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Donald Trump Attends Town Hall with Family; Paul Ryan Announces He will not Accept Nomination; Interview with Trump Spokesperson Katrina Pierson, Sanders Supporters Accused of Harassing Superdelegates. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired April 13, 2016 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:00] DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No I don't think so.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Republican frontrunner Donald Trump calling out the Republican National Committee during CNN's town hall Tuesday night, accusing them of conspiring to keep him from clinching the GOP nomination by denying him delegates.
TRUMP: I won Louisiana. I won it easily.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: You won the popular vote.
TRUMP: I won the popular vote. And because of all these shenanigans that goes on --
COOPER: You call them shenanigans, but those are the rules. Didn't you know them?
TRUMP: I know the rules very well. But I know that it's stacked against me by the establishment.
KOSINSKI: Trump alleging the Republican Party is, quote, "100 percent" controlled by the RNC and that rules were changed to stop him.
TRUMP: They changed the rules a number of months ago.
COOPER: About eight months ago.
TRUMP: That's not very long ago.
COOPER: But you had a lot of time to prepare --
TRUMP: Do you know why they changed the rules? Because they saw how I was doing and they didn't like it.
KOSINSKI: Trump's family later joining the candidate onstage, Trump's daughter taking on critics who say their father is disrespectful to women.
IVANKA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: He always taught me that there wasn't anything I couldn't do. And I don't think that is the message a father would relay to a daughter who he didn't believe had the potential to accomplish exactly what her brothers could.
KOSINSKI: Both pointing to upbringing of evidence of an equal opportunity father and business mogul.
TIFFANY TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: My father since I've been a little girl has always just inspired me and had so much faith in me to be the best person I can be, the best woman I can be.
KOSINSKI: Trump admitting that when it comes to debates, his family sometimes wishes sometimes he would lighten up.
TRUMP: They always say, be nicer on the debates. I say, wait a minute, they're coming at me from all these different angles. How can I be nice? But Melania in particular would say be nicer in the debates. I said I can't do that. I have to win first.
KOSINSKI: Donald Trump Jr. agrees.
DONALD TRUMP JR., DONALD TRUMP'S SON: Everyone talks about that tone. But there also comes a time where you have to put the hammer down. There comes a time where being nice and trying to do all this stuff, when people are laughing at your face, you have to actually fight back. And that's what's so important about what he does.
KOSINSKI: Trump's wife Melania pushing her husband to act for presidential.
COOPER: How would you like him to be different?
MELANIA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S WIFE: Just to use nice language.
COOPER: Better language.
MELANIA TRUMP: Sometimes better language. Not all the time. Sometimes I agree with it.
COOPER: Someone yelled out something at one of his rallies.
MELANIA TRUMP: Correct, and he repeat it.
COOPER: And you were upset with that.
MELANIA TRUMP: Yes. And I was thinking just don't repeat it because next day the press all they will talk about the word, inappropriate word, and that was correct.
KOSINSKI: And on changing his tone, Trump says he can switch it up any time.
TRUMP: It is easy to do. It is easier to do it the way I behave right now.
COOPER: So why not?
TRUMP: Because I have two more people I have to take out.
KOSINSKI: But when it comes to the re-tweeting that sparked Trump's recent war of wives last month with Ted Cruz, Trump says, yes, it is the re-tweets that usually get him in hot water and that it is all his own doing.
TRUMP: During the evenings after 7:00 or so, I will always do it by myself.
COOPER: Do you ever want to say to him put the mobile device down.
MELANIA TRUMP: If he would only listen. I did many times. And I just say, OK, do whatever you want. He's an adult. He knows the consequences.
KOSINSKI: But it is the special bond they say they all have with their father that Trumps it all.
DONALD TRUMP JR.: He's just always had so much love for us and this whole family. He's an amazing guy, one of my best friends in the entire world, maybe my best friend in the entire world.
KOSINSKI: One thing we learned from this, how are Trump tweets born? Where do they come from? How do they get out there? In his words, they are shouted out to the young ladies in his office. And speaking of tweets, we do have a tweet rebuttal this morning from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus saying "Nomination process known for a year and beyond. It is the responsibility of the campaigns to understand it. Complaints now? Give us all a break." Michaela?
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: The problem is you have created a monster. This one is going to just start shouting things out expecting someone to tweet them.
KOSINSKI: It could happen.
PEREIRA: It could happen. Michelle, thank you so much for that.
In the meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan trying to make it crystal clear he does not want the Republican nomination even if his name comes up in a contested convention. But does his "no" really mean no? Senior political reporter Manu Raju live in Washington with more, because we know he said no to the speakership originally.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right. And he's also made clear repeatedly that he won't run for president. But that chatter over what may happen at a deadlocked convention just becomes such a major distraction with questions hovering over him when he went to Israel for an official trip last week. They have become such a distraction that his motivations have been questioned, even as he begins a furious fundraising push for House Republicans with nearly 20 events in the next eight weeks. But as chairman of the convention Ryan wants to stay neutral and wants to be clear that he will not be the nominee. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: If no candidate has a majority in the first ballot, I believe that you should only choose from a person who has actually participated in the primary. Count me out.
[08:05:07] I simply believe that if you want to be the nominee for our part to be the president, you should actually run for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: Ryan could have his hands full at contested convention. A number of Republicans are telling me they may not attend, including senators in tough reelection races like Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Richard Burr of North Carolina. Jeb Bush, who I ran into at the capitol yesterday, told me that he would skip the convention. But Ryan wants to limit dissention by asking the delegates to write a rule saying only people who have run for president can be the nominee. I asked him, does that mean that you think that only Kasich, only Cruz, and only Trump can be the nominee? He said he'll leave that to the delegates, so we'll see what they do when they have time to consider that, Chris.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Manu. As Ron Brownstein said this morning, people can run but they cannot hide even if they're not at the convention. They'll be linked to whatever happens at it.
Now, let's talk about what's going on with Donald Trump and this war with the RNC. We have his national spokesperson for the campaign Katrina Pierson. Katrina, how you doing?
KATRINA PIERSON, NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Good morning, Chris.
CUOMO: So if we take a look at the numbers, the polls have Donald Trump up by a healthy margin here in New York. One of them says 60 percent. If you look at the raw vote, he's gotten 37 percent of the popular vote. He's gotten 44 percent of the delegate count. He's doing better in the system than he's doing outside of the system. Why complain, Katrina?
PIERSON: Well, I don't really think it's complaining. I think it is just stating the obvious, which is exactly what Mr. Trump is doing. And by the way, great town hall last night with the family. Anderson Cooper did a great job.
But he is specifically talking about, Colorado for example. They changed the rules in August. Mr. Trump entered the race in June. The GOP chairman backed Marco Rubio, and they changed the rules in August. There was no vote in what was supposed to be a democratically elected process. And that was a problem. And I'm not quite sure why people don't understand that the rules are very important. And even if you know the rules, particularly in the state of Colorado, it wouldn't have mattered. If Mr. Trump had a thousand paid staff on the ground, they preselected the delegates. Exactly what Indiana is doing today. The system is rigged.
CUOMO: Right, but here's the problem. I'm not saying right, it's rigged. I'm saying you guys are saying it's rigged. There are two problems with this. One, there is absolutely not a shred of proof that Colorado did anything because of Donald Trump, certainly way back then when nobody saw that he would be where he is today. So there is that. And the second part is, why would you go and attack the system that you need, that you are benefitting from, and that you are going to have to lean on if you are the nominee? I don't get the strategy.
PIERSON: It is simply because it is the broader picture. The system is rigged against any outsider. These rules were changed to help those like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush to move forward in the delegate system because they weren't doing well in the polls early on. And that is what we're talking about. The system is rigged against the little guy, against the outsider. It is great if you are an insider and you can manipulate within the system.
And of course, the GOP, the last two cycles, Chris, they had all the money. They had the apparatus. They had to get out the vote, and lost handedly. So what are we talk about here? Mr. Trump is going to be someone that can bring more people into the party, have a massive get out the vote system. We keep hearing about this magical ground game on Ted Cruz's side, but guess what. Mr. Trump has won 22 contests, including seven that Senator Cruz was supposed to win because of this ground game, and he has 2 million more votes. Donald Trump is the candidate to win in the general.
CUOMO: Let me ask you something. You guys rail against the system. You rail against insiders. You hate the shenanigans. You hate the double dealing. You hate the backroom stuff. All true, right? All true, right?
PIERSON: Well, yes, it is a problem. And when the system is rigged against the people, it is a problem.
CUOMO: OK, so the problem is the system and how it's rigged. You then bring on Paul Manafort, who is by pedigree and design as much of an insider backroom dealer that you can find. How is that not hypocrisy of the highest order.
PIERSON: Because you have to bring in someone that knows the system that's working against you.
CUOMO: Which is it, do you reject the system, or do you want to work the system? If you want to reject the system, why don't you say I won't play these games? That is why I don't have any organization. That is why my ground game is lacking compared to Cruz --
PIERSON: The ground game isn't lacking. I just pointed that out to you. We're winning on all faces, whether it's through contests, delegates, you name it. We're winning --
CUOMO: But people saw you're winning despite the organization. And then you brought in Manafort to prepare for the convention. PIERSON: That is the point, because we have the anti-Trump movement.
We have the GOP leadership coming out and say that we have to stop Trump to the point of bringing in a new face, whether it's Karl Rove or Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney.
[08:10:04] So of course Mr. Trump brought in someone to know the system so that we can now beat the system.
CUOMO: You don't think it sends a mixed message? What makes Trump so appealing to so many people is the unvarnished, authentic, this system stinks. I won't be a part of it. I won't let it continue. And then you wind up bringing in a guy who is born of it.
PIERSON: I think the appeal of Mr. Trump is the fact that he can recognize where the problem is and bring in the right people to solve that problem, which is exactly what he's done.
CUOMO: So what happens when you get into the convention, Katrina? How you going to smooth it over where, you know, you have this system that's not really now rigged and set up against you, because it is hard to win if you go into a convention without the 50 plus one mandate delegates. And that's what we call a magic number. It's not magic at all. It's 50 percent of the delegates plus one is what 1,237 is. Don't you need the party? Can you really fight against your own team?
PIERSON: Well, we've been fighting our own team since the very beginning. And in fact the Republican grassroots has been fighting against the party for the last seven years. So it can be done.
But we believe and we are very confident that we are going to reach the magic number 1,237 prior to the convention, and I think we're going to surprise a lot of people because there are a lot of delegates whether you are not a supporter of Donald Trump or you are who know that Donald Trump is the only candidate that can win in November. He's the only candidate with the message, the only candidate that inspires. His support is solid. He has the most enthusiasm other than any Republican. And he brings new people into the party. And you have to have that to win in November.
CUOMO: Katrina Pierson, appreciate you making the case on NEW DAY as always.
PIERSON: Great to be here, thanks, Chris.
CUOMO: Tonight Senator Ted Cruz gets his turn in the town hall. He and his wife Heidi will be talking to Anderson Cooper, taking questions from New York voters. Join us, 9:00 eastern right here on CNN. Alisyn?
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, now to the Democrats and the battle in Brooklyn. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton set to face off tomorrow night a high stakes CNN debate. The two candidates stepping up their attacks six days ahead of the critical New York primary. CNN's Chris Frates is tracking all of the latest developments for us. Good morning, Chris. CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. So the Bernie
Sanders campaign continues to hammer away at Hillary Clinton, this time taking a swipe at her credibility after one of her attacks on Sanders was rated mostly false by a fact checker. This latest swipe come after Sanders has spent days questioning Clinton's judgment and qualifications. Just yesterday Sanders criticized Clinton's vote for the Iraq war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE SANDERS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Secretary Clinton was a United States senator from your state, New York state. She heard -- she listened to the same arguments from Bush and Cheney. Her judgment was faulty. She voted for that disastrous war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FRATES: Here is what's interesting. Clinton's camp tells me they are not concerned the attacks will hurt her with Democrats. They're worried that Sanders is manufacturing bullets that Republicans will fire at her in the fall. They know Republicans will likely attack her character but now they can do it using Sanders' own words. And this is another sign that Clinton, who leads Sanders by double digits in some New York polls, is focusing on the general election. She left the campaign trail yesterday to fundraise in Florida and is increasingly attacking Republicans, and she returns to New York today with a fresh endorsement from the "New York Daily News." Sanders, meanwhile, will announce a new endorsement later this morning and will hold what's expected to be a massive rally in New York City tonight. Michaela?
PEREIRA: All right, Chris, thanks so much for that.
Autopsy results are being released in the death of former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith. He was shot and killed in what appeared to be a road rage incident over the weekend. This all comes as we learn investigators found two additional guns, one in Smith's SUV and another in the suspect's car. Police say neither of those guns were fired. Martin Savidge is live in New Orleans with all of the latest on this progressing investigation.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Michaela. It is going to be very interesting to see what is inside that coroner's report because it may not just be the depiction of the bodies. There also may be some of the crime scene.
The New Orleans police now saying that there was a loaded 9 millimeter handgun found inside of Will Smith's vehicle. And then on top of that they did not find any shell cases belonging to that particular gun, they say. So it means the gun was there but it doesn't appear that the gun was fired.
However, the fact that the gun was found does back up what we heard from witnesses that night who had said that both men had been seen arguing in the street, both of them claiming that they had a weapon. And it's also going to complicate this case.
Meanwhile there are accusations that perhaps alcohol could have played a role. Remember, Will Smith was out with his wife and friends just a few hours before all of this happened. I talked with the manager of the restaurant where they were at. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID MATHERNE, GENERAL MANAGER OF SAKE CAFE: They ate probably $400 worth of sushi, a little bit of red wine, but no one was impaired from drinking. There's no stumbling or slurred speech, or loud or obnoxious behavior in the restaurant. Everyone seemed like they were fine. And they were going to go on to another location.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Here is where this case is evolving. It started off as you remember, with reports that this was possibly a road rage incident involving Cardell Hayes who's the man now being held in custody. But now, it looks like it could be morphing into a "stand your ground" case.
And here in Louisiana, you have "stand your ground" laws but it is stronger than that. It is also you do not have to retreat. So if it is possible Hayes somehow felt threatened by Will Smith, a jury could possibly see the shooting as justifiable -- Chris.
CUOMO: You make all the right points, Martin. That's why we have to stay on it and figure out what the facts are. Thank you very much for the reporting this morning.
All right. So, another headline for you. The FBI is now offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to stolen Andy Warhol paintings. They were taken from a Missouri art museum last week. The seven Campbell Soup screen prints were part of a set of ten valued at half a million dollars. Authorities say they were lifted during an early morning break in at the spring field art museum.
All right. U2 front man Bono warning a Senate subcommittee to take action on the global refugee and violent extremism. He urged them to think of foreign aid as building national security, not as a handout. He also suggested seriously sending comedians, Amy Schumer, Chris Rock and Sasha Baron Cohen to crush violent extremists like ISIS. He says laughing at them takes away their power.
PEREIRA: Laughing is very powerful. Well, speaking of comedy, we need some of that. The men and women of 2016 always good for some laughs.
Here's our late night punch line.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONAN O'BRIEN, COMEDIAN: According to some analysts, Donald Trump, Donald Trump support is deeper than it looks. Although others say Trump just took the support he has and com combed it over to make it look better.
JIMMY FALLON, COMEDIAN: Bill Clinton was in the Bronx campaigning for Hillary yesterday and he visited the Hebrew home for the aging, while Hillary actually went there to drop off Bernie Sanders.
JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: Donald Trump is still very much focused on winning.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to win so much you may even get tired of winning. And you will say please, please, it's too much winning. We can't take it anymore. Mr. President, it's too much. And I'll say, no, it isn't. We have to keep winning. We have to win more.
KIMMEL: Do you think he ever walks off stage and goes, what the hell was I talking about?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: The jokes write themselves. I was waiting for in the Kimmel one them to have done something.
PEREIRA: Didn't have to. Let me just walk away. That is a sign of a good comedian.
Got you right in the giggles, didn't it?
CUOMO: All right. Sneaky tactics, swaying delegates, bordering on the strong arming. I'm talking about the GOP. I'm talking about allegations made against the Bernie Sanders campaign. What? Details ahead.
[08:22:02] CAMEROTA: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders about to go head-to-head in tomorrow night's CNN Democratic debate. Sanders is now facing allegations that his supporters are harassing super delegates who support Hillary Clinton.
Joining us now to talk about this and so much more, Ben Wikler. He's the Washington director of MoveOn.org.
Good morning, Ben.
BEN WIKLER, WASHINGTON DIRECTOR, MOVEON.ORG: Thank you. Nice to be here, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: OK. Before we get to whether or not there is harassment of super delegates I just want to talk about Move On and who you guys are endorsing. In January, Move On held a vote in which 78 percent of your believe online poll of something like 3400,000 members wanted Bernie. Only 14.6 wanted Hillary. What is it making your members go so overwhelmingly for Bernie Sanders? WIKLER: Sure. So, 78.6, almost 79 percent of Move On members who
voted back Bernie Sanders for president. And the reason is simple, is because his vision for what American politics should be about has incredible resonance with grassroots progressives and the electorate in general about tackling the power of big banks and billionaire class and making colleges free for public colleges and affordable for all, about tackling climate change and racial justice.
These are issues that people cared deeply about. And if you think that the system needs to change, if you think the status quo is not OK, then Bernie Sanders is your guy.
CAMEROTA: So, as you know, Ben, Hillary Clinton leads really outstandingly in super delegates over Bernie Sanders. And now there is this new website that just cropped up last week. It's called super delegate hit list. It was reportedly set up by a Bernie Sanders supporter. And it is designed by its own admission to harass Democratic super delegates.
Let me read to you what it says. The guy who designed it says, "Who wants to help start a new website aimed at harassing super delegates?" And then it says, #feelthebern.
So, is that above board?
WIKLER: I have to say. We should leave harassment to the super delegates to the Republicans. They seem to have that market cornered. But frankly, there's no place for harassing anyone really in either party in American politics. This should be a contest of ideas and issues.
Now, I will say I think that super delegates and Move On members across the country I think most would agree. Super delegates should support the winner of the primaries and caucuses. It shouldn't be the case that a small group of insiders can overturn the choice of the public.
WIKLER: But at the end of the day, it shouldn't be about lobbying insiders one way or the other. Ultimately, this is a contest that should be decided by the American electorate. That's the system we should have. That's the system that I think most Americans expect us to have.
It is weird and outdated that a handful of super delegates could potentially tip the balance against the choice of the American people.
CAMEROTA: And, in fact, we've heard Donald Trump rail against the very same system that he says is sort of underhanded and dirty.
But I want to get to whether or not you think Bernie Sanders -- it's incumbent upon Bernie Sanders to stop this website and to call them out and say there should be no such thing as harassing of super delegates, because he hasn't said things like that yet? [08:25:10] WIKLER: Well, you know, Sanders and Clinton are both
pressing their case to super delegates through their campaigns. And certainly, I think the public has a place to say, they would urge someone to say support one or another or the eventual winner as 380,000 Move On members have done.
I do think though that harassment is out of bounds. And Sanders has a couple of times from the stump talked about the necessity for his supporters to maintain a respectful and civil tone. I expect and hope that that will continue. It's important everyone feels safe engaging in these contest of ideas.
CAMEROTA: Sure. And just in terms of this one website, do you think it is time for Bernie Sanders to say no bullying of super delegates, no harassing them, calling them at home, things like that?
WIKLER: I think everyone should come out in opposition of bullying. I would love to see that from Sanders. Clinton has been speaking about it. Unfortunately, Donald Trump kind of engages in bullying directly from the presidential campaign stage. This website was not affiliated anyway with the campaign or any of the allied groups supporting Bernie Sanders, but I hope the person that created will like about the kind of behavior he's encouraging.
Everyone has a voice and a right to make their voice heard. What's out of bounds is giving anyone the feeling that they are threatened or harassed.
This morning, "The New York Daily News" is endorsing Hillary Clinton. How much do you think that that interview that Bernie Sanders did when he sat down with "The Daily News" editorial board and didn't seem to have a very detailed plan about, say, breaking up the big banks or fighting is -- how much do you think that will hurt him in New York?
WIKLER: I think it will hurt him with "The Daily News" editorial board. The fact is that New Yorkers know anyone who's been paying attention to his other writings, his speeches on the Senate floor, other comments he's made on the campaign trail, they know full well Bernie Sanders knows how to break up banks.
He was actually kind of using shorthand in that interview that didn't explain the details properly but it's pretty clear this is someone who takes this incredibly seriously and he's talked about the regulatory routes, the legislative route, all the way to tackle the immense power of billionaires and Wall Street special interests.
So, I think for New Yorkers, when they look at this contest, it's clear Bernie Sanders is the person who more than anyone in politics is ready to take the fight to Wall Street on behalf of regular people against the special interests.
CAMEROTA: Ben Wikler of MoveOn.org, thanks so much for being on NEW DAY.
WILKER: Thanks so much for having me.
CAMEROTA: All right. We're just hours away from Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders facing off in the CNN Democratic presidential debate in Brooklyn, tomorrow night, 9:00 p.m. Eastern. And tomorrow morning, we will be there as well, Michaela.
PEREIRA: All right. Is he going to get your metro card?
CAMEROTA: I hope so. I hope I don't have a bad swipe moment.
CUOMO: Serves you right if you do.
PEREIRA: Donald Trump unleashing on the RNC saying the system is stacked, the establishment working to nominate anyone else but him. Can these fighting words come back to bite him at convention? We'll explore that, next.