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CUOMO PRIME TIME

Trump Calls Danish PM's Response On Greenland "Nasty"; Inslee Announces He's Withdrawing From 2020 Race; Trump Tweets Quote Calling Him "Second Coming". Aired 9-10p ET

Aired August 21, 2019 - 21:00   ET

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


[21:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: --damage done by the President's latest game show pilot. The message though is clear. The world was not one giant pocket-listing, and President Trump isn't the Landlord-in-Chief. To borrow from the legendary Danish Author, Hans Christian Andersen, "The Emperor has no clothes," on The Ridiculist.

That's it for us. Let's hand it over to Chris for CUOMO PRIME TIME. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST, CUOMO PRIME TIME: Anderson, thank you very much for that. I'm Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME.

Imagine if the election were held today, question, would insulting Jewish-Americans help get this President re-elected? He doubled down today on what he should already know was a bigoted reference about them. Why?

We're going to ask a Trump-Whisperer, a good pal, Chris Ruddy. He knows the news business. He knows politics. He knows this President. Can he help us understand what's going on?

And as this country does get ready to pick its next leader, or to keep the current one, this President is actually picking a fight with another ally, calling it's female Prime Minister "Nasty." Our Great Debate takes on his basis and his bombast.

And the President says he has an "Appetite" for background checks. But it seems to be the only food that he'll take a bite of, and then spit it out. An ex-NRA member is here, urging him to finally be strong.

It's your country. Who should lead it? Let's get after it.

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TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

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CUOMO: Election watch! The President's positions on major matters seem to be as clear as mud. Proof! Listen to Tuesday-Trump versus Today- Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Payroll tax is something that we think about and a lot of people would like to see that.

I'm not looking at a tax cut now. We don't need it.

We have very, very strong background checks right now. They call it the slippery slope, and all of a sudden, everything gets taken away. We're not going to let that happen.

I have an appetite for background checks. We're going to be doing background checks.

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CUOMO: That's the proof. And that's just taxes and gun control.

Is the economy the strongest ever or is it desperate for juicing? Does he have an appetite or is the NRA giving him a tummy ache? And is going at Denmark's female PM for being "Nasty" over a Greenland deal that never was good for America?

That is the premise of The Great Debate.

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TEXT: THE GREAT DEBATE.

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CUOMO: Cenk Uygur, Kayleigh McEnany, thank you both.

Kayleigh, we'll take - we'll do this one-two-three style. Let's start with Denmark. What is the upside to the posture of the President vis- a-vis that ally?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY, FORMER RNC SPOKESWOMAN: Well look, there is a tremendous upside were we to acquire Greenland.

It's a strategic location. It's important in the event that a nuclear weapon was to takeoff from China or Russia. The President's actually smart and strategic in saying "Hey, I'm interested in this."

And for the Prime Minister to outright just say this is absurd and what would be a diplomatic negotiation or discussion or agree--

CUOMO: Selling a country?

MCENANY: --is - yes, of course.

CUOMO: Would be a diplomatic negotiation?

MCENANY: Did anyone--

CUOMO: It's a sovereign. MCENANY: Did - did anyone make fun of Harry Truman for offering a $100 million in 1946 for Greenland? And it is a smart, diplomatic strategic move.

And the Prime Minister of Denmark just shot it out of hand and said it's absurd. So, the President responded in kind, and said, "Pay your fair share into NATO, so we stop footing your bill."

CUOMO: Cenk, how do you see it?

CENK UYGUR, CEO & HOST, THE YOUNG TURKS: Yes. I think the President's a lunatic. And I think that we've got to be honest about it. And we've got to start talking about the 25th Amendment right now.

So, this guy cancels a diplomatic trip to Denmark because he's so thin-skinned, he gets triggered so easily that when Denmark says "No, we're not going to sell you Greenland," he says "My feelings were hurt." Apparently, he needs a safe space.

But on top of that, in this same 24-hour period, he basically called himself the second coming of God and the King of Israel. The man is deeply, mentally unstable. The cabinet should convene immediately to discuss a 25th Amendment.

And I'm not kidding, the Emperor has no clothes. The emperor has no mind. We're - we're ignoring the elephant in the room. He is mentally unstable and it's obvious.

CUOMO: Well cabinet is not going to do that. And if anybody reads the 25th Amendment, we'll see that it really has to be triggered, no - no pun intended, by those in power close to the President. He would have the ability to undo it. I don't think it's in any way feasible.

Let's stick to policy here. Kayleigh, when we're looking at taxes, he says, "Payroll tax, we're looking at it. We're talking about it." "Payroll tax, not going to happen, not going to happen," one day apart, what happened?

MCENANY: Well it's a debate within the administration whether now is the time to give yet another tax cut. This is a key part of the President's strategy. He's having this debate and he's having it publicly in front of and with the American people.

But tax cuts work. This is the hottest economy on record, lowest unemployment rate for Black Americans and Hispanic-Americans on record.

CUOMO: How is it the hottest on record?

MCENANY: Lowest unemployment rate for Black Americans, Hispanic- Americans, generational lows in unemployment, great productivity report, wages growing at the fastest pace in a decade, and twice as fast for low and middle income Americans, no arguing with the Trump economy. It's why we're going to win in 2020.

CUOMO: Well it's certainly going to be what they rest the campaign on, in major part, Cenk.

Of course, your side will argue that the strength of it is a continuation of it, and the tax cut was an artificial juicing. And if the economy is so strong, why do you need to juice it again?

[21:05:00] UYGUR: Yes. So, he says the economy is fantastic, and we need to cut interest rates. That actually makes no sense at all. If the economy was booming, you'd be worried about inflation, and you wouldn't be cutting interest rates, you'd actually be increasing the interest rates.

The reality is that the economy is not booming. Every economist in the country is worried about a recession. And, in fact, the Trump administration is deeply worried about a recession. They just told donors that there was a moderate risk of recession.

And the only reason they're considering a payroll tax cut, which would actually go to the employees is because they know the only thing that actually stimulates the economy is not supply-side economics, but actually getting, finally, the American workers some sort of relief.

But - and - and the reason they're considering that now--

CUOMO: Yes.

UYGUR: --and Trump is obviously lying about that he wasn't - he's - it's not connected to the recession is because they're really, really worried we're about to hit a recession.

CUOMO: Well, look, I mean there is a little bit--

UYGUR: And, by the way, Kayleigh, when we do hit the recession, will you come back on here, admit the supply-side economics and tax cuts for the rich didn't work?

MCENANY: It's - it's really quite disgusting that you're rooting on a recession, also telling lies to the American people. The vast majority--

UYGUR: I'm not rooting for it.

MCENANY: --the vast majority--

UYGUR: I'm just telling you it's going to happen.

MCENANY: --of economists do not foresee a recession actually.

UYGUR: Yes, they do.

MCENANY: I take my - I take my notes from them, and not from you. But to root on a recession with your buddy Bill Maher there, it's really a pretty sick move.

UYGUR: I'm not doing that.

MCENANY: When 71 percent tell CNN the economy is in good shape, the facts are not on your side.

CUOMO: Right. But hold on a second.

UYGUR: No, I--

CUOMO: Let's - let's leave it there. Hold on, hold on--

UYGUR: --I want to be clear.

CUOMO: --Cenk, Cenk, let's just set the table. We don't know - we don't do that on this show, Kayleigh. You don't have to accuse him of rooting for a recession. You know he isn't.

MCENANY: He is.

CUOMO: Recessions are economic cyclical realities. The question is not if. It's when. We all know that.

The concern with the economic policy, and I've been on record saying, I get why you guys, you know, Navarro, Mulvaney, and the President, as an echo of it, don't like what Powell did with the rates that he raised them too much too soon.

I think that's a viable economic argument. However, if you have a strong economy, you would not put into play mechanisms that you may need if there's a recession, like messing with rates, like using another tax cut. If the economy's strong, you don't do those things. You do it when it needs help. So, which is it?

MCENANY: Because when you're fueling a strong economy, the belief of conservatives, the belief and the truth of it is that tax cuts fuel economic growth. That's what we've seen with the tax cuts.

CUOMO: Paid for tax cuts.

MCENANY: And JOBS Act.

CUOMO: Paid for tax cuts.

MCENANY: Tax cuts--

CUOMO: You didn't pay for the last one--

MCENANY: Tax--

CUOMO: Now, they're worried about the deficit.

MCENANY: We--

CUOMO: Why would you put another one on them?

MCENANY: It's because over time extra--

CUOMO: Especially one that will starve Social Security and Medicare?

MCENANY: Over - over time, GDP goes up, as we've seen, it's already starting to go up, and revenue increases, so in the long run, tax cuts--

CUOMO: Sometimes, not always.

MCENANY: --do pay for themselves.

CUOMO: One last one.

UYGUR: But that didn't happen.

CUOMO: Yes. It hasn't happened. We haven't seen the bur - burst in investment that we expected. We saw a stock buyback, so you'd have to target the tax cut the right way.

But one more question, background checks, is there an appetite or is The Atlantic reporting right that the President told the NRA "Don't worry about it. It's not going to happen?"

MCENANY: Well I don't believe Atlantic reporting--

UYGUR: So--

MCENANY: --or so-called sources. But this President is the one who fixed the criminal background check system with the Fix NICS Act. He wants solutions. But he wants solutions that work, like red flag laws that take guns from mentally-ill individuals.

CUOMO: Red - red flag laws happen state-by-state, not on the federal level. Do you believe that background checks--

MCENANY: You can incentivize it.

CUOMO: --of all commercial transactions should be covered?

MCENANY: I support the President's stance on this. It's a discussion that's being had. And this President--

UYGUR: Which one?

CUOMO: What's the position?

MCENANY: --strengthened the background check system.

UYGUR: Yes. At--

MCENANY: President Obama did not.

CUOMO: Well forget about Obama.

MCENANY: And red flag laws, by the way--

CUOMO: What's the position?

UYGUR: No.

CUOMO: Forget about red flag laws.

MCENANY: Red flag laws--

CUOMO: What's the position?

UYGUR: Hold on, hold on guys.

MCENANY: But - the position is--

UYGUR: Wait a minute. I know--

MCENANY: --we want to find--

UYGUR: Kayleigh, I got to ask you, I got to ask you.

CUOMO: Go ahead, Cenk.

UYGUR: Which President's position? Because right after the shooting, he said he was for federal background checks, and he said that he was absolutely clear about it.

MCENANY: He said he--

UYGUR: Then he - well he meets with - hold on. Let me ask the question.

MCENANY: You're paraphrasing the--

UYGUR: Then he meets - then he meets with Wayne LaPierre, and - and then he comes out, and he's not bright enough to cover up his corruption.

CUOMO: All right, so let's just clear it up. Let's give Kayleigh--

UYGUR: And he - and he says--

MCENANY: Yes.

CUOMO: --give Kayleigh a chance--

UYGUR: --and he says--

CUOMO: --to clear it up.

UYGUR: --I'm not - yes, this is--

CUOMO: I know. We all know that he's waffling.

UYGUR: --I'm not for background checks.

CUOMO: So, what is the position?

UYGUR: He took the $30 million from the NRA. He's corrupt.

MCENANY: He--

CUOMO: All right, but--

UYGUR: That's why he did it.

CUOMO: Let's get the position.

UYGUR: He had - he admitted.

MCENANY: He said--

CUOMO: What is the position, Kayleigh?

MCENANY: --he said he wants meaningful background checks. We are talking with Congress. But you are doing a disservice to everyone in this country by not focusing on the real problem here, which is mental illness, and red flag laws.

CUOMO: Mental illness is not the root of our gun violence.

UYGUR: Oh, ridiculous!

MCENANY: And we could have kept the gun out of the hand--

CUOMO: And you know it.

MCENANY: --we could have kept the - a gun out of the hand of the Parkland shooter--

UYGUR: He's not going to do it, right?

MCENANY: --if we seized a weapon from a mentally-ill individual. Red flag laws work.

UYGUR: He said he would do federal background checks.

CUOMO: It's a--

MCENANY: The President supports that.

CUOMO: It's a--

UYGUR: He's not going to do it, right, Kayleigh?

CUOMO: Yes, it--

MCENANY: He said meaningful background checks.

UYGUR: He's not going to do it.

MCENANY: Meaningful background checks.

CUOMO: What does "Meaningful" mean?

UYGUR: So--

MCENANY: We already, by the way--

UYGUR: --so what does it that mean?

MCENANY: --we already have a criminal background check system in this country.

CUOMO: But it doesn't cover all commercial sales.

MCENANY: I'm not sure if you're aware of it.

CUOMO: There are loopholes.

MCENANY: And - and which - which shooting--

CUOMO: There are loopholes.

MCENANY: --would have - which shooting would have been stopped by the loopholes you're citing?

CUOMO: Well but you don't--

UYGUR: So, 97 percent of Americans--

CUOMO: --but you don't--

MCENANY: Question? You don't have an answer.

UYGUR: --want federal background checks.

MCENANY: Exactly. You're not working on a solution that works.

CUOMO: But you don't know that a red flag law would have stopped the Parkland shooter.

(CROSSTALK)

MCENANY: A red flag law could have.

UYGUR: 97 percent of Americans want--

MCENANY: He was known to authorities.

UYGUR: --federal background checks.

CUOMO: And a background check could have.

UYGUR: And we cannot get it in a so-called democracy because of corruption.

CUOMO: All right.

[21:10:00] UYGUR: Donald Trump was - got $30 million from the NRA, and he serves the NRA.

MCENANY: Red flag laws work.

UYGUR: And he was stupid enough to admit it.

MCENANY: You're doing a disservice to--

UYGUR: He came out and said-- MCENANY: --every person in this country.

UYGUR: --"They - they were very strong backers of mine."

CUOMO: All right.

UYGUR: "They were very strong backers."

CUOMO: Let's leave it here.

UYGUR: That means they gave me money.

CUOMO: Let--

UYGUR: And I did what I wanted.

CUOMO: Let's--

UYGUR: What they wanted. That's called the swamp.

CUOMO: Let's--

UYGUR: He's corrupt.

CUOMO: Let's leave it here.

UYGUR: That's why he's going to--

CUOMO: The--

UYGUR: --all these mass shootings to happen--

CUOMO: Certainly--

UYGUR: --over and over again.

CUOMO: All right, Cenk--

MCENANY: That's ridiculous.

UYGUR: That's who Trump is.

CUOMO: --Cenk, I'm out of time.

MCENANY: And that's a disgusting accusation.

CUOMO: But listen, here's what we know as a matter of fact. Twice he said he wanted background checks, twice he said it was going to happen, twice he talked to the NRA, twice it changed. So--

MCENANY: And he passed the Fix NICS Act.

CUOMO: So, it's on him.

MCENANY: Signed it into law. CUOMO: But Fix NICS is not the same thing. Information sharing matters, covering all the transactions matters, red flag laws matter, they all matter. It's not either/or, it's about all of it. It's about attacking it with an urgency that suggests that you get how big the problem is. Let's see when that happens.

Cenk, thank you. Kayleigh, I appreciate you making the case, as always.

MCENANY: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, so now we go to the other side of the ball, all right? We know the President has his problems on these issues. We're laying it out. You see the debate. It's obvious.

What about the Democrats? We got to look deeper inside the poll, because it's not just about who got the pop. It's not just about the two-headed animal on the Left now, right, of Sanders and Warren. I don't mean that as an insult. It's an insight.

What about Harris? What happened to Kamala Harris? What does it say about where that party is?

The Wizard of Odds has been looking deep. What did he see? Next.

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TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

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TEXT: BREAKING NEWS.

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[21:15:00] CUOMO: Breaking news on the 2020 race, another Democrat is out. Washington Governor Jay Inslee announcing he will withdraw from the election.

Though not time to quite break on the countdown clocks, but 2020 is fast approaching, we need to start looking at what's happening, not as this tit-for-tat game, but through the lens of what does it mean for electability.

Former VP, Joe Biden, not shy about bragging about his frontrunner status in the polls but, you know, I believe we got lost in that headline. There's other, maybe more important, news about the state of play in that party, starting with Senator Kamala Harris, who's suddenly got trouble.

So, let's get to the Wizard of Odds. He's been digging in for us. Inslee getting out, look Harry, not a huge surprise. HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER & ANALYST: No.

CUOMO: Even though we're relatively early, he wasn't going to make the next cut.

ENTEN: Exactly.

CUOMO: Then how do you survive?

ENTEN: Yes, exactly. You're not going to make the cut, you can't get the fundraising, and he was just averaging 0 to 1 percent. There are a bunch of those candidates. I wouldn't be surprised if he's not the last one to drop out as we go forward.

CUOMO: So, I said to you, and Harry in his inimitable way, he's like an excite - encyclopedia at this stuff. So, I was like "Wow! What a drop for Harris?" 17 in some poll, 14, now down to 5.

He says, well, you know, we kind of saw that with Herman Cain, kind of saw that with Fiorina, and then he started to look into it about what it means, so we can understand.

What is the reality of what we see with Kamala - Kamala Harris? Why did it happen? What does it mean?

ENTEN: Yes. I mean I think one of the first things we should look at is African-American voters, because these are - they make up 20 percent of the electorate. They are a huge part of the Democratic primary process.

No Democratic candidate has won the nomination since at least 1992 without winning the majority of African-Americans. And take a look at this trend line among them, so this in the Quinnipiac University polls, look at this.

So, Joe Biden has been leading with them the entire time. But look at what happened in the June/July numbers that occurred right after the debate.

Kamala Harris jumped all the way up from 8 percent to 27 percent. Joe Biden fell from 44 percent to 31 percent, a near-even matchup, and that mirrored what was a near-even matchup in the polls just after that first debate.

CUOMO: So, I don't get it. So, if she goes into the debate, she gives him that pop in the nose, he wasn't ready for it.

ENTEN: Yes.

CUOMO: He doesn't handle it. She's got the T-shirts ready to sell on the success. Where did it go?

ENTEN: Well it went in a number of different ways. And I think one of the things that we should point out here, and this is very, very important. And this just is a question that Pew Research had asked, which is, are you excited about the other candidate, it's an assess of different candidate supporters, and what do we see here? This is very important. 78 percent of Kamala Harris supporters say that they are excited about the other candidates, which means they're much more likely to change their minds.

Compare that to someone like Biden, only 53 percent of his supporters say they were excited about other candidates, which kind of explains why he's been pretty steady in the polls for the most part with the exception that first debate drop, and Bernie Sanders the same thing.

CUOMO: Boy, this hurts me too, because I've been talking the talk that maybe the Warren move of eating into Bernie Sanders, and again, I don't say the two-headed animal in any insulting way. I'm saying that they seem to be--

ENTEN: Sure.

CUOMO: --splitting the same pie. But what does this 80 tell us?

ENTEN: Well I - it tells you that that support may in fact be a lot softer than you think it is. And that, of course, isn't so much of a surprise, if you remember that Elizabeth Warren started out this race in the mid-single digits, and she's risen up, so she's taken away some of those other people's supporters.

And if - if a voter has moved once towards one candidate, it wouldn't - shouldn't be surprising if they move again towards another candidate.

CUOMO: Give me one more fact for people or one more insight as we're starting to look at things through the lens of what it means in terms of electability, give them one more thing.

ENTEN: I think that there's just one other thing, and that is take a look at this, this is very interesting, the relative amount of cable news mentions. You need cable news.

CUOMO: Oh.

ENTEN: You need press mentions in order to give your - yourself oxygen. It's all about press. It's all about generating press for yourself. And look at this, Kamala Harris only had 7 percent of the relative cable news mentions the week before the first debates.

That jumped up to 37 percent after - the week after the first debates. But look at this. She blew this opportunity. Week after the second debate, she was down to 9 percent. If you get cable news mentions, if you get press mentions, don't mess with it.

CUOMO: You got to come on to get the mentions. We make the invitations.

ENTEN: That's exactly right.

CUOMO: We can't accept the invitations, a note to all involved. Whiz, appreciate it.

ENTEN: Shalom, brother.

CUOMO: As always. Shalom. All right, Harry Enten, the Wizard of Odds.

So, the Democratic side, you're going to see 10 of the Democratic Presidential Candidates debating the best solutions to the issue that you, if you're on the Left part of the political spectrum, you say it's your most important issue, not even the economy, climate crisis.

We're going to do it right here on CNN in two weeks. So, it's something that we should all be keeping our eye on.

Now, in the meantime, a devastating blow to the climate fight is what's right now on the screen, and it's not getting enough attention. These are record wild fires in Brazil, in the Amazon rainforest, you know, - you know, accurately called like the lungs of our planet.

Now, the Leader of Brazil had said "Ah, this happens every year." No! They have like 70 percent more wildfires than we had, all right? So, I want to keep it on your radar.

When we return, and - you know, it seems like the President caved to the NRA again. This is twice that he said he wanted something to happen, twice he's talked to the NRA reportedly, and twice he's backed off.

[21:20:00] So now, today the President says, "I have an appetite for tougher gun laws." How long will this appetite last? Is this a happy meal or is it like a seven-course dinner? Let's talk about it, next.

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TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

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CUOMO: All right. This President once again picking a fight with a U.S. Ally, this time, a personal attack against the Danish Prime Minister for saying "No, thanks" to the President's suggestion that he wanted to buy Greenland, which isn't for sale.

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TRUMP: I thought that the Prime Minister's statement, that it was "Absurd," that was an - it was "An absurd idea," was nasty. I thought it was an inappropriate statement. All she had to do is say "No, we wouldn't be interested." (END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: S. E. Cupp joins me now. What's your take on the Denmark situation?

S. E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN HOST, S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED: Well it's - Trump - Trump is fairly predictable, if not anything else, in that when he's told by a man - a man says "No" to him, he has a very sort of specific reaction. When he's told by a woman "No" or criticized by a woman, he has this one, to call her "Nasty."

[21:25:00] And, you know, I'm - I'm no psychologist. I don't know if there's some - some, you know, deep - deep meaning hidden in that. But it is his, arguably, his go-to attack on women who say "No," women who, I think, he was used to for a very long time, women saying "Yes" to him.

And - and I think he's personally insulted and offended and threatened when any woman, especially a - a powerful woman, a woman in a leadership position says "No" to him.

CUOMO: So, to play on the phrase "What is rotten in Denmark," I mean it's one thing if he's like--

CUPP: Yes.

CUOMO: --upset at you because you push back on him on a policy that he wants or, you know, you come at him about his politics on something, but this is about something that is absurd by definition.

Greenland's not for sale. Kayleigh McEnany is bringing up--

CUPP: Right.

CUOMO: --Truman in 1946 trying to buy Greenland. There was a totally different set of circumstances of going there. And it was about parley among company - countries. This was about him talking with his own guys about it. And it's a sovereign.

CUPP: Right.

CUOMO: So, I don't understand why he would pick this fight right now. Can you help?

CUPP: Well because he's pathologically insecure. And so, this wasn't - as you say, he wasn't taking--

CUOMO: So much for the "Not a psychologist."

CUPP: Well I mean he wasn't taking issue with her resistance on policy. He was taking issue with the way he spoke - she spoke to him, and - and about him. And so, for him, there's no feel - he'll - he'll walk away from no fight, in which he feels personally insulted.

So - so, I don't think he wants to have policy fights. I mean that's absurd. What he wants is to have the personal - he wants to have the personal fight because he knows, you know, he - it makes him feel - feel tough.

CUOMO: So, S. E., on - what is your read on the reality of the background checks? I mean there is no question that as a matter of fact and timeline--

CUPP: Yes.

CUOMO: --when the NRA gets into his ear, he changes his position. I'm not saying it's the money.

CUPP: Yes.

CUOMO: I'm just saying it's a matter of fact that he changes. Now, today again--

CUPP: Yes.

CUOMO: --he says he has an "Appetite" for it. Do you think - and Kayleigh, I got to tell you, I mean I respect Kayleigh, I have her on the show, I don't feel her on this.

She said, "We want meaningful background checks." And when I said, "Well do you think all commercial transactions should be covered?" she doesn't want to answer it. I don't understand the position.

CUPP: Well, look, you know, she is right we need to fix our NICS system.

CUOMO: Right.

CUPP: And, you know, NSSF has been working on legislation to do that because our background checks are only as good as the information we put into them.

CUOMO: True.

CUPP: But to - it is absolutely reasonable, I say this is a gun owner, to expand background checks to include private sales. That's - that's the loophole that - that most people acknowledge is a problem. I - I don't have a problem with that.

What's weird to me, for Trump, and the politics of this, is neither do NRA members. A majority of NRA members support expanding background checks, a majority of gun owners support background checks, universal background checks.

So, it seems to me Trump is putting Wayne LaPierre ahead of actual NRA members. And it just looks really weak because the NRA is not in as powerful a position as it was--

CUOMO: True.

CUPP: --just a couple of years ago.

CUOMO: True. CUPP: And they're not going to walk. They're not going to pull their support from Trump. There's nowhere else for them to go. And not to mention, Trump already did sign new gun legislation. He banned bump stocks after Las Vegas.

CUOMO: Yes.

CUPP: I don't - I didn't hear the NRA blast him or threaten to withdraw their support. So, this would be his moment. If he's got an appetite for - for background checks, do it, prove it.

CUOMO: Well-analyzed, as always. Sarah Elizabeth, thank you for being on the show.

CUPP: My pleasure.

CUOMO: Be well.

All right, the President also renewed his threat today to end birthright citizenship. It is guaranteed by the Constitution. So, I want to look at the lens of the election through the fights that this President takes up.

And we have Trump friend, Chris Ruddy, Head of Newsmax here. He understands these policies from a point of their origination, and we're lucky to have him tonight. Let's get after it, next.

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TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

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[21:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

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CUOMO: All right, some heady references, the King of Israel, the Second Coming of God, before the President declared himself the "Chosen One" today. He ate up that messianic praise of a host on Newsmax, re-tweeting a far-Right conspiracy theorist, Wayne Allyn Root's words, a flattery and criticism for Jews who don't support this President's election.

The CEO of Newsmax joins us now, Chris Ruddy, longtime friend of President Trump, friend of show, good to have you. Thank you.

CHRISTOPHER RUDDY, CEO, NEWSMAX MEDIA: Chris, thank you.

CUOMO: Let's just tick through some of these--

RUDDY: But - before with the-- CUOMO: Go ahead.

RUDDY: --Wayne Root, I - I've never heard him described as a conspiracy theorist. He's been a broadcaster, best-selling author for many years. So, this was news. And he didn't say anything that was over-the-top. He praised the President.

CUOMO: Called him the King of the Jews.

RUDDY: Well he said as a Jew, I think he was saying it--

CUOMO: But he's not Jewish anymore--

RUDDY: --tongue and cheek.

CUOMO: --right?

RUDDY: Well you should ask him his religious belief. I don't--

CUOMO: I don't want to talk to him.

RUDDY: --I don't ask my employee, people that work or his--

CUOMO: I wasn't going to ask you to defend him.

RUDDY: Yes.

CUOMO: But you're bringing it up.

RUDDY: No. But my point is--

CUOMO: He is a birther about President Obama.

RUDDY: --he's not - he's not a far-Right - I wouldn't say he's a far- Right--

CUOMO: He is a birther.

RUDDY: --conspiracy theorist.

CUOMO: He is a birther.

RUDDY: Well there's people that believe - I disagree. I believe that Obama was born in the United States. Some people believe.

CUOMO: No, no, no, Chris.

RUDDY: I don't think that's far-Right conspiracy theory.

CUOMO: What else is it if that you're saying that Obama wasn't born in this country, and it's not a far-Right conspiracy, what is it?

RUDDY: I don't believe it's a conspiracy theory. People - it took Obama, what, five years to release his birth certificate. Had he released it like other Presidential candidates, it wouldn't have been an issue. CUOMO: This guy won't even release his taxes, this President.

RUDDY: Well he said that the--

CUOMO: And you're saying that Obama had some litmus test of proving his citizenship.

RUDDY: Actually the President said that he will release it when--

CUOMO: When?

RUDDY: --the audit is done.

CUOMO: What audit?

RUDDY: Well we're waiting for that audit to be--

CUOMO: What about the proof of the audit? Chris, this is a bad role for you.

RUDDY: Well Congress is - Congress is--

CUOMO: I got to be honest.

RUDDY: I'm--

CUOMO: I wasn't even going to put you in this role.

RUDDY: Hey, I've - I've said before that the President should release his tax returns. But I also believe that if there is an audit, I have no reason to believe he's not telling the truth.

CUOMO: Why won't he show proof of the audit?

RUDDY: Well I think Congress is going to pretty well know, fairly quickly, whether there's an audit or not.

CUOMO: They but - why won't he show us proof of the audit?

RUDDY: I believe all political figures--

CUOMO: If you want Obama to show you a birth certificate right away--

RUDDY: I--

CUOMO: --why wouldn't he give us proof of the audit?

[21:35:00] RUDDY: I believe all political figures should release their birth certificate, their other documents and--

CUOMO: And that the - the short form of the certificate came right out of the way. I don't want to go through the vetting of the President Obama. That's embarrassing to this country. He also said, your employee, that the Vegas shooting was--

RUDDY: Well he wasn't an employee. He's a host on one of the shows, yes.

CUOMO: Doesn't that count?

RUDDY: Well he's not an employee. But--

CUOMO: Well he's under the banner of Newsmax, Chris, now whatever you call it.

RUDDY: He is under the banner of Newsmax.

CUOMO: He said the Vegas shooting was done by--

RUDDY: But to be technically accurate--

CUOMO: --Muslim terrorists.

RUDDY: That what shooting was?

CUOMO: The Las Vegas shooting.

RUDDY: Well I don't know.

CUOMO: This is your guy.

RUDDY: I'm not here to defend Wayne. But I have--

CUOMO: Well you just started by doing that.

RUDDY: Well but - well I'm not here to say every comment that you accuse him of making, I think you--

CUOMO: I'm not accusing him of making. He said these things.

RUDDY: --I can tell you for sure, Wayne Root would come on your show--

CUOMO: I'm sure he would.

RUDDY: --and talk about any of these issues. So, you should call him up, and invite him out--

CUOMO: But I don't want him to give him the audience to talk this crap--

RUDDY: Well - well I know--

CUOMO: --on my show.

RUDDY: I'm not sure. He never talks on - on Newsmax about Muslims killing--

CUOMO: Look--

RUDDY: --people.

CUOMO: --you should know a little bit more about the guys who are under-- RUDDY: So - so--

CUOMO: --your banner. I'm saying that's what he said about the President today. What I want to talk about is this.

This President is a sophisticated guy, especially when it comes to Jewish-Americans. He's been surrounded by them, growing up. He doesn't have any excuse of ignorance. He is told that this is a dangerous description of Jews, "Who you're loyal to."

RUDDY: Who told him that - that was to--

CUOMO: I'm - I'm asking him. I'm saying - I'm asking you.

RUDDY: Well, you know--

CUOMO: He is sophisticated enough to know what's going on around in the world, right? He pays attention to his media 24/7. They're saying Jewish leaders, Jewish groups, "Don't talk about us this way about whom we're loyal to," creating this paradox--

RUDDY: Yes.

CUOMO: --if you're loyal to Israel or us, don't do it. And then today, he doubles down, and does it again. Why?

RUDDY: Well I don't believe that he was intending any anti - you know, he is the first Jewish President when you get down to it. I mean he's the most Pro-Israel.

CUOMO: That's what Root said, by the way.

RUDDY: --most pro - he is the most--

CUOMO: He wrote a piece about that.

RUDDY: --pro-Israel President that we've ever had.

CUOMO: And he meant it as a negative, by the way.

RUDDY: His daughter who married a Jew converted to Judaism. I think he likes--

CUOMO: I'm not saying he's anti-Semitic.

RUDDY: As you know - yes.

CUOMO: I'm not saying he's anti-Semitic.

RUDDY: Well that's good. I mean that's a start--

CUOMO: But that's not--

RUDDY: --because that's being said on--

CUOMO: --that's not the bar of appropriate conduct where - I'm not and--

RUDDY: --a lot of networks.

CUOMO: --I'm not a lot of networks.

RUDDY: But - but--

CUOMO: I'm me. What I'm saying is--

RUDDY: I don't like the use of the word "Disloyal," in this case.

CUOMO: But then, why don't you say that?

RUDDY: But--

CUOMO: Start by saying--

RUDDY: Well I just said it.

CUOMO: I know. But you--

RUDDY: I just said it. What do you want me to say?

CUOMO: Why don't you start by saying, he shouldn't have said it? Not by saying, he's not--

RUDDY: No.

CUOMO: --anti-Semitic.

RUDDY: I can only tell you what I don't like and I don't think is - he's - he's his own person. And, as we know, this man like he's not a typical politician. I think the people in this country--

CUOMO: What does that mean? No, I don't - you have to help me understand this.

RUDDY: --look--

CUOMO: Because not being a--

RUDDY: You - you come from a political family.

CUOMO: I know. But that doesn't mean that it's OK to say bigoted things.

RUDDY: And as you know your farther and your brother were Governors of--

CUOMO: Because that means you're different.

RUDDY: And most of the political figures are highly scripted and everything that you're - most Presidents are highly - this is the first President we've ever had where he's not scripted really at all, and he's going out, just telling people what he thinks. There's going to be a lot of mistakes. I don't think-- CUOMO: Well what he thinks is that Jews are ignorant or disloyal--

RUDDY: No, I don't think--

CUOMO: --if they vote for Democrats?

RUDDY: Well I think he's - I think he's got frustration that he has been so supportive of Jewish causes, including the support of the State of Israel. I mean Obama was very lax, allowed the Iranians to have a very bad nuclear deal with Iran, and everybody--

CUOMO: And you blew up the deal, and now they're running roughshod all over the world with no checks on them.

RUDDY: I think - I think that deal needed to be confronted. And I think the President's been pretty smart in how he's handled.

CUOMO: Really?

RUDDY: He hasn't started--

CUOMO: You like the situation with Iran right now? You feel we're in a better position?

RUDDY: Well I think we're in a better position where they was - just a few months from building nuclear weapons that were with them--

CUOMO: No, no, under the deal it was the opposite of that.

RUDDY: No, within six months, they would have had a--

CUOMO: You had a check on them. That's not what the experts say about it.

RUDDY: And I think the Iranians have been thrown back on their hackles. I think this President has a better idea of how to approach them.

CUOMO: So, then it's picking up--

RUDDY: So--

CUOMO: --the fight with Denmark. Why? Greenland's not for sale.

RUDDY: I mean I'm amazed.

CUOMO: Why go after an ally?

RUDDY: I was just watching S. E. Cupp on your show earlier.

CUOMO: Yes.

RUDDY: And I mean I - I couldn't believe she's saying that the President said this because it's a woman, and he's against women. I mean what - how - first he's against Jews, now he's against women, all-- CUOMO: I didn't say he's against anybody.

RUDDY: No, but I say--

CUOMO: But he's saying stupid things.

RUDDY: But you should have - you've challenged me on Wayne Root who I don't control at all.

CUOMO: Well, listen--

RUDDY: He's a radio host. We have him on Newsmax, OK.

CUOMO: Hold on, hold on.

RUDDY: You - you--

CUOMO: You jumped to the defense of - I was going to leave Root alone.

RUDDY: No, but you--

CUOMO: I was going to do you a favor. You jumped into that mud, now you got it on you. That's not on me, Chris.

RUDDY: Well you're saying things that I think Wayne Root should defend.

CUOMO: No, I'm not having him on the show.

RUDDY: I said to him--

CUOMO: He doesn't deserve it.

RUDDY: But - but--

CUOMO: You don't get to talk that kind of trash--

RUDDY: Look, I know you want to change the subject--

(CROSSTALK)

RUDDY: --about S. E. Cupp.

CUOMO: No, that - that is--

RUDDY: But--

CUOMO: I don't want to change it.

RUDDY: We know--

CUOMO: Speak about S. E. Cupp.

RUDDY: --Donald Trump is an equal opportunity offender, right?

CUOMO: He talks about women-- RUDDY: And he doesn't care--

CUOMO: --more in nasty terms than he does men.

RUDDY: --he - he's not against - he's - he - he like tells people what he thinks. You and I might not like it.

CUOMO: Look--

RUDDY: It's very politically incorrect.

CUOMO: What do they all have in common?

RUDDY: But he is not tar--

CUOMO: What do all these people have in common that got called nasty?

RUDDY: What - what is the Canadian Prime Minister? Is he a woman?

CUOMO: Why?

RUDDY: Is - is he a woman?

CUOMO: I wouldn't say that tweet--

RUDDY: Yes, I mean the President--

CUOMO: I wouldn't call him that.

RUDDY: --the President attacked Trudeau--

CUOMO: But he didn't call him nasty, did he?

RUDDY: The President attacked.

CUOMO: What do they all have in common?

RUDDY: Yes. But you could - you could show 30 men that he's attacked and criticized. Why don't you have--

CUOMO: I know but--

RUDDY: I mean this is like--

CUOMO: But he deals with hundreds and hundreds of men.

RUDDY: But for CNN--

CUOMO: And he deals with much less women.

RUDDY: But Chris, Chris--

CUOMO: And he calls much more of that percentage of people "Nasty."

[21:40:00] RUDDY: For CNN to take a group of women that he's criticized and say he's against, he's a misogynist. CUOMO: No, I'm not saying it. I'm saying--

RUDDY: But not take the many men--

CUOMO: --don't talk about women this way.

RUDDY: But he's done--

CUOMO: And I don't think you should talk about anyone this way.

RUDDY: Well I think he's--

CUOMO: I don't think you should encourage any kind of bigotry, any kind of hate, any kind of divisiveness--

RUDDY: Well I agree with you.

CUOMO: --just because he is the President.

RUDDY: I agree with you.

CUOMO: And that's why I'm asking you because you understand--

RUDDY: I - I don't--

CUOMO: --where his head is. And I want to know why he thinks--

RUDDY: Well I think--

CUOMO: --it's good for him.

RUDDY: I think his head - first of all, I don't speak for Donald Trump, make that clear.

CUOMO: But you understand him.

RUDDY: Well I've known him for many years.

CUOMO: You're not his spokesperson but you understand him.

RUDDY: And I like him. And I think he's a good President.

CUOMO: But--

RUDDY: I think - I look--

CUOMO: --how's it helped him.

RUDDY: --I look at his results, and I think he's a non-politician, and I don't agree with everything he says or does. But I think if you look overall at his record, he's got a tremendous record on the economy, on national security, on foreign policy.

CUOMO: The economy's so good. Why so desperate to juice it? I don't understand.

RUDDY: Well I think because--

CUOMO: Leave it alone. And leave the tools when we need them.

RUDDY: --every time I turn on CNN or MSNBC, it says we're about ready to head to a depression. I'm like "What's going on here?"

CUOMO: Recession. But - but he doesn't believe it.

RUDDY: We have one of the best economies.

CUOMO: Are you saying he's doing his policy--

RUDDY: So, he's - well--

CUOMO: --in reaction to our reporting?

RUDDY: --he's talked about doing a tax cut, but the economy is doing very well. We had a Federal Reserve that increased--

CUOMO: Yes.

RUDDY: --interest rates--

CUOMO: A lot and fast.

RUDDY: --nine times in 18 months.

CUOMO: Yes.

RUDDY: The only reason you increase interest rates if there's signs of inflation.

CUOMO: Yes.

RUDDY: That's the primary reason. There were no signs of inflation over the past 18 months. You ask yourself, Jerome Powell, who was appointed first by Obama--

CUOMO: Yes.

RUDDY: --who the President had confidence in said--

CUOMO: Right.

RUDDY: --you're going to support a low interest environment in this low inflation environment, and he's flouted that.

CUOMO: Well when you have - first of all--

RUDDY: So, I think the President's right to--

CUOMO: --I - I have said many times - I want to go to break.

RUDDY: --criticize the Federal Reserve.

CUOMO: I want to keep you for another block because I want to talk to you about whether or not you think we have any shot on reasonable gun reform and what it might look like or not. You got us a second to stick around?

RUDDY: Sure.

CUOMO: I appreciate it. Thank you, Chris. It's hard to say no on national TV.

RUDDY: But now you have a--

CUOMO: But I'd let you go if you have to.

RUDDY: --a gun to my head.

CUOMO: No, never, God forbid. What I--

RUDDY: I'm only figuratively speaking.

CUOMO: A 100 percent.

What I'm saying is this. I want to go to break right now. But I want to talk about what is the chance of something happening because the President has come at it two different ways. Why and where may we get, it's something that's got to be of interest to a majority of this country.

We're lucky that we have somebody who knows where the President's head is and why. So, let's use that insight. Let's get after it right after this break.

Thank you.

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[21:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

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CUOMO: I'm going to let you in on a little bit of a secret. Very often when I'm engaging in political debate, and we're having people going, I will indulge in things that I think I already understand, just for the sake of people figuring it out.

But this is a - a good opportunity with the Newsmax CEO, CEO Chris Ruddy, who understands the President and his thinking on a number of issues because of their relationship on something I don't get.

I see the background checks, and thank you for staying for a second block, as a big win for him, because you know the majority of the country, overwhelming, wants it.

Gun owners, overwhelming say "Yes, all sales should be checked. We don't want the wrong people getting weapons." Most gun owners are incredibly responsible people, and they're very respectful of the right, and they're good with process. And I'm not just saying that because I'm a gun owner. Most of the ones I know are like that.

So, there's a win for him because where's the NRA membership going to go? Where - what does - what does Wayne LaPierre going to do to this President? He doesn't need his money. What? They're going to mobilize someone against him in a primary like Joe Walsh or Bill Weld?

This is all upside for him. His followers can't leave him. He did bump stocks. Why not move on this? And more so why vexing (ph)?

RUDDY: Well again, I can't speak for him. I haven't spoken to--

CUOMO: But the thinking - the thinking behind the oscillation.

RUDDY: Well I haven't - I think he's probably, for sensible things related to guns, I think he's said that, and indicated where the policy falls. Congress is out of session this summer right now, so we're going to have more formative - in terms of legislation to--

CUOMO: But he could call them back and say "All sales should be covered by background checks.

RUDDY: But you know what?

CUOMO: --Let's start there." Everybody goes--

RUDDY: There's a lot of data, Chris. John Locke has done a lot of data and research, said not one of the massacres and the mass killings would have ever been prevented by a background check system that some of these, the Toledo and El Paso cases, they had no priors.

CUOMO: Right.

RUDDY: And what basis would you have that? And then you would have to have red flags.

CUOMO: Yes.

RUDDY: And that people like our friend Alan Dershowitz says you can't have, it's a violation of civil rights.

CUOMO: Well who cares what Dershowitz says?

RUDDY: No. But if you want to be--

CUOMO: What I'm saying is you have 17 states that have them already.

RUDDY: You want to have somebody--

CUOMO: What I'm saying is--

RUDDY: --saying, you know, "Chris Cuomo said he was going to kill somebody," and then it's on the database--

CUOMO: It's--

RUDDY: --for the rest of your life?

CUOMO: It's proof-based intervention.

RUDDY: So, I think that we could--

CUOMO: Here's what I'm saying, Chris--

RUDDY: It's an emotional reaction. I think we should--

CUOMO: No, it's not an emotional reaction.

RUDDY: Look, I think background checks make a lot of sense.

CUOMO: That's my point. My point is this.

RUDDY: Yes. So--

CUOMO: I think it's not one thing. It's everything. You - you do it so that reasonably you have all different sales. You're going to check some sales.

RUDDY: Yes.

CUOMO: Why not check all the sales? Fine.

RUDDY: But I don't think it solves the problem.

CUOMO: But here's the thing.

RUDDY: The underlying problem.

CUOMO: But you don't know what will and what won't. Why won't you try anything? You know, when you care about something, you don't know what is going to make a big difference in the economy, so you try all your different tools.

RUDDY: There was a ban on--

CUOMO: You want to move the rates.

RUDDY: Yes.

CUOMO: You want to do a tax cut. I'm not talking about bans. What I'm saying is--

RUDDY: So, what--

CUOMO: --you do red flag laws and you help with the funding. You increase access to healthcare. You increase the dialog on respect for people with mental health, so they seek health.

RUDDY: People's-- CUOMO: You check all the different sales. You do everything you can because you care.

RUDDY: We were chatting about this a little bit in the break. People say Donald Trump's liberal, and he's conservative. I think he's pragmatic, at the end of the day, he looks at the data. He looks at information. And he's a business guy. He wants to see things that work.

So, you know, on one hand, he says the background checks makes sense, but I guess on the other hand, and I'm guess - I'm surmising here, he says, "OK, would it have stopped any of these killings at the end of the day?" And so, I think he's--

CUOMO: Then why each time after talking to LaPierre, he's backed off the position?

RUDDY: Well I don't know. I'm not privy to any of those conversations.

CUOMO: But why would he be afraid of that guy?

RUDDY: So, I - look, I think gun rights is the - Second Amendment's a shrine to the Constitution--

CUOMO: Sure.

RUDDY: --the right - the right to have firearms. And in - in electorally, it's very important. The NRA has been a very important--

CUOMO: But where are those people going to go?

RUDDY: --powerful organization.

CUOMO: Where are they going to go?

RUDDY: Well they're going to go into the election booth and vote. Yes.

CUOMO: You think they're going to vote against Trump?

RUDDY: Well--

CUOMO: Because of background checks when the overwhelming majority of it say they're OK with it?

RUDDY: You know, I am a bit amazed in my life and you probably have had this experience with people you meet that are Democratic voters that vote on the gun issue that they normally vote Democratic but there's some of these--

CUOMO: But they're in favor of these checks. It's like 82 percent--

RUDDY: Well, you know--

[21:50:00] CUOMO: --or the numbers are always supermajorities.

Anyway Chris, I got to leave it there. But it - I love this dialog because I want us to be talking about how we can get to a better place and figuring out--

RUDDY: Well I would--

CUOMO: --why we're not there. So, I always appreciate your interest.

RUDDY: Well and I appreciate your open-mindedness in having a conversation.

CUOMO: Always! You're always welcome here and thank you for taking the opportunity.

RUDDY: Glad to be here.

CUOMO: All right, so we're talking about the President a lot because I'm looking at it through the lens of the election, and he is a sitting President. He wants four more years.

One of the things is to look at his disposition with foreign relations in terms of how he treats allies and people who are inimical to the U.S. cause. I have an argument to lay out, if the election were today, and you were going to judge by what happened just today, what choice would you make?

I'll lay out the facts, next.

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[21:55:00] CUOMO: All right, so here's the argument. If the election were right now, whom would you vote for to be your next leader?

Let's examine what happened just today in some major foreign policy situations through that lens, not merely well what's outrageous, or I can't believe he said this, or, you know, he's an atypical politician, all that BS rationality, throw it out.

What should a leader do in your estimation? For example, when discussing the China trade deal process, this President said the following.

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TRUMP: Somebody had to do it. I am the Chosen One. Somebody had to do it.

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CUOMO: Well what was he looking up at there? Now, is that confidence in strength or are you going to ascribe it to numbskull narcissism? You're going to have to choose. And as a matter of clarity, no one had to do what he's doing with China. He forced this situation.

There's no doubt there are trade inequities. There's no doubt that China steals intellectual property. But many, even in his party, didn't like the timing or the strategy involved here. And, as a result, they're not happy with how our farmers are being hurt, and our markets are being roiled.

Next front, this President says that certain Democrats hate Israel, and thus, Jewish-Americans are ignorant or disloyal if they vote Democratic.

Now, when it came out - and he has to be aware of this, forget about growing up in Queens where, you know, we all knew Jewish people, Christian people, we knew better than the talk this way, the leadership has come out and said "You're repeating a bigoted trope."

Even with that out there, today, the President said this.

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TRUMP: In my opinion, you vote for a Democrat, you're being very disloyal to Jewish people, and you're being very disloyal to Israel.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: He then re-tweeted a known conspiracy theorist. Look, I like having Chris Ruddy on this show, the Head of Newsmax. He's wrong about his guy. He's wrong about what he said. And it is controversial. And no, he is not getting a platform on my show to push his BS.

But this guy, you know, Obama, birther, and all this other stuff, the President of the United States re-tweets him saying this.

"Jewish people in Israel love him," talking about Trump, "like he's the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God." Maybe that's why he called himself the Chosen One!

Now, another tactic presents another question for you. Should a leader badmouth other American Presidents, if it's done to flatter a despot? Like this, again, just from today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The fact is President Putin totally outsmarted President Obama on Crimea and other things.

He made a living on outsmarting President Obama.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Today, this President also threatened to release terrorists into key ally lands, France and Germany included, if they don't comply with his demand on prisoner transfers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We're holding thousands of ISIS fighters right now, and Europe has to take them. And if Europe doesn't take them, I'll have no choice but to release them into the countries from which they came, which is Germany and France and other places.

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CUOMO: So, you flatter the despot from Russia, who interferes in your election, and plays you like a puppet, but you attack France and Germany?

Also today, and a little bit yesterday, the President got into it with Denmark, after he decided that buying Greenland could be a good idea. He didn't discuss it with them. He discussed it with his guys.

Greenland is a sovereign country, not a golf course. The Prime Minister of Denmark, Greenland is a Danish territory, but self-ruled, said Greenland belongs to Greenland, and not Denmark, and that the idea that it is for sale is absurd.

Here is the response of the man who wants to continue to be your face to the world.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I thought that the Prime Minister's statement, that it was "Absurd," that was an - it was "An absurd idea," was nasty. I thought it was an inappropriate statement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: But what he thought was appropriate was backing out of a visit with a key NATO ally, to punish them, he says, for how they spoke to the U.S. The Prime Minister didn't say anything about the United States, except flattering things about the relationship. But this President saw her as inappropriate.

In sum, as you assess whom should lead, if it were today, just today, he praised Putin saying he was a better leader than President Obama.

He called a NATO ally "Nasty," a woman, of course. He threatened to unleash ISIS fighters on two others. He offered Russia back into the G7, or G8, in that case, if they wanted.

He repeated that voting for a Democrat would be disloyal of Jewish people. And he called himself the Chosen One, discussing the China trade deal. And remember, he's the one who provoked the tariffs that are suffocating our farmers. That's just foreign policy.

It's not about nitpicking. It's about assessing just one day in the life of a leader who's asking you to keep him in power, a taste of the walk and talk of a man who gets only 40 percent approval in foreign policy in most recent polling. How did he fare today in your eyes? Let me know.

Thank you for watching. CNN TONIGHT with D. Lemon right now.