to get a new show of support from his party as his fight with clinton gets closer and uglier. >> in washington state, it's primary night for the republicans. but the party's all-but-certain nominee is fighting a bigger battle to be america's choice. >> crooked hillary. she suffers from bad judgment. >> he is not qualified to be president of the united states? >> tonight on the republican side, donald trump taking another step toward officially claiming the nomination.