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CNN TONIGHT

President Donald Trump To Visit El Paso And Dayton; Pro-Gun Lawmakers Now Making 180; Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) Is Interviewed About The Poll Numbers Of Gun Control Legislation; Joaquin Castro Facing Backlash. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired August 6, 2019 - 22:00   ET

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


[22:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: It's one of the bright spots being here other than love of the community is the love that they have for you which I take as an obvious manifestation of their being stressed.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: You want to tell everybody what the taxi driver called you the other day in Detroit?

CUOMO: Chris Lemon. He was also stressed. They're on edge here. I'm using some -- I'm using -- I'm using comedy, some levity to lighten it up.

LEMON: No.

CUOMO: They are very much on edge. But there is an opportunity in it, Don. If the president comes here tomorrow and acts like a president, people are going to be surprised. It will be a good thing.

LEMON: I agree. Listen, you need to smile sometimes. But I can't even imagine what the folks there are going through. As many times as we cover it still every experience is unique. Every human being deserves dignity. Everyone who died, you know, who dies or injured or the lives were cut short or they were injured and they weren't supposed to be.

And so, we have to do something about it, and that's why I am static that we are doing this town hall and that you're hosting it. And I hope it does make a difference. You know, I'm usually the pessimist among the two of us. Right? I used to be an optimist. Lately I'm sort of a pessimist. You're the who is an optimist.

And you said that maybe this time you think, you hope this time will be different. Maybe it will. I get the feeling that it could be different. At least I hope that it will be. So, I can't wait to see what you do with that town hall tomorrow.

CUOMO: Well, look, I mean, it's just common-sense things that they can do. The idea of coming together against hate and they got to stop this. Well, if you want to talk about right nationalists you have to talk about, you know, this people -- this people on the left. I mean, that nonsense has to go.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Anybody who acts out political agenda through violence is bad and they should be seen as the same. The politicizing of everything has to stop.

I think that having this town hall and hearing voices that have experienced it and understand it may be provocative for those in Congress.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And if we keep pushing them, I think we can get lucky here, and certainly the country needs it.

LEMON: Well, it's extremist, whether it's left or right. They're both extremist and they're both wrong. So, you know, everyone keeps wanting to debate that. But how do you stop all of it. How do you stop all -- how do you stop people who shouldn't have access to guns from getting guns? How do you all of that?

How do you stop the mentality of someone who thinks that they have the authority over someone else's life or many people's lives where they can just walk into an event or at an outdoor event or to an indoor space or what have you, and just start randomly shooting people?

It's got to stop. And we have to stop, meaning the entire country especially our politicians. They have to stop politicizing it. It's not right and left. This is about right and wrong. I know it's a cliche but it's true.

CUOMO: Absolutely. And they can't keep saying well there are different parts and use that as an excuse to deal with none of the parts.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And that's something hopefully we'll bring across tomorrow night and every night because, frankly, that's part of our mandate every night and doing it here in El Paso has been a blessing.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: El Paso, you know, comes from the idea of the passage north. And this place is a rite of passage for this country right now. This community reflects us at our best.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Whether it's a function of diversity or togetherness. I've never seen people deal with tragedy with more love and outreach than I've seen here.

LEMON: Hey, I'm digging the shirt. If they can pull back so I can just see the shirt again. I think it was - it's great that you wore that. I have -- I was wearing --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: It won't look this good on you. I want you to know that now.

LEMON: Yes. Well, I won't wear --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: So, you have to prepare for disappointment.

LEMON: That one I'm sure you're going to give to Mario, your young son because it will fit him better than it fits you.

CUOMO: Exhale.

LEMON: So.

CUOMO: Exhale, Don Lemon.

LEMON: So, I'm glad you wore that. I had -- the last week I wore my Puerto Rico shirt every day that I got from Ricky Martin when he was doing his project for Puerto Rico. So, I'm glad you're wearing that shirt. Bring me one back, will you?

CUOMO: Done.

LEMON: Thank you. I'll see you tomorrow. I can't wait to see the town hall. Safe travels, my friend.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

You know, all I can say is wow. Wow. You have to sit and watch this because I say wow because that didn't take long.

As people all across this country express shock and grief over the senseless mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton that killed 31 people, the Fox and Friends apology team already out defending President Trump for the ugly and divisive rhetoric he uses when targeting undocumented immigrants at the southern border.

Investigators in El Paso, well, they say that the suspected gunman posted a racist manifesto just 20 minutes opening fire on innocent people sopping at a Walmart. It's filled with white supremacist language and hateful words aimed at immigrants and Latinos.

The killer hoping to stop what he calls the Hispanic invasion of Texas. That keyword, invasion. President Trump as we know uses that word invasion all the time as a Billy club against undocumented immigrants.

[22:04:59] So his defenders on the Fox morning show sprang right into action.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you have over 110,000 people coming a month, over a million last year, and then well over a million this year. If you use the term invasion, that's not anti-Hispanic. It's a fact.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Not surprising. That pleased the president who immediately tweeted "I'm the least racist person."

People who aren't racist don't have to tweet that they're not. They prove it in how they act. That means the president has to answer for a few things. Like why he posted 2,200 Facebook ads warning of an invasion at the U.S. border by undocumented immigrants seeking asylum. Or why he riles up the base at his rallies with these ugly words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is an invasion. When you see these caravans starting out with 20,000 people, that's an invasion. I was badly criticized for using the word invasion. It's an invasion and it's also an invasion of drugs coming in from Mexico. OK? It's an invasion of drugs.

These are rough, rough people, in many cases. And if they're allowed to breakthrough our borders, only larger and bigger, we have emboldened these people. It's not going to happen.

Yes, sir. We have barb wire going up. Because you know what, we're not letting these people invade our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Classic Trump. He cannot run away from the words we have all heard him use time and time again. Tomorrow, President Trump travels to Dayton and El Paso in his role as commander in chief, the proper thing to do.

He'll be welcomed by some in both cities. And not welcome by many as well. It's not his first visit to El Paso this year. OK? He held a rally there back in February, riling up his base with harsh language about undocumented immigrants.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We are cutting loose dangerous criminals into our country. Murders. Murders. Murders. Killings. Murders.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, as we all know by now it wasn't the immigrants who committed murder last weekend there in El Paso. It was a white supremacist American.

The president also accused immigrants of being a drain on public resources. Endangering the lives of residents and making this claim about El Paso.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: But if we had proper border security including a very powerful wall, we wouldn't have to work so hard. It would be safer and a lot better.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: It turns out the president was following up to a statement

that he made days earlier in his State of the Union address, claiming that El Paso is one of the most dangerous cities in the country. That's a false claim.

So, facts first. El Paso's Mayor, Republican Dee Margo, publicly disputed the president's statement, saying that his city is a safe place to live. And that violent crime was under control by 2005 long before a border fence was completed in 2009.

FBI crime stats back that up. But President Trump dismissed those facts at that rally because they got in the way of his message to his base. Insisting that crime dropped only after a barrier wall was built and taking a swipe at the mayor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I don't care whether the mayor is Republican or a Democrat. They are full of crap. Where they say it hasn't made a big difference.

(CROWD CHEERING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Facts don't matter to him. And after that rally, where he criticized the city and its leaders, he stiffed the taxpayers there for the bill for his security to the tune of half million dollars. The city is asking the Trump campaign to pay up, a total which includes $100,000 in late fees.

Mayor Dee Margo is set to meet with the president tomorrow. As in Dayton's Democratic Mayor -- as is Dayton's Democratic Mayor Nan Whaley.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR NAN WHALEY (D-OH): He is the President of the United States and as he has an official capacity as president, you know, an official capacity of mayor, I will greet him here.

[22:09:54] And look, I know that, you know, he's made this bad and he's got to lie in it, you know. He hasn't, you know, his rhetoric has been painful for many in our community. And I think that people should stand up and say they're not happy if they're not happy that he's coming.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Protestors will likely gather in both Dayton and El Paso tomorrow, if for nothing else, and to let President Trump know that his racist rhetoric is hurtful, and that something needs to be done about weapons of war being available on America's streets.

We have some breaking news tonight. Exclusive video showing the Dayton gunman inside the bar just before he killed nine people.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So, here's the breaking news. I want you to look at your screen now. We're getting the first look at the Dayton gunman in the moments leading up to his deadly rampage on Sunday. There he is, you see him highlighted there in the middle of the screen.

This is security camera footage. It was obtained exclusively by CNN. And it shows a shooter's movements before he fatally shot nine people including his sister.

Again, this video, surveillance camera video obtained exclusively from CNN. The gunman spent more than an hour at Blind Bob's bar after entering with his sister and an acquaintance who ended wounded in that shooting.

The timestamp on the video is 11.20, but the camera clock is approximately 11 minutes fast. That's according to bar staff.

[22:15:01] So you see him standing there right in the middle and moving about at Bob's bar. When leaving, the shooter speaks briefly with a staff member and then he leaves peacefully.

Nothing in the video indicates an altercation or any other event that could give us a clue as to what prompted the rampage to come. Just about an hour after he left.

It's one new emotional element as the president and the first lady prepare to visit El Paso and Dayton tomorrow. A spokesman saying that the Trump's want to grieve and pray with family members and offer their condolences.

So, let's bring in now CNN Senior Political Commentator and former Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Good evening. Good to see you. I wish this was under better circumstances.

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hey, Don.

LEMON: let's talk --

(CROSSTALK)

KASICH: Don, listen, I saw some video earlier. You know, there were some real heroes that I saw on both cities. You know, people that threw their bodies in front of -- to save other people. I mean, that's just some remarkable things that people did in order to protect others. And in fact, protecting others that they didn't even know.

LEMON: Yes.

KASICH: I mean, that's --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: It's important to point out the good things and acts of, heroic acts and decency that people do in those -- in these situations.

Let's talk about what's happening there. Because Dayton Democratic mayor said that she's going to greet the president in her official capacity as mayor. She's making it clear just like El Paso that it is not exactly a warm welcome. What are you expecting from the president's visit to Dayton tomorrow?

KASICH: I imagine there will some protesters there. The people are going to be demanding that he follow through with the things that he said. And you know, I had a go to things that were -- you know, I was at a shooting in Chardon, Ohio.

If I hadn't done something, if I hadn't, you know, kind of insulted people or polarized people. In fact, when I went up there after the shooting, they -- the cameras -- the press didn't know I was there. I went into the back entrance of the school because I didn't want anybody to think I was up there because there were cameras there.

And after spending about a day and a half, they asked me at a vigil that night to speak. Had I done something or said something that would have polarized those people, I wouldn't have gone. I mean, I don't think I would have ever gone, you know.

So, I can't think for what Donald Trump thinks about all this. I just going into El Paso is --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: So, you think he should go?

KASICH: -- it's his decision. He's the commander in chief. And you know, it would be extremely uncomfortable for me.

LEMON: You don't think he should go?

KASICH: No, he's going. So that's the end of it, Don. I mean, he's going. And he's the president. And he has a right to go down there as, you know, representing the country. I just hope that he goes down there and I expect that with the urging probably of his wife and his daughter and those who are close to him, they're going to tell him you just going have to do some extraordinary things to show how affected you are by this.

LEMON: Yes. Americans want to know --

(CROSSTALK)

KASICH: And I don't think there's anything -- I don't think there'd be anything wrong if he were to go down there and say, you know, maybe sometimes I got -- you know, maybe I said some things I shouldn't have said. And if I did, and it contributed, I'm sorry. That would - hat would be OK. That would be OK to do.

LEMON: Yes, well.

KASICH: Do I think he's going to do that? No. I mean, don't you agree with me? I mean, if he were to do that --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: That would be more than OK. That would actually be the right thing to do. And that is -- that's what the --

KASICH: Yes.

LEMON: -- one of the mayors said that she wanted. That's what she wanted from him to do that.

Listen, Americans want to know what the federal government is going to do in response to these latest mass shootings. I mean, so far Republicans aren't saying much. How much of that is because the president --

(CROSSTALK)

KASICH: Yes, I agree.

LEMON: -- refuses to lead on this issue?

KASICH: I think that's the large part of it. And frankly, you're starting to see some senators speak out about the fact that Mitch McConnell needs to do something. You know, frankly, look, I was -- I was in the House when we dumped a leader, you know, when we got rid of people.

And if your leader is not doing what the majority want, then you know, you should be speaking out. You should say look, this is what I expect. And so, don't expect my votes on these other things.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: John Boehner?

KASICH: It was Newt to begin with. Boehner left. But Newt got thrown out. Bob Michael got thrown out. But I think you tell Mitch McConnell this is what we expect. I don't know whether these people are hiding or something.

You know, there's a report, CNN had a report saying that a lot of these senators said they'd be able to do comprehensive background checks, they'd be willing to go out and do something on assault weapons. But we don't know if the president will stand with us. Who cares? Who cares?

I mean, you're down there to do a job. And if you have to be independent, at the end of the day the only person you look, who sees you in the mirror is yourself.

And so, Don, I mean, there should be more people that are going to stand up and say McConnell, let's get back here.

LEMON: Well, let's --

[22:20:02] KASICH: OK. Maybe he said he's held some committees to produce something. Fine. But you got to do something.

LEMON: OK. Let's talk about someone who is there. OK? I want to ask you about Republican Ohio Congressman Mike Turner. He represents Dayton. And he tweeted this that his daughter was across the streets from the shooting.

He's now saying he supports legislation to ban military style weapons, weapons sales. He wants magazine limits, red flag legislation. I mean, this is someone who has an A rating with the NRA last year. What's your reaction to that?

KASICH: Three cheers for him, you know. I mean, people -- Don, I actually believe that gun owners now, the vast majority of gun owners say we have to do something here. I believe that. And so, look, we talk about political courage. You know --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Not just gun owners. I mean, most Americans. Most Americans and gun owners. I mean, a large majority. Yes.

KASICH: Well, I'm saying, yes, absolutely.

LEMON: Right.

KASICH: Absolutely. But what I'm trying to say is political courage, how much courage is it to say we need red flag laws? We got to do -- we have to have comprehensive background checks. We got to have -- we have to do something about the fact that these people can get their hands on all this ammunition.

It -- how -- what courage does it take to do that? I don't think it takes a lot of courage. I think it just says this is common sense. This is what we have to do. So just go do it. And you know, you'll survive.

LEMON: Yes.

KASICH: And if you don't survive and you did something you believed in, you know, you'll live to fight another day.

LEMON: Well, John, I want to ask you -- have you seen -- you may have seen Nebraska State Senator John McCollister. He tweeted out that and this is a quote. He said, "The Republican Party is enabling white supremacy."

KASICH: Yes.

LEMON: The state GOP leadership there wants him to switch parties. George Conway reacting to that news today and he tweeted this. He said "Criticism of the leader is forbidden." Is Conway right?

KASICH: No, of course he's not right. The guy in Nebraska who says that the language is contributed to terrible things.

Don, remember, I wrote -- you don't remember this. I wrote a book called "Two Paths." People said why is it that he's criticizes Trump? Why is it he didn't endorse him. Why is it he didn't go to the convention? Is he mad? He had nothing to do with that. It has to do with his rhetoric.

"Two Paths," the vision or unification and the guy in Nebraska saying that the division has hurt the country. And now they said they want to throw him out of the party. Maybe he ought to run for party chair.

LEMON: Well, what do you think? Do you think he is right when he says, quote, this is a quote.

(CROSSTALK)

KASICH: For you to wear a medal.

LEMON: He said, "The Republican Party is enabling white supremacy." What do you think of that?

KASICH: I don't know if I would go that far. What I would say is that the rhetoric out of the president just like what Joe Biden said. It contributes to things that are very, very bad. That's what I felt all along. This is why I get so frustrated when I talk to --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: OK, John. John, John, John, let's go through that then. Let's go through that.

KASICH: Yes.

LEMON: OK. Hold on. Let's slow down here. So, if the Republican Party continues to allow this president to use the rhetoric that he's using, if they continue to allow the president to say that white supremacy and nationalism, terrorism is not a threat even when the facts bear that out. And do nothing about it. How is that not the Republican Party enabling white supremacy? How is it not? That's what it is.

KASICH: Don, wait, wait, no. I'm a Republican. Mike Turner is Republican. There are a lot of Republicans. Mitt Romney has spoken out aggressively on these kinds of things.

LEMON: And the rest?

KASICH: So, let's not try to --

LEMON: And the rest?

KASICH: Well, I mean, there's others that are just looking the other way thinking they can get through this.

LEMON: Well, that's my point.

KASICH: And I don't agree with that.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But isn't that enabling? Isn't that enabling white supremacy if the majority of the Republican Party --

(CROSSTALK)

KASICH: Don, you cannot --

LEMON: -- is not speaking out. Hold on. Let me finish my thought. I will let you finish.

KASICH: First of all, I don't --

LEMON: If the majority of the Republican Party is not speaking out and is not holding this president accountable to for facts that are out there, that it is a huge problem. That is not enabling?

KASICH: I think -- I think that they have overwhelmingly spoken out against white supremacism. And the president himself said it yesterday, Don.

So, I mean, the fact is that what some of them have a problem doing is trying to criticize this guy every day because there's always something every day or at least many times a week that really drives them crazy.

Look, I'm on this channel all the time. I don't like to have to come on here and criticize him. But I have a responsibility to call it the way I see it. And so, I think I don't believe Republicans support that. I don't.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: John, I don't disagree with you.

KASICH: If I thought they supported it, I wouldn't be a Republican.

LEMON: I don't disagree with you. And I, listen, I commend you for doing that. My -- the reason I'm asking you this and I'm trying to pin you down on this, because why doesn't -- because doesn't the rest of your party do that? Why won't they come and speak out. Why don't they speak out and do what you do?

I'm not saying that you don't do it. I'm not saying that there aren't some in the party who do it. But the majority don't. They don't hold this president accountable. They just let him go on and they come on, as you know, and you tell me if I'm lying, and they make excuses for his behavior.

[22:25:01] I don't think the president was being racist. I don't think what he said was racially insensitive. I think he was trying to say this, he was trying to do that. That's all I'm saying, John.

KASICH: Well, Don, I can't -- look, I am very frustrated at times when I talk to people who are Republicans and they tell me well, look at the economy. And I say wait a minute, do you want your grand -- you want to teach your grandchildren to act this way to divide people to call names to bully? So, you know, I'm doing what I can do. And I -- Don, everybody isn't

like you and they're not all like me. OK? Everybody doesn't stand up and say everything. They just don't. And you know, I can't -- I can't tell you why some do and some don't. Why do you do it? Probably because your mother and father. Why do I do it? Because of my mother, she was outspoken, and I'm willing to do it.

And if I have to take the heat, I'll take the heat. I've been taking a lot of heat but it doesn't bother me because I've to say something that I think can be constructive.

The thing I worry about being on the air all the time, is I don't want to just be negative. I want to look for good things that happen too because our country is wonderful and people do not like what they see in this country today. And I think we have a moment in time now where we can make some dramatic changes for the good.

LEMON: That's right.

KASICH: I mean, that's the way I see it.

LEMON: I think, listen --

(CROSSTALK)

KASICH: And if I thought my party supported that stuff, I would leave my party.

LEMON: Yes.

KASICH: There are too many people who are quiet who make excuses and look, I was outraged when my party wanted to strip away healthcare from 21 million Americans. I didn't like that. But I'm equally outraged when I hear Democrats saying they to strip health -- they want to kill private health insurance. I just want to call it like I see it.

LEMON: Well, listen, I think, again --

(CROSSTALK)

KASICH: That's all I want to do.

LEMON: -- I commend you for that. But I also one thing in there before we go. By pointing it out does not mean that you're being negative.

KASICH: Yes, I'm listening.

LEMON: By pointing it out does not mean you're being negative.

KASICH: No, that's right.

LEMON: It's simply means that you're pointing out the facts and you're giving -- it is -- I have a duty as a journalist to give people the truth. And if that come off as negative, I'm sorry. But those are the facts.

Listen, I commend you and that's why I have you on.

KASICH: Yes, I agree.

LEMON: You're a straight shooter. And I appreciate it. Thank you, John Kasich. Hey, listen, continue to fight, continue to stand out and continue to speak up, especially when it comes to this issue which --

(CROSSTALK)

KASICH: I'll be in Dayton tomorrow morning.

LEMON: -- which you have been leading on.

KASICH: yes, I'd be in Dayton tomorrow with Jim Sciutto down there early in the morning in Dayton. And I'm looking forward to seeing some people down there. Thank you, Don Lemon.

LEMON: Thank you, sir. I'll see you soon.

KASICH: Thanks for having me on.

LEMON: Absolutely. A new poll shows a majority of Americans wants the Senate to pass tougher gun control laws. So, will Washington finally act? I'm going to ask presidential candidate and current Senator, there he is, Michael Bennet.

[22:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: A new USA Today poll that was conducted after the horrific shootings this past weekend found that 67 percent of all Americans want the Senate to pass the expanded Background Checks Bill that passed in the House back in February. So joining me now to discuss is Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado and candidate for the Democratic nomination. Senator, thank so much you for coming on. So we've got some serious business to discuss.

So let's get at it. The poll show overwhelming public support for the House measure on universal background checks, which again has already passed. Why isn't that enough pressure for Republicans and the president to move on this issue?

MICHAEL BENNET (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It hasn't been enough until this point because the NRA's captured these guys and because McConnell's literally not interested in doing anything except putting judges on the court. So I think what we need to do is use this as an opportunity between now and November to push the bill that the House has already passed, and demand that he pass it.

I don't think he will pass it. I don't think he'll put it on the floor. But if he doesn't, we're going to need him to pay a price for not having it put it on the floor.

LEMON: You're rolling out a plan to reduce gun violence, Senator, here. I want to give the main point to outline some of them here, OK? You call for universal background checks that ban high capacity magazines and assault weapons ban. What's the most important first step, do you think? Is it getting those weapons of war off the streets?

BENNET: Well, that's obviously key. And I think that's a really important piece of this. But I would say the first step is to pass that Background Check Bill that the House has already passed, partly because it has the huge support among Republicans and Democrats in this country. You know, Colorado was -- unfortunately we have had too many shootings. But the first that we had was Columbine, which happened 20 years ago.

And my daughter, my daughter oldest is 19. She was born the year after Columbine. We are a western state. We are a Second Amendment state. And almost 20 years ago, we passed exactly the same Background Check Bill that the House of Representatives just passed 20 years later. And I am telling you, Don, every year two or three percent of the people that try to buy a gun in Colorado can't buy the gun.

And it turns out the reason they can't is because they're murderers. They're rapists. They're domestic abusers. And there is nobody in Colorado who thinks we're better off if those people get guns. And that's why we need to have this national legislation passed. And I -- the fact that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats have been able to pass this for the first time in two decades, this is where I think our focus should be.

And we should be very clear with the American people that it's McConnell who is standing in the way. If in fact he is which so far he is.

LEMON: Well, you're speaking to him, just real quickly, because he (Inaudible) offered his prayers after the El Paso shooting, won't allow a vote on background checks. Do you think he is the main barrier here?

BENNET: I think that -- I think Trump is his own barrier. He's got -- I am not sure he has got any ideological conviction here. But he doesn't want to make his base mad. So I'm sure he's not helping matters either. But the reality is that the majority leaders, the person who sets the schedule in the Senate and McConnell, you know, today you can see it already.

[22:34:59] He's trying to suggest there's going to be bipartisan legislation. And you know it's all going to end up in heartbreak. We need to force this question. Washington will not change if we don't force Washington to change.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: I want to get onto something else. The reason you're in South Carolina, because race is going to be a huge theme in this primary and the general election, when you held an event in South Carolina today to address race and inequality in our education system. You and I talked about that in the recent debate. And I just want to play that moment. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENNET: Our schools are as segregated today as they were 50 years ago. We need a conversation about what's happening now. And when there's a group of kids in this country that don't get preschool through no fault of their own and another group does. Equal is not equal. And we have got a group of K12 schools that are good because families can spend a million bucks, and you've got the Detroit public schools there as segregated as they were. Equal is not e quail.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: You were the former superintendent of Denver schools. What needs to be done to fix the inequality?

BENNET: We need do deal with the fact that we've got profound inequality. And I think the federal government can play a very important role. But we also need to face facts, you know? It goes along with what you were saying to Governor Kasich. This is -- I am not trying to run down the country when I say this. But today, I met with people in Clarendon County, South Carolina.

There were people there whose parents filed a lawsuit 73 years ago, 73 years ago. That became part of Brown vs. Board of Education. Their parents' houses were burned down. They had to leave the county where their children were going to school. They got run out of the county. Not just the county, out of the state for the rest of their lives.

And 73 years later, the schools are as segregated as they were when their parents filed the county, filed the case. And they're as unfair as they were then. There are 16 high schools in this terribly named area called the Corridor of Shame, which, you know, it's a terrible because it shouldn't reflect on the people that live there. And I hope that it doesn't. There are 16 high schools where not a single kid took an AP test this year.

LEMON: Wow.

BENNET: There -- where there's a school of 1,200 kids that's got 12 white kids in the school. And in the -- inequities and funding in South Carolina can't be solved from Washington. But as a country, we have to take notice of the fact that if you're born poor in America your chances of graduating with a college degree are roughly 9 in 100.

And if you are lucky enough to graduate with a college degree and you're African-American in this country, you still earn less than the average white high school graduate in this country.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Well...

BENNET: So there are racial dimensions to this -- sorry.

LEMON: No, go on. That's OK. Listen, I think it's an important issue. It's a very important issue. And I know you'll be talking about it on the campaign trail. But before we go, I know we have to go. But I want to get this, because your tweet -- you tweeted this today. You say if you elect me president, I promise you won't have to think about me for two weeks at a time.

I'll do my job watching out for North Korea and ending this trade war. So you can raise your kids and live your lives. A lot of people are feeling that. Do you think -- because everyday they turn on the TV or they look at the news alert or they read the newspaper and they go, oh my gosh, what has happened now. Is America suffering from Trump fatigue?

BENNET: We are suffering from Trump fatigue. Imagine a world, Don, where you didn't have to wake up every morning listening to this craziness, this non-sense, this hatred coming out of the White House. Imagine if we had a president who was about uniting the American people instead of dividing the American people. Just at the outset of what they try to do every day.

Imagine if we had a president who took their job as seriously as those people in Clarendon County who are fighting for their kids 70 years later. By the way, their answer on all of this was we have to vote. That's what they said today. We need to vote. We need to beat these people who aren't doing what they need to be doing.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: I have to run. I am out of time. Thank you, Senator Bennet. I appreciate your time. I'll see you soon.

(CROSSTALK)

BENNET: Thanks for having me.

LEMON: Absolutely.

BENNET: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: We'll be right back.

BENNET: See you.

[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro facing backlash from Republicans tonight after tweeting the names of employers of some of the president's top donors in San Antonio. The twin brother of the 2020 candidate Julian Castro arguing that the contributions are fuelling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as invaders.

So joining me now is Philip Bump, Ryan Lizza, and Laura Barron-Lopez. Good evening to one and all. Ryan, the House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, has responded, tweeting this. Targeting and harassing Americans because of their political beliefs is shameful and dangerous. What happened to when they go low or we go high, or does that no longer matter when your brother is polling at one percent? Americans deserve better. Congressman Castro fired back with his own

tweet and he wrote this. He says you're trying to distract from the racism that has overtaken the GOP and the fact that President Trump spends donor money on thousands of ads and about Hispanics invading America. Donald Trump has put a target in the backs of millions, and you're too cowardly or agreeable to say anything about it. Is publishing these donors -- is that fair game or is it over the line?

[22:44:56] RYAN LIZZA, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look. Congressman Castro is right that this is public information, right? Anyone can look up any of these donations. You know, he's faced a lot of criticism about this, not just from Republicans but from a lot of mainstream journalists, a lot of liberals who think that it's a sort of dangerous precedent to pluck these names out of the FEC data base. Publicize to a very large Twitter following and perhaps, you know, incite someone against them.

So look, I understand the arguments. And I, you know, I don't think it was the wisest use of his megaphone. I understand what he's trying to do. He's trying to point out that these businessmen in his community of San Antonio are funding beliefs that he finds reprehensible. But we're in a really sensitive environment right now. And I think that's the kind of thing that maybe a member of Congress wants to think twice before publicizing in that way.

LEMON: I want to put up Laura here. This is one of the ads that Congressman Castro is talking about. Does he have a point?

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, POLITICO: Look. I think that repeatedly -- I mean as Ryan said. These are public. These are public. Reporters consistently will name donors in our reports, and the point that Castro is trying to make is that they are supporters of Trump and the campaign that he has run since 2016.

And that has been a campaign that has consistently targeted not just immigrants but Latinos as an entire community, as well as other people of color, from Muslims and black people. And so even while Trump, just a day ago, condemned white supremacy in the White House, from his speech in the White House. He also was still running these campaign ads that we're saying invasion over and over and over again.

And so the question remains is whether or not Trump is going to continually condemn white supremacy and this domestic terrorism or whether or not he's going to change his rhetoric.

LEMON: What do you think, Philip?

PHILIP BUMP, WASHINGTON POST NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I mean I think there were other ways for Castro to make the point. He could, for example, have said here are several dozen people, or there are several dozen people in San Antonio of maxed out -- you know, a number of the names on the list were retirees. So, you know, if it were someone who led a major business in San Antonio for example, perhaps that's something that he can elevate -- public figure in that way.

But I think that it is certainly unusual for someone to have taken this step. I think that there were ways he could have made his point that didn't necessarily lift up these individuals who are not by any means...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: What's the concern for safety of these individuals?

BUMP: Exactly.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Because if you're a supporter then why not be proud of it, right?

(CROSSTALK)

BUMP: Well, yeah. I mean yeah. I mean certainly we see people who wear a lot Donald Trump stuff and who are very overt in their support for him. But that's very different than having your name broadcast. And it is broadcast in the context of these are people who support someone who hates the communities, which I think is a different context.

LEMON: All right. Standby, everyone, we'll be right back.

[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: President Trump gearing up to visit El Paso and Dayton tomorrow in the wake of the deadly mass shootings. And some leaders in both cities are pushing back against his visit. Back with me now, Philip Bump, Ryan Lizza, and Laura Barron-Lopez. Phillip, what do you think? Should he be going?

BUMP: It's an odd move for a couple of reasons. The first is that President Trump doesn't like to be around people who don't like him. He tends to isolate himself at rallies and he stays in the White House. And he goes to his own private clubs. He's never really around people who are pushing back on him. And so it's going to be interesting to see, particularly in El Paso, how they navigate that.

But secondarily, I don't know why they want to do that, in El Paso in particular. Ohio, like, makes a little bit more sense to me. But El Paso, it's so tense. There's so much blame that's being put on him...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Why do you think he's doing it?

BUMP: I'm going to say I think one of the reasons he maybe doing it is so that he can say he did it, the same way he gave that speech yesterday (Inaudible) gave that speech yesterday so he can say I gave this speech.

(CROSSTALK)

BUMP: Yeah, exactly. He has video clips that he puts in the ads for 2020 that says, you know, the -- he was the leader at the time the country needed him.

LEMON: What do you think, Laura?

BARRON-LOPEZ: Well, you know, what I think is that I think he's going to be met with protests. We know that. Also that Congresswoman Veronica Escobar who represents El Paso asked to have a phone call with Trump, potentially so that we she could be where he is when he comes to visit the town. And the White House declined that. And so we expect her as well as Beto O'Rourke to have a separate event while Trump is there.

LEMON: Yeah.

BARRON-LOPEZ: Again, you know, this community is very -- you know, going through a horrific -- the -- horrific time right now. And Latino leaders are very frustrated and feel as though Trump needs to repeatedly condemn white supremacy. And they also are calling on him to stop deportations in areas that have been affected by gun violence.

[22:55:14] LEMON: Hey, Ryan...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: I am over. Can you give me 10 seconds? What do you think?

LIZZA: Look, quickly. Look, the reason people don't want him there is because they think that he contributed to this massacre. And that's unusual. There's -- lots of times where presidents go places and they get protested. But they don't want him especially in El Paso because they think he's partly responsible for this. And that is really unprecedented.

LEMON: Thank you, all.

LIZZA: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Thank you, all. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)