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Don Lemon Tonight
Interview with Donald Trump; Interview with William Bratton. Aired 10-11:00p ET
Aired July 01, 2015 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: He is the man who is shaking up politics as usual. But is he for real? This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon. And tonight, I am talking to Donald Trump, a stunning showing in the latest CNN poll despite being dropped by Macy's, dumped by NBC, Miss USA pageant in shambles.
But, if you think any of that is going to stop the man who wants to be your next president, you don't know Donald Trump. Tonight, a no-holds barred conversation. Immigration, the economy, and even his competition.
Plus, New York's top cop on the 4th of July terror threat and what he's he doing to keep the city safe. But I want to begin with the man who says this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because our country, honestly, it's going to hell.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Joining me now on the phone, Donald Trump. You have to be happy about this new CNN poll that's out this morning. It's a national poll; it has you second behind Jeb Bush, 19 to 12 percent. Why do you think you're doing so well?
TRUMP: Well, I'm not happy being behind Jeb Bush, to be honest with you. Because I don't get it, I mean, he's in favor with common core; he's very weak on immigration. He's extremely weal on immigration. He thinks people come over for love and I'm not at all happy.
I don't understand how he's in first place, but I'm certainly honored by the poll and people are understanding my message, which is basically make America great again and we're doing very well.
LEMON: Why is he beating you then?
TRUMP: I have absolutely no idea. Maybe it's the Bush name. But the last thing we need is another Bush. But I will tell you, I'm a little surprised that he would be in the position he's in. Look, I'm right behind him and I think we'll do very well. But I'm surprised, if anybody, I'm surprised it would be him. LEMON: In your mind, why shouldn't he be president?
TRUMP: I don't think he's got the gravitas. I don't think he's a negotiator at all. We need somebody that can change trade deals. We have to make our country rich again to make our country great again, Don. He's not a guy that will be able to negotiate with China, make deals with Iran. It's just not his thing.
And I think he's probably a nice person. I have no idea. But he's just not somebody that going to take us to the promise land. That's my opinion. I feel strongly about it.
LEMON: You're a blunt talker, so is Chris Christie. He jumps into the race just yesterday. Is he a competition to you?
TRUMP: Well, he's a friend of mine. I like him very much and I was pushing him for years ago. I said, you know, Chris, this is your time, go do it, go, do it. And for whatever reason he didn't I think if he did it, he would have beaten Romney. And Romney did a poor job of running last time because I think that's the race that should have been won.
But I think Chris Christie who, you know, is a good man. But I just don't think it's going to work this time. I think he's got a lot of problems. I think it's just not going to happen, Don. And I think four years ago, he would have beaten Romney and I think he would have beaten Obama. I think he would have beaten Obama, but this is a different age and it's a different time. There's been a lot of water over the dam.
LEMON: Well, my colleague, Gloria Borger, just interviewed his wife and said, she believes that this, the bridge scandal is behind him. So, you say he has problems. What problems does Chris Christie have?
TRUMP: Well, I think the whole, you know, they love the talk and they love the bluntness and they love all of the things. And then he's been through such a hard time and I understand him. I mean, he's really suffered over the last couple of years. And I just think it's probably -- and I may be wrong.
I mean, who knows what's going to happen? Who really knows? And if you would have told people three or four weeks ago, that Trump would be in the position he is. And, by the way, speaking of that, I've always said if I ever announce that people have ever felt because I walk down the street and everybody wants this business ability that I have and other abilities.
They wanted to make the country great again. And, you know, if you would have -- and I've always said that if I announced, and if people felt that I was actually going to run, I would be at the top of the polls. And that sort of happened.
LEMON: But, you know, it seems like, to me, and this is just me, that you're getting clobbered by the leaders of the party. The leaders of the party don't appear to be taking you seriously. But the actual voters appear to be taking you seriously. That has to be frustrating. TRUMP: The leaders of the party take me very seriously. And they call
all the time and they talk to me. And believe me, they take me seriously. And then I'll see them on television when they'll say not, you know. Look, it's hard for them not to when you're number one and number two in the polls.
Michigan just came out number two. I think Michigan is an amazing place, by the way. And they came out I'm number two in Michigan and I haven't been -- I haven't campaigned in Michigan yet. And, frankly, I think that they're taking me very seriously. I mean, I'm getting notes from people at the top of the party. I'm getting notes from other participants.
LEMON: Yes, but, Donald, what thought that publicly though?
TRUMP: I'm getting notes from other participants.
LEMON: What will it take for them to support you publicly?
TRUMP: Don, you know what they like to do? They like to say, well, we don't consider him a serious candidate. Why wouldn't I be? I went to the Wharton School of Finance, I was a great student, I was such born to the hardest schools in the world to get into.
[22:05:04] I go out, I make a tremendous fortune. I write a book called the "Art of the Deal," the number one selling business book of all time, at least I think, but I pretty sure it is. And certainly a big monster, the number one bestseller. I do "The Apprentice," a tremendous success, one of the most successful shows.
Renewed again, which NBC, by the way, was not happy when I ran because they wanted to do have me on "The Apprentice," but that's OK. But I do all of this including the great build this great company. And then they say, oh, some governor who's nothing, some senator who's not very good. I'm going to take his place on the stage. Isn't that too bad because I'm at number two and they're at number 12?
And I'm saying to myself, you know, why wouldn't I be on the stage? I built this great -- I had a great record of success. By the way, I've employed tens of thousands of people over the years. Tens of thousands, Don.
TRUMP: I don't mean, like, 500 people or something. Tens of thousands of people over the years.
TRUMP: And to this day, I mean, I'm building the post office on Pennsylvania Avenue. I'm doing -- I just finished Doral in Miami, you know, hundreds of acres in the middle of Miami. And then I'm not supposed to be on the stage by a politician that hasn't done a good job?
LEMON: You're going to stay on this long enough to be on the stage for these debates?
TRUMP: Of course I will. Why would I ever get out? I want to see the country thrive. Our country is being run by people that don't know what they're doing. I want to see as make great trade deals so that instead of China, taking all of our jobs, which they're doing now, so many, I mean, it's a one-sided deal.
TRUMP: They're sending stuff to us. If we're sending stuff to them, it's almost impossible to get it in.
LEMON: I want to talk to you...
TRUMP: Take a look at the deficits we have with China and with Japan. And, by the way, with Mexico. Mexico is -- I love the Mexican people. I've had a great relationship with Mexico and the Mexican people. But...
LEMON: Let me talk to you about that.
TRUMP: ... and I'm really disappointed. Don, I'm really disappointed in our leadership not in Mexico. I wish they were more involved in these deals. Because what's happened is the Mexican leaders and negotiators are out-negotiating our people because our people are not smart.
LEMON: All right.
TRUMP: And they it a lot of our businesses.
LEMON: Well, let's talk about that.
TRUMP: They're taking our jobs away.
LEMON: Let's talk about Mexico. I don't mean to cut you off, but let's talk about Mexico.
TRUMP: All right.
LEMON: And you did mention NBC not being happy. They cut ties with you yesterday -- today because of your comments about Mexican immigrants. Another company...
TRUMP: Because they're weak. You know, they cut ties because they're weak.
LEMON: Who? NBC, do you think?
TRUMP: If we -- and it's very sad to see but that's it. Because I'm talking not about Mexico. I'm talking about illegal immigration and it has to be stopped, Don, in this country.
TRUMP: It's killing our country. LEMON: Let's talk about Macy's then.
TRUMP: Don, people are pouring over the borders. Pouring. We have incredible border patrols. These are incredible people. And they're instructed they can't do anything.
People are pouring into the United States. I guess some come from Mexico, but they come from all over the world. By the way, they come from the Middle East. We don't even know where they come from. And a lot of these are resonating with the voters.
LEMON: Why did you have to say that they're rapists, though, Donald? Why did you have to say they're rapists, Donald?
TRUMP: Who's racist?
LEMON: No, no, no. Not racist. Why did you have to say they were rapists?
TRUMP: Well, if you look at the statistics, our people come -- I didn't see about Mexicans. I say the illegal immigrants. If you look at the statistics on rape, on crime, on everything coming in illegally into this country, they're mind boggling.
If you go to Fusion, you will see a story about 80 percent of the women coming in, I mean, you have to take a look at these stories. And you know who owns Fusion? Univision.
TRUMP: And it was in the Huffington Post. I said; let me get some of these articles because I've heard some horrible things. I deal a lot of talking with people on the border patrols.
TRUMP: They're incredible people. They love our country. They're incredible.
LEMON: I want to get some clarification.
TRUMP: And they call me serious. No, but, Don, all you have to do is go to Fusion and pick up the stories on rape and it's unbelievable when you look at what's going on. So, all I'm doing is telling the truth.
LEMON: I've read the -- I've read The Washington Post. I've read the Fusion. I've read the Huffington Post. And that's about women being raped. It's not about criminals coming across the border or entering the country.
TRUMP: Well, somebody's doing the raping, Don. I mean, you know -- I mean, somebody's doing just think women are being rape. Well, who's doing the raping? Who's doing the raping? LEMON: Yes.
TRUMP: How can you say such a thing? So, that's -- look. The problem is you have to stop illegal immigration coming across the border. You have to create a strong border, Don.
TRUMP: If you don't, we don't have a country.
LEMON: I want to get this Macy's in there because Macy's cut ties with you today. They took the stuff off your shelves. And here's part of what they're saying. They say, "Macy's is a company that stands for diversity and inclusion. We have no tolerance to discrimination in any form. In the statements made by Donald which are inconsistent with Macy's values. We've decided discontinue our business relationship with Mr. Trump." How do you respond to that?
TRUMP: They folded under pressure. You know it's not a big business for me. It's very small ties and stuff. But they folded under pressure. Terry Lundgren folded under pressure.
[22:10:04] They called me. He called me, he said, J was, you know, under a lot of pressure. And you know, I guess, who knows, I mean, they fold under pressure. That's the problem with our country. Everyone folds under pressure.
Instead of doing the right thing, they just immediately, they have two people go outside with a sign and you see two pickets and they immediately say, oh, gee, we have to do, this is pressure. Pressure. People can't handle pressure.
And that's what they did. They did a total fold. And that's OK with me. That's OK with me. It's a very small business. Let them do what they want to do.
LEMON: I want to put -- this came from Trump's statement. I don't know if you put it out or your company put it out.
It says, "I have decided to terminate my relationship with Macy's because of the pressure put on them by outside sources.
TRUMP: True. I was told that they said they're under pressure and I said you know what, let's fold it up. True.
LEMON: And you had concerns about the products being made in China already you said?
TRUMP: That's true. It's actually what statement said. I never love the business with Macy's because the ties were made in China. And I've been -- it's a part of my speech. I would -- you know, you're not bringing up anything really novel, Don. Because I would make it part of my speech.
That, you know, I go out and I have ties made in Macy's -- in china, I'm not in love with it. But the fact is, that China so manipulates their currency that companies in the United States, Don, can't compete with them.
TRUMP: So, and it's all because of currency manipulation.
LEMON: Why didn't you end it sooner?
TRUMP: Currency manipulation is the bane of the United States. Because China and other countries, Japan is one of the greatest of all time. What they do in terms of currency manipulation is incredible. It's very hard now the caterpillar to compete with Camacho which is attract to made in Japan. Because Japan has so knocked down to their currency.
So, the currency manipulation is the biggest problem we have. And we don't even address -- we don't even have a president that understands what it means.
LEMON: Why didn't you end that relationship sooner than if you had issues with it?
TRUMP: When I heard that they were under pressure, I said let's end it. I didn't care. It's just small.
LEMON: And not with China.
TRUMP: It's a peanut. But you know what, when I heard because they were folding under pressure.
LEMON: That's it.
TRUMP: They can't handle pressure.
LEMON: All right.
TRUMP: A lot of people can. By the way, I've had some calls from people they're fantastic. They're tough. They're smart. And they were put under pressure and they said, Don, no way.
TRUMP: And they just ride it through. I've had this all of my life. You have to ride it through. Macy's was unable to handle pressure. They folded like dogs.
LEMON: When we come right back, more with Donald Trump. I want to know if the campaign were an episode of "The Apprentice" who would Donald Trump fire.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We've announced. Everybody said, oh, he'll never do this because it's very hard. You know, if you do, if you're a very successful person, or even a successful person. And I've learned it and I've heard it for years. It's very hard to run for political office. OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. I want to ask you this. And since I found out I was getting the interview with you, I wanted to speak to you about this. Nine dead in Charleston. When you look at what's happened there and in Baltimore and in Ferguson and some other race-relations around the country, racial-related stories that have been breaking or breaking point really, what do you think is the problem? And what would you do to fix it?
TRUMP: So sad, first of all. And the one thing I'll say about with Charleston, the way that was handled was so beautiful. Nothing good comes out of our horror show like that. But if there is anything the way people the reacted, who was so affected, the way the love that they had and the -- it was incredible.
It was actually an incredible moment. I've never seen anything like it. I could have down that. I would have been angry and I would have really gone after, you know, I would wanted to rip this guy's heart out. And I watched the way these people reacted with the love and the faith, and God and everything else; I thought it was one of the more beautiful things that I've seen in my life.
LEMON: What did you think about the president's speech?
TRUMP: I thought it was excellent. I thought it was -- I'm not a fan of the president because I think he's hurting our economic development. You know, our real unemployment rate is probably 19 to 21 percent, et cetera, et cetera. I thought his speech was excellent. And I loved when he started to sing.
LEMON: How high of a priority would you be with improving race relations be for your presidency?
TRUMP: It would be a very high priority because we have so many places, whether it's Baltimore or Newark or Cleveland, or so many places where there's such tension. And one of the things you have to do is. We have to give more spirit to the country. This country doesn't have spirit.
And the other thing you have to do is, you have to create jobs. The jobs are being taken away from our country by all of these other countries. And they're taking away like we're babies. We've lost our manufacturing. We've lost our base.
TRUMP: You know, a case like China, they take our money, they take our jobs, and then they loan the money back to us. We owe China $1.4 trillion right now. LEMON: Yes.
TRUMP: We owe Japan $1.3 trillion right now.
TRUMP: It's ridiculous. They sell -- Japan sells us cars. They come into these massive ships in L.A. You see them coming in. I mean, it's like, you wouldn't believe it. I've never seen anything like it. The size of these ships and then we owe them money.
TRUMP: They make a fortune and yet, we owe them money. Think about it. And we pay interests to Japan. We pay interests to China. So, what we need, Don, is we need jobs. We have to have jobs. And we have to create incentives for people who want to work.
LEMON: Yes. I want to ask you, this is an apprentice-related question. I was just in Chicago just a couple days ago, I ate at Bill Rancic's new restaurant. He's done very well by being on the...
TRUMP: Good guy.
LEMON: He's the first one. But I want to ask you, the republican field is shaping up to be in the episode of "The Apprentice." Really, 14 announced candidates now, at least two more to come this month all buying for attention. Which candidate would you fire first and why?
TRUMP: Well, I think I'd fire a lot of them. Actually I don't want to use names because I don't want to insult anybody. But I think I'd fire a lot of them. There a lot of people that just don't even have a chance. I mean, it's ridiculous. But...
TRUMP: Well, I don't want to say that. I want to be a nice person, OK? I've just driven all my life to be nice. But actually people do like me. I love charity, I love giving to charity, but, you know, I don't want to ruin any...
LEMON: I can't believe you're holding your tongue. When did I ever known Donald Trump to hold his tongue?
[22:19:57] TRUMP: No, Don, I can give you -- I can give you a very big list. I could give you a very big list. I am very surprised. I'm not a Bush fan. And I say, the last thing we need is another Bush. The bush family should rest and relax and go back to, you know, sitting on boards and picking up checks.
LEMON: Yes. TRUMP: Because this guy will never be able to make our country great. He doesn't have the energy. He doesn't have what it takes. And, you know, again, not nice to say, but I'm being blunt because we have no choice. We have to do something to bring our country back.
LEMON: Yes. Is there any -- I know sometimes you say that you feel, you feel that CNN is hard on you. You feel that a lot of the media is hard on you. That you're...
TRUMP: And some is very fair. No, not all of it though. But some of the media treats me very, very fairly.
LEMON: So, do you feel that you're mischaracterized...
TRUMP: But these poll numbers that just came out, I mean, some of the media really it's been very nice to watch and they've given me a lot of credit for it.
LEMON: Is there anything you'd like to clear up while I have you here?
TRUMP: Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
LEMON: Donald Trump, thank you.
TRUMP: Thank you very much, Don.
LEMON: So, you heard what Donald Trump has to say. When we come right back, reaction from republicans and democrats.
LEMON: You just saw Donald Trump did not hold back in our interview. Now, I want to get reactions to what he said tonight and talk about his impact on 2016 GOP race.
I'm joined now by Lanny Davis, former White House special counsel for the Clinton administration. Also, Kirsten Haglund, Ms. America in 2008 and anchor for Styrk.com, and Robert Costa, national political reporter for The Washington Post. Good evening to all of you. Lady and gentleman.
So, Robert, I'm going with you. You heard what Donald Trump says that Jeb Bush doesn't have what it takes to make the country great. That the Bush family should just go back to sitting on board "in collecting checks." Is he running as a Jeb Bush spoiler? He says to me he's serious.
ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Regardless of what you think of Mr. Trump's politics, he certainly is taking up oxygen in this republican race. And for someone like Governor Bush, he presents a threat in terms of attention. And not in terms of fund raising dollars, but active to paying attention to what Donald Trump says on your show to what he says on the campaign trail.
LEMON: He talked about the media in my interview. Do you think that he gets a fair shake from the media?
COSTA: I think you see the press. They didn't think he was going to run. I had thought for months he would because he was hiring a lot of political staff. Now that he's officially in and he's rising to the polls, everyone is just kind of waiting to see what happens. Is this for real? Or is this just a summer bump.
LEMON: Yes. Lanny, I think it would be an understatement to say that he has had a rough start with the backlash to his comments about Mexicans. And just today, Macy's refusing to sell his brand name clothes. Trump told me that Macy's folded it like dogs under the pressure.
And then he tweeted this out. He said, this is not a junction, "Interesting that Macy's criticized me but just paid $650,000 in fines for racial profiling. Are they racist?" So, what do you make of that?
LANNY DAVIS, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE SPECIAL COUNSEL: Well, I do some crisis management as a lawyer for people who are trying to get out of a crisis. And this is a walking crisis that he's enjoying. And that may be why he is doing as well as he's doing.
It's like, there are some people who love to watch a train wreck about to happen. And people are entertained by someone who is saying extreme and very, very borderline in terms of rational comments. And he is entertaining.
And was a successful entertainer on TV. I happen to be a democrat very much favoring the Trump candidacy. I came from the democrats for Trump meeting right before the show here. So, good luck, Mr. Trump.
LEMON: But he -- but you must admit, Kirsten, that he's saying things that appeal to a lot of people otherwise, he would not be where he is in the polls.
KIRSTEN HAGLUND, MISS AMERICA 2008: You're right. I think he and his campaign are hitting on something that's the same reason why Chris Christie has a certain appeal. And that's this authenticity in politician speech. I think people are so used to watching campaign speeches and rhetoric get thrown around without a lot of specifics and without this straight talk that Christie has coined at.
And I think they see that in Donald trump. So, he's intrigued people and that's why he's risen in the polls. But it's so early, Don. It's still so early. We've seen in past elections people swear really early on, when they say a few things they get a lot of media attention. And then once you put them in a debate then you really start to find out what they really believe and if they actually have any real policy prescriptions for when they'll get in office. So, I think we need to wait and see.
LEMON: Robert, is it going to come to a point -- listen. Is he -- I don't know, is he the republican's best hope here? He sucks all the oxygen out of the room? Everyone wants to watch him on television? Might there comes a point in this campaign that republicans will have no other choice but then to accept Donald Trump as serious and possibly the person that they maybe have to put forward. Is that in the realm of possibility?
COSTA: It's in the realm of possibility only in the sense. The field is so big we now have 14 official candidates. You don't need to have a large coalition to get momentum in this early stage. I think that he nailed it.
At this point, Donald Trump has celebrity. He has a following in New Hampshire and Iowa. But does he have a political message? We're still waiting to hear more about his philosophy. He takes pot chats, he sounds populous here and there and certain issues like trade. But, in terms of becoming a fully formed political character, that just isn't there yet.
LEMON: Kirsten, NBC and Univision refusing to air the Ms. USA pageant. All the host are quitting, and just tonight Emmitt Smith, the football hall of fame and Ms. Universe judge post this on Facebook, "In light of Mr. Trump's statements and a subsequent decisions made by NBC, I have decided not to participate as a judge in the 2015 Ms. USA pageant."
I heard Donald Trump make a statement earlier today saying, he doesn't care about judges. Who cares it's very easy to get judges. As a former Ms. America, you know what it is like to be a contestant. How devastating is this for those 51 women who are sitting down in Baton Rogue, my hometown now, they are caught up in politics?
[22:30:08] HAGLUND: Yes, it is heartbreaking, I mean, so many of these girls it's like football or going to the Olympics. You know, you trained your whole life for this event. And a lot of your friends or family don't make the trip because they're betting and watching it home on television.
So, I'm sure it's incredibly disappointing, but I know that they are going to stream it on the web. And, you know, both parties need to take responsibility for this, Donald Trump with his comments but also the media. And it's tough because, yes, those girls that are competing, they're not going to be on television.
But, by people pulling back and saying, we're not going to align with those statements, they're supporting, you know, the millions of Latinas and Hispanics in this country who were very offended and took those comments to heart. So, it's really a difficult situation. But I hope lots of people tune in to watch online.
LEMON: So, Lanny, Donald Trump is a brawler in a very crowded field. Now, no one has been willing to take him on. While the former Governor George Pataki said, someone has to step up.
LANNY DAVIS, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE SPECIAL COUNSEL: Look, we can joke and I did make a little bit of a light hearted remark. I think a man that spews hate, stereotyping Latin Americans, Latinos, Mexicans, calling them criminals; rapists and he did use the word rapists, not just the people who were raped. He called them rapists.
This is ugly. This is something that both republicans and democrats should separate themselves from. Republicans first. And we should take seriously this kind of spewing of hatred. He is comical. He is funny to watch. This is entertainment. But the serious side is the hatred and stereotyping at a wrong time in American history.
LEMON: And also, the governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez doesn't think it's funny, either.
DAVIS: Not funny.
LEMON: Here are her comments tonight. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSANA MARTINEZ, NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR: Oh, my God. I absolutely disagree with him. I think those are horrible things to say about anyone or any culture, any one of any ethnicity. I mean, that is uncalled for completely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, that was a -- she spoke exclusively to our affiliate, KOAT. You know, Robert, this has really stunned Latinos. And I'm wondering if the damage is long term here?
ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: I've spoken to a lot of the republican campaigns and about how they're going to handle the Trump question. And they feel like they're in a box. Because on the one hand, they do want to appeal to Latino voters.
And they want to broaden the party's reach. But at the same time, most of the country still doesn't know a lot of these republican candidates. They're in the introduction phase of the campaign. And if they feel like they could get drawn into a battle against Donald trump, that's not the kind of fight they want to be in. And so, they really just don't know how to handle it, they hope it will pass.
LEMON: Why are you shaking your head, Kirsten?
HAGLUND: Because that's exactly it. He's going to draw people into a conversation. And I think that's where you're going to separate the men and the boys, so to speak. Or the girls and women with Carly Fiorina in the race. With who gets drawn into the conversation in a away from putting forward the ideas that are unique to them.
That's where I think you're really going to see this campaign being served by Donald Trump being in the race because you're going to see kind of the cream rise to the top. But I definitely think the republicans realize they need to broaden the party's reach and maybe this is a way for them to say, here's what we really believe about immigration rather than just a sound by -- thrown out by Donald Trump.
LEMON: You know, who should fear him most? Who does he hurt the most, Lanny? DAVIS: I think all of them. I think Bob is right. In fact, that we're
talking about a man who is never going to be president. Can't unite the country, He's speaking in rhetoric that's quite the advice of...
LEMON: Hang on, hang on, why do you say he's never going to be president?
DVAIS: Well, because we've learned that in party primaries, the extreme voices are often early on solidifying a narrow base. But not the whole country. So, this kind of statement on race and origin of country and...
DAVIS: ... immigration is never going to be able to unite in a general election the independent, the broad middle. And he's unelectable. Now, that's just my opinion. He can prove me wrong. But this kind of rhetoric may get him a base within a multi-candidate 12 candidate primaries.
He only has 11 percent in the CNN poll. We're talking about his surge. It's 11 percent of the republican sample, which is a small sample. But I'm saying that a general election candidate has to appeal to the middle to independent voters. And I don't think at this stage the kind of words he's choosing and positions that he's taking that he has any chance of appealing to the middle.
LEMON: Lanny, Kirsten, and Robert, thank you.
HAGLUND: Thank you.
COSTA: Thank you.
LEMON: Thank you. When we come right back, fears nationwide about possible terror attacks over the 4th of July weekend. We're going to talk to New York's police commissioner, William Bratton, and show you what the NYPD and the FBI are doing to keep us safe this holiday weekend.
[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: With the 4th of July just around the corner, law enforcement agency across the country are in high alert for possible terror attacks. The big concern, threats by lone wolves and inspired by ISIS.
Joining me now, New York's City Police Commissioner, William Bratton. Commissioner, thank you for joining us. I know that you're very busy with the holiday coming up. What is the NYPD doing to prepare for possible terror attacks over this holiday weekend?
WILLIAM BRATTON, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: Actually quite a lot that we have the major July 4th fireworks event, the Macy's fireworks on the east river on the fourth itself. So, it would be the principle security concern. I would emphasize that as of this time, that we don't have any
intelligence about any specific threat directed against that event. And you're aware over the last several weeks have been a series of arrests made here in the New York region, New Jersey. That those arrests were focused on known threats that we're developing against this city. And the good news is we're going to be able to clear all of those up before the events on the fourth.
LEMON: Yes, we all were watching the news holding our breaths so with the attacks in France, Kuwait, and Tunisia recently. Did that cause your department, you know, to do anything different in preparation for this weekend?
[22:40:02] BRATTON: No, not really. Other than reinforce the concern that we now have about the threat from those that might be inspired by particularly ISIS and to less our extent from Al-Qaeda. If you think of the three events that occur the Kuwait bombings, the incident in France involving a car, the beheading using a knife, and then the effort to blow up the gas tanks in that location.
And then the armed gunmen in Tunisia, All the things that ISIS has been advocating occurred with those three almost simultaneous events. The night attack, the gun, and the bomb. And what ISIS have been promulgating is you can make a bomb, make one. If you can't, have your knife, use a knife. If you can get a gun, use the gun.
And if all those fails, use a cop. So, in those three instances, four of the things that they've been advocating through their efforts joins fire, all occurred in those three events.
LEMON: Yes. It sounds like by any means necessary. What happens if two or more of these lone wolves begin to coordinate with each other, is that what we may be seeing here, commissioner?
BRATTON: Well, in terms of the three events that we just referenced, I'm not aware of any coordination other than they may have been inspired to attack in a similar time frame. In our city, in New York City, we're fortunate because of the very large size, we have police force and the efforts that have been focused on counter terrorism and prevention.
Not only occurring an attack from occurring which we just in the past several weeks with the arrest of the numbers of individuals involved in various plots here, but also the capability that we respond very quickly to multiple simultaneous events. So, we have a very large capability to not prevent but also respond that if we were to have in incident or series of incidents, incidents going on simultaneously.
LEMON: Yes. You have said on our air here, the city, and of course, it's the motto of the city and the police department, to see something, say something campaign. In terms of strange packages and cars and so on, in the subway or just on the streets. But what about social media, what should people be watching out for there?
BRATTON: Well, we have a very extensive social media monitoring capability within the NYPD that we're constantly doing. But also, what we would ask of the public if they're aware of things that they're seeing online that are of concern that we might not be picking up on. Or, say in their own neighborhood that somebody who's behavior seems to have changed dramatically in recent times, weeks, days, that is that much of a concern to certainly let local authorities know about so that it can be check out.
But one thing we do know about the ability of ISIS to inspire is that it can be a very quick processes. That they work it every day, they're engaging in thousands of Twitter interactions. But once they get somebody on the hook, they're able to really maneuver them very, very quickly.
LEMON: Commissioner, I've been wanting to talk to you about this. There's been a lot of concern nationwide about the shootings of unarmed civilians, particularly black Americans. Did someone ask you about this yesterday? The NYPD, the 112th precinct tweeted, it's a picture of this cell phone case.
And the tweet was, I would not suggest purchasing this cell phone case which was designed to look like a firearm, hash tag be smart, hash tag be safe. What would you like to say to the company that manufactured this product?
BRATTON: Well, basically, you have one group of idiots selling into another group of idiots. So that any entity, any company understanding particularly in this country, the risk that they're putting a purchaser at risk of a police officer encountering that device. Shame on them.
And as far as any idiot that would actually purchase it, what are they thinking? That, no, in terms of this there's no end to human madness, unfortunately.
LEMON: Yes. I mean, it certainly does look like a gun. It's pretty frightening. If any officer would encounter with that particular device, there's no reason. They would think that it's not a gun.
BRATTON: It's intended to look like a gun. Exactly. But, you know, if you look at the back pocket of either one it's being held, one of the photos I saw that being held up to the ear it actually looks like they're holding a gun up to their ear.
LEMON: Yes. Crazy. So, but, commissioner, you have some news to announce here about new police officers. Tell me about the new recruits graduating tomorrow?
BRATTON: Well, tomorrow, we're graduating about 820 new police officers who will be unlike previous officers who are assigned out into the highest crime locations and assigned to work in pairs, usually about a dozen of them the supervision of the sergeant.
[22:45:06] We're totally changing the concept now where all the officers are going and being dispersed throughout all 77 of our precincts. And trained statistics are being teamed up with field training officers, volunteer training officers. So, they get the totality of the police experience during their first six months on the job after graduating from the academy.
We think this is a much better way to bring a new candidate into policing. And I think the public is going to receive them really well. Because we have many community volunteers who agree to help introduce these young officers and their field training also partners to the communities that they're going to police.
BRATTON: Good news is, next week, I put another 1200 candidates into the academy. And then on the 12 we'll be putting of the 600 into the academy. We'll be adding about 3,000 officers into the department over the next year. That's an addition of about almost 1300 new and the attrition replacement we normally have in the course of the year.
LEMON: And that's good news. Something that you and I have talked about is that the diversity of the department. You're attracting -- what do you to attract more African-American officers when you're hiring these new recruits?
BRATTON: Actually, quite a lot. The class that's coming in next week, we estimate about 16 percent of that class will be African-American. The class graduating tomorrow is about 11 percent. So, there's a 5 percent growth just as a result of some of the more recent efforts that we've made to improve our recruiting techniques.
Let me briefly explain that to your audience, if I may. We have a crazy system in New York. And it is crazy. So, if you would have taken an exam today and passed it, I probably would not offer you a job for three to four years from now. In today's society, who's going to wait around three to four years no matter how much you want to be a police officer for that job.
You're going to go someplace else or find place else to find some other occupation. So, in we're going to stop exams for about three to four months. I have 50,000 people in the pipeline who have already passed. But, because of that lengthy delay, we lose 50 percent of them. They dropped out.
So, we're going back to many of those who have dropped out. In particularly a minority candidates and the classic was in next week. We have over 50 African-Americans who dropped out of the process who came back in when we approached them.
But by stopping the exam process for a series of months, when we reactivate it, we'll give and exam, keep it active for one year and then give a new exam and keep it active for a year. That way, we'll get candidates in a relatively short time frame after they take the exam.
LEMON: Yes. Commissioner, Bratton, keeping in going your promise to make the department reflect the population of the city. Thank you, commissioner. I appreciate your time.
BRATTON: OK. Great to be with you. Have a good evening. LEMON: When we come right back, convicted killer David Sweat is back
in custody and revealing new details of how he and Richard Matt escaped.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Convicted killer David Sweat is revealing details of how he and Richard Matt broke out of a maximum security prison. And Sweat says, it wasn't the first time they broke out.
Joining me now CNN's Kyung Lah. Interesting, Kyung.
Every day, it seems like we're hearing another dramatic confession from David Sweat. What is he saying?
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, put it all together and you certainly get the picture that it wasn't as complex as you might think. That they were able to break out of their jail cells. Basically, what he's telling investigators now is that they did use those hacksaws, manual hacksaws. And they managed to slip in and out of their jail cells.
It go to an underground passage way. And in that passage way, they found a sledge hammer. And certainly, that sledge hammer helped them bust through some walls. They were able to do a dry run. They chose one manhole, rejected that exit out of that manhole because it was too close to some houses and they were able to have time to find another way out to try to meet Joyce Mitchell.
So, certainly what we're learning here, Don, is that, overall, there were a lot of problems. And certainly, Sweat is helping investigators see that very, very clearly, Don.
LEMON: Let's talk about Joyce Mitchell now. What do you learning about Joyce Mitchell and her involvement in all of this?
LAH: Well, perhaps one of the more interesting things that what Sweat shared with the investigators is his allegation that, while he was a master mind, he says that Joyce Mitchell had the idea that the two men, that Richard Matt and David Sweat, that once she picked them up, that she wanted them to kill her husband. Now, we did reach out to Mitchell's attorney, CNN did and the attorney absolutely denies. That he says, that the allegation is not true, Don.
LEMON: Kyung, David Sweat is in the hospital. There are regular patients there, too. How is this all working?
LAH: You can only see one part of the hospital behind me. But this is a very hospital. It is a teaching hospital. There are a number of people who are getting treatments. It's the level one trauma center. So, there are a lot of people coming in and out of the hospital.
So, how does this all work? Well, there is one section that is locked off. It is very much like a jail area inside this hospital. It is behind secured doors. Each prisoner, there's about 8 to 10 at any one time. They have two guards per prisoner. Here's what the medical director told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENNIS MCKENNA, ALBANY MEDICAL CENTER MEDICAL DIRECTOR: So, imagine a jail that sort of they look and feel that it has. When you look into it, there are bars that would open and close similar to what you would see in the cell. And in fact, when you even to get on to the unit, you have to show ID, you have to make sure that you remove from your personal belongings, your phone and other things like that, so that you can go walk in just like you would into another jail setting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: And the patients who are there, the patients/prisoners, at times, they are also shackled to the bed, Don. One thing I find quite interesting is that all the people who are in that particular unit they're specially trained. Many of them volunteer. One part of their training is to never tell the prisoner when they're going to be discharged.
[22:55:07] LEMON: Kyung, I also know that we have some close calls with authorities when they were on the run. They did at least and that alcohol played a role and then going their separate ways. What happened?
LAH: Yes. What you're talking about is one wrinkle that Sweat shared with investigators that was quite interesting. Remember, the two men, they were together for a good part of their three-week run. But then Richard Matt started drinking and he got drunk and that irritated David Sweat.
He's the younger, more in shape man. He decided to leave Richard Matt behind. He took off and then the close calls you're talking about, Don, there was one moment where he was hiding in a tree and an officer walked right by him.
LEMON: Wow. Kyung Lah, thank you. We'll be right back.
LEMON: An update for you in the Confederate Flag flying in the grounds of the State House in South Carolina. It has been 9 days since Governor Nikki Haley call for the flag to come down in the wake of the racist massacre at Emanuel AME. That flag is still flying tonight and it's not just in South Carolina. I want you to take a look at this.
It's a stunning sight. It's in Nashville. People waving Confederate Flags at President Obama's motorcade after his visit to the city to promote the Affordable Care Act.
[22:59:59] The president is of course, called the flag a symbol of hate saying in his eulogy for the Reverend Clementa Pinckney "For many black, white, and white, that flag was a reminder of systematic oppression and racial subjugation, we see that now."
That's it for us tonight. Thank you for watching. I'm Don Lemon. "AC 360" starts now.