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Trump Plans Speech Attacking Clinton Finances; Jeffrey Lord on Trump-Reagan Comparison; Psychology of Trump U Sales Pitch. Aired 9- 10a ET

Aired June 11, 2016 - 09:00   ET



With Hillary Clinton now the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump is gunning for her. He announced that he'll make a speech this Monday that will expose Clinton's finances. I'm going to speak to the author of the play book that I think Trump will be using. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, some still hope to subvert Trump's

nomination altogether by changing the convention rules. Is that even possible at this point?

And a fresh look at the historic Kitty Genovese case, a young woman murdered in New York and legend has it nobody tried to help. A new film by her brother proves otherwise. But first, brace yourselves.

Having already begun an incendiary campaign against Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump is promising to take it up a few notches further in a speech this Monday. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week, and we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons. I think you're going to find it very informative and very, very interesting.

Hillary Clinton turned the State Department into her private hedge fund, the Russians, the Saudis, the Chinese, all gave money to Bill and Hillary and got favorable treatment in return. It's a sad day in America when foreign governments with deep pockets have more influence in our own country than our great citizens.


SMERCONISH: So here's what he seems to be talking about, the long simmering allegations about the Clintons and money. Accusations largely from the book "Clinton Cash, the Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses" helped make Bill and Hillary rich which has now spawned a documentary that showed at the Cannes Film Festival.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Greetings from Washington. I want to thank all of you for your work to root out corruption that weakens economic development.


SMERCONISH: The documentary is going to open July 24 on the eve of the democratic convention and joining me now is the executive producer of the movie and author of the book on which it's premised, Peter Schweizer. And David Brock, founder of the Clintons' Superpac, Correct the Record.

Peter, let me begin with you. I read the book, here's the premise as I understand it. It's that they allowed individuals to skirt the long prohibition against foreign participation in American politics by hiring Bill to speak and by making contributions to the Clinton Initiative in return for political influence. Is that the cliff's note version?

PETER SCHWEIZER, AUTHOR, "CLINTON CASH": Yes, that's exactly right. It's the old adage, follow the money. I happen to believe that when it comes to American industries or foreign oligarchs sending large checks to politicians they're not doing it out of the kindness of their hearts. They want favors and in the case of the Clintons, we're talking about massive amounts of money and we're talking about favorable action in return.

SMERCONISH: So give me your best evidence, give me the short version of the most compelling case that you write about in the book.

SCHWEIZER: Well, I think the power of the case is that you see the same pattern repeated over and over and over again. There's no disputing that. A foreign oligarch, it can be a foreign government, it can be a financier, it can be a foreign government, sends the Clintons a large sum of money, Hillary Clinton as secretary of state takes favorable action on their behalf.

You can look at a couple of those examples, Michael, and say maybe it's just coincidence, but when you see that same pattern over and over again I think it's naive to think that there's nothing going on there.

SMERCONISH: One example you wrote about extensively has to do with uranium. Explain.

SCHWEIZER: Yes, it's a Canadian financer named Frank Justra. Bill Clinton helps him procure a lucrative uranium concession in Kazakhstan, Bill Clinton's foundation gets $30 million out of the deal. Later on that same Canadian company wants to sell to the Russian government which requires federal government approval. One of the agencies that has to approve that deal is Hillary Clinton's state department. Nine shareholders in that company including the chairman send 145 million to the Clinton Foundation and by the way, as the "New York Times" and others have confirmed, that story, some of those donations were not disclosed by the Clintons even though they had promised President Obama and the Senate foreign relations committee they would do exactly that thing.

SMERCONISH: But Peter, aren't I correct in saying that "Time" magazine taking a look at the case that you established said there's absolutely no evidence that Hillary Clinton herself played a direct role in any of that?

SCHWEIZER: Well, we don't know. I mean, this is the problem. Look, imagine you had a county council somewhere where you had nine people voting and everybody votes in favor of a development, but one of the county commissioners got $145 million from the developer.


Wouldn't people say we need to look into this? And that's what I 'm calling for. I'm calling for an investigation. To me it's absurd that in a time when we are looking at you know, $50,000 or $100,000 donation to political campaigns and arguing influence, nobody wants to look at $145 million that happens to come sometimes in hidden donations at the precise time that this government agency is looking at this.

SMERCONISH: I would say this. I mean, there are a lot of interesting pieces to a puzzle that you've assembled here but I don't know if you've put the puzzle together. Let me put on the screen from the table of contents of the book. I want to draw attention to chapter 11 which says, the title Quid proQuo? but even you put a question mark after it. So in the end what have you established?

SCHWEIZER: What I've established is a pattern of behavior and this is one of the biggest misnomers by the way that you're going to hear from the Clinton campaign and their supporters is that there's no quid pro quo.

That's not the legal standard. I would ask anybody to look at recent cases, Governor McDonald in Virginia, whether it's Senator Menendez of New Jersey, there's a former governor in Alabama who's in jail precisely on a pattern of behavior and none of those cases was there an e-mail or recorded phone conversation that established the quid proquo.

It was a pattern of money flowing, favorable action taken. In the case of the Clintons it is far more established than it was in any of those cases.

SMERCONISH: OK. Peter Schweizer, hang on because I want to hear what Hillary Clinton's position will be on these allegations and for that, joining me now is David Brock, he is the founder of the Clinton superpac, Correct the Record. "Time" magazine has described him as one of the most influential operatives in the democratic party. David, respond to what you just heard from Peter.

DAVID BROCK, FOUNDER OF CLINTON SUPERPAC: Look, I think these charges were aired more than a year ago. A lot - you know, every major media outlet in the country that I could see look into the allegations raised in the book to the questions that were raised and they all concluded -- I think what you established in the interview that there's no there, there.

That there's no evidence that the money influenced decisions. And in fact, in the specifics that are raised on the uranium case and the interagency process, the appointee in that inter-agency process from State is that they never spoke to Hillary Clinton about it. So on the facts, it's just wrong, but I think the bigger question is, you know, you led with Donald Trump. Is this Donald Trump's play book and if it is, he's going to come up short just as the author of this book came up short a year ago. Donald Trump is certainly the wrong messenger for an anti corruption story. The Clinton Foundation tried to help people in need. Look at that compared to Trump University and the scam that was pulled.

SMERCONISH: Let me say this. I want to be devil's advocate with you in the same way that I was with Peter. I know he gets portrayed as a scrooge for the Coke brothers, but what I remember about the roll out of the book which I took the time to read is that both the "Washington Post," the "New York Times" and ABC all built on his reporting.

BROCK: They did. Sure. And in fact, they built on it, but what did they come up with? They didn't come up with anything more than what he came up with. The book was taken seriously by main stream media. Murdock's "Wall Street Journal" took leads from the book and looked in it for months and found quote, "no wrong doing." So the book has been aired. That's my point, It's had its days in the sun and it did nothing.

SMERCONISH: I know that you lose people in the details of these cases, but what I remember from that chapter on the uranium deal is that Bill Clinton spoke, I think, in 2011 in Russia. Got paid 500k. The last time he spoke there, his fee was 195k and there was a tie between the group that brought him in who had a piece of the uranium deal and the connection to Vladimir Putin. You look at that sort of thing and you say, "well, is there a causal connection?" I don't know what the answer is.

BROCK: Well, I don't think you can - I mean, I've written books, I don't think as the author said at the time, you can't just raise questions and provide no answers. I think that's innuendo and I think that's what we're dealing wtith. If Donald Trump relies on it he's going to regret it.

SMERCONISH: But maybe he's taken it as far as anyone can take it. Here's what I'm saying, let me be very blunt with David Brock.

BROCK: Sure.

SMERCONISH: I don't put Peter Schweizer and "Clinton Cash," that's the title of the book, in the same category of all that crap about Vince Foster.

BROCK: Sure, I don't either and I didn't say that.

SMERCONISH: OK. So how then will the secretary respond this week if he gives that speech on Monday? Is there some rapid response that's going to come into play? BROCK: Well, sure there is. I don't know how the secretary herself

is going to respond. I tell you how we're going to respond.

SMERCONISH: Tell me. What?

BROCK: We're going to fact check that speech in real time and we know that Donald Trump is factual challenge, there's nothing else. The things he's thrown out about the Clintons to date have come out of just tabloids. I don't know if he's going to use this book as part of his playbook, but we're going to fact check him in real time and then we're going to raise the issues that need to be raised about Donald Trump as a messenger on corruption. The "Politico" did an investigation just a few weeks ago, found ties to organized crime, to the Russian mob.


Let's talk about his foreign ties. Who are his foreign investors? He wants to talk about, the reason we know all this is (INAUDIBLE) Clinton Foundation is they are 100 percent transparent. Where are Donald Trump's tax returns? That's what we're going to see on Monday, Michael.

SMERCONISH: Final question, in retrospect would the initiatives, the Clinton initiative has been better taking no foreign money so there wouldn't be this questions?

BROCK: I think you have to take foreign money. It's a global initiative and I think you have to take foreign money and I think the protocols were set up at the State Department and they will follow.

SMERCONISH: Gentlemen, Peter Schweiser, David Brock, thank you so much to both of you.


BROCK: Thank you, Michael.

SMERCONISH: Could the RNC change the rules so that Donald Trump isn't the GOP nominee? Is that even possible at this point? I'll talk to someone who knows, a member of the RNC rules committee is coming up, next.



SMERCONISH: We all know that Donald Trump is the GOP's presumptive nominee, but not yet the actual nominee because that doesn't officially happen until the convention next month. And even though he has the requisite number of delegates, anti-Trump forces are reportedly plotting a convention strategy to upend his candidacy.

This late in the game, can that be possible? Is it legal? Can it work? Joining me now, somebody mo has lots to say about this, Randy Evans of the RNC rules committee and the subcommittee specifically about presidential nomination. Randy, thanks for coming back. How firm is Trump's hold on the nomination?

RANDY EVANS, RNC RULES COMMITTEE: It's very firm. It would be virtually impossible given the margin that he's got in terms of delegates for anybody to pull any kind of shenanigans in terms of taking the nomination away. Like you, I've heard all of the various rumors, I actually have a folder called convention mishaps, which talked about everything from running the clock out to changing the requisite number to a higher number to staging a walkout, simply stated, the margin that he has in terms of the pledged delegates, they are just too great.

SMERCONISH: You've got a file, you've got a contingency plan file is what I'm hearing.

EVANS: You are absolutely right. We war game this virtually every day of what could go wrong and how do we make sure that doesn't happen.

SMERCONISH: Who's creating the buzz? I mean, at what level is this being spread? Are there individuals with clout within the RNC that you think want this to happen?

EVANS: I see names occasionally pop up. I think I saw one today in the "Daily Caller." Different folks at different times. There's no doubt in my mind that there's a collective of staffers and a few people who would like to call some difficulties on the floor. I just don't see how that's feasible given the margin that he's got in terms of pledged delegates or the margins that he has in terms of actual Trump delegates.

And as you and I know that's a much more important number which is how many of these folks are not just pledged but in fact support Donald Trump to be the presidential nominee. Looks like to me he's got a pretty comfortable margin.

SMERCONISH: OK. So Randy Evans, who is in the know says you don't think that's going to materialize. Let me ask you about a different convention subject. How will the platform square itself with Trump's more controversial stance? I mean, is it possible that the Republican platform this year will be one that embraces banning Muslims, one that says we're building a wall and if not, what about Donald Trump's plans?

EVANS: Well, think back to Ronald Reagan in 1980 when he said he didn't really care what the platform meant? I actually think the platform makes a difference and I think those are going to be some very lively discussions. It looks to me based on what I've seen in terms of the membership of the platform committee that he's got voting control but not firm voting control so I think you're going to see a lot of give and take on the platform committee about exactly where that language ends up and you're right. A lot of those issues are very important to the nominee. The question is, will they make their way into the actual document which is the platform?

SMERCONISH: Final question. We know Donald Trump in part from his success in reality television, what do you think he's going to bring to prime time that we haven't seen before?

EVANS: I think he's going to bring a lot of excitement and he's going to bring the unexpected. I would says viewers are going to get what they really want to see which is an entertaining convention with a nominee who has a lot of passionate followers giving a message that they are eager to hear. I think the delegates are going to be in the room, they're going to be wowed but those sitting at home are going to be wowed as well.

SMERCONISH: Randy Evans, thank you.

EVANS: Thank you.

SMERCONISH: Still to come, Donald Trump loves to compare himself to Ronald Reagan, but Reagan's eldest son said that if his dad were alive today he would not be supportive of the GOP nominee.

Michael Reagan joins me next and this week I debated my fellow Pennsylvanian, Donald Trump loyalist, Jeffrey Lord. Now comes the rematch.


SMERCONISH (on camera): Today, Chris Christie instead of again calling out the crap stood with Donald Trump and said, you know, he's my friend and I don't believe him to be a racist. It's the same principle. It's looking at someone and saying you can't be fair because you're a white guy with red tie and I don't like red ties.

JEFFREY LORD: Well, that is being said by Donald Trump.

SMERCONISH: By Donald Trump.




SMERCONISH: Donald Trump has often compared himself to Ronald Reagan.


TRUMP: I have evolved. I talked about evolving all the time and by the way, you know who else evolved is Ronald Reagan evolved. He had a great heart and I have a great heart.

One other thing I'll say because he mentions the fact that I was at one point democrat. Well, if you look at Ronald Reagan, he was a democrat. He was actually, Don, he was a democrat with a very liberal or at least a pretty liberal view.

And I knew him well. He liked me and I liked him. He was a great guy.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SMERCONISH: But to paraphrase the late Lloyd Benson, my next guest says to Trump, "I knew Ronald Reagan and you, sir, are no Ronald Reagan." His new book, "Lessons my Father Taught me, the strength, integrity and faith of Ronald Reagan," Michael Reagan joins me now. Do you bristle when you hear him make those comparisons?

RONALD REAGAN: I bristle when anybody makes those comparisons. We were lucky enough to have Ronald Reagan for eight years, during our lives to be president of the United States of America. They really need to put him in the rearview mirror and look forward and say what they're going to do to make this world and this country a much better place to live than trying to sell themselves as the next Ronald Reagan, because there is no next Ronald Reagan.

SMERCONISH: OK. But about this candidate in particular, is there anything Reaganesque?

REAGAN: No, not really. Nothing really Reaganesque. I mean, my father was humble. That's not what you find in a Donald Trump. I might say, I write about it in my book about my father, the humility that he had. The fact that he wasn't demeaning. He didn't talk down to people. He talked with people which is complete opposite of what Donald Trump does.


SMERCONISH: He disarmed your father with humor. I read that part of the book where you said that he never spoke down to folks. His tool in his arsenal was to be funny and insightful through his humor.

REAGAN: You're absolutely right. He really disarmed people. Look at Mondale in the '84 debates.


REAGAN: He absolutely disarmed him at that point and won the debate with one line in that. Or you know, when my father shot and he says to the doctors, "I hope you're all Republicans." Or he says to Nancy as she walks in, "honey, I forgot to duck." I mean, it was always that side of him, that humorous side of him that really diffused situations and put people at ease with his presence.

SMERCONISH: Michael, here's something I found very interesting on the back cover of the book there's a blurb, a wonderful blurb by Newt Gingrich and it occurs to me how would Michael Reagan feel if Donald Trump were to tapped Newt as his VP and for Newt to say yes.

REAGAN: I think it would be a good choice. He needs somebody who certainly knows Washington and certainly knows the Congress of the United States of America. It was Newt who put together the package that allowed the Republicans after 40 years in the wilderness to come back and take the control of the Congress of the united States. I think it would be a good choice for him, but what happens is, people always vote for the top of the ticket, they don't vote for second place. SMERCONISH: But you've acknowledged you didn't vote for Donald Trump

in California in the recent primary. Would you be disappointed in Newt if he accepted that invitation from Donald Trump?

REAGAN: No, I wouldn't be disappointed in Newt. I would hope that Newt would be able to take him aside and really talk to him in the right kind of way and tell him what he needs to do and he really does need to humble himself. You know, my father humbled himself and said I'm sorry and apologized for Iran contra and people forgave him for apologizing. And from there he went on to greatness. Donald Trump would go a long ways to apologizing to the judge, apologizing to Ted Cruz's father, apologizing to Marco Rubio and apologizing to many other people and humbling himself and going forward. If he doesn't do that, he's going to have a lot of trouble winning the election in November.

SMERCONISH: Final question for Michael Reagan. I saw on twitter when you said that this is perhaps the first Republican for whom your father would not have voted for president, I'm curious about you. Are you prepared to vote for Hillary Clinton? Are you prepared to vote for Gary Johnson? What are you going to do in a general election?

REAGAN: I'm prepared to vote for the down ticket at this point in time. It's up to - in fact, Donald Trump to convince me that he wants my vote, and therefore, earns my vote. I don't think you just give it willy nilly. It's an important position and I think you really have to earn it instead of going lock step and I don't appreciate the name degradation, the demeaning that's gone on in this primary circus that we, in fact, had and it's up to Donald Trump to unite and put the party together. It's not up to me, it's not to others. It's up to Donald Trump to do that and how he's going to do it, we don't know.

SMERCONISH: Michael Reagan, thank you. Best of luck with the book.

REAGAN: Thank you.

SMERCONISH: To respond, a man who usually has, I want to take a good look at him and see if it's behind him, there it is, Jeffrey Lord, who served as the associate political director in the Reagan White House and who defends Donald Trump, frankly, better than Donald Trump defends himself here on CNN.

Jeffrey, you served in his White House. You have his portrait behind you as we see it right now. We're all accustomed to that camera shot, but what to Michael Reagan's point that Donald Trump is not Reaganesque.

LORD: Well, my friend, Michael, that is something I have said repeatedly on CNN that they are not the same. I made a point of saying that no two human beings are alike. This is one of the reasons, of course, for the pro life movement. We believe that every human soul is unique. Ronald Reagan isn't coming back. Ronald Reagan is unique, Donald Trump is not Ronald Reagan.

Are there aspects of their campaigns and this moment that are similar? Sure. One of them that I've written about at length is the kind of enemies they had. Ronald Reagan's enemies said at length that he was a racist, that he had - that he favored the Ku Klux Klan, they said that he wasn't serious, he wasn't smart, he - they downgraded his intelligence, I mean, all of those kinds of thing have been said in one way or another about Donald Trump, particularly that Ronald Reagan was a racist.

Frankly, to be perfectly candid, Michael, I've spent the last day or so taking a look. If you type in racist and then next to it the words Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, Rush Limbaugh, you named a Republican or conservative, you will find that this is more or less the go-to for the American left with all these people. So Donald Trump is really just the latest here.

SMERCONISH: But I think the criticism comes from more than the left. And as a matter of fact, speaking of which, because I don't put myself on the American left, my mother this week said you be nice to that Jeffrey Lord and she was talking about a moment that you and I had last Tuesday night.

[09:30:11] Let's watch.



SMERCONISH: There's a question that Donald Trump can't answer, which is if he believes that this gentleman is biased against him, why hasn't his legal team gone to court, followed the process and filed a recusal motion?

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: How many times over the years have we heard about the politicization of the police and the judiciary from liberals? What did we hear about Ferguson? What did we hear about Baltimore? I mean, you can go --

SMERCONISH: That's not an answer.

LORD: What?

SMERCONISH: Jeffrey, that's not an answer. Respectively, you're a Pennsylvanian, I love you, but why hasn't the motion been filed?

LORD: This man is a lifetime member of the National Hispanic Bar Association.


LORD: Wait, wait. He's running for president of the United States.

Are we going to have a judiciary that is infected by racial politics?


SMERCONISH: If I had a discrimination case and Judge Van Jones were presiding, I'd say, well, he's a black guy, he can't treat me fairly and if the case involved the Catholic Church, because you're a Catholic, Paul, then I'd say, you must recuse yourself because after all, we know where you worship on Sunday. Who's left to serve if on that thin basis? Donald Trump gets away with this.

LORD: This is the point, Michael. This is exactly the point. This is what the American left has done to the judiciary, to police, universities --



SMERCONISH: You just heard Michael Reagan, he brought up the judge. I didn't like your answer Tuesday night. I'm giving you a second chance.

LORD: Well, first of all, let me just say as I you know, I'm not a lawyer so I'll leave the lawyering to the lawyers. But, Michael, you've been busy as we've been doing this but I can tell you right before I sat down to talk to you, Michael Lerner was giving a eulogy for Muhammad Ali and in that eulogy, he talked about how there were so many racist judges that were sending black people to jail.

This is standard, you know, stuff on the left. So, when Donald Trump touches on it, suddenly, they go ballistic, but the point of fact is, this is said over and over and over again, and that's the problem here.

SMERCONISH: And what I'm saying is, take the litigation into the courtroom and off the soap box. If he has reason to disqualify this judge, he should file a recusal motion. That's it.

LORD: Right. I understand your point, but what I'm saying is, this issue goes far beyond Donald Trump in this case. This issue -- I mean, the lawyers are going to do what they're going to do. I understand you're asking for the legal solution here. I'm saying there's a massive political problem here that involves the legal system in a lot of other areas of our society here, and frankly, Michael, that we have these discussions at this point is a very healthy thing. I think we need to get this out.

SMERCONISH: Jeffrey Lord, thank you. You're a better spokesman for him than he is for himself.

LORD: Thank you, my friend. See you soon.


LORD: Up next, you've heard about Trump University, but have you ever heard of a university that need to school its employees with lessons in psychology just to sell admissions? It reminds me of Glengarry Glen Ross.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put that coffee down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coffee's for closers only.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The good news is, you're fired.

You've got all you've got just one week to regain your job starting with tonight. Starting with tonight's six.

Oh. Have I got your attention now?



[09:37:52] SMERCONISH: College is supposed to be something good for you bio, but Trump University may end up being the most damning thing on Donald Trump's resume. The judge he criticized is presiding over a pair of class action lawsuits seeking to sort out the facts. Trump's ads for the seminars brag, I can turn anyone into a successful real estate investor, including you.

But this university seems to have h a pressurized admissions process. Watch former employee James Harris explain.


JAMES HARRIS, FORMER TRUMP UNIVERSITY INSTRUCTOR: Actually, I started doing what they call the free workshops where they run an ad, people show up to a two to three-hour seminar which is free, there's no charge, and then at the end of that small little event, if you would like to further your education, you know, with Trump University, then you would pay a certain amount of money, $1,500 and you're going to go to our three-day event which is happening the next weekend, immediately. So, it was very quick to create urgency so people showed up.


SMERCONISH: To create urgency. Hmm.

Joining me now to talk more about these tactics is a psychiatrist Gail Saltz.

Gail, it sounds like selling land in the Poconos, not gaining admission to a university.

GAIL SALTZ, PSYCHIATRIST: That's an excellent point, and really, that is what begs the question. So it's -- you know, sales tactics, PR branding, that's been around a very long time. In fact, actually, PR originated with the father of PR, Edward Bernays, who was the nephew of Sigmund Freud who understood and purposely took psycho analytic principles, psychology, and used them to sway people's minds for the purpose of business.

And so, businesses all do that. They may not do that realizing they're using psychology, but that's what they're doing and that's fine. But when you marry that to the term "university", you give it a different kind of oomph, right? University implies a place of higher education, usually a nonprofit

institution that has all kinds of checks and balances to insure a kind of honesty and not a sales, so that Trump University sounds very differently psychologically to someone than Trump used car sales lot where it would be the buyer beware.

[09:40:07] Instead, people think that they must be getting something that's very moral and therefore, they're not being tried -- they're not being sold something in the same way.

SMERCONISH: Well, the level of sophistication with which these students were sold their process of being admitted to Trump University is something I want the audience to appreciate. This is one of the documents Donald Trump isn't happy was released pursuant to a request by "The Washington Post".

So, here's a memo titled "The Art of the Set", and one of the sentences, there it is on the screen, "This sales process is based on managing the emotions of the client by focusing on the psychology of the sale."

Flip ahead to the next slide. I want to show Gail the roller coaster of emotions. These are instructions for the people seeking to sell admissions to Trump University students.

Take a look at that. The intro phase, one to five minutes. The blast, five to five minutes. The probe, the goals, the commit. I mean, it lays out with sophistication how you reel somebody in to the university.

SALTZ: Again, you know, if they were selling you a house, an object of art, of household item, you wouldn't really be surprised by this.

The idea that they would try to engage you, they would say this item is going to fulfill your wishes -- oh, wait, you won't be able to get this unless you're willing to spend a lot of money and so maybe your dreams are dashed. Oh, no, let's rise them back up again because we found a path for you, and you're toying with the idea of their future, you know? Are they going to be able to make their hopes and dreams come true? No, they're doing to be dashed. Oh, but only if they max out their credit cards and they might actually have the promise of their future.

That is very galvanizing for people. That's emotionally hard to resist.

SMERCONISH: Well, I'm glad you voiced it the way you did, because I had radio callers who said don't be so naive. This is sales. This is the way it is, get over it.

Gail Saltz, thank you as always.

SALTZ: My pleasure.

SMERCONISH: Still to come, an infamous crime 50 years ago when nobody helped a female murder victim, it became a symbol of urban apathy. But a new movie casts doubt about what we thought we knew about the death of Kitty Genovese.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly what was it you heard?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Save me, save me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Didn't this frighten you or shock you?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was 16 when my sister Kitty was murdered in New York City. For years, I avoided the details of that night. But it's worse not knowing the truth.



[09:46:49] SMERCONISH: America was riveted this week by the upsetting case of Brock Turner, the Stanford University swimmer who was convicted of a rape of an unconscious woman and was sentenced to only six months in jail. If anything at all positive of this story, it was the fact that the crime was discovered and halted by two heroic Stanford students from Sweden.

Carl Fredrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson were cycling past when they saw the crime being committed, and when Turner tried to flee, they tackled and pinned him down until police arrived and arrested him. Their heroics in apprehending the Stanford rapist reminded me of a famous murder case 50 years ago that came to symbolize a world where people didn't care when bad things happened, and they didn't get involved.

To this day, it remains the subject of psychological studies, but it turns out the story was more complicated than we were led to believe.

At about 3:00 a.m. on March 13, 1964, 28-year-old Kitty Genovese was brutally stabbed to death outside her apartment building in Kew Gardens in the borough of Queens, New York. In a front page story, "The New York Times" reported that 37 witnesses either saw or heard the attack. The headline said they saw it and not one lifted a finger.

But now comes a documentary called "The Witness", the work of Kitty's younger brother, Bill, he was 16 at the time and filmmaker James Solomon, and their work 11 years in the making reveals that history got this one wrong.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When mom tried to open the door, it hit Kitty and she was facing her head towards the door, her feet towards the stairs and my mother had to push the door in to get in. She held her and she could feel her stab wounds in her back and her hands kept going, still fighting, and my mom finally calmed her down, but she couldn't talk and she started to gurgle. That was her -- she was just passing then. She was dying. So hours

later, I opened the door and the whole bottom of this foyer was blood.


SMERCONISH: Joining me now, Bill Genovese and James Solomon.

So, Bill, what did history get wrong?

BILL GENOVESE, BROTHER OF KITTY GENOVESE: Michael, the most shocking thing that history got wrong was two weeks after to this murder, there was a front page "New York Times" article which started out describing the situation this way. Thirty-eight people watched over the course of the half an hour and did nothing. Thirty-eight people did not watch the attack that took place in two different phases, one was on Austin Street and the other was in the back of apartments.

It did take place over 30, 32 minutes, something like that. But 38 people certainly did not watch over that time span.

SMERCONISH: They did stand idly by. Michael Farrar's (ph) mother, Sophia Farrar, I don't want to give it all away, but you interview her in a very poignant scene in the movie. Your sisters died in her arms.

GENOVESE: That's right. But, of course, it was over the course of 32 minutes and when Sophia Farrar first found out, it was at the end of her life, it was after the second attack which was really the fatal attack.

[09:50:05] SMERCONISH: Was this done then to sell newspapers? I have the headline in my hand, 37 who saw murder didn't call the police.

GENOVESE: Some have said that. I myself don't believe that. I think that A.M. Rosenthal thought he had an important moral story to tell and got it out that way. The police chief at the time was talking to A.M. who had come back from overseas. He was now the city editor. He wanted to get to know the city a little better.

And the police chief said to him, problems -- problem the police are having, citizens aren't cooperating. Then later on, he said, wait until you hear this one, and he told him the story as he knew it of 38 people watching.

SMERCONISH: James, in the movie there's a line that Bill delivers when he says, my sister was so much more than her final 30 minutes, and we're showing images of Kitty Genovese as we're speaking and the home movies were priceless and an integral part of telling who she was.

JAMES SOLOMON, DIRECTOR, THE WITNESS: That's Bill and Kitty's Uncle Andy, he was a gadget guy in the '50s and he let his family use the film camera and they went out and shot incredible home movies.

You know, in many respects in part this is a serial-like or jinx-like investigative piece, but actually really at its core, it's a love story, a sibling love story about a brother reclaiming his sister's life from her very infamous death.

SMERCONISH: Well, it's not only that but it's two stories in one. It's a story of your resilience. The audience should know, you gave your legs to this country in service in Vietnam. You are a sleuth who is unstoppable in trying to get the answer to what happened those many years ago. So I'm watching and I'm appreciative of the detective work that you're doing, but I'm also looking at you and saying, my God, how is he able to get this done?

GENOVESE: Well, we can blame it on Kitty and we can also blame it on the fact that I never wanted to fight for the jayvee, so you got to be in the game or sit on the sidelines. So my sister instilled in me a desire to find things out. She would answer my questions.

That's a big mistake with a kid because then it's more and more questions. So -- and if she couldn't answer it, it's like, find it out and go to the library.

SMERCONISH: You wanted to meet her killer. He died this past April. Winston Moseley, he died at age 81. You didn't get to meet him. If you'd met him, what would you have said to him?

GENOVESE: I would have said, Winston, I've been writing letters to the parole board two times now saying you should not be released and why. I want to hear from you why you think you should be released and what's life been like to you. I'm curious. What's been it been like?

SMERCONISH: Were you prepared to forgive him?

GENOVESE: I was prepared to feel what I felt when I talked to him and see what came out of it.

SMERCONISH: James, amazing that the block looks virtually the same as it did then and the two of you were able to go back to so many primary source individuals and learn more about a story we all thought we knew.

SOLOMON: It's almost like a standing set. Only the signage has changed.

Nobody would have been permitted the kind of access that this film was permitted had it not been for Bill. I think a lot of people in the neighborhood felt they owed it to Kitty. Many people in the film have not talked to anyone for a half century. They only did so because of Bill.

SMERCONISH: The witness is being shown this weekend on the block where it happened, and hopefully a wider release is set to take place. It's opened in New York, L.A. is next. I wish you all good things about this.

I can't say I liked it. That seems improper. I was engrossed by it. It is a tremendous job well done.

So, thank you both.

SOLOMON: Thank you, Michael.

GENOVESE: Thank you, Michael.

SMERCONISH: Still to come, why Chris Christie should have called out Donald Trump's craziness this week.


[19:57:59] SMERCONISH: And, finally, this question: why won't Chris Christie call out crazy in his first public comments about the controversy Donald Trump caused with a criticism of a federal judge? Chris Christie would not criticize Trump.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I know Donald Trump and I've own him for 14 years and Donald Trump is not a racist. And so, you know, the allegations that he is are absolutely contrary to every experience that I've had with him over the last 14 years.


SMERCONISH: In sharp contrast to Christie, that same day, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that Trump statements about the Judge Gonzalo Curiel's Mexican background were, quote, "the textbook definition of a racist comment." What's notable about Christie's refusal to confront such bigotry it's an about-face from how he handled a similar situation in July of 2011.

Then, it was Christie who received harsh criticism from conservative Republicans after he appointed a Muslim lawyer, Sahil Mohammed, to the New Jersey Superior Court. At the time, critics voiced unfounded concern that Mohammed might rely on Sharia law, citing his representation of people detained in the 9/11 investigation.


CHRISTIE: This Sharia law business is crap. It's just crazy. And I'm tired of dealing with the crazies.


SMERCONISH: Christie outraged by those baseless allegations stood by his pick. He called him an extraordinary American. He praised him for helping the Muslim community.

Christie said, quote, "Ignorance is behind the criticism of Sahil Muhammad." And then he said, it's just unnecessary to be accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background." He also said that he was tired of dealing with the crazies.

Too bad Chris Christie is unwilling to say the same thing about the presidential candidate he now supports. Trump's criticism of Judge Curiel is just as unfounded as that which was leveled against now Judge Mohammed. And instead of standing by his friend Donald Trump, Christie ought to, again, be calling out crazy. That's it. Follow me on Twitter @smerconish. I'll see you next week.