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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Rudy Giuliani Speaks in Favor of Police, Against Terrorism; Giuliani Praises Trump; Donald Trump Introduces Wife Melania; Melania Trump's RNC Speech; Michael Flynn Prepares Speech Against Hillary Clinton. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired July 18, 2016 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[22:00:00] JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I mean, he's an outstanding guy with a record of Harvard Law School, his record in the army. He's a quite impressive guy.

So, you know, all these conventions, as, again, David would well know from 2004, they're about the present but they also introduce the future. And I think that's what you're seeing here, and the people who are going to be making those arguments.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: But, you know, Tom Cotton is the first real political star we've saw tonight. And his theme, you know...

LORD: I have to correct his star.

BORGER: Right. Well, I have political -- well, yes. From Washington, let me put it that way. Between Congressman McCaul and Tom Cotton, what we heard was Hillary Clinton's theme turned on its head, that she is dangerous, not Donald Trump. She's been talking about the danger of having Donald Trump's finger on the...

(CROSSTALK)

LORD: Right.

BORGER: ... proverbial button. And all of them seem to -- there seems to be some concerted effort here to say that there's a dangerous liberal agenda and that Hillary Clinton can't be trusted with the armed forces and that Donald Trump is a credible commander-in-chief.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Kayleigh, why do you think they chose to have Melania Trump in primetime on the first night before any of his kids? I mean, in terms, obviously, his kids have probably have more experience in front of cameras in the town hall.

They probably spoke more than Melania did. I've interviewed Melania. She's done a number of interviews. But we haven't heard much of her in terms of making a big speech. It's a tough thing to do in a room like this.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. It's a tough thing. But one of the reasons I think they chose her for tonight, is she is an immigrant, herself, she is someone who came to this country legally.

And I expect that we'll hear from her I went through the process. My husband is pro-immigrant, he wants people to come into this country. He brought me into this country. I'm here in the right way.

So, I expect we'll hear her soften him as a person, talk about him has a family man, but also say this is someone who is pro-immigration and I'm evidence of that.

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And to your point, Anderson, this is new for her. And we've all seen it, Don Jr. and Eric deliver very eloquent speeches and really command a room. This is probably going to be a little tough for her. And I think very smartly the Trump campaign figures, OK, if it doesn't go as well as we want, we've gotten it out of the way.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: But at the same time, it also does build up a certain amount of excitement because it is so new, because we haven't really heard her. It's unconventional.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I tell you what, it is hard to do what she's about to do. I mean, most people -- most Americans they say they would rather almost eat anything than give a public speech even at their church, even ...

COOPER: There's a protester in the crowd which is the first protest we've seen actually in the crowd. Small, just one person there. It looks like they're going to be removed.

JONES: Just to finish. It's very, very hard to speak to a group this big. Forget the people at home. Forget the TV. Forget the millions of people. Just to address a crowd this large.

COOPER: Yes.

JONES: You walk out there, you feel so little. So, she's showing tremendous courage and Trump is actually showing tremendous confidence in her. And so, if she's able to pull this off, I think, you know, listen, she's beautiful, she's rich, but she's going to be a very vulnerable human being walking out there especially the crowd is going to be on her side.

COOPER: Well, I was going to say, you know, even if somebody doesn't make a great speech, it's their first time, you get the crowd on your side. They want her to do well. And it humanizes -- even if she doesn't...

(CROSSTALK)

CUPP: I don't really see a bad ending to however this goes for her tonight. She's either going to have a great moment where she becomes a star...

COOPER: The question is does Donald Trump... CUPP: Or it's not going to (Inaudible).

COOPER: Does Donald Trump stay on script with a short introduction for his wife?

LORD: That is the question.

COOPER: That is the question, Jeffrey Lord.

LORD: Then, again, this is his wife. So, I think he'll be careful.

COOPER: But, or does he chose to -- I mean, look -- here we go, Rudy Giuliani, Mayor of New York, being introduced. Let's listen in.

(APPLAUSE)

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, New York.

(CROWD CHEERING)

For a New Yorker, for once, on the ticket. Donald Trump. I'm here to speak to you about a very serious subject. How to make America safe. The vast majority of Americans today do not feel safe.

[22:05:07] They fear for their children. They fear for themselves. They fear for our police officers who are being targeted with a target on their back. We pray for our police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge and their families.

(APPLAUSE)

And we say thank you to the Cleveland Police Department for protecting us. Thank you!

(APPLAUSE)

(CROWD CHANTING)

We know -- we know the risk you're taking. And we say thank you to every police officer and law enforcement agent who's out tonight protecting us, black, white, Latino. Of every race, every color, every creed, every sexual orientation. When they come to save your life, they don't ask if you are black or white. They just come to save you!

(APPLAUSE)

We also -- we also reach out, we reach out our arms with understanding and compassion to those who have lost loved ones because of police shootings. Some justified. Some unjustified. Those that are unjustified must be punished. Those that are justified, we must apologize to.

It's time to make America safe again. It's time to make America one again. One America. (CROWD CHEERING)

What happened -- what happened to -- what happened to there's no black America, there's no white America, there is just America!

(CROWD CHEERING)

What happened to it? Where did it go? How has it flown away? I know -- I know we can change it because I did it by changing New York City from the crime capital of America to the safest large city in the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

What I did for New York, Donald Trump will do for America.

(APPLAUSE)

I have known Donald Trump for almost 30 years, and he has created and accomplished great things. In my city and all over the world. But beyond that, this is a man with a big heart. Every time New York suffered a tragedy, Donald Trump was there to help.

(APPLAUSE)

He's not going to like my telling you this, but he did it anonymously when police officers were shot, when firefighters were hurt, when people were in trouble, he came forward and he helped and he asked not to be mentioned.

Well, I am going to break my promise to him. I am going to mention it. This is a man with a big heart who loves people. All people. From the top to the bottom, from the middle to the side.

(APPLAUSE)

I am telling you this because I am sick and tired of the defamation of Donald Trump by the media and by the Clinton campaign. I am sick and tired of it. This is a good man.

(CROWD CHEERING)

[22:10:04] And America should be sick and tired of their vicious, nasty campaign. You deserve to know this about your next president. He's been a great father, father-in-law, grandfather, and friend to me, my wife, Judith, and my family, for now almost 30 years.

I know him personally, and this is a very good and decent man and he will be a great president.

(APPLAUSE)

In the last seven months, there have been five major Islamic terrorist attacks on us and our allies. We must not be afraid to define our enemy. It is Islamic extremist terrorism.

(APPLAUSE)

I -- I for the purposes of the media, I did not say all of Islam. I did not say most of Islam. I said Islamic extremist terrorism. You know who you are.

(APPLAUSE)

And we're coming to get you.

(CROWD CHANTING)

Failing to identify them -- failing to -- failing to identify them properly maligns all those good Muslims around the world who are being killed by them. They are killing more Muslims than anyone else.

It also sets up a fear of being politically incorrect that can have serious consequences. It did in San Bernardino. It did with Major Nidal. He was yelling "Allah Akbar." The only person who couldn't figure out this was an Islamic terrorist extremist attack was Barack Obama.

(CROWD CHEERING)

Who called it workplace violence.

(CROWD BOOING)

This is why our enemies see us as weak and vulnerable. Donald Trump has said the first step in defeating our enemies is to identify them properly and see the connections between them so we can find them and catch them.

To defeat Islamic extremist terrorists, we must put them on defense. If they are at war against us, which they have declared, we must commit ourselves to unconditional victory against them.

(APPLAUSE)

This includes undoing one of the worst deals America ever made, Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran that will eventually...

(CROWD BOOING)

... that will eventually let them nuclear power and is putting billions of dollars back into a country that's the world's largest supporter of terrorism. We are actually giving them the money to fund the terrorists who we are killing us and our allies.

(CROWD BOOING)

We are giving them the money. Are we crazy? Donald Trump will make sure that any agreement with Iran meets the original goals of the U.N. and our allies. An non-nuclear Iran.

(APPLAUSE) Donald Trump is a leader. He will reassert America's position as the nation with the best values to lead the world. It was Hillary Clinton who advocated for the overthrow of Gadhafi in Libya. Now Libya is in chaos.

[22:15:02] Hillary Clinton is accountable for this and much more. Her dereliction of duty and failure to keep her people safe played a major role, as you heard tonight in the horrific Islamic terrorist murders on September 11th and 12th, 2012, in Benghazi which claimed the lives of four brave Americans.

Ambassador Jay Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service Officer, Sean Smith, and CIA agents, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. May they rest in peace.

(APPLAUSE)

And Clinton and the Obama administration for political reasons lied about the purpose of the attacks, including Hillary Clinton lying directly to the families of the people who were killed right to their face.

(CROWD BOOING)

Hillary Clinton's answer to Congress about the death of these four brave Americans because of her gross failures as Secretary of State was, quote, "what difference at this point does it make?"

(CROWD BOOING)

What difference does it make? Watch the video, yourself, and see the arrogant disregard for American lives lost unnecessarily because of her and then make up your own mind. Anyone who...

(CROWD CHANTING)

It means we're getting to them. It means we're getting to them. It means we're getting to them.

(CROWD CHEERING)

Anyone who can say that it makes no difference how or why people serving America are killed should not be entrusted be the awesome responsibility to protect them and us and should not be allowed to be our commander-in-chief.

(APPLAUSE)

Who would trust Hillary Clinton to protect them? I wouldn't. Would you? Donald Trump will change all of that and more. In short, he will lead by leading, not by following. You know Donald Trump will secure all borders. His opponent has had her chance to do this and she has failed.

Hillary Clinton is for open borders. She is -- she is in favor of even taking Syrian refugees even though the Islamic state has told us they're going to put their operatives in with the Syrian refugees. Operatives who are terrorists who are going to come to Western Europe and come here and kill us.

They've told us that and she still wants to take in these Syrians. We can't afford to repeat the mistakes of the past.

(APPLAUSE)

Hillary Clinton's -- Hillary Clinton's experience is the basis for her campaign. Hillary Clinton's experience is exactly the reason she should not be president of the United States.

(CROWD CHEERING)

There's -- there's no next election. This is it. There's no more time for us left to revive our great country. No more time to repeat our mistakes of the Clinton/Obama years. Washington needs a complete turnaround, and Donald Trump is the agent of change and he will be the leader of the change we need.

(CROWD CHEERING)

He will make America once again like the president I worked for, Ronald Reagan.

(CROWD CHEERING)

[22:19:59] Designing city on the Hill. Vote for Donald Trump for a safer America and for an American headed in a different direction. Greatness.

(APPLAUSE)

God bless our next president, Donald Trump, and God bless the United States of America. USA!

(CROWD CHEERING)

WOLF BLITZER, THE SITUATION ROOM SHOW HOST: Clearly the most rousing speech of the night so far. Donald Trump is coming up next, then Melania Trump. Jake, this -- he clearly got the biggest applause lines for the night.

JAKE TAPPER, THE LEAD SHOW HOST: That's right. In favor of police, against Islamic terrorists, and attesting to the character of Donald Trump. He said that he gave to charities anonymously, he had promised Trump he wouldn't tell the story, but he was breaking the promise.

I have to say, though, the energy and the red meat that he threw to the republicans in the crowd was quite something. I covered Rudy Giuliani's presidential race in 2008, and he never gave a speech like that about himself as vociferously as he just did for Donald Trump.

And, boy, did he come at Hillary Clinton. I think this is the speech back in 2000 when it was supposed to be a Rudy/Hillary senate race, we thought that that kind of passion would come out 16 years ago. BLITZER: There's Mike Pence, the presumptive vice presidential

nominee with Bob Dole, who once ran for president, himself. The former Senator from Kansas.

TAPPER: The 1996 presidential nominee and World War II war hero.

BLITZER: All right. Hold on a second. Let's watch this.

TAPPER: All right.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, everybody. Thank you. We love you. Thank you very much. Oh, we're going to win. We're going to win so big. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.

(CROWD CHEERING)

Thank you very much.

(CROWD CHANTING)

Thank you. We're going to win so big. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. We're going to win so big. Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great honor to present the next first lady of the United States, my wife, an amazing mother, an incredible woman, Melania Trump. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.

MELANIA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S WIFE: Thank you. Thank you very much. You have all been very kind to Donald and me, to our young son, Baron, and to our whole family. It's a very nice welcome and we are excited to be with you at this historic convention.

(APPLAUSE)

I'm so proud of your choice for president of the United States, my husband, Donald J. Trump.

(APPLAUSE)

And I can assure you he's moved by this great honor. The 2016 republican primaries were fierce and started with many candidates, 17 to be exact. And I know that Donald agrees with me when I mention how talented of all -- talented all of them are. They deserve their respect and gratitude from all of us.

(APPLAUSE)

[22:25:08] However, when it comes to my husband, I will say that I'm definitely biased and for a good reason. I have been with Donald for 18 years and I have seen aware of his love for this country since we first met. He never had any hidden agenda when it comes to his patriotism, because like me, he loves this country very much.

(APPLAUSE) I was born in Slovenia, a small, beautiful, and then communist country in Central Europe. My sister Inez, who's an incredible woman and a friend, and I were raised by my wonderful parents.

My elegant and hardworking mother, Amalija, introduced me to fashion and beauty. My father, Viktor, instilled in me a passion for business and travel. Their integrity, compassion and intelligence reflect to this day on me and for my love of family and America.

(APPLAUSE)

From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life. That your work is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise. That you treat people with respect.

They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily life. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son, and we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow because...

(APPLAUSE)

... because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.

(APPLAUSE)

I'm fortunate for my heritage, but also for where it brought me today. I traveled the world while working hard in the incredible arena of fashion. After leaving and working in Milan in Paris, I arrived in New York City 20 years ago, and I saw both the joys and hardships of daily life.

On July 28th, 2006, I was very proud to become citizen of the United States. The greatest privilege on planet earth.

(APPLAUSE)

I cannot, or will not take the freedoms this country offers for granted, but these freedoms have come with a price so many times. The sacrifices made by our veterans are reminders to us of this. I would like to take a moment to recognize an amazing veteran, the great Senator, Bob Dole.

(APPLAUSE)

And let us thank all of our veterans in the arena today and those across our great country.

(APPLAUSE)

We are all truly blessed to be here. That will never change. I can tell you with certainty that my husband has been concerned about our country for as long as I have known him. With all of my heart, I know that he will make a great and lasting

difference. Donald has a great and deep and unbending determination and a never-give-up attitude. I have seen him fight for years to get the project done or even start it, and he does not give up.

(APPLAUSE)

[22:30:06] If you want someone to fight for you and your country, I can assure you he's the guy.

(APPLAUSE)

He will never, ever give up, and most importantly, he will never, ever let you down.

(APPLAUSE)

Donald is, and always has been, an amazing leader. Now he will go to work for you.

(APPLAUSE)

His achievements speak for themselves and his performance throughout the primary campaign proved that he knows how to win. He also knows how to remain focused on improving our country, on keeping it safe and secure.

(APPLAUSE)

He's tough when he has to be, but he's also kind and fair and caring. This kindness is not always noted, but it is there for all to see. That is one reason I fell in love with him to begin with.

(APPLAUSE)

Donald is intensely loyal to family, friends, employees, country. He has the utmost respect for his parents, Mary and Fred, to his sister, Mary Ann and Elizabeth, to his brother, Robert, and to the memory of his late brother, Fred.

His children have been cared for and mentored to the extent that even his advisories admit, they're an amazing testament to who he is as a man and a father.

(APPLAUSE)

There is a great deal of love in the Trump family. That is our bond and that is our strength. Yes, Donald thinks big, which is especially important when considering the presidency of the United States. No room for small thinking. No room for small results. Donald gets things done.

(APPLAUSE)

Our country is underperforming and needs new leadership. Leadership is also what the world needs. Donald wants our country to move forward in the most positive of ways. Everyone wants change. Donald is the only one that can deliver it.

We should not be satisfied with stagnation. Donald wants prosperity for all Americans.

(APPLAUSE)

We need new programs to help the poor and opportunities to challenge the young. There has to be a path for growth. Only then will fairness result.

My husband's experience exemplifies growth and successful passage of opportunity to the next generation. His success indicates inclusion rather than division.

(APPLAUSE)

My husband offers a new direction, welcoming change, prosperity, and greater cooperation among peoples and nations. Donald intends to represent all the people, not just some of the people.

(APPLAUSE)

That includes Christians and Jews and Muslims. It includes Hispanics and African-Americans and Asians and the middle class.

Throughout his career, Donald has successfully worked with people of many faiths and with many nations. Like no one else, I have seen the talent, the energy, the tenancy, the resourceful mind and the simple goodness of the heart that God gave to Donald Trump.

Now is the time to use those gifts as never before for purposes far greater than ever. And he will do this better than anyone else can, and it won't even be close.

[22:35:05] (APPLAUSE)

Everything depends on it for our cause and for our country. People are counting on him. All the millions of you who have touched us so much with your kindness and your confidence. You have turned this unlikely campaign into a movement that is still gaining in strength and number.

(APPLAUSE)

The primary season and its toughness is behind us. Let's all come together in a national campaign like no other.

(APPLAUSE)

The race will be hard fought all the way to November. There will be good times and hard times and unexpected turns. It will not be a Trump contest without excitement and drama.

(APPLAUSE)

But throughout it all, my husband will remain focused on only one thing, this beautiful country that he loved so much. (APPLAUSE)

If I'm honored to serve as first lady, I will use that wonderful privilege to try to help people in our country who need it the most. One of the many causes dear to my heart is helping children and women. You judge society by how it treats its citizens.

We must do our best to ensure that every child can live in comfort and security with the best possible education.

(APPLAUSE)

As the citizens of this great nation, it is kindness, love and compassion for each other that will bring us together and keep us together.

(APPLAUSE)

These are the values Donald and I will bring to the White House.

(APPLAUSE)

My husband is ready to lead this great nation. He's ready to fight every day to give our children the better future they deserve.

Ladies and gentlemen, Donald J. Trump is ready to serve and lead this country as the next president of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

COOPER: Donald Trump -- Donald Trump thanking his wife, Melania, for a speech she has been working on, we're told, for weeks. Kayleigh, what do you think?

MCENANY: I thought that was an incredible speech. She humanized her husband and talked about the kindness he has, the compassion he has, but the overwhelming thing to me was his love for this country.

She's witnessed it, herself, for 16 years. She came across strong and bold. Like a confident woman. She was an absolute hit. At the very end when he pointed to her, he was saying, this is my girl, my wife, and I'm proud of her.

COOPER: Jeffrey?

LORD: One hundred percent pure class. I thought she was terrific. This was an absolute home run for her.

COOPER: I have to say, the entrance of Donald Trump tonight, I mean.

LORD: How lengthy that introduction was?

COOPER: Let's just see again.

(CROSSTALK)

MCENANY: I love it.

COOPER: That is working singing "We are the champions."

JONES: That's what we call "swagger-ific."

[22:40:03] CUPP: So good. I thought that Melania did a permissible job. I think she said a lot of nice things about her husband. I don't actually think she humanized him. She didn't talk about him as a husband.

She talked about him as a great business leader. She talked about him has a good person. And all of those were good notes to hit, but I wanted to hear about Donald Trump the husband. Donald Trump the father of my child. And that didn't really come out.

COOPER: Mike?

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I thought she spoke with terrific poise and great class and a delivery that made me wonder where was she before? Maybe he felt he didn't need to use her sooner in the campaign.

To S.E.'s point, there's no doubt there were opportunities there which she could have said, look, I know he says some things every once in a while that were way outside the box...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Which, by the way, she has said in interviews a number of times.

SMERCONISH: Right. I thought we're going to heart that paragraph. Anderson, I want to say this. I think on balance, this is a very good night for the republicans. I think if there were concerns as to whether this thing was all buttoned down, the speeches went well, they had a coherent message.

You can disagree with the message, but they were well delivered speeches. Rudy's remarks in the 10 o'clock hour I think will be subject to debate as to tonality, but a good night.

COOPER: Jeffrey?

LORD: I think it's important that we not nitpick her presentation to death here. I mean, that was just well done. It was great. It's a very tough position...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: And again, in a hall like this...

LORD: Yes. COOPER: ... to make a speech like that, I mean, it's -- I've done this for years and I can tell you, it's really, really hard.

CUPP: And remarkably, she talked about what she would do as first lady, what she would focus on if he were elected. She'd focus on kids and women. I thought that was an amazing sort of acknowledgement that she is not just the woman behind the man.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: She did what she was -- she did what she was there to do which was to present a kinder, gentler Donald Trump, to use words about inclusiveness, to talk about children, to talk about families, to talk about all different faiths.

I mean, these are all things that have been absent from Donald Trump's presentation by in large throughout this campaign and that's what she was here to do. It's interesting, though, you have Rudy Giuliani who I agree, I think, if I'm the planners of this convention, I planned a couple of conventions, I would say I did not want Rudy Giuliani slipping into the 10 o'clock hour in his over caffeinated way and scaring a lot of Americans out of their wits.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: It was supposed to be the 10 o'clock hour.

AXELROD: No.

COOPER: He was pushed to the end of the nine.

AXELROD: I don't think he was. But I think their goal was to get her in the 10 o'clock hour to do exactly what she did. It was kind of true to taste speech in front of a red meat crowd. So, you know, she talked about taking care of our children and people politely applauded.

And so, Rudy had them leaping out of their seats. But people who were watching at the 10 o'clock are not the people who the Trump campaign -- they both are the people who Trump campaign wanted her to address.

COOPER: I must say, though...

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: She expands his base.

COOPER: I watched the room while she was speaking and often in this speech what you don't see on TV is there's a lot of people milling around going out to the bathroom, getting, you know, sodas, whatever it is. There weren't a lot of people walking around. They were everyone was standing in wherever they were listening.

Nia.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: I mean, you know, I think she was the big draw in talking to delegates before the campaign, they all talked about Melania Trump. They didn't know Melania Trump very well. This was very much her unveiling. That's what Donald Trump's aides called it.

She talked about herself a lot in the beginning of it and introduced herself. I did think it was a missed opportunity in some places. Typically, you have speeches like this but really draw on personal stories and anecdotes. She didn't do that much.

She basically kind of talked in slogans. Donald Trump is a leader, Donald Trump is loyal, Donald Trump is patriotic. So, you know, we'll see. We'll see if they use her more in talking to their campaign. They wanted to see how this went to see if going forward they would use her in a different way in the campaign.

BORGER: I have a couple of -- first of all, what was stunning to me was how deferential Donald Trump was to Melania. Like, he had one sentence and then introduced her. We have never heard that.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: That was -- yes. We -- I mean, Jeffrey, we had talked about is he going to go on, is he going to ad lib? It was the shortest I've ever heard Donald Trump.

LORD: Wives rank above vice presidential nominees.

AXELROD: He doesn't go home to Mike Pence every night. `

LORD: That's right. That's right.

BORGER: One differential, number two, yes, she didn't tell the anecdotes that Ann Romney told about her M.S. and how caring he was, but Ann Romney was on the campaign trail every single day and out there campaigning. This was difficult for Melania.

And I think what she did in talking to women, in particular, with whom he has a real problem, she talked about how he was strong, he was warm, he was loving, he was inclusive, he was a leader, he doesn't give up, and he's compassionate. That checked just about every single box.

COOPER: David, you know, I hadn't remembered that Michelle Obama spoke on the opening night...

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: Just the same spot in 2008.

[22:45:01] COOPER: So explain the planning behind that. Why...

AXELROD: Well, first of all, she spoke because she could speak about him in a way and with an intimacy that no one else could and she did it, I have to say, I'm biased in this regard, but I think that she did it very, very movingly because she did use more personal stories about him and his story.

But I will say this to the point of how hard it is. You know, these -- unless you're a political spouse all your life and your husband's been running for office and so on, this is very uncomfortable regardless of the size.

And, you know, Michelle Obama, she had her speech written also four, five weeks in advance and she practiced and she practiced and she practiced. So, I think this is not unusual and...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Let's go back to Wolf right below us. Wolf?

BLITZER: All right, Anderson. Thanks very much. Jake and Dana are with us as well.

That was the shortest speech that Donald Trump ever did, he said we're going to win, we're going to win so big then he said "the next first lady of the United States." The production, the stagecraft was very impressive.

TAPPER: Yes. A former Obama aide was on Twitter griping about the heat they took for their Greek columns at the 2008 convention in Denver when republicans were attacking Obama as too much of a celebrity and with too big of a sense of self.

I guess we're in a different era now. That's fair to say. I will say that I thought Melania's speech was absolutely fine, and to Trump fans who love her for who she is and what she represents, she did what she needed to do.

But I did think that there would be at least one anecdote, one story about how she met Donald, one story about Donald who he is, because the job of the spouse in a speech like this is to truly humanize him and make him relatable and make him seem sweet and kind.

And as David Axelrod was noting, the millions of people watching at home right now, many of whom are skeptical of both Clinton and Trump and are going to spend the next four or five months bouncing back and forth trying to figure out which one to go with.

I think there are probably some out there who thought that she hit it out of the park, she did a great job, and probably a few who thought I really would have liked to have heard some sort of soft, sweet, story about how Donald Trump romanced her or how he first asked her out on a date or something, you know, the first time he changed the baby's diaper, whatever, something that brought him down to earth a little bit.

BLITZER: But she did practice that speech.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: She did.

BLITZER: I thought she did a fine, fine job.

TAPPER: Perfect job.

BASH: She did. She did. I agree with what you're saying on the content, but my understanding in talking to sources is that she was incredibly, incredibly nervous. And that didn't come across. I mean, it really didn't.

TAPPER: No.

BASH: Maybe because she practiced so much, because she was so focused on it. I mean, as Anderson just said, I mean, I can't even imagine giving a speech like that. Never mind giving it in your, what is it, English her third, fourth, fifth language?

TAPPER: Yes.

BASH: It's not easy. It's not easy to do especially since she has not -- she's not been a political wife like many of her predecessors in this role. I will just tell you coming from the floor being sort of in the sea of delegates, back to Donald Trump, watching that moment, I mean, it is true that Barack Obama got a lot of, you know, guff for having those columns.

TAPPER: Greek columns, yes.

BASH: But he was a traditional politician. This is the razzmatazz the people expect.

TAPPER: Sure.

BASH: From Donald Trump.

BLITZER: All right. Hold on one second. Donald Trump is walking out. You see him heading toward the motorcade right there. With some members of his family. Did you -- Jake, did you see if Melania is there with Donald Trump right there?

TAPPER: I did not, but I also know that I wouldn't be surprised.

BLITZER: All right. He's getting ready to leave the convention center over here. You know, we're going to hear now from the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn.

He has a very important speech that he has prepared for this primetime moment in favor of Donald Trump and clearly against Hillary Clinton. He's got some strong views about these issues. Here he is right now.

(APPLAUSE)

MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: We must recognize, we must recognize that America has enemies in our homeland and abroad, and our military needs to be capable of protecting the nation by finding and capturing our enemies.

The president must have the tools to deal with all threats to this country and must have the guts to put them into action whenever necessary.

(APPLAUSE)

[22:50:04] And Donald Trump is that leader. I'm going to say that again. Donald Trump is that leader.

(APPLAUSE)

We must regain our ability to truly crush or enemies. And our soldiers, our soldiers deserve to hear from their leaders with clarity and precision. Too often, way too often, our troops are, instead, are distracted by trivial matters, trivial matters about what words to use, what terminology is politically correct, and what bathroom door to open up.

(APPLAUSE)

My God, my God, war -- war is not about bathrooms. War is not about political correctness or words that are meaningless. War is about winning. War is about winning.

(APPLAUSE)

There is no substitute, there is no such thing as a runner-up, and there are no consolation prizes. A commander-in-chief does not draw red lines and then retreat.

(APPLAUSE)

America -- America does not back down from anyone or anything.

(CROWD CHANTING)

Get -- that's right. USA! USA! You got it right, baby. That is exactly right. Get fired up. This is about this country. It's about our country. We are tired of Obama's empty speeches and his misguided rhetoric.

This -- this has caused the world to have no respect for America's word, nor does it fear our might. Let me be clear, coddling and displays of empathy toward terrorists is not a strategy for defeating these murderers as Obama and Hillary Clinton would like us to believe.

(APPLAUSE)

And releasing -- and listen to what I'm about to say. And releasing terrorists will not end this war. On the contrary, it simply emboldens the terrorists and it prolongs the war. Under Barack Obama, we have no coherent strategy to protect our citizens, and under Hillary Clinton, it will be more of the same.

You got it right. I -- I am infuriated when our president bends criticism of our enemies. I am certain, I am deadly certain that we cannot win this war unless we are free to call our enemies by name. Radical Islamists and failed tyrants.

(APPLAUSE)

Because -- because of Obama's ill-advised actions, the world has lost faith in American leadership. And the threats are mounting. Radical Islam metastasizing throughout the world. [22:54:58] Lack, a complete lack of American military readiness to

face multiple fronts, untold cyber threats, demoralized allies around the world. A struggling -- a struggling United States economy unable to compete with the burgeoning Chinese economy.

Growing nuclear capabilities of China, Russia, and North Korea. And loss of respect and confidence around the globe. We have become the best enemies and the worst friends. I'm going to say that again. We have become the best enemies and the worst friends. And that has to change.

(APPLAUSE)

These next four years, these next four years will be consumed by the perils that we now face, and the so-called red lines or reset buttons were utter failures. And the Obama/Clinton failed foreign policy list goes on and on and on.

We need a commander-in-chief who understands these challenges and is willing to do whatever it takes to meet them head-on. Our adversaries must never again mock American willpower and we must never give them a reason to doubt our resolve to win.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you. The most -- the most damaging example, the most damaging example of the president's failure to understand the consequences of putting political expediency ahead of national security is the emergence of ISIS.

We cannot continue down this path. More lives are at stake. Our very life, our way of life, is in jeopardy. Our very existence is threatened. What keeps me up at night? What keeps me up at night is the sobering realization that evil exists.

The radicalization of Islam and its barbaric cause that uses modernity to influence potentially millions around the world to join their cause should keep us all up at night. We must, we must take seriously the possibility that these enemies have weapons of mass destruction and intend to use them.

That is a very serious issue. We must understand and define our enemies if we intend to defeat them. America and Americans deserve no less. Because Obama chose to conceal -- because Obama chose to conceal the actions of terrorists like Osama Bin Laden and groups like ISIS and the role of Iran, and the rise of radical Islam.

Americans are at a loss to fully understand the enormous threat that they pose against us. Now is the time for a leader that is honest and strong. A leader -- that's exactly right. A leader who will stand up for America and make -- yes, you go. And make absolutely clear, and make absolutely clear that if you cross her path, you will pay the price.

(APPLAUSE)

You got it. We -- we do not need a weak, spineless president who is more concerned about issuing apologies than in protecting Americans.

(APPLAUSE)

We -- we do not need a reckless president who believes she is above the law.

(APPLAUSE)

(CROWD CHANTING)

[23:00:01] Lock her up. That's right. Get -- that's right. Lock her up. I'm going to tell you what. It's unbelievable. Unbelievable.