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THE SITUATION ROOM
Trump Defends Treatment of Women; Sanders Digs In, Blasts Nevada Dem Party; Interview with Senator Jeff Sessions; Trump Marches Toward Delegate Magic Number. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired May 17, 2016 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TAPPER: That's it for "THE LEAD." I'm Jake Tapper. Turning you over now to one Mr. Wolf Blitzer and one Mr. Anderson Cooper. They're right next door in THE SITUATION ROOM.
[17:00:16] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: on the attack, new ads rolling out using Donald Trump's own words against him. Trump firing back with some choice words on Twitter. Who comes out ahead in this battle for women voters?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Primary day. Voters in Kentucky and Oregon making their choice. First results expected soon. Hillary Clinton hoping to bounce back from a bad couple of weeks.
BLITZER: The Sanders campaign facing fallout after a state party gathering in Nevada over the weekend erupts into angry chaos.
COOPER: Plus, each candidate's road from here to the nomination and beyond the conventions.
I'm Anderson Cooper.
BLITZER: I'm Wolf Blitzer. And you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Hello. Another big day of election politicians well underway right now. We begin with new attack ads rolling out tomorrow. They're produced by a pro-Clinton super PAC, one featuring women lip-syncing some of the less flattering things Donald Trump has said about women. In a moment, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski joins us to respond.
First, CNN's Brianna Keilar sets the stage.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The war between Hillary Clinton allies and Donald Trump just went to a new level.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (via phone): You know, you can see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.
KEILAR: The super PAC backing Clinton, Priorities USA, will start running scathing ads tomorrow in key general election states Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Nevada, using Trump's words against him. TRUMP: Does she have a good body, no. Does she have a fat ass?
You can tell them to go (EXPLETIVE DELETED) themselves.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does Donald Trump really speak for you?
KEILAR: Trump firing back on Twitter saying, "The pathetic new hit ad against me misrepresents the final line. 'You can tell them to go blank themselves' was about China, not women."
TRUMP: We're going to bring businesses back.
KEILAR: And Trump is right. That moment coming from a New Hampshire rally where he was discussing bringing business back to the U.S. Hillary Clinton was off the campaign trail today, but her husband took on Trump from Puerto Rico, where voters cast ballots next month.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Election we're about to have with the Republican candidate reflects a big debate going on all over the world today. Are we going to build a future with walls or bridges? Are we going to join together or are we going to drift apart?
KEILAR: But Trump has words for Bill Clinton, too, seeing the former president's past infidelities as a vulnerability for his wife. Trump tweeting "Amazing that Crooked Hillary can do a hit ad on me concerning women when her husband was the worst abuser of women in U.S. political history."
Regardless of that history, Clinton backers think they see opportunity in Trump's unfavorability ratings with women, highlighting his past statements on women's issues in the three-week $6 million ad buy.
TRUMP: Nobody respects women more than Donald Trump, that, I can tell you.
BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: Cut off funding to Planned Parenthood?
TRUMP: Yes, I would.
KEILAR: Brianna Keilar, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: As you saw in the report, the campaign and the candidate are already responding to these ads on Twitter. And right here, Trump Corey Lewandowski joins us.
Carey [SIC] -- Corey, thanks so much for being with us. You see the pro-Clinton super PAC hitting Donald Trump for his past comments on women. How concerned are you? I mean, if these ads keep up for the next 5 1/2 months, do you think they can actually take a toll on your candidate?
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, look, here's the bottom line. Donald Trump in 30 years has had women in senior positions in his corporation. He has put women in positions to build Trump Tower, the building behind me, 30 years ago when it was unheard of. Some of the most senior people in his company are women.
And he has a proven history, not just one that these people want to talk about, a proven history of putting women in senior positions to make sure that they have the ability to give him the best advice possible and do the best job, regardless of gender. That's what he's always done. He's paid people based on their performance. And that's the case, and we're proud of that history.
COOPER: He certainly does have that. That's actually one of the things that "The New York Times" talks about in that article, which obviously, Donald Trump has taken a lot of issue with. And some people who are being interviewed for that article have come forward and said that they feel they were misrepresented.
But Donald Trump has made plenty of comments on Howard Stern and other places are going to be brought up against him. Does that concern you at all?
LEWANDOWSKI: Well, let's look at that "New York Times" article for a second. Three of the people in that article have gone on and said that they've been misquoted. One of the people who said they were actually quoted was -- had a section of their book extracted and actually put in there, never spoken to them.
If you look at what Rowanne said, she said that she spoke to them for two hours. She was not taken in context and had to be on television yesterday and the newspapers today saying that "The New York Times" was wrong.
[17:05:10] "The New York Times" should apologize. They're absolutely wrong. It was a factually inaccurate story. You know, they're dishonest about it. Luckily, the newspaper's failing, and so it's a shame when they reported it that way. And when they had the opportunity to record accurately, they chose not to. That's the problem with the mainstream press.
This article, though, I mean, which he obviously, as we said, has taken the issue with last night a Trump Organization, attorneys suggested a lawsuit was, in her words, a distinct possibility. Today another of Trump's attorney walked that back.
Can you clarify whether Donald Trump feels he actually has a case against "The New York Times"? Because he himself tweeted the article is libelous, which is a very specific legal term.
LEWANDOWSKI: Well, it is libelous, because they were factually inaccurate. They did not do due diligence. They said that they tried to contact people at the last hour. What they know is they were working on the story for four weeks. They had the opportunity to get it right. They chose not to get it right, because they wanted to write a salacious story, go after Donald Trump because they want to get newspaper clicks on their website. They wanted to make sure people are following their publication. And it's a real shame, because you've got a major media outlet like
this that doesn't have an interest in the story right but is more inclined to sell newspapers than actually get a story right, and that's a shame on the press.
COOPER: I talked to Ohio's governor, John Kasich, yesterday. I want to play a clip of that conversation for you and have you respond. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You're undecided on whether or not you would endorse Donald Trump?
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: Yes, I am. Right. I'm undecided.
COOPER: Are you undecided about whether you'd actually vote for him?
KASICH: You know, at the end of the day, endorsing is going to mean a lot and, frankly, my wife and my daughters have watched this. And if I were to turn around today and endorse him, they had be like, "Why, Dad?" And that matters to me.
We'll see what he does. He has a chance to move to the positive side and unify this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Corey, how do you respond to the governor of Ohio? It's obviously a key swing state. He's a prominent Republican. He says, "Look, the women in my life would be concerned if I endorsed Donald Trump."
LEWANDOWSKI: Look, Donald Trump is a unifier. We've seen that from two weeks ago after he secured the Republican nomination after the massive win in Indiana. We've seen how many people have come on board for this campaign, continued to come on board.
Here's the important thing. What you have to remember if you're Governor Kasich or anybody else is one singular focus in this campaign, and that's to ensure that Hillary Clinton does not become the next president of the United States. And there's a clear choice coming in November. You can have Donald Trump, who creates jobs, will renegotiate bad trade deals, give tax cuts to the middle class, and make sure our deficit is reduced, or you can have Hillary Clinton in office.
And I don't think John Kasich or anyone else in the Republican Party are willing to have Hillary Clinton there. So at the end of the day, they should come on, and they should support Donald Trump, unify behind him to make sure that we have one focus, which is an economy that will get started again under a Trump administration and not four more years of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.
COOPER: There has been: we heard it from Speaker Ryan, Kasich, as well. They want to see some sort of -- whether it's change in tone or specific policies, obviously, Donald Trump had a meeting with Speaker Ryan. Seems like there's going to be other -- other attempts to reach out.
Does -- do you believe your candidate needs to change anything about his tone for the general election?
LEWANDOWSKI: You know what I think? I think the American people are really smart. I think what we've seen in these primaries, that people are pouring out. You know, the Republican Party has increased their performance by 65 percent, while the Democrats are down for voter turnout. We've seen massive lines at the election booths when it comes to Donald Trump being on the ballot.
And I think that is driving people out, because they're sick and tired of the political correctness. They're sick and tired of people in Washington telling them what is and isn't appropriate for them to say and do and hear.
Candidly, politicians have failed us. It's time to get someone to change the system. And I think Donald Trump has tapped into that. People are angry. They're disappointed. They don't have good jobs anymore. They want the economy back. They want to renegotiate our trade deals. American people are smart, and they can take straight talk. And that's what Donald Trump has always provided. I don't think we're going to change that now.
COOPER: The campaign has just announced that Donald Trump has made another filing with Federal Election Commission, out toing big numbers in terms of income and net worth. As you know, people say those filings do not provide the same kind of information, the same transparency that a tax return does. Just about every other candidate in the past, though it's not legally required, has put out tax returns. Why not just release those?
I mean, even though you say that he's being audited, there's nothing restricting him, somebody from being audited from releasing their returns.
LEWANDOWSKI: Well, look, he's under routine audit. Everyone knows that. He's been very clear about that. Even Greta has said that as an attorney she would never recommend to her client to release taxes while they're under a routine audit.
But here's what you do find in the financial disclosure statement, Donald Trump just filed the largest personal financial disclosure statement in the history of presidential candidates when candidate Bernie Sanders had to ask for an extension.
It's the difference between a businessman who gets things done and a politician talking about things getting done. His net income last year was in excess of $500 million. He's worth more than $10 billion. He's grown an amazing company.
[17:10:06] And you're not going to learn anything from someone's taxes. What you're going to learn is what, you know, their income is for one year. What you see here, Donald Trump has just released that information. So I don't know what secrets you think you're going to find.
But you know, you can't release your taxes while you're under a routine audit. And as soon as the audit is done, he will release those taxes. We've been very clear about that.
COOPER: But you are going to understand things that you don't get through, through those other documents that are being released. You are going to understand your yearly income. You're also going to understand charitable giving, which is something your campaign has touted.
LEWANDOWSKI: He's released his yearly income. In a personal financial statement, it's in there. So I don't know what else you're looking for. It's over half a billion this year in income, and it's released in the personal financial disclosure statement. Also, it's much more detailed than a tax form. It's available to anybody online, once the Federal Elections Commission posts it. You can see all of the businesses, 500...
COOPER: What about charitable giving?
LEWANDOWSKI: ... which he owns.
Well, the charitable giving is mostly through his personal account, but he's also donated millions of dollars through his foundation, which is also available. You can always find that, too.
COOPER: But most of the money is given through his foundation. Actually, most of the money that's come through his foundation isn't actually his money. It's money that's given from other people into his foundation which he then distributes.
We know very little about, though he has spoken about it, we know very little about what little money he has actually given in charitable donations to veterans groups and others which he has touted.
LEWANDOWSKI: He's given over $100 million in charitable giving over the last number of years, and we've been very public about that. And as you know, and he raised money for the veterans. He personally pledged and donated $1 million alone.
So Mr. -- you know, Mr. Trump's financial giving to charitable organizations is unquestioned. He's done over $100 million in the last number of years. And I think, by any accounts, a lot of money. And I think many, many organizations have benefited from his ability to give to those groups, and he'll continue to do more.
COOPER: Just for the record, that's money also through his foundation, correct?
LEWANDOWSKI: Well, it's through his foundation, but he also gives personally. That's right.
COOPER: All right. Corey Lewandowski, thanks very much. Appreciate it -- Wolf.
BLITZER: As well as how tonight is shaping up, Secretary Clinton is looking for a win in Kentucky, and Sanders expected to do well in Oregon.
Here's the question: where will that leave the two after tonight? John King getting ready to map it all out for us.
And later, breaking news. New developments in the wake of the melee at the Nevada Democratic convention. What Senator Sanders is saying now about his supporters' role in that.
[17:16:47] COOPER: Welcome back. You just heard Corey Lewandowski push back against those super PAC ads that roll out tomorrow in some key states. Let's get the panel's take: senior political reporter, Nia-Malika Henderson; best-selling Hillary Clinton biographer, investigative raconteur, Carl Bernstein; chief political analyst Gloria Borger; also Trump supporter Kaleigh McEnany; Republican strategist Ana Navarro, not a Trump supporter; senior Democratic Party official Donna Brazile; and former Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter, who supports Hillary Clinton.
Do you think these ads either essentially a replay of ads that Republicans were running against Donald Trump, and they didn't work back then. Do you think they're going to work now?
KALEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We are in a general election, so I do think that's different. I mean, these ads are effective. What they've done is they've woven together statements that Trump made on the Howard Stern show back in the 1990s with statements he's made now.
Statements he made in the 1990s were much worse than anything said in the campaign. So if he distanced himself from those statements and said, "I shouldn't have made those statements. That was not OK. I don't stand by them," that would effectively nullify these ads, because the women vote, the female vote, his Achilles heel when you personalize it in that way, it is an effective line of attack, and I think that he should address it head on. And you basically insert some humility into it.
COOPER: You do believe he has a problem with women voters? I mean, obviously, the polls show that that's something -- that as a supporter that's a concern of yours.
MCENANY: He won the Republican women in 18 of the 26 states. So yes, he does well with Republican women. But at large, that is the obstacle that he has to get over in order to get to the White House, is the female vote in a general electorate setting.
COOPER: Do you think these super PAC ads, they can do in general what the Republican ads couldn't in a primary?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I'd say to Democrats, be careful of following the Republican playbook, because it's very hard to out-Trump Trump. It's very hard to out-attack Trump. And they're going down the path where he is most comfortable.
You know, do -- does anybody on the panel think that Trump is more comfortable having a policy debate with Hillary Clinton or a personal debate with Hillary Clinton?
I think what he's doing is actually quite sad. No. 1, he is distracted. We're not talking about policy. We're talking about this issue.
No. 2, he is deteriorating their image. Remember, the Clintons have rehabilitated their image in the last 20 years. Bill Clinton has become one of the most popular people. He is bringing all of this back, refreshing our memory.
No. 3, he's neutralizing. He knows he has a problem and he's preemptively striking against Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton on these same issues, making it more of a neutral issue.
COOPER: Also, Donna, taking it one step further, though, not just saying this Bill Clinton's fault, saying this is Hillary Clinton's problem, she was an enabler of her husband.
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And everybody knows that is not true. Anyone who was around in 1990 -- I was around in 1990s -- let me just tell you this. It was personal. She was hurt. They had to resolve this and work this through in a very public manner.
And if anybody wants to go back and bring this trash up, fine. The Clintons are battle tested. Here's where Donald Trump, I think, is going to find that Democrats are not like the Republicans, who rolled over because they did not want to alienate Trump's supporters.
NAVARRO: Why are you pointing out me?
BRAZILE: Because, I...
NAVARRO: I'm not rolling over.
BRAZILE: Well, you don't have to roll over. He'll just roll past you.
But look, Donald Trump in the 1990s was a big fan of Bill Clinton, who went so far as to say, if Bill Clinton didn't have the problem with Monica Lewinsky, he would have been the greatest president ever.
Donald Trump has said so much. He has gone out so far -- John Miller -- I don't know the difference anymore -- but Donald Trump has gone so far to praise and kiss up to the Clintons that now that he wants to go back and destroy them, fine, that's the Donald Trump playbook.
Bill Clinton not only supported the Violence Against Women Act, Family Medical Leave Act, he appointed women to the Justice Department, to top positions. So, he has a good record on women's issues.
Will these so-called women come out and re-adjudicate their -- their criticism of the Clintons? Fine.
COOPER: They're not so-called women. They are actually women.
BRAZILE: They're women. Of course they are. But all I'm saying -- all I'm saying is that there are issues here that Donald Trump would like to talk about because he doesn't want to talk about releasing his tax return.
COOPER: But Mayor Nutter, is Hillary Clinton ready to battle that kind of a battle?
BRAZILE: Why not?
COOPER: I mean, she was asked about this last week, I guess it was, on the campaign trail. She said essentially, "I'm not going to talk about that. I'm focused on the issues." Is that good enough when you're on a debate stage with Donald Trump, who turns to her and says, "You enabled the abuse of women"?
MICHAEL NUTTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, Anderson, when you lay down with dogs, you wake up with fleas. Hillary Clinton is not going in the gutter with Donald Trump. She's going to talk about the issues that actually matter to Americans in a campaign. There will be all that other fire going back and forth.
The interesting thing about these ads, first of all, they are effective because it's true. It's your voice. It's your words. You have to own it, and not one Trump supporter has denied that.
Secondly, old take on a legal action. If you have no record, you talk about your ideas. If you have no ideas, you talk about your record. If you have no record and no ideas, bang on the podium and attack your opponent. That's all that's going on here.
COOPER: Well, let's talk about the attack on the opponent. I mean , Donald Trump tweeted out about these ads. They say, quote, "Amazing Crooked Hillary can do a hit ad on me concerning women when her husband was the worst abuser of women in U.S. political history." It's not the first time he's said that about Hillary Clinton.
And -- and, Carol, I mean, you know Hillary Clinton. You've been -- you know, you wrote a huge biography about her. Is she ready for that kind of attack? Can she respond to being called an enabler of this?
CARL BERNSTEIN, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: She wants to make Donald Trump's, quote, "recklessness" the issue in this campaign. Donald Trump wants to make the issue Hillary Clinton, Clinton fatigue as it were. And it's effective, because he has shown that there is a real soft spot, as has Bernie Sanders in terms of people in this country -- not a majority perhaps, but look at the distrust numbers -- being tired of the Clintons of their, quote, "sense of entitlement." And now this whole server question, this has etched and eked away her -- her firmament.
Look where she was in the polls at beginning of this campaign and where she is now. It's because a new picture has been painted of her. And that is what he's doing here. And the cumulative picture he wants to paint is one that will make Americans who have not quite made up their minds think the idea of the Clintons in the White House again is repellent.
COOPER: Gloria, we just got videotape in that I want to play and then talk about it. It's Bill Clinton, apparently in Puerto Rico, responding to Trump's allegations. It's first time we're seeing it, here with the panel. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, can you respond to Donald Trump today calling you one of the worst political abusers in U.S. history?
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No. People are smart enough to think for themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Not sure what he said there at the end. Initially he said, no, and he seemed sort of startled by the whole thing.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: He was dismissive of it.
COOPER: I'm sorry. "People are smart enough..."
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: To figure it out.
COOPER: "... to figure it out." That's what he said.
It is interesting, because both times now -- we just saw that for the first time, former president and Hillary Clinton, both times when asked about this, they seemed almost surprised or as if they hadn't really thought this out of how they're going to respond. You would think that there would be a response...
COOPER: ... in their DNA.
BORGER: I think, first of all, this is not a conservative that Bill Clinton wants to engage in, in any way, shape or form, certainly not in an ad hoc sort of conversation at an airport or wherever he was.
I do think that the Clinton campaign is thinking about how she responds. One of the ways is they let the super PAC do these advertisements. And Hillary Clinton responds the way she's been doing lately, which is with a kind of a disdain and kind of a...
COOPER: Above the fray.
BORGER: ... cool -- cool disdain, and you let your surrogates and you let your ads do it. At a certain point, though, as you point out, Hillary Clinton's going
to be on the debate stage with him. And the danger and the risk for Donald Trump, to me, is that people who live in glass houses can have some difficulty.
[17:25:07] BORGER: And so she can turn around and say to him, "You know, Mr. Trump, I stayed with my husband. What about your life?"
COOPER: And Nia, also, though, when Hillary Clinton brought up Donald Trump saying he was sexist, Trump fired back with this, and it did really sort of silence that -- that attack from the Clintons.
HENDERSON: And it particularly silenced Bill Clinton for a while, which I do think that is what he's up to, because Bill Clinton has been a fairly effective surrogate for Democrats, not only Obama in 2012 but for Hillary Clinton, as well.
I do think -- I mean, if you think about back in the '90s, when they had to address this when Clinton was running for president, they sat down. It was Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton for a "60 Minutes" interview, and you wonder if, at some point, they're going to have to do something like that.
COOPER: We've got to take a quick break. More with the panel. We'll also hear from Trump advisor Senator Jeff Sessions. And breaking news: bedlam at the Nevada Democratic state convention. Bernie Sanders supporters scream, shout, throw chairs. Now the chairwoman of the party is getting angry calls, voice mails and even death threats, apparently. We'll sort out what's going on and hear what the Sanders campaign is saying about it.
Meanwhile, the delegate math not in Sanders's favor. Not impossible for him to clinch the nomination but unlikely from a numbers stand point. John King is going to crunch the numbers.
BLITZER: More breaking news. Bernie Sanders responding tonight to calls for him to rein in his supporters after this happened over the weekend. Chaos broke out at the Nevada state Democratic convention after Hillary Clinton won more delegates than Senator Sanders. His supporters erupted, shouting, curse, even throwing chairs. Security had to shut down the event.
[17:31:19] Party leaders are now worried that the same kind of bedlam could disrupt the national convention in Philadelphia in July.
CNN's Manu Raju is joining us now with the latest. Manu, tell us a little bit more about what happened.
MANU RAJU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, this is really the most amount of tension that we have seen between the party leadership and the Bernie Sanders camp, really, this entire primary season. It's really been building for months. He Bernie Sanders camp believes
that a number of these state parties have rules that are stacked against them, stacked against the supporters and shut out their supporters.
And Nevada really, really encapsulated that. That became a really -- just an ugly scene after a day, a very tense day on Saturday led to the video that you're seeing right now.
Now, CNN has obtained audio of a senior level campaign aide, Joan Kato, who met with her supporters, Bernie supporters before the convention and made it very clear that she wanted Bernie Sanders supporters to really take it to the party leadership.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOAN KATO, SENIOR CAMPAIGN AIDE, BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN: You should not leave. I'm going to repeat that. Unless you are told by somebody from the campaign, i.e., probably me or David, that you can leave, you should not leave. I don't care if the chair's up there herself or whoever the chair is, whoever becomes the chair. You should not leave.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: Now, the Bernie Sanders campaign says that they do not condone any violence whatsoever. But some Sanders supporters actually posted the phone number and address of the state party chairwoman, Roberta Lange, and afterwards she was flooded with phone calls, even death threats to her voice mail, text messages, too, targeting both her and her family. This is the kind of thing that really worries Democratic leaders as we start talking about the Philadelphia convention, Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes, I heard some of those recordings, those death threats, pretty ominous.
How concerned are party leaders, Manu, if this is just a preview of what could happen in Philadelphia at the Democratic convention?
RAJU: Pretty significantly. I spent a lot of the day talking to party leaders, including Dick Durbin of Illinois. He said that Bernie Sanders needs to rein in his supporters and tell his supporters a little bit more personally that they need to calm down.
Actually, I just talked to Harry Reid, the Senate minority leader, from Nevada, who said that -- he was very critical of Bernie Sanders' handling of the situation. Bernie Sanders actually put out a statement saying that they do not condone violence but at the same time criticized party leaders' handling of it. Harry Reid called that a silly statement and says that Bernie can do better, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Manu. Thanks very much -- Anderson.
COOPER: Panel joining us, also is "New York Times" presidential campaign correspondent, CNN political analyst Maggie Haberman. Mayor Nutter, let's start with you. You're a Clinton supporter.
Should Bernie Sanders completely try to tamp this down? Because I mean, when there was issues that Donald Trump rallies, Bernie Sanders says it was the candidate's responsibility to weigh in on this, take care of it.
NUTTER: Absolutely, there's no question about it. And as the former mayor or the person who signed the contract and asked the Democratic National Committee to come to Philadelphia, as tolerant as we are, we are not going to tolerate that kind of behavior.
So I think that Senator Sanders, who made an affirmative choice to run for president as a Democrat, asked to become a super delegate, these are the rules of the party. And there are 50 states, 7 territories. You need to know them all. So every time something doesn't go exactly the way they want, then it's the establishment, the rules issues. "We don't understand. We got shut out.
I'm not saying that any process is perfect, but that kind of behavior -- chairs being thrown, death threats to a party chair and all of this behavior -- has to be isolated by a statement, a very firm statement by Senator Sanders about that.
[17:35:05] You want to talk about rules and all kinds of other things, do that tomorrow. Take care of this business here today. Shut this down now.
COOPER: Donna, has the Sanders campaign done enough of that?
BRAZILE: Well, first of all, the Nevada party has filed a grievance letter with the rules committee. I'm on the rules committee. And we're going to look at it and investigate it, find out what happened.
Look, we want to bring everybody together. We want everybody to come to Philadelphia, not only enjoy our great American city but to also elect the 45th president of the United States of America. There's no place in our party or the Republican Party for the kind of what I call acrimony and threats of violence.
I mean, I know the party chair. She works hard. Many of these officials are not paid. I'm not paid by the Democratic Party. That's the breaking news for her. We are there because we love our country, and we believe in democracy and justice.
And for individuals -- and I don't think it was organized by the Sanders campaign, or encouraged by the Sanders campaign -- but no one should feel free to just interrupt a proceeding, especially when we're trying to elect delegates who will nominate the 45th president of the United States of America.
COOPER: Maggie, in terms of Kentucky tonight, I mean, do you think it's possible for there to be an upset tonight on the Democratic side?
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it is certainly possible that Bernie Sanders can win. I mean, what works in Hillary Clinton's favor is this is a closed primary. Sanders has tended to do better with independent voters.
But, you know, Kentucky looks a lot like West Virginia in certain ways, and that is a state where Hillary Clinton just got wiped out by Sanders; and her comments on coal are going to continue to come back to haunt her. They have for a while. You have seen Donald Trump use it to very great effect in recent weeks.
And so I think that you could see Sanders escape this evening with another win that he will point to and say, "My supporters are here. They want me to keep going. Why would I stop?"
And, you know, we talked about this in the last hour. That's understandable. You know, his supporters are engaged and energized, and he has been saying a version of what he's been saying for the last year for 20 years, 30 years, and people are now finally showing up and listening. So it's understandable why he doesn't want to...
COOPER: In terms of Oregon, I think a lot of white, liberal voters, it does seem something that Bernie Sanders should do very well there tonight.
HENDERSON: Yes. She's are states tailor-made for Bernie Sanders, not only Oregon. You look at Kentucky. They're probably at about 9 or 10 percent African-American voters there. I think Hillary Clinton's obviously trying to rally those different communities in places like Louisville, in Lexington.
But listen, if she comes out of tonight with two losses, I think this narrative about her trouble, particularly with white working-class voters, will continue. And Bernie Sanders supporters will be that much energized. They'll keep giving money and will just give fuel to his argument that he might be the stronger person to defeat Donald Trump in the fall.
HENDERSON: He's obviously making that plea to super delegates, probably largely falling on deaf ears. But he's going around.
BORGER: Obamacare's actually going to be an issue for Democrats in the race, because you had a Democratic governor who embraced Obamacare, and now you have a Republican governor who is pushing it away.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
BORGER: About Bernie Sanders is not a supporter of Obamacare, but you're going to have a lot of Democrats who kind of liked it the way it was before, and they may -- they may help Hillary Clinton out here tonight. That could really -- by wrapping herself in the president and in Obamacare, that could kind of help her out here.
COOPER: We were talking -- there was an interesting article, essentially saying Donald Trump's running to the left, Carl, on Hillary Clinton on a number of issues: minimum wage, certainly Wall Street, free trade. Trump says, "I'm not running left of Hillary Clinton on anything."
BERNSTEIN: Well, the great thing Trump has going for him, he's on both the left and the right of so many issues. And it gives -- the Republican Party has never had this ability to overcome its right-wing ideology. And Trump gives them a real chance to do this.
Meanwhile, Hillary, who intended to run to the right of Barack Obama in this campaign, has been pushed way to the left by Bernie Sanders, and now she wants to tack right after and if she gets the nomination to get Republican votes. She then becomes someone accused of flip- flopping all over the place. It is not an enviable position that she is in.
But Trump, for the first time, we've got a Republican running for president who is not an ideologue.
HENDERSON: Yes. Yes. It's a very...
COOPER: And as a Trump supporter, that's...
MCENANY: This is what -- people talk about Donald Trump being such a disaster for the Republican Party, but for a very long time, certainly in the last two elections, we needed someone to broaden that ideology, to reach out to the left, not to have a litmus test to vote in the Republican primary -- for the Republican candidate. We don't have that anymore. It's gone.
COOPER: We've got to take a quick break. Coming up next, late reporting that Donald Trump says he is willing to talk to one of this country's bitterest rivals, North Korea's Kim Jong-un. When we come back, I'll ask one of Trump's firmest supporters about that, or actually Wolf will, Senator Jeff Sessions. Next.
[17:44:38] BLITZER: The breaking news right now, Donald Trump just told Reuters he would have no problem speaking to the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.
Joining us now, Senator Jeff Sessions. He's chairman of Donald Trump's national security advisory committee.
Senator, thanks very much for joining us. Are you surprised when you heard this? I'll read the direct quote to you, when he said -- he said, "I would speak to him. I would have no problem speaking to him." What do you make of that?
[17:45:01] SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: Well, I haven't discussed that with him, but one of the things I think Donald Trump understands is power and opportunity. But another thing he understands, if you start a negotiation, you have to be willing to walk away from it. If nothing occurs, you have to walk away. I think that was the big mistake that Obama-Clinton made with regard to Iran, once they started years went by and very little ever good came of it. It would be a trap for you to get into long-term negotiations without an end in sight. BLITZER: In an interview with Anderson last night, the Ohio governor,
John Kasich, said Ohio voters want a uniter and he also said something else. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: It would be very hard for me, unless he were to change all of his views and become a uniter, for me to get in the middle of this thing. Because you know I'm undecided here about what I'm going to do in this race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: He said he's not ready to endorse Donald Trump until he changes all his views and become a uniter. What's your reaction to that?
SESSIONS: Well, he is uniting the party. The party or the Republicans who voted in the Republican primaries. he's had a huge victory there. And polls in recent days show that they're coalescing around Trump in very high numbers and he's actually only two points behind on the national poll. So I think he's moving in that direction rapidly and will continue to do so. And I guess politicians and part of the establishment crowd that may not be happy, it may take them longer, but it looks like the real power, the power that's with the people, it is coalescing and unifying behind Trump.
BLITZER: Governor Kasich isn't alone. Senator Ted Cruz hasn't endorsed Donald Trump. Neither has the speaker, Paul Ryan, despite their meeting last week. You were with the first senator to support Donald Trump. What's your message to these other Republicans right now?
SESSIONS: Look, I mean, we all have to unite. Speaker Ryan has to ask for House members to support him, even those who didn't favor him for speaker. People like our senators asked voters who didn't support them to support him after they've been elected. So I think it's time for the Republicans to get behind the Trump agenda, really behind the American people who want to see change in Washington. They are not happy. And they shouldn't be happy.
And Trump is going to shake this place up, he's going to move this country in a better way. He's going to protect American workers for a change, deal -- do trade deals that actually protect America and strengthen America. He's going to have a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interests, and protects jobs and wages. I just think this a kind of agenda that is conservative and realistic and Republicans should all join behind.
BLITZER: And getting back to the breaking news for a moment, Senator, you're not concerned what Donald Trump just said to Reuters, that he's willing to start a direct dialogue if he's president of the United States with Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea? That doesn't bother you?
SESSIONS: Well, you just have to be very careful about that. If he means actually just opening up a possibility of a discussion to see if it's fruitful, that's one thing. But I believe there's nobody run for president in years who understands how to negotiate more effectively than Donald Trump. And I do believe he will not be disadvantaged by Kim Jong-il or anybody in North Korea. I think it's unlikely that a good result would come out of it but to attempt something like that, maybe worth the effort.
BLITZER: Kim Jong-un --
BLITZER: I just want to make sure we're not referring to his father, Kim Jong-il.
BLITZER: All right. Senator, thanks very much for joining us.
SESSIONS: Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: With no rivals left in the Republican race, Donald Trump is certainly piling up delegates. So how soon could he reach the magic number actually needed to win the Republican nomination outright? John King standing by to break it all down for us.
[17:53:27] COOPER: 28 Republican delegates at stake tonight in Oregon with Trump the only candidate left in the GOP race. Obviously the Republican primary is short on drama. Cruz and Kasich's names, they're on the ballot, but Trump the presumptive nominee, he's got a comfortable margin.
John King is here to show us how close Trump is to reaching the magic number needed to clinch that nomination.
So John, the active competition, so much of our attention tonight is on the Democratic race, but the Republican nomination battle is not officially over. Let's take a look at what's at stake.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, only Oregon tonight voting on the e Republican side. Kentucky has already voted for the Republicans. Not a lot of drama. The only drama left really on the Republican side, will we see any protest vote against Donald Trump and the big question when will he get to 1237 which is the magic number for delegates to officially clinch the nomination? He's the presumptive nominee for now.
Oregon has a very low ball for proportionality so even though Ted Cruz and John Kasich had long ago suspended their campaigns, we do expect them to pick up some votes today. If they get 4 percent, 5 percent, 10 percent of the vote, they'll pick up some delegates. So let's assume Oregon goes something like this and Trump gets about 17 of the 28. Now that will move him out. Clearly not enough to get to 1237.
Washington state on the Republican side is up next week. Again you have proportional rules. But let's assume Donald Trump gets something like this. And again if the numbers are a little higher that will get him a little bit closer but there's not enough delegates in Washington state next week to get Donald Trump to the magic number. At the point everything else left on the map for Republicans is on June 7th. The final day for Republicans. Democrats go another week for the District of Columbia. So what will happen on June 7th? Well, winner-take-all in New Jersey, that will move Donald Trump very close.
[17:55:01] Now let's move back through the time zones here. You move out here, get to South Dakota. That would get him close. New Mexico, assuming there's some proportionality here, it will move Mr. Trump a little bit closer. Then you have Montana, that would get him to 1212 in this scenario. It is conceivable, conceivable if he picks up a few more delegates tonight and in Washington state, a little bit more in New Mexico, conceivable that Montana could put him over the top on June 7th. But the most likely scenario, and again not a lot of drama involved here, it's just a question of when it happens, is that California on June 7th would make the Trump nomination official.
The presumptive nominee for now, it would take most likely until California, again maybe one of these Mountain states like Montana on June 7th to make the math official there for Mr. Trump. Presumptive nominee for now. Make up some ground tonight in Oregon, a little bit more next week in Washington state and on June 7th it becomes official -- Anderson.
COOPER: Much more ahead in THE SITUATION ROOM on this big primary night. We'll get the latest from Oregon and Kentucky after we take a short break.