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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Interview with Donald Trump; Clinton Campaign Blitz In California Ahead Of Primary; Trump Campaign In California Ahead Of Primary; Severe Storms And Flooding Kill Five Soldiers In Texas. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired June 03, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:30:00] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have been led by weak people -- weak, ineffective people. Countries have taken advantage of us, whether it's militarily or otherwise. We have been taken advantage of by everybody. We have people with weak temperaments. I have a very strong temperament but I have a temperament that's totally under control.
And, you know, she mentions that I'll bring us into war. She's the one that wanted to go into Iraq. She raised her hand. She didn't know what the hell she was doing. She raised her hand.
I said, I don't want to go into Iraq. Iraq is going to destabilize the Middle East and I was 100 percent right.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: I want to ask you about the comments you made about the judge in the Trump University case. You said you thought it was a conflict of interest that he was the judge because he's of Mexican heritage, even though he's from Indiana.
TRUMP: OK, fine.
TAPPER: Hillary Clinton said that that is a racist attack on a federal judge.
TRUMP: No, she's so wonderful, you know? I mean, here's a woman that should be put in jail for what she did with her e-mails and she's commenting on this.
TRUMP: Let me just say, first off -- I have a case where thousands of people have taken this course, and thousands and thousands of people have said great reviews, great reviews. Fortunately, just about everybody that took the case has signed a review, an evaluation, they call it. And it's gotten tremendous marks, thousands. I don't mean like two people. I mean, thousands.
TRUMP: OK. I have a situation where the woman that brought the case brought the case. She's the plaintiff. She was deposed. She was found to be a disaster for them as a witness because she gave an evaluation that was like the best evaluation you've ever heard -- wait just one second.
TRUMP: And she did a tape like from your camera saying that this school was fantastic, it was fantastic. They went to the judge and they said, your honor, we don't want her anymore to be our plaintiff. So, we said, let's dismiss the case. That's OK. Let's dismiss the case.
He said, no, I won't dismiss the case and she doesn't have to be the plaintiff.
TAPPER: What does this have to do with his heritage?
TRUMP: I'll tell you what it has to do. I've had ruling after ruling after ruling that's been bad rulings, OK? I've been treated very unfairly. Before him, we had another judge. If that judge was still there, this case would have been over two years ago.
Let me just tell you, I've had horrible rulings, I've been treated very unfairly by this judge. Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage. I'm building a wall, OK? I'm building a wall. I am going to do very well with the Hispanics, the Mexicans --
TAPPER: So, no Mexican judge could ever be involved in a case that involves you?
TRUMP: Well, he's a member of a society, where -- you know, very pro- Mexico, and that's fine. It's all fine but --
TAPPER: Except that you're calling into question his heritage.
TRUMP: I think he should recuse himself.
TAPPER: Because he's Latino?
TRUMP: Then, you also say, does he know the lawyer on the other side? I mean, does he know the lawyer? You know, a lot of people say --
TAPPER: But I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about --
TRUMP: That's another problem.
TAPPER: You're invoking his race talking about whether or not he can do his job.
TRUMP: Jake, I'm building a wall. OK? I'm building a wall. I'm trying to keep business out of Mexico. Mexico's fine.
TAPPER: But he's an American.
TRUMP: He's of Mexican heritage and he's very proud of it, as I am where I come from, my parents.
TAPPER: But he's an American. You keep talking about it's a conflict of interest because of Mexico. TRUMP: Jake, are you ready? I have a case that should have already
been dismissed. I have thousands of people saying Trump University is fantastic, OK? I have a case that should have been dismissed. A judge that never, ever gives -- now, we lose the plaintiff. He lets the plaintiff of the case out.
So, why isn't he calling the case? So, we thought we won the case.
TAPPER: So, you disagree with his rulings. I totally understand that.
TRUMP: I've had lawyers come up to me a say, you are being treated so unfairly. It's unbelievable. You know the plaintiffs in the case have all said wonderful things about the school and they're suing. You know why they're suing? Because they want to get their money back.
TAPPER: I don't want to really litigate the case of Trump University.
TRUMP: You have to, because if he was giving me fair rulings, I wouldn't say that.
TAPPER: My question is --
TRUMP: Jake, if you were giving me fair rulings, I wouldn't be talking to you this way. He's given me horrible rulings.
TAPPER: I don't care if you criticize him, that's fine. You can criticize every decision. What I'm saying, if you invoke his race as a reason why he can't do his job.
TRUMP: I think that's why he's doing it. I think that's why he's doing it.
TAPPER: When Hillary Clinton says it's a racist attack --
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton is a stiff. If Hillary Clinton becomes president --
TAPPER: Paul Ryan today -- Paul Ryan today said he didn't care for the way that you are attacking this judge.
TRUMP: Look, I'm just telling you, Paul Ryan doesn't know the case. Here's the story --
TAPPER: Isn't it the --
TRUMP: I should have won this case on summary judgment. This is not a -- this is a case I should have won on summary judgment. You know, the law firm paid Hillary Clinton hundreds of thousands of dollars to make speeches. You know the law firm --
TAPPER: I do. And we reported -- we reported it on my show.
TRUMP: OK. I'm glad. You're the only one.
TRUMP: Wait a minute. A law firm paid hundreds and thousands of dollars to Hillary Clinton for speeches.
TAPPER: Before either of you --
TRUMP: She wasn't working. Everyone fell asleep during a speech, OK?
TAPPER: Before either of you were running for president, they did.
But here's the final fundamental question --
TRUMP: Do you know they've contributed tremendous amounts of money to her campaign?
TRUMP: Do you know they contributed a lot of money to Eric Schneiderman, the New York attorney general?
TAPPER: Here's my question --
TRUMP: No, no, do you know that?
TAPPER: I did not know that.
TRUMP: Did you know they went to every attorney general practically in the country that they could and did you know this case was turned down by almost every attorney general from Texas to Florida and to many other states?
TAPPER: Is it not -- when Hillary Clinton says this is a racist attack, and you reject that -- if you're saying he can't do his job because of his race, is that not the definition of racism?
[16:35:05] TRUMP: No. I don't think so at all.
TRUMP: No. He's proud of his heritage. I respect him for that.
TAPPER: But you're saying you can't do his job because of that.
TRUMP: Look, he's proud of his heritage, OK? I'm building a wall.
Now, I think I'm going to do very well with Hispanics because they are going to get jobs right now. They are going to get jobs. I think I'm going to do very well with Hispanics.
We are building a wall. He's a Mexican. We're building a wall between here and Mexico.
The answer is, he is giving us very unfair rulings, rulings that people can't even believe. This case should have ended years ago in summary judgment. The best lawyers I have spoken to so many lawyers, they said, this is not a case. This is a case that should have ended. TAPPER: I --
TRUMP: This judge is giving us unfair rulings. Now, I say why? Well, I'm building a wall, OK? And it's a wall between Mexico. Not another country.
TAPPER: But he's not from Mexico. He's from Indiana.
TRUMP: He's of Mexican heritage and he's very proud of it.
TAPPER: You can see my entire interview with Donald Trump this weekend on "STATE OF THE UNION." That was just a taste for you. "STATE OF THE UNION", that's Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Eastern and again at noon.
Coming up, how will Donald Trump's remarks about this judge of Mexican heritage play in heavily Latino California? We have a lot to discuss from both of these new interviews after this break.
[16:40:56] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD.
You're seeing live shots from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump right now. Both of them on the hunt in California.
Trump is live rather -- Trump is live in Redding, California. Hillary is from earlier.
You heard Hillary Clinton promptly blamed Trump for violence at his rallies, even though it was anti-Trump violence. Donald Trump is blasting back against Hillary Clinton, against her foreign policy speech, saying that she helped lead the United States into a bad war in Iraq. Both candidates on attack.
Let's discuss. Joining me now, California's own Maeve Reston, CNN national political reporter.
First of all, let's talk about Donald Trump going after this Latino judge, saying that he can't be fair because he's (AUDIO GAP) born in Indiana, raised in the (AUDIO GAP) judge, et cetera. Doing that at a time when he is campaigning in a state with a lot of Latinos.
MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: But a huge population of Latinos, incredibly diverse here, and he is just continuing to stir the pot, not just, you know, ramping up the antagonism towards him and his campaign and not building a bridge to those voters who will be very important in Colorado and Nevada and other states like that, but he also is giving a very high level of discomfort to, you know, Republican strategists and rank and file folks who are trying to figure out if they can get on board with him and this attack on the judge, you know, just is mystifying to people, why he would continue. I mean, the question we have to ask is whether it's tactical. Does he want us to be talking about this controversy instead of the controversy of Trump University?
TAPPER: That's interesting. And then, of course, the accusation is that this judge, because he's of Latino heritage, cannot be fair is inherently anti-Trump because he wants to build a wall. I mean, those are his words. That's what he thinks.
That does raise the question, then why does he go forward and say, I think Latinos are going to vote for me, I think Mexican-Americans are going to vote for me. They love me, in the same breath.
RESTON: Well, I mean, he's continued to do that. He's relied on very unreliable exit polls coming out of Nevada, for example, earlier in the primary, but we know that his numbers among Latinos are terrible and here in California, we've seen a huge surge in registrations, particularly on the Democratic side.
And a lot of those voters when you go out and talk to them anecdotally are saying that they are registering not necessarily because they're excited about the Bernie/Hillary contest, but because they want to cast a vote against Donald Trump. And the ripple effect that that could have across the country for him is something that he should be really concerned about as he looks ahead to the general election.
TAPPER: And speaking of concern, let's talk about Hillary Clinton for a second. That there are two groups of people on social media that send me constant barrages of negative information about Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump supporters, maybe even Sanders supporters more these days, questions about the Clinton Foundation, questions about her private e-mail server.
I asked her about the Clinton Foundation today, asked her about the e- mail server a few days ago, she's still having a very tough time in the state, at least according to polls.
RESTON: She is and when you go to these rallies, I was out in Riverside, where they both were campaigning on the same day last week, and you talk to Bernie Sanders supporters, there are so many of them that are having a really hard time coming to this concept that they may have to vote for her in November.
Their antipathy toward Trump is so strong, that there are such a strong issue there, for example the reasons that you talk to her about today, that a lot of them are saying literally the most I can do is cast my ballot for her but, you know, maybe not even that and certainly not volunteering with the enthusiasm that they would have for Bernie Sanders.
So, she argued to you that this whole unity thing is going to happen, but I think she's got a long way to go on that.
TAPPER: Yes, there's a whole Bernie or bust group.
Maeve Reston, thank you so much. Always good to have you, especially live in a parking lot.
Coming up, does Donald Trump have a chance to win in traditionally liberal California this November? We'll talk about Trump's plan to shake up the electoral map. That's next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. We're live in the golden state of California. Continuing with our Politics Lead, two big interviews today, one with Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton and the other, of course, with presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.
I'm back with CNN senior political analyst, Ron Brownstein. Let's talk about it all. Ron, so first of all, why is it so tough for Hillary Clinton to seal the deal in California?
She won the state eight years ago. It would seem to be a state, a lot of Latino voters and African-American voters, where she would do well.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. I mean, you know, in fact, she has one of the 18 largest states that have voted, she's won 14 of them, really consistently for the same reason, they are diverse.
Democratic states are all diverse and she's dominated among nonwhite voters. But there are two reasons why California has been tough for her.
One, it's an open primary. CNN polling units ransom numbers for me. If you look at all of the exit polls in all 27 states where we've had them, Hillary Clinton has won almost two-thirds of self-identified Democrats. But Bernie Sanders has own almost two-thirds of independents.
TAPPER: So the independents voting here --
[16:50:04]BROWNSTEIN: Make a big difference and even in the polling has been done the showing is close, still (inaudible) showing or ahead among Democrats.
But the other reason he's doing well is that his advantage among young people, which is one of the dominant stories for this whole primary, is extending across the racial line here.
It's also running well among young Latinos and to some extent younger African-Americans in a way that we haven't seen in all other states.
When you put those two things together plus two weeks of personal campaigning, barnstorming the states and essentially writing off New Jersey which should not be overlooked.
I mean, originally, the Sanders campaign said they wanted to do what Gary Hart (ph) didn't do on the last day, which is when both California and New Jersey have essentially conceded New Jersey.
Which means they are basically conceding the mathematical majority to her in the hope of making a political point here that they can take to the convention.
TAPPER: Is Hillary Clinton going to have a tough time winning over Sanders voters if she ultimately becomes the nominee?
BROWNSTEIN: I think many of them will be in the end however reluctantly as Mave Reston (ph) said driven by Donald Trump to vote for her. I think the biggest problem, the biggest red flag for her in general election polling I think today are those younger voters.
I mean, you know, Bernie Sanders has won a higher percentage of voters under 30 than Barack Obama did in 2008. Barack Obama was kind of young, cool, and historic.
This is a (inaudible) socialist who looks Larry David and he is beating her by even more among young people and that is a trend.
Moving into the general election polling, she's seeing the same underperforming. Trump has very high negatives among young people. So maybe that comes together for her, but I think that is the place where the Sanders wall is still most --
TAPPER: Let's talk about Donald Trump in the general election as he continues to say things that offend many Latinos, especially this campaign against this federal judge.
He said it's unfair and recuse himself because he's of Mexican heritage and Donald Trump wants to build a wall. A lot of Latinos say that is flat-out racist.
BROWNSTEIN: It is extraordinary. It is extraordinary. I mean, it is -- and it is making kind of a broad, racial characterization that anyone who is Mexican-American cannot be fair to me.
Of course, it does directly contradict what he says a minute later, which is that I will do well with them. In fact, he is looking at historically difficult, historically low numbers among Latinos.
"The L.A. Times" poll out here, for example, he was at 11 percent among Latino voters in California. Even Mitt Romney got to 27 percent, which was his national number. What Mitch McConnell said on your show yesterday is exactly right.
You know, 50,000 U.S.-born Latinos turn 18 every month and become eligible to vote, and that will continue for as far as the eye can see. The risk to the Republican Party, whatever happens in this election.
Even if Donald Trump is able to squeeze out somehow a majority, almost entirely from white voters, the risk of being defined as a party hostile to that growing, not only Latino but also Asian-American, the entire nonwhite population is a generational risk for Republicans.
And you can't overstate the danger that this could put them in long term as Mitch McConnell I think correctly recognized.
TAPPER: Mitch McConnell comparing it to how Barry Goldwater in 1964 after voting against the Civil Rights Act turned African-Americans from the Republican Party until today, as he said. BROWNSTEIN: Yes, you know, the fact is that Mitt Romney in 2012 won a higher share of white voters than Ronald Reagan did in 1980 and he lost by 5 million votes. The initial reaction to that in the Republican Party was, look, we are doing very well with white people. We've got to reach out to this growing --
BROWNSTEIN: Latinos and Asian-Americans. The nonwhite share of the vote goes up pretty much two points every four years. It's likely it will be 30 percent of all voters in this election. It was one thing for Republicans to lose 80 percent of those minority voters when they were 10 percent of the electorate.
It's another thing if you give away 80 percent of 30 percent of the electorate. You know, if that in fact happens, long-term trajectory and Clinton wins that average 80 percent Democrats win, Donald Trump would have to win not Ronald Reagan's vote in 1980 among whites but his vote in 1984 among whites --
TAPPER: Which was?
BROWNSTEIN: -- 64 percent, the biggest landslide of modern times is what he would have to match to get a national majority and that is asking a lot.
TAPPER: But that's what he thinks is going to happen. Ron Brownstein, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
Coming up, soldiers swept away in the floodwaters. A state of disaster in the lone star state of Texas and this regrettably might only be the beginning. That's a live shot there. That's next.
TAPPER: Welcome back. I'm Jake Tapper. In our National Lead, right now Texas is in a state of disaster with historic floods washing out parts of the lone star state. At least five Fort Hood soldiers were killed and four others are missing after strong, fast-moving floodwaters overturned their military vehicle on a remote section of their base.
Let's bring in CNN meteorologist, Chad Myers. Chad, the sad thing is, the worse may not even be over yet for Texas especially Richmond where you are.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. You know, overnight, it took 24 hours, the water went down three inches. About 20 minutes ago, we had a gully-washing storm that put it back up two inches. So what we got back, what we went down in 24 hours, came right back in 20 minutes.
It's been an unrelenting storm after storm, 20 minutes of sunshine and then another storm, Jake. I was above this today because you can't get a feel for on the ground what these pictures look like.
I've never been there, but this river looks like the amazon. It's miles wide at times. Now, where we have the levees, those fortunate people, usually more financially fortunate as well, are doing OK.
But those that are a little bit less fortunate are the ones that are getting hit the hardest. The water out of its banks, we are over record, you said historic, it certainly is. We're at 53 feet.
I know that number doesn't mean anything, but that's 6 feet higher than it's ever been before. People who have never seen this water high are flooded this time and they were prepared, but you can't be prepared for what is a life-changing event today -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Chad Myers, thank you so much. That's it for THE LEAD. Live from California. I'm Jake Tapper. This Sunday morning on "STATE OF THE UNION," my interviews with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump plus we will add Bernie Sanders to the mix. That's 9 a.m. and noon Eastern. I turn you over now to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."