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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
America's Choice 2016: RNC. Aired 11p-12a
Aired July 19, 2016 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:08] NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of black women watch that show. I've been getting texts, women have been calling her "Sheila", I guess that was her character on "Young & The Restless" when she was on there. I guess this is, again, Donald Trump speaking to a different part of America in the way that he has done before, and that we often miss.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Andy Dean, you're just joining us.
ANDY DEAN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR & DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: I mean, my thought of Donald Trump's programming strategy - I used to run his television company for five years - is, from a ratings perspective, when the major networks, and cable networks, pick up the program at 10 p.m., leading with your best speaker is not such a bad idea.
COOPER: Of course.
DEAN: (Inaudible) and then people will trail off. So I think leading with Don Jr., at 10 p.m., when people are most interested, they've just seen their dramas, their comedies, and they're tuning in the first time to see this convention, if you bore them right out of the gate with somebody who may seem impressive, like a senator or governor, but they put you to sleep, that's not good TV programming. Donald Trump Jr. was excellent. I think one of the best speeches I've ever seen political or non-political, this is somebody who could also one day be president of the United States.
COOPER: I guess the question is, do you start off the 10:00 with Tiffany Trump and kind of build to a crescendo because you had Governor Chris Christie and then I think Tiffany Trump came out after that and then it, sort of, goes back and forth. Again, I haven't planned one of these things --
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You have to divide up your high-energy speakers so that you can keep the energy level a certain point for the entire period of time. I walked into this arena at 10 p.m. and it felt like a basketball game when your team was getting blown out by 60 points. This place was an exodus of people, leaving the arena while Donald Trump Jr. was still speaking.
I give a lot of credit to the kids. I think that for the first time speaking here, or any time speaking here, they did a terrific job. Their delivery was very good. Their stories were very good. Their tone was very good; but this convention, by this time at night, is sorely lacking energy. These last speakers, it's almost embarrassing. It's painful to look down on the floor and see these empty seats and have that poor man come out and talk about the high energy in the room when we all know it's highly lacking.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I just want to talk a little bit about some of the substance. First of all, you mentioned the last speaker. He was a Muslim and I thought it was odd. First of all, he was a Muslim who was apparently afraid to say the word "Allah"; he was a Muslim who, you know, did not address, at all, the fears that so many people in his community have. So, for me, that was a jarring moment to see an American Muslim come out, thank goodness, and you expect to hear something that may be a balm, or he doesn't even speak in the frankly, in the cadence of his faith. I thought that was weird.
I also thought we haven't talked enough about this cheerleading for the NRA, and this cheerleading around the gun stuff. I think it plays very, very well here. Let me tell you how I hear it. As somebody who, my concern isn't they're going to take guns away from people defending their homes. I never heard anyone say that. My concern is that we have a country awash in guns, and that we have places, like Chicago, which, maybe we can argue about the best way to protect it, but you've got a real gun crisis and there seemed to be a tone deafness to the number of funerals from the mass shootings,
from the snipers, all this stuff and yet guns, guns, guns.
So I just think there are some way we were just off tonight. If you know the Muslim community, that was really off.
NAVARRO: But, Van, not all Muslims look alike, not all Muslims think alike. Yesterday on this stage we saw African-Americans that think very differently from most of my -
JONES: That's right.
NAVARRO: -- African-American friends, including yourself. So I don't think we should question his motives. You might disagree with what he just said, but I'm not sure it's the right thing to do, to question his motives or what he did. He spoke from his heart, we hope. It might not be what others might --
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: One of the interesting questions about this gun issue, just from a political standpoint is, if you're trying to expand your base and you're trying to reach some of these college educated women in suburban areas, is this the way to do it? Do you want to emphasize that issue to it that degree?
JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: You don't do it by abandoning ship on your principles here, and this is a pretty core principle for the Republican Party.
To Nia's point earlier, about the difference in cultures here, that these folks are appealing to, this is not, if you will, the New York/D.C. set. This is the folks where I live, in Pennsylvania, who watch shows like this, who have respect for someone like this, who has created a business, a whole series of businesses, et cetera, as has Donald Trump.
One other thing, I have a tweet here that I want to read to you which is, I think, significant. It's from Michael Reagan, Ronald Reagan's son, who has been very vehemently anti-Trump: "I am not going to allow Donald Trump to lose to Hillary because I refuse to show up. I'm voting Donald Trump and should you."
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Who is this?
[23:05:02] LORD: Michael Reagan.
AXELROD: Can I just return to -
GLORIA BORGER: Do you think he just decided that tonight, after this convention, or he just -
LORD: I think he now accepts; you know -
AXELROD: Jeffrey, can I just return to the gun thing for a second -
AXELROD: -- because the question is can you find language, or even make a nod to the reality that people in metropolitan areas, in particular, are feeling, but not limited to metropolitan areas, about gun violence that isn't so polarizing and that may give you a chance to reach a larger core of voters that you need?
LORD: Let me flip that around on you. When President Obama goes to some of these recent events, one of the first things he does is talk about gun control. So, I mean, I would ask the same question in reverse because he never seems to go in the direction of expanding the democratic party base by reaching out to folks -
AXELROD: Well, actually, 90-percent of Americans support background checks. So, as a matter of pure politics, he's on the side of the vast majority of Americans and the Republican Party is not.
COOPER: I do think one of the things that speaker, who I think is a lobbyist for the NRA -
BORGER: Chris Cox.
COOPER: -- said, which perhaps is effective, he was targeting, in particular, women, saying that, --
AXELROD: Yes, he tried to turn it into a woman's issue.
COOPER: Breaks into your home -
AXELROD: I thought it was an interesting - COOPER: -- the average police response is eleven minutes. What are you going to do? We actually have sort of a reel of some of the key moments from tonight, in case you missed some of it. Let's just play that so we can continue talking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I formally declare Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence the Republican Nominees for President and Vice President of these United States.
DONALD TRUMP (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Melania and I had such a great time last night, an unbelievable evening. Today has been a very, very special day, watching my children put me over the top earlier; the party seal, I mean, what we did, getting the Party's nomination, I'll never forget it. It's something I will never, ever forget.
A little over one year ago I announced my candidacy for President and with your vote today, this stage of the presidential process has come to a close. Together we received historic results with the largest vote total in the history of the Republican Party. This is a movement, but we have to go all the way.
DONALD TRUMP, JR., SON OF DONALD TRUMP: We didn't learn from MBA's. We learned from people who had doctorates in commonsense.
TRUMP, JR.: Guys like Vinnie Stellio, who taught us how to drive heavy equipment, operate tractors and chainsaws, who worked his way through the ranks to become a trusted advisor of my father. It's why we're the only children of billionaires as comfortable in a D-10 Caterpillar as we are in our own cars.
TIFFANY TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: He draws out the talent and drive in people so that they can achieve their full potential. That's a great quality to have as a father, and better yet, in the President of the United States.
RYAN: Have we had out arguments this year? Sure we have. You know what I call those? Signs of life; signs of a party that's not just going through the motions, not just mouthing new words for the same old stuff.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ): Hillary Clinton has the awful character of a dictator and butcher in the Middle East. Is she guilty or not guilty?
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Just some of the moments tonight. Again, it is just important to - you now, Donald Trump tonight did get the nomination for the republican -- as the Republican candidate for President.
KING: And if you remember where we started this conversation, where I don't, except for the Trump guys at the table, everybody thought interesting, didn't think he was going to run; there was not a prayer this man was going to be the nominee of the Republican Party. When you look at that field of experienced candidates, when you look at the last two elections, the mid-term elections of 2010 and 2014, there's no way a non-ideological guy like Donald Trump is going to win. Give him his due; he won tonight and he won by a huge vote on the floor here.
I think to the point earlier, this is my seventh Republican Convention and my 14th convention overall. I've never been in a hall that is so flat and so weird.
BORGER: Yes. Yes.
ANDERSON: I totally agree.
KING: And that's not necessarily a criticism and that doesn't necessarily mean anything about what's going to happen in November, but Ana and I were talking about this offset. This is, to a degree, and, again, I mean this respectfully, this is what I call my office at work, this is the island of misfit toys.
There are a bunch of people here who don't know each other and who aren't with each other. So, Ana was saying, you have all these pop culture people coming in, the Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan wing of the Republican Party sits there and goes, huh? And then you have Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan and all [23:10:00] the establishment guys up there and all the Trump people are saying, eh? So they're trying to get along and that was part of the conversation tonight, we need to put this aside; we need to get along, but they don't cheer and scream for each other.
COOPER: But it's also interesting when you - I mean, I spent a lot of time not watching this on the monitor but I'm trying to watch the hall, how are people responding; and I said this to David, when it's a lot of the Asa Hutchinson's, and the sort of the practice politicians, people are just kind of moving around. People aren't really watching what's going on. There's not the energy. For Donald Trump Jr. there was a lot of energy. Dr. Ben Carson, huge response --
COOPER: -- here in the hall. Tiffany Trump as well, but -
KING: And the attacks on Hillary.
COOPER: And the attacks on Hillary, but for speeches that in past conventions perhaps would have felt more enmeshed in the program -
ANXELROD: But look at Paul Ryan, I mean, Paul Ryan who, you know, brought the house down at the last convention got polite applause from most of his speech he gave. He had a rousing finish and people responded, but the stuff that Van Jones was citing before, his appeal to a broader constituency, just was greeted with silence.
COOPER: But it was strange, even Paul Ryan, I mean, toward the end, there was one point in the speech where he said, just one more thing before I go -
BORGER: Right. Right.
COOPER: -- like almost excusing himself for going this long.
BORGER: Well he didn't feel comfortable either, by the way; completely, and when you're not comfortable with your own words, I think that's a little bit of a problem. I think he was trying to get there.
Look, a lot of these people were not known to everyone, to John's point. I also think, to the other point we've been making, is that the program didn't build in a way in which you get the people in the audience to understand there's going to be some kind of a major thing and you're building a theme and they went from -
AXELROD: Jeffrey -
BORGER: Can I just finish? They went from women, you know, when they were talking about Chris Cox, they -- when Chris Cox was talking, he was talking about women and guns, and they never got to make America work again, tonight, except for Donald Trump, Jr. really.
BORGER: There wasn't a lot of, sort of, positive energy leading to some kind of moment here and I think that's why it -
LORD: If I can - if I can -
HENDERSON: I think -
LORD: No, if I can just use this to illustrate. This is an e-mail, one-sentence e-mail that I got from someone in Pennsylvania. "Nobody cares about the order of the speakers but them," meaning us.
AXELROD: I'll tell you who does care, --
BORGER: The audience did.
AXELROD: -- almost every other network did not cover Kimberlin Brown. So she may be connecting with people in Harrisburg, but only if they're watching CNN.
HENDERSON: But I think Donald Trump -
NAVARRO: Which, by the way, is a very good thing.
AXELROD: Exactly; that's what I was getting at. HENDERSON: But I think people don't watch TV from start to finish anymore, right?
LORD: They sit there and do this.
HENDERSON: They - it's based on clips, and they share it on social media and it's reprocessed on air. So I think it's sort of ideal that the people watch from start to finish.
AXELROD: That's true.
HENDERSON: I mean, they've got clips from the NRA, Donald Trump Jr., Kimberlin Brown for the "Young & The Restless" fans.
AXELROD: This is true. This is true.
HENDERSON: So I don't know - yes, but -
AXELROD: This is true, but the fact is that there is one hour of every convention day that is covered by -- broadly by all the networks and that is the hour in which you ought to plan to keep people's attention for as long as you can.
JONES: I think they committed a much, much bigger felony than you guys are describing. The big problem -
AXELROD: You sound like Chris Christie.
JONES: I got lost in the moment. If we're going to prosecute, let's prosecute. There's a crime or a tort called false advertising. Tonight was supposed to be the night that we talked about economics, that we talked about how we were going to get jobs. I was prepared; I feel mad because I did my homework and I have all these talking points about how Donald Trump's economic plan is going to cost $30 trillion. We never got to a single - I don't mean a treatise on economics. I mean a single idea that would result in a job.
BORGER: Don Jr. - Don Jr. did, I think.
JONES: Well, God bless Don Jr., apparently he saved the whole thing tonight. I must have missed that speech.
NAVARRO: Let me break it to you: every political campaign is false advertising.
JONES: But at least they said tonight was supposed to talk about it. Here's the deal: there is something wrong here. We might get to - I thank you for correcting us. We might get too technical about it but there's a promise that this thing is going somewhere, that this is going to be this big opportunity for the new Trump party to explain how it's going to fix America and we've heard all anger and no answers, two nights in a row; two nights in a row.
COOPER: I just find it weird - I just find it weird that the hall is emptying out at 10:30, in the middle of what is their prime -- supposed to be the primetime hour. I just find that -- NAVARRO: I'm telling you, I was walking in at that time and it was overwhelming to see the sea of people that were exiting while I was one of the only people walking in.
Now I do disagree with you that we heard nothing but the same tone that we heard last night. Last night if you had tachycardia, you needed to keep your [23:15:01] medication near you because you thought you were going to get attacked by aliens at any moment.
NAVARRO: There were very bright spots today. I think Tiffany Trump's speech about her father was endearing. It had good anecdotes that frankly, Melania's lacked last night. I have got to give a lot of kudo's to say that Paul Ryan's speech meant a lot to me.
NAVARRO: It was the first time in the hall I heard the word poverty. It is the first time in this time in this hall that I heard the word empathy. It was classic Paul Ryan. He is in an incredibly difficult position. We have seen him - we have seen him in live TV, you know, just wrestling with this issue of Trump and his conscience. I think he's trying to be the reconciler-in-chief; I give him a lot of credit.
AXELROD: You just solved the mystery for me. Now I know who was clapping.
NAVARRO: Oh, no; no. No, I was at the grill. It wasn't me.
COOPER: But I think to Andy's point, Don Jr., Donald Trump, Jr. certainly captivated this room, and I imagine a lot of people watching at home. For somebody who, again, not a practiced politician, again, reading off from one of those presidential teleprompters -
NAVARRO: I wish you hadn't felt the need to remind us he's a billionaire's son. I don't think that needs reminding.
DEAN: The way he comes off, he comes off very authentic. He's very honest Donald Trump Jr. I've worked with him. I'll tell you, he's incredibly grounded. For how billionaire's kids normally turn out, the Trump kids turned out the opposite.
These are very hard working, very serious people that love their country. Donald Jr., I thought, did an excellent representation of what Donald Trump's business life is about. I think he brought up a couple interesting points about Donald Trump's hiring practice, and the way he operates Trump Organization. He finds value in places and in people that nobody else does.
John King mentioned an Island of Misfit toys. A lot of people think that's a bad thing. I always think of the movie -
KING: Not me.
DEAN: -- "Money Ball," right, Oakland Athletics, 2002 and that you find talent where nobody else does. The ranks of the upper tiers are filled with blue-collar workers, people who have commonsense, and you don't have to have a Harvard-degree to make it at the Trump Organization -
COOPER: By the way, I always loved the Island of Misfit Toys growing up.
KING: I lived on it a long time.
COOPER: Charlie in the Box.
AXELROD: Let me point out, I loved "Money Ball" but the A's didn't win that year, so you should keep that in mind. Here's the interesting -- you know what was interesting was the contrast between Donald Jr., giving this unbelievably polished performance off of the teleprompter, and Donald, Sr., speaking to the convention, very awkwardly, from a teleprompter.
One of the problems for Donald Trump is he's so much better, the candidate, when he's riffing but is scares the heck out of everybody here when he does it and they want to tie him to this teleprompter and he's just not that good at it.
ANDERSON: Let's check in with our Wolf Blitzer; Wolf?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, thanks very much. Tiffany Trump, the 22-year-old, she delivered a very passionate speech about her dad. She just recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She kept saying what a great dad he is, what a good man he is and she wanted America to know all about him. Listen to this little clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIFFANY TRUMP, DAUGHTER, DONALD TRUMP: So here I am, a little new to the convention scene, but incredibly honored and very confident in the good man that America is coming to know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Her speech was effective I thought. Her older brother, 38- year-old Donald Trump Jr., he had a very powerful speech. Hers was much more emotional, much more meaningful from a younger person's perspective.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and first we should say, to anybody who saw Tiffany tonight and thought she looks familiar, but I've never seen her before; she is the daughter of Marla Maples. She is the spitting image of Marla Maples, and that is how you might recognize her; Marla Maples being Donald Trump's second wife.
I think that her speech was great. I mean, she told emotional stories that we did not really hear from other members of the family and, in a convention like this, we really do hope that members of the family, and expect them, to tell anecdotes to reveal sides of the candidate that you don't normally see; and Donald Trump, for sure, is somebody who is known for his business acumen, who is known for his celebrity status, "The Apprentice," and the last year of the political campaign. We haven't really seen in any of those roles, the softer, warmer, fuzzier side of Donald Trump.
BLITZER: And like all the Trump children, she's only 22 years old, but very, very impressive.
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very poised, and speaking of the Trump children, I was out on the floor when she was speaking and I was watching the VIP Box, where her siblings, her adult siblings were all sitting there really mesmerized with her, and you could almost see them cheering her on because she is the youngest sister that they have.
Her mother, you mentioned, Marla Maples, our Sara Murray saw she actually was here. She was back stage. She was not in public view, which I think is kind of interesting and also a reminder that this is a blended family and it is [23:20:04] not your traditional nuclear family, as we've seen with most Republicans, at least since the days of Ronald Reagan.
BLITZER: I'm sure Marla Maples was very, very proud of her daughter.
BASH: Of course.
BLITZER: Here's another little clip of Tiffany speaking about her dad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
T. TRUMP: His desire for excellence is contagious. He possesses of unique gift for bringing that trait out in others, starting with those closest to him. He's always helped me to be the best version of myself, by encouragement and by example he motivates me to work my hardest and to always stay true to who I am and what I believe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: She did provide some personal anecdotes as well, just growing up, how she kept all of her report cards going back to kindergarten because her dad would write on those report cards.
TAPPER: And let's remember, one of the tasks for Tiffany Trump, and it's a big task for a 22-year-old right out of college, is that there are so many "undecided" voters, so many undecided voters, and there are a lot of women undecided voters; women, in many ways are probably going to decide this election one way or the other, the margins of victory at least, and a lot of those women voters want to know more about Donald Trump as a person, as a father, as a husband. BASH: Exactly; and his persona in particular is so hard charging, is
so brash, which is what makes his supporters love him, but other people do want to see the human side that we don't get to see on the campaign trail because it not appropriate, it's not who he is. She definitely brought that in a way that we didn't see yesterday from -- ironically from his wife, which is the other test we normally see from a spouse.
BLITZER: We're going to hear from Eric Trump tomorrow night and Ivanka Trump on Thursday night, I believe. She going to be introducing her dad Thursday night and both of them, and you know them, they're very impressive as well.
TAPPER: Ivanka Trump, widely respected as one of the brightest members of the whole family, which is already, obviously, a very smart family; and Eric Trump, in some ways, almost doesn't get as much attention. Don Jr. is older. Eric Trump, the reputation he has, is he is the hardest worker. He's the one that really, really gets the business for the Trump Corporation.
BLITZER: Very different note, Sharon Day, the Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee, she spoke earlier tonight and she was extremely, extremely tough on Hillary Clinton. Let me play this clip and then we'll discuss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARON DAY, CO-CHAIR, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: As First Lady, you viciously attacked the character of women who were sexually abused at the hands of your husband!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: You don't often hear that at a -- at a political convention, that kind of accusation.
TAPPER: No; I mean, the truth of the matter is, and this is one of the reasons why I think a lot of Republicans like Donald Trump is because he's willing to "go there," but the truth is that the Clintons have been in public life for a long, long time and this charge has not really been used against her, --
TAPPER: -- not by Nick Blasio, her Senate opponent, not by her other senate opponent in 2006, not in the primaries in 2008 and not by Bernie Sanders. It is something that -- these are charges that are out there. They are denied, strongly, by Hillary Clinton. They are denied strongly by Bill Clinton. I guess we're going to hear a lot more of them.
BASH: And for the chief officer of the Republican Party, a female, to be the one to deliver that, I mean, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize why she's doing it, which is to try to show these women who are supporting Hillary Clinton and supporting her maybe because they do want to see the first female President in their lifetime, no, wait, wait, wait a minute, she's not necessarily all that great for women in her own family and when it came to her own life. Having said that, your point is incredibly important, it hasn't been proven and these allegations have been out there, but we don't have any evidence, that is true.
TAPPER: Just two (inaudible) points on this, which is (1) I suspect we're going to hear a lot more of this, and from women who are allied for the Republican National Committee for Trump; and, (2) the last thing that the Clinton campaign wants to be talking about is this.
TAPPER: So are they going to be issuing challenges on their e-mail fact checking device about what is true and not true in terms of these charges against her husband and charges against Hillary Clinton? No, they don't want to talk about any of it.
BLITZER: And if you listened to Chris Christie's address, he kept saying guilty or not guilty, and the audience would say guilty, guilty; and then you would hear them begin the chant, he would pause, "lock her up; lock her up."
TAPPER: Well, let's distinguish: Chris Christie was talking about policy and character, having to do with things in the public record.
[23:25:01] BLITZER: International issues and the e-mail server as well.
TAPPER: Her tenure as Secretary of State, the e-mail affair. What Chris Christie did, a very aggressive prosecution, as we talked about before. He's been waiting to do this for a year. He thought he was going to be the nominee laying out this case, and he is a former U.S. attorney; but that said -
BASH: It was about her record.
BLITZER: He didn't get into sexual allegations.
BASH: Right. Right.
TAPPER: I just want to make sure people don't think we're suggesting was the same thing -
BLITZER: Right; no.
TAPPER: Because Chris Christie, I thought was -- I thought it was a very effective attack -
BASH: And he had the crowd. He had the crowd, I was out there, in a way that Don Jr. and Tiffany had the crowd. He had the crowd and the rest was very, very -
TAPPER: But can we say something? The theme of the night was "Make America Work Again." Make America Work Again. Now, what roughly I think we heard was about, I don't know, somewhere between five and seven speeches that were this is why you should vote for Donald Trump; he's my dad; he's great; he was my business friend; et cetera. You heard about twice as many speeches like that prosecuting Hillary Clinton.
Then you heard maybe a couple from Kimberlin - what was her name? I'm sorry, I'm not a huge - Kimberlin Brown, the soap opera actress and avocado farmer. She was giving a "Make America Work Again" speech; Paul Ryan, to a degree, giving a "Make America Work Again" speech, but there weren't a lot of - I mean, a lot of -- a lot of these people behind us, I think they think Donald Trump is going to be very effective at creating jobs in the United States and bringing jobs here from bad trade deals. We didn't hear a lot of that tonight.
BLITZER: You heard a lot of these charges against Hillary Clinton, including Mike Mukasey, the former Attorney General during the Bush Administration, who also sought to indict her, as well.
BASH: Although I will say -
TAPPER: Not literally indict her.
TAPPER: He was an attorney general.
BASH: Kimberlin Brown, she was speaking very late and there weren't a lot of people in the hall. I'm not sure how many people were watching at home, but she did try to give that argument about trade and she actually did it vis-a-vis Hollywood, talking about how even in Hollywood they're shipping jobs overseas, they're shooting movies and television shows overseas and for highly paid actors it's not that big of a deal, but for the grips and the camera guys and the boom mic operators, it matters. So she did do it, just --
TAPPER: Although her speech was not in the hour that the networks televised. So she didn't get as many eyeballs as she could have gotten. I don't know how big a deal she is. I don't - I'm not a soap opera guy, but I assume that there are a lot of people out there who would have wanted to hear from her.
BLITZER: Okay; stand by. I want to go back to Anderson right now; Anderson?
COOPER: Wolf, thanks very much. Donald Trump Jr. obviously one of the highlights of tonight, for many, certainly, in this hall and no doubt watching at home. We put together about a minute or so clip just in case you missed his remarks. Let's play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, JR., ELDEST SON OF DONALD TRUMP: A President who has actually created real jobs, who has actually signed the front of a paycheck and who doesn't just talk about it in theory; a President who has real people's families and livelihoods dependent on his success and the success of his company for decades; a President who speak his mind, and not just when it behooves him to do so, who doesn't have to run a focus-group or use data analytics to be able to form a simple opinion, who says what needs to be said and not just what you want to hear; a President who will unleash the greatness in our nation and in all of us, who will give the hard working men and women who built this great country a voice once again; that President can only be my mentor, my best friend, my father; Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Certainly not the typical speech perhaps a child of a candidate would give, not just a personal speech but a very political speech, a speech you could have heard from a senator or a congress person, John.
KING: Look, most of the day was spent talking about last night and the plagiarism in the Melania speech, so this was sort of a reboot for the Trump family, who are critical to the primary mission of this convention, which is to get voters who don't like him, who think he's divisive, who think he doesn't understand them and for whatever reason are turned off for Donald Trump to say, hey, we have 100 days left; give us another look. He's actually a nice guy. We're going to tell you some things about him you don't know. The family is critical to that.
There are a lot of -- again, there's a debate here between the Trump people and the people who understand Trump and who understand what he wants, whether it's right or not it's what he wants, and the old guard, the political pros saying this is the way to do it? is it too much of the children? should we do the children all in one night and do other things in other nights? this is the way they want it.
COOPER: Eric Trump is tomorrow night. Ivanka Trump introduces her father.
BORGER: You know, the professional politicians did not get huge receptions. I mean, you know, Paul Ryan may have given a speech that Ana loved and - but he didn't get the kind of reception in this hall - ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'll tell you who did get
that kind of reception though was Chris Christie.
BORGER: -- that the family did. Now Chris Christie gave a red meat, old fashioned political speech. He is the only politician who really got that kind of reception; and, as we were talking about earlier, he must have gotten great satisfaction from it because he would have liked to have been giving that at vice president.
NAVARRO: Gloria, what Chris Christie gave tonight, you know, knowing Chris Christie some, is Chris Christie gave tonight a show of what you would have gotten had you picked me vice president.
NAVARRO: And, you know what, folks, some of you are going to have great buyer's remorse. You can't -- you can't expect that kind of reaction
from Mike Pence. We're going to see Mike Pence, and I mean, even under the influence of medication Mike Pence couldn't reach the energy level and just the prosecutorial effectiveness of a Chris Christie. What you saw tonight was Chris Christie saying, hey, guys, this is what you could have gotten had you picked me.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think that everybody's talking about the style of the Trump kids. They actually opened up a political problem, I think, for Democrats if you look at it.
One of the thing that democrats are going to want to do next week, they're going to want to have a parade of victims of Trump, ordinary people who Trump has mistreated; ordinary people who can say this guy is not on your side. By opening up this whole lane, which you point out, that he lets ordinary people who don't have the Ivy League degrees have a real shot, it's a counterbalance to that. So if they continue down that road, they may actually be foreclosing some of the arguments Democrats will be making next week.
He's for ordinary guys, is what they're going to be trying to say. The Democrats are going to say, you know what; he screwed over so many ordinary people, so many small contractors; so many people who relied on Trump were left hurt, bankrupted. That's going to be a big part of next week. They may have an (inaudible) tonight.
COOPER: They're going to bring up Donald Trump's alleged use of illegal Polish immigrants -
COOPER: -- back in the building of the, I think it was the foundation for Trump Tower, --
COOPER: -- which became a lengthy lawsuit, which I think was eventually settled, if memory serves me correct, and which Donald Trump, by the way, has been asked about and his answer is "that was a long, long time ago."
JONES: I just want to say, I think we may have patronized the young people a little bit by saying they were great kids, I know I did that; but I think actually, politically, they may have been more useful than we even recognized.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Particularly Don Jr., but, you know, the nature of presidential campaigns, there's no narrative goes unrebutted and unchallenged. No one should -- no democrat's going to walk out with a white flag and say, man, that was a great speech; we're done; and no Republican is going to yield to the arguments they're going to hear next week, but I think that's part of a presidential race and we'll see if the narrative that Don Jr. presented tonight survives that process.
ANDY DEAN, ANDY DEAN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR & DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: And I think there's a strategy here that maybe is being missed at that table, that I think Donald believes in and Donald Jr. believes in, and that is that they are builders; and when I say "builders", not building coalitions or metaphorical bridges.
COOPER: Right. DEAN: They physically build things with their hand, and the route to victory, let's just be blunt, is through the industrial Midwest. These people build things with their hands and there's that loss of connection, which I think Trump will make with the working class in the industrial Midwest, that it is missing -
DEAN: -- and I think that is very important and I think Donald Jr. and Donald do that very well.
BORGER: And also another line from Donald Jr. that I think resonates was about his instinct and how he hires people. He said, "He sees the potential in people they don't see in themselves." I think that speaks to a lot of people who say, you know we had people at the - he talked about having people at the top echelons of his company who didn't go to Wharton, --
BORGER: -- who didn't go to Harvard, who just worked their way up and were promoted on merit.
DEAN: On confidence and commonsense. I also think what's missing with the political class, in Congress right now, over 200 people in Congress have law degrees but we have less than ten engineers. That's really something fascinating to think about. Less than ten people in congress know how to build with their hands. The Midwest is the key, and I think that's important.
COOPER: Wolf Blitzer standing by; let's go, Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, thanks very much. Sajid Tarar is with us. He gave the closing benediction tonight. He's the Founder and Chairman of Muslim Americans for Trump. Sajid, we have some questions for you; thanks very much for joining us.
SAJID TARAR, FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN, "MUSLIM AMERICANS FOR TRUMP": You're welcome.
BLITZER: So when I heard there was the Founder and Chairman of Muslim Americans [23:35:01] for Trump; you must be asked this all the time: why do you support Donald Trump since he has said he wants a temporary ban on Muslims, for example, coming to the United States?
TARAR: It is a long story. I'm part of the angry Americans who were upset with the nonfunctioning Washington, D.C., and especially the traditional politicians and the legacy politics. I have been a student of political science all of my life. I went to law school and the first time, when the candidate came up here, and he's rewriting history of democracy in this country; self-funded campaign, anti- establishment, anti-political correctness; and first time in the history, but not even in the previous history, but he has identified radical Islam as a threat and he is willing to learn where the hatred is coming from Islam and I believe he's a doer. So these were all of the elements that appealed me and I looked into it and that's why I started it; and plus, I was born and raised in Pakistan and came from a very conservative culture and the Republican Party was more appealing to me. I was Republican, so --
BLITZER: What about the temporary ban on Muslims coming to the United States; you're a Muslim?
TARAR: Yes, I'm a Muslim. Temporary ban? He has said the ban will be with exceptions, only with the war torn countries whether we are in war, like Syria, Libya and Iraq, but not from the other countries. There will be exceptions, like he said he will build a wall, but there will be doors. People will be coming through them doors, legally. So I believe you cannot put a ban on 1.5 billion Muslims, the second biggest religion on the planet. He never meant -- I think this was misunderstood, and plus sometime the liberal media doesn't justify at the same time.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mr. Tarar, thanks for being here, we appreciate it. First of all, just a very basic question: how many members do you have in your organization of Muslims for Trump?
TARAR: We started have - we started this organization around five months ago. We had about 200 people in attendance in the tristate area, Virginia, Maryland, D.C. So far we have approximately 400 people, those are active. We don't have any registrational process, but we have an e-mail list of approximately 400 people, sympathizer with Donald Trump from our message and I have been waiting for this convention to mobilize social media efforts, websites and Twitter accounts, Facebook and I am planning to start traveling. I have been traveling where Mr. Trump has been going into the Northeast. So I hope we are launching up. We are traveling to the states where most of the Muslim population is.
TAPPER: What has been the reception like? What has the reception like been for you, your support of Mr. Trump within Muslim community? You live in Baltimore, right?
TARAR: Yes; in the beginning it was an uphill battle. People were calling me, I'm a traitor. Either I'm getting paid by Donald Trump. It is -- so it is an uphill battle. But since I have been going to different events within Muslim population and trying to put on my case that we are victim at the same time, most of Islam world is ruled by the dictators or the kings, without any fundamental rights, and that radical Islam and the terrorism is directly related to the oppression, and what is oppression is education and opportunities.
Most of unemployment and most of Islamic work, and most of the opportunities, unemployment, so all of these things, when I put my kids in front of them and they listen; and not only this, I always tell them that we come from the war-torn countries, America accepts us. It gives us a refuge. American people, they take us with open arms. So we have to think about American safety first.
TAPPER: Have you ever met with Mr. Trump?
TAPPER: Tell us about that.
TARAR: My meeting was just a brief meeting. It was not a detailed -
BLITZER: Was it recently or --
TARAR: About a month ago, because I'm a part of the National Domestic Relation, I'm an advisor there, we have about 35, 36 people from different ethnic communities. I went with them into New York and I met him at Trump Plaza.
TAPPER: I want to ask you one other question, and then I know Dana Bash has questions. You're the CEO of the Center for Social Change, which is a nonprofit providing care for the elderly and developmentally disabled people in the Baltimore region.
TAPPER: And god bless you for the work you do there, sir. I heard from a lot of people who have children with disabilities, or brothers and sisters with disabilities who were very upset after Mr. Trump appeared to mock that disabled reporter. Did you see that; did that bother you; did you hear anything about that?
TARAR: I think -- it didn't bother me that much. I think it was misunderstood. First of all, Mr. Trump doesn't have an Ivy League staffer writing his speeches. He's anti-political correctness. He just says whatever he feels like it, whatever comes to his mind; obviously he just says (inaudible). We're sick of traditional politicians, those are having 15, 20 staffers always doing research and preparing the speeches.
[23:40:01] TAPPER: That's worse, in your mind, than people mocking people with disabilities?
TARAR: No; I think the media just took it on a different angle.
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake asked you about the reception you got in the Muslim community, but I want to ask about the reception you just got here tonight. I'm looking at a blog from the "New York Times" reporter who was in there and who saw and heard a delegate stand up and say "no Islam." They tried to stop him, a guard tried to stop him but then he stood up and tried to do it again. Did you hear that?
TARAR: No, I didn't hear it, but --
BASH: What's your reaction to that?
TARAR: My reaction to this, and that's one of the reasons I'm here, and that's one of my reasons my organization is to stand up and tell Americans that all of us, we are not bad people. We are living here, we are part of American fabric and we will stand behind America. We will stand for the safety of America, our number one priority as well. Of course there will be some (inaudible) of those who will be always upset; everybody is looking at the picture from different angle and have different meaning. You cannot stop those people. Yes, there will be (inaudible); but I'm here today. I'm a proud American. I love this country more than my life and I mean it.
BASH: And you obviously feel you felt welcome here -
BASH: -- and you were invited by the, now, nominee to do that. Were you bracing for a reaction like that? Did you think maybe that would happen?
TARAR: I am very humble today to be honest with you. I was very humbled. I was taken very well after my benediction, I came downstairs. So many people, they asked me for the picture. Everybody was shaking hand with me and this is what I wanted. I wanted -- this is what part of my mission is, to tell America, Muslim Americans, to be loyal, to be patriotic to America, even Islam says, the Muslims, we are, the living, they have to be loyal to the country where they live in; and especially to the young American Muslims, I wanted to tell them, to teach them how to love America.
BLITZER: One final question, --
BLITZER: -- who invited you tonight?
TARAR: I was invited by the campaign.
BLITZER: By the Trump campaign, not the Republican National Committee?
TARAR: No, they introduced me to the audience.
BLITZER: But it was the Trump Campaign?
TARAR: It was the campaign yes.
BLITZER: Thank you so much for joining us.
TARAR: It was my pleasure.
TAPPER: As-salamu alaykum.
TARAR: Thank you so much.
TAPPER: Have a safe trip back to Baltimore.
TARAR: Thank you.
BLITZER: All right; we heard Republicans hammer away at Hillary Clinton tonight. Did their attacks pass our "Reality Check"? you'll find out just ahead.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [23:46:21] BLITZER: Welcome back to the Republican National Convention. Tom Foreman is with us. He's been doing some Reality Checks." Tom, this one is on the email allegations against Hillary Clinton. Michael Mukasey, the former Attorney General during the Bush Administration leveled some serious charges.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes; absolutely. Many Republicans were obviously disappointed when the sitting U.S. Attorney General decided not to press charges against Hillary Clinton over this whole email controversy, no one more disappointed than the man who used to hold that job. After all, he said look at what she did; listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL MUKASEY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: She sent and received secret and top secret and beyond top secret information and e-mails on an unsecure private e-mail system, instead of a secured government system and she did it without authorization.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: Mukasey actually laid out three central claims here: that it was, not authorized, she said it was. He said it was used out of the country, opening new avenues to potential security breaches by being in places you shouldn't be with this; and, it involved classified information even though she said for a long time no, no, no, we never said anything that was classified at the time.
Mukasey said this was all true and guess who else said it was all true? The FBI said it was all true. It wasn't authorized, it was used out of country and it did involve classified information. The FBI and the U.S. Attorney General's Office said not enough to press charges, but absolutely all of this happened. So the verdict on all of this, absolutely. What Mukasey said about her is true. There's a whole lot more if you go to our web site, you'll find it at cnn.com/Reality Check.
We're very busy on nights like this, as you know. A lot of things were said, we checked many of them out.
BLITZER: We've got a few more "Reality Checks" coming up --
FOREMAN: Yes, we do.
BLITZER - in the next hour, with Tom Foreman. Thanks very much. all of the allegations he made were, in fact, true he said, but there were no charges recommended by the FBI Director or the Attorney General.
TAPPER: I talked to a Republican prosecutor who was no fan of Hillary Clinton, after the decision was made and he said one of the reasons for the decision by the Attorney General, by the FBI to not bring charges is if you go after somebody that high profile as Hillary Clinton and you try to indict them, try to bring them to court and charge them, send them to jail or whatever, you better get that case 100-percent right because your career can be ruined, the person you're charging can be ruined. It is the belief -- I believe the FBI Director said this, that there isn't anybody who would look at the credible -- any credible prosecutor wouldn't bring this case because it is so risky and so high stakes.
BASH: And she wasn't prosecuted in the court of law but he, Comey, certainly made sure she was prosecuted in the court of public opinion. I mean, his words were devastating, devastating. I'm sure you've heard that privately from the Clinton campaign and from people around Hillary Clinton as I have. Obviously, it would have been a whole different ball game if she were indicted but he made sure to give her much more than a slap on the wrist.
BLITZER: He said she was extremely careless and negligent.
BLITZER: Very strong words.
TAPPER: And he was asked to define that; what does that mean, and he said extreme sloppiness -
TAPPER: -- extreme sloppiness when it comes to secrets. One other point [23:50:02] about the idea of you don't -- as Omar on the wire said, if you come for the king, you best not miss, and that is that -- you don't like the Omar --
BASH: Can you give me a "Real House Wives" reference, please?
TAPPER: I'm sorry.
BASH: That's okay.
TAPPER: And that is, people say, oh, there's two systems of justice here because if a lieutenant colonel in the Army or some sort of mid- level functionary at the Justice Department did the same thing, there would be charges. You better believe it; because the stakes are lower. I'm not saying that is right or wrong, but that's just how it is.
BLITZER: We did some checking, how many mentions of Donald Trump there were tonight and how many mentions of Hillary Clinton there were tonight in the various speeches.
TAPPER: That's right; these are in the prepared remarks, not in the "as delivered", and it is interesting. When it comes to Donald Trump or Trump, there were 61 mentions. When it comes to Hillary Clinton or Clinton, what is your guess, higher or lower?
BLITZER: Go ahead.
TAPPER: Well, you already have the number. 79.
BLITZER: I would have guessed but I saw the number.
BASH: I wonder what unifies Republicans here? TAPPER: And also, by the way, just for those keeping count, we don't have the mentions of Lucifer here on this chart, but there were - or Saul Alinsky, but there some of those, a few of those as well.
BLITZER: Or Dr. Ben Carson.
TAPPER: Guess what? Next week, you better believe there will be a lot of speeches that have as much vitriol against Donald Trump and, hopefully, we'll have a similar count.
BLITZER: We did get the advanced text of the speeches and almost all of the speakers, they stuck to the advanced text in their speeches.
TAPPER: I saw the word cloud earlier, you know, when you take the most popular words, and for the night, Hillary is the big word. Trump, a little smaller, underneath, which is interesting, especially on make America work again night.
BASH: I was just going to say that, not, -- well, I think you're right. we will hear similar criticisms, political criticisms, in reverse, the next time around, next week; but I'm guessing if we do the exact same thing, it will be a lot more references to their own candidate than their -
TAPPER: I don't know; we'll see. Look, these are the two least popular candidates -
BASH: That's true.
TAPPER: -- in the modern era. I guess they weren't polling back in the times of Tip-a-canoe and Tyler-too, but in the modern era, the two least popular, and so the idea of each candidate is going to try to make the election a referendum on the other one is a fairly cogent one. Here, a lot of people who love Donald Trump, and a lot of people who hate Hillary Clinton; and the reverse is going to be true next week.
Remember how Bernie Sanders was trying to appeal to his supporters to vote for Hillary.
TAPPER: We need to stop Donald Trump.
BASH: No question, but in this hall, because you do have, it is not much as we thought it might be, but we do have some division among Republicans -
BASH: -- that is the unifying force, Hillary Clinton.
TAPPER: Yes; in fact, I think in terms of the percentage of the delegates that Donald Trump got at his own convention, I think it is lower than a lot of recent candidates. Hey, look, he won. obviously he is the nominee and the number of delegates doesn't really matter - BASH: Right.
TAPPER: -- but the idea there remains big divisions in the Republican Party -
TAPPER: There remain big divisions in the Democratic party, too. We will see next week what those divisions are, but there are still a sizable number, a sizable percentage of Bernie Sanders supporters. I met one the other night, did I tell you this -
TAPPER: -- who will not vote for Hillary Clinton? Yes, I met - this is anecdotal --
BLITZER: A lot of them are saying they will vote for Gary Johnson or Joe Stein.
BASH: Whose numbers are going up.
TAPPER: This guy still held out hope that Bernie Sanders was going to join -- go on the Green Party ticket and become a third-party alternative, which Bernie Sanders has said he will not do.
BASH: A democrat's worst nightmare.
TAPPER: My only point in citing this Uber driver was that he represents -
BASH: Jake Tapper's poll of one.
TAPPER: It was Bob Schieffer's Uber, so don't blame me. But it was because he does represent thousands and thousands of Bernie supporters -
BASH: No question.
TAPPER: -- who do not like Hillary Clinton and will not vote for her.
BLITZER: And one other thing, we just interviewed Sajid Tarar, who supports this Muslims for Donald Trump. He's got a lot of guts, this guy -
BASH: He sure does.
BLITZER: He's got guts to create a group like that, knowing what Donald Trump has said, but also to come here to this convention and deliver that closing benediction.
BASH: I loved what he said when he said you know what? I thought maybe there might have been some opposition, but that is why I came because I wanted people to understand that - what Muslims are, and who we are. They are, you know, people who are incredibly religious but in his case, somebody who is politically conservative because that is his background and those are his political beliefs and it is possible and he showed it.
TAPPER: Except he was arguing about the need to recognize radical Islamic extremism, the need for the Muslim world that still has dictators and oppresses its people to change its ways, and all of those are cogent arguments; but Donald Trump has expressed antipathy towards the religion [23:55:01] itself. Islam hates us, he said to Anderson Cooper; and at the last debate I asked him: Islam hates us, all 1.5 billion people? He said something along the lines of, well, a lot of them; or something like that.
BASH: But I'm -
BLITZER: There is a group of Muslims out there who make the point, and it is totally accurate, if you take a look at al-Qaeda or ISIS or any of these terror groups, most of the people they've killed are Muslims --
TAPPER: Of course.
BLITZER: -- in Syria, in Iraq, whether in Pakistan, where he is from, or elsewhere and they say they hate these radical terrorists just as much, if not more so, than you and I do.
TAPPER: Of course; because, I mean, and that is actually one of the strong men arguments. Now we're into a whole new area of foreign policy. That is one of the reasons why people like Dick Chaney loved Mubarak, because he kept that threat down. He would throw people in prison with little regard of human rights.
BASH: And ending back in the hall, the point that he made about trying to explain that Muslims are not scary people and that we're a religion of peace and so forth. To your point about him telling you and Anderson Cooper, Donald Trump say that it's all of Islam, perhaps he was trying to say, not just trying to tell people here around the country but maybe the candidate, who he agrees with on with conservative issues.
TAPPER: I don't know that he was -
BLITZER: Hold that thought.
BASH: Let's give him the benefit of the doubt.
BLITZER: All right, coming up, --
TAPPER: That's a loose interpretation.
BLITZER: -- the most compelling moments of this night is Donald Trump as officially nominated; plus, a closer look at what is in store tomorrow. Stay with us.