tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN June 6, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
that does it for us. thanks for watching. "cnn tonight" with don lemon starts now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> the breaking news is hillary clinton and bernie sanders vow to fight for every last vote in tomorrow's primaries despite reports she has reached the magic number to clinch the democratic nomination. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. this on the day that donald trump doubles down on his criticism of a judge presiding over his trump university case, telling his top surrogate dmz a conference call that he won't apologize and insisting they back him up. democrats having a field day with this. >> trump doesn't want you to pay attention to what this case is revealing. so he is attacking the judge and saying outrageously that the judge, who is of mexican
heritage, cannot serve fairly over his case. >> to attack a judge because he is of mexican heritage, a man born in the state of indiana, this is a candidate of one of the large -- political major parties in this country. it is really quite incomprehensible. >> meanwhile we are learning tonight that president barack obama and bernie sanders spoke by phone on sunday. i'll give you three guesses. i'll give you one guess as to what they talked about. cnn's brianna keilar is with us with the clinton campaign in los angeles. can you respond to this breaking news despite reports hillary clinton has enough delegates, she is vowing to campaign hard tomorrow. she is speaking out in california. what's she say something. >> reporter: she's walking a fine line. actually an e-mail went out fund racing off of this. this primary isn't quite over. she's not saying mission accomplished. in fact at the last event she
was at in long beach, our very persistent producer says, i asked seven times on the rope line. she heard but did not respond once. listen to what she said at the event, not getting into it too much. >> according to the news, we are on the brink of an historic, historic, unprecedented moment. but we still have work to do, don't we? we have six elections tomorrow, and we're going to fight hard for every single vote, especially right here in california. >> reporter: so you boil that down to hillary clinton saying this isn't over, and part of that is because very important primaries tomorrow, including california, don, where there is a huge delegate haul of 475 delegates. she wants to win here because if she loses, it's not exactly a
way to project strength going into the general election. a statement coming out from her campaign sort of saying this middle of the road thing that we've been talking about, that she's been saying. this is an important milestone, but there are six states that are voting tuesday with millions of people heading to the polls, and hillary clinton is working to earn every vote. we look forward to tuesday night when hillary clinton will clinch not only a win in the poplar vote, but also the majority of pledged delegates. so they're not saying it's over definitely at this point, don. >> they don't want to affect the vote tomorrow negatively or positively. brianna, bernie sanders, is he showing any signs of giving up? >> reporter: no, not at all. in fact, this statement coming out from his campaign. it says, it is unfortunate that the media in a rush to judgment are ignoring the democratic committee's clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of super delegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer because these reports do take into account the super delegates. these party officials and elected officials as well as
those pledged delegates, which come from voters voting in the states. so you're looking at bernie sanders still vowing that he's going to the convention. that is late july. if you listen to his campaign manager, he has said this all along, but i've also talked to other aides and advisers to bernie sanders. one at one point said he wants to allow everyone to have a chance to vote to vote, and that in this aide's estimation would be to go to the washington, d.c. primary, which is the last time that democrats will have a chance to vote in this primary season. that's a week from tomorrow. >> okay. brianna, sources are telling us that president barack obama is poised to endorse secretary clinton. what do we know about that? >> reporter: well, the white house seems to be signaling that it could come soon but not quite yet. today in the white house briefing, josh earnest, his spokesman, was asked about this. what he said that was prettying interesting was he said, look, there are still people who are going to be casting their votes in new jersey and california among other states.
he said the president isn't going to weigh in until those voters have had their say. but that's right around the corner. so it's looking like it could come sooner rather than later. >> brianna keilar in los angeles where it is still daylight. thank you very much, brianna. appreciate that. now i want to bring in cnn's sara murray with the latest from the trump campaign. good evening to you, sarah, from washington where it is dark because it's 10:05 eastern time. donald trump is doubling down on his criticism of the judge involved in the trump university case, and he is telling his supporters to do the same thing. an extraordinary phone call. what's the latest on that? >>. >> reporter: some folk who's were on the call said it sort of started as a way for donald trump to explain why he's been going after this judge, explaining the trump university case. but it kind of ended up to many on the call sounding more like a call for them to join donald trump in this criticism, to really create an echo chamber in terms of his own surrogates, his own supporters, who would be going after this judge, saying the judge has been unfair. and essentially supporting donald trump's argument that his mexican heritage makes him unfit to preside over this trial,
gives him bias over the trump university case. this all comes at a time when many prominent republicans particularly here in congress are trying to distance themselves from donald trump over these exact remarks, don. >> a number of trump allies are speaking out against trump's latest attacks. who are they, and how is trump responding to them? >> reporter: well, name your republican. it feels like pretty much everyone in an elected position has been critical, paul ryan, mitch mcconnell. today we heard from senator marco rubio, who said he predicted something like this would happen when he was running against donald trump. we've heard john kasich call for an apology. but one of the interesting criticisms has come from newt gingrich. this seems to have stung donald trump. he talked about it privately on this call. his campaign aides said he was disappointed to see gingrich come out and say donald trump has gone too far. this is the kind of thing that could really muddy the waters because gingrich is someone we've been talking about as a potential v.p. pick for trump.
we kn >> lindsey graham saying this is the most unamerican thing from a politician since joe mccarthy, that is some stinging criticism there. is there anyone we haven't heard from? >> reporter: we have not heard yet from new jersey governor chris chris tir, which is very interesting because he's a former u.s. attorney. he's of course been a very prominent booster of trump. he was one of the first really prominent republicans to throw his support behind donald trump early when people were still fighting through this hard fought primary. now he's supposed to be doing a press event tomorrow in new jersey, so we'll see if we hear something from him then when voters are heading to the polls. but as of right now, it does seem like sort of an obvious silence in the mix. >> sara murray, thank you very much. i want to bring in scottie nell hughes, a trump supporter on the conference call today. also tana goertz, a senior adviser to donald trump, who was also on that call.
good evening to both of you. tana, you were on this conference call. we hear trump was defiant, and he instructed his supporters not to back down on his criticism of that judge. what can you tell us about that? >> don, he was not defiant at all. he was actually very happy, in a great mood, very informative as he always is. he was great. there was nothing defiant in mr. trump's tone. there was nothing out of character. there was -- this is a fabricated story. >> defient meaning that he instructed people on the call not to back down. noz necessarily his tone, but defiant in that he's going to stick to his guns. >> oh, mr. trump always sticks to his guns. he is a man of his word, and he is a man who stands by his beliefs and his values, and the people that work for him like myself, he knows that that's the kind of people that we all are, and he would expect us to do the same. he never instructed us -- >> did he instruct the surrogates to criticize the judge and to not back down from the story? >> not at all. not at all.
this was a very informative meeting, one i was very, very happy that he did, that he held. a lot of the people on the call are not a paid staffer like myself, so i'm sure that's who ran to the press to tell this story that's getting all these legs. but really the bottom line here, don, is mr. trump is a man who will not back down if he is right. and this was a case that should have never went to trial or gone to trial or getting ready to go to trial. this is a situation that this is a scam. this suit is all a big scam. >> okay. >> the lady, the plaintiff who's the -- >> all right. i don't want to litigate this case. i just want to talk about the call. so, scottie, same thing to you. did he instruct people not to back down and to criticize the judge and continue to criticize the judge? >> absolutely not. let's talk about how this call started. this call came from days ago. i first got the e-mail last week that he was going to do this call on monday. a typical surrogate conference
call that happens with most campaigns. we were going to have our first one with all of us on. it was under the premonition, and i believe it was to say thank you. we are about to see this week the democrats basically have their nominee, barack obama endorse, and i think mr. trump wanted to say thank you for all of the work that we've taken and gone out there in fighting for him the past year. thaz basically where this premonition was. and the thought this was just based on trump university is absolutely ludicrous. we discussed a variety of different things. mr. trump did not just focus on trump university. we talked about his urban coalition, his foreign policy, and it was of people throwing in different comments -- >> in the interest of time, i want to get to this. let's get to the point of this, the meat of this, about this bloomberg -- the first report. a campaign memo went out last night urging surrogates to steer clear of talking about the judge only for trump to say, quote, take that order and throw it the hell out. did he say that, tana? >> did he say throe that order
out? yes, absolutely he did because he is the boss and he made the decision that after the phone conversation that he had with all of us, we all had enough information to go on national television and international tv, like your show is, and to very eloquently and very precisely say exactly what the bottom line is on the trump university cases. >> okay. point taken. so scottie, bloomberg also reported that governor jan brewer, along with former senator scott brown expressed frustration with donald trump saying the campaign needs to get on the same page. is that part true? >> that is not true. they were frustrated that they want to talk about policy. they want to go on the offense against hillary clinton, and it seems time and time again we're not getting asked those questions by the media, and they want to go on the offense. i think to the point of tana, the whole thing about mr. trump saying, you know what, throw that out, it was because once you look at the factors of the case, just like newt gingrich did, and i saw sarah's report. tonight newt has already come back and said you know what, now that i've looked at the facts of
this case, mr. trump is right. this case needs to be thrown out. he has publicly gone on the record and said the trump university case should not even be tried right now. so once you actually look at the details like newt did -- >> that's up to the legal system to decide. we're talking here about the allegations and what he said about this judge. i'm going to ask you, and you can answer first, scottie. the bloomberg quoted trump as saying this about the media. the people asking the questions, those are the racists. i would go at 'em. scottie, true? >> i think he was just saying, don't be afraid to call them out of it. >> did he say that? >> i cannot remember that specific comment being made. >> tana, do you remember that comment being made? >> no. but i do remember mr. trump -- i know mr. trump, and i know that mr. trump is not a racist. and in the conversation that he had with all of us on the phone, it was very obvious that this is a man who does not see color, and he does not care about color. he loves everyone. >> did donald trump specifically insinuate that you should go
after the media for asking if this was racist, that the media was in fact racist? >> no. >> don, i think the question was don't be afraid to call out the media. when they're trying to paint me as a racist, don't be afraid to point back the points that we're giving you right now, that the fact is this is based on a biased media that keeps bringing up -- >> just for a direct answer, he never said, the people who are asking the questions are racist? >> not -- >> no, he never said that. >> great. that's all i'm asking. so, scottie, dr. ben carson tweeted out this criticism. he said every human being is an individual first rather than a member of an identity group. the moment we forget that is a moment we enter into a phase of moral descent. i want you to take a listen to this. >> if he got one sixteenth mexican blood, maybe you can't be a judge. i mean this is unbelievable. he is getting worse, not better. >> i think it's inexcusable. he has every right to criticize
a judge and has every right to say certain decisions aren't right. but first of all, this judge was born in indiana. he is an american, period. >> i couldn't disagree more with a statement like that. >> is it a racist statement? >> i couldn't disagree more with what he had to say. >> okay. but do you think it's a racist statement to say? >> i don't agree with what he had to say. >> it's reasoning i don't relate to. i completely disagree with the thinking behind that. >> that judge is an american, and donald shouldn't keep saying that. it's wrong that he keeps saying it, and it's inappropriate, wrong, offensive. i hope he stops. >> okay. so all of you guys come on and you say there's nothing wrong with it. he should question. it's not racist. all of those people there, pretty much all of them have endorsed donald trump or supported him as the presumptive nominee. so what are they getting wrong about this and about donald trump, scottie? >> like i stated before, newt gingrich was actually able to hear the same facts we heard today and he's already reversed his course. i think it's interesting that
we're sitting here thinks that judges cannot be questioned and bias cannot be questioned. you had justice -- >> my question is what are they getting wrong about donald trump? >> well, they're getting wrong in sitting here and publicly saying, -- these are folks and e don't expect them to agree 100%. what i do expect them to do, though, instead of going out and sitting there in front of the camera and tearing him apart, something that the democrats don't do, call mr. trump in person and say, you know what, i don't necessarily agree with your approach on this. don't do it for a media show to publicly try to destroy the front-runner of the gop. what good does na do? maybe in this case they need to take a lesson from the democrats and keep it all behind closed doors. >> michael reagan tweeted this out today. he said this most likely would be the first time if my father was alive that he would not support the nominee of the gop. and then he of course -- ronald reagan's son says his father wouldn't support trump as the nominee. what's your response to that, tana?
>> well, i do not know ronald reagan, so i can't make a guess on that. but what i think a lot of people are getting wrong, a lot of republican leaders, why they're coming out and saying all these things that they're saying about mr. trump is most politicians run from the issues, don. mr. trump does not run from the issues, especially when he knows he's right as in the case of trump university. and most politicians, when they have all the media on them or when they should have scrutiny and all these eyes on them, they all cower, and they'll retreat, and go, okay, okay, you won. i'll retract my statement. mr. trump knows he's right, and he is defending himself, and that is what a lot of the media and a lot of politicians are having a hard time with because they know in themselves they would actually back down and go, okay, you know, this is obviously causing some waves. i better back down. mr. trump is a man of strength and courage, and that is why the american voters are voting for him and want him so badly in the white house. >> i'm going to ask you a
question that is similar to the one that my colleague, jake tapper, asked mr. trump earlier. when he says that this judge can't do his job because of race, he said, is that not the definition of racism? it is the definition of racism. so how does one defend that? how do you defend that, scottie first? >> it's not about race. it's about activism. yes, he's hispanic, and that's a wonderful thing. but it's about his activism. we've already talked about la raza, fine. it's a different organization. but he's also in the hispanic national bar association, latino judges association, national hispanic prosecutors. he has a track record of activism, and those are things that are opposite of what some of the things that those -- >> scottie, let me ask you right there. what is the difference between being on a woman, you know, lawyer group, a part of that, a part of an african-american women's group -- i mean african-american lawyers group or any other lawyers group that is -- you know, has to do with someone's gender or race or background or some organization they belong to in college. there's probably a fraternity.
we were fraternity brothers in college. people belong to groups of all different kinds. how is that any different? >> because it's the idea of perceived bias at this point, and that's what we're talking about. there's a preceived bias going into this and it's obvious this judge has a track record of going against policies that mr. trump is promoting. so it's obviously there. i think it's an ethical that this judge himself has not recused. >> why not just say that instead of saying that because the person is mexican? >> well, and that would have been probably a good choice, but mr. trump -- mr. trump was a private citizen. yes, he was in the entertainment industry. he's transitioning right now into being a public servant, which actually means he has to go really private right now. he might not choose the most -- >> i think you're getting to something, so why not just say, i was inartful or inarticulate on that particular point and i apologize. what i should have said was this. >> because there's this striving right now, i don't care what the issue is for the last nine months is to get mr. trump to apologize and to keep apologizing. it's like that's the goal right
now is to break him so much that he apologizes. and the truth, if they see that, then whoever is against him, even the never trump folks see that they are a success. i agree, maybe he might come down the line. the only thing i've ever seen mr. trump apologize for is the fact of not -- other than, he's standing solid. >> i've got to go just because of time. you know the saying, it takes a big person to apologize. >> i agree. >> he's a big person, trust me. >> thank you very much. tana, you're going to come back. scottie, thank you very much. we got a lot of ground covers. when we come back, a republican says he's rather give up the white house for the next four years than see donald trump elected. we'll be right back.
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as long as you love me, it's alright bend me shape me, any way you want me... shape the best sleep of your life. sleep number beds with sleepiq technology adjust any way you want it. the bed that moves you. only at a sleep number store. many top republicans upset over donald trump's comments about the judge presiding over the lawsuits against trump university, and i want to talk about this and more with carlos gutierrez who served as commerce secretary under president george w. bush. thank you, mr. secretary. i appreciate you --
>> pleasure. >> let's start with donald trump, what he said about this judge. he is doubling down and says there will be zero apologies, and you heard two of his surrogates earlier saying he doesn't need to apologize. what's your reaction? >> well, you know, with one statement he shattered the essence of what this country is about, that you don't judge someone on the basis of where their parents came from or their ancestors or even them. and i'm disappointed that more republicans have not come out. this is not about party. it's not about republican or democrat. it's about the country. it's about who we are. it's about our values. and it's not a time to be silent. and i think those republicans who come out and speak and say this is not the republican party are those who will be treated favorably by history, and those who remain silent, i think, will be doing a terrible damage to the party. donald trump has had a tactical victory by winning the tom nation.
>> yeah, and there are -- >> but this could be a terrible strategic defeat for the party. >> there are a number of republicans coming out and a very high pro-vile entertainer turned republican. arnold schwarzenegger actually appointed judge curiel to the bench in the first place. he tweeted this, jurge curiel is an american hero who stood up to the mexican cartels. i was proud to appoint him when i was governor. why are so many republicans feeling compelled to speak out against a nominee's comments in this case? >> well, because they're bigoted and they're racist, and just it is not what a republican does. you know, i've been a republican -- >> pardon me. he's saying they're not racist. his folks are saying they're not racist. they're not bigoted at all. >> of course he is. but the way -- look, if i were thinking about donald trump, i think what we should think about, the country, two things. what does a man like that do with power? and the second thing is what is
the collateral damage? what does a mexican-american parent tell their little boy or girl when they ask why donald trump talks about mexicans with such disdain? what does an african-american parent tell their children when they ask why did donald trump call that man my african-american as though he owned him. let's go back a little further, don. what does a p.o.w. tell their children who see him as a hero because he spent three years in a hell hole for his country? what does he tell his children when they said, mr. trump doesn't think you're a hero. and it goes on and on. what does a mother tell her daughter when she asks, what did he mean when he said that to megyn kelly during the debates? there's a pattern here, don. and we need to see it, and we need to grab a hold of it. this is too important to remain silent. >> there is stinging criticism coming from former south
carolina senator lindsey graham, and as you know they ran against each other. so take this however you will. but i want to read this, and i don't know if you will go this far but what do you think of it. he said, this is the most unamerican thing from a politician since joe mccarthy, mr. graham said. if anybody was looking for an off ramp, this is probably it. mr. graham added, there will come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of hillary. what do you make of that? >> look, i think lindsey graham is a man who speaks his heart, and i agree with what he said. i think this is totally unamerican. i think it's taking us back decades and decades. this is the kind of thing that, again, it's the collateral damage. does this get -- >> but mccarthy, is that too tough? >> no. mccarthy went after one aspect. trump has gone after women. he's gone after hispanics. he's gone after african-americans.
he's gone after muslims. he's gone after p.o.w.s. i don't know what's left, don. he's insulted women. this is not the republican party. >> before you go, i want you to listen to this. this is the brother of judge curiel. he says trump was speaking from ignoran ignorance. listen to this. >> i don't think he's strictly an outright racist like some of your ku klux klan. those kind of people are really racist, and they have no redeeming qualities. trump, i don't believe, is that caliber of person. but he is very, very uninformed. >> do you agree with the brother, is trump just uninformed or is he racist? >> i think it's a wise comment. either he's a racist or he's just not very smart. >> or political gain? >> i don't know. but there's a pattern, and that pattern suggests racism. you know, the comment, my african-american, i can't see
that clip, don. it hurts too much. it's too embarrassing. >> mr. secretary, i have to go. i have to take a break. thank you. i appreciate you coming on. >> thank you. up next, newt gingrich may have just lost his chance to be on the trump short list of runni running mates. we're going to tell you why. every ingredient is the main ingredient. the new green goddess cobb with avocado, bacon, freshly made dressing, tomato... and chicken. at panera. food as it should be.
many gop leaders not happy with donald trump's criticism of the judge presiding over the trump university case. back with me now is trump supporter and adviser tana goertz, and we're joined by michaelis acough, now the chief investigative correspondent at yahoo! news. and with me here, cnn political contributor maria cardona, a superdelegate committed to hillary clinton. tana, welcome back. i want you to listen to what newt gingrich said yesterday and then donald trump's response this morning. >> this is one of the worst mistakes trump has made. i think it's inexcusable. this judge was born in indiana. he is an american, period. >> i was surprised at newt. i thought it was inappropriate what he said. >> so how upsetting were those
comments to the campaign? did donald trump talk about it today on that call? >> he did not, don. i'm glad you're bringing that up because a lot of outlets are saying that he was talking about newt and newt's no longer a v.p. candidate. newt's name never came up at all on the conference call today with mr. trump. >> okay. so, michael, in an interview taped earlier this interview, donald trump told bill o'reilly that he didn't care that the judge was of mexican heritage. listen. >> do you regret making it personal with the judge? >> look, i've had very, very unfair decisions. people said this should have gone away a long time ago in summary judgment. the defendant in the case was a horror show from the other side, so they asked that the defendant get out. you know, the plaintiff in the case was an absolute disaster for them, and they asked whether or not -- they went to the judge. they asked whether or not the plaintiff could get out of the case. i mean she said all great things
about the school. she has a tape of her saying great things and she has a written statement signed by her saying great things. and the judge dismissed her from the case but left the case. we thought we were going to win the case. i don't care if the judge is mexican or not. i'm going to do gaet with the mexican people because i poe vied jobs. but we're being treated very, very unfairly. >> what's going on here, michael? why the change in tone? >> well, i think probably because of the criticism that you've been airing all night long here. but, look, the point is that donald trump lawyers had every opportunity to ask for the recusal of the judge for several times, for months now if not longer. the judge has been on the case for a few years. and they have not done so. and as we report in yahoo! tonight, we have exclusive video, which i think you've got, of daniel petri chellie, trump's chief lawyer, just a month ago
saying the judge is doing his job. he's got no plans to ask for a recusal. he made a sound decision that actually -- >> let me play it, michael. >> please do. yeah, sure. >> here it is. >> the charges against him have no merit, and he will testify, and he will tell the truth, and the jury will decide the case. >> you had said you have no plans to ask the judge to recuse himself. can you talk about that? >> you know, the judge is doing his job, and we're not seeking to recuse the judge. we're trying to assert our rights, and i think the court today did a job of trying to balance out competing interests. he made the decision. we would prefer to trial it later in time. he said november 28th. anyway, i've got to run right now. >> it doesn't help his case,
does it, michael? >> it's actually pretty remarkable because there's the chief lawyer for the case saying the judge is doing his job. and actually, you know, this came right after a decision by judge curiel, just a month ago, that was a huge break for donald trump. the plaintiffs in the trump university case had asked for a trial during the summer. this is a six-year-old came. they said justice delayed is justice denied. we want our trial now. that would have been right after the republican convention, right in the middle of the election, and judge curiel said, no, i'm not going to interfere with donald trump's plans to run for president. he set the trial for after the election, a big break that the judge gave donald trump. >> all right. i need to get maria in here. she has been holding her tongue. before you get to speak, i want you to listen to this because you know who else softened his tone? newt gingrich. listen. >> now did trump get mad at you?
did he call you up? >> we're fine. we're both big boys. he is doing a great job overall. i deeply disagreed on one item. >> so -- >> he didn't want to be taken off that list, don. >> that's politics. >> he didn't want to be taken off this list, right? clearly that is the case. but, look, this whole -- these last 48 hours have just been a complete circus, and what it underscores to me is that donald trump has absolutely zero strategy other than responding to whatever gets at his huge ego and whatever gets under his very thin skin. that is not the qualities we want in the president of the united states. furthermore, what he has said in terms of accusing this judge of not being able to do his job of because of his ethnicity is to corrosive and so per initiatous to our american values, and that is why he's getting so much push-back and why it's doing so much damage to the gop.
my dad came here to the united states when i was 2 years old with $10 in his pocket, and he always told me and my brothers that we could be whatever we wanted. well, guess what donald trump is saying. he is saying to my first generation latino children that they can't do that. that is not the kind of america we want to live in today. >> tana, you can respond right after the break. we'll continue our discussion. don't go anywhere. we'll be right back. >> okay.
donald trump's criticism of a judge in the trump university case. back with me now, tana goertz, michael isikoff, and maria cardona. i promised you first, tana. maria was saying this was se sending a terrible children to second generation latino children -- first generation. >> what i was going to say, don, is mr. trump is the definition of the american dream. he has employed thousands of people who are living out the american dream, working for an american icon. he has done more for more entrepreneurs than anyone that i know in the history of business. so this is a man who inspires
people, who can get followers to get behind him and learn from him, and he mentors people like he mentored me. and you read his books, and you learn from him. i have numerous, numerous stories of people who went to trump university, and they are millionaires today. but we never talk about those stories. so the success stories of donald trump being the american dream is so inspiring, it inspires me every day to do better. >> maria. >> then you know what, tana, have him stay a businessman. he has no business running for president because running for president -- >> he only wants to do this -- >> running for president does not mean spewing the kind of racist hatred that he has done from the moment he announced his presidency, calling mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. so it's fine, he's doing all these great things in his business, hiring immigrants. >> michael. >> just a couple points. >>. >> let him stay in his lane.
>> he would but he needs to help our country. >> we don't need it. thank you. >> we do. the american people are saying we do. >> i think it's worth noting that a lot of people actually think that judge curiel embodies the american dream more than anybody. >> absolutely. >> here's a guy who was the son of mexican immigrants. his father was a steel worker in the mills in east chicago. his brother grows up, fights in vietnam. he goes to law school, becomes a federal prosecutor, risks his life prosecuting mexican drug cartels. they put a hit on him. he lived under federal protection for more than a year because one of the biggest drug lords in mexico had ordered his assassination. and he goes on to become a federal judge. that seems to many people like an american success story. >> i could not agree more. >> and you know what? >> can i just add one other point that, you know, the point i was trying to make before, and i think a lot of people have raised here is, look, if donald
trump really felt that this judge was so unfair to him, he did have the remedy. he could have filed a motion for recusal, and he chose not to. his lawyer chose not to. and had he done so on the basis that donald trump has raised, because of his ethnic background, it would have almost certainly been denied because there is legal precedent that judges are not recused because of race, religion, gender. in fact, there's actually a case right on point in the same circuit in california. the judge ron walker, who ruled on the same-sex marriage case, the parties to that were opposed to same-sex marriage filed a motion a few years ago to have him recused because he was gay. and that went all the way up to the ninth circuit court of appeals, and unanimously they ruled that's not a basis for a federal judge to recuse himself. you have to show real lack of
impartiality. >> if being on a case that involved something that has to do with mexican or latinos, if that was an issue, then how could he successfully prosecute mexican drug cartel members if that was an issue, his background and his race? >> bottom line, don, is mr. trump is going to build a wall, a wall that keeps mexican immigrants out of the country who are not coming in the proper way. this was a man of mexican heritage. that's the bottom line. we've covered this ground a million times. we all know -- well, i know and everybody that has gone to vote for mr. trump knows he is not a racist. but we want to continue this circle and bring it all around -- >> what you just said is the definition of -- >> it might be your definition. >> it's frankly the majority of the american people's. and by that measure, then, in trump's world, bizarre oh world,
a woman judge would not be able to litigate anything having to do with perhaps women not being paid equally in any one of trump's organizations or a disabled judge wouldn't be able to rule on anything having to do with a disabled person bringing a lawsuit. what kind of america is that? that's not the kind of america that we want to raise our children in. >> i think what you can do is exchange any word. you can exchange -- >> hang on, tana. you can exchange, black, white, gay, hispanic. >> veterans, p.o.w.s. >> someone who is black should not be able to sit on this because they will rule impartially. someone who is a woman, someone who is jewish, someone who is hispanic. >> he was just -- >> we'll be right back. listen, what donald trump told me when i asked him explicitly if he was racist right after this break. we were born 100 years ago into a new american century. born with a hunger to fly and a passion to build something better.
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because when they ship with us, their business becomes our business. that's why we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. here, there, everywhere. united states postal service priority: you back with tana goertz, michael isikoff, and maria cardona. this is what donald trump told me in december. >> i am the least racist person that you have ever met. i am the least racist person. >> are you bigoted in any way? >> i don't think so, no.
i don't think so. >> islamophobic? >> no, not at all. i'm a person that happens to be very smart, and i happen to have a certain street sense, and i know where things are going. >> tana, how do you respond to that? >> i couldn't agree with him more. that's the donald trump that i know and i respect. i have seen him with all types of people, and he does not see color. he doesn't see any of that. mr. trump genuinely loves people, all kinds of people. so that's him. that's exactly him. >> maria, you say that trump is fundamentally changing the country with his racist language. explain what that means. >> so a couple years ago -- >> as to what he was saying. he's saying, i'm not racist. i'm not bigoted. i'm not any of those things. >> here's the problem with what he's saying. we remember a couple years ago when republicans were accusing president obama of fundamentally wanting to change america. here we have a man who is such a disgrace in how he is portraying
the kind of america that he wants, that he wants to fundamentally change america. he wants to flip our american values on their head, the fact that this country was based on values that no matter who you were, no matter where you came from, no matter the color of your skin or your economic background, if you worked hard and played by the rules, you could achieve anything, and you could do anything. donald trump, with his hatred -- and you know what, maybe he doesn't even know what he's doing, which is even, i think, a worse thing. if you're not even aware of the kind of effect your words have on the people that you supposedly want to lead? that's even worse. >> okay. so here's michael, let me ask you this. i'm not saying anything as to whether i think donald trump is racist or not. i asked him the question. he said he is not, so i take him at that. but there aren't many people who would admit that they are racist unless you belong to some sort of supremacist extreme group. do you think that donald trump
understands what racism is? >> look, i don't know, and i certainly can't, you know, get into his heart and his head about how he feels. but what we can -- what we do know, it was he who chose to raise judge curiel's ethnicity. it was he who chose to raise the fact that he was of mexican-american heritage, calling him a mexican. had he just stuck to the rulings in the trump university case and raised his own objections to why he felt that they were unfair, we wouldn't be having this discussion. but he brought up race. he brought up ethnicity, and that's why there's been this ferocious blowback from so many people in the republican party who want to support him, but find these comments like newt gingrich said, unacceptable. >> so, tana -- >> don -- >> getting back to the question that maria asked, and she's not sure he knows what he's dog.
and then to my question again, do you think that he understands what racism is? >> i do. mr. trump is a brilliant man. he absolutely knows what racism is. this is a man who has given millions of dollars to various charities from aids to children of all nationalities, of all ethnicities, all races and colors. he has donated so much money with no parameters on them, on the celebrity apprentice, he is giving money away to various charities, to the veterans as we know. he doesn't care if you're white, black, yellow. he doesn't care what your color is. he is a man who wants to help make america great again. and america does need to be great again. we're $19 trillion in debt. >> we are great. >> we need to be greater because we're in debt. >> that's not what he says. >> we're drowning. we're going down. and mr. trump is the businessman that can turn this country around. he doesn't need to do this,
trust me. he's losing money running for president. >> tana has the last word in this. so, tana, thank you so much. appreciate it. thank you, maria. thank you, michael. i'll have all of you back. it was a great conversation. when we come right back, the final super tuesday primaries just hours away as the race shifts to the general election. ♪ you're not gonna watch it! ♪
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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. breaking news. hillary clinton has 2,384 delegates. that's one more than she needs to clinch the democratic nomination. but she and bernie sanders vow to fight for every last vote in the primaries that are now just hours away. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. meanwhile, donald trump says no apologies, no way. the republican's presumptive nominee doubling down on his criticism of the federal judge hearing his trump university case, and in a conference call, ordering his top surrogates to back him up. is he playing the race card, and could it cost him votes in the general election? but i want to begin tonight with our breaking news. with that, is cnn's political director david challis. hillary clinton clinched the nomination tonight. how did cnn come to the conclusion ahead of tomorrow's primaries? >> reporter: don, as you know, there are two different types of delegates in the democratic