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CNN TONIGHT

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Sharing the Spotlight at Al Smith Dinner; Michelle Obama Back on the Campaign Trail Today in Phoenix Aired. 11-12p ET

Aired October 20, 2016 - 23:00   ET

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


[23:00:02] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: It's probably the last place in the world that they wanted to be. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump sharing the spotlight at Al Smith Dinner right here in New York with Cardinal Timothy Dolan stuck right in the middle of both of them.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. Thanks for watching.

The Al Smith is usually a chance for political A-listers to take a break from a tough campaign and have a few laughs but this year it's personal. Listen to some of the highlights.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Start out with a self- deprecating joke. Some people think this would be tough more for me, but the truth is --

(LAUGHTER AND CHEERS)

TRUMP: The truth is I'm actually a modest person. Very modest. It's true.

(LAUGHTER)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You'd look so good in your tuxes, or as I refer to them, formal pant suits.

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: And you know because this is a friendly dinner for such a great cause, Donald, if at any time you don't like what I'm saying, feel free to stand up and shout, wrong, while I'm talking.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: It's great to be here with a thousand wonderful people, or as I call it, a small, intimate dinner with some friends, or as Hillary calls it, her largest crowd of the season.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: We have proven that we can actually be civil to each other. In fact, just before taking the day, Hillary accidentally bumped into me and she very civilly said, pardon me. (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And I very politely replied, let me talk to you about that after I get into office.

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: Donald wanted me drug tested before last night's debate, and look, I got to tell you, I am so flattered that Donald thought I used some sort of performance enhancer.

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: Now, actually, I did. It's called preparation.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: And looking back I've had to listen to Donald for three full debates and he says I don't have any stamina. That is four and a half hours. I have now stood next to Donald Trump longer than any of his campaign managers.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: Last night, I called Hillary a nasty woman, but this stuff is all relative, after listening to Hillary rattle on, and on, and on, I don't think so badly of Rosie O'Donnell anymore. In fact, I'm actually starting to like Rosie a lot.

CLINTON: Now you notice there is no teleprompter here tonight, which is probably smart because maybe you saw Donald dismantle his prompter the other day, and I get that. They're hard to keep up with, and I'm sure it's even harder when you're translating from the original Russian.

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: It is great also to see Mayor Bloomberg here.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: It's a shame he's not speaking tonight. I'm curious to hear what a billionaire has to say.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: Great senators. Hi, Chuck. He used to love me when I was a Democrat, you know.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Mark Preston is here. Brianna Keilar is here, as well, and Republican strategist Kevin Madden is here. Kevin, inside joke, we were laughing at any ways. I digress. So, Mark, those are some of the highlights of the evening, what did

you think?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Listen, I think we all can agree at this table and Kevin being at this table, so to speak, that it was a bad night for everybody involved. Donald Trump couldn't deliver the joke, they were too biting. I thought her whole speech was like politically laced with jabs at him, and listen they just knocked it out tonight before -- 24 hours earlier.

[23:05:02] This is a Catholic charity. You can make fun of each other, but just -- it just wasn't appropriate.

LEMON: Do you agree, Kevin? I mean, who got the worst of it?

KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, you know, I think in many ways it was -- politically I think it was like a perfect summation of 2016 in the sense that, you know, Donald Trump had an extraordinary opportunity to show some grace, to show some -- you know, a warmth, and he self-destructed. You know, he walked out of there with a self-inflicted wound, and by contrast, you know, a very average Hillary Clinton looks good and you know won the night. I think that was a summary of, like, what we saw I think in the debates and overall, but the thing --

LEMON: Are you analyzing the debate or -- I mean, because --

MADDEN: No. No, I'm talking about --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: I know. Completely crazy. Right?

MADDEN: I'm talking about tonight like a summary. Yes, yes, it could be. But I think there's one thing that we need to remember is that most Americans, a vast majority of Americans were not in the room or watching this live, and the sound bites that you just showed I think reflected pretty well for both candidates. And I think most people would get their news, they'll get the atomized version of it by watching the sound bites rather than watching this live. So it's not going to make a big difference either way.

LEMON: Brianna Keilar had some favorite moments. This was one of them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it. It's fantastic. They think she's absolutely great. My wife Melania gives the exact same speech and people get on her case.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And I don't get it. I don't know why. And it wasn't her fault. Stand up, Melania. Come on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So I thought that was one of the funniest lines of the night.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: One of the reasons that I thought it was funny was that I thought it showed some self-awareness because he's making point of, wait, there's bias. I mean, she delivers it --

LEMON: Right.

KEILAR: It's like, you know, it's sort of almost -- whoever wrote that, wrote that in mind with the idea that this bias argument of his, that he goes about how the media is biased against him and then also, Melania Trump is in an unenviable position as the spouse of Donald Trump. And you saw the -- the reason I thought that there was actually sort of -- even a sweetness about that and an acknowledgement of her was also the response of the people in the room. You heard them. They weren't booing. They were clapping. They were giving her encouragement and a cheer and I think that was because they sort of realized she's in a tough position.

LEMON: But also that's what the dinner is about.

KEILAR: Yes.

LEMON: That's the kind of jokes you're supposed --

KEILAR: That's right.

LEMON: It's supposed to be self-deprecating.

KEILAR: Yes.

LEMON: And a way -- you know, his wife and himself, and this whole political campaign.

KEILAR: Yes.

LEMON: And that's why it was funny.

KEILAR: Now some people said he threw Melania under the bus.

LEMON: No. No.

KEILAR: But I didn't see it that way.

LEMON: She's --

KEILAR: There was some reaction like that. I didn't see it like that. I actually thought her reaction to it was genuine and not really pained or anything.

LEMON: One of Brianna's favorite moments from Hillary Clinton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: People look at the Statue of Liberty and they see a proud symbol of our history as a nation of immigrants, a beacon of hope for people around the world. Donald looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a four. Maybe a five if she loses the torch and tablet, and changes her hair.

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: You know, come to think of it, you know what would be a good number for a woman? 45.

(CHEERS)

CLINTON: But I digress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK. Yes, you're OK with that because?

PRESTON: I'm 45. I think 45 is a great age.

LEMON: Not just for a woman. Even for a man, as well.

PRESTON: Even for me.

LEMON: OK.

PRESTON: Even for Kevin Madden.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: So, Brianna Keilar -- Kevin, Brianna Keilar, and audience, Brianna Keilar is going to overanalyze the joke.

KEILAR: I am. I'm ready to --

LEMON: It's just funny, Brianna, but go on.

KEILAR: I would like to be an adjunct professor if there's a course on this joke. No, I think --

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: Let's get to the statue before you do it.

KEILAR: Because the statue with the arm, right? It's roughly a four. Now you see as the one -- I don't -- I see an elbow in there. I'm going with the four.

MADDEN: Where do you say a four?

KEILAR: Come on, I mean, when you think of it, just kind of go with me on this.

LEMON: OK.

KEILAR: I thought that was sort of funny.

LEMON: You say a four in a scale from one to 10.

KEILAR: So -- but to me that was the slow burn of it and then I just thought she sort of spoke to, one, she's dinging him as dangerous to democracy, right, and so then she's kind of being topical about it in a way he's talked about women, his numbers, and so, I just thought there were a lot of elements to it. I thought it was kind of funny and also she's sort of knocking him for even by his own admission kind of dumbing down the Miss Universe Pageant of sort of there being too much emphasis on education and that kind of thing, and he was emphasizing instead more of the physical attributes of the pageant.

LEMON: OK, Brianna.

KEILAR: A lot going on.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: Kevin, now that Professor Keilar has overanalyzed this, what did you think? What was your favorite moment?

[23:10:04] MADDEN: Well, look, I thought the -- I thought the joke that he told about Melania, I thought was pretty good. I think it made a light moment of what was a difficult political situation for him back at the convention. And those were the best moments. The best moments were when they got a little bit of a political message in with a little bit of humor. And that -- those were always the best moments at those dinners.

LEMON: All right. Let's move on now to serious stuff and talk about the debate and the fallout from the debate. This is First Lady Michelle Obama. She was back on the campaign trail today in Phoenix. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Now sadly, for some reason, Hillary's opponent comes from a different place. I don't know, perhaps living life high up in a tower in a world of exclusive clubs, measuring success by wins and losses, the number of zeros in your bank account, perhaps you just develop a different set of values. Maybe with so little exposure to people who are different than you becomes easy to take advantage of those who are down on their luck, folks who play by the rules, pay what they owe, because to you --

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

M. OBAMA: To you, those folks just aren't very smart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Ouch.

PRESTON: She's good, isn't she? I mean, she -- I mean, by far. I mean, I think, and I think it would be interesting to see what you all think as well, I think she's the best surrogate out there. I just think that she delivers a message in a way that connects with a lot of people and just let's take politics out of this for a moment. I'd love to see her stay in public life in some way, you know, to try to better something because she's so effective at what she does and I don't think we're going to see Michelle Obama go away.

KEILAR: You know, I wonder, though, because she has what I would describe as a disdain for some of the darker parts of politics even before we came into what has been a really kind of nasty election season. But I just think she's so popular and she is so deadly to Donald Trump and really riling up the Barack Obama coalition, but what's as noteworthy about what she said is where she said it. She's in Arizona, this is a place -- it's a red state. It hasn't gone for a Democrat since 1996, since Bill Clinton. And Hillary Clinton is close in the polls.

PRESTON: Yes.

KEILAR: You had Michelle Obama there today, yesterday, you had Chelsea Clinton, Tuesday you had Bernie Sanders. I mean, they are really trying to make this happen or at least make it very close.

LEMON: Yes. Kevin, next time join us at the big Plexi glass table in New York.

MADDEN: Preston doesn't like me sitting next to him. He doesn't like the contrast.

(CROSSTALK)

PRESTON: Now that is shade.

KEILAR: I'll sit between you guys.

PRESTON: That is shade.

LEMON: Now that is shade. You should have written those -- some of those jokes tonight, Kevin. Thank you, guys. Appreciate it. Great conversation.

When we come right back this is not the first time Donald Trump has claimed an election was rigged. Wait until you hear what he said in 2012.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:16:53] LEMON: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton trading some barbs at tonight's Al Smith Dinner. Here to discuss, Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany, Peter Beinart, a contributor to the "Atlantic," Gina Loudon, a Trump supporter and a behavioral and psychology expert, and Van Jones, a former Obama administration official.

We have a lot to talk about. But I want to get all of your reactions to the Al Smith Dinner tonight. First Trump spoke, let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I wasn't really sure if Hillary was going to be here tonight because I guess you didn't send her invitation by e-mail, or maybe you didn't and she just found out about it through the wonder of WikiLeaks.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: We've learned so much from WikiLeaks. For example, Hillary believes that it's vital to deceive the people by having one public policy --

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

TRUMP: And a totally different policy in private. That's OK. I don't know who they're angry at, Hillary, you or I. For example, here she is tonight in public pretending not to hate Catholics.

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: All right. And here is Secretary Clinton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: If Donald does win, it will be awkward at the Annual President's Day photo when all the former presidents gather at the White House, and not just with Bill. How is Barack going to get past the Muslim ban?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK. So, everyone, Donald Trump was booed. Was he too sharp and another example of, you know, questionable temperament since we've been talking about this?

I'll start with Van Jones first.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I think that maybe he was a little bit too sharp. I also think that, you know, don't forget Hillary Clinton represented New York, so she's literally -- I mean, obviously both New Yorkers but she's in a hometown -- she's got a hometown crowd advantage. This is her little hometown.

LEMON: This is her living room. Yes.

JONES: Yes, so I think that, you know, you've got to have a little bit more sensitivity there -- I tell you, if he had done the same thing in a red state, it would have been a completely different response.

LEMON: Gina?

GINA LOUDON, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I tell you, I wish I could comment on the clips you played at the last segment because I just relished those moments of civility that we saw between the two of them where Mr. Trump touched her on the back, for example, where they were making jokes that were actually funny instead of politically motivated or jabs.

I just think that our country is so thirsty for a little civil discourse and a little humor that those are the parts that I just want to choose to focus on right now. It was just a nice relief especially after last night.

LEMON: Peter?

PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I think Trump missed an opportunity. I don't think Hillary was that great either. I think, frankly, Barack Obama has much better comic timing than both of them do but --

LEMON: And Mitt Romney, surprisingly.

BEINART: And Romney, right.

LEMON: Yes.

BEINART: I think both of them are fairly bad at this, but I think Trump would have done better for himself had he told more jokes about himself, had he been more self-deprecating.

[23:20:02] And I think especially given the political problems that he's been having, that would have been useful. I think he would have been part of the kind of Kellyanne Conway strategy. I think he spent too much time attacking Hillary Clinton and some of the jokes were -- some of the attacks were not even really jokes. They were just kind of attack lines and I think he misread the crowd.

LEMON: Kayleigh?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I think Gina is right here. I mean, I think of all the debates we saw, I think one of the best moments was the moment where they were asked what they admired in the other candidates and I think we all, you know, are in this heated election, it's very contentious, and to have that moment where you just have that lightness of I like this about Hillary or I like this about Donald Trump, and have, you know, moments of jest, I think the American public likes and they relished.

LEMON: This is a roast, Kayleigh.

MCENANY: I know.

LEMON: They're supposed to roast each other.

MCENANY: But it's a totally different side.

LEMON: Yes. Yes.

MCENANY: Outside of the contentious back and forth of the debate.

LEMON: But I happen to think that all of you are right. I do think that Hillary Clinton read the room and the tradition of the room better. I don't think that either of them were -- was great, but I also think that the funniest moment I think of the night may have been the Melania Trump moment when he was actually sort of making fun of himself through Melania -- and Melania, and that was -- it's supposed to be about self-deprecation. Then you jab your opponent. Then you go back to jabbing yourself. And then, you know, it's like the sandwich thing.

BEINART: Right.

MCENANY: But is it a good thing to read the temperature of the room at the Waldorf Astoria?

LEMON: Yes.

MCENANY: I mean --

LEMON: Well, I mean, for this event.

MCENANY: Severely out of touch with --

LEMON: For this event.

BEINART: I don't think the Waldorf Astoria is that alien a place for Donald Trump.

LEMON: Yes. It's a roast, Kayleigh. Lighten up, all right?

MCENANY: I'm just saying.

LEMON: A roast. OK. So let's move on. Let's talk about last night. OK. This made headlines last night, here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, DEBATE MODERATOR: I want to ask you here on the stage tonight, do you make the same commitment that you will absolutely -- sir, that you will absolutely accept the results of this election?

TRUMP: I will look at it at the time. I'm not looking at anything now. I'll look at it at the time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And this is Donald Trump from today.

TRUMP: I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election -- if I win.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, Peter, after the last debate you wrote about what you call Trump's lack of understanding about presidential power. Do you think that Trump's comments last night proved his lack of understanding about our democracy?

BEINART: Yes. This is very dangerous stuff. I mean, if Al Gore at the end after he lost the presidency, after winning the popular vote and then losing a 5-4 Supreme Court decision, had not been willing to accept the result of that decision, we would be in a very different country today. If it became the norm in the United States, the candidate did not accept losing elections, instead the candidates -- it's rigged, I don't accept the legitimacy, that would seriously impair our functioning as a democracy.

Donald Trump's statement today was a statement of a clown. This is not the kind of thing you joke about. This is about as serious as it gets in the United States. You respect the will of the people. You don't challenge the legitimacy of the person who's won it and Donald Trump is playing with fire.

LEMON: A clown, that's harsh language, don't you think?

BEINART: No, I don't think so. When you joke about not accepting the will of the people in an election, that's -- that's not the kind of thing you should be joking about.

MCENANY: I assume the same standard applies to the Democrats and what applies to 2002 when Hillary Clinton said at an L.A. fundraiser that George W. Bush was selected and not elected.

BEINART: Well, he was selected by the Supreme Court. But she never challenged his legitimacy.

MCENANY: Selected but not elected.

BEINART: She treated him as a legitimate president for eight years.

MCENANY: It's important you have context here because Donald Trump's comments come on the heels of a video coming out showing Democratic operatives saying how they bus --

BEINART: So now you're changing the subject.

MCENANY: No, no, this is --

BEINART: First you're changing the subject.

MCENANY: I know at the time the Democrats --

BEINART: Don didn't ask about this. He asked about Trump's comments.

MCENANY: This isn't -- you've got to let me finish because this is important context. The day after a video comes out showing Democratic operatives committing mass voter fraud and saying what they will do to allow people to vote en mass in many states. That is when Donald Trump made this comment. He wants to ensure that there's not mass voter fraud around the United States. You have Democratic operatives related to Hillary Clinton on tape saying they are going to do this and it's completely fair to say I want to make sure that this doesn't happen. LEMON: OK. Van Jones, go ahead.

JONES: Well, I think I've been pretty clear about this. First of all, Donald Trump -- I want to back up and just talk about the politics here. Obviously it's despicable for him to pretend that there's any chance that he would not accept the results of this election it would be -- in 240 years you've never had anybody do it. I can't imagine that anybody thinks that some low-level, you know, person talking to some, you know, video person is worse than what was going on in the 1800s when it comes to elections. Those were never challenged.

Let me just say this one thing, though. Politically, Donald Trump has gone in three weeks from being Trump-zilla, this unstoppable force, to being Trumpty-Dumpty.

[23:25:03] I mean, this guy has thrown himself down the stairs so that instead of us talking after the debate about his foreign policy or about his ideas for the economy, we're talking about whether or not he's going to accept the result of the election.

When you use the word clown, I think that's a kind word. You know, I mean, we've got scary clowns, you've got nice clowns, but Donald Trump, you know, he would have to climb a high ladder to be taken as seriously as a clown because you cannot think that three weeks out from the election, you want to be having this discussion with the American people.

LEMON: Gina?

GINA LOUDON, TRUMP SUPPORTER: All name-calling aside, I think it would be irresponsible of people who are running for the office of president to commit especially in light of all those scandals we saw break last week with the Clinton campaign. I think it would be irresponsible to say that we are going to somehow commit that even if the election is fraudulent that we're going to accept the results. I don't think people on the Democrat side or the Republican side should commit ahead of an election that they know for sure nothing's going to go wrong.

LEMON: But, Gina, that is, with all due respect, that's what you're saying.

LOUDON: We can't know that. This is an election like all elections. And --

LEMON: That's not what Donald Trump -- had Donald Trump said that last night I don't think that it would be under the discussion. He's --

LOUDON: Well, but with all due respect, I mean, campaigns have -- elections have been questioned all along. Al Gore of course did it famously. Clinton refused to even support Bush after he was already president.

JONES: That's not true. LOUDON: Wouldn't help with transition because it is true. And

Elizabeth Warren. I mean, the list goes on and on. There are rampant reports all across the country.

JONES: Don?

LOUDON: In fact there's a new report today in Texas about massive voter fraud. There are tens of thousands of dead registered voters.

JONES: Don?

LOUDON: I just think it's irresponsible.

LEMON: Yes.

LOUDON: And if somebody is going to answer a question about last night, how about Hillary Clinton answer whether she is going to give the $25 million back to Saudi Arabia for their abuse of girls.

BEINART: Right. This is --

LEMON: OK. Go ahead.

JONES: There are so many things that are wrong with what she just said.

LEMON: Go ahead, Van.

JONES: There's so many -- first of all I think it's important to be very clear. It is in fact true that there are people who are dead who are on the voter rolls because it takes a long time to get those rolls cleaned up that. That does not mean that people are therefore going to vote, that somebody -- I'm going to go and say, well, my name is so and so, this dead person. The idea that you have voter registration problems and voting fraud are completely different things, number one.

Number two, I think it's very important that we keep a couple of things in mind here. When you have a major figure like a Donald Trump saying these kinds of things, this is continuing a tradition of him trying to delegitimize the American presidency itself. He came out with the birther stuff, delegitimating the president of the United States. Now he's pre-delegitimating Hillary Clinton. This is very dangerous in a democracy.

LEMON: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:31:45] LEMON: Back now with Kayleigh McEnany, Peter Beinart, Gina Loudon, and Van Jones. We're talking about this massive voter fraud of which there is no evidence. But -- so let's move on. Van Jones is talking about it. So this is Secretary Clinton's response to last night, listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: Every time Donald thinks going in his direction, he claims whatever it is, is rigged against him. The FBI conducted a year-long investigation into my e-mails. They concluded there was no case. He said the FBI was rigged. He lost the Iowa caucus, he lost the Wisconsin primary, he said the Republican primary was rigged against him. Then Trump University gets sued for fraud and racketeering, he claims the court system and the federal judge is rigged against him.

There was even a time when he didn't get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged against him --

TRUMP: Should have gotten it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, Gina, why is Secretary Clinton wrong?

LOUDON: Well, I think that if we look -- even if you are a full-on committed, 100 percent all-in Hillary supporter, I don't think that any of us in the media can possibly deny that -- I have never seen the kinds of onslaught against Mr. Trump and his family and his supporters that I have seen in this election of any other candidate including Sarah Palin, who by the way, you know, was obviously attacked. I think if you just look at it from that perspective it's not crazy to think that --

JONES: Did Sarah Palin grope somebody?

JONES: I don't think it's crazy to think that, you know, Mr. Trump has certainly endured his level of attacks so if he feels that way, it wouldn't surprise me very much. This has been a very emotional campaign for both sides and it's been fierce and I think that's why the light-heartedness, the little pieces of light-heartedness tonight felt so good to America. We'd like to see --

LEMON: But, Gina, I have to ask you. Don't you think that's all part of running? Because even, you know, no matter who runs for president they'll say --

JONES: No question.

LEMON: Gosh -- that's part of running for president. So why -- if you're going to run for president why complain about it?

JONES: Scrutiny is part of running.

JONES: It's worse than that, Don.

LOUDON: I do agree with you that scrutiny is an important part of running for president and you have to have a thick skin and -- but again, Hillary's been doing this for 30 years, Mr. Trump is new to this. He is such a citizen politician and he's not used to the scrutiny and -- his skin might literally just not be as thick.

LEMON: But still he's -- JONES: But, Don, it's much worse --

(CROSSTALK)

LOUDON: I do believe he's endured an unjust amount of attacks.

LEMON: Go ahead.

JONES: It's much worse that what she's saying. Here's the deal, when the polls are favorable to Donald Trump, he believes them. When they're not favorable, they're rigged. When the media is giving him --

LOUDON: But isn't that every politician?

JONES: -- billions of dollars of free coverage and people are going nuts saying the "Columbia Journal Review" saying he's getting a free ride in the media. He says it's great, he loves it. When the media then finds a tape of him saying horrific things and turns on him, now the media is rigged. When the elections didn't go his way in Iowa, it's rigged. The minute he starts to win it's not -- in other words the only consistent critique he has of the media, polls and elections if he wins they're good, if he doesn't, it's rigged.

[23:35:04] And that is many things, it's not presidential. It's not presidential.

MCENANY: But -- look, he's consistently attacked the media. Going back to the primary, he would talk about how the media wouldn't show his crowds. Many of us who are Republicans know the media is always against Republicans, and don't take that from me, let's go numerically, look at Media Research Center, seven hours and 30 minutes of coverage on Donald Trump's kissing allegations, one hour and 10 minutes on Hillary Clinton's WikiLeaks. Those are numbers. They matter. There is disparate coverage here. Look at -- look at the rigged -- we want to talk about rigged --

LEMON: What kissing allegations? OK. You're talking about the "Access Hollywood."

MCENANY: Yes. And talking about a rigged election, you know, we act like voter fraud doesn't exist. Well, the "Washington Post," I think we can all agree, hardly a fan of Donald Trump. "Washington Post" says 14 percent of noncitizens are registered to vote, noncitizens, and that they could have determined the 60th vote that brought Obamacare to us. The lovely Obamacare. So this is from the "Washington Post."

BEINART: OK, but --

MCENANY: This isn't from some fringe media site. It exists, it's out there, and for Donald Trump to look out for it, there's nothing wrong with that.

BEINART: OK. But look, let's take it as a given if you want to, that the media is biased against Republicans. Mitt Romney didn't contest his election defeat. John McCain --

MCENANY: Because he's weak.

BEINART: John -- because he's weak?

MCENANY: He didn't contest the media because he is weak.

BEINART: Because he respects our democratic process, and so he didn't try to delegitimize the election. John McCain, a man who has some honor, didn't try to delegitimize the election that he lost. George H.W Bush, these are men who know something about honor, about sacrifice and about respecting our democratic process.

This is what Donald Trump doesn't understand, even if the media is against Donald Trump, you said they're against all other Republicans. Why did these other decent, honorable Republicans not do what Donald Trump did last night?

MCENANY: Well, they are against him. Look at the --

(CROSSTALK)

BEINART: They all come forward and said it's despicable what Donald Trump is doing.

MCENANY: Look at the "New York Times."

LOUDON: They're all establishment.

MCENANY: They talk about McCain falsely, being with a lobbyist. The lobbyist sued the "Times" millions of dollars.

BEINART: And look at what McCain said --

MCENANY: And look at where McCain is. He lost the election.

BEINART: And look at what McCain said about Donald Trump -- what Donald Trump said about the election. He said essentially it's despicable, and it's remarkable to me that you would essentially, essentially go down the same path as saying, well, John McCain is a loser because he didn't win.

MCENANY: That's not what I'm saying. Don't put words in my mouth.

BEINART: Well, Donald -- John McCain didn't win. There are more important things than winning. That's what Donald Trump and you seem not to understand.

MCENANY: I have -- no, no, don't put words in my mouth.

BEINART: I'm not putting words in my mouth.

MCENANY: I have an immense amount of respect for John McCain. He's a hero.

BEINART: Well, you just said -- you just insulted him, right? MCENANY: No, I said he didn't win the election and there's a

frustration among Republicans and Gina probably would agree with this, I would think, that we had nominees that haven't stood up to the media. We've had nominees that didn't stand up to Barack Obama. And because of that it hurt their chances at getting into the White House.

BEINART: No, I'm sorry --

(CROSSTALK)

BEINART: It's one thing to stand up --

MCENANY: He didn't stand up --

BEINART: It's one thing to stand to your opponent.

LOUDON: I do agree --

BEINART: It's another thing to stand up against our democratic the process.

LEMON: Go ahead. Let Gina -- go ahead, Gina.

LOUDON: I do agree with what she said but I want to add to that, we've had so many candidates that won't stand up to the Republican establishment.

MCENANY: Yes.

LOUDON: And that's something else that Mr. Trump has done and that's why he's -- part of the reason why he is taking it on every single front. Let's not forget that 96 percent of media is with Hillary Clinton in this election. So there's no way Mr. Trump is getting --

LEMON: Why do you say that? Why do you say 96 percent? Where's the evidence of 96 percent of media is with --

JONES: That's been fact-checked three or four different times. It's not true.

LOUDON: It's why --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: It not -- are you talking about people in the media donating --

LOUDON: Look at the collusion with the media. Look at the collusion with the media in the Podesta e-mails, and so it is -- there's so much evidence of the --

JONES: I wish you had more respect for the Republican Party --

LOUDON: -- the things that Mr. Trump is up against.

JONES: I wish you'd have more respect for your own party. LEMON: Gina, collusion?

JONES: Can I say something, Don, before you -- listen.

LOUDON: Collusion in the WikiLeaks?

JONES: Your party -- hold on a second, you guys love to get up here and cry and complain about the media and it's all terrible and you want to cry about it and you want a cookie, your party has no complaint at all when you win the Senate and when you win the House and when you have won the majority of the --

LOUDON: Who complains when they win?

JONES: -- state house across the country. Let me finish. Let me finish. The only time that I -- listen, you guys, is the media bias? Is it rigged when you guys won the Senate? Was it rigged when you won the House? Was it rigged when you won governor's race after governor's race? It's only rigged when you guys put up candidates that cannot compete nationally because your party is so polluted and so corrupted by antipathy toward voters of color and young voters and single mothers -- and single women. That's your problem.

Quit blaming the media. If you had a candidate that can actually get votes from Americans, you'd do fine. You do well every other time and then you cry about the media because you guys put up horrible candidates.

LEMON: And here's an interesting thing. Republicans think that Democrats or that the Hillary Clinton campaign is always happy with the media. The Clinton campaign is not happy with the questions that we asked either, except that they most of the time don't go on television and complain about them. I'll hear about it from producers. I'll hear about it from surrogates.

LOUDON: Well, she gets them ahead of time.

LEMON: They don't say Hillary Clinton's campaign was not happy with that question you asked, but they don't come on television and they seem more mature up and used to the process rather than saying, oh my gosh, the media is so mean and so bad.

[23:40:08] The media is not mean and bad. That's what the media does. We scrutinize every single candidate, Democrat or Republican.

MCENANY: But --

LEMON: And I'm sitting, I'm telling you, Kayleigh, listen. We don't go into a show at night saying, oh my gosh, how are we going to get Donald Trump? We go with the news of the day. And guess what, usually the news of the day, quite honestly, is Donald Trump saying something that is beyond anything that any comprehension, that no one has ever said in this particular process and if we didn't cover it, we would be -- we would be silly not to cover it.

MCENANY: Well, first the media -- LEMON: We would be remiss in our duty as journalists not to cover it.

MCENANY: The media --

LEMON: We'll be right back. I'll let you speak after the break. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: And where were we? All right. Here we are. They're all back. I'm going to put up these tweets. This is Donald Trump tweeting on the election day and night of 2012. When President Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney for a second term. He said, "If you experience any harassment or heckling at the polling places from Obama supporters make sure you report it immediately. This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy. The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy."

[23:45:04] So, Kayleigh, do you understand why people are concerned about Donald Trump and the reaction that, you know, if he doesn't win on November 8th?

MCENANY: No, I don't think because I sit here in these conversations and I feel like I'm in the "Twilight Zone" because we're talking, one, as if Donald Trump is definitely going to lose, I don't think he is, the IBD poll --

LEMON: I don't -- I didn't say -- we didn't say. He is speaking --

MCENANY: We're operating under the premise that he's going to win, he's not going to accept the results, which by the way there's two flawed premises there, one, he's not going to win, two, he's not going to accept the results.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But, whoa, whoa. If you thought he was going to win wouldn't he be saying, like, hey, this election is great and we're going to the polls and make sure you vote? He's setting up the scenario that he's losing.

MCENANY: No, I --

LEMON: Otherwise he wouldn't be saying it's a rigged process, because if he wins how is it rigged?

MCENANY: I think he's setting up that --

JONES: It's rigged for him to win?

MCENANY: I think he is setting up a scenario where he wants his supporters to be vigilant. He doesn't want a scenario where there's new Black Panthers outside with guns, essentially like intimidating people from coming into the poll.

LOUDON: Right. Right. BEINART: OK. OK.

(LAUGHTER)

MCENANY: He wants people to be on the lookout.

BEINART: I think you just let -- I think you just let us in on what's really going on here, right? This is a guy who -- you know, prosecuted a racist campaign against -- to delegitimize our first African-American president, and now for the last few months he's been talking again and again about voter fraud. Where does this all of this voter fraud take place? Amazingly only in urban areas populated by you know who so he's now going to delegitimize Hillary Clinton's victory because she was won based on black voters. Only black people like Black Panther Party people commit voter fraud? If there really were all this voter fraud which is there are not I would imagine that most of it would be committed by white people.

MCENANY: Peter, only you could inject race into a conversation that has nothing to do with race.

BEINART: Right.

LEMON: You said the New Black Panthers.

(LAUGHTER)

BEINART: You used that phrase.

MCENANY: Because that's what documented account we have that went all the way to the Justice Department.

LOUDON: The Democrat operatives --

BEINART: Race has no history in accusations of voter fraud in the United States and denial of voting, not whatsoever.

LEMON: Go ahead, Gina.

LOUDON: Thank you. When a Democrat operative, who has spent hundreds of nights in the White House with Barack Obama, who outlined, literally, the chain of command straight from Hillary Clinton's mouth to his actions, when he commits there will be widespread voter fraud --

JONES: No, he didn't do that.

LOUDON: Would somebody please explain to me why --

JONES: I will.

LOUDON: Yes, he did. Why would -- why would Republicans and Democrats not want to be vigilant to make sure that the electoral process is not polluted. To me is very illogical.

JONES: Can I say a couple of things about important stuff? LEMON: Go ahead, Van Jones.

LOUDON: Sure.

JONES: This is important stuff. OK. So there are three things here. Some people may have missed this kind of video. The three things to keep in mind, number one, the video is made by somebody whose name should just be Pinocchio. This guy has been busted time and again doctoring videos --

LOUDON: Hillary?

JONES: No, no. Your -- the guy that you love so much, who do Donald Trump's foundation paid to create this phony video. So first of all, just to be very clear this guy has been delegitimize made it over and over again. However, you mentioned Mr. Creamer, Bob Creamer, who has been to the White House hundreds of times. The only thing that's clear from that video is that even in the doctored video he says he would not touch this scheme with a hundred-foot poll or 10-foot poll. So the guy you're talking about who's close to the president also said he wants nothing to do with this in your doctored tape.

And then the third thing I want to say is simply this, because some low-level Democratic, you know, operative claims a whole bunch of fantastical stuff that he wants to do, he's going to do, doesn't it mean it actually happened. There's no proof it happened. There is proof that a dishonest person got a lunatic to say some stuff on tape and that's all the proof you have.

MCENANY: But that's -- this is the problem, like, any time Democrats are caught in some things, OK, we're going to blame this one on the Russians, WikiLeaks, we're not going to address the content, and blame it on the Russians. Any time a video comes out of your own operatives -- by the way, the lady who organized the Chicago protest who shut down the Trump protest was paid twice by the Clinton campaign the two weeks before that incident occurred. So this time, instead of blaming the Russians we're going to blame the video maker. It's always a way to cleverly deflect from the issue and --

LOUDON: And blame the messenger .

MCENANY: Blame the Russians or blame the video maker.

BEINART: Actually it's the intelligence -- the United States intelligence that are blaming the Russians.

LOUDON: There is so much evidence her. I don't see how you can deny the evidence here. He's not low level.

JONES: There's so little evidence.

LOUDON: He wouldn't get to spend hundreds of nights in the White House.

LEMON: How do any of these things -- let's just say -- Gina, let me ask you this. LOUDON: His own cabinet, advisers --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: We have to go in a minute. Let me ask you.

LOUDON: This is not a low level person.

LEMON: If there are 10 or 15 accounts --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Yes. If there are 10 or 15 accounts of what you say is voter fraud, how is that massive considering the millions upon millions of people who vote in the thousands upon thousands of voting places around the country? How is that massive voter fraud enough to say that the system is rigged?

LOUDON: Well, the Heritage Foundation notes about hundreds of thousands, I think it was 300,000 examples of voter fraud. As I said, there's a massive case that just broke today in Texas. There are -- we've seen -- I don't know where this narrative came from that there really isn't any voter fraud.

[23:50:02] LEMON: No, no one said there isn't voter fraud.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: There are irregularities. But you're saying that there's massive voter fraud when there was maybe 30 in a billion?

LOUDON: And that was the promise --

LEMON: Yes.

LOUDON: And that was the promise of the Democrat operative that spent hundreds of nights in the White House.

LEMON: And how would they pull that off?

JONES: Quit saying that. That's not true.

BEINART: In most of these states --

JONES: Bob Creamer has never spent a -- you have to -- there's these things called facts.

LOUDON: Then why --

JONES: Bob Creamer did not spend a single night. He visited the White House 200 times. I probably visited there 300 times. That does not mean --

LEMON: Yes. OK.

(CROSSTALK) BEINART: And most of the people --

LEMON: All right. Stand by. We're going to do four blocks. We're going to be four blocks. We're going to continue on. So just stand by. Hold on. After the break. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: All right, I'm back now with my panel. So, Van Jones, you were saying there's things called facts. You were sort of refuting something that Gina said.

JONES: I was just pointing out that Mr. Creamer has visited the White House, as do thousands and thousands of Americans and great for him. But that doesn't have anything to do with this Trumped up videotape and even in the Trumped up videotape the only thing he says is -- the only thing said about in the tape is he wouldn't touch the scheme with a 10-foot pole. I just think it's important.

[23:55:00] The other thing I want to say is simply this. You know, they keep saying, well, of course Donald Trump is going to say he would not go along with the election results until he's sure. Unfortunately other people like Pence, his running mate, Kellyanne Conway, his campaign manager, and every other Republican until he came out was saying the opposite.

So now we have to pretend that Donald Trump is the only genius in America that knows that he shouldn't support our elections when even his running mate said the opposite moments before he came on stage.

LEMON: Peter.

BEINART: Yes. This is also worth remember. The majority --

LOUDON: This low-level operative spent 260 meetings at the White House. That's more than the director of Homeland Security.

JONES: And he had nothing to do with it. And he had nothing to do it according to your tape.

BEINART: It's also worth mentioning that, a majority of the people who are going to certify these elections as valid are Republicans. Republicans control a majority of the jobs as secretary of state in these local states. If there is a massive, massive fraud to steal -- to steal the election from Donald Trump, then a heck of a lot of Republicans have got to be in on it because a heck of a lot of Republicans are going to be certifying these elections as fair. And most of those Republicans over the last day have been saying what the heck is Donald Trump talking about?

LEMON: All right. I got to go. I've got five seconds left. I can't believe every night I'm arguing over what a fact is.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: Good night. Oh, boy. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good evening and get ready with shockwaves still rumbling from the debate in Las Vegas. We're moments away from what could be another seismic event. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton sharing a stage, sharing the spotlight this evening at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. They'll each be speaking one after the other.