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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Awaiting Donald Trump Remarks at Fundraiser Near Boston; Trump Talking Questions From Reporters. Aired 7-8:00p ET
Aired August 28, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:10] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, breaking news. We are standing by for Donald Trump taking questions from reporters in this hour. Then the candidate who says he is self- funding his campaign speaks at a fund-raiser.
Plus, my guest tonight, republican candidate Scott Walker taking on Donald Trump, even suggesting that his rival is lying.
And for Jeb Bush and Trump, their bitter war of words is more than politics. It's personal, part of a long battle between two of America's most powerful families. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Jim Sciutto in again tonight for Erin Burnett. And OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news. Donald Trump live in this hour taking questions from reporters. The GOP frontrunner headlining a Boston area fund-raiser tonight, some 1,000 people expected to attend paying $100 for a plate and for a change to get up close and personal with the Donald. The three hour event is here at the home of Ernie Bach, a local television celebrity and the owner of lucrative string of car dealerships. The home a $1.9 million mansion sitting in a middle class neighborhood.
Tonight, lavish fundraiser will include a rock band in what organizers are calling in all American menu. But the main event of course will be a speech by the featured guest Donald Trump. The organizers calling tonight's event a fund-raiser, but the Trump campaign insisting it is not. Earlier, this sign however was OUTFRONT, photographed outside the mansion by one of our producers asking the checks be made payable to Donald J. Trump for president or have your cash at the ready. And while it since then removed, here is why this is so important.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm using my own money. I'm not using the lobbyists, I'm not using donors. I don't care. I'm really rich.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: M.J. Lee is OUTFRONT tonight in Norwood, Massachusetts at this event. M.J., you have been talking to people attending the event. They would hear the music in the background. Are they all Trump supporters? M.J. LEE, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Hey, Jim, this is quite a
staffer event. I've been going around talking to people who are currently enjoying champagne and having a great time. (INAUDIBLE) I asked them, what is it about Donald Trump that you are so into? And the people said, (INAUDIBLE) they love the fact that that he never use the teleprompter. They love the fact that he doesn't have to worry about being politically correct. Not everyone here though Jim is a Trump supporter. There's some here who are undecided. They wanted to try to make up their mind about Donald Trump. Undecided voters told me, yes, that it does offend them sometimes. (INAUDIBLE). And they're excited to hear his speech. He will be here within the hour. And so when that happens, we will bring it back to you.
SCIUTTO: M.J. Lee, right in the middle of it there. We will bringing Donald Trump to you live in just a few moments. In this campaign season dominated by Trump, the rest of the GOP field is just trying to survive. I spoke with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker today who was an early favorite in the republican race, that is before Donald Trump stormed in. As Walker gave a speech today outlining his foreign policy, reports that one of his senior advisors may have been looking to jump ship to team Trump. According to the Wall Street Journal, Walker's top fundraiser Anthony Scaramucci met with Trump. Scaramucci ultimately said that it wouldn't work. Still Trump told the journal, quote, "He wants to endorse me." He said, "I want to drop Walker and endorse you." I spoke to Governor Walker earlier and asked him who is telling the truth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Anthony Scaramucci. This is another example of where the media is trying to make something out of nothing out there. The bottom-line, he has been and continues to be and will be a great supporter.
SCIUTTO: Sounds like you are saying here on Scaramucci that Donald Trump is lying.
WALKER: Well, the bottom-line is Scaramucci is telling the truth. And I talked to him about it personally. And you can infer anything else. But the bottom-line is, what he said is accurate.
SCIUTTO: Your position on birth right citizenship has changed in the span of a few days. I want to play what you said just last week earlier this month about this position.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think that birthright citizenship should be ended?
WALKER: Yeah. Absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People misunderstand you are actually not for ending birthright citizenship.
WALKER: I'm not taking a position at one way or the other.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are not seeking to repeal or alter the 14th amendment?
WALKER: No. I have been pretty consistent all throughout this campaign.
[19:05:06] SCIUTTO: Can you clarify for us now, what is your position on birthright citizenship for or against?
WALKER: Well, the context you are taking out bits and pieces out there. The bottom-line is throughout this entire year, not just throughout my campaign, I probably have said thousands of times that when it comes to immigration, we need to secure the border, truly secure the border, not the political talk we hear from so many politicians who break that when they get to Washington, fundamentally secure the border for reasons greater than immigration for national security purposes, enforce the laws of this country. That means in effect of the e-verify system. No sanctuary cities. Go forward with no amnesty and go forward in a way that provides a legal immigration system that puts a priority on American working families in a wages, in a way that will improve the American economy.
SCIUTTO: But none of those get to that key question on the birth right issue.
WALKER: It's not a key question. Because my point, no, no, no, let me answer. My point the other day was, what I said on Sunday and this week was, I'm not looking to change that in a constitution because my focus has been all throughout this year, over and over and over again, that you start talking about other issues out there, and it's a distraction from the fact that when Americans have said loud and clear, not the media, but what American voters have said loud and clear is they want to know, what are you going to do to truly secure the border and how are you going to go forward enforcing laws. To me that means the infrastructure, the personnel and the technology to make sure the border secure. And what are you going to do to make sure that every employer in the country is required to make sure the people that are working there are legal. You do those things, all of these other issues take care of themselves.
SCIUTTO: To be clear, to take away the confusion, you are not for ending birthright citizenship?
WALKER: Well, as I said, you played the clip. I said, I'm not looking to change the constitution. What I pointed out is if you want to deal with this issue, you have to secure the border and enforce the laws.
SCIUTTO: Now, on Iran, you have said on record that on day one you would nullify the nuclear agreement with Iran. As you know, this agreement does include though extensive monitoring of Iranian nuclear sites, more than ever before. If you tore up that deal, how would you keep Iran from restarting its program on day one?
WALKER: Well, I would not only terminate the deal on day one, which I alone have said in my announcement back in the 13th of last month, some of even in my own party have suggested otherwise. I said, if it's a bad deal, you should act on it on day one. You shouldn't wait for a week or month until a panel came on a place, and she should be prepared to be president of the United States on day one. And that's exactly what I will do. But beyond that, I would re-impose the sanctions that were already authorized by Congress. Remember, this president has to lift them through a waiver. I would then go back to the Congress to put in place even more crippling sanctions on top of that. And then I would aggressively go out to convince our allies to do the same. Now, I want to be clear. I'm not naive. I know that won't be an easy task when it comes to convincing our allies. But that's what American leadership is all about.
SCIUTTO: But Governor, to be fair, all those things you are describing, going to Congress, convincing allies, that takes time. During that time you remove the deal, not only is Iran no longer obligated to be under these restrictions, but you wouldn't have monitoring. So, you wouldn't even know what Iran would be doing. How do you during that time -- stop Iran from rushing to a bomb?
WALKER: Let's be clear, the monitoring is proposed as an absolute joke. So, anyone who pretends like that's somehow something that's extraordinary, it's not. This is some of the weakest monitoring --
SCIUTTO: But I'm comparing no monitoring to that monitoring. I'm comparing no monitoring to that monitoring.
WALKER: Well, again, what we have right now is just not being accurate with the American people. That's why, not just me, this is not a partisan issue. We need a president who understands that, appreciates that, listens to the American people, works across party lines. We do not have that under this president. Under the Obama/Clinton doctrine, we're leading from behind. And that has us headed toward a disaster.
SCIUTTO: On day one, would you deploy U.S. ground forces to Iraq to fight ISIS?
WALKER: I don't see a reason today to do that. Certainly, for us the most important thing we can do is lift the political restrictions this administration has put on the 3,000 some military personnel already in Iraq. So they can go out and do what they are trained to do. Then we can assess certainly where we would go going forward. But the thing I would do right away is immediately empower the military to do, who are already there, the military to do what they are trained to do. And that would help our allies reclaim the territory taken by ISIS.
SCIUTTO: Okay. Governor Walker, I appreciate you taking the time today.
WALKER: Thanks. Good to talk to you as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: OUTFRONT next, we are standing by for a live press conference with Donald Trump. We will go there live when that starts in just a few moments. [19:10:01] Plus, a key Trump talking point is that he would not
be beholden to donors and special interests. So, why is he at a fund- raiser tonight? And Trump and Jeb Bush, their almost daily war of words has its roots in a family feud that stretches back over decades. We have a special report.
[19:14:38] SCIUTTO: And breaking news, Donald Trump, you are watching him there live arriving to answer reporters' questions at a fundraiser just outside of Boston. Let's have a listen.
TRUMP: And all of the folks at the airport were incredible actually. So, any questions from the press? Yes, ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have said that you boasted that you didn't need any money to run for president.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yet, here we are at a fundraiser.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened?
TRUMP: This is not a fundraiser tonight. Just so you understand. We are -- I guess they're paying for some of the basics in terms, you know, we have food, we have I guess 1500 or 2,000 people, but this is not a fundraiser. We're not doing anything in terms of fundraisings. I think what they're doing is, some of people -- many of the people are coming in. They can pay whatever they want. But I think they're doing something to offset the tremendous cost of food for 2,000 people. But this is not a fund-raiser.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How is your money situation for the campaign?
TRUMP: It's going great.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're expecting donations obviously.
TRUMP: I'm turning down millions of dollars for the campaign, millions. Everybody is offering me money. And I don't want it. So, I'm turning down millions of dollars. And no interest. No interest.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
And again, we have a lot of veterans coming in tonight free. And we're taking care of their food. We have a lot of great people coming in. We have wounded warriors here tonight. A lot of wounded warriors, great people, our best people. The veterans, the wounded warriors, the best. And they're coming in free. And some people are making contributions. But it's only if they want to. If they want, they can make a contribution. We do have people, a woman, $7, $12, $19, we see them coming into the office. And that kind of a donation I want because they invest in the campaign. They feel invested. To me, that's very important. It doesn't amount to a lot when you add it all up. But to me, it's very important. But I turn down a lot of money.
I will say, the one thing I noticed today, I think I was just told there are five or six-pack packs and they are sort of supporting Trump from what I understand. And they are being raised all over the country Pacs. Because they want to see something happen with this country and they want to see something good happen.
Thank you. And I think, you know, frankly, I think that's terrific. But I don't know any of these people. But they have I think five or six PACs are opening up. Yes, ma'am.
Well, I don't see many protesters. I see thousands of people. And there's a few protesters. And I figured would you ask that question. Because, you know, no, that's the way it is. CNN is terrible. CNN -- you're with CNN? Are you with CNN? You people do not cover us accurately. So, they have a few protesters outside. And they have thousands of people. The first question from CNN is about protesters. Yes?
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't have a campaign theme song yet.
TRUMP: Well, the theme song, no. But the theme is make America great again. That's the theme.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
Yes, ma'am. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you -- I know you are going to be announcing your tax plan soon.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But can you explain that and who you will going to raise taxes on?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And are you rejecting trickledown economics?
TRUMP: Okay. So, we will be announcing a tax plan over the next four weeks, probably sometime during the month of September. Who knows taxes more than me? I know the taxes very well. I would say that probably before the end of September we'll have a very comprehensive plan. And one of the things will be simplification. And I believe we'll end up by the tax reduction which to me is very important. You know, in the United States, we pay the highest taxes in the world. We will going to be asking for a reduction. So, I think over all, it will be a very -- people are going to be very happy. Yes sir, go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a controversial casino law here in Massachusetts. Steve Wynn has something in the worst. We're not sure exactly how this pans out. When this started, how come you didn't want to build a casino in Massachusetts?
TRUMP: Well, I'm doing so many other things. I know Steve, he's a friend of mine. And I guess that was where it's going. But some other people were also competing. They're also very good. I don't know what the final outcome was. I'm not involved in it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it good for Massachusetts?
TRUMP: Depends on how it all works out. But potentially, it could be. Yes?
Female voters that are looking to potentially support you, what do you want to say to them? Because there has been some criticism about --
TRUMP: You know, I think the female voters because Ivanka -- my daughter, my wife, they feel so strongly about the women's health issues. And they said to me, you know, there's nobody that feels more strongly than me. It's true. Women's health issues, as you saw Jeb Bush was really almost against it. It was terrible. He didn't want to fund women's health issues. And I will tell you, we will work together and we are going to take care of women. I cherish women. And my daughter and my wife said, you have to talk about that, because they know how I feel.
[19:19:28] Ivanka will be part of the campaign. So, will Melania, a very much so after September. So, it will start kicking in really big league -- it's hard to believe what we've accomplished and we're not even -- think of it. No, no, we're not even into September. And to think where we have come. But Ivanka and Melania, my family is starting to get involved after September 1st. Okay? Thank you. Yes. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our governor in Massachusetts Charlie Baker has described some of your comments about women as reprehensible. Do you have response to that?
TRUMP: No, he must have been talking about Jeb Bush. Because frankly, Jeb Bush say, he didn't want to fund women's health issues. And then he came back a few hours later and he said he misspoke. I think he must be talking about Jeb Bush. He's not talking about me. Okay, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is Jeb Bush a frequent target of yours? And what do you think of -- TRUMP: Well, I would say Jeb Bush is a frequent target because
when this whole thing started, I thought he was going to be the primary competition. But he's drifted very much to the middle of the pack and he's rapidly disappearing. So, we're going to have to start looking at somebody else.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your reaction to --
TRUMP: To what?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your reaction to Eric Cantor's --
TRUMP: Can imagine you ask Eric Cantor to endorse you. Now Eric Cantor had the biggest loss in the history of the United States Congress. It never happened where a man in that position loses. And he got primaried. I mean, he lost. And then he says, would Eric Cantor -- I wouldn't want his endorsement. Okay. Yes. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You had a lot of choice words for the Boston Mayor Marty Walsh over the last few weeks (INAUDIBLE) --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would it take for him to ever convince you to make him a running mate?
TRUMP: Marty Walsh? Honestly, I don't know him. I don't know. He said something nasty about me. And then I said, you failed in the Olympics. I mean, he failed. So, I really don't know Marty in all fairness. I hope he does a good job as mayor. But I have nothing. I really don't know. I do know Tom Brady who is great. Bob Kraft is great.
And Coach Belichick is great. Those people I know. But those are real winners. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you propose about gun violence in our country?
TRUMP: Well, you have a problem of mental health in this country. And we have to take care of people. And we have to find out who these people are. And we have to do something about it because we have a mental health problem more than anything else. You know, if you look at gun violence, you look, you say, use the world gun violence, Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the world they say. And certainly in the United States. And look what's happening over there. You talk a look at Baltimore. Tremendously strict. So many of the places so strict. Those are the places that have the biggest problem. We have a mental health problem. We also have an illegal immigrant problem. You know, a lot of the gangs -- it's true.
A lot of the gangs in St. Louis and Ferguson, a lot of the gangs in Chicago and the toughest and the meanest, the worst dudes in Baltimore, you have seen it, they're illegal immigrants. And I tell you one thing. If I get in, they are going to be gone so fast out of this country. They will going to be gone so fast. I mean, you take a look at what's happening. And you have illegal immigrants and gangs that you wouldn't even believe. They will going to be gone. Okay. Yes. Go ahead. Go ahead.
A lot of questions in this group. How long are we going to be doing this? A lot of these questions. They're great questions. But we have a lot of people out there. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Trump, you are in Patriots Country. You mentioned Tom Brady --
TRUMP: I am Patriots Country and I mentioned Tom Brady --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. And the judge wants the two sides to settle. Do you think Brady should settle with the --
TRUMP: Leave Tom Brady alone. Right? We love Tom Brady. As you know, he's a very good friend of mine. I know Tom Brady. Tom Brady is an honest guy. He's a great guy. He's a great champion and winner. Leave him alone. Yes?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The infrastructure of the country is crumbling --
TRUMP: -- infrastructure of the country is crumbling.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that's my question, what would do you to improve infrastructure around here?
TRUMP: A great question. We have to rebuild the infrastructure of the United States. We're spending money supporting countries that don't even like us. We're giving military weapons to countries that flee as soon as they hear a bullet is shot. I always tell the story of 2,300 Humvees armor plated, the best in the world. A bullet goes off and everybody runs and the enemy takes over. Think of it, 2,300. We have to rebuild our country, we have to rebuild our military. Our military is going to be so strong that nobody, nobody is going to mess with us. Nobody. Okay? And our vets are going to be taken care of. Yes, ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's not a lot of specifics (INAUDIBLE) --
[19:24:12] TRUMP: The wall is coming. Well, you see the immigration plan. Build a wall. Who likes the idea of the wall? I love it.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
Somebody said you can't build a wall. You know, the Great Wall of China is 13,000 miles. This wall is 2,000 or less. But you really need 1,000. So, they could do 2,000 years ago, they could build the Great Wall of China. But then they say, how do you build 1,000 -- give me a break. So easy. And it will be great. Yes, sir, go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you raise taxes to rebuild the infrastructure?
TRUMP: No. I don't think I have to raise taxes at all. There's so much fat in Washington that if somebody got in that knew what they were doing, you don't have to raise taxes. We want to lower taxes. We want to lower taxes. All right. One more question. Yes. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) -- Are you going to sign the tax credit --
TRUMP: Well, I may change them around. I know Hedge Fund guys that pay almost nothing and they make a fortune. I want to see lower taxes. And I'm going to make a determination. But on some people, they're not doing their fair share. These Hedge Fund guys, I hate to say many are friends of mine, and most of them support Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. Just so you understand. They're not supporting me because I told them I don't want your money. But the Hedge Fund guys have to pay up. Okay. One or two more. Go ahead. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who do you want to face in a general, Hillary or --
TRUMP: Who do I want to face in the -- I really don't care. And I haven't focused on them. I'm focusing on the 16 people that right now are looking to do well. Most of them are not doing well at all. A poll just came out, you probably saw, the Gravis poll and that poll is -- we're at 40 percent, more than 40 percent. Yesterday you had a great poll come out. It said 28 percent. We're doing great. In New Hampshire we're 35 percent. The public, you know, public policy, which is 35 percent. We're leading in Iowa. We're leading in New Hampshire. We're leading in South Carolina, North Carolina, the state of Nevada. The state of Florida. Here you have a governor and a senator from Florida and not only leading but leading by a lot. People want to see real change, not Obama change but real change. Really positive.
And you know what they want to see more than anything else? They want to see victory. We don't have victories anymore. This country doesn't have victories anymore. And they're going to see so many victories. They may get tired of winning that much. I don't know. It's possible they will get tired of winning that much. You will going to see so many victories if I'm elected president. Okay? Okay, thank you all very much. I have to go. You know, we had a tremendous crowd at the airport. It was amazing. I hope they were able to come over here. But we were greeted with hundreds and hundreds of people at the airport. There's something happening. There's a movement going on. Call it silent majority. Call it whatever you want. There is a movement going on. Thank you all very much.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
SCIUTTO: Donald Trump there speaking at a fundraiser just outside of Boston in Massachusetts saying that there's a movement going on, he is sensing from supporters who turned out to greet him as he landed there. OUTFRONT tonight, Katrina Pierson, she's a spokeswoman for the
Tea Party leadership, radio talk show host Ben Ferguson and republican strategist Matt McDonald. Ben, I wonder if I could begin with you. Brash as ever from the republican frontrunner. But let's zero in for a moment on his position on taxes. Because one of the most interesting things he said in the last 24 hours is he would actually raise taxes on some of the wealthiest Americans. Just there, you saw him single out hedge fund managers. Though he said in general, he would cut them. What is his tax position as you understand it? And is it good for the Republican Party?
BEN FERGUSON, RADIO HOST, "THE BEN FERGUSON SHOW": Well, I think he's going to have some problems with it, because it sounds a little bit more like a liberal idea, which is, you know, I'm going to help those that don't pay very much pay less. And I'm going to make the people that work the hardest and employ the most pay a lot more. I don't know if that's going to be very popular with the Republican Party. But if you listen to the crowd there, they'll pretty much clap for almost anything he says, including that Tom Brady is an honest guy and a winner so leave him alone. I never knew that was going to come out of this press conference. But with Donald Trump, you have no clue what he is going to say.
SCIUTTO: He was definitely playing to the crowd. Katrina, I wonder if you could respond there to Ben on that tax issue. Is that a liberal idea as Ben is saying?
KATRINA PIERSON (R), FORMER CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Well, actually, no. I don't think so. I think, you know, cutting out loopholes really isn't a liberal idea. It's making sure that taxpayers are all paying their fair share in other words. But really, what's most important is he's already talked about tapping out at 15 percent. If you make a million dollars or more, you capped out at 15 percent, when he talked about making Hedge Fund managers pay more, he is not saying I'm raising taxes. He is saying, he is going to cut off the gimmicks, which is why these Hedge Funds fund campaigns to keep those loopholes in place.
[19:29:12] SCIUTTO: Matt, what's your view? This is, you know, it is a position as Ben was saying that you are far more likely to hear from a democratic candidate for president than from a republican candidate for president. Is that a winning issue for Donald Trump?
MATT MCDONALD, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I think that's where we are in the cycle with Donald Trump is that at some point the kind of -- the angry, the cotton candy element of people like to hear what he has to say has to give way to specifics. And he has to engage on the details. And on his record and on his -- on the tax plan, I mean, the guy -- the guy gave money to Hillary Clinton in a previous race. I mean, short of John Huntsman actually working for Obama, that's in most primaries, that would be a disqualifying fact.
SCIUTTO: Ben Ferguson --
FERGUSON: Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. I mean, this is where the background of Donald Trump is now hitting the reality. And you have to look at this. I mean, this is also someone that's sitting there saying, this is not a fundraiser tonight, but write a check to Donald Trump for president, but it's just a write-off to cover the expenses of the event. A fundraiser is a fundraiser in politics. If you're writing a check to someone for president, it's a fundraiser. You may breakeven, but let's not act like it's not a fundraiser tonight, but write a check to Donald Trump for president, but it's just a write-off to cover the expenses of the event.
A fund-raiser is a fund-raiser in politics. If you write a check to someone for president, it's a fund-raiser. You may break even, but let's not act like it's not a fund-raiser.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Katrina, respond to that. We saw a sign out front.
KATRINA PIERSON, SPOKESWOMAN, TEA PARTY LEADERSHIP FUND: But a presidential fund-raiser is not $100 per person. It could be to offset costs.
FERGUSON: Sure it is.
PIERSON: But that's not even the point here. We are trying to find some animosity towards Donald Trump. It's a fund-raiser, it's not a fund-raiser. They're not racing money for the campaign.
FERGUSON: Katrina -- it's not reaching when you say --
PIERSON: What, Ben?
FERGUSON: -- every time you are on TV, I'm a really rich guy and I don't want to take money from anyone, and I'm not going to have fund-raisers. When that is what you say you're running, when you look at the American people --
PIERSON: Yes, but he does, he's telling people --
FERGUSON: But, hold, Katrina --
PIERSON: -- if you want to donate, you can.
FERGUSON: Katrina, Katrina, no. There's a sign out that said it was $100 and make your checks payable to Donald Trump.
FERGUSON: Is it a fund-raiser if you write a check? It is a fundraiser. Let's be intellectually honest on that.
PIERSON: If you want to call it a fund-raiser, yes. And, Ben, you know I ran for office.
FERGUSON: It is a fundraiser. PIERSON: We had events where we didn't do fund-raisers and
people still wrote checks. So, no, you can't put a broad brush on that.
FERGUSON: You say it's free -- hold on. Let's make this clear -- if you are really rich as Donald Trump is and you don't want outside influence, why wouldn't you say, we're having an event tonight and as it free and I'm going to pay for everything. By the way, if you do want to make a donation, I will take it but this event is free? That's not what this event was from the beginning. It's a fund- raiser.
SCIUTTO: Matt, I want you to get in there --
PIERSON: It was hosted by a friend of his, yes.
SCIUTTO: We're almost -- whatever he says, these issues don't stick to him. He is Teflon candidate in the race.
Matt, do you think there's an issue here or does he have such an energy now that he can -- he can burst through questions like this?
MATT MCDONALD, FORMER RAPID RESPONSE DIRECTOR IN 2004 BUSH CAMPAIGN: You know, I worked on the Schwarzenegger re-elect and I remember when he did his first bus tour and he got off the bus, there's a crowd of protesters. All the protesters when he got off the bus, they dropped their signs and went to go get signatures from Arnold.
And there's an aspect to celebrities in politics where people feel like they know them and the aura, it really just changes the calculus of the race. And I think that's part of what you are seeing with Donald Trump is that people feel like they know him. So, when they find out facts that they don't think may jive with what they know about him, they discard them. And you get some of that Teflon affect for a little while. And it remains to be seen how long that's going to last or how long the other candidates are going to let him run that out.
SCIUTTO: Well, you know, Ben and Katrina, trouble is the other candidates have had trouble fighting this. I was speaking to Scott Walker today. He is down from 13 percent to 6 percent. I mean, there's some people who called him a frontrunner earlier in the race. You heard Donald Trump say here that Bush is rapidly disappearing, and that is at least true in the polls in his poll numbers.
How do the other candidates break through this, you know, this combination of celebrity and excitement?
FERGUSON: I'm not sure any of them know exactly how to do that. That's the reason why you see them all fade right now.
I mean, there is one thing that I will agree with Donald Trump about this. He is having an incredible campaign. He is filling up the rooms wherever he goes. People are excited and want to see him speak.
And you look at how he dismissive he is, anyone that asks a question he doesn't like, that's what people are cheering for. They like the fact that he's a very strong leader. It may not be that the answer gives you facts or figures or plans on what he is saying, but it sounds great and they're cheering for it.
So, as long as this continues, I'm not sure any of the other candidates can break through in any way.
SCIUTTO: Well, it's not showing signs of fading.
Katrina, Ben and Matt, it's great to have you on. I want you to stay with us because Trump will be speaking again.
OUTFRONT next, Trump inside a fund-raiser tonight. He'll be speaking with families of people who were allegedly victimized by undocumented immigrants.
And shortly after that, he will address approximately 1,000 people at that fund-raising event. We're going to bring you to that speech as well.
[19:38:22] SCIUTTO: Breaking news: we are standing by for Donald Trump to start speaking at a private fund-raiser. You're looking at live pictures at the event. You can see him walking there underway tonight outside of Boston. Trump arrived there just a short while ago.
The campaign says the crowd numbers more than 1,000 supporters, each paying $100 for the chance to see the Republican frontrunner.
And as you can see, a sign outside the home of tonight's fund- raiser, that sign made it clear people needed their checkbooks or cash. That sign has been removed.
But one thing that's not been removed, the cake. Trump's signature "Make America Great Again" red hat in cake form tonight.
MJ Lee is OUTFRONT live outside the fundraiser.
So, MJ, you heard Trump there tell reporters that this is not a fund-raiser. But you spoke to the host of tonight's event about this earlier.
MJ LEE, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right, Jim. There's been some confusion about whether or not this event is a fund-raiser. When I spoke with the host of the event, he did in fact say that it was a fund-raiser, $100 per raise.
When Trump did the media gavel a few minutes ago, that was the first question he was asked actually. And he was adamant it was not a fund-raiser, that some of the money might be used to offset the costs of the food and drinks at this event. And this is an important distinction for Donald Trump, because he is a candidate who has made this a central part of his campaign, that he doesn't need outside money, he doesn't need help from donors.
SCIUTTO: No question. MJ, thanks very much.
As we listen to the stage now, it sounds like Donald Trump has just begun his speech now.
[19:40:00] Back with me now, Katrina Pierson, Ben Ferguson and Matt McDonald.
Ben, we have been talking about how the other rivals are responding to Trump's energy and his lead. I have to say, some of them are starting to sound a little bit like Trump himself. Actually, Trump is now beginning to speak -- stay there, hold your thoughts. We're going to listen to his speech and come back to you.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't want your money. I don't want your money.
So, we have a lot of people in here. I know some people made contributions, which you didn't have to do.
We have a lot of people that came in. We have wounded warriors here tonight. Some incredible folks.
We have veterans here.
We are going to take care of our wounded warriors. We are going to take care of our veterans. Believe me. Believe me.
We're going to build up the military of the United States so that nobody, nobody messes with us, nobody. Nobody.
And, you know, we're not going to have to use the military. When you get it strong, when you get it right -- we have such great people in the military, when you get it right, you don't have to use it.
Right now, you have so many people threatening us, looking at us the wrong way. They don't fear us. They don't respect us. They don't respect our leader. They don't respect any of our negotiators.
You look at trade pacts. China eating our lunch. Japan, like we're children. Mexico both in trade and at the border what they're doing to us is terrible.
And I have great respect for China, for Japan. I love the people. I love the people of Mexico. I love Hispanics. Nobody, nobody loves Hispanics like I do. I probably have more than almost anybody working for me.
They come in, they buy apartments, they give me a fortune. I love them. I love them. I love them.
But the problem our country has -- and it's a big problem -- is that the leaders, whether it's Mexico, whether it's Saudi Arabia, where we protect -- think of it. I have great friendships in Saudi Arabia. They make a billion dollars a day.
Now, remember, oil went down. So maybe it's a half a billion. It's still a lot, right? And when they have a problem, we go in and protect them. What do we get? Nothing, nothing.
So many places. I ordered 4,000 television sets not long ago, 4,000 for a big job. I came -- they're all from South Korea, Samsung, LG, Sharp, they're all from South Korea, they're making a fortune.
Now, when North Korea raises its hand, when our friend from North Korea, that wonderful young man, I've never seen that. He inherited a dictatorship. That's pretty tough, right? How do you inherit a dictatorship?
So, he probably has something going because that's not easy. But when he raises his hand and he starts getting a little bit frisky, we go over, we're going to protect, the ships start going, the planes start going. We have 28,000 troops over in South Korea on the border. And you talk about a dangerous border. That's a dangerous border.
We get nothing! What? We get nothing. And South Korea's making a fortune. And we love South Korea, but somebody's got ask them, hey, folks, come on, help out, right? We owe now 19 -- we owe $19 trillion, $19 trillion and we're protecting everybody.
Now, Ukraine is interesting. We want to protect Ukraine. But can I tell you what? You have Germany, you have all of these European countries. Ukraine is their neighbor. They don't say anything. They don't help out. They don't do anything.
We're the one that takes the lead. We take the lead on everything. We take the -- he said we're the suckers. Who said that? Who said that?
Very good. Smart guy. I probably went to school with him. Smart. He shouts out, "We're the suckers." Hey, we want Ukraine to come through. We think it's great. But why isn't Germany there making -- who has a Mercedes Benz right now? Raise your hand. Look.
They're making a fortune. They're a very, very great nation. They're a money machine. We get nothing. They say, go in and take care of Ukraine. OK, fine.
So, we have to start using our heads. We can do something so incredible. Look at Iran. Now, what about the pact?
[19:45:01] Did you see the other day? They are going in to inspect their own site. The worst site, the most important site they're going to self-inspect. Can you believe it? Can we even -- are we even saying this? Are we even saying this?
He just said John Kerry's a joke. No, he's a bicyclist. OK? No, think about it.
He's 73 years old and he goes into a bicycle race. He's got the helmet, the whole thing. He's negotiating a very important deal. He falls, he breaks his leg, and he's gone.
Now, he walks in on crutches. They say what the hell happened to you? The Iranians can't believe what's going on. They can't believe it. So, they deal with Iran.
You know, we're going to have in two weeks with Ted Cruz and some other great folks, we're going to have -- we're going to have a rally in Washington against the Iran deal. People are saying, oh, it's too late. You can't stop it.
Think of it -- they get $150 billion, and by the way, they get that money whether the deal goes through or not. Can you believe it? So even if you stop the deal, they're getting this tremendous amount of money in order to do things terror all over the world. What do you think they'll use that money for? Terror all over the world.
So, they get $150 billion plus, plus, plus. Russia and people that we thought were with us, they're going to be the big beneficiaries. Russia is selling them missiles. You know that, right? Tremendous order of missiles. I thought they weren't supposed to have missiles. They're getting missiles, the latest, the best, from Russia. We have four hostages over there, can you believe making that deal and not getting the hostages out?
And John Kerry --
SCIUTTO: Donald Trump speaking live there as brash as ever taking shots at Iran, the Iran deal, South Korea, Europe.
We're going to stay with us. We'll be right back to his live speech there at a fund-raising event outside of Boston after this short break.
[19:51:04] SCIUTTO: Breaking news and welcome back.
We are rejoining Donald Trump speaking at a fund-raising event just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Let's listen in some more.
TRUMP: Our real airport is being built right over there. And he pointed -- this airport was temporary. And he pointed across the runway, they must have had 75 cranes lined up. The most incredible thing you have ever seen and we come can back to LaGuardia.
It's very, very sad. It's very, very sad.
So, we're going to clean up our infrastructure. We have bridges, right? Look at the man, he's shaking his head. He's just going -- oh, he's right. He's a smart guy and he's devastated. Am I correct? Look, I know your brother? Who's your brother? Very nice guy.
Not a good golfer but that's OK. He's a nice guy.
So, I just want to say to Ernie, to everybody, this is such an incredible group of people. This is a record for a house, I will tell you.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
You know, usually when you do these -- first of all, not a lot of people have property this big. Where's Ernie? Ernie, where are you, Ernie?
Not a lot of people have Ernie's property. He's got a lot of acres here. This is a big sucker, Ernie, OK?
But, you know, the other day we were in Iowa, where we are leading in the polls. And we had in a room that never -- we had 4,000 people. They went wild and they are great people.
Then we went to New Hampshire where, by the way, the poll just came out, 35 percent. Can you believe, 35, 35!
And you know, we have some low-energy people. They are really low. I'm not going to say Jeb is low energy, but he's pretty low.
Who would you rather have negotiate with Iran, Trump or Jeb?
How about this, Trump or Hillary?
Believe me, Hillary's got some big problems. If she makes it to the starting gate -- which I think would be unfair to General Petraeus. You want to know the truth, General Petraeus, his life was destroyed for doing 2 percent of what Hillary did.
I think it would be very, very unfair to General Petraeus. I will tell you, you know, when you look at what she's done and how she's done it and the servers and Huma. How about Huma?
OK, here's the story. So, Huma now is one of the people that came through, who's Huma married to? One of the great sleaze bags of our time. Anthony Weiner. Did you know that?
She's married to Anthony Weiner, you know, the little bing bing bing, bam, bam -- I love you very much.
So, think of it. So, Huma is getting classified secrets. She's married to Anthony Weiner, who's a perv. He is. He is.
So, she's married. Now these are confidential documents. She's married to this guy and -- guess what happens to Anthony Wiener, a month ago, I see he went to work for a public relations firm. Do you believe it? Now, if you think that Huma isn't telling Anthony, who she is
probably desperately in love with, in all fairness to Anthony, because why else would she marry this guy?
[19:55:05] Can you believe it? Can't see straight.
But if you would -- look, think of it. So, Huma, it is coming through Huma. She has a lot of stuff, a lot of information, who knows? So, she is married to a bad guy. I knew Anthony Weiner a long time. I knew before they caught him with the bing bing bing, right? And he was a bad guy then. It turned out he was a really bad guy.
So, she is married to Anthony Weiner. Do you think there is 5 percent chance that she is not telling Anthony Weiner now of a public relations firm what the hell is coming across? Do you think there's even a little bit of chance? I don't think so.
Are there any women in this room who are in love with their husbands who wouldn't be telling them everything? You wouldn't or wouldn't?
No, she said, I wouldn't but I'm in love. Now, you will.
So, it's a very sad situation. So, I don't know -- I don't know if Hillary gets to the starting gate. But -- and my primary focus are on these 16 people. You know, I have guys like Lindsey Graham who are zero.
SCIUTTO: Listening to Donald Trump there, speaking at a fundraising event just outside of Boston. Trump really at his brashest, taking aim, even getting personal with Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Clinton aide, her husband, speaking to a crowd there at this fundraiser.
We're going to stick with this just after this break. Please stay with us.
TRUMP: Look at Ernie. I said, Ernie, who is that? He said, it's my girlfriend. I said, you better marry her, Ernie. Fast, Ernie. Hey, Ernie --
SCIUTTO: You have been listening to Donald Trump at a fund- raising event just outside Boston. Brash, as unscripted as ever, taking aim at Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Europe, Russia, the Iran deal, saying to a receptive audience that the U.S. is in crisis. No sign of his popularity flagging.
Thank you for joining us tonight and this week.
"AC360" live from New Orleans starts right now.