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Don Lemon Tonight
Trump to Refocus Campaign on Economy; Analyzing Trump's Economic Plan; Media Challenges of Donald Trump; Inside the Mind of Donald Trump. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired August 08, 2016 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Trump, meanwhile, seeking to get his campaign back on track, delivering a major economic address. Speaking at the prominent Detroit Economic Club, calling his proposals a way to renew America's economy.
His plans would reduce tax rates, simplify the tax code and put a moratorium on government regulation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I want to jump-start America and it can be done and it won't even be that hard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Trump made some points about the current state of the economy. CNN's Tom Foreman has a "Reality Check" now. Tom?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey Don. Donald Trump attacked the Obama administration on a subject that hits very close to home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Home ownership is at its lowest rate in 51 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: The latest measurement we have on that from the census bureau says 62.9 percent of Americans own their homes right now. And that is way down from the high of almost 69 percent around there a few years back and it hasn't been this low since 1965. So this claim by Donald Trump is true.
Now, Trump went on to say families (inaudible) than they once did.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: (Inaudible) are earning more than $4,000. Think of that, $4,000 less today than they were 16 years ago.
(END VIDEO CLIP) FOREMAN: If you look at median household income for 2014, it is $53,657, which, again, is the most recent year for which we have complete government data. And, yes, that is $4,000 less than in 2000.
But, analysis by other researchers say since 2014, this number has jumped up a good bit. Trump did not say he was using numbers that were two years old. That makes this claim false.
And lastly, let's look at Trump's claim that the unemployment data is just a mess because so many people have dropped out of the workforce.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: There are now 94.3 million Americans outside of the labor force. It was 80.5 million when President Obama took office, an increase of 14 million people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: His math is solid. In 2009, the first year in office for President Obama, more than 80 million people were not in the workforce meaning that they did not have a job and they were not looking. Today, the number is 94.3 million. Is some of that because people gave up looking and just quit on the idea of having a job?
Sure, but another big driver, many workers are getting older and retiring. The number of Americans over the age of 65 jumped by 11 million in that same time period, that context really matters. So this claim is true, but it's also misleading.
You can find out a whole lot more if you go to our website, cnn.com/realitycheck, checks on Donald Trump, checks on Hillary Clinton, checks on a whole lot of folks. Don?
LEMON: Tom Foreman, thank you. That's why we have Tom there to give us the truth.
I want to bring in now Katrina Campins, Luxury Real Estate Specialist, who is the winner of the first season of "The Apprentice" and also Ali Velshi of Global Affairs and Economic Analyst.
Hello to both of you. Ali, before we get started I want to get -- before we get to this economic plan, what is your reaction (inaudible) 50 GOP (inaudible) experts who say Trump would put the U.S. at risk?
ALI VELSHI, GLOBAL AFFAIRS AND ECONOMIC ANALYST: Look, I think this is important that he has to show sophistication, both on the economic side and the global security side.
One of the examples I often cite here is that World War I was started on an obscure corner, on an obscure town, but it wasn't really relevant that it was Sarajevo, it was relevant that the world was a tinderbox.
You look toward the Middle East right now and you have that same tinderbox. We really have to be very careful about not saying things out of school and not really putting diplomacy front and center because we can really start a war. It could be in the Far East. It could have something to do with North Korea or China or could be in the Middle East. I think what they were saying is that temperament does Trump everything at the moment, no pun intended.
LEMON: Katrina, the people who signed this letter made a point to say they believe Trump doesn't have the temperament, the discipline or the self-control to be president. You know Donald Trump. You've worked with him. Why are they wrong?
KATRINA CAMPINS, LUXURY REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST: Well, I've known Donald Trump now for over a decade and I currently work with him in real estate industry. And I work with his children as well.
And one thing about him is he's extremely hardworking. His work ethic is unparalleled. He has loyalty like no one else I've experienced. And he's been extremely successful as a businessman. So I believe that his economic plan is right in line with the American dream that we desperately need so much back into this country.
[23:05:02] You know, the United States of America became the greatest economic power because Americans were allowed to become successful without these heavy regulations and taxes. And if you actually look up the definition of the American dream, it's very much about allowing people the opportunity for success, prosperity and for social mobility with, again, very few barriers.
CAMPINS: And that's what he ...
VELSHI: Where does one find that definition exactly?
LEMON: So Ali, I was going to ask you, did America become great without the regulations in taxes?
CAMPINS: Actually, Google it.
VELSHI: I mean, it's a -- I mean, this is a complicated -- one of the most complicated histories in the history of the world. I mean, America is great for many, many reasons. I think it's tough to say that regulation and taxes are making it ungreat.
I think we all have general agreement that our regulatory structure is overly complex and needs to be solved. I think that's Democrats and Republicans both agree on that. I think we have broad agreement on tax reform, but it is really, really hard to do. This is one of those instances where Donald Trump really does suspect that everybody is stupid except for him.
People have been trying tax reform for ever. Everybody knows that the volumes and volumes of tax books are not efficient. The idea that it's easy, and he said this in his speech today, Don, he said, "I can make America work again and it's easy."
It's not easy. There's nothing about this that's easy. It's really complicated and it's not about what the president says. The president only has so much impact on the American economy. A lot of it is what's going on in the rest of the world.
LEMON: OK. Let's talk about it because you said it is overly complicated, right, that some of the regulations. All right, well, let's discuss it now. You're the perfect person to talk about this.
His economic plan, he wants a moratorium on new government regulations. He wants to repeal the state tax. He wants to reduce the number of tax brackets to seven to three and he wants to renegotiate trade agreements. What's your overall takeaway on this plan?
VELSHI: Well, the last one is, again, this is that area when you talked about the letter signed by the 50 people about global security. Renegotiating trade agreements indicates a lack of sophistication about trade agreements.
Trade agreements take anywhere from 5 to 15 years to negotiate and they're kind of like saying we're not going to support our NATO partners if they don't pay their bills. America is not a big enough market for Americans to become rich off of.
So the idea is we have to sell our products and services all over the world. Other market, "A," need to be prosperous in order to buy our product so we need them to be able to sell their goods and they won't let our goods in if we don't allow them to sell their goods and services to us.
So, there's always a delicate balance and Donald Trump's more sophisticated argument if he were to make it were to say we're exporting more than we're importing and he thinks that's a problem.
Now, there is academic debate as to whether that is actually a problem, but that's what he's trying to say. To suggest that you get rid of this part all together, you don't import anything, you make everything yourself, and you export it to everybody else, and they'll willingly buy it even though you don't let their products into the country, again, it's naive. It's unsophisticated. It feels nice. It sounds interesting. It won't happen.
LEMON: Katrina, what's your reaction to that? You heard what Ali had to say. Why are you so, you know, why are you so certain that he's going to be better with the economy to help, you know, make America great again so to speak?
CAMPINS: What Donald Trump is proposing is supply side economics which worked for Donald Reagan. During Ronald Reagan's years we experienced 4.3 percent on average of GDP growth. During Obama's administration, he has yet to actually reach 3 percent of GDP growth.
So he is slated if he continues to be the first president in history which hasn't had at least 3 percent GDP growth during his presidency. So that in itself tells you that there's an issue with the current administration. And Hillary Clinton's problem -- proposal, I should say, is to continue on that path. So she hasn't really told us what she's going to do differently. She wants to continue what Obama ...
VELSHI: Katrina, if I may ask you, Katrina, do you know the statistics for what Canada's economic growth is, for what Europe's economic growth is? Do you know how China has slowed down in economic growth and India? Do you know the Brex (ph) which we used to talk about, they're all in really big trouble.
Do you think President Obama somehow single handedly slowed growth in America, but the rest of the world just wanted to follow suit to be like Americans?
CAMPINS: No. But what I'm talking about is during the entire presidency. So obviously we're experiencing a lot of difficulties with various different countries, throughout the world.
Our world is a mess. I'll be the first to admit that. But, throughout the entire presidency, you didn't have the difficulties that you have now. Another thing is that during his speech ...
VELSHI: What does that mean exactly, you didn't have the difficulties you have now? What does that mean, you didn't have the difficulties you have now? You've seen the job creation numbers, right? We -- Mitt Romney said he will create 250,000 jobs a month.
CAMPINS: Well, let me tell you something about ...
LEMON: One at a time.
VELSHI: He well exceeded that.
LEMON: Yeah. So hang on, hang on. I think what Ali is saying here is that we're in a global recession, you can't expect America to ...
[23:10:06] CAMPINS: Absolutely.
LEMON: ... operate outside of a global recession.
CAMPINS: But, Don, we haven't been in a global recession the entire Obama administration. I mean, come on. That's just not right.
Another thing is that Bernie actually is tweeting while Donald Trump is giving his speech about the economic policy plans that he had and he's tweeting that Donald Trump is basically just making these tax cuts for the rich and that is absolutely not the case.
And the Democrats are known for creating warfare between the rich and the poor because it's no surprise if you divide, you conquer. And there's more poor people than there is rich people. So they get more votes that way. I mean, their strategy to me is just ...
LEMON: Ali ...
CAMPINS: ... it's an old strategy that -- and it haven't really proposed anything new.
LEMON: Specifically on taxes.
VELSHI: There's a lot of material here to conquer. Let me just take the issue of growth because I think it's important that people understand this.
To suggest that we haven't had slow growth for the entire presidency, the biggest economies in the world, Europe, China, the fastest growing economies in the world, China and India, and the Brex which when the presidency -- this presidency began were the hot engines of growth.
Every single one of them has consistently slowed year after year after year. There is no more Brex. They collapsed. India is slowing. China is slowing. Europe is still battling recession. If you put your money in a bank in Europe, you lose money. They have negative interest rates in Europe.
So, Katrina, I -- you're really smart. I don't know where you're coming up with these things from. In fact, the world is as dangerous a place as it was eight years ago economically. Go ahead.
CAMPINS: OK. So, he's the first president in the history that has never experienced at least 3 percent GDP growth and you're saying that that's because the world is disastrous right now.
So throughout our history, we've never had trying times? It doesn't make any sense. I understand what you're saying that we're experiencing a lot of difficulties in the universe right now, but to say that ...
LEMON: Answer her question.
VELSHI: I'm not disputing that statistic. It's an interesting one. I don't know what it's supposed to mean to me. I may be the first economic journalist who didn't have a single hair on his head. I don't know what the relevance is of that statement.
The whole world is a different place than it was. This comparison to Ronald Reagan, it's very interesting. The entire world was a different place when Ronald Reagan was president than he is today. What's the argument that John McCain or Mitt Romney would have done a better job with the economy? Look at the jobs that have been created.
I'm not here to defend President Obama or Hillary Clinton. I just don't understand what the point of the discussion is. No one else in the world, no industrial country has achieved outsized growth during this last eight years.
CAMPINS: But I'm not ...
VELSHI: The America -- America is not an outlier.
CAMPINS: Right. But I'm not just comparing him to Ronald Reagan. I'm comparing him to every single other president in history.
VELSHI: Well, compare him to the rest of the world.
CAMPINS: And to continue on this point, you know -- but I'm comparing him to every single president that has ever, you know, served the United States of America. So ...
VELSHI: Well, that's really not an apples-to-apples comparison.
CAMPINS: I understand what you're saying, the point you're trying times (ph).
VELSHI: You could say this in England or in Canada or in Germany or in China. You can use ...
CAMPINS: OK, so let me ask you.
VELSHI: The point is we're not comparing ourselves to 40 years ago. Compare America to any country. You choose any one you want and tell me how America has faired compared to that other country ...
CAMPINS: Do you believe that ...
VELSHI: I think that's a more relevant comparison.
CAMPINS: OK. So let me ask you a question. Do you believe that Obama and Hillary's path toward socialism is the answer for the United States of America, because that's where they're headed?
VELSHI: I mean, I dispute the premise. I don't know what the ...
CAMPINS: By taking away ...
VELSHI: ... path or socialism is.
CAMPINS: By taking away from ...
CAMPINS: ... you're talking away from ...
LEMON: You know, we're getting off topic here.
CAMPINS: The premise is -- nope.
LEMON: Yeah, yeah.
CAMPINS: The premise is taking away from the rich to give to the poor. I mean, that's not the American dream. The American dream is incentivizing people to actually work hard to produce and to actually become successful through hard work. That's what Donald Trump ...
LEMON: Ali, I'll give you the last word.
VELSHI: I agree with you. Totally agree with that. I agree with Katrina on this one, but isn't that you do? Do we not have more startups in America? Do we not see the world's leaders and wealthy people sending their kids to America for their educations? Is Silicon Valley not the single hottest place on earth to actually start a business?
LEMON: Yeah. I've got to run. Thank you.
CAMPINS: But let me tell you something, as a small business owner ...
VELSHI: You can go, Don, let us continue.
LEMON: Yeah, I'll let you guys continue to talk. I let the experts -- I'll let you have your conversation. Ali, a very well respected Global Affairs Economist and also Katrina, Luxury Real Estate Specialist and a winner of the first season of the "Apprentice." Thank you very much. I appreciate both of you.
Just ahead, Donald Trump claims the election will be rigged. Is the media doing enough to challenge that assertion? We're going to talk about that next.
[23:18:28] LEMON: As we count down to Election Day, now only three months away, is the media doing enough to challenge some of Donald Trump's claims?
I want to bring in now Brian Stelter, CNN's Senior Media Correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES" and Political Commentator, Jeffrey Lord, a Trump supporter, he joins us via Skype.
Hello, Jeffrey. Hello, Brian. Brian, there's been in a lot of discussion.
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hello there, Don.
LEMON: Good to see both of you. There's been a lot of discussion over the past year about how to cover the Trump phenomenon ...
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Oh, yes.
LEMON: A lot of this comes -- you issued a plea to the media on your program this weekend. It was on the program, right? What do you think needs to be done?
STELTER: I was talking about one example in particular, Donald Trump last week saying he's worried the election will be rigged against him in November. This is not normal political rhetoric. This is not something Mitt Romney or John Kerry or Al Gore or any former candidate has ever said.
This is dangerous to have a candidate talking about a possible stolen election. There's no proof. There's no evidence. And there's lots of evidence to contradict it and yet, Trump said it repeatedly on Fox News and was not challenged by interviewers.
So my argument is, when confronted by something that is downright dangerous, even interviewers who love Donald Trump and support him and want to see him elected have to step up and challenge him. These are dangerous times. We have a candidate saying something like that.
By the way, if Hillary Clinton was warning of a rigged election, damn right we should stand up and argue against it and fight back. But right now it's Donald Trump saying it.
LEMON: Thank you.
STELTER: You're shaking my hand?
LEMON: Yes, I'm shaking your hand because I think you're absolutely right. Because I think there's -- you know, we get stuck with this false equivalency sometimes. If there is something that Donald Trump says something outlandish, then you must point out something outlandish. You have to find something outlandish or something wrong to point out with the other side.
[23:20:04] And there's not always an equivalent. It's not always black equals white or the other side. The other side doesn't always do something wrong or stupid or silly.
STELTER: Equally wrong.
LEMON: Equally as bad.
STELTER: And certainly there are plenty of days that Hillary Clinton deserves rigorous fact checking. And we see it online ...
LEMON: Her answer at the journalist convention is like what are you talking about?
LEMON: Do you think that's ...
STELTER: There are times for that.
LEMON: But do you think that when you say there are people who don't challenge him, is this pandering in a sense that they're afraid that Donald Trump won't come on their program or that Donald Trump supporters ...
LEMON: ... will call them biased or ...
STELTER: There's a good amount of that. You know, Sean Hannity, for example, on Fox, he's part of the home team. He's rooting for Trump. We know he wants Trump to be elected and that's fine. I think that's great. I enjoy Sean Hannity's program even though I watch it when you're on sometimes. I have to admit, Don.
LEMON: You DVR his and then you watch me, yeah.
STELTER: I flip back and forth between the two shows. Sean Hannity is a fun broadcaster to watch.
STELTER: But Sean Hannity, even Sean Hannity has got to step ...
LEMON: He's not a journalist.
STELTER: No, he's not a journalist but he still has to step up when we're talking about the legitimacy of our democracy. When we're talking about a candidate suggesting the election is going to be stolen, that is preposterous.
LEMON: Jeffrey ...
STELTER: But Sean Hannity is irresponsible not to challenge it.
LEMON: Jeffrey, he's specifically responding to ...
STELTER: Oh, you're just laughing.
LEMON: ... Trump's claim that the election is going to be rigged repeatedly. Listen to this and I'll let you respond.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: In theory, it should be the easiest, but it's a rigged system. It's a totally rigged system, the election are rigged. And I'm afraid the election is going to be rigged, I have to be honest, because I think my side was rigged.
And I'm telling you, November 8th, we better be careful because that election is going to be rigged.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, you were laughing. Why do you think rigged message -- this rigged message is a good one for Trump? Why were you laughing at Brian's response?
LORD: In fact -- well, I'm not laughing at Brian. But -- with all due respect to my two friends here, to you and to Brian, I totally disagree. I mean, I would flip this question around.
Why aren't we investigating elections that have been stolen? Now, this has happened in American history. Lyndon Johnson got elected by "87" votes in 1948. And there's "The New York Times" in 1990 long after Lyndon Johnson ...
LEMON: And you want us to investigate 1948?
LEMON: Do you want us to investigate 1948?
LORD: No, no. What I'm saying, Don, 1982, 2008, I attended a press conference right here in Harrisburg ...
LORD: ... in the State Capitol. I'm sorry.
LORD: I attended a press conference right here in the State Capitol in Pennsylvania in October of 19 -- of 2008 that -- where a former supreme court justice of Pennsylvania, a district attorney and the chairman of the Republican State Committee laid out in chapter and verse potential vote fraud right here in six counties in Pennsylvania. This happened ...
LORD: Why is there no investigation?
LORD: Let me -- let me just ...
LEMON: You know, but the abnormality in the election system is not rigged.
LORD: Let me add ...
LEMON: No system is perfect. It does not mean that the election process is rigged.
LORD: No, no, no, no, Don ...
LEMON: Just because you don't like the outcome.
LORD: Don, Don, Don.
STELTER: It is so conspiratorial. Are you not a little bit scared, Jeffrey, are you not little bit nervous about the day after the election whether Trump or Clinton wins? Are you worried that Trump is going to try to delegitimize the results?
LORD: Look, I am worried that an election could be stolen. And with all ...
STELTER: Please, please don't do that to our viewers. Please don't do that to our country.
LEMON: Wait, who's going to steal the election?
LORD: Wait a minute, since you brought up his name, I mean I need to say full disclosure, Sean Hannity is a friend of mine. I mean, he's asking, I mean he's letting Donald Trump say his piece. The question is the reverse. Why is everybody just dismissing this out of hand?
STELTER: Well I agree with you ...
LEMON: No one's going to steal the election.
STELTER: I agree with you. I agree that it's going to be dismissed, but there needs to be more reporting, sure, but opening the door here, raising the questions, raising them in a conspiratorial way ...
LORD: Now is the time to do it, Brian.
STELTER: ... that was so distrust. It sows fear in people.
LEMON: He didn't say that. He did not say that it should not be raised. He's saying that those people should push back, journalists should push back on that. But I want to get an answer to your question.
LORD: Trying to push back -- push back ...
LEMON: Stolen by who? Who would steal the election?
LORD: ... people have investigated this stuff.
LEMON: Jeffrey, who would steal the election? Can you answer my question?
LORD: Journalist or not, take a camera in hand and get out there. Yeah, go to it.
LORD: Yes, sir?
LEMON: Who -- the election would be stolen by who?
LORD: Well, in Chicago, in 1982, they had an investigation and they said that this was par for the course.
LEMON: I mean this election ...
LORD: An FBI agent investigated this ...
LEMON: ... who would steal this election specifically?
LORD: Well, Don, if you've got a whole city where everybody is trained to steal elections, which is what this guy was saying in 1982 and that this had happened for decades and was going to continue to happen, then you've got a problem on your hands. I mean, I just don't understand the reluctance to investigate.
STELTER: I don't think anyone is reluctant to investigate. LEMON: He's saying that this is a challenge.
STELTER: My concern is that when Donald Trump says these outlandish words, these ridiculous words on television ...
STELTER: ... interviewers have to challenge him for evidence and material to prove it because otherwise it sows distrust and fear in the minds of his supporters and sets up a scenario where on the day after our election, as a nation. Remember, we're supposed to come together and accept the results. One side might not accept the results.
LEMON: Listen, listen, listen.
[23:25:02] STELTER: I am fearful for what happens on the day after that election.
LEMON: I want you guys to watch this. This is President Obama last week. He couldn't even -- his disdain for this and this claim about a rigged election was just overwhelming.
LEMON: Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: I don't even really know where to start on answering this question. Of course, the elections will not be rigged. What does that mean? That's ridiculous. That doesn't make any sense.
I think all of us at some points in our lives have played sports or maybe just played in a school yard or a sandbox and sometimes folks if they lose they start complaining that they got cheated, but I've never heard of somebody complaining about being cheated before the game was over or before the score is even tallied.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Brian, you said you don't think the President is the best ...
STELTER: I think the problem is that President Obama is not the right messenger. He's not the right messenger for this. It should be conservative media leaders like Sean Hannity.
It should be GOP leaders that should come out like Paul Ryan and say, "Yes, voter fraud happens once in a while, it is very rare, it is investigated, it is investigated when it happens but it's very rare."
It gets overblown by the press sometimes by conservative media outlets and that does harm to our democracy. We should be worried about that.
LEMON: Go ahead, Jeffrey. LORD: You know, I mean with all due respect to President Obama, he's the President of the United States. I respect him totally but I have to say, he came out of the Chicago political system, which has been one of the dead centers of these allegations of political corruption over and over and over and over again.
LEMON: There's no corruption in New York City, in New York?
LORD: Oh, sure, I'm sure there is. And I can tell you that there have been allegations of corruption, as I said, in six Pennsylvania counties including Philadelphia, absolutely. I'm not talking about what Sean Hannity said. I'm talking about what this press conference, and their investigation.
I mean, Don, I mean, I wrote an article on this in 2008, they were showing the addresses listed for voters. They were vacant lots, for heaven's sakes. Hello? Hello?
LEMON: If there's such concern ...
LEMON: Hold on, Brian.
LEMON: If there's such concern about, you know, this election being rigged, then why doesn't Donald Trump or Republicans talks about voter suppression? Why isn't that an issue on the other side? It's just only when Donald Trump think he's going to lose the election.
LORD: I mean this is voter suppression. Don, this is voter suppression. If you're having dead people vote, if you're having people who live in vacant lots vote, you are suppressing the actual vote.
LEMON: No, the dead people are getting a chance to vote, Jeffrey. That was a joke. Just -- anyway.
STELTER: Jeffrey, I think -- I love you. I love you. But I think you're sowing seeds.
STELTER: And I'm worried that these seeds are going to bloom in November and it's going to cause people to distrust the outcome of our election. That's something as a journalist I'm very worried about.
LORD: All I'm saying is clean it up.
STELTER: And I'll say at this moment in American history journalists can stay silent when we're seeing something that's so abnormal, so outside the bounds happening. You know, Trump says a lot of things that should be fact checked.
He says a lot of things that journalists should be covered. But we got to be really careful when we go down these roads talking about the delegitimatization of our voting system.
LEMON: Of the process. It's very dangerous, Jeffrey, you have to admit that, no?
LORD: I think that we are delegitimizing it when we refuse to pay attention to the problems. That's a problem and when journalists don't want to investigate and you know the charge will come up but they don't want to do it because of liberal bias you just know that's coming around the corner here. All you have to do is go investigate it.
LEMON: That's exactly what he's saying that journalists should investigate, that they should speak out more. It sounds like you're almost making his point here, but you're just making a counter argument because you don't want to agree with what Brian is saying. Brian is saying ...
LORD: No, no, no. I'm saying this is happening often throughout ...
LEMON: ... journalists should push back on these issues ...
LEMON: ... in American history and it's a problem.
LORD: Do something about it.
LEMON: All right. I have to go. Thank you. To be continued.
LORD: Thanks, guys.
LEMON: Trying to get inside the mind of Donald Trump. Is it a proper -- is it proper to do so? We'll be right back.
[23:32:39] LEMON: Here's a question for you, is it possible to get inside the mind of Donald Trump? I want to bring in Dan McAdams, who is a professor of psychology at Northwestern University. Good evening, Dan, how are you?
DAN MCADAMS, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY: Hi, it's great to be here, thank you.
LEMON: Thank you for coming on. You know, you wrote a lengthy piece for the "Atlantic" titled "The Mind of Donald Trump." And you concluded "Who is really is Donald Trump, what's behind the actor's mask? I can discern little more than narcissistic motivation and the complimentary personal narrative about winning at any cost. It is as if Trump has invested so much of himself in developing and refining his socially dominant role that he has nothing left over to create a meaningful story for his life or for the nation. It is almost -- it is always Donald Trump playing Donald Trump fighting to win but never knowing why." So, Dan, how would these attributes shape a Trump presidency, you think? MCADAMS: Well, I think, you know, the piece begins with this common
observation that many people have with Donald Trump, when they're with him it's like it's as if he's playing a role. It's Donald Trump playing Donald Trump. And so part of my goal in this paper was to try to get beyond the role, try to get beyond that belligerent, high energy kind of persona that he has and see what's beyond that. And by the end of the article, I come to a conclusion that, well, there's not a whole lot beyond the role. The role is pretty much who he is, but if you do get beyond it, you find a certain set of goals and values that are mostly about self-promotion and a story that he's got about his life that's all about fighting, fighting to win, but why is he -- why does he want to win? What does he want to achieve? And that's never really played out in terms of the story.
So I think what it suggests in terms of his presidency is that this is a big unknown. We just don't know what kind of a president he's going to be. He doesn't come into the office with a narrative, about his life, a philosophy, about what he wants to achieve for the nation. It's a big mystery I think.
LEMON: Yes. You come to the conclusion. You say that being narcissistic doesn't make Donald Trump pathological. Explain that?
MCADAMS: Well, narcissism is common throughout the world. And, you know, clinical psychologists, we'll talk about. I'm not a clinical psychologist, but they'll talk about narcissistic personality disorder as a certain kind of mental illness. That's not what I'm dealing with. That's not what I'm talking about in my piece. I'm looking at narcissism as a kind of a goal and set of values and what extent, then, do you work every day on promoting the self?
[23:35:09] And I think when it comes to Donald Trump you're not going to find many people who work harder at that task of promoting the self, putting your name on everything, adoring yourself, putting it out there.
So it's obviously a key feature of his motivational life. Whether or not that would make it difficult for him to be a president, I'm not sure. They've done research, actually, on presidents sort of rating them in terms of their narcissism. I guess Lyndon Johnson scores the highest and Millard Fillmore the lowest.
And narcissism tends to be related to a lot of things in presidents to certain kinds of great achievements on the one hand, but on the other hand, they tend to be presidents who get in trouble and they are often things like impeachment resolutions that come forward when you have a president that seems to have a lot of these narcissistic motivation.
LEMON: What about lying?
MCADAMS: It's kind of a mixed bag I think.
LEMON: What about lying, you know?
MCADAMS: Well, lying, it's hard to get around the lying with Donald Trump, isn't it? And I kind of connected that line to one of the two big traits I focused on, "agreeableness," or that is to say, the lack of agreeableness. Agreeableness is a major human trait, cross cultures. It's very much valued. It's about being nice and humble and caring and emphatic. And you don't have to be a genius to see that Donald Trump is really, real low on that trait. I mean, extraordinarily so compared to pretty much anybody else whoever has sought public office.
And there was research on people low in agreeableness in this trait, and they tend to be pretty -- they have a loose relationship, let us say, with the truth. PolitiFact, other sources have shown that what three quarters of the things that came out of Donald Trump's mouth oftentimes aren't linked to reality or aren't truthful. This is a problem. I don't think it's related to narcissism really. I think it's related to this disposition he has of being such a disagreeable person. We tend not to trust disagreeable people in part because they're not trustworthy.
LEMON: I want to get this in quickly before I let you go here. This is the American Psychiatric Association issued a statement and reads in part, Dan. It says, "Every four years, the United States goes through a protracted elections process for the highest office in the land. This year, the election seems like anything but a normal contest, that has at times devolved into outright vitriol. The unique atmosphere of this year's election cycle may lead some to want to psychoanalyze the candidates, but to do so would not only be unethical, it would be irresponsible." I know you're a professor. You're not a clinician. But do you agree with the APA'S conclusion?
MCADAMS: I completely agree with the APA'S conclusion, yes. I think it's not professional to offer diagnosis to suggest from afar that a particular person has a mental illness when you don't even know the person or to engage in a kind of psychopathological attribution. My work tends not to go in that direction. I'm trying to understand the man's life, almost like a biographer coming in trying to understand the shape and form of his personality. But, yes, indeed, I do agree with the APA'S stance that diagnosis from afar is probably not the right thing to do.
LEMON: Dan McAdams, thank you very much.
Coming up, both candidates got post-convention boosts in the polls but Trump has gone in the wrong direction since then. Can he right the ship?
[23:40:13] LEMON: Donald Trump unveiled his economic plan today which launched back and forth attacks between the two candidates. Here to discuss that is Patrick Healy, "The New York Times" Political Correspondent, Kayleigh McEnany, CNN Political Commentator and a Trump Supporter, Maria Cardona, Democratic Strategist and a Clinton Supporter, and Bob Cusack, odd man out because he's not in the studio, Editor In Chief of Thehill.com. We will still get you in.
Maria, I'm going to go to you first. Trump is filling Hillary Clinton by double digits. CNN'S New Poll of polls, if we can put that up. Is, do you think one strong speech is enough to right the ship for Donald Trump?
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's tough to right the ship when the ship is sinking. And I think that's what you're seeing the panic from the Republican Party. Every single day you have more and more Republicans coming out saying this is not a man that is fit to be president, this is a man who would be dangerous to the republic if he comes anywhere near the oval office.
So, I think that's why you had panic within the Republican Party, why you had the intervention, why you had finally, apparently, Donald Trump able to follow a script and at least not insult anybody for an hour and a half.
Now, if that is the bar we now have for somebody to be presidential then, I think it's a sad day for the whole country. I love these polls but as I've said, this is not something that Democrats can count on because this is a deeply divided country, still. And I think that complacency will be how he wins, so Democrats, Independents, Republicans who don't want to see Donald Trump in the White House need to go out there and do everything they can to keep him away.
LEMON: The ship is sinking, do you agree with that, Kayleigh?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Not at all. Look, we're still one week out from the convention. She got a significant bounce. This polling was done amid the Khan controversy that happened. So I think the economic speech today was key. The message we heard from Donald Trump certainly resonated not only with Republicans but also with those on the other side of the aisle who were deeply worried about trade. I think if he can put forth the message he did today, continually without distraction, I think we'll quickly see those numbers change.
LEMON: Bob, there's a new poll from Monmouth, then it shows, this is 12 points between Trump and Clinton and it was conducted a full week after the Democratic Convention. So is this as Kayleigh mentioned, you know, that it was a bounce after the convention, but is this one that's done a full week outs, is this more than a convention bounce?
BOB CUSACK, EDITOR IN CHIEF, THE HILL: Well, it's certainly trouble for Donald Trump. There's no doubt about it. And he is taking water on. I don't think that the -- his ship is sinking or has not sunk, anyway. We have 90 days to go before the election. It's going to be a roller coaster between now and November 8th.
I do think, though, he's got to show some consistency. I was on last week and said, you know, he hasn't shown any political discipline. He did today. So, he basically threw like four interceptions over the last couple weeks then today made some first downs. He needs to be consistently on message, consistently talking about policy because that will help unify the Republican Party. What has happened over the last couple weeks has really hurt his effort and that's why you see more Republicans coming out saying I don't support him.
[23:45:04] LEMON: What do you think? Is this a bounce on top of a bounce or this is -- do you think this is a convention bounce? PATRICK HEALY, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": No, I think he did what he
really -- needed to start doing today. I mean, he had a bad week last week but he needed to send some reassuring signals to Republicans that he has sort of an understanding that he needs to make this about policy, that he has sharp contrasts to draw against Hillary Clinton, that he's vulnerable on issues like trade in states like Pennsylvania. And he can prosecute that and give a speech where he's interrupted 14 times by protesters and doesn't go off cock. I mean, I think a lot of Republicans did like that that he wasn't, you know, going to one of his sort of trademark insults in a city like Detroit that could have come off quite badly and instead tried to sort of push through it. I think there are 90 days but I think what a lot of people are talking about right now are -- was last week a turning point, were there sort of so many sort of problems around issues of temperament and character that voters were just sort of, like, you know what, he may be saying the right things on issues, but I'm just not seeing it, I can't vote for the guy. And I think what the campaign was trying to show was that, you know, there's still time, you know, there's still ...
LEMON: I wonder if how many people think there's real time. Kayleigh I want to -- this is about expanding the base. And that's what the general is about. We crunched the numbers from all the Trump and Hillary Clinton polls from their matchups. And this is from May 4th until today. And found that out of 28 polls that met CNN'S standards, Trump has only been ahead three times and they been tied once. So what's your reaction there? Is this -- can you give us an example of how he's expanded the base since this has really turned toward the general election?
MCENANY: Well, I think today was a good start with the reaching out to Bernie Sanders supporters. We've seen him do that a little, but I think the big moment, Don, will be in the debate, when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump come face to face, that is the big reset moment where we're going to see two different policy positions lined up and see these two positions vying against one another. If the conventions were a big bump for Hillary Clinton, the debates are a big opportunity for Donald Trump to cut through her message and say this is what I'm proposing. So I think the debate is where he's going have the opportunity.
HEALY: It's and far and clear that he's going to be at the debate. Hillary Clinton ...
MCENANY: You're right. You're right.
HEALY: A lot of people think he'll be at the first debate and if that doesn't go well, then maybe, oh the system is rigged, these debates are rigged.
HEALY: You know, I need to step away from this. I don't need this. But I think -- I mean, I think the debates are a huge opportunity. It just depends. But to your point, Don, he hasn't expanded the vote yet.
CARDONA: No, he absolutely hasn't.
HEALY: I was in Pennsylvania reporting with undecided voters, independent voters, Democrats who you think would be open to Donald Trump. And those people aren't sold yet. They're far from it.
MCENANY: And ...
LEMON: Do you think that -- do you think that he has an advantage with the debate as Kayleigh was ...
CARDONA: Well, I think the only advantage he has is -- like I said earlier, the bar of expectations being lower than this table. Because, again -- and we're all talking about it. We're all talking about, oh, he gave a speech today and he's followed the script and he didn't insult anybody. Wow. That makes Republicans feel great. Come on, people. This is a man. This is a man.
HEALY: Hillary Clinton has never faced 14 protesters, you know, trying to interrupt and ...
CARDONA: She has definitely faced protesters. She hasn't faced 14 protesters?
CARDONA: She has faced 30 years of Republican attacks and she is still standing.
MCENANY: Hasn't faced reporters, either.
CARDONA: So, yes, she has faced reporters and will continue to face reporters and he has faced every single obstacle that a politician can say and she's still standing.
HEALY: Let's say, a systematic 14 percent exactly, it wasn't interesting.
CARDONA: But no, I'm sorry. The expectations are down here. So that's what worries me for the debate.
LEMON: We'll going to continue ...
CARDONA: I think she will eviscerate him but expectation is ...
LEMON: I need to get a break in. Because this was a conversation I was having with a bunch of people this weekend.
LEMON: Is there enough time? Because, listen, Hillary Clinton when it comes to foreign policy, when it comes to knowing government, when it comes to -- she was secretary of state. She knows this stuff inside and out.
CARDONA: That's right.
LEMON: Is there enough study time or enough cramming time for Donald Trump? Let's answer that after the break. We'll be right back.
[23:52:56] LEMON: Back with me now, Patrick Healy, Kayleigh McEnany and Maria Cardona and Bob Cusack. Bob, I want to ask you the first question, which is sort of what I went to the break with, is there enough time between now and then for Donald Trump to study enough to go up against Hillary Clinton?
CUSACK: Yes, I think there is enough time. But he's going to have to bone up, especially on foreign policy for that debate that is specifically geared towards foreign policy if he does show up. And I think he will for all three debates.
I do think also, you have to remember that Donald Trump is very quick on his feet. He did extremely well in those Republican debates. Now, there were a lot of people the stage, different dynamic, and Hillary Clinton, I think did well against Bernie Sanders, and that was more of course a one on one matchup, which this will be, unless Gary Johnson gets into the debate. So -- but overall, you can't underestimate Trump in the debates. And I do think that has to be a game changer for him.
LEMON: You said, if he shows up, do you think he's going -- what happens if he doesn't? That's we're all wondering, like what if he doesn't show up for the?
CUSACK: I don't think it's a good tactical move. I mean, he's down.
CARDONA: I think he'll be done.
CUSACK: He's losing.
CARDONA: I think he'll be done, if he doesn't show up. I don't think that would be smart move. And I can't imagine the people around him would ...
HEALY: We heard them in Iowa ...
HEALY: ... before the caucuses. I mean, there's a difference of opinion, but it did make it look like it would be at the high, there's -- that's a little strange.
MCENANY: I mean no one has any evidence to suggest he won't show up to the debate.
CARDONA: Yeah. MCENANY: He will. This is his reset moment.
MCENANY: He has to and this is where the Hillary Clinton campaign should be careful. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both have this ability to capture the frustration of the American people and speak to it in a way that is visceral, real, and believable. You know, it is striking to me that Hillary Clinton, despite having the DNC and her, you know, fighting for her behind the scene, Bernie Sanders came out of nowhere and got 43 percent of the vote. Because he hasn't what Trump has the ability to capture of the heart of the American people. He didn't win.
LEMON: But to the point of showing up at the debate.
MCENANY: He didn't win.
LEMON: Because complained, remember about the fox debate saying, it wasn't fairly Megyn Kelly. And then he started tweeting saying, you know, I think it's going to be rigged. And, you know, this debate -- about a debate schedule that was, you know, a year and year and in half ...
HEALY: Yeah. I mean, I just don't know why he's sending sort of those signals and he thinks he can negotiate around like the NFL. I mean, the bigger issue is during the primaries, he really used those debates to slay his opponents.
[23:55:05] MCENANY: Yeah.
HEALY: Sort of one after another after another. It was the rallies that he -- I think he really used to appeal to the American people and get them excited about the idea, sort of building a wall which he really connected on a performance level with people.
LEMON: I want to get this in. Because he revealed his tax reform plan today, yet he still won't release his own tax returns. A major part of president candidate hasn't done that since 1976. Why is that acceptable? From the release of tax plan, but did not released his tax return?
MCENANY: Well, he's been under audit the whole time. If he was not paying taxes or doing these unlawful things, he'd be in jail right now, and not the Republican nominee. And I've the one and to be voted by Democrats to release their tax returns. They did this to Romney, we found out everything is first perfectly legal, but they found his Swiss bank account, perfectly legal, used that to frame him as the rich guy who's out of touch and that's arguably ...
LEMON: Romney did not say he was the best businessman ever.
CARDONA: That's right.
LEMON: And with that, he is running on that and how do you know unless he releases taxes? Saying he's under audit is not an excuse. Everyone has to bank that.
LEMON: Every single person.
CARDONA: Yeah, Nixon was under audit too when he released his taxes.
LEMON: So why should he release a tax plan and then not to release his own taxes?
MCENANY: Because what he's doing is lawful, that's all voters need to know and he's not going to allow the Democrats to frame the narrative and to tell a lie.
CARDONA: Voters want to know ...
HEALY: But these taxes don't come out before ...
CARDONA: Voters want to know -- voter want to know --- voters want to know other things.
CARDONA: Voters want to know what -- is he's paying any taxes?
LEMON: I got to go.
CARDONA: But the last tax returns that we saw he just didn't (inaudible) ....
MCENANY: I want to know where Hillary Clinton's 3,000 e-mails are?
LEMON: We'll be right back. We'll be right back.
LEMON: I'm Don Lemon. "AC360" starts now.