Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Another Cosby Bombshell; Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez Reportedly Suffered from Depression; Trump Refusing to Back Down from McCain Comments

Aired July 19, 2015 - 17:00   ET



[17:00:35] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Hello. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for tuning in. I'm Ana Cabrera in for Poppy Harlow.

And we begin with yet another bombshell in the scandal surrounding Bill Cosby. And it comes straight from Cosby himself. In a deposition obtained by CNN that was taken ten years ago stemming from the civil lawsuit filed by one of his accusers, Andrea Constand, Cosby admits to sexual relationships with at least five women. And he admits to the use of drugs in his pursuits. He says he tried to hide the affairs from his wife and talks about paying women to keep quiet.

Now, Constand is one of dozens of women who have publicly accused Cosby of sexual assault or rape. She eventually settled in her case. And CNN has reached out to Cosby's public cyst who says he has no comment at this time.

CNN's Jean Casarez is joining me here now with more.

And Jean, I know you've had a chance to go through much of this deposition. It is about a thousand pages long. What stands out to you as most damming?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As most damming, well, I guess hearing Cosby speak himself. And this was a sworn affidavit. This was a sworn deposition that can be used in court. So he had to make an oath that what he was saying was absolutely the truth. And he does say that he had sexual relations with at least five women. But he said he never went all the way with them because he didn't want them to fall in love with him. He wanted it just to be playful sexual activity.

Now, I think we've got one quote from the deposition we found because a lot of the Jane Doe's (ph) are mentioned in all of this. And he says quote "what was your relationship with her, that's the attorney representing the alleged victim. We had sex and we had dinners and sex and rendezvous. What are rendezvouses? Rendezvouses is when you call somebody and say do you want to be at such and such. And they say yes and you go there. Is there sexual contact associated with the rendezvous? Well, there was with Jane Doe every time." And it goes on to having say, you know, at one point I didn't want the rendezvous anymore. And so, well, then did you stop your affairs as a married man. No, I didn't do that. At another point he says that he was talking to a woman about her

career and asking about her father who died of cancer. He says yes. And then he's asked, did you ask her those questions because you wanted to have sexual contact with her. The answer was yes. He also says and we got a quote here. I want to read this and then I will explain it. He says quote "I think that I'm a pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these dramatic sexual things, whatever you want to call them." What he's saying there, Ana, is that -- verbal consent.

He would be able to see if a woman wanted to consent. He would see the green light. It was just an aid (ph). He could tell. And if there was a red light, not wanting to go any farther, then he would stop. But he'd see the consent in their eyes, their being, their demeanor, and he would go forward. And admits drugs and women, but everything was con eventual he said.

CABRERA: And especially on that last thing you just shared, it seems he's unapologetic and really unconcerned with the seriousness of the questioning in this deposition.

CASAREZ: Interesting. When this deposition began the first thing out of his mouth almost was is this a joke. And we don't know how he said it. We weren't in the room. None of it was reported. His attorney made sure that none of it was recorded as I read in the deposition. But he does answer the questions on his side and he is very, very particular with his words and very descriptive in many ways.

CABRERA: Absolutely, Jean. Stay with me. I want to bring in Barbara Bowman who alleges she was raped by Cosby.

And Barbara, thank you for coming on with us. I want to get just your initial reaction to what we now learned about what Bill Cosby admitted in this 2005 deposition.

BARBARA BOWMAN, ALLEGEDLY RAPED BY BILL COSBY: It's classic narcissistic psychopathic behavior. It's -- it's the ego. It's the control and the diabolical thinking and behaviors. It's classic. It's exactly what was perpetrated upon me. It's the smoke and mirrors and it's the reverse, you know, pointing the finger back at the victim, making us all wonder how did I just get raped, why did that just happen. So to hear the words this morning, I like everyone else, woke up and was blasted with the news. So I -- I'm just digesting it as well.

[17:05:10] CABRERA: Do you feel like this is vindication of sorts? I know when Andrea Constand had filed her lawsuit against Cosby, you were asked to testify but you didn't get a chance because she eventually settled in the case. How does this impact you now?

BOWMAN: Well, it's amazing. I mean, it's true vindication. And it is not just self-validating, but it validates everyone that's involved in this. And it opens the door for communication to educate and to, you know, make aware of our younger people, our children of predatory behaviors and the -- you know, the psychopathic and sociopathic behaviors. And what happens is that sociopaths tend to, not just trying to divert the attention away from them as a way to protect them, but they have enablers and handlers and people and they manipulate everyone around them to make their predatory behaviors possible.

And moreover, they begin to believe the lies that they're telling everyone else so that when they are in a position of being under oath or under pressure, they actually believe what they're saying when it isn't complete -- completely untrue.

CABRERA: And I know Jean has a question for you as well, Barbara.

CASAREZ: Barbara, we're still poring over this thousand-page documentary. But there are a lot of questions by Andrea Constand's attorney about the Jane Does and they're listed by name. And Bill Cosby responds to the allegations of the Jane Doe. How does it affect you to know that suddenly you may hear so many years later Bill Cosby talking about the "relationship" quote, unquote that you and he had?

BOWMAN: I don't -- I never had a relationship with Bill Cosby other --

CASAREZ: And I put that in quote marks meaning you knew him. You knew him.

BOWMAN: I was put -- I was set up in a professional relationship through my agent because I was an aspiring actress. It was the only reason that I would have ever been in the man's company is because of the professional relationship. So I may be misunderstood the question. And I haven't read all those pages either. So I know that he has duped and, you know, falsified truths. And until I read everything, I just don't know that I can comment. I can just say for me that I never asked for drugs and I never asked for sex and I never asked to be put in that volatile and violating position ever.

CABRERA: Barbara, of course, Bill Cosby has continued to deny all of the allegations against him. He has never faced criminal charges. And in large part, he has been very silent when it comes to this scandal that has surfaced and his image possibly being tarnished now. His image of being wholesome and being that family guy. Why do you think it took this thousand-page deposition for Cosby's own words for this information to be taken seriously?

BOWMAN: Well, we're dealing with a very psychotic mind. Sick minds are not necessarily stupid minds. They actually -- he was able to mastermind decades of deception and deceit and manipulation and brainwashing, control, dominance and fear, put terror and fear in many people, not just the victims that he sexually violated, but everyone around him. There were cover ups. I mean there, you know, there was no way that any of this would have gone on this long if he did not have a very strong circle of enablers and handlers around him. Some were culpable. Some turned the other cheek. Some might have, you know, wanted to keep their jobs. And then others just were too terrified to do anything about it.

CABRERA: Do you think -- people just didn't want to believe the allegations because they loved this man. BOWMAN: Absolutely. That's true too. You know, it's very difficult

to shift your paradigm. He was iconic. He touched many lives and really shifted some cultural ideals. And, you know, really created a lot of wreckage in a lot of people's lives. And it's really crushing that -- that, you know, we have generations of people of all ages, of all different races, all across the board that he really affected and really hurt.

[17:10:08] CABRERA: Barbara Bowman, Jean Casarez, stay with me because I have more questions and we'll continue our conversation right after a quick break.


[17:13:18] CABRERA: Welcome back. We return to our top story. The bombshell revelations about comedian Bill Cosby. In a 2005 deposition, Cosby admits to affairs with women in cities all across the U.S. luring them with drugs and fame all while hiding it from his wife. Cosby's publicly cyst tells CNN he has no comment.

Let me bring back Barbara Bowman who has accused Cosby of rape. Also with us, CNN's Jean Casarez who has been following the revelations from the beginning.

Now, Barbara, you heard what Jean mentioned, as part of this new documentation from the deposition, Cosby said that he could read women's quote "emotions" in these romantic, sexual, consenting relationships that there were nonverbal clues that showed a woman was actually consenting to sex. Your reaction?

BOWMAN: My reaction is that -- that again, back to the word narcissism and ego. I don't believe in nonverbal cues. Consent is not the absence of a no. And when you're stuffing drugs or alcohol into a woman and then calling it sex, it is diabolical, it's disgusting. It's unacceptable and it's rape and that's a crime. And what I want to do from this day forward is continue with my work reaching out to young people and bridging the gap between the trusted individuals that -- that the young people trust.

And, you know, reach out also -- this is a very teachable moment for our teenagers, high school students and college students and the spring breakers. You know, drugs and alcohol, once you bring that into the mix whether, you know, I was certainly never accepting any drugs or -- any drugs. Drugs were put into my alcohol. However, point being is that that does not mean hands on. That is a time for hands off. That's a cautionary time. So I want to educate these younger people and the boys that, you know, it's like party time doesn't mean wild go for it rape time.

[17:15:43] CABRERA: When you hear what Cosby actually admitted to under oath while he didn't admit to raining anybody, why do you think Andrea Constand settled instead of taking this case to trial?

CASAREZ: Are you asking me?

CABRERA: I'm asking Barbara. BOWMAN: I just don't have a comment. I don't -- I don't -- I don't

know. I was very disappointed in 2005 that I was not given an opportunity to testify on her behalf.

CABRERA: All right. And Jean, we do know there is still at least one open criminal investigation into allegations against Cosby. This is in California. So, is it possible he could still face criminal charges?

CASAREZ: Yes, the investigations with the Los Angeles police department. They have not acknowledged who it is with. We know Chloe Goings (ph) is an alleged victim represented in Florida at this point. And so, if the statute of limitations has not run with the different exceptions that there are, the possibility is that there could be criminal charges. We will just have to see.

CABRERA: And finally Barbara, let's give you the last word here. You mention using what happened in your case as almost like a learning experience, trying to find something positive out of such a horrific situation for you. What are your final thoughts about this whole situation that's now been decades in the making?

BOWMAN: You know, I can say it this way. That no battle was ever won without a few bumps and scrapes along the way. And I never let it define my life, run my life, or define me as a woman. And I look at it as an opportunity to teach and to empower and to educate. And that's what I continue to do with pave and working with young people and I -- you know, I'm going to keep on talking. I'm outspoken now and I was then and I hope to continue to be of service.

CABRERA: Well, Barbara Bowman, thanks for your courage. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today.

Jean Casarez, our thanks to you as well.

BOWMAN: Thank you.

CABRERA: And up next, the shooting in Chattanooga, taking investigators overseas now to Jordan. CNN spoke with the gunman's family there. You'll hear reaction to that awful attack from their end. And they also discuss why their kids are targets for radicalization.


[17:21:47] CABRERA: We're learning new details today about the Chattanooga gunman who police say opened fire on two U.S. military facilities on Thursday. Now, the family of 24-year-old Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez says he suffered from depression and was quote "was not the son we knew."

We're also learning that he entered Jordan several times over the past years, most recently in 2014. Jordanian security investigators are now interviewing his relatives overseas. They are trying to figure out where he went and with whom he met. A close friend of Abdulazeez tells CNN that he just wasn't the same when he came back from the Middle East.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh spoke with family in the West Bank.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With the Tennessee gunman's family began in the hills of the West Bank, the men of this tiny village now scrutinize his end. Palestinians who've seen decades of trauma in the shade hear words of comfort. A gathering because the death of Mohammad Abdulazeez has left his father. Youssef born and admired here without a male heir and without honor.

The emotions on display here have left to do with mourning the loss of a man. They're about his father. They're about showing solidarity for the suffering and shame he must be feeling now on the other side of the Atlantic. And also in some ways this is awake for that family's honor.

Most of the voices are stunned and angry at Mohammad. But one local, not a relative speaks out.

I think what he did, he says was an angry reaction to the regime that's ruling America and the western general. The fact is the Muslims' enemies and support fab regimes.

But this was a rare voice. His father's cousin, Assad, wants Americans grieving their loss to know hair horror here too.

ASSAD ABDULAZEEZ, COUSIN TO FATHER OF GUNMAN: All the people who talk with me, they are feeling very angry and very sad about this behavior. All of them say he was a good man. He --


ABDULAZEEZ: Youssef a man, he must have a good son.

WALSH: This village has had martyrs fighting the Israelis whose posters have adorned the streets. But this won't happen to Mohammad, we are told, as many here feel he had everything but blew it.

ABDULAZEEZ: He had higher education, passport, can work. He can live where he want in all the world because of the USA passport. But this choice, all of us can't know what -- what -- why he do that.

WALSH: Mohammad came here once in 2005, age 15, for a week with his father to get his Palestinian id we're told by his father's other cousin.

He looked like an American kid, he said. Didn't speak Arabic. If he played with other kids, it wasn't that casual as he was really focused here with his father to get his Palestinian ID. They were here during the inter-father uprising. And you could be worried for lots of reasons. Not just the Israeli army on the street and people being shot, but also by being outside playing, the sort of friends you could make. Ten years later, the road to radicalization has changed so much, he

says. It's not religion, but a technological revolution of the internet that's created this, he says. Before people were looked over, but now a father cannot monitor what their son's doing on the Internet. One visit at a formative aid to a village that barely remembers the Tennessee gunman, but now deals with the infamy and suffering his twisted choice brought upon his family too.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN.


[17:26:00] CABRERA: While Jordan investigates this tragedy, can we trust those overseas investigators to do the job right or do they have incentive to hide the truth? We'll discuss next.


[17:29:15] CABRERA: Loved ones are gathering in Chattanooga today mourning the loss of five service members who were gunned down by Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez this week. Now as they grieve, the family of Abdulazeez is struggling to come to terms with his actions. They say his depression may have led him to snap. And authorities are investigating if his recent trips to Jordan may have radicalized the devout Muslim.

Joining me, former FBI assistant director Bill Gavin. He's joining us live from Boston.

Bill, we just talked about his family saying he was depressed. Reportedly he was taken medication for depression and had stopped taking that. Then there's exposure to the anti-American sentiment overseas which we heard very clearly in Nick Paton Walsh's package. Do those two things create sort of a dangerous combination that predispose somebody to jihad?

[17:30:09] BILL GAVIN, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Ana, they very well could. What I look at is the comments of the family are natural comments a family would make who is so distressed over a son doing something like that. So I put that in its proper perspective.

But I look at this young man, by all testimony so far, he was just a normal kid growing up and all of a sudden something happened. I don't know what it was. He was over in Jordan. Hopefully just in Jordan where they can really nail down what he did while he was there, but perhaps he went someplace else.

When he came back, he started to seem like he was radicalized. Whether he did it himself or whether he had some recruiter while he was overseas. That will come out as the investigation goes on. But he somehow got ahold of some weapons. And that remains to be seen which ones he got legally or illegally. How he selected the target of the recruitment -- both recruitment facilities.

Many of these things that he did he started to grow the beard, the full beard and making statements to the effect that anybody who's an enemy of Islam is an enemy of his. All of those things put into my mind the radical Islamist extremist concept coming out through his actions. And his country really has to start to take a close look at those kinds of activities and at ISIS in general and destroy it where it's having its birth and where it's growing up and maturing and that is overseas.

CABRERA: What I'm hearing you say -- what I'm hearing you say is there were red flags, even his family said in a statement that he was quote, not the son they knew. Are we relying too much on the feds to find these people or is there a point where a family member should report their own loved one?

GAVIN: Well, there is a point where the family member should report somebody. As you can recall, the incident just recently in Boston where an individual was arrested and he was turned in by his father who was a captain of the Boston police force. Not an easy thing to do, but it was done.

The difficult part here, Ana, is that if there's a group of people committed to do something evil in our country, usually someone in that group is going to talk and we'll have a chance to put an informant in there or to stop the activity from happening. When it's been individual acting alone and not talking to anybody else and not telling anybody else about it, this is extremely difficult.

The director Jim Comey was on the hill just last week pointing this whole thing out. That they work extremely hard, the relationships between the law enforcement and intelligence agencies are terrific these days, but you can't catch them all. It's not going to happen, and some of these people will get through.

CABRERA: And to their credit, they have been making several arrests. We've seen indictments, almost multiple indictments a week it seems here in the U.S. which goes to show that they are tracking a lot of these individuals.

Bill Gavin, our thanks to you for your time and expertise.

GAVIN: It's my pleasure, Ana. Have a good day.

CABRERA: You too.

All lives matter. Those three words from a presidential candidate are causing him a huge headache and have led to a big apology. Should he have to do that? We'll talk about it next.



[17:37:12] MARTIN O'MALLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Every life matters. And that is why this issue is so important. Black lives matter, white lives matter, all lives matter. Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: All lives matter may sound innocuous, but some people took deep offense to those comments from Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley. In fact, activists stormed the stage at that conference yesterday attended by some influential liberal voters in Phoenix.

CNN's Chris Moody explain who this event turned on its head.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Demonstrators have just taken over O'Malley's time on stage here.


CROWD: Say her name!


CROWD: Say her name!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's an important message.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right now here today, we want to take a moment to acknowledge the lives lost, specifically the black women's lives that are lost.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I die in police custody.

CROWD: If I die in police custody.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Call my mom first.

CROWD: Call my mom first.

O'MALLEY: This issue is so important. Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many black people have killed police officers this year? How many?

O'MALLEY: I'm trying to respond to the call of your question as best I can.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do not generalize this (bleep). I want an actual conversation out of this. Please, let's do this.

O'MALLEY: Specifically I believe every police department in America should have to report in an open and transparent and a timely way all police involved shootings, all disparity complaints and all brutality complaints.

CHRIS MOODY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They wanted candidates to talk about black people who had been killed by police in America.

CROWD: Say her name! MOODY: They wanted them to say their names on camera, on stage.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A couple more minutes --

MOODY: They wanted them to address what they see as widespread institutional racism throughout the United States. For a lot of them, they did not seem satisfied by what they saw. While Senator Sanders was speaking, a lot of them just walked out before he was finished.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on one second. Hold on.

SANDERS: Listen, black lives of course matter and I spent 50 years of my life fighting for civil rights and for dignity. But if you don't want me to be here, that's OK.

[17:40:07] MOODY: You were on the stage with presidential candidates but you weren't necessarily invited to be there, what happened?

TIA OSO, BLACK ALLIANCE FOR JUST IMMIGRATION: The program itself and the structure of the conference wasn't really lending itself to this very important conversation. I came away with the impression that they have a lot of homework to do. I hope they're ready to, you know, really sit down and listen and talk to these communities right and come up and build their platform with these communities.

MOODY: After what happens today, (INAUDIBLE), He came to a small gathering of Latino activists that are connected to the conference and he revisited some of the questions about racial injustice and inequality.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you see addressing racial justice?

SANDERS: I wish I could tell you that I had a magical formula on how to end racism. It's gone on in this country from before it was America. And we just got to figure out the goal I think that we all share. I would hope that all decent minded Americans share. It is how we create a society which ends discrimination. How do we best deal with racism in America? I'm asking questions here. We are making some progress, but we got to accelerate that progress.


CABRERA: Again, our Chris Moody reporting.

Now, the Net Roots Nation conference has been a tough place historically for presidential candidates. Frontrunner Hillary Clinton chose not even to attend this conference. So could this liberal wing of the Democratic Party do some damage to the candidates?

Joining me now to discuss, Marc Lamont Hill, a CNN contributor and professor at Moore House College, also with us Ben Ferguson, host of the "Ben Ferguson Show."

Marc, first to you, your reaction to what happened there. MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First of all, I was

excited. I was proud. I was impressed by the work that was done by the black lives matter movement yesterday. They've been doing amazing work for a year. And this was another testimony to how organized they were, how committed they were and how courageous they were. Their voice weren't being heard. Their agenda wasn't being addressed sufficiently. And they engaged in an action to make their voice heard. And we are talking about it now. They asserted the black lives matter in public space. I think that's something that needs to happen nonstop. I am excited.

CABRERA: Why did they choose this particular conference, the Net Roots Nation conference?

HILL: Well, I suspect they'll choose many places to do this. And they have them for a very long time. But I think net roots is an important place to be. There were presidential candidates there. Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders, you know, are two people we want to think and talk about as candidates. We don't want just have the Hillary coronation. And we want to bring these issues to the table. It would be great if Hillary Clinton had been there to address these issues as well. But they brought it right to the candidates and force them to answer the questions. Sometimes with the protection of media, with the protection of handlers, presidential candidates don't say anything. They forced them to address these issues.

CABRERA: Ben, I see you smirking there. What do you make of this?

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Well, I would love to see this happen with Hillary Clinton. And I think you can tell her campaign is being very smart by not having her go there because they knew this is what was probably going to happen and they want to control every environment that she's in. So I hope that she has to deal with this type of interaction the same way these other candidates.

I'll give them credit. They had guts to come out on that stage and they knew this was going on, and yet they still came out there and had a conversation as best they could. And then finally said, OK, well, we're going to move on, but we are glad we are here. And I would love to see Hillary Clinton have the guts to go out in an environment like this where it is non-controlled, not being controlled by her campaign. I don't think we'll see that from her, though. I think they're going to stay far away from anything close to this moving forward.

CABRERA: Marc, smart for Hillary Clinton to stay out of it?

HILL: I don't think it's ever smart for a candidate to avoid democracy. I mean, weeks ago, Ben was saying reporters need to answer -- candidates need to answer reporters' questions, candidates need to hit the ground. I wouldn't applaud her for being smart when she avoids the voices of people who have been struggling on the ground for 100 of years, but certainly since August 9th, 2014, post-Michael Brown. I think she needs to be there. I think she needs to address these issues. Honestly on this point, which is as a political calculus, it's better

to run from this stuff than take it head on because you end up saying something stupid like all lives matter like Martin O'Malley did. I think from a strategic perspective it is fine. From an ethical perspective, from moral perspective, I think she made a big mistake by not being there and she will make a bigger mistake if she ignores the voices of the black lives matter movement.

CABRERA: Now, Ben, I will let you jump in. But real quick, explain, Marc, to those who might not understand why it was offensive to say all lives matter.

HILL: Well, outside of context saying all lives matter is -- is reasonable, right? All lives do matter. The Black Lives Matter Movement has never been about denying the legitimacy of other people's suffering. It has never been about saying that all lives don't matter or that black lives are superior to other lives.

The point is that there's a crisis going on. There is a crisis in the black community of state violence. There is a crisis of extrajudicial violence against black bodies. There is a crisis of mass incarceration, a poverty.

All these things are happening and they're targeted and disproportionately targeted toward black people. And to develop a movement to say, hey, black people need support in this way, black peoples live need to affirmed and confirmed and protected in this way, to make that movement and then have people say, hey, but what about white people to me is to avoid the point.

It's almost as if to say we can't affirm the humanity of black people without also bringing in some white people. We can't talk about the value of black life unless we talk about something else. If there are two houses, one is on fire, I'm not going to scream out all houses matter. I'm going to put out the fire in the one that's on fire. Right now, there is a fire on the black community.

[17:45:31] FERGUSON: Rarely do I ever defend a Democrat. But when he said all lives matter, he also said in context Hispanic lives matter, white lives matter, African-American lives matter. I think as a candidate, we should give him a little slack and say what his point is, we need to make sure that everyone is on the equal playing field and that there's justice for all.

I don't blame him for saying that. As a presidential candidate, I'm going to make sure that everybody plays by the same set of rules. And I think that's when the audience got a little bit out of control and was unfair to someone -- like I said, I don't defend democratic candidates very often. But I don't think he was out of line by saying all lives matter because when you are president, you should say that everybody regardless of your race, color of your skin or how much money you have or where you grew up, your life matters as much as anyone else's. That's what a president's job is, to represent everyone.

CABRERA: All right, Ben, Marc, stay with me. We talked about the Democrat. We're going to talk about the Republicans right after a quick break. Because as you know, Donald Trump is back in the spotlight. His campaign for president, could it be in jeopardy after some of his controversial comments about John McCain and now doubling down saying he isn't sorry? Is the party over for the Donald? We'll discuss next.


[17:50:28] CABRERA: Apologize? Forget about it. Donald Trump refusing to back down from blistering comments made against fellow Republican John McCain and he's losing some big Republican support because of this. In case you missed it, let's play what he said.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured, OK? I hate to tell you. He's a war hero because he was captured. OK? You can have -- and I believe perhaps he's a war hero.


CABRERA: Now, as you can imagine, Trump took a lot of heat for those comments yesterday and today he says he's not sorry.


TRUMP: We had thousands and thousands of people and he called them crazy. He insulted them. He should apologize to them, by the way. He insulted them and then I insulted back. And frankly, with what he's done with respect to illegal immigration and what he has done for the veterans, he has done very, very poorly for the veterans.


CABRERA: Some are pointing finger still at McCain saying he is the one at fault here.

CNN political commentators Marc Lamont Hill and Ben Ferguson are back here with me.

So Donald Trump has faced backlash for those comments so far.

FERGUSON: As he should.

CABRERA: But also the immigration comments previously.

So Ben, to you first, can Trump actually build on this momentum that he's had after previous controversial comments or is this the beginning of a downfall?

FERGUSON: I think this is going to be the beginning of a downfall. I mean, this is nothing more than a vile human being who goes out on stage, having no clue what he is going to say except attacks everyone that even mentions or questions his, you know, some sort of brilliant authority over everything. He believes he's smarter, richer and more brilliant than all other

candidates. And if anyone gets in his way, he will attack and destroy you, even if you have served this country and been held as a prisoner of war and tortured for literally years.

John McCain, I was not a fan of his politics when he ran last time for president. I want to make that very clear. But at the end of the day, you don't question someone, you know, being a hero to this country when you go through what he went through, including not being released early so he wouldn't be used for propaganda. He's a hero through and through. And for Donald Trump to go there and double down it, showed just what a vile, I think, person he is as an individual.

CABRERA: You know, Trump did tried to clarify his comments on some of the shows this morning and he said that what he was referring to is that it shouldn't just be the people who are captured that are given attention. He's saying that all of the military members should be considered heroes.

FERGUSON: Yes. But, I'm sorry, that's one of the most absurd things I've heard from him. I mean, for the idea that if you somehow go and serve your country and you put yourself in harm's way and then you're captured, that you're a failure -- because that's what he is implying. He's basically saying when he was captured he was a failure. That is nothing more than a sick man who is attacking veterans. And I think that's why you see so many veterans who were highly offended by what he says and has no place in politics at all.

CABRERA: All right, Marc, I know you want to get in on this.

HILL: Yes. I don't disagree much with what Ben said. I think that -- first of all, it's just untrue, right? I mean, John McCain wasn't a hero purely because he got captured as Ben said. He had the option of leaving. That's some pretty bone chilling stuff. This guy was hurt. He was injured. He had the option of leaving a POW camp and stayed and so other people could leave. That's an extraordinary sacrifice that, quite frankly, most people, maybe myself included, wouldn't do. I don't know what I'd do under such intense pressure. So John McCain is a war hero whether you are in politics or not.

But to me, it was just a strategic misstep. And it speaks to the type of narcism that Donald Trump is wrestling with right now. Because even if he thought that stuff and didn't want to say it out loud, that would make more assistive (ph). He is trying to be president.

But you don't say that and alienate the veterans. You don't alienate the power brokers of the party by making a comment like that and then doubling down on the hubris by refusing to apologize. What he could have said is, hey, I was making a snarky joke, I apologize, let's keep this moving. But, no, hit the same venom that he hurl towards immigrants. He's now hurling it towards John McCain. And if the Republican Party is smart, they will find the way to push this guy out or isolate him. I think he is going flame out because people are turned on.

FERGUSON: And I think it's unprecedented, if you look at the Republican national committee on a weekend came out with a statement condemning his remarks, which tells you just how much not only the Republican party but also the other candidates, I think, are aligned in getting rid of Donald Trump and making it very clear he doesn't speak for Republicans or conservatives.

And I also say this. If you look at Donald Trump and watch those that have supported him, look at this. Would you want a commander in-chief who believes that if you're captured by ISIS or Al Qaeda or anybody that we may be fighting terrors around the world that you're a failure and that, what, are we not going to go get you or focus on bringing you back to safety?

I mean, what Donald Trump said was implying that if you're ever caught by the enemy, you are a failure. I don't want someone in charge as commander in-chief that believes that if we ask our men and women to go to the front lines and attack terrorists from around the world.

[17:55:34] CABRERA: Marc, I'll let you have the last word here. You know, love him or hate him, he's surging in the polls. And so, it would make sense that his Republican rivals would be looking for a moment to pounce on him and say he should, you know, withdrawal from the nomination process here. Is he getting an unfair shake by people being so critical of these comments?

HILL: No. I think this is the shake that everybody gets. When the Jeremiah Wright controversy happened in 2008, you know, Hillary Clinton was pushing against Obama when, you know, when the email scandal hit before Hillary officially announces, people are saying she doesn't have the ethics to be a president. Anytime there is a concern or critique, people are going to be opportunistic about it but typically you don't see that much unanimity in condemning a candidate in your own party this early in the process. Donald Trump has no shot at this. I just wish the GOP was just outrage when people attacked John Kerry's patriotism and his service to the country in 2004 when he was getting swift voted. But I do find it interesting that they are outrage now. And you know, I'm proud of them for coming around.

CABRERA: Marc Lamont Hill and Ben Ferguson, our thanks to both of you. Always good to see you, guys.


HILL: My pleasure.

CABRERA: Up next, more on the bombshell deposition with Bill Cosby and then you have to look at this video. We certainly couldn't stop watching in the NEWSROOM. A surfer facing off with not one but two sharks in the waves he narrowly escaped. It is all caught on camera. We'll break the incredible video with an expert in the next hour in the CNN NEWSROOM.