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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Sources: Trump Tells Supporters to Up Attacks on Judge; Rubio: Trump's Attacks on Judge "Wrong and Offensive."; Trump Facing Outrage Over "My African-American" Comment; Clinton Hits Trump, Tries to Hold off Sanders in California. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired June 6, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:00] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the breaking news. Donald Trump calling staffers stupid, ordering staffers and supporters to intensify attacks on the judge in the Trump University case.
Plus the man Trump referred to as, quote, "My African-American." Does he think Trump's comments were racist? He's OUTFRONT tonight in his first national television interview.
And is Clinton about to clinch a major endorsement in the wings. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news. Campaign chaos this evening. Donald Trump in a leaked campaign conference call, telling campaign staffers and supporters to ramp up attacks on the judge in the Trump University case. Trump refusing to back down on his calls for the judge to recuse himself from the case, saying the judge is biased against him, because, quote, "he's a Mexican." Going against the advice of his own staff, Trump, according to a Bloomberg report, telling surrogates, quote, "That's one of the reasons I want to have this call."
Because you guys are getting sometimes stupid information from people that aren't so smart. Despite the growing fears of many Republicans, Trump thinks this latest controversy could actually be helping him.
Jim Acosta begins our coverage OUTFRONT tonight at Trump Headquarters here in New York. And Jim, what more are you learning about what happened on that call?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Erin, Donald Trump is defiant, he is ordering his team of campaign staffers and surrogates to keep up the criticism of Judge Gonzalo Curiel. A source on the call says, it was Trump being Trump and that he still believes the judge can't be trusted, because of his Mexican-American heritage.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Donald Trump is not backing down on a conference call with staffers and surrogates today. Trump said there would be no apologies for his comments on Judge Gonzalo Curiel and he ordered his team to keep up his criticism of what he sees as judicial activism. Trump's mandates to his team runs counter to an e-mail that his campaign sent to aides and supporters last night urging them to stop talking about the judge. According to Bloomberg News, Trump said take that order and throw it the hell out.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We're building a wall. He's a Mexican. We're building a wall between here and Mexico.
ACOSTA: The swift condemnation of Donald Trump's comments on Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel is coming in from nearly every corner of the Republican Party. From former foes like Marco Rubio.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Quite frankly, I'm very disturbed by the way he keeps referring to this judge. An American. Born in Indiana. Who he continues to raise issues about. And I hope he'll stop doing that.
ACOSTA: And John Kasich, who tweeted, attacking judges based on their race and/or religion is another tactic that divides our country. More importantly, it is flat out wrong. Ben Carson piled on saying in a statement, every human being is an individual first, rather than a member of an identity group. The moment we forget that is the moment we enter into a phase of moral dissent. Even Trump supporters who have mentioned as possible vice presidential running mates are sounding off.
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This one of the worst mistakes Trump has made and I think it's inexcusable.
ACOSTA: Trump wasn't pleased to hear that.
TRUMP: I was surprised at Newt. I thought it was inappropriate, what he said.
ACOSTA: Even though Trump is their likely nominee, the GOP's own top leaders are denouncing his comments. That's in part because the real estate tycoon is not only standing firm of Judge Curiel's Mexican- American heritage should bar him from handling the lawsuits against Trump University.
TRUMP: This judge is giving us unfair rulings. Now I say why. Well, I want to -- I'm building a wall, OK?
ACOSTA: Trump has gone further, singling out other ethnic groups.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it were a Muslim judge, would you also feel like they wouldn't be able to treat you fairly because of that policy of yours?
TRUMP: It's possible, yes.
ACOSTA: The outcry is revealed a divide inside the campaign with one adviser telling CNN, Trump's comments are no reason to celebrate. But another adding, he's saying what a good amount of people are thinking, and don't want to say it.
ACOSTA: Now, as for the criticism coming from House Speaker -- former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, sources on the call say Trump is definitely disappointed after all. Gingrich have been mentioned as a vice presidential running mate Erin and in the words of one source, on this call, quote, "you can take Gringrich off the VP list." Now, as for the campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks, she says that the call was a very positive discussion, used to discuss overall messaging, but no matter how you spin it tonight, Erin, it is Donald Trump who is being judged tonight -- Erin.
All right. Jim Acosta, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT now, Trump supporters, Jason Osborne and Kayleigh McEnany, both of them were on the call today. Also with us, George W. Bush White House staff Margaret Hoover, David Gergen who advised four presidents and Clinton supporter Maria Cardona who currently does work for a pro-Clinton Super PAC, she worked, advised on the Clinton campaign so he has been through these moments in campaigns before.
Jason, let me start with you. You were on that call. Trump telling you surrogates to ignore an e-mail that came from his own campaign staffer, an e-mail in which the campaign manager and the campaign chairman and the campaign spokesperson were all copied. He's telling people throw it the hell out. Fight against the judge in the case. And here's what Bloomberg reported, he then went on to say. Take that order and throw it the hell out. Are there any other stupid letters that were sent to you folks? That's one of the reasons I want to have this call because you guys are getting sometime stupid information from people that aren't so smart. Jason.
[19:05:28] JASON OSBORNE, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Yes. No, I think the tone of the Bloomberg article was completely in factual. Donald Trump got on there, thanked his supporters and his surrogates for doing a great job over the last several months. And talking about his campaign, and talking about making America great again. The e-mail is just -- it was an example of a campaign that continues to send out, like every other campaign, e-mails to staff, to say these are the things that we should be talking about. And before any of these folks had information, they were told not to talk about this issue and when Donald Trump today on the call explained his side of the story, it made complete sense.
So, I think this is an issue that is being made way too much of a big deal. He never once said continue to attack the judge. He said here are the facts of the case. And we need to continue to attack the bias that is going on out there. Not only from the judicial system, but also outside of that.
BURNETT: All right. Kayleigh, what's your take on this? Because, you know, again, I go back to this, the direct quote that Bloomberg says. You guys are getting sometimes stupid information from people that aren't so smart. This e-mail, again, coped his campaign manager, his campaign chairman and his chief spokesperson.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Yes. Bloomberg is completely off base here, because, look, this is an example of media- selective listening. I was on the call. This was a positive phone call where he thanked supporters for supporting him. It was completely positive. It was informational. And for Bloomberg to glean from that that Donald Trump made this call to order his supporters to do a certain thing, that is completely false. It's completely wrong. And it's a complete example of why the American people do not trust the media. It's one of the least-trusted institutions in this country. And this article is a reason why they spin things the way they want to spin them. And it's completely untruthful that he ordered anyone to do anything.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean, Kayleigh that is a reasonable approach to deflecting something that is really incredibly rancorous and rotten in our political system and with the Republican presumptive nominee. And with the Republican Party. I mean, this is a moment of reckoning for Republicans. People like me, like many, many in the Republican Party who want a Republican Party that is modern, that can appeal to a new generation of Americans, that can sustain itself into the future, are absolutely despondent with this candidate, with his response to this.
And with his absolute inability to mature as a candidate, to frankly -- exude any amount of decency, let alone faith in the American constitution or a branch of government that it can impartially administer justice. And that's what's just really unconscionable.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, listen. The journalists didn't make these stories up.
BURNETT: No, I mean, like I said, this is a direct quote of what he said.
GERGEN: Yes. The journalist for Bloomberg had sources who were on the call who directly disagree with what we just heard. The accounts we've just heard. Politico has a story out, which from sources who are on the call which directly disagree. I think the fundamental issue, let's go back to what set off this firestorm. You know, we are in the 72nd anniversary of D-Day. Over 6,000 Americans died on this day in 1944. We didn't care whether they were black, brown, or white. They were all Americans, fought under the same flag.
And to call this judge, because -- he has Mexican heritage, born in Indiana, you know, somehow he's biased. Violates all those traditions. But let's just go on to the called today just briefly. In this call, he has insulted, once again -- and you can't believe you would do this as a candidate. He's insulted once again the Hispanic community but he is now insulted his staff. He's called them basically stupid. You know, I don't know why the surrogates can't do this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. That is not what happened, David.
GERGEN: But hold on, don't just say with what's reported. Let's just go with what's reported.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is not what happened.
GERGEN: And what we haven't talked about here, according to the Bloomberg -- according to these sources, he said with regard to the journalists, when they asked these questions, they're the racists.
BURNETT: Yes. Right.
GERGEN: The journalists, they're the racist.
BURNETT: That's right. When they ask questions about the judge. Kayleigh, are you denying that he said that. Are you denying that he said you're getting stupid information from people who aren't so smart, throw that e-mail the hell out? Are you saying that that happened?
MCENANY: You can go to the campaign and ask for specifics of a phone call, because I'm not going to ask you for the specifics of your last phone call. I don't think that's fair. It was a private conversation. But what I will say is this. As I have disagreed with Mr. Trump on certain points and I have made it known when I have disagreed. I was never ordered to change anything I've said. I was never ordered to change my points. That is false. It's wrong to report it that way. David Gergen, you weren't on the phone call. You know, I have deep respect for you, but you weren't there.
GERGEN: Hold on.
[19:10:08] MCENANY: Someone who is -- as someone who has publicly disagreed with Donald Trump, I was never ordered to do anything. I was not ordered to change anything I've done. But it is disingenuous to make the headline of your story Trump ordered surrogates to do something.
GERGEN: With all due respect, listen. With all due respect, if you want to be -- with all due respect -- listen, you've come on here and denied what the Bloomberg story was. You said it's all wrong. And then when we say, OK, let's go to this --
MCENANY: I didn't say it was all wrong.
GERGEN: Yes. But you said it was wrong. You can't come out of here and sort of just attack without sort of backing it up and saying, well, on this point, he didn't say that. He didn't say that about journalists being racist. He didn't say that about having a stupid staff. He didn't say that. You know, about these other issues. Either you -- you're either going to tell us what happened or how can we believe your denial?
MCENANY: David -- it's almost an hour-long phone call.
GERGEN: Well, tell us --
MCENANY: This was almost an hour-long phone call. Wait I will say one thing. This is almost an hour -- this was almost an hour long phone call, almost the entirety of which was a pleasant discussion where Donald Trump spent more time listening to people than he did -- BURNETT: OK. The question is, did he -- are you, Kayleigh or are you
Jason, disputing that he said the things that we have said quoted him saying?
OSBORNE: Yes, I think some of the facts that are in the case and I haven't read the Bloomberg article in its entirety are not --
BURNETT: I mean, let's just get specific here, Jason. Did he say you guys are getting sometimes stupid information from people that aren't so smart. Are you going to dispute that directly or not?
OSBORNE: No, but that wasn't specific to a specific person. That was in general. That was why we had the call so that we could talk about these issues.
BURNETT: But he is referring specifically to take that order and throw it the hell out.
OSBORNE: But David, David, with all due respect. You weren't on the phone call.
BURNETT: The campaign staffer in which, the campaign chairman, the campaign spokesperson and the campaign, his strategist --
MARIA CARDONA, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: Can I chime in here? I think what's astounding here is that Jason and Kayleigh are actually proving the report being right. Because they're doubling down and they're doing exactly what is being reported that Donald Trump told his surrogates to do.
CARDONA: Regardless of what's being reported, regardless of what the journalists say, regardless how wrong-headed his initial comments about this judge were and how racist they were, they're doubling down on it. That's exactly what --
OSBORNE: What we're doubling down --
BURNETT: Go ahead, Jason. Give Jason a chance to respond.
OSBORNE: What we're talking about here, is the facts of the case. That Donald Trump laid out the facts of the case on this. And I think it's a legitimate to argue, is there bias out there. When you have two law firms that have contributed almost $900,000 to Hillary Clinton or Bill Clinton over the years. When you have a judge that has released video or depositions and then says, oops, I forgot, I wasn't supposed to release half of those. When you have several attorneys from every walks of life coming up to Donald Trump and his attorneys and saying, this case should have been dropped three years ago.
BURNETT: But why did Trump's attorneys not file that motion? I don't understand Jason. If he's saying it publicly, why did they, if they had all that evidence, they never filed for him to recuse himself?
OSBORNE: Well, I'm not a lawyer. And so we didn't talk about that aspects.
GERGEN: Jason, you have confirmed now about the staff. Let's ask you about the journalists. Did he say those -- people who question this, they're the racists. They're the racists, and go after them.
OSBORNE: First off, I never --
GERGEN: Did that occur or not occur?
BURNETT: OK. Jason, go ahead and you Kayleigh. Sorry, Jason.
OSBORNE: First off, I never confirmed that he said that about staff. He said it as a generality. And second off, I never heard him make a statement that journalists are racist at all.
MCENANY: I never heard that either. I never heard that in the entirety of the conversation.
BURNETT: So he didn't say the people asking the questions to him were the racists.
OSBORNE: No, I didn't hear him say that. And I think it's interesting that we have Bloomberg that David and everybody else is referring to Bloomberg as having it right. When you have two people right here that were on that phone call, and didn't hear that being --
GERGEN: But Kayleigh won't -- won't acknowledge what happened or didn't happen. At least you've been more straight forward about that. Thank you.
CARDONA: Do you guys think he should double down on those comments of Judge Curiel? Do you guys agree with that?
OSBORNE: I'm sorry, say that again.
CARDONA: Do you think that it's smart to double down on the comments about Judge Curiel? Quick final word, Kayleigh, to respond.
OSBORNE: Yes. Go ahead, Kayleigh.
MCENANY: I mean, Maria, I was just going to say, you know, you said that this entire conversation was evidence of that -- the phone call happened and it happened in the nature that Bloomberg reported it. But in fact, I said just a few sentences ago that I have disagreed with Trump on this issue. But nevertheless, I am allowed to give my opinion. I'm allowed to freely go out there and do that. And Donald Trump has never tried to change my opinion. He's never tried to order any of us to do anything. So --
GERGEN: Donald Trump has never tried to shape your opinion? He was on your -- just on a phone call with him. He's never tried to shape your opinion?
MCENANY: He has never tried to shape my opinion.
GERGEN: And you're just on a phone call as a surrogate?
MCENANY: And that is something very unique to this campaign. Unlike Hillary Clinton's campaign, which sends out people who lockstep says the things that she -- Donald Trump does not do that. He does not do that.
CARDONA: So you do not agree.
MCENANY: Everybody has liberty to say the things they want to say.
CARDONA: So you don't agree that Donald Trump should be saying these things about Judge Curiel and they are racist comments. You agree with that, correct?
MCENANY: I believe the Mexican heritage -- I believe the Mexican heritage portion should have been explained in its entirety. His problem with him is not the Mexican heritage. Because listen to this. If Donald Trump had a problem with this judge's heritage -- if Donald Trump -- let me finish. Because everyone likes to talk over. And then you don't get your point out.
So if Donald Trump had a problem just solely with this judge's heritage, he would have asked for him to be removed two years ago when he was put on the case. The problem with this judge only came after a myriad of actions were taken. That were questionable and when Donald Trump found out about his affiliation with La Raza, San Diego which oversaw the scholarship to an illegal immigrant which put in Donald Trump --
[19:15:42] BURNETT: I just want to -- I just want to point out La Raza in this case is a professional organization for Hispanic lawyers not an advocacy group.
MCENANY: No, it's La Raza San Diego.
MCENANY: And they oversaw a scholarship to an illegal immigrant. That is the same La Raza.
GERGEN: Thank you for pausing here for a second. Listen, let me ask you this. If you're so free to express your opinion, why has Newt Gingrich been taken off the vice presidential candidate list because he disagreed with what Donald Trump said? Is that encouraging free talk among his surrogates?
OSBORNE: You know, I saw that report by Jim Acosta. And, you know, none of us know who is on the vice presidential short list. That's Donald trump's list. So, I think that is just another person just theorizing about, you know, where are we going to put --
GERGEN: It came from a source inside the campaign. It came from a source -- it wasn't made up by journalists. This is not sort of imaginary journalism. BURNETT: All right. Hit pause. You're all going to be with me --
you're all going to be with me in just a moment, as well. We want to talk to Marco Rubio and Newt Gingrich. Because those are big names, and in the case of Newt Gingrich and our ardent supporter, all now slamming Trump. Is he about to lose some major endorsements or not? And my exclusive guest, the man Trump was talking to when he said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Look at my African-American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Plus, a major boost for Hillary Clinton.
[19:20:19] BURNETT: Breaking news tonight. Marco Rubio who had endorsed Trump tonight, slamming him for his comments about the judge in the Trump University case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: Now the 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 will stop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Rubio making those comments to our own Manu Raju who is with me tonight. Manu, Marco Rubio certainly not the only Republican lawmaker that you had a chance to speak to today. Did any of them try to defend Donald Trump?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely not, Erin. Actually, I spent the afternoon both my colleague, Ted Barrett and I, spent the afternoon really serving Senate Republicans. What we found is by and large, virtually all of them criticizing Donald Trump in different levels of sharpness, if you will. Some saying that he should repudiate those comments, some saying they should take them back. But actually none of them actually walked back their endorsement or support of Donald Trump interestingly. But one senator has yet to endorse Donald Trump, and that is Susan Collins, a Maine moderate. She said that Donald Trump really has to change if she's going to get behind him this fall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: I would hope that at this stage of the campaign, that Donald Trump would turn a new page, start acting more presidential, stop with the personal insults, and begin articulating what his vision for America is. I think their inappropriate, regardless. It's absolutely unacceptable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: Now, Collins also would not say if she would actually endorse or vote for a third party candidate. Not really shutting the door on that. Very interesting, Erin. And also, I got a chance a little bit later to catch up with Tim Scott, he is the lone African-American senator on the Republican side. I asked if he thought that Trump's comments about Judge Curiel were racist. He said that they were racially toxic. Probably the closest any Republican senator has gone, other than Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and calling those comments racist. And really just shows the level of consternation that still exists among Republicans on Capitol Hill and Donald Trump -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Manu. My panel is back with me now.
So David, does Donald Trump needs to stop the bleeding at this point? Or is this something that once again it will pass and it will be just yet another thing that he managed to go right on through and turn to his advantage?
GERGEN: We'll have to wait and see. We don't know that for a fact. But I do think there is a difference between being a candidate in the primaries and being the nominee of your party. You ascend to a higher level of seriousness and people really have to decide, do they want you in the oval office or not. I don't think he's made that transition well. I think these last three weeks have been very self- destructive for him. I'm sure a lot of his supporters -- we have Kayleigh and Jason as examples, are going to stick with him. But in terms of expanding his base and getting new endorsements. Listen, would Paul Ryan have endorsed had he known -- he endorsed in the morning and that night, he has got an embarrassment --
BURNETT: But Paul Ryan within 24 hours had to come out and criticize him because of this.
BURNETT: And Jason, as you know, there were a lot of Republicans, mainstream Republicans, that matter in the general election. Maybe not in the primary, but matter in the general. They got on board with Donald Trump. And then this -- this happened with the judge, and they have changed their tune. Here's a couple of them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Donald Trump should be given a ton of credit for advancing and widening the playing field.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, the comment about the judge the other day just was out of left field, from my mind.
SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: I thought that what he did yesterday was a really good transition in the campaign.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, I -- I don't condone the comments. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think there is a potential for Trump to bring
into in a much larger tent. And that's the key. This will be a much bigger Republican Party. Three months from now.
GINGRICH: This is one of the worst mistakes Trump has made. And I think it's inexcusable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Jason, are you worried that some Republicans could either not endorse him or actually pull back one of those crucial endorsements?
OSBORNE: No, I'm not worried at all. I think, actually, the called today was extremely helpful. And because it gave the -- a number of us a lot of background that we didn't have. All we have been seeing is kind of what the media has been reporting on this case. And so a number of these elected officials don't have the facts of the case as we do. Now. And so our job as a campaign is to get the facts out to them, and let them know that, you know, Donald Trump has a reason to be upset about this case.
BURNETT: So what reason did he give you that the judge was biased? That wasn't the reason that he gave to the world? Because in a television interview, he said because he's Mexican.
OSBORNE: No, you know, he's gone through a number of these things. I mean, I talked about it earlier. That the two law firms that have contributed to Clinton. You know there was a --
[19:25:12] BURNETT: Right. By the way, at the same time they were going to Clinton, Donald Trump himself is writing big checks to Hillary Clinton.
CARDONA: And it was before they were running for president.
OSBORNE: Right. Semantics. It was $900,000. That's a lot more than Donald Trump has given to the Clintons, I can assure you that. So, I think if you look at the background on this, there was a judge that was initially in charge of this case that then was taken off and this judge was put on there. He appointed -- that judge appointed two law firms, one of which had contributed significant amounts of money to the Clintons. That has a number of attorneys that are there, that have very negative pasts. That we haven't gotten into. Then you have the judge kind of making statements like he did when he released the depositions that said he was aware of this controversy and what Donald Trump had been saying about the court.
HOOVER: There's a -- you know, in legal terms, there's a very high bar for impropriety of a judge. And also, for conflict of interest. And if Donald Trump seriously thought that this judge had a conflict of interest, he would have gone through the proper channels through his lawyers and to the judge to say that this judge was going to be conflicted. We have addressed this over and over in the judicial system and United States of America. Whether somebody of a certain race can rule about plaintiffs of that
race. Michael Mukasey is the Attorney General of the United States under George W. Bush, when he was going to -- when he was judging ten radical Muslims and whether they had plotted to blow up the United Nations and whether he as an orthodox Jew as a judge could rule on that case said this is the same rancid wine in another bottle. It's the same rancid wine.
OSBORNE: But you also had Bush's attorney general who is Hispanic that came out and just --
HOOVER: And you know what, he tried to give him a way out. He tried to give him a way out.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
CARDONA: -- On something other than this judge being Mexican. Because he knows it's so pernicious and so corrosive to the future of the Republican Party that there would be no path for Donald Trump to the White House.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much.
And OUTFRONT next, the man Trump called my African-American in his first national TV interview. Was he offended?
And the American judge that Trump called Mexican, his brother joins me OUTFRONT this hour.
[19:31:15] BURNETT: Tonight, Donald Trump facing growing outrage for these comments he made about a black man at a rally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We had a case where we had an African-American guy who was a fan of mine. Great fan. Great guy.
In fact, I want to find out 's going on with him. You know -- look at my African-American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest? Do you know what I'm talking about? OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, I'm going to speak to the man he singled out in just a moment. But first, Dana Bash is OUTFRONT with Trump's racially charged comments.
TRUMP: This judge is of Mexican heritage. I'm building a wall, OK? I'm building a wall.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A federal judge of Mexican descent, whom Donald Trump wants removed from one of the fraud cases against Trump University.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: If you are saying he can't do his job because of his race, is that not the definition of racism?
TRUMP: I don't think so at all.
BASH: Yet virtually every other Republican is suggesting that's exactly what it is. Even staunch Trump supporters.
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: If a liberal were to attack Justice Clarence Thomas on the grounds he's black, we would all go crazy. Every conservative would say it was wrong and it was racism.
BASH: The trouble for Trump, this is just the latest in a string of incendiary comments going back to 2011 when he infamously questioned whether Barack Obama was really born in the U.S.
TRUMP: He doesn't have a birth certificate.
BASH: And more recently, reluctance to denounce a former KKK leader.
TRUMP: Honestly, I don't know David Duke. I don't believe I've ever met. I'm pretty sure I didn't meet him.
BASH: Trump later made clear he would disavow David Duke. And then, last week, Trump referred to a black supporter in the crowd this way.
TRUMP: Look at my African-American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest?
BASH: That supporter, congressional candidate, Gregory Cheadle, told CNN he wasn't offended, but acknowledged others were.
Then, there was Trumps controversial call to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering America.
TRUMP: We have to stop the Muslims until we find out what's going on.
BASH: That drew support from GOP primary voters, but was condemned by many GOP leaders.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This is not conservatism.
BASH: As for Trump's inflammatory remarks regarding the federal judge --
TRUMP: He's a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel.
BASH: Republicans may think it's morally wrong, but they also worry it's politically destructive for the GOP. Since Hispanics are such a growing force in the U.S. population, 55 million nationally as of 2014, compared to just 9.6 million some 40 years ago, according to the Pew Research Center.
Alienating voters with racial intolerance is what several former GOP opponents warned about.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I think embracing Donald Trump is embracing demographic death.
BASH: Going for votes in a rather narrow primary electorate, Trump prevailed. But now, Trump is the leader party of Abraham Lincoln, the country becoming less and less white, which makes his comments more and more alarming to many Republicans.
BASH: But based on that conference call Trump had with supporters today, Erin, he urged them, of course, as we have been reporting, to push back rather than to give in or recalibrate. It doesn't sound like Trump is prepared to listen to the tough love he's getting, even from the most ardent and prominent backers he has.
BURNETT: All right. Dana, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT now, the man Donald Trump called my African-American, Gregory Cheadle, a Republican running for Congress in California. This is his first national television interview.
Gregory, so when Donald Trump singled you out, at that very instant, what went through your mind? What was your initial reaction?
GREGORY CHEADLE, MAN TRUMP POINTED OUT AS "MY AFRICAN-AMERICAN": Well, my initial reaction was nothing more than a jovial surprise.
[19:35:00] I'm still blown away why so many people have made this an issue. It was just a fun thing that happened.
Everybody there was happy. It was a jovial event. I don't know. I was just -- I was pleasantly surprised. It was funny, more than anything else.
BURNETT: So when he used the word "my" that some have interpreted to be condescending, derogatory, harkening back to another gone era in this country, did you take any umbrage at the word "my?"
CHEADLE: No, when you look at what Donald was saying, initially, he was saying that it was a great fan. This African-American was a great fan. The remark, he says, aren't you the greatest? So how in the world can I take offense at being a great fan, and the greatest? No. I'm still not offended by it.
BURNETT: So others who were offended said that you should have been offended, because he was singling you out. There is my African- American. There is my black guy. They have called you some ugly racial names, for essentially being what they say is a sellout. The #TrumpsAfricanAmerican was trending on Twitter, as you know, Gregory.
CHEADLE: It is astounding what's happening on Twitter. I mean -- what it does show is that there is -- there needs to take place in this country healing regarding racists. You know, blacks and whites, we have a history of, you know descent.
So we have to come together and we have to make the effort to come together. I find a gross inconsistency with, you know, the outrage that's directed toward me instead of Mr. Trump. It's inconsistent on the one hand they want to call me a sellout and Uncle Tom and whatever else. That's fine.
But the problem is, how can they look in the mirror and call themselves the "n" words and all these other things when they're listening to rap music and so forth and so on? So, the real issue is that how in the world can we expect others to accept and appreciate us when we don't accept and appreciate ourselves.
BURNETT: Gregory, the Trump campaign released a video from the rally. And in this rally, they show a little more of this. It's a different angle than we just showed our viewers. And in it, you're sort of yelling at him, and this rally, pretty much everybody was white, right? You were -- one of the very few.
CHEADLE: Like 99.9 percent white, yes.
BURNETT: So there's you standing there, a sea of white people around you, and you're yelling "I'm here, I'm here." Let me just play that for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We had a case where we had an African-American guy who is a fan of mine. Great fan. Great guy. In fact, I want to find out -- what's going on with him.
CHEADLE: I'm here!
TRUMP: Look at my African-American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest? Do you know what I'm talking about?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: After all that, though, Gregory, tomorrow in California, you're going to vote. Are you going to vote for Donald Trump?
CHEADLE: I've not decided who I'm going to vote for. I'm looking at Donald, I'm looking at the libertarian, the American-independent and I'm even giving Bernie a second look. So I'm very critical about who I'm going to vote for.
I'm not going to vote for Hillary, because if anyone is a racist, she is, given the support to her husband with respect to mass incarceration and reduction in welfare, and that money going toward building prisons. So, she is definitely out of it. BURNETT: All right. Well, Gregory Cheadle, I appreciate your time
tonight. Thank you for coming OUTFRONT.
CHEADLE: Oh, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
BURNETT: All right. And next, countdown to Super Tuesday. Will Clinton clinch the
And Donald Trump and his sister, they sure don't seem to see eye-to- eye on when a judge should step down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What you cannot do is stop the trial every time some bit of creative nonsense is presented to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:42:49] BURNETT: Tonight, a major endorsement in the race for 2016. Sources confirming to CNN, President Obama is going to get off the sidelines and endorse Hillary Clinton as his successor. Bernie Sanders, though, is not going away quietly.
Brianna Keilar is OUTFRONT.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hillary Clinton approaching the finish line, courting California voters on the eve of their primary.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am tired of Donald Trump insulting Americans! I am tired of Donald Trump talking down America! I am confident and optimistic about our future. But we're going to have to do some thing like elect the right person to president of the United States.
KEILAR: In between four get out the vote events in southern California, Clinton visited a community center in Compton. And as Bernie Sanders vows to take the Democratic primary race all the way to the July convention, Clinton not so subtly urged him to reconsider.
CLINTON: We've got to be unified going into the convention, and coming out of the convention to take on Donald Trump and to repudiate the kind of campaign he is running, and make it very clear that's not the kind of president or commander in chief we want.
KEILAR: After winning contests in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands over the weekend, Clinton is on the cusp of earning enough delegates to secure the Democratic nomination, just shy of 2,383.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: That is not racist.
KEILAR: She is hitting Donald Trump hard with the new web video, featuring fresh Republican criticism of the presumptive GOP nominee.
ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: How dare he question a judge's responsibility, a judge's adherence to the Constitution, because he is of Mexican descent? KEILAR: Highlighting his recent comments about the federal judge of Mexican heritage, born in Indiana, presiding over a fraud case involving Trump University, Trump's now defunct real estate program.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: If you are saying he can't do his job because of his race, is that not the definition of racism?
TRUMP: No, I don't think so at all. We're building a wall. He's a Mexican.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Are you comfortable with a potential president attacking a federal judge for his heritage?
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: No. This is one of the worst mistakes Trump has made.
[19:45:02] And I think it's inexcusable.
KEILAR: But even as Clinton focuses on the general election --
CLINTON: It's not over until it's over.
KEILAR: -- California is up for grabs. Independent voters can cast their ballots in the Democratic or Republican primary, a potential advantage for Sanders.
The Vermont senator was critical of Clinton over the weekend about her family's foundation, U.S. intervention in Libya while she was secretary of state and Iraq war vote.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Certainly the war in Eric, Bush's era, Clinton's era, has caused us incalculable harm.
KEILAR: And a sign that President Obama, Erin, could soon make his pick in the Democratic primary known publicly, his spokesman saying there are still votes to be cast in New Jersey and California. He will wait until those voters weigh in to weigh in himself. But that's tomorrow. So, maybe we'll know very soon.
BURNETT: All right. Brianna, thank you very much.
And next, the irony of Donald Trump attacking a federal judge, because his sister is a federal judge. Do they see eye-to-eye on this?
Plus, that judge's brother fires back. He's my guest, OUTFRONT next.
BURNETT: Trump is not backing down. Sources saying he's ordering supporters to keep attacking the judge in the Trump University lawsuit.
[19:50:03] Trump says the judge should recuse himself in part because of his Mexican heritage. But we have talked to a number of judges who say Trump should know better. Well, for one reason, ironically, his own sister is a federal judge.
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You know this Trump, but you may not know this Trump -- Donald's big sister with an entirely much more private career.
MARYANNE TRUMP BARRY, FEDERAL JUDGE/DOALD TRUMP'S SISTER: It is critically important in a criminal case that there is discipline.
LAH: Meet Federal Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, senior judge on the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, a distinguished decades long legal career, who Donald Trump publicly admires, saying he called for advice during his campaign, even jokingly saying this last summer to Bloomberg television.
INTERVIEWER: Think she'd be a good Supreme Court justice?
TRUMP: I think she would be phenomenal. I think she'd be one of the best.
LAH: Which makes legal experts curious about Donald Trump's recent attacks from Judge Gonzalo Curiel who was president over the Trump University case to judges in general.
TRUMP: We're building a wall. He's a Mexican. From my opinion --
TAPPER: He's not from Mexico. He's from Indiana.
INTERVIEWER: If it were a Muslim judge, would you feel they wouldn't be able to treat you fairly?
TRUMP: It's possible, yes. That would be possible, absolutely.
LAH: Judicial independence, important to Trump's sister, Judge Trump Barry known as smart, pragmatic and no nonsense, evidence in this educational video for the Federal Judicial Center.
TRUMP BARRY: What you cannot do is stop the trial every time some bit of creative nonsense is presented to you. Your concern must be your court and doing the best job you can.
LAH: Given his sister's credentials, former Federal Judge Vaugh Walker says candidate Trump should know better than to attack a presiding judge.
VAUGHN WALKER, FORMER FEDERAL JUDGE: You would think in the counsels of the family, what she does and how she conducts herself, would have rubbed off on Mr. Trump. But apparently, it hasn't done so.
LAH: Judge Walker knows all too well about personal attacks. In 2010, Walker ruled California's gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. Gay marriage opponents accused Walker of bias because he's gay. A higher court found that accusation unwarranted.
Judge Walker fears a President Trump would hurt the legal profession and the judicial system.
WALKER: Well, he certainly is proving himself to be ill-informed on constitutional system, the separation of powers between the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. It's going to be hard, it seems to me, to bring him up to a basic understanding of these issues.
BURNETT: And, Kyung, could there be a legal strategy behind what Trump is doing?
LAH: Now, admittedly this is a cynical view. But a couple of judges we've spoken with say maybe he doesn't want to just delay the ruling. Maybe he is right now trying to lay the groundwork because perhaps there might be more damaging information he doesn't want to get out there. So, put this complaint out there now. Lay the groundwork for the appeal.
BURNETT: And, by the way, speaking of Judge Gonzalo Curiel, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Republican governor who appointed him, tonight tweeting, supporting, standing by Judge Curiel, which is a pretty interesting.
We're going to see what happens on that front, but obviously significant development there with Schwarzenegger standing behind Gonzalo Curiel, the man at the center of the controversy, of course, is that judge. I spoke to his brother, Raul, earlier on the phone. I asked him if he thinks his brother will do what Donald Trump is asking, which is to recuse himself. Here's what Mr. Curiel said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAUL CURIEL, BROTHER OF JUDGE IN TRUMP CASE (via telephone): I doubt it. I don't see any reason why. He's a fair-minded -- a fair-minded judge. There's no bias in him. That's what he's supposed to do. It's on his docket and that's what he's going to do. He's going to take care of the case and do the best he can. Be fair about it.
BURNETT: Now, when you say there's no bias, of course, many have rushed to exactly that conclusion. Donald Trump, though, raising questions. I just wanted to ask you a couple of things.
According to "The San Diego Tribune", your brother is a registered Democrat. Do you, Raul, think his politics influence his work as a judge in any way?
CURIEL: No, no. Being a judge, it has no reason to come into play in any decision that he has or how he -- whatever he does in court and how he handles the court proceedings. That has nothing to do with him being a Democrat.
BURNETT: And your parents, of course, were born in Mexico. That is the heart of this entire situation. You and your brother both born in the United States.
CURIEL: That's correct.
BURNETT: Donald Trump refers to your brother as a Mexican. How has that make you feel?
CURIEL: It just makes me -- it doesn't make me feel anything. I don't take it personal. I think Mr. Trump ought to get his facts straight. He'd better get better people to tell him what to say and not to say because we're both -- my entire family was born and raised in Chicago and Indiana, born in the same hospital, and we've -- you know, there's no more to say about that.
[19:55:06] There's a mistake on that. There's other mistakes Mr. Trump has made, trying to make statements that aren't true.
BURNETT: So, when Donald Trump says that your brother is proud of his Mexican heritage, do you think that is anything that in any way would not -- would make your brother unable to give a fair ruling on a Donald Trump case?
CURIEL: Being proud of who you are, who your parents were, that's a matter of pride. That has nothing to do with your mentality and how you look at things. That's not the way judges are supposed to act, and that's not how my brother acts.
BURNETT: All right. Raul, I really appreciate your time. Thank you so much.
CURIEL: OK, no problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And we'll be right back.
BURNETT: And thank you so much for joining us. Don't forget you can watch OUTFRONT anytime, anywhere on CNN Go. And we'll be back here.
"AC360" starts right now.